Ch-Ch-Changes

It has been said that the only constant is change. I am pretty sure if it weren’t for changes, nothing would happen in my life! Most days, I can handle all these changes. Most days. Then there are the days when I want to have a MAJOR freak out because there is SO MUCH changing SO FAST that I can’t seem to keep up! Ever felt that way? 

I used to think (foolishly) that I was totally o.k. with change. I could not have been more off the mark. I am totally NOT o.k. with change. I like things to go a certain way. I crave routine. I like to know what to expect. Not a fan of surprises. Let me repeat: Not.  a. fan.

I do wonder how I lived a large portion of my life fooling myself that I was a spontaneous, surprise loving gal? It wasn’t until very recently that I realized (or maybe accepted is a better word?) that surprises or not knowing what to expect, terrifies me. I’m talking profuse sweating, upset stomach, urge to vomit type reaction here. I am sure if I was the type to analyze things, I could look back on some key events that have happened in my life that perhaps changed me. But, honestly, I think this all comes from a deep rooted desire to have control over things. 

C-O-N-T-R-O-L

I really, really, really like to feel in control of things. I like to be the boss. (Just ask my Mom!) But feeling in control is a funny thing – especially when you make the decision to let God back into the drivers seat!  God comes in and says: “I see your plan, but I am about to shake things up a bit.” And if you are me, the shaking He is talking about is a lot more than a bit!

For example, in the past 3 years here is a list of changes our family has experienced: 

Grow from a family of 4 to a family of 5
2 weeks later – move said family to a brand new city,  3 1/2 hrs away from friends and family
Get settled into nice spacious (3600 sq ft) home, move from spacious home, to smaller (1200 sq ft) apartment
Grow to family of 6
2 months later move to another brand new city, (where we at least know 5 people) into an even smaller (1000 sq ft) mobile home
Husband transitions to full time vocational ministry

AAHHHHHH! Can not believe most of the above happened in less than 2 years.. 

And yet, I did not have a complete breakdown. Only explanation I have is God. I know He is holding me together, guiding me, helping me to be o.k. with all the changes.  I am pretty sure that change and I will never be “best friends” and I am alright with that.  However, I am hopeful that we can at least be friends. 

It is because of the Lord’s mercy and loving-kindness that we are not consumed, because His [tender] compassions fail not.

23 They are new every morning; great and abundant is Your stability and faithfulness.

Lamentations 3: 22 – 23
Amplified

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Unfocused

Sometimes in the frantic pace of my days, I lose sight of all I have been given. Does that ever happen to you? Losing sight isn’t the best term, maybe losing focus is better. Because as a homeschooling mom, I hardly EVER lose sight of my kids; even when I try to go to the bathroom alone.. but that is a subject for another blog…

Losing focus… especially of my many blessings.. I have been given so much, 3 healthy children, (another coming in Sept!) the privilege of staying at home with said children, a loving husband, great friends, a house with plenty of room, fabulous parents and siblings (both mine and in-laws),  the list goes on and on…

And yet…. If I am not careful, I can find myself focusing on what I feel is lacking… and I am embarrassed to say, my list can get VERY long, VERY quick! So recently I have been asking God to set me straight, help me to maintain my focus on the things He wants me to focus on. And let me tell you, God if faithful! Sometimes even more faithful than I would like, thank you very much! I mean come on – can’t a girl have a quick pity party about her lack of shoes or inability to cook pork chops? (Ask me later, I can NOT cook a pork chop to save my life…)

God quickly helps me refocus.. On what truly matters, not the trivial things I want to get upset about. He gently reminds of all I have to be thankful for. That He is calling me to lead a promise filled life in HIM, one that I don’t have to measure up to any certain standards or expectations, or search for a purpose. One where I can bask in His glory and His perfection and even when I mess up, know that God will use that to bring me back to him.

So on the days when I feel out of focus, whether it is my parenting, teaching or cooking skills that I don’t feel are up to par or just that I am not “cool” or “important” enough, I allow Him to refocus me. And everything becomes much clearer!

Start your engines!!

Yesterday was the first day of school for us. I think it went great! This will be my 3rd year to homeschool the kids and I think I was the most prepared I have ever been! (That itself is a miracle..)

Here are a few pictures from yesterday, the kids were so excited to get back to school. They even carried their new backpacks from their room to their desk. Too cute!

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5 And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, and all your strength. 6 And you must commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these commands that I am giving you today. 7 Repeat them again and again to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 8 Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 9 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

Deuteronmy 6:5-9

Make Your Own Baby Food

There are many things I have decided to do differently with baby #3 than I did with my older two. Most of the things on this “different” list are things I wished I had done before, but lacked the time or the confidence, or in some cases both. Seeing as how there is a slight gap of  ahem, 7 years between my middle child and my baby, I have had quite a bit of time to work through my quirks.

