Friday, March 30, 2012


DaNell came by last week to see the house and with her she brought a tulip plant. It sat on our kitchen counter for a few days until we just decided to get out there and plant it. We put it around the circle drive about half way down. Up by the house, we have another tulip plant so I thought it would look good further down. Greyson had a grand time. I mostly supervised and took pictures as the whole mud thing isn't really my thing. =)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Cilantro White Bean Lime Soup

Adapted from Teacher by Day Chef by Night

3 cans cannellini beans (drained and rinsed)
2 limes (juice and zest)
3 cloves garlic (chopped)
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 cups vegetable (or chicken) stock
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup chopped onion
a good handful of cilantro (chopped) (1/2 cup or so)
salt and pepper to taste
In a stock pot, combine the oil, onion, and garlic. When onions and garlic cook down a bit, add the beans and lime zest. Cook for another minute or two.

Add in the stock. Then add the cilantro and lime juice.

Cover with a lid and bring to a slight boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Add heavy whipping cream.

Use an immersion blender to make the soup creamy and smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

** Luke and I love this soup. It is so different than anything I've ever tasted. The lime is quite tart, so if you don't want punch you may want to go a bit less with it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Friday, March 9, 2012

Feb Book List and Reviews

Book Review on Amazon
"I didn't write this book because mothering little ones is easy for me. I wrote it because it isn't. I know that this is a hard job, because I am right here in the middle of it. I know you need encouragement because I do too.

This is not a tender reminiscence from someone who had children so long ago that she only remembers the sweet parts. At the time of writing this, I have three children in diapers, and I can recognize the sound of hundreds of toothpicks being dumped out in the hall.

This is a small collection of thoughts on mothering young children for when you are motivated, for when you are discouraged, for the times when discipline seems fruitless, and for when you are just plain old tired.

The opportunities for growth abound here but you have to be willing. You have to open your heart to the tumble. As you deal with your children, deal with yourself always and first. This is what it looks like, and feels like, to walk as a mother with God."

This book was an easy read. You could sit down in an hour and have it completely finished. I thought half of the book wasn't extremely important or was a bit of fluff, but the other half was awesome! Over and over I've thought about this one chapter on finding grace in your life with you little one. It has been eye-opening to say the least. I would recommend this book to anyone with children under five.

Book Review on Amazon
"Throughout her acclaimed writing career, Julie Garwood has captivated readers with characters who are compelling, daring, and bursting with life. Now one of the most popular novelists of our time proudly returns to her beloved historical romance roots–in a thrilling tale of love, murder, adventure, and mystery set against the haunting landscape of medieval Scotland.

For Princess Gabrielle of St. Biel, Scotland is a land of stunning vistas, wild chieftains, treacherous glens, and steep shadows–skullduggery, betrayal, and now murder. Prized for her exquisite beauty, the daughter of one of England’s most influential barons, Gabrielle is also a perfect bargaining chip for a king who needs peace in the Highlands: King John has arranged Gabrielle’s marriage to a good and gentle laird. But this marriage will never take place.

For Gabrielle, everything changes in one last burst of freedom–when she and her guards come upon a scene of unimaginable cruelty. With one shot from her bow and arrow, Gabrielle takes a life, saves a life, and begins a war.

Within days, the Highlands are aflame with passions as a battle royal flares between enemies old and new. Having come to Scotland to be married, Gabrielle is instead entangled in Highland intrigue. For two sadistic noblemen, underestimating Gabrielle’s bravery and prowess may prove fatal. But thanks to a secret Gabrielle possesses, Colm MacHugh, the most feared man in Scotland, finds a new cause for courage. Under his penetrating gaze, neither Gabrielle’s body nor heart is safe.

A gripping novel that delves into the heart of emotions–unyielding passions of love, hate, revenge, and raw desire–Shadow Music is magnificent gift from Julie Garwood and a crowning achievement in her amazing career."

I still love a good historical romance and this one fits the bill. Definitely a keeper for my library.

Book Review on Amazon
"From the cradle to college, tell your sons the truth about life before they believe the culture's lies.

For parents with boys newborn to eighteen, 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Son will be as much a part of the boyhood journey as those Legos you're still finding under the sofa cushions and the garage full of sports equipment. Award-winning youth culture commentator Vicki Courtney helps moms and dads pinpoint and prepare the discussions that should be ongoing in a boy's formative years.

Fully addressing the dynamic social and spiritual issues and other influencers at hand, several chapters are written for each of the conversations, which are:

1. Don't define manhood by the culture's wimpy standards; it's okay to be a man!

2. What you don't learn to conquer may become your master.

3. Not everyone's doing it! (And other naked truths about sex you won't hear in the locker room.)

4. Boyhood is only for a season. P.S. It's time to grow up!

5. Godly men are in short supply-dare to become one!

The book also offers invaluable tips on having these conversations across the various stages of development: five and under, six to eleven, and twelve and up."

This book was loaned to me by Leslie and I thought it was a bit much. I may have a different opinion when Greyson gets older, but I didn't find a whole lot to like about it right now. I think it is one to keep in mind when you have a boy between the ages of 8-16.

Book Review on Amazon
"New York Times bestselling author Judith McNaught sweeps readers from the wilds of America to elegant 1820s London in this unforgettable romantic adventure.
A teacher in a school for wealthy young ladies, Sheridan, Bromleigh is hired to accompany one of her students, heiress Charise Lancaster, to England to meet her fiancé. When her charge elopes with a stranger, Sheridan wonders how she will ever explain it to Charise's intended, Lord Burleton.

