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Nov 29, 2012

Sponsor Time! Christmas Discount Included


Happy Thursday everyone!

I got to see the baby via sonogram yesterday. Plan to get a picture scanned in to share, even though we all know that sono images all look the same--a bit hard to decipher. 
That's my nice way of saying "alien baby." :)
It was magical; I always wish I'd get lucky and somehow get to watch the baby for over an hour. I could've watched him/her wriggle around all.day.

***

Also, I have ad space available for December! I limit my ad spaces because I don't want readers to be overwhelmed with information. Because I love supporting handmade and mompreneurs, I'm offering 20% off during the month of December, using code CHRISTMAS20 on Passionfruit!

Click here for advertising details and stats and to book your spot. Large ads earn their own, unshared feature, which we know is vital in growing your space!

Nov 28, 2012

Thanksgiving



Lovely day in small town Marquette, KS.
Lovely few days in small town Chanute, KS. 
My sister Erin and I are sharing pregnancies. 

Nov 27, 2012

My list


I have a gratitude list.

Being forgiven by my Lord.

A warm man body to sleep next to every night;
For he is the priest of our home and my confidante.

Two babies who deserve all the treasures in heaven. They have afforded me countless opportunities to die to self.

The smell of winter. It's fresh and crisp. It freezes things to stone, giving them chance to be done altogether, or soon resurrect.

Little baby Jesus in our nativity scene. Thank you to Him, it's not enough.

V formations of geese flying across a Kansas sunset.

Books by Sandra Boynton and Stan/Jan Berenstain.

Anything pumpkin.

My mansion in heaven, sure to have a jetted tub. 

Family. Even the complicated stuff I won't fully understand in this life.

Too many twinkle lights and Christmas inflatables cluttering folks' yards.

 The Bible as our handbook..everything is in there. There's even scripture on anxiety (which I have).

Not just the necessities of life, but the many extras we enjoy and so often take for granted.

Lovely new friends who love texting, too.

Crackling fires, or at least a candle that sounds like it.
***

Nov 24, 2012

My favorite apple pie


A couple of summers ago I posted this recipe for apple pie.
Given that it's the holiday season, I wanted to re-share for those of you looking for a fool-proof pie recipe.
It's from the back of a kids' book!

Crust:

2 1/2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 sticks cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/3 cup very cold water
1 tablespoon white vinegar
Combine the first four ingredients in a bowl.
Add the butter and cut it into the flour thoroughly until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs, using two blunt dinner knives or a pastry blender. 

Mix this until the dough comes together and clears the side of the bowl. Gather the dough and shape into two flat, circular disks; wrap each disk separately in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Filling:

8 cups peeled and thinly sliced apples (any variety except Delicious)
1/2 cup flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg (I omitted)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 lemon

Combine and mix the first 5 ingredients in a large bowl.
Oops had to get different bowl:
Putting the pie together:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the dough from the refrigerator and allow to rest at room temperature for about 5 minutes. Put the dough disks between 2 pieces of plastic wrap, and roll them out into 2 circles, each about 10 inches in diameter. Peel the plastic wrap off the top of the first circle of dough. Turn the dough, top side down, into a 9-inch pie pan, and peel the remaining plastic wrap off the dough in the pie pan. Add the apple mixture to the pie pan and dot the top with butter. Squeeze the juice of the lemon half over the mixture.
Peel one piece of plastic wrap off of the second dough circle and place it, top side down, over the apple mixture. Peel the remaining plastic wrap off of the pie dough. Pinch the top and bottom crusts together at the edge of the pan, and form a stand-up edge on the rim of the pie pan.

(Was dark by this time so no pics)

Cut 4-6 vent holes in the top of the crust (each vent should be about 1 inch long). Bake the pie in the center of the oven at 400 degrees for an hour, or until the pie is golden and the juices are thick and bubbly. Cool completely before serving.

(To make a young Amelia Bedelia-sized pie, cut all the ingredients in half, and use a 5-inch pie pan. Bake it for 40 minutes at 400 degrees).

Nov 23, 2012

Our Turkey Day

This Thanksgiving was one of my favorites!!

We spent casual hours at a luncheon at a senior center with some of Shawn's mom's extended family. The town has maybe 600 people; the entire main street was a ghost town and so wonderfully quiet. I struggled to not want to "pick" vintage things I saw...the window shopping made me salivate. 
I was able to make it to the airport in time to welcome Katee Qing Johnson to the United States. Our good friends, the Johnsons, brought their newly adopted daughter back from China! A very spectacular Thanksgiving, indeed. It was surreal to see a little baby we have all prayed for, for so long, come down the terminal hall with her new parents. It is, from an observer's view, truly a Jesus-breathed/covered/provided-experience. I cried off my makeup, naturally.
Then, even though my pregnant body was tired, I took a gamble and went shopping for some 8pm deals at glamorous WalMart.
That was a cultural experience.

More on our festivities later. Lots to share on time with my family after the big holiday, too!

Nov 20, 2012

Cold

Both babies have colds. Breaks my heart to hear their sneezes and sniffles. Wilder has a "red mustache" from all the nose wiping.

We briefly ventured out for dollar store Christmas crafts, and upon arriving home, I thought it'd be a treat to break out my Fontanini nativity set.

I wonder how many times Mary wiped Jesus' nose?

Nov 17, 2012

16.5 Weeks

I'm 16.75 weeks pregnant and the discomforts of the first trimester have passed. I have already started nesting--cleaning out closets, redoing the living room, and loading scads of junk to Goodwill. I thought of a girl name and now am trying to convince Shawn he likes it too. :) Boy names haven't come quite as easily.
I've begun to feel some minor flutters that I know are from the baby, but am quite eager to feel more  movement!


Senior picture moment. How DORKY!
Dress: Maurices (styled in a previous post)
Denim blazer: Old Navy
Boots: Target
Brooch: made by me

Nov 14, 2012

Home Tour: Our Living Room

 
I love showing our home to someone for the first time. Half the time I'm apologizing because it's small and old, and most of my friends have really new houses that smell like fresh paint and have huge basements for all their kid's toys. Overall, though, I have a sense of pride that we make small work and bought within our budget. We quite enjoy the charm of a 1950s home and while we feel like we are starting to live on top of one another, I know our home is close to a mansion by most other country's standards. I'm grateful for a home that has kept us safe and warm all these years. 
Our living room has evolved from a sparsely furnished space to a room bulging at the seams with do-dads and mid-century furniture. Shawn and I both have an eye for it, and it's hard for me to resist a good find. Many of our items don't match-which I love. I always hang my wall collages in odd numbers and make sure they are "anchored" and not floating, and try to incorporate various textures into the space (wool rug, tumble weed, afghan, scratchy pillows). And low maintenance plants are a must.

Everything in the room has a story, from the bright blue chair that is family heirloom, to the plant I rescued from the office trash when I was a businesswoman, to the lead mirror from my aunt, to the vintage books found in a box in someone's yard (for the taking), to the Anthropologie "H," to the very first estate sale trivet I ever purchased, to the wooden bird Shawn and I bought on an anniversary getaway.
 
I have no idea what a neutral palette is and one of my main decorating rules is, "if it matches, it's probably not for me."

Everything else is likely vintage; I don't know what to do with new!

All our furniture, save the couch and a few pieces, are from my favorite antique store in town. I'm glad we invested in quality pieces back when we had the resources. Our Brasilia mid-century buffet table has been the object of many affections!