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Friday, April 30, 2010

{this moment}



~ a little moment from my week that warms my heart...

This month we celebrated the 1 year anniversary of Henry's Baptism. I love this picture of my niece Nichelle and Henry. It represents so much. The gown that Henry is wearing is the same gown that I bought for her as her Godmother for her Baptism. All 3 of my Godchildren have worn it and now both of my sister, Erika's Godchildren have worn it.

Henry with his proud Godparents, Randy and Erika.

The other special part of my son's baptisms is that the Deacon, their Nana baptized both of them. From the words of the Deacon, "Henry Patrick Miller, Child of God".


Henry with the Deacon and Pops.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

my corner

Mr. Miller has been working feverishly on the back corner of the yard. We have decided to make a meditation area and also a nice place to enjoy the garden and a glass of tea. This area is already a key player in Mama being able to keep the Rhythm alive here at Green Acres. It is so important to take time out for yourself. Ask yourself the questions, "how do I feel today", "what do I want to do". Don't let yourself go when you are busy taking care of everyone else. I know balance is hard, but it is key to the Rhythm of your home. It is OK if that load of laundry doesn't get folded before bed or if there are still dishes in the sink. I know I am rambling but this helps me to cope with the fact "I am not perfect, I don't keep a perfect house and I am not the perfect Mama or Wife" but who is? I love myself, family and the life that God has blessed me with and for now that is all I can ask for.
I asked for a bird bath and this is what he came up with.

The pavers were found throughout the yard buried by years of neglect. I am not sure what they were originally leading to out there. Most of them were around the area where he put the patio in last year. We found the basin last weekend at Lowes. It was a little more than I wanted to spend but I compromised with it being my Mother's Day Present.

I can see it coming together nicely. We still need the mulch and few other plants but the Red Bud is beautiful and the Cardinals are loving it.

I can also sit over there and admire the apple blossoms. It is too bad I have no idea what kind of apples these are.

Thank you Mr. Miller for making me a corner for my "timeouts". I love you!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

chocolate chip cookies

I told you Monday about the Chocolate Chip cookies we made. I believe I have finally found a Gluten Free recipe the mirrors the recipe from my childhood! Mr. Miller and I couldn't believe how awesome these were and it only made 20 so that is great, enough for the week. I did store them in a air tight bag in my cookie canister. I do that with all my GF cookies.

Chocolate Chip Cookie ~ Pamela's Baking Mix
1/2 C butter, softened
1/4 C light brown sugar
1 1/2 C Pamela's Baking Mix
1 1/2 C semi sweet chocolate chips
1/4 C white sugar
1 egg, large
1 tsp vanilla or I think almond would be good too!
Preheat oven to 350. Cream butter and sugars, add egg and vanilla, then beat together. Add the baking mix, chocolate chips, then mix thoroughly. I use a 1 tbsp scoop and place on lightly greased cookie sheet, gently flatten with wet finger tips. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until edges are brown. Let cookies cool slightly and then remove to rack to cool completely!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

garden ~ 2010

Treating the hen bit and dandelions with a vinegar and water solution to prep my herb garden. Yes, it took all 3 Miller Men.
Potatoes, Eggplant and Horseradish will share the same area.


Cukes, Radish, Beans and Corn.
Baby Greens in their own containers.

The basil will be in pots around the patio, it works as a mosquito repellent.

Hot Peppers, Sweet Peppers, Okra and Cantaloupe.

My final bed has Vidalia Onions, Sugar Sweetie Cherry Tomatoes, Ace Slicing Tomatoes, Brandywine Red and Yellow Heirlooms and Carrots. We have the onions in and are waiting until after May 10TH for the tomatoes. Wish us luck this year. I would love to have enough to take with me to the Farmer's Market to sell with my sewn items.








Monday, April 26, 2010

weekending

We had a busy weekend. Mr. Miller ended up working on Saturday, so it was going to be Mama and the boys for soccer but we got rained out. I had a very upset 6 year old on my hands. What to do? What to do? Why not bake cookies, chocolate chip cookies! Needless to say they were a hit! Junior Mint enjoyed them as you can see! Cameron declined to have his photo taken.





Well the cookies helped for a little bit and then we were down again, hmm... I finally broke the news that we were going to the Guncles, Jeremy and Brandon. Brandon threw Jeremy a surprise 30Th birthday party. Cameron was most excited, the Guncles are like Pied Pipers to my little guys! It was a great time!


Cameron, Brandon and Jeremy "striking a pose"! Fergie got in on the action too!



Happy 30TH birthday my sweet Jeremy! We love you!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

all things bright and beautiful...

