Monday, May 31, 2010

Andrew's Cast Removal

This week, Andrew's cast finally came off. Boy was it time, too! We duct-taped it like crazy to keep it from all apart.
It actually wasn't quite as dirty as I thought it was going to be.
The incision looks pretty good and I think the scar will go away in time. He keeps giggling when he tries walking because it feels so funny. He keeps wanting to tip forward! I wonder how long it will take him to get used to walking on a flat foot. His muscles on his leg are very weak. The doc says it will take time to learn how to walk correctly.
So this is his right foot before the surgery. I don't have a flat-foot picture of his yet, but will try to take one soon.
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Saturday, May 29, 2010

The Best Scones EVER!

The kids and I love to go to our local tea house. Their scones are amazing! Every time I've tried to make scones, instead of being fluffy and moist they are dry and very boring. I'm telling you, Bev perfected the scone! I crave these babies! That's why I was thrilled when she said I could go on YouTube and get the recipe and watch her teach us how to make them! The kids and I watched carefully and decided to make them the next day. The first picture shows the scones cut out with a light brushing of cream and raw sugar for a topping.
They looked pretty much like hers ( mine were a bit bigger) and tasted the same. You can click on this link to watch Bev make her scones. I'm not going to bother writing the recipe down since she shows it. It's about 10 minutes long. We have made them twice now. The second time I decided to try doubling the batch. It turned out great. Also, I healthied it up a bit and used raw sugar instead of white, and used some whole wheat pastry flour mixed in with the white flour. The kids didn't notice anything and it didn't compromise the taste or the texture.
Here we are feasting on our scones. We put jam and whipped cream on them. They are not light in calories, but cheaper than going to the tea house to get your "scone fix"!

We don't use plates much if we can help it. It is way cheaper and easier to use these "fry trays" that we get at our United Grocers. Way cheaper than paper plates!

I just had to show you what the weather has been like. It is pouring here! I mean like God turned the shower on. Since there was no lightening (this time) I let the kids jump on the trampoline during the downpour. I don't know why, but they insist that they can jump higher when the trampoline is wet.

I freaked after I took this picture, because I realized that Andrew was getting his leg cast completely soaked!!! Soon it will no longer be an issue. Woo hoo! I can't wait to bathe this child properly!

I'm going to take a blogging break for a few days. I hope to come back refreshed and rearing to go. I pray that you all would have a blessed week and enjoy your families. God has given them to you as GIFTS to be loved and cherished. Remember that as you die to yourself everyday.

Love you all to pieces!



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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Jess Brings Brother to Tea

I took Jessica for her annual birthday tea at our local tea parlor (ANZAC Tea Parlor). This time she insisted on taking her five-year old brother Andrew. I wasn't too sure about this, because they can get a little hyper when they are together. Andrew has never been before and I could tell he desperately wanted to come. So I said "Yes", with a back-up plan in mind. They did really good! Surprisingly good. He didn't break anything and he listened to instructions.
The only thing annoying was that he wouldn't stop burping! Yep, that's what he's doing in this picture. Burping! At least his hand is over his mouth. Bev made us these individual Pavlov cakes. They are a delicious meringue with Devonshire cream spread on them, topped with fresh fruit. They kids went crazy over them! We can't wait to learn how to make them.
OK, does that not say it all? We did have a lot of fun!
Jess wouldn't miss trying on Bev's hats, and at the end even got Andrew to join in. It was pretty funny!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Officially Potty-Trained!

Yep, it's official, our three-year old, Jacob is potty-trained! This is so exciting because we are buying less diapers.
He is very proud of himself when he goes to "feed the fish" (code for pooping in the toilet). He still yells, "I get my Buzz Lightyear" every time he goes!
Here he is in all his glory! He picked these boxer-type underwear out himself. I can't believe how much Lily and Jacob look like each other in this pic. She has surprised us with her fair hair that is coming in slowly. I think they have the same shaped lips. We gave him a big-boy hair cut to go with his big-boy undies.
Awwww, this picture makes my heart melt. On our Mother's Day hike, Jacob was complaining that he was tired, so Marcus gave him a piggy-back ride down the hill. I love to see my children help each other. I pray they will all have a special bond of friendship as they get older. Especially between the older ones and the youngest ones.
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My potty-training technique is simple. Leave them alone until they are ready. Mine were about three years old when they started showing interest. When they were interested, we went to the store and picked out a special toy that could only be played with after they went potty or poop in the toilet. When they had an accident, it was put up on top of the TV where it would be seen. As soon as they went again, they got it back. It is highly motivating after about two weeks, when they realize they seriously can't play with the toy when they have an accident. It takes the pressure off of me and puts the responsibility back on the child.
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Friday, May 21, 2010

