Friday, January 30, 2009

She's got her own ideas

I had this conversation with Haven the other day about her upcoming 3rd birthday.

Me: Haven, what do you want to do for your birthday?

H: Umm, blow out my candles. All by myself! I don't need annny help.

Me: Okay, we can do that. What kind of cake are you going to have?

H: Strawberry. Strawberry Shortcake with a big H on it.

Me: Okay. What else would be special that you would like to do on your birthday?

H: Just blow out my candles.

Me: That's it?

H: Well, maybe someone could get me a castle. Like the one I saw in that magazine and a pony and a carriage and some people.

Me: Yes, that would be nice. What should we have for dinner on your birthday?

H: Chicken, roast beef...carrots.

Me: What kind of chicken do you like?

H: The white kind. And roast beef, too.

Me: Okay.

H: And maybe we could have some friends over. To eat cake. With a big "H" on it. And blow out my candles. All by myself. Mommy, I don't need annny help!

All duly noted and taken care of. (Except we're having pizza, not roast beef!)

I doubt she will always be this easy to please!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pinkalicious Princess!



I love this girl!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

In the kitchen

I have spent a great deal of time this weekend in the kitchen churning out some good food. I'm not sure what was the motivator, but I am very pleased with the results. I was able to feed us well, share a few meals with my neighbor and put a few things away in the freezer.

-Multi grain pancakes
-Pinkalicious cupcakes (using a small batch recipe found here)
-Chicken cheese steaks with peppers
-Baked Pasta with Chicken sausage-2 pans
-2 loaves of my favorite French bread
-a huge pot of Double Chicken Dumpling Soup
-Peanut Butter Crunch Snack Balls -stored in the freezer so we can just get out a few at a time
-2 dozen mini blueberry oatmeal muffins
-banana strawberry and banana blueberry smoothies
-2 balls of whole wheat pizza dough- 1 in the freezer, 1 for tonight's BBQ chicken pizza
-1 loaf yogurt herb bread

Maybe it was the fact that I didn't really cook this past week on account of all the sickness ravaging our family, but whatever the reason it felt good to be so productive in the kitchen.

Time well spent this cold weekend!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Favorites

It's been a long week at our house. So there is no better way to end the week then with a list! Some of my favorite things from the last few weeks...

-I originally purchased this purse for my sister-in-law's birthday, but loved it so much that Cale picked up my hints and is getting me one as well. I just can't decide which one I love the most. They are all great and I love the idea of having a handmade, practically one-of-a-kind bag. Go check out Tippy Thai's etsy store here.

-I read Shannon at Rocks In My Dryer daily, but today she made me cry. Go read her beautiful post about her new niece that is arriving from Ethiopia very soon!

-Sesame Street is a favorite around here. Last week I discovered that at they have a very nice interactive website full of learning games, short video clips and coloring pages. Haven has become obsessed with "playing her games" and has been known to throw a fit when we say it is time to quit. We've passed quite a bit of time playing counting, alphabet and matching games this week and Haven thinks she is big stuff getting to use the computer. (Please note that she doesn't play them by herself. She gets to click the button occasionally, but for the most part just tells us what to do and we do it for her.)

-Right before Christmas the bedding that I've had my eye on for the baby's new room finally went on clearance at Target. Now it's been out since last April so I was waiting patiently for this stuff to go on sale. Amber, being the great friend that she is, texted me from "her" Target to tell me the good news. I raced over to "my" Target and found it even cheaper- 50% off! Since then I have found several of the other coordinating blankets and toys at 75% off. I love Target and I LOVE 75% off!

-Haven loves to go to the library. She also loves the color pink. On a recent trip I found a great book that we have both enjoyed reading, over and over and over again. "Priscilla and the Pink Planet" is such a cute story and I'm betting any kid- not just a girl who loves pink- would enjoy it! It's on our short list of books to buy with birthday gift cards at Barnes and Noble.

