Monday, March 30, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, March 30, 2009.

Outside my window...lavender wisteria blooms drip down from the arbor over my porch, squirrels are chasing one another up a tree and my azaleas are on the verge of revealing their peak blooms. In other words, it's a beautiful spring day in east Texas.

I am thinking...what a wonderful weekend we just experienced. Our Robot Kindermusik party was a huge hit (pictures and highlights coming soon) and having the family all together was priceless. We really have a top notch, dedicated family. Folks drove in and flew in just so we could all be together and for Savannah's birthday of course!

I am thankful running shoes. You all may be wondering how my mutilated feet are doing. I bought another new pair of shoes at Run On a couple of weeks ago and set out to walk 20 miles in brand new shoes. The verdict? I wish I had bought them months ago! My feet are great now. And, I am thankful for my mother. How many people can say that their mom will do a marathon with them? How cool is that?

I am hearing...Curious George. We love that little monkey around this house. Without him I probably would not blog 1/2 as much!

From the kitchen...leftover grilled chicken from the weekend was served over a bed of fresh spinac with chopped squash, and cherry tomatoes, and finished off with a homemade balalmic vinnagrette. The fresh dish hit the spot! Leftovers can be soooo good.

I am reading...nothing! I have barely had time to breath the past few weeks. This week will be no different. I am keeping up with my bible study and looking forward to hitting the library in a couple of weeks when things slow down.

I am creating...nothing! Listen people, I am busy.

Around the house...things are mostly restored from the big weekend. I didn't clean too much today. Savannah and I spent most of the day just playing together. Priceless.

A few plans for the rest of the week...Mark will be out every evening to practice for The Sacrifice (big Ester drama that our church puts on). He is playing the part of the theif on the cross next to Jesus' cross and from what I am hearing he is putting on quite a show. Friends and even some friends' mothers are reporting that he is the jokester during practice. I'm so glad Mark can amuse everyone. Anyway,I have the final week of marathon training, work and Relay for Life (an all night walking event to raise money for cancer.) The day after Relay, Mandy and I will drive to Dallas and the marathon is on Sunday. Mark will perform the Sacrafice several times this weekend and Monday we will meet up for our anniversary. Basically, we all have big events and lots of responsiblities this week and we will all be running in different directions.

A picture thought I am sharing with you...

Centerville, TX. Spring break 2009.
This cousin moment was captured during a walk in the woods. We were staying at the house my grandmother grew up in. Many generations have played in these woods. I'm glad my daughter has had the chance to do the same.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Retro Wednesday

This was taken about two hours after Savannah was born. There were several newborn pictures to choose from. But I decided on one of she and I because, let's face it, your birthday is really about you and your Momma. So for that reason and the fact that it is one of only a handful of pictures of she and (I am the photographer in the family, therefore I am not in any pictures) I chose a picture of our first few hours of mother-daughter bonding.


Happy 4th Birthday Savannah!

P.S. I thought it was pretty brave of me to post a picture of my swollen self post partum! I'm learning to let go of those things.
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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Farm Livin'

Here are a few pics from a recent trip to The Farm.

Savannah appears to be on a long journey. And being true to her God-given nature, she travels off the beaten path.

However our main reason for venturing out into the country was to fly a kite.

Of course, upon our arrival the wind died down and Mark had to sprint in circles to keep the kite in flight all the while dodging the items shown in the picture below.

The sight of my Scion driving across a pasture of cattle never fails to crack me up! It's as if any minute now cowboy clowns are going to jump out.

The cows were more than amused by this. Somehow in thier creative heads they got the notion we might be bringing them food. All the cows followed us across the farm, surrounded us, and then stared at the Scion. They have been known to follow any old truck in hopes of a snack, but a Scion? That's funny. Maybe they thought is was a bale of hay instead of a vehicle carrying hay.

Notice as the cows move in even closer all their mouths are open. Now we are not only getting the stare down but loud mooing as well.

Savannah may not like dogs who jump up on her but, she has never hesitated to pet a cow more than 10 times her size. From the time she could walk she would chase after those big beasts. Yet, the girl will run from a yippy pomeranian.

Ace is a good farm dog. Here he is resting in the wild flowers on a lazy afternoon.

And nothings sweeter than a girl and a dog.

They really are good buds.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Sunday, March 22, 2009.

Outside my skies and sunshine.

I am thinking...that we had a lot of fun over the past week while we were out of town. But now exhausted, we are glad to be home. However, my to-do list is bigger than me.

