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Showing posts from March, 2011

Thankful Thursday!!

I am thankful for the time to sit and write.  It's good stuff, even if what I write isn't so good, the ability to sit and write is good. 

I am thankful for bangs!  I chopped myself some bangs this morning and I like what they are doing up there near my eyebrows.

I am thankful for the ability to take Opening Day of MLB off from school.  There are unforeseen benefits to be had in homeschooling.

I am thankful for hot sauce that can make my teeth fall asleep it's so stinkin' hot.  It should have warnings on the label, as if 100% PAIN as the name isn't good enough warning.

I am thankful that I find my husband utterly attract.  I think he's awesome and beyond beautiful.  I can't believe that I get to be his wife even now almost 10 years after saying "I do"

I am thankful for my nephew and the ability to do things for him and his family even if I don't get to be with them physically. 

I am thankful that even though I don't get 100's of comm…

Unicorns

Another guest post from the ever lovable Hannah




Unicorns have very sharp pointy horns with powers in them.  And it makes them fly. Their horns are made out of sharp pointy stuff called four leaf clovers.  Four leaf clovers have power in them to make horns.  And they like to run.  They are only in fairy tales.  You might see one today like a horse or a pegasus.  They like to live in forests.  They like to eat grass.

The thing you fear

I have been noodling this idea lately that the thing that you fear your life becoming, we often create.  Whether it be through inappropriate actions, inaction, or what ever.  We pick something that we saw happen to someone or even to ourselves and we make a vow to never let that happen, but then we don't put in any new coping mechanisms or game plans to deal with things that can lead us down that path.  And there we are, right where we didn't want to be.  Or if you're lucky, right on the ledge of where you don't want to be with just one false move between you and that abyss you know the end of and the demons waiting there. 

The thing is, now that I can see that ending and see those behaviors happening and how they lead me where I do not want to go, what do I do?  This is not something new, in fact Romans 7:15 says "I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do."  So this is obviously not going to be an easy problem to…

My Foolish Heart by Susan May Warren

Recently, I read the first of Susan May Warren’s Deep Haven Series, Happily Ever After. It was delightful and I feel in love with the little town of Deep Haven in Minnesota. My Foolish Heart is the fourth in the series. The town has been struggling with the tragic accident that turned their winning football coach into a quadriplegic, took the life of his wife, and has trapped their daughter, Issy, in her home with agoraphobia. A Caleb Knight moves in next door to Issy and the adventure to freedom begins.


Caleb is trying out for the position of football coach, but is hiding the fact that he wears a prosthetic leg due to an injury while serving in Iraq. He and Issy have many misadventures that bring them together so that they can each find the freedom that God desires of them. While Issy and Caleb have to work through their separate pasts, Lucy McGuire and Seb Brewster have to come to terms with the past they created together. Lucy, Issy’s best friend and the owner of The World’s Grea…

Veg Bad Challenge Week 1

It's never too late to join the Veg Bad Challenge!

I've made it through one week of increasing my veg intake.  And my family has not revolted.  They were not always pleased with what I chose to serve them or how there wasn't as much money left in the grocery budget for junk food, but we made it through. 

Some of the things that we had this week included Lentil Soup (tastes much better the next day), Chipotle Bean Burritos, Spinach and Strawberry Salad, Leek Tart, Fresh Green Beans. 
I was most surprised by how well received the Strawberry and Spinach salad was received by Hannah.  She doesn't like to put dressings on salad, so she had a plateful of raw spinach and sliced strawberries, twice!  She did not like the Lentil Soup, even though she helped make it.  The bean burritos were well received though I was the only one to try them with spinach, Joel had his with romaine and Hannah took hers plain.  The leek tart probably did not have enough veg in it to make a real …

Look what I can do!

I learned to smock about four or five years ago.  I took a class and have really enjoyed geometric smocking.  I never got into picture smocking because I thought it would be tough, because, let's be honest, you're taking thread and making pictures of things over pleats.  It even sounds tough! 
Well, I recently got some picture plates from a fellow smocking friend.  Those sat around for awhile, still a little intimidating.  And then my mom came to visit and delivered me a ready to pleat outfit for my nephew with the requests for ducks.  I had a duck plate.  It sat and sat and Easter was not getting any further away.  Today, I finally stopped stalling and did this

Actually, it's not so tough after all!

