Saturday, April 26, 2008

Gratitude Journal

sunshine slanting through the house
sisters playing together
banana popsicles
grocery shopping done
cupboards full
dinner in the crockpot

(I'm really thankful for food right now, must be the pregnant and nursing thing...)

Friday, April 25, 2008


Come on sun. Come on warmth. We are so ready for you.

Oh, Man

You know your pregnancy hormones are going strong when your 5 year-old daughter mentions casually at dinner: "I don't want to have a baby in my tummy, cause I don't want to be mean and not play Go Fish."

Monday, April 21, 2008

1000 Gifts

I got the idea for my Gratitude Journal from Ann at A Holy Experience. She started a list of 1000 Gifts. Now, she has begun a Gratitude Community blog roll. Check out her list and the blog roll; you'll find both in her sidebar. If you haven't visited Ann's blog yet, spend some time in this quiet place of peace and reflection. You may shed a few tears (I have), but you'll definitely be inspired.

Oh, and the second song that plays? Sometimes I'll go to her blog just to turn up that song and dance with my baby boy.

Gratitude Journal

The gray skies and snow flurries are threatening to dampen my spirits, so it's a good time for a dose of gratitude.

I'm thankful for:

a patient, loving husband
food on our table
happy children
sprouting seedlings
the promise of spring (it has to come sometime, right?)
good friends
a forgiving God

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Mmmmm...Banana Bread

I love making banana bread. It is so easy ( I don't even bother with my mixer), and all you need is a few pantry staples and some extra ripe bananas. Whenever we end up with over-ripe bananas, I just throw them in the freezer; they last forever and work perfectly (just thaw in microwave or on the counter before peeling).

This is my Grama Nancy's recipe that I adjusted to use some whole wheat flour. I like it better with the whole wheat; it seems a little chewier-which I like! And of course, it makes it healthier.

Grama Nancy's Banana Bread

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with non-stick spray.

Combine in a small bowl:

1 cup sugar

1 cup white flour and 3/4 cup whole wheat flour (or 2 cups white flour)

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

In a separate bowl mash 3 bananas. I used a potato masher, but a fork would work too.


1/4 cup softened butter

4 Tablespoons milk (or just 3 if you're using only white flour)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3/4 cup chopped walnuts (optional, I leave these out for my baby)

Stir well. Add the flour mixture a little at a time and mix until combined. Dollop into loaf pan and bake for 45 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes for all white flour) or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I love the first slice, warm from the oven, smothered with butter. YUM.

Monday, April 14, 2008


My spirits perked up quite a bit last week when I heard that sunshine and warmth was on the way. The forecast was for 60-70 degrees and lots of sun for the weekend. This was a huge improvement. Early spring resembled the middle of winter up here this year. I was ready to start some gardening plans and play outside with the kids.

Friday, after seeing many marmots scamper around our yard, I decided to put our veggie garden in large containers far away from the hillside where the critters live. I don't want to run, screaming out to the garden all summer in an effort to scare them away from our crops. Containers will also be easier than rototilling and preparing the beds like I had planned to do. And I think maintenance will be more manageable as my belly gets larger and larger! I didn't get to implement this plan yet, but I did sow eggplant and bell pepper seeds to start indoors.

Saturday dawned clear and beautiful. I did my grocery shopping early, and by lunch time we were out in the back yard with quilt, baby toys, and lemonade. We spent the rest of the afternoon playing, reading books on the quilt, laying in the sun.

I also had time to peruse a great magazine that I just discovered.
Beautiful layout and photographs, filled with scripture and inspiring articles, home keeping and hospitality ideas...

I wanted to take some pictures of the girls doing cartwheels, but decided to wait until later in the afternoon to get that beautiful slanting sunlight, and then of course we got busy with dinner and stuff cartwheel photos.

Sunday, we headed up north to my mom's house. She lives on a small lake surrounded by mountains. It is so lovely. The lake was still icy frozen, but getting slushy. The mountains were still sprinkled with snow. As the day wore on, the lake went from dull, mushy grey to sparkling blue. I wish I had taken some photos, but I was too lazy, the sun was too warm, and the breeze was too delicious to go in search of my camera.

All in all, a wonderful weekend!

Monday's To-Do List

Ok. I had a lazy week last week. As much as a mother of 3 can be lazy. The laundry piled up. The dishes piled up. The grime piled up. (The warm, sunny weekend weather didn't help this problem). I did do the grocery shopping, and I did feed everyone consistently, and I did love on my kids, so all was not lost. But here I am, Monday morning, faced with a large list of stuff to do around the house. At least the weather is cooperating; it's raining, grey, and cold. We'll see how much I can actually get done!
Update: I highlighted the things I have done so far (3:45). And those in progress.

-Catch up on laundry: baby's, towels, and folding
-Dishes: current stack, and later accumulation
-Clean kitchen: sink, counters, floor
-Pick up clutter around house
-Blog about my weekend
-Make sure I eat enough.
(I am nursing my son as well as growing a baby, so this is definately a daily chore for me. I know, poor Jen, but I'm not a big eater, unless we're talking junk food, and it's hard to take time out of my day to plan, prepare and eat healthily.)

It doesn't look like a lot, but it is when you consider that I also have to feed everyone, my 5 year-old has a fever, I have a nine-month old baby boy, and I'm tired and hormonal at almost 8 weeks pregnant. But, hey, all things are possible through Christ who strengthens us!!
I'll let you know how it goes.

