Thursday, April 30, 2009

rainy day

There is nothing better on a rainy day than a cup of cinnamon-laced coffee and a crowing baby. Other than having the baby's daddy here, too, of course. But he'll be back soon, and then we can enjoy the rain, the coffee, and our precious little baby together.

She is a little sunshine today, happy and cooing after a 12-hour night(!).

We are spending our morning nursing, listening to the rain through the open porch door, listening: (to the one on worry - good words, brought by Curtis Jones), nursing, napping (that's Emma's part), sewing and tidying up.

Oh, and trying to stay away from the cookies: They do go well with coffee.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

flower garden of 2009

flower garden of 2009, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

waiting for the flowers

her latest accomplishment

I mentioned the other day that Emma has been rolling to her side, working on rolling all the way over. Here are a few pictures showing just how much she is enjoying practicing her new trick. Our little girl is such a joy.

oh YUM

-picture from Williams-Sonoma

Mhmmmmmmm. Williams-Sonoma has a new pair of cake pans that, when turned out of the pan, make an Oreo-type cake. Their description says: "Enjoy the classic pairing of chocolate and vanilla cream or try a more sophisticated combination such as espresso-fudge cake with cappuccino cream filling."
Oh, that sounds good.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

a new venture, part 2: the path less traveled market, handmade

A few days ago I mentioned that there were other new ventures to stay tuned for ..... and, here's one of them! We have set up another site called "the path less traveled market", and on it we will be featuring handmades for the home. We are starting with aprons, and plan to add other handmades as time allows. The blog site gives us unlimited space to post pictures of product details, as well as to feature addtitions or changes, and we have set it up to link to a hosting site that allows people to purchase our items through PayPal.

Friday, April 24, 2009

cranberry cinnamon rolls


I found a bag of cranberries in the freezer left over from Thanksgiving/Christmas (we bought a large bag - they're so much cheaper that way!) and hunted around on Good Things Catered for something delicious to bake. And found ............ cranberry cinnamon rolls. Oh, so good. We are enjoying them for breakfast, dessert, snacks ... and snacks in between snacks. They are sweet, but the cranberries offer a refreshing little tang. I added some cream cheese to cut the heavy sweetness of the icing, and now they're almost addicting. Oh yum.

Cranberry Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from The Gourmet Cookbook)
For dough:
1/2 cup warm water (105–115°F)
5 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 cup sugar
5 cups flour plus additional for dusting
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 cup warm milk
2 large eggs at room temperature
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened

For filling:
1/4 cup water
1 2/3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh or thawed frozen cranberries (9 oz)
1/4 cup packed light brown sugar
2 teaspoon cinnamon

For glaze:
2 cups confectioners sugar
3 tbsp milk
(I added about 3 oz of cream cheese for a bit of tang)

Directions:-In bowl of large stand mixer, stir together warm water, yeast, and a pinch of the sugar and let stand until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over.)
-Meanwhile, in large mixing bowl, combine 5 cups flour, salt, and remaining sugar and whisk to combine; set aside
-In small bowl, combine milk and eggs.
-With mixer and dough hook on low speed, add milk and egg mixture then slowly add flour mixture, stirring to combine.
-Beat at medium speed until a very soft dough forms, about 2 minutes.
-Add butter and continue beating at medium speed until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic (adding more milk or flour to achieve good consistency if needed), about 4 minutes (it will be quite sticky).
-Add dough to large oiled bowl and tightly with plastic wrap.
-Let dough rise in a warm place until doubled in bulk, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, prepare cranberries by bringing water and 1 cup granulated sugar to a boil, stirring until sugar is dissolved.
-Add cranberries and simmer just until they begin to burst, about 2 minutes.
-Pour through a large sieve into a bowl and cool berries, reserving syrup for another use.
-Turn out dough onto a well-floured surface and dust with flour, then roll out into a 16-inch square.
-Stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, and remaining 2/3 c. granulated sugar and sprinkle evenly over dough.
-Dot dough evenly with drained cranberries.
-Beginning with side nearest you, roll up dough, firmly but not tightly, into a log, then pinch seam to seal.
-Cut log crosswise into 12 slices.
-Arrange slices, cut sides up, into prepared 9x13 pan, spacing evenly as they will bulk up.
-Cover with plastic wrap and place in fridge overnight to rise (you can also just let rise at room temp until doubled in bulk about 1 -1 1/2 hours).
-In morning, remove rolls from fridge and preheat oven to 350 degrees while they comes to room temperature.
-Bake rolls in lower third of oven until puffed and golden, 30 to 35 minutes, then cool in pan on a rack 10 minutes.
-Meanwhile, stir together confectioners sugar and milk with a fork until smooth. -Drizzle over buns while still relatively hot.
-Serve buns warm or at room temperature.

