Thursday, June 27, 2013

It's not what I thought

My first born was about 7 months old when my Aunt and Uncle came by for a visit on their way home. They "had something important to talk to me (and my Honey) about". I was almost positive that they were going to pitch me on some multilevel thing and I was quick to excuse my husband from the pitch. Another small percent of me thought, maybe I've done something to offend them and they are getting ready to confront me about it. Whatever it was, I wasn't about to subject my hard-working husband to it and off he went. At this time we owned a small "mom & pop" cellular store and we were quite literally the mom and pop with our bouncing baby boy in tote with us. So off my Honey goes and I take over covering the store while my Aunt has this "chat" with me. The conversation the followed changed my world forever.

At 27 years old I found out that I was adopted.

And this is how my brain works. Alright, I'm adopted. My mom couldn't have kids and my aunt trying to tell me that I was her baby? Did my dad have an affair? Do you like how my brain missed the whole "I was adopted" thing even as it acknowledged that I was? She didn't know too much about it because she was was very young at the time but felt that I should know about it. And she was right - and so brave! How afraid she was that I would not love her the same, that I would hate her for telling me this news. But God, He knew! And already had prepared my heart for this kind of news.

My mom was a foster child and because of that (or what I thought was only that) she instilled in me that adoption is a wonderful thing; that just because people do not share blood does not make them any less family, the same as just because you share blood doesn't make you family. So growing up I always saw adoption as a beautiful and wonderful thing. And it is! In fact, the desire to adopt is one of the things that drew my husband and I together when we were first dating. It was one of those deal breakers for me.

After my Aunt left I was pretty much in shock. And while I believed she thought she was telling the truth I wasn't positive she new the truth. I couldn't ask my parents since they both had passed away. And I didn't want to call my Grandma because, well, I was concerned about how the news would affect her if it WAS true. So I did what anyone else would do,  I went to Google for the appropriate number and made a call. I proceeded to give the lovely woman on the phone the story about what had just happened. She proceeded to tell me that Washington (the state I was born in) is a closed adoption state and she could not give me any information. At this point I asked "Can you tell me if you DO have a file on me?" This way I would at least know that this information was 100% true. It was.

Got to buzz,  dinner to put on the table. More on this later.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fruit of the Spirit. More like withering on the vine

Fruit of the Spirit? More like withering on the vine. What is it about starting some thing new and healthy that all of a sudden WHAMMY! (Any other Warehouse 13 fans?) It's been one thing after another that has had me way behind on our lessons and sadly leaving our Fruit of the Tree project entirely too bare.

Well all this whammy has left me with some soul searching and low and behold I missed my very first verse that I shared at the start of this series.

 If you abide in Me and My Words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:7-8

ABIDING! Ug (head smack 80's style) how could I forget that? I have been trying to make myself and my kids produce good fruit in our own strength. Completely forgetting that it's His strength that makes it happen. Wanna know the kicker? It was my Pumpkin that helped me remember that. (I am learning so much by being these little guys mom.)

This is how the conversation went after I had that ah-ha moment when correcting something my oldest said.
Me: You know what Pumpkin, mama forgot something very important.
Pumpkin: You did?
Me: Yep! You wanna know what that is.
Pumpkin.: MmHm
Me: We forgot to plant God's seed in us this morning. Do you know what the seed is?
Pumpkin: No.
Me: It's God's Word. The Bible. Do you know how to plant that seed?
Pumpkin: Yeah.
Me: How?
Me: Would you like me to tell you how to plant Gods seed in our heart.
Pumpkin: (Smiling now) Yes!
Me: First we have to till the ground. To do that we need to first pray and ask God to make our hearts and minds ready. Second we plant the seed by reading our Bible, so God's Word gets inside us. Third we water  the seed by praising and worshiping and spending time with God. What do you think about that. Can we do that?
Pumpkin: I can do that.
Me: I know you can and I can to.

Sometimes I need those great teaching moments to be toddler simple. And isn't that one of the beautiful things about God, He meets us at just the place we need. And I need more of Him! So I have been going back to my roots and listening, reading and watching Kenneth Hagin, Charles Capps and Casey Treat. While also filling up on some great teaching I've discovered in these past few years: Keith Moore; Rick Godwin and JD Henderson, just to name a few. I'm spending more time working on my heart so I have more fruit to model for my children. And more fruit for me.

In the mean time, I stumbled across a fruit of the spirit curriculum for toddles from the folks over at Intentional Homeschool and figured why create the wheel when life is already too busy as it is. I'm still going to use our House and Tree project but when you find great curriculum I say USE IT!

Got to buzz, nap time is almost over and I still have dishes to do.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Filling our house and trees

What happened to Friday? The weekend? Monday? Tuesday? Hump day? Oh that's right. I had my post-op follow up and received the "all clear" to pick my Macaroon up. So instead of getting my post completed I have been dancing around with my baby and over doing all the chores that I've put off for recovery.  And have over done it! Taking that as a good excuse to sit down, sip some tea and work on this despite all the other busy I have to do.

Fruit of the Spirit:2

Contentions, out-burst of wrath, envy, jealousies....the Bible is pretty clear that this behavior is wrong. So how did I end up just calling that kind of behavior "melt downs" "cranky" and "disagreements"? At what point did I just sugar coat my bad behavior and justified it with "stress" "sleep deprivation" and "it's not fair"? I'm not sure, but what I am sure is it's not behavior I want to model for my children. And it is not a behavior I want to take root in them. And it's not who I want to be!

