Tuesday, August 31, 2010
♥ he always...always...always wants to play a game...♥ he always wants to go to the movies...♥ he knows how to build, fix, re-model anything... ♥ he will always play playdough even when no one else wants to...♥ he loves people like Jesus...♥ he knows how to eat really weird stuff...♥ he knows how to drive my mom crazy (just like me)...♥ he teaches us serious Bible stuff even though we're always goofin' around & telling dumb jokes...♥ he's always got some food...somehow...somewhere...♥ he took me fishing when i was a little girl...♥ he takes my little girl fishing...♥ he built a really cool log cabin (on boughton hill rd in victor)...♥ he's my instant dial-a-number-bible-concordance in a telephone truck...♥ he loves my husband...♥ he uses weird things to shovel his driveway...♥ he never complains...♥ he made us push our old van while he jump started it in the front seat (ok...well maybe i don't love him for that but it's a great story to have on hand)...♥ he's always thankful...♥ he makes good popcorn & scrambled eggs...(not together)...♥ he strives to be a faithful reflection of my Heavenly Father... thanks dad....i love you....happy birthday...
Monday, August 30, 2010
I seriously can't stop making things for my girls, all the patterns are just so cute, especially from ana paula.
I know your going to call me crazy but I started making things already for Christmas for my girls. These two little guys are going into their stocking with a little kids book associated with it. I was thinking the hungry little caterpillar book can go with the apple and worm, but I still have not figured out what book to go with the snail and pear. So I am totally looking for suggestions.
A close up of the worm and apple (this one is going to my 4 year old)
A close up of the little snail in his home (this one is for my 6 month old but she will be almost a year when Christmas arrives )
Recipe: This one's for you Bob :) Happy Birthday :)
Friday, August 27, 2010
Last week we took a family day trip down the thruway to Herkimer Diamond Mines. We didn't know exactly what to expect, but the idea of finding diamonds sounded intriguing. Herkimer diamonds are actually clear hexagonal quartz crystals that formed in the pores of rocks found in Herkimer County. We were armed with work gloves, safety goggles, chisels and rain coats. Once there, for about $9.00 per person you are given a 2 pound hammer and a zip lock bag for your treasures. You can sit in the mines (open air rock piles) all day and hammer open as many rocks as your arms and back will allow.
Lulu holding the diamond she found
Thursday, August 26, 2010
There seems to be an empty space in my house. I have a little hallway that leads from the dining room into the bed/bath area and it has some built in cupboards attached to the wall. The whole area underneath the cupboards was empty and just a waste of space. We decided to find something to fill in the empty spot.
We found this dresser at the Salvation Army and although it didn't look like much, it had great potential. It used to be a very dark green, but we sanded it back down to the wood. We had to remove the drawers to do so.
After it was sanded, I primed and painted the piece and purchased new knobs for the drawers. I think it spruced up nicely. All for under $40.00.
It fits so perfectly under that space and I can still utilize the top of the dresser for even more added space.
There is a lot of empty space in our lives and nothing like God to fill the emptiness! He can take us in any condition we are in and turn us into something beautiful.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
but! yes, but...when i step out and stand in the light of Calvary - the price paid for me...i am beautiful in His eyes...i am filled...i am overflowing...i am satisfied...
and my portion for ever" ♥ Psalm 73.26
"bless the Lord, o my soul, and forget not his benefits...
...who forgiveth all thine iniquities...
...who healeth all thy diseases (we're talkin spiritual here)...
...who redeemeth thy life from destruction...
...who crowneth thee with lovingkindness & tender mercies...
...who satisfieth the mouth with good things...
...the Lord is merciful & gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy...he will not always chide: neither will he keep his anger for ever...he hath not dealt with us after our sins: not rewarded us according to our iniquities...for as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him...
...as far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions...
...for he knoweth our frame...
...the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children's children..."
♥ Psalm 103
...so...for right now i'm choosing, and asking, one day at a time, that my Heavenly Father would give me His loving perspective of how He sees me, resting is His lavish love...asking for forgiveness for some of my actions, and then letting them go...
