Learning.

I know. You would think, with four little kids, and being 34 years of age, I would have learned some of these things by now.

But I’m…

Learning.

Yesterday was sort of a bad ish day. I have this low grade sore throat, and keep fighting this cold, not getting sick, but not kicking it. I was exhausted all day. When I went down for a nap, it was storming outside, and so I didn’t sleep much. By evening I was so tired I felt like throwing up. But since I don’t throw up, I didn’t.

And then there was the puddle in front of the toilet. It’s been a while; they have been doing really well. But that was my last straw, and it broke the proverbial back. I yelled. Of course, none of them “did it”. Then I remembered hearing Daisy frantically trying to get to the potty in time…and I knew it was her. She admitted to it. I told her how sorry I was that I yelled. I hugged her and held her. She told me how sorry she was that she peed on the stool… :) What a sweetheart. But you know? I felt like dirt.

There were some sweet moments of the day. Like when there was laundry to fold and work to be done, but Daisy and I sat down and had tea…

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She was smiling at me, not the camera. :) Made me happy.

And then, there was the fantastic, evening sun… a rare treat these days.

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But all in all, it was a tough day. And I didn’t do well.

I woke this morning after a patchy night. Daisy was sick. Enzo ate twice. I kept waking and hearing one or the other of them breathe heavily or cough. I lay in bed. I thought about the day ahead. Tired. The kids were so fussy yesterday and drove me nearly to distraction. (I’m not sure what that means, but it sounds like how I felt.) :) I needed to make a large pot of soup to freeze for next week. I needed to fry a batch of pancakes for the kids. I needed to make other food for the day. I was tired.

I looked at God then. I just asked that however the day goes, that I would put the kids first. Their needs. Their hearts.

I got up happy after that! I don’t know how that made such a huge difference, but it did. Besides, I like making soup. :)

The kids played so happily. They were completely different from the day before. What. How can mom make such a difference? That is enough to frighten a person. :( :)

Okay, so looking back, they all three growled loudly for breakfast while I whipped up pancakes and fried them. But I was patient. And after they ate, they were so happy. And so was I. And I made two large pots of soup.

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I combed the twins’ hair into three braids each. Yes. This is an accomplishment. Amen.

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Right now they drive around inside the house. It’s too wet outside!

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Enzo slept like a little cherub. I have my baby back! So so grateful that he is getting well.

And that was my day. Now I’m going to crash around in the kitchen and get my work out of the way before Craig comes home!

Peace in the journey.

Sick Baby

The night after our fantastic doctor visit, Enzo got sick. He woke with a snuffly nose and light fever. His nose was snuffly enough that I stayed awake a while syringing it out with the blue bulb syringe and making sure his airway was working. The next days were rough. Sitting up at night with him on my chest, making sure he was breathing and getting bits of sleep. Trying to get him to nurse enough to keep him hydrated. It was exhausting. Even when he started sleeping well at night again, I was utterly spent. To carry the weight of making sure he could breathe well enough with all the stuff in his nose and throat, and chest…to strive every minute to do my very best for him…and wonder and pray and…feel terrible…

But! We are on the way up! My arsenal was made up mostly of a homemade garlic salve, and Breathe cream, an essential oil blend that my friend brought over. I would rub these two things on his feet and chest multiple times a day, as well as peppermint oil. I put the Breathe blend into a diffuser and into a cold air vaporizer. And last evening I picked up a nebulizer into which I put silver. After I had that on hand, I stopped wondering if I would be able to keep him breathing. With these things we fought…and I pray we have won…

Last night in the middle of the night I realized that Daisy was sleeping on our floor. This is not unusual. :) But I heard…her breathing was a bit snuffly. Oh dear. I tried not to think of the week ahead with more sick kids. But I failed. :( :)

This morning, armed with my high powered garlic salve and Breathe cream, I attacked my three older kids. :) There are now four garlic bombs in this house! But I pray we will stave off more chest colds and choppy nights.

