my sweet friend meredith created this amazing printable!!!  thank you, friend. i can’t wait to print & frame it.

wisdom from my grandma

April 8, 2015

grandma and mike :)

grandma and mike :) from 2011

My precious Grammy just left after dropping off her delicious bean soup for lunch.

the miracle there is that yesterday,  my grandma and I were playing phone tag. I was on the phone with my mom in the late afternoon and jokingly said, it would be such a dream if grandma had been calling to say she’d made us a pot of her amazing beans. my hubby is out of town and I was feeling the end of day weariness and craving the warmth and love of some of grandma’s soup.

I hung up the phone with my mom, checked my voice mail, and the message from my grandma said she’d made us a pot of beans that she’d like to bring over.

I laughed out loud! Seriously?!

And I remembered the words I believe the Spirit whispered to my heart a few years ago: you are known and loved.

by my family and my Father in the most stunning way.

fast forward to today … grandma arrived as the boys and I were just walking in from playing catch/chase with a ball across the street. It was windy & cool … we come inside and as always, grandma’s arms are full of gifts. bags. She always brings bags of something :)

Today’s bags held magazines,  a used sweatshirt she thought we’d like, a darling little frying pan, some fruit snacks for the boys and of course the beans. Mmmm. :)

We sat on the couch while the boys raced and hollered down the hall. The sun streamed in on her shoulders as we caught up on life … family … plans for my babe’s birthday tomorrow  (she insists she hosts pie & ice cream to celebrate him :)). And then the conversation turned in another direction as we talked about strained relationships,  phone calls that feel awkward and get put off. And she says this,

“Do everything you can, so you won’t be sorry later.”

no regrets.

she said when she was young, her father never called or took part in her life (her parents were divorced). She said later in life, her father was always saying sorry for what he hadn’t done. she determined then to never have to say sorry but instead to be intentional and always, do everything in her power no matter if she felt like it, so she would have no regrets.

I love that. How often can I put off making that call, reaching out, doing the thing I know I need to do … allowing my feelings to determine my action or inaction.

but I want to have no regrets. Like grandma said, if tomorrow somethinks terrible happened to that person, how important to have the peace of knowing you had made the call or reached out.

so thankful today for wise words, gentle love & delicious bean soup. :)

refining

April 4, 2015

thinking this week about how friendship – deep, raw, vulnerable, pressing in friendship – can be a tool of refining … similar to parenting and marriage.

these 3 (friendship, parenting & marriage) reveal our weakness and sin; we are exposed. i am called to face and deal with the crap that rises up in me. i’ve long thought this about parenting and marriage – seen the beauty in these holy paths.

and this week, while working through my own emotions that came from an uncomfortable kind of hurtful friendship situation – i am digging deep here. seeing my reactions and questioning them – is it ok, is it *best, is it GOD’s best – that i choose to cater to my feelings? choose to give voice to the feelings that aren’t edifying, self sacrificing, gracious? because i can justify feeling hurt, or left out, or any other human feeling that comes in my heart … but what do i *DO with that?

really do?? and especially, what do i *not do or say?

because the GOD i follow is pretty clear on how He wants me to live and love. He extends grace, and He calls me to surrender my pride and seek His strength to pursue unity and forgiveness and patience and grace.

it’s my choice. and as i wrestled with the human flesh feelings and thankfully got to process them with my beloved, we walked through my choices and their outcomes and the best choice became obvious:

show grace. love well. do not marinate in hurt feelings – there is no good that comes from that! assume the best. and above all, put on love.

i’ve been thinking about how much easier friendship can be when people are kept at arms length – less expectation, so less room for hurt. and how little hurts can – based on the choice of the one feeling the hurt – be used to create distance. our pride erects walls and we push back. push away.

oh, it’s been so good to face some of my reactions and shortcomings this week. uncomfortable but valuable and i’ve been thanking GOD that He has given me the sweet gift of true friendship – refining me and growing me through sharing lives with amazing women. it feels good to push past sin and choose the freedom of God’s very best.

