Tuesday, March 31, 2009

No Matter How Big She Is - She'll Always Be My Baby!

They all will for that matter :)

As I shared in one of my last posts, and as I'll share in a minute - M is becoming such a big girl :) What a little friend she is to me. My boys were born hating to shop. I guess that's why I gave it up (oh yeah, and couldn't afford it anymore!), but to take them was such drudgery! But M - oh my - she loves it :) Never complains about wanting to go home. This morning we went grocery shopping, and she had her little purse. What a little woman in training. But, as I said in this title - as big as she is - she'll always be my baby. You can see in the picture above that she fell asleep in her high chair today while eating lunch. Running errands wears you out, ya know :)

M took yet another step into girlhood. This weekend, she moved out of her crib and into a big girl bed! She LOVES it and was quite happy to give her crib to baby K :) Boy did she touch my heart - I told her to tell Daddy thank you for her bed. Well Daddy was outside having fun with the boys (I'll show pictures of that too in a minute) - and about 1/2 hour to an hour later, when Daddy came in she remembered to thank him without any reminder from me. She keeps thanking Daddy for her bed too -
Her bed is really a trundle bed that the boys used to share - and so there is a huge space underneath - just perfect for hiding under, right C?

Baby K checking out her new bed. She was looking so big in the little bassinet - now she looks little again in the big crib. I can't let a post go by without saying, again, what a wonderful baby she is :)

And what was Daddy doing outside with the boys? Well, let's see if you can see in this dark picture:Yes - he's skateboarding. Our son O has been dying for a skateboard, and this weekend we took the plunge.
Someone needs to teach O right? So Daddy wanted to be the one to do that, which is why he too bought a skateboard.

The teen who sold us the skateboards thought this was pretty cool and was pretty amazed I think - that a Dad would buy a skateboard with his son. To quote the young man - "the family that skateboards together is AWESOME!" Well, skateboarding may not be my thing, but the young man was right - the family that does anything together is awesome. O has a huge desire to skateboard, and while my heart was hesitant at first, I realized there was no good reason. We gave O the idea to form a skateboarding for Jesus club :)

And just so he isn't neglected *wink* - here's another picture of C after I gave him a haircut last week. What a handsome young son I have. This morning he built a Lincoln Log house and came running to me and said - "Mom, I think Jesus is really proud of the house I built!" Yes, C, He is very proud as am I.
Have a great week!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Everyday People

Homeless woman Pictures, Images and Photos

Everyday People
by me

You both touched my heart today.
Your jailhouse tattoos, telling of a different life.
Your weathered face, your unkempt clothes.
You both work so hard.

As I went through the drive-thru
And unloaded my van.
You treated me like royalty.
You both were so kind.

I wonder about your lives.
Why did you get those tattoos?
Why do you collect these cans?
I can see you're tired, weary too.

I get so comfortable in this life of mine.
I’m eating roast tonight.
Everyday food for me.
A feast for everyday people.

But I’m no different from you! Can't you see!
I had jailhouse tattoos on my heart!
My life, like yours, has been weathered.
The path I’ve traveled, unkempt.

But the God above loves us all.
Not me more than you!
He has erased my tattoos!
He gives rest to my tired and weary soul.

I’ve cried and smiled a lot today
As I think of you.
You reminded me of God’s love, and that
We’re all beautiful - His everyday people.


This poem I wrote tells of two people I met today. One was a man at the McDonalds drive-thru, and the other was a lady (actually I've met her before), who collects cans around the area.

The young man at McDonalds has obviously lived a hard life. He had jailhouse tattoos not hidden well under his uniform, although he was trying real hard. I'm not sure of his life, I can only imagine, but it seemed obvious that he never was brought up by parents who taught him basic manners. It wasn't that he was rude. No, it was exactly opposite. I don't know if I can explain with words, but he was working so hard to do the right thing with his words and manners. He treated me like I was *up here* and he *down there*. I imagine a lot of people have treated him like that in his life though. That saddens me.

In our area, an elderly woman rides her bike, like a postman - in rain, sleet or snow, collecting cans to return for the deposit. I've seen her digging in trashes and combing the woods - always with a smile on her face. She works so hard. Her clothes are disheveled and her face and hands rough. She isn't homeless though, but I imagine most people think she is. I also bet most people have never taken the time to talk to her to find that out though. That saddens me too. Today she offered to help me unload my car as she was taking our cans. She could easily be my grandmother - and she was offering to help me! I told her I wish I could help her more. "Oh, I'm fine dear" she said. I could tell she really just enjoyed a conversation with me, as I did with her.

You know, sometimes I get very (light years) removed from reality. I am like the Pharisees in the Bible, only associating with the religious elite, and shaking my head at the sinners in a righteous fashion. As I get to know Jesus though, I see how wrong that is! Jesus ate with sinners, he spoke and loved the adulteress. I don't want to be a Pharisee - I want to be like Jesus!

