Our Blessed Chaos

My hubby + a 1st grader + twins in kindergarten + 4 critters..... Yeah it is chaos, but we are blessed!

Today's Verse

Remember this? This was taken back in December and I wrote about it in this post that I called I will lose my mind .

Well at that time potty training three at a time did not last very long. A couple weeks after I took these photos we had a Potty Party, which I wrote about in this post. The potty party was a compete success for Sam. He was totally trained after that day (except for at night) and only ever had accidents if he was sleeping. Here is are the pictures where I captured one of his best expressions!!



While Sam was easily trained, Ben & Carlee were not ready so I completely backed off and they have been in pullups ever since. Lately they have been noticing the differences, mainly that Sam goes to the bathroom like Mama & Daddy. I have explained that he is a big boy and that he is potty trained. Carlee asked me one day recently, "When I am a big girl, I will be potty trained?"

Well, this week for what ever reason Carlee decided she wanted to wear underwear "just like Sam". I asked if she was ready to work on potty training and she said she was. Of course nothing gets by Ben and he said he wanted to be potty trained too.

Fine with me, I am very tired of the expense of pullups so I brought out two of the little red potties, which they both used right away. However, I did have to convince Sam that he was a big boy and didn't need to use the little potties anymore.

Carlee was excited after the first time and said "I peed on the potty just like a big girl!" Then she very seriously asked me "Am I potty trained now?" I tried not to laugh and then explained that she had to work really hard so that she would know to use the potty every time.

As soon as Ben used the potty he jumped up and said "I peed! Now we can have elly beans????" Pretty amazing that he remembered that they got jelly beans when they went to the potty in January! Anyway, I had to make a trip to Costco for a jug of Jelly Belly's. Then I had to convince Sam that he didn't need to get Jelly Beans everytime he went to the bathroom. Tough sell, so I had to think fast and come up with a way that he could get Jelly Beans too. I told him that whenever Ben & Carlee used the potty that it was our job to be excited and supportive. After explaining the meaning of supportive he got it and now whenever they use the potty he claps his hands and excitedly chants "Yay Ben & Carlee" over and over. Usually it is Carlee that gets annoyed first and yells at him to "STOP CAPPING SAM" LOL

And so, I have been a little busy this week. Potty training one kid is crazy, but two is insane! Double the trips to potty, double the potties to clean, double the accidents and double the laundry!!! I can hardly wait for this stage to be over so we can move on to the next level of chaos!

That level of course will be preschool at home. In my spare time (haha if I actually had true spare time I would be sewing) I have been planning and organizing to do preschool at home. More on that in a later post, right now I need to do a potty check, start some laundry, unload the dishwasher, load the breakfast dishes into the dishwasher, sweep and mop the floors, clean the bathroom and change the stupid cat litter. At least that is a start, probably will take me until lunch to do all that because we will have to make several potty breaks and have snacks and fights and meltdowns! Fun Fun Fun at our house!

Gratituesday is hosted by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers

uggg I have lost a whole week! This was supposed to be the Gratituesday post for last week. I had it all written and then went to upload the photo and that was the start of a horrible week. Lots of computer problems including the death of my photo program which took several days to download the new version because of all the internet problems I was having. Computer problems and slow or dead internet connections are certainly on my top ten list of things that drive me insane!

On top of all of that I was sick for a few days, I must have picked up a bug in the airport. My hubby joking said "Oh great you just get over Mad Cow Disease (his loving term for PMS) and now you have Swine Flu"! No, I didn't have the swine flu, but I did have to have him come home early one day I was feeling so bad and needed to go straight to bed!

Okay, so now that I have finished my complaining and uploaded the picture you can get to the actual post. Oops, it is supposed to be about not complaining, I guess I have not learned that lesson yet. Anyway, this is what I wrote last week, and now I am also grateful for my working computer!

This morning my Bible study led me to Genesis 8:22 As long as the earth remains, there will be springtime and harvest, cold and heat, winter and summer, day and night."

Part of why this study was so powerful for me is because of all the complaining I have been doing about the weather! The time we spent on vacation in Canada was unseasonably chilly and it seemed this was the main topic of most discussions. Everyone was complaining how cold it was!

Then I came home to Maryland a few days ago and immediately went from average highs of a chilly 65 degrees to 90 degrees with humidity! And I started complaining again, now about the heat - the "it is hot and I am melting" kind of complaining.

Then God so gently reminded me this morning that He gives us hot & cold, day & night and He makes the seasons change. So today I am grateful to be able to appreciate the weather. I am grateful to have had the experiences of extreme heat during the summer in Phoenix as well as the extreme cold of Canadian prairie winters. These experiences made me appreciate the near perfect weather of southern California as well as the warm summers and mild winters of the East Coast where we are now.

