October

6 October Vollkornbrot 1
I tried to make vollkornbrot… but while the inside was right the crust was about a 1/2″ thick brick.

2 October Hebrew hard cider lattes 2
At home date night with homemade pumpkin spice chai lattes and leftover pie.

12 October 4
I am really not a fan of weather cooler than 70 so I am trying to find things to be thankful for and enjoy even when the forecast is not above 60. Like Fall colors, and the diversity of leaves, and more tea, and hot water washing dishes and sinking into bed in cotton flannel.
And yes, I had help filling the centerpiece. 😉

13 October leaf crafts and S oboe practice 3
Ellie is allowed to play with the pots and pans so sometimes I find odd items in the cupboard.

13 October leaf crafts and S oboe practice 5
“practicing oboe”

13 October leaf crafts and S oboe practice 7
I have daydreamed about this day since we found out Ellie was a girl. They frequently walk around holding hands now.

13 October leaf crafts and S oboe practice 9
Some crafts with leaves we pick up on our walks.

16 October corn maze and pumpkin patch 3
S navigating the corn maze for us. We tried to keep a fragile balance of creating some tension by giving her a goal of “get back to the car!” without scaring her that we were lost.
16 October corn maze and pumpkin patch 7

16 October corn maze and pumpkin patch 16
I love the variety in pumpkins and squash!

17 October Girls in leaves 8
Cousin J sent her boxes of clothes and S is in love with this pink coat.

17 October 2
A friend at church loaned me four cookbooks and we have been enjoying lots of yummy bread and other new recipes.

17 October 3
S was setting the table and dropped two of our rice bowls from Japan. We were both sad, her especially, since now there is no pink bowl.

19 October Apple testing
We did a taste test on 8 kinds of apples… and ended up deciding our favorites were pretty standard – Ezra’s is gala, mine is Fuji.

20 October 3
Got this basket for basically free at a rummage sale and it’s been holding the coffee table books more prettily and more out of the way from the littlest hands.

24 October girls sharing room 2
The girls are now sharing a room! It happened much more smoothly than anticipated, although Ellie still tries to cause trouble sometimes. She will try to play with S, and S will just lie there trying to sleep.

I don’t really talk about how we do baby sleep because I think that after safety is considered it’s between Ezra and I and not everyone where our kids sleep, when they sleep through the night, etc. I am happy to talk privately about what we do and why, just send me a message – the short, public answer is gentle and late sleep coaching.
But I write about the room move, as it’s a big day because it’s the first time in 3 years we have not had a crib in our room (it was empty for a while in Japan though).

26 October
Little shoes waiting outside to not track pine needles into the house.

27 October clamming 8
inspired by last weeks’ thousand readings of One Morning in Maine, we went clamming for the first time!

28 October clam chowder 2
Soaking

28 October clam chowder 3
Steaming. There were little tiny crabs in almost all the clams, which led to some temporary freaking out until Ezra did some research.

28 October clam chowder 10
Chowder!

30 October walking to library
Participating in fit2B’s walk thankful November… this was in the warming up days and I was thinking about the things I was thankful for while we walked to the library – for living in a small enough town that we can walk to the library (all the way across town but only a 45 minute walk!), and that Ezra’s schedule is flexible enough that we can remain a one-car family, podcasts to listen to, strength to walk hills, libraries full of books and wonder for the girls…

Hymns of the month// Children of the Heavenly Father // reviewing When He Cometh

favorite recipes// parsley pesto (I only like parsley in tabbouleh, but this is still yummy and SO much cheaper than basil pesto!) // sourdough crackers // 8 overnight oats recipes // yummy lentil salad // making apple cider vinegar // cookie dough overnight oats // mediterranean chicken pizza // chicken curry casserole // chorizo sweet potato skillet // Sunday beef stew // injera (Ethiopian flat bread) // soy-free soy sauce (actually works!) // peanut coconut chicken (yummy, NOT one pan… breading makes a ton of dishes if you don’t want to use a bag once) // no bake healthy fudge // long-ferment sourdough biscuits (a cross between a biscuit and croissant) // grain-free chocolate cookies // Lebanese stuffed butternut squash // pumpkin spice caramel smoothies – used milk + 2 Tbsp cocoa instead of coffee and threw in 2 dates // chocolate & nut butter fudge (there was almond butter in the bargain bin) //

