Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Backyard Addition

This past weekend, we got a new addition to our backyard! A good friend of ours gave us this play area, which her grandson was no longer using. It's a couple years old, and H1 transported it in pieces on a trailer.  We worked on Saturday and Sunday afternoon to get it back together, and then H1 built the mulch area to raise it up a bit. This whole area floods frequently. Now, hopefully, this will allow our kids to have a place to play outside more often, instead of just the mud.  I am so thankful to Andy and her family for blessing us with this!


Thursday, July 25, 2013

Anniversary Post From A Friend

A friend of mine wrote the following yesterday on facebook, sharing her thoughts on 14 years of marriage. So much of this rings a bell in my life, and I wanted it share it. We have walked side-by-side with this couple and their fabulous children for the last almost-8 years, and rarely have I met a more real family who is so open about their daily lives seeking after God. Not religion. Never religion. Genuine faith, genuine love for people, and tackling the difficult issues in life head-on and running to the Lord. Congratulations on your anniversary guys!   ~H2

Today, Dean and I celebrate our 14th Anniversary. Yes, we were like 8 when we got married. ha. It's long, but just keep reading. Just because. 
Things I have learned during 14 years of marriage:
-14 years is NOT a very long time 
-The more birthdays, (and the more kids) you have, the faster it goes...
-Life may be quite an adventure, but it is definitely no Disney fairy tale
-90% of what I heard/thought about marriage/family/roles throughout the first 20 years of my life I would have been better off without
-Living passionately is ok - you may have passionate "discussions" (haha), but chances are you'll love more passionately, and feel more fully too. The upside is more than worth the downside 
-Take chances!!! - you might move 9 times in just over a decade (ahem), but it sure beats a dry existence!
-What your family thinks about your spouse matters a great deal - maybe more than it should
-The very couples/families that you think have it all together, generally are the very ones who don't. Envy no one.
-Some people have a lot of luck in every possible way - their cars always work, their kids are perfect, their relationships are like a Grace Livingston Hill novel, their jobs are never in jeopardy, their health is amazing, they've completed Dave Ramsey's plan for financial freedom and are living off of the interest in their savings account, also they are beautiful and photogenic in every picture. We will never be those people. Chances are, neither will you. Embrace the mess. Or try too.  Keeps life exciting
-Husbands will never stop throwing their socks on their side of the bed instead of into the laundry basket
-Wives will never stop saying "watch it" in the car
-God defines and ordains the covenant of marriage - not the state, congress, countries, committees, or even churches and licenses. Chew on that for a while...
-Speaking of covenants, the only useful piece of advice I remember from pre-marriage counseling was 'at some point in your marriage, chances are that one, or both, of you will want out - you have to decide beforehand that it's not an option, even when it is...'
-If you marry young, and "grow up together", it won't be easy - you will both change - sometimes drastically, but it's never, ever (ever) boring! 
-It's true that the things you find endearing about your spouse prior to marriage have the potential to annoy the crap out of you after a decade. But it's also true that things you never noticed about your spouse before, you suddenly find endearing!
-Love deepens and changes with time in an inexplicable way.
***I think that Calvin Miller summed it up perfectly in his book "Life Is Mostly Edges" - "I feel sorry for all those who announce at twenty or thirty, 'Yippee! I'm in love!' I have the awfullest urge to slap them out of their hysteria and say, 'Hey puppy, you don't know anything about love. Love exists only in the lives of those who have learned to kiss in the laboratory of pain. Love is the kiss that has laid aside by the fire of the honeymoon night, and found itself in the chaste hello of the cancer ward. Love is the trembling feel of faithful lips on a wrinkled hand. Love is a willingness to walk slow when our lover finds each plodding step a triumph over sluggish tendons. Come back to me you over-ecstatic, untried twenty-year-olds, when you are broken by age, then tell me of your love once you have gained the right to define it."
Dean Boring I love you.  But not as well or as much as I hope to 25, 35, or even 45 years from now! Thank you for our journey! xo

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Oh Dear!

My Hubby is so sweet. And funny. And totally missed the fact I drank 4 cups of coffee at church this morning before he brought this home for me. Wheeeee!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

Bean Burrito or Nothing

Sometimes you have a day. You know what I'm walking about. It's that day that starts off bad and continues all the way through, and you just duck and roll with punches, because prayer is all you can do. Nothing in the physical realm will change the reality of things going wrong during these days. I just had one of those. I'm not going to go on about it and share all the crummy details (suffice it to say that the day started off with almost 3 hours at the health department).  I'm sure you may have very well had one of those days today too. I empathize with you. What I will do is relate my most recent conversation with H3. If you have met my daughter, you can imagine the vocal tones that go with this conversation. If you haven't met her, then imagine something sassy.

