Thursday, September 29, 2011

Everyday wonders and beauty to behold!

I live in the great Northwest! I truly love it here because it is green all the time. And being that green is my favorite color (i.e. color of money), it is a natural fit for me. In addition, the fact that there are mountains, makes it all the more blissful. Now, you can say, "well, it rains all the time!" And you are correct! But how do you think it stays green? The rain doesn't bother me for the most part. I will admit, March of this year was miserable because we only had one day without rain. But we have had beautiful weather for the last few months.
Everyday that it is clear, as I leave the kids' school to drive home, I see the most beautiful site. This is what I see:
 Mt Hood. Now, I don't see it from this point of view because there are roads, this is a picture taken over in Hood River Valley (thank you, yahoo pics). Oh, but the majesty of this mountain is amazing! Looking at the mountain, as I drive home, makes me reflect on what a great and mighty God I serve and His wonders to behold! The beauty He has made for us to see is humbling yet inspiring! Today, I am thankful for the mountains, the trees, the flowers and the velvet green hills and even for the rain, Lord!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Real life bloopers!

Most of the time, I live coherent and focused on my actions and conversations. Then I seem to have lapses of incoherency, where I live in a fog. Well Sunday afternoon presented me with one of these such moments. We went to lunch with my parents, Sis. Hads, Lane, Jasmine and Gustavo at a place called Busters BBQ. Everyone was fixing to leave and I went to use the restroom. Normally, I look for the little man and woman signs, which this fine establishment does not have. No, instead, you are either a COWBOY or a COWGIRL, which is written in the same EXACT handwriting. Thinking, which was my first mistake, that ladies come first (I thought Cowboys were gentlemen?) I went into the first door I came upon. As I walked through the restroom to the very last stall I noticed the urinals to my left. That was my second mistake! It didn't even dawn on me until I was in the stall beginning to lock the door that the woman's restroom doesn't have urinals. As fast as lightening, I was out that door and my mom approaching behind me (coming from the correct restroom) asked what I just did. I told her and we had a pretty good laugh. Thankfully, no one else was in the restroom at the time!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Yo-Yo Grandparents!

That is not what it sounds like at all!!! The term yo-yo is used for my wonderful parents who my pastor calls the yo-yos because the come back and forth between their house and ours about once every four weeks! Or we travel south to visit them.
With them living only four hours away, it has been a blessing for my kids (and me) to see them more often. And to our great pleasure they came last night and will stay until Sunday. We LOVE it!!! Grandparents are the most awesome people in the world, and we are so excited to be spending the weekend with them again!! It never gets old!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Cure for a case of Forgetfulness!

Since returning to school, we've had a few cases of forget-i-tis! At first, I chalked it up to "so many things happening at once" syndrome, but then when it happened more frequently, I knew we had to do something to cure it! I mentioned this issue on Twitter and a friend suggested making a list. Splendid idea! So I created one for morning and evening routine, put it on bright green paper and laminated it. After each item is completed, they are to initial or if they choose, they can do one big initial indicating the completion of all tasks. This morning I checked the list and this is what I discovered:




We got a good laugh out of this for it portrayed each of my kids' personalities! Levi initialed every item, my careful sheriff who is detailed oriented and meticulous. Elle wrote me a note letting me know she did everything, my journalist. Ashley wrote one big initial and characterized it with a face and hair, my playful child. And sweet Myles, who felt it wasn't necessary to even right his name (or initial) because he told me he did everything...why waste the time writing when you have more important things to do like sleeping on the couch while everyone is getting ready! Got to love my kids!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Observations

This morning, I took careful consideration of my surroundings. As I began my day, I thought to myself, "what would you notice if you were more observant?" Typically, I plow through my day not taking much notice of simple things. So here are a few things I observed, not all are inspiring, in fact, well...just look for yourself:

  1. Elle tries to be the first one ready every morning, this morning was no exception!
  2. Ashley is not adjusting very well to waking up at 6:45 am
  3. Levi is adjusting, thank the Lord!
  4. Myles gets dressed, eats, brushes his teeth and goes back to sleep until devotion, every morning! 
  5. This morning I was in reverse gear and my kids were almost late for school. 
  6. It was very cold this morning yet people were still half dressed.
  7. Target's bathroom smells like fruity pebbles.
  8. I will have a hard time eating fruity pebbles from now on.
  9. Target is entirely too close to my house!
  10. Target is the gathering place for all moms with half day kindergarteners.
  11. I mean, where else do you go for 2 1/2 hours?
  12. I may or may not have been singing out loud while listening to my ipod at the gym.
  13. I wondered how often I've done that.
  14. I am bored and ready for school to start (my classes).
  15. I wondered what life would be like without kids (for me, that would be very boring).
  16. Considered what it would be like having another child.
  17. Realized I was insane! 
  18. I intentionally smiled at everyone that made eye contact with me.
  19. I was pleased with the results...100% smiles.
  20. Day is not over, but I can say, I observed that I truly love life in all its simplicity! 

Monday, September 19, 2011

As Promised...pictures!

Okay, so here are a few pictures of my soup. My recipe is not really a traditional recipe so I will not be posting measurements and such. Rather, I will tell you what I put in it. I started with a broth, I prefer "Better than Bouillon"





After creating the broth, I sauteed the chicken with a little olive oil, garlic and onion.

Setting this aside, I add the beans, zucchini, corn and olives. I used kidney beans, pinto beans and a little bit of chili beans. Now if I were really Martha Stewart I would have cooked the beans all day, but because I'm not, I opened a can :).




Combining the beans, veggies and chicken into the broth (which I added a few spices), I let it cook for a little bit then I made a masa/water paste and added it to the soup.




While this was cooking, I made some rice (just white rice tonight, folks), then when it was done I put it in a bowl,




Poured a ladle full of the soup over the rice,

added some sour cream and pico de gallo. The soup was actually a tad thicker than the picture portrays. The only thing I forgot was the avocados! 




The following is a picture my husband wanted me to take of his water and eaten apple. As I was taking pictures to put on my blog, he wanted to know why I was taking pictures. I said it was for my blog and he wondered why. I told him because I can! Well, then he too, wanted to be a part of what I was doing so he asked  me to take this picture for you all! Enjoy! 




Monday Randomness

One thing I am not (or at least try not to be) is a complainer! I give optimism my best shot, sometimes falling a bit short, but usually make it. With Sundays being my favorite day of the week and Mondays my least favorite, I try to get full to the brim with joy on Sunday as I fall slip into Monday.
However, today has been quite productive :). With a little time on my hands in the morning while Ashley is at kindergarten, I seemed to get a jump start on my day. I went to Target to pick up some household items, went to the gym (ymca), came home and planned my week of dinners! Wowzers! I can't believe I actually planned meals! Misha, you are rubbing off on me!
Now this is not to say I don't plan, but cooking is my least favorite thing to do in a day. I prefer to bake so if my family could live off bread, desserts and anything else that doesn't require slaving over the stove, I would be one happy momma!
What's on the menu tonight, you ask? Homemade Tortilla Soup! I am borrowing bits and pieces from a few different recipes including one from my dear friend, Javawn, while adding my own touch. I'll post pictures of my creation tonight so I feel like Martha Stewart. So I am off to the grocery store with my list for the week (I created that this morning too). Ahh..I am basking in the glory of a day well planned..for once!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Elle's Book to You!

Well, to me rather!
Walking home from school on Monday, Elle presented me with a little book she made. In it was this picture she drew (not sure if it's supposed to be me or not) and she wrote me a little note, this is what it said:

You are great and you are the best!
You are awesome!
And I miss you when I go to school
And I want to see you so much.
I love you! 





Wow, you have no idea, Elle, what that does to this momma's heart! I love you to infinity and beyond, to the moon and back! 


