Monday, March 29, 2010

easter eggs

monday morning is a perfect time to dye ones easter eggs. the girls and i boiled the eggs using the Joy of Cooking directions and then i prepared the dyes and mordents. i would like to try some natural dyes but for today we used what we had. the eggs were still hot but the girls could not wait. so much fun. now we are eating them. they didn't use to like boiled eggs - i guess they are starting to get more grown up?:) these moments always surprise me. enjoy your week. we are anticipating family coming to visit on wednesday from the east coast! the kids are still not completely back to health. it was once again musical beds last night. i feel like i was up with a newborn. that has been the m.o. in our family for the last 2+ weeks. oops i have to run ... baby is up!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

the final word

we got the final word yesterday in an email from my husband's detailer: moving to maryland in may!! yep - on to our next assignment a little bit early. we are thrilled. although enjoying the beautiful monterey peninsula since october, our lives here have been extremely busy and stressful. hubs has worked harder then he has ever worked, learning arabic and he'll be continueing his studies on the side while working in d.c. the family will be close to his parents and so we'll have the support we have not had since we lived in san diego near my side. so what does this mean for mama? ahhhhh we are moving in 6 weeks!! glad i didn't put up any more shelves or pictures. i will start taking a box around the house and purging. and making things easier to pack up and send back east. i guess i need to read simple mom's guide to moving and brush up on my navy moving strategies - has anyone heard of cross-packing? yep - a seasoned navy wife told me its when the movers take random things from multiple rooms and put it all in one box - a NO NO!! so that will NOT happen. she told me she had heard of one wife setting friends up in each room to watch for cross-packing. brilliant!

we will have the whole beautiful, glorious summer in maryland and maybe a few trips down to virginia to visit my folks at the farm!! lots of crabbing off the dock, playing in the tree fort at the farm, milking goats, knitting, swimming in the pond, sunbathing, listening to the frogs, sailing in the boat on the bay ... oh endless summer love!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

brothers

how good and pleasant it is when brothers dwell together in unity ...

the girls were out of the home today, and so i just had the two boys with me. today is when the maintenance crews are out mowing and cutting the grass on our street. which if you have boys means complete fascination with the work being done around us. so here are a few shots (coming soon!) of the spectator sport known as "watch the mowers". i love seeing them play together now that they are getting older. oh and did i mention today we have sunshine and clear skies? its been raining so much (not that i am complaining b/c its still beautiful and we get rainbows) here that to have a blue skies day is GLORIOUS!!! i am sitting outside right now, enjoying the fresh scent of cut grass and my morning coffee; so blessed to have this home and this moment with ransom (blaise is sleeping in his crib).

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

prayer cards

a project that i have been wanting to do for several months was finally (almost) accomplished last night (as i burned the midnight oil and stayed up way past my bedtime!). what to do with all of those christmas family pictures everyone sends? i never want to get rid of them - almost sacreligious. reading somewhere on the net (please excuse my incompetent memory) of an idea to laminate the photos and put them on a metal ring and use them as prayer cards. its a wonderful teaching tool for children. they see the pictures of loved-ones near and far and can learn to actively participate in prayer and intercession. i am thrilled to incorporate these cards in to our daily living. thrilled to begin to bless dear friends and family. so if you sent me a family picture in the last 2-3 years - you are going to receive lots of daily prayer from our family starting today!!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

lent

although i am not a Catholic, i embrace the celebration and the solemnity with which my sisters and brothers worship Christ our Lord through the liturgical year calendar. these sisters are being mindful of this sesaon of lent - remembering for Whom we abstain for, for Whom the symbols stand for, and are sharing their wisdom with those who are younger and less experienced.

