Archive for August, 2014

27 Crosses

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

20140825-215216-78736356.jpg

I’ve always loved history in general, and in particular, European history. So, when I made my first visit to the Czech Republic 10 years ago, I was naturally enthralled. It’s a beautiful, small, land-locked country in the heart of Europe. The rolling hills are dotted with medieval castles and fairy-tale like cathedrals, and a wall of forest-covered mountains create a natural border for the nation.

The history of this region has always inspired me. I don’t know about you, but I want to leave a legacy for my family, but it’s not always clear to me how to build that.

The pearl of the Czech Republic, it’s capital city, Prague is dotted with statues and buildings that stand as an army of monuments across the city, reminding others of a legacy that was left. One of the most popular tourist sites in Prague is a 600 year old operating astronomical clock. All during the day at the top of the hour, people from nations all across this world gather at its base to watch little statuettes of the 12 apostles begin their parade through little doors as a statue of a skeleton strikes the bell while little sculptures personifying vanity, greed, and pleasure shake their heads from side to side, unwilling to acknowledge their time is waning.

While the clock is interesting, what has always caught my eye is the thousands of tourists each day that walk across 27 white crosses inlaid in the intricate stone sidewalk. These 27 crosses are for Christian martyrs who were beheaded after the battle of White Mountain in Prague.

It serves as a periodic reminder to me that some have paid a costly price and today I stand on the shoulders of giants -some that I’ve known personally, like my father, mother, grandparents, pastors, and friends, and others that I’ve only known through the pages of  history books, like C.H. Spurgeon, John Huss, the Moravians, and those 27 – that have invested in me, it makes me consider the kind of legacy I want to leave my son.

Suddenly, in light of cost that has been paid, I am no longer as interested in leaving a legacy of wealth and influence for my son, but teaching him how to love Jesus, his wife, and people well.

-Michael

20140712-111243-40363057.jpg

20140825-215215-78735076.jpg

20140825-215215-78735587.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Garden

Saturday, August 30th, 2014

For the past two summers, Michael and I have tried out our green thumbs. Using scrap wood, Michael built two 5×5 foot raised bed garden boxes, just enough for our little family of 3. Our first summer we harvested green beans and plenty of jalapenos. However, the majority of our vegetables did not make it through the extremely rainy summer.

This summer also has been full of gardening fun for the whole family. We planted tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, jalapenos, broccoli, cauliflower, kohlrabi, cucumbers, lettuce and tons of fresh herbs. To our surprise, our garden grew luscious and produced more than we could have hoped for. We had so much produce we were able to share with friends. I am looking forward to planting our fall vegetables. My sweet husband also spend hours of his time ensuring I had beautiful flowers to enjoy this summer. I loved sitting on the front porch, fresh with colorful flowers enjoying a cup of coffee and good book. 20140621-210048-75648769.jpg 20140621-210048-75648942.jpg 20140621-210049-75649090.jpg In our little garden box we grew 5 very large, crisp heads of romaine lettuce. Unfortunately, all 8 heads of lettuce matured at the same time, so we had about two weeks of salad eating before we exhausted our yummy supply. Next year, I will work on planting the lettuce a few days or weeks apart so that we may enjoy it all summer. 20140621-210132-75692629.jpgBroccoli is my favorite. I planted the broccoli without real hope that it would produce. After harvesting the large heads of broccoli, little broccoli shoot continued to pop up. As I cared for my little patch of broccoli, I was able to harvested little broccoli babies for weeks. I made broccoli and cheese pasta, put it in homemade lo mein and roasted it in the oven. I plan to plant more broccoli in the next few weeks. I hear the cool fall air produces the sweetest broccoli. 20140621-210616-75976629.jpg 20140627-034628-13588186.jpg

Our tomato plants were bursting out of our garden box heavy with bright, beautiful cherry tomatoes, deep purple Indigo Rose and big, juicy tomatoes. Tomatoes are Jude’s favorite food and he enjoyed being able to go out into the backyard to pick handfuls of sweet ripe tomatoes. The sweetness and bold flavor of the tomatoes was almost overwhelming to me, nothing like the taste of the tomatoes I pickup at the supermarket. They were like candy! I have fallen in love with roasting tomatoes in olive oil, which tastes wonderful in a pasta or as a quick side. The boys also made adventures out of tracking down the villainous Slugs that tried to attack our tomatoes, what superheroes!!!

20140621-210003-75603911.jpg 20140806-223008-81008881.jpg

We grew a variety of sweet red and green bell peppers. I stuffed several of these peppers with beef, rice, fresh herbs and piled them high with tangy feta. 20140806-223009-81009268.jpg

We only had a few cucumbers. Did you know that bees are essential to growing cucumbers? There are female and male blossom which need to be pollinated in order to grow. We didn’t have many bees. The few we did grow however were GIANT sized. Our cucumbers were great sprinkled with a little salt and pepper and made a great addition to our salads. 20140621-210132-75692264.jpg 20140727-211315-76395249.jpg

Fresh herbs brighten up any meal and are so easy to grow. In college I grew herbs on my window sill… even though I had not kitchen? Fresh chocolate mint for my tea, basil for pasta and cilantro for salsa. Oh the joy!

