Friday, January 30, 2009

Pass the Wrinkle Cream

Now, I know that this year brings a significant birthday for me and I know that I started finding a few gray hairs at 19. I know I have three kids, a husband, a house, and I know that I drive a minivan. I also know that I now color my hair, I know that I often have circles under my eyes and I know that I look better with a little make-up. But I ma'am?

Today I was called ma'am by a 21-year-old - 21. He's about the age of my brother (and not the youngest one). And I couldn't help but feel old - very, very old. If he had only said it once, I probably would hardly have noticed (okay, who am I kidding :)) BUT he said it multiple times. That, my friends, cannot be ignored. Sigh. Bring on the wrinkles, bring on the arthritis, bring on the gray but try and hold the ma'am for at least another 5 years.

Don't even get me started on the 20-something female that called me sweetie...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

It Does a Momma's Heart Good... see her children loving and enjoying each other.

Baby Love!

Keeping Creative Kitchens #14

This will be kind of a quick one this week! Yesterday I finally made the cookies I've been wanting to develop and they were good! I'm sure I'll keep messing with the recipe until they are perfect (to me) but I'm going to share it with you any way. :) I love changing recipes, creating new versions, and just generally experimenting in the kitchen! It definitely keeps me inspired and creative.


1 cup (2 sticks) butter
3/4 c. packed brown sugar
3/4 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs
3 c. flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 c. milk chocolate chips
3/4 c. toasted coconut
3/4 c. toasted pecans, chopped

Heat oven to 375 degrees F. Beat butter, sugars, and vanilla mixer until creamy. Add eggs; beat well. Stir together dry ingredients and gradually add to butter mixture. Stir in chocolate chips, coconut, and pecans.

Drop by tablespoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheet (I use a stone). Bake 10-12 minutes until lightly browned. Cool slightly and remove to wire cooling rack.

Makes 4 dozen medium sized cookies.


Here are just a few guidelines for participating in Keeping Creative Kitchens:
1) Leave a link to your post with Mr. Linky (I am fully aware that there will probably not be many - or any :) - participants but I think this will make participation easier!).
2) Your entry can include a new recipe (either your own creation or a new-to-you-recipe), favorite recipe, success, tablescape/centerpiece, short-cut, ingredient, tradition, book, magazine, tool or gadget, food photos, recipe website or any thing else that keeps you inspired in your kitchen.
3) Please link back here in your participating post.

Hope you have fun, meet new people, learn a few things, feel encouraged, and find inspiration as you prepare meals, care for your family, and entertain!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A Snow Day!

I'm still here! I've tried to blog about three times but haven't had the time or the pictures. I also haven't even been entering very many case you wondered if that was the cause of my silence. :) It's just been a crazy week.

Today we woke up to 10.5 inches of snow!!!

After pretty much never believing the weather people this year, they were actually right. :) It's beautiful and it meant that we had Andrew home all day - yes, he worked some but still, he was here and we had lunch together. It was so nice! We ventured out this evening to my parents (10 min. away) to take the boys sledding and invited ourselves for dinner, too. :) I don't think they minded - I brought cookies and salad. I managed to get us stuck in snow on the way there - no sliding, just too much snow not cleared off the road. Thankfully, some good samaritans stopped and helped us get unstuck! I love it when people are kind!

The boys enjoyed the sledding! I just took pictures and Titus stayed in (we are working hard to keep him healthy!). My parents have a great hill in the backyard.

Snow days always make me want to bake! So, I made Loaded Chocolate Chip Cookies, Iced Sugar Cookies (the boys request - they helped), and biscuits. We had homemade chicken noodle soup with the biscuits for lunch - I don't know why I don't make it more often!

Tomorrow I head to work - one of my co-workers broke her ankle which necessitated surgery and she will be off work for 3-4 weeks. I'm going to be tripling my hours temporarily and working 3 mornings a week (while the boys are at school). It will be different but the extra income will be helpful, they are being super flexible so I can still pick the boys up at school, and it's only for a few weeks. Andrew is able to drop them off and family members will watch Ty for a few hours.

So that's what's going on around here!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Two Giveaways!

Thank you for stopping by!

Can you believe it's the end of January already?! That means it's also time for the quarterly bloggy giveaways! I always enjoy checking out new blogs, entering giveaways, and even winning. :)

Today, I have two giveaways - 1 Scrapbook Assortment (a few more things will be thrown in) and 1 Cookbook Assortment.

