Thursday, December 30, 2010

Field Trip gone BAD

With Cole being out of school for 9 days, us all having passed around the flu, and the crazy weather - we were going a bit stir crazy around here. Last summer I had purchased a Groupon for 5 admissions to the Magic House in STL for $20 (a great value really) and it expired 12/31. My Dad was on vacation this week so we decided to meet up on the interstate & take the boys for a day out.
The last time I was at the Magic House (2-3 years ago) Cole had a blast. It was busy, but they have expanded about 3x the size - so I figured it wouldn't be near as bad this time. (needless to say...I forgot that ALL of STL schools are also on Christmas Break right now!!) For the most part, things were fine at the Magic House (or the Fun House as Cole calls it), we only had a hard time getting him out of the 3 story climbing thing ... which equalled that either me or my Dad ran up & down 3 flights of stairs for an hour keeping an eye on him!
When we left we went to McDonalds, they had an indoor play area, which is a real treat since our McDonalds got rid of theirs. Cole ate his food & went to play -- promising that when it was time to leave, he would - in return, I would get him the Baukugan toy he wanted at the counter ($1.70 is a small price to pay for the ease of a trip out the door). Well, time to leave came...and went. Cole threw a HUGE fit in McDonalds ... like a 2 year old tantrum. My Dad had to carry him out kicking & screaming. Some older man made a terrible comment about Cole, and, by this time I had literally had it -- so here I stand, in McDonalds, holding my 5 week old baby in his carrier, 5 year old screaming at the top of his lungs in my Dad's arms...and, yes, I told the old man off. (I felt absolutely terrible the minute we left, no he shouldn't have said that about my child, but, I shouldn't have fallen to his level either).
We get in the car, travel the 20 minutes to drop my Dad off at his car, and finally we are ready to make the trip home. By this time, it's 5pm, pitch black & FOGGY. I have an hour+ travel time home with just me & the 2 boys. Of course, minutes after we get on the interstate Jacob begins to cry (yep..we are pushing the feeding time...why didn't I remember that before we left my Dad?!), I ask Cole to find the paci & get it in his mouth. My VERY cranky 5 year old gets mad that I interrupted his video game & tosses the BRAND NEW DSi to the front of the car. Grrr...Jacob calms down, and, for the sake of my hour drive, I give the DSi back.
We make it to Litchfield, Cole has to pee...I can't very well haul everyone out of the car in the dark, by myself...so I pull over in a lighted lot, open the van door & make Cole pee out the door (yes, I know, terrible). We get back on our way..only 30 minutes to go! Yep..Jacob begins to cry again, I ask Cole ... well, forget it. I pull over in the only lighted parking lot (the Packaged Liquor store..ugh) get out, come around, find the paci, soothe the baby & we are back on the road again.
10 minutes from home Jacob is crying again...Cole gets irritated at me for asking again, & wings the DSi AGAIN. That's it..I've had it - you have lost the DSi for awhile son.
Pull into the drive way - Cole can't find his shoes or socks - he walks through the snow barefoot before I can stop him, he's now crying because his feet are cold...well DUH!
We come into the house - I send Cole to his room for punishment & begin feeding Jacob. Cole comes down & tells me he's sorry. We prayed together, he asked forgiveness - then he called Big Papa to ask forgiveness from him too & say he's sorry.
8pm everyone's going to bed - and we did!
Daddy is the key to successful trips I think...no more Mommy adventures on our own for a long time :)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Life...an hour and a half at a time

Well, we experienced our first major catastrophe since Jacob arrived...a stomach bug that we passed back & forth for like 10 days. It was terrible. I always thought it was hard when I got sick just having Cole....well, let me tell you, it's nothing compared to having a newborn that needs to eat every 2 hours & BOTH parents are sick :(

Needless to say, that 10 days threw me into an anxiety ridden state. I started to feel stressed an anxious about everything - keeping up with the house, being ready for Christmas, spending time with Cole...it was all stressing me out. Fortunately, with a TON of help from Jason & my dear parents, I'm not nearly as stressed now.

BUT, I have succumb to the fact that at this time, my life is lived in hour & a half increments. That's very hard for me. I have to-do lists, projects & time frames that my "type A" personality needs to meet & follow. Not being able to plan my day the way I used to makes me feel anxious - even out of control. I hate that...but, there really is nothing I can do about that right now. So...I'm doing my best to do as much as I can in the time I have - and, then really utilize the time when Jason is home. (It's REALLY hard having a husband gone M-F!!) God is helping me learn that it's OK...but, It's a hard lesson I will tell you :)

This week Jacob turned 5 weeks old - I can't believe how fast the time has gone. He's really growing - his cheeks are getting so chubby...which makes sense with all the eating this boy is doing! I'm still nursing, but, it really doesn't satisfy him so I almost always have to follow it with formula to fill his belly.

Cole is still doing awesome as a big brother! He's been on Christmas Break from school since the 20th, and, we are both a little stir crazy. It will be nice when they go back next Tuesday to give him someone to play with for a few hours a day :)

Here's our most recent picture...and our only full family picture to date...my how things change with #2!!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Merry Christmas from the Lenczycki's!

Wow, what a year it has been for our family!

In March we found out that we were expecting our 2nd child ! We were sooo excited. Unfortunately, I ended up extremely sick (AGAIN!) even worse than I was with Cole. It was a long 14 weeks until I was feeling good enough to actually function normally again. In the meantime, several things transpired at my job – all leading us that God was paving the way for me to stay home with the boys. This was such a scary thought to me..giving up an entire 2nd income?! But, we took the leap – and, I absolutely love it. There is no more rewarding job than caring for my precious gifts – and we are seeing the fruits of our labors daily!

On November 22nd of this year we welcomed our Beautiful Baby Boy, Jacob, into our home & our hearts. His birth was quite dramatic to say the least (would you expect anything less from me?!), and, he spent several extra days in the hospital to regulate his breathing – but we are all home now & loving our new life as a family of 4!



Cole is in his last year of Pre-K  and will move onto full day Kindergarten next year. Mommy is having a very hard time coping with that! He continues to receive speech & occupational therapy at school – but has show tremendous growth in the past year! We are blessed by the teachers & supports we have in place, and, are so thankful that he is LOVED by each & every one of them 

We have been amazed by the love that Cole had instantly for his baby brother. He is the best big brother! He takes his responsibilities very seriously too – on several occasions Jason or I have been in trouble for letting Jacob cry when Cole is away.


We also joined the church we have been attending for the past couple of years. I am very involved in Moms & Children’s Ministries and am so thankful to be able to still use my gifting in this way. Cole LOVES the church & begs to go all the time. Wednesday & Sunday’s just aren’t enough for him  We are thankful God is helping us instill this love of Jesus in his heart.

Jason’s love of bass fishing lives on – and, he has really had an awesome year! He & his partner have won several tournaments and consistently place amongst the top each time. I’m completely blown away by his dedication to this sport. I mean, seriously, who gets out of bed at 4am – in the winter – to go sit on a boat & freeze all day?! He has also begun to pass this love of fishing along to Cole. Although Mom is still pretty scared to let him go in the boat with Dad by their selves, Cole loves to go fishing with his Dad. These are such special times for them 

As we finish this year, and, look to 2011 – I know that our lives will be filled with many “firsts” for both of our boys. We are excited to see what God has in store for us 

God’s Richest Blessings,
The Lenczycki’s: Jason, Jenny, Cole & Jacob

Monday, December 6, 2010

Jacob's First Bath

Just like his big brother...Jacob is not fond of baths :(



He was very happy when he got in his soft, warm ducky towel & got his paci back :)



Cole was a huge help giving Jacob a bath! I wonder how long that will last?!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A picture is worth...

A thousand words? Or maybe great behavior if he thinks I may show this to his future girlfriend when he's older?!



Jason & I walked into the living room to find this. He was dead serious & asked "Mom, do I got milk?". We both cracked up! (I laughed so hard my incision from surgery hurt all evening)

When I started nursing Jacob we decided that we really need to make this just no big deal so that it wouldn't freak Cole out. There really is no way for him to never see me nurse, so I wanted to just start from the get-go with the natural aspect of it. The first time he saw Jacob nursing he covered his mouth & said "I think I'm gonna be sick". It was humorous. But, the breast pump has brought much more comedy into the house!

Cole fondly refers to me as "The Milkenator", and, he calls my breast shields for the pump "Mommy's Milkers".

