Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Fall Beauty

Sierra Nevada's, quaking aspens, a creek, and the last photo is one of our cottonwoods.

Monday, October 27, 2008


Hmmm...guess I haven't been posting much lately. Maybe because I've been busy around the house and haven't taken time to sit down to write much. I'm probably nesting.


I'm kinda excited for that. And I'm kinda anxious to get some things done around the house. I went through my linen closet and washed loads upon loads of sheets. And comforters. I went through more hand me down baby clothes (love them!) and washed, sorted, and stored those. I even set up the bassinet.

Do you think I'm nesting. Maybe. Just a little.

So...not much posting going on. Sorry.

I'll try to write something soon. In the meantime, here are some great blogs that I have discovered recently. (Yes, I have been exploring blogland, just not participating much.)

The Inspired Room

The Nesting Place

Check them out for good decorating ideas and witty commentary.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Soup Swap

Mmmm...I love soup; especially in the fall and winter months. Jessica over at Turkey Cookies is hosting a Soup Swap. Head over there for lots of great soup recipes.

Here is my contribution: Curried Cream of Chicken Soup. I found this recipe at In the Heart of My Home. I've changed it just a little to make it fit my own family.

Curried Cream of Chicken Soup

1 TBSP. butter
2 cups chopped sweet onion
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 TBSP. curry powder

Cook the above ingredients over low heat until tender.

7 cups chicken stock
2 lbs peeled, diced butternut squash
3-4 chicken breasts, bone-in (you can use a whole cut up chicken if you want)
1/2 cup basmati rice (I haven't tried it with rice, yet)
salt and pepper to taste

Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer until chicken is done (25 minutes or so).
Cool chicken in stock. (I let it sit out a few minutes, too.)
Remove meat from bones and dice.
Remove fat from broth. (I usually remove the skin from the breast, so I don't have a lot of fat.)
Stain soup, reserve solids.
Puree solids in food processor or blender with some stock, in batches. This makes it so creamy and yummy.
Return puree to rest of stock. Add diced chicken.

Then add:

1 cup half & half
10 oz. frozen peas, defrosted

Simmer 15 minutes or until peas are done.

This is really good with pumpkin muffins!

Even my kids like this soup. It is definately a family favorite.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Homemaking Inspiration

Check out Ruthann's lovely post "Housewarming: Blessing Your Nest for Fall...Part 1", and her follow-up post for lots of Autumn inspiration. I just found her blog-Warm Pie, Happy Home, and I love it. Her home is so beautiful, and wonderfully decorated for fall. And she sees being a homemaker as a way to bless her family. Both posts are chock-full of great decorating and homemaking ideas.

I've been pondering my own role as a homemaker, what that entails, how I can go about it with a joyful heart. Ruthann has certainly figured that out!

So, this past week I've been working on a Housekeeping Notebook to stay organized, and I've also been searching out pretty things stashed around the house that I can use for some fall decorating.

I'll try to share ideas and photos from both projects soon. In the meantime, make sure you head over to Warm Pie, Happy Home for encouragement and inspiration.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Please Pass the...

Hash Brown Quiche
I acquired this yummy recipe from my old church. Every year they have a women's breakfast, and this was one of the choices for the hostesses to make for their table. Everyone loves it, and I've been making for my family for a few years now. What's really great is that you can do most of the prep and assembly the night before.
24 oz. shredded hash browns
1/3 cup melted butter
1 1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 1/4 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 1/4 cup diced ham or bacon
6 eggs
1 1/2 cup cream or half & half
1/4 t. salt
Thaw hash browns and press out water with paper towels. butter 9x13 in glass baking dish. Press hash browns into dish and brush on melted butter. Bake 25 minutes at 425 degrees. Let cool a bit.
Layer cheddar, then ham or bacon, then Swiss onto the hash browns. (These steps can be done the day before and refrigerated until the next day.)
Beat eggs, cream, salt and pepper. Pour over other ingredients. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes or until done. I like to let this sit for a bit before serving.
For more breakfast and brunch recipes head on over to Please Pass the... going on at Today's Housewife.
Have a great weekend!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Mother