With seasons and warm summer weather I am able to enjoy these, which I can see from where I sit at my computer. God is good and so is this beautiful day! It is a great reminder to quit complaining and enjoy what is good, there is so much!!!

While driving yesterday hubby was telling me about his trip to Sam's Club. From his carseat Sam casually said "But I don't have a club".

A couple days ago we were driving home from the airport and it was very late and very dark. We said that it was Saturday and tomorrow would be Sunday. Sam very quickly and sternly informed us...

"it is not Saturday it is Satur-night because it is dark, that's why it is Satur-night"

Can't argue with that logic!

There are some things that I only get when I am visiting my parents. Here are a few of them:

  • my dad's fish fry (no one can fry fish like my dad, not even when he makes the coating for you)
  • my mom's cinnamon swirls (of course I could make these myself, but it just isn't the same - I have had one for breakfast nearly every day we have been here)
  • cabbage rolls and perogies (for some reason we have not had perogies yet, I must discuss this with my mother in the morning!)
  • Saskatoon berries,, with cream or in a pie -yum yum
  • fresh veggies from the garden (I haven't been able to have my own garden yet - maybe next year), especially peas (we shelled and ate a whole bucketful!)

It is so much fun to come home and have all these treats, and even more fun to pass them on to our kids! Here are some photos of Carlee picking Saskatoon berries and their first taste of cabbage rolls - Ben loved them, Sam spit them out, and Carlee wouldn't try them after watching Sam! Haha maybe we will be lucky enough to have perogies this trip and those will go over better!

In this last one, I think Ben was annoyed that I was interrupting his devouring of the cabbage rolls! Hahaha this child has the greatest facial expressions!


Katy Lin hosts My Husband Rocks!.

My husband will totally hate this post because he hates being in photos almost as much as I do! But today I don't care if he likes it or not. We have been away from him for nearly 3 weeks and I miss him terribly! The best I have at this moment is pictures of him. Here are a few of my favorites...

We lost most of our photos and videos of Sam's first nine months when our computer crashed. This is one of earliest ones I have of Daddy and Sam at about 10 months old. Daddy's look says "What are you doing? You are too young to be climbing like that!"

I think this is my all time favorite picture of my hubby (besides our wedding photos). This was taken the night before Ben & Carlee were born. He was checking out a little gun that Uncle John has sent for Sam. If you can't read it, his shirt says "Don't Piss Me Off! I'm running out of places to hide the bodies" I just thought that the whole scruffy, growly look complete with gun and tshirt was totally appropriate for the eve of his daughter's arrival. I truly pity any boys who try to date her!

Here is Daddy just moments after Ben & Carlee were born. I just love that they both have Daddy's beautiful blue eyes.

I love this one because you can see a glimmer of just how thrilled he is to be a Dad!

Daddy is constantly coming up with all kinds of silly things to say and do just to make the kids laugh. And it works, nobody can make our kids laugh like Daddy can.

I included these ones, just so you can see how much these kids look like their Daddy! Especially Carlee.

My hubby was so excited when I started to bake bread with freshly ground wheat!

He knows how to relax and simply read his Bible. Oh yeah and he is a big softie when it comes to the critters!

As a parent he will do anything for the kids, including potty training. Although this particular moment was not all that helpful. They ran around with underwear on their heads for a long time after this little stunt of Daddy's.

He loves his kids, and he loves to give and recieve lots and lots of hugs and kisses! They are turning into very loving children because of it.

Here is the photo that I took a couple days before we left for our Canadian vacation. Daddy, we miss you so much and even though we are having fun in Canada we cannot wait to get home to you! We love you this much!!!

Today Laura at heavenlyhomemakers.com posted about the controversy of soaking grains. Below is my response to her post. I thought I would post it here too. Afterall I originally started this blog to document my baking experiences, you would think that I should occasionally write about it!

I have been grinding grain and baking with it (mostly bread) for only about a year. I only recently heard of soaking grains and have not had the time to seriously research it - so thank you for doing this!

Here are my thoughts after reading the article ...

I actually use grain and recipes from the BreadBeckers Co-op. Sue Becker also has a CD that they will send you for free. Here is the webpage address for info on how to get it. http://www.breadbeckers.com/freestuff.htm

This CD has an incredible amount of information. I have a friend that was debating the whole thing. She listened to this CD and bought her grain mill the very next day! It is that powerful and you should get it!

I have not read anything by the others you mentioned, so I suppose my opinions are somewhat one-sided. However, I have read alot of the info on the Bread Beckers website. An interesting fact is that Sue Becker has a degree in food science and jokes on her CD that she reads microbiology text books for fun! Those facts alone make me comfortable in her research and her knowledge in the information she provides about nutrition.

Several things jumped out at me when I read Sue Becker's article you linked to. Her words are in quotations.

