We have two new favorite breakfast items:
Confetti Eggs
+
Raspberry Oatmeal Bars

confetti eggs and raspberry oatmeal bars

Confetti Eggs are really just Pantry Eggs.
Or, Fridge Eggs, really.
Anything (tasty) you have in your fridge is fair game 🙂
Lately I’ve been adding:
cheddar cheese, baby bella mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, bacon, bell peppers, salt + pepper, half & half.
It’s just an omelet in scrambled form.
The key wish scrambled eggs is to cook them over low heat slowly.
If they cook quickly, they get sort of rubbery.
(My father taught me this trick.)

You can find the recipe for the Raspberry Oatmeal bars over at Smitten Kitchen.
We thought they were a tad too sweet,
so if I’m making them for breakfast I use whole wheat flour and decrease the sugar by 1/4 c. in the crust/crumb.
If we’re eating this for dessert I leave it as is.
They really are delicious.
An added bonus – they are easy for Mike to take to work.
I’m trying to build a collection of “transportable breakfasts,”
so if you have any suggestions please do pass them along!

Happy Sunday 🙂

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I have been a slacker at blogging lately.
I hope to get back at it soon.
Because life is sure to only slow down from here on out 😉

As far as baby news,
I had my 20-week ultrasound this past week,
and we are praising God for a healthy report!
An added bonus –  we’ll be adding another GIRL to the mix this summer!

Isobel Rose

And this girl has a name:
Isobel Rose.
Isobel means “God’s promise,” or “Pledged to God.”
Now, in the interest of full disclosure,
we didn’t look up the meaning of the name until AFTER we had picked it,
but once we did,
we really couldn’t believe how fitting it is.
Before I got pregnant with Isobel,
I had a very early-term miscarriage.
I only knew I was pregnant for a week,
but it was heartbreaking,
and I struggled with a lot of fear afterwards.
I still do at times.
During that time, I clung to the truth that
if God wills, He absolutely can.
”Is anything too hard for the Lord?” (Genesis 18:14)
It’s a truth that God continues to teach me about Himself.
He is good in all that He does,
even if we don’t understand His ways.
And if God makes a promise, He will be faithful to fulfill it.
It is comforting for me to know that Isobel is first and foremost His.
She is a gift from God, and we pledge her to Him.

Now, she has a name…
but I am a little less certain she has a nose.
(though Mike assures me she does and that I am ridiculous)
I went back and looked at Julia’s pictures from 20 weeks,
and she also appeared to be lacking in nasal features,
but has quite a nice nose now…
so I am hopeful 😉

The day after we found out we were having a girl,
Julia and I went out on a mini shopping spree.
I am typically not big on the matchy-matchy sibling love,
but these dresses were too cute to not swipe two of them.

 julia & isobel

Half-way there!
We cannot wait to meet you, sweet Isobel Rose.

You’ll have to excuse her enunciation…a lot of the letters sound alike 😉

 

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“There is a fullness of atoning efficacy in His blood,
for ‘the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, cleanseth us from all sin.’
There is a fullness of justifying righteousness in His life,
for ‘there is therefore now no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus.’
…There is a fullness of blessings of every sort and shape;
a fullness of grace to pardon,
of grace to regenerate,
of grace to sanctify,
of grace to preserve,
and of grace to perfect.
…Oh, what a fullness must this be of which all receive!
…Come, believer, and get all thy need supplied;
ask largely, and thou shalt receive largely,
for this ‘fullness’ is inexhaustible,
and is treasured up where all the needy may reach it…”

Charles Spurgeon
Morning & Evening

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A few weeks ago, I wrote about my cranky lovey
Through much prayer and patience, we got through.
We always do, don’t we?  Even though it seems we never will 🙂
Because God is faithful.

And this week has been different from that week – a good different.
I’ve been enjoying my girlie in such a refreshing way.
I am sick (yes, again) and so my mom took Julia for a few days.
But starting yesterday, it was just me and her.
So I threw out the strict TV rules, and we set up camp on my bed.
I can’t tell you how good she has been!
We’ve spent the past two days watching Elmo and Mickey
(and perhaps a bit of Top Chef),
reading, and yes – even jumping on the bed.
(her, not me.)

