Monday, June 21, 2010

Things my Pastor has Taught Me

I love going to a small church. I love it more than I ever thought I would. Having grown up at NMBC, I really wasn't too keen on the idea of regularly attending a church of about 40 people, often less, and half of those being kids. But when Cory and I starting talking seriously about getting married, he told me in no uncertain terms that he wanted to live in Browns Flat. I told him I wanted to live in Moncton and keep going to university. And he told me he was going to live in Browns Flat. Essentially, I could choose to join him there or not. And so I did. And am I ever glad I did! I am living my dream, and I didn't even know that this WAS my dream! Stay-at-home mom in a close knit, country community, surrounded by supportive friends. One of the things I appreciate most is being able to have a close friendship with our pastor and family. When you go to a huge church like NMBC you don't really get that opportunity, because it's frankly impossible for the pastor to have his home constantly open for people to just drop by and visit whenever they feel like it. So I'm very thankful.

Here's what I've been learning lately: Guy always talks about how parenting is by faith. I don't think I really understood what he meant before I became a parent, and I know I still have a long way to go before I really "get it" (if I ever do!), but I'm learning what he means. Lately I've been ogling the Baby Core Curriculum from Timberdoodle. It's got all these toys that are supposed to help with my child's development and make them into a better individual and more productive member of society, and books that will help me guide him along this process, teach him sign language and turn him into a veritable genius. BUT - I can't afford it. No way, not happening. I was reading about all the stuff it includes and I actually started getting stressed out and flustered. I was quickly becoming convinced that unless my child had these toys and I read those books to know how to stimulate his young mind, he would grow up ignorant and completely underdeveloped. Don't laugh at me, I'm serious! I had to put the catalogue away, take a few deep breaths, and spend a few moments in prayer. Guy's voice in my head reminded me that I'm raising this child by faith, and that I need to trust God that even though he doesn't have the expensive toys and I haven't read all the right books, the only toys he really needs are a mom and dad who love him, and the only book I really need to read is God's - the Bible. I need to have faith that my son will turn out just fine even though I can't afford certain things for him. I still would love to have the curriculum, if he gets large quantities of birthday money I know what I'll be buying, but even if I never get it I know that he is God's son, not mine, and God's going to do a much better job of raising him than all the fancy toys ever could. Phew!

On an unrelated note is the second thing that's struck me lately. In a recent sermon Guy was talking about gossip, and something he said really hit home for me. I've never really thought of myself as a gossiper, while I have moments of weakness I'm not really the type to blab incessantly about other people and their business. My home growing up was kind of private, and I inherited a lot of that reserve about personal things. The fact that I married one of the most uninhibited people I've ever met was quite an adjustment for me. But what Guy said was convicting: he said that gossips aren't necessarily the people who gab forever about this person or that, but they can also be the people who inject doubt about a person's character into a conversation by one small phrase. Ouch. That's SO me. I may not viciously tear them apart in a conversation, but I can and do turn opinion by merely raising a voice of doubt as to someone's character. Certainly if someone is in danger of overly trusting in someone else it can be good to raise doubts, but it's often unnecessary, and none of my business. I've got to watch myself and try to hold back from those small, cutting phrases. I'm glad that my eyes have been opened to that, even though it was hard to hear.

So those are two of the heavier things that have been on my mind lately. Beyond that life's been in upheaval all weekend with craziness but... wouldn't want to gossip about it ;) Prayers, however, are always appreciated.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Of Pizza.

Cory told me I should write down this recipe before I forget it, because it is our new all-time favourite pizza EVER. People think Cory's forgetful, so they tell me important things that must be remembered, but truth be told I'm probably just as if not more forgetful than he is so in the end neither of us remember. It's pretty sad actually. I hope Eli remembers these things when he gets older, otherwise he's going to miss out on a lot of activities because his parents never remember when things are happening.
Ok ok: pizza. Here it is.
Starting with crust, I've been using PW's, from her cookbook. It's fantastic, super easy, and DELICIOUS. I have yet to try it whole wheat, but that's my next step. I'll let you know how that turns out.
I press the dough into a pizza pan, then brush it with olive oil. Snip some fresh basil from my windowsill, slice it up and sprinkle on top. Then I slice up a tomato really thinly and lay the slices over top. Follow with cooked crumbled bacon and crumbled feta. Then I grab a handful of fresh asparagus, snap into bite sized pieces, toss in a bowl with some more olive oil and spread on top. Fresh ground black pepper, then mozzarella over the whole thing. Cook at 450 for 10-15 minutes, and TA-DA!! Tomato Asparagus Pizza, best thing of all time EVER.
For some reason when there's diced tomato on a pizza, it grosses me right out, but when there's thin slices of tomato, my mouth waters. Can anyone explain this to me?

