Saturday, July 27, 2013

Feeding the Cow...

The cousins came to visit this week and got a glimpse of life on the ranch.  The sick cow and steer had to be fed. So off the "men" went.  No shirts necessary...

Peter was bringing up the rear...

Sam and Gus grabbed the hay...

Here came the roping steer...

And Carter had a few straws to add...

Back for round two...

The cow was not happy...

Peter's turn...

And then back to the barn.

Sharing our life with others, and by doing so gaining an even greater appreciation for it, is what it's all about.  Such a fun day with the family.

I Use NFP...

It's National NFP Awareness Week.

I think it's apparent from some previous posts that Jeremy and I use Natural Family Planning.  Specifically, I use the Billings Ovulation Method.  And, I teach it too!

For some, that may seem obvious.   Sure, she's Catholic.  Of course, she had three kids in less than 2.5 years.  Believe it or not, NFP has "worked" for us.  Some may think that three kids that close in age means that we failed at NFP...that it was just too difficult to abstain.  Would it be too hard to believe that each of those babies was "planned" - would it seem that we had lost our minds?

Maybe we have.

Though, this is what we have gained:

A love unlike any other.  When we were married, we knew that we would always be open to life.  The Church has forever taught that marital love is a total, self-giving love...a love which includes one's fertility.  NFP demands discipline, responsibility and communication.  In return, it offers a closeness to one's spouse built upon a foundation of selflessness and faith.

A deep love for children.  I have always loved babies.  But, I never knew I could love them as much as I do now.  It's a love so vulnerable and so deep that it hurts as much as it fills my heart with joy.  I cannot deliver a baby without immediately desiring another.

A trust in His will.  Will three be the most kids we will have?  Will we have ten?  Only He knows.  However, we're open to whatever is in store, knowing He knows us so much better than we know ourselves.  In fact, our family's "completeness" will always be led by Him.

This (and two more like him).  The Church's call to complete, total, full and faithful love has resulted in me being called Mom and Jeremy, Dad.  Miracles, they are.  Gifts that only an openness to life allows.

So, for the days in which it might seem we've lost our minds, we know that beyond NFP being natural, free, healthy and effective, it is also

A burden?  Actually, a blessing in every sense imaginable!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Five Favorites...

Joining Grace this week for...

1.  Chewbeads.

My mother-in-law just sent these to me for John Paul.  He loves them, and I love that I'm not worried about him choking down one of my necklaces.  Thanks!

2.  This read.

While I absolutely adore my husband, and believe we are perfect together, this article hits the nail on the head.  Regardless of who we marry, on the days when we really have to choose to love, it isn't a sign that we married the wrong person.  Rather, it's an opportunity to experience really what it means to selflessly live our vows.

3.  Revlon ColorStay Suede Lipstick in Silhouette.

I'm trying to venture from my go-to nude/brown shades.  I hate orangey lipstick, and I'm not brave enough for red.  Okay, I've tried it, and then when I answer the door for the UPS man remembering my lips are bright red, I feel like a big dork (although I like the burgundy colors coming this fall!) I tried this.  Not much color, but I like it. And, it stays on.

4.  Mac Lipstick in Media

Here's the burgundy I got for fall (that I'll probably wear twice and return to my typical no lipstick routine).

5.  The Bongo Room

I will be here, eating these (White Chocolate Pretzel Pancakes),with this girl,  in a few short days.  Chicago, here I come!

For more favorites, visit Camp Patton.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Back in the Kitchen...

I am getting ready to leave for a homeschooling conference in Chicago.  It just so happens to be where my beautiful sister lives, sooo....that might have played into my decision to attend this particular one.

Instead of packing, this morning I decided to make a few things for the boys and their daddy while I'm away.  I had some wonderful little helpers, too.

Peter and I made Blueberry Scones.

His job was to brush them with cream before baking, and let me tell you, he did it

Then I made a quick batch of my favorite Chocolate Chip Cookie dough for tomorrow when the cousins visit (most will make it to the oven)!  I tweak a few things in the recipe on the back of Nestle's chocolate chips. 

