Sunday, December 28, 2008
Darling Little Redhead with the Screaming Banshee. "What?", you ask. The.Screaming.Banshee. Which is an overpriced plastic car-eating tractor. Who doesn't eat any old car. Who only eats CARS cars (which are also overpriced). Yeah. Rockin' present, right? Obviously DLR thought so! :) And that's all that matters to this mama!
And here's the sweetest present of all! El Principito on his first Christmas.
Monday, December 22, 2008
Thursday, December 18, 2008
Just a little quality assurance goin' on here!
DLR only decorates cookies "Mountain Style". If you'd like to try it, simply pile up sprinkles carefully and painstakingly until you have a mountain. Additionally, please assure that very little, if any, frosting shows through your decorations. :)
My Mom used to work at the local bakery when I was a girl. Unfortunately, the bakery has been replaced by a Subway. Love Subway, miss the nostalgia of the town bakery (although I hear a group of men still gathers to drink coffee there in the mornings...gotta love small towns). But I digress.
One of the hardworking ladies who ran the bakery is a dear family friend. She used to let my sisters and I sneak to the back and help sometimes (hey, maybe that's where my love of baking began?). She shared the recipe with me as part of our wedding gift. It's tooooo-licious (as my nephew would say)!
Bakery Sugar Cookies
1 1/2 C. Powdered Sugar
1 C. Margarine (softened)
1 tsp. Vanilla
2 1/2 C. Flour
1 tsp. Baking Soda
1 tsp. Cream of Tarter
Mix. Chill. Roll out and cut. Bake at 350 degrees for 8-10 minutes. Yield 2-3 dozen cookies.
My Moose Valuable Player!
And here he is with his cousin who was born exactly one week before he was. I just love his little hand on his head!
Friday, December 12, 2008
Vintage clip art courtesy of the Graphic Fairy
I'm sitting there, my heart's racing and I feel so anxious. Tears are pouring down my cheeks. I'm wondering, "Who is this person? Because she's not me. She's not the confident, decisive person I have always been."
It was supposed to be a fun day of shopping with my husband. But I wasn't having much fun. I felt under pressure to find the perfect gift at the best price. I picked things up and then put them back. I doubted my judgement. And I felt angry that I was having such a hard time! This was supposed to be fun. And really, it always had been in the past.
As I sat there crying and praying, I realized I was having a little bit of reverse culture shock (that means I was having a hard time processing or accepting the way things are done in my own culture). I'd evolved into someone different during my four years in South America.
I guess it's because, in some ways, my options were so limited there and choices weren't a luxury that I enjoyed (if you've never travelled overseas, you're gonna have to take my word on this). I remember shopping and shopping until I found something that would work for me. I got used to "making do" and "pinch hitting". I gladly paid whatever outrageous price was asked for an item I had been searching for because I knew I would likely never find it again. I got used to living that way. Sure there were times it was hard to deal with but on the other hand, it made me more creative and resourceful and ultimately reduced my attachment to things. And that was something to be thankful for.
But back in my own culture, I felt overwhelmed at all the options . The thrill of hunting for the best deal became cumbersome. And I suddenly began to question my ability to make good decisions. Had I really become so mush brained that I couldn't tell until I walked out of the store that $30 of merchandise for $20 was better than $20 of merchandise for $20?
I can be pretty hard on myself, and maybe that's what you're thinking I'm doing. And you're right. At first, I was. But what it's turned into for me is a chance to remember what my REAL identity is. I'm not an indecisive, anxious, insecure person (even if I feel like it).
I'm a child of God. I'm not defined by my actions or thoughts (no matter what provokes them). I'M DEFINED BY WHAT HE SAYS ABOUT ME. And He says I'm accepted in the Beloved. I'm seated in the heavenly places at His right hand. I'm loved with an everlasting love. I'm bought with a price. I'm secure for all eternity. I'm His.
And that makes all the difference. It allows me to forgive myself for thinking I should be perfect. It causes me to relax and deal graciously with myself when I see that I am having difficulty processing my own culture and appreciate that OF COURSE I am changed by four years in another culture (I would have robbed myself greatly if I had never learned from that opportunity!).
So why am I sharing this with you? I don't really know, except that I feel compelled to do so. Maybe someone will be encouraged by my testimony. Maybe someone else will understand missionary women better as a result of reading it. Ultimately, I just hope that God gets the glory somehow. Because He deserves it.
Tuesday, December 9, 2008
Emily over at Chatting at the Sky is hosting a wonderful Christmas party called "Everyday Unwrapped". She's encouraging us to notice the small blessings that come our way as we prepare for Christmas. It's easy to get lost in all the decorating, shopping, and baking that we miss the everyday gifts God sends us!
