Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Happy Birthday "TWO" you!!

It's hard to believe my little boy is two years old today. It seems like just yesterday that we were celebrating his 1st birthday, let alone his birth day - Tuesday, May 29, 2007. Oh, what a day that was!!

My how time flies, and see you much you've grown and changed, in one year!? Got to love the crossed ankles...
I know, I know this is just the beginning of "the way it is". Our little ones start growing up, life happens, things change and we get old-er.

~Caleb James~
You are such a wonderful son. A blessing that we, as parents, don't deserve...yet, we feel honored to have and hold such a precious gift -in you. You're full of challenge, a ball of energy, so serious, yet full of handsome smiles. You have a "thinker" in you...a little boy who loves to sit and read his books (from as young as you could hold one on your own), you have the best arm for throwing balls - as anyone your age can do, you just love to run, run, run. You tend to be on the cautious side of things - that is until you decide to "throw caution to the wind" and test the waters. You're a BOY, all boy!! Our blond-haired, blue-eyed little boy.
You love your little sis with all your heart... and it shows in your tender kisses and hugs towards her. You have your true moments,too, but you're learning... to share, to stop kicking, to say your sorry. And you are her world of entertainment. You are loved!! Sometimes you just don't know when to stop... you're sneaky... you could sleep your life away...your vocabulary is growing by leaps and bounds, and everyday there is something new for us to learn about you. You're manners are maturing. And it's neat for us to see when our consistency is paying off in and from moments of discipline. But, you sure can keep mommy on her toes, and you absolutely love it when daddy comes home (from work) because that's when the day gets - real -fun.
You are such a tender heart. We pray every day that you, ONE DAY will come to know Jesus, personally, as your Lord and Saviour. And that you will seek HIM all of your days. We love you, son, with all our hearts and we only hope that you will know us as the best parents we could possibly be to you, and to your sister. Happy Birthday, Caleb!! May this day be as special as you!!!!
Mommy & Daddy

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Ahh, yes! Tis the season for BLT's!!

The other day I had my first official - season's best- BLT!! There is nothing like that first Bacon-Lettuce-Tomato Sandwich where everything is in it's prime; The beef-stake tomato is nothing but perfectly red and full of juicy goodness; the green leaf lettuce is just that - crunchy, green and leafy. Where the bacon is so crispy, it melts in your mouth - like candy. Add the cheese, the mayo. and the toast.... don't forget to toast the bread- it makes a huge difference (I know, the toast part is debatable, especially around this household)

But... Ahhh, yes!! Tis the season for BLT's!!

And that, my friends, that right there, is the best way to eat a BLT!!!
Is your mouth watering yet??

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Do not fret!

Psalm 37:1-11

"Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away.
Trust in the Lord and do good;
dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this:
He will make your righteousness to shine like the dawn,
the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.
Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret - it only leads to evil.
For evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land. A little while, and the wicked will be no more; though you look for them, they will not be found.
But the meek will inherit the land and enjoy great peace."
Psalm 100: 4-5
"Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; and his faithfulness continues through all generations".

: : Photo taken (early one morning) of our garden gate, just off the back side of our house, leading out to the cow pasture.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

A Memorable Day!!

How was your Memorial Weekend?? I think ours should be renamed as our Memorable Day/ Weekend. Nothing overly interesting, just busy. Busy Stuff and the usual...

Running errands all day Saturday; Attending Sunday Service and then to my Mom's for lunch afterwards; Monday - busily trying to finish settling the house.

We were trying to finish out the 3rd bedroom for this coming weekend when Grandma Susie comes to town, for Caleb's second birthday. (She'll be here for a few days!)

So, we asked my brother, Justin, who is a trim carpenter, to come on over in the morning (we fed him breakfast) to "help me" with hanging several items -along with a few other things-throughout the house while Scott would work on setting up a bunk bed (hand built by my Dad for my sister and I), that we inherited, for our (3rd bedroom/sewing/office) spare room. We also had HUGE intentions to sort through the remaining boxes and take some to the attic, and "rearrange" the room enough so that it would start to resemble a sewing/guest room.

You see, little did we know that by tackling this "simple project", in setting up a bunk bed first thing in the morning (a long story but which basically took all morning), would, later, serve us in the day for the other project that was looming large. That being to install 3 different air conditioner's. Ugh! Poor Scott. Thankfully we just happened to buy a table saw from the friends who used to live here, and it just so was that for some reason the pieces that we inherited with the bunk bed were not correct or not all were given, or we don't know.... but what appeared to be the bottom frame/support was not correct and so that needed to get sawed down to fit in order to support the mattress. That being said, it was enough wood cut off to create shims and other supports for the 3 different air conditioners and their issues in and around the windows.
And believe me, there were issues!!

