Friday, August 28, 2015

Ice cream

This is his mom-promised-me-ice-cream-and-the-ice-cream-employee-is-15-minutes-late-to-work face. 

The other one was sleeping. 

They look nothing like me. 

Tuesday, August 25, 2015


I don't like eggs, but my boys do. Martin loves to help stir eggs. He has gotten so good at scrambling them that I don't even have to stir after him. I'm not ready to teach him how to crack them yet. :)

Monday, August 24, 2015

Take time to watch construction

We had a great weekend helping with and attending a wedding of a dear childhood friend!! It was gorgeous. She was lovely.  The weather was amazing! Praise God! 

On to this week now...I have two or three things on my calendar each day this week. Bleh. And I have a few other things  such as grocery shopping and filling out my employee information at school that need to be squeezed in. Oh, this year to work at the college I have to be fingerprinted. Ha. That should be fun. I have never done that before. 

In the midst of errands and craziness this morning we stopped to visit our favorite construction site. I never want to be too busy to enjoy the little things in life. God has given me such an amazing life and I want to live it to the fullest. 

I have been thinking a lot about a challenge that was given by one of our missionaries. He said, "God gives great energy to those who work for his kingdom." So far, I have to agree with that. My kids have been sick off and on for the last month or so (aka not sleeping well at night) and yet I have not felt exhausted in the midst of all these ESL preparations. I should be. I am not sure where I am going with that and I don't have time to hash it out right now. I guess what I would say would be, don't be afraid to take risks for God's kingdom. If you feel called to do something he will provide. He is more than enough. 

Thursday, August 20, 2015

1000 almonds...

I just finished making 200 cookies for a sweet friend's wedding this weekend. That would have been super quick, but they each required 5 almonds placed in a circle. 1000 almonds later... One thousand almonds... I am exhausted, but so happy to have been able to contribute to the wedding. :) 
Sorry, the pictures aren't great. It is a gray day. They are supposed to look like sand dollars. 

Here they are, all 100 packages. Martin helped me put two cookies in each bag and handed me twist ties. Yes, it took longer that way, but at least he wasn't sitting on the baby or breaking bowls. Breaking bowls? 

While I was rolling out cookie dough he started saying, "mommy, bowl saaaaad. Bowl saaaaad." 

I said, "why is the bowl sad?" And then looked and he had somehow managed to crack my giant green plastic bowl which I use to make granola and caramel corn. I guess I'll be looking for something new to mix large portions. I could use my 10 quart pot. It has been a good run plastic bowls. There are 2 of 5 left. I gave away two of the smaller ones because I never used them. I kept the largest two and the smallest one. They are good baby toys most of the time...

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

More sewing

My umbrella stroller ripped all the way down one side seam. Warren almost fell out. 

There were 6 screws on the back and 4 on the bottom that were holding the fabric on. I had to remove them all to be able to sew up the hole. 

Good as new! 

While I was putting the stroller back together the boys dumped out all the tinkertoys and threw them around. I would blame the older one, but the younger one had a lot to do with it this time. 


I am a list person. 
These are two of my four sheets that I have going for ESL. And I just realized something I thought was being done isn't being done, so I will most likely be adding a fifth sheet. 
But the good news is, all of this needs to be done before the first night of class in mid-September. Once class starts my life will be less busy. 

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Bacon, sweet corn, and tomato risotto

Risotto is my new favorite food. I have been on a risotto kick for a few weeks now. I really like brown rice risotto, but today I used arborio to make it quicker. 

I had some fresh corn and tomatoes to use up. So, I threw them in. I made this amazing chicken and mushroom dish in the pressure cooker too. More on that later. :) Both recipes are from my newest ATK cookbook, which you should go buy. It is the Best $10 I have spent in a long time. 

Happy Saturday!

Friday, August 14, 2015


I had a flat on the way back from trying to return my peaches. Thankfully, my parents were on the way to the gym (near my house) and stopped to help me. 

Unfortunately, the stand had closed for the year. But I had five or six good half bushels, so I am not too upset. 

Thursday, August 13, 2015

And then we all got sick... And I am thankful!

Monday afternoon, after the gym and the grocery store and the construction, Warren started a fever (of a scary 103 degrees). Thankfully, he was relatively happy. Jared had a haircut and a meeting at church. So, we didn't see him all day. 

Today, Warren woke up congested, but not burning up! Hooray. Unfortunately, I woke up congested. Oh well, that comes with having kids. 

Did I mention that he pulls up to standing in his crib now? When he does it at night while Martin is awake, Martin yells, "mom! Baby standing up!" 

Tuesday, we helped stuff 120 backpacks for a school nearby. Those are my cheat sheets for what goes in each backpack. Why is each grade just slightly different? I am do thankful for the people that came out to help stuff backpacks. They worked really hard and were so cheerful. We finished in under an hour! It was great. 

Wednesday the boys had well check ups (even though one of them wasn't well). It went extremely smoothly! I didn't know what to expect. Last time we had to wait over an hour and it ended with Martin collapsing in a fit of tears when the doctor would ask him to do anything. He kept begging, "please, go home!!" 

Things I am thankful for:
1. That my kids are relatively healthy. 
2. That our doctor visit went way more smoothly than last time. 
3. That So many people showed up to help stuff backpacks. 
4. For my new ATK cookbook, which you should buy. I made amazing risotto, orange chicken, and salmon out of it last week. 
5. That the weather has been cooler. Come on Fall! 
6. That peach season is so long. 
7. For tea
8. For Psalm 69 that was just what I needed last night. I am looking forward to hearing it preached Sunday night. 
9. For a washing machine and dryer
10. For a dishwasher
11. For odd numbers. I have always liked them better than even numbers. 

