Thursday, December 31, 2009

2009 is coming to an end ...

"And now let us welcome the New Year, full of things that have never been."

Things such as Emma's first steps and first birthday, meeting our new baby face-to-face, and so many more things that are still unknown.

Yes, let's welcome it in.

lemon curd

what do you all think of me trying to post a recipe a week? good idea? no?

This recipe is for a friend who asked for it a while back. I finally found it in my Grandma's recipe box written in her nursing shorthand, so here it is (translated from her shorthand so that you can read it too).

Lemon Curd
6 large lemons
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup butter cut into 12 pieces
6 eggs, beaten
Grate zest of 2 lemons. Mix with sugar. Squeeze lemons to make 1 cup juice. Heat juice, zest, sugar and butter in double boiler (if you don't have one you can make your own - like I did - using a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water making sure that the bowl does not touch the water) over simmering water until butter is melted. Add eggs and stir until thickened (about 20 minutes).
Pour into jars or bowl and cool.

This is lovely served with biscuits, scones, waffles or toast, and I have found a wonderful recipe for Lemon Curd Poppy Seed Bread from Williams-Sonoma that I want to share at some point.

Emma's first Christmas...

...and the ornament that I made for her.

My Gramma used to give each of us grandchildren all the same type of ornament each year: Daniel got soldiers, I got ballerinas, Anna got angels, Julia got nativities, etc.

I decided to make Emma's first ornament this year, and made her a bird. I hope that one day she'll have a whole collection of birds, one for each year.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Emma is tall enough to pull our DVDs off of the shelf, and last week we added it to the "no touch" group. She had been gravitating to the shelf more and more and I would often find her on the floor happily surrounded by - and chewing on - the movies that she had pulled off the shelf.
So, now Emma is learning to obey some more, and the DVDs are staying on the shelf (mostly).
Because of that I spent a moment putting them back into alphabetical order this morning. It had been bothering me a bit that they were all "messed up" and now they are back in order (for now). So nice.
Of course, I expect to find them spread out on the floor with our baby girl happily in the middle of them again ............ but it's nice for now.

Monday, December 21, 2009

winter solstice

christmas 2009, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

isn't it wonderful that on the darkest day of the year, December 21, the candles and lights shine the brightest?
it's something to ponder in relation to other aspects of life, too.............

I love that Christmas, the day we celebrate the Light of the World being come to earth, directly follows the darkest day of the year. Somehow it seems to be full of meaning to me.

Sunday, December 20, 2009


memories, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

Both my grandmas were wonderful cooks.
Grandma Jacobsen always made this tea ring for Christmas breakfast, and the plate in this picture is from Gramma Moose who organized her church's Christmas Tea each year. They each had their specialty dishes: Grandma J. always made goulash for everyone to eat the first night we of our visit (it's an easy dish to rewarm in case we arrived late, which we often did since we drove 3 1/2 hours to get there) and Gramma M. would cook lamb chops with mint jelly for the grandkids when we visited one at a time.
And now I'm tearing up .........


stretchhhhhhhhhhh, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

she can just barely touch the bells when she stretches, and every now and then we hear the bells jingling and know that she is at the door again. :)

Thursday, December 17, 2009

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Wednesday, December 16, 2009

a new heirloom

I finished knitting Emma's dress a few days before Thanksgiving, just perfect since I had been imagining it as her holiday dress for this year. It is a rather simple pattern, once you figure out how the yoke is laid out. :) I found it in The Expectant Knitter and knit it up in Pattons "Grace" cotton yarn instead of the silk that the pattern recommended and like it just as well. It is light enough to to be a Spring dress but heavy enough to keep her little belly warm this winter, too.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

want one?

I put a large bowl of clementines on our coffee table, thinking that even if Emma could reach it she wouldn't be able to damage them (the worst she could do would be to suck on the fruit). Well, our little one has longer arms than I thought! And now she spends several minutes after each nap standing at the coffee table under our window pulling clementines out of the bowl and either dropping them or handing them to me. And sometimes she lets me keep them, too. :)

Friday, December 11, 2009

a new way to enjoy an old favorite (thanks to hulu)

Charlie Brown is very much a part of my Christmas memories, so imagine how wonderful it was to find that hulu had posted "A Charlie Brown Christmas" for all of us cheapskates to watch online.

Merry Christmas!!!!! (a little early)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009


, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

with this baby I am craving citrus. it doesn't really matter what kind, so long as it has that wonderful citrus-y smell and taste. and doesn't cost too much.
Clementines have been the best bargain so far, and I have eaten my way through several pounds of them in the past few weeks. They are just so juicy and good. But now that winter is getting into gear the oranges and grapefruit are coming down in price, so I'll begin to add a little variety to my snacking!

