Friday, June 28, 2013

Friday Funnies: The Things They Said

I ran across another photo of our dry erase board.  I know, who takes pictures of their dry erase board?  Apparently I do!  :)  And here are some snippets of what was written on the dry erase board, ca. Jan./Feb. 2011.

From Hannah
"Jesus speaks Spanish!"

"Shine and gracious to you, Abigail."

"I'm going to use the big potty.  Do not forbid me."

To Daddy: "I'm Married and your Joseph."

From Joshua
"Daddy, I don't think Abigail is going to smile at the appropriate time in the car."

"It's a big and fancy poop!"

"Spices are spicy!"

"Reading" his Bible to Hannah: "So, Moses ran away from Pharaoh and he went to a place called Gideon."

J: "Mommy, does Abigail crawl or walk?"
M: "Have you seen her crawl or walk?"
J: "Yeah.  She crawls like a worm."

 What funny things have your kids said recently?

Friday, June 21, 2013

Friday Funnies: The Trinity According to a Toddler

I had the opportunity to put the Abster to bed on her own tonight - just the two of us.  Usually we have family Bible time and I say goodnight to each child in turn before they head off to bed.  Claude spends some time talking with them individually on their beds, but tonight Abby needed to go to bed before the older kids so I had the chance hang out and chat more than usual.

Spending time with Abigail is always a joy and is usually entertaining.  Tonight I got to hear her perspective on a very big issue: The Trinity.  Here's the conversation that we had.

Abby: There are two Gods.  The God "God" and the God "Jesus".
Me: There is actually a third as well: The Holy Spirit.
A: [Stares blankly]
M: There is God the Father, God the Son - Jesus - and God the Holy Spirit.  Three Gods in One.  Three parts of the One True God.  We call it the Trinity.
A:  The Holy Spirit is my favorite one.
M: Did you know that if you are friends with Jesus then the Holy Spirit lives inside of you?
A: But how do you know that?
M: Well, I know because when I asked Jesus to save me from my sins and to come into my heart, the Holy Spirit came to live inside of me.  He helps me to follow Jesus and obey God's commands.
A: But he'll squish the new baby!  There's no room!  How does he fit???
M: I'm not sure how it works, exactly.
A: Well, our bodies can hold a lot of things!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Snapshots: Morning Bike Ride

This morning we packed up and went for a bike ride.  It was the perfect day for it - not too hot, nice cloud cover, and an occasional breeze.  The kids really enjoyed themselves!

My big accomplishment this morning was mounting the bike rack on the van and successfully loading up Joshua and Hannah's bikes.

 They were hesitant at the start.

But it didn't take long for them to get the hang of going fast!

 The Abster on her trike.  :)

 I knew the moment would come when Abby was done riding her trike and I wasn't entirely sure how that would work out.  But in the end I discovered, as I have on many occasions, that this stroller is AWESOME!  I was able to comfortably push two kids, two bags, and a tricycle around on a loose gravel trail.  I even managed to jog with it for the last 1/4 mile and the stroller handled beautifully the whole time.

 Jeremiah had fun shouting out to Abby and the big kids (when they were close enough to hear him).

 Proud of their efforts!  These guys rode over 1 mile and even Abby rode close to 1/2 mile.  Upon arriving back at the car Joshua declared, "That was a really good workout!  Now we need to go home and make a BIG lunch!"  :)

Overall this outing was so successful that I'm hoping we can make it a more regular event.  Perhaps it'll be a good way to get exercising postpartum???

What are your family's favorite outdoor activities?


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Surprises Abound (Part 2)

A while back we posted this little teaser and then we announced that our household had been hit with head lice.  Isn't that the kind of news everyone is expecting?  ;)

And now for our other bit of news and a little friendly competition...


Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Chopped Vegetable Salad

One of the rare times Claude and I went on a "real" date, I ordered an amazing salad from the Cheesecake Factory.  This was a few years ago, but this salad made such an impact that I found myself wanting a giant plateful of it last week.  So, I did a little research to find out all that is in the salad and I went to work shopping, chopping, and chomping away on this salad.

This recipe will make a TON of salad...just be warned.  For a little perspective, the plate pictured above is bigger than my head.  Two weeks in a row I have prepared all of the ingredients, stored them in plastic bags, and had a gigantic plate of salad every day of the week.  So, if you follow the quantities listed below, you either want to make this for a gathering of people or to eat for a week.  Either way, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!

Chopped Vegetable Salad
6 large servings

-1 head romaine
-1 head radicchio
-1 bunch asparagus
-2 cups fresh green beans
-2 granny smith apples
-1 can beets
-1 large cucumber
-8 oz. extra sharp white cheddar
-1/2 cup radishes, optional
-1/2 red or Vidalia onion, optional
-2 cups edamame, optional
-Pomegranate vinaigrette or your favorite dressing*

1. Chop all ingredients and place in individual plastic bags (except apples) or place in a large salad bowl.
2. To keep apples from turning brown, place in a large bowl and cover with cold water.  Add some lemon juice (I don't measure it, but you probably want around 1/4 cup).  Let sit for 10 minutes.  Drain but do not rinse.  Store in plastic bags or add to the salad bowl.
3. Add your favorite dressing.  Enjoy!

