wading ever deeper

trusting Jesus to show me the way as i navigate the waters of being a loving wife, mama, & caregiver.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Menu Plan Monday {my first official!}

Monday, March 8
Salmon Patties, Green Beans
Turkey, Mashed Sweet Potatoes, Salad

Tuesday, March 9
Oatmeal, pears
Leftovers for lunch
Cheddar Ranch Burgers, french fries

Wednesday, March 10  
 Eli's 5th birthday!
Birthday bacon, eggs, and muffins (with a candle on the birthday boy's, of course!)
Lunch out wherever Eli chooses
Super Simple Burritos, black beans, birthday cake and ice cream!

Thursday, March 11
Cinnamon Apple Toast
Country Style Ribs in the crock-pot, salad
Leftovers for dinner

Friday, March 12
Waffles, yogurt and fruit smoothies
Turkey, cranberry, and almond salad
Super Easy Chicken, Cream Scalloped Potatoes, Salad

Saturday, March 13
Cheese Toast
Peanut Butter & Jelly Sandwiches (light lunch before the big birthday party :- )

Sunday, March 14
Sunday lunch at my in-law's house
Turkey 'n' Biscuits

Last night I spent alot of time on one of my favorite blogs - http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/ and found lots of recipes to try this week!  I am going to try to create links to her recipes, but just in case I'm not successful, you'll know where to find them and who gets the credit!  My husband really enjoyed the salmon patties at lunch today, and our almost 5 year old loved them (especially with the fresh dill "sprinkles" on top!)

While during my more organized weeks I have been in the practice of planning dinners, this is the first week I've planned for all three meals of the day for the entire week!  Not only that, but I also went to the grocery store and was home by 9:15 this morning - with both boys!  I have to say I feel very "together", and I like it!

Monday, February 15, 2010

reason #573,962 that my husband ROCKS

ok, so i feel like JUNK.  i don't know if it is a nasty cold or the flu, but either way, it stinks. 

i've had to take eli to the ER two out of the last three friday nights due to asthma/pneumonia.  the stress of watching our son struggle to breathe has been tough.  grandma has been extra challenging lately. i think all of the extra mental challenge has made me more physically susceptible to illness.  and here i am.

back to the title of this post.  my sweetheart went to the grocery store for me today.  he also made dinner last night, took care of grandma, and did the dishes yesterday.  oh, and made sure i got a 3 hour nap!  not only is he helping me in practical ways, he brought me a care package from the grocery store!  how thoughtful is he?!

cheerful yellow flower, super soft kleenex, chicken noodle soup, & chocolate eclairs!  now THAT is a care package!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

I love you & I like you!

One of my favorite blogs is http://heavenlyhomemakers.com/  I read every post, and when I get a few free moments, I look through the archives.  I'm grateful to Laura (the author of the blog) and other God-loving women like her who take the time to regularly post words of wisdom, challenge, and inspiration for the rest of us.  I've pretty much given up magazines since discovering the amazing world of blogs! 

So, since I'm trying to post a little more frequently, I thought I would join up with the other Heavenly Homemakers blog readers and write my first ever, "Gratituesday" post.  Then I am going to take adavantage of the few moments I have to nap on this rainy morning.  Moments for which I am extremely grateful :- )

This morning I got to see what seemed like a little glimpse into the future.  I had put a kids praise and worship cd on in Eli's room for him to listen to while he got dressed.  (I love that he dresses himself now - that alone could be my Gratituesday post!)  It had been about 15 minutes since I had heard anything from him, which if you know Eli, you know is odd, as he talks approximately 12 hours out of every 24.  I knew he was dressed, since I had poked my head in his room shortly after asking him to get dressed, to make sure things were going smoothly.  So, not knowing what might be going on at the end of the hall, I went to check things out.  He was sitting in the chair in his room, just listening to the cd.  He looked totally peaceful and relaxed.  And mature.  I was struck with the thought that someday Eli will be my friend.  Sure he might still ask for advice from time to time, but I'll just as likely as him for advice in 30 years. 

