Thursday, September 29, 2011

Whole Wheat Zucchini Bread

While I was at MOPS on Tuesday, I picked up some zucchini that was on our "Care & Share" table for free. We've been eating a lot of zucchini bread this year but, my family loves it and they aren't sick of it yet so, today I made some more. This time, I made it a little different and a little healthier than how I normally make it. 

Dry Ingredients:
1 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup flax seed meal
1/2 cup wheat bran

Wet Ingredients:
1/4 cup melted butter 
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup pureed carrots
1/2 cup pureed pears
2 cups grated zucchini

Measure the dry ingredients into a medium sized bowl, stir together and set aside. Measure the wet ingredients into a small bowl and thoroughly stir together. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, being careful to not over mix. 

Pour into a greased loaf pan and if you feel like it, garnish with apple slices. Bake in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 55 minutes.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Simplicity

This morning we woke up to a beautiful sunny day. We didn't have plans to go anywhere but, the thought of staying home sounded so....blah. I feel like we get into patterns of running around a lot and when it's time for a day at home, I get down and worry that they day will be so long.

Even though I can feel down about a day at home, in my heart I know it's best. My kids are super young and I could run around all day if I choose to but, I know that's not best for us. Being home and enjoying my children and enjoying our home together is best. We need simplicity. If I'm too busy to sit and read books, to play with Judah and Paisley on the floor, then something's gotta give. 

Today we played. We also organized toys because that needed to be done and it makes me happy. I put Judah's toys away where they belong and Paisley pulled all the books off the shelf. It's a vicious cycle isn't it? Judah didn't watch any TV, he played with his trucks and made a huge pile with all the blankets he could find.

During nap time, I took my dried sweet peas out of their pods and put the seeds into a bag to save for giving to friends. Sure, seeds aren't expensive to buy but, it's so much more fun to grow seeds from a friends plant!

When we bought this house, I had some sadness with the absolute lack of plants that this property has. To be exact, when we first moved here, there was ONE thing growing on our lot, a big tree. That's all...Oh, and many weeds, where the grass should've been growing. I've probably mentioned it like 100 times on my blog but, I'm pretty much obsessed with needing to have something in the middle of our dining room table. It looks totally naked to me without flowers. The idea isn't to always have flowers from the store on the table, I actually prefer to have flowers and plants from outside on our table. I'm thankful that most of what we've planted has stayed alive and is growing well. 

Today I picked some mums, rosemary, lavender, a sweet pea and some sort of geranium from outside. God is so good, He cares about the small things, even my need to have plants from the yard on our table. 

Monday, September 26, 2011

Happy Fall!

Today is a cold and rainy Monday but, we really don't mind.
 We went outside, collected leaves and searched for puddles.  When we came back in, I made Judah some hot cocoa and since then, I've been busy getting caught up on stuff. 
 "Painting" the fence with a leaf.


 I noticed that the leaves on the tree that Jeremiah and Judah planted are beginning to change color. See the little bug in the picture below? I didn't notice him until I was editing this photo. Isn't photography fun?


HAPPY FALL! 

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Visit with Cade

Today we had the privilege of having baby Cade come over to play. He is so sweet, laid back and we loved having him here. Cade and Paisley were playing together more than I expected they would and it was so cute!

 He loved riding on the firetruck.
 For lunch I made them a grilled cheese. Judah and Jeremiah were at Lowes running some errands but, these two little people ate a whole sandwich and some fruit together. Cade is a great eater!


 So cute!!
 I think he was getting tired during lunch because he started messing with his ear. I put him down for a nap in the playpen in our bedroom and he slept great. For about an hour I had Judah, Paisley and Cade all sleeping at the same time. Then the neighbor started mowing his grass right outside our window and it woke up Cade. Funny how neighbors always seem to mow during nap time. 

Judah and Cade drove trucks together. It was cute to see how Judah was sweet with him and much more patient with him than he is with Paisley. 
Thanks for coming over Cade!

