Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Shirley at Seven Months

So I think this may be a record for me.  This might be the fastest I've ever gotten Shirley's monthly pictures up.  But we're leaving for Malawi in less than two weeks, so a girl's got to do what a girl's got to do.  

This girl is just so much fun!  I always hoped that my kids would have personality, but I always feared that they wouldn't in the end.  Well, Shirley did not disappoint.  

Shirl girl had some pretty big milestones this month.  She went from army crawling to full on crawling and she is starting to pull herself up on furniture, mostly on her knees but sometimes on her tiptoes as well.  She is quite the explorer and she is getting into everything!  But I think I said that last time.  

She also loves to talk.  Her favorite thing to say is "da da."  Every time I tell her to say "mama" she says, "da da da."  Whatever, Kwacha, she doesn't know that it means Daddy yet!
She also loves to squeal and laugh.  She loves when her daddy comes home and they get to play on the couch.  She loves walks with friends.  She still doesn't cry much unless she's really hungry or tired.

Of course we still have moments like in the picture below.  ;)  She's not a perfect angel, but we just adore her.

Seriously, could I love this kid any more than I do?

A lot of people seem surprised that she's crawling already.  I don't know what it is.  I think she has her daddy's natural strength and we do give her a lot of floor time.  Mostly because she likes it and I never wanted her to be a kid that cries as soon as you set her down.  I just never want to sound like I'm bragging.  Our kids all reach milestones at different times but in two years, they're all going to pretty much be at the same spot.  

The Bible says that "children are a blessing from the Lord."  That's all kids.  I don't find the Bible making any exceptions or caveats in that regard.  Whether your kid is happy or cranky, cries a lot or smiles a lot, he or she is a blessing.  Isn't God just so good?!

Friday, August 08, 2014

On Becoming a Wife (Lessons I've Learned from my Husband)

You can hope and dream and pray and think (a little song is coming to mind) but I just don't think you can prepare enough for marriage.  There is something about being in the actual trenches that teaches you what you really need to know.  It reminds me of my days in the teaching credential program.  We learned lots of techniques and theories and they were all great and helpful.  But I had no idea what teaching was really like until I was up in front of that classroom with live children who all had real hearts and minds and...well...ants in their pants!  (You know what I mean.)

What I could not have anticipated was how much my husband would help me become a wife.  I'm not trying to diminish anything from my mom or other faithful women in my life.  Of course I learned much from their counsel and wisdom and still do.  But what can I say?  I married well, and I couldn't have imagined all that was in store for me just by marrying Kwacha.  

So over the next few weeks I'm going to cover a different skill or trait or whatever you want to call it that has started to improve in my life because of Kwacha.  Ultimately because of God since He works in Kwacha and in me and He gave Kwacha to me.  

The topics I will cover:

(Some are obviously more vital than others and the list below is in no particular order.)

1. Cleaning
2. Time Management
3. Discipline (Working Out and Eating Healthy)
4. Appearance
5. Getting Enough Sleep
6. Raising a Child
7. Cooking
8. Scheduling
9. Forgiveness
10. Love

So stay tuned.  If I have time during Shirley's next nap, I may post one today.  
Just a little p.s.  I am in no way trying to say that I am a great example in these areas or that I have learned all there is to know.  I mean, this should be obvious without me having to state it.  I just want to be helpful in the very few small things I have learned in my short time of being a wife.  

Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Shirley at Six Months

Six months sounds even longer when it's worded "half a year".  I know everyone says it, but they say it because it's true.  It flew by!  I definitely took more pictures this month so sorry if this post is a little picture heavy.  Though apparently there are some people who read this blog because I had a couple people ask me where the six month post is, so I guess you all won't mind pictures.  :)

She's covering up her face here, but it's pretty much the only official six month picture I got with her looking at me.  

The first big thing this month is that Shirley learned how to sit up on her own for long periods of time.  She is steady now, which is nice for her.  She enjoys sitting and playing with her toys.

How am I going to discipline this child??  I will though.  I will.  Shirley also discovered cords this month and computers, phones and iPads, all of which she is not allowed to play with so the discipline has started a little bit.

My mom bought Shirley the perfect 4th of July dress.  Unfortunately I didn't get any pictures of the parade or our evening at the Tagliere's house.  (Their neighbor sets off some pretty decent fireworks.)  But I did get the dress.  

