Thursday, April 29, 2010

Everyday Eggs

This is a picture of my husband making the eggscellent everyday eggs for me. It started this fall when he began making two eggs instead of one for his breakfast each morning. I would stumble into the kitchen and see an egg and eat it. Wa-la -- how easy is that!?! It was great. After a few months, I got tired of eggs and asked him to stop. I wanted to eat other things for breakfast, too.

But then, I began being overwhelmed and grumpy and easy to snap at the children. When I would look at the clock, it would be 10 or 11 o'clock in the morning and I hadn't yet had a thing to eat. And so I have gone back to the everyday egg plan. It has been so helpful to have protein right away when I wake up.

It has also helped my attitude on what I am served to eat. I am more flexible and thankful for food in front of me that I didn't have to prepare. It is just one less decision to make. Hubby has made the mistake of occasionally asking me how I would like my egg if I am in the kitchen when I stumble in before he makes it. But I really just want him to decide. Another new discovery for the hubby & I. Just decide. The one with lots of preferences really does have the preference for someone else to decide -- sometimes.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Someone I am Not

Someone I am not. I am not a woman with straight hair. You can try but it doesn't last. A few months back some friends straightened my hair on a whim. As my children watched, one stared with big eyes, two cried, and one asked brightly, "Can they do that to my hair?"

I thought it would be fun for friends and family checking out the blog to glimpse what I would look like with straight hair. It lasted a few hours; sleeping on it curled it up. The shower finished the job (of curling it back up). I kind of liked it and kept running my fingers through my hair. But it is too much work to keep it this way. I am also not a woman who likes to spend much time on my hair -- so I have curly hair.

Well, here it is. Just a funny little post to brighten your day.

Love, Kathleen

Monday, April 19, 2010

Ode to Paper & Pens

By Kathleen T. Jaeger, copyright 2010

A fresh pad of paper
And bright blue ink
As blue as the sky
And the station wagon
We were in.

Armed with these,
No one could lock me out
Of the code I longed to know.
For here I was
The Master of the Message.

Blue sky,
And the joy of
Fresh paper and ink.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Flowers From a Four-year Old

And other things that I am thankful for.

Today I am thankful for:
** Flowers from a four-year-old -- you know the kind, dandelions & violets and other varieties penetrating the front lawn.

** Clam-hunting in the Stones River. Water levels were low. I spontaneously took a turn after Bible study and went for a nature walk on the green way. My son who does not like to stay on the path (can anyone say like father, like son?) veered many times down the bank and so we were exploring rocks and clam-hunting. Great idea, Levi. I took a clam shell and have it on my desk to remember the wonderful day. All the children thanked me for going off the path and allowing them to wade in the river. (I'm also thankful for thankful children).

** Sunshine, glorious sunshine. We have had days and days and days of warm, hot sunshine. I have loved it!! Soaking it in after the many gray days of winter.

** People who are helping my sister Nancy, brother-in-law Barry and niece Ella. Folks who watch Ella sometimes overnight or for a play date, meals brought, hospice care given, visitors and food and thoughtful emails and cards for them. I am glad there are hands and feet doing what I wish I could do from 900 miles away.

** I am thankful for telephones and emails that help us keep in touch.

** I am thankful for parents who raised me to independence, to think for myself who modeled hard-work and enjoying life and being there for one another in times of need.

** I am thankful for everyday eggs from a husband who loves me.

** I am thankful for a God who loves me so much that He sent His son to die for me and that His son is risen from the dead.

** I am thankful for a sending-off party for friends tonight -- thankful that we've been friends (sad they are moving away) but thankful that there are ties that bind and that there is friendship that lasts across the miles.

** I am thankful for friends who ask how I am doing and really want to know the answer.

** I am thankful for a Bible study leader who has faithfully taught God's word to me for 15 years.

** I am thankful for the entry in Jesus Calling that reminded me to be thankful when I was already thinking of this post on thankfulness.

Love, Kathleen

Friday, April 16, 2010

Tuna Sandwiches with a Twist

Today's post is about a favorite meal that my mom made. I remember calling her to ask for the recipe when I was a newlywed and she seemed surprised that I asked. But it's still a high rotation menu item. It is quick and easy. When I am planning my menus ahead, it will land on a night when I don't have much time to make something. And I often use the recipe when I need something quicker than on the plan for the week or on the weeks when I didn't make a plan as long as I have tuna in the cupboard. Also, thanks to a tip from a friend (thanks Jill!) I switched to white albacore tuna; my children now like all of the tuna dishes that I make. Instead of turning up their noses, they eagerly gobble them up.

Tuna Sandwiches with a Twist
3 cans white albacore tuna, drained
salt and pepper to taste
small dash of lemon juice
small dash of pickle juice, optional (this was an addition to my mother's recipe)
dill pickles chopped up, optional (I added this. Not in my mom's original recipe).
mayo, enough to make the sandwich filling moist

Mix the above ingredients. Put on sandwich bread.

Take 2-3 eggs and add a little milk. And mix together.

Dip bread into egg mixture and put on a hot griddle. Flip and grill on the other side.
Cut sandwiches in half and enjoy a yummy sandwich.

I am linking up with the Grocery Cart Challenge with this recipe swap. A great place of inspiration for keeping the budget low for a family of six.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Beautiful Books Bang for Bucks

"Of making many books there is no end..." King Solomon

This weekend I wandered the exhibit halls of a curriculum fair where much evidence abounded that "of making many books there is no end" has continued into the 21st Century (even though the digital book revolution is looming). Books, books, and more books everywhere you look. When you add 4,500 people to those books, even a bibliophile like me can be overwhelmed. (Do you like my new word from the English From the Roots Up book?)

