Friday, July 29, 2011

What's in Your Fridge (or cupboard or whatever) - Part 1. Snacks

Does anyone else here love the last page interview in Bon Appetit magazine?
I usually turn there first.
I just love knowing what kind of foods people love to eat, I guess.
What's in your fridge?  Best question.  I love it.
Why do I care that Eva Marie Saint always has Brie in her fridge?
I have no idea.

By chance there is any person out on the internets
who cares at all about what is in my fridge, I thought I would tell.

I am going to go above &  beyond.
I will not just tell you my top 3 items.
I'm gonna tell you about all the groceries that are important to me.
Fridge, freezer, pantry, spice cupboard.  Whatever.

Part One - Snack Foods

Toasted Almonds




*I'm not getting anything for mentioning these products.  It is just the stuff we like.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Note To Self About Sleep & Phases

Kendall had been sleeping a solid night & taking her naps well for months.
About 2 weeks ago, things changed.
She got really quick with her rolling & starting rolling all over her crib, anytime I put her down.
She would be the tiniest bit awake, & she would roll out of her snuggle & resist going back to sleep.

I thought maybe she was teething.  Maybe that was it.
I was mad that Hyland's had to recall their amazing teething tablets.

I would rock & nurse & soothe until she was asleep,
spending the 30-45 minutes whispering to the other kids to please be quiet.
I'd lay her down.  I'd remind them to stay quiet.
Not happening.  Someone forgets.
Shouts, screams, whatever.
Baby screams & won't go back to sleep.

I couldn't seem to do anything to change things.

When Scott witnessed the events firsthand over the weekend,
he understood the pain.

I whined, "how long will this be my life?"

We recalled this phase happening with all the other kids.
But, we couldn't remember when it ended, or how.

So, now, today, while Kendall is successfully asleep for nap number 2,
I will write this note to myself, so I can remember.

Dear Erin,
Your baby is probably just going through a phase.
Sleep is a challenge for the moment.
But, it is only a phase.
This phases lasted only 2 weeks.
Getting out of it required nothing fancy.
You just keep rocking, nursing, head rubbing, pacifier fixing, lullaby singing.
I am pretty sure, this too shall pass.
Don't freak out.


linking up with Picture Me {im}Perfectly 


Linking up with Embrace the Camera

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Backyard Picnicing

Date night  - Dinner at Eight - picnic in the backyard.
So lovely!

I set up on the lawn with quilts, pillows, pot stands for tables & flowers from the yard.


Cold cut meats, crackers, caprese salad, artichokes.

Scott found the recipe, cuz he loves lemongrass, remember?
Plus, crab cakes are kind of a date food for us.  
We always try the crab cakes at a new restaurant, to see if they are better then the last.
We had crab cakes at some really great places.
But, I don't think we have ever had better than the Cafe Cruz crab cakes.

Pickled melon?  Sounds weird, right?  We were both unsure.
Until we tasted.  SO good.
Scott said they were not fabulous.  They were better than fabulous.

We had little Lemon Lavender Cupcakes for dessert. 

And yes, there were a few breaks in there, to attend to the young ones.
Kendall had to nurse again.
At the time, it was still light out, so Scott took that to watch the hummingbirds in his garden.

And, Moira was running around her room causing a rucous again.
The older two have begun taking date nights really seriously, though.
They were strongly rebuking Mo, for her craziness, during date night.
Peyton even hit Moira for getting up.  Not good, I know.  
But, still a tiny bit funny.
He & Gillian didn't want the picnic disturbed.
(And Gillian was glad when she saw me setting up outside,
"Oh good!  Now you won't be bothering us while we try to sleep!")

We enjoyed the lovely outdoors, far into the evening.  
And talked about how we want to do it again.

And the next morning we were SO tired.  
Then I was down for a day.  
Ended up I gave myself food poisoning with poor handling of raw crab.
That was not fun.

We'll do something like this again soon, sans homemade crab cakes.

Loving Dinner at Eight.  
Link up with Andi & Rebecca if you want to have your own picnic date this month.


