My Fab Fam

My Fab Fam
Photo by Thousand Hills Photography. Click on photo to visit their site.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Hello Again

So, it's been a while. A long while. What can I say? Life has been happening? Yes. But more than that. I haven't felt the need to write. Or the freedom. 

Tonight I write in freedom. Not for anyone. Because I'm pretty sure no one is checkin to see if I write anymore. But just to record some thoughts. 

One. I'm still a constant contradiction. As, I'm realizing, most of us are. One day I'm sharing recipes for my homemade, whole foods, like chili powder, taco seasoning, tortillas, and bread. (I should add they were requested, not offered presumptuously.) And literally the same day I whip up a boxed chocolate cake mix with a can of chocolate icing (aka artificially colored soybean oil with high fructose corn syrup). The next day I labor over wholesome homemade sourdough bread then eat pork nachos for lunch. Nomnom. 



Two. I'm still learning (s l o w l y) what it means to live under grace and mercy. To act only by His strength and to forgive myself when I fall down and lose my patience with my babies, judge others for the very mistakes I make, act selfishly, think I'm better, aim for the wrong goals, fail to love well...

Three. I'm still learning to not take myself so seriously. I'm trying to laugh at my ridiculousness. Admit things aren't as big of a deal as I make them out to be. Admit I'm wrong. Say I'm sorry. Let loose. Make lemonade out of lemons. Case in point: I just ran through Kroger's parking lot in the pouring ran with my suede shoes in my hand. Yes, that would mean bare feet. G and I laughed the whole way. The sudden downpour could have ruined a pair of shoes. Instead it gave us a chance to splash barefooted in the rain. 


(And then some more when we all were home.)

Four. Life is still good. Very good. 

This weekend is Easter. The girls and I have had many discussions about the reason for this season. Lent. Palm Sunday. Resurrection Sunday. We've baked Resurrection rolls and an Empty Tomb cake (the said box mix), filled and hid eggs, and coloring eggs is still to come. 

Life is busy. And hard. Lived by self-imposed rules one minute, only to be broken the next. Full of thunderous, drenching downpours of mercy and grace and overflowing with reasons for laughter. Every second crammed with opportunities to taste and see that our resurrected Lord is good. 

Here's to celebrating Him this weekend. Happy Easter. 

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Clothes

Remember this post: Teenage Clothes, Cholesterol, and Christmas?

I just read it again and remembered a conversation G and I had this week. It went something like this:

G brought me a barbie and asked, "Can you tie this?" referring to the halter neck ties.

Me: "Yes." And after I tied it, "You know...mommy would never let you wear a dress like this."

G: "I know, because it's too pretty."

(Ack!!! My five year old equates immodesty with prettiness.)

Me, emotions whirling, but trying to appear calm: "No, honey...because it isn't modest. See how tight it is? And how much skin it shows? You can look pretty and still be modest."

There was more to this convo, but you get the jist.

Afterwards, I was left feeling defeated. What have I taught my child? That pretty clothes are always immodest? That to be modest, you must not look very good. Unfortunately, I am a poor example of being modest AND pretty. I don't think yoga pants and long-sleeved tees qualify as pretty clothes in G's little mind - or anyone else's for that matter.

But then, what do I expect? Beautiful women all around us tend to display their bodies. How do we counter the message that society is sending: to be pretty, you must be immodest?

To be honest, I have tried to step it up a notch with my wardrobe. I want my girls to know that you can be presentable and still be modest. It's a struggle, one that will probably only get harder. And I know many of you out there can relate, especially those of you with teenagers. So, just know that this momma of a just-5-year-old and just-7-year-old is already feeling your pain. We are in the trenches together, sister.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

A Day in the Life of a Shopper

We found ourselves in need of several things recently and decided to have some fun acquiring them. Baby girl and I had a day out on Friday. Here it is relived in snapshots. 







You may notice her outfit is different in the last picture. She just had to put on her new clothes. 

