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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I've never done this meme before but I just had to share..

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Who is the Lord?

I've been trying to have song time at the piano with the kids after breakfast. I play/sing a bunch of hymns, and it's a great way to start the day. I was getting ready to play a song that was about the Lord, so I explained to Eli that "Lord" is another name for Jesus. Then I asked him...

Monday, February 23, 2009

My specialty.

Deliciously fluffy scrambled eggs. When I was enlisting your help with over-easy eggs, a reader asked what my tricks were for scrambled eggs, so I'm going to share!

1. I cook 2 eggs for every adult + 1 egg per child, just as a general rule.
2. If I'm cooking more than 3 eggs (or so) I pre-crack them into a bowl. Otherwise the first eggs start cooking too fast before I'm done cracking the eggs into the pan.
3. Melt 1-2 Tbl butter in frying pan.
4. Get plates or serving bowl on standby.
5. Add eggs.
6. Stir eggs continuously, pushing them to middle of pan.
7. While they're still runny, quickly add a little salt and pepper. It tastes better when can cook into the eggs.
8. Continue pushing eggs around.
9. IMPORTANT ONE: as soon as they're not runny anymore, take them out of the pan and dish onto plates or transfer to serving bowl. If they cook even 5 seconds too long, then they're not all that fluffy the way I like 'em best.

That's it. That's my secret! I know, they're just scrambled eggs, not anything fancy, but something that can be delicious.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Monday Meanderings

My brother's wedding is NEXT WEEKEND in Colorado!!! Kevin's working nights again this week, and pretty much as soon as he gets home in the morning Thursday we head out, returning Sunday! Since Kevin will be unfit to drive much, if at all, I'm caravanning (yes, I'm making it a word now) with my parents so between the two of them and myself we can have a triangle of drivers so that we can each have a break when needed.

I just keep adding more and more into the mix, so bear with me! =)

Bible Study/Devotions

Personal Goal
* Get up before kids. I did okay the last time Kevin was on nights because my motivation was to get up so I could greet him when he got home in the morning, but as soon as he was done with that shift I had troubles getting up again. Now it's time to get back to it.

Must Do
* Take van in for oil change.
* Figure out how to "up-do" my hair for the wedding.
* Clean up Kevin's pants (they're new pants and there are sticky spots from the tags that were on them) and find his shirt and tie.
* Pick out rehearsal outfits.
* Return library books.

* The Van. Clean it up, give it a car wash, and gets seats ready for the drive.

Train Them Up
* We've enjoyed starting "school time" this past week with Eli, but now it's time for me to start finding activities to do together with Hannah too.

Menu Planning--only 3 days this week, yay!! I don't know if it's because Hannah's getting another tooth or if it's just a phase, but she's been refusing almost all food lately! Even things she liked just the day before! It's been sooo frustrating as I'm trying to provide nutrition while at the same time establishing "it's this or nothing" rule. I'm just exhausted from 3 meals every day having fussing from the kids, so I'm going to try to have some kid-friendly meals this week just to give ourselves a short break.

Monday - personal pizzas (need to finish pizza sauce from last week's hot pizza subs)

Tuesday - chicken and rice soup

Wednesday- pasta with alfredo sauce, green beans, applesauce

Fun Things
* Umm, my brother's wedding, if you haven't caught on yet!! Thursday night is the bachelorette party (dinner, laser tag, then games), Friday morning is manicure/pedicure for bridesmaids and bride, Friday night is rehearsal and dinner, Saturday is WEDDING, and Sunday is return trip! Kevin and I are both in the wedding so my cousin and aunt will be watching the kids for us. We haven't seen them since Eli was 10 months old, so they're excited to get to know the kids better, and we sure appreciate they're help!

Prayer Requests
* Preparing and calming Paul and Holly for upcoming marriage! We are all sooo excited for them and can't wait to officially welcome Holly to our family!
* Safety for everyone traveling for wedding.
* Calm kids and patient mommy during our 8-hr drive, rest for Kevin, and energy for me driving.
* Pray that the kids do well with my cousin and aunt, even though they don't know them well, and that they are flexible as their schedule will be off for a few days.
* That everything with the wedding will be a joyful testimony of CHRIST!
* Praise--I get to go to the grocery store BY MYSELF this week since Kevin's home! Granted I don't have much food to get anyway because of the short week, but still it's a blessing to have this MUCH NEEDED break from the stress I've been lately regarding that!
* Praise--Kevin was actually home this weekend to go to church with us! I was able to visit with other moms for a long time following church, since I wasn't loaded with both kids, and that was refreshing!
* Praise--YOUR fellowship and friendship through blog land is a great blessing to me! I never feel alone as I go through my daily journeys! Thank you!