...and knowing in my ♥ that i am beautiful...in His eyes...
ps.thanks Mar for pavin' the way for me :)
i guess our hearts were in the same place this week ♥
Monday, August 23, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
I grew up with just one sister but marrying the oldest of five boys opened the door for lots more girls in my life! It was fun being the first to marry, of course now we are old and boring, but how neat to watch all the younger brothers find and marry the girls of their dreams! They are all wonderful guys and they all chose wonderful wives! All of us met our husbands in college or after, except the youngest who married her high school sweetheart. (Go Scarlett, way to snatch him up early!!) Three of us met our "perfect match" at the University of Buffalo, as did my husband's parents! Don't worry, we all graduated and have jobs so it wasn't just a campus wide husband search!
So, these four girls are all at very exciting and challenging times in their lives and I realized that I can definitely be an encouragement to them and let them know I am thinking about them and praying for their safety and success. Sis-in-law #1 is a major in the Army and she just deployed this month to Afghanistan. My brother-in-law is already over there. They both have been there before and I thank the Lord that there are people like them who are willing to serve and protect our awesome country! Sis-in-law #2 is just a few weeks away from welcoming her third child (and first son) into the world! She makes being a pregnant mom of two look easy and always has a smile! Sis-in-law #3 was just married last June and is getting ready to finish nursing school. She has had quite a year of change, she is in Washington state and her husband is in Iraq until next month. She was on her own, away from home, but she did it! She is the sweetest person ever and I can't wait to see her again. Finally, sis-in-law #4 will be official on September 18! Wedding day! The last brother to get married but we have known her for years and she is a keeper. I can't wait to see her walk down the aisle.
We were all together at Christmas and the brothers were in another room doing something only interesting to boys so the girls played a board game together. I remember looking around the circle as we laughed about something and realizing how amazing this was...here we are, five girls who would be strangers to each other except that we all married into this family. And now, on Christmas day, none of us are with our own families but that was okay with all of us! We all get along and enjoy spending time with each other! What a rare and beautiful blessing. I am so thankful for these girls and I will try to lift them up whenever I can!☺
Nel's smile for the week: Making peach jam with Lulu!☺
Nel's frown for the week: The amount of calories in McDonalds food!
Lulu's smile for the week: Finding a diamond at Herkimer Diamond Mines!☺
Lulu's frown for the week: Only 2 1/2 more weeks of summer vacation!
Thursday, August 19, 2010
So, I was finally able to get some more painting this weekend. This time it was one of the smaller rooms in the house, the front foyer/entrance-way that I have nick-named the "mudroom." It was originally white, which made it look so dull and boring. This is the first room our guests will see when they walk into our house. It should "wow" them!
We picked out a nice olive green color called "Egyptian Nile." I'm not sure how it came by that name, because when I think of the Egyptian Nile, I think of the river and the color Blue. However, the color came through very nicely.
Now I can't wait to decorate the rest of the room and get some pictures on the walls!
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
I'm a pretty simple gal when it comes to cookbooks. I have a few trusty sidekicks that I keep close at hand. The number one cookbook all new cooks should have (in my humble opinion) is the Better Homes and Gardens Cookbook. The one in red plaid at the end. I can't tell you how many times I've been saved by the emergency substitution list in the back! This is a great cookbook to get you started and experimenting!
Jamie's Dinners is another favorite of mine by chef Jamie Oliver. This book is from my pre-gluten free days, but I can still substitute to get the same yummy results. The recipes' are written in more of a story format but the pictures will make you want to eat the pages!
You Won't Believe It's Gluten Free is a recent acquisition and I would equivocate it to the Better Homes and Gardens cookbook for the gluten free crowd. Lots of basic information that will get any gluten-free wannabe up and going!
As of just a few weeks ago, I was gifted the Local Flavors cookbook as well. Yet another fabulous cookbook for gluten free eaters as well since it focuses mainly on vegetables and Farmers Markets!I saved the best cookbook for last, however. When I got married, an old college suitemate of mine scrapbook-ed an entire recipe book for me! It's beautiful and so much fun to use! It's been one of my favorite gifts received for our wedding!
Above are just a few of my favorite pages from the book. I have been blessed with some amazingly talented friends!
