Fresh Peach Salsa

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I mentioned earlier this week that we went to a peach festival earlier this month, and we bought a huge box of peaches.  And they are delicious - so juicy and sweet and satisfying!  It was definitely worth the 28 dollars to buy a box.

However, I always underestimate just how many peaches fill up that box - and last week I realized we may not get to eat all of them before they go bad.  So what did I do?  I decided to make peach salsa!  And I invented my own recipe, which makes me feel so culinarily talented and creative (even though I'm not). 

So I thought I'd share my recipe for peach salsa with you.  Derek and my brother-in-law were my taste-testers, and they gave it their stamp of approval.

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Fresh Peach Salsa

4-5 peaches, peeled and diced
4-5 roma tomatoes, diced
1 yellow bell pepper, diced
3 slices of onion, diced
4-5 jalepenos, diced
3 tbsp. fresh cilantro, minced
1tbsp. lemon juice
2 tbsp. white vinegar

1. Combine all ingrediants in a bowl.  Add onions and jalepenos to taste.  Serve with chips or over fish, chicken, etc.

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And that's it!  Super simple, it just takes time to cut up all the produce.  I added 4 jalepenos and it wasn't quite spicy enough for me, so if I make it again I'll probably add more like 6-7 jalepenos.  Also, this makes a rather big batch, so it would be good for a party.  I ended up freezing the extra.  I think it should freeze well, but I guess we will see when I thaw it out in another month or two!

Have any of you ever made your own salsa?  I think I'm going to have to do it again and experiment with making different kinds.  I'm not huge on cooking, but this is one thing I thought was really fun to make, and who doesn't like fresh salsa?

Gwendolyn At Eight Months

I can't believe Gwen is eight months old!

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Gwendolyn is still in 3-6 months and 6-9 month clothes, so we're still making her summer clothes work.  I'm never sure what size to buy her for fall clothes though, because she grows at such crazy rates - at the beginning of the summer I wasn't sure if we were going to make it until the end in the same clothes, but they still fit!  She's in size 3 diapers and size 2 shoes.  Her feet are so delicate and skinny - I love it.

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Gwen is still taking maybe four bottles during the day and usually at least two at night.  We also feed her baby food twice a day right now, and she loves it - she gets upset if we forget to feed her one of her meals.  We keep adding new foods in gradually, and she seems to like everything, but I think we've decided that peas don't agree with her.  She threw up a couple times this month after eating peas.  It was so sad.

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Sleep - oh my goodness.  For this entire month Gwen has been waking up 2-4 times per night.  She hasn't slept through the night once since she turned seven months old, and I have no idea why!  I've adjusted her daytime schedule, tried feeding her more baby food during the day, tried weaning her off feedings at night.  None of it is working, and it's almost worse sleep than when she was a newborn some nights. 

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At first I thought it was a combination growth spurt and teething, and I still think that's probably right, but no teeth have popped through yet.  And I'm just trying to remember how long growth spurts usually last.  After a whole month like this I think she's gotten into the habit of waking up in the middle of the night, so if she wakes up sooner than 3 hours I'll give her some water in it, and then she usually goes back to sleep.

I remember Wyatt going through a really rough sleep patch around 7-8 months too, so I'm just waiting for it to pass.  This last week seemed like it might have been slightly better as far as sleeping goes, so maybe there's a light at the end of the tunnel.

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She sucks her thumb when she's tired!

She is still getting up on her hands and knees, but instead of crawling she just kind of lunges forward onto her stomach and then gets up on her hands and knees again - and she moves all around the house that way!  It's so cute and funny.  She has figured out how to move her knees forward, but she hasn't figured out how to walk her hands forward yet.  So the lunge-crawl it is for now!  I love it.

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Wyatt and Gwen still have a great relationship, but since Gwen has been getting bigger I have to keep reminding Wyatt to still be gentle - he wants to play with her a little too roughly sometimes.  Another year and they'll be able to chase each other around!  Wyatt also started wanting to feed Gwen her food this month.  I just turned around one day and Wyatt was giving Gwen bites of his applesauce, so I let him feed her two jars of her baby food.  It was so cute!

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She babbles a lot, but I've been trying to help her figure out different consonants, and she'll make the "mamama" sound now - I can't wait until she figures out that that's me!

We also went swimming for real for the first time this month - as in, Gwen actually got in the water (8/18/13).  And she loved it!  I think the trick is finding a warm pool since we went to a hot springs.

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She has the sweetest personality, and I feel like her sense of humor is developing - I started playing peek-a-boo more with her this month, and she thinks it's so funny.  She smiles any time someone talks to her or smiles at her - she loves attention.  She laughs when I kiss her feet or tummy.  Sometimes she'll be playing on the floor and I'll say hi to her, and she'll get this big grin and lunge-crawl as fast as she can toward me.

