Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Brody's Wish List!

     I am very much a one holiday at a time kina gal. I love them all and think they all deserve their own time to shine. With Christmas being the PARTIAL exception. I refuse to put up any decorations, listen to music, give in to the social pull to start Christmas in August (I mean, come on! Respect the bird people!), but I will begin thinking about Christmas gifts months in advance. That way I  an keep my eye out for sales, get lists to relatives and so on.

So, without further ado.... (dun dun dun...)

Brody's Christmas List! 

Fisher-Price Grow with Me Workshop Playset
Brody loves to work on things and figure out how to take things apart and put back together. He will LOVE THIS! 

Some play cookware, food and dishes for his kitchen

Some Melissa and Doug Puzzles

Some Movies

     On his list will also be some books, PJs, and new outfits. And this little Santa tends to go overboard, so I'm sure a few more things will pop up between now and December 25. :) But it's a start. 

      What are your little ones asking for/planning on getting for Christmas this year? 

Liking up for Toddle Along Tuesday! 

Thursday, October 25, 2012

18 Months?!

Dear Brody,
     I can't believe you are 18 months! (plus some!). You are such a joy! Your Dad and I are SO blessed to be your parents. You constantly keep us laughing with your silly faces and your every growing sense of humor! It is so fun to see you start to develop a sense of humor and I really think you're making jokes already! You'll do something silly or crazy and then crack up at your self; it's really the cutest thing in the world!

 Your favorite toys right now are your horses, your books, cars and your kitchen. We spend most of our days running between these few things. You love to be outside most of all though :). Crazy Oklahoma weather has forced us to stay inside here lately because of rain, heat, cold and all of the above! You love to drive your truck, swing, and sword fight with sticks. Our good friends the Panters have all kinds of animals that you love to go see! When we say we're going to KP's house, you know you'll get to see horses and cows and get so excited! And dogs! Oh boy, do you love dogs! Any time you see a sliding/french/or any kind of back door, you run to it saying "GOG GOG GOG!" you just KNOW there will be a fur buddy on the other side. It's so cute because you get really confused if there's not one! Bath time is also one of your favorites. :) Any time I say "bath," you immediately run to the bathroom, throw back the shower curtain and start tossing in your soap. Shouting "bat bat bat" the whole time. :) 

Your vocabulary is really starting to boom! We still have a little bit of a hard time differentiating some words, but you're trying so hard and we are SO proud of you! Your regularly say, dog, cracker, momma, dada, moo, neigh, quack, baa, hot, hat, bath, car, tractor, out, bible, flag, ball, baby and a few more I'm sure I'm forgetting. It's so encouraging to see your words growing. It seems like just yesterday we were worried you couldn't hear at all and now, you can hear a dog bark a mile away and recognize it. Your signing is also incredible! You sign so many words and pick up new ones weekly! We're working on colors and you love learning about different animals and shapes. You are so smart Brody; I can see it in your eyes. :) 

Another change this month is a little visitor we get twice a week. Baby Hudson. I was a little worried how you would adjust at first because you are so use to having all my attention all day. The first day was not even rough for you! Just a little confusing maybe, but you have adapted SO well! You love looking at him and get so concerned if he gets upset! You have even started giving him kisses. You are such a kind boy with such a tender heart. Please keep this trait forever. You are just the sweetest. I know someday you will be a fantastic brother. :) 

It is amazing how fast you are growing! You are sleeping so great and eating like a champ! You've transitioned to one nap a day and are still sleeping 10-12 hours at night. We still have binky for a few more days and woobie and your dog accompany you to every bed time :). Your favorite foods are bananas, apples, grapes, chicken, green beans, peas and corn. You are a pretty diverse eater and will try almost any thing I give you. Your foodie momma is so proud of that Brody! You love to eat, cook and everything culinary! I can't wait to start cooking/baking together. I know it will be a great bonding time for us! You also have a sweet tooth. You come by it naturally though. Your daddy and I both love our sweets. But it's alright, everything in moderation 

Your are in size four diapers and clothes are 18-24 months. You are so long and lean a lot of the time your pants will be too big in the waist or too short in the length. So far your built just like your daddy little man. Your feet are a different story though; those are momma's all the way! There big and wide just like mine! Sorry buddy. We went shoe shopping the other day and had to buy you 7s and I'm sure they won't last until spring!

