Our 3rd child was born on July 4, 2011. Here is an explination on why we named him Calvin Robert: http://ryanburns.me/calvin-robert-burns/
George Washington, Rainbow Fairy, and a couple getting married.
When we were in Orlando a couple years ago, I had the privilege to take a class taught by Dr. Steven Childers. I’m super embarrassed to admit I don’t remember the name of the class. I could probably look it up, but I just spent all that time finding his bio. Suffice to say, it was about the Gospel of Christ and how it is not something we leave behind at the start of our walk of faith but rather how necessary it is for it to be hammered into our hearts and minds (often by each other) on a daily basis. Yes, it was amazing. Anyhow, He often talked about and prayed for us, that we would so trust God, trust His Word, Trust the atoning sacrifice of Jesus Christ, and be so secure in HIS love for us that we would be able to “love [others] deeply and well.” I think about that a lot. I have completely stolen/adopted that phrase into my prayer life, for myself and others.
In that vein, I wanted to point you to a blog post about loving by a woman who’s blog has been a great source of encouragement for me of late. Being a mother of “10 kids from 3 countries”, there is an emphasis on the adoptive parent/child relationship, but it is wisdom that extends to all relationships. I especially appreciated the video link at the end. So please, take a few minutes to click this link, read the post & watch the video clip, peruse the links…. Lord, May we be so confident of Your love for us and in our standing with YOU, that we are free to love others with abandon, deeply and well. Really Loving
Another muffin recipe for you. This recipe is from the vitamix whole grains recipe booklet, which of course i have tweaked a little. My kids like these a lot & think they are chocolaty, though I told them there is no chocolate in them (& admitted to spinach & carrot). The last batch i did add 1/3 cup cocoa powder, they’re good, but oddly enough we all liked them better w/o it.
Whole Wheat Fruit & Veggie Muffins
1.5 cups wheat berries, milled into flour (i think this probably makes just under or at 2 cups flour? sorry, next time i’ll try to remember to measure it after it’s milled). I used my home-sprouted & dehydrated, but regular will work fine too.
1TBS flax seed
2tsp baking powder
1tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 very large handful baby spinach leaves, rinsed
3/4 cup raisins
Half a large banana or 1 small banana.
2TBS oil (i used coconut. dont’ have to melt it b/c it’s going into the blender!)
1/2 cup sucanat
2 cups strawberries (mine were frozen & it worked out to about 13 med/large strawberries. you could add pretty much any berry or fruit. original recipe calls for pinapple & oranges. i did half blueberries the first time too)
1 carrot, cut into rounds
Preheat oven to 375F, grease muffin pan.
Mill wheat & flaxseed, pour into large mixing bowl & add rest of the dry ingredients.
In wet blade vitamix container (blender) add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed, turn machine on @ variable speed #1, quickly move to #10 & switch on to HIGH. Run for about 30 seconds or more until smooth. Stir liquid mixture into the flour mixture & spoon into muffin pan.
Bake at 375 for 20-30 minutes. Makes just over 12 muffins.
For those of you who haven’t noticed…. one of the short people in our house got an extra dose of the talkative gene from her mother. Often it’s pretty humorous, and generally I try not to judge…after all, she DOES come by it honestly. It’s in her blood I suppose (deep down I REALLY blame Aunt Christine. She was the chatty kathy in my family….i think. Hard to tell in a family with 4 females, 1 male). However, I will admit….it can get a bit exhausting. I try really hard not to tune her out, but on the other hand if I don’t…well…bad things start happening around 4pm. And most nights Ryan’s not home till 6pm to
keep me in check take over listening to children.
When Asher was her age I used to strain my ears to listen to him sing and talk to himself at random times during the day. As a reward for my mommy-spy efforts I would get sweet little peeks into the heart & mind of my son. It’s been awhile since I’ve done that. I even flat out told Grace the other day that if she needs to ask me a question or ask for help she may not do it in song b/c when she’s singing I tune her out & won’t come help her (due to not knowing she’s calling for me). That sounds harsh doesn’t it?
