20 February 2018

Her Dream Come True



This girlie has been talking about and planing this event for literally MANY MONTHS.

You see, in our family, we have all birthdays and all major holidays within 4 months of each other, starting at the end of October. This girlie is almost last. So she's had months of seeing everyone else get special preparations and treats and special days. And it's hard to wait when you're 4!!!

At least a couple times a week for months she asks us "How long until my birthday?" Then we tell her the approximate number of days. Then she demands "Show me how many that is" and we flash 10 fingers in the air enough times to match the approximate number of days she mentioned.  Then she (without fail) and with lots of drama proclaims...

"Whyyyyyy is my birthday taking FOOOORREEEEVVVEEEERRR"

Can you hear her saying it?

Cause I can.

And it's adorable, not annoying. Just to be clear.

So then she would usually go on to tell her her plans for her birthday, which included the kind of cake (chocolate, of course) and what she wanted to eat for each meal and where she wanted to go.

And then she ALWAYS asked me, just to make sure (again)... "Can I make the cake with you Mama?"

"Of course you can baby. I'd love that!"

And so here we have it!

Her birthday FIIIINNNNNAAAAAALLLY is here. And she's pretty excited about it.

So,,, she’s five this week. How is that possible? I literally don’t even know.

She makes my heart explode.

19 February 2018

Chocolate Covered Strawberries



She asked if she could make chocolate colored strawberries. I said “yes”. And then she did. She is a dream come true that I didn’t even know that I had.

18 February 2018

Boots by the Sink?



This is the master bathroom. I wish I knew how and why these little pink cowgirl boots got here. I'm stumped. No question though about WHO put them there. That's the easy part.

15 February 2018

Love Based Learning

Last fall when I was, you know… pondering the meaning of life… I landed on LOVE. Love, love, LOVE!!

I’ve continued to think about that, and shape my days and purpose around that. LOVE. It’s seems a bit broad at times. And yet it makes a pretty good guide as to what is worthwhile and what is not.

1 Cor 16:14 “Do everything in love.”

1 Cor 13:1-3 “If I speak in the tongues[a] of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,[b] but do not have love, I gain nothing.

So, I can do all kinds of things with my life! But if ANY of them is done without love, then I’m like a clanging cymbal. Whoa. That’s harsh. Listening to nothing but a cymbal clanging in your ear all day long would be painful, annoying, and maddening.

I don’t wanna be that.

Aaaaannnyyyway, all this talk about love (mostly just in my head, of course) has me thinking about this…

What would LEARNING based in LOVE look like?

I have no answers. It’s just been on my mind.

Education is complicated here where we live. In some ways the options are endless. In other ways the options feel very little. And when I need to consider the best options each year for each of my four children, it’s got me thinking a lot about education. And what is the point of education? What kind of education do I want my kids to have? What do I want it to look like?

I’m starting to form some answers to those questions. Starting to consider the future. But as I do, I have this question floating in my head… of how is LOVE involved in LEARNING?

If we start to educate at home (a peek into my future), I definitely don’t want it to be like a clanging cymbal. I want it to be dripping in love. The love of God. The love of a mother. The love for a life together at home. The love of learning new things. The love of creating.

I think it can happen.

I think I’d like to try.

14 February 2018

My Four Valentines



These little valentines are pretty easy to please. Love them so.

A Lifetime Ago...



Flashback, to what feels like a lifetime ago. Oh, the adventures we had... 

13 February 2018

Tiny Drilling Helpers



I guess you're never too young to help with a drilling project. She held the vacuum and he ‘volunteered’ to turn it on and off. I didn’t even know he knew how to do that. Happy little helpers.

10 February 2018

I Miss my Best Friend



It’s been 8 days solo parenting while this man travels. And I miss him so much. Not because he does so much with the kids and is a great father. Not because he helps around the house and lightens my load. But because he’s my best friend and life is just better with him in my daily life.

(This photo is us, tanned and glowing on our honeymoon.)

08 February 2018

Skittle Trading



Skittle trading is serious business.

Leaky Gut Diet... Done



I just finished 30 days of the leaky gut diet. And I feel amazing.

I’ve learned so much about healing foods. I've learned so much about the level of self-control I can exhibit. And I've learned how good I can feel when I eat clean.

In a nutshell it was no grains, no legumes, no dairy, no sugar, limited fruits, and nothing processed.

For breakfast I'd often have eggs scrambled in butter with onions, an occasional fried sweet potato, and a cup of peppermint tea with collagen added. For lunch it was bone broth or healing turmeric cauliflower soup made with bone broth and a big salad with romaine, baked chicken breast, sunflower seeds, and a glug of olive oil.  For dinner I almost always ate a huge pile of sautéed or roasted veggies and beef patties or kofta (a local way to prepare ground beef). I'd have an evening snack (not pictured) of walnuts, one square 85% dark chocolate and a cup of cinnamon ginger tea with collagen, 5 drops of stevia and a spoon of coconut oil. I was also taking a whole list of supplements throughout the day.

This was a challenging month, but I did it and I'm so glad!

07 February 2018

He Adores Her



She is THE SWEETEST little Mama. B adores her. So do I.

06 February 2018

Calm Sleeping Angel (6 months after surgery)



This evening, I sat and marveled at this angel. Six months ago we had her tonsils and adenoids removed. Recovery was awful. But since then, she sleeps in such peace. No snoring, no tossing and turning. No apnea. It's an remarkable change and I'm so thankful. If you know my girl, you KNOW she needs her some good sleep to power her through her spunky and energy-full days.  She is so special. How I love her.

