Friday, February 29, 2008

Hmmmm.....

Some of my past posts have been in earnest for a set of bookcases for my living room. From what I can tell, these bookcases will not come to be for some time. Priority #1 is that closet in the master bedroom.

So, I'm typing away on the computer and I look to my left and there's a beautiful shelf system that my parents gave me that used to house toys when my siblings and I were children. Now, it's housing sewing stuff: a broken sewing machine, a doll bed, a sewing kit, straw hats, a box of projects, scraps and fabric, sewing supplies, another sewing kit, craft supplies, and tent canvas. It also hands several bags, my clothespin bag, plastic boning and a hair extension! Hmmm...I'm wondering if I can find new homes for this junk and move this shelving unit upstairs to be a double-sided bookcase for the living room!

Time to grab the tape measure and start figuring things out! Still, I'd like to eventually get those bookcases.

Other things I'm considering:

1. When we move the fish to their outdoor pond this Spring, I'm going to ask hubby if we can move the fishtank to the family room we're creating in the basement.

2. I've been wanting a loveseat for the basement family room, but there's no way we could fit one down the stairs. So, I think I'm going to do my clever storage/windowseat treatment downstairs and make an L-shaped couch! Labeled plastic totes, a wood top, some upholstered foam cushions, some cozy throw pillows and a few blankets and I'll be all set!

Dreams:

1. Getting a new slop sink for the basement and making a countertop between it and the washer.

2. That second storey!

In my decluttering news, I'm adding 12 cookbooks to my go-to-Goodwill bags. I wanted to get rid of 15 (1/3 of my collection) but I just couldn't find anymore to get rid of! I do have a fair amount of cooking magazines. I could always start going through them, clipping recipes and adding them to my recipe binder. That'll save space.

I also went through my drawer of winter wraps and got rid of 3 scarves and a pair of gloves.

What else can I get rid of?

Monday, February 25, 2008

Hints of Spring on my Tastebuds

As the days slowly get longer, sunnier and warmer, my palate has been bugging me for something fresh, light and purely spring-like. I've been pouring through my cookbooks looking for recipes for fruit salads, leafy green salads, waldorf salads, creamy pies, etc.

Gone are my yearnings for hot-from-the-oven cookies, heavy winter meals, winter vegetables, hot herbal teas and citrus.

Now, I want light, whipped desserts, BBQ, corn on the cob and straight from the garden veggies, lemonade and berries.

If I have the means, I may indulge in this week's grocery run for a fruit salad and ingredients for an icebox pie. Yum!

Preggy Pic!

Please visit my All Things Feminine blog for a pic of me pregnant at 24 weeks! The link to that blog is just to the right.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Fresh-baked bread

Yesterday, I warmed my little house in more than one ways by baking delicious, nutritious banana bread from Nourishing Traditions. It came out so yummy! This morning, I made french toast out of some of it. Not only was it delicious, but filling!

I love quick breads, but hubby isn't very keen on them, so I don't make them very often. But, between Bubby and I, we'll devour the loaf before it goes bad. :)

Thursday, February 21, 2008

What's Wrong With Living Small?

The other day I had the opportunity to watch some HGTV. The program was about this mother-daughter team who went to houses on the market and helped the sellers improve their chances of selling the house.

Two of the four sellers featured complained that their house was just too small now that they were venturing into having two children. In one case, the children were the same gender. In the other, the 2nd child was still in utero and the gender not revealed. In both cases, the house was bigger than mine!

As they walked through the houses, I kept seeing all it's potential, even for a growing family. A big plus - eat-in kitchens! So, what were the sellers' problems with their houses? Both sellers said that they needed more bedrooms. Ummmm....what's wrong with siblings sharing a room? I shared a room with my 3 brothers for about a decade. Then, my dad divided up the big bedroom into two tiny ones and I shared a space smaller than many of today's walk-in closets with my sister. I was 20 years old before I had my own room, and then I was married at 21, so I'm back to sharing. :) The other problem was, "we need another bathroom." Yes, I admit that two bathrooms are nice, very nice. But, one bathroom can do just fine.