Question of the week:
Do you have a favorite devotional book you've been using? I've never been good at daily Bible reading. I guess I just don't know what to read or where to start! I'm okay with Bible-in-a-year reading plans, but then I want some reading that has to do with my daily life (like New Testament reading) in addition. It's one of my goals to find a devotional book, but I really have no idea what's out there and what's good. So please, share your ideas!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 19

7The law of the Lord is perfect,
reviving the soul.
The statues of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
enduring forever.
The ordinances of the Lord are sure
and altogether righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from from the comb.
By them is your servant warned;
in keeping them there is great reward.

Who can discern his errors?
Forgive my hidden faults.
Keep your servant also from willful sins;
may they not rule over me.
Then will I be blameless,
innocent of great transgression.

May the words of my mouth and the
meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight.
O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.


I love that last bit! It was one of my memory verses back in the day. Reminds me to think about my words, actions, and heart attitude as I work to bring glory to God's name in all that I do!

Why do kids have to grow up so darn fast?

Eli has just started calling us Mom and Dad now instead of Mommy and Daddy. ::sniff,sniff:: Why does this all have to happen so fast??

Friday, February 20, 2009

Activity: Practice lines

Eli's been very good at drawing lines for awhile now but today was the first time we turned it into an actual activity, and he did awesome!

I printed off this worksheet HERE where I got the idea for today's activity in the first place.

The darkest mark on the second line was mine, as a demonstration to Eli.
(click photos to view larger)
Wow, look at lines, right on the dotted line! It wasn't even hard for him at all! So we decided to do more...I printed a clip art of a car and then I had Eli draw lines to give the car a road to drive on.
Then we gave a go at some letters.
The letter L.
The letter T.
The letter H.The letter I.Eli was doing so great with all the letters I decided to have him try his name! One line at a time otherwise he tries to curve the line instead of starting a new line. And look at that!! Awesome! I am so proud of him! And you'd better believe this was the very first thing Eli wanted to show Daddy as soon he got home from work today!

Healthy alternatives

As part of our P90X workout, we're trying to make a few healthy exchanges in our diet. The first part of the program follows a high-protein diet. Instead of flat-out cutting things out of our menu we're trying to make some exchanges:

* Turkey bacon instead of regular bacon (this actually isn't too bad at all!)
* Scrambled egg whites instead of whole egg (the recipe says to add cheese and a little bit of milk, but I still need a lot more flavor to make this edible to me. Anyone used to eating egg whites? Have any ideas? I was thinking of making it omlette-like with green peppers n stuff, but haven't gotten to it yet)
* Ground turkey instead of ground beef (not always but some things can disguise the flavor change)
* Fresh fruit instead of canned

And protein snack options:
* Cheese stick
* Cottage cheese
* Cashews
* Pistachios
* Turkey Jerky instead of Beef Jerky

Julie has posted some weight-loss tips over at her blog, so go check 'em out, and then join us in a journey to healthy living!

A new #10.

On my 101 goals list, that is. Learn how to prepare an over-easy egg. That's Kevin's favorite choice of egg, and all I know how to do is scrambled, which by the I have mastered (just ask if you want to know my technique), or hard-boiled but that one hardly counts. So usually Kevin has to prepare his own egg, and I always feel bad about that, but every time I try to cook it I mess it up and break the yolk. So I am officially declaring this as a goal for the next 523 days 15 hours and 16 minutes. Any tips?

Added: I guess the hard part for me is the flip. I don't understand what you flip. Okay, so you don't totally smack flip it over (how do ya like those terms? haha) like a pancake. So you roll it? How far? Do you fold it over like an omlette? (how do you spell that word?) Or do you roll it all the way over so the yolk is touching the pan? And then how long does it sit til it's done??

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Activity: Musical Art

This was part of Eli's school time yesterday and I got the idea from the Slow and Steady book. I didn't read through the whole activity but just caught a glimpse of it enough to get the idea.

