May 13, 2014

The Table

The past three weeks we have been sick with pink eye, a respiratory infection, double ear infections for both kids, a sinus infection, and an unknown virus.  I literally think I have been to the doctor more times in the past month than I have been in the past two years.   If you can imagine, we are super fun people to be around, let me tell ya.  I think Abel was feeling some of my frustration when he came home from work one day last week because he promptly took both boys outside to play and let me cook by myself for a good hour.  He is a good man.  Cooking and baking alone is my love language.

As I was chopping veggies for chicken noodle soup and listening to some soft piano music I started thinking about food and dinners all together.  Growing up my mom stressed the importance of eating dinner together as a family every night.   Still to this day it's one of her top pieces of advice she gives to new parents.  I knew I always wanted to have dinner as a family every night but as I was making my family a meal in hopes that it would heal their bodies and make them feel a little bit better,  the weight of it hit me like a ton of bricks.  

I want our table to be about more than a good meal - I want it to be a safe place for my family. A place where they can share the troubles of the day, eat some yummy food, and laugh at Abel's and my silly jokes.  

There is a quote from Shauna Niequist's book Bread and Wine that I just adore :

"The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved.  It's about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment."  

Jesus did this so well.  He sat and reclined at the table with his disciples.   But he didn't just dine with his friends,  he gathered around the table with the tax collector, the Pharisees, and the sinners alike*.  Jesus knew the importance of sitting around the table breaking bread with people.  The table is a sacred and inmate space where your belly is full and dialogue is welcomed.   I want that kind of table, where all are welcomed.

For the rest of my hour alone cooking I prayed over our home, our family, and our table.  I prayed that as soon as people came through our front door that they feel comfortable and safe. I also prayed that Abel and I would use our physical dwelling place as a somewhere that Jesus is made known and glorified.

I so deeply hope that my kids will look back and have fond memories over our dinners together as a family.  I pray their friends will enjoy coming over to our home knowing that it is a place where they can expect a warm meal and know they are loved and cherished people.  

My desire most of all is that our table would be a place where bellies are full, stories are told, laughs are shared, illnesses healed, tears are wept, and prayers are heard.  

In Shauna's book she always puts a recipe at the end of the chapter, so I thought I would leave you with our families recipe for chicken noodle soup.   I have no clue where I found this recipe but I didn't come up with it on my own - sorry to the person who originally came up with it, if I knew where I found it I give you all the credit. 

Chicken Noodle Soup
3 chicken breast (bone in)
1 onion
3 cloves of garlic
2 carrots
2 stalks of celery
4 thyme leaves
1 bay leaf
2 quarts chicken broth
8 ounces egg noodles

Boil chicken until chicken is cooked through. Shred chicken and reserve broth for later.  In a skillet add the olive oil, onion, carrot, celery, and bay leaf and cook on medium-high heat until veggies are just starting to soften.  Add garlic and stir for 30 seconds.  In a large soup pot add the veggies, chicken, thyme, chicken broth**, salt and pepper and boil.  Boil until veggies are almost done and then add the noodles. Continue to boil until veggies are soft (but not mushy) and noodles are done - About 10-13 minutes.  Lastly, garnish with fresh parsley.  

** I use half of the broth that I cooked the chicken in and half broth from a can/box.  But any broth will do. Homemade bone broth is on my list of things to start making but I just haven't done it yet.  Do whatever is easiest for you and your family.  

This recipe is super simple but a family favorite in our home - especially when we are sick.  We hope you enjoy it as much as we do.  

*Verses of Jesus reclining at the table found here: 
Mark 2:15
Matthew 26

April 30, 2014

Simeon Kade {Two and a Half}

I haven't updated much on Simeon in a while but there are so many things I want to remember about him at this age.  These are just a few of my favorite things about my favorite two and a half year old right now. 

Simeon is a learner.  He loves to know how things work, why they work, when they work, and how long. He doesn't talk about much but he will sit and study something for a long time. If you know my husband then you just thought to yourself "just like his dad."  Simeon is very much like Abel in 90% of his personality.  I am quite positive we have a little engineer on our hands.

Because they enjoy the same things, Simeon is obsessed with hanging out with Abel.  Our kids totally scored with Abel as a dad. Abel wants to hang out with them just as much as they want to hang out with him.  Abel will mow the lawn (with a push mower) while holding Simeon just because he know how much Simeon loves mowers.  Abel also took Simeon fishing for the first time over Easter - which they loved. My husband is a rock star and my kids adoration of him is proof.  

Simeon loves to paint and create.  He used to color with regular ole crayons but I let him paint this canvas for our playroom one day and now the crayons are chopped liver.  Who wants to color when you can get messy in the paint?


I know this seems trivial but "Chockit Juice" aka : a little bit of chocolate almond milk with a lot of white milk is his favorite drink and will beg and beg until he gets a huge glass full.  Seriously, he was just on the phone talking to my parents and I am pretty sure he told them he was having chocolate milk, no less than 10 times.  The boy is obsessed.  

He also eats granola bars like they are going out of style.  Toddler crack, I tell ya.    Every morning he runs into my room and the first thing out of his mouth is that he wants a snack -  which means a granola bar.  I'm pretty sure he has dreams about them because he can't even say "good morning mom" before he says "snack".  Rude.

