Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Low Key Holidays

We decorated for Christmas today. My new decorating policy is below:

If it takes more than two hours, it's going back in the attic till next year.

I am embracing the truth that it doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. I was wrapping our tree with some burlap ribbon. I couldn't get it right. I headed to the computer to look up a picture of how to wrap a tree with burlap. My wise 9 year old stopped me and said, "Mom, it looks good. It looks like you. I like the way you did it. You don't need some silly picture off the internet to show you how to do it. It looks like you." The kids hung 95% of the ornaments and I did not rearrange them. We had fun.

Our stockings don't match but they are still lovely. 

We hosted Thanksgiving for my babydad's fam this year. I had so much fun setting the table and the bar. I took one picture. Ooopsie. I was busy enjoying our people. We got our turkey from Freckle Face Farms. It was divine. 

So y'all, get off pinterest and go throw some lights and ornaments on the tree and have fun. Relax. Sit on the couch. Drink some hot tea. Take a nap. Tis the season to chill out. 

Monday, June 30, 2014

My Ma's Green Enchiladas Revamped

Dear Mom,

Don't hate me, but I changed your enchilada recipe. I really don't understand why you never told me that Velveeta is not real cheese. After all these years of thinking it was some super fancy, nutritious, gourmet,  soft cheese, I was mortified to learn that my cheese of choice is actually not cheese. Since my best recipes started with your cooking, I had to change this recipe to include more real cheese. I made it for several of my friends and they all went crazy over it and have essentially hounded me to give them the recipe. So, here it is. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me for changing it. Thanks for teaching me how to cook and how to love people by feeding them really good (cheese) food. Teehheeehhee.

Love you forever,

Green Enchiladas

2 dozen soft taco or fajitas sized flour tortillas
1 large onion, chopped
1 large bell pepper, chopped
about 4-6 cups shredded colby jack
1 pound ground beef
1 pound chorizo
6 tablespoons butter
6 tablespoons flour
3-4 cups whole milk or half and half
medium sized can chopped green chiles (or chopped jalapenos if you're brave)

Brown meats with onion and bell pepper. Drain. Make the cheese sauce by melting the butter on the stove, then stir in the flour to form a paste (over medium heat) and very gradually add the milk, about a cup at a time and then add about 2-3 cups cheese at the end, then add the chiles. You can tweak the sauce as you prepare it. You want it pourable, but not too soupy. It's kind of like a really simple cheese dip. Set that aside and stuff the enchiladas. Fill each tortilla with about 1/4 cup meat mixture and a 1/4 (or less) cup of cheese. Line them up in every 9x13 pan you possess and drown them in cheese sauce. Bake at 325 for thirty minutes. Serve with sour cream, just in case you need more dairy in your diet. These freeze excellently. Enjoy! Throw a party and feed your people!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Good-bye Phone and Facebook, Hello Summer

We started our Summer off right with a trip to the beach. 
My grandparents joined us and we had a lovely time. 

We came home to several weeks full of year-end activities. Brooklyn and Gramm played soccer, and Vivian finished her semester of gymnastics. 

The big kids (AKA Gramm, Vivian and Brooklyn) found this snake, named him Slither Fort Wild, and made him this "habitat" in an old box. Slither Fort Wild bit Gramm on one of his fingers the day of his piano recital. Gramm survived. 

And he made us all proud at his piano recital. 

We celebrated the one year anniversary of our baby boy's adoption. He loves strawberries and whipped cream which we had over brownies (of course!) on his special day. 

We started a very informal supper club with two other couples. We hosted the first night. I made lasagna, the other ladies brought dessert, salad, and bread.

These beautiful girls...they love me and I love them. I'm blessed. 

Front yard picnic for Gramm and his super fun and adventurous buddy, John Isaac. 

Vivian, Brooklyn, Roman and our sweet little girly friend, Caroline (John Isaac's sister), 
painted some huge boxes in our driveway. 

Do you wonder what was in those huge boxes? Our new swingset! The kids have been saving for a while for this swingset and my skilled hubby had it all set up in under 6 hours. 

Sometime after our trip to the beach, my hubby and I decided that I was just too attached to my phone. I've been putting it away during the day some and just generally trying to ignore it. I was letting my phone rule my life, steal my focus, and distract me to no end. Not having my face in my phone has been wonderful, but it's also shown me that I still spend too much time on the dad-blamed Facebook! Oh, Facebook! My big kids and my hubby all want me to get off Facebook. I want them to know I hear them and I want to show my family through my actions, that it is a joy and privilege and honor to be their wife and mother. My dear readers from Facebook, please subscribe to my blog, because I'm going to be off Facebook indefinitely. On the top right corner of this page is an area where you can subscribe to my posts by email, just enter your email address and my blog posts will come straight to your email inbox. Signing off for now, love to you all. 

Thursday, April 24, 2014

My Baby

Ro woke up the other night crying. We thought he was teething, his Daddy gave him tylenol, comforted him and put him back to bed. Within a few minutes, Ro's crying had escalated to an all out scream. I went to him, picked him up and sat down to rock him. He wrapped his little arms around my shoulders, laid down his head and very quietly said, "Mama." I said, "That's right, Mama's here." He slumped against me and sighed. That moment, and that sweet little sigh, was so precious to me.


