13 June 2014

Today’s View

A few months ago I started a series of photographs I call “Today’s View”.  They started as a somewhat tongue-in-cheek view as how big my belly - and finally ankles - had grown.  But as I took the pictures I started to notice the change.  My belly really did grow – BIG.  My legs looked shorter.  Then there was an actual baby’s head.  He was nursing – and I didn’t show all that – but I continued to show what I saw that day from my current perspective.  It helped me to remember why I’m doing what I’m doing.  I’m not just sitting here, doing nothing, although I often feel that way.  I have so much I want to get done, and yet I sit.  But why do I sit? I sit because I’m the mom of a newborn.  I direct my home from my perch, and in directing have to let many things slide.  Until it can slide no longer.

Today I had an professional organizer come and help me prioritize.  She is amazing.  She gave me ideas.  She motivated me.  Previously, it was only her photos on social media that motivated me.  That is until the ankles and belly became too big to do much, and then the baby came to nurse.  And nurse.  And nurse….

But today she came.  Hope is in the air!  All this happened and then I had a thought… 

Perhaps I can only get just one thing accomplished each day.  Only one.  Some days, that’s simply caring for a baby {and perhaps about 5 loads of laundry… but they won’t get folded… not in one day.}  Other days I can get something else done.  Just one simple thing, mind you.  But I do something every day, no matter how small.  

That lead to this thought.  If I get one thing done each day, in a year that’s 365 tasks accomplished!.  Okay, so I may not do it every day, but even it I only do it once every few days… well, you get the idea.

So I have begun.  I will try to only get one thing done at a time.  I know, I know!  This sounds silly.  But you see, I get overwhelmed.  I see messes everywhere and I can’t figure out where to start.  So I'll just focus on one simple task today.

Just do one thing.  It doesn’t have to be the “right” thing.  I can try something else tomorrow.  So, where to start?
·      Go sort dress-up clothes?
·      Go through baby cloths to look for the next size up?
·      Change out the maternity clothes in my dresser for my real clothes?
·      Or write about doing it all right now?

Today I write, so that tomorrow I can read about this and remember.  Oh, yeah, I’m going to go DO that ONE thing right NOW!

11 February 2014

Happy Valentine's Day! {2014 Version}

I found a blog post from last year.  I had written about 75% of it and then somehow never finished it and never posted it.  Regardless, it was a Valentine's Day post.  So I thought I'd finish my thoughts here.  

We love Valentine's Day around here.  Not so much the "big gifts" and "date night" for Brad and I.  What we love is coming up with the Valentine's "happies" that we make for E's friends.  This year was a first!  This year J is in school as well and was so very excited to help make them for her classmates.  We always spend quite a bit of time to research ideas and look for new designs that we haven't made before.  

This has become quite the tradition for the girls and I!  But we're not the first generation to do this.  Nope, I did this with my mother.  I remember spending time with her hand making Valentine's for my friends and classmates.  No store bought ideas or candies were allowed in the Boyer home.  At the time, I'm not sure I always appreciated the work that went into this.  My mother didn't "do" most candies, and she was very insistent that we could be more creative then a box could provide.  She was right - but again, I wish I had realized that earlier!  Thanks, Mum, for remembering your art teacher roots and challenging your daughter!  I'm doing my best to carry on this tradition. :)  

05 February 2014

In Between

I feel like we should let the cat out of the bag.  

We as parents can only try our best.  That's it.  There is just not a set of Pinterest boards to help us all know how to deal with a child.  Nope.  Each kid is different and each situation is different.  Thus we work with the clues we have. We pray, ask for wisdom, read, and hope that we are making the right choices.  If we are smart we also look backward to how our parents reacted.  We can learn so much from our parents and grandparents, both in what to do and what not to do.  I hope my kids do the same because there is much I don't want them to emulate in parenting from me!  But I do hope there are a few nuggets of wisdom that can be passed on.  

