Monday, May 31, 2010

Crock pot macaroni and cheese


My friend Alyson made this one night for small group, and I was in love!  This recipe is super easy, cheap, and so so yummy.  Perfect for a busy night or to add to a meal you're taking to a friend.

Crock pot Mac and Cheese

  • 1.5 cups of elbow macaroni, uncooked
  • 8 to 12 oz shredded cheese (I prefer sharp.)
  • 4 cups milk
  • 1 to 3 Tbs melted butter (I use 1.5 - more than that seems to make it "greasy.")
  • salt and pepper
Put all ingredients in crock pot.
Stir together, and cover.
Cook 3 hours on low or 2 hours on high.

Our family

Created by: Lana Davis, 3 1/2

Baby-wearing: like mother, like daughter

We love our Ergos!



Sunday, May 30, 2010

Life with Lana today (3 years, 10 months)

Lana couldn't be a better big sister!  She is "reading" this book to him - don't you love how he's listening so intently?  He crawled right up to her and just watched.  Their relationship amazes me on so many levels - one of the things I'm watching develop in Lana is an increasing awareness of how to care for others, as she cares for her brother.  If she gets a stuffed animal for herself, he usually wants it.  So she's learned to bring him one, too.




This has been the last month of preschool.  One of the neatest things to watch happen in Lana's life this year during preschool is how her interpersonal relationships have grown.  It seems at age 3, kids really begin to start making "friends."  I love to hear each day about who Lana plays with, what they play, etc.  I have watched her really develop some leadership skills, and become less of a follower.  The drawback to this is that when she wants to lead, she expects everyone to follow, and we have to guard against "bossiness" in her heart.  Another area we are working on is her tendency to say "No one is playing with me," when in reality, everyone is just playing.  We're having to work hard to teach her how to engage herself in the play of others.  Her teachers at preschool have been so helpful in this!
 Here she is with a few of her favorite friends:


Most often these days, Lana can be found playing school.  I helped her set up a "classroom" in her bedroom, and we often overheard her doing the pledge, practicing the calendar, or having snack with her pretend students.  When we had some friends over, she talked them into playing school with her.  Apparently they couldn't decide who would be the teacher, so her solution was that there would be three teachers:
Besides playing school, she is LOVING playing bat-and-ball sports outside.  If you will throw a ball to her and let her swing and hit it, you have made her day!

She has found a favorite reading spot: the top bunk of her bed.  Lana is developing a growing awareness of the concepts of reading: she knows the difference between words and pictures, and even words and sentences.  She has noticed punctuation, and we talk about how it is used.  She knows her letters and sounds, but is still not yet blending.  I'm not pushing it - we have plenty of time.


Lana is so adventurous!  We haven't found anything that she won't try once.  This month, she's climbed a rock wall and is beginning to learn to kneeboard.


No matter how brave she gets, she does still need mama cuddles, though!  
 I LOVE that her hair still curls up like this, even though she's almost four.  When these curls showed up around her first birthday, I wondered how long they would last.  I'm so glad that they are still around!  She is not always thrilled with them, and will talk about how she wants straight hair like Mommy.  It's a great opportunity to talk about how the Lord created us in His image, and to wish that He had done something different is to belittle His creativity.  We often pray that she will develop a Biblical view of herself: created in the image of God, and a sinner in need of His grace and mercy.

One of the things she's most proud of this month is that she learned to snap!  She has seriously been working on this for months.

She is SUCH a pretender!  My friend Susan gave Lana a bookbag/sleeping bag that was her daughter's until she grew out of it.  Lana laid it out in the living room, and pretended she was having a campout.  She even built a pretend fire, and roasted marshmallows.  She LOVES to engage in this kind of pretend play.



Oh, my beautiful daughter.  I love how you do everything all the way - you play hard, love hard, fight hard, and even sleep hard.  I am so encouraged by the way I see the Lord working in you already.  Just this afternoon, we were leaving the Y and you weren't ready.  You wanted so badly to have a tantrum, but you managed to get yourself under control.  Later, when we were praising you for making a wise choice, you said, "I just turned away from that sin."  I love you, Lana.


Six Sundays in Spring


Tonight was the last concert of the Six Sundays in Spring concert series.  This is one of my favorite parts of living in Wake Forest - I have gone to this concert series every spring we've lived here.  I love being right in the middle of the community for several weeks in a row.