1. "Only about 10% of the phytic acid is broken down in an overnight soak and that is not enough to make a significant difference."

Only 10%! That certainly does not convince me it is a worthwhile process. My question is how much percentage of other nutrients is lost during this time. I personally freeze any unused ground flour to stop the loss of nutrients. I can't recall the percentages of lost nutrients as the hours go by - it is on her CD though. If I remember correctly, most of the nutritional value is lost within 48 hours. I wonder then just how much is lost overnight?

2. "I have never read anything to document the statement about our ancestors and “virtually all pre-industrialized people” soaking their grains."

I grew up on the Canadian prairies and it seems that in many ways we are decades behind. One of the things that is still quite common in this area is preparing, storing and preserving food in much the same way as the pioneers did. My generation is losing this knowledge as our parents and grandparents are leaving us.

However, I am currently visiting at my mom's house and asked her if she has ever heard of soaking grains or flour overnight. She looked at me as if I was speaking a different language. She has never heard of anything like this. I never remember eating bought bread at my Grandma's, she always made her own bread. Of course she did not grind her own wheat - they used to have flour mills to do that. And like many did, when the flour mills started to close she started to buy her flour at the store. You really have to listen to Sue Becker's CD to hear just how terrible store bought flour is. I have not bought flour since I heard it.

Anyway, that is not the point. The point is that my Grandmother made bread the same way bread was made for many, many generations. She never soaked flour - and so neither will I!!!

The only advantage I have over my Grandma is that I have the knowledge and ability to grind my own flour and therefore make bread that she would be proud of.

Gratituesday is hosted by Laura at Heavenly Homemakers

I have always been a big fan of card games and board games. As a kid I would beg my brother to play games with me and would even lose on purpose so he would keep playing. Whenever he started to lose he would quit!!

One of the things I loved about family gatherings was that we always played cards or the Christmas favorite Rummoli. I am not sure why but in the last few years we have not played many games at our family gatherings. I have several games at our house, but they don't seem to be played much. Hubby is not a big game fan, but would play if I begged long enough. The kids are just not old enough for games yet and it is difficult to get them organized enough to learn. I think that Carlee will be a game lover so I just have to be patient awhile longer!

Several years ago I was roommates with my cousin Melanie and we spent many evenings playing card games and Yahtzee. We both had a love of games and we were both always ready to play when asked. She was able to make the long 12 hour drive to come visit with us from Saturday evening and she left early this morning. Well she wasn't here long and we had pulled out the Triple Yahtzee sheets, 5 dice, and of course our calculators!

And so began our first annual Yahtzee-a-thon. I was pleasantly surprised that the kids didn't bother us too much and we were able to play with them around. They even had some turns with the dice. Ben would have liked to load them up in his tractor and trailer, Sam piled them up into a tower and knocked them over, and Carlee did very well matching dice with the same number of dots.

We played many games of Triple Yahtzee during our Yahtzee-a-thon. At the end, we crowned Mel the Yahtzee Queen because she won the most games, had the highest total score of all games, had the most Yahtzee's in one game, had the highest game score and even had the lowest score. No matter what category I came up with she won them all!! I have challenged her to another Yahtzee-a-thon next time we are together!

And so the reason why I did not post a Gratituesday yesterday was because I was too busy getting my butt whooped at Yahtzee! And yet, even though I was the big loser in our Yahtzee-a-thon I am so grateful for the time spent with my cousin, she is truly one of my best friends! I am also very grateful to have wonderful parents who allowed us to be kids and play games all weekend while they watched my kids!

I have been struggling with managing my time. Lately I have been spending more time blogging about the kids rather than blogging my bible studies. But when I was doing both consistently it seemed that I would post 2 or 3 or more posts a day. It was too much to keep track of...

Then I got the idea to have two blogs. One for bible study and growth, and one for stories and photos of the kids. This blog will become my blog for family stories, photos and videos.

I have created a new blog called But Grow... with the web address of http://butgrow.blogspot.com/. This blog will be my Bible study blog. The only Bible study posts that I am copying over are the Genesis studies. I am going to make a change in how I prepare for my SOAP posts so I am basically starting from scratch and starting from the beginning.

I also will be continuing Memory Monday over at the new blog. In addition, I have started to read the book "The Power of a Praying Wife" and will post about my progress with that.

Two blogs may seem overwhelming but for my over-organized nature it seems perfectly sensible! To make it easy I have put up a link called "My Other Blog" so that you can click on that to get to the other one. Oh, and if you follow this blog for the Bible study posts you will want to change your link.

And finally, a new focus seems like a good excuse to change the blog template. LOL maybe someday I will find one that I really like and will stick with! Maybe someday I will have enough time to learn HTML and make my own!!