A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Friday, January 27, 2012

And The Troops Are -


Well past weary, I think. Starting last Friday, the boys endured four days of fevers, which ended with Jonah having a double ear infection. That, unfortunately, overlapped with a weekend in which Eli was at school in Springfield. And I was suppose to work a couple busy days at the gym. So, I had to cancel some clients, stay home, appreciate my parents who braved the germs and watched the boys for a couple time spans in which I HAD to be at work, and take naps along with the boys so that I could be alive enough to care for their tears in the night.

I thought we might have been pulling out of it all by Tuesday or so - they just had lingering coughs, when I realized that I was running a low fever. My prayers probably sounded more like desperate begging, as I pleaded with God to heal me fast - on the other day Eli was away school! Fortunately, my fever last 24 hours, and quickly broke.

And then Reuben was up all night Wednesday, crying with a hand over his right ear. Back to the doctor we trooped yesterday afternoon. I was surprised with her concern over his breathing. His lungs didn't sound good, so not only antibiotics for the ear, but oral steroids and breathing treatments were prescribed.


Back to those ardent prayers for protection over our household.

And the news that our transmission is gone in Eli's commuting car.

When he told me, he said he expected me to be more upset! But, actually, as over the past few days I had sought to find peace in the midst of chaos, tears, and a general state of "not happiness" in the house, peace came. Not that finding the money to figure out the car situation is going to be easy ... but faith is never easy. If it were, it wouldn't be faith, would it? I can't understand it, and I won't try to understand it, but it is going to be okay. We will have everything we need. Rambuctious boys will return to their mischievious ways; in one way or another, we'll be able to get where we need to to in some kind of vehicle; and I can rest assured that Someone else has a better plan than anything else I could come up with.

Oh, I am still tired. I still am pressing the Lord to give me just one good night of sleep this week! = ) But whether or not the answers come like I would like them, I have Peace.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Zacchaeus Was A Wee Little Man ...

We have started reading a book with Jonah each night: "Leading Little Ones to God". My parents actually used it when I was little, and it is a way to break down who God is, who Jesus is, and everything in between! Eli and I had been talking about how in our daily life, we "talk" about God and Jesus all the time with the boys, but haven't always been as purposeful as we would like to sit down and explain. What does Savior mean? What does it mean that God is our Father?
So, we began this little devotional, and Jonah is eating it up! The next day, he frequently brings back up the topics we've talked about and asks more questions. I love it! Reuben, of course, sits with us on the couch, but there aren't many pictures in the books, and he tends to start asking questions about completely random subjects.
But last night, Eli was reading and Reuben was sitting in my lap. He listened for a couple minutes, and then kinda laid back and looked up at the ceiling. I figured his attention span was a goner. And then he looks at me and says:

"Mommy, Zacchaeus wanted to see Jesus."
Zacchaeus? He did?
"Yes, and he climbed up in a tree, and then he gave his money back again"
Because he wanted to obey Jesus, didn't he?
"And they go to Zacchaeus' house"
Where did you talk about Zacchaeus last? (because we hadn't read this story recently)
"In class"

Toddler Children's Church. My sweet boy - I had no idea on a Thursday night, he would remember a lesson from Sunday morning and tell it back to me! We talked a bit longer, and then he was ready to snuggle in bed. But, even in a two year old, God is imprinting His story ...

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad

Last week I decided I needed to make something out of the quinoa that had been sitting in my cabinet for a few weeks, and hadn't been cooked up into anything. I googled up some recipe ideas and found one on epicurious that I wanted to tweak! I love quinoa salads that keep well in the fridge for a couple days and can be pulled out for a quick snack or meal!

Quinoa and Black Bean Salad - Plus Kale!
- 1 c. quinoa
- 1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 1/2 T. red-wine vinegar
- 1/2 c. cooked corn
- one diced green bell pepper
- 3-4 heaping cups of chopped kale
- 5 T. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
- 1/4 tsp. ground chipotle powder
- 1/4 c. olive oil

*Wash quinoa in a fine sieve. Cook quinoa according to preferences (some like to boil, some like steam!). Cool. Toss beans with vinegar and salt and pepper to taste. Add corn, bell pepper, and kale. Mix well. Stir in quinoa. Whisk lime juice, seasonings, and olive oil together and pour over salad, mixing well. Salad can be served room temp, chilled, and stored in fridge! YUM!

