I've had the cookbook Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld on my wish list since before my bday in October! A few of you faithful blog readers/lurkers have even picked it up on my suggestion, and others have discovered it for yourself. Anyhow, My sweet mom picked up a copy of it for me today!! I'm so excited to start sneaking veggies in my kids meals! Especially Jackeroo, he's a picky thing!
I think I'll make Sweet Potato Pancakes for breakfast! I already have some pureed in my freezer. I really can't wait to try the Blueberry bars that are loaded with spinach...I hear they are delicious! Thanks Mom!
Oh, and I WILL post my pics of my craft to my blog next week. I still have a few gifts to give to friends this week, and I don't want to wreck the surprise!
We had a really wonderful Christmas Eve/Day with my family. We did the traditional church service, then family time on Christmas Eve. Then we came home and crashed! Then we woke up Christmas morning with Hayden (Jack was still sleeping) and read the Christmas Story and prayed together. Then....we saw what Santa brought! Here's some pics of our time together...
Trying to get a family picture was nearly impossible... These are some of my favorite Christmas ornaments
My grandparents used to always give us kids an ornament. This is a sheep with a favorite scripture attached... H's preschool ornament J's first Christmas
And then there was Thomas...Hayden asked Santa for Thomas the Tank Engine...and he got it! As soon as he opened the box with trains in it...we lost him. He seriously played with the trains for about 8 hours yesterday, and first thing this morning he said, Can we get out the trains?
Today our pastor spoke about Christmas and how it's a story of rescue. God sending His precious Son to be our Rescuer. It was a really moving service today, I was in tears for much of it. I know alot of you probably heard it, but it would be worth visiting the church website and listening to if you missed it or live out of town.Click here to download the message.(it was 12/23/07)
In the end, Chris challenged us to think about what the Lord has rescued us from this year. They had little cards for everyone to fill out and hang on your tree, to remember what Christmas is about...God rescuing us. For some of us it's illness, poverty, depression...it could be anything. Here are mine...
I've been rescued from...
My sins.My self inflicted frustration and self pity. Sadness over family stuggles (Disappointment with Matt's broken family and healing for my brother and sister in law over lost babies). Strained/awkward relationships with family. Broken friendship. Financial challenges.
It was refreshing to give God credit and glory for the things He's accomplished in my life and the lives of people I love. It's exciting too, to realize that He's not only accomplished alot in us, but a lot of the things are still "works in progress" and he's just beginning to heal and complete things in, through, and around us. God continues to heal and bring joy in broken and hard situations.
Here's what I am celebrating...My heart/perspective have changed on life with my kiddos. My brother and SIL are expecting a healthy baby girl! My husband and I are free from the legacy of disfunction his family gave him. Expected babies in our family/extended family have given us a fresh start with some awkward relationships and given us much to celebrate together! We've had a door re-open for friendship with a friend we care deeply for, but have not been in contact with for a year and a half. God has brought us through the most financially difficult season of our marraige, and our marriage survived intact! We have many more things I'm sure...but those are my highlights!
Our God is so full of hope...He flings open windows in dark situations and floods them with Hope. I can't wait to see how He will work this coming year!
Care to share what the Lord has rescued you from this year?
My crafty friend Shannon is having a cool giveaway on her blog in honor of her 8,888th visitor! (She really is obsessed with the #8). You should really visit her blog and enter the contest...it's for a bracelet designed and made by Gems by George (her talented Mother in Law)
Shannon does lots of cool crafty things, and she'll even share how to do most of them, so you can steal her cute ideas!
Or at least we believe in going to the mall and sitting on Santa's lap, and taking the opportunity to bribe our kid to "be good so Santa will bring you a present!"
We took Hayden and Jack for the first time to see Santa. We've never taken Hayden, because we always thought he'd be scared of Santa...but we went for it on Saturday afternoon (I know...crazy to go to the mall on Saturday afternoon!)