I'm certain at some point this will come up in public - which I am going to have to figure out how to address without turning red in the face (you know...like with the Pastor at church!!), but, for now it's cute :)

Maybe we should just put a sign in the yard: Lenczycki Dairy Farms :)

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Snow Day!

We were so surprised to wake up this morning to our entire deck & yard covered with a light snow covering.

The first thing out of Cole's mouth was "YES, it's a S-N-O-W Day!!" (with his hands appropriately placed in the "rock out" symbol. Well....he was a bit crushed when I told him that no, it was not a snow day :(

Thankfully Grandma Hosie (Grandma Rosie) took him to the bus & threw snow balls on the way out -- that helped him decide it would be OK to go to school. Now...I wonder if he will get in trouble at school today for throwing snow balls when he gets off the bus at school...?!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Welcome Jacob Paul!


I experienced the most drama filled 6 hours of my life a week ago Sunday night - Monday morning. Wow - what a crazy story you are about to hear :)

Most of you all should know I was scheduled for a C-Section on Monday morning at 8am to welcome our second son, Jacob,into the world & our family. This was supposed to be a planned, calm, uneventful birth that would be easier on both the baby & Mom. Well, if you know me at all - you would guess that this was none of the above, and a completely "Jenny Drama" filled arrival.

Sunday was a wonderful family day. We had a great worship service at church, had my pre-ops done at the hospital and went home & enjoyed a great day - just the 3 of us. Jason even treated me to an M&M Blizzard that night...my favorite :) Well, around 9:30 I started feeling a little crabby - but, knew my nerves were likely picking up and I was probably worried about surgery. By 10:30 I had a slight indication that something wasn't quite right and called the hospital to just ask them if this was normal - to which they said yes - and would see me at 5:30 am unless something happened in between. By 11:30am I was suspecting more regular contractions -- but wasn't concerned since I have been having Braxton Hicks for quite some time. Well....at 12am we figured we might as well just drive onto Greenville & have them monitor the baby - we could sleep there the same as home, still planning on a 8am C-Sec. At 12:20am we were in the car & on our way. Jason decided he would try to maybe time the contractions and see if they were regular at all -- again , we thought these were fake contractions. A few minutes later we realized they were only 3 minutes apart! We called the hospital - told them what was going on & they said get right there. We pulled into the hospital around 12:55am, went right back to OB and was put on a monitor - by then contractions were 2 minutes apart. They quickly varied between 1.5-2 minutes apart & were growing with intensity. They attempted 2 shots of a medication to slow them down allowing us all a bit of sleep before the scheduled section. Neither worked :( Within an hour or so I was really feeling the intensity & hoping for an epidural - even if we would be waiting until 8a for the surgery. Yeah, well....needles to say I went from a 4 to a 10 in about another hour (ladies will understand this) - that's when things started getting a little crazy :) They rushed to prep me for surgery & called the team in. As I was being wheeled into the OR my water broke & I was pushing pretty hard (not by choice!). Poor Jason was running to get into scrubs! When we got in the room - they found that I was complete (again, a woman will understand) and the baby was ready to go. They put an epidural in while I was trying to stop pushing and minutes later my awesome Dr had Jacob out & rushing to the nursery -- 4:18am! My surgery was finished & I headed to recovery by about 5:30 I think.(yes, all this coming from the girl who wanted an epidural at 8 months "just in case"...needless to say - there is truth to that whole 2nd births happen faster than 1st!)

The saddest thing was that our dear friend Jennifer Kershaw & our Midwife Liz didn't get to be here for the birth because it all happened so fast :( I felt bad for both of them since they had been with us since day 1!!

We ended up having to stay in the hospital for a full week as he was born with Meconium (sp?) so he has struggled with a rapid respiration rate since birth. They have determined there is no infection, & nothing remaining in his lungs - but it was quite a bit higher than it should have been so they monitored pretty closely. Since we have been home we have already seen the pediatrician and the respirations are steadily coming down. We are confident that it's going to be just fine....after all - he really is perfect :)

I am healing wonderfully & blown away by how awesome the surgical team was. They took a really stressful situation & handled it so well, and, made me feel completely comfortable! I really can't believe how much easier this recovery has been than with Cole - I honestly thought the surgery itself would equal a much harder recovery ... not so! Of course, it helped that the worst of my recovery happened in the hospital since we stayed so long.

Cole is absolutely in love with his new baby brother. He came to visit him each day, and, told him how he loves him & will take care of him each time. It's the most adorable thing! Since he's been home, he has taken great responsibility of being "in-charge" of Jacob...he even tells me when he needs to potty & asks me if I can watch Baby Jacob. Once he even asked if he "could count on me" ;)

So...to wrap this all up, who else in the world could have two scenarios like this. Pregnancy #1, delivered on due date - nothing scheduled, just awesome timing! Pregnancy #2 we have a scheduled C-Sec, and, still end up delivering on that exact day -- but definitely with no assistance! I suppose my boys are going to be just like me with that control issue :)

Jason & I are so thankful that God has given us these 2 wonderful, handsome boys now to complete our family :) We had a wonderful experience in the hospital & will miss our new friends here....but are so excited to get home & begin this new phase in our life.

I will try to get more pics posted soon! Needles to say, we missed videotaping or getting any pics during birth - Jason literally walked in, in time, to see Jacob jump out :) However, we have captured some beautiful faces in the last two days - we will be excited to share with you!

Thank you again to everyone for your prayers - they mean so much to us :)

Jason, Jenny, Cole & Jacob :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Maternity Shoot

I have really been reluctant to take maternity pics with this pregnancy because I got so big, so fast. I'm swelling everywhere, especially my face - and, I just didn't know that I wanted it documented! However, I changed my mind, just the other day & we did them on Saturday. I'm sooo happy I did! The pictures are beautiful, and, I feel blessed to know that I will always have them. Here's a little preview...




Monday, October 25, 2010

Caramel-Banana-Nut Muffins

Last night I tried a new recipe to use over ripe bananas...they are AMAZING!



1/2 Cup Chopped Pecans
2 Tbsp Sugar
1 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1 (3oz) pkg Cream Cheese, softened
1/4 Cup Butter, softened
2/3 Cup Sugar
1 egg
1 Medium Banana, peeled & mashed (1/2 cup)
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 & 1/4 Cup Flour
3/4 tsp Baking Powder
1/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/4 tsp Salt
2 Tbsp Carmel-flavored ice cream topping
Extra banana, sliced thinly (optional)
1 Tbsp Butter, melted
Extra Carmel-flavored ice cream topping (optional)

Line (12) regular muffin cups with paper liners. (if using a jumbo pan, only 6)
In a small bowl, mix pecans, 2 Tbsp Sugar & 1 tsp Cinnamon.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, softened butter & 2/3 cup sugar until well combined. Add egg and beat well. Beat in mashed banana & vanilla until combined.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, baking soda & salt. Add to the banana mixture beating on low speed until just combined.
Stir in 1/4 Cup of the pecan mixture. Spoon 1/2 the batter into prepared muffin cups (1 rounded Tbsp for the regular size).
Drizzle with Carmel topping in each cup - about 1/2 tsp or so in each one
Top with remaining batter. If you wish, put 2 slices of thinly sliced banana on top, drizzle with melted butter & then sprinkle with remaining pecan mixture.
Bake at 375 degrees for 18-20 minutes.
Can drizzle with more caramel after about 5 minutes if you like.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Homemade Bread

One of the things I have always wanted to do was learn to make a good, quality homemade bread. One that will stand up for Sandwich bread the same as slicing & eating with a meal.

About 2 years ago, my Father-in-Law really got into baking as a part of retirement, and, he discovered an amazing recipe for homemade bread. I finally took the plunge about a month ago & had him teach me how to make it. I was so shocked when he told me I actually had to made sure the water/milk reached 110 degrees on a thermometer (that I honestly didn't even own at that point) - I mean, really, did it matter? (Well, YES, BTW - It DOES matter!)

I have made 2 official loaves by myself, and, still haven't perfected it to his loaves, but, boy they are good. My hang up at this point seems to be sealing the edges after the 2nd rise, I don't seem to be getting them perfect and you can see the rolled "layers" in my bread when it finishes baking. I will keep practicing!

Jason is thoroughly enjoying homemade bread for both his lunch & our meals. It's amazing how much better homemade bread tastes toasted for breakfast too!

I love living the domestic life :)

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Happy 5th Birthday Cole Michael!

This was my baby 5 years ago. I never dreamed time would go by as fast as it did.