So what about you? Have you put something off out of fear or laziness and discovered it to be easy and worthwhile?

one thousand gifts by Ann Voskamp

Ann Voskamp’s literary style is reminiscent of Annie Dillard. She plays with language for the sake of imagery and sound. It is delightful to read the word maps of her life, which is what One Thousand Gifts is about. One Thousand Gifts is the journey that Voskamp takes starting from a tragic event in her childhood to her adulthood and how she has dealt with the pain of life. The main theme of the book is eucharisto or the communion with God. The book feels like a capturing of her revelation of God’s love for her and how she has shared that with her family.


She shares how capturing 1000 everyday moments in a journal helped her to commune with God and to see the love that He has for her. Voskamp’s writing style is enjoyable, but it does not lend itself to quick reading. You must take your time and ruminate the thoughts and words.

I do recommend this book, especially if you have struggled with finding God in the ordinary.



I received a copy of this book from Zondervan to review. I was not…

Thankful Thursday

Each Spring, I fall in love with where we live.  It's the sounds of the birds that reminds me of France, it's the sun streaming into my windows, the moon I can see through my skylight (I caught a glimpse of it this morning through our arch windows, too), it's the streets that are perfect for walks and puddle splashing.  It's wonderful in the spring.  And Hannah is already checking on the pool when we check the post.  I am thankful for where we live.

Yesterday, our family hosted dinner at the church.  I had a terrible dream night before last that we ran out of food (I guess that's the real life equivalent dream to failing tests).  As I was in the kitchen cleaning up for the night I had that old feeling of good goodness.  I used to seek out times to cook for large groups of people, even flirted with the idea of going into catering.  But in recent years, I've stayed out of the industrial kitchens and let others have the joy.  It was great fun to make up a mess of …

Fasting

At church, we are going through some of Richard Foster's Celebration of Discipline.  It's a great book, I've read it a couple of time, sometimes straight through but most of the time chapters here and there. Last week we talked about fasting and we were given the challenge to either have a food fast fast for 24 hours before class or a 48 hour media fast.  Since I'm taking medication that makes it difficult to have a food fast, I took the media route.  I ended up staying away from all forms of written word other than the Bible and recipes.  I found out that I read a lot!  I read Facebook, Twitter, blogs, numerous books at one time, magazines, subtitles.  I do a lot of reading.  I really like reading, but a writer that reads too much becomes lazy at their craft.  And I think that's one of the things that God has been pointing out with this whole fasting thing for me.  The purpose of fasting is to feast on the Word of God and to be loosed from the bonds that hinder us…

Media Diet

This past week, our Wednesday Bible Study was invited to fast.  Media fast was one of the options.  At the beginning of the year, I got an email from Tyndale publishers talking about a family Media Diet and they had a link to make this cool thing here:


Those are my actual numbers as of today.  But I'm going to work on adding some things and reducing others.  So I won't be back around the blog until Thankful Thursday and I'm excited to see what I will be thankful for this week!

Check out what your media intake looks like!

Veg Bad Challenge

Who out there is willing to join me in The Veg Bad Challenge?  Here are the guidelines:

1. Commit to increasing the amount of vegetables that you are currently eating over the next 90 days. (Hey if you aren't eating any, then one will be a increase, right?)

2. Invite your family to join in with you, because it's more fun with company and you won't be able to torture yourself with an infinite amount of beet salad and other unusual dishes while your family gets away with calling french fries and ketchup a veg.

3.  Once a week, post a veg recipe that you've made that your family enjoyed.  Vegetables need to be the main ingredient, so no tofu or bean recipes please.  Though I must say vegetables covered in other things like cheese is totally acceptable.  Feel free to share the dishes that you served along side the successful veg dish.