I used to think Asher talked a lot. Mostly he asked questions a lot. I’ve noticed lately he doesn’t ask so much anymore. I can’t tell if it’s developmental, if he just doesn’t have much chance for getting a word in edge-wise, or if in the midst of all the listening I do, I’ve stopped ANSWERING. I try not to feel too bad there though, he does look up answers himself a lot now-days. That’s probably a good thing.
Anyhow, assuming the Lord gives us insight on training her to be a good conversationalist (i.e. listening as well as talking), I know her gregarious nature will be a blessing to many. She’s especially handy to have around before church starts. I’m terrible at striking up & maintaining conversations with strangers….ie. being social & friendly (particularly to visitors!). Grace has nearly none of this shy awkwardness and by wandering off to talk to random people she forces me to do so also.
This being said, I feel comforted when strangers make remarks that most people might take offense to. It is not at all uncommon for strangers to mention her verbosity, in the grocery store, at parks and especially when waiting in lines. Today was a great example. I had to pop into my doctor’s office to have blood drawn. The last time I did this it took perhaps 10 minutes total. Today there was a long line at the lab. As we sat in line for 20 minutes or more, Grace took it upon herself to entertain the elderly gentleman in line behind us. By this I mean she talked his ear off (granted, she also asked him conversational questions but he had trouble hearing her, so she gave up on questions early on) until I felt like he had enough (i.e. picked up a magazine & proceeded to ignore her). During this time he laughed & said things like, “she just feels like she needs to fill up the empty air with all those words doesn’t she?” and “So does she just go on like this all day?” lastly, with a sympathetic look, “this is why parenting is for the young. I wouldn’t last 1 hour with this one” (shortly after he picked up the aforementioned magazine).
Mostly I think it doesn’t bother me, because they make me feel sane. So I’m not imaging it? Surely if strangers feel comfortable commenting on the draining power of her constant chatter, it’s not just me? Surely I’m not exaggerating? Surely there IS a good reason I can no longer handle questions or stories or chats come 4:30 or 5?
Lord, please grant me strength, wisdom, patience, playfulness and endurance to know how to shepherd this sweet noisy ball of energy.
Like most Americans, Jenn and I push our income to the edge (and occasionally over). In May, we are seeking, for at least this month, to try and make cutbacks. I’m sure some will stay for the long haul, and some are just for the month. Either way, here’s what May has in store:
- Downgrade NetFlix subscription
- Cancel HDTV, Cable, and DVR
- Downgrade internet service
- Revise current or get new auto insurance
- No going out to eat
- Downgrade cell phone to a smaller minute plan
If you have any other creative, expense cutting ideas, feel free to drop a comment.
Thinking about our dear friends, the Greenes, today. Three years ago, their son Owen died. As I was thinking about them, I was reminded of something I read recently by Spurgon. I find confort in his words and pray that you, and the Greenes, will too.
O CHILDREN of God! death hath lost its sting. It is sweet to die; to lie upon the breast of Christ, and have one’s soul kissed out of one’s body by the lips of divine affection. And you that have lost friends, or that may be bereaved, sorrow not as those who are without hope. What a sweet thought the death of Christ brings us concerning those who are departed! They are gone, my brethren; but do you know how far they have gone? The distance between the glorified spirits in heaven and the militant saints on earth seems great; but it is not so. We are not far from home.
C. H. Spurgeon, Daily Help (Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009), 86. (Emphasis mine)
I don’t have time to devote to all the nit-picky-rambly details that would usually accompany a post like this. Suffice to say: The recipe has taken over a year of off & on trial and error (admittedly mostly off). There are also easier ways to obtain the phytate reduction & easier digestibility that this recipe includes, but….they’re not as fun. or light & fluffy…Oh & fyi: you DO NOT i repeat DO NOT need to do any dehydrating or flour milling for this recipe.