Yesterday, He unwrapped a beautiful moment for me. Darling Little Redhead had invited me to share a "picmic" with him. As we spread out his favorite blanket and sat down with our lunch, I thanked him for inviting me. That's when my three year old said (and I quote), "Thank YOU for joining me, mom!"
My heart went *SQUEEZE* and I thanked God for slowing me down enough to say "yes" to an indoor "picmic", to say "yes" to Everyday Unwrapped.
Monday, December 1, 2008
This is one of my favorite things to do! Just take some cute wrapping paper (this was in the Target $1 Spot), cover your photo mat, and rehang. You get lots of bang for a little buck, not to mention that it is a super fast update!
If you don't have any photos with mats, why not wrap whatever artwork you have hanging on the wall with some paper and a gigantic bow?
And while we're on the subject of bows, here's another great place to use them:
Photo: BH&G 100 Days of Holidays
I can't wait to buy some ribbon and give this idea, featured at The Inspired Room, a try! If you like this, check out Melissa's other ideas for using what you've got for your holiday decorating.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Vintage Clip art thanks to Karen
With all the brilliant posts out there about Thanksgiving, I'll be honest, I hesitate to even write one. Don't get me wrong. I have PLENTY to be thankful for, and having lived overseas for the past four years, I'm more aware than ever how tremendously blessed we are in this country (that's another post).
Some things are easy to be thankful for, and even seem quite obvious.
- I have peace and joy thanks to Jesus.
- There's my husband who brought me flowers yesterday just because he's thankful that I'm his wife.
- There's Darling Little Redhead who ran around the living room for 20 minutes this morning singing, "Clean up, clean up, everybody do your part" without any prompting from me.
- And then there's El Principito who smiles more than any baby I've ever seen.
- Add to that the chance to be HERE with my extended family this year...and my heart is full.
For me, it all boils down to PERSPECTIVE. Am I willing to discipline my mind and look at things from a different perspective? Am I willing to:
- See that another sink full of dishes means that my family has more than enough to eat?
- Smile with joy that Darling Little Redhead knows how to happily entertain himself with his train set and leaves me reminders (fingerprints)?
- Praise God that a fractured relationship draws me closer to him and teaches me how to pray?
- Acknowledge that the pain of loss heightens my ability to feel others' hurts and gives me new insight into how to bless them in the midst of their grief?
- Recognize that my inability to buy "things" that I want is a chance for my creativity and ingenuity to come alive?
Right now, I am having to discipline my mind to be thankful that I don't have a permanent house here on earth. I sometimes lament that we have lived in eight different locations in our six years of marriage (and are likely moving two more times before our seventh anniversary). I wish I could decorate to my hearts content and just tweak things over the years instead of starting over every year and making do.
But when I change my PERSPECTIVE, I can thank God that I've had a chance to travel the world and meet so many wonderful, inspiring people. I can thank God that I have this lifestyle because I choose it, not because I am a refugee. And ultimately, I can thank God that I have a forever home - and I'm not just talking about heaven, I'm talking about HIM being my daily home (Ps. 90:1).
Now here's my challenge to you today - Discipline your mind to find another perspective and choose thankfulness. Won't you purpose to do these two things?
- Identify something in your life that that regularly bothers you or causes you to fuss and complain.
- Create a THANKFUL phrase to speak back next time it's filling your mind with discontentment or discouragement!
Friday, November 21, 2008
I bought these little brown darlings on October 11th. Well, I tried to buy them on October 11th but the only size nine they had was defective. So, they ordered a pair in for me. They took down all my information, swiped my card and told me they would call me when the shoes came in.
And they did about a week later. My fantastic sister was in town that day so she picked them up for me. Ever since then, I've been watching my bank account to see the charge for those shoes go through. But it never has. Not wanting to "steal" the shoes, I decided I was going to call the store today and find out what happened.
Turns out it's pretty hard to try not to steal something! :) The first person passed me on to another person who gave me another phone number to call. So I called that number and they said that my account showed I had paid cash. Only I'm pretty sure I did NOT pay cash.
Now I don't know what happened and I think I junked the receipt so I am forever left wondering if I got a pair of free shoes or if I've slipped into insanity and just randomly write things in my checkbook register. I think I'll be sticking with the free shoes story.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
...to the view from Great Grandpa Floyd's?
From Beautifully Colorful...
...to Postcard Nostalgic?