Yes, hubby and I do plan on adding a second storey, but until then, we have to survive and thrive in 880 square feet. I look forward to it! I'm just ever so thankful for the playroom downstairs now and a good yard and a farm next door. My kids may all have to breathe the same air at night, but they'll get plenty of elbow room and fresh air during the day!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

No Mama's Boy, Role Models for My Little Man...

Ok, I ditched 3 of the 6 Bob the Builder videos that I found most troublesome. I'll keep the other 3 unless I feel they need to go. Also, I just wanted to reiterate that just because I'm tossing Bob doesn't mean I think everyone should. We all have our little pet peeves and quirks. I know parents who are fiercly against any TV whatsoever, but that doesn't mean I'm a bad Mama for letting my little one watch a little tube.

But, back to the original premise of my post:

I was at a baby shower this past weekend and was able to bring along my son. The other children at the shower just loved playing with him and he had a grand time. A couple of times, he just went off onto a rug by himself and made boy noises with a toy truck and some toy cars. Over all, he just enjoyed himself. During the playtime with the other children, a balloon literally burst right in front of his face. It frightened him and he started crying. There was a collective "awwwww" from all in attendance. I made a quick assessment of the situation and realized he was scared and not hurt, so I just held my hand out to him and had him come to me. He came and sat on my lap for 45-60 seconds while he calmed down and then was off playing again. As he left, one of the ladies asked (very cheerfully) if I was raising a "mama's boy." I was struck offended for a second and offered a rather cutting "no" before collecting myself and explaining simply that I was raising a man.

Now, in my effort to be better understanding of people, I realized that this woman (who I know quite well) comes from a background where the ultimate joy of motherhood is having at least one "mama's boy" in the family. She tried it with her only son and he rebelled fiercly and to this day their relationship is highly strained at best. So, I have compassion for her.

Back to the situation....hubby really makes sure I don't coddle our son, but there are times when comfort is needed. Comforting a frightened toddler who's not even 2 years old yet is not creating a mama's boy monster. I just didn't make a big deal of it, made sure he was ok, and when he quickly collected himself and jumped down to join the play, I praised him for being a brave boy. I didn't go running to him with puckered baby-talk of comfort. He had to come to me, I gave him a hug and a kiss on the head, told him I knew he was scared, but he wasn't hurt and that he was all right.

I think some of the ladies were rather shocked at my mothering. Thankfully, there was a mother of 3 young boys there who just sat back and smiled at the whole situation. I had her approval, and the approval of a few other older ladies who raised men, not mama's boys.

How often are our children today viewing celebrities, and even fictional characters as role models or heros? Too often, I think. Also, I don't like the idea of TV being a moral basis for our children either. While I thought I was above the influence as I watched teen-shows as a teenager, but looking back, they really did influence me. Even today, if I watch too much TV and/or read popular magazines, I find myself discontent with my life and influenced by that media.

Who do I view as role models for my children? My husband, my brothers and my father and father-in-law. Thankfully, I'm blessed with good men in my family. These are true role models.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Getting Rid of Bob...

I'm seriously considering getting rid of my son's Bob the Builder VHS tapes. It's a cute show, but there's some points that bother me:

