Friday, March 27, 2009

We're Off...

to a sweet kind of escape that can only be found by the ocean. Although the highs will only reach mid-60s, we are ready. Ready for salty air and a beaming sunshine. Ready for green foliage and palms. Ready for a 12-hour drive with three handsome babies in the back.

Myrtle Beach, here we come. We'll be back here next weekend.

P.S. My daffodils are just beginning to bloom and I'm going to miss it. If your up this way, stop by a grab a vase full. While your at it, finish my garden prepping? Thanks, I'm ready to sow.

Freaky Friday

Scary. Especially those sharp little baby teeth.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

A Whole Hand

5 months--August 08

18 months--October 05

2 years--September 06

3 years--December 31, 2007

4 years--October 31, 2008

5 years--March 25, 2009



This boy makes my world go 'round. Not just metaphorically, it's also a literal statement. Triston has more energy than any kid I've ever known. He is sharp, picking up concepts well beyond his age and keeps me up late at night with endless questions about the Gospel, which I am happy to oblige. Triston has a strong personality--he knows just what he wants (and what he doesn't) and isn't afraid to voice opinions, even when he knows they are different from the majority. He sticks out in a crowd, perhaps by being the loudest kid in the room--but if he's in front of the crowd, he is giving his all. He is a natural jokester, often making up his own, in search of a laugh. An independent spirit--wanting to everything by himself all. the. time. --even if it's cutting his own apple with a steak knife. We love him more than words can express and we know he is going to make a difference somewhere in this world. He already has--here at home. Happy #5 to our #1!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Be Still



"Be still and know I am God."
A scripture that offers great comfort, a charge I have not fully grasped. Amidst chaos that covers the Earth and hovers in our hearts, we can be certain that God is watching. Waiting, perhaps, for us to quiet ourselves so we can hear the whisperings of the Spirit and for our faith in Him to increase. Waiting for us to surrender our fears, concerns, sorrows, and hardships. Waiting for us to just be still--and know He is God.
P.S. Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Chicken & Spinach Alfredo



Mmmmm. This is a winner. Loved it. Everyone loved it.


3 chicken breasts, cut up


a smidgen of butter


pressed garlic, 3 cloves


salt & pepper


Italian seasoning


1 c. half-n-half


1.5 c. Parmesan cheese


2 T. butter

12 oz. Fettuccine noodles


fresh spinach leaves

cracked black pepper

parsley

Cook chicken over medium heat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, garlic, and Italian seasonings. Cook until no longer pink, add fresh spinach leaves and turn to low. Continue cooking and stirring until spinach leaves are wilted. Set aside. Boil noodles in salted water until al dente. Drain and begin adding remaining ingredients. Half-n-half, Parmesan, and butter. Stir well while on low until the sauce is beginning to thicken. Add chicken mixture. Toss well until everything is coated with sauce. Top with cracked black pepper and parsley. Serve with garlic bread. YUM-O!

3.18.09

The warm weather is bringing out the best in us all.

We walked out the door onto our "make-shift" wrap around. I think the owners of our rental home actually built the porch themselves nearly all the way around the house. It's common place, here in Brown County, I suppose because the houses all sit at a slight slant, if they are in the hills like ours. You'll see homes with multi-level unfinished porches everywhere.

The porch has a few steps that lead down into a long driveway filled with gravel. Bryce has mastered the first two, but as the end approaches, he becomes hesitant. Smaller steps and little yelps make us aware of his dilemma.

In the past, I have asked Triston or Jackson to help him. I am most likely still fidgeting with the door or digging for my keys in a sea of diapering aids and tinker toys that has become my purse.

On this day, though, the sun came out. She shined her rays upon the hills all around us and warmed our hearts.

I was a little more joyful and a lot more productive, the boys a little nicer to one another, and the two oldest worked together to ensure their little brother had a safe landing. Free from a nagging mom, they did this in their own good conscience.

