Our Food Story, Part I

When Matt and I got married, we came from two very different worlds.  And like pretty much every other aspect of our lives, our food backgrounds really couldn’t be more different.

I grew up in a home where both of my parents worked.  My mom cooked tasty food, but it wasn’t her favorite thing to do.  Once my brother (ten years my senior) went off to college and my dad was working a lot of evenings, it was really just her and I and I was a terribly picky eater, so often we would eat out or eat something quick and easy.  I grew up a “grazer” and ate pretty much whatever I wanted whenever I wanted.

In Matt’s home, his mom was at home and found satisfaction in preparing meals for their family.  She worked hard to make things healthful and as natural as possible.  They were organic health food before organic health food was cool. He grew up a member of the Clean Plate Club and pretty much only ate at designated meal times.

I’m not saying one is better or worse than another.  Both mothers were doing their best to provide nutritious meals for their families.  My only point is we came to the table (so to speak) in marriage with different backgrounds, liking similar foods, but used to eating in very different ways.

As the primary grocery shopper and food preparer in our family, I prepared meals the way I grew up eating them and I stocked the pantry and refrigerator the way it had always been done at my parents’ house.

While Matt enjoyed and appreciated this approach food, his waistline did not.  Over the years we have learned that he can’t eat the way I grew up eating.  And since I no longer have the ridiculously fast metabolism I once had (thank you, age 32, for taking that away without warning), I can’t either.  So, like so many aspects of our marriage, we’ve had to find out own way of doing food, nutrition, and mealtimes.  And I’ll share more about that next week.


Here’s a recipe for this week.  It was rather accidental – something I’ve never done before.  I’m a big fan of recipes and following them exactly.  However, Monday was cool and drizzly and I had some potatoes that were growing eyes and needed to be used or tossed, so I threw some things together and made what may be my new favorite potato soup.

Accidental Potato Soup

  • 3-4 good sized potatoes, peeled and chopped
  • baby carrots as desired, chopped
  • 1 small to medium sized red onion, diced
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups half and half
  • salt and pepper to taste

Throw all ingredients into pot and heat to a slow boil.  Cook, stirring regularly, until potatoes are cooked through.  Serve with crackers or warm bread and enjoy!

This made a good-sized pot and my family nearly licked it clean in one night.


Time and Balance Tuesday – Five Reasons I Love My Smart Phone

Well, I think I promised this post a few weeks back, but October has been dubbed “the month that got away”, so here we go trying to start again.

Late this last summer, I traded in my Blackberry for a gently used iPhone and my Mac product brainwashing was complete.  I’m a big fan of my phone.  I have found several apps that have simplified my life and allowed me – an avowed “paper person” – to go virtually paperless.  Here are some of my favorite apps; maybe they will help you too:

  • iCal – if you have an iPhone, this is obviously not an app you have to go out and download, it comes with the phone.  I have found it to be so easy to use that, like I said above, I have completely eliminated the paper planner that has been a part of my life since 9th grade. (<—– NERD!)
  • Seize the Day – once I realized I could go paperless with my calendar, I wanted to find a task list for my phone to see if I could go paperless there too.  I found Seize the Day, a free app that works really well and clicking the check box when I finish something is almost as much fun as crossing it off on paper.  And rescheduling is much better than rewriting several items to the next day on paper.  Two thumbs up.
  • Calengoo – since I spent a fair amount of time creating a workable school schedule for us this year, with actual times for actual classes, I wanted to find a program that would alert me when it was time for someone to move on to the next class without me constantly referring to a spreadsheet at the back of my clipboard.  Calengoo will do exactly that.  One could also put their daily calendar and task lists on this app as well, but I don’t want my personal calendar cluttered with school stuff and I don’t want our school calendar cluttered with our personal stuff and my to do list, so I have opted to use this app exclusively for school.  Again, two thumbs up.
  • iPeriod Free – this one is just for the ladies….the name pretty well sums up what you’re going to do with this app.  I’ve had this app on my iPad for over a year and now it’s on my phone.  Very easy to use and accurate.  You can chart your cycles up to a year ahead, which can be helpful if you’re planning a get away or just want to know what to expect when.
  • Local library app – this one is just for folks where live here locally….with this handy little app I can now easily check the library catalog for a book or author we are interested in and reserve the book from my phone.  Even better, I can check what books are due when without entering that ridiculously long card number on the website and renew them if necessary.  Hopefully this will help with our occasional run-ins with the overdue fees.

There you go – my five favorite apps for the iPhone.  How do you use technology to simplify your life?

For His Glory ~

~ Sara

To Find Him in the Everyday

Beloved Father, help me to expect you as I travel the ordinary road of life.  I am not asking for sensational experiences.  Fellowship with me through my everyday work and service and be my companion when I take an ordinary journey.  And let my humble life be transformed by Your presence. 

~ Streams in the Desert, October 22

“There is a reason I am not writing the story, and God is.  He knows how it all works out, where it all leads, what it all means.  I don’t.  Maybe…it’s accepting there are things we simply don’t understand.  But He does.”

~ Ann Voskamp

A Velveteen Mother — made Real by the years — the way grace can happen to you. And not all at once — but you become. And grace becomes you.

To be just a Velveteen Mother: worn and weathered down to the exquisite beauty of the frame of the Cross.

It’s the threadbare simplicity of the thing: a Velveteen mother — softened and strengthened by the years, rubbed down to the essence of Gospel — like the Lion Who sacrifices Himself as a Lamb.

And maybe that is all — a Velveteen Mother is a mother who keeps bending her worn knees with prayers that her child may walk straight paths. Never ceasing to pray for her own crooked heart.

Never forgetting — Train up a child in the way he should go and be ready to forgive him. The Way he should go is down a road named Grace.

Why do I forget that becoming Real — becoming a velveteen mother –  it will hurt in a thousand ways?

~ Ann Voskamp

After a slow wearing down and fighting the same battles and remembering that this war we wage is not against flesh and blood, and knowing that we fight discontentment with gratitude, I start again.  After too many weeks away, after October “the month that got away”, I begin the holiday season with an effort to slow, savor, and count the gifts.

1408.  being lice free

1409.  the chance to start feeling caught up

1410.  not running

1411.  family game of Monopoly

1412.  Friday night at home

1413.  getting there

1414.  clean house and truck

1415.  Chandler’s first 5k

1416.  pushing through 3.1 painful miles

1417.  the healing of deep laughter

1418.  approval letters

1419.  getting away

1420.  tropical storms

1421.  being content

1422.  ninety-three days

1423.  being with my peeps

1424.  two nights at home together

1425.  slowing down

1426.  laundry neatly stacked and folded

1427.  rainy days

1428.  candles

1429.  leaves swirling wonder around third-born child

1430.  facing the same frustration

1431.  becoming a velveteen mother

Won’t you join me this month in giving thanks to the Giver of all good gifts?  Even those gifts that hurt and wear us down and keep us on knees and faces…even these are good gifts in His hands.  Even when we don’t understand how something good could ever come, we can trust the One who has given all things for our good and His glory.

May your day be filled with thanks.

For His Glory ~

~ Sara