Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Family Weekend!

 We had a great time last weekend. We took a weekend break from 7 foods and we celebrated family. We had a great time celebrating Grandma Kennedy's birthday and Harper's 3rd birthday. It's always fun trying to get 5 grandkids together for a picture :) Harper loved getting some new lala loopsey stuff and Teagan had a great time trying to learn how to ride her bike. Learning to ride a bike is quite a challenge with no training wheels and I have the attitude of "My dad wouldn't let me have training wheels my kids don't need training wheels either" But let me tell you I think it's harder work on the parent or grandparent then it is on the kid!! Wow I got my work out in!! It is always fun to see my nephews that I don't get to see often enough and watch them grow up sooo fast!!!

Then Sunday afternoon we got to continue the fun at Grandma and Granpa Sowers to celebrate Harper's birthday with them. The Sowers side is a whole lot of crazyness with 5 granddaughters but a lot of fun! The weather couldn't have been more perfect I think it was like 80 degrees sunny and no wind. The girls played outside on their Grandma and Grandpa's new swing set and trampoline.

These 3 are going to have a lot of fun over the years growing up and being so close in age!!

And I just love these two, it is fun to watch them interact......I'm pretty sure this is Blakely saying I can only lift my leg this high...how high can you lift yours? :)

Friday, March 23, 2012

I've turned into my Mother

I came to the realization probably long before today but even more so today that I've turned into my Mother. It's hard to admit that there were times growing up that I thought she was crazy and I vowed I would never do some of the things she did. But this morning as I was getting packed and ready to leave for Newton I had this major realization that those things I vowed I would never do when I was a mom, Yep I did them. 
Okay so my mom was right occasionally and she's not actually crazy or maybe I've turned crazy not sure which. When I was getting ready today to leave for the weekend I was cleaning the house, now I always wondered why my mom got so anxious about cleaning the house before we left, I remember saying things like "sure mom I'll make sure my bed is made for when the robber breaks in while were gone." but here I am 20 years later cleaning my house before we leave. I've figured out that it is really nice to come home when your weekend is over and you have a suit case full of dirty clothes to have a nice clean house.

Now I wish I could say that my anxiety and craziness this morning left my house clean but it didn't in fact our house probably looks like a chaotic mess. While I was packing and cleaning the girls were pulling out and making thing dirty. Teagan can never decide what to wear and is very picky about the material, were in the process of pulling out spring/summer clothes and going up to size 5T so that in itself was a challenge this morning. Then while I was packing and thought the girls were quietly watching cartoons I came out of the bedroom to find that Harper had started getting water out of the fridge and pouring it into the water table which left a big water puddle on the floor in the kitchen and Harper's was soaked!! Blakely was trying to climbed on the computer desk and pull stuff out, then going into the laundry grabbing shoes, clothes, trash can, whatever, then I found her with a marker when I went to get the marker back somehow she made a nice red line straight down the shirt I had just put on. (side note why is it when I'm packing it feels like I have no clothes, while any other day I'm purging and trying to get rid of all the excess?) All the stress and anxiety got to me and I finally said FORGET IT!! Everyone shoes on and out the door, house is going to be a mess for all those robbers! 

Maybe someday my house will be clean......but as for now It's a sweet life in a SOWERS home! 

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Our Sweet Harper Turns 3!!

Today was all about Harper!! Harper is our beautiful little girl who turned 3 today. She has a head full of curls that I'm afraid to ever cut in fear that they will go away and she has a personality like no one I know. Harper got to pick today's events which included a donut and chocolate milk for breakfast, a trip to the indoor bounce park in CF with her friends, playing outside, and scratch cupcakes for dessert!!

I interviewed Harper and hope I can get the video uploaded soon but here were the questions and answers.