My life was forever changed the day Cole was born. My purpose, my calling in life is to be his Mom (and soon, Jake's Mom). Thank you God for entrusting these little guys to me for this time, to teach & help them grow to be Men of God :)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Family Legacy



I loved this picture of Jason's Mom & Dad taken last weekend. It captures so many years of happiness, joy, & perseverance through the tough times. May we all live long & see our marriages as wonderful as theirs :)

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Amanda's Famous Apple Dumplings :)

For those of you who were at the shower last weekend, this is the receipe everyone has been asking for....My Sister Amanda's FAMOUS Apple Dumplings. It doesn't matter how many she makes, they are always GONE by the end of the event. Wish I would have taken a picture for you because they are so pretty!

Apple Dumplings

1 Can crescent rolls
2 Granny Smith apples
1/3 c Melted margarine
1 c Sugar
Cinnamon
Sprite, Sierra Mist, 7 up, Mountain Dew (whatever clear soda you have)

- Peel apples and cut into quarters
- Wrap crescent rolls around each quarter
- Place in dish with sides touching
- Sprinkle desired amount of cinnamon over each one
- Mix melted margarine and sugar, spread over dumplings
- Carefully pour soda around the base of the dumplings until you get about ¾’’ deep in bottom of dish.
- Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes
(Makes 8 Servings)
Serve Warm

You can prepare your apples and crescent rolls and place in dish the night before and refrigerate.
Then pour cinnamon, sugar mixture and soda the next day and bake.

This recipe is so inexpensive to make, and, EASY. It looks & tastes like a million bucks :)

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A day of Savings!!!!

So, my entire goal for the day was to utilize the the few hours I had a babysitter & finish the birthday shopping for Cole that I have desperately needed to do. (I was shopping for myself, parents, siblings & Grandma!). Plus there were some awesome sales at Babies R Us this week so I decided to nab a few things off my list of "need before Jake arrives". Never did I think I would do this well!!!!

Target
Huggies Supreme Wipes were on Sale for $1.99 a box (regularly $2.39). I purchased 3 for a total of $5.97. I had (1) Target Coupon for .75 off a box, and, a Manufacturer Coupon for $2.50 off of 3 boxes. This would have brought the total down to $2.72 or .90 a box. Well, when they rang up, they ended up ringing up at $1.33 a box, so I got them for .25 a box. Seriously - no joke. I have a feeling this was some type of a register mistake, but, the lady said it was correct, I paid my bill & left with a HUGE smile on my face.
(Savings of $6.42)



Toys R Us
I knew I had to buy 4 birthday gifts for Cole while in there today, I picked out everything I wanted before I went (thankfully!), and, here is how I did.

Gift #1: Ben 10 Alien Costume $24.99, Berenstein Bears Book $3.99 - total $28.98
$5/$25 Coupon
OOP = $23.98
(savings of $5.00)

Gift #2: Lil' Tikes Punt, Pass & Kick Football Set regularly $22.99, on clearance for $15.37
(savings of $7.62)

Gift #3 & 4 PLUS Misc: Lil' Tikes Auto Pitch T-ball/Baseball Set $34.99, Mitre 2 Goal Soccer Set $34.99
Baby Carrier $19.99, (2) Washcloth Sets $5.98 each - Total for the 5 above items $101.93
$5/$25 Coupon
$3/$3 Coupon
Baby Carrier Sale -5.01
15% off Baby Sling/Carrier -2.25
Washcloth Sale -6.00
OOP = $87.30 (with tax)
(savings of $21.26)

Babies R Us
Carters Diaper bag (so cute - doesn't look anything like a diaperbag!!) $39.99
(2) Changing Pad Covers $12.99 each
Arm & Hammer Diaper Pail $32.99
(2) Arm & Hammer Refills $5.99 each
TOTAL of above 6 items $110.94

20% off Diaper Bag Coupon -8.00
B1G150% off Changing Covers -6.49
SALE Diaper Pail -5.00
20% off one Item Coupon (Diaper Pail) -5.60
SALE Diaper Pail Refills -1.98
OOP = $91.21 (with Tax), used $50 GC so only paid $41.21 OOP actually
(savings of $27.07)

PLUS I left with a $10 GC to use on my next purchase there (and another 20% off coupon) from a Promotion I completed today.


TOTAL SAVED TODAY = $62.37 JUST by combining sales, coupons & being willing to check out more than once if needed. WHAT A DAY!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A perfect "pear" :)

Yesterday was a lovely day. My 2 beautiful Sisters & Mom had a lovely luncheon with my Grandma's, Aunts & Cousins celebrating our soon-to-join-us Jacob.



It was a fall theme, in honor of Cole & Jacob being the "Perfect Pear" for Jason & I. With hand-painted gourdes, pine cones & homemade sugar cookies (perfectly packaged!) for everyone to enjoy.





With an assortment of homemade foods & desserts, I was able to fill my tummy & my soul by visiting with some of these special family members that I rarely get to see.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

You spent WHAT on lotion?!

Isn't it funny how certain trends in your life progress? I had a moment this morning where I just had to sit back & smile as I "painfully" transitioned yet again.

Yes, this is a tale of Body Lotions ... Bear with me, I will tie it all together :)

When I was in High School, Bath & Body Works was a big deal. I would save my money & be so excited when I finally got to go shopping at BBW. Stocking up on all my favorite scents, making sure to have some stashed in my locker, PE bag, and, of course trial size for my purse to make sure it was "known" I used BBW :)

As I got older, I began to realize how much that stuff STUNK - it was way to perfumed & overpowering for me. In my 20's I found a company called Philosophy that produced a wonderful line of products. A lightly perfumed scent, while smelling almost completely natural. Amazing Grace was the scent I am most fond of - and can't even begin to tell you how many compliments over the past 10 years I have received. Yes, I can easily say this is a guilty pleasure of mine. The only downfall....a bottle (it is large though) of Amazing Grace costs me $50. (yes, you heard me....$50)

And, sitting on all my tables - nightstands - and bathroom counter now is.....Jergens. I know, this seems completely ridiculous right...how could I possibly downgrade to just a drugstore brand of lotion?! Well...let me tell you, when I was couponing a year ago I got about 10 bottles of the stuff for FREE, and, in a household surviving on 1 income, FREE IS GOOD!

This morning I canceled my auto-delivery of Amazing Grace for now. It was painful, and, hard - but, seriously - $50 is a lot of diapers with a new baby on the way! Isn't it funny how as a Mom we really are OK with sacrificing what we love for the betterment of our family?! If you would have asked me at 21 or 22 if I would ever cancel my auto-delivery of this little Gem I would have told you not until I'm homeless...but, babies change everything :)

Now, don't cry too much for me, I still have 1/2 of a large bottle of my "liquid gold" stocked away in a secret place, and, a full bottle of the corresponding shower gel...I plan to use those as I need to find my "happy place" in the sleepless nights ahead!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Haircut Time

One of the hardest things for Cole is getting a haircut. We long ago gave up the attempts to get it done professionally - and turned to Jason cutting it at home with the clippers. This was the most successful cut we have had yet! I did think the lip was a nice addition though...maybe he thought that would get him out of it?! :)





Monday, August 30, 2010

Growing up is hard to do!



Today is the first official day of Pre-K for Cole, meaning all the kids will be there today (not just the 10 with SN). He will have a new classroom, new teachers, new friends -- I'm a bit nervous for him! This morning he got on the big bus, with all the big kids, and, I have to admit, I felt sad in side that my "baby" is growing up this fast.

I'm getting ready to start cleaning to kill time until 11:15 when he's home again...and, fighting the urge the drive to the school just to peak in on him :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

First Day of School


Monday I sent my baby off for his first day of his final year of Pre-K. Even though this is the 3rd time I have done this - it feels so different this year, knowing that next year he will start going full days, be in Kindergarten - and, we will have another child by then. I just want so badly to hold on to the bits of little boy he still has before he grows up so quickly! I'm so thankful I have been able to enjoy the past 4 months at home with him :)

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Preparing our Children...for persecution :(

I know this seems like a crazy topic for a Mom of a 4 year old to have on her heart! This summer I participated in a Bible Study with a group of other Mom's at my church. The study covered Creative Correction by Lisa Welchel. (I HIGHLY recommend it!) As the school year is upon us, I started reviewing some of the key chapters I really want to focus on with Cole. Needless to say..this was not one of them. However, at 5am today, wide awake..I felt God calling me to get up & spend time with him, and, this is what he laid in front of me.

