Grant me patience
to deal with my
BLESSINGS!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

These are a few of MY favorite things too!






Only a mother can truly appreciate these two videos! They describe my life right down to the buttons! Ah, thanks Hillary Weeks, for a GREAT laugh! I will be reviewing these videos now at least a dozen times a day....as a reminder that being a mom is the BEST job EVER!

Hmmm, sound familiar?






I dedicate this song to my most awesome and wonderful sister-in-law, Jenilyn....I hope you laugh your head off girl!!!!! This is you!!!!! Oh, and we LOVE you because of this all!!!!!

Too cute to NOT watch!

video

Carter loves to climb into the little closet in his changing table and have me close the door, so he can push it open again! We have been trying to get Carter to use more words instead of him just grunting and pointing. I asked Carter to say, "Hi mom" and he did it! It is so cute! I know the kid can talk.....he is just so stubborn.....one day, he will come into the room and just start talking in sentences....just you wait and see!

Did I mention something about....sleeping??

Does it seem fair that there is one person in this room NOT sleeping...me!!!!!? If the mom sleeps, then she might miss something, right?

Saturday, December 13, 2008

For your viewing pleasure...

video

Carter loves grandma and grandpa Meredith's kitten, Shadow! I am not so sure, after this event, how much Shadow will like Carter! As you watch, though, notice that both parties seem to be enjoying themselves!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Whew! He did it!!!





Yes...that's Carter in a toddler bed! Just last week I decided it was time! Changing from crib to bed is a big step for moms....mostly because once your child is in a bed....they can finally get out!! And get out of bed Carter did....a lot!!!! I would put him in bed, only to find a few minutes later sounds coming from his room. I would open the door to find him pulling toys off the shelf, playing on the floor, or at the door jiggling the door handle! I would promptly put him back in bed. He would cry, settle down, and then wait for me to shut the door and once again he was out of bed!! I almost put the crib back together! BUT...being the stubborn person that I am, I was not letting this child move me from my decision to keep him in his "big boy" bed! Carter is doing well now, and at bedtime he is going right to sleep! At nap-time, he tries a few times, and then stays in bed and goes to sleep! I think most parents find, that with persistence and LOTS of patience, you can teach your child anything....even when they do not want to do it! I knew that if I gave in, then Carter would remember that moment for forever, and in anything else I did with him, he would push those limits, trying to see if I would give in again!
I feel like it is so important that my children grow up, starting at an early age, knowing their limits, understanding their roles as children verses the role we have as their parents, and growing up with a proper respect for us as their parents. So many parents allow their children to speak disrespectfully to them, let their children get away with not following the rules, saying that dreaded "No!" word to every request, or to just ignoring their parents requests and so on. It can be too easy at times, to not be consistent when you are too tired or too busy, and to give in, to let our children get away with things that normally are not okay. Children need, more than anything, stability in their lives, and they especially need their parents to remain consistent in their parenting, disciplining, and rewarding. As little or unimportant as it might seem to remain consistent about teaching a child to sleep in a bed, I feel like Carter and I have taken a tiny step that will bring huge rewards!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Thanksgiving.....and our little secret...

We had so much fun during Thanksgiving. We decided to leave for Pocatello on Monday. Once in Pocatello, we went to Wal*Mart where we bought tons of food for the BIG Feast that the Meredith's have every year! Our kids love to stay at grandma and grandpa's home and they had so much fun playing with their cousins Mason and Olivia and Emily.



Anna also had too much fun playing with Shadow, the new kitten that grandma and grandpa, and Chels and Gill nursed back to health after being abandoned by her mother. Since Shadow came along, all Anna asks for is a REAL "titten" that can really say "Meow" and that she can feed real food to! Anna always tells us that when she gets bigger and we get a new house with a fence and a gate, then she can have her real kitten! I have never seen a child sooo in love with a cat as Anna is!


Wednesday night, all the girls went to the movie and saw "Twilight". We all loved it (despite some bad reviews from many) and we all can't wait to see the second movie. It is crazy to try and judge a movie from the book. There is no way a movie producer can put everything into the movie that was in the book. With that being said, the movie was great, I enjoyed it thoroughly, and I LOVED having a night out without my kids!

