Thursday, July 17, 2014

New Smoothie

So maybe I should rename this blog to Shirley and Smoothies, because that's pretty much all I ever post about.  I just discovered a new smoothie the other day and even though I probably say this a lot, this is my FAVORITE one!

Choco-nana P. B. Smoothie 
(Like my clever name for it? )  


1 frozen banana
1/2 cup almond milk
1 tsp carob powder
1 tsp honey
1/8 cup peanut butter
1 or 2 ice cubes


Throw it all in a blender and blend until smooth.  
Drink up and enjoy!

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Bringing a Baby to Disneyland

This past Monday Kwacha, Shirley and I were able to go to Disneyland with my mom and Emily.  We were thankful to receive some free tickets which made it possible for us to go.  We had so much fun going as a family.  

When I was younger and single pretty much every time I went to Disneyland I got hit in the leg with a stroller.  It almost became a sort of joke. It was kind of ridiculous.  I boldly declared that I would never bring a baby of mine to Disneyland!  What would be the point?  They wouldn't remember anything anyway.  Oh naiveté!  

It turns out, not only did Shirley seem to really enjoy it, but there's a huge benefit in bringing a baby to "the happiest place on earth."  Has anyone out there ever heard of rider swap?  I looked online the day before we went to see if you could bring strollers in line.  Well you can't.  BUT if you see a "cast member" at the beginning of the line and show them that you have a baby in your party, they give you a nice little card that allows the person who stays with the baby to go in the fast pass line with up to two other people after the first group finishes the ride.  If you couple this with a fast pass than basically three of you get to go in the fast pass line twice in a row!  Who knew??  We probably rode more rides than we normally would have.  It was great. 
I also had no idea that babies are allowed on so many rides!  Any ride that doesn't have a height requirement.  

And it is so fun to see Disneyland through your baby's eyes.  Shirley absolutely loved Small World.  She was looking around everywhere and bouncing like crazy on my lap.  She was also very interested in the parade, all the colors and music.  

Seriously, I recommend bringing a baby with you every time you go!  Just be careful with that stroller...

Tuesday, July 08, 2014

One More Recipe

Here's another drink recipe for you.  It's the perfect 4th of July drink so I'm sorry it's a little late, but you can use it next year.  Or you know...whenever you want.  Thankfully I found out about it on July 3rd, so my mom, Emily and I had it that night.

Have you ever heard of a French soda?  Like anything French (mostly) it's just a tad classier than an American soda.  Especially when you add a fun pink chevron straw at the end.  (The original recipe can be found on Everyday Reading.  I tweaked it ever so slightly.)

4th of July French Soda


a handful of blueberries
half and half
black cherry fruit concentrate


Toss a few ice cubes in a glass, throw in the berries on top of the ice, fill the glass 2/3 with perrier, stir in two tablespoons of half and half and about a tablespoon of the black cherry fruit concentrate.  (More if you like your soda sweeter.)  Stir with a cute straw and enjoy!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Banana Date Shake

I promised you a recipe and I am here to deliver.

1 frozen banana
2 or 3 pitted dates (I go for 3) 
1/2 cup almond milk (or coconut milk - I personally like coconut milk for a more refreshing version)

Blend until smooth and that's IT!

Seriously it's my new ice cream.  Kwacha and I were eating it every night for dessert but it isn't necessarily low calorie so we're cutting back to only every other night at the most.
The banana makes it creamy, the dates give it the needed sweetness and the milk makes it a shake.


(Sorry, no picture.  It's gone too fast!)

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Shirley at Five Months

Anyone can see by that nice little ticker above that I am once again late in posting about Shirley.  And once again I only had one post in between this one and the last monthly update on Shirley.  But stay tuned.  I will have a new easy little recipe up soon.  One that has (kinda) brought ice cream back into my life.  Anyway, on to Shirley.  

