Sunday, November 29, 2009

A Question for You


How do you link to your blog on Facebook? I see my friends linking to their blogs, and when I tried to investigate doing it myself, I didn't get anywhere.

So, all of you techie gals out there, please tell me how to do it in your comment, but in English, if you please!


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I'm breaking down and posting my bread recipe.

I was terrified of yeast breads for many, many a year.  I had never come across a recipe that took less than three hours for good bread.

Until about a year and a half ago.  I found a recipe on accident and thought it sounded pretty easy.  I adapted it and embellished it a bit.......

It was SO easy!  It blew me away with how easy it was and how few ingredients it called for.  Not only was it easy and cheap, but it was so quick!

So, because I love you all so much, and because I want to spread the loooove to ya'll......

Here's the recipe!

Easy Bread

2 1/2 cups hot water (I just use the hot faucet water; let it get really hot!)
1 TBSP plus 1/2 tsp yeast
2 C whole wheat flour

Place the water in a large bowl.  Sprinkle yeast on top of the water.  Add the two cups of flour and gently stir until the flour is wet.  Don't stir it to death!  Let this sit for 20 minutes.  It will foam up and bubble.  While it sits, grease two loaf pans and get the next ingredients ready......

1/3 C brown sugar or honey
1/3 C olive oil
2 tsp salt
5-6 C wheat flour

 Preheat oven to 200 degrees.  Add the sugar or honey, oil and salt to the bubbly flour mixture.  Gradually add the flour, one cup at a time and stir gently.  Keep adding the flour and stirring until the dough looks a bit dry and comes away from the sides of the bowl.  On the surface where you will knead the flour, generously sprinkle extra flour. I knead my bread on a large cutting board surface.  Any surface will work, as long as you have a cup of flour next to you that you can sprinkle on your surface as you knead.  Dump the dough out on your floured surface.  Sprinkle more flour onto the dough.  Knead dough for about 6-10 minutes, until the dough is soft and smooth, making sure to sprinkle flour onto your surface so that the dough does not stick.  Cut dough in half.  Shape into two loaves.  Place dough into your greased loaf pans.  Place in preheated oven.  Let rise for about 15 minutes, or until dough is about an inch above the top of your pans.  Turn oven up to 350 degrees.  Bake loaves for 25 minutes.

That's IT!!!

Easy cheesy!

Try it and let me know how you like it.  You can combine white flour and wheat flour too.  This makes beautiful mini loaves too, to give as gifts.  You can brush your crusts with butter after they come out of the oven to give it a nice shiny look and make the crust really soft.  Believe me when I say that if I can make this bread, anybody can!

Thank you

Can I just say Thank You?

Thank you all for the comfort of your comments on my last post.

I was made peaceful and the terrible storm inside of me was quieted by the gentle and sure knowledge that so many of you do understand.

And even for those who've never experienced loss like that, you understand too.

I find that that's the beauty of the greater Body of Christ.

I have friends from here to Indiana to Illinois to Texas and everywhere in between.  And I'm so thankful for the Body.

Thanks, you guys, for coming out in droves to offer me your virtual hugs and your words of support, encouragement and all of your myriad ways of just intuitively knowing what I needed that day.  And still need.  And it still evens me out to read all of your words again.


Thank You.

Monday, November 16, 2009

About Me

I saw this fun idea for a post, and, in an effort to lighten the blog up a bit, I decided to post it! It's just a series of questions about every day life.

1.  Cell phone: It's on the top of the couch, right next to me.

2.  Hair: My hair is down today.  I'm still marveling at how awesomely clean my hair feels after changing shampoo! It's the same brand we have used for a long time, just a different formula.  I stood in the shampoo aisle for literally like 20 minutes, looking at all the bottles and reading the backs.  We have lots of oily hair at our house and we had yet to find a shampoo that worked for oily hair.  Lo and behold, there it was, in the big purple bottle, right in front of me! So I switched and loooove it! '

3. Father:  My mother and father were divorced when I was two and my older brother was 4.  My younger brother, who is 16 months younger than me, was 8 months old and went with my father.  I never saw my younger brother again till I was 18.  When I was 16, my mom remarried and I consider him the best, most wonderful man I've ever known.  He is at the top of my list of wonderful people in my life.  He may not be my biological father, but he is my Dad nevertheless.  We will be moving in with them very soon.

4.  Favorite food: This is a no brainer.  I love Mexican food. A lot of people view meat-and-potatoes as their comfort food.  Mexican food is my comfort food.  Any kind.  Homemade guacamole and pico de gallo rock my world.  I also love things like sauerkraut with roast.  Mashed potatoes and gravy are high on my list too.   Greek food makes my eyelashes stand straight up and I dearly wish there was a great greek restaurant here.

5.  Dream from last night:  No idea.

6.  Favorite drink: I love a good blended Big Train.  I also love virgin strawberry daquiris.

7.  Dream/goal:  To bless my family in the highest and best ways possible.  To live out for others to see how faithful God has been to me.

8.  What room am I in?: I'm sitting in my living room in front of big windows, facing my fireplace.

9.  Hobbies: I love making cards.  I adore going on road trips with my family.  I take great pleasure in cooking and baking for my family.  I like to can.  

10.  Fear:  I will always fear, to some extent, losing another baby.

11.  Where do I want to be in 6 years?  Anywhere God wants me to be, but with my family.  I dearly, dearly would love to have more children, so I pray there are more babies in the picture! Seeing my husband working from home composing would be nice.

12.  Where was I last night? Right here, at my home.

13.  Something I am not:  I am not confident.

14.  Muffins: No, thank you.

15.  What is on my wish list? A 15 seat Chevy Express wide axle van.  A big garden.  Security for my family.  For my husband to work from home.  To ensure perfectly matched spouses for my children.