4.  If you are met with heart ache over every veg dish you serve in a week, post the one that was met with the most complaining and warn th…

House of Eight Nates Chapter 4

Nate used the next day to do some packing and to buy some supplies for his trip. Occasionally, he would have images of the waterfall and have to push them down so that he would not start crying. He felt like such a weeny and didn’t even really know why. What was it about that waterfall that caused him to feel so much? Nate wasn’t even sure what it was that he was feeling, whether it was anger or sadness, all he really knew was that it was intense.




Nate decided that he should drop by Patrick’s house while he was out running errands to see if there was anything specific that he needed to pack. Nate knocked on the door of the house. He could hear voices inside, they sounded like they were yelling at one another. He was just about to walk away when Patrick appeared in the door way.



“I’ll be back later!” Patrick yelled as he quickly shut the door. “Come on; let’s get out of here.”

Nate was not sure what to do, but since Patrick was walking determinedly towards his car, he figured he shou…

Thankful Thursday

I am so thankful that I have a crockpot full of soup and that Hannah helped me make it.

I am thankful for good friends and good conversation.

I am so thankful for email.

Even though I didn't have one today, I exceptionally thankful for refreshing naps, not the gross ones that you can't wake up from and you wonder why you laid down in the first place, but the really good ones that you wake up ready to take on the world.

I'm thankful for God's faithfulness and his ability to act when I can't.

Here's a little challenge that I've been giving to myself the past few nights: I count to sixty while my daughter swishes her mouthwash.  I've been remembering something wonderful from that specific day about her with as many of the numbers of 1-60 as I can.  It's nice to think of very small tiny happy seconds in the day. 

What are you thankful for?

Veg bad

Are you a fan of Wallace and Gromit?  In their feature length movie, Wallace in trying to eat more vegetables.  And then he decides to use his hatred of vegetables to reduce rabbits desire for them.  He sits there and says "Veg bad. Veg bad." while this machine sucks his brain waves into a vat of fluffy bunnies.  Ultimately, it all fails, but I find that line quite comical. 
So today, in my efforts to prove that veg bad is not true, I'm sharing one of our favorite veg recipes.  We served this one time to someone who claimed they did not like cauliflower and they ended up enjoying it.  I have a feeling that you can use just about any vegetable in the place of cauliflower. It does not have to be fresh cauliflower, you can use frozen veg as well.  I did have something very similar to this at a local Greek restaurant that used green beans and it was delicious.  I normally just use crushed tomatoes but you can also put any canned or fresh tomato in the food processor, blende…

When you meet the end

Yesterday was one of those days where I met the end of my patience and had to trust that God could pull me through to another day.  God is faithful and for that I am grateful.  I was done with so many of the things that I am personally responsible for.  Things that I had willingly said yes to and typically find that I'm capable of doing.  But yesterday, after school, I did not have any confidence left that I could continue on the journey.  It was not that anything specific happened during school time, it was probably more of just two bad days colliding into one horrific time for me. 
Well, because of that, I realized that I was not getting any closer to school being what I wanted it to be, but in fact, further away.  This morning, I gave myself permission to set aside the subjects that consistently are met with opposition and try again later.  But then school time came and I decided to head into an entirely different approach.  It makes so much sense for our schooling that I can&…

Opposition

Opposition is defined by Merriam-Webster as "actions or opinions that show that you disagree with or disapprove of someone or something"

I had a ton of that this morning.  My daughter and I spend the majority of each morning being in opposition to one another.  Her goal is to spend each day eating take out food and watching TV.  My goal is to spend each day caring for our home and making sure that she learns how to read, write and do arithmetic.  You can see that these things don't line up with each other.  And it appears that she believes that she's no good at the things that I think she can do.  After class today, we had an in depth rant/therapy session.  I know that you should not lead therapy sessions for those that are close to you, but it needed to be done and I was the only other one here.

As I sat there, doing a piss poor job of comforting my daughter as she poured out one of her greatest fears, I started to wonder if I too create the conditions for what I f…

Thankful Thursday

First of all, I'm thankful that today is Thursday.  Thursday is the start of our weekend, so it's always a special day for our family.

