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Monday, January 31, 2011

Why We Have Children

Loved reading this article on Patheos.com. Here is a small except and then the link below so you can read the whole article.

"We have children because love overflows. I believe as a Christian that I am created in the image of a God who is Love, a God whose love so desired an object that it brought us into being. Although the wisdom and power of love within us is clouded and twisted by sin, still the image of Love is there. We have children because love is essentially creative, and because our souls long for other souls we can love lavishly and forever.

Love precedes the beloved. That is why it is unconditional. In bearing children we participate in God's continuing creative act, and in sustaining and guiding and sacrificing for our children we reflect God's redemptive act. Theologically, then, we have children because we are made after the image of a God who had children, a God who is irreducibly relational and endlessly creative." - T.Dalrymple

Click here to read the whole article on patheos.com.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Blessings of Sick Days

Our weekend has been pretty low key. On Friday I was ordered to bed/couch rest by my midwife because apparently you can do much spring cleaning. As a friend of mine commented: "Housework CAN kill you after all." Who would have known.... Couch rest is almost a punishment to me. You have to look at your house with all the things that need to be done and aren't allowed to do them. So I used the time to learn how to crochet and made a little kitty for Abigail. It looks more like a bear but that is another story... My children, always loving and thinking of ways to make me feel better, came up with a solution. They got sick too! :-) So now there are three of us on the couch, happily snuggeling with each other. Yes, we are watching the 50th re-run of the 1940s Superman and of Veggie Tales. But what can I say?
Have I ever told you of how opposite my kids are when they are sick? Nathan gets super high fevers right away. He had a 103.7 fever on Saturday night. And yes, I know how to use the thermometer. He really gets fevers that high all the time. Fortunately, he responds really well to Tylenol; unlike my littlest brother who would go into shock and my mom would have to give him shots. Our wonderful doctor told us that there was nothing to worry with Nathan. She's seen a few kids do the same thing and their little systems just very aggressively fight germs. She's kindly walked us through the procedures for high fevers and now we are pros at it. This morning Nathan woke up and vomited as well. This is even more unusual for him and has only happened twice so far. Nathan is great little sick man. He's very tough and the only thing that really gets to him is a runny nose. :-) He doesn't care too much about headaches, body aches or vomiting but that runny nose....
Abigail on the other hand NEVER gets a fever. So it's quite difficult to tell when she's not feeling well. She gets REALLY naughty. That is our only sign for the first day or two until further symptoms appear. I guess if Nathan is sick while she is naughty, that's a good indicator. Abigail won't listen to anything. Nothing. Every request is met with "no". She'll yell terribly at her brother and it's been hard to make her understand that it's unacceptable for her to do so when she's feeling ill. She loves to snuggle with mommy though and I quite enjoy that. She's still very attached to me at times anyways where Nathan has become a little more independent. But when they are sick, I get two really good snugglers. :-) I love that. So even though we are on the couch all day, it's a blessing to spend the days with my kids that way.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Ravelry, Crochet And A New Challenge

Since I've been having some involuntary downtime the last two days, what better way to spend it than to learn a new skill? After plenty of hours were spent on the internet yesterday and I had nothing left to look up today, boredom set in. Wasn't really in the mood to start a new knitting project after finishing a baby sweater. My two remaining choices were to either learn Intarsia knitting (one form of knitting with multiple colors, much like fair isle knitting), or learning how to crochet. I viewed a few Youtube tutorials on Intarsia and decided that it was the kind of knitting that would drive me crazy with all the little butterfly bunches of different colored yarn. By the way, Youtube is AWESOME if you are trying to learn how to knit or crochet. So then I settled on learning how to crochet. A previously purchased book on learning how to crochet unfortunately cannot be recommended since it was lacking some basic steps. So Youtube once again saved the day. Now the question remaining was what to crochet? That is where ravelry.com came in. It's also my favorite knitting site. If you sign up for it, it'll take a few days for you to get accepted. The wait is so worth it. Here you can find a gigantic online knitting community and such a large amount of patterns. Many of them are free. Other knitters rate the patterns which is often helpful and you can see pictures of finished projects. If you need help with a specific pattern, that is also available. If you are a knitter, if you crochet or if you spin, this would be a great website for you. Just click here for the website.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Avocado Egg Hoagie

If that doesn't sound good to you, you can just chalk that recipe up to the fact that I'm pregnant. It sounded weird do me too but it was oh, so good. Again, if it is strange and doesn't taste good to you, just ignore me.

