Thursday, March 24, 2011

Small Successes


1. We did some rearranging and completely cleared off our back deck!  We've always had our grill there and since the grill is rather large and the deck is rather small there was never any useable space left.  We moved the grill down near the side of the house and set up some lawn chairs with a cooler-table in the now opened space.  It's wonderful to be able to sit up in the shade with a great view of the yard.  Even the kids love to sit up there!  I see this getting much use this spring and summer!

2. The garden is prepped for planting!  After digging out two years of neglect we mixed in top soil, compost, and peat moss.  We've also got our seeds planted and sunning upstairs on the desk in our room.  We even have a few seedlings coming up!  It's just sweet peppers so far but soon we should see sprouts for romaine, mizuna, jalapenos, peas, okra, garlic chives, dill, and cilantro!  We're waiting on sowing and planting directly in the garden bed until we have the kids early birthday present assembled... a sandbox!

3. I frequently take the kids to a great little playground near our restaurant that's fully fenced in. So far it's the only outdoor play area I've found where I'm comfortable taking all the kids by myself.  With all three of the kids prone to running off in different directions at once it's important to have that perimeter!  Directly across from this little playground though, is a short trail and this week we walked it!  All by ourselves and with no strollers for anyone!  It was a nice stroll and, for the most part, everyone listened well, ending our playtime on a high note.  (And the extra energy spent on the trail after playing hard at the playground meant that there was no fussing about getting in the car to go home. Bonus!)

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Enjoying our sweet treats.  :)

I also wanted to share how to make these awesome pretzel shamrocks. I found the idea in Family Fun magazine... I think. Not a lot of effort, and a super fun snack.

Lay out three yogurt (or white chocolate) covered pretzels and arrange them in the shamrock shape. Break off a piece of another pretzel and place for the stem. Melt some vanilla candy wafers according to package instructions.  Pour melted candy into a piping bag with a small round tip and squeeze onto center joints of the pretzels, filling in all the gaps and making sure everything's stuck together.  Let dry.
Tint some decorator icing green and pipe a line around the edges of the pretzels and down the stem to make the shamrock. Press down into a bowl filled with coarse green sugar.  Allow the icing to set.

Voila!  So easy and the kids love them. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

St. Patrick Prep

We've been getting ready to celebrate St. Patrick's Day tomorrow! We have shamrocks up all over the downstairs and a nice banner for our wall.  On the biggest shamrock we added cut-outs to symbolize the Holy Trinity.

I also made a paper bag puppet of St. Patrick using the tutorial over at Catholic Icing.  Addie will put her puppet together tomorrow.  She thinks he's so cute. 

We've been singing this super cute song all day, the kids love it! 

They will also help make some special green pudding (vanilla with food coloring... not a fan of pistachio), and we'll chow down on shamrock pretzels 

while watching this short Veggie Tales video.

St. Patrick's Prayer

May the Strength of God pilot us.
May the Power of God preserve us.
May the Wisdom of God instruct us.
May the Hand of God protect us.
May the Way of God direct us.
May the Shield of God defend us.
May the Host of God guard us.
Against the snares of the evil ones.
Against temptations of the world 

May Christ be with us!
May Christ be before us!
May Christ be in us,
Christ be over all!
May Thy Salvation, Lord,
Always be ours,
This day, O Lord, and evermore. Amen.

Friday, March 4, 2011

My Little Loves

As a mom, I think about my kids all the time.  What they're doing, saying, eating, playing, learning, and loving is on my mind fairly well from morning to night.  These three little people who live in my house mean the world to me and I thank the Lord for the gift that they are.

But I also have two other children who live in God's house.  Though I never met them, I hold a deep love for them and think of them every day.  Especially now, when I would have been holding the youngest in my arms, our family adjusting to a new baby in the house.  I have several friends who were pregnant the same time as me and are now all giving birth to healthy, beautiful children.  I am genuinely happy for them, though I will probably always look at these children throughout their life and think, "My baby would have been your age...."

But it does not give me grief, for I know they are with our Lord, and I have faith and hope that I will meet them one day.  Until then, I will hold them in my thoughts and in my heart, always thankful for them and the blessings they brought to our family;  helping us to grow together in love and strengthening our faith in our Lord.

My life is but a weaving between my Lord and me
I cannot see the colours He worketh steadily.
Oft times He weaveth sorrow and I in foolish pride
Forget He sees the upper and I the underside.

Not till the looms are silent and the shuttles cease to fly
Shall God unroll the canvas and explain the reason why.
The dark threads are as needful in the Weaver’s skilful hands
As the threads of gold and silver in the pattern He has planned.

~Author unknown