Tuesday, December 9, 2014

My Little Beverage Christmas Tree

It was our friends, the Ives, that first called us "the beverage family."

It is not that we drink so many different types of beverages, but we drink our favorites often. (all day)

And, when you visit, you will often hear, "would you like something to drink?" (the tea kettle is our favorite kitchen tool)

So, it seem appropriate that I have a little beverage tree.

I love having this small pre-lit table top tree.

The tree topper captures the heart of beverages, eh?

 Would you like your tea in a cup and saucer?

At our house, we often brew tea in a tea pot.

Being a Seattle girl, I can also offer you Starbucks.

Or Caribou, from our years in Minneapolis.

Perhaps you prefer hot chocolate.

We always stock plenty of our favorites. 

I am always on the hunt for a small beverage ornament when we travel.

Two years ago, I discovered the little beverage tree fits in one of my favorite crocks. This makes me happy. And the mini tree quilt was made by my sweet mom, Hallie.

We have a big tree, too, with our ornament collection from around the world.

Please stop in and see my little beverage tree. I would be happy to pop the kettle on.


Saturday, December 6, 2014

A Childers' Classic ~ Red Beans and Rice

It is always a happy day for me, when Dave cooks dinner. And when he pulls out a Childers' classic ... yum.

Red Beans and Rice is a simple meal with lots of flavor. You do not have to cook the rice ahead, so it is pretty quick, too. Along with a side salad that I made yesterday, dinner was perfect.

Red Beans and Rice
1 slice bacon, chopped
1 cup chopped onion
14 ounces chicken broth
1 cup brown rice
3/4 cup celery
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper sauce
1 can kidney beans
1 green pepper, in strips

Cook bacon in skillet. Remove and cook onions in drippings until tender. Add bacon, broth, uncooked rice, celery, hot sauce and salt. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 50 minutes.

Add beans and pepper strips. Simmer 5 more minutes.

Serve in warm tortillas. (It is great alone, too.)

ps. We like this so much we double or triple the recipe.


Friday, November 14, 2014

Texas or Bust or The Soli Sisters

Since its beginning, I have happily been a part of The Soli Deo Gloria Sisterhood. I call them The Soli Sisters ... a group of lovely, honest, funny bloggers who love life and Jesus.

This weekend, I am flying to Texas to meet several of them at a retreat. Wonderful friends that I love, but have never met in person. I can hardly wait.

I have a sister.in.law and niece in Texas, who are joining me. Wish y'all could come, too.


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Dreams (the kind you have while sleeping)

Dave always laughs when I tell him about my dreams, because I have some strange ones. Do you pay attention to your dreams? 

For me, I have noticed a pattern of dreams that show up if I am stressed. I have three recurring dreams and the further down the list it goes, the more stressed I am. 

     *my college dream ~ it is half way through a college year or near the end of the semester. I have forgotten where my classrooms are located. I have forgotten to attend class or do any homework. And ... it is time to take a test. (poor me)

     *my school teacher dream ~ it is the first day of class. I have forgotten to fix up my classroom. I have forgotten to make lesson plans. And ... the students and parents are arriving. (poor me)

     *my communist dream ~ in this dream someone is always hunting me down. It has some variations but it is always scary. (poor me)

And now some encouragement for you as you sleep tonight ... 

     *"I lay down and slept, I awoke again for the Lord sustained me." (Psalm 3:5)

     *"In peace I will both lie down and sleep, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety." (Psalm 4:8)

Years ago, I had a friend calligraphy these two verses for my bedroom wall. Dave was traveling a lot and I was home alone with two babies. So much comfort. 

How about you? Do you have any recurring dreams?

ps. If you are a therapist ... please do not read this post. :)    


Thursday, October 30, 2014

Day 30 and 31 ~ Connection (confessions of a recovering connection addict)

I have a love/hate relationship with connection. I love feeling connected to those I care about and I hate seasons of disconnection. I highly value connection.

My tendency is to feel safe, productive and happy when genuine connection is happening. I feel like I can handle anything that comes my way. This is especially true of my connection with Dave.

When we are disconnected, I feel mostly ... fear and insecurity. 

Quite naturally, with very little effort, Dave and I connect well 

          *when we are on vacation. So we love mini
            vacations throughout the year. 

          *when we are on dates, even something as
            simple as a cup of coffee together.

          *when we are in crisis, even a crisis of
            our own making. We become a team,
            spending lots of time talking, praying,
            supporting each other and problem
It is in our daily normal living that connection is harder, wonky, even sometimes disappointing. This is where we have to have intentional and thoughtful plans. It does not happen naturally.

This used to freak me out, as I often let a normal season of disconnection send me spiraling down a very unhealthy path. It was easy for me to shut down and even easier for me to blame Dave.

In case your wondering, this did not lead me to more connection. (do not try this at home) 

With the help of a therapist, I learned that connection is something that ebbs and flows. No one can be connected all of the time. And I learned healthier ways to ask for what I needed and wanted.

As a third culture kid, I think this will always be a struggle for me ... but an honest look at it has really helped.

Now you know why we love drinking coffee together ... for fun and connection.

How do you stay connected to those you love? 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Day 23 - 29 ~ Mini vacation in Door County

Right in the middle of my 31 day blogging series and my 28 day clean eating detox ~ we decided to take  some time away from the city and head to Door County, WS for a few days.

Not exactly the best timing for me, but I never miss an opportunity to hang out with my adventuresome husband. Dave is the quintessential tour guide.

Before we even left home, he had already scoped out the best coffee shops along the way. (my one and very fun concession to vacation and detox)

This picture just makes me very happy.  

Door Country is a beautiful peninsula in Wisconsin, with over 300 miles of shoreline. We enjoyed all of it. Beautiful parks, lots of water and gorgeous trees. We went the week after the peak season, to avoid crowds. 

When we were on this hike, I kept saying, "we are NOT in Chicago."


So much fun being together ... 


We are very wimpy in the drinking department, so we split a wine tasting. (really) And because of the detox, I only had a tiny sip. And Dave did not finish any of them. (I am sure the hostess thought we were nuts)

We also stopped in Green Bay, so Dave could greet one of childhood heros,

and, do the lambo leap.

We figured out that if we timed our drive home, we would arrive in Chicago just in time to hear one of my favorite writers, Jan Karon, speak. Miss Karon was southern, charming, very funny and shared her love for Jesus.

It is always hard to come home from a vacation, even a short one. But we came home to this charming next door neighbor. Yup, that helps.

When was the last time you got away?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Day 22 ~ Us

Dave and I are on a mini-vacation in Door County, WS. We love short breaks and it is always nice to get away from the hub bub of the city for a little while. 

This was a fun moment, as I took a tiny break from my clean eating to enjoy a delicious cup of coffee at Colectivo Coffee in Milwaukee, WS. I passed up tons of other treats and goodies all day ... but boy did I enjoy that coffee.

But mostly ... a day of talking, walking and site seeing with Dave. (my husband is the quintessential tour guide)

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