Anyway, here are the rules (you knew there had to be some :)):
1) You have to have a U.S. or APO mailing address (if you live international, you are welcome to enter, I will just need someplace to send it here in the states - I'm sorry to have to limit it).
2) You do not have to be a blogger to enter but please make sure I have a way to contact you!
3) You may only enter once.
4) To enter, you must leave a comment and tell me a hobby you enjoy or a favorite food.
5) Failure to follow the above will unfortunately disqualify you.
6) You can tell me which you would prefer and I will try to honor it, otherwise the first name drawn will get first choice (if no preferences given).

I will close the comments sometime on Saturday and randomly select the winner(s). I will contact the winner (s) via e-mail or blog as well as posting the results here and linking to the giveaway site.

That's it - HAVE FUN! And feel free to stop back by after all the excitement of giveaway week!

Sunday, January 25, 2009


I meant to write this on Friday...we are so thankful that Titus had a great report from the doctor on Thursday! For the first time since November, he has clear lungs - "crystal clear" in the doctor's words. :) We are so glad! He will continue to have nebulizer treatments but he no longer needs one of the medications. We pray that he will stay healthy and that in the next couple of months we can totally eliminate the nebulizer.
That was the best news of our week!

MPM: 1/25-2/1

Sweet Potato & Lentil Stew, Salad w/Pears & Pecans
Spaghetti, Garlic Bread, Peas
Black Bean Enchiladas, Applesauce, Chips & Salsa
Chicken Curry, Rice, Salad
Pizza, Fruit, Veggies
That's the plan! Have a great week! And check out for more menu plans! Check back tomorrow for a giveaway. :)

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Out of Their Mouths

From my son this morning..."Mommy, you're a princess." While I don't want the celebrity associated with such honors, I did take a nap, in the middle of the day, on Saturday, and it was bliss. :) Now I'm off to hurry the maid along on the cleaning...oh wait, that's me and my Fairy Godmother hasn't arrived yet with my wand. :) Oh well, perhaps I'll take another nap while I await her arrival. :)

Friday, January 23, 2009

Not Your Momma's Diapers

I never, never thought I would be writing about cloth diapering. I was SURE I would not do it - memories from childhood and all (I'm the oldest of 7)... :) But here I am, writing to tell you about the cloth diapers we've been using for the past few months. We use Bumgenius 3.0. We have 18 diapers - they are all-in-ones (AIO) and the size adjusts as the baby grows. We were given 9 (from my parents and our church family) and we purchased 9. They are $17.95/diaper and we ordered them online through Cotton Babies.

-Easy to use.
-Grow w/baby so don't need various sizes.
-Saves LOTS of money (none of my kids have been able to use off-brand diapers).
-Cute - many color options.
-Usable as night time help for bigger kids (our 3 y.o. boys have worn them successfully).
-Gentle on baby bottoms.
-Comes with two liners - a longer one and a shorter one which can be combined for extra absorbency.

-A little bulky (pretty much all cloth diapers are but it really hasn't been a problem for us).
-Occasionally leak (completely avoidable when changed a little more frequently).
-Expensive initial cost.
-Increased laundry.
-Rinsing dirty diapers.
-Cannot use diaper creams without a barrier between the bottom and diaper (we just use disposable on the rare occasion that we have had rash).

We have an awesome hose that hooks to our toilet (thanks, Ann!) which makes rinsing dirty diapers a little easier (we would both agree that rinsing is really the biggest con :)). We also used disposable for the first couple of months which was a good decision.

Honestly, I was a bit skeptical to make the investment so we bought them in increments. I also really, really didn't want to do cloth diapering but I'm married to a environmental attorney. :) We both felt that while we wouldn't be purists, we had to make a change. Disposable diapers stay in landfills for huge amounts of time without decomposing and we didn't/don't feel good about that. After researching and talking to several veteran cloth diaper users, I felt these would be the best fit for us. We have not been disappointed. We have really saved so much money, too. I've bought disposable diapers maybe once or twice since we started cloth diapering as opposed to the giant boxes I went through with the older boys. That means that the diapers will have paid for themselves very soon (I know that you can get free disposable ones through CVS sometimes but we had a lot of trouble with brands, so it didn't work very well for us).

I do not regret using disposables with the older boys. We had a lot to adjust to and there were two of them! But I am glad we went this route - they are as easy to change as a disposable and the pros definitely outweigh the cons for us. It's definitely not the same cloth diapering I remember from years ago. So, if you are considering cloth diapers, check them out! Here's a picture of our youngest cutie sporting a cool blue one. :)

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Keeping Creative Kitchens #13

Wow, Thursdays come around quickly don't they?! Today I want to share a couple of base recipes and ideas for changing them up. I enjoy making recipes my own - it can be as simple as changing one seasoning or as elaborate as adding 5 ingredients. Either way, it keeps cooking creative and keeps me creating.

