Wednesday, March 26

baked egg and toast soldiers

I've been on a baked-eggs-for-breakfast kick for a few months. I found the recipe in Nigella Lawson's newest cookbook. I remembered something similar from childhood and it is my newest comfort food. Try it!
I've been doing this for occasional suppers as well.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and put on a full kettle to boil.
Grease a small ovenproof dish or ramekin with butter (one dish per person about a half cup capacity each)
I put a tbls of shredded cheese in the bottom.
Next break a large or extra large egg on top of cheese. I then add a large pinch of Victoria Taylor's toasted onion herb seasoning. Pour a tablespoon of heavy cream or half and half on top of that.
Put the ramekin(s) in another ovenproof dish and pour the boiling water into the larger dish, (not pouring any into the small ramekins) and put the large baking dish into the oven. Set timer for 15 minutes. In the last 3 or 4 minutes of baking I put a slice of bread into the toaster (preferably a slice from homemade bread out of the breadmachine, which has been made with olive oil and rosemary, Jedd's new favorite to bake).
I slice the toast into slivers and eat the egg with those rather than a fork.

Monday, March 24

The girl scout in me speaks

When we moved to Cambridge from LA, I kept food stocked in case of earthquakes (really), hurricanes, tornadoes, ice name the disaster and I had thought of it and prepared for it. Then came Y2k. Yep, I prepared...just in case. I have never regretted this way of living. It doesn't go bad. Well...except for the bins of whole grain.
After 9/11 I started stocking up again. Gas prices started going up and I watched the price of paper products rocket skyward, just like my mom predicted. My kids have laughed and laughed and laughed at my thought processes. I just figure it gives them great stories for the future holidays when they can laugh around the table with their own kids at my "eccentricities". Thom always says, "do what you feel you need to hon, I'm behind ya..." And slips me whatever extra cash he can afford to.
I have begun ratcheting up the buying in the past few weeks once again. This time the kids are not laughing. They watch the news with me and they're starting to question whether I am buying enough. Jedd with his new bread machine and baking habit keeps loading flour and sugar into the cart, because he hears how prices of these items are rising. I don't stop him. I'm trying to teach them the difference between stocking and "hoarding". It's okay to load up now. As long as it's something we use and buy anyway. But if something happens...banks crash, truckers strike, terrorist attack, terrible natural disaster...then it's too late. Then it's wrong. Then it's hoarding.
I'm sure some of you may be shaking your heads. But I have a feeling there are more of you out there considering doing a bit of extra shopping this week or month, than there was before Y2k. Times are shaky and prices aren't going down any time soon. The dollar is weakening. It's weak. I figure I am actually stimulating the economy whilst I'm preparing as well:)
I hope just like the year 2000 and 9/11 and the lack of natural disasters, that this is all un-necessary. But I also hope my children are learning to think about being prepared. Because it can't hurt.

Friday, March 21

a borrowed poem to ponder

On a summer morning
I sat down
on a hillside
to think about God—
a worthy pastime.
Near me, I saw
a single cricket;
it was moving the grains of
the hillside
this way and that way.
How great was its energy,
how humble its effort.
Let us hope
it will always be like this,
each of us going on
in our inexplicable ways
building the universe.
- mary oliver -

Thursday, March 13


Jedd has turned 12 years old today. He's a night owl who'll often stay up towards midnight reading, so I usually let him sleep in till 8:30 or 9 a.m. (okay! sometimes 9:30-10:00!) Thom usually leaves by 6:30 or so for work and Jedd was determined to get up early so he could open presents. He set several alarms for half past 7. I don't know what happened but he was still sleeping when Thom came home at 10 of 8 for the great unwrapping. I had a plate of muffins baked and waiting. I ran upstairs and called to the boy, and for the first time in his short history he was up, dressed and downstairs in under a minute.
If letting him sleep so late in the morning didn't set you to thinking I'm a bad parent this probably will. He was so excited when he tore into the paper and found a lock-picking kit he'd been longing for. Thom gave him a door lock to practice on. He's been at it off and on all day. very persistent young man. He's gotten it unlocked several times, impressing his dad, who has a kit of his own for work purposes, but has never been able to make it work.
We had to return a couple items that didn't fit or weren't as pictured in the Edmund's Scientific catalog so he rode his new bumble-bee-yellow bike while I walked the dog and we went to the post office. He rode circles around me and eli (the dog) and laughed and repeated throughout the day that it was his best birthday ever! Ever! It was just he and I for much of the day. So simple. We went to Walmart, bought hotdogs for his requested birthday meal, (Steamed only, like the ballpark, please) put gas in the car and cashed some birthday checks. We made a giant chocolate chip cookie on a pizza stone in leiu of a cake, and picked out dvds to watch. I love this boy. I love how happy he is when someone just spends time with him.
When Emma came home from school, she invited him to take a ride to Easton with her for her chiropractic "back crack". Then she came home in more pain than she left in, but apparently, that's okay....huh.....anyway....
Thank you Lord for the gift of Jedidiah. Please bless this year for him. Please draw him close to you and lift new veils for him to glean from your word and truth all that you offer. Please let us always appreciate him and the place he holds in this family.
More importantly, please let him always appreciate YOU and the place he holds in your family.

