28 February 2010

Lucette, From the Archives

Lucette, 2006. 3 years old

27 February 2010

Celebrating with Friends

We like to alternate years. One year we have a family celebration and do something extra special and the next, we have a traditional kid party. This year was Peter's kid party year.

So, what do you get with eight boys, plenty of sugar and legos galore? Sofa wrestling, balloon bopping, lego car racing, and a collective burping the candles out (blowing is just too expected, you know). By days end, I think we produced eight happy boys.

And with that, Mama is happy too.

25 February 2010

The Lord is My Portion

Because of the Lord's great love we are not consumed,
for his compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.

I say to myself, "The Lord is my portion;
therefore I will wait for him."

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him,
to the one who seeks him;
Lamentations 3:22-25

23 February 2010

Tea for Me ... and Heloise

The thrift store was very good to me today. Three new shirts (half-off!), a skirt, and a make-me-giddy new book and tray.

The book, Heloise all Around the House, is simply cracking me up. Full of tips from Heloise, "the housewife's favorite helper." After describing a helpful hint, she will then command you authoritatively ... "Try it."

One of my favorite passages is from the section entitled Newlyweds:

After you return from your honeymoon, keep those stars in your eyes. But don't work yourself to death to do it!

When your husband goes off to work, get the most important things done first. Make the bed, do your dishes, empty the ash trays and hang the bath towels straight.

As soon as he walks out the door, fill your kitchen sink with all your dirty dishes and put in some detergent, then turn the hot-water faucet on until the dishes are covered. Forget them for awhile. (Never put your hands in hot water if you can help it. Mother didn't know this in her day.)

Immediately go into the bedroom and make the bed.

Next, go back and have that second cup of coffee or tea. Read the paper. Your dishes are soaking, your beds are made and you aren't in too bad shape even if your mother-in-law drops in.

Don't you just love housewives with a sense of humor? All day I've been musing over her suggestions and then I hear a little no-nonsense voice in my head saying ... "Try it."

22 February 2010

My Son Turns Nine

"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD,
"plans to prosper you and not to harm you,
plans to give you hope and a future."
Jeremiah 29:11

Pinecone Launching is Normal

We had a pre-birthday celebration this weekend for family and Pops figured we needed some outdoor entertainment. Enter PVC pipe, duct tape, empty water jugs, and pinecones.

Shove a pinecone in the pipe, poke it all the way down with a stick, aim, and stomp hard on that attached empty water jug.

Don't forget the safety goggles and a good measure of serious concentration!

Blow up the deflated water jug and you are set for another launch.

Amidst all of the mayhem I turned to my brother and sister-in-law and mentioned, "You know, it's going to be a good decade or more until they realize this isn't normal birthday entertainment."

Yes, we do veer towards the odd end of the "normal" spectrum, but we sure know how to have a good time.

15 February 2010

Restore to Me

In preparation for this upcoming Lenten season, I'm taking a week hiatus from a few things that can busy my days. Back after a bit.

Create in me a pure heart, O God,
and renew a steadfast spirit within me.

Do not cast me from your presence
or take your Holy Spirit from me.

Restore to me the joy of your salvation
and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.

Psalm 51: 10-12

12 February 2010

A Bedside Dish in Evening Light

I love to have a little bedside dish for forgotten hair-pins or dangling earrings. This fluted (and thrifted!) piece is my new favorite receptacle for holding bits and bobs while one sleeps.

11 February 2010

10 February 2010

Because Pink is Pretty

Marshmallow lollies? They look fancy, but deceptively easy.

First step. Steal inspiration from friend like Christian. Next, locate pink &/or white marshmallows, dip in chocolate, dip again in festive sprinkles, plunge lollipop stick into end, place in cellophane bag, and tie with string and card. Now, wasn't that fun?

Jane certainly thought so!

09 February 2010

And She Blooms

This is my Father's world,
the birds their carols raise,
the morning light, the lily white,
declare their maker's praise.

This is my Father's world:
He shines in all that's fair;

in the rustling grass I hear him pass;
He speaks to me everywhere.
Traditional Hymn

The wait is over and and I marvel in His magnificence.

Window Hearts for February

Jane had "make Valentines" on her to-do list. We decided to make our own cards out of miniature versions of these waxed-paper and crayon hearts. Fortunately we had plenty of leftover for the large window versions you see here.

Simply sandwich crayon shavings (an old pencil sharpener works great) in between waxed paper, layer newspaper on either side to catch any melt-over, and iron on a medium setting. Once cool, cut into hearts and hang with favorite string.

07 February 2010

An Anniversary Morning

Because I'm glad to be called his and to share another morning together.

04 February 2010


Oh my heavens, could you imagine the state of zipper nirvana I entered when I came upon more than 60 vintage zippers at the thrift store? I was greedily snatching them off the shelves as though there were hoards of manic seamstresses behind me, just waiting to pounce.

Color names like Flamingo, Mystic Blue, Poppy, Cloister Brown, Peacock, and Barberry Red. Not to mention the technology represented! Flex-Coils, Boiltex Tapes, and even the ability to Magically Self-Heal.

Sigh. The simple joys always get me.

Simmered Lentils in Late Winter

A hearty and very cost-effective meal. Serve with shredded parmesan and a loaf of crusty bread. Just what one needs to keep a little pleasure in late winter. Bon Appetit!

Lentil Stew

Saute in large pot:
• 2 T olive oil
• 2 onions, chopped
• 3 celery stalks (leaves too!), chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, smashed

• 4 c chicken stock
• 4 c water (more if needed)
• 1 lb. dry lentils
• .5 c pearl barley
• 2 carrots, sliced thin or chopped
Cover and simmer for 1 hour.

• 28 oz can crushed or petite diced tomatoes
• 1-2 t. salt
• .5 t. pepper
• .5 t. oregano
• .5 t. thyme
• 1 pkg. frozen spinach

Simmer 'til warm through. Makes a huge pot so freeze those leftovers for a lovely quicky meal!

**Perfect baby food. Serve as is or grind for little babes. And, strange as it sounds, our babies loved this mixed with unsweetened applesauce. Gobbled it right up. Freeze extra in ice cube trays and be set for a week!

02 February 2010

To Pray Hope, To Pray Promise, To Pray Joy

I will sing of the LORD's great love forever;
with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.

I will declare that your love stands firm forever,
that you established your faithfulness in heaven itself.

You said, "I have made a covenant with my chosen one,
I have sworn to David my servant,

'I will establish your line forever
and make your throne firm through all generations.' "

The heavens praise your wonders, O LORD,
your faithfulness too, in the assembly of the holy ones.

For who in the skies above can compare with the LORD ?
Who is like the LORD among the heavenly beings?

In the council of the holy ones God is greatly feared;
he is more awesome than all who surround him.

O LORD God Almighty, who is like you?
You are mighty, O LORD, and your faithfulness surrounds you.

You rule over the surging sea;
when its waves mount up, you still them.

Psalm 89:1-9

01 February 2010

Uncle Peter Has a New Puppy

Uncle Peter, the forester, has a new puppy named Cedar. I've never considered myself much a dog person, but I think I kind of get it now. She is utterly delicious.