Friday, February 27, 2009

social calendar

It is known in our family that I am in charge of our social calendar.  Well, I just hired an activites planner.  Wed. and Fri. Caeden was in charge of our daily activites.  Wed. He decided we should visit
 Sun Harvest, so we did. We shared a smoothie, played on the playground, bought some delicious juice, and tasted the juice and oranges. Fri, he decided we could ride bikes to Coconut Point and visit that playground.  We didn't have our car today and he wanted to ride his bike by himself.  I am learning when he makes a decision he needs to learn how to follow through with it.  So instead of easily saying " no that is too far, you can't do it, just ride in the stroller."  We set off to Coco Point.  I was willing to let him turn around at any point, but he just kept bikin along.
He rode in front of me and I pulled Owen in the bike stroller.  I got to teach him all about:
 going along with traffic, 
staying inside the bike lane and on the side walk,
pushing the crosswalk button, 
how to get off the bike and cross the intersection,
paying attention to cars and other bikers/pedestrians, 
not giving up when it is tough,
getting back up and riding after a fall,
having a healthy fear of cars when riding your bike,
how to look for the safest route,
how to listen to my direction and determine right from left.

We got there, played on the playground, visited Planet Smoothie (his decision again), and rode home again. 6.5 miles and a few hours later.  I am so proud of my son and best thing of all, he feels a sense of real accomplishment because he didn't give up.  Look at all the teaching opportunities I would have missed out on if I had chosen the easy way and made him ride in the stroller.  We had so much fun.  I am probably more exhausted than him; mentally beacuse of all the talking, surveying, scouting, and watching, that I had to do. I felt like a mother bear that was willing to protect her cubs at any time if a car got too near.  
I am thankful that the Lord is teaching me to embrace their independence, turn any experience into a teaching opportunity, and let their mistakes/misbehavior be a teaching tool in responsibiltiy.  
I will gladly accept the help from our new family activities planner.
Tonight we are off to see the races at the Naples BMX Track. (parents idea)

By the way, I finished the book, Practical Parenting from Birth to Six Years, and highly recommend it.  It has allowed my anxious fear of when and where and how the kids might act up to turn into joy from teaching my children to learn gracefully from their mistakes and let them have ownership and responsibility in how to handle and "fix" each situation.  I really needed to read it, very easy to read, and easily applicable practical parenting tools.


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Love you forever

I have read this book to my kids countless times and I will admit that it always seemed a little cheesy.  I'm not usually the sappy one who cries every time I read this book.  If you have ever read it, you know the famous repeated phrase,
"I'll love you forever, I'll like you for always, as long as I'm living, my baby you'll be" in which the mom sings to her boy every night for his entire life.  Then when she is too old and sick to sing to him, her son picks her up and sings the song to her and inserts "my mommy you'll be."  Then he goes home and picks up his baby daughter from the crib and sings the song to her.

Well, tonight my heart strings were tugged.
Owen went to bed a little after 8pm.  C, as usual, stalled and had to eat some cereal while wearing his fireman costume before going to bed.
So around 8:45, I was praying with Caeden by his bedside (thinking that O was asleep), when I heard him say something from his crib.  I walked over to say goodnight to Owen, when he said
"You come back Mommy, You come back to give me a hug and a kiss?"
Oh how my heart melted.  "Yes Owen, I came back and I will continue to come back every night to give you a hug and a kiss for the rest of your life if you let me!" (And I might just sing a little song too!)

Saturday, February 21, 2009


1 Head of Lettuce............$1
2 baskets of strawberries..$2
6 sweet potatoes................$2
1 watermelon.....................$2.50
1 pineapple.......................$2.50
1 bushel of oranges.........$5
2 giggle sticks..............$2

Creating a new tradition of Saturday mornings at the local FarmersMarket...................Priceless

What great fun.  It is held at the Promenade every Sat. Morn from 7-12.  The boys loved learning how to ask for the produce and hand the money and we all enjoyed the delicious smoothies I made when we got home.  

