Daisy Annabelle

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Tonight was her turn.

:)

All day I kept thinking about how I would get to eat Sweet Frog again tonight… (I know, by now you’re thinking I have ulterior motives in taking my kids out one by one! ;) Really, it’s just a bonus for mom…a cool perk…)

This evening when I reminded her that it’s her turn tonight, she immediately started hugging me and getting all excited! I love all my kids. But taking Daisy out is so, so much fun. She is naturally brimming with love and hugs. So something like this…she just overflows. :)

And so after dinner we headed out…she chattering excitedly about everything she saw along the way.

“Look, a little monster truck!”

Then she started asking where we were going. I described Sweet Frog to her…jogging her memory.

“But I want a cone!!” She shrieked! Oh. But surely…

I did my best to convince her on Sweet Frog. You know, you put ice cream in the cup then strawberries then candy… c’mon! What child wouldn’t be jumping up and down by now!

“I want a cone.”

Deep sigh of disappointment inside of me. :) But hey, I AM doing this for her, so I turned around and headed back toward Braums.

We go inside. Oh my. She is so beautiful and sweet. I’m proud to be her mama. We walk up to the counter. She sees a picture of green ice cream in a cone and decides on green. I get a vanilla cone. I barely wanted it. I can’t do much sugar without feeling nasty. I’ve been off of the stuff for too long. :( :) But I knew I’d be sad not to lick something. :)

We went and sat down.

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Two minutes into her ice cream, she announced that it’s yucky. She does not like it! I didn’t blame her. It was a scary color of green. :) So I took it and chunked it into the trash. Then I gave her my cone.

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She licked for about one minute, then announced that it’s not good either! Oh dear. The honesty of children! It was good. I have no idea what her deal was. By then I was heartily wishing we had gone to Sweet Frog! Well, she likes the cone. So cool. I went and got a spoon and dug out the ice cream. She was happy. :)

About then she started asking for water. I told her we’ll get water when we get home. She finally said okay. But then a bit later, she noticed the family in the corner had glasses of water! The dad was very friendly and smiling at us. I mean, Daisy kind of melted everyone in her path tonight.

“Mom, they have water. Please go get me water.”

I had to laugh. This child!

“Pleeeeeeeaaaaaase!”

Okay. I went and got her water. Ahh. Happy. She sipped away. Then…

“I gotta’ pee!” Of course. Even though I *told* you to pee before we left.

“Does this place have a bathroom?” Okay, now she was sounding all grown up. :) I grinned and we went and found one.

We are on the way back from the bathroom, when we met the family in the corner, leaving. The dad was looking all friendly, and he bent down to talk with Daisy. She sailed right past him, heading for our table. Oh. She must not have noticed! He began to tell her…

“We think your dress is…” and finished by telling me…

“Lovely!” :) I thanked him and followed my girl.

We sat down and she ate nibbles and talked and cuddled up to me. Ahh. Love my litta’ lady. Then she noticed a vehicle driving past the window. She waved. Then she told me…

“They are my friends.” Or something like that.

“That man tried to talk to me, but I walked as fast as I can.” I choked. She knew he was trying to talk with her!! I burst out laughing.

“Why?!”

“I don’t like him!”

“Why not?” I was still laughing pretty hard.

“He’s kind of…shy…”

Oh my. Every couple minutes I’d break into giggles again. The image of Daisy marching right past the friendly man, her chin in the air…it was just too much. :) Here I worry about her..because she’s so trusting and loving…and yo, she can take care of herself!

“Mom, why are you laughing?”

“You are so funny…!”

And so went our time at Braums. :)

I finally convinced her to finish her waffle cone. Then we headed home. As we drove into our little, winding lane…

“Mom, what’s home is here?”

“What?”

“The dark woods. Is it the home of the bear?” I burst out laughing again…

“No, no bear.”

“Lion…fox…?”

“No.”

“Well, what is it the home of?”

“A rabbit. I saw a rabbit here before.” I tried to convince her.

…and thus went the night out with my Daisy girl.

She brings a lot of joy into my soul.

:)

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Bomani Leon

We went to Sweet Frog.

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I’m taking each of the three by themselves one evening this week. Time for some one-on-one. :) It was fun.

