He hears.

Wow. God is good. I opened up my heart to you, my family and friends last week and I received several comments and messages, even from some people who didn’t know what I wrote, telling me that they prayed for us. God has heard your prayers.

We went to our marriage conference this weekend and it was SO so good; so much better than we even expected. God really spoke to us about some stuff and on Friday night after we got home, we stayed up and talked til 12:30 in the morning! And in that time, God revealed some really big things, especially to Ben, that are just key for healing and walking through this waiting period. We felt such relief and PEACE and it has just stayed with us this entire weekend!

Even though waiting and not knowing are really difficult, God is showing us that He does love us and is hearing our prayers to Him!! He is hearing your prayers and we feel a lot more hope walking into this week, that we haven’t felt in awhile. Please keep praying for healing, for peace and for hope!!

And thank you, from the bottom of my heart. For reaching out, for blessing us with your words of love, grace and comfort and for lifting us up to our heavenly Father.

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I never got to take Samuel out on our special time together (a.k.a. date) last month because we have such limited time in our week for such things so yesterday morning before church (we go to a late morning service), I took him to Panera! He chose to sit at a table near the window so we could see the beautiful sunshine and he gobbled up a cinnamon roll while we played hangman, laughed, talked about his Halloween costume (very original!) and even wrote down a few things he wants for Christmas:)

I can’t tell you what a joy it is, to be out and at your best, away from any other distractions or stressors, just spending time with these precious little people individually. I hope and pray we can continue to do little things like this to show them how important they are!
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Eliana, just a mere two weeks away from turning three, is entering what I am affectionately dubbing “The Year of the Tantrum.” Our little angel is definitely becoming more and more independent (“I’m helping myself!!” she says) and when she doesn’t get her way, WATCH OUT! I’ll sum up yesterday in a nutshell for you: crowded Target, me trying to buckle Eliana back into the front of the cart in the checkout line, screaming, more screaming, me laughing and walking as fast as I could to get out of the store, screaming even louder (her, not me!), stares from people and time-out in the car.

It takes about 3 minutes for her to work her way through her tantrum and then she’s as docile as a kitten, hiccupping her sorry’s and coming to you for hugs. But those 3 minutes? Some of the longest and loudest of your life!!! Oh yea, threes…..

In her good moments (which far outweigh the not-so-fun), it is easy to plan out some special things we are planning for her big day! She’s still not ready for a big party so we’re just doing some fun little family things and at her request, Dora will be the theme:) We’re pretty excited about the little gifts we are going to get her. She’s easy to please!

Except when she’s having a tantrum, of course….;)
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Zakkai had a playdate on Friday afternoon with a new friend. I went to pick him up later and it was really cute to see him interacting with his friend. He doesn’t have many friends that aren’t Samuel’s friends first so this was so good for him! They were playing catch and the other boy was being so encouraging and sweet with Z, which he doesn’t get often from the neighborhood kids. Z is a pretty cool kid and he needs to be built up in confidence so that he knows it, too!!
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I leave you with a recipe. No, not an apple one because I wasn’t thrilled with the new ones I tried and I have been banned from sharing the secret family apple pie recipe, under penalty of family disownment:) But this one is a really good one anyways!

Pasta Fagioli Soup

1 lb ground beef or turkey
1/2 cup celery, diced
1/2-3/4 cup carrots, diced
1/4 cup onion, minced
2 cans diced tomatoes with garlic, basil and oregano
2 can beans, cannellini and/or pinto
2 cups noodles (ditalini or elbow)
1 jar Prego spaghetti sauce
2-3 cans, 14.5 oz each, beef broth
Shredded Parmesan cheese

Preparation:
1. Brown meat in a bit of oil with celery, carrots and onions until meat is no longer pink. Add tomatoes, beans, spaghetti sauce and broth and simmer until veggies are tender and beans are cooked.

2. Add noodles about 20 minutes before serving and simmer until cooked. Serve with shredded Parmesan cheese.

*This is a great soup to freeze. If freezing, freeze BEFORE adding the noodles. Just add noodles when you reheat soup in a pot.

Wonderful fall soup! Enjoy!

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Pics!

 I don’t always have my camera nearby to capture the day to day pictures of our life but I do often have my phone handy! Here a some pictures I’ve taken in the past few days.

Samuel made this clay frog in art class! I absolutely love it!! He came out from school in tears because one of his friends had accidently bumped the tongue and broken it off and it had to be re-glued. He has such a sensitive, sweet heart!

 Eliana has been so busy getting into things lately! Along with her diaper changing obsession for Baby Anna, comes a new found love of opening packs of wipes and pulling out as many as she can. Woohoo! Back in the corner behind her rocking chair is a pile of about 20 wipes that I discovered right when I confiscated the 4th pack of wipes. This little tantrum was the result of mean old mommy hiding all the wipes:)

The funny thing is, the second I snapped the pictures, she jumped up and ran to me saying, “Can I see the picture of Missy cwying?” ha!

It wasn’t too hot today, although quite humid, so we spent some time outside before dinner. Eliana jumped in her Cozy Coupe and took a little ride:)

My Gma and Mom found this at a garage sale for really cheap when they came to visit last year! She just loves it so much.

And of course, Baby Anna was bummin’ a ride in the back:) Thought my Gma would enjoy this pic!

And lastly, I leave you with a picture of this scrumptious treat. Mmm, mmm! This is homemade copycat “Oreo Madness” from TGIF’s. We had lunch there on Mother’s Day, when I discovered a forgotten gift card, and this was on their menu. We never get dessert at a restaurant since it’s so ridiculously expensive and can usually be made at home!

This is absolutely a keeper recipe!! You can go here for the recipe if you, too, would like to delight your taste buds:)

I am now bringing forth all of my willpower not to go down and eat one….Aren’t you proud?!

Cooking up a Storm!

Eliana got a “new” kitchen from some friends today! They have a grand total of THREE play kitchens for their little girl (the dad is a bit of a garage sale, side of the road junkie) and decided they could get rid of a couple.

So we got a new toy:)

When Z saw me carrying it in this afternoon, he quickly abandoned his brother and friends outside and came to play with his Sis:) It made dinner preparation more peaceful!

Speaking of dinner, tonight I made savory pizza pancakes! It was basic pancake batter with seasonings and spices, diced red pepper and some sauteed chopped swiss chard. I was a little iffy on whether the three juniors would eat it but to my surprise they did! Add a little pizza dipping sauce and it makes a big hit. Missy ate one (she loves sauce!) and the boys gobbled up 4 each!!

And here’s a silly video of Samuel making Eliana giggle. The best giggles were before I could get the camera on and after the battery died but at least I got a couple!

Happy Tuesday!