Thursday, May 31, 2012

biscuits & lemon curd

Oh my goodness, biscuits & lemon curd are the best. Ok, lemon curd alone is the best!
But seriously, homemade biscuits & lemon curd with fruit spread and whipping cream is about as good as it gets.

It helps that I had a bumper crop of lemons this year, in which I usually freeze Zip-lock bags of lemon juice cubes & lemon zest for future pans of lemon bars. 

And I also freeze lemonade syrup for quick gallons of lemonade to cool us off throughout the hot summer months.

But my favorite is lemon curd. 
This is the recipe I use and it's made in the microwave! So quick & easy!
My Mother-in-law makes the best pound cake and man oh man does it ever taste good with a dollop of lemon curd on top! 
I put together this quick & easy basket of sweet & tart for Shawn & Nicole when they got home from the hospital after the twins were born. Sometimes we're not always able to bring an entire meal to a loved one, but maybe a basket full of homemade goodness is just what they need to munch on between those delicious meals that others are dropping off. 

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

I became a Mom...

30 years ago today this little guy made me a Mom.
And because he's so sweet, kind, funny, loving and creative ~
he made me look like a pretty awesome Mom.
When really, God made him that way ~
his Dad & I just had the blessing of nurturing his gifts, his character, his creativity, his imagination, his humor. I can't believe I was blessed with such a delightful, caring son.

And now he's a wonderful, loving husband to his wife Nicole ~ 
and a fun, awesome Daddy to Emolyn, Elsie, Nathan & Jonah!


Oh, and I can hardly wait to show you the rest of the photos taken by ~
when the twins were only 7 days old!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

our cozy travel trailer

Now THIS is what I'm talkin' about... ok, so maybe I was only thinkin' about it ~ but heading to the mountains, next to my favorite guy, in my cozy cottage on wheels, with the desert heat in my rearview mirror is just what this farm-girl turned city-girl is aching for. 
Not sure when it's going to happen, but it better be soon!

This time we're planning to park cozy in a remote area with a creek running nearby. And we're hoping our little granddaughter Emolyn comes along with us for the first time overnight. She's pretty excited about sleeping between Randy & I (the bench seats make into a king-size bed- seen here) and having our dog Koda sleeping underneath the bed. 
"Koda better not snore Mimi!" 
"No Emolyn, Koda doesn't snore and thank God, neither does your Pop pop!"

And seriously, is there anything better than fried potatoes and sausage sizzling in cast iron on a Coleman stove? Umm, yes there is... eating it. 

Love spending time with this dear man and our precious puppy.

Oh be still my heart ~ the Mogollon Rim above Payson, Arizona.

The perfect spot to reflect, journal, pray... and be still.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

AI & DWTS results

Ok, so tonight I know better than to look at facebook and accidentally find out who wins American Idol. I learned that the hard way last night and found out Donald Driver won Dancing With The Stars before the show had even started in our time zone. The Green Bay Packer Fan page spilled the beans... even though I had informed them, along with many west coast fans, that we'd prefer they wait till the entire country has viewed the show before they start posting results each week. I was thrilled he won, but sad that I was robbed the dramatic build-up of wondering throughout the two hour show who would win. You know, like someone telling you the ending of a good book you're reading.
Anyway, I was a Skylar fan till she was voted off, then it was Phillip all the way. But hey, Jessica is more than deserving. And as we all know, they'll both make it big, so it doesn't really matter does it.

So, what have I been doing? Well my job at the preschool ends this week, so I've been putting in extra hours and then helping out Shawn & Nicole with little projects as they get settled in their new home. It's smaller than their other home, but they gained a covered back patio that they just love.

So this week their Mama sprayed shaving cream on their picnic table and the girls had a blast. Ok, so it took Elsie a bit before she got down & dirty...

... and then she literally squealed with delight! I just love her passion for life.

And I love that Emolyn wears glasses with the lens popped out. We're talkin' the entire day at preschool... and the rest of the day. She's her own person, secure in the love that fills her up each day and that draws many to her sweet spirit.

Hey, results just in ~
HE WON!!! PHILLIP WON!!! And he's crying. Love that. What a great show!

