Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Good kitchen help is hard to find...

...but I've got her! My little helper is always up for a new challenge. Last week it was peeling carrots, this week we've moved on to potatoes! Now we just need to work on her knife skills and I'll have a sous chef in my kitchen!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Friday Favorites

Another week gone by and we've jumped from winter to summer! It's 80 degrees outside and looks to stay that way for the next several day. Not that I'm complaining--I would have just like a little more spring! Thus ends my brilliant intro to a few of my favorite things of late:

--I am not a "lucky" person. I don't win contests or drawing or giveaways. Or so I thought. A few weeks ago I absentmindedly entered a giveaway for the Everyday Food: Great Food Fast cookbook on Taste and Tell. Ironically, I had just checked this cookbook out from the library and was thoroughly enjoying it. I have been a longtime subscriber to the magazine and the cookbook was a great reminder of the wealth of recipes I had just sitting on my shelf untouched. But I digress...I won the cookbook! I was casually reading the blog in my Google Reader and she announced that Kate had won. I clicked on the Kate link and it was my profile! So maybe my luck, it is a changin'!

--Another book that I'm really enjoying right now is Honey for a Child's Heart by Gladys Hunt. We are big readers at our house and I have found this book to be a great resource for introducing Haven to truly great literature. Age-by-age book lists are included and she has some great insight into why reading quality books is so good for our kids. I have to return my copy to the library but this book has gone on my short list of books to buy because it is something I know I will reference for years to come as our kids grow.

--And one more book! But this one certainly has less widespread appeal. I read about an adorable baby book for an adopted child on a blog (of course!) and was so excited to order it. It came last week and I can't wait to fill in the pages. Plus it is SO stinking cute without being cutesy and is very appropriate for a boy or a girl. Did I mention that I can't wait to fill it out??!!

--True confession time: I am mildly obsessed with the show Little People Big World. A few weeks ago I discovered that you could watch Season 1 online on Netflix. Cale and I worked our way through Season 1 and have started on Season 2. Unfortunately we have to wait for them to be mailed to us but then we've got nine episodes to watch. And I seriously love it. Not sure what it is about them, but I find them highly entertaining. As a result of watching this show I've decided that our grandkids will have to call us Pop and Honey. (That's what the dad's parents are called by the kids.) I love it! Haven already calls Cale Papa, so Pop works for him and I just love the idea of being called Honey by my grandkids. See, I told you I'm obsessed!

--This couldn't be a true Friday Favorites if I didn't include at least one new recipe from the week that we enjoyed. Last night I made soup which was a stretch for me. I despise eating soup when it's warm outside, but I had ingredients to use up and this recipe looked too good to wait til fall to try. So Sweet Potato Pepper Soup it was and it was worth it! Kay is having some technical difficulties so I'm not sure this link will work, but it'd be worth digging around for if you are looking for a delicious, creamy but really healthy soup. We all loved it and Haven kept telling me it was SO delicious!

--This is what I have waiting for me this weekend. Oy. (That's mulch by the way- in case you can't tell from the picture. And it's A LOT of it!)

I hope you're weekend is more fun then mine looks to be!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Spring clean: bit by bit

I love everything about the idea of spring cleaning. A fresh start, clearing away the heaviness of winter, and a clean slate for a new sesason. It sounds like a great idea and I'm all for it. I just wish I didn't have to do it at, you know, my own house. I make lists and charts and plans in my mind and try to figure out a way to get it all done yesterday. I'm currently just past the planning stages and can cross off a few tasks off my ever expanding list.

Sunday Cale and I tackled our closets. Don't hate me, but we have 2 large, walk-in closets. We sorted and purged and packed away winter clothes to make room for summer clothes. Six loads of laundry later the t-shirts are neatly stacked, shorts and capris have found their home for the next several months and I smile every time I look in the closets. Today another small victory- cleaning and sorting a few dresser drawers and another bag of items destined for Goodwill.

