What I’m Into (November 2014)

Hey! Long time no see. So. It seems to be a yearly thing that blogging peters off in November after the frantic pace of Octobers fling.

This year was no different and I’m expecting to stay pretty quiet in December, too.

But here’s a brief look at November. :)

We just got back from a week in the south with Israel’s family. I made more food than I’ve ever made before for thanksgiving. I think I ended up making marshmallow sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, pumpkin pie, and ambrosia. Yum. We also had a turkey breast (super easy, prespiced, of the just pop it in the oven variety), rolls compliments of my mom-in-law, wine compliments of Chile, and squash casserole compliments of my sister-in-law. More than enough.

The week before that was spent alternating between putting on/taking off snowsuits, playing outside in the snow, building an awesome fort, and trying to think up more fun things to do while basically housebound (read: not being able to run with the stroller because of all the snow on the sidewalks).

Those were the highlights, other than that I’ve really not been up to much besides watching too much Gilmore Girls and figuring out more indoor activities for my munchkins.

Here are a few articles I’ve read and appreciated in the last two months:

Lauren Fleshman on body image and running.

Is Fair Trade a Fair Deal at The Freeman.

Rachel Toalson on sharing and uncertainty.

Esther Emery on immigration, The Borders of God’s Country

Pictures (only from my iPad..i’m opting for easy today)

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Books

Only two read:
Tables in the Wilderness by Preston Yancey (review to come)
Lean on Me by Anne Marie Miller (review to come)

Reading:
Not much new really? I requested some fiction at the library since I am currently unappreciative of non-fiction (overdosed or something).

I started reading The Sweetness of Tears though it’s on my scribd account so I tend not to read it (books on screens fail to hold my atttention for some reason). It is very good and I should just get it from the library so I can actually finish it.

And that’s enough words for me! What have you been into lately?

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A Day in the Life: Fall and Grocery Chaos

Every now and then it’s fun for me to take down a day and see what happens. And maybe eventually I’ll look back and say “those were the days.” Or not. Either way.

Here’s how a day last week went down:

6:00 AM – Ali wakes up thanks to daylight savings. Miraculously she went back to sleep in after nursing and slept in the crib another hour and a half while I doze on the couch.
7:20 AM – Israel dashes across the entry way into his office.
7:30 AM – Ranger comes crashing out of his bedroom. Ali startles awake. Ranger opens her door while I pry my eyes open and my legs awake and up.
7:40 AM – The munchkins request fruit loops and wander around munching and doing various things while I catch up on internet excess, etc.
8:00 AM – dress and diaper the munchkins, email Israel about going to Chic-Fil-A before he catches his midweek flight. More internet wandering?
8:30 AM – coffee and cereal for me, feed the starving masses (population: 2) first breakfast: cereal and coconut milk.
8:50 AM – breakfast/playland plans confirmed, we load up the children and head to the land of chicken and the enclosed child pen…i mean playground.
9:20 AM – Ali and Ranger play magnificently together while we watch, yawn, and exchange morning monosyllables (ok, maybe a few more than that) and talk voting plans.
10:10 AM – Israel heads to the airport to catch his plane, I change one diaper in the back of our so handy hatchback and we head home.
10:30 AM – I brief myself on the couch concerning proposed constitutional ammendments, make my decision, feed Ali, jacket children appropriately, and than load up the meese for our biannual jog to the polling station.
11:15 AM – voting accomplished I question Ranger about whether he would rather go to the playground or go home and help mommy rake leaves with his spiffy new child-sized rake.
11:20 AM – We head to the play ground, play for awhile while Ali naps and then saunter on home for our fancy lunch of chicken nuggets, carrots and bbq sauce which somehow doesn’t actually come into being until 1:00.
1:10 PM – consult children about proposed trip to the grocery story. Receive confirmation. Organize grocery list by aisle location (roughly, since our grocery store just committed the heinous crime of rearranging nearly everything and I know not when everything is anymore… !!! Do you understand how horrible that is? I mean, why? Anyways..)
1:30 PM – set off!
1:40 PM – strap children into huge enormous train-like cart which is only worth it because it succeeds in keeping the children and the groceries in one place without either being spread all over the floor. It is ridiculously difficult to navigate in said rearranged store with said enormous cart.
2:25 PM – I prevailed.
I only had few comments on my semi-trailer/cart driving license/lack of one, managed not to run anyone over, and only had to replace one short row of salad dressing kicked off the shelf some two year old.
Also only had to comfort the one year old once for some unseen offense (I suspect teeth, or a brief firm pressure to the head with his own?) that didn’t occur again after proactively moving her from the seat adjacent to her brother’s to the one across. Mysterious.
And amidst the shenanigans I managed to only splurge on a few chocolate covered cranberries, pumpkin spice creamer (because I neeeded it), and two bags of cat food instead of one (because trips to the store have become a monumental hassle – due to the aforementioned scenarios in addition to Ranger’s penchant for evicting and kidnapping various groceries at will..despite stern tones, angry faces, and unuttered threats echoing seemingly silently from his mother… He’ll listen sometime, right?).
And that was the store.
2:35 PM – escape the parking lot! Homebound.
2:50 PM – pull ranger out of car, install in bed. Snoozing. Pull Ali out of car, install in driveway, tromping. Unload groceries, extract Ali from the out of doors, install in heap of groceries, put away groceries.
3:25 PM – find chocolate, iPad, and youngest munchkin. Nurse, read, ward off fit thrown when Ali is not allowed to have chocolate, kiss, cuddle, put im bed to wind down.
3:40 PM – winding down fail. Wound up. Find exercise ball. Bounce baby til wound down. Place in crib.
3:50 – Wait for signs of sleeping (5minutes-ish) and wind myself down with 20 minutes of Gilmore Girls. Aww there. Naptime has commenced. Wander the internet.
4:15 – begin and catch up this post. Now what?
4:40 – start another post.
4:48 – Ali wakes up because I forgot to close her bedroom door after she exhibited signs of sleeping. Bah. Update this post with latest news and more grocery store details while she nurses and sleeps more.
5:02 – decide if I want to think about what to feed the children, keep attempting to write, find something to read or watch more gilmore girls..hmm.
5:10 – end up attempting to untangle the category organization here.
5:40 – wake Ali up by cutting off her extended nursing session and then wake Ranger by turning on the hall light.
5:45 – run get the mail, apply shoes to the children’s feet and try to send them outside. Fail.
5:50 try to ward off Ranger’s cranky waking with food and cozy blankies. He requests sitting next to mommy in the blankies. So we do.
6:00 – turn on Milo and Otis on Netflix and realize how perfect it is for his age. Nothing more scary then a baby bear, an owl, and a river. Just a narrated movie about a cat and a dog. Ali loved it too. I tried to get them to eat food here, but alas. Ali ate bites of my sweet potato and ranger held a peanut butter tortilla roll-up, but that is all.
7:15: end of the movie.
7:20 – Time for a hotdog apparently. Preceded and followed by a whine session to watch curious george. Finally abated with an offer to take a bath.
7:59 – So that is where we are now. Next up: jammies, tooth brushing, books, and bed! What a life.
8:30 – next up items accomplished and I am free for the evening. I waste time online, watch things and unmemorable things until Ali falls asleep and then finish out the evening with a session of yoga during a half-watched movie, chocolate pb cups, browsing, flossing my teeth, gilmore girls, a very short chat on the phone with my husband, and then turning in around12:45 only to have Ali wake up just as I lay down.

