Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dedication Sunday!

Last Sunday our church held baby dedications. It is such a sweet time for our friends and family to pray over our new little ones and commit to helping us raise them in the Kingdom. Unfortunately, none of our parents could be in town (totally understandably though- Philip's parents were in Germany, mine we had seen almost every weekend for 6 weeks, and we had just driven BACK from Dallas where they live from the conference). We had lots of spiritual family around though to help us celebrate!

Amity and Ella (born 2 weeks before Jude)

Why, oh why must I be so gushy when it comes to certain things? I really wanted all 4 of us to be a part of this, but I should have just left the bug in his class. Philip spent the whole time cajoling him and trying to keep him from squirming and whining over everyone praying. *sigh* Oh well. I'm learning!

Here are a few cute pictures when we got home! Don't you love the bowtie!!?
My cutie!

Marriage Seminar 2009

This year, again, we traveled to Dallas to gain wisdom and spend a little time devoted to our marriage. I can't stress enough how important it has been for us to invest in one of the most important relationships we have. I hope to someday pass on all of the awesome stuff God has taught us about marriage!

Deron's new favorite game: playing school. These are the centers he's laid out in the hotel room: puzzles, drawaing, books. So cute! Often I play Auston Keith Gray while he plays Ms. Chaconne. Once while I was in a coloring center he said, "Now I'll come over here and sit and watch you." When asked what teachers do, he replied, "Oh teachers? They don't do anything. Except talk. And sit."

The group. We all just met up at the church.

Our great friends, The Blaines!

The Pizookie from BJs. Yummm.
My parents watched the kids in the hotel while we were gone. Their house is being remodeled and this particular weekend they were ousted from their bedroom (and the rest of the bedrooms!)
Smiles for grandma!
Caught a smile!
The two boys. Quiet. Asleep. Ahhhhh...

just for fun. 6 weeks

A jude-tastic photo shoot. He just learned to smile! You'll be seeing more smiles from now on. :)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor day at the zoo

I got to take the boys to the zoo Monday for Labor Day. Here are some fun pictures of our adventure...

Check out this guy's tongue!

And... a gratuitous Deron picture.

"Yes, Sir!"

Deron's been in school for 2 1/2 weeks now. He's learned 2 Bible verses, discipline, and a multitude of songs. I'm having so much fun seeing his pictures everyday displaying his skill of coloring in the lines and cutting in a straight line! I wish I was in his class! How much fun to do crafts all day and get stickers and stamps just for coloring and learning to glue bits of construction paper on to bigger pieces of construction paper! Not to mention all the fun songs! Yesterday bug was sitting at the table with Philip and I at lunch and he just started singing, "I wanna see, I wanna see, I wanna see Jesus lifted high!". Oh, to make a mommy and daddy proud!

We had a few incidences of hitting/pushing the first week of school. When discipline really started to be implemented, he came home with green dots!! Yay!! This was daddy's reaction. So sweet!

39 things Every Mom Should Know

I have seen across the cyber-world varying opinions on this article. I, for one, enjoyed it and actually felt a bit better about mommyhood after reading. Those who know me know I don't believe in karma and I hugely dislike halloween, but some of the other points I've learned on my own and wish someone had told me! :)

39 Things Every Mom Should Know

from Parents Magazine...written by Kacy Faulconer

1. You never have to go to obnoxious kid-themed restaurants. Ever. I wish someone had told me that.

2. Don't make birthday parties a huge deal.

3. Do your chores while kids are awake. Using up naptime to wash dishes or clean the bathroom is truly soul-crushing.

4. Put Band-Aids on everything your kids want you to. Why not?

5. If the kids are awake, bite the bullet and be awake yourself. You'll waste so many hours trying futilely to extend early-morning snoozes that it's not worth it. If you are sick, pregnant, or it's the middle of the night, ignore this advice.

6. Just throw away the poopy underwear.

7. Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.

8. Teach your kids not to pee outside unless you're camping-- you'll be glad you did. But if other people's kids do it, don't judge teh parents too harshly-- it's all about karma. (If you're in the midst of potty training, all bets are off. You've gotta do what you've gotta do.)

9. Buy cheap shoes when kids are little. Feet grow faster than you think.

10. Don't forget about board games. You'll suffer through way too much Candy Land and Chutes and Ladders, but Connect Four and Battleship aren't half bad. And Clue rocks.

11. Embrace their quirks.

12. Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay. (The sooner you accept this, the better.)

13. At some point it will be February. Things will seem bleak. You will think about vitamins, glasses, more exercise, more sleep, more chores, less TV, more rules, fewer rules, and organic food. Just wait. Things will get better when the snow melts. Know that it will happen again at the end of summer, right before school starts. It's the circle of life, baby.

14. Always get boys' haircuts at barber shops instead of hair salons.

15. Answer this question: What is the worst thing that can happen if your kids sleep in their clothes?

16. Never stifle a generous inclination.

17. Try to like what they like. It kind of sucks when it's Bob the Builder, but the payoff will come when they discover Lemony Snicket.

18. Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.

19. If your child falls asleep occasionally without brushing her teeth, don't wake her; baby teeth do eventually fall out.

20. I know you are supposed to use natural consequences to punish bad behavior, but sometimes it's hard to think of natural consequences. In these cases try threatening your kids with clipping their toenails or some other activity they dread. I've had great success with this one, but you must find your own.

21. Get used to the word zerrissenheit. It means a state of disjointedness, and it's the new normal for most of us. At least you can feel fancy because it's German.

