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Saturday, June 30, 2012

Fireworks

Last night took Hattie to watch  'Balloon Glow' and fireworks show.

If you're like me and have never heard of a Balloon glow before, it's a little field full of hot-air balloons that they light up intermittently....I think it's supposed to be kind of like HUGE fireflies.

We were disappointed though because while we got to see all the balloons inflated, it was ever so brief (since we had been shopping in the neighboring mall, and it was well before sundown and we didn't know we were missing  the show) {I only mildly apologize for that run-on sentence}. Anyway, they had deflated ALL the balloons before it was even dark, so there wasn't really any 'glow' at all.

There was fair-food, intensely loud music, and masses of depravity in too small a space....and we made a bee-line for our car as soon as we finished the shopping.

And then there were the fireworks. Besides the fact that we got too far away to see anything but the tips of them, we kept hoping, "Maybe they'll start at 8:30.....PLEASE, let them start at 9:00......9:30, really??"

Y'all my baby NEEDS to be asleep at 8:30. Fireworks an hour past cranky-baby's bedtime? Not entirely worth it.
 The slightly redeeming factor was that we parked by the reservoir, so there was a hot breeze blowing (and any breeze is a good breeze when it's 98 degrees out), and Hattie had fun walking around and looking at the other children (all two of them).

So, I've got a FAN-tabulous idea. Winter-time fireworks, and I'm not talking about New Year's Eve midnight fireworks. I'm talking, shoot 'em off at dark (6:30 at the latest). Ooohh and aaahh over them, and get those children in their beds, and don't you even think about popping firecrackers All night long. Why oh why do fireworks have been SO late.

Emery made fun of me for this idea. Not because it's a bad idea (because it isn't), but because of how much it speaks about our phase of life. He said we wouldn't have even dreamed of saying that a few years ago. And he's right. But priorities do change, and like my daddy always said. "Nothing good ever happens after 10pm"

 

Monday, June 25, 2012

Recovery

Mondays are for recovering from the weekend. It doesn't matter if all you did was go to church on Sunday, you're still going to be exhausted come Monday morning.

And Mondays after a vacation makes the recovery all the more extreme.

Hattie and I had a lovely time at Camp. We both got along swimmingly (although there is strictly no swimming at camp).

Oh, but the coming home to our dear husband and daddy was maybe the best part of the week. We missed him so....I think Hattie especially felt her daddy's absence when she saw all the other children with their daddies. We just about wanted to jump up and down because we were so delighted to be all together again. I love being home. : )

Very sadly, Emery had to go to work today, even though I thought it was Sunday (again) when the alarm went off this morning. I'm thankful he has a job to go to.

OH!!!! It's my dad's first day at his NEW job. The job we've been praying would come along for the last 10 months. Whew, it's been a long time coming, but we're SOOOOOO thankful for how the LORD has provided and we're praying this job will be just right, and that dad will be just right for the job (and company).

It's my birthday week. I'm getting pretty old.

My brother, Asa, was telling me that on his birthday, he was blessed to spend it in service without anyone making a big to-do over him. And he enjoyed more than ever. The fact is, when you're expecting to be served and spoiled...your expectations are never quite fulfilled, and you end up a grump and not enjoying your special day at all. "The root of happiness is in the soil of service" - said a church sign that I saw recently, and they're right.
Did you ever see Shirley Temple's "The Little Princess"? On her birthday, she made sure to buy gifts for all of her friends, and she was just as happy as could be. Of course, they had cake and ice cream, and she received some gifts too, but her focus wasn't solely on herself.

I think the less I focus on me, and the more I focus of serving Christ and others, the happier I will be.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Concerning Cookies

I've got a weak spot for cookies.

Cookies over cake almost any day.

{Except in the circumstances where both are homemade, and then I'll probably sample both.}

In the gluten free world, cookies are usually just 'okay'. They can be too tender or gritty or hard or crumbly, but rarely are they perfect. This week, they were perfect.

You probably are familiar with the 1-1-1 peanut butter cookie recipe.
One cup of peanut butter
One cup of sugar
One egg

Those are pretty good. But make it even better by adding chocolate chips, vanilla, and baking soda.

