Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Words for Wednesday

I was reminded of this verse today.

Proverbs 14:4 "Where there are no oxen, the manger is clean."

In other words -- if I have no children filling my house I have no mess.

While I dream of a day when my house is no longer constantly needing to be picked up, I am relishing these days when I have young children to make those messes and create a lot of noise. I LOVE it! I know all too soon days of stepping on legos and washing marker from counters will be over... And I will miss it.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Chai Tea Latte

While the calendar tells us it is officially spring, it certainly does not look or feel like it. Wednesday brought us a mix of weather from rain and hail to snow mixed with thunder and blowing wind. Each time I looked out the window it seemed to change. But I was reminded that spring will indeed come as I photographed a robin in the blowing snow trying to eat the frozen berries on the tree.

Look how the feathers are blowing. I took it through the window so not as clear as I like.

Being that it was so cold and I am always cold I was in the mood for a hot drink and tried a recipe for Chai Tea Latte that I had written out and stashed away. I made it again today. This is for two servings which is all I need for myself but it would be fun to make a batch for guests.
  • two tea bags
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. ginger
  • 1/4/ allspice
  • (I added cardamom too)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1/4 brown sugar
  • 2T vanilla creamer (I just used a splash of vanilla)

Place tea bags and spices in a coffee filter of a drip coffee maker. Add water; brew. Meanwhile in a small saucepan, combine the milk, brown sugar, and creamer/vanilla. Cook and stir over medium heat until sugar is dissolved. I kept whisking mine to make the milk foamy. Add milk to mugs; stir in tea. Dollop with whipped cream and sprinkle with nutmeg.

This was SO tasty and very economical as it tastes just like you'd buy in a coffee shop.

Enjoy!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Baby's First Picture

Baby is smiling at us! Taken at 16 wks. 1 day
I had my "dating" ultrasound Monday to make sure that baby's measurements match-up with my due date and they do. As you can see by my baby ticker above I am now 16 weeks and time is flying. I can't believe I haven't blogged about my progress before. The first trimester was fairly good. Thankfully I never really have gotten sick with any pregnancy but I typically do feel nauseous from time to time throughout the day. It helps to keep snacking and I also find that sucking on ginger root candy works great. (Probably the only time I can stand the stuff as it is strong!)

I do have food aversions which makes it so difficult to plan meals when so many favorites no longer appeal to me. I haven't been able to eat onions in anything which is hard because it seems that I put them in almost everything. Even looking at a recipe with them gave me a yuck kind of feeling.Thankfully that is now starting to diminish so hopefully we'll be able to enjoy some favorites like Chicken Potpie before too long.

I am exhausted and somehow forgot that is what happens. After breakfast I am ready for a nap and if you know me, I do not like taking naps. Now that I am in my 2nd trimester I am waiting for my energy to return.

The biggest problem I have in pregnancy is round ligament pain and also pain from stretching scar tissue. It started early and I know it will only continue to get worse the bigger I get. The thing is you never know when the pain will hit and it can vary from mild to an intense stabbing feeling. I had hoped that the length between pregnancies this time would have maybe helped with this but I guess not.

My belly has popped and did early on. It seems it comes out sooner with each pregnancy probably because I have a pooch to begin with. This time it caused quite a few people to question if I was having twins. Missy and Seppy insisted that we were having two babies. A girl for Missy and a boy for Seppy. All the comments started to make me wonder too but no, God is blessing us with one baby and I am quite happy about that. The thing I find funny about popping out and outgrowing my clothes so soon is that I look back to my first pregnancy when I couldn't wait to be able to wear maternity clothes. I was itching for people to look at me and know that I was expecting. By this pregnancy I long to stay in my normal clothes as long as possible. Oh how time changes things.

This time around I had to switch doctors for my prenatal care which is turning out okay. Although I reached the magic time of life when I am of "advanced maternal age" and so had the whole discussion on all of my risks now that I am older. What a strange feeling. No matter, I don't feel old in the least! I will have another ultrasound in four weeks and I look forward to seeing our baby waving and moving all around again. I think they do 3D too which will be fun.

John and I decided not to find out what we are having. We have done it both ways for different reasons but last time when I was lying on the table waiting to be cut open for my c-section I found it a helpful distraction to ponder if we were having a girl or a boy. I also think it will be fun for the kids when Daddy comes walking out with the baby in his arms and can say "It's a ....!"  All but Tank hopes we are having a girl for Missy. (Well, Seppy changes his mind from time to time.) I think they realize how very different she is from them and how much she would enjoy a sister. I am guessing another boy because the odds are really good in that direction. Either way, I am looking forward to holding a baby in my arms again!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Our Weekend to Remember

John and I have wanted to attend a Family Life Today Weekend to Remember for quite awhile. Being that it costs a little more than we wanted to spend the only way we could do it was to find at least one other couple to attend with us and then we'd all get half off the registration. I was so thrilled to find friends who were also eager to attend and so we all went this past weekend.

John and I had a great time together! We had a busy schedule but the speakers were excellent and so funny too that time flew by. Much of what we heard we already knew but it was just the thing we needed to remind us of a few areas that we both could use work on. The most helpful part was after each session there was an application project where we would answer questions on our own and then discuss them regarding the topics that had been presented which are not things we talk about very regularly.

My favorite project was writing a love letter to each other. Now at first when I heard that, I thought, what in the world would I write. It reminded me of the days when we were dating and actually did pull out a pen and paper and write endearing letters. I had pulled out John's senior year book last week and read what I had written and it cracked me up to read again. We have changed so much since those days but yet our love has grown stronger and as I reflected on that (and they also give questions to prod you on) I was able to write (almost the whole time in tears) a love letter to John. We then shared them with each other and it was pretty much a cry fest for me. But it was such a special time.