Brody Pate, I could go on forever bragging about you. You are an absolute blessing to be around. I thank the Lord every day that he picked ME to be your momma. You are just the best little boy! It amazes me the connection we have and how much fun we have spending our days together. I hate leaving you in the morning and can't wait to get home to you in the evening. It is so exciting to see you growing and learning every day! Your daddy and I cherish each milestone and love seeing your learn new things! But it's ok if you want to slow down just a little! Let us enjoy it slowly. I pray for you every day sweet boy. You are my heart. 

I love you to the moon and back... 


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Carpe Diem

     Carpe Diem is a cliche that has been around for quite a while. Some people have taken it so far as to adopt it as their lifestyle. Usually, someone with this mentality uses it to encourage a life that is all about self. Doing what you want to do, when and how you want to do it. Your number one concern is living your life exactly how you want it. Life is too short to do it any other way.
    But what if we took this idea and applied it to servanthood? The other day while I was running I was listening to a sermon that encouraged people to "go until they here a no," in regards to serving God. For so many of us, it's hard to know exactly where God is trying to lead us in our life. We get so wrapped up in trying to look for that one area, that one ministry, that we just KNOW God has set out for us, that we may miss ways we can serve everyday.
     Matthew 28:19-20 tells us "Therefore go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." The Great Commission. To all of us. In all circumstances. It doesn't matter whether we are preaching, leading youth, cleaning bathrooms, or mothering our children, we are to do it with the great commission in mind.
     Carpe Diem is Latin and literally means, "to pluck the day." If we could wake up each day and say, "Ok God, I don't know what you've got planned for me, but today I'm going to look with your eyes and show your love to the world." God will do great things with you if you are willing, but what are you doing in the meantime? We as believers need to seize the day and take over this world for Jesus Christ. Refocus our "anything goes as long as it will benefit me" mentality to anything goes as long as it benefits the KINGDOM" mentality.
       So go, wholeheartedly, serve the world for Jesus with reckless abandon and watch what God will do with your life and your service. I promise, it will be amazing.

Wordless Wednesday!

     Do you think this is a sign that we MIGHT eat too much ice cream at our house? Nah, I didn't think so either. :) 

*Disclaimer, please excuse toy tornado in background and crappy photo quality. Pictures taken on my iPhone of an ever moving toddler. Hmm, same reason my living room looks like a disaster zone... :)

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Pumpkin Patch Fun!

     This weekend we took Brody to a pumpkin patch near our home. I honestly didn't go into it with the highest expectations. We are from a really small town, and we are the county seat :). So, little did I know we would find such an awesome patch so close to home! The pumpkin patch is called Annabelle's Fun Farm; it is a pick your own patch and so much more!

How Cute is the this?! This is where you check in and buy your tickets. They also have a ton of homemade seasonal home decor for sale, and a concession stand. 

It started raining as soon as we pulled in, so we were a little worried we may not get to enjoy the farm after all. But the rain stopped for a minute so we decided to go for it. These were the ominous clouds that lurked the whole afternoon though. 

Our first stop after purchasing our tickets was the petting zoo. 
Brody had so much fun here! The animal pens were painted to match the atmosphere of the whole farm. They had pigs, a HUGE tom turkey, peacocks, ducks, chickens, about 8-10 goats, miniature horses, and sheep. Brody's favorite were the goats. There were a few roaming between the pens and they would just come up and sniff you. He thought that was pretty funny :)

After the petting zoo, we made our way over to the play area. 

How cute is this barn/play area! Brody had such a blast on the swings! 

This patch did not have a traditional corn maze. But they had the best train! You gave the conductor (complete with hat and all!) Your ticket, picked a car, and hoped on for a trip through the corn field! They had it all decked out with grave yards, scarecrows, and skeletons throughout the field. It was SO windy outside! That's what's got Brody's hair so crazy in the bottom right picture :). Brody had such a great time riding and did NOT want to get off when it was over! 

