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Laura
Follower of Christ. Wife to Adam. Mama to Joshua (9), Abigail (8), Esther (7), Hannah (6), Noah (5), Joseph (3), Peter (2), James (9 months), and Blessing #9 due late August. Soli Deo Gloria!
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Adam and Laura

Adam and Laura

Joshua Addison

Joshua Addison

Abigail Lauren

Abigail Lauren

Esther Rebecca

Esther Rebecca

Hannah Ralene

Hannah Ralene

Noah Evans

Noah Evans

Joseph Patrick

Joseph Patrick

Peter Edwin

Peter Edwin

James Emil Robert

James Emil Robert

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Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Mama...According to Abigail

I saw this on Brittany's blog and thought it looked like a fun thing to do. I was curious (and I admit a little nervous) to find out what my childrens' answers would be. I was working in the kitchen yesterday and Abigail was on the couch in the sunroom during rest time. She was supposed to be sitting quietly looking at a book or playing with her baby doll, but I looked over to see her flying through the air. So I decided to take her picture and ask her these questions. So here you go. Mama...according to Abigail. :)

What is something Mama always says to you? "I love you."

What makes Mama happy? "When I don't disobey God"

What makes Mama sad? "When I disobey God"

How does Mama make you laugh? "If I'm silly"

What was Mama like as a child? "Like Abigail"

How old is Mama? "Eight. That's five and three"

How tall is Mama? "Probably this high" (holding out hand). "About 1 mile" :)


What is Mama's favorite thing to do? "Be with Abigail"

What does Mama do when you're not around? "Wash dishes"

If your Mama becomes famous, what will it be for? "Washing dishes"

What is Mama really good at? "Teaching me how to write numbers"

What is Mama not very good at? "Disobeying God" (So sweet of her, but if she only knew!)


What does Mama do for a job? "Wash dishes" (Am I detecting a pattern here?)

What is Mama's favorite food? "Lasagna"

What makes Mama proud of you? "Talking to people with brown skin"
(Okay, lest you think we're awful people, I must explain! Our children...particularly our firstborn...have a hard time remembering to responding to people when they are spoken to. Before we go into a store I usually give a lecture on being polite and saying "hello" when someone says "hello" to you. Anyway, Abigail seemed to be a little intimidated by people who have different colored skin, so I explained to her that we are all made in God's image, skin color doesn't matter, and she needs to be respectful to her elders. I elaborated a little more than that, but that was the point. She seemed to understand, and she has made an effort to be polite to everyone since then. Just had to clarify. :)

What do you and Mama do together? "Fold laundry"

How are you and Mama the same? "Not really" :)

How are you and Mama different? "I don't know"

How do you know Mama loves you? "Because you wash the dishes" (apparently the story of my life!)

What does Mama like most about your Papa? "He works hard for us"

Where is Mama's favorite place to be? "With Papa"


Monday, March 30, 2009

Funny

Joshua started talking rather randomly and out-of-the-blue about "Bunch Bob Squirt Pants" yesterday. :) He has no idea who Sponge Bob is, and we have never watched it (nor do we ever plan to), but he heard someone else talking about it this week. I'm still laughing!

Menu Plan Monday and a Recipe


Monday - Shrimp Stir-Fry, Rice, Millet Muffins
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Salad, Bread
Wednesday - Dinner at Church
Thursday - Breakfast Burritos
Friday - Cucumber Dill Wraps
Saturday - Homemade Pizza
Sunday - Chili over Rice, Broccoli, Bread (lunch); Hot Dogs, Beans, Fresh Fruit (dinner)

I made Baked Oatmeal for the first time on Saturday, and we all loved it! I looked at a couple of recipes for it online and combined some of them together to get this one. Most of the recipes said to top it with butter and brown sugar, but we decided to try it without and it is great just as it is. I'm sure it would taste even better with butter and brown sugar, but it wouldn't be as healthy, so we opted to skip them.


Baked Oatmeal (makes 10-12 servings)
1 cup oil (I used 1/2 cup oil and 1/2 cup applesauce)
1 cup sugar (I used 1/2 cup white and 1/2 cup brown)
4 eggs, beaten
6 cups oats
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups milk

Combine all of the ingredients. Pour into greased 9x13 inch pan. Bake at 375 degrees for 20-30 minutes, until lightly browned. Can refrigerate overnight before baking. Serve topped with milk.

