Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Ruby's Angeled Eggs

Ruby did such a good job helping make the "angeled" eggs yesterday that I wanted to share a picture! She was so proud of herself. She peeled the eggs, mixed the filling, and filled the eggs. Mama put on the "sprinkles".

What a big helper! I think I'm working myself out of a job. At least I hope I am...

PS... If you look really closely at her left hand, you can see the scar from her bagel-cutting incident a few weeks ago. It's looking pretty good now.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Suzy Homemaker Hard at Work

We're all finally feeling better, so it's back to the normal routine around here.

Having been sick myself or taking care of sick little ones for the last two weeks, I haven't done much more than the bare minimum required to keep us all from starving. But today I plowed into my kitchen with renewed vigor!

For breakfast, I made strawberry bread with chilled strawberry soup. (Because yesterday I was looking longingly through my Simply in Season cookbook longing for spring vegetables and decided to splurge and use my last bag of strawberries from the freezer to make something springy!) I also made spaghetti for Jade to take in her lunch.

For lunch, Ruby & I whipped up some "angeled" eggs and served them with cheese and leftover strawberry bread from breakfast. (Because while I was surfing the internet this morning, reading about Laura's Angeled Eggs, Ruby came in and said they looked yummy and we should make some, so we did!)

After lunch, I decided to make bread. We'd been out for a few days. I'm not sure what I changed or what I'm doing wrong, but the last few rounds of bread-making have been a bit dangerous! During the kneading (which my mixer does for me) big hunks of dough are coming to life and flying out of the mixer and across the kitchen!! It's a little scary! Plus, my dough consistency just hasn't been right the last 3 times or so. Hmmm. I'm still learning all the science of bread making. I'll keep tinkering with it. Anyway, I made 3 loaves of bread and a pan of cinnamon rolls.

While I was making the bread, a pot of black beans simmered on the stove. I cooked up 2 pounds of beans with intentions of freezing them for future use. From the 2 pounds, I got 6 cans worth of beans (6 2-cup portions) and 3 cups of bean broth. So easy... the beans don't need much babysitting. The hardest part was bagging them up for the freezer.

On the menu tonight... Black beans & rice, of course!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

11 years ago...

Who are those kids!? Man, we're getting old...

Eleven years ago today, I married my sweetheart. We were just babies, at 18 & 19 years old, having no idea what lay ahead. "For richer or poorer, in sickness and in health" - though we mostly assumed that meant richer and in health. Because the world is full of optimism when you are young and in love.

The last 11 years have held a lot of excitement. We have moved 6 times. We've welcomed 4 children into the world and let one go on to heaven. Gone through 2 surgeries, and more doctor visits than I can count. Endured disability and bankruptcy. Yet the Lord has always provided for us. He has kept us close to each other and close to Him through all of it.

I love Teagan more now than the day we married. I have seen him grow into a mighty man of God, an amazing Daddy and a wonderful husband. I can't wait to see what the next 11 years hold.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Quiet, but not in a Good Way

Well, we never did get to go out on Saturday night. Kordell took a turn for the worse, as did a few other children, and we called it off. The night wasn't a total loss though. We tucked the kiddos in early and watched a DVD at home. All the entertainment, none of the driving.

Over the next couple of days, it was one sick kid after another. One would get better while another got worse, and they just went round and round. I was sick again on Monday. Thankfully, it was short lived. Yesterday we finally decided to take Ruby & Hosanna in to the doctor. They both have this junky sounding cough and a fever that won't let up. Ruby's strep test was negative, and she has no bacterial infections, just a nasty virus. Hosanna has another ear infection, and likely the same virus as Ruby - a double whammy. Teagan & I have been up with them two nights in a row.

On the positive side, sick children are quiet children. It has been a nice reprieve for a couple days. We've spent a lot of time snuggling and reading books. It's been nice. But I am ready for everyone to be healthy again. We've had our fair share of this germy stuff and I'd rather have healthy kids than quiet ones.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

His Compassions Never Fail

Sometimes God is just sweet to us. (If you're in my Bible study, I totally stole that line from Beth, but it's so good!)

It's true! I know, cerebrally, that God is good and faithful and mighty and all that, but sometimes He's just sweet to me. He knows that's what I need Him to be sometimes. I might be able to ignore or take for granted His goodness, but His sweetness just touches me and lifts my face up to His.

