Wednesday, March 31, 2010

wordless wednesday

What a good morning. Woke up before everyone else (but Anna dear), showered and went outside, read part of John 12 and journalled. The sun rose above the huge pine tree and warmed me up. Cool-brewed vanilla tea in my barnes and noble "books to read" huge mug. :) Pictures, pictures of God's beautiful morning! Yes, I took ...some...quite a few. How could I help it? ;) There are many more, but I can't do them all today. 
Eh....I'm off to get a wee bit of coffee. (YES! bolivian blend to the rescue...)
The day is getting to me. But not to some people; I can tell...

p.s. Have I ever been wordless??? I didn't mention yet that the birds were singing like crazy. Crazy. Beautiful. :)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

coffee and the randomness. :)

Well. Today has a wee bit lined up . . . vacuuming, also. (can i hear everyone say 'booooo!' with me? ;))

So...Sarah and Justin (and eliyah) dropped off our Trader Joe's order the other day (thank you!!:)) : a couple bags of garlic naan, Indian flatbread. And...a can of Bolivian Blend coffee beans. :)

We had something for lunch that we haven't had for a while: hummus spread on tortillas, then sauteed sliced peppers and chicken over that, and roll it up and eat it. Mmmm, good.
So...I reorganized my bookshelves and threw out some coffee cups. Um. I don't think I've told y'all about my weird not-quite-obsession.
And these are all of them. From our vacation last summer...random visits to random coffee shops and errand runs with Mom and Anna --i.e. Caribou. ;)
Oh, and the winter night with a blizzard that Dad took Anna and I to see Invictus. :) We walked the couple blocks to Caribou while Dad got the tickets; we were the only ones at the theatre and got to take our coffee in. :) It was one of most beautiful nightime walks I've ever taken...snow falling softly, street lights glowing, hardly any traffic. If it was summer or spring, you would totally envision something from The Notebook--dancing in the street...
But anyways.
The wood is showing in that spot where the purple paint scratched away...because a few years ago, when I painted it, I didn't take the time to sand it up a bit. All my fault. Someday I'll redo it...I really love the random dark purple. But I haven't been motivated thus far to take everything off first of all. :D

Oh, and I threw away the ones without dates written on the bottom. :) A few of the dates made me smile. Like, February 2, at a Starbucks with Jen and PJ, meeting Heather and Stephanie before we sent the former two on their way home via the Amtrak.
And, the Invictus date. It was kind of exhilarating driving there and home through a blizzard. ;) Anna bouncing between yelling and praying; Dad steering; me praying in the back seat, leaning forward to see as much as I could try, the snow heading straight into our windshield in that mesmerizing way.

Anyhow, I'm just that random. And weirdly sentimental. And . . . weird. Did I say that already?
So. I got quite the jitters off that Bolivian Blend. I don't drink coffee for the side affects, peoples. I assure you.
In fact, I hate it when I'm all high-strung feeling and all that. Urgh. It's a strange feeling.
The windows are open. With bare feet, I went out and hung towels on the line. It's around 65. :) The sky is clearing up again; it was blue in the beginning, then overcast for a while. Vacuuming is calling to me. Lovely. Oh, and several glasses of water.
Until tomorrow. Or whenever. Y'all have a lovely day. :)

Monday, March 29, 2010

bread, mondays, and ....sleep. ;)

I had some thoughts --quite funny ones at that-- for what I would write in this post today.

Like... I feel and look like a hodge-podge, tired, weird, funky, person. Those are just a few words that popped into my head when thinking, feeling and seeing what I look like today. And how today is. Affecting everyone.

Blank canvas. (no makeup today, but that not the point) 
Red-black plaid flannel pj pants as the house heats up for the first time since last Thursday.
Hair up in a haphazardly-looking messy bun stuck with a dpn (double-pointed knitting needle). 
Eating copious amounts of Trader Joe's chocolate-covered coffee beans (well...only about 2 handfuls...ahem.) 
Cream aran cabled sweater.
I never wear sweaters.
Have I mentioned that before? I'm more of a zip-up hoodie person. And not those really crazy kind of zip-ups, either. Nice and simple. Not too colorful or primary...
You know it's a weird, slow, messy-house day when I'm wearing a sweater.
Oh, and pink-red-white "x's and o's" socks? No one matches their clothes on days at home, do they? Because heck, I'm not. Not today, I'm not.
Not to mention I woke up really late. Went to bed around 8pm, (holy cow! someone call the...nevermind. just pray for me.) 
I was reading until the words weren't making any sense, then shut off my light before 9pm. Yeah....I never go to sleep and words never stop making sense to me before 9. Heck, before 11. It was weird.
I won't say the time that I woke up at, because some of you will be jealous, some of you will be disgusted, and some of you . . . well. I don't see how I didn't wake up earlier than that all by myself, considering how early I went to sleep.

But with all that said, Caleb needs to clean the wreck of a kitchen.
And I need some tea.
Hope y'all have a lovely Monday. :) I'm going to blog-hop a wee bit more, then make myself some green tea and stop myself from eating more coffee beans. :)
In fact, I need to catch up in reading John. I didn't read anything this weekend; there was no time...yeah, I know. No excuses. So anyways. I'll go catch up on that soon....

p.s. I was making these on Thursday night at 10:30pm, for the Shabbat dinner we have on Saturday nights with the families and Nancy and Colin Campbell.
And here are the lovelies, in the oven...
Mmm, I got to be very very good at braiding fast and good; Thursday night alone I made 12 loaves like these. :) Before that, I don't know how many I made. 
A batch of the bread recipe I use with everything (including this) makes anywhere from 8 huge ones to 12+ nice cute-sized, braided challah's.
So anyways. G'bye for now.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

me, tired? no.... ;) beautiful weekend, though.

