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Showing posts from April, 2010

Thankful Thursday!!

I'm a little off today, Hannah decided that instead of going out into the world today, she would prefer to stay at home and let me be her personal chef every three minutes.  Thursdays are also lawn day, which means that we are blessed with the whirring of high powered grass chopping machines.  I am most thankful that we do not have to care for our lawn, but at the same time we have the freedom to plant a few things.  It's a perk of condo life that I never thought that I would enjoy as much as I do.  And I really like it when the snow falls, and there's no need to go out there and clear a path for the mailman. 

Here's something else that I am REALLY thankful for, it's the children's program at CBS in Ann Arbor.  Hannah learned so much at Jesus and the Bible this year.  It has been amazing to see the difference and to hear her talk about the Bible stories that she's learned.  And she really enjoyed her time there.  One of the things that I didn't even not…

Tips on moving with a child

It's been almost a year since we packed up our stuff and moved from Port Huron, MI.  It was the second time that we have moved since Hannah was born.  (We actually moved to Port Huron in the very early days of Hannah's pregnancy.  I couldn't understand exactly why it was that Joel was working like a horse and I kept having to take breaks.  And then I was a little astonished that I ate an entire porterhouse steak with sides at dinner that night.) But, the first after she was born was a little move in town.  And the second being into storage in Kentucky and then out of storage into our home in MI.  We were without a permenant address aka homeless for about two months before Joel started working at his current position and our moving in occured the same time that he started working.  Here are somethings that I learned during those two moves. 

1.  Keep out the portable DVD player and movies housed in a cd zipper pouch. 

2.  Use the internet and your computer for as long as y…

Project 52: Wedding Photos

We had a nice evening together this past Friday.  Hannah I think went to bed on time.  We whipped up some chocolate pudding and then sat down and looked at our wedding album while it steamed away. 
It was nice looking through all the photos.  Though it was kind of sad, too.  There have been a few divorces since that day.  And we don't always keep in touch with people the way we want to. 
I still believe that it was one of the best decisions that I ever made.  Combining my life with Joel's has taught me more about God that I could have ever imagined.

Steamed Bread Pudding

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

 For our date night this past weekend, we tried our hand at steamed pudding.  I must say, people say that romance is supposed to be steamy and on fire, but I think we might be doing something wrong.  Though this dish was terribly delicious and easy.  I did not use suet.  It wasn't available.  It would not be opposed to using it, as I have used lard before and it's a similar type ingredient.

I got the recipe from King Arthur Flour's Baker's Companion cookbook and the nummy sauce was thanks to Sander's.  I have no short cut for this delicious dessert, but highly recommend that you try it out.  We did have one pretty big snag and that was the fact that my seal broke.  I liked it so much that we might be on the market for a pudding tin.

Pot Saver

It's been a long time ago, but Joel and I were watching a PBS show and it was about tips.  And the one that I grabbed ahold of and have found to really work is cream of tartar and vinegar. 
If I have a pan that has a stubborn stain, which I have been having more and more often lately, because we bought a stainless steel pan for Advent this past year, then this is the cleaner for you. 
All you do is splash a little white distilled vinegar (others would probably work, but this stuff is dirt cheap) and then you sprinkle a little cream of tartar and wipe with a dry wash cloth or paper towel.  This will get rid of cooking stains, residual grease, burnt on plastic (don't ask).  It's great and really simple to use.  I think you can make a certain mixture to soak things in, but I don't remember that. 
You can also use cream of tartar mixed with hydrogen peroxide to clean in the bathroom. That stuff is amazing!

Thankful Thursday

Is it really Thursday again?  Wow, I have been in a haze to the tenth degree.  Good days and bad days intermingled with a lack of sleep and copious amounts of caffeine. 

This week, I'm thankful for:

good friends.  I love that there are people in my life that will talk with me and hang out with me even when I'm a real b*tch.  That makes things better and helps ease the paranoia of "nobody likes me"

leading Bible study. It's been a nice challenge to be in the teaching role with adults again.  But I can feel that I'm not as good as I once was.  I'm hoping that practice with help with this.  Luckily, I have a great group that's willing to slug through with me.

used books!  I went to a pretty big used book sale this week and found oh so many goodies for homeschooling, as well as a few books for personal reading. 

a loving husband.  He is so sweet and kind.  He even stays up late with me when I can't sleep.  He also has great taste in TV shows so we …

How Should a Christian Live? Devotional and Journal

This devotional would make an excellent supplement to any on going youth Bible study. The days are not only divided into reading and games, but there is ample space to journal. The addition of the scripture being on the audio, which any young person with a mp3 player could rip to their device, is a welcomed bonus. The devotionals are meaty enough that they verge on being a Bible study, but there is a lack of directed questions for further thought.


