Boys and Bugs

I have resigned myself to the knowledge that I will never understand the male mind. It is beyond me. Rarely am I floored when I have a conversation with my son, but yesterday was different. Here’s the gist of it:

“So, what happened again?” “I ate a dragonfly!” “Why?” “Because it was dead.” “Okay. How did you know it was dead?” “I killed it with my shoe.” “I see. So, you killed the dragonfly with your shoe, put it in your mouth and swallowed it.” “Yes.” “I guess I don’t understand why you would eat it. What made you decide to put it in your mouth?” “Well, I killed it and because there wasn’t any blood I knew it would be good to eat.”

Now, I spent several minutes fishing for more information, like the possible source for his new found wisdom. But, as the minutes ticked by I believe the look of horror on my face eventually shut him down. For better reference here, there are the pretty iridescent dragonflies and then there are the fat ugly brown ones. We are in the season for the latter, which is what he found to be so tasty.

Horrified and thoroughly stumped, I searched my parenting experience for what to do. I mean, what do I do with a boy who snacks on giant dragonflies? It really isn’t a punishable offense, and by all accounts dragonflies are technically edible. Along with roaches, grasshoppers and termites. Or so my helpful husband tells me.

later, I talked with my son about the possibility of this incident being an attempt to make  his siblings laugh. (It was my best guess.) He denied it, but I know there’s a comedian locked inside of there. We discussed how comedians earn money making people laugh and how laughter can bring healing to the soul. After affirming he was smart and already makes others laugh, I told him he did not need to be gross or yucky to do it.


Pray for them

Praying for wisdom today… perhaps someone you know could use a little more as well.

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.


Locust and Cricket Chermoula

For those of you who love to eat exotic foods diving into the delicacies of crickets and such, here is a recipe for you. Unfortunately, I am afraid I cannot personally recommend it as I have no intentions of ever trying it. I ate a cricket once at a missions dinner. The leg broke off and the spikes caught on my tongue and a friend had to help me remove it. Hopefully your experience is a better one.

  • 3 tsp vegetable oil
  • baby spinach
  • Crickets
  • lime juice
  • 1/2 cup Cilantro
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Butter, softened
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tsp Garlic
  • 1/4 tsp Cumin
  • Chili Powder, to taste

Chop Cilantro leaves and mix together with paprika, butter, salt, garlic, cumin and chili power and set aside.

To cook crickets, heat oil and add crickets. Stir until “spitting subsides.” Add the butter mixture until completely melted. Add spinach and toss until slightly wilted. Serve hot.

This is not my creation. For further clarification you can read it first hand at the FineDiningLovers website: https://www.finedininglovers.com/recipes/appetizer/cricket-recipe/.

 

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I said “yes”

There is a time and a season for everything. For me, summer is the time for “Yes.” For example:

Mommy, can I have a popcicle? -YES

Mommy, can we stay in our bathing suits all day? -YES

Mommy, can I play in the rain? -YES

You can imagine my answer when Esther said, “Mommy, can we have a kitten?” … That’s how Cupcake entered our lives today. What can I say? It’s summer.

We are not an animal rescue farm, but years ago I made a commitment. With Jesus being the Author of Life, it is my personal conviction to fight for life when it is within my power. In an effort to raise up children who will also value and fight for every life no matter how small, I said yes.

And you know what? I’m not sorry. The look on my daughters face was more than enough justification for that yes. 

All day Esther has been bathing her, naming her, cuddling her, moving her from indoors to outdoors and all kinds of other locations. Eventually, I had to put my foot down and say, “Sorry honey, you cannot sleep with her.” Welcome to the family Cupcake. You are already loved.


Pray for them

The myriad of life-giving choices and decisions are as different as the colors in a sunrise.  Whether it is small, every day choices or big life decisions, lets pray over our loved ones that they will be a source of God’s living water to those around them.

