Sunday, June 24

Lovely Sunday

Our heatwave of last week broke this weekend, and it's been in the 80s. This morning feels more like the 70s. It feels so wonderful on my skin as I'm doing my chores.

Everybody's moods are good, everybody's healthy. I really don't have much to complain about. I've been working on Power of a Praying Wife, and it's helped my mind so much. I hope it helps my hubby, too.

Tuesday, June 19

Thankful Tuesday

It's almost Wednesday, but darn it, I'm going to finish my Thankful Week if it kills me! Hopefully it won't kill me.

So, I'm thankful for ...

My husband's wacky sense of humor.

My short story that got accepted for publication, and the horrifying amount of edits it came back with. But this is a great educational opportunity to see the weak places in my writing. So I'm thankful for harsh editors, too.

Bathtime for babies.

Homemade fruit leather.

Spotify, where I can listen to all the music that died on cassette tape years ago.

My ipod with its ereader app.

Jules Verne, for entertaining and educating all at once.

And many, many more, but that's all for now. And it didn't kill me.

Monday, June 18

Thankful Monday

Happy Monday, everybody! I know Mondays aren't usually happy days, but I can be happy on them, right?

I got the apartment all cleaned and nice this morning, and now I'm wiped out. I've been trying not to run the air conditioning until after noon, at least. Yesterday conquered me (it was 106), and today I wimped out, too, even though it's only 100.

I tell you what, I am SO thankful for air conditioning. I was going down the list of how people used to cope with hot weather, and our houses just aren't designed like that anymore. Like houses with adobe walls, or houses with big screened-in porches where you could sleep outside. Outdoor kitchens. If the power grid ever failed (like if we had a solar flare), we'd flee our modern houses in droves.

I like the play the Apocalypse Game and wonder how we'd do things without power and running water. It's kind of like having a Zombie plan. Except I don't believe in zombies. I'm an athzombiest.

Other things I'm thankful for:

A refrigerator with a freezer.

A crock pot that I can stuff full of beans and forget about until the beans are cooked.

A husband who I can discuss Minecraft with in extremely serious ways and he takes me completely seriously. (If you play Minecraft, two words: nether strongholds. If you don't play Minecraft ... you should.)

My son, who is delighted with the random little comics I draw him with his vocabulary words, and will not get up from the table until he's colored every panel.

My daughter, who draws pictures and makes babies out of legos and runs around with a cat tail hanging out of her pants.

My other daughter, who is just learning to talk and who says the sweetest little almost-talking baby words.

Sunday, June 17

Thankful on Sunday

Today has dawned hot and sunny. It's almost like it's mid-June or something. Oh wait. :-)

Without further adieu, I'm thankful for ...


Kids who like pancakes.

A husband who likes pancakes.

Hot weather and the way it smells. (Hot grass? Hot concrete? What is that smell, exactly?)

Beans. Especially pinto beans, which actually cook in a couple of hours, instead of red beans, which take me exactly 3 1/2 days to get somewhat soft.

For the nice lady who talked to me last night at McDonalds. I'd taken the kids down for a snack and to run around in the play place. The lady was a nice Hispanic lady who was there with her grandsons. We sat and laughed about the kids running wild.

Everywhere I go, people look at my three munchkins, smile and say, "You've got your hands full!" I always smile back and think, "What will they say when I have four? Or more?"

That's when it'll become antagonistic, I'm sure.

Everywhere I go, I notice people with only one kid. Is that the "oops" kid? It's always young couples, so I'm betting yes. I almost never see larger families. Three kids is about the limit. Even Hispanic and black families don't have that many. California is weird.

Edit: Also, just had to be reminded that today's our sixth anniversary. Oy. I hadn't even thought about it. We're beat from this week, so we'd only planned to lay around the house all day. Happy anniversary to us and Father's Day to my hubby!

Saturday, June 16

Thanks on Saturday

The munchkins broke my camera, so alas, no pictures. I'm trying hard to be thankful anyway.

I'm thankful for ...

A job interview my husband had today.

A nice morning playing legos with the munchkins.

That plums make such excellent fruit leather.

That naptime is so routine that nobody questions it.

