April 30, 2009

Getting rid of things is hard...

So we're moving... in 3 weeks. That means going through, pitching, passing on, etc. All good things! I'm not a packrat by nature, but there is one set of things is so hard for me to let go of! My baby things.

I have a major longing for more children. But it's been 9 years with one conception... we had no idea what a miracle Jacob was at the time! (Mattie is adopted for hose of you who don't know that.) Anyway, I'm still hanging on to baby things because I hope there will be a day where we can use them again whether through foster or adoption or physical healing, but I'm wondering if that's just plan foolish. This is definitely an emotional thing for me.

I'm hanging on to the crib (saving this), changing table, bouncy seat, tub, tub seat, burp rags (I made all of mine), blankets, too small clothes (nephews/nieces are or will be using these in the meantime), maternity clothes, baby toys, crib bumpers and stuff. I guess also toys that my kids don't love but others might. I'm wondering if I should get rid of the things I don't have an emotional connection to like the bathtub, and save the things I loved (love hearing those same little songs on the bouncy seat). It's just hard to let it go, I think. I think in my mind, giving it all away is resigning myself that it's not going to happen and that makes me sad.

Just thought I'd share what's on my mind today.

April 12, 2009

The Seven Year Old's Birthday

Well, so much for posting "tomorrow!" So sorry... it seems to be the story of my life these last few months. But I think maybe it will end soon! My only major life event now on my plate is moving in 3 1/2 weeks. Oh, wow. That's kinda scary. That's the first time I've written that down. Moving right along...

I promised pictures and details of the little boy's birthday! If only I had remembered that I already had the photos uploaded, I could have written it awhile ago!

He was very excited to get a new Spiderman suit! You can see he's dancing in the one he's wearing to shake the legs down because it's so small. His new one is already quite loved and broken in, as Nate (his cousin) was here for a week. We had two Spidermen around all week!

Jacob got this little go cart from Gramma Linda and Grandpa Harvey. I found it on clearance in December when I found Mattie's. He likes it, but hasn't had much chance to get out there and drive it. I need to show him how to charge it and stuff so he can do it by himself.

And here's the little girl checking it out... you've got to love her outfit.

Jacob got his very own tackle box from Grandmama and Grandpa. Great idea!

Here's Spidey with his cake. (He was very proud of it!)

Hannah roller skating! At our church we have a big gym and they have roller skates! So for 20 bucks you can rent the gym for 4 hours and go to town. This was by far the most relaxed I've ever been about a party, the kids had a great time, and it was kind of unique! Plus Jacob could invite all of his friends too! (Usually we only invite cousins because we have so many in town.) We'll definitely do it this way again!

Couldn't let it go unnoticed that Grandmama did a bit of skating herself. She was just as unsure as everyone else at first...

but here she was after just a few minutes!

Hannah was so sweet to help Mattie around! (And as for more about Mattie on roller skates... that's an entirely separate blog post!)

Who would have thought a garbage can could be so fun??

Jacob and Tyler enjoyed the scooters!

I love this shot!! Mattie and Caleb were trying to get out of the raquetball court.

Jacob making his way around the outside carpeted area on skates... he's not a natural and was pretty frustrated. He was sure he was by far the worst one.

But all in all, he said he had a great day! I can't believe he's 7...
Happy Birthday, Jacob!

Showing off our Easter Pics

I know I said I'd have birthday pictures today, but these pictures are soooooooo much cuter! SO I thought I'd post these tonight instead.

It's always nice to get a family shot every now and then. And just in case you all think I don't look very Easter-y, I had to conform to our uniform for our Choir program. I would have gone for something floral myself!

The flowers in the kids hands are ones they picked for me. :D

Always a challenge to keep the kids from being too silly, but still happy. Notice the gun in Jacob's hand as he sneaks around the tree...

Sweet little girl, full of life!

My tenderhearted, funny little guy!

I think they actually love each other!

Is she not the cutest thing??

LOVE this one!

So I think I'm done with pictures for this year! I had planned on taking them to a local park one day (once they got a bit more sunshine on their faces) for their annual pictures, but after these, I think I'll take that off my list. I know Jacob would be very happy to skip it! I think I'll take the three individuals of Mattie and put them in a horizontal frame as 4x6s or 5x7s.

I have to make a note about her shoes as well... I love the old fashioned shoes like this! Not to mention ruffle socks on bare legs are one of my favorite things of all about springtime. Anyway, I was very excited when I ran across these at Stride Rite, on sale and in wide width even!

He Is Risen!! He is Risen Indeed!

April 11, 2009

Hapy Birthday, Jacob!

He's SEVEN today! I can't believe it. He said had a great day!

More tomorrow about our day... We have to get up early and have a looooooong day celebrating CHRIST's resurrection! Singing in all three services at church, teaching Sunday School (doing resurrection eggs with my special needs kiddos), lunch (which I totally forgot about until 3 days ago, thank you, Peggy for rescuing me!), then back at church by 5:15 to do the entire Choir program, arrive at home to my older sister and her family here for the week!!!! :) Somewhere in there I suppose I need to wash some sheets... don't tell my sister just in case I don't get to it. Ha!
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April 10, 2009

My stressed day turned blessed

I went to bed last night with quite a to do list. Something woke me with a start at 4 AM or so and my brain started turning... that's never good at that time of night for me! At 4:30 I got a notebook out in the dark and started writing down my list. At % I finally got up and worked through all the e-mails I had to do. If I was awake thinking about the list, I might as well be crossing things off! By 6:30 I was back in bed, knowing my alarm was set for 7:15. My throat and my stomach both hurt, and I did not want to get out of bed!

