Monday, February 23, 2009

Another pause

Sorry to not be posting my menu today. I got some health news this morning that is probably fine (throw up a prayer for me and my family if you want), but I am doing some research, loving on my babies, and trying my best to trust God with all things.

I will get back to posting when things get back to normal, but please forgive me for taking a few days.

Enjoy these next few days, and I promise I will be back soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Tuesday Truth

From Daily Wisdom for Mothers

"A gentle answer turns away wrath." Proverbs 15:1

I recently saw a T-shirt with the printing "Love is my final answer" on it. I thought that was pretty good.Think about it. When you answer with love, you give strife no place to go.

The other day, Abby wanted to go boating with her friend. Normally we would say yes to this request, but this was a holiday weekend. And, according to the news reports, there would be many alcohol-filled boaters on the lake. We just didn't have peace about it, so we told Abby, "No, not this time."

Abby really wanted to go, so she began retaliating in a big way. It was ugly. As she huffed and puffed, I decided to try out the "love answer." So I said, "Abby, honey, we love you too much to let something bad happen to you. There will be lots of drunken boaters out there today, and we just aren't willing to take that chance. You are too precious to us." To my surprise, she was okay with that answer. While she was disappointed that she couldn't go to the lake, she understood our reasons and resumed normal behavior. Wow! I didn't even have to raise my voice or threaten to ground her!

Let love be your final answer today. It really works!


Though it isn't always this easy with little ones, reminding yourself to answer with love is always a great thing to strive for. If I tried to explain something like this to Libby, she wouldn't fully understand. What she does understand, however, is my tone and my face, and whether I am speaking in love or in frustration or anger.

What a great reminder! I encourage you to make love your final answer, hard as it may be sometimes. For me, it may mean going into my pantry, sticking my head out the window to breath in the cold air and praying for a few minutes, and then coming back to answer with love.

How do you make love your final answer?

Monday, February 16, 2009

Is it a bad Mama...

Is it a bad Mama who, upon hearing her wandering baby boy's, "Help, I'm stuck" cry and subsequently finding that he has fallen victim to the empty laundry hamper trap, rushes downstairs to grab her camera and takes a few pictures before freeing him? Is it a bad Mama who does that? Hopefully not. Is it a bad Mama who then posts those pictures for everyone to see? Maybe.

Monday Menu

Sorry about missing last week's menu. It was a good week, but a week where I didn't have much time to sit down at the computer. Like I said before, we watched Fireproof last Sunday night, and once I missed my opportunity to sit down and make the menu, I never got back around to doing it. That resulted in more eating out then we wanted (or could afford), and my renewed determination to menu plan. I can see the difference even this week. I didn't get around to making a menu last night, but I made myself sit down and make one up this morning. So, here it is!

I am making an effort to make every other meal without meat. I have never eaten or cooked vegetarian before, so I am lacking in meatless meal ideas. If anyone has any good recipes, please share in the comments section!!

Monday: Marriage Monday (I'm taking tortellini with pesto and feta cheese)
Tuesday: Grilled chicken with roasted brussel sprouts (the sprouts are from our Farmer's Market; I've never made them before or even tried them, but I want to grow some this Fall, so hopefully I like them!)
Wednesday: Bean burritos with rice
Thursday: Toaster oven baked tilapia with roasted brussel sprouts & asparagus
Friday: Vegetable and barley soup with biscuits
Saturday: Dinner in a package
Sunday: Dinner at my mom's house for my brother's birthday

I hope you have a great week! We are having a snowy start, but hopefully it will warm up again by the end of the week.

Tell me, are you ready for Spring yet? Since I have some green coming up already, the countdown to blooms has begun. I'll keep you updated on the progress!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Our week in pictures

Oh my, we have had a wonderful week! We have had a week full of friends! Yay! We had friends over to our house Monday and Friday, and we went to a friend's house Tuesday (to pick out our seeds for this year's garden!!). So, this week there was...

Lots of little ones walking, running, wrestling around...

Lots of dress-up...

Lots of interaction, even with the littlest ones...

Some walks, and bird watching...

Some little girl minds planning together...

And some tired tired little feet...

Some more of Libby's photography...

Some enjoying Daddy being home...

And look! Look at this!!! Can you believe it? (Look, Kendra, do you believe it?)

After I took these pictures I had to gather up the mulch around these cold little green beauties. I can't believe they are coming up already. I didn't even notice them until I pulled the car farther up the driveway than usual to make room for some friend's cars.

What a week full of love, laughing, and so much play.

How was your week?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Those eyes

They tell so much.

Octamom issued a challenge of sorts, to shed some light on your eyes. She has some amazing green eyes, and her husband has blue. This resulted in a beautiful array of color in the eyes of their children. You should hop on over and check them out.

Scott's eyes are green, but when I enlarged the picture of his eyes, I discovered some hidden brown.

I come from a family of crystal blue eyes, and my eyes also have a hint of green.

When Libby was born, her eyes were so dark blue that they almost looked black. They lightened up to a clear grayish-blue, with that beautiful dark blue ring around the outside.

Hudson was also born with the almost black eyes, and now he has the bright bright blue.

Alright, let's see yours!

Wordless Wednesday

Monday, February 9, 2009

Monday Menu, soon

I have a delay on the Monday Menu today because Scott and I spent the evening watching Fireproof, and I didn't get the menu planned. I have some wonderful friends coming over today for our knitting group, and then once that is over I will plan the menu and get it up here.

I had lots of comments about the cheeseburger soup. I really hope it stands up to my praises for it. If you try it, leave me a comment and let me know how it went over!

