Monday, November 30, 2009

Also overheard at our house today...

A loud spitting sound followed by "Kenson, did you put pizza in Mama's pop?"

I got a phone call during lunch and stepped out of the room to talk while he ate. Unfortunately, I left my Diet Dr. Pepper can unattended. So about an hour later, when I decided to take a drink, I was unpleasantly suprised by the taste of Diet Dr. Pepper mixed with pepperoni chunks. Not good. Really really not good.

Hey, where's my band?

Overheard today while Kenson was playing "parade"...

"Mama, where's MY band?"

Isn't that how we feel alot of times...where's the music just for me?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Thanksgiving Rundown

We just returned from completing our 11 hour circle tour of southeast, central, and northeast Nebraska. We spent Wednesday through Saturday with K's folks, including Thanksgiving at her aunt's and uncle's. Kenson enjoyed singing with Uncle Jared and decorating a few turkey cookies as well as his first taste of turkey.

Uncle Jared rescued Kenson from the monotony of making turkeys; I'm not exactly sure what this was other than "let Kenson do whatever he wants."

We took the turkeys we crafted from food boxes to give to Grandma, Grandpa, and Grandma 2. On Friday, after we gave all of our turkeys away, Grandma 2 came to visit. As soon as she walked in the door, Kenson said "Where's your turkey? At home?" Not even a hello, how ya doing.

Kenson also enjoyed my cousin's very pregnant Yorkshire terrier, Molly who has apparently been gallavanting around with a Boston terrier. We were hoping for a Thanksgiving miracle, well, because we're weird and wouldn't having puppies while you were enjoying Thanksgiving with your family be memorable, especially for a first Thanksgiving? But alas, Molly waited until we left. She is now a 3 puppy Mama. (And I'm guessing those puppies will be available so if you're wanting a little house dog, I'll hook you up!)

Saturday, we headed to D's grandma's where we enjoyed supper, a good night's rest, and then her normal treat, Village Inn. Gotta get her great grandson some pancakes...and syrup. When the waitress asked him what he was going to have, he quickly told her "Syrup." That's really how he is with breakfast items. Oatmeal, eggs,'s gotta have syrup. We ordered him chocolate chip pancakes which he had had on another trip but for some reason, this time, the chocolate syrup was not okay. He wanted the maple. And given our traveling adventures and how close we were to melt down, we let him. Can you say sugar overload? Beats a screaming crying child in the middle of a crowded resturant.

Anyway, we're home now and thankful for the family we were able to visit.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cute fleece flowers...need I say more?

While shopping for fabric yesterday (at the premier crafty establishments of Wal-Mart and Alco), I was unable to find a specific shade of sage green fleece and suitable lining material for hats. But I did manage to find a freebie instruction sheet with a wonderfully cute fabric flower. The actual directions were for a photo frame and for cotton fabric but I improvised and used the same idea with fleece. Here's the finished product. Stinking cute!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

T is for Turkey

Loved this project. But it was a bit hard for Kenson to help with. He did a lot of gluing, not so much of anything else. Maybe would have been better for a bit older kiddo. Maybe would have been better with a kiddo who was more into following directions. Regardless, it was still fun to talk about the parts of a turkey and to see how the different boxes made interesting layers when stacked.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Warm Fuzzies for a Mama's Heart

Last night, D and I put Kenson to bed and I went downstairs to sew. My sewing space is right under Kenson's bedroom. Our old house has the big, oversized floor grates and his room happens to have one. He was fumbling around in bed, making funny noises, and then finally he starts calling for me. It wasn't frantic, more like "I don't really want to be in bed so I'll just try to get out of it." After a bit, I sent D up. D told him to go to know the standard, just go to bed business.

But of course, Kenson continued to say my name. I ignored him for a while as I finished the sewing I was doing, hoping he would stop. But he didn't so after I finished, I went up to see what he needed. When I got in his room, he was laying in bed. He looked up at me and said, "Cuddle, Mama." So I crawled up on his toddler bed and snuggled a bit. He quickly kissed the hand that was laying against his cheek and quietly said, "Thank you." What sweetness.

