Archive for the ‘Things for Which I am Thankful’ Category

Simple Woman’s Day Book

Monday, January 4th, 2010

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…January 4, 2010

Outside my Window…is typical Pacific Northwest winter weather: rain. It’s not too terribly cold – 38 degrees – and there’s a wonderful freshness to the air, mixed with the aroma of wood smoke.

I am thinking…this is my first post for the New Year and the new decade. I wish you a Happy and blessed New Year! We stayed up late playing games as a family, and then ran outside to shout, “Happy New Year!” at the proper moment.


From the learning rooms…I want to brush up on world geography. The sixth graders with whom I work are my inspiration; some of them are excelling at this.

I am thankful for…another year to be alive, in the company of my loving family and friends. I want to spend the year well, to God’s glory.

From the kitchen…I have a new favorite cookbook, Simply in Season: A World Community Cookbook
by Mary Beth Lind and Cathleen Hockman-Wert. Here is the most recent recipe we enjoyed from it:

Sweet Potato Crescent Rolls

1 ½ cups whole wheat bread flour (I used white because I didn’t have whole wheat.)

¼ cup sugar

1 Tablespoon active dry yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

½ teaspoon ground nutmeg

¼ teaspoon ground ginger

¼ teaspoon ground allspice

 

Combine in a large bowl.

 

1 cup sweet potatoes, cooked and mashed

1 cup milk

¼ cup butter

 

Combine in large saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring until butter is melted and mixture is warm. Add to flour mixture. Beat with mixer set on low speed, scraping bowl often, until mixture is all moistened, 1 to 2 minutes.

 

1 large egg, beaten

 

Add and beat at medium speed for 3 minutes.

 

2 to 2 ½ cups bread flour

 

Stir in enough flour by hand to make dough easy to handle. Turn onto floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, about 7 to 9 minutes (or 5 minutes if your mixer has a dough hook). Place in greased bowl, turn to grease both sides, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled in bulk. Punch down dough and divide it in half. Roll each half of dough on lightly floured surface into a 12-inch circle.

 

2 Tablespoons butter, melted

 

Brush each circle with 1 Tablespoon butter. Cut into 12 wedges and tightly roll up each wedge from wide end to point. Place crescent rolls, point-side down, on greased baking sheet. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake in preheated oven at 375 degrees until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes.


 

I am wearing…dark red sweater top with striped collar and cuffs, black long-ish skirt, and black leggings. Cozy attire.

I am reading…Venetia by Georgette Heyer. This may be my favorite historical fiction (Regency period) piece by this author, to-date.

I am hoping…to write blog posts more frequently, while still keeping a focus on good meals and baking on the home-front.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the hum of the computer. The children are quietly going about their business (studying, showering, reading) upstairs.

Around the house…It’s soggy outside, and the river waters have risen. Everything is looky pretty squishy.

One of my favorite things…is quiet time at home at the end of a busy day. I want to read a bit more of that book I mentioned earlier, in just a little bit.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We are waiting for our van to be repaired. The gas pump (which is located inside the gas tank) went out while some of the children were driving on a busy highway. Thankfully, they were able to pull over safely, the tow truck came, and we transported them safely to their destination. What makes gas pumps go out, I wonder? Bad gas, possibly? This is the second time this has happened.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

This is granddaughter Claire, who is 4 1/2 months old.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Local Beauty

Monday, December 14th, 2009

Some friends of ours who live just south of us in Langley, WA, sent me the link to this fantastic video. Isn’t the Pacific Northwest a gorgeous place?

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, December 7th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…December 7, 2009

Outside my Window…the northeast wind is blowing, and the thermometer registers 20 degrees. Brrr! Snow isn’t in this week’s weather prediction, though.

I am thinking…about going to bed soon. That would be the responsible thing to do.

From the learning rooms…I must be really tired, because I can’t think of anything for this entry!

I am thankful for…our warm home, and our woodstove.

From the kitchen…Soon I will be baking some delicious almond desserts to take to school to share with coworkers. Of course I want to make some goodies for the family as well. Today I purchased seven pounds of almond paste, so am ready to get started.


I am wearing…the warmest clothing I have, as the cold just seeps into the house.

I am reading…I recently finished a book for young people that was a fun read: If a Tree Falls at Lunch Period by Gennifer Choldenko. This well-written story deals, in part, with the perennial problem of “frienemies” – you know, those friends who really aren’t all that friendly.

