Thursday, September 30, 2010

Kids Can Be So Entertaining

Life is so full of surprises. So are kids. Annalyn probably takes the cake. She became a part of our family over four years ago. Boy, does that seem like a long time. We kept it no secret that times were harder with her more often then they were not. We just kept praying for that transformation.

This summer I think it finally took place. It happened right around the time John and I came back from Ukraine. As her mother, I am rejoicing. Hugs feel more like a cup of hot cocoa rather than as forced as pulling on an itchy sweater. Offers to help are as frequent as phone calls to my Mom-- not just the occasional feather that happens by in the wind. Her honesty is like a cool splash of water on a hot day instead of waiting for the air conditioner to cool down the hot car.
I am so thankful that Annalyn has chosen to enjoy her life by living out what she has been taught in the past four years... and I am so glad that we chose her.

My three youngest toe-heads are like the three musketeers. They play together so well... that is until Jonny shucks a tower of blocks into Paul's forehead. After that they are more like the three stooges.

William is fascinated with the name David. Obsessed might be a better word. He loves the way it feels just saying that name... writing that name...

Yesterday I found out that his friend's name is you guessed it.... David. Apparently David is so cool that William wishes everyone was David.

Personally, I don't think David is all that. Issues have already began happening this year. I wish William would see that Daivd is not so cool afterall.

Julia and her friend had fun stacking cups.

So did Annalyn. Great job girls!

Admittedly, more days than not, I am feeling overwhelmed with the move, like I bit off more than I can chew. After some thoughtful consideration, I realize that giving into this thought would not be of God. We did what was best for our family in deciding to move... no matter how hard it may seem at this moment. All I can do is look to God each and every moment that I am feeling overwhelmed. He is getting me through each day and slowly but surely things are coming together. I am so incredibly thankful that I have a husband that listens and understands and encourages me and I know that God placed him in my life so that we could weather these storms together. In an attempt to get my act together, I wrote a list so that I could feel like we accomplished something. As a family we checked things off the list and I kept it up for two days as a reminder that when we put God first, everything else eventually falls into place.

As part of Homecoming Week Caleb has been dressing up everyday. This day had a cowboy theme.
Today he tried to dress as Peter Pan. I think he did a fine job!
Rachel and Annalyn dressed up for Crazy Hair Day!
Wasn't Annalyn super creative?
Dennis is a little cheese when it comes to taking pictures! He saw the camera flashing and had to get in on the action!
This cup brings Dennis so much happiness. Really, if you give him this cup, you have made his day. What makes it even better is if you fill it with milk so that Dennis can grow big and strong!
Paul is very artistic. After he draws something, the other kids try and copy it. What I loved about this particular night when Paul drew this picture was that he had no hesitation when he went and hung it up-- it was very evident that he felt right at home in doing so.

Friday, September 24, 2010

It's A Mixed Bag

As parents John and I are always looking at ways we can better provide for our children.

Recently that meant me purchasing Omega-3 gummy vitamins. The packaging promised there would be no fishy taste but they more than made up for it with a fishy smell.

Blach!

However, I was not about to waste $5.00 so I insisted my kids try them. That was one full day worth of entertainment in the Reed home. Most of the kids couldn't stand the smell let alone the taste and yet a few thought they are absolutely, "Coos-na!" Watching them watch each other as the ones who couldn't stand them watched the ones who loved them devour two instantly had me on the floor laughing.

You should've been there.

And yes I know-- bad me. Getting a good laugh at my children's expense is horrible. But I can live with that. :)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Those Blueberry Muffins Will Have to Wait

William is growing up so fast and I am amazed how much he reminds me of Adam in this picture.

Dennis is active and wild and animated and crazy all rolled into one Tornado of a child! Here he is practicing standing on his head on the tile-- No No Dennis go do that on the carpet.

The kids got out the Halloween costumes already and boy has Paul enjoyed dressing up. One day he was Hulk-- today he was Batman!

Alex and Julia seem to have a bond that goes back to those first few weeks in Ukraine together.

Here he is watching her play a game.
P.S. Today I had jury duty. It was the first time I actually went to the courthouse for a summons. It was interesting to say the least-- but I'm glad I don't have to worry about it for at least another year.
P.S.S. I bought buttermilk and frozen blueberries to make homemade muffins for the kids' breakfast tomorrow morning. My plan was to make them tonight so they could heat them in the morning alongside fresh fruit and yogurt. Plans changed. Oh well, Saturday is a good day for blueberry muffins too!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

In the Kitchen

Good friends last a lifetime. These wonderful three ladies-- Marge, Kathleen, and Pat took me under their wings back when I was in my early twenties and we have stayed in touch ever since. When I led a mother's group much like MOPS, Marge led up the childcare part of it and Kathleen and Pat were regular helpers. We attended an evening women's group together too, and they still occasionally ask me to come back and share what is happening with our family. It has been a blessing to have such wonderful role models in my life-- and my kids have been blessed by the extra grandma's that pray for them, send cards and bring goodies.
When they came over for a visit yesterday, I was in the midst of making meatballs. I had to rush off to pick up Adam and Dennis from school-- so they all made the meatballs for me. That is why I think they turned out so darn yummy!
Here is the recipe: So Good Meatballs-- enough to feed an army or freeze them after they are cooked for a quick and easy dinner on the go.
8 lbs ground beef
6 medium eggs
1 1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
3 tbsp. parsley
1 tsp. Poultry seasoning
2 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp oregano
Mix all together and measure out with an ice-cream scoop. Lay out on a wire cooling rack placed inside a cookie sheet to catch the drippings. Bake at 360 degrees for one hour.
Drop into spaghetti sauce for a great Italian meal, or dump brown gravy on them next to a heap of mashed potatoes, or serve them on toasted french bread topped with spaghetti sauce and Mozzarella cheese.

As a side to the meatball sandwiches, we had strawberry jello mixed with bananas and cool whip.

Ever since I overloaded Adam on bananas as a baby, he has had an aversion to them-- so I let him scoop out some jello before I mixed in the bananas.

This salad/dessert is so easy yet it seems to satisfy all palates with its creamy, fruity, yet no too sweet balance of flavors.

P.S. Do you have a favorite jello recipe? Do you have any special ladies that have been inspirational in your life?