Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Tea (Lava Free)

This is what I saw when I got up this morning: There was a cup of tea waiting for me. This wasn't the usual cup of tea in an insulated mug that my sweet husband makes before he leaves for work, but this was the work of Peregrine. It was surrounded by bright yellow packets of tea "to make a sunshine!" I was rather amazed that he'd made me a cup of tea and asked him all sorts of questions about it. He'd filled the boiler with filtered water before turning it on. I was a little concerned about him pouring boiling water (while his mama slept, no less) but I shouldn't have been. Our kettle starts rumbling pretty good long before the water boils, and he told me he thought it was "going to erupt" so he turned it off. (As he explained to me, when silica and hot water mix, they make lava. I don't think there was any silica in the kettle, but I was glad he stopped it short of boiling for other reasons!) He'd written some variation of "To Mama From Peregrine" on the mug with a blue marker, and had carefully broken open the tea bag "so the stuff could get out into the water and make tea!" 
You'd better believe I enjoyed that cup of tea~ am I blessed or what? 

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Stocking the Freezer

Potato Boats, ready to be individually frozen, then placed in gallon zipper bags. 

Sometime during each pregnancy I come to the firm conclusion that after the birth of the baby I'm never going to be able to do anything again. My life is going to consist of nothing but nursing, changing diapers, snuggling, sleeping, and, of course, caring for my older children. I might find time now and then to read a book (while nursing), take a shower (once in a while), check email and read a blog or two (again, while nursing), and maybe get a bit of sleep here and there. But anything extra, like cooking, grocery shopping, cleaning the house, will have no place in my life anymore. I think all women great with child must feel somewhat like this, thus the "nesting instinct" that comes upon us. Now, some women start cleaning furiously, wanting to make their nest as cozy and tidy as can be. But not me; I have a much more base drive. My family must eat after this baby is born, and since I'll never be able to cook again, I'd better stock my pantry and freezer with lots of food! We can live with mess, but I don't want anyone starving to death around here. (I haven't forgotten my wonderful family and friends who will inevitably bring meals, but somehow they don't figure into this picture. What happens after the first few weeks when no one brings meals anymore?) 
Thus, the grocery bill that has skyrocketed in the last few weeks. Some people stocked up for Y2K; I stock up for babies. My latest frenzy involves cooking extra food to freeze. I normally make big soups and try to always have a few freezer meals on hand, but this has gone beyond the realm of normal. (And I'm just getting started!) I got the book Fix, Freeze, Feast, and while I haven't yet made any of the recipes, have gotten some great ideas on how to modify my own recipes to be more freezer friendly. Here's what's in the freezer so far:
  • Stacy's fabulous Chicken Mirabella (3 Bags)
  • Chicken Enchiladas (1 Pan, 2 Meals for us)
  • Pizza Dough, Cheese, and Meat (3 Pizzas. Sauce to be made and frozen soon. I hope.)
  • Stuffed Potatoes (2 Meals, AKA Potato Boats, served with a triangle of cheese for a sail!)
  • Black Bean Chili (1 Container, 2 Meals)
  • White Bean Soup (2 Containers, 4 Meals)
I've also purchased ingredients for a couple more chicken meals and I don't remember what else at the moment. I plan to make a big pot of refried beans and freeze them in small containers as they can be used for many quick meals. (Tostadas are one of our family's favorites. They also go nicely with quesodillas, which are a lunchtime staple around here.) I also plan to make some cookie dough to freeze, another thing I like to do anyway. I scoop it onto the cookie sheet, freeze, then package in smaller bags. This way we can bake just a few cookies at a time and not have a ton of them sitting around begging to be eaten! 
So, here's where I'm turning to you, whoever you may be! Do you have any favorite recipes that freeze well? I'd love to try them out on my unsuspecting family in the next while. I don't get this motivated very often, and have to take advantage of it when I do. Thanks in advance! 

Sunday, February 17, 2008

I Can Pick and Shovel Too

If a little ol' fashioned nose pickin' doesn't bother you, read on:

Me, upon seeing Peregrine's finger up his nose again: "Are you finding anything in there?"
Peregrine, without hesitation: "Yep, Gold!"

