Friday, May 29, 2009

now this looks like fun ...

I received an email from REI this morning that was advertising their bikes and, being vaguely interested, I clicked over to their site to take a quick look.
As I was looking at the children's bikes - there is even one without pedals to help children learn balance and steering coordination -I saw this trailer bike - somehow I have never seen or heard of these before (how did that happen?) - and immediately imagined Emma on one in two or three years, peddling away on her child size seat.
As the web site says, as "An active alternative to a standard bike trailer, the Burley Kazoo provides miles of fun for you and your pedaling young one."
And we'd be pretty cute as we pedaled away our "miles of fun", too!

little smarty

I was looking at CafePress this morning for a children's shirt similar to one that I saw on someone's blog, and, although I didn't find the shirt, came across some pretty humorous onesies:

That's our Emma! Either eating is such hard work that she is exhausted afterwards, or it is sooo soothing that she just can't help it.


there's also a companion onesie for this one that reads: KEEP BACK 200 FEET

There are others that say things like, "hi, i'm new here", "I still live with my parents", "iBaby" and "sleep is for the weak" (we have been pretty blessed in the sleep department, though. Emma is consistently sleeping 11-12 hours each night!).

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

mexican evening primrose

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

apple pie

We made an apple pie the other night, and a day and a half later, this was all that was left. Between the two of us, we ate 7/8 of a pie in a day and a half. It was that good.

It was very good. The apples were good, the crumb topping was good, but the crust was very good. I have never made a crust that tasted that good. I found the recipe for the crust in A Homemade Life (a memoir/cookbook that I've been reading. The memoir part is okay, but the recipes are wonderful) and the pie recipe was from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook (1965 edition).So, here are the recipes, edited slightly.

4 tblsp ice water
3/4 tsp apple cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tblsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
9 tblsp butter

In a small bowl or measuring cup, combine the water and vinegar.
Combine the flour, sugar and salt in a bowl. Cut the butter into the flour until it resembles coarse crumbs; there should be no pieces bigger than a pea.
Sprinkle the water mixture over the flour mixture, stirring just until moist clumps form. If you pick up a handful of the dough and squeeze it in your fist, it should hold together. If the dough seems a bit dry, add more ice water by the teaspoon.
Turn the dough out onto a wooden board or a clean countertop, and gather it, massaging and pressing, until it just holds together.
(At this point the recipe says to form it into a disk, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate it for two hours, but I just went ahead and rolled it out)

Apple Crumb Pie
5 apples, sliced (5 cups)
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup suage
3/4 flour
1/3 cup butter
Arrange the apples in the pie crust. Mix 1/2 cup sugar with the cinnamon and sprinlke over the apples. Drizzle lemon juice over the apples. Lightly toss.
Mix 1/2 cup sugar with the flour; cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinle over apples.
Bake in a 400 degree oven for 35-40 minutes.

And that's it! John cut the apples while I mixed the crust, and between the two of us we had the pie in the oven in 20 minutes.
It was so very good. Maybe it was all the butter.
So glad that John had the idea.

Oh. We also made brownies to go with the pie.

Monday, May 25, 2009

happy birthday Evan!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

beautiful notes



I stumbled upon a stationery company called smock this morning. So lovely. All of the stationery is letterpressed, which I absolutely love, and very reasonably priced especially considering how "eco friendly" it is:
sustainably letterpressed on bamboo paper
packaged in a clear sleeve that is petroleum-free, tree-free, and certified biodegradable by the Biodegradable Products Institute
They have several gorgeous wedding suites, a variety of wrapping papers and fill-in invitations, as well as a very nice assortment of artsy-yet-classic correspondence and greeting cards.

So. Lovely.

photos from

Friday, May 22, 2009

12 weeks old yesterday

Emma and I walked about 1/2 a mile to the soccer complex down the street yesterday. The soccer fields have a small grove of shade trees off to one side, and, since it was over 80 for most of the afternoon, the shade felt wonderful.
Yesterday was the first time that Emma and I have gone to a park alone and we just laid on the ground, enjoying the outdoors. Even though the busy street was close by it still felt quiet and peaceful. All that was missing was a hammock and a glass of lemonade!

