Tuesday, March 30, 2010
Monday, March 29, 2010
This passage from the book of Philippians is extremely applicable to marriage. Knowing this is how our marriages should look & getting our marriages to look this way are two different things.
Here's a try at applying it to my marriage in my day to day life.
I'm so tired tonight. I need sleep. I don't want to be the one to get out of bed & take the tot to the bathroom.
My husband is tired, too. He needs sleep, too. If I roll myself out of bed I can look out for his interests.
He's late coming home from work. And, I'm having a hard day.
I need to put away the selfish self-pity attitude. It is in conceit that I just assume that my day has been harder, or that my needs should be put first. Look out for the interest of others.
We both have something we want to do on Saturday, without the kids. I offer to stay home with the kids & let him go do his thing. I then feel resentment that he accepted my offer.
My decision wan't selfless sacrifice. Playing the bitter martyr is self focused conceit. I acted like I care about him first, but I really was still counting my own interests as the most important.
I criticize his method of doing something, or some new idea he has.
Putting myself first again! God says I need to regard Scott as more important than myself & be humble.
Friday, March 26, 2010
Thursday, March 25, 2010
Amazon takes a commission cut on all your sales. But, Amazon is where people search for books. So, it seemed worth it to me.
Another way to get free books is to bookmooch. My mom & sister do this one. No money is exchanged. By giving books, you get points to get more books from someone else.
In case you couldn't tell, I am feeling a little uninspired for Thrifty ideas. Who wants to be a guest blogger for Thrifty Thursday? Do you have a good idea to share?
He pulled leaves off of one of daddy's indoor plants. Got disciplined. As I cleaned up the leaves, he went back & pulled even more off. Even bigger mess. Still all over the carpet.
Dumped a bag of snacks out. Had them taken away. Later gets another bag of snacks and put all the big pita chips into my water bottle (that had water in it). All the tiny crumbs just got dumped on the couch.
Just a minute ago while I was putting Moira down for a nap, Gillian came to tell me that Peyton was cracking my eggs. I rushed through the house to try to find where the 4 eggs missing from the flat had been thrown. Thankfully, he was cracking them right into the trash can. There was only egg on him to be cleaned up.
I am going to bake this afternoon. And, leave my house a mess.
Tuesday, March 23, 2010
Plant Sciences, Inc. big birthday bash last weekend. We were going for a springy vintage feel. I did a unique bouquet for each of the 12 twelve tables & displayed them on cake stands.
Each table was named after a PSI plant variety (Strawberries, Raspberries & Artichokes). Scott's first patented Raspberry variety is Grandeur. I set his favorite bouquet at that table. And, that's were we got to sit, too.
I couldn't pick a favorite. I loved too many of them. Bliss was right on top. And Virtue. I loved that one, too.
The bouquets went as a gift to someone at each table after dinner. The person who had a piggy sticker on their chair. :)
Then the dessert cakes were brought out!
It was such a fun party.
Monday, March 22, 2010
I was reading this little Yahoo article on cheap date nights. I thought some were pretty clever. Like, I never would have thought of #2. But, it sounds like a fun date, especially if you don't know anyone in the game or stands.
On the topic of dates, or even whether dates are beneficial or not, I was thinking that the main point is connecting with your spouse. Working on your oneness bond.
Two couples can do the exact same thing for their date nights. Each couple can follow the "rules" that many marriage counselors may share - Take time to be with one another & don't talk about kids or the house or work. The first couple might have a great time & tell everyone else how beneficial the date was for their relationship. They feel connected & recharged. But, the second couple went away feeling no more close, no more refreshed. They felt like the date was boring & a failure.
Do you ever struggle with finding something to talk about? Maybe life just seems so mundane & there is nothing new to say? Maybe you are in baby daze, with very little sleep & very little energy to think about much. Maybe every thing that is interesting to you, isn't interesting to your spouse & the other way around, too.
Seek for commonality. Work toward it. Pursue one another's interests. Seek oneness. Maybe that means learning about something you thought you had zero interest in. I don't mean that everything you do should be together, or that everything your spouse takes interest in, you should, too. But, if you are of the stubborn variety, like myself, who likes to define yourself but what you don't do & don't like, maybe it is time to consider "compromising your personality".
