Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Too Busy to Blog

Well, the title and this picture about sums it up! I have been too busy to keep up with my beloved blog.
Tim and I have been running around pretty wildly lately. This blog actually took three days of starting and stopping to finish. But I like to keep my out of town friends and family up to date on our lives. Not to mention, that at some point I think I would like to print and bind our blog as a type of scrapbook for our family. Even though things have been busy, we have really been enjoying life. I feel like I have finally gotten into a pretty good routine with my schedule, which helps me to not feel completely out of control.

Our weekly schedule looks something like this:

Sunday morning- lead college group (I prepare coffee and some type of pastry breakfast)
Sunday afternoon - we often meet with a few college kids for lunch/discipleship
Sunday night - we get to rest and hang out as a family

Monday morning- we also get to rest and hang out as a family
Monday afternoon - Tim takes the train into the city to go to his Barth class at University of Chicago- I take care of Maddy and work on homework during her naps. Some Mondays Maddy and I go into the city with Tim in the morning and then head back out before he goes to class.

This is us on University of Chicago's Campus
This is Madison looking at the baby chicks at the Museum of Science and Industry

Maddy and Daddy looking at the Model Submarine at the Science museum
(it was free in October!)

Monday night - I drop Madison off at a babysitter(we are rotating through our friends right now)- BIG THANK YOU'S to all of you! Then I head to Zoology class at Harper. I am actually really enjoying this one! We get to learn cool things about animals and even getting to do dissections (crawfish, worm, starfish, a shark). I am picking up some fun and interesting information that I think my students will enjoy some day as well!
Late Monday night- I pick up Maddy around 9pm (who is sleeping in her pack n play) - bring her home to put her back to bed (bless her sweet heart, the transition doesn't seem to bother her at all!) She falls right back asleep when I get home. Tim arrives home from the city just after we get home.

Tuesday Morning/Afternoon - Tim heads to work and I work on homework most of the day. Maddy has gotten really good at playing independently with her toys. But I try to make sure to get down there and play with her any chances I can too.

I was pulling her around in her little toy basket and she was just smiling and giggling. It was so much fun!
Tuesday night - Tim arrives home at 4:30 and we sit down to eat dinner. I then run out the door at 5 to get to my 6pm class at Trinity. I am currently taking a Math Methods class which has also been beneficial. Although this class does come with quite a bit of homework.
--Most Tuesdays, Tim leaves with Madison at 6pm to go to our pastor's house to help lead a Theology study on Calvin's Institutes. Our pastor's wife watches Maddy and then lays her down in her pack n play to go to sleep. He finishes there around 9pm, brings Madison home and lays her back down for bed. I usually get home around 10:30pm.

Wednesday morning/afternoon - Tim goes to the office and I am home with Maddy. I try to make this day one to run errands, go on play dates, and get lots of play time in with Madison. I usually take this one off of homework - that is unless I have a test that night in Zoology.
Wednesday night - Tim comes home around 4:30 and we eat dinner together. Then I leave for class around 5:15 (my zoology class/lab). Tim stays home with Madison. I arrive home around 9pm.

This is a picture of my friends from teaching(Abbey and Helen) and their sweet little ones. We went to a mom and tots bowling activity at "Pinstripes". It was great. For just $5, you get to bowl from 10-12 with your kiddos. There is free yogurt and fruit for the kids and coffee for the moms (smart people!) It was so much fun!

Maddy loved to push the ball (kind of with my help) and then watch it roll down the alley. She would yell and babble as the ball rolled away. It was so cute!
Thursday morning/afternoon - Tim heads to the office and I am home with Maddy. I do try to get a start on my homework while Maddy is napping. But I make sure to get some good play time in here too.
Thursday night - Tim comes home and we actually get an evening to relax together (unless there is a church or college activity). We generally have dinner together, play with Maddy until her bedtime, and then Thursday night our friend from TIU/Church comes over and we watch Comedy shows on NBC (Community, Parks and Rec, The Office, and 30 Rock;) - so fun and relaxing!

Friday- Tim will sometimes have meetings in the morning, but then will try to get home to spend the rest of the day with us. We often have dinner with our good friends the Barkers.

Saturday Morning - We have breakfast as a family and relax.
Saturday Afternoon - Tim heads to the church to get ready for the evening service. I try to get meal planning, cleaning, and some homework done.
Saturday evening - Maddy and I head to church to meet tim at 5:30p. He leads the service and we get to enjoy it. I help in the nursery if needed. After church, we usually head home to put Maddy to bed. Although once a month we have a pizza fellowship after church, which I
make sure the drinks, dessert, and paper goods are ready. I have enjoyed that though because it is a really good chance to get to know the people in the Saturday night service. When we get home, Tim has to write the sermon-based discussion question for our life groups by 10pm.