Serves 2 or one hungry pregnant woman:
1 hoagie roll
2 bacon strips - baked to perfect crispness
2 eggs over easy (this time you might want to fry both sides so it doesn't make a mess when you bite in it)
2-3 slices of tomato (seasoned with salt)
1/2 avocado, mashed and seasoned with salt, pepper and a sprinkle of lemon juice
Sliced sweet onion such as Maui or Vidalia (just enough slices for your sandwich)
2 slices cheddar cheese

Slice hoagie roll and spread mashed avocado onto both sides of roll. Layer remaining ingredients inside hoagie roll. Close hoagie roll and secure with toothpicks. You will really have to use the toothpicks. It's a slippery sandwich. Cut in half. Enjoy. (And if you don't like it, at least you had a healthy snack, right?)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Pizza Pasta

My friend Beth gave me a super easy and yummy recipe the other day for a pizza casserole. The idea was to simply use pasta (other than spaghetti), sauce and your favorite pizza toppings. Then you top it with cheese, bake at 350 for 30 or so minutes. I modified the recipe a little for us and it was so easy, so fast and so tasty.

This recipe was for us 4:
Pasta (we used rotini but any kind will do) - enough for 4 people
Your favorite marinara sauce
2 sausages (casings removed or cut into little pieces)
1/4 or more onion, chopped
1/2 or more green bell pepper, chopped
2-3 oz of deli black forest ham, chopped
Favorite Italian cheese (optional)

Boil pasta according to package directions but take out one minute early. While the pasta is cooking, put onions and green pepper and sausage in a deep skillet. Brown sausage and break apart (if you did sausage without casings), then add marinara sauce. When pasta is ready, drain and add to sauce. Let cook for another minute or two and serve! Sprinkle with your favorite Italian cheese if you'd like. See happy kids and happy husband devour your dish.
As you can see this dish is incredibly versatile. You can add parsley, fresh basil, add/remove your toppings, on and on it goes....
Hope you give it a try and be amazed at how simple dinner can be.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Family Fun Night

After David had received a great book from Rusty and Megan for his birthday, we have finally instituted Family Fun Night on Sunday nights! This Sunday was the kick-off to this hopefully long and fruitful tradition. We let each one of the kids pick a board game to play. Both of them decided they wanted to play the "monkey" game. Nathan, always competitive, and Abigail, who could care less who wins as long as she has some pretty pink sticks to play with, really enjoyed this game. Mommy and daddy emerged winners here. Sorry, kids.... Next, daddy picked Chutes and Ladders. Nathan, still driven by the need to win, enjoyed this game thoroughly. We did however lose Abigail. In all fairness, the game did drag on and she did a good job finishing it anyways. She also graciously accepted defeat (again, she has no competitive bone in her body) and congratulated a VERY happy Nathan. All in all, it was a very fun night and I'm looking forward to next Sunday night. We'll hopefully be able to incorporate finger foods and snacks soon. Together with movie night on Fridays or Saturdays, the weekend is turning out to be quite the family fun time.

Let the games begin! Actually this was our third board game.

Abigail still has some trouble navigating. She doesn't understand yet what one count of the dice entails. Here is daddy helping his little girl out.

An apparently excited little boy. Maybe the prospect of crawling up the ladder that brings you to the winning field?

Daddy got really into this. Don't let him fool you, he's a sucker for Chutes and Ladders.

Ah, we lost her...

If you look up "boredom" in the dictionary, this will be the picture with it.


