Thursday, August 29, 2013

I saw God today

To say this week has been interesting has been an understatement.  Sunday afternoon at lunch we received a phone call that my mom's uncle and his wife had been in a car accident and both had passed away.  They were headed to church when a car veered into their lane and hit them head on.  This was definitely a shock and honestly it took a little bit for it to hit me. 

My Uncle Richard (that's what I called him) is my Granny's brother.  He was one of those men that really never had a lot to say and when he did he was very quiet and soft spoken.  He worked hard and he loved his family.  I have lots of memories of my Uncle Richard.  Every single one of them involve family. He loved his wife Laura.  He loved his kids Lynell and Jason, he loved his grandkids, and he loved the other kids in the family that weren't his. He played the guitar and my Granny loved to hear him play. A lot of my memories, at least recent ones, involve him and the family sitting in a circle listening to him play while we all or most of us sang along. 

It's funny how God's timing works.  While we've been grieving the loss of a precious family member who will be so very missed, I saw God today, some precious friends of mine welcomed their beautiful baby girl into the world today.  It was a nice break for a moment to be able to celebrate a life coming into the world as we are getting ready to remember a life that has left this world. 

It reminded me of Job 1:21 " Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I shall return there. The Lord gave and the lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."  It was a different situation in the book of Job but it gave me some comfort today. 

I will miss my Uncle Richard. I didn't see him that often but I know that when our family gets together there will definitely be a big piece missing. 

I don't know why I'm always so amazed at how God works. The fact that he can take those moments of sadness and give us a moment of joy is just beyond me. I'm amazed that while I can grieve the loss of a life I can at the same time celebrate a new life.  That just wows me!

Today also made me think of this song that will be just a little bit sweeter every time I heard it because I saw God today!

Monday, August 26, 2013

1st Day of School

I've been dreading this day since last year.  Bella started 2nd grade today and if that wasn't hard enough, my baby Jenna started Kindergarten today.  Where has the time gone and can someone please make it slow down??????

I have really tried the last few weeks to be excited about Jenna starting school because she is my more gentle, less independent child.  I knew I had to be strong or she wouldn't be.  So we started doing things like picking out backpacks and lunch kits and school supplies and shoes, then talking to big sister about what school is like and how much fun it's going to be.  Bella has been pretty great these last few weeks talking up how exciting school is and how much fun Jenna was going to have.

Last night several people from our church went to the different schools in our town and prayed at each one for the students, teachers, principals, staff, and everyone that would have any type of impact on our kids lives this school year.  Then when we got home, our family had a personal time of prayer and it was so sweet. I am so glad that we took the time to do that as a family.  Jenna's prayer was so sweet.  There is nothing like the faith of a child! NOTHING!

Jenna had a small breakdown after I put her to bed but once that was over she did fine! We got right up this morning, got dressed, had breakfast, took pictures, and headed to school.  Bella kept encouraging Jenna this morning and I am so thankful she did.  We got Bella dropped off at her class and then headed to Jenna's.  Her Gigi & Papa came along per her request. :) 

The drop off went surprisingly well.  I started getting teary eyed when she grabbed my neck and asked me to hold her. Of course I held her but started encouraging her and told her how much fun she was going to have.

When I picked the girls up, they came out of the school holding hands. It was so sweet! They got in the car and all in all had an awesome 1st day. Jenna is excited about going back and Bella had an awesome day and even met some new friends and she was very excited about that.

Not a bad 1st day and mommy held herself together pretty well too. :)

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Pickling Peppers

My hubby loves jalapeno peppers. When we were planning our garden this year he had big hopes of me pickling peppers this year. I've never pickeled anything and was a little hesitant but I told him if the pepper plants did well this year I would give it a try.  Well he planted several plants and they are one of the only things that did well in our garden this year. 

I've been really frustrated with the garden this year. Our tomato plants haven't done well at all and I'm not sure why.  Our squash hasn't done well.  The okra has done pretty well and the pepper have done really well.

A few weeks ago we did a trial round with our first round of peppers from the garden and they turned out pretty good. So today we harvested a lot of peppers and gave it another try.  They turned out really good this time! They are in the refrigerator cooling off now and in a few days they will be good to go!

So how did we do it? I'm glad you asked :)

We searched the internet for a good recipe.  Read lots of blogs, searched Pinterest, and we found a super easy recipe here. We used this recipe the first go around and the jalapenos were a little too sweet for our liking so this time we tweaked it just a little and this is what we came up with.

For the jalapenos you will need:

A couple of pint sized mason jars (sterilized) - we just ran them through the dishwasher
15 fresh jalapenos
1 cup of white vinegar
1 cup of filtered water
2 cloves of garlic (peeled & slightly crushed)
1 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tbsp. peppercorns
1 tbsp. sugar (the original recipe called for 4 tbsp. it was just too sweet for us)

Take your garlic, vinegar, water, sugar & salt and bring it to a boil on the stove.
Once the liquids are at a good boil dump in the sliced jalapenos.
Remove from the heat and put a lid over the pot and let it sit for 10-15 minutes.  Make sure all of the sliced jalapenos are submerged in the liquid.
The peppers will start to change color slightly but that's okay, you want them to. ;)

After the 15 minutes grab you a pair of tongs and put just the peppers into the mason jar(s). Go ahead and fill up the 1st jar and then if you need the second one fill that one up, but go ahead and pack those bad boys in there.  Once you've taken all of the peppers out of the liquid, pour the liquid in the jars on top of the peppers and seal them immediately.  Stick them in the fridge.  I suggest letting them sit in the jar in the fridge for about a week before opening them up. This gives them plenty of time to soak in all the juice.

Don't be afraid to try it. It was super easy and they turned out really, really good. I'm glad hubby made me give it a try. I would've never thought I could be  pickler :)

Here are few pictures of our pickling festivities from the day :)

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Splish Splash

I just realized it's been forever since I wrote a blog post.  After vacation, the summer has been pretty dull for the most part.  That's the bad thing about taking vacation at the very beginning of summer. We may have to space it out a little farther out next year.

The girls have had lots of fun this summer, Gigi takes them swimming almost every day while mommy & daddy are at work. They've also gotten to go visit with some of mommy's friends while Gigi & Papa were out of town. So their summer hasn't been as uneventful as mommy & daddy's. :)

We decided this week that we need a family fun day! Today was the first Saturday in about three weeks that we haven't had something going on so we decided to head out to Canton, Texas and visit the Splash Kingdom waterpark.

We haven't been out there in a long time so it was fun to go back and spend the day with the girls. It is a very family friendly waterpark and there is a lot of things for the kids, even the small kids.  In fact, there aren't that many slides that kids can't do.  The kids area is huge and there is plenty to keep everyone in the family occupied.

Sadly, I didn't get ANY pictures today.  When we were leaving I realized I had not taken any picture and felt horrible BUT I was so busy having fun playing with the girls it just slipped my mind.

It was a great day and I'm so glad we decided to spend it in the water.  Lord knows it's hot enough outside. :)