Sunday, December 20, 2009


I think people would DEFINITELY notice Chad if he had this installed on his bike. I better start saving up now for Christmas next year.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

wordless wednesday - kung fu candy cane

it pains me to say ...

After much soul searching, I've finally decided that the girls will not be seeing Disney's "The Princess and the Frog". My concern all along has been the presence of voodoo, and wondering how the story would resolve itself... in other words, how was the spell broken? Well unfortunately, Disney decided to use a "good" voodoo practitioner to break the spell, calling upon the hero and heroine to "dig a little deeper" and find the solution from within. (Not my is from the insightful review by Dr. Russell Moore.)

I'm bummed. I wanted the girls to see a "princess" unlike others. A strong, confident, beautiful girl.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Saturday, December 12, 2009

paper Christmas stars

I have become mildly obsessed with Froebel stars this past week. These three-dimensional stars are also known as German or Danish stars, which probably have other names as well, are a traditional Christmas decoration in Germanic and Scandinavian homes.

I have had really good success using plain white craft paper on a roll. I had tried using standard 12x12" scrapbooking paper taping the joint, but it looked tacky. Apparently good quality wrapping paper also works well.

I don't believe the video tells you the supply needs: you have to cut the strips at a ratio of 1:20 or more; so, if you decide you want the strip 1 inch wide, you need the strip to be 20" long.

I'll post when I have a few that are complete: dipped in wax and glittered.

I found this beautiful version made out of sheet music over at the Abbie's Road blog. She gives good directions as well.

In the meantime, here's a great YouTube video demonstrating how to make them. (Part II is linked at the end of this video):

Friday, December 11, 2009

mcdonald's rant

Okay, no flack about MickeyD's please -- we went as a special treat for the girls today. Anyway, I got the girls Happy Meals. Now, I'm no big fan of the commercialization of childhood as you all know, with so much children's stuff having tie-ins to characters, but the occasional My Little Pony or Hello Kitty isn't the end of the world. But, what in the world? AVATAR themed Happy Meals? Isn't that movie rated PG-13? Now, Chad and I would love to see that looks exciting and well made. But for 3 year olds and up? Good grief!


Ilsa is really afraid of this little clock we have in the girls' room. Unfortunately, Ingrid ADORES it. It acts as a very gentle night light, and at 7:00 am (or other programmed time) changes from gentle yellow to a friendly green indicating that it is okay to get up. Ilsa told us that she had had a bad dream about the clock. In her dream, it turned bright red, jumped off of the dresser and ran over to her bed. Clearly a frightening image!

So, a couple of nights ago (well, really, very EARLY morning - about 2 am) Chad and I were woken up by a little voice coming through the baby monitor (which we still have active in the girls' room). We heard, "Ding................dong..............ding...............dong........." This went one for about 2 minutes. Ilsa was "ding donging" as a preemptive strike against Scary Clock.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

you know you are tired when... watch an entire 2+ hour-long movie thinking that it was the Director's "Vision" to jump around the space-time continuum, but really it's playing the chapters not chronologically, but randomly...

This is what happened to us last night. We watched the entire (awesome) new Star Trek movie on DVD. For some reason, the DVD player randomized the chapters. This is not even an option on our DVD menu!! At the end of the movie, I turned to Chad and said something to the effect of, "Wow! J. J. Abrams is such a good director. Even with all of that jumping around, I got the gist of the plot!"

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

amoretti blog is back, up and running!

One of my favorite blogs hasn't been updated recently...but she's back! Check out the Amoretti "Fortnightly Purse" blog for a chance to win one of her wonderful prizes.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

ten things to remember when your child is disobedient

Thanks to Tim Challies for the link. I liked this list so much that I printed it off and put on my fridge. I wish I had had this on Thanksgiving when Ingrid refused to change out of jeans for our once-in-10-years family picture at Grandma and Grandpa J's, and I didn't take it well.