We know that as Christians we will face persecution, we know that our children will -- we just expect it to be in Jr or Sr High. But my mind has been opened now to the "little things" that can really send them down the wrong path so young. I want Cole to stand strong in his faith -- so that he WILL be ready to face persecution when it comes! Which means I, as his Mom, need to make sure I'm helping him make the right choices from the beginning.

"Bad company corrupts good character" (1 Corinthians 15:33).

As much as our children need to be able to choose their friends, and, learn from those choices -- when they are young, we set the example of choosing the right friends...not only for our children but for us as well. (remember, they see everything!)

Cole doesn't always have the option of choosing all of his friends, because of his class situation, he is sometimes placed with groups of children I may not necessarily always think are the best influence. Last year, one of the little boys who Cole rode the bus with, told him he was a looser. He came home very sad - hanging his head, and, told us that he was a looser. I could see, at the age of 4, what his friends thought of him was deeply important to him. My heart broke as I explained to Cole that he was not a looser, and, that the little boy who said that likely had no idea what it even meant. To this day, Cole will bring that up from time to time....and, yes - it still breaks my heart just as much.

"A friend loves at all times and a brother is born for adversity" (Proverbs 17:17)

As hard as it is to see your child suffer, how sweet it is to witness a friend (or even your child) stick up for another little friend :) Time & time again I have seen friends help Cole through difficult moments. I want Cole to be ready to do the same for friends in life when they need it.

One of the wonderful things about surrounding ourselves with Godly friends, is that we know how they parent, and, what they teach their children. I am blessed to be surrounded by a group of wonderful Mom's at my church and in my community. Watching them, encourages me to keep going! Many of their children, have become good friends with Cole - I am so proud to say that he has an excellent circle of friends in this group that I hope will remain in his life for years to come :)

My prayer for all of our children as this school year starts, is that they can find those few close friends that will be their "Brother during times of Adversity", and, that they will radiate Christ's Love as they go throughout their day. After all...sometimes the most innocent of us all, teach us the most :)

Monday, August 9, 2010

I've been waiting my whole life for this!

As we were driving into the Mt. Olympus Water Park & Hotel Rome in Wisconsin Dells, our precious 4 year old, Cole, excitedly announces..."I've been waiting my whole life for this!". It doesn't get much better than to see your child so excited & having so much fun (even if it is a little funny that he's been waiting 4 whole years for this vacation!)


Our Vacation was wonderful - although it wasn't a relaxing vacation, I have realized that those are likely over for a while. With a very active 4 year old boy & another baby boy on the way...I think we will have several years of busy vacations before the peaceful, relaxing ones return....but, that's OK.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Late night fun...well, maybe...

Last night was late night at the theme park. They close at 9pm, and, re-open from 10p - 1am. Since Cole took a late nap at 5pm, I thought it would be fun to take him back & ride more of the rides he loved.

But...when we got back inside the park we quickly realized that the Tiny Hero's go-karts, and, the Little Titans rollar coaster was closed :( Jason, Dad & Matt really wanted to ride Hades (which is the largest, most popular roller coaster in the park) so I sent them on their way to stand in line for 1.5 hours and I was determined to find something for Cole & I to do. I found a small area that had 3 rides that looked to be suited for little kids...an airplane ride, a hot air balloon looking ride, and, some small swings. First Cole rode the airplane ride...which was very anti-clamactic for him. He had a bum plane that did nothing :( After that he looked disappointed. I had watched the balloon ride thing and it looked OK. (keep in mind, I do NOT like rides at all). So...Cole & I entered the ride, and, took our place inside one of the balloon cars. My first indication something wasn't right should have been the large pole that spun the ride around & around. Let's just say both Cole & Mommy were holding on for dear life & praying it would end soon -- we both thought we were going to throw up :(

After that we started a very LONG, dark, walk back to the hotel suites by ourselves. The park was playing scary music & had creepy characters walking around (like Medusa who came up to us -YUCK). It reminded me of fright night at Six Flags...needless to say, the late night event is NOT for small children at all!

Once we got back to the suite Cole said "Mommy, let's not do that again, OK?". I assured him we would not be participating in the late night event ever again ... Daddy can do that while we have a nice relaxing sleep in the room.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

More from The Dells...

Cole absolutly LOVES the Water Slides!!!

Look at that baby bump...well, I'm not even sure you can call it a "bump" when it's that big!

Jason having as much fun as Cole :)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

It's another Griswold Family Vacation!

Anyone who knows my family, is aware that when we travel with family, something interesting always happens! I think God just wants to keep us on our toes :)

Day 1 of Vacation: We pull out of the house at 8am, headed for Milwaukee, WI for 1 night. By the time we hit the Chicago toll ways our car was starting to lock & unlock the doors all by itself! We thought maybe it was a weird radio frequency or something. We hit Milwaukee at 2pm (after 4 potty breaks for Mama!) and the auto locks, windows & interrior lights would not work....soon the van was dead & would not start. The radio was on & wouldn't turn off. FREAKY! My parents get here at 5pm and Dad & Jas take the Car to 2 Auto Stores to see what they know. End up replacing the battery, it will not run - but still no interrior lights, windows or doors. We head to Denny's for a quick dinner (which was FABULOUS BTW...you must try the Red, White & Blue Pankcake Puppies for $1.99!!!), by the time we left dinner - the car starts, runs & all the extras are working again...Praise God!!! We are just praying now that the new battery has corrected the problem, and, we will make it safely to the Dells, and, then back home on Sunday.

Most of you also know what a hotel snob I am...well, this one is a doosy! No AC in the lobby, hallway or elevators! But, the room has AC thankfully :) The pool is closed & we have to walk to the neighboring hotel to swim. BUT, it's only 1 night and then we are in the nicest room in the place in the Dells :)

Cole is LOVING having Big Papa, Big Nana, Aunt Mana & Uncle Mac (better known as Aunt Marge) on vacation with him. He has a carseat in both cars so he can just switch whenever he wants. My family is also learning the joys of vacationing with a 4 year old as he knocks on their hotel door at 7am (I held him off from 6:30a...I can only do so much).

At 10:30a we are leaving Milwaukee and headed to the Dells. Our final destination, Hotel Rome for 4 days in the Cesar Suite. Cole is anxious to get to "Consin for the Water Slide".

Today is also Jas & my 9th Anniversary .... we are excited to maybe go to Dinner tonight by ourselves to celebrate :)

Monday, July 19, 2010

It's a......

Cole's prayer was answered....we are having a little boy!

Hard to believe that in just 18 more weeks I will be a Mama to 2 little boys :)

Thursday, July 15, 2010

A Sun-SAVING Summer must have!

I have learned over the past 2 years that the most effective way to slather up my wiggly sun with sunscreen is definitely the continuous spray bottles. However, the Coppertone brand I always used is really very expensive at almost $9/bottle. (You do go through the spray bottles much faster than the lotions).

2 weeks ago, I was out, and, didn't have time for a Walmart run - so I quickly ran into Dollar General hoping they would have a can of our brand. Well, they did...but, right next to it was the DG brand...at only $6/bottle...all the same ingredients. So, I reluctantly gave it a try...fully expecting a disappointing sunburn on my 4 year old. 2 weeks later, I can safely say that Cole has not had even a touch of pink on his little sun-kissed beach body :D

I thought I would share the details on this goldmine of a little find in case you would like to give it a try!

Sold at Dollar General
DG Body is the brand
Sunscreen (Continuous Spray), SPF 70
Broad Spectrum UVA/UVB Protectant, Water Resistant & Sprays at any angle
(compare to the ingredients in Coppertone)

Dollar General also has a 100% Guarantee...so if your not happy with it for any reason you simply call 888-309-9030. I'm not sure if it's a store credit, or money back.

Happy Saving!

Becoming a CHO

My Journey in the profession of SAH Mommy begin the end of April (and so far has been good!). I am just recently discovering my need to put back to work the skill sets that God Gifted me with in my Corporate/Ministry Profession of the past.

On Tuesday, at our Mom's Bible Study at Church, a friend handed me the book "Becoming a Chief Home Officer" by Allie Pleiter. This is a Hearts @ Home series book (and we all know how crazy I am about Hearts!). I started reading it on Tuesday at lunch, and, finished it about 9:30am today (Thursday). I love to read, but it's been many (many)years since I have been able to put away 227 pages in less than 48 hours! The book is all about how to thrive in this "career-shift" you have just made (or are thinking of making). It has wonderful, practical ideas & addresses the real feelings that can emerge from this shift.