For dinner tonight, we had chicken and steamed green beans. I know they are not H3's favorite, so I told her that if she ate what I portioned for her and was still hungry afterwards, I'd heat up a bean burrito for her. Surprisingly, she did eat everything on her plate and a little while later came up to me.

"Momma, I want a burrito. No! Orange chips!" (A.k.a., Doritos that she knows are in the pantry at this house)

"I told you earlier that you could have a burrito. Orange chips are not on the menu tonight. You've had enough snack-type foods today."

"I want orange chips."

"If you are hungry, I'll make you the burrito."

"Orange chips."

"You may have the burrito, or you may have nothing if you aren't hungry."

"Orange chips."

"Burrito. Or nothing."

"I want orange chips."

"Last chance, burrito or nothing."

"Burrito." (Spoken in a bit of a sullen tone.)

I made the burrito, and I'd like to note that it was consumed on seconds. No more mention of orange chips. And we had a delightful time reading stories before bedtime.

Here's to surviving the day by the grace of my Savior! Now on to dealing with an aromatic diaper that just walked by....


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Dog Sitting and Banana Bread

First off, this is Moira, the dog that I'm watching. She is a chocolate lab. Isn't she sweet?  She's got a bone in her mouth at the moment, in case you're wondering.

Second, I made banana bread this morning. This particular loaf turned out a bit browner than usual on the outside, but it's still soft and the inside is perfectly decadent.  Can you smell it? Can you taste it? H4 just chowed her piece, along with some almond milk (yes, she has a milk allergy, though can tolerate small amounts in baked goods). Want the recipe?

Robyn's 'Nanner Bread (or that's what I'm calling it, since the recipe belongs to my friend)

2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3-4 ripe bananas, mashed
2 tbsp milk
1/2 cup oil
1 cup sugar
1 egg

Grease a large loaf pan. Mix all ingredients together and bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. Once you pull it out, spead a little butter over the top of the loaf. Enjoy!


Friday, July 12, 2013

H4 Turns One

Before I get to updating you on the rest of the summer, I wanted to post some pictures of H4's birthday before the date slips too far behind. She turned a year old on July 8th. We were blessed to spend the day in Ohio with my parents and H1's dad. The cake didn't turn out as pretty as I'd hoped it would, but apparently it tasted pretty good, so we'll take it, right?

The cake, homemade vanilla cake with whipped buttercream frosting

Checking out her piece

She dumped it on the table as soon as she got the plate

and proceeded to make a nice mess.

As you can see, a bath was in order between cake and present time.

Loving the bunny. This was mine when I was a little girl.

Apparently we are mostly thrilled with cards.

and bows. She pretty much ignored the presents themselves and
concentrated on wrapping paper and bows.

My parents and father-in-law with the girls

I had to throw this one in of H3

Dancing on the lawn

We had a very lovely birthday for my sweet H4. It's hard to believe that it's already been a year since she was born and we got to witness God's miracle. I'm so thankful to be the mother of these two girls. H3 is beyond amazing as a big sister and H4 adores her.  H4 is such a precious child who continues to delight us with her laughter and joyful personality. She smiles at everyone and greets them with the most hilarious close-eyed-open-mouth grin.


Morning Musings

To say that I need a couple follow-up posts to this one is probably an understatement. There are changes to H3's schooling to talk about, summer craziness, dietary changes, a trip to Ohio, and of course my sweet H4's birthday. And yes, tons of pictures too. I am currently needing to load those to my laptop so I can post them.

At the moment though, I'm house sitting. This morning finds me with a cup of tea at the kitchen table. H4 is nibbling on some Kix cereal at my right, and H3 is informing me that rain is water in a liquid state while ignoring her pop tart sitting at the table across from me.  

Last night I realized that at least a few of my lessons with H3 must have sunk in over the past year. She had a small brownie after dinner, then looked up at me and said "Mommy, I don't need any more desserts. I've had enough fats and sugars."  It would seem she was paying attention during my lessons on food groups!  Not that she has made the monumental decision that she will eat fruit (that's still the #1 enemy on her plate), but at least she does know that she should eat it!

Here is one pic I took of my girls while we were in OH. I'm hoping to get my brain in gear and get some more pictures and stories up soon. 

Blessings on your day!