*A Note About Dressing:  Last week I used Pomegranate Vinaigrette (whatever brand was the best price in the grocery store).  This week I used a Light Poppy Seed dressing.  Both are good, but I recommend a vinaigrette, especially something fruity, as it really compliments the flavors of the salad ingredients.  In my opinion, something heavy and creamy (ie-Ranch or Blue Cheese) would not work well with this salad.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Menu Planning: Getting The Kiddos Involved

Lately I have been seriously unmotivated to plan and prepare meals.  Partly I'm out of new ideas, partly I'm tired and don't want to be bothered, and partly nothing sounds appetizing enough to make.  In fact, my motivation was so low last week that I spent an entire day searching on and off for ideas.  I checked every recipe website that I've ever visited, scoured Pinterest boards, and just barely came up with four meals that sounded doable.  Ugh...

So, this week I asked Claude to pray for me to be more motivated to make a plan and to get to the grocery store.  And the results, although not our healthiest weekly menu on record, are looking good.  The difference?  I decided to involve the kids!

This morning I announced that we were headed to the grocery store.  Groans issued from the crew.  Then I told them that they each would have a night to plan and prepare dinner for the family - and they could choose what that meal would be.  They eagerly joined me around the kitchen table and started shouting out their favorite meals.

They took turns creating their meals and deciding what we needed from the store.  Each one was able to have their individual shopping list and a pencil to carry through the store.  They had fun keeping an eye open for the items they needed and even more fun taking those items from the shelf and placing them in the cart.  Then we bagged them up so they each had a grocery bag with every item for their meal.  It took us twice as long to get through the store, but they had fun and I didn't have to rack my brain for meal ideas.  That's a win-win situation if I ever saw one!

Here's the menu plan for the week.  I don't plan weekday lunches and I never plan breakfast.  The kids serve themselves cereal each morning and if we're inspired, we may whip up some waffles (with ice cream, of course!) or bacon and eggs over the weekend.  For lunch we keep things simple.  I almost always have a salad and the kids have PBJ, leftovers, or finger foods (veggies with hummus, crackers, cheese, fruit salad, etc).  I do plan weekend lunches simply because if I don't they catch us off-guard and we don't have much on hand to throw something together.  We even run out of bread during the week if I don't account for sandwiches over the weekend.  True confessions here...true confessions.  :/

Monday: Leftovers
Tuesday--Abigail: Spaghetti, Meatballs, Green Beans, Dinner Rolls
Wednesday--Joshua: Quick Stove Top Vegetarian Chili (we'll be making it in the crock pot), Corn Bread
Thursday--Bible Study Potluck:  Salad
Friday--Hannah: Macaroni and Cheese, Hot Dogs, Carrots with Dip
Saturday:  Picnic Lunch: Sandwiches, Chips, Pickles, Carrots
                  Dinner: Homemade Pizza, Salad
Sunday:  Father's Day Lunch: Ordering Out
                Dinner: Leftovers

How do you plan meals for your family?  What are some family favorites or go-to recipes that you enjoy?


Saturday, June 8, 2013

Chews all back together again!

Well we're all back together again and it has spurred us to really consider ways in which we can be doing life together as a family.  What I really miss is being able to have the day to day interaction with Joshua, Hannah, Abby and Jeremiah, because working full time I get dinnertime during the week and weekends but even then those seem a little out of the ordinary when you don't really throw in all the moment by moment plays of each day from changing poopy diapers to preparing meals and teaching and training these guys up in the little and the big scenarios of life.  I wish I was able to more actively point them to Jesus in all the little situations of life while it is still possible at this stage because as they grow up, they need to be firmly founded and trained up to follow Him without our help because who knows where He might take them?  Right next door, the next town over, interstate, across to the other side of the world, but either way they need to be ready to follow Him and I wish I was able to take a more time intensive role in 'imparting' and leaving a legacy of Jesus to them.

We'll see how The Lord leads but I pray that He would lead us all to a deeper knowledge of following Him as one, in our church families, our biological families or whatever family The Lord has us in now!

God Bless,

Friday, June 7, 2013

Friday Funnies: Oldies but Goodies

I ran across the following quotes recently.  Somehow, in the midst of chasing down two toddlers and nursing an infant, I managed to jot down some of the funny things Joshua and Hannah were saying a couple of years ago.  It was at a very stressful, demanding, and often lonely time in our family life.  But when there are a few very curious, very creative littles around there is never a lack for entertainment or the reason for a good laugh.  :)

From Hannah, March 2011, 2 1/2  years old:

"I'm too afraid of this exercising now."
I must have been traumatizing the kids with Leslie Sansone again.  But that definitely beats the Richard Simmons videos I was exposed to as a child.  *Shudders*

"I'm getting holy wheat flour."

"Please don't work in here [the bathroom].  It's just my special office."

"That crayon reminds us to be repentant."
They must have been in on one too many Bible lessons...

"Where is my frankincense?"
Cause we all know how easy it is to misplace the frankincense.

"I got matzo-roni and cheese!"
I don't think that really works...matzo with dairy?

"Do you know goldfish can weep?  They're weeping!"
Poor little crackers!  They must know the end is near.

From Joshua, March 2011, 3 1/2 years old:

"I'm not pleased with Abigail's attitude.  She keeps crying at the middle of the night."
 Age appropriate expectations mean nothing to Joshua.  Perhaps he'll figure out the trick to getting a 5-month-old to stop crying.

"I just want to be friends with Jesus every day.  He goes everywhere that we go: Costco, Target, the library, and PathMark."
From looking at the places we frequented, we didn't have much of a social life back then.  But who needs a social life when we've got the King of Kings accompanying us everywhere we go?
A song.  "Jesus.  Jesu-us.  Majesty.  Majesty.  You compute me."
Ummm...kind of???