Monday, January 31, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1322-1357)

1322. snow resting on tree branches
silence in its fall
cloudy skies
blue light

snowball fights
puddles of coats and bibs
a scarf
the lack of concern in a child's play

1330. chocolate whipped cream
coffee in the afternoon
a good soup
cookies in the freezer

the UPS guy
peppercorn knobs
safe commutes home
a bench

Erin playing Leapster on the bench

a key in the search
soft bath mats
"love you" calls down a hall at bedtime
"just one more" hug and kiss

1342. and more snow
Winter Wipeout with my 8 year old
Monday, this one, today
bunched and huddled book reads on the couch

big, black birds
geese on farm fields, fishing for worms
library book runs
snow plows

piano music in the house, a sound like love
Kashi waffles
Zoopal plates
the clackety-clack of princess shoes across the floor

1254. Renditions of Rudolf the Red-nosed Reindeer, again and again
blue ribbon clothes pins on helper charts
the word mama

A new day

I got up early. Fixed coffee. Thought about stuff.



Shane said, "Are you up?" He noticed the coffee cup in my hand.

"I think so."

It's a new day.

Going for the second cup. Song on my lips.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Winter morning

Misery blankets with heavy words. I linger there with her. While other readings speak of Esther’s strength, the Great Commission, Paul’s bold proclamation … it’s this winter morning I sit by Leah.

Writing today at 66 Books.

Monday, January 24, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1310-1321)

1311. Cinnamon sugar on popcorn.
1312. Tears that come in place of song.
1313. Tall ladders.
1314. Recipes for apple pie.
1315. J-O-Y spelled across a bookshelf.
1316. Being home with the kids.
1317. Wrestling thoughts.
1318. Other people's mothers.
1319. Heat.
1320. Frozen pizza.
1321. That January has 31 days.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Loud music, starry skies

I did not write on 66 Books last Friday.

I woke up very early. Drank coffee. Read. Re-read. Stared at a computer screen. I had words I wanted to write. I held my hands still.

Standing in a sanctuary Saturday night barely brought song, my throat tight with tears. There's still worship in my broken silence-song.  A car ride home in the dark. So glad for loud music. And the privacy of night that tears might go unnoticed.

I think of Abraham. And I wonder, that day when he and his son climbed a mountain to worship ... did he ever cry?

When God gave him a dream and asked for it back, did Abraham cry?

Did he question? Did he say, "But You said stars in the sky, nations ..."? Did he feel like he got it all wrong? That he misunderstood?

Or did he hold tight to a promise?

As he prepared for that journey, when he walked up the mountainside, I just have to wonder: God said, "Sacrifice." And Abraham went through the motions of it all, but his words lead elsewhere ... to the servants waiting below he said, "We'll be back." To his son, he said, "God will provide the lamb." In the end, Abraham did get to keep his dream. God provides.

During this difficult waiting, I wonder about the dream placed in my heart. I didn't know of the sacrifices I would make in having it--that came later. I have a lot of questions of my own--and not just a few tears--I move forward, up a mountain, to worship, holding jointly to dream and hope: God provides.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Food links and after thoughts

Somehow, I am doubting this would serve six. Baked potato soup. Yum.

I wonder if Jodie has these ingredients in her pantry, since she's not shopping this month. Pantry pasta for two.

Cherry cake pudding. I'm there.

And chicken tortilla soup. The first time I had chicken tortilla soup was in San Antonio, Texas, and it was good. The last time I had it was out of a can, and it was NOT good. There are probably a good fifteen years in between the first and the last time.

Time to get in the kitchen.

Tonight I made molasses wheat bread, which falls under the category of Poopin' Food.

Molasses Bread

1/4 cup flax seeds, ground or meal
3/4 cup canola oil
4 cups wheat flour
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cups buttermilk
3/4 cup molasses
2/3 cup wheat germ

Mix it all together. Pour into two prepared (oil sprayed) bread pans and bake in a preheated 375 degree oven for 45 minutes. Expect your four year old to eat two slices.

