January 31, 2011

Lily Lu'sday

Before the ruby slippers . . .

Somewhere over the rainbow . . .

Moriah Monday

Dress up princess . . . she's such a diva.

January 27, 2011

Translation Please!

Do you need help communicating with your spouse? There's hope! :-)

January 24, 2011

A Little Momma

Moriah has been picking up everything I do, from social interactions to how I do normal everyday tasks. I'm pretty sure that she's always done that. She even mimics my tone of voices, and (horribly) my poor attitudes. She has earned the nickname, Mimi, short for mini-Me.

She has been watching carefully how I play with Shiphrah. She imitates it almost exactly the same as I do. There was one occasion where Shiphrah was laying by herself on a bed or in the bouncing seat and Moriah comes up to her and does the same funny baby faces that she's seen me do. Shiphrah eats this up and will readily laugh at her just like she does at me! And I'm watching the two of them and laughing myself! I pray that when the time comes, she will be a well-prepared, gracious, content Momma.

January 19, 2011

Snow Day!

There's always so much excitement for children when the heavens open up and snow down! I have such fond memories as a younger and older child playing in the snow in Northern Virginia! When it snowed 6 inches last week here in Atlanta I was so excited to get the girls all bundled up to go outside and play and take lots of pictures!

Lily wasn't so thrilled about walking in the snow in her rubber boots. She kept getting stuck in the snow. For her the snow was so alluring and she wanted to play and have fun, but couldn't get past the difficulty walking. Maybe next year, if we're blessed with snow she'll have more fun. Moriah was so excited to play in the snow, especially throw snow balls at everyone! A family up the street came to our cul-de-sac to sled down the hill and we were able to meet our neighbors. And they graciously shared their sled with us and the girls enjoyed riding around the circle on the sled. Both girls were very upset when the time came to return inside. Enjoy the pictures.

January 18, 2011

Do The Twist!: Soft Baked Pretzels

I love soft baked pretzels! We have a membership at Sam's Club and almost every time I go, I have to get one of the soft pretzels! (They're only $1.00!) I came across this recipe in the December 2010 edition of Food & Wine magazine and was really excited to give it a try. All the ingredients are normal stocks for any baker and therefore would be very inexpensive to make. I really enjoyed this experience and the outcome . . . ooh, yummy! Enjoy!

German-Style Pretzels
Active: 45 min Total: 4 hrs Makes 8 pretzels

3 and 3/4 cups bread flour, plus more for dusting
1 and 1/2 cups warm water
1 and 1/4 tsp active dry yeast
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
2 quarts water for boiling
1/2 cup baking soda
coarse or pretzel salt

In the bowl of a standing electric mixer with dough hook, combine flour, warm water, yeast, salt and butter. Knead on medium speed until evenly moistened, about 2 minutes. Knead on high speed until smooth, elastic dough clings to the hook, about 8 minutes.

Transfer the dough to a floured surface and cover loosely with a dry towel for 5 minutes.

Cut the dough into 8 pieces and form each into a ball. Re-cover with the towel and allow to rest for another 5 minutes.

On an unfloured surface roll each ball into a rope, tapering the ends. Shape into a "U", cross the ends twice to make the twist, then bring the ends to the bottom of the "U" and press the tips into it. Place on a baking sheet lined with wax paper and let stand uncovered in a warm place 45 minutes or until slightly risen. Then refrigerate uncovered 2 hours or overnight.

To bake: preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Dissolve baking soda in 2 quarts of boiling water. Boil each pretzel for 30 seconds, then drain on a wire rack before salting with coarse salt. Bake on top and middle racks in the oven until they are shiny brown and risen, about 17 minutes. Shift the pans half way through baking, if applicable. Let cool slightly before serving.

  • The whole wheat flour held together much better than with all-purpose flour and looked much more attractive as real pretzels once they were finished.
  • When using all-purpose flour, be careful that the dough doesn't rise too much if you really want them to maintain their pretzel appearance.
  • Use a little bit of water on your hands to help roll the dough into ropes.
  • When boiling the white flour pretzels, it might be better to do them one at a time instead of several at once, so that each pretzel will stay well-formed and won't boil longer than intended.
  • Do not bake the pretzels on the parchment paper because they will stick once they are cooled! It might be better to bake them directly on a cookie sheet greased with butter.
  • I used salted butter and they came out wonderfully. I never use unsalted butter because I'm too cheap to buy it special when I have the other always in stock.

January 17, 2011

Shiphrah Is Five Months!

I can't believe that our baby is five months already. (I think I always say that! :-) She is finding new ways to entertain herself with her mouth. Two Sundays ago, while in church, she learned how to press her lips together and blow air through them, making a farting type noise. :-) It's so funny! Then yesterday afternoon she started to poke out her bottom lip while sucking the top one in. I think she learned this from Moriah. She did it quite a lot, but not because she was unhappy, but it too was hilarious. I hope that she doesn't grow any more because this age is too precious.

I'm sorry this picture is a little fuzzy.

January 8, 2011


Last week Jeramy and I heard a sermon that really encouraged us from Mark 6:31-44. (The sermon is not yet uploaded on the website, but check back HERE to listen to this great message from God's Word.)

What I noticed in this passage is that Christ recognized their need for rest. Notice that they could not even eat in peace and they were constantly on the go. They were so physically and emotionally drained that they were crying out for rest and Christ recognized that. He even commanded that they go to the other side of the Sea of Galilee to rest. But instead of getting a much needed rest, they were met (or bombarded) with a great group of people. Instead of getting angry or bitter, it says that Christ had compassion on them!

When I need a break from the demands, whining and complaining of raising my children, finding compassion for them when my own physical needs are being neglected is difficult. (And I know that I'm not being pushed nearly as much as they probably were.) But the Holy Spirit encouraged me this afternoon with this passage from John chapter 14:

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father.

Whatever you ask in My name, that will I do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son."

Because Christ has regenerated my heart and allowed me to have faith in Him, I am able to have compassion in those really tired draining moments. And I will be able to do works "even greater than these"!

Oh Lord, give me grace so that I may obey Your word and glorify Your name.

January 5, 2011

Lily Is Two!

Happy Birthday Lily! She turned two years old Tuesday, the 4th! We celebrated with G'Wonka (that's how Lily says G'Wanda :-) and Grandma Jane the Saturday before. Enjoy the pictures.