Saturday, October 30, 2010

Thirty-Eight and Still Kicking

(Fortunately.) Diego hit his thirty-eighth day of school this last week. When he reached it, I reminded him that his Papi's birthday would be later in the the week and that Papi would be turning 38.
Diego: But I'm sad.

Me: Why?

Diego: I will miss Papi.

Me: Why are you going to miss Papi?

Diego: Well, he is going to be so old and then he is going to die.

Me: Well, probably not quite yet.  (Grandpa is a lot older than Papi and he's still alive.)

Diego: Oh, okay.

I was lazy and didn't even make a cake for my husband's birthday.  I was mean and made him go into Cold Stone by himself to pick out his own cake. He chose well; it was way yummy!

Mom helped Diego and Eliana put on the candles. Yes, it does say 23... that's Jesse's birthdate, so to Diego it made perfect sense. It made me laugh. I wonder if this picture will be confusing later on in life as we are looking back.

Jesse, I love you and am so thankful I get to share my life and such beautiful kids with you!  (And I'm glad you made it through your 38th birthday.)

Friday, October 29, 2010

Six More Days (and Friday Favorites)

The crib is not yet up.  And I still have a swing and bedding and stroller to pull out and wash.

But I have two boxes of diapers purchased.  And a breast pump from a college friend -thanks, Beth!

And our sweet friend, Adelita gave us a cute little outfit, a coat, and (most importantly) pacifiers. Thank you, Addy!

I've made a lasagna and bierocks that are now in the freezer and ready to go. 

I'm (for the most part) done at work, so I can focus on more prep... and although I was originally going to do school with the kids this week, I decided we needed to take a break, so we're doing that as well.

I've got Thursday and that night covered for childcare. (I need to sit down and figure out the rest and then get things packed for the kids- and I suppose myself.)

About Cruz Esteban: Cruz is Spanish for Cross and is also Jesse's grandmother's maiden name. I never met her, but she was a constant presence throughout Jesse's childhood, living just down the block, and her faith in Jesus combined with the special moments they spent just the two of them had a great impact on his life. (He would often run down the street to her house when he got in trouble. I never have been able to understand this. I would have been too afraid to run away for the extra trouble I would have encountered.  And apparently he did run into extra trouble for pulling this stunt, but he would still run down the street to her house to delay the inevitable.) Esteban is a Spanish form of Stephen. It is not a family name per say, but we love Stephen's strong example of faith. Stephan means Crown and the combination of Cross and Crown reminds me of my dad's favorite hymn, The Old Rugged Cross. The last two lines in the chorus say: "I will cling to the old rugged cross, and exchange it some day for a crown." I hope that life and promise for Cruz!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Have a kid who doesn't want to go to church?

I'd be naive to think that every kid who shows up in my Sunday School class or Wednesday night program wanted to be there. Some suck it up and behave well (and generally end up enjoying themselves), but then there are others who misbehave as a way to get out.

Tonight, I had to call a mom and talk to her about her son, she told me he didn't want to be there and that's why he was behaving the way he was... I told her I'd like to see her deal with the problem on her end so that we wouldn't have to pull him from the program while I'm on maternity leave. She hung up on me. Somehow (in her mind) the problem that she has with him not wanting to go while she wants him to be there should rest solely on the shoulders of my staff.

I disagree. Her answer was to just go ahead and pull him from the program. *sigh* I love this kid and did not want to see that happen. I believe that he is learning about God despite his bad behaviour and wish that she would have reacted differently and partnered with me in order to see a change in him. If you want your kid to go to church (or school for that matter) but behaviour is a problem, the answer is not to reward them by giving the child his way. Rather, you make him realize that inappropriate behaviour will not just make the teacher and the parents miserable, it will also make life miserable for him. Even this college student isn't too old to learn this lesson. And fortunately, for him, he had a smart momma. Sure wish the mom I talked to this evening had the same sense.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

One meal down... and other preparations

(Or lack thereof.)

At this point, I am just three weeks out from welcoming our third little one, Cruz.  Can I say how ready I am to be done being pregnant at this point?  I am looking forward to no longer having this little one lay sideways inside me; making me extremely uncomfortable. (Good thing he'll be a c-section baby because he is definitely not head down.) Anyway, while I am ready to no longer be pregnant, I am not feeling ready at all in any other sense of the word.

The baby crib is not yet set up; I haven't thought about packing a bag for the hospital.  Infant toys have yet to be pulled out of the attic and washed and we have yet to sell our Santa Fe and purchase a minivan.  (I'm not terribly worried about this one yet... I do know it's possible to slam the doors shut and get three car seats all the way across the back, but it's not easy or convenient.) I won't go into all the ways we were prepared for the other two.  But I do wonder if it's this way for other moms their third time around or if it's just me.


I do realize that part of my lack of preparation is that I have other children vying for my attention that might otherwise be spent preparing for Cruz (and I want to give as much to them as is possible since they will probably very soon feel slighted themselves.) But there's also the lack of people reminding me to get things done.  Very few people have asked what things I need, which frankly, has allowed me to forget to actually think about what I need: breast pump (the last two times I've borrowed one... and it's going to be more necessary this time around for me to actually have one than the previous two times), diapers, pacifiers (please God, let him take a pacifier!), warmer clothes in small sizes (since Diego was a summer baby). To be honest, there's not that much I do need in the way of actually purchasing items, so it makes sense that no one has asked.  Except that... without people constantly asking me, I somehow have completely forgotten that I ought to be preparing for this little guy until now. 

So, this week, I am trying to get on the ball.  And I started by making a meal that I love and can freeze: Poppy Seed Chicken.  It's simple and way yummy. The ladies at the United Methodist Church in Udall often make it for funerals (which is where I first had it) and boy is it good comfort food!

