Monday, July 30, 2012

oh these kids


they are a delight. a joy to observe. i love joining them on adventures, sitting quietly for tea parties, answering wondering questions. all of it.


i do. i love all of it. and why do i miss out on it so often?


because of my own perspective/stubbornness/attitude, etc.


now there are going to be days where i need to be me. just me. a little space from the house, the parenting, the constantly being needed. and i think that's completely okay.

but i'm missing good things right in front of me sometimes. things i could enjoy. things we could enjoy. instead, i stick my feet deeper in the mud i'm in and declare that i'm not moving. not surrendering to a Spirit Who brings better.


i know that my Savior has given good gifts. i want to have my eyes open to them. i want to be moved. do i really enjoy standing firm in my muck of crabby? yeah, no. but in the moment i so often feel it is the only option. everything outside of myself needs to change. the problem could not possibly rest in my clenched fists and slanted eyes.


i know He has more. i know He will help me in the surrender. in the giving of the days and the moments- my heart and my attitude.

so glad He takes it all and does such better work with it all.

happy monday, friends. welcome to more good.

photo credit for this post: Mindy Bursch

Friday, July 27, 2012

apricot cake

i was recently given a bag of 7 apricots. now, i don't usually buy apricots. i'm sure i'm missing out, but, they just aren't on my radar for some reason.

when my bag of golden fruit arrived i thought of an open faced plum cake i've made before from Martha Stewart.

i used my apricots instead of plums, but either way it is yummy. i thought i'd pass on her recipe. it's delicious, easy, bountiful (makes 2), low in sugar and fat, and great for breakfast the next day. perfect.


Open-Faced Plum Cake
from Martha Stewart Living

Heat oven to 400 and butter 2 9" cake rounds

Whisk together:

1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder

In a separate bowl, combine:

3/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup whole milk
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 large egg

Fold that into flour mixture, then divide batter between the two cake rounds. cut your fruit into halves, removing pits (i have 7 apricots, you can use however many you have- at least 4- plums or apricots.)

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put a small pat of butter on top of each fruit half. then sprinkle with some cinnamon sugar (i added fresh nutmeg just cause). 


Bake until they are golden and set in the center, 25-35 minutes. let cool. and enjoy. it doesn't stay fresh for long, so don't feel badly about serving up a big piece. :) 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

one day each week.

i have about one of them each week.


one day. where i'm really productive. moving fluidly from one task to the next.


laundry sorting, to dish washing. bed making and then sweeping the floor. one day, where i see projects that need to be done and say, "hey. i can do that today." and then i do.


it's exhilarating and lovely. i actually make the banana bread that i should have made, oh, 4 days ago (the bananas were a day away from actually rotting). i write the letter that i have been longing to write, but haven't yet.

one day, people. it's sad.

i need to increase this average. any tips?

Monday, July 23, 2012


this past saturday included a birthday party. for a little newly-four year old we know and love. it was a cowgirl birthday party. oh yes. 


with a pony.



kate and i got into the car on saturday morning, all cowgirl-ed up, and drove to the party. and i know i only have 2 kids. a lot of mommas out there have several more babies to keep up with than i do. but sitting with just her and hearing her talk and sing and ask me questions, i thought about how often i get to do that. to really sit and hear from just her. 

now, i do not want to load up another to-do onto to our (more than likely) already guilt-ladden momma plate. but i will say that i would like more. more time with this little cowgirl. and i think i'll try to keep my eyes open for more chances. more adventure for the two of us. she's full of so much. i want to get to know as much of it as i can. 


Friday, July 20, 2012


canning books are appearing everywhere. blogs talking about preserving and old school tips applied to new recipes for jams and pickles. 

when my birthday came around this past february, i asked my sister for books. any kind of books she wanted to get me. reference books, cook books, story books. whatever. and she delivered well, as always. she got me Canning for a New Generation by Liana Krissoff. oh it is so much fun. 

i put out a facebook call asking if anyone had piles of canning jars lying around that they were not using. i didn't really expect an answer, but was blown away. samuel's Sunday school teacher when he was 4 said her mother-in-law just passed away and they had boxes and boxes of jars. she asked if i would like them?

so i have a cabinet in my laundry room now filled with jars. jars belonging to a woman i didn't know, but that held years worth of preserves. beyond special. 

strawberry jam was attempted earlier in the season and was a success. yum. i didn't make enough. 


we went blueberry picking. and my book, of course, had a recipe.


so my dear sister-in-law and i made some blueberry and apple jam. 


delicious. it ended up a little stiff. but, as it was my second time making jam, i'm tossing that up to a learning curve. we'll get there. i hope. 

and, once again, i didn't make enough. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

nothing much

my brain is a bit blank tonight. here are a few thoughts:

:: why does my daughter enjoy speaking in a baby voice and why does it bother me so much?