And those of you with kids who came home to you later in life will know what I mean when I write that there is something special about those times when your child articulates his need for the comfort that a Mama brings. Kenson has had a fairly easy transition and has loved and responded to love very easily. And he has come to us for comfort, has longed to be held, has soaked in all the moments of nurturing. But, like most three year olds, he struggles to say what he needs. And unlike most three year olds, I suppose there is a bit more scrutiny on my part regarding his emotional needs and his ability to relate them to others. Those quiet moments of Mama-needing vulnerability are really warm fuzzies for my heart.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Just a Good Ole' Boy...

Never meanin' no harm. Beats all you ever saw, been in trouble with the law since the day they was born. (You really needed to have some Waylon Jennings in your life today, didn't you?)

Anyway, Kenson is really a good ole' country boy at heart. Our babysitter, whom we adore, lives on a farm with her hubby and five kids, including her twin boys who are a week older than Kenson. Kenson, of course, loves it.

Last week, he came home and had to add "going potty on the corn" as an item on the things we want to thank God for prayer list. No big deal, farm kids do that all the time. D and I both chuckled at that. It's actually come up twice now as a thanks item. (If you're a city person who is reading this and you're mortified, really it's okay. I grew up on a farm and am not appalled. And there are way worse things in life than 3 year olds going potty outside.)

Yesterday, D was hanging up Christmas lights outside. Kenson was playing outside while D worked. Pretty soon, D hears Kenson say "potty", turns to find him, and sees him sans pants, peeing on the leaves. It's funny because whenever he has to use the regular potty, it takes him like a month to get his pants off. So it's official, we're a good ole' boy. Headed for trouble with the law, I reckon.

I am!

Kenson's newest favorite phrase is ...I am!

It's just funny to hear him use such gramatically charged words. And it's funny because he uses them even when he should use something different.

"Are you watching horses on tv?" "I am!"

"Do you have something in your cubby?" "I am!"

"Do you want to take a bath?" "I am!"

The other day I asked him something and he replied, "I am." Then he quickly said "No different one." In other words, "it's not supposed to be I am but I don't know what to say."

I'm guessing he says it no less than ten times a day. So cute to hear the little voice...I am!

Ohhh...I think I figured out where it came from. We've been reading Green Eggs and Ham a lot lately. He knows the whole story really well. "Not in a house. Not with a mouse. Not in a box. Not with a fox." He'll just start saying the nots. And today at supper he said, "You let me be!" I'm guessing that's where the I am business came from, Mr. Sam I Am.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

L is for Leaf Shaped Cookies

To finish up talking about leaves, Kenson and I made some leaf shaped cookies last week. I have about a bazillion cookie cutters thanks to my brother-in-law, Daniel, but couldn't believe I didn't have a leaf. So we improvised and used a football. I added some stems to help with the leaf likeness. Kenson, of course, insisted they were footballs not leaves. A friend of ours who is in ministry with Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Colorado was back in Nebraska for a visit so she helped us decorate them. Great fun with Stacy! We're definitely not decorators extrordinares but it was still fun...and yummy. Best of all, I think I actually found a cut out cookie recipe I'm keeping. I like soft cookies, especially for cutouts and just hadn't found one that did the trick for me.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Weekend reviews

The last few weeks have been crazy around here, especially the weekends.

Going backwards...

This weekend...
Went to Lincoln and truck shopped since D's truck is out of commission (Anyone want a '96 Chevy S-10 with transmission issues? It's priced really cheap. And not only is it a bit of a beater, it does have a heater which makes it a beater with a heater!) Didn't find a truck though. Kenson is now playing "broken truck" which consists of some version of him getting the toy pick up truck out and telling me it's broken.

Last weekend...
Real estate agent calls at 6 p.m. on Friday, wants to show house on Saturday morning. Frantic cleaning. Saturday was my grandma's estate auction in Atlantic. Bought nothing I needed but did get some good primitives like two cut out brickabrac shelves, an enamel tea kettle, and a painted plant stand. Then we trucked shopped along the way as we headed to Norfolk where we watched the Nebraska football game with D's dad. Spent the night there, then lunch with D's grandma and home.

