Thursday, May 27, 2010

Monkey Shakes

Monkey Shakes!!!!  They're our new favorite snack.  And incredibly fast, easy, and inexpensive to make, which makes them winners in my book!  The kids love them so much that I find I can use them as a special surprise treat or an incentive to get some work done (as I did this morning- If we can get the house cleaned up in 20 minutes, we'll celebrate with Monkey Shakes!)

So here's the magic recipe:

2 1/2 C Milk
2 C Ice
1 Banana
1 Packet Instant Chocolate Pudding

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

That's it!  Super easy!  It makes 4 good-sized servings (I get 5 child-size cups full plus an adult-sized cup almost full).  Here's the nutritional info if you use 2% milk and sugar-free, fat-free pudding:

150 Calories; 3g Fat; 8g Protein; 23g Carbs; 2g Fiber

Not bad, huh?  That'll get a few ooo-ooos aah-aahsNot sure how to spell monkey sounds...

And best of all......drumroll, please.......

You get to use a straw!!!  My kids love straws :) 

Thursday, May 20, 2010

LOVE- To a Four Year-Old

"What does love mean?"

This came from Sweetheart Girl tonight.  I think it came on the heels of our 'Good-bye, Daddy' and 'I love you!' routine as Daddy-man left this evening.  However it came about, it took me a tad off-guard.  Six children, and I've not heard that one before.

My first thought was, 'never having to say you're sorry.'  Obviously, soo not true, and she wouldn't get the joke. 

So what to say to a 4 year-old?  I think I said it was kind of the same as liking someone, being their friend, and treating them nicely no matter what the person does.  I was prepared to turn this into a 'teachable moment,' complete with God's perfect example of true love, but she said,


And she bounced out of the room.

So, I guess I missed my chance this time, but it got me thinking on what to tell her when she asks again.  Sweetheart Girl always asks again!

Love is kind, patient, always thinks the best of someone.
Love is service.  Giving, instead of taking.  Thinking of others first, yourself last.
Love is forgiving, whether or not the person deserves it, and whether or not you feel like it. 

So many things, but so far I can't even get these ones right! 

1 Corinthians 13:2  And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understanding all mysteries, and all knowledge: and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

He's Able!

The following is stolen from my very smart hubby.  He preached on Ephesians 3:14-21 last night.  As it turns out, I was home with 2 sick kiddos so I didn't get to hear it.

God is able to do what we ask.
God is able to do what we ask or think.
God is able to do all that we ask or think.
God is able to do more than we ask or think.
God is able to do abundantly more than we ask or think.
God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think!!

Ephesians 3:20  Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Big Kitty, Little Kitties

We have kittens!  Okay, the stray cat that lives in our back yard has kittens.  Three, in fact.

We got home from our trip to Show Low Monday afternoon.  I asked Hero to let Putt-Putt in and get him some fresh water (poor dog stayed home all by himself!), and sure enough, he saw the kittens.

We went out to see them, and they were so cute!  They could not have been more than a couple hours old- if that many! 

Mama cat had made her bed on the towel bed I left for Putt-Putt, and 2 kittens were there.  One (the all-black one) was lying on the other side of the concrete porch.  We thought he was dead, but when Daddy-man picked him up, he was alive.  I'm not sure how it works, if Mama had rejected that one and kicked him out, but we put him back in the bed with his brothers/sisters.  So far, he's doing alright.

So what am I going to do with these kitties?!  I made a little bed in a box- I don't have the heart to get rid of them yet!  In 6-8 weeks, we'll try to find homes for them or take them to the shelter.  It's sooo tempting to keep one, but I do not want an outdoor cat, and I'm not willing to spend the cash on fixing and de-clawing to bring one in...

So in the meantime, I'm curious to see how things go with the kitties.  I'm hoping to do a little real-life learning with the kiddos, and I think this could be quite an experience for them!


Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Kitchen Sink

So this weekend, my family is taking a little trip to Show Low.  Hubby is going to preach at a church on Sunday, and we're going to stay at my aunt's and uncle's house until Monday morning.  Today is Thursday, we're not leaving until tomorrow after school (I'm going on a field trip with Jack!), and so the packing has begun.

When did packing become an all-day affair??  It's one weekend!  True, there's now eight of us, but, really, do we go through that much stuff in 3 days?!  I consider myself a light packer- I don't pack extra outfits (I'll do laundry if I have to), I bring similar colors (cut down on shoes, jewelry, hair stuff, etc.), and I share suitcases (no, each child doesn't get his own!).  

Of course, we have babies, so that means bottles, burp cloths, diapers (lots!  3 kids' worth!), a pack n play...And traveling through a Sunday means packing all the church-going things.  I guess dresses, ties, and fancy shoes take up a lot of space!  

But here's what I'm not bringing:  our pillows, stuffed animals that are slept with, toys, more than two sippy cups (for the twins), more than 2 bottles, multi types of hair accessories for the girls, and extra blankets.

And yet, it seems that our poor minivan is going to be struggling to get up through those mountains.  The Salt River Canyon will be echoing with the sounds of "I think I can!  I think I can!"  And when we open the doors upon arrival, I'm picturing a mini-explosion (snakes in a can, anyone?).

So, is this just how it's going to be from here on out?  Do any of you have any extra tips for keeping the kitchen sink from going along for the ride?

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sacrifices By Default

Happy Mother's Day!

Those were the first words I heard from my children this morning.  This is the first Mother's Day that that has been the case.  We have a bad habit of, "Mom, I'm hungry" being the first thought on our minds!  We should probably try to break that- it was quite wonderful for that to be the second statement of the day :)

The cards were on the table along with a little box wrapped in shiny paper, and the kids were anxious for me to open everything.  I read the cards and opened my gift (a pretty necklace and earring set- it didn't match what I was already wearing to church that day, but had it been a big upset, I would have changed immediately!  I'm held to a promise to wear it tomorrow!), and was presented with a card and gift that Awesome McAwesome had made at school.  He's been holding that bag in his backpack for a few days now, and every time I touched his bag, he would panic over the thought of me seeing his surprise! 

Church was filled with "Happy Mother's Days" and construction paper cards from every class, and Hubby preached a great message (he always does!).  As we stood for the invitation, he said that being a mother means making sacrifices.  Oh, yes, of course it does, I thought.  But then it occurred to me, What sacrifices am I making?  Sure, having children means I don't have much 'me' time, but, really, I'd be bored out of my mind without them!  I don't get to (or want to) go out in the workforce and stress myself out trying to succeed in a world where you can't possibly make everyone happy.  I don't mind those sacrifices at all.

But what about the little sacrifices?  How about the times that I've been needing a new pair of shoes, but the boys need new underwear and socks?  How about the nights that I go to bed exhausted, just wanting (and expecting) a full night of quiet sleep, but one of the kids wakes up sick and spends all night in and out of your bedroom and the bathroom.  What about those sacrifices?

Sure, I make them.  I have to make them.  I call them sacrifices by default. Those are the little things that mothers are praised for somewhere along the line, but I wonder how many of us are happy in those moments.  Oh, I'm sure looking back, every mother will say it was worth it to give up her own comforts for the sake of her children, but how many of us are actually happy to do it at that very moment.  Hmmm...

I know, not me.  Not all the time. 

But I want to be.  I want to always be joyfully willing to make any sacrifice needed for my children.  I don't want to sacrifice by defaultWhat kind of sacrifice is that?  But even more, I want to see those times, not as sacrifices at all, but as wondrous opportunities to show my children the love that I have for them!  Even more than that, I want to be a small example of how much our Lord has sacrificed for them.  His loving sacrifice on Calvary is the ultimate sacrifice.  Was it a burden to Him?  A bother?  An unfortunate necessity that just went along with creating mankind?  Did Jesus Christ sacrifice Himself by default?
 I think not.