July 31, 2008

Days of Food :: 9

It seems fairly customary for a person to prepare a feast, a banquet, a display of special foods for the one he or she loves. Even a look at a slice of biblical history will tell this story :: Sarah readied a delectable meal for her husband & the three honorable guests, Queen Esther made great accommodations and preparations to present her king & love with several banquets that were surely the talk of the town.

The priority of the father who was welcoming home his prodigal son was to pull out all the stops :: he summoned for a banquet and the choicest of meats to be prepared.

Jesus celebrated around the table often with his disciples :: on one occasion he set up a welcoming campfire and made ready a breakfast meal especially for those he loved.

One evening this past weekend, my husband and I fed the children a wee bit on the earlier side. Read stories and then tucked them into bed or just firmly asked them to stay in their rooms! And then we headed back downstairs for what we've labeled an 'in house date'. We began these early in our marriage simply because we didn't have the finances to go out for a meal; but we continue now--every once in a while--simply because we enjoy it. We both expressed that this should take place more often, it's such a special time.

The fondue set came up from the basement and pieces of steak were set to cook & when finished, we enjoyed this with a Caesar salad and baked potato {with an array of toppings to choose from!}. While we don't eat red meat often, it's a favorite of my love's, so I oblige.

Good food :: great conversation :: an evening to remember....


July 30, 2008


Yep, the show has come and gone.

Nope. No pics yet. In the cast were those from an actor's union and so personal pics were prohibited during dress rehearsals. Mom didn't know this until dress rehearsal night. BUT, the theatre's professional photographer took excellent shots of each scene for publicity purposes and will be giving a CD of those to each person involved. So, just hold on a little and we'll post when they come in {knowing how theatres work around here, it could be several weeks!}.

The girls had a fantastic time! All 10 shows went very well and Jackie is proud to report that she did not drop the fan at all :: during rehearsals this happened a few times, so she was a bit nervous. She received many compliments on her solo & Janelle was complimented by the lead lady that she has great acting ability! They are both sad to see it end, but it was a fun way to spend the month :: they met people from all over the US, mainly from New York and now have emails to keep in touch.

Somewhere in the middle of all of this, Jackie turned 18. We had the foresight to celebrate back in June since this month was full. But, hooray and happy birthday Jackie! And huge thanks to Grandaddy for bringing her friend Lauren down from CT for a birthday surprise and to see the show.

{Big breath in and then out} Now, back to normalcy, right?

Yes. A post about our school year plans is forthcoming!

Days of Food :: 8

The only person in our family who really enjoys french toast is my husband :: and then one of my daughters will eat almost anything. So, I'm not too sure why the need to try honey french toast kept bugging me!? The recipe is not difficult & the toast rather tasty in my opinion, though it's not my favorite breakfast food. But the vote around here is to leave this one alone. {sigh}

Maybe your family will enjoy it more...


July 29, 2008

Days of Food :: 7

A bagel shoppe close by has on their menu one the most yummy grilled veggie sandwiches. After trying one a few years ago, I was a bit determined to duplicate it to eat at home. While I'm not sure the ingredients are exact, the results are delicious! And this weekend in the grocery store, I passed the bagel section and the gotta-have-one-of-those RIGHT NOW feeling took over.

Okay, it wasn't really that bad, but I did come home with the fixings to make one of my favorite sandwiches.

Veggie Bagel Sandwich

tomatoes, mushrooms

minced garlic and/or garlic powder

olive oil

broccoli sprouts (or another kind)

Kraft's chive & onion cream cheese

favorite kind of bagel :: we enjoy the 'everything' bagels

Saute some tomato and mushroom slices in olive oil and garlic choice {not too long or the tomatoes become really mushy}. Toast your bagel, spread some of the cream cheese, top with the sprouts and veggies. Simple and tasty!


July 25, 2008


114. the earth is the Lord's....praise
115. a much needed soaking rain this week upon thirsty grounds and limp crops & plants....gratitude
116. time spent in His creation, beholding the splendor of it all...a glorious Amen to the end of our day


Days of Food :: 6

Ummm, smoothies. An easy summer breakfast and a great way to use up overly ripe fruit quickly. You know, the ones that sit in the fruit basket and kinda get forgotten :: or are in the waaay back of the fridge. Whatever the cause of super ripeness, today we used up bananas & kiwi along with some orange juice to make a delicious morning drink.

The theme of adding {okay, sneaking} power foods into my kiddos continues. Primadophilus is my way of replenishing the healthy bacteria needed in our digestives systems; especially if any of us have been on antibiotics. More information on the benefits of L.acidophilus. Primadophilus is easily found in the refrigerated section of your local health food store and comes in a powder form for children birth to age 5, chewables in an orange flavor and also capsules. As needed, I also add it in applesauce for the kids; it doesn't change the taste. Much more potent & helpful to our bodies than simply eating some yogurt with live bacteria.

So grab that fruit, add some milk or OJ and enjoy!