The kids were up before I was, and we had to eat and be out the door by 8:30 for an allergy appointment I had. I was a year and a half over due for my "annual" appointment! After that appointment we had plans to meet at a state park for a nature activity involving snakes... that's about all I knew. :)

On the way between the two, I called my friend hoping she'd tell me that because of the rainy morning, the activity was canceled. No such luck... but she did offer to take my kids for me! So I took her up on it, dropped them off, and came home for 3 hours of silent bliss!!! (I think it's about once a year that I'm home all by myself.) Ohhh, how I wanted to take a nap, but I had cupcakes to decorate. I was dreading that, so I knew I wouldn't relax enough to nap anyway. Hands on tasks in the kitchen are not my idea of fun to being with, but shooting for sucess with ingredient substitutions is really not my cup of tea!

But I got focused and busy and had all the cupcakes and cake decorated before the kids came home! And I didn't even screw anything up! Here's what we have for Jacob's party tomorrow:

They are not totally corn free, as the food coloring contains corn, but for once a year, I'll give him that. They're not even as red as they should be, but any more food coloring would have been borderline poisonous, I'm sure. It goes soooo against my grain to feed this junk to my kids! Jacob sees so many other kids with their parties have these fancy cakes and cupcakes, none of which he can ever have. I've never gone all out like this for their birthdays, and I don't think I'm going to do it every year, but this year it seemed important to do it for him. Anyway, it was such a blessing to be able to have the quiet time to focus on it and get it done!

April 08, 2009

Our Favorite Allergy Cake

I've been making this cake for quite awhile now and it always turns out! It's really good!

Allergy Reduced :) Chocolate Cake
(It's not wheat free, though I'm sure Jen would be up to that challenge!)

1 3/4 c flour (I use freshly ground soft white flour)
1/2 t salt
1 c raw sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
1 t baking soda

5 T oil
1 T apple cider vinegar
1 t vanilla

1 c cold water
1/2 c chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8 inch pan.

In a large bowl, combine dry ingredients. Stir well with a fork, then add oil, vinegar and vanilla. When dry ingredients are thoroughly moistened, pour in cold water and stir until batter is smooth. Stir in chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake in preheated oven for 30-35 minutes (18-20 for cupcakes) or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

I've made this as cupcakes, a cake, and replaced the cocoa with a bit more flour to make white cupcakes too. It always works out without being crumbly like most egg-free cakes are. I usually double it and get 20 cupcakes or so. Today I tripled it, got 24 cupcakes and an 11x7 cake.


April 07, 2009

Fishing Day with Daddy

Robert and Jacob have been fishing again lately as it's gotten a bit warmer. We have some friends with access to a local river where Robert enjoys going.

Jacob reeling one in!

Look what we caught! These were dinner...

Snack break.

April 05, 2009

The things they say

Mattie, bear hugging me: I love you, Mommy!
Me: I love you too!
Mattie: I love you soooooo much!
Me: I love you so much!
Mattie: I love my brown flip flops so much too!


Mattie: The kitchen and living room are so clean, Mommy!
Me: I know, Daddy cleaned the house while we were gone because someone came to look at it. Didn't he do a good job?
Jacob: Awww, that's so sad.
Me: What's sad?
Jacob: That he had to clean the whole house all by himself with no one to help.


After a play day at the park recently when we had Tyler with us...

Jacob: You know, I missed Mattie at the park today.
Me: Yeah, you played with Tyler and she stuck with me, didn't she?
Jacob: Yeah, I guess I was focused on Tyler instead. (After long pause) You know, Mom? I think maybe Mattie is my friend now instead of just my sister.


Jacob: You know, Mom, I like it better when just Daddy is home and you're out running errands with Mattie. He's more fun than you.


Jacob: You know, Mom? When you tell me to do something I don't want to do I get this feeling in my stomach that makes me feel mad because I just don't want to do it. And then I kind of like being cranky about what you're making me do.


While praying together one night when Robert had a toothache...

Jacob: Don't forget to pray for Daddy's tooth. (after we pray for Daddy's tooth...) My eyes got kind of wet and I got this feeling in my stomach when you prayed for Daddy's tooth, but then it went away. But I think if it came back and I cried it might feel better.

First time for Pepperoni

We made homemade pizza a couple of weeks ago. I've tried it twice before, but I used whole wheat flour that I had ground and it just wasn't good. I've decided there is a place for bleached white flour, so sorry to all you that are offended by that! :D I posted on a message board and Michelle posted this recipe that I used:

Pizza Dough
3 Cups flour ( white, whole wheat or a mix of the two)
1 Cup warm water
1 tsp. salt
1Tbsp. sugar
1 package yeast or 1 Tbsp yeast if you buy your yeast in bulk

I used honey instead of sugar, added 1/2t of garlic powder, threw it all (doubled) in my Zo and mixed/kneaded for 20 minutes. I made a round pizza on my stone and a rectangular one on my cookie sheet. Next time I'll use this same doubled recipe and make 4 pizzas total and freeze some... my crust was very thick! But it sure was yummy! I have to say, I actually didn't wish I was eating Papa John's. That is a very exciting thing for anything created in my kitchen!

The exciting thing about this pizza, in addition to the yummy, successful dough, was that Jacob got to try pepperoni for the first time! I have never found pepperoni that looks like it doesn't have corn-derived preservatives (NOT saying it's corn-free, but it's good enough for an isolated try), but I found some at a SuperTarget recently. (It's the Hormel all natural stuff.) Jacob was excited to try it!


After all that, he said the pepperoni was too spicy. :D Oh well, I'll still buy the Hormel stuff for the rest of us. Mattie loved it and had bacon on hers too! And this is my new favorite pizza recipe!

April 03, 2009

Check this out...

I've been up in New Jersey for almost a week with all of my siblings. My little sister's husband sent her this collage he made up... he was home by himself for the first time since the arrival of their new baby. It's very creative!