My latest session is a lovely one and live on my photography blog. Enjoy!
Mother’s Day weekend was a busy one. Friday night the boys’ had their homeschool co-op presentation. That consisted of them singing two songs. Well, maybe not actually singing. One kind of sang–very timidly–looking like he might cry, while the other one looked around and counted the house lights. They also had their artwork from the year displayed in a classroom, as well as their science activities.
Josh spent Saturday competing with some of his friends in a Tough Mudder. Below would be an “official” picture taken by a Tough Mudder photographer of Josh coming out of some sort of muddy tunnel. He and his mates did quite well, although his fingers are all cut up.
Saturday evening we had Mother’s Day celebrations with Josh’s side of the family. It was great to see them all again and spend time out on the deck enjoying the beautiful evening.
Sunday I was greeted with lovely handmade cards from the kids and some of my favorite Jo Malone fragrance from Josh: Pomegranate Noir (although seriously, all her scents are fantastic!). I always used to have such a problem finding a scent I love, and I’ve struck gold with Jo Malone.
The afternoon and evening were spent up at my mom’s. It was such a picturesque day I went crazy and fell in love with my camera all over again and took tons of pictures. To check out all the fun we had, visit my photography blog . . .
How did you spend Mother’s Day?
Tonight we tried a delicious salad from Super Natural Cooking Everyday. It was the Tortellini Salad with avocado, sprouts, cilantro, and pine nuts. The grocery store I visited was out of pine nuts, so we didn’t have that to put into it. Also, I tried to find whole wheat tortellini but couldn’t. However, after more research I discovered Wegman’s sells it. I should have guessed that.
Honestly, this pasta salad was fabulous! It was full of fresh flavor. Surprisingly so, seeing how very simple the dressing was. Definitely a keeper!
1 lb. cheese tortellini
8-10 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 head broccoli, cut into small trees
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh lemon juice
1/4 c. olive oil
Small handful fresh cilantro, chopped
Small handful sprouts
1/3 c. toasted pine nuts
1 avocado, sliced into small pieces
salt and pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt liberally. Add the tortellini and cook according to the package instructions. About 1 minute before the pasta is finished cooking, add the asparagus and broccoli to the boiling pot. Cook for the final minute, drain all together, and run under cold water just long enough to stop the cooking.
In the meantime, make the dressing. Combine the minced garlic, lemon juice and olive oil, whisking thoroughly to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
Toss the pasta, asparagus, broccoli and cilantro with about half of the prepared dressing. Add the sprouts, nuts and avocado, and a little more dressing, and toss gently to combine. Keep the extra dressing on hand to refresh any leftovers; the pasta tends to absorb it overnight.
Happy May Day!
To kick off this month our family is going vegetarian for 31 days. For probably about a year Josh has wanted to try something like this, but I kept putting it off. Grocery/meal planning are about my least favorite things to do, so making more work for myself in that department just sounded like a pain.
Last year we bought our poultry from friends in Lancaster who sell pastured poultry. This provided the backbone to our meat-eating diet. This spring, due to various reasons, we were unable to order from them, so we sadly are not going to have their poultry stocking our freezer. Last year, we also participated in a CSA with Rousedale Farm and were more than pleased with the experience. Sadly, they’re not offering a CSA program this year, so we signed up with Flying Plow Farm instead. I’m excited to start receiving their veggies towards the end of this month!
Last year I learned to eat vegetables last year I didn’t know I’d like: Brussel sprouts, kale, collard greens, beets, and turnips are now some of my favorite veggies. It’s not just that I’ll eat them if they’re put in front of me, but I love them more than the vegetables I’ve grown up on like beans, corn, carrots, and so forth.
We’ve been watching and reading lots of food too: Forks Over Knives, Simply Raw, Michael Pollan’s books, and Fast Food Nation to name a few. It’s just a fact: eating more vegetables is amazingly good for you.
