24 February 2012


Have you been worried?  It's been crickets around here, I know.
Not to worry.  We are in Texas, my husband's homeland, for the week of winter break.  It has been a great, sunny week with lots of Mexican food, deer sightings, time with family and driving around the countryside (what else do you do in Texas?!).
I feel out of touch with you all, but such is the nature of things. 
By the way, I am posting from my phone so I apologize in advance if things look not as great as usual!
Love to you all!  I hope to do a few more phone posts before we head home on Monday!

11 February 2012

What's on my mind.

For Christmas I received a nice little cash gift from my dear in-laws.  Over the last 6 weeks, I've been carefully considering what I wanted to purchase with this gift.
At first, I thought I might want to get these boots that I've been eyeing.
Then I thought about this device I've heard highly recommended.  You know, you only have one skin and one face...
Many other things flitted across my mind...new bedding for our bed, things for the children (I know!!! It's supposed to be for ME!).
Finally, I came to a decision.  Here is what I spent (most of) my Christmas money on:

Now, two of the books in the stack are ones I already owned.  One is a library book.  However, this pile represents many of the things occupying my thoughts and prayers and hopes and wonderings these days.
Let's start from the bottom up.
I mentioned the Keller book last week.  Just read it.  All of you.  I mean it.
What's Eating Your Child? The Hidden Connections Between Food and Childhood Ailments...the rest of the subtitle is really long.  I am mostly convinced that some of Theo's learning troubles can be remediated and greatly helped by changing his nutrition.  I find this stuff fascinating, and also a bit overwhelming.  But I really want to do WHATEVER I can to help this little guy succeed.  He deserves it.
The Heart of Anger by Lou Priolo.  I have had this book for years, and skimmed it several times.  I feel that it is time to read it again, for me and for them.  
Parenting Teens with Love and Logic.  Are you familiar with the Love and Logic principles?  These ideas really resonate with me.  One thing I like about the L & L books is that they provide a big frame on which to hang your parenting, and they also give you nitty-gritty advice for the daily situations parents face. Best of all, when I have been mature enough to put these ideas into practice, they really WORK.  
Introverts in the Church:  Finding Our Place in an Extroverted Culture by Adam McHugh.  This book was recommended to me (by someone I highly esteem) after a comment I made on Facebook about loving days when I don't have to talk too much.  While I am much less of an introvert than I used to be -- in fact, some might be surprised to hear that I am indeed an introvert -- I still NEED time away in the quiet to process and recover.  I'm interested in reading this for myself, but also for those in the church who struggle with the perceived expectation that everyone needs to be an extrovert.
Jesus Calling for Kids and Jesus Calling by Sarah Young.  I have been hearing about this devotional for a few years now, but felt somewhat skeptical.  Then not long ago, I was surprised to hear someone I really trust say that she was enjoying it.  Then Theo told me his teacher has been reading the kids' version in their class.  So I decided to give it a go.  The daily entries are short and written in the first person, like Jesus Himself is talking to you.  If you have used it, let me know what you think!
Grace-Based Parenting by Dr. Tim Kimmel.  I think that I heard this recommended somewhere along the way, but I bought it mainly because it is endorsed by people I trust, and I need GRACE in my PARENTING.  Hopefully this book can help me.  I also really liked the tagline at the bottom of the cover:  set your family free.

So, it would seem that I have my work cut out for me, would it not?! My husband jokes that someday he needs to be thrown in jail so that he will have TIME to read everything he needs and wants to read.  Maybe I should try it?

Have a great weekend!

09 February 2012

Cinnamon Rolls: Best Evah!

Have you ever made cinnamon rolls at home?  Not from the little cardboard roll that pops open?  
A few years ago, John was given a cookbook from the lady who owned THIS bakery in adorable Fredericksburg, TX.  In the book, I found a recipe for Jailhouse Potato Cinnamon Rolls and I decided to try them.
Now, I'm not a girl who is afraid to bake.  I made my first loaf of bread in 4th grade after I did a book report on this book, so I've been around the proverbial bread block.
However, the recipe for these cinnamon rolls calls for FOUR packets of yeast!  FOUR!  You know what this means, don't you? It means a bread dough that takes over.  If you turn your back for 30 minutes, you will have dough plopping out onto your counter and possibly even trying to engulf your kindergartner.
ANYWAY -- the cinnamon rolls are amazing.  Huge, yeasty, the best I've ever had.  The only thing is, they are a pain to make. They are messy and time-consuming, and did I already mention the threatening dough?
So I pretty much make these once at year, at Christmas or New Year.  This year I had an extra pan that I hid away in the freezer; I decided to bake them last Sunday.  Mmmmmmm.  Just as good as ever.  Better than Pioneer Woman's recipe, in case you were wondering.(Have you made those?  They are good, but these are better!)