Today is the 40TH anniversary of Earth Day. What change are you making today in your carbon footprint? Today we are living with less artificial light and using the natural light to guide our way. My little friend that spends the day with Henry and I is sharing the "g" love. I am using g diapers on him. Thanks to Mother Nature we have a nice gentle rain to water the garden.
Think about our future generations and leaving them a healthier planet than the one we currently live in. I take pride in my little environmentalists. Last week when we were at Mimi's, Cameron helped Mimi recycle her trash. He hung a back by the back door and had I left the car seats with Uncle Randy while we were at Jon's service he would have taken Cameron to the Topeka recycle. The bag came home with us Thursday night.

All day today I have been humming a favorite hymn. Many of you know this and I know the Deacon and Mimi know it because I have heard you hum it to!


"All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful,
The Lord God made them all."



I only shared the first verse but it is a well loved Anglican hymn and I feel it is most appropriate to celebrate Earth Day!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

morning glory muffins

When Mimi and I lived in Michigan we fell in love with these muffins. They had carrots, apples and raisins. They were a bran muffin so that made them amazingly moist. I have a strong love for carrot cake and these are so similar to them. In fact if you wanted to be so decadent you could put some cream cheese icing on them and think you are having a real treat, but this morning Henry and I had one heated, split and fresh butter on top.


Since I can't have gluten the bran part is out. Here is what I have come up with and they are amazing.


morning glory muffins


1 1/2 cups gf oats

1 egg

1 c gf all purpose flour mix, I use Pamela's baking mix

1/2 c milk

3 tsp baking powder

1/4 c honey

1/4 c olive oil

1/2 tsp cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground ginger

1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

1 cup finely shredded carrots

1/2 c raisins

1/2 c chopped apple


Combine oats, flour, baking powder, salt and spices in large bowl. Stir well to combine. Beat egg in small bowl and add to large bowl. Add milk, honey and oil. Mix well. Fold in fruit and mix thoroughly.


Preheat oven to 400. Fill paper lined or lightly greased muffin tins 2/3 full. Bake for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12.


These are great. We made a dozen yesterday and we only have 4 left today. They don't sit around long. Be sure to store in air tight container in fridge.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

hear no evil...


After a week of swapping stories with our old college buddies and wondering how did we ever survive, it was a treat to be home. Only when I looked out the window and saw these 3 monkey's on a bench did I begin to worry. Cameron, Jack and Riley sure have a lot of fun in the backyard and I never know what they are turning the play scape into. One day it is a submarine or maybe a pirate ship. OH how I love to hear their imaginations run wild.

Monday, April 19, 2010

hung out to dry

I first want to thank everyone for your kind words of support and prayers last week. It was a rough week but we are mending. As I said "life goes on" that's what Jon would have wanted.

1For everything there is a season,
a time for every activity under heaven.
2A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to harvest.
3A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to tear down and a time to build up.
4A time to cry and a time to laugh.
A time to grieve and a time to dance.
5A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones.
A time to embrace and a time to turn away.
6A time to search and a time to quit searching.
A time to keep and a time to throw away.
7A time to tear and a time to mend.
A time to be quiet and a time to speak.
8A time to love and a time to hate.
A time for war and a time for peace.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Thank you Deacon for reminding us of these words. Thank you to you all again~









I am talking laundry here folks. Today is National Hanging Out Day. I bet you didn't even know this existed. To tell the truth neither did I until I opened my copy of Kiwi Magazine 2 weeks ago. We are getting ready to celebrate the 40TH anniversary of Earth Day this week. Can you believe it?



We have been making changes each month here since January to help take care of Mother Earth. One that I have added this month is to do more line drying. Line drying is Eco friendly and plus your clothes smell so good afterwards and it saves you money. I am all about that these days. The sun is a natural bleaching agent for your whites. I know is some areas there are restrictions for clothesline use due to aesthetic reasons, you can learn more about the fight for line drying at http://www.laundrylist.org/.



What are you waiting for, put up a line and get "hung out to dry".

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"Cryin' for Me"...

We have had a rough few days here at Green Acres. We lost a very dear friend on Sunday. Jon Carlson was my husband's best friend and brother that he never had. I say brother in so many levels, not only were they brothers in Kappa Sigma at Washburn but they truly had a special bond. I used to tease them and say they shared the same brain. I had the pleasure of meeting Jon my freshman year and he became a good friend to me then. Little did I know the role he would play in my future. I give Jon the credit for finally encouraging Mr. Miller to ask me out. It only to him 9 years. Jon just point blank asked him one day "what are you waiting for?" well the rest they say is history.



Jon was killed unexpectedly in a motor cycle accident on Sunday. He leaves behind a loving family, 2 amazing children and a multitude of friends. He touched so many lives.
I have to ask the question "why"? I know that we are on God's time and that he has a reason and he will help in the healing of wounds. I can't help but think of a message that we received yesterday from a friend and it is so true. I can almost feel Jon putting his big arms around my shoulder and saying this to me, "In that which is life, it is always the most noble, true and good that tend to leave us entirely too soon, Life goes on kid".


