Thursday, March 31, 2011

Taking a cue from my husband

My husband teaches me lots of things directly as well as indirectly. Recently, as I was watching how he interacted with Ella talking to her about the Bible, he taught me a valuable lesson about a very effective way to teach her.

I’ve been teaching Ella things about the Bible for a while now, but generally I’ve been taking a very structured approach. That’s not to say that my approach isn’t fun or isn’t geared towards a toddler, because it is – we sing songs and I teach her on her level trying to use fun things  for her – but it is definitely more structured. However, I’ve been watching my husband talk to Ella about, for instance, her Bible class, and I realized that in all my teaching I haven’t taken the time to actually have a conversation with her.

My husband’s conversations with Ella about the Bible are perfect for her. He holds her in his lap, and the time is solely devoted to having that conversation. I can tell that Ella knows that what is about to happen is important. She is intently focused on the topic at hand (lately it has been Noah). I can see the eagerness in her eyes. She wants to learn more, but also answer questions about what she knows – a true back and forth conversation. Ella is soaking up every minute of the conversation. I need to take the time everyday to have these kinds of conversations with Ella as well.

Watching my husband and Ella interact talking about the Bible is absolutely priceless to me – it has almost brought me to tears (happy ones!) a couple of times. I’m so thankful to be married to a Christian man who is teaching our children about spiritual things! I cannot wait to see how these conversations with Ella (and Troy!) progress and evolve as they grow up. I hope to be blessed with children who want to discuss spiritual things, and to have a desire for God’s Word.

In the photo below, my husband is talking to Ella about how he is about to leave to go on a Mission Trip to teach people the Bible. I love how he took the time to teach her about the importance of spreading God's Word.20110311-IMG_0469.jpg

Photo Challenges

I’m WAY late in the week posting these, but oh well!

Sweet @ The Paper Mama


The Paper Mama

Hands @ The Trendy Treehouse


Leaves and Flowers @ Simplicity

I don’t have a macro lens, but I recently got some extension tubes to use in conjunction with my lenses to allow for some macro-like shots. I still have A LOT to learn about shooting plants (and macro), but I like this photo I got of my sage bush. I love its silvery leaves.


Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Happy 6 Months Troy!

Wow, now that you have hit the 6 month mark I’m having a hard time keeping my mind focused off of the fact that you are halfway to a year old. Time flies way too fast!

You started playing in your jumperoo this month, and you really seem to enjoy it! The picture below was the first time you were in it – it looks like it swallows you up! Now you are much more stable as you play in it. I love watching you grow stronger and stronger every day.


I love your smile, and I love listening to you laugh. You love to fly in the air (be held up high), and I can almost guarantee a big smile when you fly in the air.110228-IMG_0371.jpg

You’ve always enjoyed singing, but this month I’ve also discovered that you enjoy listening to me read to you. I think you would be happy with anything where you could hear my voice (or other’s) talking to you.


You haven’t had a lot of solids yet, but you have started getting really excited about your food when I feed you. You wave your arms wildly and try to grab at the spoon.20110304-IMG_0129.jpg

You’ve been going to Bible class regularly now, and I think you enjoy the class for the most part. You still get tired towards the end, but it really is a long time for a baby to sit in a chair!20110307-IMG_0368.jpg

You are getting really good at grabbing things as well as holding things. In fact, you can even hold your own bottle now! You grab at almost anything . . . when I was taking your photos below you grabbed the grass, dirt, and blanket, and tried to put all of them in your mouth! 20110317-IMG_0595.jpg 20110317-IMG_0602.jpg


I really hate being stressed. I think I handle stress well to a certain point, and once I pass the point I completely melt down – I go from handling everything to feeling like I can’t handle anything. I realize that stress is sometimes a good thing – sometimes it presses me to do the things I really need to do or pushes me in the direction that I need to go, but I still dislike being stressed. I’ve been stressed a lot lately (I’m not going into why here because that’s neither here nor there).  I’m starting to feel like I’m completely underwater, and I must swim to the top of the water and take a deep breath. I need to take time to relax and just breathe.

It is times like these that I realize how much I really need to trust in God. I shouldn’t allow myself to get so down because I have God – the Creator of the Universe and the Almighty and Loving Father to rely on, and yet I do allow myself to become weak in faith. I’m not writing this post to complain, but rather to give myself that reminder that I need: I need to trust in the Lord with all my heart and I need to seek comfort through Him. I ought to be meditating more on His Word and speaking to Him more often through prayer rather than allowing myself to become bogged down.

As a reminder to myself, here are just a few passages from the book of Proverbs.

Proverbs 3:5-6: “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.”

Proverbs 16:20: “He who heeds the word wisely will find good, and whoever trusts in the LORD, happy is he.”

Proverbs 28:25-26: “He who is of a proud heart stirs up strife, but he who trusts in the LORD will be prospered. He who trusts in his own heart is a fool, but whoever walks wisely will be delivered.”

Proverbs 30:5:” Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.”

Monday, March 28, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

  • Beef fajitas or beef quesadillas . . . whichever sounds the best the night I actually make this meal!
  • Panko-breaded chicken parmesan.
  • Grilled pork chops with grilled corn (we didn’t get around to eating this last week).
  • Fried pork chops with mashed potatoes and a green veggie. I’ve never made fried pork chops, but I’ve heard people rave about them.
  • Spanish chicken and rice. Another recipe I’ve never tried before, but I wanted to find something new to do with chicken and rice. I’ll probably use a variation of this recipe.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

I Heart Faces: Slice of Life

I had a very difficult time choosing a photo for this week’s challenge. After all, the vast majority of the photos I take involve our everyday life. I realize that I’ve shared this photo before on my blog, but I thought it fit the theme well.




