Her First Visit

This week also turned another page for us: the Tooth Fairy’s very first visit. Not too long ago I received an email alerting me to the upcoming milestone of kids losing their first tooth, and probably 3 weeks after receiving it, Esther tells me at dinner that her tooth hurts. Sure enough. After dinner I investigated and found a wiggly tooth. There is something awesome about it.

Obviously, as a kid I went through losing mine and still remember what it felt like. My dad would suggest tying a string to it and a door knob and slamming the door shut… um no. I did not to that to her. We patiently wiggled it for two days and then when she chickened out, asked me to pull it. So here is the cutest little girl ever, with her first gap in her smile and a new lisp that comes with it.

I was reminded of the awe of losing baby teeth. Walking my eldest through her first loose tooth gave me a fresh wonder and joy for life that I am grateful for.


Pray for them

Father, I pray in accordance with Ephesians “that words may be given to [Name] in opening [his/her] mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which [Name may become] an ambassador in chains, that [Name] may declare it boldly, as [he/she] ought to speak.” In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.  – Ephesians 6:19-20

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Book review: A Rebel Heart

Beth White is one of my favorite authors. She writes historical Christian fiction and brings to life eras long gone. Ways of life we only imagine, she brings out the truth and adventure found in it.

She does nothing less with A Rebel Heart. Set in the years post civil war, Beth White focuses in on the struggles of two young women, sisters who survived the ravaging of their home and are determined to rebuild. With twists, and suspense the story unfolds. I highly recommend Beth White’s new book a Rebel Heart. 

To read more of the book review, click here.

 

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Big girls

This last week was been the week all my precious girls blew through milestones. Today, I’ll focus on the girls.

Brian and I were anticipating a wonderful date night out. We had all the kids in bed and I was finishing my final touches on my eyelashes (which rarely get recognized anymore) when I heard the pitter patter of little feet in the hall way. Someone was out of bed… again. So I turned the corner expecting to see someone trying to sneak a peek at their Grandma, when I see my baby girl tittering down the stairs with a huge “I did it” grin on her face.

Gracie had finally mastered the last obstacle to her crib and was a free bird flitting around the hallways and proudly making her entrance down the stairs. She was absolutely adorable. We discussed toddler beds. Because as cute as it is to see her climbing around, it wasn’t safe. So, the next morning we gave the girls what they were long ready for.

Sometimes its just too hard to climb in.

For a moment I mourned the cribs. And with the cribs went the baby gates. It’s all been a part of our home for 5 years now. But, gosh the freedom! They have their own bunny clocks and stay in bed until bunny wakes up. It took them some practice, but they got it. Now they cruise down the stairs ready for breakfast. It’s the cutest thing.

 


Pray for them

Lord, I place (Name) into your hands. Grow (him/her) into a (man/woman) of godly character and strong faith in Jesus Christ. For “I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in [Name] will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” In your name I pray, amen.  – Philippians 1:6

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Spinach and Sun Dried Tomato Omelette

We needed something savory for breakfast. So I tried something new…

  • 4 eggs beaten
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 4 chopped sun dried tomatoes
  • 2 Tbsp ricotta cheese
  • salt & pepper to taste

Over medium-high heat saute spinach and sun dried tomatoes together with olive oil until spinach is wilted. Set aside.  Beat eggs and milk together. Reduce heat to medium and pour in egg and milk mixture. When they begin to appear cooked on the bottom, add spinach and tomatoes to one side of the eggs and top with ricotta cheese. Add salt and pepper. Gently fold the eggs over the spinach and turn off heat. Allow time for the cheese to melt and the remaining eggs to cook. Serve hot.

New Territory

My kids are moving into this sense of self awareness that has just been taken to a new level. Some of you with older kids are probably laughing because you have been through it.

For example, the kids never liked it when I corrected their behavior. But now… now they KNOW just how they feel about it. In what seems like over night, I have caught them in various forms of expressing their opinions about it. Of course, they always hope I don’t see it. I guess no one has told them yet that I have eyes in the back of my head.

Here’s an edited quick list of the lovely behaviors I have encountered in just this last month. (I am told by other mom friends that I am not alone in this, which has brought some measure of peace to my heart.)

Gabe stuck his tongue out at me when I told him to let Gracie sing her song. Of course, he didn’t intend on getting caught.

Micah took a swing at a nearby book when Daddy decided that the game was done and he had lost fair and square. Sportsmanship. Such a hard lesson to learn.

Esther stuck her fingers in her ears to block out my “loud” lecture (yes, I do raise my voice from time to time – we are not perfect over here). And the list literally goes on.

Sometimes I find myself wondering what just happened. Now I am realizing though that its age and maturity at it’s height of immaturity. The more familiar they become with their feelings and thoughts the more expressive they become. I am trying to keep perspective. They are young and immature and I have to teach them that this behavior too is not a appropriate response. You can imagine how that goes over. There are times we all just need to cool down before that talk happens. There are also times I wish I was Iron Man with the ability to blast myself into another realm.