Peregrine, while riding in the van one day: "Mom, do you know why I like eating my boogers?"
Me, in a rather disinterested tone: "No. Why?"
Peregrine: "Because they taste yummy...... well, that one wasn't so good."

And this evening, as we were settling in to read our Bible story:

Erik: "Peregrine, get that Pick out of your nose."
Peregrine, correcting Erik's terminology: "Shovel." 

A talented nose-picker/shoveler and a sense of humor too- what more could any Mama want in her boy? 

Friday, February 15, 2008


It's hard to believe that three years have passed since this photo was taken. Peregrine is a lot bigger, but I look about the same! And of course the baby that was in there then is now a sweet nearly-three-year-old girl. It's about time for another belly photo shoot! 

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Monday, February 11, 2008


I've wondered how our children, especially Peregrine, have been affected by losing two tiny siblings through miscarriage. We gave names to those babies and keep their memories alive by talking of them being in heaven, but it's hard to know how much our kids grasp the reality of that. A few nights ago I asked Peregrine to pray for someone who lives in our home, and this was what he prayed: "Dear Jesus, please don't let our baby go to heaven. Please help him to live a long time, until he's old, and then when he dies please help him to go to heaven then. Amen." Last night he prayed a similar thing, and it's made me realize how losing these babies is a very real part of his experience. He dearly loves this little baby brother of his and is so excited for him to be born. I think his prayer is precious, but I also don't want him to live in fear. 

On a lighter note, Poppy is really enjoying playing with dolls and being a "little mama" to them. Sometimes she pretends that she too has a baby in her tummy. The other night I was asking her about her baby, who was, of course, a girl. I asked what her name was and she answered "Dot!" I don't think she's ever heard the name Dot, but it was explained when she followed that with "She's my Daughter!" Then today we took a walk and she got out of the stroller for a while, stopping sometimes to tend to her imaginary babies. As we walked together she said contentedly to me "We're both mommies!" I love seeing how nurturing she is, and am interested how she'll be with the new baby. 

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Snow Days

The days are flying by. I'm not complaining, in fact, I'm glad that this time is going quickly. I'm not really sure where January went, although a good part of it was spent with various family members sick. Thankfully we've all pulled out of it and life is feeling somewhat normal again. We had a few wonderful days visiting with our good friends Shelley and Corrigan, who just returned from seeing their hopefully-soon-to-be-adopted boys in Haiti. My body is giving me plenty of reminders that it's time to slooooooow dowwwn over these next several weeks as God puts the finishing touches on our baby! I really overdid it a couple of days and ever since have been having a lot of back pain, so now am paying attention and trying to rest. There's so much I want to do, but what's important now is rest and routine with the kids. We're enjoying lots of time reading together and working on some habits and things that will be helpful to us all when the baby is born. 
Here are a couple of pictures from the snowfall we enjoyed last week. We only get snow once or twice a year, if that, and normally only a couple of inches. This time we had six or eight inches and it actually stuck around long enough for us all to enjoy it. I learned a valuable lesson too.... when you're seven months pregnant making snowmen is highly impractical. The bending down, lifting heavy snowballs, etc. is better left to the men! 

Peregrine and Alethea loved the snow, although Alethea didn't want to stay out in it too long. Peregrine, on the other hand, could hardly get enough! Now Alethea has been asking "Mama, can you make it snow again?" 

Peregrine with the huge snowman Erik made with him! (I usually make one about the size of Peregrine! Hmmm, maybe next year I'll leave it to Erik again!) 

And after the snow? Well, everyone knows you should drink hot cocoa! (With someone you love!) 

And after Winter comes the Spring. Later in the day we were treated to a beautiful Spring Comes to Narnia dance starring a Ladybug and a Flower. They danced to "The King and Prince go Marching" by Dvorak. (I have no idea what the real name of the song is, but that's how Peregrine refers to it.) He was in charge of costumes, lights- his flashlight on a high shelf was the "stage lighting"- and music!