Friday, June 27, 2014

good eatin', if not good lookin'

We don't eat a ton of dessert around here,
and I certainly don't go around experimenting very often.

With food food, I'm fairly sure of myself,
and rarely use recipes.
(although I have a few that I actually follow)
Sometimes, I'll see a recipe that sounds pretty good,
make it,
and discover that I already make something similar that we like more
that I don't need a recipe for.

Desserts are my nemesis.
For starters, they aren't necessary
and as it is,
it takes a lot of money
(and work)
to keep this family well-fed.

I don't have a lot of counter space, and desserts always seem to need lots of counter space to make
and I just make a lot of mess when I make desserts
(excepting the super easy mug cakes, which I don't need a recipe for...)

Add to that - healthy desserts 
(which seems like is an oxymoron, but isn't :-)
are far more expensive than their non-healthy counter parts,
so experimenting with costly ingredients
is a turn-of for me.

That said,
I have experimented with desserts three times in the last week and a half.
What is wrong with me?!

First, it was the cookies.
Oh my.
These cookies sounded sooo scrumptious, with their coconut and browned butter.
I wish I could make (and eat!) the cookies exactly as written.
But I just can't.
(of course, if someone were to lovingly make/purchase such deliciousness for me, I would gratefully eat it and enjoy it immensely ;-)

I thought about those cookies for days after I happened upon the recipe.
And after a friend, who recently started a low carb diet, told me she really missed cookies,
I thought it was only right
that I should make the browned butter coconut delicacies in a blood sugar friendly manner.
For Nancy, you understand. So I could ease her burden....

So I made the cookies, substituting xylitol for sugar and my baking mix for flour.
They smelled heavenly.
And as Tyler (or maybe Brandon?) put it,
they were an amazing dessert 
but they were not 
They didn't crisp up, and they didn't hold together.
I think somebody may have suggested making them as cereal...

Sorry, Nanc'.

Then, it was Strawberry Shortcake.
Now, I've made low carb/low glycemic shortcake before
and it was good.
Problem is,
I have no clue how I made it...
(It just now occurs to me that maybe I used my biscuit recipe?)
having a basic understanding of how cakes work,
I just sorta winged it,
and the resulting strawberry shortcake was quite tasty
but it was....
v e e r r r y


And then yesterday.

Yesterday, I checked out Life in Grace, a blog I rarely visit, as I really can't relate much to the author,
but I'd recently followed a link to a podcast which led me there,
and I'd enjoyed listening to the podcasts while I basted diamonds for EPP,
so I thought I'd see if she had another podcast up yet.
I don't know if she did or not,
and I had to make it (sans sugar and white flour...) immediately.

(Who is this person?!)

Again, the resulting dessert
tasted amazing.
But it didn't look so great.

And now I'm sort of mulling over what I should do differently....

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

page turner

Over the course of 2 days,
this beautiful girl
read the entire children's Bible.
All 512 pages of it!

Momma loves you, Precious!!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

random pictures from my phone

I haven't been taking many pictures with my good camera lately.
Mostly because I am frustrated with my ignorance and my inability to capture what I am trying to capture.
and I just forget to pull it out.
Or, I think, 'I have lots of blocks done' (22 for the red and white quilt) 'I should take pictures and do a post'.
But the effort required to do so
deters me.
what we have today,
are just random pictures from my phone
(you may have guessed that from the title ;-)
after deleting all of the minecraft/clash of clans/dragonvale pictures 
that the kids love to take.

I woke up at 6:30 one morning and found Josiah asleep in the chair. 
He went back to bed, and didn't remember even being in the living room.

Silly Lex'. Playing with her Bub's hat.

Pricey lotion I found at Handmade Marketplace in Fayetteville.
I thought it looked like Eva.

National Donut Day. I got an apple fritter. I'm such a rebel.

Lexi fixed her pancakes all by herself (pancakes: 2 c oats, whirred in the blender,
2 c. 1 or 2% cottage cheese, 2 c. egg whites, 2 Tbs xylitol, 2 Tbs baking powder)

This is what I use on my knees and ankles (and my wrists and shoulders
sometimes, too, but always my knees!) when I exercise. Helps tremendously.
I finally got smart and mixed the two together in a little glass spray bottle.

Lexi and Gramma Joyce play Go Fish :-)

one of my pinned workouts - I texted this to Tyler the first time
I did it. (took me almost 19 minutes and my quads were on fire!)
I managed to do ALL 60 pushups unmodified.  WooHooo!!
(Thus the need for the wintergreen DMSO on my wrists and shoulders)

Ton' and Kacy texted us when they ate her birthday dessert. Staying in touch with
family in 2014 is a lot easier than it was in 1987-'89 (when we lived in Germany)!

and here's the recipe for the dessert :-)  YUM!

Somebody's purse at church. Aka: quilt inspiration.

Taken from Kacy's 'sayings' pinterest board, and texted to My Love.

Speaking of My Love...

hubba hubba

Monday, June 16, 2014


I'm happy to have my boys home again,
but gosh
it was nice to not have to wipe up the seat/rim/floor every time I went to the bathroom
while they were gone.

Friday, June 13, 2014

learning to sew

Lori, from The Inbox Jaunt (who shares fantastic FMQ tutorials every Tuesday) posed the question today,
"Who taught you to sew?" 
I thought I'd answer it here...

My mom may remember teaching me (Mom??)
but I don't remember actually learning to sew,
I only remember sewing.

The first thing I can recall making 
is the rosebud rice bags for our wedding.
But the fact that I made rosebud rice bags for our wedding
leads me to believe that I must have sewn before (?)
But then again, it could have just been that overconfidence thing.