At the end of the day, it really felt good to have things, out of boxes, "up on walls" and more in order, all the while I was basically running the washer all day and loving the wash line, baking and doing other normal household stuff. We had the best, weather, too!!

I think we finally ended up eating dinner, around 8pm. Needless to say, we were all pooped. But Grandma's got a room ready and waiting...

What a Memorable Day!!

Friday, May 22, 2009

Friday's Finds :: Cottage Cheese Salad

Have you discovered it's difficult to get your family to eat Cottage Cheese? How about yourself?

Here is a delicious way to implement that "good-for-you-side" of cottage cheese in to any one's diet. I must say I love mine best topped with apple butter, but unless your understandably Pennsylvania Dutch, you might be quick to turn up your nose over that one. But here is a quick, simple recipe that will please most everyone, because they'll never know!! (You may have to change the title). We won't mention any names, but as someone in this household said to me; "Some thing's are better left unsaid".
~ Cottage Cheese Salad~

3 oz. pkg. orange Jello
16 oz. cottage cheese (small curd, is the nicest to use)
2 cups sweetened whipped cream or Cool Whip
1 small can mandarin oranges, (or crushed pineapple) drained
1 cup miniature marshmallows, optional

Mix dry Jello with remaining ingredients. Chill and serve. This is good with other flavors of jello and fruit, too. I used black raspberry jello and mandarin oranges.

Serve it up pretty, and it's sure to go down good. Give it a try, once. You jest might be surprised!! Hey, I'm just trying to dutchify things around here, so bear with me. Would ya? ;)

: : Other then in lasagna (with replacing ricotta and instead of using cottage cheese); What are some other delicious ways to "hide" and implement cottage cheese into the diet?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The thrill of having two... What's up with that?

: : By the way, this all happened yesterday - just to clarify the time frame.

"Help Me!!! oh my word... "

I am currently wondering what in the world is up with the thrill of having two bathrooms... two floors.... two children? All said, it equals TWO messes at the same exact time.

I (God forbid) am quickly going to use the downstairs bathroom. I quick check in on the little ones. They're great. Watching veggie tales, in the living room. Great! I'll just grab a cookbook or two - take a minute, and try to "come up with something" to make for dinner tonight. (I suppose, I took just a little bit too long, because...)

I came out of the bathroom, only to discover one child doing a number on the trashcan. Coffee grounds, cracker crumbs, you name it, everywhere... so I took the time to clean Aubrey up, and the floor, with the dustpan and brush - only to realize that it is really quiet in this house, uhHHH - DUHHHH!! that means that child number two (namely Caleb) is on floor number two with only one potential place of interest in mind-Bathroom number two!

These are the moments when I wish I could capture everything on film. I wish I would have pictures- then again, maybe I don't. I didn't even know where to start. I found an earring of mine in the toilet. Bottles of shower gel were used as stirrers... ? .... I don't know. It was like a water main break had occurred and well, let me just say... it didn't smell very good either (thankfully just of urine). I appologize but I think one of us forgot to perhaps flush the toilet this morning and better yet left the door, to the bathroom, wide open (it could've been either one of us - I don't know!). There was water everywhere.... and well, what a good way to get a thoroughly clean bathroom after that. In the meantime I had to put both of them in their beds (after basically stripping down Caleb) just so I could clean up without further mess.

Anybody else been here?? I know you're all laughing - simply because you can either relate or you can only just imagine... You who can only imagine, you wait. You're turn is coming!

It must have been funny... if only there would've been an audio recording of me. Here I am, I'm murmuring and muttering under my breath. Exactly this; "Huh! The thrill of two bathrooms, two floors, two children!!! What is up with that? They must have conspired... ; 'Hey! Mom's not around, Quick! you take the upstairs bathroom and I'll do the trashcan. Ready, set, go!' "
Listen, I honestly didn't think I was gone that long. But, hey, with your nose in a good cook book - you never know what kind of time goes by, I suppose.

Actually, it was kinda funny. I was so trying not to laugh all while trying to be as stern as I could be to a nearly-about-to-turn TWO year old ... who has no clue what he actually did wrong. He really wasn't interested in anything I was trying to 'correct him of ' - all he was interested in was the Veggie Tale movie, still playing downstairs, as though nothing had gone on any differently.

Oh, yeah. and I forgot to mention that I have my cousin coming over for lunch today. She should be here any minute. (Sigh) This could be a really long day... but one that won't be forgotten. I'm sure.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Corners of my home - the Kitchen!

