A Crazy Year

The year is coming to a close, and 2014 has been a big, crazy year for us!  When I think about where we were a year ago, it's hard to believe how much has changed since then.  This year we have gone from expecting a baby, to having a newborn, from employment, to unemployment, to better employment, from a sporadic, uncertain schedule to a fixed, predictable schedule.  Every year since we've been married has felt like a big year to me, but I'm not sure we've had this level of change in the span of one year before.

January


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We celebrated Gwen's first birthday party!  She turned one year old in December, but we had her party in January - you can read about Gwen at one year old, her winter first birthday party, her birthday punch recipe, and a fun birthday decoration project I did with Wyatt for Gwen.

I was 7 months pregnant with Clyde!  Check out my 26 Week and 28 Week updates.

I was working on a ton of baby projects, like stuff Clyde's quilt and nursery.

I fell on some ice and had to take an unexpected trip to the hospital.  Baby Clyde was fine!

On the blog - I continued my "From One To Two" series on going from one baby to two - maybe it's time for me to write about going from two to three?

February


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We celebrated Wyatt's birthday!  He turned three years old.  I wrote about Wyatt at three, and his simple Thomas the Train party.

I hit 8 months pregnant with Clyde - I wrote my 30 Week and 32 Week updates.

I finished putting together Clyde's quilt and dropped it off to be quilted.

We had a disaster of a Valentine's Day, but it was okay.

My friend, Ashley, threw me a gorgeous nautical baby shower!

On the blog - I shared a glimpse into our mornings which I love looking back on now, and I shared a Valentine's Day printable.



March


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 I hit 34 Weeks and 36 Weeks in my pregnancy.


We had our maternity pictures taken.

Gwen turned 15 months old.

On the blog - I started my series on building a unique maternity wardrobe.


April


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I hit 38 weeks pregnant!  The countdown was on.

We were worried Derek would be gone when I went into labor, and we were praying the Lord would work everything out so he could be there!

I had some false labor, which did not help my anxiety.

Clyde was born on April 11th!  It was a great natural hospital birth experience (birth story part one and two).

We celebrated Easter with a one week old baby.

Clyde turned two weeks old.

On the blog - I posted ideas for a toddler's Easter basket.


May


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I kept busy trying to get used to having three kids!  I worked out and read a lot of books.

Clyde turned one month old.  I celebrated my first Mother's Day with Clyde!

We ventured out to the park for the first time with three.

On the blog - I shared our maternity pictures and Clyde's handmade by me baby quilt!


June 


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We all came down with a nasty cold.  Colds in the summer are the worst.

Clyde turned two months old.

We celebrated my birthday!  I got a new phone.

We celebrated Father's Day!

We started planning for a staycation.

I had one of those weeks.  We survived.



July


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Clyde turned three months, Gwen turned 18 months.

We had a "staycation", and it was lovely.

I was in my cousin's wedding as a bridesmaid.

We celebrated our six year anniversary.

I started redecorating my house and creating a gallery wall (I'll share it on here eventually).


I started writing for Tommy Nelson and wrote an article about managing the chaos of life with young children.



August


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I made some striped curtains and posted about it!

Clyde turned four months old.


The crisis of Christians being persecuted in Iraq was on the news more, and I wrote about three ways to help Christians in Iraq (which is still mostly applicable, so check it out).

I had a post featured on Tommy Nelson and FaithGateway about fighting selfishness in little ones.

On the blog - I posted about my June Cleaver moment.

September


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Clyde turned five months old, and Gwen turned 21 months old.

We threw a fall-themed party, just for fun!

I wrote on Tommy Nelson about reading aloud to your kids.

I think my loneliness with having Derek gone so much hit an all-time high this month.  It was just hard not having him here.

I started feeling overwhelmed and cut back on the blog a bit.

I started playing with watercolors (and it's till something I wish I had more time for, because it's fun!).
I went on a trip to Nashville to meet up with the other Top Tommy Nelson Mommies!  It was a wonderful trip!

