Stop and Listen | I’m Guest Posting Today

Hi everyone!  I’m guest posting today over at Newborn Mama.  I hope you
check Teressa out, she was great to advertise with if you’re looking to
sponsor anyone!

As mothers, I think we can recall moments when our children stood at our feet to tell us something “very important”.  


I think we can also recall our response to them.  

Mine goes a little something like this,
Nodding head vigorously, “mmm hmm…wow, that sounds great…” while never making eye contact.

I am ashamed that too often, that is my response and the message it is sending to my children is one that says, mom is too busy to listen to you.  

Ouch.  

That is not how I want my children to remember me. Could you imagine how awful it would feel if Jesus did that to us?  Smile and nod when we are trying to tell him something important?  

My children deserve my full attention so they will always feel loved and valued.  By giving my full attention, it sends the message that they are more important than whatever else I’m busying myself with.

How do you change your old ways?
  • Acknowledge.  When they tug at your shirt, ask what they need.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped to see what they needed, only to find out they wanted to give me a hug.  That’s something you never want to miss!
  • Listen.  James 1:19 ...be quick to listen, and slow to speak…  Sometimes
    I have to repeat this to myself while my eleven year old rambles.  I also remind myself to just stop and
    listen
    to what he has to say because there may come a day when he won’t
    want to talk to me as much.  What may not seem important to me, it is
    important to him.  So make sure you stop and listen.
  • Look.  Look at them when they are speaking to you or look at what they have to show you.
  • EncourageSmile and encourage them as they tell you something.
  • Consistence.  Be consistent in showing your child’s voice matters to you.
This list may be a small gesture in the big scheme of motherhood, but it’s the little things that add up.  

It is not always easy being an intentional listener, especially when your to-do list out numbers the hours there are in a day, but in the end it is worth it; because I want my children to one day reflect on their childhood and remember having a joyful mother that was always available for them.  

Our goals in life is to be more like Jesus, the perfect parent who will always pause and listen when we call to him.  Therefore, we should as well.  

Thanks for reading!

My
name is Liz and I’m wife to, Bubba. I’m also a mama to three rascals:
Nathan, Scout, and Rori.  And this blog is mainly about the mundane,
books, attempted crafts, cooking, our love of Jesus, and everything between. I hope you
check in once and a while to peek at what I have to say.

No Name Cookie | Kid Food

All three of my children are blessed with a hatred of oatmeal.  (*note the sarcasm)

But things changed the other day, folks, after I added oatmeal to these beauties.

Ahem…cookies.

These delightful tasting cookies have been stamped with approval by kid and husband, which enabled me to do my song and dance, “I tricked ya! I tricked ya!”

What can I say, it’s the small pleasures in life.

Okay, okay, I know adding oatmeal into cookies is nothing new, but when you have a kiddo who has multiple food allergies, one being nuts, it can be difficult to attain certain flavors & texture into the foods everyone else craves.

So
I improvised and added oatmeal to my chocolate chip cookies, which
added the perfect nutty flavor to balance the sweetness.

Just be warned, they will be eaten quickly by members of your household.  

In fact, my members had ants in their pants while I tried taking pictures.  They didn’t want to wait for me to take a reasonable, 206 photos with 30 different angles. Sheesh.
  

To make these cookies, just use your favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe and add 1 1/2 Cups of quick oats, that have been blended in your food processor or blender.

Here is the recipe I have used for many, many, many, years.

Ingredients
2 sticks of room temp butter
2 eggs
2 Cups of flour
1 Cup of sugar
1 Cup of brown sugar
1 1/2 Cups of quick oats, that have been blended in the food processor
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
pinch of salt
11.5 oz bag of milk chocolate chips

Method
Using a paddle attachment on your mixer, mix the butter and both sugars until well combined.

Next add the eggs until well incorporated.

Then add all the other ingredients and mix until well combined.

Scoop one tablespoon (or use a cookie scoop) onto your baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees for 10-12 minutes or until the edges begin to brown.  Remove them from the oven and let them remain on the baking sheet until cooled enough to remove with a spatula.

Enjoy!


A Day In My Life In Pictures

I’ve wanted to document a day in our life through pictures for probably one year now, but the idea of taking pictures on top of the typical hectic day made my brain shut down.  But then Chelsea did her own post about it, leaving me re-inspired. So here it is–finally–a day in our life through pictures.

