Merry Christmas

Merry Montage Christmas
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Goals for the Week

Life has been crazy around here lately. Now that Silas is on the move my days are instantly more busy. I am constantly on the go trying to create safe places for Silas to play and explore in the house. His new favorite spot is the recycle bin in the kitchen. I clean every bottle I place in it, so I'm not that concerned when he pulls something out to play with.

Besides how can I say no to that face?

I don't know if it is the weather changing, or the busy season of Christmas, or just plain laziness, but I have been having a hard time getting motivated and just trying to accomplish, well anything! Trying to get my act together to be a good wife, mother, and home keeper has been a daunting task. Things that I once loved doing (cooking for example) have even lost their appeal.

Silas is still waking up at least once during the night, so I'm still battling with exhaustion. I try to wake up early to do my quiet time, exercise and shower before my day gets started, but Silas is often waking up anywhere between 5 and 6 am. On the days that I am able to get up and do things before he awakes, I find myself with a lot more energy and motivation to get going.

I have set goals in the past, but I almost always set myself up for failure because I either make them too complicated or too numerous. This week I am trying to set myself up for success by creating 7 goals for the week.

  1. Finish my Christmas shopping- I have four more things left!

  2. Address and mail Christmas cards

  3. Daily quiet time for me and Silas- it doesn't have to be in the morning, even though I would prefer to start my day with God.

  4. Turn off the TV after the morning news- I have gotten into a really bad habit of just leaving the TV on during the day. I'm not even sitting around watching it, it was just on for background noise. Instead I have been more diligent about having Christmas music, the Christian radio station, or one of my favorite CDs on.

  5. Look up recipes and begin planning for real food alternatives- I am trying to cut out as many processed foods from out diet as possible. For two reasons 1) better health and nutrition and 2) trying to get our grocery budget down

  6. De-clutter, purge and reclaim the three hall and bathroom closets.

  7. Drink more water- I was really good during the hot summer months, and when I was teaching and talking all day. Now at home I'm just not drinking enough.

So that is my plan to slowly try and get it back together this week. Even though it is not on the list, I am also trying to stay on top of just keeping the house clean and clutter free. I have found a lot more dirt and dog hair around now that it is turning colder outside.


DIY Homemade Fruit Strips

I love fruit gummy snacks. They were my favorite dessert in my lunchbox when I was a kid, and I still pack them in my lunch on days when I go to work as a substitute. In an effort to start cutting out processed foods, I have been looking for recipes of my favorite go-to snacks (fruit snacks, yogurt, popcorn, and granola bars). This past weekend I tried out a recipe for home made fruit strips (similar to fruit roll-ups.)

The ingredients are simple:

  • 2 cups berries (fresh or if frozen, then thawed)

  • 2 Tbsp honey

Berries are one of the fruits that I will only by organic, since the conventional grown berries are heavily sprayed. This time of year the fresh organic berries are VERY expensive, and hard to to find. So I buy frozen organic berries, you can get a lot for your money!

Mix the berries and honey in the blender until pureed. I should have done a few more seconds because I had three random whole berries when I poured the mixture out.

Line a baking pan with parchment paper, and pour the mixture onto the pan. Make sure to evenly spread the berry mixture to fill the pan.

Place the pan in the oven and cook on 200 degrees F for 3 to 4 hours. Check often, you want the mixture to feel dry and no longer sticky.

Cool the pan on a wire rack, the longer you allow it to cool the better.

Cut into strips. I found it easier to to just peel off the pan and tear into pieces as my fruit strips didn't easily cut with a pizza cutter.

The end results look more like beef jerky then fruit roll-ups, but they tasted delicious. I would suggest not using strawberries because the seeds got stuck in my teeth. I will be definitely be making these again!


A Month of Thanksgiving

November brings my absolute favorite holiday, Thanksgiving. What makes this special day such a treasured holiday celebration for me, is it is the one holiday where you simply gather with family and friends and are reminded just how blessed you are. No consumerism or materialistic expectations, just good food!