Trucks. Cars. Buses. Dump Trucks. Excavators. Bull Dozers.  If he sees one of the aforementioned, his eyes light up and he is glued and will talk about them for hours afterwards.  Thank goodness we live in a city that has lots of construction, making our car trips extra fun. I have learned more about front end loaders in the past 6 months than I have my whole life. Heck, I didn't even know what a front end loader was 6 months ago, let alone tell you what it does.  I can also sing you every song off ..."this is the work I really love because that's what an excavator does..."  Clearly I need help.  Any who, the boy loves trucks.  It's been fun watching him discover his likes and dislikes and  trucks are a major like.

Simeon has loved his beloved blanket since the beginning of time but has now affectionately named it "deedle deedle".  I have no clue how that name came to be, but it stuck.  Two year olds are weird. But so so fun.

If Simeon can jump off of something, he will.  He jumps off everything and anything.  It scares the mess out of most people but I have gotten used to it.  He is all boy all of the time.

Potty training.  
We tackled potty training back in January and he did amazingly well.  He can go all day without an accident but we still haven't braved naps or bed time yet without a diaper - mainly because that's the only time he goes #2.  Homeboy will be fine but lay him down for a nap and BAM! he goes #2.  My mom says it's because you can't poop and run - and he is running all of the time.  Or jumping - but you can't poop and jump either.  Hopefully, he figures it all out soon but I am in no rush.  Those two diapers a day make him still feel like my baby.  Which I secretly love.  
The poop though... not so much. 

He is a tenderhearted little guy.  He loves his little brother to death.  He will give Asher his blanket and lamby which is the ultimate act of love on his part.  As busy as he is, his heart is just so soft and sweet.  My favorite is when he comes up and gives me a kiss on the cheek for no reason but that he wants to.  He knows how to melt my heart that is for sure.  

Simeon has such a big personality.  He is seriously one of my favorite people to be around, and I don't even think I am being bias when I say that.  He has this zest for life that I wish I could have.  

I never thought I would enjoy toddlerhood as much as I do.  I always thought I was a baby person - and then I had a toddler. While I do still love the little baby snuggles, this toddler thing a blast! He keeps me on my toes but it's the best type of busy that I have ever been.

Abel and I were just sitting around a few days ago talking about how he was starting to really look like a big boy.  His babyness is slowly fading and it truly happened in the blink of an eye.  

We absolutely love and adore you Simeon Kade! You are the biggest blessing and such a great addition to our family.  My heart could just burst when I think about how much I love you little man.  As always, I am so thankful the Lord chose me to be your momma.  

April 27, 2014

Asher Cannon {6 Months}

Half of a year has gone by since you entered our lives, Asher bear.  And in those six months you have brought us more joy than we could have ever imagined.  Your little personality continues to amaze me each and every day.  You are quiet and content, giving huge gummy grins at anyone who will look your way.  More recently you found your voice and will sit and babble for 20 minutes at a time - chatting away with your toys like old pals.  

 At your six month well child check you were 14 pounds 3oz and 26 inches long.  Since the beginning you have been super long and lean.  We are trying our hardest to fatten you up a little bit by adding an extra bottle every night and recently adding solids.  So far you have had sweet potatoes, apples, pears, peas, and prunes.  The sweets seem to be your favorite and I don't blame you - I have a big sweet tooth myself.

 You and Simeon are the best of buds.  You think he is hilarious and will crack up at all of his silly little antics - which of course, he eats right up.  I pray that y'all always have fun playing together and that you always adore each other like you do now.  Being a boy mom is pretty cool stuff.

One of your biggest milestones to hit this month was sitting up.  You still topple over every once in a while, but can sit there for quite a while before getting tired and falling over or laying down.  Now that you can sit up, you have had fun exploring bigger toys.  We have both had fun playing and learning together these past few days.  You also seem to like reading - well, flipping the pages.  I am so eager to see what your interests are as you get bigger.  Will you like trucks and cars like Simeon?  Will you think basketballs, baseballs, and footballs are more fun?  We will have time for all that fun later, but for now, I'm happy to sit and play with the elephant that pops balls up in the air with you.

The picture below pretty much describes you at 6 months old.  Cracking a huge smile with spit up running down your legs.  We think you are pretty perfect.

And of course, just as snap the last of your 6 month picture just as I am looking at the pictures on my camera - I look over and see you doing this.

On all fours rocking back and forth trying to crawl!  I quickly put my camera back in shooting mode and tried to get a few pics - and proceeded to plead with you to at least wait one more month before you became fully mobile.  Because momma is so.not.ready.  Why can't you just stay my baby forever?

You are one big ball of fun, Asher Cannon.  You completed a part of our family that we didn't know was missing until you were here.  Happy 1/2 Birthday Little Man.
You are so loved.

April 12, 2014

Asher Cannon {5 Months}

I am a month behind in blogging but I did take these at his 5 month mark so I wanted to post them just so they would be on here! 

This was the month that Abel and I started seeing more of his fun personality.  I didn't capture any cute smiles but he certainly became quite the smiley guy this month.  I think this was the first month that we not only in our groove but were able to fully enjoy having two kiddos.  AND you started sleeping better! That makes anyone happier right?

6 Month Pics coming soon.... hopefully.