Saturday, May 26, 2012

Happy Memorial Day Weekend!

Photo Credit: Microsoft Clip Art

We're off to the Chicago suburbs to spend time with family for the holiday weekend. We're invited to swim at my sister's house (who is on a trip) which will be a wonderful escape from the predicted 95+ degree heat on Sunday. Things have been quite busy here, but I hope to be back to posting in the coming week.

In the meantime....

May all your weekend plans be filled with warmth, laughter and the love of family and friends. 

Thanks for visiting!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Catching Up After Last Week (post-funeral)

We had a nice week together as a family, recovering after the loss of my husband's father. He received 5 days of paid funeral leave, so it was a blessing to have that time together. We attended the funeral on Monday and spent some time with L's sister and nephews whom we don't get to see too often. I was so impressed with how well-behaved J was at the service, other than a few silent protests of "is it done yet" and "I'm hungry Mommy!!"

On Tuesday, L got to join J and I at his sport's class at the YMCA. It's called "Intro to Sports" and they're introducing everything from basketball, football, soccer to floor hockey to give the kids a flavor of the various sports. I love what he's learning about moving his body, being part of a team (they put on little colored jerseys as part of the class) and following instructions. He is doing great and a blessing is that the coach told us how impressed he is with J's confidence and enthusiasm which he said stands out for an almost 4-yr-old.

On Thursday, we had a beautiful day and L had the idea for us to spend the afternoon at the zoo. We are so fortunate to have a zoo that is free and we just love it. L has a great time putting his face in all the cut-outs like the ones daddy and I are in below ... and the polar bear. He got to take a train ride and play at the Zoo Park too. By far, though, his favorite place in the zoo is the Discovery Center and Herpetarium. He loves going to all the different learning stations and looking at things under the giant magnifying glasses like animal skulls, fur and feathers. All that action left him pretty tuckered out at the end of the day, and he fell right asleep on the car ride home.


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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Menu Plan Monday - 5/14/12

Here's what's cooking at our home this week:

I am "reading" a couple of her cookbooks right now and really enjoy them. She adds in a lot of background info about her family, her ranch and her cowboy husband. They've been fun to read. I now use "El Pato sauce" for all things Mexican instead of the taco seasoning packets with all those not-so-good preservatives.

We have a friend from down South who is a wonderful cook. We loved this meal she made for us a few years back, which is a favorite Southern recipe. It's the only recipe I have for black eyed peas, and they're so good. **You may notice this has been on my menu the last three times. Well, I experimented with dried beans/peas and kept forgetting about the amount of prep time I need for that. I'm not so sure that will be a "shortcut" I'll keep - the dried beans thing.

We seem to have a lot of ground beef and tomato sauce meals, so this brings a little variety my husband will enjoy. We love Indian food and this is simple to make.


I can't wait to try out this recipe for homemade pizza dough and then make this pizza.

Possible Date Night!

Always my night off!

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Monday, May 7, 2012

Rest in Peace Bernie

Rest in peace, Bernie.
Psalm 91:4 He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

My husband's father died last week after a heart-wrenching, two-year battle with lung cancer. As we honor and celebrate his life this week, it is also a reminder of how truly short this life on earth is - but also a reminder of our eternal life waiting for us on "the other side". Having gone through an incredible time of suffering myself during my postpartum time, I am so moved how the Lord moved me through that crisis of faith, renewing and strengthening me in a way I never imagined.

It is very timely that we are going through the book of Job with our church right now. We had a powerful church service reminding us how our suffering and trials can lead us closer to the Lord. I will never forget Bernie's loving sacrifice of putting everything else on hold while he and Judy helped and cared for J while I was debilitated in that time after J was born. He devoted himself to doing everything possible to help care for J and see that I got back on my feet. We will treasure the little toys he made for J with his woodworking skills, like the Climbing Bear from this Post.

It is always sad to lose someone you love, and yet it's also a powerful time for reflection.

I want to share a video of a song that is one of my favorites, If You Want Me To by Ginny Owens. The words are incredibly powerful, and speak to the suffering we each have to endure as we go through this life. She sings, "But you never said it would be easy ... you only said I'd never go alone". Amen that He never leaves us or forsakes us. I hope this song touches your heart.

Thank you for visiting today.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Just a Few Fun Pics

J's first "self portrait"
After he drew this, he came running to show me saying "Mommy, I drew myself". I love it!

I absolutely love this picture of J looking up at his daddy as they walk together.

We were hiking at Baxter's Hollow. 
It was a favorite spot for my husband and I before J came, now he enjoys it too.

Another outdoor spot we like visiting is along the Fox River in Portage. The International Crane Foundation hosts an annual crane count, and for years my husband and I would trek out with friends to canvas this area for sandhill cranes. This was J's first visit to the area. We all had our binoculars in case we saw any neat birds we wanted a closer look at.

Those are just a few of my favorite pictures from the past few weeks.

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