A Date with My Guy…

My little guy that is… Tonight Eric worked really really late (it happens one Saturday a quarter) so it was just me and the kids from wake up to bedtime today.  So after bathtime tonight, I put Emily Jane to bed and decided to have a movie party with Zechariah.  We got pillows and blankets on the sofa and had popcorn and hot apple cider.  It was so sweet!  We snuggled up to watch Aristocats (this is ‘A’ week) and had such a fun time.  We talked about the movie while it was going on and cuddled up hardcore.  I watched him get into parts of the story and saw his eyes light up when things made sense or entertained him.  I loved my special time with my little guy.  Near the end of the movie he fell asleep cuddling me and I carried him to bed when the movie was over.  I love my kids.  They are the sweetest, funniest, cutest people I know.  And yes.  I know that supposedly everyone says that about their kids.  But I don’t care.  They’re legitimately fun to be around.  They can snuggle like no other.  They are hilarious to be around.  AND they both have the most beautiful eyes.  You could get lost.  Anyway, I had a great date with my (little) guy and I can’t wait for our next one.  I love my sweethearts :)

Eric’s Stance on Homeschooling

It’s something we’ve talked about over and over and over and over and over again.  We’ve prayed, we’ve asked questions, we’ve done our homework, and we’ve listened to our gut.  And now, we think that we will be homeschooling our kids.  We don’t know for how long or when but basically we are just really open to the idea and at this point it looks like that’s what we’ll be doing.  That being said, I’ve decided that I really care a lot about education and don’t want to screw this up.  I don’t want to stick my kids back in traditional school after two years of homeschooling because I couldn’t hack it or my kids weren’t learning or we never got out of our pajamas.  If God leads us to a different decision we are completely OK with that.  I just don’t want to be the reason it wouldn’t work.  So I decided that I need practice.  Most kids go to preschool at 4.  Zechariah will be getting 2 year old and 3 year old preschool so we can get the practice.  Anyway, our first day is tomorrow.  And I’m SO nervous!  I’m worried that he’ll hate it or I’ll mess up or it’ll just be a horrible disaster.  Thank the Lord for His faithfulness!  This doesn’t all ride on me!  So I was sitting on the couch getting ready and being really nervous and tense.  Eric could tell how I was feeling.  We hadn’t really been talking and out of the blue he just came up to me, looked me straight in the eyes, and said, “Nicole, I want you to know that I’ve never been against the idea of us homeschooling our kids.”  “Really?”  “Yeah.  I just think it lines up with everything we want for them.  I think it would have been awesome to have learned from my mom.”  “Really?”  “Yeah.  Who else would you really want to learn from?”  Sigh.  My eyes started to get watery and my fears started to melt away.  Ever since we mentioned the idea, I’ve known he was on board but I’ve always wondered if I was really the one that cared the most.  Eric went on to talk about some of the key reasons that he really wants this for our family and it reassured me so much.  It’s hard to do something that is different than the norm.  Some people make their opinions very known and others are more subtle.  I’m sure there are other people that I perceive to be against the idea because of my own insecurities.  While I’ve never thought that Eric was against the idea, I hadn’t quite realized how important it was to him also.  It gave me so much more confidence knowing that this is not something I stand alone in and I really do have the only supporters that really matter.  I have God and I have Eric.  And for that I could not be more thankful.

Grocery Store Evangelist

Long story but REALLY good one!

So… Money has been a little tight around here lately.  And by tight I mean REALLY tight.  Anyway, we needed groceries.  We’re trying to commit to a healthy lifestyle and just swinging it on the beans and pasta that’s sitting around isn’t quite what we had pictured.  I had made a meal plan and coinciding grocery list.  Eric paid bills and looked at what money was left.  My grocery list included lots of fresh produce, diapers and wipes, salmon, two different kinds of fancy flour, and lots of other stuff.  Eric’s budget for groceries consisted of ninety dollars.  Yes.  $90.00.  Sigh.  Obviously not enough.  SO.  What was a girl to do?  Take stuff off the list?  Nah.

