Monday, March 31, 2008


Spring is here. Well, at least for today and for that I am thankful. It was warm enough to start our day with a walk on the bike trail with our neighbors. I've got the doors open now, but that might be pushing it. It's a little chilly, but it's worth it to smell that fresh air.

I'm feeling the need to air out the house, reorganize everything, and scrub away the darkness of winter. I usually love the winter, but this one has seemed especially long. But I'm certain that has more to do with the state of our lives then the temperature outside. I'm ready for spring, for freshness and for newness of every area of my life. I'm ready for something new.

The Lord, in His perfect timing, knows just what I need. We have come to a place where important things in our life are coming to an end, but I know that is only because there are new things to come. I don't know what lies ahead, but I'm okay with that. It's time to clean house around here so that we can be ready for what lies ahead.

I'm ready for spring.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

A day at the zoo

After spending most of the week inside with a sick girl, waking to blue skies this morning made me happy. We had planned to go out of town, but the aforementioned sick girl changed our plans. With the weekend now free to do as we wanted, we set out in search of some fun. Our search led us to the zoo (well, the free tickets we had for the zoo really led us there!) It was a bit chilly, but as long as we kept moving the sunshine kept us warm.

The Asian elephants

Holding on when the train picked up speed

Ready to go on the train

My two favorite people

Lots of walking, lots of exclaiming "Lookatdat!" and lots of fun. I even had the foresight to stick dinner in the crockpot before we left so we came home to a delicious smelling house and dinner ready in no time.

A wonderful, much needed Saturday. It's marred only by the fact that Cale is now under the kitchen sink taking it apart because it is all backed up. But he's a handy guy and I'm sure he'll fix it in no time.

Maybe it's worse then I thought.

Well, at least we had a good afternoon because it looks like we could have a long night ahead of us. Maybe I should go help...

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Dinner Tonight

When Cale was out of town last week I spent waaaay too much time on the Internet. Most of the time spent was wasted, but there were a few shining lights in the midst of all the surfing. I have been on a huge cooking/food blog kick. I'm always up for new recipes and trying different foods and that's how the search (read:obsession) initially began. But then there were just so many sites to visit and links to click and I got carried away. So I decided to share some of the lovely links I found that just might help you figure out what to fix for dinner tonight!

Batter Splattered - Delicious recipes as well as photos. The fare is sometimes a bit more, let's say, sophisticated then we go for, but still some great ideas.

This Week for Dinner - Easy, practical go-to recipes. Encourages weekly meal plan sharing, but also has a massive list of all the recipes that have been posted. Some personal commentary intermingled (that I could do with out), but full of simple recipes.

Dinner Tonight - I'm a huge fan of Everyday Food magazine and this is their blog offering week night suggestions from previously printed recipes. If you're not familiar with the magazine this is a great way to try some of their recipes.

A Year of Crockpotting -My friend, J, told me about this site last night and I am thoroughly impressed by it. A woman committed to using her crock pot every day in 2008. She shares the recipe, her variations and her verdict. Everything from breakfast casserole to dessert with everything in between. I can't wait to try a few of these in the coming week.

Smitten Kitchen - This site isn't really practical for moms who don't have tons of time to prepare a meal, but the pictures are lovely and their are some very interesting recipes on here. Maybe you can broaden your food horizons a bit?!

As always, my go-to site for a recipe is . I'm sure you already know about the greatness of this site (and I think I have mentioned it before), but it's so great it's worth mentioning again. Many of "my" recipes have come from ideas found here that I've tweaked to suit our tastes. I have been using recipes from this site since I got married and it definitely has contributed to my success as a cook.

Try something new for dinner this week, but don't waste as much time as I did searching for inspiration on the Internet!

**Disclaimer: While I have looked through much of what's on these sites, I am by no means endorsing or agree with all they might say. I probably don't even need to say this, but it makes me feel better!**

Monday, March 24, 2008

Do you know what this is?

THIS, my friends, is our adoption application ready to be mailed in the morning!! It's almost six months to the day from when we originally had it ready to mail. But we trust in the Lord's perfect timing and are praising Him tonight that NOW is the time!

