Sorry to break it to you but its not always perfect around here. Mornings don't always go smoothly, my kids aren't always well behaved, my house is not always clean, and we do pick a pizza up for dinner from time to time.
I am on day 3 of things not always being perfect and its a bit much to take. However we are having Pot Roast for dinner with a dutch apple pie topped with a bourbon caramel sauce....I guess at least one thing will be perfect:) Pot Roast and apple pie is the greatest meal on the face of the planet!!
My beautiful, 5 yr. old daughter is on day three of melt downs and whining, I may tear all my hair out. I love you Grace but really:) We are going to make her teacher a popcorn cake for her birthday tomorrow, maybe this will help with her mood. I doubt it but maybe. In the meantime the naughty spot will be her favorite past time until she figures it out. And if you stop by which I don't advise right now, the screaming and whining is now my favorite sound track, so don't be alarmed.
I tell you after 7 1/2 years of being a mom you would think I would have these stages figured out....NOT!
Don't take this post as a complaint because that's not what it is. I guess I am just a little frustrated and impatient at the moment.
Because believe me when I sit down for dinner tonight all of the frustration will disappear...Pot Roast is my anti-drug:)
As you know I celebrated cabin fever this weekend with our close friends. It was fabulous....however I forgot my camera so there is no documentation(insert tears and sad face here).
But back to the weekend. On the second night we decided to sleep with the window open in order to be able to hear the waves. Holy Moly that was amazing! I sleep terribly all of the time but especially when I am not in my own bed. So the waves were just enough of a lullaby to hush me to sleep. The gentle sound of the breeze and the rain combined with the motion of the waves slapping against to the rocky patio in the front of the house was the most wonderful combination of sounds and the smell of the fresh rain and the salty water, and the beach was intoxicating. I am convinced if I could get a dreamweaver sound machine this is what I would want it to sound like (I am not sure they have figured out smell on these things yet?). So I fell asleep quicker than usual, however I was awakened three times by the most bizarre dreams. I am not sure what dreams mean if anything however they are fun to ponder over.
Number One- I was in a band with Elliot we had a VW van and everything, we were totally hippies (hence the reason Brian wasn't there:) and we were traveling through the back country(ghetto really) of some weird big city. Not sure what this means it was short....thank heavens.
Number Two- Someone broke into my house in the middle of the night grabbed a large portion of my hair at the very top and cut it off. This was all they took before they promptly took off before I could wake Brian. This one was totally disturbing:(
Number Three- This one was my favorite, this one was something I had been praying for, this one I was thankful for even though it made me cry several times. I was in Grace's classroom expect the students were the kids from her preschool class (strange). They were having a fire drill and I was in charge of getting a bunch of small girls out to the playground. Except when the alarm sounded the girls got scared and they ran out of the building without me. We had to collect their shoes outside for some reason so I grabbed Grace by the hand and we headed out the door to find the others and get her shoes. As I walked out the door I brushed shoulder with an older man that had a camera around his neck. I kept walking and then it hit me I knew the man, so I turned around. When I turned around so did the man and it was my grandpa. I started towards him but he waled the opposite direction and then started shouting my name,"Jessie, Jessie, where are my girls." His name for me. I kept on waving my arms but he couldn't see me. So I walked towards him and tried to grab him, but he disappeared. It was strange, he was so real, he had jeans on that were just a bit to short(because he could never find the length and waist side that would fit properly, because he was so tall) brown shoes (just like he wore my whole life), and a camera around his neck(the same one he handed down to me years ago). I have been praying that God would let me see him in a dream. It was dreamy and short and if it doesn't ever happen again that will be ok. But I was and am thankful I had the dream.
Do you dream? I have happened upon many that claim they don't. I do and maybe thats why I don't sleep well?
I contemplated not sleeping with the window open the next night, but I couldn't resist. Cabin fever was great. It was relaxing and much needed.
We took our kids bowling on Friday night and I must say it was a super big hit. Everyone had a blast!! And aside from the poor bowling alley man who had to visit our lane not 2 but three times to tend to issues created by our inexperienced little bowlers it was uneventful. Just fun family time and lots of memories.
The Most Stylish Little Bowler
And My Little Dude:)
Love this stage with my kids. We have entered the kid stage and it is fun!