Jon D. Carlson

September 24, 1969 ~ April 11, 2010


I love Toby Keith and this song just seemed fitting for our mood here.


"Got the news on Friday morning



But a tear I couldn’t find



You showed me how I am supposed to live



Now you showed me how to die



I was lost til Sunday morning



I woke up to face my fear



While writing you this good bye song I found a tear



I’m going to miss that smile



I’m going to miss you my friend



Even though it hurts the way it ended up



I’d do it all again



So play it sweet in heaven Cause that’s right where you want to be



I’m not cryin’ cause I feel so sorry for you



I am cryin’ for me



I got up and dialed your number



Your voice came on the line



That old familiar message



I have heard a thousand times



It just said, sorry that I missed you



Leave a message and god bless



I know that you think I am crazy



But I just had to hear your voice



I guess I’m going to miss that smile



I’m going to miss you my friend



Even though it hurts the way it ended up



I’d do it all again



So play it sweet in heaven



Cause that’s right where you want to be



I’m not cryin’ cause I feel so sorry for you



I am cryin’ for me"


We love you Jon ~ oh don't worry we will meet again, I can guarantee that.


We will be taking a few days off here to heal our wounds per say. Blessings to you all and remember life is too short. Don't hold on to grudges, reach out to those you love because you just never know when it might be the last time. Please add to your prayer list today the Carlson family and Lesli, Blake and Kaci.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Simple Joys



As I watched Junior Mint this morning, I reflected on how it really is the simple joys in life that bring pleasure. When I started this blog I wanted to chronicle the major changes unfolding for us, and I have done that.
I look around our home at the abundance of blessings that we have received and realized "wow" we have a lot of stuff. I have really begun to see that we are a society of "stuff" always having to keep up with the neighbors. Why? Why is it that we feel that the belongings under our roof make us who we are? Does it matter if you drive a new car or a slightly older one that you can really afford? Do you need those new jeans or do you just want them?
Mr. Miller and I have started making goals for us and our family. Hopefully attainable goals that will make us rich in wisdom and love within our 4 walls.
This brings me back to my photos from this morning, here was a little boy with every toy he could ever want but what did he choose? Mama's bowls under the sink. Maybe I should re think what is in the toy box and do a cleanse?

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Red Beans and Rice

Last night I had a guest chef in the Green Acres Kitchen.

Cameroni came for dinner!



We decided that we were going to make Daddy dinner. Daddy loves Red Beans and Rice, well actually the whole family does. I looked around my recipe books and the Internet and found a recipe that I could adapt to a milder form and that I actually had the ingredients.

Cameroni is a big help in the kitchen. He loves to cook. After school I find it very important to have activities scheduled for him. Sometimes it is as simple as us reading a book on the front porch or kicking the soccer ball around the yard. Henry is usually down for a nap so for about at least an hour Cameron has his Mama all to himself.



Red Beans and Rice
2 cans kidney beans, liquid included
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
2 tbsp ketchup
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1 can tomato paste (8 oz)
1 tsp chili powder
  1. Saute onions and celery in a little olive oil
  2. Add beans, ketchup, tomato paste, Worcestershire, chili powder.
  3. Stir and simmer for about 30 min.
  4. Serve over rice.

This is a super easy meal. It was a little sweeter than Mr. Miller and I usually eat but that made it good for the boys. We just added hot sauce. I figured that for those of you on Weight Watchers a 1 cup serving of the beans over 1/2 c of rice was 5 points. Not bad.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Easter Memories

I trust that you all had a Blessed Easter! Hallelujah, He is Risen!

We had a wonderful day spent in Topeka with my family. Cameron had a special treat of going back with Mimi on Saturday evening to spend the night at Uncle Randy and Aunt Erika's house.

Here are some snapshots of our day.

First Easter baskets that we can actually participate in. Of course the empty plastic eggs were our favorites. I am still finding them throughout the house.


Dressed in our Easter finest. Henry is wearing the same suit that Cameron wore 5 years ago.



This is a favorite of mine. Those of you who know Pops, do you think the genetics are alive here? Can you say Cameron is his "mini me"?


Big brother sharing egg hunting tips before our first hunt.


Aunt Kim helping Cameron.
Lots of older cousins to help our little novice.




Cousin Daniel is always such a big help. He has even offered to babysit for us. Hmmm...we might have to take him up on that.


Of course it wouldn't be a family gathering if Uncle Randy and Mr. Miller weren't hiding at the grill. OK so yes they did do the cooking but it is there way of staying out of the way.

Cousins playing and running. Both boys fell fast asleep before we even got out of the neighborhood. Daddy and I took the long route home through Lawrence. It was an amazing day full of Celebration, New Beginnings, good food and lots of family love.