This time, I didn't touch up the pictures at all.  I am currently taking a free online Photoshop class and  I'm spending so much of my free time watching those lessons that I just don't have time to fix these up.  I just need to get them on here.  I don't have a baby book yet, so this is kind of my only way right now to remember how Shirley is developing.  And yes, probably only family and a few close friends care but why am I apologizing?  Look at that cute face!

Who me?

Attacking her dog.  Shirley has become much more aware of her toys this month.  She's finally playing with them!

And she's beginning to sit up with help.  She actually does pretty good balancing with no help, not even from a boppy pillow, for about ten seconds maybe.

But toppling is still the norm.

The classic picture with her dog.

Do we really have to do this again?

These days she's putting EVERYTHING into her mouth.

She is just so curious about everything.  She is always looking around.  

She's also drooling a lot.  We think she's teething due to the drooling, biting and other symptoms.  But she's still our happy baby!

She's also laughing all the time.  The other morning I was sitting in our living room eating my breakfast and I could hear her laughing to herself in her crib.  Most mornings I play the piggy game with her toes and I have been waiting for her to laugh when I say "Whee whee whee whee whee, all the way home" as I tickle her.  She finally did it today!

I know I say it every time, but I just love her!  I can't imagine wanting to do anything else than stay at home and be her mom.  I can't believe I get to call it my job!  I thank God for her every day and for the privilege of being her mom.  I also pray daily that God would save her at a young age and give her a love for Him and a desire to serve Him with her life.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Mad About...


My husband's reputation preceded him by 10,000 miles.  
Soon after we finished high school my best friend went to South Africa on a mission's trip.  While she was there she took lots of pictures and I remember sitting in her room at her parents house looking through them when she returned.  There was a short African guy in a lot of the pictures and she told me that he was really sweet and  spent a lot of time with their team.  In the mornings, she and another girl would go running and he would go along with them.  She said it was to make sure that they were safe.  
When I was first dating Kwacha I noticed that he and Christen were friends on Facebook.  When I told her that we were dating I asked her how she knew him and she told me that she had met him when she went to South Africa.  (He was there attending Christ Seminary.)  I only then realized that he was the guy in the pictures!
Who would have thought ten years later, that short African guy would be my husband?!
I didn't spend a lot of time in my teens and young 20's praying for my future husband.  But I did occasionally.  At least I hoped he was out there.  And he was.  Way out in Lilongwe, Malawi.  I don't think any of our friends would have thought to set the two of us up.  But God did!  I love that He is the ultimate matchmaker.  He knows what is best for us, and my best is definitely Kwacha.  

(The picture above is way blown out but I thought it was good at representing how out of all the people in the world, Kwacha is mine.  ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Shirley at 4 Months

Well, here's the bimonthly blog post with Shirley's update.  :)  She is at the age where she can hold her number nicely now.  At least for a few seconds!  So every month, whenever I take pictures of Shirley, most of them turn out except the ones with her dog.  I figured out that he's throwing off the white balance!  Anyway, thankfully a few managed to turn out.

Shirley loves her daddy!  They have a lot of fun together going on "roller coasters" and making funny faces and sounds.  

Every day Shirley and I read some books together.  I brought out a few of my favorites recently.  They are a little old for her.  She much prefers baby Einstein books, but she'll listen to these for a couple minutes at least. 

I love my little snuggle bug.  This doesn't happen too often.  Only when she's really tired, but I try to soak in those moments!

I love giving her kisses.  Sometimes it makes her laugh.  She's making a lot more cooing sounds, but not so much of the "ba, ya, da, ma" sounds yet.  Hopefully soon.

This month, Shirley learned how to roll over from her back to her stomach.  I guess the more common thing is for babies to roll from their stomach to their back first but she doesn't do much of that.  It's made it much easier at nighttime though.  She immediately rolls to her stomach and sleeps that way the whole night.  No more swaddling for this girlie!

She definitely loves to grab things now...

...and stick them in her mouth!

Oh Shirley.

We love you!


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