Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Keep Your Perspective...

This picture was taken by my oldest daughter E while we were driving along a country road in our new state of West Virginia. I think she has a good eye.
Here's my thought: I get grumpy every day because.......why.....? Funny, it's hard to identify the reason but I think at the root of it I feel like a failure anytime the family doesn't meet the ideal that I have in my head that is my blueprint of "The Successful Family."
-bickering sisters
-breakfast at noon (not exaggerating)
-dirty kitchen
-school still being done at 8 pm (again not exaggerating)
-missing devotions
My mental blueprint does not have these elements in it. Every time I miss the mark I label it as "FAILURE". I know this is irrational but there it is. Here is where I need to think about this picture and "Keep My Perspective." Things may be dark, they may be imperfect, but in spite of all "failures" am I still looking upward to Christ and pointing my children upward to Him too? If all else fails, is that happening? If I get all bent out of shape because of every shortfall I will not be looking upward or pointing upward, I will just be an irritable shrew that people want to get away from.
So. I will relaaaax. I will major on the majors. I will ask God for direction (back to that cool picture again...God can speak to us in spite of our weaknesses, He can point the way and be certain we get the message).
And, when faced with a perspective, I will look up...I will choose joy.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Big Move

Why no posts?  Well, in a nutshell, the hubs got a great new job in West Virginia starting as soon as we can get out there so I've been a little distracted.  It has been a huge task to wrap my life in cardboard, but very theraputic.  I've unloaded a bunch of excess that I don't use or love.  I've basically laid hands on every single material item in my life and asked myself, "Is this worth hauling across the country?"  Let's just say that Goodwill loves me.

Here I am, with my tools of the trade (note the archer's stance...)

You'll see my most favoritest packing tools in the picture:

1.  McDonald's Fry Boxes:  Fry boxes rock.  No one who has ever moved with fry boxes will deny this fact.  They are small and crazy strong...perfect for books and other heavy stuff.  We found a McDonald's with a cardboard dumpster that was outside of the restaurant and I basically chuck a kid in there and they fish them out from all the other inferior boxes.  My husband and I have a pet peeve:  boxes of various sizes.  I mean, some variation is required, but we didn't want to monkey around with 23 different sizes of makes for tricky stacking.  Also, we have fry boxes left over from previous moves that are still holding stuff and they're as stiff and strong as the day we got them.  Like I said, fry boxes rock.

2.  Sharpie Marker:  A thicky for scribbling out other people's writing on the boxes and a fine point for my own labeling.  Watch out for the could make you's really smelly.  You might pack the cat or something if you use the thicky for too long so hold your breath when you're using it.  Oh, the thicky doesn't call itself "thicky" it calls itself "Magnum" because it's trying to be all manly. 

3.  Tape Gun:  Super easy for all the miles of taping I have to do.  Love it.

4.  Gardening Apron:  This little thing is really handy.  It's got 3 pockets, one holds my box cutter, one holds my masking tape and scissors, and the last one holds my sharpies.  This way I never misplace my tools....ya know, I should use this at Christmas.  Along this line of thinking I ought to get a holster for my tape gun!  Yeah! 

Well, anyhow, you won't be hearing much from me for a bit yet as we treck across this great country of ours and get settled among the foothills of the Appalacian Mountains.   Once settled, I'll return to get real with y'all about the ups and downs of life on this side of heaven.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Three Hour Salad

The kitchen's been like an OVEN lately so I'm not real excited about serving anything hot so I thought, "Hey!  Salad is cool and quick!  I'll do that!"  I have this list of 25 main dish salads so I started at the very begining with Salad Nicoise.  That's right, it's French.  Be impressed.  I actually had to go to Wikipedia to figure out how to pronounce it.  It's "NI-swaz" in case you're wondering.  This salad is one of Julia Child's trademark recipes, apparently.  My recipe did not duplicate hers exactly, but it's a rough approximation I think. 

Here's a picture:

The ingredients for my simplified version are as follows:

Romaine lettuce
Grape tomatoes
Tiny red potatoes
Fresh green beans
Black olives
Hard boiled eggs
Balsamic vinaigrette dressing

So, I read the recipe and it approximated 1-30 minutes for prep time.  That woman is a LIAR.  This sucker took 3 hours from start to finish!  (Now granted, I got distracted now and again, but still...)  Here's the lowdown on the flowdown:

So you scrub the potatoes and green beans, then you boil the eggs till hard and chill them.  You boil the potatoes until cooked but still firm and chill them.  You blanch the green beans (which means boil for 3 minutes then immerse in ice water), and wait a long time.   After everything is good and chilly, you wash and chop the lettuce, slice the tomatoes, peel the eggs, slice the eggs, slice the potatoes, cut up the green beans, drain the tuna, drain the olives, and make the dressing (yeah, I make my own...)

At this point, I was like, "This was more work than a full hot meal!!  What was I thinking?!?!"  I mean SERIOUSLY!  The kids kept coming up to me:  "Is it time to eat yet?"  "Can I have a piece of cheese?" 

Definitely a yummy salad that I would enjoy eating, but not so sure I'll make again...I just don't have three house to dedicate to making a salad.

Monday, July 19, 2010


My husband's been laid off and we have a dryer that vents INTO the house AND we don't have air conditioning.  So, I think hanging our laundry out on the line would be a good idea for the summer. 

Here's my cute, artsy picture that represents doing laundry on the line:

Did you know that when clothespins stay out in the rain that they turn grey?  Neither did I.  Now I do...although I doubt that the ones made during the 50's and before did.  They probably made the clothespins out of better wood back when they figured people would actually use them outdoors.

Okay, here's my sweet little "I'm hanging my laundry out on the line!" Picture: looks so sweet, so idyllic, so...out of balance!  Why didn't I stick the pants in the MIDDLE of the two shorts?!  How is it I didn't notice that?!  Okay, anyhow, wouldn't you like to believe that my laundry line looks that cute and sweet out in the dappled sunlight like that?  Yeah, I'd like to believe that too.

Here's a picture of what my laundry line REALLY looks like:  (Brace yourself)

Crazy, huh?  We literally just strung line from deck post to tree to tree to deck post to tree and back again to deck post.  There's no symmetry, no balance, no attention to asthetics.  It looks like someone did it while in"altered state".  It's the junkiest thing!  But, hey, whadda you want me to do?  Spend $150 on a laundry "tree" (just as ugly in my opinion) or $450 for a set of laundry "T's"?  I'm doing this to SAVE money, so I gotta hang the line wherever I find stuff strong enough to hold it!  

Ugly but functional.  What can you do? 

Monday, July 12, 2010

Delicious Dill Dip

Here's a recipe for a nummy all natural dill dip:

1 c sour cream
1 tsp dried dill weed
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp salt

Stir together. 

If you try it and like it, consider making a batch of the dip powder at once.

Here's the quantities for a little jar of dip powder:

6 Tbsp dried dill weed
3 Tbsp garlic powder
3 Tbsp onion powder
6 Tbsp salt
Add up to 1 Tbsp of dip to 1 cup of sour cream and....devour.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Prayer and Bible Study

Praying to God and hearing from God in His Word is the heartbeat of the Christian life.  It's the "lub-dub" of coronary Christian existence.  You can't separate the two.  Without the Word of God, our prayers dwindle away into banalities and self-oriented nothings.  Without prayer our Bible reading becomes pedantic & intellectualistic and barren and fruitless.  We must hold the two together.  (John Piper)