February 24, 2011

Sunny Days

February 24, 2011
We have been so thankful

 for the sunny weather!
Colton loves to run

 and Claire enjoys watching!
 Kisses for Claire Bear before he goes back out on his run!
Big smiles for a sunny (yet still cool) day!
We're looking forward to Spring!

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February 17, 2011

Run Jane Run

February 17, 2011
I love to run.  I love it so much that at least three days a week (this week aside because 3/4 of my household has been sick ALL week!) I am up at 5am hitting the road.

Among other things it is the biggest stress reliever ever!!  Here are a few other reasons I love to run:
  1. Its a big stress reliever.  When I'm running I can leave everything else on the pavement (dirt or even treadmill) and just focus on the finish line.  Sometimes I forget about the finish line and just go.
  2. Goal - I am a goal oriented person.  I like to set a goal and try my best to push beyond it.  Sometimes this causes me to obsess over my time, but that is part of the fun.
  3. Me time - it does not require a nice outfit or makeup.  It doesn't require my un-divided attention to anyone, but me.  As a stay at home mom of 2 and a wife of 1 it is rare to get me time, so the small amount of time I take to run is just all about me.
  4. Its peaceful - no computer, no blackberry and no children tugging at my skirt tails.
  5. My day ALWAYS goes better when I start it with a run.  Seriously, when I run I am up usually at 5am and running at the latest 5:30am - I get in a few miles and my day always goes better.
  6. Sweat - I love to break a good sweat... I feel like I have really accomplished something if at the end I have broken a good sweat and nothing does that like a good, long, hard run!
  7. It puts me in a good mood.  Summer who has ran -vs- Summer who has not ran ... definitely pick Summer who has ran!
So what type of exercise do you enjoy!?  What is a stress reliever for you?

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February 16, 2011

Beautiful Day On The Farm

February 16, 2011
Colton LOVES all things farm!
Chris' mom and step-dad live on a big farm in Virginia and fortunate for Colton Pap has a great big tractor!
Sunday it was so nice out we took a little time to visit with Nana and spend a little time on the farm.
Colton was too busy playing with all the buttons to look up for a photo.
 We played on hay bells... 
 looked for the moon ... 
 and took lots of fun pictures!
Colton did not want to go toward the house ... 
 until he saw mommy and daddy were heading that way!
 I love to see him smile!
 "I'm runn'in ... I'm runn'in"
 "shew, I'm tired" ... so daddy carried him the rest of the way!
"giddy up daddy!"


February 15, 2011

Sweet Music To My Ears

February 15, 2011
Colton loves to sing.  He sings and dances all the time and unfortunately I rarely get to capture it on video, but today I managed to get him to sing "Amazing Grace" on command... he has a bit of a cold so its a little hard to understand, but all in all his momma thinks he did an amazing job!

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The Simple Woman's Daybook

Outside my window... bright sun shining through my bedroom window.  I love to be woken up by it.  The grass is still so crisp, but I see small green buds making there way up.

I am thinking...that I miss my hubby... I wish he never had to go to work!

I am thankful for...my husbands job.  He has a flexible job where he can spend the needed time with us most mornings.  He is able to provide for our family in an economy where so many are not.

From the kitchen...I hear dishes that need to be washed and counter tops that need to be wiped down because I did not clean up after dinner!  I feel as if I am always cleaning the kitchen.

I am wearing...my jammies ... I may very well stay in them all day!

I am creating...a new business plan and hope to launch my new etsy site soon.

I am going...to play with my children today!  I am not going to spend my whole day cleaning.  Were going to enjoy the sunshine!

I am reading...Growing Kids God's Way 

I am hoping...for everyone to feel better soon... 3 out of 4 of us have been sick and it is for the birds.

I am hearing...nothing audibly, but deep I am hearing the Lord calling me to move to a great work for him.

Around the house...there is clutter and this week I plan on de-cluttering!!

One of my favorite things...are Reese's and I have not had any in over a year and my husband bought me an 8 pack for Valentine's day!  Would it be terrible for me to have one for breakfast!?

A few plans for the rest of the week: I plan on running outside because were suppose to have nice weather.  I plan on getting my home organized and getting some things done that I have been wanting to do, but no time to do it!

Here is picture for thought I am sharing..

Aug 2010 - Claire getting a diaper change on daddy's desk at work.


February 14, 2011

First Love

February 14, 2011

He is the first man she will ever love ... 

 and he is our Valentine!