"... Where even the tea kettle sings from happiness."

I decided to start this series - "corners of my home" - with the kitchen, which is to me, REALLY, the heart of the home. This particular kitchen is unique in that it is literally the center (the heart) of the house. You enter directly into it from the front door, you have go through it to enter the two other downstairs rooms which are on either side, and also to go upstairs - you will find the steps ascending, just off to the side of the kitchen. It's large, and roomy. Plenty of playing room for little hands and feet. Lots of counter space and deep, deep cupboards... Oh! and,
Ahhh!! the smell of coffee and aroma of breakfast, creeping upwards. Of course, how would I know, because I'm the one whose making everything.... that is, unless the coffee gets prepped the night before, thanks to my handsome man. I love when he thinks of that...

It was a lot of fun starting the unpacking process and realizing how much I really do have a clue when it comes to feeling efficient in the kitchen. Am I really on top of things, efficiently, and ALWAYS has a clue? No way. But, I realized that for me to do my best... I needed my "go too" items in just the right place. These certain drawers held these certain utensils just right because that made the most sense - for me.

This is why I say; "One of my prayers was answered when I met my husband; I don't want any competition in my kitchen." Which was sorta a selfish prayer, I suppose. Because now my hubby uses that sometimes (totally in jest!) against me, along with his claim that "he can burn water - and that he has witnesses to prove it". I'm grateful for his willingness to lend a hand when needed.

It's a place where Dump Meals are created and concocted. Where dishes are never ending... where creativity and guinea pig come face to face, and often where, "if you leave hungry, it's your own fault". It's a place where I hope friends and family will gather, connect, take-part in, and learn. Lesson's will be learned, noses blown and tears wiped, and... Where the coffee pot is always brewing!

: : Here's my kitchen tip for the day!

"May memories be collected, as readily, as tasty new recipes are...

always ready to be shared and passed on". ~yours truly

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Corners of my Home

Not long before we moved to this house, a friend of mine requested that I post more about the "corners of my home". She didn't say it that way; she was referring to of all the little shabby chic/vintage/antique type vignette's that I have everywhere. At the time, we were in the middle of packing up, but, I gave it some thought and decided to save it for after we relocated.

As you have already noticed, I also decided to give my blog a face lift yesterday. Well, what do you think?? And so, by all means, I thought that this would be a great time for me to focus in on some of my "creativeness" - simple ways in how I try and desire to make our home, OUR HOME!! And to, perhaps, (as time goes on) give you another "series" to anticipate... entitled "Corners of my Home"!

Another reason for doing this, obviously, is to further inspire me to finish "settling" in. It can really take time to unpack and recreate a home that is quaint, comfortable, kid-friendly and inspiring all at the same time.

I love this quote, that I found...

What is Home?

It is the laugh of a baby, the activity
of a toddler
, the song of a mother;
the strength of
a father. Warmth of
living hearts, light from happy eyes, kindness, loyalty,
Where joy is shared and sorrow eased.

Where even the tea kettle
sings from happiness.

That is home.

~ Ernestine Schumann Heink (italics mine)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Life is too short to ignore that death is a reality...

While desiring not to be cliche, I also wanted to bring this testimony, of Rachel Barkey, to your attention, because I know alot of other's are posting this on their blogs, too. It's a testimony that just really grabs your attention as you listen to Rachel speak. Is her faith "tempted to quake" in the midst of her cancer? Maybe at times. But NO-not really, because it's firmly rooted in the deep, abiding love of her Savior. Her faith is unwavering and strong. She really presents the Gospel in a way that makes you long for more of HIM!

It honestly took me 3 attempts to get through the 55 minute video presentation. Life with two little ones kept "happening".... and so, over the course of 3 days I could hardly wait to come back to it and hope to finish it.

I finally did today!

I was left with the challenge of how I live my life, day to day, as a Mom. And how often the me, Me, ME! gets in the way. She alludes to this tendency as to how for out of convenience sake alot of things have been no, No NO with her kids... and how that now she is learning to live out her last few days with more Yes's!

I needed to hear that...
As someone who personally understands the pain of losing a Dad, all four of my grandparents and other close friends and family members... Death is not easy to comprehend. But Life is too short to ignore that it is a reality. Right now Scott's Dad has cancer - for the second time around. He was just told that his melanoma cancer has returned. It's now in his liver and beyond. There is very little if nothing that they can do anymore. We need to pray for him...

I have another dear friend (a wife and Mom, of 3 beautiful kids) who just has been through her own battle with breast cancer. So far, things look positive and are remaining hopeful for her. We thank God for her healing.

