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Monday, February 28, 2011

I Heart Faces: Anything But a Face

I hope you are as lucky as I am in that you also have a real life hero.

A quick snapshot of my Marine husband wearing his Service Bravo uniform
before heading off to a commemorative dinner for Medal of Honor recipients



Friday, February 25, 2011

Project 365: Week 8

Week 8: February 19th to February 25th


50  Tickly-kisses from Daddy because of his mustache :) (Side note: Hubby shaved his mustache the next day)

51  Paint and sponge brushes from the Warrior Princess at church.

52  Not so healthy breakfast. We decided to buy donuts from a local donuts shoppe for breakfast since Hubby was off from work. Nathaniel had more fun breaking it to pieces than actually eating it.

53  Some of the ingredients for the Slow Cooker Creamy Split Pea soup: split green peas, sweet potatoes, garlic, and onions.

54  Nathaniel had a runny nose and refused to sleep unless he is held. I decided to bring him in our bedroom and after taking a 15 minute nap with him, I carefully crawled out of bed and quietly snapped this photo. He looked so small on our king-sized bed.

55  Hershey Kiss

56  Calla Lilies viewed through our rainy-wet windows


Linking up to:

The Daily Wyatt: 365 Days in Pictures
NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
Becoming a Strong Woman of God: Capturing Life... One Photo at a Time
BlueEyedGirl Photography: A Daily Picture Project


Thursday, February 24, 2011

Nursing Days are Over!

I'm not talking about my nursing days as a registered nurse---although those might be over, too; but that is a completely different post. I am talking about breastfeeding. It has been two weeks since our last nursing session.

Technically, it has been far longer than that since our true feeding. For weeks, Nathaniel began to loose interest and would only need to breastfeed for comfort, mostly during naptime/bedtime. Eventually, he stopped asking and I stopped offering.



As relieved as I am that my body is once again mine, I am still sad that it is over. I expected to continue nursing for at least a couple more months. I supposed I could have kept offering it but in the end, Nathaniel was just ready to wean himself.

Breastfeeding has both been a great and bad experience for us. I loved knowing that I provided the best and most nutritional food for my son during his first year of life. I loved our alone and bonding time that I normally would have shared if he was bottle-fed. But with that, I was also the main "feeder" and did not get a break especially since Nathaniel never learned to eat from a bottle. Then there was the initial latching issues, overproduction of milk (that could have fed twins or triplets!), and the dreaded mastitis. But overall, it has been a fulfilling experience and I consider it as one of (my hopefully many) great achievements as a mother.


Linking up to:
Diary of a Devil Dog Wife: Breastfeeding Blog Hop

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Go Bananas!

Nathaniel loves fruit and vegetables and his current favorite is bananas. He used to eat TWO for breakfast but we had to cut it down to one and preferably not everyday because his stools started to become too firm. He also recently wanted to eat it like adults do and although it's quite a mess, I love watching him be independent.


Yesterday during our quick trip to the Commissary, I had to hide the bananas we were purchasing because Nathaniel wanted one as soon as he saw the banana stand. (And since they are sold by pound, he cannot have one now or else it would be like stealing!) I find it hilarious that I'm hiding a fruit from my son, where normally it's the junk food we usually hide from the kids :)


Linking up to:

A Beautiful Mess: Wordless Wednesday
Supermom: Wordish Wednesday
Paper Heart Camera: Wordless{ish} Wednesday
Live and Love... Outloud: Wordfull Wednesday
The Long Road to China {and back}: Black and White Wednesday

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (February 22, 2011)


Outside my window... Sunny 48 degrees

I am thinking... about what I should bring for the potluck on Sunday.

I am thankful for... an extra day with Hubby yesterday. Yay for extended weekends!

From the kitchen... Slow Cooker Creamy Split Pea soup for dinner tonight

I am wearing... t-shirt, jeans

I am going... to the Commissary to buy whole milk for the little guy.

I am reading... leisure: none; Daily Devotional Bible: 1 Kings and John

I am hoping wishing... it's March 12th already! That is when our contract with Verizon Wireless ends and we are switching to AT&T. My and Dean's phones are waaaay over two years old and we desperately need new ones. My phone won't charge unless you hold it and you cannot make phone calls or send text messages with Dean's or else it turns off. We need new phones! 


I am hearing... Nathaniel playing with his Glow Seahorse. A few weeks ago, he developed a fear of it (running away screaming whenever it's turned on) and just today, he cannot stop pressing its belly.

