Friday, July 30, 2010

Growing Up


Mommy. What mother doesn't want to hear her child say that? It warms every mother's heart when she finally hears her child call her by name. I guess I'm the exception; I wanted never to hear Daniel call me "mommy." Why not? Read this.

Wednesday afternoon while I spent a few minutes on the computer, Daniel came and found me. He looked me straight in the eyes and very carefully said, "Mommy." Just to make sure I heard him correctly, he said it again, "Mommy." He was so proud of himself! And I wanted to cry.

At supper that night, I told John about it, and he asked Daniel to say "Mondy." Daniel concentrated really hard and said, "Mommy."

I hoped he would forget and lapse back into Mondy or Bondine, but Thursday it was all Mommy again. Once he slipped, but I think it's all gone. I think my little boy is growing up and part of that is calling me by my "correct" name. *Sigh*

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Christmas in July

Jessica at Life as Mom is doing a series this week entitled Christmas in July. You should head over there for some great ideas and giveaways. While I do not wait until the last minute to complete my Christmas shopping, I also do not start during the summer. I firmly believe that Christmas presents should not be bought until after Thanksgiving...unless of course you find an awesome deal.

Anyway, as I read some of her blog posts, I lazily thought, "I've got plenty of time. There are still several months until December." Then I read a comment she made about handmade gifts. Uh oh! I do tend to make gifts for some of my friends and family. I guess I had better get started! Nothing sucks the joy from making a gift for someone more than having to do it at the last minute and having to do a rush job. I hope I can find something as fun and as lovely (if I do say so myself!) to crochet for a Christmas decoration as my Christmas stars last year.

Now that I've told you when I tend to purchase and make Christmas presents, how about you? Do you have everything bought and paid for before Thanksgiving? Do you wait until the last minute? Or are you somewhere in between like I am? Have you even thought about it?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Spaghetti and Backpacks


On top of spaghetti, all covered with cheese,
I lost my poor meatball when somebody sneezed.
It rolled off the table and onto the floor,
And then my poor meatball rolled out of the door.
It rolled in the garden and under a bush,
And now my poor meatball is nothing but mush!

I made meatballs for the first time last night, and we enjoyed them. I must admit, however, that it seemed counterproductive to form nice round meatballs, and then to have to cut them up for Sarah Beth and Daniel to eat. We sang that song when I was in kindergarden, and I enjoyed teaching it to Sarah Beth and Daniel last night while I making supper.

Have you ordered your free (after rebate) backpack from Staples yet? I ordered ours Monday morning, and it arrived yesterday afternoon. I couldn't believe it got here so quickly, especially since I received free shipping, too. I think maybe it's just a little too big for Sarah Beth. What do you think?

Since Sarah Beth got the new backpack, Daniel got Sarah Beth's old one. He was thrilled with it, so I don't feel too badly about not getting him a new one, too. His backpack is more appropriately sized.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Six Month Update


Rachel turns six months old today. She weighs 15 pounds and four ounces. There is not much change in her habits or behaviors since she turned five months old. I sure was hoping that she would be sitting up and/or rolling over. I think her cousin Dallas, who was here for a few days last week, did inspire Rachel a little bit; she rolled over onto her tummy a couple of times yesterday (messing up one of her naps!) and she is trying to roll onto her back. It'll come, I know. I think maybe Rachel is just a little too laid back.

But isn't she a cutie?!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Cousins

My cousins Dayna and Angela came to visit this week. We had a great time, although only Angela and her daughter Dallas actually stayed with us. (Dayna and her sons stayed with my sister. Both of their husbands had to stay home because of work.) Before they left, we took some pictures of our children. Since we are cousins, what relationship do our children have to each other? First cousins once removed? Second cousins? Do you know?

Do you see my three children? One on each end and in the middle. Typical Sarah Beth did not want to participate. Poor Dallas, also in the middle, did not want to sit still! She needed to be on the go!

This picture is not as good, but it does have Sarah Beth's face in it. Poor Dallas had had enough, and Daniel was wondering what the fuss was all about. Rachel, well, she got propped in the corner and figured she would just wait until someone came to get her.

In case you were wondering, our children are second cousins. Dallas, Tyson, and Owen are my first cousins once removed. For "real" definitions of each term, check out this site.

Friday, July 23, 2010

FO (Finished Object) Friday


Do you remember this blanket? I haven't posted about it in a while, but I have finally finished it. Finally!