For more menu plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Review and a Sale


I have been listening to True Beauty from Vision Forum. It is a set of 8 CDs from the 2008 Father and Daughter Discipleship Retreat, and it is jam packed with great stuff! I haven't quite finished listening to all of the CDs yet, but what I have listened to has been wonderful. Even though I'm not a father, it has been very helpful to me in learning how to raise daughters. Adam hasn't gotten a chance to listen to it yet, in part because I've been hogging it. :)

One of the highlights for me so far is from the second disc by Scott Brown entitled "The Proverbs 31 Woman". Mr. Brown points out that the discipleship patterns for a father towards his daughter can be summed up by the discipleship patterns of Christ. He called them to Himself, He walked and talked with them, and He told them that they belonged to Him. He required obedience of them, gave of Himself for them, and demonstrated how they were to accomplish His purposes. He gave them work to do, kept them accountable, and expected them to be fruitful. It's hard for me to wrap my brain around all of that, let alone do it! But what better way to spend my time?! And this applies to sons as well as daughters.

I won't give any more away. You'll have to listen to it yourself if you want to find out what other nuggets are included in this series!

I can't think of a better time than the present for a shameless plug for the Vision Forum Affiliate banner over in my sidebar. :) And they're even having a great sale right now! You can get a $50 gift certificate for every $95 worth of merchandise that you purchase. That's a 52.6% discount on anything that you would like to order!! And there is no limit to the number of gift certificates that you can receive. The offer expires at midnight on Wednesday, April 1st, so hurry over and take a peek at all of the good things that they have.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

News Break!!

Update: I just realized that Hannah is almost 20 months, not 19 months! I was thinking that it is the end of February instead of the end of March. Where in the world did March go!?! Anyway, things are looking pretty promising. I got Hannah up this morning and asked her if she wanted to go potty, and she said "No. Pee pee pants." I think she might actually get it! I just put her on a minute ago and she went right away again. I've given her a book in hopes that she'll want to sit there and maybe do some other business. Now that would be exciting! :) She's yelling, "ALL DONE, MAMA. I POOP!" over and over now, so I guess I'll go see what she's accomplished.

Hannah just pee-peed on the potty! Woohoo! I've been thinking about starting her. She's not quite 19 months, but I think that she could do it. I have to admit that I've been a little apprehensive because she has anywhere from two to five dirty diapers a day, and I'm not sure I'm ready to deal with that many accidents. But I just went to get her up from her nap and she handed me her diaper. :) I asked her if she wanted to go potty and she said "Uh-huh". So I put her on and she went right away! We were both pretty excited, so I had to come share. :)

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Desperate Need

I have just recently learned of two sweet babies who are fighting for their lives and are in need of prayer. Stellan has a very serious heart condition and is struggling right now. You can read his story here, or click on the button below to read the most recent updates.

Prayers for Stellan

Jonah is not quite a month old and was born with a very severe and rare skin disorder. He is experiencing a lot of pain, and from what I understand, his doctors are not sure exactly how to treat him. Jonah's parents had a stillborn baby previously, and they were not aware of Jonah's condition before he was born.


Reading about these two tiny boys has made me recognize that much more how incredibly blessed we are with the good health that God has given us. It is only because of His grace and mercy that we are not in circumstances like these. I hope and pray that we will never have to watch one of our children suffer, but if that is what God has planned for us, He promises to give us sufficient grace. These two families are wonderful examples of what it means to put their faith wholly in God and to rest in the knowledge of His grace.

O Lord my God, I cried to you for help, and you have healed me. Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints, and give thanks to his holy name.
Psalm 30:2, 4

Monday, March 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I've done a pretty awful job of menu planning this month...or just planning in general, for that matter! As a result I've blown my grocery budget and we still have more than a week left in March. I've decided to join the Eating From the Pantry Challenge over at Money Saving Mom. I'm not going to buy anything at the grocery store except for essentials (milk, etc), and I plan to make our meals from what we have on hand. I thought that it would be hard and that we would be eating a lot of strange combinations of things, but it only took me 5 minutes to look through the pantry and freezer and come up with some good dinners. I should do this more often!