More later!

Friday, June 15

Thanks on Friday

Just continuing my thanksgiving journal this week.

I'm thankful for:

My loving husband, who figured out how to string a clothesline through the living room for me.

And he doesn't complain about clothes hanging everywhere.

My munchkins who will eat even creepy green guacamole as long as there's chips.

For my sweet sensitive baby, who cries when her siblings get yelled at.

For silly building block games like Minecraft, that let me scratch that right-brain itch.

For all those lovely fruits and vegetables that are on sale right now.

More to come!

Thursday, June 14

Thankful Thursday

Random shot of the kids running out of frame.
I'm supposed to keep a thankfulness journal for my Bible study. I thought, well, I have this blog. Why not journal over here?

So, in no particular order:

I'm thankful for my sweetheart of a husband.

And my babies.

And the vast bag of apricots and plums we picked yesterday. I cut up some and ate them on my oatmeal. Yum!

For the delights of being a creative family.

For God's grace to me in giving me what I don't deserve.

More later!

Tuesday, June 12

Destination: grape jelly

My neighbor gave me two vast freezer bags of little tiny grapes. I thought they were blueberries at first, until I tasted them. No idea what kind they are. Are Concord grapes little tiny and contain seeds? These suckers are extremely seedy.

Anyway, I'm pondering making grape jelly today. I have a few cherries left, and I'll just pit them and chuck them in the pot, too. I did an experiment with cherry pits the other day. I had a whole heap of them, and I felt bad about tossing so much fruit. So I cooked them with sugar to try to make syrup. Instead, I made quite a good jelly. There must be pectin in the pits.

So I saved a bunch more pits. I'm going to wrap them in cheesecloth and cook them with the grape jelly, and hopefully that'll be enough pectin to set up the jelly. It certainly works with lemon peels. My goodness, my marmalade is still set up like concrete. I can hardly dig it out of the jar.

So that's the plan. I had an idea for some deep theological blog post, but I don't have the energy to write it. Eh.

Although, just for giggles, I found the Apostle Paul gave advice for how to deal with jerks on the internet. From 1 Timothy 6:

But if anyone teaches otherwise and does not assent to the sound and wholesome messages of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) and the teaching which is in agreement with godliness (piety toward God),
He is puffed up with pride and stupefied with conceit, [although he is] woefully ignorant. He has a morbid fondness for controversy and disputes and strife about words, which result in (produce) envy and jealousy, quarrels and dissension, abuse and insults and slander, and base suspicions,
And protracted wrangling and wearing discussion and perpetual friction among men who are corrupted in mind and bereft of the truth, who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood]. From such withdraw.

Tuesday, June 5

Tuesday stuff

I downloaded the pictures from my camera, and found a record of the last couple of weeks in it. I've been taking pictures for my blog, but somehow I just never updated the blog half of the equation.

Anyway, first off, remember that eclipse we had?

 It was really hard to get a picture to turn out of the little sun crescent. I also tried to get a picture of the weird way the light looked, but the camera just can't capture it.

See? It just looks like late afternoon sunlight. You can't tell that it's dimmer than it's supposed to be.

Then I decided to hang out my clothes to dry instead of using the pay dryer. Trying to save a few bucks. Here's my makeshift rack:

And the rack in use:

How do we wear so many clothes in one week?

Then I picked sour cherries at Mom's and made them into a cobbler. A mouth-watering, sweet-and-sour cobbler with homemade vanilla ice cream to go with it and mitigate the sourness.

Man. I want more of this cobbler just looking at the picture.

So there's a slice of our life. I'm so busy living it, I just never update my blog. Isn't that always the way?

Tuesday, May 29

Farmhouse chats on Tuesday

I'm recovering from an awful bout of the flu, and it's made it hard to think of anything to blog about. I was sitting here, wracking my brain for something, and noticed Patrice had new questions up. Yippee!

Do you have any musical instruments in your house? If so, which ones do you have?
My hubby used to play violin, but he passed it on to my sister. Violins have to be played a lot or they start to break down, and we didn't want that to happen to his.