On the blog - I wrote about that time I got off Facebook for nine months, and then got back on Facebook.


October

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Clyde turned six months, and after a struggle with my supply we finally stopped nursing.  We also started feeding him solids, and he loved it!

We went to a costume birthday party and had a fun time.

I had a girl's night out with some friends for the first time in a while!  We made burlap wreaths (if you follow me on Instagram, you know all this.)

I wrote about studying and memorizing the book of Hebrews! (I am still working on it - I'm finally getting into Chapter five, with the memorizing and the studying.  I'll do another verse recitation video soon!)


On the blog - The story of a dear blog friend, Natalie, inspired me to write a post about ways to support adoption without adopting.


November

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Clyde turned seven months old.

 We went to my friend Heather's wedding!

I started Christmas shopping.

Derek went elk hunting, but didn't get anything this year.

I came up with a solid plan for updating my house (it needs it - the decor and furniture basically hasn't been touched in 3-6 years, depending on which room we are talking about). I made a home wish list of inspiration.  I love this post about why it's okay to want your home to be pretty - it captures my recent feelings exactly!

I wrote about our bedtime routine, which I know will be fun to look back on.

Clyde celebrated his first Thanksgiving outside the womb!  He had sweet potatoes for the first time and loved it.

I wrote on Tommy Nelson about making Black Friday a blessing.


On the blog - I wrote a post for Thanksgiving about five things I want to teach my kids to be thankful for.


December

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We started the month unemployed.  I worked a few extra days at work to help with the finances.

Clyde turned eight months old.

I started a blog newsletter (which you should sign up for if you haven't - I'm giving away free printables!).

We had a fun day of Christmas surprises with the kids - crafts and cookies and books!  I tried to slow down in December, despite all the extra working, to enjoy Christmas with my littles.

Derek got a new job!  He starts right after the New Year, and we are treating these few weeks together like a vacation (except without going anywhere, and without spending money - it's still fun).

We celebrated Christmas, Clyde's first on the outside!  Unfortunately, all four of my people got sick between Christmas Eve and the Day after Christmas, so that was kind of sad.  I seemed to have escaped it.

We celebrated Gwen's 2nd birthday and Derek's birthday (same day).  I decorated, we ate cake and opened presents, then rented a movie for Derek and me to watch after the kids went to bed.  Everyone was still sick, so we kept it low-key.

Spent New Year's Eve together!

On the blog - I posted lots of recipes!  Including Holly Jolly Coffee, Pecan Coconut Orange Fudge, and Snowdrop Cookies.

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Looking back at 2014, I can't believe what a crazy year it was!  A lot happened, some things I was planning, some things that I wasn't planning.  Looking at 2015, I just feel - unsure.  For the last several years I had some idea of how the year was going to go, or how I wanted it to go, but in 2015 - I don't have any specific plans, which is kind of a first.  I guess we'll just see what the Lord has planned!  His plans are always better than mine anyway.

Happy New Year, Friends!

Stay tuned about a post about my word for the New Year.

Seen




The other day we went to pick up our van from the shop.  This year, December seems to be the month for things to break. Both of our cars have broken down, Derek's computer crashed, my iPad died a sudden death, and Harvey had a horrible ear infection that resulted in his needing surgery.  Then everyone got sick right before Christmas, but that is another story for another day.

Anyway, Derek jumped out of the car to get the keys to our van and walked around the corner, but in the next instant he was back, his phone pressed to his ear.  He waved at me from the front of our car, pointed to his phone, and mouthed something to me.

And just like that, Derek got another job!  We are starting this New Year with Derek no longer unemployed!  I didn't want to say anything until the official paperwork went through, and Derek got the job offer in print a few days before Christmas!

We feel so blessed right now.  The Lord has taken care of us and helped us make ends meet during the last few weeks, and now Derek will start his new job exactly two weeks after the last of his unused vacation pay comes in!  His new job will be as an accountant with the state, and it sounds like it is going to be a great fit.