Monday - Hamburgers, Beans, Potato Salad, Chips (leftover from Abigail's birthday celebration yesterday)
Tuesday - Grilled Chicken Salad
Wednesday - Dinner at Church
Thursday - Garlic Vegetable Soup, Homemade Wheat Bread
Friday - Spaghetti, Green Beans, Bread
Saturday - Leftovers
Sunday - Russian Chicken, Rice, Broccoli (lunch); Leftovers (dinner)

For more Menu Plan Monday ideas, visit Laura.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Spring!

Tomorrow is the first day of Spring, as I'm sure you know. I love Spring! Warmer weather, walks, playing at the park, flowers blooming, bare feet, fresh fruit salads...it's all so refreshing!

There aren't many things cuter than bare baby feet!
We have been enjoying temperatures in the 70's this week. We walked to the park today, had a picnic, and fed the ducks.
The ducks at the lake here are rather aggressive. One of them took Hannah's sandwich right out of her hands last time we were there, which absolutely terrified her. Joshua and Abigail enjoyed feeding them today, but Esther and Hannah didn't want any part in it. Hannah decided to eat the stale bread herself. Probably payback for them stealing her lunch last time!

Scrambling to get into the stroller and away from the ducks.
Sweetness

Esther Pie :)

I took this video of the children playing in the driveway. They have so much fun out there and it allows me to sit and get some reading done...when I'm not taking pictures!

video

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Another Funny


We were eating dinner last night and Hannah started fussing about something. We asked her what was wrong and she said "Naaaahhzz" (nose). Adam looked up there and didn't see anything, so he asked her to blow just in case there was something stuck. She blew really hard and shot a couple pieces of black olive onto his sleeve! Apparently she doesn't care for them. She had smashed them into little pieces on her tray, and when they didn't disappear I guess she thought that her nose would make a good hiding place! It's amazing what you find funny after you have children. It's kind of hard to maintain a sophisticated sense of humor when your days revolve around what is in the baby's diaper and that sort of thing. :)

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Funnies

These things may not be funny to anyone else, but they really cracked us up and I wanted to post them here so that we don't forget them when we're old!

We were working on memorizing the catechism last week during family worship and Adam asked Esther Question #10.

Adam: "How did God create man?"
Esther: "God created man male and female, after his own image, in knowledge, righteousness, and holiness, with dominion over the teachers" (should be creatures). :)

I was feeding Noah yesterday and Joshua walked up and asked if Noah would rather drink milk out of a bottle, or out of my "tank"!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Happy Birthday, Abigail!


Today is Abigail's 4th Birthday! She is very excited about it. :) Abigail is such a big helper to me. She's constantly asking what she can do, and she has yet to complain about any job that I give her. Multiple times a day she will say to me, "When I'm a Mama....." She wants so badly to do everything that I do! Abigail is our early riser. She has an internal alarm that is programmed to go off about 10 minutes after I wake up almost every morning, so she and I get to spend a good 20 to 30 minutes together before any other little bodies roll out of their beds! She likes to be in the bathroom with me while I put on my makeup, blow dry my hair, etc. I have caught her several times standing in front of the mirror either "fixing" her hair, or just smiling at herself. :) She likes all things girly! She's a very joyful little girl and is almost always smiling and bouncing around.

This morning after breakfast I told Abigail that Joshua and Esther would do her chores for her and that she could play since it was her birthday. But she decided that she would rather do ALL the chores and let Joshua and Esther play! So she did. She washed the cups, loaded the dishwasher, swept the floor, and folded laundry with me, all the while talking my ears off. :) About six months ago she asked if she could do math with Joshua and me, and I told her that when she turned four she could do math. She hasn't forgotten. I asked her yesterday what she would like to do on her birhday and she said "do my chores, do math, and eat hamburgers". So we did Lesson 1 of Right Start Math this morning, and she breezed right through it! Her enthusiasm makes her easy to teach.





