Saturday, January 31, 2009

So it's Saturday

I have really had nothing much to say this week, hence the few posts and simple subject matter. So here is a little this and that to round out my week of ho-hum blogging:

  • It has been a long work week for my husband, but the Lord has answered prayers and accomplished what needed to be done at Adam's place of work.

  • Tomorrow Adam does not have to work, and we begin a month of teaching Jr. Church for the four and five-year-olds. This means we will be Joey's teacher and be able to see just how rowdy he is when he is with his best friend of the same name. I have been told it makes it easy to rein them in when they get a little too rambunctious, since "Joeys!" is all that needs to be said.

  • The favorite game of the week for Joey has been Hide and Seek the Dinosaurs. Joey and I take turns hiding and seeking the plastic dinosaurs he got from his grandmom for Christmas. Why does this game become boring to me so much more quickly than it does for him?


  • Today Joey told me, "Mom, when you wear that shirt, it fills my heart with joy." Who knew a burnt orange, v-neck, long sleeve shirt had such powers.

  • When Adam left for work today, Katie told him, "I yah you ah much!" Translation: I love you so much! She talks more and more every day. She had her first cup of hot cocoa this week, and quickly said, "Wan moh cocoa!" (want more cocoa) as soon as the first cup was finished. Putting together three words so masterfully earned her a second cup.

  • I turned the heat up to 66 degrees today, 67 yesterday, and I don't care who knows it!

  • I have had the scrapbook urge the past few days, but I cannot scrapbook because all my pictures are just billions of pixels filling up my hard drive. Since Katie's second birthday is in a month and I haven't even begun her first year album, I would say it is time to get some photos printed.


  • Katie brought me the lion costume today saying, "ooo, ooo, ah, ah?" meaning, "Can you put this monkey costume on?" She is supposed to be a lion. She thinks she is a monkey. I think she is beautiful.

(scabby lip and all)

Happy Saturday, everybody.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

More to do good with

My latest Bible memory verse for our church memory program was Proverbs 3:9,10

Honour the LORD with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine.

I found this excerpt from Matthew Henry's Commentary of the Whole Bible about these verses:

"... A promise, which makes it our interest to serve God with our estates. It is the way to make a little much, and much more; it is the surest and safest method of thriving: So shall thy barns be filled with plenty. He does not say thy bags, but thy barns, not thy wardrobe replenished, but thy presses: "God shall bless thee with an increase of that which is for use, not for show or ornament—for spending and laying out, not for hoarding and laying up.’’ Those that do good with what they have shall have more to do more good with."

That is good stuff.

Now the question is, am I doing good with my stuff?

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

When you don't know how to peel a banana...



...you scoop it with a spoon.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Usborne vs. a four-year-old

I borrowed a craft book from the library published by the good people at Usborne. Joey found this craft and was set on doing it.









So I carefully cracked this morning's eggs and we completed the craft this afternoon. Joey loves doing crafts and had a great time. The eggshells were made into little weeble-wobbles by putting a ball of play-doh into the base - a neat touch. I only had one type of yarn and some fake curly hair, so his choices were limited. When instructed to decorate the party hats with markers, he drew pictures of scenes such as "my cousin driving a jeep" and "a boy having a dream about a spider." I helped with the gluing, but he did all the artwork himself.

Again, this what the book shows as the finished product:








Here are Joey's finished products:









A completely pointless eggshell craft that makes me laugh every time I look at it.


Reality is much less pretty, but a lot more funny.


A merry heart doeth good like a medicine...Proverb 17:22

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Full cuteness disclosure


To quote my husband:


"She's cute now, but when she was first born, she was hideous."


Now, don't go thinking my husband is cruel and heartless. Katie did have a certain "look" about her. She had a bright pink stork bite on her forehead, a smooshed nose that took a while to un-smoosh, hair that stood straight up, and her eyes would often go crossed. In spite of all these features, I still thought she was cute -- kind of like a baby gorilla. She wasn't a beautiful baby with delicate, girly features, but rather, my cute little monkey.


Here is proof.













And here is the kicker, the one that makes even a tender-hearted mother agree that maybe calling her "cute" was a bit of a stretch. It is perhaps more accurately described as enjoyably funny-looking.






Oh my, she was funny-looking. But the smooshed, chubby nose, paired with the slightly crossed eyes still somehow comes across as cute to me. Maybe it is one of those faces only a mother could love (or find a shred of cuteness in).

