Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Way Back Wednesday

Cowboy Cade
14 months old
Fayetteville, North Carolina
The things I remember most about you at this age:

- you loved to carry your link-a-doos around the house and
shake them as LOUDLY as possible or drag them on the floor to hear them rattle.
- you would squeal with delight when I'd push the button and make your
stuffed Schnauzer sing and dance to "Deck the Halls" --
it was your favorite gift from Santa that year, who'd have thought?!?
- you loved carrying your sippy cup around, whether anything was in it or not.
- your favorite lunch was what I named a "monkey sandwich"
peanut butter and mashed bananas on wheat!
- you were a sound night sleeper as well as 2 naps each day
- you absolutely loved to swing on your swingset as well as
play & explore outside, which is still true today!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Tuesday TRUEism

Can I get an AMEN ???

Monday, January 25, 2010

Menu Monday

It's been a long while since I posted a "Menu Monday", but I tried a new recipe that is definitely blog worthy!
It's my new "go to" bread recipe, Almond Poppy Seed Bread.

almond poppy seed bread
in the worst kind of way!

I mean honestly, my summer swimwear HATES me
for this bread addiction,
but seriously the sweet almond aroma that's filling my kitchen right now
is just making my heart go pitter-patter.

And when I dream of a slice of this heaven
with a cup of my morning French Roast,
Oh heavens...
swimming in our plastic, rainbow Wal-Mart special blow up pool in my backyard
is totally DO-ABLE for me ;)

If I told you how many poppy seed bread recipes I've tasted or made,
you'd gasp in horror,
so let's just say...
this little gem tops my list!

Cade and Gracyn can practically eat 3/4 of a loaf by themselves {you think I'm kidding} and I can pretty much polish off the other 1/'s just THAT tasty. This bread is a nice balance of thick, dense bread and a light, zesty glaze. Plus, I love that it's made with pantry staples. No need to rush off to the grocery to buy all the ingredients, you likely already have them all.

A few quick notes:
- be sure that your baking powder is fresh when making any type of bread.
- don't skip greasing your loaf pans with Crisco followed by dusting them with flour before pouring in the batter, {that's what "prepared pans" means girls} it can really make the difference in your loaves popping right out after cooling!

I also made this recipe in mini loaf pans to deliver to friends and they always turn out perfectly. Several of my friends have called to even tell me how yummy it was and ask for the recipe, so here you go girls!


3 C. All-purpose flour
2 1/2 C. Sugar
1 1/2 tsp. Baking Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Salt
1 1/8 C. Canola oil
3 Eggs
1 1/2 C. Milk
2 tsp. Poppy seeds
1 1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. Butter flavoring
1 1/2 tsp. Almond flavoring


3/4 C. White granulated sugar
1/4 C. Orange juice
1/2 tsp. Vanilla
1/2 tsp. Butter flavoring
1/2 tsp. Almond flavoring

Preheat oven to 350. In a medium bowl, sift together flour, salt, and baking powder. In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, oil, sugar, and flavorings and beat for 2 minutes. Alternate adding in flour mixture and milk and then mix until just combined. Add poppy seeds and mix until just combined. Pour into prepared pans (5 mini pans or 2 regular loaf pans) and bake (35-40 minutes for mini pans, 1 hour for large pans; keep an eye on them, not too brown ladies).
When done, place on a cooling rack for 10 minutes and then remove from pans and allow to cool completely on a cooling rack. While cooling, prepare glaze by combining all glaze ingredients. Drizzle over loaves and allow to harden. I've found that the best way to drizzle is to place a cookie sheet under the cooling rack holding your loaves and drizzle away. The cookie sheet will catch all your drippy glaze for ya!

recipe found at our best bites.

Do you have a favorite recipe for poppy seed bread?

If so, then you better hook this sister up!!!!
I'm always on the scout for poppy seed

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Little MISS's turn on the trampoline

Gracyn loves for you to hold her hands
and jump!

She said,

"Jump Momma, Jump 'wit me."
And that we did.

We also played chase on the tramp,

played like we were sleeping {another Gracie favorite}

complete with snoring and all,

bounced on our knees,

rolled over and over,

held hands,

happy danced,

I even held all 31 lbs. of her and jumped.

We laughed so much.

By the end, she had the hiccups!

Cade sprinted across the yard, carrying the phone yelling at me to answer it...
Gracyn and I were having so much fun that I didn't even hear it ringing
on the patio!

He held the camera for me while I answered the call

and turned the photo session around on me :)

Friday, January 22, 2010

Fun Fridays, my favorite things...

Spontaneous moments of doing things together.

Boy oh Boy,
have we been having some fantastic spring weather down south!
It has been in the 70's for the past 3 days!