The power of one

By German writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe:

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous.
I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or deescalated, and a person is humanized or dehumanized.
If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Monday, January 17, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1301-1309)

1301. Music
1302. Christy, Christy, Christy.
1303.  Muffin making with kids.
1304. A hug from my dad.
1305. A binder of recipes.
1306. V formations.
1307. Gray skies.
1308. Grasping faith and tightly holding.

A number of disappointments this week. This heart, bruised. Still, waiting to see the good that God will pull from it.

1309. Hope.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

If you give a mom a muffin

We made these today. I had the dry mix in a cabinet.

To make the dry mix:

8 cups flour
3 cups sugar
3 tsp. salt
3 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. nutmeg
3 Tbsp. baking powder

This is enough to make four batches.

When ready to make, add one egg and one cup of milk to 2 1/3 cups mix. Add whatever mix-ins you like. Today, we threw in a hefty handful each of white chips and craisins (and in one, I tucked several chocolate chips for a lucky someone. It happened to be Lanie!).

Bake at 400 for 15-20 minutes.

Have a penny, leave a penny

The kids were tired early last night. Erin has been fighting a head cold for the past few days, and she was ready to crash early (at 7 p.m.) after reading a stack of Mr. Putter and Tabby books with me on the couch. By 7:40, both kids were jammied up and falling asleep in bed.

I got as much mileage out of internet stuff as I could, but by some time after eight, I was bored with it. I opted for a book and blanket on the couch. Shane joined me, and soon we were chatting well past our bedtime.

I remembered when my youngest stepson would come visit us frequently. At about eight years old (then), he thought it was so cool one night when I announced at 9:00 p.m. I wanted ice cream and we piled into the car and went to Mr. Teddy's for soft serve down the road (no longer there, having been replaced by Baskin Robbins).

On one trip, I remember the total coming up to something $X.06. I didn't have any change on me, and I reached into the little cup on the counter ledge for the extra. You know those "have a penny, leave a penny, need a penny, take a penny" dishes some places have for change. Six cents was a stretch, but, YES, I DID IT.

Then to my horror, I looked at the dish after digging through it and giving it to the cashier, the once "have a penny" dish had been replaced by a dish that read, "TIPS".

I took from their tip jar! I started apologizing profusely and went to take the change back for the dish. The cashier waved it off, but Shane and Zach ragged on me for it the whole ride home. Ten years later, sitting on the couch with Shane, we still laughed till tears.

I have never made that mistake again.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Star gazing and water walking

When I can’t see the big picture …
When I am ridiculed, threatened, tired …
When the wet and the wind whittle at my eager start and I doubt …

If I can look into his history and see his great work, I can look into my now and find him still.

Writing today at 66 Books

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today's reminder

Reminded today to worship while I wait.

So I will.

A whisper from ancient pages during Bible study today, "Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart."

Monday, January 10, 2011

Maple crunch oatmeal

Maple crunch oatmeal
  • 1/4 cup(s) whole almonds, unblanched, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 cup(s) walnuts, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon(s) salted sunflower seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon(s) ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon(s) ground nutmeg
  • 1 tablespoon(s) unsalted butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup(s) maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoon(s) maple syrup
  • 3 cup(s) cooked oatmeal, kept hot
  • 1 cup(s) milk
  • 1/2 cup(s) dried cranberries
Heat oven to 375°F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper. Combine the nuts, sunflower seeds, cinnamon, nutmeg, butter, and 2 tablespoons maple syrup in a medium bowl, and spread in a single layer on the prepared pan. Stirring every 5 minutes to evenly coat, bake until mixture is fragrant and toasted — about 12 minutes. Remove from oven and cool. Stir the cranberries and the remaining 1/4 cup maple syrup into the oatmeal. To serve, pour 1/4 cup milk over each serving and top with the maple-glazed nuts.

From Real Age. I read the You: On a Diet book and tried (the diet) before. I lost inches fast, was never hungry, and was eating really great food. I can't remember the occasion I got off track. Probably had to do with chocolate. 

