Saturday, October 29, 2011

Muscle Mumbles.....

My muscles hurt and I have lats does anyone know their purpose. I really wouldn't even know that they were called lats except thats what Beejer said. My workout yesterday was done at the mercy and wrath of two hand towels. It is really too crazy to explain. But let me tell you that hand towels may now be banned from my home. I have muscles that hurt that I didn't even know existed.
Wahhhhhhh!! Enough Whining. When my alarm goes off at 4:30 three times a week, the words....get out of bed soldier roll across the screen. I giggle to myself every morning, and then drag my sorry bum up and out. Physical exercise is truly one of the best sanity keepers for me.

This weekend is continuing to bring lots of this.
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Yep stock baby. Some is from my friend the farmer. And I am not sure where I am going to put what is in the pot right now...but thats a good problem in my opinion. So now I am currently stocked(hahaha) with veggie, chicken, turkey and beef stock. Woop Woop.

Make your own stock people. Its easy and oh so healthy and even more yummy then that flavored water you buy in boxes at the store. Which I have had to buy on occasion so I am not judgin:)

I see lots of soup and rice and yummy fall food in our future:)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

One of these things is not like the other.....

The Saturday that this picture was taken was one on the best days. Earlier on in the day I butchered a bushel of chickens with Farmer Lea. And then I rushed from there to join these jokers and a couple of girl friends to celebrate our friend Jesse's birthday. The girl pics did not turn out so great, however it was funny how the boys planned matching outfits. Luke missed the plaid memo apparently.

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By the way getting these boys...I mean men to cooperate with picture taking is worse then getting my kids to take a nice picture. That being said I have no other excuse for the look on my husband's face.

Speaking of his face...this little Josherwoggie can't get enough of it. I am pretty much chopped liver when he gets home:)
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I guess if I have to share with some one....

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

A viewpoint on parenting on the topic of tolerance and acceptance.

First off I am no expert but I have been on the receiving end of others parenting and have had to face a number of parenting challenges in the last almost nine years. In saying this I do feel like I have some space to share a viewpoint. But last night i got fired up. So what better place to air out here on the little old blog:)

My lovely little man Elliot is a thinker. I know I have shared this before so I won't elaborate too much although he is the one who provided me with the topic for todays post. He is not the kid that overhears your adult conversation and allows it to go in one ear and out the other. I often change the radio station if the news reports come on because his heart is just much to big for these types of things. I have found this to be true so much more this year in his studies as well. I think he pulls more information and develops more questions and opinions than the average kid. Not to say he is extraordinary he is just an individual.

I have found in parenting , one of the most important things I feel the heart to teach my children about is diversity and the tolerance to go with it. I feel like this is an ongoing issue that spans the generations, but I feel that it will only become more and more important as time moves on. This being said Brian and I have really made a point to not only encourage the acceptance of differences but to also point them out to encourage the awareness. I know this may sound quite liberal however I think as Christians(and as people of any background really) it is important to realize that although we believe our faith is the only way, there are many people that don't believe that and there many instances where we as Christians are the minority.

I believe growing up in the community in which I live in you often look around and see that most people are on your same wavelength and are falling the beat of the same drum so to speak...this is not bad per-say but I do think it allows us to close one eye to what the real world is really like. I mean for example my neighbors on all side of me are Christians with in a block of each direction of my house there is a church and my kids go to a Christian School. And don't get me wrong what a blessing. However could it be that there is also a downside....I mean I don't worry about my kids playing with the "bad" kids in my neighborhood because to tell you the truth as of right now there really aren't any bad kids, I don't worry about where to send my kids to school because if public school isn't your thing there are 4 Christian Schools in my area. This makes me fear that my children will grow up thinking this is what the world is like everywhere...and possibly when they experience it differently they will automatically thing that different means bad, sinful, ungodly or the like.

These thoughts are what make me think outside of my box when explaining other peoples viewpoints to my kids, when exposing them to certain experiences that maybe are outside of what others in our community would be caught dead doing, by allowing my kids to ask questions about anything that they seem to find alarming so that we can dialogue openly about that topic. I mean I couldn't be more thankful for the opportunity to talk to them about off color subjects now when they still want to talk to me about things because I am not blind to the fact that it might not always be that way.

