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~A house plan that we are loving and a sweet little plot of land to build on.

~The cool morning breeze whispering that fall is just around the corner.

~My hubby and my puppy snuggled up next to me every chance I can get.

~Paper work, slowly but surely getting done.  Which means than an amazing little baby is that much closer to being placed into our arms.

~Cleaning, donating and purging our home of all the possessions that we no longer need and don’t want to pack up and haul around town when we move.

~A renewed desire to live simply with a focus on what really matters.

 

This is just a glimpse of what has been making up the hours and minutes of our lives lately.

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This summer has been so full. Full of joy, full of love, full of God’s grace and mercy. The sun calles me out of doors everytime it shines. The drizzly days have been full of happy craftiness, giving my home the deep cleaning it deserves, and discovering more and more of God’s gentle love between the covers of my favorite book. That has become the most joyous part of my day. Basking in the glow of God’s love and faithfulness. Its like sunshine times a million. I wish you all a summer full of God’s glorious “sonshine!”

P.S. Just so you know about the pictures, Rob made our Sunday afternoon lunch and has officially been crowned the master salmon griller of the world:)

Sunny Sunday

Originally uploaded by Andreabeth

Literal translation: my half of an orange

Spanish meaning: my soulmate, other half

rob-hawaii1

He is so easy to love.

Rob quote: (right after walking in the door from work)  “Sweetheart, love is like socks.  It takes two and they have to match.  Will you be my valentine?”

Some of my favorite results from this weekend:

 

My grandmother is second in from the left.

 

My great grandparents.

 

We never did find out who these two were, but isn’t the picture stunning!

 

What a weekend we had.  Five of my moms six remaining aunts and uncles showed up to talk with us and look at pictures.  I think only one of them was under 90.  Aunt Elmira, who hosted the event, made us lunch complete with homemade doughnuts, buns, and egg salad.  I hope I’m that spunky when I’m 94! 

I think my favorite part of the whole day was when she explained to me that now a days 94 really isn’t that old.  I’m so glad we went and she was so kind to share all her pictures with us:)

On other news, if you haven’t stopped by this lovely lady’s blog yet, you should.  Today is her birthday and she is doing a birthday give away!   She was one of the very first bloggy friends I made a few years back when I started on this adventure.  I think all the time how it lights up my day to stop around to all my sweet bloggy friends’ sites and see how their days are going.  Chelle’s site will now doubt light up your day.  I’m sure you will become a frequent visitor like the rest of us after just one peak! Enjoy and HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHELLE!

We have been crazy working people at my house lately.  Mom and I spent two nights getting these all canned.

 

Rob’s 30th birthday is coming up next Saturday. So I have been sending out invitations, planing menus, etc. (OOooo this is going to be fun! I’m so excited for it:)

 

I am getting ready to have a little weekend get away with my mom.  We are driving to Minnesota to visit my moms 94 year old aunt.  We are going to scan all the family pictures and get all the information about  them from her.  Along with any stories etc. that she feels like sharing.

 

And in amongst all the crazyness, God likes to send me little messages like stop and smell the flowers…literally.  This was a special delivery at work the other day.

My absolute favorite flower.  Stop and smell the flowers today, okay. It’ll all get done, I promise.

 

1. The sky was so amazingly deep deep blue this morning. 

 

2. My backyard looks like this.

 

 

3. Parent teacher conferences went great yesterday:) and they are going to be great today too.   I can just feel it.

 

4. I found this on my fridge.

 

 

5. I feel so completely loved.

 

6. I have been so completely inspired lately to use every moment of life God will give me.  In the words of our wonderful new pastor, “How we embrace life is important to God.” ~ Pastor Brady  What an amazing thought and I have decided to take that thought and run with it!

The conversation went a little something like this:

 

I pick up my cell phone.

Me: Hey sweetheart.

Rob: Hi hon, what are you doing?

Me: I’m just out and about with Rusti. What are you doing?

Rob: I got home a few minutes ago.

Me: Have you been in the computer room?

Rob: Ahh, yea.

Me: Did you see it?

Rob: That old crusty ladder?

Me: Old crusty ladder!?!? It’s magnificent!

Rob: Oh…okay.

 

 

I’m not sure that Rob has caught the vision yet.  I have wanted an old ladder for my guest bedroom since we moved into this house.  I saw an entire article about old ladders in a decorating magazine while waiting in a doctor’s office once. Gorgeous!  Now I just need to get my guest bedroom set up…

a really really long time ago.

