Friday, January 28, 2011

We love this girl so much it almost hurts...

Honestly, though, with those big blue eyes, can you really blame us? :)

Oh, and the kids discovered a funner way of doing the laundry!

Monday, January 24, 2011

What happens around here..... documented in photos :) This is our day, Monday, January 24th

We started it off with some left-over pancakes.

As you can see, Noah didnt' mind at all that they were
leftover! You can find the yummy, healthy recipe

The boys loved each other. Not the whole day, of course.

They fought too. I just caught the loving moment for you :)

Yes, this is Noah under here. No, he is not being punished ;) He chose to stay under here for about ten minutes straight. Don't ask----I guess he was pretending to be a monkey in the zoo or something.

Cosette made a crafty flower

And of course had to be silly pretending to smell it.

Leanna took a good nap. (I think she's finally getting over
that 'no sleeping-no nursing' thing)

And now, unless you all can come up with something creative for me to make out of a jar of baby food green beans, half a container of ricotta cheese, half a tub of chocolate frosting and a flat bottle of lemon-lime soda, I think that grocery shopping is next on my agenda---yipppeee! :)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

A correction of sorts

My loving husband kindly pointed out to me today that I used an idiom improperly in my last post. Apparently, I should have said that life 'throws you curve balls', not 'hard balls' I always get my idioms wrong. Always. What can I say? I AM my father's daughter ;) (No comment necessary there, Dad :)

But seriously, in my defense, (and my father's defense as well), some of those idioms just don't make any sense! I mean seriously, why do we say "As easy as pie" instead of "As easy as cake?" In all of MY experience, cake is a whole lot easier to make than pie! And who thinks a curve ball sounds scary?! But a 'hard ball'? Now THAT sounds painful! Who comes up with these sayings, anyway? They really should consult me first ;)

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A balancing act

Okay, so, I vented yesterday. I mean, I really, really vented yesterday. And it felt good. I told you all at the beginning of last year that I'd be trying to 'keep it real' on here. And yesterday was very real.
But.......just so you know, I'm not going off the deep end or anything :) I vented, I shared, I complained....and now I feel better. So, lest you think that my whole life is just one stress after another, I do feel compelled to share with you some of my BLESSINGS today:) Because as much as I've felt rather 'overwhelmed' lately, I find myself just as often marveling at the good gifts God has given me. Here are a few little examples:

  • I was busy getting everybody ready for church Sunday morning. I was combing hair, changing diapers, brushing teeth. In the back of my mind, I thought "I'm gonna run downstairs in a few minutes and wash all those dirty dishes so they're not waiting on me after church." I turned the corner into the kitchen and......Whoa! Where'd the dirty dishes go?? They were all clean and neatly stacked in the drainer. My wonderful, thoughtful, loving husband had washed them all up without being asked. Seriously, ladies, isn't that about enough to melt your heart?!

  • It was two nights ago, and Leanna was wide awake at 4 a.m. There we are, trying to get some sleep, and she's as happy and alert as....I don't know, something that's happy and alert! ;) I was feeling rather at a loss as to what to do about the situation. Suddenly, she laid her little head on mine, rubbed my hair, and made this happy, contended, loving sound. And I thought "You know what? There are much worse situations to be in then cuddling with a loving baby at 4 a.m.!"

  • Noah used the potty three times this morning. That's all I have to say about that---it's a BIG victory, people!

  • Eli has been going through some kind of major growth spurt. He finishes his dinner, asks for a second helping, and then gobbles that down too. Then he looks up and says "Wow Mom, that was my most favoritest food ever!" He's gonna make some woman very happy some day!

  • And Cosette? Well, she got an easel for Christmas from her Grandpa, and she has been delighting us with all the beautiful paintings she's been making. She spent some of her saved money to buy new paint brushes and paint, and she is turning into quite a little artist. Seriously, she's really using her imagination and coming up with some pretty things! It's not unusual to find her in the school room, painting away. I'm so glad when one of my children take an interest in something 'constructive' and well worth their time!

So yes, life throws hard-balls at us. Sometimes many hard-balls at the same time.But life is a balancing act! In the midst of the hard-balls, I find many joys and smiles waiting for me. I've been neglecting my camera lately, but I'll try to get some pictures of my 'joys and smiles' soon to share with you all :)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Wow. Almost a whole week with no new posts. That has to be a record for me. Have you ever felt like life is just piling one thing on top of you after another?

It started last August. The 9th, to be precise. My dear Mom passed away on 8-9-10. That in itself is enough to cause quite a bit of grief and 'recovery'.

