Monday, June 30, 2008

And so it goes...

It looks like no Simple Woman's Day book from me this week...Blogger is being highly temperamental. Sheesh.
We are off to travel west tomorrow after work. Have a wonderful 4th of July and I will return with pictures and stories galore.

Hugs!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Pardon me while I drool all over...

Behold...my favorite meal in the whole world...

I will eat fresh from the oven, cold for breakfast, reheated even though it can be a little wonky after the mircowave gets through with it, deepfried (oh, yes, this is possible) or the generic boxed variety will also satisfy. I like it made with cheddar or fancified with a blending of artisan cheeses...add hotdogs, potato chips, or tomatoes, I don't care, just bring on the macaroni and cheese. I am particular when it comes to noodles however. I most favor small elbow macaroni, but I have been known to use wagon wheels or lasagna noodles in a pinch.
I enjoy making my own from scratch. The smell of the rue and seasonings as they brown and prepare to thinken the soon to be added milk, the lavish amount of butter and cheese that are absolutly neccessary for a successful dish, and the blending of the noodles and cheesey bechumel sauce, all never cese to delight me. The melding bubbles and coos from the oven, beckoning me, enticing me...if I could marry a food this would be it. But, could I eat everyday? Sadly, no. The love affair would soon be over and I am not willing to let that happen. Honestly who could handle that much cheese? So every once in awhile I pull out my Microplane and go to town.

What is your food to die for?

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Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Snippets...

I have many little snippets and other randoms to share:

We had baby birds in our attic. Yes, chirping and making messes. Bugs and mites were starting to migrate through the fan/vent into the guest bathroom, plus, the noise wasn't always entirely welcome at 4:30 a.m. So something had to happen. David took care of it...a "wildflife" man came and now the birds are gone. I told David I did not want to know what happened to them because I am certain that they are dead. That thought breaks my heart because they were new lives just beginning. Perhaps I like to fool myself into thinking that if I don't really know what happened to them then they must be settled in their nest in some tree happily eating bugs and worms. I'm delusional, I know.

Elijah seems to be on the mend and the Doctor has even cleared him for his swimming lesson this week. He still has the dry cough and is sleeping more than usual, but, definitely on his way to better. I don't ever want him to be sick, but I have enjoyed the extra cuddle time with him. Over the weekend, I got up to check on him several times a night and sometimes he would be awake and sitting up. I would lift him into my arms and carry him into the living room where we would sit in the dark. I sang to him and soothed his fevered forehead with a cool washcloth. From time to time he would turn his head and look at me, spontaneously clap his hands, or say little words. Always after a half hour or so he would fall back to sleep and I would just sit with him, holding him, for just awhile longer before laying him back in his crib.

We finally purchased a BBQ grill a month or so ago, we went with a simple Weber. We both enjoy the flavor from a charcoal grill, especially when they are natural wood charcoal and not the chemical laden birketts. David has been grilling yummy things for us every week and I am in love with everything. He does a perfect job. We have been enjoying buffalo steaks that he had ordered and I have also had him do veggies as well which are tasty. It has become a Sunday ritual, with the occasional mid-week grilling.
The buffalo meat is wonderful. I thought I would like it fine, but I didn't think I would love it so much. It is a leaner red meat which is lower in cholesterol. When it is fully cooked it still is a little pink, but don't let that fool you, it's perfect.

I was back in the sewing room (soon to be babies room) last night. It was 9:00 p.m. and I had a sudden urge to sew. I started making a pillow case top/shirt which I have seen all over the internet lately. I knew that it could be perfect for a full pregnant summer, if I can make it the way I envision it. I couldn't be bothered to measure much, so I guesstimated a quite a bit...that tends to be my way with a lot of crafty projects...I fly by the seat of my pants and hope it works out. I have to gather the neck line and do the hem tonight and then I shall do a fitting and hope that I don't look like I am wearing a tent. I unearthed a vintage apple print that I had been given a few years a go. It is big and bold in red and white. I think it will be great fun...I hope.

