Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The first big snow...

Yesterday it snowed and snowed all morning long. It really was beautiful, and despite my ever-present dread of a long winter, we had a great first winter weather day. One thing that I think is going to make our days much, much easier is getting the babes snowsuits/coats/hats/gloves on. It was a breeze yesterday compared to last season! Amelia actually said, "Thank you mama" as I put on her coat. I almost fainted. I guess they can reason a bit more and know how cold it is without their gear on--thank you Lord and please let this continue!

Once we were outside Amelia was immediately trying to make snowmen, tracks in the snow, and snow angels.... everything the character in our book "Peter's snowy day" did:) She didn't whine or complain about the cold once. I think she is going to be a girl after her daddy's own heart. Sam was a trooper too, but did mind that his mittens kept falling off and that his face was cold. I know buddy, I know.

I am determined to take our morning and afternoon walks though, no matter the weather!! So, watch out winter--we will not be intimidated by you and your blustery ways!

All for now, Jen

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Fall goodness...

I better hurry up and post my Fall recipes as it is quickly turning into winter here:)
I am going to be lazy and post a picture of the recipes out of my Simply in Season cookbook--hope you can read them okay.
This soup was super tasty, even though I accidently dumped like a gallon of pepper in it! The babes even like it!

We ate the soup with cornbread and then Shari made these pumpkin/squash bars for desert. She used about half pumpkin, half squash and they were soooooo delicious.

And a post wouldn't be complete without a picture of our little kitchen helpers:) This is from today when they helped made cookies. They were very proud.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Garden after dark...

I really am a girl after my mama's own heart. Halloween just is not a favorite holiday of mine. Ewwww. It all just gets so gory and gross. So, I wasn't sure about taking the babes to a Halloween celebration at Red Butte Garden, but the flyer said old fashioned and kid friendly and so we gave it a try. For the most part, it was sweet and fun though next year we will have to shield some eyes if we go again. Or maybe I'll have our own Harvest Party in the back yard with neighborhood kids. Whatever happened to bobbing for apples and making scarecrows? I did get a little teary at one point, holding hands with our little lion and seeing our little puppy holding hands with Joel. We have children! We get to make fun memories with them! I am so thankful.
I couldn't figure out how to work my camera w/ all of the lights, but here are a few shots that worked okay.

All for now. More Autumn recipes coming soon! Jen

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Sammy's special day.

Trains are a big part of the babes life here at the new house. Both commuter and freight trains run along tracks just east of our house. Jim and Shari have been taking them to sit and watch the trains go by on most every morning walk. I think Sammy could sit there the whole day long. They both wave and wave at all the people as the commuter train passes and the conductor of the freight trains usually give them a big toooot tooot and wave now, it really is fun! When they hear the whistles blow during the day one of them will usually say, "What's that?! I heard a choo choo train!"
So, today was the big day. We told them that we were going to ride a choo choo train! I let Sammy watch Thomas the Train this morning (yawn--Amelia and I lost interest quickly:) and we talked about it during our morning walk. Joel came home from a conference and off we went. At first Sammy was stoic and quiet, soaking it all in I think...then we started to hear his "OHHHHH! and BIG CHOO CHOO TRAIN!!!!" and a quiet, "I love trains." Melt my heart little guy.
We stopped about 45 minutes later and walked through a new town, stopping in a train shop, letting them sit on statue horses (Sammy was cracking us up with this far off, happy look he got when he would sit on those big horses. He is such a dreamy guy:), and then playing at a park. Though I think he enjoyed the train thoroughly and Amelia was amused, they both screamed and squealed and giggled the most while running through the leaves and going down the slides together. Oh, the simple things:) It was a very special day for us all.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Saying goodbye.

My heart is hurting right now. We said goodbye to Dali and her sweet family today. I can't tell you how much we grew to love her over the past few months. Sam and Amelia connected with her deeply, and I really mean that. They would just melt into her and even when they couldn't be comforted by anyone else, Dali seemed to often quiet their spirits. Knowing that they will, Lord willing, have a brother from Ethiopia made the relationship even sweeter to me. She and her mom and her four kids will get on a bus Sunday and ride for two days to meet her husband in South Dakota where he got a job at a meat factory. It's hard to see them set off with basically nothing, into another unknown place while we live here in our nice, neat bubble of a world. Oh, I have a lot of thoughts and feelings swirling around. For now, I'll just share some pictures of our time with Dali, her cousin, and her two youngest at Wheeler Farm today.

I know Amelia will ask multiple times tomorrow, as she does every day, "Where's my Dali?" Boooooooooooooooooo hoooooooooooooooo. All for now, Jen

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things I am loving and things that I don't like at all.

Things I am loving:
1. Fall. Seriously in love with these perfect weather, changing leaves, lay on a blanket in the cool, sunshiney afternoons kinda days. It is the perfect season for our little explorers:

2. Being with family. Getting to know baby Isaac, having a bustling house with people coming and going, it has been wonderful. Crazy, but wonderful.

3. Having a bathroom in our room. I took a long shower this morning without toddlers peaking in or asking me for something or whining for my presence. I simply locked the bathroom door. Ahhhhh.