Friday, March 13, 2009

Just Being There

Kelly at Generation Cedar recently had a great post about building and nurturing relationships with our children. I often struggle with balancing housework and spending time with the children. I include them in almost everything that I do, but I frequently feel guilty if I don't spend a lot of one-on-one time reading books and doing "fun" things. Sometimes I forget that just being there and being available is just as important, and even more so, than playing Chutes and Ladders incessantly and reading the same book over and over again. While it is valuable to do those things, it is often just not possible with five little ones. This article was very encouraging to me.


As Olivia and I sat on the porch last night after a tiring day, we pondered a typical question of motherhood. "How does a mother maintain a close relationship with all her children (particularly if she has several)?" She had been asked this question by another worried mother.

Funny we sometimes make up our own definitions to suit how we think things need to be. I've heard many a mom say she doesn't want more children because her relationships would suffer with them.

Really? So, if God made a woman to reproduce prolifically, He just "forgot" about the relationship part? He just didn't think about it?

No, I believe it's one more area where we assert our "wisdom", the kind that isn't always parallel to God's.

If He gives me children, He provides--for all our needs, not just the physical ones. He forms those relationships in the context of the family he places them in, just as He wants them to be.

Is it a breeze? Of course not! It's not supposed to be. It's supposed to be, as someone mentioned in an earlier post, as much molding and chiseling of my character as it is theirs.

But the answer, simply put, is just in being there. When a mother is there she knows her children and they know her. She doesn't have to abide the pop-psychology of spending uninterrupted hours of time with each child in order to develop the proper relationships--that's absurd! That's our own concocted formula.

She needs mostly just to be there. Providing for basic life-needs--the language of love to a child.

Listening to stories, bandaging cuts, wiping noses (and hineys!), providing an excited response to a new discovery, feeding mouths, filling minds, training hearts--those are the relationship builders that God put into place.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Nonsense

Adam emailed this to me today and I thought it was too funny to not post! Don't worry, I don't get it either. :)

Diapers!

Noah and I went out and did the Walgreen's Huggies Deal yesterday. He's very excited to show you what he got!


We ended up with 23 packages of diapers and 3 packages of wipes for a little less than $3.00 apiece!! Woohoo! Huggies are the only diapers working for Noah right now, and they are expensive, so we're very thankful for the bargain.

Saturday, March 07, 2009

Yes, He's Mine

There was a yard sale in our neighborhood this morning, so we walked to it...Noah in the Ergo, Hannah and Esther in the stroller, and the two "bigs" and I on foot. It was on our street, but I didn't realize that it was at the complete opposite end of the street and about a mile away. The weather is perfect here today though (80 degrees!) and it was nice to get out and get some exercise. On the way to the yard sale I made sure everyone understood that they were to stay with me and not touch anything. There were about 20 people there when we arrived and things went smoothly for the first 5 minutes or so. The ladies that were running it commented on how good the children were and asked their ages. I started with the girls and then said that Joshua had just turned five. To which another shopper replied, "You mean the one that's over there gracing the grass?" I turned around to see Joshua relieving himself in the middle of the yard with his pants around his knees! I just about died. Everyone else thought it was hilarious, but I was more than a little embarrassed! I helped him re-clothe himself, quickly paid for what I had found, and turned around to see him picking their daffodils. Aaaahhh! Needless to say we left immediately!

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Variety at Last!


Thanks so much for all of the great comments on my lunch post! You all have wonderful ideas and I plan to use lots of them. :) We had bean and cheese quesadillas and raw spinach, carrots, tomatoes and apples for lunch today, and everyone asked for thirds. Several of you mentioned hummus and smoothies...two things that I've been thinking of making lately. But I don't have a good blender. The one that I have is the one that we registered for and received as a wedding gift. I should have done more research before I chose one, because ours is basically useless. So I really need a new one before I can make those things. And hummus is expensive in the store! I found some for a pretty reasonable price at Sams yesterday, and it's really good, but I think that I could make if for a lot cheaper. Do any of you make your own hummus, and if so do you have a good recipe that you wouldn't mind sharing?