When you take a walk, what are you likely to pick or pick up from the ground?
Stray change, mostly. Once we found a folded up twenty on the ground in the middle of the road. There was nobody around and no telling where it came from, so we kept it. That doesn't happen very often, though. The munchkins are always on the lookout for pine cones and really big magnolia leaves.

They say to have breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince and dinner like a pauper. I guess that means you have fuel for your body to get through the day and don't have a full tummy when you go to bed. Are your meals like that?
We do big breakfast (eggs, toast, cereal, and combinations of the above), small lunch (sandwiches, burritos, nachos, whatever) and big dinner featuring meat (hamburgers, tacos, casseroles, etc.) The problem with a small lunch is that everybody is hungry by 3 PM, so I always keep some kind of snack on hand, like bananas or cookies.

Do you prefer iced coffee or iced tea?
I don't know, they're both fantastic. I rarely drink caffeine, so when I do drink it, it gives me the jitters like you wouldn't believe. I drink it as a treat once in a while, or when I know I'm going to be up late.

How do you handle doing things you'd rather not do?
I had the flu all weekend, and having to get up, change diapers and make meals was really hard. My poor hubby helped, but he was awfully sick, too. I'm afraid I don't handle hard things gracefully. I complain and whine. But I've been studying Peter's letters, and I've been trying to do the following.

2 Peter 1 5-7, Amplified:
For this very reason, adding your diligence [to the divine promises], employ every effort in exercising your faith to develop virtue (excellence, resolution, Christian energy), and in [exercising] virtue [develop] knowledge (intelligence),
And in [exercising] knowledge [develop] self-control, and in [exercising] self-control [develop] steadfastness (patience, endurance), and in [exercising] steadfastness [develop] godliness (piety),
And in [exercising] godliness [develop] brotherly affection, and in [exercising] brotherly affection [develop] Christian love.

I'm still on faith and virtue up there at the top.

Sunday, May 20

Stuff we been doin'

Going swimming

Building forts

Almost walking

Making (and eating) homemade donuts

Growing hollyhocks
And that's what we've been up to over the last week. :-)

Wednesday, May 16

School table

A neighbor gave us this little kid-sized table and two chairs. Isn't it great?

Sunday, May 13

Third birthday funtimes

It was H's third birthday today. Technically her birthday's tomorrow, but we did her party today. Who wants to do a birthday party on a Monday?
She got lots of ponies.

Played with her three-year-old cousin in the dollhouse.

C. thought it was great fun.

A. petted his new baby cousin.

My nephews have no sisters, so girl toys like dollhouses and My Little Ponies were completely new to them.

It makes her so self-conscious to be sang Happy Birthday to.

Almost candle time! And out they go.

And the babies kick back with their mama and grandma.
It was a very nice party.

Wednesday, May 9

Killer stir fry

Not my picture
I found a way to make the best stir fry ever. Stand aside, wok! You've just been outclassed by the Iron Skillet.

I had this theory that I could use my iron skillet to make stir fry, because it heats more evenly than my frying pan, and it stays hot longer.

So I cooked my meat in it, took that out, and tossed in my veggies. They actually achieved that elusive "crisp tender" stage that the recipes talk about. I'd never before achieved it.

Then I dumped out the veggies and made fried rice. Awww yeah.

I also used my skillet to make this oddball dish where you cut up your chicken, toss it in taco seasoning, then stir fry it in Italian dressing. Then you put that in a casserole dish, and cover it with layers of green onions, black beans, frozen corn, and salsa. You add cheese on top and bake it, then eat it over rice. It was extremely flavorful. I can't wait to make it again.

Tonight I made "milk and honey" cookies. So called because I used honey for half the sugar. It's just a chocolate chip cookie recipe with no chocolate chips. They came out with a delicate, honey flavor and taste excellent dipped in milk.

So that's what I've been doing lately. Eating food, and thinking of more ways to eat food. :-)

Monday, May 7


I turned around and found the youngest munchkin perched in the back of this truck. I grabbed my camera and snapped a picture shortly before she fell out. But she sat there for a long time, perched all precariously and very proud of herself. I don't know how she got up there in the first place.