Joel and I bought a new house and moved on October 1st. This was a GOOD thing, but still, added stress.

My baby girl is being difficult. Like she is up ALL night long nursing. Last night, at 4:30 a.m., she was sitting on our bed, clapping her hands, laughing, and 'singing'. Every now and then she'd squish her little face against mine and go 'Aaaggghhh!' Then, she stays awake all day and won't nurse or nap. She screams if I put her down, or in her seat. I'm a little sleep deprived, with loads of laundry waiting to be done, school subjects to be done with my kids, and the baby won't. stop. fussing.

Did I mention that my Dad's family is moving out of their house? I knew they wouldn't be there forever once Mom passed away, but I wasn't quite prepared yet to pack everything up. Very soon we are going to have to start going through Mom's stuff, figuring out what stuff to get rid of, what stuff to put in storage, who wants what, etc. All of mom's clothes...her books.....her dishes.....have you ever had to do this for a loved one? It's going to be hard.

And finally, I have had some personal health issues over the past few weeks that ended me up at my OB/GYN today. I won't go into further detail here (because this is a public blog and I wish to avoid nasty google searchers). But, fortunately, my appointment turned out fine and the doctor thinks there's nothing to worry about. Thanks to everybody who was praying for me. But still, the added stress of that has had me on pins and needles the last few weeks.

I am simply trying to take one day at a time, and not freak out. I failed today. I freaked out. I yelled at Eli when he woke up Leanna from a very rare nap she was taking. I grumbled when the kids wouldn't do their school work happily. My husband found me in tears by the time he got home. It was not a good day. But it's almost bed-time for the kiddos. I'm going to take a hot bath, eat some chocolate, and be thankful that I get to start over again tomorrow. I can 'erase the slate' from today and start again. His mercies are 'new every morning.' When I fail, when I'm not all that I should be, He is always the same. Praise the Lord!!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

A new kind of marathon

I have been neglectful of my blog this week. I wish I had something interesting to post--something clever, witty, funny or cute. But I don't. I can't pull anything out of my brain! Mostly, I think my brain is just feeling 'blah' lately. It could be due to a certain little seven month old crawling around our house...

Most of the time, Leanna is a great nurser and sleeper! But lately, she's been staying awake and crying all day with hardly any naps. She only nurses in short bursts throughout the day. So, when evening comes, we've been doing what I call 'marathon nursing' sessions. Like, we sit down to nurse, and she nurses and nurses for a long time. Last night it was an hour and a half. Yep. I thought I wouldn't make it! Then, after waiting until 10:30 or 11:00 to go to sleep, she wakes me back up around 2:30a.m. to nurse again. And then again around 5:30a.m. Then I got up this morning at 6:00 a.m. I thought starting her on solid food would help her to sleep better at night, not worse!

So, I can come up with absolutley nothing clever or creative. I have one, lonely picture on my camera that's worth sharing, so here you go :)

I only took this one because I walked into the living room and Eli said '' You can take our picture if you want, Mom!''

So don't worry. I'm still here. And as soon as something funny or interesting happens, you can rest assured I'll share it with you. Unless I'm too busy nursing and don't have any free hands. Which is quite possible. So here's to more sleep tonight and happier babies in the future!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

My cute kids and another recipe link

Dinner dishes are washed; living room toys picked up; four children bathed and in bed; Joel is at an elders meeting---now, unless something unforeseen happens, I have a few minutes to myself. And what do I choose to do with those few minutes? Post pictures of my children, of course. Just like when Joel and I go on a date, we end up talking about the kids the whole time :)

Noah Shaun in Pappy Shaun's shoes

I thought that cats under Christmas trees only happened in
movies and books, didn't you?

Noah brought poor Brittany a loooooooong book. She
quickly learned the art of 'describing the pictures'
instead of reading the book :)

Just because she's so cute sitting in this rocking chair

My two silly girls

Oh, and for any of you who enjoyed my recipe links in the previous post, I have another one for you. This one is super easy, really tasty, and incredibly healthy for you too. Go here to see the recipe for sweet potatoes with warm black bean salad

