Saturday, September 29, 2007

Tosha.

This is my friend Tosha whom I always talk about. She's holding Samuel. I am so grateful for her. She's a friend who is quick to speak truth to me in a loving way. She's a great source of encouragement and an overall amazing friend. Here she is serving me by helping me out with Samuel. Thanks Tosha for all that you are and all that you've done! You are loved!
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My friend & sis.

Here's a picture of my little "sis", Kelsey, when we were at the Getty Villa in Malibu. I am so thankful to God for her and for her friendship. She just called the other day to tell me she's coming for a visit in January. I'm so excited. I always look forward to having time with her. It's always wonderful.

Kelsey has always been a special means of grace in my life. She has served me on countless occasions, even postponing school to serve me while I was on bedrest with Samuel. She called me up the day we found out my sister had died and told me that she was flying in. She comforted me so much just by being there.

I am so blessed to have you in my life Kels. Thanks for being there for me. Thanks for loving me at my worst. Thanks for laying down your life for me. You truly are a wonderful friend.. and a great "sister."
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Don't be shy.

Okay, you all seem a little freaked out by Friday's post. Don't be. I'm not trying to be scary, rebellious or even edgy. I'm just asking what does it look like for you to be a woman? What does it mean for you to be a woman of God? I'm not wanting you to be intimidated. Some responses please!

For me personally, it's growing in my confidence before Him. It's finding my identity in Him. It's seeing beauty in His eyes as more important than worldly beauty. It's not striving but it's being passionate about God and His Kingdom. God wants my heart and all of me. He's not willing to settle for some silly superficial image of perfection and my cravings for control of my life. It's putting to death jealousy and discontentment and taking on a heart of grattitude and joy. I'm not there... I'm just saying that's some of what I think about in becoming feminine.

Anywho, your thoughts please?

Friday, September 28, 2007

Friday...Femininity.




What is your idea of true femininity? I was thinking about how often the idea of "woman" and "feminine" is so messed up according to our culture. You need to be everything: Amazing cook (delicious, healthy, nutritious, meals), gardener, cleaner, gorgeous, sexy, perfect, and hold a job (like be a CEO) and bake cookies for your kids somehow and be able to knit, sew, scrapbook, and be computer savvy, and keep up on your calls, e-mails, voice-mail, answering machine, and have perfect etiquette and exercise for an hour every day. Can you do this and also be the soccer mom, take the kids to ballet, karate, swimming, tennis, and piano lessons. Your kids must be perfect and well-behaved and genius and well rounded.... the list goes on. Okay, so we're not all that. At least I'm not all that. We're also supposed to look a certain way. So much is based on image and appearance.




The Bible gives us Proverbs 31:10-31 (who seems a bit like super woman to)...


10 An excellent wife who can find?She is far more precious than jewels.11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,and he will have no lack of gain.12 She does him good, and not harm,all the days of her life.13 She seeks wool and flax,and works with willing hands.14 She is like the ships of the merchant;she brings her food from afar.15 She rises while it is yet nightand provides food for her householdand portions for her maidens.16 She considers a field and buys it;with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.17 She dresses herself with strengthand makes her arms strong.18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.Her lamp does not go out at night.19 She puts her hands to the distaff,and her hands hold the spindle.20 She opens her hand to the poorand reaches out her hands to the needy.21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,for all her household are clothed in scarlet. 22 She makes bed coverings for herself;her clothing is fine linen and purple.23 Her husband is known in the gateswhen he sits among the elders of the land.24 She makes linen garments and sells them;she delivers sashes to the merchant.25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,and she laughs at the time to come.26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.27 She looks well to the ways of her householdand does not eat the bread of idleness.28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;her husband also, and he praises her:29 “Many women have done excellently,but you surpass them all.”30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,and let her works praise her in the gates.




So how are we to be women? How are we to be feminine? What does this look like? By the way Please DO NOT quote books I would like to hear how this works out in your own life. How are we to be women who please God and not give into our culture... or kill ourselves trying to be perfect?

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Cravings and Craziness.


Okay, so it was quiet... all too quiet. Somehow or another the children had managed to break through the impregnable force (this really difficult baby gate) and were upstairs playing in the bathroom as I was trying to prepare dinner. Libby had moved the gate and they had both escaped upstairs.

Other new tricks-You can imagine my shock the other day when I turned to see my son standing upright in the cart reaching for something on a shelf at Target. It was the first time he wasn't strapped in because this particular cart didn't have straps. I was getting something and looking at the label and then out of the corner of my eye I spotted him. Agghhh. It doesn't stop.