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I tried staring a conversation with him, but he was mostly interested in eating his ice cream. Then…

“Mom, are we going to do this again tomorrow…?”

:)

“I don’t think so…”

He thought that would have been a good idea. :)

Then on the way home he started talking. Out of the blue…

“Mom, was the car broken?”

“Huh…?”

“Anja’s car. Was it broken?”

“Yes…it was…broken.”

“Did Anja have a big owie?”

“Yes…it was a big one.”

“Did she go to the hospital?”

“Uh…no…”

“She didn’t go to the hospital?”

“No…see, she…died in the car.”

Oh, the brutal truth of words spoken aloud. I felt that familiar ache begin to creep into my soul…

“Is she okay now?”

“Oh yes! She feels good and she’s so happy.”

“No owie now?”

“Nope, no owie.”

(Why did I ever teach my kids that strange baby word?)

He asked more questions about the accident. Then told me…

“I want to be a rescue person. So I can keep cars from crashing.”

It’s true. His biggest dream is to rescue people.

“Mom, did she lie on the road?”

“Huh? No…she…was in the car.”

“Did she lie on the seat?”

“Um…yes.” (sort of maybe) By now I was grasping for answers.

“Did she get up?”

“Whaat?”

“To go to heaven. Did she get up?”

I pulled into the driveway.

“Let’s go in and ask dad.”

I know there will be more questions.

And I had a lovely evening with my boy.

Peace.

First Things First

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Brought much joy to my day. :)

And now for other things in our lives…

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I could hardly wait to have a baby so I could try out the cool bumbo chairs! It is so awesome. Soft material. One piece and easily cleaned. (He has pooped into it twice already…) And created so that a baby can sit up nicely before a baby can sit up! Also created so that it is fairly hard to fall out. I like it!

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Seriously. It was fantastic. Here is the recipe: Cauliflour Bacon Hash

See, Craig found recipes for me to make this week. One for each night. So fun! :)

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The fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley brought it to life.

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And then this. I have found the joys of ready made pie crusts. :) But I underbaked it, so the pie without a crust was actually more delicious. Honestly, this recipe nails it. Do it! No Sugar Chocolate Cream Pie

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I’ll be honest. These pictures were taken at 9:00 am this morning. :)

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Yesterday morning I took the kids to Velma’s house at 9:00. I had snatched Enzo up from where he was sleeping and just tucked him into his carseat in his sleeper and nighttime wet diaper. Off we went! I did an enormous grocery run at HEB. Have I mentioned that I love that store? Love is an understatement. :) Their new parking lot is finished, so you don’t need to hold your breath to squeeze into a space anymore. :) And I can get everything there. Like, no running to and from from one store to another. Okay, so I do get some things at Family Nutrition. But normal people could get everything there. :) And I’m stuck on diapers from Dollar General. The best diaper I have found in a lower price than the non best diapers. So cool. But really…HEB is awesome. Awesome. It makes me happy. :)

So then I tore home and unloaded and put my groceries away without a hundred kids screaming at me and being hungry and needing to be nursed and changed and… get the picture? It was nice. Very nice. :) Then I brought Enzo in, who had slept the entire time, changed him, fed him, then we set out to find a quiet corner where I could unwind and recharge. We went to Hero’s Cafe on Main. It’s a sweet, little place! Not to mention excellent food. Then, feeling like a normal human again, I went and picked the kids up, came home, put them to bed, and that was my morning. It was lovely.

And tonight I get to go on a date!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Eeeek!

I’m considering the fact that if I don’t do things with my kids because I’m too busy and too tired, I will never do things with my kids. So for this reason, I am making a kite this afternoon. I have never made a kite before. :) But it is a dream of the three hoodlums. No, it’s more like a passion of theirs. I will not rest in peace until we make a kite.

Better pray for wind. :)

Peace friends…

~Rachel

These Days

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My nurser is officially finished! I covered those pillows. It was fun. :) Now I’m done! I love the room. I love sitting in my polka dot chair, soaking in the peace…

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Taste of Home recipe. Some sort of red wine beef. Was good!

