Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Preschool

I have a fabulous group of mommy friends, most with children within a few months in age of mine. I love them dearly. We talk about all kinds of things; parenting, our spouses, choices we make for our families. We don't all do things the same and I think that is great, I learn a lot from these Godly women in my life.

As of late, the topic has been preschool. A few of us considered co-oping a preschool for our children and others felt lead to do things a little more traditionally. We ended up deciding not to do the co-op. Spread sheets were made, schools compared and now everyone is signed up for preschool for the beginning of next school year. Everyone but Eliana. We are not doing preschool next year, or maybe even ever.

I have given this a lot of thought, and this is what I have come up with. These are our reasons, I don't expect my friends to make the same choice for their family.

1- I like Elie. I know other people like there kids too. I just don't feel the need to get rid of her for a couple of mornings a week. She is a blessing in my life who is growing up quickly and I want to spend time with her.

2- I am cheap. I can think of a lot better things to do with $150 a month.

3- Time is of the essence. Elie is very impressionable at this age and I want to be the one doing the impressing. I have a very small window when I am the only influence in her life. I would like to think I am the main influence for a while, but right now, it is all Matt and I. I think this is such a great opportunity.

4- She doesn't need it. Elie is a sponge. She knows letters and letter sounds, she can count, she knows her shapes and colors. We read a ton. We go fun places. There is so much she can learn at home and I love being the one who gets to teach it to her.

5- The hassle factor. We are going to be having a baby in the fall. The thought of getting 3 little people out of the house by 8:30 several mornings a week sounds awful. I don't want to have to wake a sleeping baby to go pick up a big sister from school. If Elie is at school, Addilyn has no one to play with.

I have discovered that I see the world a little differently when it comes to child rearing and education. I think I should get used to not doing what everyone else is choosing to do. Every family is different and just because this is the right choice for my family doesn't mean I assume that everyone else will choose this for there family.

There is a great book called "Before 5 in a Row" that takes great children's literature and adds activities that go along with it. I think I might do something like this for Elie, she loves books and so does Addilyn. It would give us some structure and give me some ideas. Who knows, maybe I will end up wearing jumpers and home school my children!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Snow!







We got a bunch of it! It's all fun and games until Matt can't get home from NYC. Oh well. At least we got to go sledding.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Interview with Elie






Who is in your family: "you are, I am, Addie, my bubas and my puppies are"


Who is your favorite person: "you"


What do you love to do: "Play with Addie"


What don't you like to do: "Obey"


What is your favorite thing to eat: PBJ pancakes and chocolate chip pancakes


What don't you like to eat: "ants"


What is your favorite thing to wear: Dresses


What makes your angry: When you spank my buns


What makes you happy? Hugging you and giving you kisses


Where do you like to go: Starbucks! thats my favorite place


Where don't you like to do "Go to the store, but I do like juice"


What does mommy do: help Addie


What does papa do: Work at California


What makes you laugh: When I do this (sticks out tongue)


What do you like to do for fun?: Go to Graces house, I like to play a lot


Who is your friends: Gracey, Miss Kit


Why does otis bark: Because he is a puppy


Who runs fastest: Otis...or bunnies


What do you want to be when you grow up: A mommy with furry hair


Where will you live: A my house


Who else will live there: You, cause your part of my family.


Will you have any babies: Yeah, but when I am a kid I won't.


How many: 3


What are there names: Baby John, Baby Pierce and Baby mama


Are they boys are girls: Girls




Saturday, March 21, 2009

God and the baby

Elie, Addie and I were playing on the floor. Addilyn crawled up into my lap and Elie said "Addilyn, be careful! Your squishing the baby!". "It's ok" I told her "God keeps the baby pretty safe in there". Elie thought for a second and then looked very impressed. "God is in there too? Is Jesus?".

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Big News!

Did you catch that? Elie is announcing that we are expecting baby #3! I haven't been to the doc yet, but I assume baby will make his/her appearance around the end of October or beginning of November. We are so excited! Yes, we "planned" this. No, we don't care if it is a boy or girl. Yes, I am still feeling ok, just need more naps.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Addilyn's One Year Pictures

Yes, I know, Addilyn has been one for about 6 weeks now. I was waiting until she was willing to stand by herself. Well, she is able to stand, she is just unwilling. Then she had a cold and no one want pictures of a baby with boogers all over her face, it just isn't cute. So she is now healthy and I decided to go for it! They took over 100 pictures, I would guess that over half of them she is crawling away or trying to climb on top of whatever she is next to. Regardless, here are some of my favorites.














































































Monday, March 9, 2009

Economics 101

Lesson 1: Spend less than you make

In my house, we have a set income. If we spend more than what Matt makes, we have a problem, it leads to debt. Debt enslaves and in American we pride ourselves on freedom. I thought I would be done talking about politics when the election was over, apparently not. Kari and all else who's eyes just glazed over are welcome to leave the class.

Bailouts. Economic Downturn. Stimulus. What would happen if the government lead by example? What if Obama issued a decree that all areas of the government must reduce cost by 20% except the areas that help provide for those in need, so that they could pay off debt? What if Obama let the company's who made bad choices and paid the executives way too much just go under? What if the government created a plan that reduced government debt over the next 4 years instead of increased it?

