Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Tuesday February 24, 2009

Outside my window...I have no idea other than it's dark out.

I am thinking...how neat it was that Savannah said this morning, "Momma, do you know what I dreamed last night?" and then she proceeded to recap her nighttime wonderland.

I am thankful for...coffee, normally anyway. But today my coffee love felt more like a burden as I contemplated my choice in the grocery store. There I stood in the coffee aisle debating who to aid and who to deny. My usual coffee covered all the bases: decaffeinated without chemicals using the dutch water process, organic (chemicals used to grow coffee beans have been known to burn the hand of the children, yes children who pic them), shade grown meaning they did not bull doze a rain forest to grow the beans, and fair trade meaning they don't cheat the small third world farmer who grew the beans. Now you see my dilemma, no other brand in our store had all goverment regulated certifications. So, do I want to protect the rain forest but gyp the small poverty stricken farmer because no other coffee has all the certifications? Or should I save the children, earth, etc and buy the organic (but not shade grown so I guess I am not really saving the planet)?

From the kitchen...Mexican casserole served over mixed greens with lots of avocado. It was a new recipe that I tweaked just a bit. I added shredded zucchini to it. With that, the avocado, fresh tomatoes, mixed greens, beans, and olives it took on a fresh flavor and texture.

I am wearing...pajamas. Bummer. By the way, thanks you Meagan for noticing that I had on a decent outfit last week. You are so sweet! But, I promise I was dressed cute earlier! Maybe I should report what I was wearing and that would be jeans, heeled brown boots, purple shirt with a fitted, short sleeved brown jacket that ties at the waste over it.

I am reading...not Jane Austin's Persuasion. I just couldn't make it through that book. Moving on to more exciting material, my mom sent me more Amish books. This week I started Beverly Lewis' trilogy, Annie's People. She is a great christian fiction author and I promise those Amish folks provide plenty of interesting material. However, I must caution you. Her books will make you want to bake warm homemade bread, host a corn husking bee, and puree your own applesauce with a good girlfriend or two (I love how the housewives work together! No one tries to do it on their own)in preparation for winter. All right Cari, we need to get together and start your garden!

I am hearing... Savannah's bath water drain. This is my cue to wrap up blogging.

A few plans for the rest of the week...the usual stuff plus play dates and we hit the 12 mile mark in our marathon training.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Relay for Life 2008
Raising money for the American Cancer Society, our MOPs group walked from 7PM to 7 Am. That's right, all night long. It's coming up again in one month. Please consider donating.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Tuesday February 17, 2009

Outside my window... grey, cold, and wet. Same as last time.

I am thinking...how nice it will be to get away this weekend. Mark and I will be staying downtown (Dallas) at the hotel we stayed in the night of our wedding. We didn't actually plan that part, it just kind of happened. We will be walking over to the arts district to see the King Tut exhibit (I have been waiting for this for months!) and then out to a nice dinner where I will get to wear my new cocktail dress Mark got me for Christmas. That's a big weekend for the Peteets!

I am thankful for...one of the best Valentines Days ever. Savannah helped me make baked ziti while asking questions about everything from the freshly grated nutmeg to my choice of cheeses. I enjoy cooking with her at a leisurely weekend pace. We also had roasted garlic bread, broccoli, and creme brulee. Although everything on the menu is a favorite of Savannah's, creme brulee by far tops them all. What could be better than combing dessert and fire? And nothings cooler than a mom with her own blow torch! Oh yeah, and she had a Fancy Nancy moment when we ate off our china by candlelight. The whole experience from scratch to finish was enjoyable for everyone.

I am wearing...big gold hoops, chocolate brown dress pants and an American Eagle long sleeved brown and blue striped sweater.

From the kitchen...Greek cheese truffles served with cucumber slices and olives for an outing tonight. The rest of the family will be eating scrumptious leftovers from last night which is an open faced sandwich of red wine short ribs shredded served on top homemade sourdough bread with blue cheese. Put it all under the broiler and then add sauteed red onions with balsamic vinegar and mixed greens. The layers and depth of flavors in this meal cannot be described. It has to be one of the best meals ever!

I am creating...a more focused lifestyle through various studies I am in right now.

I am reading...Persuasion by Jane Austin. It's the only book I have not read of hers in spite of the fact it has sat on my shelf for years. However, every time I try to read it I fall asleep. Jane and I may not be seeing eye to eye right now. Or maybe I am just extra tired.

I am going...to Amanda's house for a MOPs mom's night out. We are having a game night with lots of tasty treats. Looks like there is going to be a big turnout so it should be lots of fun.

A few plans for the rest of the week...myself and fellow marathoners will hit the 10 mile mark this week, and then there is all the usual stuff plus a fun filled weekend for Mark and I.

The Simple Woman's Daybook

Monday, February 16, 2009

Mousse, Moose, or Cow?

This afternoon Savannah and I prepared the dessert for Mark's birthday dinner tonight.