Emma really enjoyed laying on her back and looking up at the leaves, branches, sky and the light playing off of it all. It was like one giant green mobile. She would get excited when the breeze picked up, "talking" and waving, sputtering bubbles and kicking vigorously.

swim season

We received a page-long notice yesterday saying that the pools in the complex will open this Saturday (yay! get out your towels and sunscreen!).
That statement took up one line.
The rest of the page was taken up by rules and the consequences (i.e. pool being closed) for not following them.

There are some very basic and expected ones, such as:
1. Pool hours are 10:00 am to 9:00 pm daily.
2. All person using the pool or pool area do so at their own risk ...
4. Residents will be held responsible for all actions of their guests
7. Proper swimming attire is required. No denim ...
8. No glass allowed in pool area
9. No running, pushing, wrestling, dunking, horseplay ...
15. No pets allowed in pool area

But then there are also some that, well, aren't so basic or expected (or at least, I didn't expect to see them):
7. ... water rafts and play equipment must be approved by the management
10. Chewing gum is extremely unsafe in water and is not permitted in the pool area
12. Do not swim when too tired, hot, cold, or within two hours after eating

And my favorites:
21. Splashing, spouting of water or similar unhygienic actions will not be tolerated
24. Public display of affection is not permitted: hugging, kissing, etc.

Hmm. Well, I guess they have to draw a line somewhere. But no splashing? And calling splashing unhygienic? I laughed. I know it wasn't very respectful of me, but I did.
I also laughed at the one about chewing gum, although I'm sure it is very possible for someone to get excited while swimming and choke on their gum.
And I laughed at number 24, the one about pda. "Don't you dare be affectionate. This is your home, but affection is not allowed" (the same person who wrote the rule about no live Christmas trees being allowed in the apartments must have written that one). So if I want to give John or Emma a kiss, we'll get out of the pool and walk outside the gate. Uh, yeah.

I really am not trying to mock them, it just struck me as being funny. Ridiculously funny.
Maybe I just have a hard time with people putting unnecessarily harsh limitations on my actions (or any limitations, really. but I've learned to accept the reasonable ones). Maverick Liz.
I have a feeling that there may have been "situations" in the past, and the management is trying to prevent those from reoccurring by adding a rule for each situation.
But the funny thing is, they actually already have rules that address those situations: splashing (as unhygienic as it may be) could be classified as "horseplay", for example.

p.s. you also can't use the pools if you have a cold (#14)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

quick and easy pizza dough

I found this recipe on last night, and John and I were both surprised at how good it was. It also was quite easy, with no "rise time" for the dough. I think we spent a total of 1/2 an hour in the kitchen (not including baking time, of course) starting with defrosting the tomato sauce and cooking the chicken and ending with washing the prep dishes.
It was the perfect meal for a warm evening.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. olive oil
2 1/2 c. flour

Jar of pizza sauce or make your own
Grated Mozzarella (about 8 oz.)
1/4 c. Parmesan cheese
2 tsp. oregano
Any other topping you prefer - pepperoni, mushrooms, sausage, onions, etc. We used chicken, bacon and pineapple.

Dissolve yeast in warm water.
Stir in remaining dough ingredients; beat vigorously, about 20 strokes.
Allow dough to rest (about 5 minutes). That's all the time it needs. Really.

Heat oven to 425 degrees.
Prepare topping/sauce.
Divide dough in half.
On lightly greased baking sheets sprinkled with cornmeal, pat each half into a 10 inch circle. (Continue to flour fingers when patting dough into circles.) You may want to prepare the second pizza while the first is baking, allowing less time for the center of the second to "poof".
Spread sauce on each circle. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and oregano. Arrange your choice of topping on top and sprinkle with Mozzarella cheese.
Bake 20 to 25 minutes or until crust is brown and filling is hot and bubbly.
Makes 2 pizzas.

500th post


I've officially blogged 500 posts ......... wow. I skimmed back through some of those posts, and enjoyed a few moments remembering what was happening around me when I wrote them. Some of them are funny (or are now), some not, some short and some long, but all of them were relevant to me at the time. Kind of nice to look back at where I've been, a bit like the Israelites and their stones of remembrance (Joshua 4:1-9). But enough about that.