A few days ago, I was really mad at God. Really mad. Like whiny kid whose plans got spoiled mad. Pouting and whining and I told Him so. God, this is not fair. What kind of cruel joke is it to perfectly arrange 2 date nights in a row (which are desperately needed) and then have the kids & I get sick?? I am so mad! This stinks! Part of me wondered if it was even okay to be mad at God. But I figured telling Him I was mad was better than just stewing in it.

Over the next day and a half, the Lord just poured out sweetness on me. He used Ruby and our family memory verse to soothe my aching heart. Just try to stay mad at God with your 3 year old telling you this at each meal (and in between):
Yet this I call to mind
and therefore I have hope:
Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.
They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
- Lamentations 3:21-23
I finally accepted the fact that we just weren't going to get to go on our dates. But, can you guess what happened? Yesterday morning, we got up and Jade wasn't coughing. Hosanna wasn't throwing up. I was feeling better. We were able to take the older kids to our friend's house and go to the concert last night, like we'd planned! And today, things are okay. Kordell was a little under the weather, but already feeling better this afternoon. We might just get to go out again.

And not only did we get to go last night, but we were really blessed by the concert. Andrew Peterson's music and storytelling just have a way of getting right into your heart and touching those hurt places with the soothing balm of Jesus. I wanted to share with you a song that really touched my heart last night, courtesy of youtube.

Thank you Lord for being so sweet to me! I pray that all of you reading this will be blessed by the sweetness of our faithful, compassionate God this week.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Sick Again


We all took turns a few weeks ago, and Teagan was the last one still fighting it. Not anymore! I came down with strep throat yesterday (again!), Jade has been coughing non-stop, and Hosanna has a tummy bug of some kind.

The worst part...

Teagan & I were going to go out on a date not one night, but 2 nights in a row! The babysitters all fell into place and we were so excited. But unless we have a miraculous touch from God overnight tonight, we aren't going anywhere.

I'm so bummed.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

It's Almost Spring!

Spring is so close I can almost taste it.

We've had gorgeous weather here the last few days. Well, for March in Wisconsin anyway. All you southern people, I don't want to hear about how it's 75 and sunny!! It's been 50-60 here and sunny and the snow is melting away! There's grass in my yard! Brown grass, but grass nonetheless.

I'm so excited!!!

Saturday, March 14, 2009

The little Green Project: Cheesy Broccoli Penne

For today's installment of The little Green Project, I wanted to share a recipe.

Lately I've had a hankering for macaroni & cheese. I used to love that blue box stuff, but the more I know about food, the more unappetizing it is. I started making my own macaroni & cheese, using real, good for you ingredients. Yesterday I decided to take it up a notch and add a green vegetable. So "Cheesy Broccoli Penne" was born.

Cheesy Broccoli Penne

8 oz. whole wheat penne pasta
1/4 cup or so chopped onion
1 T. butter
1 T. flour (soft white wheat works well)
sprinkle of pepper
1 cup milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1-2 cups frozen broccoli, thawed or fresh broccoli, steamed

Cook the penne in a large pot. While it is cooking, in a 2 qt. saucepan, saute the onion in the butter. Add flour & pepper. Mix well. Add milk all at once. Cook, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Add broccoli and cook, stirring often, until broccoli is warmed. By this time, the penne should be all cooked & drained. Add the broccoli cheese sauce to the penne in the larger pot. Stir to combine. Serves 4.

I was actually surprised at how fast this was to put together. It didn't take much longer than boxed mac & cheese and it is so much better for you!

For more green ideas, check out Heavenly Homemakers little Green Project!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Good Clean Fun

Hosanna got to take a bath in the sink a few weeks ago. Every kid has to have a sink bath at least one time in their life, right? Well, she loved it. It was super cute and she had a blast. (Sorry no pics of the actual bath.)

Well, Little Miss I-Can-Climb-on-Anything decided she wanted to do that again. Upon hearing strange noises from the kitchen, I walked out of the office to see this:

Cute! But naughty!! Now we can't keep her out of the sink!! Every time I turn my back she is trying to get in there. She's going to keep me on my toes, that's for sure.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Bad Mom Award

I get the Bad Mom Award for today.

