Monday, June 30, 2008
Saturday, June 28, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
1/3 cup sugar
3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk
3 cups water
Wash limes thoroughly. Cut off the ends and slice into eight wedges. Place limes in a blender with the sugar, sweetened condensed milk, water, and ice.
Blend in an electric blender, pulsing 5 times. Strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove rinds. Serve over ice.
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
There was absolutely nothing going wrong. That is, except inside my heart.
The kids were kinda bouncy. What's new.
The questions were aplenty. As always.
We were rushing to get out the door. As usual.
The kids were kinda bouncy. And I was saying, "SIT STILL!"
The questions were aplenty. And I was saying "NOT NOW!"
We were rushing to get out the door. And I was saying "COME ON!"
All was going fine. I had a vice-grip of control on my children. Until I realized the girls needed to put different shoes on (because it was MUD day at VBS, and mean ol' mom decided that the fancy shoes they had chosen for the day were not appropriate for getting caked in MUD - ahem).
Well, let's just say that my girls, at age 3 and 5, have a definite shoe fetish. The elder one because of comfort, the younger one because of style. Though different in root, they are equally intense.
Changing shoes was NOT in the plan. Some serious whining ensued.
I felt something snap in my head. Or maybe it was in my heart. I felt it throughout my body, though. I started yelling. "I DON'T CARE THAT THOSE ARE YOUR FAVORITE FANCY PINK SPARKLE SHOES, YOU NEED TO GO PUT CROCS OR FLIP FLOPS ON. RIGHT NOW, PLEASE!!" (Like how I added the please? That was just because I always set a good example for my kids in how I talk. Uh-huh.)
Then there was some sobbing, crying, gnashing of teeth. More whining, more frustration. It was ugly. U-G-L-Y.
Eventually, alternate mud shoes were found, and the whining ceased. But I was still in a funk. I was stomping around and barking orders.
Corene was trying valiantly to tie her shoes, but one was knotted. With fear in her voice, she squeaked out an "I can't".
I stomped over, ripped the shoe out of her hand (I'm sorry to say it did feel good), and started to "help".
At this point, Corene started bawling. I had crushed her.
A moment later, Ava started bawling.
I felt bad, knew it was all me. All my temper. All my anger. Nothing about them. But I didn't really care. It felt good. I didn't feel bad enough to change.
Proverbs 29:11 "A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control."
At this point, I'm not falling into the category I'd like to. Anger is a funny thing. The verse doesn't say, "A wise man never feels anger", does it? It simply says he keeps himself under control. I was most definitely giving full vent to my anger. It feels GOOD, at that moment.
Then. Ava's voice. "Mommy. You make me SAD."
"YOU make ME sad!" I huffed.
Then. Whooooosh. Conviction.
I'm thankful it wasn't a lightning bolt.
So, let's see here. Corene is bawling. Ava is bawling. Oh yes, now... Mommy is bawling.
There were hugs, kisses, apologies, "I forgive you"'s, and even some giggles. Wow, kids forgive easily. If my husband treated me like that, I can tell you right now that I wouldn't get over it for days. Days.
Lesson #1 learned from my kids: Forgive. Right now.
We were late to VBS.
But I didn't care anymore. My attitude had done a complete 180. Why had it improved so suddenly? Let's see... I'd confessed, both to my kids and to God. I had been quiet with Him for 30 seconds before we walked out the door and begged him to change my heart (note: 30 seconds of said alone time occurred while going potty. Of course. Typical-mom-fashion). As I sat there to pray, I realized that was the first time I'd even said "hello" to God that day, let alone asked Him to mold me or make me reflect Him to my kids.
Lesson #2 learned: Say hello to God. Right when you wake up.
Remembering our sermon from the previous week, on the way out the door, I said to Corene, "I'm so thankful that Jesus died on the cross. He forgives my sins, like when I'm angry and mean. He takes them away and doesn't even remember them! Isn't that amazing?"
Corene said, "YOUR sins, Mommy?"
Yep. All of that yucky heart you saw in me this morning? That'd be sin. And, Praise be to God, He took it away!
Lesson #3: Praise the Lord for the forgiveness of your sins. Because maybe even when you are really awful to your children, they might not know that you SINNED and needed to be forgiven. Both by them AND by God.
And the punch line of the whole morning. (Every hard morning deserves a punch line!) In the car on the way to VBS:
Me: (to Ava) Who forgives your sin?
Me: Who forgives Mommy's sin?
Ava: (without missing a beat) ...Daddy...
--pause, while I look at her quizzically--
Ava: I mean... God?
Lesson #4: Walk humbly before God. Who is looking at you and equating you with God?
