Thursday, April 30, 2015


I've been at it again - working on a new project! The last quilt I made was for airplane themed for Ryder's new bed. I have finally gotten around to starting my next one, just a throw size, made with super soft cotton flannel.

Needless to say, 'every spare minute' for this mother of two doesn't equal a lot of time. Today I finally finished the top and need to make another trip to the fabric store before putting my layers together, so I have a few minutes to catch you up on what we've been up to this week...

On Sunday, after his nap, Ryder dressed himself and found an old cold cup of coffee to take to his Daddy in the shop. <3

On Tuesday we visited another friend who has a farm with all kinds of beautiful animals. Ryder loved seeing the cows, sheep, pigs, dogs and cats - but mostly the tractor. This little boy loves to 'drive.'

Lynden has developed a very sweet and mellow personality since the first few weeks of fussiness.

 I attempted to begin my first starter and bake homemade sourdough bread. It looked pretty, but only tasted ok fresh since after more than 7 hours of rising it still came out very dense.


And then tonight, Ryder helped me make a big batch of stovetop popcorn to enjoy while we watch an old Disney movie. I'm enjoying these sweet days with my boys!

Saturday, April 25, 2015

Our Trip to The Farm

On Friday we were able to take a trip to a local farm owned by a sweet couple from our church. Look at all those beautiful Mamas!

As an added bonus, Braden had the day off work, so we were all able to go and make a family day of it. So fun!

Ryder's latest fascination is driving.  Well, that's what he calls it. I've tried to explain the difference between pretending and actually doing, but that's still over his head. He asks to drive nearly every time we go out. As you can imagine, he was thrilled to bits to be able to 'drive' all of the big John Deere equipment at the barn. 

Here's the swather, used to cut and crimp alfalfa. We learned so much from our friends - about cattle farming in Nevada, the equipment, and the effect our drought is having on local farmers. I can't wait to get started with homeschooling, this kind of practical knowledge is going to be so much fun to learn right alongside the kiddos!

Ryder was a little bit nervous about all of the mooing commotion at first, but settled right down as soon as we saw the babies, including one calf who had just been born. So sweet.

I didn't get a picture of the new baby, but here's another young calf. I was reminded of my childhood growing up with calves for pets - spending hours brushing and leading them around the yard. We thought it was so funny when the calves would suck on our fingers. I'm not sure where we came up with it, but we called it 'slipperslime.' This friendly cow is as close as I got to it yesterday.

And then there were the bulls...

This big fella was so cute that I just had to take one more picture.

This morning when I was up at 4am feeding Lynden and listening to the rain coming down, I couldn't help but feel a little bit of relief for the farmers in our community.  The drought Nevada is currently experiencing has been such a hardship that that I breathed a little sigh of relief and thanked God for sending the rain. The livelihood of so many hardworking men and women depends on something absolutely beyond their control.  So, if you think of it, pray for rain.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

An Impromptu Kitchen Date with Ryder

Today was a long work day for Braden. Inevitably that makes for a long day here at home as well. Usually on days like today I take a break in the kitchen (smoothie for breakfast, banana bread for lunch, and granola for dinner) and I was planning on it until this evening when I could tell that Ryder was desperate for some undistracted Mama time.

It was already 7pm (his normal bedtime) and I was feeling like I didn't have a lot to show for my day - we'd had a playdate in the morning with some new friends and I had been able to do a bit of gardening while the boys napped in the afternoon. There were a few items on my counter and in my fridge that needed to be dealt with though, and so with a bit of reluctance at first (it would be so much easier, faster, and cleaner if I were to just do it myself) I asked Ryder if he wanted to be my big helper.

"Helper Mama!"

Immediately he perked up.

"Hop up"

And so I lifted him up onto the counter beside the Vitamin and we got to work.

First on my to-do list was to turn our almost over-ripe avocados into guacamole for the weekend. Ryder peeled the stickers off of the outside (a great start to helping) and managed to squish one so much that its green insides began to spill out. Yep, they certainly needed to be used. He was also eager to smush the gooey green dip around with the pestle.