On a side note, out Girl Scout Cookies were delivered and both boxes of Thin Mints and Samoas are STALE. very disappointing!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Please Pray

To any and all who read this.........
Baby Jameson from the blog JTSetsma is in the ICU and on a ventilator.
He has the skin disease EB and has been struggling with his breathing lately.  Please pray for God's healing touch on Jameson and comfort and peace for the parents Todd and Melisa.
Thank You

Still Learning

It is no surprise that I love my kids.  Thankfully, the Lord knows when and how to gently reprimand me and make me aware of how I can change for the better as a mother.  C has been out of control recently, trying to establish his own independence and stopping at nothing to make sure he gets it.  As a desparate measure, I went to Barnes and Noble and started reading through about 5 different books on parenting and discipline.  The one I brought home isPractical Parenting from Birth to Six Years this is through the Love and Logic seminar experts.
I have heard of Love and Logic, but have never looked into the "magical tips"  they claim for parenting.

  While I went through the book A Call to Die, the Lord showed me how much I clung to control in my life.  In every aspect I desire to control my situation, and if it doesn't go my way, then any barage of reactions take over....anger, self-pity, fatigue, stress, etc.  God has been dealing with me and I learned to let the King of all Creation have control of my life, instead of doing it all on my own.  I need to repent, because that last few weeks, I have been sick, tired, not getting up on time to get my devos in before the kids get up and it has taken a toll on how I react when the kids are naughty.  The Love and Logic book has gently opened my eyes to how I have stepped right back into my old ways of not letting the Lord teach me as I teach my children.

I see that C's desire of seeking his own identity in life is normal and by treating it as rebellion and getting angry, I am just fueling the fire.  Instead, every time he doesn't listen, I need to be mindful of how he can learn about responsiblity, right decision making, and autonomy.  His anger and outburst have to be learned and sadly they are probably learned by me.  Why am I punishing my son, for something that I have taught him? ouch?
My boys are growing up so fast and i tend to resist it instead of embrace it.  
Lord, help me to turn every moment into a a positive learning experience where they feel confident of Your love and the love of their parents that they know who they are in Christ and they can flourish as independent thinkers being mindful of what is right and wrong and how their decisions affect themselves and those around them.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Etsy buy

I wanted to share a great Etsy site with you, go to AdorableFiend 
Rachael who is the creator of Adorable Fiend, was very accomodating, friendly and obviously creative to turn an army tank into a love tank.  If you've ever read, The five love languages,there is more of a meaning behind that.
I purchased these onesies for my wonderful friend Leeana who just had twins.  You can visit their blog to see pictures of their new baby boy and girl.  The word "Tank" is in their last name, hence the choice of the army tank on the onesie.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

A big boy room

It is time for Owen to move out of his crib.  I wanted to build him a twin size bed like we did with Caeden, but since they share a room it will be more effecient and save space if we built something like this loft bed from Ikea (below) or from DucDuc (above).  Which means that Caeden would move to the top bunk and Owen would sleep underneath on Caeden's bed.  I am ok with that, but it seems like Caeden gets all the new things, and I wanted O to have a bed of his own, made by daddy.  He is not as sentimental at 2 as his mom is at 33, so Mike started cutting the wood today.  

Owen will need his own new twin bedding set and my favorite is this Dwell kids transporation bedding from Design Public or from ModernNursery. 
Although their whole room is a surfing theme, I am not quite sure if that will match so well.
Also from Modern Nursery is the lion beddin below, which is really cute but still wont match.
Not quite sure what to do yet.
I will upload pictures of the bed construction soon.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

El Presidente

This was taken from Hope's iphone.  Todd and Hope "know someone" who "knows someone" and they got to sit directly behind President Obama in the second row as he was speaking in downtown Fort Myers.  She shook his hand and explained to me that she wanted to say something proufound, but all that came out was a high pitched "HI."  It is pretty cool, I can't say that I have ever been this close to El Presidente.  I could see them on TV when he was answering questions from the crowd.  I should look for that footage on the internet.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Shabby Apple