For example, I don't "believe" in running. You know, for exercise. It is bad for me. That's my belief. If I were married to a runner, who wanted to run with me, I might have to reconsider & compromise my beliefs. Thankfully, I am not married to a runner.
Anyway. My main point is, actively pursue good conversation with your spouse. Work at it. Sometimes, it might be hard. How about when day after day you are barely getting enough sleep to safely make it through each day? You go through the day in a daze, trying to be patient with your little kiddos, not thinking about much of anything else. I have been through lots of those. Then, when the day is winding down & Scott and I get a chance to talk, I don't really have anything to say. "How was your day, Honey?" Tiring. "What did you guys do?" Not much. You know, feed the kids, cleaned up after it, shopped for food, made dinner How was your day? "Tiring. Just worked on reports all day at the office." End of conversation. I had nothing else in my head to talk about.
So, I've been there. I didn't want to be there, though. I purposed to do something about it. I tried to listen to talk radio when I was out in the car, instead of music. The topic of the radio show would give me something to talk to Scott about. Or, you can listen to a sermon CD. Or an audio book. Read an article on Crosswalk.com. They are short. There are new ones all the time. Conversation food.
Learn something about common interests you share. Purpose to work on your conversation. I think being able to talk about meaningful & interesting stuff with your spouse might be step one to successful date.
What are your ideas to ignite conversation?
Friday, March 19, 2010
Thursday, March 18, 2010
I am having a blender latte right now. And, it is pretty decent. I was surprised that it actually does froth. I think I put too much milk in mine, or not enough coffee, or my coffee was too weak. I don't know. I didn't measure. But, I'll be needing more caffeine after this cup.
Saturday, March 13, 2010
I just invented these today. I needed to come up with a snack food for Scott to bring with him to Beer club tonight. (He is learning how to become a brew master!) I was planning to prepare a quiche for our Sunday Breakfast. So, I decided to make a manly version of quiche, that can be eaten as a finger food. I call them -
Spicy Cheesy Meaty Hand Pies
2 2/3 cup Flour
1 cup salted butter, cold & cut into small pieces
1/2 ice water
Cut butter into flour. You can do this by hand, or with a mixer or a food processor. If using a machine, just be sure not to mix it too long. The butter should be like tiny pea in the flour.
Now slowly mix in a little bit of cold water at a time, just until dough comes together.
Smash it into a circle, wrap with plastic wrap & chill it in the fridge for about an hour (but longer is fine, maybe up to 2 days or so...)
2 cups gruyere cheese, shredded
4 pieces of bacon, cooked & crumbled
1 small can of diced jalapeno peppers
1/3 cup cream
Friday, March 12, 2010
There are many reasons to sew. But, sewing for the small ones has the added perk of being super cost effective. In the stores, clothes for kids can often cost as much money as clothes for adults. But, the fact that their clothes require very little fabric (the main expense) makes sewing a thrifty deal.
I learned how to make these pants from Dana at Made. She has a tutorial for making pants that is really easy to follow. It was so simple. I can't believe I didn't start sewing pants for the munchies earlier. Peyton & I were both so excited with the finished product.
The bow tie was so easy & quick & fun! I am addicted. I got that pattern from Mellissa at Fraker's Acres. If you think the bow tie is cool, stay tuned. I have a surprise up my sleeve.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
Back when I first got married, I was always so sad to see my husband leave. And, so excited to see him every single time he came home.
When we got back from our honeymoon & he had his first day back on the job, I think I cried. Let me think a second... Yep. I know I cried. So hard to be left alone, when I love you so much. (sob, sob, sob...) And then, just as I was getting used to the whole "husband going to work thing", I got sick. I was so distraught that he had to go to work & leave me at home. Sick. By myself. Bored. Alone. (I was not super ill, folks. I probably had a low grade fever or something... But, I didn't remember this ever happening to me. Seriously. I had lived at home my whole life & with 11 other people in the house, was almost never alone.)
Then serious grief came our way. I often recall one morning when I was crying a lot & felt especially needy. Scott came home for lunch and we had a good talk & I cried more with him. Then, he had to go back to work. I was shocked. I still needed him here. How could he leave me at a time such as this? He knew I was sad. He told me to take my cares to Jesus. Well. That made me mad. How could he just be so pietistic & just tell me to pray about it?