This morning Libby ended up in bed with us rather early. She turned to Mike and said, "You sly dog!" I laughed so hard when Mike recounted the story. Where did she get that one from? A Charlie Brown movie she loves to watch :)



Motherhood is not for the faint of heart. Nor, do I think it's really for the sane people either. Between cleaning up spills, messes, changing diapers and all the various bodily fluids there are moments when I wonder, "Am I cut out for this?" There are moments of laughter and anger and frustration and joy and I think, what, that was 5 minutes? I have moments when the kids are finally making progress to only feel like we took 5 steps back the next day. There are times when I am begging God, please show me SOME progress... and then there is break through. Thank God for breakthrough.



At times I wonder if I've changed much. Have I become different at all? Am I just the same person I used to be? Sometimes I feel so desperate. I feel like I'm barely hanging on. Right now, for instance Samuel is banging himself on the head with a Mr. Potato Head and crying. Now he's standing up and grabbing for the computer and "singing" some made-up little tune. And boy, can he be demanding! Personality is just coming out all over the place.


Will there ever be quiet? Ever time to just sit and flip through a magazine. I found myself today scrubbing out my pantry of all the mice droppings... totally disgusting. Yet at the end of this duty I found myself strangely pleased. I did something I didn't want to do.


I'm not very good at having self-control. When I want something, I want it now. I don't want to wait. I don't want to save. I don't want to deny myself. This is an area I'm working on. Controling my tongue, my portions, and my buying. The other day I was in Target and saw the cutest crib bedding. I looked at the price $13. Yeah, that's perfect! Samuel had destroyed his and he really needs a bumper pad. His feet get stuck in the crib holes without it.


The next time I was in Target I went and checked it out. Ouch. It wasn't $13. The item above the bedding was. It was on sale from $89 to $79. Yikes. And yet my heart coveted. I wanted that. I want that bedding. I didn't buy it but was amazed that I could still want something that badly.


Yesterday at my women's Bible study we were enjoying a piece of pumpkin cheesecake roll... it was divine. I wanted a second piece so badly. It was crazy. I didn't have another piece... but if I was left to myself (instead of surrounded by other women) you can bet your bottom dollar I would have inhaled another piece.


What is with our desires and craving? Why do we want things so badly? Libby was upstairs hiding when I went to check it out I saw her without her shorts. She was attempting at putting on her princess outfit. Sigh. "Libby, not right now, honey. You can tomorrow after breakfast." Tears. "I want to NOW!" She's speaking my language. Isn't that me though? I want what I don't need and don't want to do what I need. I feel like Paul.


Romans 7:15-"For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19 For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me."


So, I'm working on it. Knowing that everyday God is going to challenge me and help me to grow. I'm not there yet. So hip-hip-hooray for self-denial, self-discipline, and self-control.




Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Harvest.

On Sunday, we celebreated the first day of fall. We went to Linvilla Orchards to go apple picking. We met up with some friends and had a picinic and then walked around enjoying the sight of large pumpkins and gourds. By the time it was time to pick apples the kids were too tired. So our friends picked on our behalf and we took our tired children home for a well-deserved nap. These photos were taken by our friend Laura, a very gifted photographer! Don't you want to kiss Samuel's little munchy cheeks?!





Monday, September 24, 2007

This One's for the Girls...


My cousin Sharon bought me a CD (Martina McBride's: Martina) pretty soon after Libby was born, so Icould hear the song "In My Daughter's Eyes". It's a great song. Makes me cry everytime I hear it. One of my other favorite songs on there is a song called, "This One's for the Girls". The lyrics go as follows.


"This one's for all you girls about thirteen
High school canbe so rough, can be so mean
Hold onto, on to your innocence
Stand your ground when everyone's giving in

This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about twenty-five
In a little apartment, just trying to get by
Living on, on dreams and spaghetti-o's
Wondering where you life is gonna go

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

This is for all you girls about forty-two
Tossing pennies into the Fountain of Youth
Every laugh, laugh line on your face
Made you who you are today

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls

Yeah, we're all the same inside (same inside)
From 1 to 99

This one's for the girls
Who've ever had a broken heart
Who've wished upon a shooting star
You're beautiful the way you are
This one's for the girls
Who love without holding back
Who dream with everything they have
All around the world
This one's for the girls
Yeah, this one's for the girls"

I am so thankful to God for all the friendships that I have. I have been so blessed in so many ways by the "girls" in my life. I remember a time where I wasn't so keen on being a female. I thought it was better to be a man. I kind of thought we were stuck with the short stick. You know with hormones, periods, babies and menopause, who wants that, right? Over time God has changed my perspective and shown me how wonderful it is to be a woman and to be feminine. I am enjoying this gift more and more in my life. I rejoice in the way God designed me and in who He made me to be. What a blessing it is to be a woman. So to all you wonderful women out there may you enjoy who God created you to be! This one's for you!