We really enjoy soup and it's one of the best ways to get my kiddos to eat veggies. The one pictured below had carrot, cauliflower, and broccoli but I often make it with just broccoli.

So here is my basic cream soup recipe:
2 Tb. Butter
1 med. onion, chopped
2-3 stalks celery, chopped (opt.)
2 cloves garlic, minced

Saute together until starts to tenderize and become transluscent.

Then ADD:
4 c. chicken stock
8-9 c. vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potato - whatever you like), chopped

Boil until vegetables are tender - 10-15 minutes.

In a separate saucepan (while vegetables are boiling):
3 Tb. butter
3 Tb. flour
2 c. milk
2 c. shredded cheese (whatever cheese you like)

Cook butter and flour for 1-2 minutes then slowly add milk. Whisk together and add cheese. Cook until thickened and cheese is melted. ADD to the vegetable pot.

Season with:
1 - 1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. fresh ground pepper
1/4 tsp. or less of fresh ground nutmeg (can use powdered)

Puree in blender or using an immersion blender and serve.

To change:
-Vary the vegetables.
-Use dried or fresh herbs.
-Experiment with types of cheese.

And here is my basic scone recipe that is quick to put together and that we love:
3 c. flour
1 Tb. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
1 c. butter
1 c. yogurt
1 egg

Combine dry ingredients. Cut in butter. Add yogurt and egg. Knead 6-8 times. Spread on stone or baking pan about a 9 inch circle (yes, mine was a little big in the picture :)). Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm cut in wedges.

I always add to it and here are some ideas:
-add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, vanilla yogurt, and brush the top with milk and sprinkle with sugar.
-add 1 tsp. vanilla extract, 3/4 c. yogurt, 1/4 c. maple syrup, and brush as above.
-add 1-2 tsp. dried herbs, 1/2 tsp. pepper, 1 c. cheese, brush and sprinkle with cheese.
-use any flavored yogurt.
-add 1 tsp. cinnamon, vanilla yogurt, 1/2-1 c. dried or fresh fruit.

Just changing one ingredient, not only makes a recipe your own but increases confidence in your cooking ability. And sometimes, it might not be the best (I had kind of a flop yesterday!) BUT that's okay. Live and learn and try again. :)
Here are just a few guidelines for participating in Keeping Creative Kitchens:
1) Leave a link to your post with Mr. Linky (I am fully aware that there will probably not be many - or any :) - participants but I think this will make participation easier!).
2) Your entry can include a new recipe (either your own creation or a new-to-you-recipe), favorite recipe, success, tablescape/centerpiece, short-cut, ingredient, tradition, book, magazine, tool or gadget, food photos, recipe website or any thing else that keeps you inspired in your kitchen.
3) Please link back here in your participating post.

Hope you have fun, meet new people, learn a few things, feel encouraged, and find inspiration as you prepare meals, care for your family, and entertain!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


Your comments to my blog birthday post were so kind and so very humbling.

I'm really just an ordinary girl who:
-Never gets enough sleep.
-Loses patience with her kids more times than she would like to admit in a day.
-Struggles with motivation.
-Occasionally feeds her family cereal for supper.
-Is so far behind on scrapbooks that they will probably never happen.
-Gets frustrated with people and situations.
-Doesn't dust regularly.
-Sometimes makes food that doesn't turn out well.
-Likes that her boys paint at school so she doesn't have the mess at home.
-Can't keep up with laundry.
-Has every once in awhile stayed in pajamas for the whole day.
-Crunches more ice than you can imagine.
-Too often makes coffee, pours a cup, and then gets two sips before it's cold.

Yep, my life is mostly crazy. And I definitely don't get everything done - I'm not crafty, my closets still need cleaned out (maybe by the end of the month?), and I have a baby who prefers cat naps to anything longer.

But I do:
-Love the Lord.
-Love my husband & kids.
-Try to keep it real.
-Enjoy good food.
-Prefer organization.
-Believe in green living/stewardship.
-Feel passionate about adoption and always have.
-Have a heart for parentless children all over the world.
-Seek to always learn, to live without regrets, and to love unconditionally.

I love reading your blogs and I am reading them even when I don't get a chance to comment. I find inspiration and encouragement from so many of you! Thank you!

