Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walking on Sunshine

... or at least finally playing in some!

Brought to you by Katrina and the Waves or, as is more popular around here, Katrina and the Girls... whatever floats your plastic cup.

We know, Tucker,you're not a girl. But since Target doesn't carry your size bathing suit, you can't be in the band.

"Sorry, buddy," or "You're welcome,"... I think we know which one floats best with you.

Hope it's shining some where you are!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

In Season

Alternately titled: Move over, sista... these strawbewwies are mine! It's that time of year again for fields and farmer's markets; the best kind of shopping there is! Each month this spring and summer, as we set out to fill our baskets with fresh and locally grown goodies, we thought we'd share our experiences. Maybe something will tickle your fancy along the way. Feel free to tickle ours back!

First up; you guessed it... strawberry picking!

Upon our return all the pickers came over for strawberry smoothies. Throw fresh strawberries (or frozen; then you don't need ice), vanilla yogurt, milk/soymilk, and ice in a blender until it's at the consistency you like. We almost always add a little ground up flax seed and a banana. (In fact, you wouldn't believe all I can get down Hope via a "smoovie"... spinach, edamame, lima beans, broccoli... seriously!) For more detailed smoothie inspiration, check this out.

Besides for smoothies, jam, and toppings for waffles or pancakes-- here are two other ways we use our buckets of fresh berries. These are pretty much staple spring/summer recipes for us.

Yogurt Berry Popsicles
Since strawberries go badly pretty fast, freezing them is a great option. To make this recipe you actually need to single layer sliced berries on a freezer proof pan.

Once frozen, take a cupful and blend until smooth.
Then add a cup of vanilla yogurt (or plain yogurt sweetened with a touch or two of honey).
VERY important step... do NOT add the ingredients your toddler collects while your back is turned. If I remember correctly, hand soap and beef stock don't really give this recipe the extra little something you're going for.

Pour your mixture into mini-sized cups up to 2/3 full. Then place a wooden Popsicle stick in the center of each one. This should make about six or seven- around a week's worth.
Freeze until firm and enjoy-- while atop your steal of a yard sale slide is totally optional. :)

Strawberry Salad with Poppyseed Dressing
Easy peasey... just combine chopped romaine lettuce with a cup or so each of sliced strawberries, thinly sliced red onion, and Caesar croutons. Just before serving toss with the homemade poppyseed dressing described below.

1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp. poppy seeds
3/4 cup light mayo
1/4 cup milk
2 tbsp. white vinegar
Mix ingredients and chill.

Stay tuned for next month's "in season" pick. And happy Memorial Day weekend!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Moments with Maddie- Month Ten

Double digits.

Never again will we describe her time on this earth with a single digit month.

Okay, I admit, that's getting a bit dramatic.

But still, 1-0... double digits.

She's growing taller and a bit chunkier, sprouting teeth faster than we can say barley teething biscuit (but barely faster than she can devour one), and picking up on snippets of conversation. The funniest phrase is, "Na, Na, Na!" That would be, "No, no, no!" Clearly she shares her house with a two year old.

One thing she is not sprouting much of is hair. I'm dying to get a little "pwetty" on that silky peach fuzz head, but it seems she takes after her mama. And I didn't have much to speak of in this area until well after one.

Still sweet as buttercream frosting, that Maddie-Cakes of ours, but when she gets upset she's pitiful y'all. Just like me, she splotches bright red in two seconds flat after beginning to cry. Then she either buries her head on your shoulder or throws herself backward as if too overcome by emotion for a moment.

Thank goodness this summer babe is mostly grins and giggles. (Therefore, allowing my heart to stay in one piece!)

Geez, mama... do you have to tell it all?

Forgiven! So, mmmm.....


The chair is pretty fun, but the floor... the floor is where it's at, people!

(Just please be a good blog reader and pretend you don't see apple style ring around the collar.)

Hope to see you same time, same blog next month.

