Tuesday, June 9

pancakes

My recipes are a mess. I have this big binder, where I basically stuff every recipe we like in all sorts of different forms. There's magazine pages, print-outs off the computer, index cards, and my personal favorite: my chicken scratch style handwriting on envelopes and scrap pieces of paper. While I do love the randomness of all of this, it is really hard to find anything. On my "do whenever I have time" list (ha!) is to organize all the recipes. I would love to have something pretty, something personal with all of our family recipes in it. I would like lots of photos, naturally, so I have been trying to take photos as we make our favorites. I found this really neat photoshop template where the recipe page is all laid out for you, you just add in your photo and type in all the specifics. I like the idea of working on it (and maybe printing it) a page at a time, that way you could always add to it.

The other morning, one of the first official mornings of summer break, we made pancakes. I used to be a pancake mix girl--those are just so easy. Then, one day we wanted pancakes but didn't have any mix. Out came the old faithful Better Homes and Gardens's Cookbook. Come to find out, pancakes from scratch are really not that difficult, and I usually have everything that we need to make them. I always have lots of help on pancake day. It is hard to divvy up the tasks to keep my assistants feeling like that they are all helping equally, but we usually manage to find a job for everyone.
Look…fluffy!

Buttermilk Pancakes

1 cup flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup buttermilk or sour milk*
2 tablespoons cooking oil

Combine all the dry ingredients, set aside. Combine the egg, milk and oil. Add the egg mixture to the flour mixture and stir gently until just combined. Cook on a greased griddle or heavy skillet. Ada and I like our pancakes with fruit, so we add that in a few pancakes as we cook them. We've made blueberry, blackberry and raspberry pancakes--all delish! Serve up with butter and pure maple syrup.

*If you don't have buttermilk (who has buttermilk on hand, anyone?) put 1 tablespoon white vinegar or lemon juice unto a measuring cup. Add enough milk to make 1 cup and stir.

Happy Tuesday to you, gather your assistants and make some pancakes!

Tuesday, June 2

bouquet

A few weeks ago, our whole family was in the wedding of our dear friend Sarah. I was a bridesmaid, the girls were both flower girls. (You can only imagine how pumped they were to be flower girls!) Before Sarah left on her honeymoon, she gave me her bouquet to enjoy while she was gone. Her big, beautiful, flat out amazing bouquet. She asked me to take a few pictures of it because she forgot to. Of course! Pictures!

I took some "regular" pretty pictures of it in Ada's room, on the bathroom counter, in the "hangar". (The hangar is what we like to call our quonset hut. Hangar sounds like we might own some sort of aircraft. Really, the quonset is really a big storage building that resembles a large can on its side.) The hangar always has the most beautiful light, and it is often my most favorite place to take pictures. After taking tons of photos of this beautiful bouquet, I had an idea. Sarah and I had messaged back and forth about what she wanted done with this bouquet, and we talked about drying it. The problem with drying flowers is that they are never as beautiful as they were were when they were alive. I think I dried my wedding bouquet only to throw it away later. I suggested that photos of the flowers would be way better than a dusty dry bouquet anyway.

I didn't tell Sarah my actual plan, but I just went for it knowing she would be ok with it! I took snippers to that bouquet and cut all the heads of those beautiful flowers. Roses, peonies, ranunculus, succulents. It felt so awful to do it, but I knew it would be worth it!

Now for a few pictures. For kicks, first here is a photo of my assistant. This girl loves flowers, and she tells me she wants to be a florist and a chef when she grows up. This gives you a little peek into our setup in the quonset: a ladder, some barn wood, the flowers.


Here's just a few photos we took. I took so many pictures of these flowers. They were so so pretty.




Thank you so much for trusting me with your bouquet Sarah! It was the most fun I've had in a while!

Friday, May 29

arrest of attention

Yesterday, a photographer I follow posted a beautiful picture on her Facebook feed, along with this quote:

"I feel that art has something to do with the stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm. I think art has something to do with an arrest of attention in the midst of distraction."
Saul Bellow

The arrest of attention. Love that.

Does a quote ever just grab you? This one did me. Maybe because I feel a pull towards "stillness" lately. What mom of three doesn't feel a pull towards stillness? Maybe because the more I study and the more know about art it feels like (for me at least) it needs to be a form of prayer. Art and prayer, prayer and art. The two are so very linked together. So funny that I have loved art for my entire life, and I feel like I have been skirting around it, never getting to the heart of the art that I need to make because in order to get there you need to get to the heart of God first.


I know! Deep thinking on a Friday! Hope your weekend is great.

Monday, May 25

unhurried

I have a lot of help around the house. You know, kid help that usually doesn't help. So, often times I just say "let mama do it." For whatever reason, I feel like I am in a state of hurry and hustle, so I want to do everything so I can get it done faster. I want to fold all the clothes so they'll be folded how I want. I want to wash the dishes so I can just get them done. I rush, through lots of things. I look past what I'm doing, thinking about what I need to tackle next. I think I say "hurry up" to my kids more than anything else.