How old are you today:  3
What day is your birthday: March 20th
What is your favorite color: PINK!
What is your favorite number: 2
What was your favorite present: Lalaloopsy
What was your favorite thing today: Playing outside
What is your favorite thing to do with your sisters: Make Puppets
Who is your favorite person in the whole wide world: MOMMY!! (YAY :)
What is the one thing you sleep with every night: Keepy
What is your favorite food: Broccoli (Way to make Aunt Alicia proud)
What do you want to be when you grow up: A mommy
How many kids do you want to have: 4
What is your favorite dessert: Ice Cream
What is your favorite movie: Tinkerbell

Harper you are the most amazing little girl. You are so smart and it just amazes me how your mind works. I love your curls and reddish hair, your beautiful hazel eyes and LONG eyelashes. You are super sweet and cuddly when you want to be and you have a fierce streak of independence that I know will take you far some day. Sometimes you scare me and I pray everyday that God will teach me how to raise you and I thank him for his Grace because some days I'm just totally lost. You are a total Daddy's girl and a morning person. You are the first one to wake up (besides Daddy) and every morning you ask where Daddy is and then tell me the sun is up so it's time to get up. (Harper just so you know......I am so NOT a morning person!!!!) You could live off of chocolate milk if I let you, in fact you make sure we say God bless chocolate milk at supper. You love playing duck, duck, goose with our pigs and you love being outside. You are a wonderful sister, daughter, and niece. We love you very much!!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

On to Week 2 of 7 foods

Well we made it through the first week without any major problems. We didn't get any breaks, we didn't mess up and accidentally eat something that we weren't suppose to, and we didn't kill anyone (always a plus for any week really :).

Now on to week 2! It's actually become a lot easier, it almost seems "normal" whatever that is. I don't even think much about it, I know theses are the 7 foods I have so that's that. We are counting down the days though until Harper's birthday. With the approval of the Council (our advising and accountability team) we are taking Harper's birthday off and enjoying the day celebrating Harper. Harper's birthday is March 20th, that day we plan to attend Timothy Christian School's annual steak supper, and then home to have Scratch Cupcakes!!
 Side note: If you've never had a Scratch cupcake you are missing out and the next time your in the Cedar Falls area stop by Scratch on main street CF and get yourself a cupcake!!
So One more week until we get to enjoy some really good food and oh most importantly Harper's 3rd Birthday....wow time flies!!

Speaking of Harper's birthday I have had a really difficult time deciding what to get her. It's really hard when you have 3 girls, I feel like we already have everything. There is nothing she really needs and she doesn't really ask for anything yet (I better enjoy this now). When I asked Harper what she wants for her birthday she says a baby and crayons....ok I can probably handle that.

I've continued to read past the chapter of foods in the 7 book and right now I'm feeling overtaken by my house and all the stuff we have!! I've been organizing and pitching and putting stuff in a pile to either give away or sell. I think we might be moving possessions up to month 2 instead of 3 because seriously I already have my 210 items I could give away for the month!! This could be fun....I'm so not sentimental.....Brandon on the other hand, may have a difficult time this month because I already have an eye on his clothes.....seriously he's got more then me!

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Day 6 of 7 foods

Yesterday I didn't blog or post anything which was probably a benefit to us all. I was a total grouch!! I think its the lack caffeine, cookies, and only being able to drink water. Thank goodness for my good friend Marissa and My husband who both reminded me of the reason were doing this experiment. I woke up in a much better mood!!

This morning I had the privilage of going to the Grundy County Convention for the republican party. There they served all kinds of refershments and pastries that looked oohh so good but I was good and grabed a bottle of water, chewed my gum, and enjoyed some entertainment....yes entertainment ever since I became interested in politics which was pretty young I enjoyed going with my Dad to see people speak and I enjoyed being in Government class but the one thing I figured out that no matter what policital event you attend there is always at least one person that seems a little off their rocker!! But hey thats the beauty of living in a country where we have the freedom to speak, and the freedom to vote :)

Then this afternoon I enjoyed the afternoon outside playing with Teagan and Harper and enjoying the weather. It was about 65 degrees and sunny but a little bit windy, the girls really enjoyed playing with the pigs and our dog Bella.

Then tonight Our friends invited us to go to Saturday evening service so we enjoyed going to church at Prairie Lakes and letting our kids go and play with their friends. I felt like a little kid sitting in church again though when we took communion. Looking back it was probably a poor choice that I decided to sit next to one of my best friends in church who is also doing the 7 experiment with us, I really should have an adult sit in between us to keep us from talking or laughing during inappropriate times during church. But we couldn't help but laugh when we drank the 20ml glass of grape juice thinking how rewarding it was to have a different taste!!! Seriously it was like candy for 2 seconds and both of us a course looking at each other just started laughing.

