Wednesday, October 15, 2008

bathing buddies/ answered prayer

After blogging about our sad day yesterday, I closed the computer and gave our little ones a bath.  Judah had been chomping on a biter biscuit while I was online, and if you've ever given one of those to a baby, you can imagine how messy he was.  Mercy was due for a bath too, so I put them in together.  This was a first for these two, because Judah has just recently started sitting steadily on his own, and Mercy likes the bath water higher than it could be with just Judah laying down.  She was so excited to take a bath with him!  It was so cute, and a great distraction from the sadness we had been feeling.

As I sat watching these two laughing, splashing and playing together, I was drawn to Judah's big brown eyes.  A lot of people comment on his eyes lately and say things like "he sure has his momma's eyes" or "look at those dark brown eyes!".  And I'm thankful.  God is so sweet to answer silly prayers that pregnant moms like me pray.  When I was pregnant with Brooklyn, I didn't know if we were having a boy or girl, but I was in Target one day and heard a little one talking with the cutest raspy voice.  And I prayed that our baby would have a raspy voice.  She's pretty much grown out of it now, but Brooklyn definitely had a voice like I'd prayed for, for several years.  And when I was expecting Judah, I prayed for brown eyes.  Brooklyn's are brown, Zeke and Mercy both have blue eyes, and this time I prayed for brown again.  He kept us guessing for quite a while.  I remember bringing him to church several times and my friends would gather around, some saying they thought they'd be blue, some thought brown, some just couldn't tell yet.  But now, there's no mistaking this boy's beautiful big brown eyes.  God is so good.


(Two posts in one day!  I just uploaded some pictures and thought I'd share them.)

A couple of weeks ago, I was sitting having breakfast with some new friends at a women's retreat (which I should write about later).  We got on the subject of omelets, and one of the girls offered a new method of making them.  I loved the idea and was excited to try it at home.  They were so easy, and a hit with the whole family.  Here's the step-by-step:
First, break desired number of eggs into ziploc bags.  (We used two eggs each, and we used the double zipper bags, for added security during boiling.  This may or may not be necessary.)
Next, add ingredients.  This part was fun for everyone.  We added basic omelet things like cheese, ham, bacon.  I also added onion and tomato to mine.

Then you get to squish it.  Oh.  It's probably obvious, but just in case, I'll say zip the bag closed first.  It would get rather messy if you didn't.  
Squish, squish until everything is well mixed.
Like this.
Oops, I also forgot to say you should start a big pot of boiling water before the first step.  That way the water should be boiling by the time you add the bags.  We did four at a time in our pot.  I guess it depends on the size of your pot.

It took longer than I expected for them to cook.  I think maybe around 20 minutes.  Sorry I don't have an exact time.  Just watch them.  You can tell they're done when the egg looks cooked and no longer runny at all.
Here's our first batch, all finished!
We just opened the bags and plopped them onto a plate (or bowl in this case).
This was a fun breakfast for everyone.  They took a while to cook, but it was nice that everyone got to put in their own ingredients, squish up their bags and add the bags to the water.  It was also nice that as they boiled, we could do other things (like Family Fun Cranium game), and they were ready at the same time.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

a sad day

Today the sad day came when we had to take Josh back to the airport.  He was with us for almost three weeks, but it went by too fast.  We enjoyed  him so much and made the most of our time together.  We stayed up late last night having last minute fun, and then had to leave at 5:00 this morning to get him to the airport.  Since he was an unaccompanied minor, we were able to wait with him at his gate.  We grabbed some breakfast and spent our last half hour playing a game he taught us.  They started the boarding announcements and the time came to give hugs and say goodbye.  It was so hard on all of us.  I know he had mixed feelings, being away from home for so long, he was ready to get back.. but he was really sad to leave too.  And we were really sad to see him go.  We all cried on our drive home.  We really don't know when we'll see him again.  We're hoping to make a trip back to the Bay Area in the spring, but right now finances are really tight, so it's not a sure thing.

