Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Strawberry fields for...3 weeks!

We have been waiting and watching and hoping and longing to pick strawberries. 

One of summer's great pleasures is fresh picked berries! 

Finally it's happened! The berries are ripening! YAY! Today's the day!


Bottles of water...check!

Backpack...packed and ready...check!

Children who are hurrying to get ready so we can leave early...children who are hurrying?  Fine! The original plan had been to take mine anyway!

Arrive slightly later than planned and hitch a ride out to the strawberry fields.

Follow a guide into the field and get assigned a row.

Drop to ground and pick strawberries 'til our hearts content! Or until I remember that each flat can hold about 10 pounds of strawberries and the berries cost $1.85 a pound this year. So we picked until I said that looks like it's getting expensive!

We had to do some searching because the berries have just begun to ripen and there aren't many that are ready to be picked.

The fruit of our labor was well worth the effort though!

Just to make sure, we did a little taste testing! Or a lot!

With our flat full of berries, we made our way to the checkout.

We could not leave without also purchasing some strawberry muffins and strawberry donuts. Yum, yum, yum! And of course, we had to stop to taste those too!

As usual, we picked way more strawberries than we need. That's my favorite part! Because then we get to pack some up to share with friends! And we can go back for more, if we do it in the next 3 weeks. After that, the berries will be done. Ho hum! But we get to enjoy them now!

Thank you Lord for sweet, delicious, ruby red strawberries! 

It was a berry good morning!


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

100 posts!

This is my 100th post. WooHoo...Yippee...Yowza! 

Who knew I had it in me? The Husband! He's pretty cool that way!

Mostly I love it when he knows what he's talkin' bout!

However, sometimes it gets on my nerves! Like last week, when I told him I wanted to find a new marinade for the steak I wanted him to grill.

He said, "how about a marinade with Coca~Cola?"

"PFFFT! You don't marinade steak with Coca~Cola!" I said.

About 10 seconds later, the man was printing out a recipe he found on the internet, for a Coca~Cola steak marinade. Snort!

Of course, to save face, I pointed out that if the marinade wasn't any good, we would ruin a beautiful and potentially delicious cut of meat.

He wasn't deterred!

So my friends, to prove his fatal steak marinading error, I mixed up the Coca~Cola marinade.

I would also like to add that if this did not go well we were also wasting a perfectly refreshing bottle of Coke! That's right...a ruined steak and a wasted Coke. But, if it will make the Husband be it!

In a mixing bowl combine:
12 oz Coca~Cola
1/4 cup vegetable oil
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon ground onion powder
3 tablespoons soy sauce

1 tablespoon fresh grated ginger root
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pinch dried basil

Whisk ingredients together until well blended and pour over steak. Cover and refrigerate for 2-6 hours.

At this point I was contemplating plan B for dinner.

The Husband, confident in his marinade, proceeded to grill up the steak.

The Husband has become an excellent griller! It is one of the things I love about him! I don't know that it can fix a marinade blunder, but there was no stopping him now. 

When the steak was grilled to perfection the Husband began to slice into his Coca~Cola steak.

How sad I thought, that this could have been wonderful dinner, was going to be a bust.

I gave the Husband the I-love-you-no-matter-what-we-have-for-dinner look as he handed me a quick taste of the freshly sliced steak.

DRAT!! It was good! Really good!

Then the Husband gave me that smug That's-What-I'm-Talkin' bout look!

Yep, he was RIGHT! And he didn't feel the need to remind me about it all evening. That's another reason I love him!

So for the record, Steak marinaded in Coca~Cola is excellent, and the Husband knew it. Thank you for a very good dinner.

Good enough to have again, to celebrate 100 blog posts!


P.S.  For anyone wondering about the little measuring cups you see in the ingredients photo,they are made by OXO and I got mine at Target! I have found them to be very useful! If you were wondering.

P.P.S. This post was Husband approved. He especially approves of my telling you he was right!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Weekend forecast

We had been told, last week, to expect a lovely, sunny weekend. 


It has been so frustrating to watch the weeds in the garden thrive in the gloomy, rainy weather. I was so excited for sunshine and a chance during the weekend to remove those nasty weeds! 

Alas, Saturday morning dawned...dun dun daaaah...gloomy! Again! UGH! 

We began the day with a trip to the Farmer's Market. We only wanted a couple of things and we were hoping, if we just gave it a little more time, the sun would show itself. 