+ a variety of recipes from Cultures for Health’s sourdough eBook, Jane Brody’s Good Food Gourmet, and The Laurel’s Kitchen Bread Book. I was somewhat participating in Unprocessed October and One Pot October.

best of online// thoughts on attitude of Mom in potty training // God is with you in your panic attack // Victoria’s Library // 17 Crafts to make with leaves // leaf crowns // Lecrae, White Evangelicalism, and Hope // age of accountability // Communion Table & Eating Disorders // how to support a friend through miscarriage // cleaning a boar bristle brush // at least as dangerous as porn // A Deeper Healing (Joni Eareckson Tada) // destroying your home with hardness of heart // Fantasy World Builder // 5 Parenting Myths // Every Good Mother Dies // Bach & Luther: Theology in Music // You can loosen your grip on the future // trade self-worth for awe //

reading of late// partway through The Lifegiving Table // The Hawk & The Dove // Humble Roots // finished (but not processed) 12 Ways Your Phone is Changing You // Preemptive Love // The Cup & The Glory (harris) // finished The Hidden Smile of God (Piper) with Ezra // started Neptune’s Inferno with Ezra

Kids’ books we enjoyed//  a lot by Robert McCloskey and Patricia Polacco

what brings joy// finishing S’s quiet book // warmer days // golden light // 2 long dates in one week // PPD puzzle pieces clicking

Advertisements

September

Somehow some of my photos from August got left on my phone, so here are a few from August first:
From my birthday celebrations –
IMG 20170830 192853

IMG 20170830 183028
(That’s pull apart baklava bread!)

IMG 20170827 110241
Some down time on the waterfront on Sunday morning.

IMG 20170826 113541
We turned a cuff-link we found in some of Ezra’s grandfather’s things into a necklace.

2 September music festival 1
I love it when books have activities with them!

I’m not sharing the photo because it has other people in it, but we had one of our favorite things here so far happen this month – a quiet afternoon picking blackberries with friends. A number of things had popped up on Ezra’s “weekend” between shifts which has led to us having a lot to do, and picking berries and restful conversation with these friends was just what we needed.
Another favorite memory from the summer, that I have no photo of except what’s in my mind: S running barefoot on trails and through tall, dry grass (that perfectly matched her hair) above the ocean.

6 September 1
kombucha with blackberries we picked and cucumber and mint from our garden

6 September 2
learning to can!

7 September 6
I love recreating foods we had in Japan (or anywhere!).

8 September school 3
when your not-quite-three-year-old tells you she wants to go to school… It just means more structured reading time and strewing some art!
8 September school 4

10 September 1
We also got a lot of plums when we picked blackberries. A plum tart was one of the things I made… but we had to salvage it when my springform pan malfunctioned.

13 September 3
Most of the time our kombucha is fine without being burped, but then there are times it explodes.

14 September 8

15 September 18
We’ve started keeping the bathroom door fully closed because otherwise Ellie gets into it (something S never did!), but that led to needing to mark the bathroom for guests. So I handlettered this and then Ezra did the woodburning and staining.

17 September 3
Some of Ellie’s birthday presents – new favorites for me!

17 September 4
if you want some beautiful art check out @heart2artcrafts!
My cousin made this for Ellie’s birthday – so perfect when PPD made the mama bear love slow to come, and when I daily have to choose to love them more than me, and in that pray that in my falling short they will feast and be satisfied on the fullness of His love.
And all the love we were shown by so many in the last year, from Japan to Puget Sound and friends and family all over, culminating in aunts, grandma, and cousins coming to celebrate Ellie with us!

