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Showing posts from August, 2013

In Our Kitchen: A Favorite Salad

This summer there is one food that we've enjoyed almost every week - a couscous, black bean and corn salad. It started out as me mimicking a corn and avocado salad my sister-in-law, Heather, made for our annual Memorial weekend bash, but over time I've adapted it so much that's it's now quite different from the original. 

This has become our go-to party and potluck dish and is always well received, with at least a few people asking for the recipe. My favorite things about this salad is that it's delicious cold or room temperature and it makes for great leftovers. 

Ingredients 3 ears of sweet corn1 cup (dry) couscous1 can of black beans1 T cumin1 lime1/2 red onion2 cloves of garlic3 red sweet  peppers (or 1 red bell pepper)1 avocado5oz (1/2 package) queso frescoDirections cook sweet corn (in husks) in oven at 350' for 30 minutes, then set aside to coolcook couscous according to package directionsrinse and drain black beans, place in a small panadd cumin and juice …

Our Family Values

I can't remember exactly who, but while I was pregnant with Big Buddy somebody advised Jeremy and I to sit down and really talk about our parenting goals. What were our hopes for our children, what experiences did we want to give them, what values did we want pass on, etc? My knee jerk response was that I wanted to give them everything. But that is just a silly fantasy. Parenting, like the rest of life, is full of choices. You only have time and energy for so much. You have to choose where you want to focus your attention.

A little bit later on we heard Pastor James MacDonald share his family values in a sermon and we decided we wanted to create some for our family as well. We had a couple great conversations but then life got busy and we completely forgot about this goal. Until right after Little Lady was born and I was taking the bible study Entrusted with a Child's Heart (if you are a mom I can't say enough how much I recommend this study, it's packed full of biblic…

Small Graces

Today I turned 31. Truth be told, I'm glad 30 is over. In many ways it was a good year - I grew a lot. That growing, however, required that I come face to face with the depravity of my soul and my human weakness like I never have before. I learned to depend more on my LORD, to run to HIM in my times of need. I also learned to be more honest with the people he's placed in my life; to let them know when I'm struggling and ask them for help. They were/are good lessons but my stubbornness also made them hard ones. 
My sweet family made me feel very loved today. Jeremy sent me back to bed this morning because the boys wanted to make sure I woke up to a birthday surprise. On the kids' birthday I always hang streamers and balloons and we have a special little breakfast. This is what I "woke up" to today. 

What I've Been Wearing

This was a fun outfit to wear: I really enjoyed layering the textures of the dress and vest, and pops of green (my favorite color) and a comfy pair of heels didn't hurt either.

I adore these silk Rocket Dog flats. I own a purple pair as well and would buy them in half a dozen other colors if our budget allowed. They are extremely comfortable and have held up to weather and wear amazingly well. 

Want more? Check out these link parties to see lots of other ladies having fun with their clothes: Watch What I'm WearingSunday Style,  Monday MingleStyle Sessions,  and What I Wore Wednesday.
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A Knightly Affair

This past Saturday we had a joint birthday celebration for Big Buddy (6) and Mini Man (4). They have both been intrigued with knights and dragons for a while now so that's the theme we chose. 

Papa and Maca Lindsey were gracious enough to let us host the party in their backyard/secret garden, it was the perfect setting. 

In leu of traditional party favors, we outfitted the party guests with a sword, surcoat, and shield. Everyone's surcoat and shield was emblazoned with their sigil/initial.

The shields were also our party craft. They are cardboard which Jeremy cut with a laser cutter. I then hot glued and taped (double reinforcement!) ribbon on the back for handles. The kids used dot markers to decorate the shields. This worked out really well because the cardboard absorbs the ink so fast that drying is almost instantaneous.

In addition to the shields we also had a few other themed activities: a dragon catapult, sand castle building, a row of balloons for sword practice, and t…

Web Wanderings

A few worthwhile things I've stumbled upon while wandering the internets.

I read this awhile ago but forgot to add it to my last web wanderings post - it's a great article on how American's safety-obsessive, parenting culture may not actually be what is best for kids. 
Kind of related to the link above; I couldn't agree more with this old (2011) article on playground safety. I've watched through the last couple of years as safety regulations has stripped the child care center's playground (where I sub) of many of the children's favorite equipment - none of which have been the cause of a major injury. The kids miss these things and without them they are left to seek other, often more dangerous, ways to work their muscles - climbing fences, etc. Big Buddy somehow managed to crack his forehead open (it's was pretty minor, no stitches) on our dining room table a couple weeks ago - but that doesn't mean I need to throw out the table. There does need to be …

Marble Painting Super-sized

Marble painting* is one of my favorite go to crafts. It's quick to throw together, easy enough for toddlers, and yet engaging enough for school agers.

Last week the kids and I decided to spice marble painting up a bit by super-sizing the fun. Instead of just one person rolling marbles and paint around in a cake pan we worked in teams and used a few big boxes. 

Small Graces

This last week was another hectic one. I'm starting to get the feeling that life is never going to slow down.

There were a bunch of things this week that I wanted to get done but didn't: half finished blog posts, piles of unfolded laundry, untouched baking supplies, crafts/projects waiting to be started, etc. It's a struggle because when things are undone, or not done as well as I like, I can quickly begin to feel like a failure. Then an ugly cycle of self doubt, anger, regret, and then more self doubt ensues. There was a LOT that didn't get done this past week but I am feeling really proud of myself because that cycle also didn't happen. I made choices, sometime difficult ones, to let some things fall off my radar so I could enjoy/focus on others: a long chat with a dear friend, aimless walks with my kiddos, undistracted cuddles with Jeremy, and some "just me" time sitting on our front porch thanking the Lord for all He's given me. They were the bett…