Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Pancakes for Dinner

It's been one of those weeks, and sometimes, the only remedy is pancakes.  Fluffy, buttery, steaming-hot pancakes swimming in maple syrup.  No bacon or eggs on the side -- we don't want to take away any stomach room for protein.  Just sugar and fat, please, and a handful of blueberries in the batter to make it extra sweet.

My favorite pancake recipe is from Williams-Sonoma, and Robby has made me promise that this is the recipe I'll use to make him pancakes the rest of our life.  You got it, hun.  That I can do.


One batch of this really makes enough for a huge family or small army, so I usually freeze well over half of it.  The night before I know a pancake craving will strike, I take it out of the freezer to thaw.

2 eggs -- whisk in a large bowl until frothy, then add...
2 cups AP flour, sifted
2 T sugar
2 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
1 t salt
2 1/2 cups buttermilk (1 T vinegar or lemon juice to 1 cup milk is a great substitute to know!)
4 T unsalted butter, melted
1/2 t vanilla
1/2 cup blueberries or another add-in if desired

Stir until combined, heat that griddle up, and get ready for pancake paradise!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Hope


Last night and this morning, I couldn't sleep, and so finally I made myself get up and see if God had something to say to me.  Of course He did.  I have been feeling pretty defeated lately and, if I'm honest, a bit empty.  Oh life seemed fine -- I've been working like crazy organizing every nook and cranny of my home, planning tons of top-notch lessons, keeping busy in the garden that is just gorgeous this time of year.  But I should have known!  Often when I'm antsy to fill every second of my day with something, my soul is just aching for rest, for reflection, for renewal.  But those things can only happen when I stop, and when I stop, other emotions come, emotions and truths that I'd rather not deal with and face because they're hard and painful.

Sometimes when I finally go to God, He so clearly speaks, and that was the case this morning.  I needed to hear the power and hope of Romans 8.  I needed to hear that I am new in Christ and that God's mighty Holy Spirit lives inside of me.  I needed to hear that there is no condemnation, no fear, no death in Christ.  

Perhaps you need to hear this, too.

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death...If Christ is in you, your body is dead because of sin, yet your spirit is alive because of righteousness.  And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit, who lives in you...Those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship.  And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." (Romans 8:1, 9-11, 14-16)

Yes, that is exactly what I needed to hear.  My soul needed to be free this morning to cry, "Abba, Father" without me telling it to bottle it up.  No condemnation, no fear, no death; instead freedom, peace, and life!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Snow and more snow!

A few more pictures of our wonderful trip, with a bit more explanation:

It snowed on our way there, hence the eight hours to reach our destination.  It was pretty awesome seeing this snowfall, though.  I had never seen anything like it, so even though I was a bit concerned and felt very badly for my poor hub out trying to put chains on our tires, it proved to be unforgettable.

By the way, part of my concern came because the chains we bought were terrible.  Once we finally got moving and they had cleared the road, we discovered one of our chains had fallen off.  That's right -- around we turned in search of the missing chain...and we found it!


We went from crazy snow (above) to this calmer setting in a matter of hours since we had to turn around and go another route.  (Again...this contributed to the lengthy drive.)



But we made it eventually!  The cabin we stayed in was perfect for our visit.  Roger and Chelsea served deliciousness the whole night--food, drinks, cheeses--and then we sat around the table by a fire to play games into the early morning.  We awoke to this from our bedroom:


After breakfast began the trip into Yosemite which included many stops and photo-ops.  And snowballs.  Lots of snowballs.




As we climbed higher and higher, suddenly we were in Twilight-land--all dark and misty.  I'm pretty sure this is where Edward fought Victoria.



Just a few more on our way into Yosemite Valley, once the mist and fog cleared a bit:



Finally into the Valley where we saw a bear!  Too bad we couldn't get our cameras out in time, but Robby and Chels did pose in front of where the bear once sat.


Lunch and plenty more pictures, and then it was time to head out.  But not before we stopped and hopped over this fence to get a better view...


...of this!  Coffee mug, anyone?


From there we said our good-byes.  Robby and I had one last stop--Tunnel View--on our way out:


And just when I thought we couldn't see anything more incredible--we had, afterall, seen waterfalls, snowfall, a bear, misty mountains--there was a deer!  Icing on the cake!  Or maybe there already had been tons of icing, and this was the cherry :)

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lessons from Yosemite

This past weekend, Robby and I had the pleasure of spending a night with Chels and Roger in Yosemite. It was just wonderful, although what should have been a three and a half hour trip to arrive there turned out to be eight hours.  Yep.  Eight hours.  But even that long trip couldn't put a damper on the amazing evening and day we had.   In fact, I found that it provided a few lessons, which I wanted to share.

1.  The journey--as difficult or frustrating as it may be--is worth it quite simply because the destination is worth it.  If we had not continued on the journey, we would have missed seeing this:


I know.  Breathtaking.

2.  Storms are frightening and sometimes even painful, but light always breaks.  Dark skies and snow-fall led to blue skies and dazzling white tree-tops.


3.  Nothing compares to the joy of spending time with those we love.


4.  It's worth it to see the view from another's perspective.  See what Roger captured:


5.  And...sometimes, the unplanned outcome of something is far better than the original plan!


(An avalanche of snow fell off of our roof just as Robby was snapping a picture of them.  Not the normal smiley photo, but perfect, right?)

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Tidbits Tuesday (and #600!)

Happy Tuesday, friends!  Have I mentioned how much I love spring break?  Who knew Tuesdays could be so wonderful??  Oh yeah...I did...last year, when I didn't work.  Sigh.

Here are a few tidbits for your reading pleasure.  I hope you are finding time to enjoy this incredible spring weather and reflect upon our Lord's week before His death and resurrection.

  • Yesterday my mother-in-law said that this is the time of year in the garden when--if you're not diligent to literally stop and smell the flowers--you might miss something.  It seems everyday something new is blooming and taking our breath away.  Our gorgeous camellias finally opened two days ago.  Is this not spectacular?

  • Another flower that looks fake it's so pretty: sparaxis.  I might have guessed someone took some yellow paint and painted the inside.  Amazing.
  • We had a great day yesterday, which began relaxing as we sat outside at my parents' house and ended busy and productive as we helped Carly get her new washer and dryer.  Of course when I say "we" I really mean my dad and Robby working overtime for her.

  • We had a wonderful time with our friends Andrew and Shannon plus their little one who stayed with us Sunday night on their way to Yosemite.  We barbecued (in spite of the rainy weather) and had banana splits for dessert, then talked music and church for a couple hours and played four games of Blokus, Rob's new favorite.  (His theory of "whoever has the first move wins" was debunked the last round, which should have been his game to win.)
  • Thanks to Steph, I was able to get that blog feed I wanted.  Now you can simply click on "Music" or "Loveliest Way" in the tabs and get a feed from those two blogs.  Neat, huh?  The site is rssfeedwidget.com if you're interested in checking it out. 
  • I am enjoying Tolkein's The Silmirillion, which is, as many people warned, quite a read.  However, I will say that it's worth the effort.  I'll have to share more once I finish.
  • This is my 600th post here at the Feely's Fresh Nest!  What should I do to celebrate?