Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Speed Bumps

This afternoon, I so enjoyed a visit with my new friend, Kristen. What a refreshing afternoon. She has the most beautiful garden and I even got a quick science lesson on her "girls"... the worker bees...who reside in the most adorable bee hive! She referred to it as the HILTON! If I were a bee, I know I would never want to move from the sweetest of homes.

In talking to her, I was reminded of God's abounding grace and the comfort He supplies in our darkest of days! Once again, I am posting from the archives, but it is always a wonderful thing to know that God's mercies are NEW every morning...Love to YOU Kristen, and thank you for the yummy tomatoes and honey!

Have you ever had something in your life that brings you so much joy and then, as circumstances change, THAT VERY THING that brought about joy suddenly brings about fear and pain?

Years ago, as our neighborhoods started to expand, and traffic patterns were altered, new houses went up, new roads, new lights and new signs. A small stretch of road added SPEED BUMPS! I thought it was ridiculous, but there they were one morning as the children and I were already running late for school. Talk about one more inconvenience!

The "Pollyanna" in me decided right then and there that those speed bumps were going to be another reminder for our family to slow down and to pray! To this day I still have vivid memories of our children's innocent little voices praying with such sincerity. We prayed for everything: sick friends, teachers, special privileges...like ice cream after school, lonely friends, friends without Daddies and Mommies, the "blueberry lady" who sold her land, animals. You name it! I looked forward to those speed bumps. They were a comforting reminder that no matter how hurried we are in our lives, Jesus is NOT! He is never in a hurry. He is ALWAYS there waiting for us and He loves it when we slow down and talk with HIM.

Several months ago, I was in a car accident and my BIG TAHOE absorbed any discomfort a healthy, strong body might feel in going over those bumps, but let me tell you, my "new" car is much smaller, and the suspension is TIGHT. My sore and achy body can feel every inconsistency in the road, let alone the pain that radiates through my body when we go over bumps.

I have started taking different routes, longer routes...any road I can find where the ride is smooth. At times, when I am going somewhere new or different and I see an unexpected bump, it causes instant fear of the pain that shoots from my hips all the way to my neck. Something I had come to find comfort in is now something I avoid and fear.

Tonight, on our way home, I felt like God was wanting me to Trust HIM. This Speed Bump in my life is not something to be avoided. It is going to be HIS teaching tool in my life. The only difference is this: He is in the driver's seat and I am the immature and weak child praying in earnest. I am completely inadequate, but with God's power I am able to overcome the difficulties I face, and I, too can trust my God who is sufficient. Out of this experience, I know that the same way I loved hearing my children pray, He loves hearing me come to Him.

It dawned on me, even though they are much older, I am still teaching them. They are still observing. I may never have this opportunity again to let my children know that the same God who has been listening and answering our prayers (NOT ALWAYS THE WAY WE HAVE PRAYED FOR!)over the years is completely capable of alleviating my fear and pain or in giving me the courage to deal with it differently. He has a purpose and a plan...he wants me to slow down and to trust in HIM. Don't avoid the SPEED BUMPS in life...because with Him we are Never without HOPE.

"Come to ME, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light."
Matthew 11:28-30.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Tomato Pesto Sandwich

OKAY. Finally. Our first evergreen tomato is ready to be picked! I almost feel like we should have a tomato "celebration"! Kinda like Thanksgiving in August! Not sure it has been worth all of the waiting and babying of THE tomato plant...but I am not complaining because it is going to be worth every bite! The question was this. What was going to be the very first thing to make with the very first tomato? Tacos? Tomato Pie? BLT'S minus the bacon? Pasta Caprese? You have no idea how I have fretted! Not really, but it just sounded good! :}

We are making one of our favorite summer sandwiches and it is going to be AMAZING with our little home grown tomato...yep.yep.yep!


Sourdough bread...the best you can get!

Pesto mixed with a bit of mayonnaise

Provolone cheese slices

Thinly sliced tomato with a bit of salt sprinkled on top

Thinly sliced cucumbers

Thinly sliced red onion


Thinly sliced lettuce


*Take two slices of bread and lay them out on a cutting board

*Put mayonnaise and mustard on one slice

*Put pesto mayonnaise on the other slice

*Place cheese on one slice of bread and the veggies on the other slice

*Place both slices together to make a sandwich
*Cut sandwich in half...it is the polite way to eat a sandwich, you know...

Serve with dill pickles and KETTLE CHIPS and a BLACKBERRY MILKSHAKE with a big, thick straw.


What is the first thing you like to make with your tomatoes? Maybe you just eat it off the vine...which sounds even better!!!