After grumbling for a while & feeling sorry for myself, I guess I stopped & looked to Jesus long enough to realize the truth. The truth is, Scott was right. The truth is, Scott is only my husband. He can't be there to hear all the groanings & troubles & sorrows & worries of my heart. God is God. My husband is not God. Jesus is there for me, to hear my cares. And, he understands them. Like no one else ever can.
Dear reader, always be aware to keep God in His throne & your spouse(friends, parents, children..) in there own place. Do not let your love turn to idolatry.
God will give you all the grace you need. No one else can fill all of your voids. Only Jesus can. You will never be happy & content, as long as you look to your idols to meet your needs.
My husband has seasons of travel for his work. Sometimes we can tag along. Sometimes we can't. Sometimes he just works really long hours & I have the kids by myself from dawn to dusk. And you know what? That's okay. God's grace is sufficient. I don't want to grumble. I want to be thankful that he has a great job that he loves so much. And, most of all, I want to be thankful that Jesus will sustain me through whatever He calls me to. I don't need to throw myself across the couch & sob all day.
I do still want to be super excited to see my husband every time he comes home. That's a good thing.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
If things are messed up in the marriage relationship, it is not just you that you are hurting. If you have children, it is affecting them. But, it is also hurting God. My marriage (& yours) is to be a picture of Christ & His church. So, we should be working on our marriages to the glory of God!
Your marriage is the most important earthly relationship. You & your husband are one. God has joined you together! And yet, look around you & you can see that marriages are falling apart all the time. The matter is urgent.
I probably won't have anything too earth-shattering to say. But, I am going to give it a shot. And, maybe I can get a few guest bloggers on the issue, too!
Friday, March 5, 2010
Here's the recipe we have used the last two years. It's fun. Give it a try!
I got my brisket this morning. Now I need to clean out my fridge...
I did forget to buy more pickling spices. I have a little bit left But, I'll just try to mix up my own, to supplement that. I found a recipe to use as a springboard. I'll do something like this -
1 cinnamon sticks, broken
1 tablespoon mustard seeds
2 teaspoons black peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole cloves
1 teaspoon whole allspice
2 teaspoon dill seeds
4 dried bay leaves
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
Flashing back to our Irish Honeymoon 2004
Thursday, March 4, 2010
This time, the 2nd day into it, I knew what it was. I was determined not to go into the doctor to ask for antibiotics. Better for the pocket book & better for my immune system. I started searching the web for sinus infection home remedies. There were tons of ideas. Here's the website I ended up at - Natural Cure Reviews.
I selected a few to try (pretty much at random). I figured I'd give it a couple days.
I started with this idea -
"Place the [heat pad] against your face in the area where your face hurts from the sinus infection (careful not to make it so hot it burns you - you just need warmth), and hold it there for a minute or so. Then, take it off and place the ice pack in the same spot for a minute or two.
Go back and forth between hot and cold for 30 minutes or so. At first it doesn't feel like it is doing much, but it usually breaks loose the mucus so I can breath better. If I do it a few times a day over a couple of days, it usually gets rid of the infection."
It was easy & pleasant. I enjoyed it. I did it numerous times throughout the day.
Then I tried something more intense- snorting garlic onion tea....
"Boil fresh garlic, white onion, and salt.
Inhale the steam (careful not to burn yourself).
Once the mix has cooled to a luke warm state, put 1/4 Cup of the liquid into a ziploc bag. Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag. Lay your head way back over the sink, and place the corner of the bag into your nostril. Slowly lift the bag up so that the mixtures makes it way into your nostril. It doesn't taste yummy, but it doesn't burn and it gives you instant relief!!"
I neglected to follow this one -
"*be sure to AVOID refined sugar, dairy, and wheat during this phase to help speed recovery"
(On day one I was having my cake & eating it, too.)
I woke up this morning and the pressure in my head seemed worse, not better. I wondered if I should give up. Then, I was talking with a prudent friend on the phone & telling her I was ready to go see a doc. She asked me if I had been gargling salt water. I was in the middle of trying to tell her that I'd done something more intense (snorting garlic tea), when a fight broke out amongst the youngins & I had to hang up.