Happy 11 months, Paisley Rae

Sweet Paisley,
Yesterday you were 11 months old. I can't believe that you've been part of our family for that long but, at the same time, I can't imagine life without you. Your personality is really starting to develop and it's so fun to see who you are. You are a super fun little girl and you love to play around and be goofy. You laugh when I make silly faces and you think Judah is hilarious. You are super busy, all over the place and into everything. I love that you are a determined little person and I hope you use your determination for awesome things later in life.
You wear size 12-18 months clothes and a size 3 diaper. You are much smaller than Judah was at this age but, you still are a chubby baby, just more petite.
You've started to want to feed yourself most of the time and you do really well with finger foods. You aren't a picky eater, as long as you're the one doing the feeding. You're still nursing but, you'll take a bottle also. You're pretty flexible and I like that. 
You're an early talker and I'm pretty sure that soon enough, I'll never be able to get a word in between you and Judah. You say "Hi, bye bye, baby and daddy." The way you say "baby" is by far my favorite. 
You don't watch TV but, you do watch your Praise Baby movie sometimes and you love it. Judah loved it when he was your age and it's fun to hear the songs on that movie again.
You are a great sleeper! You go to bed about 7:30 and you get up around 6:30 or 7am. I'm so thankful that you always sleep through the night. Napping is a bit more tricky with you but, we make it work. Sometimes I can't get you to fall asleep for your morning nap and then you end up just taking one really long afternoon nap. I think you'll transition to one nap a day maybe a little earlier than Judah did and that's fine. 
You love, love, love that water. When you have an opportunity to splash, you go crazy. Judah has actually become more comfortable in the water because he has seen how comfortable you are and how much fun you have. 

We love you Paisley and we think that God gave us the most amazing little girl. If I could make a wish for you to know just ONE thing when you are older, I'd want you to know how VALUABLE you are. 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Decorating Paisley's Shirts

We've been really blessed by receiving some super fun hand-me-down clothes for our kids from various friends. It is so sweet and I love how people have shared with us. Lets face it though-sometimes clothes get stains and sometimes those stains are hard to get out. I can honestly say that I'm not one of those moms who's super awesome at getting all the stains out of her kids clothes. By the time we're done having kids, I don't even know if our kids clothes will be worthy of handing down. Anyway........

Last night my hubby was out helping a friend so, I got the crafting itch and made some flowers with ribbons and buttons. I sewed them onto a pink turtleneck onesie that was given to Paisley. The onesie had a stain around the neck area but, you'd never be able to tell now!




You can read about how to make flowers with ribbons here and also how to make flowers for head bands with silk flowers and buttons here.

September 24th-Worldwide Day of Play

When I read about the opportunity to blog about the Worldwide Day of Play-Turn off the TV and play outside, I had to jump on it. Playing outside with my kids is something close to my heart and a priority of mine. I grew up spending most of my day outdoors playing with my sister. We didn't even have a TV until I was older elementary age. We lived on a river, played in the mud and helped my mom in the garden. We also had animals and played outside with our animals.

Now I'm raising my kids and although we don't live on a river and we don't live out in the country, we make the most of our back yard and I smile inside when I see my son outside, playing creatively with sticks, rocks, dirt and his trucks. When we moved into this house, I was disappointed that we didn't have a lot of big trees and that we didn't have a big fancy swing set. Now I've learned that kids don't need all the best and fancy outdoor "stuff" to be able to play well. They just need to be outside and have the opportunity to use their imaginations. I read awhile back that it's so important to let kids play outside, on their own so, they have the opportunity to make up their own games and play creatively. I've tried to be mindful to let Judah play independently while still keeping an eye on him for safety. I notice that when he's playing by himself, he is a better problem solver and he has a chance for his imagination to take over. Sometimes he sings and talks to himself while he walks around the yard and I just love to hear that!

As a family, we enjoy going to the beach or going for a walk on a trail in the woods. We don't do these things nearly enough but, every time we go on an adventure outside, we always have so much fun. Sometimes we pack a picnic dinner and have dinner at the beach instead of eating at home and I love it. We pack paper plates and plastic forks so, we don't have any dishes and the kitchen stays clean. I've noticed that when we've spent a day playing outside, it makes me feel like we deserve it so much more when we sit down and relax with the TV on later.

Since today is the Worldwide Day of Play, I encourage you to turn off the TV, put your kids in play clothes and encourage them to play creatively outdoors. You can check out the Clorox2 Play 2Day Pledge with this link http://clorox2play2day.com., and your family can join in with the outdoor fun. It's raining pretty hard at our house this morning and we have plans to go to a friends house but, we might try to fit a little puddle jumping walk in before we go. A little rain never hurt a child and fresh air always helps the attitude.

