Audrey’s first food

First we finally got around to getting some rice cereal in the house…

Then big sister did a great job trying to get the food in…

Then Audrey said, “I’ll send that back out thank you very much”. It wasn’t a big hit, just thought we’d give it a try since she’s been waking up more at night lately. Oh well, we’ll sleep in a few months years.

Not Me Monday!

After reading (and enjoying) MckMama’s “Not Me Monday” every week, I decided to throw in my own list this week. Her tag line is “Being brutally honest and living to tell about it”. Here are the many things I so did not do this week.

I did not…

Have to explain to my 5 year old the difference between pajamas and nice pajamas when she noted that I had gotten dressed in new clothes one morning, but was alas still in pajamas. Not me, I get dressed for real every single day.

Go so long without washing my hair that I thought I had lice and obsessively combed through every strand…but actually just had really dirty hair. That is disgusting, I definitely did not do that.

Bath our children, put them in jammies and then feed them (frozen pizza) dinner by 5 pm because they were falling apart to the extreme.

Want to mark the day off on my calendar as ‘done’ by lunchtime 3 days ago. The day was that good.

Go to sleep every day without even washing my face, even days with makeup. I know how bad that is for my complexion.

Get poop (not my own) on my jeans three days out of the last five, certainly not me.

Spend the evenings with an ice pack taped onto to my sore wrist. Not me, I’m not in incredible pain every single day…maybe denial is the key to my relief?

Make cupcakes out of the boxed mix AND use the canned frosting, yuck-no way!

Eat three of said cupcakes in 5 minutes.

Let my kids play chubby bunny with enormous grapes at the dinner table, of course not, they have perfect table manners.

Drive around for an hour wasting gas trying to pass the morning after being up most of the night with various children (and no husband home to help).

Avert my car-missing one headlight-from 3 police cars last night in the prideful hopes of continuing my lifelong streak of never being pulled over by a cop.

Forget to take a single picture of Rylee’s last day of soccer because I was busy calming tired and exasperated other children.

Eat a McDonald’s McGriddle sandwich on the hour long, gas wasting trip mentioned about. No way, those 600 calorie monsters are nasty, I would never eat one.

Below is evidence of me not letting the kids play ‘stuff as many grapes in your mouth and see who can utter a coherant sentence’ along with Kyler showing me his pizza (note his pj’s) and as soon as I snapped the pic, his plate tipped and he lost his meal to the not-so-clean kitchen floor.

That’s about it, I feel much better now-happy Monday!

Greedy squirrels and a homeless man’s prayer

How’s that for random? Welcome to my world. One minute I’m getting bit by a two year old so hard it breaks my skin through a thick sweatshirt and tears instantly stream down my face from the pain and surprise. The next I’m laying in bed with Caleb and he whispers a quiet prayer after mine-I ask what exactly he prayed not having been able to quite hear it. He says, louder-for me to hear: “I prayed for you to understand me. Sometimes you don’t understand me.” I am still processing the incredible truth of his words.

Earlier today we went outside to bring some applesauce to our neighbor, they gifted us with an enormous bag of fresh walnuts two days ago. They had just been picked in Eastern Washington. He warned me to keep them outside and to burn the shells since he’d found black widow eggs in the shells many times before. I was sure to do that and waited for time to crack the nuts with my left, not disabled hand. I noticed this morning a couple were missing, I saw a squirrel with a whole walnut in his mouth. I thought how nice that we could share our nuts with them, they did after all have the difficult task of storing up food for winter right?

They must have told all their friends about our walnuts. In no time at all, they had removed every last walnut from our sack. I was shocked how it went from a couple missing to none left, there were over a hundred huge, whole walnuts to begin with. Greedy little buggers!

______________________________________________________________________________________________

For a myriad of reasons, I ventured to the doctor this morning, the naturopathic physician to discuss kid issues, my hand, and a half a dozen other things. On my way there I was stopped on the exit ramp at a red light. The same homeless guy who is almost always standing there was leaning on a pole next to my car. His sign read “Homeless and hungry. Please Help. Need Mech job”. I rarely have much cash but vowed to pull my one dollar bills out and give them to him. I rolled my window down, handed him the money and said “God bless you” like I always do. Then I roll the window up.

Only today I didn’t roll it up.

Me: “My husband is looking for a job too. It’s hard times for a lot of people isn’t it?”

Homeless guy (walking close to my car to talk): “Oh yes, it sure is. People think I get rich standing out here. I used to make twenty, thirty bucks a day. Enough to do my laundry, get some food, take the bus (to and from the shelter downtown). Just yesterday I stood out here over 5 hours, didn’t get a single penny.”

Me: “That must have been really hard.” (Now thinking that my current uncertainty is really nothing in comparison to the lifestyle that is staring me in the face-literally)

Homeless guy: “Yeah, I mean I know people need to eat and all and do what’s best for their family but man it’s hard.”