1. My day begins at 8am with hygiene and my hair being pulled into a top knot, where it will stay for the rest of the day. 2. I sneak my sleeping beauties out of their cribs.  Look at those smiles…I get to wake up every morning to these sweet babies of mine! So blessed.

3. The kids usually eat cereal–Rori gets to include a bottle with her cereal–while I put up the clean dishes from the night before. Once the babies are finished eating, I start yelling for Nathan to wake up by 8:30am. Meanwhile, I sweep the floors and clean tray‘s. Once Nate is up, and getting ready, I dress the kids and slip fresh diapers on them. 4. About 9am, Nathan will begin his homeschooling and we will discuss and go over what he needs to have finished for the days assignments.

5. The rest of the day is spent chasing kids, changing diapers, picking up toys, errands (although I didn’t have any this particular day.) making lunch for all of us, bible study, vacuuming, dishes, never ending laundry, cleaning bathrooms, play outside for an hour, help Nathan with his school work, naps, snacks, annnnnnnd try and keep up with a little social media in between it all. ALSO, I make my own laundry detergent and I had to make another batch on this day.  I don’t make detergent every day.  Thought I should mention that, lol.   

6. After Bubba is finally home from work, I begin prepping for dinner around 4:30 and we eat by 5:30.  Then comes another round of dishes and tiding up the house. 7. By 8:00 the kids are in the bath tub and by 9:00 they are in bed. 8. Then it’s finally my turn to hop in the shower! 
By the time I get out of the shower, Bubba goes to bed and I usually come down stairs
to have “me” time.  This is when I will read, write, journal, knit, or
watch t.v. until about 11:30 pm. 
Then it’s…
:::Light’s Out::: 

snow

Ever since we moved back to the south, this is the one thing we miss the most.
Snow.
A lot of people don’t like it because it’s cold, but I love it because it’s cold.
When snow flurries begin spilling from the sky, children cuddle up beneath the covers, hot soup warms the body and the soul, while a warm house becomes the cozy retreat you’ve been waiting for all year long.
Suddenly a book and a blanket becomes your best friend.
Ahh…snow.  I’ve missed the good and bad times we’ve shared.   😐
Tonight, snow has come for a visit, waaay down in the south, and I couldn’t be more elated.

:::unfortunately:::

  I awakened to this.

Just a few slick patches of ice and a light dusting on the back lawn.
The rest of the week has been forecasted with sunny days and warming temperatures.
Maybe next year we will have more. 

Kid Food | Mac & Cheese Bites

I remember an uncanny discussion my husband and I had about our refrigerator during our first year of marriage.  We were wondering why manufacturers made the freezer compartments so much smaller than the fridge compartments.  After all, didn’t every one purchase all of their meals, frozen?

Our conversation quickly turned in to us buying an extra freezer because our freezer was literally popping out frozen bags of chicken wings, while our refrigerator stood practically empty. 

In our household, cooking consisted of what Voila bag we were going to open and serve.

I’m happy to say, that I threw my excuses out the window, picked up a spoon, and started cooking.

I’m glad I did.  Our meals taste less salty and better.

Despite my culinary exploration, I still found making sauces intimidating.  But after I made this meal, sauces were feared no more!

(I usually freeze these and whip them out whenever I’m in a need of a quick side dish for the little kids.) 

On to the recipe, then.

Toddler Food
Mac & Cheese Bites
makes 31 mini bites
Ingredients 
1 cup of elbow pasta (macaroni)
1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
2 Tablespoons of butter
2 Tablespoons of flour
1 1/2 Cups of milk
2 teaspoons of kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper (good ole black powder kind)
Italian bread crumbs for topping
Method
First, boil your pasta per box instructions.  Drain the pasta, and set aside.
In a sauce pan, over medium-high heat, add your butter.  Once the butter is melted, add your flour to it and whisk together for about 2 minutes.  
Slowly, pour your milk into the flour mixture, while whisking constantly.  Continue to whisk until the milk begins to thicken (like a thinner gravy).  
Once the your milk has thickened, add your cheese, salt, and pepper to the sauce; whisk together until cheese has completely melted.
Now add your cooked pasta to the cheese sauce and mix together well.
Grease 2 mini muffin pans using cooking spray and spoon in the macaroni.  Next, lightly sprinkle your bread crumbs on the top of the macaroni. 
Bake at 375-400 degrees until golden brown.  (My oven gets hotter than the standard oven, so I bake mine at 375 degrees)
To Freeze
Once they are finished cooking, let them cool completely.  Place inside of a freezer bag and freeze.  You can reheat them in the oven at 275 degrees or microwave them until they are completely heated through.

