Saturday, February 26, 2011

Real Men...

Wear Babies...

While installing their wife's new retractable clothesline. Thanks Babes!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Bundt of the month: February

I am making an effort this year to celebrate more with my children and expand my baking vocabulary. A simple and yummy way I'm going to do this is to make a monthly bundt cake! I know. It is going to be so difficult to indulge in one of the concoctions each month, but if I have to I will. You know, for the children. Here is February's (made for valentines day)... enjoy

Chocolate Covered  Cherry Bundt cake 
1 box Moist Delux white cake mix
1 large jar  maraschino cherries
3/4 cup chocolate syrup
1/2 cup melted butter
4 egg whites
Grease and flour a 12 cup bundt cake pan and set aside. Separate Cherries from juice, reserve juice. Slice cherries into small pieces. Avoid nibbling on too many.. they will taste even better in the cake! Mix cake mix with 1/2 cup of butter and juice from the cherries (make sure juice is about 1 cup.. if less add water to equal). Mix in egg whites. Stir in sliced cherries. Your mixture will be a beautiful pink color if you had enough juice. Feel free to add food coloring if you want, but make sure you use taste free if you use red! Scoop half the mixture into the cake pan. Now add chocolate syrup to the cake mix. Resist the urge to find a big straw. Pour chocolate onto cherry layer. Use your spoon to gently marble the mixture. Bake for about an hour or until middle is cooked (clean knife test). I let mine cool for a little while before turning it out onto a baking rack. After completely cool you can ice with a royal icing drizzle. My recipe wasn't very good so I'm not sharing! I colored mine pink and then added sparkly red sprinkles to the top of the cake after drizzling the icing.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

New Favorite!

With Silas being sick for the past week we have gotten a bit desperate for something to help him calm down. I've used lavender scented baby products before but usually find them too sweet for my liking. I have a small addiction to Burt's Bees products though so I did not hesitate when I saw this on the shelf during my sick house supply run. Along with flu medicine, movies, tissues, soup, sports drinks, and antibacterial cleaners, calming lotion seemed a natural choice. For him and myself. I love how smooth it went on him and how gentle and warm the fragrance is. Not too sweet. Perfectly natural! I don't know if it has actually calmed him, but wrapping him up in the goodness makes me snuggle him even closer... and snuggles seem to work wonders on his calm and mine. I may be fighting him for use of this one...

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


the Tilsen house has sucombed to the bug. some evil evil bug that has rendered me completely useless and turned my children into worms. I'll get to the next Piper List item next week. For this week I'm just going to try to maintain a minimal level of cleanliness and happiness in my home:-).

In the meantime please go to Heather's blog and consider praying for the sweet ladies there and their babies. What an honor it is to bring before the throne women in a far away land who are experiencing the same joys we are, but in the midst of trials we could never fully understand. Women most of us will never meet this side of heaven.
Also, please pray for my sweet friend Becky. Her baby is waiting for her in Ethiopia. Their court date is coming up fast! Pray that God will prepare her heart and protect her sweet boy. Pray that the government in Ethiopia will process quickly and that no snags come up! and pray that every last dime they need will be provided for!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweets for my Sweets

Valentines Day 2005: while dating Lucas was living on an island in the Caribbean giving his best at med school
Valentines 2006: recently married, Lucas's last semester on the island
Valentines 2007: Lucas in review class downtown for his medical boards while I (pregnant) waited at home (evil evil boards...)
Valentines 2008: Lucas was in Houston while in training for his first job.. I was in Louisiana living
Valentines 2009: Lucas was on a job working
Valentines 2010: Lucas was in Laredo with  the stinky company he temporarily worked for
Valentines 2011: LUCAS HOME. :-)
It's been seven years and we are completely wallowing in Hallmark card chessy-ness. Conversation hearts, chocolate covered strawberries, handmade valentines.. the whole deal. For two days. So much fun. I even made a chocolate covered cherry Bundt cake. More on that later. We did the celebration today so the boys can eat their goodies. (I don't usually recommend sending easily distracted boys to school with a belly full of chocolate). With the flu descended on us we cant get out to church this morning so we've been talking with the boys about how we can love because He first loved us. God gave us his son. No chocolate can express that, but I firmly believe our rejoicing is a sweet sweet sound to our Creator. Love to all from the Tilsens

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

unfabled parenting:: The Long Suffering

I'll admit. Long suffering is not a word I have used often, or ever. I had to look it up actual and the definition I found was this: patiently enduring wrongs or difficulties. YUP. We have to endure lots of difficulties as parents. But are we enduring patiently? Not I. I do not like green eggs and Ham. Especially for the 400th time. Especially when that green eggs and ham are actually a child smarting off, or saying no, or dumping peas on the floor, or hitting their brother, or hitting their brother back, or hiding toys under the bed so they dont get put away... you know... all the stuff that drives us nuts. The stuff we put rules against. The things they DO. I have to wonder after spending days on end getting so frustrated with behavior.. finding myself being anything but long suffering... maybe it isn't what they are doing that I'm upset about after all. Maybe its because behind the doing is a yucky heart. I highly recommend these two books Shepherding a Child's Heart and Instructing a Child's Heart. Also the Desiring God  website where this list originally came from. Both of these books deal with parenting from a biblical, Gospel centered focused instead of a worldly behavioral focus. Every disobedient, yucky thing we see in our children can be directly related back to OUR sinful nature. We all sin. We are all born sinning. As we learn to discipline our children, we must remember that God disciplines us as well... because he loves us. Deuteronomy 8:5 says "Know then in your heart that as a man disciplines his son so the LORD your God disciplines you." In Jeremiah chapter 15 we find The LORD conversing with Jerusalem. After handing down a harsh judgement and warning Jerusalem that He will turn them over to their enemies Jerusalem begs mercy saying in verse 15 "LORD, you understand; remember me and care for me. Avenge me on my persecutors. You are long-suffering—do not take me away." He responds in vs. 19 “If you repent, I will restore you that you may serve me; if you utter worthy, not worthless, words, you will be my spokesman. Let this people turn to you, but you must not turn to them. 20 I will make you a wall to this people, a fortified wall of bronze; they will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you to rescue and save you,” declares the LORD.
21 “I will save you from the hands of the wicked and deliver you from the grasp of the cruel.”
For I am with you to rescue you and save you. We need to be there to rescue our children. Angry or not, frustrated or tired, exhausted from the battle... we need to rescue our babies as best we can. How? With the same grace we are being rescued by. By praying that our Father who is so patient with us.. who is long-suffering... who we know understands.. praying that he will help us be patient and long-suffering with our children.

