Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Some Great Recipes

Here is my plug for Cooking Light. I have received this magazine for many years, and as one who loves to cook (and cook healthy meals), it is well worth subscribing. I have yet to make something that doesn't "turn out," and we have loved most of the recipes. Here are a couple of things we have tried this past week that I thought I would pass along.

Classic Italian Panini with Prosciutto and Fresh Mozzarella
Barley Risotto with Julienne Chicken and Parmesan

I added some poultry seasoning to the chicken in the risotto and also a bit of garlic (I love garlic). This dish was sent to me by Matt (one of his patients had a child with food allergies and recommended it.) We just scooped Owen out a portion before we added the cheese. We also added some shaved Parmesan on top. Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Hangin' Around

Owen loves climbing into the fort. He really loves doing anything Micah does. We try to tell Micah that Owen is watching, so he needs to be a good example. I know that is a big responsibility for a three year old, but I guess that is part of being the big brother.

Despite the occasional sibling rivalry, these two are starting to become buddies. Matt and I do, however, certainly have to facilitate. I think I expected them to just be best friends, but I am often reminded that they are selfish, and this too will take much work. Matt and I try to teach them things that they can have fun doing together to avoid the tugging of Mega Blocks, and throwing of cars. I think in general though, they will get along very well. Micah loves to be in charge and have things very particular, and Owen is usually very obliging, mostly doing whatever Micah wants! We are working hard on teaching the boys that love is an action. Even when we don't "feel" like loving someone, that is what we are called to do. Ginger Plowman, in her book Heaven at Home, says that "today's culture would like for us to believe that it is normal for siblings to not get along and not 'like' each other. [Siblings on television] are often seen fighting, yelling, name-calling, or belittling one another with hateful remarks. " She comments that in a Christian home this behavior should not be expected or brushed off as "normal," and that "it's important for parents to pro-actively cultivate unity and friendship." She lists ways to help them serve one another, support one another, and put priority on their friendships with one another. This is certainly a tough task, but we trust the Lord to send His Spirit to help when we don't feel like "loving."

We have had a bit of a nap issue these days, which explains Micah's tired eyes. Oh, and we had a mishap at the zoo, which explains the black and white attempt to hide his bruises!

Friday, July 25, 2008

New Shoes

We were excited today as the UPS man rang the doorbell holding a package from Piperlime (by the way, they have some great stuff and free shipping and free returns.) Owen has outgrown his Umis, but he hasn't wanted to let them go. We will tell him to go get his shoes, and he always brings those to put on. We have tried some of Micah's old shoes, but he still seems a little clumsy in them. He is top heavy (see July 22 post) and therefore has to work a little harder to keep his balance, so he surely doesn't need clunky tennis shoes to trip him up! We were on the lookout for some shoes similar to Umis for him because before a couple of weeks ago, Umis only went up to a size 4. I was so happy when I happened to look one more time on and found that Umi had two new pair of puggles both in a size 5. We went with the orange because they seemed a little more fun. Owen couldn't put his new shoes on fast enough this afternoon.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Some Comforting Words

And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him.
Colossians 1:21-22

And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross.
Colossians 2:13-14

The past two morning have been wonderful. My sweet, thoughtful husband has brought me my coffee in bed before he has headed out for the office, and the boys have slept till 9 both mornings. This almost never happens. Matt often brings me coffee on Tuesday and Wednesday mornings, but mainly because Owen is ready for Mama. The fact that the boys slept in today was a huge blessing. I have been somewhat down in the dumps the past few weeks. Not about anything in particular, just kind of blah. It probably doesn't help that I have been so busy that I have, stupidly I know, kept my Bible on the bedside table. I have been so tired that I have often fallen asleep praying. I guess I have been in somewhat of a spiritual depression. I felt overwhelmed today as my Heavenly Father woke me several times last night. I was scared. I don't know what of; I just kept hearing things and my imagination was getting the best of me. I even put my phone under the pillow with my hands gripping it in case I needed to call someone for help. The only thing I could do was pray. This morning I opened my Bible to Colossians and was comforted by these verses. It is the Lord who reconciles us, who makes us alive in His Son. It is the Lord who brought healing to my soul this morning with this reminder. While I was busy putting the Lord second and suffering for it, He was busy renewing my heart and giving me gentle nudges to pray and open His word. While I was busy losing my patience with a tired and grumpy 3 year old, He was busy convicting me and assuring me of His love and forgiveness. Thank you Lord.

I pray you will find assurance of pardon as well in these verses.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

We are Back

We didn't go anywhere, but for the past week or so we have just been catching up and resting. We have been on the go for the past couple of months, and we just needed a break. So, I also took a break from blogging and caught up on some reading, housework, and just watched a little food network! I have many things to post, but for now I will post about sweet Owen. He turned 15 months on the 14th, and we had our well baby check yesterday. Here are his stats: Weight: 21 pounds (15%), length: 30 1/4 inches (20%), and head circumference: 19 1/4 (90%). He is staying pretty consistent with his slim physique and huge head! He is on track developmentally, and the doctor referred us to the pediatric allergist to discuss Owen's food allergies. (I have found yet some more foods for Owen that are great for the whole family: flax seed meal, and pearl barley. My sweet husband e-mailed me a recipe for the pearl barley that Owen and the rest of us can enjoy. If it is good, I will certainly pass it along.) Owen says many words to me, none for anyone else including Dada. He gets very shy and will almost never perform. He will point to pictures in books, loves birds and airplanes, and gives a big yell and point when he sees one. He will probably be a rock climber one day, and loves trucks and playing outside. He mostly wants to be just like his big brother, but loves rough housing with the boys, and cuddling with his Mama.