Around the house... newly delivered Pampers diapers from Amazon

One of my favorite things... my son's laugh when he is being tickled :)

Inspired by the church song... Ten Thousand Angels

"They bound the hands of Jesus in the garden where He prayed
They led Him thru the streets in shame.
They spat upon the Savior so pure and free from sin;
They said 'Crucify Him; He's to blame.'

He could have called ten thousand angels,
To destroy the world and set Him free.
He could have called then thousand angels,
But He died alone, for you and me."

A few plans for the rest of the week...

  • Four-day work week!
  • (?) Dinner with church ladies on Friday to celebrate a birthday
  • Potluck at Church on Sunday
  • Dean also has an official Marine Corps event to attend on Sunday

Here is a picture I am sharing... 2.20.11 Warrior Princess. A new "program" at our church for girls ages 6-16.

Edited using LR3 then ran CoffeeShop Simple Vintage action in CS5
See SOOC here

Linking up to:
Paper Heart Camera: Touch Up Tuesday

Friday, February 18, 2011

Project 365: Week 7

Week 7: February 12th to February 18th


43  Smoky Mac and Cheese (smoked Gouda and white cheddar cheese)

44  Early Valentine's day celebration and a treat from Daddy

45  1 Corinthians 13 Love is...

46  Eating spaghetti for lunch. Yes, he is still wearing his (Christmas!) pajamas; no point of changing his clothes twice.

47  Grandma's Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle soup for a sicky husband. Recipe found here.

48  It has been raining for two days straight.

49  Nathaniel's Valentine's day card from Daddy. (Inside: It's Valentine's Day, and one thing is true---Your monster cuteness shows in everything you do!)


Linking up to:

The Daily Wyatt: 365 Days in Pictures
NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
Becoming a Strong Woman of God: Capturing Life... One Photo at a Time
BlueEyedGirl Photography: A Daily Picture Project

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Recipe: Grandma's Slow Cooker Chicken Noodle Soup

When my husband left Monday morning for training, he was sick as a dog. He spent most of the evening in the bathroom and our Valentine's Day breakfast at home was canceled because he didn't have an appetite. I prayed that (three days later) he was hopefully feeling better. And thankfully, he was! However, I still had this need to serve him comfort food for dinner when he came home last night.


It was also raining most of the day and I just love a hot bowl of soup when it's wet and cold outside. (Fun fact: it stopped raining and the sun came out as I was making this soup. It happened so instantaneously that my son thought I turned on the light without leaving my spot when the sun started shining through my kitchen windows. His confused face was a rather pretty funny sight.)


This recipe is based from the Betty Crocker Soups magazine edition but I made a few adjustments. I added more vegetables because Nathaniel loves and only eats veggies (do we have a little vegetarian in our hands?). I also added garlic because I think whenever onion is used, garlic should be, too (and we love garlic!). And since I only have the regular egg noodles in the pantry, I used those instead of the frozen home-style egg noodles that the recipe originally calls for. I just cooked the noodles separately and then added them 15 minutes right before serving.

Served with Parmesan-Black Pepper Breadsticks

Serves 4 (1 1/2 cups each)

Ingredients:
  • 3/4 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
  • 2 large carrots, chopped
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 can (14.5 oz) chicken broth
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp dried thyme leaves
  • 2 cups frozen sweet peas, thawed
  • 3 cups uncooked egg noodles
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Directions:

Spray 10-inch skillet with cooking spray; heat over medium heat. Cook chicken in skillet about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until brown.

In 3 1/2- to 4-quarts slow cooker, mix chicken and remaining ingredients except peas and noodles.

Cover; cook on Low heat setting 6 hours 30 minutes to 7 hours.

Stir in peas and noodles. Increase heat setting to High. Cover; cook about 30 minutes or until noodles are tender.


Linking up to: 

and then, she {snapped}: show {off} your shot
Paisley Passions: Fun w/ Food Friday
Time-Warp Wife: {Titus 2}sdays

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (February 15, 2011)


Outside my window... Cloudy 59 degrees

I am thinking... Nathaniel is fourteen months old today!

I am thankful for... a year of free Starz! They have been in business for 30 years so as a thank you, Dish Network subscribers get their channels for free until February 2012. We have always had premium channels (HBO and Cinemax) but in a effort to save money, we canceled our subscription last year.

From the kitchen... HUGE leftover of the humongous heart-shaped cookie we baked last Sunday.

I am wearing... blouse, cardigan, jeans

I am going... to Target sometime today to check out their Valentine's day clearance.