All that to say, I am ordinary. I am tired most of the time. My house is far, far from perfect. I have clothes to fold and laundry to run. And while writing this post, I have jumped up about 10 times as I waged a nap battle with the baby - he finally won this one and promptly spit-up everywhere. Well, dinner is not making itself so I'm off to do that. Yes, it's all in a day's work...but it's my work and my calling and I am thankful.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Titus: 5 Months!

His laugh is infectious and his brothers always want us to make him laugh! He has started on cereal and is slowly warming up to it. He jabbers all the time and loves it when we talk back. His smile stretches across his face and lights up our lives. He LOVES to be held and interacted with. He bounces in his excersaucer like a crazy kid. :) He plays with his toys and manages to throw his pacifier out of his crib. He wants to take control of his bottles but they are a little heavy for him - it's adorable. Oh and I almost forgot to mention, he is a total mama's boy - he tightens his legs and turns away when leaving my arms...I don't mind too much. :) We all adore him and feel completely blessed every single day.

A Picture Post

Fun in the Snow!

Hot Chocolate to Warm Up!

This Guy Turned 5 Months Last Week - Check Out His Pictures Here!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Blog Birthday

Well, I missed my 3rd blog birthday on Saturday. It came and went without fanfare - in fact, I didn't even remember. And honestly (as I think I mentioned a couple of weeks ago), I very seriously considered ending this blog last month. While I love blogging, I guess I hit a crossroads of sorts - I think it had to do with comparing myself to others or measuring relationships by unmeasurable blog things or feeling terrible that I don't write enough comments on others' blogs. I think I'm mostly out of my "blog funk" :) and this continues to be an incredibly creative outlet for me - something I truly enjoy and plan to continue.

Here are a couple of memorable-to-me posts from this past year:

Last year around this time I wrote: Several people have asked about our next adoption since I've mentioned it a couple of times lately :) - we are in the research stage right now. We haven't signed with an agency and haven't decided on domestic or international adoption; we just know that we would like to start the process again this year and we may or may not say when these things are underway. We expect that it could take 1-2 years. We are so excited to see God's direction and to begin anticipating another little miracle! We have been so incredibly blessed by our sons and we know they will make great big brothers when the time is right.

Early July, brought a new name for this blog, Meant To Be. I wrote: I decided that the blog has evolved enough from its start, that it needed a new name (although I admit I'm a little nostalgic about re-naming it :)) and a fresh-never-before-used look. After much thought, I chose the name Meant To Be but decided to keep Reflective Ponderings in the description. The new name has dual meaning for me. First, I believe in the sovereignty of God. In other words, that God is in control of all of life and that the things that happen in life (no matter how wonderful or how difficult) are meant to be. And second, I have no doubt that our family built through adoption was meant to be. We were designed to be together.

We had NO idea that in mere months from writing that first one, that we would be blessed with Titus. Within days of writing and introducing the name, we received the call. And one week later, I wrote to tell you that we would be parents again. We made many new friends through that amazing (though difficult and emotional) journey. We were so happy to be able to share many parts of that story/miracle with you.

Please know that I appreciate all of you, readers. I'm humbled that you stop in to my corner of the world and read what I have to say. You have rejoiced with me, encouraged me, and blessed me. Thank you.

So, Happy Birthday, Blog! Here's to another year!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

MPM: Original Recipe Week

Last week was great - my menu plan worked for me and we enjoyed everything. I did have to change the black bean tart to black bean quesadillas due to time crunch but they were still good. This week (and for the next few weeks), I want to work on some recipe development and tweeking - I not only have the goal of working on a personal cookbook this year but I also plan to enter some original recipes in a couple of contests. I don't have illusions of winning anything but I think it will be fun to try!

Mexican Lasagna, Fruit
Thanksgiving Sandwich, Baked Beet & Sweet Potato Chips, Fruit
Sausage Bean Soup, Cheese & Herb Biscuits, Salad
Baked Chicken, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Peas, Salad
Creamy Broccoli Cheese Soup, Crackers, Applesauce

I'm also planning to create some new cookies this week - if they turn out, I will post the recipe on my recipe blog. Should be a great week of experimentation and enhancing recipes! Thanks to Laura for hosting Menu Plan Monday every week! I've been menu planning for about 1 1/2 years and it has made such a difference! Have a wonderful week!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Weekend Fun

This has been one of the best weekends in a long while! We enjoyed having friends for dinner, games, and catching up last night - it was 1 a.m. before we realized it! I think that qualifies as having a good time. :)

Today, we decided to just relax and enjoy being a family. We played Chutes & Ladders and Candy Land with the kids, read books together, watched a movie, and did NOTHING on our to-do list. (Well, except laundry - folding and putting away clothes.) It's been awesome! The house is in pretty good shape - though there are still things I want and need to finish over the next couple of weeks.

