Tuesday, August 31, 2010

please forgive me...

...but I just couldn't help but share a few of our soccer pictures from last Saturday. I was so proud of my boys!

Benjamin is #5! He was so excited that (although I don't have a picture of it) he got to play goalie for part of the 2nd game. My boy has always had a heart for defense.

Who knows which way they're supposed to drive the ball? Kyle does!

And he scored the first goal of his game, too!

Owen and Elise did great, too. I was so blessed. Owen even successfully used a port-a-potty! Let's face it, it's hard enough to relax in those things even if you're not a mere two years old...

Thank you so much for your prayers!

Monday, August 30, 2010

ode to summer

As our fleeting summer draws to an end, I thought I'd offer a few photos from the past few months. I don't think I've shared any of these yet, so...enjoy!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

another soccer player

The time has finally come. My second son, my enthusiastic, talkative charmer, is finally old enough to play soccer. And boy, is he excited!

On the day we officially signed him up, he started preparing. He ran in place to build stamina. He borrowed my pilates mat to strengthen his muscles. And he began counting the days.

These photos were taken on the day of his very first soccer practice. He insisted on wearing his full soccer gear, including one of his game shirts.

This next photo is a shot of Kyle explaining to Elise where he would be going. He wanted to be sure she understood that he would be back, in case she really missed him.

I think it's going to be a fun season!*

*Both of the older boys are playing soccer this fall (this is Benjamin's 5th season). Their first games -as well as team photos- are on Saturday, and Jeff will be out of town with our van. Pray for me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

for kicks & grins

Just thought I'd share...I got new eyeglasses!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

my first pickles!

I recently made my first attempt at pickles! Granted, this probably isn't too earth-shattering as far as news goes, but it was exciting for me. And since this is my blog, I thought I'd share.

So, I found a great recipe for bread and butter pickles in "Eat Fat, Lose Fat" by Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon (the authors of "Nourishing Traditions"). It's a recipe which uses lacto-fermentation, which thrilled me to no end. Lacto-fermentation is a traditional method of preserving food. It uses lactic acid. The end result is amazingly healthful and nourishing...we're talking better digestion, good bacteria, increased levels of vitamins.

The method I followed for these pickles was so simple. Basically, it calls for throwing together the following: sliced pickling cucumbers, onions, honey (or maple syrup) yellow mustard seed, celery seed, turmeric, salt, and whey. The whey is the key for lacto-fermentation. Cover with liquid, cover tightly, and leave at room temperature for two days. So simple.

The verdict? We really enjoy them! Especially my oldest son, who has never met a pickle he didn't adore.

Next time I plan to slice the cukes a bit more thinly (I got carried away with my super capable new food processor), and go a little lighter on the celery seed. But I definitely think we've found a keeper.

It's so much fun to learn how to make things the traditional way!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

top ten reasons I'm glad my boys are back

10) Elise has someone to entertain her again!

9) Hearing my son's stories about all the missionaries he heard at Wi-Ne-Ma Christian Camp.

8) Listening to the songs they learned while they were away.

7) Their cries of utter delight when they discovered their newly re-organized playroom!

6) Hugs.

5) The sweet smell of their hair after they had baths last night.

4) Kisses.

3) A renewed sense of richness as I look around the table.

2) I'm now stretched beyond myself again, which allows me to grow in nurturing and love.

1) We're all together again, just as we should be!

Saturday, August 7, 2010
















4Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth: make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise. -Psalm 98:4

Friday, August 6, 2010

a half birthday

Yes, our little darling is six months old today. Half of a year. She is an utter joy, and we all adore her. As she turns six months, she is...

...rolling around the room like crazy.

...using her toes to scootch. This girl is making tracks.

...just starting to learn to sit up.

...grinning madly at pretty much anyone who speaks sweetly to her.

...inspiring total strangers to rave about her beauty.

...taking great initiative when she wants to hold something.

...such a mellow, sweet soul. Most of the time.

...crowing happily through her playtimes.

...bringing our family so much happiness.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

our journey of parenthood

*Don't forget to pause the music player at the bottom!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

meant to be

What were we intended for? How did God intend us to thrive? To be nourished?

Let's look at an example that's dear to my heart: grass and cows. I've mentioned on the blog that we drink raw milk from cows raised on grass, and that the past couple of years, we've purchased a fair amount of grass-finished beef from a local rancher. Here are a few of the reasons why we seek out such a resource:
When animals are 100% grass-fed, their meat is not only lower in saturated fats but also slightly higher in omega-3 fatty acids, the healthy fats found in salmon and flaxseed, which studies indicate may help prevent heart disease and bolster the immune system. Ground beef and milk from grass-finished cattle also have more conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which recent data suggest may help prevent breast cancer, diabetes and other ailments. Moreover, grass-finished meat is higher than grain-finished meat in vitamin A and vitamin E, two antioxidants thought to boost resistance to disease.
(Time Magazine)
In fact, eating grass is far better for the animals, too. In their book Nourishing Traditions, Sally Fallon and Dr. Mary Enig write that commercially-raised cattle are "treated with antibiotics to stave off infections that inevitably result from poor diet and crowded conditions." (emphasis mine) According Union of Concerned Scientists, "a change from grain-based feedlots back to a purely pasture-based system "would be better for the environment, animals and humans." (source) Cows were intended to eat grass.*

Enough about the cows. What about people? What is intended to nourish our spirits? St. Augustine is credited with saying “God, you have made us for yourself, and our hearts are restless till they find their rest in you.” I believe this to be true. We seek endlessly to fill a deep longing, and when we try to fill it with anything other than God, we will never be satisfied.

A dear friend recently made a connection I'd never considered before. It comes from Revelation 3:20 - a well-known Scripture. Here are the words of Jesus: "Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with me." This verse is often quoted as a gesture of Christ's invitation to the unbeliever, yet in context these words are said to his followers (in the church in Laodicea).

And here's the thing - what if Jesus isn't talking about sharing a meal here? What if He is extending an invitation to find our true nourishment in Him? To partake of living water (John 7:38) , the Bread of Life (John 6:35). What if we stopped running after other things, and answered the call for a deeper relationship?

The Bible tells us that God "set eternity in the hearts of men" (Ecclesiastes 3:11). He made us to want Him, to need Him. That's what we were created for.

I forget that sometimes. I get busy, I get distracted. I try to fill that God-shaped hole with things like family, food, TV, the Internet. Sometimes I even invent things to keep me more busy than usual, because I don't take the time to stop and realize that for which my spirit is really hungering.

Maybe we're meant to be "grazing" on Him. Continually coming to Him to fill us up. Because it's the only way to find what we need to be healthy, effective, and strong. Only in Him will we thrive. We were made for this, meant for this.

And because of that, nothing else will truly satisfy.

*If you'd like to learn more about grass-fed cows, check out
Eat Wild.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sunday, August 1, 2010

top ten positive things about being boyless*

*My three wonderful boys are off having an adventure with their grandparents this week. Thus, I've decided to celebrate a few things about their absence.

10) When I clean something, it will pretty much stay clean.

9) I can ruthlessly sort through their toys, without the weeping and gnashing of teeth.

8) We'll go through way less food.

7) I'll do way less laundry.

6) Someone else will bear witness to their squabbles.

5) I get a vacation from potty-training.

4) I might actually find time to exercise!

3) "Just Us Girls"outings.

2) The chance to "play" in the kitchen.

1) Anticipation of a super-sweet reunion...because absence really does make the heart grow fonder.