We wanted some bread. We have a favorite bread stand. The bread is so very delicious. 

She wasn't there! Our favorite bread vender wasn't there! sigh!

I was also hoping to get some sweet peas. I love the smell of sweet peas! I am growing some in the garden but I can usually get some at the market before the plants in the garden begin to bloom. 

Nope, no sweet peas either. I think the cloudy weather isn't helping the flowers to bloom!

I did get some radishes and snap peas though. I've been munching on radishes ever since we got them. There are only two left. They are crunchy and delicious! I like to sprinkle a little salt on them...anyway...

The sun did not make an appearance while we were at the Farmer's Market. 

The garden had to be done anyway! The flowers and vegetables may not be thriving with all of the rain and clouds but the weeds are. That's just not right! 

Oh how the garden had become full of weeds!

Bad, I know!

This job was long overdue.

I grabbed my indispensable weeder. I don't remember what it's called but it's fabulous!

One side has teeth, the other is flat, and the end has a point. It slices and dices and digs out the weeds. It also has a nice long handle so I don't get a crick in my back! Yay! 

It makes pretty short work of the weeds!

It gives my arms a good workout! Gotta love that!

Normally, if the weeds are really little, I will leave their remains in the soil...returning nutrients to the ground and all, but because the weeds had grown so large by the time I got to clearing them out, I had five large buckets full of weed parts to haul out of the garden.

Warning, this next photo is not a pretty one!

Weed remains! Yikes!

And rocks! Where do all of the rocks come from? I am forever removing rocks. As soon as I think I have pulled all of the rocks out of the garden, I find a dozen more. snort!

Finally the garden is weed free and I can show you the trellises the Husband made for the beans and snap peas.

Pretty nice, huh? We saw trellises like these in a garden store for $150 each. The husband made three of them for under $27. Woohoo!

The beans and snap peas are happy!

And there is something about seeing all of that freshly turned, dark, weed free soil that makes me happy.

Did I mention that as soon as I began to work in the garden it started to rain? I should have expected it...the weather person said it would be a lovely, sunny weekend.


Friday, June 24, 2011

Wise advice

I received some very good and well timed parenting advice today. Well timed because, as the girls and I are trying to settle into a summer routine, the transition is not going as smoothly as I hoped. There has been a lot of butting heads. Mine is beginning to hurt!

I was reminded that, as the parent, I need to remain in authority over my children! And as the one in authority I need to wisely and sparingly choose my battles. 

Hello, I think I knew that! Yet I definitely needed to hear it again! 

And that, once a battle is chosen, I need to win. Certainly not win as in, my children lose! I need to win to teach my children that I will follow through if there is a need for consequences, so they know I mean what I say and I will not waver. Follow through is, for sure, the most difficult part. However, the effort to follow through is absolutely in my children's best interest!

Lastly I was reminded to purposefully look for things that my children do well and tell them that I am pleased with them.

Nothing about this advice was new to me. I knew it. I had heard it before. But I had forgotten to live it.

Sometimes, especially when routine is very off kilter, even a Mom can forget what she ought to do. 

Yes, even a mom, occasionally, needs to be reminded to straighten up and fly right!


P.S. Just for the record...when corrected...I did not roll my eyes!

Thursday, June 23, 2011


This is the pot rack that holds all of my Calphalon pots, and hangs from the ceiling in my kitchen. I like it!

This is the pot that I use the most when I cook. It's not that it's my favorite. I like them all equally. I do not play favorites! It's just that this pot is the perfect size to cook almost everything!

This is the handle cover that protects me from burns when the handle of this pot gets very hot as it heats up. I recently took to leaving the handle cover on the handle of this pot all of the time, because I am lazy and I did not want to have to take it off and put it away.

Which worked out just fine because even with the handle cover on I could still hang the pot from the pot rack no problem!

Unless one does not notice that the handle cover was not all the way on the handle as it should be. Like this.

And instead it was like this.

Can you see that very subtle difference? 

I didn't!

If one hangs a very heavy pot from the handle cover alone, the pot is very likely to slide out of the handle cover and drop 3 feet crashing onto the wooden counter beneath. It will very likely leave a significant dent in the wooden counter and one will be very glad no children or breakable dishes were in the way.

I'm just sayin'!