Savannah: "What are we going to make?"

Me: "Chocolate mousse, one of Daddy's favorites."

Savannah: "Isn't a moose something that use to be a cow?"

Me: " No. Chocolate mousse is chocolate that has been whipped with egg whites to make it light, airy, and creamy."

Savannah: "And you put that over the moose?"

Me: "No. It's just chocolate. Mousse refers to what you do to the chocolate. Remember? You whip it?"

Savannah: "You whip the moose?"

Pause for 30 minutes as I am cooking dinner and then conversation continues.

Savannah: " So, the cow dies and turns into a moose. Then chocolate grows and covers the dead moose in the field until it's almost all chocolate. Then we whip it and cook it. And then we eat it! Yummmmm! I can't wait to have Daddy's birthday dessert! We get to eat moose!"

The most amusing part of this conversation was the fact that most children would be traumatized over eating moose for dessert. But Savannah was deeply intrigued as she played out the scenario in her head. She eagerly awaited the dessert course to try this concoction. Her culinary adventures trump mine by far. She could hang with Anthony Bourdain anytime!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Cliffs Notes

Here is the Cliffs Notes version of a previous post that some thought (my Mother) was written in riddles and made absolutely no sense. I will try to avoid the use of alliteration, allusions, analogies, imagery, metaphors, satire (ha ha), or puns. And for the sake of clearness, I will even limit the use of adjectives.

Yes, I was planning on focusing more on my career. Yes, I did think God was leading me in that direction and away from MOPs leadership. Yes, I was excited about the change.

But, God changed my direction instantly when I sat down at that leadership meeting. He spoke to me as plainly and directly as if He had been sitting in the chair beside me at that meeting. I knew He wanted me to not only continue on in the MOPs ministry another year, but He wanted me to lead our group. And in the instance He let me know I needed to step up and be the MOPs coordinator, He also gave me a peace about the postponement of my own dreams and goals that I had planned for next year.

I must stress to you all that I am competitive and I want badly to continue my career. So, to say He gave me peace in my heart as He revealed His plan for me is to say quite a bit. Talk about a peace that surpasses all understanding! Normally I freak out when someone changes my plan as I head towards a goal!

All that to say, I will be coordinator of MOPs next year and I am fired up and excited about it!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, February 9, 2009.

Outside my window...cold, dreary, black skies provide a constant drip of rain.

I am hearing...drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip, drip...you get the idea.

I am thankful for...God's direction. If I listened to it more often I could avoid so much unnecessary junk. For example working VBS out of guilt instead of God leading me to = lots of ibuprofen.
On the other hand teaching Sunday school and D-now with the youth (where God led me to be) = blessing beyond imagination and seeing the beauty of God working before my eyes.
Hmm, which is better? I mentioned to Mark that I don't think I'll work VBS this year, I just don't feel that's where I need to be. My husband sarcastically replied, "Ya think?"

I am thinking...how much fun the marathon is going to be! I love a good goal and my family (Mark and Savannah) appreciates it when I find one that doesn't involve them (sorry mom. you didn't escape this one!) To be truthful, I didn't initiate this goal, it was my sister Dawn. We picked the marathon on a Friday due to her pressing the issue and set our training plan. Then two days later she announced she was (unexpectantly) pregnant and dropped out. Now Mandy is considering that as an option out of this adventure ;)

From the kitchen...homemade sourdough bread, scrambled eggs, and just a dab of homemade plum jelly was the dinner of choice tonight. I never make anything fancy or fun on Mondays. But, it was pretty tasty!

I am wearing...PJs. Once a week Savannah declares a PJ day and today was it. However, she changed gowns 3 times so it didn't lighten the laundry load.

I am hoping...the sun will come out tomorrow.

I am reading...Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace for a class Mark and I are taking, The Power of a Praying Woman for a bible study I am in and that's it. I got a book from the library a couple of weeks ago and never even cracked it open before taking it back today. Between the financial class, bible study, Sunday school lessons, and D-now lessons I have had no time for recreational reading! I do read Sleeping Beauty several times per week if that counts. It's Savannah's favorite book and we read a chapter before every nap and bedtime until we have read through the book. And then we start again. This has been going non-stop since Christmas.

I am creating...plans for finances, plans for MOPs, plans for our house, plans for a weekend away for Mark and I, and I am sure there is something else. Can anyone guess my hobby? Yup. I love to plan.

I am going...to join Savannah and Mark on the couch to watch Star Wars for the 200th time when I'm done with this. I blame Jadan, Marcia!

Around the house...jammies, Star Wars, all things organized and in place for the morning.

One of my favorite things...the spray emitted from peeling an orange. It's a delicate fine mist but it yields a strong rejuvenating fragrance. Oranges have been my favorite thing to eat after each training session. That and about 4,000 other calories! Man am I hungry all the time now! It's scary too. I'm building muscles like the Incredible Hulk. Not pretty.

