Sunday, July 22, 2012

What If ? 3 Steps to Face YOUR Fears

In this dark and scary world I find myself at times overwhelmed with, "What ifs?"

I was shocked and saddened with the world at the deaths in Colorado- in a seemingly safe place- a theatre. 

I woke early the next morning with scary dreams of being chased down and trying to keep my children quiet in hiding, an impossible task with toddlers. I found myself gripped with fear and a million what ifs
  • What if my son were to grow up to commit such a crime? 
  • What if I am not raising my children properly? 
  • What if we go somewhere and get shot today? 
  • What if the forest is full of hidden gun men?(as we were out gathering mushrooms)
Every what if squeezed joy and life from my frame. 

But then I remembered what I had read just the day before in the book that God has placed in my life just when I need it most. "Calm My Anxious Heart" by Linda Dillow. I had just read a chapter on facing the what ifs in our lives.

She had shared what one young man had done to face his fears and his what ifs in three steps: (pg. 163-Calm my Anxious Heart)
  1. Ask yourself what is the worst that can possibly happen? 
  2. Prepare to accept it if you have to.
  3. Then calmly proceed to improve on the worst.
The truth is that worrying never improves anything. The truth is that there is One greater than all my worries and He is the only one capable of changing anything. When I worry I am not trusting Him. 

Thinking within the perspective of those 3 steps guides me to be the person I ought to be today. 

My worst fear and greatest WHAT IF in raising my children would be for them to turn their backs on their Creator and for them to commit some hideous crime like the one in Aurora. 

However, I cannot know what their future holds. I could raise them perfectly in every way and pray for them night and day-BUT I cannot control them or force them to have a personal relationship with Jesus. It has to be their choice-their transformation. The truth remains that I must accept the decisions they will make- while guiding them now in a straight path. 

That is the conclusion- I MUST be present in their lives, loving on them, praying for them, training and guiding them to be the people they will become and in doing all this I am doing ALL that I can to prevent and improve upon the worst. 

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Summertime = Berry Time

The berry season is in full swing here in Latvia and we are putting up some of everything.

We worked about about 24 kilogram of strawberries, made some jam, dried some and froze the rest. I love slicing them with sugar and freezing them. We also froze some blended up that are wonderful with pancakes or ice cream.

About that same time we had cherry time- we have 2 huge sweet cherry trees and this year they were loaded. We dried a lot of them- they are great in granola- I make our own and we love it! Made some jam and invited lots of friends to come and pick cherries.

This week we have worked up a different berry every day.

Black currants are very popular here and so healthy. We got 10 kilograms of these.  We steamed some of them in our juicer steamer. The juice concentrate is great when the kids are sick. We also made jam.

Red currants- we again made juice concentrate.

Today we went raspberry picking and picked 6+ kg. We made some jam and froze some.

I love having all of these to eat in winter. It is a ton of work now and a bit chaotic with three kids. I sometimes feel I have a circus at home. Needless to say not much is happening in the silk shop at present.

Oh well.

What are you doing this summer?

Friday, July 13, 2012

The End of Me

It's another one of those days when nothing gets done and no one naps. When Mom is fed up to her ears in noise, toys and squished blueberries.

The kids are worn out from long summer evenings. My toddler has a snotty nose and she is crabbier than any two year old has a right to be. The baby is an angel and naps like a dream. But yet nothing seems to get done.

I feel I run circles wiping up messes, putting toys back, trying to harvest our bounty from the garden, keep meals on the table and keep my head afloat. It is no wonder I caught a cold.

I find myself at times stepping aside and looking at my life through the eyes of another me. One who can see things from the side and in perspective rather than in the frenzy of the moment.

I desire peace. I desire greater love. I desire to be an ideal Mommy and a great wife. 

Yet I run around grouchy, feelings of guilt crowding out my joy at all the unfinished and half accomplished tasks of my daily life.

It is quiet moments when I look at my life that I realize that what I am doing NOW is the life I am to live. My purpose and joy needs to come from doing a job well done in the little tasks I do every day.