Friday, March 25, 2011

2011 Project 365: Week 12

One of these weeks I’m going to figure out how to make a collage, but for now, I’ll just keep posting the individual pictures. (Does anyone know how to make a collage in Lightroom or Gimp?)

Day 78 (3/19/11):


Day 79 (3/20/11):



Day 80 (3/21/11):



Day 81 (3/22/11):


Day 82 (3/23/11):



Day 83 (3/24/11):


Day 84 (3/25/11):



Week 11

I'm linking up with some other Project 365 blogs. Check them out!

The Daily WyattProject 365 Button

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Photo Challenges

Green @ The Paper Mama:


The Paper Mama

Sweet Shot Tuesday @ My 3 Boybarians:


Sweet Shot Day

My photo of Ella was chosen in the top ten at The Trendy Treehouse last week. Yay!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Menu Planning Monday

  • Chicken, broccoli, bacon, onion, and garlic in a cream sauce pasta.
  • Biscuits, eggs, and bacon.
  • Ground beef/turkey tacos with avocado slices, homemade salsa, and chips. I’ve attempted to make salsa a couple of times and haven’t been overly thrilled with how it has come out. I’m going to keep trying to make it though!
  • Grilled pork chops with grilled corn and salad (or another green veggie).
  • Ground beef/turkey and rice casserole. I made this a couple of weeks ago and it was yummy and easy. I really like yummy and easy!  Combine cooked ground beef/turkey with cooked rice, a can of cream of mushroom soup, and  cheese (if you want – I only put a little bit because we aren’t much of a cheese family). Top with French fried onions and bake at 350 degrees until heated through.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

2011 Project 365: Week 11

What a crazy week! On top of being super busy, I've been having computer issues all week . . . so much fun! Hopefully I've got the kinks worked out now.

Day 71 (3/12/11):

No pictures today. :(

Day 72 (3/13/11):



Day 73 (3/14/11):



Day 74 (3/15/11):


Day 75 (3/16/11):



Day 76 (3/17/11):



Day 77 (3/18/11):


I’m linking up with some Project 365 blogs:

The Daily WyattProject 365 Button 

Week 10

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

An Introduction to Homemade Baby Food: Butternut Squash

Writing this post brings back my first real blogging memories. Although I'm no blogging expert, I've come a long way in my understanding of the blogging world since I first wandered in a couple of years ago. When I decided that I would make Ella's baby food, I thought that I would blog about it without really knowing much about blogging at all. I didn't really keep up with those posts, and my photos were terrible, but I guess we all have to start somewhere! I've incorporated those posts into this blog, so if you look back you can see them, haha.
And, now, after my rambling I will get to what this post is actually about: making homemade baby food. When I ventured into making my own baby food with Ella, I was excited, but also a little unsure as to what to expect. Could I do it? Would it be easy? Would it be time-consuming? Would it be worth it? All in all, I really enjoyed making Ella's baby food. In fact, it was pretty fun to me as someone who enjoys cooking. I loved the variety of fresh foods I was able to make for her, and, for the most part, it really is easy, and not too time-consuming (although some foods are most definitely easier to make than others).
If you've never made any baby food, don't worry - you can do it! You don't need any fancy equipment, but there are a few things I do recommend. I bet you already have most of these items in your kitchen supplies. You can read about my recommended gear here. As far as actually making the baby food, I get a lot of my information for making the food from Wholesome Baby Food. I plan to post my process for every food I make Troy along the way.
Cut the butternut squash in half lengthwise. I think that this is the most difficult part of the process because you are dealing with a large vegetable. You can see that I didn't do a great job getting mine cut evenly, but it still worked out fine. Scoop out the seeds from each half of the butternut squash. The seeds are very similar to pumpkin seeds.
Place each half flesh side down into a baking dish with approximately a half an inch of water. Bake at 400 degrees for approximately 40-60 minutes.
The squash is done baking when the skin starts to get bubbly/puckery and the flesh is very soft (it should be easy to scoop out).
Let the squash cool until it is easy to handle. Remove the flesh and place it into a blender or food processor (I prefer a food processor). You'll notice that I sliced through the flesh in my squash to make the flesh easier to remove. This is a trick that I learned to use with avacados when I'm making guacamole. You might also notice that one half of the squash is missing a decent chunk . . . Ella ate some of the roasted squash as a snack and loved it!
Blend the squash until smooth. You can thin the mixture out by adding water or breastmilk or formula (I personally use water). You can thicken the mixture by adding oatmeal. I thinned this mixture out quite a bit because Troy is still young, and this was the first vegetable he was trying.
Once you have reached the desired consistency of the food, scoop it into ice cube trays (yes, I'm messy). Gently shake/tap the trays help distribute the food into the cubes. Each cube holds approximatley 1 ounce of food. Cover the trays and freeze the squash. Once the squash is frozen, remove the cubes of frozen squash just as you would remove ice from the trays. My squash was frozen very tightly in the trays, so I let the trays sit out for about 10 minutes before removing the squash from the trays. Store the cubes in freezer bags (or other freezer container). Remove cubes and pop in the microwave for a few seconds (or defrost in the fridge) to serve the food. Be careful not to heat for too long in the microwave - you don't want to heat it, just defrost it.
This method also applies to acorn squash. And, taking these photos, I realize I have a lot to learn about food photography. Does anyone have any tips?
Troy liked it pretty well!