Our garden has been such a fun project for our family. We have spent countless hours getting our hands dirty, laughing and enjoying all the tasty spoils. Do you have a garden?

If not, start out small, maybe a little window sill herb garden like I had in college. You can do it!

Czech Linden tea

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

20140708-070948-25788888.jpg

The Lime or Linden tree is the Czech national tree. Linden Trees grow abundantly throughout Europe, as well as in North America. These beautiful trees produce pale yellow flowers often called, lime flowers. Upon arriving in the Czech Republic, I met my friends picking lime flowers in blossom. My Czech friends use the flowers for tea which are dried before steeping. This wonderfully sweet tea has several heath benefits;  helping with digestion, to treat cold and flu symptom, used to reduce fevers and also to calm anxiety. As a farewell gift my friends surprised me with a large paper sack filled with dried Linden flowers to take home to my family.

20140708-070949-25789822.jpg

20140708-070950-25790284.jpg

Small town streets and Czech highways are lined with fruit trees. Travelers are encourages to stop and pick fruit to snack on along their journey. I love the idea of picking and enjoying food as a community. Never wasting even the littlest tea leaf.

20140713-102922-37762565.jpg

 

Linden tea can commonly be found in your local drug store and online.

To brew, pour 1 cup of boiling water over 1 tsp. of linden leaves. I used a metal tea infuser. Allow the tea to steep for 10 minutes.

Grab a good book and enjoy this relaxing and subtly sweet tea!

What is your favorite tea?

Back to School

Sunday, August 24th, 2014

Have you heard of the “Kid President?”

Well… he is AWESOME!!!

Jude and I love watching this little guy. He makes us belly laugh. He makes us want to eat corndogs. He reminds us to love others. Kid President has some great advice for getting your school year started off right.

“Teachers keep teaching, students keep student-ing.”
#kidpresident

Enjoy!

Lollipop Bookmarks

Saturday, August 23rd, 2014

20140823-204658-74818826.jpg

I love reading.

As a kid, my grandmother gave me a complete set of Little House on the Prairie books and I was completely hooked. I remember spending hours upon hours curled up under a blanket reading of the great adventures of the characters in my storybooks. I am a paper book girl. I love the turning the paper pages of my favorite novels, stacking books around my house, book shelves lined with beautiful bindings, bringing such color into our home.

These bookmarks are perfect for the many books I start at once. I am ALWAYS in need of a book mark. I usually resort to sticking all kinds of crazy things into my books to hold my spot until I can get back to the magic of the story; receipts, napkins, postcards. These bookmarks fit snugly down in my book bindings, peeking beautiful and bright out of the top of my favorite pages.

20140823-204659-74819368.jpg

Supplies:

Scrapbook paper

Scissors

Mod Podge or craft glue

Cooking skewers

Markers

I simply cut 2 circles out of scrapbook paper. Next, I coated the backside of each circle in Mod Podge. Place the pointed end of the cooking skewer in the middle of one paper circle and place the second glued backside onto the first circle. Press the two pieces of paper together around the stick until all edges are firmly stuck together. A little glue may spill over the edge… it’s ok, just wipe it off. Let the glue dry completely before using your Lollipop Bookmarks.

20140823-204659-74819034.jpg

I filled a mason jar up with coffee bean and stuck these cuties inside… now I always have a bookmark.

20140823-204659-74819756.jpg

What I am reading:

Longbourn, Jo Baker

Lady Catherine, the Earl and the Real Downton Abbey, The Countess of Carnarvon

&

Restless, Jennie Allen

The Little Mole

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Meet Krtek, the little mole.

20140820-162246-58966877.jpg
So the story goes, Krtek, the little mole wanted a little more from life, he wanted a blue pair of pants (well, overalls) with great big pockets. So, he made himself the perfect little pair with the help of his woodland friends, each helping out the best way they could. Teamwork helped Krtek’s dream come true. This Czech original cartoon was created in 1956 by Zdenek Miler to make children happy. As my friend Magdalena introduced me to her favorite childhood friends she explained to me that Krtek was quite “emotional.” As I watched, I quickly understood what she meant, Krtek rarley uses words, rather uses emotional sounds to tell the story. What is even cooler is that the creator uses his daughter’s voices to bring the characters to life. The addition of happy background music draws children into Krtek’s magical fairy tale world. Because language is not much of a barrier in this cartoon, this happy little mole in blue trousers has become a widely popular in many Central European countries, as well as India, China, Russia and Japan.

