My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Shopper

We found ourselves in need of several things recently and decided to have some fun acquiring them. Baby girl and I had a day out on Friday. Here it is relived in snapshots. 

You may notice her outfit is different in the last picture. She just had to put on her new clothes. 

Big girl and I had our day on Saturday. Here are a few glimpses of our day. 

She also had to don her new duds. Can you spy a subtle furry vest?

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lemon Ricotta

I'm feeling a little sicky right now. Ugh. Too many cookies. Mmmm...cookies. Maybe I could eat one more without vomiting.

Seriously, I stumbled upon the yummiest lemon ricotta cookie recipe.

First, make lemon ricotta. I used...

2 qts. whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a large pot, mix milk and salt. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat and add lemon juice. Simmer and gently stir until milk curdles, about two minutes. Line a strainer with cheese cloth. Pour the curds into the cheese cloth and let drain for about an hour. Refrigerate up to two days. Or...

Make lemon ricotta cookies!

I used this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.

I had to halve the recipe because I only had enough ricotta for a half batch, and I omitted the zest from the glaze, because I accidentally added it all to the cookies themselves (oops), but otherwise, I followed the recipe. Amazing, right?!

2 1/2 c. AP flour (Oh, I did use whole wheat pastry flour.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add ricotta, lemon juice, and zest. Beat to combine. Then stir in dry ingredients.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make glaze.


1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Mix sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl until smooth. Spread about 1/2 tsp. glaze on each cookie. Let cool and harden for about 2 hrs. Store in airtight container.

Then try not to make yourself sick on them. I failed.

P.S. Yesterday's chili was made with venison. I had eaten deer meat before but I had never cooked with it. Yum! Really couldn't tell much difference in the chili. It ground up finer when it cooked, but no great difference in taste. I expected game-y, but I got yummy. =) I could totally live on deer meat. Someone buy me a bow!  Ha. Like I could really shoot it.

Monday, November 17, 2014


I absolutely LOVE snow! And now that my kiddos are in school, I love it even more! A day to sleep in, lounge in PJ's, play in the snow, come back in, slip on those PJ's, drink hot chocolate, watch movies...

Yes, please!!!

The forecast was calling for 3-5 inches of snow and the girls and I went to bed, hoping, maybe even praying. At 5 o'clock this morning - 5 o'clock! - the girls came running into our room...

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"


"It snowed! The roads are covered!"

I gave a thumbs-up.  "Okay. Go play."

Then I looked at my phone. Good grief. They must love snow even more than me! I love snow, but c'mon! I also love sleep. I told them to go back and lie down for another hour. That lasted about thirty minutes.

When I finally got up, the girls were hardly able to wait any longer to get outside, but I remembered that we had to deliver our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to the church.

PJ's? Sipping coffee on the couch, under a cover, by the light of the Christmas tree? Oh, well, maybe later.

We suited up because we were going to just drop the boxes then go straight out to play when we returned. And in the process, we realized that big girl's snow boots no longer fit. Sad face.

We dropped our shoe boxes at church, ran to Wal-Mart to buy snow boots made in China (deep, deep frown), and came home to play.

After lots of tracks, snow angels, and rolling down the banks of the ditch, we came in cold and wet. While the girls changed into PJ's, I threw our wet clothes in the laundry and heated milk for hot chocolate.

We ate oranges and pop corn and drank hot chocolate while watching Lady and the Tramp.

I've started cooking beans for chili, and now it's nap time.

Now tell me, what's not to love about snow?

Beautiful whiteness. Christmas tree lights. Hot chocolate. Soft powdery ground cover. Snuggy blankets. Chili. I'm in snow heaven.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Re-reading the Past

Last night I got on here to finish up a post I started yesterday morning and I found myself just reading back through some old posts. I loved seeing the pix of the girls from two years ago, reading about the fun things they've done, and even reading about our struggles.

Some of the posts had me in stitches. Others had me in tears. Real life here.

The last post I read (and it was the last simply because I HAD to go through some papers, or I probably would have kept reliving the past until my eyes fell asleep) was about standing, just getting up in Jesus and standing victorious over the enemy, "...and after you have done everything, to stand."

I loved it so much, I'm re-posting now.

(A few flash-back pictures for you too.)

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rise and Shine and Give God the Glory, Glory

We sing this song a lot at our house.  Early mornings, as we all now know, are a little rough around here.  However, if I remember, I still push this song out of my mouth in the mornings, and before I know it, it's coming from my heart too.

Big girl sings along, but baby girl usually just watches us with a very serious look on her face, like she is above singing children's songs.  Above singing any songs.  Above learning anything by rote.  Above learning anything new.  In short, she just doesn't seem eager to learn, so I wonder if she's learning anything at all.  But then I get these glimpses of intellect that amaze me and I realize she is a little sponge.  She may not be trying to learn anything new, but her mind is absorbing the watery world around her because she is immersed in it and that is what sponges do.

So, today I took a nap with the girls.  We all slept for two hours.  The girls woke up first and came to my room to ask me when I was getting up.  I said, "In a minute," then I woke with a start.  Yes, in that order.  I thought it was morning and I had over-slept and I looked over in the bed to find that my man was already gone!  Impossible!  I would have heard him.  Heart beats slowed:  it's not morning.  But then, OH!  It's afternoon!  And how long did I sleep?  How late in the afternoon?!  Grabbed the phone.  4 o'clock.  We went down at 2.  Okay.  It's not as bad as I thought.  Have they been up long?  No, they just got up, they said.  Okay, I've not been an awful, negligent mommy.

But waking up in this whirlwind of adrenaline exhausted me.  I laid the phone down and relaxed back on the pillow for a minute.  I told the girls to potty in order to buy myself a few minutes to let my heart resume its normal pace.

And then Satan began.  Why doesn't he give me ten minutes of peace before he starts his attacks?  The guilty thoughts started, popping up in rapid succession.  No, not succession.  Popping up before the previous one had a chance to sit down...

I shouldn't have taken a what I am I going to fix for supper...I don't have anything that cooks quickly...the house is a mess...I should have done laundry...I have all those flowers to plant...why am I always so tired...the joy of the Lord is my strength...but I'm legitimately tired...I haven't had quiet time today...ugh...I should have gotten up earlier this morning to have my quiet least then I could justify a man would probably like a nap...I hope he doesn't walk in right now and find me in bed at 4 o'clock...I've gotta get up...I need quiet time...I need to have an attitude of gratitude...I need counseling...