I didn't measure anything in my 'perfect' cookies. (Much to my dismay). I didn't have full cup of peanut butter, so I just used what I had and visually matched it with the same amount of sugar. I think it was probably about 2/3 cup of each. The essential egg. A splash of vanilla - a healthy splash - and a few good shakes of baking soda (1/2 tsp maybe) and enough chocolate chips to go around thoroughly. Mix and drop onto greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 for 7-8 minutes (or 9, I think my oven might be slightly warmer than usual). Enjoy with a large glass of milk! : )

These were actually so good that Emery said if I could reproduce these exactly, I should go in the cookie making business. That, of course, is impossible for someone who doesn't measure...but I enjoyed the compliment nonetheless. It always makes my heart go pitter-patter whenever he proclaims anything I make to be the best he's had (admittedly, it's kind of rare.)

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Camp Moriah

What is it about a little camp in the backwoods of Mississippi that could possibly prompt families to drive hundreds of miles just to attend? Why would all that dirt, the mosquitoes, and the heat seem so desirous? If you've never attended, you probably wouldn't understand, but for those who show up year after year - you know. It's where the Spirit of the Lord is poured out richly. It's where lives are changed. It's where the gospel is preached over the sound of torrential rains (remember Abe Fulmer that one year?), and songs are sung at the top of our lungs. It's late night conversations and prayers. It's ultimate Frisbee, volleyball, basketball, softball, ping-pong, and canoe races...and the challenge. It's kitchen duty, and cooking for 300 people. It's laughter from countless children and friends and family reuniting from all over the country.

For us in Maryland, it's a thousand miles. It's a twenty hour drive and it's worth every minute to spend the best week of the summer with the people best loved.

I wasn't entertaining the slightest hope of being able to come to camp this year. I thought it far beyond my reach - and truthfully, it was - but the Lord has been opening the doors one by one, and I couldn't be more thrilled at the prospect of getting to spend a week Walnut, MS and hear the name of Christ proclaimed.

I wrote that three years ago this week. Then, like now, I didn't know I'd been able to go until the week before, and I was and am thrilled. This year, I'm not driving from 20+ hours overnight from Maryland. Praise the LORD. I don't think Hattie and I could do that. But 4.5 is plenty far, and close enough to just pack up and come home if we get entirely out of sorts.

The last time I was at Camp, the heat index was 113 degrees. It was stinkin' hot. (Quite literally, I assure you.) But I also got to see my dear Beau (Mr. Emery himself) for five evenings in a row, and it was then that he knew he loved me. The first night of camp, and the first I'd seen Emery in almost a month (we lived 20+ hours away from each other), I was kind of jittery and didn't know what to say, and before I knew it, I'd been drafted into helping serve the evening snack. So there I was, dishing out cheese/crackers/pepperoni to 250-ish people without so much as a spare moment to tell Emery where I was, and he had to go leave before I finished and we didn't even get to say good night. And I was upset. Distraught. "He's going to think I just wanted to get away from him!" - I lamented mentally - and that certainly was not the case. But the next morning, he came for breakfast before work and he had written me a little letter. I slipped off after he went to work to read it, and there it hit me "Dearest Elizabeth" and signed "Love, Emery"

Whoa.

He didn't think ill of me one iota for the evening before, and appreciated my servant's heart (if only he had known!).....and it was then, during camp, that I knew I could love this sweet sweet man. Even if it meant going gluten free with him and picking up his dirty socks - I was just trying to be prepared on that one, Emery does pick up his own socks. 


I'm sad Emery won't be there to reminisce with me. Our short and sweet courtship days. But it's been a BEAUTIFUL three years. And I'm awfully in love.

Oh wait, I was supposed to be talking about camp.

Well, camp is great. Hattie is going to have a ball making tons of new friends, and I'm going to really enjoy catching up with many old ones (and maybe some new ones too).  I'm very excited about it all.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Motherhood

Motherhood. I could never have imagined I would love it this much.

When I was a senior in high-school, we read the novel, The Awakening. I don't recommend it really, but what struck me about it at the time was the definition of the 'mother-women'.
It was easy to know them, fluttering about with extended, protecting wings when any harm, real or imaginary, threatened their precious brood. They were women who idolized their children, worshiped their husbands, and esteemed it a holy privilege to efface themselves as individuals and grow wings as ministering angels.
That quotation now seems to me to mock a woman who enjoys motherhood, and I don't doubt that was the intent. And it makes me rather mad.

