Thursday, April 30, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
This homemade buttermilk syrup & this Belgian waffle recipe topped with real whipped cream & fresh strawberries throw a party in your mouth/combine for exquisite dreamland/provide scrumptiously lucious pleasance for your taste buds!!
(If you are a food critic, please take my food critic language satire lightly! ..... What? You don't think I could possibly attract a food critic with this post?)
(FYI: Did you know you can skip buying butter milk and instead stir together 1 Tbsp. lemon juice or vinegar with almost 1 C. milk, let it sit for 5 minutes & then call it good as buttermilk? ..Works like a charm!)
(If you decide to make this breakfast, don't say I didn't warn you of snow mound-like amounts of sugar requirements - I'm warning you now)
(Just wanted to do one more set of ( ) )
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
(that's how I like to start my posts - enthralling i'n't it?)
... It's been a busy last month ...
**One weekend visiting Paul's parents in Southern California = beach visit & good beach stand Mexican food! ...Taya wasn't so fond of the beach - crazy girl!
**One weekend visiting family in Las Vegas for my wonderful niece's baptism = non-stop cousin entertainment for Taya
**And then 3 different sets of company in town to top it all off = washing lots of sheets! (but I'm not complaining - we love you Company!)
The occasion for one of those sets of company was Paul's birthday last week! I got Paul's sister, Alissa, & her family (with 2 cute kiddos that we love!) to visit as a birthday surprise for Paul. We cooked and ate like crazy to celebrate Paul's birthday & Easter ... birthday menu? -- barbecue ribs I had from a great sale, baked beans, sweet potato fries, dinner rolls, a bacon wrapped grilled cored onion with butter in the center, and a fluffy cheese cake that Alissa made - it was a wonderful dinner if I do say so myself! (definitely not void of hours of cooking) ... I love cooking special meals for Paul's birthdays; any special occasion is made better by great & memorable food!
Paul deserved a good birthday; I hope it was a happy weekend for him. He has been really fortitudinous (do I sound smart?), humble (which apparently I am not), courageous, hard-working and eager to improve his skills, networking, and business approaches during these past months without a full-time job. I'm grateful that I get to spend so many birthdays with my Loaf! (Loaf? ...Guess you had to be there)
Last week was not the easiest week for us ... the somewhat temporary drafting job that Paul has had recently got cut short and all employees were laid off that Monday. Later that week, we found out that Taya may very well have Juvenile Arthritis (which type & level of severity, we don't know yet)...(for the last 6+ weeks she's had a slightly swollen left knee, bad limping - particularly in the mornings after sleeping, and hasn't 100% straightened it). However, that same day that we found out about Taya, we attended the funeral of a man from our church, Dave Carlson, who has been a notably kind, warm, down-to-earth man to have as an acquaintance - and will truly be missed. You could tell the kind of impact he had on people because the building was completely packed. Because he had cancer & had gotten to a point of knowing he would die, he was able to share learned reflective perspectives with his family that they shared with us in the congregation. One out of the many wonderful perspectives that helped me that day was telling us to be grateful for the blessings we have and not dwell on the blessings we don't have. This helped me to think about Taya's health and be grateful that she is here and has the opportunity to learn and grow in this life and to not dwell too much in disappointment on the abilities she might possibly not have down the road (we really don't know how severe yet; she may have plenty of abilities).
Also, watching a Hallmark movie documenting the life of a Polish woman who was a social worker during WWII and helped save and cherish the lives of 2,000+ Jewish children helped me to put things in simple perspective right away - uh, that's humbling. At the end, the woman herself was filmed before she died asking people to ponder the sacrifices of these Jewish mothers this Mother's Day who knew they were headed to concentration camps and had to give their children up, not knowing what would happen. CAN YOU IMAGINE?? Wow. Like I said,
There are so many lives and stories to learn from. I think that's partly why hearing each others' stories via blog is so refreshing.