Psalm 139:14 - "I will praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

Acorn Squash Recipe.


Here is the recipe that I love for acorn squash. It comes from Betty Crocker's Cookbook.

2 acorn squash (1 to 1 1/2 pounds each)

5 tablespoons maple flavored syrup

4 tablesoon heavy whipping cream, butter or stick margarine

Heat oven to 350.

2. Cut each squash lengthwise in half; remove seeds and fibers. Place squash, cut sides up in ungreased rectangular pan, (9X13). Spoon 1 tablespoon maple syrup and 1 tablespoon whipping cream into each half.

3. Bake uncovered about 1 hour until tender.

my favorite though is apple-stuffed acorn squash: Omit maple syrup and whipping cream. Bake squash halves 30 minutes. Mix 1 large tart red apple, diced, 2 tablespoons chopped nuts, 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar and 1 tablesppons butter or stick margarine, melted. Spoon apple mixture into squash halves. Bake about 30 minutes longer or until tender.

I personally add oats and cinnamon to the apple mixture and drizzle with real maple syrup... super yum!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Twizzle.


Hope you're not too disappointed but I am passing on Friday's question. I can only think of some really cheesy ones so I'm going to pass. there is ground cereal bar and pirates booty all over my bed. I bet you wish you were me, huh? Oh, you know you do :)


I'm on a new kick lately... Twizzlers. It's been a while since I've had some so I don't know how or why but I ended up with a Twizzler and now I feel like an addict. I literally ate a couple before breakfast yesterday. Now, chocolate, I understand, but a Twizzler? Here's the key though- they must be fresh... no stale twizzlers around here.


Samuel is getting into everything. Now that he can climb the stairs he can also dunk his arm down the toilet. He poured out my water bottle all over himself and the carpet. He's demanding. he climbs on the couch. He's in that place though that I can't just let him climb the stairs or the couch because he's not safe. He tries to climb over the couch. He tries to "jump" off the couch. He stops at the stairs and starts to wobble backwards...scary. So I have to watch him like a hawk. The only "safe" time now is when he's in his crib. I am loving nap time in a whole new way.
yesterday was my wonder woman day. I pulled out the cape and the boots... the whole 9 yards. You would have been impressed. I felt invincible. Mike got a ride to school yesterday (major blessing and help - thank you Smiths). Took Libby to school and Samuel and I went and ran some errands. I was able to go to Bed Bath & Beyond and get my cousins Bridal shower gift. We went to the mall and I went into Harry & David's feeling sentimental. That's where my friend and adopted little sister works, Kels. (Kels, they still had the picinic bag... so tempted to get it... will it get further reduced or is this the final price?) Found a trivet... which we needed and I loved the design and the price. Strolled over to Bath and Body Works because I have recently gotten hooked on Fig. (Thanks a lot Michelle- I smelled your hand lotion and became enchanted)... they don't carry it anymore.. bummer. But I did get the hand soap I had tried at my friend's house last weekend, Brown Sugar & Fig... great hand soap but I don't know if I'm keen on the rest of the line (gel, lotion, etc.) Went and sat in Starbucks with Samuel before we got Libby. Can I just point out that everywhere we went women were smitten by Samuel. Everyone was just cooing and sighing at the sight of him. It was fun. I got 5 star treatment because I am his mama. They love the curls.
Picked up Libby and came home and super woman kicked into high gear. Cleaned. Swept. Mopped. Vaccumed. Did all sorts of cool things :) It was amazing. I told myself things would never get dirty or out of control again (and I'm laughing at myself right now). I have to show you via pictures some things I got because I'm really thrilled with them. I'll take pictures and show you later. I found pillows to fit these beautiful Indian silk covers that was given to me by a friend when she went to India. I also found gorgeous cushions for my chairs in the dining room. I added a little autumn by placing some apples in clear vases and in a water pitcher... turned out real fun and cute. So I was on top of it right? Things got done. The kids napped for four hours... it was amazing. I even attempted home made chicken noodle soup...
Today quickly brought me back to reality. Wow. that was quick. So much for my endeavors to never struggle again. Libby and I ended up laying in bed eating twizzlers and watchign Charlie & Lola for an hour. It was needed. We laughed. We fell asleep. It was great. I highly recommend it. Well, Samuel is screaming.
I've changed my mind. I am going to ask a Friday-ish question. Bringing up twizzlers inspired it.... what is your favorite candy? Get specific. Not just chocolate... what type? Or what treat really does it for you? Pie? Ice-cream (mention the flavor)? this should be fun.
I am a brownie fan, particulary Ghiradelli triple choclate brownies... um, which is why my husband is at the store... hee hee.... some week-end treat!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Last July. Some pictures to enjoy.



