Thursday, March 27, 2008


This week we went on a couple fun outings. We will probably go on a few more, too - as Grandma & Grandpa Adams are coming to visit, arriving anytime now...

On Tuesday, we went to Hidden Beach park in Rio Del Mar, with my sister Krista & her little guy Elijah. Gillian & Elijah love each other & routinely smother each other in hugs & kisses. The day was beautiful. It was great to get out.

Yesterday we went with my sister Leah & brother Jacob to visit Wilder Ranch. It is a gorgeous farm, right off the ocean. There were goats, a sheep & lots of chickens. Gillian was cracking up over the chickens. That was pretty fun.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Meal Plannig

Okay. Melissa wants everyone to weigh in on meal planning. So, let us oblige.

I have - at different times - done meals all three ways she mentions.

1. do you plan your week's (or month's) menu ahead of time so you know what special ingredients to keep on hand?

I normally do plan a week (upon the arrival of the grocery store weekly deals paper or, when signed up for a farm CSA, the planning would take place when I get the list of that week's produce box.) of meals. I have never planned a whole month. That would be hard for me, I think...
This is, for sure, my favorite modus operandi. You can plan based on sales, the season & what you have in the house that needs to be used. If you plan well, you don't have to go to the store more than once or twice a week. And, above all these things, you have the comfort of a plan. I like to know what is ahead! But, alas - you cannot always plan ahead. Sometimes I do do number #2...

2. or do you simply decide menus day by day, depending on what you find already on hand?

I have done this during times when I was not putting so much time into the cooking part of homemaking. I hadn't put the time in to plan, therefore, I had to think on my feet. Or, things just happen, & I didn't get to the store, etc... It is a new thing for me. A challenge, to be sure. This is a marvelous skill. And, I want to continue to learn it. I used to fear improvisation. I only used recipes. I wouldn't even ever want to substitute an ingredient. I have literally cried about not forgetting a particular ingredient for dinner. (This was when I was brand new at all this & extremely inflexible. Scott was suggesting that I fix something else for dinner, assuming that would be simple enough. I was having a total breakdown....)
Now, my hand has been forced. A woman cannot just cry every time things don't go according to plan. She needs to improvise. And, you know, it feels good. It is good to be creative & independent.

3. or do you end up running to the store for a handful of things on a frequent basis when you find recipes with cool ingredients?

This was my style when I lived at home with my parents & cooked a couple times a week. I thought it was a marvelous way to do things, although my mom would always tell me otherwise. Once I had to cook everyday, & be the one to pay for the groceries, somehow, her points were all so clear. This method tends to waste a lot of time & money. I guess this is an example of why we should heed wise counsel & instruction, even if we don't understand it...

Monday, March 24, 2008

Just When its Over

Gillian has done a great deal of throwing up each morning, for the last 3 days . This morning she is better. So nice to not have to spend the morning sanitizing everything again.
But, alas, I had something new in store for me. Instead, the dog pooped in the house. Hmmmmm.... At least it was not on the rug.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Easter at Home

We had a quiet Easter this year. Gillian came down with a stomach virus a few days ago, so we couldn't go spend the holiday with the rest of the family. She seems to be on the road to recovery, though. Hopefully she'll be pretty much back to her normal self by tomorrow.

Since Gillian wasn't too terribly sick today, we still put the kids in nice clothes

& did a little egg hunt for her.

Yes, we let her have candy - even being sick...

Checking it all out.

I made these bunny ears for her last night, for her Easter basket. She doesn't really like to keep them on. But, I told her that she had to be a bunny to go on the egg hunt. So, she kept them on the whole time!

Oh. And, our Easter breakfast was really tasty & simple. Eggs with Chives & Fresh Ricotta.

I was planning on making my own fresh ricotta, which is a simple & delicious thing. But, once Gillian got sick, I just picked up some fresh ricotta from Deluxe Foods. The dish is fabulous, & so easy.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

In Our Kitchen

Last night we had a favorite of ours - Salmon baked in parchment with Potatoes & Spinach. We had a few blackberries in the fridge, so we also tried Blackberry-Thyme Margaritas. Pretty tasty.
Later this week, we will have Milk-Braised Pork. Maybe Saturday, so we can do whatever we want that day, & just leave the crock pot at work. I love this ugly meal. It is so yummy, a real comfort food. But, the color & texture of the milk, after cooking for hours, isn't a very pretty sight.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

6 Quirks

I've been tagged. This is the first time. Wow. Thanks, Laura, for making me feel special. But, this is a challenge. 6 things! I'm not that quirky....