:: i'm so glad jason is home from a trip away from us. i miss his presence in our home and miss him sleeping next to me.

:: i love my extended family and wish they lived nearby.

:: seeing jason's pictures of his hike in colorado made me think about what i like about hiking. i need trees and green- less grey and rocks.

:: a sweet friend lent us her car for a month while she was telling people about Jesus in Slovenia. we had 2 cars for a whole month. it was dreamy. tomorrow it ends. and i will try to be only thankful.

:: i have all the ingredients to make my grandma's banana cake. it sounds so yummy. i can almost taste it. yet cannot bring myself to get up and make it.

:: sometimes i think i'm a pretty lazy person.

:: it is hot. really hot. the air is so heavy with it. weighty air. it's kinda gross.

and i think that is all. i'll try to be back by friday morning with something more cohesive.

Friday, July 13, 2012

the princess situation and a book review.

the other day, jason told kate, "you look beautiful today."

girl's response: " no i don't! my hair is not long."

oh disney. what are you doing to me?

we all know what is out there for little girls. lots of pretty stuff, some you-don't-have-to-be-pretty stuff, the list continues. there is no perfect book out there that will teach my daughter every facet of becoming a strong and gentle woman.

but i found this book. and it is a tiny start. the art is not perfect. i wish it was about people and not mice, but there is a lot of good here. a princess, yes, but no flowing hair.


the classic story, yes, but some beautiful twists and additions.

six fairies come to bless the baby girl with blessings like: a desire to learn, bravery, and dedication.


after the princess succumbs to the evil spell, she sleeps and dreams about love. not about a prince coming to rescue her, but the many forms love takes with all around us- love that shares, loves that is brave, love that is gentle and caring.


she wakes when a woodcutter comes to rescue her and they together set out to love with a gentle heart.


not perfect. i know. but better.

oh this little princess of mine (yes, i'm shaking my head as i type). what an adventure, right? i'll take whatever help i can get.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

family and fourth and such

we were planning on leaving for michigan the morning of the fourth. the night before, jason got home from work and i went to publix to pick up a couple of extra things. i'm walking down the toilet paper aisle, call him and ask: "should we just leave tonight?" we did. started out of the city around 8:30pm with elated kids in the back seat. we saw the moon rise over north carolina and saw it set in ohio. i bought a cup of coffee at 1am. 

all worth it. 

(i know it's blurry. but i can't stand that smile on my nephew's face-- perfect)


that's just the kind of place these people have in our hearts. the drive-through-the-night kind of place. the every-second-i-can-get kind of spot. love love love. 



and oh what a time we had. playing in the rain, tromping through a fairy forest, and a close-to-midnight walk after a storm. beautiful. 




(jason's fairy house. he's an architect, folks. just is)

i know i've written here before about family living far away. it feels like more than i can bear sometimes. sitting across from my sister talking frankly and lovingly about what we see going on in our lives- chasing my nephew through the house, finally reconnecting the day before i have to leave him again- sitting with my husband, sister and brother-in-law talking about life. it's all so lovely. so wonderful. 

but we packed up the car again (in the daylight this time) and drove long roads home. 

i have to land on thankful ground. it's the most solid. the way my loving Father has structured my life is best. i'll give thanks. 


Monday, July 9, 2012

back soon.

forgive the crickets over here there past days. we've been up north. enjoying some michigan air and people we love. i'll be back soon with pictures and stories. it is always beautiful and heart-wrenching to be with family you dearly love and seldom see. it's just the way it is.

hope your fourth was full of joy and sun. back soon.

Monday, July 2, 2012


i've had a week or so of either being away from home, or being home and pretty much ignoring my children. it needed to change. i do like my kids, after all.

we went to the library as a part of our Summer Reading program to see a woman do an entire show with bubbles. and we wanted to try it. 

i love this book:


and it had a recipe:


we poured and stirred.



we went outside-armed with various bubble-making-items.


and we made bubbles. 





it was so much fun. so. much. fun. i mean, who doesn't like blowing bubbles? i think the children's hanger was our favorite bubble wand. we eventually got out some cookie cutters, a small strainer, oh the possibilities are endless. i think the key is pouring the solution into the rimmed cookie sheet. then you can dunk just about anything in there. 

a solid time spent with my littles. good stuff.