I took Hannah and Noah to the doctor this morning. We recently switched pediatricians and our new one is a mere 3 minutes down the road, which is really nice! I liked him a lot and I didn't have to wait at all to see him. Hannah weighs 22lbs (at 19mo) and is a shorty. The doctor said that if she continues growing at the rate she has been (which, of course, she very well may not) she'll be shopping in the petite department! I kind of doubt it though, since Adam and I are both right around 5'10". Noah is long and lean. He weighs 10lb 15oz (at 2mo) and is in the 90th percentile for height and the 20th for weight. He's doing fine, but I'm going to be watching him pretty closely and feeding him frequently over the next couple of months to make sure he is gaining steadily. This has been the crucial time for weight gain problems in the past, so I'm praying that he will keep eating and gaining well.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Free Stuff!


I get the Everyday Cheapskate emails from Mary Hunt's Debt-Proof Living (if you'd like to sign up for the emails, there's a link at the top lefthand corner of the homepage that you can click on to do so). Sometimes the topics are not very interesting to me personally, but more often than not there is a good tip or helpful bit of information included in the emails. Yesterday's topic was club memberships and how you can get some pretty good deals by signing up for certain "clubs" online. There was a link to Free Birthday Treats. You can go here and search by state to find out where you can sign up and what they offer. I took about 10 minutes to enter my email address and birthdate at six or seven different websites, and so far I have gotten two coupons for free smoothies and two coupons for free ice cream (one of which is from Cold Stone Creamery!). A few other websites promised to send coupons via email in the next few days. I have been signed up with Firehouse Subs and Red Robin for more than a year now, and they also send coupons for free food around your birthday. As a matter of fact, I received a coupon for a free burger from Red Robin in my inbox just last week and I printed it out and took Abigail with me on Saturday. We split a $10 burger and fries and didn't have to pay a penny for it!

Menu Plan...Tuesday

I didn't get around to posting this week's menus yesterday, so here they are today! We ended up with more leftovers than I anticipated last week, so several things got shuffled. I bumped the Ham and Bean Soup to this week. I tried a new tomato soup recipe last week that was good...way better than canned tomato soup! I'll post that recipe soon.

Monday - Baked Ziti, Green Beans, Bread
Tuesday - The Best Bean and Ham Soup, Bread
Wednesday - Dinner at Church
Thursday - Adam is bringing home dinner (it's my birthday!)
Friday - I'm hosting a baby shower, so Adam and the children will probably either eat leftovers or go out.
Saturday - Leftovers (depending on how much we have) or breakfast for dinner
Sunday - Blackeye Pea Supperdish, Rice and Bread (lunch); Sandwiches (dinner)

Monday, March 02, 2009

Do Tell!


I'm looking for ideas and I thought that I might be able to get some advice from you all! I'm really stuck in a rut with lunch. My children eat peanut butter and honey sandwiches on homemade wheat bread, raw spinach or carrots (or some other raw vegetable), and either fresh fruit or yogurt for lunch. Every day. Poor Joshua has been at it for about four years now. Okay, well not every single day, but the majority of them. No one is complaining, but it's got to be getting old for them, and I don't want to ruin peanut butter sandwiches for them for the rest of their lives!

My problem is that I can't think of any good, nutritious alternatives that are also quick to make, not messy, and easy to clean up. I'd be more adventurous if I was only feeding one or two children, but I really need something that involves just a few ingredients, very little prep time, and minimal clean-up time so that I'm not spending half of my afternoon in the kitchen. I really want to keep it fresh and healthy too. No boxed macaroni and cheese or anything like that. Something that is simple enough for a five- and almost four-year old to make would be wonderful! I certainly don't want lunch prep to turn into this!

No, this is not one of my children!

So anyway, I'm all ears. What do you feed your children for lunch? Do you have a lot of variety in your lunch menus, or do you feed them pretty much the same things all of the time? Help!

Tag


Nikki tagged me last week to post a picture of where I blog. She had her blog up on the computer when she took her picture, and I agree with her that it was a nice touch, so I stole her idea. :) Our computer is in the guest room and is relatively clean at the moment. Notice the teeth up on the shelf. :) I'm not going to tag anyone in particular. If you feel like showing us where you blog from, go for it!