Me (at a loss for words, I bet it’s hard, really, I have no idea how hard it is to sleep in a shelter and hope for enough spare change to get some cheap food at McDonald’s): “I hope today is a better day.”

Homeless guy: “Me too. What’s your husband’s first name?”

Me (looking puzzled)

Homeless guy: “What’s his first name? So I can say a prayer for him to find a job.”

Me (humbled beyond my imagination): “Chris. His name is Chris. What’s your name, I’ll do the same for you.”

Homeless guy: “Scott, thank you. Bless you.”

Me? No, bless you. I may think a lot is at stake in my life. I may feel afraid (I do, every day), of what’s to come. I may wonder where we might live if things don’t work out the way I want them to. But really, seriously-my parents, my sisters, my friends would help us with food or a place to stay or anything else we TRULY needed. We actually will be just fine, whatever that might look like. We will be together and we will be thankful.

We are accustomed to such over abundance in this culture, in this country. So much is unnecessary. This morning’s divine encounter with a man named Scott was an incredible reminder for me of what matters.

Food, clothes, transportation and shelter.

That’s about it.

Pretty simple isn’t it?

4 more things

I guess it is my turn in this little blog game we have going on.  Thank you to Daniel for the nod.

 

4 things I was doing 10 years ago:
1-trying to figure out how I was going to pay for a diamond ring
2-trying to figure out what it meant to be a pastor
3-burning both ends of a candle – balancing an engagement, full time work at a church, and full time enrollment in college
4-learning to play guitar

4 things on my to-do list for today:
1-find a job
2-read a book about church planting
3-clean out my car
4-schedule a date with Rylee

4 (+1) random things I love about my wife:
1-even when I act like a rotten, no good husband, she still loves me
2-she is the most amazing mother of the four beautiful gifts that God has given us
3-she desperately just wants to love God and love the people God has put into her life and she does this so incredibly well
4-she has incredible insights into life, people, and situations and is not afraid to share them
5-she’s a hottie

4 jobs that I have had:
1-I worked a summer for ALCOA making a bazillion spreadsheets
2-I once sold something on Ebay
3-I stocked shelves for QFC in Redmond
4-Wedding Officiant

4 movies I have watched more than once:
1-Top Gun (although it has been a while…the fascination might have worn off)
2-The Princess Bride
3-The Usual Suspects
4-Braveheart

4 favorite albums:
1-U2 – All That You Can’t Leave Behind
2-David Crowder – Remedy
3-Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
4-Dave Matthews – Under the Table & Dreaming

4 places I have lived:
1-in my family’s house in Redmond, WA
2-in a couple different dorm rooms at Western WA Univ…Slick Sewick and the calculator running through Red Square…good times.
3-In the married housing at Northwest College where we got to watch the Hawks practice
4-a townhome in the armpit of Kirkland

4 places I’ve been:
1-On the Summit of Mt. Rainier
3-Hurtling through the sky on a reverse bungee in Aukland, New Zealand on New Year’s Eve.
4-On The Autobahn in Germany
3-At the Tower of London trying to get one of the Queen’s Guard to crack a smile…didn’t work.

4 places I want to visit:
1-Maui – Again…I can’t get enough.  Sand+Surf+Sun=happy me.  Maybe we can survive the road to Hana this time.
2-New Zealand – I still regret not bungee jumping on the first trip…
3-The Mediterranean – spcifically the coast of Turkey
4-The summit of all the major peaks in Washington

4 TV shows I watch via DVD:
1-The Office
2-Prison Break
3-24
4-Lost

4 (+1) of my favorite meals:
1-Grilled Salmon
2-Grilled Steak
3-Pretty much anything that comes from Karissa’s kitchen, she is an amazing cook!
4-The Banzai Burger at Red Robin
5-Bekki’s guacamole

4 things you may not know about me:
1-I coach Rylee’s soccer team and right now we are 3-1-1 (but we don’t keep score)
2-I graduated with a B.A. in History (summa cum laude for those keeping score at home)
3-My thumbs are mostly ornamental, however, I recently installed a garbage disposal and it still works…
4-I used to play trumpet in Jazz band

I get to continue the madness by “tagging” four other people.  Although Zach and Stuart don’t typically write on their blogs, I thought it would be great to see their 4 things…so please indulge us.
Zach
Stuart
Joel
Meredith

-Chris

The B Hunt

Let me first explain that this week is “L” week for school. Last week was “B” week. We start the week by going on a hunt for everything that starts with the letter of the week and make a list that we add to all week.

Caleb stumbled into my room groggy and still waking up. First thing out of his mouth?

“Mom, we’re on a B hunt and we forgot to add Tree and Levi to the list”.

I’m about as out of it as Caleb, Audrey is getting up a lot in the night all the sudden and wow was it hard to even open my eyes today after punishing my exhausted self by staying up till midnight canning more applesauce before the apples went bad. Caffeine IV drip anyone?

Anyone know how to make a tent?