16.  Where did I grow up? I was born in Renton, WA.  We moved to Ellensburg when I was very small and moved from there to Southern California.  I lived in Huntington Beach for 9 1/2 years.  We moved to Corona for a year and a half, then to Irvine for a year and a half.  We moved back to Washington when I was 13.

17.  Last thing I did:  I got dressed.  Yay for me!

18.  What am I wearing? I'm wearing a dark blue, long denim skirt with contrasting stitching at the seams, with a plum colored T shirt and a sage colored light cable knit zip up sweater.  I'm barefooted.

19.  TV? No.  No satellite.  No cable.  Just a VCR and a DVD player.

20.  Pets:  We have an Australian blue heeler named Gracie.  She's 4 years old.  She's marled blue with brown eyes.  We also have a Black Lab puppy named Licorice.  She's 2 years old.  She's Gracie's chew toy.  And, last but not least, we have a black and white cat named Oreo.  He is 4 years old too.  They're all outside pets.

21.  Friends:  I don't have many close friends.  The ones I do have are loyal.  Understanding.  Loving through any fire.  They know my weaknesses and keep me accountable to change.  They are generous and giving.  They are steadfast.

22.  My life: My life is so good it's almost scary.  So beautiful it hurts.

23.  My mood: My mood is pretty low key right now.  I find myself with a tinge of sadness each day.  I notice that I'm a lot more contemplative than I used to be.

24.  My vehicle: We have a 1994 turquoise GMC Safari.  It's a touring edition, so it has trays on the backs of the seats and cubbies and and zipper pouches and cup holders and reading lights.  My husband's work car is a 1987 Pontiac 6000.

25.  What am I NOT wearing? I'm not wearing make up.  I'm not wearing shoes, neither am I wearing socks.  I didn't put perfume on this morning either. Or earrings.

26.  Favorite store: I don't really have a favorite store.  I love love love searching out great thrift stores and shopping second hand.  Wait! I just remembered that I really, really like this store over in the neighboring town across the river called Fringe.  Great vintage clothing!

27.  Favorite color: I have to say my favorite color is chocolate brown, hands down. Buuuuut.....I really adore orange.  And olive green.  And robin's egg blue.  Not all together!!!

28.  When did I last laugh:  Hmmmm, this is a hard one! Ah, last night.  Everyone was being silly here and I had a good belly laugh, which, if I may say, is very healing and lightens the heart.  I recommend laughing regularly.  I wish I laughed more often.

29.  My BFF:  My BFF is my mom.  And my girls.

30.  When did I cry last?  I had a crying jag just two days ago.  When I say "crying jag", I mean the messy, gut wrenching, snot-dripping-out-your-nose crying jags.  I felt even and peaceful afterward.

31.  The place I go over and over:  I go to Fred Meyer a lot, out of necessity.  It's my favorite grocery shop.  I go to a local resale shop tons, and Goodwill.  And my mom's coffee stand.

32.  Person who emails me regularly:  Nobody really emails me regularly.  

33.  Favorite place to eat:  El Charrito.  Nipp's.  The Mexican restaurant in Leavenworth.  Wait, that's three!!!

So, there you have it.  These were supposed to be one word answers.  HA! You know me.  I am NOT a one word kind of gal!

I'd enjoy reading answers to these questions on your blogs!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Of Pain and Hope.


Her name is never far from our lips around here.

We still hold her in our hearts.

Sometimes, when we are all together and everyone has been accounted for, we will look at each other and say....

"Are we missing someone?"

Yes, we are.  Deeply.

Last night I had a mini-meltdown of sorts.  I just have been feeling so sad lately.  Such a deep, weighty, fathomless heartache has come over me, and it feels like it is here to stay some days.  My stomach aches deep down.  I miss feeling joy in the deep breaths I used to be able to take! Lately, it's as though tears are never far off, and I could burst out in sobbing at any moment...

Last night, I finally did.  I allowed the storm of weeping that has been locked in my heart to come out.


God says in His word that He bottles up our tears.....

There are more tears in that bottle today.

I have questions, even after 5 years.  I want to know......

Janie, how can someone who never drew breath outside of the Secret Place and who was here such a short time still affect me so deeply, after all these years?

How come the pain comes, and it hurts like it was yesterday that you flew?

Why do my arms ache to hold you still, when I've held your sisters after you?

Why did God choose me to be your mom? I'm not so strong, not so special, to be able to bear up under this incredible ache which feels ceaseless at times.....

I wonder why I didn't hold her longer.  How my arms ache to feel the slight weight of her.  How my lips long to kiss her just one more time.  How I long to absorb her sweet, newborn smell again! How I long to go back and do it all right this time!

 I wish we had taken more pictures.  I wish we had known about the Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep foundation, where professional photographers donate their services on behalf of families who've received a fatal prenatal diagnosis, to come and take pregnancy photographs, and to take photos after the baby is born......I wish I had a beautiful picture to frame, of her precious feet and her perfect hands!

I've always said that this pain is a part of me.  Oh, it doesn't hurt like this all the time.  Still, there are times when it catches me so by surprise that I could still mourn for her like this, after so long......


And then.......

I see Lucie.

I think, in a sort of odd way, that Lucie has been my salvation in it all.  Did God know I would need her this year, this 5th anniversary year?

There she is, and she needs me.


When that terrible, intense ache comes, when that yawning, dark chasm opens up again...

Lucie's there. 

I hold her.  I kiss her face and lay my cheek against her downy, soft head.  I breathe in her essence.....

And pain is eased.  The ache leaves.  It's an extraordinary cycle of pain and hope.

Pain and hope.  Intertwined.

Thank You God, for both the pain of Janie and the hope of Lucie.