But back then, it didn't seem as mocking, it just made me wonder whether I was a mother-woman. I was afraid the answer was no. I didn't love to hold other people's babies, or at least I didn't battle my aunts and cousins for the privilege. They seemed to need to hold every wee one that came around, but I didn't have that driving urge.  Other people's children were kind of annoying and burdensome, and I just didn't know if I could ever be a mother-woman.

When my sister-in-law, Karla, told me she was expecting their first child, I was elated. I was also sobered at the thought of the HIGH calling of motherhood. To train a child in the nurture and admonition of the LORD, to teach him/her all the things that must be taught, to love and sacrifice for. It was a humbling thing for me to even think about.

The years rolled along (as they always do), and here I am with my wonderful husband and darling 13 month old daughter, and I love everyday with them. We're a house full of sinner, don't get me wrong, and we've all got our shortcomings that need purging, but the gift of motherhood. It is sweet indeed.

I don't have a doubt anymore whether I am a mother-woman.

Being a wife and mother has been the most delightful joy of my life.

Only God could design the family, like He has, and make it so wonderful. Thank you, LORD!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Of pond scum

Last weekend (was it really JUST last weekend??, it's' been a long week), we tended to a lot of lawn work and rewarded ourselves by filling up the kiddie pool. Wellll, it was mostly for Hattie, but Emery and I had a fun time too. So, we played in the pool Saturday, and then again on Monday. By Monday, the water was as hot as bathwater, and not as enjoyable as the first time. We decided it was probably time to let the water out, and we pulled to plug and went inside to get dry.

Now, Monday night we had a rip-roaring storm. Thunder, lightning, the works. I love a good storm as much as anyone...but not quite as much when it wakes my baby...and not quite as much when the pool we're trying to drain accumulates rain water.

Tuesday and Wednesday we stayed inside and didn't venture out the pool at all, but on Thursday I thought I would fill it up again and Hattie and I would splash around a bit. After dumping the leftover water and rinsing it off, I proceeded to fill the pool. My first clue should have been all the transparent, fiber-like thingies in the water, but I ignored them (for a while)....and then we stepped in and felt it....slime! Not exactly green slime, but the bottom of the pool was definitely slimy and icky.

Now Hattie loves her some pool time. She doesn't want to sit in the water, she just wants to splash a little and be wet generally. I knew she wasn't going to be eager to come back in the house right away, so I tried to rub off the slippery film from the pool with my feet- which didn't work very well - but was enough so she wouldn't go sliding around when she walked.

I sat there and watched her, and the longer I sat there and watched those stinkin' fibers float around, the more grossed out I was getting and the more I was praying that she wouldn't try to drink any of the pool water today...because I was just sure she'd get an amoeba and die. I tried to reason with myself and say that it was just about the same as playing in a pond, but without the fish poop. But that logic didn't really work, because I'm not about to let my baby play in a pond.

When I could stand it no longer, we pulled the plug and drained the pool as fast as possible, and leaned it up against the fence to dry out thoroughly this time. Today, I broke out the hibicleanse (which is what my midwife recommended for cleaning the birthing pool before we filled it up {which by the way, is the same pool we're playing in this summer and no, I didn't have a waterbirth}) and scrubbed that pool till it shone...or would have shone, if it wasn't plastic.

When we lived in Vicksburg, our apartment complex had a swimming pool, but instead of draining  or covering it during the winter, they just let it go....and it was SOOOOOO gross. I mean, the gate was locked, and no one could get near it really, but it turned all the way brown and I'm sure fed the growth of the mosquito population in that county. It really looked like a pond. It took them about a month of pumping chemicals for it to start looking like a pool again.

So let this be a lesson to you because I hate pond scum.


Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Das Protein Bars

We live in the South. Everybody thinks they can speak a little Spanish. El Cheapo. El road-o. uno, dos tres, etc etc etc. I don't count myself the exception because I've been just as guilty of butchering that beautiful language.
BUT in the Sayre household, we have graduated. To German. Ever since Volkswagon came out out with that commercial with the slogan being"Das Auto", we've been throwing Das around like it was going out of style, and adding a throaty German accent to make it authentic. Thus, das protein bars.

These protein bars are not my original creation. You can find original over at Passionate Homemaking, but as most recipes that come into my kitchen, I've tweaked it a little.

