Tuesday, May 31, 2011

leavin' it all behind.

Say farewell to the confines of my own back yard,
Weeds growing around the flowers.
Sometimes the only way to break the curse
is to leave it all behind.

- Over the Rhine

We have a lot we should have done today, 
but we decided to do what was most needed.

Thank you, Alton Brown, for the normal-tasting gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe.  Who would have ever known they were made from brown rice?!?  (I substitute 1 scant cup sucanat for the brown sugar.)  They are one of our faves!  

If you've never stared off into the distance, then your life is a shame. 
- Counting Crows

Oh, those faces that I love...

One of our favorite places here is the pizza shop on the beach.  This is my first trip post-GF, so I brought my own crust to ask if they would put on toppings and bake for me.  BUT, they had a gluten-free pizza!  (You can see below how excited I was :)  AND, it tasted just as good as ever.  No one could tell a difference.  Thank you, Lord!

Yes, we give our kids a can of switch and a sucker, then strap them in the car for a 1 1/2 hour drive.  That's what you do when it's 90 degrees, and you don't have air conditioning, I guess :)

Hello to another full week, 
working on the house and potty-training-take-97. 
We didn't get rid of our weeds today, but we gained so much more... perspective.

Friday, May 27, 2011


But first, let there be lights!
We are two-light-choices away from being done!  
With ordering the lighting, that is...
We have yet to get drywall, but hey, it is looking alot different than it did 19 weeks ago... But who's counting?
Our lighting has all come from home depot online (except the dining).
Here they are!

And now, the moment you've all been waiting for!
The dining room light...I'm sure the suspense has been killing you :)  
Drum roll please...

From the previous light post, the first 2 turned out to be on back order, and the last two were more than we wanted to spend.  
But we found this beauty, and love her so!
Calhoun Glass Pendant
We just need to decide on pendants that will go over the kitchen counter.

Also, for the boys' room, I wanted to make something fun like:
Skateboard Pendant in Chrome

Or, I like the style of this pendant, and it's so versatile:
Cargo Hold Lantern Hanging Lamp
But, it may hang too low, so it may just have to be something more:

TIVED Ceiling spotlight  Max. height: 28 " Base diameter: 7 "  Max. height: 72 cm Base diameter: 18 cm
This week we need to finalize door knobs, kitchen cabinet knobs, and tile.
Decisions, decisions, decisions...
By the time we get this house finished, I may be able to walk into Starbucks and actually know what to order in a timely fashion!

Until then, we are working on our affogatos, without an espresso machine, and without being in Italy.  Affogato is an Italian way to enjoy ice cream—it's literally "drowned" in espresso.  That's what classy people tell me anyway.

Affogato, Royer-ized
(for those who don't have an espresso machine)
1. Brew 3 strong cups of coffee in a french press: Steep 1/2 cup freshly ground coffee in 3 cups boiling water for 4 minutes.  
(We're a little "coffee-snobbish" about this, so we use freshly-home-roasted-coffee-by-Andy, but any good drinking coffee should do.)
2. Scoop up some vanilla ice cream.  (Chocolate would be yum mocha-ey too)
3. Pour strong coffee over ice cream.
4. VoilĂ !  Affogato!

5. Serve as a delicious treat to impress all your classy friends.  
Maybe just don't give to 3 boys right before bed, though...Just sayin' :)

Enjoy your long weekend all!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

drink deep.

Hands raised, eyes fixed, empty bowl lifted high, waiting to be filled…

His feet have barely hit the ground.  He comes into the kitchen, running.  Grabs the closest bowl he can find, even if it’s pink.  Looks to me and raises his bowl, empty.  Waits for his cereal, his daily bread.
He knows where to come every morning to be nourished, satisfied.

Could there be a more fitting reminder for me each morning?

God is so gracious. 

Taste and see that the Lord is good.
Oh, the joys of those who trust in Him!
psalm 34.8
We often don’t enjoy the experience at hand because we’re so caught up 
with reaching out for the next one…
The secret to awakening joy is 
being present with whatever part of life 
we’re tasting right now. 
James Baraz & Shoshana Alexander
Drink deep, friends, whatever part of life you're tasting right now.

Monday, May 23, 2011

when trouble comes...

I have sat down here so many times to start a post about ordering lighting, to record the happenings of our days.  But, life keeps calling me away...a house project that needs researched...a house fixture that just arrived...sharing the leftover ice cream with my small man on a quiet Saturday afternoon...

resting with little one on the couch...
my love turning my attention to the setting sun, which needs to be enjoyed on a porch swing, sitting long enough to watch the clouds pass us by, long enough to notice the brilliant orange and pinks fade into deep blues, long enough to wonder at the 2 of us, here, in the corn fields of Indiana, of all places...loving this little life of ours, as unpredictable as it may seem at times, long enough to think about this verse again.

