Wednesday, March 28, 2012

“stained glass” Easter Craft

I know you….yup, you.  You are one of those people that get a gift, fold away the colored tissue paper from the gift bag and think to yourself, “I will so use this for a gift sometime!”  But now you have a stack of beautifully colored tissue paper that you feel slightly guilty of when you glance at the overabundance.  (Ok, maybe not you, but this is me).

So I like to use tissue paper in art projects for my kiddos! :)  Break out the tissue paper pile, folks – it’s time for an Easter project that will use up some of that fantastic array of color!IMG_0627IMG_0629

Easy “stained glass” Easter Sun Catchers

1) cut various colors of tissue paper into 1x1 squares (for those that don’t own a paper cutter, accordian fold the paper and cut 1 inch apart for long strips.  Then line them all up in one hand in a pile and cut 1 inch a part – there you have them!)

2) cut two matching pieces of clear contact paper.  (I cut a big rectangle, folded it and half and cut on the “line”.)

3) peel and tape one half of the contact paper to the table

4) have your little people cover the entire sheet with tissue paper – it’s ok to overlap!  Then cover the whole sheet with the other half of clear contact paper.  Seal.

IMG_06305) draw “Easter” shapes with a permanent marker – of course, my children wanted things like a bunny and a basket…I tried!

6)  Cut them out and hang in your window to catch the sun!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Weeks 20, 21 and 22

20 weeks – Ocean City, MD

20 weeks beach

21 weeks – sportin’ sunglasses at the park

21 weeks park

peanut #3 at 21 weeks – same profile as the other 2!

21 weeks scan

week 22 – out front on a warm spring day (Happy St. Patty’s Day with our green! :o)

22 weeks

The baby news?  The latest ultrasound shows that all looks fantastic, the placenta has moved away from the cervix, the heartbeat was strong and the baby is in the 72% for weight (what?!?!).  She assured me that the weight will probably level out to the other 2 as they were mere peanuts at 7.7 and 7.4, respectively, at birth.  I hope so! 

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fountain Dancing Children

A friend sent me this article today from"I don't want to raise a GOOD child"......and it struck a chord deep within my soul.

For so long, my husband and I have really felt that the qualities that we see in our children are amazingly special characteristics that God has placed within them to: 1) refine us as parents  2) refine us as children of God and MOST IMPORTANTLY 3) be nurtured to walk LIFE LONG as followers of Christ.

We named our son fully knowing that his name means "charismatic adventurer".  (Yes, maybe a shot in the foot from the get go :o)  He has fully filled his name from the moment he emerged from the womb....yes, he cried before he even fully emerged.  (The OB said he'd never seen that in all his years.) 

He makes his wishes known, is aggravatingly stubborn at times, and will push the envelope as far as it may go.  I think God definitely heard my prayers when I said I didn't want a boring kid. (Or kids for that matter - little Miss Banana keeps us on our toes as well.)

But as my beloved and I tried to wrap our heads around our first child, that was known on a first name basis at the Pediatric ER, God opened our hearts and our eyes to see that so many of the things that others thought were not positive attributes in our sweet boy were truly GIFTS.  GIFTS.

As I pray with him and over him, I am so thankful for the gifts of personality that were given to him by my Heavenly Father...and I'm thankful for the blessing that he stands up for what he believes, he doesn't back down, he speaks of his love for Christ to others and that he has eyes to see others hurting (I think these are amazing gifts in an almost 7 year old!). 

So, this devotional, available here, means so much to me.  And it will give me hope on days when I struggle to see the gifts and only see the frustration....because that is what Hudson and Anna are to me - gifts.

And I'm a FOUNTAIN DANCING CHILD myself....Praise the LORD!
"I Don't Want to Raise a Good Child"  -Lysa TerKeurst

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6 (NIV 1984)

My daughter, Hope, is a senior this year. And she decided her senior year should be adventurous and a little out of the "normal" box. A lot out of the box actually.

She withdrew from traditional school. Applied with the state to homeschool. Enrolled in online college courses that would allow her to get both high school and college credit simultaneously. And planned to spend the month of January serving in Nicaragua doing missions.

This didn't surprise me really. Hope has always liked charting her own course. This thrills me now. But it didn't thrill me so much in the early years of raising this strong-spirited child.

When she was really little I was scared to death I was the world's worst mom, because Hope was never one to be contained. And I honestly thought all her extra tenacity was a sign of my poor mothering.

One day I took her to the mall to meet several of my friends with toddlers to grab lunch. All of their kids sat quietly eating cheerios in their strollers. They shined their halos and quoted Bible verses and used tissues to wipe their notes.

Not Hope.

She was infuriated by my insistence she stay in her stroller. So, when I turned away for a split second to place our lunch order, she wiggled free. She stripped off all her clothes. She ran across the food court. And jumped in the fountain in the center of the mall.

Really, nothing makes the mother of a toddler feel more incapable than seeing her naked child splashing in the mall fountain. Except maybe that toddler refusing to get out and said mother having to also get into the fountain.

I cried all the way home.

Not because of what she'd done that day. But rather because of how she was everyday. So determined. So independent. So insistent.

