It’s been a real winter this year. We’ve had so many snow days I’ve lost count of them. Yesterday it was very mild, in the 50′s, so the snow was melting fast. Today we woke up to a fresh, winter wonderland. (and it’s still snowing….) Given that it’s February, I don’t really mind. Spring is a couple months away, so we might as well enjoy the beauty of freshly fallen snow…. And the kids are enjoying the sledding and playing in the snow.
Nice view from the cozy window seat.
We have several bird feeders in our yard. They are so rewarding to have… the kids have lists of birds they have identified, and I think it’s a cheerful sight…. to see all those birds having food to eat in such bad weather.
And a woodstove…. that keeps the winter cozy as well. I think tending a fire all day and seeing that warm glow in the background as you work in your house helps make winters much more bearable. There’s something cheerful about dancing flames and a chair next to a warm fire. A winter hearth chases the blues away. Turning up the thermostat doesn’t create the same effect. Of course it means real work for my dear husband… chopping trees, splitting wood and hauling it inside. Then, it’s my job to keep it going all day. But it’s one I gladly do to keep the gezelegheid going.
How do you enjoy your winter days?
I was thinking about favorite products and tools that help me in the day to day life around our home. I can boil it down to three things. An extra-good, heavy duty iron, a product that saves me from laundry disasters, and quality chicken stock. Seriously. That’s it folks… it’s the little things that keep me happy
This iron makes me happy! After years of searching for an iron which produces a lot of steam and doesn’t weigh thirty pounds (like the $100 Rowenta) I found a new type of iron. The water goes into the base where it is heated, and then the steam travels down the fabric-type cord and out of the heated iron. The water/steam last for 1 1/2 to 2 hrs of steady use. The steam it produces does not compare to anything else I have used. One swipe and all the wrinkles are out! I can’t even use it on full steam and heat for fear of burning myself. It’s pricey but worth it to me since I am a self proclaimed ironing addict. I hate wrinkled cotton! There are more professional models and brands that are much more expensive than this already expensive iron, but this is working fine for me. Use your 20% off at Bed Bath and Beyond to help deal with sticker shock.
Have you ever washed new clothes (even in cold water) to find that dye from the t-shirt or pants ran onto the other clothes and now they are ruined? You know you will NEVER get that out! I have a preventive solution for you. (Trumpet sound….. ) Shout Color Catcher! These work like a charm and have prevented many laundry disasters here. They are totally worth the money. Our big box store (BJ’s) carries them in multipacks. It’s just a sheet you throw in the wash with the laundry and it collects the dye floating around in the water. I use it whenever I wash new clothing for the first time, especially when the items are multiple colors. I also use them when I want to wash a few different colored items and say, one of them is navy or red (which are notorious runners).
My final favorite thing is this chicken base which I use to make chicken stock. One teaspoon mixed with one cup boiling water equals one cup broth. You should keep it in the refrigerator once the jar is opened. It gives such great depth of flavor to recipes that call for chicken stock. You can make it as strong as you like, and it beats canned chicken stock any day.
I should be getting some financial remuneration for recommending these products, no?
What are your favorite things?
Some days you’re just putting one foot ahead of the other. Just do the next thing… don’t stop or you might stop altogether. Not unlike spinning your tires up a snowy hill. If you stop you’re done for. Just move ahead an inch at a time.
It’s been a bit of a slog lately. Sick kids, no sleep, fussy baby… you get that familiar picture don’t you? The evenings loom dark and ominous.
I never realized how much I dislike the early nights (dark by 5pm). Then a whirlwind of dinner (Finish your food! Stay on your chair!), homework, baths, snack of fruit (but I don’t like grapes!), bedtime story, rock and sing, the three year old is in bed. Ooops, I forgot to fill the vaporizer and put Vicks on her chest. Look at her, not in bed five minutes and she’s coughing up a lung. It’s going to be a long night. I glance despairingly at the two full baskets of laundry needing folding and ironing. That doesn’t happen at night anymore, instead it’s the dance and jiggle with the baby, wearing a path up and down the hall. Finally it’s 11 pm. Everyone is asleep, and I will join them. Until the coughing kicks up down the hall, and it’s more medicine, more pillows to prop the sick girl up in bed and another rock and sing.
The next morning the sun is shining gloriously, the baby smiles, Annika got herself dressed :), the evening is forgotten… shelved with all those evenings we’ve been having the past months.
It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, great is Thy faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23
God is merciful; I haven’t been consumed by the endless demands and dark nights, and my own short temper. He gives us a new day, a fresh start. Thank Him for the new day and grace extended, yet again.
I have a new snack recipe I have been making lately. The kids love them, they’re
sort of healthy, they’re great for lunches and they freeze well. Plus they’re moist enough you don’t feel like you must slather them in butter. They are…… (drum roll please)……
Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins!
Here’s the recipe. It makes 24 medium size muffins and 24 mini muffins. I like making mini as well because that’s the best size for littles.
Mix with electric mixer till light and smooth:
2 cups sugar, 4 eggs, 1 1/4 cup oil
Add and mix:
3 cups flour (can do 1/2 whole wheat flour if you want), 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 – 2 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp baking powder, 2 tsp vanilla extract, 1 – 15 oz can pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling).
2 cups chocolate chips
Bake at 400 F for 15 – 20 minutes till done.
Wow! Time sure flies when you’re having fun… or have a new baby (not that those experiences never overlap ;)). Eliza is now three months old. We had her doctor checkup today and she is growing in height and weight. She’s 23 1/2 inches long, and a whopping 11 lbs, 13 oz! OK, not huge, but a far cry from the five and a half pounds when we left the hospital! So I have to post some pictures because who doesn’t like cute baby pics? Of course I am terribly biased. Annika is crazy about Eliza and manages to get into pretty much every picture I take of her.
Till next time,
Posted in family, kids, time
I haven’t been very active lately…. Having a new baby and getting through the Christmas season does that to you. However I have lots of ideas and thoughts percolating… I just need the time to share!
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 8,500 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 3 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.
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