Sunday, November 30, 2008

Red Baby

Did you have a favorite toy as a kid? I did. It was a bear named A.G. and I loved it. I took it with me everywhere.

Ruby's favorite toy is her heavy baby waldorf doll. She named it "Red Baby". She treats Red Baby like a real baby. It is so sweet to see her natural mothering skills coming out at such an early age. She nurses her baby, feeds her baby, takes her baby for stroller walks, even wears her baby in a sling. She's going to be a great mom someday.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Poor Hosanna!

In this season of family get-togethers, it's a joy to see cousins playing together... right?

Well, not so much.

Hosanna just wanted to play with her cousin Abby. (Abby is 5 months younger than her.) Abby was in the walker playing with some toys. Hosanna walked up, smiled, said something in baby language and started playing with one of the toys on the tray. See, nice cousin fun.

Abby did not like Hosanna playing with her. She cried and flailed and threw a giant fit whenever Hosanna came over to play.

Poor Hosanna!!
She just wanted to play nice. She didn't hit or bite or anything. She was a good girl and kept getting in trouble for it.

I hope this is not a sign of things to come...

Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Thankful List

Happy Thanksgiving!!

I've had trouble this year getting into the mood for Thanksgiving. I remember when I was a kid being SO excited about it, waking up on Thanksgiving morning SO happy that the day had finally arrived. It was almost like Christmas! Even as an adult, I've always loved Thanksgiving. But this year was different. For whatever reason, the excitement just wasn't there.

I happened upon this blog post the other day and was inspired. I made plans to sit down the night before Thanksgiving with my tea and write down what I was thankful for. Then last night, shortly before my "thankfulness appointment", I read this post. What glorious perspective!! If my thanks is not going to God, then I may as well not even bother being thankful.

So, with a prayer of thanksgiving to God, here are a few things I am thankful for:

  • Potty training! 3 out of 4. I never thought I'd see the day.
  • Hot tea on a cold night, the warmth rising up to steam my glasses
  • A happy baby, even if it is after bedtime
  • Clean countertops after a long day of cooking
  • A home warmed by more than just the furnace
  • Children laughing together instead of fighting
  • My husband's smile
  • A son still young enough to want his mom to tuck him in
  • Warm cornbags at the foot of my bed
  • Handpainted yarn and smooth bamboo needles
  • Books strewn around the living room by my exuberant "reader"
  • A comfortable chair
  • Casual conversation in the grocery store -a miracle from the child who didn't say mama until she was 4
  • Food in my cupboards
  • Clean water in abundance
  • Indoor plumbing
  • Laundry
  • 2 cars in the driveway
  • Healthy children
  • A faithful husband
  • Close knit extended family
  • Restored relationships
  • Forgiveness, given and received
  • Grace like rain
  • Mercy, new every morning
  • Trials, for testing produces faith
  • Lean times, for they bring creativity
  • Sovereignty of the Almighty, working all things to His glory
  • Perfection soiled by earth's dirt to feel what I feel
  • Sacrifice, His life poured out for mine
  • Victory! O death where is thy sting?
  • Savior, taking my hand in His
  • Hope that there is more than this
  • Life, eternally
  • Joy, forevermore

Oh, yes. There is much to be thankful for.

May you all have a blessed day of giving Thanks to our Glorious God.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

If the Pilgrims Could Eat Popcorn on the first Thanksgiving

Then we can eat pretzels!

Especially turkey shaped pretzels!!

I made these fun, yummy pretzels to take to a friend's house for Thanksgiving tomorrow. They were pretty easy, all things considered, and they are so tasty! I got the recipe from Laura over at Heavenly Homemakers.

I am, however, sorry to report that the turkeys didn't make it. Their feathers were a bit fragile and they didn't survive packaging for travel. Oh well. They will taste just as good dismembered.

My First Co-op Order!

I had the opportunity to join a food co-op with some friends of mine. I can get all kinds of bulk grains, flours, dried fruit, natural sweeteners, etc at much lower prices than the local health food store, and in many cases, even cheaper than Walmart!

Being the healthy-cooking nut that I am, I was SO excited to place my first order. And here it is...

25 lbs. of brown rice, 5 lbs. of soft white wheat berries, 5 lbs. of steel cut oats, 5 lbs. of organic cane juice crystals, 2 lbs. potato starch flour, 2 lbs. tapioca flour, 5 lbs. whole grain cornmeal, 1 gallon of honey, and a 5 lb box of date coconut rolls!

These foods will go a long way toward healthier eating for my family! Plus, it's easier on my budget. I am so grateful that I got to join this co-op!!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Wagon Train

Proving once again that children do not need toys to have fun...

Ruby pulls a laundry basket which Jade hangs on to while riding in a plastic tote and Hosanna chases along behind them.

Actually this was quite entertaining for the adults too...