Beforehand I selected four different songs in iTunes (I only played parts of the songs though), alternating between a fast song and a slow song. Then I set Eli up with paper and a crayon color of his choice. I told him to listen to the music and when it was fast to color fast, and when the music was slow to color slowly. As the songs came on I had to explain it again, but he caught on. I think once he got started coloring fast he just wanted to keep coloring fast, regardless of slow music. But in the end I still praised him for his efforts on his beautiful musical art! Hannah was up from her nap at the time so we got to dance together while Eli colored. =)

Can you tell what he colored fast and what he colored slowly? =)

On breastfeeding

Before Eli was born I had planned on breastfeeding, had read all the books, purchased the gear, and even taken a little class at the hospital about it, but when he was born and it actually came to it, I had a horrible experience all the way through. He just couldn't latch on. He simply didn't have a clue what a breast was. Even the hospital's lactation consultant said he was a tough one, but we left the hospital still trying. We had read that it was best to wait to introduce a pacifier until breastfeeding was well-established so we hadn't planned on using one in the hospital and hadn't even packed one in our bags. But Eli cried a lot, and when the nurses offered one to us, I thought "well, maybe it's because he's not getting any suckling time from me." We asked the nurse if it would mess up breastfeeding, and she said no, so in our vulnerable state we went with it. Maybe that's where we went wrong, but I really don't think so.

It came feeding time, and he'd just scream and scream and eventually after 15-20 minutes he would get on, but it was a terrible latch and hurt me like you couldn't believe, but it took so much effort to get that that I just left it. We'd try to feed him before it was "time" so he wouldn't get so frustrated, but that didn't help. My mom tried to help. But every single feeding ended up with me in tears. We thought maybe once my milk came in he could be fed faster and he'd be more satisfied and he'd figure out how this was supposed to work, so I started pumping when it was still just colostrum. In the night I'd anticipate the feeding time and get up 15-20 minutes earlier so I could pump a bottle for him. The whole ordeal was tiring. Draining. And a huge emotional mess. It would come feeding time, and I didn't want to feed him because I knew how badly it would go, and then I felt horrible that I didn't even want to feed my own baby! We'd take him to church, and I would just sit in angst that Eli might wake up and want to eat and I couldn't feed him! I couldn't go through that there! So we didn't go anywhere, not if it overlapped a feeding time.

After going through all this for two weeks or so, I decided to see another lactation consultant who immediately "diagnosed" Eli with nipple confusion. I'm not sure it was really that though because we were having troubles before we ever gave him the pacifier or bottle. But anyway, she gave us a nipple shield to use for feedings, and he latched right on to that. Her instructions were to go cold turkey on pacifiers and bottles, and give him time to associate food with the breast. And after a short amount of time, try going without the nipple shield. Never stop the feeding, let the baby decide when he's done. I left her office feeling like she had saved my life! Eli wasn't screaming any more, he could actually latch on, and I could feed him in peace.... But trying to go without a pacifier at all was HARD. He was a baby and would still cry at times, and we could not get him to stop. Every time I'd put him to my breast, he'd act like he was hungry so I'd feed him more, even if I had fed him just a few minutes earlier. I'd try to keep feeding him like the LC (lactation consultant) had said but every time I stopped he'd cry more and want to keep eating. We really wanted breastfeeding to work, so I really wanted to follow her rules and not use a pacifier. But for at least a full day or three, I was literally on the couch ALL NIGHT continuously feeding Eli because every time I stopped he'd cry and want to eat. I sat up on the couch with a pillow behind my head, boppy and baby in my lap. The LC had said to watch his jaw to see that he was still swallowing milk, and he was so I kept feeding. By the third day I decided that I didn't care what the lady had said, Eli couldn't possibly be hungry all that time, and I simply would not play that game anymore. We were going back to the binky because all he was wanting was to suckle! After that it was much better. I'd feed Eli every three hours on the clock, and if he was just fussy he'd get a binky. Life actually felt normal finally.

BUT the feedings were taking almost a full hour. The LC had said to never stop a feeding, but at an hour I would cut him off. He couldn't possibly still be eating! Gradually I made the time less and less so his feeding was 40 minutes-ish. We did this for a few weeks, but the nipple shield was getting just plain annoying. It would fall off and spill milk everywhere. They're not good to use for a long time, and you have to make sure Baby is gaining the right amount of weight. Overall it was still stressing me out.

