so much for sledding…

Well, here we are–the end of January. Unfortunately, the New Year’s resolution that I had for this month was to go sledding, but there was no snow to be had. Anywhere. I decided to substitute that event by allowing the cats to come inside enough for me to discover that no, Lola was not shedding; Violet was pulling chunks of hair out of her whenever she would carry her around.

I also had some other Convictions posts I was thinking about doing, but tonight is my first night home since Friday afternoon, so I don’t want to spend a lot of time blogging. I spent the weekend at my church women’s retreat at a hotel in Bellevue. Here’s all I intend to tell you about that:

1. I really don’t like self-flushing toilets because they always flush too soon and I barely get my pants pulled up in time to make sure the toilet seat cover goes down too. Please tell me you use toilet seat covers or toilet paper whenever you use a public toilet. Please. Please. Please. And yes, in case you’re confused, I don’t like flushing the toilet twice. Why? because whenever I hear someone else have to flush twice to get the job done, I assume they just had some serious business that was taken care of.

2. Try as we might, my two roommates and I could not locate a fan in our bathroom. Yes, it was bad.

3. One of my roommates was my little brother’s fiancĂ©e. Finally, another sister! (and this one never stole my clothes, got in to my stuff, or tattled on me to my parents. Having a ton of brothers just might be more fun that I bargained on.)

4. I just realized that I LOVE chicken coconut curry. I shall now attempt to make some. soon.

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violet is cool

there’s something so satisfying about catching a small child in the act of getting into trouble. It’s so easy, and they are usually so surprised that you found them. Right now, Violet is trying to get into the bathroom drawers and AJ is telling her no. She shuts the bathroom door on him and when he goes to open it, she is completely startled that he caught her.

“How did you do that?! I shut the door and everything!”

It’s a good thing I didn’t have children any older in life. Its hard enough to sneak out of her room when she falls asleep without my bones and joints creaking.

Here’s a picture from last night when I had a mud facial masque on.

This is from earlier in the day–pudding after lunch!

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The Flavor Of My Childhood

The flavor of my childhood could best be summed up in a homemade, hot, whole wheat tortilla, coated with melted butter on one side and rolled up. I can’t believe I’ve never blogged about this.

My mother made these nearly every day when I was growing up. This was in part from her Spanish, Mexican heritage, and in part because no one else in the world makes tortillas like my mom. Except me.

First, here’s the recipe.

In a medium sized bowl, mix:

  • 2 cups flour (try going with half wheat and half white to start)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Then, in a 1 cup measuring cup, pour

  • 1/4 cup oil (olive, if you can)
  • 3/4 cup very warm water (not from the tap–eww) (the reason you mix them together before adding to the flour mix is so the oil and flour don’t clump)

Dump this into the flour mix and stir dough with a spoon. Depending on the consistency of the dough, you might need to add a little flour, but if you follow this recipe, you should only need a handful of white flour on your countertop to roll out the tortillas in. If you can roll them out and they hold together, then you probably have enough flour.

start heating up a pan or griddle on medium high to high (depending on your range)

Next, form a ball of dough about half the size of your fist. Roll it out on the floured surface until thin. Thin is good. Thin, like as thin as you can without it tearing. Pick it up and dust it off between your two hands, because loose flour burns. Throw it onto the hot pan, taking care that it lands flat. As soon as you get quarter-sized bubbles on the surface, flip it over. (if your pan is the right heat, this takes about 20-30 seconds.) Let it cook about half the time on the second side and flip it out onto a plate. Unwrap a cube of butter and wipe it slowly all over the surface. roll it up and eat it hot.

This makes about 6-8 tortillas, and they are best served fresh and hot. Here are some pictures from this evening. I forgot I wanted to blog about them, so these pictures were taken after they got cold.

Yes, I know they aren’t perfectly round. It makes them taste better.

This particular stick of butter has already been well loved.

You should go try making some right now while you’re thinking about it.

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I’ve officially decided

that there is a difference in flavor between instant jello pudding, and cook and serve jello pudding. Yes, the cook and serve has a slight skin when it cools, but it tastes better–richer somehow. there’s a possibility that the act of cooking it and putting actual preparation into making it gives it a psychological richness, but then again, I’ll eat cool whip out of the tub and call that rich, so…

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Convictions: Boundaries in marriage

Here’s something I feel strongly about. The boundaries in a thriving, Godly marriage must be opposite of those seen in popular culture. I am speaking of two boundaries in particular; the boundary between you and your spouse, and the boundary around the two of you in reference to purity, sexuality, and intimacy.

In pop culture, we are presented with this idea where monogamy is outdated at best and as a result, people in intimate relationships often have a distorted idea of what kind of boundaries they need. This results in a wall around you and your heart because intimacy becomes scary without the protection of complete monogamy. The second boundary, which should be very strong is around you and your spouse. I won’t say “partner” here, because that would remove the aspect of complete and whole-hearted monogamy. (Of course, when I refer to monogamy, I am referring to a relationship where both people are committed to each other and do not engage any outside forces for emotional or sexual intimacy on any level.)

In a healthy marriage, you are responsible to protect and foster intimacy–for the both of you. Don’t assume your husband or wife is solely responsible to keep themselves pure and avoid building a wall around their heart. This is a tag-team mission that will keep both of you running all out all the time to give the other person a hundred percent.

This is my conviction: marital intimacy is a gift from God, and you have only scratched the surface. Tear down those walls between you–no matter how small–the same way you built them–brick by brick. Build high and deep the wall around your marriage. Seek out the unique challenges to building this wall that your spouse most certainly faces, and walk beside them–not in condemnation of their humanity, but in solidarity, friendship, and as their own personal armor bearer.

“Our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling about with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased.”
–C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

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if it walks like a duck…

On our way home from church today, we saw one of these on the side of the road. Apparently someone’s Muscovy duck had gotten out. I recognized it immediately, because Muscovy or Mute ducks are unique in their ugliness. I also recognized it because we had some when I was seven.

They got out of their pen and we chased them until they finally quacked–even though they are supposed to be mute. Plus, our blue heeler chased them too. Later on he would eat those ducks (and most of our chickens…and rabbits), but on that day, he helped us provide them with inspiration for their previously unused vocal cords. If ducks even have vocal cords…

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