...would you all just SIT DOWN!!!!!!!

I started praying.  And, as I started praying, I realized, once again, that Jesus is the Wonderful Counselor.  As He was working me through my guilt list, I heard baby girl "reading" books in the hallway.  Even with her complete lack of interest in any organized learning activities, she still has an excellent imagination.  She will sit down with books and make up pretty amazing stories.

I knew from the bits and pieces I was hearing she was looking at a butterfly book that had been laying in the hallway all day, along with various other articles.  Then I heard, "The butterfly flaps its wings and gives God the glory, glory, glory.  Rise and Shine..."

And I was grateful.  Grateful that something good had been absorbed by her spongy little brain.  Grateful for God's reassurance that something good had come from me.  Grateful to God for using baby girl to unwittingly remind me to rise and shine and give God the glory.  And I rose.  Those thoughts sat down and I stood up.

Me.  Standing.  That is nothing short of a miracle.  In this overwhelming situation we find ourselves in, called life, we stand.  And every time we do, we are to give God the glory for getting us on our feet and holding us upright.  Apart from Him we can do nothing.  But THROUGH Him we can do all things!  And we stand.

And I was reminded of Beth Moore's blog I had just read earlier today...

I pray you are standing strong with the Shield of Faith in one hand and the Sword of the Spirit in the other.  Isaiah 7:9b (NIV) has been on my radar often lately:
If you do not stand firm in your faith,
you will not stand at all.
Then, Romans 14:4 right on top of it:  To his own master he stands or falls.  And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand.
Amen to that.
And this phrase out of Ephesians 6:13 – STAND YOUR GROUND.
Keeping our faith in the driver’s seat of our faithfulness, Christ’s own Spirit breathing through us, we CAN do this in His great Name. May He make Himself so obvious to us today. Then may He make Himself so obvious to someone else through us today.

Spinach Salad and Soul Food

Today I am babysitting a friend's twins. After breakfast, dipe changes, playtime, and bottles, they are both asleep.

Eleven hours later
...and that is all I was able to type before one woke up. Hmmm. How does a momma of twins do it?!

So, what I started to say way back in the wee hours of this morning was this:

I made a salad last night that was so very good, but I seriously only make this dressing like once every 5 years because, well, it's bacon grease. Yeah. And the Mr's cholesterol isn't exactly a care-free matter, nor will mine be if we eat this salad all the time.

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Basically, my version is, you fry up the bacon (I scramble it all at once for quicker cooking), crumble the bacon, boil some eggs, and slice some mushrooms. Toss all that yumminess in a bowl with spinach, then add the dressing and toss to coat.

In a small pot, combine:
3 T. bacon grease
3 T. red wine vinegar (I will add more next time; I like more taste twang.)
1 t. sugar
1/2 t. Dijon mustard
Whisk together.

For those of you who have read my earlier posts this week and know that Tuesday night's sup was supposed to be "left-over French onion soup," well, it was. I just made salad to go with it.

And, while we are on the subject of food, let's talk soul food. Not like "Saul Good" soul food, Louisiana cookin' soul food, thought that's good too, but soul food, like food for the spirit soul food, Bread of Life soul food.

Here's what I was feeding my soul this morning:

I have hardly begun it and I love it. If you're looking for a good book, I suggest this one. Go feed yo-self, girlfriend!

Monday, October 20, 2014

On the Menu

Reality check.

So, I realize that my blog has become all about food lately, and let's just state the obvious: food is a priority in my life. We have to eat to live and I want to eat as healthy as I can, and I want my family to eat as healthy as we can. But I've come to realize from several convos I've had with friends and family lately that there is a perception out there that I am cooking wholesome, healthy meals, like every night. In this case, perception is NOT reality.

Let me try to paint a real picture: I am a walking contradiction, sometimes freaking out over my food and sometimes throwing my hands up in defeat as I pull in a drive-thru and sometimes just saying, "I don't even care," as I buy chocolate donuts. I want to eat food the way God created it, unaltered and without additives is busy and sometimes whole foods just take too long...whole foods are expensive unless you grow and make them all yourself and then that's time consuming...I've tasted some of the empty calories and they taste so, so good, i.e. Entenmann's chocolate donuts. I do the best I can, but I am far from eating clean 100% of the time.

I don't freak out over real sugar or real fat (butter, clean oils), because they are natural products, but I do have to watch them because the Mr's cholesterol is on the verge of being high. However, I do try to avoid MSG, preservatives, saturated fats, GMO's, artificial colors and flavors, and any other weird ingredients. Does that mean we never eat them? No. A very big, loud no. But I try to cook clean for supper and weekend meals. Breakfast and lunch is just whatever I can do with a semi-clear conscience. We do eat out some. And we can pretty much be relied upon for having pizza once every week or two.

Honestly, on weekdays we do well to get breakfast in bellies before getting to school, and most of it is eaten in the car on the way. It's usually a Kashi bar or Nature's Path version of a Pop-tart. I try to make my own granola, granola bars, and bread to use for toast, but that only happens maybe half the time. Lunch is usually a mix of any of the following: fruit (fresh or dried), some type of veggie (cherry tomatoes, carrot sticks, etc.), nuts, cheese, hummus, Sunbutter, and crackers (I prefer rice crackers, but will use others that don't have weird ingredients).

I know from all the convos I have with you all out there that I am super blessed to have a family that will eat left-overs. The Mr doesn't love them more than once, but even he can be persuaded to eat the same meal up to three times if I can find a way to vary it just a little each time. So, when I tell you all on here about the fun foods I might be making, don't think it happens every day. N to the O. I am notorious for fixing a meal that can be eaten for at least two or three days. Sometimes, if it's a recipe the Mr doesn't love, the girls and I will eat it for lunch. But the point is, momma ain't cooking every night. Noooo. Here's a quick glance at some weekly menus.

Last week's menu...

cooked pot of black beans to use in Monday's supper:  Spicy Spaghetti Squash (recipe here)

left-over Spicy Spaghetti Squash

More of Monday's black beans with cheese and sour cream and roasted sweet potato fries

A friend gave us some ribs and salad; I re-heated Wednesday's sweet potato fries to go with, and I made black bean brownies with the last of the beans. My man does not eat those.