  • 2cups almonds
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds (or flax, chia, or pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter (if using unsalted peanut butter and sunflower seeds, you might want to add in 1/2 tsp sea salt)
  • 1/2 cup butter (or coconut oil)
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 2-3tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup chocolate morsels
First off, put your butter in a small pot on the stove and melt over low heat. While that's melting, you can tend to the rest of it. If you have a food processor, this will be extra easy....I don't have a food processor, but I do have a little chopper. So in my chopper, I put the almonds and sunflower seeds.  Hattie held on for dear life while I was whirring the nuts because she's terribly afraid of the chopper (and blender, and vacuum). Throw your ground nuts into a medium sized bowl, and then put your dried fruit and shredded coconut into the chopper. For my most recent batch, I used prunes with 'orange essence', and I think the orange and the chocolate go beautifully together, yum. I've also used dried cranberries, raisin, and craisins with good success, but not quite as yummy as the orange-prunes. Chop up the coconut and fruit and add to your bowl with the nuts. Now your butter is probably melted, so go ahead and add your peanut butter to the pan let that get melty too. You don't have to melt the peanut butter, but it's a lot easier to mix in if you do. Take it off the heat and stir in the honey and vanilla, and then add that to the nut and fruit mixture. Stir until well incorporated and press into an 8x8 pan. Melt your chocolate morsels over low heat, and spread over fruit/nut mix. Make sure you smooth the chocolate over the whole pan and into the corners. Cover and chill before serving and store in the fridge. These also work great if you cut them into bars and wrap in foil individually and keep them in the freezer for on-the-go snacks.

I realize that looks like a crazy lot of directs for these little protein bars, but the quick and easy version is this:
 Grind up the hard stuff.
Melt the soft stuff/add liquids.
Stir up.
Press into pan.
Cover with Chocolate.

Easy Peasy.


Hattie has found herself a happy little cubby-hole to play in...in the bottom of our china cabinet. I didn't want her to at first, and tried to keep it blocked off, but she looks so stinking cute playing in there, what's a mama to do?

This morning, about 4am, I started thinking about the possibility of going to Camp. Camp Moriah, that is. It's a little overwhelming, and I'm not exactly sure what Emery thinks about us going (he'd have to stay here and work), but it's exciting too. I haven't been in three years. Since before we were married. It's such a powerful, wonderful, tiring week, but I've never done it with a baby in tow. Maybe we could only stay a couple of days...but it would be worth it, I think. Spiritual rejuvenation, fellowship with dear friends, and Hattie love love LOVES children, I think she would have a ball, in spite of the heat and dirt. So pray for us to have wisdom and discernment, if you think of it, of whether we should try to go or not.

Oh, and our meeting is this weekend! Elder Bradley will be with us Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday morning and afternoon, and Sunday morning. I think this marks his 54th year of coming to our church to preach this meeting. Isn't that neat?

Happy Wednesday y'all!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Consignment Shops

I <3 consignment shops.

I love getting good quality clothes for reasonable prices. (BUT I do not like when my formerly favorite consignment store - which shall remain nameless to protect the guilty - gets a big head and up their prices every other week. That does not float my boat. at. all.)

I don't love thrift stores because I don't have time to sift through four miles of junk for get one really good shirt for a quarter.

No, no, no. I'll gladly pay a little more for concise organization.

Anywho, I'd been directed to the Bargain Boutique, a consignment shop run by the Junior League of Jackson. And I'm hooked. With a whopping $30 to spend, I was able to find two shirts, two skirts, and a belt with a couple of dollars to spare! Whoot-whoot. Thank the LORD because HE knows my closet is in desperate need of some revamping!

Now if only they would open a second location a little bit closer to my side of town, that would be delight. : )


Saturday, June 2, 2012

Saturdays and Swimming Pools

Thank you LORD for Saturdays and kiddie pools. They help make my life delightful.


Yesterday, I dug out our 'birthing pool'. I didn't end up going near the pool while I was in labor, and it's just a deep-ish kiddie pool besides. After much huffing and puffing, it was fully inflated. I think it may have won Best New Toy of 2012 for Hattie.
She LOVED playing in the dry pool in our living room. It was more fun than a barrel of monkeys.  She was actually having so much fun, that I wasn't entirely sure she'd appreciate it as much after there was water in it.
Emery had a date with the lawn mower and hedge trimmers this morning, so after he finished up, we filled up the pool, and we were all in love.

Perfectly relaxing. Emery could rest his head on one edge and his feet on the other. Just Perfect.