And then we start again Sunday morning ;) Like I said- busy! But we really are enjoying this stage in our lives. Tim loves his job and his class at University of Chicago. And I really LOVE being a stay at home mama and a grad student.

God has been so good to us! Tim and I have learned to make the most of little opportunities to be together and make them quality time. And I have learned how to make the most of the sweet moments playing with Madison throughout each day (refusing to feel guilty that I don't always have larger chunks of time).

This picture is of us playing "peak a boo" with her toy basket ;)
On a side note: I am exercising about 5 times a week, counting calories and loosing this baby weight one week at a time - little by little. It's a battle. But I know it will be worth it in the long run to be healthy and fit again.

Maddy Facts:
Madison turned 10 months last week. I can hardly believe it?! She is growing up so fast. She will be 1 in just two short months! She has been an absolute blast lately. She has been babbling a lot more and saying dada and mama (most of the time at the right time to the right person- I think ;) We have been working on sign language, but she doesn't seem to quite get it yet. She has just been starting to learn to clap and do patty cake - which is so adorable.

She loves playing with her toys (and by that I mean, pulling them out of the basket one at a time, looking at them, and then throwing them behind her back). She is crawling faster and cruising faster. She lets go here and there and stands by herself, but doesn't really know that she can go anywhere yet. At church they have a push shopping cart and she can hold onto that and walk a few steps before crashing ;)

She is the light of my life. When I am tired and overwhelmed with school and life, I LOVE to just get down on the floor and crawl around with her. She has some pretty fun giggles and smiles these days. She has gotten two more teeth on the top.
But the funny thing is that she got the top right middle one and the one to the right of that (not the top two middle like most kids). So we affectionately call her "snaggle-tooth".
She is gaining weight, but is still our little peanut. We love her so much and are not sure what we would do without her.

Overall, God has been teaching me that "Godliness with contentment is great gain"
(I Timothy 6:6). We may not have much money or even much time, but I am finding JOY in thanking God for what we do have and basking in those sweet moments in life with friends and family. God is good all the time.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Is there anything better than an Apple Cider Donut?

One Saturday in September, we spent the morning at Royal Oaks Apple Orchard with some friends from church. I honestly can't remember the last time I have been to one. It really was a lot of fun. We chatted as we picked and ate apples along the way. The best part may have been the apple cider donuts afterwards. Oh my word-they were to die for!

I took a few bites out of the apple for her so she could gnaw on it and get the juice out with her two teeth. She really enjoyed it!

By this point Madison had apple juice all over her shirt -ahah! Plus she looks a tad nervous sitting on that pumpkin.

It was such a nice day for us to get out of the house and be together as a family.

Michael and Maddy were pretty tuckered out by the end of it all!

Thursday, October 08, 2009

Autumn and Apple Crisp

If you live in the Chicago land area, you know how windy and cool it has been lately. I am actually enjoying the chilly weather, changing leaves, and wearing jeans and sweaters again. We have even pulled out the hats and scarves. This is Madison and I right before she, Tim and I headed out for breakfast last Saturday morning at our one of our favorite local places called "Eggsperience".
The weather has put Tim and I in the mood for some Fall treats like hot apple cider and hot apple crisp. Fortunately we went to an apple orchard with some friends a few weeks ago and a big bag of apples. I decided to make it last minute after class (I got home at 10pm) and I didn't have much time or many ingredients, so I googled "Easy Apple Crisp". This is the recipe I came up with. It was super easy and was warm and tasty!

Tim even helped me peal the apples( I hate doing that!). I have a Pampered Chef peeler, corer, slicer, but the slices come out so thin and I can't see a way to change the settings to make the slices thicker. So if you have one and know how to do that - PLEASE let me know ;)

I have included the recipe below. Happy Autumn and Happy Baking!


4-5 lg. cooking apples (Cortland) 1 c. sugar 1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon Dash of nutmeg

1 c. quick Quaker oats 1/4 c. flour 1/2 c. butter, melted

Slice apples into 8 or 9 inch round casserole dish. Combine sugar and cinnamon and nutmeg. Sprinkle 2/3 of the mixture over the apples. For the crumb topping - add the remaining 1/3 cup of sugar to the oats, flour and melted butter. Top apples with the mixture and bake about 30 minutes at 350 degrees. Serve hot with ice cream.