During my time in The Czech Republic, I collected fun Little Mole souvenirs for Jude; DVDs, books, book bag and toys. Jude eyes lit up upon being introduced to the cartoon. He was so excited to share with his best friend, Fabian. We had a little Czech inspired dinner complete with Krtek carbonated fruit juice, Krtek cartoons (and homemade pizza, of course). Fabian had already made friends with the mole on his trips to Germany and Japan. Happy memories were made.

20140820-162246-58966236.jpg

It is my desire to celebrate with my son cultures from around the globe and this little mole is just a start. I will be focusing on sharing with my family a new country/culture each month. This month we will be learning about the Czech Republic, of course. I want to fill my house with music, food and culture.

Will you join us?

20140820-162245-58965925.jpg

20140820-162246-58966530.jpg           20140820-162247-58967147.jpg

I found this little Krtek & radiohead “mashup” video I am sure you will enjoy.

 

The Mole and Radiohead [Mashup] from Bjarne Bakke Kvistad on Vimeo.

 

5 Minute Salsa

Monday, August 18th, 2014

20140818-223607-81367177.jpg

When hosting a gathering, nothing brings on the conversation like a little something to snack on. Spicy and salty, this 5 minute salsa is crowd pleaser in our home and a great evening snack. This unusual salsa in made using canned San Marzano tomatoes and is fresh, not cooked. This summer we grew tomatoes, jalapeños and cilantro in our garden which made this snack even more convenient for us to whip up!

20140818-223607-81367593.jpg

5 Minute Salsa

28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
1-2 cloves garlic
1 poblano pepper
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded if you prefer a milder salsa
1/2 red onion
1 limes, juiced
1 handful of cilantro, about 1/2 cup
2 tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
A blender

Chop your vegetables into large chunks to help the ingredients blend well. If you like your salsa spicy, leave the seeds in the jalapeño, otherwise remove them. Add all ingredients into the blender. Blend to your desired consistency, we like our salsa pretty smooth, restaurant style. Give your salsa a little taste. Is it salty enough? Spicy enough? Do you need more lime juice or cumin? Once the flavor is to your liking… Serve alongside a big bowl of chips!

Could it be any easier…

20140818-223606-81366783.jpg

We keep our salsa, refrigerated up to one week. The next day it tastes even better.

Where do you get your favorite salsa?

Doughnut Shop

Saturday, August 9th, 2014

20140809-143223-52343393.jpg
A few days ago, Jude and I took a little trip to a local Doughnut shop, Golden Doughnuts. Upon picking out our delicious breakfast treats, I quickly looked for a seat. Jude shuffled behind me dragging his feet, making at little tap… tap… shuffle… shuffle sound. Several people rolled their eyes as he passed. However, one sweet old man’s eyes little up upon seeing my little boy. He said, “Miss, that is a good looking boy you have there.” He then proceeded to tell me a story, “I have this favorite pair of tennis shoes that my kids hate. They are always trying to throw them away. Yesterday,” he continued, “while I was at the store, my shoes started making this flapping noise. I bent down to discover the whole sole had come loose. So I pulled the sole completely off and finished my shopping. What else could I do? I have to hide them from my kids!”

I asked him what his favorite flavor of doughnut was? He said for years he had been eating doughnuts, “they used to be two for a nickel or a dozen for a quarter. I don’t eat doughnuts anymore.” The doctor told him he could not eat doughnuts, that oatmeal would be better for his health. “I just don’t like oatmeal,” he said. So, everyday he eats several oatmeal cookies for breakfast. He brings them into the doughnut shop and enjoys them with his cup of coffee. He seemed to enjoy aggravating the shop employees, but I was all in good fun. “At least I buy my coffee!” Every time he visits the doctor he lets the doc know that he is in fact eating his oatmeal.

This sweet man just wanted someone to share his story with and I am glad he shared it with me today!

Next time you are out shopping or at a local restaurant engage a stranger in conversation, you may just be surprised at what could happen.

About Flying Paper Airplanes (Blog Hop)

Thursday, August 7th, 2014

image

My wonderful friend Krissy Collins recently took part in a “Blog Hop.” She was asked to share a little about her blog, it’s mission and what inspires her. She then had the opportunity to feature a few of her friends… and she choose me. Krissy and I are new to blogging and she really has been quite the encouragement to me in this endevour . I couldn’t ask for a better friend.

I’m excited to share with you the WHY behind this blog, what makes it special to me, as well as introduce you to a few of my friends, some old and one very new (Monet).

Enjoy!

Q: Why do I write what I do?