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She is still touching people's faces, but not as much as last month.  She did, however, give me a big slobbery baby kiss the other day (8/26/13)!  I was kissing her face on the couch and playing with her, and she grabbed my cheeks, grinned, and pulled my face toward her mouth to give me a kiss!  I think this one was definitely more of an intentional kiss, and it melted my heart.

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My Sweet Doll Baby,

Gwen-Girl, you are growing so fast!  I love what a sweet personality you have, and seeing you begin to develop a sense of humor is such a blessing.  Your laugh is a precious sound to me - it just bubbles up from somewhere in your belly.  When you laugh, you laugh with your whole body, and I love that.  

I talked about how rough sleep has been for you the last month, Sweet Girl, but there is one thing that I love about waking up with you in the middle of the night.  For some of your feedings I'll make you a bottle and just bring you back to bed with me.  I'll lay you on your side facing me, and I'll prop the bottle up on my neck and snooze while you finish eating.  But then after you are done with your bottle, you are so sleepy and warm.  I'll take it away, and then you usually lean into me and put your hand on my chest, or on my shoulder, or on the side of my face, and you'll fall right asleep.  During the day you are always on the go, so these times of snuggling you at night are so sweet to me.  I'll miss that someday when you never wake up in the night anymore.

I love you Sweet Baby.  You are so beautiful and unique and outgoing.  I love having you as my daughter, and I am so glad God gave you to me.  I'm so glad I have you.

Love you always,


On Distant Shore Review

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On Distant Shores is a sweet love story set during World War 2.  John Hutchinson (Hutch) is a pharmacist in the U.S. Army, but he is frustrated with the lack of respect his profession gets and is working hard with his father to establish a Pharmacy Corps - then he'll finally get to be an officer.  

Georgie is a flight nurse, but she struggles with fear in the middle of the dangerous situations she must deal with and her family wants her to leave the Army.  The two connect in Italy, but when plans start to fall apart it affects their budding relationship.  Both have to learn to rely on the Lord to lead them.

I loved this book!  I had never read anything by Sarah Sundin before, but I like her writing style.  Historical fiction is one of my favorite genres, but I'm especially impressed when an author takes care to be really historically accurate while creatively tying in real-life people and situations with fictional characters.  Sundin did it flawlessly.  I also had no idea that pharmacists and their profession were disregarded so much in the Army before World War 2, so I feel like I learned something through this book.  

The storyline was sweet, the characters showed growth, and the ending was satisfying.  I give it five stars, and I'm looking forward to reading more of Sundin's novels.

Note: I received this book from Litfuse Publicity in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.


Last Hoorah For Summer

 I know, I kind of dropped off the face of the blogosphere.  I took an impromptu blogging break last week.  I just read books, crossed some projects off my ever-present to-do list, and took Wyatt to the park.  Some weeks you just don't feel like blogging.  And that's okay.  The break was just what I needed.

I cannot believe that summer is almost over!  It seems like this summer went by really fast (of course it always seems that way).  For once I find myself at the end of a summer feeling like I've done everything I wanted to do this year.  Here is what we do to send the summer off with style!

1. Go to a new park.  I wanted to try to take Wyatt to a few new parks before it gets too cold out, so we'll probably do this in the fall too.  It's so hard to get a good park picture anymore, so you get a pretty flower picture instead.

2. Go to a fruit festival.   A couple of weekends ago we took a weekend camping trip across the state and went to a peach festival.  We had such a fun time - and we bought a big box of peaches to bring home!  I'm thinking I might try making peach salsa out of some of them.

3. Go swimming.  We went swimming at a hot springs pool the day after the peach festival - the kids loved it!  Wyatt loved the "boat" and wanted to carry it back and forth to the pool, and they both took turns sitting in it.  Gwen love the water, and Wyatt loved pushing Gwen around in her inner tube.  It was a lovely time!

4. Go to a rodeo or county fair.  We killed two birds with one stone and went to both at once!  I was disappointed to see they didn't have a ferris wheel this year, but Wyatt loved the rodeo - he really got into it, and kept waving at the horses and cowboys.  He was watching carefully to see if they would fall off.  Of course it was a little rainy, hence why I'm wearing a sweater.

5. Try a new recipe.  I tried a grilled watermelon recipe that I found here.  I've been wanting to grill some watermelon for a while, and it was pretty good!

6. Sit outside and enjoy the warm evening air.  I figure it's going to get cold soon, so we better enjoy being able to sit outside after dinner while we can.

7.  Stargaze.  Self explanatory, and perfect to do after enjoying the evening air on the porch!  I'm hoping Derek and I can sit outside and try to find my star again one of these nights.

8.  Drink limeade.  Limeade is such a summery drink to me.  I bought three cans and I plan to enjoy them before we hit September next week and it's officially fall.

What are some of the things you like to do to as your last hoorah for summer?