Friday, January 23, 2009

cute

I think everything about Katie is adorable. I do. I am one of those moms. I might consider apologizing for it, but I really do believe she is just so cute. This morning as she was applying some ChapStick to her pursed little lips, carefully back and forth, I wanted to video tape and upload it to YouTube so the whole world could enjoy the ridiculous level of her cuteness.

I didn't. But it was really cute.

Even when she is naughty it is terribly cute. Like the other day when I found her hiding in Daddy's closet with a thick layer of my foundation all over her cheeks, lips, chin, and shirt. I was very upset, but she was still a ball of creamy-hard-to-clean-up cuteness.

Ok, I think I'm done now. No more cute talk. Just this:



Come on - she even splashes in the waves cute! Ok, sorry. Now I'm really done.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Hearts healed

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

This verse has been coming to my mind quite often lately. These words were used to comfort my son, as well as my six and eight-year-old nephews last week when they were saying their last good-byes to their great-grandma, or "GG". I reminded them that God keeps His promises, and GG will be in Heaven, and that God promises to heal our broken hearts - so even though we feel very sad right now, we won't feel this sad forever. God will heal our broken hearts.

God used the verse to comfort me as I was facing a different trial last week. I was feeling trapped in my discouragement, but God reminded me that He will bind me up, and that I had no reason to feel hopeless.

Last night, God put this verse in my mind as I was able to encourage a friend who was surprised when a hurt from her past came back in her face. If God can heal our broken hearts and bind our wounds, than He can heal all wounds -- even old scars that get scratched and irritated.

The key to receiving this healing is letting Him heal it. It is kind of like when Joey gets a splinter and the dreaded tweezers come out. He fights and fights against me, and the splinter remains. It continues to hurt. When he finally lets me pull it out, it feels better, and the pain is gone.

One of the reasons I love this verse so much is because God used it in a significant way when I was grieving the death of Natalie. I was hurting so badly. The grief was surprising, and terrible, and my heart was broken. I wanted healing. I wanted to feel better. I wanted the horrible pain to just go away.

I would get frustrated when Adam couldn't take the pain away. I would read books about stillbirth, but my pain remained. I would talk about her, talk about the grief, and I still was wounded, and I couldn't fix it. One evening, I read this verse, and the message was so clear, it was almost like the page was speaking. I realized that only God would heal my broken heart. Only God could bind up my wounds, and only God is able take my pain away. I understood that night that I had to trust God to take my pain away, and have faith that he would keep His promise and bind up all the wounds of grief in my life.

A friend stopped in later that night, and she probably thought I was crazy as I excitedly told her about this verse, and how I knew that only God would heal me. It seems so obvious, but I needed to claim His healing for myself. It was like I had found a secret cure, and was telling her all about it.

In reality, the cure was always there. God wants us to heal. He wants to bind us up, but we have to let Him.

God did heal my broken heart. The loss of Natalie was so sad. God was faithful, and replaced the sadness with hope and the joy of new life when my son and daughter were born, alive and healthy. There is a scar, and from time to time my heart does heart, but God is so good to me. He loves me and cares for me, and tends to my pain when it resurfaces. What is beautiful is that all the praise and glory goes to Him.

He is the healer of my heart.

He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.
Psalm 147:3

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

How clean am I?

Under my stove today I found:

2 matchbox cars
an Olive Garden coupon expired in August
a Sensodyne coupon
1 1/2 crayons
2 wooden beads
a bouncy ball
silver Christmas ornament
my husband's house key (have been wondering where that was)
a child's fork
1 dirty napkin
some caramel corn
a toy traffic pylon
dust, crumbs, and coffee grounds

The sad thing is, I sent out a similarly long and embarrassing list to some girlfriends for an "under the oven challenge" just four months ago.

So I suppose the challenge is on again -

No No Nanette presents the official

2009 Under the Oven Challenge

Who is brave enough to post what is lurking under your oven?
Go exploring under your oven and post the list on your blog (and link back here if you feel like sharing some linky love), or spill the beans in a comment below.

Maybe we will even vote on a winner -- we'll see how many accept the challenge.

Have some dirty fun!

Monday, January 19, 2009

last year


I love this photo. I didn't pose them, but just happened to have my camera at the right time to catch this moment.

Katie is so much bigger already. The time goes so quickly. Babies are born, loved ones pass into eternity, and day after day life just keeps going, never stopping.

I don't have the power to make it stop or rewind. I just have today. A day full of lots of moments. Some moments are the same as so many I experience every other day. Some moments are completely unexpected. And then some moments take my breath away and fill me up with so much love, it comes oozing out my tear ducts.