We're ready for spring to stay full-time. But, now that we've had a taste, we can handle another burst of cold and rain that is coming.

Spring is around the corner at last.

Friday, March 13, 2009

A Warm Wake-Up

High fevers and deep coughs have left my little ones a little quieter and a little less ornery this week.

This morning Jackson jumps up on my bed and says in his sweet little voice almost still a whisper:

"Moooommm, would you get up and make me some pancakes?"

"Sure." I reply. How could I refuse that?

"Could you do it white now?" he says.

"Yes, just give me a minute, okay?" I reply.

(Sung in a sing-song style)

"Maaaa-ommmmm. Do it white now or I'll toot on your faaayyy-aaacccce".

An explosion of giggles followed by a series of hacking coughs can be heard from the next room--Triston thinks its hilarious.

And I laughed, too. I'm glad everyone is starting to feel better around here. Plus, that Jackson is just too dang cute--even if he's a little too ornrey for his own good.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

A Quirky Family

February 2009

Travis can't handle cold medicine. I would go as far to say he is thisclose to hallucinating if he has taken something for cold/sinus. I'm thankful he doesn't take real drugs, I don't even want to know what he'd be like.

Triston knows all of the words to most of The Killers songs.

Jackson picks his nose and eats it.

Bryce poops 4-5 times a day. Sometimes before noon.

We can take out a whole box of Lucky Charms in one sitting.

Sometimes we move all the kids in our bedroom before we go to bed. We just like having them close and the kids love waking up to Mom and Dad in the morning!

We're homebodies. I can tell the kids are, too. They all get cranky if we've been gone too long.

I have to hold Triston down and sit on him to clip his nails. He has always been like this.

Jackson can't sit through a whole meal. We usually have to bribe him to eat all of his food. The kid is so skinny though, we make sure he eats everything--even if we have to sit there and feed it to him ourselves.

Bryce and Triston will not sit alone and play with toys by themselves. They want to know what's going on all the time and they follow me around everywhere.

Travis doesn't like any of this clothes unless they are dress/work clothes. The reason: He refuses to buy himself anything because we have so many other things going on. i.e. STUDENT LOANS, saving for a home, the many things 3 kids need, ect. I do not possess this same sense of unselfishness. I wish I did, but I just don't.

Bryce rarely plays with toys. He is usually digging in the trash, pushing buttons on the TV or DVD player, or trying to knock something over.

If I don't get the kids outside at least some of the day, we all go nuts. The kids bounce off the walls and run circles around me. It made for a LLllllllllooooogggg Midwest winter.


These are just a few. The ones I could think of--of course, I have many also. Check out a revised version here.
















Wednesday, March 11, 2009

How to be a Good Wife



Read This. Has much changed since 1954?


HOW TO BE A GOOD WIFE
Home Economics High School Text Book, 1954


Have dinner ready. Plan ahead, even the night before, to have a delicious meal, on time. This is a way of letting him know that you have been thinking about him and are concerned about his needs. Most men are hungry when they come home and the prospect of a good meal are part of the warm welcome needed. This is part of the gig. He works all day and takes a crappy lunch of leftovers and many times goes with no breakfast. I usually have dinner ready or almost ready when he gets home.

Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so that you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your makeup, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. Be a little gay and a little more interesting. His boring day may need a lift. Not that I feel I have to do this, but I do do it. Most women get all dolled up to go to the grocery store, we can at least do it for our husbands. There has been many times that I haven't gotten around to it, though, and I've never heard any complaints.

Clear away the clutter. Make one last trip through the main part of the home just before your husband arrives, gather up schoolbooks, toys, paper, etc. Then run a dust cloth over the tables. Your husband will feel he has reached a haven of rest and order, and it will give you a lift, too. I do this. Probably more for me, though, because I just can't relax when everything is everywhere.

