Friday, December 17, 2010
My middle daughter, Alaina is by far the most sensitive of my three girls. She always has been. Even when she was a baby you didn't have to spank her when she disobeyed. Just a look and a raised voice was enough to send her crying because she didn't want to be in trouble. I love that about her. It is what makes her unique and amazing to me. It makes me want to be more like her. I am the opposite. I naturally put on a "tough" and stubborn front.
The other day she and I were in the kitchen preparing dinner. She was sitting on the stool and I was standing by the sink behind her. We weren't really having any kind of conversation when out of the blue she turns around to me and says:
"Mommy, how come you are the bestest mommy ever?"
I was completely shocked! It took me a second to respond to her and I said "you think I am the bestest mommy ever, huh?!" She shook her blonde little head yes and I was just bursting with love! I told her that she had to come over and give mommy a big hug! She stood up and I hugged her and just kissed her cute little face. I told her that I just loved her so much and she was so special to me.
These are the moments I am going to miss in just a few short years when my girls grow up to become beautiful young women. I try to savor the moments when they are not fighting or crying or begging for just ONE MORE piece of candy.
Thank you Lord for giving me the blessing of my beautiful family and for giving me a little girl who shows me some of the things I should strive to become. It is humbling to look up to a five year old girl.
Tuesday, November 30, 2010
I am so thankful for my husband. He is truly the one for me. He puts up with me when he probably shouldn't and he loves me for who I am even though I don't deserve it. My dad has told me for a long time that I am spoiled when it comes to how much he does for me. I know that it's true. Not many men these days will help out around the house and get you a refill at a party without even asking. He does! He is the best father to my girls that I could ask for. He loves them so much and it is so apparent. They can go about every single day KNOWING that they have a father who loves them unconditionally. He doesn't just say it, he shows it. What a blessing he has been to me and my family!
Monday, November 29, 2010
I am truly not much of a baker. I don't normally make cookies for my family because I find the constant need for attention that a cookie requires quite tiresome. I have children that constantly need attention and adding cookies to that list just doesn't thrill me. But the holidays are a different story. I want my kids to grow up with wonderful memories of their mom baking holiday cookies in the kitchen. I want those familiar smells to be in their memories forever. I love thinking back to the days as a kid when we sat down with the colored icing and iced cookies and ate icing until we were sick!
So, this weekend started the first of my Christmas cookie baking. I decided to try a new recipe that sounded fabulous that I found on this blog. I am so glad that I did! These cookies are like tiny pieces of pumpkin pie with an amazing icing on top! I got the recipe and the method for royal icing from the same website.
This is my first time using royal icing, so my piping skills are a little shaky, but I must admit that I gave myself a little pat on the back for a job well done after it was all over and I could admire all of my hard work!
My favorite place to shop for all of my baking needs is Mott's Greenhouse and Old Mill Bulk Foods here in my little corner of Ohio. I love the prices and the availability!
When I first started mixing up my dough, I didn't think it was going to cream together well since my butter wasn't super soft when I started, but after a few minutes in the mixer, it came together nicely and I was ready to add the dry ingredients.
After mixing it all together, I rolled the dough up in saran wrap and chilled it for an hour and it ended up being the perfect consistency for rolling and cutting.
I floured my board and my rolling pin well so that none of the dough stuck.
Cutting and baking both went extremely well and the cookies came out nice and brown on the outside while still being somewhat chewy in the center.
After the cookies completely cooled, I was able to use my new icing method and pipe around the edges of the cookies and then flood the centers without a problem. It went fairly quickly after I got the hang of it!
I let the cookies sit to dry overnight and then the next day I decorated them.
I had so much fun! I already have two more balls of dough chilling in the fridge to make some more! Next time, I think I will invest in some extra decorating tips, though, so I am not constantly cleaning out bags and putting new icing colors in!
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Today I am thankful for wood. Just wood. It is the simple natural resource that is so abundant and so wonderfully multi-functional. I love it! I love that it is the thing that is warming our home during these cold winter months that are soon going to be upon us. I love that it is free! I love that we have a FABULOUS family that took an entire month of Sundays and helped us cut it all up. Wood is also beautiful inside of my home. It makes things natural and rustic and has helped this to home remain standing since 1919! The beautiful trim around my windows, floors and all of the natural wood doors help make my home what it is. Seeing something that is so wonderful, useful, and durable makes me also thankful that there is a glorious God that created it all. He is amazing and I am in awe all that He has created.
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
I have to thank my friend, Christina, for introducing me to my new favorite website. I have been scouring this site for days reading over great homemade, unprocessed recipes and tips. I haven't even scratched the surface of what this site has to offer!
On Tuesdays they do this thing called(obviously, since it is right here in this blog post) Gratituesday. We have the opportunity to post what we are thankful for and then link back to their website so that you can read about all of the wonderful things in others' lives as well.
