Saturday, January 28, 2012

Another kid

This is what life would look like if we had 3 boys instead of two.

We're babysitting our nephew tonight and the boys are having a great time together.  He blends right into to the Gessner boy mix doesn't he?
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Thursday, January 26, 2012

Embracing for the first time

I always look forward to Thursdays when another one of my favorite bloggers posts her, "Embrace the Camera" posts.   I look forward to seeing which child she "embraced" with, and whether it was she or Mr. Anderson that did the embracing.  

Now, Emily Anderson has 6 kiddos (WOAH), so it really IS exciting to see which one(s) will be a part of the post. You're not going to have to wonder nearly as hard which child I'll be featuring.  I mean it's a 50/50 chance... Unless I'm really mad at both of them, and then I might just embrace with Reggie...

So without further ado, this week I'm embracing with...


Yes, I'm aware that this isn't a spectacular photo.  I have a budding photographer in this photo with me.  He's really into taking pictures right now.  He took approximately 168 photos on Matthew's Blackberry during Owen's Karate class tonight.  So I couldn't help but post our first self portrait taken by my littlest man. 
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Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Things I'm going to try

One of my favorite bloggers, Money Saving Mom, posts a list each year of new things that she's going to try each month.  Each month she blogs about how her  experiment went.  I think that would be fun to do because I'm always brewing up things in my head that I want to try.  In our efforts to be more green, more frugal, and a little bit because we're offbeat- I'm going to try something new each month(ish) and blog about the process and outcome.  

Here's the thing though, where MSM is generally very organized and disciplined, I am not.  I get an idea in my head, get super excited about it,  and go off half-cocked completing the idea.  That's just me.  We'll see how it goes.

So in no particular order here are some of the projects I hope to attempt this year.

Quilt- IN PROGRESS (this isn't even a "real" quilt, but my lack of space is causing this to give me FITS!)

Homemade poptarts

Homemade hand lotion

Homemade Vaporub

Homemade beeswax chapstick (to feed my addiction for less money!)

Homemade all-natural bodywash (to help with O's sensitive skin)

Artisan Bread in Five minutes per day

Make Homemade marshmallows

Make liquid hand soap

No-Poo shampoo method

Homemade deodorant

DIY tank top/tshirt dress- Sara requested that I add this project to the list.  Because let's face it, have you seen us in the summertime?  All we wear are sundresses.  And probably at some point in time, the 7 year old WalMart sundresses that we've been rocking pre/during/post pregnancy  need to be retired.  Not this summer mind you, but sometime.  Maybe after we do this, we'll do an amazing fashion show post with all of our new stylish attire!  Right Sar?  ;)

I know, I know, half of these things seem totally hippie. They probably are a little bit- but if we can use items that are more natural, less toxic, and less expensive- why not give them a shot?  We've experimented with several homemade products over the past year or so- and several of them have been WILD successes. Like we love them so much, we'd never go back to their expensive store bought alternatives. 

A couple of our absolute favorites:

Homemade laundry detergent  (Yes, this link goes to the Duggar family website- but I think that a lady who is washing laundry for 20+ people knows a thing or two about what works and what doesn't.  We've been using this for probably a year and a half and we LOVE it.)

Homemade face wash (This has been absolutely amazing.  I used to only buy expensive Clinque face wash and lotion, and I haven't used either in over two months.  Matthew and I both use this daily.  It's such a noticeable thing that when I was in the hospital with my appendix- two separate people made comments on the clarity of my skin.  I've never received compliments on my skin before!)

I'm not sure where I'll start.  I guess that it should probably be figuring out how to finish this blasted quilt- so that I don't have to think about it anymore!

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Monday, January 23, 2012

On being joyful

I've never really given that much thought to joy until the past few months.  See, I've got a son that can find joy in anything.  He is truly the most joyful person that I know.  And guess what, as a result he is generally a joy to be around.

I have another son that can find a reason to be miserable about ice cream. (He really did, just last Friday).  We've recently been talking a lot about joy in our house, and trying to be more joyful people.  I don't know if you can learn to be more joyful, but I'm hoping that you can.  I'm guessing that it starts by trying to find the positives in any given situation. 

When the joyful son was opening Christmas gifts this year, he would rip the paper back and immediately shriek, "YAY, a box!"   every. single. time.   And the thing about him is that he totally could have been happy if that box had nothing in it all.  I really think that we could have given him a lump of coal and he would have been happy.  What a blessing to be able to look at any situation and find joy in it.  I mean this kid laughs like 80% of the day. 

Man, I want to be more like that.  His personality is truly enviable. 

So I'll start with today.  I'm going to find joy today. Cuz this is the day that the Lord hath made and dude, I'm gonna be glad in it.

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Sunday, January 22, 2012

This weekend has been the slow, lazy kind.  Sometimes after the whirlwind of the week, it's all we can do to snuggle our babies, watch some old school 1959 Dennis the Menace on Netflix, and play the Wii.   We slept in, ate out, and just tried to stay warm. 

This morning, we didn't make it to church.  We could have. We should have. But we didn't.  I always feel a little guilty when we miss church.  But this morning, I received quite the reminder of how God protects and keeps us, even when we don't make the effort. 

As I was browsing my favorite blogs, I ran across this.  Wow, indeed.  As I read it, I was transported back to two years ago when a similar situation happened to me.  It was during the season of my life when Eli spent ALL of his time attached to me in one way or another.  When I was sitting, he was on my lap.  When I was standing, he sat on the floor at my feet- one hand rubbing my leg, the other hand's  thumb in his mouth.  This is how I cooked nearly every meal. 

On this fateful day though, I stood at the stove alone, boiling pasta in my largest dutch oven.   As I picked up the pot to drain it, the handle broke cleanly off the pot.  An entire dutch oven full of boiling water crashed to the floor  and sprayed everywhere.  Not only was baby not under my feet, but on this unseasonably cool summer day, I had on pants and slippers in lieu of my typical summer shorts or sundresses.  I was completely unharmed. My baby was unharmed and playing safely in the other room. 


I can't to this day think of this without getting goosebumps.  Our lives could have changed dramatically that day, but didn't.   Coincidence?  Me thinks not.

So no, we didn't make it to church today.  Thank goodness for a loving God that reminded me gently why I should have been there.  Thank you Jesus for protecting my babies and my family and friends on that day, today, and every day.  

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