Wednesday, December 7, 2011

One Month

Wow. I can't believe the Little Peanut is one month old! It has been a crazy-busy month adjusting to life with a new little one! But we are getting there, wherever that is!

We had a nice Thanksgiving - it was just the six of us. My parents came for a visit the week after. It was really good to spend some time with them. (I was very grateful for the extra hands too!) The kids had a great time playing with Grammie and Grampa. :)

Life is busier than I ever imagined it would be. Each day brings new challenges, and being overtired all the time makes things that much harder. I know these days won't last forever (although some days feel like they will never end!). And I don't want to wish them away, but I do look forward to the day when the chaos is a bit more controlled, everyone is a little more rested, and the routine is a bit more predictable.

I will be taking a blogging break until next year. Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas season!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Special Delivery!

Baby Joy is here! 
Our little peanut - Joy Leanne <3
Little Joy blessed us with her presence on Monday evening. She was born at home at 9:25 pm, weighing 6 lbs 3 oz, and is 17" long. 

It's a good thing we had planned a home birth, because there is no way we would have even made it to the car to go to the hospital! Her daddy delivered her, she wasn't about to wait for the midwife! In spite of being a tad early and arriving so quickly, she is perfect. We are thrilled she is here!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

It's November!

It's November!!! I have been looking forward to this month for so long! Although this pregnancy has been easy, we are eager to hold our little baby in our arms and see her sweet little face.

The carseat I ordered just the other day arrived today! I got even more excited about baby's arrival and did some 'nesting'. :) Lots of putting things away that had wandered from their places, cleaned the top of the refrigerator, put some new decorations in the living room, and painted the office closet.

I cannot believe I've only got 3 weeks to go! It can be overwhelming if I think about that and the things that I would like to accomplish before baby comes, but I know these next few weeks are going to fly by. And in the end, it doesn't matter if every nook and cranny of the house is scrubbed and organized (or not...), or if my freezer and pantry are well stocked (or not...), although those things would be helpful, I know the baby won't hold it against me if it's not done... I just need to keep reminding myself  of that. :)

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The Love Chapter for Mothers

Last week, I picked up a book on my shelf called Becoming a Woman Who Pleases God, by Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. I had gotten the book a few years ago, it was recommended by some of the ladies in our mission, but never read it.

After reading the first chapter, I have been humbled and inspired towards becoming the woman that God truly desires. I came across this adaptation of 1 Corinthans 13, written by Dianne Lorang, and thought it was worth sharing.

The Love Chapter for Mothers

If I talk to my children about what is right and what is wrong, but I have not love, I am like a ringing doorbell or pots banging in the kitchen. And though I know what stages they will go through, and understand their growing pains, and can answer all their questions about life, and believe myself to be a devoted mother, but I have not love, I have nothing.

If I give up the fulfillment of a career to make my children's lives better, and stay up all night sewing costumes or baking cookies at short notice, but grumble about lack of sleep, I have not love and accomplish nothing.

A loving mother is patient with her children's immaturity and kind even when they are not; a loving mother is not jealous of their youth nor does she hold it over their heads whenever she has sacrificed for them.

A loving mother believes in her children; she hopes in each one's individual ability to stand out as a light in a dark world; she endures every backache and heartache to accomplish that.

A loving mother never really dies. As for home-baked bread, it will be comsumed and forgotten: as for spotless floors, they will soon gather dust and heel marks. As for children, right now toys, friends and food are all-important to them. But when they grow up, it will be their mother's love that they will remember and pass on to others. In that way, she will live on.

So care, training and a loving mother reside in a home, these three, but the greatest of these is a loving mother.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gratituesday - Thankful for the Vacuum Salesman

Yesterday evening I was just about to get supper going when there was a knock on my door. It was a young woman, and she proceeded to tell me about their company. They were setting up a new business in the area, associated with the Kirby vacuum company, and that they were offering a free rug cleaning demonstration. All I heard was "free cleaning" and I said "Definitely!" :) She said they'd be back in about an hour and a half.

