Thursday, July 28, 2011

Because I Like to Share...

Today's reading from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young:

"Let My Love seep into the inner recesses of your being. Do not close off any part of yourself from Me. I know you inside and out, so do not try to present a "cleaned-up" self to Me. Wounds that you shut away from the Light of My Love will fester and become wormy. Secret sins that you "hide" from Me can split off and develop lives of their own, controlling you without your realizing it.

Open yourself full to My transforming Presence. Let My brilliant Love-Light search out and destroy hidden fears. This process requires time alone with Me, as My Love soaks into your innermost being. Enjoy My perfect Love, which expels every trace of fear."

Psalm 139: 23-24
Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me, and know my anxieties; and see if there is any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Fish Stories

Hot Hubby, Abiah and my FIL went out sturgeon fishing this last Saturday. Although Abiah has tagged along many times before, this was the first time he got to fish, too.

Much to the dismay of his competitive father and grandfather, Abiah caught the most fish!

(Abiah's first fish!)

Hot Hubby was sure that once Abiah caught his first fish he would be "hooked." He was right. Abiah came home so excited and eager to tell his fish tale.

Hot Hubby had a fish tale of his own.

For forty-five minutes Hot hubby wrestled this 7 foot beast:

Although they didn't catch any keepers, the battle against the 7 foot beast and the excitement of Abiah's first fish made the trip a great memory.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Do as I say. Not as I done did.

In my last recipe post I made the obvious statement that I wouldn't post a flopped recipe on here. My thought was that such a posting wouldn't be helpful anyways. Why would someone read a recipe for something that won't turn out?

Well, I've always believed that it's easier to learn from others mistakes so I thought I'd give you such an opportunity.

I'm real giving in that way. You're welcome.

So, without further rambling, I give you today's "don't try this at home" recipe:

Egg Free Crepes

To begin, I want to state that I'm not so much of an idiot that I didn't realize that the base of a crepe is egg. However, being as I'm allergic to eggs I wanted to see if I could make something that I've missed in my current egg-less state.

Do NOT take:

4 tablespoons of ground flax, mixing it with 12 tablespoons of water to substitute for 4 eggs and mix with:

dash of salt
4 tablespoons of sugar
1 cup of flour
1 cup of milk
1/3 cup of melted butter

Mixing in order and then baking in a round skillet 1/4 cup at a time.

If you do you will inevitably:

  • feel awful about wasting 1/3 a cup of butter that is sinfully expensive right now.
  • have to throw out a bowl full of messy goop.
  • have three children who are still hungry and are letting you know but coming into the kitchen every minute to check on the status of breakfast.
  • settle on cold cereal.
  • be sad that you can't have crepes.
You may, however, make the recipe above by starting with 4 eggs well beaten and make the crepes for all the egg eaters of your house. They are easy and delicious. And I still want one.

P.S. I have had great success in using flax meal mixed with water as an egg substitute in baked goods. Crepes do not count as baked goods. Amen.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Greatest Fear


Fourteen years back, before the term "in-law" was used to define our relationship, we were driving down the familiar road in the little blue "Smurf." As we followed the curves that we'd traveled so many times before I asked him the question, "What is your greatest fear?"

Being a young man of wisdom, he gently answered, "Well, I don't think God wants us to focus on our fears."

Being a young woman who likes to be contrary, I agreed and then argued my point, "While I do believe that focusing on our fears isn't how God wants us to live, I do think it is actually healthy to know what our fears are. How are we supposed to work through our fears if we don't know what they are?"

After understanding where I was coming from he shared his greatest fear. Which I'm not going to tell you about. I will, however, tell you that he has conquered that fear and continues to do so everyday. I am so proud to call him my brother-in-law.

And I will also tell you what I told him my greatest fear was. "I'm afraid I'll never be a wife and a mom, " my single heart confessed. I was afraid of ending up alone.

During the next eight years I watched as he became my brother-in-law and he and my sister had four beautiful children. I watched other friends and relatives get married and start their families.

Finally in 2005 it was my turn. When Hot Hubby and I got married I was relieved. And, although there were times when we were starting a family that I wondered if I would be a mother, that fear was put to rest as well.

So, naturally I expected that I would no longer wonder, "Will I ever be a wife? Will I ever be a mom?" But I've found that I still do. Those questions still haunt me. That familiar fear will keep me awake at night. But it's different. And, in my opinion, it seems healthy. And maybe normal?

You know, I may have gotten married which has given me the title of "wife." And I may have children which gives me the title of "mom." But I wonder, am I really living as a wife and mom or am I just fulfilling my "duties"?

There are days, weeks and even years that I have spent more concerned with the appearance of my dreams than the day to day fulfillment of my dreams. I've spent countless hours striving to have an organized house and perfectly budgeted menu. I've worked hard at being consistent in training my children and being a supportive wife. But I find myself at place where I wonder whether or not I am truly being a wife and mom as opposed to just filling a role.

Instead of waking up and making a list of the tasks I need to accomplish during the day, I want to wake up and think of ways to enjoy and bless my family. Am I ministering to their hearts or am I just meeting their daily needs? Feed, clothe, clean, repeat?

You know, this is what I've always wanted. This is what I love to do. So why do I so often feel like throwing the towel in?

I think, I think I may have a glimpse of the answer. I think...

To be continued...

Thursday, July 14, 2011

On Becoming Bare

"It is one of the perversities of my interior makeup that I so often become depressed just as
winter makes its turn into spring, and the longed-for moment arrives; the weather turns
pleasant, and one can walk out of doors without bundling up. But unbundling means exposure, a kind of vulnerability, and I seldom feel ready for it when that first balmy day arrives. Instead, I resist the good news of spring, lurking inside my house as if its still winter. My spirit suffers , my garden languishes, and my perennial flowers and herbs must struggle on their own with encroaching weeds."