But we actually didn't have to wait too long, and Hayden did great!! On the way there my sweet hubby was wanting to wager that Hayden would clam up and not say a word to Santa, but I didn't want to bet. Hayden did so great! He lit up when Santa reached for him to pull him onto his lap and really easily said, My name is hayden and I'm 3...When Santa asked him what he wanted, he said "I want Thomas the tank Engine!" (of course! I think Hayden believes he actually lives on the Island of Sodor...you have to know Thomas even know what that is!) I was so proud!! Although, we didn't really explain very well, that Santa doesn't give it to you right then...you have to wait for Christmas morning! So, he was a little dissappointed to walk away empty handed!
Jack wasn't too crazy about Santa, but tolerated him for a minute. It was fun!
It helped get me into the Christmas spirit that i"ve been lacking, to see Hayden suddenly be so aware of Christmas, and Santa, and Frosty and Baby Jesus...We also went to Peacock Lane to see the Christmas lights, which was fun.
I went home and wrapped up a bunch of my presents to put under the tree...i feel like now I'm almost ready for Christmas!
Jack turned one on friday. It's so bittersweet to me. This year has really flown by, much faster than Hayden's first year. I seriously can't believe he's one! We had a fun day, we went to Build A Bear and made him his first Teddy. It's sort of a tradition, we did it with Hayden too. Then we had a small family party on Sunday. Here's Jack showing his #1
And eating cupcake
In other news, Hayden has been throwing major fits lately (more like tantrums). He's never really done this but Matt has been gone alot lately and it seems to have popped up about that time. I think he's just demanding a little more attention. I really laugh out loud sometimes at it...he just really loses it! This is him DEMANDING chocolate (who doesn't want a little chocolate sometimes?)
Although, he still does show a sweet side. I got a new toy for my camera this week (thanks to Lee Ann's hubby tipping me off!)It makes my flash work alot better and so I played around a bit today on hayden...
That's it...Oh, I'm getting another bathroom added to my house! I'm excited...it will also be a laundry room, which I don't have right now. I"ll post pics tomorrow so you can see the progress. Nighty nite!
We always have gone and made the trek to our local tree farm to chop down our own tree. We don't have a lot of traditons for Christmas, but Matt and I have always forked out our 35-45 bucks for our pretty Noble Fir. This year, I've been thinking alot more about "being green". Cloth Diapering, wanting my own chickens, re-usable grocery bags...trying to use organic cleaning products...it's actually pretty trendy to be "green". So, this year i felt a little sad chopping down a tree and felt like it would probably be more green to have a fake tree and spare the world losing another tree. But, it turns out, the green thing to do is to have a real tree. If you care, here's a few links my friend gave me about Christmas Tree facts..
Here's some pics from our outing to Riley Creek Farm in LaCenter (the best deal on Nobles!)
This week is super crazy I feel like! 2 birthday parties, crafting my brains out for christmas ( I can't WAIT to post pics, but I have to until I give the presents or the surprise will be ruined!), and sew sew sewing for MOM's this week. My poor Christmas tree is still all bound up from the tree farm in the garage, waiting for some family time to put it up and decorate it!
Sorry I haven't posted much lately. Matt is full swing into bball coaching, and I'm finding it hard to sit down the to computer without him home too much. I REALLY can't wait to post my gifts I'm making...oh well, I just have to leave you on the edge of your seats waiting!
The great news is, I've been making those nursing covers (like Hooter Hiders) for awhile now, but gals are catching on and asking to buy them from me! I've sold 3 this week! That's partly what I'm sewing for MOm's too, for a fundraiser we're going to sell them. I"m praying about starting a little business, but I'm not sure I want to deal with the license, taxes...ugh. But, I do want to work for myself at home, so we'll see.
I made this cute placemat purse (inpired by Beckie of course!) for my friend Janette's bday and she LOVED it! And it seriously took about 30 minutes to make! By the way Target has tons of really cute placemats!! I stood there forever trying to decide on which would make the best purse...because so many of them would be good for it, and most were under $4. I already had the handles in my project box (they've been waiting for the perfect project for about 4 years now).