I hope in some little way, I was more like Jesus today. I want my kids to grow up, learning to love, accept, and get their hands a little messy with the beautiful people that our society turns their heads to. Whether its the poor, the battered, the mentally challenged, the elderly, or simply the not-so-perfect white-collared Christian - I want my kids to have an open heart to them.

And today I'm learning - they will only learn that from me.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Happy Spring, Happy Smiles

Happy Spring! Little by little we are seeing the signs of spring - pussy willows, tulips and daffodils just starting to peak their heads up from the earth. It sure is beautiful this world God created!

Its hard to believe, yet again, that time is a tickin' away ever so fast! Baby K will be 11 weeks old this week! She sure is a delight to our family! She loves to smile and coo and kick! She has a very sweet disposition :) See the outfit she is wearing in these pictures? Her big sister M wore it when she was a wee babe. Here, let me see if I can find a picture:

Wow! Thank goodness for dates on digital pictures - I would have thought that was Baby K! My husband jokes with everyone that we only know how to make one kind of baby :) He's right - they sure do look alike. Oh, my heart is swooning this morning looking at how little M was. As I will update you in a bit - she is ever so big these days! Here are some more smiles of Baby K :) You can see why we keep a hat on her so much as in the picture above! She is so bald! It makes me feel like she's warmer with a little cap on :)

Happy Baby!
Now to update you on our family, we have had a very hard winter with sicknesses. Pneumonia, bronchitis, influenza (the real deal - tested positive at the docs!), stomach bugs, etc. Believe you me, I have had my moments where this has just worn me down. But today, now that everyone seems to be on the up and up, I look back to this winter and see how gracious God is in how He's carried me through. As I've shared, our oldest son has asthma and allergies. I spent the first two years of his life so angry at anyone and everyone whenever he was sick, which was a lot. As I continue on my mothering journey, I realize, it is all in God's hands!

There is a purpose when my little ones get sick. It was so hard to see that the week when all four of my children were sick, and my husband and I were up all night with all of them. It was difficult to see again when my little girl M had a fever of 104.9, and then a few nights later of 105.4. But God didn't allow these sicknesses to happen just to kick me when I was down, as He looked down from heaven laughing away! No!

God never promised me that it would be easy (like I needed to tell you this as you think about your struggles), but God DID promise He would never leave me, nor forsake me (Hebrews 13). I recently came across this story that really says what I am trying to say, so much better!
The Road of Life

At first, I saw God as my observer, my judge,
keeping track of the things I did wrong,
so as to know whether I merited heaven or hell when I die.
He was out there sort of like a president.
I recognized His picture when I saw it,
but I really didn't know Him.
But later on when I met Christ,
it seemed as though life was rather like a bike ride,
but it was a tandem bike,
and I noticed that Christ was in the back helping me pedal.
I don't know just when it was that He suggested we change places,
but life has not been the same since.
When I had control, I knew the way.
It was rather boring, but predictable . . .
It was the shortest distance between two points.
But when He took the lead, He knew delightful long cuts,
up mountains, and through rocky places at breakneck speeds,
it was all I could do to hang on!
Even though it looked like madness, He said, "Pedal!"
I worried and was anxious and asked,
"Where are you taking me?"
He laughed and didn't answer, and I started to learn to trust.
I forgot my boring life and entered into the adventure.
And when I'd say, "I'm scared," He'd lean back and touch my hand.
He took me to people with gifts that I needed,
gifts of healing, acceptance and joy.
They gave me gifts to take on my journey, my Lord's and mine.
And we were off again.
He said, "Give the gifts away; they're extra baggage, too much weight."
So I did, to the people we met, and I found that in giving I received,
and still our burden was light.
I did not trust Him, at first, in control of my life.
I thought He'd wreck it; but He knows bike secrets,
how to make it bend to take sharp corners,
knows how to jump to clear high rocks,
knows how to fly to shorten scary passages.
And I am learning to shut up and pedal in the strangest places,
and I'm beginning to enjoy the view
and the cool breeze on my face
with my delightful constant companion, Jesus Christ.
And when I'm sure I just can't do anymore,
He just smiles and says . . .
-- author unknown

During our recent bout with influenza, my little girl here M decided she was ready to go poo and pee on the potty. This was a little inconvenient for me doncha know. But what was a Mama going to do? She was ready, and I just needed to pedal :) With no work whatsoever, this precious girl of mine is now fully potty trained! Just when I'm ready to let her go through the night without a diaper, she'll have a little accident during the night, so we'll keep the diapers at night for now :) Hey, I'm just glad she did the hard work for me :) Potty training is one of those things I'd gladly hire out if I could! Oh, and don't tell her, because she hasn't realized yet, but I took her pacifier away over a week ago (yeah I know - she was a little old for it).


Back In the Kitchen Again

After what seems like years (it probably was!) I am back in the kitchen again, cooking away! It has been so fun! I'm back to baking bread - I even baked our hamburger buns for our sloppy joes last night! I'm not a New Year's resolution kinda gal - but this year I did make one - to memorize a few basic recipes to keep under my belt. So far I've memorized pancakes from scratch, and a master cookie recipe. I'm now working on my rustic Italian bread recipe to keep tucked back in my brain. What time this saves not having to go look up a recipe!