Friday, February 4, 2011

LOVE my new high chair

We got our tax refund and have been spending the day getting haircuts, glasses, clothes for the kids and a high chair for Silas!  I originally wanted one that attaches to a chair instead of a full size one. As we were looking I found this one at Target. It was a bit higher than I had originally thought I wanted to spend, but I LOVE IT!! I set it up in about ten minutes flat from a box. Easy Peasy. The seat cover is more fabric like than plastic which I love, and it has a second padded insert to use with infants. It leans back comfortably, and easily, and is completely adjustable. Even the foot rest is adjustable. The fun part is the the entire seat part comes off (very simply) and can be attached to a regular chair! So when baby outgrows the high chair, or you go to visit grandmas house, you can just take the seat off and move it. That means this chair will easily be used for 2+ years on this kiddo! The tray has a removeable insert that can go in the dishwasher, and is very generously sized. Much bigger than the ones I've used before.  PLUS (this part is genius) the straps for the booster.. are stored inside a compartment underneath. Brilliant. We lost an awesome infant car seat because a strap went missing. Silas had his first meal in it tonight. (We are introducing rice cereal a little bit at a time to make sure there are no ahem constipation issues. ) So far so good! Cant wait for March when he gets to eat real peas in his sweet pea high chair.

I can see clearly now...

Today was a BIG day for my firstborn. I knew it was inevitable that someday he would be needing glasses, so when his teacher told me she was having to move him up to the front of the class I knew it was time. After a quick trip to the OD we had proof. Ayden needs glasses! Now most kids would complain or whine or worry about how they look. Not mine. He has been all but begging. So today, during our non snow event, we headed out in the blizzard cool air. He could not be more proud. (sorry for the iphone pictures. it was an iphone only kinda day)



Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Unfabled Parenting Week One :: Signs of Life

Thank you for joining me on this Unfabled Parenting Tuesday. It is actually 8:00 pm on Tuesday so by the time I get this typed up and published and you see it in blog land it will most likely no longer be Tuesday. Sorry:-).
I think of all the "Rules" on this list, this very first one is the one that caught my attention. It could be paraphrased "Lets say good stuff about our kids." But that would sadly miss the point. You see, we say a lot. But are we saying enough?
Of all my flaws, I don't think I ever considered that I might not be saying enough. You see, (as if you had not noticed) I'm sorta wordy. I talk lots. I blog lots. I facebook lots. I would probably twitter if I had more time. I often speak without thinking. I often say too much. I often walk away from a conversation and kick myself for speaking too many words. So how could I possibly not be saying enough? The reality that God is slowly trying to teach me.. or that he is aggressively trying to reveal to me but I am only slowly catching on... is that it is the quality not the quantity of my words that matter. It matters more what words I speak than if I speak them. Here are some verses I found today on Bible Gateway. There were hundreds of verses that come up with the word "word," but knowing that Jesus IS the Word... thats not so surprising.

Psalm 119:103

How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
words can be a sweet, sweet blessing

Psalm 119:130
The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.
words can be a source of knowledge

Proverbs 12:18
The words of the reckless pierce like swords, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
reckless words are damaging

Proverbs 16:24
Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
words of Grace are healing

Ecclesiastes 5:2
Do not be quick with your mouth, do not be hasty in your heart to utter anything before God. God is in heaven and you are on earth, so let your words be few.
Words should be simple and full of humility, we are small.. He is ALL

Ecclesiastes 6:11
The more the words, the less the meaning, and how does that profit anyone?
too many words become nonsense

Matthew 12:37
 For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned.”
Our words have consequences!
1 Thessalonians 4:17-18
 After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.
The words that matter, and will bring the most encouragement, are those of the Gospel!!

Many days I feel like all I do is speak to my children, about my children or on behalf of my children. The fabled blog would be a list of all the good things I said to my children or about my children today. A beautifully edited self proclamation of what a beautiful life we are living and how wonderful my children are. The reality is that most days much of what I say comes in the form of criticism or complaint. To my children- "Stop" "Don't" "No""hurry" "Go" "please" "If you..." About my children, usually when someone compliments them- "but" "not really" "if only you knew" "sometimes".  ugh. and UGLY. I don't always speak negatively, but really.. its much more than I want it to be. I don't know if I would even have been aware of this if I was not looking at what it means to "celebrate verbally'. But after looking at scripture the reality is that our words can heal or harm, bless or sadden. By celebrating verbally in a spontaneous way the little things about our children that show signs of life or goodness (love that part).. our words can help lead our children to the Gospel! By celebrating when Ayden shows kindness to his brother or friends at school I can show him that loving others is what we are called to do! By commending Balin on not whining when I ask him to put away his toys I can train him in diligence. By praising Jesus at the breakfast table when Silas sleeps for more than two hours at a time over night we can all taste the sweet honey of blessing!
How can you verbally celebrate your kids this week? Do you find it hard to speak verbally of the positive "signs of life" in your children?