Thursday, September 30, 2010

Stealth Eating

A funny childhood story:

Mom had tried to "trick" us into eating spinach one night. 

I think there were seven or eight of us at the time, sitting around our long, wooden table that had long, wooden benches on either side.  We had said our dinner prayers and were talking amongst ourselves as we waited for our dinner plates to arrive.

As she served our salads first, she had this spunky sparkle in her eye and an unusual smile.

 First red flag in the eyes of a child....the spunky sparkle in a mother's eye...the kind that says she knows something that the her kids don't.

The next red flag was that the lettuce had a different color tone mixed in.  It wasn't the usual iceburg green salad...hmmm....

Well, it took just one of us to say something...then we were all looking and mumbling and forking through our greens.

That was all it took for my mother to blow.  She thought that she had finally fooled us; had one on top of us, but there were too many of us to fool.  The poor woman. 

She got an A for effort though.

It must have been a bad day because as soon as one of us started to mumble and complain, we all started to mumble and complain, and she blew!

She came over....said something about us not wanting to eat our salads, picked up a bowl and threw it up in the air.  She was obviosly very frustrated.

To make matters worse, we all looked up at her...then at the ceiling...then back at her...and then started to laugh.   The salad/spinach was all over the ceiling with dressing dripping down and a fork was strategically stuck in the ceiling tile and was swinging back and forth, back and forth.

Oh...the poor woman. 

I do not recall her every attempting to push spinach on us again.

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So now, I am my mother's daughter. 

The difference is that David and I are going at it in stealth mode.

We purchased this Vitamix machine. 


We've been looking into them since July when my friend Kim introduced us to hers.  We are now eating fruits and veggies like never before.  

For breakfast, David makes a veggie/fruit smoothie for him and I.  This is what we put in it:





We have cabbage, frozen strawberries, zuchinni, apples (seeds and all), romaine lettuce, oranges (the white part is THE healthiest), grapes and frozen, cut up bananas.  (Yes, you can freeze bananas - without the peel.)

It tastes absolutely delicious!  Never thought I'd say that.

This will hold me over till lunchtime.  David usually wants something small on top of that. 

The kids?  They are drinking their fruits and veggies in their smoothies, sorbets, and even ice cream!  Yes, it makes ice cream! 

David and I believe in stealth eating ....just throw in a few veggies (carrots, cabbage, etc) and let the fruit cover the taste.  They don't even know!

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But, I do have a small dilema.  I am absolutely addicted to these little babies...
























Candy corn.  I have no self-control when these are in my sight.  For shame! 

Ya think it defeats the vitamix?!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Sleep

It's a beautiful thing, isn't it?

Since our school break, I've noticed hubby and I getting to bed earlier and sleeping more sound.  It made me think about sleep....and the creatures of habit that we all are.

No matter who you are...where you are....it is sleep...you need.

We all have our favorite pillows and mattress types.  We all have our favorite positions...curling up, side sleepers, back sleepers.   And some of us even have our favorite thread counts! 

There are those of us who have a ritual, a routine...before we can sleep.  Warm milk, bedtime stories, bedtime prayers, a tousling of the hair, kisses goodnight...sleep tight...sweet dreams.


























(That would be the night before Christmas...Mabel fell asleep with her Santa hat on.)


Some may prefer a glass of wine, a good novel, or a movie on the laptop.  There are those of us who just collapse...and are out, like a light.

Some need a light. A night light. Then there are those who require a sleeping mask.  Total darkness. 

Total silence...or not. 

There are those who need white noise makers, the whirl of a noisy ceiling fan, a song, a lullaby...to slowly drift into slumberland.

Some people need a big blanket...some need just a sheet....some, well, need both...if you are a middle-aged woman that is!

We have those who like to sleep with socks...or not....or sleepers that make little toes smelly and sweaty during the night. 

The window open with a small breeze...cool, crisp air....now that is a good sleeping aide.  Lying on your bed, looking out through the windows up into the clear night sky...twinkling stars....dream starters, those are. 

Crawling into bed...in the darkness...as to not wake your spouse or the slumbering baby....listening to their rhythmic breathing....in and out...in and out...smiling... knowing... they are off in dreamland somewhere.

Bad dreams.  Little ones who come to your bedside to let you know.  You hear them and allow them to crawl under the warm covers with you...until they are asleep again.

