Saturday, January 19, 2008

The Art Princess

Our Amanda is a self-proclaimed "Art Princess". And you know what? I think she's right. I vow to stock this house up with art media galore so she can be the best Art Princess she is meant to be.

She came home from the Play Center with this rendition of us, the Family:

And the Art Princess' artillery: (don't you like her love note to Daddy?)

Totally absorbed in her work:

"Momma, could you take pictures of Abby instead? I'm busy."

This was taken shortly after Abigail got into her art material (funny Ferengi nose!):

But then, who can resist a plucky sister like Abby? Not Amanda:

(Click on photos for larger images)

I love, love, love these girls.

Friday, January 18, 2008

Stepping back to really see my children

At times I get so caught up in the minutiae of being a mother that I forget who I'm mothering. What is the reason for my effort? I catch myself saying, "Hurry, hurry, hurry!" to be on time to an event I signed my children up for, FOR THEIR ENRICHMENT... I fret over a mismatched outfit that Amanda proudly and independently put together... I furrow my brow when the girls aren't compliant and exert their own minds. The thing that made me cringe the most was this callous thought: "I can't wait until Abigail turns 13 months so I can stop nursing and have the freedom to really do the things I want to do."

I say I'd lay down my life for them, yet I don't hold sacred the work of building them up - I've been gifted these girls, and I am in charge of their nutritional, mental, intellectual, emotional well being.

So, it is time to step back. See who my children really are. Look in their eyes to feel their souls, connect with their dreams, tell them I love them without opening my mouth... the sheer strength of my emotion chokes the words in my throat. I love them so much, and they deserve a mom who is purposeful, thoughtful, proactive in her relationship to them.

I pray for clarity, for a strong vision to lead these precious daughters, so that I may be a worthy steward. I want to share their journey with great joy.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Sweet Abigail

(click for larger image)

Those pigtails . . . the ducky mouth . . . the effervescent, dazzle of a smile.

You are so loved.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Today's digi

I'm a bit out of practice digi scrapping, but I thought it was nice to have an excuse to lift the self-imposed digi moratorium (gotta keep things in check or else I'm a crazy addict!). This LO is for the latest Oscraps challenge:

(click for larger image)

Nature's Glow Kit - Annie of Paint the Moon Design
Quote - I hope you never lose your sense of wonder
Fonts - century gothic, dali, old typewriter, juergen
Stapled paper strips - Lynn Grieveson of Designer Digitals
Stitched wings - Ellie Lash

Even in the worst mood, I can't help but smile when I see these photos. My daughter gently reminds me to catch joy on the wing . . . to let gratitude wash over me. Thanks, sweetie.

By the way, one of my LOs was featured on a template designer's blog. Look here. She said it was her favorite. {wow} I feel so honored. The original post on my blog about this particular LO is here.

Early arrival

One of my digi friends, Kim, just delivered her baby boy eight weeks early. Will you join in prayer and well wishes with me? (I recall how traumatic it was for us when Abigail was in the hospital for two days.) The new baby joins Kim, her husband, and their older son.

(photo taken by Kim)

Kim, be strong. Take care!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Best of 2007 Photo Contest Results

Lauren at Ooh La La Photography announced the winning photo. And thanks to your vote, Amanda WON! It really is a beautiful photo. I'm excited that we'll have another opportunity to work with Lauren soon.

Here is the post about the photo contest.

Thanks for participating in our lives!

And birthday hellos to:
1. Cousin Nance (11th)
2. Brother David (11th)
3. Sister-by-marriage Betty (13th)
4. Pastor Samuel (13th)

A nice weekend

Abigail has a new nickname - she's Abby, the Crabby Crustacean. Funny thing about it though. Amanda thought I was calling her a "Crusty Asian". !!!!

Here's a photo of one of my cameras, the Sony Cyber-shot F717, which we got in 2003:

(Image from Digital Photography Review)

Fabulous camera, but I don't really use it to its full potential, as I am always on AUTO. Yes, I am just a point-and-shooter. But I hope to change that. One of my goals this year is to become chummy with the manual and eventually shoot in manual mode. THEN, we'll be ready to move onto a digital SLR camera.

This mosaic captures some of our happy moments from this past week:

(Click for larger image)

Abigail's hair is long enough for pigtails, so she is sporting a cute little hair pretty from Annie and Olive.

Amanda and I made some dinner mints - super easy, child-friendly recipe. If you'd like the recipe, let me know. They're impressive with little effort.

Amanda's typical breakfast is oatmeal. It's a great source of fiber and low in calories.

And Ron's steak and mushrooms dish - it is to die for!

Ron's Steak & Mushrooms

A rib steak
10 to 12 white cap mushrooms
1 stalk of green onions
1 tblspn butter or extra virgin olive oil
1. Pack the steak with kosher salt on both sides for 15 to 30 minutes, letting it reach room temperature.
2. Wash the salt off the steak and pat dry.
3. Sear both sides of the steak in a pan until desired doneness is reached.
4. Melt the butter in the pan with the steak drippings, and throw in the mushrooms and green onions.
5. Splash some worcestershire sauce on the mixture. When mushrooms are done, pour over the steak. Serve immediately.

We usually make one 1-lb rib steak and share it amongst the family, pairing it with corn, and a stir-fry dish (bokchoy, green cabbage, spinach, napa cabbage). And of course, rice.

Ron was inspired by this blog post that explains how to make cheap cuts of meat taste like prime rib. Very interesting.

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