Oh Looking Back, You Make Me Smile!

Life is so good! I’ve been so struck with how much I’ve been blessed to experience already… Wow. Here’s my glimpse back tonight.

.2010. May. He proposed. Yeah I thought he was teasing me and I told him to knock it off. But we cleared that right up! ;-)

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.2010. A little later. What a lucky girl am I?!

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.2011. On our wedding day.

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October Meal Plan (with a lot of LINKS!!!!)

This month I’m trying to plan my WHOLE menu out at the beginning. I definitely notice a difference in my budget if I plan it each week so I figure I should get even better return planning out an even bigger chunk right? Maybe! We shall see :-)

wpid-20140805_133714.jpg(ahhhh the work I can accomplish during nap time bliss! Thank you Lord for making babes need LOTS of sleep!)

I got all the way through the last week, which I just finally completed today. I procrastinated a little, but with an “input needed” post to FB, all the slots got filled rather quicly!!! Sometimes I could kiss social media!

I can’t stand hand written sloppy paper though, so I wanted to store it here. I figure once I’ve done this it for a few months, it will be way easier to see what our favorite meals are. (HINT! Favorites are bound to use a LOT of fresh tortillas!)

wpid-img_20141010_003738.jpgWe have very busy Tuesday nights, (10 minutes after the husband gets home to feed him and get the babies in the car and then we aren’t home until 9:30PM after youth group!) so we try to stick with Taco Tuesdays! And on Thursday nights I try to do something in the crock pot or a soup, because we host small group at our house every week… Which normally requires a little bit (or a lot depending on my week!) of extra prep time from me ,and my kiddos have to be able to start dinner right after naps because they’re super pokey eaters! :-) Other than that, it should be mostly normal and I might be able to cycle through it in 3 or 4 months again who knows?! That’d be so handy!

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Too Busy Chasing Memories…

This is my September 2014, photo a day blog. The 2nd half of the month is where my favorites are! At least take the time to see those. They warm my Mama heart! <3

If anyone happened to notice that I stopped posting pictures on Facebook for the month of September, here’s why:

I am so tired of being addicted to social media.

I was tired of the habit of always snapping a quick picture of every single thing my kids did. ( I mean. Really. They do so MANY adorable things.)

Stopping their child-like fun with the words of “Hold on let Mommy take a picture!” How dare I? So not worth it!!! It is time to chill. I was wasting so much time. Missing out on so much REAL LIFE, constantly being behind a camera. Always too busy chasing the preservation of memories to actually make any memories worth preserving. 

I’m tired of being afraid of my kids growing up. Tired of worrying that I’m wasting the precious time I have been given. Well, I finally realized that this obsession our generation has with preserving every little detail is one of the biggest culprits stealing our joy.

Let’s just enjoy life. Let’s take a picture when it’s convenient. And when we do, let it be for the joy of simply enjoying photography. Quit saying it’s for our kids sake. Because truly, THEY DON’T CARE. Won’t ever care. (At least not as much as we think they will!) Let kids be kids and stop letting the obsession take that from them. Be there with them, and enjoy the time. The memories we mutually hold in our hearts will eventually be the only ones we care about.

All that said… I decided to dedicate this month to taking one picture a day. One small chunk of time where, as my kids played sweetly, I would quietly get my camera out, and with as little interruption as possible, I would enjoy photographing them. It allowed me time to truly capture images that are precious to me without disrupting the flow of their day (and also broke the habit of relying on my phone for photos. So nice to use my camera again!). It also allowed me to spend proper time editing those pictures. It reminded me of my love of black & white that Instagram just can’t satisfy. ;-) It’s quite a stress relief for me to sit and edit a few pictures a week. And I believe it’s good for a mom to have an outlet like that. This is mine. Here’s to enjoying photography again!

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This post is filled with precious, cute new things my girls are doing, which I’m sure you’re ALL so eager to read. ;) If you ARE one who likes those updates, read on.

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Cinnamon-Apple Dutch Baby

I stumbled across this recipe on the PERFECT DAY! I have a fresh batch of Apple Butter I’m eager to try it, it’s raining and I don’t feel like having scrambled eggs again! Something to go perfectly with that steaming cup of coffee. YUM

This turned out so great! It was so quick and easy to throw together, and it made the kitchen warm up a bit too, to turn on the oven first thing in the morning.