1) The nit-picky trick is you have to get the wheat when it is JUST BARELY starting to sprout little tails. if they get longer than just barely poking out, the starch-to-sugar conversion will go too far & render the muffins gluey. at least in my non-scientific experience.
2) I made this in my super-de-duper Vitamix. I suspect it MIGHT work in a ‘regular blender’, but this is coming from a woman who killed 1 “regular blender” a year for the past 4 years. If nothing else it will void a ‘regular blender’ warranty for sure.
3) i’d like to try using honey instead of sucanat, but the deal w/the sprouted wheat is it is puffed up w/water, so you have to lessen the moisture in the recipe. i wasn’t up for trialing with a moist(er) sweetener. If you do, let me know!!
Sprouted (or well, germinated), ‘flourless’ Whole Wheat Muffins
Rinse 2 or 3 cups of wheat berries & soak 10hrs or overnight. Place in a colander (i like to use one of those handy dandy types that have arms to balance over the sink), cover with a damp towel & ‘water’ (rinse)…often…? I do it everytime i walk through the kitchen. This can take 1-1.5 days. As soon as you start seeing a little sprouty guy poking out of most of them (sorry, they don’t sprout uniformly), make your muffins, or refrigerate the wheat & make them as soon as you can.
3/4 cup buttermilk (i used milk + 2TBS lemon juice as a sub for buttermilk)
Scant 1/2 cup oil (or melted butter. i used melted coconut oil)
2 cups + 2 TBS germinated wheat berries (i used soft white wheat this go-round)
1/2 cup sucanat
1tsp vanilla, optional (i’m a freak about vanilla & use 1TBS but i’ve never seen a recipe recommend that)
1tsp cinnamon (optional)
2TBS (whole) flaxseeds
1tsp baking soda
1tsp baking powder
Put all ingredients except baking soda & powder (i recommend measuring that out into a small bowl to pour in quickly at the same time at the end) into the vitamix & blend well. Open lid & stir in the baking soda & powders with a spoon & then pour into muffin tin (if adding fruit, stir that in before the powders). Bake at 400 for 15-30min until done. (when i use stoneware it takes longer than metal, thus the large time difference. just keep an eye on them till they start looking goldeny).
**for banana muffins, use 1-2 ripe bananas & a bit less oil.
We went to see tulips this weekend. I don’t have the time to edit and post a bunch of pictures right now, but here is one that turned out alright.
Easter is a day of surprise. You get a hint of that when you read the gospel accounts of that first Easter morning. Whether it was the women or the disciples who we are following, for all of them you sense their great surprise that Jesus, who had been crucified but three day prior, was gone. His tomb was empty.
Today, Easter holds less of a surprise for us. We know that the tomb is empty. When we awake, we do so being aware that this is a special day of worship and celebration. Yet, there is little surprise. For the Burns family however, that was not the case today.
At breakfast I was telling Asher and Grace what all was planned for the day. This included going to church and having friends over for dinner. I also told them that, after lunch, we’d be going to a special baptism service to see people get baptized. Asher asked if they would be getting baptized too (surprise!). I paused for a moment. I asked him if he wanted to be baptized, to which he replied yes. Grace, of course, also wanted to be baptized.
Not ever wanting to take something like baptism lightly, we discussed what it meant to be baptized. How it was telling the whole world that we believe Jesus rose from the dead and that we want to follow Him all the days of our lives. I said that if that is what they wanted to do, then they could be baptized. They both, as you’ll see in the video, gave a resounding yes to the proposition.
While I have a number of theological thoughts I’d like to share surrounding baptism, and particularly the baptism of my kids, I’ll save those for another day. I think it is sufficient to say that God is faithful and Jennifer and I have trusted our children into his hands. We place our hope and trust not in water (or bread and wine), but in the faithfulness of God to which these things point.
He is risen.
He is risen indeed.