When Eli was 6 weeks old we drove to Virginia for a visit. In order to make our stops not so long to feed Eli I decided to pump in the car so we could just give a bottle when we stopped since it was much faster. Pretty much that whole trip I pumped and then bottle fed and that's when I decided I liked that method much better. So that's when I switched to exclusively pumping, and we were finally able to settle into a routine. I wanted Eli to have the benefits of breastmilk so I was committed to the time it took to provide that for him. But as Eli got older and more active, it became harder to find time that I could just sit on the couch for 40 minutes taking care of business while Eli was left alone. By that point it was becoming a burden to keep up, my nipples were cracked and bleeding from pumping full time, and it just didn't seem worth it. So when it came time for a Christmas trip home at Eli's 6th month, I decided to quit pumping, and what a relief it was! At that point he became a formula baby, and just like they say the baby is just as happy. But for his whole first year I still grieved the loss of that breastfeeding relationship that friends alongside me could experience.

So you get the idea of what happened with Eli. It was miserable. Leading up to Hannah's birth one of my biggest prayers was that she would be able to nurse. God answered that prayer, and right away she latched on just fine. And it became a beautiful relationship I always wanted. I loved nursing her. It was such a blessing! She never took a binky because she never needed one. Whenever she fussed she was just tired and it didn't take much to get her to sleep, just a swaddle. And she never took a bottle or cup either. Sure it made things complicated whenever I wanted to go out of town or do something in the evening, but I would choose that any day over the whole ordeal I had with Eli. And now my baby is growing up all too fast! She just turned one year last Saturday, and already I've gone three full days without nursing her at all! It's hard to believe we've reached this point. Just a few weeks ago I thought I wasn't even close to having her weaned, but a week before her first birthday those top teeth came in, and that was the end of that. Enough said. Kuddos to moms who still nurse after those teeth have come in much earlier; I don't know how you did it! But we're done. And I don't really miss nursing her. At this point it's a relief to have some freedom and flexibility back (and pretty bras). So instead I just rock her extra long before her naps. She's still my sweet baby, just a little more grown up now.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

"School" schedule

I guess I've been feeling a little stressed lately that right now in life it is solely my responsibility to educate the kids. I know Eli's only 2.5 but I feel like he could/should be learning a whole lot more than he has been. So I'm going to try to do a structured "school time" with Eli especially to help work on some of the basics like letters and numbers, etc. This is the schedule, but already I'm not sure how much we'll be able to follow, because Kevin's work schedule is so irregular. We'll figure it out and revise as we go, but here's the base plan. I'm totally just making this up, and I don't really know anything about this stuff, so if you have any suggestions, please share!

I want this school time to be 45 min-1 hr long every day (except weekends, that's the tricky part), each activity only lasting 5-10 minutes.

1. Calendar
2. Bible story
3. Letters
4. Numbers
5. Reading
6. Activity

Calendar - cross the day off the kids' calendar in the play room, talk about what day it is, if there's anything happening that day, and what's coming up soon in the week

Bible Story - read a story or lesson and then talk about how it connects to our life

Letters - (pick one) alphabet puzzle, flashcards, wood blocks, electronic toys, collage project, scrabble, or writing

Numbers - (pick one) count misc items, beads, blocks, identify numbers, or activity from learning book

Reading - free choice or from Winnie the Pooh Encyclopedia (obviously I'm the one reading here)

Activity - one on each day of the week
  • Art - project, play dough, paint, crayons
  • Discover - outside treasure hunt (like if there's something we read about in the encyclopedia), make ice, etc
  • Music - learn about different sounds and rhythms, learn songs
  • Shapes/colors - fill in picture made of dif. shapes, do puzzle, find shapes around the house, color mixing, play "I Spy", color sorting (laundry maybe? haha)
  • Self - learn about people, talk about face, hair color, name, family, etc
I just purchased the Slow and Steady Get Me Ready activity book (thanks, Julie, for the recommendation!), and I think I'll be able to pull a lot of ideas out of there for various segments of our "school time" to keep it fun and exciting. And there are lots of activities in there for Hannah too!

We have this game called Mancala. I have no idea how to play it or where it even came from, but I pulled it out the other day and realized how great this could be with Eli. We can do all kinds of sorting and counting with these beads! And Eli totally understands that as soon as Hannah's awake from her nap we have to put them away so she doesn't eat the stones!Another game we've pulled out lately for Eli is Scrabble! We can build words and talk about letters!

