Thursday, January 19, 2012

Princess Peas

My favorite picture of my brother and I when we were kids is one where we are both wearing dresses and pretty necklaces. I'm not sure if he always went along with such things, but this one instance was documented. So when Selah managed to convince Titus to join in her princess fun, I knew I had to grab the camera.

After this series of photos, Titus shed the princess dresses and we dug out the pirate costume. Much more manly!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday

It is becoming evident to me that I will not become a food blogger. By the time food is made around here, no one has the patience for a photography session! Tonight we had a yummy roast chicken in the style of The Barefoot Contessa.

I also had a parenting WIN today! As a side dish to our Perfect Roast Chicken, I made Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Brown Butter and Toasted Pecans. They were delicious, but both of the Peas were reluctant to try them. In a moment of pure genius (inspired by A Christmas Story), I peeled off the outer, bright green leaves.

"Would the baby giraffe like to eat the leaf?" I asked Titus.

His face lit up and he nodded his head, "Huh!" (which means yes).

Titus proceeded to eat a bunch of Brussels sprouts, and Selah was eager to join in the giraffe game. So yeah, I got my kids to eat Brussels sprouts!

Hannah is trying new things too! We are starting slow, but so far rice cereal and avocado have been a hit. I can't believe she's old enough for food.

Titus may or may not have been eating the pecans off his plate in the style of Randy at some point during the meal.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just Say No

Anyone remember Drug Awareness week in elementary school? I remember red ribbons, and a few songs. 

"Just say no. No! No! No!
You've got some courage to show!"

Okay, maybe I only remember that song. 

Since then, I have found that saying no applies to a lot more than someone offering you drugs. Saying no probably comes naturally to some people, but for a people-pleaser like me, it is a skill that I have had to develop. For me, part of being a better mom this year involves saying no to more things. Good things like group bible studies. Fun things like nights out with friends. I was thinking about this last night as I tossed and turned in bed, and this morning I found an email from Productive Parenting titled "A resolution to do less". I love it when that happens! An unexpected confirmation.

"What if you resolved to have less commitments on your daily schedule which might provide a greater margin of time to be present and patient during the time and transitions between the few that remain? 
What if you resolved to lower your expectations of each day so that your success as a mom was more aligned with how you loved rather than what you did?"
                   -Productive Parenting

Exactly! Some days I feel so bogged down by my own expectations. So today, I am hoping to do some laundry. The kitchen counters may still be cluttered, the toys may still be all over the floor, and I may not get a shower until late in the day. But I will have the time, energy and patience to enjoy my children.

Already, I am seeing benefits to this new "resolution". I enjoyed some precious moments with my family this weekend that I would have missed had I not said no!

Babies in a Boat

First Solid Food

Grandpa D supervising Strawberry Shortcake time

Thursday, January 12, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday

A day late...and with no pictures, of dinner at least. I succeeded in making two meals yesterday! Chili for lunch, because winter is BACK, and Crispy Honey Lime Tilapia for dinner.

Sidenote: what is dinner at your house? The noon meal or the evening meal? At our place, dinner is in the evening.

I had planned on being a good blogger and taking pictures, but dinner was delayed due to a certain farmer. When we sat down to eat, I was way too hungry to care about pictures, as were the little Peas. I will let you look at the pictures on How Sweet It Is (one of my favorite food blogs). I also made the Blueberry Lime Salsa to go on top. I ended up using it as a salad dressing as well, and Titus and Selah just ate it with a spoon. Eating healthy is easy when it tastes this good!

In between making meals, I introduced the Peas to baking soda and vinegar. I saw this idea on Pinterest, and it was a big hit!

I dumped baking soda on a cookie sheet, added food coloring to vinegar in little cups, gave Selah and Titus medicine droppers and let them go to town!

I am sure the next time they help me bake, I will hear requests for colorful volcanoes! 

Besides cooking meals, I got nothing accomplished in the way of housework. I am learning to be okay with the chaos in our house. BUT, I did get to play dress-up and have superhero races!