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Daddy's Girl

Emma has been loving her Daddy more and more, and now lights up for him as much as she does for me. It is so cute to watch her get excited when he gets home from work! Now if I can only teach her how to say "Da-da" ....

Friday, December 04, 2009

comfort food

I was talking with my sister-in-law yesterday about different slow cooker recipes for chicken and pork, and I mentioned this one that I have made a few times. It is written for pork, but I've always made it with chicken. It turns out so yummy and (because the meat gets pulled) it's perfect for meat that you've over-cooked that has gotten tough or "gummy".
It also makes the house smell great!!!!
Pulled Pork (or Chicken) Tacos
adapted from Real Simple
2 cups salsa, plus more for serving
2 Tbls chili powder
2 Tbls dried oregano (Italian season works too)
2 Tbls unsweetened cocoa powder
2 1/2 lbs boneless pork butt or shoulder (or chicken)

In a 4- to 6 quart slow cooker combine the salsa, chili powder, oregano, cocoa and 1 teaspoon salt. Add the pork and turn to coat.

Cook, covered, until the meat is tender and pulls apart easily, on high for 4 to 5 hours or on low for 7 to 8 hours.

Using two forks, shred the pork and stir it into the cooking liquid. Serve with tortillas, cilantro, sour cream, lime and extra salsa.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

our teething babe

The past few days have been filled with lots and LOTS of Emma holding, Emma comforting, and trying to find ways to relieve her discomfort.

So, when I heard her pull out the basket that holds our CDs tonight - which is usually a "no touch" item - I ignored it and let her play. She wasn't being destructive, just curious. She pulled most of the cases part way out and slid them back in, playing with a few colorful ones that caught her interest. It kept her busy and distracted for quite a while.

Now the thing is, she is happy but I feel bad that I was inconsistent!


Mom has put up some remembrances from the memorial service ago on Gramma's blog.

There are so many many more memories than what is written there. What we write or say can only scratch the surface. But we try. Because we want to remember. We want to enjoy the silly, the fun, the meaningful, the poignant memories and yes, even the sad ones.
Because remembering all those things heals. Remembering seems to help ease the pain and, somehow, it allows the joy to come in.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

thinking about Thanksgiving

well, thinking about Thanksgiving dinner might be more accurate.

I've been jotting down ideas that sound good to me (still need to go over them with my mother- and sister-in-law and whoever else will be cooking). My list has been revised a few times as more "traditional" (read, my family always ate them) dishes are remembered. Such as lemon meringue pie. And cranberry Jello mold .............. oh, yum.
And as I run across really yummy sounding dishes in recipe books or online. Like this one on Katie's blog. Now that sounds like Thanksgiving breakfast to me!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

how I remember her

Gramma Moose died yesterday morning. We knew that it was going to happen very soon and were expecting it at any moment, but still, we are mourning (and rejoicing for her).

For the past several days I have been thinking about her, about her life and my memories of her.
There are so very many wonderful memories, but the one that is sticking out at the top right now is of syrup. The picture of little pitchers of maple syrup sums up many of my memories of Gramma.

Maple syrup (I can't remember any other kind in her house) in little pitchers with pancakes or Belgian waffles was almost always a part of our visits with Gramma. In everything she did she tried to be and do her absolute best, even if it cost her a little more, so that she might bless those around her. If it cost more, she just graciously made do with less or saved somewhere else and didn't let it interfere with her goal of making the time special.

Little pitchers were important too, so that each person would have their own by their plate because each person was individually important. Gramma was one of six children and she understood how very important it is for a child or an adult to feel thought of, special as an individual and not just part of the larger group.

There are so many memories, good and wonderful memories.
Maybe I'll share them with you later .........

Saturday, November 07, 2009


Gramma, Anna and Lizzie, 1988

Emma, Sarah and I took a last minute trip to the Bay a week ago Wednesday. Gramma is not doing very well, and she wanted to see me and Emma again. It was a good trip, but a difficult one.

I'm still feeling rather numb, but going through some boxes of old photos is helping. It's bringing the memories and the tears.

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Emma and I are back from CA

Emma "helping" pack

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

gifts in the night

Yes, I know that it is 3:30 in the morning.

But I've noticed that this funny thing happens to me when I'm pregnant - my normally sound sleep (very sound, as in, almost comatose) gets much lighter and I can hear sounds through my sleep. Sounds like the road repair blocks away and the downstairs neighbors' toilet running. And I wake up.

Sleep flees for a while and I am left lying in bed next to John, trying not to wake him, thinking in the middle of the night (and trying not to be annoyed by being awakened by mere water running or distant jackhammering).