Cabin Fever Baby!! Last year we started a new tradition in which we would go away for a weekend with these two people... And enjoy this view..... And do absolutely nothing!! WooHoo. Nothing does include reading, saunaing, eating, puzzling, playing games, etc. But you don't do anything you don't want to do. And there is no TV, cell phones, or computers. You need not pack anything other than comfy clothes and pajamas:) Sounds wonderful to me:) So Cabin Fever here we come the countdown is on only 6 more sleeps.
I will explain quickly because our grandparents read this blog and I don't want anyone to get the wrong idea. However we did have a playdate and it did include a giant bottle of vodka:) We made homemade vanilla with it though. We didn't consume any.
Whats that you want to make some too?
Ok You need some vanilla beans, a giant bottle of vodka and a bottle to put the ingredients in. it is supposed to be 1 qt of vodka to 5 vanilla beans. We used a little less vodka because I didn't buy a big enough bottle. Oh and we used old wine bottle to bottle ours up. Leave it for 6 weeks and there you have it home made vanilla.....yummmm! Add some coffee and a good friend with fun kids and it is the playdate of champions:)
I have become the soup maker at work which is hilarious to me. It is hilarious because a year ago I would tell you that soup is one thing I am not so great at making. Up until recently I really had no heart for it. I know its strange....I love eating it, in my opinion my mother-in-Law or MOML as I refer to her makes the best soup on the planet and that will ring true for the rest of my existence I am sure.
But I have been called to be the soup maker for the store on the corner of Smith and Northwest and it has been so satisfying. First of all the girls in store title all of my soup Best Ever, or Mamas (that is their nickname for me) so if you go there that is how you know I made the soup.
So now that soup has become a new love for me, we have been eating a lot of it. I realize good soup takes some idleness as you wait for flavors to blend and stocks to thicken, however feeding the end result to someone and watching them warm from the inside out is the greatest reward. We have a guy that comes in and orders soup everyday and I find myself asking the girls if he finished it, what his comments were did he like it, and it is doubling exciting if he orders the same kind more than once. I love to feed people what can I say:)
Here's a recipe for you.
I am calling it...Best Ever Tomato, Beef and Bean Soup (I could work on the naming part I suppose)
1/2 cup each onion, carrot, celery diced (mirepoix)
1/2 lb- 1lb of ground beef Use however much you feel like or don't use any at all....my husband likes to have a bit of meat but I still only use 1/2 lb
1 can black beans with juice
1 can diced tomatoes - 15oz can
1 can tomato sauce - 15oz
4 cups chicken stock - homemade is best but boxed or canned is fine. I like to use low sodium so I control the salt though.
1 tblsp- cumin
1 tblsp- oregano
salt to taste
2-3 cups of little shell noodles
-Saute off the beef and veggie matter - until beef is brown and veggies are tender
-add beans, tomatoes, sauce and stock. Add Cumin and Oregano
-Simmer for awhile - 20 to 30 minutes this lets all the flavors come together
-Taste and add salt you desire.
-Add Noodles and cook for 10 minutes.
Everyone gobbled this up last night even Grace who declares she does not eat soup. She said she wanted more beans????? Who would have thunk.
I do not aspire to tell anyone what kind of choices to make when feeding their families, or even declare that I feed mine any one way. However I do like to stay under the umbrella of healthfully. Trying to keep in mind that what I put in their bodies is the fuel that gets them through the day. So with my recipes always feel free to used dried instead of canned, home canned instead of store bought, homemade instead of packaged, organic or regular. Its up to you.
I have been thinking lately about life and myself and how much our lives are constantly changing. How God never wants you to stay the same He continually is creating situations in which to help you draw closer to Him. Situations to remind you to trust, depend and walk with Him.
Life really comes in waves, doesn't it.?
I was thinking of major milestones and how I felt as each one happened, how at any moment I can conjure up a very precise memory of each event. On my wedding day I remember physically and mentally feeling a chapter close and new one opening however now I think it was a completely different book that began. I remember the first moment I laid eyes on my tiny baby boy and thinking this is it, it will no longer be the two of us, we will forever be a family. I remember having Grace and knowing that we were complete, that our family would not be growing in number any further than four and feeling contented beyond comprehension. I remember buying our house and for the first time in my lifetime feeling at home. Feeling comfortable in my surroundings and feeling safe. There have been many more experiences than this. There have also been smaller circumstances...watching the kids reach milestones and growth spurts and be changed by each one.
In each one of these major milestones I have been changed. It comes in waves the good, the bad, the ugly. I am just always amazed that God can use each circumstance....nothing goes to waste in his kingdom.
