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The Breakfast Picnic

22 Jul

Eli enjoying his breakfast at the park.

 

Yesterday we started a new family tradition: a breakfast picnic in the park.  You see with all of this incredibly hot weather we have not been spending as much time outside playing.  If I’m not careful this can make for a long day for mommy and child.  To remedy this we are now having breakfast and play time first thing in the morning a couple of days a week.  We did this yesterday and it was great! 

Food somehow tastes better when enjoyed outside.

It is great!  Since it is so early none of the slides have heated up yet which makes the park so much more enjoyable.  It is also so peaceful!  I can’t tell you how serene it was watching Eli play while a light dew touched the grass.  I took along a sheet to stretch out on and leaned up against an old tree in the shade.   

What a great way to burn off energy!

We had such a pleasant start to our day.  Eli was able to burn off a lot of energy as I prayed for a while and then joined him to play.  🙂  This can also be a great way to sneak a bit of exercise in for mom.  (We actually walked to the park.) 

If you would like to try your own breakfast in the park here are my recommendations.  😉

Take Along:

  • Food: Muffins, bagged cereal, granola bars, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt, fresh or dried fruit and of course something to drink. 
  • Sheet or Blanket: Since I don’t own an old blanket (crazy huh) I always use an old sheet. 
  • Wipes: for those precious dirty little hands and faces. 
  • Book to Read Together or Alone
  • Ball, little Truck to push, sand toys, etc. 
  • Most of these items can even be packed the night before in a picnic basket or large bag.  Then in the morning you only need to grab some drinks and off you go! 

 

All grins after our breakfast picnic.

 

What new or old summer traditions does your family enjoy? 

Vegetarian Moo Shu

6 Jun

 

  • Heat 1 t. oil in a large pan.  Add 4 lightly beaten eggs.  Stir gently about 3 minutes.  Remove to a plate. 
  • Heat 2 t. oil in pan.  Add 1/2 t. ground ginger and 1 t. minced garlic and cook 1 minute. 
  • Add 1 12 oz. bag of broccoli slaw (this is often on manager’s special at Kroger) or shredded mixed veggies. 
  • Add 1 small can of water chestnuts (drained), 1/2 bunch green onions chopped, 1 T. soy sauce, and 1 T. rice vinegar.  Stir.  Cook about 3 minutes until veggies are tender. 
  • Add 2 T. hoisin sauce or General Tso’s sauce and cooked eggs (from the plate).  Cook about 2 additional minutes.  Stir in 1/2 bunch green onions and enjoy! 
  • This recipes makes 4 servings and has only 171 calories.  It is very filling and tastes great!  It doesn’t taste “vegetarian” at all and is a great way for my family to eat vegetables that we don’t otherwise eat.  🙂

 Recipe adapted from Eating Well: 500 Calorie Dinners

Surviving an Awful Morning

1 Jun

 

We’ve all had them.  The day that begins awful and just gets worse.  Well that’s exactly what happened to me today.  I woke up and we realized that our air conditioner was in fact broken.  Of course the baby had gotten up really early and would not be consoled (not even with Tylenol).  The house was a disaster.  Then I started working on a project for Brandon only to find out that the printer was broken.  To top off my morning my bank informed me that someone had stolen the number of my debit card and was trying to charge hundreds of dollars from my account.  Really could this morning get worse?  It was only 10 o’clock by this point.  It did.  I was short with my wonderful husband. 

When it seems like our day keeps getting worse what on earth are we to do?  Have a good old-fashioned teenage girl cry-a-thon?  No way!  Run, run, run to the Cross of Christ! 

  • One of the best ways I have found to do this is to PRAY.  Really pray from your heart.  God cares how many hairs are on our head so He definitely cares when our days are not going so well.  I have found it helpful to journal a prayer to the Lord.  It helps me to express how I am feeling, but also shows me areas of my heart where sin is taking hold.  It is also great to look back later on during similar trying times. 
  • Look to God’s Word.  Especially the Psalms.  There is almost a Psalm for every feeling, thought or event that takes place in a person’s life.  Did you know that there is a Psalm that seems to speak directly to the stressed out woman?  I realized it a few days ago.  I guess it was just in time for the morning I had.  Here it is.. 
  •   “O Lord, my heart is not lifted up; my eyes are not raised too high; I do not occupy myself with things too great and too marvelous for me.  But I have calmed and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, hope in the LOrd from this time forth and forevermore.”                 Psalm 131
  • The next time you are having an awful morning cling to the Cross.  Then calm and quiet your soul before the Lord.  

Can You Eat Wild Strawberries?

30 May

Some wild strawberries growing at our home.

 

We have these lovely looking strawberries growing at our home.   They are wild (I think).  I was wondering if anyone knew anything about them?  Is it safe to eat them?

Guarding Against Techno Time Wasters

22 Feb

I am so thankful for technology especially the computer.  I find myself daily turning to it for any number of things from watching online lectures for my Biblical Hebrew class to looking up cooking substitutions when I run out of something.  I keep in touch with friends, organize my life, write lists, journal, find great ideas, print coupons, and write Bible Studies among many other things.  Unfortunately it can also be a major time waster.  I find it so easy to just click, click, click and then the time has flown by.  I find this to be a major temptation when I am tired especially at bed time.

