Friday, April 29, 2011

A Lot Can Happen in 2 Years {Family Friday}

Happy 2nd Anniversary!

My darling husband and I celebrated our 2 year anniversary on the 19th of April.  What a blessing to live in a happy home and and wonderful marriage!   Since our last anniversary we have purchased a home, added a cat and a child to our family count, and the rest is too numerous to count.  I have decided to give Andrew a gift that goes by the the old anniversary traditions.  The first year was paper and I had a friend who is a calligrapher write out our vows on parchment and I framed them for him.

This year the gift was Cotton.  I decided to write Andrew a love note using muslin and embroidery thread. 
 I, by no means, claim to be a great hand-embroider.  In fact, I don't know the first thing about the proper way to go about it, but I wanted this to look like a love note that a child would have written, and I believe that my shoddy stitching accomplished that. :)
 Our actual gifts to each other was a pair of rocking chairs.  I love this.  If you are thinking that wasn't very romantic because it's not diamonds or jewelry, think again.  Nothing sounds more romantic to me then sitting on the front porch beside each other watching our children play and drinking iced tea.  
But I'm a pretty simple girl.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Simple Thank You. {Mind Your Manners Thursday}

I believe our society has turned it's back on manners.  That is one reason I love living in the south and raising my son in the south.  I know plenty of people in other regions of the USA that have a fantastic appreciation for good manners, so that was not a slam on them, but traditionally the southern states are more strict with their teaching and enforcing of good manners.  This Thursday topic will visit a few different areas of etiquette to serve as a reminder for us to be intentional with our words and actions.  There will also be some on things that seem old fashioned to some or irrelevant to others (how to shake some one's hand, table manners, how to set a table) but you don't have to read those days :).  I hope you'll join me for a walk down etiquette road.

I thought today we would start out with the most basic and most important gesture in our society.  A simple "Thank you".  It takes very little effort and it produces such a positive feeling between you and the person with whom you are speaking.  This beautiful phrase can be learned and applied by the youngest members of society to the oldest.  It is not a phrase that is geared to give someone the power or to insult.  It can be used very inappropriately and sarcastically, but in its purest form, "Thank you" is the gift that keeps on giving.

I was talking with some girls from my bunco group, the other night, about how terrible we are at taking a compliment.  When a guest tells you, "Your home looks beautiful" or a friend says, "I love your haircut", what do you usually say?  Is it something like, "Oh, it's not as nice as I would like it", or "I didn't really have time to fix it today"?  This is because we are so afraid of sounding arrogant or like we expect for them to compliment us.  Why is it so hard to say "Thank you"?  We are called to be gracious people and part of that is being thankful when someone tells us they approve of us.  I believe our society tells us that we are not special.  The media is constantly surrounding us (I'm speaking for women) with females who appear perfect.  Perfect figure, perfect house, perfect cook, perfect skin, perfect children, perfect wardrobe, perfect...perfect...perfect!  News flash:  we're never going to be perfect.  So why don't we celebrate our small achievements.  If we make a delicious meal, say "Thank you!".  If we pick out an outfit that is flattering and matches our shoes, say "Thank you!"

A friend of mine had this as her status on facebook;
A real woman always keeps her house clean and organized, the laundry basket is always empty. She's always well dressed, hair done. She never swears, behaves gracefully in all situations and all circumstances. She has more than enough patience to take care of her family, always has a smile on her lips, and a kind word for everyone. Post this as your status if you, too, suspect that you might be a man. :)
At first I was very depressed.  My dream is to be June Cleaver, with a thriving photography career.  But when I read the last line, it brought a smile to my face.

Another reason I feel it is so important for we, the adults to remember our "Thank you"s, is because of all of the little tykes who are watching your every move.  I had a girl tell me once that her 3 year old didn't know what it meant to say "Thank you", so she didn't enforce it.  I completely disagree.  I tell Jack to say "Thank you" when some one gives him a compliment.  Can he say that?  No.  Does he know what it means?  No.  Will he develop a habit over time?  Yes.  Will he eventually understand why he is saying it?  I sure hope so.  One of the most frustrating things I dealt with during my student teaching was teenagers not saying "Thank you".  I drilled that lesson home every day.

