Monday, August 24, 2009


I love those days when you go to bed really tired, but you know you've accomplished a lot.

Today, we had a beautiful sunny day. This is awesome because since we've moved into our new house, every weekday has been rainy. I love the rain, especially on the heels of the drought the past few years, but it's been so sad to see Zachary have to be cooped up. He just got his brand new yard but couldn't use it yet! So today, we got to play outside....we love it!

Marc has challenged me (and himself) to speak only positive things this week. I thought it wouldn't be too hard, but now I'm realizing that I've been more negative than positive these days. It's eye-opening when you have 2 ways to present something, and you have to actually stop to think about how to express yourself in a positive manner!

I feel like I've spent most of the day in the kitchen, although I really only spent a few hours. It would have been easy for me to complain about this, since it was such a pretty day, but instead I found myself being thankful. Thankful that I had so much extra food that needed to be put up today.
  • Free tomatoes that were about to go cut up & made into a great little sauce to be frozen. 2 meals worth of it.
  • Muffins made for my moms' group tomorrow. My favorite, lemon poppyseed!
  • Yesterday, I got some meat on super-sale at the grocery store. I always look for the markdowns and got our favorite italian sausage and some ground turkey for half price. The use-by date was only one day away so I had to cook it fast. 3 pounds each of sausage & turkey. I got to make 60 meatballs and browned up 1 pound of turkey & 2 pounds of sausage for using in other meals. That makes it so easy for me to start a meal off on busy nights...
  • We ate a rotisserie chicken the other night. Today, I put the bones & bits of meat into a pot, added water & some bay leaves & made my own stock.
  • The stock got made into homemade chicken soup, and I made homemade noodles out of pierogie dough. Yum, yum, yum! Marc had to force himself to save some for his lunch for work tomorrow. :)

And I got to clean up my laundry room area, did 4 loads of laundry, went through Zachary's fall clothes, and emptied a few random boxes. SO much to be thankful for today! I laughed because tonight I caught Marc just wandering around the house with this funny look on his face. I asked him what he was doing, and he said, "just enjoying my new actually looks like a house now and not a storage unit!" It sure feels good.

A few years ago, I would have laughed at "this" me. The "me" that enjoyed staying at home all day, enjoying the kids' laughter and the smell of good things coming from the kitchen. But now, I'm just smiling at how much God knew the desires of my heart, and He gave them to me. "Every good and precious gift...."

Freeze and Bake Yeast Rolls

This recipe is from one of my "moms." :) Janet, this is your mom's recipe! I bake these rolls a lot, but the secret is I only have to "make" them once. You get the convenience of the store-bought frozen rolls, but the goodness of knowing exactly what's in the rolls. No crazy chemicals...

Freeze and Bake Yeast Rolls

2 pkg active dry yeast (equivalent to 4 1/2 tsp, if you buy in bulk)
1 & 1/2 cups warm water
2 tsp sugar

Put the above together in a large bowl & let sit for about 5 minutes. You'll see the yeast start to work.


1 & 1/2 cups warm milk (not hot)
1/4 cup vegetable oil
4 tsp salt
7 & 1/2 to 8 & 1/2 cups all purpose flour

Add enough of the flour to form a stiff dough. Turn out onto a floured surface, knead until smooth, 6-8 minutes. (**Krista's note: If using a mixer with a dough hook, let the mixer do the work for about the same amount of time.) Place in greased bowl, turning dough once to grease the top.

Cover and let rise (about an hour), punch down and form into shapes or balls. At this point, you can form the balls into any shape you'd like. I make them fancy & place 3 smaller balls in each cup of a muffin tin--this makes a cloverleaf shape. You can also roll a larger ball into an 8"-10" rope & tie into a knot, pinching the ends together (do this on a floured surface).

Place rolls onto a greased baking sheet (or greased muffin tin), brush with melted butter, and let rise again until double (again about an hour).

To serve immediately, bake at 375 degrees for 15-18 minutes.

To freeze for later, bake at 300 degrees for 15 minutes. Allow to cool, freeze in ziploc bags. Bake frozen rolls at 375 degrees for 12-15 minutes or until browned.


This may seem like a lot of work, but the most time is spent waiting for the dough to rise. Don't be afraid of yeast--give it a try! Hope you enjoy.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

And she walks!

Kenna surprised us last week by taking her first step (at 10 1/2 months). It was a sweet time & it was neat because I happened to be talking to Marc on the phone at the exact moment she did it. So he got to be part of it, too!

It took Zachary about a month from the time he took his first step til the time he really tried to walk everywhere, so I thought I had some time with Kenna. But it looks like she's going to be as stubborn and strong-willed as I think (and not just in the bad ways...) and she is walking. Zach will run by her in the house & she gets right up, starts laughing, and for a minute, you think she's going to run after him. It's ridiculously cute, because she's so small and it looks like this 6 month old is walking around the house!

Speaking of house, we are in the new house. Marc & I have decided we're never moving again, so the landlords may have to kick us out of this house before we choose to leave. I have revised my stance about the ease of moving when you've done it almost 30 times, and I now believe that moving with children involved is a nightmare. Especially when you have a very high-maintenance daughter who also happened to be cutting 3 teeth at once. Enough said.

So, we're in, the new house is painted, and I am unpacking. My favorite part about unpacking is seeing stuff I haven't seen or used in the last 5 years & putting it in the "garage sale" pile, a pile which is growing by the day. (We also moved our storage unit, which hasn't been touched since we moved here 2 yrs ago, so I am shocked by the things you "collect" over 10 yrs of marriage.)

Pictures will come at a time when I actually remember to take them during daylight hours, and when there are no boxes on the front of my wonderful, covered porch, and when the lawn gets mowed, and the house is clean. And all that stuff. But, it is lovely. Old house meets new paint, big yard meets happy children, tired mommy meets comforting white porch swing. Enough said.

Zachary starts "school" in a little over a week (his birthday falls too late to enter true preschool this year so it's sort of a Pre K 4 program)...he is excited. I am excited, not to get rid of him, but because I realized I have never had a day or even more than an hour with just my daughter. So I'm looking forward to hanging out with her all by myself.

It's hard to believe that it's almost September again. New milestones coming for our family this fall--Zach starting school, Kenna turning one, Marc turning 30, and we celebrate 10 yrs of marriage. Lots of new pages turning, and I am thankful that I know the One Who Writes the pages, and Who Knows the Endings, and Who Holds my Heart in His Hands. Do you know Him?