"...admonish the young women to love their...children..."
Titus 2:4

I was one of those girls who loved playing with dolls. In fact, I think I played with my dolls until 8th grade! My sister and I would have all kinds of adventures with our babies. All through growing up, I couldn't wait to be a mommy. I waited all through my twenties, and then finally at 31, I was a teacher, I was still single and I had just bought my own house. I decided I needed to fill it, and my time, with children. I became a foster parent. I was tired of waiting for a husband. I could help these children, and I could "play" mommy.

I happily fixed up an extra bedroom, went to my foster parent classes, bought diapers and clothes and toys. Finally I got my first child; a 23 month-old little girl. Wow, was I in for a big surprise. Being a mom was HARD!

In all the preparation that I did, I failed to take time to think about what it meant to be a mom, or what kind of mom I wanted to be. So for the next few years I flew by the seat of my pants as I tried to mother this little girl and her sister, too. (Of course, the fact that I didn't know that I would get to keep them during the first two years made it difficult as well.) But, gradually, as I've been able to finally get through the fog of exhaustion and emotions, I've put some thought into mothering.

Here is what I want to do as a mother:

*see each child as an individual person

*meet each child's individual needs-

-physical: nourishment, sleep, cleanliness, clothing, health

-emotional: nurturing, love

-spiritual: self-discipline, Godly character

-intellectual: encourage personal talents and interests, learning, critical thinking

My Goals for Mothering:

1. Meet their needs with a joyful heart

2. Cherish and enjoy each child

3. Instill Godly character and values by living them myself

4. Create good memories with them

5. Instill healthy habits-eating healthfully, chores, self-care

6. Establish one-on-one time with each child

Sometimes (well, much of the time) in the day-to-day busyness of caring for my children, I forget how extremely blessed I am to have each and every one of them. I want to remember that they are gifts that I need to cherish each day. God has entrusted them into my care, and I have this huge responsibility to do my best for them. Thankfully, the Lord is always there to help me! I definitely couldn't do it without Him.

Now that I've made my list I need to think about ways to put each idea into practice. I have been doing a lot of this already of course, but I want to make sure I'm meeting those needs the best that I can. If I don't make a plan, I tend to float around only accomplishing the absolutely necessary-such as feeding them :). I want to do more than just survive!

If anyone is interested, I'll try to share my ideas for meeting my children's needs joyfully and creatively. And I'd love to hear other's ideas. Leave a comment with your ideas, or let me know if you would like to hear more about what I want to do with my kids. Thanks!
Coming soon in this little Home Making series: The Household Manager

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A Wife

"Her husband has full confidence in her
and lacks nothing of value.
She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life."
Proverbs 31:11-12
Words to aspire to. Will I ever be there? With three children and one more on the way, it is hard to put our relationship first. Except for our first month of dating, there has always been a kiddo in the equation (because of my foster-then-adopted daughters). We've only been married two years--our anniversary was on Monday!--and those years have been very busy in the kid/baby department. So this part of my "job" feels a little neglected.
As a wife I want to:
-support and encourage my husband in his job and in his roles as husband and father
-listen to him, respect him
-communicate my needs to him in a rational manner (um...this is a hard one for me! I forget I have needs until one day fall apart-not exactly healthy communication!)
-be frugal with our household budget
-take care of my appearance-make an effort to look nice
-create a calm, comfortable, beautiful home for him to come home to
-be a partner with him in raising our children
That's my list so far, I'm sure I'll think of more things to add as time goes on, but here is where I'm at right now.
Coming soon: my lists for Mothering and Housekeeping. And I'd better throw in Taking Care of Myself or I won't be able to do all those other things! That's tough one, a hard list to write, but important, I'm starting to realize!
Have a great October day!
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