Custom Baby Set Giveaway!

One of my favorite crafters of handmade bags, Bekah of http://www.leidibird.com is giving away a Custom New Baby 4 Piece Set, which includes a quilted changing pad and 3 coordinating burp cloths in your choice of a custom fabric! TODAY is the LAST day to enter, so head over to her blog at http://www.leidibird.com/blog/ and check it out!

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The Value of One

Recently, I read a quote that said, “Everybody is God’s somebody.”  

Can you imagine how different the world would be if each of us truly embraced that thought—that we—each one of us—is important in the scope of this life, and in eternity? How would I behave differently if I believed that my life has value?  How would I treat others differently if I believed THEIR life has value?

 I thought that quote was such a simple profoundity, and it got me thinking about the value or worth of a person – and whether or not I assign the people that I meet the value they are due.  How do I show the people I interact with that I think they are valuable?  Do I really even BELIEVE that they are?  How can I make THEM believe that?

Enter my five year old son, who, with his innocent charm, unwittingly taught me a life lesson of eternal magnitude. 

Here’s the story: 

With the recent closure of our precious preschool, I have found myself flung (slightly prematurely) squarely into the talons of full time homemaking and homeschooling – something I always knew I would probably do, but wasn’t feeling quite prepared or equipped to begin yet. 

As an ambitious, gregarious person who likes to “make things happen,” I’ve never lacked for a project.  Along the way, I’ve been a student, teacher, production director, recording artist, small business owner, skin care consultant, group coordinator, preschool founder, and committee chairperson – to varying degrees of excellence.  Accomplishments in each of these roles all contributed to feelings of success in my life.  Or you might say they made me feel important.

 Over the last few weeks, I’ve made a concerted effort to “do” homemaking and homeschooling right – as I have with every project I have undertaken. I’ve made a home control binder.  I’ve done menu plans and shopping lists….created lesson plans and art projects….scheduled play dates and field trips.  I’ve packed my husband’s lunch, and been thoughtful about budgeting. 

 My son has thrived. 

As much as he LOVED his preschool teachers, and classroom buddies, he is bounding out of bed each day, so excited to begin the adventures of our home school day.  

I was feeling successful, and important…and umm…..valuable.

His appreciation showed, and his affection level grew in just a couple of days, and I was the happy recipient of a plethora of spontaneous hugs, kisses, and “I love you’s.”   The other day, he crawled up in my lap for one such snuggle, and I thought I would take a moment to get myself a little affirmation, so I asked him, “Honey, what’s your favorite part of homeschooling?” –expecting him to say something about all the THINGS we’ve (read: I’ve) been doing to make it great.  But he said, quickly and unflinchingly, “just being with you, everyday, mommy.”

*Crickets, chirping*

See…I had it backwards.  I was finding my value BECAUSE of the things I was doing.  But really, I should do them because I AM VALUED. 

Me.

Just being Corrina – a child of God, uniquely created in His image – makes me special.  Everything I do within that role is BECAUSE I am a life of worth in His sight.  That sure changes my motivation, doesn’t it?   My son valued ME – above anything I did for him.  Just like God.

Kids are so wise, aren’t they.

Therefore, my husband is valuable BEFORE he does anything for me.  The girlfriend who isn’t a very available friend is valuable BEFORE she puts anything into the friendship.  The salesperson who isn’t working very hard to earn her commission is valuable simply because SHE IS.   

If I am to be like Christ, then it is my responsibility to show them that, and treat them accordingly.  It could be as simple as a look, a touch, a word….a hug, even.  A mindful moment where I assign another child of God’s life the value that God himself does.

So today, I am purposing to live OUT my value instead of trying to make myself valuable.  And I’m purposing to affectionately show others that they are valuable too. 

Matthew 10:29-31

“Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. “

In Praise of Family Night

In our home, we try to have at least one night each week which we dedicate to a family night.  Depending on my hot date schedules (ahem….with my husband), family nights generally occur on Friday or Saturday night. This usually consists of some kind of fun meal (either out at a restaurant, or cooked together as a family), and a planned activity that all three of us will do actually at the same time. 

I know that’s an odd way to say it, but let me clarify. 

My husband and I have a pretty good system worked out for most evenings – so that we alternate who is the “on” parent.  This means that while we are all usually together at home most evenings, both of us have time to do a thing or two without the kidlet (hence, I’m blogging at the moment, and kidlet’s bath is being facilitated by the husband unit.)

So, on family night, we purpose to put our “other things” aside to all focus on SOMETHING together. 

Our family night exploits have included such simple thrills as homemade pizza and a game of LIFE (the board game) – which is amusing to play with a precocious five year old.  Last time we played two things happened; 1.) He cried when he didn’t land on the square which forces the player to pay $40,000 for an SUV.   When we asked why, he explained, “I have three kids now, and I need a van…this car is too small, and the kids keep falling out of my car.”  2.) He danced around the living room in glee when his “college tuition loan notes” were paid off, chanting in a sing-songy voice, “I’m debt free, I’m debt free!”  Stifling our giggles, husband and I exchanged knowing glances, and I silently prayed that only ONE of these would happen again in his lifetime. 