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Cocoa Bean Brownies I made for the fundraiser bake and yard sale. The kids and I manned their lemonade stand yesterday forenoon. It was fun! We also helped sort piles of clothes onto a tarp, acted as though we knew what we were doing when people asked prices, etc. :) It was hot. And Daisy kept drinking lemonade. Even though it was forbidden. So I kept needing to take her in to pee. I told the kids they may drink lemonade once! Later Bomani told me that they offered it to some people, and they didn’t want it, so he and Daisy are drinking it. Love the logic. :) We stayed until after 1:00. Enzo was great! But by then, I was fried. Exhausted beyond belief. So we said good-bye, and I hauled my kids and stuff home, put every one of us through the tub/shower, and went to bed. I got a little nap before Enzo woke up. But the rest of the day I was so tired I could hardly drag my tail around!

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So, one of “us mamas” from the birth center needs our help. She and her husband and six children were in a cult of some kind. They came out of it. And then had twin babies! Soon after that, he left her and went back to the cult, leaving her with very little money, a van that is unreliable, and they are living in an RV. Possibly leaving her with so little in order to pressure her to come back with him. She doesn’t want to. So my midwife prayed and decided to raise $15,000 for a reliable van for them! It’s hard work. :) This yard and bake sale is part of the process. If any of you pray and feel like God wants you to help, let me know!

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Love the little orange crab. :)

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Enzo has my grandpa’s eyes of blue…

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The three are now learning letters and sounds and reading using Star Fall online! I am excited. They think it’s terribly fun.

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Can you tell that her mom co sleeps with her baby? (P.S. I am currently transitioning Enzo to his arms reach cosleeper…sad but true.) :)

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Slow cooker apple crisp.

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Anja…your age on earth is 20. Miss you…

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The latest ornament on the wall. Fits in *perfectly* with my decor style! :)

So…yeah, I better not write a lot more. It probably would not be profitable for me or you. Suffice it to say that Craig and I are wondering how long this 6 day work week is sustainable for us. We both forget what it was like to have a lazy Saturday morning where he did not need to work. Beginning your own business is no joke. It’s really fun to do it together…I am now officially receptionist. And yes, I answer the phone while racing back to the master bathroom to keep potential customers from hearing screams and such noises in the background. :) But I love it. So far, I’ve had only one person call and ask for a roof inspection.

So yes. Tomorrow…as we take the Lord’s Supper together…I am simply grateful once again, that I can come as I am to God…and He does not mind the tiredness, the imperfection, the failures. He sees my heart wanting Him and following His voice…

Peace, sista’s…

To Thrive.

Funny. I checked my blog today on the computer, and my post of yesterday ended abruptly without finishing what I had written painstakingly on a small keyboard on our kindle fire! But hey, no worries…

:)

It was really good. God gave ideas, thoughts, and wisdom on how to live better in this part of my life. Just being blunt here, I’m doing awesome with Enzo. We are bonded, close, laugh together, communicate, and he is a happy, well adjusted baby. The other three? I’m failing. Just sayin’ that’s the way it is.

So here are my new ideas!

One: I NEED time alone every day. Morning doesn’t work right now. So I am skipping naps. That has been a huge frustration anyway, as I never knew if I’d actually sleep, and I’d waste an hour getting to sleep only to be woken up by one or the other of the four. I felt so much that God is saying I need this quiet, alone time, and so He will provide for my sleep needs. :)

Two: I need to get ahead of the behavior stuff, instead of panting along behind, barely keeping them from turning into your latest scary movie. To get ahead of it, I need to spend more time with them talking, playing games, reading books, and just…hanging out. I also need to sit down and talk about behavior stuff. Not just yell around when they do it.

Three: I need to decide what is most important to do with my time. I hate a dirty house. We need clean clothes to wear. We need food to eat. Cooking is my one love in the housework line, and where I can be creative. But. It may not be the most important thing every day! I have some quick things now that we can grab and eat.

Four: I am going to stop trying to lose weight. I’m not huge. Just not…where I want to be. But I am healthy. I can work hard. And trying to lose weight has been taking emotional energy, as well as cooking energy. Done. When God wants me skinny, He’ll make it happen. :)

So! Now I’m going to go have that happy, quiet time!!