It was time to head out into the pick your own patch and he saw all the pumpkins and wagons! 
We picked up a few pumpkins, then hoped on to Brody's first hay ride! Brody loves all things tractors and had a blast riding behind this one, taking in the scenes. 
There were a few more activities the farm had that were just a little too old for Brody. But we'll try to catch them next year. Including bounce houses and air canons. It was a big day for Oklahoma college football so the air canons were rigged up to shoot at scarecrows in either, OU, OSU or Texas gear. (Go Pokes!) They also had this fun station you could "mine" for minerals. 

It started pouring just as we were getting ready to leave. We were so thankful it held off long enough for us to get all of our fun in. Brody had such a great time, we had a bit of a melt down when it was time to get in the car. It only lasted a few short minutes though. We were probably not even a mile section down the road and I looked back and found this. 

It was so great to check an item off of our family fall bucket list. I know we'll be back at Annabelle's in the years to come, and am excited to see it become a tradition for our little family. 

Do any of you go to pumpkin patches as part of a family tradition? If not, what activities do you do to welcome in the season? 

Sunday, October 14, 2012

In Christ Alone

     Sometimes the power of a song amazes me. This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I haven't thought of it in a while, but we sang it in church this evening and the words ring with such power, I close my eyes and am ushered in to the throne room of our Living God. The amazing love of Christ resounds in the lyrics and you can't help for praise God for all that he is. The last two verses are so full of victory, it nearly brings me to joyous tears every time I hear it. Listen to this song today and remember all that Christ has done for you, is doing for you and the GOOD plans he has for your future. You are loved by such an amazing God. Go. Shout it to the world. 

In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save
‘Til on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again
And as He stands in victory
Sin’s curse has lost its grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt of life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life’s first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny
No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
‘til He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I’ll stand

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Homemade Caramel In a Can!

     I love caramel; especially in the fall! I hate unwrapping 60 candies and constantly standing over a stove though. So when I saw this easy peasy way to make caramel, I had to try it! 

All you need is a can of sweetened condensed milk, a big pot, and a couple of hours. 

Take the wrapping off of your can of sweetened condensed milk and just cover it with water in a big pot. Make sure the can is laying on its side. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 2-2.5 hours. You will have to periodically add more water periodically to make sure the can stays submerged. 

And after a couple hours you have this deliciousness...

We ate it almost immediately and it was good but not the GREATEST caramel I've ever had. But, tonight I had some more that I dipped apples in to and it was much better after it had chilled in the fridge. It hadn't firmed up too much that I wasn't able to dip in it. I liked how smooth is was too. It wasn't sticking to my teeth like crazy. 

Verdict: Definitely making it again. It was absolutely delicious after chilled in the fridge a bit. It was super smooth and by far the easiest caramel I've ever made. :) 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

My Handsome Hub!

      This week I want to introduce you to my favorite man. The man the Lord has trusted me to love, serve and share life with. He is SUCH an amazing man. One post will in no way do him enough justice, so I'll have to just try to hit some highlights.
     Lance is an extremely hard worker. He currently works for a local county as a case worker, but goes to school two nights a week working towards his Masters Degree in Social Work. He does such a trying job all day, goes to school, comes home and does homework, but still finds time to clean up dinner while I start Brody's bath, switch the laundry out for me, take care of the yard and so much more.
     He has got a huge servants heart. He is a deacon in our church, leads a discipleship group full of eighth grade boys, and co leads a young adults bible study on Wednesday night. He never ceases to amaze me with his willingness to give of himself to help someone in need. The Lord has gifted him relationally so much so that people feel like they've known him their entire lives even if they've only known him a few weeks. I like to tease him because even though we live in MY home town, I am now referred to as "Lance's wife." And that's ok, it's a title I'm proud to hold. He has helped grow me spiritually in so many ways. I had only been in the church for a little over a year when we started dating and he has really shown God's heart to me and shown me what it looks like to live with the Light and Joy shining through.

