Thursday, April 17, 2014

In the Library Bag

I started this post many, many days ago.  Weeks would be more accurate!  I had a picture of the books and it has since "disappeared".  No matter, I'm posting anyway. 

Some of these books from the library had been requested quite a while ago and others very recently and of course they all came in at the same time!

My favorite out of this stack is definitely Bread and Wine: A Love Letter to Life Around the Table by Shauna Niequist.  I love this book!

 I had really been struggling lately in the kitchen department.  Meal planning, food shopping, preparing, cleaning up.  Honestly,  I was just sick of it all.   

I am fully aware that I have no right to complain about any of it.  The alternative to all this would be to live alone and eat frozen dinners every meal.  That is not at all what I want!  I had been praying for an attitude adjustment and I believe this book was an answer to prayer.  This book has sort of revived me a bit.  The author goes on and on about cooking like a grandmother would go on about her first grandchild.  This woman loves cooking and she really loves food!  She made me feel normal about the way I feel about chocolate.  Although her food loves are different, I could totally relate!  There are recipes, and most of them look really great and I can't wait to try them (most of them are gluten free), but mostly it's a story about her life.  It's about showing hospitality (which I want to do more of so badly) and friendship.  If you need to be inspired in the kitchen, or just inspired period, I highly recommend it!

How the Heather Looks is the story of a family who traveled to England for a summer looking for all of the places they had read about.  From Tolkien's Lord of the Rings to A.A. Milne's Winnie the Pooh.  They travel all over discovering the Hundred Acre Wood and homes of authors and illustrators.  I came across it when looking for books for Callie for school next year.  It's written in a very engaging way and is quite interesting....if you are familiar with the books they are talking about.  There were several chapters telling about things I was not familiar with and those were a little harder to get through, but I'm glad I found it.

I still haven't finished Age of Opportunity.  I will, it's very, very good!!   I shouldn't have started Bread and Wine first.  But now I'm finished with that one so I can finish the first one.  I mean, which you would you rather read about, food or raising teenagers? ;)

Monday, April 14, 2014


In fashion, and home décor, classic green is my least favorite color.  After a long, cold winter, however, it is the prettiest color I can think of.  Especially when paired with yellow or held in the hands of someone you love.
at the back door

at Coxhall Gardens

 Palm Sunday


Wednesday, April 9, 2014

A Tea Cozy

Every time I see a tea cozy on a British movie or television show (or even some one's house) I think they are so cute! 

When I received Jane Brocket's knitting book for my birthday last year, this one of the first things I wanted to make.  Other projects were in the works or needed {I'm a one-at-a-time project kind of girl} so I just finished this recently.  The colored yarn pictured here is for the flowers that will go on top.  Not sure that I would have used those colors, but I'm using what I've got so...wild and colorful it is!  I've finished the flowers and I just need to attach them.

The book, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment, has been here for years I believe.  Something Cameron must have bought at some point.  A friend mentioned it a long time ago and I decided it would be good to read during Lent.  I was right.  It is good.  Not like a novel that you can't put down of course, but good and thought provoking.
Edited to add....I almost forgot.  I didn't follow the pattern exactly.  I couldn't figure it out so I just did 2 x 2 ribbing.  It looks almost exactly the same.
Joining Ginny

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

"Is Your Computer Broke?"

This is what my Mother asked me yesterday on the phone.  I thought she was serious for a minute, then she scolded me for all those trips upstairs to the computer to check the blog......for nothing.  :)  Sorry Mother.

I told her we hadn't been doing aything exciting to blog about, but then I realized that was not true.  We have been doing a lot, I just didn't have any pictures.  (I got this one from Callie) 

Last week "the cousins" came up (the girls) and we took a little shopping trip.  Callie had received a gift certificate for Christmas and had been saving it just for this occasion.  Thanks to a little pre-Easter gift to all the girls from their grandparents, they were all able to do some shopping.  Not just some, we spent seven hours in that mall!  All four of the girls are becoming very wise shoppers. The key to enjoying shopping with a 14 yo and an 8 yo is to take along their cousins and at least one of your sisters.  We had a great time!  All that was missing was the other sister.

This week, we have had lots of Spring Break play dates.  It's nice when the older daughter's friend has a sibling for the younger daughter to play with too.   Although these growing kids can eat!!  It's good thing tomorrow is grocery day.

The weekend was filled with more great times with friends on Sunday.  We have been truly blessed by all the people God has placed in our lives.

