Thursday, August 27, 2009

Thank You

Thank you to ICHE and the Convention Committee for the beautiful gold gilded tea cup. It has an S on it.


Other than the obvious S for Sisson, I think that it will remind me to SMILE when working on the convention. More truthfully, SMILE when working on the convention and the Lord does something spectacular! Every year we see His faithful hand at work over and over, sometimes providing just in the nick of time. (Remember His very last second provision of Calvary Church?) Boy do we have the stories!! Many reasons to "smile".

I think it's time for a steamy cup of Lemon Zinger tea while I smile and give thanks to recall the goodness of the Lord!


"It will also come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear." Isaiah 65: 24


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Zucchini Everything

It's that time of year when our garden produces basket loads of zucchini. We haven't had a garden for a couple of seasons so I am really enjoying this year's abundance.


I have already used at least 12 zucchinis

Of course one thing that we always look forward to is zucchini brownies. I have our standard recipe but decided to branch out this year since there are soooo many wonderful recipes on the web. We found this one at All Recipes and it's our all time five star favorite. The batter for this is not runny. It calls for no eggs and the moisture mostly comes from the grated Zs. You have to spread the batter in the pan.


The first time I made it I used Zs from Kyle's garden. He keeps up with his garden. His Zs were perfect, small, tender. The brownies were fudgy and delicious.
"drool"



The next time I made it, I used Zs from our garden. You know the kind that can be used as a defense weapon. Clubs. Gigantic. If you could figure out how to hang on to them you could use them as exercise weights. The brownies were a bit dry -- still good -- but not fudgy. I think it was because the Zs were older and drier.


WARNING: Do not make these if you don't like super strong chocolate flavor.


Zucchini Brownies

INGREDIENTS

  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (substituted choc chips)

  • 6 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 cup margarine (butter)
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 9x13 inch baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the oil, sugar and 2 teaspoons vanilla until well blended. Combine the flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, baking soda and salt; stir into the sugar mixture. Fold in the zucchini and walnuts. Spread evenly into the prepared pan.
  3. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until brownies spring back when gently touched. To make the frosting, melt together the 6 tablespoons of cocoa and margarine; set aside to cool. In a medium bowl, blend together the confectioners' sugar, milk and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in the cocoa mixture. Spread over cooled brownies before cutting into squares.


Spaghetti Pies

Had some left over angel hair pasta. (Thanks Elli) Added eggs, cheeses, spices and of course grated zucchini. I used grated dried Parmesan in this part instead of fresh--to absorb much of the moisture from the zucchini. Then topped each with a variety of goodies, sauce and more cheese.



















Yummy! I gave one away and froze one for a future lunch. (Surprising to me . . . my favorite was the simple one with portabella mushrooms!)

Well I haven't tried adding zucchini to a fruit smoothie yet. I think that I will just so I can have zucchini in every possible format, dessert, main dish, side dish, drink--- oh and , appetizer. Does anyone have a good zucchini drink recipe??


Soon it will be time for the pumpkins. Hum. . . .

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Library Day

We love going to the Library. Haley, Matthew and I went today and here's the majority of our loot! I've started getting resources for this year's history study. I of course also had to pick up a couple of cookbooks. The Deceptively Delicious cookbook has the most interesting recipes. They have a chocolate chip cookie recipe that includes chickpeas!! (I'll let you know if they are any good.)

Haley is pouring over fashion history and costuming books as well as her research on the reformation.
Matthew's been intrigued by the book Better Than a Lemonade Stand full of money making ideas for kids. He's also looking forward to building with his Lego's.
Since Grandma Glenna is still confined we took some books and videos over to her. I also asked her to pre-read and evaluate a couple of books for us. "smile"


For the comfort of their home educating patrons, we think that libraries need to supply shopping carts! Since we checked out 59 items (they have a limit of 75!) we had to make several trips to the car. Next time we should just bring a rolling suitcase.

Happy Reading Everyone!

Random Pictures










Monday, August 17, 2009

Quote

One should never initiate anything that he cannot saturate with prayer.
---Unknown

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Becca's Book Game

The Jones cousins were up for their yearly pilgrimage to G&G Sisson's house. They try to come and spend a week with Grandma and Grandpa every summer. They are very faithful to this tradition and it's a sweet time.

This year Becca brought with her a game that her friends made for her for her birthday. I wish I had gotten a picture of the game board. It is marvelous.


We tried it one evening. It is played like and modeled after the game called Careers.



The playing pieces are little books! Instead of going around to different careers you go through a book. All the question cards are trivia from the books.

The books were Anne of Green Gables, The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, Sense and Sensibility, Jane Eyre, Wives and Daughters, Emma, Little House on the Prairie, and The Inheritance.

We all got close to winning but Becca prevailed! Thanks for sharing your game with us Bec.

Andrew's Birthday

This is a belated birthday post. No we didn't celebrate late, I am putting up the pictures late!