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Easy as pie...PIE CHIPS

Hope you all had a lovely weekend! We are still having BEE.U.TEE.FULL sunshiney days and the sunset last light could have taken your breath away!

How blessed we are to have been given such a wonderful creation to enjoy! And to think that God has every sunrise and sunset and all the hours in between to display HIS amazing artistry is quite mind-boggling...and to know that not one second has been a repeat from the beginning of time until the end of this world is REALLY hard to grasp!

Our whole family loves AUTUMN! It is the smells...wood-burning fires welcoming guests in from the chilly Autumn air...warm applesauce made from apples that have been ripening all summer long...crisp cool nights that carry the aroma of change. HOT wassail that has simmered all.day.long. It is the carving of big ol' jack-o-lanterns and cozy blankets and lots and lots of candlelight...but for now it is still summer, but I had to do something a bit Autumny...before the changing out of summer. Just something teeny tiny...like mini leaf PIE CHIPS.


1 box of frozen pie dough...or homemade if you are talented in that department! {I use Trader Joe's}

1 leaf cookie cutter


cinnamon sugar


*Follow directions on box for thawing purposes

*Roll out dough and use your leaf cookie cutter for your pie chips.

*Place leaves onto SILPAT or onto parchment paper

*Using a pastry brush, brush with water and then sprinkle each leaf with cinnamon sugar

*Bake @ 450* for about 8 minutes or until golden brown

Remove from oven and ENJOY!

I baked pie filling in little bowls and we dipped out pie chips into the PIE DIP. Just a taste of AUTUMN...but I am really excited for the new season right around the corner!!!

This and That:

Since this blog is also our family "journal"...I have to write about our DATE NIGHT to see Josh Groban! Have I mentioned how much I LOVE piano music? I do.I do.I do. So much so that I am shocked that nobody left our wedding before it even started because my twinsie played all of our very favorite songs for 45 minutes before the wedding started! I have always loved listening to her play and am still insanely jealous that I took lessons for a LONG time and still don't have a clue how to read notes. Maybe we aren't really twinsies after all...because she is one talented girlie!

ANYHOO...back to date night. Our seats were SMACK DAB right in front of where he played and the whole entire night...I kept telling my hubby "THIS IS THE BEST DATE NIGHT EVER!" because it was! We took a long walk and saw the lights after the concert and it was so pretty! I think I might be packing my tennies next time, but then I might not be carried by my big strong hubby! So, heels it will be. ALWAYS!


Shared with: stone gable

Saturday, August 27, 2011

The Gift of Leftovers

This last week, we were invited to a dinner party with some guys my hubby works with! It was so much fun! If you know me, you know how much I loooove late night dinners! I took a cake, cupcakes and ice cream...way too much dessert, but I would be mortified if we ran out...and we all know that firefighters can eat A LOT!

I left some with the host and sent some home with other guests and STILL had some left, sooo, when I got home I wrapped it really good and put it in the freezer to give away the next day.

SOOO, {I know I use that word a ton, sorry!} I want to hear from you...

*Do you think it is tacky giving away leftovers?

*Would or do you give away your "extras"?

*Would you throw your leftovers away before you would consider giving them away?

*Do you have an over abundance in your garden that you are willing to share?

Aren't these greens beautiful? They were given to me by the wife of my accupuncturist! They grow a garden and share their organic bounty with their patients! Isn't that the sweetest thing ever?

Scientifically speaking, it has been proven that the act of giving actually increases/releases the happy hormones.

Here is a challenge for you:

Try to take something that you have extras of and share it with somebody.

This could be anything to anybody. {I am working on this right along with YOU.}

A few suggestions:

*your leftovers might be just the right amount to take to an elderly person. Have your children help get it ready and go with you to deliver it to them.

*Maybe a family has a deployed spouse serving our country...I am sure they would appreciate a little something.

*What about a homeless person. Be intentional about preparing it in advance and give it to them as they are waitng for money at the traffic lights. Just roll down your window and BLESS them.

I would love to hear back from you on how this goes.

{Be sure your leftovers are fresh and not scrap material. You know what I am talking about. :) As Americans, I feel that our extras are like gold compared to that of other ccountries.}

...AND if you haven't taken a picnic yet, leftovers are great to pack up...I love taking picnics with leftover dessert. Makes a plain ol' picnic feel a bit indulgent. What do YOU think? What do you have to share in your fridge/freezer/pantry??

"Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not RELUCTANTLY or under compulsion, for GOD loves a CHEERFUL giver." II Corinthians 9:7

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Organizing Important Documents {how to}

We have been enjoying the sunshine so much...thought that these pictures were a bit cuter than looking at a binder! We actually had a modified water fight that was really a blast!!! AND since we no longer have little ones to bathe outside in the summer evening before bed time...our little doggie fell victim...oh.how.she loved it!!!

This is the time of year, if you aren't organized, that you might start thinking about trying to do exactly that...getting organized. I am by no means an expert on the subject, but I love the end result.

Being organized can really eliminate stress and frustration. There is nothing worse than a child informing you that the school has to have an updated sports physical in two days, or they can't start with their teammates. That means YOU need to have insurance cards, immunization records, doctor's numbers and birth certificates handy for SPORTS. ALL of this on top of Script orders, school picture forms, music lessons etc. can quickly become overwhelming and almost paralizing! {I am NOT exaggerating...ever find yourself sipping on tea, chomping on candy corn, not doing ANYTHING because you don't know where to start?...That is what I mean.} :)

I am NOT a fan of technology. I want to be able to grab and go. I need to have it in my hands without having to scan for passwords and wait for the laptop to boot up.

When my hubby finished his academy, we revamped our "DOCUMENT SYSTEM". Since he became the expert on Emergency Evacuation and Catastophe Preparedness, I listened and we figured it out together!

{You might invest in a larger fireproof box to keep your binder in.}

This is what works for us and it might be helpful for you as well.

One binder is LABELED and categorized like this:


Little Dappled Doggie
Birth...each family member has their own protected in a plastic sleeve protector {STOCK UP! These are available at COSTCO}


Insurance card copies...these are easily misplaced
Immunization documents


Social Security Cards
Frequent Flyer Miles
Budget Document...a complete list of everything that needs to be paid during the month. Be sure to include phone numbers and Passwords etc. in case of an emergency

Life Insurance numbers etc.

Small, zippered binder pockets work great for keeping little cards together without falling out. They can be found in with school supplies!

It is important to be able to go to one spot and grab everything at once in case of emergency. There might NOT be time to be going through files!

Remember to keep this information in a VERY safe spot.

WE ALSO INCLUDED PERMISSION SLIPS AND BLANK POWER OF ATTORNEY sheets that could be grabbed at a moment's notice. In my hubby's opinion, they are better than grabbing a recycled envelope and scribbling down the info with eyeliner!!! Then again, we even had the last power of attorney notarized at THE BANK!! Every family needs a safety monitor!

Shared with: women living well, titus2sday, totally tuesday tutorials, a bowl full of lemons

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Leftover Buttercream?

Hope you are all having a great weekend! I realize we usually do not have leftover buttercream sitting around, but if you have a bit or a ton leftover OR if you want to make some...you could make buttercream sandwich cookies! I am always way too much and since I also had sugar cookies in my freezer, I decided to make up some cookies and keep them frozen! You never know when you may need a little last-minute gift for a friend!!

You could even use Graham Crackers, from s'more making...or these waffle sandwich cookies from Trader Joe's! Just some ideas for a sweet weekend!

Happy Saturday!!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

A Sweet {first day of school} Tradition

Having grown up in Germany...I am still in love with TRADITION! It is something to look forward to and even more than that, it is something dear to you that you can not wait to pass down to your children and to their children!
On our first day of school, we {no pig in my pocket...my twinsie and I} got our very own "SCHULTUETE". It was like Christmas morning! Typically, they are filled with lots of sweet treats and erasers, pencils, crayons etc. but you could really fill them with whatever you would like!

If any of you are teachers, I am sure YOU could imagine how hyper your little students might be on the first day of school.

Since Laurissa's first day of college is this next week, I wanted to do something special for her...so, I filled her "SWEET SCHOOL CONE" with some things she will need in college...white washcloths, soap, post it notes, gift cards, a book of stamps and envelopes, chapstick, straws and some other little things that she loves! I can NOT wait to give it to my little bunny.

Her Daddy gives her flowers every year on the first day, so we included a little vase from him to her. That is when I "lost it" today...and I was doing sooo good!

On her tag, I stamped "with GRATITUDE" because I am so thankful for the daughter she has been, is and will continue to be...she challenges me, loves me unconditionally, takes Sunday afternoon naps with me, but most of all she loves the LORD with all her heart, and she shares it with everybody she meets. I know that if you met her, your life would be THAT MUCH better...just for knowing her. SO, my heart is full of gratitude and am reminded every day of God's grace in blessing me with the sweetest daughter ever!

This year will be the first year since she started preschool that we have not had our annual back-to-school dinner, so I am going to have to find something creative to do...not sure, yet. SUGGESTIONS ARE WELCOME!

