Fresh Air (2)

The sound of the title… “Fresh Air,”  and then the pictures of the two little ones doing art together outside…  It seems like such a cozy, loving  sibling relationship, right?

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Honestly, it can be.  At the start of both the sidewalk paints and then the baking soda/ vinegar fun, all was well.  Then it happened.  I thought about how well it was going.  I thought about it, putting Murphy’s Law into effect and then hearing the fussing start.  If only I hadn’t thought about it!  🙂

Fresh Air (1)

After sickness, (a prepositional phrase I use loosely, as we are not quite to the “after” stage just yet), there is nothing like fresh air.  It’s at times like these that I am ever grateful to live in Southern California.  (Hey, nice face, dude!)

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Sadly, we still have one kid running a super high temp.  Including me, I’d say we are all about 85% better.  (Which feels like 110% since this is such a nasty bug!)  Keep praying for us!

Still… or Again?

I’m hoping by jumping back on the blog that things around here will get back to “normal.”  Of course, by now I’ve almost forgotten what normal looks like.  The “new normal” is lethargic, fussy kids who all want to be held at the same time, don’t want to eat, and watch far too many videos.  Since becoming a mom, I don’t remember ever having kids this sick for this long.  I know they are saying it is an awful flu season… I would have to agree!

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At this point, I really can’t say whether my kids got the flu again or have it still… Less than a week passes by before the harsh fever of 104 strikes again, and it lingers on and on for days.  Unfortunately, I, too, got sick this time.  Oh my goodness — after 5 days of my own fever, I was starting to think I would never get better.

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I finished my antibiotics today, and finally have no fever and a clear mind.  I even washed the sheets, and am hoping to sleep with my husband again instead of 2 or 3 fevered little snorers.  And, while I’m still only about 80% better and 2 children still have a fever, it feels incredible to be able to function.  The hardest part about this sickness is answering the kids’ questions, and yet it has been so good… “Why do we have to get sick so many times?  Why doesn’t God answer our prayers?”  I get torn in answering.  I want to affirm their misery, and not belittle it.  At the same time, I want them to know how incredibly blessed we are and that a little sickness could fall on anyone — the godly and the ungodly, and that no matter what God’s answer, we know His character is good and therefore we can trust Him.  As long as we live on this fallen earth, until the Lord redeems it completely, there will be sin and sadness and sickness.  Lots of big stuff for little ones, yet I know they can handle it.  We’ve thanked God for our blessings, and continued to pray for health.  I also told them it’s ok to tell God they’re frustrated and tired, so long as they always ask God to help them remember He is always good.  It’s been a good lesson for me, too.

So, I hope to be back to blogging regularly and yet, I have a week’s worth of house mess and laundry which seems like it will take a month to get back in order!  And, because this sickness really does seem to linger and not go away, please do keep us in your prayers!

Ice Skating Lessons

Sometimes I question my sanity… what was I thinking signing four little ones up for ice skating?

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Sierra’s face says it all… (along with her wet pants).  Poor girl fell so many times, my own bum hurt for her!  But she was a trooper and stuck to it.  And so did Malachi, who you will see on the ground next to Sierra.  Poor dude was miserable, but worked hard to be tough.  As soon as he spotted me through the glass, his lip began to quiver and my heart melted.  One of the instructors spotted him and brought him a little plastic chair to scootch on, and he made it through.

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Allison and Natalie were too far down to take pictures, but they did great and enjoyed it.  Afterwards, they spent about 40 minutes on the ice during free skate time.  (Sierra lasted about 2 minutes, but at least she got back out there and tried!)

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Afterward, we went out for a little hot chocolate.

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Yes, I question my sanity at times.  Then I look at the pictures and remember just the good parts and… do it all over again next week!

Pickles

Trader Joe’s is one of my favorite “home away from homes,” (along with Costco, Target, and Chick-Fil-A).  One of our staples there is their organic Persian cucumbers.  The kids and I love them, but sometimes don’t eat them all fast enough.  This time around I decided to pickle them, using my husband’s awesome pickle recipe.