The weekend before that...
Halloween and the church festival. My folks came on late that night and stayed until Sunday. They stayed with Kenson while D and I went to Omaha to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert, per the recommendation of my brother in law.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Ham and Bean Soup, carrots and celery

Gingerbread pancakes, bacon, fruit

Roast beef sandwiches, frozen fruit cups, cooked carrots

Orange chicken, California blend vegetables, rice

Blushing Penne Pasta, California blend, Autumn Apple Salad

Swiss steak supper, jello with fruit

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

How Cute Are These?

I just ordered some barrettes off of etsy for stocking stuffers in Conleigh's Christmas stocking. They are seriously adorable. I shopped around for "clearance" items from different sellers and ended up paying $12 for everything, including the shipping. Might be a good place to look for some stocking stuffers of your own.

God and Me-Faith as a Possession

Praying has not been easy for me in the last six months. In fact, there have been times I've avoided it because I have felt slighted, as if God has turned a deaf ear to me. But even so, I've worked though that and have continued to pray, ending up with prayers that sometimes feel flat and repetitive. And today as I came to the task of my prayer time, the prayer part pressed me almost like a burden. It seems like my prayers have been lacking in spontaneous praise and in wide eyed adoration. It's not that I think every prayer needs that. It's just that I have not verbalized praise and adoration for a long time.

So I decided to write to the Lord about that, to come to Him with a heart that honestly has not felt up to a peppy or awe filled prayer life. And what I started with was the question, "Do my prayers reflect a love for You?" My answer somewhat surprised me.

Here's what I wrote: "I have loved You but in a way different than praise and adoration. It's been a holding on by a thread, clawing and scratching kind of love. Something deep seeded inside of me that I count too precious to let go of. But a love that is crossed with doubt and anxiety, that questions if You will give me what I need. And strangely enough, it's loving despite my doubt and anxiety that has made me grow. When we fight for what we love, we become so closely tied to that thing. And that truth includes our faith. I do not bring you a cherishing, eyes full of stars kind of love; instead I bring You a worn and battered, gnarled yet strong love, one that chooses to believe, that counts love and faith as a choice not a feeling."

Interestingly enough, this just ties so well with some words I read this week by Oswald Chambers. I'll leave you with those, believing that my daily walk, both the struggles and triumphs are just evidence of something deeply personal, of a faith that is a possession not an identity or a label.

"Faith must be tested, because it can be turned into a personal possession only through conflict. What is your faith up against just now? The test will either prove that your faith is right, or it will kill it. "Blessed is he whosoever shall not be offended in Me." The final thing is confidence in Jesus. Believe steadfastly on Him and all you come up against will develop your faith."

Monday, November 9, 2009

God and Me-Small Acts of Provision

God has continued to remind me to leave behind my fretting and worries. I can't say life is making that any easier. D's truck is having transmission issues which means we are in the market for a new truck, not something I wanted to have to be doing. Conleigh's file is still stuck in the same place. Two people who had been stuck with us, for the same amount of time, recently got out of IBESR. Even though you're glad they are unstuck, when people "leave you behind", there's always a twinge of jealousy. If I thought it meant they were going in some kind of order and our file was getting closer to being released, I'd probably be more excited. But there is no rhyme and reason to it and it really means nothing for our file.

Those things said, in the grand scheme of life, we are generally unscathed. There are a lot of other people who are dealing with things I certainly wouldn't want to be.

And as I said, God is continuing to remind me of His faithfulness to us. A friend recently posted Roman 5:3-4 on her Facebook page, something I had read last week as well. "And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope." I so appreciate God's sense of humor, timing, and divine way of putting things right in front of your face.

