like a good neighbor

My husband sent me flowers Friday (ain’t that sweet?) and my son saw them on the counter Saturday morning. He asks, “Momma, where did those flowers come from?” in his cute two-year-old voice. I replied, “Your daddy sent them to me.” He looked at me and said, “Mr. Faux?” My husband and I both laughed because Mr. Faux is our retired neighbor.

My husband then said, “Like a good neighbor…” and Ezra finished with “State Farm is there.” It was hilarious. Kids say the darndest things!

Here’s a picture of my boys this morning before I left for work. Ezra was showing Elam is rubber snake. Oh, and notice the pacifier…I’ve told Ezra we’re trading it in for Halloween candy next Friday. We’re going to throw away the pacifiers…should be an interesting weekend!

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recipes and halloween

I got on a kick this week and cooked a bit more than I have in a while. Baby Elam is finally starting to take some longer naps, plus I had Wednesday off which allowed me to cook a bit. Here are the recipes I used:

  • Wheat Beer Bread – I’ve always wanted to make bread, but it seems so daunting. This recipe was easy-peasy and I whipped it up in just about 5 minutes last night. I liked the bread, but my husband wasn’t much into it. I also baked fish my dad had caught in the river and then I sauted up kale in oil olive and threw in a can of drained black eyed peas. Good supper.
  • Apple Muffins – I follow the blog “100 Days of Real Food” and she posted a neat muffin recipe to try. I didn’t have walnuts and I only had 1/2 the syrup it called for, so I left out the nuts and did half syrup/half honey for the sweetener. Ezra gobbled his down and Mike (hubby) even liked them.
  • Baked  Eggplant – A vegan man that is a member of the gym where I work brought me an eggplant earlier this week that I needed to use, so I made this dish for my mom and me. I added Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and onion powder. I liked it but mom loved it and made it again at her house. I served it over raditorre pasta with marinara sauce.
  • Monkey Bread – This one I learned in middle school home economics and it just stuck. You take a can of biscuits and cut them into quarters, then roll in melted butter. After that, dip them in a mixture of sugar and cinnamon and bake at 350 for a few minutes. Ezra actually helped with this one and ate the raw dough (just a little). He’s such a picky eater that I let him just about anything that won’t make him sick! 🙂 It’s not the most healthy dish, but it’s a nice little treat from time to time. I need to find some wheat biscuit dough or make some from scratch.

Speaking of picky eaters, earlier this week I downloaded some neat docs and watched a short video by Tribe Wellness about picky eaters and how to remedy the issue. I learned some good tips and I encourage you to check it out if interested.

Another cool thing on the “100 Days of Real Food” blog was alternatives to Halloween candy. My son is having a pre-school party for Halloween and I think I will take some non-candy treats for that. The teacher sent home a list of what each kid needs to bring…the list included cupcakes, cookies, chips, cheese puffs, and pizza. I am responsible for the chips and I think I will bring some fruit salad to show folks you can still have fun with good foods…

Well, let’s get ready for the weekend. I hope yours is filled with fun, good food, and some physical activity!

i’m back

Holding my sweet baby Elam

Holding my sweet baby Elam

I’m back…back to work and hopefully back to blogging a bit. What have I been doing? Spending a lot of time holding a baby and chasing a 2 year old. But, I returned to work last week, so now I am back to being a lifeguard, personal trainer and hopefully group exercise instructor in October.

I’ve missed blogging and have had a million ideas of what I could blog about, but never could find the time to actually sit down and write it out. But now that I’m back to work, I can get my thoughts out during my breaks and such.

Baby is doing well and is already 7 weeks old, which is hard to believe. His brother likes him and is good to  him, so that makes my life easier. Having two small kids is chaotic and I thank God that I have a good husband to help me out.

I really enjoyed my break and bonding with my boys. I miss spending time with them already. My older son started preschool two days a week last week and that went well, thankfully. Here’s a shot my sister caught of him on Labor Day weekend playing with an old Halloween decoration we had in the yard…

Ezra and the skull

Ezra and the skull

Now, it’s time to get back into shape (just did a good 20 minute workout) and get back into a groove. And, get back into meal planning/cooking. I really miss eating well, so that’s one of my biggest goals. Here goes nothing!

i like rick warren

I like Rick Warren, and not in the sense of a Facebook “like” – I really just like the guy. I have read the Purpose Driven Life book and it’s very insightful. I’ve also signed up for his daily email devotional and I really love the points of view he has. He always backs things up with scripture, which is what a Christian person is supposed to do.

