July 22, 2013

Weekly Menu July 22

This week we have:
Baked Manicotti with Meat Sauce
Spiced Cranberry Pecan Scones
Honey Bee Cake

For today, July 22...

Outside my window... Sunny, hot, a bit windy... about as classically summer as it gets, and I'm ready for fall. Escaping to the cabin this week will be glorious! Not that it won't be warm up there, but it won't be quite as sweltering. It is the mountains, after all!

I am thinking... thinking a lot about Fall. This year my Joe goes to kindergarten! I will have my mornings completely to myself! I don't even know what that's like anymore. I haven't had hours to myself on a regular basis for over 7 years. This Mom thing is the only job I've ever wanted, and I truly do love it, but I think the boys and I could use a bit of a break from each other. It's about that time. The funny thing is, having half the day to myself sounds fantastic, but when Joe goes to first grade next year, and I have the whole day to myself?! I don't even know what I'll do all day!!!

In the kitchen... Oh blah. Its so hot. I honestly rarely feel like cooking lately, much less baking! I'm hearing that around the food-blogosphere a lot lately, good to know I'm not the only one. Burnt out on 24/7 boy care, burnt out on heat, odd lack of appetite... I'm a lousy food blogger lately! That plus going to the cabin means another week off next week, but then I should be back in full form! Another reason I'm excited for free mornings: baking with no interruptions! Can you imagine?! It's going to be so much FUN!

Source: Pinterest
I am reading... Finally, after long last, and about a zillion years, I'm reading the final book in the Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan! This is just about the most epic series I'm aware of... if there is another that is more huge, I've never encountered it. 14 books, each about 5 inches thick... about 4 dozen plotlines... yeah, it's massive. I loved the first few books when I was a teenager, and honestly got tired of 90% of the characters half-way through the series, and never would have finished it... (honestly, no series needs to be this long...) until Robert Jordan died and one of my favorite writers, Brandon Sanderson took over the last few books!! Of course I had to catch up. Lots of skimming to reacquaint myself with where everyone was and how they were doing... Brandon did an amazing job of breathing life back into these books for me. Anyway. Total fantasy book nerd fest, but it's fun. And we finally get to find out if the main character goes nuts and dies! Woohoo! :)

I am pondering... "Trials." They're something we talk a lot about in church, more so for some reason the past few weeks. These lessons/discussions always seem to bother me a bit. The point is generally that we need to learn from our trials, grow from them, accept them gracefully, not let them ruin our lives...which of course is absolutely true, but so much time is spent focusing on the positive that it honestly makes me uncomfortable. It's as if we're supposed to be grateful for these hardships, excited, psyched to meet them head on all happy to learn new things... And for some trials, I suppose that could be true. But when I think back on what I consider my "trials", I'm not happy about them, and I never will be. Yes, I learned from them, grew from them, continued to live my life, even accepted and understood them. They made me stronger, undoubtedly. But I will never be glad that I had to suffer through them. Ever. If I could do it over again, my daughter would still be here, I would never have needed surgery, and would never know what it's like to be sick every day of your life and never able to have another baby shower. I don't think there's anything wrong with stating and accepting that trials are hell. No one asks for them, and we all live through them as best we can. To not include that in any discussion about learning from trials feels like it disregards the pain and heartache we have to go through to learn those very lessons. I'm not angry, or depressed, or pointing fingers. It's just what I'm pondering!

Source: Pinterest
I am looking forward to... August and September farmers markets! The fruits are starting to come in, but they're not quite ready yet... except the plums... I bought some peaches this weekend, and they're delish, but they're only going to get better! The Geologist has gotten excited about this jamming thing with me, a little too excited in fact. He keeps begging for salsa, and getting all these creative jam ideas with fruits that just aren't in season yet... Cool your jets, husband! Wait till it gets good!! But really, I'm so excited!! I don't even know where I'm going to put all the jam I want to make...

Around the house... The boys are napping, I kinda wish I was too... But these Monday posts really are fun to write up! The beastie is snoozing on my foot... it's starting to fall asleep, actually... I felt bad for keeping her inside so much lately and took her to the dog park last week, which she was ecstatic about, for about 10 minutes. Then she stood by the gate, ready to go. I guess a few minutes of fetch really are enough for this black-haired dog during the summer! She just gets hot too fast!

One of my favorite things... Aspens, my favorite trees. Or as Joe calls them "sparkly trees!" They really do sparkle as they flutter in the breeze. I love them all year, but especially in the fall, when they turn gold. To me they mean mountains, and beauty, and alpine silence (which isn't really silence). My dream home will have aspens somewhere around it...

I am thankful... for urgent care offices open on weekends! Stephen woke up with a nasty case of conjunctivitis  and I was so grateful that there was somewhere I could get him a prescription for eye drops even if we did wait 2 hours. If you're bleeding profusely or in extreme pain, I understand why waits are hard, but for the rest of us, why not just breathe, relax, and accept it? We all know this is how ER's and such work! No point getting angry! Anyway. Not exactly the worst disease ever, but I'm still grateful it got taken care of.

I am going... Errand running tomorrow, off to the cabin on Wednesday! We'll be there for a week, then it's August and the countdown to school begins! We're meeting my parents at the cabin, I can't wait! (PS- I posted pictures from our camping trip over at our family blog, if you'd like to see!)

Source: Pinterest
Something new about me... I did not want to raise boys. My little sister was born when I was 10, and I was basically her second mom. Girls I understood. Every little boy I babysat always seemed to be grimy and sticky and loud and violent and awful. I was so disappointed when I found out Stephen was a boy! But now, of course, I adore my boys. And have no idea what to do with little girls! Oh, and my boys have turned out to only very very rarely be sticky and grimy and violent and awful. They're the sweetest, kindest, snuggliest, smartest, most hilarious boys I know, and I wouldn't trade them for a dozen little girls. (Especially not a dozen!!)

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  1. Looking forward to what you do cook this week April. Sometimes it can be very hard to be inspired, especially when it is to hot to even want to drag your carcass off the sofa! Love your honesty here about trials. I like to think I have learned something through each of mine, but I don't think I would ever be able to say I was glad I went through them, just grateful for the learning. I can remember when we found out my eldest daughter was retarded. She was 4 almost 5 and getting ready to start school. It was heartbreaking news. You go through the same process that a parent goes through when they loose a child to death. It is a grieving process, because actually the child you thought you had DID die and is replaced with this unknown entity. Oh I love my daughter so very much, but devastated doesn't begin to cover it. I had just had a new baby, had three children in diapers, a husband who drank a lot and was away from home with his job more than he was home. I am so grateful that my daughter's life has turned out as well as it has. An international Special Olympics Gold Medalist and now married to her honey bun, two jobs, etc. She is really high functioning, but I have to be honest if God said right now she could be normal. I would choose normal. I would give my own life in order for her to be normal if that was required.

    I can remember when my oldest child was born and he was a boy, I was disappointed too. I wanted a girl, but I love him to bits and he's a wonderful son. I eventually did get my girls and you will get yours too. Maybe not in the way you had planned, but God is good. I believe that with all of my heart. xxoo

  2. PS - I don't make jam much anymore but when the kids were growing up I filled a larder every year with pickles and jams. I used to make at least 52 quarts of Dill pickles because they love them most of all! And believe it or not I always ran out of them before the end of the year!


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