It is difficult to tell the exact age group that this devotion is targeted towards, as the word games are not complex, but some of the theological ideas expressed are. That being said, it would be appropriate for middle school students as long as they had an adult they could ask questions of. The modern examples should strike a chord with the reader, but also limits the long-term use of the resource for churches. In twenty years, the references and lay out will be outdated. If you are looking for a current issues devotional for your middle…

Midnight Rantings

I think my brain dump last night made for a good night's sleep and a positive morning attitude. It's been a pretty good day so far, even though no housework has been completed. Hannah is enjoying a new Winnie the Pooh ready to read computer game, which is actually a very old game, marketed for Windows 95/98/ME. What ever happened to old ME. I think it went the way of the doodoo bird as it was coming out of the factory. But anyway, she's loving it and learning, I think. I just need to remember to not do the real work for her.
I'm off to do some real bonafide house work. I hope that you are all having a wonderful day. I would love to hear about what you do when you're down in the dumps to make your day a little brighter.

It's mighty late

I'm not exactly sure why I'm still awake, but I am and for some other unknownreason I feel compelled to write. I'm on my iPod Touch so if things read funny you'll have to forgive me or wait until I wake up in the morning and edit this post.
It's been a strange week for me. I've been staying up oh so late and then waking up early. Sleep walking my way through most of the day, convienently finding things to do that occupy my time and very little else. I haven't completed the dishes in days and the laundry is divided equally between dirty, clean but nfolded, folded but not put away and clean foldedand put away. It's a pretty impressive balance to achieve if you ask me. School work has been giving me some forms of regularity. I'm thankful for that.
I do find that in this state I see the flaws in myself and wonder why I can't just not be that way, but be ause they are flaws I worry that MY idea of how to fix them might not be the right way to do it …

Project 52: A Movie Night

I don't know why I allow myself to pick out movies.  This last date night we watched Sherlock Holmes.  I had heard great reviews, but was disappointed; in the movie, not the date.  The date was nice.  Joel went out and got some Icees and snacks that included beef jerky and Reese's Pieces.  It was fun to have little treats with the movie. It was impromptu because we had gone out to Greenfield Village earlier that day and it tuckered the entire family out. 

I've really been enjoying our time together and knowing that Friday night we aren't going to just sit in front of the television with our hand-held devices surfing the web.

Long Day

Not that I did very much today, but it did feel long.  We started our second week of our new curriculum and it seems to be going pretty well.  I'm feeling pretty low on the energy totem and planned accordingly for our dinner meals, all frozen or reheated.  It's kind of amazing what you can do when you're motivated to NOT wash dishes. 

I mainly wanted to drop by the blog and let you all know that even though I'm here, I'm not with it.  I expect that to change in a day or so.

Creme Brulee

Instead of my normal Thankful Thursday, I'm going to share a recipe with you and the tidbits that I am thankful that I have learned over the years. 


You can go to the original recipe here.  I have modified the recipe below with my notes in italics


First off, I learned that creme brulee is actually just glorified pudding with burnt sugar on top.  Here's the recipe we used for last weeks date night



Ingredients:1/2 vanilla bean I normally use vanilla extract but add it at the end of the fifteen minutes so that it doesn't give off an acrid taste from being cooked too long2 cups heavy cream believe it or not, this is vital, heavy cream is a must, you cannot substitute half and half or whole milk.  At least I don't think so.3 egg yolks The easiest way to separate the eggs is to pour them one by one into your hand and let the egg white drip off.Pinch of salt If you are an exacting person 1/8 teaspoon equals a pinch1/4 cup plus 4 Tbs. sugar The funny thing about this is 1/4 cup…

It appears that I have...

PCOS.  For the past five years or so I have been struggling with depression, weight gain, irregular periods.  I also had a huge ovarian cyst removed in the midst of all that.  Last year, I was able, by the grace of God to stop use and need of medication for depression.  I moved to our new town and decided that it was time to try once again to see if I could get this whole thing figured out. 
My doctor looked at the blood tests that I had done in the past and ordered another fasting glucose test.  Once she got all the information back, she said it was all normal.  BUT one of the ratios was not what one would expect.  Meaning that even though all my blood work came back in normal ranges, if you looked closely it wasn't in the proper portion to something else going on.  That's the kind of tricky body I have. 
She prescribed a medication for PCOS based on what she saw.  I thought it was a shot in the dark, even though I am a living breathing model of the symptoms.  I swear to yo…

Hair

So it's been what two and half, three months of growing out my hair.  It's nice and crazy.  Want to see? I find it kind of Kooky.  There are little flips and whizzes all over the place and it's never the same way twice.  Once I think I have a washing schedule figured out I wake up and it's all crazy all the time.  I cut in those bangs this past weekend.  And even though I want bangs when it's long, they are crazy right about now.  And I'm pretty sure that they are going to drive me nuts with their shortness.
So that's my hair post. I'm definitely ready for a haircut.