So Paul was a tent-maker and on the side he started a bunch of churches, pretty cool if you ask me. I am certainly no Paul, nor do I know how to make tents, however, I am considering following in his foot steps. A dream that God had laid on my heart about a year ago might be coming into reality sooner than I had anticipated. Karissa and I are still trying to discern the right thing to do in the midst of my career change, but we are currently leaning toward planting a church and working outside the church while it is neccessary to do so. There are other ideas floating out there, but this is where our heart is currently. The only catch, I need to figure out how to get paid to make tents.

-Chris

Our fall family pumpkin adventure

  • Gearing up for our annual family pumpkin adventure with Dee Dee and Buzz and this year Isaac too!

    Kyler was serious in his anticipation of the tractor ride to the pumpkin field…

    But once we got there, he warmed up and had some lovin’ for his mama…

    Watching Caleb run free in the tall weeds, I told Christopher “If that boy had land and tasks every day, he’d probably never have another tantrum”. He is SO happy being free to roam and having a job to do-can you find him in this picture?

    His job? Finding tiny pumpkins hidden under huge leaves!

    Rylee loved the tire swing and wore out Dee Dee asking to be pushed…

    Puckering up for a fly-by kiss for Mama

    That’s about it-good fun had by all…what about number four? Not to be forgotten, Audrey enjoyed the day snuggled up with her Daddy in the frontpack!

    Is there life at 1am???

    It has been a while since Audrey has been up in the middle of the night for a prolonged time like she was last night.  What else would you do at 1AM other than customize your blog?  Hope you enjoy the change.

    I just got together recently with a group of fellas.  The motivation – talking life.  The Vehicle – smoking cigars.  So there we were sitting around with the smoke billowing up and the question was asked – If you had 100 Million Dollars what would you do? – the familiar question getting at what are you really wanting to do in life.  As the guys shared around the room it was obvious that although some of us were close, none of us were completely doing the things that we really wanted to do.  The follow up question was – why aren’t you doing what you really want to do?

    That conversation got me thinking about the place that the Lord has brought me to at this point in my life.  In many ways, He is clarifying His calling on my life.  Even at 1AM this morning holding Audrey, I felt God bring more clarifying insights into my future.  I now have a vision of a future, I am just waiting for the next steps between here and there.  I love that even in those moments where life should be a bit fuzzy (1AM), God pierces through the haze with His light and His compassion.

    -Chris

    Life

    Rylee stated matter-of-factly in the car yesterday that if we get another baby boy, we would have to move the carseats all around in the van. How very true I replied.

    Tonight as I tucked her in to bed, she jabbered on like she does every night, trying to get all her words out for the day.

    Rylee: “Mom, what if I had 300 babies when I grow up?”

    Me: “Wow, that would be a lot of babies.”

    Rylee: “You’d have to come help me take care of all the kids.”

    Me: “Yes I would, you would need lots of help.”

    Rylee: “There would be kids everywhere, we’d have to take everything out of the house and just make room for all of them. We’d have kids in the kitchen, in the cupboards, in every room. We could sort them by age.”

    Me (highly amused now, but just smiling-careful not to laugh): “It would be pretty crazy wouldn’t it?”

    Rylee: “Yeah, but fun.”

    That’s how I feel about our four-kid-life. It’s crazy and at the moment a lot feels uncertain and scary but it’s amazing at the same time. I’m glad Rylee understands one of our core family values. Life. Life in every form is a gift. Life in the form of babies is one we highly regard around here. They are a treasure beyond words.

    For all of you wondering if this is my subtle way of telling you something, you can stop wondering, definitely not. But don’t be surprised when I do…

    Whole wheat breakfast

    At my friend Kristin’s house yesterday, while the kids ate lunch, she generously ground me some fresh flour. She promised it would taste like nothing we’d ever had and that I could make anything with whole wheat. Even things that before had turned out flat or heavy or icky. So today we started with waffles. Wow. I was not disappointed. The last batch of whole wheat waffles I made were barely edible. These were amazing. Kristin educated me about whole wheat and fresh flour-as one who grew up enjoying it. She said I have to keep it in the fridge so it stays fresh and that flour sold at the store is often rancid which is why it makes crummy bread. I never knew, just thought I was a really bad bread maker. So here is my flour (and a window into my slightly neurotic, labeled world):

    And here is the recipe along with this mornings leftover waffles (mind you I doubled the recipe hoping for leftovers!):

    Whole Wheat Oat Waffles

    1 cup oats, blended into powder in blender
    1 1/8 cup milk
    3 T oil
    3 eggs
    ½ cup whole wheat flour (fresh if possible-second best is whole wheat pastry flour)
    1 T brown sugar
    1 tsp baking powder (must be fresh)
    ¼ tsp salt

    In a blender, blend oats then add milk, oil and eggs. Then add brown sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix well. Add flour, blend. Let sit 5 minutes then cook on hot waffle iron.