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Word

"Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. But He was wounded for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities; upon Him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with His stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all."
Isaiah 53:4-6

Thursday, March 20, 2008

A few days

I have been flying solo for the last few days. Well, as solo as any one can be while still caring for a 2 year old. Cale has been out of town on business and I have been trying to make the most of some extra *free* time. I think I've been quite successful and am feeling a bit like the queen of domesticity. A few of my accomplishments (and I assure you this is riveting information):

-reorganized the dreaded tupperware cupboard
-sewed some gifts: 2 baby blankets and a bib
-started to sew a pair of capri pants for Haven that I cut out 6 months ago (better late then never, right? although they seem huge and probably won't fit til next year anyways!)
-did all my regular cleaning, plus paid extra attention to a few areas in the kitchen
-baked cookies (recipe to follow- they were GOOD!)
-sorted and put away clothes Haven's outgrown and got out some more springy things

It's been nice to knock a few things off my never-gets-any-smaller-to-do list, but I want my husband back. Thankfully, he will be here soon!

I came across this recipe yesterday and they sounded good so Haven and I whipped them up after dinner. Really easy, fast and doesn't make a ton (which is a good thing!)

1 c shortening, margarine or butter (or a combo of these)
1 3/4 c sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 c all-purpose flour
2 t cream of tartar
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
4 t cinnamon

In a large mixing bowl, cream together the shortening and 1 1/2 c sugar (reserve the remaining 1/4 c of sugar for later). Beat in eggs. In a separate bowl, mix together the flour, cream of tartar, baking soda and salt. Gradually add to the creamed mixture. You can chill the dough overnight as the original instructions instruct, but who has time for that?

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine remaining 1/4 c sugar and the cinnamon in a flat bowl. Shape dough into balls the size of a walnut and roll in cinnamon sugar. Place 2 inches apart of an ungreased baking sheet and bake just until barely golden -- about 8 or 9 minutes. The cookies will puff up first, then flatten a bit with crackled tops. Cool on a wire rack. Makes about 3 dozen cookies (at least it did for me!).

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Haven's First Haircut...sniff, sniff

Haven was born with a head full of dark brown hair. This shocked me as there has never been a baby born in our family with so much hair before. We're generally a bunch of baldies at birth. Everyone said that Haven would lose all that dark hair, but she didn't lose a one. In fact, it just grew at a great rate and by three months it was necessary for her to wear hair clips so it wasn't in her eyes. The longer it got, the crazier looking it was, but I never seriously considering cutting it. She was a baby: she didn't need a haircut.

Well, that baby is now a two year old who had never had a haircut. Until last night...dun, dun, dun. After a conversation with Amber about just cutting it myself this past weekend, I knew it was time. I got the idea in my head and I just had to do it. So last night Haven took an early bath so we could get it over with. Her hair had kind of grown into a "V" shape and so we needed to even it out. I put the longest little part (that had a little curl in it) into a pony tail holder and proceeded to snip it off. We took a video of it and she thought it was hilarious and was laughing the whole time (which was a relief since every time I asked her if she wanted me to cut her hair she said, "NO! NO!")

Before: At its longest point, it was the entire way down her back

After: Who is this big girl with shoulder length hair?

I'm glad that I waited until I was really ready to do this otherwise it would've been traumatic for all of us. I was sad about cutting off her little curl, but I knew it was time. I just want to know when my baby is going to stop growing up?

Monday, March 17, 2008

Taking care of business

I spent the second half of last week laid up on the couch. My house has suffered because of this. About a year ago, I decided that I needed a new system in taking care of our house. Since caring for our home is a big part of my job as a homemaker I decided I needed to take it more seriously and be a better steward of what the Lord has blessed us with. Now I certainly didn't have a filthy house prior to this, but I would clean everything one day a week like a crazy person and be exhausted after the fact. Or I would stress if someone were coming over because I hadn't cleaned in several days. Something different needed to happen.

After being inspired by some ideas I found online I decided to adopt a clean something everyday approach. My schedule roughly looks like this:

Monday- Quick dust and vacuum downstairs, sweep kitchen, laundry

Tuesday- Downstairs bathroom

Wednesday-Deep clean kitchen, sweep and mop kitchen

Thursday- Upstairs bathroom, dust and vacuum downstairs

Friday-Dust and vacuum bedrooms, linen laundry, sweep kitchen

*bathroom sinks get wiped down as necessary throughout the week and I have become vigilant in picking up clutter at the end of every day

I can't tell you what a difference this has made for me. I honestly feel like I always have a clean house and that I am caring for it more effectively. I spend 15-40 minutes each day depending on the areas that need cleaned. This is a much more realistic time frame for me with a toddler under foot wanting to help. It also leaves the weekend free to work on other projects around the house with Cale (or do nothing at all!).