Activity: Snowman friends

So this project was kind of more for me. I saw it HERE where I get most of our project ideas, and it was too cute to pass up! They're little snowmen made out of coffee creamer bottles. My mom collected the bottles for me, and here are our little guys!
I admit, I did most of the work on this one. But Eli did help to glue the eyes and pom ball thingys on. Oh yeah, and I didn't bother with stick arms either. But how cute are they?!

90-day Challenge: New workout routine

At the beginning of the new year Kevin and I both decided to make this a year of fitness and really work to find some sort of workout routine that would work for us and our busy lives. That's not an easy thing to do, especially when you have kids! The time is simply not there! I've tried videos before but got bored with them. It's hard to get out walking with the kids and impossible during the winter months. I'd love to have a treadmill or an elliptical machine at home, but that's just out of the question--too much money and not enough space for such equipment in the first place. Going to a gym not only means dragging the kids along or finding a separate time to go without them, but it means another bill which we just really don't need right now. So you get the idea. Just finding a workout routine is HARD. My dearest husband took the time on his own to look around on the internet and came across a plan he was eager to try and do together with ME! Woah, now that's not something to turn down, I don't care what it is! It's called P90X and is a very intense routine that cycles through 12 different DVDs targeting different muscle groups. So we won't get bored and our bodies won't get bored either! We chose to get a set of resistance bands since dumbell sets are crazy expensive. There's also a diet that goes along with it, and we'll try to follow it some but I know we can't follow it exactly. A lot of it is just not appealing food at all! But we'll try to make some adjustments to our food choices! So that's the new routine. We've done 2 days so far, and I'm definitely feeling it. I'm excited to start getting a little more fit (even if I don't look like the people on the website!!) but I'm mostly excited to have something that Kevin and I can work on together!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Whew! Last week was BUSY! If you haven't visited our family blog lately, head on over there to see what we've been up to. We finished painting/decorating Hannah's room. We celebrated Hannah's 1st birthday. Both sets of parents were here to celebrate. Kevin was still working in between all of that. And now today is a little bit of a recovery day. The rest of the week, however, will look something like this...
Bible Study/Devotions
1 Timothy

Personal Goal
* Continue work out plan. We started last night!
* Revise and get back into cleaning schedule.

Must Do
* Put together all forms for taxes. We started receiving them when we right in the middle of our move, so I need to make sure we have all that we need.

* Play room closet. It's the ONE closet in the house besides each bedroom closet, so it's quickly turned into pile zone and needs a little organization big time!

Train Them Up
* Getting into any sort of routine has been hard lately as we adjust to Kevin's work schedule. His days off aren't always on the weekend, so last week he was home Monday-Thursday, worked the weekend, then today he's off and back to work tomorrow. I had a "school schedule" I was going to start with Eli but I'm going to have to adjust it somehow to accommodate for Daddy days. Just something to figure out as we go, I guess.
* This week we'll shoot for three "school days" (I'll post about that later), including activities for Hannah!

Menu Planning

Monday - out to eat for Valentine's Day since we're going to the city to visit Kevin's Grandma in the hospital anyway
Tuesday - chicken piccata, peas, peaches (didn't get to this last week)
Wednesday - chili, pears, corn muffins
Thursday - kielbasa, cheesy scalloped potatoes, homemade applesauce (I keep forgetting to make this!)
Friday - hot pizza subs, fruit salad
Saturday - friends over - pulled pork sandwiches, oriental salad, oranges
Sunday - leftovers

Fun Things
* Go to city tonight!
* Go to library on Wednesday maybe.
* Friends over this weekend now that Kevin's actually off for a weekend.
* Kevin can actually go to church with us next Sunday!

Posts that are coming soon to this blog:
* The workout plan we just started
* A look at the "school" schedule
* An activity I call "Snowman Friends"

Monday, February 9, 2009

You know you live in a small town when...

...you see someone drive their lawn mower to the grocery store. Yup, this happened today. Parked in a parking spot and everything. And I even witnessed the guy drive off in it, groceries in hand, so I know it wasn't just there on display or for maintenance or anything. Oh, the things you see sometimes...

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study/Devotions
1 Timothy

Personal Goal
* Start new workout plan! It didn't happen last week because we were still waiting for our equipment to come in the mail. I promise, you'll be hearing about it soon though!
* I've been good about getting up at 6:30am though! (except today because after staying up painting 'til midnight the last few nights, I decided I could use a morning to "sleep in".)

