Monday, July 30, 2012

a little "ing" over here

Growing~ these beautiful little zinnias in my backyard right now. Love them!

Baking~ crock pot bread right now... I'm still undecided about it. However, the recipes from this book are wonderful.  I made a huge batch of dough and it lasts up to ten days.  So whenever I've wanted fresh bread I just break off a grapefruit-sized chunk and bake it as needed.  I love not having to go through the whole process all. over. again. just to get bread.  Let's face it, I am not a fan of dishes.  There I said it.

Dreaming~ a lot recently of how I can further develop my gifts and dreams to be a contributor to God's work while still staying at home.  And 99% of God's work in my life right now IS staying home and being here.  But I've been dreaming a lot about people who could possibly come through our doors, hands wrapped around coffee mugs, hearts shared, prayers whispered and promises claimed.  Oooo I get so excited thinking about my dreams.

Pushing~ myself to finish a gift that has sat 85% finished for a month.  True, it took a haitus for my girls' birthday party prep (and Harry Potter) but now that those have passed I really need to finish up and send the lovely gift.

Challenging~ myself to workout more this upcoming month and finally! lose the baby weight (so I can put on some more! did i just write that out loud on my blog?)! Well, don't get your hopes up! While Hubs and I do talk of another baby we are definitely not "there" yet.

Traveling~ vicariously through all my friends. I have two friends in Paris this week. Friends in Hawaii and of course the views of London on my television screen are all so enticing... If I could pick up and go... I don't know where I would choose though! Do you have a destination you've been dreaming about?

Tasting~ garlic.  I homemade some dressing and got a little crazy with fresh herbs and garlic and now I have uber-bad breath! That's okay, right? It just means it's flavorful!

Watching~ a lot of cooking shows recently.  I heart Gordon Ramsey.  There! I said it.  I can't help it. He's vulgur and really mean but I am drawn to him like a moth to one of those zappy bug lights.  GoooorddddooooZAP!  I don't really know what that means and it's kind of weird to read it but I'm leaving it cause this is turning into true confessions.  The tv show CHOPPED has me looking outside my comfort zone for new flavors and ways to create dishes I like (hence the above) and Ramsey's shows are just downright entertaining! Me gusta! Daisuki!

Leaving~ now to hang out with the Love Bugs.


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

motherhood mystery #342

#342~ Love Bugs rejecting the food I've served them, throwing said food on the floor then proceeding to eat same said food once I've let them out and about.  Note to self: maybe serving food on the floor will enable Love Bugs to eat more?

Monday, July 23, 2012

little bits of me

There is something so sweet about my daughters' chubby hands.  I love to press down on their knuckles where the sweet chubbiness leaves a bit of an imprint.

I love to kiss their faces.  I love to tickle their nose with wispy strands of my already greying hair.  Their widening eyes as they track the path of a bird or a plane or fluff floating in the air.

I heard it said that children are your heart, running around outside of your body and I believe it.  These are my flesh, my bone, my dreams come true with breath of Life breathed into them and there is something so beautiful about their little noises.

We go in almost every night to look at them and sometimes they wake. Then we kick ourselves for disturbing their slumber and promise we won't do it again but the next night beckons, calls and teases us till we give in and go peek at them again.  We can't stand it.

I giggle and laugh on the ground looking at clouds. I snuggle and hold them tight to my body.  They're warm and soft and smell so sweet.  Sometimes they smell like the leftovers of lunch that they smushed in their hair but even that is so sweet.  It's tender.

They are tender. And they are mine.  My little hearts crawling, standing, daring to walk across to open arms.

My arms will always be open to welcome, to console, to hold these bits of me out here in the world.

Sweet tender little bits of me and my love that we just can't seem to get enough of their joyful existence.  They are His great gift to us and we rejoice!

After all, isn't that what my name means? And so I must do.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

eating with spoons

Right now we're learning to eat with spoons...