22. Buy kids deodorant before they need it.

23. Teach your children to make their own breakfast-- and allow enough time so they can do it without pressure.

24. I can't stress this enough: Use duvet covers on your comforters and forget about the top sheet. Not only will you thank me for this advice, but your kids will thank me as well when they are learning to make their bed.

25. Remember clogging lessons are not in the best interest of the child.

26. Don't administer a punishment that hurts you more than it does them.

27. Always pack wipes. If your kids go somewhere without you, send along wipes. It's like having a mom with them.

28. Do not allow the word wienies in your home.

29. Dress your little girls like, well, little girls.

30. Make sure your kids know how they like their eggs and burgers cooked. You don't want them to feel stress when ordering at the diner.

31. It's fine to brag about yourself to your kids.

32. Buy quaint wooden toys and hand-knit stuffed animals, but don't expect your kids to play with them.

33. Just say "No" to any toy or doll that comes with packets that have to be mixed with water.

34. Teach them to like cool music. Why suffer through The Wiggles when you could be enjoying Wilco or counting along with Feist?

35. Don't buy the most expensive school-picture package. It's a waste of money.

36. Give out awards for actual achievements.

37. You're never too old to dress up and decorate your house for Halloween. And it's more fun for everyone if you are into it. It also entitles you to more candy.

38. If the school year, new babysitter, or karate class gets off to a rocky start, don't totally stress out about it. Instead, think of the improvement that can be made by the end of the year.

39. Independence is a wonderful thing. For everyone. So is together time. Make sure you have a healthy dose of both.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

1 month old

We've hit the 1-month milestone! (Actually, tomorrow will be 5 weeks, but hey). Our littlest man has grown quite a bit, now really fitting into those 0-3 month clothes, and even some 3-6 mo. This makes me happy, since Deron had some awfully cute clothes, but since their birthdays are on opposite sides of the summer, a lot of his old stuff will be out of season.

Anyway, he's begun one of my favorite things: cooing. And we're also getting into somewhat of a schedule. This also makes me happy. Schedules are this mommy's best friend. When things are out of whack, it seems to make everything and everyone, well, out of whack.

Enjoy some new pictures!

disclaimer: ok, for those of you who clicked on this picture to get a close-up of our cute feet, let me assure you that I KNOW it is time to get a pedi. Sue me for being on my feet a lot and not adequately preparing the bottoms of my feet for this picture. The opportunity arose, and I had to take it.

rachael ray

The past week and a half I have made 5 Rachael Ray recipes and have 1 more on the schedule for this week. I've also printed out 2 more to try maybe next week.

I have this newfound joy for Rachael Ray's stuff. We used to be die-hard Alton Brown fans (and still are), but I found that more often than not he liked including either hard-to-find ingredients or there was a lot to buy for one recipe. With needing to shop on a budget, but still wanting to cook good food for my boys, and ENJOY what I make (since I do really love to cook), I turned again to Rachael. I don't mind "slaving away" for up to an hour making something delish, so it's not that her recipes are often pretty easy to whip up. I've just found that they are quite yummy and don't cost a lot at the grocery.

Since I've had so much fun trying out some of her recipes, I thought I'd share them with you as well.

Mexican Lasagna - this was really easy and really tasty! Philip especially enjoyed it. I used boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into small pieces instead of ground chicken and omitted the corn for my love. I also just used the flour tortillas I had in the fridge and all worked out very yummily!

Crispy Chicken Cutlets with Basil-Parsley Sauce - very good. Definitely on the to-make-again stack. To me it is basically a chicken parm recipe (which is a staple at our house) without the tomato sauce. On the link it includes a recipe for Cheesy Risi e Bisi, which I kinda flubbed on and made white rice with parmesan.

Spicy Pork Roast with Rosemary Potatoes - I just realized this isn't RRay, but it was good anyhow. I had a pork roast, which I've never cooked before, and found this recipe. The sweet and sour sauce was a little strange, and we liked the taste of the pork without it better than with. Good to know.

Barbecued Chinese Chicken Lettuce Wraps - I made these for lunch yesterday. I don't often cook Asian, so it was a stretch, but I thought it sounded interesting. I left out the water chestnuts for Philip again, and used powdered ginger (since I already had it) instead of grating ginger root myself. All in all, it was really great. I haven't done lettuce wraps ever, so it was fun! Philip's first comment when he saw it on the table was, "Aww! It's so cute!" haha.. made me smile.

Fennel-Pepper Spaghetti
- I saw her make this on her show last week and it completely intrigued me. The fennel seeds are supposed to give the illusion of sausage (smells like it!), and the heartiness of the peppers and onions gives a good texture with the noodles. We had this last night and I did again for lunch today. Fantastic! Philip thought it better as a side dish, but I thought it was a great change to your typical meat and tomato sauce. I will definitely be making this again.

On the to-make list:
The Only Pizza You'll Ever Want Again: Chicken, Sun Dried Tomato, Broccoli, Ricotta, Mozzarella and Basil - on the docket for this week! The broccoli is an interesting touch, but we'll see how it really tastes! I'll let you know.

Chicken Cacciatore Subs - anything on bread is yum

Mini Chicken Sausage Meatballs with Gnocchi and Tomato Sauce - my love has a love for gnocchi, so he's pumped about this one. I've never cooked gnocchi before (and I don't even know where to find it at the grocery!), so it'll be a fun one to try!