The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and discipline. -Proverbs 1:7

Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost you all you have, get understanding.-Proverbs 4:7

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Pizza Whisperer

They were playing with DC.

But me? Totally AC all the time. Yesterday I was not to be crossed. Today...way on the other end of the spectrum. Yesterday, I was all "Do your work already!" Today...not so much.

It's all about balance.

If you make them work too much, they'll start feeling like they can't do it and shut down. And then you get nothing from them.

If you forget to talk to them in less than an "educationally purposeful" way, they'll eventually tune you out.


Today was a hanging out and talking kind of day with minimal work production. There was work, don't get me wrong, but I wasn't being crazy trying to make them do it. I was too busy for all of that.

Too busy answering questions from them. Not questions about electricity or anything remotely related to anything in the curriculum; questions they are curious about. What am I giving my kids for Christmas? What kind of music do I listen to? How much is the most money I've ever paid for a pair of shoes (along with advice on shoe shopping, because evidently I suck at shoe selection)?

Too busy going on some random soapbox before 8 a.m. To their amusement. Some of my soapboxes are entertaining. Some, not so much.

Too busy proving I can guess correctly the kind of pizza they would order if they were going to order a pizza. Because I'm talented that way. I can guess it right about 90% of the time. There's that 10% margin of error, because some people are a little bit complicated. Especially teenagers.

So they were first amused and then perplexed and then awestruck/fairly certain I possess psychic abilities over this incredible talent. I explained it's nothing more than experience selling a lot of pizza. (You know...that job I once had that I thought was the best job ever. The one that has fallen to second place.) They were having none of it.

I am (according to 7th period) "The Pizza Whisperer".

Maybe that makes up for my lack of good shoe judgement?

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

That kind of day...

The English language is missing an adjective. If I knew where to start, I'd just make one up. But, I don't. So, I'll just say it was "That" kind of day.

Which is fairly vague...unless you've had one yourself. It wasn't bad (although I could have remembered that five letter word "grace" more often than I did and perhaps could have kept my mouth shut for more of it). It wasn't even all that remarkable (a thought suddenly making me feel a little guilty for living yet another remaining day in my life in a non-remarkable way...hmmm....) It was just a day.

The kind of day where I fed the kids McDonald's for dinner and didn't even care they were eating it(comprised of scary things) out of a paper bag. They wish I had more of these days. ;-)

The kind of day where I just wanted to come home and meddle around without any goal of productivity in mind.

And drink tea.

And listen to Jason Upton on repeat.

And fiddle with Christmas decorations in a non-rushed kind of way without any concern for the clutter I just keep moving from one spot to another to make room for them.

Maybe I'll worry about that on the weekend.

Or maybe I'll just keep drinking tea and listening to music.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011


(Just because it is clear to me neither sides of my world are typically very aware of the other...)

For my non-liturgical friends, read this

For my liturgical friends: Not all Christians are liturgical. It's no big thing, really. They just aren't. Somehow they manage Christianity without it. ;-)

1. I am not Catholic, nor have I ever been.

2. I do not attend a liturgical church. In fact, it has come to my awareness the number of people in my church who even know the meaning of "liturgical" can probably be counted on one hand. ( big deal. Carry on. Just sayin'.)

3. I was not raised in a liturgical environment. Sometime, in my young adult life (early 20's), I worshipped with a Lutheran congregation who put great emphasis on the liturgy. Until then, I had never even heard the word.

4. In my current life, even though I do not corporately practice it, I find the liturgy familiar and comfortable and I do place value on it. I do not think it's necessary for worship (as evidenced my current worship style affiliation), but I do think it's good for a lot of things. For instance, religious instruction. I learned a lot about church history and tradition from the liturgy. The ritual of saying the Apostle's Creed reminds me of what I actually believe in (in the event someone were to pin me down and make me say in so many words or less.) Should I mention here my initial horror of saying I believe in the "holy catholic church"...because I didn't have enough understanding to realize "catholic"
is not the same as "Catholic"? Duh.
The ritual of it is soothing to me. I like organization and structure.

4. It probably goes without saying a little liturgy goes a long way with me. I should mention my introduction was in a church who put the liturgy above all else. You can get lost in that. (Anyone can get lost in any worship style...just sayin'.)

I do not believe "liturgically correct" is the yardstick with which to measure one's relationship with God. For me, the liturgy is more of a tool. I do not say this to be offensive or confusing, just trying to explain where I'm at.