As I was working on the drawers today I realized that I've discovered the only way I'm ever going to get my spring cleaning done: the bit by bit approach. A drawer or two today, the basket under the coffee table tomorrow and cleaning out the junk drawer the day after that. So this is my new approach. I'm going to look at my big list every day and pick one or two things to tackle. I don't have time or motivation to deep clean room by room. If that were necessary I would force myself to do it, but I don't think I need to right now. This new approach seems manageable to me and hopefully it won't take me til fall to get my spring cleaning done!

Friday, April 17, 2009

The boo-boo song

During the span of about five minutes this morning, Haven hurt herself at least that many times. After picking herself up from the bottom of the steps (she fell down the last 2) she came running to me and asked to sing a song. I asked her what she wanted to sing and she said, "I've got a song to sing about boo-boos. You dance and I'll sing." She then began to sing the following:

Getting boo-boos
Getting boo-boos
Everyday, everyday
It hurts me, it hurts me
Mommy helps me, Mommy helps me
I'm okay, I'm okay.

I love this girl! I immediately came and typed out what she said because I loved it so much. And it's pretty darn catchy for a three year old to make up on the spot, if I do say so myself.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fresh cut grass

I lived in Cotonou, Benin, West Africa for 6 months in 2001. Cotonou is a port city and I lived on a boat in the port for part of that time. There was no grass to be found. Even in other parts of the city yards and open spaces comprised of dust, dirt and more dust. As students with YWAM our cheapest mode of transportation was zimijans (small motor bikes for hire) with a driver. It was always interesting trying to communicate to our driver where you wanted to go and agree on a price with little to no French (for me) or English (for him).

One particularly hot day, I had hired a zimijan to take me to a restaurant where I was meeting some friends to eat. The driver headed out of the port area on a road I had not driven on before. At that point my knowledge of the city was very limited so I didn't think much of it. We were headed in the general direction of the restaurant so I just sat back and tried to enjoy the ride (while holding on for dear life to the bar behind my back!) It seemed to be taking a little longer then I thought and I began to get a little worried. I had recently had a traumatic experience with another zimijan driver who I could not communicate with and left me in the middle of nowhere, yelling at me as he drove away. I did not want a repeat performance. I was just about to ask him to pull over so we could review my destination when I smelled it.

Fresh cut grass. To my right was the Cotonou Hilton and inside it's gated walls were acres of green. freshly cut grass. My mind was instantly transported. I was no longer on the back of a motorcycle in dusty, dirty western Africa, I was home. I was driving through the rolling hills of my childhood home breathing in spring. It was only a moment, but it was enough for my homesick heart. A glimpse and a reminder of what I'd left behind. You might think it made me even more homesick, but the opposite happened. It reminded me how big my God was. That He chose to lead a home loving, country girl like me to the other side of the world to experience Him in amazing ways. He loves me that much!

Spring is finally here. Trees are blooming, spring bulbs are bright with color and the grass is slowly turning green once again. As I was driving home from the store earlier this week I caught my first waft of fresh cut grass. And this time I found myself remembering the girl on the back of the motorcycle and the God who loves her.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Tuesday observations

We have been on the road for the last few days and just returned this afternoon from a brief sojourn to Michigan. Not a very exciting trip, but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. Some observations:

-It rained the entire drive home.
-Haven talked the entire drive home.
-Silence is a wonderful thing.
-Michiganites love Tim Horton's. This is a very good thing because I *heart* Iced Capps (Thanks, Julie!) and enjoyed one on the rainy drive home.
-Hotel shampoo makes my hair very staticky.
-Haven loves her new found freedom of swimming with water wings.
-Haven loves bacon and ate it at 3 of her last 5 meals.
-Eating in restaurants can be nice, but eating at home is better.
-I love being home, especially on dreary Tuesdays.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Good Friday

I've been reading a great devotional book that has guided my heart and mind during Lent. Today, it seems appropriate to share these words that I read this morning.

