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Monday, February 28, 2011

Miscellaneous

A little update on life here in the Gardner household:
I'm learning in a Bible study (I've had the privilege of being a part of a Ladies Bible Study which I've thoroughly enjoyed and cherished) - Be thankful. I'm trying to remember to think about through the day - Give thanks to the Lord, b/c his LOVE endures forever!!!!! Being thankful will help overcome complaining. Also being content with where God has me in life, and what he has provided for me. Not coveting a different status or recognition, or possession. Thanks to the Israelites who serve as an example to us in the wilderness. If God provides for the birds and makes the lillies bloom - how much more will he care for me.
A dear friend of mine really challeneged me to be waking up in the morning before the boys get up to have some time with God. (something I've never been consistent with). No more excuses of a newborn, b/c he's sleeping through the night and almost 6 months old! Boy, this is changing my life. For some reason this time I've really going to be stubborn about getting up. She encouraged me with how it has transformed her life, and I wanted that for me. And now for 2 and half weeks I've done it, and have enjoyed it. I almost look forward at night when I go to bed, that I will get up and have that quiet time and drink a whole cup of coffee without having to reheat it, in peace and quiet, and spend my time reading God's word uninterrupted.
Also reading: Because He Loves Me!!!! AMAZING!!!
I read books slow, and it takes me a long time to finish - but this is a great book. Thank you God for sending your son, and help me always remember the love you have for me, that you showed me by forgiving me and taking my sin away!
I did go to my sisters and had a great time there despite Carson getting sick. And now I''m afraid I brought the sickness to her house!!! :( How was I supposed to know that the night I get to her house, Carson would get a fever and be sick the rest of the time??? I Feel terrible, but don't know what else I could've done. Sisters always enjoy the time together! and those 4 boy cousins love eachother and play so well together! Love that they are so close in age, and not too far away for us to spend the time together.
Next on the agenda=Carson's 2 year birthday party!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!! Can't believe it!!!

Grocery Budget.

I'm not too good at grocery saving or deal finding. I have been saying for 3 yrs now that I'm still learning. I don't know when that excuse doesn't work anymore. But I do think it takes time.

This month - I only spent $211 on groceries!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I try to budget $300 for our family. I have no idea why this happened or how I managed to keep it so low. But maybe I'm catching on to something. I do know over the course of these years I've learned how to make cheaper meals, and what I actually need for the week. I've also had enough time at one grocery store to learn the "system".
But the not so encouraging part it - now in march I will probably way over spend b/c our cupboards are almost bare, fridge is empty and the only thing in our freezer is chicken and a big turkey. :)
and we did spend more on little last minute subway dinner runs, or Richard out late working, so he picks up Mickey D's.
Some day I will get both categories down. And for now I will just enjoy the low number in one category. hahahahaha

Sunday, February 27, 2011

What a Guy!

So I guess i didn't need to worry. My husband decided we should invest in a Netbook tiny computer. I'll be honest it was going to be sorta hard for me to not communicate with my mother for 2 or more weeks. We write every day and I have no other way to communicate with her except with the internet.
I was ready to accept the fact that I would have to be inconvenienced to do EVERYTHING on the computer. (b/c lets face it, everything is on the internet right now, banking, information - how many times a day do you look at the internet, not even for FB, but for everything). But I knew it's not the end of the world, and that it's not really that bad, and I could live without it. I also knew I could go to someone's house or to the library and everything would be fine. I didn't even complain really about it, just tried to accept it as life.
But, now we have a computer again. Still no word on when we will get our old one back. But we have this little one. It's very practical for us, especially right now. But even for future. I'm thankful for Richard in realizing that I would miss my mom a lot!
Thank you Richard for showing me in a big way that you care about me and want to make me happy. I don't think you even realize how much it showed me that. :)

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Going Offline

So now the most unwanted thing in our household has happened, from a materialistic point of view. While I drove down to my sisters for a few days, our computer at home decided to crash. WE have no idea what happened or what is wrong. Richard took it today to Best Buy with the extended warranty, and it's going to cost us some money to back it up, and then we will be without it for no less than 2 weeks!!!! OH BOY!!!!! What will I do. I am not prepared at all. i will miss out on all the deals on the blogs I follow, I will miss out on all the cool things people post, and I will miss out on writing and hearing from my mother every day!!!!!

