Monday, December 31, 2012

so sick

It's a ramen noodle soup kinda night

Happy Monday!

And Happy New Year's Eve.

I can not tell you how glad I am that school is out for another week. I have the post-Christmas cruds. After staying up until 12-2am every day for almost a week and getting exposed to some truly awful germs I've crashed. I've had a head cold, complete with body-aches and pretty much been a zombie since Christmas. My poor kids are going bat-crazy bored. So the Christmas sweets are out and the clementines and Chicken noodle soup is in. I tried to make myself some lemon-honey tea last night but I dislike it as much as an adult as I did as a kid. I even used a fresh lemon and local honey. I think it's hot lemon that I dislike so much. I would rather eat some lemon or make a lemon honey tincture and then drink a nice hot cup of chamomile tea. Seriously.

We had a really nice Christmas, and for once we actually took a decent number of pictures (I'm horrible about taking pictures at Christmas - go figure. How crazy is that?) I hope to have a few minutes to post them later in the week.  I wanted to post a long, intimate post about Christmas but just haven't had the energy or the time - so I think it's just not going to happen.

I've been thinking about the new year a lot lately... I want to start shifting our diet to more fresh/raw foods and start doing green smoothies again... it's a new year for organizing my home, a new year for my photography classes, and my photography - I want to focus on improving my food photography and editorial style photography. I haven't spent much time on it because there's nothing to "do" with those type of photos. But you know, sometimes photography is just for the sake of happiness and not profit or productivity. I do have some sweet tutorials photographed that I need to edit and post - I can't wait to share them with you! Josiah helped me and he was super-adorable.

After a couple monster-smoothies I'm starting to feel better. I'll be back soon.

  Have a head-cold.

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gratitude on a Monday...

I was going to try to blog this morning, now I'm glad I didn't. I only have a few minutes before my big girls come rushing in and I want to take this moment to count my blessings...


Today was Eli's semi-annual trip to the Children's Hospital. He has hydronephrosis which we are currently just monitoring. His last visit was in June, today he had his ultrasound and a quick visit with his two specialists - but this takes all day... today it was in the gray and rain.

Today I took a break from Christmas music and listened to this instead.
I spotted a car sticker from my church - they say "I love my church" and I so do.
We have a wonderful visit with the ultrasound tech. Eli cries but lays still for his ultrasound. My dear sweet but active Josiah & I had a hard time this time around. I felt exhausted and unable to keep up with Eli's fussiness and Josiah's constant chatter and movement. Right about the time I thought I was going to loose. my. mind. Josiah brightened my day, laughing at his Happy Meal toy. I am thankful that he finds way to enjoy the moment no matter where he is.
a peppermint mocha can go a long way...

I met a lady at the hospital reading Not a Fan and we had a sweet conversation about her new faith.

a quiet drive home and some mint m&m's to my warm, quiet home.

My thoughts were more organized when I sat down but I need to run, time for snacks and homework with my girls.

Linking up with:
miscellany monday at lowercase letters

Winter here

This has been winter lately... sometimes blue skies, mostly cloudy, rainy and drippy.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Weekend links

How is it the weekend already?! This week went by in a blur. Only ten day until Christmas. I'm hoping to take the kids out Christmas shopping today. By myself. Pray for me sisters! I'm gonna' need it! 
I  have been collecting a few links to share with you this weekend... here they are. Enjoy meeting some new friends - every link is to a specific post that I particularly enjoyed reading in the last week or two. 

Friday, December 14, 2012

From where I sit...

I wrote this post this morning, before I heard the news that broke the heart of the world and now the words feel doubly important... 

Today it feels like winter. The air outside is biting cold and I bundle my babies up in their puffy jackets as they head to the bus stop. They know better than to argue with me. We fought that battle at the beginning of the school year, I didn't budge. They could hate their big, warm, puffy jackets all the way to school and back. They are going to wear them. I wish they would let me dress them warmer. Hats, scarves, gloves. My girls don't want to mess up their hair. I have drawn the line at jackets, I give on the issue of hats. Unless it snows. But it only does that maybe once a year, here in the Deep South.

I watch my girls walk to their bus stop. Usually I walk with them, but Eli is in the bathtub, recovering from a PB&J breakfast gone horribly wrong. I watch as my girls walk together, a band of three. Today they are getting along, thy walk in step with each other. They wait a couple minutes for the bus. I watch as my neighbor reaches down to kiss the top of her son's head before he moves to get on the bus.

I think about how natural that movement is. The thousands of kisses we mothers give our children reflexively, as we walk by, as we say goodbye or goodnight. I think about the truth of that sentiment that a child is a mother's heart forever walking around outside her body.

I take a sip of my coffee, it's already cold, and watch my babies ride off on their bus for another day at school.

Yesterday it felt like everything that could go wrong did.

I started my day with a long list of things to do before my husband's company Christmas party. A dessert to make, a kitchen to clean, presents to wrap. Too much to do, not enough time.

It started out well enough. My dessert would be a "16 layer" red velvet cake with alternating layers of red velvet and chocolate cake. The layers cooked beautifully, the boys cooperated and things were looking good.

don't mind me, I'll just be sitting here eating icing
And then...