Weaned

The day after Mother's Day, I officially weaned Lily. It was a hard road, but God even used the process of weaning to speak to me in His Word. I will be sharing a devotion soon about that, so stay tuned.
I have enjoyed nursing so much. It was something that I did reluctantly with my first three (click here to read my "Baby Jail" story).
Now it will be something that I will forever miss. It is such a special time between mother and baby. I'm so glad God turned me heart around.
If I wouldn't have had to have been away from her due to our anniversary trip, I probably would have nursed her as long as she wanted to. But I needed to put my marriage first and be content with the 14 months I did get to nurse her. That is the longest I have ever gone, and I enjoyed every minute of it. Thank you, Lord!
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Family Fun!

Diana got these matching blue outfits from Hawaii. Nana's are the best! I have never had matching outfits for my girls before. I just love these pictures. You can see how much affection they have for each other.
OK, so you wanted to see my in the kid's dress up wedding veil, so here I am cooking in all my glory. Quite the look, eh? Tennis shoes, jeans and a wedding veil and my two faithful attendants!
This is nothing! Now I have duct tape wrapped around the top and the entire bottom of his cast. I am just praying it will make it another two weeks! I caught him playing in a dirt pile the other day. I am going to take a picture when they saw that puppy off. I can't imagine what it looks like underneath! Ugh!
Steve has lost so much weight that now he can jump on the trampoline with his kids. They just love it when Daddeo hurls them through the air! There is nothing, absolutely nothing that makes my heart pitter-patter more than when I see my big tough fireman playing with his children. It's the best romance ever!

This gets me thinking...(I know, watch out!)

If you are struggling in a difficult marriage and you are having a hard time feeling love towards your spouse, do what Gary Thomas says,

"Break it down. Focus on the here and now. Put the future in God's hands. Some miles will seem easy, and some will feel hard, but you need to focus only on the one you're currently running. Let the others remain in his care.

Can you love your spouse for this one day?"
"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work."-2 Corinthians 9:8
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Monday, May 17, 2010

Happy Seventh Birthday, Jess!

Dearest Jessica,

I can't believe you turned seven years old a few days ago! It seems like just yesterday, that I took you in my arms and wept with tears of joy as I realized I finally had a daughter. My dreams have come true as you are becoming a young lady who values modesty and loves the Lord. You are a delight to me as we go do "girl things". I love sneaking you a piece of chocolate, winking and saying, "A girl's just gotta have her chocolate". It's our little secret and I can see the delight in your eyes as you know that we have something special going on.

I love homeschooling (most days). You are learning fast and you don't seem to mind school. You are curious and ask lots of questions.

You love your baby sister so much! I love to watch you dress her up and play with her. I pray you will always be close. There is nothing like a sister, Jess. She will understand you better than anyone. I only wish you were a little closer in age. God has a plan and I will not question it. Andrew and Jacob are close to you and I love watching you play with each other.

I'm glad you like to help me cook. I love teaching you my secret ingredients and hope that you will pass them on to your kids one day.

I pray that you will continue to grow in the Lord. I want your dreams to be godly dreams! I hope this coming year brings you a new depth to your relationship with God. I love doing devotions with you and pray that you will continue to want to do them.

You are taking off, my dear! You are starting to read more on your own and voluntarily. The whole world will be open to you and I pray that you will choose wisely.

You bless me Dear One!

Love,

Your Mommy
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Saturday, May 15, 2010

Prayer is Powerful and Effective!

Prayer is Powerful and Effective


I was ten years old when my stepmother, Diana, came into my life. My twin sister and I moved in with her and my father when we were fourteen. Looking back now I am amazed at how she took on two teenagers and handled it so well. Having never had children of her own made this even more difficult for her. A while ago, I found out how she did it. She prayed. That simple…and I have proof.

While they were moving, Diana came across an old letter. She gave it to me thinking I might find it interesting. You see, when I was a teenager and things got bad and we would fight, we sometimes wrote letters to one another.

This letter in particular addressed a number of issues that I must have been struggling with (disrespect, not honoring my parents, laziness, purity and a know-it-all-attitude). Throughout the letter were her hopes, dreams and prayers for me. I found myself looking into a mother’s heart and my own broke. I realized that I pray the same things for my children.

To honor this letter, I made a beautiful scrapbook page that had the letter tucked into a pocket. I titled the page “Now I Understand”. I want to be able to take that letter out when my own children are in the throes of their teenage years. I want them to know that their mom struggled and wasn’t perfect. I want them to know that I pray for them, just as my own mother prayed for me.

