Friday, September 30, 2011

What do you say?

It's like that Reba McEntire song...

What do you say in a moment like this
When you can’t find the words oh to tell it like it is
Just bite your tongue and let your heart lead the way
Let’s get out of here oh what do you say

I am in that strange place where I have all kinds of feelings about a delicate issue, but none of the right words to express how I feel are coming to me.

Please pray for me to either keep a good lock on my tongue or find somebody to emotionally vomit on (sorry, graphic).  And pray some unspokens for the issue at hand.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Turkey pot pies...it's what's for dinner!

Yesterday I took out a package of ground turkey with the intention to make turkey burgers tonight.  As I was reading the package (weird thing about me, I always read packages for fun - even ingredients most of the time), I noticed there was a suggestion for turkey pot pies.  No real instructions given, just use their brand of turkey, some gravy and vegetables, and a pie crust and voila!  You have a turkey pot pie.

So I made up my own recipe.  And this is for anybody like me who likes homemade-y kind of food without the homemade-y preparation or time.

Ingredients







Ingredients....plus a 1/2 a can of cream of onion soup and a can of carrots

Cook ground turkey in a few tablespoons (or turns of the pan, if you're Rachael Ray) of olive oil.  Season with a little onion powder, salt, and pepper.   Add vegetables, 1 can of turkey gravy, and 1/2 can of cream of onion soup.  The onion soup was a stand-in for me because the can of turkey gravy wasn't enough to get it gravyish enough for me.  Then I added some milk - probably somewhere between 1/2 and 3/4 of a cup.  Just stir in a little as you go until you get the desired consistency.  Warm through.

 Spoon into oven safe bowls.

I intended to use pie crust, but since I didn't have any shortening and I was running short on time anyway, I sent Kevin to the store for some pre-made pie crust.  He tried to call me to verify whether I wanted Pillsbury cresent dough or pie crust, but since I was busy with Nola he made a guess.  I got the dough.  So I stretched it out a little and used one bowl as a cut-out to cut the four pieces I needed to cover the pot pies. 

Covered up and ready to bake


Popped them in the oven at 350 for 18 minutes, and they turned out gorgeous.  Hopefully they'll taste as good as they look!

All done!!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Things somebody should have told me before having kids

1. They don't stay sweet, innocent, cuddly, smiling babies forever.

That is all.

Not that it would have had an effect on my decision, but a warning may have been appreciated. (There ya go, Mom)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Today's prayer

Ephesians 4:14-21 
When I think of all this, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth.  I pray that from his glorious, unlimited resources he will empower you with inner strength through his Spirit.  Then Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him.  Your roots will grow down into God's love and keep you strong.  And may you have the power to understand, as all God's people should, how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.  May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.  Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.  Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might as or think.  Glory to him in the church and in Christ Jesus through all generations forever and ever! Amen.

I saw this passage referenced on our pastor's facebook status this morning, and I just had to go read it.  Of course, it touched me as it probably touches everybody who reads it or prays it.  I'm just thanking God for his infinite love that provides me with inner strength today.  Without that strength, I'm afraid this house would be in more of an uproar than it already is.

So God, I'm trusting you to remake this day.  Or change my attitude so that this day and everybody else in it doesn't affect what you have planned for me.  Thank you for my beautiful, healthy children, our home, and all the love you have for us.  In Jesus name, Amen.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Lunch Picnic

Today I decided to let the kids have a little picnic outside.  Since it's getting cooler, I figure this might be one of the last opportunities of the year for one of their favorite activities.  On the menu: peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, chips, and mandarin oranges or orangies as they're affectionately called.


Man, I love those faces.

Not sure what she was saying here, but pretty sure she's giving orders.

Yummy sandwich!

Favorite BBQ chips!

Nola watched all the action from inside since it was sort of chilly.

She loves watching them.

Curtis Orchard with Christian Life Preschool

On Monday, we went to Curtis Orchard with Natalie's preschool class.  I decided to go and take Nathan and Nola too so we would all have something to do that day.  It had rained the night before, so it was quite damp.  And sadly the huge rocking chair was drenched, so no photo ops there.  But the kids had lots of fun during the tour swatting flies listening to the lady talk about how bumblebees helped in the orchard by pollinating the apple trees. 


All the kids in the class

Listening to the lady talk about pollination


Then we got to see the apple cleaning machine and the cider press.  Not sure the kids really understood.  Wish they would have been able to run the cider press so they could really see how it worked, but that is probably a liability with so many small fingers that could be easily stuck into the press.

