Welcome

Thank you so much for taking the time to visit our family blog. This may be your first visit here, or you may be a friend from across the globe, or family that we have just seen. Who ever you may be, thanks for taking the time to read about our little family, and all we are learning on this adventure the Lord has called us to live! Here you will find, the random thoughts, funny stories, prayer requests, and the journey our family and Jack is on with his battle with Leukemia.

Weekly visits with my dad...

My dad has been making a point to come visit us once a week for dinner and some quality time with Tyler for the past few weeks. We have loved this time, and it has been so much fun watching Tyler get so excited to see his "Saba" (grandfather in Hebrew).

I have more pictures on my camera, but have not uploaded them. Tyler is becoming such a little boy. The other night, my dad took Tyler outside while it was getting dark to look for the moon, while I was fixing dinner. I came out to participate in the fun, to find my boy sitting on my dads shoulders laughing and pointing to the moon. Such sweet moments, that I will treasure forever.


I love that we are building memories and traditions as a family. Thank you Abba for coming over and making time with our little family a priority. We love you so much!

Progress

I had my 30 week check up this morning. Everything is progressing along smoothly. Little boy had a great heartbeat again, and was kicking the Doppler as we listened. I am measuring perfectly at 30 cm (my belly...) and have not gained any weight this past few weeks! So still at 13 lbs weight gain, which is just crazy to me. The Dr. said, that since my belly is growing, I must be loosing weight- which seems crazy, because I am still eating Double Cheeseburgers all the time! I did, however, lay off the Oreo's! Must be walking up and down the stairs holding Tyler, laundry... who knows!

Next appointment is in two weeks... and we are on the last leg of this journey! It has flown by!

Tyler's big boy room has been so much fun for me to work on... Below is the dresser we got off of Craig's List- pre-paint!

Notice the two different tones on the face of the dresser vs the top! I think it must have been sanded down at one point... so it really needed to be painted...

And after. It was so easy to paint... we got it done in one night. I love it!

And this is Tyler's room with the orange stripe all done....

And with the curtain I just got, and some sport appliqué stickers on the wall... When Tyler saw the wall, he squealed, "BBAAAAALLLLL." He loves his new room so far, and so do I! Who says having boys isn't just so much fun????

I just finished the last coats of paint on the bed (I hope) and plan on moving it over here this week.... we are praying for a smooth transition.... but we will keep you posted as to how that all goes!

Getting close to single digits...

Time is flying by these days! I can hardly believe that in 10 weeks my due date will be here, and Lord willing so will another little boy. It is just a matter two months or so for the world to change again for us! As the days grow shorter of just time with Tyler alone, I have had so many sweet moments with him. He has been especially cuddly and tender. It just is the sweetest time.

We have gotten so much done around the house, and Tyler has been changing so much. Jordan and I have been amazed at how much he has been talking and understanding. He babbles on sometimes, but then all of a sudden he will start saying sentences and asking questions. It is amazing!

I have been meaning to post pictures, but when we moved the computer, my cable that connects my camera to the computer disappeared. I found it just the other day, and have some fun pictures to post....


We recently got a big doggie for Tyler, that he absolutely loves. It is twice his size! He uses it for tackle practice, a pillow, a lounge chair for TV time, and he even talks to it. It is so cute.



For Jordan's B-day, we made him some yummy desserts, and I have found Tyler really likes to help me when the mixing bowl is going. As soon as he hears me turn it on, he drags a chair over to the counter to stand on and "help." His idea of helping is putting whatever he can reach into the mixer while it is on, turning up the speed, and eating whatever is inside it... notice the sticky face below!


Part of the birthday celebrations for my love was to write on the sidewalk a bunch of messages to him... this is fun for Tyler and me. He colors, and I write...

One of the last hot days a week or so ago, we went to Germantown park again.. always fun times.



Progress on the Tyler's new big boy room is really underway. These pictures are from two weeks ago, when I had just finished fixing the holes in the walls and begun painting...

The walls are all done being painted now. We also just got a dresser off of Craig's List for next to nothing, and finished painting it last night. It looks as good as new. Now we are putting the finishing coats of paint on his bed frame, and the room will be ready for pictures to be hung and the boy to move in!!!!!

So, I don't know what it is about this picture, but it reminds me of my sister when we were kids. We have a picture of the two of us in the tub, and she is making the same face...

We have been incorporating "craft time" into the daily routine these days. I am trying to teach Tyler to sit and focus on an activity for more than 5 minutes, and thought crafts would be fun to try. So we bought the finger paint, play doh, coloring books and crayons.... so far, the winners have been play doh and finger paint.

It has been fun to watch Tyler try new things and enjoy them. Finger painting was the funniest, as he doesn't like to have messy hands.. so he kept trying to wipe off the paint, instead he kept smearing it around more!


