Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Soups and Sunshine

As I mentioned a few days ago, it's been plumb like Seattle here. So much so, we have not had a glimmer of sunshine in the last eleven days, but today the sun burst through and is working toward drying things out around here.

I've been dreaming up soups to make in the coming days.
My list involves: Chili, Potato Soup (sans dairy, I'm sure if there's enough bacon it'll turn out alright), Pumpkin-Curry Soup, Taco Soup, Chicken and Dumplings, Beef Vegetable Soup....
and that's all I've got so far, but I heartily welcome your suggestions.
If I had my druthers, I'd include Lobster Bisque, Corn & Crab Chowder, and many other butter, cheese, and milk laden luxuries. I've been aching for dairy something fierce lately - anxious for the days when I'm not nursing a little person who screams in agony if I have milk products, but it's certainly not worth it now. And I still have the pleasure of smelling the goodness of a variety of casseroles and such at church dinners. All is not lost.

Emery, the good man, brought home groceries last night. {Leaving the house, especially for groceries and the unloading thereof, is not my cup of tea lately}. Now, we're equipped with canned pumpkin and a world of opportunities before us.
Oh Fall. You're such a dear.

In other news: Adele and potty training. Kind of ugh. I have no zeal for this.

Hattie just informed me that she's graduated pre-k and is getting ready for college now. Ha.

We are almost finished with our curriculum for pre-k...which is cool and we've enjoyed it, but at the same time, I'm not sure if I'm ready to buy another program for Kindergarten or just supplement other materials for a while. Either way, she's learned a lot so far. I mean, she's READING. Whoop! Whoop!
And Adele, while not up in my lap listening the whole time, has made remarkable strides in her language development and story telling, and I'm {thankful} proud as can be of my little brood.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


It's felt like Seattle here lately.

Clouds and rain for the last week.

Actually, I've never been to Seattle. But I have been to Portland, and I imagine the weather is fairly similar. We spent two weeks in Portland on business before Hattie was born. It was cold and drizzly (in mid-September), and I hadn't packed appropriately, and the sun seemed to come out right around dusk, and I thought to myself, "Self, this is not a place you want to live. You need more sunshine."
And I'm right. I do.

But I was thinking this morning, that if we did happen to live in a place where it rained 9 months of the year, we'd just get used to it. We'd buy good rain gear and go tromping out anyway because life is still to be lived - rainy or not.

Thankfully though, we have a good amount of Sunshine here in the Southeast. The spurts of rainy seasons come once in a while, and I relish them.

Somehow days of gray and mist and rain cleanse and refresh my mind and heart.
They invite me to slow down, read more, drink mugs of steamy beverages. To write letters, to have the house smelling of vanilla, to curl up and soak in the rain-drenched world outside my windows.

We'll gladly embrace the sun when she shines again, maybe in October, but to day and the five-day forecast speak of clouds and drizzle--a welcome change from the glare and heat of summer so recently folded up and put into the drawer for next year.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Mind Over Matter

So much of life falls into the category of "mind over matter"...or when I think of my grandmother, it translates into back-your-ear-edness (not that she actually says that, but she has such strength of character and determination, she just gets. things. done.)

Anywho, I was reminded tonight about being mentally prepared for things, and how it makes such a difference in the state of my heart.

For example, when I know Emery will be away on work for a few days, we get through it. I might plan a few extra activities (ahem: distractions), but we'll get through, eagerly awaiting his expected arrival.
BUT, when the dear man has to work late unexpectedly with no estimated time of arrival - oh man, watch out! It's going to be rough at my house.
This happened tonight, so I know.

Dinner was nearly ready when I called to see how close he was {to home}. I could tell right away he hadn't left yet - the lack of road noise during the call. And we spiraled down hill from there.
Hattie was threatened with being sent to her room for the rest of the night if she offered another complaint over dinner (or the position of dinner or how she didn't want such and such). And Adele broke a bead necklace with 153 beads scattered over the carpet, necessitating a vacuuming that I hadn't planned into our bedtime schedule. And the over squeezed tooth paste and the cries for a properly positioned blanket and pleas for a last drink of water.....aye aye aye, they wore me down tonight.
And All because Emery didn't tell me he'd be home late.

