Tuesday, April 28, 2009
You see, I have realized that God put all of this in front of me, not to prepare me or to make me panic, but to learn to really trust Him. Along with sick babies, there has been a recurrent theme with their stories...mothers who trust Him. And I don't mean mothers who trust that God will fix their broken babies, because they don't. They don't trust that God will fix the babies, but instead they trust that God's plan is at work. They trust that God's will is at work. They trust that even though they don't understand, even though they hurt, that, ultimately, God has a bigger miracle in the works. One mom even went as far to say that she was honored to suffer on God's behalf.
Now, I don't say this to say that I think something bad is going to happen or that we have been chosen to suffer for Him. I don't know. And, frankly, people, I don't care. That's right, I don't care. Please don't take this the wrong way. I certainly care for my unborn child. I care that he is healthy and happy, but that is my earthly selfishness. When I say I don't care, I simply mean that I am ok with God's plan, whatever it is. I am learning to trust God and know that whatever His plan includes, that it will be okay. No matter what happens, it will be okay.
Why, you ask, would I be okay with anything happening. Simple. God knows. God, right now, already, weeks before my precious package is set to arrive, knows everything about his little life. EVERYTHING. God knows the exact moment my little guy will arrive. He knows the exact length, in milliseconds no less, of my precious one's life. Every move, every scratch, every hiccup, God knows it all. God knew all that before my parents knew me! God has known all along our exact paths. He knows my future as well as that of my children. Wow! God knows everything that will happen and He uses it to further His kingdom. You ask how a self-proclaimed control freak can let go and be okay with anything? I know God is in control, that's how.
All these sick babies with faithful moms have taught me that. They were and are able to handle anything that comes their way with peace because they understand that even when they're not in control, ultimately, God is. Who better to control a situation that is out of my control than God?!? Really.
So, rambling completed, I will finish with this last thought: I don't know if God is preparing me to deal with something major or not (and even though the control freak in me would like to know, I'm okay with that), but what I do know is that God has used these experiences and exposure to other faithful moms to make me a more faithful mom. I am learning to let go and trust Him more everyday simply because He knows.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
The Lord has heard my cry for mercy; the Lord accepts my prayer.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
I would like to introduce to you Jenny. Jenny is a British citizen, living here at Ft Leonard Wood with her husband while they take care of their grandkids. The parent(s) is(are) deployed overseas right now. Jenny's husband is (as I understand) a US citizen (perhaps dual citizenship, I'm not sure) with the lovely accent. Jenny recently found out that her application for her visa extension had been denied. No one really knows why, other than our government has the power to do that. Apparently, according to the US government, she had over-extended her welcome here in America. She was going to have to leave her husband behind to take care of two elementary aged children to go back to England for 6 months before she could reapply to come back. She was understandably upset. The entire family was. There were phone calls made and paperwork rushed and everyone that could possibly try to help was helping. Her deadline to be out of the country was Thursday, as in day after tomorrow. She still had not heard anything. She had begun mentally preparing herself to go. Knowing that God hears His children when we cry out His name, the ladies at PWOC (my army ladies Bible study) gathered together to pray for Jenny and her situation. Ladies and gentlemen....always, always, always, remember that God hears us when we pray. Jenny got a phone call this afternoon informing her that she had been approved to STAY. The formal letter is in the mail. She will not have to leave those sweet children behind without a mother-figure after all.
We must all remember that, not only does God hear us when we pray, but He ultimately answers our prayers in HIS time. Even if that means we must wait until the last possible minute.
Friday, April 17, 2009
I am encouraged by my best friend's effort to take care of herself for all the RIGHT reasons.
I am encouraged that my friend in Texas is using this opportunity to take care of herself too.
I am encouraged that although my husband is very sad to see me leave for the weekend, he is ENCOURAGING me to go because he knows how badly I need the break.
I am encouraged that I have a friend willing to step up and take my kids for a large majority of the weekend so I can do this even though my husband has to work.
I am encouraged to see the outpouring of prayers for total strangers all over the country.
I am encouraged to be a part of a women's ministry (although small) that wants to grow, love God, and love each other.
I am encouraged that I feel as well as I do, considering the size of this baby.
I am encouraged that now my attitude is improving.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
The kid's nickname will be...
thats right, Noodle...no big story behind it. Lesli has always called him Noodle. She'll have to do a guest post to explain because I have no idea.
Thanks Debra for the other suggestions...they were great!
Those of you who have been to my house and have been referred to as "family" instead of "guest" have seen the piles of laundry. I am notorious for letting my laundry get backed up...I HATE laundry. I've gotten better about it since my laundry pile and my machines are in my kitchen...you can't ignore the elephant in the room when it stands between you and your precious Dr. Pepper. Occasionally it still gets backed up. I have a busy week and laundry sometimes takes a backseat. As is the case this week. (I have big plans today to get caught up on that) Sometimes, my family gets really irritated that they are having to turn their underwear inside out and take matters into their own hands (nobody gross out...I'm kidding about the underwear)....
....this is when Tuesday's Tornadoes turn into Thursday's Treasures...
