| Recipe // Chicken Soup |

 Today is another rainy May day // Yesterday was a doozy of a day {at least weather wise!}

So in the midst of the blah weather, crazy days between school & family I had grabbed all the ingredients I needed for a quick crock pot chicken soup.  I had seen it on IG a few weeks ago and put it in the back of my mind to make one day this Fall.  But since the rainy days are upon us it just felt right to go ahead and make it! 

Here is the recipe thanks to Brandi

Easy {Crock Pot} Chicken Soup

5 Cups Broth {veggie or chicken
2 Cups cooked chicken
1/2 Cup chopped Carrots/Celery/Onion
1 Can corn {or 1.5 cup frozen}
1 Can cream of chicken soup
2 Cups egg noodles

Cook on high for 4-5 hours for the last hour add the uncooked egg noodles & salt/pepper to taste. 
Serve with baking powder biscuits.  
 I didn't have liquid stock so I just boiled water and used my knorr cubes..worked like a charm! 
We had reached the bottom of the celery and carrot supply but it was just the perfect amount to add to the soup.
 Here's the soup warming in the crock pot // Hint: I cooked 2 chicken breasts on a skillet with salt and pepper and a little poultry seasoning..it smelled like a big 'ol turkey dinner in here by 6 o'clock! 

And voila...easy peasy chicken soup! I'm not a big fan of using premixed/canned soups but I figured one can wouldn't hurt seeing as it made enough soup for 6 people!
I'm off to finish up some laundry and get going on my biggest littles birthday cake.  He is turning seven; be still my heart!



| Keep my eyes above the waves |

Today is a normal Wednesday, make beds, pack bags, kids to school, pay bills, get groceries, lunch with friends..nothing special or exceptional. 

Except that I've been listening to this song on Itunes for the past 24 hours {yes, I'm one of those!}
Back when I chatted about purpose here I spoke of the waves coming and pulling you one way to the next.  I don't have life figured out, I'm just a girl trying to figure out what Father God desires for my life.  

Where my passions lye and what He has in store for me and my boys. 
I'm preparing my heart for change if He so chooses or for things to stay the same, but whatever it be may it be in His will with His blessing and protection. 

I hope you can grab a cuppa something and take a few moments to dwell in Him while you listen to this song.  Praying it touches you as it has me.  

You call me out upon the waters.
The Great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find you in the mystery;
In oceans deep my faith will stand.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Your Grace abounds in the deepest waters.
Your Sovereign hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me;
You've never failed
And you won't stop now.

So I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul
Will rest in your embrace,
For I am yours and you are mine.

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me.
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my saviour.

I will call upon your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in your embrace
I am yours and you are mine.

Much Love to you lovelies! 


| Expectations // Mother's Day 2013 |

  I have seen many people’s posts on social media about Mother’s Day and what it means to them.

I have seen disappointment, contentment, excitement…the list goes on to express the feelings everyone feels on Mother’s Day.

It’s bittersweet in many ways; if you’ve lost a Mom, if you have been adopted and don’t know your “birth Mom”, if you had to give a child up, if you can’t have children and long for it so much or if you’re a Mom and you’re feeling underwhelmed at the attention paid to you on this specific day…it’s just kinda a crap shoot.

Yes of course there are the warm fuzzies that come with being a Mom on Mother’s Day, the home-made necklaces and cards, the extra cuddles but through it all the bum still needs to be wiped, the children still need to be nurtured and reprimanded, the dishes and laundry still need to be loaded and unloaded and as a Mom those chores are what we do.  We are MOM “Masters of Mayhem!”