I must admit that I do get frustrated when Thanksgiving is overshadowed by the Christmas rush. It seems that Christmas begins the day after Halloween. I'm one of those people who refuses to put up Christmas decorations, or look at Christmas items in the store, until the day after Thanksgiving. My fall decorations stay proudly out in display throughout November.

I love the meaning behind Thanksgiving, giving thanks to God for all the good gifts that He has blessed us with. That is the message of my blog. This year I am especially thankful that we have a new addition to the family to be thankful for. Everyday with Silas is truly a good gift!

I have been pinning Thanksgiving ideas on my Pinterest page to hopefully one day use with Silas, and if we are blessed with our future children. I want to instill in them a spirit of thanksgiving as well. To be reminded of all God's blessings and to always remember to give thanks to God.

I also love to host the Thanksgiving dinner at my house, to cook and to bake for the festive meal. After all, this is one of the best food days of the year! I am already beginning planning for the meal that I will cook and serve to my family.

In the spirit of a thankful heart, what could be cutter than my little Silas Scarecrow!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


10 Reasons to Love a Daily Walk

Of all my goals for last week, the one thing that I actually did everyday was take a daily walk with Silas. Even when it was cold, I bundled Silas up and off we went. Here are 10 reasons why I love our daily walks and why they are so important to me.

  1. It gets us outside, breathing in fresh air, allowing for some natural vitamin D exposure, and enjoying this beautiful weather before the harsh winter weather sets in.

  2. It gets us out of the house for FREE! It's free to take a walk and enjoy nature. Maybe it is still an adjustment to being at home, but I get cabin fever very easily, so a daily walk outside is a free cure then going somewhere that I am sure I would spend money.

  3. It allows for easy exercise with the baby. Try as I might, working out at home during nap time, or early in the morning before Silas gets up, doesn't always work out. Silas loves getting into his stroller for a walk, and I love that I am at least doing something to lose the baby weight!

  4. We get to enjoy the changing seasons and decorations in the neighborhood. Silas loves to look at the large inflatable pumpkin that we pass everyday on our walk. I love to see how my neighbors decorate for fall and other seasons. I love pumpkins and mums on porches this time of year. In a few weeks they will be replaced with Christmas decorations. In the spring fresh flowers are abound.

  5. Walking through my neighborhood makes me realize how blessed we are as a family to live in a beautiful, mature community with big trees, old homes, and familiar faces as well as dogs barking.

  6. The nearby park allows for a change up. Just a 5 minutes drive away is a beautiful community park that has a wonderful walking trail when Silas and I need a change of view.

  7. As much as I love mine and Silas' walk together, I also cherish the times that my husband and dog Rocco joins us on the weekends. It is such a sweet time as a family.

  8. When the weather turns snowy, or rainy, I am also blessed to live only a few minutes away from an indoor mall so we can continue to walk despite the weather's conditions.

  9. I love how Silas pulls himself up in the stroller to get a better view, and how he sits back contently taking in the world. He loves the walks just as much as I do!

  10. Walks help to restore my sanity! As I am walking it gives me the opportunity to think, and pray without the interruptions or distractions from home.


Creating Weekly and Daily Goals

As I have been adjusting into my new role as a Stay-At-Home Mom, I have been really struggling with creating a schedule and a routine that my 8 month old son and I could stick to on a daily basis. I like structure, I like routines, but wouldn't you know that Silas likes to just go with the flow? Try as I might to create any sort of routine, Silas has other plans. So the frustration and the sense of failure was beginning to creep in.

Instead of focusing on a set schedule and routine, I been thinking about goals~ things I would like to accomplish. So I sat down and thought through all the chores that I do to keep the house clean. I made a list of what I do daily, and what I do weekly. The weekly chores I assigned a day, and I would plan them according to when my mom or mother-in-law was coming over. It is a lot easier to clean the bathroom if I know that Silas is being entertained elsewhere.

