Tuesday, February 18, 2014

winter boredom buster

 I usually like to cook.

This winter the idea of cooking doth greatly vex my soul.

First off, I don't know what to make.

Second, my pantry is not very well stocked, at least not with anything very interesting. 

Third, it's too cold to go grocery shopping

Fourth, I'm very lazy.

Fifth, I like to have good food to eat this time of the year.

I think my creative energy for food prep bought a one way ticket to Timbucktu.

I have had more conversations that I can count with other lady friends {during this long winter} who are also feeling burned out  or bummed out or something like that in the food department.

So. Since I like brainstorming better than working........

I got this crazy idea to do a casserole exchange in an attempt to combat my own lack of enthusiasm. Fortunate for me, I found a few comrades who jumped on the bandwagon with me.

This is what we ended up with and boy...........it doesn't matter what angle I look at it, I like this stack of casseroles.

these chicas totally inspire me!!!

We each made 4 dishes of the same casserole and we went home each carrying 4 DIFFERENT casseroles. I was so excited  that I used my one casserole that very evening. And boy, was it ever tasty!!! Just knowing that I didn't prepare it myself made the taste factor soar off the charts.

I wouldn't really want to eat freezer meals all winter long, but this turned out to be a fun way to give all of us some variety in our menus in the coming week(s) with minimal effort.

I was tempted when planning this exchange to add quite a few more ladies, but I think it could have become quickly overwelming to have to prepare 10 casseroles.

An additional perk of the casserole exchange:
Getting together to drink coffee with friends and let the kids roar around the house while the weather roars outside is worth like.........a million bucks.


Friday, February 14, 2014

A blast from the past

I'm not sure what I mean exactly by a blast

1. an enjoyably exciting experience, occasion, or event <I had a blast>


2. a violent gust of wind

or maybe a combination of both, which would be

blast from the past
:  a striking reminder of an earlier time :  something that excites nostalgia
Today I'm experiencing a blast from the past......
11 years (my, that's a big number!!) ago we made the pact to do this thing of living together forever and ever and for better or for worse. In other words, he proposed and the giddy girl beside him said 'yes'.
The past 11 years have rubbed us thin at some places and thicker at other places.
We're not on the honeymoon anymore. (hulllooooo......we've got 5 kids)
But our love has grown. It has matured. It has carried us through tough times. We've ridden the crests of joy and happiness together.
We're both better *rounded and grounded persons because of living and growing together.
It would be a lie to say that we're more infatuated than ever with each other. But infatuation doesn't hold a candle to the kind of love that bears each other up through sleepless nights and 5 pregnancies and house renovations and church ordinations.
Today as the past blasts in front of me,  the thought that keeps really making me smile is that he loved me first. I walked into his life viewing myself as a **single missionary on a 6 month furlough. Within days he was convinced that an ocean between us was no way to live. He loved me first. His love compelled me. I couldn't help myself. He won. But really, it was a serious score for me too.
*another area in which I scored good in this deal
** it's funny how much my definition of 'single' has changed over the years.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Life with a 9 year old daughter and some Valentine's Day projects

While I feel like I'm perhaps in the most intense mothering marathon of my life, I recently realized that my role of mom has been jerked all over the map in the last nine years.

Gone are the days of rising early for uninterrupted communion with Jesus and afternoon naps and early baths and premature bedtimes and buckling 4 kids into their car seats and tying shoe laces and zipping zippers and clipping those 80 fast growing nails and talking over the toddler's heads at mealtime and snacking on the sly.

These are the days of rising early only to get the kids sent off to school and kids begging to 'please stay up a little later!!!' and constant questions and annoying noises and conversations and never-ending games of Monopoly and Life and no.personal.space.

One super positive aspect of this stage of life is that I am no longer the sole cleaner-cooker-baker-washer-dresser-babysitter-buttwiper-grocery-shopper-decorator-lady in this house.

Here enters the 9 year old (going on 16) daughter



The one who has more administrative abilities that her 32 year mother.

The one who loves to create.

The natural born teacher.

The one who loves to have adult conversations.

The one who loves to plan parties.

The one who loves shopping.

The one who is my in-home female co-conspirator.

The one who really is my right hand maid.

I'm loving this thing of not having to hold this house together on my own.

I think I depend on her more than I realize. 

"Angeline, please hold Cassie while I  __________"

"Angeline, I need you to bake some bars for tonight"

"Angeline, I just saw this cool idea on pinterest......" {boy, she's all over this one!}

She enables me to accomplish more than I ever thought would be possible while being a mom of 5.

Daughters are a good idea.

Especially first born aggressive, stubborn ones. :)

In the past Valentine's Day décor has been nonexistent around here.

This year, the combination of multiple snow days and my creative 9 year old daughter who needs no sleep, landed me with some sweet pops of pink around this house.

I found some decorating ideas on pinterest and gave her a few instructions and tools.

Then I put myself in a reclining position and watched her work because just the research and gathering of materials alone had given me a migraine.


  Here is a good tutorial to follow for making this wreath.

These flowers were basically a no-brainer to make after learning how to put the wreath together.

 Later we bunched together some of these flowers to make poof balls to hang from our dining room chandelier.  Perfect décor for my daughter's annual VDay Party with  her cousins.

This garland was another of our creations inspired by the coffee filter wreath. I ran the glue gun for this project, but Angeline did most of the work.

See why 9 year old daughters rock????

Oh. Did I mention the lack of privacy that is part of this package?

She even reads my thoughts.

Talk about accountability!!!

Even as I am typing, I have an on-site proof reader and editor.


Wednesday, February 5, 2014

because we all need a wake up call sometimes

I care about this whole thing of being a mom.

 I care about giving it my best shot.

I care about being intentional.

I care about encouraging other moms.

But sometimes I fall down.

I stand in need of grace as a mom. Which really is ok.

But... Too often bad habits master me.

And that is really is not valid grace-filled parenting at all.

Sometimes I need a good wake up call.

Especially in the dead of winter when the kids are bouncing out of bed early and I sit-- numbly-- wishing that they would just sleep all day.

Today I'm sharing a few links that have encouraged me, challenged me, convicted me, caused me to break out in both hot and cold sweats simultaneously.

Be blessed!

Be encouraged!

Be challenged!

You are not alone!!!!