Those who look to Him are radiant with joy.
psalm 34.5

Scrap lighting post.  Let's discuss joy.  This verse keeps coming to mind.  There's just stuff that tends to get me down.  You know what I mean.  Life spins beyond our control and we can't keep up or always be in the right frame of mind to take it graciously.  Situations we find ourselves in may ask to rob us of our joy.  Let's be real.  Sometimes they can just suck the life right out of you.  So, where is this ever-flowing, ever-freeing, abundant well of joy that people have in the midst of deep pain, reoccurring disappointments?    

When James says...
Dear brothers and sisters, 
whenever trouble comes your way, 
let it be an opportunity for JOY!
james 1.2

I have read that verse over and over, thinking it must be a typo.  
Joy?!?  Really?
This time last year I came across this verse as I was mentally preparing to have my thyroid removed.  A surgery I had sought to avoid, but was inevitable.  With a family I love dearly, laying down on that operating room table of uncertainty took courage I didn't know I had.  I had a choice to make.  Let my fears overwhelm or let it be an opportunity for joy.  

When I got the call a few days later that there were two parts that showed cancerous, I again had a choice to make.  Worry, or prayer.  Philippians 4.6-7 came to life in those weeks.  (One of those choices actually leads to peace!)

Those are big things.  Some of the biggest stuff we have had to face.  But, it's the little things that get me.  It's the every day choice before my feet touch the ground of who or what is going to dominate my thoughts today.  Whether I will let the worries and cares of this world weigh me down, or open wide the hand of surrender, eyes fixed on Him, strengthened with joy.  

The joy of the Lord is my strength.  
Nehemiah 8.10
Indeed, it is!  He's got plenty of it.
Sometimes we just need called away to remember that.  To look to Him.  
To let the wonder of it all turn to joy.

And for those of you who would have rather a post about lighting, sorry.  
I'll get to that soon :)
I just had some thoughts spinning around in my head...

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

NICE bar

My first bite of a KIND bar was at a trader joe's sample station, which our family usually makes a bee-line for.  Andy talked me into buying a couple, even though they were $1.50 a bar!  Ever since, I have wanted to learn to make them...because I like them more than I knew I could bring myself to buy them.
So, I pulled out some dates, almonds, cherries, walnuts, blended them up, and made them into a bar, kinda-like a KIND bar.  Is that legal?  I probably need to come up with an original name.  How about NICE BAR... It's a little catchier than Amiable Bar or Friendly Bar.  
And so very nice, it is!

2 cups pitted dates, roughly chopped
1 cup dried cherries (or cranberries)
1 cup slivered almonds
1 cup walnuts
2 tablespoons honey
Heat dates and cranberries in pan on medium-low to warm slightly, one minute.  Transfer to food processor - pulse until it forms a thick, rough paste.  (Doesn't need to be smooth.)  Add walnuts, almonds, and honey.  Pulse until the mixture comes together in a ball.  Transfer to a parchment (or waxed paper) lined container.  I used a square 9" pan.  Firmly press into container.  Refrigerate for half an hour.  Remove from container, and cut into 10 bars.  Wrap individually in plastic wrap or waxed paper.  Keep refrigerated until use.

I can see these accompanying us on many future explorations.  For now, it is a little boost of energy after a full day of work, for my love to coach our boys' t-ball game and now be working late on getting the house ready for insulation Wednesday!

The boys?  Well, they don't need any extra energy, but they sure enjoy them!  And, we have had some very nice days.  Days where I turn around and find this.

Or this!

This doesn't always happen.  But when it does, I treasure these moments in my heart, and praise them wildly for sitting so closely to their brothers, playing so nice-ly!  Maybe I should make these bars more often :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

quick lunch:. brown rice tortilla wraps


We have been outside as much as possible:  Soaking in these heavenly days.  So thankful for this new season!

Three things I have realized about our summer lunches.  1) I must not use the stove as much as possible.  2) I must make them as quick as possible.  3) We must eat outside as often as possible. 

So, we have been wrapping it up over here.  We like wraps when we’re travelling, a cheaper (gluten-free) alternative to eating out on the road.  Miles likes them, and it’s a good way to sneak some green into his packed lunch.  But this week, we have been packing our lunch for adventures in the play fort or favorite spot in this neck of the woods.  

Brown Rice Tortilla Wrap
1.      Start with a brown rice tortilla.  I use: 
Soften the frozen tortilla in the toaster oven until it’s ply-able, but not crisp.  (A microwave would work – we just don’t have one.)
2.       Spread some kind of sauce on the entire tortilla (I like Philadelphia low-fat chive and onion cream cheese, and it's GF :)
3.       Top with GF deli meat of choice (I use Hormel Natural Ham or Turkey) and cheese. 
4.       Top with veggies of choice: avocado, green pepper, sprouts (learn to grow your own!), cucumber, olives, lettuce...  
5.       Roll up, slice in half, enjoy (preferably outside)! 

Happy Weekend Adventuring!