Ok, on to the real reason for this post!I love looking at and receiving food magazines in the mail! Flipping through them, drooling on the pages, earmarking my favorites to come back to, and storing them all in my cupboards!
Yea... when I went to clean out my kitchen cupboards before we sledgehammered them off the walls, I couldn't believe the stacks of cooking/baking magazines I had accumulated. In some of them there was only one page earmarked! In addition, I know I had spent hours scouring them before for that ONE recipe I knew I loved but couldn't remember which magazine it was in! Thankfully Nel saved the day on that one and I was able to retrieve it!
So, instead of storing a huge pile of magazines for a couple of months while we demo'd the kitchen, I painstakingly went through each magazine and cut out the pages of recipes I had loved, put them in a basket, and forgot about them......
Until two weeks ago.
You see, that's where my other old friend comes in! On vacation, ♥J was reminded of me in the scrapbook aisle when she saw a big sticker with her nickname for me on it, "free spirit."
And that's how my "free spirit cookbook" was born! Thanks to two dear old friends- one provided the idea (and a great example!), the other the motivation and supplies to get kickin'!I created a separate scrapbook recipe book just for recipes that I find in magazines. This way I can keep them all organized, sorted, and pretty!Don't let yourself get stuck in a rut! If you're like me, every square inch of space is precious! Don't let it get eaten away by all that "STUFF." Instead of sighing every time you open your cupboard door to find a recipe, keep it simple. Focus on your favorite cookbooks, and if you find you're not using one, have a cookbook swap party with friends! Don't be afraid to doodle in your cookbooks either! I like to use a 5-star rating system in my cookbooks since I'm constantly experimenting. If a recipe is amazing- 5 stars! Just ok is three, and never make again gets a big X! I always write the different substitutions I try (especially helpful when substituting the gluten) or note side dishes that go well, etc. You'll be amazed at how much fun cooking can be when everything is "decently and in order!" You can actually start to have fun with your food!
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
...so the ribs he made, from this new cookbook i bought him from Wegs, were declared "the bestest ribs ever"...the guys said they beat dinosaur and i said they tasted like pfchang's (my fav restaurant fyi)...which must've meant they were pretty good!!! even more impressing was the wood board the ribs were served on, rubbed down with a board dressing* (see below) that scored an A+ in the presentation department...so i realized the Lord has truly blessed us...our home is always busting at the seams full of loved friends & family and always lots of food...and i'm so thankful for the fellowship that comes with...as far as the ribs go...they were so delicious, they earned him this "me & my peeps" grill daddy sticker on the mailbox...love ya babe...
*board dressing creates extra flavor on your cutting board: combine 6 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley, sea or kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste...rub thoroughly on wood cutting board...serve away...
(ps. a post of the grill daddy building a grill patio
in the backyard might be in the near future...stay tuned...)
...and the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman,
and brought her unto the man...and Adam said, this is now bone of my bones,
and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman,
because she was taken out of Man....Genesis 2: 22 & 23
....no pun intended...
Monday, August 16, 2010
Friday, August 13, 2010
And now... the part you have all been waiting for!
Thursday, August 12, 2010
However, I couldn't ignore my husbands wonderful cooking and he deserves to be recognized. He made these beautiful and delicious cobblers! I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful husband that prefers to cook!
We ate them with some family and everyone agreed that the Zucchini cobbler was the best. I know what your thinking, Zucchini? Sweet? In a cobbler? Well, if your not up for trying it, may I have your piece? I'm willing to make that sacrifice.
I was helping my Grandpa move after my Grandma passed and came upon some old recipe books of hers. One in particular was an old family handmade cookbook. The first recipe in the book was a "Happiness Cake"
1 Cup Good Thoughts
1 Cup Kind Deeds
1 Cup Consideration for Others
2 Cups Sacrifice
3 Cups Forgiveness
2 Cups Well-Beaten Faults
Mix Thoroughly: Add Tears of Joy, Sorrow and Sympathy
Flavor with Kindly Service and Love
Fold in 4 Cups of Faith and Prayer
After pouring all this into your daily life, bake well with the heart of human kindness.
Serve with a smile any time, and it will satisfy the hunger of starved souls.