"And let us learn from the story of the passion always to hate sin with a great hatred. Sin was the cause of all our Savior's sufferings. Our sins twisted the crown of thorns; our sins drove the nails into his hands and feet; on account of our sins his blood was shed. Surely the thought of Christ crucified should make us loathe all sin. As the Church of England Homily of Passion says so well,'Let this image of Christ crucified be always printed in our hearts. Let it stir us up to the hatred of sin, and provoke our minds to the earnest love of Almighty God.'"
-J.C. Ryle
Loving God, hating sin. The two can not be separated.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Haven's "Program"

Haven had a program to mark the end of the year at Tuesday School a few weeks ago. We talked about the program quite a bit leading up to the big event and one night she decided to do some practicing. She loves to sing and as you will see takes some creative license with lyrics. And the prayer...she is too much! I love this girl and the way that the Lord made her with a lot of personality and a sweet, kind heart!


Friday, April 3, 2009

A few details...

There's a new feature around here thanks to Cale's hard work. It is now possible to subscribe to fell in love at 22 via your email (just for you Shannon!) Also, if you don't already subscribe to it in a reader there is a handy little button for your convenience. (And why aren't you using Google Reader already?!!!) If you currently subscribe nothing should change, but if you have problems with it please let me know. I do realize how ridiculous a request that is because if you subscribe in a reader then you don't even come here to check in so why would you know that you've missed anything?!!! Humor me!

That is all.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The If-Then and Blessing Charts

I love being a mom. Some days everything is great and wonderful and Haven and I have a ball together. But then there are those days when I feel like I do nothing but correct, discipline and try to rationalize with a three year old. Cale and I have always tried to be consistent in our disciplining and training of Haven, but sometimes consequences for her actions varied greatly throughout the day. Admittedly they would escalate as one of us would become increasingly frustrated with her actions. Far too often we were just reacting to her bad behavior and not doing as much training in the midst of our correction.

Enter the If-Then Chart from Doorposts.com. My friend, Julie, recently reminded me of this website and their great resources for Bible-based character training. The chart is a tool that lists off several different kinds of behavior that would result in negative consequences or discipline. For example, one of the topics is arguing, complaining and whining. It lists the "offense", scripture verses that speak to that behavior and then a blank spot where you can fill in the consequence that you decide is appropriate. We implemented this "system" a few weeks ago and Haven has responded wonderfully. Not only does she seem to be growing in her understanding of self control and making better choices about her actions, but it has helped Cale and I immensely. It keeps us accountable to follow through each and every time their is an issue to deal with and because we know we need to "go to the chart" to read the Bible verse and check what the consequence is, we are no longer disciplining in anger. We are consistent because it's all laid out and it doesn't matter who is doing the discipline, the consequence will be the same.

What I love about this new system (that sounds so strange, but I can't think of a better word for it!) is that it isn't just the If-Then Chart. The other piece to our new system is The Blessing Chart. This is what we call the happy chart! It is set up the same way the If-Then Chart is with the behavior listed in one column (like cheerfulness and thankfulness), a scripture verse in the middle and then your desired "blessing" in the last column. Haven loves the Blessing Chart. Again, we have been amazed at the way she has responded so positively to this. While we don't want to get caught up in rewarding Haven for expected behavior, this chart goes above and beyond that and helps us to encourage the good that we see in Haven and nurture those godly attributes.

Not only can these charts be catered to your family and what you decide are appropriate consequences and blessings, they can grow with your kids. It's perfect for us with a preschooler, but could be equally effective with older school age children. I can't recommend these highly enough! They are also inexpensive and ours arrived very quickly after ordering. The back of the charts also lists some suggestions for consequences/blessings if you have trouble coming up with your own.

I'm so thankful that we were reminded of this great resource that encourages godly behavior not only in Haven, but in Cale and I as well. It gently reminds us to discipline in love when she needs it, but to also be her biggest encourager and to praise the good we see. It's already made a difference in our family in just a few short weeks!