These cheeks will be waiting.

and Madison

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Subtly Summer

It's been raining buckets, almost day after day, in our neck of the woods. So much so I've contemplated throwing open the front door and in my best two year old voice shouting, "Wain! Wain! Go away. Come adin some udder day!"

Alas, we do have neighbors. Moving on to Plan B.

I've declared it to be a bright, sun-shining summer indoors then. With no budget and some imagination, I think it's subtly happening.

Collections of shells in glass containers scattered from here to there...

Postcards picked up on beach trips gone by and tucked into a grapevine hanging basket on the back of our front door...

All things bird and garden-- like old books, a nest, and tin birdfeeder I found in our yard...

Latest favorites of my favorite parts of any season-- propped up on the fireplace with button dorned (read: hot-glued) clothespins...

Blooms from the backyard put into really expensive tiny vases... or maybe those are empty bottles of syrup that came home from the Cracker Barrel in my purse...
A break in the clouds! HA-LLEH-LU-JAH! I needed some pots for herbs I was given... feeling they needed a little something, something I quickly rolled on a swish of leftover chalkboard paint...
A little happiness on the front porch planted in just about any old thing I could find...

My summer born babe worn right close to my heart....
I do believe the sun is shining and birds are singing, after all. To think I could have just started with that face... :)

How about in your neck of the woods?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Dinner Theater

Now appearing on the screen in front of you...

The thrills, the chills, the harrowing drama.

Ah, me... the goofiness. :)




{Vewy, vewy mad}





On behalf of Like Daddy, Like Daughter Productions...

Hope you enjoyed the show and night, night!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Today is a Gift

I realized this past weekend, by way of some stunning math skills, that this is my third Mama's Day.

And my own incredible Mama's thirtieth.

But no matter how much I think or blog about it, things just won't get off the fast track. This year's message to me has been simple though.
So simple, so almost cliche... but it became new to me in a profound way.

The weekend was filled with small, sweet surprises. Like on Saturday morning when the only thing I had to do was nurse Maddie and then head out to a women's breakfast at church. God was so good to feed me, but in reverse, by taking a lot of off my plate.

See He reminded me that I need not be a perfect wife or mama; I need to be the wife and mama He has called me to be. That involves remembering what I do well and resolving to do better in the areas where I know I struggle. After all, His power is made perfect in my weakness.

So, perfection? Not gonna happen. But my family's hearts knowing they can trust in Him and, in turn, in me? For this I strive. This time may be fleeting, but I want us to live in the moments we're given. It seems, in my experience, that really living and really trusting go together hand in hand.

I called Joe as soon as I got in the car with so much to share only to find out he had the girls with him at the Home Depot taking care of a small project for Maddie's room. He assured me they were either happy or sleeping and then to go take some time for myself.

I hit up several inspiration spots and struck gold, well wicker anyway, at the first one! In the next year we will start to do a few bigger girl projects in Hope's room, and I scored a wicker headboard for eight bucks. A rustic sign for our living room, that little message above, and an old glass jug-- perfect for summer lemonade or sweet tea-- rounded out the visit for just pennies a piece.

I managed to hit up three more spots, but only the Goodwill tempted me any further.

Both Joe and I share the love language "words of encouragement," so it is quite possible our girls might too; I can't wait for us to tuck a coupon or note in an unexpected place.

By the time I met up with them at the library, I was really missing them all! We played, checked out, and then headed to the park for an impromptu picnic with friends. Sunday carried on with what Saturday had begun. How could it not when it started with, "Yook, Mommy, a supwise! I quacked the egg an' stiwwed an'..." Don't worry, Maddie, I know you had the hard job of supervising while waiting patiently on your cereal.

Every bit of this a gift.

Not because of these near perfect moments in my world, though. Because we even had the moments at all.

For three years or thirty, flawless or imperfect as can be... may I wake up to the message.
Then really live like a couple of important lives depend on it.

Happy belated Mother's Day to one inspiration after another!

Thankful to be on this journey with you,