Monday, March 3

Love in a body slam or having a baby (or babies)

We have had such happy news this past week of another young couple ( Eric and Stephanie!)from church sharing the news of their first pregnancy. It all brings back a rush of memories for me. Overwhelming joy and fear all at once. I'd held other people's babies and been loathe to hand them back to their parents because they felt so good in my arms. But I remember thinking, "what if I don't feel this way once it's mine? What if I don't like my own baby!?" It's not like you can go shopping and pick out the cutest, quietest one who smiles daintily as she/he fills the diaper. And let's not pretend that the thought of expelling that baby from the body doesn't fill the head with terror.
When we found out there were actually two babies (two!) I think our heads split into two different directions. I'm sure Thom started thinking, "how on earth do we feed two?" I started wondering how on earth do I feed two. He was thinking monetarily...I was thinking breastfeeding.
I gained about 40- 42 pounds with the girls. I was put on totally un-necessary bedrest for the last three months. I say unnecessary because I was very healthy, it was just the prescribed thing to do with multiple pregnancies at the time. (a side note: when Thom's mom was pregnant with him, her ob told her not to quit smoking or having her nightly gin and tonic as it would cause her to gain weight! At the time they thought any more than 20 pounds was a danger to the infant!) The girls were born 3 weeks early by c-section and just lovely. Annie, at 5lb 6 oz still had little wee curled ears that hadn't yet unfurled. Emma was a whopping 5 lbs 10 oz. They were so tiny that they mewled like kittens when they cried for the first few weeks...
It's amazing how it hits you when those babies are first placed in your arms. Who knew love could do a body slam? That love isn't just emotional, it's truly physical.
When they were four years old and I became prenant with Jedd, I was once again worried. It certainly couldn't be possible that this little one could bear a place in my heart as strong as the girls...I mean my girls were special ! (it's good that I didn't dwell to deeply on this or I'd probably had developed a complex about my relationship with my mother, me being her third and all...)
I remember reading everything I could lay my hands on about giving birth naturally as I was determined to give birth naturally this time.
I remember going to a new ob this time and my very healthy looking twins skipping alongside for our appointment. First he measured my belly and said ,"I think there's more than one baby, actually I think there's more than two." What! Fear strikes the heart. Then he looks at my rosy-cheeked daughters and says, "Have they been ill?" What? My healthy girls?......No,... they're not healthy girls. They have fifths disease, which he is concerned could affect this pregnancy. My heart sinks.
At 14 weeks we find that it was not three babies, but two. One of whom has died in utero. The top baby, who has a chance of miscarrying and thereby taking the healthy baby with it. God gives peace. ( I have no idea if the fifth's had an effect on the baby or not...I tend to think it was all coincidence)
God also gives me a doctor who trusts the woman's body to do its job the way it was created to. He encourages the vbac delivery. I worry when I gain about 30 pounds because I remember my mother- in -law's rules. that was then. My doc says as long as I'm eating healthy and my blood pressure etc. is fine I'm not to worry at all.:) Good man!
He lets me deliver totally natural and the only worry now is how I'll feel when this child is placed in my arms. Yep. Love does a body slam once again. My child. Three children. Love.
( anyone who wants to hear lovely, happy birth stories feel free to call. I LOVE giving birth! LOVE IT!)
I remember my cousin warning me to live life before I give birth, as once the children come life as we know it ends. What crap! Life begins. Life has meaning. I had love for Thom before children. But the deep love that I have for him after children is astounding! Our marital love has grown as the kids have grown. Our love and faith in Christ has grown exponentially with the addition and growth of children.
We are honored to be given the opportunity to raise children. I am humbled that God trusts me with them. And.... I really, really like my kids:)