Eric and I decided to pray.  We set our grocery list on the counter with the money on top of it and prayed.  We told the money that in the name of Jesus Christ it would buy all of our groceries.  We put our hands on it and told it that it needed to submit to us because of the authority that Jesus Christ has given us in His name.  This is all a little new for us but we know that in the Bible we need to believe, confess, then receive.  We need to engage our faith and declare the miracle.  OK.  Done and done.  Both the faith part and the speaking part were difficult.  I always asked God for things but never told things what to do in the name of Jesus Christ.  So I didn’t ask.  I told.  I believed that it was God’s will for us to buy those groceries and I believed that God wanted to show how awesome He is by working a miracle for us.  We prayed and I went to the grocery store armed with list and calculator.

I started shopping and was pretty pumped when I got through most of the produce and the numbers hadn’t gotten too huge.  I fought off discouragement as I shopped more and saw the numbers jumping.  Fast.  At one point I was walking through the liquor aisle and saw a guy and a girl (maybe boyfriend and girlfriend but I don’t know).  They had a frozen pizza and chips and were buying liquor.  I thought for a second while watching them and realized that I’m so glad I’m not there anymore.  (This is by no means judging their purchases… I have purchased all of those things in the last several months or so).  I’m just glad.  I love where my life is and the journey from the broken girl that I once was to the healed woman that I am today.  Not that I have already achieved the goal but I’m walking with the Holy Spirit now and it’s incredible.  I just reflected.  Not really about them but just about me.  I kept walking.  The Holy Spirit practically yanked my head around to look at them again and I whispered ‘Jesus loves you.’ under my breath in their direction.  ‘Cause that’s good enough right?  Oh boy.  I knew what was coming.  They turned the opposite corner and I cruised up the other end of the store to talk to them.  But I was really hoping they’d just vaporize or something so I didn’t actually have to talk to them.  (Nice Nicole… Believing for a miracle but you don’t even want to tell someone that Jesus loves them?)  So I saw them up front in produce and started in their direction.  I felt like God wanted me to tell the guy the message but didn’t feel like it was for the girl.  I figured I’d just say it to both of them.  As I got closer the girl walked away to another area to get something else.  Sigh.  OK.  “Um, excuse me?”  “Yeah?”  “Uh, well… Um, I know this sounds crazy but, um, like, well… (face gets progressively hotter and redder throughout entire conversation) I was shopping and praying and like, God told me that He wanted me to tell you something that He had to say to you and, um, He, like, wanted me to tell you that He loves you very much and that whatever you’re going through right now, you’re safe and you’re going to be OK.  Whatever that means for you.  So, um, well, I hope that meant something.”  (genuinely)  “Thank you.”  “Yeah, uh…, bye.” (get away as fast as possible).  O boy.

I keep shopping and putting all the stuff from my list in my cart.  Applesauce wasn’t on my list but I grabbed it anyway.  At one point I hit equals and not the addition sign and lost my calculator total.  I guessed where I was but didn’t really know.  And I didn’t have a price for my zucchini.  And it still looked like I was going over.  But I kept faith and didn’t think about what I would put back if I went over.  At the checkout I saved the applesauce for last.  I didn’t have enough for the applesauce.  I got EVERYTHING on my list for $88.81.  That’s $1.19 to spare.  A dollar and nineteen cents.  A dollar and nineteen cents to spare.  And I got everything on the list and even organic fruits and milk and jam.  And I got the $4 tortilla wraps I like.  And salmon.  God did a miracle for me and He deserved at the very least a shout out.  So as I was paying I told the clerk and the lady behind me in line that money has been tight and we prayed over our money and I could only spend $90 and I hit $88.81 and the lady said good job and I said I didn’t do it, God did.  We prayed and it happened.  The guy didn’t seem to be a Christian and sort of poo-pooed it.  He said you got some fish and bread.  You didn’t think you could get a loaf of bread and some fish for ninety bucks?  I left the store praising Jesus and in my car realized what the cashier had said.  A loaf of bread and some fish.  Jesus sorta has a history going with the bread and fish miracles.  I hadn’t even mentioned the bread to that guy.  That’s just what he saw.  Praise the Lord.  My God is mighty and awesome.  He cares about my groceries.  He cares about that cashier.  He cares about you.  He cares about the details of our lives.  Every ninety dollar detail. 