I heard that resounding "Yes!". All you have to do is head over to this website. Don't be alarmed when you see everything written in another language, just take a deep breath and click the "English" button in the top right hand corner (but don't expect a perfect translation). Then three easy steps: browse, convert and save!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Super soft, perfectly crinkled and loaded with chocolate chips. They're "toolicious", as my three year old nephew would say!
DOUBLE CHOCOLATE TREATS
1 cup butter (no substitutes), softened
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup light corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 cups all purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 1 T cocoa
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups chocolate chips
In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugars. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then, beat in corn syrup and vanilla.
Next combine flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in separate bowl; gradually add to the creamed mixture. Stir in chocolate chips.
Roll dough into 1-1/2 inch balls then roll them in sugar. Place 2 inches apart on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 degrees for 9-11 minutes. Cool for 2 minutes before removing to wire racks. Yield: 5-6 dozen.
These cookies are actually better the next day than they are fresh from the oven. Hope you'll give them a whirl! If you do, I'd LOVE it if you come back and let me know what you think! :)
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I'm the proud new owner of an Epson Artisan 800 printer thanks to Tsh over at Simple Mom. Check out the cool features of this amazing printer here and see why she has already given hers the pet name of "Fabulous Zipzorp".
I can't wait until it arrives at my doorstep so I can give her a whirl! Thanks so much, Tsh! This is DEFINITELY going with me when we move back to South America next summer.
Simple Mom's Motto is "Live Simply, Stay Sane. Life hacks for home managers." and she has so much practical advice. She also writes about life as a family of expats over at Better Things Ahead. Why don't ya head on over and check it out? I'm sure glad I did!
Friday, November 7, 2008
A is for Antelope
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
Ah hum...anyway...This post by Wendy over at The Shabby Nest made me think of this incident that happened several years ago:
Darling Little Redhead found this can of paint (water based, thank the Lord!) and got it open. He played in it a bit before he realized that he didn't' like it one bit! I found him this way and laughed so hard!
Wendy always takes amazing pictures (she made a shattered cereal bowl and cheerios look amazing)! And she has a great take on the little messes that our precious kiddos leave us sometimes, so head on over and check her out.
Now it's your turn...what mess did your kids make that left you smiling?
Monday, November 3, 2008
This project was super easy and inexpensive...great for a busy mom who wants to feel like she still has a creative bone in her body!! I can't wait to stuff them in my Christmas cards! :) And I love that I can customize them so easily by just using a different color of paint or ribbon!
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Darling Little Redhead isn't so little anymore! Three years old!
Big Brother and Lil' Brother
El Principito is two months old already!
Monday, October 27, 2008
Needless to say, it wasn’t long after we got settled on the island that I started my own “spiral”. My biggest challenge has been able to just jot things and write and not try to get it all perfect which is my tendency. Looking back now, I realize that God used these brief moments when I could pour out my heart in prayer or praise or just a verse written down, or a note (She would also write down verses and put them around the house so she could see them and meditate on them wherever she was as she didn’t have time then for long in-depth studies of the Word) or whatever."
The book of Hebrews says that because of Jesus we are free to "barge right in to His throne room" at any time, knowing that He welcomes us gladly (4:16; 10:19,22)! The picture here is the young son of a king knowing he is fully loved and having no fear in running into the throne room to sit on his daddy's lap!
So if you are a fellow perfectionist, struggling to find time with the Lord, I encourage you to:
**Of course, number three is the only non negotiable here! If you don't want to buy a spiral, don't...but DO choose to stop letting perfectionism in any form prevent you from communing with Him!**
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Emily over at Chatting at the Sky has an EXTRAORDINARY post today!
It will be water for your thirsty soul if you are caught up in the hum drum routine of washing dishes, changing diapers and somehow getting your makeup on before your husband gets home from work!
Those of you who work outside of the home (and maybe still have to come home to dishes and diapers), or are past the kiddo stage, I promise you it will be equally as refreshing because the principle she shares is revolutionary for every stage of life...if you only have the courage to believe it!
Check it out and leave Emily some love in the comment section, letting her know you're visiting from My Place of Peace!
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
With our palets dancing from the most delicious Thai food to be found, we went to the theatre to see the movie Fireproof. We highly recommend it, not only because of the value it places on marriage and daring to love in the hard times, but also for it's humorous and truly touching moments. Check out the trailer!
Saturday, October 11, 2008
If you've read my previous post, you learned that in our former South American host country it was the customers responsibility, not the store clerk, to have the correct change for any given purchase.
You saw the responses that a lack of correct change elicited. But how could I have forgotten so soon the very best option for the child of every mother?