It deserves a note that quinoa and the black beans together make a complete protein. So, definitely a great option for a meatless meal day! I ate it up for three days and loved every bite!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Blessed Beyond Measure

Today I feel overly blessed.

It was my birthday weekend - and the last three days have been full of family time, time with Eli, time with the boys, time to relax, good workouts, and any other good thing you can throw in there!

I wasn't looking towards the weekend thinking that it was going to be as amazing as it has been! Eli went out of his way to make sure that I felt treasured and appreciated.

I got woken up on Friday by Jonah running into my room, calling "Happy Birthday Mommy!!!!" And he was the first one up! That child never forgets anything ... and we got to hear the baby's heartbeat later that day, spend time eating a delicious dinner together and watch a silly movie.

Saturday morning was spent with Eli's family, and then time with my sister and mom before another evening at home with Eli and and boys, which was awesome! We almost never have two evenings in a row to relax at home!

And today started with a wonderful church service, and fun lunch time with my family.

Overly full.

Amazed at the blessings of family and friends that God has placed me in the midst of.

The next time I have one of "those"days where nothing seems to go quite right, I need to remember this weekend and what I have right in front of me and be thankful!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby Bumps

Sunday I made sure that Grace and I had Eli take our picture together again. It has been too long! I have not been good about getting other "bump" pictures throughout this pregnancy, so this has been a way to at least give some indication of baby growing!

Me: 25 weeks; Grace: 30 weeks!

There was a baby shower for Grace on Saturday with many many friends and family. It was so fun! So many adorable and sweet little girl things! I am excited for my neice to be arriving in two months' time! ... And quite happy at the time thought that I have only three more months to go as well.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

8 Years and Counting ...

Just a moment to reflect on today: Eli's and mine eight year anniversary.

In many ways - we feel like we have been together much longer. Partners, lovers, co-laborers, parents, two people who fit together, complement each other, and in general completely enjoy being yoked together and trekking through all of life's moments hand in hand!

And yet, I can still remember wedding planning, our wedding day, our honeymoon as if it was just yesterday! 8 years have been filled with many memories - and I enjoyed musing about them the past few days as I knew today was coming.

Eli and I are VERY different, but he keeps me laughing, knows when to try and lighten his wife up, who sometimes tends to take life too seriously. = ) I balance his spontaneous side by trying to plan in advance so that we aren't caught too off guard by all the plans that fill our life.

It's funny to see the boys growing and see different characteristics of each other coming out in them - or perhaps, terrifying!

Either way, I wouldn't have picked anyone else, and I am SO GRATEFUL that Eli chose me, and that God brought us together at just the right time in our lives. Together, we have gone through both wonderful and challenging times, and I know that there are many of both still lying before us! And I wouldn't want anyone to walk through it with me besides him.

I love you, Eli Brooks!

Monday, January 2, 2012


I had great intentions during Christmas week (eep! and last week!) of posting updates and pictures to get all my Christmas memories safely tucked away on the blog. No such luck! I shouldn't have been surprised, with all the lovely business that was planned for each day!

Oh well, I will post some of my favorite photos from the past two weeks, and hope that the memories stick in my mind along with the pictures! And work on a new year's post for later on this week.

Jonah before his preschool Christmas program: he was soooooo proud of his "tie-bow" outfit!

Jonah, Reuben, and their adored Aunt Adi at Christmas at my parents' house!

Our present to Jonah: electric drums

Eli's mom and siblings (minus his sister, her hubby and daughter) Christmas morning! Look at that pile of presents!

Sisters! Eli's two younger sisters and myself Christmas morning at his parents' house
Cousins Mya and Jonah playing at Crown Center together!

My Sweet Reuben at Fritz's Train Restaurant at Crown Center ...

Lots and lots of amazingly wonderful time with family, time at church worshipping with so many others, and best of all: time with my boys! Eli and I enjoyed every minute of Christmas - as usual! Amidst the chaos, we often sat together on the couch at quiet moments to talk and catch up with each other. Can't wait to see what this year will bring ...