April

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Love our backyard!

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finishing some tea my friend brought us from China

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The rain cover we paid $50 for barely works but the umbrella my Aunt gave us that they got for free works perfectly.

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had the privilege of going to a ladies’ retreat where the speaker had grown up in the UAE and so the food was very middle-eastern themed, complete with baklava. S stayed home with Ezra and Ellie charmed everyone as the only baby there, and I was refreshed and encouraged.

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Ellie has learned how to get into the toy bins.

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homemade nutella on homemade bread

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another use for homemade nutella

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turban squash – unstuffed, and stuffed
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she’s like a dwarf in Smaug’s lair with the rocks at the beach

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turned around in the kitchen while making breakfast and found a note from Ezra instead of a to-do list (he didn’t erase it I’d just forgotten to write it the night before). It was a nice way to start the day!

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Making beeswax food wraps. One thing I love about being in a house is that all our trash goes into our own bin instead of a dumpster so we can see how much we really make, and it’s always a fun challenge to try to decrease the amount. Now that I pack lunches for Ezra we were going through more ziplock bags and I didn’t love a lot of the reusable ones since they still have plastic or vinyl or are not water resistant for things like apple or cucumber or air tight enough for a sandwich. So I’m hoping these wraps help us out in that area!

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we’ve had more sunny days lately

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Starting Sunday trying a new tea and listening to Mahler 3 and Shostakovich 7 || my mother in law gave me some blue lotus chai for my birthday and we have since tried two of their variations, this one being our favorite.

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THIS BOOK. I can’t recommend it enough for anyone in the midst of depression, anyone helping someone through depression, or just wanting to read more about it.

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so… Tillamook makes mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.

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a highlight of my month: donating 130 oz of milk to a family adopting an 11 week old. It looks like I can donate to them long term which makes me so happy as that’s what I was hoping to do when I started pumping a few extra ounces every night.

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my dad stopped by for a few days and my grandparents drove over to see us all.

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And S had been asking for another tea party so we had a brunch tea party.

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sleeping under my quilt for the first time ever! It’s too warm for our blanket but too cold for just our comforter so I put my quilt on top and it’s perfect.

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Getting my Azure order is like Christmas every month.

Hymns of the month// Ah, Holy Jesus

favorite recipes// chunky probiotic salsa // flourless plantain pancakes // blueberry streusel cake // date breakfast squares (a healthier version of a favorite of mine) // whole wheat sandwich bread – we’ve been struggling with this for a while and we now have three recipes that have worked: one, two, three // baklava bars (I would use pistachios instead of hazelnuts for a more baklava-y taste, and not toast the almond flour as it burns fast!) // aip carrot cake – I made just one 10″ cake in a springform pan // twisted star bread – used homemade nutella instead of jam // karak chai // balsamic lime vinaigrette // pumpkin & sage savory muffins (made these according to recipe but with dried sage, then made again swapping applesauce for pumpkin and pumpkin pie spice for sage, and coconut oil for olive oil!) // pannukkau (Hannah made this for us after Ellie was born and we had to make it again) // whole wheat maple cinnamon rolls (YUM YUM YUM) //

best of online//  10 Lessons on Parenting Little Ones // Jesus will lead you through the valley: loving a spouse through depression // I Survived a Sarin Gas Attack // when women face their curse-ravaged homes // salt dough recipe // a cup of tea in 22 different countries // be open to God’s plan for your family // a Haydn mass // reusable food wrap // when motherhood feels overwhelming // vectorizing hand lettering without photoshop // why your kids shouldn’t follow your diet plan – good thoughts on food in general // one thing your son needs //

And the best: A Message To Those Who Kill Us.
My comments:
In Mindy Belz’s book “They Say We are Infidels,” she made a comment about ISIS about how difficult it is to defeat those to whom death is viewed as victory.
She didn’t continue that thought, but my thoughts went further: ISIS may see death as a victory, but even as they attack the church this Passion Week, the world should know that the followers of Jesus win when we die, and we can say THANK YOU and I LOVE YOU and I FORGIVE YOU even to those that seek to kill us.
But read this, because he says it all much better.
“O, you lucky, lucky, lucky ones! And until it is our turn.
To our God be the glory now and forever. Amen.”

reading of late// Rime of the Ancient Mariner // Hungry Planet // Always Ready // The Singer & The Song (Calvin Miller) // Missional Motherhood (Furman) // Spurgeon’s Sorrows (Eswine) // The Ology (Machowski) // The Land I Lost
Also skimmed: When the Darkness Will Not Lift // Finding Faith in the Dark // A Sacred Sorrow // Give them Grace // Hints on Child Training // Give Your Child the World

thinking about// healing & rebuilding after PPD // phases of sabbatical and moving beyond the “just stop” part // Hebrews 12, pursue peace with all men includes my children and affects how I plan my day // podcasts – never got into them before and don’t love how “chatty” they get but still encouraged by Jess Connell (Mom on Purpose), Risen Motherhood, The World and Everything in It, IBCD, and Sally Clarkson (At Home With Sally).

what brings joy// sunny weather & blue skies // fog // understanding more about my PPD

The Munchkins// fill our days with laughter and craziness (and if we’re honest a good does of crabby for all of us too, see above).
Ellie is eating more solids. She gets so grumpy when we eat unless she gets to chew on something too. So we recently started with our mix of babyled weaning + WAPF + GAPS, especially since she started sitting. I need to make more broth, and she hates carrots, is OK with avocado and the broth, likes egg yolk, and adores gnawing on cucumber sticks. I love helping her explore food but the transition makes me sad as up to that point it was entirely my body that grew and nourished her which is an awesome feeling (and now i have to start thinking about carrying food for her too!) And we hope to keep nursing a good long while more!
It’s also nice not to have to worry so much about reactions to food since Ellie hasn’t had the stomach troubles S did.

And S hadn’t ever asked for anything before but she had been asking for and talking about a bicycle for a while so when I saw one on the resale page we had to get it. She loves it.

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