I can't even explain how loved we have felt over the last few weeks.  From my mom buying us grocery, to my sister helping us with some expenses, to a mysterious person paying the fees for my spring semester of MOPS, I have never felt so . . . seen.  Like people care about our family enough to see where we are and meet the needs we had without our even needing to ask.  I totally broke down and cried the other day, just because it is a good feeling - to be seen.

I want to thank you all for your encouraging words and prayers since I posted about our situation on the blog.  Sometimes I wonder if I should share some things, but I am so glad I did, because everyone's support has meant the world to me.

I just want say that through this short (Praise the Lord!) time, you all have inspired me to make sure that I am looking around me for those who might need encouragement.  Sometimes people try to hold it together when they are really incredibly worried and stressed, so you might not even realize someone needs kind words or a little help until you offer it.  Even if someone doesn't let on, those little gestures of love you give to someone have the power to turn a bad day into a knowledge that they are cared for - that someone sees them.  That is being the hands and feet of Jesus to those around you - a reminder of His love to those who know Him, and a glimpse of His grace to those who haven't met Him yet.  And that is a beautiful thing.


Gwen Is Two




Gwendolyn is two years old!  I can't believe my sweet baby girl is two already.  That went by fast.

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Gwen is such a little whirlwind, in the best possible way.  She rarely sits still, and is always on the go, checking out everything around her.  I would say her personality is sweet and spunky.  She is not afraid to let us know when she needs something, whether it is attention, water, or whatever, but she does it in such a sweet, cute way.  Even at two years old she is so good at saying "thank you" whenever someone gives her something.  It is adorable.

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In some ways she is a tomboy - it is inevitable that she would be, smack dab in the middle of two brothers.  She loves cars, and she keeps up with Wyatt so well!  She runs and plays and falls in the dirt and then bounces right back up without so much as a whimper.  She is a tough little thing.

On the other hand, she has a side of her that is undeniably girly.  She loves her hair bows, and she reminds me when I forget to put one in her hair.  She feels pretty in dresses and parades around, twirling, and beams when people tell her how nice she looks.  She is becoming more and more interested in her dolls, and she will grab her baby doll and carry it around the house with her.


She is definitely more sensitive than her brother, and if something hurts her feelings she'll run down the hall to her room, crying, as if to say "No one understands me!".  When I go in there to find her, I give her a hug and she gives me a "mmmwah!" kiss, and she is as happy as can be again.  She apologizes and forgives so easily, and I hope she never loses that.

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She is so vocal and smart.  She repeats everything we say, and most of the time it is really understandable, even the longer sentences.  She combines three-word sentences on her own already, and we have had comments about how she seems older than she is because she is so articulate for her age.  She loves pointing out things that she knows, and facial features are her favorite.  Eyes, nose, mouth, ears - we go over them every night, with her sweet little finger gently touching my face.  She likes to sing along with the songs I sing to her, and when we pray at night she closes her little eyes so tight, scrunches her face into a big grin, and says her own little prayer, followed by an enthusiastic "amen!".



My Baby Doll Girl is such a bundle of enthusiasm and sweetness and spunk and innocence.  I love everything about her.  It is hard to believe that it was only two years ago that she was born in an ambulance in a panic, but from that first moment I saw her the panic turned to joy, and she has given us so much joy ever since.


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Sweet Gwen-Girl,

You are two.  I can't believe it.  You are such a gift, my beautiful girl, and I am so thankful God gave you to us.  

The other week I felt like we needed some girl time, so I took you to a Christmas party with me.  You had so much fun, showing off your party dress, snuggling next to me in our chair, and helping me pick out a gift.  You spotted a nativity scene at one point in the evening, and you pointed to it and stated in your sweet voice "Baby Jesus".  I was so pleased that you picked that up, and it reminded me of all the exciting things we have to come!  I can't wait to teach you more about Jesus, and I love seeing how you are already starting to learn about Who He is.  

You are so sweet to me, and I can't believe it was two years ago that you were born.  It still seems like it was just the other day sometimes.  You are growing up so fast, and I love it, but these little days with you are so special to me too.  Slow down, will you my precious girl?