I am reading... leisure: none; Daily Devotional Bible: 1 Kings and John

I am hoping... to watch About a Boy tonight. My husband said it's a great movie so he recorded it for me.

I am hearing... Nathaniel playing with our dog.

Not around the house... a Hubby and a Daddy. Can't wait for him to come home soon.

One of my favorite things... sleeping in. Too bad I can't do that anymore.

Inspired by the church song... I Walk with the King

"I walk with the King tho dark be the way,
He is the true light, the Kingdom of day;
Someday on yon shore I'll hear His voice say,
'Come home, you're my child; 'tis evening, past day.'

I walk with the King thru pastures so green,
By quiet waters still to do His good will;
He lighteth the way from darkness to day;
I'll hold to His hand, I walk with the King."

A few plans for the rest of the week...
  • Area wide Ladies' devotional at our church tonight
  • Dean comes home tomorrow!
  • Four-dayish weekend (Hubby still has to go to work on Friday and it's apparently going to be a long day)
  • (?) San Jose/San Francisco this weekend

Here is a picture I am sharing... 2.14.11 My little Valentine and I went out on date yesterday for some Pho soup. We really missed Hubby/Daddy, though!



 Ran Dirty Money preset in LR3; edited exposure, brightness, etc.

  
Linking up to:
Paper Heart Camera: Touch Up Tuesday

Monday, February 14, 2011

1 Corinthians 13


I really liked the lesson our preacher taught yesterday. He talked about the scriptures 1 Corinthians 13. To be honest, it is not one of my favorite verses because it has been overused by people, movies, weddings etc. without really comprehending the power of its meaning. Yes, it is obvious that God is commanding us to love. To love Him. To love our family, our neighbors. Even to love our enemies. But what is love, really?

According to 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8:

 (4) Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5) It does not dishonor, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (6) Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (7) Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (8) Love never fails.

I will be honest and say that I personally find it difficult to always comply and live my Christian life according to that scripture. I love my son but my love for him is not always patient. I hope I am kind to my husband all most of the time but I know there are times where my "love" for him is not kind. And then I ponder the last definition on verse 5 and I know I have failed.

But love NEVER fails.

Maybe I am having trouble with this because love is not always an easy choice. So instead of focusing on love, what helps me achieve this scripture is by "becoming" that scripture. Diana is patient, Diana is kind. She does not envy, she does not boast... So during the times when love is not easy, I should still be patient. I still should be kind. And I think that is one way to achieve agape love. The unconditional love.

I don't know but for me, viewing it that way somehow makes it easier to live that scripture. Even when my son feels like fighting naptime. Or when I have to wash my husband's stinky socks. I am trying to be patient. I am trying to be kind.


"Let all that you do be done in love."
1 Corinthians 16: 14

Linking up to: 

Trendy Treehouse: Shutter Love Tuesday
We are THAT Family: Works-for-Me Wednesday

Early Valentine

Dean, Nathaniel and I celebrated Valentine's day today because Hubby will be in immersion for the next three days. We went to P.F. Changs (one of my all-time favorite restaurants) for lunch.



We also went to See's Candies for dessert and decided to treat Nathaniel with a chocolate sucker. He looooves chocolate (just like his Mama!).


Needless to say, it got messy very fast. We let him eat it till we got home and then threw it away afterward. He doesn't need all that sugar anyway but he sure had fun eating it.


What an adorable mess.


My husband gave me Bare Minerals foundation and veil for Valentine's Day. I have been out of both for months so I am very, very happy with my gift! I didn't know what to get him so I just gave him special runner's socks. Dean has been training very hard for his first marathon this May and I know my gift to him will be very useful and appreciated.


Later in the evening, we baked a HUGE chocolate chip cookie. My friend Megan from high school gave me a bunch of her baking tools and supplies and a heart-shaped pan was one of them. I have been looking forward to doing this since December.


My husband insisted upon decorating the humongous cookie. I especially love the little hearts :)


 Linking up to:

Smiling Sally: Blue Monday
Trendy Treehouse: Shutter Love Tuesday

Friday, February 11, 2011

Project 365: Week 6

Week 6: February 5th to February 11th


36  Trying to remove his shoes during "mandatory fun" at my husband's work.

37  Double-stuff Oreo stuffed in chocolate chip cookie. One of the desserts served during the Super Bowl Party. Recipe found here.