Enough about pizza. On to my other favourite topic: my son. He's going to be crawling soon. I mean SOON. He is sooooo close, he'll get the arms going, or the legs, he just needs to figure out coordinating them, and use his knees more. He can get around a little bit, it's just a very slow process. Faster on the kitchen floor than on the carpet, because he can slide easier. He likes that.

He's wonderful.

Spent this afternoon enjoying the beautiful sunshine working on the VBS Float for the parade tomorrow. Theme is "Kingdoms and Crowns," so we were making it look as much like a castle as possible. Turned out really cool, looking forward to seeing it tomorrow.

Cory's working all night again, so it's another lonely evening for me. The kitchen is beckoning me to come clean it. Until later...

Thursday, June 17, 2010

My Kitchen Windows: A Retrospect

 When I first moved into the apartment, my wonderful mother-in-law had done a really great job fixing up the place. I can only imagine how many hours she put in making it ready for me, and I was amazed at her generosity with all the stuff she gave me. Her old vacuum cleaner, almost a full set of pots, silverware, you name it. When I moved in the place was fully stocked! Not only did she give me practical things, but she also found curtains for the rooms that didn't have any, and decorated with plants and knick-knacks all around. Most of the stuff I loved, and kept, but this one window in my kitchen, while I liked it, never quite felt like "me." She had hung adorable curtains, and put little china figures on the nooks around it. I loved the curtains, still do, but wasn't big on the figurines.These aren't exactly "before" pictures, originally that plant wasn't there and there was another figure there and on the left. But you get the idea. The lighthouse was my own addition, I liked it, and still do.

Here's the thing though: I'm lazy. And I didn't know what to put there, so I just left it, even though I didn't really like it. For almost two years. Yeah, I know. That's bad. A few months ago Cory put that plant there, which I liked, but the window still wasn't me. That changed today. Behold, my new window. I know the change is really not that drastic, but I did it, and I'm proud of myself for finally getting off my lazy behind and making something that I like. The other window in the kitchen has candles and a Willow Tree figurine that my sister bought me on it, but I had no more candles, so I put these mason jars up there. Simple, incredible cheap, and much more "Emily." I put that other plant there too. Now finally, I am completely happy with my window. In the fall when we harvest our garden and do our canning I'll pull down these jars, fill them with delicious things from the garden and then put them back up, full. I'm thinking tomatoes and pickles. Then once we empty them, I'll just put empty jars back up. I'm completely content. Hopefully once we move into a house someday I won't be as lazy about home decorating as I have been in the apartment. I suppose I originally thought we would only be here for a year or so, but since it looks like we're sticking it out for a while, I am glad my kitchen is finally perfect. It's now my favourite room in the house. More pictures to follow...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pizza Fail

I know I'm not a consistent person, but last night's pizza disaster was too epic not to tell the world about.

Every Sunday night, after evening service, Cory and I eat a McCain International Thincrust Pizza. It's our favourite. So last night Cory went to take it out of the oven, except that he didn't use the oven mits because I forgot and left them at the church AGAIN, so he grabbed a couple potholders, slipped, burnt his finger and half the toppings ended up smeared all over the oven door. While he ran his hand under cold water I consoled him, scraped some of the toppings off the door and patched the pizza back together as much as I could, trying not to laugh at him TOO much. He sliced the pizza up and we loaded our plates and headed into the living room to eat it. I went to move a book off the coffee table, tipped my plate, and dumped both pieces of pizza onto the carpet. Topping side down.

I'm not kidding.

Do you think I would kid about something like this? It was tragic.

Normally dropping my pizza on the floor would have greatly upset me, but the irony of the situation was such that I couldn't even get mad, all I could do was laugh. So for the second time that night, I found myself scraping toppings and patching pizza. I actually managed to salvage most of it. I think I ate a lot of cat hair, but I was hungry ok!

The whole pizza thing reminded me of when Cory first moved into this apartment before our wedding when I moved in. He burnt his hand back then too - he put an oven mitt on his right hand, opened the oven to retrieve something and reached in and grabbed it... with his left hand. He felt kind of dumb that day. I felt kind of dumb last night. We're even.

I hear a little boy giggling with daddy in my bedroom, must go join in the fun.

Until something else disastrous happens...