One of  the things I wished I had done before was make my own baby food. I was not quite sure how much work would be involved, if Liam would even like the food, but I decided to give it the old college try! I did my research and came up with a list of foods I felt Liam would enjoy (apple, sweet potato, carrot & butternut squash) and got to work. Thankfully, Liam loved my test batch! He loved it so much that he didn’t want to eat anything else – which meant I had to get to work!

This time around I upped my game so to speak, I kept all of the first batch ingredients, but I added banana, pumpkin and peaches.

It took FOREVER to peel everything! (**Note to self: Do NOT buy small apples next time, bigger is better! And easier to peel and slice) Once I got everything peeled, and slice or chopped, I put each fruit or veggie into a pan, covered with water and boiled until tender.

Once the fruit or veggie was tender I drained the cooking water, then pureed in my blender. (You can save the water on most, not carrots, to thin if needed, but I have not needed to thin yet.) Below is a picture of my squash, carrots and sweet potatoes.

After you have pureed all your choices, you can either freeze each ingredient individually, or you can mix 2 or more together then freeze. I mixed, because we do not have any allergies in our family and I am just a throw caution to the wind type person! (Truthfully he had already eaten many of the pouches from Plum organics and they were mixed, and had no reaction so I figured I was in the clear.)

The next step is to freeze. Ice cube trays work wonderfully! Each cube is about a tablespoon portion. Liam is 6 1/2 months and he is eating about 2 ice cubes per meal. If you are making several different types of food make sure to label your trays so you know which is which. Cover each tray with plastic wrap and freeze.

 Once the food is frozen, I take it out of the trays and store in bags I label. During this session I made 5 different types of food for Liam:

Pumpkin and Banana – no boiling needed, just add fresh bananas and organic pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) and blend.

Banana and Peaches

Apple, Carrot and Squash – Liam’s favorite

Apples and Sweet Potato

Apples, Sweet Potato and Squash

Not sure how long this batch will last – but I will keep track and let you know. I really enjoyed making this for Liam and he sure does enjoy eating it!

 

 

 

 

Another year….

Whoa….

I have a 9 year old:

And a 7 year old:

How did this happen? It seems like just yesterday we were  bringing them home from the hospital.

Now we are on a new part of the parenting journey, teaching them how to: make better decisions, be responsible, listen for the still small voice in their heart, pick up their dirty clothes, be nice to each other, the list goes on and on.   But that is a post for another time.

In the mean time, enjoy some of the pictures from this year’s birthday blast! We had a joint party at a roller skating rink, and I think everyone had a great time. So thankful that God has blessed us with another year with these two!

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Pinwheel, pinwheel….

Did you ever play with pinwheels when you were a kid? I did, and I remember how the slightest wind or breath would set the pinwheel spinning, seemed like it would spin forever on one tiny breath. That is how I have felt lately, like a pinwheel, and life is the breath that is spinning me..

With in the past 6 months I have had so many changes in my life – some changes have been momentous and some have happened with out me noticing, but they have all molded me into someone different that I was. Not that different is bad, it is just, well, different!

I know that God uses every situation in our life, good and bad, for His glory. In fact, a verse that is quoted at our house quite frequently is Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, and who have been called according to his purpose.

And since I believe that He has called me, then every situation I work through, is for His glory. That is why I am choosing to embrace all the change I am walking through right now. Choosing to embrace it with the full knowledge that change is not always easy, but if you allow it, God will always make the change worth it.

So, I find a strange peace in this pinwheel I call life. Knowing that God has wonderful,terrific, trying, growth-inducing things ahead for me and my family. And I am ready for it…..

Bookworms

I took the kids to the library yesterday. We all three had requested books and they were ready for pick up. We were all excited!  Once we got to the library, I noticed a big bus parked in the back of the parking lot.  It has a Scholastic Reading logo on it, so I thought we might check it out.  But, the kids were far too excited to have books on hold, so we of course had to go inside first.

They ran to the hold area and found their books, then they each checked out their books – all by themselves! I love that the San Antonio library has a self check out and my kids love it too. They get a kick out of passing their selected books over the scan pad and printing their receipt, makes them feel so grown up!

On the way out, we stopped in the Scholastic Reading bus. At first my kids were not too excited, most of the activities were preschool aged. But on the way out, they got excited. The lady was giving them a book. Aiden asked when he had to return it, when she answered it was his to keep, his face lit up! All 3 of my kids came home with a book of their own.

We were all so excited! My kids love to read and getting a free book was a great surprise for us! Below is a picture of each kiddo with their book. (And yes, I took the picture before bed tonight, don’t judge!)