We ordered pizza.

Spaghetti (a box and a jar) and re-heated frozen rolls

On the menu for this week...

We were all sick and stayed home from church so I got to fix breakfast, which almost never happens. We had homemade pancakes (recipe below) and scrambled eggs for breakfast,
Sonic BLT's for lunch, and
Jamaican pork tenderloin for sup (recipe found here)

The girls are home sick from school, so we are eating the left-over pork for lunch, and for sup:  French Onion Soup (recipe found here)

Here's the plan for the rest of the week...

left-over French Onion Soup

Veggie Omelettes (just eggs, milk, veggies, cheddar) and toast

Chicken enchiladas (I was going to make Sunday, but didn't have everything I needed; so, I'm making them later this week. Recipe found here.)

left-over Chicken enchiladas or something fast (...because it's Friday and who cooks on Friday? Maybe I'll have a date night with the Mr.)

Veggie soup (just throwing things in a pot)

Left-over veggie soup

See? It really isn't that exciting in my kitchen. I do love to cook. I do try to cook healthy. But I'm not cooking every night of the week. And we do love our pizza. Oh! And Entenmann's chocolate donuts. I know, I know, loaded with nasty stuff. Let's not talk about it; I'm not willing to give those things up. Yet.

I thank God for the garden goodies frozen in my garage freezer, for organic farmers who make up for my incompetence as a gardener, for conscientious food suppliers like Kashi, Cascadian Farms, and Nature's Path, for the times I get to make clean meals, and for the way whole foods taste and fill us up. But I also thank Him for the empty-calorie-tastiness of Entenmann's chocolate donuts. In heaven, they will be good for us.


Attitude of Gratitude, because it's been a year since I actually listed things at the end of a post. Wow. A year.

#291. Fall weather
292. windows open
293. bread rising
294. time with a friend
295. time at home
296. my girls home with me today
297. an amazingly patient man
298. items checked off my to-do list
299. scones I didn't have to make, and
300. Just this, our chalkboard door getting filled up with verses baby girl is learning in preK, one for every letter of the alphabet. And that is a door at the bottom of the door, drawn by baby girl herself.


Homemade pancakes:

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 T. sugar
1 1/2 c. milk (or add until you get the consistency you desire)
1 egg
3 T. butter, melted

Mix all. Let rest a minute while skillet heats. Cook in a buttered iron skillet over med-low heat. Serve with real maple syrup.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Chicken Enchiladas (Sauce, Salsa, and Tortillas)

So, I'm about to make chicken enchiladas with some left-over roasted chicken and I got on here, my blog, to look up the recipe I always use to make the sauce and lo! The recipe is not on my blog! I'm happy to report I had bookmarked it in my browser. Whew! So, I'm copying it below so I don't have to sweat it again next time I need it. =)

Easy Enchilada Sauce

2 T. veg oil
2 T. flour
2 T. chili powder
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
2 c. water
1 (8 oz) can tomato paste
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Heat the oil, flour, and chili powder together in a small pot. Allow to cook for about a minute. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Stir well to combine and dissolve tomato paste in water. Allow to cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

I double the batch and freeze into the portion size needed to make my enchiladas. One time making sauce for about four batches of enchiladas. Boom!


As for the enchiladas...

Make Jami Nato's whole wheat flour tortillas (found below).
Make salsa (my recipe is below) or use a jar of your fave.
Pour a thin layer of salsa on the bottom of a 9x13 pan.
Fill tortillas with chicken, salsa, and cheese.
Lay filled and rolled tortillas side by side in the pan.
Cover with enchilada sauce and more cheese.
Bake 15-20 mins at 375 degrees.


Jami Nato's Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas:

3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
3/4 cup whole-wheat flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup oil (such as grape seed oil, canola oil)
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons boiling water


1. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, and salt. Using your hands, work the oil into the flour mixture until evenly distributed. Pour in hot water and continue to mix with your hands until mixture comes together, ¼ cup at a time, adding additional hot water as needed. Knead the mixture in the bowl or on the countertop by hand until smooth. The dough should be damp, soft and relaxed. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let rest at least 30 minutes and up to 1 hour. 

2. Divide the dough into 10 golf ball size pieces, about 1 ¼-inch. Roll each piece into a lightly floured surface into a 6-inch round using a rolling pin.

3. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Cook a rolled tortilla in hot skillet until the bubbles begin to appear on the surface, then flip tortilla to opposite side and cook until golden brown spots start to appear on bottom. Immediately transfer cooked tortilla to tortilla server or a baking sheet and cover with a tea towel. Repeat with remaining tortillas. Serve hot.

These can be stored in the frig for about a week or the freezer for much longer. Again, I usually double the batch and freeze some.


And here are some salsa ideas...

My sister-in-law came up with this one. Everyone in my family makes it a little differently. Play with the ratios til you come up with just the right taste for you.

1 can of stewed tomatoes
drop of garlic juice
about a teaspoon of sugar
splash of vinegar
a couple of tablespoons pickled jalapenos
salt and pepper to taste
Blend in blender to preferred consistency.

If I have fresh ingredients, I prefer them. This is my fave quick salsa:

1 can stewed tomatoes
2-3 garlic cloves
about 1/4 of a small onion
a LOT of cilantro =)
cayenne, or any pepper of your choice

Blend...then practice self-restraint:  try not to eat the whole batch by yourself.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Black Beans...WHAT??

I made brownies. Black bean brownies. Again. Only this time I can not taste the black beans - at all! For reals. I know some of you skeptics won't believe me, but really. My eldest claimed she could taste them but I think it's because she knew they were in there. A friend that tried them said she couldn't taste them at all. The only problem with these brownies is I didn't grind my coffee long enough; so, the texture isn't smooth but has a little grit to it. I know, not so awesome - but the flavor is! And I'm getting fiber and Omega-3's while satisfying my never-ending chocolate craving. Win-win!

So, here's what I used:

approx 1 1/2 c. black beans (I used some of the cooked beans I had left-over from the spicy spaghetti squash.)
2 T. flax seed
3 eggs
1/2 c. oil
1/2 c. cocoa
1 c. raw sugar
1 T. coffee (Be sure it's finely ground!)
1 T. vanilla extract
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
approx 1/2 c. mini choc chips
approx 1/2 c. white choc. chips

I mixed all the dry ingredients in the Ninja. Then poured all the wet ingredients in and mixed until smooth. Poured in muffin tin and baked about 25 mins (or less) at 350 degrees.