Love all the little eyeballs looking up at the cleaning machine and sorter

Next we got to go outside and sit at the picnic tables under the pavillion for the real reason for the visit - apple cider and apple donuts.  Seriously, if you've never been to Curtis Orchard, you need to get yourself there pronto.  So Nathan drank ALL his cider and most of Natalie's and ate a little bit of his donut (I got the rest! Score.)  Natalie ate ALL her donut and a little juice.  Yet another example of the way these two are polar opposites.  Nola even ate a few pieces of donut and grabbed for much more than I was comfortable sharing letting her have.

Nathan chugging his juice

Natalie inhaling her donut

Then the kids went to play on the playground and in all the little houses they have set up out there.  They visited the goats, stuck their heads in those animal faces things, and drove the truck.  Nola and I hung out with the other moms and the teachers and took pictures of all the fun.  We brought home some donuts and cider for Kevin, and he's hooked.  So I'm pretty sure it won't be long before we head out that way to pick some pumpkins and load up on more yummy apple-y goodness.

Nathan getting ready to "drive" the truck

Haha...Natalie told me she chose the pig because it's pink, not because it's her favorite animal.

Good thing stroller seats have tags.

How many kids can fit in a playhouse?  That's right, all of them.

Natalie asked me to take this picture of her posing.  Pretty.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

pictures of the week 7/18

Here are some of my favorites for this week.  See if you can guess which is my most favorite!

This is how she was playing one day...all tipped over and "reading" her book

Activity intended to minimize meltdowns between school and supper

Clearly did not totally work, since this is what happened when I told him no more licking the spatula

Cheese!

Natalie's patio chalk art

Nathan asked to hold his sister...this is what resulted.

stuck in my head

A worship song from church this morning...

All consuming fire
You're my heart's desire
Living flame of love
Come baptize us,
Come baptize us


Love it...

Hear the song here

Saturday, September 17, 2011

eggs

So for the past couple weeks or so, we've really had trouble keeping the kids out of the refrigerator.  Especially early in the morning.  They've gotten into the horrible habit of sneaking quietly down the hall around 6 in the morning and getting into stuff in the kitchen. 

Their favorite mess to make?  Eggs. 

Broken eggs.  Not just broken.  Broken in Natalie's bed.  All over the sheets and comforter.  Not just a couple eggs.  THE ENTIRE CARTON. 

I'd take a picture, but I don't want them to think I'm amused by this behavior. 

And this is the third time now.  We had a fridge lock, but the first one was broken due to people who were visiting pulling on the door because they didn't realize it was locked.  The second one failed as the kids were able to completely pull it off the fridge one day last week.  And the third one went on this morning and has had all day to properly adhere itself to the fridge.  So it had better work, or those folks who make those things will be getting a call from me.

sounds of silence

I think about this all the time.  Literally.  All the time.

I love my middle of the night and early morning feeds with Nola.  Even through the fatigue during the day and sometimes short temper, I savor the moments spent nursing Nola when it's dark and all I can hear are her smacks and gentle breathing and the seconds ticking by on the clock.

It struck me the other night as I counted the seconds that each of them is so much more proportionately significant in her young life than they are in mine.  I feel so blessed by the significance of every second. And it's really cool to have that constant noise penetrating the stillness of the night to remind me that a second comes and then it's gone.  Just like that.  It's the ticking that keeps me in the moment with her.  Instead of focusing on the fact that I haven't had a good night's sleep in 4 years, I focus on the precious gifts I have been given.

I spend some of my time nursing at night on praying for my kids and every aspect of their current and future lives.  The peace of the night has given me the opportunity to have that quiet time with God that I haven't seemed to fit into my day for so long.  And it's helping things.  I've begun to see subtle changes in the way things go around here, so that tells me to keep it up.

I love the sounds that come with the silence of the night.

And speaking of sounds, there goes a little wail from Nola waking from her nap.

Friday, September 16, 2011

These little lights of mine...

I was watching a very sad and disturbing 48 Hours episode tonight on the topic of bullying, and I became terrified.  With one year until I have a child in public school, the reality of how dangerous kids today have it is quickly becoming a legitimate concern for me.  After watching about half of it, I had almost made up my mind to home school my kids.  And then Kevin came in and wanted to watch his football, so thankfully I didn't sit there any longer and torture myself.