When I was in high school I will never forget talking to some girls in my youth group about mission work. Now I grew up in a non christian home and this made some people treat me like the plague....I actually had someone tell me not to worry they wouldn't tell there parents mine weren't Christians then they could still come over. Okay come on I was a good kid who was raised with strong morals and values who got good grades and my parents are more moral and solid then some Christians. So back to the conversation I was explaining to them that I had a strong heart for missions but I wasn't sure that my parents would ever understand the concept and I thought in that I should be sensitive. One of the girls said so does that mean your parents are Pagans....like they worship the dark side. I almost choked I could not believe what I had just heard. I still can't. This scared me then and scares me now....I want my kids to be educated and aware that just because someone doesn't believe what they believe doesn't make someone bad or evil. In fact in many circumstances this is just an opportunity for you to be the salt and the light.

So Elliot last night was praying before bed and he starts praying for Muslims. He also prayed about taxes and the national debt but that I can save for later. The part that struck me was the talk about Muslims. I think this stemmed from a September 11 history lesson although I am still not quite sure. Lets just say he had some opinions, not all correct but some valid and I know for sure there are many adults that share his viewpoint. I however used this as a moment to share about Gods love and Grace along with a few points on cultures and whatnot. I went on to tell him how blessed he is to be raised such as he is. Also bringing up the fact that some people have not been touched by Christianity as Elliot has at this point. Which brought up the topics of witnessing, missionary work and God's love. We also talked about how some things are best left up to God and it is only our job to love not to judge. I know this will not be the last time we talk about this because he wasn't 100% sure that I was right. And I will be here waiting for it.

It is times like these that I am so glad for my faith. SO glad that God is right there to put words in my mouth and prayer sin my heart. With out Him I am completely unqualified.

After saying all this i just wanted to use my moments with my Elliot to encourage you to openly talk to your children about issues of diversity. Encourage love in all things and for all people.

Disclaimer.....I am sure this will fire many up in many different ways......feel free to leave a comment I am woman enough I can handle it!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Some pics for you enjoyment.

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My punkin getting pumpkins. Mean mom made her get her picture taken with sun in her eyes.

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This kid is getting way to big.

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The Farmer came over and was the first to try my new cookie recipe. Mr. Jager asked if I could be the cookie maker on his farm. Then we found out his farm is somewhere near Michigan. I told him this was a bit of a commute...he assured me he would have a truck and a car I could borrow on the farm.
I kind of like the farmer!

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Sarah and I ran away yesterday to Snohomish it was nothing short of fabulous. We shopped and lunched and had cupcakes. I would say it was a successful day:) I know Rah would agree!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Risotto.....yum.

I think I have told you all before but I love myself some risotto. It is truly heavenly to me. And although I have heard time and time again how scared people are to make it, it really is easy peasy to make. Does it take time...yes about 25 minutes. Does it take effort.....yes that 25 minutes is all stirring people. But the end result is one of the best forms of comfort food this side of my pot roast (swoon).

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I included a photo this time...you all better be proud of me. I pretty much stink at food photography.

Okay so the recipe. First, I must say this is only one of 2 bajillion ways you can make risotto. And it is also a dish that changes with the seasons quite marvelously. Actually as I was make this variation I was dreaming of butternut squash risotto, yes I was cheating on my risotto, shame, shame.

Bacon Leek Risotto

1 Tablespoon of olive oil
6 slices of Bacon
2 leeks thinly sliced, white and pale green parts only
1 1/2 cups of arborio rice
3/4 cup of apple juice (typically you use white wine but I have found with this variation the apple juice is nothing short of the bomb)
5 cups homemade stock, veggie chicken whatever but homemade is the best. Especially if the homemade comes from the homegrown chickens over at Cackleberry Farms. Call up my girl Lea she's my chicken broker.
1 tablespoon of butter
2 tablespoon of parmesan cheese

Bring your stock to a simmer in a pan on your stove (this is my first tip) keep your stock hot!

Cook off your bacon in a large shallow skillet. This is my second tip the larger the better the shallower the better.

Remove bacon from pan and put leeks into bacon grease. Cook until softish about 5 minutes just until they start to brown.

Remove 2 tablespoons of leeks from pan for garnish later on.

Add rice to pan and stir around. slowly pour in apple juice. Stir until the apple juice is absorbed.

Now I like to keep a ladle in the pot with my stock. Ladle in some stock, I do a ladleful at a time.

Now its time to get your stir on. Make sure that you have some good music on your kids are occupied and happy because you are now married to the rice for the next 20-25 minutes.

Stir in a figure eight pattern until the stock is absorbed. Keep adding stock by the ladleful and stirring until all of the stock is absorbed.

Then add the butter and parm. Top with bacon and reserved leeks.

I also top ours with an egg. Sounds weird but it is delicious and provides you with some extra protein. The kids and Brian prefer theirs scrambled (which I find slightly appalling) I have mine over easy. But you can serve yours however you wish if you feel real fancy you can even top with a poached egg.