I'm super thankful for my book club this week.  They help me work through stuff and it's been awesome how God has revealed things and brought us to a place of sharing with one another.  GREAT STUFF!

I'm thankful that we have added math into our school day and it has not been tears and yelling. 

I'm thankful for a loving husband that provides for us and helps us to manage our income to provide blessings beyond our four walls. 

I'm thankful for the discovery of Maureen Lang!  I've been reading her Great War Series and have thoroughly enjoyed each one.

I'm thankful for a great worship service for Ash Wednesday this past week. It is awesome to give things up.

I'm thankful for the ability to read and to decipher smocking pattern instructions.  I just hope that I'm not mistranslating them :D

One Pot Spaghetti

We have that BH&G red checked cookbook and this is one of my favorite recipes from the book, One Pot Spaghetti!  I have done numerous variations on this recipe, including, no meat, tons of meat, never any mushrooms, seasoned tomato paste, whatever seasonings I have on hand.  It's tough to mess this up.  And I love the fact that there is only one pot to clean up afterwards. We serve this with bread or maybe a salad.

One Pot Spaghetti from Better Homes and Gardens Adapted by MamaTina

Start to Finish 40 minutes Serves 4
Ingredients

16 ounces ground beef

1 medium onion cut in half from tip to root (this gives the flavor of onion without having to eat them or have someone complain about them being in there)

1 clove garlic, minced

1 14-ounce can chicken broth

1-3/4 cups water

1 6-ounce can tomato paste plain or seasoned

1 teaspoon total of oregano, thyme, basil, or marjoram (mix and match or just one omit if you have seasoned tomato paste)

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

6 ounces dried sp…

N0-REPLY?

I was always amazed when I would get emails (from non-Blogger blogs) that included my comment on their post.  Well, you will imagine my surprise when I found out that it was something that I could do on Blogger, if the commenters are not of the "no-reply" persuasion.  I am guilty of being a no-reply person, but I have decided to change that, just so I can maybe get more emails :D

Click the image above and find out if you can get emails when you comment!

Fantastic Mr. Fox

I have been interested in the movie Fantastic Mr. Fox since it was released in theaters.  Then I found out that it was based on a book from Roald Dahl, who also wrote James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Since Hannah loves the book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory so much, I thought she might enjoy reading The Fantastic Mr. Fox.  She was resistant, but we ended up reading it in one day.  And then we wanted to see the movie. Last night, be checked it out from the library. 
It is a little different from the book, but just as enjoyable.  But that could be because I have a thing for stop motion movies.  I had heard that it was not a movie for kids, but I think if you have read the book with your children, then the movie would be an interesting addition to the story.

This is something that I actually enjoy doing with Hannah.  We read the books that movies are based on.  We've read Shrek, Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, How to Train Your Dragon,  and w…

New School Year!

Last year, we started our new school year in the spring, and it's happening that way again.  We just had about three weeks off between visits and sickness.  And this week, we're starting a couple of new things, including using a Lenten devotional starting Wednesday, having a microscope and sea monkeys for science and we're getting our MathUSee curriculum this Spring.  It's going to be a lot of fun.  We're still struggling through The Writing Road to Reading, not because of the curriculum but because Hannah just hasn't had reading click for her yet. 
It should be a great school year.  I'm pretty excited about some of the things that I've seen happen this year, including Hannah actually sitting for instruction, writing her name with the letters in the proper order, as well as learning how to sign her name, incorporating some shows for geography and biology, and settling in to the fact that this is our life.

How are things going for your children?

House of Eight Nates Chapter 3

Waterfalls and Valleys



The next day, Nate was supposed to go with his mom and dad to Beth’s art opening in town. They were going to help her set up the final touches, then they were going to leave Nate there with Beth while she waited for everyone else to show up.

Nate liked being able to move Beth’s pieces around. They were large enough that you were not expected to talk while you were doing it. She painted huge landscapes, something reminiscent of Monet’s paintings. But she used what she had around the house. They were interesting landscapes, Nate had to admit. There was something to them that was more than just mountains and skies. Beth was really great with a paintbrush. Things just came alive when she was painting. Nate could not even draw stick figures.