I guess I'll resort to reading the books I have to read more each day. So if you don't hear from me for a while, now you know why, and you can be praying that miraculously we get a computer back faster than they say.

On another note. Richard seems to be feeling better after starting some medicine and is on the upswing hopefully. I only have my nasty cough (that if you know me at all, I have %50 of the year), but carson is running a high fever all day. He has had no play time with his cousins, and is very sick. I might be going home a day early. No sense in being sick here when we could just be sick at home. I hope he gets over it fast and comes back to his healthy self.
Have fun everyone in Cyber world!!! Don't do anything fun without me!

Monday, February 21, 2011

Weird week


We've had kinda a weird few days in our household, not stuff that is routine and just makes you feel weird, you know.
Wednesday Richard came home from work saying he wasn't feeling well. He had a fever and just did not feel well. So thursday he woke up with a worse fever and feeling worse, so he stayed home from work, and canceled his meeting that he had scheduled in the evening. I tried to keep the boys away from him as much as possible so that he could rest. It all worked out pretty good since a good friend of mine needed some company in the ER room with her daughter since her husband was on a trip. I was glad to help out, and thankful that Richard was home so I could just leave. But we were out very late.
Friday - after getting home at 3 AM, and coughing a lot, I babysat my nephew for about 4 hrs bright and early, Richard got up still not feeling well, but went to work. Thankfully I had nothing planned and in the afternoon layed down to rest, trying to fight off this cold. But by evening I was not doing good, and Richard still was running a low grade fever, so we went to bed at 8:30!!!!!!!!!!!!!! First time in forever I think that's happened.
Saturday - I had a jewelry brunch party at my house that we got ready for and enjoyed a fun time with a small group of girls. And in the afternoon we rested, trying to still get over this sickness, with Richard still running a low grade fever and me coughing and feeling really sick. :(
in the evening, I spent an hour babysitting for the neighbors until their babysitter could get there, then came home and we pretty much vegged out and went to bed.
Sunday - more vegging and no church for us. Every night we go to bed thinking - we will feel better in the morning finally, but we still don't. What a nasty cold for us adults in the household!!! Thankfully Richard's fever has broke, but we both sound terribly stuffed up and coughing!!!
Last night we got a bunch of snow so Richard had the day off of work, and we still don't feel well. I hope this cold goes away. So far the boys are healthy of which we are thrilled about.
Tomorrow I'm leaving to spend a few days with my sister. I cannot wait!
here's to hoping tomorrow we actually do feel better :)
I'm learning to be thankful recently - so thank you God for health that you grant us! Thank you for a warm house to veg in, and for keeping our boys healthy so far.
On a side note - Carson hates the snow - will not play/ walk/ or touch the snow! hahaha. WE watch our neighbor girl roll all around in the snow - but Carson freaks out. Oh well. Maybe next year

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Cutie Patootie




We had a tiny photo shoot with Landon this Sunday. His Aunt Stephanie gave him this adorable outfit. He looks so cute. His hat of course didn't stay on - so after church, I put it on and then carried him all around showing him off b/c I thought everyone needed to see him that day. :)
Love you Landon.
P.S. he is now officially rolling all over the place. I love it! I'm definitely a mother who likes when her kids learn things. So over the newborn stage!

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day



Happy Valentine's Day!!!
I have the privilege of celebrating
this special day with 3
Sweathearts!
I hope everyone out there has a very special
day with their loved ones!

Fondue Night!

I had the privilege of planning a fondue night for our Sunday School class this weekend in honor of Valentine's Day! I was planning it with another friend of mine. Our first thought was - Fondue! But when it got down to the details - we did not know what we got ourselves into. our Sunday School class (young marrieds, although there is a big span of ages/experience) has grown over the last year so much, and it's so exciting - but we had about 30 people signed up to come. (and that isn't everyone in our class)

so that we didn't have a cover charge for people we asked them to bring different things for the fondue. Some brought flavored broth for cooking the meat, some brought cheese, and mostly everyone else brought all stuff to dip in cheese and chocolate fountain.
Richard and I bought the meat and cut it up, seasoned some and marinated some. I made some sauces and bought some sauces so that we weren't eating boiled meat. :) It was a lot of coordinating and details. The biggest thing I was worried about was the meat, keeping it chilled and sanitary. I tried to think through it all -chilling the platters before I put meat on it, not setting too much meat out at a time, keep ice under the platters while it sits there, no cross contamination, and using gloves when handling the meat.
All in all, the food was great! and everyone enjoyed themselves. We learned a lot about all the couples and got to know people! (that's what our goal was since we've grown so much).