Project 52: Let me count the ways

It's Joel's month to plan.  He came up with a pretty nice night.  We made orange creme brulee together.  Which wasn't really ready until this morning, but we did make it together!  And as we waited for it to cook in the oven.  We talked about all the things that we love about one another.  Which believe it or not is not the easiest thing in the world to do.  Either it's hard to articulate or hard to listen, but it's totally worth getting through the hard part in order to do it. 

We ended the evening with a game of Rummikub.  And I hate to report that we stopped playing after one hand.  Mainly because Joel was negative 61 and I was positive 61.  It was too far a gap for the game to continue with any fairness.  Darn those jokers and their 30 point value!

After the game and taking out the creme to cool, we went downstairs to watch Leverage, one of my new favorite shows.  It's on Netflix and there's almost nothing more entertaining than watching hour long TV sh…

HoHa at its worst or best?

My dear sweet husband wears khakis for a living.  Every day except Sunday, it's a uniform, that includes button up shirts, belt and shoes.  He looks nice in it and has some variety in what he wears.  He does have the habit of storing them up somewhere in the closet we share and then adding them all to the laundry pile at once.  It used to be a pain, because I was so poor at getting the laundry done the day it started that they would end up wrinkled and then I would have to iron five or six pair of khakis at once.  He was on vacation this past week and guess what showed up in the wash...That's right, five pair of khaki or khaki like slacks! You're a good guesser!

I made a load of them adding in two dress shirts and two of my shirts and a pair of cargos.  When I went to get them out of the dryer this morning, I discovered that a crayon had made it through the security check and swam across the wash tub and took a twirl in the dryer with the clothes, leaving little I love you…

Thankful Thursday

I finally made my way downtown to partake in one of the best birthday presents ever, a membership to the DIA.  I had no real clue what I was in for.  I kept reading the website, thinking "Huh, they've got some nice stuff"  But when we got there, it was just amazing.  And it's not just the amount of things on display it's also how things are displayed and the building itself.  There's a mini-Starbucks inside that I could probably go and spend an entire day writing in.  Just beautiful!  I cannot wait to go back.  In fact, I'm thinking about going back tomorrow and maybe again the next day, I'm not kidding, I really am, it's that good. 



These are just a few of the things Joel captured on his camera phone.  We weren't sure if it was okay to photograph but discovered that it is acceptable and is marked if they don't want photos taken of it.  We didn't stay very long, but there was so much stuff, that Hannah was interested the entire time.  …

Alright, fine

Joel says I'm not really a quitter, just that I'm lazy.  I can take that, even though it seems like that can't possibly be true, maybe it is.  Because as we were talking with Hannah today, I was reminded of the whole, "if you're smart, you don't have to work as hard at some things" thing.  I'd like to think that I'm a smart lazy person vs a flat out quitter ;-) 

Anyway, enough of that.  Joel and I went on to talk about the school plans for this coming year.  Hannah is ready to get started with class again.  I think I have a pathway set up before us that might very well work.  I'm planning on doing a Five in a Row style class with the book of Genesis.  Taking a chapter at a time reading the same chapter each day of the week and then doing various lessons based on our objectives.  It could be awesome or it could be disasterous.  We'll see, luckily I'm a lazy smart person, so if it's not working, I'll find a way to do what needs …

I'm a quitter

At the end of last year I joined up with The Daring Baker's challenge, thinking that I would be challenged in my baking.  Well, after five challenges I have decided that's enough of that.  I gave up on it.  It appeared to me that the challenges are really less about baking skills and more about fru fru desserts.  I like to bake and if I'm looking for a challenge, then I expect for it to be something that I actually have to work at.  I'm thinking about starting my own personal challenge, but I may very well quit that as well.  I am pleased to say though that I am continuing to grow my hair out, it could just be a sign of laziness more so than determination to see something through. 

I need some real help figuring out what to say yes to.  I have the ability to stick with things, but I'm not the type of person to stick with things just because I'm supposed to or because someone might be disappointed if I don't.  I prefer clear direction from God and a real se…

Project 52: Good Friday is low key

We had a wonderful Holy week, full of celebrations, one of my favorites was the Good Friday celebration.  But it was emotionally and physically draining.  By the time that evening rolled around, we weren't up for much of anything.  We ended up having a game night on our bed with crackers, cheese and salami. 
It was fun, we played cribbage, and In a Pickle (which we determined is not for two people with little to no brain power).  I'm looking forward to this Friday because Joel is off the entire week, which should mean more energy and maybe something creative!

Thankful Thursday

Today, I thankful for the simple pleasure of being able to rest outside. Winter was too dry for my taste this year. I need either snow or comfy days like today.

The thing I find comical about it all is that we quickly went from the temperature that was just right for Hannah but too cold for me to the one that is too hot for Hannah and just right for me :D  Everyday she asks if the pool is going to open, not that she hasn't been doing that all summer because she has, but it's got a little more persistent since the weather warmed up.

I am also thankful for our family and the fact that we have been place together to learn and grow together.