If you have time, I encourage you to check out the Fireproof link. There is a trailer for the movie right there on the site. If you are married or about to be married or plan to be married some day, I encourage you to watch at least the trailer. The movie came out in select theaters, and is now on video.

Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Our week.... in pictures

Our week? It was full of....

Smoothie faces,

Libby's first attempts at photography (picture is of Hudson sleep-nursing, I had to push the shutter when she told me she was ready, because her hands are too small to hold the whole camera),

Lots of dress-up,

Me thinking, "Just when I thought he couldn't get any more comical,"

And finding beauty in the bits of sun shining through our windows.

Today it is supposed to get up close to 60 degrees! You can bet we will be outside!

Have a wonderful weekend. Enjoy your loved ones, and be renewed!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Finally, the Cheeseburger Soup!

As promised, a long time ago, here is the recipe for the cheeseburger soup.

2 pounds ground beef
3/4 C chopped onion
1 quart chicken broth
2 C water
4 1/2 C diced raw potatoes
1 1/2 C shredded carrots
1 1/2 C diced celery
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon pepper

White sauce:
1/2 C butter
3/4 C flour
3 C milk
3 C processed cheese, cubed

Brown ground beef with onions; drain. In large saucepan, combine broth, water, vegetables, salt, and pepper. Bring to a boil. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes or until potatoes are tender. To make white sauce, melt butter in saucepan; add flour and stir until smooth. Slowly add milk and cook until thickened. Add cheese and stir until melted. Combine sauce with vegetables and ground beef and onion. Do not boil after sauce is added to the soup.

And there it is! It is sort of like a potato soup with beef in it. It's very yummy! Especially with warm bread or biscuits. Or, here is the recipe for Red Lobster's cheesy garlic biscuits (a little bonus for making you wait). They are to die for!

Red Lobster Cheese Biscuits

1 1/4 lbs. Bisquik
3 oz. freshly shredded cheddar cheese
11 oz. cold water

Garlic Spread:1/2 C melted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon onion powder
1/8 teaspoon dried parsley

To cold water, add Bisquik and cheese, blending in a mixing bowl. Mix until dough is firm.

Using a small scoop, place the dough on a baking pan lined with paking paper (I just put them on my well seasoned/greased cooking stone). Bake in 375 degree oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. While biscuits bake, combine spread ingredients.

Brush baked biscuits with the garlic topping.

Hey, I never said it was healthy ;)

For all of you homeschoolers out there, hop on over to Octamom's blog. She's giving away a really cute homeschool T-Shirt.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

My little fireball

Notice the subtle movement of his arm as he smacks at me. This time? He wanted the phone.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Tuesday Truth

Here are some pretty pictures of the recent snow storm we had. It has mostly melted away during the day, but at night it freezes, leaving everything treacherous. Scott's school was canceled every day last week.

Today's truth (not out of Daily Wisdom):
"My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." 2 Corinthians 12:9

I don't know about you all, but I am weak. I try to tell myself that I am a strong woman, but the truth is, I'm not. I am emotional, I am unsure, and I am tired.

I remember distinctly something that occurred a few days after I had given birth to Libby, with no medication, in my mom and dad's house, surrounded by strong, encouraging women. I was on the phone arguing with someone who, after discovering that I had given birth to my baby at home said, "On purpose?!?", about getting Libby's PKU test done, and I was in tears and shaking. Granted, I had just given birth, but I sat there and told myself, "You just did an incredibly strong, gratifying, amazing thing! Don't let this person push you around!"

But that is me. That is my nature. I am weak.

And that's, apparently, right where I need to be. As long as I am weak, God can work in me and through me.

When I am working too hard to be everything to everyone and for everyone, when I am working my brain trying to figure everything out, and I am trying to save the world (or even just my little part of it), God can't work through me. It's just not worth it to try to be the one in charge but miss out on His grace.

When I sit back and realize that I am not strong enough to do His job, then I can receive His grace.

And what sweet grace it is, no?

Are you feeling weak? Let God's grace fill you.... and be renewed!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Monday Menu

I have to appologize for my lack of posting the last few days. Libby caught, or rather re-caught the cough (she actually had it before we all got the flu right after Christmas) that Hudson has had. He is finally almost over it, and she is finally on the upswing from it. There for a bit, Scott and I actually wondered if she might have bronchitis, but today she seems to have turned a bit of a corner. I have been treating her with several different natural remedies, and they are working. She is still coughing, but not nearly as hard nor as frequently, and she hasn't had a fever since last night.

For the last several many nights I have had to hold (a sleeping) Hudson right up until the time that we went to bed because, on the nights that Libby actually made it upstairs to bed before us, we have had the monitor in the room with her so we would know if she was coughing and would know if she coughed herself into vomiting. So, I haven't been able to blog in the evenings, and during the day I have been holding, now, both of my babies.

So, my apologies =)

On to this week's menu (this should tell you that things are getting better: They are both asleep, in bed, and I can actually make a blog post!)

Monday: Marriage Monday
Tuesday: Cheeseburger Soup (I promise I will get the recipe for this up, I really really am sorry I haven't done it yet.)
Wednesday: Chicken and Noodle Casserole
Thursday: Leftovers
Friday: Bean Burritos
Saturday: Chicken and Spinach Risotto
Sunday: Leftovers

I also plan to post a tutorial on the yummy pepperoni rolls that I make. Every time I make them, they get raved about up and down, so I thought I would share the recipe for the dough and the rolls themselves. Stay tuned!