May 30, 2013

Berry Rhubarb Crisp

The weekend is just around the corner, so I'm thinking it's time to drum up a little crisp.

The beauty of this recipe is that it works for pretty much any fruit you can think of!  Today's version includes frozen, mixed berries plus fresh rhubarb.  It's so healthy it can be eaten for breakfast.  Or lunch. Or any other meal, any other time.  For the record  however, I do have limits; a big dollop of vanilla ice cream on top must be saved for dessert.  =)

And no, I don't have an outdoor oven.  It's just that my back porch affords the best light for photos. My four-legged friend is always baffled at my quick trips out back with food in my arms, only to run back in with it moments later!

Fruit Crisp
Fruit layer
Any combination of fruit, spread in a 9x13" glass dish.
Mix in 1/4 c. sugar + 1 Tbsp flour.  Adjust as desired for sweetness and thickness. If you prefer a thicker, less runny crisp, substitute 1 scant Tbsp cornstarch for the flour.

1-1/4 c.  thick cut oats
1 c. brown sugar
3/4 c. flour
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. sea salt
1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Mix topping ingredients together and dump over fruit.  Spread evenly without smashing down.  Bake @ 375° x 50-55 mins until golden brown.

May 28, 2013

Busy Times

I've decided it's infinitely better to be busy than quiet.  We've had a period of quiet - plenty to do with work and home, but little fun or meaningful activity.  But we seemed to have turned a corner, for which I am very grateful.

In this short holiday weekend I connected up again with an old missionary friend, and our conversations were like cool, refreshing water to my spirit.  We stayed up late into the early morning hours with a returning college friend to discuss life issues. We welcomed home another young friend from New Zealand and did some quick catching up.  Had lunch with another friend to offer encouragement and share life.  Saw my niece and cheered her with hugs and a care package that included fruit and Nutella.  Finished another book editing section.  Ate chocolate brownie sundaes with old friends while we played games and laughed hard.  Met a new dog named Cooper who is quite stinky but a good, sweet boy. Spent a comforting morning with family on Memorial Day.

There are no groceries in our house and the bed is not made.  There are just enough clean clothes to head to work this morning. And I'm OK with that.  =)

May 24, 2013

More Clothespins

I happened upon a new (to me) art store and discovered some fabulous tape!  There were over a hundred choices of patterns and colors, but I started with two.  The colors and possibilities made my day!  Note that my engineer friend was with me, completely stumped as to my excitement.  Gotta love her.

Yes! More clothespin options. =)

Hope you have a great Friday and upcoming weekend.

May 22, 2013

Sheep Mystery

Any farmers out there who can explain why they raise sheep?  These creatures appear to be exceedingly dumb without offering even the slightest affection.  No pet factor.  No fun factor.  I am clearly missing something, and I'd love to know what!  Clue me in, my friends.

May 21, 2013

Chicken Baths

On warm, dry days, the girls feel it's important to get their dirt baths.  Do you see the dirt flying?? They scratch and flutter and roll and shake and flap to get the dirt all the way down deep.  At some point (especially when you are near), they give a final shakeout, sending out a cloud of dust all over kindgom come.  Look out!

I know some boys who would enjoy giving this a try.  =)

May 20, 2013

Haystack Rock

It was a glorious time at the beach!  Can't say the weather cooperated much, but the wind and the waves were old friends.  A great deal of thinking can be done with sand in your shoes, taking in the vastness of the ocean and gaining a new perspective on life.

May 17, 2013

And the Eyes Have It

Making eyes is serious business!  The dragon, as you know, is done but there are two towels yet to be made - a duck and a monster.  I think these will go to little Miss Mia.  But it seems the hooded creatures are becoming quite 20-something friend has put her request in!

Hope you have a great weekend with plenty of projects to keep you busy. Happy Friday!

May 16, 2013

Cupcake Honors

It's not every day I win a contest.  Never, actually!  Imagine my surprise to learn I earned SECOND PLACE in a cupcake cook off.  Oh, happy day!  That German Chocolate one is mine, the one that's dark and luscious and tempting.  The one on the bottom in the middle.  The beautiful one.  =)

Thanks to Sarah over at Chantille-Fleur!  Pop on over to see the other lovely delights that come to us via Australia.
Photo courtesy of Chantille-Fleur

May 15, 2013

Wedding Food, Kyrgy Style

I think the entire world is traveling.  Without me.  India, Singapore, Italy, Greece, Spain, France, England, New Zealand...

