Week 13 – Maybe The Best Isn’t Always The Best

I came across this quote yesterday morning – written by Shannan Martin of Flower Patch Farmgirl – regarding a move she is making with her family that will land her kids in a less desirable school:

“I understand the pull toward what feels most comfortable. I understand the deep desire to keep my children sheltered and protected. But what I feel even stronger is the hope that my kids will learn very early that God goes with them. He goes. With them. Everywhere they are, there He is. I want them to be around kids who are like them and unlike them and every variation in between. I want them to see beauty in every face and to feel their faith grow as they relate to the world around them with each new day.

It took me thirty-four years to start to understand some of this. My hope is that they won’t waste as much time getting around to the truth.

My kids won’t automatically go down the pipes because the new school doesn’t test as well as the old school. They won’t lose their faith because more kids don’t believe the way they do. I wish I could say that I came to these conclusions overnight, but I didn’t. They came slow and painful over the course of months, even years.” – Shannan Martin, Flower Patch Farmgirl

 

I don’t really know if there is much more for me to say. She’s said it so well.
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Mini Antipasto Veggie Pizzas

I hate making lunch.

It’s a character flaw.

I spend enough time in and out of the kitchen completing mundane little tasks and preparing plenty of cold meals for everyone else that by the time it rolls around to lunch time for me, I’m just plain lazy.

Enter: bad lunch.

Who knew “Twizzlers” is not really a food group? And Oreos? Don’t even get me started. I thought they were the reason the big fat bottom of the food pyramid even existed. What better way to fulfill your carb count?

Oh. Not that way?

Really, I hope that you know that I know that this is all not true. I don’t really eat those things for lunch.

Most days.

But sometimes I do, and it’s all related to laziness.

So when I come across something like this little veggie antipasto pizza, I do a little gratitude dance.
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Baked Onion Rings

It’s really hard to clean house with one hand.

I tried it.

I tried to clean the kitchen: no go.

Tried to fold clothes: fail.

Picked up the living room: OK, that kinda worked.

I wouldn’t know any of this had I not made these onion rings. They’re not only food, they’re a powerful research tool. . . if you’re into discovering what you can or can’t do with one hand while the other hand is busy moving food from the plate to your face.
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Week #12 – Love is a Verb

Holding Hands Heart

Kiss your husband.

Hug your kids.

Call your grandparents, (I will – I am blessed to still have two – and they’ve been on my mind every day lately!)

Write a card to your BFF.

Bake a treat for your roommate.

Text your brother.

Send a postcard to your niece.

Leave a love note in your spouse’s pocket.

Make a cake for your bestie.

Hold hands when you fight.

Buy your kids’ favorite magazine.

Send a care package to your brother/sister/mom/dad.
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Molasses Crinkles

 

Do you all mind bearing with me through one more post?

I am separated by thousands of miles from my “old” family. (My mom, dad, sisters, niece, nephew, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins)

I am cozied right in close, with my “new” family. (My husband and children).

I wish that I could be with both today.

We are all remembering Grandma.

They will be sharing memories, hugging, holding hands, paying respects, laughing, and crying.

I will be on the beach with my daughter (because we are the lucky ducks with the morning off), doing the same.

They will nibble doughnuts in the foyer of the church.

We will nibble cookies on the sands of the Atlantic Ocean.
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Banana Breakfast Coffee Cake

About two years ago my mom sat with her mom, and went through her most-used cookbook page by page. They chatted over each recipe – even the hand written ones and the ones that my grandma had clipped from magazines and newspapers and stuffed inside the cover over the years.

Grandma talked about each recipe she remembered, and Mom made notes on  Post-It’s.  The book is filled now, with little quotes from Grandma like:

“She had a good one there!” on her sister’s chocolate cake recipe and,

“No one could do punch better than her!” on her friend’s tropical punch recipe that’s etched out in Grandma’s precise writing and,

“This one’s a goodie!” about chocolate drop cookies and,

“I’d never make these again!”, about some candy cane Christmas cookies.

Then my mom photocopied each page – all 400 of them, and added in photographs of Grandma young and old, and my mom and her siblings growing up, and my sisters and I with Grandma, and then Grandma with our kids. Many of the pictures are of some or all of us making doughnuts with her – because that was Grandma’s tradition – making doughnuts every winter. Those are some of my most cherished memories ever.

I spent Sunday morning poring over this book with puffy, teary eyes. . . .
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Week 11 – Does It Even Matter??

Here is one of those lessons I have picked up over time – questions I have learned to ask myself – that help me to just:

Chill.

Out.

I’ll start with a story:

The other day, on our drive to school, my mind was jumping from thing to thing to thing. For some reason, plans for the weekend just wouldn’t seem to mesh, and I was trying to fit them all together like a jigsaw puzzle.

I needed to talk to one of my “working friends” (i.e. not available for a phone call on a whim), so at a stop light – with all cars in front and behind me stopped mind you – I shot off a one sentence text to her that read, “Call me when you have a sec.”

That’s it.

It probably took me less than 15 seconds to complete.

Phone down.
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Strawberry Fontina Baguette Slices

Sometimes, you meet foods that love the camera.

Unfortunately for these Strawberry Fontina Baguette Slices, they’re not so photogenic.

Which belies their deliciousness.

They are the best vehicle for strawberry jam I have yet to discover.

They deserve fair press, but I don’t think they’ll get it, because they’re stinkin’ difficult to photograph.
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