Were the luckiest girls in the world!

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February 11, 2011

Making Your Own Baby Food - Sweet Potatoes

February 11, 2011
Before it was time for Colton to start solids I did tons of research on baby food and infants.  More than ever I found it important to know as much as possible about nutrition and especially nutrition in children.  You form good (or bad) eating habits at a young age that will stick with them for life, so I wanted to do whatever possible to lay a foundation for a healthy child and adult.  Granted, I still made plenty of mistakes and I am still working through those, but now the second time around with Claire I am able to tweak some of the things I did (or did not do) with Colton.  Each of my babies first foods were bananas and avocados.  Both are easy to feed to infants because you can mash them with a fork - they are also both super nutritious which has laid the foundation for healthy diets.  I made some of Colton's baby food, but not much of it - this time around I am making almost all of Claire's food.  Making your own baby food may initially sound a little hard, but honestly it is super easy and you (or at least I do) will feel so great when you feed your infant something you "made" rather than something from a package from the grocery store.  Disclaimer: I do still use store bought baby food at times simply for the convenience when were away from home.

According to nurtitionist and the Center for Science in Public Interest (CSPI), the single most importnat dietary change for most people, including childre, would be to replace fatty foods with foods rich in complex carbohydrates, such as sweet potatoes.   Sweet potatoes are low in sodium, and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol.  It is also a good source of dietary fiber, vitamin B6 and Potassium, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C and magnesium.  We eat a ton of sweet potatoes in our house so this has naturally been one of the things I feed Claire most often.

Making sweet potato baby food:
I start with cleaning and baking several sweet potatoes.  I usually do about 6 at a time.
After baking I let the sweet potatoes cool and then the skin will come off the sweet potato easily.
I then put the sweet potato in my Cuisinart Mini Prep Plus Food Processor(I have found this much easier to use and clean up than the traditional larger food processor).  I use do about 1 large sweet potato at a time adding a tablespoon or two of water just to get the sweet potato to blend up well.  

Next, I dip the potato out into ice cube trays.
Put your trays in the freezer and they should be frozen in about an hour.  After they are frozen put them in some freezer bags or rubber maid containers and back in the freezer.  I usually label my bags with the date just so I can keep track of how long they have been in the freezer.

When it is time to eat I take out a cube or two or three put them in a microwave safe bowl and nuke them for about 30 seconds.  If you prefer not to use the microwave you can also put them in a bowl and in another bowl with hot water (sort of like a double boiler).

You will feel great feeding your little one something you "made".

You can do almost any food and you will be able to do fruits that usually are not available in the baby food isle such as mango!  Yummy!!

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February 8, 2011

stream of consciousness ... I'm in a rut!

February 8, 2011
Do you ever get in a rut?  I like to refer to my current mood as a rut.  I'm just in a non motivated sort of depressed, however, I hate to use that word "depressed" because I'm not really depressed, I just feel so un motivated to do anything at the present moment.  This happens to me every once in a while.  I think I fall into my daily routine at home and at a certain point it becomes redundant and boring ... this is when I start asking myself if I would like to work outside the home.  I can quickly answer that as "no".  I truly LOVE being a stay at home mom, I could not imagine anyone else caring for (I almost said "raising", but last time I made that comment I got reamed by a working mom for it) my children.

I cannot quit thinking about August, because in August Colton will start K3 at our local Christian School.  I know that it will be GREAT for him.  I know he needs the skills he will learn from there and I am pretty sure that he will be fine, but here is the thing: For the past 2 1/2 years EVERYDAY he and I have been together.  The only time we were apart was when I gave birth to Claire and even then he and his dad came and hung out with me in the hospital.  When you're with someone everyday and then all of a sudden they are away from you - even if it is for a short period of time - it is unsettling.  At least it is to me.  I want to cry thinking about it.  I worry so much about it because as of current the preschool he will be attending is everyday.  I think if it were only three days a week I would not have as hard of a time.  I really need to be in prayer more about this situation and ask the Lord to work on my heart.