{Good morning Mama!  Happy Mother's Day!}

The expectation: We expect that on Mother’s Day we are going to not have to do anything but what we need to do for ourselves…This is a lie from the pit!  How the heck do you think our husbands are going to do all of what we do when they normally don’t do much of it!?!?!  We have brought our expectation to lofty heights and in the meantime made our husbands feel like they aren’t good enough and there is no way they can actually reach our unspoken expectations
 {My boys}
I don’t know if your husband is the same as mine but mine wants to make me feel like I’m worth the world, but frankly it’s going to be done through his eyes not mine.  This means I’m still going to get the children washed and dressed as well as myself on Sunday morning, even though it’s Mother’s Day…that’s my job; it’s what I do. 
 {Snip-its from my day /Mom & I at brunch/Mr. L with our new fire pit/meeting Miss. Carmen VanD at brunch/Coley in waffle heaven/my boys/rise 'n shine/playing in the rain/getting ready/JJ at brunch}

Mr. L tries very very very hard to make my Mother’s Day feel enjoyable and lovely.  And frankly he does a great job!  But the reason I think he does a great job and feels equally gratified is because I don’t pin him to a wall and say “now listen Mr. I’m the queen of this hive and you better make sure the drones are in your care tomorrow cause I’m taking off my Mom hat and just wearing the queen hat for the W H O L E day!”. Nope I don’t and by being fairly passive {although I do drop gift hints // not that it matters, he usually has a plan already made up in his mind} about what I expect, it makes my day that much better!

{On our way to church}  
There are surprises and little joys that make me feel loved and adored.  That’s really all that matters.
I still dress the kids, discipline the kids, rock the kids, wash the dishes, wipe up the floor, do the garbage, make the bed, organize book bags for school, make lunches…all that is why I am Mom, so why would I expect him to do all that when that’s the role I play in our home?
Yesterday morning at church our Pastor challenged the husbands to pray over their wives and to edify us in the role we play in the home.  Such a great word and amazing things will come out of a husband praying over his wife.  I’m thankful that I had both my little munchy boys and my Mr. pray over me last night.  Truly blessed.
 {in between it all I had made a mess of milk in the garage that my Mr. was cleaning up and we had found a leak in our car...see not perfect but keeping it in perspective!}
 {Time to veg out with my book, HGTV and an ice coffee was perfection especially since the boys were sleeping}

I always say it’s a matter of perspective.  My day wasn’t outstandingly amazing and awesome.  It was lovely.  It was nice. It was taking in all that has made me a Mom and who I am.  It was resetting myself on what I do and why I do it.  My perspective enhances the tone of my home and I want that tone to be beautiful and light.  So my response to everything that happens {or doesn’t happen} on Mother’s Day is with that thought in mind. 
 {The boys took me shopping to Chapters, they actually just wanted to play on the train table so I wandered around and did some shopping myself!}
I hope all of you had a wonderful day being celebrated and if you didn’t “feel it” this year, just wait…maybe next year your perspective will be different and you too will feel cherished and loved {with or without all the pretences and perfection}.

{this was the best shot we could get of me and the boys! Oy Vey!}

 And here we are again, I'm standing at my sink ready to do the dishes again.  But choosing joy when doing it cause one day they will be grown up and gone and I won't have any dirty dishes to clean! 

Much love and happy Monday Lovelies! 


| Home Making // Lunch Kits |

I was out for a friends birthday last night and as most ladies events go we talk about parenting, disciplining, kids being home vs. being at school, the crazy things our kids say, packing lunches....the list goes on.
One of the common denominators between my friends is that none of us really like to pack our kids lunches {we hear angels sing when we see the reminder that today is "fun lunch day" at school!}.  It's not that it's hard to do, but it does take time and well I don't know about you but I'd rather spend my extra time not packing lunches!  

I choose to pre-pack my kids lunches, this usually happens from 5-6pm the night before school...usually when I'm in the kitchen already preparing dinner.  This helps it so I'm not grumpy with one more thing to do before we leave the house in the am. 
In our discussion last night we spoke about kids not eating their food and about the discipline that follows.  This brought me to the boys lunches, if they don't eat what is given to them then they have to eat it before they eat their afternoon snack once home from school.  Fair right!?!

They get choices in their lunch, they can choose to eat their veggies first or last, doesn't matter to me but the rules are: you don't eat all the "good stuff" and not the veggies and you NEVER throw out food.  
My friends thought I was a little crazy when I told them my kids never throw anything out; now let me say now that our school has a strict recycling program so if perfectly-not-eaten food is thrown out it's obvious and the teacher will hold the class responsible until the person that threw it out admits to this.  

