Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wishing a...

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Happy Bloggy Birthday to my friend Carrie at Reading to Know!

As part of her birthday celebration, she is holding a little contest for an Amazon gift card - the requirement is to post a photo of yourself with your favorite book. She and I share a deep love for L.M. Mongomery's writings and so it was easy to pick my favorite from the series - Anne of Windy Poplars. (This is my original, well-loved book from the box set I was given in junior high). Windy Poplars has always been my favorite of the series - partly because Anne is off on her adventures as a teacher, living with the precious Aunts Kate and Chatty and one-of-a-kind Rebecca Dew, and also because a majority of the book is written from the standpoint of letters from her to Gilbert. As someone who truly misses the art of corresponding by mail, I loved reading the (highly wordy) letters that she sent to Gilbert and I'm a sucker for pretty much any book written in this fashion.

All book-loving talk aside, Carrie is a wonderful friend and one that I am so thankful to have gotten to know through blogging. There are lots of times I contemplate throwing in the towel on this little online space (time being precious and hard to come by lately), but I am so thankful for some of the relationships that I have made through writing in this spot and commenting on other blogs. My book-loving friends Carrie and Amy fall into this category. They are an encouragement to me as a wife and a parent and I am so glad the internet has enlarged my world to include them.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Kitchen Day

Thankful for generous friends who share their CSA.
More tomato goodness. A sweet man from church said he could keep me stocked in tomatoes if I could make him a little salsa. Of course!

Tomato day! Spaghetti sauce simmering on the stove for the freezer...

... and a triple batch of @thepioneerwoman salsa in the fridge.



Cooking day continues ... @thepioneerwoman panzanella.

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Gifted with a boatload of tomatoes from a friend's CSA and another friend's garden, today was a big kitchen day to deal with them. Three batches of Pioneer Woman's salsa, one batch (which made three dinners worth) of this amazing spaghetti sauce used up most of the tomatoes, but I managed to save a few to make panzanella for lunch (also a PW recipe). It was so fresh and good! I am sad for my kids who don't like fresh tomatoes. As a consolation lunch for them - mac and cheese out of a box and chocolate chip cookies. They were thrilled. : )

Monday, July 14, 2014

Currently :: July 2014

Selling ourselves for free chicken.

Eating ... free Chick-Fil-A. (Photo from Friday). It was dress like a cow day and we braved the crowds with five kids for free chicken. FYI, no children we harmed in the taking of this photo - not sure what is up with some of those faces, but they really were all happy!

Drinking ... less coffee and more water. Still love, love, love my coffee, but trying to set an example for girls that don't care for water.

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Studying ... The Sermon on the Mount with #shereadstruth. It has been so good this summer and I have been blessed by the #shereadstruth gals and the work they are putting out.

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Reading ... good stuff this month:

Unbroken :: This was my vacation book this summer and it was unbelievable. Amy has recommended to me time and time again and I finally bought a used copy on Amazon and devoured it. Such a powerful story of a man's courage and character (with an ending that somehow I had never heard about and did not see coming!) in the face of incredible circumstances. It will go down as one of the best books I have ever read, period. I've already ordered a used copy of Laura Hillenbrand's book, Seabiscuit, and while I can't imagine that a story about a horse will be quite as powerful as Unbroken, I'm eager to read another book by her.

The One Hundred and One Dalmatians :: This month's choice for the Reading to Know bookclub. I read this one in a few days (I needed something completely different after Unbroken and this was a perfect fit). A sweet story just like the Disney movie.

I'm now dabbling in a couple different books, but not making any real progress.

Reading Aloud ... The Black Cauldron by Lloyd Alexander with the girls.

Sunset. #shepherdsummeradventures

Driving ... lots lately! Way more than normal. To swim lessons, to VBS, to Ohio (Lake Erie) and back.

Dropping big girls at camp for a week. So fun to have a big cousin working there with them this week!

Dropping ... big girls off at camp this week. The house is much quieter this Monday.

Planning. Goal making. And trying to wrap my mind around the fact that we start back to school in about three weeks.

Plotting ... our school calendar for the year. I had it all planned out prettily to start us off on a six week on / one week off plan ... and then we have had some family stuff change everything. Back to the drawing board because we are...

Adding ... a new member to our family! We are in the process of filling our foster / adoption paperwork and will, Lord willing, be adding another to our number by September. So much to tell ... so much we can't share. I know folks understand, but we are excited!

I am a sucker for this boy.

Dying ... over the cuteness and fun that this boy is in his current Captain Batman stage. I will be super sad when he grows out of it.