19 September

22 September 2

I mentioned this book, The Journey, by Francesca Sanna, in our books post. This is one page from it.
25 September 1

26 September 7
We found a birds’ nest on our walk!

28 September 4

30 September 1
Making cider in the blender is a process, but it works!

Hymns of the month// My Song is Love Unknown // reviewing Abide With Me
favorite recipes// turmeric yogurt roast chicken // paleo chocolate cake (people who had no clue it was paleo commented on how good it was! Ezra was less convinced) // maple pumpkin baked oatmeal // cold-brew jamaica // zucchini tuna cakes // steamed buns (need double the filling!) // cashew carrot pasta sauce // miso breakfast oatmeal // soaked granola (I cut back the sweetener by 1/3 and it was still plenty sweet) // soaking & roasting nuts // gingerbread apple pancakes // overnight French bread // apple & caramelized onion pizzas // sourdough pizza crust // bean chilaquiles // molasses breakfast cookies // savory French toast // katsudon (YUM YUM YUM)
And this is what we used to make a sourdough starter!

did not work so well: sourdough cinnamon rolls (mostly the glaze flopped) // paleo brownies (I remember loving these the first time I made them, so I don’t know what happened!

best of online// Seed of War // mombods & the gospel // grasping for control // love to eat, hate to eat (Elyse Fitzpatrick) // 10 Things to Know Before Adopting Transracially // Is Life Harder than You Expected? // when marriage is filled with worse, poorer, and sickness // when you can’t protect your children // losing sleep, finding grace // setting the tone in your home // Charlotte Mason for real moms // Quick Facts about Secular Science // Rich Westerners // What’s the Purpose of Children? // 10 Essential Gospel Truths // the duty of moderation // how to photograph life //

reading of late// The Winters’ Tale (Shakespeare) // Surprised by Joy (Lewis) // Lit! (Reinke)

thinking about// “when my anxious thoughts multiply within me, Your consolations delight my soul.” Psalm 94:19 // lots of other tidbits from the Psalms, like Psalm 73:22-24 //

what brings joy// blackberry picking with friends // having guests over // one-on-one time with the girls

August

Started August in NYC… doing not-so-crowded things since I didn’t have much interest in Times Square and wanted to avoid crowds with the girls. My first time in NYC was 14 years ago and it was awful… So I’m thankful for the chance to make happy NYC memories (traffic and parking ticket aside), but even more it was great to watch the girls have so much happy cousin time and get to celebrate Cait’s birthday WITH her for the first time in a long time.
IMG 20170801 112801
Carnegie Hall

IMG 20170801 122133
We spent a while watching the fountain at the Lincoln Center and being overwhelmed and excited by how much talent walks through that place!

IMG 20170805 105615
Then it was to MI for my friend Hannah’s wedding. I did not take many photos since I was trying to enjoy every moment.
IMG 20170805 205654
Except here. I pulled my phone out to take a photo of one of the most moving parts of the day.
From Instagram:
She’s been with me for Celtic festivals, road trips (& my first car accident), desert camping, serving in childcare and leading small groups, Irish & country dancing, music and sewing, exploring Israel, visited us in San Diego and Japan (and was the most wonderful doula ever for Ellie’s birth)… she’s shot me in the eye in a nerf war and been asked if she’s my sister more times than my sisters and I have been put together (and we’ve accidentally twinned so many times)… I kept thinking of Revelation 19 yesterday, watching Hannah clothe herself in fine clothes, but knowing her radiance is so much more than her physical beauty, lying in her character & the way she follows Christ. I’ve never seen her as happy as she was yesterday.
I don’t think I have ever “meant” the benediction as much as I did while singing it last night, after watching her exchange vows & embark on marriage, thinking of the joys, sorrows, and struggles Ezra & I have experienced and that she now gets to taste of as well, but also having so deeply worshiped our Savior in the ceremony, knowing He is able to bless & keep them & give them peace.

And my involvement with the wedding would not have been possible without Ezra tirelessly caring for the girls for large parts of 3 days!

IMG 20170806 120725
Since I lived in MI for a while as a kid, I still have friends there, like Anna! We enjoyed shawarma in a cheesebread, some playground time for the girls, and then joined my family for church.

IMG 20170806 122019
And since Hannah went to Csehy, it was also a great time with lots of Csehy friends who were in town for the wedding.

But we also spent some time doing things in Michigan we had loved doing when we were growing up (like eating lots of Lebanese food!) – the biggest thing there was going to Greenfield Village.
IMG 5003

IMG 5011

IMG 5032

IMG 5058
Ezra coming out of Robert Frost’s house. We had a sleeping toddler in the stroller so were taking turns going in and out of houses or pushing the stroller.