Truth was, I hadn't tried the salt gargle. It seemed too simplistic. But, I decided to give it a go. And... I felt SO much better. I was really amazed. I know to most of you out there, this is not genius. You probably all know about the power of gagging on salt water. But, I didn't. I can't believe I almost spent the time & money to go see a doctor & plea for antibiotics.
I am not against doctors. And, I am not a huge home remedy gal. But, sometimes... What harm is a little salt water going to do you? Why not give it a try.
What sort of home remedies do work for you & your family?
I just went through medical expenses for 2009, while trying to organize my tax documents.
Here's a painful example of way overspending to go to the doctor, because I wasn't thinking.
I thought my kids had chicken pox. But, I wasn't sure. I tried to get advice from other mothers. But, we still didn't know. And, we had adult company coming from out of town, who had never had the pox. So, I felt like I needed to know. So, I took my kids to the doctor. Here was my foolish mistake. Since all I needed was an i.d. of the bumps, I only needed to make an appointment for 1 child. I made an appointment for all 3! $173 is the cost of one appointment at our office. I was the idiot who willing paid $519, instead. What else would I buy without even really considering the price. This one was so unnecessary. Next time I plan to think!
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
Tuesday, March 2, 2010
Okay. So, let me tell you how this is accomplished.
Step 1. Give birth to a wonder child.
Step 2. Raise the child with a strong desire to succeed in independence & in pleasing you.
Just kidding. Sort of. Peyton was seriously such an easy little guy to potty train. I didn't know he would be. But, he was. My sweet little stinker was really, really easy.
But, I will tell you my potty training tips & methods. Though they are perhaps not Sure Fire, they were taught to me by my mother who successfully potty trained 10 kids. I know people do potty training all different ways. But, here's the way we do it.
Wait until you think they are ready to go all the way.
Things I wait for
-able to clearly communicate that they need to go.
-able to walk (run!)
-keeping a dry diaper for a good chunk of time (so they don't have to be slave to the potty seat).
But, don't wait too long.
The younger ones are often more excited about the whole potty thing, easier to encourage (not so jaded by the world, you know) & hopefully not quite as stubborn.
All kids are different, but, I'm looking for readiness in the 18-26 month range.
Be done with diapers as much as possible.
Don't put your tot in disposable diapers anymore. It can make it confusing for them. If it is bed time, or you need to go out, and you are not confident that they are all the way there, try putting them in a cloth diaper or a good training pant. My favorite trainer pants are ImseVimse. Check it out.
They are cute. My kids really like all the farm critters. And they are super comfy. They are sold in the smaller sizes that are not as available in other brands. And, it keeps small leaks in really well.
Stock up & get ready to go, because you aren't going to leave you house.
Once you start, work in earnest. Help them to focus. Offer them every opportunity to succeed. Don't be putting them in the car & driving around town. That is an accident waiting to happen. (That line is my dad's. I think he made it up. He sure said it a lot when I was a kid.) Get all your household supplies before you begin.
My potty training supply list -
potty chair - we have the Boon bench. I am sure there are tons of good seats out there nowadays. But, I do like this one. It is super hip looking. And, for a boy, the deflector has been fantastic. He learned how to use it super fast & can go on his own now, without any help.
baby gate - If you have a room that you can completely close off & stay in all day, you don't need this.
Child's favorite beverage - plenty of it.
A potty baby doll - This is for a child who hasn't seen the potty chair in action. Peyton has seen Gillian using it for a long time now. He didn't need the doll to understand what to do. We used one with Gillian. It was a really weird looking thing that didn't go potty very well. It only went a few trickles. It was pretty humorous.
Training pants - for bed time & for when you are ready to venture out.
big underwear - as a motivation for when they are doing well enough to wear them.
some little stickers or little candies or treats of some sort.
Stock up on sleep & relaxation, because once you start, you will be a little short on these things.
You need to keep a watchful eye, all the time. And, once they start being aware of when they are wetting, they won't sleep as soundly. You'll have to get up through the night with them when they need to go. And, maybe get up much earlier than before. (Or, you can have a trooper of a husband who does most all of the getting up part, like mine does.)