I won't have my camera to record every moment; but I hope I see them when they happen, and keep them safely in my heart.

And give thanks for each and every one.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bon appetit

In an effort to trick you into thinking I am a wonderful mother and industrious keeper-at-home, I am publishing the one thing I actually did today (besides getting caught up on my coupon clipping-- I know, I know, my ability to perform astounds you) and pretending like it was just nothing, nothing at all. I will pretend like I do a cooking activity based on a library book almost everyday, because that is just how creative and organized I am. If my son can spend about 78% of his day pretending, can't I have a minute or two?


So, without further ado...


Crepes!!! (There is supposed to be some sort of punctuation above the p because it is a French word, but I did not research what it is called, or if it is possible to type it.)

Today, we made crepes. We made regular ol' pancakes yesterday, and went international today. It all started when Joey watched an episode of "Toot & Puddle", a cute show on PBS kids based on the series of books by Holly Hobbie. In one episode Joey saw Toot and Puddle, the traveling pigs, visit France and enjoy some crepes. When we were at the library a couple weeks later, I saw this book by Monica Wellington,



and thought we would increase our understanding of these thin pancakes that the French enjoy so much. (I also borrowed a non-fiction book about France to really broaden our horizons.)

Anyway, we read Crepes by Suzettte the following day, and since then I have read it about twenty times. I am not exaggerating. Joey loves this book. It is a very simple story about Suzette who has a crepe cart, and goes around Paris making and selling her crepes. Each page is a different setting somewhere in Paris. The backgrounds are illustrated with photo collages, and the characters are drawn with markers and colored pencils, and laid on top.

The text is simple, but each page includes a French word or phrase, with a glossary in the back of the book to help translate. Joey is intrigued by foreign languages, so he enjoys hearing the French words and then trying to remember what they mean. He laughs every time he says "bonjour."

The last pages include the glossary as well as a recipe for crepes. Joey has been asking me to make crepes since we read the recipe. In order to do that, I needed to get a new non-stick pan because mine was shot, and I knew that as a first time crepe-maker, I would have an easier time with a good non-stick surface. Yesterday, I used my Marshalls gift card and got one.

I have seen this Good Eats episode on crepes and watched Alton Brown perform the batter swirling in the pan, to get that perfectly thin, perfectly circle-shaped crepe. My first couple attempts were sort of circle, the next few almost circle,





and I did get a few near perfect ones. It was pretty fun trying to get the hang of it.




The book tells of the various crepe fillings Suzette offers her customers, and online I read that jams or simply sugar and a spritz of lemon are most popular in France. I made a strawberry sauce with frozen strawberries that have been getting quite frosty in my freezer, and I just called it jam. I also made a sweet lemony ricotta, because I was in the mood for it, but that is not a traditional French filling. I did serve them folded in half, then folded in half again to make a triangles, because that is how Suzette does it in the book.





I ate all mine with the strawberry sauce and ricotta together, and they were delightful. The kids had a couple with sauce and a couple with just powdered sugar. Joey liked them, and enjoyed watching my batter swirling attempts. Katie ate them, but I couldn't tell you her thoughts exactly.

So that was our day of crepes. Crepes by Nanette.

Now, I better get busy and do something else. Important things like take a shower and get dressed. Possibly even fold the laundry heap resting on my bed.

On y va!

Friday, January 16, 2009

Some mornings...

...pancakes are a needed dose of love covered in powdered sugar and syrup.



A pancake for both Bear and Red-Scarf-White-Fur




One in the shape of Bear (not Mickey Mouse)





A snowman with marshmallow nose






And a couple dozen mouse-sized pancakes, though Katie called them "babies."





Smiles for everyone.




Joey prefers powdered sugar, and Katie likes hers in "dip-dip" - syrup. I have mine with peanut-butter and syrup, which Adam thinks is disgusting. How do you like your pancakes?

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Peace


Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.

Isaiah 26:3

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

praying for my husband

Last night a godly woman whom I respect shared a few verses she prays for husband. As my husband faces the daily challenges of leading our family, providing for our financial needs, and keeping a Christian testimony and fervent witness in a secular (and high stress) workplace, these verses are perfectly suited as I intercede on his behalf.

Colossians 1:10-11
That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God; Strengthened with all might, according to his glorious power, unto all patience and longsuffering with joyfulness;

I hope to be praying more faithfully for my husband this year. Praying scripture ensures I am praying according to God's will, and gives me confidence as I talk with God.

