Friday, March 27, 2009

It's Friday!!!

It's been kind of a long week for me. Spring is busy, busy in the office. Mr. amazing came home early yesterday, so I could stay a little later and finish things up, week is SPRING BREAK!!! WOO HOO!!! I'm a little excited if you couldn't tell. He's taking a couple of days off, and we are planning some fun stuff to do with the kiddos.

Three years ago we were drowning in romance on the most amazing vacation!!! I'll tell you about it later this week. Just think Caribbean.

I just made two orange pound cakes, for our dessert tonight. Ian said he wants a brownie for dessert and a piece of pound cake not for dessert. He's a guy after my own heart.

Since I have next week off, I was thinking I should take some extra time to pray for all of you. Not that I don't pray for you regularly, but really set aside some time to do this in a specific way. In order for me to do this I need to hear from you though. I would consider myself a pretty private person, and I don't want you to feel like you have to tell me your requests here in the comment section. Feel free to e-mail me at Your request may big or small or maybe you have a praise. I would really love to pray for you, but if you don't feel like sharing...that's fine too. Your're still my friend. Oh and just to let you know, if it is something private...I'm really good at keeping things to myself. I'll just talk to God about it.

Have a great weekend friends!!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Easter ideas

We had a couple of crabby cakes this evening, must have been that bedtime story. So I made a pan of brownies for the little man, because treats cheer him right up. It's too bad he lost his "treat" tonight because he was behaving so well! :) I need to write the ladybug a love note, she had kind of a crummy day at school "because I'm just so sick of math."

Can you believe that Easter is just in a couple of weeks?!?!?! I thought I would post a couple of the things we made last year.

1. I'm not a huge fan of those kits for Easter eggs. I have used them plenty of times, but I wanted to do something more creative last year. We decided on marbelized eggs. We thought they turned out pretty cute. This year we are thinking of making glitter eggs.

2. We also made this yummy ham. Here is the recipe.

1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1/2 cup brandy
The juice and zest of 1 large orange
2 tbs. Dijon mustard
1 tbs. whole cloves
1 6-8 pound smoked ham

Preheat the oven to 325. Combine the brown sugar and molasses in a small saucepan and melt over low heat. Remove from the heat, add the brandy, juice, zest, and mustard, and mix well.
Remove the skin and fat from the ham and place in a baking dish. Make 1/4- inch cuts in the ham in a diamond pattern, place the cloves in the diamonds. Pour the glaze over the ham.
Bake for 2 to 2 1/2 hours or until warm, basting with the glaze.
Remove from the oven and let cool until you can remove the cloves. Pour the drippings in a bowl and serve on the side.

I would love to hear about your favorite Easter traditions!


Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Bits of encouragement

I just devoured the last of the flan. Ohhhh...soooo....yummmy!!! If you like creamy, caramely goodness please make yourself a little's like falling in love.

I just tucked the cuties in bed. They requested a bedtime story. We climbed into the guest bed, piled on the fluffy pillows, and snuggled under the fuzzy blankets. The little cutie suggested Days with Frog and Toad. I read as they laid their heads on my shoulders. Don't you just love being a least most days. Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bugs bite.

Here is a bit of encouragement.

"Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but EXTRAVAGANT. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that." Ephesians 5:1-3 (The Message)

God's love is so amazing, it brings me tears of joy! Go love like that.


Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Birthday party!

Saturday was such a beautiful day. We spent most of it outside celebrating Brian's Dads birthday, a lovely time was had by all. Here is our day in photos.

If you want to have some fun with your photos go to Thanks Shana for the info! Thanks to all of you for the great lunch ideas too! I think I will have some happy campers.


Saturday, March 21, 2009

Date night

2005, To my budding "chef" may this book inspire you to bring the flavors of Mexico into our kitchen. I love you! Rach
He has made many delicious dishes out of this book since he received it. It is one of his favorites, and it never seems to disappoint.
The food was fabulous! All the recipes were from Rick Bayless' cookbook, Mexico one plate at a time.


Pure and simple shaken margarita the classic. Very good, but VERY strong!! I nurse mine over the course of the evening. I personally like Grand Marnier in mine. I had Brian mix sugar and salt together and put it on the rim of my glass. Yum!
Red chile enchiladas, street-style

The meal was simple, but delicious.

One of you was kind enough to say that we sound more like a newly dating couple rather than a couple that has been married for quite some time, and asked me to share our "secret".