So Kohl's opened at 4 am today, and my mom and I decided to go for it. So we set the clock for 3:15 (so we'd have time to run through the 24 hr starbucks on our way). We hopped out of bed in an adrenaline rush of the great deals we knew we'd find. We threw our clothes on and were all ready to head out, when we looked at the clocks in the kitchen and realized....It was really 2:15 and the clock in my mom's room was off by an hour...dang! We were already all awake! So, we took our time getting to Starbucks (surprisingly alot of crazy people in line at 3am!) and Sat in the car in the Kohl's parking lot watching the crazy people stand in the freezing cold, waiting to get in. It was fun, we did find some good deals (Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders for $1.99 each!). We waited in line for well over an hour to pay for our items!! But, of course they have cleverly put many displays of good deals all the way to the register, so we continued to shop all the way there.
We had fun...not sure we'll do it again next year. Happy "black friday"...anyone know why it's called that? Maybe because businesses get their finances out of the red and back into "black" due to all of the money they make today!
Well, today was no good. But I really believe God is changing me (thank goodness!), because typically I would've lost it a few hours ago. But, my sanity is hanging in there and I actually made it through bed time, by myself!
So, Jack's been kinda crummy feeling for a week and a half. Weird poop, runny nose, hacking and coughing...today I called the doc. Took him in and sure enough....First ear infection. Meanwhile in the docs office, Hayden starts saying his tummy hurts. I don't really believe him, he's been saying this kind of thing more often lately, not really serious.
We proceed to Walgreens drive thru to pick up Jack's antibiotics that the doctor so nicely called in for us. It's not ready, come back in 15 they say. I'm literally pulling out and Hayden starts crying hard...my tummy hurts! and blahh...vomit. Lots and lots of vomit. Nasty. So, pull over and try to contain the mess and comfort him.
He seems to be feeling much better, playing as usual. This is a super duper long day for Matt...7am-10ish pm, so I"m totally on my own. I think I'm missing my friends Bachelor Finale party unless Matt suprises me and gets home early. But...I made myself some cookies to eat while I watch it alone...how bad can that be? Me and a plate of cookies...sounds like a good date to me!
So you've heard my grumblings. My frusterations with motherhood...the mommy meltdowns. Well, this weekend I've had one of those Ah-ha! moments.
I attended a Young Lives coordinators weekend last night and this morning (For those of you who don't know, Young Lives is Young Life-a Christian youth ministry- for teen moms). Anyhow, I'm not a coordinator, but am praying along with my best pal Selene about if God is leading us down that road. Anywho, not my point...I'm sort of convinced God may have had me there for one reason. To hear the devotions led by a couple of gals. It was short and sweet and cut to the heart of me.
As you've heard me rant...I've been struggling through this "season" of motherhood. I'm feeling lost, unproductive in my life in general, aggitated, impatient with my kids...like I've kind of lost me (cuz, this is all about me, right? JK). It's this odd feeling of working all the time, but NOTHING getting done. My house is a mess, my kids act like crazies in public, like I'm not doing anything significant for the Lord. Anyhow, this gal was sharing a devotional. The scripture was from 1 Chronicles 4:23 "And these were the potters, and the ones who dwell among the plants and hedges. There they dwelt with the king, for his work".
I'm just going to quote the devotional taken from the book Streams in the Dessert by LB Cowman, which I also happen to own but haven't ever made it through the book. This is from Nov 12th.
We may dwell "with the King for his work" anywhere and everywhere.We may be called to serve him in the most unlikely places and under adverse conditions. It may be out in the countryside, far away from the King's many activities in the city. Or it maybe "among plants and hedges" of all kinds-hindrances tha t surround us, blocking our way. perhaps we will be on of the "potters", with our hands full of all types of pottery, accomplishing our daily tasks.
It makes no difference! The King who place us "there" will come and dwell with us. The hedges, or hindrances, are right for us, or He will quickly remove them. And doesn't it stand to reason that whatever seems to block our way may also provide for our protection? As for the pottery-it is exactly what He has seen fit to place in our hands and is for now "his work".