Set it up.
Designate the room. Where can you hang out all day & not stress out too much about accidents? I happen to have a linoleum room adjacent to my kitchen that is a family room of sorts. Set up your potty chair. Bring in your food, drink, books, toys, paper towels & cleaner... Close off the room. Close the doors. Put up any needed baby gates to keep your young one near you. Have the house warm.
Wake up in the morning & GO!
The house needs to be warm. Your going to let your little one be naked on the bottom. This way you & the child are better aware of what is going on. Keeping the room closed is so that your child is always near & you can look for signs of when they may need to go. You can make sure they aren't hiding in a corner having an accident!
Start the Tea Party
My kids like tea. That works to our benefit for potty training. Tea "goes through you" pretty fast. So, we just hung out & had a tea party all day. Offer fluid to your potty trainer as often as you can. If you are doing the potty doll, give the dolly her drink & show how she goes potty. If you want, you can reward the baby with a sticker or candy.
With all the drinking your child is doing they will get a lot of repetition & be able to catch on to the excitement of going potty in the seat.
Of course, cheer like crazy when they do it correctly. Make them feel like they've done something great.
When your tot is on the younger side, hopefully you can get them excited about doing it right, without having to offer reward. I gave Peyton some little stickers throughout the day. But, it wasn't directly linked to the potty. It was just to keep the excitement level high. But, he had no ongoing expectation of receiving a reward.
Don't Slow Down
The next day, get going first thing. Don't keep the diaper/training pants on them. Take it off & get going. Once they seem to really be "getting it" you can slow down on the amount of liquids you are offering. Let things go back to normal, so he's not having to go as often. When things seem like they are going smoothly, try introducing wearing underwear. Peyton was ready to wear underwear by day 4. Before that, he had an accident every time he had something on. Day 4, he could wear underwear & still be aware when he needed to use the potty. He was wearing underwear that are a little big, so he could take them off easily. We took him out by day 6 & brought the potty chair along. This was after 2 full days of zero accidents.
To sum up - Give them every opportunity to be successful
Most of this is you focusing.
When I started potty training Gillian, trying to follow what my mom had told me, it started out rather poorly, with a high number of accidents. It was because any time I was distracted and not paying attention, she would wander out of sight & go on the floor. I think I was telling my parents how rough it all was. My dad told me if I couldn't focus on this, I just needed to quit. I was just confusing & frustrating my daughter. I wasn't helping her to be successful.
Don't confuse them by letting them go in the diaper, just because you want to be able to leave the house, or spend time making dinner. Don't confuse them by letting them go potty in the backyard, because you don't mind. They may not understand why the back corner of the yard is any different from the corner of the living room. Don't discourage them by showing frustration when they are really trying hard. Do tell them how proud you are of them!
Have your own potty training tips or thoughts? Share with us!
Monday, March 1, 2010
But still, the party was fun. We had a fondue party. Or, perhaps is was more of a sauce party? We served various sauces (Cheese fondue, Tzatziki, Chimichurri, Peanut Sauce) along with a variety of foods to eat with them. Bread, vegetables, meats...
We set up a couple of kid's tables with their own spread. I used lollipop sticks for them, since skewers are too deadly for two year olds. You could also use craft/Popsicle sticks.
The kid sauces were Velvetta Cheese, Ranch Dressing, Peanut Butter & Yogurt Fruit Smoothie.
Their dippers included, graham crackers, marshmallows, french fries, strawberries, bananas, carrots, chicken & more.
It was really cute to watch all the kids standing around the little tables, sampling everything. I think Peyton loved it. He was a little grazer.
I made a giant cupcake cake. I thought it looked kinda funny. But, the kids were so delighted with it. They are always so affirming in stuff like that!
Here's the leftovers.
We have almost finished it off today.
I woke up this morning not feeling too great. I felt like I was getting sick. Maybe I was just tired. A couple of the kiddies didn't sleep too well last night.
I'd been up a few minutes & had the genius idea of having some cake (a bit of a cure-all, you know). So, I shouted, "Who wants cake for breakfast?!" Gillian had to ask me to clarify what I had just said. Perhaps couldn't believe her own ears.