Uh, one more thing: I WILL use muffin liners next time.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Pumpkin Muffins, Spaghetti Squash, and Shabbat

Did I say we wrapped up fall break on Saturday? Well, perhaps I had visions of a Sunday Shabbat spent on the couch in PJ's, reading and drinking hot tea, but the Mr had a better idea. We went to a nearby state park for the afternoon. We packed a picnic lunch, pulled on jeans and jackets, went to Bible study, then drove straight to the park. We hiked several small trails, got a great work-out on the paddle boats, and talked trash on the putt-putt golf course. Turns out the only one that had the right to talk a big game was my man, who outscored the second-place player - yes, that would be me - by about 15 points. I hang my head in shame. Or not.

On our way home, we detoured to a nearby pizza place and got our grub on. We pulled in the driveway at the girls' bedtime, gave them a quick bath, and put them to bed.

We had more fun than we've had in a while. We hope to go back in a couple of weeks when all the leaves have turned fall colors. And I see a longer trail with an overnight camp-out in our near future.

And, now I must tell you about my latest adventures in the kitchen, not because I think any of you really care, but because I want to save these recipes and this blog has become my online cookbook.

Saturday night I made pumpkin muffins. I found the recipe on It's from Ellie Krieger, of whom I know absolutely nothing about, by the way, except that I like her muffins. Here is the link.  And following is my variation of the recipe. (I really wonder...could I follow a recipe if my very life depended on it?)

1 1/2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger (I omitted)
1/4 tsp. ground cloves (funny story to follow)
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
5 T. maple syrup
3 oz. canola oil (1/4 + 1/8 c. oil)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 c. pumpkin
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 c. buttermilk (I used about 1/4 c. regular milk because my fresh pumpkin was so watery.)

Whisk the flours, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg. Set aside.

Whisk the sugar, maple syrup, and oil. Add eggs one at a time. Add pumpkin, vanilla, and milk. Add flour mixture gradually. Mix just until combined. (I used the Kitchen Aid mixer for every step.)

Pour into muffin tins. Bake for 20 minutes at 400 degrees. Let cool on wire rack.


Okay, now here is the truth: I was slightly, only very slightly, disappointed with the results. It is no fault of the recipe. The muffins are truly delish! The prob is I thought I was making CUPCAKES. I mean, when I Googled "pumpkin muffins," and was imagining "cupcakes," Google should have known what I was thinking! Duh. So, when I bit into a rather heavy, not-as-sweet muffin when I was expecting light, sweet cupcakes...well, you can see why I was disappointed. No bother. I will slather them in cream cheese icing and they will be sweet if not light. 

Perhaps next time I will search for pumpkin cake, then bake as cupcakes. 

Oh me.

Oh, and if you're wondering why all the measurements seem a little weird, that's because I portioned my pumpkin for a CUPCAKE recipe (my old one called for 1 1/2 c pumpkin). So, I had to adjust all the other ingredients in this MUFFIN recipe to fit the amount of pumpkin I already had pre-portioned for cupcakes. Now, the math is already done for you. Welcome.

As for the funny story, which of course won't be all that funny since I'm not all that funny, here's the deal with the cloves...

...recipe calls for ground cloves. I only have whole cloves. I pull out the Ninja and throw what is prob a tablespoon of cloves in my smallest cup and push down the button. When I let off the button and the cloves stop spinning, I see the cloves are still mostly intact, but my poor blender has taken a beating; the sides are scratched all to pieces. Hmmm. Not good. I pull out the coffee grinder. First, I have to wash the coffee grinder to remove years' and years' accumulation of coffee grit and oil. (No, I have never washed my grinder. Who does that?) This is not a quick procedure. I then throw about a tablespoon of cloves in THERE. Voila! Ground cloves! Only problem - besides the fact that I could have gone to the store and bought ground cloves quicker than I was able to grind them at home - my coffee maker now smells very strongly of cloves! I guess I will be having my very own version of pumpkin spice lattes at home for a while. Happy fall to me!

And Monday, I made this recipe, which just happens to be the best recipe I have tried in a long time: Spicy Spaghetti Squash!  It is found at This is a picture of mine, but it looked way better in person, truly! Especially with sour cream, salsa, and cheese!

  • 1 medium spaghetti squash, halved lengthwise and seeded
  • 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped red onion
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
  • 1/2 cup red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup cooked black beans
  • 1/2 cup sweet corn, frozen or fresh
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/3 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Arrange squash in a large baking dish, cut-sides down. Pour 1/2 cup water into the dish and bake until just tender, 30 to 35 minutes. Rake with a fork to remove flesh in strands, leaving the shell intact for stuffing.

For the filling, heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion, jalapeño and bell pepper and cook for 2 minutes or until soft. Add beans, corn and chili powder; cook, stirring frequently, 1 minute longer. Add cooked squash, cilantro, lime juice and salt, cook 1 minute until heated through.

Fill squash halves with filling, mounding mixture in the center.

Believe it or not, I hardly messed with this recipe. I simply doubled the black beans and corn, and was possibly a little more liberal with the cilantro and lime. The Mr said, "You should have added a little cilantro." Dripping sarcasm. Of course I added tons of cilantro! I served with salsa, sour cream, and a good aged white cheddar that was gifted to us. I did have to pick out the jalepenos since the ones I used were from my freezer and had the seeds intact. Whew! I am such a wimp when it comes to heat these days.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

As We Wrap Up Fall Break

And thus concludes our fall break. Ahhhh. It has been so, so good.

Today we hung out at home again. My man had homework (he's going back to school for those that may not know); so, he was in our bedroom all day. Well, he did take time to play monster with the girls a few times. I balanced the checkbook, placed my Honest order, and cleaned the kitchen with roars, screams, and laughter as my background music.

The girls wanted to paint the pumpkins they got at the pumpkin patch this week, which evolved into using paint markers and permanent markers. Which suited me just fine. Less mess.

A girl and her horse!