Or... they startle you as you roll over and there they are...staring down at you...you are up now with pounding heart!   Hubby always sleeps through those times!  You calm yourself enough and take the little back to bed...say a prayer over them...kiss good night.

Now where were we?  Sleep.  Oh, yes.  Sleep.

Not in your own bed?  Not near a bed?   Planes, cars, trains...they all contain sleepers.  There are those who can sleep just about anywhere. 

There are those who can fall asleep on the drop of a dime.  There are those who can sleep on their suitcase, waiting to catch that red-eye flight.  There are those who could sleep through a drill siren. You can do silly things to those sleepers.

There are also those who would wake up to a pin dropping on the floor. 

Good night.  Sleep tight.  Don't let the bed bugs bite.

Bugs?  Did I mention those who sleep walk and wake up to whatever...wherever...scratching their heads thinking and mumbling as they head back to bed...to fall back asleep.

Sleep can be allusive.  It is always when we need to sleep, or the alarm is set to go off in just a few, short hours, that we lie there...awake.  You pray for sleep. 

We can run on empty when we need to, during times of emergency or a crisis.  But there is always the inevitable crash landing.  The only remedy is sleep.  We all need sleep, a good night's sleep.

When our minds are full of worry, we find it hard to sleep.  Somehow, our bodies are finally able to fall into a deep slumber...and we awake to a new day.  Things don't look so dark or dismal the next day, thanks to sleep.

Sleep.  Isn't it amazing how the world looks so differently after a good night sleep?

So...now that I made you all wanting to take a snooze...may you all have a good night sleep and imagine that I'm waving my  magic wand across you, sprinkling magic fairy dust....good night...sleep tight...

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Cowboy Town

What to do when the skies are gray and cloudy, and the rain is coming down in buckets....

"Go West, young man!"

And That! we did...to Fort Worth...to the cultural district...where 8 museums where opening their doors...for FREE!   (Just for the day.)






































I just love a good deal!

We flung open the doors and entered a world that would allow ourselves to invent and create.




































To invent and create and make new friends while we were at it!




This was a place that would allow us to imagine and play...



...and a place that had stuff on dinosaurs...dinosaurs to measure and see....just how big they can be!





My personal favorites were viewing the history of the advancement of the camera.  I also picked up a new phrase...thinking about posting this in our school area.




Viewing the exhibit on the cattle raising history...now that is where I would have loved to have had more time to spend.  The older I get, the more I enjoy history. 

The cattle history is amazing!


We even took in a short but really neat IMax movie on cattle drives.





Be it listening to music in the lobby, inventing with Dad, or posing with the dinos...




...rain or not...this was a Cha-Ching kind of day!

 I have to thank my friend Kathi B. for this "heads up" on the free and enjoyable day! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Wrapping Up Our Week

I've been invited to join in on this Friday tradition and am looking forward to it because of the great ideas that others put out there. 

One can never stop learning!



School: We wrapped up our first quarter today....and I'm doing a back-flip in my living room right now  as I'm typing with one hand!  (Just jokin'!)  I'm pretty psyched though!

I like to start school the third week of July and work in a two week break after each quarter.  (We still put in the 180 school days.) 

I cannot stress how much I love these breaks!  So do the kids (*grin*)

Reading: 

Sally: Finished up with Beorn the Proud.

Ester: Completed The Small War of Sergeant Donkey.

Mabel: Made it through Good Saint Joseph.

-All of those were requirements for quarterly book reviews.

David and I:  Our new Vitamix recipe book!


  
























Preview:  I'm looking forward to some fun field trips during our vacay and some yearly chores around the house. 

Please join in our Wrapping Up Our Week by linking over to Jen.

In This Moment

In this moment...one photo...no words.  To see more, visit Soule Mama.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

It's the Simple Things...

....that make me so happy. 

I'm talking, the kind of happy that elevates one's mood a dozen notches with a simple touch or smell; something that makes you say ChaChing or puts a giddy-up in your step

Take that little, white Pampered Chef shaker.  I have two ($6 each).  One for sugar and cinnamon...one to house powder sugar. 

All toast and brownies are guaranteed to taste a little bit yummier with those toppins'!