I love you more than all the snowflakes in all the blizzards in all the winters,

Your Mama 

A Christmas Memory

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We arrive late this year, but we hurry onto Main Street to join the crowd.  There are so many people, old and young, gathered for such a simple Christmas event.  Grandfatherly figures are walking alongside families with young children.  High school aged couples walk down the street, and I see girls wearing their boyfriends' letterman jackets.  Kids bundled up in puffy coats and hats shaped like animals race around adults who stand in groups, laughing and talking.  There are a couple guys on unicycles, and Wyatt is fascinated by the contraptions.

Most people carry candles, some with elegant white tapers, some with tea lights in red Solo cups.  It is brisk, there is laughter, and Derek and I look at each other and laugh at our own little ones bouncing up and down, and pointing at "Christmas light trees" lining the sidewalks.  People are singing carols, and the group in front of us starts singing "The First Noel".

The throng walks down the hill to the other end of Main, and we park the stroller to wait for the lights to come on.  I point out the trees and snowflakes hanging from the bridge to Wyatt, and I tell him the lights and snowflakes will light up soon.  He bounces some more and asks if the snowflakes are part of a "snow globe" that we must be in.

Gwendolyn is in Derek's arms, and though she giggles when I kiss her cold nose, there is no way I can pry her away from him - she only has eyes for Daddy tonight.

Derek takes the kids down the sidewalk a bit so they can better see the Christmas show, and Wyatt declares that the performers are "dancing like Christmas!".  I kneel down next to stroller and peek under the brim of Clyde's tiny ball cap.  He is a bundle of blankets and red nose and wide eyes, with a bottle sticking out of his mouth which he smiles around when he sees me.

We wait a little longer and the lights come on.  Big trees all around the river and bridge are lit up in white and green and blue, and the crowd gives a cheer.  Wyatt is so excited, and points toward the bridge, wanting to get a closer look as the crowd disperses in the opposite direction.  We weave in and out through people to get him a closer look, and his bright smile and laughter are our reward.

After a bit we turn around to walk back to the car.  Gwen is playing some game with Derek and letting out giggles to my right, and Wyatt runs over to one of the trees lining the street and declares that he wants to touch the tree, though he waits for my permission.  I set him up on the sidewalk and let him gently touch his Christmas lights.

We veer off the magical street and back to the dark parking space where our car waits.  While the kids chatter and giggle about how much fun they had at such a simple event, I replay the carol I heard earlier in my mind, and wonder at how His name and His truth is spoken so naturally and freely - like no other time of year.

"Born is the King of Israel."

And this is why I love Christmas.

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I hope you all have a Merry Christmas!

A Day Of Christmas Surprises

I have a feeling Christmas time is just going to get more and more fun as the kids get older.  This year Wyatt especially is really aware of what is going on, and he is so excited about his presents.
I want Wyatt and Gwen to appreciate other things beside presents at Christmas time, so I decided to plan a fun "surprise" day for us.  Both Wyatt and Gwen are so into "surprises" lately, and I thought it would be fun to do something special for them as Christmas approaches.

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First up, we made Snowdrop cookies!  These are some of my favorite Christmas cookies, and I thought they went with the wintery theme I was going for.  I shared the Snowdrop Cookies recipe last week, in case you want to try them yourself!

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After our cookies, I had a plan to make "snow dough" for the kids.  I had a mix for homemade play doh that I got from MOPS last year, so I used that - then I realized it was actually pink, not white, and it seemed a little sticky.  I was ready to call the recipe a bust, so I broke out some white Play Doh and added some glitter to it for our "snow dough".  Then I realized that I could thicken up our homemade attempt with some flour, so we used that too!  I have to ay that it smelled good, and it was nice knowing that if Gwen ate any it wouldn't be bad for her.

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At first we made snowmen, and I used a toothpick to make a smiley face on them.  Then Wyatt commandeered my toothpicks and made his own creation - he is so artsy.  Gwen got in on the action too!