Enjoy a peaceful weekend....


July 22, 2008

30 Days of Food :: 5

Today I leave you with some fun food links that I've enjoyed ~

Happy Foody :: into primarily eating raw food? wondering about the benefits? great recipes here

Simply Breakfast :: a daily picture of what this lady has for breakfast

Smitten Kitchen :: the name says it all; wonderful pictures {I really enjoy food pics}

Nutritious Lunch Ideas for Kids :: scroll down for the quick-reference table, worth a look

World's Healthiest Foods list :: 129 of what this site says are the best in vegetables, legumes, seafood, spices & herbs, fruit, nuts & seeds, etc. each link then takes you to a storehouse of information on that particular food. great reference!


July 21, 2008

30 Days of Food :: 4

Don't you just love the convenience of eggs? Scrambled, poached, boiled, fried, over-easy, sunny-side up, ummm...what else?
In our home, having an omelet or a plate of fully-loaded {all the fixings} scrambled eggs means one of two things :: we're having a special breakfast or Mom forgot to plan ahead for dinner! Yes, I've been known to whip up eggs and pancakes as a quick meal in the evenings. And yes, that is what took place today except that it was actually planned {and we had mini bagels as our carb}.
My husband is out of town and for reasons really unknown to me, this is my excuse to kick back and take the easy road on providing meals. Oh well, the girls and I love eggs!


July 17, 2008

30 Days of Food :: 3

We enjoy making muffins around here. They're a great snack, quick breakfast food along with a cup of yogurt, and mini ones are wonderful for small hands. Plus...shhh, don't tell my children, but some good-for-you super ingredients can be put in without changing the taste too much. Such as wheat germ :: which is exactly what I did with these orange-cranberry muffins.

The youngest taste tester seemed to think they were just fine.


July 15, 2008

Almost Showtime!

Two days...a little over 48 hours until the first show!! To update, Jackie and Janelle had auditioned back in March at a local theatre for spots in the musical The King and I {wonderful, wonderful if you haven't seen it}. They got news shortly after that they made it in; beginning of April was full of writing up bios & doing head shots {which Mama did on her own & saved oodles of $$$} ::

And then we all waited until rehearsals began just two weeks ago. The pace has been fast, but the girls were prepared. They had watched the musical twice and already memorized their songs. If you're familiar with the production, Jackie landed the part of the wife who does a solo dance ('the fan dance') and Janelle got a speaking part in the children's ensemble (there are just a few). Yes, we're proud of them!

Above the excitement of receiving roles is the thrill of working with actors and actresses who have performed on Broadway numerous times. The lead role of Anna is played by a woman who did the international and national tour of the King and I; and the girls think the king in this show is just as good as the one in the original 1956 musical. The experience has been a tremendously enriching and fun one.

In the midst of it all, we've taken the time to teach priorities. Rehearsals were scheduled each day except Mondays and start time is 10 a.m. Well, this family goes to church on Sunday mornings. :o) We had the opportunity to show that it wasn't necessary to fudge the more important to get ahead; the girls still got significant parts and simply stated they would be ready by noon for rehearsals on Sundays.

In fact, this past weekend, the start time for the entire cast was changed to noon. Hmmm.....

We'll update after opening night!!

July 14, 2008

Gratitude Swells

108. restful days while my hand healed :: green pastures and still waters

109. the blessing of abundance :: laughter & humor in our home, smiles, exchanges of heart-felt words of praise

110. practical praise for items that do make communication simpler :: cell phones, computers

111. because it's very difficult to be so far away from dear friends who struggle :: gratitude expressed for their attitudes in the midst of dark times; inspiring.

112. for the opportunity to try again when botching things up, for forgiveness and grace

113. for today...because it is new


30 Days of Food :: 2

Yes! Back on track with the food theme I intended to start almost two weeks ago. Thank you for the prayers for health; my hand is much, much better and so I've been in the kitchen trying
out a few recipes.
Sunday we enjoyed this scrumptious pasta salad for lunch. Light, yet filling. I'm always on the lookout for ideas that will have us eating nutrient-packed ingredients in a way the children will also enjoy. One of my biggies is spinach, since it's just so good for our bodies! I try and add it several dishes :: scrambled eggs, green salads, etc. So when I caught sight of this dish, it was worth a try. Delicious!
Spinach Chicken Salad
5 cups cubed, cook chicken (about 3 breasts)
2 c. graped, halved (red makes it pretty)
1 c. snow peas
2 c. torn spinach
2-1/2 sliced celery
7 oz. corkscrew pasta, cooked and drained
1/2 lg. cucumber, sliced
3 green onions, sliced
1/2 cup of your favorite oil (veg, olive, canola, etc)
1/4 c. sugar or use a sugar substitute
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
2 TBsp. fresh parsley
Mix everything for the salad. Add the dressing to the salad a few minutes before eating it so the sugar has time to dissolve. Enjoy!
On the menu was also Grilled Corn with hoisin butter :: sounds fancy, but was actually simple and we had the ingredients handy. I have many ingredients handy {sheepish grin here}. The corn was tasty and yes, had an Asian flare; just not sure that we'll repeat this one. We'll see.