I started it with some leftover yarn which I thought was a great idea. I could get rid of some of my "stash" while making something useful. My plan worked wonderfully...until I ran out of yarn. *Sigh* Then I had to buy more green and blue to finish this blanket, but no store in town had the colors I needed. I found them online, but I didn't want to pay full price, and I really didn't want to pay shipping. Ugh! What else could I do? I waited until the yarn went on sale, and I bit the bullet, so to speak, and paid shipping. Aargh! So much for a free blanket!

But I think it turned out nicely. I plan to donate it to our church's blanket ministry, and I'm sure it will make a nice blanket for a little boy. As I have told Sarah Beth, there are little boys out there who don't have blankets and whose mommies don't know how to crochet.

For more finished projects, head over to Fresh from the Chari Tree.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Silly Sarah Beth

Yesterday morning, Sarah Beth wanted me to take her picture with her bears. Do you see that she had placed them in a bag? How she loves those bears! One is old and well-loved, and one is on her way.

I was taking some pictures of Rachel later in the day when Sarah Beth again asked me to take her picture. Don't you love digital photography? You can take as many pictures as you (or your child) like without worrying about the cost.

Daniel and Sarah Beth pulled the cushions off the couches last night, and I saw how dirty they were. While I took the opportunity to vacuum them, Sarah Beth decided to "help." She decided a few months ago that toy is a vacuum, and she loves to help.

Isn't she cute with those pig tails? I love having the hair out of her face, and that is the only way she will let me fix it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Bondine


Back when Daniel was learning to talk (okay, he still is), he would not say "mommy." Not at all. So I tried to teach him to say "mama" because I thought that might be easier, but that didn't work either. Daniel, like Sarah Beth at his age, has always talked a lot, although he uses many made-up words. One day, I realized that he was saying "mommy"...just in his own way. "Mommy" comes out of Daniel's mouth as "Mondy." I figured that would be short-lived and that he would correct himself one day and start calling me "Mommy."

I was wrong. Daniel has stopped calling me "Mondy," but he has changed it to "Bondine." Where did that come from? I don't know, but I think it's awfully cute.

Has any of your children said "mommy" or "mama" a little differently? How long did it last? I have to admit that I think it would be very sweet if Daniel is still calling me "mondy" or "bondine" or something similar when he is a teenager.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Back to Work!

I started back to work this past weekend. It was the first time I had worked since before Rachel was born, since the beginning of December. What a wonderful, long maternity leave I took! John and I decided, though, that it was time for me to go back to work. Thankfully, I only work one weekend a month, and John takes care of the children when I do.

When I work and people find out how little I work, they usually ask where I work the rest of the time. I proudly (I have to admit it) say that I work at home, taking care of my family. Sometimes, I get the response, "It must be nice." That response usually comes from men who apparently assume that I sit around all day, not working. You know how not true that is!

The other response I receive is from women who work more than I do: "I don't know how you do it." I guess they mean that they don't know how I take the "tedium" of staying home all day with my children. I always, always respond that I don't know how they do it. I cannot imagine working full-time and taking care of my family. Things would get left undone, I know, and I'm sure it's my children and husband who would suffer the most. I don't even want to think about it! As for the "tedium," I'm much too busy to realize it's tedious!

Today it's time for me to get back to my "real" job, taking care of my family. John did a great job this weekend, and I don't even have a mess to clean up, just my usual list of Monday chores. Plus I am privileged to be able to get ready for guests! My cousins Dayna and Angela are coming for a visit on Wednesday, and I finally get to meet Dallas! Angela is even staying with us (Dayna is staying with my parents), so I've got to get things ready for her. What fun! I can't wait!!

Friday, July 16, 2010

FO (Finished Object) Friday

I made this baby blanket for a friend* at church who is having a baby boy soon. I bought this yarn from a local yarn store, and I really enjoyed working with it, although it is a little more expensive that what I usually use. The added expense is definitely worth it. I used this same Dream Baby yarn (in a different color, of course) for a blanket for Rachel, and I was very pleased with it.

Here is a close-up of the blanket so you can see the pattern and the variegations of the yarn better.

*If you know who I'm talking about, please don't tell her. As far as I know, she doesn't even know I have a blog, much less read it.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Blueberry Pickin'

Yesterday we went blueberry pickin' with Laura and another good friend. Goodness, but it was HOT! When we left a few minutes before 11:00, it was already 90 degrees. It's really a shame that blueberries don't ripen in the fall when it's cooler. Anyway, I've got some pictures to share.

Daniel picked a lot of blueberries, but most of them ended up in his mouth. He put a few in my bucket...the ones he didn't want!