Very fun event to plan, but beware before you plan a big fondue night, lots of details. :)
thank you Julie for helping me with games and decorations. Thank you everyone else for helping with the food items. I couldn't have pulled it off without everyone's contributions!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sanctus Real - Lead Me (Slideshow With Lyrics)



I have been learning recently in a big decision time of our lives, (if any of you know us, you will think, jsut make a decision why don't ya, you've been talking about it for so long, but there is a lot involved) how I can be most helpful to Richard as his wife. So much of the weight lies on Richard's shoulders, to lead us, to provide for us, to guide us. I'm thankful for a man who is wise in his thoughts, who takes his time, and understands the importance of being a "Man" and taking responsibility. I love him with all my heart! This song comes to mind a lot when I think of him. I can easily get impatient (if you know me at all, you know I'm great at being impatient) about what we are doing, but I don't feel the weight of the decision near as much as Richard b/c he is wiser than I. I love you Richard.

Biscotti recipe

so I had someone ask me for the recipe - to be honest with you, I don't feel worthy to post this even. First of all - i love to bake but would never consider myself Awesome at it, secondly - i have never made biscotti before and sorta wonder if I messed this up a little. But anyways - here is the recipe I used. (p.s. I cannot take the credit, someone made it for something I was at, and it was delicious so she gave me the recipe)

Cinnamon Sugar Biscotti
Printer-Friendly Version

Yield: about 20-24 cookies
Ingredients:
For the dough:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 large egg plus 1 large egg yolk
1 tsp. vanilla extract

For the topping:
¼ cup sugar
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 325˚ F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. In a medium bowl, combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt; whisk to blend and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream together the butter and sugar on medium-high speed until lightly and fluffy, 3-4 minutes, scraping down the bowl as needed. Blend in the egg and then the egg yolk, beating well after each addition. Blend in the vanilla until incorporated. With the mixer on low speed, blend in the dry ingredients just until incorporated and a dough is formed.

Divide the dough into two halves. Shape each half into a log 9 inches long by 1½ inches wide on the prepared baking sheet, spacing the logs at least 3-4 inches apart. In a small bowl, combine the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and stir to blend well. Lightly brush the tops of the logs with the beaten egg, and sprinkle generously with some of the cinnamon sugar mixture.

Bake for 40-45 minutes, rotating halfway through baking, until the tops are golden brown and slightly firm to the touch. Remove the pan from the oven but maintain the oven temperature. Once the logs are cool enough to handle, slice on the diagonal into 1½-inch slices (about 10-12 per log). Place biscotti cut side-down on the baking sheet and sprinkle with more of the cinnamon sugar mixture. Bake an additional 10-15 minutes, until crisp and golden.

Now the tricky part - when I made it the dough was super crumbly and dry which did not seem right to me. I had to press it all together and then into logs. I don't think that's how biscotti is supposed to be. I think it's supposed to be a lot wetter and stickier. But it still turned out great and you never would've known. But when I looked at another recipe for it (on allrecipes.com) it was the exact same thing, but only 2/3 cup of sugar. Maybe that would've helped. maybe my eggs weren't big enough, or maybe I should've put a whole stick of butter in it. I don't know. Something wasn't quite right. But it still tasted fine. and the texture was fine in the end.

Richard loved it!!!!! :) (that's what I was going for at least)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

5 Months and Cereal



Landon is 5 months old now! I can't believe it and am still so thankful to God for bringing him into our lives how he did. I can honestly say I am so thankful for Landon, and the work God did in richard and i's life when he came into the world.