4 little lessons. One bad, awful, really lousy humble, beautiful day.
Monday, June 23, 2008
"That looks like pepperoni!"
(We're guessing that she's talking about her freckles. I testify that Grambie's skin does NOT look like pepperoni.)
Corene, showing me her new Kung-Fu Panda lots of junk fun toy from McDonald's:
"Look, Mom! It's from Dung-shoe Panda!"
"You'll have to talk to Jenny about that. She's the brains of the family."
I promise I heard that come out of my husband's mouth. And I will never forget it.
And he will never forget it.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
There's "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth" Genesis 1:1
In the world, a controversial subject, but hey, preach the truth, girls!
Or "A friend loves at all times" Proverbs 17:17a
This one is perfectly harmless. In fact, many of our extremely liberal neighbors would smile, thinking about how we're teaching our children about world peace.
How about "Do all things without grumbling or questioning".
I like this one. I like this one a lot. Mamas, of the songs on this CD, this is my favorite verse. It gets quoted a latte in my house.
The one that gets sung the most, and the loudest, remarkably, is "For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish" Psalm 1:6.
I giggle and get a wee bit shy when the girls are outside belting this one out. I'll admit it. It makes me uncomfortable. They're the fire and brimstone preschool preachers. No fear. No shame.
I believe it, and they love to sing it, so I don't stop them. And who knows what people are hearing that may open up a door, a conversation, who knows.
So as we walk through Target, Corene is singing (and Ava is preaching):
"Every good gift (Ava: Like that BARBIE!)
and every perfect gift (Ava: Like that princess dress!)
is from above" (Pointing up in the sky with great dramatics). (Ava: And that's GOD up there!)
James 1:17 (Ava: That's in the Bible!)
And I clench my teeth and smile. And I try to pray: Lord, use it. And make me fearless, too.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Exhibit C - finished product. This could have fed my neighborhood. It was so delicious.
Now, don't laugh. My fridge is full of fresh produce. FULL. I don't think I've ever put so many fruits and veggies in my cart at the grocery store before.
Please don't laugh. I kinda forgot that today was my first pickup of my CSA share.
Exhibit D. Ahem.
Anybody know, is this Bok Choy (Exhibit E)? By process of elimination I think it is but I'm not 100%.
I love summer.
I just got the "real food" magazine from Lunds, and found a recipe for Strawberry-Apple Soup with Mint. I'm sorry that I haven't tried it yet, I have the ingredients (and the mint is growing in my yard), but haven't had a chance to make it. So I make no guarantees. But it sure sounds good.
It's a chilled soup. Sounds delectable!
Strawberry Apple Soup with Mint
1 lb strawberries, hulled
2 granny smith or other tart apples, quartered, peeled and cored
2 cups pure unsweetened apple juice
1/2 cup orange juice
2 green onions, trimmed, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (white and green parts)
2 Tbsp. packed torn mint leaves, plus more leaves for garnish
1/2 tsp. course salt
1 tsp. grated orange zest
Cut enough strawberries and apples into 1/4-inch dice to make 1 cup of each; set aside. Cut remaining stawberries and apples into 1/2-inch chunks and place in blender. Add apple juice, orange juice, green onions, mint, and salt to blender and blend until mixture is smooth. Pour into a large bowl and stir in reserved diced strawberries and apples, and the orange zest. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Cover bowl and refrigerate until well chilled, 2 to 3 hours.
To serve, ladel soup into shallow bowls. Stack about 6 large mint leaves and roll tightly into a tube. Slice crosswise into thin slivers and sprinkle mint over soup.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
And, you know, really? Now we get to eat chicken and beef and a little pork. And since meat is more expensive than vegetarian options, I'll be making more veggie, bean, and grain dishes. And that's much more healthy for my family anyway. Right? OK. I feel better.
Yes. I feel like I've spent an hour on a chaise lounge talking to a very expensive Psychologist. Thank you.
How much do I owe you?
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Ava: (looking at fresh grass on the sidewalk) Oh look, those people blowed.
Me: You mean, mowed?
Me: You mean that the people mowed their lawn.
Ava: Yeah. They blowed their lawn off, just like daddy does with our lawn blower.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
And that was the end of that conversation.
Soooooo. I have to come up with a meal hubby loves, to share with you. He pretty much likes whatever I make him, but he's rarely gaga over food like I am (always).
So I was thinking about what makes Mocha Man's mouth salivate and what makes his eyes start to spin and his nose start to twitch. Ahhh, that would be the one and only...