Just how I stumbled onto this great site,Shabby Apple, i am not sure.  But I love my little black dress (pictured with the gray hat.  They have the cutest dresses, accressories, shoes, maternity clothes, and little girls clothes. Plus they help impoverished women, "Shabby Apple donates 5% of its net dress sales to support work in India (where Shabby Apple Dresses sources many of its dresses the textiles used to manufacture its dresses).  In addition, each Shabby Apple Dresses customer has the opportunity to donote an extra five dollars to Unitus every time she buys a dress."

Monday, February 9, 2009

Life and Health

This is what I have been learning lately
Through much prayer and heart searching, we have decided to try for another child.  Deep down I want it to be a girl, but I know that I shouldn't think that way besides, I will not let myself be disappointed if we have 3 boys.  My first two boys are fantastic children full of life, love, and smiles.  I go to bed every night thankful of all the memories I hold in my heart because of my two little boys.  Now, having said that, in preparation for our next little bundle, if God so wills, I have an agenda. 
1.  Start taking prenatals again: check, except, one month down and I am tired of feeling nauseated every morning.  This was my first time taking prescription pre-natals.  My OB wants me to get     1 mg folic acid/day.  I tried, but they just would not sit right in my stomach.  So I went to the local health food store and bought myself..............a food based all natural prenatal vitamin.  It only has 800 mcg/folic acid, which is the highest amount that can be put into an over the counter brand. From what I have read, the RDA for the average adult female is 400mcg/folic acid and 600mcg for pregnant females.  I did call the doctor this morning to ask if this was ok to switch, but the nurse was out, so i made my own decision.

2.  Omega-3 fish oil supplements.  This is what is says on the back of the bottle.

Barlean's Organic Oil, High Potency Oil with EPA is for those who aspire to nutritionally support the optimal structure and function of:

  • Brain Health and Cognitive Function
  • Central Nervous System Development
  • Fetal and Infant Retinal Tissue
  • Attention Span & Intelligence
  • Immune Function
  • Postpartum Health and Wellbeing
 Uh, who could say no to that.  I didn't go to the store intending on buying this product, but somehow I walked out convinced that I needed it.
This came off the American Heart Assoc. website regarding normal adults and the reason to include Omega-3's in one's diet: 
 "The link between omega-3 fatty acids and CVD risk reduction are still being studied, but research has shown that omega-3 fatty acids"
  • decrease risk of arrhythmias, which can lead to sudden cardiac death
  • decrease triglyceride levels
  • decrease growth rate of atherosclerotic plaque
  • lower blood pressure (slightly)

3.  Spirulina

Spirulina is a blue green alga, that contains 10 vitamins, 8 minerals, and 18 amino acids. . It has been found help reduce weight, and help with many allergies, visual problems, carbohydrate disorders, anemia and many other disease conditions. It also has many beneficial enzymes.  I have read that it can cleanse the body, boots the immune system, stimulate metaboilsm,  and compensate for deficiencies in the diet.  Which after all this supplement taking, I shouldn't have any more dietary deficiencies.
I was first interested in spirulina after doing some research on the blood type diet. and finding this site www.runtheplanet.   find it very intriguing and would like to read the book Eat Right for your Blood
Type.    I am A+ and therefore am supposed to have a fragile digestive system and can't digest meat very well.  It is recommended that A+ blood types are vegetarians
The website suggests,
 "Tofu and Hawaiian Spirulina should become the Blood Type A person's best friends, as these foods contains high-quality vegetable protein!  Persons with Blood Type A do not produce enough hydrochloric acid in their stomachs, and that is why they have a difficult time digesting animal protein well." This also gives them a predisposition toward getting stomach cancer, and should never eat smoked or cured meats due to the sodium nitrites in them.  The inability to absorb Vitamin B12 sufficiently from food tends to make the person with Blood Type A prone to pernicious anemia. Therefore, supplementing the diet with Vitamin B12 is critical. 
Foods that encourage weight loss - Vegetables oils, such as olive and flaxseed; soy foods; spirulina; vegetables; pineapple."

