Sunday, October 31, 2010

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies

pumpkin chocolate chip cookies

cookies with tags

I used to play it safe with recipes, only using the old faithful ones when it came to having guests over or baking for a particular event.  I don't do that much anymore.  I've found it's the best time to try out new recipes!  For the fall carnival at the kid's school I made up a batch of pumpkin chocolate chip cookies.  Oh, my goodness!  These were so good!  I used the fresh pumpkin I had prepared and frozen (I knew that would come in handy) and I only baked mine for 10 minutes.  (My oven likes to cook pretty hot.)

traveling oak leaf

flower power orange

And if you're wondering about the tags on the bags, they are the traveling oak leaf and flower power from Nicky Epstein's Knitting A Kiss In Every Stitch.  The traveling oak leaf pattern can be downloaded for free here!

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Styling It With Sunglasses

Emma G had to bring a baby picture to class this past week.  I'm so glad I brought all of our pictures on disc with us!  We had a lot of fun going through all her pictures until she picked the one she wanted.  Doesn't she look adorable?

Emma Grace 6 mo

She was about 6 months old and I remember we were in our backyard in Connecticut on a sunny day. Obviously!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Dreaming

This is my last post about my personal retreat (promise!).  Thank you so much for letting me share my thoughts on here.  This dreaming aspect was a very significant part.  I hope it challenges and/or encourages you wherever you are in reference to dreaming.

green leaf

If there’s one thing that stood out to me during my personal retreat, it was in the area of dreaming. I took some papers with me to help me in the dreaming process, because it doesn’t come naturally to me. I think so practically that, if I can’t see it happening in the next month or so, then I can’t see it at all. My husband is a dreamer and I’ve found myself quite happy to ride on his dreaming coattails, being the ever get-it-done practical person on this husband/wife team. I do thank God that we are different and that we can complement each other quite nicely like that. But it’s not right for me to feel paralyzed or intimidated by the dreaming process.

shining through

I was surprised to find that my husband was quite excited that I was engaging this area of “how to dream.” I just assumed that he was happy to do all the dreaming for the both of us!

 There were two revelations that came to me regarding dreaming.  One, by not dreaming I am limiting God.  (Another reminder that life is not about us!)  I definitely believe God dreams.  Look at this world.  He started it out of nothing.  Don't you think He had fun dreaming it up?  We are His vessels, so we have to be available to carry out His dreams.  Two, there are already seeds in all of us.  In order to cultivate those seeds, we must allow ourselves to dream.  Pondering these two things emphasized again just how important it is that I allow myself to dream.

casting shadows


I’ve asked God to remove the dreambusters in my life that prohibit me from plunging in wholeheartedly. I think this dreaming thing is something that will get easier the more I practice it. And if not, well, there’s a part of me that is growing a little bit deeper as I step out into new territory.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Chasing Butterflies

idea garden

butterfly on petal

While at the rose gardens, I wandered over to the Idea Garden. What a fabulous place! I would love to have an idea garden someday, a place where dreams can be awakened and inspiration is birthed. I felt like a school girl as I chased butterflies with my camera. Those flighty little things didn’t like to stay still for long (much like someone else I know very well), but they were too beautiful to not try to get a few shots of them.

butterfly

wings out

butterfly face

The bees were much easier to photograph although the tables were turned a bit as I found myself running from them on occasion!

bee on flower

bee pollinating

bee in middle

I have such a fascination with capturing bugs on plants or flowers. I just think there’s something so amazing about witnessing pollination. We serve an amazingly, creative God.

ladybug

moth

What a great day in the gardens!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off To The Rose Gardens

spider(s)

When you’re alone (on a personal retreat) for several days, your only interaction with something breathing being squirrels and spiders, you start feeling like you’ve replaced Tom Hanks in his role in Cast Away. It was time to get out for a bit. This rang especially true when I walked out my door and saw what appeared to be a spider with way more than 8 legs. I thought, “What on earth? I do need to get out for a bit.” I gathered my things and walked back out the door. It was then that I saw two spiders. Oh...guess I just witnessed a little procreating. Baby spiders?

pink and white rose 
yellow rose

pink rose

orange rose

Well, no time to think about it now. Time to enjoy what puts Tyler on the map, the roses! Tyler happens to be the rose capital of the nation, and my timing for coming here was perfect. With rose festival activities starting only days after the ending of my retreat, I knew there had to at least be some beautiful roses blooming. I was right. Between the sounds of running water in the meditation garden, the sweet scents that tickled my nose, and the beauty of roses all around me, my senses were on overdrive and I drank it all in.