The author addresses all the necessary parts of this career shift. From how you view your position as CHO, to your career cloths. Paychecks, Time Off & Advanced Labor Relations are all included. And, of course Managing your staff (oh, those tiny employees!). She also has a chapter on Training & Development...she actually tells you how to LEARN to clean if housekeeping wasn't ever your thing before! A realistic chapter on jumping back into the workforce when needed for the sake of the family has must-have tips on this whole new adjustment & the success of your family.

Here are a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

"Motherhood is much more about "being" than about "doing". That's hard to remember when no one really sees the "being" part, but the evidence of "doing" is smack in front of your face."

"God has things he wants us to learn, that we can ONLY learn as a Mom at home."

"I've discovered my attitude shapes my children's behavior. More than any other variable, it is my attitude that calls the shots."

"Motherhood has taught me - thankfully, that sometimes it is a gift to say "yes" when you can't think of a good reason to say "no"."

And, my absolute FAVORITE quote...

"Whatever you bring to this job is enough. And, it is enough because God does the rest".

This book will now be on my list of "must-haves" for any friends that choose to dive into this profession in life :)

Monday, July 12, 2010

It's Mexican Week!

We often have theme food weeks in our house. I find that it's much cheaper to prepare when you can buy in bulk, and, by having the theme dish every other night - no one really gets sick of the theme. You can also prep alot of your ingredients at the same time, speeding up dinner prep each evening. This week is Mexican...a personal Prego favorite of mine :)

Monday...Mexican Casserole
Wednesday...Chicken Enchiladas
Friday...Black Bean Tostadas

I made a big batch of Guacamole that should carry us through the week, and, we usually have Tortilla Chips & Salsa as a side with each meal. I'm still trying to find a recipe for a good Mexican Cornbread to go with Wednesday night too...if you have a great recipe I would love for you to share. And, since Friday night officially kicks of the weekend...I'm making Fried Ice Cream for dessert :)

Here's the recipes...

Mexican Casserole
1 & 1/2 lbs ground beef, seasoned with 1 envelope of taco seasoning, 3/4 cups water
1 can refried beans
Salsa (about a cup or so)
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese - or mexican white cheese, I combine them both :)
6 tortillas
toppings: lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole

Brown Beef & drain, mix water & taco seasoning, boil, reduce heat & simmer 5 minutes uncovered.
Combine beans & salsa in microwaveable bowl, micro for 1-2 minutes or until spreadable
Please 3 tortillas in a greased, round baking dish or deep dish pie pan. Layer w/ 1/2 bean mixture, then 1/2 beef, & 1/2 cheese. Repeat layer finishing with cheese on top.
Bake, uncovered 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes or until cheese is melted, let stand 5 minutes.
Serve with desired toppings.

Chicken Enchiladas

1 C. chopped onion
1/4 C. Flour
1 C. Sour Cream
3 C. Chopped, cooked Chicken
1/2 ts. Chili Powder
1/4 C. Margarine (or butter)
2 C. Chicken broth (I boil down bullion cubes to save $$)
2 C. grated cheese (I like Cheddar in this one)
4 oz. Can chopped green chilies (drained)
5-8 Flour tortillas (depending on how full you fill them)

Melt Margarine & add onion - cook just until clear.
Stir in flour & broth, heat & stir until thickened.
Add the sour cream & 1 cup of grated cheese.
Remove 1 cup of this sauce, and, place in a large bowl -- add cooked chicken, chili powder & green chilies.
Fill the tortillas with chicken mixture & place in baking dish. Cover with remaining sauce.
Bake at 350 degrees until hot & bubbly (20-30 minutes tops)
Cover with remaining cheese & heat until cheese melts.

Black Bean Tostadas
6 - Corn Tortillas (not yet cooked)
3 Tbsp. Oil
Salt & Pepper
1/2 large onion, diced
1 clove minced garlic
(2) 15 oz. cans of black beans, drained & rinsed
Toppings of choice

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and brush both sides of tortillas with 2 tbsp oil and sprinkle with salt. Lay tortillas on cookie sheet and bake until crispy, about 10 minutes, turning 1/2 way through. (if you prefer, you can deep fry - but stay close, they will get done quick!)
Warm remaining 1 Tbsp oil in large skillet over medium heat, add onion & saute until soft & clear (3-5 minutes?). Add garlic & saute 1 minute (careful not to overcook your garlic or it will get bitter). reduce heat to low & add beans & 2 Tbsp. water. Mash mixture with a potato masher or a cork & cook until heated through. Season with Salt & Pepper.
Divide bean mixture among tortillas, layer with desired toppings & serve.
**Note: I have substituted refried beans before for the black beans (just because that is what I had) and they were great...if you make this sub, I would cut out the onion & garlic since the beans are already seasoned. This will speed up the process too!

Enjoy :)

Friday, July 9, 2010

Clorox Clean-up + Latex Gloves = a Happy Mommy :)

When I clean, I like to clean with bleach - to me, it just feels "cleaner". But, I get sick of mixing up a bucket of bleach/water mix each time I'm going to clean a bathroom (I have 2 boys now...i'm sure you can see my dilemma). Well I have finally found a cleaning product that has bleach in it...but wow, this really is a bleach cleaning product! (it even took my darkest color make-up off the bathroom sink...everything looks so much whiter!)

http://www.clorox.com/products/overview.php?prod_id=ccu&utm_source=google&utm_medium=cpc&utm_term=clorox+clean+up&utm_campaign=SEM-Brand

It's very inexpensive $2 or so at at Walmart, Target, etc - and, works AMAZINGLY! When I clean the bathroom with this- the entire upstairs has that clean, bleach scent :)

I also solved my other battle...which is the smell of bleach on my hands for 12 hours after I clean with it. Why on earth I never thought of this before I have no idea, but, I recently purchased a box of latex gloves at the pharmacy, and, tried them out. 1 pair will make it through all 3 of my bathrooms & my hands have NO scent! I love it :) I bought the purple heavier duty kind..but next I will try the cheaper ones to see if they will keep the scent out too.

Happy Cleaning :)

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Observations of a SAH Mommy

So, I have made a few observations in the past 2 months of staying home.
  1. We eat out less, and, I am really enjoying putting my love of cooking to work.
  2. We CAN make it on a lot less money than we ever thought!
  3. The house is cleaner & doesn't stress me near as much.
  4. Weekends are much less stressful since I can take care of so much during the week.
  5. I never thought I could enjoy the company of my son anymore than I did...I was wrong :)
  6. Having the time & ability to help out where I couldn't before feels really good.
  7. Unfortunately, I dislike the dog more than I did before :(
  8. Separation anxiety can develop when your child is 4...even if he never had it before :(
And the most startling observation yet....
  • We go through A LOT more toilet paper than we ever did before! I always thought it was Jason who used so much....I am now reaching the sad realization that it may be me!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Mama Bear...

OK - so, since 99% of you reading this blog are mothers, I know you understand the "Mama Bear Mode". Well, this Mama Bear was in FULL FORCE Saturday night.

We went to my hometown for our annual 4th of July celebration. We spent the whole day with my family, enjoyed the parade - then headed to the park for the carnival festivities. Cole & Jason had a great time riding rides, while I hung out with my fam in the BINGO tent. At the end of the night a very grumpy old man yelled at Cole for accidentally picking up his plastic hat (Cole thought it was his). Needless to say - Cole ran off into the dark crying & wanted to go home and "neber come back to dis place". The guy was just a jerk - and I told him that, very loudly, in front of the very quiet bingo croud. So, the scene is...a pregnant mama, yelling at an old man with a scowl on his face. Might I also just mention that my hometown happens to be where Jason's Schwan's territory is...I'm certain my poor hubby will have to relive this story 10 times on Friday.

After I got to the car (strongly encouraged by Jas), I started to cry. (I always cry when I'm mad). I was angry that our night ended early, angry that I was leaving my weekend with my family early, and, angry that Cole was sad. After I left a very impulsive post on FB about my evening activities, I realized that I might be mad about something else. Although I try to repress these types of feelings most of the time, I'm very scared inside about what life will be like for Cole. He's very sensitive - and although there are many things he doesn't understand, he also has an amazing memory. As of today...he still "neber wants to go back to dat place" :( Obviously the old man had no way of knowing that Cole lives with Autism, but, I know...and it's hard to separate that from the "normal" day-to-day stuff kids will have to deal with.

Needless to say - I'm sure I have a few things to repent for that came out of my mouth in a fit of anger. And, if I sit and think about it -- I'm still mad at the guy today. Guess I have a few things to think about this week.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Funnies from Mr. Cole

Lately, Cole has been cracking me up! Here are just a few of the funny things he has popped off with....