Big girl and I had our day on Saturday. Here are a few glimpses of our day. 



She also had to don her new duds. Can you spy a subtle furry vest?



Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Lemon Ricotta

I'm feeling a little sicky right now. Ugh. Too many cookies. Mmmm...cookies. Maybe I could eat one more without vomiting.

Seriously, I stumbled upon the yummiest lemon ricotta cookie recipe.

First, make lemon ricotta. I used...

2 qts. whole milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

In a large pot, mix milk and salt. Heat until boiling. Reduce heat and add lemon juice. Simmer and gently stir until milk curdles, about two minutes. Line a strainer with cheese cloth. Pour the curds into the cheese cloth and let drain for about an hour. Refrigerate up to two days. Or...

Make lemon ricotta cookies!

I used this recipe by Giada De Laurentiis.

I had to halve the recipe because I only had enough ricotta for a half batch, and I omitted the zest from the glaze, because I accidentally added it all to the cookies themselves (oops), but otherwise, I followed the recipe. Amazing, right?!

2 1/2 c. AP flour (Oh, I did use whole wheat pastry flour.)
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
2 c. sugar
2 eggs
15 oz. whole milk ricotta cheese
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

Beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating after each one. Add ricotta, lemon juice, and zest. Beat to combine. Then stir in dry ingredients.

Bake at 375 for 15 minutes. Let cool for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, make glaze.

Glaze:

1 1/2 c. powdered sugar
1 lemon (zest + 3 Tbs. lemon juice)

Mix sugar, lemon juice, and zest in a small bowl until smooth. Spread about 1/2 tsp. glaze on each cookie. Let cool and harden for about 2 hrs. Store in airtight container.

Then try not to make yourself sick on them. I failed.

P.S. Yesterday's chili was made with venison. I had eaten deer meat before but I had never cooked with it. Yum! Really couldn't tell much difference in the chili. It ground up finer when it cooked, but no great difference in taste. I expected game-y, but I got yummy. =) I could totally live on deer meat. Someone buy me a bow!  Ha. Like I could really shoot it.





Monday, November 17, 2014

SNOW DAY!!!

I absolutely LOVE snow! And now that my kiddos are in school, I love it even more! A day to sleep in, lounge in PJ's, play in the snow, come back in, slip on those PJ's, drink hot chocolate, watch movies...

Yes, please!!!

The forecast was calling for 3-5 inches of snow and the girls and I went to bed, hoping, maybe even praying. At 5 o'clock this morning - 5 o'clock! - the girls came running into our room...

"Mommy! Mommy! Mommy!"

"What?"

"It snowed! The roads are covered!"

I gave a thumbs-up.  "Okay. Go play."

Then I looked at my phone. Good grief. They must love snow even more than me! I love snow, but c'mon! I also love sleep. I told them to go back and lie down for another hour. That lasted about thirty minutes.

When I finally got up, the girls were hardly able to wait any longer to get outside, but I remembered that we had to deliver our Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to the church.

PJ's? Sipping coffee on the couch, under a cover, by the light of the Christmas tree? Oh, well, maybe later.

We suited up because we were going to just drop the boxes then go straight out to play when we returned. And in the process, we realized that big girl's snow boots no longer fit. Sad face.

We dropped our shoe boxes at church, ran to Wal-Mart to buy snow boots made in China (deep, deep frown), and came home to play.





After lots of tracks, snow angels, and rolling down the banks of the ditch, we came in cold and wet. While the girls changed into PJ's, I threw our wet clothes in the laundry and heated milk for hot chocolate.

We ate oranges and pop corn and drank hot chocolate while watching Lady and the Tramp.

I've started cooking beans for chili, and now it's nap time.

Now tell me, what's not to love about snow?

Beautiful whiteness. Christmas tree lights. Hot chocolate. Soft powdery ground cover. Snuggy blankets. Chili. I'm in snow heaven.