This is how I feel like my life has been. Hanging somewhere between sitting in the truck, and falling on my face. I've fallen several times already. I took the weekend off all of my artistic endeavors because I was so tired. It was nice to rest. I did get some strawberry jam made.

It's lovely and delicious, but it didn't set up very well because I didn't let it cook long enough. I also was using powdered pectin, and my results are always variable with powdered pectin. I contemplated using a couple of lemon peels instead. I might do that next time. Do you think strawberry would taste all right with a hint of lemon?

Life goes on, and God is good. I wish I trusted Him enough to not worry. I feel like worry is a constant illness I hold at bay by not thinking about it.

Thursday, May 3

Fun in the sun

We've had beautiful weather lately. When it gets hot so fast, though, the kids are so hot and sweaty that I take pity on them. And pitch them outside with buckets of water and toy cups.
This picture was taken shortly before they gathered mud into the buckets and slathered themselves in it, like they do at a spa.

I have pictures of just two munchkins doing this. Check it out.

They were so tiny! Such cute little munchkins!

Wednesday, May 2

Wednesday chats

I thought I'd tackle Patrice's Farmhouse Porch Chats meme today. I've needed to update this blog and my brain has been absolutely dead.

Who do you go to when you really need someone to talk to about something important?

My hubby, usually, since anything important involves him. I also consult my mom about broader family issues.

How often do you grill food outdoors?

Not often. We have a teeny tiny charcoal grill that has the surface area of a sheet of paper. So, grilling anything more than a couple of hamburger patties becomes this tricky chain of sequences where you cook some things on and take other things off, rotate them, wrap them in foil halfway through, and finally attempt to eat the result and pray it's not raw in the middle.

Lately I just cook everything in an iron skillet on the stove. No outdoor flavor, but I can get my hamburgers, rain or shine.

What's the interior color of your car/truck/van?

Um ... just neutral gray, I think. No interesting leopard seat covers in our car.

What's the last great buy you got?

Probably when I found a $120 book for 3 bucks on ebay. I was over the moon.

What's new?

I've learned to cook beans. Also, I've determined that people who claim that beans and rice are a complete protein, never survived on beans and rice for a week, and then gorged on hamburger, and compared their overall life performance afterward. Real meat > beans. When we're stuck eating beans, all I want to do is lie around and sleep.

Monday, April 23

Why Christian spec fic writers shouldn't include Jesus

I have so many things bouncing around in my head tonight. Life and all its little stresses.

One thing I've been pondering on is this argument that goes on in Christian fiction writers circles: the question of How Much of the Gospel Do We Include?

Some people take Jesus's command to spread the gospel to its extreme, and say that every story has to have Jesus in it, or a Jesus figure who is a redeemer.

Other people go to the other extreme and recommend no religion at all, unless the story absolutely has to have it.

Seeing as this argument goes on between writers of fantasy/sci-fi/paranormal etc., it does raise interesting questions of how you have Jesus when you're writing about elves fighting aliens on another world. I've toyed with writing Christianity in fanfiction for years. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. (The only time it seems to work is when it's laid in with a feather touch. Anything heavier and it just goes into a sermon, or worse, Bible verses with the nouns changed to something more 'fantasy' sounding.)

I've been reading from the Amplified Bible every night. I'm enjoying it hugely. Anyway, I came across Luke 12:8:

And I tell you, Whoever declares openly [speaking out freely] and confesses that he is My worshiper and acknowledges Me before men, the Son of Man also will declare and confess and acknowledge him before the angels of God.

Notice that Jesus doesn't say "whoever declares me in all of his stories, or at least has an Aslan." He says "Whoever declares openly ... that he is My worshiper". Like, in person. To real people. Face to face.

Think about the life of an author for a minute. Once they write books and people start reading them, they start getting fanmail. People want to meet the person who delighted them with a good story. That's the place for the author to make a statement of faith. I know that I'm always appreciative when a person of a different faith says so on their website, but keeps it out of their book. I feel like that writer respects me as a reader.

So why do Christians think we can save people by sneaking "Jesus saves!" into our books? We can't save anybody. Only the Holy Spirit can do that. But we can tell darn good stories. We don't even have to have Jesus (or any religion at all) in them. I think it's more respectful for the author to drop the "get people saved" agenda and just tell the darn story.

