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thoughts for a thursday

There is a suspicious burning smell coming from our car and when I got to work this morning my co-worker said he had a burning smell coming from his car and when he took it in to get looked at, they discovered mice had been living in the engine. So now, of course, I'm thinking we've got the same problem.

We have been leaving our dog out of her kennel while we've been gone for small stints at a time and she has been doing surprisingly well. Hopefully we don't find some hidden stash of doggy droppings around the house.

Reading the paper yesterday I came across an article about Girl Scout Cookies. Apparently this year you don't have to order them. You get the cookies right then and there when you buy them!! This is extremely exciting, don't you think?? I really haven't been able to think about much else. February 2nd or 5th or whenever they start selling them could not come soon enough. I love me some Tagalongs!

We are having a little doggy visitor this weekend. Let me rephrase that. We are having an EXTRA LARGE doggy visitor this weekend - Matt and Chloe's great dane! Hopefully Olive doesn't drive him absolutely batty since his favorite activity is to lay down. And his second favorite activity is to sit. Olive doesn't know what those two things are. Oh boy.

print called "that thursday evening" found here

Exhibit A

This is why it freaks me out. What is even in there??

i save our christmas cards

It's almost Valentine's Day and I'm posting about Christmas. That might have something to do with the fact that I just took down our Christmas decorations a few days ago. Don't judge.

I like to save our Christmas cards. It's fun to look back from year to year to see how people have changed and to read their notes. But I had to come up with a way to keep them organized. I actually saw this idea somewhere, and I'm sorry I don't remember where, but it's the perfect solution!

Just hole punch each card and put them together with a little metal clip. Add a tag with the year and have a "card keeper"

Now I just have to find a basket to keep all my card collections. If only Dave would let me have baskets...he's afraid once I start collecting them, they'll take over the house.

Dinner Last Night

I realize this picture doesn't make what I made look very appetizing, but it's super delicious, I promise! I was trying out a new program on my phone to take the picture and clearly I wasn't doing something right.

You should make this. And soon.

Adapted from PW's recipe

12 whole Corn (or 6 flour) Tortillas
Canola Oil, For Frying
1 can (20 Ounce) Enchilada Sauce
2 cups Sour Cream
3 cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, Grated
1 cup Sliced/chopped Green Onions
1 can diced green chilies
½ teaspoons Ground Cumin
¼ teaspoons Cayenne Pepper
Shredded Chicken
Preparation Instructions
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Mix together sour cream, green onions 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar, cumin, and cayenne pepper.

Heat canola oil in a skillet over medium heat. Heat enchilada sauce in a separate skillet or saucepan.

Using tongs, fry tortillas one at a time, for only about five to ten seconds per side (don’t allow to crisp.) Remove from oil, then dunk tortilla in enchilada sauce. Lay tortilla on a plate, then spoon a good two or three tablespoons of the sour cream mixture in the middle. Roll tortilla, then place face down in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan. Repeat with remaining tortillas and sour cream mixture.

(If there’s any sour cream mixture left over, use it as a dip for tortilla chips!)

Cover the dish with the remaining cheese, then bake for 15 to 20 minutes until bubbly.

Serve immediately. Place a dollop of sour cream on each serving, then sprinkle on sliced green onions.

the weekend

More of this game was played.

I think we are borderline obsessed with this game. There must be a support group or something that we can join. I hope the meetings consist of playing this game and this game only.

On Saturday we took Asher and Arden on a "day of fun" to the Bell Museum!

It's a natural history museum of sorts on the U of M campus.

We also got to spend some time with good friends playing games and hanging out.

I'm starting to think I never sit up straight. Add that to my resolutions.

Does anyone remember the game "the Amazing Labyrinth" game?? We have to get that now. It was a great blast from the past.

design quiz

It's friday, and I needed a quick distraction from my work so I took this design style quiz. Fun!

This is what it said about me:

Antiquated Espresso

An intimate home of modest proportions. Home cooked meals from a kitchen full of country. A bedroom with distinct character - warm and charming. Players have their exits and entrances… your home the stage. Modern subtleties extend to your table. Afternoon caffeine breaks to change your point of view. Pre-war, upper east side attitude. Always intriguing, never clumsy.

Apparently my style aligns with Humphrey Bogart and Katharine Hepburn. Sweet!


The Help

At book club last night we discussed The Help. This has to be one of my favorite books of all time. Now, before you think "wow, is the book THAT good?" (it is) you have to understand that my "favorite books of all time" list is an extensive one. I love me some good literature.
The Help is simply exceptional. As we discussed last night, the author, Kathryn Stockett, does an amazing job of detailing character development, to the point that you feel like you're reading about your friends, that you could call them up to chat or meet for coffee.
It's about a young white woman's mindful transformation in the pre-civil rights South and the unlikely friendship she forms with two black women who are employed as "the help" to wealthy white families. I can't recommend this book enough. Please read it.

We also watch a movie together at book club. Naturally we pick the movie that goes along with the book, but since the Hollywood version of The Help wont be coming out until August (cant wait!!) we watched Corrina Corrina. So good. I love 1990's Whoopie Goldberg. It was the perfect accompaniment to our book discussion!

happy mlk day

Martin Luther King Jr said so many great things. This is one of my favorite quotes:

“I have decided to stick with love. Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

super rad shirt found here via design crush

Scenes from the Weekend

winter wonderland!

Notice the temp. And this was after the mid day "warm up."