Winning is exciting!!

Congratulations to the winner (aka, thank goodness this game is over...).

Part deux: Ticket to Ride (thanks Rusty & Megan!!) for mommy and daddy! If you like board games and have never played this game, it's really fun. This game has won tons of awards.

The picture below has absolutely nothing to do with game night. It's just because it's just so cute. (Remember, I'm the mom. I'm allowed to think that.)

Mutti, sie hat die Spielfigur von Deinem Brett Spiel auf dem Kopf. :-)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Blog Neglect

Sorry everyone! I've been neglecting my blog. But it has been for good! :-) Been doing spring cleaning and packing up my 18 (!!!) boxes of Christmas decorations (excessive, I know). I'll be posting again shortly, as soon as that spring cleaning is out of the way.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Cool Kids Calendar

For all you moms out there, here is a really neat 2011 calendar for printing at www.growingupcreative.com . It gives the kids activities every month and also teaches them about planning.
This is great for Nathan who will continually ask what we will do tomorrow, and the day after that, and the day after that, and the day after that, ... (you get the picture). Since he's been doing that, he's starting to understand his schedule. Monday = grocery day, Tuesday = bible study, Friday = play date with Carter & Evan, Saturday = daddy off, Sunday = church, weekend = visit with grandparents. He actually doesn't like changes to his little routine. Except for groceries. He's fine with that being cancelled. :-)

Saturday, January 1, 2011

2011 - What to look forward to

This will be a great year for us. Well, at least a year with a lot of things to look forward to. The next few months will be really busy with lots of family birthdays on both sides.
Then we'll host a baby shower for my friend Beth. It'll be the first one I've ever hosted, so lots of looking up to do on that. If anyone has great websites with ideas, please e-mail me.
Just around the end of the first half is when my mom will arrive here! She'll be coming to visit our sweet little girl who will arrive most likely shortly after my mom. Hopefully I won't be too tired from birth so that we'll all be able to spend lots of quality time with her. We'll enjoy some good German cooking (my mom is an excellent cook) and David and her will enjoy some Cold Duck. :-) Not sure my humble kitchen will be up to her standards.... :-) (She just bought a FABULOUS new kitchen herself. It's a dream.)
And just when we are so sad that my mom has left, we'll need to start planning Matze & Mandy's arrival! Yes, that's right. Two family members from overseas will come this year! So what's up with that Sandersche, Kathrin and Frank????? Which leads me to another wonderful event this year: My little brother and Kathrin are getting married in August! Wow, getting dizzy just thinking of all these events this year... Kathrin just found her dress which was only the second one she tried on. Lucky chick. Can't wait to see it. They are busy planing right now, as it should be. Guess we forgive them for not coming over since that is an important thing....
Shortly after Kathrin & Sandersche's wedding, Matze & Mandy will arrive here for a relaxing and quiet vacation. We'll have one trip to the beach but other than that, will hang around here. Fun! More food, for sure. They share our love of food. :-) And Mandy shares my fondness of Starbucks. Hoping the new baby will be a good sleeper.
And while they are here, our little man will start school. Wow. Where has time gone. Not sure I'm ready to trust other people with him. And we still have to 100% decide which school he'll go to. We know what we'll like, hopefully it'll all work out.
Work-wise David is off to a good start. After two years of an almost halt in the construction industry, we got a big job! Whoohoo! Wish you could have seen the glow on my husband's face when he got the job! All due to his hard work, not giving up and continuing to build new contacts. This is a new client to us and our first job with them. David had been e-mailing with this man for a while. It paid off. Good job, babe! Of course, as soon as we had this job, a few little ones trickled in as well. With how hard the last two years have been, there was no way David was going to turn them down. So the year ended with overtime, something we are all new to again.
We are hoping the year will be good financially. Mostly, we are hoping for another healthy baby girl, for wonderful family times, for a good start in school for Nathan, for a good adjustment to a third sibling by both our children. One thing is for sure, it'll be an exciting year!