Brightly colored sunsets and starry heavens, majestic mountains and shining seas, fragrant fields and fresh cut flowers are not even half as beautiful as a soul who is serving Jesus out of love, through the wear and tear of an ordinary, unpoetic life.
WOW. I felt like she was talking directly to me! Ah-ha! This IS what God wants me to doing. HE will be right here dwelling with me as I learn to serve Jesus out of love by loving my kids! He thinks my ordinary unpoetic life is beatiful if I'm focuse on loving him by serving my family.
As someone who's been involved in "ministry" all of her adult life, I have felt like I'm spinning my wheels this past year. I just haven't felt like I'm really serving the Lord. I have had to step out of high school ministry which I love, because it just wasn't working with our family. I realized I"ve been feeling really inconvenienced by this stage of my life. How selfish am I? sheesh. Going anywhere is difficult, having a simple phone conversations is nearly impossible...Honestly, I've felt "hindered" by my kids. Don't get me wrong. I LOVE my kids. I enjoy my kids. I've just not been able to figure out to find that internal satisfaction and balance. It just really hit me today. I am a potter, with hands full of tasks...tasks that He has seen fit to put in my hands...HIS WORK. I do feel that "wear and tear" but if my soul is lined up towards Jesus, loving him, my ordinary mundane life is exactly where he wants me and he is pleased with what I'm doing. What a peace that struck me this morning. I feel a huge sense of relief. Thank You Lord for loving me even though it takes me a while to get it!
I love free stuff. I'm cheap, I'll admit it. So I get a total buzz out of getting a stellar deal. Here's what i got today for 35 cents (+tax).
Here's how: Safeway had a Buy one get one free sale on the shampoo and cond. plus I had coupons...if you care, read below to see where I got my coupons.
LOreal Vive Pro Nutrigloss BOGO + BOGO coupon Valassis 9/23 + $1 off coupon V 9/23= I made $1 LOreal Vive Pro Body & Style BOGO + BOGO coupon Valassis 9/23 + $1 off coupon V 11/4+ I made $1 LOreal Vive Pro Body & Stle BOGO + $1 off coupon boodle.com= $3.99 So, 3.99-my $2 credit +Safeway doubler (another $2 off)= 6 Freebies! Yay!
Walmart, Children's Tylenol (reg 5.49) and infant tylenol (4.88)-2 printable $5 off coupons+ 35 cents plus tax!
I'm still not brave enough to go in and only get my freebies. I bought some other groceries at Safeway so I didn't feel like a moocher.
This is what my hubby asked me today in that nice, concerned voice. As in..."Are you going to lose it one of these days?"
Sweet and kind...trying to say it nicely. aaahhhh. He said he wonders if I'm happy sometimes. I said, sometimes I wonder that too! I could't help but laugh a little...but deep down I know this is a challenging "season"...I hope it's just a season.
Jack REFUSES to go to sleep on his own. Yesterday morning I decided..."today is the day kid, you're going to have to cry it out". An hour and a half later...he was still screaming. I pick him up and 30 seconds later, he's asleep. What a STINK! last night, Hayden had a major freak out...screaming kicking...I think he was awake, but you never know. He could've been dreaming. He was just acting like he was throwing a major fit!
Then Jack decided to wake up and hang out from about 2-4 am. Ugh. That does not make me happy! I really appreciate my husbands sensitivity to it...he's really good about understanding. And letting me have space.
And, I am happy. Just not in the gushy mushy happy kind of way. More in the, "I'll laugh when I look back at it" kind of way. Make sense? This month has been tough on me. I'm tired physically and emotionally. I'm trying to gear myself up for basketball season (mid Nov-Feb) where i know my husband's availablity will be scarce.
I was just reading in Hayden's scrap book from stuff when he was born...it said, "You were so calm and sweet right from the start". HA! What happened to THAT kid? I do love him. When it's good, it's really good. When it's not, it's really not. That's it. Sorry if I sound depressing! Just venting.