Fresh Chocolate Covered Cherries 


  
  
Cherry season is finally upon us! I think I have been waiting for this day since January at least! Of course I once again vowed to buy them in bulk and put enough in the freezer so that when that January craving comes on we’ll be able to get that taste of summer. The problem such a plan is I always forget how easily these sweet cherries go down on a hot summer day…especially when you cover them in chocolate! Seriously one of our better ideas. Yum!

Half Way Around the Sun


Dearest Clara,

I hope you will one day forgive me for the fact that you don’t have a baby book chronicling all your “firsts.” I am sorry about that, really I am. Quite frankly I feel a lot more sorrow about that than you will ever know. You are likely our last little gift from God, and the time is flying by faster than I can drink it in or commit it to memory. Perhaps instead you can look at the family albums and blog posts that will come out over the years as yours just as much as everyone elses, because truly they are. This story is yours too.

With that said, I wanted to take a moment and drink deep of who you are just six months into your joining us on the outside. Words cannot express my gratitude to God and to you for the extraordinary baby you are. You were born in a hot flash of excitement but you have been nothing but mellow and easy going since. When you wake in the morning you always greet me with a smile. The joy in your eyes rarely leaves. You love everyone, though we have our suspicions that you think your big brother Colton is the funniest person in the family. You and him share some special joke as he is the only one who can make you laugh those deep rumbling giggles. You and Alex must cuddle every morning and so I see you two share that special sweetness. You are ever patient with your big sister Addie as she tries to dress you up in all manner of things if I am not looking. She loves you though, and I think she really just longs for the day that you will get up and follow her to play.

You reach for your Daddy as soon as he gets home and you are so content to hang out, on the floor, in a stroller or in the pack. Now, you like to sit in the high chair too. I’m thankful you are so willing to just be.  I’m thankful you seem to just know that you are one of four. That your turn will come. But, I am also thankful that you will speak up and remind us too. You don’t cry often, but when you do you, you have your reasons and when taken care of you are easily settled.

If you had not been born I never would have believed babies like you existed. So mellow and sweet you are.

So, besides hanging out and being happy most all of the time, what are you doing at this 6 month marker? Well, you coo, and chatter. You are sitting up quite well, and you are flirting with the idea of crawling. Up on your hands and knees, or hands and feet, or one knee and one foot. IMG_0407Don’t worry I’m sure you will get this all figured out and soon. In the meantime rolling is your preferred mode of transportation as well as spinning around on your belly. These methods serve you well and pretty much let you explore the four corners of the living room independently. 

One thing, you think everything must taste good…except for food. No, you want nothing to do with finally pureed items, but a shoe, or a toy, or paper! (Oh you are sneaky with the paper.) Into your mouth it goes. No matter how I cringe or worry. But, DO NOT give you smashed bananas! Oh, don’t worry, you’ll eat eventually. It’s still early in your life yet. We’ll try something else in a few weeks.

Well, its not a baby book, but I hope you will think it is better. You are a special God planned part of this family. You bring us so much joy and we hope you know how very loved you are.

Good night my love. 

Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon 


     Ah, this boy. Is he ever becoming more capable kitchen help! So very exciting to have him with me or in this case with dad during the dinner prep hours. He loves this cooking gig and is always so excited to help, offer idea’s and when we let him invent totally new meals.  Of course his first food love is always something that comes out of the water. So much so, you would think when Kyle arrived home from work one day with no less than 20 pounds of freshly caught salmon (a gift from a generous co-worker) that for him it was Christmas morning.

Truthfully I’m not a huge fish/seafood fan. I didn’t grow up eating it and generally I just don’t have the pallet for it. Kyle also, though he likes seafood isn’t generally over the moon about it like this boy is.

So, upon the arrival of the a fore mentioned Salmon, Colton insisted on helping to clean it and get it ready for freezing. Which is very nice because, well as I have mentioned, I’m not really a fan.

And since then that’s where it’s remained. Though we did cook some when it arrived and it was o.k. I really haven’t ventured to do much more with it.