I can’t tell you how relieved I am that Enzo is getting well. He was such a sweetheart through it all, smiling generously at me in his sickest moments. But I have never had a baby this sick, this young. It’s no joke. Their little airways are just too small to be able to handle stuff in them. He hates when I syringe his nose out…to the point where, when I was looking intently into his nose the other day, his little lip puckered up and he started crying…! What a sweet, little chubs. But oh my. The strain of constantly being aware of how he’s doing…and feeling that weight… How I wished for a mom here with me! Any of my many moms! :)

Some really awesome things have happened for me this week, however. Last week I realized that I have been living with a very real fear, ever since I got pregnant with Enzo. I guess the loss of mom and Anja have sort of…opened my eyes that I am not exempt from big, horrible things happening in my life. And then the devil ran with it. And I kept saying, “just because I’ve already lost doesn’t mean I’m not going to lose more…” And it was really tying me up. I worked with it during pregnancy. Got some freedom from that. But recently I realized that I am afraid that something is going to happen to my baby. I was constantly on the alert to anything unusual or scary. This may be part of the reason for patchy nights of sleep. Last week I kicked that thing out. Enzo is God’s…and in the hands of Jesus, Who loves him so, ever so much more than I ever can, which almost feels impossible, because I love him so much! But that fear was not from God, so it had to go.

A day or two later, Enzo got sick. And the fear came hounding me again…only it felt like it had a reason to now! After a bad night or two, and a tough day of fear and worry, I gave my baby to God in his sick, little state. And the amazing rest I had even though I had to keep working to clear his nose out, etc., was awesome! It really is worth it…wish I’d remember that more quickly!

And! So! We are going to Kansas this weekend, to a Camp for a reunion. We are quite excited about it! Prayers are welcome for our health. I am fighting a cold now, and Daisy is not feeling well.

But we gonna’ make it!

God is so good.

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Found these two trikes just down the road…awesome, as I really wanted something for them to ride at the campground this weekend!

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Enough of a break in the rain to run over to the public school for some riding! We have exceeded our annual average rainfall this year, if reports are correct. Yesterday saw 300 homes swept away in flooding in Texas. One man is in the hospital and his wife an children have not yet been found. Prayers for them…

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That’s my Daisy!

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Hazel is small, but strong. She really pedaled away!

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They think the little trunks are awesome!

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Bomani spent most of his time driving through the puddle. :)

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Somewhere under there is a burger. :) Yeah for Whole30! You don’t miss ketchup and b-b cue sauce when you’ve got this!

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Annabelle herself.

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I got to work for CLM Commercial Roofing while…

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Craig did my housework! I loved the break!

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Something very cute in among the laundry…

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Playing TopChef. :)

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Gotta’ love BuySellTrade! When you can run five minutes up the road and nab one of these things in a parking lot…

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From the garden…time for some spicy pesto!

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They love yellow peppers!

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Turmeric Chai. Couldn’t resist when I saw fresh turmeric at the health food store. :)

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My little garlic bomb!

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Have a blessed week!

Our Kids Doctor

I knew there had to be a reason that all the “crunchy” moms in the area talked about how incredible Dr. Arouse is. And even more awesome was that he took all of our kids on. He is, however, booked about a month ahead, and works at the clinic only several days a week. So up to now, we had never met him. His nurse practitioners always helped us.

Enzo did so awesome after I went on an enzyme. He was your dream baby, along with a bit of reflux that still didn’t go away. The tummyaches, though, were gone! Last week he got some sort of bug. Snuffie nose, a bit of fever, and he threw up twice, which is very unusual for him. He almost never throws up…even when he was a tiny baby, I barely needed to use my burp rags. But along with the bug last week, suddenly, he got tummyaches again! I wanted to roll up in a ball and come back out after sleeping for a week. But ya know, I can’t. :)

I was reading in Be Your Child’s Pediatrition. And besides the good practical advice she has in there, she talked a bit about when her 7 or so babies had colic. She said that she learned that when she was up at night with a fussy baby, things just felt really bad if she let herself start to despair and get fearful about losing so much sleep. So she made a point of using that time to meditate and pray and just take it as it comes. Something like that. And last night, it really blessed me as I walked Enzo…to remember that.