Mama, said that there'd be days like this...


There are days that run smoothly. Days where everything seems to fall into place. Things seem to get done almost effortlessly. This was not one of those days. I overslept. We were quickly trying to feed the kids, get them into clothes and get Mike to school so that we could head to my women's Bible study. Okay so the morning felt a bit much but I actually made it on time to the study. I dropped off the kids. I walked to my group feeling tired and disoriented. I was thankful that even though I didn't have a proper breakfast (in my book a 100 calorie granola bar doesn't count) that I had packed my cup of tea. smile.


I sat down and reach for my cup. Now my travel mug has a lid on it. I looked down. I sat in transfixed horror when I realized that somehow the lid wasn't secure. My purse was now coated with tea and I was left without caffeine. Hmmm. Okay. This is alright.


After Bible Study I take the kids to Trader Joe's. We had not been shopping since last week and I didn't have much in the house because we were going out of town. I strap Samuel in and put Libby in the back of the cart. I proceed to fill the shopping cart and Samuel turns around grabs my item and throws it on the floor. The fuzzy (his blanket) is on the floor. Mushrooms. cheese. apples dropping one by one from the bag. All on the floor. It was comical. It really was. I just wish I was watching this happen to someone else and not me. The kids had balloons but kept losing them all over the store. And I was hungry, really hungry. So I kept adding things to the cart that sounded good in the moment. Mmm... macaroni & cheese, alfredo sauce... what the heck was I doing? Can you tell I was hungry?


By the time I got to the check out line I was running around trying to capture the balloons, swipe my card through, pack the grocery bags. Samuel was dropping things on the floor again. I went to pick up something he had thrown and noticed my finger covered in blood. i had a paper cut that was out of control but didn't realize it. So I'm trying to remove the blood. retrieve fuzzy. Ooops there goes the balloon again. While putting Libby in the car the cart starts to roll away...with Samuel in it. And Trader Joe's is on a hill. And there goes Samuel in the cart. I run to grab him. He's screaming. Groceries in the car. Drive home. Put the kids to bed. Put away groceries. The salsa falls and explodes on the kitchen floor. Sigh. I fix myself a sandwich and go upstairs and proceed to fall asleep only to wake up 45 minutes later to a screaming baby. Disgruntled. Get Samuel. Feed him. Play puzzles with him. Chase him up the stairs ten times. At this point I'm almost at the end of myself.


Have you heard of negative calories... you know those drinks proporting that if you drink them then you will burn calories... well, I think I had negative energy. Crazy.


My day was good. I mean I enjoyed Bible Study and I was able to get groceries. I fixed a fresh dinner of chicken, onion, mushroom, corn and bean and cheese quesadillas. and they were good. It was just a day where I felt like I was going against the craziness. trying to swim upriver. It was like fighting gravity as though the day was not ready for me, or maybe I wasn't ready for it. There still sits in the back of the car a poopy princess dress. I had taken the kids to visit Mike yesterday and to picinic at Westminster. Libby wanted to wear her princess outfit. I said okay and she went off in her sneakers and sparkly pink dress. She decided to try and climb a tree. She kept lingering by the tree and proceeding to tell me something about "poo-poo". what? I walked over. Her diaper falls off.. she steps in her loaded diaper. It's running down her legs, etc. I shout for Mike's help. He runs over. We grab the wipes. Strip her of her dress. Clean her up and put on a new diaper. Mike takes her to the car and puts back on her regular clothes. I cleaned the sneakers yesterday... but forgot the poopy dress. So now I still need to clean a poopy princess dress....