Picking up some Spiced Pumpkin....on sale....and finding out you can use that  20% off coupon on top of the sale price.  Big Cha-Ching!  (Currently on sale at Bed, Bath and Beyond.)

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Watching my little Prince Caspian practice his archery skills with Dad....


...and seeing this look...



(That would be a headless coyote.)

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Those simple pleasures...the little things that we tend to over look in our crazy, hectic worlds, are what I hone in on. 

There is so much ugliness in our world, I want to see the beauty of it.  Sometimes you don't have to look hard...it is staring you right in the face, yelling and waving ...Helloooo!


Wednesday brings Little Flowers.    Each mom in this group is filled to the brim with love and teaches from the heart ....so grateful for that!



Doesn't your blood just start pumping when you see a nice brown package waiting for you on your doorstep?  (I LOVE the big, brown truck!)

Even when it is a dictionary for your sixth grader....one you should've ordered 9 weeks ago... better late than never!

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Does anyone know how difficult it is to find anything on St. Andrew Kim Taegon?  I found this about one year ago...




...a ceramic plaque of St. Andrew Kim Taegon.  It hangs in Stan's bedroom. 

I found these St. Andrew Kim holy cards online....and ordered them....finding them in my mail just two days later!  Double giddy-up on that one.

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To top off a very busy day, your very hungry children just scarf down their dinner...and it is a new recipe.  That deserves a big cha ching and a giddy-up!

You have to try Jen's sloppy joe recipe!!!!   

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Funny conversation that showed my age...

Ester:  Mom, are you and Dad 41 or 42?

Me:  Ummm.....(long pause)........I don't remember. 

Me:  (Still thinking...counting...)...Oh!  Dad is almost 42, I'm 41. (And not flinching when I say it.) 

The happiness in that?  Realizing with age comes a certain peace and wisdom. 

Have a wonderful and peaceful day!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Who Am I Looking At?

When I see this face, I can't help but think to myself... just who is that? 




























Is it her face? or is it his face? Does he have her nose or his nose?  What about his mouth....and I wonder and then smile...because she chose life.

October will soon be here. 

October is pro-life month.  October holds Stan's birth day. 

It is on a special day; in the midst of one of those deep, one-on-one conversations; when I see a picture like the one above...it is then that I wonder.

Sometimes I wonder...Where is she today?  What is she doing now...this very moment?

When I think of her, my heart is filled with bittersweet emotions.  It is a double-edged sword. 

I am eternally grateful that God has placed him in our lives and at the same time,  I cannot imagine life without him. 

My heart just aches for her.  She doesn't see what we see; what we feel; what we hear.  He is such a bright light in our lives.

I do know that if I had a chance to meet her, I would cup her hands in my face and thank her for this gift of life.

The cross that birth parents, and in Stan's case, the birth mother bears, is one that will be carried for life.  Please take a moment today and offer a prayer for all birth parents...for choosing life.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Simply to Share



This is one of those things that is a must see!

David use to work with Hans in the corporate world. 

Enjoy!


 

We Have a Winner!




According to Random.org....comment #5 is our winner!


"My Madeline (age 10) loves to dance - ballet and jazz. My Haley (age 8 1/2) likes to swim. What a great idea to do a give away for the girls of the mommy bloggers! We'll think about what we could do over here....hmmmm....

Thanks for sharing and God Bless!"

Heather :-)

Congratulations Madeline and Haley!  We hope you enjoy these headbands.  Heather, you can email me your mailing address at   -    chabula at juno dot com.

Thanks for participating, everyone!  Ester (and sibs) had fun reading about your kids. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Oh Happy Day!

I just love birthdays!

 Ever since my littles were little, I have loved celebrating their special days.  It isn't just about them.  It is about this soul that God placed on earth.

A soul.... that makes the world completely different just by existing. 

And He lent that soul to David and I...to mold into knowing, loving, and serving Him.

And that! is awesome!

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These special days are huge...ginormous....in our house.  We love life.  We are not near Grammy or Grandma and Grandpa Bill.  We are not near any of their 36 cousins.  But we have each other. 

Celebrating this little on her day was magical. 

We celebrated by hitting the American Girl store with some saved up allowance and birthday money.  Stan doesn't care much for the big, red store any more!  (Can't blame him.)




I love teaching my kids that the best things; the most appreciated things, are the things that you wait for... save for...sacrifice for.      