I had a pretty bad night last night with my little chubs. I knew he had a tummy ache and wondered if it was the raw garlic in my avocado lime salad dressing? I’m eating Whole30 for a week or two here, to lose weight and help me get off dairy. So I made this fantastic dressing…

But backing up to earlier this week, I decided to call in to First Step Pediatric and make an appointment to see Dr. Arouse. (pronounced Aruse, long u.) I decided just to do a well check up for Enzo, and take Bomani as well, as his ears are closed again since the cold the kids got the other week. I was all prepared to wait a month. But tada! They had an opening on Thursday!! I was excited and so grateful.

So this morning I got the kids fed, combed, nursed, and in the van by 10:30. That was a feat. Just take my word for it. :) Oh yes, I was dressed too and my hair was combed. :)

Honestly, Dr. Arouse is amazing. In one appointment, he has my complete trust and I cannot tell you how grateful I am. He is known for being supportive to the moms who don’t want intervention if it’s not completely necessary. He wrote a prescription for some allergy type medication for Bomani, but said I can just keep it and use it if I want to. No pressure. But so wise and so knowledgeable. The kids loved him. Enzo even smiled at him. :) I am so at rest knowing that he is available day or night and that he respects those who want to do things the natural way. Yet, his knowledge is there to help us. Guide us. In fact, when Hazel had her febrile seizure last year, one of the midwives gave us his cell number and we called him at like 9:00 pm and he had never met us, but he helped us so much to decide what to do. Amazing.

And! Enzo has nearly doubled his birth weight, and grew four inches! Dr. Arouse was very pleased with him. :) This is new to me, as with the twins, I constantly had a very nice doctor on my tail to make them grow. How do I do that? I am not God. :) And this doctor also answered all my questions that I had written out on a paper so I wouldn’t forget any. :) He told me that it does sound like Enzo has reflux, and keeping him upright after feeding is important. Also, the four biggest bad foods for me to eat are: tomato, citrus, caffeine, and dairy. I am already off dairy and most caffeine, so it won’t be that hard to go off the rest of those. Then after a couple weeks, and it’s out of my and Enzo’s system, we’ll see how he is doing and I can add the foods in one at at time to see which he can tolerate. The first thing I will add back in? Grass fed butter. :) It’s a food group. ;)

The tomato thing made a lot of sense to me. Last night I had meatballs with the most fantastic barbecue sauce I have ever made. Spicy. Delicious. And my dressing had lime juice in it. So no wonder Enzo was kicking me last night. :)

This is new to me. I never had to watch what I ate with my other babies. But with this one, I do. And I love him! And so I will eat meat, nuts, and a few select veggies. :) Oh, and bananas. Yeah, with nut butter. Mmm.

I was also happy to learn that the white on his tongue is just milk residue, not thrush. So I can quit trying to make it go away. :) I still want to give him prebiotics, see if that helps his tummy. He hated the probio5 I put on my finger into his mouth. So I tasted it. Very bitter! Sorry, chubs!

Okay, it’s so quiet and peaceful, I’m going to sit on the couch and drink my creamy pumpkin pie tea made creamy with ThaiKitchen brand of coconut milk. :)

Peace.

The Joys of Being a Woman

When your baby gives you a good night of sleep…but instead of sleeping, you lie in bed for a long time thinking. And praying. Only a woman would do something like that when she’s been dog tired and trying to stay healthy…!

I was struck with the glory…in the early hours of the morning…at how amazing it is that God knows everything in my heart. He hears. He knows. He completely understands. And He is working for good! That brings so much peace. At 4:00 am or whatever time it was.

And this time I’m not even talking about our new business. Just…other things. Things that are difficult. Take constant grace. Faith that God will guide us and work things for good…

I was also struck, in the wee hours of the morning, with how much I want to do better as a mom, for my three older kids. It takes so much patience…so much energy…so much…I don’t know…brain power? Something in the head, anyway. :) And sometimes–it just ain’t there. I want to train them well. I want to love them well. I want, more than anything else, for them to know how good God is, and how much He loves them.

And life just isn’t perfect. This is a very fallen world. I need to trust God with my children…but stay engaged and work hard…

Just some (veeery) early morning thoughts…

Peace.