Today I am so grateful for the blessing of truly liking my children.  Of course I am overwhelmed with love for them, but I also happen to think they are pretty cool people.  People I look forward to being friends with in the future.  The future that will be here in what will seem to be the blink of an eye.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

update on my big plan - a.k.a. PURGE.ORGANIZE.CLEAN. {2010}

i started out with gusto in the purging of our extra "stuff".  the kitchen was my starting point, and i actually haven't completed it yet.  i have, however, gone through all of our appliances, gadgets, and glassware, evaluating along the way what we actually use and need, and what was just collecting dust.  i reorganized a few cabinets so that things are stored closer to where they are used.  i culled the number of coffee cups we own to a reasonable number, considering the number of coffee/tea drinkers in our home.   next up was our ridiculously excessive amount of Christmas decor, since we were putting away Christmas stuff anyway.  we had seriously scaled back on decorating this year, and it was such a relief!  i strongly encourage anybody who feels bogged down by the holidays to re-evaluate how much decorating they do, and whether or not that detracts from the season for them.  i packed several boxes of useful but non-essential things to give to Valley Rescue Mission.  and then i called them.  and they picked up our excess stuff that was making me feel crazy from our front porch.  how cool is that? 

then, one lovely day when eli had gone to play with his best friend, i tackled his room.  wow.  i really tackled it.  there are now 7 crates in his room, one for each day of the week.  the six that aren't being used are stored in his hugmongous toy box that my dad made for him.  in theory, i will swap out the crates each day, giving him a few fresh toys to play with everyday.  my goal is to fill the crate with:  an activity to do together, a puzzle, a creative something, a "boy" toy, and something educational.   there are a few things that stay out all of the time - blocks, trains (of course!), a few trucks, his Leapster, and some arts and crafts items.   he has gotten so much better about cleaning up his room.  probably because it isn't the world's most daunting task!  even better?  he enjoys playing in his room for longer periods of time.  it's awesome. 

this is eli's room, "before"

and the, "after" {!}

we are currently in the process of converting our dining room into a family room/baby jail : )  baby gates are up, but there is still lots to do.  more to come!

to blog or not to blog, that is the question

i swing wildly back & forth on this in my mind all of the time.  it's a good thing i haven't started talking to myself about it (yet), as ritchie is starting to get concerned at the frequency of my one person conversations.  i love the idea of sharing my thoughts and ideas with others, but at the same time, the dishes need to be done.  which leaves me feeling like it's a pretty self indulgent activity.  i guess it's all about self control and time management.  as well as the ability to be okay with not blogging every day, or even every week.  i would like to at least post a new entry a couple of times a month, though.  this is such a fun way to capture and share our family's life.  so, the answer will be:  to blog! 

{but blogging sporadically, as time allows!}

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

my big plan

i'm way behind - on laundry, on housework, on photography work. but, i have a plan! i am purging our home of unnecessary belongings. then, everything will be given an assigned place. and everyone who lives here will eagerly put things back where they belong immediately after using them (i'm so kidding). just like with weight loss, i know that the hardest part will be the maintenance. but once there is a system in place, i know life will be easier. i've had it before and i miss it! i feel ahead because not only have i decided to this is, i have actually started (and it's only december 29- i'm ahead of new year's resolutions)! i have completed 7 kitchen cabinets and 4 drawers. i washed the glassware we are giving away and have packed it in boxes. i've reorganized our coffee cups and glasses so that the coffee cups, filters, and coffee are in the cabinet above the coffee pot. all of this tidiness makes me giddy. i am not so sure ritchie gets this about me, which is okay. once i get the whole job done & maintain the orderliness for a few weeks, he'll remember that we once lived in such a manner. he'll see the muscles in my shoulders relax, and the glow of contentment on my face, and he will see that i really am a bit ocd. my tendency towards neatness and order have simply been thwarted by multiple big life events. i'm getting back on track :- )