We started making all the food and treats Wednesday, and as much as I LOVE baking and cooking, I have to say it was a lot of work! I am thankful that Thanksgiving is only once a year! This is everything that we had for our meal: two pumpkin pies, one lemon sour cream pie, one lemon buttermilk pie, one New York style cheesecake, 18 mini chocolate swirl cheesecakes, two strawberry pies, one chocolate pie, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy, yams, home-made rolls, raspberry pretzel dessert, cheese ball, little smokies, eggnog/sprite/ice cream drinks, ice cream jello, and two turkeys, one made the traditional way, and the other Russ and I made using a Bobby Flay recipe.(I'm sure I forgot something, too!!) We made a turkey rub using a blend of butter, lemon juice and zest, three chili peppers, reduced orange juice, sage, and salt and pepper. That was rubbed all over the turkey and inside, and then we put the rest in the pan along with chicken stock. When the turkey was done, the meat actually fell off the bones! It was so good! And we made gravy with the drippings, and it had a spicy chili taste which was so yummy too! Thanks to the Food Network for making our turkey the BEST! As much as we love good food, it is such a blessing to be in the company of family, and to be able to sit around the dinner table sharing stories, laughs, deep discussions, memories, and so much more.




After Thanksgiving was over, Russ and I were ready to get to bed somewhat early for Russ's mom is the queen of shopping on the morning after Thanksgiving! Seriously! She woke us up at 4:30 A.M. whispering fervently that we must hurry, for we had five minutes to be out of there and into Wal*Mart! We sluggishly got out of our nice warm bed and headed out into the crazy cold to fight off the crazed shoppers who seem to think it is worth it to be standing in line at 4 in the morning for a couple packs of pajamas! I think the worst fights we've seen yet are in the aisle of the pajamas! Come on people....it's just pajamas!!!! BUT....I can't say much, for I have been shopping at 4 in the morning for that last four or five years! Russ's mom had a plan all worked out, a mission impossible, that we successfully completed again this year! Afterwards, we sit in the living room, eating our leftover pie, and laugh about the crazy stories each person had. Then off we go back to our beds for a few more hours of sleep before the sun rises!



We had such a great week, and we especially loved being with family. There is nothing better. There is no greater gift we could give to our children than to allow them to make memories with family. Too many parents think they need to spend hundreds of dollars on their children every year, on every holiday, buying them this toy and that toy, something always bigger and better than what they already have. It is ridiculous! What are we teaching our children? That "things" will make them happy? That all these "things" will help them make more friends, be more liked, have more prestige and power in the world? Some people feel like that is how they show their children that they love them....by buying them more "things". It is a difficult and confusing time we live in today. It is too easy to get caught up in the unimportant ways of the world.



Having a husband as a student and raising two young children, it leaves Russ and I with little to spend on "things". I am sooooo grateful we are in the situation we are! We have had to really find out what IS most important to us. We sit in our tiny apartment, with the little that we do have, and cannot watch so many others who have so much more than we do, and not wonder how they can waste so much on such needless things.




I often wish someone could live a month in my shoes and realize all that I sacrifice, understand how hard it is and how hard I work each and everyday! Russ and I hardly ever eat out....I'm talking once a month....maybe twice...some months not at all! We cannot just go and buy our children clothes because there is a sale, buy them a toy just for fun, or buy ourselves something every once in awhile. Our kids wear the same clothes every week, the same shoes every day! They get new ones when the old ones wear out or are too small. That's it! We are trying to raise our children to know that just because they go to a store, it doesn't mean they get something. We try to teach our children that you work for something first and then you gain the reward, that they are expected to be obedient and they don't need a reward for every little deed. Rewards like appreciation, praise, hugs, encouragement, and time are what children need more and yet never get enough of.



The funny thing is that I bet if many people read what I just posted, they would think that Russ and I were unhappy. How can someone be happy with so little? I guess that's our little secret! We are sooo happy. It is all the things that money cannot buy that adds to our lives together. Granted, one day we look forward to Russ being done with school and making a higher wage! We look forward to the day when we can buy a house, feel less stress from our tight financial budget, have the opportunity to be able to actually have a great food storage, to put money away in savings for our children and their future, and to be able to give to others a portion of what has been given to us so far. We make the sacrifices now so that we might reap those blessings later. We live within our budget now so that we can live within our means later. They always say that bad habits die hard. Have you heard about this worldly culprit called debt? We have been warned so many times about the dangers of debt. Debt is pulling down too many good people in this world! I am so glad that Russ and I have resisted countless times the temptation to buy now(when we didn't have the money) and pay later. It is hard at times, but we have no burdens upon our shoulders, weighing us down because of credit card debt. We sacrifice now so that we might enjoy the blessings later.