This reality hits home, for all of us, in so many ways... but, doesn't it make you long for HOME even more?? Let's remember to live every day as if we knew that it was our last day.

: : Please, take the time to listen to Rachel's message of Hope; Death is Not Dying, a Faith that saves.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

It's all in the little things...

~Side by Side~

Four years later, and it's still the little things that really matter. Today is our wedding anniversary. It's hard to believe that four years have gone by so quickly. With two beautiful children later... here we are still side by side.

Nine months after getting married, it was around Valentine's day, and I was with a group of other couples, from church, for a valentine dinner. This was back when Scott still drove truck and so he was not able to be with me that night... I brought along an 8x10 picture of him to put at his seat, next to mine. I thought it was sweet & romantic. One of the young single guys from our group (who was helping to serve the meal) didn't know us very well, at the time, & got all concerned that, by me having this picture along, that Scott had passed away. It still tickles me to think about that.

But one of the evening's activities was to go around the table and tell what it was/is that you think has or will make your marriage last. Remember, I was there alone without my hubby and also very newly married. There were several couples there who were married 26years... some more, some less. So, I felt really intimidated when it came time for me to answer.

When it was my turn I was really honest, when I said that "It's the little things that Scott and I will do for each other - on a consistent basis- that really matter. For instance; We always prepare each other's toothbrush with paste and get the mouthwash ready. If whoever is there first - we'll just go ahead and "set-up" for the other. If we forget, there is almost a tendency to get "offended".... it's kinda funny when that happens, because it doesn't happen very often. We've done this gesture since day one and four years later, it's still happening.

Well, I got laughed at when I shared that. I was surprised. I didn't know that some of these couples would think it strange, or whatever. All that to say, it is so important for us as a couple(and I use the toothbrush story to illustrate) to keep the little things in focus. Follow it up with the graciousness of "please" and "thank you"... and just being considerate of one another, never taking each other for granted! "Taking each other for granted" is one of the biggest traps that we have chosen to avoid falling into. It's hard. And we have failed at times. But, by the thinking about this and talking about it again and again... it just has made such a difference, for us.

I don't want to give away all of our secrets, but here is one more that I hope will continue to be a little thing that will continue to make a HUGE difference and will help to keep our marriage strong. We always hold hands all the time. While driving in the car, while out and around, praying together, even sometimes while falling asleep in bed,... it's something we hope our little ones will know about Mom and Dad that "they are a team!" - they did together like no body else could. There is never a picture so sweet as one I have in my memory, a memory of my grandparents. Where ever they went it was always hand in hand. Side by side. I want to do that too.

There may come a day when either Scott or I will be "walking alone"... we don't know. But, rest assured, if and when that day comes there will be no regrets when by looking back we will know that we never parted ways whether in the physical sense or when talking on the phone that we didn't say, "I love you". The little gestures will then be just a memory, and the constant desire to never take each other for granted was then the greatest gift, given to each other. But for now, we are still here - side by side. May God be glorified...

I love being married to this man.

"Scott, you are such a joy and what a rich blessing you are in my life!! Thank you for choosing me to be your wife. Happy Anniversary, Babe!! I love you....and consider this post your little love note tucked into your lunch box today. Hope you have a great day!" ~me

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Being Steadfast - Part two!

As mentioned in my post from this past Thursday that there would be a follow-up post on being steadfast... what did I really have in mind, when I posted that? Well, here are a few of my "honest" thoughts on this subject. AHHHHH!

Being steadfast in and during trial is one thing, according to the book of James. And then there is being steadfast in and through Mothering (I'll get to this in a minute). Our church is currently going through a series on the book of James.... and "right out of the chute", it's been hitting home for me. As in questions like; Does my life exemplify Joy in Trials? Do I see the fruit of perseverance (or steadfastness) in my life?

I don't know. It really gave Scott and I something to talk about these past few days/weeks. We can really understand times of trial and times of blessing. Everybody's story looks different. What may be or feel like a trial to one, is nowhere the level of trial to another. And that's what our life currently looks like now.
In moving to this "new for us" home (farmhouse apartment) just last weekend, we are now so overwhelmed with all the blessing that we are currently enjoying. But two and a half years ago it was not the case. Rather, it was a trial that we entered and then had to endure. While there was still provision and blessing on a regular basis during that time...it was still something to be desired. We waited through it. And God was gracious. I suppose that was living out the part of "being steadfast".

I mentioned to someone recently about feeling like I have "survivors guilt" because there are so many others, who right now, are going through some really tough seasons in there life and here I am enjoying such a HUGE blessing. How can that be fair? Yet, as I mentioned before, I do realize that not everybody goes through life at the same pace.