Between sobs, I listened to Frontline's "The Combination" cd and remembered singing my heart out to those songs many times.  There's one song called "Better in the End" (which you can hear on their myspace page).  I love Frontline and this cd and have listened to and sung along often.  I really purpose to be a worshipper who pays attention to the words and sing the songs from my heart.  Today as I listened, when it got to the "I don't want to fear what you may change.  Make Yourself at home in me.  You see the picture of my life... so much better in the end" part, I thought, "really, God?  With this plan it's going to be better in the end?  Because I liked my life before.  Things were going great and You know how much family means to me.  Really, we had to leave all that?"  And I often wonder if we'll go back or if His plan is to keep us here.  It's not that I don't like it here.  I actually do.  And we've been making friends and connecting with great people.  But "what used to be" was amazing too.  I really don't like the idea of being so far away from sisters and cousins and close friends that we have no idea when we'll see them again.  I feel like there's such a huge hole because they're not part of our daily lives anymore.  Yes, we can call and email and Facebook and Skype.  But there's just nothing like cousins getting together and laughing and playing and creating and just being.  Together.  My youngest niece has started walking since we've been gone.  I'm afraid Judah may be walking by the time we see them again.  That's just not ok with me.  Yes I trust God completely with my life and what His plan is.  Yes He's blessed us with an amazing church and people here already.  This is a new church and we're getting plugged in, and it's exciting to be a part of what God is doing there.  But I'm sad today and that's what's coming out here.  This is a good place.  And these are good people.  I just want both.  A couple of weeks ago my kids were doing a floor puzzle of the map of the U.S.  They rearranged things a bit and put Minnesota right next to California.  I liked that idea.  I think I'd even overlap them so we could be neighbors.  My God is a good God.  I know that His plan is to prosper and not to harm us.  I know that this is a grieving process and I'm so thankful that He knows me and lets me cry it out and holds me through it all.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

one's (not) on the way

When I was growing up, we only listened to country music in our house.  My dad was a big fan of Willie Nelson, my mom loved Dolly Parton and Loretta Lynn, and I remember our record rack being full of other favorites such as John Denver, the Oakridge Boys and Alabama.  This morning I had an old Loretta Lynn song going through my mind, "One's on the Way".  I don't remember the whole song, but it's basically about a chaotic house full of kids, and the demands on the mom.  It goes something like, "One needs a huggin, and one needs a cookie, and one's on the way" and "One needs a spankin, and one needs a changin, and one's on the way".  Ooh, I just found a video on youtube.  Right now I have seven kids in the house.  My sister (aka Bitzy the Clown) went to Russia on a missions trip.  She'll be visiting orphanages, spreading joy and the love of Jesus with children.  While she's gone, her kids are here.  Two nieces, ages 15 and 13, and a nephew, age 11 are with us.  The girls have to go back early because they're involved in a youth theater program and need to be there for auditions.  My nephew will be with us for two more weeks.  We're having lots of fun with them.  I'm enjoying having 7 kids in the house!  But this morning I had to laugh as that song went through my head.  In our case, it was more like 
One needs a calculator, one needs a tissue.  One needs a changin, one needs a towel, one needs some Motrin, one needs a nap, one needs a pancake....  The difference here is there's not one on the way!  And really, it's not so chaotic.  It's going really well.  The older cousins help the younger ones, and everyone has been getting along great.  It's been so nice to have a little piece of home here with us.  Sadly, tomorrow is our last day with the girls.  Then they'll spend the weekend with their uncle (their dad's brother) before flying home to California on Sunday morning.  It's nice to have a house full.  We're enjoying every minute together.  We spent time at the Mall of America after we picked them up from the airport, going on rides and celebrating Brooklyn's birthday.  We've played the game "Mafia" a lot, gone for walks and bike rides, church, library, done some cooking and smoothie making, they all helped Joe mow the lawn, they're doing school together, board games, Wii, and just enjoying being together.  I even let them sneak into the corn field behind our house one day.  They're great kids to have around.  I think our house will be strangely quiet when they're gone.