Eli wouldn't take his nap, just a quick little thing that wasn't enough. Josiah was bored and getting into trouble. Bouncing off the walls from one thing to the next.

I tried to quickly assemble my cake. It was horrific. This was a tortoise and hare style fiasco. I take a picture. I decide I am either going to be laughing hysterically or crying hysterically in about five minutes.

My friends on Instagram offer tidbits of advice. Mostly involving huge amounts of powdered sugar, of which I've run out. My friends on Facebook laugh at my Fraken-cake and leave me wonderful comments. Like "bahaha. thanks for being brave enough to post this and make us all feel better!" & "Hahaha! I love you! Thanks for posting." I laugh and put the cake in the fridge, hoping that chilling the frosting will turn enemy into friend. I glance at the clock, I've still got some time. I strap my babies into the van. The battery is dead.

I call the Hubs, he has a small window between appointments. He'll bring me more powdered sugar and cream cheese.

I start wrapping presents. The wrapping paper rips. I feel like I could just cry. I think about everything that's gone wrong today. I think about the mess my babysitter is going to see and the things that are just not going to get done.

And then I think about the times I've prayed this week for God to interrupt me. 
I move from panic into gratitude, the frantic feelings calm.

My angelic messenger of grocery goodness delivers my saving grace in a grocery bag with a hug and a smile and the strength of his confidence that I can make it work and it will be okay. I mix another batch of frosting. I spread a thin layer, let it chill. Spread a thin layer and let it chill, over and over until I have something presentable. I have images of tripping over myself and my cake splatter all over the kitchen dancing in my mind. I dig out the cake taker The Hub's mother gave me awhile back and just do the best I can do.

I see my friend at the Christmas party, a couple hours later. She asks me how I'm doing. I choose to answer honestly "I'm a mess" I feel exhausted, emotionally done. So glad to get a couple hours away from the chaos of kids. "you know what, so am I" she replies and we have a moment, a true friend moment of mom to mom honesty and acceptance before the party starts.

My cake ties for first prize. My only goal was to not show up empty-handed, but it feels good to be liked. Another friend says "I could it this cake all day." She is so genuine and I like her a little more for that.

We come home to the best baby sitter on the planet and a house full of sleeping kids. We crawl into bed and enjoy those few blissful minutes of uninterrupted conversation and alone time before Eli wakes up and I bring him into bed with us.

Today I'm just going to hold my boys. Play their games and try to be thankful that this is how I get to spend my days. I'm going to clean my kitchen and eat a slice of cake and continue to pray that God will open my eyes to His presence and interrupt me as I go about my day.

Linking up with:

Thursday, December 13, 2012

12:12 on 12/12/12

I had to set the alarm on my phone but I wanted to catch this moment. Maybe I should have planned ahead more, we just snapped a couple quick photos. Then it started to rain, if it was just a couple degreed colder I think it would have snowed! Eli was miserable that he couldn't have played outside more. He's crazy for playing outside. 


Linking up with:

other posts you might like:
Recipe & Tutorial for Homemade Playdough
Honestly, sometimes I hate being a SAHM

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Homestyle Playdough

playdough recipe card
First of all: I can not claim any credit for this recipe. I discovered it on Pinterest awhile back and decided to give it a try this weekend. Here is the link to the original recipe.

I'm not the type of person who usually does things like this. I am fine with $1 package of play dough. I've never thought it would be worth the time or expense of making it myself but now I'm a believer. I love this recipe and the feeling of making this myself. It only took me maybe five minutes to make, I had all of the ingredients in my pantry and it was beyond easy to make.


So this is what you'll need: flour, water, oil, salt, cream of tartar (if you don't have any get it! It doesn't cost much and you can use it in other recipes, mostly in desserts. you'll find it with the spices at your grocery store) and any food coloring, glitter, flavors or spices you want to add to make it colorful and smelly.

playdough3playdough pot
you'll also need standard kitchen measuring cups & spoons 
as well as a large pan to warm the ingredients.
I decided for this batch I'd try to make it orange colored. Add the food coloring to the water (you can also add more later on but it's easier if you do it at this point) If you're using peppermint oil now is a good time to add that.
Heat the oil a little in the bottom of your pan. Remove from heat. Add your ingredients and mix together.
I chose to add a little allspice to my playdough to make it smell nice. I also added cinnamon. In other batched I used peppermint oil. Mix it all together really well and then put it back onto your stove.
Over medium low heat, stir and cook for about 4-5 minutes or until the dough forms a lump. It's better to go slow on this step. It'll start to darken slightly and unevenly but it eventually mixes all together and turns into a big lump.
Dump the ball onto a lightly floured surface and knead out any lumps.
And now you have a non-toxic, all-natural play dough! Store in an air tight container in your pantry or cupboard.

Variation - Glitter playdough:

playdough glittler glue
you can add glitter glue to make your play dough sparkly!
playdough glitter 2playdough glitter 3playdough glitter 4playdough glitter 5
add a pinch of flour and knead your dough until it's smooth. If it gets too dry just get your hands wet and continue kneading the dough. It'll soften right up. Store in an air-tight container.
playdough container1
This will make a great homemade gift!

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