This weekend was amazingly wonderfully lovely.
It went by too fast.
Lots of new faces.
Several new, younger families,
I can’t write anymore because my fingers are freezing-chilly and Caleb is building a fire in the cook stove. And . . . I’m exhausted. It’s not the work-out-burned-out tired that comes from raking dead grass and twigs out of a lawn like a crazy person, it’s that kind of tired when you’ve been expounding energy for more than a full weekend, then a ton of enjoying yourself and running around (sometimes quite literally) and it . . . takes energy to be around people. So many people, at that. :) But you know what we all feel when the weekend is closing and we’re packing up?

We wish it was more than once a year.

We wish it went one more day longer.

[I and Love and You; the Avett Brothers]

I couldn’t get into this song a little while ago when I first tried listening.
Now, today, it’s almost like I need it.
(i don't care if you're laughing --and you know me-- i can appreciate soft music. it's something i do as well as that other good stuff...p.s.: no, heather i'm not converting to only classical, etc. this song, i'm putting it on the next remix!!;) heck, steph will love it too)

Lots of those families are like family to us.
And some, they’re just entering the house; haven’t gotten to bond too much in the first year, but next? Well. If they’re there, anything’s possible.
This verse reminds me of what Nancy and Colin spoke of . . .

...but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD.
[Jeremiah 9:24]

Thursday, March 25, 2010


(I promise I'll never be a shrink, but let's go along with this;)
Imagine a quiet place. Well, mostly quiet.
Some of you are mothers and therefore probably don’t really know or remember quiet, much less know the word except for it may be in your vocabulary for yelling for some quiet.

Well, that’s just me.
There’s this quiet place. Sun coming through the window, making the house glow.
Oh yes—and the house is nice and clean, organized, etc.
And a pretty, plain-blue mug filled with French caramel cream (Berres Brothers) coffee with a bit of milk warms your hands. Because, you know, it’s not quite fully spring. It’s still chilly. So it’s beautiful. And the blue in the sky isn’t the clear, intense shade that comes in the winter all the time with the crazy-cold days.
It’s quiet. You have your favorite drink in hand.
And the sun is shining.
Did I mention it’s quiet, and you did all the important things yesterday?
There’s nothing pressing that needs done today, besides the un-stressful normal stuff.
Well. This place? If you’ve momentarily imagined yourself there . . .

I’m not.
Really, I’m not.

Don’t laugh.

Danny’s still screaming from his tantrum in the car on the way here, I still need to do my laundry for this weekend, still need to finish folders, still need to pack, still need to make a big batch of bread --braided challah-- for the Shabbat meal we do on Saturday night . . . (yeah, yeah, don’t laugh! i may or may not be more accustomed to handling chaos that i am responsible for...)
Ha! You guessed right. I’ve had quite a bit of coffee today. Had to. Anna woke me up before she left for babysitting next door, 6:45am. I’m not a morning person, not really. I’m a night owl; don’t judge. And I really regretted staying up till 12 reading more of Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove. Grrrrr. I longed for sleep the first hour I was awake, but I quickly got over it after a breakfast of yogurt-berries-granola-pecans. You really should try it sometime. It’s filling, kind of on the healthy side, and quick to throw together.

Hmmm. But you won’t see me on here this weekend.
At least I don’t think so.
98% says you won’t.
Busy, busy.

(this is grammy and me--last summer at my graduation party. she's quite the social butterfly. and she was quite independent when she was younger...:)
Grammy is thinking she needs to go get some groceries—juice, milk, bread.
I appealed to her on a different subject: Grammy, can you stay for a little while longer? If you leave, I’ll be here all alone.
Yes, it’s finally quiet. We're the only ones home because the rest are at the retreat place getting stuff set up.
But now I’ve got to persuade her not to go. (come on, tell me: have fun! my reply: i'll try to. it shouldn't be that hard.)
So, off to make bread I go—and find something to interest Grammy. That picture book on Orcas didn’t last long. She’s got more pressing responsibilities to attend to. ;) I don't normally lie, but today I'm going to have to bend the truth to settle her down. She's quite ambitious right now. You don't know what I'm talking about, you don't understand until you have lived with a person in this stage...
If she says she needs to get home, because there are people/family waiting, what else am I supposed to do but say that they called me and said they would be elsewhere/not home tonight?? (yeah, sarah, my calming voice is not important or helping too much tonight...must think fast to occupy her interest more than the duty so strong in her mind!!) All I can say is, at times like these I'm kind of glad she can't walk by herself. She needs help. But that opinion's just from one angle . . .

Hope y’all have a lovely weekend. I’m bringing my coffeemaker to the retreat place. Oh, yeah. And we’re going to have coffee parties. (aren’t we, heather and steph? ;) and daddy. and…) I've heard that there are a few coming who like coffee; hence the title "coffee party." Might be a lofty idea, but let's hope. ;) You'll hear about it Monday. I don't know.
I'm just slightly bummed that I won't have my lovely Bolivian Blend from Trader Joe's...but that really can't be helped. I'm not about to pay 10+ bucks for overnight shipping from dear Sarah and Justin...besides, it's not the worst thing in the world, going without a certain kind of coffee on a weekend you'll be sharing said brew a lot with lovely people. ;)

Anyways, I am so going to write about said party when next I write, because it probably…might…maybe…promise to be amusing.
:) Hmmm. I read this interesting post earlier, by a friend....
P.S. --^^random and Reese, one of the two children Anna is a nanny to. (what a funny word.)

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

yay! books and links.

Just had to post and send up a few cheers for the new number of Followers! :)
Yeah, I'm that pitiful. Giving a new post the purpose of celebrating such a thing...haha.

