Monday, February 28, 2011

and in other news

Dave in now the council person for our Ward in our city (he interviewed for this because our former council person accepted a different position).Yahoo! In his words, "It's another thing I can cross off the bucket list." He'll need to run for office in November.

Which is maybe why God prompted me to undergo the naturalization process for becoming a citizen. :) Because it would kind have your husband run for office and you couldn't even vote for him. ;) So hopefully I'll be official in time to cast the vote for Dave in the primaries!

Friday, February 25, 2011

Crazy Beautiful

We are now officially in what I call "yo-yo weather."

Exhibit A: last Thursday

Exhibits B & C: today

Seriously! Yesterday, the last vestiges from this week's ice storm was waning away. This morning I could barely see outside our window for the snow plastered to the screen. Add in steady downfall for the better part of the day and crazy drifts caused by gusting winds. Then, it stopped. And the sun began to shine. February would not be February in these parts o' the woods without a crazy winter storm.

check out all these shops!

Each week on Kelly's Korner, Kelly has a feature, "Show Us Your  Life." This week's "showing" was for Etsy shops. Have fun shopping!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

party idea: photo props

I came across this idea on The Mac's blog and thought it would be fun for the Valentine's Day party I did for my children and our friends. I ended up making them by downloading photos from Microsoft Clip Gallery (MCG) and after a little editing, they were ready to print, cut and put together. The only photo that wasn't from MCG was the bigger mustache which I got through Google images.

I printed them on white card stock and used wood glue to attach the popsicle sticks and bamboo skewers to the prop. If you can't print your own, need a large quantity or want to find something specific, you can also do a search on etsy under "photo props" - choose "wedding" under the subcategory to find paper photo props.

If you want to try this idea at your next party, leave a comment with your email address and I'll send you the PDF (I couldn't find a way to upload the document directly to this blog). Please note: these images are meant for personal use only and not to be sold or used for profit in any way.


beautiful sight:

(melted snow running down the gutters)

beautiful sound: trickling water seeping into the ground signaling a most-likely-temporary reprieve from the snow

beautiful thought: cabin fever days are coming to a close as we get more days like these outside

beautiful play:

(jackets discarded, faces to the sun, first swing of the new year)

(Ben practicing his snow shoveling techniques - practice while you can, Ben!)

Beautiful day.

Monday, February 14, 2011

recipe: dominican casserole

Since my parents are in the Dominican Republic this week, leading the team that is building the kitchen for the Lighthouse School in Los Alcarrios, and since any purchases made through my shop will help support this project, I thought it would be fun to share the recipe for a dish often served to the teams.

I think my mom got this recipe off the internet after they came back from last year's trip - it's slightly tweaked to suit our taste but close to the original. It takes a bit of time and pots to prepare but it freezes well if you want to make a double batch and it's so worth it! I can usually get two dinners out of this for my family of six. Here's a picture of the finished product followed by the recipe:

Pastelon de Arroz (Rice Casserole)
Cook enough brown rice (recommend adding 1/2 tsp salt to the water) to yield 6 cups of cooked rice. When cooked, put half in bottom of 9 x 13 pan. Reserve remaining half.

Meat Mixture:
1 lb ground meat. (turkey, chicken, beef, pork)
2 T olive oil
1 tsp finely chopped fresh basil
3 T tomato paste
1/4 cup water
1 small onion, diced small
1 red pepper, diced small
1 tsp. salt (if using ground turkey, might want to use less if using ground pork)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
3-5 garlic cloves diced
dashes of chili powder and paprika

Mix all meat mixture ingredients together until the meat is thoroughly cooked. Then spread over rice in the 9 x 13 pan.

Spinach mixture:
2 c. finely chopped spinach
3/4 c. milk (I use soy milk)
pinch salt

Boil the spinach/salt in the milk until the spinach is tender then add this mixture to the reserved rice.

Cheese sauce:
3 T butter
1 T flour
3/4 c milk (I use soy milk)
1 c. grated mozzarella cheese (or add in some other white cheeses as well - I like using a mixture of mozzarella and yogurt cheese)
pinch salt

Melt butter then add flour and stir until well mixed. Add milk and stir until smooth. Add salt and cheese and stir until it becomes a thick cream. Add HALF of the cheese sauce to the the rice/spinach mixture then spread this mixture over the meat in the 9 x 13 pan. Spread remaining half of cheese sauce over the top of the casserole and bake for 15-20 minutes in a 350 degree oven.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

handmade art: lovebirds

There is a picture frame in our dining room that I've dedicated (circa October 2010) to changing every so often as the mood strikes. So far it's sported a leaf print done in acrylic paints and a fabric snowflake. Last night I changed out the snowflake for a lovebirds print in anticipation of Valentine's Day. This one may stick around for a while as I love the fabrics and how they coordinate with our wall color.

Here's how I did it:

The background is a taupe linen fabric. The birds are from a couple cotton prints I got in the quilting section at Joann Fabrics. I drew my own template for the birds, pinned them to the material, cut and stuck them into place. Voila! Two sweet lovebirds hanging on our wall.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

wintery thoughts

  • I finally answered a question that had been burning in my mind for awhile... who's eyes were darker brown: Luke's or Ben's, or were they the same shade? Ben's are definitely darker. You'd think the one who gave them birth (moi) would know this intuitively. Apparently not. (These kinds of investigations are perfectly suited for the not-going-anywhere-much days of winter)
  • I love the intimacy of a snowy afternoon when the flakes are feathery and thick. 
  • I used to laugh when people said "I'm getting old" - a comment usually on the heels of some physical activity that wasn't a typical part of their routine. Now I say it to myself. My back, arms, neck are not pleased with me today and the shoveling I did yesterday.
  • 3 out of 4 of our kids can now get 90% of their winter things on by themselves before going out to play. Woohoo! Progress.
  • Does anyone know of a single location on this planet where there is exactly three months of beautiful snowy winter and then temperatures averaging 72 degrees for the rest of the year? If so, please let us know, we may consider moving there.
  • I miss the days when I was light enough to walk on crusted snow like our kids are trying to do outside at this moment. Maybe it's the longing for heavenly things God places inside us, because, without Jesus calling me out of a boat, it's the only time in this life that I was able to walk on water.