And Kyrgyzstan.  Friends sent this picture of a local wedding.  All of the food was homemade, of course.  They enjoyed fried bread, salad of some sort, noodle soup, candies, cookies, and blackberry and lemon jams for putting in their tea.  The family butchered three goats to feed everyone.

Oh, what adventures and new experiences!!

May 14, 2013

Carrot Salad, Au Naturale

Doesn't this salad look so bright and cheerful?  I love that orange color!

I tried a new dressing recipe made of yogurt, a touch of sugar, and poppy seeds.  How simple and easy! And you know what this salad tasted like?  A mouthful of grated carrots with a few raisins and pineapple bits thrown in.  The dressing was so natural you couldn't even taste it.  We could hardly choke it down, and it wasn't for the faint of heart!

Perhaps I should take some cooking lessons.  In France.

May 13, 2013

Dragon Hooded Towel

Saturday night we had a baby shower/dinner for a friend at work, so the sewing machine was pulled out and put to good use.  A little boy is expected, and what's more fun than dreaming of fighting the dragons in Red Flyer wagons?

I couldn't find a little person to help model, but you get the idea below. =)

Sewing without an actual pattern was a bit of a challenge.  Thanks to for instructions and plenty of pictures. It was hard not having those tissue paper patterns in hand, and I was running back and forth from the computer to the sewing machine.  But I got 'er done, and this dragon was created with a little character, with crooked teeth and real flames. (That's the red you see, just in case you couldn't tell!)

"Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for you are crunchy and good with ketchup."

May 10, 2013

The Adventures Begin

We're beginning to hear from the kids all kinds of tales including rickshaws, heat, beautiful gardens, temples, wandering goats and cows, the caste system, and even melting curling irons!  There is so much to see and so many lessons to be learned.

All is well, which makes my mother's heart so happy.

Happy Friday to you all, wherever you and yours are!

May 8, 2013

Monkeys in the Window!

We heard that the girls' accommodations are quite nice in apartment with a solid bed, 1.5 baths, a cook, laundry,  and air conditioning.  Good thing, because it is somewhere between 110 - 115° during the day!  The young man is in a more rustic (200 year old) place with no AC.

The girls have been instructed to keep their kitchen window closed, or the baby monkeys might climb in. Hahaha!

This isn't their picture, but I'm trying to imagine...

Photo by Google Images

May 7, 2013

They Landed!

They've almost made it!  We had confirmation that the kids made it to Chicago, Frankfurt, and New Delhi!  Now we wait to hear that they have made their final destination, to the city where they will be living and teaching English.

These are exciting and admittedly anxious times for us as parents.  We are generally not among those who stress about God's work, but it's been a bit of a rough go lately with an extra measure of difficulties.  Once again we have been humbled by the presence of those who love us and point us in the right direction.  Many, many thanks to those who have offered a broad shoulder, encouragement, laughter, sincere prayers, tea, chocolate, dinner to the door, a phone call, a heartfelt text, and countless other things to share both our burdens and our joys.

May 2, 2013

People Watching

It was a long wait in the Kansas City airport last month, and after walking my legs off, I decided just to take a nap.  I found a quiet corner, propped my legs up on my carry-on, and dozed off.  I pretended I was resting up for an international flight to France.  Ha!

It was just a matter of time before things got busy again, and there were a number of families arriving to meet their loved ones in the baggage area.  I was shocked to see several of them dressed up for Sunday.  That's something that doesn't happen in the casual Northwest - you see jeans even in the fanciest of restaurants here.

This dad made me laugh.  Holy cow, it takes guts to wear a backpack like that.  I held my phone in my lap and shot a quick one.  Notice the baby in the front pack. The stroller and a second child were just out of the picture.  Loved it!

May 1, 2013

May Day!

May Day in these parts is more of a thought, but many of us still remember the tradition we participated in during our school years.  Paper cone baskets with stapled handles were decorated and then filled with flowers, to be left on an unsuspecting soul's doorstep.  We chose our doors carefully, knowing that if we were seen, we had to be kissed.  I think I only dared try it twice!  Mom graciously received the rest, and her hugs and kisses were very welcomed!

I'm off to work today, but perhaps I can come up with a few surprises by the end of the day.  Let me know if you come up with some of your own. =)