Tonight as I was lying there thinking random (would it be really rude of me to knock on the neighbor's door and ask them if I can adjust their toilet float thingy for them? it would, wouldn't it ....) and not so random thoughts (gratefulness for the warm strong arm that tightens around me when I stir), I spent some time thinking and praying about this little baby that is making it's way into our lives. A new little - unexpected - bundle to love and care for. Our second child. Due June 1. He or she already has all of their appendages formed and movable, has ten discernible fingers, is developing neurons at an astonishing rate and is still the size of a large grape.

So tiny. And yet has a soul. It is our baby, entrusted to our care by God.

I was so surprised to find out that God's plans for our family were - once again - different than I had planned (I really shouldn't be surprised by that, but I always am. It's almost as if I actally expect God to follow my plan or something ...). I pretty much came up sputtering and dazed. It took me nearly a week before I was able to wrap my mind around having another baby in seven months (and if you're counting, yes, that will make Emma 15 months old).

My absolute first response, though, as I stared at the positive test was, "God's plan is better."
Because it is.
Not only is His plan better, but it is perfect.

One of my all time favorite verses in James 1:17: Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Good and perfect gifts from our Father. Because He is good and perfect, He cannot give any other kind. Oh, some of His gifts may seem untimely or out of place, but they aren't. They are just right for us now.

In the same way that we in our finiteness delight to give to our own children, He delights to give us gifts, good gifts that will bless us (Matt 7: 11).

I know that the next few years will be full to bursting and there will be difficult days. But it will be good.

Because God is blessing us, rewarding us, giving us joy (Psalm 127:3-5). There really is no greater honor than to be entrusted with the care of a child, and now God has given us two.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

I want to make ...

... Emma some flannel jammies.

Soft, cuddly, flannel jammies. Like these (and I have a pattern to knit little bunny slippers - she would look so sweet!) ...

... with this material. I saw a bolt of it the other night at JoAnns, and it was soooooooo sweet. I kind of want to make myself a pair of p.j. pants out of the same material, it's so soft and snugly and sweet. And we'd match. :)

The only thing is, as adorable as it is, this pattern costs $16. And doesn't go on sale. Does anyone else have a toddler size jammy pattern?

images from Oliver + S and JoAnn Fabrics

Monday, October 12, 2009

this evening out my window

a bit of autumn loveliness from one of my favorite places

I opened my email account this morning and found that I had gotten an email from Crate & Barrel. It was so colorfull and fall-ish. So lovely. I clicked on over to their website and here are a few of the things I found:
pumpkin spice chai (it has a rooibos base, so it's naturally caffeine free).
it looks as if it would go well with the acorn shaped dark chocolates and maple and gingerbread cookies that they are also offering. afternoon tea is served!

acorn dishtowels

pumpkin platter - imagine filling it with molasses cookies, or apple spice muffins or serving a pumpkin cheesecake on it. yum!

Now that I have done a little virtual window shopping I want to bake, to go for a walk and pick up acorns to put in a glass vase, and, just maybe, head over to Crate & Barrel? I know that heading over there won't happen today (it's 30+ minute drive from the new apartment), but it would be so nice to walk in and smell their yummy fall candles and baking mixes, see the table linens for Thanksgiving .....

Friday, October 09, 2009

I'm a tid bit miffed

about this.

Oh. My. Word.

It's is just too ridiculous. I mean, really now, WHY?

(please don't take this post as disrespect to our president in any way - I still pray for that man!)

Saturday, October 03, 2009

as water through fingers ....

teething, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

I love being a mother. I really do. Mothering a smiling and joyful (and willful ...) baby is just so wonderful. Sometimes when I look back at my day, though, it seems as if all my effort accomplished nothing. True, the laundry has been washed, dishes done, diapers changed. But at the end of the day it is hard to tell because all of that "doing" is waiting to be done all over again. There are no marks of achievement when is comes to housework.

Emma is teething just now, and today she just wants to held as she sucks her thumb or trills to me as she plays with my hair. It is difficult to get much accomplished while carrying a nearly 20 pound baby, and combined with her want for more nursing and less "real" food, I am feeling a bit tired! So we have been sitting at the computer and I have been catching up on reading blogs as Ems absorbs comfort. As I was reading I found that this woman's post from last week was good and very timely.

It reminded me of the story of how David's mighty men went down to Bethlehem to get him some water from the well, and instead of drinking it he poured it out on the ground as a drink offering (II Sam 23:14-17). Of course, David had a purpose for pouring out the water - to him it represented the life blood of the men who had brought it for him - but I have always seen it from his men's view as well: they so wanted him to have this water that meant so much to him, and then he poured it out instead of drinking it. All their effort gone. But their effort wasn't gone. It was being used as an offering of praise.