Lord, I ask that (Name) would be given a heart of humility and love. Please do not let (Name) “become conceited, provoking [others], envying [others].” Rather, I pray that (Name) will be a constant source of your living water that is both refreshing and life giving to all who encounter (him/her). In your name I pray, amen.  – Galatians 5:26

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


Chick-Fil-A

When it’s 5:30 and I am still on the road with still no dinner plan in sight, I’ll throw the kids into the car with me and go to Chick-Fil-A. Sometimes I feel like I am cheating, but I then I look in my rear view mirror and see them happily munching away. In my books, that’s a win. So, on this blog there is no shame for the nugget. Especially when it comes with sauce.

Just like riding a bike

This last week, on the fourth of July my oldest three learned how to ride their bikes without training wheels!

I honestly believe we were a little bit behind on this as parents, but these kids were SO ready. With just a few runs each, they took off like pros. The biggest struggle was learning how to start on their own, and how to push through their own disappointment when it took more work than they expected.

But I am so proud of my three musketeers! Now, every morning after breakfast I wait to find out who will say it first:

Who wants to go ride bikes with me?!

Tiny helmets and shoes on, they go flying out that back door as fast as their feet can carry them.

Of course, we’ve had to come up with some safety rules, like…

  1. Don’t drive your bike into anything including other bikes, fences, cars and animals. (Boys naturally try to crash into things I think it’s in their genetic makeup.)
  2. Yell “Coming up behind you!” before you pass someone.
  3. Don’t swerve when someone is passing.
  4. Don’t go near your sisters.
  5. Always wear shoes and helmets.

Rules for three new bikers probably looks different than a single rider.


Pray for Them

Letting go of control can be hard as a parent. As much as we want to see them succeed, it can be scary to cut the apron strings, or in our case, take off the training wheels. But, wisdom and understanding are both gifts from the Lord and are derived from experience self-learned or by watching others. At some point, you gotta let go and pray for wisdom and understanding.

Lord, let (Name) be blessed when (he/she) “finds wisdom, and [becomes] the one who gets understanding, for the gain from her is better than gain from silver and her profit better than gold.” In your name I pray, amen. – Proverbs 3:13-14

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


Snacks

There are two times a day that are set in stone at our house. If we miss them, it isn’t pretty. It’s usually on a Saturday when I drop the ball because Brian is home and I’ve the freedom to focus elsewhere. About 10:30 he frantically looks at our screaming children and says, “What just happened?” And I answer, “It’s probably 10:30.” To which I get a blank stare… “Snack time, love. Did they have a snack yet?”

So here is our family favorites:

  • Cheese Sticks – full fat.
  • Graham Crackers (Daddy puts Nutella on them, mommy doesn’t. I guess you can see who the favorite is here.)
  • Baby Carrots and Hummus
  • Something leftover from breakfast like a biscuit or a pancake.
  • Bananas, apples or oranges

I would love to hear what you have in your cornucopia! We could all use some fresh ideas.

Fun fact: Between the 7 of us, we go through 16 bananas a week. They range between $0.50-.60 per banana. A budget friendly option.

 

“Pacemaker”

There are so many names I use to describe my roll as a mom. In the height of our baby days, I often referred to myself as the “Family Pack Mule.” With 5 kids born in 3.5 years, I spent my days loaded down with all kinds of paraphernalia.

“Me” in the baby stage.

Now, with school days around the corner and both Brian and I embarking on new ventures, I am realizing I have taken on a new role. As keeper of the schedule, it is now my job to be the “Family Pacemaker.”

Before Fall rushes upon us, I like to take time to step back and fit together the puzzle pieces of our future schedule. It is way too easy to become that crazy, busy family that never has time to cook a meal and eat it. Always zipping from one appointment to another, I am already noticing those uninterrupted conversations between Brian and I are more elusive than ever. Last night I found myself thinking about our future Fall schedule (at 11pm… of course).

Families have a rhythmic heartbeat and maintaining that healthy pulse creates a thriving environment for kids and parents alike. (Truth is, if we aren’t thriving neither are they.) Every family is different and runs to the beat of their own drum. You’ll have to find your own “family pulse.”

Personally, as I look to the upcoming season in our lives I am realizing that we will soon need to make some hard decisions about which commitments God has called us to.