Prepare the children. Take a few minutes to wash the children's hands and faces (if they are small), comb their hair, and if necessary change their clothes. They are little treasures and he would like to see them playing the part. The kids are on their own. I only change clothes once a day if we aren't going anywhere.

Minimize all noise. At the time of his arrival, eliminate all noise of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, or vacuum. Try to encourage the children to be quiet. Be happy to see him. Greet him with a warm smile and be glad he is home. I usually turn off the radio or t.v. if they are on. I don't know why, I guess just because we will be talking and too much noise gives me a headache. And I am happy to see him, don't need to prepare for that one.

Some don'ts: Don't greet him with problems or complaints. Don't complain if he is late for dinner. Count this as minor compared with what he might have gone through that day. Make him comfortable. Have him lean back in a comfortable chair or suggest he lie down in the bedroom. Have a cool or warm drink ready for him. Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soft, soothing and pleasant voice. Allow him to relax and unwind. This is all conditional in our home. Of course, it goes both ways, too.

Listen to him. You may have a dozen things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first. I think we listen to each other quite well. We both have things to tell each other about the day.

Make the evening his. Never complain if he does not take you out to dinner or to other places of entertainment. Instead, try to understand his world of strain and pressure, his need to be home and relax. Ha. Reading this, I laugh. I always think that Travis gets to go to a nice cushy office and eat lunch with adults and not have people tell him no constantly or try to slam door at him or cry and scream and throw themselves in the floor when they don't get what they want from him....but, I've grown over the years. We do have different jobs, different roles. Sometimes his is cushy, and sometimes mine is cushy. We try to make the evening for each other and our kids.

The Goal: Try to make your home a place of peace and order where your husband can renew himself in body and spirit. Isn't this every one's goal? We try to make our home a place of peace and order for our whole family.




Travis and I received this very article in a Marriage and Family class at USI. I came across it on the Internet and my wheels started turning. I'm a thinker.



So, what has changed? Obviously the wording. I don't think women are so demure about it anymore. We have taken power back in staying home to take care of our families. Stay-at-Homers these days are strong, educated, capable women! After the feminist movement, there came a time when it was almost shameful to say home, enslaving. I think we've proven to the world that it is quite a grand feat to care for the children and support the husband while hardly ever gaining recognition that people so desire. And enslaving it is not...raising up your kids and doing your best to make sure they understand correct principals in life is not enslaving. I think rewarding is the best term--eternally rewarding.


As for our husbands? C'mon. Of course they have become more tolerant since 1954--helping their wives more around the house and taking a more active role with the kids. At least, mine is. But, men like to be taken care of. They like to be put up on that pedal stool as "the man of the house." I've struggled with this one in past years, but as I grow and our marriage grows it just makes sense. The good thing about this: Most guys get it that they are nothing without their wives and in return raise that pedal stool just a little higher and put their wife right on top.



Although times are certainly different from 1954, I think the same ideas apply. Almost. Just a little more in the middle and a better life for everyone.




Read This: Beside Every Successful Man by Megan Basham



Thursday, March 5, 2009

Lentil Casserole



I love love love this. It was so stinkin' good. I can't wait to make it again! I found the recipe from here--but I doubled the recipe. If I could cook meatless meal this good all the time, I would be a vegetarian for sure.



1 c. lentils


1 c. long grain rice


28 oz. can of diced tomatoes, undrained

3 c. chicken broth or water


2-3 garlic cloves, minced


1 tsp. oregano


1 tsp. basil


1 tsp. salt (although I had to add more)


pepper to taste


shredded cheddar

Mix all ingredients together in a 9 x 13 baking dish. Cover and bake at 350 for 45-55 minutes. Pull out of oven and top with cheese. Place back into oven until cheese fully melts. Although this recipe is awesome, it's not as filling as I thought it would be. Next time I will make a few sides to go along with it. A green salad and homemade whole wheat bread sounds good.

There Comes a Day When You Realize What's Up...

