1/28 – What makes you smile?
My baby. An evening with friends. Sunshine. Funny things my kids say.

1/29 – When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?
Hopefully not.

1/30 – If you had the opportunity to get a message across to a large group of people, what would your message be?
If I had the opportunity, I probably would not seize it. Talking to a large group of people isn’t my forte. But I suppose my message would and should be the Gospel, and urging people to love one another as Christ loves us.

1/31 – If the average human lifespan was 40 years, how would you live your life differently?
I’m not sure that I would or could change anything. A lot of life seems to be waiting, and I don’t know that I could rush anything to happen faster just because I knew that my life would likely not be as long. A lot of things that I would like to do in my lifetime, such as travel, take money, so I’m not sure I could do anything to change or speed up the things I want to do. I feel like I try to live pretty intentionally already, spending time with my kids, family, friends, etc. Maybe I would cut down on my internet time.

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Cherry Limeade

My recipe for cherry limeade, reminiscent of the cherry limeade from Sonic. (I did some web searching and used ideas from different people to come up with this.)

You’ll need:

Rose’s Cherry Grenadine
Rose’s Lime Juice
Maraschino cherries

Put three lime wedges and three maraschino cherries at the bottom of a drinking glass. Fill the rest of the glass with crushed ice.

Add about 3 tablespoons each of the cherry grenadine and lime juice. Fill the glass with Sprite, stir together, and enjoy! Feel free to adjust the amount of cherry grenadine and lime juice to suit your tastes.

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New Shoes & Questions

We went to the store yesterday to do a little shopping for the kids with some money from Rick’s grandma. What made it especially fun for me was the fact that we got to do the shopping at two of my favorite stores for kids’ clothes: Old Navy and Target. Really, there’s nothing in particular that I covet for myself in either of those stores, though there are certainly some cute items; but the baby stuff kills me every time. It’s my weakness. And I am so glad I was able to indulge this time! Of course, I wouldn’t really be myself if I wasn’t still scouring the racks for clearance and sale items, and I did happen to get some very good deals on both pairs of Epiphany’s shoes. Kyrie and Antonio also got new shoes, which were not on sale, but were very cute and also something that they have needed for a good while. I’m glad that they both have shoes that are appropriate for church now!

These ivory, lacy ones are Epiphany’s. I just fell in love with them when I saw them sitting on the shelf. I was so happy to see them marked down to $3.88—and they were just the right size, too!

Kyrie’s shoes couldn’t fit her personality more. They are sparkly, pink, and classic. I think I love them almost as much as she does.

I didn’t get a picture of Antonio’s shoes because he moves around too much and they’re not quite as pretty as the girls’ shoes, but I’m equally happy to have gotten them for him, and he’s pretty happy with them, too.

Last but not least, here are the questions from the last few days:

1/25 – When is it time to stop calculating risk and rewards and just do what you know is right?
Honestly, if a right and wrong can be discerned in the situation, then the risks and rewards shouldn’t play into the decision—it should be a simple matter of doing what’s right. But, as we know, there are plenty of situations where there are a myriad of options, none of which may be right or wrong, but some could be better than others. I guess that’s where prayer and asking for guidance would come in to help figure out when to act on something and make a decision.

1/26 – How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
Well, I would still be the same age regardless of whether I knew my age or not. 😉 But I think the question is more meaning, what age would I peg myself at if I didn’t know my own age? And I think I’d have to say 25, because that sounds reasonably believable, but is still a couple years younger than my actual age.

1/27 – Would you break the law to save a loved one?
If it didn’t also violate my conscience, then yes. Legality and morality are not the same thing.

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Sometimes it takes something like illness to make me stop, look around, and see what I have—a family that is usually very healthy, happy, and energetic, a warm, safe home, and nutritious food to fill us up when we are hungry. And when the plague strikes, I have to stop in my tracks and give God thanks for all His gifts, and rest in Him, knowing that health and life and good gifts all come from Him.