My grandma was my best friend. It was rare that I missed a day calling her, hearing her sweet voice was my comfort. We would talk on the phone for hours about life, food and Jesus. For years my grandma and I dreamed of starting a blog and writing a cook book to share our love for food, adventure and family traditions. Only she understood my dream to be “The Next Food Network Star.” Sometimes we would set up Facetime just to cook together. I would pretend to be a chef hosting a cooking show and she would laugh as I put on my best Juila Childs personality. I lost my grandma this past March. I lost my best friend. Not a day goes by that I don’t miss her and long to talk to her. I often pick up the phone to call her only to remember I can’t… at least I have my grandpa’s sweet voice to pick up when I do (he’s pretty wonderful by the way). I am getting used to my new normal, it is not bad, just different. I have always had her to share my thoughts, dreams, pain, joy. This blog is in honor of her. Through writing I hear her voice, I share the wisdom and love she has given to me, through writing I find comfort.

Q: How does my work differ from others of its genre?

Well, it is just me. I know that it is important to stick to a particular genre or point of view but I just write from my heart. I have lots of ideas and inspiration and love to see where that takes me. I blog for FUN. I work a full time job, running a not so small coffee shop. I am a pastor’s wife and the mother of a spectacular 4 year old! I just want to share this life I love so much.

Q: What am I writing now?

Right now I am working on a few back to school ideas, a post about a super rad local band and a cooking show starring my 4 year old son, JUDE!!! I can’t wait for my favorite season of the year, Fall, to share some of my favorite comfort food recipes.

Q: How does my writing process work?

This beautiful world we live in is my constant inspiration. I love trying new things, collecting recipes and sharing life with family and friends. I love doodling out plans for blog posts in colorful pens, reading lots and lots of food magazines/articles and finding fun ways to entertain my little boy. I just try to share with my readers ways that I try to bring my family joy, our everyday life.


 And now let me introduce you to my 3 friends and their very different must-read blogs…

family.jpg

Krissy Collins of Reclaimed Spaces

My sweet friend is working on a beautiful project, telling stories. Telling stories full of love, hope and redemption. Sit down with a good cup of coffee and be blessed!

Stories are deep magic into which God breathes his power for life-transformation. Stories are a key that unlocks breakthrough for those telling them and possibilites for those hearing them.

Be inspired by these stories on Reclaimed Spaces.


Lucy-7-2-13-Lucy-Newborn-0033-1024x678

Meet Monet and her lovely blog, Anecdotes and Apple Cores

Anecdotes and Apple Cores is a place for sharing simple and wholesome food that brings friends and family together.

Her food and  photography are magical. Be sure to follow Monet on IG @cakestand

Monet’s husband, Ryan, and I are high school friends. Ryan is a craftsmen and artist, creating the most inspiring jewelry you have to see to understand. Find him at Stitch and Saw.


 

603248_3991312388071_636543519_n

Meet Danette, All My Love For All My Days

All My Love for All My Days is a blog about learning to love and loving the journey.  It’s also about find hope and encouragement and strength.  And maybe even some inspiration.  You might find that she is full of eclectic little pieces of information that don’t seem to belong such as a crafting tutorial or a recipe, but I think they do belong and here’s why.  Life, at least for the woman, is never just one thing.  We are never just a mom or a doctor or a professional or a crafter.  We are all these things and so many more at one time.  And that’s the way it should be.  Life should be full, constantly moving, never standing still.

 

What are your favorite blogs?

Aunt Quesadillas

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Stephen on Horse (My Uncle Steve Singmaster, Saddle maker & lover of great green chiles) Green chiles may possibly be one of my favorite foods. There is nothing better than the smell of freshly roasted chiles in Colorado. Colorado summers are full of vendors selling chiles on street corners and in front of supermarkets, roasting the chiles in large metal drums. You can buy green chiles freshly roasted by the pound, oh the joy! My great uncle Steve, my grandmother and I would take adventures, searching far and wide for the best Chile Rellenos, (which I still do today… check out the poblanos at Blue Iguana in Columbus, GA!) usually landing in some ultimate dive. Any time we were unsuccessful in our endeavors, we knew we could always count on my aunt. My aunt Kay, Steve’s wife, made the best quesadillas.  Her quesadillas were not like the typical fried-in-oil tortillas I also enjoy. Hers were crispy, perfectly crunchy with sharp cheddar cheese, piled high with roasted green chiles. For years, I could not figure out just how she got them so crispy, until she shared with me her secret. As I kid I would beg my Aunt Kay for “Aunt” Quesadillas. This is the most simple of recipes that will always bring me satisfaction and stir up sweet memories of my aunt and uncle. 20140804-220318-79398255.jpg

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place flour tortillas directly on oven rack for 3 minutes, until tortilla feels dry to the touch. Sometimes large bubbles form, this is okay. Remove tortilla from oven and pile high with sharp cheddar cheese and green chiles, canned work great. Bake for an additional 5 minutes. Quesadillas should be toasty brown around the edges and the cheese should be bubbly.

Enjoy!

Flying Paper Airplanes