****I wrote this blog post while participating in the SocialMoms and Clorox2® blogging program, for a gift card worth $40. For more information on how you can participate, click here.http://clorox2.socialmoms.com/about

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

A Day is a Bunch of Moments

Have you ever stopped and thought about how a day is really just a bunch of moments? For some reason, this thought occurred  to me this afternoon while I was doing this dishes. A bunch of individual good and bad moments......That is a day.
 Here are a few moments from our day:

The moment when I dressed Paisley and thought she looked too stink'n cute to not take her outside and take her pictures.

The moment I set her down outside to take the pictures and within half a second, she was belly crawling all through the yard. I couldn't get her to hold still for even a second and I couldn't even get her to look at me.

The moment I was way too frustrated about not being able to get good pictures and I realized that it was my stupid agenda and that I wasn't being realistic.
The moment when I saw Judah wearing his new rubber boots and I thought they were the coolest things ever. I didn't know I would ever be so excited about my son's rubber boots.

The moment when Judah asked me to sit in our rocking chair so he could push me and rock me. I closed my eyes and let him have fun pushing me while I relaxed.

The moment after naptime when I took Judah and Paisley outside and I let Judah ride his trike around our street.

The moment that I felt bothered that he prefers to push his trike with his feet and doesn't want to pedal.

The moment when I had to tell myself to be quiet and let him learn on his own.

The moment we were listening to loud celtic music while I was getting dinner ready and Judah was dancing.

The moment where I seriously wondered how many times a day I tell Judah to be gentle with Paisley.

The moment I sat out on the deck with them after dinner and let Paisley splash in the water table although it was cloudy and windy.

The moment I discovered that our sink is too small for our roasting pan to sit and soak. I could be super woman and wash it tonight but, I just can't. I am so done with chores and tomorrow I will be scrubbing.

What are some of the moments that created your day?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Shopping Time with My Girl

This morning my mom came over and spent time with Judah so, I could go do some shopping. I brought Paisley with me and we had the best time. Even when she is tired from not having a morning nap, she smiles and waves at strangers and she's the happiest little shopper. I had 21 months where I was able to focus my attention on only Judah so, it's nice sometimes to be able to focus my attention on only her. I feel like it's really important to spend quality time with them individually when I can.

I know I'm so blessed that my mom is able to come be with Judah and that they have a close relationship. I honestly almost feel bad blogging about it because off the top of my head, I can think of so many people whose moms don't live nearby or their moms have passed away. So, I'm so thankful that my mom is close and I'm not taking it for granted!

My mom and Judah spent the morning playing outside. He loves to water anything around the yard, pull his wagon and pretty much....get as dirty as possible! Paisley and I went to Target and then Fred Meyer. While we were at Target, I found these adorable little containers that I'll be using for her Birthday party. Not sure what I'll use them for yet but, they will fit the pink, orange and sparkly theme just perfect!
 Not sure what it is but, I'm in love with these colors. 
I don't think I can get enough of pink and orange right now! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

Out of the mouth of Judah

Tonight Judah and I were praying together before I put him to bed. I held him on my lap and we held hands as I prayed for various special people in our lives. Next, I asked him who he wanted to pray for. He responded with "Rosie!" and he prayed "Dear Jesus, thank you for Rosie! In Jesus name, Amen." It's easy for me to get intimidated when it comes to teaching him about God. I worry that I won't know how to correctly answer his questions or that I won't teach him everything he should know. But, when we prayed together tonight and I heard him pray for his little dog, it encouraged me..... he's beginning to understand.
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As we were driving home from church on Sunday I asked Judah what he did in his class and if he had a snack. "Yes, I had vitamins! Fruit snack vitamins!" Judah has gummy vitamins every morning and we never buy fruit snacks so, I guess I can understand how fruit snacks would seem like vitamins. 
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This morning Paisley ate all her toast and as Judah was finishing his, I said "Wow, I have such good kids!" Judah relies with "I'm a boy kid." I asked "What kind of kid is Paisley?".  He paused and then thoughtfully said "Hmmmmm.....Let's See." These days, that's his response if he's really thinking about something.
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Today we spent most of the day at home getting caught up on things and playing. Judah raced around the house on his firetruck and Paisley pushed him. He loves when she pushes him and I love it when they get along and play well together. She's so sweet and she tries so hard to push him on that thing. She's tiny compared to him but, she's determined! The moments when they are sweet with each other make up for the hundreds of times that I've had to tell him to be gentle with her.
 Paisley has started to want to eat mostly finger foods so, I spent a good amount of time today cooking up some stuff that I'll be easily able to pull out of the freezer for her to eat. I made pancakes with zucchini and homemade applesauce in them and pumpkin and zucchini bread. Often she eats what the rest of us eat but, sometimes what we're having isn't something she can have so, it's nice to have easy stuff on hand for her.
Judah put these pink sunglasses on his head and was wearing them like a head band. It was totally cracking me up. I'm sure he won't be crazy about these pictures when he's a teenager but, whatever! It was cute. 


