Friday, September 28, 2012

Friday Favorites

It has been way too long since I shared some Friday favorites.   So what do you say? How about today?  Good.

-This will be a no-brainer to most of you, but I'm loving the new Mumford & Sons album, Babel. Favorite song so far- "I Will Wait".  It has been my afternoon soundtrack the last 3 days.

-Orla Kiely and Method: a perfect match to me!  Cute bottle, great smelling soap and I'm sold.

-Okay, be patient with me on this one, but Cale and I are loving the ridiculous show "Duck Dynasty".  I had heard people talk about it several months ago and assumed that was not a show for me.  Earlier this week several blogs I read mentioned the wife that is on the show and I decided to look more into it.  All it took was one minute long clip on hulu to know that this was a show Cale and I needed to watch. It is SO FUNNY!  We have watched 5 or 6 episodes this week and we are constantly laughing out loud.  If you want to see some crazy rednecks in action then this is your show.  It sounds ridiculous and it is, but we can't get enough of it!  Good news is you can watch all of season 1 on hulu. I'm going to refrain from posting a nice picture at the top of this note because you might get scared!

-We are going to have family pictures taken by the best photographer I know next week and I've been trying to figure out what everyone is wearing.  I ordered this dress for Haven from Land End and it is adorable.  The top is t-shirt like and the skirt is fine wale corduroy and I love it.  It's a little brighter in person, but I think we're going to make it work.  Thank you Lands End for a 40% off coupon and a sale.

-I saw these English muffins at the store and didn't think anything of it til I read about them on a blog (which I can't find the actual link to).  Then I saw the big packs at Sam's Club and knew we needed to try them.  Let me implore you to buy them!  They are delicious- not too strong of a flavor.  Just right for these fall mornings.  I might stockpile my freezer with them!

And that's all I've got.  I, for one, and very glad it is Friday.  It's been a long week and I'm ready for a not-too-busy weekend!  Hope it's a good one for you, too!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Here we go again

It has been a week since the phone rang.  And just that like, he was home.

I think it's finally settled in that he's here.  I get to rock him to sleep at night and kiss his chubby cheeks and listen to his silly laugh.  He's here.  For now, anyways.

I'll take it.  And all the crazy that comes with him.  Any day with him is better than without.

sorry about football face, but at least you can see how big he's gotten!

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Field Trip: Learning Tree Farm

We are fortunate to have several friends who also homeschool and we decided it would be a great idea to organize some field trips together.  We had our first one last week at Learning Tree Farms and it was so much fun for all of us.  Learning Tree Farms is completely hands on and the wonderful ladies working at the farm that day were so helpful and patient with our kids.
 We got to hold chickens....well, not me.  Didn't volunteer for that one myself, but my son did!
 This is the farm's only black sheep.  Guess what it's name is?  That's right, it's Mattie.  We were dying laughing!  My Mati thought it was cool that the sheep had brown skin like he does.  
 Coolest part of the visit was the baby goat that was born while we were there!  This little guy (who we got to name- we picked Gibson) is minutes old in this picture.  
They also had two little goats that were only about a week old.  The moms couldn't get enough of these baby goats!
 Best buds with the donkeys; we learned that male donkeys are called jacks and females jenny. 
 We took a hike through the woods on the property and were rewarded with a clearing and a tire swing.  Also swarms of mosquitoes, but that didn't bother the kiddos!

See, I was there!  That's me and baby Casper, the goat.  Oh they were cute!

This was a great place to have our first field trip.  It was such a joy to see all our kids of various ages interacting and playing and learning together.  And it doesn't hurt that I got to hang out with some of my favorite women in the world.  We had such a great experience at Learning Tree Farm and I hope that this was the first of many visits there!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Afternoon snack: Cranberry Cereal Bars

Need a little afternoon snack to get you through til dinner?  These little bars are a favorite around our house. As easy as Rice Krispie treats, but a whole lot tastier in my opinion.  There's something about the crunch and flavor of the Cheerios in these bars that I just love.  So a quick, easy, kinda-not-terrible treat for your kids will love to help make them!

Cranberry Cereal Bars
4 Tbs butter
1 10 oz bag mini marshmallows
6 cups Cheerios (or other toasted O kinda cereal)
1/2 tsp salt (sounds weird, but critical- don't omit!)
1 cup dried cranberries

Spray a 9x13 dish lightly with cooking spray.  Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir in marshmallows.  Stir constantly until completely melted.  Remove from heat and add cereal, salt and cranberries.  Immediately transfer to prepared pan and pat into place firmly.  (I usually use a large spoon sprayed with cooking spray to keep from sticking.) Let cool about an hour.  Cut into 24 bars and enjoy!

recipe slightly adapted from Everyday Food
photo: courtesy of Martha Stewart 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

A new look and a quote

Like many areas of my life, I decided a little sprucing up was in order here on the blog.  So a new look with many thanks to my technical genius of a husband for getting it up and going for me. I told him what I wanted and he made it happen.  I'm liking the vibe of this new background and we will hopefully get all the tweaks taken care of this week.

And now a little Spurgeon for you.  It would not be overstating to say that C.H. Spurgeon has been vital in my growth as a believer.  Seriously.  A month or so ago, I decided to pull out my copy of Morning and Evening (thanks to Jess!) and it has been just what I needed.  I read this a few nights ago and it was astoundingly appropriate (especially in light of my last post.)  I hope you are as encouraged as I was!

The trials which come from God are sent to prove and strengthen our graces, and so at once to illustrate the power of divine grace, to test the genuineness of our virtues, and to add to their energy.  Our Lord in His infinite wisdom and superabundant love, sets so high a value upon His people's faith that He will not screen them from those trials by which faith is strengthened.  You would never have possessed the precious faith which now supports you if the trial of your faith had not been like unto fire....While the wheat sleeps comfortably in the husk it is useless to man, it must be threshed out of its resting place before its value can be know.  Thus it is well that Jehovah tries the righteous, for it causes them to grow rich toward God.  

May I always long to grow rich toward God, whatever it may cost me!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Eight months

Eight months ago, I had no idea how much my life was about to change.  A tiny baby boy entered the world and would soon enter my life.  I've not been the same since.  It was love at first's hard to not fall in love with 6lbs of nothing but sweetness.  That baby boy grew physically and took more and more of my heart with each passing day.  Life with him was never easy, not because of him, but all the "stuff" that he was burdened with the moment he was born.  And it still isn't easy.  Right now we're in no-man's-land.  He's not here, but where he's at isn't good. 

Maybe he'll come back.  
Maybe we'll never see him again.  
We just don't know. 

And this is the place where I'm finding, by God's grace, that I really do believe what I say I believe.  I believe He is in the midst of every detail of this situation.  I believe that His grace is enough for all of us to walk through the hard days.  I believe that He will soothe the hurts that make my kids cry themselves to sleep at night.  I believe that He is sovereign over us.  I believe that He is always working for the good even when all I see is darkness.  I believe that His plans are always better then mine even when I don't understand a second of it.  I believe that Jesus is my only hope and He will never disappoint me.  

But some days I'm just sad.  My love, especially my mother heart love is active; there is nothing passive about it.  It is caring for the day-to-day, feeding, kissing, reading, teaching, discipling, cleaning....all those things show my family that I love them.  Part of what makes my heart ache is that I have so much love for this little boy that I can't do anything with.  I can't feed him his bottle or wash his clothes or play on the floor with him.  I can only miss him and long to hold him or tuck him in at night.  It's not enough.  I don't know what to do about it. But I do know that we are not supposed to give up on him yet.  So we continue to pray and hope, long for and believe.  And that will have to be enough for today.