Friday, November 30, 2007

Verse of the Day

Psalm 55:22

"Cast your burden on the LORD, and He shall sustain you;  He shall never permit the righteous to be moved."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007


Today, an ironic thing happened as I was bringing Elliott to storytime... A bum gave my kid some change... Huh?

We were walking into the Santa Rosa Central Library when Elliott dropped a jelly bean out of his pocket and started freaking out and shrieking. Of course, it then took a lot of convincing to get him to leave the jelly bean there and continue on our way (why does it always have to be a huge ordeal to go anywhere with your kids?!). For some reason, the library tends to attract a lot of homeless people in Santa Rosa and we attracted the attention of one of those fellows.

"What's wrong with him? What'd he drop?", the man asked me as he started digging through his pockets.

"He dropped his jelly bean." I said, and smiled (you know, the "Oh, kids..." smile).

"Here," he said, taking out some change, "he can buy some more candy."

"Oh no, that's ok. Thank you, though." I laughed.

"No, really, I always would have wanted someone to give me money when I was a kid." he said.

He seemed bent on the idea and waved off my protests as he handed Elliott some change and asked him a question. He couldn't understand what Elliott replied (which was really just Elliott still talking about how he dropped his jelly bean, which wasn't what the guy asked him at all), so he handed him some more change and helped him put it in his pocket...

What exactly just happened? Shouldn't he be asking us for money, instead of giving it to us (that is, if he really was homeless)? The more I think about it, the more puzzling and strange it seems. He was one of those people who just seem a little off. But why does doing a nice thing seem so strange nowadays? it is always a little bit weird when strangers approach you. It's like we're trained to harden our hearts against anyone we don't know--to be closed minded and keep our eyes in front of us and not look around at anybody around us. Normal people don't just approach one another. That's normal? How sad.

Maybe it's this guy, and people like him, that really have it figured out. Take away your home and comforts and distractions of pleasure, and what do you have left? People...the people around you that have been there all along.

But, I digress. What do you think?

Monday, November 19, 2007

Chai Spiced Oatmeal

A new twist on an old classic. Today, instead of stovetop oatmeal with
milk and brown sugar, I used some leftover chai I had in the fridge (I
highly recommend making your own chai, it is delicious and
rewarding).  It was raining in Santa Rosa--making it a perfect day for

Since chai is essentially spiced milk with a small amount of tea, I

figured it could work as a substitute for plain old milk.   In went the
already sweetened chai with the oatmeal, along with a small amount of
brown sugar for that extra little kick (although its fine without it).
And voilĂ !  Breakfast and caffeine in one dish!

These flavors would be interesting in a cookie--maybe I'll try that

Verse of the Day

Psalm 52:8,9

"But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.  I will praise You forever, because You have done it; and in the presence of Your saints I will wait on Your name, for it is good."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Brownies From Scratch

If you're a brownie lover, like me, but have never made your own from scratch, you need to!  I had previously never made them, thinking it would be difficult, but it is really quite easy...and fun!  You get to melt chocolate and use the whisking attachment on your KitchenAid. (Check it out, its on sale!) (This was my first time needing the whisk, it was exciting.)  My favorite part was whisking the eggs, sugar, and vanilla in the mixer till they turn pale.  I don't know why (maybe its my affinity for chemistry), but I find it fascinating to make that happen.
I found a great recipe for Double Chocolate Brownies on the Martha Stewart website (dorky, I know, but I'm a girl of varied interests).  I used Ghirardelli  60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate Chips and then otherwise followed the recipe, except for that I chopped up a handful of extra chips and threw them in the batter for good measure.  (For baking I usually buy and use Guittard chocolate...The milk chocolate chips are amazing and I tend to eat them straight out of the bag, but I had Ghirardelli on hand to use up, I think it was on sale)

And the consensus was that they were dang good!  So, Dave, Char, Grace, and I ate the whole batch and tonight I made them again...This is dangerous.

Side note: we just bought the slicer/shredder attachment, which we love, for our KitchenAid.  There seem to be a lot of other great attachments out there.  Which attachment should we add to our collection next?  I would love to hear your success stories...

Friday, November 16, 2007

My "Two-Cents"

Budgeting, I fear, is pretty much a lost art these days. During the holidays, it is especially important to have a budget. It really is not difficult. Budgeting doesn't mean that you can't have fun or spend money--it is simply an organizational tool for your finances. You decide where you want your money to go.

Keys to a good budget:

Be realistic.
Set goals that you can keep…Don’t set yourself up too tight or you’ll end up scrapping the whole thing. Allow yourself spending money, this way you are less likely to overextend yourself in those weak moments. (We all need to let loose every once in a while and buy that book we've been looking at or that daily grande, non-fat, extra hot, no whip mocha.) Give yourself an inch, that way you won’t end up taking a mile.

Be smart.
Set aside money for long-term saving for things in the more distant future--such as a car or a house--as well as savings for more short-term things such as birthdays, etc.

When things like Christmas are coming up, decide ahead of time how much you want to spend and divide that amount up among your recipients.

If you never take the time to sit down and find out how much extra money you have after you pay your expenses, you’ll never start saving--you will just end up spending it on food or the movies or something. Why not budget and then you can give yourself money for food and movies and still be saving along the way?

Here is an example from my very first budget when I was ten years old and making $2 a week…

10% for tithe

(leaving 90% to divide between savings and spending)

50% pocket money (to spend on whatever I like)
20% long term savings
20% short term savings

Carpe Diem! Seize the Day!
I know you can!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

This is what happens...

...when you have more than one kid.  Somebody inevitably gets
overlooked.  Yes, those are batteries.

Its the small pleasures in life...

Elliott.  Funny kid.   He seems to thoroughly enjoy bread--just bread.
When a hankering for food comes upon him, he marches himself into the
kitchen, grabs a chair, drags it over to the counter, and reaches his
little arm deep inside the bread bag and pulls out his prize--a plain
piece of whole wheat bread, the "heel," no less.  Why this is
appetizing, I have no idea.  Sometimes he even goes for seconds...

"This is good?" he asks me.

Sent from my iPhone

Verse of the Day

Psalm 47:1

"Oh, clap your hands, all you peoples!  Shout to God with the voice of triumph!"

It occurred to me that this verse is telling us to shout with triumph, not only when we feel triumphant and things are going well for us, but also when we are not and they are not.  We have to look outside of ourselves and look to Jesus, and when we do that, we can be triumphant because of who He is and what amazing things He has done for us.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Friends with the law...

(yes, I got my finger in the photo.  I was nervous--there was a policeman standing next to me, waiting!)

Monday, November 12, 2007

Virtual coffee anyone?

Tonight I had to get out of the house, so I thought I'de call a friend
to meet me for coffee... But, alas, no one was answering. "That's no
problem!" I cried. "I'll just have virtual coffee via ichat on my
iPhone with Kyle Cole." ...And that's just what I did!

Elliott's bath-prints

Verse of the Day

Psalm 46:1-3

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear, even though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;  Though its waters roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with its swelling."

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Cup 'a Joe

We finally found a way to get Elliott to drink milk-- pretend its

Friday, November 9, 2007

Hiya!  Welcome to my blog!  I look forward to sharing with you all...
If you're interested in random thoughts, photos, and my youngins', stick around...