Owen, you are so dear to us. You show us what a content spirit looks like, and you melt our hearts with your beaming smiles! We pray your continued health as the Lord grows you up to be more like Jesus. May He give us many years with you, precious boy.

The pictures are from eating watermelon on the newly manicured lawn (thank you, thank you, Nana!) I love that Owen loves it so much, that despite all the foods he can't have, God has still given him wonderful foods to enjoy. I am not sure he would have given up his watermelon for anything else last night!

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Bountiful Harvest

We took a trip to the Nashville Farmer's Market today and this is what we came home with. I have wanted to go weekly, but we have had so many guests in town that we haven't had a chance. The selection was amazing, and we only spent $20 (not including lunch which consisted of a philly cheese steak and some of the best mac n cheese and green beans we have ever had. Micah kept saying how much he loved going to the Farmer's market after his first taste.) We had one of the heirloom tomatoes and a cucumber with dinner (I added a little milk to some store bought ranch and stirred in some chopped, fresh herbs to drizzle on top of the salad,) and we had some blackberries and sugar plums for dessert--delicious! . Next weekend I think we will stop by the Franklin Farmer's Market to check out their selection.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Mama's Helper

Owen loves to mop and vacuum these days. I hear of stories of babies who are scared of the vacuum. I guess since I have mine out practically every day, the boys have learned to love it instead! Ellie is still pretty unsure though. She chases it and barks loudly, because she thinks I am going to run the boys over!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

New Foods for Owen

These are some of the new foods I have found for Owen. He loves the turkey dogs, along with a sausage made by the same company, and we all do too. They taste great and better still, no nitrites. The Supertots have also been a hit with Micah, who loves eating his letters! I am just so thankful that there is a market for convenience foods for allergy sufferers. We have also tried quinoa (a type of grain or seed; I am not sure which) that is an excellent source of protein. It has an amino acid that most grains are lacking, making it a great choice for Owen. We have also bought some buckwheat. It is really not wheat at all, but a fruit and also has the high quality protein. You can use buckwheat flour in baking, for pancakes, and instead of oatmeal for breakfast. Owen has been a great sport about all his new foods. He hasn't complained and has eaten everything even when I can tell it is not his favorite. Last night, after every bite of quinoa (one that he wasn't too sure about,) I would make a big to do and clap loudly. He thought it was so funny and would keep taking bites, so he could clap his hands with Mama. The bright side to his allergies: Owen will have a very mature palate from all of this. He is trying things at 15 months that I have only just tried at 27!

Monday, July 07, 2008

Fourth of July

My dad and his wife came in town for the fourth of July weekend. We decided to go see some fireworks in a neighboring town. It was a little adventurous seeing as how the show did not begin until 9:30 (way past bedtime,) and we weren't sure if the boys would love it or get scared. We were pleasantly surprised at the turnout. The show was great, the night was cool, and the boys had a blast. Owen kept his paci in most of the time but was mesmerized by the lights. Micah loved running through the field, counting the blasts, and making funny faces at the camera. On Saturday we spent a restful day around the house. My brother and his wife came over to cook out. I included some pictures of Owen with the watermelon. I think he ate half of it by himself!

Night Shift

After the boys' baths, Micah plays DJ, and Owen keeps us entertained with his new dance moves. It wasn't quite 3 AM, but Owen still wanted to go to bed. I thought this was funny because he would get sucked into the music, but stop for a few fusses. Notice Micah counting his fingers off to the side. He loves to start the song over and count to the beat.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Blast From the Past

This past week, our friends, the Costellos, were visiting. We were blessed to have them for a whole week, and today was a bit hard without them. All of a sudden, the house was too quiet, and I found myself with tears running down my cheeks. Drew, Jamie, Sam, and Riley lived down the street from us in Memphis. It was truly a treat to live a few houses down from like minded people that we all got along with. Jamie and I got together nearly every day, and would often take turns having dinner at our houses when the guys got home from school. I knew this was such a blessing at the time, but hadn't quite realized just how much I missed it until today. It was an emotional trip all together. We were all longing for the future when they could (Lord willing) move here, while simultaneously wishing there was some way to prolong the next few weeks. Drew is leaving for Iraq on the 18th for twelve months. Although we didn't dwell on this, the reality of what this trip was (a stop on the way to Pennsylvania, where Jamie will live with her family until Drew returns) was still there. My heart hurts for them. We know the Lord has them in the palm of His hand, that He will give Jamie strength to raise her children without Drew, that He will use this situation for good in their lives. They have worked hard to instill values in their children. They have been consistent to teach them about the Lord, and will now be able to teach them that even though parents have to leave sometimes, He never leaves.

On a happier note, the visit was wonderful. The Costello kids fell right into stride and acted like they owned the place. Those of you with babies know that this is often not the case when traveling. We went on walks, went swimming, went to the zoo, grilled out, etc. Micah loved having his friends in town. Lately we have had lots of visitors, and thankfully Micah has started to accept and love this. For those of you who don't know Micah, he hated visitors when he was a baby. He would seriously cry the entire time. This visit, he laughed most of the time. He thought Sam was a riot (I thought so too!) She was often in her bathing suit (just because) and would tell the funniest stories. Micah loved jumping, kissing, and tackling her. Riley was adorable. I think his favorite was Ellie. Every morning he would yell "a da" which meant "a dog." Owen loved watching and tried to play with the "big kids." We even got one night out without the children because Matt's parents were so kind to babysit. Enjoy some of the pictures from our trip. Of course, I didn't have the camera out nearly enough. Costellos, we miss you guys already. Standfast and hold onto His promise that He will never leave you or forsake you.