Oh That's Not Good

This was the scene last Friday.

You know when a major appliance is undergoing surgical procedures that it can't be good.

My washer stopped working while I was washing diapers. (of course it was diapers... couldn't have been just sheets or something, no... diapers) It smelled hot and I feared the worst.

Thankfully, this story has a happy ending. Teagan took it apart, unjammed the spinny thing and it worked! Whew, that was a close one.

Hopefully it won't happen again. We create a lot of laundry around here.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Go Play This!

I found this link at Rocks in my Dryer. It is hilariously fun!! So go play already!

Line Rider

Finger Food

I don't really consider mashed potatoes a finger food...

Apparently, Hosanna disagrees with me.

Spoons are overrated anyway.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Love and Lentils

We've been a bit under the weather this weekend. Wednesday night Jade got sick, but was better the next morning. Friday night Ruby was sick all night, and continued to be sick Saturday and Sunday. Hosanna got sick Saturday and Kordell got sick on Sunday. And by sick I mean...well... let's just say I've been doing a WHOLE lot of laundry.

We stayed home from church yesterday and had a quiet day at home. When lunchtime rolled around I wanted to make something nutritious, something that would help Teagan & I stay well and maybe help the kids get well. Of course, I reached for the onions & garlic. Garlic is our magic cure-all around here, and onions have similar properties. I looked around for a recipe and ended up combining a couple different ones. I didn't have any chicken for chicken soup, so I went with a lentil stew instead.

First the onions (4) and garlic (20 cloves) ...

Ruby helped me add some carrots. A lot of them. She kept bringing me carrots! I think there were 6 or 8 in the pot.
Then tomatoes, lentils, water, and some spices. I used paprika, ginger, pepper and salt. 30 minutes later I had a delicious steamy bowl of nutritious soup. Just leaning over the pot and taking a whiff made me feel better!

Teagan loved it! It was really really good. And we felt much better after having some. Soup does that. And I know all those yummy, nourishing ingredients will help our bodies fight off this sickness that the kiddos have.

Yay for soup!

Friday, November 14, 2008

A Different Christmas

I have a love/hate relationship with Christmas.

I love spending time with my family. I love baking cookies - and giving them away! I love the sparkle of Christmas lights in the dark. I love cracking open the Bible and reading the Christmas story. I love singing songs about that Holy Night in Bethlehem.

But here's what I don't love... Materialism, greedy corporations, Santa Claus, overblown gaudy decorations, gifts bought out of obligation, toy catalogs, greedy kids, credit card debt, greedy grown-ups, stress, crowded stores... forgetting the REAL reason for the season!!

Last month, as I began to think about Christmas, a sense of dread began to settle upon me. We don't have money to spend on people, on our kids, on ourselves and how was I going to make it all work? I was frustrated by the thoughts in my own head telling me all the worldly things that Christmas is supposed to be, and yet knowing that Christmas is about something so much bigger than presents and decorations.

Then I stumbled onto this little video. Please take the 2.5 minutes to watch it.

My heart leapt! YES! That's it exactly! Less Spending. More Giving! More Worship!

Teagan & I resolved to do things differently this year. Instead of a big tree, we are doing a Jesse Tree. Instead of going out and buying cheaply made, expensive, mass-produced stuff for our loved ones, we are making gifts ourselves and trying to give things that are practical, needed, or will be greatly cherished. If we must buy a gift, I will try to buy handmade whenever possible. We are also planning on giving to Samaritan's Purse and/or World Vision. We plan to have the children help us choose a gift or two to give through one of those organizations. We want them to learn that giving is as much fun as receiving!

We will also be doing nightly devotions as part of our Jesse tree. I also want to incorporate Scripture memorization from Luke and Isaiah. I want our Christmas season to be saturated and rooted in CHRIST. After all, He is what it's all about.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Mr. Dishwasher's Vacation: Week 3

Did you know that it takes 21 days to make or break a habit?

We have just completed week 3 of hand washing the dishes. As expected, the "I don't wanna do that" attitude picked up in force this week. Well, for Kordell anyway. I'm still plugging along.

I'm not sure if our little experiment really accomplished the goal with Kordell. He still doesn't really seem to get it. Or he just doesn't care. He doesn't like work period, so it doesn't really matter what form it takes.

As for me... I like having a clean kitchen. I like having all the dishes available for food prep at each meal. I like having the dishwasher out of the middle of my kitchen. I don't like Mr. Dishwasher clogging up my newly acquired wide open spaces, namely the office formerly known as the sewing room. I'm not sure where we go from here. Mr. Dishwasher may soon be looking for a new home...

Saturday, November 08, 2008

The "S" Word

That's right, SNOW.

We had our first real snow of the year overnight. I'm not ready, but the kids are loving it. Here is the conversation I heard while in bed this morning...

