Wednesday, July 29, 2009

summer brain guessing game

I'm not reading or writing much in the way of blogs these days. How 'bout playing Guess Who Ate That Bratwurst! with me. In our home, no two people share the exact same taste when it comes to dressing a dog...or brat in this case. (I can't decide if this post is funny or lame. Probably both. But, play along.) If you can match the right family member to the (highly NOT recommended) Cheddar Brat (from Aldi), you win. And what will you win?? Braggin' Rights. enjoy.


A.


B. (ummm...duh!)


C.


D.


E.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

mein morgen mit miles

(felt like I needed some alliteration...had to borrow German)

This morning was the last morning for picking Summer raspberries. After dreaming that I slept in and missed out on the opportunity, I awoke at 6:30, got ready and crept into Miles' room to see if he still wanted to go. He was deeeeeep in sleep, but still nodded with sealed-shut eyes communicating that, indeed, he'd rather go than sleep. He loves nature. And eating right off the plant is one of his favorite things. It's so swiss-family-robinson...so adventurous for a city kid. By his own estimation, it appears he ate a pint of raspberries. (And, FYI, we picked 7.5 pounds!!)

We spoke almost nothing to each other while we picked. Here's the highlights from when we did talk:

On the way there
Me: "Are you okay? Do you want to sleep on the way?"
Miles: "No. It's just that my brain shrinks when I sleep and I can't think yet."

Miles' observation on the way home
"Mommy! That store's sign said 'polytheism' and that means that they worship more than one god...that's weird."
(I have no idea if he read the sign right...I didn't see it.)

Feeling hunger pangs on the way home
Me: "Miles, now that we're on Cedar, it reminds me of Fat Lorenzo's. If it were open at 9:30am, I'd totally go there. Pizza sounds awesome."
Miles: "Pizza sounds awesome because you're pregnant."

Me, "Mi"-guy and our fruity booty!

*mental note to self...do NOT wear favorite jeans while picking raspberries!!! Knees will most definitely be stained with raspberry juice!! This is a major bummer!

Oh...and for the local folk: We went to Lorence's Berry Farm just south of Lakeville. Fall raspberries will be ready starting mid-August!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

six months pregnant (updated w/ photos)

I'm not a fan of pictures of me. But, Greta made a good point. It was pretty cheap of me to avoid this. I have no cute photos. Just me in front a cluttered fridge and a half-destroyed family room. It's pretty awesome. Try not to get too jealous.






Sadly, what I look like today is what I hope to look like after I have the baby.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

i broke my coffee pot

I knew it was only a matter of time.
Glass Coffee Pot and Corian Sink, meet Klutz (aka Jenna).

Thankfully, I'd acquired an espresso machine from my sister about a year ago. And the Latte Diva taught me well. (By the way, her latest post is a kid story post that you don't want to miss. HI-larious.)

So, when I'm not taking kids to the pediatrician first thing in the morning, I have time to make this:


But, today, no such luck. Do you know what happens when I don't drink coffee in the morning? I munch on funsize Snickers and Rolos. All. Day. I've consumed a ridiculous amount of chocolate today. Seriously, it makes coffee drinking look like a healthy pregnancy choice.

What happens to you when YOU don't get your morning caffeine??

Monday, July 13, 2009

they waited and waited and waited on the Lord

And God heard their prayers. He didn't forget.

Congratulations, Dawn and Lee! Looks like Olivia was worth every sigh and tear of longing. I know well that the journey was so painful and so long (more than three years!!). But, every time I look at you all together, the memory of the "labor" fades into deep joy.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

for those of you who grew up on t.v....

Honestly. How often do you think of this??? For me, it's every time I tell my kids to sit down. I wanna say, "Sit, Avery, sit. Good dog. woof." But, I don't.


berry productive

Don't you love those days when you accomplish more in three hours than you did all week? Okay. Maybe that's an exaggeration. But, a few weekends ago, the boys and I picked strawberries and that very same day the strawberries were transformed into a multitude of delights!

Six pounds of fresh-picked strawberries went towards one batch of strawberry freezer jam, a batch of strawberry-blueberry freezer jam (not worth it...it tasted the same, but had blueberry remnants suspended throughout), an amazing Strawberry Quick Bread (from Simply in Season), and a HUGE batch of Strawberry Bran Muffins. I improvised this recipe. Tasted good, but not because it tasted like strawberries. Despite the 2 or more cups of mashed strawberries, it tasted like really good plain bran muffins.

(And I'm not trying to brag or anything...but...it was the same day we made Guatemalan Stew with the Misners. I'm just saying...it was a rare and productive day.)

Great Helpers!




Savoring the jam, yo. I have ONE of these left!!!




ehhh...I was excited about these. See how pretty? But, really. Not much strawberry flavor. I'm confident they were healthier, though, since I used the strawberries in lieu of most of the oil. I didn't miss the fat at ALL, and I'm not one of the light/diet/no-fat types. I just wanted to use my strawberries.