A while back, I got an email about this relationship study that you can get and I think I’m going to donate and get the study to share with folks at my church. I don’t have any serious relationship problems, but there’s always room for improvement, right?

Somehow I stumbled upon this video a minute ago and I agree with what he says 100%. It matches my views about homosexuality all the way. Take a few minutes and see what you think.

God still speaks

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I picked up this new sign for my house a Wisteria’s Gifts in Fayetteville, WV on Friday when my husband and I spent the day ziplining for our 11th wedding anniversary (we had a really great time). When I read what it said, I just about cried it touched me so much. I just had to splurge and by the thing. It fits perfectly by the sliding glass door between the kitchen and dining room.

Recently, our preacher mentioned hearing the voice of God. I have to admit that I hear God talking to me on a regular basis. Just like with anything else, to hear something, you have to be listening for it. I’m not perfect and I don’t listen nearly well enough, but last week, I felt God leading me to go see our neighbors.

They are a  young couple that lost their 24 week old fetus about two weeks ago. The mom had to deliver this still born baby, which they then named and buried. I just had a burden on my heart to go introduce myself (I hadn’t yet met them) and take them dinner or something. Well, before I got to it, God sent them to me.

Yesterday, I was at my in-laws house when the couple showed up bearing a gift for our 3 week old son…a baby outfit. Now, isn’t that the sweetest, most heart-breaking thing you’ve heard lately? Here they are, bringing a baby gift when they just lost their baby (this was the second still born, by the way).

The young lady got to hold our new baby and she seemed so happy to do so. We talked about her two miscarriages and I was getting ready to tell her things are going to be ok when she said, “I know God has a plan for me.” Now, isn’t that something? I did invite them both to church since she said they don’t have a home church at this point.

The Sunday School lesson for this upcoming week is “Victorious Faith: God will strengthen and restore me.” It points out that “When you’re down and out, cliches are the last thing you need. (Hang in there, Roll with the punches, etc.) This lesson really made me thing of this young couple. One of the verses of scripture is “Casting all your cares upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7.

I’m so thankful to be so blessed, but I have to take time to stop and consider those around me who aren’t. Then, reach out to them.

sonflowers

Yes, I know that it’s spelled “sunflowers”, but I wanted to incorporate my sons into it as well. I have the most beautiful sunflowers starting to bloom in my garden. At the same time, I have the two most wonderful sons a mother could ask for. Little Elam is now 6 days old, which is hard to believe. He’s the best baby – nurses and sleeps like a charm. He’s starting to wake up a little more each day and it’s nice to see his little eyes taking in the world. Here are some recent shots of my first week off from work on maternity leave…

nesting? perhaps.

I left work at 1:30 today to come home and take a nap, which I did…for 2 hours! My mom has my son today, so I thought I would take advantage of a little “me” time before this baby gets here. It’s decided to incubate at least till its due date (tomorrow) and I’d been wanting to bake up some zucchini bread since the garden is being generous.

First, I made a blackberry peach cobbler that I’d made last year. Then, I made a double batch of zucchini bread. Next, I cleaned up the house and lastly, finished packing my hospital bag. I’m getting ready to light into dinner for my husband and me. I hope he’s as tickled as I am when he gets home to a clean house and the smell of fresh baked goodies! I think this might be my sudden burst of energy that folks talk about before you go into labor. Who the heck knows? I thought I’d have this baby by now! 🙂

I had forgotten about something my son said this morning. He got up early (around 5:45 am) and came to get in bed with me (his daddy was already gone to work). He had been laying there a few minutes when he took out his paci (still trying to kick that habit) and said “I like you.” Now, doesn’t that mean the world to a mommy? It sure did to me.

Enjoy some photos of what I was up to this evening and a visit to a friend’s house the other day.