Our Pastor made mention that "if your not currently going through a season of trial then start preparing for one, because one is coming". There is a lot of truth in that. One of the things I am personally grateful for is the consistency of my husbands attention to detail. Financial trial is a big one, for so many people. And honestly, but humbly, I thank God for giving Scott a firm foot down on our lifestyle and desire to get rid of (and stay out of) any and all debt. That right there has been tough (a trial?)- when the temptation was and still is to "keep up with the Jones'" and to spend, spend, spend.

A lot of folks are really going through tough financial trial (for various reasons) right now. But, I want to say this, being debt-free has not always been the case for us. And Scott would be the first to say he has made some really stupid (poor) decisions over the years and has had to learn life the hard way. So have I. Literally four years ago when we married we were "quite a lot in debt" and with lots of hard work and God's help, we were able to get out from under that, all while I was planning to be a stay-at-home Mom. This was a conviction of ours and one we felt strongly that God would have us do... for me to stay home with the little ones. Looking back -with the current economic situation (as we know it to be today)- we can not thank God enough for His grace in this area of our lives.

Almost four years later, I remain a SAHM. I will be honest some days I don't like it very much. IT IS HARD WORK and much, much more (work) then I ever imagined. It isn't all that I imagined. It's lonely, thankless, and exhausting. It's daily grind interferes with my "wanna-be,-so-called" agenda. AHHHH!! There are many days when Scott will get home from work and he can tell I've been in tears. Oh how badly I want out of the equation, just get me off this "merry-go-round", somebody stop the train!! Some days I really feel like I cannot do it anymore.

And then there are sermons, cards from family, and hugs and prayers from my hubby... and I know that ONE DAY... one day is coming when I will reap the reward (the crown of life) if I remain steadfast in and through this trial. This sometimes trial of Mothering is just that, only sometimes if I really do think about it. There are many, many rewards as well. Many moments that are JOY and well worth being a Mom!!

  • I love that I am the one that is home and raising them and not somebody else...
  • I love being able to comfort, satisfy and kiss away the booboo's...
  • I love that I can see fruit from the consistency of discipline and teaching... some days more then others
  • I love that I feel needed...
  • I love being the wife to one awesome man and the Mother of his children...

I just hope and pray that I will continue to be steadfast -in being the best wife and Mom that I can possibly be!!

By the way, I had a really great Mother's Day!! I didn't have to cook...and we went shopping!!!

: : Does anybody else relate to this? I know if your all honest, you have your days of Motherhood trials as well, how do you handle them? And what has helped you through?

Friday, May 8, 2009

We're Moved!!!

Yes!! It's over... the move is finally behind us. What a blessing this farmhouse has turned out to be. We started loading up the moving truck on Friday evening... and with (most wonderful) help from family and friends, we decided to go ahead and keep at it until ALL was out of the old house and over at the new one. I think it was 2:30 AM when Scott and I looked at each other and said "we must be crazy" - but boy, are we ever glad we did that. The little ones actually slept through alot of the "moving in" going on around them. That was a great blessing...

And then it had started raining -slightly - as we had started loading up the truck, but it held off enough to get the job done. I think maybe within 10 minutes after going to bed, IT POURED!! What a blessing.... that it held off, and it's been raining ever since. Nine days straight!!

Caleb has much to "explore" but... he did have a tough evening Saturday... yet, seems to be adjusting rather well. Aubrey has no idea what has taken place... as long as Mom (or some familiar face) is around.

The rather daunting task of unpacking is going better then I expected. I've had such blessing with my Mom or siblings, even a few friends come by to lend a hand at unpacking/arranging and rearranging. Scott has been great too, with the extra but normal tasks of laundry, etc. that continue to "demand" attention.

We're Moved - at the outpouring of God's grace in and through this season of our lives. The blessings that continue to be poured out on us... are amazing. ALL so undeserved.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Being Steadfast...

I so needed to read this blog post from girltalk, today. All I could do was to sit, in tears, as I read. Shame filled tears, sad tears, and hopeful tears... as well. Thanks ladies for this gentle reminder and I wanted to share it with you all.

As Mother's Day is just around the corner -I'm afraid I'll need all the help I can get in especially remembering this truth. Yes! Lord willing, ONE DAY my children will "rise up" and call me blessed. But it's being steadfast in the meantime.... that counts.

Wishing all other Mother's out there a Happy Mother's Day!!!

: : There is a second post on being steadfast, coming soon! Along with all our move updates - I'm sure some of you are wondering how things went this past week/end!!
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