-For several months now I have been "playing" The Grocery Game. I was initially skeptical about whether I would save enough money to make it worth while, especially since I don't buy very much prepared food. I have gladly been proven wrong week after week as I have purchased dairy products, cereal, toiletries, cleaning products and stock piled my pantry. I have become a bit of an addict trying to beat my savings from the previous week. Go here to read all about it. You can try it out free for 4 weeks and I would definitely recommend checking it out.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Try again next week

Thursday already? What has happened to this week? We had things to do and people to see. We were supposed to be learning about the letter "P" and I had all manner of puppets, princesses, puzzles and pink activities planned. Today was actually going to be "Pinkalicious" day at our house. Instead our week could be described as Puke-alicious and, well, another bodily function that begins with "p". It's not been pretty. At this point I think we'll throw in the towel on this week. At the rate we've been going we're going to need a few days to recover.

Here's looking forward to Monday!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Celebrating me

So the first few days of being 30 have been, in a word, hectic. In another word, wonderful. My birthday was spent with Cale on a lunch date that extended to dinner, a movie, errands and FRIGID temperatures. It was exactly the way I wanted to spend my day and I'm thankful that Cale was able to make it happen. He and Haven gave me several wonderful gifts and we enjoyed a nice evening at home, just the three of us.

My first full day of thirty was not that great. Cale was fighting off a cold, I had to go to the chiropractor two times with in 2 hours and we made a trip to the children's urgent care with Haven concerned that she was battling an infection (she's not). We also had to get ready for the 14 people coming to stay at our house for the weekend and the party Saturday night. I may have cried once or twice. Thankfully the second trip to the chiropractor helped me to stand up straight again and it only took 4 different kinds of adjustments, electro-therapy and a few tears. I am married to the most helpful man alive and he did everything I couldn't do, which was most of the cleaning. We managed to get everything done by 9pm Friday night so we could settle in to watch some Friday Night Lights.

Half of my family arrived late Friday night and they unknowingly brought some stomach virus with them. My brother and his wife and son were all hit with it and were sick all of Saturday. We quarantined them to one couch and were obsessive about Lysol. You don't even want to know how many Lysol wipes we went through and how many loads of laundry we washed. The saddest part is that they had to miss my big party last night. They stayed here and drank ginger ale. Boo.

My party was so much fun! It was great for me to have so many people who care about me all in one place. Cale did a great job organizing food and baking four (!) angel food cakes for everyone. He also kept the kids entertained last night which was no small feat considering their were 17 of them! It was just a fun night and I left the party feeling very loved and very blessed to have such amazing friends. Then I came home and read my cards and cried, and cried. (I've done a lot of crying since I turned 30. Will the trend continue?) Cale and I were completely overwhelmed by the outpouring of support for our adoption and for the kind words shared with us. Wow.

Today I fixed a celebratory lunch for the lot of us because it wasn't just my birthday that we had to celebrate. My oldest brother's birthday was yesterday and my sister-in-law's is tomorrow. January is a busy birthday month in our family! So we ate and opened presents and ate more cake. And now it's quiet. I'm not kidding in the slightest when I tell you that my brothers and their families had to leave in time to get home to watch the Steelers game today. When I came downstairs this morning everyone was all dressed in their best Steelers gear. Made me happy!

We've had a good weekend, one that improved as time passed and I'm so thankful it's not over yet. Cale is off tomorrow so we get another day to recuperate, hang out with friends and plan for the upcoming week. I even get to go out to dinner with a friend and my Bible study group is starting a new study.

Being 30 is pretty great so far.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Goodbye 29

Today is my last full day of being 29. An entire decade of my life comes to and end and I'll be moving into a new category... a woman in her thirties. I'm totally okay with this. My 20's were an amazing, incredible time in my life. I enjoyed being a single woman with the freedom and ability to travel all over the place and serve the Lord is some wonderful ways. My 20's brought me Cale and marriage, overseas missions, home ownership, a baby, being a stay at home mom, and settling into the life that He's called me.