Monday, August 10, 2015


We ate pretzels and watched them tear a building down (after we went grocery shopping, as seen by all the bags next to Martin). 

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Puddle jumper

We are glad no student are at college during the summer! The campus is such a nice place to explore. 

Friday, August 07, 2015


Evening from Charles Spurgeon on August 5th. 

"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?"
Numbers 32:6

Kindred has its obligations. The Reubenites and Gadites would have been unbrotherly if they had claimed the land which had been conquered, and had left the rest of the people to fight for their portions alone. We have received much by means of the efforts and sufferings of the saints in years gone by, and if we do not make some return to the church of Christ by giving her our best energies, we are unworthy to be enrolled in her ranks. Others are combating the errors of the age manfully, or excavating perishing ones from amid the ruins of the fall, and if we fold our hands in idleness we had need be warned, lest the curse of Meroz fall upon us. The Master of the vineyard saith, "Why stand ye here all the day idle?" What is the idler's excuse? Personal service of Jesus becomes all the more the duty of all because it is cheerfully and abundantly rendered by some. The toils of devoted missionaries and fervent ministers shame us if we sit still in indolence. Shrinking from trial is the temptation of those who are at ease in Zion: they would fain escape the cross and yet wear the crown; to them the question for this evening's meditation is very applicable. If the most precious are tried in the fire, are we to escape the crucible? If the diamond must be vexed upon the wheel, are we to be made perfect without suffering? Who hath commanded the wind to cease from blowing because our bark is on the deep? Why and wherefore should we be treated better than our Lord? The firstborn felt the rod, and why not the younger brethren? It is a cowardly pride which would choose a downy pillow and a silken couch for a soldier of the cross. Wiser far is he who, being first resigned to the divine will, groweth by the energy of grace to be pleased with it, and so learns to gather lilies at the cross foot, and, like Samson, to find honey in the lion.

Two new recipes

I tried two new recipes last night from my new cookbook, chicken molè and chocolate cookies. They were both delicious and quick! The chocolate cookies were fudgy with little pockets of melted chocolate that burst in your mouth as you ate them. 

I am trying one or two more out tonight for dinner (maple orange glazed chicken and broccoli & red pepper stir fry). 

You should probably buy a copy while it is still on sale. :) It doesn't explain any of the science behind the recipes. So, if you are looking for a cookbook that makes you a better cook I suggest subscribing to their magazine (the lack of ads is so refreshing) or purchasing their The New Best Recipe. Warning: it is all in black and white with few pictures of anything. This one is more user friendly and has a lot of colored photos throughout. I think they are both worthy additions to your cookbook collection, but especially this one because it is on sale. 

I love America's Test Kitchen because they do everything excellently. I respect that. The first few pages summarize their favorite kitchen equipment.  So far I only own the chef knife, but as my kitchen items break I hope to replace them (I am looking at you blender, measuring cups, whisk, and cookie sheets). I wish I had had that list when I registered. 

Have you tried any new recipes lately? What inspires you to try something new? 

Thursday, August 06, 2015

Two things came in the mail yesterday...

One I don't like and one I LOVE!! 
Ugh. Everytime I find a Martha Stewart living in my mailbox I have a sense of hope that there might possibly, maybe, hopefully be something, anything, useful in it. There NEVER is!! I am so glad I signed up for a free subscription because I would be mad if I had paid for it. 

I did the calculations this time of how many ads are in the magazine, as you can see scrawled on one of the full page ads that I ripped out. Out of 66 pages there are 13 full page ads (ads on both sides of the page) and 26 half page (ads on one side, pictures or story on the other side). That is 39 percent ofthe  magazine. 

Moving on. 

The second item I LOVE! It came in the mail yesterday. I ordered it a week ago when it was on sale at the America's Test Kitchen store for ONLY $10. This cookbook has 750 recipes that take 45 minutes or fewer to make! I am so excited about many of them.  This will greatly help on those evenings when I am busy all day and just want to let my family eat oatmeal for dinner. :) I will let you know how some of them goes as I try them. 

If they are still on sale I suggest buying a copy. They are normally $35.99. 

My favorite blogger posted a recipe from the cookbook and a link to the sale last week. I tried the recipe. You should too. It is so easy. We had the leftovers in burritos the next day. It was delicious.


When the weather is hot and muggy around here, I dream of Camden or the mountains somewhere. It has been in the 90s for the last two weeks.  I am ready for some cooler days. 

Do you check the weather in any other cities? I check Camden and DC (because I went to college there). 

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Hot Air Balloon

Guess where I was at 6am on a Saturday? We were going to wake up at 4:30am to leave by 5, but Warren had other plans and woke up at 3:51am. Oh, well! It was a lovely morning. We met my sister and Michelle to watch 14 balloons. Martin has been asking every since to go see some more balloons. Maybe is a few years, buddy. I can only get up so early so often. 

A plane flew by and drops ChickfilA cows tied to parachutes. You can see a person jumping to catch one. 

Creepy teddy bear balloon. 

We had breakfast and walked around a small town for an hour afterwards. We were home by 11am. Some of us were more worn out than others. Ha ha.