The contents of my head

We’re pretty serious about pizza at our house.  This summer it has become an “every weekend ritual”.  We like to go all out.  Pizza stones in the oven, pizza peels for pizza removal and cutting, lots of toppings, dough is tossed not rolled… the children gather in the kitchen to watch me toss dough every single time.  I know why the do.  They are hoping the pizza will land on my head… so far it always lands safely on my fists :)

Sometimes Justin will whip up a batch of his amazing thin crust pizza dough, but often we use Trader Joe’s fresh pizza dough.

This is “the Simeon” named after our good friend who invented it.  The Simeon is topped with bacon, small chunks of white potatoes that are fried in the bacon fat, mozzarella cheese, aged white cheddar (if I have any), and instead of red sauce I use Alfredo sauce mixed with basil pesto.

Since we have fresh garden tomatoes and basil this summer we’ve also been making a lot of pizza Margaritas.  So very good!!

Of course the children still like plain ole pepperoni and cheese :)   Mom and Dad might sneak a piece or two occasionally.

Sometimes we even have pizza for dessert!  Fruit pizza.  A slightly sweetened crust with a sweet cream cheese mixture spread over the crust and fresh fruit on the top!   It’s always a big hit :)

~~~~~~

I was at Joanne’s Fabric last week and was delighted to find this new line of fabric.

Denyse Schmidt has a new line of fabric that was exclusively designed for Joanne’s Fabric.  I love her designs but they can be hard to fine because they are so popular, and they are sometimes very expensive!  So naturally I scooped up a sweet little stack of fabrics before they are all gone. 

I was thinking about using them to make a quilt like this~

{image source via flicker}
Don’t you love this quilt?!  But first I have to finish the quilt for my own bed

~~~~~

I’ve been thinking about parenting trends and philosophies lately.  Truthfully, it would be closer to the mark to say that I’ve been struggling with parenting trends and philosophies, lately.   Do you ever feel that way?  Do you ever feel conflicted with the voices and opinions that seem to be momentarily dominating world around you?  I do.  Like it or not parenting styles do seem to come in trends.  I listen to talks and read about parenting and I feel this hesitation, a check in my spirit that I can’t shake.  I begin to question myself because it seems to be what everyone else is doing, or the advise is coming from someone I admire or look up to… but that small voice is still there telling me something’s not right.  Something is not balanced.  I suppose the trouble I have with some of the dominate parenting trends is, they seem to be formed out of a reaction to some other parenting style.  Does that make sense? 

This is all sounding very negative and that is not my intent.  What I really want is to encourage us all to trust the Spirit God has placed in our hearts.  Don’t ignore that check you feel.  Don’t push it aside.  Don’t be swayed by trends, by passionate opinions, don’t base your parenting style on a reaction to someone else’s  parenting style.  Take the things you hear and measure them carefully against God’s word, against what you know to be true about the world we live in.  Trust your intuition.  Trust what you know about your own family.  Once you’ve done this, move forward in confidence and graciousness. 

One more parenting thought.  Never pass up an opportunity to praise another mother.  If you see her children behaving in a commendable way, tell her!  Don’t just make a mental note or assume that she knows that she is doing a good job.  Speak the words.  She needs to hear it more than you know.

It’s going to be a fun filled week!  Erik and Susanna are getting married!!  I might be a little hit and miss this week, but I am looking forward to posting more often and getting back to doing Show & Tell Wednesdays.  I have lots of ideas and in September I’m hoping to have more time to accomplish them.

As always, thanks for stopping by~  April

38 thoughts on “The contents of my head

  1. ABAHM

    I like everything about this post! 

    Yummy looking pizza.  I have got to learn how to make a good gluten free crust, because I just crave a good tomato basil pizza!

    Those fabrics are so pretty.  I like all the colors, and the quilt is so cute!  Fabrics make my heart happy. I am continuing to enjoy my GG quilt on my bed!

    Yes, listening to the Lord is the best.  I did find various writers and speakers helpful, but looking back I see how much the Lord led us through the years in doing good for our children, when we were such babes ourselves!! I’ve been listening to some tapes of late, and some things I do wish I had more of a handle on earlier, but I see how God covered us.  He is good!

    Reply
  2. perelandra30

    I’m with you about parenting and trends. I know in the past I found myself questioning even though I felt in my heart that I was right in line with what God wanted of my kids and my marriage. Yet the temptation is always there to second guess.  Stick to the Word and what He has to tell you.

    Your pizza looks yummy.  Pizza is a big deal around here as well.  Now that all of the visiting is over and we can get back to the routine of living again we need to get back to our normally scheduled pizza night again. 