I hate it.

What if I was unhurried? What if I said, "yes, help me"? What if we stood and talked and washed together?


My prayer lately has been for God to make me unhurried. My babies are growing so fast. I feel this horrible feeling like I am missing it. Rushing it away because I need to get more things done. I want to do things with them, even if it takes longer. Even if every towel is folded crooked and all the shirts are wrinkled. I am so slow to learn this lesson, and it takes lots of little reminders to bring me back where I need to be. These pictures are so precious to me--they are a visual reminder of what unhurried looks like. A sink full of dirty dishes, lots of soap, and her.

"Being in a hurry. Getting to the next thing without fully entering in the thing in front of me. I cannot think of a single advantage I've ever gained from being in a hurry. But a thousand broken missed things, tens of thousands, lie in the wake of all the rushing…Through all that haste I thought I was making up time. It turns out I was throwing it away."
{Mark Buchanan quoted by Ann Voskamp in One Thousand Gifts.}

Wednesday, May 20

the books of april (and may)

It is fun to make a record of what I read. Last year I just used the notes on my phone to keep track, and I'm still doing that this year. I think it is fun to make a little log here on the blog here too, if nothing else to help me remember each one better. (I'm getting older and my memory needs help.) I know that May is not technically over, but May tends to be one of the busiest months of the year, so I think it would be unlikely that I will finish another book before we reach the end. Here's the list!

Unlocking the Heart of the Artist by Matt Tommey
I've been wanting to learn more about the ties between God and creativity, specifically the work of visual artists. Naturally I took this desire to learn to the Amazon search. This was one of the books that popped up. I think it is really meant to be a group study, and I think you would probably get the most out of it if you read it along with other people. That being said, I did like it, but I didn't love it. Great points, but I wanted a little more. I have another book on deck in this same subject matter, and I'm anxious to get to it.


The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins
I'm always intrigued by books that are popular at the moment. They must be good, right? (Sometimes yes, and sometimes no.) This one was good: suspenseful and engaging. An observant (and troubled) woman pieces together bits and pieces of a crime from her seat on her daily train ride. A unique premise! I don't want to give too much away, because that is the fun thing about this book: trying to figure it all out. I think I can say that I spent the whole book wanting and praying for Rachel (the girl on the train) to pull herself together!


The Magic of Ordinary Days by Ann Howard Creel
Loved this one! This book is shorter, and physically a little smaller than most. I liked that. (Hello book in my purse!) I really loved the words and writing style of this author. Descriptive. This book was one that as I was reading I was saying to myself: "yes, I can see that." The main character of this book is a bookish and smart Olivia who finds herself in an arranged marriage in Colorado during WWII. I really like historical fiction because it makes me think of things that maybe I knew happened (in this case the relocation of Japanese Americans during the war) and makes me really think about them. This was made into a Hallmark movie with Kerri Russel (Kerri Russel! Love her.) and I would really like to watch the movie. I think I can get the DVD on Amazon, but would really like to figure out how to rent it some way. (Funny fact about me: lots of times I read a book because I know they are making a movie of it. 9 times out of 10 I never get around to watching the movie!)

Hope your May is going well! Thanks for reading!

Thursday, May 7

blossoms and such

It felt like it had been weeks since I picked up my camera. Weeks! I go through spurts like that sometimes: the thought of trying to take pictures of anything just wears me out. I'm not sure why that happens! So, it had been weeks. Then, last night we were all outside and everything was so beautiful: the air was warm and still, the sun was setting, the apple trees in bloom. Pictures were needed:
Our apple trees are seriously loaded with blossoms. I'm hoping for a big apple year!

Tuesday, April 14

let it go

So, I've decided to let my little daily photos go. Again. For what seems like the tenth time. I've also decided that the idea of a 5 minute session fits me so much better, so that's what I'll do. Here and there I'll take some time and take some pictures of the kiddos. Not every day, but some days. I so love the idea of taking a photo a day, but about day 3 this year I didn't like the picture I took. Because I only took one, I didn't have others to pick from. So, even though I tried to keep going this year, I've felt a little blah about it since then.

Onward and upward! Sunday we were all outside and I took about 5 minutes and shot some pictures of my girl and her sunglasses. And the kitties. (Take note of the fat black cat in the photos--as of yesterday she is a proud momma of four kittens. Exciting! (I feel like I should pamper her and make her a casserole or something.)

So, has anyone else let a goal for 2015 slide already, or is it just me? I have a feeling I'm not alone in this business of "goal sliding" and I think that's ok. If you try to do something five years in a row you would think that you would gently let that thing go and realize that it is not for you. You would think! I'm slow like that.

Let it go, let it go...