Tuesday, December 27, 2011


It’s a Woman’s Home Companion Cook Book, circa 1947. 
 She even circled the date, as if to log when she received it. 
The binding is torn, the cover tattered.  Pages inside stained with experiences,
  food spilled and splattered. 
 It opens naturally to a recipe titled, Bavarian Cream
 and I imagine her whipping egg whites by hand, soft and fluffy,
 her face focused and intent on her task. 
She loved to feed.  Growing up on a farm, it was her job to prepare the meals,
 big and satisfying, hearty and complete, for all of the diligent men who worked tirelessly in the fields.  Whatever the task in the kitchen, she set to it with ease,
 so natural her ability to serve and to satisfy all who came to her table. 
She told me as a young teen once, that while her sisters set off to other things,
 it was her alone who responded to the call to nourish the family. 
 She faithfully served her family in this way, until the day her mind left us,
 and she was off to see Jesus, off to the feast he had prepared for her.

I acquired the cookbook, along with an old cookie press,
 her two-toned wooden rolling pin,
and 2 heavy red metal pots,
 since I was the granddaughter who cooked, and might find such things useful.
 I cherish all of them.
 I started learning to cook from her when I was just a young child. 
 I often sensed that she would prefer just to do it, rather than explain it.
Instead she gave in, thoughtfully teaching and encouraging me as I stood beside her
with a dusting of flour up to my elbows.
 Easy with the dough, she would say.  Not too thin, she would remind.  Slow down a bit
She answered my questions tirelessly, her explanations simple and precise. 
 All the while, she talked, shared her life with me, and opened her heart to mine.

One particular Christmas, during my first year in college,
she declared we would be making a gingerbread log cabin. 
 We sat at her small kitchen table, full of sweets for decorating with,
and constructed the biggest, most delightful confectionery dwelling I had ever seen. 
 As we iced and designed, she filled me with hope and encouragement. 
 Words to soothe my anxious spirit, young and ideal, longing for understanding. 
 You can do it, Sarah.  I believe in you. 
Occasionally, my granddad would mosey over to see how we were doing,
 and shake his head at the two of us giggling like little school girls. 
That winter she did more than feed me meals between classes. 
She nourished my immature soul, gave confidence to my insecurities. 
 Doing what came naturally, she poured her life into me.

Ponder these holy words…

 “We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us.
If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 
if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 
 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement;
if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently;
if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
–Romans 12:6-9

Today, I give thanks for my grandmom.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas

 From our family to yours

“For a child is born to us, a son is given to us.
The government will rest on His shoulders. 
And he will be called Wonderful Counselor,
 Mighty God, Everlasting Father,
Prince of Peace.” 
 Isaiah 9:6


Isaac (7), Olivia (2), Elaina (5), and Nathaniel (7)











Thursday, December 22, 2011

Peppermint Chocolate Mallows

mmmm…what a yummy way to sip hot cocoa this winter!
I dipped marshmallows in melted chocolate and crushed peppermint candy canes. 
 Then dunked them into mugs of cocoa for the kids. 
 Pure chocolate-peppermint-mallowy bliss!

(Thanks Mom for the idea!)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

this moment…


I’d been ignoring her cries all morning, her pleads to be picked up and carried around. 

Busy with chores, and breakfast, and refereeing the older three, until finally she cornered me in my room.  Her tiny hand reached up to grab my finger, her sweet little face pulling at my heart.  Momma, momma.

I pulled her into my arms, sat in the old rocker, and hummed quietly in her ear.  As if to tell me it wasn’t enough, she hopped down from my lap and ran to the door, shutting it tight, closing us off from the noise below.  Once again in my arms, with her thumb in her mouth, blankie at her side, Momma, momma.

Yes, my love.  I will hold you in this moment, right here in the quiet and calm.  The laundry and cleaning can wait.  But you will slip through my arms too quickly.  This moment will fade all too fast.

So thankful for moments like these.
Linking up today at Thankful Thursday with Three Thinking Mothers.

A Toothless Grin

My sweet boy recently lost his two front teeth. 
Had to share the gummy grin!

All I want for Christmas...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

an ordinary momma…

She asks to make tea with me, a frequent request of hers.
  “A big girl cup, with cream and sugar, just like you, Mom.” 
 We wait in the kitchen for the tea to steep,
 watch as the leaves in the bag tint the water clay brown. 
 She giggles when I whisper that I love her, spend this time with her. 
 She offers to stir, and swirls the mixture of herbs and sweetness, pausing after a little spills over. 
 Sorry, Mom.  I should slow down.


I think that all I want is to slow down.  To just take it all in, and breathe in these moments, this perfume of life, as sweet and herby as it is.  We laze at the table, a stack of books to the side, slurping our tea, and pointing our pinkies just so.  Like a princess does.  She models my motions, and drinks when I do, watching carefully so as not to miss a beat, and I pretend not to notice her contemplate me while I read.   Instead, I am wondering what fascinates her about me.  I am an ordinary woman, with simple looks, a quick temper, and a pushy personality.  Nothing, in my eyes, worth imitating.  Nothing fancy, or glamorous, or interesting.

