Friday, September 26, 2008

Curls & Cheddar Corn Chowder

I happen to love the art of cooking and serving food. Oh yes, and eating it! :-) So you will probably notice that I am often including something about food in my posts. For my birthday I got two soup cookbooks from one of my sisters and her husband. We are having so much fun trying out these soups as a family. We have only made three soups so far, but are looking forward to making many more. One of the books is titled "The New England Soup Factory" and the other one is "The Culinary Institute of America Book of Soups". Wonderful cookbooks to own!! So here we are having a new soup from the Soup Factory book. It is Cheddar Corn Chowder. Delicious!! This was a wonderful soup! Dh so loves coming home to a warm kitchen with yummy, healthy food being prepared. It warms his heart. Along with the soup we are having salad and bread. Vision did the garnishing of the soup with fresh chopped chives. Nancy Campbell has really inspired me in the area of cooking with love and gusto for my family and others. She has a book/Bible study that I have really been encouraged and challenged by. It is called, "The Family Meal Table and Hospitality". We also have a DVD of her speaking about this subject called "The Family Meal Table". Both of these are just wonderfully inspiring! Here is our precious Beloved who is getting the MOST adorable curls! We can't believe that God has blessed us with such a beautiful, special baby. I am sorry that this picture is flipped wrong. Can you believe those huge, chocolate eyes?? They make my heart melt.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Pancakes & Park

There is a beautiful walking park near where we live. There are all kinds of trees and bushes planted there with wonderful, winding paths all throughout. We took the children there to walk and read God's Smuggler together. What a beautiful day! Someone walking by kindly took a family picture for us. Our three blessings! I love this picture and am sooooo thankful for how much Sunshine and Vision adore Beloved! If you were a mouse in our house you might get a bit nauseated from listening to us all coo and oogle over Beloved! :-) Remember Dad how I used to talk to our dog? Well, I am afraid things are even worse now with three of us all talking to Beloved that way. Beloved found this box of fruit that was left on our doorstep. Here is our precious son making pancakes for us. Someone gave us some buckwheat flour so this was our first attempt at making buckwheat pancakes. They were delicious! Vision loves to cook and at times says that he would like to be a chef like his uncle.

How Fun!!!

Last week the children and I got together with one of our neighbors to learn how to make chappatis. We invited another neighbor lady that is from Nepal to teach us. We had a wonderful time! She taught us a few things about the type of food they eat in Nepal and how they spice their food. I find things like this utterly fascinating. It is so good for our children to be around people of other cultures. Our town is really great for that-there are lots and lots of people of all different races here. To make the chappatis you just mix flour, salt, and water together until you have a soft, but not wet, dough. Then you roll them out into circles and fry them. We ate them warm with hummus on them. Yum!! The people from her country eat them with beans, rice, and/or vegetables. After we were done making a few dozen chappatis, we made fresh, homemade french fries. These were so yummy. She seasoned the hot fries with salt, chili powder, tumeric, and garam masala. I would have never thought to put those seasonings on fries, but it was wonderful. On Sunday our family made chappatis and french fries again for our lunch. Dh had not been able to try all of this wonderful food last week since he was at work, so we had a great time making it all for him. He thought is was all delicious as well. Another night we had Vawanee over to just sing and talk with our family. She is Hindu and told us in lots of detail what she believes. We had served her hot tea when she first came. As she was talking to us, she said, "Why do you care about me? Why do you serve me hot tea and sing beautiful music to me? You don't know me. Who am I to you? No one ever invites me into their home and gives me tea." We told her that we care about her because the Jesus that we love and serve cares about her. We are just praying and praying that she will see Jesus' love for her through us and that she will know that eternity is real. It has been such a blessing to be able to be so closely involved with our neighbors here. Apartment living is very good for that. :-) Here is the chappati frying. We also made some non-fried ones...sort of like a tortilla. Here I am rolling them out. She was very specific in her technic for rolling them out. She knows just how to do it so that they are very round. Vawanee talked and talked to us while she cooked. I am so glad that she felt free to tell us what she believes and thinks about things.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Sweet Words