Three hours later (now it's almost 8 pm, kids are in bed....) she returned with the young man doing the demonstration. He was new to the business and was part of a contest so he could win a trip to New Orleans.... Anyway. He did his presentation, showing us how incredibly filthy our carpet really was. He cleaned one of our living room chairs, the area rug, and the ceiling fan. Then we went upstairs to our bedroom where he vacuumed our mattress. Totaly grossed us out with information on bedbugs and dead skin.... and the evening finally concluded (around 9 30 pm) with the shampooing of the carpet in our room.

They offered us an incredible 'deal' on the system, and if we had an extra $1,000 to spend, I just may have taken it, but we had to say "No, thanks."

It was a long evening, but in the end, part of my house is cleaner, my mattress doesn't have so many dust mites, and my carpet is squeaky clean. Oh, and it was FREE. :) This nesting pregnant woman is taking the day off from cleaning!

What are you thankful for today?

This post is linked to Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Gluten Free Streusel Topped Apple Pie

Today, I needed to bake something. Baking is my outlet. It relaxes me. I get to focus on creating something that will bring a smile to the faces of those I love. Today's masterpiece: Apple Pie. :)

Streusel Topped Apple Pie
adapted from eat me, delicious

For Crust
1 1/4 cups gluten free flour
1/2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shortening (or butter)
1 egg, well beaten
1-2 tablespoons cold water

Mix together flour sugar and salt. Cut in shortening with a pastry cutter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. With a fork gently stir in the egg and one tablespoon of cold water. Add more water as necessary (one tablespoon at a time) until mixture can be pressed into a ball with your hands. One tablespoon of water was enough for me.

Roll out the dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Remove the top piece of plastic and use the bottom plastic to place the dough into a 9 inch pie plate. With the plastic still on, press the dough into the pie plate. Remove plastic and fix any cracks. Gently fold under any excess dough around the edge.

Gluten free pie dough is delicate, but it is easy to just pick up the extra pieces and press them into place! (We're going for functionability, not trying to win a pie beauty contest!) Now, set your pie crust in the refrigerator while you put together the filling.

For Filling
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons instant tapioca
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 3/4 pounds apples, peeled, quartered, cored, thinly sliced (I used 5 good sized apples)
1 tbsp vanilla extract

Toss all the filling ingredients together in a bowl and let it set while you make the topping.

For Streusel
1/2 cup gluten free flour
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
5 tbsp (2.5 oz) coconut oil (or unsalted butter, chilled)

Mix together flour, sugar and cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry cutter or fork until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

Now it's time to put it all together!

Put the filling into the pie crust. Top the filling with the streusel. Bake at 375 for 45-50 minutes until crust is golden and apples are cooked through. Let it cool on a cooling rack. Gluten free pie crust holds up best when it is cool.

My house smelled amazing all day long! It was torture to wait until after supper to try it, but it was awesome! There was not one crumb or piece of crust left on anyone's plate! I had never made or even eaten a streusel apple pie until today. This recipe is just sweet enough and spiced just right, and will definitely show up on the table again for Thanksgiving! :)

Saturday, October 1, 2011

One Day at a Time

Happy October! I think it's time for an update.... September was busy and full of challenges, but it's over, things seem to be slowing down for the moment, I have caught my breath, and am ready to start a new month!

I am now 32 weeks along in this fourth pregnancy! I cannot believe I only have 8ish weeks left! Nesting has taken over me, and I have been making progress on some things I wanted to get organized and done.

I got the kids summer clothing put away and got out 'new' clothes for Julianna (Emma's hand-me-downs). Emma and Ethan will be needing new fall/winter clothing as they don't have anyone to hand clothes down to them.

I was also able to tackle the disaster area that is my 'sewing room'. It had turned into more of a dumping ground of materials and odds and ends that I just didn't have a place for, or had plans for 'later'. The bureau that I was using for my odds and ends now belongs to Ethan, and the bureau he was using is for the new baby.

