>an update.

>Since the blog has been rather silent, I thought I’d give a random update with the recent happenings around here … this is going to be a very long post since that is what happens when I am silent for so long!

On September 29th Brian and I celebrated 9 years of marriage! I absolutely love living life with my best friend by my side. He makes me laugh every day and I am a blessed girl to be his wife. My parents graciously took the older 4 kiddos for a weekend so that we could spend some quality time together, get some projects around the house done and relax … it was a wonderful, refreshing time together.

In early October we had the entire Mellinger gang here at our place for a long 4 day weekend. With all of our schedules, we rarely get time all together so it was a wonderful blessing to have some time together and the kiddos loved getting to spend time with their cousins! The weekend included watching the Phils, playing football outside, fun at Freddy Hill Farm, eating lots of yummy food, a campfire, church, more Phils, games and lots of wonderful fellowship.

The Mellinger cousins (minus Emma) … Lily, Hailey, Justin, Ryle, Sydney, Callie, Isaac and Ben

Justin, Sydney and Hailey picking out their pumpkins at Freddy Hill …

On October 9th Brian had a birthday … my love turned the big 33 (good thing he married a youngin’ like me to keep him feeling young)!

On October 24th Hailey and Callie had birthdays … Hailey turned 8 and Callie turned 2! Can’t believe we have an 8 year old … my how time flies. Hailey got an American Girl doll for her birthday which has been attached to her side ever since … she loves her “Kit” books and was very, very excited to finally get the doll! This wasn’t a year that we had a big party, but we did have some ice cream cake on their birthday (and yes, I used tea lights for candles because somehow, since we moved I can’t seem to find my candles … haha)! Hailey also had some of her friends over the week of her birthday for an American Girl Tea Party which was a big hit.

The birthday girls …

Hailey with her friends and dolls …

Hailey is a huge help with Emma … actually, she’s a huge help to me with everyone and everything these days!

That covers all of the big events that have taken place … everything else that keeps me busy these days include caring for Emma, keeping my just turned 2 year old out of trouble, schooling Hailey and Justin, and then managing whatever homemaker duties I find time for each day (most days that includes laundry, cooking and cleaning … not necessarily in that order and not necessarily all of them every day)!

Since I love to cook and bake, I’m often in the kitchen doing something while the kiddos work on their school at the island or kitchen table. Fall is by far my favorite season, and this time of the year we always have a hot breakfast to start the day. It’s also the perfect time of the year to use the crock pot … some dinner favorites recently include Apple Chicken Stew, Pot Roast, Chicken (or beef) Enchiladas, and of course plenty of homemade pizza or spaghetti on the crazy days (and no, I don’t make pizza or spaghetti in my crock pot!)

My favorite snack is my homemade Almond Power Bars … and since I haven’t shared a recipe in quite awhile, here it is …

Almond Power Bars
2 c. raw almonds
1/2 c. ground flaxseed or chia seeds
1/2 c. shredded coconut, unsweetened
1/2 c. almond butter
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1/2 c. coconut oil, melted
1 T. honey
1 T. vanilla
1/2 c. dark chocolate (optional)

Place almonds, ground flaxseeds/chia seeds, shredded coconut, almond butter and sea salt in food processor – pulse for about 10 seconds or until combined.
Melt coconut oil over low heat – add honey and vanilla.
Add coconut oil mixture to food processor – pulse to form paste.
Press into square 9″ pan; chill at least 1 hour.
If desired, top with melted dark chocolate.
Store in refrigerator or freezer.
These bars are a perfect, high protein snack and I make a batch weekly!

I love having a well stocked freezer (or freezers rather!) and make it my goal to go grocery shopping as little as possible these days. In fact, I just made my monthly Trader Joe’s and Costco trip … here’s to hoping I can wait another month to do that again! My hubby finds it very amusing that we have 2 fridge freezers and a chest freezer that are pretty much filled. I have to remind him this only happens once a year at the end of summer when I load them up with wonderful things like 40 lbs. of blueberries, 30 lbs. of strawberries, 2 bushels of green beans, frozen corn, over 100 qt. of applesauce, 20 qt. of tomato sauce, and a 1/4 of a cow. Of course they also hold the usual bulk butter, shredded cheese, homemade jelly, extra fresh ground flours, whole chickens, bread, veggies, nuts … you get the idea. The good news is that if I can’t make it out next month, we won’t go hungry!

Here are a couple semi-recent pics of Emma … she continues to be a wonderful sleeper, good eater and overall content, happy baby. I’d give her 2 month stats, but I’m a little late in getting her to that appt., so those will come later this week!

7 weeks.

9 weeks.

And in case anyone is wondering, yes there are days when I don’t get to everything I’d like or have planned, and yes there are days that sometimes I feel like I live in a crazy, chaotic world … but in the end, this is just a season of life and there is much grace and new mercies for each and every day … and I wouldn’t trade a thing! I love the privilege that I have to be at home with these 5 blessings we’ve been given and count it a joy to spend my days with them!

Wowzers that was long. 🙂


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