A number of years ago I attended seminary and was studying Marriage and Family Ministry. I still remember one of my professors saying that one of the best gifts you can give your children is a strong marriage. A few months ago we were all hanging out as a family and Ian said to us "you two are in love"! This of course made my heart soar. I thought well, at least we are doing something right. I also thought, I really need to document our family life for our children. I really want them to know and remember how much we love each other. That being said, I do not think that our marriage is perfect, amazing, or the standard that one should compare their marriage to. God has made us all unique individuals, and thus our marriages are all unique. What works for one couple may not for another. We're just your average guy and girl that meet and fell in love at 18, and our striving for excellence in our marriage. In our society today being married for any considerable length of time is awe inspiring, and it is something to be proud of. For us though, it is not enough. We want our marriage to be excellent, we want to put our best forward and to be madly in love with each other. I think of my "pseudo" grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa Radeck. They probably have been married close to 70 years. Grandpa is 92 and Grandma is in her late eighties. I remember a couple of Thanksgivings ago, they were sitting on the sofa. I'm not talking just sitting next to each other, but they were sitting right next to each other, and her hand was in his. How wonderful is that! This is what we want. If God grants us that many years together...I want my hand to be in his at 92.
I will try to share in my date night posts "our secrets". For this first one, I asked mr.amazing, what's our secret? Well, this is a family friendly blog, so I'm not going to even go there, but I bet you can figure it out ( what is ALWAYS on their minds). Yep, you guessed it. Unbelievable, he makes me laugh! It did get me thinking about touch though and how important it is to us as humans. From the time that we are born, we crave to be held and loved. We love to sit on Mom or Dad's lap and cuddle, ride on Dad's shoulders, and have our hair brushed. This desire to be "touched" doesn't go away as we get older. Our longing to feel loved, safe, and secure is still there, just like when we were children. Even though I like to think that we are intentional in our marriage, I don't think we intentionally think about touch. Well, I take that back. I'm sure we were intentional in the beginning, but now it is just natural and has become a habit. Here are a few of our "secrets". Whenever he leaves in the morning, we stop whatever we are doing and he gives me a sweet kiss and we say I love you and wish each other a good day. When he arrives, I get another sweet kiss, and a I love you, and maybe even a hug. Actually we do this whenever we part if someone is off to Target or to put gas in the car, we still cling to this ritual. I tend to always be cold so he always offers me his arm when we are at church or if we are just watching a movie at home. I love holding his hand, swinging it back and forth as we walk. It makes me feel young. So what can I say...pinch him, squeeze him, hug him, love him. How about that for a "secret"?


Friday, March 20, 2009

$4.24 and $4.64

The menu flowed easily this week. We're cooking all things Rick Bayless tonight. We love Rick, he's our Mexican kitchen hero! I asked mr. amazing does lemon crumb cake sound good for dessert. No...not really (at least he's honest right). Well, what does sound good? Hmmm...something light and creamy. How about flan? Flan...really? Well...if you're up to it. He likes to challenge me in the kitchen. There in the oven now, we'll see how they turn out.

One of my love notes this week said "You really...rock my world"! HA HA!! I guess after all these years, I'm glad I still "rock his world". I wish I could share all these sweet messages he sends me, but you would tire of them. I'll share the funny ones with you.

On another note...those of you who know me well,know that I'm not a big spender. It's not that I don't like shopping...I do...I just don't like spending money. I know this makes no sense. I love finding a deal though! Last Friday, I was out shopping and I found two fun tops!

Isn't this romantic!?!?! Pale pink...with a hint of metallic thread running through it. I can envision me wearing this with his hand in mine as we walk around the lake this summer. The sun setting behind us. It cost me $4.64.

This will be right up his alley. Sassy...don't you think? I have the cutest pair of black patent wedges that will go perfect with them. I'm thinking his birthday dinner, which is in about a month. Speaking of, I need to make reservations! We're going somewhere fun, no cute kiddos allowed. Oh, this one $4.24.

Actually they both were a little less, because I got to use my Target discount! I love a bargain. Happy Friday friends!! Have a beautiful weekend!


The flowers are from him. :)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Happy Birthday Grandpa, oops, and a bit of encouragement

First of all I need to say "Happy Birthday" to my Father-in-law. Our little family is wishing you a beautiful day filled with many good things. The celebration is Saturday, and I will post pictures. :)

Second, I realized some of my links for date night were not working. I seemed to have corrected the problem...I hope. If you happen to try, and they are still not working please let me know.

Third, a bit of encouragement.