And, my dear sister, Anna, posted her once-a-year blogpost of her bookshelves, so right over here are some sweet bookshelf pictures. Sorry, me myself and I could look at bookshelf pictures all day and just drool. ;) She posted it for this good place.
And, we also both sometimes write for this place.
Yes, it was a name-dropping day. ;)

wordless wednesday.

Disclaimer: ignore the crazy-insane socks. :] I was cold and desperate. And, obviously, momentarily color-blind. Heh heh.
I'm reading Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove. And...drinking coffee. :)
[and i just dyed/highlighted my hair yesterday with dark-chestnut-brown...if you can't tell.;) it was pretty fun and turned out quite decent! lol]

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

vegan! amongst other jokes and bread. not mixed, though. ;)

I made a big batch of bread (normal, not vegan or anything, and i use the same recipe for all my different kinds of breads: focaccia, challah) earlier, and made challah braided bread while listening to Britt Nicole. Let me tell you, she has got some awesome cooking music that makes you want to dance. And I did. Kind of. :] I had Anna take a video of me segmenting and braiding a couple loaves, with the music on . . . it's funny. But I'm not sure I want to suffer the humiliation of posting the video --even if I did ever figure out how to post the thing. :) It's not the worst, but . . . nevermind. haha It's actually kind of cool; the music, and my hands are kinda fast at braiding, so it's amusing to watch. But nevermind.

Anna and I experimented with vegan cake recipes today. She made vanilla, and I made chocolate. :) I made some vanilla-nut coffee earlier today, and had a bright idea to put some coconut milk in it for a creamer of types, but forgot and put regular milk in instead.
So this little boy we know can't have normal food right now. And his birthday is Thursday, if I remember correctly? That's why we made the vegan cakes...though Anna wants me to make another chocolate cake for this weekend, what with some vegan friends coming to the camp. Should be good. I thought I'd share the recipe with you:)

Vegan coconut-milk chocolate-fudge frosting

¼ cups virgin coconut oil
1 ½ cups sugar
¼ cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
¼ tsp sea salt
½ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Melt coconut oil in a saucepan. Stir in sugar, cocoa, and salt.
Add coconut milk, stir well, and bring mixture to a boil. Adjust the heat to a steady but gentle boil and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often. The mixture should begin to thicken.
Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Set aside to cool for 20 minutes.
Ice your cake. :)

Easy vegan chocolate cake
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup whole wheat flour
1 cup rapadura or sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
½ tsp sea salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup virgin coconut oil, melted and cooled slightly
1 cup coconut water, or juice (or ¾ cup water and ¼ cup coconut milk)

Preheat 350 degrees
Grease 9x13 pan with coconut oil. Mix dry ingredients in big bowl, mix wet ingredient in small bowl. Pour wet into dry and whisk until well blended and smooth.
Bake for 20 minutes or so.

And . . . since I told her (like i've been telling everyone these days, it seems) that I'd blog about it, let me tell you something funny that happened while making these things.
We poured our batter into bread pans, because we're not about to make a huge cake and double/triple of these experimental recipes on the first try. :)
They'd been in the oven for a while, maybe 15-20 minutes, and Anna's was in there first because obviously, vanilla cakes are simpler, boringer, (yes, that IS a word, and i just made it up, thank you very much) and are lickety-split faster. ;) So instead of just opening the oven door to check on it, she pulls it out because she's pretty certain it's darn near done.
She holds it with a folded towel, looking at it.
"That looks done, don't you think?" She asks me.
"Um, it might need a few more minutes, I'd say," I reply.
She glances at me, skeptical of my advice, and pushes her hair back with her free hand, then brings the bread/cake pan close to her ear.
"Ooooh, listen! You hear it? It's not done; can't you hear it screaming? It's still alive!"
Yeah. That was me. I'm the one who mocks funny gestures and makes a midling moment crack-up amusing. I can sometimes be seen as . . . well, a joker. I like making things funny, and sometimes it begs me to; it's so easy. It's just what I do.
Of course, not everything is that way--not everything can be made funny. But hey, it can at least be amusing, ja?
And yes. She looked at me like I was crazy, but she laughed.
"Oh my gosh, Beka. That's so wrong."
"But that's what you looked like, it still alive?"
We laugh more and she puts it back in the oven.

Now they're both done, and the frosting turned out pretty darn good. But that batter of my chocolate cake was the best; the coconut-chocolate thing going on, y'know? Mmmm. :)
What's nice is that I just blogged all this while sitting outside, in the garage, on a white wicker chair (out of several) that Ben's fixing somehow for one of my uncles. And I'm not wearing a coat, but rather a nice long-sleeved shirt. Goodness, it's lovely out. Though my hands could use those fingerless gloves a friend gave me . . . black and grey heather. My fingers are a bit chilly.

Now to try to upload a few pictures of this glorious cake-making occasion. ;)

Monday, March 22, 2010

of can-openers and . . . mothers.

“Becky, I can’t find the can-opener here. I’m in distress, or haven’t you noticed, stuck on the tube?” Mom says this from the kitchen, straight ahead in my sights.
Ahem. My Mother is the only person in the world (i think) who calls me "Becky". I'm just saying. It's not my favorite nick-name for my full name, Rebekah. I myself prefer Beka. And I'm not going into the other nicknames... Mothers come up with some crazy ones. ;) But it's my mother; you allow your mother allowances for names, you know?
“Um. Hold on.” I close my laptop and get up. This [problem] can be resolved very easily, with a calm voice and an intellectual, knowing explanation. “Now, finding the can-opener can sometimes be hard. But sometimes easy. When you can’t find it, you need to keep your calm and look again, because it makes itself invisible sometimes, and sometimes it’s hiding under something . . . so you need to look again, usually. But prepare yourself to forego the pleasures of chickpeas (to make into hummus), Mother.”