I am thankful understanding husband. Savannah and I can be gone traveling for a while or I could be out training for a marathon and Mark is an ever supportive rock. It's easy to day dream what it would be like if I married someone else and even in a day dream it never pans out. Mark and I go together like dark chocolate and espresso. One just enhances the other, neither being the superior flavor. Yet one flavor lacks depth without the other and fails to reach it's full potential alone.

From the kitchen...I will be doing something with tilapia tonight but I haven't decided exactly what yet. After being gone a week, I desperately need to go to the store.

One of my favorite exercise. I know I have said that before but I love the post workout endorphin high. Friday, Mandy, Mom, and I did 20 miles and I could have easily done more. It was a beautiful spring day along side White Rock Lake in Dallas. The Arboretum boasted the Dallas Blooms Festival and the lake echoed back the season. Sometimes the more miles I go, the farther I want to go. It's an endless circle that makes it hard to stop. Obviously I am not a sprinter but I have killer endurance. Slow as molasses but constant as a river, that's me.

I am wearing... a fitted graphic tee that I bought in NYC, near China Town last spring and army green capri pants.

I am hearing...Mark mowing and a neighbor blowing.

A few plans for the rest of the week... MOPs, work (lots of that), getting ready for out of town guests and Savannah's 4th birthday party, bible study, helping some friends out, settling in from being out of town, and preparing for our marathon in two weeks.

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

Savannah, just before her 1st birthday 2006.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Retro Wednesday????

This is a stretch for Retro Wednesday but here are shots around our house from winter and late winter. A.K.A., last week. Most are gone just one week later or at least past their prime. Tightly closed spring buds are making their way out currently in the yard. Soon the wisteria and irises will burst forth just in time to be the backdrop for pictures of Savannah in her Easter dress.

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, March 11, 2009

Outside my window...the sky is on the cusp of a full day of spring thunderstorms. Storms a brewing!

I am thinking...that Savannah and I will have fun today and not get much done. I have been inspired to cut loose and fancy free by none other than Cari herself.

I am wearing...cream colored silk pajamas. Savannah is drawn to me when I wear these. They are a silky snuggle magnet.

From the kitchen...last night was my old stand by beef curry. And for the first time, I made it with beef instead of venison. Savannah ferociously gobbled up her bowl and Mark and I both went back for seconds. Good stuff.

I am thankful for...Paula Burks who seems to have me on her spiritual radar. She asked me to fill in as a group leader Monday night at a woman's event with our church. When I looked at the material I realized that this was the one session I had missed when I was apart of the class last fall. I was content knowing just that. But, after the session I shared with her that I took 2 pages of notes! I needed to be there and God put me on her mind for a reason. This is the 2nd time God has used Paula to get me where I need to be.

I am reading... Just finished the third and last book in the Beverly Lewis trilogy, Annie's People. Savannah and I will hunt down new books this morning at the library. I am still reading Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace for Mark and I's class and The Power of a Praying Woman by Stormie Omartian for the bible study I am involved in.

I am Intergalactic Robot birthday party for Savannah this month. Savannah wanted no outer space robot left out so characters from Star Wars and WALL-E will make appearances in the decor. Donnis will be coming to provide Robot Kindermusik entertainment. This all makes sense to Savannah but I don't think the other 4 and 5 year-olds will know how to pretend they are R2D2! Still struggling with the cake. Any ideas?

A few plans for the rest of the week...all the normal stuff, fellow marathoners and I hit the 18 mile mark this week, Mark and I have a wedding to go to (cocktail dress and dancing! Yea!), and begin to get the yard ready for spring.

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

Savannah, fall 2008

Photograph by Jeanne Damoff

Monday, March 9, 2009

Two for You!

It has been my intention for a while now to post more recipes. I'm trying, really I am!

The first one is easier to make than it looks. Some of the ingredients may sound foreign to you (and they are) but you will find them useful once you have them on hand. For example hoisin and fish sauce are great when thrown into a stir fry. And a stir fry is a cost efficient way to clean out all the leftover fresh veggies in your fridge before they go bad.

In the lettuce wraps below I usually use venison or beef. Sometimes I leave out the lemongrass.

You asked for inexpensive recipes and this fills my PF Chang cravings for MUCH less $$$!