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie
20 Hershey's kisses, unwrapped
2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup creamy peanut butter
1 (5 ounce) package instant vanilla pudding mix
1 3/4 cups cold milk
1 (9 inch) graham cracker or chocolate cookie shell (I used the cookie shell)
Cool Whip and chopped peanut butter cups for garnish.
Melt the chocolate with the whipping cream. Stir until smooth, and spread evenly over the bottom of the pie shell. Refrigerate until ready to fill; chocolate should be firm before filling.
Put the dry pudding mix, milk, and peanut butter in a large bowl. Blend with an electric mixer, until peanut butter is well blended and mixture thickens. Pour peanut butter filling into crust. Chill several hours.
Top with whipped topping and chopped Reese's Peanut Butter cups.
My only complaint about this recipe is that it doesn't slice very well... I've considered playing around with adding some cream cheese to the PB layer to make it thicker and more sliceable, but in the end, it really doesn't matter what it looks like... it tastes divine.
This is SO not a meal, I know... but to Mocha Man, dessert IS a food group. So, really, he's a meat and sweet kind of guy.
Happy Foody Friday! Isn't this a great topic for right before Father's Day? I hadn't even considered that when I set the theme. So maybe our men can get some new favorite dishes :)
OK, I'm off to scrub 12 layers of dirt off my kitchen floor. Then I'm going to take a bath to soak 12 layers of garden dirt off of my feet and hands... and to r-e-l-a-x.
A reminder to you linkers to link to your actual post, not your general blog url. You can get the post url by clicking on your post title, and then copy/pasting from the address bar into the linky box.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
This is a huge answer to prayer, she has historically been fearful of floating/being unsteady, and the last class we had her in was, um, difficult. But you never would have known it, thanks to her excellent, very patient teacher (and lots of time in a swing at OT, I think). She even got the thumbs up to go on to the next class. Yippee.
And fun was had by all...
Scenes from her final lesson:
Just for kicks - this was the other little boy in her class. 4 year old stunt man. He was
Sarah snapped this picture. I actually like the full color version better but for some reason all I have on this computer is the b&w one.
Incidentally, it's Sarah's birthday today! Happy Birthday, sweet friend!!
More wordless wednesdays here.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
1. Who is your man? Matt, aka Mocha Man.
2. How long have you been together? Dating since Aug. 1993. Married Aug. 1997. We were high school sweethearts turned college break-ups turned lifelong partners.
3. How long dated? I guess I'll let you do the math. Minus about 9 months there in the middle.
4. How old is your man? 31. He's 4 months my senior.
5. Who eats more? Ummm. We both eat a lot. But I think he eats more. If this question said "Who enjoys food more?" the answer would be a big fat, ME! But that wasn't the question.
6. Who said "I love you" first? I honestly don't remember the first "I love you", but I can not imagine that I would have been so bold. I am sure he did.
7. Who is taller? He is, by a couple inches.
8. Who sings better? He definitely sings better. No doubt.
9. Who is smarter? Oooh. I plead the fifth.
10. Whose temper is worse? Mine. All mine. He is no fun to fight with, actually. He rarely gets mad. Sometimes I wish he would so our fights would be even. It's no fun fighting with someone who's as calm as a cucumber. Try it sometime. It is NO FUN.
11. Who does the laundry? Depends. Lately since Operation Family Laundry, it's been all me. Before then, he did a lot.
Speaking of OFL, I am happy to report that I have NOT fallen off the wagon (yet)!!! Yay! I have no piles of laundry alternately on my bed and then floor... and then bed and then floor! They're all in the drawers or on hangers! AND, my children were all wearing underwear today! Hallelujah!
12. Who takes out the garbage? Usually him.
13. Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Me. I've offered to switch places a couple of times for different reasons, and he'll have nothing of it. He says he'd never be able to sleep.
14. Who pays the bills? Me. Almost all of the time. The other part of the time, nobody does. :) Oops.
15. Who is better with the computer? We're pretty matched, but I might be a smidge ahead.
16. Who mows the lawn? He always does. I've never worked the thing.
17. Who cooks dinner? I always do. He can make a mean grilled cheese, though.
18. Who drives when you are together? Depends. If I need to put on my makeup, he does. If he needs to make some business calls, I do. If I feel like driving, I do. If he starts being a backseat (passenger seat) driver, I pull over and he does. :) Kidding, kidding.
19. Who pays when you go out? It doesn't matter. Mi dinero es his dinero.
20. Who is most stubborn? mmm. I think that award goes to Matt. But it's not over stupid stuff like the stuff that I'm stubborn over. It's over REALLY important stuff like how important it is to have a woodburning fireplace in our house. According to my hubby, it's more important than indoor plumbing. Yes indeedy.
21. Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? I'd like to plead the fifth on this one, too. The short answer is that neither of us like to, but we're learning.
