Thursday, April 30, 2009

More Rainbow Pictures

More fun Rainbow pictures . . .

(I'm the one upside down)

All these pictures were taken by Matt Kesterson.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Shhh, I'm thinking.

I'm quiet, introverted (whatever you want to call it). I always have been. It's who I am and I imagine it's probably who I'll always be. And guess what-- I'm just fine with it.

Why, though, do some people assume that "quiet" girls are either (a) stuck up or (b) without a personality. I've been accused of both.

1. I'm not stuck up. Quite the contrary. I like people and will talk with anyone that wants to talk to me. But I'm probably not going to initiate the conversation- it doesn't mean that I don't like you at all, it means I'm shy. But if you are talking to me, trust me I'm listening to you.

and this one bugs me the most . . .

2. I actually do have a personality. Trust me, I'm hilarious (well, maybe just to Grant and a few other close friends)! Here's the deal-- I got to know you a little before I regale you with my humor (or loyalty for that matter). But once you are my friend, you will be blinded by my sparkling personality (just kidding- I'm probably a little bit more on the twisty side). But just because I don't have to be the center of attention in every situation or thrive on the sound of my own voice does NOT MEAN I LACK IN PERSONALITY. We just have to get to know each other a little better.

Okay, I think I'm done.

I wrote this post because I was repeatedly asked awhile ago if "I was okay" because I wasn't making mindless conversation with a group of women. Yes, I was just fine- didn't have anything of substance to add, so I didn't say anything. Had to eventually make up a story so they would leave me alone. These are the same people that cut me off mid-sentence while I was talking, so yeah, I can tell they really cared about what I was saying.

It takes all kinds to make the world go 'round. I just happen to be on the quieter side of life.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Right Now I am . . .

eating : nothing at the moment. drinking peach green tea. just finished a peanut butter sandwich with my homemade strawberry jam. so delicious.

feeling : guilty that I'm blogging instead of working. will get back to work right away! yes sir. please don't tell my boss!

listening : to my neighbor's conference call through our very thin walls. no attorney-client privilege there. a lawnmower.

watching : my computer screen.

loving : how gorgeous today is. so sunny. so blue. so vibrant. so summer-like.

thinking : i wish i were at home today enjoying this weather and baking bread or something.

hoping : that the rest of the day will fly by. that i will start my indexing project.

wishing : for all things baby today.

Sunday Chores . . . With My Cat

It's kind've hard to do laundry when your furball decides to take over the basket. And lawdy mercy, she's so cute that I just can't disturb her. This cat makes a beeline for the laundry basket every time I take a new load out to fold. She proceeds to burrow herself in the clothes and swats at my hand when I try to take clothes out from under her. Eventually, I find her in the pile.

So, because she's stole my heart with her cuteness, I just leave her alone. I'm sure I can find something more productive to do . . . like watch t.v. or blog about her cuteness. After all, laundry can always wait.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Dance Pictures

The long awaited Rainbow pictures. So here's the deal. The following photos were taken by a husband of one of the dancers, Richard Warr, while we danced in the concert. He did a fabulous job capturing the essence of the pieces. I also have some posed shots that I'll post in another post.

15 points if you can pick me out of the crowd!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Dinner for one

So my sweet husband has to work weekends and, unfortunately, I can't always wait until 8:30 to eat dinner with him.

Therefore, I sometimes have to make it for one.

Saturday's menu:

*Tilapia with dill and lemon
*Green salad
*Roasted potatoes with herbs from the garden
*Cucumbers with yogurt and dill sauce
*Oh, and a glass of white wine (just because)

(And don't worry, I saved a plate for Grant)

Strawberry Jam

So many strawberries--

So, when life hands you strawberries, make strawberry jam.

First, I smooshed up some strawberries (and mixed it with an obscene amount of sugar)--

Then I put in them in a can and boiled the heck out of them--

Then I sealed them up and put them on my counter to cool--

Then I opened up one and had it with toast--

The consensus-- absolutely delicious!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Strawberry pickin'

Oh, I'm excited. I actually have plans this Saturday. Real, live actual plans. That involves other people. And strawberries.

That's right- I'm going strawberry picking at an ORGANIC farm tomorrow. Whoo-hoo!

Did you know that strawberries were one of the "dirty dozen" fruits- named so because most farms use tons of pesticides on them and they don't have a hard outer covering to protect themselves (say, like a banana or orange).

So needless to say, I'm thrilled that there is a organic farm nearby! Hope to have some pictures of our morning so I can post them later.

And since I will be getting lots and lots of strawberries, I was thinking about making some jam out of them- this would be my first experience with canning. Let's just pray that I don't give myself botulism or something equally as exciting! I'll have to blog about that too, if I decide to brave it.

Anyway, in addition to strawberry pickin' I need to work on my arbor/trellis thingy. 75 degrees tomorrow- couldn't be a better day to be outside!

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's what I do

Paper, lots and lots of paper.

But you want to know something?

That's my favorite part of the job. Just channeling a little Michael Scott for you.

Coconut Oil (again)

Just wanted to let you all know that I found the same brand of coconut oil that I buy at the health food store at Super WalMart. It is, as one might imagine, cheaper to buy it from WalMart.

I, of course, love to support small businesses, but if cost is a factor for you (as coconut oil is expensive) then I would rather you buy from a huge chain than not have any at all ('cause it's that important for you)! See these posts about the health benefits here and here.

