My poor poor neglected blog.  It has been far too long, but I must admit that I am glad it is my poor neglected blog and not my poor neglected husband or my poor neglected home…  Things were crazy during Christmas (three jobs is far too many), but that isn’t why I haven’t posted in forever.  And we went on a vacation with our family and enjoyed some sunshine, but that also isn’t the culprit. 

Every time I sat down to my computer and read your lovely blogs, I realized that I had nothing to say.  We’ve had the worst winter in a long time around here, but even worse than the freezing cold temperatures outside has been the temperature inside.  I’ve just been cold.  My heart has been cold and my joy some how managed to sneak away sometime in November and I just hadn’t been able to find it again. 

My pastor’s wife encouraged me to find a scripture that I could cling to and so here I share it with you.

Isaiah 43:1-3  But now, oh Israel, the Lord who created you says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.  I have called you by name, and you are mine.  When you go through deep water and great trouble, I will be with you.  When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown.  When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up.  The flames will not consume you.  For I am the Lord your God, the holy one of Israel, your Savior.  You are precious to me, you are honored, and I love you.”

I have been seeking and seeking and finally last week we had three days that felt like spring.  But even more important than the temperature outside, was the temperature inside.  The Lord gave me spring.  A spring that warmed my heart all the way to the middle.  And he topped it off with the most amazing sunset I’ve ever seen just as his little way of letting me know he was there. 

I don’t know what God’s plan is.  Some days my life feels upside down, but he has given me a new verse.  A new promise.

Psalms 29:11  The Lord gives his people strength.  The Lord blesses them with peace. 

I am truly a blessed blessed woman:)  Love you guys!  Thanks for making your blogs a bright spot in my day!

Spring…welcome back.

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Don’t you just love getting a sweet gift?

 

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But you know what’s even better?

 

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Spending the time to make the perfect gift…

 

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and then watching someone open it…

 

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I think it must be the best feeling in the world.  I have a little something up my sleeve, but I can’t tell you just yet what the secret craft project is…  I might just burst with excitement before I get to give it away.

 

Is there anything better than a really good secret??

Wowza, who fell off the face of the earth?? That would be me.  But I had to share with you all my new all time favorite soup recipe before I forgot to and that has birthed favorite things friday (now lest you think I don’t know how to capitalize. I just spent three class periods teaching kids that days of the week/months are not capitalized in Spanish and have been unable to turn off the Spanish brain as of yet).  Hopefully the prospect of a weekly post will at least guilt me into posting more often, no matter how busy life gets.

 

Chicken and Wild rice soup

Ingredients 

  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cooked, boneless chicken breast halves, shredded
  • Cut up carrots
  • Cut up celery
  • 1 (4.5 ounce) package quick cooking long grain and wild rice with seasoning packet
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 cups heavy cream

Directions

  1. In a large pot over medium heat, combine broth, water, carrots, celery, and chicken. Bring just to boiling, then stir in rice, reserving seasoning packet. Cover and remove from heat.
  2. In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper and flour. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt butter. Stir in contents of seasoning packet until mixture is bubbly. Reduce heat to low, then stir in flour mixture by tablespoons, to form a roux. Whisk in cream, a little at a time, until fully incorporated and smooth. Cook until thickened, 5 minutes.
  3. Stir cream mixture into broth and rice. Cook over medium heat until heated through, 10 to 15 minutes.

 

The recipe was originally found here.  Oh how I love all recipes:)  I can guarantee that you will not be disappointed with this soup (provided that you are a chicken and wild rice soup eater:)  I like it better than most restaurant versions!  Enjoy:)

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.

An amazing bunch of ladies whom I have come to know through in this bloggy world had and idea one day.  They thought we could throw a surprise baby shower for a wonderfully lovely lady named Leslie and her soon to be family of four.  And they let the rest of us in on the idea!  So tonight is the big night and I think everyone is about to burst with excitement!  If you want to check out this group of phenomenal women, just have a peak here.

 

 

Leslie,

    In one way or another, you have touched the life of every woman that was a part of this bloggity baby shower.  Your love, joy, and courage are certainly an inspiration to me.  I love the inspiration that I get from you blog and just the fact that you are so real.  Thanks for being such a wonderful part of my days and congratulations on the arrival of Mr. Cade. I couldn’t be any happier for you and I’ve been praying like crazy for you and your family.

Love,

Andrea

 

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!

a