I went about the business of giving baths and putting kids to bed, and all the while I was praying.  Praying for my kids' safety as they enter school, the friends they'll make when they get there, for the choices they'll make when faced with standing up for what's right or following the crowd, and for protection from any kind of bullying so that they never have to know that pain.  As I was praying, I felt like God was asking me, "Why do you doubt my ability to protect them?"  "Ok God," I replied, "but school is such a dangerous place anymore."  And He said to me, "If you don't send your children, how will the other children see who I am?"

Bingo.

And then that sweet childhood song came into my head.

"This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.
This little light of mine,
I'm gonna let it shine.

Let it shine!  Let it shine!  Let it shine!

Hide it under a bushel?  No!
I'm gonna let it shine!
Hide it under a bushel?  No!
I'm gonna let it shine!
Hide it under a bushel?  No!
I'm gonna let it shine!

Let it shine!  Let it shine!  Let it shine!"

Notice each phrase repeats three times?  God says that's for my three kids.  Love how he works in ways I can understand.  So homeschooling out of fear is out.  These little lights will be escorted out from under the bushel and sent to school shining and all prayed up every day.

Note:  This is not in any way intended to criticize anyone who does home school.  All I'm saying is that at this point in time, my only motivation to do so is fear.  And after listening to God speak to me, fear is not a good enough reason to do anything.

Illinois Corn and Sausage Chowder

Ingredients:
1 lb pork sausage
1 small onion
1 lb bag of frozen corn
6 cups potatoes cubed
6 cups water
2 cups milk
salt and pepper to taste

Directions:
1. Cook sausage and onion in the bottom of your soup pot.
2.  Add corn, potatoes, water and seasonings.  Cook over medium heat until potatoes are soft.
3.  Turn heat to low and add milk.  Heat until warmed through.

This is a recipe that was one of my favorites growing up, and we had it for supper tonight.  It was just as I remember it.  A big pot of warm, comforting deliciousness. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Just when you think...

Just when you think it's going to be one of "those" days, there is peace like a river.

My morning started out with the recently obligatory screaming followed by incessant demands for breakfast followed by nursing (phew) followed by getting puked on followed by running late so no time to change the pants so out the door we go.

*breathe for 2 seconds on the drive back from dropping Natalie off at school*

Walk in the door, Nathan's a mess, I need to make a trip to Wal-Mart, Kevin is going to be gone for most of the day.  Ok, sure, leave me on a day starting out in the red.  Go to Wal-Mart, squash a tantrum, give a cuddle, procure a snack, kids back in the car, back home we go.

As we're exiting the car, I notice Nathan's poop face.  He's wearing big boy undies.  "Nathan do you need to go potty?" "Yes, Mama."  "Ok let's go potty."  We get there, and he's already done a little bit so he sits to try for the rest.  Nothin' doin', so we get up and clean up.  Then I tell him I'm putting the baby to sleep, and he looks at me and tells me he pooped again.  Ok, make baby wait, clean him up again.  He insists on big boy undies again, and off we go.  Put baby to sleep, check on Nathan, goldfish crackers covering bed and cable not operating.  Call to fix cable, Nathan disappears, hear noises, go check, Nathan is trying to go out the back door, try to distract him, he tells me "Too boo-boo (poop) to go outside."  Are you serious?  3 times in 20 minutes?  Come on, cable lady.  Finally get off the phone, clean him up AGAIN, and it's time to go get Natalie from preschool. 

Crap, don't want to wake the baby.  Go see if the neighbors are home to listen to the baby monitor.  Thank goodness that works.  Get Natalie, get her home, feed kids a snack, and she says she hears her bus.  I don't believe her since it's only 11:55 and school doesn't start until 1, but I check anyway.  SURE ENOUGH...there it is.  So out the door she goes with chalked up pants from preschool that I didn't get to wipe off because we were home a whole ten minutes before she left again.

And now there's peace.  And now Nola is waking so I don't have to wake her to take Nathan to school.  Thank you, Jesus for taking a ridiculously crazy day and inserting some peace just when I needed it the most.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Nathan's latest

His newest favorite thing is copying everything Natalie does.  So she's taken to calling him a copycat.  The very first time she called him this, his immediate, almost reflex-like response was, "Meow." 

And of course, Natalie and I both fell to pieces in laughter.

Now, she calls him a copycat just to hear him say, "Meow."  And he says, "Meow" just to bring down the house.

Works every time.

Pictures of the week

Despite what he may think sometimes, she truly adores her daddy.

The time when she is at her sweetest is right after she wakes up from a nap.

My little chubby chuckler

Love the drool.  Love the diaper.  Love the toy.

I love fall.

I love fall.