BY THE WAY, my parents have a picture of my twinsie and I on our first day of school in Germany with our "SWEET SCHOOL CONES", so I will post that when my Dad finds it.

Do you have a favorite back-to-school memory or SWEET TRADITION?

I just guesstimated and used what I had on hand to make mine. That's why it's a bit Christmassy looking!

Directions for a Sweet School Cone:

1. Cut poster board to desired size. I left mine BIG.

2. Cut wrapping paper to the same size.

3. Using Elmers Spray Adhesive, spray a thin coat over poster board. Do NOT spray adhesive on flimsy paper. You will have a big.ol.mess!

4. Place wrapping paper on top of glued poster board. Working quickly, be sure to line up paper and gently smoothe out wrinkles and ridges.

5. Working from the bottom up, form cone shape. Be sure to have a pointy bottom, so that nothing falls through...or you can add a pom pom...like I did.

6. Using a large metal clip or clips, secure the top of the cone. Heavy duty paper clips may also be used. Use the clips to adjust it the way you want it.

7. Glue gun the seam.

8. Trim the top so that it is even and straight across the top. It will look just like a sugar cone.

9. Add the finishing touches with ball fringe, ribbons, grommets, fabric initials, stickers, stamps, photos...whatever. Use your imagination! If you made a mistake, this is your chance to embellish away!

10. Using your hot glue gun, glue small sections at a time across the top, inside lip. Quickly pleat tissue paper to the inside on top of the glue.

11. Fill with healthy school snacks, sweet treats, paint, stickers, fun papers, etc.

12. Present to your little ones {or BIG ones!} on the morning of their first day of school!

OH.THE.POSSIBILITIES: It may be fun to make mini burlap cones and tie them with jute for Thanksgiving favors...I think it woupld be a fun twist on the ol' cornucopia...hmmm!

Or for a different birthday present, you could fill the sweet cone with ice cream toppings, fun bowls, napkins and spoons!...and make homemade ice cream together!

My twinsie and I on the first day of school...1970's :}

***Posted from the archives!

Shared with: picket fence, women living well

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Crab Louis

How about a history lesson since school starts soon? I loved history in school and it is fun {at least I think it is!} to find out the history of what you are eating!

Our children probably endured entirely way too many food history lessons around the dinner table. I think that the Buckwheat Crepes, "FRENCH HISTORY LESSON BY DEPARTMENT...may have been the straw that broke the camel's back! My hubby took care of the sport's department and since we needed well-rounded children, I thought they should know what is on the menu in BRITTANY! I even made buckweat crepes and they ate it, but requested we not have it again! Thank heavens I skipped the creamy fish soup made with eel, mackarel and sardines! They did however love the apple and pear cider which is the beverage of choice in BRITTANY! {Thanks Linda!}

Anyhoo, we are not talking French History today. We are talking American History. We as parents are supposed to practice what we preach, but since it is still summer, I am not taking a trip to the library today and writing a paper for you...as much as I do love you! NOPE.NOPE.NOPE! I surfed WIKIPEDIA with the click of a button for your lesson today. LAZY? YES!!!! EDUCATIONAL? YES!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Alternative name(s) Crab Louis Salad
Place of origin United States
Region or state West Coast of America
Dish details
Course served Hors d'Ĺ“uvre
Serving temperature Chilled or Room Temperature
Main ingredient(s) Crab meat
Hard boiled eggs
Butter Lettuce or Romaine Lettuce
Louie dressing

Crab Louie salad, also known as Crab Louis Salad or the King of Salads, is a type of salad featuring crab meat. The original recipe dates back to the early 1900s and originates on the West Coast of America.


The exact origins of the dish are uncertain, but it is known that Crab Louie was being served in San Francisco, at Solari's, as early as 1904[1]. A recipe for Crab Louie exists from this date in a publication entitled Bohemian San Francisco by Clarence E. Edwords,[2] and in the 1910 edition of a cookbook by Victor Hertzler, head chef of the city's St. Francis Hotel.[3]

By some accounts it was created by entrepreneur Louis Davenport, founder of the Davenport Hotel in Spokane, Washington. Davenport spent his early years in San Francisco before moving to Spokane Falls. He would use crab imported from Seattle to be offered hotel. His recipe pre-dates 1914 and can be found in hotel historical menus. The popularity of Crab Louie has diminished since its heyday in the early to mid 1900's, but it can still be found on the menu of some hotels and restaurants on the West Coast, including the Palace Hotel in San Francisco and the Davenport Hotel.

Now don't you feel smart?