Mommy said it would be hard but it wasn't that hard to do...

See? Not hard at all! I told my Mommy that we would do our very best and not spill anywhere.  I said, "Look, Mommy! This may be our first time but we're not going to resort to caveman like tactics.  We'll starve before we mess up our beautiful little bodies!"

Right Belle?


Belle? What are you doing?

Hmmm... that kind of looks like fun! 

Well, like I said, we are just learning...

Look Li Li, I'm using my spoon too!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

cute but not so

Awww... how cute!

The girls have started something recently that I find kind of cute even though I know I shouldn't.  When the girls don't like something we give them to eat they usually throw it off the side of their chairs onto the floor.  We can see it coming so we try to stop it by telling them firmly "no" and they, for the most part, understand it.

But for the past few days after we tell them "no" they've started raising their hands to their mouths, as if they are eating whatever they were about to discard, and then stuff it down by their laps.

Cute... but not really!

I know discipline is for the best because of what the Word says, for the Lord disciplines the one He loves (Hebrews 12:6a) but I think this is rather clever of the girls.  I probably shouldn't be too impressed, this may mean a lifetime of clever disobedience from these two but at least for now we "discipline" in a way that is appropriate.

Wow, development is such an amazing process!! I love watching these two grow and learning through their eyes as they discover life.

Monday, July 16, 2012

babies... er, little girls

It's hard to believe I've been a mother of twinkies for a whole year. The days at times did drag by (what? I'm just being honest) but then in a blink of an eye, they were no longer "newborns" or even babies for that matter.
I read an article that said babies become toddlers either when they start walking OR when they turn one.  The debate is still out on that one.  Either way, there is no use calling them babies anymore.  Especially now as they've started referring to other things as "babies"... and when I say "things" I do sincerely mean things. Just about anything can be a baby these days.
They love saying "mama" "dada" and "baby".  Belle loves making a "mmm" sound when we ask her what a cow says and yes, she still makes the "roaring" of a lion sound when we ask.  Li Li on the other hand loves to "spit" or stick her tongue out whenever we ask her anything.  So we've started asking her what an elephant says and it's just about spot on with how she sounds.
They are HAPPY babies and GOOD babies.  Oops, I mean little girls. They're wonderful and hilarious.  They LOVE playing peek-a-boo, their daddy, being read to and each other more than any other thing in the world.  They love peas, apple juice and chinese food (seriously!).  They're wonderful babies... er, I mean little girls.

We celebrated their birthday by going to the aquarium

and eating apple fritters

opening presents

eating cupcakes,

and of course a party in the park!

Yay for turning one!

Thursday, July 05, 2012

the 4th (from a Love Bugs perspective)

We had a wonderful 4th of July. Despite the weather being yucky, we managed to have a full day of fun!

Our 4th of July "sparklers"

Even my baby carrier matched my red, white and blue outfit!
I think babies make the best accessories, don't you?!

Mommy's fun new dip. Thank you pinterest for leading her to this dip found here.
Even though she said we were too young this year to try some.


With Daddy

Enjoying the sunshine with Mommy

All in all, our first 4th was a huge hit! 
...and we even got to go to bed a little late. Woo hoo for breaking the bedtime routine!

