Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Science lessons lay scattered across the kitchen table.
Gilgamesh sat unopened on the bed.
Library books rested neatly on the desk.
And math problems remained unsolved on the chalkboard.

Cause when the sun shines brightly in October,
the outdoor thermometer tops out at 73 degrees (yet again!),
and rain rests squarely in tomorrow's forecast...
what's a gal to do??

Scrap the schoolwork (for the time being, at least :) and head outdoors!

It seemed to be a popular choice :)

Monday, October 10, 2011


Today, my baby is thirteen.

My baby. Thirteen. Today.

And I couldn't be more amazed... more joy-filled... more thank-full for him
and the extraordinary young man God is fashioning him to be.

Thank you, heavenly Father, for your good, good gifts.
For thirteen bless-ed years.
For this precious, precious boy.
And for the privilege-- the honor-- of being his mom.

Happy, happy birthday, Bub!!

{I love you with all of my heart}

Thursday, October 6, 2011

The end of an era

Tonight, just before tucking Big Man in to bed, he politely informed me that it's time to switch up his bedtime routine. Instead of praying AND singing together, we now only need to pray. The song is no longer needed..."because I'm big now."

"Ok, sure honey." Smile. Hug. Shiver.
Because my little boy is growing up, and that's not always an easy pill to swallow...

"There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens..."

Ecclesiastes 3:1

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Creamy White Chili

I love autumn-- the changing colors, the cooler temperatures, the falling leaves...
the crunch, crunch, crunch underfoot.

And I love soup. And stew. And all things hearty.
Like this delicious new find-- a wonderfully savory complement to fall!

Creamy White Chili (thanks to Mel's Kitchen Cafe)

*serves 6

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic powder or 2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon oil
2 cans (15 1/2 oz each) Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
1 can (14 1/2 oz) chicken broth
2 cans (4 oz each) chopped green chilies
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup whipping cream
fresh cilantro for garnish (optional)

In a large saucepan, saute chicken, onion, and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add beans, broth, chilies, and seasonings, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer (uncovered) for 30 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in sour cream and whipping cream. Garnish with cilantro if desired. Serve immediately. It's especially good with tortilla chips.

OR... In to a medium round slow cooker, place 1 pound chicken breasts, either fresh or frozen (do not worry about cubing them). Add the chopped onion, garlic powder, beans, chilies, and all of the spices, but do not add the sour cream or whipping cream yet! Also, reduce the chicken broth to 12 oz (about 1 1/2 cups) and pour it over the other ingredients. Stir the mixture to incorporate the dry spices and cook on low for 5-7 hours (longer if chicken is frozen). Remove chicken to a cutting board and shred it to bite-size pieces; then return it to the crock. In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream and whipping cream; then add mixture to crock and mix well. Let the chili cook until heated through. And serve... with chips!

And as one additional note or suggestion-- these chips, which I buy at Whole Foods, are the best we've tasted.
I can hardly keep them on the shelf!

Monday, October 3, 2011

1000 Gifts: In the woods

This past weekend, we journeyed to Mom's and Dad's house for an early fall get-away, an algebra session with Pops, some tree-house building with some special friends, an early birthday celebration for Grandmom, and a few fantastic romps through the woods.

And it was a gift. All of it... from top to bottom, inside and out.
A precious, precious gift.

Thank you, Lord...

(#1124 -- 1145)

long walks with Grandmom through the woods
on lazy fall afternoons
pockets full of acorns
deer tracks
baby mushrooms
and fallen trees
the colors of the forest floor
the fox's hidden den
tucked-away hide-aways
their joy in discovering His gifts
the neighbor's friendly dog and Noh-man's love of all things furry
showers of leaves
a search for hickories
a turtle in the garden...
and desperate waiting for him to emerge
baby pigs at the farm next door
and extra-stale popcorn to feed them
old tractors
with pumpkins on top
their love of the woods
and the time to spend therein
the beauty and splendor of creation

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth...
and [He] saw that it was good."

Genesis 1

and the list goes on...