10 Things To Remember When Your Child Is Disobedient

i'm baaaaaack

We just got back from a long Thanksgiving trip to The Great Green Pacific Northwest. Two weeks up there was refreshing. Smelling fir and pine in the moist rainy air is just what I needed to kick-start the Christmas season. Driving to my parents' home from the airport one of the first things that Ilsa said was, "LOOK AT ALL OF THE CHRISTMAS TREES!" Unfortunately I don't have any pictures. I couldn't kicked myself. I forgot the camera.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

two music faves have new albums

Mark Altrogge (Sovereign Grace/Forever Grateful Music) has just released the 9th album in the Hide the Word series - scripture memorization set to music: Walk Humbly. There are twenty scriptures (from the ESV) set to high quality contemporary music. Each verse is repeated at least three times, and the reference is given.

Canadian band, Down Here, who kind of exploded on the American Christian music scene last year with their song, How Many Kings has released a Christmas album; it includes the thoughtful HMK, along with as well as a remastered version of How Many Kings, 13 songs in total. I particularly like the reggae-ish "God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen." Down Here is so different from many contemporary Christian artists. Their lyrics are thoughtful, Scripturally sound, with interesting harmonies and high quality musicality. They are currently the only contemporary Christian band that I "follow" (I'm a little uncomfortable with that term, but not sure what else to call it). The album is available on iTunes or you can order from the band directly. I'm already listening thanks to iTunes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

veteran's day

I was over at the WTM boards this morning, and someone had started a thread regarding Veteran's Day. I started to make a mental list of all of those close to me who are currently, or have at one time been, in the service of our country during a time of war or conflict. It's a long list: husband (current), Dad (Korea), Father in Law (Korea), Paternal Grandfather (WWI), Maternal Uncle (Korea) and on and on. Thanks to each and every one of you in my immediate and extended family for your honorable service, dedication, commitment and sacrifice in wartime. Like last year, again I post...

In Flanders Fields

Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae, MD (1872-1918)
Canadian Army

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

wordless wednesday

my camera and computer are once again on speaking terms

My camera and computer must have had a really a really serious argument, because it has been over a week since they've spoken. Glad to have peace in the household once again. Here are pictures from "Candypalooza" (my flour scale tops out at eight pounds).

Saturday, October 31, 2009

punkin carving

"You didn't tell me you were going to kill it!"
- Linus from It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown

caramel apple recipe recommendation

If you love caramel, you MUST make this recipe...the caramel is stupendous! You will never look at a plastic-wrapped caramel cube again. I used Honey Crisp apples (of course).

Friday, October 30, 2009

tell me what you think of these posts on Halloween

I'm interested what you think about a couple of posts regarding Halloween:

This post over on the Stand to Reason blog talks about Christians worrying much too much about Halloween at the expense of not worrying about more important things...

This is another good one over on the Coffee Talk blog written Professor Rick Walston of Columbia Evangelical Seminary.

Speaking of Halloween, the maxim "Disney gave me unrealistic expectations about hair" is being played out in my home. I decided to do a costume dry run this afternoon. (Yes, this family does trick or treat). Let's just say my girls have COMPLETELY unrealistic expectations about what their hair is going to look like tomorrow night as they dress as Belle and Tinkerbell.

5 year olds just don't understand that can't have a Tinkerbell bun when you have a chin-length bob, and 3 year olds don't understand that Belle's ballgown hairdo was DRAWN and defies gravity.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Monday, October 26, 2009

blender pancakes

This hearty pancake recipe is great on a cold, blustery day. We never get those, so I just make 'em when I have a craving.

1 c. milk (or 1 cup plain yogurt, or a combination of the two totaling 1 cup)
3/4 c. whole wheat berries, NOT flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tbsp. sugar
1 egg
1/4 c. oil (I use olive oil)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • Blend the milk/yogurt and wheat berries about 4 minutes
  • Add the rest of the ingredients, blending just a few seconds until thoroughly blended
  • Pour batter onto well-oiled, hot griddle or well-oiled hot non-stick skillet, and cook until bubbles are clearly breaking the surface. Turn and cook until steaming nearly subsides. Don't overcook!
  • Serve hot with butter and real maple syrup. Mmmmmmm......

so you want to make bread, but don't know where to start...