quote for today

"In active obedience we worship God by doing what pleases God, but by passive obedience we do as well worship God by being pleased with what God does…It is but one side of a Christian to endeavour to do what pleases God; you must as well endeavour to be pleased with what God does, and so you will come to be a complete Christian when you can do both…"

- Jeremiah Burroughs, The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment

I found this quote on Nacy Wilson's blog this morning. I love how Mr. Burroughs states it, so simple and yet so profound. Being pleased with what God does ..... my focus for today.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

"I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears."
-psalm 34:4

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

brownies - homemade

I found a recipe for very good homemade brownies on a blog that I've been following.
Pretty much every other brownie recipe I've tried has fallen far short of the wonderful chocolaty goodness of boxed brownies, but this one is quite good. After making it a few times, I have found that they turn out best if you use a heaping measure of cocoa powder, and under bake them by a few minutes. Oh, and if you sprinkle chocolate chips on top.

on a rainy day ...

... we coo, laugh and try on hats

Monday, April 20, 2009

cincy is so natty

-from Babes In Toyland

I'm not sure if I would say Cincinnati is "the best city in the USA", especially since some people rate it as the third poorest large city (pop. of 250,000+) in the nation.
There are some truly lovely parks, city squares, old homes and estates that could make you wish for a gardener, a maid and a butler. There are also some areas that send shivers down my spine. This is the city God has placed us in, though, and we are finding friends and making memories here.
John and I celebrated our anniversary (April 12) last weekend. His mom came over from Indianapolis to spend the afternoon with Emma, and John and I drove down to our old neighborhood. We parked and fed the meter, and then walked the old, old streets where I used to go jogging. We window shopped. We thoroughly enjoyed being out together, and I realized that I really missed living there. I even missed our first tiny apartment. I will probably also miss living where we do now when we move. Maybe not the neighborhood as much, but I knowI will look back at this apartment and the memories we made in it, and miss it, too.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

lemon tart

I found a recipe for Lemon Tartlets on Good Things Catered, and decided to try to make a full size tart. It sounded so good.

The crust turned out really well. It has enough flavor to be a good base for a meat tart, too.

Emma was pretty eager to try some!
And I would show you a picture of the finished tart, which tasted great, but the filling recipe only filled half of the full size pan. Note to self for next time - double the filling. :-D

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

a new venture

John and I have started a new bookshop online, hosted by We decided that it might be a good way to supplement our income, and at the same time be a nice little home business for me.

It will work two ways: one, we are offering books that we either used or come across at thrift stores, and two, I am recommending books that I have read and enjoyed or profited from. If someone buys a book that we are selling we will obviously profit from it, but additionally, if someone buys a book that I recommend through the online shop, we will receive a commission.

If you are interested in buying one of the books we are offering, will usually offer to sell you a "new" copy. Ours though, are listed in the "used" category, and our seller name is PATHLESSTRAVELEDBOOKS. Other vendors may be offering the same book for a lower price, and if you would rather choose that one, please don't feel obligated to buy from us!

I love the fact that I get to put all my years of recreational reading to use, as well as being able to pass on my favorites to others! We'll still have to see how it turns out, but I am looking forward to it.

p.s. we may be doing a few other little "new ventures", and we will keep you posted. :)

breakfast yuminess - stuffed french toast

spread two slices of bread with softened cream cheese
I put sliced strawberries in as well, but that's optional
put the pieces of bread together, cheese side in
soak in a milk and egg batter - a good ratio is: 1 egg and 1 tbsp of milk per piece of bread

fry ....

