Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Underestimating the 3-year-old again

"I fold, too, Mommy?" she said and I tossed her the washclothes, thinking she would at least stay out of trouble while she played with them.


Look at that stack! Long live the toddler workforce!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fun Fire. . . or not.

Last night while I was putting the kids to bed, Daniel came flying up the stairs telling us that there was a house on fire one street over from us.

(And contrary to popular opinion, that doesn't mean that he jumped into his turnouts and raced across the street dragging his SCBA gear behind him- he wasn't on duty.)

We could see all of the flashing lights, the flames, the engines, the streams of water, the guys cutting a hole in the roof with chainsaws; I think we disappointed Daniel with our reactions. Jacob cried. Cambria cried. I got all weepy.

Daniel got frustrated. "What in the world, guys?! This is exciting! This is what I do! And you guys are all just scared!"

It's different for him; he knows the ins and outs and ups and downs of fire. But for us it looks scary, and more scary because he is involved. He talked to the kids and calmed them down and they had a nice little chat about the whole thing.

I like that Daniel is a firefighter. Actually I love that about him. It's cool. I admit it.

The coolness factor fades pretty quick when there is actually a fire.

"We're safe, we're careful, there aren't unnecessary risks," he says. Blah blah blah blah blah.

Yeah, but the bottom line is, however cliche it may sound, that they go in when everybody else runs out.

Which is why fire is never fun for me to watch.

Praline Snack Mix

{from my little sister Lydia}

1/2 cup + 3 tablespoons butter

1 1/2 cups brown sugar

1/2 cup honey

2 teaspoons vanilla

4 cups pecans

10 cups Crispix cereal (I use 5 cups of corn chex and 5 cups rice chex)

1 bag mini pretzels

Mix butter, brown sugar and honey in saucepan and melt together. Add pecans and vanilla. Remove from heat and pour over dry ingredients. Spread onto two large greased cookie sheets and bake for 10-15 minutes at 350. Let cool and break into pieces.

I can't stop eating this stuff!

I better, because David's Bridal just emailed me the notification that my dress is in. Yikes. Serious diet starts tomorrow.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Girl Food

Daniel offering Cambria the choice of a larger vs. smaller pizza slice: "Which piece would you like?"

Cambria: {confidently} "The pink one."

Pillow Shams

I spent Wednesday afternoon covering assorted pillows in my house that looked like 1985.
I cut a long piece of fabric (3 x the length of pillow) and folded back the edges
leaving the folded edge part open, I sewed one seam on either side of the pillow
turned it inside out and poked the corners out with the end of a craft paintbrush
and here they are! (2 of them, anyway)

Ragbrai Chicken Salad

{I'm calling this Ragbrai Chicken Salad because that is always how I think of it- I found this recipe in a Midwest Living magazine (featuring Ragbrai) and made it, but lost the magazine and now I have just adapted the basic concept.}
3 cups chopped, cooked chicken breast
3 granny smith apples, chopped very fine
2 stalks celery, chopped very fine
1 cup dried cherries
1 cup toasted pecans
fresh ground salt and pepper to taste
equal parts sour cream & miracle whip light (or mayonnaise) (about 1/2 cup of each)
Squeeze the lemon juice - about 2 T. - over the apples. This keeps them from turning brown. Stir all ingredients together and serve in whatever bread you like. Croissaints, pitas, bagel thins, flatbread- possibilities are endless. This salad will keep very well if you save out the pecans, so it is great to make ahead.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Reason # 514 Leather Furniture Was Worth the Wait

While I was sewing like a banshee this afternoon (which went great until the machine jammed - I think it has PMS)
the kids moved the couches themselves
{"Mommy, this pile of socks is too heavy for me to take upstairs" is an excuse that will now officially be lying}
and entertained themselves by jumping back and forth
shrieking & giggling
I'll post my projects later. For now, the dishes. And laundry. And food prep for guests tomorrow. The shriekers & gigglers (and whiners and fussers) are all asleep.
It's my time to get tons of stuff done that stacks up all day while I take care of aforementioned shriekers, gigglers, whiners & fussers. (Probably none of those words are actually words. Please forgive.)

