Monday, March 29, 2010

Gratitude #74-174

74. Open windows, backdropped by a midnight thunderstorm
75. Sweet sisters who adore each other
76. Temptations Resisted
77. Heartfelt apologies
78. Yummy Indian Restaurants nearby!
79. Clean kitchen floors (for now...)
80. Walking around the lake in perfect weather on a Saturday
81. A visit from a friend
82. Real Canadian Maple syrup, from Canada! Really!
83. A husband who loves people well
84. Choir music at Easter
85. Camelbak
86. Who-Rita, Annie's new dog
87. Annie, so aware of everything
88. Ornery Annie
89. Hands-in-her-pockets Annie
90. Tender-hearted-Annie
91. Helpful Annie
92. Protecting-Baby-Lily Annie
93. Annie Dancer
94. Singing Annie
95. Annie's nurturing spirit
96. Annie's shoe fetish
97. Annie's perfume fetish
98. Annie's "pretty face"
99. Annie's crazy hair
100. 100 things to be thankful for
101. Lily's mark
102. Lily's growling (seriously, she growls...)
103. Lily exploring
104. Lily LOVES me!
105. Lily's fearless interest in everything
106. Lily splashing
107. Lily loves Annie
108. Lily self-feeding
109. Lily's independence
110. Lily's love for the paci
111. Some of Jonathan's childhood photos resurfacing
112. Fresh bread
113. Mac-Baby's survival after a little water spill last weekend...woops!
114. zinnias in bright orange
115. vinegar + baking soda
116. lysol + bleach (when the noroviruses come've got to pull out the big guns)
117. this ancient heart, warmed by the day to day
118. 2 girls in a bathtub
119. my parents 15 minutes down the road
120. The Nolls 30 minutes down the road
121. Tuesday nights
122. Chatting with my mother-in-law, brief but wonderful
123. Jonathan's HUGE family
124. The hope of a big family of our own
125. Grandma and Grandpa Chase
126. Atl Savvy
127. Jonathan's old, red, vokal sweatshirt...he's just so cool
129. "Go the the Ant!"
130. "Why Can't I See God"
131. Discovering princess stickers placed throughout my house
132. Filling up the baby pool for 2 naked girls on Saturday
133. Lawn chairs that are just the right height
134. Glen Ellen BOGO
135. down sizing
136. thinking through what we really "need."
137. Parents that babysit and then leave their wine and leftover thai food in the fridge
138. Clean water from the tap
139. Edgar James McDougall (03.31.48)
140. The way Jonathan loves coffee
141. The way Jonathan makes me love (and want to love) coffee
142. The way Jonathan makes my coffee every morning
143. Holy Week
144. Hebrews 2:14
145. My husband's heart
146. My husband's hands
147. That the rocks will cry out with praise, even if no one else does
148. The six peacocks and the sinkhole paradise down the street
149. Corn-Squash bake
150. Our honey locust tree, planted when Annie was born, grown from a seed and now 15' huge
151. Spiritual sensitivity
152. Donna's cooking
153. French toast
154. Being needy
155. Palm Sunday
156. Jonathan wearing Bop Bop's old tie to church
157. Wearing our vintage-Ali-Brainerd-thrift finds to church yesterday (thanks Ali!)
158. poetry
159. "What He Thought" by Heather McHugh
160. Sunday night "Office" catch up...we love Michael Scott
161. Annie hiding in the curtains
162. Lily sleeping past 8
163. Noll girls healing
164. More rain this morning
165. steel cut oats, cinnamon, vanilla and maple syrup
166. Annie retelling us the story of Jonah
167. Annie retelling us the story of Gah-yai-fus (Goliath)
168. Annie's precious prayers to God--Oh Lord help me to pray with Annie's child-like faith!
169. Publix breakfast bread
170. Frog Cake
171. "Watch! Beeping!"
172. Big coffee mugs
173. God, still on his throne
174. Bursts of gratitude

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Book List

I love reading. I love having friends who read and encourage me by their own passionate zest for the written word. Check out her blog for more book love and good thoughts.

I just finished Goforth of China by Rosalind Goforth. It was good. Inspiring, sweet, unassuming, dear and just plain good. I recommend it.

I've read a number of books worth recommending lately. Three Cups of Tea by Greg Mortenson and David Oliver Relin was a fast read that I could hardly put down. Relin tells Mortenson's story of being a middle-aged, third culture kid, climber in California with little direction until he stumbles down K2 after a failed attempt and promises a tribal chief he will build schools for their remote village in Pakistan. Wow. He goes on to build dozens of schools for children in Pakistan who had little chance at a formal education. This one man empowers hundreds of otherwise unseen Pakistani children (especially girls) to do more than they had likely dared to dream. It's a cool story and just beautifully written. One humble criticism: despite his prowess with the pen, I felt like Relin tried to push his political agenda throughout the memoir and it really didn't work. With that warning, it comes with my recommendation.

Another good one that was just fun and practical for all you keepers of children out there, from the overwhelmed to the wonder mom, was A Sane Woman's Guide to Raising a Large Family by Mary Ostin (thanks Ash!). Whether you have two children or twenty, this little book inspired and re-centered me as a mama. Big on home schooling, but I didn't think it was pushy. Lots of good ideas and good truth.

Up next*:
A Praying Life (Paul E. Miller)**
Half The Sky (Nicholas D. Kristof)
Designed For Dignity (Richard Pratt)
The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao (Junot Diaz)

*List subject to change according to whim and fancy
**Already part of the way through this (thanks again Ash!!) and Jonathan and I are both loving it and stealing it from each other. Pretty righteous, huh?

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gratitude #65-73

65. Falling asleep in the sun on a Saturday
66. Double Dates
67. Our back porch
68. Seeds that sprout two days after they're planted!
69. A husband who fixes things that are broken
70. Our prayer cards! (Let me know if you want one!)
71. Good books
72. "Do a fee, dee...a drop of goh-den suuuuuun" (doe a dear a female dear, etc.)
73. the art of letter writing, not yet deceased in this century

"He answered nothing," (Mark 15:3)

from "Streams in the Desert" March 18

There is no spectacle in all the Bible so sublime as the silent Savior answering not a word to the men who were maligning Him, and whom Hecould have laid prostrate at His feet by one look of Divine power, or one word of fiery rebuke. But He let them say and do their worst, and He stood in THE POWER OF STILLNESS--God's holy silent Lamb.
There is a stillness that lets God work for us, and holds our peace; the stillness that ceases from its contriving and its self-vindication, and its expedients of wisdom and forethought, and lets God provide and answer the cruel blow, in His own unfailing, faithful love.

How often we lose God's interposition by taking up our own cause, and striking for our defense. God give to us this silent power, this conquered spirit! And after the heat and strife of earth are over, men will remember us as we remember the morning dew, the gentle light and sunshine, the evening breeze, teh Lamb of Calvary, and the gentl, holy heavenly Dove.
--A.B. Simpson

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oatmeal Bread

Here's a favorite in our family and really, everywhere it ventures...

Combine in a large bowl:
1 c quick oats
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c brown sugar (I have used honey--it's still delicious)
1 T salt
2 T butter

Pour over: 2 cups boiling water
Stir to combine

Dissolve 1 pkg dry yeast in 1/2 c warm water

When batter is cooled to lukewarm, add yeast (don't want to kill them with batter that is too hot!)

Stir in 5 c white flour (I've subbed up to half whole wheat--it's still delicious and soft)

When dough is stiff enough to handle, turn onto a floured board and knead 5-10 minutes. Place in a bowl greased with cooking spray, cover and let rise until doubled. Punch down and let rise again. Shape into 2 loaves and place in a greased 9x5x3" pans. Bale at 350 for 30-40 mins. Cool on a rack, brushing loaves with butter for a soft crust.

*This recipe comes from the most wonderful cookbook in the world, More With Less. It's a Mennonite book of "Recipes and suggestions...on how to eat better and consume less of the world's limited food resources." We also love the "Corn-Squash Bake," etc. Buy it today!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Gratitude # 35-64

35. Alison and Alison, here for two days!
36. David J (also here for two days)
37. lantana & squash
38. A clothes line
39. A baby, sick in the night and well by morning
40. A fever, ended!
41. Open windows
42. A friend who reads good books and thinks well.
43. March in Florida
44. Jonathan's caring enough about our blog to give it a makeover...
45. Babies who sleep later because it's dark outside in the morning
46. a legolas postcard
47. Good coffee, placed in my hands nearly every morn by the one I love.
48. Angelina Ballerina
49. "Yook Ya-Yee!" (Look, Lily!)
50. A daughter who may be more maternal than her mother
51. Prayer
52. Needlepoint pillows made by Jonathan's grandmother
53. Annie and Lily's needlepoint gifts from their Granne, framed and hanging on their wall
54. my dad
55. Annie and Lily's dad
56. Strong wills, running through all four of our veins--(oh temper us, Holy Spirit!)
57. Change that comes from Him
58. Baby Bumpine, coming this July
59. Quiet time in the morning
60. A double stroller
61. Annie's eyes
62. Lily's smile
63. Jonathan's heart
64. God's good plans for our lives

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Annie's Gratitude cont'd...

...from family devotions this evening:
16. mne quoo* MS, Joel
17. mne quoo MS, Joel's baby
18. mne quoo MS baby
19. mne quoo Joel's baby
20. mne quoo Joel have baby?
21. Callie Doggy
22. Callie Doggy
23. Uncle Jimmy, Rachel
24. Uncle Seth
25. Callie Doggy

*mne quoo=thank you

Annie's Gratitude #1-15

1. Ponytails
2. Baby E
3. Mar-Noa (a combination of her cousins, Martha & Noa)
4. Baby Goria (aka, Gloria...'L's are hard for us...)
5. Shoshia, Tritity & Kady-Gace (guess)
6. Poticoos (Popsicles)
7. Jesus love Annie!
8. Mommy
9. Daddy
10. A Say-a (Aunt Sara)
11. Uckle Edit (Uncle Eric)
12. Giu & Gee-Daddy
13. BaBa/GiGi
14. doggies
15. motorcycles

Iverson Girls:Takes 1, 2, 3 & 4

Monday, March 08, 2010

Gratitude #23-34

23. Martha Noll, two years old today
24. 9 pm to sometime-after-6:30 am...thank you Lily!
25. Taurus, Diandre, J.J. and Tash taking turns to push Annie on the swings last night.
26. Finding compassion in a place that it does not always live.
27. Irreparable scratches on our coffee table, thanks to a budding two year old artist.
28. Gorgeous pictures of SE Asia (thanks Hannah!) that make me long to be there quickly!
29. "O Praise Our Warrior God"
30. Annie singing Jesus loves me to Lily.
31.Lily's graduation to cheerios and fork-mashed food
32. Quiet time with Jonathan this morning.
33. A clothesline
34. Hope

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Basic Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

This is easy, delicious, cheap and one of our favs.


1 T honey
1 pkg active dry yeast
1 c warm (about 110 degrees) water
1.5 c all purpose flour, divided
1 c whole wheat flour
.5 t salt
1/8 t freshly ground black pepper
1/4 c chopped basil (I almost always omit this, b/c I don't have basil on hand, but I often sub dried italian seasonings, a few shakes)
cooking spray
2 T cornmeal (almost always omit this, too)

1. Dissolve honey & yeast in 1 c of water in a large blow. Let stand 5 mins (*or more...). You know it's working if it starts bubbling
2. Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, level with a knife. Add 1 and 1/4 cup all purpose flour, whole wheat flour, salt and 1/8 t pepper to yeast mixture. Stir until a soft dough forms.
3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead about 6 min. Knead in basil (or italian seasonings) until incorporated. Place dough in a large bowl coated w/ cooking spray, turning to coat. Cover and let rise about 40 mins until doubled.
4. Roll dough into a 12 in circle. Place in a rimless baking sheet sprinkled with cornmeal. Lightly spray surface with cooking spray. Poke holes in the dough with a fork (so that bubbles don't form when cooking) Cover with plastic wrap, put in the fridge.
5. Preheat over to 500 degrees. Bake for 8 min on bottom rack.
6. After topping, back an additional 8 min on middle rack until cheese is melted and bubbly.
Serves 6 at 2 slices each

Monday, March 01, 2010

Gratitude #11-22

11. The perfection of God in every aspect of his character.
12. Anastasia Grace, covenant child of the king, baptized yesterday, one week old.
13. A front yard full of beautiful, new life.
14. A little wren resting in new crepe myrtle
15. 5:30 am feedings with my sweet baby, still my baby
16. A two year old who played by herself for 45 minutes this afternoon.
17. Fresh blueberries.
18. Fresh strawberries
19. "The effectual prayer of a righteous man availeth much."
20. A healthy new waffle recipe, cheap & delicious.
22. A husband who is quick to forgive, quick to apologize, hard to anger, easy to please and easy to love.