Thursday, January 06, 2011

I am up way too late. But evening seems to be my 'quiet' time. After everybody has gone to sleep, it is just too tempting to stay up late and enjoy the peace and quiet :)
We ate realllllly yummy food over the holidays. Roasted turkey, sweet potato casserole, oreo truffles, peanut butter balls, homemade rolls, apple cider, name it, we ate it! And it felt wonderful at the time. But then, January 2nd rolled around, the festivities were over and.....I felt 'blah'. Not sick, mind you, just 'blah'. Like, "I just spent the last two weeks eating waaaay too much junk food! It's amazing my pants even still fit!!" So, I decided to do something about it. This week is 'detox' week. I put my whole family on a no sugar/junk food diet for the week. We've done this a couple times in the past, and we always end the week feeling so much better! We don't go crazy, mind you...I'm not going to like avoid the ketchup because it happens to have sugar in it. But we are avoiding desserts and chocolates and candy and sweet stuff and soda, and sugary breakfast cereal and pancake get the picture. Not that we eat tons of that stuff anyway, but we're making a real effort to avoid it altogether this week.
Oh, and on top of that, we're trying to make sure that the things we DO eat are healthful and beneficial :) I thought you might like a peek into our recipes for the week, along with some links so you can try them yourself :) (Oh, and I have to add here that my kids have been totally great about all of this. We've done it often enough by now that they're used to the routine. They even ate pumpernickel bread with strawberry cream cheese for breakfast this morning and loved it. I did, however, catch Eli trying to stuff three Hershey Kisses into his pocket this morning at Grandma's. Oh, what the desperate won't do! ;)
So, on to the recipes........

1. First off, we tried this Italian turkey soup, and loved it! I made sure to use organic, low-sodium chicken broth, and organic spinach to boost the nutritional content. We paired it with some bread and hummus and some orange slices and we were good to go :)

2. Last night we tried this re-make of the famous TGIF's pecan crusted chicken salad. Not as impressive as the soup the night before, but still pretty good. If I made it again, I'd make a couple of changes. I would substitute feta cheese for the blue cheese, and I would just use a simple Raspberry-Vinaigrette dressing from the grocery store instead of making my own.

3. We had these banana cinnamon muffins last night as well. Oh. my. Word. Hardly any sugar in these (and I cut it down even more than the recipe asked for to stick to our goals), but you'd NEVER know it. The four extra-ripe bananas in the recipe made it plenty sweet enough!

4. And finally, I'd like to try my hand at making home made pop tarts. You might wonder what pop-tarts are doing in a 'healthy' menu, but just think---I can use whole wheat flour, maybe throw in some flax seed as well, use some Fruit-only jam, and, hey, these things are suddenly healthy! ;)

Oh, and what are snacks looking like this week? Lots of clementines (I bought a bag at the store after Noah ate a boat-load at Grandma's last week), baby carrots with dill-cucumber dip, cheese sticks, yogurt, etc.

The amazing thing is, I feel so much better already. Try some of my recipes and see if you agree :)

Saturday, January 01, 2011

"Count your blessings, name them one by one"

(Note: I am leaving out our relative's first names in this post to respect their privacy :)

I know I've mentioned on here before that I am blessed with the most awesome husband a girl could ask for. But have I mentioned that his parents and siblings and his entire immediate and extended family are wonderful as well? Seriously, I look forward to the family get-togethers each year as one of the high-lights of my holiday season! I am so blessed that my children are growing up under the influence of these Godly men and women!
Today, the family spent the day together eating (and eating, and eating some've never seen food like this before!), playing games, talking, and just enjoying being together.

This was Noah's take on the day:

And the three oldest girl cousins? Well, they just had fun being silly together :) I have no idea why Noah is making that weird face in the back ground.

What a spread! And this was just the evening 'light' meal of soup and crackers. You should have seen the afternoon meal, he he!

My sister-in-law and her son

A noisy game of Taboo (Not that the game itself was that noisy, but all the kids running around in the background were noisy :) There were 11 children here today six years old and under! Oh, and before we leave this picture, I have to mention that I buzzed Joel on three different words, AND my team beat his :P (This is only a sweet victory because he beats me in every single other game we play....)

Gotta love the pigtails in this picture!

Leanna and Aunt ___

Tryng to play hide-n-seek

Leanna and Aunt____

This was Noah's 4th clementine! Not to mention the half a grapfruit he ate for breakfast this morning! The child can put away some fruit!

When Daddy and Grandma BOTH agreed that he could have another clementine, he jumped up and down, yelled "Yay, yay yay!" and ran over and gave Grandma a huge hug. Too cute! This is him and Aunt ___, who lives several hours away. We don't get to see them as much as some of the other relatives, so it's always a treat when they can come in.

Wow, gotta love all this attention!

"I see your nose, and I'm gonna get it and pull it right off your face!"

Ever since the very first family function I attended while I was dating Joel, they have all welcomed me with open arms. I know not everybody is this blessed, so I'm literally 'counting my blessings'.....I think there were about 40 of us there today, but I might have missed somebody in my counting :)


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