I wish these happy, smiley pictures depicted the whole day, but there was a lot of yelling, crying, and hitting in between all these fun moments. Not to mention the snot from three runny noses! It is all just a part of life with three kids ages four and under, I guess. 

I am thankful to be a part of it (most of the time)!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Photography Skillz

Selah loves to take pictures with my little camera, a Canon Powershot, and I often find the memory card full. She does the same thing with my phone. Recently, I have found myself deleting less of them and keeping most of them. They make me laugh, and her pictures show everything! She doesn't censor out the ugly stuff like I do, like the piles of laundry. Here is a small collection of her work.
Almost naptime


A moment captured in time: Titus pulling Hannah's hair for the first time.

One of the may piles of laundry

Baby Blues

Pig in Crunch Berries


Flames of Envy

Tiny Dancer

Friday, January 6, 2012

On the Farm Friday

We farm plants - not animals, which I am thankful for. In fact, I told Robbie that if he had been a pig farmer it may have been a deal breaker. Ha! You see, I thought I was going to be a city girl, but instead I live on the farm. And I am okay with that! Anyway, over the past month, we have had a different experience on our farm.

Cows! Robbie has been custom grazing cows for a rancher from Oklahoma. Yes, the rancher sends his cows up here to eat our corn trash! Not only does this help the rancher, but it has a couple of benefits for us as well. The cows fertilize our field (I don't think that needs further explanation) as they eat the trash (corn stalks and cobs) left on the field from harvest.

One of the cows even had a calf! The kids and I have had so much fun looking for the calf each morning. It is usually not far from mama, but occasionally we see it running and bouncing around. It even got under the fence and almost in our front yard one day.

These cows are rather skittish around adults, but they are not afraid of Selah and Titus. Titus splashes around in the cattle tank, and the cows could care less! 

The kids have loved having the cows around, and I have to admit I have too. Tomorrow they will be moving to a different field, and I will miss them. Their routine is predictable and comforting. It is peaceful to look out and see them grazing.

I guess it is a good thing that Robbie didn't let me turn this cattle tank into a strawberry bed like I wanted to do. I will leave the tank as is, so next year we can have more cows visit our farm!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

What's For Dinner Wednesday

So I thought I would post what we had for dinner, but it turned out to be an epic fail. I did not want to take pictures of it. I had attempted Jamie Oliver's Creamy Chicken and Leek Stroganoff. It may actually be really good, but in an effort to be healthier I used 1% milk instead of heavy cream. After I added the milk, several adorable distractions took me away from the stove.

The milk boiled.

It curdled.

It looked gross.

We ate it, and Robbie said it tasted good. But he dumped a bunch of soy sauce (what?!) on it first.

Lunch was a much more successful endeavor. I sauteed spinach and mushrooms in a little water, added 3 egg whites and topped with a little salsa. Yummy!

My goal is to be much more intentional with my food. It certainly is more difficult to put a meal together with three little ones demanding my attention, but I realize that as the person who is responsible for meals, I direct the health of my family. Yikes! I am hoping to limit the processed foods that I have started to rely on.

Nutella counts as a health food, right?

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Take 2

Okay, I am going to pretend that I did not start this blog over two years ago and then completely neglect it after one post. :) Rather than fill in the past two years, I am going to jump in to where I am in life now. This is going to begin a documentation of my attempt to be a better and healthier mommy to my three sweet peas.

Today, I started the day with a 30 minute walk. It is the first of what I hope to be a daily occurrence. I do not like to think that this is a New Year's resolution, since I usually try to avoid those (and breaking them). Rather, it is a necessity for regaining my own body. Three kids in four years has taken its toll, and I am ready for a change! The alone time is also a necessity. I enjoyed listening to Matt Redman and watching the sunrise in peace.

When I walked up the driveway, I was greeted by two children who apparently were traumatized to discover I had walked away in the morning. Selah and Titus ran out the door barefoot and crying into the freezing cold morning. We cleared up the confusion and moved on with our day, which included a lot of farming.

Are you making resolutions this year, or are you like me and usually try to avoid them?