I went through a tub full of baby clothes that I was hanging onto, full of things the girls wore. It was fun to go through and see what I would be able to use for this little one. It brought back a lot of memories of when the girls were infants. I can't believe they were ever so small!

Our back entrance, which is part of the garage, had also become a disaster. Hubby has been cleaning out and rearranging his things in the garage, and that usually means that things get moved to inconvenient locations. We had gotten a lot of rain, and a couple of the ceiling tiles had gotten wet and fallen through, making a very large mess. Well, I started moving things to more convenient locations, vacuumed up the mess, did some rearranging, and now the back entrance is functional and neat again! for now anyway......

Our daily routine has also been interrupted by the fact that Ethan has given up his morning naps. :( I always did Emma's school and morning chores while he was down, but we have had to figure out a new routine. We're getting there. After breakfast cleanup, I put in a video for Ethan (he LOVES Signing Time!) and get school going with Emma. Julianna will sometimes join us, or she will watch a video with Ethan. Well, the video only lasts so long... sometimes we get everything done, usually not. Like I said, we're still figuring this all out. But, we did manage to complete a full week of school and finish the lesson this past week! I am really trying to stick with it until the baby comes, so that I can take a break when I will need it.

My last big project that I hope to accomplish this month is the closet in the office. We are putting shelves in it (that my hubby made!) so that I can have some more organizational space for school stuff and whatever else needs a home. I ran out of paint after the first coat, planning to get more in a couple weeks. But hopefully once everything is painted it will all come together quickly.

Phew. That is about it for now! I really hope to get back to blogging a little more frequently. Each day is different, energy levels are unpredictable, so we shall see what the future holds one day at a time... :)

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam - sugar free!

I don't do a lot of canning and preserving, but I really enjoy it. After canning the tomatoes, I was excited to make some jam!

Things were really busy during strawberry season here, so I didn't get out this year to pick any. And I was really disappointed. I love to go strawberry picking! BUT God is a faithful provider! A lady, whose brother works on a strawberry farm, gave us a bucket of strawberries! I hulled them and put them in the freezer with plans to make jam when I got the chance. Another one of our neighbors tells me every year to help myself to her rhubarb. So I also cleaned, chopped and froze that. It's been a couple of months, and my strawberries and rhubarb have been waiting patiently for me to make them into yummy jam, and I finally got the chance this week!

I LOVE using honey to make jam! It really lets the sweetness of the fruit come through. This strawberry-rhubarb jam has a wonderful sweet-tart flavor. It tastes like pie!

Strawberry-Rhubarb Jam
4 cups slightly crushed strawberries
2 cups chopped rhubarb
3 Tbsp. low or no sugar needed powdered pectin (1 box) I use Ball.
1 cup honey
1/2 teas butter (optional - helps reduce foaming)

  1. In large saucepan combine strawberries and rhubarb, gradually stir in pectin powder.
  2. Over high heat, bring to a rolling boil that cannot be stirred down.
  3. Add honey, and bring to a rolling boil again, skimming foam as necessary. (Add 1/2 teas butter to reduce foaming, if desired.) Boil for 3 minutes..
  4. Remove from heat, and ladle into hot canning jars.
  5. Place lids on jars.
  6. Put jars in a hot water bath. Bring to a boil and process for 10 minutes.
  7. Turn off heat. 
  8. Remove jars from hot water. Let them sit on the countertop until cooled down.
  9. Check that lids are sealed.
I got 6 8 oz jars, plus 1/2 cup with this batch.

I have enough strawberries to make another batch of regular strawberry jam, and while I've got the pectin and jars out, I'll be making some grape jelly as well! I haven't yet made blueberry jam, but that's next on my list if I don't get tired of making jam! yum!

Friday, August 19, 2011

String Beans and Tomatoes - but mostly tomatoes...

Well, the air is finally getting cooler. And I am so thankful that summer is just about over. Fall and spring are my favorite seasons, I love the crisp air and the feeling that change is coming. With the cool air comes the harvest, and not that I have a garden to harvest, but God is always good and always provides.

