Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Bruschetta and other culinary endeavors

So last week I posted a picture of the beautiful produce I bought at the Farmer's Market. I just had to show off what we ended up doing with it...
I steamed the green beans, toasted some almonds and tossed them together with a little butter. We used the tomatoes and basil to make bruschetta - so delicious! And served them both with some chicken.

Another cooking endeavor this last week was homemade yogurt. Greg and I have been on a plain yogurt kick lately. They started selling some really yummy plain yogurt at Walmart. We've been adding frozen blueberries, vanilla, and a little sugar to it... oh man, I can just eat and eat it. But it's pretty expensive. I found a recipe online to make your own yogurt in your slow-cooker. So I decided to try it. Greg was VERY skeptical! I told him I wouldn't make him eat it. But I just had to try and see if it would work - and it did! It's slightly runnier than the store version (I noticed they put pectin in the brand that we buy to make it thicker)... but other than that you can't even tell a difference. Even Greg agrees. If you love plain yogurt and are feeling brave enough to try it, I found the recipe on this post from A Year of Slow Cooking.

Any day now...

My official due date is... tomorrow! I can't believe it's here. Of course, we don't know when the little guy will actually be born. But it really could (and will) happen any time now. Still no name... Yikes!

I know I haven't posted many prego pictures... So here I am today...
Also, check out Greg's blog for pics of Elisa from this week.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Free Museum Day

Just a little plug for Free Museum Day. Greg and I have taken advantage of this in year's past... but we won't be able to go this year. Hopefully some of you will.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Reasons to be thankful

This week I find myself being thankful for so many things.

Last week Greg and I realized just how tight our money is (and is going to be for the next few months) as we pay for the birth of baby #2. At first I was a little bit in shock, then I started to think, "it's impossible... we can't live on that", then I started to feel hopeful. Like, maybe God wants us to be ultra dependent on Him. Maybe He wants to show us, once again, how He always provides for us.

I remember when Greg was just finishing grad school. We had a few months left to pay for His school. Even though we were living very frugally we found that our money just wasn't stretching far enough. My work was extremely slow... and they had started cutting back on my hours. We had drained our savings... we had no reserves. I look back on that and think, God helped us through that and provided for us through that... and He's going to do it again!

And He has amazed me again and again with the way He provides. We've had people loan us so many things for Baby Boy - a changing table, a bumbo seat, tons of clothes, cloth diapers... it's been such a blessing. And then this last week a friend loaned me a bunch of winter clothes for Elisa. She was starting to need some new clothes, and these came just in time. We've received money from unexpected places. And even though the library cut my hours back, I feel so thankful for the fact that I've been able to make some money other ways (sewing, babysitting, and consigning old Elisa items). I just have felt really encouraged and thankful to God for each little thing He gives us.

Today Elisa and I had to do a little grocery shopping/errand running. As we were getting ready to leave (you know, filling water bottles, getting snacks, putting on shoes and socks) she saw me stuffing her diapers and wipes into my purse... she ran up and started stuffing Itty and a stuffed dog into my purse with a very serious expression... like "hey mom, we're going to need these too." Then she ran and got my little alarm clock, the dental floss, a jellyfish toy, and a rattle for one of her dolls and put those in the purse too. She was very intent on bringing everything. She can be such a little hoarder sometimes. I hate to see how big her purse is when she grows up.

Anyway, just had to share with you some of my purchases from when we were out... I find myself being even more thankful for the food that God gives us money to buy. And who can help but be thankful when it's this good!

Fresh tomatoes, basil and green beans from the Farmer's Market

And... I was SO excited when I saw this in the grocery store today... it's here! Candy Cane Lane Tea. I think I can safely say that it's my favorite tea ever. We always buy a ton at Christmas time so that we can drink it throughout the year. But due to poor planning last year, we ran out shortly after Christmas. When I showed Greg that I found it, he did a little happy jumping dance around the house and then gave me a big hug! I think I'll go make a cup now...

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Bubble Pictures

Elisa has been obsessed with bubbles lately. In the morning after she eats breakfast the first thing she wants to do is go outside and blow bubbles. And many other times throughout the day she demands: "BUBBLES! BUBBLES!" Here are some pictures from today...

She's quite a cutie! She actually smiled for this picture!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Learning to Draw

Okay, first off - a disclaimer: I feel a little weird about this post. But, I did tell a couple people that I would put some of my artwork from class on my blog, and here it is... (and it's only taken me 5 months now to do it.)

So this last Spring I took my second drawing class... this time it was Figure Drawing. (The year before I took Drawing I). I am always intimidated and insecure to be taking these classes... especially since I'm taking them with almost all art majors. But it has been so good for me.

The thing I've learned most of all is that drawing is a lot of work! I really am starting to believe that anyone can learn to draw. It's just that most of us get frustrated and stop trying somewhere around middle school. Some people have a more natural talent for "seeing" how to convert a 3-D object onto a flat piece of paper... but that does not mean that the rest of us can't draw, it just means we have to work a little harder to be able to "see" too. The book Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain talks about this and has wonderful exercises to do to teach yourself how to draw.

Back to Figure Drawing though... Each class night we had a model. We would start out with the model posing for only 2-5 minutes and we had to capture the pose within that time. They called this "gesture drawing." Then we would work up to longer poses... sometimes having up to 15 minutes per pose. I definitely improved a lot over the course of the semester... I didn't upload any of my worst earliest drawings... I should have. Sorry, I've put them all away now (convenient, huh?). But here are some of my better drawings from the class periods:

We also had outside assignments that we had to do for the class. Here they are:

Anyway, I guess the big lesson that I've learned from taking these classes is that I need to press on and just do it... even when I feel afraid, intimidated, and uncomfortable. If I had let my fear of what other people would think of my poor drawing skills stop me from taking these classes, then I never would have improved. I feel like so often I let my fear stop me from doing the things I need to or want to do.