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!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Home Again!

We are back! The past couple of days we have been relaxing and recouperating from our time away. It was a good time away - hubby received his degree, we got to see some people we haven't seen in many years, and we got to see some family.

It was a busy vacation, there always seemed to be something going on. We were very glad to return home to relax a bit. The kids were too. The weather has been absolutely gorgeous, so we've been outside a LOT. The kids would live outside if I let therm! Ethan has been enjoying the outdoors, really his first time exploring on his own.

I have been exercising my green thumb by weeding my flower garden. I am determined this year to keep up with the weeds and try to make the garden look half decent, and I have won the first battle! - Me: 1 Weeds: 0!

Last year, a couple of the ladies in the church helped me get the garden area cleaned out. It hadn't been taken care of for quite a few years. So there is much less work to be done with it this year, it just needs some flowers and maintenance.

I am just finishing up the first trimester of this pregnancy! It really has not been difficult so far. I have determined that I absolutely cannot eat grains or sugar if I want to feel my best. My tummy gets all bloated and I feel really yucky if I have eaten much of them. (my neighbor is determined that I'm having twins... I just chuckle and say "we'll see..." sheesh.) I stayed away from them for the past 2 days, and this morning I felt the best I have in a looong time. Today was a bad day, I went to a ladies tea, and one lady made gluten free cookies for me. And I made carrot-raisin bread. Oh well, try again tomorrow...


I've got more to share, and I hope I can keep up with this blog a little better now that things are settling down and I'm feeling better. But that will have to be all for now!