So there you have it. Doesn't sound to hard does it? As always let me know if you have a chance to make the recipe.

Angry Blueberry over and out:)

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Just sayin.....

You should know that my teaching job hasn't been rainbows and fairies. Nope its been rather difficult and challenging and many other things. I have some theories as to why this is but I am not sure it would be entirely appropriate to air them all out because they are merely opinions.

I will tell you that I have been praying ridiculously over this job, the kids, the school and what not, hoping to catch a glimpse of God's purpose for me there.

Backing up a bit I share my classroom with another teacher and we spend about 30 minutes together everyday. She is wrapping up her classes and I am just beginning mine. We generally talk a bit about how her class was, school procedure, a tiny bit about family, the weather...you know the basics. I try to help her clean up because this can be a big job, generally I try to be a blessing in her day. I am not sure why but I have been feeling God's prompting to befriend her in that 30 minutes. Turns out over the last couple of weeks I have come to find that we share the same ideas when it comes to faith and family. Actually she sends her son to christian school and has found the commitment in that decision to be a blessing. As have Brian and I although I am not ever sure where the cash comes from the commitment is so much more than that (more about that later someday..maybe). She has kids that are older as well in fact most of them are my age. Her youngest was a tag along. So yesterday I was chatting with her and she begins to tell me how blessed I am to have my family near by and such a strong support system in place. She goes on to say her husband was in the coast guard and they moved a lot when her kids were small, making it hard for them to stay near family. This led to me to share a bit more with her concerning some of my current struggles. In that time she blessed me with reassurance and showed me what it means to use your own experiences to bless others. She told me that God always blessed her with friends that felt like family, a church to call her own and his comfort and leading if she remembered to trust. I needed to hear it and I am still trying to believe it but yesterday made it easier.

And now I will tell you one of my struggles at school has been because I can't share the love of Jesus in my classroom, the wonder of Gods creation, or anything even mentioning his name. Oh wow I can't tell you how hard this is. We talk a lot about how things grow, science and nature and all of this that I know with all of my being has been created by God has to be left to happenstance. Struggle Struggle Struggle.....its hell really....and I'm not exaggerating. And it makes me realize the importance of my choice for my children even more.

But among this all God has given me a friend, a blessing in the murky mud and I am so thankful. Someone I can talk to about Him with openly in this place that attempts to be free of Him.

And my classes, they rocked yesterday (even though there was a fire drill). I took the kids on a leaf walk in the fields outside the school and played a silent game of follow the leader where we let our arms point to all of the trees that were changing color. And on that walk I realized that God is everywhere, and even though I had to teach the kids about the presence of chlorophyl in the leaves being the reasons for their changing I knew that God created it all. And even though I can't say it to them out loud I hoped that they would notice my love for the beauty on this earth. I pray that my light will shine every moment I am in that classroom, and I think yesterday it did.

Monday, October 17, 2011

We've got a DIVA on our hands.

Grace has so much personality.....and attitude(not always a positive).

Yesterday she got gussied up and made a music video.

It is a bit lengthy but very entertaining.

I tried and tried to get this to post with no luck:( So you will have to click on this link.

Again some may find this boring but I happen to find her to be incredibly adorable...I suppose its the whole mom thing:)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Black Bean and Butternut Squash Soup

We eat soup once a week. My kids like it I like it Brian likes it, its cheap, and healthy and wonderful. Plus soup in the fall just seems to be appropriate.

Now this soup is not the most attractive soup and in the world it kind of has a certain brownish color that is not the best but the flavor makes up for what it lacks in presentation. No picture for this reason.

Heres the recipe.

olive oil to prepare the pan.
1 onion minced
8 cups of stock...I used homemade chicken stock but you could use veggie or beef.
1 butter nut squash peeled and diced
1 bag of black beans that have been soaked. I suppose you could substitue canned.
1 clove of garlic
1 tblsp chili powder
1 tblsp cumin
salt to your liking.

Sautee onion in your soup pot. Add all the rest of your ingredients cook for 40 minutes and voila you have yourself some soup. It maybe one of the easiest soups to make in the world.

Now heres how i do it....you could eat as is, or puree it. I pureed is and served over brown rice. This gives it a bit more substance and my family likes themselves some brown rice.

Other topping option would be
-sour cream
-green onion
-cheese
the possibilities are endless.

Enjoy.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Things That I Am More Than Positive That Don't Matter

Oh anxiety please leave my soul. Please leave my mind. Spirit please fill me to the brim so that all that happens outside of my body is a direct reflection of you living in me. Please let your will be so evident to me that mine melts away.