Today, I had a sick husband come home from the office. So after lunch I made everyone go into their room and fall asleep for nap time. I even told Triston he had to stay in his bed and fall asleep, as he usually just plays in his room quietly with the door shut.

Travis falls asleep. Then Bryce. Then Jackson. Then Triston, or so I thought.

I'm jamming with my iPod over the dirty dishes--to Beyonce, thinking I'm a "Single Lady". And when I say jamming I mean moves I wouldn't want anyone from church to see. I turn around and see THIS staring at me from a shaded part of the hallway.

I nearly jumped right out of my skin. I casually say. "Oh hey, Triston. Thought you were asleep. How'd you like my dance moves?"

He replies with mask still in place, "Uh, you look like a girl that needs help. You should find some new moves."

Nothing like a kid to bring you back down to reality, huh?!

P.S. We had an awesome time playing in the 65 degree weather today! Finally--we could go outside without coats. We started to play soccer and found out very quickly how un-fun the game is when you live on the side of a giant hill. We made some adjustments and had fun anyway!

Oh, My Experiment. I Almost Forgot...

Well, I didn't exactly stick to the plan. Almost, but I had to end up going to the store on Saturday. Only because it was the only day I could go, but I spent another 70 dollars. I pretty much stuck to the plan though, changing just a few things here and there. It was nice to not have to decide what to cook or hear an argument over what the kids want for a snack. I would just look at the list and say, "Well, it says here that it's time for.....". I never heard any complaints. BTW, the lentil casserole was so good. It is my favorite new recipe. Healthy, delicious, and cheap--you can't beat that. I'll post the recipe as soon as I download the picture.

Happy Eating!

What Will They Think of Next?!

Designer Babies??




Apparently, some clinics in California (ha, where else?) are offering options by way of designing your child.
Just think, those beautiful blonde ringlets I've always wanted can now belong to my daughter.
Now, the only thing these kids will argue about as they grow into teenagers:

"MOM! WHY DID YOU DESIGN ME WITH BLUE EYES?! I WANTED BROWN! I CAN"T BELIEVE YOU DID THIS TO ME! ARGGGGHHHHHHHH!

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

3.3.09

My goodness, it is March already.

I'm not quite sure what to do with this month.

It is still freezing cold here, a whopping 30 degree high today, and I want to break out pastels and bright pink nail polish. Something tells me I shouldn't do that yet. (It's my breath that I can see as a vapor when I walk outside) But wearing gray and eggplant seems wrong, too. It's kind of a big dilemma, no?

I'm ready for spring cleaning, running outside, and a short haircut. I need some ideas on that, though.

I'm ready to see green again on the ground and a nice blue sky instead of the gray and brown deadness that is all around. And I'm ready for the daylight to extend into the evening.

Oh, and I'm ready to go on an all-expenses paid "vacation" at the end of the month.

March, I have high hopes for you. You'd better deliver.



I Loved This!

I tried this last night. Here is the recipe--It's from another food blog. I added spinach leaves and cut down on the capers--maybe just a tablespoon instead of two. It was fabulous. Not too fishy--I loved it. Travis liked it. The kids, not so much. They had spaghetti instead. But, I'm planning on making it again and hoping the kids will start to eat it.

Here's What I Do with Leftover Pork....

This was from the pulled pork sandwiches. Pork Fajitas! Yum.





Leftover Pork (chicken, beef, any kind of meat)
Butter
Onion
Green Pepper
Cumin
Garlic
Salt & Pepper
Crushed Red Pepper

I melted just a little REAL butter in the pan and threw in an onion, a little pressed garlic, and green pepper. I seasoned the vegetables with a few shakes of salt & pepper, a LITTLE cumin, and crushed red pepper--saute until soft. Shred the leftover meat and toss with the vegetables until warmed through.

I roll these babies up in flour tortillas, sprinkle on a little cheese, and top with sour cream. A dream in your mouth. Really, it's that good.

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