In two years of school only one of my kids tried to throw something away and it was a homemade date square.  He was full. 

Someone commented to me and said that she gives her child only what she knows he will eat at school.  I do too but I also expect that if they will have cucumbers at my table on Saturday for lunch that they will do the same at school.  I'm my kids parent, not grandparent.  My job is to prepare them so that when I'm not looking {like at school or with said grandparent} that they will still make a balanced choice. 

So I thought I would share how I take the "blech" out of making lunches and actually having the kids eat their lunch!

1. Pack their fave's // My boys don't love sandwiches so a wrap or pepperoni & crackers will do
2. They get 1 treat in their lunch // today it's fruit snacks {this changes seasonally}
3. There is always veggies and a fruit...I even raisins count as a fruit to save time and not cut up fresh fruit
4. In Kinder at our school the kids are only aloud to bring water, but JJ is able to bring juice boxes in Gr. 1 but I still just send a water bottle and just put a touch {2 Tablespoons} of ice tea in with the rest water so he'll drink the whole bottle // Each day I do this his water bottle comes home empty!
5. They get to choose at least 2 items for their lunch kit 
 And most days I send a little note personalized to each of them // I just use a recipe card that I get from the dollar store along with a sharpie that I keep in my junk drawer in the kitchen, again it is easy and adds a little sunshine to their day!
 Well That's all for today!  Let me know if any of you lovelies have any tricks up your sleeves for packing great school lunches...I'd love to know some of your tricks too!  

I'm off to go for my walk on this beautiful day then I'll be up to my eyeballs in alligators trying to make a cake for my nephew and prepare for Mother's Day. 
Hope you lovelies have a beautiful weekend and feel celebrated for the amazing job you do raising and loving on your littles! 



| Purpose \\ In Motherhood |

In life we all have purpose.  As a Mom that is a constantly changing thing.

Some days my purpose is to do laundry, clean toilets, fill the tummy of my hungry family.

Some days my purpose is to hug & cuddle my littles, some days it's less about the "stuff" that makes up life but more about the people.

Some days my purpose is to dream; to be a visionary..for my family, for my God, for me... 

Most days I wear all three types of hats...some days {ok, who am I kidding..most days!} I don't look pretty wearing all these hats!  That's a fact!  It's a tough tough gig people!

I do find that this is one of the most difficult things as a Mom, to constantly be changing hats taking one off to put another one on.  I like consistency, I like there to be a pattern...the same isn't boring, it's dependable!  I like dependable and I function much better when things are steady and normal.

*Disclaimer!!  If you're reading this and you're not yet a Mom and you think you would like to be a Mom but also love your own schedule without having to constantly be dealing with changing tides....I would highly recommend you reconsider becoming a parent.  It's the most self-less role you will ever play; I'm just sayin'!*

Changing tides, when you're swimming in the ocean you have be watching for the next wave and for the pull or push that it may have on you.  This is what being a Mom is like.  You can be sure that there is going to be a push or pull for something other than what you're doing right now.  The kids like the tide will push or pull you in one way or another...this is good, this is what being a Mom is all about.

Being a Mom is like swimming in the ocean, it's lovely and great until you get caught in the rip tide and it can surely rip you a new one if you're not ready for it!  

All this being said, being a Mom is worth every frustrating & exhilarating moment and I wouldn't trade it for anything!

Today I've sat down and taken a deep breath and let the laundry pile sit at the end of the bed while I took time for myself...I'll get the laundry done, I'll get dinner made and I'll get my hugs in with all my boys but today when I had an hour that I could have been catching up wearing my "home-maker hat" I took time for myself and refreshed my heart and set my mind on my purpose.

Here is my day in photos 
1. Me wearing a new necklace a gift from my neighbor 
2. My freshly updated flower pots
3. Alphabet cookies, fresh cut flowers and a sweet little hand ready to do home reading
4. My feet taking time to rest and refresh

"Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty"
Psalm 91

Hope y'all have had a great day and had time to rest in His shelter.  Take a moment out of the race to rest in Him! 



| Lately // A catch up post |

Good Morning All {all of those who may or may not be still reading this - HA!} either way I'm still here, I'm trying to get caught up on some things around my home and this blog is on that list. 