Kathleen Norris in The Quotidian Mysteries

"Look at this." I point to the screen.

"What is it?" he asks as he sits down beside me on the worn couch.

"It was built this year. No one has ever lived in it. And look at the pretty kitchen!"

"It's small."

"But it's new." I plead.

"Wow. It is nice. Not a very big lot."

"I know. I just feel stuck. I know that anything we look at is going to mean a smaller lot...and most likely a smaller house. But I just want something new. Something without all the work. I just feel stuck."

The discontentment stuck with me throughout the night. When I woke the next morning it was still there. Hanging from my shoulders weighing my heart down.

I kept finding myself at the computer. Searching the screen for the perfect house. A new dwelling where everything would be easy. Shiny and new. More bedrooms. More bathrooms. A place where stairs don't creak and doors close properly. Something that won't fit the title of "Krooked Kastle".

But it's not about the house. It's not really. Is it ever?

The next day I apologize to him, "I don't mean to put that kind of pressure on you. It's not about the house. I know I'm just frustrated with myself."

I blame my other physical dwelling for my irritation. This body I've been graced with.

But that's not it either.

People say, "It's not about the destination. It's about the journey." But the journey can be so hard. The act of unbundling one's heart from the layers meant to keep it safe and protected. Becoming vulnerable. Getting messy. Allowing...imperfection.

To be continued...

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

One in Diapers

I realize this kind of information doesn't appeal to all my readers but there is a funny at the end. Happy reading!

It is finished! Kinda.

We kind of had a potty training miracle at our house in the last month. Amelia was really ready to start potty training this last winter. But being 20 month pregnant I didn't have it in me to spend my days sitting on the edge of the tub waiting for her to decide to pee.

About a month ago I finally decided to bite the bullet and put her in her training panties with plastic pants. Of course there were many accidents at first but surprisingly she caught on really fast. There hasn't been a huge struggle or anything. How refreshing.

Wait. Can potty training be refreshing? Weird.

When summer has decided to peek out a few times in the last few weeks I noticed that her panties were always damp feeling but never truly wet. I decided we could ditch the plastic pants since they were suffocating her buns and we've not looked back since.

She has had a few accidents. Mostly when we are busy playing outside.

The blessing was that she was waking up dry at nap time and night time also! Hazel has been potty trained for awhile except at night so I was expecting it would be the same with Amelia.

Anyways, we decided that both girls were ready to potty train at night and so we left them in their undies and for the last three night Amelia has been dry! Hazel had accidents the first two nights but woke up each time. This morning, however, she woke up dry!

I'm so proud of my girls! And equally excited that we only have to buy diapers for Jackson now. Of course the only bummer is that I just bought a new package of diapers for the girls and only used about four of them.

So, this morning as Amelia and I sat enjoying the quiet, we had this conversation.

Amelia was sticking her hand down the back of her underwear. I told her to get her hand out because there are germs down there. She tried looking for them but I told her, "You can't see them!"

She said, "I see dis."


"My cack!"

Have a blessed day, friends!

Monday, July 11, 2011

A Rare Moment Indeed

The Krooked Kastle drama club usually involves a lot of, well...drama! So when we are privy to a moment such as this it is cause for celebration, feasting and a little happy wine!

Which is totally different from the usual feasting and frustration wine. But we aren't here to talk about me. Today.

This is a video I "caught" back in January and some how managed to forget to post. When I found it today there were tears of joy. It's good to be reminded of the sweet times my girls have together.

And aside from the gigantic booger on Amelia's face and the fact that the video abruptly ends as she's about to take a peek at her sisters "bunsy butt," I'd say this is moment is a favorite so far.

In case you can't understand what Amelia is saying she is singing, "Hazo, Hazo. Hazo, Hazo." Which is her then almost two year old version of this song.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Another "ish" Recipe: Butternut Squash Alfredo Sauce

I mentioned before that I tend to cook using the "ish" method. Though most of my attempts turn out well, I have my fair share of failures.

Thankfully this isn't one of those. Of course, if it was a flop I wouldn't be sharing it here anyways.

Forgive me for stating the obvious. Your patience is much appreciated.

So. The recipe. You'll need:

1 butternut squash, baked or steamed
heavy whipping cream or half-n-half or milk (depends on your fat content preference)
Parmesan cheese, the powder works just fine
salt and pepper

So, after you've baked or steamed your butternut squash, puree it until smooth. I added about a quarter cup of water to help the pureeing process.

Pour the butternut squash into a pan and begin to heat it up.

Add about a cup of Parmesan, stirring it well so as to break up any clumps. As the sauce heats up the Parmesan melts and the sauce gets smoother.

Slowly add your choice of heavy whipping cream, half-n-half or milk until it reaches the consistency that you prefer.

Salt and pepper to taste. Serve over your favorite pasta (mushroom stuffed ravioli is exceptionally delicious with this sauce!).

Give it a try sometime this week and let me know what you think!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tears on the Fourth

Yesterday our fourth of July celebrations began at a local parade.

We had spent the morning rushing to arrive before the streets were closed so I didn't have a moment to take the day in until right as the parade was starting.

As the first few vehicles inched by and the patriotic music reached our ears my eyes welled up with tears and I had to still my quivering lip.

I was overwhelmed with thankfulness.

Thankfulness for the ones who have given their lives for my freedom.

Thankful for rest.

Thankful for work.

Thankful for the freedom of speech.

Thankful for play.

Thankful for good food.

Thankful for times of refreshing.

Thankful for him.

And them.

Thankful for unconditional, loyal, always and forever love.

Thankful that He who began a good work in me is faithful to finish the task He undertook.

What are you thankful for today?