IMG 5061

IMG 5096
Trying on hats in the millinery was always one of our favorite things, as was the carousel – it was the first time either of our girls had been on one, and they both enjoyed it (even though S was sad to not get the frog).

IMG 20170811 164629
On our way home… Ellie’s favorite book fell apart.

IMG 20170812 162416
The girls charmed a pilot flying standby while we were waiting for our second flight and he gave S wings – not cheap plastic ones but a real pin. Made my day!

IMG 20170817 145117
update on the beeswrap: we love it! I just did some maintenance on them as they had lots of cracks, but it only took a few minutes of ironing between parchment paper and they’re as good as new. They are great for traveling with and eliminated the need for plastic sandwich bags on our trip. We mostly use them for sandwiches and baked goods, but have occasionally used them for veggies or other snacks.

IMG 20170817 190755
Paid way too much for strawberries at the Farmers’ Market (but they were local and organic!) – and topped them with some cream.
It is overwhelming to go to the Farmer’s Market and see all the local, organic food we could be buying and then feel guilty we don’t. So instead of trying to do it all we decided to focus on ONE thing for now and make that happen as much as possible, and that’s these pastured eggs from down the road from church… That somehow are cheaper than the organic grocery store eggs.

IMG 20170819 173307
Free, organic blackberries. YUM.

IMG 20170819 204938
We’d been reading Blueberries for Sal so S had to have her little tin pail… thankfully I had one. And she did a better job than Sal picking and not eating them all!

IMG 20170821 091758
One of the most unique trees I have ever seen. Pinecones, swoops like a cedar, but prickly like a cactus.

IMG 5510
Hiking for my birthday!
IMG 5514
A really beautiful trail, and also the longest we’ve done with kids – 3.5 miles.
IMG 5563

IMG 5574
“playing” hiking in our backyard.

IMG 5588
birthday flowers from Ezra – along with serrated knives that work for lefties and some handlettering he did.

favorite recipes// banana tahini popsicles // sweet potato lentil soup // turkey apple sausage patties // blackberry ricotta pizza with basil (needs some lemon zest! More blackberry recipes coming later) // 30 minute posole // chicken salad // healthier cake // loosely followed this recipe for carrot cake ice cream – just added the syrup part to our usual vanilla, and blended it // baklava pull apart bread (halved the sweetener!) // cookie dough hummus (would add more oats and cashews) // whole wheat muffins (left out the honey) // crockpot refried beans //

and lest you think every recipe works, here are some that weren’t as great as expected: indian bread with zucchini (not bad, but just a basic flat bread with zucchini in it) // oatmeal cookie ice cream sandwiches (fantastic idea, but the cookies didn’t work for me!) // chocolate chip cookies (these were like cake) // 2 ingredient chocolate frosting (even very cold this was like pudding)

best of online//  Yazidi women freed from ISIS // 6 ways to raise a sex addict // biblical womanhood doesn’t begin and end in Proverbs 31 // reflections on the 50th anniversary of Joni’s diving accident (and more from Joni) // breathtaking arrangement of Fairest Lord Jesus // the need for rural ministry // missionary mommy wars // why “did you have fun?” is the wrong question // spectacular clouds // you don’t have to love your postpartum body // 5 Strategies for a Christ-Centered Home // ultimate guide to homeschooling styles // stuck in the middle of unresolved suffering: part 1 & part 2 // how to love your friends of color well // 11 Beliefs of Jehovah’s Witnesses you should know about // witnessing Yemen’s desperate suffering // Trio Mediaeval – the Little Child // How to Care for Parents of Prodigals // photography posing tips // the perfect body size // I updated this resource page // narratio // global buckets – a neat way of growing things and a neat mission! // how to use your whisk the right way // giving up the confederacy
reading of late// skimmed Charlotte Mason’s Home Education // Pursuit of God (Tozer) // Roaring Lambs (Briner) // Pride & Prejudice (Austen)

thinking about// in my recent reading of the psalms I have been struck again and again with the theme of publicly praising God for what He has done. So here’s for today, a day started with exhaustion and too much to do, and I knew I was going to bite off everyone’s head unless something changed. It was a constant all-day running to Him and teetering on the edge… But even with Ezra working evenings we made it with His protection. Not perfectly but without snapping. God is good!
Psalm 71:3, Be to me a rock of habitation to which I may continually come.