1. Bob always talks in a whiny tone.
2. A couple of episodes have out and out lying in them with no consequences.
3. Lofty is a boy crane truck who's very scared and unsure. When everyone else declares "Yes We Can!" he says, "Yeah...I think so." His fears often prevent him from getting the job done right, inconviences others, prevents him from being able to save those in danger, and is just plain annoying. Muck, the girl truck often has to mother him and everyone treats his fears as just a part of him and something to deal with. Frankly, I think this crane truck needs a good chewing out by John Wayne like he did to the stuttering boy in The Cowboys movie. Lofty's babied fears are not only unmasculine, but shows that it's ok to let your fears prevent you from doing your responsibilities.
4. Spud, the scarecrow is always getting into trouble with few consequences. Everyone just kind of accepts that as who he is. They aren't always just pranks, too, but crimes, including stealing and tampering with the federal mail. He also lies.
5. Some episodes have evolution sneaked into them. Now, I know the general worldly belief is evolution, but I'd rather not have evolution planted into my son's head before I have a chance to teach it to him along side Creationism.
6. Silly, phony apologies abound.
7. The machines often whine and beg to get their way and Bob or Wendy smile and say, "Oh, ok."

Now, this may seem like a rather deep analysis of an "innocent" kid's show, but this issues really do bother me at a deep level.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Nesting...

Nesting for me usually means re-arranging and purging. Since I can't re-arrange without key pieces of furniture I can't afford right now, I've been purging. Yesterday, I went through Bubby's books and got rid of the highly damaged ones and ones I felt he didn't need. He has so many books already! Today, I went through the DVD's, CD's and VHS tapes and got rid of ones that I aren't watched, listened to, or damaged.

Now, I'm all antsy and I want to purge more. Sometimes the urge gets so strong I have to go online and hit my e-mail boxes and start deleting, or clean out my favorites section, or dump stuff on my hard drive.

We were generously given money for our anniversary and I'm going to ask hubby if he wants to use it to buy wood for various household projects. He needs a hobby bench for his man cave and I could use a closet in the master bedroom as well as two bookcases for the living room. I hope agrees, because this preggy lady needs to nest!!

So, tell me....how does nesting affect you?

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Christian Words

The Bible warns us many times to guard our tongues. We know we should be slow to speak, avoid profane words, etc. But, do we make sure our Christian words don't turn into Christian slang? Sometimes, I think Christians use Christian words to either appear more holy, or make a stronger spiritual point that really doesn't work. Sometimes, I think we just get used to using the words in a slang-ish way. In short, we should mean what we say.

Here are some Christian words that can turn into Christian slang:

1. "It's been on my heart." Has it really been on your heart or has it just been on your mind. There is a difference. Heart implies a Christ-backing to your thoughts. Mind implies it's all you thinking about it. If it's truly been on your heart, then by all means say that it has been. But, if it's something that you've just been mulling over in your mind, or something more casual, just say it's been on your mind. No need to "church it up" as the worldly slang goes. Otherwise, your recipient may feel as if you take things too seriously or when a serious situation arises, it's not as important to you.

2. "Blessed, Blessing, Bless, etc." Yes, we as Christians are continually blessed in the big things as well as the little things. But sometimes it can sound like bragging when we go on and on about all the bits and pieces we were "blessed" at/with. I know women who'll say how blessed they are that their baby didn't throw her food on the floor or that they found a quarter in the parking lot or their husband came home two minutes early. A blessing should be praised and thanked God for and blessings do come in all shapes and sizes, but is it necessary to go crazy with the word? I do give God all the honor and glory and praise and I am blessed. But I don't call every little happenstance a blessing just because I'm a Christian and it's the Christian word to use.

3. "God told me..." Oh, dangerous ground here. We really shouldn't assume a lucky guess or an intuition was God directly speaking to us. For example, when I announced the gender of my unborn baby, a sister in Christ immediately said that God told her I was having a girl. Ummmm...why would God tell you that? Are you some sort of prenatal prophetess? I don't doubt that she had an inner "feeling" that I'm having a girl, but I do doubt that God directly spoke to her and told her I was having a girl.
I am usually right about who's calling before I even pick up the phone and I can often predict the outcome of small things and I suffer from major de ja vu, but does that mean that God is always telling me these things, or am I just putting two and two together to taking a lucky stab or listening to my "gut" feelings? And yes, I do believe God told me I wouldn't miscarry this baby. THAT I am firm on.
Another problem that arises with "God told me..." is when the sentence ends "...that you should do blah." This method was highly used in my old church to guilt-trip people into doing things they didn't have the time and means or talent or calling to do. If it's that important, wouldn't God tell me? Consequently, there was a lot of hurt feelings, division, neglected families, and fallen ministries within that church.