Once their mom and dad left, Beth came over and sat down next to Nate. “Thanks for all your help. I could not have done it with out you.”

“You are welcome,” Nate said as he took a drink of his Coke.

“I’d like to give you somet…

Thankful Thursday

MMMMM Thursday!  I LOVE Thursdays!!

1. I'm thankful that the grey goop my daughter made tasted better than it looked! 

2. I'm thankful for new recipes that actually turn out.  Because honestly, just because a recipe is in a cookbook is NOT a guarantee that it will work, unless it's America's Test Kitchen.

3.  I'm thankful that I get to pick up my painted pottery today, even though I have no idea how it turned out.

4.  I'm thankful that our family survived this terrible cold that's making the rounds.

5.  I'm thankful that Hannah finally lost her tooth that was in its last days always causing more trouble than not. (She bit it so often that it actually has a crack in it.)

6.  I'm thankful for AWESOME fiction that helps pass the time while I'm sick.

7.  I'm thankful for friends that pray for me and allow me to pray for them.

What are you thankful for?

A peek inside one of the books I'll be reviewing

Day 29&30/30

Day Twenty nine - In this past month, what have you learned?


Day Thirty - Your favorite song.

As far as I can tell, the thing I've learned is to be very careful to read EVERY day of a challenge before accepting it.  Now on to my favorite song.  No surprise here, my favorite lately is

A Day in the Life

A couple of my friends have either started the endeavour of homeschooling. I know a few of you out there are actually thinking about it, but haven't decided to do it yet.  I wanted to share a day in our life as a homeschool family.

7:00 AM Wake up but don't get out of bed, read scripture, pray, meditate
7:15 or so Hannah comes in and asks if she can watch TV. I okay PBS Kids And go back to my quiet time
8:30 get out of bed, and start on a hot cooked breakfast if I haven't been pestered into telling Hannah to get a bowl of cereal.
8:45 still working on getting breakfast going and say good bye to Joel (he doesn't eat breakfast)
9:00 Dinosaur Train goes off as well as the TV. (She's watched The Cat in The Hat, Super Why and Dinosaur Train) And we eat breakfast together.
9:15 I say a little prayer and start our lessons. This is what occurs every day and it takes about an hour and half depending on how long the chapter is and how much feed back I get about Hannah's …

Springtime of the Spirit by Maureen Lang

I am not one for books about war scenes. The gruesome fighting is too much for me, but still I was intrigued by the idea of a Christian novel based around the First World War. I am so glad that I did!

Springtime of the Spirit is the story of Christophe, a German soldier, who after returning home from war takes the charge of finding the young daughter of an old family friend. Annaliese, the woman that Christophe is searching for in Munich, is involved with promoting the Socialist movement. She has abandoned not only her family, but her faith as well, with the hopes of creating a better Germany. Christophe finds the young Annaliese and when she refuses to return with him, he decides to remain near her to insure that she stays safe. When the Socialist party does not win an important election, the leaders of her campaign, join forces with communist and stage a coup of the reigning government.

Lang develops the characters as well as the feel of the post war city; giving readers the feeli…

Day 28/30

Day Twenty eight - A picture from you last year, and now. What has changed since then?





So the one on the left is from January 2010 and the one on the right is from February 2011 What has changed?  Well, I still own that shirt, I'm still wearing those glasses.  My hair is longer and some how lighter, I got my nose ring back in I lost a little weight in between, though lately I feel like it's been finding its way back onto my face.  I am now a recovered Lyme Disease victim, something I never worried about then and to be honest, I don't worry about it now.  I'm also dealing with PCOS, which before I was dealing with it, but not in a helpful way like now; it was more of a "Why is my body doing this to me?!?!?!" kind of way.  Being diagnosed and starting treatment for things tends to do that though. I got my house to a semi perpetual clean state thanks to The House That Cleans Itself.  That was not the case last year. Hannah and I completed a years worth of schooli…

Day 26/30

Day Twenty six - What do you think about your friends?




I think my friends are great!  The best you can find anywhere around.  Because honestly, would we be friends if we didn't believe the best about one another?