We all gathered for Andrew's birthday. Matthew was VERY excited because he had gotten Andrew a special knife that's used for some specific thing when one is sailing. (Can't remember what it's for.) Matthew hid it beneath the cushion on Andrew's seat. He wasn't expecting that!

Everything that he received was related to sailing. Maps, charts, tools and a GPS.

Andrew is planning to sail for a couple of days up Lake Michigan this summer. He's been racking up his sailing hours in order to qualify to rent the boat he has in mind. It will be a dream trip for him.
Happy Birthday again A! May the wind always be at your back! "smile"

Love, Mominski
XOXOXOXOXOXO

New Perspective

We had a familiar visitor in a strange location on our porch!

We've often heard them and then seen them in our trees right outside the windows. They can be very noisy little critters.

This one was quiet though and let us get really close. Hum. Wonder if he was looking for a new perspective. More likely he was avoiding the cats. "wink"

Friday, August 14, 2009

On Motherhood


On Motherhood and Profanity by Elizabeth Elliott

"OK now, which one of you clowns put that bag of M 'n' Ms in the grocery cart?" The mother looks harried.

Two boys, maybe five and seven, eye each other and race away toward the gumball machine near the supermarket door. There is an infant strapped to a plastic board on top of the groceries, and a two year old occupying the built-in child seat in the cart. The mother picks up the M 'n' M candy bag and starts toward the aisle to return it. The two year old screams and she relents, throws the bag in with the rest of her purchases, patiently waits her turn at the check-out, fishes five ten-dollar bills from her purse, receives her small change, and pushing the cart with the babies in it, herds the two boys through the rain to the station wagon in the parking lot.

I go with her in my mind's eye. Jump out in the rain. Open the garage door. Drive in. Close door. Babies, boys, bags into the house in how many trips? Phone rings. Answer phone, change baby, wipe muddy tracks from kitchen floor. Feed baby, put groceries away, hide M 'n' Ms, start peeling vegetables, take clothes out of dryer, stop fight between two older children, feed two year old, answer phone again, fold clothes, change baby, get boys to:
1) hang up coats,
2) stop teasing two year old,
3) set table.
Light oven, put baby to bed, stop fight, mop up two year old, put chicken in oven, answer phone, put away clothes, finish peeling vegetables, look peaceful and radiant--husband will be home soon.

I see this implacable succession of exigencies in my mind's eye. They come with being a mother. I also see the dreams she dreams sometimes--write a novel, agents call, reviews come in. TV interviews, autograph parties, promotional traveling, a movie contract--preposterous dreams. Try something a little more realistic. Cool modern office, beautiful clothes, make-up and hairdo that stay done all day. A secretarial job perhaps, nothing spectacular, but it's work that actually produces something that doesn't have to be done over at once. It's work that ends at five o'clock. It means something.

I know how it is. I have a mother. I am a mother. I've produced a mother (my daughter, Valerie, has a two year old and expects another child soon). I watched my own mother cope valiantly and efficiently with a brood of six. ("If one child takes all your time," she used to say, "six can't take any more.") We were--we still are--her life. I understand that. Of all the gifts of my life surely those of being somebody's wife and somebody's mother are among the greatest.

But I watch my daughter and other mothers of her generation and I see they have some strikes against them that we didn't have. They have been told insistently and quite persuasively that motherhood is a drag, that tradition is nonsense, that what people have always regarded as "women's work" is meaningless, that "roles" (a word we never bothered much about until a decade or so ago) are changing, that femininity is a mere matter of social conditioning, that it's time to innovate. If the first-grade readers show a picture of a woman driving a hook-and-ladder and a man doing a nurse's job, see what happens to the conditioning. Abolish the stereotypes and we can abolish the myths of masculinity and femininity.

I hear this sort of claptrap, and young mothers often come to me troubled because they can't answer the arguments logically or theologically. They feel, deep in their bones, that there is something terribly twisted about the whole thing but they can't put their finger on what it is.
I think I know what it is. Profanity. Not swearing. I'm not talking about breaking the Third Commandment. I'm talking about treating as meaningless that which is freighted with meaning. Treating as common that which is hallowed. Regarding as a mere triviality what is really a divine design. Profanity is failure to see the inner mystery.


When women--sometimes well-meaning, earnest, truth seeking ones say "Get out of the house and do something creative, find something meaningful, something with more direct access to reality," it is a dead giveaway that they have missed the deepest definition of creation, of meaning, of reality. And when you start seeing the world as opaque, that is, as an end in itself instead of as transparent, when you ignore the Other World where this one ultimately finds its meaning, of course housekeeping (and any other kind of work if you do it long enough) becomes tedious and empty.
But what have buying groceries, changing diapers and peeling vegetables got to do with creativity? Aren't those the very things that keep us from it? Isn't it that kind of drudgery that keeps us in bondage? It's insipid and confining, it's what one conspicuous feminist called "a life of idiotic ritual, full of forebodings and failure." To her I would answer ritual, yes. Idiotic, no, not to the Christian--for although we do the same things anybody else does, and we do them over and over in the same way, the ordinary transactions of everyday life are the very means of transfiguration. It is the common stuff of this world which, because of the Word's having been "made flesh," is shot through with meaning, with charity, with the glory of God.