    I look forward to your sewing projects again.  We all need each other to spark the imagination once in awhile.  I sat down today and actually sewed myself a skirt for the first time in at least 20 years.  I think I need a lot more practice but it has inspired me to do more.

    Reply
  3. aSeriesofFortunateEvents

    I find that I have to mix parenting styles. Just one thing doesn’t always work for my crew. No one says anything about that. I mean, my kids have different days and react differently depending on the circumstances. We are consistent with discipline, but aside from that things change on a fairly regular basis. ha.

    Reply
  4. SpazzyMommy

    As always, great post, April!!! :)  I love the quilt. The pizza looks like you should open a pizzaria!!!!  :))) We made pizza  few weeks ago, but it was not that fancy at all. :)  
    Parenting trends…..God put your children in your hands and home. He has inspired you and equipped YOU with what your children need. :) Although its great to look to others for guidance and direction……I think you know better than you think you know. :)

    Reply
  5. lifeisadance

    These could have been three separate posts! :) I always think of so much I want to comment on and then by the time I get to the end I should have written them down. :)

    Your pizza looks out of this world. The first one with the alfredo sauce/pesto sounds like something I would swoon if I’d eat. That combo is my favorite over pasta, and I can imagine on pizza it’s just as good!

    Parenting trends… that was really really good. It’s so easy for us moms to beat ourselves up if we aren’t doing it just like everyone else thinks.  But the Holy Spirit is the most faithful Guide, and His advice will always always be true. Such a good reminder! And I loved the reminder too about encouraging other mothers and women. A word of encouragement spoken to me will be something I think about for days, sometimes weeks afterward. It means a LOT to me. But I think few of us feel like we get a lot of it! So, I want to be one of those that is an encourager, and speaks words of life when I think them!

    Your blog is a lovely source of encouragement, April!

    Reply
  6. celebration_of_life

    We should talk pizzas some time…I haven’t ventured to the pizza peel and now you have me wanting to go buy one:) I’m sure you have some great tips and the “simeon” looks delightful {although I’m sure I should come up with a more manly compliment considering the inspiration}. Oh, well. Delightful it is!!!

    Can’t wait to see the flags {that were stacked in your sewing room} and all of the other touches at the wedding… See you then~

    Reply
  7. foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown

    LOVE pizza in this house! we’re having stromboli tonight..and i’m hoping my husband won’t mind since he had pizza for lunch…kinda forgot about that part until supper was well under way. =()

    this part: ‘Don’t be swayed by trends, by passionate opinions, don’t base your
    parenting style on a reaction to someone else’s  parenting style.’ in total agreement with you.
    the piece where i tend to need my husbands very excellent balance is when i see people doing just what you said with the trends, is to not write them off in their endeavors. which sounds odd, but it can be such a turnoff to me, that i tend to sway toward the opposite extreme because i so do not like to be doing something just because everyone else is.

    and to encourage another mother in her role? can’t agree with you more on that point. the few times people have done that to me (hmmmm…few because i do a poor job, or because my children rarely behave? jk!! lol) it has meant the world to me…and, to pass on words of affirmation is a worthwhile effort.
    the wedding coming up? is this family? cuz i noticed the above comment about your flags and such..hope it’s a good week for you!
    ♥ ya!
    R

    Reply
  8. TrentTribe

    Yummy yummy pizzas!  Mmmm…  :)   So true about parenting.  And just to add that in our home I’m learning I have to parent each child a little differently.  They are individuals and what is successful with one of them may not work at all with the other.  If we pray and seek God, He will not let us down!  I’m thankful to be able to glean wisdom from others but I am even more thankful that God shows me which to apply.  Great post!  P.S.  I love seeing the pics of your children.  You are doing a great job mom!  :)

    Reply
  9. bamsniko22407

    The pizza looks delicious!  And I love your Joann’s finds!  I was peeking through the window there just the other day but told myself I shouldn’t go in or else I’d def. spend money!  lol

    As for parenting, I agree, we need to sort through all the advice and apply what works best for our families and our situations.  We are all individuals and we all need individual attention to make sure that each child and parent combo is thriving.  And only we can do this for ourselves and our families.  I don’t think that one style is wrong or better, just that what may work for one parent and child may not work for every parent and child. 

    Reply
  10. WakeUpLaughing

    mmm… all the pizzas look yummo!

    My kids are grown now, and from my experience, you have to match parenting style to the temperament of the child. I had the same philosophy with both of my kids, but found that I had to adjust how I applied it with them. What worked for my son didn’t work for my daughter and vice versa. You’re right in saying that if you follow your instinct  no matter what the trend is, you’ll be doing great.