I had a moment and sat down to look at my Bible study notebook. We're studying Matthew and the theme is sitting at the feet of Jesus. That's what I've been wanting to do today- just sit. Hmm... but at the feet of Jesus. I feel so crazy and unprepared and insecure and uncertain. Sit at His feet. Could he handle this? Could He handle me? I know the answer is yes and yet I have to remind myself of that. Life can get busy and full. There are dishes in the sink yet to be washed. There are toys strewn about. My clothes are on the floor of the bedroom and my house is not perfectly organized. Sounds like failure to me. But maybe He's not counting on my perfection. Maybe His perfection is enough. And maybe my standards aren't His standards. Maybe He cares more about whether I loved my family well today then whether or not Martha Stewart would approve of my home. Maybe He's more eager to see if I'll extend love and kindness to others than He is about whether or not I exercised. He wants my heart even when it's broken or ugly. So, I think I'll sit here for a moment. The sun is setting and I should probably turn on the lights but I think now is a good time to pause. A good time to stop and thank Jesus for all His blessings. I'm learning to pray with Libby and one prayer I pray with her regularly is "Jesus, thank you for all the good things you've given us...and thank you for the bad things that you are going to use for our good." I am blessed. My daughter wants to curl up in my lap... and I think I'm going to just rest now.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Miss Mom.




We're back from Va. We got in late last night and instead of heading straight to bed after we put the kids down we decide that it was more urgent to watch a little bit of The Office (season 3) that we just purchased this week-end. The Office tends to be a little more vital than sleep... ha ha ha. This morning I took the kids to the post office to pick up a package we had received from our friend Sarah from across the pond (in London). I took the kids to the park where Libby was able to get up to the top of the slide using these bars and climbing up... I was really nervous watching her but she did it perfectly. She calls them "monkey bars" but they're not the ones that go straight across... hard to explain. Iwas really proud of her.

I kept sliding down with Samuel on the big slide. Every time we went down he would say, "Wheee!" It was really cute. We did that about 5 times and then I let him wander around the park.

Upon arriving home we opened the special package and found some adorable t-shirts for libby and a cute outfit for Samuel. There were also two sparkly belts enclosed, one pink and one purple. libby was instantly smitten by the glitter and had to proceed in wearing one immediately.

I've been having Libby practicing being more formal in her address to adults. I'm trying to get her to say, "Miss Sarah" or her teacher's name "Miss Anne". I was getting her some mango sauce (which she loved by the way) and she asked for a cup of milk. I told her she could have some water, she simply replied, "Thanks Miss Mom!"

I was trying not to keel over from laughing so hard. well, at least she said Miss in some context!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Friday for you.

I'm in VA but I haven't forgotten that today is Friday.  Think, think, think.  What shall I ask today...

Okay, here's a practical one.  I'm looking for a good family planner/calendar.  Any suggestions?  Since we all have a lot going on it would be good for us in regards to planning the week, etc. to have a place where it's all listed.  Samuel's appts.  Libby's school stuff.  Mike's classes. What do you do to make life work... I would love a great planner/calendar but am at a loss where to find something good...

Help.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Autumn Bliss.


This morning was rather enchanting. We managed to get up before 7:30. We fed the kids and I made us egg & bacon Bagels and we were off and running. The soundtrack was Death Cab for Cutie. Dropped Mike off at school. Went to Target. Watched the leaves that look like some shade of bartlett pears. Rolled down the windows. Put on West Coast Revival. Mmmm. This is life. The kids happy in the back. Get to Target. Successful trip. Only bought what was needed. Went to Barnes & Noble and grabbed a stack of books and an iced tea and sat and read to the kids in the cafe. We left having bought nothing (but the iced tea). Yeah.


Came home... and it was so gorgeous outside that we HAD to go for a walk. Strap them in the jogger and go a couple miles. Come home sweating but happy. Put Samuel down for a nap. Fix Libby and I some lunch and head outside to sit. Fresh air. Sweet girl in her ballerina shoes. After lunch we clean out the car. Libby was pretending to have all sorts of adventures and I cleaned, sorted and threw away junk from the car. Even swept it out and used those car cleaning wipes. I'm miraculously caught up on e-mail.


It's just one of those days that is going so well. I had to share it because so often my days aren't. I just want you to know that you'll probably have a really good day too... at least at some time. I'm also writing this to remind myself when things AREN'T running so smoothly that there are days that exist that do.


The windows are open and the breeze is blowing. My trashcans are soaking in bleach. My kitchen is clean. I've vaccummed. The kids are "napping" (which really means talking and laughing at the moment). Samuel has an appointment today with the surgeon (just follow-up stuff). Then we'll pick up Mike and come home. I have chicken marinating and I already cut up some apples so I can just throw it in the oven with some cinnamon to bake. I have everything I need for the meal... what's up with that. Salad is ready. wow. I can't believe how on top of it I am today. I'm sure things will come crashing down soon :) but for now I'm just enjoying the way things are.


Tonight I have an Introduction to Matthew (Bible Study) at church and will pack for the trip. Last night was my first knitting class and it was so much fun! I learned how to purl and how to cast on a different way. I was so excited that I've already done my homework for the week. I'm looking forward to more. We're making mittens. It's a blast.


Libby starts school tomorrow. She's going to go two days a week (Tuesdays & Thursdays) from 9:30-12:00 p.m. She's very excited. So we'll pick her up from school and head down to VA.


I know from the sound of things everything seems to be "perfect" but what I think has really made today great has been my attitude. I've been more patient with the kids. I also made effort to set myself up for a good day. Went to bed earlier. Knew what I would wear today and what I would make for breakfast. Already had the day outlined as to the schedule and to-do list. That's really helped. I'm thankful, that if it's even just for today... that I can really see evidence of God changing me and helping me grow.


Well, I'm off to bathe Samuel. He's up and getting into the plastics in the kitchen. Hope your feeling God's joy and presence no matter what your day is like.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Busy-Tizzy...


Our plates are loaded and we're just trying to figure out this week. Getting the car inspected. Still need to get my computer fixed. Checking out a potential pre-school for Libby. Also a possible ballet class for 3-4 year olds (it looks great by the way). I have Women's Bible Study at church. I'm taking a knitting class for the next four Tuesday nights. Samuel's surgery follow-up appointment. His speech therapy. Preparing to go out of town this week-end. On top of that there is my need to get on top of my school work. And I'm excitedly taking on something else as well. I'm going to be writing for Ashleigh's new webzine, Ungrind. (http://www.ungrind.org/) I am really excited about this new project and am looking forward to harnessing some writing skills and getting some experience under my belt. I also really admire Ashleigh's writing skill and have already found myself encouraged by her as my editor.


This may sound like, "wow, you're doing a lot," but I am really excited. I feel at peace. I feel like I don't want to busy my life to just be busy but am excited about taking action about things that are important to me and being purposeful in my day to day life. I am excited about getting involved in some things for Libby. If we put her in pre-school it will be for 2 days a week. I'm excited that she might have the opportunity to be around kids her own age and to learn and to play with others. The dance class is for only a half hour each week but I think it's perfect for my spinning, twirling girl.


I am excited that I have to plan my days thoughtfully and make more of an effort to get certain things done by a certain time. I am looking forward to this full fall season and yet having some snuggle alone time with my little boy. I kind of thrive on a schedule and this is the first time in a while that i feel like I really have one, a schedule that is.


I hope that your heart is full of joy too. I hope that you're content wherever God has placed you. Whether you are busy with a job, small children, or whatever your day to day life looks like, whatever the challenges, demands, hopes and fears, I pray that you know God's pleased with you. He is excited about the day He has planned for you. He rejoices over you with singing. He has not left you or abandoned you. He knows your needs better than you do. You are not forsaken. I hope some joy is found in your day, whether it comes from a note from a friend, a sticky kiss, a blooming flower or relaxing cup of coffe... seize it and thank God!


Our time together.


Mike and I had the best time this week-end. Friday night we went to our friend's appartment in the city and stayed the night there. We house swapped and they watched the kids for us. I took a nice bath and relaxed and enjoyed some delicious champagne and strawberries that our friends left for us. The next day we slept in and enjoyed some delicious quiche and pumpkin bread (again courtesy of our friends-aren't they amazing!) We went into the city and parked the car. Sounds like a small thing but it's hard to find free parking in the city. We walked to 7th and Bainbridge and found an AMAZING coffee shop called Bean Exchange Coffee House... it was terrific. We sat outside drinking delicious coffee and dreamed about the future together. Just chatting about life/goals/dreams/future plans, etc. The chai I had was so out of this world. The foam was so perfect... and I am a foam nazi.