Standing on the pier, Stephen Westmoreland, the Earl of Langford, assumes the young woman coming toward him is Charise Lancaster -- and informs her of his inadvertent role in a fatal accident involving Lord Burleton the night before. And just as Sheridan is about to speak, she steps into the path of a cargo net loaded with crates!

Sheridan awakens in Westmoreland's mansion with no memory of who she is; the only hint of her past is the puzzling fact that everyone calls her Miss Lancaster. All she truly knows is that she is falling in love with a handsome English earl, and that the life unfolding before her seems full of wondrous possibilities..."

I read this years ago, but I am trying to read some of the books that I have on hand to go through them. I will have to say, that I loved this historical romance. Judith McNaught is probably one of the best authors when it comes to this genre. I have too many historical romances, but this one will remain a keeper for me.

Book Review on Amazon
"On a May afternoon in 1943, an Army Air Forces bomber crashed into the Pacific Ocean and disappeared, leaving only a spray of debris and a slick of oil, gasoline, and blood. Then, on the ocean surface, a face appeared. It was that of a young lieutenant, the plane’s bombardier, who was struggling to a life raft and pulling himself aboard. So began one of the most extraordinary odysseys of the Second World War.

The lieutenant’s name was Louis Zamperini. In boyhood, he’d been a cunning and incorrigible delinquent, breaking into houses, brawling, and fleeing his home to ride the rails. As a teenager, he had channeled his defiance into running, discovering a prodigious talent that had carried him to the Berlin Olympics and within sight of the four-minute mile. But when war had come, the athlete had become an airman, embarking on a journey that led to his doomed flight, a tiny raft, and a drift into the unknown.

Ahead of Zamperini lay thousands of miles of open ocean, leaping sharks, a foundering raft, thirst and starvation, enemy aircraft, and, beyond, a trial even greater. Driven to the limits of endurance, Zamperini would answer desperation with ingenuity; suffering with hope, resolve, and humor; brutality with rebellion. His fate, whether triumph or tragedy, would be suspended on the fraying wire of his will.

In her long-awaited new book, Laura Hillenbrand writes with the same rich and vivid narrative voice she displayed in Seabiscuit. Telling an unforgettable story of a man’s journey into extremity, Unbroken is a testament to the resilience of the human mind, body, and spirit."

I liked this book after the first hundred pages. It took a ton of time to actually get into it, but once I got into it I really liked it. It is very detail oriented and not something I would read again, but I enjoyed it.

Book Review from Amazon
"Libby Day was seven when her mother and two sisters were murdered in “The Satan Sacrifice of Kinnakee, Kansas.” As her family lay dying, little Libby fled their tiny farmhouse into the freezing January snow. She lost some fingers and toes, but she survived–and famously testified that her fifteen-year-old brother, Ben, was the killer. Twenty-five years later, Ben sits in prison, and troubled Libby lives off the dregs of a trust created by well-wishers who’ve long forgotten her.

The Kill Club is a macabre secret society obsessed with notorious crimes. When they locate Libby and pump her for details–proof they hope may free Ben–Libby hatches a plan to profit off her tragic history. For a fee, she’ll reconnect with the players from that night and report her findings to the club . . . and maybe she’ll admit her testimony wasn’t so solid after all.

As Libby’s search takes her from shabby Missouri strip clubs to abandoned Oklahoma tourist towns, the narrative flashes back to January 2, 1985. The events of that day are relayed through the eyes of Libby’s doomed family members–including Ben, a loner whose rage over his shiftless father and their failing farm have driven him into a disturbing friendship with the new girl in town. Piece by piece, the unimaginable truth emerges, and Libby finds herself right back where she started–on the run from a killer."
I don't know what possessed me to pick up this book, but it definitely wasn't me. I wouldn't say it was bad, it just seemed like a weird book for me. I don't think murder mysteries are my thing, but other than that it was an easy read and kind of interesting.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Future Firefighter

Mom and I stopped in the Battlefield Fire House the other day. Greyson was in awe. Everyone was so nice and they just let him do just about anything. He looked at the helmets, hoses, boots, wheels, etc. We learned the difference between a rescue truck and a fire truck. It was just great.

Since then, Luke and Greyson have been putting out fires around the house. They both wear the fire hats (Luke's is a bit too small) and they go to town. It is definitely entertaining to watch.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Sensory Steps

I saw this idea off of Pinterest awhile back and knew that I wanted to do it with Greyson. We used paper plates and I went through the house searching for things that we could walk on. We ended up finding a sponge, craft beads and pipe cleaners. We started out trying to glue the beads on the plate. Greyson loves to glue so I thought that would add to the fun. The beads were stubborn though and would not glue on. We ended up just sitting everything in the plates. The idea of the steps is to feel different textures on your feet. He was definitely a bit weirded out at first. I think he only stepped on them about twice, but we got to talk about them quite a bit. I consider the whole thing a success. It was easy to do and he seemed to like it. Afterwards, he had fun putting the beads in a container and shaking them. Greyson and I both like little projects like this so it is definitely fun to do them together.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Elmo Birthday Party

I'm only about two months late in posting about Greyson's birthday party. Oh well. I tried to limit myself on getting too caught up in all the details. I think we ended up with the perfect amount.

I don't think Greyson cared either way about the decorations. I thought he would really love them but he seemed only mildly impressed. Is that a boy for you? He loved having all of his family and friends there and he especially loved all his presents.

Happy 2nd Birthday, Little One.