Hmmm. I’d say us kids use the can-opener more often and therefore have to look for it. Which is the reason why I’m so knowledgeable (haha!) about the whereabouts of the infamous can-opener.

So we looked.

We didn’t find it.

So I offered the only explanation I can in this kind of situation. “Well, sometimes it loses itself. Disappears for a few days. Looks like that’s what it’s doing now. I can’t find it. You can’t find it. It lost itself. It’ll appear in a few days. Sorry.”

There you have it. A can-opener drama.

P.S.: We just found it. Um, just reappeared. Found itself. (haha)

friend making monday... :)

Well. It's Monday.
That's a heavy sentence in itself. 
So I found Amber and Da Maniacs busy today on a nice little post . . . and yes, I really don't know what else on earth to post about. Oh well. :) Don't have much on the brain on Mondays; usually they're involving quite a bit of work. I made ratatouille pasta while Anna cleaned out the fridge. Literally, ya know, sorting through the food that got nudged to the back; taking the shelves and drawers out and scrubbing those down. Actually, Caleb took care of cleaning those things --he took them outside and used the power washer on them. Uh-huh. That's his favorite powertool, I'd say. ;)

1. Favorite things about Spring:
Hmmm. I love that first moment that the window is open or I've stepped outside because it's over 40 degrees . . . and I notice the birdies. The sweet voices prancing on the chilly air like ballerinas.

2. What I'm doing for Spring Break:
Nothing too special. Or crazy. ;) But I have to say I'm excited for April 16 --the Pillar concert! Two years ago we saw them, and it's about time they came around here again. :) Not to mention I know their music better than Sanctus Real's... that shows you what kind of music I'm more in to. Heh heh.
3. Favorite Spring flower:
Well. Let me off for a sec to go google that . . . I really like violets, but dandelions are the most popular when things actually start growing, and sorry, I don't know the name of the flowers that start opening up around Easter, by the side of our house . . . then there's the peonies that come alive around Mother's or Father's day. Can't get it straight. I'll take pictures when it's time, though.

4. Do you have a garden?
Not me, but yeah, our family has a garden, and I have quite a bit of say in a plot of ground . . . because I use fresh herbs in the bread I make in the summer, etc., etc... so I love my rosemary, oregano, and whatever we pick up as wee little plants or as seeds...
5. If so, what do you grow.
Tons of tomatoes, tons of basil, lots of herbs, sweet snap peas, beans, zucchini, . . . . you get the idea. :)
6. Do you do Spring cleaning?
Um. It's kinda random if it is. . . I can't really be an organized Force of any sort when it's not my house . . . haha!
7. What is your weather *really* like right now?
Right now? It's sunny . . . There's not many clouds at all . . . It's 50 outside. :) Can't complain. Friday night it started snowing, but thank goodness, by Sunday afternoon it was all gone. :) It's really quite pleasant outside. Looks like perfect walking conditions. Like last night, when we went for that after-dinner-in-the-dark walk, I was freezing for the first 3 blocks. Okay, 5. I was about to tell Anna we were turning around, going back home, but then the walking got to me, and I started getting warm. Well, decently alive. It was kinda cold. :}

8. Snapped any weather related photos lately? Share one with us!
Um. Not really. Not any brilliant ones like Alita at Da Maniacs had... :]

9. What's your favorite thing to do on a sunny afternoon?
Hmmm. Clean off the main kitchen counter and then make coffee or tea and read. And/or go for a walk. --Oh! and take pictures.

10. Favorite TV show right now?
Don't really watch too much, I barely stay for a few minutes of Biggest Loser; my books are more interesting. :] But, I saw Jamie Oliver's show . . . a while ago . . . and I loved it. We don't have cable, so I don't get my dose of Jamie. (haha!!! come on, he's british. and he's so sweet. and charming. and NO, why on earth would i even think of having a slight crush on him?! no way! i just . . . love . . . his cooking. and his smile. and his voice... lucky wife, though.) But I do have a few of his cookbooks from friends. :)

Happy Monday Everyone!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

sanctus real, the big wide world, etc...

Hmm. The warm weather is coming back. :) It’s a wonderful thing; yesterday was all 30ish and snow thin on the ground. Ew. We’ve had enough of that –and more, this winter. Spring, come my way! I saw you last week, but I’d like you to stay!
I didn’t mean to rhyme. It just came naturally. (heheh)

Last night was the Sanctus Real concert, and it was really good.
Heather (hi!:)) met us there, and it was her first “ccm” (Christian contemporary music) concert. The whole night was a bit more on the mellow side; Me In Motion was good: loved the guitars, and watching the drummer is always fun –well, when you’re in a mosh pit. Sheesh. They didn’t have one at this place, this time. (sigh) I was quite disappointed, since I like to be right there, between the moshing peoples and the stage. :)

Then there was Above The Golden State. They were good; more soft than MIM (the above) and a bit more jivey. I told Heather it was kinda like café music; you sway and want to maybe snap your fingers, bob your head sideways. (haha) And drink coffee. Or tea. Whichever you prefer or are able to tolerate. ;)

