Thursday, February 25, 2010

Not Asleep and Blessed

I've been struggling lately with not sleeping. I want to sleep. I crave sleep. I just don't get very much. My little ones seem to have agreed some time ago that they would tag team. Makes for interesting nights. Sophie wakes to nurse, then Emma wakes to nurse. Then Sophie, then Emma, then Sophie, then Emma. You get the pattern. Sometimes they decide it would be really fun if they both wake at the same time. Yep. It's a blast. Emma pretty much sleeps with us these days. If I even try to put her in her crib, even if she's fast asleep, she wakes up crying immediately. So it's just easier to put her in our bed. That's where she sleeps.

Sophie still sleeps in her bassinet, although she's quickly outgrowing it. She starts out in the bassinet but usually at her second waking, and sometimes her first, I'm too lazy tired to put her back, so she ends up sleeping with us too.

This morning they were both in bed with us. And both asleep. At the same time. But I wasn't. I was blessed with being awake. Emma and Sophie were snuggled up together. It was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. I would have taken a picture, but I was afraid the flash would wake them.

Then I came out to the living room. I found Zach and Maddie sound asleep. They couldn't sleep last night because of the wind, so we told them they could sleep downstairs. I thought one would be on the sofa and the other on the loveseat. I was wrong. The folded laundry was on the sofa. Zach and Maddie were snuggled up together on the loveseat. It was hard to tell where one ended and the other began. I would have taken a picture, but I was afraid the flash would wake them.

And I was blessed with being awake. So I could see my babies snuggle. Thank you Jesus for moments of bliss.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Do The Next Thing

I read this some time ago on Elisabeth Elliot's newsletter. It's such a help. When it seems like there is too many things and not enough time. When I'm tempted to worry about the future. When I wonder what God's will is. When I don't feel like doing anything at all.

As far as I know, the author is unknown. This is a slightly modernized version.

From an old English parsonage down by the sea
There came in the twilight a message to me;
Its quaint Saxon legend, deeply engraven,
Hath, it seems to me, teaching from Heaven.
And on through the doors the quiet words ring
Like a low inspiration: “DO THE NEXT THING.”
Many a questioning, many a fear,
Many a doubt, hath its quieting here.
Moment by moment, let down from Heaven,
Time, opportunity, and guidance are given.
Fear not tomorrows, child of the King,
Trust them with Jesus, do the next thing
Do it immediately, do it with prayer;
Do it reliantly, casting all care;
Do it with reverence, tracing His hand
Who placed it before thee with earnest command.
Stayed on Omnipotence, safe ‘neath His wing,
Leave all results, do the next thing
Looking for Jesus, ever serener,
Working or suffering, be thy demeanor;
In His dear presence, the rest of His calm,
The light of His countenance be thy psalm,
Strong in His faithfulness, praise and sing.
Then, as He beckons thee, do the next thing.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

National CHD Awareness Week

Today is the last day of National Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week. According to the American Heart Association - Out of 1,000 births, nine babies will have some form of congenital heart disorder. Nearly twice as many children die from congenital heart disease in the United States each year as die from all forms of childhood cancers combined, yet funding for CHD research is five times less than for pediatric cancer. Little Warriors fight against CHD every day. Little Angels have left many who will continue to fight in their memories.

Fight on Allie! You are so strong and brave.

Monday, February 8, 2010

There's a New Man in My Life

There's a new man in my life. (No, we didn't get another dog.) He's pretty interesting. He has gorgeous blue eyes. A smile that lights up his face. He loves my children. And my dog. (OK, maybe that's pushing it a little.) And my chickens. (OK, that's pushing it a lot.) He works full time, but he loves to build things. He's a pretty talented woodworker. Sound a lot like my husband? That's because it is! My husband, the Builder, is taking a class in blacksmithing. So maybe he isn't a "new" man. But he's a different man. He has something new to talk to me about. A new interest to research, learn and share. So in that way, he's different.

I think any time we find ourselves stuck in a rut, whether it's a job-rut, marriage-rut (don't worry, our marriage is just fine), a financial-rut, or any kind of stuck-in-the-same-place-and-don't-know-how-to-change-it rut, we need to shake things up a bit. Take a new class. Shop at a different store, drive to work/school/church on a different road. SOMETHING. My husband is taking a class. He needs it. Now instead of beating his head against the wall in frustration, he's "beating the snot out of metal". His words. He's happier. So am I.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Can't We All Just Get Along?

I was running the vacuum earlier, it was just about lunchtime, and lunch was ready before I finished. I called Zach and Maddie to get ready for lunch, and finished vacuuming. When I finished in the living room, I went into the kitchen and found that Maddie had put Emma into her highchair and was feeding her lunch. I thanked her for her kindness and thoughtfulness, and a conversation I had recently came to mind.

A woman observed my youngest four children playing, and the oldest 2 were watching the youngest 2. (I was having my teeth cleaned.) She said her children would never care for each other like mine, and how nice it was to see children get along so well. How sad! I wonder now how much sibling rivalry is caused by the parents. How many times have you heard parents comparing their children to each other? How many times do you see parents drop their children off at daycare so they can "get away from them" for a few hours, then wonder why their children grow into teens who don't want to spend time with their parents? How often do you hear a parent yelling at a child for doing something the parent often does. Our children learn by example, and we are the ones providing the example - good or bad.

I don't have it all figured out, and my children are not perfect. But I'd be willing to bet that one of the biggest reasons why my children truly get along so well and like each other so much is because WE like them so much. Yes, we have bad days, and I hear things come out of my mouth that I regret only a moment later, but my family is my treasure on earth. Maybe if more parents start to look at their children that way instead of viewing them as burdens we'll see more children truly loving each other.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake

My Aunt sent me this recipe at just the time I was craving something sweet and chocolate. What great timing. I made it for us to enjoy while we watched a movie. Now, when you're making a 5 minute single serving cake recipe for 6 people to enjoy, it takes a little more than 5 minutes, but it was worth it. I will make it again, but we will DEFINITELY share - one mug per person was way too much!

Make sure you use a large size coffee mug, not a little cup.

5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract 1 large coffee mug (MicroSafe)

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well..
Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!
Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.

EDIT: I haven't tried it, but I've read that adding 1/2 - 1 teaspoon of baking powder with the flour gives you a lighter cake, BUT it might spill over, so put the mug on a plate. ALSO, you might be able to cook it for less time, maybe 1 1/2 minutes on medium heat, the check it for consistency and cook in 30 second increments.  I like to put a spoon of peanut butter on top when it comes out of the microwave but is still hot to melt the peanut butter. But that's just me.


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