Let's call it the gumball change option. The cashier owes you 50 cents, but doesn't have it in her till, so she offers you two packs of small gumballs.
Yes...my darlings...gumballs...now, if it had only been chocolate there may have been an epidemic of women who "forgot" to bring small change. :)
Thursday, October 9, 2008
"That'll be $3.23," he says. The simple statement sends me digging through my coin purse for two dimes and three pennies. Only one dime? Make that one dime, two nickles and three pennies. Only one nickle?
I dip my head apologetically and say, "I'm so sorry, I don't have 23 cents." He looks at me funny, takes my $4 and makes quick change. His response isn't what I was expecting and it reveals, in a small way, how much my thinking has been impacted by the four years we recently spent in South America.
You see, the same situation there would have been met at the very least with a scolding for not having the correct change. And at the most, I would lose whatever change was coming to me. Somewhere in the middle would be a lot of sighing while the cashier went up and down the line seeing if anyone could break a bill for change.
Several times I was actually told I wouldn't be able to buy an item because they couldn't make change for me. I guess they didn't really need the sale?
So I got in the habit of carrying as much small change as I could. And I forgot that in this blessed country, you can hand the cashier a $50 for a purchase of $3.23 and they'll smile and count you back your change. In fact, it seems it's actually more of a nuisance to some of them to have to wait for you to dig through your coin purse for the correct change.
Culture is so interesting...I'm thankful to have experienced another one and learned from it...but you better believe I'll enjoy whipping out that fifty dollar bill next time I buy a latte! :)
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Wednesday, September 24, 2008
Me: Son, you need to sit down at the table. It's time for lunch.
Darling Little Redhead: No, I don't mama. Daddy said I don't have to (Do all three year olds think this trick will work???).
Me: That's not true. Daddy isn't even here. You're lyin'.
DLR: I'm not lion!
Me: Son, yes you are.
DLR: Mama, I'M NOT A LION! I'm a boy!
And now for a picture of my Darling Little Redhead (He's NOT A LION!) and his little brother, "El Principito".
Friday, September 12, 2008
I LOVE MOMMY!!!!!!!!! 12 days old (Sorry............I KNOW this picture is sideways! I can't figure out why it flipped so you'll just have to crane your neck around to look!)
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
With Daddy at the hospital
With Mom at 1 day
Napping at home
With Grammy on one of her daily stops for a baby fix!
Tuesday, August 26, 2008
Here she is with Darling Little Redhead a few hours after her birth.
One of the nurses asked if I had uterus envy seeing how I was supposed to have our baby first! We all got a good chuckle out of that. Looks like if our guy doesn't come on his own before, my Dr. will break my water sometimes this weekend. Thanks for praying for us!
P.S. Does anyone know why my paragraph breaks are not showing up here??? Help!
Tuesday, August 19, 2008
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
This ones for all my girlfriends out there...39 weeks! Still no contractions to speak of, but the baby seems to have dropped and I am definitely not as energetic as I was a few weeks ago. Which is why I am wondering if I am TOTALLY insane to be having a garage sale this weekend!
Look at all the stuff I have...and I haven't priced a thing yet! I'm sure it will all come together. I figured I will have more time and energy now even at 39 weeks pregnant than I will after the baby is born though so we are going for it!
My dad would croak if he realized he stored this stuff in his garage for four years while we were overseas...just so I could have a garage sale two months after getting home! I should have counted how many times honey and I asked each other, "What did we save this for?" :)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
We had a CARS themed birthday this year since our little boy is a fanatic! I can safely characterize him as a fanatic since he has woken up in the middle of the night crying for his Doc Hudson car. :)
Being 8 months pregnant and having been a "single" mom for a few weeks while Honey was across the country slaving away on his masters degree (he got home the day of the party)...I decided I would go with an ice cream cake this year, instead of a homemade cake. I thought the cake was a bit spendy...but it was worth it to me at that point.
Now here's the embarrassing part - I cut into the cake and realized...this is not an ice cream cake! Not only that, but it was the most disgustingly dry cake I have ever eaten. Are you shocked to find out that I actually returned 7/8ths of the cake to the store and got my money back? What would you have done?
The good news is that Darling Little Redhead just looked at birthday pictures with me and he has no recollection of the disaster. He said, "That's my special cake!" Phshew! :) And thankfully, only my family was there to witness the horror. Don't worry, I've already redeemed my reputation with some delicious desserts since then!
This is what honey and I got our boy for his birthday. I totally HEART the fact that he calls it his "power tools".