Tuesday, July 27, 2010

So happy together

Sarah and Phil are finally home from France for a long visit and it is so wonderful to have everyone together again. Kim and the kids are also in town from Indiana and it is just mass chaos and fun. You can't walk through my parents house without tripping over 10 sippies and a thousand toys and the constant shrieking only stops for about an hour a day. I love it though. The kids just play until they drop and they love to be together. My mom buys them matching PJ's every year for the annual cousin picture. We bribe them onto the couch with snacks and snap away as fast as we can. I can't believe there are 7 of them now. Here is the line-up...
From left to right: Jack (21 mos) Charlie (21 mos) Lily (4) Norah (3 mos) Callie (3) Eli (2) Zack (21 mos) Our 3 lovely ladies

Our rough and tumble handsome boys

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Better Than CiCi's

One of my weird talents that I pride myself on is being able to create meals out of random leftovers and whip up new culinary creations. Sometimes they turn out great, and sometimes they make our stomachs hurt. I have not bought any meat at the grocery store in about a month now, and not for any reason other than by the time I get to the meat department it is the end of my shopping, my cart is overflowing and I am just done. So a lot of our dinners lately have been full-out vegetarian creations. Sorry John.

This afternoon, having nothing planned for dinner, I decided to make my favorite "we're out of groceries meal"--home-made pizza.
*side-note: another weird quirk of mine is buying produce that I've never bought in hopes that I can learn how to cook and eat it* I happened to have a raw artichoke sitting in the fridge from my last produce adventure and decided to buckle down and figure out how to cook it. An entire 45 minutes later (btw canned artichokes taste just as good thank you very much) I had one cooked artichoke, and a counter full of veggies I had just picked from our garden. I dug deep into the freezer for our last 2 pieces of split chicken breasts, defrosted them and roasted them with a bit of olive oil and salt in the oven for 45 minutes. Then I whipped up my pizza dough and started piling on the toppings. It turned out so yummy that I thought I would share the recipe with any pizza lovers out there. The whole meal cost about $4.
Roasted Chicken Basil & Artichoke Pizza
-pizza crust (store bought or homemade, but I recommend homemade, its easy)
-olive oil
- mozzarella cheese
-fresh Parmesan cheese
-2 Roma tomatoes chopped
-1 yellow onion chopped
-10 basil leaves, torn
-1 cup artichoke hearts chopped
-1 cup roasted chicken, shredded (easy to omit if you don't feel like it)
-garlic salt
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Dust pizza stone or pan with corn meal (this is key to a crispy crust). Drizzle with olive oil. Top with veggies, chicken and basil, then cover with cheeses. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake 15-20 minutes until crust is golden brown. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sideline Support

Papa Bob, Papa Gramps, and Daddy's faithful cheerleaders as they work on the deck in the sweltering heat.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Dilema of Discipline

So I just finished reading a book called Shepherding a Child's Heart by Tedd Tripp. This book, written by a pastor and counselor, is for parents looking for a biblically based method of training and disciplining your children in a way that points them to Jesus. He focuses on getting straight to your children's' hearts and teaching them to obey and respect you, which in turn teaches them to obey and respect God.

I have been really struggling with how to discipline Eli effectively, yet without yelling or losing my mind. I don't want him to only obey me because he fears me (although there should be a healthy level fear and respect), but rather I want him to obey me because he knows this is pleasing to the Lord. And WOW, it has been really hard. I wouldn't say patience is one of my strong points either, so it is a daily battle to keep my temper in check. I found so much freedom in the following passage of this book....

"If you allow unholy anger to muddy the correction process, you are wrong. You need to ask for forgiveness. Your right to discipline your child is tied to what God has called you to do, not to your own agenda. Unholy anger-anger over the fact that you are not getting what you want from your child-will muddy the waters of discipline. Anger that your child is not doing what you want frames discipline as a problem between parent and child, not as a problem between the child and God. It is God who is not being obeyed when you are disobeyed. It is God who is not being honored when you are not honored. The issue is not an interpersonal contest, it is rather your insistence that your child obey God, because obeying God is good and right."

That just hit me right in the face. I can't take Eli's disobedience personally! He was born a sinner in need of a Savior, just as we all were. How can I expect him to act holy and have a heart for others on his own? It is my duty and great responsibility to teach him what the heart of Jesus is, in the hopes that he will realize his grave need of a Savior as he understands that he cannot do good things without him.

I will say that his book may be a bit controversial for some parents because it is very pro-spanking. He even goes so far to say that if you are not spanking your child (in a loving, Godly manner or course) than you are not being obedient to what God has said. I have been on the fence about spanking, but after reading this, tend to agree that it is a very biblical way to discipline. You may feel otherwise, and that is OK.

I have a renewed sense of confidence in my role as the one God has entrusted to raise his children. There is no greater calling than to raise a warrior for the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Finger Painting

After a morning of dragging the kids to run errands and asking Eli to "please remain seated" in the cart a million times I felt like he was in need of some creative stimulation and fun. So, despite the thermometer reading a blazing 98 degrees and every bone in my body wanting to stick on an Elmo DVD and relax in the AC, we headed outside for some finger painting. I think I started sweating in the first 30 seconds. Eli hates having dirty hands and it took him a few minutes of whining to discover that this was fun. But then he really got into it. It started off with painting on the paper before he realized that painting his body was way cooler. And painting mommy's body was even cooler than that. I ran to get the hose to wash us all off and within 2 minutes of me being around the corner, he had painted my camera, my phone, and Norah-who mysteriously had warrior paint on her cheeks and arms. She was still sound asleep in her little chair though. Thank goodness they are washable. We lasted about 15 minutes outside before we were all sticky sweaty and ready to cool off. It was worth it though, he really had fun making a mess.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Walking the Line

Lately Eli has been getting a bit more mischievous during nap and bedtimes in his room. He knows hes not allowed to get out of bed and rarely does, however he is definitely towing a tight line. Through the video monitor we have caught him dangling over the bed rail throwing every item of clothing from his nightstand, standing on his tiptoes to reach the bedside lamp and knocking it on the floor, ripping out pages from his books and then throwing them like confetti over his head, and climbing the headboard to name a few. When we burst through the door to reprimand him, he dives onto the bed and tries to looks perfectly innocent. He's always shocked that we caught him.

Last night as we were going to bed, we went in to check on him and move him into a normal sleeping position and found him like this.....

Looks like little buddy fell asleep in the process of trying to get into some sort of trouble. I have no idea how he was even balancing in this position. It gave us a good laugh before bed.