...into the dryer....
...out of the washer...
...into the dryer...
Everyone should have a set of these...the machines, not the toddlers...well, maybe the toddlers if they do laundry...
Itchy actually loves to help with the laundry...and I'm not THAT far behind this week. She was buttering me up for some pink milk...kids will do anything for pink milk.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Amy's Quick and Easy Alfredo
2 packages of low fat cream cheese (don't use fat free, you need a little bad for you or it will turn out weird)
2 tbsp butter (or whatever butter substitute you use)
cooked pasta of your choice
melt the butter in a large skillet. add cream cheese. Melt the cream cheese, stirring OFTEN. once cream cheese is melted, add garlic salt and italian seasoning to taste (this is usually 2 tsp of garlic salt and 2 tbsp of seasoning, give or take. you can always add more later). once this is stirred in add milk. The amount of milk depends on how thick you like your sauce and how long you want to mess with cooking it down. It is usually a couple of cups. Let this simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Check the taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Poor over pasta, toss and serve.
This is super fast and easy. Need to add some protein? Add shrimp, chicken, whatever you have. It's yummy. We had chicken in ours last night. The kids all cleaned their plates.
Friday, April 10, 2009
Now, there are a million and one things I could think of to call him depending on my mood, but I'll save you all from that and pick a name that describes him ALL the time...regardless of my mood. In my previous post I referred to him as Mr. Smartypants...and I believe I will stick to that. Oh, I could give him some sweet, loving name similar to MckMama's prince charming, or follow in BigMama's footsteps and just call him D. But that's not me...or him for that matter. Don't get me wrong, he's most definitely my prince charming. He rode up like the knight in shining armor (or dusty camo, if you will) and whisked me away on his silver stallion (which we traded in on the minivan pictured in the previous post....what a husband...gave up his man ride for a bus big enough for our brood). But romantic comparisions aside, he is by all accounts a smartypants, from his quick-whitted barbs back at me (notice I say BACK at me...I usually start it) to his knowledge of all things manly. He looks like a guy's guy...all muscle and beer, but in reality...he's a closet NERD. Yes, a nerd. A history nerd. Ask him what George Washington's favorite color was...he knows that crap. How many blades of grass were trampled at Gettysburg...yup, knows that too. Freaky, freaky smart. Our bookshelves are lined with non-fiction HISTORY books *gasp*. Could our house look any nerdier?? Makes my collections of Shakespeare, modern American fiction and Victorian poetry look puny in comparison. He's currently enrolled in college and is taking basic American History (the first half) this session. He complains weekly that his teacher has his facts wrong...seriously??? Would I have known if my teachers were feeding me incorrect information...not a chance. So Mr. Smartypants it will be.
The twins are easy. I have been calling them Itchy and Scratchy for the longest time. The oldest, with the short hair will be Itchy and the younger with the long hair will be Scratchy. Have to be fair about it and do it alphabetically. It's the only way to make it work. If you're wondering why Itchy and Scratchy, it has to do with Mr. Smartypants. He had roommates that he sometimes referred to as itchy and scratchy...and it sounds better than Frick and Frack. I started calling the girls Itchy and Scratchy and it just stuck for me.
The new baby will just be "the new baby" for a while. We'll have to see what he looks like and what his personality is when he gets here. If current conditions are any indication...he may just be called "the spaz". He's always movin' and shakin'.
The oldest boy will be next. I'm not sure about his. He is an animal of a different nature. We called him Chunky Monkey as a baby...certainly doesn't fit now...he's a pencil these days. Mr. Smartypants often calls him "the boy". Not unlike Johnboy. You, my faithful readers, might know the boy...here's your chance to put your stamp on my blog...send me your suggestions. If I use one of your suggestions, you will win a prize. Nothing glamorous, but a prize. So start thinking....send me a nick name for the boy. This is the next best thing to being able to name my baby.
Hmmmm....that gives me an idea if we ever decide to have more....
Just kidding....the baby factory will be closing soon....there will be unfertilized eggs in the unemployment line.
The angels cried....
The new leaves on the trees even drooped sadly....
The dog is sad....
Even the boy is really sad today....
(okay, so the dog always looks like that and the boy was faking it for the camera, but it helps the point)
But for a Texas girl who has been removed from "the homeland", days like today are extremely sad ones.....
The reason for all the tears you ask.....
Can you see it...can you tell....its hard to see.
We just put (oh i can hardly bring myself to say it...) MISSOURI PLATES ON MY CAR!!!!!!! SOB SOB SOB SOB
(my husband, Mr. Smarty pants, asked me to black out the actual plate number. I'm impressed I was able to figure out how to do it...I'm not the most computer literate person I know)
So very very sad that I can no longer say I live in Texas. Now I know I haven't lived in Texas for a very long time (anything over 2 weeks out of state is a very very long time) but having to admit that I'm "from" somewhere other than Texas is heartbreaking. Luckily for me, I can always claim to be a Texan, as I was born and raised there. For the last 30.5 years of my life, I have called Texas, and only Texas, home. To be uprooted at this stage has traumatic side effects. I have coped well. I have missed blue bonnets, sea food and Tex-Mex, but I have learned to love from afar. My truly Texas friends have tried "therapy". Sending me pictures of fields of bluebonnets, making sure I ate real Tex-Mex when I came home for a visit, etc etc. And I have coped. I have griped about the driving here, citing Texas drivers as the only ones who know, truly know, how to navigate the highways. I have complained about the "hillbillies", stating that in Texas, we may be rednecks, but we are high class rednecks. And now...I must finally give up the fight, roll over and admit to the world....that I too am from hillbilly land. I can no longer drive down the highway and have the world know that I am from the best place on Earth. Texas, my Texas....oh how I miss you....