I would beg God to show me how to raise a good child. One that stayed in her stroller. One that other people would comment about how wonderfully behaved she was. One that made me look good.

But God seemed so slow to answer those prayers. So, over the years, I changed my prayer. "God help me to raise Hope to be who You want her to be." Emphasis on, "God HELP ME!"

I think I changed my prayers for her because God started to change my heart. I sensed He had a different plan in mind for my mothering of Hope.

Maybe God's goal wasn't for me to raise a good rule-following child. God's goal was for me to raise a God-following adult. An adult just determined and independent and insistent enough to fulfill a purpose He had in mind all along.

Today's key verse reminds us we are training children so that when they are old they will not turn away from Biblical principles, but rather implement them in their life-long pursuit of God. Remember, the things that might aggravate you about your child today, might be the very things when matured that make them great for God's kingdom tomorrow.

I've certainly seen this in raising Hope.

I don't know what mama needs to hear this today. But let me encourage you from the bottom of my heart with three simple mothering perspectives you must hang on to:
1. Don't take too much credit for their good.
2. Don't take too much credit for their bad.
3. Don't try to raise a good child. Raise a God-following adult.

And all the mamas of fountain dancing children said, "Amen!"

Dear Lord, I know You desire for me to raise a God-following adult. Please give me Your wisdom as I seek to become the parent You called to this high honor. Redirect my perspectives and equip me for this task today. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Pjs and a Peanut

So our little Peanut has given up her regular naptime – yes, I am very well aware that we are fortunate that she has kept napping up until this point in time.  About 2 months ago, I began to realize that she didn’t really need the nap and began to slowly implement the idea we used with Hudson.  Rest time and quiet play time.

IMG_0607(I know, look at those pigtails, right?!?!  She loves her short hair, but loves the fact she can put it in pigtails again!)

She goes to her room and I set her “pacifier” (she calls it that for some reason – it is her noise maker ;o) for 30 minutes.  For those 30 minutes she stays in her bed and rests quietly.  About 2x a week she will still fall asleep for about an hour; other times she sings or talks to her stuffed animals.  After the waterfall stops, she comes to me and I tell her what time her clock will say after she has playtime in her room for 30 minutes.  It has worked beautifully, and gives this expecting mama a few minutes to rest in the afternoons as well.

We set up a chart for her that she gets a sticker for each 30 minute increment and she finished her first chart.  She chose to have a  PJ Party and watch a movie.  IMG_0590

We had lunch together on our beautiful 73 degree day, complete with hot dogs, kiwi and cheese curls.  (Which was apparently a hit, as one friend exclaimed, “You have kiwi, grapes, and cheese curls?  Anna, this is the best party ever!”)

IMG_0593Then the girls cuddled into their sleeping bags to watch the new release, Barbie in a Mermaid Tale 2.  They were beyond excited and it was fun to hear them laughing and cheering on the characters.


(modeling like Mermaids)

Anna had such a blast that it was no problem getting her to go down for her rest time because she wanted to start her next sticker chart – and she fell asleep for an hour and a half.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Easter Candy with grandmom!

Spending a few days in OCMD with grandmom....and making some Easter candy.  I must admit, there is probably more pickup.g of the chocolate than chocolate actually making it into candies!

Thursday, March 1, 2012



Yeah – I’m sharing a picture of soup.  Yes, it was DELISH!  No, it is not because I have crazy hormones running through my veins right now (although the fact that my mouth waters looking at that picture may suggest as such).  My family loved this recipe too – so when we come across a fantastically mouth-watering recipe for soups (or stoups as I often make them into – we like them hearty), I’ve got to share!

Panera Bread Knock-off Broccoli Cheese Soup   (reduced fat from original version)

The original recipe can be found here.  I’ve made a few changes to make it reduced fat and added a TON more veggies to make it thicker…my changes are in italics.

I’m guessing this makes about 5 servings.  My husband had three bowls and the rest of us about 1.5….with a serving leftover.

1 T of butter

1/2 a medium onion

1/4 cup melted butter

1/4 cup of flour

2 cups fat free half and half

3 cups chicken stock (low fat/no fat)

3 huge heads of broccoli

1 cup of chopped carrots (I made have added more)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

10 oz reduced fat 2% sharp cheddar cheese

salt and pepper

1.  Saute onion in 1 T. butter.  Set aside.

2.  Cook melted butter and flour using a whisk over medium heat for 3-5 minutes. Stir constantly and add the half & half.

3.  Add the chicken stock. Simmer for 20 minutes.

4.  Add the broccoli, carrots and onions. Cook over low heat 20-25 minutes.

5.  Add salt and pepper .Used my immersion blender to smooth it out – still kept large chunks, though!   Return to heat and add cheese. Stir in nutmeg.

Serve with crusty bread and strawberry applesauce jello (well, that’s what we did!)


And these pictures are just for your viewing pleasure – Dr. Anna was taking care of patient Hudson today after he conked his head on a table downstairs.

Prepping with sterile gloves……


Assessing the patient; stethoscope and sphygmomanometer (blood pressure cuff for you commoners).


Making sure Hudson is still alive…..carefully moving the ouchy sock to take important measurements.