Washed and towel dried red leaf lettuce, cut into polite bite-sized pieces...or shredded

Hard boiled eggs...boil eggs, rinse with cool water and cover with ice. This helps them peel easier and they are nice and cool for the salad.


Olives, sliced

Grape tomatoes, cut into half

Fresh crab meat {Thank you, Bunny!}

I soaked the crab in salt water over night and ran cool water over it to make sure it was rinsed well


1/4 cup whipping cream

1 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup chili sauce

2 Tbsp. finely chopped onion

1 tsp. lemon juice

1/4 tsp. sea salt

dash of red pepper

*Whip cream and add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well and chill!

*NO TIME? Substitute Thousand Island Dressing or ROQUEFORT dressing

Our evening on the deck:

Anniversary flowers that are still beautiful!

Grilled fry bread made by my hubby!

The mini handmade bread board was an anniverasry present! We are having more fun with them! My friend Diana from Vintage Home Love makes them by hand! So perfect for entertaining!

Caleb and our very naughty little dappled doggy who always wants to play during the dinner hour! Don't feel too bad for spoiled "FUR FEET"!

If you want, you could easily substitute large shrimp if you would like!

Happy Happy Wednesday!

Shared with: women living well, picket fence, stone gable, comfy in the kitchen

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Anniversary Picnic with Vintage Home Designs

Such patient girlies you all are...well, some of YOU, anyway! Maybe I will take pictures of wrapped gifts more often just to keep you guessing and on your toes, but I know that a few of you peeked...because you told me. Anyhoo, for the rest of you who love surprises...

TODAY is our 21st wedding anniversary and my hubby gave me the most beautiful handmade bread boards ever...

Aren't they adorable? They were packaged in burlap and tied with jute. They come in a set of four different styles and sizes.

My sweet friend, Diana from Vintage Home Designs makes every one of these mini bread boards by hand. Not only do I love her blog, but I love how she and her hubby enjoy life together! They have fun and live a simple life...and her love is a firefighter, too! I know her blog will soon be among your favorites as well! Thank you, Diana for my treasured anniversary gift!

As soon as I opened them and smelled the fresh wood, I knew since it was my year to plan our anniversary, I was going to pack a picnic and the bread boards would serve as plates. They were perfect!

Anniversary Picnic Menu:

Anniversary Champagne

BBQ Shrimp Baguettes

Our very favorite KETTLE CHIPS

Orange Infused Nectarines with Fresh Blueberries from our Neighbors

Champagne Frosted Cupcakes

{BTW, thanks to this, the cupcakes arrived in tact!}

Picnic Details:

The blanket we used was an engagement gift from hubby. He bought it for me along with the salt and pepper shakers while he was on a missions trip to Portugal. It is still so special and he still is so touched that we use it...even on the GRASS!

The sandwiches were wrapped in white recycled parchment paper from the shrimp purchased at the deli...then placed in a brown sandwich bag to keep it cool.

Decorations were kept simple: I used a paper bag to punch out tags for our food and also for the banner I made which was his card!

The napkins were wrapped with recycled jute from the gift-wrapped bread boards

The burlap that the bread boards were wrapped in served as a liner for our picnic basket and was used as a runner. My hubby loved it!

I packed a canning jar our candle, bur since it was breezy on the hill, we popped it into a champagne flute and shared a glass, which was by far more romantic!

Before we were married, he was working at a camp. He would send me a letter almost every day and it said: To the future Mrs. Pearson...I loved seeing my new last name! So, instead of anything else, the banner had to be PEARSON!

MUSIC...we love music. Very seldom do we NOT have music on in our home. SO, thanks to Pandora, we had lovely music for the evening.

ANNNND even though we did not meet in Paris, we had the most fun sitting on Chapman Hill taking in the fresh air, sounds and sights. We laughed and talked and dreamed about the future while looking at the Montgomery Park sign! "Our Spot" holds so many fun memories with promise of many more memories to come...like grand babies rolling down the hill while watching the vaux's swifts fly over head!

ANNNNND aside from our "Come to Jesus Meetin' " with our children it was a wonderful day. They blessed us with a gift certificate to GUSTAVS! ALL on their own. We were overwhelmed!

ANNNNNND...after we picked up from our picnic, we took a stroll around the neighborhoods and went house paint shopping and met the.nicest.people!

A special night with the love of my life!

I LOVE YOU, 2, Mr.Pearson

Thank you for choosing me to be your Mrs. Pearson!

Happy Happy August 11th to YOU!

PS. Have any of you made your candle light dinner, yet? Just checking!

Shared with: Picket Fence