One thousand gifts and still counting (1291-1300)

1291. Getting to see a few extra pixels in the big picture.
1292. A friend's answered prayers.
1293. Early, early mornings.
1294. A nearly full bottle of laundry detergent.
1295. Heated seats.
1296. A house showing.
1297. Lower grocery bills.
1298. Lanie eating what's for dinner.
1299. A word for the year.
1300. Life celebrated: birthdays and remembrances.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

People I don't know

This guy died. I never knew him, but saw a pictorial tribute to him through our mutual friends on Facebook. Photos of him enjoying life and it looked like he lived it well, was well loved. Someone posted a link to a video, and I watched it. Sometimes gorgeous photography. Sometimes captured oddities. And I wondered, a struggle? That was not clear, but his talent, quite obvious. This one of Frederick, sticks with me.

This guy videotaped his kid (this link to his wife's site) and wrote words that almost had me in tears by the end, even though I knew what he would say. (Am I the only one wondering how much toothpaste this little one is ingesting?)

The second cup

After the first cup this morning, I greeted my husband with a chipper, "Good morning!" complete with hugs and kisses.

After the second cup, I was walking on air. (Good creamer has a lot to do with this.)

"This is good stuff," I said, smiling like a fool and happy, peppy, bordering quite obnoxious for anyone looking for a quiet morning. More hugs and kisses. "Isn't coffee great?"

I don't think it has the same effect on him.

He put the basket of K-cups away and turned off the coffee pot.

"Weren't you going to ask if I wanted anymore?" I asked. And then I just laughed. I think I even saw him crack a smile.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

In this heart

Me: "We got all these great books from the library and I really want to read them with you. How about we cuddle up on the couch after breakfast and read them in the morning?"

Erin: "But what if I'm busy?"


Laughing at the cartoon on television; snowflakes with mittens. Erin's mind, "When it snows again and we play outside on our ... sleigh ... I want to ride it with you. Last time I rode it with Daddy, but I really wanted you ... because I love you."


Erin walks into the office to ask for another bowl of popcorn and climbs up into my lap. A busy day: party, library, house showing, church.

She cuddles closer and says, "I miss you. I feel like I didn't see you all day."


And in the middle of singing this song tonight, I realized my word for the year:


Not this kind: a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual. No. 


But this kind: reverence (profound adoring awed respect) offered a divine being or supernatural power; also : an act of expressing such reverence.

Friday, January 7, 2011

It's Friday

Where else would I be?

Totally regretting not reading the label on the creamer I got at the store last night (blech, fat-free half and half), which has absolutely nothing to do with what I posted. 

Writing today at 66 Books.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

At five days in

At four days into the new year, I crossed off the remaining seven items of a to do list from last year. Loose ends, officially tied. And now at five days in, I feel like I can look 2011 in the eyes and ask, "What am I going to do with you?"

Better late than never.

I have not picked out a word for this year.

I have not thought beyond ambiguity for goals.

I do not have a specific list of books I want to read.

Simple Mom created a free, printable goal setting questionnaire. I had Shane print it for me on Monday. And perhaps today, I will work on it. I've heard people say to think of where you want to be, and think backwards from there to start your journey. It's nice to flesh out ideas into concrete steps and actions. It's nice too to have something written out as a point of reference and measure to see if I am any closer to the goal.

Ok, 2011 ... so what am I going to do with you?

Monday, January 3, 2011

One thousand gifts and still counting (1278-1290)

1278. Cars driving slowly and looking hard at our house.
1279. Corkscrews and cheese fondue.
1280. Mild temperatures.
1281. Sidewalk chalk on the driveway.
1282. Christmas carols sung still.
1283. Santa slippers on cold feet.
1284. Showings in the off season.
1285. Daydreams.
1286. Doorbells.
1287. New beginnings.
1288. Cinnamon rolls.
1289. Quiet weekends.
1290. Kisses blown from the heart of a child. 

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Stills of a holiday

Wondering how I completely overlooked getting pictures of the girls in their fancy dresses, the Christmas tree, and fun times with friends. I think these past weeks my mind has toggled between daydream and the other blog. Yet there's no shortage of chocolate photos ...


Square one

I fell asleep about an hour before midnight. I didn’t see the new year turn over, can’t say if the neighbors set off fireworks. This morning, musing over texts and Facebook statuses of happy new year wishes, I think about beginnings again and resolutions and hope for what’s to come.

Writing over at 66 Books today. 

Happy new year!