My sister planned an impromptu game night for tonight which we will be hosting so Calvin helped me make chocolate chip cookies and I made some caramel corn. I've loved spending some extra time in the kitchen this week! Cooking and baking are truly some of my favorite pasttimes.

Anyway, we needed a weekend like this - I feel refreshed already! Pictures, cloth diaper report, and more next week! See you with my menu tomorrow!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Keeping Creative Kitchens #12

I'm not quite on the ball today. :) I did plan a post a couple of days ago but didn't get it actually written which while helpful didn't help me with getting this up last night. :) Anyway...

One of our favorite things is having homemade pizza! It's not only creative but it can be on the table from scratch in 30 min. So, it's super quick and I usually have all the ingredients on hand. I told you last week about letting the kids help top it or doing individual ones with their own "signature" toppings. You can also use the same dough recipe and make calzones.

My personal favorite toppings are ground beef, onion, tomato and mushroom or Hawaiian - neither are Andrew's favorite so I don't make them too often. :) He prefers ham, bacon, pepperoni (we rarely have this), or sausage as the meat. We all like just plain cheese or vegetarian. I try to use up the vegetables and leftover ingredients. I've made meatball pizza, greek pizza (actually on pitas w/olive oil, mozzarella, feta, and gyros meat), used pasta sauce, and just generally tried to be open minded when approaching pizza night. :)

Here is the basic crust recipe which I adapted slightly from moneysavingmom. I'm also including few alternative ideas that make it great!
1 Tbsp. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees F.)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 Tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 cups flour

Dissolve the yeast in the water. Add the rest of the ingredients in and mix (I use a stand mixer). Knead the dough by hand (about 5 min.) or in the mixer (about 3 min.). Let dough rest for 3-5 min. (I make my sauce at this point). Roll out and press onto a pizza stone or greased pizza pan. Add toppings. Bake at 450 degrees F. for 12-15 minutes until the crust looks crispy and lightly browned.

Alternatives (use any or all): Add 1/4 c. parmesan cheese to the crust. Add 2 tsp. Italian seasoning. Add part or all whole wheat flour (this makes it healthier!). Brush crust with extra virgin olive oil when it some out of the oven which softens the crust and adds a nice shine.

1 - 8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 - 8 oz. can tomato paste
1 clove fresh garlic, minced
2-3 tsp. Italian or Pizza Seasoning
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine all ingredients and spread on the crust. Top with desired toppings. Refrigerate any leftover sauce and use within 1 week.

Alternatives (use any or all): Use fresh basil (2-3 Tb.) - I do this in the summer! Add other fresh herbs- oregano is especially good. Add 1/4 c. parmesan cheese. Omit tomato paste (for a thinner sauce). Add 1 tsp. sugar for slight sweetness.

You can also use prepared BBQ sauce, a white sauce, or no sauce at all.

Pizza night is easy, fun, and almost never the same way twice. It's always hot and very fresh - not always the case with delivery. It saves us money and allows us to enjoy one of our favorite foods more often - we probably have it 2 or 3 times a month. We do order pizza delivery occasionally or pick up a take-and-bake pizza but we genuinely like homemade as well or better than most take out. Give it a try!
I do have pictures but can't get them uploaded at the moment - I'll try to get to them later. Otherwise you'll just have to take my word for it!
Here are just a few guidelines for participating in Keeping Creative Kitchens:
1) Leave a link to your post with Mr. Linky (I am fully aware that there will probably not be many - or any :) - participants but I think this will make participation easier!).
2) Your entry can include a new recipe (either your own creation or a new-to-you-recipe), favorite recipe, success, tablescape/centerpiece, short-cut, ingredient, tradition, book, magazine, tool or gadget, food photos, recipe website or any thing else that keeps you inspired in your kitchen.
3) Please link back here in your participating post.

Hope you have fun, meet new people, learn a few things, feel encouraged, and find inspiration as you prepare meals, care for your family, and entertain!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

My Day

Today I randomly love:

- Chocolate Milk
- Breakfast for Dinner
- Beautiful Snow (and not having to be out in it!)
- Games
- Company (well, hopefully they will be able to come!)

