Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Four Praises

FIRST PRAISE: our dryer is now in working order again. Praise God for a quick working landlord, and a simple fix. I mentioned that I was so happy to have our dryer back (especially with a baby and cloth diapers!), and L said, "It certainly puts things into perspective. People pay lots for a granite counter top when really all that matters is a working dryer." Well said. Hopefully we'll always remember that.

SECOND PRAISE: L got a GREAT bonus from work this year!! A little less than last year, but certainly more than other times. Yay!! I am in awe of God's provision in our lives.

THIRD PRAISE: I was prepared to do a little shopping at target.com last night for a couple of things for our place. Why online? We never have time in TC. Never. So, instead I shop online and pay shipping, but what did I find? I had $35 on a gift card leftover from a year ago! I almost threw it out, thinking it was used.... so praise God for surprises!

FOURTH PRAISE: the flowers above, from my dear husband for Valentine's Day. I just thought I'd add a touch of spring to this post, since we're in the middle of February, and I'm tired of white. :) Praise God for color, flowers, and a lovely husband. Forgive the lighting... a joy of this time of year!!

God is good!!

Sunday, February 17, 2008

More Green Goodness

So the past couple of posts have been about food. Part of that is because I love food, and enjoy it immensely. The other part is that I've been trying to enjoy the process of cooking, and for the most part, I think it's been successful.

We've had a rough winter as far as sickness goes, meaning all of us have gotten sick more than once in a month period of time. This does not please me. We've dealt with the flu, colds, ear infections, respiratory infections... all since Christmas!!

Finally, after this bout of RSV, I decided to do my best to curb our chances of getting sick again. I've been introducing more and more fruits and veggies into our diet. Now that the babe is able to eat all table foods, she wants what we're eating. It's amazing how she will "beg" for our food (it's cute, but irritating at the same time). Since we want her to be eating healthy, we've been eating well to encourage her to do the same.

One simple way I've found to increase the intake of fruits is just adding a smoothie everyday. Generally the babe and I (and L sometimes too) consume a smoothie as part of our breakfast. I put some vanilla yogurt, milk, banana (lots of this, b/c it's cheap... especially when you buy the "red taped" ones), blueberries, pear or apples (or both sometimes), mango, strawberries (or whatever we have in the house) in the blender and voila! We love it.

We've even tried the "green smoothies" that are all the rage in health circles. L appreciated this much more than E and I did. I'm going to tweak it again and try it in the future, as it's a great way for us to consume some extra greens. :)

As far as the veggies go, I've started a "soup night" once a week. We all enjoyed the butternut squash soup, and the babe really liked the lentil soup (with carrots and spinach). L and I don't love soup, but it's growing on us, especially since the kiddo loves it! What a great way to sneak in some veggies she wouldn't ordinarily eat!

Another couple of things I've found that helps is to have a stir fry night (L loves this), and adding a salad to as many meals as possible. Nothing ground breaking, but it's just helped us to eat healthier, and hopefully, prevent a little sickness along the way. :)

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day!

This was part of my Valentine's Day gift to the husband. It's homemade chocolate cake with whipped cream frosting (his favorite) with strawberries. This is the most amazing cake I've ever had! I also made a stir fry with homemade stir fry sauce (five cloves of garlic.... yum!).

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Green Goodness

I am in love with salads. It happened just recently when I started experimenting a little more with what we had to put on our greens. It's goodness has drawn me in, and now we've a salad with almost every meal lately.

The one pictured, above, though is one of my favorite salads. I just made it last night for the first time, and it was YUMMY. It's simple, too...

Romaine Lettuce
Pomegranate seeds (I froze some seeds over Christmas)
Toasted Walnuts

Normally L's not a fan of fruit in his salad, but he gobbled this one right up. I even made my own dressing, but it wasn't something I loved, so it needs to be tweaked a little bit.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Irresistible Revolution

The RSV lingers on, but it's lessening, praise God. We've spent the last several days in our house, trying to get everyone healthy and preventing the spread of it to other children. This has been a time for me to practice what I was preaching in my previous blog about simplifying our life and enjoying the silence.

Of course, for a stay at home mom, silence can be welcomed, but also deafening. It's welcomed after you hear a constant whine, but deafening when you don't have any adult conversation throughout the day. Both the babe and I look forward to seeing other people - sometimes it seems like she looks at me and is thinking, "You again?" So, as important as it is to simplify our schedule, it's also important to have a good support structure, a community.

This week, for example, I was hoping to reenter society, if at all possible. In fact, we have our two regular playgroups set up, as well as three play dates sort of planned. It seems that many of these outings will be postponed until next week, when we can be sure the kiddo is not as contagious. Ah well. All in the name of parenthood, right?

With us being quarantined to our house, I have started reading like crazy. This week has rejuvenated my love for books. I have finished two books, and working on the other three. The top book in the photo, "The Irresistible Revolution" by Shane Claiborne has really challenged my thinking and interpretation of many of the words Jesus said. I'd strongly encourage anyone to read the book, just for pure conversation on the topic.

He speaks of his internship at a well known, very wealthy church, and how difficult it was to adjust from just coming back from a summer project working with Mother Teresa in Calcutta. Here's one passage from the book by Clairborne, "It was very revealing when I asked someone why there were no crosses at the church and he replied, 'We try to be seeker-sensitive and the cross is not.' To be fair, I know he was referring to the fact that many folks associate the pain of past church experiences with the traditional icons and music, hymnals and pews, so this church got rid of those cultural barriers. And while they proclaim and live the message of the cross in many beautiful ways, there is still something profoundly unsettling about a church a church that has no crosses. True the cross is not always seek sensitive. It is not comfortable. But it is the cornershone of our faith, and I fear that when we remove the cross, we remove the central symbol of the nonviolence and grace of our lover. If we remove the cross, we are in danger of promoting a very cheap grace. Perhaps it should make us uncomfortable. After all it wasn't so comfy to get nailed there."

This book really challenges you to live up to the title. He really encourages radical living for Christ, and has made me re-evaluate what certain passages of scripture mean.

I'm still digesting everything I've read and praying about it. I do agree that many of us (myself included) don't live as the early church did - radically and sold out for Christ. I hope that God would use this book to show me ways for my life to change.