Tuesday, April 17

Washing the car

Today, the kids and I washed the car.

 Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of us actually washing it because it didn't cross my mind. Also, cameras, small children and water buckets are a bad mix.

We just got buckets of water and dish soap, and dishcloths, and washed the car like it was a giant dirty dish. We soaped it, then rinsed it, then dried it. We didn't get it quite as sparkly as it would have been had there been a garden hose available, but we did get the mud off from all that rain last week.

Also, the munchkins thought that washing the car was terrific fun. All except the youngest, who had to stay inside with Daddy.

Speaking of the youngest, she's decided that she likes eating snails.

She had one last night and another one this morning. I don't know where she keeps finding them! The dumb things must slime up and stick to the inside of the door. I had opened the door this morning for the fresh air. The next thing I knew, she has bits of snail shell all over her little smiling face, and a slimy snail gripped in her slimy hand.

Snail slime doesn't come off easily. Even with soap.

Isn't your day brighter now that you know that fact?

Friday, April 13

April showers

It's been raining like crazy here. In Southern Cali, we don't usually get much rain. A couple inches at most. Most of our water comes from the snowpack on the mountains. Well, this year decided to go like it did six years ago and rain for all of April.

Our lovely flooded sidewalk.

Check out the Doppler radar. We're the circled dot right in the middle of the storm. That doesn't usually happen, and I'm way too gleeful about it.

The storm started, naturally, while I was in the grocery store on Wednesday. With the kids. None of us had coats. We walked out of the store into a cloudburst.

I rushed the basket with my (drenched) munchkins and groceries out to the car, got everything stowed and wiped down. Then A. begged me to take his quarters, which he had left in the car, and please get him some gumballs. So I raced back out through the downpour and got him the gumballs.

By the time I got home, got everyone inside and all the groceries too, I was quite wet. But it was funny, too.

Thursday, April 12

Easter weekend

We had a nice Easter this past weekend. Gorgeous sunny weather, kids who love, love, love hunting Easter eggs, and uncles who don't mind hiding them.

My mom cooked dinner for us, and all of us kids got together with our assorted munchkins. I swore I took more pictures, but I guess I didn't. There were a few other ones (I have one hilarious shot of Alex sneering his nose while holding up an egg full of candy, but it's not blogworthy).

 I've meant to blog about this all week, but that meant sorting through my (lame) pictures and looking for ones that weren't lame. We had such a nice time, and my pictures don't convey that.

Good thing it's not this weekend! It's supposed to rain and thunder.

Wednesday, April 11

Cool Bible trivia

I got a Bible app for my ipod, and I've been reading chunks of the Bible in the Amplified version.

I've always wanted to read the whole Amplified Bible. I was reading Samuel, but apparently Hebrew is pretty straightforward, because there's not much  to amplify in there.

So I switched to Luke. Man, Greek must be really nuanced. I feel like I'm reading the Extended Edition, like Lord of the Rings. There's so many passages that always confused me, like this one:

Luke 8:18, KJV: Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. 

And in the Amplified: Be careful therefore how you listen. For to him who has [spiritual knowledge] will more be given; and from him who does not have [spiritual knowledge], even what he thinks and guesses and supposes that he has will be taken away.

I understood that passage for the first time in my life!

But the really juicy bit came a little later. You know the bit where Jesus and the disciples get into a boat and are going across the sea of Galilee, and Jesus is asleep, and a storm comes? See what it says in the Amplified. I put the interesting bit in italics.

Luke 8: 22-25: One of those days He and His disciples got into a boat, and He said to them, Let us go across to the other side of the lake. So they put out to sea.
But as they were sailing, He fell off to sleep. And a whirlwind revolving from below upwards swept down on the lake, and the boat was filling with water, and they were in great danger.
And the disciples came and woke Him, saying, Master, Master, we are perishing! And He, being thoroughly awakened, censured and blamed and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; and they ceased, and there came a calm.
And He said to them, [Why are you so fearful?] Where is your faith (your trust, your confidence in Me--in My veracity and My integrity)? And they were seized with alarm and profound and reverent dread, and they marveled, saying to one another, Who then is this, that He commands even wind and sea, and they obey Him?

