Thursday, March 29, 2012

Today's pastime?

Watching this family of Bald Eagles.

Have you seen the real time video yet?  It's amazing to see how they care for their young up close.

We were watching this morning as one eagle kept the eaglets warm when all of a sudden, in swoops its mate with a huge fish for a mid-morning snack.

The kids and I have been glued to the screen watching off and on all day. (We get excited when the littlest eaglet gets fed...he seems to work so hard to get a place in line!) What a thrilling peek into the life of an eagle...I wish there was a split screen with a camera following them as they fly off to hunt.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

looking up.

Today there was...

lots of online rental real estate searching...

many calls and emails and texts...

garage sale gathering...

too much computer time...

dishes piled on the counter...

appraisers and real estate papers to be signed asap (i.e. last minute)...

laundry to be put away...

the non-stop Hero Factory monologue of six-year-old excitement...

children with pent-up energy...

scratchy throats...

three cups of tea and one cappuccino.


But anytime the day seemed overwhelming or frustrating, if I just looked up outside my window, my whole view changed.

I was reminded of the magnificence of a spring sky caught in between two storm systems, separated by a day. All day long, the sky played. And just when I would be at my wit's end, I would remember to look outside and and look up.

And be thankful.

Thankful for the big white puffy clouds. For the very strange dark grey cloud that hung low in front of brilliant white ones late this afternoon. The ominous flat cloud that seemed to smother our town as a new storm to the south began to roll in just as the sun was setting.  All amazing. All different. All beautiful.  The amazing canvas of an even more amazing Artist.

and then I remembered that today there was...

all of us snuggled together before the sun rose...

Owls in the Family reading...

a significant new measure of four year old self-control...

brother & sister Playmobil adventures...

a phone call from South Korea that made my day...

my firstborn who still likes to hold my hand & cuddle on my lap...

joy found in a friend's good news...

non-stop six-year-old monologues...

a new cookbook in the mail...

news that a dear, old friend will be moving to the same area we will...

little voices reminding me to pray...

a last calming cup of tea.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Warmer Days

I think they just might be here to stay.

The 10-day forecast doesn't have a high below 64 degrees...(except for one day of 59 degrees and that day looks rainy so it doesn't count because I love cozy rainy days.)

And while I still might be wearing jeans, my sandals have definitely made an entrance back into my life. Whew. I love my sandals.

New this spring is my use of Essie nail polish (or toe paint polish as Madeleine calls it).  I have long been a wearer of OPI polishes...but I saw this color (a perfect pinky-orangeish-red that is wonderful) and thought I'd give it a try.

So glad I did. Love the way it applies, it dried pretty quickly, and I think I already mentioned that I love the color.  (I think "jag-u-are" is the name.)

So I think OPI is going to have to share a spot on the shelf with Essie from now on.

And on a completely different note (but still red & a resident of warmer days), some strawberries.

I noticed on Pinterest that rinsing strawberries in a vinegar rinse kills and spores that cause your berries to go bad so quickly.  And since I almost always throw away icky berries before we finish a carton, I tried it.

And y'all, it totally works.

I soaked a large carton of strawberries in a solution of apple cider vinegar (white vinegar works too) and water for about 5 minutes. (1/2 cup vinegar, 2 1/2 cups of water)  I rinsed them with clean water and then placed them on towel to dry.  When dried, return to the clean carton or a bowl and keep in the refrigerator.

Last time I did this, they were still going strong a 10 days after I bought them.  I read that they can last past two weeks...though berries never last that long in our house.

I'm so happy to have learned this tip before berry season...

Toe nail polish and strawberries. Who knew?

But they both make me smile!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


Weekday breakfasts around here can be monotonous.  

Cereal. Yogurt. Bananas. Waffles.

So I was really excited when I came across a delicious-looking recipe over on Susie Davis' blog last week.

Even happier when I discovered this past Monday that it was delicious-tasting as well.  The kids devoured it...and I enjoyed the leftovers yesterday & today, which were surprisingly good reheated in the microwave!

I made a few tweaks to the original recipe and am very happy about the results! The steel-cup oatmeal gives it a nutty texture and flavor...and I used just a small sprinkle of chocolate chips to avoid it being too much of dessert-for-breakfast. (Not that there's anything remotely wrong with that idea!)  I also baked mine in a pan, for safety reasons...I love the look of the individual serving dishes that Susie made...but I know three pairs of little hands that would try to hold those fresh-from-the-oven bowls!  

(And just so you know, the banana looks extra brown...because of the chocolate chips melted on top. :)

Fruit Baked Oatmeal

1.5 cups oatmeal (NOT instant or quick-cooking; you want the rolled oats)
1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
1/2 cup brown sugar (I used a little bit less)
1 tsp. cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
dash of salt
1.5 cups milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla
3 Tbsp. butter, melted (plus more for greasing)
handful of strawberries (or other berry), sliced thin
1 banana, sliced
small handful of miniature chocolate chips
milk or cream to top

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter an 8x8" square baking dish.

2.  In a small mixing bowl, combine oatmeal, steel-cut oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt.

3.  In a medium bowl, combine milk, butter, eggs, and vanilla.  Add the oatmeal mix and stir to combine.

4.  Pour mixture into the prepared pan. Place half of the strawberries and bananas on top of mixture.  With a spoon, gently press the fruit into the oatmeal until mostly submerged.  Top with the remaining slices of fruit and sprinkle lightly with chocolate chips.  Bake for 20-25 minutes.  

5.  Serve oatmeal, pouring a tiny bit of milk or cream over it.  Enjoy it warm!

(I found that probably 23 minutes would have been perfect for my oven...20 was too few...25 was just a tad bit too much.)

Let me know what fruit you would add to yours! I think nuts would be a great addition too!

Monday, March 12, 2012

12 on the twelfth

March edition:

  1. delicious baked oatmeal
  2. new art for the girls' new room in VA (silhouettes: The Paper Pear, cards: Sarah Jane Studios)
  3. happy mail: Lego Master Builder Academy, set #4
  4. happy mail: Hello Kitty magnet dolls
  5. pretty pears
  6. happy mail: lemon sugar (sooo yummy!)
  7. my gymnastics girl, happily practicing headstands, splits & cartwheels all. day. long.
  8. a new book I'm so excited about. (and under it, the notebook I'll use while reading/writing from it.)
  9. warm weather swinging (note the shorts. ignore the boots. my girls hate the sock to sandal switch.)
10. Madeleine's "snow trees" in the sunlight.
11. skyping with Mimi
12. dinner al fresco on a gorgeous evening

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Simply Lovely, no. 12

Disclaimer: I'm not sure that we've had enough winter to really feel anxious for spring.

However, the simple sight of these blooms this past weekend made me a little bit giddy.
There's a variety of pear trees in bloom locally too...and Madeleine calls them snow trees.
I'm amazed at how quickly black tangled branches can turn to such loveliness.

Monday, March 05, 2012

An eventful weekend!

We had a wonderful & suprisingly eventful long weekend. 

Brent took Friday off so that we could take the kiddos to the Oklahoma City Zoo...and we had a great time.

The last time we had been to the zoo, Hadleigh was 2.5 and Nathanael just over six months old.  If you've been reading here for that long you might remember this post, written after our last trip here.  Needless to say, I didn't go anywhere without counting my three little ones before moving.

This is really a wonderful zoo...with beautiful animals and beautiful sculptures that are every bit as fun as a playground.  We took pictures with almost every animal sculpture we found.

Hadleigh's nickname is "Goose" so this picture was only fitting!

My monkeys watching some other monkeys! :)

We were able to see an elephant exhibit that included Mailee...the new baby elephant who's not quite one yet.  I think this was the first time I've seen a baby elephant up close...and she was adorable.

But my favorite was this baby giraffe, who was just born in January.  I think giraffes are so majestic and regal.  And their motion is just beautiful.  This little guy spent much of the time running all over the grounds...I think his parents were a little tired of his energy, but they managed to keep up with him.

We got to eat dinner at one of my favorite Mexican places in OKC...and while there, we learned (after waiting for months) that we will be moving to northern Virginia, near DC this spring/summer.  We are so very excited.

Not sure yet when we'll be leaving...but hopefully sooner than later, as less than 24 hours after hearing about the new job, we also sold our house!  What a tremendous blessing. We are so very thankful...we just have lots to do now & have to be out of our house mid-April.  (I'm trying not to think about that part right now. Overwhelmed, much?)

So I think whenever I feel like I'm treading water, I'll just look at this picture of my girl and the gorgeous tulip magnolias that were in bloom at the zoo.

And be reminded of God's blessings to us...and rest in Him.

Sunday, March 04, 2012

I've got a winner...

Thanks for being patient...the weekend ended up being a little more eventful than planned...but I'm back today with the winner of the Simply Lovely giveaway!
And # 5 is:

Katy said...
1. Simply lovely: snowflakes...especially the ones that keep their crystalline shape.
2. I'm your sister. You probably emailed me a link after your first post :)

Yay Katy! I will get your goodies in the mail this week!

Enjoy the rest of your weekend...I'll be back tomorrow with an update all about our weekend...lots of fun news!

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