A whoops, oops, accident day.

It's good...I am already looking back on the day and laughing. But just a few hours ago, I was crying! The morning started off pretty uneventful. We got through breakfast and then I told the girls to go upstairs for a bath and cleaning rooms.

Accident #1: I was putting away laundry while the girls were in the tub, when I heard Mckenna scream, "Mom, Selah has poop!" Did she ever. It was all over in the tub. It was the loose, clumpy kind, that is hard to fetch after with a baggy (sorry for all the details). I quickly picked the girls up out of the tub to stand on the bathroom floor while I ran around for supplies to clean it up. Soon, all was well and the girls were back in the tub...only for me to hear again, "Mom, Selah pooped again!" This time not so bad...only a few small ones. Got that cleaned up and I got the girls all cleaned. Fast forward a few hours...

Whoops #2: It's now 1:30pm and Selah is VERY ready for a nap. She is fussy and tired and I get her put down. She is just getting into a good sleep when Mckenna drops a play teapot from the breakfast bar, about 4 feet to the ground, while we are finishing up school. The teapot is a pretty good size and comes crashing down with a BIG boom. Mckenna covers her ears from the noise and quickly says, "Sorry mom!" I put my head in my hands as I hear Selah begin to wail. I quickly usher Mckenna up to her room for her rest time and come back downstairs to get Selah some milk, hoping that will help her get back to sleep.

Ooops #3: I reach in the fridge to grab the milk, which is on a shelf on the door. Not realizing that it gets caught on the lip of the shelf, I pull it out and the whole shelf cracks in half (they don't make appliances like they used to ;o), and down it comes along with a whole 1/2 gallon of OJ that I just made. OJ goes EVERYWHERE....the whole 1/2 gallon of it. It slithers under the fridge and into the pantry to meet all my cookbooks, address book, and birthday book who willingly begin to soak up the sticky liquid. Not knowing what to do...I just cry. First I go ahead and get some milk to Selah. It helps to calm her down, while I clean up the mess. It ended up being a great lesson for me. As I cleaned up the mess, I decided to think of all the worse circumstances I could easily be in and then all the things I was grateful for at that moment. That was PURE grace...and helped redirect my thoughts away from my little inconvenient situation.

Now, it's quiet in the house as I get ready to go off for a ladies meeting. I am grateful for another day of not getting much done (at least the things that I would have liked to get done) because again the Lord has taught me the importance of submitting to His will for my day and being grateful for all the grace that the day held...and I AM so grateful for that grace!

All my cookbooks airing out!


Sickness, body and soul

This past week both girlies were a bit under the weather. On Thursday Mckenna started with a cold and cough. On Friday Selah woke up with a stomach bug...the throw up kind :o(. She must have thrown up sometime during the night and just gone back to sleep cause when I went to get her in the morning...it was everywhere! Poor little girl was so miserable that day. She kept asking to eat...she calls all meals, "nunch." So, whenever she is hungry she says, "nunch? nunch?" We only could give her liquids and a few crackers. We thought she was over the worst of it and gave her milk the next morning...bad idea! Up it all came in her crib again. But that was the last time she threw up. She still is walking around asking for "nunch" often, but doesn't really eat much when we give her anything. But she is definitely on the mends. No one else has caught it yet, and I am so grateful.

What is Selah like when she is sick? Well, let me just say that by the end of the day on Friday...and Saturday....and Sunday I was in need of some fresh perspective on mothering. Every time I left her side, she was screaming and throwing a fit. I spent a lot of time just holding her and watching movies with her. If I wasn't doing that she was very much discontent. That combined with my nausea and feelings of extreme weakness from being pregnant, I was very much struggling by the end of each day. The girls were not the only ones sick, my soul was ill as well. I was impatient with the both girls, discontent with what I didn't "get done," and was comparing myself to super-moms who can seem to be able to multi-task and get it all done, even with sick kids and a pregnant body. In fact, even this post, which I have tried to get done for a few days now, left me discouraged. I realized that I needed some truth and Dave has been helpful in directing my eyes and thoughts to where they need to be.

First and foremost, Dave diagnosed my condition well...I had lost sight of the gospel. I was believing the lie that my worth and righteousness comes from my accomplishments. I was believing that I deserved comfort, recognition, and ease. I had lost sight of the value of just being a wife and mom (and nothing more) and caring for my family. I needed to renew my mind in the truths of what Christ accomplished for me and that my life is meant to be one of dieing to myself and laying myself down for the benefit of others....and in this I will find joy! I needed to believe that my strength is not found in myself (because I have absolutely none!!), but in another who holds all the strength and support that my weak body and soul need.

Dave has said many helpful things to me over the past few days, but I think him reminding me of the gospel and directing my eyes toward the Cross was the absolute remedy that I needed. And even to stay there, at the Cross, I need help! Because (and I am reminded of that hymn) how I am "prone to wander, oh I feel it, prone to leave the God I love. Take my heart, oh, take and seal it, seal it for thy courts above."

I have chatted with a few friends over the past day or so, which has also proved so helpful. One , in particular, reminded me of something so simple, that helped so much. She said, "Heather, sometimes just sitting, holding your little girl is going to mean more to her and minister to her more than her seeing you running around doing things for her." (Thanks, Esther!).

Today has not been much different from the past few, in that I still did not do all that I would have liked to. My weak body and feelings of nausea are a constant humbling reminder to me of how much I need God...more than I need to get things done. Oh, that I will embrace this season and all the Lord has to show me!

Selah enjoying her pedialite ice pop

Even being sick, she still said "cheese!"


Little June bug

One day this past week, we got to watch little June. The girls were THRILLED! However, to their dismay, she had to go down for a nap about 15 min. after she arrived. Mckenna and Saleh did not waste any time....let me tell ya! The whole 15 min. they were fighting over who got to hold her, and were oohing and ahhing the whole time.