We made it to 3 of the 6 this year, and loved every minute - even last week's, when we got soaked from the rain!  It really is such a fun time - we always pick up a $5 pizza from Little Ceasar's along with some fruit/veggies, spread out a blanket and just relax.  When it's time to go home, I bathe the kids and put them right to bed - the outdoor time is so good for all of us!

There seems to be so little time in our society for just BEING.  Just sitting together, with no agenda, nothing to do.  I cherish this time of nothingness with my babies.  I have been thinking tonight about how I'm going to fight hard to protect time for my family to just BE.

Look at these pictures of their profiles that I got.  Startlingly similar, huh?
        

Lana decided she wanted to share the stroller with her brother:

At last week's concert, we really did get caught in a rainstorm and were soaked from head to toe by the time we got to the car.  I mean, what can you expect?  1 mama, 2 kids, gobs of stuff, including dinner = sloooow departure.  Anyway, when we were getting in the car to go this week, Lana ran back in the house to get her umbrella.  I promised her it wouldn't rain, but she wouldn't hear of it.  She came marching out of the house with her umbrella in her hand, saying, "Mommy, I know you think it won't rain, but I'm not getting soaking wet again like that!"
I'm glad she brought it, because she entertained herself with it for nearly an hour.


My friend Emily and her little girl Jane met us at the park.
Jane is about 2 and a half months older than Tucker.
He is SO social, and loves other babies.  

Dinner and a concert in the park is always so much better with company.
Thanks for coming with us, Em! 

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Lullaby

This is the song we've been singing with Lana at bedtime every night the past month or two:

The Gospel Song

Holy God in love become
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the cross he took my sin
By his death, I live again.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Southwestern Black Bean Salad


Tonight for dinner we had blackened tilapia, Cilantro Lime Rice, and Southwestern Black Bean Salad.  (Thanks, Lindsay, for sharing these recipes from SkinnyTaste.com!)

Dan seasoned and grilled the fish - it was perfect!  The Cilantro Lime Rice was okay.  I made it early and reheated it because we were going to the gym, so maybe it would be better fresh.  Anyway, it was just okay - probably won't make it again, though.

However, the Southwestern Black Bean Salad was TO.  DIE.  FOR.  Here's the recipe, adapted slightly from the website.

Southwestern Black Bean Salad
Ingredients:
1 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can of corn (I prefer the white shoepeg corn)
1 tomato, chopped
1 small hass avocado, diced
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 scallion, chopped
1 lime, juice of
3 Tbs EVOO
1 Tbs cilantro (more if you're like me and love cilantro)
salt and fresh pepper

Combine beans, corn, tomato, onion, scallion, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Mix with lime juice and olive oil.
Marinate in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
Add avocado before serving.






Thursday, May 27, 2010

Disorganized chewing


Tucker had feeding therapy today.

The improvements we've seen:

  • He is no longer doing the tongue thrust while he's eating; he's accepting food much better off a spoon.
  • He isn't sucking food from the spoon; he's now using his tongue and lips to actually eat.
  • His gag reflex is diminished.
  • He is accepting a variety of new textures.
  • He will let varied things touch his tongue - this is an incredible improvement from 6 months ago when he kept his tongue pulled back and curled up almost constantly.
He is also developing a strong "chew," which has been one of our major goals for him in therapy. 

However, the problem is that he is a "disorganized chewer."  Basically, he is not using his tongue to keep the food where it needs to be, so his chewing is sporadic.  He is such a smart little thing, though - he's learned to accommodate for this by using his finger to hold the food between his gums while he chews: 

We thought he was just being so cute putting his finger in his mouth while he eats.  Not so much!  
For most babies, their tongue just automatically keeps the food in the chewing place.
Tucker's doesn't, so when he doesn't keep his finger in there to hold the food, it just slips right out of his mouth.

Some of the ways we're working on this is by removing his finger from his mouth while he's eating, and using a straw and/or rubber tubing to strengthen his tongue while chewing.  We put crunchy things (like pieces of cracker) in a straw or small rubber tube, and give it to him.  He puts the straw/tube in his mouth in his chewing area (where your back teeth are), and the straw will begin to strengthen his tongue.   (Lateral chewing practice)

We're so grateful for Carolina Pediatric Dysphagia.

More pictures of him eating with finger in mouth - who would have KNOWN that's what he was doing?!





