Wednesday, January 26, 2011

{Norwegian Winter}

Is is STILL January? I swear I am about to lose my mind.

I know that I try to keep it pretty chipper here, but we are all about to lose it here.

Poor Mister, (his name's Rob, I think I'm just going to start calling him that here, hooray) has the flu. Like influenza, the flu. He's completely miserable, and running himself ragged because he can't afford not to, though I think he's finally about to turn the corner.

Squirrel and Little Bird had nasty colds, which turned into double ear infections. Also, they must be feeling as bitter as the weather here, because they are ornery as can be. They don't want to go anywhere, and Little Bird even seems to think his pajamas are actually his skin, because he screams bloody murder any time I try to take them off him in the mornings.

I haven't taken any pictures, of just about anything, in weeks. Though I sometimes think the winter wonderland is looking lovely, the weather is just too dang cold to actually want to take a picture in the frigid open air.

There has to be a way to break up this monotony...I think a Caribbean cruise would be just the ticket...if only we could get the tickets....

Anyway, sorry for such a grumbly post, and my conspicuous absence as of late. We're trudging along, but slowly, and really, really looking forward to the spring. {Which, in eastern Idaho, should be here sometime around the 4th of July...}

Wishing you and yours sunny days and frost-free nights!


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Bread Making? or Brick Making?

So, about a year ago, I posted about my inability to make bread. I actually did manage to make a loaf from the simplest recipe EVER. I made several, as a matter of fact.

Admittedly though, I've been wanting to learn to make real, wholesome, whole wheat bread. I've been reading about sprouting grains and thought I'd skip learning to bake bread with regular flour and jump right into sprouted flour. I'm an over achiever by nature, and it seemed to me that it would be the same process...just with an added step or two.

Turns out, I definitely under-achieved on this one...

I'm not sure if I over-sprouted the grains or under-milled the flour, but I did manage to create the world's most dense bread in the history of the world.

For your enjoyment:

{Are these not the SADDEST "loaves of bread" you've ever seen?}

{Next to a can of corn and peppers...please note this is one of those short cans...
so the bread is even flatter than you think at first glance!} 

{Ah...sad, sad bread. And the wasted hours of sprouting, grinding, and baking.}

The Pioneer Woman had a contest last week for best food photos 
{some seriously gorgeous stuff posted over there!}.
I'm just waiting for her contest for ugliest food photos...
I'm pretty sure these babies would be WINNERS! 

Any suggestions? Because seriously, I need some help, people!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

{An Illustrative List}

So much for daily posting. I am barely managing weekly.

As such, a random list:

1. I think {hope} we are finally emerging from the end of semester/beginning of semester chaos. I've made it fully through check-outs and check-ins and the onslaught of meetings, activities, near-constant door knocks, and seemingly endlessly similar questions that mark the change of faces we see every couple of months.

2. I started taking a Hebrew class. It is fabulously delightful to be learning something again, something challenging and new. I love school. LOVE IT.

3.  If my ancient Greek professor, Dr. Armstrong, were to read this, he'd probably laugh because my motto in my fourth semester of his class was "D's get degrees." I am hoping Hebrew goes somewhat better.

4. In discussing my Hebrew class, I explained to the Mister that my class is full of DORKS. He stopped, gave me a look with one eyebrow up and said, "Kierra..." almost as if to scold me, but then added, "You're taking a Hebrew are taking a Hebrew class. For FUN."
              Ah...point taken; my class is, without exception, filled with dorks.

5. As part of said Hebrew class, I have been watching this video almost constantly. Squirrel quite likes it and requests it.

6. This makes me rather proud. {Please see item #4.}

7. Little Bird is sick. AGAIN. It feels like the kids and I only just recovered from a seriously nasty Christmas vacation bout with strep throat. And now the poor guy is coughing and has this sweet, hoarse little voice.

8. Why is it that every time it gets close to taking one of the kids in for their "well check" it seems like that happens to be when they are perpetually UNwell? I can't be the only one this happens to, or am I?

9. Real, true, eastern Idaho winter has set in. Feet of snow rise up along the sidewalks like highway road barriers, and the endless grey sky gives no hint of the time of day. This grey bowl that has descended makes me sleepy, and I swear I have already lost hours simply staring out the window in a wintery trance.

10. I already miss the sun and know, if last year is any indicator, it may be months before I actually see it again...

11. We did take advantage of the snow...well, we tried. Apparently, when it gets too cold, snow is no longer fun to play in because it doesn't pack--it just crumbles apart like so many tiny ice balls...

12. Here are some photos to prove it:

{Snow angel}

{Snow angel foiled by snow in the face...such devastation.}

{Oh my goodness, I am so excited I finally captured this kid's dark brown eyes. 
They are impossible to photograph!}


Saturday, January 8, 2011

In which I shamelessly brag about my husband...

Around campus, there are a lot of students working doing a variety of things.

There are two jobs, which when the Mister sees being done, he says, "You couldn't *pay* me enough to do that."

The jobs?
Chipping ice (there is a lot of icy sidewalk to be chipped here in Eastern Idaho)
and cleaning the lounges to the girls dorms

The Mister recently got a job for the holiday break. He was hired by the maintenance department to fill work orders in the dorms over the break. I was appreciative that we'd have some extra income.

(I was even more appreciative that we'd have a maintenance guy that knew what he was doing and could get work orders done quickly. )

He was looking forward to doing something beside homework for a while. He said, "But still, if they ask me to do any custodial work, or any of that ice-chipping crap, I'll walk right out. I'm not in for that."
(The Mister...he's sometimes a little proud...)

On his first day of work, he and some of the other guys worked in the shop, filled some maintenance requests, and received some "training."

On his second day of work, he came home a little steamed up.

"We did two things all day," he said.
Oh, yeah? What's that?
"We cleaned the lounges...and then I chipped ice until I had blisters on my hands."
I inspected...yep, blisters. Sometimes, I suppose, the Lord tries us. He agreed, but didn't like it any better.

"I can't believe I did that. I've always said you couldn't pay me enough to do those things." He sighed. "I guess you can pay me enough. And I guess it's $7.70 an hour." Again, sigh.

I laughed, and then wrapped my arms around him for swallowing his pride, and being the kind of man he's always been--the kind that isn't afraid of hard work and cares enough about the rest of us to keep at it.


Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year!

We've had one crazy year. 

Our lives have been turned upside-down and inside-out. 

But I wouldn't undo a thing, honest. 

A new year gives an opportunity to re-evaluate and recommit. 

I seem to always fail at resolutions, so here are a few things I have worked hard at this year, and I'd like to recommit myself to:

1. Spending quality time with my kids, practicing patience and love.
I love this list from the Mother Huddle of 40 Ways to Show Your Child Love. I'm going to try every (age appropriate) one of them!

2. Getting closer every day to nature through the foods we eat.
I'm learning to bake bread, and I hope to get to the point where we don't even have to buy it. I'm so grateful for amazing women on the web and in real life who are teaching me SO MUCH!

3. Let go of the consumer in me and embrace the motto "Make it, make it last, make it do, or do without." I'm pretty proud of our Christmas, but in it's aftermath, I can see how we can do even better.

4. Give more.
We are really blessed. I want to give more to those who are not as blessed as we are, more time, more substance, more everything. And I want to teach my children to do this as well.

What are your goals for 2011?