I believe the coconut oil is in the section with the olive oil. There were a couple of different brands to choose from.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Right now, I am . . .

eating : an apple from the farmer's market with natural (reduced fat) peanut butter (don't get me started on reduced fat. i am not a fan, but it was the only thing available in my work's pantry. people, you need your good, healthy fats).

feeling : full and satisfied. ready to finish the last half of the work day (i'm on a lunch break right now).

listening : to the soft whir of my space heater. it's freezin' in this here office. papers rustling. people typing.

watching : the day fly by before my very eyes. the glare of my computer screen. the rain tapping against my window.

loving : the fact that i just had lunch. really, there's not much more to love at the office.

plotting : my escape!

thinking : about dinner tonight (apparently, food is always on my mind). Willie Nelson. green tea.

hoping : that the rest of the day goes by fast. dance class will be challenging. dinner will be delicious. that i'm not going to die from this strange pain in my side- ouch- don't worry i've already called the doctor.

wishing : that my life won't be so boring and revolve around just food. that the weekend will be here soon-- 75 degrees and i plan to be outside. that i get my arbor done this weekend.

That's me today.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

He is risen . . .

He is risen indeed.

I hope you had a wonderful Easter celebrating our risen Savior.

I know I did.

I went to Easter service at church, listened to an awesome message, and sang one of my favorite songs. Then I got to have Easter lunch at my dad's house, ate delicious food, and had an Easter egg hunt for the kids. Then I got Easter dinner at Grant's parents house with more awesome food and good time with the family.

Whew. What a day.

But a glorious one indeed.

P.S. Does anyone else think Grant looks a little like David Duchovny here (guy from X-files)?

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

My Tirade for the Day . . .

Grant and I are on a mission- to spend as little money as possible, so that when the time comes I am able to stay at home with our future kids.

I can't even tell you how blessed I feel that Grant and I do not have the "keeping up with the Jones'" mentality. I just was not raised like that. And I'm pretty sure Grant wasn't raised like that too. In all honesty, I just don't like to shop. I don't care for new cars, clothes, shoes or the newest electronic gadgets. I will spend a little money on crafty things, but not much. It is just not ingrained in me to want to spend money. And this has gone way back-- I was the one who saved her $1 allowance every week-- you can just ask Rhea!!

I think this "being content with what I have" mentality was one of the greatest gifts my parents could have given me. I'm so thankful that I don't have to have stuff to make me happy. I just want food on my table, a roof over my head and a car to get to work.

And I don't want to harp on the economy, but it is tough out there. And we know first hand. Grant is in sales. And sales are down. Way down.

But from the beginning of this year our goal was to solely live off of Grant's salary. My salary was to be put into savings. And we've been doing it. We are doing it. The whole point of this "experiment" was to be able to prepare ourselves for when we have kids, so that I will be able to stay at home with them.

As much as I worry about these things, I'm learning to trust that God will take care of us. I firmly believe that staying home with my kids while they are young is what I'm called to do. It's what my heart desires to do. And I'm willing to sacrifice in order to do it.

But here's my tirade of the day: When I think of how much of a sacrifice it is for a parent to stay at home (including myself) it breaks my heart. When did America get so expensive? When did staying at home with your kids nearly become financially impossible for most parents? Why can't we go back to a simpler time? Why? Why? Why?

I know, it's pointless to wish for something that just isn't so. But seriously, why is it nearly impossible for one parent to be able to stay at home to care for and teach your kids. I believe many of problems in this world can be traced back to this issue-- families don't see each other often enough, kids are left alone during the day, parents are too tired to make a healthy dinner, kids are being taught right and wrong from others, etc.

This country's focus is breaking my heart. I don't want to be one of those parents. I want to be at home with my kids. I want to be the one that teaches them right from wrong. I want to be the one that they can talk to. I want to be the one that greets them when they come in from school. I want to be the one who makes them a healthy dinner (and breakfast and lunch). I, basically, want to be there.

So, I will sacrifice what I need to in order to do that. And I will trust that God will take care of us. And I am thankful that I don't need much to be happy in this world.

And that is my random, long tirade of the day. Back to your regularly scheduled program.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

My New Project

I have the perfect place for this plant arbor and I can't wait to get it up there. I have visions of vibrant roses or jasmine lovingly intertwined in the trellis with colorful flowers planted around the base. Visions of small children running around it in lovely easter dresses complete the picture. But I digress.

Unfortunately, it is not quite ready for its big debut. This poor arbor needs a bit of TLC and I intend to turn this trash into treasure. Stay tuned. Hopefully, some after pictures will be coming soon- complete with roses or jasmine, but minus the small children!

Green Potato Chips??

No, but the best alternative to potato chips. I would never, in a million years, believe that kale chips taste pretty much like potato chips. These little beauties are crunchy, salty and green. What could be better. Seriously, they lose the "kale" flavor when baked, so don't worry about it tasting too funny. This is a wonderful alternative to chips. And another great way to use the ultra nutritious kale.

The recipe

Kale-- cut or tear the leaves from the stalk into bite size pieces

Sea salt

Olive oil

* put the kale into a plastic bag or tupperware.

* drizzle olive oil over the leaves-- just enough to coat.

* sprinkle a little sea salt onto the kale (just a little- for some reason it gets seriously salty after baking)

* shake the bag or tupperware and get the kale coated evenly with the salt and olive oil.

* spread on baking sheet and bake for approximately 17 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Bake until leaves are crispy.

* enjoy!