Next up, RASPBERRIES!!!! I hope to pick some this week!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

confessions, random thoughts, updates

1. Confession. I went to St. Louis for my Dad's 60th birthday. I know, I know. I told you I'd see you (hopefully) next time I came to St. Louis. I didn't lie. It's just really complicated visiting your hometown. The grandparents are hard to pull away from and our trip was short.

2. Jillian just threw a paperback book at my head. This was alarming, but also an interesting study of human nature. She received a firm, "No!" and a hand-smack. This didn't phase her. Then, I said, "Say, 'I'm Sorry'." She barely uttered out a faint "hah-wee", and started to burst into tears. Saying "sorry" was more difficult than receiving discipline. So interesting.

3. Every time I dust my blinds, I promise myself I'll never let it get that bad again. People, they look baaaad.

4. When I was in St. Louis, I finally transferred hundreds of pictures from my camera to my hard drive. Hopefully, I'll start posting more pictures now. But, not today.

5. Confession...Tomorrow is Jillian's second birthday and I have not made a single firm plan.We heard that there's a free concert downtown. Jillian happens to bee-bop to this guys music. So, I ask, Is it so bad to take a 2-year-old to a show for her birthday? I am HORRIBLE at celebrating and recognizing birthdays. Can you tell??? I know one day I'll look back and wish I was the "queen of theme" for kids' b-days. I'll see some brilliant unicorn cake and think, Oh! How I wish I had known about this when my kids were little...or not.

6. From the moment I found out I was pregnant, I worried about losing the baby. This is normal for me, but it gets more intense with each pregnancy...and with each day. Because of the fears, I start out detached. But, as I'm nearing the third trimester, I am pleading with the Lord to let me know this baby alive. I love this baby very much, but have learned that a mother's love doesn't insure anything.

7. Confession. I am so ridiculously intrigued by Michael Jackson's "kids". Do you really think they are his? I can't help but wish for some autobiographies in a few years sharing what it was really like!! I didn't follow much of the MJ hype, but I'm totally curious about Paris, Prince and...Blanket??!!

8. Just read My Sister's Keeper. You probably know it's a newly released film. Are movies EVER better than books? Don't they always disappoint? Not that I loved the book, but I can tell already that I'd be annoyed. For instance, Alec Baldwin (51 years old) plays an attorney who, in the book (if I did my math right), is 35-ish years old.

9. It's summer. We're having burgers for dinner again. Weekly. We have burgers (at least) weekly in the summer. Is this normal? What's your weekly meal (if you have one)?

10. We haven't had "the talk" with our kids yet. I'm starting to understand why people put this off forever. Taking advice. Starting...now!!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Happy 4th of July! (delayed!!!!)

This was supposed to post on the 4th...I have no idea what happened.

Hope you're safe, enjoying fireworks and experiencing...peace!


video

Friday, July 3, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!!!



Some things you might not know about my super awesome Dad...

1. He adopted me when I was 8 years old. (And, as the youngest, I'm still his baby!) Despite the fact that he became a father overnight when he married my mother, he has always been an amazing father. He's very wise and thoughtful. I remember thinking this even as a little kid. It didn't take perspective to realize this. I've always known that I was incredibly blessed to have him for my father!

2. He's my technological hero! Some people think that I have some savvy just because I have a blog. (Please. Those of you who blog know that it's just as easy as typing an email!) I will admit here that I can never even remember how to back up my computer. Honestly, I don't know how to do much more than check my email and write this blog. Every time something goes wrong, my Dad is my go-to guy. How many people my age can say that about their parents??

3. He is the BEST encourager. He encourages in the Word and in truth. He doesn't tell me exactly what to do in a certain situation. He reminds me how to have faith in EVERY situation. He reminds me how to apply seeking the Kingdom of God first in all situations. If I love him for nothing else, I love him for his faithful encouragement.

4. He's brilliant. I love that my childhood memories include him painting the house, building beautiful cabinets, teaching me how to use a belt sander and a drill press, growing a vegetable garden, making pickles and freezer jam, knowing the answer to every one of my questions (especially anything to do with science!), identifying every kind of fighter jet, and don't forget...he's a computer genius.

5. He's somewhat predictable in what he's going to say (unlike me!). He has a exorbitant amount of Dad-isms. When I was a little kid, I only got my allowance if my room was clean by Saturday afternoonish. I always procrastinated until the very last moment. I could count on my Dad to say every week, "Well, Jen, you just made it under the wire." There are so many, but I'm not going to "make it under the wire" if I don't wrap this up. (Neely, hook me up with some classic Dad-isms in the comments?)

It's late. My Dad has already celebrated his 60th birthday today. But, I couldn't let the day pass without posting some thoughts.

Dad, I love you! You are such a special blessing to me! Happy Birthday!

this is not a foodie blog, but...

I kinda forgot to show you how to fire-roast your tomatoes.


1. Slice your Romas lengthwise in half. And brush on a touch of olive oil on the cut side.




2. Grill them on the cut side first for 5-8 minutes. Then turn them over. Grill them until the skins get a little charred.




3. The skin should peel off easily. This is what they'll look like. Use in stews, chilis, whatever. Actually, I've enjoyed roasted tomatoes on hamburgers. Let me know of any other uses.