Category Archives: Sarah

Fresh Spring Rolls

By Sarah

Today, for my special day with Dad, we set up a bank account for me and went to the store on a mission. Our mission was to buy ingredients for homemade spring rolls. Our hope was that we could make homemade peanut sauce and spring rolls to surprise Mom. But, when we received the call that she was coming home, we decided to let her in on our secret.

As soon as she got home, she jumped with joy at seeing the ingredients arrayed out on the counter and we quickly explained our plan. She pounced on our plan with excitement and we got to work. We soon finished making the peanut sauce and started on readying the rice paper. We laid the rice paper in warm water and waited… Faster than we thought, the rice paper softened and we laid it softly on a dry towel. All the spring roll fixings were not so neatly put on the counter; lettuce, cilantro, baby shrimp, shredded carrots, and Thai basil.

Spring roll fixings

Spring roll fixings

We assembled, ate, assembled some more, and even more eating, and finally most of us were full. MOST of us. Mom, well just wasn’t quite. She could eat those for days and never grow tired of them.

Mom with her fresh spring rolls

Mom with her fresh spring rolls


Mom eating her beloved spring rolls

Mom eating her beloved spring rolls

Well, I must say that these spring rolls were a huge success and I wouldn’t be surprised if we made some more tomorrow.

Project 365 – Day 269
Sarah

Ps. Oh and eventually Mom filled up on spring rolls and reluctantly tore herself away from the kitchen, so no need to worry about her.

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Sarah Cooks – Mexican Chicken Quinoa Casserole

We’re continuing with our meal planning. Hooray! It’s not difficult, but does require me to make an actual plan. The wonderful thing is that Sarah has gotten to the age (and experience) where she can do a good portion of the work.

And, it turns out, if you abandon her, say, and go off to a meeting, leaving her with a recipe and ingredients and strict instructions to feed her father and brother, she can do all the work!!

Gathering the ingredients

Gathering the ingredients

I had a Board meeting for our homeschool co-op, and I left Sarah with instructions to make dinner.

"Let me see if I understand everything here."

“Let me see if I understand everything here.”

She did beautifully – read through all the directions before I left. Gathered all the ingredients – again, before I left. And prepared dinner.

"I've got this, Mom!  Go to your meeting!"

“I’ve got this, Mom! Go to your meeting!”

I got a text from David in the middle of my meeting.

“Oh, Mom! I am soooooo stuffed! I ate so much of Sarah’s dinner. It was delicious!!”

Hooray, a success. Obviously I didn’t take any pictures of the final recipe (since I was gone), but it was taken from Pinch of Yum website and turned out perfectly. We used slightly less peppers, but otherwise followed the recipe.

Note to readers – MAKE THIS RECIPE!! So tasty.

This recipe was so yummy! I’m definitely adding it to our rotation again. I have found wonderful recipes on the pinchofyum site. And her photography is gorgeous! Visit this blog as soon as you can – it is a delight to the eyes and the palate.

Can’t wait to see what Sarah makes next!

Project 365 – Day 251 (Sept 8)
Kathy

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Special Day Reboot

When the children were little, I can’t remember exactly when, Tim began the exercise of setting apart weekly special time with just one child. We called them Special Days (we’re obviously very creative and brilliant in naming our family traditions). I looked around and found a blog post written in 2004 about our family’s practice of Special Days. Oh my goodness, time has flown!

How CUTE were these kids!

How CUTE were these kids! Not sure why they were all sitting on a couch in the garage. Maybe they were waiting to be picked for a Special Day.

There has been much ebb and flow in the Special Days over the years, and sadly, as the kids got older and life got busier, we weren’t faithful in making Special Days a priority. It’s ironic that, the more you NEED to stop and savor time with your (rapidly) growing teens/adults, the LESS you seem able to do so.

With the age difference between the older children (all three in college) and the younger two (in 8th and 9th grade) spanning four years, we have the opportunity try some new parenting things, return to old favorites, and really focus on this time with David and Sarah.

“I’ve decided to restart Special Days,” Tim told me just before he left to take Daniel to California.
“That’s a GREAT idea,” I said, feeling a bit left out, Special Days were always a Father/Child activity.
“But this time we’re BOTH going to do them – one child each week,” he winked at me. He’s so smart.

So this week Tim met with David. I’m not sure what all they did (maybe Tim will blog about it, hint hint). I know they hid upstairs with a notebook, pen and a book to read. And I know they went out for ice cream afterward, so I guess it was a successful first Special Day.

The week was rapidly coming to a close when Tim asked me if I had anything planned to do with Sarah.

“Uh. Um. No” I’m sure I looked a bit sheepish.
“Did you remember?”
Those are not fair questions to ask.
“Of course. I’m totally on it!” When necessary, fake it!
“You’re empty, aren’t you?” (It always comes back to movie quotes in our family. That one was a classic, Silverado, “You’re empty, Mister” line.) I was obviously not fooling Tim. Thankfully Sarah was no where in sight.

I’m not used to doing Special Days. That’s always been Tim’s father/child thing. If he took all the kids at one time, I happily stayed home and relaxed or worked (which ever was more pressing at the time). If Tim was doing a single outing, I spent time managing/watching/teaching the other 4 children. Not to mention the fact that Sarah and I just completed our Passport2Purity weekend, and I’d exhausted all the usual fun mother/daughter activities.

“Well, how about you take her out for breakfast on Saturday,” he suggested patiently.

Didn’t I say he was smart? “Perfect,” I said with relief.

So, this morning we both slept in and then set off for breakfast at the local cafe. Of course, by the time we got up and got going, it was after 10 am and the place was packed. I guess we don’t have very many good breakfast spots in our town. Now that I think about it, my mom and I had trouble in December when we tried to take a friend out for a birthday breakfast at this same spot. We ended up walking over to Starbucks across the street and enjoying some coffee and a breakfast sandwich instead.