This week has started out much better; the possibility of one 4 month contract job is on our horizon as of today and we had the weekend to breath and enjoy each other and friends; so we are starting out fresh (I wrote this earlier in the week). Sometimes I think Mondays are overwhelming, but this is a week that proves they are nice cleaned slates!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Children. Our Children specifically -- are learning everyday and it is amazing to watch them learn & grow, and at such a full and quick pace. Inspiring even. And that's what I've been thinking about ... What qualities about your children inspire you? I said it in the last post and I believe it is true: there is so much to learn from children. All of the many things we have learned and accomplished as adults are great, and not to be ignored (though remaining humble is nice), but aren't there many qualities from our children that you notice day in and day out that are worthy of our attention, and even our aspiration?
Learning: I love seeing the rate at which Taya learns as a child - she really is like a sponge (which can be humbling when I think of the little traits of my own that I want to suppress so that she does not pick up on them). If we could maintain that excitement for learning as adolescents and adults that little children have, it could be amazing!
Passionate: Taya can be so passionate and just have such raw emotions. Perhaps the whining emotion or the screaming emotion will be good things for her to learn to change a bit as she grows older (sooner than later would be nice!), but her belly laugh and her huge grin response when somebody comes to our door and her happy go lucky walk that she gets sometimes - remind me that she is experiencing life without 2nd guesses and with full gusto instead.
Uninhibited: This is similar to passionate, but just the way children can be silly around each other and ask questions of strangers that turn their moms' faces white ... ok, so maybe these things are good to sensor as they get older and mature, but some aspects of it are just nice to see. They don't overthink things; I can be a big overthinker, so this trait is sometimes very appealing!Things are just simple with kids. Ok, maybe wishing to be simple is just that - wishful thinking, because we all know that life gets more complicated as we gain more responsibility. But there is still something to be said of being simple. We can keep our lives simple, leaving less room for complicated chaos and more room for quiet or simply joyful emotions where we have clear focus on the most important things in life without distraction. I think it takes great effort on our parts as adults to keep things simple, but it's an effort I want to make as I have more kids and someday have a bustling family. Is this still wishful thinking?
Forgiving: This is a big one. Do you notice how quickly our little ones can giggle with us, kiss us, hug us ... just moments after we have lost a bit of patience with them? I am amazed at how quickly Taya can just go back to showing me happy love shortly after a tantrum or after I've been stern with her. I don't know the make-up of a toddler's brain; I realize you may be sitting there thinking some of these things are just due to a young child's limited capabilities, but I am still amazed at what important attributes children possess that we can learn from. Perhaps she remembers that I love her and accept her despite my being stern when necessary even more than I am capable of remembering how much my husband or a family member love me even when they might get irritable with me. Maybe her ability to forgive also shows her understanding of unconditional love and that she can keep things simple by just showering me with that love shortly after an unhappy moment because she also knows I have unconditional love for her.
I looked up a talk (like a sermon) titled As A Child from one of our leaders of the LDS faith, Elder Eyring; in one part he says:
'Here is King Benjamin’s stirring description of what that change to become like a child is and how it comes to us:
“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”(A beautiful discourse was given by King Benjamin to his people about a century before Jesus Christ's birth - it is recorded in the Book of Mosiah in the Book of Mormon)I liked this excerpt and thought it appropriate to quote too with Easter being a couple of days away. I am grateful for days like Easter, that can work as a reminder to value, remember and treasure the blessings we receive from the Atonement and Resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Even if one does not believe in Jesus the same as I do, Jesus can still be an example of a life lived with unconditional love for everyone, with great acts of service given throughout his life, and with a child-like love and meekness shown to all of us.
I know there are so many more traits of children that are inspiring. What traits have you noticed? What have children taught you?
P.S. Isn't so satisfying when you do a spell check and nothing is spelled wrong? ... Ok, there's that adult-like pride sneaking in ... ;)