Friday, November 21, 2014

My Divided Attention

Sometimes we go to the basement. The kids play, and I clean up. Sometimes we play with Play Doh, and I let them have 1 color at a time. Most times, I fold clothes/ do dishes/ sit across the room from them/ get on the computer while the kids make block towers or "soup" in the pretend kitchen. In conclusion, I stink at playing with my kids. My version of playing, is picking up or avoiding messes, or hurrying up to get from one thing to another.

At the beginning of this week, I was in a constant state of distraction. By Tuesday evening, I could tell how this "state" was affecting my kids. I knew I was going to have to cancel stuff for Wednesday and dub it, "Stay at Home for a Whole day of Undivided Attention" Day.

Let me just say that it was the best thing for the 3 of us. I went into the day with no expectations. The morning started by snuggling in Bennett's bed until 7:30. We turned on the fireplace and cuddled while watching cartoons. We put the tent up in the living room and filled it with 50 books, 10 pillows, 2 blankets and 35 toy cars. We played loud banjo music- the type you can't help but dance to. We made hot cocoa (Ruthy's fave). We had chicken nuggets for dinner (Bennett's fave), and we ended the night with a movie and popcorn. It was epic.  

Sometimes when my kids are acting all out of sorts, I know it's an indicator of something. This time, this indicator pointed me to my heart, and my agenda. An agenda and heart that needs more room for messes and snuggles and loud banjo music.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

31 Days: Could or Should

The past 2 weeks have been pretty interesting around the Leman house. Everyone has gotten sick except for me, which I consider God's grace on us, because someone has to take care of these babes when they're sick (yes, I'm calling Tom a babe too!) Although I haven't written on here, I have written a significant amount in my journal. There's probably more content in there during this time, than there ever has, which has gotten me thinking about time and routine in general.

I found it so interesting and insightful that it took me being out of routine, feeling kind of flaky to the outside world, and being in my home more than normal to dive into writing more. I enjoyed it (the writing, not the sickness), and I really didn't care. I really had no desire to write on this blog for that time, but it was as if I was aching to jot down my thoughts and prayers each morning and each night (which I never do).

Maybe it's because I put no expectation on myself. Maybe it was because I had no routine. Maybe it was because life seemed so slow. Oh, I like that. I like the idea of a slow life. Lately, I've been choosing a "should life" instead of a "could life." I could do just about anything. I could cram my days and evenings full. I could scurry around my house constantly picking up. I could spend lots of time in every relationship. I could say yes to every invitation.

However, should I?

Shoo, that really changes it for me. I love dinner dates and activities and I am a total extrovert, but should I fill my time, our time, with it? I love a clean and orderly home. I like my systems and schedules, but should I spend my days cleaning every dust bunny\smeared piece of food\crumb up? I love being invited to something. Nothing makes me feel more loved than to be included or thought of for something. I want to say yes to it all, because I love people! But, I know I shouldn't, I can't.

Sometimes I must say I shouldn't when I really want to. It's been a new filter phrase for me. It's a new way of thinking for me, and I'm liking it (most of the time).

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

31 Days: Security in Dating my Husband

As Tom was leaving to go to his office this morning, I had to tell my immature-self to refrain from begging him to work from home today. I'm really liking this season we're in as a couple. We're no longer newlyweds (although I'm sure some people married for 60 years would beg to differ), and things feel settled as far as our marriage goes. Life in general as parents, etc.- now that's a different story, but there's legit security that comes with being married for 6 years.

I mentioned in this post, that I would go more in depth about our date, so I'll do that tonigh. When we were dating before we were married I was working at The Patio Drive-In, and there was an older couple that would come in together. They'd order their food, sit down at the table, and they would both read their books. I was so confused. Huh? What was the point?

Well...this past weekend, our date night started by running to Old Navy to buy Tom some shirts. I know, sometimes we're painfully practical. Then, we had some time to kill before our reservations, so we hopped over to Barnes and Noble where we both nestled into reading something. He grabbed a woodworking magazine and a chair, and I grabbed a cookbook and a random stool.