:: choosing foods that fuel my body well and help shed pounds

:: sleep training my “baby” so we all get good sleep and the adults get our bed back

:: serving nourishing foods to my littles and foregoing unhealthy preferences to enhance healing and wellness

and the list could go on.

thinking this morning about these things and the concept of delayed gratification. oh, this familiar term is really what it comes down to, in these weak areas of mine.

what’s holding me back??

the easy. the inclination toward comfortable, less effort, more ease, more pleasure … short term pleasure vs long term known gratification.

i know the foods that fuel my body well; that facilitate loss of weight that is waiting to come off; that reduce bloat and aches and fog.

i also know cravings and hunger and the discomfort of self control.

but self control, restraint, intention followed by action, focus discipline –

that’s where it’s at.

and it’s time for me to decide.

so here it is, as i’m writing i am formulating my plan to address even just one of the points mentioned above …

the “hard thing” this week will be food.

– no gluten

-no added sugar

– no snacks between meals

– no late night eating

good fuel this week: protein, greens, ample veggies, some fruit, good fats. water.

and coffee. always coffee :)

“For the SPIRIT God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.”

lately

December 14, 2014

i miss this little corner. i cringe thinking of the life that is happening that isn’t being captured; the updates on the boys that sadly aren’t being recorded anywhere. this was my place for that. and what i know is that i forget, the things i believe at the time are unforgettable. ugh.

and so today i will share (dump) a few pieces of life lately at the green’s …

caleb:

this delicious dumpling is 2 yrs, 2 mos. seriously. in the past several weeks, his language has exploded. basically there is no baby talk left for him. complete real smart sentences, correct pronouns, the whole she-bang. but thankfully he still has a couple mispronunciations that i can’t bear to correct: “hanga-burr” (hamburger), “brudder” (brother) are my faves.

he is obsessed equally with josiah, his dad and balls.he follows every step that josiah takes, imitates every thing big brother does … if he hears that josiah doesn’t like a food, he won’t touch it; if josiah wants to play with a particular toy, he must also have it.

he throws every blasted thing and i mean everything – we always are just waiting for the food/crayon/ball/toy/item to be launched. it’s as if he can’t help himself.

he still loves nursing. and says, “nur-sang”. like, loves it. nurses to sleep for nap and nighttime.

he begs always to “wear my penis” and run naked with his brother (a recent favorite after dinner activity around here, lol) and every single time assures us that “i will not go pee pee on the floor. i promise.” and every single time he does. he has never gone in the big boy potty despite obsessively watching brother and understanding fully the whole process. i cringe thinking of the cleaned-up pee spots throughout our house.

he loves dora and every single morning, watches at least one episode when he first wakes.

he prefers savory to sweet always and loves nothing more than a big bowl of rice. and spaghetti. and chips. oh my.

his hair has grown SO much. long luscious curls with golden highlights.

his skin is soft as butter with no indication of eczema – pretty unreal. he has a few tiny “itchy” spots but nothing that causes distress or is noticeable.

december20141

my dumpling.

my dumpling.

we love our little local kid's indoor play place so much ... kidtime.

we love our little local kid’s indoor play place so much … kidtime.

really? my heart might explode. a little date alone with mama and i couldn't believe how big he seemed.

really? my heart might explode. a little date alone with mama and i couldn’t believe how big he seemed.

josiah:

this kid. he is something so special. he is so different than caleb – so rigid for caleb’s relaxed; such a rule-abider to caleb’s laughing disregard of rules.

josiah loves structure. he loves to know the rules, the right & wrong, the black & white. he loves knowing that on monday we go to the library. he loves knowing and reminding that he never ever walks in the street and he loves seeing the boundary line on the driveway where he must stop when riding his trike.

he is lanky and tall and his mouth and teeth are my favorite. he forms words so marvelously, usually with his tongue in a prominent way.

