Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Freedom & Tearing it UP

I never know how much of what we discuss, the little nuts are really soaking up, but by now I should assume "a LOT".  In Olivia's prayers this morning, she thanked God for Memorial Day that we celebrated yesterday and for all those who fought for our freedom.  YES!  We salute, honor, and thank our valiant servicemen and women!  "Thank you" is not enough, but with all our hearts, we thank you! 
Becca, I cannot get blogger to cooperate to let me respond to your comment, so I gave up and I'm typing it here... :)  We follow a scripture reading that our church puts out and I do a girl's devotional {by Veggie Tales} with Olivia at bedtime.  Love you, sweet friend! 
Again, I wonder how much the kids are getting out of hearing the bible via New King James read to them, but this morning they put their backpacks on and were headed to Egypt with their camels and tents.  There was talk of "freedom for their people" {we've been reading about the Israelites}, so they are definitely listening and I know we can't go wrong with reading the Word of God aloud. 
I had the idea last week to make or buy a little stand to keep at our kitchen table to hold verses we are memorizing, so maybe I'll share it once I get it worked out!

This last weekend we participated in an estate sale with Grandpa and Grammy, celebrated my 29th birthday {last year in my 20s... sniff}, and greatly enjoyed spending time with our family who was down from Washington.  Good times!:)

And, now, some "let's get dirty pictures".
The guys ripping it up at the yard workday. 
Auntie Elisa and I collaborated to get this shot.  Grandpa is in the very back on the tractor... we thought it was cool how we were able to get all 5 guys (Paytay was riding on the tractor) in one shot.
The mighty claw also tearing it up in preparation for the new blueberry field.  Progress has been painstakingly slow as they are still waiting on the weather.
"Can I go for a ride with you, Uncle Zach?" 
Peyton is surrounded by wonderful men in his life that share his love of trucks, tractors, and dirt!
Olivia loves to get in on the action, too!  Sweet girl!

As you can tell, I was having fun watching and taking pictures of the excavator at work.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Dedication & Spring

Raspberry cupcakes to celebrate baby girl's dedication

What a wonderful week we had last week.  We relished a much slower pace while also being productive.  There has been a lot going on these past few weeks, so it was a welcome break.  We were in our workbooks every day (Olivia and Peyton) and we thoroughly enjoyed the time together.  Peyton even learned to spell his name.  Sweet success!  We sat at the dining room table and started with our devotions, which flowed really nicely into schoolwork.  I think we may have something here! 

I am learning right along with them.  One morning last week I was convicted by something I've said to my little man while potty-training.  I usually savor my quiet time before they are awake, but not that morning, I wanted to go get him out of bed to apologize just as soon as I realized it.  Every so often I'll tell him, "Peyton, you're a big boy, you need to go in the toilet, it is naughty to go in your pants."  I know he can physically hold it, he is an excellent communicator- he exhibits all the signs for being ready, so I guess that is why I thought to tell him it was naughty to not go in the toilet.  It haven't been yelling at him or terribly upset, but that word... naughty.  I've been communicating shame.  He needs my encouragement to keep doing the very best he can do and that is it.  I had to ask for his forgiveness, he was barely awake when I did, so it took a few times of explaining why I was asking for forgiveness, but he cheerfully forgave me.:)  I told him it isn't naughty to go in his pants and all he needs to do is try his best.  I praised him for the good job he has been doing.  Thank God we don't have to be perfect as parents, but just lean on Him and acknowledge Him in everything and He will guide us along the way.  Proverbs 3:6 says, "in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight."  

We celebrated a big day last Sunday- Julia's dedication!  She turned six months old and we are head over heels in love with her.  Daddy has been going in and getting the little princess up in the mornings {much to my horror... we have a schedule to keep, you know!:)}, but he says he can't help it because this is the age when they really start to get cute/fun.  I'd have to agree. 
Here is a string of photos of the little nut on her dedication day.  She was really posing, so I just kept on clicking!:)

Our large family at her dedication.

Peyton keeping himself amused at the restaurant at her dedication lunch. 
I'll end quickly with a few spring pictures.
Jock & Hadiah
Peyton inspecting a crimson head.
The bees have been busy in the blueberries- the blossoms are thick.
Our very productive, very fun workday at Grandpa and Grammys'

P.S. The marriage conference was incredible.  I want to go to one every year!  We attended The Art of Marriage.  You must check it out! 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Product Reviews

Hello!  Here are a few things I am putting to use and enjoying these days!  Perhaps one of them will be helpful to you...
First, I would like to share these handy little stools I got for O & P {I was at my sisters' and loved the one she got for Evie}.  Marshalls carries them and they are only $7.99.  I especially love the fun colors they come in- pink, blue, green, white. 
Look how nicely they fold up!
This product is one I've had for a long time- a trusty friend to my antiques.  You simply rub it on with a rag and it works wonders for restoring color, removing blemishes, {it does everything the can says it does}.  I purchased mine from R.D. Steeves, which is no longer in business, but I've seen it at other antique stores, too. 

This salad dressing can be found in the produce department of your local grocery store. 
Right next to my favorite blue cheese dressing.
It is a tad expensive, but fun for a treat!  My mom has been using it with tossed salad greens, chopped dried mango, mandarin oranges, feta and caramelized nuts.  LOVE! 

