Two weeks ago David, the boys and I, joined our friends and Co. from TN on a two day trip to the Redwoods. Nobody in our family had been and it was beyond what we had imagined! We had a wonderful, relaxing time and the boys Loved it! Pictures don’t even come close to showing you what we saw, but I’ll post a couple anyway!
Ok, I know it’s been a while but things have been a little busy and blogging is just not at the top of my list of priorities. 🙂 However, I had to share a few pictures of a blessing God gave me a few weeks ago.
A good friend of mine allowed (I didn’t even ask!) her daughter to fly all the way out here to CA (from TN) to help school and take care of 3 of my boys while I went back to TN to visit friends and family for a week. Then, she (Chloe is her name) got to stay for a week longer once I got home!!!
We didn’t get to do a lot of fun, entertaining things while she was here with us (River was sick as soon as I got home and didn’t get better till the day before Chloe went home). But, we did have girl’s night with Tristan, her, ice cream and I! We also got to put flowers in my window! David didn’t think we should classify that as “fun” and thought I was weird to do that at 11 o’clock at night. 🙂 What can I say? Some people watch movies to have some relaxing, let-down time; I cut out flowers!
Anyway, I really was blessed by Chloe! Not only by her taking care of my boys but by the time I had with her while she was here. These are a few pictures of our flower cutting night…
Chloe was the tiny tape piece cutter. See her nice small pieces on the coffee table?! She did cut flowers too. 🙂 this was just her special job toward the end of the night- midnight or so. 🙂
Well, now you know. This Is what Ari finds relaxing to do late at night sometimes… Things that aren’t always necessary. Necessary is what I do all day long!! Thanks Chloe for not only putting up with my craziness but also for joining it! Was fun to have someone to do it with.
This past weekend we, (along with two young couples from the home church we go to) went to Lake Tahoe!!! We stayed at Rick’s dad’s house so lodging was nice and affordable (free). 🙂 We left Friday after lunch, got there and the ladies went food shopping for the weekend while David watched the boys. Rick, Tim and Kallah came Friday evening by about 8pm. God is so good to us! He is faithful to give us just what we need and we all needed this weekend!
It was very nice being able to play in the snow, come home and put our winter jackets back in the winter bin! Also, I’ve never played in the snow that long without getting cold!! It was plenty warm with just long sleeves. I wished that I had just brought the boys lightweight jackets… crazy! The snow was about 2 feet deep and a couple times we would randomly sink into it in pockets up to our knees. (some wise people we saw, were wearing snow shoes) 🙂 I wish I had taken more photos of the scenery! It was much more beautiful than captured here. But, you’ll have to put up with having someone who wanted to sled more than take pictures and who had to hold a whiny kid when not sledding, and spent more time with people only to occasionally remember to pick up her camera! 🙂
We did a lot of fun stuff together… played in the snow, (for the first time this year) watched a movie, played Mexican trains, ate ice cream, laughed and over all got to know each other better. We had a good weekend together, but pictures speak better than words, so here are a few pictures of us with our new friends. These are the 2 couples who moved into some lower income apartments together (don’t share the same apartment) to start a home church and see if they could reach the young people who live in those apartments.
Rick and Katie are 31 and 29 have 2 kids- Kallah- 4 years, and Noah- 2 years. Rick is a substitute school teacher and Katie works in dentistry.
Tim and Kristina are newly weds, married just 5 months ago. He is in collage for Game design, and she is an elementary school teacher.
Kristina and I held the record for the longest sled ride till David and Morgon finally broke it! But alas! Tristan and I topped the record off on the last ride of the day!!! Yeah! He was so excited!
He ended up with a face full of snow and of course did Not think that was fun. 😦
Tonight we went to Rick & Katie’s as we normally do now on Sunday evenings. It was good. We sang a song that we’ve been listening to and learning all week and it was neat to watch as the boys sang loudly with all they had-
“We won’t be satisfied with anything ordinary, we won’t be satisfied at all”! “Open up the sky, fall down like rain. We don’t want blessings, we want You! Open up the sky, fall down like fire, we don’t want anything but You”!
David mentioned a quote from CS Lewis that says, “Forgive us for being so ordinary, when we claim to know such an extraordinary God”.
It just reminded me tonight that even in the everyday ordinary things, this really is an extraordinary life we get to live!! I don’t think we should just brush people off like- “You’re just young and full of zeal”. I hope I never settle down and settle for anything just ordinary. I hope I never settle for just the one talent He gave me. I want to invest that talent and go after more, more of God. I want to have Him, new everyday! Not stale from yesterday. 🙂
Anyway, this is my last post for a week or so. I’m going to TN for the girl’s passages and to see the stars out in the wide open sky again! Here’s a couple pictures just for fun…
Now that it’s been a month since his one year old birthday celebration I thought I should post a couple pictures! We finally figured it out with our fourth child. I think I might have spent $11 on his birthday. 🙂 That really was only because I had to help the boys get him something. They all wanted to buy him something! So, he got and thoroughly enjoyed a bag of balloons, about 6 different balls of all sorts of random sizes, a ship bath toy, a couple stuffed animals and a push around/ride on toy all for $11! Thank heaven for Thrift shopping! Very nice though, he liked and still plays with everything he got. I like gifts that get used!
