June 29, 2016

straying from the path :: yet another spiritual lesson from parenting

At this phase of life, God teaches me the most through parenting. The way I love my kids more than they can imagine, the sacrificing and laying down my life for them, and the things I find myself saying to them are the prominent way I am learning about how God cares for me.
Yesterday, we were in the woods on an archaeological dig looking for dinosaur bones (as you do), and, as always, we ended up playing in the creek.
It is probably my kids favorite thing ever to explore along the creek, throwing in rocks and clambering across logs to get to the other side. To them, it is a bit dangerous, but I am always right by their side, and I think a little risk is good for kids. Our big rule is that they have to be able to see me, which means that they need to look over their shoulders every once in a while to make sure I am still within view. If they can't see me, but they hear me call, then they better get to where I am, and fast.
While we there yesterday afternoon, I was bent over the creek, throwing rocks with Judah and watching Elle on one side of me. James was on the other side of me, hopping across rocks to get to the other side of the creek, having a great time exploring. I looked away from him for maybe 90 seconds while helping Judah, and when I turned back, he was gone.
This is not super unusual, so I called to him. No answer.
I heard no rustling or jumping sounds, so I called again. Still nothing. I called again and again, walking as far to where he was as I could without abandoning the other two. I tried to fight the panic feeling that I could feel rising up.
What seemed like forever later (although was probably only two minutes) I heard crashing sounds in the bushes and he reappeared, goofy smile on his face, leaping over the rocks towards me.
I reminded myself to be calm but stern, to extend grace but also make him realize that this was serious.
I sat him down on the creek bank where I could watch Elle and Judah, and looked into his eyes.
"James, you really scared me. If terrifies me when I cannot see you and you don't respond to me."
He nodded his head and looked apologetic. I continued,
"You have to be able to see me. You have to keep looking out for me. If you cannot see me, come back to where I am. But when you can no longer hear me, that is when you are really in trouble. That is dangerous."
The words were barely out of my mouth when I felt the Lord whisper "The same goes for you."

We have to look for Him, to make sure He is always within our sight. When we can no longer see Him, we must run back towards Him. But the real danger comes when we cannot hear His voice. When we have gone so far that we are no longer listening for His calling. That is when we get lost and lose our way.

May we always be like James and come crashing back through the bushes to One who keeps us safe and on the right path.

This time a year ago: another spiritual lesson.

May 09, 2016

mother's day 2016 : all up in da hood

Yesterday, we spent another fabulous mother's day in Hood River.

We started out with Pine Street Bakery, of course.

Then we walked from the Bakery down to a school play ground and hung out there for awhile.


We finally bribed the kids to leave with the promise of fro-yo.

Then off to the play ground on the river where we played in the sand and water and all the fun play equipment.

We were so hungry and tired by the time we dragged ourselves across the street to Pfriem that I did not document all the amazing food and beer we consumed because I was too busy consuming it.

After dinner the kids had one last burst of energy, so we headed back to the park and played a bit more before getting the kids into pjs so they could pass out on the drive home.
Which they did.

It was such a perfect day.

PS the hood last mother's day, the hood the year before that, and a post from a year before that with pictures taken in the hood

May 07, 2016

date oat nut cookies

I've been on a date kick lately.

There is just something about the fact that they are a fruit, but actually candy, but actually a fruit.

So, I had to make them into a baked good.

And, oh, what a good baked good. Soft and chewy, with the extra sweet of the dates and crunch of the walnuts.

I thought I would be a little sad that there was no chocolate involved, but I am so very happy with the results. Go make them, and you will be happy too.

Date Oat Nut Cookies
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1 1/2 brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tbsp vanilla
2 cups all purpose flour
3 cups rolled oats
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup chopped dates
1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Cream butter and sugar together until creamed well. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well. Add vanilla.
Separately, combine the flour, oats, baking soda, and salt. Add the dry mixture into the butter mixture a scoop at a time. Stir in dates and walnuts.

Bake on a parchment lined baking sheet for about 9 minutes. They may not seem done all the way in the middle, but will be beginning to brown slightly. Let cool on a cooling rack. Enjoy!

PS this time, a few years ago: these were yummy!

May 05, 2016

elle's first haircut ever + exciting things

Yesterday, at almost three and a half years old, Eleanor received her first haircut.

I was a little nervous she would get up in the chair and freak out, as she tends to do in these sorts of situations, but she did awesome!


Actually, she did better than awesome. She ate up every minute of Mrs Aho (who she lovingly just calls "Aho") putting clips in her hair, trimming it, then styling it with a curling iron and braid. Elle was pretty much giddy with excitement over the girly-ness of it all.

Kaitlin is so great. She was so sweet with Elle, and even gifted her with a lolly pop and nail polish afterward for being so good.

Eleanor will most definitely look forward to her next visit!

PS the super exciting thing: I figured out how to merge this blog with my old one! So everything I have blogged since 2011 is now in one place, and I can do things like this:

PS- four years ago- a recipe

May 02, 2016

hot day activity: truck wash

In honor of the beautiful weather we have been experiencing over here in the PNW, I thought I would share a fun, simple activity that the kids and I did a couple weeks ago on a hot afternoon. 

It all started with some cheap shaving cream and a bucket of water. Add a tub of toy cars, several big trucks, and excited kids and you have yourself a truck wash!

My kids adore water play, but I think they really liked doing something a little different from the usual scooping, pouring, and dumping of water. They seemed to really feel productive "washing" all those cars. Even if they weren't completely clean, they sure smelled good after the wash!

The kids have requested to do this several times since. Now I'm trying to think of other things around the house that they could clean this way!

PS one year ago- the meal plan for the whole stinkin' month of May!

April 24, 2016

the goslings!

Guys, I totally forgot to post pictures from last week of the goslings!

We were out on our back deck one morning admiring the pond and we looked down and spotted seven fuzzy yellow little blobs waddling around next to Mr and Mrs Goose.

On our way to the park I brought my "real camera" and snapped a bunch of pictures.

The kids know pretty well not to run right up to the geese, but Judah stepped dangerously close and daddy Goose started hissing at him. Hilariously, Judah hissed right back.

It was obvious as they got into the water that there is a little runt of the flock:

Come on little buddy! You can do it!

Whew! Then he made it!

PS the goslings one year ago , two years ago and three years ago!!!