I honestly don’t remember if I had to get up and nurse her and put her back to bed or if she just went back to sleep after one fuss…my memory is bad when I’m half-asleep apparently.

And that was the day.

It is interesting and exhausting to be a stay at home parent.

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The Normal Christian Life {Ch #10 and #11}

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We’re rapidly nearing the end of our study through Or The Normal Christian Life by Watchman Nee. My Bible study has just one chapter left and then we’ll be breaking for the holidays so I am hurrying to finish up these chapter summaries/outlines/reflections. Whatever they are. Mostly I just write these so that the things I learned have a more solid place in my mind. It’s kind of like writing a term It forces you to think one more time to solidify the knowledge. And it also just gives me a good gathering place for quotes.

So now:

Chapter 10: The Path of Progress: Walking in the Spirit (on Romans 8)

This chapter balances out the book for me. It draws our eyes away from everything we can’t do and sets them squarely back on the One who can do. And frees us up a bit from worrying about doing everything right and instead allows us to turn to reliance on the Holy Spirit’s guiding.

We have the Holy Spirit for a reason, after all.

“Living in the Spirit means that I trust the Holy Spirit to do in me what I cannot do myself.”

“Where there is real victory, it is not fleshly effort that carries us through, but the Lord. “

“The very highest point the will can reach is that of willingness. (See Matthew 26:41)”

“But God has never told us to force ourselves to be what we are not naturally; to try, by taking thought, to add to our spiritual stature.”

“Many of us know that Christ is our life. We believe that the Spirit of God is resident in us, but this fact has little effect upon our behavior. The question is, do we know him as a living Person, and do we know him as “Boss”?”

Chapter 11: One Body in Christ

This chapter really reminded me of my series last month. Nee talked about how God works differently through different people, we all know different things, and we can’t really understand how it’s done. The last quote here struck a nerve with me as I’m trying to find a place in a new community.

“We must be careful to avoid the temptation to oversimplify the work of God.”

“We must beware of forcing any rigid pattern on the Holy Spirit’s working”

“Redemption is big enough, wonderful enough, to occupy a very large place in our vision, but God is saying that we should not make redemption to be everything, as though man were created to be redeemed.”

“We need never feel our contribution is not needed, for if it contributes to the service God is satisfied.”

“But in Christ, the things we do not know, others do, and we may know them and enter into the enjoyment of them through others.”

“God does not blame me for being an individual, but for my individualism. His greatest problem is not the outward divisions and denominations that divide his Church but our own individualistic hearts.”


Definitely some good words to consider. Each chapter I question my resolve to write a recap, but when I begin I realize how good it is to think about it one more time.

So yup. I’m off to rake some leaves this afternoon so they’re not caught under the snow all winter like last fall! What are you up today? Do you have any thoughts on these quotes or chapters?

