04 April 2013

We've been out....

I haven't written much lately.  There's several reasons - most involve my life being so busy that I haven't had time to document the insanity!  The other is that I want to write without boring everyone and myself.  Honestly, I'm probably the everyone who reads this anyway - so mostly I don't want to bore me!  :)  I had surgery a bit ago - the recover was longer than I thought it would be - and so there were a number of good meals that we also said to ourselves - we need to blog about that.  But did I?  No.  I didn't.  But I healed and am feeling SO much better.

BY THE WAY.  IF you think that your gallbladder might be having issues - don't play with it.  AND don't listen to doctors if they give silly advice.  I had an ER doctor tell us that he thought I was having panic attacks and needed to see my chiropractor.  I'm not kidding...  He did!  It really messed with me. In the end - the "panic" feeling was from my little organ not working well.  So, we removed the organ - and removed the panic attacks - and all the pain!  YEAH!  I do love my chiropractor's but hey, they can't help an issue like this....

Ok, enough of my ranting.  So, we have been on a few days of vacation.  I thought I would share them.  

Here is our first day in the Windy City!  It held up to it's reputation beautifully. What's on your top ten list of places to visit in Chicago?  Mine?  Oh - the Art Institute!  But, sadly, with two little girls, that didn't make their first choice.  Now, normally I'd pull rank and say that I'm leading them to learn and to appreciate the love of art and history and all things worth knowing about.  But, they to got to pick where they wanted to go as well.... and we went to....  {hint - it's in the video!}

Day TWO!  My youngest is a girl after my own heart.  She loves dinosaurs - and so we had to go visit the best known one around... 

13 February 2013

Confessions and I NEED MORE COFFEE...

I try to remember her like this when bitty girl {now a HUGE three...sniff} is talking my head off.
She was communicating even then.
This morning I was going to sleep in.  Now, sleeping in around here is usually not what most people think of sleeping in.  BUT hubby got E up and out the door for school and I was going to sleep.  I'm an active person and sometimes my mind is the most active in the middle of the night.  Poor Brad - last night I was WIRED.  So, finally crashing at the early hours of today I was going to sleep in.  

Little bit didn't get the message.  Oops.  7:20 and these are my first thoughts for the morning:
Mixed blessings... bitty girl wakes up eager to engage the world. Usually happy, singing, and full of life. She's a spark that refuses to not be heard. Mixed blessing - because, the older I get, the LESS I'm like this. I could use a full hour of mind numbing staring into nothingness as I urgently sip the dark brew of clarity. That's coffee for those of you who somehow missed her addictive qualities. I didn't - I need it to think more than three words or whisper "Mommy's not awake, yet". I need some Solomon's Porch Cafe & Catering "Hylander's Cream".
I finally crawl out of bed - get her cherrios {Trader Jo's are the BEST EVER} and yogurt and super why.  Don't judge.  Brew my cup of sanity.

She comes in.  "Mommy, I'm done watching".

Who do I have to blame?  I raised her this way.  I didn't want her addicted to media.

But I didn't think of my own addiction.  So, how horrid is it that right now I wish she would watch?

12 January 2013

Surreal moments with my children, my chickens, and a warm winter day.

I had a surreal moment yesterday.  It was a simple moment.  We were leaving our local grocer after stopping by for a few items needed for dinner preparation.  The girls had climbed into the car.  Brad had walked over from his office and met us there.  I placed grocery bags in the car and leaned up.  As I did I took a breath.  That’s it.  A breath.  Suddenly I moved back in time.  Two years ago, we stepped out of full-time vocational ministry - the life we had been living for ten years; the life I thought we would live for at least fifty more.  My heart was broken.  My children were fearful.  But then we took several months to just sit.  To be together, to listen to the words of God and to drink coffee on the back porch of the house that was given to us. We drank and prayed and cried.  It was the most beautiful time.  Time was slow – our oldest homeschooled for a bit and my baby was still small{ish}.  God provided jobs for us and we worked – but had much time to process and pray.  I began to heal emotionally. 

That was February 2011.  This week has been an unusually warm week.  As I stood up yesterday the air took me back.  That winter had been warm.  The air was the same.  The buildings that have become part of my normal routine were fresh again.  I remember running into this little grocer and seeing it all with new eyes.  No longer was I in a city driving back and forth with crowded streets fighting for a parking spot at a mega store.  No, our little town has one small grocer.  His family works hard to stay open.  We try to help in that area.  But it doesn’t have the selection of a mega store, so we have learned to adapt.  After all, sometimes less options are more when you know the lives being supported behind the scenes.