Monday, July 18, 2011

How to Have the Best Night Ever

Scott is a creative genius.
Last week, he told me an idea he had -
that we should have a kebab making family night.
The kids loved it!  
I cut a vegetable variety & drenched them in olive oil, a squirt of lemon juice & salt & pepper.
They picked what they wanted on their own sticks.
Cauliflower, tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms, onions, bell peppers, broccoli.

They were proud of their kabobs.
(So much so, they ate their veggies!)

And they repeatedly declared it the best night ever.

The meats - Teriyaki Beef & Tandoori Chicken.

It was a nice Sunday evening.

We ended with peaches on the grill, topped with vanilla ice cream, sprinkled basil.
(Don't be afraid.  The basil with the peach & vanilla is lovely.)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What's the Point {of at home dates}?

We've been doing a weekly date night at home for the past month or so. 

We've done some Dinners at Eight - having a special dinner together, post kid bed time.
None of those dinners were private, peaceful date dinners.  
The kids needed repeated correction to "get back in bed", "stop shouting", & the like.
In short, they didn't fall asleep in a timely manner.

The last two weeks I was lacking in physical & creative energy.  
So, we were simpler.  
One week, after a regular family meal & kid bedtime, 
we shared cheese & wine & watched Smokey & the Bandit.

This week, we did one of my "to do" items together.
We iced the sugar cookies that I was making for a church event.

That sounds kinda sneaky of me, to make my husband help me with my projects.
But, he's really good at decorating cookies.
Our first Christmas together,
we made fancy monogram cookies for almost every person we knew.
(not quite.  but, we made a lot.)
His were spectacular.  He has icing skills.

Anyway.  These date nights.
Not too glamorous.  I know.
And besides, you may be thinking,
didn't you write a blog post about how you shouldn't need date nights for a good marriage?
Why yes.  I did.
And I still believe that.
I am not sitting at my computer,
worried about your marriage, if you don't have a regular date night.

So what's the point?
If they are usually interrupted by children
& they are unnecessary anyway?

My point is making priorities clear.
My husband is the person who matters most to me.
My point is being intentional to show love.
My point is making time to talk to each other,
without having to repeatedly ask the youngins to stop interrupting.
My point is trying to be creative for my husband.

Date night is one way I can do these things.
But, it is not the only way.
Do it your way.
Whatever your way may be.

linking up with Picture Me {im}Perfectly - dating my husband

Friday, July 15, 2011

Five Minute Friday {Loss}

Gypsy Mama has given the prompt Loss for Five Minute Friday.
And, she also gave us permission to use more than five minutes...
I think I'll have to take her up on that.

Ready, Set, Write.

Sometimes our greatest gains, only come after the most significant losses.

When we had our ultrasound that showed us we would lose our firstborn child,
we also lost the ability to have naive giddiness about all our future pregnancies.
We would never again just go in for an ultrasound with light hearts.
We lost some the innocent excitement.

But with the loss, we gained greater trust.
Trust that our baby was in God's hands, no matter what.
We gained greater love.
Love that is willing to love the one who is unlovely to most.
Love that is willing to love with our whole self,
even if we know the life will be short & the heart break will be great.

We gained a small understanding of His peace.  His peace that is beyond understanding.
I don't understand it still, really.  But, I know it is great.  It is incomprehensible.

We lost some happy-go-luckiness.
We gained a longing for heaven & wholeness.
We gained insight into others pain.

I lost my perfectly happy little family dreams.
That allowed me to open my heart to the orphan.
It is okay if adoption will be a bit messy.
I know now my family wasn't meant to be sheltered from pain.
The pain of the loss of my son,
has given me courage to gain more sons (&/or daughters),
who will come to me with their own history of loss & pain.

This one took me 10 minutes.  I leave it at that.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Yard Playing

front porch sittin'


I am crazy glad to see you

gloves could not be located.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

My Boy Doesn't Know What a Grocery Store is

We are members of our local CSA.
We have been longer than our kids have been on this earth.
They know when we pick up our huge produce sack every week it is from the farm.
When we get berries or artichokes, they know that Daddy & his "work family" grew them.
We are fairly Farm to Table here, I suppose.  