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Here's a regular Tuesday post for you. I've noticed that Tuesdays are the emptiest days in blog land. We all need something to read about or look at, soooo...Tuesday will be the weekly update of whatever mess the twins have managed to create...have fun laughing at me and thinking to yourself, "so glad that's not me".
This is Marin...she decided that the kleenex box needed to be emptied...on the floor.
So, being the mean mommy that I am, I made her clean it up....
She even put them in the trash. Way to go, Mar!!!!
(nice pic of my trash...sorry about that)
A few days later, we had our friend Audrey over for play time while her mommy went to the doctor for a check up. Being the genius that I am, I let them finger paint. Enjoy the artwork that was a product of great creativity. No VanGogh's in this bunch, but they might grow up to be killer tatoo artists.
This is our friend Audrey. She was the cleanest of the bunch...
Marin, slightly more mess here...
notice the back of the chair she's sitting in.
Sweet little Megan....walking art.
The week was so exciting with all the mess that the girls turned out sick on Monday. This is what twin tornadoes look like when they're under the weather....pardon the pun.
Monday, April 6, 2009
Awesome Potato Soup
courtesy of Gwen Dowell
2 lbs. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2inch cubes
1 chopped onion
2 cans of cream of mushroom soup (can use chicken...heard its fabulous this way too)
garlic powder (be brave and gormet...try real garlic chopped and let me know how it works for you)
ground red pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 cups milk
2 cups shredded cheddar
Put potatoes, onion, soup, garlic (to taste), and red pepper (also to taste) in a crock pot and cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours.
Add milk, sour cream and cheese and cook on high 10 minutes.
In the words of Rachel Ray...yummo.
This is a great meal to feed the clan when you're busy. Or to take for potluck at church. Have leftover Ham from Easter dinner? Chop it up and throw it in too. Bacon? sure. Good with turkey too. Dig through the fridge and find your leftovers (chicken anyone?) and throw it in there. It's awesome. We eat this regularly when I'm gonna be busy in the afternoon and won't have time to start dinner when I normally would. My hubby gets excited when he walks in the kitchen and sees the crockpot with white creamy stuff in it. Loves it! The kids eat it up too.
And as an added bonus this week....
another fabulous recipe
My kids think these "biscuits" are the greatest thing ever.
You know the scone you bought the last time you went to Starbucks? The one you payed $3 for? Here's the recipe...and they are sooooo EASY. Love these things!! And they aren't too sweet. Just sweet enough. The traditional directions are in regular black font...the "Haley" version are in red directly under the traditional in each step.
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons sugar
4 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1/3 cup butter, cut into pieces
2 beaten eggs
3/4 cup whipping cream (aka heavy cream)
1. In a medium bowl combine flour, 2 tbsp sugar, baking powder, and salt. Using a pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center of flour mixture; set aside.
1. Instead of using a pastry blender, I use my stand mixer and the regular paddle.
2. In a medium bowl combine eggs, cream and cranberries. Add egg mixture all at once to flour mixture. Stir just until moistened.
2. Mix on low speed until moistened.
3. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead dough by folding and gently pressing dough for 10-12 strokes or until dough is nearly smooth.
3. Switch the regular paddle on the mixer for the dough hook. Run on medium speed until dough is smooth and balls up.
4. Divide dough into 2 chunks and pat each chunk into 5-6 inch circles. Cut each circle into 8 wedges
4. Now bust out the lightly floured surface and do as instructed in traditional step 4.
5. Place wedges 1 inch apart on ungreased baking sheet. Brush wedges with extra cream and sprinkle with additional sugar. Bake in 400 degree oven for 12 minutes or until lightly golden. Remove from baking sheet and serve warm or store in airtight container for several days.
5. Place wedges on parchment paper on cookie sheet. Follow remaining directions.
These are super yummy. You can substitute blueberries, dried cherries or any other dried fruit for the cranberries...I happened to like the cranberries. Need a breakfast treat for a holiday party? Use decorators' sugar instead...you know, the colored stuff that comes in shakers that you see on the end of the aisle at Wal-Mart next to the themed cupcake paper holder thingies.
Have a yummy week!!!
And Jesus said to her, "Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more." John 8:11 (NKJV)
11 And when the Pharisees saw it, they said to His disciples, "Why does your Teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?" 12 When Jesus heard that, He said to them, "Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 13 "But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy and not sacrifice.' Matt 9:11-13