Rarely, we choose outrageous evenings, such as a 9pm trip to a fancy restaurant for appetizers and ice cream sundaes or the classic pajama run to McDonald’s for French fries and milkshakes (don’t judge).

Tonight, we did something so quintessentially American that I nearly broke out in a rousing chorus of “Yankee Doodle Dandee” on the way home.  I know, I’m dramatic.

We began the evening at a place called, “Jimmy’s Diner.”  Yeah  – it’s really called that.   At said diner, we ordered a tuna melt, a patty melt, and a shrimp louie – seriously, how cute are we? And then, the pièce de résistance……we went to the drive-in!  Yes, the movie kind!!  Now, let me just be clear – the drive-in theatre in our town doubles as a flea market on Saturday and Sunday, so there’s a little strategic driving maneuvering necessary if you want to avoid taking home a stall with you.  But, it’s a drive-in, nonetheless.  We all sat in the front seat of the truck, and shared blankets, popcorn and a kit-kat, while we watched Tangled, which was surprisingly entertaining. 

Yes, I’ll be hanging the star-spangled bunting on the eaves in the morning. 

Seriously, kidlet couldn’t have been happier, and I was reminded again that it’s the simple things done TOGETHER that make life special. 

Maybe we’ll have TWO family nights this week.  

As for you, you still have time to make a special family moment – the weekend is just beginning. 

Go out and play!

Super Yummy Easy Banana Bread (with chocolate chips for added guilt)

So, I seriously cannot believe that the very first recipe I’m posting is a banana bread recipe. 

I honestly  haven’t made (or probably even eaten) banana bread in at least four years. 

Here’s the thing though:  we like to eat our bananas pretty close to green, so when that last lonely banana gets a little too freckled for our liking – it gets thrown into sub-zero solitary confinement in the freezer.  I’m not exactly sure why I did this, except that I don’t like to throw food away, and somewhere in my mind, I thought, “Hey, maybe we can bake with those at some point..”   

 Today, however,  was what alcoholics refer to as  “the moment of clarity”  wherein ridiculous heaps of frozen, black, humiliated bananas stared at me from under piled up bags of frozen burritos and from inside frozen pie shells .  Yes, they taunted me. I opened the freezer to fill my water cup with ice, and they stared at me.  Glared, even.   There they sat in all their “has-been-ness,” overripe,  and now frozen to themselves.

 At first, they just looked pathetic to me.  A frozen blackened testament to my own procrastination. But the more I stared at them, the more sinister they became.  It was as if they were planning a revolt, and  that  perhpas one night I would awaken to find an army of them marching in formation across the granite countertops. 

So, I did what any self respecting housewife would do; I yanked them from their dungeon, peeled their ugly shriveled  skins off, exposing their once plump flesh to the warm, forced air-heat of my house, dumped them in a bowl and mashed the heck out of their little banana army.    I felt much better. 

And lucky for you, I renewed my affection for banana flavored loaves  in the process- although, that may have actually been the Chocolate Chips’ fault.  Anyway, here’s my recipe.  I couldn’t find one that I liked the sound of tremendously, so I made one up…..it came out delicious.  I reccommend a slice of it, served warm, with a pat of butter melted on it, and a cup of good English tea.

Ingredients:

2 cups of all purpose flour

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

3/4 cup milk chocolate (or semi-sweet) choc. chips

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 cup brown sugar, softened

2 eggs, lightly beaten

1 stick of butter (1/2 cup), melted and cooled slightly

4 overripe bananas, mashed well

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Grease a loaf pan.

Sift together flour, salt, soda, and cinnamon, and toss in chocolate chips, coating them  in the flour mixture well.

Mix together brown sugar, vanilla, and butter until creamy and smooth, with no lumps,  and then stir in the beaten eggs and the mashed bananas.  Combine the wet mixture with the dry mixture and mix lightly just until fully incorporated. Pour into loaf pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

By the way, simple recipes like this one are great ways to get your children baking with you.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the kidlet in his apron – or the finished bread.  I’m learning. 🙂

Hello world!

Hello world.  Thanks for stopping by! 

I’m Corrina!  *waves wildly*

  I’m wife to an adoring husband, and mother to one curious five year old, and as I write this, I’m currently building a human child inside me who will make his/her appearance in early June.

Thanks for stopping by – really.   I’m excited to share a little bit of my world with you here in cyberspace.  My passions are many, and I look forward to indulging them here with your help!  I’m new to the blogsphere, and would love to connect with any of you who are pros! 

My many loves and interests include mommyhood, wife-ery (my word), homemaking, homeschooling, (and educational choice)  foodie-ness, decorating, and real people stories.   Oh yeah, and I’m a singer of songs too.

I’m happy to know you.

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