Must Do
* Seal leaking windows.

* Kitchen. The "hot spot" in this house is the kitchen counter by my cookbooks. And when stuff is piled all over my counter, I don't have much space to cook at all. Sooo, we need to come up with a solution!

Train Them Up
* I am working on a "school" schedule for Eli. (coming soon)
* Trying to schedule in one-on-one time with Hannah.
* Adjusting bedtime to make sure we have time for Bible stories.

Menu Planning--finally we should have more normal meals together now that Kevin has a few days off and then working days again!

Monday - pasta with pesto sauce, garlic bread, pears
Tuesday - beef roast with potatoes and carrots, homemade applesauce, sourdough bread
Wednesday - chicken piccata, peas, peaches
Thursday - pizza wraps
Friday - dinner out?
Saturday - HANNAH'S 1ST BIRTHDAY!! chicken strips, Nannie's jello salad, Suddenly Salad, veggie tray
Sunday - Dutch macaroni (this is my new favorite blog!!), apples, corn

Desserts: chocolate ricotta muffins, birthday cake

Fun Things (adding this to the mix because it's not good to always be thinking about to-do lists!)
* Go to the library to get lots of books, movies, toys, AND a cake pan for Hannah's birthday cake!
* We're going to MOPS for the first time on Tuesday!
* A mom's-no kids shopping outing to the city with my friend Mel.
* Hannah's birthday party on Saturday!

Sunday Psalm

Psalm 51

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your unfailing love;
according to your great compassion
blot out my transgressions.
Wash away all my iniquity
and cleanse me from my sin.

For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is always before me.
Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are provbed right when you speak
and justified when you judge.
Surely I was sinful at birth,
sinful from the time my mother conceived me.
Surely you desire truth in the inner parts;
you teach me wisdom in the inmost place.

Clean me with hyssop, and I will be clean;
wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.
Let me hear joy and gladness,
let the b ones you have crushed rejoice.
Hide your face from my sins
and blot out all my iniquity.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
Do not cast me from your presence
or take your HOly Spirit from me.
Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will turn back to you.
Save me from bloodguilt, O God,
he God who save me,
and my tongue will sing of your righteousness.

O Lord, open my lips
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice or I would bring it;
you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings.
The sacrices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart,
O God you will not despise.

In your good pleasure make Zion prosper;
build up the walls of Jerusalem.
Then there will be righteous sacrices,
whoe burnt offerings to delight you;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

I needed this today.

It has not been a very good week. I'm crabby and snappy and just overall burnt out with the kids. I'm stressed out with house projects and how much money it's adding up to be, or rather the fact that we have no idea how much it's adding up to be since we're still not on a budget yet. But thanks to a stop over at Biblical Womanhood (see HERE and HERE), I'm really going to try to choose cheerfulness in hopes of making a better tomorrow.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Husband Encouragement: More to the load

This week Hubby started night shift 6pm-6am for four days, and as always it shakes things up a bit, but we're learning to roll with it and take it as it comes. The new job as a whole means full days, meaning not too much daytime at home--except of course the 6 DAYS he just had off! woohoo! But when you have an old house like ours, even in good condition, there seems to be an endless list of pretty urgent things to get taken care of (toilet doesn't stop running, shower leaking, and heating problems) and the time Kevin does have just goes way too fast! It's hard to work efficiently with two small ones around or during a 2-hour nap time. See photo for example:And still Kevin does need some down time, despite what needs done. Sooo, leading to the point of this post, I've decided this week that I'm going to do my best to tackle some of these projects myself! Kevin gets me started and shows me how to do it, and then I take over and he heads off to work! And let me just say, I am so proud of myself for doing today's project: putting new knobs on our hutch. (we're repurposing the old ones, stay tuned!) The problem: the screws that held them in had no (and here I go with VERY UN-technical terms) slots on the head for a screwdriver. It's just smooth. But it's a long screw and sticks all the way through the wood quite a bit. So Kevin taught me how to "double nut" it--put two nuts together so tight that they themselves turn the screw just enough so I could grab the head of the screw and manually turn it with a wrench or pair of pliers. And it worked! By golly it took me a thousand times longer and a lot more tries to get it right, but I did it! I got them all done, except two knobs where the screws were painted, blocking the threads to take it out. Ummm... I'll leave that one for Kevin. BUT the important thing is I'm trying! BECAUSE I love him, and I'm trying to help him out! Is there more you can do for your husband so he doesn't have so much to do after he gets home from a long day of WORK??