Next up - Pesto.  I had a big container of fresh basil that I couldn't resist picking up last time I was at Whole Foods. I've been using it in our pasta for the last week, but there was still quite a bit left and this way we'll be able to pull out the panini press and have quick and tasty sandwiches all weekend. I substituted walnuts for pine nuts, since that's what I had on hand, but we've done that before with great results. Ryder's involvement came in operating the Vitamix - a first. 

And voila! 

Since we all know that no date is complete without awesome food, Ryder and I cracked open a rare box of Smarties to share. He doesn't get such treats very often and it was fun to watch him saver the chocolates. 

Our last project of the night was baby food. We washed, cut, and roasted a few squash and added 4 ripe pears. I added the mixture to my growing supply of freezer baby food. Lucky Baby Lynden!

And of course by the end of our night the kitchen was a wreck. But, I did feel like I made something of my day and most importantly, I got to spend a quality hour of one on one time with my sweet boy who is growing up way too fast. Even if 'Mama's Big Helper' makes projects take twice as long, I cherished every moment of our sweet kitchen date...and I'll wash the dishes in the morning. ;)

Parenting is teaching me to let go of some of the insignificant things that I value - like having a spotless kitchen and being fully in control of my circumstances. There are times when I struggle with frustration and impatience - I don't want to repeat myself, I don't want to clean up the 'oopsies' messes, and I just want obedient actions out of my child without reaching out to him on the level of his heart. In the midst of that, it's spontaneous nights like tonight that make up a childhood and so I tell myself that I won't regret the mess and extra work - even when I'm tired.

Speaking of which, it's time to feed the baby and get myself to bed so that we can do this all over again tomorrow. Have I mentioned how much I love being Mama?!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

My First ePantry Experience

Two posts in one day? I know, this is abnormal for me, but I came across a great deal that I just had to share with all of you Mamas out there. Yesterday on my Facebook feed I saw an advertisement for ePantry. Since it offered a 20% discount on the brand of diapers we use (Seventh Generation) I clicked on it, not thinking that they would be able to beat my Target and Amazon prices.

But, with the 20% off on top of free shipping and a $2 discount applied by the customer service rep I chatted with online, I snagged a deal too good to pass up - motivating me to share that with you as well.

Did I mention that I received my order less than 24 hours after making it? These diapers are going to tide me over until I receive the replacements mentioned in my post this morning.

Here's what I got for a total of $21.79 including shipping -

Here's what Amazon charges for the same items:

Seventh Generation Size 6 Overnight Diapers $11.99
Seventh Generation Tall Kitchen Drawstring Bags x2 $10.65
Seventh Generation Pantiliners $6.98
Grove Collaborative Pop-Up Sponges $9.98
Total $39.60

My savings $16.34

If any of you are interested in checking to see if your daily necessities are available at a similar discount, here's a referral link you can copy and paste in your web browser that will give you $10 off your first order as well as credit $10 off of a future order for me.

What about you?  Do you subscribe to any regular delivery services (meals, AmazonMom, monthly boxes, etc.)? I'm curious to know what is working for others out there.

Happy Tuesday!

Back To The Gym

Last weekend I decided that it was high time for me to get back to the gym and in shape again. What could be a better start to the week? For the last month I've been walking around our neighbourhood with the kiddos and Dixie, but that's usually at a Ryder-pace.

I made the mistake of putting my Monday morning gym aspiration into words, never expecting that it would invoke Murphy's Law - I was up with Lynden three times that night, before getting up at 4:45 to  make coffee, breakfast, and lunch and see Braden out the door. Then Ryder was up before 7 with a VERY wet bed. Lynden followed suit requiring a few outfit changes. Hopefully our well holds up to all of the laundry and bathing happening here!

Needless to say, I was suddenly extremely lacking in motivation! During breakfast I gave myself a little pep-talk and drank LOTS of coffee in an attempt to work up my courage. I needed to run out to the post office and dry cleaners anyway, so why not try the gym too?

Whew, what a rude awakening! I climbed 1,000 steps and then ran/walked 2 miles - a far cry from my glorious running days. But Lynden slept sweetly, Ryder played quietly, and I caught up with one of my other Mommy friends.

