Friday, February 27, 2009

The Best Thing

On Thursday we celebrated. A meal at a cottage, trip to the zoo, a favorite chocolate matcha soy latte, and a lot of time together. All this because we have experienced four years of the best thing, each other. It's more than we could have thought to prayed for. Did we not believe the scripture that says God can "do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine"?!

Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:17b-21

Monday, February 23, 2009

To be prepared is half the victory. -Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra

Last summer I found myself the keeper of a crawling one-year-old and a sad-that-mommy-is-going-to-work three-year-old. We needed some purpose to our days and something exciting for us all to do. I mean, I can only play doctor so many times! The answer: 26 letters (a.k.a. the ABCs). What started out a shot-in-the-dark experiment turned out genius! (Really I just got lucky!) Each week held a different letter with new sounds, activities and even snacks. But eventually, the dreaded week arrived- Z and a sinking question: How do you top the alphabet?

Armed with learning objectives for three-year-olds, we've muddled through the first half of this semester. And now, through an Amazon search, I've found my solution: The Weekly Curriculum Book. Until the book arrives it's still up to a little creativity. Last week it went something like this.

Theme: Busy Bees
Activities: Songs, hive coloring page with poem, cardboard bees, and a number bee game
Snacks: Bee hives (small circular pancakes topped with honey and bees/raisins)
Graham Crackers w/ PB and honey

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Oh Baby!

Valentine's Day looked a little different this year. Our Valentine wishes consisted of a few Andes mints spelling out sweet nothings. In exchange we had some of our dearest friends visit with their new baby, Norah. Actually, they were one of three couples we know to welcome a new one in December or January. We've been excited as pictures have arrived in our inbox of the new bundles and wanted to share the cuteness.

Just to note, Norah isn't ours! She's just the perfect kind of baby- the one you love on and enjoy then give back to mom and dad!

I should also add that after the busyness of the weekend we spent belated Valentine's time with a drive (in a jeep!!!!- thanks Jason and Jim) to overlook Lake Keowee for a sunset then to enjoy some Japanese cuisine!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


We've unofficially decided to make 2009 the year of challenges in learning, conquering fears and doing new things. It started with two girls talking in the front of a church one Sunday eons ago and is still coming to fruition. Admiring a quality in one of the girls that day made me realize my complete lack of it. Slinking back to the apartment questioning my own abilities, I sensed God say, "Learn from her." So, hoping to learn as much as possible, we've been soaking up lessons from "her" and everyone. Some just skills, recipes, and talents. Others philosophies and ways of living.

The very first post from our finds is a lesson in love or at least a way to say it for Jason: Mom's prize-winning chicken and dumplings. Cooking hasn't been a strong point for me, so I'm "learning from her." Her in this case meaning my mom. So, chicken and dumplings.

First, addressing a fear of opening those ridiculous cans. Never liked jack-in-the-box either.
Chicken breast (on the bone w/out skin or boneless)
Can of Butter-Me-Not Biscuits

*We used three cans of dumplings and four chicken breasts. It made lots, but the good thing is they taste even better the next day! Really, you can do a one-to-one ratio with dumplings and breasts.

1. Fill pot about half full with water and boil chicken. Salt to taste.

2. Saving the water or broth, remove the chicken and let cool.

3. Cut each uncooked biscuit into eighths. Drop into boiling broth.

4. Watch for the "dumplings" to swell up then shrink back down. After they shrink and cook for a few minutes they are finished.

5. Cut chicken into cubes or desired size. Do not add to boiling water. It makes it stringy according to Mom.

6. Remove the pot from the burner and drop chicken in.

7. Enjoy!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Thought Piles

After a series of altercations, we found ourselves on the road. Not just driving, but thinking and reading, sleeping and crying (well, me not Jason). Our almost six hour trip to Georgia to see the family began bitter and ended sweet.

Thanks to a super-organized gene in Jason's DNA (something I would love to claim possession of but can't seem to find), the house was left spotless. All trash, dishes and beds cleaned up as well as both cars. Thanks Mom and Dad Tegen, I can appreciate it even if I don't possess it. The mention that "I was just going to leave the cake in the pan until Sunday" didn't fly and the rumblings in our stomach set it all on edge because I attract clutter, he repels it. It's a goal this year to see if after almost four years (February 26!) of oneness I can begin to claim this gene for myself. But today's realization was: Haven't got it yet!

Quick trip by that zone where autos go and the insatiable rumblings subsided- enter Panera's Chipotle Chicken and broccoli soup, yum! After naps (we sound like toddlers) we talked then read. I mean, I read while we both took everything in. We'd never try to read and drive...gasp! ;) The Costly Call ,a new top book for me, captures stories of fellow image-bearers who once called themselves Muslims but now call themselves Christ's. The stories evoke a deep sob on the inside that's a mingling of joy for the outcome and grief for the process.

It led us to hearty prayers with more laying down of our own present and future. With unknowns inundating our minds, it's good to take the conglomerated piles of thoughts and tell/give/surrender them to the Giver. It's comforting to say the least. Thankfully God is good like that, even with big tangles of thoughts and hopes that have little rhyme or reason or beginning or end.

And a final thought pile from the road trip today: a sign on the roadside- FULLY rely on God. An answer given before the prayers were even prayed and a pile of thoughts I kept.