I am hoping…the roads don’t get too bad too soon. When it gets really cold like this, we sometimes get rain, which coats everything with a thick layer of ice.

I am creating…this quick blog post before bed.

I am hearing…the noises of the kiddos getting ready for bed before me.

Around the house…I keep refilling the bucket of water we keep outside for the dog, even though she stays snuggly curled up inside. I figure the outside cats and other critters need fresh water too during this cold snap.

One of my favorite things…is reading a good book by the woodstove.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…daughter Kayla graduates from college this Saturday. CONGRATULATIONS Kayla!!! Our 8th grade son has lots of basketball practice, and our girls have two indoor soccer games. Thus, I have lots of driving to do and errands to run, but it’s all good.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

story time

Auntie Kayla is reading to Deeder and Carly while baby brother Koen sleeps between them.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Photos of the Scion after the kids’ accident

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2009

    

    

    

    

    

This is how our son’s Toyota Scion looked after an accident that occurred Saturday evening as four of our children were on their way home from spending Thanksgiving in California with their Grampa and Gramma. The car was totaled.

This year I had super-abundant reason for thankfulness to the Lord, as our children were preserved safe in this serious accident. To make a long story short, a railroad tie fell off a flatbed truck ahead of them. The heavy, fast-moving debris took out the rear left tire of the vehicle, causing the car to spin out of control and fly through the air and then roll over onto the embankment. (To be continued)

Give Me Five Monday

Monday, November 23rd, 2009

Give Me 5 Monday logo

Becca, of Becca’s Buzz, is the hostess for Give Me Five Monday. Her prompt today is Give Me Five reasons you can be thankful this year.

  • I am thankful for the promise of Romans 8:28, “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose.” (emphasis added)
  • Two grandchildren were born safe and sound this year, Claire on August 15th, and Koen on October 26th.
  • We are privileged to be members of a faithful and loving church family.
  • In this slow economic time, we have food to eat, money to pay our bills, and a cozy home.
  • Our children are a joy and a blessing to us.


Simple Woman’s Daybook

Tuesday, November 17th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…November 16, 2009

Outside my Window…I see a wet, windy fall morning. This post is a day late because our power went off (and stayed off) last night, probably due to damage caused to power lines by falling branches.

I am thinking…more and more about getting a simple, reliable point-and-shoot camera. What’s a blog without up-to-date, on-the-spot pics? For the moment, I’m in the gathering information stage. Any suggestions?

From the learning rooms…I will soon be learning how to get financial assistance for my mom. Full care facilities for the elderly are expensive, and rightly so. Money from sale of her house will run out within six months, so I will be navigating the paperwork ocean to secure funds, which along with her Social Security, will pay for her care.

I am thankful for…our power being on again this morning. It’s so nice to be able to see what’s what when getting prepared for the day away from home. It’s also great that the food in the fridge and freezer are cold, and the water’s warm.

From the kitchen…Due to a day full of errands, followed by that power loss, we snacked from my Costco purchases last night. Potato rosemary bread with butter is delicious, as well as their raisin bran muffins spread with cream cheese.

I am wearing…a long sleeved brown and turquoise top, a turquoise-tones marled sweater, and my dressy black skirt. It’s off to school in about an hour for me.

I am reading…(starting to read) The Jane Austen Book Club. I started but stopped reading a book entitled Deadline by Chris Crutcher. The premise of the book was interesting: An 18-year old young man who discovers he is fatally ill, decides not to tell his dysfunctional family about his imminent death, but to live as fully as he can for the remaining year. I just didn’t find the main character likeable or admirable, so lost the desire to keep reading.

I am hoping…my internet service is up again by the time I get to the end of this post. How petty is that?

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…the children getting ready for school and work. My husband and I are tippetty-tapping at our respective keyboards. Isn’t life cozy?

Around the house…Our glass recyclables bin got knocked over by the wind. Guess I’d better head outside to clean up that mess in a few minutes. On the bright side, the gusting winds blew the leaves off the grass, into the forest.

One of my favorite things…is autumn winds. Really. We enjoy the lights going out, and the sudden rearrangement of our plans. The girls and I enjoyed a game of Skipbo by lantern light last night. That’s certainly more enjoyable than fretting about what’s not getting done, or about the internet being down.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…This Friday, some of our children are leaving on a road trip to visit Grampa and Gramma Taron in California. I’ll surely miss them here, but am hoping they have a wonderful time in Inverness.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

koen

This is our grandson, Koen, who is three weeks old now.