In this I have also found that He uses new joys to heal old hurts. The history God is creating in our little family of four more often than not now takes the place of my history and my childhood and adolescent hurts.
The fact that Brian and I have refused to make a more than 5 minute plan because that seems that's all God allows us to have, also makes for an interesting journey. But don't get me wrong there is nothing I would change, it is what makes me me, Each circumstance.
These thoughts were stirred today when I heard of a person I know, whose house burnt to the ground on Christmas Eve. None of her family was hurt, however her home had burnt to the ground all of her earthly possessions gone. She made the comment she didn't really even know who she was in this. She also expressed her overall gratitude for her and her families safety and the support she had been receiving from her community. She has Jesus in her heart she said she is in constant prayer during this time in attempt to cover her grief. I can not imagine the amount of pain she must be going through right now. The anxiety and uneasiness must be paralyzing. I know that she trusts as do I that when this is all resolved to the point that it can be Gods goodness will prevail and He will use this circumstance to change her, to mold her into his likeness.
I was wondering though about how she said she didn't know who she was in this, this me wonder if any of us really know who we are.
Sure I know i am first and foremost a daughter of my heavenly father, a wife, a mother, a daughter, a granddaughter, a sister, a friend, and so on and so forth. But other than the first mentioned title the rest are really just roles that I play in this world. Not to say they are important, however it is really what brought me to the point of being a mother, wife etc. and how I am made to handle each of these titles that has made me who I am. It is the journey before and after that defines me. It is the waves of the good, the bad and the ugly that have pushed me up on the sand gasping for air sometimes that has shaped me into Jessica Jager. And in my opinion if that is not forever changing then I must not be really living. I believe that as long as I am on this earth I will forever be clay in my Fathers hands being molded into whatever masterpiece he must see in me.
And I rest in this!
Not sure why I can't simplify my minds thoughts it is what it is I suppose, I suppose it is part of what makes me me.
So last year was great, crazy but great. We experienced a lot of new things some good some bad some a little of both. Me working full time this past summer was a little of both. Our Jager camping trip was good. And learning to live without loved ones that were fixtures was bad. But in all these things we grow and with growth comes knowledge, realization, renewed strength and lots of love and with saying that I feel warm and ready to face a new year.
So for 2011 and I am pledging to find time for more leisure and less work (hmmmm who knows), less stress and more enjoyment, and a promise to look at all things with fresh perspective and less expectation. Sounds complicated and a bit confusing...but I think it can be done.
Christmas break was fabulous. I think we could all say it was one of the best Chrsitmas' in the history of our little family. I tried on my new resolution for size and I think even though some things were different-different isn't always bad-it was relaxing and enjoyable and I never once felt like I needed to lock my children up for bad behavior or exhaustion....SUCCESS:) We were able to focus a lot more on the reason for the season, spend a lot more time listening to Elliot give Grace theology lessons that were wrapped in the hope of Jesus' birth and topped with of course you want to go to heaven Grace.
To finish that story Grace and Elliot recently had a conversation about heaven in which Grace told Elliot she didn't want to go because God seems scary.( I think the massiveness of God is a bit overwhelming for her right now) She went on to ask Elliot if they had food in heaven because she hungry all of the time. He went on in reply that she need not worry we wouldn't have our earthly bodies....and I am pretty sure that got lost and translation making her desire to stay put here even more severe. All in our own time I suppose it sure is cute to hear their conversations though:) It is such a gift to witness faith from a childs perspective, I think they are still teaching me more than I teach them at this point.
Back to 2011 and the new year though....we will be celebrating a lot of milestones and looking forward to more in the following year. Our grandparents all turn 80 this year and Brian turns 30, my sister will have her first baby. Brian has been working for Verizon for 5 years this month and we have many conversations about how thankful we are for his job and the stability it provides for our family. The day before Christmas Eve 5 years ago we got word that he would be laid off from AT&T with one more day of work remaining to close down the store, it was a depressing Christmas, we had a lot on our plate with plans to buy a house and two little kids to provide for. But with much prayer and lots of support we made it. 3 weeks later Brian had a job with better pay and amazing benefits and a lot more opportunities. God always provides, He always prevails, and He is always in control, we just have trust.
So this year I am expecting to be full and great and wonderful and I can't wait to unwrap all of the blessings and changes that I am sure God has planned for us. I hope this new year finds you well too!