Sunday, August 30, 2009

Update: My sister is doing much better. It's hard to give a summary of what's going on because it seems so complex, but I guess the shortest version is that her heart had some sort of spasm which led to the heart attack. No damage was done to her heart. She is on medicine to keep her blood vessels dilated and not allow them to spasm. There have been a lot of complications in the area where they went in to do the angiogram. We're thankful for God's guidance to the doctors as this has been completely above all of our heads! We are praying that Joy might get to come home tomorrow, but of course, we have no guarantee what the day will hold. Thanks for praying! Everyone seems to be very exhausted at this point. Thank goodness HIS mercies are new every morning! Our strength comes from God!

This is my favorite sister:
Okay, she's my only sister...but I love her!
Tonight she had a mild heart attack and is spending some time in the hospital while they do some testing.
I'm in awe at the way she is exemplifying Christ throughout this situation.
She has no fear--only confidence in her everlasting, loving Savior.
Please pray that things will go smoothly throughout the testing and recovery.
She has always been my very protective, caring big sister.
Now it's my turn...I'm a nervous nellie!
(I just skimmed an entire heart manual in her room. Scary, overwhelming stuff!)

No, seriously, I know God is in complete control as has already been exemplified through the circumstances leading up to her arrival at the hospital to her peaceful, cheerful demeanor.
Pray for her children--they are 7 and 10 years old.
Pray for her husband.
Pray for my parents as they travel tomorrow.
Ultimately, pray for God to be glorified!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Zucchini Pineapple Muffins...the sneaky way!

You may have noticed, life with twin boys is not always the most glamorous.
I'm quite certain that God is continuing to hammer away at my humility through these two little guys. I always dreamed of saying, "Come on, sweetheart, let's go for a nice nature walk and explore God's beautiful creation." I didn't dream I'd be hollering, "Just because it looks like nature doesn't mean you can just pee on it! Pull your pants up NOW!"

There are just some quirky things that, as moms, we can't always seem to me though, I'm still trying. Then there are those little things that you can control.
Yes, it might have to be in a sneaky way. That's my goal.
So here's my latest sneaky revelation. All of my children *love* muffins for breakfast. So why not give them what they want...only a better way. The sneaky way. After all, I am *the sneaky mommy*!

Pineapple Zucchini Muffins
(sneaky substitutions are in italics)

2 c. packed brown sugar OR 1 1/3 c. agave nectar
1 c. butter OR 1 c. applesauce
2 c. shredded zucchini
1 can (20 oz.) crushed pineapple, in juice OR 2 1/2 c. pureed fresh pineapple
4 eggs, beaten
4 c. flour OR 4 c. whole wheat flour + 1/2 c. wheat germ
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt (I left this out)
1/2 tsp. ground allspice

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease bottom of muffin tin. (I also used small loaf pans.) Beat brown sugar and butter together. With spoon stir in zucchini and pineapple. Add eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and allspice until well blended. Spread in pans. Sprinkle sugar and cinnamon on top.

Bake until toothpick comes out clean. (I don't know for sure how long--30-40 minutes?)

Cool and store in refrigerator.

Pretty healthful, ay?

By the way, those feet are really my boys' feet! We even have a sneaky photographer in the family!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Latest News

Sometimes my mind works like I have my own little news show going on in there. Today, I'm going to give you all a glimpse at the inner workings of this stay-at-home mom's mind. Hang on!

In breaking news, six burglaries occurred within a three mile radius of my home. I'm totally a chicken in the first place, so this is completely helping me lose sleep at night as I listen for footsteps in my grass and breaking glass. I found this lovely little tool: Crime Map which will alert me anytime crime or arrests happen in my area. Reassuring or disconcerting...the verdict is still out.

Moving on to the weather, the humidity is at 68% which is making my hair look like this:
It's quite lovely, and I'm very excited to have this dilemma on the day where we go meet Cloe's teacher for Curriculum Night along with all the other fellow parents. I'm sure it will be a real draw to befriend me. Oh, I'm sorry, did my hair just knock you down?

In today's beauty, I am reaping the benefits of trying an ancient eastern hair removal technique. Check it out here. I am quite impressed with the art of threading and find my newly shaped eye-brows quite nice. The process is not pain-free yet is less painful and much safer than waxing. The kiosk is located right next to the play area, so take a friend and use the buddy system to try out eyebrow threading.
My kitchen has been buzzing with the super produce find my sister got for us yesterday at the Living History Farms Farmer's Market. A bag of tomatoes for $1 = a lovely simmering pot of spaghetti sauce! I shared my favorite homemade sauce recipe here. This time it will include all fresh ingredients and spices!Step 1: Wash tomatoes. Cut out stems.Step 2: Simmer in a pot. Step 3: While simmering, go outside and read books in the tree house.Step 4: Run tomatoes through a strainer to separate skins and seeds.