(Tonight I’m going to try to sleep…) :)

Pictures and Stuff.

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Enzo loves to sit and watch the kids play. I guess he’s glad he ain’t the firstborn!

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Startin’ to actually help and not just…uh…with all due respect, be in the way! :)

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Stripping the kale leaves off the middle stem for the pesto…

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Cilantro pesto stuffed zucchini and cream cheese/ground beef stuffed peppers. Did not pair well at all! But each item was delicious eaten by itself. :)

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First stroller I’ve ever owned that I loved. :) It’s a jogger, but nice and compact enough to use as a regular stroller. This was completely purchased with baby shower money given for a jogging stroller! So that’s pretty special.  I’m trying to get Enzo used to it as we are going to Kansas for a reunion at Camp Mary Dell in a couple weeks! He liked the excursion Saturday evening when I took the kids to the school over the fence from us. But then, he slept the whole time! I put a pillow in and laid him thereon and he likes that softness. :) To get to the school yard, we need to cross two, large fallen trees and some downed wire fence. It was interesting getting Bomani’s bike, the jogging stroller, and all the kids over that obstruction course. Thankfully Craig was home to help us back!

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I’m also trying to give Bomani practice time on his bike before our trek to Kansas! He doesn’t ride it much at our place because about all we have is uneven ground that is muddy because it rains every couple days. So this was fun! I taught him how to brake, etc. He did great. :)

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And yes, it was windy. :)

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She loves holding him.

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I looked over and Bomani was hanging out with Enzo, and Enzo was smiling at him…melt me…

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Today I brought our three outdoor “vehicles” in and set the kids to cleaning them, which they thought was terribly fun. :) Now they are driving them around in here! Tomorrow I want to take these plastic trikes and the car and see how much money a resale will give me. We have two within a minute or two of our house. One sells mostly only kid stuff, the other sells anything! Then with that money, (and maybe a bit more), I want to get two trikes for the twins. This is partly because really, a child deserves a tricycle. :) But also in prep for our reunion trip. I know that if we don’t take something for the twins to ride around, they will constantly be longing to ride other kids’ stuff, which sounds stressful to me. :) So here’s to finding two, lovely trikes for them!

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You know it’s been raining and you haven’t been using your clothespins if a bird builds a nest in your clothespin bag…

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My chubs. :)

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Puzzle time!

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Have a lovely day!

Things that have to do with being a mom and having kids and babies.

Yeah! I may have cracked the code on what to use to de-tangle the twins’ hair. I’ve been using olive oil for a long time. It really helps, but it’s still a huge job. Their hair is not…bouncy. It has just enough bend and enough fluff to make it really hard to comb out. And it’s really long and reasonably thick. So here I am…combing out hair for hours and hours…okay, not really. But on a busy morning, it takes a good bite out of your day. And no, I don’t comb it every day which makes it harder next time. :( :)

Anyway! I have had such a problem finding a spray bottle that sprays a mist of olive oil. I didn’t want to need to clean the tube out every day. Then genius struck. :) I added water! That simple. It works. I shake it as I spray and it mists, without fail. Lovely! But it still wasn’t the perfect detangler!

Then yesterday at church my friend Shannon told me that aloe vera gel works really well for their daughter. Today I was thinking about that. And thought of the aloe vera juice in my pantry. I pulled it out and added it to my spray bottle. Tada! It seems to really make a difference. Yay! I hope it works…can’t wait to try it on my hair. The twins’ hair is nothing to complain about in comparison to mine. I was grumbling about my hair one day, to myself, and God said, “I make all kinds of hair…I made yours!” Oops. Okay! :)

I try not to be superstitious, but last week, very shortly after posting about how Enzo is doing so well at night, things crashed. His reflux is back. And he sleeps well until his first feeding, then after that, it’s spotty for both of us. He snuffles. He writhes. I put him up. He conks out instead of burping. I lay him down. Repeat. Last night I finally laid him over my tummy on his tummy and we slept. As well as I can sleep on my back with a baby draped over me. :( :) He was also sick last week with some fever and nose stuffies. So I really hoped the reflux was just a part of that. But it seems like it’s just back! Have no idea why. I’m still taking the enzymes that helped so much two months ago. So now I’m going off dairy for a while. And want to work hard at giving him probiotics.