Parenting is hard work. I love my little squirts and I want to see them grow up into mature adults who can communicate their feelings and empathize with others. Modeling that is probably the best way. That and a few lessons from Christ and his ability to rise above the foolishness. Currently I have Bible verses posted all over the house reminding me to be slow to anger and abounding in love. Because I do believe there is victory found in abiding in His word. My favorite one is from 2 Samuel, as it says, “your gentleness has made me great.”


Pray for them

Lord, I pray that (Name) will quickly understand “the fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” I pray that (he/she) would not be counted among the “fools [who] despise wisdom and instruction.” Rather, let (Name) love the union of wisdom and discipline. May (he/she) rejoice in your discipline allowing it to develop (his/her) character. I praise you Father, for what you are working within (Name) and I pray according to your Word asking for it to be brought to completion. In your name I pray, amen.   – Proverbs 1:7

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Bulgar Wheat Breakfast

Want to change up the traditional oatmeal? Try cooking bulgar wheat. It has a nice nutty flavor to it.

  • 1 cup Bulgar wheat
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 cup raisins
  • 1/8 cup flax seed
  • dash of cinnamon
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla

Bring to a boil bulgar, water and salt. Add flax seeds, raisins, and coconut oil and cinnamon. Simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from heat and add in vanilla. It makes a lot, so put whatever is left in the refrigerator and use it the next day.

Tea Time

Just before she graduated preschool, on her last helper day, I took Esther to a tearoom where we met her preschool best friend and her mom. We had so much fun. This was a new experience for Esther to have a friend at the table other than her brothers.

This tearoom experience was even more fun for them because they brought the girls their raspberry tea in a cute little tea pot with cups and saucers (even though the tea was cold). The girls felt like they were so big, having tea just like adults.

We try to do this with the kiddos from time to time, where we take one for special time out with mommy or daddy. They absolutely love the attention. In a home of seven people, two cats and a dog…special time is not an easy find. So, every now and again we make some room in the schedule and budget.


Pray for them

Father, according to James 3, I ask for your heavenly wisdom and understanding to be upon (Name) all the days of (his/her) life.  “By [his/her] good conduct let [him/her] show [his/her] works in the meekness of humility.” I ask specifically for the “wisdom from above [which] is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere. And a harvest of righteousness [to be] sown in peace by [(Name), who makes] peace.” In the name of Jesus, I ask these things, Amen.    – James 3:13, 17-18

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Green Smoothie

Last month I decided I would change some things up. This coming Friday is my birthday and these bones aren’t getting any younger! I figure I cannot keep eating toddler food all day long (Ritz crackers, peanut butter and honey, ham and cheese, chips, cereal…) without consequence. I am changing around my eating habits, (thanks mostly to the Beachbody plan) and replacing my peanut butter and jelly sandwiches with a protein smoothie every day.

Blend until smooth:

  • 6 green grapes
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 3 cubes fresh pineapple
  • 1 Tbsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/4 cup coconut milk
  • several ice cubes
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein

This was so delicious. I feel lighter on my feet and have more energy for eating healthier. Maybe I should play Tim McGraw’s My Next Thirty Years as background music. And yes, I go to bed earlier too.

 

 

Boys will be boys

They have grown up about 2 years since this picture, but I just had to bring it back to do a post that highlighted our boys today. Because boys are awesome and I love mine. There is nothing they love better than being loud. Except maybe being outside with their daddy’s tools misusing them for their own purposes, which usually includes hammering… hammer unnecessary.

Micah

Micah loves all things red and all things that have to do with transportation. Helicopters, backhoes, firetrucks, police cars, race cars, boats… you name it this boy has a sound for it. If you took a ride with us in the car you would frequently hear me say, “Micah turn your siren off in the car. You can turn it back on when we are outside.” Which he does, as loud as his high pitched voice can go.

Gabriel is the other expression of pure boy. Anything in his hands is ammunition for whacking, hitting, hammering, smacking… you name it this boy will thrash it until it is pulverized. (Animals and siblings are off limits.) He lives for outside and he doesn’t stop moving. He has two speeds: fast and faster. He frequently runs while looking behind him which probably explains the bloody lip he earned today.

They both are 100% male. Sometimes I have a hard time reconciling it with my personal cravings for neat, clean and quiet. When I feel my nerves beginning to unravel I either send them outside or put tissues in my ears. It’s a self preservation thing. One day, I know, I will be sitting in the silence of my home remembering the days when I craved silence. All too soon this season will pass so I embrace the sirens, the bloody noses and pulverized plants and know that this continues for but a short time and that the hostas will return again next year in their full glory.

My boys have their sweet sides too. Micah snuggles with me for as long as I want during a movie (his choice). Gabriel paints with me and I love seeing his face light up when his creative heart beholds all the colors to choose from. They can’t read yet, so here’s my secret: they can be in the biggest trouble ever, but the moment I hear them say, “I’m sorry Mommy, I love you.” all my fire is gone. Because I just love my little men.