Two years have passed.  We now live here – have bought a home here.  Currently I hear my rooster, Elvis, crowing on my front porch.  He has been a bit ill and I have been nursing him back to health.  His crow-timing is off.  It cracks me up that we have a rooster living in the front yard and sleeping in the guest bathroom.  He is a beautiful white silky rooster – and it broke my heart to find him twisted, head backward one morning.  Apparently silkies are susceptible to a type of vitamin deficiency.  We must have caught it quickly because he is slowly recovering.  But now he crows at odd times.  Hopefully soon he can move back to the barn.

The past ten years were delightful and hard.  There were times of heartbreak and times of absolute JOY.  I choose to keep the joy.  To keep the hearts of those close with whom we walked beside.  There are many friends, many coworkers, many hearts whom I miss and love. 

The past two years have taught me much.  We made the right decision.  We all needed healing.  My children needed more time with their family.  We needed to listen to God – and He was gracious.  He has given us time together, provision for our family, some new dreams, and the continuance of some old dreams.

More than anything, he is still teaching me that a vocation is not my calling.  My calling, my direction for my life, is a daily step of obedience.  Today I am a mother.  My daughter has a school project and I have the joy of working on it with her!  She feels overwhelmed by it – but I can walk through it with her.  Showing her that together we can climb mountains – overcome high stone walls – seek new adventures.  Together our family can run and meet each overwhelming moment.  It doesn’t matter if it’s my moment or one of the girls’. 

In this I see the heart of God.  When I come to him, like a child, overwhelmed by the project, the decision, or the heart break that I’m feeling, His heart is to take my hand and say ‘Together, we face this’.  Never alone.  Just as I wouldn’t make my daughter face her fears alone, his heart won’t allow me to face mine alone. 

Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5)

I think that part of the idea behind this iconic verse is that the lies of night spin a web of emptiness – alone and afraid.  Surrounded by no one in a fast void of nothingness – until the light brings forth reality and truth.  That we are only alone in our own decision to be!  That’s never reality.  HE is there.  He is waiting – to be called upon. 

I choose to call.

I choose to not walk alone.

I choose to remember my past and rejoice in my future.

I choose life.  

03 January 2013

~Christmas 2012~

{Please click picture and zoom in to read!

01 January 2013

Wisdom for the new year!

Happy New Year 
From our Family to Yours! 
{please click on photo to view}

Taos Tortilla Soup

We had some family in town and needed a good dinner without a whole lot of work - after all who wants to spend the whole time together in the kitchen?  What to have?  Well - our WHOLE family LOVES tortilla soup.  My amazing sister-in-law makes a mean version.  

Honestly, when can any family say that every kid and adult actually all like something at the same time?  It's like the alighting of some strange planets.  But with this soup, it works.  I've actually taken several recipes and blended them for this.  You can use any chicken that you want - but we prefer to use chicken cooked using this recipe for SUPER EASY shredded chicken , it's also a great way to use left over chicken!  

Taos Tortilla Soup

  • 1 whole small diced onion
  • 1/2 cup diced green bell peppers
  • small amount of oil {olive oil or coconut}
  • 1 - 32oz box of chicken broth
  • 2 cans of corn(drain)
  • 2 (16-ounce) can pinto beans
  • 2 (16-ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (4-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 2 handfulls of chopped cilantro
  • 1 squeezed lime or several tablespoons of lime juice
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (reg size)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes w/ chiles (if you can't find the can get another can of diced tomatoes and a can of diced chiles)
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin
  • 2 teaspoons of chile powder
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • 1/2 package taco seasoning mix
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • 1/2 (8-ounce) jar salsa
  • ½ of an eight ounce package cream cheese
  • 2 cups of the shredded chicken

Heat large stockpot and add a couple of tablespoons of oil, then sauté onion and bell pepper until soft.  Add all items except cream cheese and allow to cook together for 20 – 30 min.  Adjust seasonings to taste.  Take some of hot liquid and pour over cream cheese.  Melt it down and add back to stock pot.  Adjust liquids as needed.  You may need to add more if need be.  I use a broth base and water so as to be able to add water as needed. 

Serve with shredded chicken, shredded cheese on top, and of course with tortilla chips!  Enjoy!