Monday, July 20, 2015

Blueberry Muffins

I'm We love blueberry muffins!  They are a fun change in the usual breakfast and are pretty quick to whip up.  

Kayla made these for us this morning. I have been trying to give her some freedom in the kitchen.  I want her to grow up knowing how to cook, along with other skills that our culture is letting slip away, so I've been incorporating that in my school plans. 

I love that I (or she) can make these quickly with no mix!  
Blueberry Muffins

1 egg
1 cup milk
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp melted butter
2 cups flour
3 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup fresh (or frozen) blueberries

Mix dry ingredients, allowing small amount to coat berries. Beat egg, then add milk. Mix into dry ingredients.  Add floured berries and the melted butter. Stir just enough to moisten (do not beat). Bake in muffin pans for about 25 minutes at 400 degrees. 

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Taking Time to Let Your Soul Breathe

Usually I'm a night person. I love that chunk of time at night when the kids are all in bed, the house is picked up...and I have an almost guaranteed amount of time to work on something I want to work on. But this past week I've discovered something magical. 

My soul can breath in the morning.

I have always known that getting up before the rest of them is a good thing. I know that my day goes better when I do but I have been out of that habit since just before Joe was born. That time in the pregnancy when you are tired again and just not ready to greet the day but your kids demand it...

I woke up and opened the windows to listen to the rain and smell the fresh. Soak in the quiet. There is a peace in the early morning. I'm able to think because my mind hasn't started with my to do list or more so what didn't get crossed off.

I took the time to read. I felt close to God, like I was snuggled up on the couch with Him. It was peaceful. Quiet. Calm.  I didn't want the time to end, but slowly it did.  The house started to wake up. Life started to happen.

Why can't there be a little of that in our every day? How can we make this happen in the middle of all the things life and the day have in store? 

How can we give our souls time to breath when life can demand so much?

It takes being intentional. Sitting and watching the kids play. Noticing their joy. Their honest love. 
Sitting and quieting my mind during the day. No plans or lists. Relaxed so I can feel God's presence and see the things He wants to show me.

'You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you'
-Isaiah 26:3

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Fourth of July...and Fifth

The Fourth of July has come and gone. The kids were so excited to hang out with neighborhood friends and light off fireworks with Jason. 

We have a good friend who LOVES this sort of thing. He came fully prepared for a great show.

Then it rained.

The next night we set up again and had a great time. 

The glow sticks were a big hit with this guy. 

Hope you had a great Fourth (or fifth) with your bunch!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

5 Things I Learned in June

1. Parenting is tiring.

This is nothing new, but what I realized is how it changes as they get older. Parenting older kids is mentally exhausting.  Multiply that by 10 if you have been blessed with a strong willed child. Throw in a baby and now you're physically tired as well.  


Exhausted by the end of the day. 

I am DONE by the time the kids go to bed...which has been hard for me. That used to be my time to stay up and get things done and then do something I wanted to do.  I stay up to get the house back in order (which takes a while these days) but that's it.  

I am finally realizing that I don't have to do it all.  I simply can't. And I don't need to feel guilty about that. I am enough.

2. My husband doesn't see the extra baby weight.

He gave me a shirt for my birthday and it was way too small.  In the past it would have fit me. I know that I haven't lost all the baby weight (and weight from a crazy year) and I was letting that bother me. I was feeling very guilty for that. 

I realized that he picked up that shirt, looked at it, and thought it would fit. He sees me as the same. He doesn't look at me and think "she needs to lose weight". There is freedom in that!I don't have to hang on to guilt. It will happen when the time is right. 

3. Summer is almost half over.

I finally felt like it was summer this week. It has taken me this long to get my mind into summer mode. The Fourth of July marks the middle of the summer and I'm not ready for that. 

4. Sometimes I forget to laugh.

I want my kids to remember a mama who would smile as she looked them in the eye and really listened to them and laugh with them without care. Without worrying about and pressing through the to do list.

5. Curling your hair with aluminum foil works!

We tried it for Kayla's dance recital at the beginning of the month and it worked great! The second time went smoother because I knew what I was doing. Have you tried it? Here is a great tutorial!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Slow Summer Days: Why Our Kids Are Not Signed Up for Everything

Summer is in full swing here and we are taking full advantage of the time off from school.  We aren't filling our time up with summer camps and classes, but instead we are intentionally staying home.  Don't get me wrong, I love the fact that almost everything has a summer program.
We could easily sign our kids up for something every week we are off. 

But you know what? I'm not signing them up.

Well, Kayla is signing up for one dance camp so she can try a different style of dance. And the kids are going to Vacation Bible School. But that's it. 

Aren't they bored? Don't they get on your nerves?....Yes, sometimes. But that's ok!  I actually want my kids to be bored. If my kids are bored, they will eventually find something to do.  If they don't, they are bored all day. Let me tell you that it only takes one or two long and boring days before the figure it out and start to get excited about their free time and all the possibilities. 

 They end up using their imaginations and creating something out of a fort or a box. Cardboard boxes are a hot commodity in this house.  They will spend hours making something out of a box. When we bought our book shelves, they used the boxes to make a movie theater. Really it was a puppet theater but they called it a movie theater. They made little puppets out of paper and popsicle sticks for several Disney movies. They had a blast!  

Another time it was a drive-in. 

Imagination has been taken out of everything. It isn't encouraged in school and at home we often don't give it time to develop.  Our society is so quick to fill our kids' time. We think they need to be busy all the time.  And video games. Even if they are limited, they can become a crutch.  Playing games...even educational ones, don't require any imagination. It's all there and done for them. 

I am also trying to add in a few adventures.  An adventure can be anything out of the ordinary. Maybe a spontaneous trip to the lake (20 minutes away for us). A surprise ice cream run in pajamas. A super messy craft or experiment that I wouldn't normally do. Even as simple as playing outside later than normal. We live in the south and it is H. O. T. during the day.  I love bedtime and I am usually pretty strict about sticking to it. But you know what? It feels great to play outside in the evening after dinner. Sometimes they even sleep in the next morning!

We are spending the summer soaking up the free time together.  We only have 18 together with each one.  Kayla is turning 10 this we have 8 left. We're making them count!

And here's this cutie just because he's cute. So squishy!

Are you having any little adventures with your kiddos this summer?  I'd love to hear about them! 

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