Saturday, September 17, 2011

Connect and Save

Today has been a wonderful Saturday at home. Jeremiah worked on our fence almost all day and almost finished building it. Judah played outside for most of the day and was Daddy's big helper. After they were done with the fence, they built a little wooden boat out of the left over scrapes of wood. Shame on me for not taking a picture of their boat. Judah was thrilled to help build this little boat and I might be partial but, I think it's the coolest little boat ever!

It was a little chilly outside today and very windy so, Paisley and I stayed inside for most of the day. I got some miscellaneous things around the house done and made Taco Soup for dinner. Also, Paisley and I went to the grocery store and slowly walked around while I sipped a Pumpkin Spice Latte. I wore a scarf to the store although I was afraid that I would look silly because it might be too early in the year for a scarf. I'm glad I wore it anyway because a Pumpkin Spice Latte, a scarf, a sweet little baby and a semi-quiet grocery store equaled pure bliss this afternoon!

I worked on our Connect and Save blog for awhile today and although a lot of content is still needed, the shape of the blog is starting to come together. I felt silly taking a picture of scissors and coupons but, editing the picture was super fun. I also figured out how to make a button for our blog so, now I'm going to need to make one for mine. I have the Connect and Save button on my sidebar now so, feel free to check it out. The blog will be under construction for awhile but, I think it's going to be a great resource for couponing tips and frugal resources.

Lastly, here are some pictures of Paisley that I took this morning while she was climbing around underneath the dining room table. She is such a hoot and honestly, I just can't get over how her personality is developing everyday. I'm so head over heels for this girl!!!



Friday, September 16, 2011

Random Thoughts and Garden Stuff

Isn't it funny how easy it can be to feel so overwhelmed, over your head or like you'll never be able to get it all done? I often feel that way but also, I often feel so blessed. Today has been full of simple blessings. This morning my house buzzed with small children running, crawling and slowly walking everywhere. I drank coffee with two lovely ladies and it was wonderful. The kids ate cantaloupe, cheerios and drank from the Thomas cups that sweet Nathalie had as favors at Tannon's party. Thanks to those special cups, Judah is more hydrated than he normally is. Really, it's the small things that count.

I made us hummus and we ate it with bell peppers and baby carrots. It was simple and fun. After the visit, Judah went down for his nap and then Paisley went down for hers. I grabbed the monitors and went outside, kneeled in the sunshine and thinned out the beets and carrots that have sprouted in my little garden. I planted more than one seed per "seed hole" because my seeds are a little older and I didn't know if they'd all sprout. So far, so good.

My garden has a funny owl that sits watching it. It's a big plastic owl and it does look a little silly but, supposedly it keeps cats and other small pests away so, I'll be keeping this owl as long as it does it's job. Our neighbors have cats that roam around and I'd be so sad if I saw a cat messing with my garden.

Fall is in the air today and I love it. I dressed Paisley in a sweatshirt this morning and she felt extra cozy when I hugged her. When the kids wake up, I'm tempted to take them to the store just to buy a container of pumpkin for us to use for pumpkin muffins.

Paisley is awake and I can hear her talking. It's time for me to get back to my mommy work. 
:) Angela

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Peanut Butter and Honey Crunchy Bites

The other day I was reading my Parenting magazine and I came across a fun recipe. I don't use recipes from magazines too often but, this one looked like something that Judah would like. I modified it a little and I think these Peanut Butter and Honey Crunchy Bites are delicious. Judah totally loved them and they are super easy so, that makes me love them even more!

Peanut Butter and Honey Crunchy Bites
1/2 cup Honey
4 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1/2 cup Peanut Butter
3 1/2 cups crunchy cereal- We used Grape Nuts Flakes

In a pan over medium heat, stir together the honey and brown sugar. Stir frequently until it boils and let it lightly boil for about 2 minutes or until the brown sugar is beginning to dissolve.
 Remove from heat and stir in the peanut butter and the cereal. Let it cool for a few minutes and then shape it into cookie size bites. Harden in the fridge for 10 or 15 minutes before serving.
Ok, I really shouldn't have blogged about these before going to bed. Now my stomach is growling. 