Cole turns on Rugrats.
Mom: "Cole, do you like this show?"
Cole: "No, I'm too big for it, but your baby will like it"
I sit, somewhat amazed that he was thinking about the baby he can't even see yet...covered up with an afghan BTW.
Cole: "Well Mom, move that blanket so he can see it!" (quite frustrated that I wouldn't have thought of that)

Cole: "Mom, if you would jump on the trampoline, I think it would make that baby come out sooner"
Mom: "Oh Cole, if it were only that easy..:)"

Cole: "Mom, is it going to hurt when the baby comes out"
Mom: "Well, it might a little, but it's OK - the Dr will take good care of Mommy"
Cole: "Well, it looks like your belly is going to P-O-P!"
Wonder what he will think when he sees me in 4 more months!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Father's Day


Every year we go to the St. Louis Zoo on Father's Day. It's been a favorite place of my Dad's his whole life, and, Jason enjoys taking Cole too. When I saw the forecast for Sunday, I (reluctantly) canceled our Zoo trip & opted for a cookout & swimming at our house instead. I just didn't think this pregnant Mama could take that heat! Well, it turned out to be the best Father's Day I can remember :)

The picture in the pool is Cole & my Dad, and, of course there is my cute hubby :)

Friday, June 18, 2010

We can now prove...

that Cole is 6 months old....via the scrapbook :) I have worked the last two days to catch his scrapbooks up to 6 months. I know - it's completely ridiculous that I'm this far behind. So..we have an entire album for 0-6 months finished, and, I'm 3 pages into our 7-12 month book. After 12 months, I'm planning to just cover events in his life rather than 1-2 pages per month...I'm so far behind!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Great Summer - "2 for the effort" Meals!

This is one of our favorite summer meals! And, there is enough meat when you cook it for the 2nd Meal as well!

Southwestern Chicken Layered Salad (Betty Crocker Recipe)
Chopped Romaine Lettuce
1 Rotisserie Chicken
1 can (11 oz) Southwestern Style Corn, drained, liquid reserved (Aldi's does have this off & on, otherwise, you can get Green Giant Brand at Walmart for sure)
2 Tbsp. Taco Seasoning Mix
1/2 C. Shredded Mexican Cheese
1/4. C. Ranch Dressing
1/4 C. French Dressing
Corn Chips (crushed)
Salsa

Arrange Lettuce on platter.
Shred Chicken, and, place in skillet with liquid reserved from corn & extra water (few tablespoons). Sprinkle with taco seasoning mix. Cook over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly, until blended & thoroughly heated.
Arrange Chicken mix over lettuce. Sprinkle with Cheese & Corn. Drizzle with dressings; top with corn chips & garnish with Salsa.

Loaded Chicken Nachos (a Jenny original!)
Tortilla Chips
Seasoned Chicken Meat (from recipe #1)
Refried Beans (optional)
Cheese (nacho cheese, shredded cheese, or mexican shredded cheese)
Onions & Peppers (optional)

Layer all the above on a baking pan, heat in oven at 350 until cheese is melted & all is hot.

Remove from oven & top with Salsa, Sour Cream, & Guacamole (or anything else you like on your nachos)

Monday, June 14, 2010

Fresh Apple Cake with Carmel Glaze

Last night I made this cake, it was AMAZING! I'm sure it was created for a fall recipe (I could easily pair it with a nice bowl of hot soup & homemade bread and have an excellent meal!), but it was also a wonderful summer treat...especially with the scoop of vanilla ice cream on top!

Cake:
1/4 C. Cinnamon-Sugar Mix
4 Apples, chopped small
3 Eggs
1 C. Vegetable Oil
2 C. Flour
2 C. Sugar
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. cinnamon

Glaze:
2 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 C. brown sugar
2 Tbsp. Milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease a bundt or tube pan & coat with cinnamon-sugar mixture. (I didn't have a these pans, so I used a square cake pan and it turned out great)
Mix apples, eggs & oil with an electric mixer (apples will stay in tact). Add Flour, sugar, baking soda & cinnamon - mix well.
Pour into pan & bake about 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (mine was 1 hour exactly)
Allow cake to rest in pain for about 10 minutes; then invert onto a cake plate.
Prepare Glaze: combine butter, brown sugar & milk in a saucepan. Bring to boil and cook for 1 minute. Pour over cake.
Allow to cook before serving.

This cake isn't beautiful when it's baked in a square pan - I'm sure it's pretty in a bundt pan, but it tastes AMAZING. Enjoy!!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Transitions

Well, I think it's the first of many transitions.
Today, we are clearing out my home office - and, Cole is moving into that bigger room, and, leaving his bedroom for the baby nursery.
Cole is excited, Jason is frustrated (I have A LOT of junk in my office) and I have mixed feelings. The office was always my "escape", and, now that will likely have to be the bathroom (behind locked door...because heaven knows if I don't lock it the boys just come on in!). But, at the same time, I'm excited to see Cole enjoy his bigger room - and, super excited to see the new baby's room begin to come together over the next couple of months :)
My OCD is kicking in though...Cole wanted to move quicker than I had planned so I haven't had a chance to paint or decorate yet. Guess Americana will have to work for my 4 year old, super-hero loving boy, for now. I'm sure I will be paint/decor shopping soon :)

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Gotta get my scrapbook on!

So...I broke down tonight and pulled out ALL of my scrapbooking stuff. I figured I had better get started if I want to get Cole's book(s--yes, plural!) caught up before the new baby gets here. Needless to say my dining room table is overflowing, and, I can't even say how many pictures I have layed out. I would say I'm at least 20-30 pages behind..and, that's being conservative. The good news is I have TONS of supplies so I really have no excuse not to just get busy! I have a feeling these pages won't be quite as creative, but maybe just functional :)

Stay tuned for progress....

Monday, June 7, 2010

Has it been a month already?

Oh my, I looked at my blog today and realized that it's been a month (today) since I've posted. Wow, it didn't feel like that long!
I'm happy to report that I'm HEALTHY AGAIN! The baby has a strong heartbeat & I'm able to function normally again...PTL!!! I'm actually 15 weeks along right now, so things are moving right along :)
Cole & I have really been enjoying the last 3 weeks with he & I both home. Lots of swimming!! Unfortunately he has to start summer school tomorrow :( I have very mixed feelings about this. I just feel like he's been in school non-stop for so long now, and, he's so little. I hope for him that he likes it, but, if he doesn't than we may pull him out of the summer class.
I have a feeling this summer is going to fly by...so many things I want to do while home with Cole, and, really - it's already going by so fast!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Take me out to the Ballgame...


Today was the big Cubs v. Cards T-Ball Game at Coffeen Elementary School. Cole was (of course) on the Cubs team.
The kids had so much fun - everyone hit the ball twice, and, got a chance to play in the field.
Thank you Mrs. Isaak for a fun day!





After the big game, Cole & Reese got to have a picnic lunch in the park.






I'm so thankful I have had a chance to be with Cole & experience all these fun things lately :)

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Perfect Day to spend at the Park!

Today I decided that Cole & I needed to leave the house...so after school we packed a picnic lunch & headed to the park in Nokomis.



Cole had a ton of fun playing. His favorite was the Merry-Go-Round, which was the thing I hated most as a kid. (it's like car sickness non stop!)

The weather was perfect. We stayed for about 2 hrs, and, I would have been just fine staying all afternoon - Cole decided next time he needs to bring a friend



This is the aftermath....Cole just passed out on the kitchen floor at about 4:30p! He's so exhausted.
It's days like today that reinforce to me that being home with Cole & the new baby, at least for a while, is the right thing :) Thank you God for simple reminders of what is really important in life.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

The hard to answer questions...

So, last night after Cole finished his bedtime prayers he looked at me and said "Mommy, I don't see Jesus - he can't hear me". So, of course I tried to answer with Jesus hears all our prayers, even though we can't see him he's with us always. Yeah...to a child who takes everything in a literal sense...this was a tough conversation. I was stammering around, and, really did not have confidence in the answer I was giving him....so how was this 4 year old supposed to buy it? Any suggestions as to how to continue this conversation are welcome!

Monday, May 3, 2010

Unthankful?

(this was from a blog I read this morning, it was too good not to pass along...we can really wallow in our own self-pity when we want to. this is such a great reminder to pull ourselves out of that pit and be thankful for EVERYTHING!)