We came home after a week of being with the best family in Pocatello and feel so good to know that our children were able to spend that much more time with their grandparents and other wonderful family members....building memories. We hope our children remember these moments and remember someday that the value of our lives doesn't come from a big paycheck, a fancy car or house, or lots of toys and things! In the end, that is all they will remember, that they were just "things". And what can they reap from that? What memories do you want your children to have? Memories of all the time they spent playing with their things....or countless memories with grandpa in the backyard, swinging and picking plums, sitting on the couch with grandma reading a stack of stories, making gingerbread houses with all the cousins, riding on grandpa's knee playing "trot a little horsey", building forts out of blankets, actually pretending and imagining, singing songs with the piano or guitar, or simply taking a walk collecting rocks and sticks and seeing them as the greatest "treasures" a person could possess. I think we owe our children at least all the things money cannot buy. No one has the excuse of saying "I can't afford that." The decisions we make today concerning our children will be the decisions that will help to shape our children's lives and who they will become.


"Sacrifice is and always has been the essence of motherhood" ..Shouldn't that mean something?

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Reese Ruby Meredith!!!

Reese was born in West Virginia on November 21 at 11:58 in the morning. She weighed 7 lbs 2 oz. and was 19 3/4 inches long. Isn't she adorable? Reese takes spot number 14 of the grandchildren in the Meredith family!!!


She is soooo tiny!!!!


Look at all of her hair!!! So cute!!!



Oh....fresh from Heaven. What a wonder and a miracle!!! Congrats to Rex and Jeigh for bringing another beautiful baby to this earth life! We love you!




Friday, November 21, 2008

A New Baby in the Family!!!

We are so excited and wanted to tell everyone about the new edition to the Meredith family!!
Rex and Jeigh Meredith just had thier little girl this morning!!!
I am sure she is beautiful!
They named her: Reese Ruby .....so cute, huh?
We are very happy for them and wish them the best!!!
We'll post pictures as soon as we get some!

And no....I am not pregnant! (My IUD still has 3 years left) Though, there are some who wish I was, we promise we won't let you know, even if I were!!! We'll just show up one day and I'll be as round as a watermelon....Surprise!!!!! he he, oh the joys of Motherhood! What a blessing it is to bring Heavenly Father's children to this world (by our own womb, or through another's) and have the opportunity to raise them.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Picture Tag!

Picture Tag. You find your 6th folder and post the 6th picture...and tell the story.
This is Anna. This was actually the first time I gave her a "Biter Biscuit". She loved it, but boy are they MESSY!! Anna was a very picky eater, so we gave her anything she was willing to eat, even if she was a yucky mess afterwards!!! At least she wore a bib...unlike her little brother!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

BEST EVER Oatmeal Cookies!

I figured that since my cookies looked so yummy in the pictures, you all would like the recipe and try them out yourselves! Here it is:

1-1/4 cups (2-1/2 sticks) margarine or butter, softened
3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
3 cups Quaker® Oats (quick or old fashioned, uncooked)

(Note: if you don't have nutmeg, you can add 1/4 tsp cloves and ginger, plus the cinnamon...it is really good too! I tried it! And make sure you adjust the recipe for high altitude, they turn out better...for those in Pocatello, Rexburg, Idaho area.)

preparation:

1. Heat oven to 375°F. In large bowl, beat margarine and sugars until creamy. Add egg and vanilla; beat well. Add combined flour, baking soda, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg; mix well. Add oats; mix well.

2. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls onto ungreased cookie sheets.

3. Bake 8 to 9 minutes for a chewy cookie or 10 to 11 minutes for a crisp cookie. Cool 1 minute on cookie sheets; remove to wire rack. Cool completely. Store tightly covered.

Servings: ABOUT 3 DOZEN

notes and cook tips
HIGH ALTITUDE ADJUSTMENT: Increase flour to 1-3/4 cups and bake as directed.

variations :

BAR COOKIES: Press dough onto bottom of ungreased 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 25 to 30 minutes or until light golden brown. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. Cut into bars. Store tightly covered. 24 BARS

VARIATIONS:
Stir in 1 cup raisins or chopped nuts.
Omit spices; stir in 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, butterscotch chips or peanut butter-flavored chips.

