Monday, January 25, 2010

Picnic Tuesday

I'm wondering if the kids remember tomorrow's picnic Tuesday. Erin was requesting a picnic today while winds howled and rain pelted our windows. And my back was out, again, making it hard to get up and down from the floor. So she settled for grilled cheese cut into a bear shape at the table.

But tomorrow, I'm thinking a pudding snack would be a delightful treat. And thanks to Pioneer Woman's Tasty Kitchen, we might have this lovely coconut chocolate pudding debut as a special dessert. And if the kids don't like it, well, there's more for me!

Always looking for a bright side.

One thousand gifts (397-433)

397. Church Music by David Crowder.
398. Sweet whispers to love.
399. Watching the girls play board games together.
400. Baking cookies (this time peanut butter chocolate chip ... because it's healthier. ?)
401. Sleet against windows.
402. Good coffee.
403. Warm socks.
404. Lanie playing Jingle Bells on the piano while Erin jumps in time on the couch.
405. Beckie--who watches my kids at a moment's notice, blogs with me, listens to me, likes me.
406. Yummy apple salad at Panera.
407. Hugs and kisses.
408. Library runs.
409. Fan pages.
410. Baby dedications.
411. Waking early enough to catch the sunrise.
412. Holding Lanie's hand on the way to piano lessons.
413. Approaching eleven years married to my man.
414. Opportunities that take me out of my comfort zone.
415. Truth.
416. Good neighbors.
417. (chocolate ... shh)
418. Lipton Quietly Chamomile Tea (and people who correct me to say Chamo-mile instead of Chamo-meal. I say tomato, you say tomato, it's still a tomato.)
419. Prayers.
420. Good teaching.
421. Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
422. Humility.
423. Forgiveness.
424. Light grocery weeks.
425. The quiet period during the waiting.
426. Bedtime.
427. Family outings.
428. Thankful journals.
429. Pets.
430. Friends.
431. Bayou burger with angry onions at Red Robin.
432. Dinner out with the family.
433. Pink and purple balloons.

Still thankful for so many things. Some of them repeats, but worth counting as blessings again and again. Count yours too as part of the gratitude community at a holy experience.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Winter picnic

The temps seemed so mild lately that I thought having a picnic outside with the girls would be fun. I told Lanie about the idea last night, and this morning she said she barely slept because she was so excited about it.

Blanket, basket, cloth napkins, sandwiches, juice, chips, fruit and veggies. Oh, and cookies. Lanie went outside to select the picnic spot. But she came back in after a few minutes, "It's windy and cold!"

So we changed into heavier coats and went out anyway. Blanket on the patio. Sandwiches in hands. Potato chips, crunched.

"Look at the birds, Mama!" Lanie exclaimed. I grabbed my camera and snapped away at the birds, like a shaken sheet in a spring breeze. Only in winter.

We agreed that dining outside was a lot of fun and have decided to make Tuesdays an official picnic day. Even in winter.

Below: picnic feast; Erin in picnic attire: warm hat, mismatched mittens, winter coat, and tutu.

Lanie at the playset; this morning's sunrise.

Monday, January 18, 2010

One thousand gifts (376-396)

376. Warmer weather.
377. A good hair cut.
378. People who make me laugh.
379. Safety.
380. Play dates.
381. Stillness.
382. Tippy toes prancing on the kitchen floor and skipping through the house.
384. Compassion and alpha dogs.
385. Surprise visits from friends.
386. Chats over coffee.
387. Candle light on the mantel.
388. Being a fly on the wall during piano lessons--nearly lulled me to sleep, so lovely.
389. Night walks under the stars.
390. A new day.
391. Milder weather and playing outside.
392. Her hand on my mouth for boo-boo kisses.
393. Cuddles.
394. Rainy days.
395. Hot tea.
396. Playing games.

Still part of the gratitude community over at A holy experience.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Intentional, professional motherhood

Simple Mom is doing a giveaway: a book about motherhood. I'm all into parenting books and love to read examples of mothers who do things well. Check out her interview with the author of Steady Days: A journey toward intentional, professional motherhood. Sounds like a good read.

Monday, January 11, 2010

White bean soup

Last night I made this white bean soup, inspired by the recipe in the most recent Williams-Sonoma catalog. It calls for pancetta, but I didn't have any and I used bacon. This is a key word.

Enter Lanie.

"What's for dinner?" she asked.

"Soup and garlic bread," I answered.

"What kind of soup?" she asked. Not that this matters. Unless I said chocolate candy soup with sprinkles, I don't think she'd try it.

But I surprised myself with quick reflexes and answered, "Bacon soup."