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Because she is still our little princess, I found this present at Teacher's Tools.  (You can order online if you do not have a store nearby.)




It brought ooohs and aaaahs and giggles and laughs.  The goal is to collect seven elements of a fairytale...(not necessarily a girly-type of fairytale either)....the one who collects all seven elements first, wins.  Then...the plot thickens! 

The winner must put the elements together to create their own story.

ALL the kiddos enjoyed the game.

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What is a special day without cake?

  So we had cake!


Little Mabel was full of happy dreams and birthday wishes when she blew out her candles.  Her dinner guest was Miss M. from our home school group. 

If you want, you can read about our family birthday traditions here.  It has another funny "growing up" story with it!  Note:  I guarantee a good laugh reading that birthday party story.

By the way...that was my first shot at decorating a cake.  Thanks to a glass of wine and a friend, Nadine, who showed me all kinds of helpful hints, I made it through the night.  

And oh my goodness!  How time-consuming!  Never knew.

But so worth it.  The oooohs and aaaahs that tumbled out of her little mouth was worth every cramp in my hand.

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And you know you rocked a good one when....

.... you go to tuck the little in and she is already in bed, covers pulled up under the chin, and a big smile and twinkling eyes are looking at you; telling you what a grand day it was indeed!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Our Texas Twister

...is 7 years old today!




Happy Birthday to our little Miss Mabel!

Many-a-nicknames have been affectionately bestowed upon Mabel through the years.

Entering the world at a hefty 9 lbs 3 oz with a head full of black hair...she soon became known as our little Chunky Monkey.

(Poppy called her Mabel).




After spending 9 months faithfully going to adoration, our prayers were answered. She was my healthiest pregnancy. Praise God!
























































And because I love her pigtails, this has always been my favorite shot.


Around this age, her  very strong  personality was shining through. She soon became known as Sweet & Sour and Scream Puff.





We moved to Texas shortly after Mabel turned four.

At five, she started playing soccer for the Hot Tomales. (Totally appropriate name for her!) She was also making it clear that she wasn't going to be bossed around by any big sister...I think they were afraid of her at that point!













Turning six, she started to lose that baby fat as well as an interest in wearing hair bows....I miss the hair bow stage!

She definitely earned the top ranking for the spark and spunk in the household, and her Aunt Jane called her our Ankle Biter. Perfect!




Her newest title is that of our Texas Twister.

As Melissa Gilbert on Little House On the Prairie  put it...

"Look. If you want fight, here's my fist. If you want play, let's play. So, what's it going to be?"

On the serious side though...

She absolutely loves to tend to little children....babies, toddlers....a natural mother, she is.

She is fiercely loyal to her friends and is always concerned for anyone that falls and receives a boo-boo.

Mabel insists on doing 'big girl' chores around the house and takes pride in her work. She still fancies wearing dresses and pretty socks, much to her mama's delight.

She just cannot comprehend how Eve could have been tricked by that no-good devil! (You should hear our conversations on faith!)

And this morning.......







































...we even heard the hot air balloon flying over. That is always a special delight.

We thank God for her and the beauty she has brought to our lives.

Now....off we go. She has some birthday money to spend at American Girl store!

Monday, September 13, 2010

My Girl...

Ester. 

She would like to do my next give-away, but before we talk about that, she would like to tell you a few things about herself.

In her own words...

I am in fourth grade this year.  My favorite subjects are Math and Art.  I have a new school desk in my bedroom and I really like it.  I really enjoy going on field trips.

One of my favorite hobbies is crocheting.  I like to crochet headbands.  I also love to take pictures with my camera.  I have taken piano lessons for three years now.  I like to play it.  I also like sports.

My favorite sports are tennis and swimming. 

I like to play trucks with my brother Stan.  I also like to play with Barbies and American Girl dolls  I have Lainey and Kit.  I like them the most.  I also have two Hopscotch Hill dolls, Logan and Gwen.  American Girl does not make those Hopscotch Hill dolls anymore.





I will be crocheting one headband from each of the following colors and give them away to some lucky girl.




If you would like to participate, just leave a comment telling me what your favorite sport is.

My mom said she will draw a name on Friday.  The end.

P.S.  I really like this song, Waka Waka.  They played it during the World Cup this past summer.

Ester

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