"That I may make the voice of thanksgiving heard and may tell of all Your wondrous
works. Lord, I love the habitation of Your house, and the place where Your glory dwells....My foot stands on an even place; In the congregation will I bless the Lord!" ~Psalms 26:7, 8, & 12
I hesitated to post this post (so as not to draw attention to our situation), but I am hoping that this will encourage you all to really, REALLY trust the Lord...especially when hard times come. He cares so much for us and says that we are graven on the palm of His hands. Things have been a bit slim at our home due to the cost of Beloved's adoption and because dh wasn't able to work full time for about 3 months due to an injury and lack of work. Have you ever been in a place where you are counting your spare pennies, nickles, and dimes so that you can put $7.00 of gas in the tank? Or how about bread and peaches for supper? Have you ever gone weeks without even having $1? What about not being able to do laundry for a week due to a lack of quarters for the laundry mat? Handwashing in the tub anyone?? LOL Did you ever wonder if you will have food to eat tomorrow?
This is where are family is right now, but our Abba Father has been SOOOO loving and kind. We have not gone without one thing that we have truly needed. And, it has been so good for us and our children, not only to learn contentment, but to see God work on our behalf. We are so undeserving of all of the things God has blessed us with through brothers and sisters in Christ, but we are deeply, deeply thankful. "Seek first the kingdom of and ALL these things will be added unto you." "Don't worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself." And like the apostle Paul, we want to be content whether we abound or whether we are abased.
The first picture is a picture of what our fridge looked like a week and a half ago. :-) I don't believe we have ever had a fridge like that in our 12 years of marriage. The rest of the pictures are a praise to our Father. All of the food you see was lovingly given to us by the Body of Christ. Almost daily the Lord sends some big or small gift our way. Sometimes a gallon of milk, sometimes a $100 bill. O, how thankful we are. God overwhelmingly bless all of you that have so generously given. So, if your family ever goes through times like these, know that you have a Jehovah Jireh that will provide for all of your needs. "O how He loves you and me!"
A couple of days ago our beautiful Sunshine came to me and said, "Mama this is our mess of blessings!" She had a big smile on her face and was referring to the food that was covering our counters and the bulging fridge. I right away told her how true and lovely her words were. She knows how much I love a spic and span kitchen, but who couldn't enjoy a 'mess of blessings' ? Thank you for those sweet words dear daughter!
Father, I thank You for your lovingly, generous provision. Father, I want to be as faithful to You as You are to us. Help me to be truly grateful for all of the big and small blessing you have given us. Lord, we just want to love you with passionate hearts that are filled with contentment. I just praise you Lord and give you glory for all of the amazing things you are teaching us. I love You my Abba Father.
"Give us a passion that cannot be denied,
A vision that cannot be dimmed,
And an obession that cannot be quenched."

Thursday, September 4, 2008


Try as I might, I cannot seem to get blogger to allow me to add any more than five images to a single post. So, here are some pictures of us grilling pizza. Enjoy!!
Also, here is a sweet picture of our dd with her finished rag doll. She had so much fun making it! A friend gave the kit to Sunshine as a gift--thank you!

Pizza, Bread, and Huckleberries

My husband and I have found a really fun way of making pizza...we grill it! I read about it in the book 'American Pie' and was very intrigued by the idea of grilling pizza. It takes awhile since we can only grill one pizza at a time, but it is fun to casually eat for an hour and a half while chatting. Another love of mine is baking bread. I absolutely LOVE dough! I usually make bread once a week and pizza dough once a week. I have a goal though to someday be able to successfully make naturally leavened (sourdough) bread. That is my favorite kind of bread. I have made it many times, but not so successfully. LOL Some of it took a heroic effort to cut (bricks), but since I made it, we just had to eat it. Making bread for my family is something I love to do. Nourishing our families with healthy, home cooked food is so rewarding and fulfilling! :-) Monday was labor day and we had a wonderful family day. Our family and another family here, that we recently just met, went wild huckleberry picking. It was wonderful! We drove for an hour up into the mountains and then foraged all over the mountain side for wild huckleberries. For about 3 hours our two families picked. It was so beautiful and peacefull up on the mountain and the air was crisp and cool. I felt a bit like Heidi. :-) Both families got about 5 cups each of little berries. They were delicious! I made a Huckleberry Crisp with our berries and that was Yummy. After we were done picking, we drove a little ways down the mountain and had a picnic together. All of the boys then played baseball games together while we ladies watched the little ones and chatted. We got back home around 4:30 in the late afternoon and dh fired up the grill. By the time we had finished grilling, eating, and cleaning up the kitchen, it was time for family reading and then bed. We are currently reading the book 'God's Smuggler' as a family. We all love it! It is a book that really encourages our faith and to live radically for God, trusting Him to do the miraculous. Thank you Lord for wonderful family days out in your creation and for books that point us to a life of faith in You.