Then…there was ^Addison Road. Man, they were good. I had gotten their CD from the library, and wasn’t too impressed because not a minute into each song I was tired of it, it sounded the same. They were way better live. I loved them. And it always helps when someone in the band likes to talk, and talks good. Well, interesting and different. That’s how Jenny was. She was the sweetest thing, introduced the band and her husband on a guitar to the right of the stage, and talked about their 11-month-old little girl who looks like a squirrel, crazy hair and oh so cute. They had some slower songs, but then they really got into a few that were almost dancy, a bit of attitude. I would look over in the middle of one of these songs, and see Heather moving more to the music than I was. I laughed, and she would just look at me, like I'd asked her if the music was loud or her hair was brown, and tell me “I like this song!” (okay, heather, i will refrain from writing about your need to worry for your reputation.;)) And the sad thing is, we were some of the most liveliest people in the crowd. And that's not saying a whole lot. All those privileged little stink-pots up in the first several rows were still as a bunch of frozen peony stems. Sheesh. :) (alright, i cannot deny it: i kinda like the sentence i just's kinda spunky/clever. haha!)
Then Sanctus Real came up, after a video of Sammy Adebiyi (add-ah-bee). I guess this is the second time he’s toured with them, speaking for 10 minutes or so, and it was good. The underlying subject was poor African people and making clean water available to them, but it was much different from your normal take-pity-and-give-money commercial. When the video first started, all you saw was a shockingly young black guy with a mop of dreads. I have to confess, I leaned over to Heather (you’re noticing a pattern here because she sat inbetween Anna and I) and said something like, “How old is he? Like 19?” I would’ve said 16, but I’m guessing you can’t adopt a child with your wife at that age. Har har. So the video turned out to be long, but he was fascinating and amusing, his imagination taking us for a loop. His accent came out in the really passionate sentences, which was especially near the end. He gave the example of 100 people in the room, all representing people from across the world. Half have clean water and food. The rest have malnutrition. Ten of the better-off half have access to internet and have a computer at home. And one –once again, of the better half-- (if I remember this right) has the choice to go to college.
It was fascinating. Heartbreaking. Like, how many of us actually think of the people outside of our busy schedule? Our busy little world.

So he spoke to us, all in the room. We were obviously part of the proven better-off half. We were in the front of the line. And we were doing nothing for the people in the back of the line, starving and thirsting and dying off as we sat there. We think we can’t do anything to influence change in this big wide world because we’re so small, we’re only one person; what can I possibly do that will make a difference? . . . but he spoke of how he’d always thought that way, but then Matthew 25 came completely alive to him—in that, at the end of time, if we got it the least bit right, when we stand before God, He’ll say “_____, thank you. Thank you for clothing me when I was naked, thank you for giving me that drink of water, thank you for feeding me. Because when you did it for those ‘least of these’, I care so much that it was like you were doing it for/to Me.”

And really, do we want to go through life and not have done anything? For His Truth, for Love? To me, that's one of the most important things.

There’s this thing called Mocha Club that he talked about. You can research it if you want to. It’s a 7-dollars-a-month dealy-o that seems quite doable for even me. Like, heck, I can do that.

Needless to say, it's got me thinking. A lot.

Life is nothing if we do not Love.

Life is nothing if we do not Give.

Life is nothing if we do not just be, and rest in Him as His children, His people, His beloved ones.

Because no matter what, He Loves us.

Sanctus Real started, then. They were really good. They played practically their whole newest album, which was kind of weird because no other band I know has done that . . . at least, none that I’ve seen.
But they were good. :) A few, like I Want To Get Lost, and Keep My Heart Alive, made you just stand there and feel the music. Others, like Forgiven, These Things Take Time, Take Over Me, and Dear Heart, made you move and sing –--thank goodness they had all the lyrics, because some lazy people like me needed them. I didn’t purposefully put the CD in to play, though Anna did, and a few songs sounded familiar.

I'm tired. And going for a walk in the dark with Anna--one needs a walk when one has just finished a dinner of leftover seafood lasagna and fresh homemade apple-pie-in-a-pan. :]

Friday, March 19, 2010

faithfulness. and, of course, a...good day. errr....

Today has been . . . quite a day. And not because we were busy as heck, but it was just one of those days.
I had some pretty good oppurtunities to blow it, and I did. I blew up. Not to mention I didn't start the day out very well; slept in and that was a bad move.
A batch of bread is rising right now, and goodness it's chillier outside today. The weatherman may yet prove to be telling the truth. Darn. We're supposed to get some snow this weekend (cue whining: nooooo!) . . . here's a good thought: tomorrow night is the Sanctus Real concert, and tomorrow lunch (just to back up and confuse you) is the randomly good lunch at the home of some friends from church.
Can't wait. They're one of the sweetest couples, and Anna has been lending her a few books and movies here and there and we're all loving it.
But anyways . . .
Irritableness must've been borne on the air, because some of us were clashing. Well, more than normal for all us humans. Har, har.
There wasn't enough getting done. I blew up at a chosen sibling. The house still desperately needs picking up, etc. Things like this, they all build up. And they were. Goodness, they were.
So when Anna came home from her job as a nanny, I started making bread in the Bosch and turned on Haste the Day with Ben's iPod going through the small Ibanez bass amp set in the back corner of the counter. (haha, yeah. we play our kitche music through an amp. as in, loud. i'm just kidding; we barely put it to the 3. ;))
Do you know what Haste the Day sounds like? (i love the songs Autumn --acoustic-- and eye of the needle, and porcelain. good songs. :))
Well. Let's just say it's cleaning music. Or in the case, cooking music. When you've been irritable. When you've been . . . angry.
:) Yeah, we have mood music at our house. hahaha