You know what kind of whirlwind happens over water and revolves from below and upwards?

 A waterspout.

So it wasn't just a storm that was swamping their boat. It was a freaking waterspout! No wonder the disciples were terrified! And then Jesus rebuked it and it went away.

I just thought that was awesome and had to share it with somebody.

Sunday, April 8

Happy Easter and birthday baby

Happy Easter, everybody! Yesterday was the baby's first birthday. Here she is, enjoying her obligatory birthday cupcake.

The next time she has an Easter birthday, she'll be old enough to really enjoy it. Presents and extra candy!

Hope you all have a very blessed Easter Sunday. :-)

Wednesday, April 4

Thinking about cupcakes

Today the kids and I walked out to see if we could find flowers for our vase. We sang A Hunting We Will Go. It was very cute. My favorite rose bush in the apartment complex is in bloom, and I got a couple nice buds. So very thorny, though.

The baby's birthday is this weekend. She'll turn 1, which is like the biggest letdown of a birthday ever. She's still a baby. She doesn't understand birthdays yet. So I'm going to make cupcakes and take them to our family dinner on Easter Sunday.

My hubby asked for these particular cupcakes that are chocolate with cream cheese and chocolate chips in the middle. They're called something like Chocolate Cheese Cups. They're a bit fiddly to make, but you don't even have to ice them. They're that delicious.

I'm also doing Patrice's Farmhouse Chats, because this blog post is feeling awfully short.

What was the first sign of spring that you saw this year?

Around here, all the ornamental pear trees bloom first. I don't know if they're everywhere in the country. They're like generic shade trees that get little inedible berry things on them. In the spring they get great big white blossom clusters that smell exactly like cat urine. They're pretty, but hold your breath as you walk downwind.

The other day I was sitting outside with the munchkins, and a mockingbird flew into our tree. He was singing, but my cockatiel was shrieking. The mockingbird's song trailed off as he listened to the cockatiel, and I heard him mimicking, very softly. First he made a similar sound, then he varied it until he dialed in the sound of the cockatiel's shriek. It was really interesting. I've never heard a mockingbird actually learning a call before.

What was the last package you received in the mail?

A box from my husband's folks of Easter candy for the kids. It's stashed in a mysterious box on top of the fridge, and only Mommy knows of the wonders that await within.

Do you have any Easter, or spring traditions in your home?

We're still working on that. So far the munchkins are still thrashing out this whole Easter basket thing, and they know it's about Jesus coming back to life. We do a fun activity with my extended family where we have twelve plastic eggs, each with things inside that pertain to the Crucifixion and Resurrection, like nails or rope.

Do you hand wash dishes or machine was them?

Both. I can't put my big pots and pans through the dishwasher. I use the dishwasher for cups, plates and silverware.

If I had an extra hour each day, I'd ______________.

Write and draw more. That's why I stay up late, actually. So I have time to write and draw. It's amazing how much I can get done in that extra hour every day, although sometimes I'm ready to fall asleep sitting up.

Sunday, April 1

Fun with hats

The other morning, the munchkins started playing with this tiny toy hat while we were getting dressed. It wound up on the baby's head, and she was so proud of herself, I had to take a picture. Look at her new teeth!
The older ones had to take their turns with the hat, too.
I got this picture right as the hat fell off her head. You can't tell it's in motion here, but it was.
It's fun trying to be quick reaching for the camera. I snap the oddest moments. We do have so much fun all the time.

Friday, March 30

Kid art

This is one of those odd pictures my children took. I was straightening out her hair, while she screamed at her brother, "Don't flash my eyes!" See the camera flash? He did it anyway.

Lately the munchkins have discovered watercolors. We've had to do at least one watercolor painting a day. I've been teaching them how a brush is different from a pencil, and in general my inner art teacher is rejoicing.

Since the weather has warmed up and the time changed, I've been able to pitch them outside for hours. We scored some sidewalk chalk, and I sensed lots and lots of outside time.