“What are we going to do,” Sarah asked me as we looked at the list of people ahead of us on the sign in sheet.
“I have an idea,” I said, crossing off our name, grabbing her hand and heading out the door.

Well, it wasn’t a cute breakfast place, and we didn’t have a yummy meal served to us at a cozy table, but we did get a tasty sandwich wrap and some delicious coffee for me. Hey, I can’t help it that the Starbucks is right across the street.

Worrying I was rapidly blowing my first Special Day outing, I took Sarah back home, got her some more breakfast (those little wraps are costly but not very filling when it’s nearly 11 am). The sun was shining, the house was quiet, and I was struck with a brilliant idea. I played it off like it was my original plan and not a last minute thought. Heh heh.

“Sarah, we’re going to do this Mother/Daughter journal that Rachel and I started. And let’s read this Mother/Daughter book too.”

Snuggle and read time.

Mother/Daughter Special Day time.

We snuggled on the love seat under a quilt, read through some journal entries, started the first chapter of 5 Conversations You Must Have with Your Daughter, and laughed together.

Whew, my first Special Day with Sarah wasn’t a total failure. Now to figure out what to do with David next week. I guess I might want to actually put some thought and planning into this.

Game Time!

Game Time!

Later we went for a walk as a family. Stopped by some friends’ house. Bought an adorable pink purse for me and 6 pairs of cute shoes for Sarah. Came home for lunch and an episode of Once Upon a Time. In the evening we sent Tim to church to start the registration for AWANA while we went to David’s best friend Eli’s first football game. Love family time and holiday weekends!

Shoe Score for Sarah!

Shoe Score for Sarah!

Stay tuned for more Special Day posts!

Project 365 – Day 248
Kathy

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Living in the Dark Ages

Today, we had a power outage. It was very strange — suddenly, around 10 am, with sunny skies, the power surged and flickered once or twice, and then snapped off.

Living in Western Washington, we’re no strangers to power outages. High winds, tree falls, flooding, ice on power lines; all these can (and do) cause power outages. But usually they happen in winter, and most often in the evening, when they are sure to be noticed. In such cases, you gather what candles and non-working flashlights you can find, gather around the dining room table for a game or a story, and go to bed early.

Our weather this Summer has been hot, and dry and calm, so when the winds picked up this morning, we were quite surprised. Our pretty green patio umbrella blew away and was destroyed, and one of the shed doors was wrenched off its hinges. Then the power went out.

I had been working on my Sunday School class (I write my notes and questions in MS Word, and do most of my research on the passage via the internet) and suddenly I was forced to revert to old-school methods. I felt a real solidarity with monks, living in the dark ages.

On the left, is a Bible presented in a strange form called 'print', and on the right is a quill and some parchment, which were used to record thoughts and ideas by primitive man.

On the left, is a Bible presented in an archaic form called ‘print’, and on the right is a quill and some parchment, which were used to record thoughts and ideas by primitive man.

It is surprising (to me, at least) how much of my life centers around work and entertainment, both of which tend to require electricity. I had planned to split my day between working on our church’s AWANA website and preparing for Sunday School, with maybe a movie thrown in in the evening. Without electrical power, I found myself at loose ends.

I zipped out to the Dollar store and shopped for a few things I needed for Sunday school, and picked up a few biscuits for breakfast (and, of course, a coffee for Kathy). We all caught up on our Bible reading. I read ten chapters of a Gary Schmidt book, What Came from the Stars aloud to Sarah and Kathy, and I developed my Sunday School class on paper. Eventually, the power did come back on (after six hours of barbarian life), and we celebrated by cooking a variation of our favorite Thai dish, Panang Curry.

There is just nothing quite like a good panang curry, for a hungry barbarian family.

There is just nothing quite like a good panang curry, for a hungry barbarian family.

In the evening, we drove to the airport to welcome back David, the returning prodigal, who reluctantly relinquished his life of luxury as a guest in California, in order to reclaim his rightful place in our family. After all, if he’d stayed away any longer, Sarah would probably have co-opted his bedroom as a craft workshop.

Hail the conquering hero's return!

Hail the conquering hero’s return!

Project 365, Day 241
Tim

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Sarah Cooks

It’s been a long week for Sarah. With Daniel heading to Bible college, Rachel and Joshua off at Union University, and David visiting a friend in California, the house has felt pretty empty. Of course, it wasn’t all suffering for poor Sarah.

We managed to – get pedicures, shop for dresses, go out to dinner, order Thai take-out, work through a weekend of Passport2Purity materials, and watch lots of movies.

Thanks for the makeover, Ally

Makeover with Ally

Beautiful new dress for Sarah!

Beautiful new dress for Sarah!

Beautiful 'old dress'

Beautiful ‘old dress’

Dinner out with my girl

Dinner out with my girl

Delicious food

Delicious food

Saturday evening David comes home, and Sarah will no longer be an only child. Whew. The pressure to be the only one doing the dishes, watering and weeding, doing chores and kitty responsibilities, is too much for one girl. Not to mention having to entertain her mom and dad and keep up a constant stream of conversation. Poor thing.

And tonight I realized I have been way missing a HUGE opportunity to exploit, I mean use, Sarah’s skills. This girl can cook (or at least prep) meals. She and David both took Cooking for a Crowd at co-op. Why haven’t I been taking advantage of these talented kids??

Chopping onions

Chopping onions

We're roasting veggies!

We’re roasting veggies!

Come on home, David, we’ve missed you!

Project 365 – Day 240
Kathy

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