I picked up a book at the library yesterday entitled a child's garden by Molly Dannenmaier. Such a lovely book filled with photographs of yards and gardens planted with children in mind.
The blurb on the cover says "60 ideas to make any garden come alive for children" and the photos illustrate just that: vibrantly inviting living play areas. There are three sections of the book starting with the introduction where Ms. Dannenmaier makes her case for complex natural play areas. The other two sections are titled, "home territories"and "how children really play" with subsections of water, creatures, refuges, dirt, heights, movement, make-believe, nurture, and learning. Some of her ideas are elaborate, but some - such as dumping a pile of sand in the shade or growing a tepee of sunflowers - are very simple.
It's a beautiful book, and a calmingly inspiring read. :)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

just a quick note ...

... I've added a few more things to the market site, so .......... have a look if you want!


the last few months of being pregnant with Emma found me dealing with emotions and battling fear. Not constantly, but still battling it. Being a slightly overconfident, self-sufficient, stubborn and fairly secure person, fear is a fairly foreign emotion for me. Especially the kind that made my heart race and woke me up with nightmares.

Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you may go. Joshua 1:9

I would all of a sudden become convinced that John was going to die, and I would have to give birth and raise Emma alone, or I would be overcome by the possibility that Emma could be born with severe defects. John would wake up and pray with me, over me and for me. I memorized and meditated on scripture about trusting God, about not fearing. And it helped.

God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind.

After Emma was born the fear subsided. There was (still is sometimes) definitely the first time parent nervousness of checking and double checking her breathing while she slept, wondering if she really is okay, if she is growing normally, if I am a "good" mother. But overall I have been able to turn those fears over to God and He has given/is giving me the grace to trust Him.

God is able to make all grace abound to you ... II Corinthians 9:8

have you seen these?

I went to the post office yesterday and noticed, 1) that the postage rates had gone up and 2) that there were new wedding stamps!

The stamps are so lovely. I think I might get a few to use on wedding cards.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

last night

Emma was tired and cranky, but too tired to easily fall asleep. John held her and soothed her while I got dinner together (we had fajitas - so I didn't really cook, just brought all the ingredients together), and when I looked up she was sound asleep. Safe, secure, and cuddled on her daddy's chest.

I went outside to look at the little plants after the dishes were done, and noticed through the window that John was reading in our room. It was such a peaceful sight: his toes sticking up over the footboard, all in silhouette, with the curtain blowing in the breeze.

It was a peace-filled evening.

dancing on his feet

well, kind of. she isn't quite up to a waltz yet. it is more along the lines of moving her feet in time to the music.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

mother's day recipe

criss-cross, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

The main dish was chicken satay, and I got the recipe (which I sort-of followed) from Katie at Good Things Catered. I doubled the recipe, and substituted white onion for the green. We chunked the chicken instead of cutting it into strips, and grilled it instead of broiling it (because it gives a better flavor, you know). Sarah (thank you again!!!!) did an awesome job of skewering the chicken and cherry tomatoes, and the combination was perfect. We have made this recipe several times before, and always loved it, but have never tried it with the recommended peanut sauce. So, this time - because it was Mother's Day - we bought a bottle of Thai peanut sauce at the last minute from Meijer, and it was amazing. So. Good.

Anyway, here's the recipe:

3 large chicken breasts, sliced lengthwise 1 - 1 1/2 inch wide
1/4 c. soy sauce
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
juice of 1/2 lime
1 Tbsp curry powder
1/8 c. packed brown sugar
1/4 c. fresh cilantro, minced
2 green onions, white and light green portions sliced

-In large bowl, combine soy sauce, oil, lime, curry, brown sugar, cilantro and green onion and and stir to combine.
-Add chicken pieces and toss to cover completely.
-Cover bowl and place in fridge for 1-2 hours.
-Remove chicken from fridge, line baking sheet with foil, top with cooling rack, and turn broiler on low.
-Weave chicken strips through bamboo skewers and place on cooling rack-topped baking sheet.
-Place in middle of oven and broil until tops begin to brown slightly, about 5-7 minutes.
-Remove from oven, flip chicken over and place back in to cook.
-Broil on low until cooked through, about 5 more minutes.
-Remove, let cool for 3 minutes, and serve with Thai peanut sauce.