Hmm. I finally got around to reading John chapter 4. Should've done it in the morning. Should've done it earlier. Should've kept my mouth shut all day, except for good things to say, just like that bunny on Bambi said. Should've . . .
Well, you can see and imagine that there are a lot of things I should've done. But I didn't. It didn't turn out that way. But today is a reminder for tomorrow, isn't it?
And God loves us through everything--He's always there no matter how nasty, stupid, preoccupied we get . . . Because we can. And do. Or am I the only one??
So you see, I realized that. While I was making bread, I was pondering how . . . awful and disappointed I'd been in myself . . . and then I thought, it's when we hit these days that we see He's faithful. He still loves us. He's still there.
And so there is a purpose to all of it? Life throws stuff at us, I get moody, and things happen. Woo-hoo. We just need to realize (there's that darn word again; i need to find a sysnonym!) the truth that lies on the beach after the storm has passed. Er, hurricane. ;)
So today has been one of those days. And I see this verse in a new light:

...I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued My faithfulness to you.
[Jeremiah 31:3]

And how funny; I have a shirt with this one on it:

Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you;
bind them around your neck;
write them on the tablet of your heart.
[Proverbs 3:3]

Well. Anna's finishing up some seafood lasagna. Dad's home, and Danny's here --and finally in a good mood. Ah, nice. And there's more dishes piling up. :) (yay!)

P.S. -that picture is from last summer. Or the summer before. Too bad it's not like that outside yet . . . I love that tree in the summer. Tons of shade...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

hard work never hurt anyone.

That's true, right? (the title message.)
Sure. Of course it is.
I'm drinking my coffee black today. (especially after reading this)
Hold on while I go get it.

Goodness. I'm blog-hopping, so excuse me while I give you a smaller version of what I was composing earlier in the middle of everything...
Ben took me for a landscaping job. Woo-hoo.
Caleb's been under the weather, so hey! just called up Beka, your friendly neighborhood...uh, nevermind. Well, just call up your sister Beka if you ever need a fill-in for your brother. Sheesh.
So . . . after visiting Anna (next door) and making mac-n-cheese with Sammi, I went back home and pulled on some socks and my airwalks.
It's a beautiful day, so hey, I don't mind driving with my brother to a few blocks away with rakes and a leaf-blower to go do this man's lawn... right?
Sure. I can do this.
I really am so sorry I don't have pictures. I lamented that to him, because hey--a blogpost is even better with pictures!
So off we go, he's got that coat Nathan gave him before he left--keep in mind it's around a beautiful 55-60 degrees out. I just had a short sleeved c28 shirt on, and my favorite camo cargos, and we drove off. It was funny, it only being us two in Dad's van, because yesterday he got his license. But it was good. :)
So we got there. Nicely-kept small ranch house, decent front yard, back yard that goes on forever. Literally. It's so cool. Love it, but wouldn't want to rake it.
The Mr. talked with Ben, explaining what he wanted done, and we set to work with gloves on our hands, rakes in our hands, and hats on our heads.
Sorry for the run-on sentence.
So. We set to work. He wanted the dry, dead grass and the little twigs raked clean from his yard. Ben made it look easy. He eventually took of his coat. haha

That's all I'll say.

I started, it was challenging.
I kept going, I felt like a snail whenever I glanced over to Ben, who on the other hand, with all his man muscles, was like a . . . like an ant? 'Kay. Then I felt like a fast snail.
I wasn't that slow, but gosh, when we were halfway done --with the side by the house, and most of the front yard-- I was breathing and breathing and parched even though Mr. gave us water bottles, and Ben kept saying, keep going, we're almost done. Oh yeah right. I didn't know if I could keep going. That might sound pitiful to some of you, but sure as heck I'm not used to furiously raking lawns every day. I don't train for these things.

Fast breath. "I am so going to blog about this."
He arches a brow at me.
"Darn, I wish I brought a camera. A picture of you, a picture of me, and that would make a really nice blogpost. Pictures make posts all the more better."
Yes, I was teaching him about the pros of blogging. While every muscle in my body ached. Well, nearly every muscle. My arms, shoulder blades, and everything --it all seemed out of breath. 
"How much money do I get out of this?" Yeah, that was me. And no, Mr. was not watching us; we were out in the breezy cool gorgeous day alone.
"Um...we'll see." He smiles at me, looking like he just started, and raking the crap out of the dead grass for all it's worth. I'm just getting the twigs, I tell him. He's the deep-cleaner. I'm the one who takes care of the bigger stuff on top of all that. ;)
"Hey. If I only get 10 bucks out of this, tomorrow, when every single muscle in my body is screaming, you're going to pay. I'm going to beat you up."
We laughed.
And no, I won't have the strength to beat him up tomorrow. Or even give him a good punch in the shoulder.
I'll be too sore. And it's been a while since I've worked this hard.
Twisting, pulling, grasping. It all gets to ya.
And no, I don't work out regularly. Psh. And for the record, which none of you are keeping of course, most of all I hate push-ups. I'm not . . . good at them. Yes, I just said that. And no, I'm not going to practice till I am good at it. Not right now, I'm not. (laughs)
I like sit-ups. And confession number two: I can only do three pull-ups at a go.
Don't judge, mock, or tease me.
I'm better at other things.
I was just glad when we finally got to the curb--I was burning up, breathing in the wind, hair in a messy bun with a crochet hook stuck through it--but I was so glad.
I didn't really feel the pleasure of accomplishment, what for all the aching and out-of-breath. No, I wasn't heaving. But yes, it was hard.

That's about it. It was...eventful. I told Ben I he was going to wait to do the man's back yard till Caleb was feeling better; that back yard went on forever, as I already said. And it would need the same strong-armed efforts done to it. Thank goodness it wasn't over 60, because I probably would've melted and sizzled. And that would've been gross. Thank God for the wind. And that cute 10 month old Logan I got to meet; his grandma, Jean, was babysitting him, and they sat out on the front stairs of the house next door, getting some fresh air and watching us work.
Alright. I couldn't resist walking over there to say hi, even though I didn't know who they were, it's just what you do when you've lived in a small town for your whole life and your brother's blowing leaves and tiny pieces out towards the road.
They were really nice, and the lady came from a family where she was the eldest of 10, and she went on to marry and have 5 children. She said she loved big families. She guessed who my Mother was, and her husband remembered Dad and his brothers from when he coached in high school.
Small towns have these moments quite a bit, and today I got to be in one of those moments. That lady was so sweet.