Next I started to think about about exercise, personal, devotional and reading goals that I wanted to create. So I wrote those out as well. I typed up my list and it is now posted on my refrigerator as a reminder of all the things that I would like to get down, and really make a priority.

As well as having set weekly goals, I also wanted to create an easy "Week At A Glance" that I could post on the refrigerator as well. So I created another document with a weekly calendar, dinner plans, and specific To-Dos. Both now hang in the kitchen where I see them on a constant basis. My days are still crazy and unpredictable, and to be honest I have yet to have a day where I do everything I plan to do, but just having a plan, having goals, and having a visual reminder have really helped me to feel productive. At the end of the week when I see how much I have crossed off my list I realize just how much I have actually accomplished.

This week's goals are...


  1. Have a daily Bible study and prayer time

  2. Read a Bible story and pray with Silas

  3. Nightly prayer and Bible reading with Brett

Exercise- still trying to lose that last (pesky) 10 pounds of pregnancy weight that has permanently taken up residence in my mid-section.

  1. Daily walk with Silas

  2. Work out at the gym Tuesday, Thursday, and Sunday afternoon

  3. Work out at home Monday, Wednesday, and Friday


  1. Read assigned chapter from A Confident Heart for ladies book study

  2. Finish The Mission of Motherhood

  3. Finish Organized Simplicity

  4. Read aloud daily to Silas


  1. Clean out and organize closet- still need to pack up maternity clothes

  2. Bake chocolate chip cookies

  3. Try 2 new recipes for dinner

So these are my goals for this week, we will see what I actually am able to accomplish.


Autumn Blessings: 10 things I love about fall


It is my absolute favorite season of the year. There are 10 things that I love about fall...

  1. The temperature changes from the brutal heat of the summer, to cooler, crisp weather.

  2. The leaves turn beautiful shades of yellows, reds, oranges, browns, and greens.

  3. Pumpkins and squash are bountiful which means many recipes for soups, breads, desserts, and of course for decorating.

  4. Apples are crisp and in season, and going to pick apples fresh from the tree is such a joy.

  5. The four months of fall- September means back to school, organization and new routines. October means pumpkin patches, apple orchards and birthday month. November is the season of Thanksgiving, my absolute favorite holiday of the year! And December (yes part of the month is technically still fall) is the gateway to Advent.

  6. Hearing the leaves crunch under my feet as Silas and I go on daily walks.

  7. Enjoying a warm cup of coffee after the long, hot summer. Nothing beats a good Pumpkin Spice Latte!

  8. Pulling out the sweaters and cardigans, but still being able to wear flip-flops on my feet.

  9. The beginning of the seasonal decorating which leads into Christmas. Below I have posted some of my fall decor.

  10. A time to stop, think and be reflective during the busy season of fall. To be be reminded off off God has blessed me and my family with.

My Pintrest inspired fall wreath that I made and is now hanging on our front door.

A lovely fall centerpiece on our dinning room table

Spiced Pumpkin candle sitting in my kitchen window box.

Potpourri pumpkins fill a basket on the coffee table in the living room.

Fall candles and cornucopias in place on my picture table in the living room.

A future fall lover, just like his mommy!

Did I mention that...I LOVE FALL!?


The Nap Time Battle

I must admit that when I dreamed about my life as a stay-at-home mom I had visions of being productive, having a clean house, eating healthy cooked-from-scratch meals, and accomplishing several projects and tasks around the house. None of the above is true, in fact it is quite far from the truth. I get quite jealous of other mom blogs that boast about the really cute craft or cooking project they accomplished during the day. I'm lucky to have gotten dressed!

I feel like my house is messier and cluttered. The other night I was so tired we had chicken nuggets, tator-tots, and some frozen vegetables I found in the freezer for dinner. I have had the pieces to the fall wreath that I had planned on making piled up on the dinning room table for over a week now. I just feel like I can't get it together.