3. "I felt led to..." While intentions are good, I think sometimes this is just an excuse to take blame off of us for stepping into something we probably shouldn't. A while after my miscarriage that almost killed me, a very kind and well-meaning prayer warrior in the church came up to me and prayed over me, saying that he felt led to. He continued to say how he "knew" I was still grieving inside, blah blah blah. While I sincerely appreciated the gesture and I do hold the gentleman in high regard in my church, I was very much over with the grieving and moving forward and he kinda ripped open the fading scars. I still think about it, but I don't grieve.
We as Christians also need to be on guard when it comes to prayer. Just because we prayed over something doesn't mean it's time to open our mouths. Some people take the advice of "pray over it first and then talk" too literally. They forget that while in prayer and before we talk, we should lean on the guidance and timing of the Holy Spirit. I also do not believe that the Holy Spirit works in a way that would drive people farther from Christ and farther from the Christian walk. So, if even after you've prayed, your words are doing quite a bit of damage, then I believe that it's not being led by the Holy Spirit.

Also, prayer should not turn into gossip. Prayer chains should not turn into the "telephone game." A kind of funny, but also serious example occured in my own church when someone was admitted to the hospital for a simple observation. By the time it reached the end of the prayer chain, the guy was dying of a heart attack when he was just fine! There are also times when someone has a situation they're not ready to divulge out for prayer just yet, but someone jumps the gun (usually without all the information). Their intentions are good, but this is when prayer turns into gossip. We can say that so and so needs prayer and leave it at that. God knows the situation. We don't have to tell Him and everyone else when the information wasn't approved of.

We live in a troubled time with many false prophets, teachings and hypocrates. Even fellow Christians succomb to the enemy's tantalizing wolf in Bible clothing. It is VERY serious that we do guard our tongues, even among each other.

It is also important that as Christians we pray for discernment when it comes to others speaking possible Christian slang to us. Rather than just getting upset, we should understand the underlying heart of the matter. Like the sister in Christ who knew my baby's gender and the brother in Christ who prayed for me....their intentions were good and loving and I embrace them for it. In other cases, it might be bullying like in the God told me to tell you to do blah case.

We don't need to tiptoe around such words, but the point of this post is to help all of us mean what we say and avoid Christian slang. And remember, we ALL slip up once in a while, especially me. :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Dog Whispering...

I certainly picked a hoot of a time to whisper my dog! I've been watching episodes of The Dog Whisperer and I've read Cesar Millan's book. I know it's what my dog needs, but it being very much winter and me being pregnant and a mother to a toddler makes it very difficult to follow his formula which includes an hour's walk first thing in the morning.

I'm usually exhausted and starving to bother taking a walk before the sun even rises. It's also dangerously cold and my dog is a short-haired dog with exposed paw pads. On top of that, I can't very well leave my sleeping son at home while I wander about the neighborhood with my dog!

Still, I need to follow through somehow. I might just have to ignore it until at least March and then start the process of the walk. In the meantime, I'll work on being pack leader in the house and use February to help organize a routine. Of course, my pregnancy is far more important than my dog getting enough exercise right now. Although, I do agree very much with Cesar Millan's doggy philosphy.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Busy Saturday

I dislike having a sloppy house on Sunday, so I'm going to spend today cleaning and organizing so I can enjoy a tidy home tomorrow. What are your Saturday plans?