Sarah and baby Claire

This is our granddaughter, Claire, who is three months old, with her mommy.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…November 2, 2009

Outside my Window…When I stepped outside this evening, I noticed I can see my breath. Crisp autumn weather is here.


I am thinking…wondering: Why am I staying up late to do this post? Answer: I feel guilty about my posts being so few and far between.

From the learning rooms…In seventh grade math, we have been doing charts, graphs and equations. Today the students were introduced to the TI-83 graphing calculator, and were quite impressed with it.

I am thankful for…the health and strength to keep busy doing useful things.

From the kitchen…Tonight two of the girls and I had a late errand to run in town, so Taco Bell did the cooking tonight. I enjoy their beef taco salad with zesty ranch dressing.

I am wearing…a red sweater hoodie and soft black pants.

I am reading…I just finished reading Charity Girl by Georgette Heyer. In this book, the author especially looks at father/son and mother/daughter relationships, both good and bad. As always, she has a great deal of fun with her characters.

I am hoping…daughter Laura feels stronger soon, after giving birth to child number three last Monday. She is doing just fine, but it takes a while to get one’s strength back.

I am creating…this blog post.

I am hearing…a train whistle blowing, off in the distance.

Around the house…I noticed the pear tree is bare of leaves, but the fruit is still clinging to the branches. I think I’ll bake a pear torte or crisp tomorrow.


One of my favorite things…is working hard all day, and then relaxing at the end of the day.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…My younger sister is coming for a visit! The girls and I need to get the guest room all fresh and clean in anticipation of her arrival on Wednesday.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

carly and koen

My daughter Laura took this picture of her daughter Carly holding newborn brother Koen. She is so thrilled with him. When she wants to hold him, she says, “I need it!”

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, October 19th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…October 19, 2009

Outside my Window…I’m blogging at the end of the day again, so it’s dark. It’s also a bit foggy, which is typical for Fall in our neck of the woods.


I am thinking…that a slow cooker is a handy appliance. We really enjoyed a Tex-Mex Beef Barbecue yesterday. I’ll give you the recipe in a moment.

From the learning rooms…Our seventh grade math class is beginning to learn about one-step equations. It’s fun to see the lights go on in kiddos’ minds as they engage with the problems.

I am thankful for…daughter Sarah and granddaughter Claire being well and safe after a fender-bender this past Thursday.

From the kitchen…Here’s that Tex-Mex Beef barbecue recipe:

This recipe is from the Hamilton Beach Slow Cooker cook book, and makes enough for a 5 ½ to 7 quart capacity slow cooker.

6 pounds brisket of beef

2 (18 oz) bottles hickory-smoked barbecue sauce (I used Sweet Baby Ray’s Gourmet Sauce.)

2 (1.25 oz) envelopes chili seasoning

2 teaspoons chopped garlic

2 teaspoons lemon juice

2 Tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup chopped onion

Combine all ingredients, except meat, in crock. Stir well. Add meat and stir well to coat. Cover and cook: Low for 10 hours OR high for 5 hours.

Remove the meat and shred. Return the meat to crock. Stir well. Serve on soft rolls.

Makes 16 servings.

I am wearing…a marled turquoise tones sweater over a long-sleeved turquoise top, and soft black pants.

I am reading…The Foundling by Georgette Heyer, one of my favorite “fun read” authors.

I am hoping…to stay well, and that family members get well.

I am creating…Well, I did bake brownies and an apple crisp this evening.


I am hearing…the hum of the computer fan.

Around the house…all the children are in bed. I need to head there, too.

One of my favorite things…is getting things done, as opposed to procrastinating.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…We hope to go out to one of our favorite restaurants for dinner this Friday, with some of our friends.

Our poor girls have three soccer games this week, on top of school responsibilities. Sigh!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

PICT0175

Here is a pic of me holding granddaughter Claire, who is a little over two months old now.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 21st, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 21, 2009

Outside my Window…is a refreshing autumn evening. The day started off quite cool, just a bit above 40 degrees, but warmed up to be one of those “just right” blue sky and puffy white cloud days that are so appreciated this time of year.


I am thinking…that we’re a bit wimpy at our home just now. Daughter Lydia was ill over the weekend with the flu, and now a few more of us seem to be fighting a tummy bug.