Do any of you married readers have some scriptures you pray for your husband?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mom-in-law

This week was my mother-in-law's birthday. Today is her birthday party luncheon, but I am home because of the weather. ( I'm so sorry, Mom.) I was supposed to share a few words at the party, but instead I will share a little bit here.

Mom is a terrific mother-in-law, the best I could have ever hoped for. She has always completely accepted me into the family and treated me as another daughter. Other people always say she has kind things to say about me, when she could just as easily report all my faults.

Every other week she drives forty-five minutes to come spend time with the kids. A huge craft bin comes along, and she puts up with the play-doh, paint, or sticker mess. The kids love her company so much. Katie thinks Mom-mom's purpose in life is to hold her or fly her like an airplane. One of Joey's favorite games to play with her is "car lot", especially since she is such a patient playmate.

Mom is giving and generous as well. Even now, as she is caring for her very ill mother, a task which takes up most every minute of the day, she still thinks of our family. I am in awe of her hard work and determination; she does not grow weary in well doing.

I really am blessed to have her in my life. I love her and thank the Lord for her.

Happy birthday, Mom.

She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness. Her children arise up, and call her blessed...Proverbs 31:27, 28

Friday, January 9, 2009

tagged

With nothing of any interest to say today, I was pleased to see Anne has tagged me for this:

1. Choose the 4th folder where you store pictures on your computer.
2. Select the 4th picture in the folder.
3. Explain the picture.
4. Tag four people to do the same.
5. No cheating (cropping, editing, etc.)

Here it is --



Adam took this picture with my new phone. He was fooling around with all the settings, and told Joey to open his mouth while he took one in the "negative" mode. He really is a beautiful boy.


So now I have to tag 4 others. Hmm...


I am so breaking the rules! All my bloggy buds have basically been tagged already by others, so I am breaking the tagging cycle and just posting this completely pointless picture. You can report my bad behavior to Anne if you like. :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Daddy love

As the children grow a little bit older and need their mommy a little bit less, it is a joy to see them fall in love with their daddy and to see their daddy loving them. A few evenings ago, I couldn't help but smile, as I heard the words of llama llama red pajama coming from Joey's bedroom as Adam was getting both kids ready for bed.

On New Year's day, Adam gave Joey a great day by building a fire together in the empty lot next to ours. As they sat by the fire, enjoying each other's company and conversation, I wished I could be an invisible and silent guest, so to hear Joey's heart as he only shares it with his daddy.




One evening in December, we had Christmas music playing, which Katie interprets as the sign to find some willing arms to pick her up and twirl around the living room. Katie found Adam that evening, and I watched with delight as she squealed and giggled in her daddy's arms, while he spun her about. I saw the smile on his face, the smile a child's laughter brings - pure joy. I could have watched that father-daughter dance forever. And I wished it was a moment I could have had with my Natalie. I wished I could have seen how much my five-year-old girl would be giggling and squealing as she danced with her daddy to a Christmas tune. I wished I could know how much she was going to completely fill up her daddy's heart.

These thoughts were on my mind as I went shopping for my Natalie ornament this year. You see, one little tradition I have to remember Natalie is to purchase an ornament every Christmas that makes me think of her. Every year as we decorate the tree and I pull out her ornaments from years past, and add this year's ornament to the tree, I have a way to "include" her in our Christmas activities. So as I stood in Hallmark, looking over this year's selection of Keepsake ornaments, I couldn't have been more pleased to find this one.





It is titled Dancing with Dad, and it is perfect, don't you think?
Daddy love -- it's a wonderful thing.

If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them that ask him?
Matthew 7:11

Monday, January 5, 2009

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pop, pop, pop



Today was the day of caramel corn.
Caramel corn cooling on the table,




caramel corn in a few two-gallon bags,






caramel corn in huge Rubbermaid containers,





caramel corn in cute little bags,




and caramel corn in my nephew's mouth.




Yum!

My sister and I use this recipe. Thanks to Sherrie for doing lots of the work (and the dishes) today.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Brotherly fun

Tonight in the upstairs hallway, Joey transformed a laundry basket, three of Adam's neck ties, and some little boy energy into a roller coaster ride, with seat belts (safety first), for his little sister.

Good times.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Out with the old

In addition to the world's greatest banana hanger, Joey also picked out a new purse for me. This is what was living in my old purse:

And I didn't use to be a purse girl. What happened to me?