Claire, David and I all loved it! In David’s words “We obviously love Dutch babies!” Haha… (Hailee would have too if she hadn’t been having… a moment.) Even though I over cooked it a little bit, it was interesting how the dark edges didn’t get hard and dry like I was worried they would. They just got a crispy edge, while staying chewy inside. The buttery edges added a delicious touch of saltiness that paired deliciously with the Apple Butter. We found ourselves adding more and MORE sauce on top, the more we ate. Claire ended the breakfast by slurping the last of the Apple Butter from the sauce dish I had on the table. Pretty much made my day!

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New Budget & New Adventures

Recently we have made the switch to a cash budget. Our reasons need not be ALL disclosed, but suffice it to say God put it on our hearts to spend way less,  to give more easily, and remove ourselves from the addicting culture of needing more.

I actually love it!

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And…. I hate it. Truly. It just depends on the day!

This obsession we have with buying constantly and excess…. It has to be a heart issue of discontent. Of greed. It’s an issue of pride.

To constantly feel like we want the new.

The next.

The “best”.

If we weren’t always comparing would we always be buying???

It feels good to be stepping back from that! Truly a relief! This is a heart condition that is encouraged by our society, and not a healthy one! Our Lord tells us to not even worry about what we will worry about tomorrow, for He can provide for His children. He reminds us many times how we should not store up our treasures on earth but in heaven, for, “Where our treasures are. There our heart will be.” I sure want my heart and my kids’ hearts and focus to be in heaven.

What’s all this earthly junk good for anyway? The only thing it accomplishes is giving me a focus OTHER than my heavenly goal!

 

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Chicken and Rice (Or… Dumb Rice!)

So simple. A toddler favorite…. Something you probably grew up eating your whole childhood, but won’t make for your kids.

(Duhn duh duh DUH!)

RICE A RONI! 

Hailee simply calls it by the endearing name “Chicken and Rice”.

My nephew calls it, “Dumb Rice.” Not quite as endearing.

So I’ll call this Chicken and Rice! :)

It was a regular in our home. But….. This mama’s new budget dislike the price per box. And mom dislikes the random items in the ingredients list!

So I decided to look for a recipe for something very similar, using only basic ingredients from my kitchen. My first test was SO spot on, we all loved it! The adults agree it was better than the boxed kind, and the toddler’s didn’t notice a difference so THAT is certainly a win! I just had to share, and record for myself, since I did make a few adjustments to the original find.

It’s Claire approved.

Which… I’ll admit it. She eats a lot! Soooo this just means you can trust it wasn’t disgusting! ;)

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And it’s Hailee approved!

Which means a lot. Little picky eater. I have to work hard to make sure the things she actually likes enough to eat a significant amount of are nutritious, because she tends to only like starchy, snacky, or sweet foods. So her stamp of approval is one hard earned!!!

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Try it. It’s easy and delicious!

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Claire is 1!

Claire Ruth!

You sure didn’t get my permission to have a birthday today!

You probably got permission from Dad, he loves watching you girls grow up! So do I but sometimes I get all nostalgic and want this back…

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Claire-Roo, 1 month old!

But then I look at THIS gorgeous face!

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Little squishy nose…

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“As I Lay Me Down to Sleep…..” Christians are being murdered.

Every night for the past 2 weeks….
I tuck my 2 baby girls in.
I cry.
I pray.

I pray for those helpless mama’s in Iraq.
How out of control they must feel and how heart wrenching their position is.
I pray for their faith in the Lord. That they are able to stay strong in their task, that they might not waste their trials. I pray that they remember how their children are not theirs alone, but a gift from our heavenly Father, who loves them far more than we are even capable of. Praise God that these Christians are dying in their proclamation of faith in the one true God, and not for something meaningless, but I cannot imagine!!!

But then I feel like a hypocrite. Because I can only *hope* that my faith would have the same endurance that I pray they have now.

And then I go to my own bed, crying and praying.
And eventually, I get up to go pray over my own children some more.

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And I think of those who have nothing but prayer.

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There’s This Awesome Man I Know…

Thanks for marrying me David! Happy birthday, I love you! So excited to be able to celebrate all your birthdays together forever.

Thanks to anyone else who chooses to read this- this counts towards your weekly dose of mushy! ;)

 

So there’s this awesome man I know…

And who doesn’t want to know when there’s an awesome guy around?

Well I know of one…

 

He’s handy.  He’s hot.

Just plain good to have around.

Ready to help, and easy to please.

Happy to eat good food,

and hard to bring down.

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