 

 

The recipe for strawberry shortcake. And it comes straight from Martha, so you know it is going to be good.  It is definitely a well loved desert at our house. I can’t even get the words strawberry and shortcake out of my mouth and our families are asking, when and where:)

 

Strawberry Shortcake

What you need

For the berries:

2 pints  strawberries

1/4 cup sugar

juice of 1 lemon

 

For the biscuits:

2 cups all-purpose flour

6 Tbs sugar

1 Tbs baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

6 Tbs cold unsalted butter

1 cup heavy cream

 

For the egg wash:

1 large egg

1 Tbs heavy cream

 

For the whipped cream:

1/2 c heavy cream

1 heaping Tbs powdered sugar

 

*Slice up strawberries and place in a bowl.  Add the lemon juice and the sugar and gently toss to combine.  Let the strawberries sit at room temperature for 1 hour so the juices are drawn out.

 

*Preaheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Cut the butter into pea sized pieces.  Measure the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt into a mixing bowl.  Cut the butter into the flour mixture with a pastry cutter until the mixture resembles course breadcrumbs.  The little lumps that remain make the biscuits flaky, so don’t cut them too fine.  Pour in the cup of heavy cream and mix with a fork just until it starts to come together.  The less you mix, the more tender your biscuits will be.

 

*Turn the mixture onto a lightly floured surface and press it into a 6 inch square that is about 1 inch thick.  Use a 2 1/2 inch round cutter to make 4 biscuits and lay them on a baking sheet.  Gather the scraps and press them into a 6×3 inch rectangle.  Cut out two more biscuits and lay them on the baking sheet. (I like to take the rest of the scraps and make them into a little circle and bake them too! The shortcake is the best part of the recipe and this way you get to taste test:)

 

*Whisk together the egg and 1 Tbs of heavy cream.  Lightly coat the tops of the biscuits with a pastry brush.  Bake them for approximatly 25 minutes.

 

*Using a hand mixer, whip the cream and powdered sugar together until soft peaks form.

 

*Top your shortcake with whipped cream and strawberries and stand back and admire your handiwork.  They are super yummy and I know you will love them:)

is this face.

 

This week he:

*Laid in bed with me all evening after supper one night because I had a headache.

*Hauled out the trash all the way “up” the driveway and to the dumpster (its a long ways, trust me).

*I told him thank you for doing something for me and he looked me right in the eyes and said, “you’re worth it.” And I just knew he meant it.

*Helped me finish dinner when I was running behind even though he worked like 13 hours that day.

*Suggested that we spend Saturday night snuggling up on the couch with popcorn and a movie.

 

I love my family!

How is it possible that school has already started?  My the summer just flew by, but wasn’t it wonderful?  Here is a little taste of our happiness lately:

 

*A new cookbook that I am so excited to use.  It is all healthy and wholesome freezer meals. For those days when I know it will be busy and I don’t want to throw mac and cheese on the stove because I have just run out of time.  I have heard nothing but good things about it, so I have really high hopes.

 

*More zucchini than any human being should ever be allowed to consume…as well as other wonderfully delicious fresh veggies from the garden.

p.s. I have been informed that one zucchini plant is sufficient to satisfy even the most zucchini loving of families.  When I asked said gardening expert about the possibility of needing to plant more than one in case we have a zucchini plant death, I was informed that zucchini plants NEVER die. So, there you have it.

 

*A heavenly father that cares enough about us to take the time to paint exquisite sunsets. Doesn’t it just take your breath away? 

 

*Two amazing almost autumn-like days.  As much as I love summer, I think autumn takes the prize.  It however never decides to stick around long enough. So were fall to come a little bit early this year, I would not complain one bit.

 

*Andrea time.  Summer was so busy for me that getting back into the school schedule has been such a joy.  I worked everyday during the summer until 4:00 so getting done at the school at 11:00 on MWF will really be a treat for me.  The first thought I had this week was, “yessss, I get to clean my house.” Is there something wrong with me?

 

*New books.  A lovely friend (you know who you are) told me about a nice sale on Jane Austin at the B&N.  So I ran down there and got myself a copy of Pride and Prejudice and a copy of Sense and Sensibility.  These are two of my all time favorite movies and I thought it high time I read the actual book.  This is going wonderfully with the aforementioned Andrea time.

 

*And last but certainly not least the amazing present my wonderful hubby got for me for my birthday. I have been playing with it all day and I think this one is my favorite so far!

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