The ME screams out that I am getting nothing done, that I must pursue MY business and write MY  stories. That I must have time for ME and MY hobbies and MY desires.

But these little persons in my care are in fact very needy folks. They are the ones I must give MYSELF to now. If I have everything in this life and yet my little people were to go down the wrong path in life I would always regret not having given more of me.

It is I who can influence them now and lay the foundations for a solid future. It is my husband and I who must teach them values and discipline and strength of character. It is I who must teach them when to lend a kind hand and when to be firm.

Only when I set aside the selfish ME am I able to be the person I was intended to be just now. The invisible Mommy. 

Monday, July 9, 2012

When Things Don't Work

Today I had to bake a cake. I had a cake order for a cake for 50+ people.
 Chocolate cake, layers of cherry filling, white chocolate buttercream and marzipan smoothed over it all. 
Sounds lovely doesn't it? 

The day seemed to be looking good when I woke up before my 3 kids and my husband was to work second shift. 

My 2 year old nearly always wakes up crabby and clingy. Today was no exception. Neither of my toddlers would eat breakfast and my baby was fussy. 

By 9 a.m it was already 86 degrees- the hottest day we have had this summer- not a good day for decorating a cake. 

I finally got my two year old dressed in her swimsuit-nothing else will do for her. I decided just to let her have her nuk sippie cup/bottle. I try not to give it to her- she is already 2 years and 2 months old. BUT today I needed anything to keep her happy and quiet. 

I had my first layers of the cake baking. My 4 year old was working outside with Daddy. My 2 year old was playing with baby toys and things were looking up. WHEN, my two 2 year old fell on the step outside and scraped her leg. It was nasty- about 3-4 inches long and 2 inches wide. GREAT! We used all the band aids in the house (remember to write those on the list) on it- 2 normal size ones, 2 little ones, and a round one. Whew, good thing she thinks band aids make everything better. 

She kept taking little rests on the bed. I kept filling her bottle on request and she kept guzzling milk. I kept reminding myself tomorrow we can do things more normally. I just HAVE to get this cake done. By noon she had drank at least 4 bottles and was running to the potty all the time- thankfully no accidents while indoors. But still this makes a lot of interruptions for mom. 

Here I am trying to bake cakes, keep the laundry going (gotta make use of the sunshine), get my baby to sleep and keep my toddlers happy and out of the way. 

Snacks, today we used lots of those! Prayers, lots said too. Praises, keep everyone optimistic with lots of good words. 

At 11 a.m. my husband had to leave for work. By this time I was feeling ready to pull my hair out. My babysitter is on vacation and I had no one to ask to help me with the kids so I could work on the cake.

No one, except God.  Good thing he never walks out on us! I realized what my husband COULD do since he couldn't be at home. I told him he could bring home lunch so I would not have to stop baking to cook (he eats at home everyday). 

Things starting calming down about noon and my baby was dozing. By 12:30 I had the cake baked and the kids were nicely playing. About 13:00 I made the cherry filling for the cake and started on the buttercream. 

I was so happy when my husband did indeed bring home lunch. Wow, good man, thanks! We had a lovely lunch and I was able to get the kids to bed pretty easily. Thanks, LORD! 

The afternoon went more smoothly and I was happy to be ready to roll the marzipan by early afternoon. 

Marzipan is fun to work with is small quanities- but it is hard to put over a cake and make perfect. I took it off the 10 inch cake 3 times. I got sooooooooooooooooo frustrated and hot that finally I had to go and take a dip in the kiddie pool. 

Somewhere in the middle of the afternoon we had a huge storm. My four year old was saying, "Please rain go away." Cute, I let him come downstairs since he wasn't sleeping. We watched the storm- until it got REALLY windy here and the rain and wind were blowing horizontally. Scary! We were both so happy when it passed. 

A few more trials and problems and the cake was finished.Whew, what a relief!