Love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (Galatians 22-23) Don't you just read that and sigh. I can imagine me being this way, my children being this way and you know what, were not awful at it...were just not great. It's just lately I feel like these characteristics are being used to defuse the above mentioned not good ones more then they are overflowing in our life. So how are we changing that. How are we becoming a family that if filled with the Fruit of the Spirit? We are figuring that out as we go along on day at a time.

I started with reading Galatians 22-23 with my kids this week and we talked about how each tree bears it's own fruit. (My oldest has been learning about plants in preschool, so he really grasped on to this concept.) And that "love, joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" is the kind of fruit that God wants us to bear. Now this is were I love letting my children "lead" how were going to learn something. Pumpkin says to me "Mommy how do we be that kind of tree?" Oh, don't you just love that? So was born our first Fruit of the Spirit craft.

Our Home & Trees

 As you can see, the craft is pretty simple. I took my spectacular art skills and drew a house and let my oldest trace over my line with a marker. Traced our hands and forearms to make the trees and Pumpkin colored in the bark. Inside each frame of the window one of the fruits is written "joy, peace, long suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control" and on the door "love" with the description from 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13: 4-7

This is how it works.

The House: Every time one of us catches our self exemplifying a fruit of the Spirit, with the goal of filling our home with all those good things. For example Punkin can show some "self-control" and "long suffering" when his little sister pulls apart his block tower and he can reward himself by placing a dot (we are using bingo dopers)  in the house.

The Trees: Each one for a member of our family. (Baby doesn't have his own yet.) Is for when someone else catches us exemplifying that behavior. For example my Honey can complement me on my "peace" when the kids are running a muck and the baby is crying and I'm not FREAKING OUT! Then I get to add a thumb print fruit to my tree.

The goal? Fill our life AKA tree and so much fruit that we are over flowing!!! If I can remember I will go back and write in on each dot or thumb print what fruit was shown so we can see what we are doing good at and what we still have to work on.

Next lesson, breaking down the fruits one by one. I think we will be starting and perhaps revising "self-control". It's one we can all work on in a variety of areas. Ahem, cookies anyone?

Got to buzz and catch my little pastries showing some good fruit!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Menu Planning: June

I love cooking. No, I enjoy cooking. No, that's not right either....sometimes I find cooking very relaxing and enjoyable. But most days I just want the food put on the table without having to think about it! Last week was great! Our family was blessed with a week worth of dinners and all of those dinners provided left overs for my family while I was recovering from surgery. And I don't know about you, but food always seems to taste better when someone else cooks it. Makes me want to try and get a meal swap club going!

But now were back to the real world, and while I have my husband and mother in law taking turns helping me with the kids, because I am still recovering and cannot lift my youngest baby, I might as well get some freezer cooking done.

In my ideal world, freezer cooking day would involve the kids spending the day out of the house with daddy, some great music and a bottle of wine. But not having to stop what I'm doing every 15 minutes, more or less, to address one of my precious little pastries needs. Well, it is pretty darn close to ideal! Thank you Mom for your help!

On the menu this month is a few of our new and old favorites. Thank you Pinterest for helping me find some these great easy things to cook, that my family enjoys and so does my bank account.

On the crock pot & freezer cooking menu for this month
  • Ground Turkey Tacos with Rachel Ray's homemade taco seasoning recipe. Only I add salt.
  • Just like Mom's but Healthy Ground Beef Stoganoff
  • Spaghetti: I eat mine with sauteed mushrooms instead of noodles and it's amazing!
  • Stuffed Pepper Soup from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. I've adapted the recipe for my family and we use ground turkey and add 2 cups lentils, 4 cups vegetable juice, 4 cups salsa
  • Tom Kha Ga from 365 Days of Slow Cooking. In this one I add extra lemon grass, ginger and mushrooms. I also use precooked chicken.
  • Crock Pot whole chickens for salads and steamed or roasted vegetables
  • Coconut flour tortillas. This will be a new one for us and I hope they freeze well, if they do I will use them as mini pizza crusts.
We had the Turkey Tacos tonight My kids have quesadilla AKA "Taco Pizza" and my mother in law and I had roasted green peppers as our taco "shells".

Roasted Pepper Taco

Cooked Taco meat
Bell  Pepper or other large pepper of choice
Shredded Cheese
Sour Cream or plain yogurt
Additions condiment options: avocado, radish, onion, fresh tomato, hot sauce

Slice peppers in half and remove seeds. Broil about 5-10 min on each side till roasted. Layer meat, cheese, sour cream, salsa, cilantro and additional condiments as desired. Eat and enjoy!

Got to buzz, kids are in bed and I'm going to go watch a show with that super helpful mother in law of mine.

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm a planner.

I'm a planner. An organizer. A list maker. I am one of those people who makes a "to do" list and adds "make to do list" onto the list just so I can check it off. If I know I'm taking a trip in 6 months, I start mentally packing for it the day I know I will be taking the trip. And thanks to Pinterest I have pretty much every birthday from now until they turn 18 planned for each of my children. (Alright, not really on that one, but you should see my party planning boards! I love to plan imaginary parties!)

So with this being my personality, one might think that menu planning is a breeze for me. It's not! If fact I hate menu planning, it stresses me out. The problem is my budget, both time and financial, need me to plan this area of my life.

Then a few months ago our oven wasn't working and that also put our range out of commission. Thankfully I had not started my monthly shopping yet so I broke down and planned out one after another of freezer meals for my crock pot. And you know what, it worked out great! So this month I'm going do some more menu planning and freezer crock pot cooking.

Got to buzz, I have a menu to plan!