I have so much to be unthankful for. I could write a list that is pages long. I could rant and rave to all my friends about how this life has treated me bad, how my husband doesn’t love me like he should and about how my children give me a headache. I could lament about the way I was raised. I could fill my heart with all manner of bitterness towards life and God because things don’t go the way I want.

BUT I CAN'T

“But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having a form of godliness but denying it’s power. And from such people turn away!” 1 Timothy 3: 1-5

I could walk around with a scowl on my face. I could complain and grumble about the way the lady at Wal-Mart treated me, about how my clothes are too tight and about the condition of my 2nd bathroom. I could wax on about the miseries of having 6 children and homeschooling them. Oh the stories I could tell!

BUT I WON’T

“…because although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened…” Roman 1 :22

Instead, instead I will choose to be thankful. I will be thankful for every little thing no matter how small and insignificant. I will find the thing to be thankful for in the midst of a storm, in the center of a crisis, at the end of a hard day. My heart has been filled with an indescribable joy. My mouth gushes the goodness of God. My eyes twinkle at the crabby lady at Wal-Mart and the irritating receptionist at the dentist. Because God had laid this on my heart and has given me a mandate to remind His people- BE THANKFUL!

SO WE CAN…

“Enter His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations.” Psalm 100: 5

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Boys Day Out

Today Jason, his Dad (Norm), and, Cole went fishing. Cole had so much fun! He's beginning to really love fishing as much as his Dad. I have a feeling that I won't see much of the two of them when Cole gets old enough to fish tournaments with his Dad!

Today Cole caught 4 bluegill all by himself - he was so proud. Unfortunately he wouldn't get his pic taken with any of the fish. You can tell Mom wasn't there, I would have forced this photographic moment!

When I asked Cole if he brought the fish home for us to eat he said "Oh no Mom, Catch & Release....you have to leave the fishies there for the next person". Spoken like a true tournament fisherman. I miss the days of my Dad & Grandpa bringing home ALL the fish and having huge fish fries :)

I survived week #1

Well, it's now Saturday, and, I have officially survived week #1 as a SAH Mommy. It was really pretty amazing to get to be with Cole, experience all parts of his day with him, and, of course - to see the shock everyday when he would ask "Mommy, are you going to work today?" and I would get to say "No, I'm staying with you".

We still have a lot of "kinks" to work out. First of all....a good schedule! I have really enjoyed not having to wake up to an alarm clock...hence, getting out of bed at 7am, and, rushing to get Cole to school by 8am. I need to sharpen the pencil a bit on the AM routine. We are also still struggling with "rest time". I get that he's getting a little old to keep taking 2-3 hour naps (although, he did for Grandpa!), but he still needs time resting - otherwise he falls asleep at 6pm. He's really pushing that button right now.

I do think that as the weeks go on, and, I continue feeling better - I will have to take up a hobby of some sort. For now reading has been enough for me to stay "busy" outside of household stuff....but I can see how after awhile I might begin to get bored with it. Since Cole's scrapbook is about 4 years behind...I'm hoping that will peak my interest again before our new little peanut arrives :)

Monday, April 26, 2010

Our circumstances may change, but the will of God does not change.

As I'm writing this this morning, I'm listening to an amazing message online from Pastor Michael Obi. I love how someone can speak for 90 minutes, and something they think was just one statement - will stay with me forever. In this message, it was the title of today's entry. "Our circumstance may change, but the will of God does not change". This is so relevant to us right now.

If you haven't yet heard. I'm now a full-time, stay-at-home Mommy. This wasn't planned...but, it now is our circumstances.

While I have always loved the thought of staying home with Cole, I felt a strong calling to the Ministry at LW and felt God wanted me to work in both outlets. So...when that calling changed last week - it was very scary for me (and Jas). It was hard for us to trust it was the right thing to do. (Have you ever gone from 2 incomes to 1 - just like that?) But, circumstances were changed for me, and, we felt the path had been laid.

My biggest fear is that I will feel my "purpose" is gone. I'm struggling trying to figure out how to reprogram my mind that being a Wife & Mother is my purpose right now. God is taking me on a spiritual journey that, I pray, will lead me to contentment that I am living in His will now.

Of course we have very real/immediate fears too....my health right now is a huge concern (and was a factor in the circumstances of this situation). The health & development of our unborn baby is at a crucial point - and, I'm still battling this illness daily. Our Dr's have done all they can do at this stage, I need Gods' healing & strength for this baby, myself & my family.

We also have to relearn how to live our lives. We have always lived very carefree with our finances....that is drastically different now. We have extremely limited funds & will be tested weekly on our self-control.

Jason's Parents made HUGE sacrifices to help us make this happen. They believe so completely this is the will of God. I stand amazed how someone can give up so much personally - because they know that this is right. I want that Faith.

This is the scariest thing we have ever done - but, yet, there is a part in both of our hearts that believe this is where God has been leading us. That alone is enough to help us to jump.

We would appreciate your prayers as we continue on this journey :)

Sunday, April 4, 2010

I have reached 11 days of severe sickness. At only 7 weeks along, I have barely been out of bed in the last week :( My family has been wonderful - taking turns coming & sitting with me around the clock while Jason works. Cole has really appreciated having someone to feed him!

I spend most days in bed until early afternoon - the on the couch for the rest of the day. I'm trying hard to work a few hours each afternoon, but, it's been hard with how sick I have been. I am on medication around the clock to try to help. The Dr. said I have severe hyperemesis....which is just basically the worst kind of morning sickness/all day sickness.

The worst part for me is that I feel like I'm getting very down in the dumps. I want to be excited about everything happening for our family, and, instead I feel sad & depressed about how sick I am.

I am really praying I get some relief soon.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Wow...A LOT can change in a week.
Yeah, I was really, really sick this week. Today the Dr told me I needed to go to the Hospital for fluids & anti-nausea meds. I'm so thankful Greenville ER was fast - they got me in & out and home to my boy. Cole was so sad today when we told him I had to go to the hospital.
They found a UTI when I was in the ER today, so I'm on an antibiotic for that. Pumped me full of fluids and Zofram.
I'm feeling a little better this afternoon, and, praying it keeps up. I desperately need to feel semi-normal and be able to take care of my family & my work.
We are getting our first sonogram on Wednesday. I'm excited to get an exact due date :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

It's weird that I feel so much different this time around. With my first pregnancy I was SICK before I even found out, and, felt terrible for about 4 months. But, this time I actually feel good so far. I did heed the advice of my Dr and start eating several small snacks a day to try to help fend off any nausea. I'm really scared of weight gain this time since I am much heavier now than I was when I got pregnant with Cole...so I'm shooting for those snacks to be a wee bit healthier than last time!

I have been really tired, but still felt like I needed to keep trying to exercise before I just get completely out of the habit. Rather than walking today too, I just did a 35 minute session of Yoga. It was good, and, it gave me a bit more energy (briefly), but my muscles are paying for it! I would love to keep this up at least 3 times a week for awhile if I could. I was WAY out of shape last pregnancy, so it would be cool to experience it a bit different this time.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Exciting News for the Lenczycki Family!

We found out this weekend that we are having another baby!

Just like with Cole, I found out very early along in pregnancy this time too. It's wonderful to know early so I can begin to change my eating habits, but it's so hard to wait for that first sonogram :( This time we decided we had waited a long time, and, were really excited - so we were not going to wait to tell anyone. We let Cole call my Parents & Grandmas, and, then we went & saw Jason's Parents. Everyone is excited, just like we are.

So far I feel tired, but good. Last time I was already sick...so I'm hoping for it to be a little easier on that side. Before I could lay on the couch all day if I wasn't feeling well.....this time I have a VERY active 4 year old to keep up with!

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Where did the last month go?

It has been over a month since my last post. At first I thought "wow, how did I not post in that long?" but...it was probably because we have had a hard month around here :( The good news is...things are *hopefully* turning around a bit. We have lots to be thankful for right now, and, still lots that need prayer. Cole has had a hard time since Jason went back to work, and, it seems to be most negatively effecting his school days. We are hopeful that will turn around & he will get back into his normal routine quickly! Jason is also really feeling led to look into career options. He has always loved his job, but, being off for 12 weeks gave him a real desire to be home more. There are a few ideas floating in his head right now...although I don't know how close he is nailing anything down. And, we have countless unspoken needs :) If you think about us this week, we would appreciate your prayers!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

God, I need your help today.

I always hate when my blog entries talk about bad days with Cole. So many I read are all the positives, and, how great their time together is. But, my goal all along has been to be really honest here - and, maybe someone else who's struggling will see that they aren't alone. And, the honest reality of our lives is that everyday is not peachy.