Ground Turkey Lettuce Wraps

Meat Filling
1 ¼ lbs ground turkey
1 ½ tablespoons minced garlic
2 Serrano peppers, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh ginger, finely chopped
3 tablespoons lemongrass paste or finely chopped fresh lemongrass
6 stalks green onions, chopped
1 cup loosely chopped mushrooms
¼ cup loosely chopped water chestnuts
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1/8 cup peanut oil

2 tablespoons grated carrots
¼ cup fish sauce
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 limes, juice of
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 tablespoons sugar

To Serve
1 head iceberg lettuce, separated into cups or 2 heads boston lettuce leaves,
separated into cups
¼ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
¼ cup fresh mint leaves, coarsely chopped

1. In a large mixing bowl, combine the ground turkey, lemongrass paste, fish sauce, and salt/pepper until thoroughly mixed and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. In a large saucepan or wok, heat peanut oil and stir fry green onions, Serrano peppers, ginger, mushrooms, water chestnuts, and garlic until soft (about 4 min.) Now add the ground turkey and hoisin sauce then cook until done (turkey is brown).
3. Chop the fresh herbs and place each in a small serving bowl.
4. To make the sauce: In a small mixing bowl soak the crushed red pepper in lime juice for several minutes. Add the garlic, sugar, and fish sauce and stir to dissolve the sugar. Transfer to s serving container and add grated carrots. Serve at room temperature. Refrigerated, the sauce will keep in a tightly covered container for up to 5 days.
5. To serve: Arrange lettuce on a large platter surrounded by the containers of chopped herbs and sauce. To make a wrap, take the lettuce leaf in hand, scoop a tablespoon of meat on to the lettuce leaf, then add any herbs you like. Add a teaspoon of sauce onto the mixture on the lettuce leaf and roll and eat!

OK. The next recipe may shock you. In my defense I must say that we usually make this ONCE a year on vacation. The recipe is one of Mark's favorites that his mother made through his childhood. And I must say that it is perty tasty!

Orange Biscuits

1 can of biscuits (yes, premade as in not from scratch. I told you it was shocking)

Tang (I know, this recipe keeps getting worse, but stay with me)

Peach preserves

Take each biscuit and roll in dry tang powder until well coated. Place on cookie sheet and make an indention on top of biscuit. Spoon in a teaspoon of peach preserves. Bake according to package instructions.

P.S. Don't try the frozen biscuits. They don't work.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

For Anyone Who Doubts

Meagan just posted an amazing story on her blog. I encourage you to click on the link to her blog and be inspired. It's for those of you who doubt God is out there. It for those of you who are weary of praying. It's for all of us.

What a beautiful story.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Simple Woman's Daybook

For today, Monday, March 2, 2009

Outside my window...brisk dark coldness.

I am mutilated feet look like a cross between a burn victim and a bad squirrel bite or more like a squirrel has been nibbling on them for an hour or so and then someone threw diesel on them and then a match. Not pretty. Any good-lookingness I might be acquiring from this marathon training is negated by my leprosy ridden looking feet and the waddle in my gait for soreness.

I am thankful for... my friend Mandy. Let's be honest how many friends can spend this much time together without killing each other? We are together in MOPs leadership, church, bible study, and hours of marathon training. We have decided that a marathon is cheaper than therapy! If I really need to get a larger than normal amount of stuff off my chest, I just go so fast that Mandy can't breath and then I'm sure to dominate the conversation! I love you Mandy :)

I am wearing... PJs, but I was dressed earlier! I showered early after my workout.

I am hearing...nothing. Mark and Savannah are next door visiting neighbors. I sent them on an errand and if you send 2 socialites on an earned, they are sure to be gone an hour.

I am work out the kinks of my full day tomorrow and try to fit everything I need to accomplish into my schedule.

From the kitchen...homemade sourdough bread just out of the oven and white bean, leeks and kale (which I still say would have been a great name for Sean but I am the only one who agreed with Lee on this one) soup for dinner. It was awesome! This was not a dish Mark was excited about but he was pleasantly surprised. Tomorrow night...Asian lettuce wraps!

I am creating...a very creative budget! Seriously, I have never used so much stinkin' white out in my life! I need to get a pencil sharpener. Oh, and a bunch of other projects too.

I am reading...the second book in Beverly Lewis's trilogy, Annie's People. Jah, it's gut book I'd say. I got so wrapped up in it over the weekend that when Savannah asked me a question I almost replied, "Go ask your Dat." Gotta love them Amish.

Around the house...everything needs to be cleaned but laundry is done, multiple projects await my attention, and a bunch of fat cats (OK 2 fat and 1 extremely muscular) are sleeping.

One of my favorite things...uh, right now that would be moleskin!

A few plans for the rest of the week...lots of work, lots of projects, bible study, MOPs steering team meeting, gardening with a friend, and fellow marathoners and I will walk 14 miles Saturday morning along with all our normal mileage. Whoo hoo!

A picture thought I am sharing with you...

A butterfly Savannah and Mark made out of girl tinker toys.