Well, start here! I just posted a video at the bottom of this page demonstrating the no-knead bread method. It is so easy a 5 year old can do it. I'm not kidding. This is not the "artisan bread in 5 minutes a day" method. This method is what kick-started the renewed interest in artisan bread baking about 5 years ago, when the method was published in the New York Times.

After you watch the video, go to Breadtopia for more info. You'll catch the artisan bread-baking bug like I did, and you'll never be satisfied with store-bought bread again.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

not so hot kid-lit

Dr. Albert Mohler has an insightful perspective on the state of children's literature. Here's an excerpt:

In this sense, the books we read to our children reflect the cultural values of our age. Inescapably, these narratives for children reveal far more than a storyline. Indeed, the books tell us more than we may want to know about the tenor of our times.

Click here to read the full article, "Parents, Obey Your Children?"

Monday, October 12, 2009

another bread book to recommend

My newest bread book just arrived: Whole Grain Breads by Peter Reinhart. It was my birthday gift from the fam (I got to choose). This book in conjunction with the grain mill rounds out my collection of artisan bread baking tools. This book is not for the casual bread baker who decides some lazy Saturday afternoon that they want a loaf of bread for dinner. It requires planning, sometimes 3 days in advance. Many of the formulas require a sourdough-type starter (which had to be made weeks before!) or a biga made "yesterday". But this is the way I've already been making bread, and I have a starter in the fridge from which I will spin off a whole-grain starter. I'm excited!

a new church in ft. collins, colorado

If you live FC-way, you should check out the new church that is being established by our good friends, Vince and Kirsten in Fort Collins, Colorado, "The Town".

godly parenting

Another wise post from Pastor Andy, Trinity Church of Minot, ND. Here's a snippet:
Christian parenting rises or falls based on whether we parent according to the Law (focused on behavior modification) or the gospel (focused on heart transformation). The thought which struck me after I finished preaching which I wish I would have said is this: If our true goal in parenting is gospel-saturated, grace-driven heart transformation (which will give rise to increasingly more holy choices in our children as a gracious by-product, but not as the primary goal), then the most fundamental question we as parents should be asking ourselves when our children are increasingly recalcitrant, rebellious and non-responsively sinful is this: "How can I make Christ and His grace more beautiful, glorious and compelling to my child?"
So what can I do TODAY to make Christ more beautiful to my girls?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

honeycrisp apples are here

I just bought my first Honeycrisp apples of the fall at the grocery store this week. I squealed out loud, people looked, my girls thought I was crazy, and I didn't care. Life is very good.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

i'll have to remember this line

Instead of "Facebook" I'll be checking The Well Trained Mind Message Board
"Rhymes with Orange" as read on The Seattle PI website. Click the image to go to their site.

financial training

Ingrid has been wanting a flashlight for months, so, Chad decided that she could earn it. Watch that little girl move! For three weeks now she has voluntarily picked up our room, folded laundry, helped pick up yard debris, and done Ilsa's share of pickup when Ilsa dragged her feet. So last night on the way home from work, Chad stopped at Ace Hardware and bought her a REAL flashlight...not some junky pink plastic princess flashlight...a beautiful red Maglite. Hard work pays off!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

christmas joys & christmas toys

Just a mere 13 weeks until Christmas! This is when we really need to hunker down as a family and make an purposeful decision to NOT make this Holy Day a toy grab for our kids. However, there is an aspect of the celebration that as parents, we do believe, warrants a celebration of gift-giving. So. What to give?

The girls have been asking for a dollhouse. Have you priced nice, wooden dollhouses (not made in China) lately? Maybe this will be a combined gift for the girls, with a few little furniture pieces for each of them. I love the Plan Toys modern "chalet" dollhouse, but I don't think the girls would dig it. They aren't modern like their Mama. But isn't it cool!? It actually comes in two pieces, and the staircase is movable, too, so both girls could play with their own part.