God’s strength shines in our weakness, and I rely on Him and the joy He gives me as I clean up vomit and worry about my baby’s feverish body. Thankfully, He gives me people I can rely on, too. I’m thankful for a husband who will clean for me when I am sick, and when I’m better, but the little ones are not, will go out and buy tons of germ-killing cleaners for me. I am thankful for a friend from church who is thoughtful enough to make us a casserole just to help out.

So, while I’m sick of everyone being sick, I’m also grateful that in these circumstances, I feel an extra measure of God’s love and care for us.

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365 Questions

I found out about 365 questions (a question a day for every day of the year) from a friend’s blog, and I like the idea, so since my job today is apparently to be a human pacifier for a sick baby, I thought I should take this time to catch up on the questions I’ve missed so far.

1/1 – When was the last time you tried something new?
Well, back in October I got the shortest haircut I’ve ever gotten. Never again.

1/2 – Who do you sometimes compare yourself to?
I really don’t compare myself to other people as much as I compare myself to the imaginary person I think I should be, which is probably far more dangerous. I don’t even compare myself to someone who’s real.

1/3 – What’s the most sensible thing you’ve ever heard someone say?
I remember my dad telling me and Rick, as we approached our wedding day, to be loving and kind in how we spoke to each other, and that words are powerful. While I’ve not followed that advice very well, it is pretty much the most sensible thing I can think of at the moment, and I strive to follow that advice.

1/4 – What gets you excited about life?
Many things. I’m excited about what the future might hold for our family, and I’m excited about the family that I have right now. I’m excited to watch my children grow and learn.

1/5 – What life lesson did you learn the hard way?
I’ve learned many things the hard way, but the main thing is: don’t try to fix other people or their problems, and don’t play the Holy Spirit with people. Let God work instead of trying to control or push something to make it right again. At the same time, don’t lose hope and don’t become apathetic. As with most things, there is a delicate balance to be sought, and I believe it’s a lesson I’ll be learning my entire life.

1/6 – What do you wish you spent more time doing five years ago?
I wish I had spent more time just enjoying being a mom. I feel that I did enjoy it a lot, but I also allowed myself to be distracted by wanting the things I didn’t have—extended family nearby, childhood friends, etc. I wish I would have had more gratitude for the things I had in my life.

1/7 – Do you ask enough questions or do you settle for what you know?
I’m never happy with what I know, and I often question even that.

1/8 – Who do you love and what are you doing about it?
God, my husband, my children, my friends, and my family. What am I doing about it? Probably not nearly enough. I think the purpose of that question is for self-reflection, which is a good thing.

1/9 – What’s a belief that you hold with which many people disagree?
Oh, goodness. All of them?

1/10 – What can you do today that you were not capable of a year ago?
That’s a good question. Parent three children? Drive from Spokane to Boise by myself with three kids?

1/11 – Do you think crying is a sign of weakness or strength?
It depends on what you’re crying about.

1/12 – What would you do differently if you knew nobody would judge you?
Probably be more transparent about my opinions. I’m much more afraid of conflict than people probably realize.

1/13 – Do you celebrate the things you do have?
Yes, I think so. Sometimes I take them for granted, though.

1/14 – What is the difference between living and existing?
I think I can say that I’ve experienced both. I think being in relationship with God is what makes my life meaningful, and something beyond merely existing.

1/15 – If not now, then when?
I’m a little confused by this question.

1/16 – Have you done anything lately worth remembering?
I really don’t know. I’ve been in survival mode lately with a lot of sickness around me.

1/17 – What does your joy look like today?
The phrasing of this question makes it hard for me to answer for some reason. I am taking joy in the fact that, even though my kids are sick, it gives me the opportunity to just cuddle with them.

1/18 – Is it possible to lie without saying a word?
Yes, I think so.

1/19 – If you had a friend who spoke to you in the same way that you sometimes speak to yourself, how long would you allow this person to be your friend? Probably forever. I try to be honest with myself, but not overly mean.