22. Whose parents do you see the most? My mom lives with us in our basement, so we see her the most. Next would be Matt's parents who we see a couple of times a year usually. And least often would probably be my Dad who we see once a year or so.
23. Who kissed who first? Our first kiss could have been in a chick-flick movie script. It went like this:
We were sitting in the car outside of my house after a date, talking, and it suddenly got quiet.
Me: What are you thinking about?
Him: (Leaning in) I'm trying to decide if I should kiss you.
Me: (matching the lean-in) What do you think you'll decide?
Him: I think I will.
It was beautiful.
24. Who asked who out? Our first actual date was to Junior prom. His mom made him ask someone, and I was the lucky girl. Don't know if he was actually interested in me at that point or not (I think only mildly). Our first real date once he really was interested was to a Padres game.
25. Who proposed? I have proof:
This was back in the day when you could *gasp* go past security at the airport and meet your family/friends at the gate. I was returning home from visiting my family in California. I was... NOT expecting it.
Dazed and Confused.
Two indisputable facts:
a)It's hard to kiss while smiling
b)Matt is kissing my teeth in this picture
"OK, I think I know what's going on now."
(check out the people in these pictures! They're hilarious. Especially the guy to the left, he's clapping and he doesn't even know why. He's not even looking at us.)
"Larry! Soon to be Father in Law! Taking my picture!"
Dazed and in Love. But still dazed.
Here's proof that I said yes:
26. Who is more sensitive? Me, of course.
27. Who has more friends? I guess me, again, of course.
28. Who has more siblings? We're even. He has one sister, I have one brother.
29. Who wears the pants in the family? I hate this saying. We both wear pants. Jeans to be exact. The question means "Who is the leader in your family"? Matt is most definitely the leader on all the big issues in our family, and issues that he feels strongly about. I will put in my .02 cents and defer to him to make the decision. It works best that way. Sometimes I have to sit on my tongue. Sometimes I argue my side. He always listens graciously. But our tradition is that he is the leader. We don't generally fight over the big things. It's biblical, and it works for us.
On the other hand, however, on issues of the daily grind, what-makes-the-home-go-round issues, Matt almost always defers to me. Which I appreciate.
I love ya, Mocha Man.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
I almost always break the rules and make something new when we have company. It's an excuse to do something "different" and a little more extravagent, with more ingredients or specialty spices, etc..
Or I love doing a funky soup, salad, and bread for company.
In the summer, we often grill.
So, at the risk of being redundant, I'll share my favorite grilling recipe of all time. I don't make it often at all since it's an expensive cut of meat, but for fancy friends and special occassions, we do it.
1/2 c. canola oil
1/4 c. worchestershire sauce
1/2 c. white wine
fresh garlic, minced - 2 cloves
salt and pepper, generous amount
Place a large flank steak or london broil (2 pounds or so) in a large glass dish. Mix marinade and pour over steak. Marinate, turning several times, for 8 hours.
Grill over med-high heat until desired doneness is reached. The rarer you can handle it, the more tender :)
*edited to add slicing instructions: london broil is served sliced in very thin slices, against the grain.
note: you can use this marinade on any cut of meat. We just made it last night and put it on tri-tip steaks. They had really good flavor, but they weren't as tender as the flank.
double note: I made this meal last night so that I could take a picture and show how impressive it would look to serve to company. I FORGOT to take the silly picture. So you'll have to imagine:
French rolls, sauteed pea pods with red and orange bell peppers, baked beans, and steak. Mmmmm....
triple note: IF you set out all of the parts to the meal in their correct pans before you leave the house to take your child to swimming lessons, so that when you return home, you will be able to cook the meal fast, and IF your husband gets home before you and sees that it is all out, and IF he is hungry, he just MIGHT make your entire dinner for you, so that when you walk in the door, he will say, "It's all ready. Come sit down and eat". And you may walk in and look, and see that all the food is cooked and ready and beautiful. And you may see the table set, all ready to sit. down. and. eat. And, IF this all happens, you MAY just be so dizzy with happiness that you MAY stand with your mouth gaping open, speechless. Because it has never happened like this before.
My husband never ceases to amaze me. More on him next week.
What do YOU serve to guests?
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
The big bummer is that his eye is still teary. I think his plumbing is still slow. We'll see. He'll have a check-up with the opthamologist in a few weeks.
"Yes, hi, I'd like to return this surgery please? It was defective. Please credit the money back to my insurance company."
I guess it doesn't work that way. How about this:
"Hi, I bought one of these surgeries last week and it doesn't work at all. It's completely broken. Yes, I'd like to buy another one exactly like it."