Monday, April 27, 2009


She just wouldn't do it...
I thought we would never get one.
Then, pop! In my mailbox, a photo from my friend's visit in January.
She caught one!
Proof! She loves her mama! We both smile all the time together!
By the way-- 10 months yesterday, and can you believe, I caught her running across the room...but not a tooth in sight. truly, a toothless wonder.
O my.

Friday, April 24, 2009


...Home Sweet Home.
Out of eleven offers, the bank accepted ours on Monday for this cute house very close to where we are living now. We are very grateful for the Lord's provision and kindness and cannot wait to get started on making it into our home.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Second and Third

How odd that it was that I received an email from my uncle stating that he was just asked for the recipe for the marmalade....I told him not to worry about it; I've got plenty to go around.
On the second day, you merely boil again then let it soak.
Here we are on day three, and we boiled it again, this time just adding a little water.
We're on our way to some magical Arizona sunshine in a jar.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

When it's hot outside...

make marmalade out of free citrus.
Day One of Three.
Today was the manual labor.
Thirty oranges and six grapefruit are soaking their thinly sliced selves in filtered water to release their golden citrus goodness.
Follow us tomorrow for day two of this exciting process as we create one of our favorite free preserves.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

On another note..

I would love to win this contest at to put these pictures (eventually) in Kate's room. How cute would they be??

According to... friend Rachel, comes this heroic tale.

Rachel and her son went on a trip and returned home. Rachel's mother-in-law picked them up from the airport in Rachel's car, which she had left in Maryland while they were gone. As they were driving down I-95, the major interstate, they hear a noise.

Now, you and I both know what it feels like when you hear those freaky car noises. You are absolutely panicked and paralyzed at the same time because we have no idea what they mean, except that things are not going to go well for you and your credit card at the mechanic shop.

Well, for Rachel that day, things didn't turn out so bad.

You see, as they looked behind them sparks were flying from underneath the car. Rachel's mother-in-law pulls over on the side of the highway (it is more than 6 lanes across at different places) and with complete calm, climbs under the carriage and proceeds to tie up the muffler with her scarf.

Nothing like a little ingenuity :)

Friday, April 17, 2009

Organic Panic

I often get emails in my inbox from family and friends and friends of friends or family...
What should I feed my toddler? What could I pack for lunches? What are healthy snacks?
You get the idea. They are all looking for advice or nutrition counsel.

Here's the most recent request from my second cousin:
"I have a friend who is due to have a baby. Some friends and I are trying to make them some meals that they can have in their freezer for after the baby is born. The wife only eats organic. We thought some soups might be nice--any other ideas, Nora?"

This is a difficult request because for most of us, we do not keep an organic kitchen, much less an organic pantry. Here's what I told her for her non-organic friends to try to make:

-organic pasta dishes made with multigrain pastas because they freeze better...any "baked ziti" type recipe will work here with sauce, meat and cheese-- organic ground beef in smaller packages is cheaper, and the sauce can be purchased as a unit. Same goes for mozzarella cheese.
Don't worry about spices and herbs or garlic or olive oil not being organic.

-soups are great too...but remember that organic broths are more expensive and I think Costco has a pack of organic chicken broths that would serve well here. An easy chicken soup can be made with an organic store roasted chicken (try Whole Foods). Check here for my recipe.

- muffins are a great addition to the meals-- they can be frozen fully cooked. All my postpartum friends love muffins as an easy healthy snack. Try for an organic pancake or muffin mix and then add your own mix-ins. It can be difficult if you don't buy organic eggs and milk but they can be bought in smaller quantities.

-marinate an organic steak in some olive oil/rosemary/garlic in a ziploc bag and then they can just grill or freeze it. This plus a bag of organic salad would be an easy and great meal.

-Jumbo organic baked potatoes with purchased toppings like cheese, green onions-- even include this with:

- organic chili since all the ingredients can be bought in cans, this is an easy way to make sure it is all organic plus the organic ground beef can be cheaper than all the other organic meats.

- one of my favorite is Lentil casserole which would be very easy to make organic and it is super cheap...for the recipe visit here.

- Leftover grilled salmon (just buy wild cohoe salmon-- don't bother with organic here) with steamed green beans (easy to buy the frozen organic package) with a rice pilaf (again, easy to buy the organic quick-cook package). I cook extra of this meal and freeze a few for Travis' lunches.

-Chicken pot pie-- this is easy when you combine packages of frozen organic mixed vegetables with an organic cream of chicken can of organic soup plus a small package of organic chicken breast boiled and cut into chunks and then put it into a premade organic frozen crust. Usually the frozen crusts come in packs of two so just use the other frozen crust to form the top crust. The whole thing can then be frozen.

-Mexican meals like burritos can be easy because you can buy organic canned beans, tortillas, cheese and then a quick pack of rice and your in the game... a homemade salsa can be organic with the quick salsa recipe and a bag of organic chips. The frozen burrito thing is great too because it helps with lunches as well.