Another attempt at "cooking time." We made pretzels together. I knew I was in trouble, when he took a handful of flour and put it in his mouth.... yuck!

The meditations of my heart...

Photo taken by Britt Kauflin


I have been doing some thinking on what it means to "take our thoughts captive" and to be quick to discern what my heart meditates on. This morning, I read in Psalm 19:14, "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer."

I found this verse both corrective for me as well as encouraging. It not only tells me what I am doing wrong- when I am judging, sinfully comparing, or making assumptions, or any of the many other sinful thoughts I have- but also directive- in what thoughts I should be having-- those that are pleasing to the Lord.

As I thought about this verse today, I was convicted at how quickly I allow my thoughts, the meditations of my heart, to drift to things that are not pleasing to God, and things that tempt me to sin. It was at the end of this verse, that I remembered that because the Lord is my redeemer, I can turn from thoughts that are displeasing to God.

This led me to evaluate what is displeasing to God, and what does indeed please him. It struck me, that every time I am anxious, fearful, angry, self-pitying, ect.... I am thinking on things that are not pleasing to him. How clear he makes it in his word: Philippians 4:8 "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things."

By God's grace, I hope to do just that, and think on these things! I am so grateful for the power of conviction and the grace to change found in the treasure house of God's Word.

The past few weeks....

The past few weeks, we have been enjoying the last days of summer, anticipating the fall, and trying to get ourselves onto a bit of a schedule, all the while working on the house.... It has been so much fun. Here a few pictures of what we have been up to those past few weeks.

We went to our friends house a few times and swam in their heated pool... oh so nice.

Tyler MUST wear a life jacket while in the pool, as he thinks he can swim. He really is quite brave and would jump in without any hesitation!

This is him "swimming" by himself. I wasn't holding on to him, and he was kicking his little legs furiously! It only lasted a minute, and he began to sink, so I grabbed him, but he sure does like to try.
Tyler loves the guitar. Actually, he really loves all music... so when Jordan takes the guitar out, Tyler is drawn to it like a magnet. He was trying to play with Daddy.

And when I turn my back, he is quick to take it out of the case, and try playing on his own!

Meals have been a work in progress.... learning how to incorporate healthy foods, from all the food groups, while making sure Tyler eats enough to fill his little belly... and just like his daddy, he LOVES pasta! Jordan doesn't eat it like this though.

One handful at a time, while the fork I am trying to help him to use, lies abandoned on his tray.

We had a visit from my dad, Saba (grandpa in Hebrew). Tyler got some of his blue eyes from my dad (the other half of that contribution is Mimi- Jordan's Mom). My dad adores Tyler, and it is so sweet to see them play together.







So that has been the past few weeks....Hopefully I will get a chance to get house update pictures, belly updates (cause it is getting BIG), and what we have been up to recently on this blog this week!

Tagged- My Favorites

Since I was tagged by my friend Megan to post some of my favorite recipes, I have been thinking about what I like best to eat...This post has been a tough one for me to figure out... as I am not the kind of cook to follow a lot of recipes. In addition to that, I have a lot of favorites in too many categories, and have been thinking WAY to hard on what I like best... so instead, I am just going to post a few staples that we like to eat in the Kauflin household!

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For starters, a breakfast that has quickly become a favorite for Jordan and I and a few ladies in our accountability group. I have posted this one before, but because I love it so much, here it is again! Super easy, and ever so yummy. I have made this now with blueberries and raspberries. I tried it with frozen berries once, and have decided that fresh is SO much better! This is the only one I have an actual recipe for!!!


Blueberry Cheese Rolls

1 pkg. (8 oz.) refrigerated crescent dinner rolls
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) PHILADELPHIA Neufchatel Cheese, 1/3 Less Fat than Cream Cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 cup blueberries, divided


PREHEAT oven to 375ºF. Unroll dough into four rectangles; firmly press perforations together to seal.
COMBINE Neufchatel cheese and sugar; spread onto dough rectangles to within 1/2 inch of edges. Top evenly with blueberries. Bring opposite corners of rectangles together; press together to seal. Place on ungreased baking sheet.
BAKE 11 to 13 min. or until golden brown.


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Again, since I don't follow recipes, this is the Tali version of what we make:

When I was in college, one of my best friends was from Italy, and when her mom came to visit, she made us a broccoli side dish that I totally fell in love with. I have adapted it to my own making, and we love to eat it with pretty much anything. Side note, this side dish is a little labor intensive, and takes a little time to make, but we think it is worth it! It may not be the healthiest thing, but it is VERY tasty!

Fried Broccoli

Frozen Broccoli Florets (as much as you want for each serving)
Flour (I usually just fill a soup bowl- about 1 cup)
Italian Bread Crumbs (enough to cover the top layer of flour in the bowl)
Kosher Salt (generous sprinkling- more to taste)
Garlic Powder (generous dusting in flour mixture)
Pepper (a few cranks of the pepper mill)
Herbs de' Provence (a generous pinch)

Olive Oil ( I sometimes use butter/ but the oil is way better for you!)