1/20 – Which activities make you lose track of time?
Photo editing, reading a book, playing games with family.

1/21 – If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

1/22 – What would you regret not fully doing, being or having in your life?
I would regret not doing the best that I can for my kids. I have no regrets about who is or isn’t in my life.

1/23 Are you holding onto something that you need to let go of?
Last year, the answer would have been yes. This year, I think I can say I’ve let go. For the most part. :)

1/24—When you are 80-years-old, what will matter to you the most?
It’s hard to say, since I will probably be much different by then, but I hope that my faith in God would still be the most important thing in my life.

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Let It Snow

People, winter has arrived in Spokane. The snow has been piling up for the last two days, and thankfully, Rick paid attention to the forecast and recommended we stock up on groceries and hot cocoa. I added a sled to that list. We’re set.

Epiphany finally got to enjoy her first sledding experience! She doesn’t have boots or a snowsuit, but I doubled up all her clothes until her limbs could barely bend, and put her fluffy bum in the new, neon green, plastic sled. She was more than pleased with the whole event, and never complained, though her cheeks were bright and rosy by the time we decided to call it quits and come inside for some mulled cider that had been warming on the stovetop.

Kyrie pulled her around in the lawn outside our apartment, but the best was yet to come! Kyrie, Antonio and Epiphany all piled up in the sled together, trekked up the perfectly-sized hill, and flew down with delight.

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First Lost Tooth

Kyrie lost her first tooth today. At first, I thought that she literally had lost it, as she came in this morning to show me that there was a little blood on the apple she’d bitten into. I looked into her mouth to confirm my suspicions: that wiggly tooth had finally come all the way out! But where was the tooth? We retraced her steps and found the tiny little thing sitting on the couch where she’d been eating her apple.

It’s a rite of passage into the world of being a big kid. That tiny little pearly white—one of the first ones that broke through her gums as a baby—is now just a part of her past, a memory of her childhood. I know that more will follow, and adult teeth will come in, one by one. I know that this means that my baby girl is growing up.

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Meal Planning Success!

I’ve never gotten into a good routine with meal planning. Most of what makes cooking seem tiring to me is not really knowing what to make. Coming up with a meal every day seems like half of the work. So, I decided to try something new. Instead of writing out a new grocery list each time I am about to head out to the store, I’ve decided to build a rotation of menus, complete with a list of the needed ingredients for all the meals on that week’s menu. We’re on the tail end of the first week’s menu, and I have to say I’m very pleased with how well it’s worked for us. First of all, I already have specific meals figured out, and I know that I have the ingredients for them, so figuring out what to make is much easier. I’ve also realized that if I’m a little creative, it actually makes cooking more fun and satisfying. I threw in a few new recipes in this week’s menu, and I’ve been mostly thrilled with the results.

This week we had chicken parmesan, pulled pork sandwiches, grilled salmon, steak, barbecue chicken, and taco chili. Half of those were crock pot dishes, and I must say I love my crock pot. Love. The sides end up being the most labor-intensive, but since I decided to try some fun and new sides, I really enjoyed preparing those. A favorite of mine was the roasted red potatoes with rosemary and feta cheese. Still craving those.

I’m also loving how pinterest is aiding me in this whole process. I’ve discovered that when something seems like a chore, finding a way to make it enjoyable goes a long way. Meal planning went from being a chore to being a hobby for me! I’m hoping to keep up the momentum.

Here’s a new favorite side dish. Rick adores it. I got the recipe from my sister, who I think got it from her sister-in-law, but I’ve made a couple changes according to our likes. We love green onions and bacon sprinkled on top of the goodness. And if you’re curious about what that goodness is, it’s a lovely combination of potatoes, milk, sour cream, butter, cheddar cheese, and cream of mushroom soup.

I have lots of ideas on how to perfect my meal planning system, but I feel like I’m on the right track to start really making good meals for my family every night! This may not be exciting to some, but for me, it’s been a struggle. I’m happy to know that there’s a way for me to do this and enjoy it at the same time.

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