Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter Bells for the Great Noise

Our twins are going to be baptized at the Easter Vigil, so we will have family attending the service with us this evening. I want to make sure everyone is well-equipped with bells for the Great Noise. I stopped by Goodwill, and here’s what I found...

I didn’t want the colored bells to look too Christmasy, so I gave them a quick coat of spray paint. I sprayed the larger bells while I was it...those oldfashioned bells are sweet, but they aren’t really my thing. My apologies to anyone who collects them. Then I attached the small bells to some sticks, and here is my finished project...

Much better. And much more fun than cleaning the kitchen while everyone is napping!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Some Brief Anglican Reflections on Holy Week

A few days ago my husband said, “I saw someone with a ‘He Is Risen’ sign on their door already.” I realize this person is not in the minority. I also grew up celebrating Easter in the weeks leading up to Easter Sunday, rather than the weeks following Easter Sunday. But resurrection can’t come unless it is preceded by death. And the Church must enter into the sorrow of death in order to appreciate the joy of resurrection.

For this reason, the Church observes Lent. On Sundays during Lent, we refrain from saying “Alleluia” at the usual spots during the service. This is because we are waiting for the Great Alleluia, after which the congregation is encouraged to ring the bells they have brought for the Great Noise.

How often do we want to skip the sorrow and head straight to the joy? We want to get to the good stuff as fast as we can. But we must wait. We must join Thomas in saying, “Let us also go, that we may die with him” (John 11:16). Because with Jesus, death is always followed by resurrection.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Quick, Easy Easter Craft

This little Easter project is perfect for kids or adults! These eggs will look lovely displayed on Easter morning on a bed of moss or in a pretty dish.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our Easter Menu

I’m getting excited already! We’ll be having...

Friday, April 15, 2011

Seven Quick Takes Friday

Today I'm joining Jennifer by posting seven quick takes...
  1. My husband gave our sixteen-month-old son his first haircut earlier this week. I cried. I am still not used to it, and I still wish his hair was long again.

        1. We had this meal this week, and it was a big hit. If I am cooking with meat, I try not to make it the main dish. This recipe is good because the edamame is also a source of protein.

        2. My mom gave me a Keurig Brewer for Christmas. Previously I have teased her for owning one herself, citing how the k-cups are overpriced are wasteful, not to mention how the Keurig Brewer lacks the intangible quality of sharing a pot of coffee with others. So I should have immediately returned the gift, and under normal circumstances I would have, but I didn’t. You see, I have three children under the age of two, and I really appreciate the convenience of the Keurig Brewer. Of course, I have every intention of returning to the old fashioned coffee maker someday, when life becomes a little less crazy.

            1. I just finished going through More with Less, a collection of Mennonite recipes and tips. The cookbook’s intention is to encourage people to eat less meat and use less of the worlds resources. I am excited to try some the of the recipes. Here’s one tip that I liked: Keep a bag or container in your freezer to collect old pieces of bread. When the bag is full, you can use the bread to make bread crumbs or croutons. Sometimes I find myself throwing away a piece or two of crumbled bread when I get to the end of the loaf. Now I have something to do with those pieces!

                1. I also just finished this book. I liked it and would recommend it. It’s nothing too profound, but it’s filled with lots of encouragement practical advice. It doesn’t hurt that the cover is adorable.

                    1. Speaking of adorable book covers, take a look at the covers of these new Penguin Threads Deluxe Classics. So beautiful. 

                    2. We will be planting our square foot garden this weekend. I’ve had a vegetable garden for the past couple years, but this will be our first attempt at square foot gardening. I’m excited! Did you know that a 4x4 foot square garden will produce more than a normal 8x10 foot garden?

                    Wednesday, April 13, 2011

                    Vegetarian Recipe: Rockin Moroccan Stew

                    {Photo from here.}

                    Our vegetarian-friend introduced this stew to us a few months ago. I made it this week and was reminded of how delicious it is! Even my husband, who is usually picky about sweet potatoes, loves this meal. It’s a great Lenten recipe to try during these last days of Lent...

                    Rockin Moroccan Stew
                    2 tsp olive oil
                    1 cup chopped onions
                    1/2 cup each diced celery and chipped green bell pepper
                    1 clove garlic, minced
                    3 cups vegetable broth
                    3 cups peeled, cubed sweet potatoes
                    1 can (14-½ oz) tomatoes, drained and cut up
                    1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
                    1 Tbsp lemon juice
                    2 tsp grated gingerroot
                    1 tsp ground cumin
                    1 tsp curry powder
                    1 tsp ground coriander
                    1 tsp chili powder
                    1/2 tsp salt
                    1/4 tsp black pepper
                    1/4 cup raisins
                    2 tbsp light peanut butter
                    2 tbsp chopped, fresh cilantro

                    Heat olive oil in a large, non-stick saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, green pepper, and garlic. Cook and stir until vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. 

Add all remaining ingredients, except raisins, peanut butter, and cilantro. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for 20 minutes. 

Stir in raisins, peanut butter, and cilantro. Mix well. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve hot.

                    I omitted the raisins because I didn’t have them. Also, I doubled the amount of peanut butter and cilantro, and if you like these flavors, then I recommend doing this! This stew tastes wonderful served over brown rice.

                    Thursday, April 7, 2011

                    Easy DIY Moss Letter

                    Here's a quick project you can try. You will need the following supplies...
                    • Moss (These bags are available for $1 at Dollar Tree)
                    • Wood or cardboard letter (My local JoAnn had their letters on sale last weekend. They have some really gorgeous, big ones; unfortunately, I didn't think I'd have a place for one so large)
                    • Hot glue gun
                    • Craft paint
                    • Paintbrush

                    Begin by painting your letter to match the color of your moss. 

                    Then use the hot glue to attach bunches of moss a little at a time. Continue until the entire letter is covered.

                    Finally, display and enjoy!

                    Tuesday, April 5, 2011

                    Whipped Banana Oatmeal

                    [image from katheats]

                    Are you like me in that you peel and freeze the overripe bananas that weren't eaten by your household?  Then the bananas are waiting conveniently in the freezer for smoothies and for baking.  Maybe some of you are also like me in that your stock of frozen bananas grows a lot faster than you use them!

                    Well here is another wonderful way to use those bananas, and it doesn’t require baking, which can sometimes to daunting! Whipped banana oatmeal. Doesn’t even the name make your mouth water? Previously I made it on the stovetop, like she suggests, but making it in the microwave works well too. I add ground flax seeds to the recipe. She offers many variations, but my favorite is to top it with almonds and a little brown sugar.

                    I’ve realized that adding a ripe banana is also a great way to sweeten oatmeal for my little son. I just pull one from the freezer, and I plop it in the bowl before microwaving.

                    While on the subject of bananas...when I do bake (something I’ve yet to do since giving birth to my twins in January!), this is my favorite healthy banana muffin recipe, and this banana cake is delicious.

                    Giveaway Winner

                    Thanks to those of you who supported my Etsy giveaway! The winner is commenter #4, 31Summers. She will receive this spool stand.

                    Friday, April 1, 2011

                    A Prayer: To Be a Sacrifice

                    Father of all
                    You who poured out your love upon all humankind
                    Help me to willingly pour out myself
                    For the sake of my husband, my children, and the world

                    Jesus, Savior of the world
                    You who poured out your very self as you hung upon the cross
                    Help me to willingly pour out myself
                    For the sake of my husband, my children, and the world

                    Spirit of God
                    You who poured out your breath upon the Church
                    Help me to willingly pour out myself
                    For the sake of my husband, my children, and the world


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