Ruby: (excitedly while looking out the window) It's snow!! There's snow on the ground!!! It's absolutely perfect!!

Then thump thump thump as she runs to look out the windows on the other side of the house...

Ruby: (more excitedly) There's snow in the backyard! There's snow on my bike!!!

Thump thump thump as she runs to look out the window in the office...

Ruby: (even more excitedly) Dad! There's snow on your TRACTOR! There's snow on the truck!! There's snow on the car!!!

Thump thump thump as she runs to the back door, then the door opens... She runs outside in her rain boots, then a minute later the door shuts...

Ruby: (a little upset now) DAD!! There's big huge snow all over your MOTORCYCLE!!!

Teagan: Yes, Ruby. Take off your boots.

Jade: (dressed in shorts and tennis shoes) Outside!

Teagan: No outside. It's cold and wet.

Jade: Outside!

Teagan: No Jade. No Outside.

Jade: (yelling very loudly) OUTSIDE!!

Teagan: No! No Outside!

Jade: Teagan! Build a cave! Outside!

Teagan: No, Jade, there's not enough snow for a cave.

Jade: (lots of loud screaming...)

In years past Teagan has blown all the snow in the backyard into a big pile, complete with slides and "caves" (which were hollowed out of the side, not really caves). She figured that if there was snow, Daddy could make a cave.

Let me add that there was like 1/4" of snow on the ground. Just enough to cover everything very lightly. I'd show you a picture, but I'm having battery issues with my camera. Believe me, it was not very much snow for all the excitement around here.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

It Is What It Is

I wasn't going to post about the outcome of the election, but here I go anyway. Are you ready? This is going to be deep...

It is what it is.

Yeah, I'm not thrilled about Obummer, I mean Obama, being the president elect. I am concerned for the state of this great nation in the coming years. But it is what it is. There is nothing to be done about it now. No amount of sharp-tongued complaint or criticism will change anything. We just need to continue living our lives the best we can for God's glory and the good of our families.

Striving for self-sufficiency wouldn't be a bad idea either. ;-)

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Gratituesday: When It's Over

Today is Election Day. Duh. Like anyone in the United States could forget. We've been bombarded with advertisements, yard signs, and media about this election for over a year now. The date November 4th has been burned into our brains.

There is a lot of anxiety surrounding this election. There is much at stake. I admit that I also have concerns about what will happen. But there is still much to be grateful for, no matter who is elected.

Blessing 1: The election will finally be over. No more political ads. Thank the Lord. Can I get an AMEN?

Blessing 2: (This is the important one) When it's all over, no matter who wins, no matter if I like the elected person or not, this I know...


The following verses came to mind this morning as I was preparing to go to the polls.

Then Daniel praised the God of heaven and said:
"Praise be to the name of God for ever and ever;
wisdom and power are his.

He changes times and seasons;
he sets up kings and deposes them.
He gives wisdom to the wise
and knowledge to the discerning.

He reveals deep and hidden things;
he knows what lies in darkness,
and light dwells with him

I thank and praise you, O God of my fathers:
You have given me wisdom and power,
you have made known to me what we asked of you,
you have made known to us the dream of the king."

~Daniel 2:19b-23

"He sets up kings and deposes them" That goes for presidents too. The Sovereign One who has set up and taken down every king in history is in control of this election too. We cannot fathom the mind of God. We do not know what He is orchestrating through the events that unfold today. But I know that He will work them all for His glory and for our good.

Find more to be grateful for at Heavenly Homemakers!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Mr. Dishwasher's Vacation: Week 2

So, here we are at the end of week 2. Mr. Dishwasher is enjoying his time off. He is dutifully holding up my green tomatoes, a basket of squash, rutabagas & onions. He likes all the colorful vegetables. Vegetables are quiet, he says, and he likes the quiet after so long in the middle of the noisy kitchen.

I am still enjoying our little experiment. Dish washing duty is becoming routine, so that's good news. A couple of meals were saved over to the next time because I didn't want to run water for just 3 or 4 items. But, all in all, the counters are always free of dirty dishes. And I just love that.

I've also acquired a dish helper. (Are we surprised?) Ruby is learning to wash the dishes (though she mostly just plays) and Jade has taken a turn as well. I'm glad that they are learning these very important life skills. Kordell only grumps about it occasionally, so we're still good there.

On to week 3...

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Fall in the Garden

My tender summer vegetables are long gone. The last of the green tomatoes are ripening in my laundry room, the green peppers are tucked away in the freezer, and the eggplant are but a memory. However, there are still vegetables to be had! My kale and swiss chard are still green as ever, despite the freezing temperatures we've been having. Ruby & I were out in the garden earlier this week gathering kale for dinner. It's s strange thing harvesting fresh garden greens while all bundled up, but what a wonderful thing!

Praise the Lord for His bounty in my little garden!