Tuesday, July 03, 2012

an old camp secret

Did you go to summer camp? I did! I loved summer camp. Every year we'd drive and drive and drive until we reached the "Star" which was the sign on the road marking where to turn in to get to camp.  Since I started going to camp before I could read (compliments of begin a pastor's kid... and a camp going pastor no doubt!) I knew that star before I knew how to spell my own name.
Oh beloved camp!
What I took were friendships mostly but some lessons have stuck with me.
For instance, when swimming it's always good to have a "buddy"...
and other lessons and songs. Oh, the songs we used to sing around the campfire. I sang a lot of those songs when I was sleep deprived and trying to find some way to connect with God in the early days of my Love Bugs' lives.  I was clinging to the shred of hope and childlike faith that I remembered having at one point and singing songs from those days helped me.
Among the lessons I learned is a tool on prayer.
I learned this from my counselor and besides the camp songs being a favorite I deeply admired and loved my counselors. Oh, how i loved my counselors. When people asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up "counselor" was in the top 3.  I never had any sisters growing up so camp counselors were my week of a glimpse into what having a teenaged sister was like. Man, did I love them! And man did they usually love my older brothers.
Ha! So I was naturally a favorite!
Anyway, I learned this from a camp counselor and have been doing it off and on ever since. Isn't that awesome?! I wish I remembered her name because I would tell her, "Look! You changed my life and helped me! Also, I'm sorry I made you share your bed when it was thundering! I'm sure you didn't get any sleep and were quite cranky that next day!"

First take a blank sheet of paper.  This one is a little smaller than I usually use but it's just to be used as an example anyway!

Then make lines.  I teeter between being a perfectionist and not.  So half my lines are straight and half are squiggly.  You can free hand this. No biggie!

go all the way down your sheet of paper...

then go the other way making a grid.

the top line is for the days of the week and I am terribly sorry for Wednesday because that is not a lot of room. at. all.

I bet you didn't know but the line right below the days of the week is a special line. Oo la la! So highlight it or use a marker or do something fancy to it. 

Then you add in names.

Now the top line of names that is special are the people or things that you want to pray for EVERY week.  Then below it are the people or things you want to pray for once in awhile.  So every Monday I pray for Hubs then I pray for whoever has the first line the first week, second line second week, etc.
Make sense?
I didn't finish filling this out because I already have mine made and while it's not totally private it's also not something I'd share willy nilly on the internet.  So if you want to see what a filled out one looks like, let me know and I'll email you a picture. Seriously, though, it's a bunch of names all the way down.

The thing I like about this is that it helps me stay pretty consistent with prayer.  The thing I don't like about it is I don't always remember to pray for things that come up suddenly. BUT you could have a day of the week where you pray for "current" needs for family, friends and yourself.

I might need to add a "current" square to my prayer sheet.

There you have it.
A lesson learned (among many) from my camp days!

Sunday, July 01, 2012

real people live here

All I could think of when I saw this nectarine was, "this is some real fruit".  And I couldn't help but appreciate the fruit from farmers markets.  It's flawed, its dented, it looks kind of gross but it's real. It's not manufactured or grown in a factory field.  It's real.

And that's how I want my home to be. Real.  We're gonna make mistakes, we're gonna let our kids climb trees only to have them fall out and break their arms. I'm gonna say things and forget to hold my tongue.  I'm gonna "dent" Hubs and he's gonna "dent" me.  My kids will fight (darn) and I'm gonna lose my patience.  We're gonna look at each other and realize that we're bruised, dented, gross looking fruit.  I'll probably think Hubs and my Love Bugs are more dented than me... but that's the plank in my eye talking.

I wish I could avoid all of this but we're human and humans make mistakes.

I tend to be one of those humans who makes many mistakes and very blatantly because I'm so "over-the-top" loud and expressive.  I remember in college thinking that it must be so nice to sin "in quiet" instead of how I usually sinned... right out there in front of everyone.  Now I sin "in quiet" and I realize its just as bad if not worse... because there is no accountability should I choose not to ask for it.

So I saw this fruit, realized how perfectly delicious it was despite its appearance and realized that I want my home to be a place where "real people live"... meaning that our home has to be a home to grace and love... we have to know that dents and bruises *will* happen but God still wants to use us and love us despite our nasty appearances.  My home is a home where dents can be forgiven and healed, where bruises are given a rest and long deep breaths are taken.  I don't want some manufactured home with people who seem like they have it all together.  I want a place where we are free to make mistakes and then pick each other back up and keep trekking together.

My home has to be a real place for real people... cause if it's not it ain't gonna work.