At any rate we all gots to start somewhere so here I am! 

We've been home from our trip to Maui for one week today and since then life has taken over and we've been going non-stop.

I love life and all that it contains, but sometimes I just want to stop and smell the lilacs {especially since they are in season here}.

Here are some snipits of what we have been up to since we came home...
1. Cherry blossoms in full bloom
2. Cole & I on our way to a field trip
3. Veggie prep for the week
4. Unpacking // ugh, need I say more!?!
5. Beautiful lilacs
6. She Loves conference 
7. Play date and walk through Fort Langley
8. Bloomin' 
9. Summer is almost here and the boys are wearing hats and shorts to school! 

I've started working on a re-cap of our trip to Hawaii but I'm trying to get them in scrapbook order so I can do it all at one time...I'm still working on my project life project which between everything else is so much work!  But I'm going to get it done sooner than later so I can be caught up for 2014. 

Hope you all are well and enjoying this season...I've got a few things blooming in my heart that I'm gonna share, just need to collect my thoughts ;-) 



| Chaos |

This is what my kitchen looks like after school {post tornado children!} I know it doesn't look like chaos but to me in the rush of homecoming, homework, reading & dinner prep it feels terribly out of control! 
 Just in case you can't see what I'm talking about here is a run down of what I see/feel in this photo: 

1. Bags yet to be unpacked from school
2. Dishes to be put away 
3. Middle of deep cleaning the stove top 
4. Chicken that has to miraculously be made into dinner
5. My semi-warm semi-cold coffee 
6. Laundry in mid fold
7. My clothes that have yet to make it to my room
8. Laundry basket filled with hangers & clothes that need fixing {my children walk on their knees dontchaknow!}

  I know it could be much worse, but in my mind & the way it makes me feel is that it's chaos!

I don't know why I'm sharing this, my home is to be lived in and is a working home I just want to be real with all of you lovely ones...it's not always the photo of perfection, there are things that make me feel like a rotten housewife and mama.  But that condemnation doesn't come from the Lord! 

So I'm thankful for time to get everything re-set and the endurance to sort/fold/clean/organize all of my nagging jobs that as a "home executive" get pushed onto my plate. 

I've been watching bits and pieces of American Idol this season and I watched Angela Miller's performance the other night and it brought me to tears {hope the link works!} It just reminds me that I'm not alone in this race we call life and that He gives me courage, strengthens me and gives me a life set apart...isn't that a great reminder!?!?!

: Here are the lyrics :
You find me here alone
I hear a voice that’s so unknown  
It strikes courage up my backbone  
Strengthen my heart  
A life set apart  
I see that’s what you are  
You come, you come with open arms  
And you say “I love you for who you are”  
When I was haunted and alone  
With this baggage on my back dragging me down  
You set me free  
You set me free  
You set me free

Here's to a great weekend ahead and getting lots of time in as a family! 


: Love Day 2013 :

I can't believe how fast these past few weeks have gone!  We start off the week full and as the week goes on nights & days fill up and boom!  It's Thursday and we're almost done another week! 

Well last week we celebrated Thursday in a special way because it was "Love Day" :: Here are my two littlest love bugs just before school
 DECOR : Love day style 
The boys had a few rough days at school through the first weeks of February, so we were not even sure if they were going to get a "Love Day Feast" {as we call it} unless they got their butts in gear at school.  So two nights before love day I brought out a few decor items as their behavior had changed and they deserved Love Day Feast. 

:: Our kitchen chalkboard ::
:: Computer Nook ::
:: Counter top details ::
 : I spent a few hours making these little lolli pops I had seen on Pinterest.  We gave these away to Cole's class and I made sugar cookies {I have an awesome recipe from my Aunti Pam} for JJ's class, no photo of the sugar cookies as it was well into the night on the 13th when I finally finished them! :
: Love Day Feast :

On Valentines day we do a meal that we call a "Love Day Feast of Roast Beast" :: We have a full roast beef dinner with all the trimmings, this year I made a strawberry {because it's pink of course!} cake with cream cheese icing as our dessert.