Monday, April 7, 2008


I'm tired. I'm so tired and it is only 9:30 in the morning. I have so many things that I want to do. Just look at my list in the post below. And that doesn't include all the daily tasks of caring for my family and home. All I want to do is go lay down. I haven't let myself do that yet. I'm sitting at the computer, reading blogs, writing this post, hoping for a burst of energy to go get something done. But my baby boy is napping, my girls are playing together and not fighting...maybe I should go lay down for just a little while...
On the bright side: I'm not morning sick, thank the Lord. I've been blessed in this way, and I'm very thankful. I know many moms who get so sick. I'd rather have tiredness and crankiness any day, at least I can try to rest and change my attitude.

OK, now for that little nap...

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

101 Things in 1001 Days

My cousin Sarah did this on her blog. I've been trying to make up my own list. It's taken a few days to think of 101 things to do. I love lists, but don't always finish them. Maybe sharing my list and posting about things as I do them will be incentive to keep going.

1. Grow our own organic produce

2. Fix up both bathrooms: paint, flooring, decor

3. Start making healthy breakfasts for the family

4. Get photos printed and in albums or photo books

5. Paint kitchen cupboards and replace knobs

6. Learn to embroider

7. Learn to knit

8. Send birthday cards to family members

9. Get into daily chore routine

10. Start a gratitude journal

11. Read Stepping Heavenward

12. Pretty-up broom closet: paint, organize with nice storage containers

13. Baby proof house

14. Make freezer jam with organic strawberries (homegrown or u-pick)

15. Preserve fruits and veggies this summer and fall

16. Make homemade ice cream

17. Make more meals from scratch

18. Go on an inexpensive family vacation

19. Go camping

20. Make a photo book for baby's first year

21. Learn to be more frugal

22. Plant a sunflower house for girls

23. Read/research about sensory processing disorders (to help my 5-year-old)

24. Create a serene, peaceful home

25. Get rid of STUFF, keep only the useful and beautiful, preferable things that are both

26. Cut out the junk food in my diet

27. Fit in time to be creative everyday

28. Cherish my children everyday

29. Love my husband everyday

30. Choose joy everyday

31. Train up my children in the way of the Lord

32. Play with my girls more

33. Practice my cartwheels!

34. Teach 5-year-old to swim

35. Teach 9-year-old to dive

36. Invite my dad and step-mom over for dinner more often

37. Invite friends over for dinner

38. Have many backyard BBQ's

39. Make homemade lemonade

40. Get up before kids in the morning for quiet time

41. Write a children's story

42. Illustrate a children's story

43. Go to Maryjane's Farm

44. Grow great swaths of lavendar

45. Make lavendar sachets

46. Do more craft projects with girls

47. Kiss my husband everyday

48. Enjoy taking care of my family

49. Shop at second-hand stores for vintage treasures: linens, dishes, books...

50. Teach girls how to cook

51. Teach girls how to do dishes

52. Have another baby (6 weeks along!)

53. Bake lots of fruit pies this summer...can't wait for strawberry rhubarb

54. Experiment with creating my own recipies

55. Help girls to plant their own gardens

56. Eat more fruits and veggies everyday

57. Bake my own bread

58. Wardrobe overhaul: get rid of out of date, frumpy, too big, too small...

59. Get some cute flats

60. Get some cute flip-flops

61. Get a hair cut I like

62. Find a way to add to our income from home

63. Take girls out for a Girl's Day once a month

64. Get together with my mom and sisters without kids more often

65. Have tea parties with my girls

66. Give girls more hugs

67. Schedule in mom-refreshing days once or twice a month

68. Go on dates with my husband twice a month

69. Go away for a weekend with my husband to the bed and breakfast where we got married

70. Start having Family Days: spend the day together doing something fun

71. Bake a cake from scratch

72. Eat more organic foods

73. Cut down on my sugar intake

74. Eat extra-healthily during this pregnancy

75. Stay fit during this pregnacy

76. Get all Christmas shopping done before baby is born

77. Find a larger car/van

78. Find a good Christian school for girls for next year

79. Make and freeze a variety of meals before baby is born

80. Wean my son (after 12 months)

81. Get my son to sleep through the night

82. Paint wicker chair

83. Create a nice relaxing patio: potted herbs, flowers, cushions for chairs, lighting

85. Go to farmer's market once a week this summer

86. Go huckleberry picking

87. Learn how to use more features on my camera

88. Make pasta from scratch with my new pasta machine

89. Find some new, fun, easy lunch ideas

90. Paint living/dining room

91. Frame and hang my children's black and white portraits

92. Learn to sew

93. Hang curtains in son's and daughters' rooms

94. Make and hang curtains in kitchen

95. Take more walks with my kids

96. Do nice things for my husband, just because

97. Keep a garden journal

98. Focus on positive in life, not negative

99. Be a role model for my children

100. Watch my words...confess truth, life, hope

101. BE the daughter of the King I'm meant to be

*OK, some of these turned out to be life-long ideals and goals, but I want to remember to work on them all the time. What did someone say about actions leading to habits and habits leading to character? Or something to that effect? I'll have to look that up.
In the meantime, my list awaits...

Oh, when will 1001 days be up? I really don't want to do the math, my brain doesn't work so well when I'm pregnant. Can anybody help? Let's go from March 15, that's about when I started writing the list.
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