Someone had given our church a huge box of tomatoes and two very large bags of string beans. After the people of the church had taken what they wanted, we got the rest. Since our congregation is on the small side, there was still a TON left.

This is only half of the green beans, an entire sinkful!

My 15.5 qt stockpot overfloweth with tomatoes!

So I sauced the tomatoes and canned them, and froze the green beans. It was my first time making and canning a large batch of tomato sauce. Attempting new things always makes me nervous at first, but it was super simple, and now I have confidence in my tomato canning abilities. :) I followed these directions from Heavenly Homemakers. If you need to know anything about canning and preserving Laura has provided a lot of great information and instructions on her site for more than just tomatoes!

These will probably mostly be used for making yummy homemade tomato soup! (recipe on my recipe page!)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

26 weeks - Third Tri!

I have officially begun the third trimester! I cannot believe how fast the time has flown by. Only 14ish weeks to go! I am very much looking forward to meeting this little one! It has been an easy pregnancy, but these past 3 weeks have been more of a challenge. Growing a baby can really tire one out!

The whole family came to my appointment this week. The girls were really excited to hear the heartbeat. Julianna kept asking if we were going to take the baby out. :)

My insides are being smushed all around (sounds pleasant, doesn't it?...) And I have to be careful with what I eat, like in the first tri. Starches don't do me any favors, so I've been eating high protein and naturally gluten free foods. ie: fruits and veggies, and peanut butter....  :)

Oh, and we did settle on a name that we both really like! But we are not planning to share that little tidbit of info just yet - even with the kids. It's fun to have a secret.. :)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

A Day in the Dirt

The weather was gorgeous today! And I had a ton of motivation - woohoo! After an exhausting week and a sick day, I was very glad to have some get-up-and-go.

I started the morning in the front flower bed. After weeks of neglect (hot weather, busy, no energy....) the weeds had taken over... :( BUT they did not stand a chance against me and my spade! haha! The good thing about the weeds getting away from me was that there were some flowers that popped up that I probably would have pulled up with the weeds had they not had the chance to bloom! (I have mentioned my not-so-green-thumb...) Well, the weeds are gone, and now the beauty of those little flowers can shine on! It felt really good to get that done. The girls had fun digging in the dirt with me, especially Julianna:

Next we moved to our little garden in the back. It's a raised bed, so not much weeding, just checking on my two tomato plants and the sunflowers that Emma planted this year. She was so excited seeing them grow, and just this past week they've all come into bloom. I love how they really brighten things up.

And the tomato plants:

This is an heirloom variety, the tomatoes are interesting shapes...

And this is just a regular beefsteak tomato. There are 5 little ones growing! I hope they turn red...
 And finally, the other day we noticed some rather large yellow flowers growing in our bushes at the back of the yard, so I went and checked them out, and turns out we've got ourselves a pumpkin plant growing! It was from our rotten pumpkin that we discarded of last fall! Hopefully we'll get a pumpkin out of it for carving this year!

See the flower?
A pumpkin vine!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Itchy Fingers

It's been a while since I have done any sewing or knitting. Last week I was really itching to make something, so I did! :) I didn't have any extra fabric lying around, and it's challenging for me to find extra time to sit down at the sewing machine. Knitting is easy to pick up and put down, so I searched through my meager yarn stash and found enough to make a pair of longies for the little babe.