The Munchkins// how are they growing so fast? Ellie is standing and saying a few words; S is starting to play pretend and invite us along.

June

Writing this post made me realize how full June was! It was mostly full of just living, though, and was very enjoyable, the calm before all our summer travels!

2 June curry and garden salad 1
not being on 21DSD meant so much yummy food.

3 June curry pan 3
set aside some curry for curry pan.

3 June curry pan 5
someone at a garage sale was desperately trying to get rid of all this stoneware and gave it to us free. Ezra felt bad telling them we didn’t need it all so we have since given some of it away.

6 June picnic 3
she found my Tintin books and will read them for hours.

7 June prep for Penni s class
a highlight of the month was playing oboe for a friend’s music appreciation class and accompanying her on piano for a Vivaldi Cello sonata. It wasn’t really a performance but I haven’t done anything performance-like since last April so it was a lot of fun and I enjoyed the mental challenge of performing again, and had fun trying to think of how to make oboe interesting to middle schoolers.

13 June Disc Golf Date Night 1
testing out Dave’s Killer Bagels (stick with the bread), and happiness that my small cast iron skillet is the perfect size for eggs in bagels.

13 June Disc Golf Date Night 2
date night success! The weather held and we got to play 9 holes of disc golf (Ezra beat me by a lot) and have a picnic.

13 June sunset 2
sunsets here are so colorful.

18 June Kenneally Graduation 1
we’d had a whirlwind trip down to Ezra’s family’s the week before, but the girls and I made the trip down to celebrate my cousins’ graduation on Father’s Day (the morning after Ezra & S went to a daddy daughter dance. She still talks about it!). They did so well in the car!

18 June Kenneally Graduation 2
So proud of her!

20 June 2
She hates the wind, and chooses the back of the stroller to avoid it (and to avoid being buckled).

21 June summer 1
we had corn on the cob and made cornhusk dolls.

21 June summer 2
our overgrown peony plants needed trimming.

22 June summer 1
Ezra found some early blackberries on his way back from work

22 June summer 2
let my bread rise in the sun!

22 June summer 5
summer in a crust

24 June Ezra birthday 6
we celebrated Ezra’s birthday

24 June Ezra birthday 7
He asked for shwarma and falafel

25 June 1
At Bible study we were talking about which way the TP should go… and one woman said “it goes UNDER because then your five year old won’t spin it out!” Well… our 9 month old pulls it I guess (and bites it).

26 June Simon the Baby bunny
Our “pet,” Simon the Baby Bunny. He has been eating our sunflowers.

26 June 1
She adores our field guide and we are always looking things up or she will look through it and ask what things are.

29 June haircut and paletas 8
we decided it was time to cut her hair… with the weather warming up it was getting so tangled and matted. This is the before!

29 June haircut and paletas 15
Showing off her paleta – we’ve been reading about them in a book and she is obsessed.

30 June hair cut 3
I said I wouldn’t get emotional but that was a lie.

30 June pizza date night 5
in-house date afternoon: a late lunch of pizza, since the first time we’d used our pizza stones I had really struggled with the process so we did it together to perfect our technique.

Hymns of the month// brushing up on A Mighty Fortress, and learning The Love of God.

favorite recipes// Moroccan chicken with preserved lemons (I had some preserved lemons left from a Jerusalem recipe and this turned up for using them up!) // Japanese curry bread (the ultimate comfort food) // stuffed zucchini – kousa mahshi // mezze cake – a fun idea, though we prefer it all separate // frozen whipped jello (a favorite warm weather treat) // vegetarian shepherd’s pie // flourless chocolate protein waffles // cheesy garlic spaghetti squash with herbs // flourless chocolate mug cake // lasagna stuffed burritos (a fun novelty for once, though we said we’d prefer one or the other) // cheese fondue (added more garlic) // this dried out quickly but was otherwise a tasty plantain chocolate cake. This one was moister but otherwise not great so I may try to combine the two // sweet potato cakes // batbout – stovetop pita bread // German onion pie (YUM) // fragrant roasted zucchini // summer vegetable chili // pumpkin cake with butterscotch chips (made for Ezra’s birthday) // learned how to make hollandaise sauce // yummy cream cheese frosting (naturally sweetened. I added a couple tablespoons of milk) // biscuit tricks // Indian omelet // bacon lime sweet potato salad // carrot & date muffins (date-sweetened) // not great as cake but delicious as banana muffins (not enough “crumb” to smash) // pizza sauce //