July 10, 2008

Tea Time

It's a past time of many a girl through generations and from around the world :: tea time.

And for one little girl in our household, the tradition continues. Jordyn loves to play tea party. From the time she was a toddler with a little plastic set, then a picnic set of enamelware, and now to beautiful porcelain. She enjoys the process of setting up, choosing a treat and making the tea. At times, the sweet treats are not of the edible variety so that our visits to the dentist stay at check-ups only!

So far this summer, there have been tea parties in her room {no real tea allowed in there}, in the kitchen, the basement and outside under the shade of our maple trees. A collection of stuffed animal friends, or perhaps just a special one are the guests :: of course, Mom, siblings and even Dad in the evenings have been summoned as well to join in on the fun.
Realizing that this is such an enjoyable part of her playtime, we will be incorporating tea time into our schedule for school this year. Together, the girls and Mom will sit down several times a week for a short moment {probably 1/2 hr} to just catch our breath, together.
Maybe there will be a special story shared, poetry read, or a particular music CD to listen to. Or maybe simply a time to anticipate right after doing the hard work of phonics, language lessons or math. The primary agenda will be to enjoy one another and our tea. It's all in development stage right now, but will definitely be a part of our days. Besides, it should be mentioned that this little girl's Mama loves tea time as well!


July 7, 2008

A Bit Better

Well the report from the orthopedics is that I possibly had a ganglion cyst forming in my left wrist; hidden from view and pressing on a nerve. I received a cortisone injection into the wrist area {can you say ouch!} and the splint was on for several days. My hand is currently still fairly sore and I'm gingerly typing.

I'll return to the 30 days of food as soon as I'm able. In the in between, our family has been enjoying some delicious meals provided by our church family care group! {I finally surrendered to receiving help :: why is that so difficult at times?}.


July 3, 2008

Feeling Blessed

Just a quick note to report that the blessing party was wonderful. Such a small word to describe the gathering of many women surrounding a teen girl and showering her with encouragement :: with numerous words of praise and of wisdom as she embarks on a new phase of life. Each woman brought their words typed out on card stock {to be placed in a memory book} and also a small gift to symbolize their verbal gift to Jackie. A few highlights:

a silver chain bracelet :: to remind her that her words are like choice silver & to use them wisely

a bilingual Bible :: Jackie studied up to French 4 and Spanish 5; encouragement to use these new 'tongues' to share His word

a striking votive candle holder :: to remind her to shine

a special dance performance to the song Stand by Donnie McClurkin :: a reminder that life will bring its valleys and the appropriate response when they come

Precious. And nothing less than this.

We as a family are tremendously honored to have such pillars of faith and community in our lives. Gratitude swells in our hearts.


Change in Plans?

Well, not sure that the 30 days of food will happen as my left hand is hurting. It's been bothering me for a good few days and I now have a splint & sling and am off to the orthopedics this morning.

will update later....


July 2, 2008

30 Days of Food :: day 1

Many of my posts are about food, I noticed. I do do enjoy cooking, but perhaps it's because food and the making and serving of it is such an integral part of home life. Of societies and cultures throughout history really. I find great joy in pouring through new recipes {when I have the time} :: and pictures of food being prepared or the final products are inspiring.

So this month, as part of a way to wind down from two months of busyness, I plan to pull out my cookbooks and attempt the recipes I've been tucking away for a time like this. And, I'll share what I'm up to here. Either the process or the product; or perhaps just the recipe, but I will try for lots of delicious pictures!

And, if you would like to see some larger-than-life and step-by-step photos of cooking in progress, check out a site I've listed in my sidebar. Yum!

Photo of the strawberry-rhubarb jam we made last week


July 1, 2008

Creative Space

My meeting on the 'how to' of publishing went well! One step down...

Ahhh, hello July! I am so glad that you are here. May and June were wonderful. Full and fun, but I am ready for a bit of relaxed summer days. There are several books I would like to tackle and some creative projects to tend to. Not to mention that there are many veggies and fruits to can and freeze! I'll think on that later. On to other topics...
Last summer we were blessed to have our basement finished, which not only added a space for our schooling {though it really happens all around our home}, but also a creative space for me.

I call it my craft closet, because it literally is a closet that can close and hide the disarray of whatever I'm working on. I enjoy this space so much! A place to unwind, to crank out fresh ideas and to putter around and try them out.

I cannot take credit at all, this was an idea of our builder after hearing me explain a desire for a tucked away space for scrapbooking, sewing and such. I'm grateful for his creativity. Plenty of lighting {I added more with some lamps, which are not turned on in the pics} and lots of shelves, which were an added bonus.

I'm looking forward to using this much more this month. Welcome July!

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