Landon started Cereal the other day. He did terrible at it, hated, it and as you see by the last picture, ended up literally THROWING UP all over everything! Awful!!! (he would gag every time the spoon touched his tongue and eventually couldn't handle it anymore and threw up)He is doing better now, I tried the reclining position which works a lot better, and even loves it and is eating it almost like a pro.




On another note - he already has 2 teeth. (which doesn't surprise me b/c Carson got them super early too)


One day i walked into the living room to find my two lovely boys like this, so adorable

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Retreat


Well - this is exactly what I needed this afternoon - a cup of hot coffee (our house is freezing), homemade cinnamon sugar biscotti with nutella on it, and my bible. After way too many late nights (and not b/c of children) I decided to forgo my afternoon exercise and try to sleep, which didn't work, so I came downstairs and rested and hopefully refreshed myself. Just one of those days I guess.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Super Bowl

Our super bowl night turned out different than planned - but tons of fun. And sad to say - I have no pictures. :(
But we were going to a friends house originally - but they got sick (booo) so they had to cancel. :(
So on Saturday night - Richard and I decided to have some people to our house. I already had plans to make 2 things to take to the other people's house, so I just thought, "well, I'll add a few more things and it will be fine". But I had not bought any of the items yet.
Right after church we ran to Mcd's (not something I would advise to get, but these were desperate measures) and picked up our lunch, ate it on they way to walmart and then bought our groceries. (I had made a list of things that morning). Got home, took care of out two boys, and started on preparations. Richard was a huge help, helped me clean the house and get everything ready.
I made - great hummus recipe (first time, and I loved it) with Veggies and crackers, boston creme cupcakes (amazing!), buffalo chicken dip, and little smokies in bbq sauce. We had the other people bring a few things too - they brought pizza wheels, a great mexican dip, cookies, and chocolate football things and soda! (can you tell, I just like the event and food, and not really the football aspect hahahaha).
It was a great time of fellowship, building relationships in our church and we hope they enjoyed things as much as we did.
I have always thought it would be fun to plan a super bowl party - but I didn't think it was possible to do it so spur of the moment - but it was so much fun to do. :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

No fun dinnertime


I have a picky, defiant toddler. :( (and by looking at this innocent picture you would never know it)
now - let me take you back to my childhood. I was not allowed to be picky. and growing up in a third world country ate a lot of things some people would never imagine eating. (guinea pig, lots of raw red onions in everything, chicken foot soup, whole roasted pig, and things from the stand on the side of the road that would horrify any normal american) but b/c of my childhood and strict parenting I was under, i now eat anything and love all food, sometimes the veggies and fruit even more than the processed food.

Now i have a picky toddler. it makes me so sad. He ate all fruits and veggies that I gave him in babyfood form with no problem, and I mean all veggies. No hesitation whatsoever. As soon as we switched to adult food form he got picky. Or it had something to do with the fact that he was realizing he could potentially control something. also combine that with his awful gag reflux.

Now I am a strict mom and firm believer that my child does what the parent wants, b/c I know better than he does at 1 and half years old. (not being egotistical just biblical in my opinion). I also have ZERO tolerance for picky people. :(

This means our dinner times are filled with lots of screaming, crying, food sitting in his mouth for A VERY LONG TIME, and gagging until throwing up point. yeah, somedays I dread meal time. and even if I give him soemthing that I know he has eaten and loved before doesn't mean he will eat it this time. :(
This morning I had a glimmer of hope that i might be winning this battle. We had homemade pizza last night (note: he loves pizza normaly). But we have had an exceptionally trying week in the food area with him. And he refused to eat it. and without going into detail, went to bed with no food in his stomach and no playing time with daddy. :( (breaks richard and I's heart to pieces to see him fight us so much). I pulled out the same plate of pizza for him this morning, and cut up 5 pieces and put it in front of him, stating he could not have anyting else until he ate those 5 pieces. After a little crying, he did eat the pizza and then got his beloved banana (which by the way, he has fought a little this week, weird, b/c he LOVES bananas).
I've been fighting this battle for probably 8 months straight or more. And I see no sign of improvement on his part. I question myself a lot, but in the end know that as the parent I decide what he is eating until he is buying it and making it himself. Here's to trying to be more stubborn than he is . . . .
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