But lucky for me I have a young man that so sweetly and patiently has been prompting me about it. And since it was near the end of the groceries and I really didn’t want to go out and get something else, out it came the other night. As we talked about how to prepare it. We all agreed the grill sounded like a good idea. Though, we didn’t really know what we were doing. I pulled out my cook books and it seemed we had about half of the ingredients for every recipe. But, we are nothing if not flexible. And upon a little reflection I realized that I have a lovely basil plant right out side my kitchen door that is truly thriving and well…that was it! And so, whether or not there is a recipe like this in the world already, our version of Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon was born!

And did I mention it was PHENOMENAL!!! This from the girl who doesn’t like fish!

So, mostly because I want to remember what on earth we did, but also in case you would be interested. Here is a general idea of how we prepared it.

Garlic Basil Grilled Salmon

5-6 Salmon Steaks

Rub:
2-3T. minced fresh basil

2 cloves of garlic minced

1/2 t Black pepper

1/2-1t. sea salt

1T. lemon juice

1-2T. olive oil

Prepare Salmon. In a small bowl, mix Basil, Garlic, Black Pepper, Salt, Lemon Juice, and Olive Oil. Gently rub mixture over meat side of Salmon. Pre-heat your grill. Lay foil on the grill and brush with olive oil. Lay salmon skin side down and grill covered for 15-20 minutes. Fish is ready when it flakes easily with a fork.

We paired this dish with some Zucchini that had been sauteed in coconut oil, and seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic and onion powder. It was the perfect compliment if you ask me. And hopefully we will do it again soon.

This Sunday perhaps. After all Colton’s latest meal preparation suggestion is that each day have a theme. Thus Sunday is, “Salmon Sunday.” Which is followed by, Meatless Monday, Taco Tuesday, Weird Recipe Wednesday (I have my reservations about this day.) and so you get the idea.

Enjoy! :)

IMG_0404

Hold still

       Have you ever tried to get more than two children to look the same direction at the same time? I’m pretty sure it is an impossible task. Nevertheless after many attempts (many more even than you see here) we managed it. But it does make me ponder on how hard it is to hold still. Today we are charged with moving. We wiggle, we walk, we run. All to various tasks both physically and mentally. And I am reminded of the importance of being still.

We have read: “…Be still and know that I am God…” Psalm 46:10
Surely I can move and know that God is there. Surely it does not require that I be totally and completely still.

Ah, but here is what we miss when we rush past God in our moving.

We miss his magnitude. God is huge! He holds our whole universe and everything in it in his hand. Pause. Ponder that.

We miss his sovereignty. God is sovereign. He is just, He holds the hearts of kings in his hands. Pause, and ponder that.

We miss his eyes seeing us. It is so hard to truly capture a moving target. So hard to really see. And while I have no doubt that God in his infinity can capture my whole life, inside-and-out in a second. Being still allows me the moment to let him really see me. See whats driving me, whats filling me, what’s bothering me. Being still allows him the time, to quiet the noise within my soul, to wipe the tears of my heart, and fill it with His peace.

Finally when we are still, we can look outside ourselves and what is propelling our movement and we can do what the rest of that verse says:

He says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

We can exalt Him and put him in his rightful place over our lives. Pause, and ponder on that.

Have a blessed Monday all.

Hello Summer

    

Summer. Welcome.

We’ve waited for you since the first icy blast of winter. Dreaming of days both quiet and yet so full. As spring arrived, teasing about warmth but never really giving herself away, we wondered if there would ever be a summer day. But, bit by bit, we found ourselves leaving layers behind. We found ourselves lingering outside more and more. We noticed our days getting longer and fuller. Full of jobs and activities that surly are only of summer. And then one night sitting out in the fading light of the day we notice that Summertime has finally made her grand entrance. The enchantment of the season fully engulfing us. I sit watching the kids gather baby toads by the score.  Then in the fading light they begin to collect lightning bugs for a lantern. We could not seem to pull ourselves away. I realize now our hearts were celebrating the change of the season. We needed to take a moment to relish the warmth, the color, the sparkle of summer as she dawned upon us this day. I looked at the clock noting that the hours for baths and bed had long been past. No worries, day’s of routine await us. There will surely be times were rules and plans will take precedence. But for that night the moment was needed as our own celebration of the summer season took place.