Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Wonder of Weekends!

So... I was bored.  Really restless.  And I decided that I needed to go on a beauty hunt with my camera.  There was still a bit of day light, so I grabbed my camera and set out to see what I could see.
 (I didn't go far... in fact, I just stayed in my own yard... I guess I wasn't too adventurous... but, it is cold outside, baby!)

I was going to head out back... but, I got distracted. Then, we were hungry.  And it was Friday night.  I talked my dear one into taking us to one of my favorite places.... Skipolinis!  I particularly like it here because there's so much "scope for the imagination" (Anne of Green Gables).  Really.  There is.  Take this, for example: (you need to click on it to enlarge it to get the sparkling lights effect)
Night time... outside.. under heat lamps... music playing...
This place boasts a Prego Pizza,

which is supposed to encourage labor, so we were interested for Shasta's sake, because about now she is looking like this:
Anyway, we had a lovely evening and I was ever-so-thankful that I remembered to bring my camera!

(That's saw dust on the floor... something about it absorbing grease when food is dropped... some such nonsense... but, it's fun to walk on!  I've been getting ideas for my kitchen!)
And with all the inspiration of flowers and sparkling lights, we were motivated to take couples photos:


So, to wrap it all up... yes, my dear one did buy me a lovely rose and flower... no, my daughter did not go into labor for having eaten the Prego Pizza.  Drats.

Then, Sunday came and I had a beautiful time at Bible study and enjoyed the church service very much, ate a quick lunch and drove my 16 year old girl back to Santa Cruz and picked up two of my boys at the same time, then drove back home to feed us delightful home-made sub sandwiches, followed by Bible time and internet research to discuss why what they are being taught about evolution isn't necessarily truth... and now after blogging a bit, it's time for some sleep.  Blessings to you and your families...

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How To Live - 2010

This video says so much... It shows what it means to me to take life's hurts and choose to grasp each bit of beauty anyway... It represents such a tugging in my heart when I see the faces of my children... It speaks of love and acceptance that occur over time... These are the highlights... some of my favorite photos of 2010. 

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Work, Play, and play some more!

Saturday was beautiful and warm... sunny and clear... a day of work and play.  The guys were busy trimming trees and hauling brush.

Most of the photos that I share are just "ooc" (out of camera) (wow, how's that for camera terminology!)  I rarely play too much with them at photo sites, but I fell in love with this one and goofing around with it... Here is is OOC and then "messed with" at Picnik...

Because there was no wind in the evening, they were rewarded with bon-fire time. 
I was amazed at what my camera caught... I had it on night shooting because I don't know enough about manual settings in the dark with sparks to capture just the right shot.  I am impressed at what the camera did all on it's own.  In one of them you see each speck of ash floating in the air!!

Now I am off to relax a bit on this day of rest... being thankful for all the blessings in life... and patiently waiting for my grandson to make his grand arrival (soon... very soon... we hope... I think... !)

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Stitchin' through January... weeks' 2 and 3

Whether it's a doctor appointment for my expecting daughter or an evening relaxing, I have been trying to continue this large project.  It seems like I get very little done when I look at the entire project... So, anyone who wants to encourage me along here, I'd sure enjoy the comments!  LOL

Now I am off to work on basic chores and the garage for a spell... Is there a way to glamorize all that us moms and wives do?  I suppose the best way of working through chore days is with some music and plans in the back of your mind that you toss around... plans to gather 'round the table at night to play games and sip on tea or cocoa or some such thing... plans to enjoy life fully. 

May your weekend be blessed! 

Soup's On!!

I feel rather proud of myself.  Since I don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen... and since I have not always been as thrifty as I could be in using "leftovers", I had quite a successful previous week!

I baked a turkey.  The next day Scott used some of the meat to make tortilla wraps, with avacado, lettuce, tomato.  Yumm.  He made me a couple of them, too.  It was so sweet to be served!  (Thanks, honey!)