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When we go downstairs so I can throw something in the crockpot,
or try to tame the disaster that is what I call “the sick house,”
she plays happily with her toys and “reads” her books.
She runs around pointing out letters on things,
ecstatic when she finds an “H.”
(it is her favorite)

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And as I watch her, I realize how very blessed we are to have her.
I read stories all the time of mommies losing their babies,
stories that break my heart.
Just yesterday I heard of parents who lost their second baby to a heart condition.  Absolutely heartbreaking.
It brings me to prayer like little else does.
I pray for their comfort,
because I can only imagine the anguish that must grip them.
I pray that in this world of trouble,
where trials come and little ones go to be with Jesus,
we would know that He has overcome this world of trouble.
And I pray out of gratitude.
Thankful that my little one is so healthy,
thankful for the light that she brings to our home,
thankful for the joy that God’s given to us in her.

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I went to put lunch away today and couldn’t find my chip clip.
Why?
Because ten little fingers had stolen it from the drawer
and stashed it only God knows where.
And I was filled with so much praise for those two little thieving hands.

So I’ll keep talking about the cranky toddler days,
because they can be challenging in a very real way.
But I want to remember that I am blessed;
blessed to simply have my baby,
whether cranky or joyful.
And I’ll keep on praying for all those mamas who have had to place their babies in Jesus’ arms.
For He is near to the brokenhearted;
He has promised to be.
And I think every mother can relate to that kind of sorrow.

So, that’s it really.
Just had to share how grateful I am for God’s blessing to me in this little girl.
Thank goodness the cranky days are not the only kind. 🙂

Happy Wednesday.

Typically the joke’s on me when I attempt to sew “The 20-minute project!”
20 minutes?
I have that.
Oh wait, you mean they lied?

Usually the project is a dress or something…
I can’t pick out a dress to wear in 20 minutes,
let alone make one.
So yeah, that’s usually how it goes for me.

 

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HOWEVER! I am here to tell you that this project really did take very little time!
My sister-in-law Shannon’s birthday was yesterday.
I decided I wanted to make this as a gift for her.
When?
Umm, yesterday morning.
(It’s no secret I am usually behind in life)
So, I went out to the store around 11,
and completed it start to finish during nap time!
It took me about 2 hours.
Which, maybe somebody else could make this in 20 minutes,
but I’m going to try and give you a more realistic estimate.
I could just be slow,
but hey – at least I’m honest.

I first got the idea from my friend, Steph, who made this as a gift for her sister who was in art school.
Shannon is also in art school, so I figured I had a winner.
I found the tutorial over at Prudent Baby.
I customized it to fit pens and pencils instead of crayons,
so I used rectangles that were 9”x 18”.

I got some fancy art pens to go inside…

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And of course some fun owl ribbon.
I sewed two pieces of ribbon together
(wrong sides facing)
so that there were owls on both sides ,
regardless of how the ribbon was laying.

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Interfacing.
It made the roll much sturdier.
Although, I accidentally Heat n Bonded my ironing board…

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The inside…

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The outside…

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Stuffed with pens and pencils…

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All wrapped up and ready to be gifted!

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Happy Birthday to the lovely Shannon!
May your 20th year be full of all things lovely and exciting 🙂

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Last week was a challenging week.
Yesterday was a challenging day.
And this Tuesday morning, I found myself fearful of another challenging week.
Julia was miserably sick all of last week, and just as she’s getting over it, I’m getting it.  Oh, and I just discovered she’s getting all 4 incisors to boot. 🙂

I have a cranky toddler.  The temptation is to then be a cranky mama.
I don’t want to be that for her.
I want to love her with patience and kindness,
to remember that she has been alive in this world a mere 18 months.
I want her to grow up knowing her boundaries,
but also knowing that her mama’s arms are always open to her.
As you can imagine, I need a lot of help with this.

I’m grateful to say that yesterday I felt a lot of grace to be patient with her. 
I went to bed feeling both victorious and exhausted.
And yet when I woke this morning, there was fear instead of faith.
Fear that yesterday’s grace was gone and nothing was left for today.
So, in case any of you are in a similar boat, here are some verses and book quotes that have really helped fill me with faith for cranky toddlers today 🙂

Lamentations 3:22-23
”The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.”

 

Rachel Jankovic (“Loving the Little Years”):
”Christian childrearing is a pastoral pursuit, not an organizational challenge…
…So, while your children are little, cultivate an attitude of sacrifice.
Sacrifice your peace for their fun,
your clean kitchen floor for their help cracking eggs,
your quiet moment for their long retelling of a dream that a friend of theirs allegedly had.
Prioritize your children far and away above the other work you need to get done.
They are the only part of your work that really matters.”

 

“You have to open your heart to the tumble.
As you deal with your children, deal with yourself always and first.”

 

“It is no abstract thing –
the state of your heart is the state of your home.”

