Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Lessons from little ones

A little thing happened yesterday that stopped to make me think. I'm not even sure what the exact situation was, but Tim was trying to help Reuben with something, and he (Reuben) kept fighting him on it because he didn't understand what Tim was trying to do. So finally, I said to him, "Reuben, stop yelling. Daddy's just trying to help you."

Then it occurred to me, how often do we find ourselves in the same situation with our Heavenly Father? Life brings us into difficult and challenging situations; God pushes us out of our comfort zone and leads us down various paths -- all for our own good -- but we don't understand what He's doing for us, that He's trying to help us. And so we fight back, not realizing that if we would listen to Him, if we would follow His leading and His instructions, that it will be okay in the end because He really does know best.

Just a little thought I had...

(...and for the record, I did remember to sweep my floor last night!)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Some things I've been working on...

Well, the kids are napping, and I'm heading up for a quick snooze shortly, but I thought I'd get a quick post in while I've got a minute. There's so many things that I keep thinking to write about lately that I'm having a hard time sorting out what to say. One of these days I should probably just sit down and make a list of future posts.

In a continuation of my new goals for improving my homemaking skills, I thought I'd talk about some of the things I'm trying to work on. Two tips that I read from the blogs on my list include sweeping the floor every night after supper and making the beds every morning before going downstairs. So far, I've done pretty good at remembering to make the beds, although Reuben's bed always gets messed up from him playing on it and napping in the afternoon. I'm not doing as good at sweeping the kitchen floor, but the ants are doing a great job of making me motivated to keep the floor crumb free. If I leave anything tasty down there overnight, they've found it by morning, and I end up sweeping ants along with the dirt. Ick.

My next project is to attempt to start making homemade bread instead of buying it. Since I don't have a breadmaker, this might be a little work-intensive. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 27, 2010

About Homemaking...

Some of you may have wondered about a few of the blogs I've got posted on my blogroll and how so many of them are starting to be about homemaking. Well, it's been on the back of my mind for a while, and starting to be more at the front of my mind lately, that I want to get better at this whole being a housewife thing. I remember as a kid all I wanted was to get married and have kids. But now that it's happened, I've come to realize that I actually had no idea what all of that entailed. Life at home all day with the kids is not what I expected -- except that I don't really know what I was expecting.

Anyway, the point is that recently I've decided that I want to get better at being a good wife and mother; I want to be a better homemaker. This is my job, my mission that God has given me, and frankly, up till now, I've been doing a piss poor job of it. Sure, there's the standard excuse, "I've got two kids to take care of. I can't expect my house to be perfectly clean." And I don't. But there's not really any good reason to have my kitchen floor covered with crumbs for weeks at a time. Is it such a big deal to sweep up every night after supper? No, it's not.

So I've been reading blogs from other women who have made homemaking their career, and I've started to realize that it is a great source of encouragement to read about other women in the same situation as me, who have the same struggles as me, and I've found that some of them have some spectacular advice and tips on doing what it takes to keep the house running smoothly.

So that's why there's these homemaking blogs on my blogroll. Who knows? Maybe if I get better at posting stuff here on my blog, I'll go public again, and they might start reading here, too. We'll see...

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Meet our van

This is a very nice picture of our new vehicle. It's not an actual picture because we still have to pick it up yet, but we have paid for it, and the used car dealer is taking care of switching over the ownership etc. We should have it no later than Thursday, although I'm hoping we'll get it sooner. Ours is, of course, used and therefore not in as good condition as this picture, but I think it will suit us fine. It is a 2004 Ford Freestar with a little over 120,000 kms on it. There are no current plans to provide it with any sort of name.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Of wine touring and new homes...

We're just back from a lovely afternoon of wine touring with some friends. It was the first wine tour we'd ever done, and I quite enjoyed it. The tours were informative, the wine samples flowed freely, and I think a good time was had by all. I would definitely recommend it if you've never gone on one.

I will admit, though, that now that I'm here at home and looking back over the day, I don't remember having any particular moments of revelation. Which feels weird. I think my brain got shut off at some point, and I just went through the day being with the people and enjoying the wine, but not thinking about anything. That is so not like me. I'm not sure if I quite like it.

Anyway, enough being maudlin. In more exciting news, we finalized an offer on a house today! That's right! We're buying a house! It's in Stoney Creek, a lovely little 1 1/2 storey detached home with three bedrooms and a garage. It's perfect for us I think, and we got it for a good price, too. The closing date is Oct 15, and we should have a bit of overlap time from when we get the keys to when we need to move out of our current place, which will give us time to clean and paint etc.

We haven't found a new vehicle yet, though. Hopefully that will come soon...

Friday, August 13, 2010

Easy Chicken & Broccoli

I made this for supper tonight.