Thanks to NancyToday, I've learned a fantastic, from scratch pancake recipe. Throw away the bisquick! This is WAY easier in my opinion (and so much more filling as it has protein in it)!

You simply need to remember the number ONE and a list of ingredients. If you need to increase your amount of pancakes for a larger crowd, just multiply one by the number of batches you need :)

Take 1 egg, 1 teaspoon of oil, and 1 teaspoon of sugar and whisk it good in your dish. Then add 1 cup of milk and whisk that with those ingredients. In another bowl, take 1 cup of flour and 1 teaspoon baking powder, and whisk those together. Add the flour mixture to the milk mixture and you have delicious pancakes batter :) To give you an idea of how much this serves, doubling it is perfect for my family. I've made pancakes every morning now for a week, and plan to keep doing this every morning I can. For one it is CHEAP, for two it is HEALTHY, and for three, nothing feels better than sending your husband and son off for the day with a warm filling breakfast in their tummies :) Come on, you can do it too :)

Well, I better go keep my day going. God bless you this week!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

A Wonderful Day....

Time is going too fast! Our baby K is nearly 8 weeks old!

She is a wonderful baby - and don't shoot me (I may shoot myself as often when I proclaim something, it inevitably comes back to bite me!), but she is sleeping through the night! My husband and I agreed that baby girls (for us) are much easier than baby boys (however, toddler boys are much easier than toddler girls - for us)! Both K and our two year old daughter slept through the night by 8 weeks. Now, I'm not certain that it is because they are girls, or because I found out the SECRET to making a baby sleep. Would you like to know the secret? It is SWADDLING. I never swaddled my boys, yet I swaddled both the girls. I've found the best swaddling material is "long john" material as you see above. Why I got rid of the blankets I had for M, I will never know (probably one of my decluttering spells no doubt). Thankfully Jo-Ann Fabrics had much to choose from, and so I bought the pretty rainbow-y fabric you see above. My Mom (or was it my sister? I don't remember) said they look like they're in a straight jacket when they are swaddled up - yes, I do it THAT tight! I'm telling ya, the tighter the better!

Its hard to believe I'm another year older! Yes, yesterday was my birthday, and despite it starting out with a sick little guy, it truly was a wonderful day. Really my birthday celebration started Sunday, when my Mom and Dad came over for a visit. It was wonderful, even though we weren't able to go out to eat as planned because of my little guy starting to get sick.

Here is part of what my Mom and Dad gave me - isn't it lovely?

I have it on my dresser -which is my special area that I keep my little treasures :) Some of the special things I have are little china cups with spoons (Mom help me out if there is a real name to these things!). They were my Grandmother's who passed away a few years ago. Also, I have the top to my wedding cake, and the penguins my husband gave me when we were first dating - the first gift he ever bought for me. Also I have a basket (which you can see behind the pitcher) of many of the flowers my husband gave me over the years. I'll have to dry those roses you see above - yes, my beloved brought those home to me yesterday! I also have my wedding bouquet dried and in there as well. What an adventure that has been to move! Since we were married, we've moved three times - and each time, after all is packed, my basket of dried flowers sits on my lap or the front seat of the car. All of my little treasures sit on top of doilies that I also got from my Grandmother. I'll have to take pictures of my treasures to show you one of these days.

And, finally, after many years of wanting a guitar, my husband and kids gave this to me as my big birthday present! I've already learned how to play a G and C chord :) You can play "Old MacDonald" with those chords - my kids think I'm a professional and my oldest son asked if I would start playing with the worship team at church - oh to see life through the eyes of a child! They don't see the flaws and they have no expectations! They see me playing just fine even though the reality is I can't play at all! I wonder what would happen in my family; in my neighborhood; and in my church, if I started seeing all that way? No flaws, no expectations. Yes, I think that would be a wonderful thing.

Well, I must go and attend to my day. It is beautiful out, but cold. I love winter, yes I do, but I am real ready for spring - to have the windows open, the kids running outside all day, going for walks, talking to neighbors walking by. Yes, I'm starting to long for it.

Oh! I haven't forgotten that I wanted to give some tips as to how we have saved some money and paid things off last fall - things that really helped when my husband's salary was cut. I have so much swirling in this mind (on top of the things that MUST swirl in this aging mind-haha!) I will see about writing more next week - but for now, I'll leave you with this question:

Of the things you pay for in your life,

what things do you purchase because you deserve them?

Have a great week!


Stay, stay at home, my heart, and rest;
Home-keeping hearts are happiest,
For those that wander they know not where
Are full of trouble and full of care;
To stay at home is best.

Weary and homesick and distressed,
They wander east, they wander west,
And are baffled and beaten and blown about
By the winds of the wilderness of doubt;
To stay at home is best.

Then stay at home, my heart, and rest;
The bird is safest in its nest;
O'er all that flutter their wings and fly
A hawk is hovering in the sky;
To stay at home is best.
~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow