Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

I am cheating on my very first (but probably not my last) Wordless Wednesday to say that I am switching Wednesday Web to Wordless Wednesday. It will be a way to keep me taking photographs, and showing them to you.

Also to say this, "What a difference a few hours make!"

Ice covered tree...

now covered in ice and snow!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tuesday Truth

Excerpt from Daily Wisdom for Mothers:

"I, the Lord, have called you in righteousness; I will take hold of your hand." Isaiah 42:6

Even now, I instinctively grab Abby's and Allison's hands when we cross the street. At ages ten and eight, my girls do not think this is cool, but I can't help myself. By taking their hands, I feel I am protecting them from traffic, strangers, and all other dangers. I bet you do the same for your children. As I often tell my daughters, it's a mom thing.

I'll probably be reaching for their hands until they leave the nest. But you know what? That's not such a bad habit. In fact, if I could get in the habit of reaching out to God and taking hold of His hand more often in day-to-day activities, I'd be farther down the road in my faith walk.

I'm not sure why I neglect to reach for His hand when I'm crossing the busy streets of life. I guess, like my daughters, I think I'm mature enough to handle it on my own. Or, as my mother would say, I get "too big for my britches." I'm so thankful that we have a loving heavenly Father who reaches down to take our hands when we need Him the most. If you haven't taken hold of God's hand in awhile, why don't you grab it today?


When I was in college, Scott and I broke up for a little while. It was during that time that we both did a lot of soul searching and faith searching. I remember one evening when I was feeling particularly emotional, confused, and scared. As I lay down on my bed, I physically lifted my hand up to the ceiling and begged God to take hold of it. As I held my hand up, I prayed that God would take it and lead me in the direction that He wanted me to go. I prayed that as He held my hand, He would hold me and comfort me during that difficult time.

I remember the peace I felt in that simple act. He did hold my hand, and He did hold me, and we danced together (in my mind I often picture myself dancing with my heavenly Father, and I know that when I see Him one day, we will dance) and He whispered that He knew the plans He had for me, and that I would be alright.

It shouldn't take that much to get me to give Him my hand, though. It should come as easily as breathing. Oh, we would all be much better off if we weren't so stubborn.

Give Him your hand, let Him lead you, or just love on you, and be renewed!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Monday Menu

No pictures of yummy snacks this time. I'm fasting for bloodwork tomorrow morning. I'll dream of those cinnamon rolls from last week. Yum.

I didn't get as much dinner made as I wanted to this past week because I was holding Hudson all day, so a few of the meals will be repeats these next two weeks.

Here is what I have planned for this week:

Monday: Marriage Monday (I'm taking homemade pepperoni rolls)
Tuesday: Hearty chicken and noodle soup w/ garlic rolls
Wednesday: Dinner in a package (burger, potatos, and carrots all cooked together in aluminum foil)
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Split pea and potato soup
Saturday: General Tsao's chicken
Sunday: Leftovers

Have a great week, friends! Grow (yes, grow!), and be renewed!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fam part deux..... some pictures!

I realized today that I haven't taken any pictures the last several days, mainly because it would be all snot and drool. But, with the beautiful sunshine coming through the windows this afternoon, I just couldn't help but capture some of the creativity.

For example: henna shmenna, who needs fancy henna ink when you have markers? If you enlarge this picture you will see the beautiful artwork on miss Libby's hands, and some on her face as well.

And then after the art session, Libby decided that it was her birthday today, so she made her own cake, put her own candle in it, and sang her own birthday song.

And then blew out the candle.

When I asked her how old she is on this birthday, she told me that she is 1.

And 5.

And throughout all of this fun, Hudson looked the same as he has looked the last several days..... pathetically adorable. Ps. that's not drool on his shirt, he moved when I was trying to have him drink his probiotic and I spilled it all over him. That is a tear in his eye, however. And, yes, snot in his nose.

And just because he's the family clown, no illness would keep him from giving me a smile or two...

or hitting the camera. Yes, he's a hitter.

And now, have a wonderful, renewing weekend!

Friday Fam...... Our week

Remember this chair? This week has sort of slipped by for me, because I have spent most every minute of every day in that chair. I am so thankful for my mom, who has come over to help hold Hudson so I could get some things done, and she helped to get some of the clutter picked up. Thanks, Mama!

Hudson is starting to feel better, though nights are still hard and he still has some congestion and coughing. Hopefully in a few more days we will all be free from illness and we'll all feel good for the first time since Christmas! We've had a little break from the frigid weather (it got up to 40, I think, yesterday, which is about 40 degrees higher than it's been), so we've been able to breath a bit.

I hope you have had a good week!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Wednesday..... Right now...

A break from Wednesday Web, because my day is consumed with right now...

cuddling: a sick baby boy

nursing: a sick baby boy and his sister who has done a very good job of entertaining herself but still needs some moments with Mama

rubbing: my feet together trying to get them to finally warm up

dreaming: of snow melting and soil warming and seeds that are beckoning to go into the ground

smiling: at my little guy who, though he feels miserable, still wants to laugh at his sister

loving: this cuddly, snuggly, comforty, healing moment here right now

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Truth

I meant to post the recipes that my friend Jessie asked about yesterday, but I ended up holding and rocking and nursing Hudson for about 10 hours straight and didn't get anything done. He and Libby both have had runny noses and coughs, but Hudson's turned infectiony and he had a fever and wanted nothing but Mama. So, I will get to the recipes soon (sorry, Jessie!).

Now, for some truth!

Excerpt from Daily Wisdom for Mothers:

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.'"
John 14:6

Do you ever get lost? I am what you might call "directionally challenged." My children think it's pretty funny, seeing their old mom talking to herself in the front seat, repeating directions in chantlike manner, and praying quite a lot. Still, it seems that no matter how I try, I get lost on a regular basis. Of course, in my defense, Texas is a big place, and you can never return the same way you arrived. It's never a matter of simply reversing the directions.

Getting lost used to really frustrate and frighten me. Now, I consider it more of a fun adventure. I find that something good usually comes from it. For example, recently when I lost my way, I discovered this great garden shop with the most beautiful iron bench. Now that bench adorns our yard - it was meant to be! Other times, these extended trips in the SUV give us more family time - precious moments to laugh and share.

You see, it's all in the perspective. I no longer worry when I'm lost. I just enjoy the journey. Life is the same way. There's no sense worrying your way through each day - just enjoy the trip. After all, if we know Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we're on the right road because He is the Way!


Boy, this really spoke to me. I am not a good passenger when I get lost. I get impatient and I get snippy and I just want to get back on track. It is especially annoying that my husband thinks it's funny if we get lost.

When I really think about it, this is true even in our everyday lives. My husband is the one who is cool as a cucumber, and I am, well, the opposite of that. I get stressed out when my day doesn't go as planned, when the house is messy, and when the kids are grumpy (so, I have basically been stressed since before Christmas). I have been really trying, on this renewal journey, to focus on life, on my children, on my husband, and on Jesus (and, of course, on me!). After all, He is the way and the truth and the life. And, oh, the life that he gives is so sweet, isn't it? It is so sweet, when you allow Him to make it be.

I encourage you today, to go to Him, and see what He can do in your life.

Be still, enjoy today, and be renewed!

Oh, and my blog is being featured over on Crunchy Mama's blog today. I couldn't get the link to work right, so I'll just post the address here:
Go over and check it out! It's the second one down.

(Okay, I can't even get that to work. I guess her site is having some trouble. Try it, and if it doesn't work, try it again later.)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Monday Menu

Once again, cinnamon rolls and milk have nothing to do with this week's menu, but, they're oh so yummy!

I have to say that last week went very well. Scott was home several days for delays and classes canceled, and those days are always a bit off (in a good way! we love having Daddy home). So, not every day went quite as planned, but overall it went well. I stuck to the menu except for a few days when we celebrated Hudson's birthday (though those days were still home cooked meals at my mother's house). Thanks for taking this renewal journey with me! I hope you are getting a bit of renewal yourself!

So, here we are:

Monday: Marriage Monday
Tuesday: Split pea and potato soup w/ warm homemade bread
Wednesday: Chili casserole
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Cheeseburger soup
Saturday: Laura's casserole
Sunday: Leftovers

Again, if anyone wants recipes for any of these meals, I'll be happy to share! Just leave me a comment specifying which meal!

Have a wonderful week, my friends. Go and be renewed!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Fam.... A week in our home

We have had some very very cold weather this week, including below zero temps. Libby still wanted to go outside, though, so a very good friend of mine came over with her two girls, and the two older girls went out to play in the snow (Hudson and I were out there, too, but he was on my back). Once they were chilled to the bone (which didn't take very long) we all came inside and the girls warmed up under a blanket. I find it very comical to see pictures of Libby and Mallie together, because though Mallie is so much taller than Libby, she's only 3 months older.
And today we went to see our wonderful chiropractor, Dr. Letty. This is a monthly thing, and Libby does really well. Hudson still cries, but he'll get used to it. Our visits to Dr. Letty are life savers, because by the time that four weeks roll around, boy we all need it.

Have a great weekend! Try to stay warm, and if you live in warm weather, I wish I was there!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Thursday.... uh.....

Well, it happened. My baby boy is a year old. I have spent the day remembering that snowy day a year ago when my fair headed boy was gently breathed into our lives. A year later, he is the family clown, the hot tempered boy, and the joy in all of our hearts. He adores his sister, adores hitting his sister, and stops whatever he's doing (even if he's nursing) to crawl over to meet her at the bottom of the steps when she wakes from her nap. Happy birthday, big boy! You are so very loved.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Wednesday Web

For my very first Wednesday Web, I'm going to talk about Mothering Magazine's website. I receive the magazine in the mail, and am signed up to receive weekly emails from Mothering as well, but the website itself is full of interesting articles regarding all aspects of natural living and attachment parenting.

There is also a discussion board where people go to discuss a full range of things from parenting to gardening to living off the grid to spirituality and anything you can imagine in between. You have to have an account to post your own questions or responses to others' questions, but anyone can go to the discussion board and read what other people are saying.

So go, check out their website. If you are interested in reading any of the discussions, click on the "discuss" link on the left of the banner on the top of the page.

Happy reading! Take a moment, take a breath, and be renewed!

Tuesday Truth

From Daily Wisdom for Mothers

"I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer." Psalm 17:6

When Allyson was only 3, she encountered an eight-legged friend who wasn't so friendly. That spider left it's mark - a large, black circle on my little girl's right calf. I hadn't noticed the bite that morning because Allyson had dressed herself. But shortly after I arrived at work, the phone rang.

"Michelle, you need to get Allyson to a doctor right away," urged my day care provider. "I think she's been bitten by a brown recluse."

Quickly, I drove to the day care, scooped up Allyson, and headed for the doctor's office. Panicked, I called my husband and unloaded. Then, I called my mother and cried some more while Allyson sat calmly in her car seat - no tears, no fears.

Then I heard her sweet voice say, "Don't cry, Mama. I prayed and Jesus is taking care of me."

In all of the confusion, I had neglected to call on the Great Physician. Thankfully, Allyson hadn't forgotten. She knew who to go to, even if her spastic mother didn't.

Allyson taught me a lot that day. She showed me that prayer should be instinctive. God should be the first one we "call" in every situation. Make sure He is first on your speed dial.

I find that I let my mind get filled with so many things in the course of a day, that I automatically get in the, "I have to fix this, I have to do that..." mode, even when it comes to things that are better left to God.
When Libby knocked her tooth out, there was a good 10 minutes of me trying to keep everyone else calm and trying to figure out what in the world I needed to do, before I finally realized that I needed God to help me. Finally, I prayed, "Lord, please clear my mind and tell me what I need to do here." Just that short prayer was enough to help me take my mind away from the chaos and focus enough to think.
I encourage you, through things big and little, to remember (even if it takes you 10 minutes or a whole day) to call on God for wisdom, for comfort, or even to cry out in dispair. He knows, He is there, He will listen, and He will provide comfort.
Go in Truth, and be renewed!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Technicalities - Comments

I received an email from a kind person (thanks Katrina!) saying that she could not post a comment on here since she doesn't have a Google account. You should have two options if you don't have a google account. You should either be able to post anonymously and include your name at the end of your text, or click on the Name/URL option, put your name in the Name line and just leave the URL blank, since it's optional. I think that should work, but if not please let me know! I want it to be easy for anyone to leave me a comment if you want to!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Monday Menu

So a piping hot cut of chamomile tea and some skittles have nothing to do with this week's menu, but they've got me munching and sipping while I type.

I think the way I'm going to do this menu planning is to just list my menus, and if anyone would like a recipe for a specific meal just leave me a comment and I'll be happy to oblige. Most of the recipes I use I have on paper, but if they do happen to be online I will include the link.

So, here's my menu for this week:

Monday: Marriage Monday Group (theme: Breakfast for dinner - I'm making cinnamon rolls)
Tuesday: Chicken Stew with homemade Red Lobster cheese biscuits
Wednesday: Beef and Noodle Casserole
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Vegetable Soup
Saturday: Chicken Tacos
Sunday: Leftovers

There you go! I did my shopping today, and I'm excited to return to making yummy homemade meals for my family.

Have a wonderful, renewing week!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Embracing the soft

The theme over at Shutter Sisters on Tuesday was A Softer Side. The idea was to take a second glance at those blurry/out of focus/not quite right pictures instead of just deleting them or throwing them away and seeing if maybe, just maybe they hold something beautiful. Or even better yet, making a photo soft (read out of focus) on purpose to see just what turns out. I actually did this on purpose several weeks ago. Libby had taken the cushions off the couch (a regular occurrence) and was jumping back and forth between them on the floor. I wanted to get a shot of her that showed her movement from one cushion to another (although a still shot of her in mid-air would have been cool, too). Here is how it turned out. Once I looked at these I thought, "Hmmm, I wonder if this is how people get those 'there's a ghost in my house!' pictures."

And, just for smiles, I thought I'd show you how Libby was helping me vacuum the floor yesterday evening. She gets out her popper and goes throughout the room with me, popping right along. My little helper =) And don't miss the little guy, peeking over my shoulder!

Have a wonderful day, friends!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


Octamom passed on a challange that was issued to her a few days ago to describe your thoughts for 2009 in one word. When I read that post, my thought was, "No, too difficult, don't think I'm gonna try it." However, in the time since then I have thought over my goals and hopes for 2009, what I feel like I and my family need out of this next year, and a word pops, unbidden, into my heart. That word is renewal.

Whenever we have a new baby enter our family (all 2 times now ;)), it seems like it takes the whole first year for me to get back on my feet. With Libby it was because she cried the whole first year (no kidding or exagerating
at all). With Hudson it has been a year-long healing from the above-average amount of blood that I lost during his birth combined with Scott's former-former job working shiftwork (leaving me alone through the night with a newborn and a 1 and then 2 year old) and then his former job that was very stressful on our whole family. As soon as Libby turned 1, I got pregnant with Hudson, so I feel like I haven't slept or had energy since before she was born.

So, as we shrug off our family-wide illnesses, ponder on and set aside 2008, and walk towards 2009, I anticipate the renewal of myself as a follower of Christ, a wife, a mama, a friend, a keeper of my home, and even a blogger.

Now, I'm not under the delusion that I will be getting more sleep (I'm 2 for 2 in bad sleepers) or more hours in the day, but it is time for me to look up and around me. It's time to breath and walk forward, out of "new babyhood" (yes, even though he will be a year old in a week!!), and into renewal.

What does that mean for you (the few people who look at my blog regularly, and those of you who peek but don't comment;) )? Well, the layout of my blog will be changing a little bit to help me keep on track with this renewal. Part of my renewal as a keeper of my home is to get back into menu-planning and to keep a home management journal. I got lots of great tips over at Simple Mom. Every Monday, I will be posting my menu for the week. (Monday Menu, get it? ;))

To help me keep on track as a follower of Christ, I will be getting back to having a time where I read the Word and nourish my relationship with Him every day. So, on Tuesdays I will share an experpt from my Daily Wisdom for Mothers book that I am reading as part of this time. (Tuesday Truth, are you catching on?)

On Wednesdays I will write about a certain website that I find encouraging as a mother, or inspiring as a wife, or helpful as a keeper of my home, or just one of the many blogs of my friends that I love to keep up with. (Yep, your're right... Wednesday Web)

On Thursday, I'm still not sure what I am wanting to do, maybe something from the garden once the weather warms up (I wait with such anticipation). Though, yeah, Thursday and Garden don't start with the same letter.

On Friday, I will be posting something about my family, either something like 'a day in the life' or some recent pictures, or a 'corners of my home' or something like that. (Uh-huh, you're ahead of me aren't you? Friday Fam).

And on the weekends I will either not blog so I can spend more time being a mama or wife or home-tender, or I will blog about whatever comes to mind.

One thing that will be different as well is that I will probably be adding new posts in the evening for the next day. Mornings just aren't good times for me to blog, because it throws everything else in the day off. So, I will probably post the Monday Menu on Sunday evening, for example.

So, friends, this is how I plan for renewal. I hope you are renewed in some way yourself as you travel through this year with me, or at least get a few good recipes ;)

I will start this new blog layout next week (in true "resolution" form, lol) and in the mean time I will be updating some things on the physical layout, and I'll post a few things as well.

Oh, by the way, I have no idea how the giveaways work, but I'd love to be able to host some here and there. If anyone is still reading this post and knows how that works, could you share your knoweledge?

Have a wonderful day, and here's to renewal!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Climbing our way out

We are still recovering here, and boy it is an uphill battle. Libby was stick for quite a while (for her), and still gets sick here and there. She's eating and nursing alright now, but her body is still programmed to gag easily, and she has a cough that very effectively hits the trigger (I'm trying to use polite words=)). I am trying to be as patient as I can, but she has been pretty belligerent (boy that sweet little face can scream!), is whining most of the time, and Hudson has been really cranky as well. I finally told them both this morning that they had to stop whining, because I'm going to pull my hair out. They got the message. Now they're both sleeping, so hopefully this afternoon will go a little more smoothly.

In the meantime, I'm going to share a few pictures from before everyone got sick, because I haven't touched the camera since (you really wouldn't want to see what I could photograph, anyway).

This is a "castle" that Libby built with her cars and wanted me to photograph. Yes, I realize that it is horizontal and not vertical, but, hey, give her a break...she's 2 =)

And this is Hudson's new favorite game, and it has everyone wanting to play along and giggle their hearts out. He will crawl over the the bottom of the stairs and pull himself to standing, and as you crawl, or walk, or even look in his direction, he starts to giggle. The closer you get, the more he giggles, until you are both cracking up. Then right before you get to him he gets down and starts charging towards you, head down, hands and knees a'going. You wrestle for a bit, and then he crawls back to the stairs to start over. Notice he still has a purple mouth. We're still dealing with the thrush (which is also why he's in a disposable diaper and not cloth).

I hope you get to giggle today, because it's very good for the soul.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A Year in Review

I apologize for being fairly absent over the last week. As you know, we got sick, but Libby really got it bad. We finally took her to the doctor to get some medicine to stop her vomiting after 4 days of her not being able to eat anything without throwing up. That was Thursday, and she's still trying to get some energy back. She still isn't eating much, but she is at least able to nurse a lot and is keeping it down.

Anyway, since I didn't get this out before the New Year (did that really happen? It is a fog in my memory), here it is now. Here's a bit of a recap of our last year, beginning with little Libby, at barely 21 months old, "listening" to her soon-to-arrive sibling's heartbeat.

This is Scott and Libby near the end of my labor with Hudson. The looks on their faces pretty much sum up the way everyone present feels at the end of my long, drawn-out home births.

And so our family's third (first one being Daddy and Mommy's, second one being when Libby was born) love story began on the snowiest day in January. As you can tell, my pelvis was very unkind to his poor face.

We have had a year full of growth, blessings, love, giggles, tears, and sleepy mornings. I look forward to this next year of more growth, new adventures, lots more giggles, lots more love, and many more blessings. I wish you a very happy New Year, and I pray that your next year will be full of whatever you wish it to be full of.