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It’s so simple, yet super delicious… rice wine vinegar, garlic, and sugar.  Proportions?  I have no idea… my husband has many “recipes” like this from watching his mom, but I love that.  I love that he watched his mom and picked up on so many things.  (Especially sushi.  Thank you, Mom!)  If you’re going to try it, don’t miss this last step… put a few on a plate or in a bowl, and drizzle sesame oil over them.  That makes it!  My kids prefer them without, but trust me… they need the sesame oil.

A Short Story

Once upon a time I lived by myself in a most adorable little 850 sq. foot house.  I knew nothing about painting, building Ikea furniture, or decorating, but I soon learned and I sure had fun trying.  Somehow I will have to dig up some old pictures of Daisy Court for you.

Today I am happily married to the most handy of men.  I no longer try… anything.  (Ok, so I still paint my walls when I get a whim, but that’s about it.)  I am embarrassed to admit I even put hanging pictures on my honey-do lists.

All that to say, for Christmas Santa gave me a fun wooden sign.  (The kids noticed Santa used the same wrapping paper as Uncle Nate, but whatever…)  It has been sitting in my office the last couple weeks just waiting to be hung.  Then it occurred to me.  I could put a bracket on the back and hang it all by myself.  And I did!  I didn’t measure or use a level, but you can’t tell.  My type A husband has now joked that he will have to start hiding his tools, but I am feeling super empowered — all from one little picture hanging!

Oh, yeah… here is the sign above our bathroom door.  Thank you, Santa… I know you’re reading this!

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Carrot Cake Banana Bread

Somewhere around day 4 or 5 of the kids being sick, I thought for certain their appetites would have to come back.  So, I tried a new breakfast recipe; carrot cake banana bread with vanilla yogurt icing.  No mater how sick they were, they would at least have to try it, right?  Icing and cake for breakfast?  eh-hem…

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I found the original recipe here.  She even calls hers healthy… and it is, mostly.  Well.. my timing was definitely off.  Only one kid tried it, and she didn’t like it.  Boo.  Daniel and I thought it was great, so it may just be a healthy/ sweet treat for us in the future.

Ingredients (1 loaf)
  • 1 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 cup grated carrots
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil (in liquid form)
  • 1/3 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans

For the vanilla yogurt glaze

  • 1/4 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
Instructions
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Spray a loaf pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the white flour, whole wheat flour, baking soda, salt and ground cinnamon.
In a larger mixing bowl, beat together the mashed bananas, sugar, egg, 1/2 cup yogurt, vanilla, and grated carrots over medium speed until well combined. Add in the coconut oil. Slowly beat in the flour mixture. Mix until just combined.
Fold in the shredded coconut and chopped pecans.
Pour the batter into your prepared loaf pan. Bake for 40-50 minutes, or until the center is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then run a butter knife all along the edges. Flip onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once the bread has cooled, prepare the vanilla yogurt glaze. Whisk together the 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt and powdered sugar in a small bowl until smooth. Drizzle over top of the banana bread. Slice and enjoy!

The hair.

Where do I begin when talking about Sierra’s hair?  Until she was 3, the girl sported an amazing afro.  People, (strangers,) are always naturally curious about my husband’s ethnicity when I am out and about with the kiddos.  Oh, the stories I could tell… like, “What is your husband?”  Anyway, more than once I was asked if I was married to an African American when I was alone with Sierra.  Because. of. the. HAIR.

Well, she is getting older and her hair is changing.  The curls are disappearing, (sniff, sniff), but she still has some on the ends.  And, body — the girl’s got body!

So, you want to know what happens to her hair after 5 days of laying around sick and unable to take a bath?

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Oh, the scratch on her cheek?  Poor dear was sound asleep on the floor when the kitten wanted to play.  Ouch.

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I’m not gonna lie… bath time brushing involved a few screams.  But all is well in the hair realm, and we’re still praying for the sickness to leave, but I believe we are getting there!