I've got to go and iron now. Well, finish up. I took a little break after a while, and now that I've wrapped up this post with no beautiful photo, darnit... I've got to go. :]

P.S. I started Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove today . . . the first page is just so poetical, even if it's about grief. (heh heh) It gets better. It's not all that. It's kind of about...moving on. I love it.

P.P.S. --Yay! I'm celebrating 23 Followers . . . with . . . another cup of green tea, probably. It's not that I celebrate everything with a drink of some kind, it just seems to happen like that for my blog parties. (hahaha) And I already had my coffee (black) today, not to mention I had a small cup of Ken's Folger's next door while visiting Anna for a minute, just with a dribble of milk in it...'twas decent. And yeah--I didn't mention, it's already 9:11pm. No coffee for me anymore tonight. :)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

tanning is a problem. also: random news and photos. :)

Last night, Anna found her original copy of My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers, so she graciously gave her extra copy to me, out of the givingness of her heart. ;) This part was the last few sentences:

For many of us, walking in the light means walking according to the standard we have set up for another person. The deadliest attitude of the Pharisees that we exhibit is not hypocrisy but that which comes from unconsciously living a lie. –Oswald Chambers, March 16

Golly. I didn't really get that last line until I typed it in to paste here. :}
But before I share a few pictures I snapped with Mom's nice, cute little Canon Rebel xt, here's a good one I found randomly:
That is so me and Anna if we never get married. And that street? That's in Europe, if you can't tell. ;) Yep, those are our plans. So yeah. Ahem. *whistles random tune* But wait. That picture would be taken on our . . . well, not on our first trip. That would be the umpteenth visit. ;) Heh heh.
So. yeah. I loooooove the Canon. Gosh. Someday...I tell you. Someday I'm going to get one... (p.s.--I took these babies for a ride in my Photoscape program, just for a click on a film cinema, cross-process, and portia.:))
Yes. I was drinking coffee. With a dribble of milk. And reading John, which I started last night. Not Acts, peoples, but John. I figure I'll continue into Acts after this one . . . I love John. And the later books of John--1, 2, and 3. By the way, this mug spills inbetween this picture and the next close-up picture . . . it was sad. And my Bible almost got soaked, and I've had it since 2008, and I've got a ton of notes in red gel pen on nearly every page . . . so of course I don't want it to get soaked. Besides, I would never wish a soaking on any book I own.
This was before the major spillage. :^|
But you get a feeling for how much I underline the parts I want to read and read and read again and again and again. ;)
After the spill. You see the ripples in John? Yeah. Sad.
I love the areas of focused and not-so-focused. It's so real. Shows the flaws. Like us. (excuse all the plugs. they're not the prettiest things.)
Yes, I know this is just a wider shot. But it really captures some of my favorite things in the kitchen . . . and kitchens can change lives. They can change perspectives. Well, maybe not the kitchens themselves, but definitely what goes on in there . . . what a blessed room in the house. :) Just give me a kitchen, a bedroom, and a nice bathroom. Less space to vacuum. ;) And yes, my coffee maker really is that fat. It looks fat in this picture . . . I made a mix of 1/2 decaf French Caramel Cream (Berres Brothers) and 1/2 Bolivian Blend (Trader Joe's) today. Ben had some and desecrated it with milk and Ovaltine. (har har)
Yay! Anna's home from taking the newest Liz Curtis Higgs book to a friend . . . driving for the first time . . . got her license today, and Ben too. Sweet. :)
Alrighty. I'm going out for a walk. It's too beautiful to pass up. And I really am quite pale,  so maybe that'll start to remedy that . . . NOT. I can't tan. I don't. I burn. It's the Scandinavian in me. Oh well. It's not the most important thing in the world; being able to tan.
Until tomorrow, folks. ;)

I was given weakness that I might feel the need of God. I asked for all things that I might enjoy life. I was given life that I might enjoy all things. I received nothing that I asked for. All that I hoped for. My prayer was answered.
well, it was found on a Confederate soldier, according to heather dear, who posted this as her status on don't ask me. :) ]

boundless fascination. ;)

Can you say 'fascinating'?
Yeah. Someone posted the link for this on Facebook, and so I visited because I check these things out once in a while, because Boundless just so happens to have some really good articles. Like this one.

And this is part two, unless you just want to follow the link at the bottom of that article... :)
Hmm. Let me freak everyone out with this question: can you marry too young?
And what's the cost of delaying marriage? Is there any cost at all? Well.. that is, if you even want to get married (someday)?
Bahahaha. I'm having fun today. Like really. This stuff is very interesting, you have to admit.
But hey. What about the people who want to get married, but just haven't yet...partly/mostly due to no possibilities? i.e. "the old."
I'll leave you with this last one: written to young men. 
Until later. ;) 

wordless wednesday: fly away.

I can't say exactly where right now, because today seems to be a good day to keep my feet on the ground. If you were here, you'd know exactly what I"m talking about. And sorry, can't remember where I found this picture...darnit. :)

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

on my mind...

I saw this thingy over at a new blog I just found. :) Da Mainiacs. And Christopher and Tia. Loved both of theirs...

Outside my window... it’s mostly overcast and the sun is going to set soon. It’s quiet because the boys have gone to airsoft at the farm with a few other boys. Virtually all the windows are open.