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Lean on His strength.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

This morning as I was putting together breakfast for the children, that naughty little leprechaun snuck behind my back and turned the milk green. He does this every year. We thought we saw him flying out the window, but we didn't catch him. Maybe next year.

I recently found this sweet blog called The Vintage Pearl. She makes really pretty silver jewelery (I'm thinking mother's day...hint...hint sweetheart). She also has a brilliant eye and takes really beautiful photos of her family!!! She is giving away some really pretty earrings that her friend made right now. Her friend makes jewelery too (very feminine). Her blog is called Pouty Girl Design Studio If you would like, go visit their blogs. I personally love handmade things. These are two very talented ladies.


Monday, March 16, 2009

A man and his pan

Mmmmm...our home has the scent of vanilla. I just baked these yellow cupscakes so I could use up the rest of Mrs. Millman's chocolate frosting. Mr. amazing just said he can't wait to sink his teeth into one.

One fine day this past summer my love and I decided to take a day with just the two of us. We visited a little town by the river. We walked up and down main street hand in hand. We strolled through the shops admiring all the beautiful antique pieces. I was looking through baskets for linens, and he was running his hands over old wood. We stumbled over a shop that was closing it's doors. We were rummaging through boxes when he came upon this little black beauty. Oh, it was love at first sight between these two. He looked at me and said "what do you's only three dollars"? I thought why not? It was in need of a little TLC, but he was more than willing to give it. He loves to massage oil into it's surface until it shines. He takes it out and uses it whenever he can find a reason, then gently cleans it, no soap please, then gives it a lovely massage again. Lucky pan. He wants to find a partner for his little pan. I guess we will be visiting that little town again. I'm not sure if a little pan ever felt so much love.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

Date night

He looked deep into my eyes and said, you know that I'm your biggest fan, and that you don't ever have to worry about my love for you.

I love creating in the kitchen with mr.amazing. We work together well...our strengths and weaknesses compliment each other. We had Pandora radio on. The children were watching The Secret Garden. Katie just checked out a copy of the book at the library with beautiful illustrations. We chatted, chopped, crushed, sauteed, frosted. Then enjoyed our delicious meal together.


Parmesan Thyme crackers
French Farmhouse Garlic chicken, Better Homes and Gardens 75 years of all-time favorites
Brussel sprouts Lardons
Banana cake with Mrs. Millman's chocolate frosting

We have always encouraged the children in the kitchen. Last Sunday Katie wanted to make something. We had some leftover thyme from the coq au vin, so they made the dough for the crackers and we baked them yesterday. This recipe was really good! The kids really liked the crackers as well. It is really important that you use good parmesan. I sprinkled a little fleur de sel on them after baking. This would be an easy starter for company, because you can make the dough ahead of time and just take it out and bake it before your guests arrive.

I haven't made this chicken dish in quite some time. As I was looking for ideas on Thursday, this book kept popping up in my mind. I finally picked it up, and remembered this recipe. I will post it at the bottom.

These brussel sprouts are our favorite, I have made them many times and even the kids will eat them. I make this dish a little different than Ina. I don't use the olive oil, you really don't need it when you are cooking bacon in my opinion. I only use 2-3 slices of bacon, to cut back on the fat. I have also used salami, and ham. I make sure that pan is big enough so the sprouts can each lay down on their cut side. This way, they get some nice carmelization on the bottom. It really brings out the flavor. The raisins add a nice sweetness, and cut some of the bitterness that brussel sprouts have. I would really encourage to try this recipe! It is a great way to introduce a "good for you" vegetable.

The banana cake was the same one that I made from the Cake Bible a few weeks ago. I froze half of the cake and frosted it with this delicious chocolate frosting. It was so easy to make, and very yummy. Even Brian loved it! He really doesn't like cake, let alone frosting. He kept going on and on about it. He said it was really smooth and creamy like a truffle. He even suggested that I make some cupcakes, so we could use up the rest of the frosting. What! Were is my husband and what have you done with him! :)

We sipped our wine and cleaned up. By the warm glow of the light in our room, I tried on a few tops that I had purchased that day. He like them both. Then we curled up in our warm bed...sleep well my love.