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To top off our fun day, I pulled out one of our new books from Tommy Nelson, "A Star For Me".  In this book, a young camel named Ollie sees a new star in the sky, and he is just sure that God has a surprise planned for him!  He and his family take off across the desert to see what gift God has for them.

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This book is so sweet.  I new Wyatt and Gwen would appreciate it, since they love their own "surprises".  One thing I really liked was that Ollie counts his own blessings as he is traveling to find his new surprise.  It's been my goal this year to try to impress upon the kids the blessings that we already have, instead of just focusing on presents, so I like that this was incorporated into the book.

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And of course, the best Christmas present in the world is Jesus himself.  More than anything, I have been trying to teach the kids about Jesus's birthday, and the gift that Jesus gave us by being born so he could save us from our sins.  This book ended with the message of Jesus as the greatest gift of all, and I love it for that.

Overall, I think the kids enjoyed our day of fun, and I had fun thinking of little things they would enjoy!  I might have to do another "surprise day" for them again soon.

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(Gwen was feeding Clyde and reading him a "buh-bul stoh-wee".  She is so cute.)

For more cute pictures of our day of surprises, check out my Instagram or my photo blog!

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Note: I received a copy of "A Star For Me" from Tommy Nelson for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Chewy Almond Granola Cookies

 This blog has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and Quaker®. All opinions are mine alone. #CollectiveBias #LoveMyCereal #QuakerUp

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The week before Christmas is baking week around here!  When I was growing up, my mom always had big variety of Christmas goodies spread out on our table on Christmas morning.  We would have a simple breakfast and dinner, and then snack the rest of the day.  It made it easy on my mom since she didn't have to cook this huge dinner.


I've kind of done the same thing for Christmas around our house.  I usually make a breakfast casserole, an easy dinner, and 4-5 Christmas treats for us to enjoy through the day.  Derek really loves having a good Christmas spread, and I'm loving being able to include the kids in the baking a little more this year.

I got most of my baking done last week, and I tried a new recipe.  It's good to change things up a little and keep the husband and kids guessing!  So in addition to some of our favorites, I created this cookie recipe.  They turned out nice and chewy, and I love that the Quaker® Simply Granola adds fiber to the cookies! I know Walmart has this cereal and all the other ingredients for this recipe.



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Chewy Granola Almond Cookies

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
3/4 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/4 baking soda
1 egg
1/2 tsp. almond extract
1 1/2 c. flour
1 1/2 c. Quaker® Simply Granola cereal
1 c. white chocolate chips
1/2 cup extra chocolate chips (for drizzle - optional)

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1. Heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.  Mix together the butter, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, and baking soda with a hand mixer until the mixture is well blended.  Add in the egg and almond extract, and mix until blended.

2. Add in the flour and mix well.  Add in the Quaker Simply Granola and chocolate chips.  Mix until blended.  The batter will be sticky.

3.  Use a spoon or your fingers to form 1 inch balls - space them two inches apart on an ungreased cookie sheet. (I line my cookie sheets with parchment paper to keep them from sticking to the pan.)

4.  Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 8 minutes.

5.  Let the cookies cool for 5-10 minutes.  If desired, melt the extra white chocolate chips and drizzle over the top of the cookies.  Enjoy!

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(These cookies are kid-approved.)


I think these cookies are best warm out of the oven, with a glass of milk!  It probably would be the perfect cookie to leave out for "Santa" on Christmas Eve.


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I was really debating whether to use the Quaker® Simply Granola or  Quaker® Real Medleys® for these cookies - specifically the Cherry Almond Pecan one.  I ended up choosing the Simply Granola, but I think the Real Medleys cereal would be great for some variety!

Quaker® makes one of my favorite cereals ever - Quaker® Life - but I recently learned of Quaker® Oatmeal Squares, which we have never tried before.




We picked up a box at Walmart the other day when we got the Quaker® Simply Granola, and it's a yummy cereal too!  It is filling and not too sweet, and it stays nice and crispy in the milk.  Anyway, I was letting the kids snack on the Quaker® Oatmeal Squares and Quaker® Simply Granola while I baked.  They are my sweet little baking buddies!