: Here's the table all decorated :
 : Our cake on the table :
: I picked up three balloons for the boys and to use as centerpieces, since I had the polka dot wrapping paper {thanks Ikea!} left over from Christmas it really looked quite coordinated without me putting too much effort into it! :
 : Jacob's place setting :
 : My Mr. came home with a growers bunch {20 stems} of white casablanca lillies.  He had thrown me off the night before saying that roses were the true love flower especially red roses, I however disagree in a major way and don't LOVE roses and especially RED ones, white yes...but not RED! So he did good with the growers bunch and he also got them at cost so that also made me VERY happy ;-) :
 That's it for today, I hope you all had a wonderful LOVE DAY and if this one wasn't that great I pray that next year you can celebrate LOVE in a special way.  We have had our share of not so lovely "Love Days" and I truly consider myself blessed to be able to celebrate our love as a family. 



: Dinner :: Recipe Coconut Curry Shrimp :

Hey Lovelies!  
Sorry I've been away from here, didn't have much to post about and I am preparing a book post that hopefully I will have up next week. 

But for now I will share a little recipe that we love around these parts. 

Last night I posted this photo on instagram.  When I went back to it there were multiple comments asking how to make it, so here you go! 
Coconut Curry Shrimp  
{a la Mr. L}

Quinoa {1 cup makes ample servings for 4 adults}
2 cups frozen small/medium shrimp
1 can coconut milk {we use Trader Joes lite coconut milk} 
1 cup thinly sliced peppers {yellow/red/orange} 
1 medium white onion 
Currey mix 
Butter/Pam/Olive Oil to coat the pan

1. Place 1 Tbsp of butter/pam/evoo in a large skillet, add curry spices {we have a pre-mixed spice selection from our local ethnic spice isle} 

2. Heat up the mixture of butter & spices, be careful not to burn it.  Apparently {via the chef} this is a very important part..."it wakes the spices up" :: Okay then! 

3. Add onion & peppers and cook till translucent on medium heat

4. Rinse in cold water the shrimp to defrost them and remove the tails. 

5. Once onions & peppers are cooked hike the heat up to 7 {between medium & high} and add the shrimp.  Let it heat away for 2 minutes, don't do more or your shrimp will be rubbery and that's never good! 

6. Add a full can of coconut milk and let simmer on low for 5 minutes until incorporated. 

7. Pour over your scoop of quinoa and voila you have dinner in aprox. 15 minutes.  I make my quinoa ahead on Sunday so we have it for the week, if you do this in advance it will save you from having to wait for the quinoa to cook as the curried shrimp is quicker than the quinoa!


* * * 

There you go Lovelies!  Hope you have a great weekend!  We are looking forward to a few fun events and spending time with friends, if you want to see what I'm up to you can find me on instagram...Lord only knows, I'm just a little in love with itBut as for Sunday it will be social media free so I can spend time with my little family. 



: Hospitality :

I have friends who are amazing at hospitality; who invite people over and say come as you are and accept us as we are.  I don't feel overwhelmed by these types this is their gift, they are people filled with the gift of hospitality. 

I love that gift, I try and hone my gift of hospitality...but to be truthful sometimes I'm too uptight to let my guard down and invite people in. 

This is where Edie comes in, she has this hospitality thing down pat.  Well not really; she just lets her guard down and welcomes people in. 

"Hospitality isn’t about inviting people into our perfect homes, it’s about inviting them into our imperfect hearts."

She continues to say: 

"It’s about learning to live from that vulnerable place where we open ourselves to love.
And ultimately, it’s about Him—The perfect Host who provides for everything we sinners need, right down to the best wine for the wedding feast.
This ebook is for anyone who has felt his own poverty and known the redemption of being loved anyway.
This is hospitality, on purpose."

I encourage you to purchase her ebook, if it's anything close to her blog on 31 days of hospitality it's bound to be amazing! I just wish I could actually hold it in my hands.  Books like that I don't just want them on my kindle I want them on my nightstand too! 

Hope this encourages you {and me} to open yourself up, be vulnerable and have someone in.  You never know how it will bless you! 

Have a great evening lovelies! 
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