Grocery store evangelist?  I never would have thought so but maybe that is my mission field.  Recently I’ve been praying that God would start to provide the finances and put people in front of me at the grocery store who need their groceries paid for.  I guess God really does care that even this busy stay at home mom gets to share her love for Jesus.

My Birthday

Well I had a pretty interesting birthday this year.  It started off with 3 hours of sleep last night and got more interesting when my 2 year old threw up all over my living room and kitchen after Eric left for work.  Sigh.  It was that kind of day for the most part.  And Emily Jane was in an off kind of mood because she was up late last night.  So.  That was fun.  Another sigh.

But then at dinner time Anna and mom and dad Thayer came over and brought dinner from the Grand Traverse Pie Company (I had the Cherry Chicken salad - Awesome!) and spent time hanging out over here.  They gave me wonderful gifts and helped restore my sanity ;)  I also got to skype with my family and enjoyed phone calls from them.  Thankful for the gifts and the Jimmy John’s delivery for lunch.  So all in all, it ended up being a good day.

Here’s one of my gifts (the only one I have in hand):

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I’m in farmgirl heaven!  Like Eric said… It already looks like it’s classic.  It looks like a farmer would keep a copy in his barn.  The sections in the book are Animals, Cooking, Crafts, Gardening, Health and Wellbeing and Home.  I am so excited to delve in!  It’s super small print and there are SO many things I know I’ll never even notice!  Anyway, it’s pretty cool and makes me a happy hippee girl!

A Night Out for a Mommy

So tonight was my night out.  No kids.  No husband.  (I do not need time away from my husband because he is my best friend and I miss him even when I’m doing something fun without him.  But either way, no husband tonight.)  So it was my night out.

I went to Max and Erma’s with 4 other moms from my mom’s group and we ate dinner and talked for about 2 hours.  It was great.  I had a really good time with really good friends.  And my awesome friend Dina bought my dinner because it’s my birthday tomorrow!  So nice.  We talked about all sorts of things but mostly mommy things.  I love my friends.  I love having other people that all love their kids and husbands and Jesus.  It is so great.  I feel so blessed.

After dinner I was going to go home but talked to Eric on the phone and he said I really should go out longer for coffee or something by myself (we had talked about this possibility beforehand but I was ready to go home to be a mom and wife again.)  He was having none of that.  (Thank you honey!  I love you!)

So I came to Starbucks and now I’m sitting here with my grande, non-fat, half-caf, caramel macchiatto.  (Yes.  I know this is not a real caramel macchiatto.  But it’s good and I don’t care.)

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And I like my shoes a lot.  They deserve a picture too.  (Nevermind the chipped nail polish.)

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The other thing I’m excited about is the CD I saw at the register called ‘Save it for a Rainy Day’.  I’m going to make a playlist of that or something like that and I’m super excited.  AND while I was at the register the nice barista complemented my gorgeous wedding ring.  Shout out to my awesome husband who even designed it.  I loved it then.  I love it now.  I love him.

Anyway, I’m going to enjoy my time now.  I’m pretty proud of myself for blogging with pictures too!  (I know the quality leaves something to be desired but I’ll work on that.)

Today for lunch I had Tomato, Feta and Eggplant Pizza.  It was so good!  I’ll definitely be making this again!
Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.  It’s way easier than it may look.
For the dough:
4 C flour
2 C warm water
2 Tbsp instant yeast
1/3 C sugar
1 tsp salt
Mix all together.  Let rise for 30 minutes (covered in a warm place).  Turn out and knead 5 to 10 times on a well floured surface.  Roll 1/2 inch thick and top.  Bake 15-18 mintues in a 375 degree oven.
To top:
Pizza sauce
Mozzarella cheese
Feta cheese
Sliced tomatoes
A whole sliced eggplant (Prepared as follows):  Peel eggplant and cut off ends.  Slice into thin 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place in colander and salt well.  Let sit over sink for 5 minutes or so.  Rinse salt off eggplant.  Coat eggplant with olive oil and place in a layer on a baking sheet.  Roast in oven until cooked (should be mushy).
Hope you enjoy!  This can be done with only dirtying a couple dishes (use the same baking sheet for the eggplant and then for the pizza).  Also, this amount of dough is enough for 2 rectangle baking sheets and one round one.  (Next time I’ll freeze the rest of the dough for a later use.)