Yesterday, I was eating lunch with the kids. 
Peyton asks me, "did daddy go fishing?"
Um.  When?
"Did daddy fish for tuna?"
Uh, I don't think he's ever been tuna fishing, babe.  
But I'm not sure.  You'll have to ask him.
Extremely confused, he demands, 
"Then where did this tuna come from?!!"
A can.  From the grocery store...  You know, the place we buy food at every week?
He doesn't answer & appears puzzled as he continues to eat his mysterious lunch.

We ain't vegetarian.  And we ain't hunters. 
And yet, somehow, he was shocked over all this.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Holding a FUNdraiser

Carnival is over.  We raised over $1,000 for World Orphans
ministry partner in Juigalpa Nicaragua.

It was a lot of fun.  And a lot of work.
I loved seeing people come together.
It only happened because a lot of people took part in the work.
The more people working together, the more we can get done.
Thanks ya'll!

(For our photo booth, I printed props offered for free from Lil Blue Boo right here.)

Teamwork is the main way to get something big done.
Another way is planning ahead as much as you can.
But, another way we got this done was a temporary chaos & 
some distracted days in our house.


A few mornings ago, I was trying to get going for the day.
The kids are all asking repeatedly for seconds on cereal.  
I am trying to get my coffee made, before Kendall wakes up.
I open the coffee grinder & dump in blueberry flake cereal.  Oops.

We rush to Target to get some balloons & gumballs more miscellany for the event.
I figure I should grab myself a few t-shirts.  
I think about each shirt for about 2 seconds before throwing them in the cart.
Now I am really regretting 2 out of the 3 choices. 
I don't think saying I hate the shirts is too strong.  

The filth Scott & I cleaned up yesterday 
after a week of close to no house work was almost disturbing.
And we still have a dirty pasta pot on the counter waiting to be washed.  
We ate Spaghetti a week ago.
Our front porch is so full of stuff post carnival, that we can't close the screen door.

I am okay with all of that.  It's okay.

My kids also came down with a fever the day after.
And it might be because of too much carnival.  
Or not.
But it might be.

So, this isn't the norm.  
We won't organize big events often.
We will go back to a relaxed routine of being mostly at home people
and recover.

My own new focus is applying for adoption grants & loans
& getting together funds for our adoption.
And, finishing our dossier.  
My goal is to have it all ready to turn in by the end of July.
We have immigration fingerprinting dates!  July 25th.
The notice arrived while we were at the carnival!

linking up with Heather - 

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Cake Walk

The Cake Walk has always been my favorite thing at a carnival.
I used to play that over & over when I was a kid, until I finally scored a cake.
I wish I had the time to bake this show stopper.
Instead I'll make the amazing Perfect Party Cake & decorate it with gumballs.
We'll play Elizabeth Mitchell's -You Are My Sunshine.
"So Glad I'm Here"...
I love cakes & I love cake walking.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Where I'm From

I am from cloth diapers, and Grapenuts and 7-Eleven.
I am from big backyard where we were allowed to dig, shared bedrooms,
and from comfort & homey, not from a magazine cover house; filled full.
I am from passion flower vine magical treehouse,
the black walnut tree everyone thought was dead, but it wasn't,
and from lava rock into which we carved ornate waterfalls & caves.
I am from Adventures in Odyssey, and from speaking your mind
and from they have 10 kids and Mike & Mary Anne.
I am from the hand-me-down dining table where we sat for school by day
& dinner in the evening,
from talking during school & during dinner.
I am from weed for half hour before you watch Leave it to Beaver.
I am from the Bible is the final authority, follow God not man,
"I will hide Your Word in my heart" & children matter.
I am from the heart of the silicon valley,
corn fields in the middle of the city & Olson cherry orchards, too.
I am from roofer &
from hearing him drive home everyday, ladders rattling on the truck rack.
I am from roofer, turned interim pastor, turned I.T. guy, turned business owner.
I am from mother, teacher counselor,
cooks most all food from scratch & taught me how, but thinks she is not a good cook.
I am from neighborhood without kids, but never lacking playmates.
I am from not wanting to grow up, and from God is good and laughing, arguing & loving.

Inspired by Sarah & Steph. - Original poem inspiration here.