From the learning rooms…I am assisting the Middle School band director to help students learn their parts. This duty will last just until someone is hired permanently for this position. The last time I played in a band was when I was in high school eons ago, so I am definitely out of my comfort zone.


I am thankful for…my family being OK with me taking it easy when I’m not feeling well. They fend for themselves so nicely.

From the kitchen…I didn’t make dinner tonight, but did bake a large pan of apple crisp. On Saturday I made Honey Whole Wheat Bread and granola, so we just snacked for dinner.

 

I am wearing…My usual black skirt with a new teal shirt. Very school-marmish.

I am reading…I just finished reading The Secret of Platform 13 by Eva Ibbotson. This fantasy book for young people, while creative and well-written, just doesn’t hold a candle to the author’s realistic novels such as The Reluctant Heiress, which I also recently finished. Maybe I’m just not much of a fantasy fan, or not in the mood for it recently.

I am hoping…that Lydia is breathing easier by tomorrow, that Debra is able to go to school, and that I don’t miss any work.

I am creating…what is becoming a once-a-week blog post.

I am hearing…recorded conversation from a movie playing in the other room.

Around the house…Our apples are ripe and tasting sweeter as the nights get cooler. Our apple varieties are good keepers, as long as we store them properly. It would be fun to try drying some of them.

One of my favorite things…is rest at the end of a busy day. I’m in the mood for a Georgette Heyer book. I’ll have to see if the girls have one I haven’t read yet. Reading a good book is part of rest, you know!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…Tomorrow evening is Back to School Night at the Middle School, plus an Ice Cream Social. I’m also hoping to take daughter Laura to tour the Birthing Center this Saturday, I think. All being well, I’m planning to cook dinners the rest of the week!

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

sisters holding nieces

Daughter Rebecca holding Carly (daughter Laura’s little one) and daughter Kayla holding baby Claire (daughter Sarah’s little one)

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!

Simple Woman’s Daybook

Monday, September 14th, 2009

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Hosted by Peggy

For Today…September 14, 2009

Outside my Window…Once again, I’m starting this post at the end of the day, so it’s DARK outside! Earlier, it was one of those perfect autumn days, cool but not cold yet, a bit breezy, with a few wispy clouds decorating the sky. I had the privilege to be out driving, doing errands, so I had a good view of the lovely surroundings.

I am thinking…that I really enjoy working as a para educator (teacher’s helper). I don’t have the long hours and heavy responsibilities of a teacher, yet I have the opportunity to be a help and encouragement to students. I wouldn’t have the energy to be a teacher!

From the learning rooms…We have been busy evaluating student’s reading and math skills for the beginning of the year. This way, we are better able to help kids with their specific areas of need, such as comprehension, attention to detail, making inferences, etc.

I am thankful for…daughter Rebecca’s good help with the dishes and laundry when I am so tired this evening. I had to take daughter Debra to an appointment right after school, then stayed in town to do errands, and arrived home late and worn out. Thank you, Rebecca!

From the kitchen…My people ate left-overs and snacks this evening. I did bring home a delicious Costco pumpkin pie, however.


I am wearing…an argyle patterned sweater with a long black skirt. Very ‘school-ish’ looking.

I am reading…The Reluctant Heiress by Eva Ibbotson. This author can make her characters come alive like no other. Rebecca really enjoyed this book, so I’m reading it at her recommendation.

I am hoping…to go to bed soon.


I am creating…this quick blog post!

I am hearing…the crinkle of foil in the kitchen. Someone is uncovering that pumpkin pie for a before-bed snack.

Around the house…I want to do a little neatening up of the entry garden beds, maybe put in a couple bright chrysanthemums before we have lots of company on Sunday. Granddaughter will be baptized, and we’re hosting a luncheon here afterwards.

One of my favorite things…is doing loving things for my family, and receiving loving things from them.


A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week…I would like to get a little extra cleaning done around the house in preparation for company. My main helpers have two soccer games this week, so we’ll see if that actually happens.

Here is a picture thought I am sharing with you…

Claire bear

This is my dear little granddaughter Claire who will be one month old when she is baptized this Sunday.

Hostess Peggy says this about The Simple Woman’s Daybook:

Are you content to linger on the simple things of life…then join me in taking a little look into the day plans and thoughts of those of us who are focusing on simplicity…the beauty of the everyday moments around us. That is my vision for this idea!