Adoption has been better than I expected and harder than I expected. But, he knows that I'm his mama. He hardly ever says my name and really prefers to say, "Dada! Hi Dada!" whenever he sees his Daddy. And, that's okay because he knows he's my baby, and I know I'm his mama.

adoption day last May

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Musings on Navigating Life as the Biggest, Deepest, Most Emphatic Feeler Ever

Sometimes, I hurt. You know, little things, such as an off-the-cuff remark that I've misunderstood, embarrassment because I said the wrong thing, feeling left out, misunderstood, and generally feeling like a failure as a mom/wife/sister/friend. I'm not writing this looking for sympathy. I'm writing this to provide hope for all you other feely feelers out there.

What do I do when I feel these things? I get sad, mad, maybe a little depressed. Typically, I figure out that I need to sit down and journal my thoughts, also known as hugging it out with God. I try to process my feelings with loving, healthy individuals who understand me. I read my Bible. I listen to Nancy Leigh DeMoss (we're best friends actually, but she doesn't know it).

But sometimes I just want to run away and hide from all relationships, except mothering and wife-ing. I think that if I can avoid relationships, things won't get messy. If I didn't desire community or deep relationships, my life would be so much easier. If I could just stop FEELING so much then maybe I could get some peace. Maybe I could be okay.

About a month ago, I actually Googled the phrase, "how to change your personality" and then read Wikipedia's suggestions and considered applying the knowledge I'd acquired. But God made me who I am. I'm wired to love people. I'm wired to be loyal almost to a fault. I'm wired to desire more than surface relationships. I'm wired to want friends in my life, to have deep conversations, to feed all my people, and to open the door of my house to any non-dangerous humans. I'm also wired to feel another's pain so deeply. I'm wired to feel other's joys almost as if they are my own.

I remember the day my friend, Julie, found out she was expecting her little girl and called to tell me her news. I was so happy that I sat there, phone to my ear, speechless, with tears streaming down my face. I vividly remember seeing someone I've loved my whole life suffering under a great amount of hurt and I remember crying right alongside. And then crying for several nights afterward whenever this situation came to my mind.
It's good that I feel. For years, I've been so frustrated with this part of myself. But, I'm finally seeing that it's a good thing to feel deeply. The world needs feelers and lots of them. I often get hurt, but I know the Healer. He made me and He understands me.

The Lord has taught me so much through my deepest hurts. For the past two years, give or take a few months, I have consistently felt more hurt than I ever thought I would feel, from situations that I never dreamed would cause such pain. All this hurting has lead me straight past the self-loathing to Jesus. The path to self-loathing is so tempting. Sometimes, I wander down that path and have a moment of, "What the heck is wrong with me!?" But that path leads nowhere. I don't want my kids to ever see me on that path. (I feel the need to insert this truth here: There's a huge difference between taking responsibility for my actions and seeking to make things right if needed versus beating myself up over and over again for making mistakes.) But God continues to meet me right there, when I'm overwhelmed by guilt and shame. Right when I'm feeling like I do everything wrong and I am so messed up He ministers peace to me. He reminds me of His love for me. He reminds me that though my sins are as scarlet, He has made them white as snow. He reminds me that He has compassion for me. He reminds me that He loves me deeply. And, He reminds me that Jesus was a man of sorrows. He has felt pain far worse than I and there was nothing wrong with Him.

So, all you feelers out there, you are not alone. You are dearly loved. You are lovely. Feeling hurt does not mean you are, in some way, defective. We were made to feel.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

How to Have Fun With Your People

Take the baby to the zoo for the first time ever. He will smile. You will smile. A lot. 

Take the twins and the baby to the flower and garden show. They will last maybe 45 minutes. Buy a really pretty bird feeder and get a burger on the way home. 

Let your kids join you occasionally during your quiet time...they are watching you. This girl's journal entry, "I love you God. So much. You are the sweetest."

Make a cape for the cutest four year old in your life. 

Last but not least, don't do the laundry. Pray that you will someday get caught up. Look forward to Summer when your family lives in bathing suits, sundresses, shorts, and flip flops.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Life Lately

My big boy taught himself how to eat with a spoon.

My babydad and I cleared out this little space and are prepping it to become a playhouse. Shhhh...don't tell the kids!

I made goat cheese biscuits for a neighborhood girlie dinner partay spear headed by my genius pal, Julie.

My babe discovered cheese dip while on a mommy and kids date with one of my faves. Obviously, he enjoyed it. :)

New baby monitor to replace broken one. Thx Craigslist. Love watching this boy.

All three kids did a week's worth of chores like a bunch of tiny rock stars! They spent their allowances on craft supplies. So fun!!!

The twins got to go with me to the eye doctor. Guess what they got to play with? Chopsticks! The only remotely fun things in my purse.

We got new windows! Our house is warmer, quieter and so much more pleasant.

My big boy was sick this week with tummy troubles. We got a redbox movie and snuggled up. He strongly recommended I stay off my phone during the movie. Point taken, son.

This baby continues to just wrap his daddy and I around his little finger. He smiles and laughs more than he ever has. He runs everywhere. He loves food. I'm so glad I get to be his mom.

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