The problem is coming from a baby who will not nap, unless it is in my arms. I blame the grandmas while they were babysitting, to much holding him throughout the day. Silas will be sound asleep in my arms, and as soon as I lay him in his crib he is wide awake and crying. It has been extremely frustrating and draining. I have really been working hard at trying to create a routine of an morning and afternoon nap. Some days he will do really well with one nap, just not the other. Once he is asleep in his crib it is a race to try and get something done before he wakes up again. He usually only stays asleep for about 45 minutes on average.

He is a good night time sleeper, sleeping anywhere from 6 to 9 hours in is crib, I have no idea why he won't take naps. When he does sleep, he is so peaceful and sweet looking.


A Balancing Act

At the end of May I told my former co-teacher that I would be her long term sub. while she was on maternity leave for the first 6 weeks of the school year. I knew it would be a huge relief to her to have someone who she has taught with, start the school year off. Plus I also thought that it would help me fight the "not-back-to-school" blues that I assumed I would have.

I'm three weeks into the job, and I have three weeks left to complete. I am exhausted, wiped out, pooped, dog tired! Working full time, raising Silas, trying to be a good wife and keep a house clean is stretching me pretty thin. I have a HUGE amount to respect for the moms who have to work outside the home. I know how draining it can be because I am there right now. Plus Silas has now decided that since I'm not home during the day, he is going to pay me back by returning the middle of the night feedings that he gave up months ago! Thanks little man :)

On the flip side I am also battling guilt. I love teaching, I mean LOVE it. I have always wanted to be a teacher for as long as I can remember. Sure, there are a lot of things that I don't agree with in our current public education system. However I love the students, love planning, love creating and love grading (okay that last one is a lie because I despise grading!) In the morning it is so hard to walk out the door knowing that I am leaving Silas for 8-9 hours, I feel like I am missing so much with him. Then I get to school and I fall into a routine and the day just rolls by. On the way home I am excited to get home, yet also eager to return back to school the next day. There lies the guilt. How can I hate to leave Silas, home and my desire to be a good wife yet still love to work?

To make my lack of time at home more productive I did a lot of planning over the summer. I have a freezer stocked with meals so I don't have to come home and cook. I have created a much simpler cleaning schedule that just allows me to pick up a little each night. I also have the biggest help of all in my mom, mother in law and sister in law. The three of them rotate to come over every day and watch Silas. While they are here they do my major cleaning (bathrooms, floors, and kitchen) plus laundry! I am very spoiled I know, but incredibly grateful because instead of having to spend my Saturdays cleaning, I can spend time with Brett and Silas.

I am very glad that I don't have to keep this pace up for to much longer, just three more weeks. I will continue to sub. (1-2 days a week at the most) to keep my love for teaching alive. But I am looking forward to being at home where I can train and teach MY child instead of others.


Weekend Cooking

This weekend was super busy, but I was able to make two things that I have wanted to make for a while:

  1. Mixed berry freezer jam

  2. Dill pickles

They were both incredibly easy to make (I don't know why I waited so long!) and neither one of them required traditional canning materials or methods. In fact I made both during Silas' afternoon nap.

I found the simple Jam recipe in the July 2011 issue of Real Simple. The original recipe called for 5 cups of blueberries, but Brett's favorite jam is raspberry so I substituted for raspberries, I also added some blueberries and strawberries from the fridge that needed to be used.

Berry Jam

5 cups berries

1/2 cup of sugar

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

1/4 tsp kosher salt (I never have kosher salt, so I use the regular salt that I have in my pantry.

In a medium saucepan, combine the berries, sugar, lemon juice, and salt. Mash with a masher or wooden spoon until all the berries have released their juices

Cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture has thickened, 18 to 25 minutes. Transfer to container and refrigerate for up to 1 month or freeze for up to a year.

  • TIP: this recipe can also be made with frozen berries: 2 10oz bags. Cook the frozen berries for 2 to 3 minutes before mashing.

I stored my jam in a little glass Pyrex bowl.

The dill pickles were just as easy to make too.