Regardless of when / how I originally learned to sew,
sewing, and learning to sew better
and faster,
has been, for the past 27 years, and will continue to be, a lifelong pursuit
and a source of great joy for me.
I love taking a rectangle of fabric, and turning it into something useful.
I love improving my skills.
And having quality tools (oh how I wish my Janome was in peak form still) and fabulous thread.
I love the feel of quality fabric under my fingers.
I love wearing something I've made,
that doesn't look like I made it.
even if I don't so much love the ironing.

I'm grateful that Tyler is not only tolerant of my sewing,
he encourages it.
(Thanks, Love!)

Here's to continuing learning to sew
for many years to come :-)

Thursday, June 12, 2014


It's quite easy to surprise someone 
who doesn't have much of a memory to speak of.

Yesterday, as you know,  was my turn with Gramma Joyce.
At various times, I take a single kid with me, so they get to spend alone time with both momma,
and their great-gramma.
Lexi considered yesterday 'her turn', with Lily just coming along
since there was no one to leave her with, with the boys being at camp.
I was really proud of her, because completely  unprompted,
(meaning I totally forgot to have the 'we are here to bless Gramma' conversation)
she opened and closed doors for Gramma
and even insisted on using Gramma's key (still attached to her purse...) to unlock the door when we got back from dinner.
She brought a deck of cards to play Go Fish, and didn't even flinch when Gramma took 3 cards from her, more than once.
(for a 5 year old who has been known to send her cards flying across the room when that happens, accompanied by a screaming fit, 
that's fairly impressive)
She sat by Gramma Joyce at dinner (Golden Corral) but couldn't really find any ways to help her...

Anyways, back to the surprise.
I hadn't called Gramma to say we were coming.
I usually don't - I figure she's not going to go anywhere, so she'll be there,
and she has a list of whose turn it is to visit, so she already knows I'm coming...
Sometimes she doesn't feel well, and thinks she wants to beg off, 
but I tell her I am coming anyways.
I figure if she really doesn't feel up to going out, I'll just visit with her at the house.
She's always been up to going out. :-)

When we knocked on the door, she had just hung up the phone from talking to my mom,
telling her she wasn't sure if anybody was coming or not,
so she was quite surprised when we showed up.
(she called her right back to let her know not to worry - I was there. 
The funny thing is - it was barely 5:00; way earlier than anybody usually arrives to visit or take her out)

So surprised and tickled about our coming,
at random points throughout the evening, she would clap her hands and exclaim,
"This is such a nice surprise! I'm so excited!"
(now you see where I get some of my exuberance from ;-)

I was telling Tyler about her happiness at our visit, and Lexi said dryly,
"Yeah. It got annoying. She said she was 'so excited' about 20 times."
(so, I guess we still have a ways to go yet, on 'blessing our elders'... ;-)

My intention had never been to surprise Gramma,
but it was kinda nice to have her so thrilled with our visit.
I may just surprise her again,
in six weeks.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

8 wk fitness update, 2 days late

I don't know if anybody noticed or not
(I'm thinking not...)
but I didn't post a 4 week update
4 weeks ago.

Here's that update: 
I took a few days off to have a pity party, then I got right back to my exercise-every-day-except-Sunday routine
and ate carefully 95% of the time.

I lost the 2.2 lbs I'd gained in the previous 4 weeks, plus another .2 lbs.
Hardly worth mentioning.

And now this update:
I continued to exercise every day except Sunday, increasing the duration of my workouts, 
and eat well 95% of the time.

I gained back the 2.4 lbs.
And another .6.

The tape measure doesn't offer any encouragement, either.

I am unspeakably sad and frustrated,
 and frankly,

I work so hard. 
So diligently.

I'm shocked when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror;
for all of my efforts,
I should be thin.
And firm.
But like Mulan, all I see,
is me.

Friday, June 6, 2014

just life

I do believe this has been my longest time 
away from this space.
T called yesterday, concerned,
so I figured it was time to pop in.

Life is moving along at warp speed,
and dragging me along with it.
I've done very little sewing since I last posted;
3 more red blocks,
zero swimsuits (Poor Lily!!)
and a few stars
is all I've managed.
(still trying to find the perfect thread for me for EPP. I may have to break down and order from London. but yikes!)
I am positively the worst chicken farmer in the history of chicken farmers.
We hatched out 26 chicks.
We bought 12 more for variety.
We currently have 16 chicks (and one of those is not looking terribly robust) 15 chicks.
I'm not sure I'm cut out for this.
If I didn't love looking out my windows and seeing my chickens so very much, I'd give up.
We had a couple of weeks that were extra busy and we were around other people every single day.
Wore. me. out.
They were (almost) all people I absolutely love.
Some of my very favorite people, even, 
but it was just too much.

I still haven't recovered.
Since we are doing a year-round schedule this year, we still have 5 weeks of school.
But you know what?
We are right on target!
I think that's a first.
Lexi thinks I need to dye her eyebrows.

She is a nut.
Brandon is at Camp Joshua as a Counselor In Training (CIT).
It feels so weird to have him gone.

Jeremiah and Josiah will be going to camp, too, next week.
That will really feel weird!

Wednesday is my week with Gramma Joyce,
so I think the girls and I will just head to NWA early 
and make a day of it.

Which means Tyler will be home in the evening all by himself.
Which, I imagine, will feel weirder still.
He says he will sleep.
Today is National Donut Day,
so after we dropped Brandon off at the church to head to camp,
we went to the Donut Palace (happy to support the 'little guys'!) 
and then to Carol Ann Cross park for an hour.

We started in on math as soon as we got back home.
Jeremiah said he didn't feel good.
I'm not sure if it was the sugar or the fractions.
I gave him a pass regardless.

I finished my coffee without realizing it 
while typing this up.
I went to take a drink and it was gone.
Not a drop left.

I think I'll make another cup.

Too bad I already ate my donuts....