Friday, April 15, 2011


Just a tidbit from the twins lives:
Aiden has such a servant's heart and it is soooo sweet! He always wants to help me and loves to do the dishes, sweep, mop, and throw things away. He will do whatever I ask him and be so pleased with himself. This goes to show how God made us for a purpose!

Abigail loves to cuddle. She would be perfectly content if I would just hold her all day and read her a book. She loves to read and their vocab has increased significantly just in the last month! She especially loves puppies, or any kind of animal for that matter.

They love each other so much, and give each other lots of hugs and kisses- usually at my direction (and sometimes after stealing a toy, ha ha) Today Abigail came up to her brother and grabbed his hand and they helped each other up the stairs holding hands the whole way. It was so stinkin cute!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Green smoothies

Great way to get your kids to eat all their vegetables. It's also made with Kefir which is especially helpful in boosting immunity (and lots of other stuff!)

I have found it easiest with a traditional blender to combine the greens first in order to get them real smooth. This would not be necessary with a Vita-Mix, but with a standard blender combining all the ingredients at once usually leaves you with green clumps.

img_52981 1/2 cups of liquids (I usually use a combination of water, coconut milk, and kefir)
3 oz or more fresh greens, which is approximately half a bag or 3 large handfuls (spinach or kale are best!) -start with smaller quantities and work you way up!
2-3 Tbsp orange juice concentrate, optional (this is a more frugal alternative than using pre-mixed juices – it stretches the juice further)

After these ingredients are thoroughly blended, you can add an assortment of fruit.

Here are our favorite additions:

1/2-1 cup Frozen strawberries or raspberries
1 Banana
1/2 cup Frozen Blueberries
1/4 cup Frozen Pineapple
2-3 Frozen Peach slices

I have also used canned pears on occasion as well.

Blend and add a little stevia or honey to sweeten and any additional boosters.

Additional boosters:

Ground flax seeds
Ground pumpkin seeds
Coconut oil



Simplicity. A beautiful word and an even more beautiful thing. Just hearing the word produces a restfulness in my soul. One question I am asking myself to help simplify life is “Does it have a fruitfull purpose in my life right now.” Not somewhere in the future, or even in the past, but right now. This question has helped me get rid of so much stuff (physically) and less stuff means less to clean, keep organized, ect. =simpler. Another question I ask is “is it bearing fruit in my life or causing me more stress/chaos.” I have significantly simplified the outside activities we are involved, the amount of time I give to couponing, amoungst other things by thinking through this grid. It’s been very helpful.
Another way I am simplifying life is by setting limits on things that I believe can sometimes steal my time away from what is most important. I must confess that sometimes I feel like such a failure of a mom for not keeping up with the blog, their baby books, pictures, videos, what they did when, ect. I try to give myself the excuse of “but there’s two of them to chase around, we have an extremely stressful year, we just moved cross country, “ ect. This doesn’t help, but then I hear that still soft voice gently reminding me that although those things are not bad, they are not best either. What’s most important is that I’m being with my children as they grow, making the memories, watching them grow, enjoying where they are. It’s okay if I don’t document everything to share with everyone, or even for them to cherish later, as long as I am cherishing them NOW.

Marriage, simplicity, and parenting

The past few months Ben and I have really been focusing on a few areas of life we are seeking the Lord’s guidance and wisdom. We have committed to praying for these things together weekly. They are: strengthening our marriage, parenting well, and simplifying life. We have thought of some great ways to focus on our marriage this semester (i.e. “couchtime” daily= eye to eye communication even if only 10 minutes/day, swapping date nights with a neighbor and going out of the house, ect.). We took a parenting class in January together and read Shepharding a Child’s Heart and Grace Based Parenting. Two very good books with slightly different philosophies. The twins have really gotten into wanting to know their boundaries, and pushing my limits. We have been seeking God’s wisdom on how to discipline and love them well. They are so different- different needs, personalities, and love languages. Abigail often feels neglected just because Aiden is much needier, whinier, and cries louder than she. I am seeking creative ways to allow me time with each child. I am putting together a development plan for them this year on some things I want to purpose to teach them and how I want to do it (using Slow and Steady Get Me Ready). Ben and I have been discussing discipline a lot- what are the things that are worth it (I could say no all day long…), how to be extremely consistent, what method we will use on each child (spanking/time out, ect.) and many other things. I have basically been on my knees daily (multiple times throughout the day), begging God for wisdom on what to do next and He has been so sweet to answer me. One of the biggest things I am learning is to treat our children the way God treats us. Sometimes he disciplines us, but sometimes he shows us grace. It has helped to think through their greatest needs. Grace based parenting lays out the child’s needs as: need for security, significance, and strength. We meet these needs by giving them love, purpose, and hope. Still deciding if I completely agree with that, but the Lord is teaching me how to care for their hearts.