Friday, February 08, 2008

The Important Roles of Wife and Mother

I was just thinking about the saying, "If Momma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy," and it dawned on me how true and dynamic that is! I was taken aback by how influential and important and even powerful a wife and mother is to her family! A wife and mother is the nucleus of the family. Her attitudes, emotions, prayers and actions all have a deep influence on each member of the family. Her attitudes, emotions, prayers and actions can make or break a family. Remember that.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Anniversary Prep and Imaginative Recipes

Hubby and I's anniversary is tomorrow. He got me a beautiful locket. I have very little money to spend on him, so with the help of some brainstorming friends, I've decided to make him several small gifts and then buy a few small gifts so they total the number of years we've been married.

Here's what I've come up with so far:
1. Brag Book (printed off pics from the computer and bound them in a brag book)
2. Coupon Book (being pregnant and then dealing with a newborn, it's easy for a wife to lose track of her hubby. These naughty little coupons will help hubby let me know that it's time to pay attention to him. Some are not naughty, but for times when he needs some peace and quiet or some guy-time.)
3. Bubby Bookmark (hubby's been reading a lot lately, but uses whatever's laying around as a bookmark. I'm going to make him a bookmark that shows Bubby from birth to now)
4. His favorite candy
5. A book or magazine he'd like
6. Something else....perhaps a DVD

Basically, the only thing I have to center dinner around tonight is a can of tuna. I also have a pasta salad mix and frozen mixed veg and a can of minced clams. What's a wife to do? I decided on making a pastry dough and lining muffin cups with the dough. Then, I'll make a seafood stuffing with the tuna, clams, seasonings, bread crumbs, and cream cheese and stuff the shells! I'll serve these shells with the pasta salad and steamed mixed veg on the side. Should be yummy!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Can You Guess?

Just take a look at my blog now. Can you guess the gender of the baby? ;)

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

I Love Days Like Today...

I've been super-motivated today and have been cleaning from room to room. It hasn't taken that long, either, although, I still have a couple more rooms to do. The only problem is I forgot hubby wanted me to try and visit his parents today. It's too late now because Bubby will need a nap soon and then it'll be too late in the evening. I'll have to make a promise for next week.

The weather is more like March...rainy and warmer (40's F). I don't mind the mild temperatures. I have a couple windows cracked open. However, it's been so gloomy for so long, I'm looking forward to the cold weather that'll at least bring plenty of sunshine streaming through my windows! Apparently, that's supposed to happen next week.

I'm glad I'm industrious today. I was afraid I'd be anxious and fidgety because tomorrow I find out the baby's gender (hopefully the little one will cooperate). It feels good to finally feel focused and energized.

Monday, February 04, 2008

New Routine, Frugal Finds, Belly Pic

I set up a new routine. I have a beautiful, lovely Amstaff dog who needs more exercise and discipline (especially before the new baby arrives.) She's a good dog, but when she gets excited about something, she doesn't listen. I really need her to listen and obey at all times.

I'm a big fan of the Dog Whisperer Cesar Millan. I rent his TV series and I'm reading his book now. (It's amazing how much of it can apply to toddlers as well!) He's a big help because he deals a lot with pitbull-type dogs and "red zone" cases. Thankfully, my dog is NOT a red zone case, but she's definately a hyper dog at times and she's very strong and powerful. She's also smart and responds well to Cesar's techniques.

I love Bully Breed dogs. If God chose to close my womb, I'd have opened a Bully Breed rescue.

So, my new routine involves exercise for the dog and establishing my position as pack leader. I also want to get more chores done in the morning before Bubby wakes up and make sure I spend time with the Lord. Today went well.

I love Big Lots! I had a 20% off coupon, so I was able to get a bunch of stuff for my SIL's baby shower gift for under $15.00! I got:

a 5-pack of bibs
a 2-pack of footed sleepers
a onesies that says "Worth the Wait"
a pair of duckie booties
a set of knit caps

Speaking of babies, this Wednesday I find out the gender! I also want to post a Belly Pic, but the batteries for my digital camera went into one of Bubby's toys. :b As soon as I buy another set of batteries, I'll post a Belly Pic.