 

Proverbs 11:25
”Whoever brings blessing will be enriched,
and one who waters will himself be watered.”

 

I’m holding onto that last verse quite dearly this morning.
Praying for all you mamas out there that need that encouragement too.
Happy Tuesday. 🙂

Our year in pictures.

As I look through them, I am reminded of how good God is, and how very blessed we are.

There have been common trials this year, but I am grateful to say that the joys have far outweighed them.

It fills me with much faith and excitement for 2012, and all the years to follow after that.

I know there will be more trials and more joys

and perfect, sustaining grace for them all.

Happy New Year!

Boxes make great toys.

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And great forts, also.

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It took me an entire week to decorate my tree.
But it eventually got done.

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I was tired of the garland we’ve had for the past 3 years,
so I decided to do some bunting instead.
I used plaid flannel and fleece and hot glued it onto twine!

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I like it much better.
And so does this little monkey:

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Thankfully, the monkey has resisted swinging on the tree.
Both I and my decorations thank her.

If anyone still reads this,
and is interested to know,
the answer is no: i did not die.
I have just had zero energy 😉
I had forgotten how tiring and nauseous the 1st trimester can be,
but I keep telling myself I’m grateful for it!
It means little baby is getting what he/she needs.

So, here is a quick update of what I’ve managed to get done in between my many, many, many naps.

Monkey on Thanksgiving morning.
That orange ring in her hand…
that thing is gold.
It’s one of her favorite toys right now.
I don’t get it either.

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“Corn Flower” table decorations for Thanksgiving

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Wiggins Tree Farm to get our tree!
We went with Michelle and Alex – it was a lot of fun.
Once we established that pointing out prospective trees by saying
”That one!” really didn’t work.
Oh you mean the tree next to that tree, past all these trees, over yonder in the distance?
Yeah, I know exactly which one you mean.

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Which is why I “tagged” our #1 pick with my sunglasses.

SONY DSC It didn’t occur to me until after I’d left that it was very possible that I could lose both the tree AND my sunglasses.
Preggo brain on display!

Julia even found her own Charlie-Brown-sized tree.
We would have bought it for her room, but it was one price for all trees.
There was no way we were paying the same price for a rinky-dink tree 😉

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Catching a ride back to the car with Uncle Alex.

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Julia is thinking: “Mom, did you even look in the mirror before you walked outside this morning?  That hair is quite special.”

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And that brings us to today.
When I finally had the energy to string the lights on the tree.
Only to open up the box and realize I had bought 700 white wire lights.
White wire.
On a green tree.
So off to Target we went to exchange them.
Julia is fascinated by the lights.

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And, finally, while researching what to make for Christmas morning,
and deciding on Monkey Bread,
I also decided I wanted to make my own Buttermilk Biscuit dough for the bread.
I was shocked at how easy it is!
I also did a fair amount of reading on what constitutes the BEST buttermilk biscuit.  It is fascinating.
No surprise, America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe uses the best method.
(Thank you, Cyndi, for that fabulous cookbook!)
Kneadless (ha) to say, after spending all this time staring at biscuits,
I kneaded one. (ha again)
Badly.
So I whipped up a batch in under half an hour.
I didn’t have cake flour on hand, but I used all-purpose and they turned out wonderfully.  I will definitely be making these again.
Seriously – so simple.

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Buttermilk Biscuits
Source
: America’s Test Kitchen
Makes: 12
Start to Finish: 30 minutes

Ingredients:
1 c. all purpose flour
1 c. cake flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
8 TBSP (1 stick) unsalted butter, chilled cut into cubes
3/4 c. cold buttermilk (If you don’t have buttermilk, you can use soured milk – 1 TBSP lemon juice or white distilled vinegar per 1 cup milk.  Combine and let stand 5 minutes until thickened.)

1.) Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Pulse the flours, baking powder, sugar, baking soda, and salt together in a food processor to combine.  Scatter the butter evenly over the top and pulse to combine, about 12 pulses. (If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a fork or work the butter in with your fingers.)

2.) Transfer mixture to a large bowl.  Stir in the buttermilk with a rubber spatula until the mixture forms a soft, slightly sticky ball.

3.) Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured counter and quickly form into a rough ball.  Do not overmix.  Use a sharp knife to divide the dough into 12 even pieces.  Quickly and gently shape each piece into a rough ball and place on an ungreased baking sheet.  (The baking sheet can be wrapped in plastic wrap and refrigerated up to 2 hours.) Bake until the biscuit tops are light brown, 10-12 minutes.

Collective Reminiscings

The Smittys

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