Meanwhile, I roasted my pumpkin and toasted the seeds. We finally found a recipe we all love; this one's a keeper:

Toss pumpkin seeds with butter, salt, pepper, garlic powder, and red pepper flakes. Roast in a single layer at 300 degrees for about 45 minutes. Crispy and flava-ful! (I did not rinse the seeds because I didn't want to waste the time letting them dry, but I did remove as much goop as possible. The girls helped me dig out all the seeds before I roasted the pumpkin; we called our operation "scoop the goop.")

For supper, I needed to use up a small jar of stewed tomatoes that I made the other night, some bell peppers I got out of my garden this week, and a little bit of left-over white wine. I love Google; I just typed in "pasta white wine veggies" and a whole list of recipes popped up. Isn't that a beautiful thing? This was the one I chose, and as the Mr said, it's a keeper:

Garlic-Butter-White Wine Pasta
(We of course added our own touch. We sauteed green bells and onions in butter, then tossed in the drained stewed tomatoes at the last minute to heat them up, then poured the pasta and sauce in with the veggies. OH! And I used the super-awesomeness of basil-infused olive oil for step 1. I didn't have parsley, but I chopped the basil from the oil and added it back in at the very end. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, see this post.)

1 lb pasta
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/4 cup olive oil
5 Tbs unsalted butter
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup chopped flat parsley
1/2 cup grated parmagiano-reggiano cheese


1. Heat olive oil over medium heat.
2. Add garlic and crushed red pepper. Saute until golden, about 1-2 minutes.
3. Add salt, pepper, white wine, butter.
4. Stir 2 minutes, remove from heat.
5. Toss pasta with sauce, parsley, and cheese.

You will love it.

And you may be happy to know - but not nearly as happy as I am - that I have almost finished washing the mildewy winter coats. I have soaked every single one in diluted bleach water without any negative effects. YIPEEEEE!!! How can I prevent this from happening again???

Okay, time to get some pumpkin muffins baking and in my tummy. Then date night on the couch with my man. Tomorrow I shabbat. Church, left-overs, books, movies, hot drinks, blankets, snuggles...

Love to all...

I Can Sew


I'll be keepin' it real up in here today: I sewed my pants to the sewing machine. Lit-ra-lee. How does that even happen? And not just once, but twice. I wasn't sure how I was going to get them off the second time. I tugged and pulled and cut and tugged and pulled. Until I popped a piece off of my sewing machine. I thought I broke it. 

After fixing the "broken" piece that wasn't broken, I pulled out a ribbon to experiment. I then sewed IT to the machine. Again, not just once, but twice. I guess if you do the same thing over and over you should expect the same results over and over. Perhaps I'm not a quick study. 

I tried to take a picture of this epic and, after the fourth time, humorous failure but I could not find an angle that justly represented the mess I made. Just take my word: momma can't sew. 

I worked for an hour and a half before admitting defeat and calling my dear mentor-friend for help. She came and had me sewing again in ten. 

I've decided thread-free is best for me when it comes to fabric. So, today I started cutting old clothes into strips and braiding them together for a rag rug. This I can do. I think. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

This is How We Do Fall (Break)

I wrote this last night but couldn't get the pictures to upload. Technical difficulties. Just pretend it's still Thursday. Yes! That gives me another day at home with my girlies...

I know I've said it before momma is more happy than me when school is out! I love having my girls home. This week has been so good. Full of lots of good.

Fall break started at exactly 2:35 on Friday. I was sitting in the pick-up line to get my girl when the dismissal bell rang. Yippee!

First item of fun: welcoming home some friends who had been vacaying in New York. We had been watching their house and taking care of their lawn and pool (which might have resulted in a few swims). They brought home some New York treats: apples, apple donuts, maple syrup, aged cheddar, cheese curds...yum! The girls and I didn't get fifty feet from their house before ripping into the squeaky cheese curds. 

Friday night we drove to my hometown. My cousin was holding her annual bonfire on Saturday night and on Sunday my sister's church was hosting the second annual ALS bike ride in memory of my brother. We drove home late Sunday. 

Monday my man had to return to work, :( but the girls and I lounged all day. Amidst catching up on laundry, we watched movies, read books, and played. Monday night the Mr. took us out for pizza and wings and a movie - Dolphin Tale 2. 

Tuesday was more chillaxing at home, with a lot of time spent outside. We got yet another amazing harvest from the garden - sweet potatoes, lettuces, bell peppers, banana peppers, and cherry tomatoes. I wish I had taken a picture! Every time I think the garden is done, I wait a few days and find more!

Tuesday night was my big girl's usual riding lesson. Her sweet teacher remarked on E's growing confidence. The summer has brought a lot of growth. We only have a few more weeks before the-ever-earlier-sunset will snuff out our time with beautiful Cocoa and rambunctious Pooh. Until next spring. We may run over before then to help with an occasional feeding or to clean stalls, and if there is unusually good weather, E hopes she may squeeze in a ride here or there.

(Forgive the poor photo quality. I promise: I am going to buy a new phone soon!)


Yesterday (Wednesday) we went to library and got nine books, two of which were chapter books. We have already read eight. We read all seven of the easy reads yesterday and this morning's rainy weather gave us an opportunity to read our first Magic Tree House book, in one sitting. We think we may like this series.

We also went to the pumpkin patch yesterday. We went through a very loooong corn maze, the girls played in the grain bin, fed goats, and climbed on tires, and we all picked out a nice round pumpkin. I see roasted pumpkin and pumpkin muffins in my future! 

While we were looking for the perfect pumpkins, a worker talked me into buying a cushaw. I had no idea what it was, but when he said it tasted like a sweet potato, I was sold! So, now I am in search of recipes. Anyone?

We finished off our Wednesday with a movie, popcorn, and hot chocolate. Ahhhhh.

Today, the girls have played all day, creating "houses" in the living room, playing "sisters," and, of course, reading Magic Tree House. Meanwhile, I have made bread, canned pickled banana peppers and stewed tomatoes, researched cushaw recipes and how to cure sweet potatoes, and done laundry.

Which brings me to the un-fun thing I have been working on this fall break - washing all the winter coats. As it turns out, the stinky coat closet (we couldn't figure out why it had started smelling so yucky) has actually been growing some white mold. Can we all say GROSS!?!? I have been soaking the coats in diluted bleach water and washing, one or two at a time. Next will be all the blankets, hats, scarves, and gloves. And then the fun job of scrubbing down the walls with bleach water. There are only a few spots on a few of the jackets, but I'm washing everything! I'm so grossed out by this. Has anyone else ever had this happen or is this totally abnormal? I pondered throwing everything away. Is that crazy?