It's just been a bad day all around.

I was awakened by my husband saying, "I'm sorry I let you oversleep and Jade is wet." Which means the whole bed is wet. And all her clothes that she had picked out the night before to wear today. And she was even more unhappy about it than I was. After a harrowing 40 minutes, we got her safely on the bus. Whew.

Teagan left to go to a friend's house for coffee like he does every Tuesday. I was in the office catching up with Facebook and my blog reader, printing out Kordell's school work for the morning, and shopping for the best price for coconut flour. Ruby came into the office crying and holding her hand... which was bleeding.

She had tried to cut a bagel with the big (sharp) bread knife. It had slipped and sunk deep into the top of her left hand. I applied pressure and called Teagan. He came blazing home to rescue us. He bandaged it the best he could, but we decided that she really should go get it looked at. I was really thinking she needed stitches. I called Noni and she headed right over.

At that point, I started to feel a little woozy. I tried to relax, take some deep breaths, but it wasn't working. I said, "I think I'm going to faint". And sure enough, I did! Let me just say that the only superhero in this house today is Teagan. He did a great job getting Ruby finished up and out of the way so he could take care of me. I don't know how long I was out, but I had no idea what was going on, and I felt really terrible for a long time after I came to. Noni arrived, and Teagan left with Ruby, and I was too out of it to go with them.

As it turns out, she didn't need stitches. But the doctor said it was close. She almost cut her tendon. And if Teagan hadn't bandaged it as well as he had to start with, she would have needed stitches. Praise the Lord! She has to wear a splint to keep her pointer finger straight so the top of the hand will heal properly. But otherwise, she is okay.

I am also okay. I didn't break my glasses or bang my head or otherwise hurt myself when I fainted. And that is good. However, I feel like a really bad mom. I should have been in the kitchen instead of the office. It's a laptop, for pete's sake, I didn't have to be in the office. I'm in the kitchen now and they are still getting into trouble! That's kids for you though. I will be more conscious of things in the future.

Shoes of Doom

I got Hosanna some new shoes. What a meanie I am.

Up until this point, she has only worn soft shoes - more like slippers than shoes really. They are better for babies learning to walk because the soft leather bottoms don't interfere with proper technique. Or something like that. Soft shoes=better. BUT... she is an accomplished walker now and it is time for shoes. Spring is coming and she will need shoes to walk outside.

A group of friends online got together and ordered squeaky shoes. We got them at wholesale since there were so many of us. The shoes ended up being ridiculously cheap. So I got 5 pairs in different sizes for her to grow into. I was so excited!! They arrived and I put a pair on her right away.

She was absolutely horrified!! She cried and cried and cried some more. She refused to walk in them! She just stood there like a statue (a crying, screaming statue). We thought maybe she was afraid of them because they squeak when she walks. But we discovered it wasn't the squeak she was afraid of, it was the shoes themselves. She is such a sensitive little bug. She just didn't like the feel of real shoes.

Well, I feel sorry for her in a way, but she must learn to wear shoes. So we had some shoe training. It was kind of humorous, though I felt kind of bad for laughing at her. She would just stand there and cry every time we put them on her. I did figure out though, that the shoes made a great baby-sitter. After all, you can't get in trouble standing in one place.

As I tried to make dinner one day, I stuck her in her shoes and stood her out on the back porch. It was nice outside, and Teagan & the older kids were out there. She just stood there while I cooked. She didn't even cry because she was so busy watching the other kids.

See how cute the shoes are? Scary, huh.

We kept putting them on her. Eventually she would have to get used to them. And sure enough, she did. The night of the science fair I put them on her. I thought how handy it would be to have her stand in one place and not run around. But when she saw all the other little munchkins running around, she overcame her fear of shoes and ran with them. And she has been cool with them ever since.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Pics You Missed

As promised, here is another update of what you missed while I was gone. This time, it's in pictures!

Kordell was in the science fair! Our homeschool group has a science fair every year, but this was his first time participating. His project was on Ham Radio. He made a diagram of how ham radio works. We also brought along some radios. Teagan wired up an antenna on the bottom of the table so we could listen to Morse code signals. It was cool! Kordell did a wonderful job explaining his project to everyone.