Satan loves to distract us from the work that God has called us to.  What we must do is fight back.  Yes we should be praying against such things but we should also examine our own lives.  How we spend our time is very important to God.  Ephesians 5:16 encourages believers to “make the most of their time because the days are evil.”  How could your time best be spent?  Is playing on the internet or talking on the phone for hours advancing God’s kingdom and bringing Him much glory? What about your family?  Are you making sure that your technology usage is blessing your family and not hurting it?  I think back to the Proverbs 31 woman.  It says of her in Prov. 31: 27 “She looks well to the ways of her household and does not eat the bread of idleness.”  What an encouragement that we be intentional to guard the amount of time we give to technology.  How I desire to be such a woman but how my flesh loves to be lazy! 

What area do you find yourself most tempted to waste your time?  In my life it is probably the internet.  I just love it and have found it to be such a useful tool in my life.  Unfortunately it can also be quite distracting.  I have found the following to be helpful in guarding against time wasters in my life:

Keep an eye on your priorities: Don’t allow technology to crowd out the most important things in life.  If I’m not careful it can be so easy to decide to just check my email before pulling out my Bible and spending some good time with the Lord.  Before I know it thirty minutes have went by and I have missed out the blessing of sitting at the Father’s feet.  This isn’t to say that you have to be legalistic about using your cell phone or using the internet.  It isn’t a sin to use technology.  It is important to keep a close eye on ourselves.  What does my heart look like?  Am I upset when I miss out on “me” downtime to play on the internet? 

 Set a timer for internet usage.  Rather than completely remove the internet from our home (not exactly a practical solution) I limit myself to certain time frames.  Although I could easily spend more time, I find that somewhere between 30-60 minutes daily to be plenty of time to reply to emails, keep up with friends, blog, and surf the web.  (This doesn’t include the time I spend watching Hebrew lectures.)  I love to utilize the favorite application to save something I come across and look at it at another date.  🙂

Last Minute Valentine’s Day Card Idea

13 Feb

Our quick and easy Valentine's cards for family this year.

Elijah and I had so much fun making these the other day!  It was the first time we played with paint.  They worked okay but I think they would work even better if your child was slightly older (2 and up).  😉  To make these you will need pencil, pen, paper, 2 colors of acrylic paint (or other paint), and 2 paper plates. 

I cut a heart out of cardstock (blue paper) and then traced it on each of the cards.

 

Since we don't actually own any kid paint yet I purchased 2 bottles of acrylic paint for about 50 cents each. I used a paper plate to squirt a little paint in and then dipped in Eli's hands (one at a time). Then he took a nice bath. 🙂

After stamping both hands on the card we wrote a personalized message on the cards.  Then we erased the pencil lines. 🙂

We also made a get well card for Brandon's Papaw. He recently had heart surgery.

New Year New Start

1 Jan

Eli on New Year's Eve last year. How did he grow up so fast?

I just love starting a new year.  For me it brings so much excitement and anticipation.  I love thinking about my goals for the year and what the year might possibly hold.  This past week my sweet husband blessed me with a free morning retreat.  I headed to the local library of course (because it’s much cheaper and closer than the nearest coffee shop 10 miles away).  I cozied up in a little corner and had a wonderful time soaking up God’s Word.  I never cease to be amazed by all of the wonderful gems that it contains.  Every time I read it I learn something new as God’s speaks to my heart as only He can do. 

Next I spent some time reflecting on 2010.  I spent time in prayer seeking God’s direction for areas in my life that could use some improvement.  I broke things down into the following areas:

  • Spiritually my main goal in this area is to MEMORIZE God’s Word.  Psalm 119:11 says, “I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you.”  Besides the great blessing of being able to recall God’s Word often, memorizing God’s Word has allowed me to ponder it and to really stop to think more deeply about it. 
  • Physically I would like to lose 30 pounds this year in order that I might serve my family and God’s kingdom more effectively.  Also to eat at least 3-4 veggies servings everyday.  I guess I should also add learn new ways to fix vegetables that my whole family enjoys.  Last week I made Whipped Carrots and lets just say carrots should never be made that way! 
  • Intellectually I want to finish my last class-Biblical Hebrew and graduate in May from seminary.  I have really enjoyed my time at Southern but feel that I am ready for this season of life to end.
  • As a Wife: I desire to be even more organized by the end of next year and to keep a house that is ready for company with a 5 minutes pick up.  (I don’t say company ready house because I think it’s important to enjoy your home having a book out on the coffee table or blocks on the floor.  Just clean enough that everything could be picked up in 5 minutes or less if friends were coming over.  I think this would help us continue to cultivate a spirit of hospitality in our home.)
  • As a Mom: Finish Eli’s nursery, increase the time I spend reading to Eli everyday, and sew something memorable for Eli (maybe a quilt maybe something else). 
  • Friends/Others: Remember birthdays, anniversaries better, expand my circle of friends and bless my neighbors. 

Well that’s about it for my plans for the New Year.  What are your plans?