Today is one of those days. It's more like a rotten potato that you found under the stove 6 months later. It flat out STINKS. And, it makes everything around it stink. (if you can't tell, my mood really stinks today).

Jason got home last night at 1am after being gone since Monday at 7:30am. Cole woke up at 1:30am and wouldn't go back to bed until 6:30am today. I ended up having to keep him home from school, and, I had to stay home from work today too - and, miss something that's important. Jason had to leave again today at 8am, so you can see that there wasn't much happy time in the few minutes we got together this morning. He will do it all over again Wed-Thurs, then 8a-12midnight Friday -- then finally be home for the weekend. This is his job - we know it, it has been this way for many, many years - but now it's harder - because we had a taste of what "normal" families live like.

Cole has really been struggling with his Dad going back to work - he doesn't understand why he has to be gone all day & night. He asks me things like "is Daddy sleeping in his truck?", "did Daddy run away?", and, just tells me a lot how much he misses his Dad. I understand, I miss him too.

So...back to today. Most kids would be tired after no sleep all night, but not mine. He gets HYPER when he's not slept well, and, I don't mean regular hyper...I mean jumping on furniture, running non-stop and yelling for hours on end. He can't help it - his little brain just won't stop. I on the other hand am exhausted, sad & am trying really hard not to yell!

It's days like these that I really need God to lighten my load, because there is no way I can do it on my own.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Mommy, you hit me in da pace!


So, I promised Cole last night that if school canceled today I would take a day off & play outside with him since his Dad had to go back to work. Cole hadn't been able to play in the snow at all this year. HOWEVER, I was totally ready for work today before I got the news that school was closed, so I shipped him off to Bapa's house, and promised to take the afternoon off. I spent well over an hour getting to work on crappy roads, had a cruddy 1/2 day in the office, and, was detoured through 1/2 of Macoupin/Montgomery county trying to get home today ... to avoid the 600 car pileup between Gillespie & Litchfield. (yes, I am dramatic at times).

So..I get home just in time to find out he JUST fell asleep for his nap. I (impatiently) waited for him to wake up so we could go out to play. At 2pm I began the layering process for myself, and, by 2:30p I had him dressed & ready to go. Because I couldn't find anything for his face, I tied one of my scarf's around his face. He informed me "that is for a girl (it was purple) and to get it opf of me!".

After a few ceremonial pics...we finally get down into the snow. He said "Mommy, I want to hab a snowball fight", so...I put together a very pathetic snowball & threw it at him. WACK! "Mommy you hit me in my pace!"..and he angrily stomped in the house & threw off all of his snow gear....on my clean floor none the less. So...at this point I'm thinking - alright, i've done my duty, and, take off ALL my 18 layers. Moments after I got them all off -- he tells me he's ready to go back out. Ugh...

10 minutes later, fully bundled we headed back out. (minus the purple scarf). He had fun, I got a few pics...and, best of all - my "outdoor Mommy" duties are complete!

Hot bath, hot cocoa & chocolate chip cookies are up next :)

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Just when you think they aren't listening...


This picture pretty well sums up the way I felt today! This afternoon I was working with Cole on his bible story, we have to use the beginner Bible (he got it as a Baptism Gift!) because he's just not ready for the 4 year old version. So, we were reading the (very abbreviated!) story of Moses. The whole story Cole was messing around - playing with his toes, itching everything imaginable - I just knew he wasn't listening. So, at the end I said "Cole, what did Moses do?" He turned around very matter of factly and said ... "He made the water go back so the children would be safe when they walked Mom". Hmmm....maybe he was listening? :)

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Jason's going back to work!

Well, after 11 weeks, Jason was finally cleared to go back to work.
I really thought I would be so happy - and, I am for him, but I'm sad for Cole & I!!
All the normal "fears" flooded us when Jason was told he couldn't work for this long...the biggest being finances, but we were so blessed - God provided for us every step of the way. He made a way for us to begin to even eliminate debt at the same time! I was even worried that we would fight a lot because in all of our years together, we had never been together every night - he has always worked crazy shifts and gone Monday - Friday. I would be fibbing to say we didn't fight at all, but, it was wonderful - it was so nice to come home from work & have Jas here! Simple things like eating together every night & sleeping in the same bed are a big deal to us :)
I'm worried about how Cole will feel when Jason goes back to work. He's already begun saying a few things (like Daddy neber come back) that worries me. His understanding in big changes like these isn't that where we just explain that it will be like it used to be.
But...we thank God for the time he has given us with Jason home! It has been so nice to experience "normal" life for once. I appreciate all that he has done in these 11 weeks (mostly on crutches) to help out around the house! It has given me a much needed break & allowed me extra time to just seek God for what he wants from me next.
If you think about it, please say a little prayer for us over the next couple of weeks. That Jason will transition back to life away from home, and, in a hotel - that Cole will fall back into the old routine - and, that I can easily fall back into managing the home...Jason has left big shoes to fill in that department!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Preparing ourselves for Jesus

Pr. Randy had the most simplistic message today - and, yet it spoke to me in a great way.

In reality we know that Jesus is returning...any day, but I'm not totally sure that I'm ready for that yet. I love the thought of Heaven and spending eternity with Jesus...but, I'm so not ready to give up seeing Cole grow up, experiencing the joys of having more children, and, growing old with Jason. It's a crazy fine line between being a "good" Christian and praying for that day to come, and, being a real human Mom and thinking that I might be sad to not see my family grow up. God is really challenging me with this. And, honestly - if I let myself stop & think about -- I can get wrapped up thinking about ONLY this -- which I know is not where he wants me to be.

Today's message was based off of Romans 13:11-14. In the simplest, clearest message. Pr. Randy helped us interpret this scripture of how we are to prepare ourselves for the day we meet Jesus face to face.

1. Wake Up! (vs. 11) I know I walk around with blinders on..seeing only what my day planner has in store for me. I need to wake up..Jesus is coming! "our day of Salvation is nearer now than when we first believed".
2. Clean Up! (vs. 12 & 13) We can't keep living as if there is always more time. Our lives need to be clean & pure. Even our Best is not good enough...we must look to the Lord for help cleaning up the mess we have made.
3. Grow Up! (vs. 14) Man, this is a hard one. Am I dressed spiritually in my best? I doubt it. Do I monitor what "goes in" so that I'm only putting in what will bring out the best in me? Nope. Do I think first of His gratification and not my own? Definitely not.

Maybe if I can focus my attention on getting myself ready...God will ease my earthly fears that exist. I have a lot of work to do -- I think it's time to let go of the stuff that keeps me from working on myself, and, start making up for lost time :)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Schedule Change

I'm a little down today because our annual "CP girls" get-together was postponed today because one of the kiddos is sick. It's a bummer because we usually only see each other once or twice a year -- but, we will reschedule :)

So..we are headed to Springfield with Jason's Parents today to stock up on groceries at SAMS and maybe go out to lunch. It won't be the great time I had hoped for with my girls...but, being with the boys is always good.

Jason is only home for 2 more weeks, so I'm hoping to make the best of it!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Last week was my first week back to work, and, Cole's first week back to school. We both got some unexpected extra time at home with Snow Days Thursday & Friday. Although we didn't do much, just being home with Jason & Cole is always nice in my book :)

God continues to provide the financial blessings we need to get us through this time while Jason is off work. We finalized a few things Friday that set our journey to financial freedom on the fast track. Our plan is 19-25 months to be debt free (except the house) from the time Jason goes back to work. Now we just need our 100K+ mile cars to last that long too!!! I know that it will be a challenge to stay on target...but we are both beyond fed up, so hopefully that will help this time :)

Jason sees the Dr. on Thursday, which we expect him to be released to the shoe only; aka: walking without crutches. He's been cheating a lot over the past 2 weeks, so, I really hope the foot is still on it's healing tack. I can understand how hard it was for him to be on those crutches though. He has said for 2 weeks it feels much better now, so he's frustrated that he's not working. We are fairly certain the Dr. will clear him to walk in the shoe on Friday, so, if that is the case -- as long as Schwan's says it's OK for him to drive & work in the shoe...he will be back at work next week. (the latter, i'm a bit more nervous about - Jason is certain he's going back to work, I'm not sure how HR will feel about him doing his job in that shoe)

This week will be crazy busy both at work & home for me. Tomorrow morning we have our first IEP meeting of 2010, good thing I don't expect it to be a big deal!