We were so content. Let me tell you, I was enthralled with this cookbook. I was enjoying this date night. As I was reading, oblivious to all that was going on around me, I heard a familiar voice talking to Tom a couple book cases away from me. I looked up and there was our sweet sitter who comes to the house once a week to watch the kids. She was on a date, and she was all dressed up doing a fun scavenger hunt that her date had planned for them.

I stood up from my stoop of a random Barnes and Noble stool and my cookbook to say hey! It was in that moment that I had to laugh at our married-for-6-years selves. No, it's not that we don't have anything to talk about.  No, it's not that we can't stand each other. No, it's not that we're lame. No, it's not that we're bored and tired of each other. None of those reasons are why we were reading to ourselves on our date, and none of those reasons are why that older couple read their books on their Patio Drive-In dates either.

It's all about security. It's all about being content just being with one another. It's because we know each other and we get each other. It's because he knows what I'm going to say before I even need to say it. It's because we are with each other when we wake up in the morning and with each other when we go to bed at night. It's because we talk about our dreams on a regular basis, and we're continually sharing new developments as they come about.  

In fact, later on that night, we were reminiscing and remembering where we had come from. We were also discussing those dreams we have for our future family, and I felt just as content as I did earlier in the night. It all has a purpose: the fun/important conversations and the little times of just being together. It's what makes doing this life together fun and so lovely.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

31 Days: Stuffed Pepper Soup

Stuffed Pepper Soup
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 T. Olive Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion (chopped)
3/4 C. Red Bell Pepper (chopped)
3/4 C. Green Bell Pepper (chopped)
2 Cloves Garlic (minced)
2 (14.5) Cans Petite Diced Tomatoes
1 (15 oz.) Can Tomato Sauce
1 (14.5) Can Beef Broth
1 1/2 T. Parsley
1/2 t. Dried Basil
1/4 t. Dried Oregano
Salt and Pepper
1 C. Uncooked Brown Rice

Brown ground beef and drain | In same pot, heat up olive oil and add onions, red pepper, green pepper, and saute for 3 minutes | Add garlic and saute 30 seconds longer | Pour in diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, beef broth, parsley, basil, oregano, and cooked beef | Season with salt and pepper | Bring to a light boil, then reduce heat to low | Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes |Prepare rice according to packaging directions- stir in cooked rice.

Monday, October 27, 2014

31 Days: A Lovely Weekend

 Cafe Literato is such a great place in West Lafayette. All the guys from small group went camping, so most of us girls went out for coffee and dinner here. 
 Saturday morning Tom let me sleep in. Yippee! Then, he took Bennett to get a hair cut. Here's the before. Pretty shaggy, but the "after" look is super cute.
If you look closely, you'll see his hair in the above picture. We went to a surplus antique shop down the road for some exploring. This place is jammed full of some pretty cool stuff.

Then, Saturday afternoon and evening, Tom and I went on a date. We ate at Bistro 501. Maybe I'll blog about this date night later. It deserves it's own post. Thanks, mom and dad for keeping the kids!!!
I was so thankful for our weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2014

31 Days: Bath Time

Bath time with these two typically makes for a wet floor and lots of wet towels, singing, throwing wash rags against the shower wall to watch them stick, and cups of water! Afterwards we chase them around the hallway trying to get them dressed. It's such a lovely victory to accomplish such a feat. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

31 Days: Coffee & Cookies

Coffee & cookies are just about as lovely as it comes. The first time I made these cookies, I made a double batch, and we had them for....well, not as long as we probably should have, because we ate waaaay too many. We probably had them all with coffee. The recipe is from here! Make some, and eat them with coffee.
Flourless Monster Cookies
1 Stick of softened butter
1 C. Sugar
1 1/4 C. Brown sugar
1- 16 oz. Jar creamy peanut butter
3 Eggs
4 1/2 Cups oats
2 t. Baking powder
1 C. M & Ms
1 C. Chocolate chips
1 t. Vanilla
Pinch of Salt

Preheat oven to 350 | Cream butter and Sugars | Add eggs, peanut butter and vanilla- mix well | Add remaining ingredients- mix well | Scoop dough onto cookie sheet | Bake for 11-13 minutes | Let them cool on the cookie sheet before transfering them

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