On to happier thoughts...

Tonight my babies are going to their Nana's. I'm sad. I really don't want to give them up. Oops. This is supposed to be happier thoughts! Okay, the happy part is they get time together - they are dying to go as much as she is dying to see them - and I will get to work uninterrupted in the kitchen, which is probably my most favorite thing to do, next to working in the garden. I will roast pumpkin and preserved basil this afternoon. Look at all this beauty!

And when the Mr. gets home, we will be sawing wood for a project he has been commissioned to do. This is how we do date nights.


**I just found out about this easy way to preserve basil in olive oil today. I'll let you know how it tastes later, but for now, just feast your eyes:


**Recipe for Pickled Banana Peppers:

I gleaned from this one and this one. I only had enough peppers to do one pint. So, I used...

1/2 c. water
1  1/2 c. vinegar
a squeeze of honey
1 pressed garlic clove

Brought water, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper to a boil... Added garlic and banana peppers... Returned to a boil and boiled another couple of minutes... Ladled in jar, sealed, and processed for about 5 mins.
Why I processed, I do not know, because they will not live in that jar long enough to warrant it. 


**Curing sweet potatoes:

When I planted my sweet potatoes, I didn't know I would have to cure them.  Nor did I know that the ideal curing environment was between 85-95 degrees with approximately 85-95% humidity. A friend offered the use of her green house, but I really wanted to figure out a way to do it on my own. 

I dug up my sweet potatoes late Tuesday, and left them out in the sun yesterday to dry, but forgot them and last night's rain undid what the sun did. I brought them in this morn, toweled them off, and stuck them in my oven. I found out a while back that if I just turn my oven light on, it heats up the oven enough to make my bread rise. So I turned the light on and put a bowl of water and the food thermometer in the oven. Little did I know the light will keep the oven about 90 degrees if I open the door ocassionally. Perfect!! Here's to improvisation! 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

GREEN Cookies!

If you read yesterday, you may already know I baked "Everything Cookies."  I made up a recipe and put a little bit of everything in it, and a really yummy cookie came out of the oven, and we all ate two immediately, and the rest sat to cool until we all decided to eat some more after supper several hours later.  The Mr. and younglings watched some Star Wars (sigh of surrender) and each had two more cookies while I cleaned up the kitchen.  We put the girls to bed and I sat down on the couch with my "I made it to the end of another day" prize:  two cookies with milk, and hot tea and water for later.  (What can I say?  I planned on being there a while and I drink a lot.)  I took a bite of a cookie, and immediately spit it back out, because this is what I saw:

I slowly tilted my head then asked the Mr, "Why is the inside of my cookie GREEN?"

He kinda turned his lips down in a slight shrug, and went on reading, completely unperturbed, while I dashed off to the kitchen to check the other cookies.  Cookie after cookie, when broken in half, turned out to be green in the middle.  I immediately thought, "I fed these to my KIDS!"  I was torn between being perplexed and distraught!  What do I do when I'm perplexed or distraught?  Google it, of course.

Surprisingly, as I typed in "cookies turned g..." the search bar filled in the rest.  Okay, I thought, this is at least common enough for Google to expect my question.  Guess what?  There were numerous images of green cookies and page after page of discussions about this strange phenomenon.  Even SunButter's website addresses it HERE and HERE.

Turns out, sunflower seeds have chlorophyll in them that reacts with baking soda/powder when heated and results in the green color when cooled.  SunButter assures us "the cookies are still perfectly edible and safe to consume."

Still. Weird, right? I have eaten them again today, but if I'm honest (and I'm all about keeping it REAL up in here), it is a little bit of "an appetite squelcher," as even SunButter's website admits.

Here's to yummy, strange, green, everything cookies.  Happy eating, my sunbutter lover friends.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Everything Cookies

My man really gets a little frustrated with me that I never follow a recipe.  Has he ever told me this?  No.  Would he ever admit it?  No.  He compliments the food, always.  But I know him.  I know what he is not saying, and what he is not saying is, "You didn't follow the recipe again, did you?"

Every once in a while I will make something he really likes, and he will say something like, "What did you put in this?  You should write it down so you can make it again."

The down-side to never using a recipe is you can rarely create the same dish twice.  The up-side to never using a recipe is you never eat the same thing twice!

So, today, when I decided I wanted a rich, fall flavored cookie, I did some Google searches with various combinations of the following words:  oats, pecans, chocolate chips, and maple syrup.  I found nothing that was exactly what I wanted; so -big surprise - I improvised.  Truth be known, had I found a recipe that sounded really awesome, I probably still would have changed something.

What follows is the recipe to what I am calling "Everything Granola Cookies," because I basically threw every ingredient from every recipe I found that I liked, plus a few more ingredients not listed on any recipes.  

Everything Granola Cookies

Preheat oven to 375.


1 stick butter, softened
*FYI: when in a pinch, I have realized I can use the microwave on defrost setting to soften the butter without melting it completely!
1/2 c. sunbutter
1/2 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. raw sugar

While mixing on low speed, add:

2 eggs
2 T. maple syrup
1 t. vanilla

Mix in a separate bowl:

1 c. flour
1 t. baking soda
1 t. baking powder
1/4 t. salt

Add flour mixture to egg mixture, mixing by hand.


3 c. oats
1 c. pecans
1 bag of chocolate chips

Scoop by rounded spoonful on stone cookie sheet and bake 10 mins. 



Also in the oven today (only because I'm cooking to procrastinate finishing the dreaded wardrobe change)...

Alton Brown's Granola and cheese enchiladas made with Jami Nato's whole wheat tortillas

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fall is upon us.

I love this weather. 50's by night, 70's by day. Windows open from 7am 'til midnight. Jackets and sweaters in the morning. Heat and defrost on the way to school. Fog. Fog! I love fog. Always have. 

I read this book when I was a kid called Fog Magic. In it a little girl who lived by the sea discovered a secret town that only existed when a deep fog settled in. I always wished that could be true for me. But, alas, I do not live by the sea. 