I realized the past several weeks that eating a vegetarian meal once a week or so had slowly taken over more days in my meal planning. Actually, without even planning on it, we were only eating about two meals a week with meat in it anyway. Also, my desire to eat meat has been diminishing as well. That and I can’t actually even eat as much meat as I used to. I used to be able to put away a whole chicken breast along with two sides for dinner. Now, it’s more like a half or a third.
So, all of these circumstances converged and making it the perfect time to try going vegetarian for 31 days.
I’ve pulled out a bunch of vegetarian cookbooks from the library, my standard fave being Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Sawnson (her blog is here.) Funny thing is, when I first checked this book out of the library a year or so ago, there were only a couple of recipes I thought looked “good” and would have made. Now, most of the recipes look/sound good to me. Shows that my tastes are definitely changing . . . for the better.
I’m sharing all of this because I want accountability, so I might as well make it public! Also, I want to “journal” the experience with my readers and share delicious recipes I discover along the way.
Also, I need help! Got any delicious vegetarian recipes you’ve tried? Send them my way! Post links to the recipes or your own blog posts in the comments section. Let the veggie fest begin!
But I am going to add a few words today because I can’t help myself.
This picture I took of Sophia this past week sure did remind me of a picture of Duncan when he was about the same age . . .
Some things never change. Kids love mud!
Thankfully, one thing that did change was I learned to take better pictures!
Always give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. -Ephesians 5:20
Nancy Guthrie writes in The One Year Book of Hope:
“God gives, and God takes away. But let’s be honest. We just want to give, don’t we? . . . Genuine gratitude is a response not to the worth of the gift, but to the excellence of the Giver. If gratitude fluctuates with our estimation of the gifts, then it’s not really gratitude. In reality, that kind of gratitude is disguised idolatry.
I know you can barely stand to think about being grateful in the midst of your loss. You may think I’m crazy to suggest that you could be grateful to God for who he is and all he has done for you as you face the empty chair, the empty bank account, the aching emptiness of what was once your life. But if you refuse to nurture gratitude, you will become bitter. So would you turn your eyes from your loss and disappointment to the great Giver, asking him to reveal more of himself to you so that you might grow in gratitude? Would you ask him for peace and joy that only those who nurture gratitude are given?”
It’s just another week here at my house. No huge losses. Nothing as weighty as the above quote might suggest has happened to test my gratefulness. But such circumstances have happened in the past, and will no doubt surface in the future. So today it’s time to train myself in the simpleness of a thankful heart for the everyday blessings:
601. My dearest friend, Robin, coming over for an evening of pizza and chatting last weekend.
602. For friends who pass on clothes to us when their kids are done with them, so that we don’t have to spend lots of money on kids’ clothing.
603. The screen door on, ready for summer breezes.
604. Cuddles with Sophia.
605. A long Sunday afternoon nap and a Sunday afternoon drive.
606. Windows cleaned for spring.
607. Sophia “singing.”
608. God’s grace on our marriage and that we truly don’t have many conflicts.
609. Boys’ help at the grocery store, pushing their own little carts around.
610. Six pints of homemade stock to freeze made from pastured chickens purchased from friends.
611. Selling a camera bag I don’t use within 2 days of posting it was for sale.
612. Weeding flower gardens.
613. Reading to the kids outside on a quilt on a spring afternoon.
614. First ice cream trip of the year to Broom’s Bloom Dairy.
615. Sophia talking more, saying words like: draw, car, paci, stinky, brothers.
616. Freshly mopped floors.
617. Lilacs on the kitchen table.
618. Peanut butter chocolate chip cookies
619. A quiet morning with rain falling, the sound of wind chimes.
620. A rainy lazy Sunday. Time to knit and watch Forks Over Knives and an episode of Doc Martin.
621. Praying through Psalm 19 and 51. Thankful that God purges my sin, creates a clean heart, and restores me to joy.