Ok, enough rambling. Here's the reason I'm writing.  I was blown away by my oldest yesterday.  She is eleven, and every bit of it – the good, the bad, the hormonal.  The current term is “tween”.  I'm sure I had never heard that before the last ten years, but it’s a term that seems rather true.  She loves her American Girl dolls and yet wants to cook the family dinner.  

This is an amazing time, yet I often think I don't stop to enjoy it nearly enough.  We are a busy family with everyone having a their own demanding schedules.  We own our own small business, one daughter lives for ballet and friends, the other enjoys dance and gymnastics, plus my husband works full-time outside of the home.  We are the poster children for the on-the-go family.  Over the last couple of years I have cut out many distractions from our family so we could slow down - but even with those things cut out, we are just busy!  Your family is busy as well.  This is modern life.  

With these things happening I hadn't realized how messy the 11- year-old’s room had become.  One night as I was tucking the girls in bed and praying over them, I turned around and nearly fell.  Wow! Every surface was covered and the floor had a good deal of loot out as well!  Because I knew we had been busy, I didn't yell or fuss, but I did give a warning.  She would have the next several days to find time to clean this up or the items were going to walk away.  Do you think this worked?  


I reminded her the next couple of days.  Her father reminded her.  

Nothing changed.  

So one night I went in with a plastic bag.  Dolls, books, jewelry, clothes, iPods and such.  It's interesting what is out in a tweens room.  Not as many toys anymore, but what a mess!   And every bit of it went into the bag.  She was not happy. 

Too bad. 

So then it came to what to do about this.  Her father and I decided to ask her to write an essay as to why it's important to keep a room clean.  She would write out why we have rules and help earn back her "stuff".  

A day later, she hands us the essay, and what was written blew me away.  Regardless of what we think, kids truly are listening.  I often feel like I'm talking to myself, or to a brick wall, or to the dogs.  The kids seem to just smile and keep doing what they are doing.  It can be maddening.  My oldest is much like her father – lovable, so profoundly different from normal human beings like myself.  They are introverts.  They are internal processors.  They do not need to verbally process much of anything.  But, having processed an issue, what comes out is rather magical.  I'd like to share with you her own thoughts, the results of a week of processing.  

We’re going to talk about why you should keep your room clean and how you can do it.  First of all, keeping your room clean will help you want to be there more.  It can also help you have a better night sleep.  You can keep your room clean by organizing into groups.  Like dolls, tools, jewelry, art, and toy animals.  When your organizing you should also be going through your piles and choosing things you don’t like so you can sell it or give it away.  
But you should never stuff things into drawers because your mom or dad will find it later.  Always keep the top of your dresser clean and your bedside table.  Never shove things into your closet for when your friends come over you don’t want to be embarrassed.  If you have a little brother or sister you should always keep small parts off the ground for they could choke.  These are reasons why you keep your room clean and how you can do it.   
Sometimes (okay, all of the time) parenting isn't easy.  It’s the hardest thing we’ve ever done.  But these glimpses into into these little hearts and minds make it so worth while!  This isn't just about an essay as to why to keep a room clean.  It's about a child who is learning and trying and growing.  She's stuck in-between.  In between a child and a young lady.  Between immaturity and responsibility.  Between needing Mom and craving independence.  I do miss the little baby girl who would crawd up on me to nap.  But I'm so in love with this tall, gangly, curly haired young lady that’s she somehow become.  I guess I’m in-between, too.

So although it's taking time to put into action, she's getting it.  It's in there.  I'm praying that over the next couple of years it continues to work its way from the inside out. There's generations of wisdom in there, and for a moment I was stunned to see if spill out.  She has been listening, and I was a bit humbled.  Humbled to be her mother, humbles to watch her grow, humbled to lead and walk beside this curly-haired wonder who continues to surprise and delight me.
{Oldest a few years ago, photo's by www.mileswittboyer.com

31 January 2014

I should have posted this before.... ;)

Our little new brew! {Baby Announcement...}

I am realizing that I should have written this before.  At this point many people know - but I'm sure there may be a few who haven't found out.  OOPS!  Life sometimes seems to fly by and suddenly I realize that I'm 34 weeks pregnant and never wrote a single blog update about the pregnancy.  In some ways perhaps this is good.  It has been fairly uneventful!  But on the other hand it also is because of the pace of our lives.  We didn't get a Christmas card {or blog post!} put up this year.  We didn't do many things we wanted to do...