... until golden on both sides

top with a bit of butter and syrup, and enjoy!
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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

quote to ponder, pictures after the storm

"By praying for our husbands and looking to the Lord rather than to our circumstances, we trust Him to carry both our husband and his burden. Then from the overflow of our hearts, we can give back to and encourage our men." -shaunti feldhahn, For Women Only

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Monday, April 13, 2009

quote to ponder

"We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are."
-anais nin

I saw this quote this morning across the top of my email account, and it reminded me of a conversation that John and I had last night. We were talking about ideas for the coming year and beyond - dreaming big and thinking outside the box - and John said, "but is my God too small for that? Rather, is my view of God too small?"

It is something that I need to keep learning, to see God as He is, not as who I would like Him to be, or who I think He is.
We will always have something more to learn about Him, about His character, and I need to be very, very, very careful not to "fashion an idol", a god that I am comfortable with (Is. 44) but to let Him be. For He is great, He is awesome, and He is to be praised.

"Remember these things, O Jacob,
for you are my servant, O Israel.
I have made you, you are my servant;
O Israel, I will not forget you.
I have swept away your offenses like a cloud,
your sins like the morning mist.
Return to me,
for I have redeemed you."
Sing for joy, O heavens, for the LORD has done this;
shout aloud, O earth beneath.
Burst into song, you mountains,
you forests and all your trees,
for the LORD has redeemed Jacob,
he displays his glory in Israel.
"This is what the LORD says—
your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb:
I am the LORD,
who has made all things,
who alone stretched out the heavens,
who spread out the earth by myself,
who foils the signs of false prophets
and makes fools of diviners,
who overthrows the learning of the wise
and turns it into nonsense,
who carries out the words of his servants
and fulfills the predictions of his messengers,
who says of Jerusalem, 'It shall be inhabited,'
of the towns of Judah, 'They shall be built,'
and of their ruins, 'I will restore them,'
who says to the watery deep, 'Be dry,
and I will dry up your streams,'
who says of Cyrus, 'He is my shepherd
and will accomplish all that I please;
he will say of Jerusalem, "Let it be rebuilt,"
and of the temple, "Let its foundations be laid." ' -Is. 44:21-28

Friday, April 10, 2009

six weeks old

pretty new dress, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

She loves: baths, being held, movement, music, foot rubs, and being swaddled (such a girl!). Our little one is tipping the scales at 11 pounds 4 ounces, is (very occasionally) sleeping 6-7 hours at night, has graduated to size 2 diapers and has developed a distinctive "hungry" cry.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

new life

I know that it was there all winter, but really, everything seemed so dead. The yards, parks and roadsides were beginning to seem as if they were populated by skeleton trees and a remnant of brave but lonely evergreens.
And then one day last week, we went to the park. The Bradford Pear and tulip trees were blooming. The first of them all to bloom and leaf out. The rest of the trees and bushes almost seemed to be waiting for them to take the lead, for now there is a hazy green film everywhere. Just in time for Easter. How appropriate.

As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease
. -Gen 8:22

If those words have proven true, these will as well:

And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am. -John 14:3

Friday, April 03, 2009

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! behold, your King is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
-Zechariah 9:9

adorably precious

"May Flowers"

I ran across the artwork of sarahjanestudios this evening, and just love it. She sells prints and greeting cards with delightful images of children and animals on them, all with a slightly French feel. The images are simple and have such soft colors; they remind me of the books Pat The Bunny and Babar. So delightful. Love them.
The greeting cards are smaller than the art prints, but so much cheaper. Wouldn't it be fun to order a few to frame?

"Breakfast Bunny"
"Mistletoe Kisses"

art by sarahjane

Thursday, April 02, 2009


this afternoon, after she had eaten, burped and been changed, I was holding Emma as she drifted off to sleep. I smiled down at her, and she smiled back, a real, responsive smile. To make sure, I tried it again. And she smiled back!
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