So, on my very first Gratituesday post I am going to say that I am so so thankful for my kids. They are what makes me complete. I can hardly even remember my life without them and quite frankly, I wouldn't want to have a life without them either! Sure, they can push my buttons on some days and just about wear on my very last nerve on others, but they are such great kids overall. They are loving and intelligent and I am so lucky to be their mother. Their lives have shown me just how much I can love another person. They have shown me an amount of dedication that I never knew I had. Every night before I go to sleep, I spend a few minutes just thanking God for the beautiful family He has given me and pray for another great day to come. I am sure that I could write an entire novel about how great my life is, but I won't. I will just end by saying that God truly knew what He was doing when he blessed us with three kids. Thank you, Lord!!
Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!
Monday, November 1, 2010
We met with the landlord today and paid first and last month rent and we now have the keys! Marvin has to work late this evening, so after the baby leaves we are going to head out to the store and pick up a few things and then head over to clean up the apartment and get things situated. Janet is really excited, and I am excited for her!
Wish us all luck.....this is a big change!
Sunday, October 31, 2010
And there are so many things to think about! Who is the best candidate? Are there any good candidates at all? Should we just pick the lesser of two evils? Who should we be considering while voting....ourselves, or the state/country as a whole? So many things to consider!
Our small group has been doing a lot of research on the candidates and thank the Lord that we have a WONDERFUL couple in our group that are extremely knowledgeable on how the government works and who does what within it. They have been a wealth of knowledge for all of us! As a group we have prayed much about the upcoming elections. We have asked the He show us who to vote for and we have also prayed for those currently in office. It is in the Bible that we need to pray for our government officials. God will never put anyone in office that isn't supposed to be there even if we don't understand it at the time!
1 Timothy 2:1-2 (New International Version)
1I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for everyone— 2for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness
I have also seen MANY people say that they don't vote according to religious convictions. They vote according to the issues affecting our country now. Well, I have to say that "I" feel that if we don't vote according to what is right, good and holy, then how do we expect our country to flourish? A Godless country is one that is susceptible to failure. I think that our voting should have EVERYTHING to do with God's commands and what is right in His eyes. We need to see how these candidates voted when it comes to the definition of marriage, abortion and many other things. Do not get me wrong, I am ALL ABOUT fighting socialized medicine, fighting gun control, and many other things that threaten our nation. I think those are just as important as moral issues. I just pray that everyone who goes out to vote on Tuesday has done their homework and knows who they are voting for and why.
In the next two days, I urge everyone to pray with me. Pray hard that we are shown the direction we need to take. Pray that those who DO get into office do a good job at running our country. Pray Pray Pray.
Here is an interesting link that I found today while doing some research. It is very clearly in both the new and old testament showing that not only does it apply to people following very strict rules as in the old testament before the new covenant, but in the new testament as to how we are to live today.
Here is another great link.
As Michaela has gotten older I have learned a few things about her. She is a lot like me. A lot more than even I expected her to be. She is extremely independent and wants to understand whats going on. "Because I said so" isn't a good enough reason to make her do something. She wants it to make sense in her head, too.
Her and I had been butting heads for weeks. I would punish and she would react negatively. I wondered if she was looking for attention even if it was negative since I was babysitting and three days a week much of my time is devoted to someone else's little girl. I couldn't understand why she was fighting me on the littlest things and why she was reverting back to an almost toddler-like reaction to things. She would occasionally lay on the floor and cry over things that she felt were unfair. It seemed so out of the norm for her as well as most other girls her age. I also realize that there are other big changes going on in our home. One of those big changes is, of course, our niece moving out onto her own. So I thought that maybe she just wasn't able to verbalize her feelings.
I decided one night to just pray. I just prayed that the Lord would show me how to parent her in a positive way. I asked that he show me how to react to her and how to speak to her. I wanted to know that I was doing the right thing by her and not somehow leaving a negative impact on her life. That was when He showed me what to do. I didn't realize it at the time, but sometime between when I said that prayer and the next day, He had opened up my eyes.
The next day we were set to begin on a new battle. She wasn't doing what I was asking her without a fight and it was like someone was speaking to me telling me to just explain myself to her. It was so clear in my mind. I needed to calmly call her over to me, explain what I wanted done and why it needed to be done. To my surprise......no argument! She wasn't thrilled about folding the laundry, but she did it. And to top it off, about thirty seconds after she started folding, she was totally over the irritation she had over it. She was smiling and doing the work without question or argument. I was amazed!
I know to some mothers, getting their kids to do chores without complaint might be simple. That is NOT the case here. I was constantly arguing and getting upset over their reactions. It was a battle more times than not to get them to do something that they felt was an inconvenience to them. I pray that most mothers don't have to go through this, but I know that I am asking waaayyy too much for that to happen.