Now embarks my new journey, to healthy eating, and important nutrition.  We shall see, if I any there are any notable changes in overall health, body, and mind.  As well, C and O will now be taking a food based, all natural childrens multi-vitamin.  They have been taking generic store bought brands in the past, but since I am now super vitamin mommy, they must follow in my footsteps.  I apologize for the strange font and line spacing, It won't correct.  

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Fruit Leather

Attempt #1
the outside layer was too thin and stuck to the paper, the inner layer was too thick and was still mushy.  Maybe I didn't cook it long enough, or maybe it was because I used Frozen and not fresh strawberries and I didn't strain it through a fine mesh sieve.

Homemade Fruit Leather

1 1/2 pounds Strawberries
1/2 cup Sugar

Puree strawberries with sugar in a blender until smooth, then strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a saucepan.

Bring puree to a boil, then simmer over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until thick enough to mound slightly (about 45 mins - 1 hour).

Preheat oven to 200° F, with the rack in the middle. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with non-stick cooking spray). Pour hot puree onto liner and spread thinly (as evenly as possible) into a 15 x 10 inch rectangular pan using a spatula. Dry puree in oven until it feels drier, but is still slightly tacky, about 2 hours.

Cool until completely dry for at least 3 hours (up to 24). Place a sheet of parchment paper over leather then peel off liner and roll up in parchment.

White Chicken Chili

White Chicken Chili found on this site

Not a real healthy or light, but much needed comfort food on this cold day. 

served with biscuits and honey, mmmmmmmm


16 oz or so of canned white beans
2 large onions, chopped
1 stick unsalted butter
1/4 c all-purpose flour
3/4 c chicken broth
2 cups half and half
1 tsp Tabasco
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder 
1 tsp ground cumin (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon salt (I usually put in more)
1/2 teaspoon pepper (I put in more)
two 4-oz cans whole mild green chilies, drained and chopped
5 boneless, skinless chiken breasts (about 2 pounds)
some extra butter and oil to cook them in
1 1/2 c grated Monterey Jack
1/2 c sour cream


1. Heat a large skillet (I like cast-iron) over moderately high heat and put in some butter and oil. Meanwhile coat your chicken with salt and pepper and maybe some chili powder. Throw them in the skillet and resist the urge to turn them over. Leave them for five minutes, or until nicely browned, then flip them. Leave it there until browned and then flip them every few minutes until they are done (which you can tell by poking a knife into the thickest part and seeing if it's white instead of pink).

2. Remove the chicken from the pan. When the chicken is cool enough to handle, shred it with your fingers and set aside.

3. While waiting for chicken to cool, cook the onion in the same pan with 2 Tbs of butter until softened.

4. In a heavy pot, large enough to hold all the ingredients, melt remaining 6 Tbs of butter over moderately low heat and whisk in flour. Cook the roux, whisking constantly, for three minutes. Stir in the oinoin and gradually add the broth and half and half, whisking the whole time. Bring mixture to a boil and simmer, stirring occasionally, 5 minutes, or until thickened. (It will be nicely and obviously thick.) Stir in Tabasco, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper. Add beans, chilies, chicken and cheese, and cook over moderately low heat, stirring occasionally for 20 minutes. Add sour cream. May be served immediately -- though like all chilis this tastes awesome the next day.

5. Serve with the usual chili garnishes--cilantro, cheese, jalapenos, tomatoes, etc.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Fabric Canvas Art

Amber and I tried this while they were visiting.  It as so much fun and I am thrilled that I like it enough to hang it on my wall.  I found the idea from annamariehorner.
We used dark purple paint, but it looks black in the pictures.
Here is the final product on the wall, then the following pictures are in order 
of how we created our masterpiece.  It was really easy.