The blog author was convicted about her setting "seen" accomplishments as idols in her heart. It was so good to read her transparency. I stopped to ponder: Can I go from needing a visible, tangible product of my labor to allowing it to be poured out before God?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

photo roundup from the last 24 hours

good use for iced tea spoons #3: sour cream servers (if serving straight from the mega huge tub).
good use #2 is getting to the bottom of large jam jars without getting your hands sticky.

yes, this is a picture of our sweet baby "kissing" (sucking on) the trash can (such activity is NOT encouraged in this home!). we got this trash can for our wedding from Target (they no longer sell it but you can find something similar here) and it has been wonderful: it is the perfect size for grocery bags (so we have never needed to buy trash bags, plus we are being "green" in our own way) and has little "handles" to hook the bag over so that it won't fall into the can. It is a bit on the small side, but we tend to take the trash out frequently anyway, since it is the the kitchen can and tends to get a bit stinky.

I walked into our bedroom last night to find a VERY happy baby laughing on our bed.

she was being closely watched by her daddy, and they were having a wonderful time
(somehow this photo of John reminds me of some of the ones from his high school years ....... but with a slightly receding hairline).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


This hymn is one of my Gramma's favorites. She taught it to me when I visited her in San Mateo during the summers, singing it as she tucked me into bed at night in the "pink" room before we prayed. Even now, after her stroke, she still has a beautiful singing voice.

"Like A River Glorious", by Frances R. Havergal

Like a river glorious is God’s perfect peace,
Over all victorious, in its bright increase;
Perfect, yet it floweth fuller every day,
Perfect, yet it groweth deeper all the way.

Stayed upon Jehovah, hearts are fully blessed
Finding, as He promised, perfect peace and rest.

Hidden in the hollow of His blessed hand,
Never foe can follow, never traitor stand;
Not a surge of worry, not a shade of care,
Not a blast of hurry touch the spirit there.

Every joy or trial falleth from above,
Traced upon our dial by the Sun of Love;
We may trust Him fully all for us to do;
They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true.

They who trust Him wholly find Him wholly true. Yes, amen.

Now to learn to trust .......

Monday, September 28, 2009

oreo cheesecake

I made an Oreo cheesecake last night. It was SOOOOOOOOOO good. That is, it was good if you like Oreos. Because the recipe used 42 of them. As well as 2 pounds of cream cheese and 8 ounces of white chocolate and a half cup of butter. Not very diet friendly (not at all!) and very rich, but oh, it was GOOD.

Icebox Oreo Cheesecake
serves 12 (and I made for 2! what was I thinking .....) taken from Cook's Country
Oreo Cookie Crust
30 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces
7 tbls unsalted butter, softened
Cheesecake Filling
1 cup milk
4 egg yolks
1/4 flour
8 oz white chocolate, chopped (or 1 1/3 cups white chocolate chips)
2 lbs cream cheese, cut into 1" chunks and softened
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tsps vanilla
1/8 tsp salt (omit if using salted butter in the crust)
12 Oreo cookies, broken into rough pieces
Process cookies and butter in food processor until finely ground (I crushed the cookies and butter together in a bowl using the bottom of juice glass instead). Press cookie mixture evenly into the bottom and sides of 9" springform pan. Refrigerate until set, at least 1 hour.
Heat 3/4 cup milk in a saucepan over medium heat until simmering. Meahwhile, whisk yolks, flour and remaining milk in a bowl until smooth. Slowly whisk hot milk into yolk mixture. Return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly, until very thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Off heat, whisk in white chocolate until melted. Translfer pudding to bowl, press plastic wrap directly on surface, and refrigerate until cold and set, at least one hour.
With electric mixer on medium-high speed (or in a bowl with a heavy whisk) beat cream cheese, sugar, vanilla and salt until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Reduce speed to medium-low and mix in chilled pudding until just combined, about 30 seconds. Pour one-quarter of cream cheese mixture evenly into prepared pan and sprinkle one-third of cookies over surface. repeat process twice, then top with remaining filling. Refrigerate until set, at least six hours (I got impatient after two and stuck it in the freezer for half an hour). Serve.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Audrey Hepburn quotes about home

from How To Be Lovely by Melissa Hellstern

"It's the flowers you choose, the music you play, the smile you have waiting. I want it to be gay and cheerful, a haven in this troubled world."

"What I always wanted, what I still want, is to create a warm and loving atmosphere for those I care about - my family and my friends."

I love that Audrey was a homey type of person. I just love that.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

baby curls

baby curls, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

Emma's hair is growing.

When she was born she was nearly bald, but the hair was definitely red. Now her hair has gotten longer, and is finally starting to curl at the nape of her neck! I can hardly wait to be able to put little barrettes in it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

just so excited to see the camera


a Monday at the end of summer

Rain, falling leaves and using up the last of the monster zucchinis from a friend in zucchini bread. Candles, coffee, housework and unpacking from the weekend.

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