I think Spring is truly here.  The days are warmer, storms (that don't involve snow) are in the forecast, and the grass is almost green.  That might be one of the best parts of spring.  I hate seeing the brown, seemingly dead grass.  Tulips are coming up that I had forgotten I planted and I can't wait to see what they look like.

We have two more days of our break then next week we'll be back to normal.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Best Day Ever

.....well at least for a long time.  :)

It's been a hard winter!  And not just the weather.  I've really been struggling to be thankful and not dwell on the problems. I KNOW we have a lot to be thankful for, I just don't always feel it.  But today it seemed so easy!!

Today, it was 65 or so, sunny and not so windy that it still felt cold, which is a rare combination in these parts.

The girls played outside for awhile.

                                                                 the daffodils will be up soon

I did quite a bit of Spring cleaning, well, let's be honest, mostly Spring organizing and sprucing up and a little cleaning.

I made a wreath to hang above the chalkboard wall.  Being at the bottom of the stairs, the black wall can sometimes look like a dark cave.


I painted my toe nails and wore flip flops. :)

I got the seeds lined up that can be planted soon.  Today would have been perfect, but we are having some guests tonight and so the inside straightening was a little more important.  I'm hoping I can talk Cameron into it tomorrow, even though it will be 20 degrees colder and it may rain tonight so he may get out of it anyway.

I saw this idea here.

We made Ina's split pea soup and homemade bread and cornbread.  The bread is to bribe them to eat the soup.  It's good, but let's face it, it's split peas not chili or pizza.  A little bribery helps. 

Kate asked while we were eating if God was eating too. 

 Now the sun is going down and my toes are getting cold again.

Ahh, it was nice while it lasted.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Signs of Spring


I find it very humorous that the day I'm writing about Spring, it is snowing outside.  Not just flurries, but heavy and blowing sideways.

Yesterday, however, we had our very first picnic of the year on our new to us picnic table.  It was over 60 degrees.  Kate said, "I can't wait for Spring.  It will be like the first Spring Ever!"  After the winter we've had, I think she's right, it will feel like the first Spring ever.

Inside though, we don't have to wait.  We can pretend and decorate like it's already here.  I know it's close.  I saw some teeny tiny green things poking out of the ground.  The daffodils will be up soon and maybe eventually our yard will dry out.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

In the Kitchen


Our local library is very close to the girl's ballet school.  Often, Cameron will walk over there and come back to ballet with a cookbook.  Anyone who knows him is not shocked by this.  Sometimes they are filled with recipes that are way to high maintenance for our life right now or maybe even down right weird, but his latest find, we have all agreed, is a keeper. 

Martha's American Food.  At first I blew it off.  I have almost all the magazines after all.  "I'm sure all the recipes are just reprinted from the magazine."  I thought I even recognized some of the pictures.  But Cameron kept showing me recipes and even had the other parents salivating.  So I took a closer look. 

In the beginning, there are several all American recipes that honestly, most people already know how to make or have a recipe for.  But after that section, the book is broken into chapters based on geographical regions.  South, Midwest, Northeast, etc.  For every recipe there is a "back story" that is very interesting.  It would be a great book for a new bride or for a young lady to learn how to cook. The baked goods are not gluten free, but I have found that most things are easily tweaked and there are so many other good things to make, it doesn't really matter. 

I know there are those who never use cookbooks any more because of there are so many on-line, but there's just nothing like a good book with fabulous pictures to look through.  As a matter of fact, this is what Kate and Callie do during lunch.  Pick out a cookbook and look through it while they eat.  Callie is saying "Yum" every other page while Kate is usually saying "No way".  It's quite comical to listen to. 

So far we have tried the Roast Pork Italian sandwich and Boston baked beans from the Northeast section and I made the Pimiento Cheese spread from the South section.  Yum, yum, yum!!!  Fortunately for me, the girls don't really care for the pimiento cheese. :)  What's not to love about cheddar cheese and mayo mixed with a few other ingredients?  Oh, and Cameron made Orange Julius.  Mmmm.

Also in the past week there has been a whole lot of tea being made.  Not yummy sweet tea, but teas to try to get the two sickies back to normal.  Kate is finally well after a week and we are still working on Cameron. 

The teas we buy are made by Traditional Medicinal.  I usually get mine at Kroger.  They won't cure any diseases I'm sure, but they can really help with some symptoms and they feel so good going down.  I add a lot of honey to Kate's and just some to Cameron's.  Tea is one thing that Kate is not picky about.  She'll drink just about any of them as long as there is a little sweetness in it.

I've also made some garlic/honey tea.  We just call it "honey tea" or else you know who wouldn't touch it!