Hope this helps Annette!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


It started to creep up on me since the weekend.
Then yesterday I realized I had reached maximum fatigue the day before that.
You know what it's like: late nights, busy days, holiday festivities, child-rearing demands, household responsibilities, a dirty kitchen floor, dusty books, forgotten exercise, cooking, laundry, the never-ending pile of ironing, working and then there are the cares of life.
Travis told me, "You are boring after seven."
A little tactless as he later confessed, but true.
I had started to go into autopilot from five o'clock on.
Finish dinner prep, kiss Travis hello, nurse Kate, feed Kate again, clean Kate up, bathe Kate, eat my dinner, nurse Kate, put Kate to bed, finish household chores, get ready for bed, talk with Travis, fall asleep.

I realized that I was not only boring, but that if my marriage was boring, it meant I was bored in God.

You might think this is a bold statement. Our relationships on earth reflect our relationship with God. Our spouse is a mirror for us of our inner sense of who God is, what He is about and what He gives us through his Spirit. When I lack creativity, intelligence and the spark of joy, and slide into the automatic boredom of life's duties, it requires me to examine my inner self.

I am reading a book by Charles Lindbergh's wife Anne Morrow Lindbergh called Gift from the Sea. She reflects on this tendency in women, saying:
I walked far down the beach, soothed by the rhythm of the waves, the sun on my bare back and legs, the wind and mist fromthe spray on my hair. into the waves and out like a sandpiper. And then home, drenched, drugged, reeling, full to the brim with my day alone, full liket he moon before the nights has taken a single nibble of it, full as a cup poured up to the lip. There is a quality to fullness that the Psalmist expressed: "My cup runneth over." Let no one come--I pray in sudden panic--I might spill myself away! Is this then what happens to woman? She wants perpetually to spill herself away. All her instincts as a woman--the eternal nourisher of children, of men, of society--demands that she give. Her time, her energy, her creativeness drain ou into these channels if there is any chance, any leak. Traditionally we are taught, and instinctively we long, to give where it is needed--and immediately. Eternally, woman spills herself away in driblets to the thirsty, seldom being allowed the time, the quiet, the peace, to let the pitcher fill up to the brim. But why not, one may ask? What is wrong with woman spilling herself away, since it is her function to give? Why am I, coming back from my perfect day at the beach, so afraid of losing my treasure? It is not just the artist in me. The artist, naturally, always resents giving himself in small drops. He must save up for the pitcher-full. No, it is also the woman in me who is so unexpectedly miserly. Here is a strange paradox. Woman instinctively wants to give, yet resents giving herself in small peices. Basically is this a conflict? Or is it an over-simplification of a many-stranded problem? I believe that what woman resents is not so much giving herself in pieces as giving herself purposelesly.... Purposeful giving is not as apt to deplete one's resources; it belongs to that natural order of giving that seems to renew itself even in the act of depletion. The more one gives, the more one has to give-- like milk in the breast...Even purposeful giving must have some source that refills it. The milk in the breast must be replenished by food taken into the body. If it is woman's function to give, she must be replenished too. But how? Solitude...every person, especially every woman, should be alone sometime during the year, some part of each week and each day. How revolutionary that sounds and how impossible of attainment.
I sincerely think that we underestimate our need for rest. In a society that values productivity over purposefulness, I know that it can sweep me into it's frenzy. Yet then I quickly find that I "crash".

Where to start for me? Rest.
After a nap yesterday I felt the renewal of my energy as well as my spirit.

My goal is to experience renewal of my spirit from purposeful planning to rest my body and renew my mind. It is not just from a good desire to be "interesting" for my husband; I want to return to the experience of being filled up, spilling over, and overflowing with the Spirit of God living in me that breathes life into every thing that I do.

Don't you want that kind of life?

Monday, April 06, 2009

I've had my moments in the spotlight...well, at least at 6am in the morning on the radio.
Today was Travis' turn.

A reporter comes into Travis' clinic and asks him if it's flu season.
The first thing Travis thinks: He looks just like Josh Harris. With hair.

Travis confirms with his MA that it is indeed flu season and asks about the number of cases they are seeing come through the door.His MA says something to the effect of "Yeah, we are seeing lots of flu cases this year!"

Travis relays this to the reporter, so the reporter asks him if he could interview Travis and goes to get his camera.

Travis then asks another medical staff personnel and they say "Actually, no, the numbers in Maricopa County are much less this year. The incidence of flu is much lower than last year."
The reporter returns and Travis then tells him the bad news--less flu this year and asks if he still wants to do the piece.
The reporter says "Sure."

Then he looks at Travis and say "You are a doctor, right?"
Travis tells him no and tells him he is the clinic manager.
The reporters says "Well, I guess that counts as expert."

So they go into an empty exam room to film the piece.
Travis bends over and his passport falls out of his pocket.
The reporter says "Why do you have your passport with you?!"
Travis tells him that he is fresh off the boat
The reporter says "So now I am doing a peice on immigration?"

Travis called to tell me that he was going to be on the news later today or this week.
Then he told me he had to go because his agent was on the other line to discuss whether he was going to wear Valentino or Gucci at the awards to receive his Emmy.

Friday, April 03, 2009

Mom of Five

I inherited some children this weekend-- our dear friends went out of town, so we get to practice (really, it's a party) with Minnie, Mickey, Chip and Twinkle. 
So if you don't hear from me assume that I am driving carpools, driving to golf, driving to swim lessons, driving to bowling, driving to fieldtrips, driving to friend's houses and driving to church.
Life of a mom in Arizona.