Pray for Them

Lord, I lift up (Name) and I pray that (he/she) would become a (man/woman) who is “strong [in whom] the word of God abides… and [who has] overcome the evil one.” In Jesus’ Name, amen.  – 1 John 2:14

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Book Review: The Theory of Happily Ever After

The Theory of Happily Ever After by Kristin Billerbeck has a very interesting plot, with a scientist who recently published her findings on happiness. However, she is most unhappy. Though on top of the world, after a personal setback, Maggie Maguire loses her focus and questions all the choices in her life. When her friends drag her onto a singles cruise, she learns the meaning of true love and finds the direction she needs to refocus her efforts and continue forward with her life’s work.

Click here to read more of the Book Review: The Theory of Happily Ever After.

Strawberry Fields

Twenty minutes north of our house is a field of 36,000 plants of delicious, organically grown strawberries. They let you come in and pick your own at $2.50/pound (eating as many as you can on the spot for free of course!).

The kids had strawberry juice dripping off their chins and running down their elbows. They had a blast. We picked about 40 pounds and it was a perfect morning. Right now those strawberries are resting in my deep freeze ready and waiting to be made into smoothies, strawberry shortcakes and strawberry jams.

We learned about what they look like ripe and when they are still growing. We learned that strawberries do not ripen after they are picked, so an unripe strawberry off the vine will stay that way. We learned that Grace and Ruth will take one bite from each strawberry they pick and then put it into the basket. We learned that if I time it just right, I can come and get their old plants for my own garden at the end of the season when they clear them out. WOO HOO!!

What a great way to spend the morning. If you are looking for a fun thing to do with your kiddos, I suggest you find out what fruit is in season and go pick it for yourselves! It is so much more fun than the grocery store, you get only the best, for those of us who are budget minded it is much more economical, and most importantly  you can make some great memories with your family.  Win-win-win-win!

P.S. Don’t judge us by our clothes. It had rained the night before!


Pray for Them

Of course… there is always a good teaching lesson to be found here as well!

Lord, create in (Name) a heart of “good soil,” so that when the kingdom of God is sown into (him/her), (Name) will be “the one who hears the word and understands it. [May (Name)] indeed [be one who] bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.” In your holy name I pray, amen.  – Matthew 13:23

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Book Review: Adamant

This may be one of the best books written by Lisa Bevere because the message is so prevalent to today’s church. There are some difficult truths to be discovered here, but they are truth none the less. It is amazing how difficult it can be to discern truth in a culture that lives in various shades of grey.

….to continue reading this book review, please read it here on Book Review: Adamant.

 

No Longer a Preschooler

My girl graduated her preschool this May. As I look at my girl in her dress and her heels and I cannot believe that just five years ago she was a baby in my arms as we were preparing to move across the nation. She wouldn’t take a pacifier so I found myself driving down the road with my arm cramping from strange contortions as she nursed my pinky to go to sleep.

Now she is smart and sassy. Quick to learn and lead others in new games. I watched her invite her shy classmates to play and stand up to those who weren’t playing fair. She has an insatiable thirst for stories and spends her car rides now counting to 100, sounding and spelling new words and asking deep questions about life.

She is my first of five and now that we edge into the school years I know it will all go so fast as the next four go through life in sets of two. This precious time at home when my babies are young is quickly coming to a close.

Part of me is happy. I mean, I could probably calculate the number of diapers I’ve changed these last 5 years but it would terrify us all. Before we left Colorado I had 3 in diapers averaging 743 diapers a month. When we moved again we had 4 in diapers and I lost count. Now I’m down to two and if these girls are anything like their big sister they won’t be in them for long. Part of me is ready to embrace this new phase, but man, these days are precious.

The purity of this time of life… no pretensions, no masking of emotions. Never have I had to question who is sick, sad, mad or happy. It is written all over their unguarded expressions.

The future is a little scary to me. For now, I decide the level of activities we involve ourselves in. Yet, I know in the near future I will not hold them back from trying new things either. And where will that lead us? Track meets? Art shows? Dance competitions? A busy schedule full of life.

Esther is only the first to move on to school, but I find myself already beginning to grieve the close of this chapter. We maybe have a couple more years in this season and then it’s gone. Better to soak it in and appreciate it for all that it is.

Treasure the sloppy kisses, the chubby awkward run of toddlers and the sounds of my kids playing in the yard going down the slide for the hundredth time.


Pray for them

Father, let (Name’s) faith grow into maturity as “Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets – who through faith… were made strong out of weakness.” For your “grace is sufficient for [Name], [and your] power is made perfect in weakness.” In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.  – Hebrews 11:32-34, 2 Corinthians 12:9

Prayers taken from the BiblicalPrayers mobile app. Download today on the App Store or Google Play store.


Venison Burgers

Last Fall I decided I was tired of paying an arm and a leg for healthy meat. So I shot a buck. That’s right. This Momma can bring home the proverbial bacon and fry it up too. So here is my recipe for a delicious venison burger:

  • 1.5 lbs Ground Venison
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbs Worcestershire Sauce

Thaw the meat and mix it thoroughly with the above spices. Make into patties and poke a hole in the center of the burger (this prevents shrinking). Grill to perfection and enjoy it the way you like. I think this is really good with a slice of cheddar cheese melted on top with BBQ sauce and pickles. It is also very good as a blue cheese burger. Or a Swiss and mushroom burger. Well… it’s just a good burger.