Sunday, March 24, 2013

Day 23: What you do for fun

I made these cards during this month's Stampin' Up technique day. Crafting, spending time with friends, it's what I do for fun.

Day 22: About you

Day 17: Green

My vintage green Betty Crocker recipe box

Day 14: Tasty

Homemade spinach lasagne

Day 8: Favorite

My favorite guy and Matthew's drawing :)

Day 6: Chair

Matthew sitting in a chair after his free hair cut at JC Penneys.

Day 5: Under

Rebecca under her bag hat.

Day 4: Lucky

This is from when I brought snacks into Gabriel's class for his birthday. He was born 15 minutes after I arrived at the hospital, and we're lucky he wasn't born in the car!

Day 3: Key

My keys to the minivan and house.

Day 2: I made this

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Day 1: L is for

love. Robert had this made for me when we were first married. It's one of my most treasured possessions.

Passover- Interfaith style

Monday night is the first night of Passover, and I'm having a seder dinner at the house. My brother told me about this great book Being Jewish, and I ordered it on Amazon. It was easy to read, and I can navigate one section at a time according to what's going on in our family. I thought to myself that if I'm still figuring out my religious beliefs (I don't feel I can altogether check off just one box at this point), I should still show my children the cultural traditions of Judaism . Thus, where I am today.

I had great plans of buying matzoh, but come to find, its not easy to locate here (I will check out a couple more stores this afternoon). One store claimed to have everything needed for Passover, yet the matzoh, and other Jewish foods were not kosher for it. It defeats the purpose of sacrificing bread and grain if the stuff you eat is comprised of it.

Let me back up a step and go over why we celebrate the holiday, and the meaning of matzoh will make sense. Passover is the commemoration of when the Israelites were emancipated from slavery in Egypt. They had to walk for eight days across a desert for their freedom, and were saved by G-d. gave a wonderful lay-man's term of the holiday here.

That said, it is my plan to forgo grains and bread during the eight days. Robert is on board with my showing the kids my history, and we're going to attempt to stay away from bread/grains as a family. I have low expectations for the children (and Robert). This is more important for me in remembering my culture and heritage than it used to be, so I still plan on doing it myself. I have clean eating suggestions, whole food menu plans, and other resources at my fingertips. It comes down to making a personal sacrifice, and understanding the true meaning of the holiday.

I look forward to sharing our journey during the next eight days.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Faith x2 or x3

Church. Bake Sale. Stampin Up. Bake Sale. Couples Group. Busy day, which felt extremely long, but went by super quick. I was surrounded by friends, and positive people, and its where we needed to be. Robert was talking to one of friends yesterday about differences between the Catholic Church in town, and where we're going now. They used to go there too, and they were raised in the Catholic faith too. Easter is two weeks away, and I think Robert is leaning heavily on attending the sunrise service with our friends, than at the Catholic one-or we may do both (long morning, considering one is at 6:30 am, another at 8 am (or 10 am). I am concerned about how Rebecca will feel after that much activity, but we could take it easy once we get home. More is yet to come.

I ordered a book that my brother recommended to me-actually, it was recommended to him by a rabbi who came through his work last month. I ordered it and am eagerly awaiting it. I am prepping our home for Passover, using the flour/grains (perfect timing for so many reasons), and planning a Seder dinner. Yes, I just participated in a church bake sale, and I'm preparing for a Jewish meal. Welcome to my interfaith life.

I have pictures on my phone from the bake sale, and the kids being kids, to add to my picture a day postings. I will get to those-perhaps while Rebecca is taking a nap. In the meantime, enjoy this beautiful spring weather, it will be summertime before we know it :)

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

On the other side

It has been a long hard road to get where we are at, and as I tell the boys, with freedom comes great responsibility. Yesterday was one of those days. I took Robert to meet with the financial adviser we were linked up with on Dave Ramsey's website, with trepidation and nervousness. It was my second meeting, but I knew I was still nervous, and knew it was a new experience for my husband. We left with more information than we could have thought possible, about what our retirement will look like, the potential for it, and gave gave us food for thought regarding how to save for four children's college educations. The possibilities are there, and the only thing I wish was that we had done this when Matthew was first born-but hindsight is 20/20.