So, for the last week, when I have needed Michaela for something, or want her to explain something to me, I have just calmly spoken to her without a raised voice, explained my situation and our results have been phenomenal! I have been waiting for this maturity for a long time and I realized that I needed to look at myself first. I needed to realize that I had to change my attitude and demeanor before I could EVER ask a seven year old to do so.
I am so thankful to have a heavenly Father who will answer me when it is prayed according to His will. I am in awe of every time He answers my prayers even when I don't deserve them. What an amazing God we serve!
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
I call on you, O God, for you will answer me; give ear to me and hear my prayer.
Monday, October 25, 2010
Sunday, October 24, 2010
I am always in awe when I see how things all come together when you trust that it will all happen according to God's plan and not ours. Many already know that we have had custody of our niece for five years. We have had MANY ups and downs along the way. She was 14 when she came to us and she will be 20 in two months! I can hardly believe that we made it this far! Originally we planned on keeping her with us until graduation and then we decided to keep her in an internship for an extra year. That was over in June. We have been job hunting ever since. Marvin and I have talked a lot about the next step and it just fell in our laps over the weekend! I told Janet to call about an apartment on Friday and we went and looked at it on Saturday and it was just what we were looking for! It is a small studio only about five minutes from our house. We can still be involved while letting her be an adult and on her own. She will be able to get to the grocery store on foot or on bike within just a few minutes and only about 10 minutes to bike to our house. She can still do her laundry here and I will be able to help her with her bills and some of the other things that she will need help with. It is first step of many and I am excited to take it!
Friday, October 15, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Facebook is a wonderful concept which allows us to keep up on everyone we know and even some people we don't. While this has MANY benefits, I have also discovered that it gives people the ability to hide in the comfort of their own homes all the while complaining about anything and everything without thinking about the consequences. In my personal opinion, people should not go onto social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace and complain about family. It seems to be just tacky and rude.
Don't get me wrong. I have done my fair share of venting about things that annoy me, but I try to be as discreet as possible when posting on my news feed. If someone wants more information it is easy to personally inbox them with the appropriate information.
I am saying all of this to lead up to the fact that Facebook also allows you to see why God doesn't really let you choose your family. They can be irritating, annoying or just plain selfish and their inability to stay out of the spotlight allows all of these wonderful character flaws to show up for the world to see. I am coming to realize that if I had the opportunity to pick my family there would be a select few that I would be swapping out for newer models. But since this is not an option, I am given no choice but to love them despite their flaws.
I beg everyone, please keep your opinions about your family off of facebook so that you don't have to make everyone uncomfortable when the next family gathering takes place! No one else wants to deal with that drama!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
So, I learned that the process of canning zucchini pineapple is both simple and completely worth it! I had my seven and five year old try it after it was done cooking and they loved it! Michaela has even requested my "pineapple" as her dessert for this evening!
So the ingredients are simple. This is for one batch(approximately 7 pints yielded):
4 quarts of diced or shredded zucchini
46 oz can of unsweetened pineapple juice
3 cups of sugar(or sugar substitute)
1 1/2 cups of lemon juice
Here are a few pictures of the ingredients:
Put all of your ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce it to a simmer and let cook for 20 minutes to let zucchini soften and all of the flavors mix.
After 20 minutes, remove from heat and put into hot canning jars. Put in a hot water bather for 15 minutes and voila!
This "pineapple" can be used in any recipe calling for pineapple and can be eaten as is for a great snack that will give you some veggies in your diet! Enjoy this great recipe!
PS. I also added a few drops of Lorann Oil in the pineapple flavor for an extra boost. You do not need to do this, but it really enhances the flavor!
Sunday, August 22, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Wednesday, August 4, 2010
Friday, July 30, 2010
My babies have been having such a wonderful summer being able to enjoy the pool and hot weather. But one side effect.....green hair from the chlorine! So, we had to do a treatment on her hair the other morning to bring it back to its usual beautiful blonde. This is Little Bit with her hair in a bag while blow drying. Isn't she a cutie? She is gonna be like her momma and LOVE the salon!
Thursday, July 29, 2010
Corn anyone?! LOL
Freezing corn is something that we love to do. Nothing is better than getting fresh corn out of the freezer whenever you want it and it tasting like it was just picked. Yum! So, I went to our friend's farm and picked up 20 dozen ears of corn for our family to freeze. By the end of the night we ended up with over 50 dozen ears of corn to shuck, blanch, cut off the ears, bag and freeze! Some of it is going to my Mom and Dad and some of it is going to my sister, so it is all worth it in the end, but boy was it a lot of work! It was a two day project. Teamwork really made this task go faster, though. I don't think we could've gotten it all done had we not worked together! Now I am just waiting for the next picking to come around so I can do it all over again! ♥