best of online//  Righteous anger: Egypt’s Christians respond to ISIS // free date night ideas – some really cheesy, others that have made it on our list! // zero-waste produce storage (inspiring) // Caesar, Uncle Sam, and Servants of God // the week my tears ran out //homemade paint // tragedy and injustice and Philando Castille // recalibrating – I love her blog and her first podcast episode & this post really resonated with me and where I’m at right now and why I blog // Matisyahu – One Day // all children are different – focus on the heart // Cling to Christ (looking at Jacob wrestling with God) // Myth of Maternal Bliss // Beginner’s Guide to Night Sky Photography // 40 must-see photos from the past // 40 maps that help explain the Middle East // 15 Things I want to tell my third culture kids // gorgeous photos //

thinking about// industrious vs life-giving home // expecting kids to sin and need to be parented // laughing at the future comes via a CHOICE of choosing to look at God and not the waves of what is/has been/could be //

what brings joy//
The Munchkins// Ellie is cruising, clapping, and dancing. S talks more and more “properly” every day and people are her caffeine.

May

 photo 1 May - Deception Pass with Daddy 32_zpszxlnex8b.jpg
A wet, rainy hike we took while my dad was visiting.
 photo 1 May - Deception Pass with Daddy 39_zpsudrbjgkw.jpg
It is really nice to have so much hiking close enough for day trips and even some morning or evening hikes.
 photo 1 May - Deception Pass with Daddy 29_zpsnafaxcqi.jpg
We also saw an otter!
 photo 1 May - Deception Pass with Daddy 20_zpsz9uajpdq.jpg

 photo 18 May 1_zpsrqjfoi4x.jpg
breakfast & a great read. Ellie and I have been getting up before S lately and I love having a few minutes to exercise, read, or make breakfast before it gets too crazy.

 photo 26 May - Uncle Nate 5_zpsovt5qtmu.jpg
We all loved having my brother here for a few days. S loved that he could help her climb higher than mommy can. 😉 After he left, Ezra’s mom and one of his sisters came up for a few days. The timing of all the visits was perfect, especially as Ellie had been having a lot of bad nights so that meant I didn’t have to be exhausted AND chasing the girls all day because they were having so much fun playing with Uncle Nate, Grandma, and Aunt Susannah.

 photo 29 May 2 - Handel and his mommy by S_zpshtcxhshy.jpg
“Handel and his mommy,” by S.

 photo 29 May 3_zpsybavnspi.jpg
reintroducing food after the 21 Day Sugar Detox has been a rollercoaster because we never pinpointed what was giving me trouble, but I have really enjoyed not feeling limited and making some of the recipes I saved during the detox or have had saved for a while.

 photo 6 May 2_zpsedpbsfc2.jpg
I love the fallen petals, especially when it seems like it’s snowing.

 photo 4 May - cookies for neighbors 5_zpsl25hwsab.jpg
While I was on the 21DSD, Ezra and S made cookies to take to neighbors that just moved in. He felt bad if I made them since I couldn’t eat them… But then he grabbed the masa instead of the white flour we keep for crafts, which led to some frustration but they still turned out! And surprisingly, I had no cookie cravings, though I was tempted to freeze some dough to bake later.
Then we delivered them just as a thunderstorm was starting, and afterwards hung out in our garage watching the rain and lightening. S asked, “where’s the flashlight in the sky, papa?”

We also went camping, but I put those photos in another post.
And I took no photos, but made soap this month for the first time!