-I made a dozen plain oatmeal cookies, then I added 1 cup craisens to the oatmeal mixture, made a dozen, then added to the remaining mixture finely chopped apple pieces. With one recipe, you are able to make three kinds of yummy and more healthy cookies!

What are home-made sweet pickles?

I am doing this post to answer some questions about home-made pickles. Russ's mom used to make them all the time, and Russ grew to the point of loving ONLY his mamma's pickles. No other brand would satisfy his taste buds! This is how we made ours...in a nutshell...

We bought 4-5 cucumbers. We boiled a huge pot of water, then put the cucumbers in whole and let them soak. We did that once a day for a few days. Then we pickled them by cutting them up into little pieces, and using a pickling spice and a few other ingredients, made a "brine" where you boil everything together, strain, and pour into your prepared canning jars (that you have to specially make ready too). Russ did it all, but it really wasn't that hard. They actually taste really good, and Russ always has them with his tuna fish sandwiches. We made sweet pickles, so I am not sure how you would do dill pickles, but it was a fun "adventure". It feels good to be able to be somewhat self-reliant. We are finding that just because you want something, it doesn't mean you have to get it at the store. There are so many things a person can make at home!

So....if you are interested in making some home-made sweet pickles, let me know, and I will get you the recipe!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pretty-n-Pink!


One morning, Carter was envying Anna pretty pink panties! He brought them to me, and then with his usual form of communication of grunts and gestures, started pulling off his onesie and tried to put on the panties. Of course, being the oh-so-helpful mother that I am, I assisted my son! Once the panties were secure, Carter was ALMOST content! What wouldn't make the morning even brighter than a ride on a PINK scooter in some pretty PINK panties? Gotta give the kid some credit....he knows where it's at!!! Thank goodness for big sisters too....so Carter can chill on a bed decked out in Strawberry Shortcake, in pink panties, catching up on some good 'ol Pink Princess reading! This kid has got it made!



My last and final comment......"Blackmail....someday!" he he he!
(PS-make sure you all check my other new posts I posted as well as this one!)





A reason to celebrate!!!!

What mom can't feel happy about this? The only thing that would make me happier is if I could get Carter to wear a bib....and actually believe that this feeding himself thing is really going to last! The last meal we had as a family, I recall still shoveling food into Anna's mouth, and she is three years old! It's amazing I ever get any food in my own mouth between keeping Carter from throwing half the contents of his meal on the floor, getting the other half of his meal into his mouth, catching with great talent the bites he spontaneously spits out, getting "this" from the refrigerator, getting "that" from the pantry, "I need a dwink pweeze!", blowing on all of Anna's food that is always "Too Hot!", telling Anna to sit in her chair and stop playing around and eat her food....then threatening her with, "If you don't take a bite, I am going to put it up your nose!!!", next thing I know, Carter is climbing on his seat, then onto my lap, then back into his chair, then throwing a fit because I refuse to let him climb around anymore......meanwhile, Anna is now pleading for that "dwink pwwwwweeeeeze!! It takin sooo yong mom....I tant wait!!"....and that's all just during ONE meal....two meals and a few snack-times later and "Whew!....I only have a lifetime of feeding my kids left!" Go Mommy!!

video

So this is what we've been up to...

Trick-or-Treating! Anna was a bumble bee and Carter was a pumpkin.
Anna had to show grandma and grandpa's new kitten Shadow her costume.
I sliced my pinkie finger while doing the dishes. The cup broke while my hand was inside. Two words: Dishwasher PLEASE!!!

Inhaling some vapors. "Whoooooo!"
I think this one inhaled a little too much of that "vapor"!! She's a special one, eh?

Laughing.....look at those cheeks......hmmmm....I could just eat him up!!!!
Pouting......no one does this better in our family than Anna!

This is my specialty....baking! These were oatmeal cookies, oatmeal & craisen cookies, and oatmeal, craisen, and apple cookies.....oh, seriously, they were the BEST EVER!!!!!
Eating up the BEST EVER cookies!
Here, have another one!

Crying....very LOUDLY.....Carter does this best in the family! Actually, he doesn't really cry so much...he just yells! He is becoming quite the little stinker!
Wonder who Carter learned how to be such a STINKER from? Hmmmm...hard to say!
Definitely not being a STINKER here!
Just "chillin".....as a mom, I love these quiet moments!
Russ's most prized possession....his very own home-made sweet pickles. Yum!