The second thing I'm going to try to do these next four days is to make sure the house is tidied at the end of the day and that I'm UP in the morning to greet him when he rolls in around 6:30am. I've been trying to get up then anyway, so this is very good motivation!

I guess a third thing is that I'll be trying to get the kids out of the house more so it's quiet for Kevin to sleep. Take them outside since it's going to be nice for a couple days, go to the library, or run errands.

How can YOU bless your husband today?

Disclaimer: I'm no perfect wife. In fact, there are times when I'm downright awful. BUT my hope is that good efforts like these, with the grace of God, help cancel out the bad ones allowing us to have a fulfilling marriage. They don't just happen, ya know. Ya gotta work for it!

If you have children under 3 yrs, read this!

My friend Kristen has taken the time over at her blog to educate us on child safety regarding forward/rear-facing car seats. And was I surprised at what I read! I had no idea! Apparently even though your child may meet the age and weight requirement to switch to forward-facing, it is NOT safe. AT ALL. Here we were just gearing up to switch Hannah since her 1st birthday is just over a week away, but now I think we'll leave her rear-facing. Go read for more information! I know it's long but take the time to read it--it could save your child's life!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

More indoor fun!

Check out these ideas for indoor fun posted by MckMama HERE. I can't wait to try some of these!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Monday Meanderings

Bible Study/Devotions
* Continue reading in 1 John.

Personal Goal
* Start new workout plan. Stay tuned for more on that!

Must Do
* Drop off recycles. I was told there was a place in town, but after three drive-bys I just can't find it, and our bin is FULL and in great need of being emptied.
* Start painting Hannah's room. In order to have it done for her birthday in two weeks, we have to get started! Her crib is in progress, now we just need to start on the walls.
* Set up Hannah's well-baby visit.

* Bedrooms. Now that our carpet is getting done today, we can finally start filling our dressers and officially unpacking.

Train Them Up
* I did a little of this last week, and I thought it could be a good routine to continue: I'd read the Bible with the kids during their breakfast, and then once they were done eating, we'd do a couple worship songs on the piano. It was a great way to start the day!

Menu Planning
--we're trying to follow a sort of diet plan, so our menus our definitely going UP in price, but hopefully we'll be seeing a difference in our health and fitness soon!
Monday - lasagna soup (saw this in a magazine a couple days ago, and it looks delicious! Plus I have ricotta cheese to finish up from last week's margarita pizza)
Tuesday - beef and broccoli stir fry
Wednesday - lemon-garlic chicken, broccoli, oranges
Thursday - steak and arugula salad, pears
Friday - turkey burger, oven roasted potatoes, homemade applesauce
Saturday -Italian chicken breasts, cooked carrots, peaches
Sunday - beef roast with vegetables, mashed potatoes

Notes from last week: For lunch I made curried chicken salad for my parents' visit on Saturday, and it's definitely a keeper! I liked it so much I made it again today for lunch! It's a lot of ingredients, but mostly things I have on hand anyway and easy to throw together! Light and fresh tasting. Find the recipe HERE. (scroll down the page a little until you find it)

Break the rules!

No milk for cereal today and no eggs or bread, so there's nothing to do but have strawberry oatmeal bars breakfast! Oh darn... =)

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Take Time to Be Holy

We sang this song in church this morning and I thought I'd share it here today. Read the words slowly as you allow the message penetrate your heart. Below is a You Tube video you can play to hear the tune.

Take time to be holy,
Speak oft with thy Lord;
Abide in Him always,
And feed on His Word.
Make friends of God's children;
Help those who are weak.
Forgetting in nothing
His blessing to seek.

Take time to be holy,
The world rushes on;
Much time spend in secret
With Jesus alone;
By looking to Jesus,
Like Him thou shalt be;
Thy friends in thy conduct
His likeness shall see.

Take time to be holy,
Let Him be thy guide,
And run not before Him
Whatever betide;
In joy or in sorrow
Sill follow the Lord,
And, looking to jesus,
Still trust in His Word.

Take time to be holy,
Be calm in thy soul;
Each thought and each motive
Beneath His control;
Thus led by His spirit
To fountains of love.,
Thou soon shalt be fitted
For service above.