Dill Pickles

1 cup white vinegar

1 cup sugar (the pickles turned out a little sweeter than I liked, so I think next time I am going to add about a 1/2 cup sugar)

1 1/2 tsp salt

1 pound pickling cucumbers or baby cucumbers, ends trimmed and sliced

8 garlic cloves

2 tsp black peppercorns

2 large seed heads fresh dill (my grocery store was out of fresh dill so I had to substitute with dried dill)

In a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, combine 1 cup water, vinegar, sugar and salt, and bring to a boil. Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Let mixture cool to room temperature.

Place pickles, garlic and peppercorns into a jar. Stuff the dill seed head into the center of the jar. Pour the cooled mixture over the pickles. Screw the lid onto the jar, shake well and refrigerate for 24 hours before using. Keep refrigerated for up to 1 year.

Yesterday was also a very special day for me and my family. I got the privilege of baptising my mom at Lee's Summit Community Church. My mom's faith has been growing for a number of years. She has gotten pretty involved in the women's ministry at her church, even becoming a group leader of the Single Woman's Bible study. I had been praying for a number of years that she would meet and become friends with mature Christian women. I was thrilled when she told me she was going to be getting baptised, but then I was shocked when she asked me to do it!

Apparently since her church is so large, the pastors let you choose a person to baptise you as long as they have their own personal relationship with the Lord. Tears came to my eyes yesterday morning as my mom shared her testimony in church before the baptism. All of those prayers for so many years have been answered. It was a special day for my mom, one that I will always treasure.


Extreme Couponing version #1

Okay I have a little confession to make, yesterday I went to the same store twice to maximize my savings on a limited item purchase. My grocery store has my favorite brand of organic pasta sauce on sale for $0.99/limit 2. They also had pasta on sale for $0.79/limit two. Along with pasta and sauce they also had my husband's favorite cereal Wheaties on sale 2 for $5/limit 4. Now when Wheaties goes on sale I like to stock up because it is normally pretty expensive, my store regularly sales it for almost $5 a box! So 2 for $5 is getting one for free, plus I had 3 $1 off 2 General Mills cereal coupons and 2 $0.75 off Wheaties coupons that I had clipped a week earlier from the Sunday paper.

I felt a little guilty about making two grocery purchases at the same store, but after my first transaction I took my load to the car and went back in a made my second purchase. I ended up with 4 jars of sauce, 4 bags of pasta and 8 boxes of Wheaties. So yes 8 boxes of cereal is a little ridiculous, but seeing how I bought 8 for the same price as 4 normally priced boxes, I think I scores a good deal.

My "extreme couponing" day didn't end there. I also made a trip to Target because I recently learned that you can stack Target coupons with manufactures coupons. So I planned my shopping trip every carefully and did the math before I headed to the store. I was able to get everything I needed and because of the coupons I saved about 60% off my entire total!

Between my two shopping trips I was able to get all of this for about $60:

So yes while I did save a lot of money, I carefully planned my shopping trips. My philosophy of clipping coupons and shopping is to only buy what I need and stock up on items when it is a really good deal. I do not have a ridiculous stock pile like the TLC show Extreme Couponing portrays. Most of the time coupons are for processed, junk food, which is food that I tend to stay away from. (Yes I did buy four boxes of Oreos, but 2 of them where free, and one was 1/2 off. And Oreos are the one snack that Brett and I view as a little delicacy!)

For me it is not practical to make a stock up grocery trip like this very often. But when I can stock up and save money at the same time, I will.


Just One of "Those" Days

Every once in a while you just have one of those days. Today was my day. My day for feeling tired, worn out, lonely and isolated. I am learning that staying at home, while very rewarding, sometimes has days where I miss being "out and about."

My heart has been in a weird place over the past few days. I miss being around friends, my feelings were hurt by my church, I'm struggling with thoughts of frustration towards extended family members and I'm starting to feel anxiety about the upcoming five weeks were I am going back to work away from Silas (my former co-teacher just had a baby, and I am going to be her long term maternity sub to start the school year for her.)

Due to the extreme heat, I have kept Silas at home with me rather than going out on errands or outings so I have also felt a sense of loneliness and isolation. Brett comes home for lunch during the day and today when he left my heart sank.