I'm sad I won't be able to make the trip to see my sister tomorrow - lake effect snow is a crazy thing up there. They are expecting 4-12 in. tomorrow and some zero visibility tonight.

I don't know if the kids will be going to school tomorrow - I'm thinking Calvin will be home at the least since he seems to have it the worst. We'll see - Patrick's has not developed into much although his general attitude the past couple of days might prove otherwise. :) Does anyone know the amount of time colds are contagious? I have 4 days stuck in my head but I'm not sure if that's right. If it is, they probably should both stay home.

Well, Titus is hungry and I'm working on the boys' room this afternoon so I better scoot! The switch is well underway and we did get the bunk beds - $80! A great deal!

Please Pray

Today, I would just ask you to take a few minutes and read Abby's story. Please pray for this sweet girl and her family as she begins an extremely difficult round of chemo today. I've followed their story for a while now and have been so touched and challenged by their reliance on and love for the Lord. They are added to my blog roll.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

For A Moment...'s quiet. All the boys are sleeping and all I hear is the rocking of the swing and the dryer. Calvin and Patrick are home from school today due to nasty coughs and gunky noses. I cancelled several things on my plate to care for them (truthfully, I don't mind not getting out in the cold!). They don't seem too down and out but it's clearly contagious since all three of them seem to have it. I was suspicious yesterday that something was in the works but hoped I was wrong and then they all woke up sneezing and hacking - nice. :)

So for this moment, I'm enjoying the peaceful quietness of sleeping children. There will be plenty of time for play and reading when they awake. For now, the baby needs a bottle and I have two huge baskets of laundry to fold and put away. I really should get back at it.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Learning to Love

Lately I've been considering what it means to truly love my children. And how I can express that in a way that communicates to them. In many ways, it's easy to love them - they are my children, plain and simple. They are a part of me, they became a part of this family because of our marriage. And they are precious gifts from God. Even with all of that, I've been pondering how I can love them better and how I can more effectively give them confidence in my love.

I was challenged at our monthly mom's night out last week to think again about the five love languages (words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service, and physical touch - books and concept by Gary Chapman). It is something that I actually think about frequently but more in my relationship to my husband. As I started thinking about how my children communicate love and what that tells me about them, I realized this was the key to learning to love my children better and more fully.

Little did I know just how much this would effect my children. At this point in their lives - Calvin's love language is physical touch, Patrick's is a toss up between quality time & words of affirmation, and Titus is a bit young yet to tell. :) This past week, as I have focused on loving my children the way they love (not necessarily my personal love language), it's been a blessing. I'm seeing them with different eyes and learning to love them in a new way. Their response has been one of increased affection and communication. It's a beautiful thing to see.

Being a mom is a privilege - one I try never, never to take for granted. God has entrusted these children to my (our) care. It is a blessing - they are a blessing. I love them with everything in me and learning to love them better makes me want to burst with happiness. I pray God continually teaches me how to be the wife and mom He wants me to be and that I will always have a teachable heart.

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. I Corinthians 13:4-7

Sunday, January 11, 2009

MPM: 1/12 - 1/18

Well, last week was interesting. I made meals but not necessarily the ones I had planned. Oh well. I never really did a regular grocery trip like I intended so I didn't have everything I needed for a couple of recipes. I put the spinach casserole back on the menu - I need to get to the store for cheese so I can make it! I planned two vegetarian meals this week and the pizza may be vegetarian as well. I think we will have company one night and I will be out of town visiting one of my sisters one night (Andrew will probably make the pancakes, then). I've been cleaning out my kitchen and working on it's functionality so I can't wait to get cooking this week!

Lasagna, Garlic Bread, Salad, Molten Lava Cakes
Chili, Cornbread, Applesauce
Pancakes, Eggs w/Ham, Applesauce
*Spinach Bread & Butter Casserole, Fruit Salad (carried over from last week)
*Black Bean Tart, Fruit, Chips & Salsa
Pizza, Veggies, Fruit

Most of the links are to my recipe blog. As always, feel free to ask questions, request recipes, leave comments, and check out for more plans! Happy Cooking!

* = vegetarian

Mommy & Me

I love my sweet sons! I am so blessed!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas Program '08

The boys were so adorable in their Preschool Christmas Program!

We couldn't see Patrick very well from our seats. :( He was in one of the back rows.

They looked so cute and they were so excited that grandparents, aunts and uncles came!

Ty had to stay home with Nana because he was sick. We were so proud of our handsome sons!

Big Boy!