Haha, NO. I'm not blaming this evening on him. It's my fault for not dealing well. But mental preparedness goes a long well toward dealing better.

I have a convicting quotation on my fridge: "The state of your heart is the state of your home."




My heart has been a grump...which has been evidencing itself in harsh words to my little children, who are just being children. And I'm setting the example for them! Eek, I need a memory eraser.

I"m thankful HIS mercies are new every morning, and I get another opportunity (Lord willing) to impress upon their minds and hearts kind words and loving deeds, to show them the love of Christ -- rather than the wrath of mama.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

octopus on my head

I've never had an awful haircut. I've had  two or three that didn't have as nice a shape as i'd like, but never anything mortifying.
But then again, I've always been pretty conservative with my hair...never above the shoulder, never colored, never had bangs cut since 3rd grade.

I went out on an uncharacteristic limb last weekend though, and the result is: I don't like my hair.

I still didn't do anything drastic. I asked for above the shoulder. {gasp!} And I knew my curls would seize up with so much weight off of them, and it's shorter than id like.

IT IS out of the spit-up and grab zone from Elijah. And it doesn't look too bad freshly washed, but when i wake up in the morning, i feel like there's an octopus on my head. It's too short to wrangle into a bun or something well behaved.

So I suppose I've been cured of wanting to go to shorter lengths, and next time I feel scraggly and unkempt, I'll just ask for a trim to freshen up a bit.

Monday, September 21, 2015

a few things

-I finally got around to making a new (and hopefully more realistic) schedule. The highlight is that I scheduled sleeping later, and that makes me feel like I'm doing the right thing...nursing the baby often during the night and sleeping in a bit are OKAY at this stage of life.

-I got out our fall decorations last week. I went to Michael's thinking I'd get some inspiration, but all I found was that I already had the things I would have wanted to buy. So I just went home and dug out my fall decor box. I'm not quite ready for pumpkin spice everything, but my couple of pumpkins are adorning the mantle.

-For whatever reason, I feel like my sentence structure (syntax?) is kind of wonky today. Sorry if it's struggle to get through this post.

-I'm trying to making ranch chicken pasta. I just came up with it...or so I thought, but of course there are recipes all over the interweb. Nevertheless, I promptly paid them little heed and started out. Homemade mayo-based ranch, half a jar spaghetti sauce (that was leftover from another recipe), and boiled chicken. And then I added a touch of cayenne, and I think I may have stumbled upon buffalo chicken pasta. This may not be a bad thing. It's TBD. With Elijah being very much a babe in arms, I feel like I have make dinner when I have the I started getting things going at 4:30, knowing full well that Emery is rarely home before 6:30. But for the sake of sanity, it seems thoroughly worth it to let the sauce simmer a long while than to have crying baby wriggling from out of his bumbo seat while trying to be creative and efficient.

-Fall starts this week! It's going to be cool this coming weekend, so they say, and I'm eager for sweater weather.

-My Pawpaw passed away a year ago in July. Today would have been his 85th birthday.

Oh, I read Anne of Green Gables like I said I ought. And it was a delight. I don't have hard copies of the other books in the series and thought I might listen to the audio book, but I was quickly reminded that audio books are for people who already have some quiet time in their hands. I don't fall into that category. There are three little people who prevent me from having that thing called quiet. But that's quite alright because we're raising children, not gerbils, and noise (and dirt) go hand-in-hand with child rearing, and IT IS WORTH IT.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Ode to Anne Shirley and Lucy Maud Montgomery

Just googling Anne of Green Gables quotations makes my heart light

A Cause for Much Rejoicing

Hattie gave up naps two years ago when Adele was an infant. What a sad day that was!