But this is what we so easily forget. Men as well as women have listened to those quasi-rational claims, have failed to see the fatal fallacy, and have capitulated. Words like personhood, liberation, fulfillment and equality have had a convincing ring and we have not questioned their popular definitions or turned on them the searchlight of Scripture or even of our common sense. We have meekly agreed that the kitchen sink is an obstacle instead of an altar, and we have obediently carried on our shoulders the chips these reductionists have told us to carry.

This is what I mean by profanity. We have forgotten the mystery, the dimension of glory. It was Mary herself who showed it to us so plainly. By the offering up of her physical body to become the God-bearer, she transfigured for all mothers, for all time, the meaning of motherhood. She cradled, fed and bathed her baby--who was very God of very God--so that when we cradle, feed and bathe ours we may see beyond that simple task to the God who in love and humility "dwelt among us and we beheld his glory."

Those who focus only on the drabness of the supermarket, or on the onions or the diapers themselves, haven't an inkling of the mystery that is at stake here, the mystery revealed in the birth of that Baby and consummated on the Cross: my life for yours.

The routines of housework and of mothering may be seen as a kind of death, and it is appropriate that they should be, for they offer the chance, day after day, to lay down one's life for others. Then they are no longer routines. By being done with love and offered up to God with praise, they are thereby hallowed as the vessels of the tabernacle were hallowed--not because they were different from other vessels in quality or function, but because they were offered to God. A mother's part in sustaining the life of her children and making it pleasant and comfortable is no triviality. It calls for self-sacrifice and humility, but it is the route, as was the humiliation of Jesus, to glory.

To modern mothers I would say "Let Christ himself be your example as to what your attitude should be. For he, who had always been God by nature, did not cling to his prerogatives as God's equal, but stripped himself of all privilege by consenting to be a slave by nature and being born as a mortal man. And, having become man, he humbled himself by living a life of utter obedience, even to the extent of dying, and the death he died was the death of a common criminal. That is why God has now lifted him so high. . ." (Phil. 2:5-11 Phillips).

It is a spiritual principle as far removed from what the world tells us as heaven is removed from hell: If you are willing to lose your life, you'll find it. It is the principle expressed by John Keble in 1822:


If on our daily course our mind
Be set to hallow all we find,
New treasures still, of countless price,
God will provide for sacrifice.

THANK YOU Gail for sharing this!!! I needed it. "smile"

Thursday, August 13, 2009

ICHE Picnic

Our annual Iche Appreciation Picnic is held at the Johnson farm in Morris. We always have the best time.
With temperatures and humidity soaring the pool was VERY popular!


A few rounds of ladder ball were enjoyed. We also had a corn hole toss game.

Robby and Grandpa Wendtland


I enjoyed the inside AC with the younger set. It was too much fun to be with the babies.

This picture just made me laugh. Alaina has to taste everything. Here's a quick lick on the pillow! Face it, you can imagine what that pillow tastes like, can't you?? How do you know? Hum maybe you've tasted something like it in your past!! HA
Later she also sampled the foot stool. That was okay, Bernetta said even though it was newly recovered, it had already been sampled before.



Amber may have had an early birth and was pretty small, but she has chubbed up really well. She's just a couple of pounds short of Alaina. You can't tell by the picture, but she has the most beautiful blue eyes! She is such a little doll.

What a privilege to serve with these wonderful families!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Meditation Today











Praise the Lord; praise God our savior!
For each day he carries us in his arms.
NLB

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears our burden,
The God who is our salvation.
NASB

Blessed be the Lord, who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation.
KJV

Psalm 68: 19

Photo Nate

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Alaina Crawling

videoAlaina and Gretchen were here during Mom's surgery. They came the weekend before and stayed through the next weekend. Gretchen, Alaina and Haley stayed at Mom and Dad's house with Dad during the week that Mom was hospitalized.

While they were here Alaina began to crawl!!!

Here is a video of one of her first attempts. I apologize that it is sideways. I can't figure out how to turn it! But it is too cute to pass up.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Thanks to the Lord

On July 20th Mom had surgery to replace her hip. I added a picture of what they put in because it is truly amazing.

The surgery was successful and her bones strong enough to place the long ball part in without cement! Six hours after the surgery Mom was up and walking down the hospital hall!!!

















She has no more hip pain. (the only pain she has is from the cut itself) The incision is healing nicely and now she is doing physical therapy to regain her strength.

Thank you all for praying for us.