he loves to learn. LOVES it.

he will correct you immediately if you mis-identify a construction vehicle on the road (he’s been known to say, “no, that’s a milk tank trailer trunk” if you incorrectly call it something else). this is an area of extreme strain with his brother as caleb loves to instigate and intentionally call something the wrong name to which josiah screams and corrects.

he struggles managing his strong emotions when things go wrong or when caleb instigates and often screams. “when you scream, you lose your toy” is a mantra heard often around here.

he loves being outside, being cool (no jacket please) and can play for hours laying on the ground with construction vehicles & sand.

he lays down for a nap most days but sleeps only some; nights are up and down and the past few weeks we’ve been back in a cycle of wakefulness and the only thing that settles him is getting in bed with me. last night he slept all night, glory be.

did i mention he loves routine? :) bedtime is brushing teeth, stories in rocking chair (usually with tea), then rocking with mama and songs. when i put him in his crib we say that same thing: “lights on or off?” and he says, “on”; “door open or closed?”, “open” … then as i walk down the stairs: “have a good rest!” “i will!”, “i love you!”, “i love you, too!”. has to be the same thing, every night.

his skin is so sad, such an ongoing pain and struggle and heartache. severe itchy/dry spots on feet, behind knees, elbows, wrists and neck. nothing seems to improve and every single kind of lotion or moisturizer *causes itching every single time. UGH. gold bond powder can help with itching. desperate for healing answers.

man, he loves tow trucks. especially the hooks on the back of the truck. he loves hooking anything he can from the back of one of his 4 mater tow trucks!

man, he loves tow trucks. especially the hooks on the back of the truck. he loves hooking anything he can from the back of one of his 4 mater tow trucks!

november20141

november20145

aww my handsome big boy. love love love him.

aww my handsome big boy. love love love him.

this is already so long but what the heck, i’ll share some other things as well since i’m here :)

:: i heard about the #RWRunStreak challenge on thanksgiving day – run one mile every day from thanksgiving to new years. i had *just read an article about the benefits of running a mile and decided to go for it. i’ve done it every day except day 10; today will be 16. feels really good. no excuses. and my mile time is decreasing – yeah.

:: i’ve had this sense that something’s been amiss at one of our neighbor’s houses … hadn’t seen the dad around for months, seeing the teenage son in pretty clear rebellion. my heart’s been heavy and i told hubby that i feel i need to stop by although i’ve just barely met the mom and seen her maybe three times in over a year. yet, i felt drawn to them.

so i was coming in from my run one day last week and she was walking out her front door. she walked right to me, across the street. i asked if everything was ok, if she was ok. she looked at me, her face fell and she said her husband had died. we stood in the street for 30 minutes; rain began falling. she poured out her heart. we hugged. she said she felt she was supposed to talk to me; that she kept seeing me running by and on this day felt that God had meant for us to talk. the rain started falling; she said it felt like raindrops from heaven. it was undeniably a supernatural encounter. she shared deep dark hurting places; God gave me words to speak hope and encouragement and vision. my heart has remained heavy for her and i am thinking of new ways to reach out, bless and comfort her.

ok, time to wrap this up :) kids are calling. here are a few more pics of life the past few weeks around here …

abundantly spoiled by some dear heart friends a few weeks ago ...amazing dinner and time together as families.

abundantly spoiled by some dear heart friends a few weeks ago …amazing dinner and time together as families.

we *love the sand park. we've missed it, as the weather has grown cold. but we snuck over on a mild weekend day recently and mom joined us. fun!

we *love the sand park. we’ve missed it, as the weather has grown cold. but we snuck over on a mild weekend day recently and mom joined us. fun!

our little local library story time. we go every monday and the boys are loving it and getting so relaxed and comfortable. yay!

our little local library story time. we go every monday and the boys are loving it and getting so relaxed and comfortable. yay!

this one nails it. their happy spot: this mud hole in our backyard, and pushing the trike in repeatedly and needing to be a tow truck or crane to rescue the trike. :)))

this one nails it. their happy spot: this mud hole in our backyard, and pushing the trike in repeatedly and needing to be a tow truck or crane to rescue the trike. :)))

my boys. thank GOD for such generous gifts.

my boys. thank GOD for such generous gifts.

thanksgiving ... and their great grandma :)

thanksgiving … and their great grandma :)

my babe - thanksgiving. so thankful.

my babe – thanksgiving. so thankful.

my sweeties at the "kid's table' at thanksgiving

my sweeties at the “kid’s table’ at thanksgiving

we invited maddie's CC class - and all 13 could come! - to our 2nd annual gingerbread house-making party. so much fun, having these amazing kids all together -they are so special and share such a precious bond.

we invited maddie’s CC class – and all 13 could come! – to our 2nd annual gingerbread house-making party. so much fun, having these amazing kids all together -they are so special and share such a precious bond.

gingerbread3

the girls :-)

the girls :-)

:: turkey veggie rice soup ::

November 14, 2014

i made this last night and was totally surprised by the depth of the flavor. it was delicious, we all loved it, and if i don’t write it down i will never remember it! also, i have never felt like i am much of a soup-maker … it was intimidating for some time and i am increasingly realizing that soup is very forgiving and it’s pretty hard to mess it up.

food pictures taken with a phone in bad lighting are really the worst but, i wanted some image to remind me.

food pictures taken with a phone in bad lighting are really the worst but, i wanted some image to remind me.

:: turkey veggie rice soup::

first, i chopped a lot of turkey breast – probably a couple of cups worth (i buy a cooked turkey breast at costco for about $12 and it lasts for *many meals in our home – chopped in soup, sliced and seasoned and fried, put in sandwiches, the options are endless).

i put the chopped turkey in the soup pot with some olive oil and generous amounts of cumin, oregano and real salt. i let this cook for a few minutes, until the turkey was browning and hot.

after removing turkey (and setting aside in a bowl), i added 1/2 a chopped small red onion, and a few chopped cloves of garlic to the same soup pot and simmered stirring in olive oil.

once the onion and garlic softened, i added approximately 1 chopped head of broccoli, about 1/4 head of cabbage chopped, and a few chopped carrots.

i let this simmer for several minutes, softening the cabbage and broccoli.

next i added about 1 cup diced tomatoes, a container of veggie broth and what was left of some beef broth. i brought to a boil and then reduced heat and simmered.

i generously seasoned this … adding a lot of basil, oregano and i am sure a few spoonfuls of real salt.

as this simmered,i added back the chopped cooked turkey and some leftover rice i had in the fridge – probably 2 cups.

i served this with feta cheese for me and the hubs; the kiddos ate it happily as is.

i will so be making this again!

pampered

November 9, 2014

my hubby returned this week from (yet another) business trip and during his trip, i was on the phone sharing an update with a dear person. i was happily telling her about the incredibly positive response my hubby received professionally on this trip; how wonderfully he was treated, how appreciated and esteemed. knowing this made my heart happy & gratified. after sharing this information, my dear friend commented that she is eager for me to be “pampered and spoiled” – that i am deserving.

i was quiet and found myself nodding and agreeing.

and then there’s this: the slippery slope of letting our minds camp out on what we “deserve”; what we want and feel we should be getting.

and i am so thankful for the grace of GOD which prompted my mind and brought this to the front: i am pampered and spoiled in ways that the world does not value but that are inexplicably more valuable. my man serves GOD and out of that love and service, he lives a life of love for our family. for me.

and sure, i would love if he thought along the lines of the way our culture thinks sometimes – i wouldn’t protest a gift certificate for a pedicure, for instance :).

but here’s the truth: i wouldn’t trade that for who i have; for the man of deep integrity, of sacrificial service and selfless love … would never trade it.

and allowing my mind to camp *there* – on the good, the blessing – is a much better place to be. :)

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