This week at our homeschool center Esther received two darling baby gifts. The first was given to us by Simplystork my sweet blogger friend. It was a brown paper package all tied up with string - one of my favorite things :0)!!! She had crocheted a darling hat and shawl with ribbons and ruffles. So VERY cute.
Modeling with big sister
The other gift was from another sweet friend - the daughter of my blogger friend Ross' Country Cottage. Sweet Hannah. Esther loves her bunny.
These friends are lovely people and it was a delight to see them at school again after a summer apart. God has gifted me with such marvelous people as friends!!!
With the change of seasons I crave different foods - I suppose we all do!! With the cool and damp weather returning to our Pacific Northwest area it seems time for those yummy soups and stews that I love to make. Earlier this week I got out the soup pot and began my Autumn menus. Comfort food!! Makes everyone want to come to the table and be together. It's one of my favorite times of the day - looking across the table at my growing family - eating and talking and sharing their day with each other. I am overwhelmed with the goodness of God at those moments - and it is why I love to cook so much!!!!
Yummy, thick lentil soup seasoned with creole seasoning (not too hot for the little ones) and corn bread with butter and huckleberry honey. Cinnamon bread pudding with nectarines topped with warm vanilla sauce (made with the leftover homemade bread from the other day)
For the last few weeks we have been trying to get Esther to take a binkie. In this very busy household it is important for baby to have something to keep her happy for a few minutes while Mommy does a few things (like make meals for the hords that are always asking "What's for dinner?") Also with older kids around baby spends more time in the car seat than she would like. So we invested in several different kinds of very cute, pink binkies with sweet butterflies and hearts and stuff on them. She kept rejecting them with a LOT of protesting, funny faces and fussing!! Well, with our homeschool schedule ramping up Mommy was getting desperate enough to try anything, so I broke down and bought the one binkie that I really did NOT want to give her - and guess what?!! She loves it!!! It has got to be the weirdest looking binkie I have ever seen!! She likes it so that's all that matters right now. But I secretly still wish she would like the cute, pink ones with butterflies on them :0)!!! Just a cute note: my 5 year old daughter calls pacifiers "suckifiers". I guess that makes more sense to her.
The collection of cute, pink binkies Mommy likes: The weird green binkies that baby likes:
She LIKES it - even if she does look funny with a big green thing in her mouth - not really - she looks cute ALL the time :0)!!
P.S. Hi, Papa and Grandma, I know you're peeking :0)
My mother-in-law gave me a cutting of a houseplant that I thought was really pretty a few years ago (5 to be exact). It didn't do very well for quite a while in my home - it took me a while to find the conditions that made it really happy. I guess I finally found the place and the watering schedule that made it thrive - look what it did!!! It bloomed the prettiest flower! And it smells really good too!!! I think it's really happy now because it has a second bud. You can bet I'm not moving this plant - any furniture moving or Christmas tree placement has to go around it :0)!!
The clouds have returned and Fall is in the air. Time for me to crank up the oven and start baking again. During the summer time not many baked goods come out of my oven - to busy playing outside (or this summer - having babies!!). Today I baked bread - my all time favorite thing to bake!! There is something so soothing about kneading bread dough and the smell of rising yeast is so yummy. One of my Big boys came in and said Fall had definitely arrived because it was cloudy and chilly outside and the indoors smelled like bread. Welcome Autumn.
Things were crazy at my house today and I felt myself heading in the direction of crazy myself so I decided to sneak away and take a quick walk - after all if I have to have teenagers in my home I should make use of them right? I asked them to watch the little ones for me - they quickly agreed - I must have been more cranky than I realized :0)!! So off I went with Esther in the sling. Well, I actually had to put the other little ones back in the house several times and tell them Mommy needed to go alone - big brothers would be watching them -I would only be gone 20 minutes. So after attemping to sneak away I finally got my walk started. I took my camera just for fun to see what might strike my fancy.
I loved the deep blue of these Hydrangas I was thinking of my friend Kim over at Ross' Country Cottage when I took this picture
I wish they made scratch and sniff photos - this huge pile of cedar chips smelled SO good toasting in the sunshine
Everytime I pass this house when I'm walking I have to laugh. The owners have filled their yard with these unusally shaped trees - there are many differet shapes - I think they mush just LOVE Dr. Suess - these trees are living versions of the ones in his books!!
Yum - these looked so good
And finally a sure sign summer is drawing to a close - the colors looked so pretty against the blue sky!!
I came home from my walk relaxed and much happier - there is something so good about looking outside myself and seeing the world from a different point of view!!