It's hard work reaching for a blueberry...

...popping it in your mouth...

...and reaching for another one.


Sarah Beth had a good time, although I don't think she picked nearly as many blueberries as Daniel did. She's so self-concious that it's hard for me to get a good picture of her.


Rachel came along for the ride, too. She was a good sport considering that she didn't get any blueberries and won't get anything made with blueberries for a while. Just look at those nice, chubby legs!

I see lots and lots of blueberry muffins in our future, along with blueberry bread (do you have a good recipe?) and Mrs. Darling's Blueberry Coffee Cake. Maybe I'll even figure out how to make blueberry cobbler and blueberry pie. Yum!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Because I Said So

When I was a child, I remember my mother answering some of my questions with "because I said so." Oh, how it drove me nuts. I felt that I deserved an answer (a real one!) to all of my "why" questions. I determined that I would never, never answer my children that way because it's so unfair.

Now I have children, one especially who always, always asks "why" whenever I ask her to do something (or tell her not to do something). "Fold these clothes, please." "Why?" "Be gentle with Rachel." "Why?" "Don't throw that toy." "Why?" You get the idea. (Do all four year olds ask "why" this much?) Sometimes I take the time to give Sarah Beth real answers: "It's time for you to be a productive part of this household," "Because Rachel is a baby." Sometimes I am lazy and just say, "Because I said so." I usually feel guilty saying that because of my feelings as a child when it was told to me."

As I thought about it lately, I realized that "because I said so," is the only reason that my children need. I am their mother, and I have authority over them. They are to do something (or not do it) regardless of my reasoning just because I said so.

As I thought even more about it, I realized that God tells us to do things and does not always give us the reasons. Isn't it enough that He commands me to do something? Do I need any more reason than because He said so? God does not feel like He has to explain Himself to me, and even if He did, I'm sure I wouldn't understand because His thoughts are so much bigger and deeper than mine. (See Job.)

After realizing this, I don't feel so badly about telling my children, "Because I said so." I still try to give them real reasons when I have the time and inclination, but sometimes I also tell them, "Because I said so, and that's all the reason you need."

Monday, July 12, 2010

Baked Chicken Parmesan


I tried a new recipe from the March 2010 Real Simple last week, and it was definitely a keeper. I thought you might enjoy it as well, so here it is. (I forgot to take a picture, so I shamelessly stole this one from the Real Simple website.)

Baked Chicken Parmesan
Season chicken cutlets with salt and pepper; dip in beaten egg, then bread crumbs. In batches, cook in olive oil over medium heat until golden. Pour 1 24-ounce jar marinara sauce in a large, shallow baking dish; top with the chicken, then 1 pound sliced fresh mozzarella. Bake at 400* F until golden, 25-30 minutes.

I'm not sure exactly what type of chicken I used, but next time I will use boneless, skinless chicken breasts and just cut them into strips. I used the Kroger brand marinara sauce, and it was good, so I'll probably keep using it. (Economical, you know.) I used the prepackaged, already grated mozzarella cheese, and it worked fine.

As I said before, we really enjoyed this meal. It was a little time-consuming, but it was worth it.


I made another recipe this weekend that is good enough to share again. Mrs. Darling's Blueberry Coffee Cake was every bit as good as I remembered it. Is it bad to be glad that Sarah Beth and Daniel didn't much care for it? That left more for John and me. I hope there is enough for us to have it again for breakfast tomorrow. Yum! I think next time, I'll try preparing it the night before so I can get it in the oven sooner.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Prayers Requested

Ashley is a little girl who desperately needs your prayers right now. I follow her mother's blog about her life as a transplant patient, and right now she is in active rejection of her transplanted bowel. Ashley is not quite five years old and has gone through more surgeries, treatments, and medications than most of us will in our whole lives. Currently, they are trying last-ditch methods to keep her from rejecting her bowel. If that doesn't work, they are worried about losing her bowel and possibly her life. Please pray for her and for her family who are separated by hundreds of miles. You can read more about Ashley here.

Friday, July 9, 2010

FO (Finished Object) Friday

Do you remember the shawl I was crocheting last summer? The one that I had to stop working on because it made me sick (thanks to pregnancy hormones)? Well, I pulled it back out a few weeks ago, and I finally finished it. Yea, me! (Thankfully, now it doesn't turn my stomach.) It has a lovely pineapple pattern to it, and it's nice and airy, although I bet it will be warm enough should I ever need it.

