Monday, September 27, 2010

faithful living

"This job has been given to me to do. Therefore, it is a gift. Therefore, it is a privilege. Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God. Therefore, it is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. Here, not somewhere else, I may learn God’s way. In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness." -Elisabeth Elliot

I found this quote on someone's blog this morning. So good.
I've been pondering - what's my job? What does this look like for me?
Job - wife. Mother.

So the quote could read like this: "Being a wife and mom is the job that has been given to me to do. 
Therefore, it is a gift. 
Therefore, it is a privilege (sometimes this is more evident than others!). 
Therefore, it is an offering I may make to God
Therefore, being John's wife and a mom to Emma and Ian is to be done gladly, if it is done for Him. 
Here, in my days at home, I may learn God’s way. 
In this job, not in some other, God looks for faithfulness."

pondering and applying this truth today.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

you know you're a mother of two under the age of two when:

you find yourself figuring out how to nurse a 15 1/2 lb baby and help a little one on to the potty seat at the same time (quite the trick!).

Monday, September 20, 2010

you know you're a mother of two under the age of two when:

your kitchen sink looks like this 5+ days a week (or you perpetually have a bowl of Oxy Clean on your counter, soaking whatever was soiled recently).

Sunday, September 19, 2010

flaming baked cappuccino alaska

One of the Jacobsen family traditional favorites is Baked Alaska. It's a very special dessert and would usually only be made for very special occasions - such as when Dad's little brother was in the States.
It's best when it's eaten all in one sitting, so having a table full of people was also a prerequisite!

John and I didn't have anything special happening, but a few days ago I had a hankering for some charred meringue atop of a slice of ice cream and cake. Plus, I felt that John needed to experience something that I had such fond memories of!

I knew the gist of the recipe by heart - slices of cake in the bottom of a pie dish topped with ice cream and meringue, brown the meringue, splash it all with some alcohol and strike a match - but I pulled out my copy of the Joy of Cooking just to be sure. :)

According to the Joy of Cooking, the first step is to line your baking dish with a half inch layer of cake - both sponge and angel cake are recommended. My family always used pound cake which tasted delicious and stood up to the weight of the ice cream quite well. I deviated from both and used a pan of brownies as the base.

Next, make up your meringue. Beat 6 egg whites until frothy. Beat in 1/2 tsp cream of tartar, a pinch of salt, 2/3 cup sugar (adding the sugar slowly) and 1 tsp vanilla and continue to beat until the egg whites are stiff.

Once the meringue is quite stiff and glossy, mound 1 - 1 1/2 quarts of slightly softened ice cream on top of the cake. I used coffee ice cream, but any flavor combinations are acceptable! Fruit flavored ice cream is especially good.
Joy of Cooking says to next lay strips of your cake over the mounded ice cream. I didn't, and my meringue didn't quite cook through, so I am guessing that this is an important step! At this point you may choose to freeze the Baked Alaska for 30 minutes or so to firm it up.

Spread the meringue over the ice cream and cake, taking care to cover right down to the edge of the baking dish.
Rinse off half of one of the egg shells and place it on the top (this will hold the alcohol).
Brown the whole thing under a 500 degree broiler for no more than 3 minutes. It browns quickly, so watch carefully!
Grab some plates and forks and matches and tell everyone to gather round! Pour about 2-3 tblsp of alcohol into the egg shell and shake the Baked Alaska so that some runs down the sides. Strike a match, turn off the lights ... and voila!

you know you're a mother of two under the age of two when:

you stop by the Starbucks by church (which doesn't have a drive-through but has a very convenient location) and are so preoccupied with guiding the little feet back out the door and balancing the coffee and infant carseat that you forget to put the cream in your coffee - after you asked them to leave extra room for it, too!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

amazing and full of wonder

My sister-in-law posted some ultrasound photos of our new little nephew or niece on facebook the other day.
As I was looking at them this morning I found myself choking up - they amaze me.
This little one already has a soul, an eternal soul. God knows his/her name and has known it since before the beginning of time. Even before it was ever spoken of, He know of Baby Smillie's existence. Oh, these things are amazing and full of wonder.

I was thinking about the verses where God talks about knowing us before we were conceived, knitting our bones and muscles together, seeing us while we were hidden away in the safety and darkness of our mothers' wombs.

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
   you discern my thoughts from afar.
You search out my path and my lying down
   and are acquainted with all my ways.
Even before a word is on my tongue,
   behold, O LORD, you know it altogether.
You hem me in, behind and before,
   and lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
   it is high; I cannot attain it.

Where shall I go from your Spirit?
   Or where shall I flee from your presence?
If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
    If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
If I take the wings of the morning
   and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
even there your hand shall lead me,
   and your right hand shall hold me.
If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me,
   and the light about me be night,"
 even the darkness is not dark to you;
   the night is bright as the day,
   for darkness is as light with you.

For you formed my inward parts;
   you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works;
   my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you,when I was being made in secret,
   intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance;in your book were written, every one of them,
   the days that were formed for me,
   when as yet there was none of them.

How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
   How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
   I awake, and I am still with you.
 -psalm 139:1-18

Saturday, September 04, 2010

the recipe

I mentioned that the granola I made turned out really, really good .... but didn't get around to posting a recipe. So, now I am!

Tawny Granola (loosely adapted from Miss Dahl's Voluptuous Delights by Sophie Dahl)
2 cups oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons apple juice 
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 pinch fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup dried fruit (I used a mix of raisins and dried cranberries)

Preheat oven to 350 and oil a large rimmed cookie sheet.
In a mixing bowl combine the oats, nuts, coconut and fruit. In a separate large mixing bowl, mix the wet ingredients and the spices. Combine the dry ingredients with the wet.

Spread the mixture evenly on the cookie sheet, using a spatula to smooth it. Bake for around 40 minutes, keeping an eye on it so that it doesn't get over done. When it starts to brown, turn the mixture over with the spatula to make sure that it toasts evenly on both sides.

When it is ready, take it out of the oven and let it cool. Store in an airtight container and serve with milk or yogurt. :)

Friday, September 03, 2010

gifts is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him—for this is his lot.
Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.
-ecclesiastes 5:18-19

Happiness in our work is a gift from God, as are satisfaction and contentment.
Contentment has been near the front of my thoughts for the past several weeks ...
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