And we went OUT for a date for the first time since Christmas… only to prove that we totally fail at out of the house date night. Our last 3:
– before Ellie was born Hannah stayed with a sleeping S and we went out… But the only place still open in walking distance was McDonald’s because we had forgotten that we were going to go out that night and S had gotten to bed late.
– at Christmas we went into town and wandered around then got soup and a milkshake we were only half interested in.
– this time, we were going to go to a ballroom dance class, but arrived to find out it was cancelled so we drove around town but everything non food was closed because it’ s such a small town so we came home and watched a movie before picking up the girls, and were going to have kale chips but I burned them.

Hymns of the month// neither are really hymns, but we were working on the Getty’s “A Mother’s Prayer,” and then I wanted to learn “Goodnight, my Angel,” so we did those this month.

favorite recipes// Thai red curry paste (no more paying $3 for 4 Tbsp…) // beef enchilada bake – I used chicken; it needs about twice the amount of sauce though // banana ice cream // AIP pizza – though I didn’t like it as pizza, but as tortillas // slow roasted pork shoulder // paleo spaghetti and meatballs – no almond flour and one less egg for 2/3 recipe of the meatballs // cheese enchiladas // my sister-in-law and mother-in-law came to visit and Susannah is on a keto diet so I made these and they turned out pretty well! // pumpkin plantain pancakes // Thai sweet potato curry // French Toast Mug // raw buckwheat porridge – this was really good but not that easily digested // savory spinach muffins //

best of online//  hair detangler so I can stop threatening to cut S’s // I am not really a fan of the chatty-style in podcasts, but I really do like Risen Motherhood. This one on getting in the Word as a mom of littles and this one on finding your mama tribe were really encouraging // how to raise an alien child // myths about making soap and the “recipe” I used // Show me my cross // No or Not Yet (this is so encouraging to me after PPD, both the comments on Jesus in the Garden and when God says “no” to our prayers) //

It’s already partway through Ramadan, but to join in praying here’s one prayer guide.

reading of late// Genius of Ancient Man // Messy Grace (Kaltenbach) // Better Late than Early // Holy Labor // None Like Him (Jen Wilkin)

Kids’ books we enjoyed//  lots of Ezra Jack Keats this month!

thinking about// Ellie’s separation anxiety and how my relationship with God should be that way // feeling behind or like there’s not enough time – but there’s enough time ot do His will/what He has for me/what He wants me to do

what brings joy// waking up slowly in a tent in the forest // dairy // having family in our home // surprise day of peace and quiet // S & Ellie shrieking and playing together

The Munchkins// I love seeing how similar they are and how different their personalities are turning out to be. Both girls are so social and high-energy, but Ellie is more nervous around strangers than S was. She’s also more snuggly and more stubborn.

writing// I finally finished my poem. It’s over on apricotpie.

April

 photo 10 April - library and Hungry Planet 15_zpszinlizno.jpg
Love our backyard!

 photo 10 April - library and Hungry Planet 1_zpsxviy3rib.jpg
finishing some tea my friend brought us from China

 photo 5 April 2_zpsy2tyoekf.jpg
The rain cover we paid $50 for barely works but the umbrella my Aunt gave us that they got for free works perfectly.

 photo 8 April - ladies retreat 3_zpsvhx9g8k1.jpg
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.

 photo 11 April 6_zpsn1493cxi.jpg
Ellie has learned how to get into the toy bins.

 photo 14 April 2_zpsgfulj9io.jpg
homemade nutella on homemade bread

 photo 16 April - Resurrection Day 1_zpsrradhq1g.jpg
another use for homemade nutella

 photo 18 April 4_zpsqjos2tox.jpg
turban squash – unstuffed, and stuffed
 photo 18 April 5_zps4g9zw11g.jpg

 photo 16 April - Resurrection Day 31_zpseolg0afe.jpg
she’s like a dwarf in Smaug’s lair with the rocks at the beach

 photo 21 April - backyard 1_zpsddghppae.jpg
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!

 photo 19 April 2_zpsdsqc3q7e.jpg
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!

 photo 22 April 20_zpserwrmepb.jpg
we’ve had more sunny days lately

 photo 23 April 1_zps4mybhbac.jpg
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.

 photo 24 April 5_zpsbqam4shy.jpg
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.

 photo 24 April 8_zpsfhsxzfev.jpg
so… Tillamook makes mint chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches.

 photo 29 April - daddy and milk donation 1_zpsw0sv2bdp.jpg
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.

 photo 30 April - gramma and grampa 5_zpsjxnllzqg.jpg
my dad stopped by for a few days and my grandparents drove over to see us all.

 photo 30 April - gramma and grampa 3_zpssgmqilly.jpg
And S had been asking for another tea party so we had a brunch tea party.

 photo 21 April - backyard 19_zpsot4tjqf8.jpg
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.

 photo 14 April 7_zpsuv2nryah.jpg
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.