Because Lanie loves bacon. I hid the beans, celery, onions and carrots. I chopped up garlic in plain sight and when everything simmered in the pot, I stuck in my immersion blender and pureed it nice and smooth, so it looked creamy. Then I crumbled bacon and combined.

At the table, she eats the garlic bread first. Then she coats the spoon in the soup and licks the back of it.

"I don't really like it," she said.

"You licked the back of the spoon. That's hardly trying it."

"It's ok, but I don't really like it."

Meanwhile, Erin cried and adamantly refused to eat it. Then she was forlorn there wasn't more bacon.

The phone rings and I answered. "You busy?" asked the caller. I explained that I was just trying to get my kids to try something new, and as he is a veteran of these things I ask him how he got his kids to eat new things.

"What are you trying to get them to eat?" he asked.

"White bean soup," and once the words left my mouth, I realized that maybe I was asking too much ...

Still, I enjoyed it again tonight as a side to Lanie's favorite chicken penne pasta.

One thousand gifts (354-375)

354. The new graphics for 66 Books.
355. Sherpa-lined boots in snow.
356. The clanging of a flag tether against a pole on a windy day.
357. Gloves.
358. Piano lessons resuming.
359. Banana chocolate chip bread.
360. Coffee with a friend.
361. Kisses on my lips.
362. New shampoo.
363. Overwhelming support from my church home.
364. People I can count on.
365. New life lessons--even the tough ones.
366. Wiggly teeth--Lanie's.
367. Karo syrup.
368. Birthday parties for little girls.
369. Tea cup rides and the pretty lights.
370. Innocence.
371. Spell-checker.
372. Friends who give good counsel.
373. That You are in the everyday.
374. Really hot water.
375. Technology.

holy experience

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Tea cup

We had a fun morning at a birthday party. It was held at a nearby attractions park. Since it's winter, all the outdoor fun things were off limits, but the inside was fair game. After pizza and cake, the kiddos bolted through the party doors into the playing area.

First stop was some kind of jungle gym maze with climbing platforms, tube slides and lots of other things I couldn't see. Erin was too afraid to go up very high, even when I tried going up with her. Lanie was fearless and climbed around like a monkey for a very long time. She loved it.

Further into the complex were video games and other novelties. But in the very back was a tea cup ride. My girls looked wistfully at it, but there was no attendant available. In minutes, someone showed up and the ride was on.

Erin, Lanie and another little girl enjoyed the long ride (we even got a second turn without having to pay the extra points--sweet). I signed to Lanie, "Say thank you!" to the attendant. She did. We had fun doing some NASCAR racing on the machines and then Shane took Lanie off and I went another direction with Erin ... back to the tea cups.

She got on by herself. And as the ride turned around the pretty teapot center, I watched her face glow in the colorful lights, a smile full of happiness and a 3-year-old's contemplation. I love these moments when time slows down, and my heart swells and my eyes sting.

"Thank you, God," I whispered. Spinning and spinning, her hair lifting in the turns. I was so in love. This moment, abundant life.

After the ride, she climbed down and came over to me to hug my legs.

"You're such a big girl!" I exclaimed and hugged her back. I didn't want to let go.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Drum roll

It's been a hoppin' few weeks around 66 Books. A lot of time has gone into creating that blog, a year in fact of many people committing to seeing that year through--and some of those returning to do it again with me this year. I appreciate their dedication and that they take it as personally as I do.

A business-owner friend of mine recently said (a paraphrase), "No one takes a business as seriously as an owner does." Not that 66 Books is a business (more like a ministry, but you get the idea)--I have to say that I lucked out in finding fellow travelers who approach the blog and study with the same hope and vision as me. I'm a lucky girl. **sigh**

But enough about that. Tonight I got the artwork for the banner and badge. The choices were so good, it was hard to choose. And the more I thought about it, the harder the choice became. So I decided to preview the banners in the blog itself--however, in doing so, I deleted the photo I originally uploaded in 2008 when the blog was in planning. Not even a formal goodbye.

Oh well.

Grab your Bible and read along. Coffee's on.

Check out the cutie badge on the side bar.

Monday, January 4, 2010

One thousand gifts (340-353)

340. Birds flying around, tossed around in the wind like leaves.
341. Unseen power making things move all around me--caught up in a supernatural dance.
342. Quiet times with my kids.
343. Getting back to normal.
344. Finding the Lipton Quietly Chamomile tea at a nearby store.
345. Propane heat.
346. Melted snow.
347. K-cups for breakfast.
348. Bookstores.
349. Painted ceilings.
350. Quiet time.
351. Soft tissues.
352. Fresh baked bread.
353. Words.

holy experience