And, so it's fall. The weather is ideal, in my opinion. Chili weather. Pun intended. The only down-side to fall is the wardrobe change. I put it off and put it off, squishing my growing girls into capris that should be pants and 3/4 length sleeves that used to be long - until I can not wait anymore. And so today I began the daunting process. 

It looks like my girls' closets have erupted, spewing lavaclothes all over their bed, their floor, their chair, and their drawers, until finally over-flowing all the way down the hall, winding around corners, and flowing mysteriously uphill again to cover my kitchen table. We may be eating in the living room tonight. 

And, speaking of eating, I will be serving lasagna for the third night in a row. I can guarantee you the Mr and our youngest youngling will not be happy about that. 

But it's fall!  And I sit in the hammock while lava waits to be cleaned up inside and a garden bulges with a last harvest to be gathered and girls play soccer and ride bikes and we eat popcorn and drink juice when we are minutes away from our regular supper time. Forget supper. Maybe we'll just have hot chocolate and go to bed... 

Because it's fall!

Monday, September 8, 2014

The Sauce Continues

Once again I wrote something I never posted.  This was written Saturday night.  And, if you're wondering, because I know you're not, we "shabbat-ed" Sunday by going swimming.  Now it's Monday, and my to-do list for the week seems daunting, but, as I read in 2 Samuel this morning, "With my God, I can scale a wall."  Amen?

I made batch two and three of what I am calling "Italian Sauce" tonight.  Yay, me!  I'm feeling pretty much awesome right now, as I sit and type at midnight, drinking mint tea, made with mint from my own garden, waiting for my last batch of sauce to thicken, so I can pour it in the jars.  Can I also jar this feeling?  For those days when I'm feeling not-so-awesome?  Like everyday, at some point, or many points in the day.  Liking all my commas?  That's because, I'm thinking really slowly.  It's, been, a, long, day.

The man and I are taking care of our friends' lawn while they are out of town for six weeks.  So, this morn we went straight there and he mowed and weeded with the weed-eater, while I watered their never-ending pots of flowers (lit-ra-lee takes an hour to water) and weeded by hand.  It was be-a-u-tee-ful outside today; so, working outside was fun.  I really wanted to jump in their pool afterwards, but, alas, I didn't have my bathing suit.  I seriously considered jumping in anyway.  Why didn't I?  That would have been really fun.  And much more exciting to tell.  I need more fun.

Then we came home and I harvested the garden and did laundry.  Lots, and, lots, of laundry.  Then I made sourdough biscuits with my new sourdough starter that is ridiculously awesome!!!!  It is just a slurry of flour and water, no sugar, my friends.  Tangy sourdough bread.  Yum.  (And sourdough biscuits.  And sourdough pizza crust.  And sourdough pretzels.  And sourdough bagels.  And I'm starting to sound like Forrest Gump...)

So, I made sourdough biscuits, fried bacon and eggs, cut up tomatoes, and my man made gravy, and we had breakfast for supper.  Yum again.

Then I put the girls to bed while my man went to see his cousin in the hospital.  I picked up.  I did dishes.  I made two batches of "Italian Sauce."  See, why I'm feeling awesome?  I am never (I mean never!) this productive.

OOOoooooh!  I just heard a pop!  One jar sealed. Four more to go.

So, why "Italian Sauce?" you may be asking.  Or you may not be asking, but I'll tell you anyway.  I use spaghetti sauce for everything.  I know some people differentiate; they'll use marinara for lasagna and bread sticks, pizza sauce for pizza, and so on.  I buy spaghetti sauce and use it for everything.  Mezzetta roasted garlic sauce.  And it goes on, in, or with anything that requires any type of red sauce.  It is the only sauce I have ever found that has NOTHING weird in it.  (And, no, I am not getting paid for this little advertisement, but I should!)

So, since I already use one sauce for everything Italian, I thought I would just call my homemade sauce "Italian Sauce," because it will be used for all things Italian.

If you remember in my last post, I said the sauce is yellow-orange when I pour it in the pot but turn red as it boils down, well, here's proof. The closest pot has just started cooking, while the back pot is nearly done. Weird, right?

In other useless news, my cat has become a lap cat.  In the course of one day, she has gone from aloof to snuggly.  Weird but wonderful.  She sat in my man's lap last night.  Then today when I sat on the couch she crawled into my lap.  And just now, while sitting at the kitchen table typing, she jumped up and tried to get comfy in my lap again.  Unfortunately, I had to get up to stir the sauce.  I hope I haven't just ruined the good thing we have going with her.  You know how cats are, one wrong move, and they are done with ya.

Well, it's late and I'm tired from all this productivity, so I'm off here.  All this productivity may have been possible because I know tomorrow is my "slouchy" day, as my sister calls it.  We will go to church, then come home and nap.  We may go swimming or watch movies or play outside or read books, but I will do no work tomorrow, because, it's the Sabbath, y'all.  Just in case I haven't shared this awesome lil tidbit before, have you heard where that word comes from?

Sabbath comes from -> shabbat which means -> "ceasing" or "stopping."

Tomorrow I stop.  I cease all work.  I shabbat.  It's an awesome feeling knowing I have this day of rest coming.  Maybe that's why I'm feeling so awesome. 

Night, all.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

I interrupt these Facebook flashbacks for the following announcement...

I made tomato sauce tonight!  Can I get a WOOT-WOOT!?!?!

Is that a recycled store-bought jelly jar?  Reduce, reuse, recycle, peeps.  That's all I'm sayin'.

So, first, I did a little batch as a trial run. I wanted to see if I could get a decent flavor before pouring tons of precious garden bounty and time into canning. The trial batch was used on pizza and earned this sauce the right to live in a jar. 

The crust was barely edible, but the sauce was in-credible!!!

Last year I had my first canning experience with pear preserves. I don't even really like pear preserves, but I have a friend who has a pear tree and she doesn't eat pears.  Free produce = opportunity to experiment with canning.  It was successful; so, I had the courage to keep on experimenting.

This summer another friend was kind enough to give me lessons in canning tomato juice and salsa.  Tonight I decided to venture out on my own and try a sauce recipe posted by a friend on Facebook.

Here is her post, including the original recipe and her changes.

Ok, here's the original spaghetti sauce recipe [...] 

