About Me

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Huntsville, AL, United States
Blessed to be the wife of Mickey, mother to Eli (b. 2001) and Malachi (b. 2003), school librarian. Saved in 1991 by baptism into the Lord Christ. Sinner whose transgressions continue to be washed in His blood.

23 August 2008

ode (not literally) to the chocolate chip cookie

It's been at least three months since my last post, I think. Life has been lived in the meantime. A LARGE LOT of life: good, busy, rewarding, memorable, happy.

I have a confession to make: I was introduced to chocolate chip cookies about ten years ago, and have enjoyed their morsels of sheer delight ever since, but they always came to me either from a store-purchased package (thank you, thank you, Chips Ahoy!) or from somebody else's kitchen. Perhaps a time or two I baked some with major help from a celebrated doughboy. By the way, check his website for a stellar recipe collection, including a chorus girl cookie!


I avoided using peanuts and tree nuts in the kitchen once Malachi was confirmed as allergic to these ingredients / snacks. Recently the doctor also recommended that I also have him avoid food packaged with the warning "made on shared equipment" or "may contain traces of...". This has brought me to buying a considerably long list of items in order to make some chocolate-chip cookies, that Malachi really likes. Actually he would eat and/or drink almost anything that involves chocolate. Finally, on a reasonable Saturday late afternoon, several celestial bodies aligned the right way for the made-from-scratch cookies to happen in our own home. Any recipe that begins with 1/2 cup shortening and 1/2 cup butter is bound to be scrumptious. The adventure of mixing and tasting, and licked bowls and spatulas began. Both boys got on board.

By the time the first batch of cookies came sweetly out of the oven, we were almost too full of dough to try any. But there is something irresistible about the fresh, hot, tantalizing aroma of a load of chocolate chips held together by tiny amounts of dough.

Then and there, under my very eyes, for a brief fleeting moment, smiling boyhood shook hands with milk and cookies. Happiness visited us among loud laughter (she does so frequently) and I thanked HIM for the look on their faces and the yummy smears of chocolate around their mouths.

12 April 2008

sofa slipcovers linked to weight gain!

Once upon a time there was a masculine sofa upholstered in stripes of dark burgundy, green and ochre. Good, solid sofa. Mickey's sofa that he purchased in the early nineties for his starter home, before I entered the picture. With great effort and sweat - Jeff, Rob, and Kevin, our gratitude will never end - it made it into the playroom of our new house in April 2007. You have to see the narrow stairways, with a small landing at the bottom, to gain some understanding of what it took these brave men to maneuver and carry the good, solid, and HEAVY sofa all the way into that room above the garage. Please, don't misunderstand me. There is nothing wrong about the early nineties and/or masculine sofas. Absolutely nothing. However, when it is the turn of a new generation to use it, it can definitely use a tiny bit of help. Think about it. The 90s sofa is now the playground of two boys born post-2000. I agree. It probably never entered THEIR minds that their comfy seats were in need of an update, but it entered mine a long time ago. And what would be easier than a nice, ready-made, machine-washable, 100% cotton slipcover in a color that looks a little more like the first decade of the 21st century? I did have serious doubts though. I even remembered a TV segment (maybe on the Today show) where somebody demonstrated how to cover a sofa for the sole purpose of seeing whether it would look like the picture on the package. And it didn't... but I finally decided that they probably came a long way in slipcover manufacturing since then. I made up my mind to give it a try myself. Thus, on a Saturday not too long ago, between afternoon and evening, the inevitable happened. I returned home from Target with a baby present for a baby shower - the main purpose of the shopping trip. I warned Mickey: "sorry, that's not all I bought." It did sadden him a little to learn that some brand new home decor items were still in the back of the van. In addition to the slipcover I acquired a few toss pillows and a small kitchen rug with a rubbery back, much needed little rug because the one we have keeps sliding when you stand on it to wash the dishes. Rather hazardous, wouldn't you agree? Well, I cooked a healthy dinner of broiled salmon and steamed vegetables for the four of us, I washed the dishes - the new rug didn't slip from under my feet, yippee!- and then, you guessed it, I went upstairs to slipcover the sofa. It was a real wrestling match, with the cushions now winning, now losing. I had to go around the sofa to work on the back, almost on my knees because the roof slopes drastically along that side of the room, and any sudden move can result in head injuries against the low ceiling. It was a real workout with excess fabric having to be tucked in everywhere. After finishing the job, hot and tired from all the exertion, I made a quick stop at our freezer and gobbled up an Archer Farms premium dipped chocolate ice cream bar with rich chocolate coating. The whole 230 calories, 22 g sugar, and 15 g of fat!! Right after that perfect dinner of lean fish and veggies! As for the slipcover, here are some lessons learnt:

1. set the thermostat in the room where you install the slipcover at about 50 F.
2. work with a buddy.
3. drink plenty of water.
4. before you begin, determine that your reward will be something like a new pair of pointy shoes in your favorite hue, NOT something that will make your taste buds dance with delight!

In conclusion, does the masculine, now for-the-boys sofa look exactly like the one pictured on the bag? Well, no. Not really. It mainly has to do with the fact that it should have been ironed after it came out of its bag. You won't believe what ad I came across on my e-way to the Blogger Dashboard. A Rowenta Iron and Steamer!! In the ad, a beautiful woman, dressed in what looked like a business suit, held the iron like a gun, and shot at an invisible target with a long stream of hot, hot, hot steam. She seemed ecstatic. Yes, that's exactly what my new slipcover would love. There is only one tiny obstacle: the unbelievable Rowenta Iron and Steamer is about $155 before shipping and handling. For now, it will have to be put on hold. Mickey doesn't need to become any sadder.