     Lance likes to say that sarcasm is his love language and spiritual gift. Now, while we joke about that, Lance does happen to be one of the most sarcastic people I know, but he knows how to use it in a tasteful and hilarious way. I tell him I get so frustrated because when he does something that may start a tiff I just want to be mad at him for a little bit, but I can't! He does something to make me laugh and I forget all about it and move on. :)
      He is such an amazing father. I always knew he would be, but it amazes me when I look at him and see the ways the Lord has grown and stretched him since stepping into this role. I'm pretty sure Brody thinks he hung the moon. He can tell when it is close to the time Lance normally gets home and starts going to our picture window, looking for him saying "da da, da da" :). He comes home and no matter what kind of day he has had or how tired he is he gets down on the floor and plays ball or cars with Brody to Brody's little hearts content. He openly tells me how much he misses Brody when he has to go a couple days without seeing him. He's not afraid to act goofy with him just to get a smile. He also is a very strong leader to our son. Brody knows to take Lance seriously and usually obeys him without a second warning. He exemplifies a godly father and can't wait to see how many more children the Lord blesses us with.
     Some random lighter facts about Lance. He has a sweet tooth bigger than anyone I've ever met. He could eat candy, chips, pop  any type of junk food every day and be perfectly happy. He is a man's man. He loves to hunt, fish and watch and play sports. If something breaks in the house he fixes it. I'm constantly impressed with all of the skills he has. One of our favorite common hobbies is to shop, and can go through an amazing amount of money in a short amount of time if you drop us off at an outlet mall. He use to play basketball and is still very good. I'm not kidding, the man has one of the prettiest shots I've ever seen.
      I am so thankful for this man. It has been so fun showing him off to you guys! We are writing one pretty amazing love story and I can't wait to see how it all turns out. :)

If It's Got A Cowboy In It...

     If it's got "cowboy" in it, you know it's going to be good. I am an Oklahoma girl through and through, so I know only good things come from the word "cowboy." And this recipe is NO exception.
I got this recipe from the The Pioneer Woman. A God fearin' rancher's wife from Oklahoma? Y'all know she has gotta know what she's doing. :) This recipe is absolutely no exception. I may have I'm pretty sure I could have eaten the entire pan. So, Happy Thursday and You're Welcome! And go make this for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack or all of the above!

You'll need
1 Deep Dish Pie Crust

8 slices bacon, fired until crispy
2 yellow onions sliced
2 tablespoons butter (or bacon grease)
8 eggs
1 ½ cup heavy cream
Salt and Pepper to taste
2 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 F 

First, Roll out your pie crust and lay it in the pan. Confession: I used a store bought. True story, I didn't even know they made store bought pie crust until I was well into my teen years and caught a friends mom doing it. Our family pie crust recipe is that good. One day I'll share it with you. :) Ok, back to the point. Store crust works fine for this because unlike pies, it's the inside that's the star of this dish. I used both of the crust that comes in the package and smooshed (yes, it's a word. Right?) them together so the crust would be thicker. 

Next, begin caramelizing your onions. I used bacon grease instead of the butter. Why? Because I'm a small town Oklahoma girl and we all have it in our fridges in a coffee mug. Right? No, just me? Well, give it a try. It's delicious with this. Just save the grease from the bacon you fried for this. 

Be patient and keep the heat to medium and in about 15 minutes you'll have this yummy, golden onion deliciousness It's worth the wait. Trust me. 

Mix the eggs, heavy cream and salt and pepper in a bowl. 

Now, add the onions, cheese and bacon to the egg mixture and throughly combine. 

Pour the mixture into your pie crust and cover lightly with aluminum foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 10 minutes, or until the quiche is set and the crust is golden brown

You end up with the most delectable quiche I have ever tasted. This is seriously good y'all. Make it up and serve it to your favorite Cowboys. Or your grandmas. Or your dogs. I don't really care you make it for, you just have to try it. It's that awesome.