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Fred Meyer Trip and Worshiping with Judah

A fun thing for my husband and I is having "our shows". In other words, it's fun for us if we have certain shows that we watch together on a regular basis. When I was growing up, we didn't have a TV in our house so, I'm not a big TV person but, I do enjoy having a show that I watch with Jeremiah. During the day, I very rarely ever watch anything for me. I actually wish I was better about staying up to date with the news and current events. I swear I am so out of the loop but, I honestly don't even know how to stay in the loop!

Tonight one of our shows starts so, I'm just going to do a quick blog for the sake of documenting daily life. I thought I'd share the worst and best parts of my day. By far the least favorite part of my day today was our shopping trip at Fred Meyer.

Recently Judah has been doing great sitting in the big basket of the shopping cart and Paisley sits buckled into the front. Well, today he was messing with the groceries way too much, taking all the produce out of the bags and being too wild so, I told him he could walk with me but, that he needed to hold onto the shopping cart. Well, that didn't work. He kept running off and he wouldn't listen. He was pushing the cart into things when I was trying to grab groceries and it was a disaster.

I decided that we needed to find a car cart because I could buckle both of them in, side by side. We trudged all through the store, finally found one and I loaded all of our groceries and Judah and Paisley into the car cart. Once everything was loaded into the new cart, I tried to push it and it barely moved. I wasn't about to put everything back into the old cart so, I pushed on. I don't know what was wrong with it but, let me tell you, I got my workout pushing that thing today! Judah had some major two year old attitude and he kept on squeezing Paisley too tight so, she started screeching and I needed to hold her. I pushed this broken car cart through Fred Meyer with one hand and we survived. When we were almost out to the car, I took a second look at my receipt and saw that the checker messed something up. Did I mention I had coupons? I'm determined to be able to coupon shop with my kids but, it sure does require extra brain power. We headed back into the store, stood in line at the Customer Service, got things fixed and then finally got home 2 hours after our normal nap time. So, that was the least favorite part of the day for sure. 
Note to self for next time: Wear Paisley and buckle Judah in the front. It's always worked in the past and if it's not broken, don't fix it.

The BEST part of the day was worshiping tonight at church with Judah in my arms. Kim was sweet enough to be in the nursery with Paisley so, I was able to give Judah my full attention and although it was challenging for him to sit still for an hour, holding him and singing was so precious. Tonight, there was more music than normal and having him there with me was so sweet, especially after his challenging behavior earlier in the day. When I'm one on one with him, I realize how young he still is but, it's so easy to forget that when Paisley is around. I'm thankful they are close in age but, 21 months apart really isn't much and he was still so young when she was born. Anyway-holding him and singing tonight made my day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Psalm 28:7

I wish I had something really exciting to write about. I wish I had something to say that would blow your socks off and you'd be totally amazed but, I don't. Today has just been an average day at home. I like to stay home and just be with my kids on Monday's but, for awhile we kind of got off that schedule. I don't think we've actually stayed home all day for a few weeks so, it was needed. After all the flurry of activity, going nowhere and not having company was actually a bit depressing and I think that's ridiculous because staying home for a day should be a good thing! 

Judah and Paisley had a good day. I've taken to blocking Paisley into the living room to keep her safe while I do some things around the house. She wants to pull up on everything and it takes her just a moment to pull a chair over on herself or get into some sort of trouble. Such a sweet and busy girl she is! I don't mind her being busy, I just want her to stay safe!

Judah and I did some coloring while Paisley was napping and it was nice to spend some time with just him.
 For dinner, we had sweet and sour meat balls that I cooked in the crock pot. 
 Rosie spent a lot of time inside with us today. She was going from room to room sleeping wherever she could find a quiet spot. Both Judah and Paisley love to follow her around and she loves her sleep!
 MOPS starts back up tomorrow so, I went through my old notebook from last year this evening. I dumped all the old paper on the floor and let Paisley "help" me. She had the best time playing with all the papers. 
 It's funny how things are different with the second child, I don't think I was this relaxed with Judah and I'm sure we'll get even more relaxed as our family grows. 
Today I've struggled with a bad attitude and just feeling down in general. I was talking to my sister about it and she reminded me that Satan tries to take good things and good opportunities away from us before they happen. My negative attitude could keep me from things that God has planned for me and I can't let that happen. Here's a verse that I just stumbled upon. I love it!

Psalm 28:7
The Lord is my strength and my shield, my heart trusts in Him and He helps me. My heart leaps for joy and with my song, I praise Him.

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