 Next was Banana Oatmeal Bread.  I just wanted something a little different than my typical recipe.  I like it!

Finally, we made Cranberry Almond Biscotti (without the lemon).  Crazy, but the boys love them...

 and they love eating the spilled almonds too :)


Monday, July 22, 2013

Carter's QOTW and More...

We spent the weekend celebrating these kiddos and their First Holy Communion...

My in-laws hosted a brunch for all of the families, and it couldn't have been more perfect!  

How sweet are these cookies?!?  And they were delicious, too.

In other news, Carter has had some doozies lately:

At the dinner table with the family..
Me: Carter, eat your chicken.
Carter: Pollo.
Me: It's called chicken.
Carter: Pollo.  I will call it pollo.
Me:  Carter, it's chicken!  Just eat it!
Carter (whispering): In Spanish it is pollo.

At the brunch, he was running around and getting into EVERYTHING (as was Peter).  I was a little frustrated.  He had a fit and got in trouble.  I went into the back room to talk with him and it went a little something like this...
Me: Carter, why are you behaving this way?
Carter (throwing his hands in the air and then covering his eyes): Mom!  I jus twying to get away from all dese people!!  Here, I will wead my book and you come in and check on me evwey now and den.  Okay?
Comes by it naturally, I'm afraid.

Round two of getting in trouble and spending a little time in the baby bed:
Me (returning to the room to get him): Carter, are you ready to behave?
Carter: I so sorry, Mama.  I know what.  I jus so tired.  So, I will get my blanket and you will get in the car, and we will go home!!

Trying to load in the car for Mass, having just turned off Curious George...
Carter: Mama, I jus don't undertand.
Me: It's okay.  Get in the car for Church.
Carter (whining): But I just don't undertand!
Me: I don't care (I am such a nice mom).  It's time for Church.  You'll understand later.
Carter: But I won't!  And, you mus have patience while I learn to undertand dis.

Carter unscrewed his lid to his sippy cup for the 47th (okay, maybe 4th) time...
Me: Carter!  You know this is a no-no.
Carter: Mama, are you sad?
Me: Yes.  You disobeyed.
Carter:  Don't be sad.  It was a matake.  Please don't cwy Mama; it will make me cwy, too! (making himself cry).

Then I took a few pictures of John Paul and think there might be a few similarities between these two (me as a baby).

 Finally seeing those new teeth...

 And, that's all I've got today :)

Friday, July 19, 2013

Seven Quick Takes...

Joining Jen for another round of...
7 quick takes sm1 7 Quick Takes Friday (vol. 225)

1.  The boys have been full of energy lately!  What's new :)  So, I decided to let them do a little water painting (not water coloring!), and well, it was brilliant.  They "painted" the entire sidewalk, the bench, you name it.  And, they had fun!

2.  My parents celebrated their 35th anniversary this week.  They, and my in-laws, are such an amazing example for us.  We had them over for steaks.  I whipped this recipe up too.  So refreshing and delicious (I didn't use the cilantro or mozzarella though).

3.  My sweet husband got me this bike.  I LOVE it.  It isn't at all quite like riding it in Georgia on the paved sidewalks, but I don't care. :)  And thanks to Katrina, we found an awesome toddler seat to attach to it.

4.  Anyone willing to share the pros/cons of Blogher?  I don't have many readers and don't know what it really entails or if I want to find a way to make this blog more than just a family journal.  But, I'd love to hear thoughts!

5.  Check out this amazing news!!!  

A few years ago in college, I was part of the first 40 Days for Life campaign.  Well, that year and the many years following and incredible prayers from warriors has paid off.  The Planned Parenthood there is closing!  Thank you, Jesus!

6.  This little man (my sweet nephew) makes his First Holy Communion this weekend:
We get to attend!  I love seeing the little ones experience the Eucharist for the first time.  

7.  Our days are interspersed with signs of great love and those of the opposite feeling ;)  I caught one of the sweet moments on camera...

Have a great weekend and stop by Jen's for more quick takes!