The rest of the day/evening was fraught with concern-mainly my husband. As much as he's the spender in our family-he worries just as much when it comes to signing his name on something (i.e. the refinance paperwork). I appreciate his concern, and have to understand-or at least appreciate-that he cares enough to ask questions-because so much is at stake with whatever we decide to do. We're at a crossroads now-moving forward into uncharted territory for his side of the family (except his step-dad) and a different approach than what my parents took before the divorce. The whole concept of building a  legacy for our children-at least imparting them with the wisdom of our trials and tribulations is a huge responsibility. Its not one I take lightly, nor does Robert. We are just trying to do the best we can as we go along.

We'll go back in a couple of weeks to look at the mutual funds we can invest in, and make our decision on how much we want to invest. The financial adviser truly has the heart of a teacher, and understood how we couldn't sign/pay for anything today. It even struck a chord with me when he talked about how much I wanted to put into a Roth-and told me to be comfortable with it so it doesn't take something like the pizza money from our kids. Oh, to have pizza money for the kids-what a luxury that used to be back when we were first starting our financial journey-and now its shifted to having organic treats for the kids (same meaning).

What a journey this has been-mentally, spiritually, physically.

Fat Mum Slip March Photo A Day Challenge

Time between park day and pick up time means I get to post more than once today, I'm on a roll! Fat Mum Slip has her March challenge here. I will attempt again to keep up-doesn't hurt to try-or go back either :)

Monday, March 11, 2013

My kitchen

I have a love/hate relationship with my kitchen. It is galley style, and had particle board doors and shelfs. The countertops are durable, and serve their purpose. Lately with whole food cooking, I find myself running out of refrigerator space, and still have plenty of pantry space. I have made a concerted effort to keep on top of dishes/countertop a la Fly Lady, which makes a difference. I still have kid clutter, but I'm used to that. The EP board has given me a new appreciation for what I have-and how it serves my family. Here's where we get our food, and where we store it at home.

Sunday, March 3, 2013


No one is perfect, and if they say they are, well, bless their heart. While I grew up in a home where my mom felt it was her way or the highway, I try my best to consider both (or more) perspectives. Its not always easy, and yes, I can become unglued. Yet I am striving everyday to move forward, to be a better person, considerate, compassionate, and thoughtful of others. It's important to model this with my children, in spite of my struggles, because I want them to understand how I (and we) are where we stand.

Today was no different. I hoped our day out running errands would go fine, I had our food envelope with us. We had a mystery shop lunch halfway through, and for whatever reason, moods took a turn for the worse after lunch. I pushed through the negativity, listening to music helped. Yet during the second stop, I reached my limit. I actually left a cart full of groceries behind, and was waiting outside with all four kids until Robert came out (he decided to meet us inside). I just said, "I'm done." and off we went-to what should have been our last stop-yet it turned out I was expected to go myself. I was done, and said so again, and we went home, leaving the groceries at the store.

The way home was quiet, and as soon as we pulled up, I told Robert I was going to lay down with Rebecca. He could figure out what to do with our boys. It turns out that while we slept, he planted our garden. He sent Matthew in to apologize, and ask if I wanted to go to couples group tonight. I said yes, we talked about what happend, and I gave Matthew a big hug. I went outside, and Robert was down in the dirt. He apologized too, and I did too. I am appreciative he took the initiave to plant (we had 36 seedlings!) and it provided much needed relief to a bumpy afternoon.

The whole point of this post is to show I'm human (with the gushiness of us all apologizing aside). We have our rough moments, and we make mistakes. What's important is how we grow and learn, moving forward in life.