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What are some of your must-have Christmas treats?  Are you trying any new cookie recipes this year?

Capturing Your Family In Pictures

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A few weeks before Wyatt turned a year old, I bought a DSLR.  Through that first year of his life I just found myself repeatedly frustrated with how slow my point and shoot was, and I wanted to be able to blur the background in my pictures, so I bought a refurbished Nikon.  I didn't even want to tell anemone I got it at first, because I was afraid they would be expecting amazing pictures right away, and I knew that having a good camera wasn't all there was to getting good photos.  But I practiced, and I think I've slowly gotten better.

I've been using it for taking pictures of the kids ever since, but there have been many times when I have found myself losing inspiration.  Sometimes I won't even pull my camera out for weeks at a time.   I'll feel like I have no new ideas, or I get frustrated that my pictures aren't turning out exactly like I want, but I hate it when I lose momentum because I want to document my kids' lives.

It's at times like those that I look for books like "Your Family In Pictures" by Me Ra Koh.  This book has so many inspiring photos, with basic "photo recipes" for each section.  She includes her camera settings and tips for setting up the photo and getting the effect you want.  Throughout this book she also includes tips for getting good pictures with a point and shoot and smartphones, so you don't have to own a DSLR to benefit from this book.

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(This is a picture I took of Gwen and Derek when Gwen was a newborn, inspired by a different book from Me Ra Koh.  I'm a fan.)

I think my favorite thing about this book is all the tips she shares for capturing who people are through photos by strategizing to catch them in moments that show their personalities or interest.  After reading this book I feel more inspired to not only capture my kids' personalities, but also to take more pictures of my husband, and even myself!

I think whether you are a beginner at photograph or have a lot of experience, you will find useful tips and inspiration from this book.  If you want to take better pictures of the people you love most, this is definitely one to check out!

Note:  I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for this review. This is my honest opinion.

So I'm Doing A Newsletter



So in case yo missed it last week, I have a new little project going for my blog - I am doing a blog newsletter!

Reasons to sign up?

1.  I'm giving free printables to my newsletter subscribers - I am working on some Bible verse printables to send out in January now!  Yay for freebies!

2.  It is a great way to keep in touch with me - whether you sign up for the weekly post updates or the monthly newsletter (or both), you can respond to the emails you get, and your responses will be sent directly to my inbox.  I'm going to do my best to reply (promptly) to email responses, it's a great way to keep in touch!

3.  I'll be sharing photos and personal updates that you won't get on the blog.

4.  If anything ever weird happens with my site, you won't lost track of me completely because I can send you an email.

See?  There you go.  Four pretty good reasons!

And on a sidenote, what is everyone up to this weekend before Christmas?  Tonight we are going to the zoo's light display with my friend Danae, and her family - she also took Clyde's six month pictures recently, so I am excited to see how they turned out!  The picture above was my attempt to snap a quick phone photo after that session - yeah.  They don't sit still for me.

On Saturday I have a party at my friend Ashley's house and another party at my uncle's house, and on Sunday we have church and a family gathering with my dad's side of the family.  I counted, and over last weekend and this weekend, I have had ten separate events - whew!  It's all fun stuff though, so I'm not complaining.

Have a great weekend!



Sleeping And Sacks

Clyde is growing so big, but we are still working on ironing out the kinks in his sleeping habits.

Clyde is probably our most eccentric sleeper.  Wyatt was just a great sleeper for most of his baby career, and Gwen got a little difficult around 8 months, but we implemented a few strategies that helped her sleep through the night more consistently.  But Clyde, he has always needed a little more coaxing to go to sleep.

Our routines for Clyde over the last 8 months have varied from a white noise app, to walking him to sleep (thankfully that stage was short-lived), to using a space heater to make sure his room is nice and toasty.  However, the space heater uses a lot of electricity, and especially right now we need to save money - so we've been trying to cut out the space heater, but I feel bad because I think Clyde gets a little cold in the middle of the night.