It only took me 2 days to knit these up and would have had them completed sooner if I hadn't run out of yarn 3 rows before the second leg was finished! doh! I had to go to the fabric store, and they didn't have the same color! agh! I was so frustrated, but found a color that kinda blended in.... anyway... here they are, done with a braided drawstring and little heart detail that I love:

One other thing I've been working on is a little quilt! One of the ladies in the church had given me a little set of fabric squares for my birthday. Every other week, the ladies have a quilting group that meets at church. I decided to work on putting the squares together for a little quilt. I got one 9 patch square together, and it was so easy, that I got excited about sewing again! Now, I've got 11 more squares 2/3 done. It will probably still take me a while to get the quilt completed, but here's a picture of what each 9 patch will look like:

So that's a little of what I've been doing in my 'spare' time. :)

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A Day At the Zoo

For hubby's day off (yesterday) we went to the zoo! We're only 40 minutes away, and we like to go at least once during the summer. The kids love animals and they were so excited when we told them to get ready, we're going to the zoo! Aside from being incredibly hot, we had a great time. Here are some pictures of our day ::

We got to see an elephant 'show' and after Emma got to touch the elephant! She thought that was pretty cool. :)

This is a statue of a baby elephant, it was really hot, that's why Ethan looks so uncomfortable.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cool in the Pool

It has been exceptionally hot these past couple of days, and I am so thankful for air conditioning! Another way we are staying cool is in the pool!

The kids are really enjoying it! Emma is a natural fish. She would spend all day in the water if she could! Ethan thinks it's a big bathtub - and he loves bathtime! It's fun to watch them play, they get good and worn out too. :)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Halfway! (a pregnancy update)

First of all, I apologize for my blogging absence lately. Life seems to be demanding more time and attention these days. And the only thing I want to do at the end of an exhausting day is go to bed! But today was a good day, and I've got a litte extra mojo... :)

I am officially halfway (more or less) through this pregnancy! Since things have been so busy, I can't believe I only have 4 1/2 months to go! I had so much I wanted to accomplish, and I know it's not going to get done, but I seriously need to start making some lists of things I want/need to make for this little one.

We had an ultrasound 3 weeks ago. We tried to find out the gender. The u/s tech gave us her guess, but she really couldn't get a good look between the legs. So, we are somewhat planning to expect what she told us, but I am still a little skeptical. It's a baby, that's for sure, and we are thankful to be blessed with another little bundle of joy, no matter what the gender! Also, according to the u/s I am officially due November 24th. If you haven't looked ahead at your calendar, that is Thanksgiving Day... I already have plans to do some cooking ahead and freezing, whether the baby comes before then or not, it will be all done and we will have a very relaxing Thanksgiving day, unless the baby decides to come on that day, then we will have a very exciting Thanksgiving day .... ! :)

Still going through names... I have some I like, but none that I truly love just yet. We have some time anyway.... for now.... :)

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Gluten Free English Muffins

I never plan lunch. Usually we have leftovers, or pbj if there's bread, or ham and pickles... if there's no bread. LOL. But we always eat, don't worry, I don't starve my kids, or myself!

Today was  one of those days - no bread, no leftovers, no thawed meat, the only thing in the fridge right now is some fruit. I would have to make something... but what? I thought I'd find a recipe for some sort of quick bread that the kids could put peanut butter and jelly on.

So I searched for a gluten free english muffin, and I found an awesome recipe! It was fairly quick and really easy. And, the kids got to have english muffin pizzas for lunch! Much better than pbj. Emma kept saying how much she liked them. :) Sorry, no pizza pictures, they didn't last long enough.

(Here's the link to the recipe)


*I used a flour blend of brown rice flour, potato starch, and tapioca starch. A total of 1 1/2 cups for the recipe.
*I don't have english muffin rings, so I made mini ones in my muffin tin. I got 12 mini english muffins using my handy-dandy cookie scoop - 1 very well rounded scoop for each muffin. Using well greased fingers, pat the dough evenly in the  tin. Cooked for 10 minutes on 375. These were the perfect size for the kids.
*After they are cooled down, I stuck a fork around the sides and they split right open. They had a great typical english muffin texture.
*These muffins don't get brown when they are cooked, don't worry about it. :)

This recipe took about an hour total, start to finish. 10 minutes to mix and get in the pan, 30 minutes to rise, and 10 minutes to bake! Well, that's 50 minutes, add 10 minutes for cooling! :) I already made a second batch today! I will definitely be keeping these on hand in the freezer for quick lunches (i.e. mini pizzas!) and snacks!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


I heard this song on the radio today and it was a real blessing to me. I hope it's a blessing to you as well!