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Sunday’s


17. Reached 100,000 views here.
18. Fall scented candle from my Oma.
19. Munchkins growing big and strong.
20. Pumpkin spice creamer. Ahem.
21. Midweek visits from family!
22. Raking and bagging leaves with helpers who are big enough to help me!
23. Alyssum blooming away still.
24. Winter Sunsets visible from our yard.
25. Crayon Art.
26. Penguins in leafy light
27. Beautiful colors.

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What are you thankful for today?

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14 months and 2+


So far our fall adventures have included going to the zoo, visiting the corn maze and playing in the leaves. And that feels pretty sufficient and age appropriate for two toddlers.

It was raining when we went to the zoo so the animals were hanging out in enclosed spaced and we got to see the lions and the giraffes up close. Giraffes are huge, guys! :)

Ranger and Ali were thrilled to see the lions so close and I was a little disturbed that my babies just ran right up to glass with no worries of being eaten. Ali said, “Kitties!” And that about describes their perception of lions. :)

But that aside, today Ali turned 14 and Ranger turned 32. Also known as 1.167 and 2.667 years old. Very scientific.

Ali has been figuring out how to talk a lot better. She says things like “I need to go out” and all sorts of single words that become more intelligible when combined with expressive grunts and pointing.

She’s also walking well, climbing as always, wanting to learn to jump and walk down stairs without ending up on her face, and has figured out how to go up and down our slide without crashing.

Her favorite things are kitties (real and stuffed), pink, necklaces, tromping in the back forty, eating sand, and every now and then successfully teasing Ranger such that he screams.

In the last couple months she has started putting herself to bed much of the time. She still nurses before bed, but if she’s not asleep when she’s done I can just set her down in her crib with a blankie. She watches me read on the couch while she drifts off. She usually only wakes up once, though with daylight savings she’s been getting up at 6 instead of 7.. I’m still adjusting and hoping for later mornings. We seriously lucked out in the sleeping department with this one.m

She is starting to act little less like a baby and more like a mini-human who has her own thoughts on life. It’s been fun.

She also grew an inch in the last month or so. Wow.

Ranger also grew almost an inch last month, plus he is just getting his two year molars and outgrowing his shoes. I’m sure the shoe outgrowing thing will be the story of our life for the next long little while.

On Monday he surprised me by suddenly figuring out how to put together his 12-piece puzzle. He needed a tiny bit of prompting the first time but has taken it apart and put together again a few times again already this week.

He has sadly officially begun his two’s and I am at a loss on how to help him do the right thing. It seems like something you just have to figure out together though.

I think someone may have prayed patience on me, bless their hearts.

He is still tons of fun, however and of course.

His favorite things right now are his airplanes, tinker toys and train tracks. The train tracks are still a tiny bit above his ability to put together on his own, but with help he can build and then play with them for a long time. He is getting pretty creative with his tinker toys and just added wheels to his Simple to Build Toddler Airplane design.

He is just starting to get the hang of his bike. I think if we were out there more often he would be zooming around in no time. :)

He and Ali helped me rake and play in the leaves. It was pretty fun even if they would not pose like they did last year.

I’m sure there is much more I could tell you, but I have to stop somewhere.

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Ali’s Birthday Box from Citrus Lane

So a long time ago I signed up for Citrus Lane (just a monthly subscription box for kids items). Ranger got his box a while ago (you can see it here!) and then I paused our subscription (a very handy feature that is allowing me to spread out our subscription over a year) a couple times so that Ali’s box came the month before her birthday.

And I was a crafty (sneaky/frugal/smart) mother and waited to give it to her until her birthday. Because if I count them as presents for their birthday or Christmas then I can justify having spent money on this fun little service.

Here’s a peak at what came inside:

My very favorite item this time was the fancy snack cup. (Like this one, but only one layer). I love it, the babies think it’s fun, it fits in a normal-ish size purse, and we’ve already used it so much. They are able to dump all the snacks out pretty easily, but this container slows the process down better than any other thing I’ve seen. So five stars for this one. :)

The lotion is fun and fresh and has lots of good things to say about itself on the back. I love the scent. I honestly haven’t used it on the babies much because I just don’t think about it, but it is nice to have around.

The little turtle car seems like it would be a lot more of a hit than it is. Maybe sometime they’ll play with it more, but right now it duplicates many of their other toys. I love how cute and bright it is though. Maybe if I put it up on a shelf and just enjoyed it there, they would see it and ask to play with it sometimes.

I honestly haven’t hung the measuring board/poster thing. I should. It’s really cute. I’m not sure how much we’ll use it since we already made one for our kitchen wall, but it would be a cute decoration or a nice gift for someone else.

We also got a coupon for a babysitting service that I just won’t use…because we have family here and I just don’t need to ask strangers to watch my children at this point in our lives.

And that was our box this time.

It is a ton of fun to see what fun or super useful things they send us each month.

If you’re interested in trying it out, or if you know someone you’d like to gift it to, sign up here!

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(Just so you know, I was not compensated for this post, I just like the fun of citrus lane and want to share. If you do sign up through one of my links I get a some credit on my account, but that is all.)

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