Selah reading June a book.


Valentine's Day cookies

Yesterday morning, we headed up to the Sheffers to make Valentine's cookies. Mckenna and Karis had a great time "helping." We gave them each some dough to roll out and cut with heart-shaped cookie cutters. Of course, Jotham needed some dough too, but just sat and ate his! Selah wanted to help as well, but that was out of the question! She resorted to just wandering around.

We were really pleased how well the cookies turned out. The recipe was extremely easy, with only 5 ingredients for the cookies and just 3 for the icing! They tasted like yummy shortbread. I made both the dough and the icing the night before and put it in the fridge until morning. I included the recipe at the bottom if you ever need a good cutout cookie recipe.

concentrating hard!

Pounding and rolling....

...trying to make the dough flat.

Selah wandering around

Favorite Cutout Cookies

1 cup (1/2 lb.) butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 large egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in egg yolks and vanilla. Stir or beat in flour until well blended.

2. Divide dough in half. Flatten each portion into a 1-inch-thick disk. On a lightly floured board, with a floured rolling pin, roll dough, a portion at a time, to 1/8 inch thick.

3. With floured cookie cutters, cut dough into shapes (if dough is too soft to handle, freeze briefly until firm).

4. With a wide spatula or your fingers, transfer cookies to buttered or cooking parchment-lined 12- by 15-inch baking sheets, spacing them about 1 inch apart. Gather scraps, pat into a ball, and repeat rolling and cutting.

5. Bake cookies in a 300° oven until golden, about 15 minutes; switch pan positions halfway through baking.

6. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on sheets to firm up, about 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Powdered sugar icing:

In a bowl, stir 3 cups powdered sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and 1/4 cup water until smooth. Tint with food coloring as desired. Spread icing onto cool cookies with a metal spatula. Let stand until icing is firm, about 1 1/2 hours. Makes about 1 cup, enough to coat 1 recipe of Favorite Cutout Cookies.

Controlling consistency of icing is simple. If it's too thick, add a few drops of water; if it's too thin, gradually add more powdered sugar.

Makes about 45 2 1/2-inch cookies


Sarah Brewer

Dear friends of ours, Dave and Jen Brewer, recently found out that their youngest daughter, Sarah, has cancer. She is only 2 months younger than Selah. The good news is that the tumor, which is on her spine, seems to be attached, but not entwined. She is scheduled to have surgery at 7:30am tomorrow morning. PLEASE pray for them, pray for peace for Dave and Jen, for wisdom and skill for the doctors and healing for little Sarah.

For updates and information, click here for their blog.


Happy Valentine's Day


Number 3

Around our house, we are beginning to love the number 3! We just recently found out that, Lord willing, baby #3 will be joining our lives sometime in October. We could not be more excited, sobered and grateful to God for entrusting us with another child.


The Inn at Little Washington

I am not quite sure where to start...it was quite the evening.

About a year and a half ago, we transitioned to serve another care group. The group we were leaving blessed us with a gift card to The Inn at Little Washington. I had only ever heard of this place from Joe and Esther Lee. Well, it was all I could have imagined and more. An absolutely amazing experience!

We drove down to VA around 2pm and hit a vineyard on the way down for a wine tasting (we had lots of time to kill). Then we found the inn, but continued to drive around a little bit more. I wish I had brought my camera because the views were spectacular! It was gorgeous countryside all around.

We walked into the restaurant a little early, but were taken to their living room, where we enjoyed drinks and had a snack as we waited. Shortly after, we were taken to our table, where we sat for the next 2 hours and enjoyed a delectible 7-course meal. We had our own personal menus (as you see in the picture) The service is, well....probably about the best you will find anywhere.

The people almost didn't seem real. We read an article on the Inn while we waited and learned about how the owner selects, trains and continues to train and educate his employees. It's very impressive! For instance, all employees are not allowed to use the word "no." They are also given research projects on a regular basis where they need to do extensively research on topics such as a type of wine or food. Then come back and give a report to the rest of the employees. Also, when you arrive, the waiters/waitresses rate your level of contentment on a scale of 1-10. Anything less than a 7 is considered not happy. It is their goal that no one leaves less than a 9, and they will do anything in their power to achieve that goal.

The food was amazing, but the service, the decor and people are probably what impressed us the most. But, again, I will say, the food was unbelievable! Before we left, we were given this cute little basket, filled with little treats and the most fancy "doggy bag" to carry it away, that I have ever seen!

If you ever have the opportunity to go, do it! And to all the wives out there, if your husband ever surprises you and takes you there...don't think about the money (because if you do, you will not enjoy it!), but instead soak it up! For me, it was an experience of a lifetime!

Thank you, DeCarlo care group, for the way you so blessed Dave and I. We will never forget it!


We retracted!

We have closed the door on the house that we were hoping would be our next home. We put a counter-offer down about 10 days and still had not received word back from the seller. We heard that the wife wanted to accept and husband did not. So, apparently, there was a conflict of interest. I feel for the family. All that to say that our wonderful realtor, Dave Dabbondanza, wisely suggested that we retract because who knows when and if they would get back to us. I guess they were trying to hold out for a better offer.

So, we go back to the drawing board...looking for another house. It's strange to think that we don't even own a home right now. But the Lord knows what His perfect plan is for our family and I find comfort in that.


Christmas pictures, Part 3

Christmas day at my moms...

Mckenna waiting and watching for the boys to arrive

Papa and Gracie sharing a carrot

Larsen opening his gift from Nani - a very cool sword and shield set

And Keenan got a bugle

Papa trying to play the bugle in Selah's ear!


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