Lastly, wax paper bags remind me of my Nanny.  She was always tucking a sandwich, treat or leftover in them.  I recently had the idea to use them and don't know why I haven't kept a supply of them on hand.  They are cuter than a plastic bag {which is of the utmost importance, right?}, better for the environment, and work great for sticky foods!  Winco carries them, not necessarily this brand, but I wanted to include a picture.
Cut-Rite Wax Paper Sandwich Bags, 50-Count  (Pack of 12)
I hope to be back with pictures from baby girl's dedication, and possibly a spring farm update.  God Bless!
P.S. A couple of housekeeping things...
- How do you back up your blog or do you back it up?
- A few people told me that they couldn't leave a comment {I think it was set so you had to have a blog to comment}, but it should be fixed now.  Let me know.
OK, Bye! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Mother's Day Weekend

Happy Friday afternoon, friends!  I am sitting down with teacup #2 of coffee and biscotti to share a little bit of last weekend before this weekend is upon us; goodness the weeks are flying by.  I waste no time starting the coffee these days after laying the little nuts down for their rest.  The sputters, chugs, and hisses of the coffee brewing have become quite soothing to me- something I look forward to.  It takes quite a bit of energy, organization, holy spirit help to get everyone going in the right direction each day, keep them going in the right direction, and do everything else that needs to be done, soooo.... a BIG shout-out to all the Mamas!  I hope you had a restful Mother's day, showered with love from your little (or big) ones.   
Now, for a Mother's day weekend recap:
I took Olivia to her swim lessons Saturday morning, we came home, changed, and headed out to her first official tea party at Uncle Daniel and Auntie Lizas' home.  I so appreciate my new sister-in-law; she has become such a dear, dear friend!  Love you, Liza!  
The girls made strawberry shortcake with Auntie Liza, sipped chai tea, and feasted on tasty finger foods.  It was delightful.

My girls all dressed up for the tea party!

I woke up Sunday morning to my favorite maple bars {I love you, David!}, and a sweet card from the nuts.  We we went to church and then to my mom's, where the whole family participated in a slam dunk cleaning party for her {it is the theme this year because we are having a yard work party for Grammy... woop, woop!}.  It was so cool watching everyone pitch in to give back to "our Mom" who gives, and gives and gives to all of us.  We love you, Mama!
Another family picture!  We are on a roll.  Peyton fell asleep in the car and was none to happy about having his picture taken, but here we are.  I am also on a roll with chopping my hair... 6 inches and counting.  I feel empowered having the scissors taken to my hair versus the handfuls of hair I've been pulling out. :(

My favorite part of Mother's day came towards the end of the day when I got to just soak in my little nuts with almost no distractions.  How often does that happen?  Not nearly enough!  I followed my little guy around and listened to him make up story after story.  Snuggled up close and watched Heidi with Olivia.  Took extra time holding Julia after she had fallen asleep before laying her down.  I am so very, very blessed to be their Mama.

Do you recall the special project I mentioned a few weeks back?  It was a "Nanny book" that the whole family contributed to, and Liza and Becca put together for Mother's day.  The book was full of pictures, stories, quotes, recipes- all things Nanny! We wanted to tell her what a difference she has made in all of our lives! 

Picture of Nanny and I in the book.
Nanny with her book.

OK, time is up and my coffee break is over.:)  We are attending a marriage conference this weekend at our church and Julia is getting dedicated on Sunday, so... Ready, Set, Go! :)  
I'll be back next week with a few products to share!    

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

The Third

I wanted to do this post months ago to record the change from having two little nuts to three.
The picture is from a card David's Aunt Sue sent upon hearing we were expecting our third.  I love it!
#3 -  5.5 months old
 Aunt Sue, I hope you don't mind me quoting you on 'the blog'. 
Aunt Sue sent this note when Julia was born, it perfectly expressed how I feel about my third baby!
Isn't her handwriting gorgeous? 
I have loved being a mother from the start {i.e. Olivia}, but I was surprised how I was able to really enjoy the newborn stage this time.  If memory serves me right, it seems like it was more of an adjustment going from 1 to 2, than it has been going from 2 to 3?  Perhaps less stressful, like we've known what we're doing just a teeny bit more?  At any rate, I haven't been fumbling for a book to remind myself what to do {things definitely came easier and more naturally}.  I knew to do cluster feedings before bed, "eat, wake, sleep cycle" during the day, lay the precious babe down when drowsy, but not asleep, tried-and-true methods for burping and swaddling, ETC.   Tricks of the trade gleaned mostly from On Becoming Baby WiseSecrets of the Baby Whisperer .  And just as her card said, I've cherished her babyhood all the more, I know it lasts for but a breath!  I've said 'no' to some things, let the laundry pile up a little higher, and let the floors get a little dirtier.  I don't want to miss it!  
Now, we are entering a new stage: solids and mobility.  I will be getting out and referring to my beloved Super Baby Food book.  My cousin, Becca, told me about the book when Olivia was a baby.  I'd like to think I have two pretty healthy eaters thanks in part to the guidance from this book.  The book lays out at what age you can introduce various foods, the health benefits of each food, and probably most importantly, her Super Porridge.  I don't follow her Super Porridge exactly, but the idea: mix in as many healthy things as possible with their baby cereal. 

Lately, I've been giving the kid's Greek yogurt for breakfast {so creamy and delish} with banana, frozen blueberries, granola, flax seed, and powdered kelp- I add as many healthy things as possible.  I don't know how they can eat the powdered kelp, but they do, and have since they were little. 

I should also note that it now takes me two teacups of coffee and biscotti per day versus the half of a teacup I used to consume.  :):)

I love you, Olivia, Peyton AND Julia!

Happy Mother's Day this week!