Monday, August 24, 2015

Sunday Night Summary, August 23, 2015

Reading: My reading comes this week via blogs. I love reading blogs because they are short and to the point, kind of like me. 

My favorite types of blogs to read are spiritual growth in nature. I will definitely peruse food blogs as well, but honestly, food bloggers, I skip all your words and head straight to the recipe. Occasionally I'll read your comments because I will find the truth about your recipe there or any tweaks I may need to make.

This week, I want to highlight two posts I read, both guest writers ironically.  The first is a blog I have long read, and adored, and I would even say have been mentored by.  It is called, "A Holy Experience," authored by Ann Voskamp, NYTimes best seller of "One Thousand Gifts."

This week, Emily Freeman, wrote a beautiful piece over at A Holy Experience taken from her most recent book release, "Simply Tuesday."  The post entitled, "Hope For Your Soul When You Feel Small" spoke to me so profoundly as one who is living a much smaller life in many ways than I ever thought I would.

In the post, Emily compares stairwells and stages, literally and metaphorically. As one who longs for and even feels a bit at home on stages, in the spotlight, I live most of my life in stairwells (many of which are scattered throughout Johns Hopkins). I love these lines from Emily's post:

And while important things do happen on stages, while influence does come from spotlights, I never want to forget important things happen in stairwells too.
Christ spent His life on the stage of earth but He lived His moments in the stairwells of small towns.
Christ ascended to the stage of heaven but He lives His moments now within the stairwell of the human heart.
Never forsake the stairwell for the stage.

It's well worth a complete read.

My second blog post recommendation comes from another author, Amber Haines, who recently released her book entitled, "Wild in the Hollow." On Amber's blog, she featured guest writer, Tara Owens, who wrote a poetic narrative reflecting truths of the gospel in the most accessible and beautiful of ways as she retells the unthinkable choice of saving her baby's life or saving her own.

The most divinely gripping of paragraphs for me was the following: 
I wanted this child because I had been wanted first. The desire of God for me was a forest fire compared to the spark this girl baby ignited in me. The sacrificial choice made for me made me want to make that same choice. The desire for this life hidden within made me giving up my outward life possible.
Read more here
Eating: I was able to find Toffee Bits last trip to BB's (discount grocery store) and decided to make a dessert using them for the book club I hosted this past Wednesday. The girls coming preferred a chocolate trifle over brownies, so I made one up. And, I have to say it was pretty amazing.

Bri's Made Up Chocolate Trifle:

Make a chocolate cake; my favorite recipe for chocolate cake is what some people call "Wacky Cake" because it has no eggs or milk in it.

I also made my new go-to, from-scratch chocolate pudding. It is so easy to make, it is shameful to buy boxed pudding ever again once you know this recipe. (I have played with this recipe quite a bit, sometimes leaving out the confectioner's sugar, buying a variety of kinds of chocolate including chocolate chips, and also using full fat and low fat ricotta cheese. All variations have turned out a little different, but all really yummy.)

I made homemade whipped cream. Is there any other kind?
Once all the components of the trifle are made, all that's left to do is layer in a glass trifle dish.
Cake, pudding, whipped cream, toffee, repeat. 
Try it for your next get together. You won't regret it.
Doing: We crammed it in this week, seeing that it was our last week of summer vacation. I wanted the kids to have as many social engagements as I could muster this week.

There were sleep overs for all the kids, visits with friends, sometimes several a day, a day trip to Cascade Lake with our new homeschool co op, Crossroads, birthday parties, and plenty of swimming, one of those swims at an old favorite spot of ours, Jerusalem Mill. The calendar was so booked this week that my boys actually asked not to go to a monthly boys' night they typically attend because they were so zonked.

In the midst of all the running around, I managed to clean and re-organize the school room, finish ordering school materials and/or books, type out daily school schedules for each of the kids and myself for this upcoming year, take cookies to a friend whose stepdad just came home from the hospital, host book club, attend our final Trust Based Parenting session, run Judah to the library for his last two shifts as a summer volunteer, mow our entire lawn and run about 8 miles this week (less than my weekly goal, but something is better than nothing.)
A friend turned me on to some new strength training videos that I have been implementing into my workouts throughout the week. 
I have had trouble with my IT band for a couple years, and am hoping that doing a better job at strength training and stretching will heal it and keep me on the road.
We ended the week in the best way I can think of, celebrating the lives of our boys and dear friends of our's little girl, who just turned one. All three of these children are answers to prayer and bring great joy to all of us.

Looking Ahead:
Well, it's time. We will start school tomorrow. Like a middle aged momma entering a pool, we ease in slowly. We will have three days of devoted school time this week, and only do some of our subjects. We repeat this plan next week as well. 
Most of my focus and effort this week and next is just re-acclimating all of us to the schedule, pace and focus that school requires. I need as much of a slow ease into all of that as much, if not more than the kids do. I am going to sorely miss taking two hours in the morning to "wake up."
We also have three separate doctor's appointments, all routine visits.

However, I am going to have to call our pediatrician because Judah has been having pain in his knee joint for several days, and this is something we have seen in him a handful of times in the past. 
It has come and gone and even been located in different joints. We have consulted once already with the pediatrician about it, but nothing emergent revealed itself at the time. 
So, I am calling again this week to find out if we need to consider blood work or some further scans. I am not thrilled about this at all, but Judah's pediatrician told us at the first visit about his joint pain that we would probably need to take this route if his joint pain continued to show up.

I am praying it is simply growth pains. While I hate to see any of my kids in pain, I think it would be a good sign if Judah was experiencing growth pains given he has growth hormone deficiency and is "not supposed" to be growing all that much if at all according to many years of pituitary testing.
Now past midnight, it is time to hit the hay.

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