I'm sure they would love this one, too, and it's a bit more traditional. However, I'm sure what THEY want is pink, flowery, princess-inhabited and plastic. They don't know this, but we really don't want to buy any more plastic junk, and no more battery-operated anything. (I'm not the only Mama who thinks along these lines, either. What prompted this post, was a visit to a fellow Well-Trained Mind Mama's blog about this very topic.)


This blog once more might be about BIKING as well as book and bread. I have spun 2 out of the last 3 days! Woo hoo!

Friday, September 25, 2009


I'm hostessing a baby shower tomorrow and have a TON to do today. I was bemoaning this fact not 2 minutes ago.
Me: "I have so much to do, I don't even know where to start."
Ilsa: "Starbucks?"
Waaaaaa???? Is she a genius? No, she thought "start" was "starbucks". Oh well...still fun to share.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

apparently she is paying attention in sunday school

Ilsa and I went to the grocery store yesterday. Up near the ceiling, there is a rather large painted mural above the long wall of dairy cases: cows, green rolling hills, trees, puffy clouds in a blue sky...

Ilsa looked up and said, "Mommy, look at that beautiful picture of the Promised Land."

Saturday, September 19, 2009

those laps at the pool are paying off

This morning, Chad participated in a 2000 meter open-water swim at Lake Saguaro located in the Tonto National Park system, 30 or so miles north of Phoenix. We dragged our family out the door at 5:30 this morning to get to the swim, which started at about 9:00. The last time he was able to do an open water race was a few months before we were married almost 14 years ago, and that one occurred in Lake Washington. I'm sure he liked this water a lot more...the water temp was 74 degrees today.

He did very well -- 3rd in his age bracket and 20th out of 76 overall (male and female) in the non-wetsuit bracket. There were quite a few serious athletes and triathletes there, as many use this outdoor swim circuit as training for triathlons.

Ilsa asked me how tall she would have to be to be in one of these races.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

world's brightest birthday cake

Today is my birthday! I really love my birthday, and I am happy that I am of the age which I have attained. Some of you know that Chad and I are birthday neighbors. He is about 24 hours older than I. Per his request, I baked him chocolate chip cookies. But I MUST have birthday cake. It's my thing. Usually I bake my own with loving care. Last year I even made real buttercream - the real way - with sugar syrup streamed into slowly cooking eggs simmering in a double boiler, then whipping in tons and tons of butter. But this year I just wanted to go down to the store and buy a grocery store cake. Nothing fancy, just white cake, white frosting. Maybe a few tasteful sprinkles or simple grocery store-style flowers. Nope. The frosting choices were as follows: neon blue with yellow frosting trim, traffic cone orange with electric blue trim, or alien green with fuchsia accents. I went with the green and pink, plus got beeeeauuutiful Tinkerbell rings as a bonus -- two for each girl.

So, Happy Birthday To ME!!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

pain de campagne

Made Reinhart's pain de campagne yesterday utilizing the new Nutrimill on the finest setting, grinding Wheat Montana Bronze Chief for the whole grain flour component of the recipe. Soooooooo good, I can't tell you! The crust was crackly thin but a bit chewy. The crumb was soft, slightly chewy with mild tang.

It could've used another 5 to 7 minutes in the oven, but I had to pull it a bit early. It was definitely done, but not perfect. I was running out the door as it was...I had to meet my husband and deliver two of the loaves to some friends.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

nutrimill just arrived!!!!!!

I am SO STINKIN' EXCITED! My long-awaited Nutrimill grain mill just arrived. I've already run my 2 cups of "cleaner grain" through the mill, cleaned it out and am ready to grind my first flour. I'm just so excited, I could bust.

The girls thought it was pretty neat, too. And this time, they didn't have to plug their ears while I attempted to grind wheat in a blender. It was not a deafening experience, although I wouldn't want to stand by it for 10 minutes.