Monday, July 13, 2009


i am so not surprised that i abandoned my blog for months and months. i have always journaled in such a sporadic manner. it did me a lot of good to read my last post about honor. i wish i could say that i've been living that lesson, but unfortunately, i don't feel i have. my relationship with and care of grandma are among the many things on my list of duties that i feel are lacking these days. there is so much i want and need to do, and so much that i want to do so much better than i am currently managing. pretty much everything, actually. i'm not trying to be down on myself, i'm just trying to figure out how to manage everything on my plate, and feel like i'm getting it all done at least halfway well. i am searching. i've been reading a couple of books, and have found a quite inspirational blog that i've been following. i think perhaps that a large part of this overwhelming feeling of lack of accomplishment is adjusting to our newest family member. aaron james was born on february 17! he will be 5 months old this weekend. the time flies by even faster the second time around. he is a happy, sweet baby, who love, love, loves to be held. since he has joined us, we decided that my nursing career is on hold for now. ritchie is being enormously patient with me as i try to juggle responsibilities. the plan is for me to assist him by helping him edit images. the problem is trying to fit that in between my other jobs (eli and aaron!) i am on a quest to get aaron sleep schedule more solidified (ok, he has no daytime schedule. i am so thankful that he is pretty consistent at night!). once that happens, i am confident i'll be a higher functioning human again!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


At the top of my blog, I mention that I am a "caregiver". My 86 year old Grandma lives with us. She really doesn't require a huge amount of care. She is pretty darn self sufficient when I think about it. Mostly, the energy she has required of me since she moved in this past April was of the emotional/mental variety. There aren't alot of multi-generational homes around these days - at least not that involve my generation, which means I've had no examples of how to balance young family with my "old lady". We felt very strongly led to invite her to come live with us this past March, and she was here (from Ohio) by the middle of April. It all came about very, very quickly. We don't have any regrets. We knew there would be many challenges. I have been overwhelmed and stressed often. Very often. I have cried. I've snapped at my husband due to stress he wasn't the cause of in any way. I have worried that this might not be the best thing for Eli. I have questioned our decision - but only briefly.

I recently checked out a book at the library about care giving, published by Focus on the Family. I haven't read hardly any of it, and it was due back today (which means I'll be taking advantage of the library's one day grace period once again). The beginning of the book teaches alot about the need for the caregiver to take care of themselves. Yeah, yeah - I know. Just like mothers of young children (check) and nurses (check) are told to do all of the time. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of others. Thanks to my very supportive and tuned-into-me husband, that happens in our home. I am so grateful. A little later in this book though, I got to a paragraph that really impacted me. It was about honor. It was just what I needed to read. God tells us to honor our parents. Not, "honor your parents if it's convenient/if they are perfect/if it is easy/ if they are appreciative/if they are sweet". Just like the saying, "love is a verb" - it's an action you choose, not based on emotions you feel - honor is something I am to do just because it pleases God. I spent a couple of days meditating on this and praying about it. I decided to stop complaining about a ministry that God clearly led us into. I decided to start honoring my Grandma - who I love very, very much - and I'm so grateful to the years of service she dedicated to me, my sisters, and cousins. How tragic would it be if we invited her to come be a part of our home, and then I spend the entire length of our time with her talking ugly, cracking jokes, and rolling my eyes about things that she said and did? I knew all about her idiosyncrasies before we asked her to come live with us. There were no surprises. Maybe some things are a little harder to live with than I imagined, but still, no surprises. My ugly attitude was really a poor coping mechanism to deal with the stress of lifestyle change my precious family was undergoing. I have such a peace now, and I am so very grateful that I checked out that book. I didn't get far at all, but I read exactly the part I needed to.

Oddly enough, the last week and a half or so - exactly since I spent some time dwelling on "honor", Grandma has been so sweet, understanding, and pleasant. Sure, there are still a few typical Grandma-isms every now and then. But wow - what a sweet week and a half it has been. I actually went downstairs tonight for about an hour - just to hang out with her. We talked and enjoyed each other's company. I am very thankful for the lesson I am learning about honor, and pray that I will learn it thoroughly and live it daily. God blessed me with a Grandma who showed me the best love she could when I was vulnerable and in need as a child. What a blessing to have a husband who has given me the opportunity to return that show of love to her in her time of vulnerability! How could I possibly squander this opportunity to serve Father by serving her? This should be the easiest ministry of my lifetime - giving back to someone who so freely gave to me. Thank you, God, for intervening in your perfect timing. Thank you for stopping me before I hit rock bottom. Thank you for gently teaching me this lesson. Please continue to deepen my understanding of honor, and show me ways to practice this commandment.