I thought maybe he just needs a bit of training. :) Cuz he insists on being walked at night to go to sleep. Not necessary! But today when he got tired, I just laid him down and kissed him and left him. And he waved his arms for a little then went to sleep. So…hmmm. I feel so inexperienced at times. Dear me.

Another mom subject here. :) I have been curious, for a long time, about how breast milk tastes! My friend told me once that she tasted it and it’s really, really sweet. I was like, “what”?! How am I to give my baby non sweet foods if he is used to sweet milk? So I wanted to taste for myself. But never could quite convince myself to do it. It felt…cannibalistic. Or something. :) Today I pumped. I sort of tend to overproduce in the mornings. The kids beg for the milk then, and I give it to them sometimes. But then they don’t really want it! So that peaked my curiosity even more. How does this taste? Enzo likes it! Finally today I took a sip. Interesting! It was not sweet at all…not even cow milk kind of sweet. It had sort of an earthy flavor. I wonder if my friend tasted only foremilk, which has the large amounts of lactose in it? Or I’ve also heard that if you eat sweet things, your milk is sweeter. And I eat no sugar, just fruits and stevia as far as sweet goes.

Enzo is crying…gotta go!

Peace.

Doing Nothing Today

I’m tired. :) Because I’ve been running a little crazy! Craig is working from home part of this week, which freed me up to go shopping the other day! So I took Enzo and we went to Burleson and I spent hours at Kohls, TJ Max and Ross. :) I had a birthday Kohls card from Mary (thank you Mary!!) and was so excited to use it! We came home just in time to race off to a dinner invitation at our friends’ Noah Ulrich’s place. That was lovely. But I was so tired by that night! Then the next day I made myself an iced coffee that was no joke. :) See, I am highly caffeine sensitive, so I get JavaTaza’s decaf and make espresso drinks that are fantastic. But JavaTaza had tornado damage and haven’t reopened yet, so I’m out.

Suffice it to say that I was buzzed all day. :) I sewed like nobody’s business, and got all my little and big things done. I hauled around doing a big pancake fry for the kids’ breakfasts. Made black bean choco cake. Had a little nap, but it was a buzzed nap, if you know what I mean. :) Then Craig and I went on a date! Somewhere along the way, the caffeine dropped me cold. :) Still had a super lovely time! We passed up Chipotle (I know, us?!) and tried out a Gourmet Burger place. It was fantastic. I got all sort of new ideas of what to put on burgers and got very inspired. Then we went to Marble Slab. (After a stop at a Shoe store for Craig.) We had homemade sweet cream ice cream that was delicious. By then we both felt pretty disturbing…our systems aren’t used to sweet potato fries and ice cream. :) So we stopped for a hot tea at our favorite Coffee Bar in Midlothian and headed home.

Today I am tired. :) So I am doing nothing. Nothing other than vacuuming the living area carpet (I gave the kids oats to play with in their kitchen yesterday.), doing some writing for someone, making some food to eat, and keeping kids alive. :)

An update on Enzo Shaviv Sleeping Habits. :) He started sleeping too well. He would sleep from around 11:00 until 4:30, and then be so ravenously hungry that he would sputter and choke and be a little crazy man. So I decided I need to feed him at least around 3:00. Sometimes I don’t wake until after that, but I’m trying. :) So my nights have been so much better!  I often don’t sleep the best after the feeding, sometimes due to Enzo being snuffly and other times just because I always sleep better the first half of the night. Being awake because of hearing Enzo snuffling is what I get for co sleeping. :) I’m cool with it. And then the nights when we both barely wake up for his feeding, and go back to sleep…love it!

Craig has four bids out on roofs. I pray we find the people who need this/want this! With all this rain, it’s hard to ignore leaks. :)

Okay, pics!

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The kids and I have been watching Master Chef Junior 2015. Thus, the other evening, we had Gordon Ramsay’s Salmon en Croute. I even made “the perfect hollandaise”!