French Farmhouse Garlic Chicken

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 tbs. olive oil
40 cloves crushed and peeled garlic
1/2 cup white wine, chicken broth, or water
1/2 cup "
1 tsp. real lemon juice
2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
4 teaspoons all- purpose flour
2 tbs. water

Rinse chicken; pat dry with paper towels. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet heat oil over medium high heat. Add garlic cloves, and cook until light brown. Remove garlic. Add more oil if needed, cook chicken for 2-3 mins on each side or just until brown, turning once. Slowly add 1/2 cup wine, and the other 1/2 cup of liquid, the lemon juice, and Italian seasoning. Cover and simmer for 6-8 minutes or until chicken is tender and no longer pink. Remove to a plate and keep warm. In a small bowl stir together the flour and the 2 tbs. water. Stir into pan juices. Bring to boiling. Cook and stir for 1 minute. Spoon over chicken.

Friday, March 13, 2009

Our Monday

I love Fridays! I treasure the quiet, I am blessed with on these days. Mr. amazing came home early today, and made me a little grilled Jamacian jerk steak sandwich. He's sweet. I can't wait to sit around the table with him tonight and laugh...oh how he makes me laugh.

On Monday the kiddos didn't have school. Here's what we did.

Happy Friday! Have a great weekend!


Thursday, March 12, 2009

A few things...

If you could see me now you would laugh, and say that's "classic Rachel". I am in our guest room sitting on the bed surrounded by piles of cookbooks and cooking magazines. I'm working on next weeks menu/grocery list. I like to plan out seven meals for the week, and I'm stuck on the last meal...the most important night! UGH!!!! Mr. amazing suggested fish, we had fish last week, pork tenderloin, not in the mood. I know I'm being difficult. How about Lemon Meringue ice cream pie in toasted pecan crust, or devil's food cake. I told you I was being difficult. I'm going to take a break from all of that and clear my head. It will all come together it always does. :)

I was on the Pioneer woman's blog the other day and she had all these ladies over to learn how to make cake pops from the cake pop queen Bakerella Anyways two of these ladies have a t-shirt business. Really, super cute t-shirts! I would wear one of these t-shirts. These are not frumpy mom t-shirts. The best part about these t-shirts is that they have Bible verses on the back of them. They are really cool...I think I need to get one for myself. If you click on the button that is on the top left, the one that says God is good, it will take you right to their sight. Very cool...check it out. I like the one that says rooted.

For your listening pleasure...I have added a little background music, something soft and soothing. Something you would hear if I invited you over to lunch. We would chat, and have tea, and something yummy for dessert. No boys allowed...or there would be loud annoying music play. :) Let me know your thoughts on the music. I'm not a fan of going to people's blogs and hearing a song usually. I find it distracting. I did visit a blog the other day and she just had instrumental...I thought it was nice. If you scroll all the way down, you can actually see my "playlist".

I'm not sure what to say about this last bit. Over the last few weeks the ladybug has told us about a few different boys expressing their affection for her. We have been gathering this by comments she has made, even though she is pretty clueless. One boy wrote in his notebook that he liked her because she is cute and nice. One boy said she was the class "hottie". My goodness, these children are 11 years old. Brian said he needed to get a gun, not a big gun, just a small one. :) Pleaaase!! You don't need a gun have me. I remember this type of stuff happening when I was in 5th grade, I guess it kind of snuck up on us. She has a good attitude about all of it she thinks it's funny and weird. She is pretty open and honest with us, which I think it good. She rather just play football with them. Yes, you heard me right, football! Now for those of you who know our Katie you know that she is quite petite in height and build. Apparently she's a fast runner though. They ask her to play...she is the only girl that plays. I don't know much about football, but I do know that the person catching the ball I think they are called the receiver, their the ones getting chased and tackled. Yes...that would be the position Katie plays. She assured me that they don't play tackle when she plays, just touch football. She made two touchdowns today. Great. I always wanted well-rounded children. Can't we just stick with the ballet Katie. :)

Well I better get back to my piles here. Hopefully I will be inspired soon! Have a great weekend!


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Bits of encouragement

The wind was howling last night. I could sense it trying to creep it's cold hands through the cracks and crevices of our old home. My love drew me close to his warm body...and all was well.

God's creation is so AMAZING! Do you see all the little details in this flower? The different shades of red/pink, the shape, the design, the little hairs on it's head. Just think about how much he loves and cares for us.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139: 13-14


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

New look

What do you think about the new look around here? Especially the one above! I have to thank two friends for helping me with this project. The first, would my dear friend Kim from my college days. She is a writing genius! I wanted to change the subtitle to something that really reflected the heart of our blog. I immediately "ran" to Kim. She helped me brainstorm. I was thinking...musings on life and love, but that didn't capture it. She liked musings, and amazing husband. :) She took it a little further...Romance in the kitchen and beyond. Then she came up with the word SERENITY. Ohhh, I like it! Kim's take on it is all is well, even though life is crazy. A state of heart and mind. Some more thinking, she comes up with Cooking up food, family and love, recipes for daily life. Some more thinking...I throw out Creating love through family, friends, and for serene living. I like it, it fits.