We went to the fruit stand this weekend. I know that may sound like a strange outing but it is sorta like Disneyland to my kids!! Seriously!! I think that they would like it if they got left behind there!! They love looking at all the fruits and veggies and they beg like kids at a candy store for all the goodies. (Have you ever heard a kid say "PLEASE MOMMY, BUY SOME BEETS!!!!") I confess that the fruit stand is one of my favorite places as well. I love the smells and the colors and the atmosphere. I also feel so good about getting things that are so healthy and tasty. Our stand publishes a newsletter that has great recipes that I look forward to every month. It is a sad day at the end of October when our stand closes for the winter and I count the days until March arrives and it opens again. Until then I will be enjoying all the unusual squashes and cabbages and BEETS that we will have from our local fruit stand.
Have you ever wanted God to write on the wall to you like He did in the Old Testament story? I sure have. It would make life so much easier if He answered my prayers that way!! Well, God did that for me today!! In the haze of postpartum hormones the last few weeks I asked Him to help me deal with the anxiety and depression that I experience after that babies are born. Today He wrote me a love note on the wall of hope, promise and encouragement. It was such a pretty note that I took a picture of it to share:
I know this beautiful spectrum was from a wandering sunbeam that snuck in my living room window but I also know these wonderful colors were created by God and I believe He wanted to share them with me to cheer my day - He's that kind of God!!! He loves me that much!! Amazing!!! I hope your Friday will be filled with special love notes from God as well!!
Our President has issued a proclamation that today September 11, 2008 and every September 11 from now on be Patriot Day in memory of the horrible happenings of that day in 2001 and the sacrifice of those who rushed to the aid of the innocent victims. We are to fly our flags at half mast (even those of us at home).
In remembering this tragedy and the heroic deeds of so many I am reminded that my own life is only what it is because of the amazing sacrifice of One who lived many years before me and yet I have the privilege of knowing Him personally right now. I pray today that the peace of my Savior and Lord will fill the survivors and families of the victims and that they also will know Jesus and be saved by His ultimate sacrifice.
(you can find the president's proclamation on the White House web page)
With the return of good weather in our area we decided to take a trip to the beach (one of our favorite places!!) The time for a warm trip without the need for rain gear is quickly running out so it's important to take advantage of every sunny moment right now!!
First things first - shoes OFF!! Hunting for treasures (or animals) - one of the best parts of a beach trip!!
The beach is such a facinating place!!
We are blessed to live in such a beautiful place - God created so much amazing beauty everywhere. I'm not a very traveled person so I guess I can't say for sure but I do believe we live in on of the most wonderous places on earth!! Every time I go to the beach and look at the sea anemones, urchins, sea stars and baby crabs I am amazed at God's creativity. We could go to the beach WAY more often than we do and never be bored!!
One of my favorite things of summer is fresh tomatoes, although I will confess this year my garden has produced very few tomatoes (the tomatoes in the picture are store-bought, the basil is from my veggie patch). I have beem making a very yummy salad this summer that's super easy - easy is very important in my home right now :0)!!
Fresh tomatoes and basil Chop up tomatoes Stack and roll up basil leaves - then cut with scissors Add several handfuls of mozarella cheese, a splash of olive oil, a dash of salt and pepper - stir and Yum you are done!!!:0) Summer salads are the best!!
This weekend we had a surprise. My Dad and Mom came back to town unexpectedly. My Dad had decided it was the right time to finish dealing with my Grandmother's belongings. She went to be with Jesus in June. So it was time for the grandchildren to find some things from her home that we may enjoy. It was a bitter sweet task. My grandmother was raised a Quaker so she had many beautiful things in her home that she never displayed as that would have been vanity. There were some surprises in her cupboards. The sweet part of the weekend was listening to my Dad tell stories about his childhood (some my be tall tales!:0) or my Dad was a very mischievous boy!!). It was also really special to hear stories of my grandmother's childhood that my Dad had grownup hearing. I will share two of the precious things that I now have in my home that will remind me of her.
Years ago my grandparents took a trip to Ireland that they really enjoyed - they picked up several pieces of Beleek china and each of us girls got to pick a piece. This is a tiny creamer (the china is so thin you can practically see through it.)
This my Dad picked out for me (that also makes this very special). It is a child's chocolate set that was given to my Great-aunt in 1903 by their neighbors who had immigrated from Germany (I think their child out-grew it). After that, it was passed to my grandmother who had tea-parties with her daughter and her friends. The real treasure is the hand written note from my grandma telling the story of this set!!
I also was able to pick out a teacup for each of my daughters and for my future daughters-in-law. I really love the idea of being able to give these to my children for their home and say "This was your Great-grandmother's"
During this week-end my husband and I talked about treasures and how the value of things has nothing to do with money but everything to do with the stories that surround them. We talked about how families create treasures - spending time around the table, playing together, and enjoying each other's company. It is so important to do all these things - it builds strong families and wonderful treasures that last for more than just the moment but generations!!