A few plans for the rest of the week...MOPs tomorrow, Mandy, Mom, and I get up to 8 miles this week (plus all our regular miles!), bible study, Valentines banquet, Savannah and I are planning a special dinner for Mark (something involving homemade pasta and prosciutto I'm sure), Mark's 36th b-day, Lani's birthday party, and then all the regular stuff.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you...

Here's to warmer thoughts, locations, and months.
Jost Van Dyke, The British Virgin Islands
May, 2004

Friday, February 6, 2009

Inquiring Minds Want to Know

As I have mentioned before I have had several requests for recipes and nutritional information and they are increasing in frequency every week. Procrastination has allowed me to avoid the decision of where to begin. But common sense says to begin at breakfast.

The following recipe works well as breakfast or a snack for both kids and adults. The chocolate and peanut butter flavors pair well with a banana, milk, and coffee. Who needs Wheaties? This is the breakfast of champions!

Breakfast Bars

2 ½ cups old fashioned quick oats
½ cup flax seed
¼ cup dark cocoa powder (preferably organic)
½ cup peanut butter
½ cup raw honey
1 – 2 tablepoons wheat germ
½ teaspoon spirulina (found at health food stores)
½-1 cup HOT water

Mix all ingredients and form them into patties for individual servings or put into a loaf pan and cut a slice as needed. If you make individual patties, they look nice (and taste great) with a 1/2 a pecan on top. I just put mine into a loaf pan a minute ago and topped it with chopped walnuts. Cover and store in the refrigerator. Warning: they don’t really taste good until they have cooled in the refrigerator.

My mom gave me this recipe and I ammended it a little. I would give credit to the original creator but I'm not sure who it is.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Moving on????

Last fall I had the realization that my child was growing up and moving on. She asks to go to school every day and is a bit disappointed when I remind her she only goes to school 2 days a week. As she moves on, so must I. My life has been focused around the home since her birth but what will my focus be as she moves into her school years? Where will my time be spent?

Well, there was no hesitation in my answer to the last question. My career!!!! I have been chomping at the bit to tackle my own goals. Oh, I'll always put family first but I'm great a multitasking ;)! And as Savannah matures, I have more free time that must be filled. It's not so much a paycheck I am looking forward to as it is the achievement. Call me shallow if you like but it's the truth. I love the idea of succeeding in my desired field and I feel I have waited my turn patiently. For the past several months I have been moving in this direction with all the excitement and anticipation of a second grader awaiting summer's arrival.

With the moving out of the baby and toddler years comes the leaving behind of other things. One such thing is MOPs (mother's of preschoolers, a national organization with a local chapter here in our little town). I have served on steering team with much joy and reward for the past three years. I've met some of my best friends, learned many lessons, and grown as a leader through this organization. But this year I was not feeling God calling me back to serve another year. Moving on and leaving it behind.

I did however decide to attend an area MOPs leadership meeting a couple of weeks ago in hopes of getting more speaking engagements. MOPs has provided me an outlet to speak on non-nutrition related topics (ahhh, so refreshing not to get asked about carbs for once!). I printed up a short bio and list of my most requested topics (even nutrition ones) with the plan of distributing them to other MOPs leaders. Groups are always looking for new speakers and I was happy as a rose in the sunshine to provide my services!

The day of the meeting I was 15 minutes late due to an accident on the highway. Embarrassed that they had already started, I quietly took my spot. I sat my bag down, looked up at the speaker. She spoke one sentence and I knew. I am suppose to be coordinator of MOPs next year. No career, no moving on. God wants me here.

For those of you who don't know about this organization, the position of coordinator is a big job and there have been many years we have had trouble finding someone to fill those shoes. It's a big commitment. But surprisingly there was no sensation of loss over my postponed dreams. Only peace.

I wish God worked like this every time. I didn't pray about this over months wondering which path to chose, He was literally steering me in another direction. And in an instance He let me in on His plan and gave me peace over His decision. If you knew how badly I desire a career you would know the depths of that statement. I have goosebumps right now as I type.

So, because I don't "need" (a.k.a. I don't have 30 diapers to change per day) MOPs anymore it puts me in the perfect position to minister to those who do. But really, let's face it. I would have missed that fellowship. I "need" the organization just as much as the mom with a one, two, and three-year-old, just in a different way.

Now, here we go!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Retro Wednesday

Yesterday on the way to school Savannah asked, "Momma, will I always have you?"
"Well, I still have my Momma. Remember, Grandma is my Momma. I just don't live with her anymore now that I am an adult, " I replied.
In a sweet voice she assured me, "Momma, I will always want to live with you. Even when I'm grown."

I'll be sure to send her the link to this post when she is 18!

Savannah's first birthday. Dallas, TX
Today before lunch Savannah threw her arms around my neck and gave me a genuine, heart felt bear hug and then said, "Momma, I like you more than a tornado!"
I have no idea where that came from but I'm pretty sure it translates as, "Momma, I love you a bunch!"