Then we came home and enjoyed the best meal yet of the 7 experiment......PIZZA!!!! Yep thats right we had a whole wheat crust pizza with Avocado spread for our sauce, chicken, apples, and red bell peppers and let me tell you it was amazing!!! Now I have to be honest we ate late so it was I was either really hungry or it was really good!! I would even consider eating it post 7 food experiment :)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Day 4 of Seven experiment

Day 4 food is starting to taste blah! Need to come up with another way to mix my 7 foods. Here are my 7 foods: Spinach, Avocados, Whole Wheat Bread, Apples, Eggs, Red Bell Peppers, and Chicken. So heres the challenge if you read this I want you to come up with a good recipe so I can try it out....you can only use these 7 foods and include salt, pepper, and olive oil thats it nothing else! So please Send me your ideas I have 3 and 1/2 more weeks of this!!

Funny Story:

Brandon: I could go for an Ice cold Coke
Me: I would love a whole sleeve of thin mints!!
Teagan: Why in the world would you eat coats and sleeves??? Those are things you wear not eat!!


Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Day 2 of the 7 experiement

Ok so its day 2 and you would think well it's only been 2 days not to hard right?? Wrong!!! Seriously the last 2 days have kind of sucked I'm retraining my mind to not just open the fridge and grab those fresh grapes I have washed and ready to snack on whenever, or little stuff I didn't realize I did that much like finishing my kids left overs or licking my finger when pouring the applesauce into there bowl and some spills. And then on top of that I've had to work the last 2 evenings, Monday wasn't too bad I didn't have time for a bathroom break let alone think about sticking food in my mouth....but I did want a Mt. Dew to sip on yep still missing that Mt. Dew I gave up 3 weeks ago. Today I thought about food all day when I ate my apple all I could think about how it would be better with peanut butter and I should have considered peanut butter as one of my foods but its too late now, then at work we have a popcorn machine in our break room and everyone was eating there fresh popcorn oh how it smelled so good, then the worst thing possible is I had to stop at the grocery store on my way home to grab some more avocados (Which evidently is all 3 of my girls favorite food) and all the possibilities in the grocery store....the cupcake sale, the fresh baked cookies, the candy bars in the check out line, even the bunny grahams I bought for my girls.........AHHHH wonder what April is going to look like I hope by then I will have made some habit changes and I wont just go on a binge buying a whole bunch of junk food and consuming so much to make myself sick.
Well I could spend all this time thinking about the foods I should have chosen but what a waste of my time and energy!! Time to put that energy to good use and see what God's plan is for this experiment. I will tell you a few things I have learned already in 2 days.....I've become really good at combining these 7 foods and making some stuff I would have never put together. When your hungry Avocado, Whole Wheat bread, and egg actually taste really pretty good, and mashed up Avocado and chicken really YUMMY!!! I used to be a pretty picky eater so trying all these new concoctions (sp?) is really good for me.

Now enough about the experiment and on to why I really blog my 3 beautiful girls!! We had some exciting and funny stuff today.
1. Blakely is starting to use the potty....yes I'm crazy but hey the less diapers I buy the more money I save. She peed on the potty for me 4 times this morning and pooped once before day care!! YAY!!! She has even started to sign potty. :) Pretty good for 15 months.

2. Teagan and Harper are both really into die and kill right now, I know that part of it is we live on a farm another part is there age but still it really bothers me how they talk about it.(And unfortunately I think they know it bothers me, which makes them do it all the more) Anyways today they were dancing around the room singing "I wish to die for my birthday, die for my birthday" which resulted in me saying something like "girls now I really don't want you to use that and it makes me sad because I don't want you to die" so they stopped and I went on to put a load of laundry in the washer as I'm getting ready to come back to the living room I hear them singing again only this time it was "I want to meet Jesus for my birthday, I want to meet Jesus". SO WHAT IN THE WORLD DO YOU SAY TO THAT???? I love that they understand that you get to meet Jesus when they die and I love that they want to meet Jesus but I would just prefer it not be in heaven for a very very long time. Wow they are sooo much smarter then me!!!
It was kind of cute and kind of funny but it really got me thinking.......One thing I have had a huge conviction and guilt about is God gave me 3 beautiful little blessings and I have had a really hard time with thinking someday I might have to give one of them back to him and it really just hurts, makes may heart sad to even think about and while I know it is all God's plan and timing I know I would be angry and that I wouldn't be ok with it. I'm crying just sitting here even typing this but I wonder if today was God saying your girls know me, your teaching them about me, and when I call them home there going to be ok, there in my hands, and God's hands are so much bigger then mine!!