Most days when Silas naps I am busy with chores around the house, today the silence just seemed unbearable, so I spent my afternoon on the couch watching TV (which is something I rarely do). Finally by about mid-afternoon I decided to stop throwing myself a pity party.

I have been reading through and meditating on the book of Philippians this summer as part of my Maximize Your Morning challenge, and this week I have been reading Phil. 4:1-9. This afternoon I went back to verses 5-7:

"The Lord is at hand do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."

I started to turn my mind to the many gifts and blessings that the Lord has given me. I spend some time in prayer and I decided to bake some fresh home made bread for dinner. Cooking and baking in the kitchen always lifts my spirit.

So yes, it was just one of those random days where I just wasn't feeling myself. But after time in the Word and prayer, baking, and chatting with Brett this evening, my spirit is lifted and I am reminded of how important this season in my life is.


First Foods

This past week another "first" milestone occurred, one that is bitter-sweet for me: Silas ate his first bite of solid food. Until last Sunday evening, Silas was exclusively breastfeed since birth. While this is exciting to see him do something new and experience more of these firsts, it is also the beginning of the end of a very long, difficult, often frustrating journey of nursing which has since transformed into my favorite moments of my days.

While I was still in the hospital I thought that nursing was going well, but the first afternoon we returned home Silas wasn't latching on. We returned back to the hospital for a weight check and to test to see if his biliruben levels had gone down. They hadn't and he had lost almost a full pound down from his birth weight. He was admitted to Children's Mercy hospital to be placed under the photo therapy lights to bring his biliruben levels down ( he had an extremely high reading, and his jaundice was causing his skin to look very reddish/orange.)

He also was hooked up to an IV to help replenish his fluids, watching a three day old get hooked up to an IV is not a fun thing to watch. I was devastated. Since he wasn't feeding regularly, the nurses wanted to start him on formula supplement, again that was a crushing blow to me. I had planned to nurse him. I thought that nursing would be easy and natural, but it wasn't. Instead of offering formula, the hospital let me pump and give him milk in a bottle. I wasn't planning on pumping or giving him a bottle for a while. He started eating through the bottle, gaining weight and his biliruben levels started to lower. He was able to come home the next day.

The next few weeks were an exhaustive period of pumping, bottle feedings and trying to get him to latch on. I worked with a lactation consultant through the hospital where he was born. She was a great help, resource and advocate for me. I probably would not have continued if it wasn't for her.

After many tears of frustration, a month later we were happily nursing. There have been several bumpy spots along the way, including three different nursing strikes. Both Brett and I joke about how Silas is a very strong willed little boy! Looking back now, I am grateful for the challenge that we went through. I feel like an expert on nursing due to all the resources and research I read. Pumping also allowed Brett to be involved in the feedings. Many times he would take Silas in the middle of the night and give him a bottle so I could sleep. Cuddling with Silas after nursing is now my absolute favorite thing.

So now he almost 6 months and eating his first taste of solid foods. He enjoys eating his rice cereal and is evening opening his mouth when I bring the spoon near his mouth!

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


The Power of the Grandma Hour

A few days a week I have the opportunity to benefit from having my mom or mother-in-law come over and spend time with Silas. I am pretty lucky that I live very close to both of these women. In the days and weeks following Silas' birth, my mom practically moved in to help me out.

Cooking, cleaning or actually having an adult to talk to have made this time really easy for me. Probably the best thing about having Grandma's come over is that it gives me the opportunity to take a nice, long shower without feeling the need to rush through. I had taken for granted how nice it is to take a shower at your own leisure before Silas was born.

Sometimes, though, it can be a challenge to live so close to both Grandma's. They want to spend a lot of time with Silas, which is a good thing. However I have had to be very diligent about when they come over and for how long. Some days I don't want to share my time with Silas.

Is that selfish? I don't think so.