Everything I do is with my husband and children.  It has always been that way and that is pretty much all I know.  A girls night out - what is that?  Seriously.  My husband works a long hard work week so when he is off  I like to be with him, he's my best friend.  Chris (as with most working spouses) really only gets to spend time with the children in the afternoons, which consist of dinner, bath time, a little playtime and then off to bed at 8pm - so when the weekends roll around that is his real quality time with them.  This is why I (we) never plan anything for just the two of us on the weekends.  Instead of hiring a babysitter to care for them while we go out, we just pack up the family and all of us go together - were use to it, this is the norm for us and we really enjoy it.  I actually feel kind of "lost" if I am without any of them.  I am coming to realize however that it would probably be good for Chris and I to spend an evening or maybe even a weekend (yikes!) away together.  Everyone keeps saying how important it is to have date nights and time alone in order to keep a strong marriage.  I understand where this train of though comes from, but I do not totally agree with it.  Good marriage in me consist of first, the Lord and then good communication and continuing to meet the needs of your spouse.  Often when you have children it is SO easy to give all your energy to your children and totally neglect your spouse.  I know I for one am really guilty of this!  I make these plans up in my head and by the time Colton and Claire and both in the bed around 8pm I am wiped out and all I want to do is sleep!  Finding a way to spend quality time with Chris and making him more of a priority is on the top of my to-do list (big smile!).

For now I am in a rut and so I'm going to get up off my unmotivated bottom and try to get myself in a peppy mood!

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February 7, 2011

52 Weeks {Week 4}

February 7, 2011
I realize I am really behind on posting this, but the last two weeks have been kind of crazy!
Colton had a rough week because cabin fever had really set in on him!  We had one day when it was not absolutely freezing so I bundled up his ears and sent him on his way!  He was so excited to get outside!

We visited with the Nichols one afternoon in Knoxville.  It was great to see everyone. I think that Colton enjoyed himself the most!  He played so well with Andrew and Anna!  It was so surreal for me!  I will hopefully share more on that tomorrow!

This was the week of milestones for our Anna Claire.  First, I walk in her room to see her standing up in her crib - a first for us!  She was so excited that she found something new that she could do.  Chris had to lower her crib down a level so she would not fall out.  Then I realize that she had 3 teeth that cut through!  3!!  For a total of five.  Colton cut teeth the same way and just as fast so this is to be expect.  Later that afternoon she suprised us all by crawling on all fours and following that up by attempting to crawl up the steps.  My newborn is not a newborn anymore :(

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February 2, 2011

You're All My Favorites - Video

February 2, 2011
As I have mentioned before Colton LOVES to read.  He has memorized so many books.  This is his current favorite: You're All My Favorites

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My Syndrome!

If you know me well you probably know that I use to have a major case of "foot in mouth" syndrome.  I say "use to" because I like to think that I have somewhat "grown out of" this syndrome!  Seriously though, I use to be terrible! - and I still have my moments (big smile!).  Leave it up to me to say the wrong thing at the wrong time.  you could usually chalk it up to me just simply not using my brain!  Not thinking before I spoke.  Due to my perpetual foot in mouth problem I have had to apologize to more than one girlfriend and try to explain myself to complete strangers.  Thank the Lord for understanding girlfriends who have learned to roll with the kicks ;).  I try to find humor in this problem, but lets just face the facts, its not funny when you hurt someone's feelings!  I hate more than anything to hurt someones feelings, it makes me sick to think that I have done so.

What has helped me with this problem?  Well, I guess you could say age, experience, growth, maturity - whatever you want to call it.  Learning to hold my tongue and think about what I say before I say it has been a battle for me, but I like to think that I am doing much better.  I'm pretty opinionated and that sometimes is a detriment to my "growth" so to speak, but I have learned that just because it is my opinion does not mean  I have to share it!  What is that old adage?  Opinions are like.... (I will let you fill in the blank) everybody has one, some just stink worse than others!  Ha!  I cannot believe I just typed that out!

What is your "syndrome"???

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February 1, 2011

Search me oh Lord

February 1, 2011
I love the Psalms and I particularly love Psalm 139 verses 9-10 "If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and they right hand shall hold me."  I remember clinging onto these verses as a young Christian in a time when I needed to know and feel the presence of the Lord the most.

This afternoon the Lord has laid verses 23-24 on my mind...
"Search me, God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

Who is really willing to ask the Lord to search them - to know your thoughts!?  Are we really brave enough to come before his thrown and ask him to search our thoughts and in essence to reveal the ugly that is lying within!?  I am heavy hearted tonight because the Lord is reveling the ugly, the nasty, the clutter - its not pretty, but its necessary.

Teach me O, Lord to love as you love and teach me to forgive like you forgive.

Search me....

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