Sunday, March 4, 2012

The 7 Challenge

I was absolutely horrible about blogging in the month of February. I could come up with a whole long list of excuses but really I just didn't feel anything blog worthy and when I did I didn't really feel like blogging. So today I'm starting out with a blog that is probably going to put me in the list of "crazy Christians". With the help of our good friends Dallas and Marissa we are joining in with them on reading 7 by Jen Hatmaker which is an experimental mutiny against excess. We are diving in to take on the challenge and here is why.......
Since feeling the conviction to go to Africa and use my skills as a nurse to help those that live in poverty I've been pretty obsessed with learning about Africa. The first book I read was Kisses From Katie which I think I mentioned in my previous blog. Now really all I can think about is how we have so much more in the United States, more stuff, more opportunities, more health care, more money, more, more, more and you know what.....WERE STILL NOT SATISFIED!!! We want more and our wants have become our "needs". It really has become a huge conviction that I should be satisfied with what I have and that Jesus is more then enough for me. God has hugely blessed our family and we need to give back to those that don't have all the "Stuff" we have. So when Marissa asked me to join in on the 7 challenge I said sure.....not really knowing what I was getting myself into but heck why not?? :) Then as I started to read the book learn more about it Brandon joined on board first I pushed him on board with another one of my "crazy" ideas but now he's actually really excited. (Kind of like how he has now become a Cyclone fan :)!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and no that's not a joke its true).
So hear it is the 7 things that Jen Hatmaker lists as excess: Food, clothes, shopping, waste, possessions, media, and stress. The Challenge is to get rid of this excess for 1 month 1 thing at a time for 7 months. Then we get to go back to our normal comforts but hopefully will be forever changed and aware of excess be thankful for what we have and not obsess about wanting more.
 To start the challenge off it is food. So for the next 4 weeks Brandon and I will only be eating 7 foods. The 7 foods has yet to be completely decided and we have until midnight tonight to decide.
Here's what were possibly looking at: Chicken, Whole wheat bread, eggs, apples, avocados, red bell peppers, and spinach. With the help of the book and my dietitian aka sister these are consider 7 healthy foods. The only other ingredients we can use, salt, pepper, and olive oil and water to drink. That's no pop, no coffee, no mayo, no ranch dressing, no cheese, nothing! I'm pretty sure this is going to be my hardest month as I love food, love cheese, love ranch ahhh yum love love love!!
Honestly it's going to be uncomfortable and that's the whole point and open up for the holy spirit in our lives and to be thankful for what God has given us. There are moments as I think about starting the challenge and I continue to read the book I'm just like "God I really just want to stay comfortable for a little bit longer, let me finish remodeling our house, pay for a few more clothes I really want, and spend money on myself get myself set up a little better financially then when I feel like I have excess then I give, and eliminate what I feel is excess." But then my thoughts of Africa how they live with very little clothes, very little food, and yet they are happy with what they have.
So before we start our challenge tomorrow we are having our "last supper" I'm sitting here writing this blog enjoying popcorn and M&M's, I may or may not have eaten a whole sleeve of thin mints, we went out to eat twice this weekend and enjoyed all the comfort foods that were going to say goodbye to for the next 4 weeks.

Don't worry the girls still get to eat normal food and will not be forced into this months challenge. But next month they will be joining in on giving up on excess of clothes.

For those of you that this has peeked your interest or you want to find out more visit http://jenhatmaker.com/blog/2011/12/26/an-experimental-mutiny-against-excess She has more books then just 7 and she is a hilarious writer, can't wait to start reading more of her books!!