Then I walked outside and discovered that they had covered the entire 30 feet of sidewalk with chalk scribbles.

 So we took a bucket of water and some brooms and scrubbed off most of it. It was actually a nice excuse to get out in the warm sun and mess around with water. The baby thought the water bucket was her plaything and was soaked by the time we finished.

So that's been our last couple of days. Never boring!

Thursday, March 29

Thankful Thursday

I kind of feel like this today. Deer in the headlights. With feet.

So I thought it'd be nice to list off all the things I'm thankful for. Nothing like giving thanks to change your mood, right?

I'm thankful that it's finally spring.

I'm thankful that the kids can finally play outside.

I'm thankful that I've not had to miss buying groceries one single week.

I'm thankful for the internet and its millions of recipes.

I'm thankful that we haven't had a serious illness in months. Like the flu.

I'm thankful we live in California. No killer tornadoes. Mild weather. Early fruits and veggies.

I'm thankful that I'm married to my sweetheart.

I'm thankful for my kitchen appliances that make my job so much easier.

I'm thankful that little things, like play a game with my hubby, or helping him paint his models, strikes him as incredibly romantic.

I'm thankful that the kids are so happy with simple things, like sidewalk chalk and books and playdough.

I'm thankful I have children, because seeing them grow and learn to do things (like read) is so incredibly gratifying.

What are you thankful for?

Tuesday, March 27

On chocolate and books

Patrice had good questions this week, so I thought I'd take a crack at Farmhouse Chats.
What was your favorite book as a child?

I had varying degrees of being a child, so I had varying favorites. For instance, when I was little, my favorites were The Bike Lesson and Go, Dog, Go. Then as I learned to read on my own, I had all kinds of favorites. I remember being absolutely in love with Kavik the Wolf Dog, by Walt Morey. I just loved going with Kavik on his 2000 mile journey because it fascinated me so much.

 Later on there were the Melendy books by Elizabeth Enright. Hands down the best kids stories ever, even better than Beverley Cleary (although I do have a soft spot in my heart for Henry Huggins).  

Dark chocolate, Milk Chocolate, or White Chocolate?

 I prefer milk chocolate, the cheaper, the better. White chocolate is okay, for instance, white chocolate chips in a big old chocolate cookie. Yum yum. Dark chocolate is too bitter for me, except in chocolate chip cookies with dark chips. Then it's absolutely divine.  

What's your biggest "pet peeve" when it comes to your kitchen?

 That it's dark. It gets depressing cooking away in the darkest room in the apartment. Also it gets really hot in there. We got a little graph from our electric company about our average daily electrical uses, and there's a big spike at breakfast and dinner, when I run my stove. Well gee, you think?  

Do you use any type of water filter in your home? (Whole house, faucet mount, or pitcher)

 Just a pitcher with a filter that's long past dead, because filters are so freaking expensive. But it still improves the taste of the water.  

What's the herb you use the most in cooking?

Chili powder and cumin. I cook a lot of Mexican dishes, and I'm always running out of those. Also onions, garlic, and oregano. Maybe oregano is the most used, because it goes into the Italian dishes as well as the Mexican ones.

 Thanks for the chat this week, Patrice!

Sunday, March 18


Our lovely storm flooded the sidewalk yesterday. The munchkins went out and played in it for a while.

This was only minutes before they started running up and down the sidewalk in the water. I didn't take pictures of that, though.

Here's the baby wishing and wishing she could go outside, too.

It's been a nice storm. I feel bad about it, though, because it'll cause horrendous tornadoes across the rest of the country. I have to keep reminding myself that I'm not responsible for the weather.

Friday, March 16

Busy day

It was a gorgeous day today. We have a big storm coming in, so the morning and early afternoon were deliciously warm.

A neighbor gave us a tricycle, so we took it to Grandma's where there's lots of room to ride it.

We're still working on the idea of pedals.

Here's little missy, attempting to stick a leaf to her foot or something. This was her "bike" while big brother rode the trike.

While the baby ate dirt, chased the dog, and watched mama and grandma chop weeds.

Chopping weeds is therapeutic, somehow. I don't know if I'll be able to move tomorrow, but it was worth it.


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