Today I will spend my last day as a twenty-nine year old hanging out with a friend and watching our daughters play. I will tuck Haven in for a nap and lay down beside her for a few extra minutes of cuddling. I will fix dinner for our family and be thankful for our warm house. I'll scrub the kitchen and sweep the floor, because someone has to. Today will be not all that different from tomorrow or a thousand tomorrows after it. But that's fine with me; I wouldn't have it any other way.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Welcome home and the week to come

Haven and I welcomed Cale home Friday night from Orlando where he had spent the week attending a conference. We missed him A LOT, especially Haven who would wake up crying in the night for her Papa. It was sad! I knew she loved Cale, but who knew she was such a total Daddy's girl! As we drove to the airport Friday night Haven informed me that I was not allowed to take her to bed, "Only Papa because I missed him and I love him." Much of the weekend found Haven preferring Cale to me and I can assure you that I didn't mind being the second choice!

We had a good weekend catching up with each other and spending lots of time relaxing; it was great! Saturday night we got to celebrate my friend, J's, 30th Surprise Party that her husband threw off with out a hitch. She didn't have a clue and the look on her face was priceless when she walked in the house! Yesterday we didn't do much of anything except cheer on our Steelers to the AFC Championship game. There was much yelling, celebrating and high-fiving at our house!

And now we are back to Monday. It's a big week around here! These are the waning days of my 20's. I turn 30 (!) on Thursday and our week is a great mix of lunches out, getting together with friends, a lunch date with my favorite guy and a party to round it all on on Saturday night with all my family and closest friends coming to celebrate. And if all that weren't enough my favorite show, Friday Night Lights (also known as the best show on tv!) returns on Friday night. I can't wait!

Goodbye 29, hello 30!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Nap time conversation

Heard through the monitor "Mama! Really, Mama! I've just been praising God and now I'm done! Mama. Really, Mama!"

(We have no idea where the praising God during nap time has come from but she's said it repeatedly so we just roll with it.)

I'm feeling lazy so I just go to the bottom of the steps and yell up that she can come down. I hear the door creak so I start to walk back towards the living room. As Haven walks down the stairs she says, "Mama, I just don't really have any pants or undies on. I left them upstairs."

I immediately walk back to the steps and verify that yes, indeed, she is lacking any clothing on her bottom half. I ask her what happened and she reports matter-of-factly, "Well, I just tinkled in them and on my bed. That's a problem, Mama. So I took them off because they were full of tinkle."

Makes sense, right?! I went up to her room to survey the damage which was surprisingly minimal. I couldn't get too upset because this is only the second time she's ever wet her bed. I'm just not sure how peeing in your bed connects with praising God. But I'll leave that to her!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

A fresh start

We're slowly making our way into 2009. This weekend has found us slowly dismantling the house and returning it to it's usual state. The tree is out on the curb. The decorations are tucked back into their boxes and settled into their corner of the closet for the next 11 months. The last Christmas cookie has been eaten and all the candy we've seemed to accumulate has been dispersed (read: taken to Cale's office). All the gifts we received have found their way to new homes and the new games have all been played at least once. It's a gray day outside and it feels kind of gray inside, too.

Tomorrow is the first Monday of the new year. I'm a big Monday person so the fact that it's also the start of the first new week of the year excites me. I have many goals and plans for the new year. I don't like to call them resolutions, first because that is so cliche, but also because failure seems to be synonymous with resolutions. I'm going to go with goals. That means I have something I want to accomplish and have a plan to get there. Some big, some small, but all with the hope of making me a better wife, mom, household manager, friend, and ultimately, follower of Jesus. And that's the bottom line. If I strive to accomplish new things (or old ones that I haven't quite mastered) because I want to prove a point or show the world I can or draw attention to myself then I will end up failing. This year, more then ever before, I am aware that all my striving is for nothing if I'm not first striving after Christ (Philippians 3:8).

I want to know Him more this year. And through growing to know Him I hope to love and serve my family better, serve unselfishly whenever I can, be a better steward of the resources given to me, take greater care of myself and grow in knowledge and in truth.

Welcome, 2009. I'll see you tomorrow!