I have really been missing coffee lately. In my pre-children days, coffee was my morning ritual. It was the first thing I would do before I got into the shower...get the pot brewing. During my first pregnancy I stopped drinking much and tried switching to decaff, but that was no good. It just tastes off to me, not that I could explain exactly how, it just does. Then with breast feeding and pregnancy number two, I have had it very seldom. So my coffee pot sits forlornly collecting dust and Starbucks french roast beans molder in the freezer. I miss the ritual, I miss the taste. I know, that Lord willing, I will have many years of coffee drinking ahead of me after the babies are born and breast fed. I just would like to have a triple espresso now and then...not really. Just a big ol' cup of coffee please, without the side of worry.

I am 28 nearly 29 weeks along now and I have realized that I have not posted any tummy shots...I will have to fix that. Maybe you shall see one of me in a big apple "tent" in the next couple days. I feel pretty good. There is a lot of leg, ankle, and foot swelling with this one, but, other then that I can't complain too much. The baby is constantly moving, which is my favorite part of the whole prego thing...so that makes me very happy.

Here is the Adobo Chicken with Ginger recipe that I promised Lisa...
I made a few changes which I will note at the end.

INGREDIENTS
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup soy sauce
3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
1 bulb garlic, peeled and crushed
2 tablespoons thinly sliced fresh ginger root
2 bay leaves
1/2 tablespoon black peppercorns

DIRECTIONS
Combine the chicken, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic, ginger, bay leaves and peppercorns in a Dutch oven. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it boils, reduce heat to a simmer. Cover the pot and simmer for 30 minutes, basting the chicken occasionally. After 30 minutes, remove lid and cook until liquid has reduced to half.
Remove chicken from the pot to a serving plate. Strain the liquid from the pot to remove all the food particles, and set aside. Serve chicken hot over steamed rice and drizzle with reserved sauce.

*my amendments...I used 3 large chicken breasts. I just don't do bone-in chicken. I did not have fresh ginger so I used ground. No measuring, I just shook in what looked like a nice amount. I forgot to add the peppercorns and it tasted great without them, so it would be super with them I bet. Instead of basting the chicken as it simmered, I just flipped them over from time to time. I also, made these while I was cooking another meal, so I made them ahead of time and then put them in the refrigerator. The next night I shredded some of the chicken and made wraps with tortillas, lettuce, ranch dressing, and a little shredded cheese. Tomato would have been great in them...we were out of tomatoes...
I saved the sauce and then for dinner the next night I cut up the rest of the chicken and made fried rice and used the sauce in it as well...very yummy. So it lasted for two dinners made in different ways and was still very tasty.

Bon Appetite!

Hugs!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Weekly Journal


FOR TODAY June 23, 2008

Outside My Window...Fireflies. They are flitting around and they make me so happy. They were spotted for the first time last night which is always a big Summer event for me.

I am thinking...about reading a bit after I finish this post.

I am thankful for...A stocked pantry and a semi-clean home.

From the kitchen...baked spaghetti, homemade hamburgers and baked potatoes (two different meals.

I am wearing...jammies, it is bedtime after all.

I am creating...another knitted dishcloth.

I am going...to work the rest of the week and hopefully nowhere else...home is a nice place to be.

I am reading...Rose Cottage by Mary Stewart and Everyday Blessings: The Inner work of Mindful Parenting by Myla and Jon Kabat-Zinn

I am hoping...That Elijah will soon be on the mend. We spent the weekend nursing fevers and a dry cough and then found out today he has an ear infection.

I am hearing...Crickets outside the window, the sounds of the TV in the living room (it sounds like David is watching Good Eats), and the occasional cough from Little Man.

Around the house...Everything was cleaned on Friday, David mowed and trimmed the lawn.