I've had this post in my head since Friday as I watched stuff piling up and knowing how behind I was going to be come Monday. I smiled when I read Pleasant View School House's post yesterday about this very same thing. Since I wouldn't mind being like her when I grow up, it made me feel like at least in this one small area, I'm on the right track. Now I just need to get to work on that law degree!

Friday, March 14, 2008

A happy list

*The biggest news of the week is that we received a little piece of paper that now (kind of) frees us from the evil clutches of a particular government agency that has been harassing us for 6 months. This little piece of paper allows us to now move ahead with our adoption. Can we get a Praise the Lord?!? More news to come on that front...

*I can't tell you how much I am enjoying the book I'm doing with some other moms on Monday nights. "Hoping for Something Better" is unlike any other Bible study book I've ever done and through it I am understanding more about Hebrews then I ever thought possible. Even more importantly I am growing in the truth that Jesus is better... than anything and everything!

*On a more worldly note, I was delighted to read on this site that the best show on tv will probably-almost-definitely-hopefully be back on the air next season. Yes, my friends, I am referring to Friday Night Lights. What else could I be talking about?!

*I took some clothes to the consignment store several weeks ago. I went back this week to pick up my cash and now have a lovely little sum to spend at the Mom's Market sale that Amber and I are hitting tomorrow. Since many of the things I took to consignment were gifts that we didn't like (sorry!) or items that just never fit or were ever going to fit Haven, I feel like my pocket is full of free money. Therefore nothing I buy tomorrow will really cost me anything. Makes sense, right?

*We have a weekend full of plans that make me happy. Babysitting for friends tonight, deal shopping with Amber tomorrow, a baby shower for an old friend Saturday night, church and then our own date night...what's not to be excited about? I hope your weekend is as happy as mine is looking to be!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Cry it out

I had myself a good cry last night. A big ugly one in fact. I am not a pretty crier so luckily it was dark and Cale didn't have to see that mess. He's lived through several of these ugly cries in the past but it's not something the poor man needed to see last night. He was busy enough dealing with what was coming out my mouth!

Our life has been so incredibly hectic lately. Not in a busy-too-much-to-do way, just situations and people and decisions. I have been feeling heavy and overwhelmed and tired. And while I know that the Lord is walking through all of this "stuff" with us, I just hit a wall last night. I have had enough of thinking and justifying and defending and explaining. I think that's why I haven't in any way tried to articulate what's going on with us on my blog. (Well, that and the fact that some of it wouldn't be appropriate to share.) I spend so much time thinking things through that there's no energy left to express those thoughts in the written word. So until I can get through some of the haze in my mind, this is all I've got for you.

And hopefully there won't be more crying tonight!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

A snowy Saturday project

We are thoroughly snowed in and loving it. We only ventured across the street to attend our neighbor's one year birthday party. Needless to say, attendance was limited to only those within walking distance. After the party, while Haven napped I felt inspired to do a little project. I bought some fabric with the intention of making Haven a small tote bag to take to church. I wasn't thinking and didn't buy enough and then was unable to find more. Then I came across this small canvas bag for $.99. Last night when I was falling asleep I was inspired to do this:

I just sewed a strip of the fabric across the front and back of the bag and then embroidered initials on the front. This was my first attempt at embroidering, and granted this was super easy, but I couldn't be happier with the way it turned out. I might be hooked.

A snowy afternoon at home with pleasing results.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Is it over?

Is it Friday? Please?! It has been a week around here. I can't remember a time that I was happier to awake and remember that His mercies are new each morning. How I need new mercies because given the onslaught of yesterday I feel like we were perilously close to running out! Every time I turned around there was something else going on that demanded our attention, our thoughts, our prayers.

But it's Friday, we have a snowy weekend ahead of us and I can't think of anything I would rather do this weekend then be stuck at home. We have movies to watch, games to play, cookies to bake and sleep to be caught up on. Sounds perfect to me!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Searching for what

I decided to visit my Google Analytics Page the other day and check in on all of my "data". I was particularly interested to see how people get to my page. I get a lot of my readers via Amber's blog (thank you) and several come directly here. I also wondered what people are searching for in Google that leads them here. Some of the searches were pretty standard and not too surprising. But there was one that caught my eye and my heart. One of the searches that lead someone to my blog was for the words "cale loves". Who knows what I was actually talking about when I said it (probably food), but there is certainly no doubt that he loves me. It was nice to be reminded of that in such a weird way!

But what exactly was that person searching for I wonder? I'm sure they were disappointed when they wound up here!