The mound of books gets smaller, and we read until it’s gone, all the while sipping and smiling, her following me.  Until the last drop is finished, and she runs off to play, and I am left to ponder…

I start to see, to understand, and become overwhelmed at the significance of her mimicking me.  How did I earn this right as mother?  So precious are these littles whose lives I am to shape. 

Thinking of Mary, mother to the Christ, an ordinary woman, who found favor with the Lord.  Who loved the Lord, faithfully serving  Him alone. How did she earn such an honor, to birth  The King, The Lord Redeemer, who came as person from heaven?  Just a babe, born in a barn full of filth and noise. Swaddled in scraps of cloth, his tender flesh to lay on mounds of scratchy, dirty hay. Nothing fancy, or glamorous about that either…   

And Mary said:
   “My soul glorifies the Lord
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has been mindful
   of the humble state of his servant.
From now on all generations will call me blessed,
for the Mighty One has done great things for me—
   holy is his name.
– Luke 1:46-49

Me, an ordinary woman, serving an extraordinary God. I know I am the light they see, His Holy Spirit shinning through me.  I am the one, who they will model after, until the day they can choose to model Christ.  The fascination that she holds, has to be for the Christ I show to her.  His words modeled in my actions.  Oh how I need my Lord to teach me how to do this…

Show me your ways, LORD,
   teach me your paths.
Guide me in your truth and teach me,
   for you are God my Savior,
   and my hope is in you all day long.
Remember, LORD, your great mercy and love,
   for they are from of old.
Do not remember the sins of my youth
   and my rebellious ways;
according to your love remember me,
   for you, LORD, are good. –Psalm 25:4-7

just me.  an ordinary momma.  my extraordinary God, who graciously fills in the gaps.

Linking up Women Living Well Wednesdays today.

a special gift

It was late in the afternoon when the brown paper wrapped box was delivered. 
The girl noticed right away, her name spelled on the front, next to her sister’s. 
 Is it a present momma?  For me? 


She squealed with delight the moment the box was opened, and she spotted the dolls,
one with dark curls and the other much more fair with pigtails. 
A simple note penned on the card, attached with curly ribbon,
 “This is a special doll of mine, and I want you to have her now.”



The curly haired one has been changed, swaddled, fed, and carried around all week. 
 She sleeps near bunny FooFoo, and Big bear, a place of high honor in the middle of her bed. 
A friend asked The Diva what her favorite birthday gift was. 
 It’s my doll.  She’s especially for me.  From The Aunt Judy who loves me. 


Thank you Auntie!

Linking up to Tuesdays Unwrapped today.

Monday, December 19, 2011

The Minivan Express & A visit to see Santa

Full of vibrant, beautiful illustrations, the classic children’s Christmas book,
The Polar Express has always been a family favorite. 
Here’s the Sanchez spin on the book…

I’d been out Christmas shopping most of the day, leaving the kids at home with Saul.  We’d been planning to have this special night, and surprise the kids with a new family tradition.  I made up these Minivan Express Tickets, and placed one on each of the kids’ bed.  They thought they were going to get ready for bed, but instead found these tickets! 


I made up a huge batch of cinnamon popcorn, and threw some goodies into bags.  Then I mixed up some mugs of hot cocoa for each of them too.


Once their tickets were punched, they loaded into the Minivan Express!  Sipping on the cocoa, and nibbling the popcorn, we drove around to look at Christmas lights, and then headed off to see the Big Man,
 ol’ Santa himself!


Tickets punched, hot cocoa in hand, and ready to board the Minivan Express!


The kids thought it was strange to be at the mall in PJ’s!



Isaac: Legos 
 Nate: Light Sabre 
Elaina: Hello Kitty 
Olivia: (as suggested by the others) a Doll

We will definitely add this to our Christmas traditions!

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Tot School–24.5 months

Even though the rest of the kids were in "down" mode and anxious for Christmas Break,
The Baby still really wanted to do her "cool" (school) work!
I am amazed that each week seems to bring a little bit longer attention span for her,
and a developing interest in so many more activities.
Here is a look at what she did this week:


ABC Food Fun came out too, since the older kids are going through a nutrition unit now...

This seemed to interest her for a while!
 Other times I've set it out for her, she has just thrown it all on the floor...

She loved this activity...
Christmas Tree magnet page and Magnetic Counting Chips.



 Sorting Jax into cups...


She still is loving stacking our Montessori Knobless Cylinders
This week she chose the blue ones...


Busy Gears is a favorite still...

My Favorites…




Fun playing outside!


So The Baby has decided that she no longer wants to sleep in her crib. 
Climbing out is a regular occurrence now, and she has gotten so sly and sneaky,
 that often we don’t know she has climbed out until we check on her
 later in the evening when we go to bed.
 This was one night we found her asleep on the floor. 
Other nights, she has been in her sisters bed, or curled up in the corner of the room. 
I have also found her wondering the house at night, and once she was
 sitting by the Christmas Tree at 3:30 in the morning. 
This is new territory for me, as none of the other kids did this!

A cute little smoothie smile!

Next week we celebrate her 2nd Birthday!