One of my favorite things...Strawberry Shortcake, I have been wanting to make some.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Work is of course on the list, finish the dishcloth and make up one more, re-organize the spare room's closet and write a few letters.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


I went for a walk this evening and here is twilight in our neighborhood.

Please visit Peggy's to join in this weekly journaling activity.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Two Mentors...

"One can give without loving, but one cannot love without giving." ~Amy Carmichael

I mentioned Amy in one of my postings awhile ago. She was an amazing Godly woman and I have found her story and faith inspiring and challenging to my own for many years now. There are two people whom I have never known personally that I consider to be mentors. Amy is one and Rich Mullins is the other.



Amy Carmichael devoted her life to saving children from suffering, poverty, and forced prostitution in India. She was a devoted missionary for 55 years who never once took a furlow home. She was also an avid writer. I mentioned the daily devotional "Edges of his Ways." These are small, simple snippets of insight that I glean much from.
She knew at an early age she wanted to become a missionary and she overcame years of physical pain and illness to complete the tasks that had been laid out for her. She served her Lord and Savior with an unselfish, childlike awe. I aspire to follow her example of faith.



Unlike Amy Carmichael, I did have a chance to meet Rich Mullins. I was attending a Christian music festival with my family back in the early 90's. There were concerts by well known artists every evening for about a week. On one of those days we were standing in line for dinner at a cafeteria type place. The man ahead of me had longer, brown hair and was wearing black tea-shirt. While moving my tray down the line I stopped at one dish and I couldn't make out if it was chicken or fish...I asked the guy ahead of me what he thought. He laughed and said he thought it was fish...I thanked him and moved on.
That evening the guy who had been ahead of me in line was Rich Mullins (as I'm sure you already suspected). He played the hammered dulcimer and sang. I will always remember how I met him, not because he was famous, but, because of his humanness. My parents and I went up and chatted with him after the show...he was very friendly and talkative. Rich was never larger than life as some in the spotlight seem to be. He did what he loved, he spoke honestly about his faith and his shortcomings. He was unpretentious, unassuming, honest and very genuine. Qualities that I admire and also aspire to have.
His music is part of my life's soundtrack:

"Sometimes my life just don't make sense at all.
Where the mountains look so big,
and my faith just seems so small.
So hold me Jesus,
'cause I'm shaking like a leaf.
You have been king of my glory,
wont you be my prince of peace."
~Hold Me Jesus

Rich's music reminds me that I am not the only one with doubts and fickleness and human frailty and that despite of all that...I am loved by my Lord and Savior despite those shortcomings.

These two people have both gone to be with the Lord, but they have left behind a legacy that touches my life. For that I am grateful.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The Simple Woman's Daybook


FOR TODAY June 16, 2008...

Outside My Window...It's dark and a cool 51 degrees, however, the moon is quite lovely tonight

I am thinking...about going to sleep after finishing this post

I am thankful for...my husband and that he is such a good Father to our son. The way David tends and nurtures our little boy is tremendous and so loving. And of my own Father and how grateful I am for the way he is. He is the most wonderful Father and a true example of our heavenly Father up above. I have been blessed.

From the kitchen...Ginger Adobo Chicken Wraps, deviled eggs, fresh apple crisp and mango iced tea...good stuff.

I am wearing...jammies

I am creating...a couple of maternity outfits for me and a few zipper pouches to add to my "ready-to-give-gift" stash. I finished the shower gift which is a good feeling

I am going...to stay home as much as possible...work, home, work, home, maybe the library

I am reading...I'm in-between books. I just finished Peony in Love by Lisa See. The Bible - Isaiah

I am hoping...to be able to get the things on my to-do list crossed off for this week.

I am hearing...crickets and all manner of insects outside the open bedroom window and the occasional car driving by

Around the house...Just trying to keep things clean and as clutter free as possible and trying to figure out where to stash this soon-to-be-baby...own room or shared room...debating

One of my favorite things...sleeping with the windows open in the summer, hec, I'd do it all year long if I could

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Cleaning both bathrooms, sweeping and mopping the kitchen floor, laundry, pack away clothes of Elijah's that are for winter or just too small, sewing, the library for a new book (any recommendations?), and maybe go pick strawberries on Saturday.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...