4. The babes expanding vocabularies. They were playing with worms (again) yesterday and Sammy said to Joel, "Look at my little buddy! He's my little buddy!" While hiking in the mountains the other day, Joel and Amelia were going up a pretty steep hill. He must have looked worried because she said, "I trust you daddy." WHat?!?!?!? I don't remember ever talking about trust other than singing "Tis so sweet to trust in Jesus" but apparently she heard it and adopted it into her being. Sweetest thing ever. Other great phrases heard lately are, "What's happenin?" "What ya doin?" and many. many more.

5. The little park right down the street. It isn't big but it has plenty to occupy the babes for a long time and is literally a two minute walk. My friend Stephanie takes her little ones there almost every afternoon and we chat while pushing swings and kissing boo boos and laughing at antics. Living life along side others is essential for me I am finding. And so I am thankful to live right by a friend and right by a little park:)

6. Craigslist. I bought white, wooden indoor shutters for our living room, dining room, our bedroom and two hall windows for less that it would cost for ONE pair of shutters retail. So awesome!

Things I do not like at all.

1. Testing, testing, one two three. It seems the babes are testing every single limit and boundry they have ever known to make sure it still applies at the new house. It is hard to find the balance of grace and empathy (new house, family in town, etc. etc. ) while providing the structure and boundries that I know they are (literally) crying out for. God give us wisdom and strength!

2. Not being able to walk to the grocery store. I really do miss that.

3. We have fallen out of rhythem. Obviously I expected that the move would rattle our daily life for a while, but things still feel disoriented and I know the babes do as well. I am ready to find our new routine and dread that right when we do, it will be time for our winter trip to Texas. Ah well, such is life.

4. Our friend Dali is moving to South Dakota this week. Oh how I will miss her and her companionship and her love for the babes. She has taught me so much. She and her family (refugees from Eritrea/Ethiopia) have awakened my heart to the harsh reality that millions live in throughout the world. It was a painful but good awakening.

I guess that's all for now. Joelie and I are spending time out together today and we are ready to move on from the coffee shop to the outdoors. Hope you all are well, Jen

Monday, October 12, 2009

Simply In Season...

After reading several books about eating locally, seasonally,etc. I bought a cookbook called, "Simply in Season" that I just love. It breaks the recipes into seasons and that helps me so much! My first recipe that I made is called "Autumn Vegetable Soup" and I thought I'd post the recipe here. MMMMMMmmmmmm.

Autumn Vegetable Soup
1/2 cup onion (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (minced)
In soup pot saute onion in 1 T olive oil over medium heat until soft. Add garlic and saute 1 minute.

1/2 cup each kale, cabbage, carrots, red or green sweet pepper (chopped)
1/2 teaspoon each salt, dried basil, dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon pepper
Add and saute a little, then turn heat down to low, cover pan, and let cook about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

2 cups bean cooking liquid or vegetable broth
1 cup tomato juice
3/4 cup cooked beans
1/2 cup corn
2 teas. dried instant barley
2 teaspoons orzo
1 1/2 TBLS red cooking wine
Add and bring to a gentle boil and simmer about 15 minutes.

1/2 cup tomatoes (chopped)
1 TBLS fresh parsley
Add tomatoes and parsley, simmer another few minutes.

Here are some Fall pictures to go along with it:)

Saturday, October 10, 2009

I truly believe that it feeds your soul...

My nephew Isaac and his mama and daddy are here for a visit. Meeting and getting to know him for the first time has been such a joy. He is so sweet and snuggly and I have just loved getting out a sling and wearing him when the babes are sleeping or occupied. He fell asleep yesterday almost immediately in the sling yesterday and I lay on the couch and read some of my new cookbook and I literally felt like my soul was being fed. A sleeping baby on your chest is one of the sweetest, most pure joy feelings of all time I think and I just soaked it in. Poor little Isaac (and Shanyn) are weathering sleepless nights here due to him catching the babes cold:( I hope all of the house is feeling better soon!! All for now, Jen

Monday, October 05, 2009

We moved.

Whew. We are in our new house! The move went really well, though there were definitely some lows--think overly tired Sam freeeaking out over the CD player being in the wrong spot during the move--trying to pull it out of socket and throw it across room. Mama goes outside to get reinforcements and Sam runs after her tripping over his pajama pants and flipping down the concrete steps. He is fine but mama literally cries for an hour and a half. Wowsers. Anyway, the majority of the move was pretty drama free ONLY because we had so much help from Joelie's mama, from sweet Dali, from Joelie's friends that helped move the boxes. I am so,so,so,so thankful for all of the help because I seriously had no idea how impossible packing/cleaning/unpacking would be with two 2.5 year olds to entertain, feed, clothe, etc. I am so ready to be settled so that I can get out of the "oh, there are those children again! Don't they know there is so much to be done?!" Seriously, I think has been my least favorite part of the whole move. I am so ready to plop down on the floor and read some books, go to the park, explore our new neighborhood. Soon, soon. Tonight we are getting ready for Shanny and baby Isaac who are coming tomorrow, then Tim and then Jim. I LOVE having family here. Love it, love it, love it. I do look forward to getting back to "normal" and start the business of finding our new rythem, but for now I am just going to try and enjoy time with family, time getting settled, time transitioning from summer to COLD (ahem).

Hope you all are well! Jen

At least there was a little fun to be had during the move:) Sam was in "big truck" heaven.

No time for play children. Pick up a dish rag and start washing!

Lots of tired stares going on as we all figure out how to transition to Sam being out of his crib (Amelia taught him how to climb out), the move, family visiting, etc.

First successful nap in their new room.

I look veeery forward to resting here tonight and for many nights to come:)