Hmmm. First recipe. What to bake. I think I'll make Peter Reinhart's 100% whole wheat bread. Pictures forthcoming.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

a few things we did this long labor day weekend


...ate pears while standing next to a giant pear, wearing pear green.

...made lots and lots of cute baby shower invitations. Lots of them. And...

...watched a gusher of a thunderstorm dump inches of rain and even dime-sized hail.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

crazy wild bike stroller combo thing...

If I had $1,400 lying around I probably wouldn't spend it on this, but isn't it an interesting idea? If you are so inclined, it's available over at Sparkability.

dare ya not to sing along

Regardless of your politics, dare you not to sing along with this song...I've been humming all day.

Friday, August 28, 2009

product placement = amoretti

I recently discovered a wonderful clothing line, Amoretti by an ex-pat Mommy from Texas living in Oxfordshire, England. The clothes are made for twirling girlies like mine:
"I believe you shouldn't have to choose between beautiful clothes and practical clothes. That dressing up should be easy. That being a lady isn't old fashioned. And that "ladylike" most emphatically does not mean "fussy." And since Amoretti is so tied to my life, you could sum up the design philosophy as good old, down-home, American... but with just a touch of an English accent."
Click here to visit her blog and enter her "fortnightly purse" contest for all sorts of fun stuff. Poke around her website and be inspired...

I haven't had the privilege of purchasing yet, but hope to buy the girls something special for Christmas.

coupla recent crochet projects

The big honkin' snake for Baby Solomon.

Smallish baby blankie for Baby Boy Twin A...


Last night's bread with recipe from
The Bread Baker's Apprentice

Pugliese (say, "pooh-lee-ay-zuh")

cable-less update

It's been almost two weeks now since the big plug-pull. And what a great couple of weeks it has been. We have been listening to podcasts every night from The White Horse Inn, John Piper, John MacArthur, R. C. Sproul, or just listening to music, talking, reading, crocheting, etc., or the best thing, NOTHING playing. No noise. The quiet is calming. We also find we are going to bed much earlier now, and waking more refreshed.

For the sake of full disclosure, we did get a digital broadcast antenna installed so that we could pull free digital signals. We get ABC, NBC, PBS (3 great PBS stations - Create, Kids, and standard PBS), CBS and FOX, a local 100% weather station (which is important to have) plus a handful of independent and Spanish-speaking. But like Chad said last night when I asked him to see what was on, "it takes me about 20 seconds to surf through," and we were done with it. It is so much easier to turn off the TV now, and it is off 90% of the time.

Go ahead, pull the plug! It's wonderful!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

we are officially cable-TV less

What a feeling of freedom! The topic of time wasting, quality of watching and godliness has been heavy on our hearts. We decided and successfully killed the cable on Saturday afternoon.

I'm going to expand this post more...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

nice crochet pattern

I found this easy crochet pattern up on Ravelry. I hope to deliver it to my friends' newly-adopted child tomorrow at church.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

ingrid just asked THE QUESTION OF QUESTIONS...

I'm not making this up. Ingrid just asked this question 5 minutes ago. Remember, she's 5 1/2. I put down my dinner plate, ran into the office to type it into Blogger after we answered the question, of course. This is one for the memory book:
"Can God make everyone believe in Him? Why doesn't He make everyone believe in Him?"
Has she been listening in at the door during Tuesday morning women's Bible study? I wonder if she can rattle off TULIP, too:
Total Depravity (also known as Total Inability and Original Sin)
Unconditional Election
Limited Atonement (also known as Particular Atonement)
Irresistible Grace
Perseverance of the Saints (also known as Once Saved Always Saved)

Monday, August 10, 2009

things that are done better with the tv off

  1. pray
  2. read
  3. think
  4. sleep
  5. crochet
  6. conversation
  7. exercise - well maybe not this one as I need the distraction
  8. puzzles
  9. clean the house
  10. organize closets
  11. blog
  12. play with the girls
  13. contemplation
  14. I could go on and on and on but I need to take a shower...

yet another wise voice regarding tv

While over at Tim Challies' blog this morning, I found link to this blog post by Randy Alcorn regarding wisdom and television. I think the Lord is more than tickling our ears. Cancel it already!