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Rainy day

I was a little annoyed by all of the rain yesterday. It pummeled my flowers and the few remaining Peony blossoms were completely done in. sigh!

I couldn't stay bothered for very long though. Not when the girls and their friend were having so much fun!

Rain, rain, go away...later! Right now I want to delight in watching my girls at play!

Because twirling bright umbrellas...

and standing ankle deep in puddles of rain water make me smile!

So for now I will not mind the torrents of rain.

But, I will keep in mind those who would find a pummeled Peony to be of little concern because flood waters are becoming a threat to their safety and homes. I pray for their protection and that the water recedes quickly! 


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The incident

There was an incident the other day with one of my girls. I won't say which one because it could have been either. It could have been me when I was a child.

Yes, that's me trying to push my little sister out of the photo. 6 and already rebellious!

My girl flat out told me she wasn't going to do what I asked her to do. I think she kinda freaked herself out when she did it! To make matters worse, in the same breath, she told me what she wanted me to do for her.

As you may have guessed it did not go over very well with me.

Without allowing the steam to escape my nostrils...O yeah, it could have happened...I had a little talk with her about her rebellious attitude...Not OK...and my hope that she would have a greater appreciation for all her Dad and I do for her and that that appreciation would cause her to desire to have a loving respect and obedience toward us.

My beloved girl was very quick to apologize. Like I said, she really surprised herself, me too actually. It certainly isn't that my girl never does anything wrong. It's just that this particular incident of rebellion was more direct than any other before.

As I said, she apologized and I forgave her. We hugged and all was well. As I began to walk away, she quietly asked, " do you still love me?"

I knew instantly that she wasn't simply looking for confirmation of my love. My girl wanted to know if I would always love her, would I always forgive her, even if she rebelled again and again and again. She is very smart my girl. She could already see that her human nature, our human nature, is prone to rebellion.

"My love for you does not depend on whether I think your behavior is good or bad. "I explained. "I love you because you are my girl! I gave you life and you are precious to me! Rebellion can make a heart grow hard though, and a hard heart struggles to feel loved and rebellion can hinder a loving relationship between parents and children."

As I spoke the words out loud, I heard them softly echo in my mind and I was reminded that that is how God loves. As a parent I do my best, but God loves perfectly. His love is unconditional. His love is not dependent on our behavior. He created us, gave us life, we are precious in His sight. However, when we rebel we struggle to feel love, and we are prone to rebel. I am prone to rebel. 

Sadly, rebellion separates us from God's unconditional love. Not because He has taken it away, but because we have hardened our hearts. As a child struggles to feel a parents love when they rebel, because rebellion brings strife, we too struggle to feel God's love when we rebel against Him. 

As a parent I long for my children to walk along side me, willing to be taught, protected and loved. I hope they will desire to obey me because they know I love them and want the best for them and they recognize all that I do for them. 

God, our heavenly Father, who created us, who gives us all things, who has taken responsibility for us by offering His Son as the propitiation for our sins, wants us to know His love. He wants us to walk along side of Him, trusting in His goodness, willing to lovingly obey Him because of all He has done for us. He wants us to seek forgiveness for our rebellion so that we may feel safe, protected, comforted, precious!

God is so good, that though we rebel, if we will seek it, He will forgive us over and over and over. His love will never fail! 


Monday, June 20, 2011


Father's Day may be a day we celebrate only once a year, but we are thankful for dads every day!

Thankful for Dads who are loving!

My Dad!
Thankful for Dads who encourage!

My girl's Dad!
Thankful for Dad's who are silly!

My Dad in law!
Because it is way more fun to spend time playing with Dad than it is to play Plants vs Zombies!!

Thankful for a Dads strength!

Thankful for Dads who provide and protect! 

Most of all, thankful for Dads who share their faith and love for Jesus!

We've said it before, and we will say it again and again!

Thank you Dads!


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Growing pains

My baby!

My cutie pie!

My sweet pea!

My honey bunch!

My lovey!

My dear,

my darling girl,

grew taller than me. Overnight! It's not allowed! I won't stand for it! At least I won't stand close to her anymore! Not close enough that anyone can tell for certain that she has gotten taller than me!

My baby has grown into a beautiful young woman, who is taller than me!

It is wonderful and painful all at the same time!

If only her feet would grow just a little more too, so she will no longer be tempted to borrow my shoes!