I am thinking... of nothing much, really. Maybe I didn’t yet take that walk I mentioned before…maybe I need to. And I love how Dad is loving those books. :)

I am thankful for... this mug of hot green tea with honey . . . my singing sister and her friend:) . . . books that wait patiently for me to finish them . . .

I am wearing... a Square-necked short sleeved shirt, camo cargos, (psh, i got them for half what it's on sale for.:)) bare feet, purple studs and my September posts in the second-holes from earlier this month. Like, no socks today. Even with a breeze going through the house. It feels like the house is getting cleansed from Cabin Fever. :) Love the feeling.

I am remembering... what was going on this time last year. Getting ready for the Above Rubies conference, sap running in the maple trees, outdoor weather that doesn’t freeze your nose off. ;)

I am creating... a scarf I’ve been working on since late December or early January; aqua, blue, and cream color blocks. Let’s not mention I haven’t picked it up since watching Sahara in mid-January. Whoops. :
I’ve been writing a lot more than anything else lately . . . oh, wait. Isn’t cleaning the kitchen “creating” something? A clean house…that’s creating something worth creating. ;) Oh. I’m creating a remix for Heather.

I am going... to bed in a few hours. I foresee no walk for today; gotta stay in and keep an eye/ear on the kiddies inbetween all this.

I am reading... Violette Between by Alison Strobel. Then after that, I’m hoping to read Acts (in the Bible) and Talking to the Dead by Bonnie Grove inbetween that.

I am hoping... to feel even better tomorrow. And that my imagination disappears in certain areas about certain circumstances and human beings. Why can’t I ever forget some things? Sometimes selective amnesia sounds kind of good . . . thoughts can become somewhat torturous.

On my mind... um. On my mind? Hum-di-dum. On my mind . . . I don’t know. I haven’t really thought thoughts of my own for a little while. Just been doing stuff. Thanks for asking, though. Oh--tonight The Biggest Loser is on. :)

Noticing that... if you write things down to remember them, you just might, especially if you write things down for your future self, like I have in the past. How weird is that? okay. I bet you can tell that I’m just trying to fill this space for answering this certain question with just a bit of . . . rambling. Sorry. But it is interesting, is it not?

Pondering these words… how much can you change in a year? how much can you learn in that much time?

From the kitchen... omelettes. I blogged about that already. Well, mainly about mushrooms. :)

Around the house... the childrens run. And laugh. And whine. And play. And chase each other. around the house we clean. Nearly every Monday, like clockwork. One of the most tired days of the week, and we clean. Ironic?

One of my favorite things... ha. There are several. What the heck. Quiet. Books. Coffee. Rainy days with a clean house so that I can read and write.

A few plans for the rest of the week... tomorrow, Wordless Wednesday and church at night; Thursday, who knows. Friday and Saturday? Cleaning the kitchen and cooking food for the family with Anna gone nannying. (is that a word?:)) Oh yes, and the Sanctus Real concert on Saturday night. Can't wait! And Heather coming with us, too. ;) (hi heather! hahaha)

A picture that I would like to share...

November 11, 2008; these were the books I was into, what I was reading about like crazy, using the library for all it's worth. ;) That's how we do it up here. Well . . . that's how I do it. Haha.
(well, sheesh. after trying literally a billion times, and resizing nearly as many, it finally loads one. my gosh. i put i lovely cinema filter on this one.:))

omelettes . . . goodness, it almost looks like spring! :)

I'm truly sorry for those of you who do not like mushrooms. :) Truly.
Today for lunch, Dad and I made omelettes. So of course, I minced the onion, sliced the mushrroms, and cracked the more-than-a-dozen eggs. And we have Havarti. Looks like the sort of stuff Mom, Anna and I got at the farmer's market last summer, homemade and everything. :) Good memories.
Here are the rest of the mushrooms. :)
Oh, can't forget the homemade butter. No, we did not use it all. Sheesh. That wasn't even the container we used...I just wanted a picture of this one because it was pretty. And made this morning by Bubby.
Can you say 'beautiful'? Yes. Today has went between somewhat-cloudy to a wonderful blue, but goodness. You can hang out with no socks and no sweater. Oh yeah. I love Spring.
Haha! No more snow on the ground. I know this wasn't wordless wednesday, so why am I using all my picture up? Ah....maybe I'll take some more. :)
One thing I'm glad of, and I've said before is: the vacuuming is done. For today. But Tuesday, thankfully, is the only day I have to. That's a pro of having lots of siblings. Because I. Do. Not. Like. Vacuuming.
But oh, well. It has to get done. And we cleaned out the freezer today, wow I don't know what's worse--cleaning the fridge, or cleaning the freezer. Thank goodness Dad and Ben did most of it. :) Love them.
Well. Little Danny should be here soon, and hopefully he and I will take a walk or something . . . since Anna, Mom, and Rachel are gone.
Almost done reading Violette Between! Love Alison's books. :)
Good day to you all, and hopefully soon I'll get my clever blogging bug back. I don't feel very clever lately. But it's all the fault of this darn sore throat that --thank God!-- is finally going away after being with me since Saturday. I hate sore throats. Don't know if I've mentioned that before. :)

Oh, and P.S.: Dad is loving the Operation Firebrand series by Jefferson Scott. :) He's almost done with the first book...what, has he been reading it a week? Somewhere around there. Or less. Surprising, with his wake-up-at-3:30am-schedule. So proud of him. I knew he'd love them. And yeah, someday I will, for sure, nab them off Amazon or something . . . :) Now for a mug of coffee; the first since Saturday and the start of that horrid sore throat. :) I linked to the series of 3 books on OF, Jefferson, and Scott. :) Just so ya goes in order, if you ever read them.