Peace to all.

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Thrive

I’m sitting in my lovely nursery. Having alone time. Thinking. Praying.

We are studying James at church right now. I’m also listening to a series on James by Matt Chandler. I want to learn…what really is God saying? There is a lot to unravel, struggle through, and blast my brain apart in this book. But one part, so far, has been easy to grasp. If I need wisdom, I only have to ask. God gives with a liberal heart!

And so today…I sit in my lovely nursery. And I ask. With an undertone of desperation.

Because ever since that blog post on motherhood last week, I have been tested in every way, (so it feels!) to the core of my being…in this thing called Being a Mom.

I didn’t realize how serious it was getting until this morning when my neighbor texted me and said her daughter wanted to bless someone today. Would I like some just me time to get away…? I was so excited I could hardly eat breakfast! I decided that I really needed to go to Kids Rethreaded to get Enzo’s next size of clothes while their sale was on. And that’s all I got done. I came home so grateful I had a chance to do that without four kids hanging all over me. But I was so disappointed that I hadn’t gone to a sweet corner somewhere and had chill time…that I was on the verge of tears for a while. And when I snapped at the kids and Daisy sweetly asked me, with hope in her voice…”Are you going to be happy now, mom?”…that I realized that going strong for my husband and kids includes…taking care of myself. And it hasn’t been happening. I’ve been haulin’ like a horse. And doing it for them. But going downhill inside.

I’m not complaining here.

Just Pictures.

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I found this on ebay…from Hong Kong. It exceeded my expectations! It is soft, yet dressy. One piece. Perfect for the upcoming wedding! Only two problems. One, a seam is fraying already. But I can sew that! The real problem? It’s almost too small now. So I sent for a bigger size. If anyone is interested in this one, let me know. I paid $25 (more or less, can’t remember exactly) for it. I’ll sell it new for $20. :)

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Looking up at dad. He adores his dad.

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Gotta love my Bomani! :)

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In the 14th percentile. The first chubby baby I’ve had. :)

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Do it! pop an egg yolk and as much white as fits into the hole of a pitted avocado. Top with a bit of bacon. Make sure to salt the avocado before adding the egg, then salt the egg. Yummy breakfast!

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I knew I would love the bumbo. And I do. One piece. Easy to clean. Soft material. Safe if you keep baby on the floor. Enzo loves to sit and watch his brother and sisters!

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Don’t do it. I tried making monster cookies and subbing all the sugar for stevia. Crumbly and dry. :( But if you barely bake it, still sort of yummy…

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So often when I crawl into bed for my afternoon nap, soo tired…all I feel like doing is watching Enzo sleep. :) He’s so darling…

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May your week be blessed!

Mommy Blogger

Last weekend Edenway’s party was a movie night. We watched Mom’s Night Out. I had seen it before, but it didn’t keep me from laughing and crying and thinking that hey, someone could just bring a camera to my house and make a movie without trying…

Okay, not quite.

:)

I’m a Mommy. Capital M.O.M.M.Y. And besides the movie night, other things in the past week have sent little waves into my brain. And so I’m going to try and put a few of those waves down on paper…right here…

This blog post was and is phenomenal. Not only does it capture so much of my heart, it is so raw and honest. And true. My life right now is far more crazy than when I was literally saving lives in Africa. I thought that was crazy. But this? This running your body, heart, and soul ragged and falling into bed at night with aching limbs and broken heart. This tear-out-my insides sort of happiness. This over-the-top joy in simply looking into your little girl’s eyes when another little girl waves at her, and she looks at you. In that moment, you know that any amount of work, sweat, tears, and falling into bed at night with no feeling left in your legs…is worth her happiness. You will have guests over every week. Your daughter needs good friends. (I will never forget that moment when Daisy looked at me. Her eyes were overflowing with joy after a little girl waved hi at her. Never forget it. It smote me to my very soul. I think I’m too tired to have guests over for my children? Nope.)