pink rose

pink rose

orange rose

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Being Among Nature

leaf

acorn

green branch

acorn among leaves

One of the things I was excited about with going on a personal retreat was that I would be surrounded by nature. Everyone’s different with different preferences, but I love the quiet and beauty of nature around me. I didn’t do any hiking. I went to a “sanctuary” so they strive to preserve everything in its natural habitat. Exploring is welcomed but as I read over the list, it deterred me. Snakes, well, I don’t like them but nothing could be worse than Africa’s black mamba, right? Poison ivy, now that one I can’t handle. One brush with that stuff and it spreads through my body like a wildfire, and it just happened to be the cause of my most embarrassing moment ever. Better avoid it than risk it...or be embarrassed again. There was much to enjoy right outside my door, especially as I sat in the rocker on my porch and soaked in the peace and quiet that engulfed me.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekending

Saturday proved to be a very wet and rainy day.  I actually welcome these days every once in a while.  It's a great chance to read, knit, and just take it easy.  I did all of the above.  The only thing I find difficult on these days is the restlessness that occurs in my kids.  Two minutes after they went outside to toss the baseball, it started to rain and continued for the rest of the day.

raining

rain, rain go away

TV and movie watching privileges had been revoked the previous day, so we had lots of game playing, putting puzzles together, and crafting.  And when the tension of being inside rose to all-time high, I suggested popcorn and it saved the day!  It brought the excitement level up a notch.  I had no idea popcorn could do that!

popcorn jar


a handful

eating a handful

I'm looking at a week of last minute costume making and lots of baking!  Any fun agendas for your week?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Tomato Sauce

tomato sauce

I didn't try any new recipes this week, but I did make a batch of tomato sauce for our pasta last night!  Making my own tomato sauce has been a recent thing, and I've realized it isn't as hard as I thought!  At FIMBY, I read about freezing tomatoes whole.  I love this on so many levels.  If you have lots of tomatoes, it's an easy way to preserve without seeing them rot in your kitchen.  Or, if your local store has them on sale for really cheap, you can stock up and preserve them for later.  The other reason I love this method is what happens as the tomatoes thaw.  You can just peel the skin off.  This saves lots of time versus the boiling and submerging in ice water method.  This is how I make tomato sauce for our family...

6-8 large tomatoes
about 2 tablespoons of olive oil
2 garlic cloves
about 15 fresh basil leaves (or the amount to your liking)
about 3 sprigs worth of fresh oregano leaves (or the amount to your liking)
salt

I just throw it all into a pot and add probably about a teaspoon of salt.  I really don't measure and add throughout the cooking process until it's to my liking.  I let it simmer for about 2 hours and then put it in the blender to make it smooth.  I've seen lots of recipes that call for sugar.  Although I can see how it could counteract the tart taste of tomatoes, I prefer to leave it out.  The kids like it just fine without.  I do think your choice of tomatoes is important.  Pick fresh, ripe tomatoes.  I prefer the bright red ones!  As you make your own sauce, you will start to find which tomatoes suit your taste buds!

Do you have a favorite tomato sauce recipe?

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Love...

love

Friday, October 22, 2010

Flooded With Memories

leaves on the ground

As I made the hour and a half drive to my personal retreat destination, I was flooded with memories of this place we once called home over 8 years ago. Had it really been that long that we left this place where so much history started for us? Had we really made 2 big moves since then and added another member to our family? Just more reminders that life goes by way too fast!

light

It was here that I started my journey as a missionary, a mere 18 year old ready to take the world for Jesus. It was here that I fell head over heels for a redhead and became a Price. It was here that we bought our first home, a single wide trailer, and made many memories entertaining our friends. It was here that we bought our second home. Our family expanded and we brought home our firstborn to this pink house in the woods! We traveled the world from this place and made lasting friendships with people we still do life with today. It was here that God began molding and shaping us into young leaders, preparing us for whatever the future might hold.

plant and barrels

As I drove around and saw the movie theater where we would go for date night, the mall where we went to go shopping, the pink house that we later turned brown, and the Mexican restaurant we loved, all the familiarity against all the changes in the 8 years since leaving, I could only smile and utter a simple “Thank you,” for the good memories that will forever be a part of our lives.

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