I could go on and on, so I will stop here.  As you go though out your day, let's just try and remember to say "Thank you" if someone holds the door open, gives you a compliment, to the checker at the grocery store, even waving in your rear view mirror to the person who lets you into the busy line of traffic.

Thank you for reading :)

I'll have another post completely devoted to the art of a Thank You note.  Something I wish I was better at.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Being 6 Months Old and Easter {Jack's Take Tuesday}

Hello all,

Let me start out by telling you how not to celebrate your 6 month birthday...all you babies out there, start taking notes.
I woke up on April 21, 2011 with a fever.  After we ran some errands and my medicine wore off, My Mommy noticed that it had gone up so she took me into the doctor that afternoon and he said I had some sort of virus.  Great, that's exactly how I wanted to celebrate.  

So the next couple of days we took it easy and I started feeling better.  Well, then on Easter I got even sicker and we found out I had been also working on an ear infection.  So much for Mommy not wanting to give me medicine.  I'll be honest, I don't mind it too much, it all tastes pretty good, but I have to pretend I don't like it or she will stop giving it to me.  hehe

Aside from being sick, I love being a 6 month old.  I am still as skinny as a rail, but I get to eat lots of things!  I love sweet potatoes, butternut squash, sweet peas, bananas, apples, pears, and mango.  You can see that I don't mind things with a sweet flavor. :)  I am rolling from my belly to my back and my back to my belly.  I can get around wherever I want to go on my back.  My Daddy keeps trying to get me to do this "crawl" thing, but I think I'm doing just fine on my back, maybe I'll try the belly thing at some point. 

I practice sitting up. 

I jabber and I have even been know to say Mama every now and again.  My favorite phrase is Vaaa Vaaa. 

I get to help Daddy grill. 

Accidental, but all too real.

 This is my backyard.  I love being outside.

 For Easter My Honey and Pop decided to make a trip up here so I got to spend it with them, Nana and Gramps, Daddy came home from the rig, Aunt Pudzio, Uncle Adam, and my Great Grandad Jack and Grandmother.  We had a packed house!  Keep in mind this is where my ear infection starts to show up and I have a pretty hefty runny nose and goopy eyes.

 Maddie loves Uncle Adam.

 I LOVE to swing...can't you tell.

Gramps and Pop enjoyed Mommy and Daddy's new rocking Chairs.

I love my family and I am very grateful they came to join us!  I missed having the rest of my Aunts and Uncles, Great Grandparents and cousins.

What would an Easter be without a Bunny Cake from Great Grandmother?!

P.S. I survived my first big tornado encounter last was crazy!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Homemade Baby Food #4: Butternut Squash {Mommy Monday}

So I am going to try something new.  I am try to put some kind of theme with each day, however, I am not a daily blogger.  So this may flop or be a once a month kind of thing, but I know that some of you reading aren't really all that interested in making baby food but more in the happenings of my precious boy.  And some of you don't have a clue who I or my family is and are interested in the crafts, food and home keeping.  I think this would be a good thing...if I can keep it up. :)  So, to kick off Mommy Monday, here is butternut squash for your babe.

Butternut Squash:

Preheat your oven to 350.

You will need to slice the squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  I use my cookie scoop because it makes clean edges and it's relatively mess-free.

Place your squash face down in a roasting pan and add water until it covers about half of the squash.  Put in the oven for 45 minutes to an hour.  Let cool completely, unless you like for your finger tips to feel like they are on fire.

I forgot to take pictures of these next few steps, but they are exactly the same as the sweet potatoes and sweet peas.  You scrape the flesh from the skins.  They should peel off fairly easily.  Then place the meat in the blender and add some of the water from the pan to thin the mixture so you can blend it to a puree.

I will (at some point) show you my process for freezing.  And you will see how incredibly simple it is. :)

Here is my frozen butternut squash puree.  One squash filled 3 ice cube trays.  I shall break down the price comparison:  I Butternut Squash about $1.29 and I think the average one is about 1 1/2 lbs, which 36 ice cubes (plus some)  vs  1 small jar of baby butternut squash at around $0.50, depending on the brand, store, and size.  I give Jack 2 cubes of squash and mix it with rice cereal and water.  Just to put it into perspective.

Happy Pureeing!