Then, I diced up potatoes and carrots, cooked them up and used half of them for a turkey pie.  My girl, Shasta, helped put it all together with a fresh pie crust and dinner was served.  (We used gravy from a jar... it was simple and tasty!  No leftovers!)

The next night I used the rest of the previously cooked potatoes and carrots in an adapted version of turkey soup from here   I really enjoy Savannah's cooking site because she does the work and enjoys it all, and I just copy her!  I took her turkey soup recipe and used my turkey leftovers, otherwise following her recipe.  But, then, Scott came into the kitchen and tossed in some pasta... right into my pot!

 This morning I am making stew, following a recipe from the cooking section of Pioneer Woman's blog

And that's what's been up around here for meal time...

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

For God'g Glory... Huh... So, it's not about me? (yeah, it's not!)

During a busy weekend, I soaked in all that being in church had to give me.  Early morning Bible study found me sitting, listening, hearing from others... quietly.  At the moment I was exhausted.  Last week was quite weary-ing. (Is that a word?) Then my teens came in for the long weekend.  I loved connecting with them, but I was also working part time.  Sleeping very little.  So, at class on Sunday morning I sat... taking.  Then asked for prayer support because just getting through the days of another week seemed monumental.  As parents, Scott and I are facing very large challenges... wearying circumstances.  Within minutes of my dear friends' (classmates) prayers, I felt strengthened.  That's what the body does for us.  We are not alone in our faith.  Our brothers and sisters are there and that fellowship and their prayers work in our lives.  I am very glad that God made it clear that we needed each other in our faith.  To God be the glory!

This morning I was reading in I Kings.  As I sat down to read, enthusiasm increased.  Here were my thoughts: "This is the Old Testament.  There are so many thrilling, incredible, miraculous stories to read!  What will I come across today?  This is gonna be good!"

I Kings 18: 36-37 "O Lord, God of Abraham, Isaac and Israel, let it be known that I am your servant and have done all these things at your command.  Answer me, O Lord, answer me, so these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."  (Part of a very exciting story when Elisha challenged the prophets of Baal to see which God was real)
 And the relevance hit me.  This is for today!  The words Elisha prayed are for me.. today!  No, I am not going out to build an altar and sacrifice a bull.  But, what AM I doing?  Am I asking God to bless my life and be involved in all that I am doing... so that others will know Him?
Back in High School I was involved with a family that led a small group of teens who were involved in praying for peers and sharing Christianity at school.  The dad asked me one evening, "Why were we created?"  He had that look on his face that grown ups get when they expect that you do not know the answer.   I sat, thinking a minute or two and answered, "We were made to glorify God."  It felt great to see him amazed that I would know how to answer.  But... did I know how to live it?  Not really.

Much of my life has, sadly, been about me.  When I am unsettled and longing for something, it isn't for God's glory.  When I look around and want a fabulous vacation... or new clothes... to be stylish and pretty... is it for God's glory?  When I look around and see laundry, children to raise, a husband to encourage and a community where I attend church, Bible study and work part time, do I see the opportunity to bring God glory?  Too many times I am more interested in my own happiness than in God's glory.  So, this passage speaks to me that our choices every day should be about glorifying God.  In the moment... when something is lost... when I'm tired... when I am dealing with an ornery child... when my spouse in needy... when I am on the phone... when I am driving... when I am dreaming of future plans... when I am at rest... Why?  "So these people will know that you, O Lord, are God, and that you are turning their hearts back again."

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's not Tuesday, but this is sure Tasty!!!

Just about any time Scott turns to me and asks, "Where would you like to eat?" I answer once again, "El Taco Factory!"  It's my favorite place to get a quick bite.  While it's not restaurant dining, it is simply delicious and the people there are so friendly.