We did find out we were pregnant!

  • 13 years of marriage bliss! 
  • 2 amazing girls through 2 amazing adoptions.
  • 13 homes - in 13 years!  (I'm glad to say that we have lived in many homes for upwards of 4 to 5 years, so although we have moved a lot - luckily many of those were for an extended time.  Then we did several quick moves all at once!)
  • One gallbladder-removal surgery {last year} - which - we have NO idea how or why or WHAT it would have to do with anything... but.....
  • One little boy-on-the-way with an estimated due date of March 13th!
We are so excited and so blown away with this journey.   Our life has been crazy enough (running a business, homeschooling, etc.) so adding in a pregnancy with the normal ups and downs has been a bit of an adjustment!  I was SHOCKED to be told that I was considered (get this!) a "geriatric pregnancy" because I was going to be 35 when the baby was born!  Geriatric?  Seriously?  Good grief. 

Regardless... I am now 34 weeks into this adventure.  He moves a WHOLE lot and early on I felt like I was being taken over by a creature from beyond.  (I'm from New Mexico - Area 51 anyone?!) But after the last several ultrasounds where we actually SAW this little boy - chubby wrists and hands and cheeks - it's feeling more real.   The girls are so very excited.  Several of my t-shirts have oil stains where J, the four year old, has run up and kissed on me.  I didn't realize she had Chapstick on.  Oops.  At least it's a stain with a sweet memory!  

Here's to another year, another baby, and another adventure!  

27 January 2014

Snow days, warm fires, hot drinks!

It's an especially COLD winter here in Kentucky!  We've had a lovely set of storms and days that justified my enormous expenditure on our woodburning stove this past year.  I for one have been glad to "need" it.  Somehow it made me feel better!  It also has been a great excuse for cooking more yummy soups, chile and other cold weather delights.  One of our favorites has become a Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup.  It's really really really easy and really good!  The whole family loves it - which says something when she-who-is-four-and-super-picky will chow down on a bowl!  I serve it with an easy salad and bread.  Perfect for those cold nights or lunches when everyone needs a warm up!  

Hope you enjoy!  

Creamy Green Chile Chicken Soup
Adapted quite a bit from "A Taste of Enchantment"

1 Tbs. coconut oil
1/2 onion diced finely
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 c. chicken stock
2 c. chicken, cooked and shredded (Store-bought rotisserie works here – especially if you are short on time! I also keep bone on chicken breast to easily stick in the oven for oven roasted in a pinch.  So easy, salt, pepper, and roast – then pull off bone!)
1 c. green chile, diced (two small cans will equal about 1 c. – that is if you can’t get fresh!)
1 can diced potatoes – or about 1.5 c. diced potatoes (I like canned because they potatoes hold up so well in soups.)
1 Tbs. flour
8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. half and half (milk will work just fine)
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4. tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. salt
¼ tsp. pepper

In your dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for about a minute, until fragrant. Add chicken stock, raise heat and bring to a boil.

When stock is boiling, remove 1/2 c. of broth and let it cool. To the boiling broth, add shredded chicken and green chile.

After reserved broth is cool, add 1 Tbs. of flour to it and whisk until well blended. Add the flour mixture back into the boiling broth and mix well. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently.

Mix the milk or ½ and ½ and the cream cheese together.  If it’s a bit lumpy that is fine because the cream cheese will melt in the soup.

Add the cream cheese mixture gradually into the soup, whisking constantly. When cream cheese mixture is added, reduce the heat to a simmer then add in the rest of your spices (garlic powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper). Don’t boil at this point!

Simmer the soup for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until the soup thickens. Do not boil.

This will re-heat VERY well…. If you have enough left over! 

Keep warm and enjoy!