We did have time for dating too, although I felt like the whole time we were together we were on this big date. But Saturday the two of us walked hand in hand downtown and found a little coffee shop to have a tasty lunch. What a strange feeling to not have little ones pulling on our legs or holding our hands as we walked.The evening was free time and they encouraged us to have a nice dinner together, although being that we were still full from lunch we did something very out of the ordinary that the kids were shocked to hear -- we went out for ice cream instead but it was fun none-the-less.

Sunday we had a separate session for women and men and then came together again to talk about leaving a legacy. We ended in a tearful session for many in renewing our wedding vows and it was the perfect ending to a wonderful weekend that we will never forget.

I highly recommend every married couple attend a Weekend to Remember! You don't have to be struggling in your marriage to attend as we found it was just helpful to get us communicating better and to put our priorities back in line with each other coming before the children.

If you would like to attend check out the Family Life Today website. They have locations all across the US and if you would like to get half off as well you can register as a part of the group I started. You can attend any Weekend to Remember and do not need to be in our area . Click on the link to our group for more information -- http://www.familylife.com/groups/masongroup

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Smell of Spring in a bottle

While signs of spring are slowly beginning to make their appearance I was in need of some scents to go along with it. Right now with melting snow giving way to mud and muck and all things rotted after being buried for the winter, the smells in the air are not exactly very pleasant.

Last night I was able to go with my sister and the MOPS group I used to belong to to an area shop where you are able to make your own lotions, body sprays, etc. all with good ingredients rather than the junk you find in store brand products. My favorite part of this is picking out what scent to add to my avocado whipped lotion. This can be a long process as there are probably 100 scents to choose from. I try to have my sister help me narrow it down but it is funny how different we are in what we like. She turns up her nose at my favorite and I wouldn't choose what she likes for myself.

Over time I have narrowed it down to maybe five that I select from each time but I have been longing for my favorite scent for awhile now, especially since it doesn't seem like a very "wintry" scent to wear. I found the bottle of Tomato Leaf fragrance and had it made into a perfume. Ahh, the smell of it makes me think of warm breezes blowing through my windows and of laundry fresh off the line. I am wearing it today and basking in the thought of warmer days ahead. Oh Joy and Bliss!

Friday, March 11, 2011

George learning to sew

My parents brought over my Grandma's sewing machine for me so I can relearn to sew in my spare time. :) I sewed a rice pillow for a gift along with a cover after a bit of instruction from my Mom and thought maybe I could do this. Most likely all I will get done is hemming some pants and such. George has wanted to learn to sew for awhile. We saw a book that has patterns for boy things to sew and so he has been asking for quite awhile.
George cutting apart old jeans.
My Mom gave George a brief instruction of how to use the machine and got him sewing straight lines. Next he began sewing large squares together. Then he cut them into small squares, sewing them together and made a doll pillow for Missy and a small blanket for Seppy. I had given him a few pointers but other than that he has taken off on his own. After picking out some remnants at the fabric store he came home and in no time at all he had made a shirt. He has to tweak it a bit yet but I couldn't believe he figured out how to sew a little shirt for a stuffed bear.

Shirt George whipped up. He then made a bag for Seppy out of scraps of denim from his latest project.
Shirts and pillows were not enough and so now George has a big project he is working on. I remembered seeing a quilt made out of denim and knowing we had a pile of jeans with holes waiting to be made into shorts thought George could maybe tackle that. He is doing a rag quilt with denim and then flannel that he picked out on the back so that he doesn't have to be perfect with it and then there is no stuffing it or finishing off edges. It will have frayed edges all around (my Mom makes flannel blankets like this). Now all of his brothers want him to make them a quilt also.
Here are two finished strips showing the front and then the flannel back.
I am sure excited about the prospect of this. George learning to sew can save me so much time and he can do all of my projects! He already knows how to operate the machine better than I do. I told him he can take in all of Missy's pants that fall off of her. He wondered how to do that and I told him to which he replied, "that doesn't sound comfortable." He suggested that we put in the elastic with buttons as the pants I typically try to buy for her. Sure George, you figure that out for me!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Red Clogs and Rice Krispy Sushi

From time to time I bring out Five In a Row and pick a book to read through for the week and learn more about. George and I read them all together years ago so it is fun to come back with the rest of the gang and reminisce in a way. This week it was A Pair of Red Clogs and so we learned a bit more about Japan. We combined it with another book from FIAR -- Grandfather's Journey. My favorite thing about this is we all sit together and enjoy good books. The little ones as well as the older boys enjoy the stories. I found a few other recommended books in the forums and so we read a few based on a true story about Japan as well. We really enjoyed the book about a loyal dog named Hachiko.

Missy has been running around the house this week singing "Kora Kora Kara Kara" the noise the clogs made, and I get a kick out of a whole new perspective on the story that a boy (at least mine) just doesn't pick up on. Everyone's favorite about this lesson was making Rice Krispy Sushi. I wanted to make Japanese food but quite a few foods are not appealing to me lately so instead we made a dessert. George was thrilled to go to the store with me to pick out things I rarely buy -- gummy worms, swedish fish, fruit rolls. I had a hard time checking out with so much junk in my cart. :)- Not a very enjoyable dessert as far as I am concerned but the children really enjoyed it or at least the idea of it. Most of them ended up taking it all a part and eating the candy separate. Re-Pete is the only one who has ever tried real sushi (on which he gagged) and he proclaimed this to be much better!

Say┼Źnara!

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