    Reply
  11. frathousecook

    Good morning,  you are so right that we should pat other mothers, esp. the ones trying to do a good job, on the back.  I just told my hubby last night that I try to do that, when I see a patient mother at Walmart.

    and such pretty fabric, my town is getting a Joanns in early 2010- yea!
    happy sewing and mothering to you.  

    Reply
  12. AmericanJanet

    Those pizzas look SO good–and pretty, too! As is your little stack of fabric. As for parenting, you’re right on the mark when you listen to your heart (a heart guided by God rather than philosophy) instead of letting yourself become confused by trends and approaches that focus on one thing and ignore the overall “big picture.” 

    So, may I say to YOU that you’re doing a good job as a mom–not that I know from personal experience, but I’m good at reading between the lines…..  :)

    Reply
  13. redladybug18

    your pizza looks SOOOO good!  We used to do a weekend thing of pizza but we make ours all by hand, even the dough, and it takes so much time so we’ve actually gotten out of the habit of it 

    Reply
  14. appalolly

    You are making me hungry for fruit pizza. No fair!

    About the parenting trends…I totally get what you are saying and as I get older I have realized more and more that everybody has their own path. And it is about coming alongside of others and encouraging them and helping each other…but what works for you might not work for me, etc.  To realize and accept that can be a hard thing, because we may feel threatened by someone else’s (seemingly) “better” way of doing things or daunted by their criticism, but I think you totally hit the nail on the head!

    Reply
  15. inanorchard

    @ABAHM - Jenny, I love what you said about God covered what you lacked.  What an amazing comfort that is and something that I lose track of too often.  God knows my heart and my desires for my children, Justin and I are not in this alone.  Thank you!  I also think we have been given a great opportunity to learn from other peoples examples :)   I would love the hear your thoughts on the things you wish you had had a handle on earlier in parenting, seriously!

    @perelandra30 - Thank you so much for your encouragement!  It is easy to get stuck in the rut of second guessing.  I don’t want to live my life doubting every step of the way.

    You made a skirt?!  How wonderful!  All summer long I wanted to make myself some fun cotton summer skirts but it never happened.  I’m looking forward to being in the sewing room more :)

    @bethro78 - You are so right!  I’m finding out more and more that I have to adapt my parenting and disciplining for each child.  Which is kind of frustrating, because it always leaves me feeling like a rookie ;)

    Reply
  16. inanorchard

    @SpazzyMommy - Thanks Cass!  You’re such sweetheart (a sassy one )  I think you said it perfectly! There is a balance between knowing what’s best for my own family and knowing when to learn from others. The next time I get the urge to rant a little I’m just going to send you a message and let you write it out :)   You express yourself so well.

    @lifeisadance - HA!  I think you’re right Clarita, this post probably should have been three separate post :) Very random!  We LOVE pesto at our house.  We eat it on pizza, pasta, and we even spread it on our sandwiches.  Even the kids love it.

    The reason I mentioned the complimenting other mothers part, was because a good friend of mind recently remarked to me how much she liked Jude’s manners.  I was so pleased and I’ve thought of it a dozen times since.  It made me realize I should be better about encouraging other mothers as well.  I think you do a great job at that Clarita, you’ve always been so kind and encouraging to me :)

    @celebration_of_life - The pizza peel is great!  We got ours at Bed Bath & Beyond it was like $7.99 I think?  It’s nice because you can get the pizza stone ripping hot, make the pizzas up on the peel and then slid it right onto the hot stone.  I’m happy our paths are crossing more lately :)

    @foreveranoatneygirl_n2Hisown - I think I’m with you Rachel :)   I can tend to get my back up about spiritual and parenting trends.  I’m a little stubborn that way.  I think there have been times when I’ve “thrown the baby out with the bath water”.  You know what mean?  It is a blessing to have spouses who balance us out :)

    The wedding is for our friends who I have claimed as family   Jude is the junior attendant and is walking up the aisle with the flower girls.  I’ve helped out a little but not much.

    Reply
  17. inanorchard

    @bamsniko22407 -  Oh yes!  I avoid Joanne’s regularly for that very reason :)   I caved this time!  You’re right about parenting.  It’s up so us to decide what will be best for our own family.

    @TrentTribe - Thank you so much!  I just have to say I have so enjoyed the thoughts you have shared on you blog about raising children, and being a wife and mother.  Keep it up I say!  How are you feeling these days?