Scott ate here on the day it opened, met Nacho and has been friends since.  (That was about 5 years ago, I believe... not exactly sure, though.)   Nacho runs a very clean place with fresh foods.  His staff is professional, very friendly and they really know how to cook authentic Mexican food.  When Nacho is here, he often pulls up and chair, sits right down and talks with you.  He learns about your family, remembers later and asks about them.  When I go in, his face lights up and he calls out, "Hey!  Miss Scottie!" 

As mentioned, the food is always so fresh.  The guacamole is superb.  Our favorite entree to order is taco de lengua (with soft corn tortilla).  Yummmm.  Their lengua tastes like the most moist, flavorful roast you've ever, ever had.  It's topped with fresh cilantro and chopped onion.  A few of the children don't eat lengua (well, they USED to, until they were told what it is), and they really enjoy the carne asada.

 Oh, and their "signature" sauce is homemade.  The green is spicier.  I always take the green.  It's just too good!!  I think I will buy a bottle of it to keep in my fridge. 

This is Victor's last year attending the elementary school.  Each Wednesday they get out early and there have been many times I've picked him up and we've headed over here to get a bite to eat.  It's great to have time just alone with him.  I will definitely miss this when he finishes out the school year.  Wednesday wont ever be the same after that...

A week ago his glasses fell off at school and were stepped on.  They were irreparable.  He looks so different without his glasses on!  I miss his big-eyed glasses look... We should be getting a call to pick up the new ones any day.

Well, that's about it.  Other than watching Shasta nest and prepare for childbirth... I'll post some nesting pictures tomorrow.  She's had a few "pains" this afternoon!!  Maybe the spicy food will set something in motion!  Maybe I should give her fresh raspberries tonight...

Blessings to you, my friends!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stitching my way through the year...

Well, I just came off of 4 days at the job... Now I have 4 days off!!  I feel just giddy!  Bring on the garage work... bring on the naps... bring on the homework projects... this momma is ready!

Okay, now that I got that out of my system... what I am really here for this morning is to share my love/hate relationship with cross stitching.  I love it because when it is done, I find it beautiful!  I love it because it requires me to (usually) sit and focus.  Well, I am not sure about that last statement.  I don't usually sit and focus because I want to.  So, cross stitching forces me to and I am not sure that I love that!  There are many things that I hate about it.  I never count each area correctly and my creations never match the original plan exactly.  I have to improvise here and there.  I hate it because it takes me forever to finish a larger project.  As in two years for this one:

 And a year or so for this one:

I am sad to say that I did a very cute bears and toys stocking for my son Stephen when he was a little guy... and it got lost. 

One day, a few years ago (4 years to be precise), my oldest daughter and I were out at a craft store.  She was about to turn 16.  We had not been getting along real well for the previous 4 years and I looked for opportunities to show her how much I truly loved her... even though we had experienced life on the rocky road... We slowly browsed the aisles, talking about how we'd like to make this or that (she is crafty like me) and when we came to the cross stitch aisle, this picture caught her attention.  She has always loved the angel and princess theme and I saw the admiration in her eyes, so I asked if she'd like me to make this for her.  I had NO idea what a big project it would be.  Truth be told, I have many times taken this out, telling myself to just do a little every day... only to put it all away and ignore it for months on end.  It has been our joke that this was to be her 16th birthday gift... then her 18th birthday gift... then her 21st.  She turns 21 this March and I am quite sure it will not be finished.  So, we started looking for other life landmarks to attach this gift to... We said maybe it would be ready to put in her nursery when she has a baby.  She is due any day now, so that is out.

In any event, I declared 2011 the "year of the cross stitch".  I joined a forum group that is going to post pictures and share their "handiwork" projects once a month this year.  I figure I'll share my progress here at my own "Holly Hobby" place, too.

These two pictures are what I started with this year.

And here is what I have added in, the first 10 days of the year.

Now I suppose I should set this aside and head into the monstrous garage for some more clearing, cleaning and organizing...

Blessings, Friends!