I was able to make a hasty exit after realizing that Ryder was wet through AGAIN (the last set of diapers I ordered were duds and Amazon is sending replacements - 2 day shipping can't come fast enough!). Oh, and we ended up leaving Stingy (Ryder's favourite creature) in the play area. Sigh...

Happy Monday!

These two cuties make motherhood worth it all though - even on crazy Mondays.

Here's to hoping for a less exciting Tuesday...

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Looking for Opportunity

This week I was blessed by a dear friend from Washington who sent a birthday/baby/care package. It was filled with so many thoughtful items - a handmade baby blanket, a glass Starbucks cup, some of my favourite snacks including a box of Canadian Smarties, and more. 

Every little item brought a smile to my face, but the things wouldn't have been special if they hadn't reminded me of my sweet friend. And that got me thinking about how actively I am looking for opportunities to minister to others.

I know many of you are like me - stay at home Mama's - and have a limited sphere of influence outside of the home. You may be surprised at how simple blessing another can be. For example, on Thursday when I made the trek out to Costco in Reno, I stopped at Starbucks to pick up my free birthday coffee. Before I could give the barista my gift card though, she said that the car in front of me had paid for my Venti Americano Misto. A complete stranger!

So here's my goal for this coming week: to bring God glory by actively seeking out and taking advantage of opportunities to bless others. 

Whether it's a simple smile, word of encouragement, or invitation to a play date, there's always something we can do to bless others. Often we ourselves are blessed as we minster to others too!

How about you?  
Will you join me this week in looking for ways to encourage those around you?

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Celebrating A Year Together!

Today we celebrate the one year mark since Braden returned home from a very long deployment. Just for fun, I dug up a few photos to share so that you can remember the journey with us. 

Ryder and Daddy have one last 'lovey' before he leaves.

On his way home, I met Braden in Spain for their last port call.

Our view of the carrier from our hotel balcony.

This is my all time favourite photo. Braden leaves the Truman for the last time. Zappers are on their way home!

Ryder and I eagerly await the Zapper jets.

Together at last!

 We learned a lot in 9 months apart - but mostly how to rely on God's strength and wholly trust in Him. We appreciated so much the support of family, friends, and the church.

Oh but it's sure good to be together again!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

My Big Boy Is 2!

It's been a hectic week with two birthdays in four days. Here are a few shots of the sweet birthday boy...

A brand new soccer ball for our ball lover. We've already had lots of fun kicking it around the house. Daddy was able to be home for breakfast, so we enjoyed waffles with hot blueberry syrup - Ryder's favourite fruit.

In the evening a couple boxes arrived from Pop and Mimi. Ryder was so excited to finally be able to open them.

Here he is trying out his new sleeping bag and lantern. We can't wait to go camping this summer!

After helping me bake his cake in the morning, Ryder blew out the candles and we enjoyed a delicious chocolate cake - served on a new cake platter I received for my birthday!

Happy Birthday to our sweet firstborn!  
Ryder is a lover - persistent, sensitive, and eager to please. 

We love you Ryder boy!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Celebrating 28 Years Fiesta Style

Friday was my birthday! We were all able to enjoy a family day that began with breakfast in bed - on new Shamrock Green Fiestaware. Someone knows the way to me heart...

After breakfast we headed out to the park to play in the beautiful sunshine. Ryder's courage has really grown in the last little while. It was so fun to see him climb up ladders and pushing himself down the big slides. Where has my little boy gone?

In the afternoon I was able to leave the sleeping boys with their Daddy and head out for haircut and eyebrow wax all by myself. That used to not be a big deal - boy did I take that for granted - but I enjoyed every minute of peace and quiet, as well as no carseats to buckle and unbuckle.

Back at home, Braden grilled steaks wrapped in bacon for dinner followed by a game of Scrabble and Oreo Blizzard ice cream cake. 

All of this plus calls and texts from home and more Fiesta dishes from my in-laws made for a pretty special day. 

Look forward to celebrating another special birthday in the morning!