I showed a friend this letter. After reading it, she said something astounding. She said, “Stacie, all of these prayers she prayed came true!” I realized that her hopes and dreams for me became a reality as I made the choice to follow God rather then the world. It gave me such hope! My prayers for my children are being heard by my loving God who holds them in the palm of His hand. I learned a valuable lesson that day. God hears the prayers and the anguish of a mother that didn’t know what else to do with her child but to give her back to God.

If you are struggling with a wayward or strong-willed child, I hope this encourages you to pray even more for him or her. I continually pray that my children would follow harder after God than I do.

Remember, He listens and he answers in His time, not yours. It took years for me to change my life around and truly start living for the Lord. So don’t get discouraged if it seems like your prayers are bouncing off the ceiling. He hears you and He will answer. Keep being persistent and pray in faith.


These are pictures of our Mother's Day outing on the Klickitat Mountians. We were waiting for Daddeo to come back from the top with the rest of the kids.

Marcus took this sweet picture of my little Jaker's Man and I together in the wildflowers.

Have a blessed day!
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Thursday, May 13, 2010

A VERY Special Gift for Mother's Day!

This year, my hubby surprised me and bought me a mother's ring for Mother's Day and our 15th Anniversary. Wow, was I thrilled! I have always dreamed of having one, but never really thought it would come true. There are always so many other things that seem to come up. Here is a collage of the kids giving it to me. They were just as excited as I was! There are six stones 2 sapphires, an amethyst, an emerald, a blue topaz and white sapphire (sorry, wasn't about to spend another $250 for a real diamond). I chose white gold (looks like silver to me) with marquis-shaped genuine stones. It is practical, yet classy.
After church, I asked if we could go on a hike. I should have known it would not be as easy as it sounds! It was very steep and everyone wanted to be in the stroller. Here is my strong husband pushing the three up a hill. I think it made him feel good that I called him PHENOMENAL! LOL! I was dying just walking up without pushing a stroller.
Here is the incredible view of the Columbia River which serves as a border between Washington and Oregon. The wildflowers were majestic and we didn't scared off by the sign that warned us of ticks and rattlesnakes.
And of course my little gift-giver Jess, picked me some wildflowers from the top. I turned back with four of the kids while Jess, Josh and Steve jogged and walked to the top of the Klickitats. We waited for them while we ate a few snacks and drank homemade ice tea. The weather was perfect!

After we got back, I made us a maple-glazed pork roast (see recipe here)

After dinner we played basket ball with the older boys and Jess in the front yard. Boy are they competitive! I'm way out of their league!

I hope all of you had a wonderful Mother's Day and were spoiled rotten by your family.
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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Dressing Up!

Jessica is loving it, now that Lily is older. She is able to play dress up with her. I now have a little ballerina running around the house!
I thought she looked like a little pioneer in this outfit. She loves her babies! I hope she'll make a good mama some day.

Here she is swathed in a bridal veil from the 1920's. It really is pretty. It looks vintage, but the kids destroyed it right away. Now it is just for dress up. They even put it on me while I was cooking. That was a sight!
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

My Garden Musings

 
The wind has finally died down enough to get out and start weeding my flower beds. I have a huge landscaped yard and there are more flower beds to weed than I can count. Sometimes it gets overwhelming, but I try to enjoy my flowers as much as possible during the summer. I used to not be able to grow anything and through the years I have managed to learn enough to make my garden look like this. It's not perfect in form. It will never be a Better Homes and Garden's type, not with all the toys in the yard, but I don't care anymore!
When we first moved in this wall was about to fall down. We redid it and then started planting flowers behind it (it was just dirt). It is filling out nicely after a few years. I hope someday, no soil will be showing, but I know I have a ways to go before that happens.
This plant has really filled out this area. I don't know what kind this is, but it looks really pretty in the spring.
This patch behind the house was nothing but dirt and a little barkchip. I turned it into my herb garden. I have chives, varigated sage, rosemary, thyme and oregano planted. It is starting to fill out more, too.

If you want to read my devotion on gardening called "Weeds and Flowers" click here. God has taught me a lot about parenting through gardening.
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This is one of many roses that I have planted in my new rose garden. I have decided to honor the memory of our two "Glory Babies" and my brother and SIL's "Glory Baby" and make them a little rose garden. The kids and I are very excited about it! Now my new passion is learning about roses.

We also planted a blueberry bush this year. Tomatoes, cucumbers, bush beans, sweet onions, and Chinese snow peas are all in the ground as well. The strawberries and raspberries are getting their blooms on and now we wait for the harvest in June and July. We have lots to look forward to!

Happy Mother's Day everyone! I can't wait to show my my mother's ring that Steve and the kids got me. The Lord has blessed me six times over!
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