Here's the recipe, give it a try sometime:

6 cups of cubed, cooked chicken (I bought a rotisserie chicken late at night for $2.99 Manager's Special and just deboned that.  Easy and cheap!)
1 cup sour cream
1 can cream of chicken
1 can cream of mushroom

Mix these ingredients and put in the bottom of a casserole dish.

Then mix:

1 stick of melted butter
2 sleeves of crushed Ritz crackers
2 tablespoons of poppy seeds (I usually use a bit less- poppy seeds are on the expensive side.)

Spread cracker mixture over the chicken mixture, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.  Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes. 

So, now I have one meal in the freezer prepared for this baby.  I also bought lots of paper plates and cups because (let's face it) I barely get dishes done when I don't have a new baby at home, so that will be one less thing to worry about. 

Now, to begin crossing other things off my list.  It'll get there, right?

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Autumn Apples

Do you remember learning this Johnny Appleseed Prayer as a child?  I do and my momma says she does, too.  So, the week we studied apples and the letter A, I had to teach it to my kiddos, too.  They loved it... it's such a sweet little song (and to think that Disney put this one together! -albeit in 1948).

I think Apple week has been the most fun so far.  We started the week early by going to pick apples with my mom and sister and (of course) baby Finley.  Now, I thought I was being smart.  Earlier in the week, our home school group had gone out to an orchard I'd been to before in Butler County (on a Wednesday- so we were unable to go with them) only to arrive and be told their apples weren't ripe for the picking.  Now, to me, if you're going to schedule a group of kids to come and pick apples in your orchard, you had better call and cancel (or at least give the moms who are driving all the way out to pick apples the option to cancel) if your apples aren't ripe.  But from what I understand, they didn't.  So I got back on and found another orchard in Sumner county that did have apples to pick.

We had a lovely time. 

The morning was nice, we got some lovely pictures. 

The kids were enjoying themselves immensely until my mom noticed that my kids were knee deep in poison ivy!  In fact, as we were quickly rushing back to the car to leave, we noticed that all the trees had a lovely blanket of poison ivy under them!  Ack!  Very fortunately, we were able to wash up quickly and none of us (including my highly allergic mom and sis) ended up with a rash.  However, I wouldn't suggest anyone try the place unless they are particularly fond of poison ivy.  So, does anyone else know of a place next year for us to try who will let people know before they arrive that they don't have apples ready to pick... and also that doesn't think that poison ivy makes a lovely ground cover under their trees?  I'd love your suggestions on that one because I love the idea of making apple picking a yearly event but would like to find a new location in Sedgwick County or the surrounding area.

Some of our activities during Apple Week included:

Making Apple Crisp

Eating Apple Crisp topping before it had a chance to make it on the crisp.

Making Applesauce (Next time I'll remember to have jars ready for canning so we don't end up having to eat applesauce at every single meal for a week.)

 Taste-testing a large variety of apples- (From l to r) Honey Crisp, Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Gala.

 Our winner ended up being the Jonathan -the kids favorite and my second (my favorite was the Honey Crisp).  I was pleased with this consensus because Jonathans are great for baking with and they're so affordable... of course, maybe the kids like them so much because I buy them all the time and it's what they're familiar with.  (Either way, I'll take it!) How about you?  What's your favorite apple?

Friday, October 8, 2010

L-l-living and growing in Jesus

Our fourth week of school included studying the letter L and leaves and trees.  Our curriculum had us start the week by looking at a tree and all of it's beautiful leaves and talking a bit about how the roots get water from the ground that feed the leaves.  Then I was supposed to choose a leaf and tell the kids that leaf didn't want the tree to be its boss anymore; that it wanted to be its own boss and go where it wanted to go instead of staying on the tree.  Then I picked it off the tree and brought it inside with us.

Over the week, we watched the leaf shrivel and dry up because it wasn't living and growing on the tree anymore.  We observed the leaves that were still on the tree and how they were still nice and green.  And we talked a lot about how just like the leaf gets its water from the tree.  That we get water from Jesus when we live and grow in Him.  We talked about how we can live and grow in Jesus by talking to Him, reading the Bible and learning to obey Him.  And we talked about how some people decide they want to be their own boss instead of living and growing in Jesus and how their lives are just like that leaf- without the water they need to continue to live and grow.

Again this concept seemed to me to be beyond what I thought Diego could really understand... even with all the great visual illustrations.  But last week, I had a rather lousy night at work.  Many of the kids I work with in our Wednesday night ministry are from... how shall I say it?  Well, most of them live in great poverty and are not typically church goers and many of them come from broken homes without shining examples in their lives to look up to.  One of the younger boys in our program decided to get himself into a great amount of trouble which meant I had to discipline him.  *Sigh.*  I told him because of his behavior he would have to miss a night of Wednesday programming because he needed to learn to listen to and obey his teachers and that he would not be able to have a tootsie roll (our regular prize to kids who keep their seat belts on the whole way home).  As he left the vehicle, he ended up punching the door and calling me some choice words. 

Anyway, when I got home, Diego was still awake in his bed and I went in say goodnight and ask for some extra hugs (which I needed that night).  We talked a bit about why I was sad and then he said, "Mami, I think that boy is just like that leaf and wants to be his own boss.  He needs to let Jesus be his boss."  From the mouths of babes... my goodness, of course! We ended up praying for the little guy to make Jesus his boss and I said goodnight.  Thank you, God, for Diego's insight and understanding!  Thank you, God, for helping remind me of the reason I do this job that takes me away from my own kids one night a week!  Thank you, God, for allowing me the resources to train my kids up in You!

Hope you all have a great weekend living and growing in Jesus!