For Today


I am...


thinking...about joining the Wake Forest Library book club this summer.


reading... _War of Words_ by Paul Tripp and reflecting on what James has to say in the Bible about the power of life and death in the tongue.


going... to preschool for the last time this year!  I do so love Little Lambs Learning Center.


making... breakfast for my littles - now what about me?  Any other moms out there just plain forget to eat breakfast?


hoping... that we somehow figure out a way to take a family vacation to the beach this summer.  We always spend our vacations traveling home to Alabama, which is SO fun, but we'd love to have a 2 or 3 night get-a-way for just the four of us.

talking... to Lana about curly hair vs. straight hair.

remembering... being oh-so-pregant with Tucker last year at this time.

texting... Hollie Carson and Ashley Quinn.  I love that texting has brought me so much closer to these two friends!  Busy mama's of 2 don't always have time for a long phone conversation, but we are awfully fast when texting!

thankful... for the way that Dan shepherds my heart so well, and is protective of me.  I am grateful for his covering in my life.

looking forward to... Dan's parents coming to visit next week!!

listening to... Seeds of Faith.  By FAR the best kid's music I've ever listened to....and we're ALL hiding the Word in our hearts as we listen.

Outside my window... tobacco growing, new blacktop being poured, peaches on trees, geese landing on the pond.

Monday, May 24, 2010

This is what I've been chewing on all day:

No, not these two cuties, although they are edible.  

This:
"Brothers and sisters, if you want your children to have a reason to sing on Sunday, you have to give them a great God. If you want them to have a reason not to sin on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday - you have to give them a great God . . . Because a shrunken God will have nothing to hold them when their friends are offering them the pleasures of sin for a season. We've got to give our children a great and glorious God. We've got to hold out for them the wonder of who God is.

The importance of all of this is that if our children are going to interpret life correctly, than they've got to understand who God is. You see, it's only the being and existence of God that will ever enable our children to interpret and understand life accurately.

If you are going to help your children to see those things, you've got to be a person that is dazzled by God yourself. You can't give away what you don't posses.

Oh, let me urge you as parents, don't polish the idols for your kids. . .Help your kids see the wonder of who the Lord is. "

Paul Tripp
Giving Kids a Vision for God's Glory

Sunday, May 23, 2010

More catechism

Here's another video of Lana doing catechism.

It is so encouraging to me to see her learning the basics of our faith...to know that she will grow up understanding God, sin, and salvation rightly.  She may not fully understand yet what she's learning, but I am confident that the Lord will call on these things she's memorized later in life.  Just like children memorize their ABC's long before they know the sounds the letters make, our children can learn from a very young age what is behind what we say we believe.  It is so thrilling to me that, at age 3, Lana knows that death came through Adam, but Life comes through Christ!  I pray daily that He multiplies the truth of this in her soul.

I've decided not to post any more videos of her doing catechism, because I would never want this to be perceived (by her or you) as "performing."  I just want to put in one last plug for www.songsforsaplings.com - it's amazing how much we all have learned.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

How Mommy manages to get ready


Tucker is such a happy baby, but when we're at home, he likes to bed held.
It seems like he especially likes to be held while I'm trying to get ready.

This has turned out to be a perfect solution! 
I'm within arm's reach, putting my makeup on right beside him.
I turn the water on low, and he will play and play - there is something about the running water that mesmerizes him.  (I'm glad we're on well water!)


Friday, May 21, 2010

Summer is here! A day at the lake with the White's.

We love this family:

Matt, Kristen, Abby, and Max are four of our favorite people ever!  Max was in my preschool class last year, and we all just hit it off.  You know how there are just some people you know you will *always* have fun with?  The White's are those kind of people.  We spend lots of time laughing together - but we quickly go deep with each other, too.  They are the kind of people you can totally be yourself with.  
Oh, I could go on and on about how much we love this family!

One of our favorite things to do with them is go to the lake.  They have the perfect spot, and they let us tag along with them as often as we can!

It was so perfect to kick off summer with them today.

Yay for Tucker's first trip to the lake!  He absolutely, positively loved it.  

The sand didn't bother him a bit - he literally had it everywhere, and just kept on smiling!

He enjoyed the water so much, too.

All that playing wears a boy out.  Here was our naptime set up - I couldn't believe it worked!  He didn't nap for long, but it was enough for a happy boy!

I love this little sleepy face when he first wakes up:

While Tucker was doing all that sleeping, Lana was having a blast!
(She really did hang on to that thing for a few minutes.  Until she went underwater and I had to run out and rescue her.)


My sweet babies, together on the beach.
This slow pace of life is so rich.



Oh my, look at THIS moment: