Monday, May 31, 2010

Balsamic Vinegar Craze

Last year I started 2 love affairs- one I'll delve into later, the other was with balsamic vinegar. I found a salad dressing recipe online and have been making it weekly for a year, that's how good it is.
Salad greens, broken chunks of Parmesan cheese and pecan pieces with balsamic vinaigrette dressing Ingredients:

* 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 Tablespoon red wine vinegar
* 1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
* 1 teaspoon light brown sugar
* 1 garlic clove, crushed through a press (optional)
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

It keeps in the refrigerator, I don't know how long- I always eat it within weeks

Then upon visiting downtown Duncan's fun and quaint kitchen store Distintive-Decor I found a balsamic fig dressing /marinade on sale. Buy.

It has a recipe on the side and this is it.

You marinade chicken in the stuff, grill it then slice it up.

The chicken was wonderful alone.

On a spring salad with cilantro leaves added (never tried before but it was delightful)

with cran raisins, pacans, feta cheese and apples it was wonderful.

Now you see why I don't eat out much- I can make it at home. Wait I make it at home because I don't get out much
sells online but I didn't see this particular one listed, may have to go to manufacturer.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mr Incredible

Several years ago I married this guy.

I mean this guy

And he never ceases to amaze me.

Last year he made this.

He welded it.

Painted it.

Yellow, no less.


And 2 years ago he took this stuff ....

Created this machine

Used this stuff...

And create bio diesel for his truck.

And if that doesn't impress you....

I will show you more.

This man knows how to work.

This recent purchase has helped out a lot.

With this new project.

I don't know if it's the new series Ax Man or the bad winter we had but all of a sudden I walked out side and this was there.

And this , my gosh there are 10 ricks of wood in there.

I think we are ready for the winter.

I think we may have some wood for sale if ya'll need any.

You know what really gets me is that he has instilled this love for wood chopping to Silas. We are on the lift skiing in Colorado and Silas looks at a tree and says, "Boy that tree would make a lot of wood, at least 2 ricks"


Mr. Incredible wants 2 things for his son- that he love Jesus with all his heart, mind, strength and soul and that he work hard.

He just never ceases to amaze me.

And that makes him pretty incredible.

Monday, May 24, 2010

The Darkness

I have been trying for weeks to finish reading the manual that came with my new camera.

Knowing your camera is the first step in getting a good picture.

So one night when all my babies were in bed and Cody was mia I was practicing/playing and avoiding reading the manual and noticed something that made me think.

This is my library.

It's where I sit near the fire in the winter.

It's where I talk to God in the mornings.

I thought this was cool picture.

I pushed a few more buttons and it got darker.

My photography friends could tell you why.

Even darker.

Man I don't like the dark.

Crazy because this was an image.

It wasn't this dark in the room.

But all the same the darkness invaded.

Like an unwelcomed guest.

The lamp light barely showing.

I have always been fascinated by light verses dark in the Bible.

My artist daughter wanted to try basketball this year. Her team played upward basketball in Duncan. At each practice they had to memorize a scripture. This years theme was darkness and light. One thing I loved about the program was they got a cd with the verses in upbeat and catchy songs.

John 8:12 Jesus said, "The person who follows me will never live in darkness. He will have the light that gives life."

John 3:19 Jesus said, "But men did not want light they wanted darkness because they were doing evil things"

And my favorite John 1:5 The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overpowered the Light.
Look what happened when I changed the focus on my view finder.

I never moved and the situation never changed.

I changed merely changed the focus.

In our lives the darkness can come quickly, without warning. To me that black picture depicts what depression feels like. Alone. Fear. No hope.

None of those are from the Lord.

The are from the Enemy of our souls.

But in life we can change our focus. Instead of focusing on myself and situation, I can focus on the Lord and his goodness, his favor toward man, his sacrifice- Jesus- for me.

And changing that focus, changes everything.

Job 12:22

He reveals mysteries from the darkness and brings the deepest darkness into the light.

This morning a good friend sent me this devotion.

If I've peeked your interest in the whole light/dark thing click here for more verses.

The Boy

Around here the grass really is greener on the other side. Our neighbors to the east were grandparents/recently retirees and knew how to grow some grass. So we borrow their yard for pictures occasionally. My neighbors to the north came over and took their Christmas card picture in our home this past year- that's just the way we roll on the corner of Wildhorse and 3rd Street.

Purple Baby and I aren't feeling too great today so we aren't going to Silas' ballgame tonight.

Since I wasn't running around filling the ballgame bags with snacks, water and entertainment hoping to get out of the house on time- I grabbed the camera and got a few pictures (on the neighbors green lawn)

These are straight out of the camera, no editing...

I love bubbie's freckles.

This is a look of annihilation.

You are going down Thunder.

He looks so 10, doesn't he?

My pride and joy. The one who made me mom.

The one who is a lot like me.

The one I can spot on the ball field because he stands just like me.

Hit one for me tonight, Silas!

Stangeness in the Bathroom

Enter the bathroom.

The one that will magically get renovated during my trip to Florida in 2 1/2 weeks.

The one the children of my womb use.

I spy something strange.

And it's not the paint brush oddly out of place with the toothbrushes.
And no there's not a nooth grush on the toothbrush.

From Dr. Seuss' There's a Wocket in my Pocket.

Go check it out and read it asap.

I think there is a sucker in that cup. Look again.

Someone "put up" their sucker in here and obviously forgot it.

Please leave comments explaining this to me....

Friday, May 21, 2010

Cooking with Cady

This is the artist.

She is left brained.

You wouldn't know it by the picture but she's a riot.

She's honest to a fault, a free spirit and strong willed.

And I love every inch of her. Especially all the inches I don't understand.

She is my opposite.

Blond hair, blue eyes, cute physique.

But we do share a loss of eye sight.

She got new glasses this week.

We also share a love for cooking.

"That'll work" cooking. Where your taste buds lead the process.

Today I am posting a pictorial recipe of how she makes her favorite mashed potatoes.


She washes and wraps a potato in a paper towel then puts it in the microwave. We have a button you push called baked potato. Easy, I like easy.

Before we had button convenience we baked them 5 to 10 min.

Using a knife she cuts it in two pieces.

Then she'll take off all the skin.

Actually she usually decides it's too hot and she puts it in the freezer for awhile.

Then she puts butter on it.

I don't know why but she thinks margarine is best. Where do kids get their taste buds?

She also adds salt and mashes it with a fork.

She will not eat a potato without this stuff. She loves it, demands it, is adamant about it.

Mash some more. Because it's fun that's why.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Getting a Little Crafty

These are a few pictures of some recent projects. Above- our sidewalk chalk art project.

I have been working too much lately. I miss posting.

2 months. In 2 months I am going on a sabbatical (big word for taking a break) . I am so excited, more later...

I had old beads from some trim that I was done using. I painted the white frame and hot glued them.

This is my brother, who graduated from Southwestern Seminary 2 weeks ago. He had a birthday yesterday. He turned 41 but he'll always be 19 to me!

You may remember him from here

I bought this "caboodle" thing for Cady. She decorated it.

I am on a real big orange kick right now.


I bought ribbon, decorated some flops and made hairbows.

I love my girls.

My mom made these wall pictures for Cady's room several years ago.

We revamped one and put Charis' name on it.

We don't want to leave baby sis out.

On my sabbatical I wow you with scrapbook projects !

Amongst camp, VBS, a mission trip and theater camp, I am remodeling this summer- yikes.

It's a bathroom. Maybe more.

Any ideas?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

A New Tote Link

A friend in a foreign country posted this link on facebook....

I love bags so I had to share, and it's a really good cause....

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Scones revisited

I have no idea how many gazillion calories these have in them but they are for a treat. Extracting the Vanilla caviar was time consuming. But when I get my mind on something I am all into it. And after finding the beans in Norman Saturday, leaving them in my friends car then finding them again...I was making these.

I have a post floating around in my brain about being a pastor's wife but for now I will say this- Serving other people has neither been natural nor a coveted trait in my life. I am a performer and I enjoy the spotlight all too much.

But I find my self serving a lot. Three times a day in fact to these little people who God gave me. 2 of whom cared little for these scones.

Doing for others is such a blessing though. I made these and took them to a friend who recently had surgery. She lives 16- 20 miles out in the country. She is a believer, she is an encourager. She has meant a whole lot to me in the last 18 months. Sitting in her home was so peaceful and enjoyable. I hope my home is that way for people.

Cody and I are going to open a bed and breakfast one day. I can't wait to offer what Amie offered me today to others- a chance to sit, a chance to relax, to slow down and have a scone.

Here's the link to the scones- in case you want to make them.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

For the love of birds...

Some of you may remember this post a month back- (click here) when some birds were trying to make a next in our stroller.

Well I removed the first 2 attempts but they would not be deterred, and made a third next and before I realized it there were eggs in it.

And because it reminds me of my mother I am sharing it with you. My mother loves birds. LOVES the birds.

I can't look at a bird without thinking of her. She was so good at giving us kids an appreciation for all life and nature. So I left the eggs. I bet that momma bird would like to get me! I made her work very hard. I even moved the stroller and that bird still found it and built a next in it.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Common Ground?

Graduation was days away, the sappy feelings were coming pretty easy. I even shed tears on the edge of the stage that night in Duncan High School auditorium. Not tears over Cody. He hadn't come. His loss. I cried because my sister came to find me out of the crowd. Jimmy Zinn always closed the vocal music spring concert with "Just Put some Love in your Heart". She and I had seen the movie "Little Women" (with Wynona Rider) just weeks before. I think that was the beginning of realizing my sister was a gift. I would miss her. But she'd have to wait a year to get my room, I wasn't going anywhere FAR just yet.

Or was I? I had new information to process. Was not sharing a love for red sequin dresses, dancing and singing show tunes a deal breaker? Was this a battle to wage? Could I really live the rest of my life with a man who didn't share my love for the theatrical stage?

He wasn't interested in show choir. He didn't go because he didn't get it. But he was very much interested in me. So I could persuade him to love vocal music. I made it my project. Maybe I could change him. :)

But in the end I let it go. No fights, no yelling, no moping about. Maybe we could find enough common ground elsewhere.

But we really had little in common. His parents were younger, mine were older. I was from NC, he'd never lived past Grady County. I came from a large family, it was just him and his sister. I danced in the dark (and the aisles :). He rode four-wheelers. I was on the verge of being a vegetarian. He never ate anything green. He spoke his mind, I held it in. I spent my time playing Beethoven and Chopin, he fished and hunt.

I thought I could refine him. I was critiquing his sermons at the nursing homes. I was introducing him slowly to boiled peanuts, baseball and the beach (well, I was building it up, we kinda don't live near one) . I'd have him loving show choir in no time.

In the meantime my heart was growing fonder and fonder of the idea of forever. I was deeply curious as to what he'd get me for a graduation gift. I had 3 friends in show choir that were dating seriously at the time too. We had lots of long conversations about our "guys". One of them was getting a ring for graduation. Hummm...

Despite a myriad of differences the one thing that first brought us together was faith. We had both come to know the love and grace in knowing Jesus Christ and accepting his salvation. We'd come face to face with our own depravity and knew in Christ alone was hope and peace. It was freedom and real life, not religion. We both had a love for God's word and loved helping others.

The love for God did not deter the physical attraction however. Feeling so close to him only made it harder to walk away from his Ford Bronco every night. We'd talked enough about John Calvin, Martin Luther and Jacob Arminius. We'd talked enough about our selves. And someone had forgotten to give me the dating boundaries handbook.

So could our faith be enough common ground to keep us together? Could we build a life around only that?

Shortly after his mother's day "big church" preaching debut (where the people didn't fall asleep or get in his face) my dad was making plans. Maybe he wanted to keep us busy helping others instead of ourselves :) The church wanted to reach out to kids in the community. They also wanted to honor David Baker the 7th grader who's life had been taken in the April accident. So plans began for the David Baker Youth Center. My dad wanted Cody to run it. Cody was considering for the first time quitting his job at the Mini Mall pumping gas and going to work for a church.

It seemed as if things were falling into place. That someone was guiding us. That maybe there was a plan. Maybe I'd found my destiny. Maybe I'd found someone to manipulate, I mean love , the rest of my life. Was I worthy of a ring like my friend had gotten?

It was a week before our June 1st graduation and he called (pre-cellphone) on the land line and asked to come over. He had a graduation present for me. I was beyond words. Anxious didn't touch this.

Breathe. Just be calm. Just be calm....

This could be it.

This could be the day.

I could be sporting a ring very soon.....

Meeting the Deevers

The sun was shining in the 12 windows of my parents upstairs. I loved the light up in that place. I checked my appearance and brushed my teeth. Surely kissing would follow this much anticipated wedding proposal.

Cody invited himself in, as usual, and we sat in that upstairs area. The gift was much larger than a jewelry box but I was still hopeful that many boxes would lead to the ring. He gave me the gift. And immediately I had a problem. It was heavy. Very heavy. Rings aren't heavy. And I don't think he'd add a brick to through me off.

He was excited to give me the gift, that much shone on his face. I began to open the wrapping and before my young little eyes laid a brand-new-just-like-the-one-I had STUDY BIBLE.

A study Bible? This is what he thought I needed? This is what he thought I wanted? Did he have a clue in his head how to buy for a girl?

"Thank you, Cody, it's very nice. I needed one"

Not really. I had one exactly like it and I had 10 Bibles in my home.

"I saw how yours was falling apart and thought you could use one."

"It's wonderful, thank you."


God, forgive me but I wanted a ring.

I must not have hid my excitement well because he knew something was wrong. And he asked. I avoided the questions for a while but within time I gave in.

"What's the matter? You don't like it? Did you want something else?"

"Uh, no, not at all. You surprised me that's all."

"Really? You seem upset."

Well you hadn't come to my last reflections concert for one. Just like a woman to bring up the past.

" Nothing, nothing at all"

I looked at it, turned it over and over. That's what you do right when you are trying to like something, you just keep looking at it, right?

After awhile of his I finally gave in.

"Well I thought........maybe...........well, you know"

"What are you talking about?"

" I thought you might get me something else."

"? What did you think I was going to get you?"

" Oh nothing really, nothing, I don't know what I'm talking about."

"What did you think I was going to get you?"

"Well I just kinda thought"


".......well...........well Farrah got a ring for graduation. I just thought I might get one too."

There, the truth was out .

And this smile came across his face. I will never forget that grin. He knew he had me won. And I think he liked it. He chuckled a bit and said he was sorry. I think it was in those moments that I realized I'd found him. I'd found THE ONE.

Then as I always do, I felt guilty. I SHOULD NOT have told him that. Why did I tell him that? What was I doing?

I graduated on June 1st, 1995 under a rainbow in the sky. It was beautiful. Enough tears had been shed the previous months but none that night- it was a happy day. Cody's sister Aleshia also graduated with me that night.

Plans were very much underway for the grand opening of the David Baker Youth Center. I would be singing at the event and Cody would speak briefly to the community about the youth center. David's death had been so hard. It was exciting for Cody and me what was happening but it was bittersweet. David's mother would've gladly given up the honor of having it named after him if she could have him home again. We tried intently to honor his family in everything we did.

The center would be open each weekday and Cody would oversee all activities at the center. He had several volunteer staff that would work there too.

Besides an afternoon a week of teaching piano lessons I didn't work a lot. I had quite my job at Lane's Furniture so I was also planning to help out. My youth pastor called me a kid-magnet so this youth center was right up my alley.

We had a lot of activity planned for the summer. Including a trip to Cody's uncle's home.

I was excited. A road trip with my boyfriend. What were my parents thinking? They must have called Uncle Bob and made sure we checked in. Of course I was a high school graduate now and eventually you have to let your kids go make their own paths.

So to uncle Bob's we went. He lived in Sand Springs, Ok, near Tulsa. We drove up there in Cody's blue bronco II. The ride was pretty, it was my first time to Tulsa. It reminded me of back east, the trees were taller and there were more hills. But as we got further away from the highway I began to wonder what I had gotten my self into. I sure trusted Cody. He really didn't know where he was going. He had never been either. But before it got too dark we arrived.

In his family I knew Kathy, Roger and Aleshia fairly well. We all went to church together, we'd had lunch on Sunday afternoons occasionally and gone skiing together. Aleshia and I had been in some of the same classes at school too. That was awkward. I never dreamed I'd date her brother, much less want a ring from him.

I'd first met "The Deevers" at Grandma Marie's wedding in February. It was a small service and the entire family had come. (I need a picture of that right here) . Marie was remarrying after Cody's grandfather passing years before.

So I'd actually met Uncle Bob then but they were all preoccupied and I was much more intent on watching Cody's cousin and his new girlfriend he'd brought to the wedding. We'll just say they gave a better show to watch than we did that day.

Bob is married to Vivian, (a "married in" Deevers) and I wanted to get to know her. I needed information. Who were these "Deevers"? Should I run away and never look back? Tell me know or forever hold your peace Aunt Viv.

The night we were there they had their 2 daughters and some good hunting friends over.

My dad's family grew up out in the middle of Richmond Co, NC. They owned a gun (as in one) but my dad had never had one in our home and my mother's family had no need at all for guns. Killing a live animal would've been there worst nightmare. Needless to say I didn't really understand the sport of "hunting".

It was a beautiful night and they were so hospitable. Vivian and Bob gardened and canned and I was a gardener wannabe. They served us pickled watermelon rind and bread and chicken and dumplins and fried okra. It was all very nice. Then came the real treat- homemade ice cream.

I'd never gotten ice cream anywhere but in carton at the store. I didn't know such delicacies existed. Much like my first experience with real butter.

So I thought cranking that handle for 3 hours was normal. That was some hard earned ice cream. But as the dusk was setting in on their wooden deck I remember tasting some of the best ice cream I'd ever had.

Bob was a little more reserved than Roger and at one point during the delightful evening he made a point to ask me if I liked everything.

"Yes, thank you, it's all very nice."

"My mother doesn't fix chicken and dumplins, they were very tasty"

"You liked the dumplins?"

"Yes sir, they were good."


At this point my brow furrowed. Why wouldn't I like them?

"Well we added somethin special to those dumplins, I wondered how you'd liked them"

My eyes must've been large. What did he just say? What was in those dumplins and why was I not informed of this earlier.

The darkness was falling quicker than before and the trees seemed 100 feet taller and the nearest highway 100 miles further.

Where was Cody and what did I just eat?

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Neighborhood Watch

Well I just heard Nick Jr. is celebrating neighborhood month. So this post is very appropriate.

One of the things I love about my kids getting older is there ability to write notes. I also greatly appreciate them being able to put up the dishes, the laundry and fix their own snack.

But those notes are priceless.

Some are so sweet. Like this one I posted awhile back....

"it" is a lego club meeting

and "chaires" better stay away! She loves legos. Here's a blast from the pretty recent past. click here

I also love when they add things to the grocery list

Notice how similar Charis' name is to Chairs?

Then there are notes like this that require intervention.

But only after a chuckle, not in front of them though.

I'll give you one guess on who wrote that one!

But a couple of days ago I was changing sheets and crawled up in silas' bunkbed. I found the most interesting map. Seems he's been taking the neighborhood watch program on himself.

To protect the innocent I'll refrain from mentioning the street names here but he got them all right.

Mrs. Bare was both my kids Pre-K teacher. She was wonderful. Not sure what all the circles mean below?

Across the street was this...

On the left is a girl in his class' house. Looks like there is no reported movement.

But the house on the right is apparently haunted. Seems as if he's got some discernment in the "haunted" area.

He also has the ability to make up new words like "detectical" .

Next is our sweet neighbor Ms. Gladys. (on the left here) I love how he spelled her name.

For those on the street around the corner, I am sorry. It's all haunted. It may be all  the dogs down that street?

And looks like the Norton's are clear. They got the yellow circle.

As did Jo, our next door and newest neighbor.

I think the squiggly lines were the grass . It can get a little crazy over there, the grass, that is.

And our house, which is where the spy post is apparently.