I rediscovered the library. It's been there the whole time, but I just haven't taken the time to go. Even when we went to the library, it was to the children's section. But this time I made sure to allow time to explore Non-fiction. I found all kinds of good books. There's no way I'll be able to read all of these in the 3 weeks I have them, but I have enjoyed skimming them, and have even knit a project from one! While we were there Kordell got his own library card. He was very excited! The stack above is just what I got. He had his own big stack! Man, I love the library.

Jade got a new shirt! Thank you Noni! She loves it!

She also rediscovered her love for creating power poles and sticking them in the binding of books and perching them all over my countertops and walking back and forth all day straightening them. *sigh* Look how happy she is. Unfortunately, she gets very mad and throws a big fit when they get bumped, knocked over, or moved so I can cook. I hope this phase is short lived.

And lastly, Hosanna got her first fountain! Oh the cuteness!! I can hardly stand it!

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Missed Excitement

Just wanted to bring you up to speed on the excitement you all have missed in the last 3 weeks.

2 weeks ago, I took my test to become a licensed amateur radio operator. I passed with a perfect score. Praise the Lord for blessing me with a mind like a dry sponge. I can just soak up the information quickly and wring it back out on the paper. They publish all of the test questions and answers, so it's just a simple matter of memorization (for me anyway). Anyhoo, I got my call sign (KC9PDP) and I'm on the air. I've had a whole 2 conversations so far.

1 week ago, I had a lovely day away with some ladies from church. I came home and was telling Teagan all about my day. While I was blabbering, Ruby found and ate a moisture-proof tablet from a package of new shoes. You know, those things that say "DO NOT EAT". I called poison control, and they said those are usually non-toxic so she would be fine. But while I was talking to poison control, Ruby started to turn red and blotchy. Upon hearing this, poison control sent us straight to the ER. They even called ahead. Upon arriving at ER, they took us straight back and gave her some cortisone and benadryl. Praise the Lord that her breathing was not restricted. They didn't have to give her adrenaline or epinephrine. But we did have to sit there for 2 hours while she returned to normal color. Her official diagnosis was "allergic reaction". As long as she doesn't eat any more of those things, she will be just fine.

This past week, we spent one entire day going back and forth to the doctor's office. Hosanna has a double ear infection and slight bronchitis, and Jade has a UTI and an ear infection. But of course, the timing was such that we were running back and forth all day trying to figure all of that out. Ugh. Thankfully, they are both on the mend now.

There's more, but I'll save it for next time...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

The little Green Project: Green Scarf

Since I really wanted to participate in The little Green Project over at Heavenly Homemakers, but my brain is really fried and I couldn't think of anything else green, I decided to share something green that I am knitting!

This is my clapotis scarf. The pattern is free, thereby saving me some green. The yarn was, well, not free, but it does have all sorts of lovely shades of green! The colorway is Fruitful Vine (vines are green!) and it was dyed by Lamar at ...a time to dye.

This is my purse project. I keep it in my purse and knit on it when I'm out and about. It's half done. I can't wait to wear it when it's all done. I'll make everyone green with envy! LOL

3 Tenses

I took this picture yesterday morning after I took Jade out to the bus. I was walking back to the house very carefully, watching every step because the driveway was glare ice. As I looked down I saw these 2 leaves. They were frozen in the ice, but surrounded by a puddle. I thought it was so neat, so I had to go back out onto the ice to get a picture.

Here's what is so cool... There are fall leaves, frozen in winter's ice, surrounded by spring's melting. 3 seasons in one picture. Past. Present. Future.

It made me think about God. How He sees things. He sees all of the world and time itself as 3 tenses all at once. What was, what is, what is to come. It is all in His Hand. What was He has not forgotten. What is does not surprise Him. What is to come He has planned and known before the beginning of the world.

What a comforting thought. Oh, if I would just trust Him more completely! I AM, Creator of heaven and earth, Keeper and Sustainer of life. Who is more trustworthy than Him?

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Dear Readers...

Dear Lonely Abandoned Blog Readers,

I am so sorry for my absence these last weeks. I know you are missing me terribly and anxiously awaiting my return. We have been sick, busy, etc. Plus winter is really getting me down.

I have so much to tell you! I will return very soon with a bunch of updates. Until then, think warm sunny thoughts!