I hope they liked it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Ti Mo

Last week my sister-in-law gave me the opportunity to get some of these fabulous designer's clothes. She has some of last years collection she has been selling and was offering them at ridiculously cheap prices. 

I am so in love with her style. I love the combination of feminine, and comfortable and other pieces that are OH so elegant. 

Here is her website.

And some views of last years collections. 

One of the things I got was the cardigan seen in this photo. Is is so lovely and has a floral design on the sleeves. 

I couldn't find photos of all the items I bought. But suffice it so say they are lovely. 

I love this blouse of theirs from this years collection. 

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

A Mommy Day

It all began with a need to have some quiet, me time. 

I decided to go to Riga (the capital of Latvia) and get a few things for the cake I need to make this weekend.  

First I went to a supply store I had never been to. I was shocked and elated at the huge selection of food supplies, cake supplies and all kinds of other things for restaurants. This was the first store I have seen with a selection like I am accustomed to in the States. Needless to say I am elated to have finally found a store with most everything a baker and cake decorator could desire :) 

One of my finds was a rose mold very similar to this one. I have a lot of marzipan to work with and roses to make for the cake. Forming each one by hand is time consuming and so I decided to give this mold a try. I was pleasantly surprised at just how easy it is to use! Yay! 

Next I headed into Old Riga- I love the old historic part of Riga that is over 800 years old and packed with history. It is fun to roam the cobblestone streets and watch the tourists and check out the cute shops. However, I had other things on my agenda and the first was to see if one souvenir shop -the biggest chain in Riga- would take my silk scarves on consignment. We had a very nice visit and they would have gladly taken them- but I didn't have the right documents along and I am not sure I am willing to sell them for so little. They would pay me $30-$40.00 and sell them for twice that much. I was much encouraged to know though that they liked them. They were especially charmed by the silk hat.

After this I went to the Decorative Art Museum where there was an exhibition of Victorian Dresses. I loved taking in the details, colors and patterns. It was inspiring. I was amazed at the beading on many of the dresses and imagined the many hours those young women put into one ball gown. Wow! I wish I had some gorgeous dresses like those. I was thinking if I did have such beautiful gowns my job would be to wear them and just look beautiful. I wouldn't be able to work in the garden or cook. (LOL). Then I was reminded of the verse in the Bible about beauty coming from the inside, not by adornments. 

After this I was famished and in a hurry to keep running my many errands on my list. I was trying to find a fast, cheap place to grab a bite. I happened upon a cute French cafe. I ordered a croissant with cheese and ham, a bottle of blueberry juice and a macaron. 
 French Macarons - 24 Assorted French Macaron Box

The croissant was warmed and was flaky, light and simply scrumptious. Every bite seemed to melt in my mouth- wow- I must have been hungry! 

The blueberry juice was simply refreshing!

But the macaron-my first ever macaron! Now, that was love at first bite! I had ordered a pistachio one and W-O-W! If you have never had a macaron I would say there is no possible way of adequately describing one. But I shall try: 
almondy doughiness, 
creamy pistachio frosting, 
nestled between light, 
purely delightful,
melt in your mouth flavors

Need I say more? 

After my wonderful lunch I was ready to conquer the rest of my shopping. But it was during this leisurely day that I realized something. 

Every Mommy needs a day to have an adventure. This day was for me a time to do something different than my everyday life. I love my kids,  I love my life. But I need peace and quiet now and then. I need a time to do something that makes my heart pound- like pushing my business in a new direction. I need time to think and pray- like quiet time walking and driving. I need time to enjoy something new-like new cafes and new tastes. I feel totally refreshed after a day like yesterday. 

We Mamas are hard-worked and need to make time, once a week, once a month or at least sometimes to have an adventure, a retreat or a hair-cut! Whatever makes us feel refreshed! 

Today I was able to start my day with a renewed enthusiasm and joy.

Etsy Finds Feature

Yesterday my peacock hat was featured in Etsy finds. Yay! To see it scroll down to the bottom row. 

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