I only get a little time with Silas before this stage is over, so I am told. I know with the next child, if we are so blessed, I won't have quite the same leisure to spend the morning cuddling after nursing, I'll have a toddler running around the house!

So I am cherishing our time time together, as well as embracing the benefit of having eager grandparents so close to allow me a little break each week.

Join us for Gratituesday at Heavenly Homemakers!


The Daily Habit

As a new mother, I have been feeling an overwhelming since of responsibility to train and teach Silas about the ways of the Lord. Yes he is only 5 months old, but I want him to develop a daily habit of having a quiet time with the Lord.

My own personal time, while hard to get up early, has been such an encouraging time and a refreshing way to start my day.

I have been reading various motherhood resources and have learned that children can pick up habits from disciplines that parents put into place long before they are aware of what is happening around them.

It is my heart's desire that someday Silas will profess his faith in the Lord, but I can't just expect that to happen on its own. I have the responsibility to teach him about God, faith and the Bible. So I have started Silas' devotional time for him.

Everyday, usually about mid-morning, we retreat to his room and sit in his rocker. I start by praying over Silas aloud, so he can hear me. Then I read one of the Bible stories from his Pajama Bible that his Nana gave him. Next I read aloud a story from his Read and Share Jesus Storybook. At the end of each story, there is a discussion question. I read the question and answer if for him. Finally we conclude with a prayer from his First Book of Prayers.

Out time together is sweet, and he loves looking at the colorful pictures in the board books. Everyday I pray that he will come to know the Lord and have a personal relationship with Him. So yes while he is only 5 months old, I am starting this daily habit now.


A New Favorite Summer Treat

This week I discovered a new favorite summer drink. I was reading about Money Saving Mom's weekly menu when I came across her link for a Watermelon Frostie. I looked up the recipe and decided to give it a try because it sounded really good!

I adapted the recipe because the original version calls for including maple syrup which I am not a fan of because many varieties have HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). There are more expensive brands that do not contain HFCS but for the little amount that I actually use maple syrup, I can't justify into the grocery budget. So here is my adapted version of the recipe:

Watermelon Frostie

2 1/2 cups of frozen watermelon cubes

1 cup frozen strawberries

1 banana

1 lemon squeezed for juice

Combine all ingredients in the blender and blend until slightly smooth. I like a little chunk in my frosties and smoothies.

I was pretty excited that I had all the ingredients. We had a lot of watermelon left over from the Fourth of July and I hate to throw away fruit that is starting to go bad. So now I freeze all my fruit that is starting to look a little pathetic for smoothies and frosties!

Here is a picture:

I wish I could say that while I was enjoying this most delicious (and healthy!) afternoon snack I was doing something exciting, like reading a book on my back deck soaking up some rays. But I wasn't. Instead, while I was indulging myself with this treat, I was simply nursing my son.

I say "simply" because that is the truth, but honestly I wouldn't trade that time for anything else, including reading a book on the back deck (one of my favorite summer activities). I love the peaceful, tranquil times that Silas and I spend together every day, several times a day. A time that no one else gets to spend with him. My favorite moments together bonding in a way that is so meaningful and important to his well being.


No Rest for the Weary

The past few nights have sent my memory back to the early days of mothering Silas when I wasn't getting much sleep. Since then I have been really fortunate to have a son who sleeps for about 8 to 9 hours straight. Not so the case in recent memory.

Silas has been waking up extremely early, as in before 5:00 am, wanting to eat. I guess waking up to early is not something to be to worried about, it just messes up with my schedule. But in reality life with a four and a half month old really doesn't set itself up for "scheduled" success.

Sunday morning was when I first hit the wall because I was sooo tired when I first heard Silas' adorable, little coos coming from his room. I do say adorable because when I go in to get him, he is smiling, cooing, and babbling. Who could get upset to waking up to that?

Then last night happened, which I attribute to a busy, out of routine, Fourth of July, and the noise of nearby fireworks. Silas had only taken three 30 minute naps all day. We had a houseful of family all wanting to play with Silas. Who could sleep through the battling grandmas grabbing for egual attention from a cute, little one? I knew he was going to be extremely tired and sleep really well. Or at least I thought.