Step 5: Place back in pan and simmer with onions, oregano, garlic, and salt. (It will be late and you'll probably forget to take a picture, too.)

Step 6: Freeze until ready to use.

Lastly, it is reported that 210,000 kids go to the emergency each year with playground related injuries. It's probably because their moms are trying to get them to pose like this for just
* one * good * picture * with everyone looking...

Got it!

That's all for today! Thanks for tuning in!

Monday, August 24, 2009

Mom Stress

I've been feeling a little self inflicted mom stress lately.

Do you know what I mean?

The kind of worry about
if my kids are getting enough fruits and vegetables,
too much sugar,
not enough exercise,
too much tv,
enough practice reading time,
really learning about God's Word,
growing properly,
riding their bikes safely,
making friends at school,
learning to treat others with respect...

...are we "organic" enough...

...the list could go on and on...
and it does in my mind.

My mom gave me a piece of advice

when I was just a young worry-wart:

There will always be people that are better at things than you!

The sooner you realize that the easier life will be.

Obviously, I've found out that is true, but that doesn't seem to change the feelings of insecurity that come my way as mom! I'm surrounded by people whose children can compete in sports at high levels, read fluently at young ages, eat only organic fruits and vegetables, and so on.

What I really must learn to focus on is my focus rather than my worries and comparisons to others. Things on my list can becomes idols...anything that consumes my thoughts or actions more than thoughts or actions about God. Unfortunately those idols can take root in my heart before I even realize it, I'm stewing and planning and trying to figure out how to be like "someone" rather than trying to focus on being like Christ.

So, how am I going to get out of this worrying rut?

Eat dessert?


(Although I'm always a sucker for cake when I'm stressed!)

I've got this amazing tool that sometimes,

ashamedly, is the last thing I use.


It's amazing what time talking to My Savior will do for all those worries and insecurities!

Ultimately, I have to rest in the fact that I'm giving it my best...which as a wretched sinner is truly nothing...but through Christ's grace and mercy, it's all taken care of. My children are in God's hand. He provides the wisdom I need to nurture their little bodies and minds.

Do I need to be wise and alert?


Do I need to be consumed with worry?

Not at all.

I love this verse:

Philippians 4:6

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.

Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Ready to go!

New outfit, new shoes, new bag, new haircut,
and a big smile!

I had to laugh at how excited Cloe was to put things away in her locker!
She didn't even seem to mind that she has to share it with a boy!
I mind, though, let me tell you!
A boy? A gross, cootie boy!
Stay on your side of the locker, little man!

The expression on her teacher's face says, "Wow, another crazy mom snapping my photo..." Mrs. W was so sweet to greet Cloe with a big hug at the door. That helped put this mom's fears at ease...a little!

Well, we made it!
I'm back at home looking at some *beautiful* flowers a very sweet friend dropped off to encourage me! Maybe someday I'll get through the first day of school without crying...who am I kidding? Emotional control went down the drain the minute that first little cry was heard!
We are praying that we will be able to continue to show Christ's love to our community, and that is what puts this day all in perspective!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

I promise to return soon!
I'm dragging every last minute of
"summer vacation"
before school starts next Thursday!

Augh! I can feel the waterworks
getting ready to start ag

If only these lazy days of summer could last forever!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Catching up!

We're back after a great week of family camp! The biggest highlight was spending the week with my brother's family. They are missionaries in La Rochelle, France, and we hadn't seen them for three years. We love them!
I love my brother! He use to pick on me SO crazy bad that I never thought I'd actually "like" him...but the day I married Cody, that all changed! I deeply love and respect my brother and can't even begin to express my gratefulness for his passion to share Christ with others! He was the morning speaker this past week at camp. I would *highly* recommend that you listen to his podcasts *here*.

I got to enjoy a sweet reunion with this lovely lady! Linda is one of those people that always leaves you feeling loved and encouraged! I wish Florida weren't so far away!
The kids loved all of the fun activities at camp! Cody took the boys miniature golfing one day and McClain got a hole in one! Seriously! He was pretty excited!
Cloe and her cousin Alyssa...Alyssa was completely.silent.the.whole.entire.week except when she was giggling at the silly things Cloe would do. Cloe ended up bopping herself in the head quite a bit just so we could hear Alyssa's sweet little giggle.
Carson got this cool sword at the family carnival. He was pretty fierce for awhile!
After one too many hard chops to the ground, it popped and the fun was over!
Well, that was just a quick glance at our week! We thoroughly enjoyed spending time with our family as well as making new friends! Most of all, we enjoyed worshiping with other believers! Be sure to listen to the podcasts--you won't regret it!