My sweet boy and his cool shades...

If you would like to participate in the weekly Simple Woman's Daybook head on over to Peggy's. She is the creator and host of this fun and wonderful meme and journaling experience.



Wednesday, June 11, 2008

True Colors...

So sorry to keep changing the color on the blog around...
I cannot make up my mind.
The colors look so lovely in their little squares and then when I click on one of them and sometimes a gasp of horror escapes my lips..."Ucky, no, definitly not that one..." (along with a vigorous head shake). Not that they are a bad color, just not right for a blog that's meant to be read.
Then others seem OK, but I have to take them for a spin if you will.
So now it's on to pink. Will pink last? Probably not, but I will give her a try and see how she does.
Plus, I must admit that I just love color. Each has their place and their beauties. I cannot fathom a world absent of green or yellow, that would be sad indeed. Whenever I am asked what my favorite color is (this happens far less often since becoming an adult, it's seems a far more important question to children) I have no answer, how can I possibly choose? So I embrace them all and enjoy them all as best I can. I do have some I favor more then others, but that usually hinges on what the season is. Summer is full of vibrant yellows, greens, and pinks. Fall is all about deep reds, oranges, and browns. Winter brings a longing for white and frosty blue with splashes of red and green. And of course Spring is full of pastel pinks, purples, robin's egg blue and such like.

So if you will bear with me, my blog will probably continue to change as my whims dictate.
I truley hope you don't mind...

Hugs.

Monday, June 9, 2008

A Snapshot...

Whoa, it has gotten toasty...
This weekend was muggy and a bit on the hot side.
Last week I was finally able to open the bedroom window at night (I love sleeping with an open window that lets in cool, fragrant air) and this weekend put the kibosch on that. Although for the sake of honesty, I was able to have it open last night. We had major rain and thunder storms that blew through and cooled things down. My sleep last night was delightful.
But the other days were hot and sticky...

We were busy bees on Saturday (with a wee bit on Sunday).
Here's what I got done:
Swept and mopped the kitchen floor
5 loads of laundry - washed, folded and put away
Changed the sheets on our bed and Elijah's
Blueberry pancakes and sausage
To the postoffice to get one cent stamps...sheesh (Next time it's forever stamps all they way)
Opened a savings account for Little Man
A return to Joann Fabrics
Shorts and t-shirts for Elijah at Target...I had to get him 9 month size in shorts and they were still loose...crazy. He's 16 months old.
Finished sewing 2/3 of a gift for a baby shower...one more thing to do and it will be done.
New sheets and a matress cover purchased at Linen's N' Things
A little grocery shopping at Wal Mart
Napped
Tacos made and eaten with much relish (enjoyment, not the condiment)
Watched the latest episode of Top Chef
A nice visit with my neighbor while David and her husband played video games
A bath for one dirty little boy
Many pages read on my book Peony in Love
Many hugs and kisses doled out to my boys
Pulled a few weeds by the mail box

What were you up to?

Hugs!

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

To train up a child...

I went to Mothering Styles and took their little quiz...
This is the type of Mother I am:

Your type is:
INTP — The “Love of Learning” Mother

“I keep the encyclopedia in the kitchen so we can look up things together while we eat.”

Intellectually curious and patient, the INTP mother relishes those times with a child when they are learning something interesting together. Whether they’re at the zoo or computer terminal, she sparks to answering his or her “whys” with in-depth responses or new knowledge.
The INTP mother is also objective and introspective. She listens to and discusses children’s ideas and questions as she would those of a peer, fostering self-esteem and confidence. Open and non-directive, she allows children the freedom to do for themselves and quietly encourages them to believe they can do it.
Independence, autonomy, intellectual development, and self-reliance are probably the INTP’s highest priorities for her children. An avid reader, she naturally imparts an appreciation and love of reading as well.
Drawn to all types of learning, the INTP may also value her mothering experience for all the new insights about life it provides her.