In the midst of crowded aisles, I uncovered a treasure titled Making Books with Children by Valerie Bendt. (Check it out HERE). I went to her workshop, purchased two of her books and a set of DVDS. The book and DVD explain and show how to make a hard back book complete with jacket and hand-sewn pages. These will be even fancier than my own childhood treasures. The books she brought were amazing, even her three-year-old had made one!

I dug out a few titles I had written as a child: Cat and Mouse Adventures; Three Miles From Nilypoo; Me, as a Lightbulb; and Ducken and Draker's Adventures. (Sound familiar anyone?) We began analyzing story elements today with famous titles such as Make Way for Ducklings by Robert McCloskey, Mirette on the High Wire by Emily Arnold McCully, Cowboy Small by Lois Lensky, Big Red Barn by Margert Wise Brown. But the children most wanted to delve into the ones I had written. They gobbled up the stories and liked them. What a compliment from my voracious readers!

It is a tad humorous that I needed someone else to tell me to do this with my children -- a thing that I did naturally as a child. But now I know the educational benefits that of making books so we can spend the bulk of our school time on this (for a few weeks anyhow). This project makes us all enthusiastic about school. Sprinkle some sunshine into our day and we're beaming (even in spite of a nail puncture wound from the first born's many backyard building creations, a tetanus shot, and a child that almost fainted (the one watching, not the one receiving). )

If from curriculum fairs I always bring home a puzzle, a game, some art supplies, fun books to read and make, they'll soon be begging me to go away for four days, right?

Love, Kathleen

P. S. Today's A to Z Challenge Post was hosted by the Letter B hence the bolded Bs.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

P is for Pull-up on a Banana Tree

A Pull-Up on a Banana Tree
a poem by Kathleen T. Jaeger

What a strange sight I see
Way up high and out of reach
A pull-up on a banana tree
What could it mean,
This pull-up on the banana tree?
It means, it means a Jack lives with me.
(And that IS a very good thing indeed.)

A poem created and dedicated to the strange sightings of a mother of four children. Or it could be dedicated to the things your mother never told you about motherhood. I've been a mother long enough now to know to take pictures of such things as these. But, if a picture is worth a 1,000 words, what are these words telling me? A sense of humor is essential to sane parenting.

I'm taking a long weekend break from blogging and will resume my part in this A to Z Blog Challenge early next week (hopefully Monday, but I make no promises).

Love, Kathleen

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

D is for Derby Races

D is for Derby Races or another crazy Jaeger tradition. Who else celebrates Christmas by racing pine wood blocks transformed into cars? Every other year we celebrate Christmas in Tennessee with hubby's family. At the past three gatherings, we have raced pine derby cars.

At the beginning of the Christmas weekend, each willing participant (not all participate) receives a box with a block of pine wood to transform into a racing car. It is cut, painted, wheeled, weighed, and entered into the contest. We have a double elimination tournament, a 30-foot track, an official car starter, a flag ceremony,

a line judge, and a

head race official and master of tournament, weight qualifications, judges for the most creative, lots and lots of fun and...

.... trophies.
Because there are trophies, there are

show car winners and

the speed winners of the race. Yes, that is me in the middle. The second place trophy is on my book shelf in my dining room. (Yes, there are bookshelves in the dining room and almost every room of the house.) My brother-in-law Klay deserves the credit for my place since he helped me with every aspect of building my car named Moo-Moo. Thanks Klay! And thanks to all my fun Crazy Jaeger relatives for the great memories!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Anointed to Offer Sacrifices

"Learn to anoint with oil the hard places in your life as ordained and allowed by God," said the featured speaker at a ladies conference two weeks ago. I have been mulling on it ever since.

Israelite priests in Old Testament times were anointed for service. They were set apart for a special reason. One of their main duties was to offer sacrifices. They were anointed to offer sacrifices. And so are we.

Not only were the priests anointed but also the place was anointed. For the priests that place was the tabernacle. It, too, was set apart as a special meeting place. The place where God would meet with humans. And so it is to be with me. Anoint a meeting place with God. A place to offer sacrifices to God. And this speaker suggests it to be the hard places in my life.

And what kind of sacrifices shall I bring? The sacrifice of praise is one I am to bring as it says in Hebrews 13:15, "Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise - the fruit of lips that confess his name." And it is a sacrifice to offer praise in the midst of difficulty. It is hard to do. It costs something to praise in the midst of trials.

Hebrews goes on to say, "And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased. " (Hebrews 13:16). I'm so thankful that doing good and sharing with others are listed as sacrifices because it validates that they are hard to do, especially in the midst of our special anointed places -- those hard places, the trying relationships, the overwhelming circumstances of life.

When I view the events of my life as ordained and allowed by God, then I am encouraged to walk on and to press on. For these hard places become the very special places in my life to meet with God and to offer the sacrifices of praise, doing good, and sharing with others. It is a privilege to be anointed to offer sacrifices.

Note: This blog post comes to you as part of the A to Z Blog Challenge to post every day except Sundays during the month of April. Obviously, I'm behind since it is the 6th of April and it is my first post. But, I began this blog to encourage me to write. This challenge has come when I was desiring to write more. And so I begin. Check out the link HERE to view the original challenge and to see the links to the other bloggers stepping up to this April blog challenge.
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