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Chores and getting your kids excited about them!

In my previous post I mentioned I have my kids do chores. While reading a blog I follow, Nie Nie Dialogues, I saw a nifty way to assign chores. She had a jar or some sort of container and in it she placed ping pong balls with various chores written on them. I thought, "wow, what a cool idea!" So, I set out to try it and folks, it works!
On each ball I wrote things that I would have my kids do (i.e. dust downstairs, garbage, etc.) and I also included some that said, "trade a chore with your sibling" or "Hug your brother/sister and say I love you". This made it more fun! Not that my kids need to be told to love one another but it breaks up the monotony of chores. They each choose four balls and set forth to complete the task. I find we get more accomplished if we have fun while working!

*For those of you unfamiliar with Nie Nie Dialogues, you would find it worthwhile to take a look. I do not know her personally but she survived a near fatal plane crash.  She blogs about how she deals with life now. I find her very inspiring, especially when I am having a not so great day.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Through the mind of a child

With the hustle and bustle of going back to school, summer winding down and the crisp smell of autumn in the air, the daily chores of my children have been re-birthed. (There is no real schedule in summer). Yes, they have chores and yes, I make them clean. Horrible? No! I refuse to visit their messy homes when they grow up and I shant hear the moaning of their spouses that they never were taught to keep house!
Therefore, on Tuesday of last week it begin! The first few days went without much complaint and we were getting along so well. Friday came, and well, that was altogether a different story. In the rush to get outdoors and play, they (not all) quickly did their chores. Before they were able to go outside, I made an assessment on the presumed completion of their task. Alas, things were not as they should be and it took a few more rounds to get them done correctly.
During this time, Ashley was twittering around, cleaning things at random but never really focusing on her assigned chores. I mentioned this to her and she just grinned at me stating, "I just love to clean." As happy as I am to hear this, I also noticed she was leaving items like her shoes, backpack, build-a-bears (and all their clothes), chalk, eraser, and various pieces of paper all over the front room. So I told her to please clean up her things and then she can help me with my chores if she likes. She quickly runs around picking up things here and there, then asks, "Is there anything else?" I said, "Look around carefully, do you see anything?" "No, she said, I don't see anyone else." "Anyone?" I asked, "You mean anything, unless you carry people around." She giggles and says, "No, but I carry Jesus in my heart!" Yes, Ashley, you do, and that is what is most important.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten and it's her birthday!




Today, six years ago, we welcomed a precious little girl into our family. Ashley Jean is a joy! She is our angel baby. Not only is today her birthday, but she started kindergarten! She has waited a long time for this day! When we moved from California to Washington last year, Ashley's birthday came after the cut-off date to enter school. Therefore, she had to wait patiently, or rather impatiently, to go to school. So today is really HER day!!! We love you, Ashley Jean! You are a precious gift from God!

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back to School! A few quotes to make you smile :)

"Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don't." - Lydia M. Child

"The important thing is never to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

"I have never let my schooling interfere with my education." - Mark Twain 

"Purpose is to replace an empty mind with an open one." - Malcolm Forbes

"The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write, but those who cannot learn, unlearn and relearn." - William Shakespeare

"The teacher is one who makes two ideas grow where only one grew before." - Elbert Hubbard

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world" - Albert Einstein

"Education is wonderful - it helps you worry about things all over the world." - Joey Adams

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Taking a break...

Though not from my blog, but rather from Facebook. For a least the next month to month and a half, I will be focusing on life (family, church, school). In order to completely focus, I've decided to eliminate a few things I do everyday, one of them is Facebook. I enjoy staying in contact with all my friends but I find it easy to spend more time on Facebook and not enough time in other areas of my life that need attention. Honest enough for you? I will, however, be updating my blog and occasionally I'll be on Twitter. I'm fairly certain my presence on Facebook will not be life altering, but as the saying goes, "out of sight, out of mind". So my dear friends, please feel free to comment here on my blog. I truly love hearing from you!