Here they are before I put the glaze on.
This is what they look like in the photo in the book.  She baked hers in a muffin pan.  
Let me know if you want the recipe.  It's kind of long, so I'm not going to include it here. Unless there is a public hue and cry for it, of course.  

Have a great Thursday (best day of the week, remember?!)!

02 February 2012

Have I told you that I love Thursdays?

I do, I love Thursdays.  Thursdays are my day at home, the day I don't have to talk to anyone and I can catch up on all the dust and unfolded laundry that accumulate in my house during the week.  It's also the day I can stay in my work-out clothes for most of the day.  If you were to see me right now, you would see me in yoga pants, two fleeces, a winter hat, and a fleece blanket wrapped around my lower half.  My booty gets cold, people!  Real cold!

Yesterday I promised more AMAZING things from our house.  And here they are!  Here, for your viewing pleasure, is a normal school day morning in our house.  The only thing not normal about it is that it's Thursday, so I don't have quite as much pressure to have myself together as well as the children.
Here is the view from my bedroom window.  Just seconds earlier, there was a lovely red glow along the skyline.  Apparently, I missed it.  Par for the course.

Some people had to rake through the laundry piles to find the right uniform shirts, socks, etc.  Pretty sweet.  One thing my kids like to do is get dressed while standing on the heating grate.  Fun times.

Lucy is almost always up first, and likes to eat cereal right away.  That's what happened this morning. But I am really trying to get lots of protein into the boys for breakfast.  Bacon (Canadian), egg and cheese on an English fits the bill (that's how you would order it in Dunkin' Donuts, just so ya know).
Lucy asked for some musical accompaniment for the morning.  Laurie Berkner is a kids' artist, but not too annoying.  I actually like many of her songs.
Some of us have to brush our teeth in the kitchen in the morning because of this:

Behind that door is Walter taking a shower in our ONE bathroom.  Sigh.  First world problems, people.
Then comes the mad rush out the door with John giving updates from his phone app: "The bus is coming in seven minutes...we need to walk out...you don't have your shoes on?!?...okay, we have four minutes and we're going to have to run."  This morning was more crazy and rushed than usual and I literally shoved the kids out the door.  Barely had a chance to smooch them or John.  I don't like that one bit.  Must do better!
Then Walter and I get in the car and go to school.  He likes to sulk and tell me how to drive on the way to school.  Thanks, Mr. 13-Year-Old!  Today I started singing really loudly with the radio.  He did NOT like that one bit.  It really offended his sensibilities.  Sheesh.  I always tell him I love him and that I hope he has a great day and that Jesus loves him while we are driving down the school driveway, because I know he won't want to hear it when we are in front of the school.  Although sometimes, when he is getting his enormous backpack out of the back of the car, I do stage-whisper to him, "Jesus loves you, Walter!"  I think it really helps him to have a great middle-school day.  Don't you?

On most days, I go to work after dropping off Walter.  On Thursdays, I come home and look at my list.
You wish you could read it, dontcha?  But you can't.  I purposefully held the camera at such an angle that you couldn't read it.  Some things on my list might seem a little silly to you, and I'm not up for that kind of scrutiny.   I'm real private like that.  I love my notebook (it's my favorite kind - Miguel Rius). I love my lists.  I love Thursdays, even when my booty is freezing off.
I hope you, too, have an amazing Thursday, with all that you have to do!  I'm grateful for you out there!

01 February 2012

How exciting is my life?!

Hey friends!  Just a quick update on the exciting business going down around here.  

1.  I am always running out of gas.  That little light is always coming on.  Kind of annoying.  Also, the dashboard is really, really dusty. Oh, AND we apparently need an oil change.

2.  This is how tiring it is to go to kindergarten.  This girl needs more Rest and Rejuvenate, teachers!  

3.  One of our across-the-street neighbors apparently moved out last night.  In the middle of the night.  There was a big bunch of people loading up a U-Haul at 11 p.m.  And here is what the neighbor left behind.  Holy moly!  

4.  My silverware is disappearing.  And by silverware, I mean the stainless steel stuff that we got for our wedding.  I'm not kidding, I am down to four knives!  What the?!?  Where do knives go?  Are they with all the missing socks or what?

5.  Can someone explain to me what these are doing in my bathroom?  Was someone doing a little lifting while conducting other business?  Hmmm?

Welp, tomorrow is my favorite day of the week, Thursday (what?  isn't your favorite day Thursday?) and I'm going to try to have some more AMAZING things to share with you.

Over and out.