Let us use sparingly words, food and drink, sleep and amusements. May we be more alert in the custody of our senses.

please do go and read ... i think that leila is an incredible mother to us younger women:
Like Mother, Like Daughter: Spring Cleaning for the Soul: Lent & Proclaim a fast, or, Ask for the old paths.

hamantaschen recipe

here is the amazing recipe for the traditional pastry treat served during purim. unfortunately, i did not write down the wonderful blog i found this recipe. my apologies b.c. i really want to give you credit! but i do have the location of the said recipe: the great hadassah cookbook. my messianic jewish friend said that these were delicious and the best she has ever had - they were the biggest ones she had ever eaten, too! having no picture i wasn't sure how they were going to turn out. one thing is for certain - you can't eat just one!! the will surely sabotage your diet! primary reason hamantaschen are only made once a year.

Hamantaschen Dough:

1/2 c. butter
1 c. sugar
2 c. flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 T. milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. almond extract

Cream butter and sugar together in large bowl. Add egg. Mix together the extracts and the milk in a seperate small bowl. Whisk flour and baking powder together in a third bowl + and add a little to the creamed mixture. Add the milk mixture, the remaining flour. Refrigerate for up to two hours.

Roll dough out 1/4 to 1/8 inch thick. Cut into small rounds, dot each with a spoonful of filling, form into triangles, and bake at 375 degrees F for 15-30 minutes or until delicately browned. *i used a glass to cut out the rounds - making the cookie shape come out a lot bigger then most come out. it was almost like a pastry.

Fillings:

raspberry jam, blueberry jam, strawberry-rhubarb jam, apple butter or poppyseed filling. *i used what i had on had - smucker's strawberry jam. they were fantastic!

catch up post

the month of februray has flown by and now its MARCH! so here are a few updates:

- my mama and i are starting a new blog about knitting - but its still in the planning stages!:) i am so excited about this since she and i live nearly 8 hours away. it will be a means to stay connected through the beautiful craft of knitting.

- i turned 32 years old on the 10th - whahoo! it feels good to be a mother of four little ones, a wife of a very successful and amazing husband, and to be where the Lord has me in his kingdom, every day i am learning what this means.

- i hosted the neighborhood Bible club at our home on rhys' birthday. we did it on Queen Esther, b.c. Purim falls on the last day of feburary. i borrowed a felt board from my friend, made the traditional treat of hamantaschen, and had the kids decorate burger king crowns with sequins and office stickers (i got the crowns for free, had the office stickers already and bought the sequins for $5 at michaels + some glue sticks and target for under $5). we had almost 20 kids and several moms. it was so much fun! i got the idea for a purim party from Walk With Y'shua Through the Jewish Year by janie-sue wertheim and kathy shapiro.

- our little rhysie-pie (aka juliet rhys plaster) turned 5 years old on the 24th - amazing! we celebrated all week long, ending with an afternoon birthday party! it was a beautiful day - it had threatened to rain all morning, but held off til just the end! (really really beautiful - like rainbow weather!) the party was actually the most stress-free children's event i have put-on! for those who have not planned parties for littles, with littles underfoot here are a few tips (from someone who usually stresses out and makes it difficult for the hubs on said day of the party!):

#1 it should only be for 2 hours - preferably in between meals, so that you don't have to put on a big lunch/dinner. also don't worry about munchies for the parents. if its two hours long you can just serve cake and ice cream. water for the drink.
#2 if you can - get a cake at costco - they are pretty good and feed about 20+! i always make my own cakes, but this time i was missing key ingredients and graham could only stop at one store.
#3 make a schedule/game plan for the party activities - things run so smoothly.
#4 when your kids get older they help you! my girls were eager to give me a hand and my perfectionist-self was reigned in - yes come and help me. so they stuffed the pinata (which they loved!) and then helped with the goodie bags and the decorating. it was really an unexpected blessing. i think maybe the Lord is showing me that i need to let them do more helping, especially when they ask to help. i need to let go of wanting everything "my way" i.e. perfect, and just give in to the beauty of life with little ones!!

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and there you have it: a short catch-up for this month.

ps did you know that today it is dr. seuss' birthday! we read the cat in the hat and i plan on doing some sort of art project/craft to celebrate.