I've made this several times before. It's one of my favorite quick and easy recipes. The only thing is that you MUST add salt and pepper or else it ends up totally bland. I usually add two or three pinches of salt (yes, pinches) and about a 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of pepper. Also, I find it works better to wait to add the cheese until you are absolutely certain the rice is cooked all the way through. I don't find the five minutes is quite enough time, so I will often stir it at that point, then let it cook some more. Once it's done, I'll put the cheese on to melt while I set the table to eat and call everyone to sit down. It stays super hot, so you don't have to worry about it cooling down too much too soon after you take it off the stove. DON'T BURN YOUR MOUTH ON THE BROCCOLI!!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Caramelized Beef Skewers

I made these for lunch today.

They were very tasty. They definitely need to be eaten soon after being taken off the bbq because they cool down quickly. If you click on the picture, it will take you to the recipe. I have done this for all the previous food pictures I've posted as well. For the record, I have taken my own pictures of the skewers. However, our computer had to be rebuilt today, and Tim is gone, so I have no idea how to get the program on our computer to get the pictures off our camera. You'll have to wait to see how mine actually turned out.

Also, for all who may be yet unaware, we have decided that instead of fixing our car (which needs a new transmission to the tune of $2,000) we are going to buy a new-to-us van. Unfortunately, Tim is gone for work till next Tuesday or Wednesday, so I am currently driving a rental car until he gets a chance to go out and find something for us. Not that I'm complaining. I get to drive this:

It's a 2009 Chevrolet Cobalt with AIR CONDITIONING!! Anyway, I need to go to bed now because it's late, but I just thought I would share.

Sunday, August 08, 2010

Saucy Pepper Steak

I'm in Chatham for the weekend while Tim is out on a run, and last night for supper I made Saucy Pepper Steak.

It was very yummy.

In other news, our car broke the other day while we were on the way to bringing Tim to work. Thankfully, and quite ironically, I had to drop him off at an auto shop where he was picking up the truck for work that had been brought there for service. The shifter on our car stopped working just on the last hill before we got there, and we were able to coast into their parking lot. We have to wait until Monday for someone to take a look at it and give us a verdict, but it looks like we may need a new transmission. Ugh.

Friday, August 06, 2010

BBQ Chicken Packets

Wow! I was so impressed to have three comments already on my previous post! I can't believe people actually check my blog that often.

In honor of that, I'm actually posting two days in a row. It helps that I tried a new recipe for lunch today, so that's my main reason. This is what we had:

Barbecued Chicken Packet

It was quite tasty. When they say 15 minutes on the bbq, they mean 15 minutes. Don't leave it on longer because you're worried about it not being done. I left it on slightly longer, and I didn't need to. Also, we (Tim and I) decided that more bbq sauce would be better as well, or maybe some salt and pepper on the chicken. Either way, the chicken needed slightly more flavor. All in all, an extremely easy meal to make, not at all ingredient-intensive, and I would definitely recommend trying it.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Some yumminess

Isn't it funny how I say I'm going to get better at posting regularly, and then I never do? The problem is that every time I have a spare moment to post something, I'm not feeling particularly inspired. And then, of course, the times when I am inspired, I'm nowhere near my computer, or the kids are up, and I couldn't get the time to post if I wanted.

Anyway, life moves on. We are currently in the middle of a ridiculously hot spell of weather. I was appalled this morning when I heard the weather on the radio, and at 10:30 am it was 24C, but felt like 33C. I haven't left my house since about 11, and I'm a little concerned how much hotter it's going to be now. Even worse, I have to actually get into my car, which has a black interior and no air conditioning, and drive to pick up my kids. Ugh. So much for my shower...

Besides the weather, the kids are doing well. Reuben loves to tell stories about anything and everything, and boy, does he have a lot of words to use up! Kaylee says "Mama" now and has begun making babbling noises, so I fear she is not far behind him. She walks everywhere and even looks like she's about to take off running on occasion. She is sleeping generally better, but occasionally still has a rough night where she's up two or three times. I consider it a good night if she's only up once. (It's an even greater night when she sleeps all the way through, like last night, but those are few and far between.)

I've gone on a bit of a domestic kick lately, which means my dishes sometimes actually get done twice a day instead of just the customary once in the morning. I've also had some fun going through my Kraft What's Cooking magazines, and I've picked out some new recipes to try. I've been getting them for years, and I always look through them thinking, "Oh, that looks yummy. Oh, I should make that." But then, I never do because I'm always missing one of the ingredients. So I decided to go through them and pick out some recipes BEFORE I get my groceries so that I can make sure I have what I need in the house. Maybe I'll have to use that as my inspiration for posting more, letting you all know the new and yummy things I've been making. Here's some pics (from the Kraft website) of the recipes I've tried so far.

Southwestern Stuffed Burgers

Garden Vegetable Salad Stackers

Oreo & Fudge Ice Cream Cake

Chicken Berry Spinach Salad