Yesterday the TV was off and I just sat in the silence and crocheted while Chad read and the girls played with puzzles. (Well, it was off for a while, until we popped in a video for the girls -- the old BBC version of "The Silver Chair," which is actually high quality entertainment.) Our sermon yesterday was "How to Listen to a Sermon" (the audio should be posted presently if it isn't already there) -- listening is becoming harder and harder these days because of all of the visual input. (See "Amusing Ourselves to Death" for more on this.) Listening is going to have to become a learned practice in our modern era.

At this point, I feel like I'm starting to make excuses...why haven't we canceled the cable yet? There are so many better things we should be doing. Am I afraid that I won't know what to do with myself? Hardly. I have a list a mile long of special projects that could be completed at a leisurely and possibly enjoyable pace if I didn't have the idiot box on every night.

Friday, August 7, 2009

generational wisdom

The girls and I went to that fun big-box store yesterday afternoon that has the concentric red circles for a logo in order to pick up a few necessities. As we walked into the store, a woman approached us with a warning that, "the credit and debit lines are down. They are only accepting cash and checks." Uh oh. When was the last time I had more than $7.89 in my wallet? I know that amount because that is what I had yesterday: just enough to get the girls the promised snacks, and myself a tall, cold Venti-Passion-Iced-Tea-Unsweetened, please, at the co-located St*rbucks inside the store; we sat and waited for the end of the tragedy.

But this is what I noticed: the few people who were in line who were buying, and there were VERY FEW, were of the older generation. I would guess they were 65 and up. They had checks. They had cash. Their collective shopping days weren't stopped dead in their tracks.

Something I have been thinking about lately is this: we are going to have to be very purposeful in teaching the girls about money when all they see are the debit cards whipped out of Mommy and Daddy's wallets. Check are still a bit esoteric, but at least it is paper, like cash. I think they need to see more cash, and start to understand the true value of money, not just what money can buy.

And if that giant ATM-controlling satellite in the sky comes crashing down one day disabling all electronic financial transactions, what in the world will we do then?

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

yet another cute quote

In our Bible lesson this morning, we learned that God made Adam and Eve differently than he made us, and this demonstrates Him as the Creator of all things. I asked the following questions:

Mommy: "Ingrid, who was the first man?"
Ingrid: "Adam."
Mommy: "Ilsa, who was the first woman?"
Ilsa: "Madam."

That being said, I wholeheartedly recommend this Bible curriculum by Sinclair Ferguson which quickly straightened things out.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

oh be careful little eyes what you see...

On the way home from Bible study today, Ilsa proclaimed, "Mommy, it's a Clicker Car!" This seems to be the week of "Huh?" responses by Yours Truly. "Moooommmmy, a CLICKER CAR! Over dare [sic - she means "there"]." Sure enough, there was a vehicle with a huge COX logo plastered on the side. It only said, "COX". That was it. She recognized the logo from our digital cable TV clicker. (No, we haven't dumped it yet...we ARE GOING just hasn't happened...I promise. It will. Sooner rather than later. Yes it will.)

Nothing inherently wrong with her making that association, in fact, it's GREAT that she made that visual link. What an amazing capacity for learning the Lord has given children!! But this is my point: what am I feeding into my childrens' minds? It does matter what our kids see. A consistent diet of junk food will make your body fat. It's the same with minds.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

ingridism, sleeping arrangements & death

This morning Ingrid asked me, "when we die, do we sleep in Queen Victoria's bed?"

"Huh??? Explain please, Ingrid," said Mom.

"She's dead, so when we die, do we sleep in a queen-sized bed? A Queen Victoria bed?"

I was laughing so hard (silently) I turned away so she wouldn't see me.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...