The other lovely lady is the "Blog fairy". You can find her at or there is a button on the left that you can click and it will take you right to her site. Emily was great to work with! She was incredibly prompt, and very professional. She listened to what I was looking for in a new header, and totally made it happen. I love it! She can help you make all sorts of changes to your blog big or small. Check out her site, she has really cute backgrounds for FREE!!! Emily is also very reasonably priced, compared to other graphic designers I looked into. Make sure to tell her I sent you. :)

Well, this blog is not the only one with a new look. Here she is...what do you think? Let me clarify that she was in total agreement, about getting her hair cut. She actual prefers it short, but she hasn't had it this short since she was probably two!


Monday, March 9, 2009

Lovely locks

It is so quiet here. In the darkness of our room Mr. amazing kissed me and wished me well today. I can hear the birds chirping outside our window. Spring must be on it's way soon. The children are sleeping. Oh, one just woke up. So much for the quiet. There is no school today. Teacher's are busily preparing for conferences. I have a full day planned for my two.

When Katie arrived home on Friday I rushed her upstairs to take photos. She has such pretty hair, but it has been a thorn in both of our sides lately. It was decided that we would get it cut today. I wanted to document what she looked like with it longer at this age. This is what we got.

After looking through the photos Katie said my hair looks like chocolate. Yes...a chocolate river with caramel streams running through it.


Saturday, March 7, 2009

Date night

Mmmmm...if you walked through the front door of our home you would be overwhelmed by the wonderful aromas floating from the kitchen. Mr. amazing is making coq au vin for dinner tonight. Yum!

Date night was simple and nice. Nothing too exciting, we were both pretty tired from the previous night.
One of Brian's favorite cook book author's is Ina Garten. He had been eyeing her latest book for awhile. I decided to pick it up for him for Valentine's day. We decided to try a few of the recipes for dinner. Here is what the menu looked like.

Mustard roasted fish
steamed green beans
mango slices
brownie pudding

I'm not a huge fan of fish, but I try because everyone else in the fam likes it. This was actually really good, and we will definitly make it again. The brownie pudding is like a molten chocolate I really need to say anymore.

One of our local liquor stores is relocating so they had a big sale. Brian found three really nice bottles of Riesling for 50% off. This went great with the fish!

We then decided to watch the movie that we had tried to watch the previous night. So not worth it! Both of us thought it was terrible. So Mr. Amazing went upstairs to warm up my side of the bed which he does every night. I love climbing into a cozy bed. Sweet


Friday, March 6, 2009

Tummy aches

Last night Mr. Amazing and I started watching a movie. A few minutes into it I noticed some odd but familiar behavior from him. He gets very quiet, speaks very little, and seems completely uninterested in the movie. He feels sick...upset stomach. I send him up to bed. It is rare that we don't go to bed at the same time. It was something he insisted on in the very beginning of our marriage, and I was more than happy to go along with the suggestion. When someone goes to bed at 8:45 we are a little more flexible. Well, I went to bed at 11:00 ( which is way past my bedtime) with the hopes of getting up at 5:30 to workout. Around 2:45 Ian came into our room saying that he threw up in his pillow and proceeded to throw up in our room. I rushed him downstairs and he threw up some more. He was not happy! This is only the second time in his 6 1/2 years that he has thrown up. I set him up in the guest room with a bucket and I clean things up. I crawl into bed with him and probably 30 minutes later he throws up again in bed. Into the bathroom we go again. I take him back to his room, clean up, and crawl into bed. Around 7:30 he comes into our room and asks if he can play Lego star wars on the wii. We get Katie off to school. Ian's been his p.j.'s all day, laying around and watching scooby doo. Every hour or so he asks me if it is 3:00 (that's when he can start playing the wii). He seems better, and so does Mr. Amazing. Must have been some 24 hour bug. Needless to say I did not work out this morning.

Have a great weekend friends! Stay healthy!


Thursday, March 5, 2009

My handsome fellas

The lighting was perfect in our guest room so I decided to have a "photo shoot" with my boys.

This last one is my favorite!
Have a great weekend friends!
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