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Standing in a Bucket

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. -- Winston Churchill

Monday, March 22, 2010

Menu this Week

Monday: Carbonara & Squash (I don't hesitate to recycle menu ideas if I don't make something the previous week)

Tuesday: Beef & Noodles (if you've never had homemade beef & noodles, you seriously haven't lived)

Wednesday: Brown Rice Salad- SW Style

Thursday: Chicken Salad Sandwiches (I will post the chicken salad recipe when I make it- it's amazing)

Friday: Veggie Pizza (Friday night pizza is part of our religion)

Saturday: French Toast, Turkey Ham, Spinach Salad

Sunday: Chicken Taco Fettuccini, Green Salad, Black Bean Salsa & Corn Chips

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Not a Castle

Christian apologetics is not like living in a castle with the
drawbridge up and occasionally tossing a stone over the walls. It is not to be
based on a citadel mentality-- sitting inside and saying, 'You cannot reach me
here.' If the Christian adopts this attitude, either in theory or practice, his
contacts with those who have accepted twentieth century thought will stop.
Apologetics should not be merely an academic subject, a new kind of
scholasticism. It should be thought out and practiced in the rough and tumble of
living contact with the present generation. Thus, the Christian should not be
interested only in presenting a nicely balanced system on its own, like some
Greek metaphysical system, but rather in something that has constant contact
with reality
-- the reality of the questions being asked by his own
Francis A. Schaeffer (from The God Who is There)

Ceiling Fan Makeover Pt. 2

Another coat of paint and new shades from Wal-Mart. . . I love it!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Ceiling Fan Makeover Pt. 1

One coat of black acrylic latex enamel.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Ceiling Fan Makeover

I do not like this fan. I never have, and I never will. I made some rash statement about how I wouldn't clean it, because we'll just get a new one. . . but that hasn't happened and the dust is getting embarrassingly thick. Sooo. . . today I clean. And I have some ideas to make it a little less 1980's looking. I'll keep you posted.
Of course as soon as I got all of the cleaner out and the shades off, Gabe woke up. It might take me all week just to clean it!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Terrible Loyalty

We are all in the same boat in a stormy sea,
and we owe each other a terrible loyalty.
G. K. Chesterton

This Week to Eat:

Monday - Bacon Chicken Ranch Calzone

Tuesday- Sloppy Joe Pasta (Cambria's new favorite) & Broccoli

Wednesday- Mexican Fiesta at church- I'm making Black Bean Lasagna

Thursday- Carbonara & Breadsticks

Friday- Pepperoni Pizza

Saturday- Quiche & Strawberry Smoothies

Sunday- Steaks on the grill!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Spring forward, but first crawl under the car.

We were late to church this morning but it wasn't because I wasn't ready.

It was because, last night, when my two gum-addicted children were out looking in the car for my gum, they inadvertently hit the locks on their way out. With my keys still inside.

So, this morning, when I went out, surprise, surprise. Locked.

No worries, we have a spare. I got down on my knees in the driveway and felt under the car - the entire length- and - no key. (I was dressed for church, too. Just saying.)

Okay. This was exasperating to me considering the fact that I was really proud of myself for not being late on Spring Forward Sunday.

Lucky for me, Daniel answered my cry for help, was in town, not on a call, and was allowed to bring the ambulance and his partner home to rescue us with his keys.


Especially when Daniel found the little key box under the car. Huh?!?!?

"Hayley, you have to lay down on your back under the car to get it. " (Well, that would be why I didn't find it, I guess. I wasn't laying under the car in my dress.)

We made it to church only twenty minutes late. I feel like my whole life has been a lesson in "pride goes before a fall" but obviously I haven't learned the lesson well enough.

Never a dull moment, here!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

By Ourselfs

I enjoyed the morning with Cambria; the boys were sacked out after a typical frenetic weekend. (Of course, Cambria requires no sleep, so she was bright and perky at the usual early hour. )

We fixed chai together and sat down to enjoy it at the table.

Me: "This is fun."