Today for lunch I had Tomato, Feta and Eggplant Pizza.  It was so good!  I’ll definitely be making this again!

Here’s the recipe if you’re interested.  It’s way easier than it may look.

For the dough:

4 C flour

2 C warm water

2 Tbsp instant yeast

1/3 C sugar

1 tsp salt

Mix all together.  Let rise for 30 minutes (covered in a warm place).  Turn out and knead 5 to 10 times on a well floured surface.  Roll 1/2 inch thick and top.  Bake 15-18 mintues in a 375 degree oven.

To top:

Pizza sauce

Mozzarella cheese

Feta cheese

Sliced tomatoes

A whole sliced eggplant (Prepared as follows):  Peel eggplant and cut off ends.  Slice into thin 1/2 inch thick slices.  Place in colander and salt well.  Let sit over sink for 5 minutes or so.  Rinse salt off eggplant.  Coat eggplant with olive oil and place in a layer on a baking sheet.  Roast in oven until cooked (should be mushy).

Hope you enjoy!  This can be done with only dirtying a couple dishes (use the same baking sheet for the eggplant and then for the pizza).  Also, this amount of dough is enough for 2 rectangle baking sheets and one round one.  (Next time I’ll freeze the rest of the dough for a later use.)

I made a delicious, healthy dinner tonight if anyone is interested in  an awesome new recipe…  Even the handsome husband and picky 2 year  old loved it!
Gratin…
Spray a 9x13 pan.
Cut an onion in half and thinly slice it.  Toss in the pan.
Cut 4 potatoes (mine were kinda small) in half and thinly slice.  Toss in pan.
Cut 6 yellow crookneck (summer squash) in half and thinly slice.  Toss in pan.
Thaw whole bag of frozen cauliflower just enough to cut through and thinly slice all of it.  Toss in pan.
Toss all ingredients together.
In  a separate bowl mix together melted cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar  cheese, milk, pureed pumpkin, salt and pepper.  Pour over vegetables and  mix together.
Bake in oven at 400 degrees for a very long time.
Let sit for 5 minutes and serve hot.  Delicious.

I made a delicious, healthy dinner tonight if anyone is interested in an awesome new recipe…  Even the handsome husband and picky 2 year old loved it!

Gratin…

Spray a 9x13 pan.

Cut an onion in half and thinly slice it.  Toss in the pan.

Cut 4 potatoes (mine were kinda small) in half and thinly slice.  Toss in pan.

Cut 6 yellow crookneck (summer squash) in half and thinly slice.  Toss in pan.

Thaw whole bag of frozen cauliflower just enough to cut through and thinly slice all of it.  Toss in pan.

Toss all ingredients together.

In a separate bowl mix together melted cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese, milk, pureed pumpkin, salt and pepper.  Pour over vegetables and mix together.

Bake in oven at 400 degrees for a very long time.

Let sit for 5 minutes and serve hot.  Delicious.

Good things.

I have a few good things to blog about.

First, I got to spend all weekend with my family.  It was outstanding.  I miss them so much and we don’t get a lot of time together.  And until this weekend, we don’t get ANY time together as a whole family.  I’m very thankful even though I missed seeing the Thayer family for Easter and missed seeing a TON of my other family in Lansing on Easter which is a tradition for us.  Anyway, it didn’t work out and that’s OK.  It was possibly the best time I’ve had with my whole family together and I’m so thankful.

Second, I love sitting down each week to look at my Door 2 Door Organics order while I meal plan and make my shopping list.  I feel like such a good mommy and housewife and I love it.  And I keep getting hungry for all the yummy things I’m making the next week haha!

Another thing I love is The Pioneer Woman blog.  I read the bio and was cracking up because it made me think of myself a little bit.  Eric calls me “A hippie in stilettos” and that blog totally makes me think of that phrase.  I love it.

I love sitting in the living room of my quaint house, blogging and hanging out with my husband to the background of ‘Hockey Night in Canada.’

I guess it’s a lovey kind of night around here…