I am wife to a magnificent man and mother to five wonderful children. Three of my children were born in the Northwest and two were born thousands of miles away in Liberia, West Africa. Birthplace is no matter, all of my children were born in my heart. This is our journey.

Thursday, July 30, 2009


Lij was using our letter tiles the other day to try to spell some words. He got Bob all on his own so then I showed him how to spell mom and I went into the kithcen. A few minutes later he excitedly came running to get me yelling, "Look what I spelled, look what I spelled!"

It made my whole week.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

It looks like we are going to need a boat.

Last Sunday our sister-in-law invited all of the cousins from my husband's side of the family to come out on the lake in her parents boat. Ok, so stick with me here. This sister-in-law is married to my husband's brother. Seems straight up enough but here is where it gets complicated. This sister-in-law is also my second cousin, which makes their kids and my kids not only first cousins but also third cousins. So her parents boat is also the same boat of my second cousin once removed. I think. Anyway, we are REALLY related.

All of the relative stuff aside, there were 14 kid cousins there and we had a blast.

I addition to bringing out the boat and floatable towables they also just brought some floatables for the kids waiting to get onto the boat to have something to do.

It was an absolute riot. My best pictures were of all of the kids together but I try not to share pictures of other people kids here.

It was a fantastic way to spend the 95+ degree day. We came home about nine o'clock tired and cooled down.

I am thinking we may need to buy a boat.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Absence makes the heart grow fonder

I haven't been blogging because we've been doing a little of this...

a good amount of this...

and eating like this. Though it is busy, I love this time of year!
But my favorite completed project of this week is this new bookshelf. Not just because I now have a pretty place to store our books but also because it's built and stained by Steve and Bub.

They did such a great job and it's beautiful! They stained it to match the in the wall ironing board on an opposite wall. I have been weeding out and getting rid of some books so it looks a little sparce. We go the the library often enough that I prefer not to store gads of books but we do keep some of our favorites that we have purchased or that were gifts. This is mostly the kids shelf in the family room with the grown up books stored on a shelf in the living room. The kids also have shelves in their rooms for books.

Summer is flying by!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Some of the best bread you will ever sink your teeth into.

At least it is for us. We have purchased a large loaf of bread like this from a local bakery but at $6.95 per loaf it is a rare treat.

So Steve went looking for a recipe online. He found something that he thought we could modify and make work.

And work it did. We tweaked it here and there and this was the result. It is so good and this loaf was gone at the end of the meal. It's the perfect addition to chef salad or soup night.

1 1/4 cups milk warmed to room temperature
2 tablespoons softened butter
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 1/2 cups bread flour
1 tablespoon yeast
1/2 cup cubed cheese chunks
3 large garlic cloves chopped into fourths
Place all ingredients into breadmaker in order listed. Use dough setting and let it rise once. When finished, remove dough and place onto lightly floured surface. Gently kneed in another 1/2 cup cubed cheese chunks. Place in large greased casserole dish (or two greased loaf pans) and let rise for 45 minutes. Just before placing into the oven sprinkle some shredded cheese over the top of the loaf. Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Let cool for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Let loaf finish cooling on a rack.
Let me know if you try this and what you think!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Garden oh my garden

I think I might be a tad obsessed with my garden this year. It has never before looked so well. I am sure that I still have a lot to learn but the plants are looking healthier than any other plants I have tried to grow.

Those pretty little purple flowers will soon turn to beans.

I could sit and watch them grow everyday. In fact I have been known to chat on the phone and do that very thing. My talented hubby built a bench along the side of the garden shed. It's the best place to sit and anticipate the veggies.

I anticipate these the most. Orange. Can you see the orange? Cherry tomatoes, working their way to being ripe. I mean really, orange is the new black. At least during gardening season it is.

This was the garden in early May. A blank canvas.

It's amazing how the garden changes in just a couple short months. That blank canvas has now been transformed and I will use it's produce to make art in my kitchen. Salsa, pickles, canned green beans and potatoes for the winter, tomato sauce, carrots for soup and the list goes on.
What are you growing? Have you tried something new this year?
Garlic clove and cubed cheese bread recipe coming tomorrow.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Make and Share Monday!

There is a new blog party happening every Monday called Make and Share. It is co-hosted by Katie and Kristy each Monday. Make something, blog about it and then head on over to the hosting gal's blog and list your post link on their blog. While you are there click on the other links there and get some great ideas.

This week I had some fabric I had purchased that I love and wasn't sure what to make with it. I sew a little but am not a seamstress by any stretch and so the fabric has sat. The girls are a little low on church clothing so I thought I might be able to pull off a simple elastic waist skirt. There are two fabrics that go together but for the first try I thought I would stay easy and just use one.

Side seams, sew a top pocket for elastic and a hem. I thought that it shouldn't be too hard and it really wasn't.

It came out a tad shorter than I had planned but I will lengthen it on the next one. It took me less than an hour, not too bad for a new outfit for next Sunday, eh?

I am wondering if I could make a matching hankerchief or headband for her hair with both fabrics. Hmmm, I better get on that.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Breakfast a la daddy

Years ago Steve started a tradition at our house. After cooking all week long I would be tired of cooking so he decided that Saturday mornings would be his time in the kitchen. The kids love it when he goes all out. Often times I will come down after sleeping in a bit to a kitchen full of food and kids working with their dad. What a great way to start the weekend!

There are homemade biscuits and sausage gravy, eggs, hashbrowns, bacon, you name it. If it's a breakfast food it will make it into the rotation. This last year he also added waffles with homemade strawberry syrup and whipped cream. Truly I am spoiled with this man.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Teriyaki chicken and vegetables

Recipe for the teriyaki marinade at the bottom. I use one large package of chicken legs or thighs and let them sit in the marinade in the fridge all day.

About an hour before dinner I start the brown rice since it takes quite awhile.

Then I find my good looking hubby, bat my eyes and he starts the grill.

Then about 10 minutes before the chicken and rice is done, I saute 4 green and red peppers and half a red onion in a little butter. A few minutes before they are done I add the remaining teriyaki sauce from the chicken. Make sure you let it boil for a bit since it was on the raw chicken.

Then I serve the chicken and veggies scooping out some of the cooked sauce and ladle it over the rice. Yum!

Teriyaki marinade
Place the following ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
1 1/2 cups soy sauce
3/4 cup sugar
4 TBSP olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves finely diced
2 tsp ground ginger
4 TBSP red wine vinegar
Total cost for dinner with marinade was a little less than $7, it should be even less when our veggies start coming off in the garden.