Today was a hard day. I felt bad several times for having doubt, for having worry....for not letting the simplicity of my existence take over and letting my own complicated way of thinking and understanding take over truths that are given to me.

So many times today I had to remind myself that the only thing that matters is God's love for me and my acceptance of it. Wow how simple. Wow how hard to remind myself of that....but it needs to be daily right now maybe even hourly.

I felt Satan try and take the stronghold several times today when all I really needed to be doing was accepting the joy in the moment...not the sorrow or anxiety of the future. Oh its hard.

Here is my list of things that matter.....its short.
GOD
My Husband
My Little Family
The things that God gives me to love and enjoy.
My work that is God given.

Here is an incomplete list of things that are not important.....its is very long in comparison.
Where I live.
Where I worship...as long as I am doing it.
What others think of me.
What school my kids go to.
How much money I have or don't have....as long as what I have I am using in an honorable way.
Where I work.
What my yard looks like.
What my hair looks like.
What my dinners taste like.
What neighborhood I live in or if I even like my neighbors....as long as I love them in a Godly way.
And so on and so forth.

I catch myself looking at people and things in my life in relation to what I might miss if my life changes drastically. When really the things that matter most will not change at all. It is just like I tell my kids you are never alone because Jesus lives in your little heart and your Mothers love for you never fades. And in my case even if everything I cherish and treasure changes completely the first will remain true. Jesus is always with me. And as long as I stay yolked with my God I need not doubt or worry about what tomorrow may bring. For His timing and His plan will reign no matter what.

My favorite scripture as of late is from Matthew 11:28- 30
The Jesus said, "Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yolk upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.

The Message version is nice as well.
Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your lie. I'l show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms or grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly.

The truth of the matter being if I live my life yolked to my Maker there happens to be no burden at all....only a gift. And that is what my focus will be among tears, the gift I have been given.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Blast from the past:)

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Found this in the archives today. Oh man they were cute. Still are but really!!
Pause the blog music on the bottom of the page so you can here there cute little voices. I apparently had a cold....Nasal Mcnasalson.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Reasons I miss you Mr. Husband....

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Numero Uno - I hate wearing sweats and a long sleeve shirt to bed its to hot but without it its too cold.

Numero Dos - I have a part of my back I can't reach with the cortisone cream....big problem believe me. Never mind that his makes me sound like a geriatric....this is a serious matter.

Tres - I hate doing dinnertime dishes....so I don't do them until morning then they are technically morning time dishes (immediately solves the problem)

Cuatro- No one secretly uses pesticides to kill the fruit flies, hence the new house pets:)

Numero Cinco - I have no one to debrief with how awesome, naughty, intelligent, silly and cute our kids are. Emphasis on the naughty and cute.

Seis - No one brings me a glass of wine after the kids are in bed to signify the end of my work day.

Siete - No one is here to take over the night time rainy weather pickup dog poop on aisle 4. The puppy apparently thinks pooping in the rain is overrated.

Ocho- There are no other cute bald men with dimples hanging around complimenting me on dinner or telling me that I'm beautiful. Believe me if I could rent a clone for this purpose alone I would.

Numero Nueve - No one to remind me its bed time and when the lights are out that means I should sleep. You are very good at this...

Diez- Elliot says things like...Dad would have really liked this meal, not sure if this meant he didn't or if we are just being dramatic after you being gone for 48 long hours.....its probably a combination of both.

Bottom Line....I miss your face Jager get home soon so I can kiss you!
24 hour countdown starts now.

Oh and in case you wanted to l laugh about where Brian is right now watch this.

How blessed am I.

Words from Max Lucado taken from my Bible Study this week. I have been marinating myself in these words among others pertaining to Gods acceptance of me for who HE's made me to be.

Here are the words....
You are saved, not because of what you do, but because of what Christ DID. And you are special, not because you do, but because of whose you ARE. And you are HIS. Gods grace is HIS unmerited (undeserved) favor toward us.
Max Lucado

I am a lot of things but most of all I am chosen and loved....and so are you. We are commanded to accept this, thats all we have to do.

Have a wonderful rest of your day!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Our girls done gone and laid an egg.

Meet the girls.....most recently their names are Miss Kitty, Gertie and Henny Penny. Gertie's name was chicken for a long time.
They are Delewares which happens to be a heritage breed. Funny story is that we had a rooster for awhile to...lets just say he matured a little faster than the ladies. That being said he has been relocated to Cackleberry Farm until he can make babies with the ladies and then he will be sent to freezer camp. Yep we will eat him. Once my neighbors found that out they told us that his crow really wasn't that bothersome;)
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And this is what we finally found in their nest today:)
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Our very first egg.
I have only been checking daily for weeks....