  

Garden Spells | Book Review

 
Garden Spells by Sarah Addison Allen

Picture source is from yours truly: Life As Liz

I think it is safe to say that, Sarah Addison Allen, is now one of my favorite authors.  So far I have read two of her books, and recently started my third. 

I can’t help it; They suck me in!

You can read my first review of her work, here.

While, Garden Spells, is NOT about witchcraft, it is a heartwarming, funny, romantic story that has a flair for the dramatic, and a touch of whimsyIn a two word description, it makes you feel “warm & fuzzy” inside.  I highly recommend it.  
Why no one in Hollywood has turned her books into film, is beyond me.

Here are the deets:


 

Scout Update

I haven’t done a Scout update in a loooong time.  I figure it is overdue.  
Let’s begin.

Age: 19 months (one year 7 months)
Weight: 27lbs 




Those eyes get me every time…


Nicknames:
Scout-y, Scout-a-cus, Scout, Dennis The Menace, Mayhem, Bud, Buddy

 
 He has developed quite a vocabulary! 
Here are words that he says most often:
“There you go.”  “Here you go.”
“No, no.”  “Boo boo.”
“No WAY!”
“Baby.”
“Sissy.”  “Whoa-wee.”  (Rori, his sister)
“Nay-ten.”  (Nathan, big brother)
“Mama, DaDa.”
“EWWWWWWE.” 

You get the drift. He can repeat just about any simple word or phrase you say.  

    
Foods:
He was once my little boy that ate anything I put in front of him.  Not anymore! I can’t even get him to eat fruit!  He will eat chicken, pasta, cookies, mac&cheese…that’s about it. He is officially a picky eater. 

He is such a monkey and a smarty pants.  He has already figured out how to open the safety locks on the cabinets! Drives me bonkers. I can’t take my eye off this kid for a second or he will be running out the door, in cabinets/closets, moving chairs to climb on furniture/counters, drawing on the walls, etc.  He is a wonderful handful.  

He makes us laugh.  A lot.  He is a daredevil, beats up his big brother, helps us carry in groceries, takes things to the trash, undresses himself, plays in his own poop, gives us a lot of kisses and hugs, loves to dance, and is obsessed with Thomas The Choo-Choo Train. 

All around, this little boy of mine has a great disposition on life.  He laughs all the time, even if he falls down.  I wouldn’t have him any other way. 

 

  

Art Journal | Update 1

As you may remember, I have started my attempts at art journaling.  If you don’t remember, then you can read about it here(It’s a short read.)   

So far, I think it is going well.  My art style seems to be child-like.  I would prefer it to be realistic and detailed, however, I don’t possess those skills. 🙂 Haha.  

Any way, I completed my cover by modge podging pieces of fabric to the front.  I wanted to use deeper neutrals, (navy, maroon, etc.) but the store only had bright, floral, fabric available in the pre-cut squares.   
Gotta make due with what you’ve got, right?

Then, on my first page, I used yarn for the tree and then painted the rest using watercolors.  I can’t take full credit for the house idea.  I found inspiration for it from a little blog called, Yes and Amen.

So there is my friendly push for you to crack open your journal and get inspired. 

An Unexpected Homeschool Journey | Part 1

When we moved to North Carolina, we fully intended for my oldest son to attend public school.


We even enrolled him.  Then unenrolled him before he had a chance to sit in class. 
I’m sure you’re squinting at your computer screen asking, “But, why?”.


My honest and blunt answer: It was a poorly run school, run down, and appeared “troubled”.  I could go on with details, but I will spare you.  It boiled down to a personal choice.


We tried for the local charter school only to be told there is a 500 person waiting list that runs on a lottery.  (Which means they draw names randomly once a year in February.)


Thus began the process of applying to the state for permission to homeschool and then picking out a curriculum to use.  During my search for a good program to buy, I discovered there are a ton of useful websites, but the majority of them are cluttered with ads and are often difficult to navigate.  Ultimately, we decided to go with Switched On Schoolhouse.  It is a computer based program that offers a five subject set.  You can check it out here

Currently, we
are about one month into it, and I have to say that I like the
software.  I also have to say, that despite the awesomeness of the
program, he is lacking the opportunity for art, music, and reading.  So
I’ve taken it upon myself to incorporate these subjects myself (which I
am totally winging-it).  I’ll be more detailed later on, but for now, I
just wanted to announce that I officially have a kiddo being
homeschooled.
 

pic source