Classic Toddler Entertainment...



The dryer. 

Building Rhythms

Just heard Sally Clarkson use this phrase in a recent podcast… “Building rhythms of expectation.”

She was using it, I believe, in the context of what we are cultivating in our homes.

It resonated with me for the following reasons:

1. Rhythms are great.

Just in the past month, when I unexpectedly had my children home with me all the time because of a long school holiday that I did not know was coming… rhythms changed my life!!! In the past, long stretches of time (weeks, I’m talking) at home with my children while Mike keeps his regular work schedule have been SO CHALLENGING for me. It’s embarrassing to admit. They’re my kids! Can’t I handle them? Can’t I cope with having them at home with me?

Ugh. Apparently not that well.

I knew the long break this year was going to be challenging. So with some input from friends, I organized a rough schedule for our days. I won’t go into details now, but let me say that this long school break was TOTALLY REDEMPTIVE for me! I enjoyed our time together so much and was truly sad to send them back to school a few days ago.

All because of a few rhythms to structure our days at home.

Halleluiah!

2. Expectations are everything.

I went through a season when I would walk a block to pick up Mister B from his nursery school a few mornings a week. I’d carry him home just after lunch, change his diaper, and INTENTIONALLY not even allow his feet to touch the floor in our home. I took him from the diaper changing table straight to his crib for his nap. Every time. And you know what? He settled into his nap easily and quickly and quietly!

These days, I haven’t been keeping that rhythm, and you know what? The boy cries basically every time I lay him down.

The difference? Expectations.

When he knows what is to come and it happens, he settles happily into this comforting rhythm. When I change it up and he doesn’t know if he’s going to have to go to bed now or later or not at all, then he gets confused and in the end, angry that he has to lay down.

SO

All that to say.

I want to build beautiful rhythms of expectations in my home for myself and my children. I believe it can make a big difference in our home life, and I’m gonna work on that! I’m not talking about legalistic structure that I become a slave to. I’m talking about life-giving patterns to help shape our days.

05 February 2018

Tiny Apprentice



H bakes bread weekly to sell to friends to earn money. He's been doing it for at least a year and cake bake independely. And his bread is GOOD. Lemmetellya.

The other day I turned around to see this... lessons in bread kneading with his tiny brother. B wasn't so sure about touching that lump at first. But then he got into it...

He is just the sweetest big brother you ever did meet.

Tot Talking

It’s so fun when toddlers start to talk more. They reach a certain stage where new words start coming daily. That is where Mister B is at right now and I’m enjoying it so much. Some of his words are Arabic, which is just so neat (although none in this 20 mins).

Here is just 20 minutes of words… from the time I got him out of bed, to the time I dropped him on at nursery school…

“Toes” He said as I walked into his room. He said that because he had taken off his pajamas and he could see his toes!

“Poo-Poo” came next. He was right about that one. Next he needs to learn “blow-out” so that this Mama can have proper warning.

“Ewwwwww” he said as I changed his diaper. Very accurate. He’s so bright.

When I mentioned that he needed to have a quick bath, he replied “Baaaaff”. (He loves a bath.)

When the water wasn’t warm enough, he told me “cold”.

When I told him he had to go in anyway, he said “No” (typical).

When I put him in anyway (it was just a rinse off for a few seconds, really), he said again “Cold!”

I got him out and was dressing him, so we said goodbye to his “Toes” again when I put his socks on.

He kept saying “Doe” “Doe” “Doe” and I figured out he was telling me he wanted to GO! When I asked him if he wanted to go to school he emphatically nodded his head. Then he said “School”.

Before we left, we had to brush his “Teef” of course. But when I set him on the bathroom counter, it was also “cold”.

We left the house to get in the elevator and he told the elevator “Hello” and then he said “Up” (because it was coming up from a lower floor).

Then we drove several minutes to school, during which I was singing acapella the whole time in the car. He heard the phrase “You are good” (from this song) a lot in that short time… so when I parked and went to get him out of his seat, he said “Mama!… Oooo areee dooood” in the sweetest little sing songy voice!

And lastly, when I carried him to the door, he reminded me that he wanted to be the one to ring the “ning nong” (ding dong… doorbell).

And off he went, happy as a clam.

He makes my heart burst.

04 February 2018

Book Fair Fun



Great day for the book fair with a friend! Best finds? Babysitter's Club for my girls and a fat art book H and I can look through together in the fall. WE LOVE BOOKS!!!

03 February 2018

Merry-Go-Round



Now this is some good childhood fun. These must be considered unsafe in the U.S., cause I haven't seen one there in years. But safety isn't so much of a concern here... and my kids are having a great time! We see these lots of places and I love it.

02 February 2018

Last Minute Game



Making time for one more game with the big kids before he leaves for the airport in half an hour (even though he hasn't packed yet). Sending our main man off for 8 days feels harder for me this time... life is just so good together! I like him so much. Gonna miss him.

Her Antics

Today we drank tea, bopped to country music and worked on our numbers. This girl was more than entertaining with her antics.

Classic Lil’A.

How I love her.

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01 February 2018

Numbers, Tea, Music, and This Girlie



Sipping tea, working on our numbers, boppin’ to country music and enjoying this girlie’s shenanigans. That was half an hour well spent.
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