My life is crazy. I haul four kids to the hospital in the rain for a baby’s well check-up. I clean and do dishes and laundry until I think I will scream. And after that? My house is still dirty. I kiss tears. I discipline. I am constantly on the watch for bad behavior that needs to be weeded out before it becomes a big problem. I cry. I rub nasty garlic salve on feet. I wake up and listen to make sure my snoring little boy who probably needs ear tubes doesn’t have sleep apnea. I wonder if the trauma of tubes or the trauma of bad hearing is going to be harder for him. I fall on my face. I get up. I spend seventy dollars a month just so that I am not exhausted every day or run out of milk. I do a thousand more random things than I can ever write on here.

And so do you.

Ever wonder why there are so many Mommy Blogs?

We need it. We are in survival mode every day. And yet we keep having kids. Why?

Cuz friends, at the end of the day, after you

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…find the half eaten bananas

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…swipe aside the toys in order to have a bit of quiet time…

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…frantically search for inspiring recipes

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…sew one seam…

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chuckle at the immaculate corners you kept in your kitchen your first year of marriage…

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(there’s a spider web in there, but you can’t see it on here…)

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…gently remove the pen from your perfect table setting…

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…and then give up because there are too many corners…

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You have this.

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This.

It’s why we do it. Simple. We love it.

There are no medals. No fundraisers for your cause. (Ah, now wouldn’t that be nice!) You fail more miserably than you ever have with anything else you attempted in life, and being 27 when you got married, you attempted quite a few things.

But you still love it.

This is what you dreamed of “doing when you grow up”.

This.

And so after everything I learn about being proactive, listening to sermons, reading inspiring blogs, making sure I get my few minutes of sanity time….

I still fall. I still love. I still laugh. I still cry.

I’m still a Mommy.

And today, I’m just grateful.

Peace.

Cyclone

Yeah, so we’re actually in the eye of a cyclone right now. Strange feeling. I would still say the earthquake takes the cake for strange feelings, however! Now we’ve had tornadoes, an earthquake, and a cyclone, all in one spring. Except this is sort of summer now. Anyway…gotta’ love Texas! :)

Now for random pics and thoughts…

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Found this darling suit new for $20. Wedding comin’ up! I might return it though…just barely *need* it. Know what I mean? :)

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Do you have any idea how much I am loving having my happy baby back?! So grateful!

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Those little eyes…

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In an effort to get more raw veggies into ourselves, I chopped 8 bags of vegetables and crumbled some queso fresco (trying to trick myself into thinking it’s blue cheese…) and stashed them in the fridge with a big box of lettuce, ready to go. Now, salad at a momento’s notice!

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Ah yes, and nearly a quart of ranch dressing… :)

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The way he was folding his hands…

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That last one is for his two grandmas. :)

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Just so you know it’s not always smiles. :)

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He sort of likes his bumbo, but is still a bit shaky. :)

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Got inspired to cook Lebanese!

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Lata!

Married Seven Years

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First date.

We had a lot of fun dates. :) One of our traditions was to have beanbag dates in Craig’s parents’ basement. Anja would get it all romantic and ready for us…

Below, this was our last date before Craig left for Thailand. I can still feel the sadness with the sweetness…

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Terribly much fun jaunting about New York City together! :)

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I went with my friend Mel to visit Craig in Thailand. That was awesome!!

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Craig happened to be working at the same business where I was… ;)

back in the good early days

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Engaged!!

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Married. :)

If you want to know How We Met, check out my guest post on my friend, Bethany’s blog!

Last evening on our date, we were looking back over our married life. We were noticing that in every season, there was so much good and some not good. Good/hard…it seems to be the mix of life!

Our post married life building our dream, little barn was fun, but a bit stressful. :)

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That was fun! We loved that house. And our several months of living there, before we jetted…to Thailand!

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Craig said that was probably the most “good” for him. He loved living in the village doing God’s work there. It was pretty hard for me. I got terribly lonely. But in many ways, it was still a really good time of our lives!

Then we came back to America. Had twin babies. Mom was sick. A lot of hard but a lot of good again…

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Moved to Texas, and started another season of our lives here!

We are blessed. We see it. We are so grateful.

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A terribly fun date in downtown Fort Worth! Jamba Juice? Yeah!! We just sort of walked around Sun Dance Square and ate Lebanese food and of course, finished up at a coffee joint!

May your life be blessed.

~Rachel