Here is a close-up so you can see the pineapples better.


What have you been working on lately?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

This Post is Not for You...

...unless you live in Georgia, that is. Of course, you are welcome to read it, even if you don't live in Georgia.

Did you know that the Georgia governor primaries are coming up soon on July 20? Do you know for whom you will vote? Are you like me (before last week), and you don't even know who is running? Let me encourage you to check out Ray McBerry.

My parents hosted a political party for him last week, and they were very impressed when they met him. (My parents had never hosted a political party before, and they have never put up signs for a candidate before. This behavior is very unusual for them.) Immediately afterward, my mother called me up to tell me about him, and I liked what I heard. I had to read up on him for myself, though, before I could make up my mind. I especially enjoyed this paragraph:
The constitutional Republic given us by our Founding Fathers is in great peril today at the hands of an out-of-control federal government; and our states are now the final guardians of our liberty. It is the privilege and duty of the governor to interpose himself between his people and the enemies of their liberty, even when that threat comes from a federal leviathan. As governor, I will take that stand for the people of Georgia and will invoke the doctrine of interposition on their behalf.
Of course, any candidate that I endorse has to be pro-life. (Being a Christian goes without saying, doesn't it?)
I believe that all children, including the unborn, have a right to life and that the state of Georgia has the responsibility to protect that right. I support amending Georgia law so that it more clearly recognizes these basic rights of the unborn, beginning from the moment of conception.
The protection of innocent persons is one of the few legitimate roles of government.
One thing that you may not learn from his website, Ray McBerry homeschools his son. Just knowing that one piece of information means a lot to me because it says so much more about this man. For those of you who homeschool, or plan to, I think you know what I mean.

For more information, I encourage you to check out Ray McBerry's website. If you do, let me know what you think.

If you plan to vote for someone else, I would love to hear about that candidate and why you support him.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Noisy Toys

I read something this morning that I thought you might be interested in: noisy toys. It seems that a lot of toys designed for our children emit noises louder than advisable, loud enough possibly to harm our children's hearing.

Baby Einstein Farm Friends (Play-A-Song). Fisher Price Laugh & Learn Learning Letters Mailbox. LeapFrog Learn & Groove Counting Maracas. What do these toys have in common? They are noisy and designed for toddler play.

I don't understand why toy manufacturers think they need to make toys so loud. A few of my children's toys have volume control, but Sarah Beth and Daniel always turn it up as loud as it will go. The researcher in this article advises putting tape over the speakers, but my children would just pull it off. I have thought that some of these toys were too loud, now I know that they probably are.

Thankfully, John and I try not to buy too many toys that make noises...because it annoys us! Now I see that there is a better reason -- to protect our children's hearing.

What do you think of these noisy toys?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Independence Day!


If tomorrow all the things were gone
. . I'd worked for all my life,
And I had to start again
. . with just my children and my wife,
I'd thank my lucky stars
. . to be livin' here today.
Cause the flag still stands for freedom
. . And they can't take that away.*

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up
. . next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

From the lakes of Minnesota
... To the hills of Tennessee
... Across the plains of Texas
... From sea to shining sea
... From Detroit down to Houston
... And New York to LA
Well there's pride in every American heart
And its time we stand and say..

That I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA

And I'm proud to be an American
Where at least I know I'm free
And I won't forget the men who died
Who gave that right to me
And I gladly stand up . . next to you and defend her still today
Cause there ain't no doubt I love this land
God bless the USA!



I'm proud to be an American; aren't you?

*Lyrics by Lee Greenwood.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Happy Birthday, John!

Today is my husband's birthday. Unfortunately, I don't have a picture of him to post; we take pictures of our children but not each other, and I think we should remedy that.

We celebrated last night by having my parents, who live in town, over for supper. He asked for barbecue pork (pulled pork) with Cornbread Casserole and a caramel cake for dessert. The first two items were easy enough, but I don't plan to make another caramel cake any time soon! At least, if I'm all alone with three little children underfoot!! It turned out delicious, but it looks awful. And no, I refuse to post a picture!

John bought a little jon boat last weekend, so he is out fishing with Sarah Beth this morning. They got up early and headed out. I have no idea when we will see them again today! I hope they have a good time and catch a few fish.

Tonight (if John and Sarah Beth get back in time!), I think we are heading to my parents' house for some peach ice cream. My mother borrowed our ice cream churn, and she has made batch after batch of this stuff, and we still haven't gotten any. It's our turn now!!

What are your plans for John's birthday, also known as the Day before Independence Day?