I finally did it! Two weeks ago I started David on a cleanse diet. He’s asked me for this for awhile and I actually got to do it. I’ve done small ones for him before but not very thorough. It’s definantly harder doing a Special eating plan while living with a couple other families (keeping food seperate, preparing a completely different dinner for him etc….).
He didn’t have any dairy, meat or wheat, coffee or alcoholic beverages for two weeks He could have all the veggies and fruit he wanted. Also, he could have quinoa, brown rice and millet, nuts, almond butter, rice cakes (plain of course), hummus, seeds, rice milk, juice and…. I can’t think of anything else right now. 🙂 Oh, seasonings can only be- veggie salt, olive oil, apple cider vinegar and his hot sauce of course. He said he missed dairy the most. Really though he did very well with it. I made him a deal that I would go through the extra work to prepare his foods if he would exercise 30 min every day. If he stoped, I’ll stop. He did a really good job with it. It worked out to be a pretty gentle but good cleanse.
Now hopefully, I can get him to stick with eating a little better and keeping up with the exercise! That will be the trick!
The boys and I did a 2 week sugar fast (we didn’t do the cleanse) while he did his cleanse. They did very well and not having anything sweet in the house helped me! I just ate a mango or a grapefruit or a couple peanut butter balls or drank hot tea if I really craved sugar at night and I tried to substitute protein for sugar during the day. It wasn’t bad at all really and the boys were fun to watch as they graciously declined sugar several times when offered during the fast. 🙂
Right now we are on our last stretch of a two week fast from movies, the boys playing on the computer, or David and I spending extra unnecessary time on the computer. The boys did really good with this one also, but are looking forward to Friday movie night with dad at the end of this week!
Here is a sample of what David’s food plan was for a day…
half a lemon squeezed in a glass of warm water
1 Tblsp ground flax seed in a glass of orange juice
1 Avacado – stuffed with chopped onion, mushrooms, zuchinni and tomatoes.
Some days I do a smoothie for him with raspberries, banana and ground almonds blended with rice milk
Steamed brocolli with sesame seeds on top.
Cooked Sweet potato
Large salad with lettece, spinach, spring mix, onions, peppers, avocados, carrots, asparagus, snow peas, raisins and sunflower seeds topped with a dressing made from olive oil, lime juice, grated garlic and ginger and veggie salt.
Veggie, lentil hot pot
Brown rice casserole
Apples with almond butter
veggie sticks with hummus
Rice cake with almond butter
Rice and veggie salad
Or, leftover dinner
Here is the recipe for our family dinner favorite so far, (that is, except for Tristan who literally couldn’t keep it down:)).
Veggie Lentil Hot Pot: Serves: 8
6 cups raw veggies ( I used: potatoes, acorn squash, sweet potatoes and green beans)
1 diced onion
1c red lentils
2 1/2 c veggie broth
1T olive oil
1 T cumin
1 tsp corriander
1 tsp tumeric
1 tsp fresh garlic
1tsp chili pwd
1 tsp ginger
Saute the onion and garlic and add all other ingredients. Simmer covered, stirring often for 25 min or until veggies and lentils are done.
Yummy on a cold evening!
We have the best neighbors!!!! Next door to us live an older couple named Steve and Sarah. 30 years they have lived in this neighborhood.They own several houses on this street and rent them out. We say Steve reminds us of a mixture of Ernest (in Ernest goes to jail) and Barney Fife! He is simply a riot and always keeps us laughing! Tristan even called him Ernest one day but fortunately for us, Steve is a little hard of hearing and didn’t hear him.
Steve loves, I mean Loves to garden and can jam and jellies. Our landlord said we could plant a small veggie garden in the back corner of our yard. Well, the day we told Steve we were allowed, he promptly came over, put a post hole digger in David’s hands and said, ‘Let’s get started! It’s going to rain tomorrow”. So, Steve and David dug holes for some plants. Steve brought over some of his compost and between the two guys the corner garden was begun.
Steve brings us a jar of homemade marmalade once a week. He also gets produce from a friend of his around the corner who gets some senior discount bulk goods. So, he is constantly supplying us with all sorts of food. You can’t starve with Steve around. Last week we got potatoes and acorn squash. This week it was 2 – 1/2 gallons of vanilla ice cream and a 5 gallon bucket of grapefruit with promises of tangerines tomorrow! Steve Loves milk, so we send him a gallon when we can’t keep up with the amount of milk we have in the fridge. We also save all our empty gallon jugs for him. He paints them black, fills them with water and puts them in his green house to keep it warm at night.
Sarah, his wife is really sweet and was a little shy at first. Now that I think about it, she’s not really shy. She just seems that way compared to Steve! She sews purses and she loaned me one of her sewing machines (mine is broke right now) so I can finish a few projects I’m working on. She brings me coupons and tells me about all the library book sales and other sales that are happening.
I asked Steve yesterday for some more compost for a lilac plant David bought me. He immedently brought over a wheel barrel and shovel and planted it for me. He loves to talk (sometimes not very clean) and is very much a doer.
It has helped me watching Steve and Sarah. They really watch out for and take care of their neighbors. I don’t do half as good of a job as they do and watching them prods me to reach out more to those on our street.