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Then recently I was contacted by a representative of Merino Kids to review one of their sleep sacks.  I agreed because I thought why not give it a try?  It couldn't hurt.

Before I got this sleep sack, I was thinking more along the lines of a swaddler - and I was skeptical because Clyde just figured out how to get up on his hands and knees, so I wasn't sure he would like feeling constrained.  But when I actually got the sleep sack, I was pleasantly surprised!  Basically, this sack is like a wearable sleeping bag for babies.  It has a tank-top style at the top, and the rest is just a long, thick blanket that zips like a sleeping bag.

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I was impressed with the quality of this sack - the material is thick and warm, and it has nice, sturdy snaps to secure the top around Clyde's shoulders.  The zipper is also sturdy.  We haven't had any trouble with Clyde working his way out of it.  And there is an opening that allows it to be used in a car seat as well.

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We have been using this sack every night since we got it, and I like it!  Clyde stays nice and warm in it, even when we keep the heater off, and it's perfect for these chillier winter months.  Derek has also declared that he thinks Clyde likes it, and he has been sleeping better.  I like that it is loose enough that Clyde can roll over and still get up on his hands and knees, so it's not constricting for him at all.

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The sack we got for Clyde is for babies 0-2 years old - I think it might be a little big for a newborn, but it probably would have been great for 3 months on.  I am happy that we'll be able to get another year or two of use out of it.  These sleep sacks are a bit of an investment, so it's nice that they can at least be used for a while.

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I think Merino Kids sleep sacks would especially useful for those who live in a colder climate or have a baby who likes to be nice and warm at night, and if you plan on having more kids because I think the quality is such that it would last through multiple kids.  I am excited that we found something that will help Clyde stay warm without using our space heater!


Note: I received a Merino Kids sleep sack for free in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

Snowdrop Cookie Recipe

Snowdropcookies

The other day I made Wyatt and Gwen some Christmas cookies, and appropriately the song "Christmas Cookies" came on the radio.  That is one of those songs that always gets stuck in my head.  The rest of the afternoon I was singing "I sure do like those Christmas cookies, Sugar.  I sure do like those Christmas cookies, Babe" to Wyatt.

After Wyatt's nap that day, he came out of his room, climbed up on the couch, and said "Can I have some Christmas cookies babe?"  So apparently Christmas cookies in general are now called "Christmas cookies babe"!  He is just so cute.

One of my favorite kinds of Christmas cookies ever is Snowdrop cookies.  They are kind of like a meringue cookie, but they aren't just crumbly, they are actually a little chewy too,  It's hard to explain, but they are so good.  I have a horrible time making them because I don't have enough patience to beat them long enough, but Derek always makes them perfectly - so now I just make him make them every December, naturally.  If they look familiar, you might recognize them from our Christmas gender reveal party last year.

This is the recipe - we have been making it since I was a girl, so I don't know where it came from originally, or if it was just passed down through the family.  If anyone has seen this recipe before, I would love to know the original source.  One big bonus to this recipe for all of you who are gluten intolerant is that it is already mostly gluten-free.  As long as you use chocolate chips that do not have gluten, you are good to go.

Snowdropcookies2

Snowdrop Cookies

2 egg whites
¾ tsp. cream of tartar
¾ c. sugar
1 c. chocolate chips

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Take out the oven racks and place foil over them before heating the oven. Leave the racks out of the oven.

2.  Beat egg whites with hand mixer until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until stiff. Slowly beat in sugar; beat until stiff (the mixture will form little soupy peaks). Add chocolate chips and stir to mix them in.

3. Place by teaspoon on foil-covered racks and put racks in oven. Turn oven OFF. Leave overnight.

4.  Wake up in the morning and enjoy!

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On a sidenote - the kids are getting to the age where I have to start thinking about how to handle Santa as a Christian mom. Do you have any thoughts?  You can read what I think about the Santa question on the Tommy Nelson blog!
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