The beauty of the whole story is this: Eli lost a tooth on Sunday, during Bible class; when he discovered the new look of the sofa, on Monday morning, he excitedly yelled from upstairs that the tooth fairy got him a new sofa. And because the plastic bag in which the slipcover was packed was still on the floor, he told us the new sofa came out of that bag! That tooth fairy is a darling, if you ask me.

Thanks for reading!

Slipcovered sofa with unidentified non-flying object on the floor.
Not exactly "like the picture", but not too bad (above).

Good picture for an I spy exercise (below).

06 April 2008

of bats and baseballs

Words like baseballs and baseball bats were not even part of my passive vocabulary until a few years ago. I vaguely knew the definitions of pitch, catch, bunt, and home run. Not surprisingly, baseball and beauty didn't go together in my book until Eli became a player. (See how intensely he watches the ball and is ready to take off?)
And not just a player, but an enthusiastic, ready-to-train-at-any-hour-for-as-long-as-possible athlete. Also, is there a Braves match on TV? He must watch it. Is there a baseball book in the library? He must check it out and read it. Is there an article on baseball in Sport Illustrated Kids? He must read it. Rules have to be learnt, throws have to be practiced in the back yard with the youth trainer net, and runs must be completed to improvised bases. Eli's school report on a non-fiction book was based on "Play Ball!" by James Buckley Jr. A whole new world has been formed and is evolving right under my eyes.

It is contagious, too. Since Target has some peel'n stick baseball wall decor, the boys' bedroom and bathroom has recently acquired a touch of vintage baseball: "power hitter", "grand slam", "slugger", "it's outta here", "defense", "great at bat", "star player", "gold glove catch" and a couple of other baseball phrases look quite at home above their windows, bunk beds, and towel bars. (Make sure you click on the pictures for a bigger view.) And all of a sudden, baseball is b e a u t i f u l! Thank God for little boys, and a game that gives them the opportunity to use some of the abilities with which their Creator has blessed them. Thank you for reading. And for watching "Eli Runs Home." :)

03 April 2008

april in alabama

Psalm 96:11-13 (NIV)

Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let the sea resound, and all that is in it;

12 let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them.
Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy;

13 they will sing before the LORD, for He comes,
He comes to judge the earth.
He will judge the world in righteousness
and the peoples in His truth.

I have taken snapshots of trees in blossom for the last two days. They are laden with pink, white, and tender green. And definitely they are singing for joy before the Lord. All you have to do is listen and get lost in their beauty. Then your heart hears the praises brought with boughs lifted towards heaven. How ravishing their blooms are, how fine and fragile. April in Alabama is a magnificent song of praise sprinkled with renewing showers, quiet and strong, filling the soul to the brim. Praise the Lord for His mighty power, and praise Him for cool refreshing Aprils in Alabama.

30 March 2008

a spring tea party

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 1:2

Our second annual church tea party was held on Saturday, 29 March, at 2 p.m. It was a wonderful event, filled with beautiful china pieces, fresh flowers, dainty napkins and scrumptious treats. Janie Tanton and her helpers prepared "easy" cranberry and blueberry scones, lemon curd, mock Devonshire clotted cream, chicken salad , cucumber, and creamed cheese sandwiches. I couldn't stop eating!

Distinguished sisters and friends fellowshipped in the Lord. The music was lovely.
Door prizes were won (not by me -- oh, well). The youngest party guest, baby Chloe, was a joy. Thanks for coming with your precious treasure, Ada!!

Nancy and I used white, ivory, pink and green on our "Mother Goose" tea table. The place cards had a nursery rhyme on one side, and the word welcome on the other. Nancy glued small feathered geese onto wooden baby blocks. Each goose had a pink or light green ribbon tied around her neck. The centerpiece was a spectacular small arrangement in white and pink by Suzanne, Mickey's cousin, placed in a musical tea pot.

A picture of Clarissa's "Royal Tea" table (below). Clarissa, I'd like to post your writing on the table inspiration. Wonderful connection!

Clarissa and Abbie getting ready the afternoon's performance. Bravo!

Very grateful to and for Christie McKee, Janie Tanton, and everyone else who made the tea party such a blessed gathering.
I don't want to rush time, but I look forward to next year's tea party! :)
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23 March 2008

Easter Bunny

After a more than satisfying and delicious breakfast at church on Easter Sunday (cannot even begin to describe the wealth of breakfast casseroles, fruit, rolls, muffins, and other treats) we went to Tellini's for a light lunch. There we were greeted by the Easter Bunny, a kind lady who gave the boys Easter eggs filled with yummy chocolates. It was her birthday. Thank you for dressing up like the Easter Bunny on your birthday and spreading some Easter cheer, kind lady. Eli was only partially excited, but Malachi - happy soul - was ready to have the best time.
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Easter Sunday

Mark 16 (NIV)
The Resurrection
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. 2Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb 3and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

4But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. 5As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

6"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. 7But go, tell His disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see Him, just as He told you.' "

8Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

The weather outside was quite chilly, but inside the church the service was filled with the Spirit and with praises coming from the full hearts of the saved. We heard testimonies from New Testament characters beautifully voiced by a group of talented and gifted church members.

Eli and Malachi didn't mind the cold during the egg hunt - which proved to be a very short one. Most eggs were in pretty baskets by the time we brought our boys outside from their classes. At home they opened their baskets dropped at the front door by the Easter Bunny himself! It was wonderful to have Nancy and Bob with us, to enjoy such a special day. The Lord is risen!

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