Edited: Hm. I don't know why that's not working anymore. The song is "Blessings" by Laura Story.

Friday, June 3, 2011


I bought a couple of $1 birdhouses one day while I was out. The girls had a blast painting them up. It's fun to watch their personalites come out in different things. Emma is very meticulous, she even painted the inside! A purple floor, green walls, and a yellow ceiling! Jules was more excited about the water changing color when she put her brush in it! It was a fun time.  

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Yes - Gluten Free Whoopie Pies

I grew up in Maine, and whoopie pies were a common snack. I loved baking whoopie pies! And I haven't had a whoopie pie since being gluten free, but that changed today! I couldn't find a gluten free recipe that I liked the looks of online, so I got out the recipe from my childhood and gave it the gluten free treatment. The results: tastes just like I remember! yay! :)

Whoopie Pies (gluten free, dairy free)

1/2 c. butter (or shortening)
1 c. sugar
2 egg yolks (save the whites!)
5 T cocoa powder
2 c. gluten free flour*
1/2 teas. xanthan gum or guar gum
1 teas. baking powder
1 teas. baking soda
1 teas. salt
1 c. milk (coconut milk) + 1 teas. vinegar
1 teas. vanilla

*3 parts brown rice flour, 2 parts starch (potato starch and tapioca starch).

In a bowl, combine dry ingredients, set aside. In a two cup measure combine milk, vinegar, and vanilla, set aside. In a seperate bowl (stand mixer works great) cream together butter (or shortening) and sugar. Add egg yolks. While mixer is running, alternately add dry ingredients and milk mixture. Mix until smooth.

Heat oven to 375. Drop by rounded tablespoonful onto parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 8-10 minutes. Romove onto cooling rack. Let cool completely before filling.
Makes approximately 18 whoopie pies.

1/2 c. butter (or shortening)
2 c. confection sugar
2 egg whites
1/2 teas. salt
1 teas. vanilla

Beat all ingredients in  mixer until light and fluffy. If filling seems too soft, put it in the refrigerator for a while.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Super Simple Banana Pancakes

I have made these pancakes twice in the past 3 days, and I think my kids wouldn't mind if I made them every day! They love pancakes. And this recipe couldn't be any simpler with just 2 ingredients!

Banana Pancakes (gluten free)
1 medium banana
2 eggs

Mash the banana, then mix in the eggs. Fry in a well greased skillet over medium heat. I find these cook best kind of low and slow. (Too hot and they'll burn before they're easy to flip.) I use a muffin scoop to measure these out. Don't make them too big, or they are difficult to flip! This recipe generally yields 4-5 smallish pancakes.

My kids are partial to blueberry pancakes, so add some blueberries if you like. I love these topped with fresh berries (strawberries!), a sprinkle of cinnamon, and a drizzle of honey! They are also fantastic with peanut butter and maple syrup!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Sewing Again

Progress! I love it! It has been a busy, but very productive week. Enjoyable, too!

There's always a time in the year that I switch from knitting to sewing. Knitting was put on the back burner a while ago, cause things were very hectic. Winter was coming to an end anyway, so I didn't have much to make. Well, I've made the transition to my sewing machine, and I am loving it! It's nice when you have the right size needle in your machine too.... found out that was what was causing all my troubles with it.

I've made two skirts for Emma in the past couple of weeks. One I had been working on at the ladies sewing group for a while (they meet every other week), and I finally finished it today. The other I made last week with the girls, took less than an hour. (Click on the captions for links to the patterns. I adjusted them to be Emma's size..)

Skirt #1 

Skirt #2

Monday, May 23, 2011

Trials, Failures, Lessons Learned

Last week was a l-o-n-g week. I had great plans for getting back into the groove of our weekly routine, b-u-t that didn't happen. At all. 