If it isn’t life-giving, it is life-sapping.

Saying no can be hard, and leaving a commitment is even harder. It is the heart of a servant to see a need and want to fill it. But, we see God’s best work when we stick the plan He has for us, not the plans everyone else has for us.

So, here is a word of encouragement to the Pacemakers who are hard at work creating a healthy, life-giving foundation for our families: Find the heartbeat. If it’s too fast, be bold and slow it down. We all need flexibility and down time in our lives. Since we will not magically wake up to it, it is up to us to evaluate and make changes.


Pray for them

Know someone who needs to step out of “busy” and into the plans God has prepared for them? Let’s pray for clarity and discernment.

Father, I give you praise for all you will do in and through (Name). I pray according to “your eternal purpose that [you have] realized in Christ Jesus our Lord” that (Name) will, in Christ, “have boldness and access with confidence [the wisdom of God] through [his/her] faith in [Jesus].” In the name of Jesus I pray, amen.   -Ephesians 3:11-12

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


Brisket

This was so easy it made my fingers tingle. Put a 3 pound frozen brisket (or roast) into a dutch oven and add these ingredients on top:

  • 1 12 oz can of beer
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 tsp chili paste (from the Asian isle)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • salt and pepper to taste

Pop the lid on top and put it into the oven. Set to 350 and let it roast for 3-4 hours. Check on it, cut into smaller pieces and let it roast for another hour. Once tender, shred and serve.

Artsy Fartsy

My dad has trademarked this phrase in my mind. Being a country boy through and through, he has always described the finer, more artistic side of life as “artsy fartsy.” Those of us who do have creative bones in our body have a better understanding of the need for creative expression.

Which is what led our family to Michaels. After my not-so-brilliant decision to have a “foot-loose and fancy-free” summer, the kids began to self-destruct. I don’t know about yours, but mine thrive on a schedule. I needed to redirect their energy and get their hands and minds engaged in something creative.

After a long, drawn out search for a creative (and affordable) outlet for the kids, we found Michaels! Michaels has a 7 week Camp Creativity that happens every Monday, Wednesday and Friday between 10-12. For one hour, at $2-5 per kid (depends on age), my kids can do something that engages their hands and minds. By the time we get ready, drive into town, create something and drive back, its lunch time. Which is what I call a “mom win.”

“G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S yeah”

Plus, I get to shop the store for a glorious hour. The girls are too young to join, so they go with me and we play with all we see. Aside from the pretend apple that now has Ruthie’s bite marks in it… (sorry Michaels, she was hungry), we haven’t had any casualties. Just lots of fun.


pray for them

We are creative because God is creative. His crowing achievement is us. He calls us his workmanship and He is always perfecting and creating new beauty in each of us. What a wonderful gift to look at a time in our life and say with distinction, “That is God’s thumb print.”

Father, make (Name) your “workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which [you] prepared beforehand, that [he/she] should walk in them.” In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.  -Ephesians 2:10

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

 


Garlic Parmesan Chicken

This was so good our dinner was quiet and usually I’m wishing for ear plugs.

Last night I used chicken legs instead of wings because they are more meat for your work, but you can use whichever you want.

  • 10-12 Chicken Legs
  • 6 Tbsp Butter (divided)
  • 1 Tbsp minced Garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered garlic
  • 1 tsp powdered onion powder
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 Tsp Pepper
  • 2 Tbsp Parmesan Cheese (Grated and divided)
  • 2 Tbsp Dried Parsley (divided)

Preheat oven to 400 and line a baking sheet with greased foil. In a mixing bowl, melt 4 tbsp of butter and add minced garlic, salt, pepper, Parmesan cheese and parsley. Roll raw chicken legs in the marinade and lay on them on the prepared baking sheet so they do not touch. Bake for 35-40 minutes turning chicken once half way through.

While baking, melt the remaining butter and add 1 tbsp powdered garlic, 1 tbsp Parmesan cheese, dried parsley and 1 tsp onion powder. When chicken is fully cooked, remove from oven and drizzle with the butter mixture. Serve immediately with lots of napkins.