Cambria: {self satisfied smile} "Yes, we by ourselfs."

I gotta remember she needs time with just me. I feel so torn, all the time.

Needs, everywhere.

I feel like my life is a constant process of prioritizing which needs should take the number one spot.

Is Dad Daniel or is Daniel Dad? (So confusing.)

Cambria, admiring my diamond:

"Yours dad give that to you?"

Something like that.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Kindness is a grace that all can understand

J. C. Ryle

Ok, it's probably not safe.

Yes, we know this stroller was intended to be used for dolls. But it was their own idea and look how happy Gabe is! (They even snapped the belt buckle!)
I'm trying to rationalize letting them continue this. Hmm.
The never-ending dilemmas of mommy-dom.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Simple Deeds

Let us believe that God is in all our simple deeds,
and learn to find Him there.
A. W. Tozer

And the Menu-

it's non existant this week. But we are home. Yay for that.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Hotel Hospital for the Weekend

Gabe and his snuffles just got worse and worse and we ended up in the hospital for the weekend.
Little feet with tiny tubes.
I can still get some smiles coaxed out of all of those snuffles!
Pray with us that Gabe's pneumonia doesn't last long!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

RE: Kate Spade

I'm pretty sure the Kate Spade look is pulled off better when you cut the $2 price tag off before you take her out in public.

Just thought you'd want to know.

Self Nurture. Or Not.

I picked up a book the other day and struggled through about two chapters- it was full of pop psychology and suggestions on how to nurture my self. I lost patience when I reached the author's list of ways to take care of "me."

Take a long walk on the beach. (Obviously, she doesn't know what the river looks like right now.)

Buy lunch on lunch break. (Hello?! What lunch break?)

Go to a hot tub or Jacuzzi. (But that would require finding time, money, and a sitter and a suit.)

Go to bed early. (Oh, I wish. )

Have a manicure or pedicure. (Well, the dollars spent on a manicure would be better directed to the cosmetics counter for help in the dark-circles-under-eyes department.)

The list went on and on and on and finally I just put the book down and said out loud, "I don't need to read this right now! My self is selfish enough without being fed by all of this junk!" Obviously, none of the above are bad, and I've done all of them at other times in my life, but now isn't one of the times.

Last night was something my "self" needed to hear as a young man spoke to the teens about being chosen to serve. As a child of God, we are chosen to serve Him. It's a calling. It's a duty. Our feet should hit the floor and be headed off to honor Him. I sat there, as a leader, totally convicted about my own reluctance to be a servant, even to my own kids.

It's easier to play the martyr than to cheerfully die to self.

Easier to whine that I want a manicure than to clip 30 combined toe and finger nails.

Easier to dream of Jacuzzi tubs than to pick up all of the ducks and bath toys before my shower- and just be thankful for hot water.

Easier to blame my shortness and crabbiness on sleep deprivation than to humble myself and ask for God to carry me and give me grace.

"Bear one another's burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart." Galations 6: 2-3,6


Dear Mom: Thank you for sending the paint with water color books. They have kept the kids busy for literally hours. Send some more. Love you, Hayley.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Courage. . .

. . . is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point.

C. S. Lewis

Just because. . .

. . .I'm from the Midwest doesn't mean I don't appreciate the finer things in life. Like Kate Spade.
(and Kate is even more fun when she is $2.00 at the Salvation Army!)
In fact, Kate is so nice that my stuff has already moved in!

Life is good!

Monday, March 1, 2010

My first card from JD


Meals for the Week (share yours!)

Monday: Sloppy Joe Pasta, Green Beans, and leftover Apple Custard Pie

Tuesday: Rice & Lentils, Spinach, and Homemade Rye Bread (Daniel won't be home, can you tell?)

Wednesday: Biscuits and Gravy, Scrambled Eggs and Smoothies

Thursday: Quick Taco Salad and Sweet Cream Cornbread

Friday: Pepperoni Pizza

Saturday: Monterey BBQ Chicken and Cornmeal Rolls

Sunday: Minute Steaks & Mashed Potatoes and Parmesan Cauliflower Salad