28 September 2012

Friday's Funny-the humble truth

 Doesn't the above recipe look yummy?! 

And it was easy...basically saute mushrooms, spinach, garlic & onion together in olive oil, layer amongst ricotta cheese/mozzarella cheese blend & lasagna noodles & set your slow cooker on LOW for 4-5 hours.

Now before I show you what DID actually come out, I must preface this next picture with the following:
My Mom and I decided to switch slow cookers...she needed something smaller & I wanted something bigger.  Her's was a bit older & thus had temperatures on the dial vs. mine which had simply WARM, LOW, and HIGH as options...

"hmm...you still should be able to figure that out, katie?"...well yes, I should have...I assumed low was around 200 degrees [500-600 was max temp]...

However, the below is what I came home to after being gone for about 4-5 hours at Bible study & running errands...as soon as I walked in the house, my nose knew something was amiss!

UGH!!! A perfectly good slow-cooker meal down the drain!  It actually took me most of the night to get the stainless steel pan free of caked on lasagna noodles...for reference, steam boiling on the stove top for several tries removes just about anything...oh, along with baking soda!

My Mom's wise words..."well, ya know they make those slow cooker liners you can just place in"...thank you Captain Obvious/Late!

Will I try it again?  Oh, probably...what's not to lose now that I've swallowed my pride & placed my humility online for all to see!!!

26 September 2012

play mates

Yesterday, Haven and I were lucky enough to get to keep Levi & Addison Schlipf for the morning.
The kiddos had a swell time playing trains, dolls & running around Normal Public Library at Tuesday Tales story time.

Come play again!

22 September 2012

great product giveaway!

Wild Olive Tees is having a giveaway!  They sell fabulous shirts with great Biblical designs & encouragement...stop on over and take a look!

Shine - Girls

Haven has the above tshirt & it's darling! 
[no, that is not Haven :]

14 September 2012

Friday's Funny~pictures from 1 year ago

Here's our little princess one year ago!

12 September 2012

the lunch ladies

left to right: Vicki, myself, Haven, Janet & Pat

For the past 2 years [or the equivalent of me transiting from classroom teacher to homemaker], I have been privileged to be part of a group of ladies that meets about 5-6 times a year for lunch.  They are friends...former colleagues...and great ladies with lots of wisdom....collectively, I refer to us as the lunch ladies.

Our connection leads back to the days of teaching at Pekin High School.  Pat & Janet were great mentor teachers of mine while I taught there for 4 years and both retired one year before I resigned from PCHS.  Pat was a great Study Skills proponent & Janet could get any amount of rabble-rouses to pass her Global Studies class. Vicki, also a former teacher at PCHS, is a retired teacher with the Tremont district and has played an important role in Haven's life, being one of her care takers when she was a baby and I went back to work for a semester.

We usually take about a variety of things: teaching, education, being wives, being mom's, relationships, politics, past teaching stories & where are many friends & colleagues are now at.

One is a Catholic...one attends the Church of the Brethren...one is a Methodist...one is an Apostolic Christian :)  We have varying political views but such a love & respect for each other.  We have laughed tears of joy & cried tears of pain/disappointment.  These ladies have given me great wisdom over the last 2 years of my life and are some of my most fervant prayer warriors.  Jesus Christ is at the center of each of our lives.

This post is in honor of you ladies...thank you for loving me, helping me, encouraging me & laughing with me...especially now that you know which front porch to join me for coffee on someday :)

07 September 2012

365 days

I've written this post several times in my head and many more times on my heart...

It's been 365 days since Dad passed...many days it's hard to believe it's only been a year & other days it seems like only yesterday we were towards the end of his battle with cancer.  As I look back over my blog posts from Sept. of 2011, I realize how much prayer played a part in our day-to-day tasks: the loving care my Mom was able to provide Dad around the home; the decision to admit Dad to the Hospice Cottage; & then the vigilant prayer, visits, cards & love shown by many of you throughout the remaining few days....it becomes bit numbing from time to time to realize just how much pain Dad probably went through in his last few weeks here with us.

I remember the sips of Dr. Pepper or small bites of vanilla ice cream from McDonald's that tasted so good to him...the last Friday night he was with us & gave each of us kids all a replica model of his first JD tractor and was still coherent to tell us he loved us & let us weep at his feet as we said our goodbyes...I journal these fairly personal treasures as a way of keeping them locked in my heart because I know as time passes, Haven grows & my tears become less frequent, my memory of those last few days with Dad will fade...not because of less love...but because healthy healing is taking place.  My tears as I type are very fresh...I miss my Dad---I miss picking up my phone & seeing where he is at with his truck...is he begrudging waiting in line with U. Butch or beating him to the next load? :)  Is he "warshing" that truck of his or bemoaning the fact that IDOT is slathering salt all over the highways during the winter months?  Is he using his fancy GPS to plant his corn or muttering why these fancy new parts cost so much to replace?  I miss those daily conversations.

I enjoy the moments when Haven looks through photo albums of Grandpa & remembers her rides with the mower & wagon...or when she opens up her recorded Hallmark books and I get to hear Dad's voice through my upstairs hallway...I miss that voice.
[thanks Mom for having the foresight to have Dad read those to our children]

Without a doubt, the hardest part to witness since Dad's passing is seeing my Mom grieve so deeply.  I want to hug away her pain...distract her from the lonely nights...kiss away her tears...and yet, I know, deep grieving is the only way to bring healthy healing.  I'm proud of how my Mom has continued living life with such deep hurt~she is a great role model for me on days when things don't seem manageable.  Mom continues meeting with her coffee friends, takes care of her home & yard, buzzes around in her little Ford "hick-up", rarely turns down a social invite & is pretty busy these days smooching on grand kids!  I'm very proud to call you Mom.

No doubt, Dad is up in heaven, shaking his finger or "jeeshing" the fact I'm being so open & honest with my emotions...which, of course, also makes me miss that finger/hand shake of his!  But above all, I realize we are just passing through in this world...we live life here to gain eternity in the end....thanks be to Jesus that this is not our home.

Continue to pray for our family...your prayers are just as important now than ever!  Pray for continual healing, continual strength & continual growth...blessings come in many different forms :)