Friday, May 18, 2012

Nathan & Jonah

Nathan & Jonah's Mama carries them in a sling.

They're as snug as a bug in a rug.


Jonah & Nathan's dedication service on Mother's Day at our church ~
I cried through the whole thing.

Nathan & Jonah's great-grandma ~ my dear mother-in-law ~ meeting them for the first time.
So thankful for these healthy, thriving, blessed little boys.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

birds, bees, bugs & blooms

Even the desert cactus in all its prickliness has its own unique beauty...

... especially when the cacti are in bloom.

Birds were perched atop every blooming Saguaro cactus.

 This little guy performed a balancing act that was mighty impressive.

We rarely saw a cacti or flower bloom that wasn't filled with bugs or bees.

And speaking of bees, check out this busy little bee. 

Maybe he's a little camera shy.

Is that not the cutest little bee?

You're all looking at the bee inside the bloom...
but what cracks me up is the bee that is going in for a landing! Do you see him? How cute!

I know! I lucked out... no, it was not luck. Anna & I prayed when we entered the Desert Botanical Garden, that God would surprise us with blessings around every bend and corner. And He did!

The hummingbirds were quite the little show-offs, letting us get up close for these sweet photo ops.

These desert flowers were covered in furry fuzz... or is it fuzzy fur?
Anyway, the Sonoran Desert is filled with boundless, exquisite beauty throughout all times of the year. I love Arizona!
(you're gonna want to click to enlarge these images)

Monday, May 14, 2012

Desert Botanical Garden

The Desert Botanical Garden is located smack dab in the middle of Phoenix
and from the moment you enter you are captivated by the beauty, serenity and sounds that follow you as you make your way along the many winding trails.
It's almost overwhelming at times.

This time I experienced the Garden with my friend Anna
and together we spoke quiet words of encouragement and spiritual truths while capturing images that caught our eye. Anna would point out various birds singing, delightful sounds that I had never noticed before. I am forever awaken to those sounds. Thank you Anna.

We were also blessed with an overcast day. Perfect for photographers. I took 720 photos :)

I also experienced the Butterfly Exhibit for the first time. What a thrill! I even had two butterflies land on my shoulder and were perfectly content to sit there for what seemed an unusually long time. We would see them land on hats and jeans and camera straps, but never actual skin... so you can imagine my surprise!

I was like a little kid. Think about it ~ thousands of beautiful butterflies in this peacefully contained, environmentally controlled structure. True paradise.

Hope you enjoy viewing these intricate creatures. I don't have a fancy zoom lens, other than what came with my camera, so I was delighted they let me get this close and sat so still. They're not camera shy, that's for sure. ha!

I had hoped to post these by Mother's Day, so my dear Mother-in-law could enjoy them. She loves butterflies. God has used them over the years to comfort her during many painful losses. I will always think of her when I see a butterfly. 
I will be posting more Garden images tomorrow. Oh, and the twins were dedicated at church on Mother's Day. What a special morning. Planning to post those photos this week too!

Friday, May 04, 2012

Groopdealz necklace

How many of you wake up every morning to Groopdealz and VeryJane?
Oh my gosh, two of my favorite guilty pleasures. I've only ordered a few of their amazing deals, but I thoroughly enjoy viewing them every morning.
On February 5th Groopdealz featured this necklace ~ made by Your Spoiled Baby. I could hardly contain my excitement because that is what Emolyn says to her Mama & Daddy ~ "I love you to the moon & back". But there was a 25 space limit. And I'm thinking no way will all their names fit. Well that was the exact number of spaces I needed! Yes!

So before I showed Emolyn, to ask if she'd like to give this to her Mama when the twins were born, I asked her Daddy how sure they were that the boys would be named Nathan & Jonah. He said "pretty sure, but you never know". Well, that was good enough for me. Seriously, I got this beautiful necklace for $10.00! (retails $20.00) Love their awesome dealz!

Well get this ~ Emolyn kept the surprise a secret all this time! 
She was so excited when she could finally give it to her Mama! She made her a beautiful card and wrapped it in lots of purple and gave it to her last week. And as you can see, her Mama was so surprised! Emolyn is truly a treasure ~ and the best big sister!