Yup all true...
Something about being a Mother just bring out the "Let's go learn something!" itch. I love to learn about, well, everything! And I want my kiddlets to as well.
Right now Elijah loves watching Birds, I hope to get a bird house or a bird feeder to bring in a variety of birds and we shall sit at the slider doors and watch.
I have a whole shelf ready a waiting with books to read aload. Books with chapters that will take weeks to finish. They have all been pre-read by me and have received my stamp of approval.
I fully plan on the children learning to cook, garden, sew, create etc. Not only as a way of helping them be self-sufficent someday, but also for the pure joy of doing and learning. I don't want these things to be a drudgery or a chore, but an experience full of history, science, and hopefully good memories.
I also love just talking to Elijah and the soon-to-be little one. I talk as I cook, as I sew, etc. telling them what I am doing and how to do it. David is also really good at this. I want to encourage curiosity and imagination.
I have always been enamored with homekeeping, but lately God has really broadened that desire in my heart. The desire to keep a neat and well-run home full of warmth and laughter all guided by him and his principles. To make things from scratch and to better respect the resources used to make things. I also want the children to know and love their maker and savior personally. I worry that I am inadiquate in so many ways to begin to train up these children, but I know that Christ died for my sins and failings and that he will give me the strength and the grace to see these children through even on the most difficult of days. I guess the best way is not to be over-whelmed by the bigger pictured but to take each days challenges and joys and to work with what comes. I remember as a child I would worry so much about things that I would make myself sick. My Mom would always ask me, "Has God ever let you down before?" to which I would reply, "no." and she would say, "He won't let you down this time either." And he never did and never has. Sure, things may not always go the way that I planned or hoped that they would, but upon reflection and hindsight I always see that his way is always best. It's also amazing how even when we fall down he picks us right back up and works good out of the mistakes we have made...Wow. God is good...
Lord help me to be a good teacher and roll model for the precious children (and I know he will).
Hugs!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The fearless and the fearful...

What fun was had a Grandma's house!
Elijah got his first taste of skating.
The skates were a little big and heavy..
But that didn't stop him.

The putting on of the skates

Squeeeeeeeee!

Grooving with Aunt Angie

He's fearless...why does that strike fear in me???

I can see a lot of adventures in our future and a lot of prayers. :)

The Sun through the leaves...

What a wonderful weekend...
The weather was stunning. The sun sang through the leaves producing a dappled light on the green grass below. I especially love early morning light. I must admit that I have never been a morning person. My best work and thinking time was always after 10 p.m. However, after having Little Man, that has changed. I can't say that I am completly coherant in the mornings yet, but it's getting better. Elijah, is usually up between 5:30 and 5:45 a.m. and usually I drag myself out of bed, (or David so sweetly does) to get the Little Boy his breakfast. But, I have noticed how lovely the light is at that time of the day at least. It seemed especially golden and rich this weekend.
The promised pictures to come this week...I had left my camera at work over the weekend.

Things I am loving right now:

~Homemade granola (I used this recipe)
~Allyson Hill's blog (I hope she posts again soon)
~The toys at A Child's Dream (Is it crazy that I want to switch Elijah's toys to all wood? These lead recalls are a concern)
~Bison Steaks (sorry, I can't recall the company's name)
~The book, Peony in Love by Lisa See
~These chairs (I think Elijah needs the green one)
~Clean sheets (This is always a love, but in the summer especially)
~Homemade Potato Salad (I just made up my own recipe, but this month's Martha Stewart had some nice looking ones to try)
~ Edges of his Ways daily devotional by Amy Carmichael (I have a well loved copy from the 50's that my Mom gave to me. If you have never heard her story give her a Google, she is one of my Christian mentors)

What are you loving right now?