Combine all dry ingredients in bowl. Cook broccoli in microwave and drain of excess water. Coat bottom of pan with oil and bring pan to a medium-high heat. While pan heats up, "bread" the broccoli with flour mixture and place in heated pan. Let each side cook until golden browned, turning several times. I often add more oil, as the flour soaks it right up... Serve hot.

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For the fish lovers out there, here is the way I make Tilapia...

Tali's Tilapia

4 Fillets
Olive Oil
lemon Juice
Lemon Pepper Seasoning
Italian Bread Crumbs
Capers
Garlic Powder

Lightly coat fillets with oil. Sprinkle lemon pepper seasoning on first, followed by bread crumbs and garlic powder. I usually just squirt a little lemon juice on, and follow it with capers (we like capers, so I am generous with this, but if you do not like them, they can be omitted).

Heat up pan to medium-high (so that water sizzles when sprinkled on pan)... place fillet in pan and allow to cook for 3 minutes. Be careful not to flip fish too early, or it will crumble, or you will loose all your breading. You want it to crisp up a bit and form a seal around the fish. Turn fish and cook until done - depending on thickness- usually a few minutes more.
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This one is a family favorite, my Uncle Dave's recipe with a few minor Tali modifications.... it is a hearty dish with unique flavors. I have made this for friends/neighbors when sick or needing comfort food. I just love this one:

Uncle Dave's Mac N' Cheese

1 Box of Zitti noodles
1 Bar of Cracker Barrel Cheese (the green or black wrapper Cheddars are best)
Sour Cream
Paprika
Garlic Powder
Salt
Pepper
Milk

Cook Noodles, and drain of excess water. While pasta is cooking, slice the cheese in 1/8 inch thick pieces (not too thick, but not too thin). Grease a baking dish with cooking spray. Place a layer of noodles on the bottom of dish. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, paprika, and garlic powder. Lay pieces of cheese on the noodles in a flat layer. Cover with a few tablespoons of sour cream. Repeat steps for another layer. You want to end with cheese and sour cream on top. Once you have assembled the pasta layers, slowly pour milk into pan, until you JUST BEGIN to see it rising in the pan. Bake at 350 for 40 minutes, or until cheese is golden and sides are bubbling.

So, hope those weren't too confusing... Um and now for the tagging thing...

The Rules:
1. Let others know who tagged you (Megan)
2. Start with 4 recipes you especially like
3. Tag 4 other people and notify them that they have been tagged :
4. Those who are tagged should post these rules and their 4 recipes.



an update

It has been a full past week since my last post. I have been meaning to sit down and post a bunch of photos and fun stuff, plus I have been "tagged" by my friend Megan, so have some recipes I need to post.... but time has been short! God has been so faithful to uphold me in the midst of trying to get a lot done!

Between fighting allergies, an allergy medicine that exhausts me, and getting the house ready to transition Tyler to his big boy room, I have not had tons of time to spend on the computer! The house is shaping up, however; and I love some of the changes we have been making. The process has a been a little messy, but so worth it! We have moved bookshelves, re-organized storage, painting trim, begun painting the new room with some fun colors! Moving the computer to the kitchen is next, as we just picked up an armoire for it last night! We found it on Craigslist.org for so cheap, and it totally changes the front of the house! It really is so fun to see things shaping up the way I had hoped.

Even as Jordan and I have been talking about finances, the Lord has been providing things we need from unexpected places, for little to nothing of what the cost we were expecting... the computer armoire, bunk beds, a dresser... all for so much less than we had been thinking we were going to have to spend. The Lord has been teaching me to trust him not only for today's provisions, but for future provisions as well. He already has all we need in his abundant storehouses, waiting the RIGHT time to give them to us.... all we have to do is TRUST and OBEY! He is so good to us.

I went to the Dr. today for my monthly check-up. Had the big glucose blood draw... it went great. In and out. So now, we are just waiting on the results, an praying that I do not have to go through the big test like last time. Weighing in a bit heavier this month. My nurse joked with me, and said,"So you have finally decided to put on some weight!" Yeah, a whopping 7 lbs! I knew the appointment would come when I gained a bunch quickly! Better lay off the Oreos and Double Cheeseburgers! All in all, I have only gained 13 lbs so far, which is a whopping difference to the 30 I had gained at this point with Tyler! Next appointment is in 3 weeks. My Dr. (who I think is also the Dr. for all my friends!!!) wants to start the every 2 week ones at 30 weeks... so I get a little break till that begins... but then we are on the last legs of this pregnancy journey! Third trimester here we are!

I will post house update pictures, belly growth picture, recipes, and more in the coming days....