Wednesday, April 28, 2010


I captured this heart-warming conversation between my oldest daughter and my Husband on IM last week:

Good morning Dad how are you?

Morning tati I'm OK. How are you?

I'm OK

what r u doing?

Eating breakfast and IMing u.

wow! u r talented. have i told u how special u r?

I think so

just want 2 make sure u know. i love you but more important Jesus loves u

Good. When do you get you'r paycheck?

well deposited a check 2day will have another maybe 2mrow or monday

Ok cause i was thinking tomorrow if you get the check we can go somewhere for dinner tomorrow.

sounds good 2me
we have to check with mom 1st

Alright i gotta G-o because Spud wants me to play outside with him.Bye


It cracks me up that Daddy is trying to convey his love and talk about Jesus, while my daughter just wants to know about Daddy's paycheck!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


I do, sometimes, loathe the internet. Now that that's out of the way, I'll go on to explain myself.

I think I might've been born in the wrong era. I like face-to-face conversations. I like being able to read another person's facial expressions instead of having to infer them from an email or emoticon. I do appreciate online ((hugs)), but can anything really replace the feeling of having another wrap their arms around you in a heartfelt embrace? I love getting personal emails (no forwards please!), but there's just something about a stamped letter arriving in my mailbox, with a scrawled message in the unique handwriting of a friend, that just can't compare.

I marvel at the ability of instant communication. Email, texting, INSTANT messaging, pm-ing. Our family has been enjoying the benefits of IMing, which I will share tomorrow in another post. Sometimes I wonder though, if this ability is actually enabling us to not put as much effort into "real" relationships. Do we make as much time for actual people as we do for our inbox? It's not as easy, but I think it's more rewarding.

We all have busy lives and responsibilities that demand our time, energy, and attention. Real relationships are a sacrifice and something that we need to allow room for in our hectic lives. I can't remember the last time I mailed a hnad-written letter, but I make time for phone calls. I make time for house-to-house visits. Whenever I'm in the town where several of my friends live, I try to stop-by and say Hello as much as possible. I plan get-togethers.  I'm not sure if these gestures go unnoticed or if a quick 3-line email is appreciated just as much. 

I'm the kind of girl who loves to curl up with a hot cuppa something in a quaint coffee shop and spend a few hours chatting about life. Let's sit on your front porch with a cold glass of ice tea while we watch our children play. Let's turn off the hard drives and at least put the cell phones on vibrate for just a little while. I realize that with far-flung family and friends, sometimes this just isn't possible. And email is useful for so many things. It's just that it's so much easier to see the pain, buoy the hope, roar with laughter, share the tears when you're sitting by my side instead of in front of your monitor.

Be blessed,

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Box Day

"Box day" is the term homeschoolers use for the exciting day when new curriculum arrives in the mail. It is very exciting! Tatiana had to stop in the middle of our lessons to peruse her goodies for next year (4th grade):

And chocolate was included! It just touches this Mama's heart to see my kids so excited about the year to come. I'm sure by this time of year many students just can't wait to finish this school year, let alone get excited about the next. (Although this teacher is excited about having a long summer break!)

Monday, April 19, 2010

Pieces of Me: THE Recipe

The first thing that I ever cooked by myself was Bisquick pancakes. I was probably about 9ish. I thought it was so impressive to be able to make a meal for my parents (as opposed to the other way around). I think it was this foray into pancake-making that lit the culinary flame that never has gone out. Fast forward a few years...

My mom had an old version of a Betty Crocker cookbook. It was red and thick and very well-loved (aka used-until-it-was-falling-apart). Some of my (and my brother's!) favorite pictures in that cookbook were of the birthday cakes. I remember that a few of them even were circled in pen, by some very hopeful children. The very first REAL recipe I made was from that cookbook. I was just so amazed to make something that adults loved and that people would pay big money for in restaurants. I was probably just a young tween when I made this for the first time and I recently came across it again while transferring my recipes to OneNote. I will always cherish it as THE recipe that started it all.

Company Cheesecake
Betty Crocker
Makes 12 servings

1 1/4 c. graham cracker crumbs
2 T. sugar
3 T. butter, melted
20 oz. cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1/4 t. vanilla
3 eggs
1 c. sour cream

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir cracker crumbs & sugar together. Mix in butter. Press into bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake 10 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees. Beat cream cheese in large bowl, until lump free, scraping sides and bottom of bowl. Gradually add 1 c. sugar, beat until fluffy. Scrape sides. Add vanilla. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Pour over crust. Bake 1 hour or until center is almost set. Cool to room temperature. Spread with sour cream. Chill at least 3 hours, better if overnight. Loosen edge with knife before removing side of pan. Wipe knife after each cut for nice clean slices. Yum!

Special Notes:
Can substitute one vanilla bean, split and scraped, for the vanilla extract.

Feeling Nostalgic,

P.S. Do you remember the first thing that you learned to cook/bake?

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Tilted Planet

I am in a renewed season of mourning. Kind of like renewing a lease. Only worse. Now that you know, I don't have to explain why more than a third of the month is gone and this little blog has been too quiet. I guess know it's because April 20, 2009 was the date we had our level 2 ultrasound and my world shifted on it's axis. (My true north was no longer near the pole anymore, but maybe more like somewhere in Canada.) And the anniversary of that date draws near. The memories are still nothing but painful, although now more of a dull ache instead of a raw piercing.

I have the best of intentions when it comes to making new blog posts. I get inspired. I take pictures, trying to find the best light. But when I imagine myself trying to sound giddy happy pleased about, oh, I don't know, a new recipe let's say, it just seems hollow. Because the grief has settled in again, following me wherever I go. 

Don't mistake me, there are moments of sweetness. I have been happy (at times) about Spring. I have felt swollen amazement when I look up at a crystal clear sky full of stars (no more winter cloud cover)! I have felt tickled at using my grill on warm Spring evenings and thinking about new and tasty grilled foods and side dishes. I have been totally inspired by my discovery of Foodzie (where have you been all my life?), which is like etsy, only for tasty, hand-crafted, natural artisan foods. I have enjoyed digging in my plots of earth  and planting little seeds. Tatiana and I were over-the-moon to get a box full of school books for next year. I even took pictures! 

But last year's memories linger, like a broken tooth that your tongue just can't seem to leave alone. Especially on days like Friday, when instead of my mail lady bringing books to my door, it was a slightly confused trucker with a small granite headstone on his dolly. 
Apparently, this delivery trucker usually takes his loads to the cemetery, not to a little white house with a homemaker nervously waiting at the front door.

"Do you get this kind of delivery here often?" he asked, slightly puzzled.

"No, sir..... Hopefully it's the only one I'll ever need."

And even that one has been almost more than I could bear.

P.S. Keyboard Soup. (Mom, you know what I mean.)