Okay enough with the 4th of July pics.

These next few are the only pictures I took of Shirley on her actual 6 month birthday.  This dress is from her Auntie Kristin and we love it!  The drooling has continued, although there is less of it, but still no teeth!

But probably the biggest new feat of Shirley's is the army crawl!  She can now get where she wants to go which means I can no longer leave her out of my sight for more than two minutes!  Oh dear.  Sometimes she get on her hands and knees and rocks back and forth and then falls forward then she repeats it.  

She has also recently started "waving".  She moves her fingers up and down over her thumb.  She'll do this right in people's faces.  Especially mine.  I'm still not sure exactly what she's trying to do when she does it, but it's super cute.  

Shirley is still our happy baby overall.  She loves to talk and growl and laugh and we love how friendly and easygoing she is.  I still can't believe that God would give such an unworthy sinner as myself such a wonderful gift!  As always, we love you Shirley Lindi!

Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Smoothie

So maybe I should rename this blog to Shirley and Smoothies, because that's pretty much all I ever post about.  I just discovered a new smoothie the other day and even though I probably say this a lot, this is my FAVORITE one!

Choco-nana P. B. Smoothie 
(Like my clever name for it? )  


1 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp carob powder
1 tsp honey
1/8 cup peanut butter
1 or 2 ice cubes


Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth.  
Drink up and enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bringing a Baby to Disneyland

This past Monday Kwacha, Shirley and I were able to go to Disneyland with my mom and Emily.  We were thankful to receive some free tickets which made it possible for us to go.  We had so much fun going as a family.  

When I was younger and single pretty much every time I went to Disneyland I got hit in the leg with a stroller.  It almost became a sort of joke. It was kind of ridiculous.  I boldly declared that I would never bring a baby of mine to Disneyland!  What would be the point?  They wouldn't remember anything anyway.  Oh naiveté!  

It turns out, not only did Shirley seem to really enjoy it, but there's a huge benefit in bringing a baby to "the happiest place on earth."  Has anyone out there ever heard of rider swap?  I looked online the day before we went to see if you could bring strollers in line.  Well you can't.  BUT if you see a "cast member" at the beginning of the line and show them that you have a baby in your party, they give you a nice little card that allows the person who stays with the baby to go in the fast pass line with up to two other people after the first group finishes the ride.  If you couple this with a fast pass than basically three of you get to go in the fast pass line twice in a row!  Who knew??  We probably rode more rides than we normally would have.  It was great. 
I also had no idea that babies are allowed on so many rides!  Any ride that doesn't have a height requirement.  

And it is so fun to see Disneyland through your baby's eyes.  Shirley absolutely loved Small World.  She was looking around everywhere and bouncing like crazy on my lap.  She was also very interested in the parade, all the colors and music.  

Seriously, I recommend bringing a baby with you every time you go!  Just be careful with that stroller...

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

One More Recipe

Here's another drink recipe for you.  It's the perfect 4th of July drink so I'm sorry it's a little late, but you can use it next year.  Or you know...whenever you want.  Thankfully I found out about it on July 3rd, so my mom, Emily and I had it that night.

Have you ever heard of a French soda?  Like anything French (mostly) it's just a tad classier than an American soda.  Especially when you add a fun pink chevron straw at the end.  (The original recipe can be found on Everyday Reading.  I tweaked it ever so slightly.)

4th of July French Soda


a handful of blueberries
half and half
black cherry fruit concentrate


Toss a few ice cubes in a glass, throw in the berries on top of the ice, fill the glass 2/3 with perrier, stir in two tablespoons of half and half and about a tablespoon of the black cherry fruit concentrate.  (More if you like your soda sweeter.)  Stir with a cute straw and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Banana Date Shake

I promised you a recipe and I am here to deliver.

1 frozen banana
2 or 3 pitted dates (I go for 3) 
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk - I personally like coconut milk for a more refreshing version)

Blend until smooth and that's IT!

Seriously it's my new ice cream.  Kwacha and I were eating it every night for dessert but it isn't necessarily low calorie so we're cutting back to only every other night at the most.
The banana makes it creamy, the dates give it the needed sweetness and the milk makes it a shake.


(Sorry, no picture.  It's gone too fast!)


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