The three of us have been taking advantage of all the sunshine
by playing outside in the yard as much as possible.
On Wednesday, Cade and I made a mad dash for the trampoline,
after Gracie went down for her nap.

We bounced,
held hands,
flopped down,
made silly faces,
got up
and did it all over again!
We just had ourselves the best little time.

While we were doing a "half time" from jumping, I ran in to snatch up my camera and shoot some shots of my little buddy!

These were taken with my Canon 50 mm lens, which I really L-O-V-E.
Plus I mean, let's be does help when you've got
the cutest boy on the block to photograph :)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Lifting the vail

Through the course of this month it's been my goal to read through the book of Proverbs. Mainly because I felt like I needed to be fed spiritually...specifically fed with wisdom. As I read through I highlighted various verses that I felt were especially insightful or just really applicable to me in this season of life.

Needless to say, there were many highlighted, but one stayed on my mind. I have heard this verse since I was a young child, but it struck me differently this time around and left me with a changed perspective...
which is the true reason I am sitting writing down my thoughts this day.

Proverbs 24:3-4 says, "By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding

it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled

with rare and beautiful treasures."

Lovely, no? That's kind of the way I've always looked at beautiful words.
Who wouldn't want a house full of beautiful treasures.
And looking around I am surrounded physically by beautiful objects in my home.
However during this reading it pricked my heart in a different way,
a worrisome way.
What do I need to do to have those "rare and beautiful treasures" described by King Solomon? What kind of house am I building on a day to day basis? Where are my walls/boundaries being placed Monday through Saturday and dare I say on Sundays? What kind of knowledge am I filling my rooms with...the rooms of my house and the rooms of my heart.

My heart became heavier when it became clearer to me that maybe we are choosing not to seek out what defines us as Christians, what sets us apart, what can give us assurance of those rare and beautiful treasures, despite our own weaknesses.
Are we seeking the absolute truths of Jesus or a choosing to live in the gray, if you will.
A world where nothing can truly be considered absolutely right or absolutely wrong or good or bad, black or white, truth or untruth but everything is cloaked in a vail of uncertainty.
A hazy gray.
Even now, the majority of the world and sometimes the church would reel at using the symbols of black and white to describe much of anything.
As I think about Cade and Gracyn, I wonder if the road they will walk down
will be darker than mine.
Certainly it will.
Man would have us believe that absolutes in life are growing grayer and grayer as the years move ahead. I believe the world is teaching us and our children that we don't have to choose between God and the world, that we can embrace both.
Most of the world would likely consider this to be progress.
Will it one day be considered progress in the world of religion too?
To accept that holding absolutes is absolutely backward.
To seek to live in the gray so that we don't stand out, we aren't set apart, we can blend right in with the masses and still someone manage to fill our rooms with rare and beautiful treasures on our OWN?
Oh my goodness...what lies Satan is circulating. What a weapon he is wielding against us.

Yearning to draw near to God by seeking a relationship with Jesus Christ is what fundamentally defines us as Christians. Knowledge is nothing more than an accumulation of raw facts, but wisdom is the ability to see those facts as God sees them It is this wisdom, I believe, that teaches us how to not only survive, but thrive in this broken, broken world. God promises us that if we draw near to him, He will draw near to us, if we seek Him; then He will always reveal Himself to us.

He is Truth.

And there is nothing gray about Him.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Conversations with a 5 year old

{image from here}

When I went into Cade's room to wake him up from quiet time on Friday,
our conversation was as follows....

Me- Hi Cade, it's time to get up buddy.

Cade- Hey Mommy. {big stretch and eye rub} I have a surprise for you.

M- What is it?

C- I saved you a spot right here, to lay in my bed and snuggle with me.

M- {climbing into his twin bed}
Oh Cade, that is so sweet of you, thank you!

C- I'll save you a spot forever Mommy.

M- Cade, you just melted my heart! I sure do love you!

C- I'll save you a spot forever Mommy because
I LOVE YOU forever
{he proceeds to give me a gigantic hug}

It was a Kodak moment for my heart...

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Way Back Wednesday

Me @ 19 months.

Get your vote in, by writing me a comment!
Who do you think favors me more...
Cade or Gracyn?
You can click on the photos to enlarge them!!!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Friday, January 1, 2010

10 to Kick-Off 2010!!!

10 words to describe the past year
trying... full... different...
reflective... bumpy... humbling... pioneering...
encouraging... emotional... empowering.
10 of my favorite posts
something i learned this year in 10 words
"When you walk through fire, you will not be burned"
taken from this passage in Isaiah 43:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;"
10 individuals/blogs who inspired me in different ways this year
(spiritually, stylishly, as a mom, culinary ideas, creatively, gave me a laugh, and helped me keep a positive attitude):
10 words i'm hoping to exemplify in 2010