5. There are times I miss it. The liturgical calendar is so celebratory and something seems to be missing when one (who has been accustomed to celebrating specific events) no longer celebrates.

Which brings us to Advent.

Actually, I miscalculated and thought Advent didn't start until next Sunday...the result of Christmas falling on a Sunday this year. There was some last minute cobbling together of the Advent Wreath.

"The first candle is traditionally the candle of Expectation or Hope (or in some traditions, Prophecy). This draws attention to the anticipation of the coming of an Anointed One, a Messiah, that weaves its way like a golden thread through Old Testament history. As God’s people were abused by power hungry kings, led astray by self-centered prophets, and lulled into apathy by half-hearted religious leaders, there arose a longing among some for God to raise up a new king who could show them how to be God’s people. They yearned for a return of God’s dynamic presence in their midst.

And so, God revealed to some of the prophets that indeed He would not leave His people without a true Shepherd. While they expected a new earthly king, their expectations fell far short of God’s revelation of Himself in Christ. And yet, the world is not yet fully redeemed. So, we again with expectation, with hope, await God’s new work in history, the second Advent, in which He will again reveal Himself to the world. And we understand in a profound sense that the best, the highest of our expectations will fall far short of what our Lord’s Second Advent will reveal!" (Christian Resource Institute)

(This feels all scattered and I'm pretty certain I probably left out something important I wanted to say.)

Friday, November 25, 2011

Christmas has started!

I love Christmas.

To get you in the baby singing a Christmas song. When he was still kind of a baby. He was 6.

I think it was that same year he gave us the following Christmas list:

1. An elf
2. An underground tunnel
3. A bell from a reindeer
4. A swan cookie cutter

He can be so weird. ;-) (I love it.) Needless to say, we could only manage the bell. But, last week when Al and I were shopping, I saw this cookie cutter. I'm four years late on it, but I had to buy it. I guess we'll have swan shaped Christmas cookies this year.

Part 1...enroute to Iowa as we speak. I'm guessing they are somewhere mid-Ohio right about now.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Turkey Day Part 1

No pictures of the turkey, because we all know the other stuff are the stars of the show.

Macaroni and Cheese from this recipe. I think it's going to become a standard at our holiday gatherings.

Just for the record, I come from a long line of people who don't cook from boxes.

Jac's tradition is to eat a turkey leg. Just the leg. No sides.

Ryan and my brother waiting on football.

Ryan and I were at football. It didn't go as we had hoped, but it was still a good game. Next year, I want to take the kids to a game. I guess it will be a Ravens game since they are Ravens fans. (They have bragging rights for the next gazillion years until the 49ers come east again.)

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I wouldn't have called it two months ago, but hey...who knew?

1. He didn't even know we had 49er's dishes. We've had them for probably 10 years. But...they were so unreliable, I hated to get all excited about any game and therefore left the dishes in the cupboard.

2. Football is clearly mostly about eating. We didn't eat anything but junk today.

3. Somewhere, we have a flag. I keep looking for it. How does one lose a flag anyway? I saw it last year. (Last year was not a good flying year for it.) Hmm...

4. Only 4 more days until Baltimore!

Friday, November 18, 2011


Who needs the cookie? Icing + candy = All you need.

I don't think I was this fun with my own kids.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

If the beautiful days (from a couple ago) have disappeared, the weekend must be coming.

It's suddenly cold outside. What happened to those 70 degree days? The ones that happen when I'm at work.

Capturing a colder evening than I'd like it to be:

Wishing his wrestling shoes still fit (primarily, because he hates shopping and I can't really buy a new pair without dragging him into the store). The only person they fit in this house is me. And as much fun as I think it would be (and I've suggested it), it doesn't seem any of the other moms are up for an exhibition match with me. What gives, I say?

Reading the newest "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" that showed up in the mail.

Craving sugar cereal. Which is rare. Because I have this thing about adults eating cereal. I don't like it. For real. Cereal is for kids. As I was eating my semi-annual handful of it (for the sugar), I noticed I could lose a jeans size (in 2 weeks) if I just switched my diet to almost all Special K products. Umm...there's 7 grams of sugar in 3/4 of a cup of this stuff. 4 servings (which is only 3 cups and totally recommended on the side of the box) has more sugar than 1/4 cup of pancake syrup. Yeah. Sounds like a good plan. Just for fun, I looked at the bars (which are also recommended on this plan). 15 freakin' grams of sugar! So, basically a sugar diet. Because you can also eat fruit. Hmm...