An hour after putting him down, I was already half way asleep myself, when I heard an ear piercing scream-cry. There is nothing like bolting out of bed, half asleep, to a heart pounding cry! I quickly picked him up and soothed him. After a bit of walking, rocking, singing and feeding, he finally feel back asleep. About an hour later, the same thing happened.

I awoke to another scream-cry. I picked him up, soothed him, changed his diaper, then put his pacifier in his mouth. 30 seconds later, he was out cold. I hung out in the nursery for a while, rocking in the glidder to make sure he was in fact asleep.

Three hours later, he was back up crying. It was a long night, and I was quite tired this morning when he awoke, cooing and babbling this time. Even when it's early, I would much rather wake up to a happy baby, than a screaming, crying one!

The most challenging thing that I have been learning in these first few weeks of transition to staying at home, is that as hard as I try to create a schedule, God has other plans for me. While I definitly didn't enjoy my three wake up calls last night, I most enjoyed holding my little one and looking into his eyes, trying to assure him that he was okay. It is such a wonderful feeling watching Silas fall back asleep in my arms, knowing that he is safe and loved.

As I spent most of my night rocking Silas back to sleep, I prayed for God's guidance and peace over his life. I sang my favorite hymns and worship songs to him, and I thanked God for giving me the opportunity to be Silas' mother.

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A Hymn For My Son

Every morning when I go to wake Silas up, I sing his hymn. I sing it to him while I am changing his first diaper of the day. Usually I too, am first waking up so it is with my groggy, morning voice that I sing it. I have a copy of his hymn typed out and placed on his special bulletin board I made that hangs over his changing table.

I wish I could say that there was some deep, theological reason for choosing this particular hymn, but I can not. The reason this hymn has such special to meaning to Silas, and to me, was that is was the first song of worship that we sang at church the first Sunday our new family attended after Silas' birth. I was holding my sweet two week old son in church for the first time. My new mommy hormones were raging, so of course there were many tears as the worship band led us with the hymn "Take My Life", the Chris Tomlin version.

As I was singing it, I was moved my the words. It is my prayer for Silas that someday he will sing the words for himself, and mean them.

Take my life and let it be, consecrated Lord for thee. Take my moments and my days, let them flow in ceaseless praise. Take my hands and let them move at the impulse of Thy love. Take my feet and let them be swift and beautiful for thee.

Take my voice and let me sing, always only for my King. Take my lips and let them be filled with messages from Thee. Take my silver and my gold, not a mite would I withhold. Take my intellect and use every power as Thou choose.

Take my will, and make it Thine, it shall be no longer mine. Take my heart it is Thine own, it shall be Thy royal throne. Take my love my Lord I pour, at Thy feet it's treasure store.Take myself and I will be, ever only all for Thee.

I typed the hymn out and placed it on Silas' board above his changing table so that I would see it every time I changed a diaper during the day. When I see it, I am reminded to sing the hymn over him.

I'm linking up to: Like a Bubbling Brooke


A year in my heart

A year ago this past week I found out I was pregnant with Silas. I remember how excited and terrified I felt all in one. It is hard to believe that Silas has been in my heart and on my mind for over a year now.

I love being Silas' mommy. Every day he does something new as he grows and develops. I am reminded to slow down and to see the world through his eyes as he discovers everything for the first time.

My favorite thing is when he stops nursing, looks up at me and starts smiling all while milk is rolling down his little check. He is absolutely precious!

I been given the responsibility to raise and train him up to become a man after God's heart. That is a pretty humbling challenge, but thankfully I'm not alone. I have a wonderful husband who is right there beside me.

Transitioning from working full time to being a stay at home mom has been a slow change. I love my days with Silas, but it just takes some getting used to being at home instead of being out and about. Honestly though, I wouldn't have it any other way. Every day Silas seems to grow and I don't want to miss anything.

I can't believe how quickly my little one is growing!

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