We then walked into the city looking at shops and at times stopping and ducking in. We went into one posh shop called Hello World and I fell in love with this beautiful necklace...which my husband bought me. It's a double silver chain and it holds a red round stone... okay, so lacking in description here, you just have to see it, it's beautiful.


We went to Redding Market and enjoyed looking at the myriad of food options. You could buy all sorts of ethnic foods, organic produce, and meats and cheeses, etc. There was milk and juice made by the Amish being sold there. We ate at a Dutch food resteraunt. I had home-made pot pie and fresh squeezed lemonade and Mike enjoyed turkey sandwich with real mashed potatoes and gravy. We were served by some Mennonite/Amish women. For dessert we had Apple Dumplings with heavy cream... pretty incredible.


We walked back to the car and drove to a store that I had been wanting to see ever since we moved here. It's called Happy Go Lucky and it's a home/furniture store. It was charming. We then went to Barnes and Noble and lingered over books and tea til it was time to return to our home. We had such a great time. What a blessing to have time by ourselves to just think and be.


David and Tosha- We can't thank you enough! Your place was such a great get-away for us. Thanks for watching the kids!


Friday, September 07, 2007

Friday time.


Okay, I need some clever ways to feed my kids. I'm talking healthy, nutritious foods here. If any of you know my kids well then you know they struggle with eating foods with texture. They like smooth things like yogurt, applesauce and bread. They'll eat muffins, toast, waffles, pancakes. Samuel will occassionally eat eggs and Libby just ate potatoes and meatballs for the first time. She also ate a good portion of banana today! These are miracles in my book. I introduce all sorts of fruits and veggies without success. I want to make sure they're getting as much nutrients, vitamins, etc. as possible. I stay way from sugar for them. They drink soymilk and Libby will eat string cheese. I don't feel though that their diet is "well-balanced".

Any suggestions of how to get my kids to eat food? Particulary fruits and veggies... any recipes you recommend or ideas to "sneak" in the good stuff? Help please!

4 years.




Yesterday was our 4th wedding anniversary. Mike and I are celebrating this week-end. I am looking forward to some time with him, without the sweet interruptions from our children. What exactly lies in store for us we're not sure... a trip to IKEA, the art museum, chilling at a cafe... so many options. I know that whatever we do it will be wonderful because we get to celebrate together. I never knew what was ahead of us when we got married. Here we are four years later...Bachelor's degree done. Now, living in Philadelphia while Mike gets his Master's Degree. Pregnancies. Births. Deaths. Struggles. Laughter. 2 children. A lot of adventures. Traveling. Singing. Learning to Knit. Writing. A lot of Starbucks cofee, both of us having worked as Baristas at Starbucks. Newspaper Route. Serving at Olive Garden. Scrapbooking. Reading a lot of books. All of that and more, but not in that order.

I am so thankful that we've come through the difficulties and I look forward to the joys that lie ahead. I know that whatever comes our way that we will press on with God's strength. I am more in love with Mike than ever and am thankful for every day that God gives us together. I know I can't take life for granted. It's not something we're promised. We know that God will never leave us or forsake us... and nothing can separate us from the love of God. Those are some great promises.
Baby- I'm so glad we made promises, vows, exchanged rings and made a covenant together. I love being your wife and I am so grateful that you're my husband. You are the most amazing man I've even known. I look forward to growing old with you. I will always be your biggest fan. Thanks for putting up with me in the midst of everything and loving me even when I'm a bit crazy :) You are my best friend and the love of my life. Thanks for showing me more of God by the way you love me. You have continually pointed me back to God and I'm so thankful that we get to share this crazy, wonderful, hard life together.
(Above is a picture from September 6, 2004 and one of my favorite all time "romantic" picture taken in Paris, France.)





Wednesday, September 05, 2007

First Video Attempt.

video

Mike and I have attempted to post video for the first time on here. This was taken a couple months ago but I thought you might enjoy it. As we get more adept at updating by video we look forward to showing more of the kids, etc. Hope you enjoy this snippet of the kids.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Colds, Catching Up & Other Means of Grace..