This is our favorite game. Word on the Street. If you haven't played it, you haven't lived!

Journey through 2010

In 2009, I started keeping track of all the books I read over the course of the year. Here is my journey in literature for 2010. I have really enjoyed keeping track, because it also helps me remember what was going on at the time and where I was when I finished the book (I included the date I finished the book in my notebook) Sometimes it was an airplane, sometimes the cabin, sometimes at home, and lots on the bus ride to work. Here they are…..

1.The Lair of the White Worm by Bram Stoker
2.All Action Comics: Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain and Tim Mucci
3.Seinlanguage by Jerry Seinfeld
4.Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane
5.Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
6.The Twits by Roald Dahl
7.Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
8.Odd and the Frost Giants by Neil Gaiman
9.Making of Fantastic Mr. Fox edited by Wes Anderson
10.Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins
11.War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
12.Perelandra by C.S. Lewis
13.Pirates: Magic Kingdom to Movies by Jason Surrell
14.That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis
15.Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
16.From Russia with Love by Ian Fleming
17.The Folk of the Fringe by Orson Scott Card
18.The Rasputin File by Edvard Radzinsky
19.Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
20.The Warrior’s Path by Louis L'amour
21.The Carnivorous Carnival by Lemony Snicket
22.To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
23.The ladies of Grace Adieu by Susanna Clarke
24.Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman

My Top 5 from 2010 would be….

1.Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
2.Walt Disney: Triumph of the American Imagination by Neal Gabler
3.War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
4.Follow Me to Freedom by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins
5.That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis (but really, you’ll have to read the first two in the trilogy first)

My first finished book of 2011 was The Road by Cormac McCarthy. I have a feeling The Road will be a contender for the top 5 list of 2011!

if you want me to

the pathway is broken
and the signs are unclear
and i don't know the reason why You brought me here
but just because you love me the way that you do
i'm gonna walk through the valley
if You want me to

cause i'm not who i was
when i took my first step
and i'm clinging to the promise that You're not through with me yet
so if all of these trials bring me closer to You
then i will go though the fire
if you want me to

it may not be the way i would have chosen
when You lead me through a world that's not my home
but You never said it would be easy
You only said i'd never go alone

so when the whole world turns against me
and i'm all by myslef
and i cant hear You answer my cries for help
i'll remember the suffering Your love put You through
and i will go through the valley
if You want me to

Ginny Owens


Scenes from the Weekend

Common Roots. Possibly the best, most wonderful coffee shop/cafe in the entire world. I'm just sayin'.

Dave and I had a date there Friday night. It was good for my soul.

The next night we had a date at Home Depot. I know, we are livin' on the edge!

We celebrated my mom's birthday with an all out Mexican fiesta! Yes, there was a blow up cactus there. Why? Is that weird?

Dinner Last Night

This was delicious and will be added to our meal rotation that I'm creating. You should try it!

Sausage Stuffed Acorn Squash

1. 2 acorn squash
2. olive oil
3. a couple of pinches of dried sage, nutmeg and cinnamon
4. salt and pepper
5. butter
6. 5 breakfast sausage patties (I used links)
7. 1 clove garlic, minced
8. 2 cups of cornbread stuffing.
9. a handful of golden raisins, dried cranberries and some green apple cut into bit size pieces
about 1/4 cup (or a little less) veggie broth or water (I had to use more broth. about 1/2 cup)
10. a drizzle of real maple syrup
11. 2-3 Tbs. freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 375F.
2. Cut the acorn squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Brush insides of squash with a little bit of olive oil and sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon.
3. Place the squash cut sides down in a baking dish with a little bit of water in the bottoms of the dish. Bake them for about 40 mins, or until they are soft
4. While they cook, melt a tbsp of butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Stir in the garlic and the sausage. Continue stirring, as sausage heats through break into small pieces.
5. Once cooked through, turn the heat to low. Stir in the raisins, craisins, apples and cornbread and cook for a couple of minutes. Flavor to taste with sage, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt and pepper.
6. Add a little broth.
7. Drizzle with maple syrup, stir and let it cook for another minute or two. Then remove it from the heat.
8. Once squash is cooked, fill the hole in each squash with the stuffing. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top. Bake for 10 more minutes.
9. Transfer squash to plate. For garnish you can drizzle plate with some syrup and then serve.

Recipe found here. Her picture is better than mine. But I took mine with my phone, so.

In Kind

I've been trying to snag a few minutes here or there to focus on this fresh, new year, as I'm sure most of the world is doing. What do I want out of this year? Who do I want to be? And most importantly, what is God calling me to?

Two things come to mind. One is a bit surfacy while the other requires prayer and work and intentionality.

The first is to be more daring and adventurous in the kitchen. I want to take risks with my cooking and not be afraid to try new things. I want to establish an actual "meal time" where we sit down, light some candles, and enjoy a few minutes of peace together. I want to create "peace meals" which is also the name of a book I want to get.

The other is to be kind in word and deed. It's not that I'm mean or unkind, but just reflecting on my daily words and attitude I think that I can improve in this area. I desire to reflect the love of Christ to everyone regardless of what is going on in my life and being more kind is the most practical way for me to achieve this. This is no easy task, especially when co-workers are unkind or I get anxious in traffic, or I'm frustrated with my husband, but I believe that God is faithful and wants to mold and shape me into the person He has called me to be. And some days I'm sure I will fail. I'm human after all. But this is what I will strive to accomplish in 2011. As well as this list. Ufda! I better get going on this stuff!

I believe