And in my own reading, I read from John 8:13. As translated by The Message paraphrase, from the words of the Jewish religious leaders as they tried to sort out if Jesus was the Son of God, "All we have is your word. We need more to go on than that." That was a good reminder for me. When you think about how your own action, doubt, and worry are a nonverbal version of "all I have is your word; I need more to go on than that" it leaves you thinking how empty that sounds. Especially when it's not just His words we are left with. God continually is at work in our lives and continually reveals Himself, often in small acts of provision as we live out our weeks. I often focus on the big things and don't take stock of those small acts of provision. But it is often those small acts of provision that demonstrate most how God is at work in our lives.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Menu Planning

Ham and Bean Soup, Fruit

Corn and Cheese Enchilladas, Avocado Salad

Chilli, Carrots and celery

Cincinati Style Chilli over Spaghetti, Green Beans

Chicken Cordon Bleu, California blend, lime jello with pears

Gingerbread Pancakes, bacon, fresh fruit

Crafty Pre-school Stuff-More leaves

Here's another good leaf project:

We started by cutting leaves into small pieces. (You could also crumble them. Mine were not quite dry enough to crumble.) I printed the leaf shapes onto colored paper as well as some scrapbooking paper; then I cut the leaf shapes out. We then used Elmer's glue and used the leaf pieces like glitter, pressing them lightly into the glue that had been applied to the paper leaves. Once the paper leaves had dried, we glued them on, collage style, onto another piece of paper.
I've also seen similar projects done using shavings from colored pencils and crayons.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Good Read

I'm just about finished reading He Talk Like a White Boy by Joseph C. Phillips. It's a collection of essays on faith, family, politics and authenticity. Phillips is most known for playing Bill Cosby's son-in-law on The Cosby Show. He writes from the perspective of a conservative, well educated black man in America. He is witty, sometimes irreverant, yet thoughtful. The theme of race is loosely woven into the book as he has had to address the way his blackness is juxtaposed with his conservative beliefs, his middle class upbringing, and even his speech pattern. Race is also explicitly addressed in several of the essays. (And take that word "essay" with a grain of salt. The essays, while intellectually powerful, read more like short stories. It's not heavy reading that will leave you feeling like a dunce because you have to get your dictionary for every other word.)
I picked the book out initially because I thought it might help me have a better view the challenges my black children will have as they will be Haitian Americans who are viewed as black African Americans while being raised in a conservative Caucasian household. Not only have I gained insight into the issues my kids will probably be confronted with, I also found myself enjoying the challenges Phillips issues to not just black Americans but to all Americans. Good read that I had not heard about until just a few weeks ago.

Monday, November 2, 2009

God and Me-The Provision of a Godly Word

This week, God has continued to speak the same message to my heart. He has continued to be steady and unwavering, pouring out provision in all sorts of forms.

On Sunday, Gregg preached from James 1:12. "Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him. " He started by having three people share how they have endured in trials which allowed me to gain some perspective. There is something about seeing the lives of others that often reminds me that I don't want to trade my "junk" for someone else's.

Gregg also followed in Sunday school with Romans 5:3-4. "Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope." Then my friend, Lisa, emailed this very verse to me, not knowing Gregg had just used it as a connected text for his sermon.

This week, I also read from Don't Waste your Life by John Piper. He writes, "If we only trust Him to give us gifts and not Himself as the all-satisfying gift, then we do not trust Him in a way that honors Him as our treasure." That is important for me to hear because I often get frustrated when my obedience does not produce the results I desire, when it feels like God should fix my life just because I've been doing the right things. Indignation over the "injustice" of me not getting what I want does not honor God and does not show a deep appreciation for the ultimate gift God has given me, a redeemed life.

Piper also writes, "The health, wealth, and prosperity "gospel" swallows the beauty of Christ in the beauty of His gifts and turns the gifts into idols. The world is not impressed when Christians get rich and praise God. They are impressed when God is so satisfying we give our riches away for Christ's sake and count it gain." Again, something I needed to hear. I often turn my prayers into idols. As in, the thing that becomes most important for me is an answer to my prayer, specifically an answer in regards to Conleigh that would have her file progressing rather than sitting in static. It also was good to be reminded of how shallow it is to love God and serve God when things are going well. I don't want to be the person who loves God only when they get what they want from Him. I want to be the person who loves God because they get what they need from Him. As Piper says, "God, in love, will use whatever trials are necessary to intensify our savoring of His glory." He will use the circumstances of my life to teach me what I truly need, to cultivate in me a desire to glorify Him no matter to what, to bring me to a point of enjoying Him no matter what.

Praising God for His words of life to me this week...