38  Adventure at the park: Part 1 & 2

39  Spicy Beef in Lettuce cups for dinner. Yum!

40  One of Nathaniel's favorite books. Photo inspired by The Bonnie 5.

41  Nathaniel was sick sometime during the evening because he woke up covered in vomit. Later that evening, we went to Jamba Juice and he threw up all over their store. I think it will be a while before we go back there. (Photo taken with phone)

42  My pajamas that I'm planning to wear the entire day. I caught what the little one has and we're thinking it's gastroenteritis :(

Linking up to:

The Daily Wyatt: 365 Days in Pictures
NapTimeMomTog: Project 365
Becoming a Strong Woman of God: Capturing Life... One Photo at a Time
BlueEyedGirl Photography: A Daily Picture Project
Paper Heart Camera: Show and Tell: Book

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Playground Part 2

Just a few more pictures from our adventure at the park last Monday.

I really like this picture a lot. He looks like he's contemplating the meaning of life :)


At first he couldn't stand these thingamajiggers, then all he wanted to do was play with them. Oh and eat it too of course.


No, thanks Buddy. You can keep it.


Nathaniel has so much personality; he literally makes me laugh out loud.



Then he wanted to sing me a b-e-a-uuuutiful song.




Then my husband met us at the park after he got off work and he just has to show Nathaniel which one of us is the cooler parent.

They went down this slide because Hubby knows I'm too afraid to do it with the baby toddler.


I really wanted a baby girl but pictures like this makes me very thankful we have a son. They just have so much fun together :)


And then they tried the bigger-kid swing together and Nathaniel obviously liked it a lot better :)




I say this over and over again: God has blessed me very well.

Linking up to: 

For the Love of Blogs: Thirsty Thursday
Trendy Treehouse: Shutter Love Tuesdays {Swing}

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Playground

Nathaniel and I went to the park yesterday. Last time we went, Nathaniel wasn't walking yet so the swing was pretty much all we could do. I figured now that he is a complete walker, he will enjoy the playground a lot more.

To my surprise, Nathaniel now hates the swing.


He wanted off as soon as I placed him in the swing and there was no distracting him no matter what I did.


What happened to this little boy who absolutely loved it and couldn't get enough of it?


And yet he wasn't afraid of climbing the stairs...


...or the slide!


I'm really impressed how he got halfway UP the slide. Not bad for an almost fourteen-month old!



I love watching my son play. There's just so much joy, innocence, and carefree in it. I wish I am more like him in that department.


I also love when he looks at me like he's asking for approval or making sure I'm watching him or saying "Mom, look at me!"


LOL!
Yes I'm watching, little Buckaroo.




He brings me so much happiness :)

Linking up today:
Leigh vs Laundry: The Happiness Project
Life with My 3 Boybarians: Sweet Shot Tuesday
A Beautiful Mess: Wordless Wednesday

The Simple Woman's Daybook

For Today (February 8, 2011)


Outside my window... Sunny 54 degrees

I am thinking... if we had decided to stay with Verizon Wireless, I would be an iPhone owner now! Alas, I must patiently wait until March when our contract ends and make the switch to AT&T.

 
I am thankful for... two vehicles completely paid off! My husband's truck is scheduled to be paid off the middle of this year but we went ahead and used some of our tax refund to pay it off now. What a great feeling!

 
From the kitchen... leftover Filipino-style Spaghetti. I've been craving it for weeks and we finally made it for dinner last night. Yum!

I am wearing... shirt, cardigan, lounging pants

I am going... to fold laundry after this. Blah!

I am reading... leisure: none; Daily Devotional Bible: 2 Samuel and John

 
I am hoping... to bake something Valentine-related food soon.

I am hearing... Sesame Street.

 
Around the house... toys, toys, toys.

One of my favorite things... dark chocolate

Inspired by the church song... Seek Ye First

"Man shall not live by bread alone,
But by every word
that precedes from the mouth of God
Alleu, Alleluia

Seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness,
And all this things shall be added onto you,
Alleu, Alleluia"

A few plans for the rest of the week...
  • (?) Dinner at a German restaurant with Dean's coworkers on Friday to celebrate a birthday
  • Early Valentine's Day dinner with Hubby and Nathaniel since Dean will be on immersion :(
  • Date with my little man on Monday. We're going to get Pho. Yum!

Here is a picture I am sharing... 2.08.11 Nathaniel and I went to the playground yesterday.
 
SOOC
 
Cropped, straightened and exposure edited in Lightroom 3; ran Nelly Nero's I Fake Film action (removed some and edited opacity of the layers) and then ran PW's Soft and Faded action (also removed some and edited opacity of the layers), resized and watermarked
 
 
Linking up to:
Paper Heart Camera: Touch Up Tuesday
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