    @WakeUpLaughing - Thank you for the affirmation!  It’s good to hear from a woman who has already walked this road :)

    @frathousecook -  I know any mother would love to hear an encouraging word, it really can make all the difference :)   So nice of you to stop by and leave such a sweet comment!  I always love new visitors :)

    @AmericanJanet -   Thank you Janet!  You are so kind :)   It is good to hear other women reaffirm what I’ve been thinking for so long

    @redladybug18 -  You are right about it being time consuming!  I always manage to make a HUGE mess of the kitchen!!  Oh well, it’s still worth it :)

    Reply
  18. inanorchard

    @Babyboomerjill -  You are right on the money!  I love the scrappy old-fashioned look of the cross quilts, and the red and turquoise colors are so fresh and fun.

    @appalolly - I think you’re right Audrey.  The older I get the more I am learning to be less judgmental towards other families (at least I hope I am).  We can only do what we believe is right in the eyes of the Lord and trust that others are too.

    @OsuwarInuyasha - I’m not going to lie, it was super good ;)   Love all the fun things you’ve been putting up on Pinterest by the way!

    Reply
  19. smilesbymiles

    Oh, YUM!!  But please do a video and teach me how to toss the pizza crust.  Do some crusts work better for that then others, b/c I feel sure mine wouldn’t co-operate!

    Parenting … I so agree.  The other day I was thinking about how there are so many styles of parenting.  And I wondered if maybe God does that on purpose b/c He needs those children to grow up to do different things.  I agree that children are different and need different things (mine are like from separate worlds!) but there is also a certain sameness in families.  You know, like I’m convinced if my boys would have grown up in “X” family, they would have sat patiently in church just like all five of theirs do. :)  B/c there are certain things each family is strong on.  But in the end, you really can’t tell so much.  You know, by the time the kids are 18, their are only minor differences.  

    Reply
  20. grace_to_be

    oh, april.. loved these thoughts on parenting. i’ve been thinking/ struggling through that very stuff too recently. and YES! you’re right that so often what ppl adapt as their parenting philosophies is just out of reaction to another kind~

    when truth is. there really isn’t one set method of parenting that’s going to guarantee our kids turn out. at the end of the day it’s all grace.

    i was talking to cindy {downonthefarm} awhile back.. kind of lamenting some things w/ my kids,and feeling we’d try to do everything “just the right way” to safeguard certain struggles and yet, here we were. i said to her, “man! how do you get those kids that are starting bible studies in their neighborhoods, and crying over the lost kids on their soccer team?” she replied, “they’re medicated!!!” :) i cracked up. and even still. recalling her deadpan, matter of fact way of saying it.

    but yeah. even though i know there’s no “one method.” at times i’m still like, “give me a bottle of what they’re taking!” ;) just so easy to look around, instead of up, eh?

    great thoughts. challenging to parent for HIM alone.

    and wow! that pizza looks amazing. and hand tossed!!!! i’m thinking of elsa in sound of music who said to maria, “my dear.. is there anything you can’t do??” ;)

    gonna so try the potato and alfredo one. yum!!

    Reply
  21. Elizabethmarie_1

    Your pizzas look wonderfully delicious! Your fabrics are all so pretty.
    Love your thoughts on parenting too…and yes, I sometimes feel that way too. =)
    We just need to keep our focus. Stay close to God and He will lead us in the way we should be training our own kids!

    Looking forward to Show and Tell Wednesdays.

    Reply
  22. WildWomanOfTheWest

    I so agree, (feels good to speak again! lol)  if each person is created uniquely, then each family is unique in design. We must be Spirit led.  Something I discovered with having nine children, no two are the same.  My parenting style is mostly Bill Cosby style, but each child needs are different, so how I approach each child is different. 

    Such a revelation of how unique each relationship between parent/child can be, also how unique God/person relationships can be. I am thankful he reveals His love so uniquely to each of us.

    Thank you, April, beautiful post from a beautiful soul.

    Reply
  23. rugbana

    *Dabbing drool off my chin* LOL – Seriously – the Simeon sounds amazing!! – We do quite a bit of homemade pizza as well but I don’t think I measure up — b/c I don’t really toss (though I don’t roll) I kinda knead it flat.  Can you do a “How to toss pizza” video tutorial?    I think you did mention you might have more time soon?!  LOL J/K.  But do your know our fav pizza?  Canadian Bacon with Sauerkraut – ohhhhh yeahhhhhhh —

    Love the fabric – I am jealous of your quilting/sewing skills.

    Reply
  24. inanorchard

    @mellibella - Your recipe sounds awesome!  Are you proposing a pizza throw down?  You are on! 