Ben and Me - two years ago

Mi hermano y yo...
Don't we make a lovely pair?

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

and it pays HOW much?

I just read an article called "What Is Mom's Work Worth?" that estimates how much a stay-at-home mom might expect to be making, should she, well, actually be paid.

I'll take mine as a direct deposit, thank you.

Or in smiles. That works too.

Monday, May 11, 2009

"I will magnify Myself,
sanctify Myself,
and make Myself known
in the sight of many nations;
and they will know that I am the LORD."
Ezekiel 38:23

mother's day 2009

family of three, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

'Twas a lovely day. I felt so loved and honored all day long.

John made me breakfast in bed and entertained Emma so that I could sleep another hour (not sure which gift I appreciated more!). They gave me a bouquet of roses, a gift certificate for a pedicure and a frame for a picture of Emma.

Emma had "encouraged" us to start our day a few hours earlier than planned, so we had time to leisurely enjoy our coffee together before heading off to church.

Afterwards we hurried home to make put the furniture back in place (John cleaned the carpet yesterday - thank you Darling!) and make lunch for family who had phoned to let us know that they would be arriving slightly ahead of schedule - by two hours!

Lunch turned out great, and we had a wonderful afternoon visiting with them all - John's mom Teri, sister Sarah and brother Brian, brother's fiancee Leah and her sister Esther. They were returning from a road trip for Brian's graduation from Liberty University with a master's degree in (international?) business.
John and I finished the evening by reading together as the light was fading ... and finishing off the rest of the cheesecake. :)

Here's a sweet tribute - of sorts - to motherhood that I heard on NPR: At My Place, Every Day Is Mother's Day

I hope you all had a beautiful day celebrating your own mothers - or being celebrated!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

random little pretty thing

I saw it at Anthropologie the other day, and thought how nice it would be to have next to the coffee maker or on a tea table. So cute. So sweet. And at $18, it's affordable, too. But it's still at the store. Although now that I've been thinking more about it, I think it may be something that I would enjoy for years to come, something that our children could look back and remember. If nothing else, it would bring a smile to my face in the morning. :)

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

first field trip

We went to the Cincinnati Zoo with some friends today - Emma must have loved it, because she was content in her stroller except for when she was hungry. Such beaming bright eyes! I'm planning on posting a few more pictures later so you all can enjoy them too.

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


just ducky, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

"And God is able to make all grace abound to you, that always having sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.

"Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!"
-II Corinthians 9:8,15

Yes. All grace. Abound. For every good deed.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

still wondering

I found this post saved as a draft from December 2007.

chorus: When did you fall in love with me?
Was it out of the blue
‘Cause I swear I never knew it
When did you let your heart run free?
Have you been waiting long?
When did you fall in love with me?
When did you fall in love?

Make your way over here, sit down by this fool, and let’s rewind
C’mon, let’s go back and replay all our scenes
You can point out the hints, the clues, the twists and the smiles this time
All the ones that slipped by me
I bet my face is red, and you can hear my heart poundin’
Well I guess it don’t matter now that I realize
‘Cause baby I missed it then, but I can surely see you now
Right there before my eyes
You’re my beautiful surprise


Was it at the coffee shop
Or that morning at the bus stop
When [I] almost slipped, and [you] caught [my] hand
Or the time we built the snowman ...
Or the night with the scary thunderstorm
I never saw the signs
Now we’ve got to make up for lost time
And I can tell now by the way that you’re looking at me
I’d better finish this song so my lips will be free
Have you been waiting long, when did you fall in love
I kept you waiting so long, when did you fall
Have you been waiting long
When did you fall in love with me
When did you fall in love?

- chris rice, "when did you fall"

happy may day

may day, originally uploaded by Lizi Beth.

the flower bloomed a day late, but it did bloom!

"So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God."
- I Cor. 10:31

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