Friday, July 31, 2009


I love chaos...I thrive on chaos...sometimes chaos makes me crazy. After all I am the mother of 4 children born in less than 5 years. My house has been even crazier for the last few weeks. I've started babysitting for one of Bear's classmates and her sister, who will be the Boy's classmate when preschool starts this fall. I love having all the kids in the house. It's great! I think the best apart is that my children are entertained by their friends being there with them, so I've been able to keep things more cleaned up around the house. My kids are also becoming more responsible because I'm remembering to make it a priority to have them pick up before Daddy gets home from summer school. The kids have been doing quite well at it. I do usually reward them with icee, playing in the creek, or getting out the play-dough. Play-dough with 6 kids isn't easy. Especially when Bean is a play-dough eater.

In the chaos of everyday, the other day, I wanted to take some pics of the kids playing in the creek to share. Instead of taking my camera back into the house when I was done, I stuck it in the garage. Big mistake! DH had warned me the roof was leaking like a sieve. Of course I forgot my camera when it was time to bring in the kids and do baths. Fast forward to yesterday...Dh was cleaning out the garage and lo and behold found my 6 inches of water. Oops! So, I took out my batteries, SD card, and let it dry out. Figuring that my first check from babysitting was going to replace my camera. Last night, we put fresh batteries in and the camera worked. Not 10 minutes after I'd decided what camera i was going to use as my replacement. I'd planned on ordering it after the kids went to bed. Thank you Jesus, that it worked.
Added to all this, I'm in my 4th round of potty training. Bean has been very motivated but my motivation is lacking. She's my baby. I know it'll be great to have her out of pull ups and all but then I lose the last shreds of babyhood that she has. She talks like a big girl, feeds herself, wipes herself after using the potty, tries to brush her own teeth and does her best to dress herself. When she talks, she says the most grown up things. I can't believe how big my little girl is getting.
Here are the pics from their fun in the creek that almost cost the camera.
The Boy

Mr. Man

Bug, Bear and the Boy

Daddy and Bean

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Strawberry Jam

I had the opportunity last Friday to go strawberry picking with my good friend Laura. We went to her hometown and were fortunate to slip in on the last day of the season. Between the two of us we picked 18 quarts of berries. My goal was to make enough to last me until strawberries come around next year. I ended up with 10 quarts of berries which became 24 pints of strawberry jam.
First, I put the kids to work smashing hulled quartered berries.

Then I did the rest of the work by myself. Mr. Man's comment was...Why do women always can on the hottest day of the summer?
Here's my recipe:
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All in all the jam is delicious. I shared some with my mom's friend Sherry. Here's her review
"Oh, Susan. While I would love to say that I carefully rationed the strawberry jam and had just a teaspoonful a day to make it last...alas that would be an untruth!! The reality is that it was soooooo goooood, that - um, it was gone by Sunday and I didn't share one drop with Joe! I often buy strawberry jam at farmer's markets trying to find the "good stuff" but theirs' doesn't compare to yours', and believe me, I've tried lots of them! Thank you very, very much--- It was fantastic!! Good job!"

Now if only it will last till next June when I can make more...

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Dried Beans

I stepped on a dried chick pea the other day. It was a remnant left over from playing school with the kids earlier. Since it had missed its chance to be put away and continue its usefulness I tossed it in the garbage.

Right now, I feel a lot like that bean. When it first came off the plant, it was fresh, soft and easily usable. As time went on, it dried out, hardened and shriveled up to the point where it needs a major overhaul from an outside source like an overnight soak and then a nice long boil in a pot over a fire before it becomes useful.

I wish I didn't feel like that hard dried up bean. Once upon a time, seven or eight years ago, I had a strong relationship with God. He was my number one priority. I knew I was in the center of His will and could hear His voice guiding me. As time has gone by, sin, busyness, and life have crept in and pushed into God's place. Mostly the busyness and life...I've rooted out and repented of the sin that comes to mind in my journey to the hard bean state. I have become overwhelmed by the busyness and responsibility of raising 4 children and keeping up with my housework. I haven't wanted my relationship with God to slip, but it still has. My attempts to keep God in the forefront have all been a struggle that seems to be unsuccessful. I sadly lack the daily habit of time with Him. I keep pressing in though, and picking up my time with Him when I realize that I have let it slip.

The last 24 months have been an exceptionally difficult time for me. I suffered 2 miscarriages in 6 months. Between both miscarriages, my husband suffered from many misdiagnosed stomach problems and I feared losing him too. Thankfully Rich's health problems are now resolved, and I have taken the time to properly grieve the loss of Mikey & Sophie as I've needed to begin the healing process. But I feel like it has drained the last bit softness out of me. Leaving me drained, weary, hard and unusable. I feel like there is nothing left to do but toss me out with the trash like I did with the bean. Thankfully, even though I feel useless, God still has plans to use me.

Our worship team has played Bring Me To Life by Bebo Norman. The past 2 weeks. The part of the song I feel applies most to me is:

"I want to lose myself in Your love

So let it rain down over me

As I fall down to my knees

Let the ocean rise to meet me

I need You to bring me to life"
I want God's love to wash over me and transform me from a hard bean to someone who has a usable heart again.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Overheard at Bed-Time

If you were a fly on the wall in Beans bedroom last night you would've heard the following conversation.

Mommy~ "Okay Beanie, time to sleep. Do you want Mommy to rock you or lay down by your self?"

Bean~ "In my bed."

Silence as Beanie snuggles for the perfect comfy spot.

Bean~ "Mommy, I need tell you sumpin."

"What is it Honey?"

Silence, then jabbering and a cheesey 2 year old grin

"I love you, Beanie. You're such a cheese-ball!"

"No, I not I Bean!"