    @smilesbymiles - I think you are absolutely right!  It is so easy to look at other families and think that they have struck on some magic formula.  When really they are fighting their own battles their own way.

    Reply
  25. Richgem

    Oh, those pizzas! Too much deliciousness! But when our Trader Joe’s opens, I will try their pizza dough. I used to make my own, “back in the day” when my kids were all here. Speaking of when my kids were all here; I really wish I had known then what I know now about parenting. I should say, parenting with patience. I knew that each child was different and I could take an approach that was appropriate for their personalities and needs. But there were times I was just plain angry and afraid and my own sad childhood memories would get in the way. As Jenny said, “we were covered”.  I do believe that in the times I literally cried out to Jesus, He heard me and helped me. My “kids” are doing well with what they have chosen to do in life at the moment. I no longer expect them to have newspaper articles written about them and I am not going to write a bragging Christmas letter about them; never have. Though one or two of them may have nearly killed me, emotionally at times, I think my “job” as a mom is nearly over, at least when the red-haired boy and my daughter complete their education and get out on their  own. Definately stay tuned to what God has put in your heart. He planted a special seed of KNOWing how to raise your little ones. His word to you could be different from the words to the mom down the street. ( 8

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  26. wj3km

    My hubby’s fav. pizza is the potato, bacon and alfredo sauce :)  Sometimes we add chicken too. Haven’t mastered the art of homemade crust though.  I have tried to grill pizzas and it’s pretty good

    Parenting…… more times than not, I cringe cause I feel so inadequate, unsure if I’m getting it right, but I realize this should make me cling even more to my rock, refuge and help – GOD.  I have had family members tell me what all they think I’m doing wrong with my children :(  And they don’t have any kids! :(  I wanted to wring their necks ;) and tell them parenting is different for every one of us!!  We all have strengths, weaknesses, and are learning as we go, although I hope I don’t mess my kids up – a fear that comes from my messed up childhood.  The many, many different voices – books, teachings, people only make me confused and fearful.  Learning to listen for the still,small voice and trust that God has us covered, his grace is sufficient.   
    Yes, we all need to be balcony people – encouraging others, pointing out to good we see in others – knowing how much it encourages me to receive a compliment, I should remember to speak words of life even more to others!  

    Reply
  27. inanorchard

    @WildWomanOfTheWest - I really love what you said about our unique relationship with the Lord.  Isn’t He amazing that way!  I know that being a parent has grown my relationship with the Lord because it helps me to realize the love He has for me as His child.  Love your heart Tamy!

    @Richgem - Thank you for taking the time to write down these thoughts!  While I tend to be skeptical of mass marketed parenting philosophies, I literally long for sound, practical, “been-there-done-that” advise from woman who are walking ahead of me.  Really!  Parenting with patience… something I could stand to improve that’s for sure.  Thank your for the reassurance, it feels good to know I’m not alone in my thinking :)

    @wj3km - “We all have strengths, weaknesses, and are learning as we go,”… a hardy AMEN to that!  I have thought that so many times as I listened to others rail on other people’s parenting skills.  We are human, we make mistakes, we learn and thankfully we have God’s grace and wisdom flowing into our lives pouring into our children… sometimes in spite of us.  I like how you said “speaking words of life” because they really feel like that went you hear them!  Bless you for your kind, encouraging words!

    Reply
  28. purpleamethyst76

    Hi April,  I got to read your post a few days ago and it was a blessing to me.  Thanks for the beautiful photos, which inspired me, the thoughts on parenting, which encouraged me, and the fabric show and tell….the colors!  The quilt will be lovely.

    You are a beautiful person, God loves you!  You’re doing a great job in the place He put you.

    I hope you put a {this moment} post up today! 

    Reply
  29. inanorchard

    @grace_to_be - Ha!  That sounds just like something Cindy would say   I admit, I want a fail proof plan. I really do. I want a formula, a to-do list.  I know that’s not possible and I’m learning to trust that the Lord will give me what I need to raise the children He gave me.  Sometimes when I think about everything that’s at stake I get a little weak in the knees, and start to loose faith in myself.  I’m realizing that frantically looking around me isn’t the answer.  We have each other too

    Reply
  30. jillcarmel

    I have a bowtie and I’m not sure what the others are. I will try to do the photos and one is in my booth at the antique mall but it’s just squares but they’re pretty squares.

    Reply
  31. H0LDfast

    somehow i feel like by not commenting its like i don’t agree with what you said …. which is dumb & not true & you know anyway : )
    you’re a good mom.
    and that fruit pizza ….. i’m coveting it.
    xoxo

    Reply

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