Here's the deal -

1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2.Post the rules.
3. Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself.
4. Tag at least 3 people.
5.Make sure the people you tagged know you tagged them by commenting to them.

I'll tag Nini, Julie & Meris.

1) I love to cook & bake, but hate to sample & taste test. I never try the food, until I am serving it. If I feel it really needs a taste test, I make someone else taste it. This habit has brought about some yucky food being served, to be sure... White bean chili with hard beans... Profiteroles with unsweetened filling... pancakes made with detergent...

2) I inform my husband of all the chores I do each day, so he can properly compliment me.

3) When I turn music on in the house, in the morning, I leave the same album playing all day long. So I don't have to bother changing it, I may continue turning that album on for several days in a row.

4) Although I have long hair, I rarely brush it - usually once or twice a week.

5) I love, really love, donating blood. Does that make me somewhere close to masochistic?

6) I have a collection of broken dishes that I have been building for years. It is to make a mosaic tile counter top or floor or some such thing. I still have never learned how to do such mosaic, though.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008


I know Spring isn't official until nest week. But, it feels like it is here! If you are in a place where the sun is shining, enjoy it!

I made these little pipe cleaner birds last spring. A Martha project.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Seeing Straight

I have been thinking. Thinking about how I haven't had a very good attitude about this time of sleep deprivation. I am not that unique, in being sleep deprived. Tons of people are in this position. Just because I am lacking in sleep, doesn't mean I can be grumpy. It certainly doesn't mean I can be short or snappy with my daughter. And yet, I have been... I've been tremendously impatient with my baby, when he cries inconsolably in the middle of the night.

Many things made me start thinking about this needed attitude adjustment.
My baby - finding out that he had an ear infection, and is most likely in pain. He needs his Mom to be understanding, not frustrated.

My mom - the mother of 10 children, grandmother of 4, homeschool teacher of 4 kids and much more (she has a lot going on. You know - she's busy.) Anyway. This lady came over to spend the night here last week, to rock Peyton to sleep, so all I had to do all night was feed him. She gave me a night off.
My friend - a mother of 6 young children, pregnant with #7, preparing for a move across the country... She brought us dinner last week, and is willing to bring it again. (And she lives 1/2 hour away, too.)
When other folks serve me so willing - folks who could easily say they have too much going on in their own life... that is convicting. I need to change my attitude....

This post on Femina. Hmmmm... She speaks directly to me. I need to clean up my windshield, get a change of perspective, so I can see clearly. I need to count my blessings, and repent from feeling sorry for myself.

You know what? Life is a lot better, when you are seeing straight.
You CAN see straight, even when you don't get sleep. You CAN be joyful, too. Those things come from God. Not from sufficient rest.
Somehow, with the change of perspective, I already feel more rested. It seems like Peyton is sleeping better. Maybe there is validity to the theory of newborns feeling the tension & stress in their parents & then getting more stressed & fussy themselves. I don't know.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Infected Alreay

Peyton had his 2 week weight check with the pediatrician yesterday & we found out that he has an ear infection. Ah! My poor little buddy. We are praying it is nothing too serious.
He's been fussier since this last weekend, & I have been trying to figure out why. Now we know why...

Monday, March 3, 2008

The Life of the Farmer - Blithe Tomato

Upon the recommendation of my sister, Scott & I have both been reading the book, Blithe Tomato. I just finished it. I had a hard time putting it down. I am not a great reader. Such a thing is rare for me, to be totally into a book. I loved this one. Times when I should have been catching up on sleep, instead I found myself reading about all the marvelous characters of the author's local Farmer's Market. The book is full of short essays, on the life of a small farm farmer. The short stories make it the perfect book for reading while nursing your babe, or while waiting in line at the drive thru, or while using the restroom........

Anyway. The author has a lot of opinions, that we don't share. But, he would probably be surprised & confused by the fact that we do agree or at least empathize with much he has to say. This would probably surprise him because, to him, Christianity is "incomprehensible". And, folks who voted for Bush "show their own true character of people who cast their votes for a violently exploitative attitude toward the planet & its creatures". Hmmmm...

Although Mr. Madison makes fascinating observations about the people around him, I think there are some of us, whom he wouldn't understand too well...

Saturday, March 1, 2008

Layer Them In

Gillian has recently become fond of her hair being done. Which is a good thing, since her hair goes way past her eyes now. Yesterday, she kept asking me to add more & more barrettes & clips & bands into her hair. Then, she finished it all off by smearing some Vaseline through it. Wow.
She was very pleased with the results.

Little Feet

When Gillian saw that we took a picture of baby Peyton's feet, she wanted the same.