24 c tomatoes
4 c chopped onions
18 T olive oil
6 T garlic
36 oz tomato paste
6 T oregano
6 T basil
6 bay leaves
4 T salt
6 T sugar

I made a few changes.
I used heirloom Russian Krim, black cherry and beefsteak varieties. I blend them whole in my Vitamix. (too lazy to peel)

Instead of dried basil and oregano- I used fresh from my garden. About 3 c each.Chopped.
I added a couple of pinches of red pepper for some heat.
Only had one 15 oz can of tomato paste.
Boiled to reduce by half. (took abt 12 hrs!)
Used red wine vinegar to increase acidity.
Water bath canned for 55 min for altitude.

And now, for my changes...

I only had about 15 tomatoes, including San Marzano, Hillbilly, and some GMO variety from a local farmer.  =/  I used my own fresh basil and oregano, approximately 5-6 basil leaves and about a 6 inch stem of oregano (leaves only) for every 3 tomatoes.  I used pearl onions from the local Amish, about one per every 3 toms.  And a clove of garlic for every tom.  I also used one carrot, because I had read (while researching how to can spaghetti sauce) that it would make it sweeter.

You may have noticed - no tomato paste.  I started to buy some yesterday at the store, but I just couldn't bring myself to add something already canned to my fresh produce.

So, I pureed all that yummy freshness in my Ninja, cocked my head at the coloration, and poured the yellow-orange mixture in a pan.  I was a little concerned at this point that I would have pale sauce since several of my tomatoes were yellow (Hillbilly tomatoes are yellow/red).  I was also concerned that I would never get it to cook down; it was very juicy since I pureed the whole tomato.  I brought the yellow-orange soup to a boil and added about a teaspoon of salt and sugar and a couple of splashes of olive oil and balsamic vinegar.  I boiled it down until it was the consistency (and color) I wanted (amazingly, this only took about an hour) and canned.  YUM! 

You readers may not be at all interested, but I wanted to preserve this recipe for myself and my kidlets, who I hope are interested some day.  =)

Happy Harvest season, friends!!!

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Life as it's known on Facebook, 2011

This is the continuation of this post:  Life, as it's known on Facebook, 2010.

January 17

Angela Thomas coming to Madisonville in September...

Jan 18

thought i might have over-dosed my child on ibuprofen until i found out i would have to give 35 teaspoons at once to meet the "danger" limit! i think we're safe. LOL. thank you poison control hotline! 

Jan 19

my hubby is quite the handy man...i can roll my window up and down, thanks, honey!

Jan 20

"Go in the strength you have." Judges 6:14.

Jan 21

ATTN: Naomi Ladies:
Tonight's social has been cancelled. Check your email for info.

[Naomi was the name of the Bible study class I taught.]

Jan 23

I'm constantly saying to Emma in response to her requests for my attention, "It's gonna be just a minute; I'm cooking [picking up, feeding Greta, etc.] right now." So, yesterday...
ME: "Emma, let's go!" 
EMMA: "Well, it's gonna be just a minute. I'm playing right now."
Cooking. Playing. To her it's all the same.

Jan 29

went to the store while heath watched the girls. after carrying in all the groceries, emma asked, "why are there so many?"
"because i had a lot of groceries to buy."
emma: "do they have anymore?"
me: "who?"
emma: "the store."

Jan 29

I wonder if God feels this way when he has to discipline us.

Jan 30

g saw e coming down the hall and reached out w/both hands, then threw them around e's neck and squeezed tight. first time i'd ever seen her do that, to anybody. nothing sweeter.

Jan 31

It's official...I'm deleting my FB account. i say "my" b/c heath was hardly ever on here. The repeated changes to privacy settings, added to the fact that I will always spend more time on here than I can justify, has made up my mind. tootles, all. it was short-lived but it was fun. jaimee 

[It was a short-lived break, too.]

May 15

aaaak! got on here tonight to download my videos of emma off FB onto my computer so i could FINALLY delete my FB account...have spent hours on here and still don't have my videos on my computer! can anyone tell me if there's another way to do this WITHOUT downloading firefox and grease monkey? otherwise, i may eternally have a FB account that i never check just so i don't lose these videos!

June 26

well, she's about 6 months slower than emma, but greta's finally starting to talk in phrases...this afternoon at lunch heath got up and she said, "daddy go?" just now she woke from nap and hollered over and over, "mommy! want out!"

July 3

just watched wonder people loved him! his story is inspiring & nearly unbelievable! talk about running with perseverance (heb 12:1)!!! another testament to our God! ties in PERFECTLY with my Bible study lesson tomorrow!

July 6

random thoughts (in honor of katy): i just made my first batch of sourdough; suddenly great harvest's bread is worth $5. emma has a friend named Bon; he is her hand. we put the girls together in emma's bed 2nite 4 a trial run; emma kept mothering, "dreta, don't be scared...dreta, don't move in my bed, you'll fall out, yes dreta, it will hurt...dreta, lay down..."

[My friend, Katy, is always posting three or four unrelated random thoughts or things her kids have done.  Her posts are always super-cute.]

July 9, posted to my wall by my friend, Tammy C.:

I'm not giving up on a tea date with you! I can't even tell you where I've been lately because it's been a God journey on "fast forward" but I promise to curl up on your couch with a cup of tea soon for us catch up on our lives:) -Tammy

July 16, posted to my wall by my friend, Jackie G., who had moved away:

Miss you....BUNCH!

July 16

choc cookies & banana bread in my belly...sourdough rising in pans (woo-hoo!)...time alone (heath took girls on errands)...visiting a friend this afternoon...ALL rare treats make for a super good weekend. 

July 16

my three favorite things...and the tie e gave her daddy 4 father's day.

Photo: my three favorite things...and the tie e gave her daddy 4 father's day.

July 16

the chimneys

Photo: the chimneys

July 16

g always does this when she's hand in mouth, one in some hair (preferably someone else's) 
Photo: g always does this when she's hand in mouth, one in some hair (preferably someone else's)  =)

July 16

vacation-may 2011 (27 photos)

e's fascinated by the catepillar
g's fascinated by the rocks

strawberry-banana pancakes

pancake pantry

downtown gburg


g was NOT comfortable w/this

Clingman's Dome

[I'm looking scary here.]

final stop:  sissa's and cece's

sweet cece's


one tired little girl


That wraps up our vacay pix.

And that's a wrap for tonight.  More from 2011 tomorrow.  Or next month.