March

March felt so long! Looking back at photos from the beginning of the month I can’t believe it was just the beginning of March that stuff happened.

 photo 2 March - Lou and Cathys visit  6_zps8zqvrbjy.jpg
after talking about it for about 2 years we finally got one and spent the rest of the month testing it out.

 photo 4 March 4_zpshinekgnn.jpg
tiny pinecones

 photo 5 March 4_zpslqtt95nd.jpg
church starts at 1 PM so we play games in the morning after brunch
 photo 5 March 1_zpsxnsoilie.jpg
Yorkshire puddings before they deflated

 photo 5 March 5_zpslp1javng.jpg
testing out some different ice cream making methods.

 photo 9 March 7_zpskqix62sz.jpg
our morning plans fell through so we had a tea party

 photo 13 March 4_zpskirja4ar.jpg

 photo 13 March 1_zpsgmzhhhb2.jpg
Ezra surprised me with the whole wheat cinnamon rolls from the local coffee shop.

 photo 14 March - Pi day 6_zpsswkgegbv.jpg
pi day: tamale pie & lemon meringue pie

 photo 14 March - Pi day 7_zpsznad70wl.jpg
a crochet project that finally went right

 photo 20 March 3_zps2xsyh7nb.jpg
we did a craft with some footprints, and this was my way of keeping S out of trouble while I did Ellie’s… letting her have the ink on her own paper!

 photo 24 March 3_zpspu3ns046.jpg
deep frying some dandelion flowers!

 photo 27 March - storytime 8_zpsvcutejai.jpg
enjoying our field guide!

 photo 29 March 1_zpsnct6cbqy.jpg
she adores za’atar.

 photo 29 March 3_zpswvn07fsv.jpg
these squirrels are evil. They’ve eaten all the heads off of our bulbs and even dug up garlic (which they supposedly hate). I’m not sure how we’re going to have a garden.

 photo 29 March 6_zpsqyjktqy9.jpg
loving seeing our neighborhood come alive!

 Hymns of the month// memorizing: Day by Day // brushing up on: Hallelujah, What a Savior!

favorite recipes// chocolate avocado pudding // raw chocolate snack bars (more like dessert and it made an 8×8) // chocolate cashew ice cream // making ice cream without a machine // grain free Yorkshire puddings // egg-free grain-free breakfast cake // happy adrenal power smoothie // rosemary seminola olive oil bread // healthy caramel pumpkin dip // tamale pie // lentil spinach pancakes – not just for toddlers // homemade coconut milk // peanut sesame slaw // slowcooker baked beans – just don’t add tomato till the beans are cooked! // endurance crackers // cake batter balls // closest thing I’ve come to “real” paleo fudge //

best of online// x-plan giving your kids a way out // the light at the end of the tunnel // why kids ask why // bare naked gratitude // a curse for us – the death of Christ (sermon) //ever wondered the best way to store bread? //if you give a toddler lunch //15 Things I want to tell my TCK// real history of St. Patty’s AND Should Christians celebrate St Patrick’s Day? adoption and the destruction of biological children // 10 Opportunities to talk to your child about God //when the Potter is for us //cleaning glass shower doors // how to practice effectively //Man, Woman, and the Mystery of Christ // the case for minor keys // cleaning your washing machine // we enjoyed listening to Mendelssohn’s St. Paul //

thinking about// what my kids REAL needs are – not what they, I, or others perceive them to be

what brings joy// donating pumped milk to an adopting family // local eggs from a Joel Salatin-style farm // giggles

writing// I have been working on a poem but it mostly just sits untouched…