But Elijah and Adele still nap faithfully, for which I rejoice. And today Hattie - when given the choice to clean or take a nap - is quietly laying in her bed.

I love this.

I've gotten a little more deep cleaning done this week. Counters really cleared off, old washi tape pulled off of the coffee table (a neglected "town" it had made), fresh and clean, and one of the best parts....

WINDOWS OPEN!!!! Hallelujah, fall is coming.

This morning cold little toes crawled in bed beside me. We pulled on sweaters to ward off the nippy air in the house. All of the sudden the sun has shifted in the sky and the light looks like fall.

I don't pretend to be a talented photographer with a keen eye for a great shot, but I like light. I like the angles of the sun in the early morning and just before dusk. I like how the sun filters through the leaves.
I think it's fascinating how the light looks different in different places.
Maybe someday I'll even get to see the Northern Lights. Who knows?

Right now, I like that the sky and sun tell of the coming autumn. And the air is beginning to crisp.

I like how the change of seasons makes me feel refreshed and ready to begin anew the traditions left dormant since last year: apple pie, chai latte, pumpkin everything, cranberries & oranges - one of my favorites. Woolen sweaters and slippers in the mornings.
And I echo Anne Shirley:

Note to self: it's high time to re-read AofGG

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

a surprising thing.

We spent the weekend in Kentucky with Emery's family.

The days were fairly full. We even spent a whole day at Holiday World. And we went on a date for our anniversary. Suffice it to say, I expected to be slam-bang exhausted when we returned.
Actually, I was already getting tired on Sunday and thought to myself, "ugh, I'm too tired to go home."

But home we went, and dear Emery drove all the way. I had a headache on the fringes most of the day, and I was thankful for the rest - as much as one can rest while driving with three little people in the back.
Hattie was so sad to be home. She cried and cried about missing Grandma and Grandpa, and how she wanted to move to Kentucky. These statements surprised me, for Hattie is always declaring she doesn't want to move or leave this house ever, ever, ever.
But that's not the surprising thing.

The surprising thing was that I was not a zombie on Tuesday. I really wasn't. I cleaned my room.
{My room gets so neglected. My closet fell apart in June, and while Emery fixed in July, I still hadn't gotten everything put back away until yesterday.}
I felt like a human. How odd.

I can't remember if I've blogged about this or not, but I feel like I have had a much more difficult time bouncing back from Elijah's birth. My iron is low, and I'm struggling to get the basics done some days. And I know I wrote about our new schedule and how great it was (and is), but I couldn't keep it up. I have to sleep later than my prescribed 6:45 because my baby is nursing often at night. And I can't remember to tell the girls to go make their beds. And I've slowed down on the pace of some of our school work (I'm so glad I can do that!!).
I feel like I tried to force myself out of survival mode before we were really ready, and I just kept getting more and more tired.
Which is why I'm so shocked that I've been functional this week. More than that, I've been getting a few deep-cleaning tasks accomplished.
I don't really know what happened. Or why, but I like it.

I LOVE that my room is clean....that I FINALLY took the pile of goodwill stuff down to the van to drop off sometime. I love that I can see the top of my dresser, rather than a homely pile of odds and ends. I even love that I unpacked the suitcases on the first day after week got back. That typically takes me a week when I haven't recently had a baby.

Whatever it is, I'm glad.
Praise the LORD!!

Oh, by the way, a good movie. "War Room". We went out to see it for our anniversary. I hadn't even heard of it until last week - though I don't hear of many movies anyway - but I was thoroughly impressed.
It's main theme was about strategic prayer for our marriages and families, and the power of prayer in our lives. It was so so good. And it didn't come with any of the cheesey acting that sometimes accompanies such movies. Go see it. Go clap at the end, and be prepared to give some "Amens" along the way. You might cry, too, I did.

Quick Trivia: what was the last movie I saw in Theaters?
"2016" in 2012.
It really wasn't a great anniversary movie either (about the potential of the Obama administration to damage America by 2016). But there's so little for Christians to choose from in theaters, I didn't mind.