Times are tough but we have been here before. Even in the worst times, Americans don't have it bad. We may loose our homes and our jobs and all the shiny possessions we hold so dear. We don't starve to death, we are not hunted and killed, we are still educated. We have the freedom to find and even create work for ourselves. The times of economic down turn give all kinds of opportunity to the "little guys" and the inventors.

The market will come back up and the American people need to learn what it looks like to live within there means. Enough bad loans and credit card debt, if you can't pay cash you will have to wait until you can. I am not heartless when it comes to those in need. I think Christians have an amazing opportunity right now to show Christs love, what really matters and to lend a hand.

I am not on my soapbox as an Obama hater, I really wish the best for the guy and the whole country. I am not speaking from excess, we are middle class, one income. We drive a used car, we only have one. We are working hard to pay back debt and live with in our means. I want our girls to see a good example, I want our country to get over its lust of "stuff".

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

New Favorite Gadget


My sister Steph was telling me about packing lunches for her kido's and we were discussing ideas. She was talking about her sandwich maker and I thought, "I gotta get me one of those!". After a $10 investment from Wal-Mart I am now wondering how I ever lived without this thing! It is really fast, super easy to clean and makes the perfect size items! Being GF, i have had to use something other than bread so I have used masa harina dough (1 part masa harina, one part water, roll flat and place in maker) and corn tortillas. Here are some ideas I can't wait to try:

Pigs in a blanket- pancake batter and chopped up sausage in it (cooks in about 4-5 min) Omelets- 2 eggs, 1/2 c cheese and bacon (cook 3 min)
Tuna cakes- 1 can tuna, 2 eggs, 1 c crushed cereal, 1/2 cup chopped onion, salt and pepper (cook 4-5 min)
Hash browns- butter, hash browns or shredded potato, 1/2 c chopped onion salt and pepper (cook 3-4 min)
Corn bread- corn bread mix (follow directions on box)
*we mix in canned corn, chile's and cheese cook (3-4 min)
*add chopped hot dogs for corn dogs, dip in ketchup*
crispy burritos- one tortilla, butter one side put in maker, spread refried beans, shredded cheese, chopped tomato w/chile's and ground hamburger. Butter the other tortilla and place butter side up. (cook 3-4 min)
Pizza- Refrigerator crescent rolls, sauce, cheese and favorite toppings. Or leave out the sauce and just dip!
Cookie Dough- Place a layer of oatmeal dough, top with chocolate and raisins or peanut butter, top with a little more dough and (cook for 5-7 min)
Muffins, cakes and brownies- Just your favorite batter in the fridge and pour as needed. Brownies would be awesome with melted chocolate and marshmallows in the middle. You could make any flavor of muffin you want.
Pocket pies- Use pie crust and canned pie filling.

Think of all the quick, healthy and cheap items you can make! Next time you see me I might have put on a couple of pounds trying some of these things out. Please be kind and pretend not to notice.


UPDATE! For breakfast I made baked oatmeal in the sandwhich maker. Place a scoop of oatmeal mix, a layer of fruit or raisins, and another scoop of oatmeal mix. Dip in yogurt. FANTASTIC! Elie helped...


Sunday, March 1, 2009

Dryer Lent

Lent: The 40 weekdays from Ash Wednesday until Easter observed by Christians as a season of fasting and penitence in preparation for Easter.

I dislike rules, especially rules that are deemed "for my own good". This is one of my hang ups with traditionally practiced Christianity. I think the focus is too much on "what to do" instead of the heart of the Man whom we are to emulate.

I have some great friends who are Catholic. I would be a terrible Catholic and yet I am intrigued by the idea of lent. I have always seen lent as this showy kind of thing you do to prove to God that you really mean this whole "christian" thing. I have seen lent as a "rule" contrived to make you a better person.

I recently read an article that challenged my thinking. Jesus spent 40 days in the dessert being tested. It was then when we could see what kind of Christ he wasn't, he was tested for our sake. The world was flooded for 40 days in Noah's time, to wash away sin. We could think of Lent as a way to prepare our hearts for Easter, a time when our sin's were washed away for good.

The dessert is such a great picture of deprivation. This is not something we Americans do very often, deprive ourselves. We eat when we are hungry, when our clothes wear out we get new ones, we sleep in air conditioned/heated houses. If something hurts, we medicate it. We don't ever choose to go through...gasp...discomfort, at least if we can help it. Lent is about choosing denial.

We can choose to live, for 40 days out of the year, a metaphor. By choosing not to eat meat on Friday, we can acknowledge our true needs versus wants. By choosing to abstain from something, we can die to ourselves. For 40 days we can be reminded that, when all is said and done, you can't take any of this with you. We deceive ourselves daily about what matters, but as your bones rot in the grave you won't be thinking about your hair and makeup. As others divide up you possessions among themselves you will have a deep understanding of what stuff was ever yours to begin with. When it is just you and God, face to face, He isn't going to be worried about what you chose to do with your 401K or vacation plans.

I know some may struggle with the whole Catholic aspect of Lent. I am not of the school of thought that we can impress God and work our way into heaven. For me, Lent will be about the opposite of that. Lent will be a time where I examine my heart, see all my foolish attachments, gain a deeper understanding of what "need" means, and know with out the Blood of the Lamb, spilt for me, I am nothing.