Apparently we brought back some bugs with us from our trip. Not the crawly kind. The pukey kind. Emma was sick most of last week. And this week is Ethan's turn. Not fun.

There were a lot of umm.. 'accidents' last week as we got Ethan readjusted to using the toilet. (and they weren't no just wet ones! wasn't fun.) Our time away was a step backward for him, but he seems back on track this week (except for being a little sick). Julianna also has troubles when things are stressful, and doesn't always make it... anyway... hopefully this phase will end soon. But, with another one coming, I know we'll go through it all again! Such is the life of a mom - crappy! lol!

Well, I have learned a couple things in the trials of last week.

1. The more I seek to control my situations, the less control I actually have. This is a very stressful way to live. And I don't handle stress well, especially the unpredictable kind. After a week of fighting my situations, I failed miserably. My kids. My husband. God. So this week (and hereafter) I will begin my days alone with the Lord, yielding control to Him. Who better to let control my days, my every step, every minute? He knows what's best! Not me.

2. I can choose to react or respond. These are two different things. Reacting happens in the heat of the moment. Responding is how you have decided to react. Not that you would know ahead of time what is going to happen, but pausing before reacting, asking yourself if it's worth expending the extra energy to get angry, is it worth causing a rift in a relationship with your kids? or husband? or whoever?

3. There will always be time for dishes, laundry, and other housework. If you come over to my house, there will be toys on the floor. There will be dishes in the sink, whether they are cleaned, or waiting to be cleaned. My laundry hamper always has laundry in it. I usually have a basket of clean laundry waiting to be folded, sitting in the living room. As a mom, I have learned to let go of my perfectionism in this area. Yes, clutter drives me absolutely crazy. And sometimes my perfectionism keeps me from getting to certain tasks, because I want it done the right way the first time, and I want it done now! But 'now' is hard to come by with three demanding little ones. Yes, I have a weekly housecleaning routine, that on normal days gets done, and I can usually keep the chaos in some form of order. But sometimes weeks like last week happen. Nothing gets done. It gets overwhelming. And I wait for a new week and a fresh start to try again. So, this week, we're trying again. And we'll see what happens. I don't know what will happen tomorrow, but hopefully nothing too dramatic, cause I really need to clean my floors!

These are things that I am working on. I started this blog with the intentions of sharing the fun, the good, the successes, and the failures. As much as I really hate to admit it, I am not perfect, I do not have all the answers, and with each passing day I realize how little I think I know, and how much more there is for me to learn. Having children really opens your eyes to these things.....

I began reading in Philippians the other day. Today I read chapter two, and there were a couple of verses that the Lord opened my eyes to this morning:

Philippians 2:3-5, 13-14 (KJV) ~ Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.   
For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputings.

This morning I came to the conclusion that I am truly thankful for the difficult week I went through. Sounds odd, right? But it's true, I'm not just saying that. I am so thankful for God's unfailing kindnesses, His unconditional love, and His everpresent help in time of need. And sometimes it takes going through the rough patches to truly appreciate Who He is and all He does for us.

He's still working on me
To make me what I ought to be.
It took Him just a week to make the moon and stars,
The sun and the Earth and Jupiter and Mars.

How loving and patient He must be!
He's still working on me!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Birthday Girl

While we were away, my first baby turned five years old! Wow. I really can't believe she's five. She's definitely not a baby anymore, and she outgrew the toddler label long ago. She hardly qualifies as a 'little' girl. And she'll tell you, "I'm FIVE years old! I'm a BIG girl now!"

It was a very exciting milestone to reach. She had a great birthday, and was so happy that she could have a party with her aunts and uncles and cousins. Even though we were away, I was able to make her a special cake. For some reason, she wanted an Ariel themed cake. I had no idea how I was going to do that. But with plenty of blue frosting, and the help of an Ariel candle and some gummy fish, it turned out pretty good. Here are some pictures of Emma's big day.

Quinoa Chocolate Cake - moist, rich, and chocolately!