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As you can see, my plating can use some help. :)

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There was a really cute fireman at our house the other day.

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More low cost dresses… I will say that fabric flowers and I don’t have the best relationship yet. :)

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Someone at our local Walmart, in error, ordered pallets of really awesome fabrics! They can’t return them to China or wherever they came from, so they are selling it for about $4 a yard. High quality, really cool prints! I’m happy…

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My laundry folding partner. :)

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Yesterday he was officially 3 months of age! And he is stretching some of his 3-6 month sleepers. Will he be tall?

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We are changing the name of our business. Not enough people know Italian. (Fidato is Italian…) This is our new name and new logo! And yes, some black bean chocolate cake with whipped cream that I made. :) Now that I add oil or butter to it, it is about 50% more delicious!

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Of course, the dark chocolate chips give it the feeling of having bits of rich filling…

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Our date last night. :)

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These are my favorite of the dresses I sewed for the summer. I had purchased this fabric at Joanns for a blouse for myself. Then, when sewing cotton blouses was making me say bad words, I used it for the twins instead. :)

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They’re a little big, but the way Daisy is growing…

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Showing off her flower. :)

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Peace!

Weather.

And it rains and rains. It has rained until the ponds and rivers and lakes are not only full, but overflowing. And not only has it been raining, it’s been storming. As in, tornadoes. As in 116 miles from us, Sunday evening, homes destroyed people unaccounted for. That’s not real close. Closer was the one about a half hour away that damaged roofs…that was the time we were under the house trying to stay safe. Next time I think we will take to the bathtub with a mattress leaning against the wall…

If there isn’t a flash flood watch or warning, it’s severe thunderstorm, and if not that, it’s tornado. Or of course, all three.

Just sayin’…I’m starting to look forward to next month! This is a bit stressful! The kids sense the tenseness in us, and respond in fear. Right now they are afraid to use the bathroom by themselves sometimes. :( That is enough to make this sort of crazy mom crazier… :)

Probably the strangest I have experienced this spring, though, was the earthquake the other day. The kids and I were just goin’ about our lives when suddenly the entire house shook so hard that everything rattled! I grabbed my baby, took the kids, and headed outside. 4.0. Could have been worse. And they say there are fracking wells underneath the area of the earthquake…but who knows? These are the days of Elijah!

Sunday morning we were getting ready for church. I had done most of the other preps before frying up my breakfast. I was just heating the cast iron pan on the stove when the electricity blinked wildly for several minutes, then went off. Where is the gas stove when you need it?! Thankfully, it went on just long enough for me to fry up my chocolate banana crepes. Then it went off for good. (It was on after we arrived home that afternoon!) The thunderstorm raged outside. Then we heard Bomani singing…

“Jesus put the lights off…” Craig and I grinned at each other. A bit later we heard him say…

“Jesus, please put the lights back on…!”

:)

After the tornado and us hiding under the house ordeal, Hazel told us that people should make a big fence for the tornado. And use a sword. :) So we tried to show them pictures of what a tornado is. Not sure that was wise. :( :) Not sure they totally got it either, because Bomani still wants to go kill the tornadoes!

So grateful to be in His hands!

Bouncy Balls and Other Things

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Why not? They can blow them up by themselves! Okay, so not really. I ended up with a bit of a work out. :)

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Perfect size for Bomani! But a bit big for the twins…

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I made cashew chicken. Yum…

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Above, my go to current snack! I get the full fat, creamy, Chobani, Greek Yogurt. Sweeten with stevia. Add fresh strawberries or some raspberries. Top with a granola made of nuts and seeds, cashew butter, grass fed butter, dates, etc…

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Seriously, now that I brilliantly finally realized a quick, low cost, easy, cute way to make dresses for the twins…I’m on a roll!

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We had a lovely Mother’s Day at church yesterday. The men did the meal. Okay, mostly Jonathon did the meal. :) Grilled burgers with the fixings.

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Those two are about a week apart in age. :)

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In the evening, Craig wanted to treat me! So he went to HEB and send me pics of different things. I chose tuna sushi…

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And cream cheese filled Bear Claws.

:)

Peace on the week!