Today has been one of those days and by that I don't mean it's been a bad day... it's just been one of THOSE days. Woke up with a cold; my throat sore from breathing through my mouth. I kind of felt like I was in a fog. Made some phone calls with my frog-like voice. That was special. Took Mike to school. Took over-tired kids to Target, Trader Joe's and Starbucks. Didn't blow my budget. Took kids home and put them down for naps. Cleaned. Vaccummed. Organized a little. Samuel had speech therapy. Libby slept through the whole thing.


yet somehow, somewhere in the back of my head my mind has been in ovedrive. Maybe it was finally finishing the last of the Harry Potter novels or something but I just felt restless. I kept crying out to God for help. I even asked Him to help me with what I should feed myself for lunch. Do you ever have those days where you feed your kids and because you were preparing food you somehow thought that you already ate until it's late in the afternoon, your blood sugar is low, and your ready to shove whatever you can into your hungry belly? Thankfully I made some lunch and didn't stuff myself with something sugary or chocolatey. Is chocolatey even a word? I guess it is now.


We picked up Mike and came home and I made dinner, which Libby ate. If that isn't a "Praise God and pass the Hallelujah," I don't know what is! I made Swedish meatballs and potatoes. Well, I guess I did eat a lot of that during my early stages of pregnancy so maybe it rubbed off on her. Sara- Swedish influence!


I'm in the process of catching up with life. I've kind of taken an extended vacation but I think I'm rested enough to resume with getting things sorted out. Taking care of the house. Still need to get my Apple (Mac) fixed. Set some specialist appointments for Samuel. Get rid of this cold, etc.


It's while I'm in the mids of a head fog that I realized, wow, God uses things like colds to remind me that I'm just a creature. I'm not perfect. I'm not in control. I can't even make my nose stop running. It's in these moments where I feel desperate that I am more aware of my need for God. More aware that I can't do a thing without Him. I was thinking about my weight today (and tempted to be frustrated with myself) and realized, wow. Thank you God that I have a body that can function. That I have arms and legs that work and move me. That I can talk, think, reason, listen, move and act. I am so blessed. I want to take care of what God's given me and at the same time I don't need to beat myself up for not having "arrived" yet. Time. God works amazing things in His time. He makes things beautiful. He changes people. Sometimes it feels like a teeny-tiny change but I know He's using the little things to make my life different. to make me different. to make His people different.


I can feel the Nyquil kicking in. So it's off to bed before I get really loopy and start quoting some Dr. Seuss or something.

Saturday, September 01, 2007


The air is beginning to get cooler and jeans are a more comfortable attire. It's September 1st and I can already begin to feel the touch of fall around me. A tinge of organge and red can be seen on the leaves of trees. When I was a child my favorite season was summer. Fall was probably on the bottom of my list because it meant the end of summer, beginning of school, and the back-to-school realities of life. But now that I am older I am beginning to love the seasons more and especially fall.


How do you embrace the Fall? Are there special things that you do during the Fall or Autumn as others would call it? Do you have any special traditions for this time of year? I have one that I really enjoy. To celebrate Libby's birthday (Oct. 23) we have pumpkin pancakes and get the kids a pumpkin each. This is also the season where I make everything pumpkin: bread, muffins, pie, etc. What do you to celebrate?

A day at the Hill...


One of the very first things that made me love Philadelphia is a place called Chestnut Hill. It has some quaint shops and cobblestone streets (2 knitting stores-love that!) and is simply charming. Samuel had his 18 month appt. (No shots this time!) and is doing amazing! It was so great to be reminded of all the ways God has been working in Samuel's life. His health has improved so much and he's growing leaps and bounds. He's grown from being in the 4% to about the 20th for kids his age. He used to not even be on the chart and now he's catching up with kids his age! I'm not even factoring in his real gestational age (when he should have been born). He's growing.


I cut his hair today. He still has curls but he no longer can be thought to be a girl. The haircut came out better than I imagined. I'll take some pictures and post them soon! (mom you would be proud!)


So Samuel's appt. was in Chestnut Hill. He did great. Then we went down the "hill" to Starbucks. Samuel had some yogurt and animal crackers while Libby had her "special milk" (Horizon Organic Choc. Milk) and a rainbow cookie. We went and got sandwiches at my favorite sandwich shop..."On the Hill". Mike had a Brie, Apple, and Ham sandwich on black bread (comes with a yummy maple-mustard dressing) and I had Meredith's Favorite... cucumber, Havarti, Sprouts and Herbed dressing on black bread... so good! We put the kids down for a nap and ate our delicious lunch in peace.


We're now reading and enjoying a chill afternoon while the kids nap.


Tonight we get to spend time with our dear friends David & Tosha. Yeah! We get to see their new appartment in the city. Tosha made the best pumpking muffins and brought them over... so sweet!


Well, I better post my Friday's post today...I know it's Saturday... oops.