Always having to fight the animals who hog up my spot in front of the space heater.

Wondering how it is all the socks my child owns have holes on the top. How does that happen?

Trying to remember when the last time it was I told her she shouldn't put her feet up on the counter. And then I remembered...she got that from me.

Monday, November 14, 2011


Southwest Tofu/Black Bean/Corn Burritos

1 onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic pressed
2 teaspoons of olive oil
1 block of tofu (pressed and cubed)
1 can of diced tomatoes with green chilis (undrained)
1 can of whole kernel corn (drained)
1 can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 tablespoon of cumin
1 tablespoon of chili powder
1 packet of taco seasoning
whole grain tortilla shells
fresh spinach

Add onion and garlic to heated oil. Cook until onion is tender. Add tofu and all spices. Cook for 3 minutes. Add corn, beans, tomatoes and 1/2 cup of water. Simmer for 10-15 minutes until sauce is thickened. Serve on tortillas with spinach. Serves 6.

However miniscule...I sewed. It's getting colder and all of our floors are hard (wood and tile) which means you have to put something on your feet. A couple of years back, I made my man some fleece socks (1 pair) and I have to sneak them from him to get them washed. He's always wearing them. Clearly, we all need fleece socks. Multiple Pairs.

I had a piece of fleece and this is my first attempt at some socks for Jac. I used the Green Pepper pattern, size "youth large". I suppose it goes without saying I should have ventured up to the adult sizes, because his feet are bigger than mine.

He already has an order in for another pair, but next time "make them bigger". Judging by the fact he won't take them off and he's busy running and sliding across our tiled floors, I'm guessing these will work for now.

Sunday, November 13, 2011


Thankful for:

1. Neighbors who own chainsaws, because when it snows with the trees still in full-leaf, you are going to need a chainsaw.

2. That I didn't have to be all that greatly involved with the aforementioned mess. And now it is all chipped up and the path in my garden has a new layer of mulch. Note we still have a leaf problem even though we've mulched countless bags of them. Maybe one more weekend of that and we'll be done. Maybe.

3. This vegan banana cake with chocolate/coconut glaze. I don't even like bananas...but, trust me, this cake is to die for. It was completely eaten before it even cooled. And then Ryan came in and said "You guys ate the whole cake?" Yeah. Sorry. We did.

4. That I got to spend some time with of a group of teenage girls who were stuffing Christmas bags for the troops in Afghanistan.

Vegan Banana Cake with Chocolate/Coconut Glaze


2 cups of flour
1 1/2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1 cup of sugar
1/3 cup of canola oil
4 ripe bananas
1/4 cup of water
1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix flour, baking soda and salt in a small bowl. In another bowl, beat sugar and oil. Mash and add bananas. Beat until fully incorporated. Add water and vanilla and beat until smooth. Fold in the dry mixture. Bake at 350 in an oiled pan (8 inch round) for approximately 1 hour and 10 minutes.


Melt a couple handfuls of semi-sweet chocolate chips with a teaspoon of coconut oil. Stir until creamy and spread over the top of the cake while still warm.

Saturday, November 12, 2011


'Tis ridiculously gorgeous outside.

See this tree? I love this tree. It came from a sprout off of someone else's tree. It's been a long wait, but she's finally grown into a thing of beauty. I'm going to have to start some more of them next spring when the seedlings start emerging.

I'm not a huge fan of fall. I'm more in favor of spring. But there's something so fun about playing in the leaves. Today is weekend #2 of playing with leaves. Leaf playing generally goes on for a long time around here. Typically, the fun wears off and I pretend they aren't out there. Isn't it weird I have four maples and they all lose their leaves at different times? At any rate, we use all these leaves for mulching my gardens. It's a process.

The book never know what you will find. These will go on the shelf immediately. Alicia will be so thrilled. Maybe. Maybe not. ;-)

And then there were these. She really will be thrilled with these, I think. I almost didn't get them, but then I remembered some conversation about her getting a hope chest. (See...we do have some things in common? Girly has some ideas about being domestic and she's thinking about collecting pretty things for that someday home of her own.) Wouldn't it be awesome if I built her a hope chest for Christmas? (Mine was a Christmas gift when I was a teen.) So now studying all the plans on Ana White's site...trying to see which one I could reasonably modify into a hope chest.

If you don't know about Ana White, you are totally missing out.