P.S. I'm also using the pictures of the kids in this post as my 33/52 and 34/52 pictures for Project 52.  So I'm all caught up now.

Rules Of Murder Review

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Rules Of Murder is the first book of a new detective series by Julianna Deering.  Drew Farthering is a young estate owner in 1930's England, and he loves a good mystery.  But when a house guess and his mother are murdered he puts his detective skills to the test as he and his friend Nick go on a search for clues, accompanied by his stepfather's niece Madeline.

I wasn't expecting the writing style in this book.  I felt like a lot of the information was given through dialogue and less through the characters' inner monologues, which I'm not used to, but the more I read the more I realized it reminded me of Agatha Christie's style of mystery writing.  I felt like the plot got a little slow in parts, but the ending was very good and a satisfying conclusion to everything that happened.  I was not expecting the ending at all.  There were a lot of twists and turns in this book.

The author's note in the back says that it was written to intentionally break the "ten commandments for mystery writers" that Father Knox published in 1929, and I thought Deering incorporated that throughout the book in a fun way.  The characters were likable, and I want to see what happens to them.  I feel like I had to rush through this book a little for this review, and I didn't really get to enjoy it like I might have.  Especially now that I am familiar with her writing style, I'm wanting to read more about Drew, Nick and Madeline.  Looking forward to checking out her next mystery in this series!

Note: I received this book for free from Bethany House in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.

The WAHM's Ultimate Guide To Building A Business, Blog and Brand Review

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Recently Lisa Marcia from The Little Mustard Seed Co. and WAHM University gave me and some other members of the Influence Network a chance to review her new ebook, A Work At Home Mom's Ultimate Guide To Building A Business, Blog and Brand.  I was excited to be able to review her book, because even though Through Clouded Glass is more personal blog than business, I was thinking I could still glean something from her book.

Lisa's book is 58 pages long and covers basics of Wordpress design, tips on hiring and working with a designer for a website/blog, questions to answer while branding your business or blog, encouragement for outsourcing tasks, and different ideas and resources for income opportunities.

I work with Blogger, not Wordpress, so I didn't have a good frame of reference for the Wordpress tips, but I felt like she explained each concept and task well - if I did use Wordpress I think this would be a good resource for me starting out.

I like the section listing different income opportunities.  While the book doesn't give a step-by-step guide for pursuing each opportunity, it gave a lot of ideas that I hadn't thought about, and some that I might be interested in researching.  

One thing that stood out, that I haven't seen in other e-books, is the different links and resources for further research that Lisa provides.  I liked that the information and learning doesn't just stop on these pages.  

This book doesn't do all the work for you, so if you are looking for a complete how-to kind of guide, you will probably be disappointed.  I feel like this book is more of a jumping-off point, a guide for women who want to work at home on getting started on a business concept.  It doesn't cover how to gain more readers or sales or advertising revenue once you have already started a blog or business, and it doesn't tell you what kind of business you should have or how to get your business to make lots of money.  But I think it's valuable because a good foundation for a business is important, and that includes website design, branding, and an idea of what exactly you want to do.  

Design, branding, and vision is going to look different for each blog or business.  I wouldn't call this book a comprehensive guide to each of those topics, but the tips given in this book would be useful for someone still trying to figure those things out for themselves.  So if you've always wanted to start an at-home business, this could be a place to start to get your wheels turning.  Certainly worth the $2.99 to buy it, I think!

Note: I received this book for free from the author in exchange for this review.  This is my honest opinion.


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Imagine if you could impact that many people.

What you might not realize is that you can.  And you might be even now, without realizing it.

I recently read a book called Beyond Bath Time by Erin Davis (highly, highly recommend this book for all moms - it was so good), and this caught my attention.

"A woman who has two children and whose children each produce two children for ten generations will by the  tenth generation have 1,024 offspring.  But a woman who has four children and whose children each have four children will be the tenth generation have 1,048,448 descendants!" 

(Quote was taken from "Turning the Tide: Having More Children Who Follow Christ" by Holly and Bill Elliff.)

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I always considered motherhood a calling and a ministry - that is something that my mom passed on to me.  And I have thought about the big picture of the fact that my work as a mother is not just affecting my children, but their children and everyone else they impact.  But I never really thought about the fact that the number of my own descendants could be that large, and that I have the power to impact them all for good or ill.

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I don't think I'm over-stating it.  In most cases parents (particularly mothers, since they are typically the ones spending the most time with the kids) have more of an impact on their children than any other people.  They affect them more deeply than anyone else can.  In countless little ways they affect how their children view the world, how they behave, how they treat others, how they feel about themselves, how they view God.  And those things don't just stop with that child, because that child may grow up and have children of their own and pass down the things they learned from their parents.

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For all you moms - don't let anyone tell you that you are wasting your talents or time on motherhood.  You are making more of an impact than you think.  Use your influence wisely - pray for wisdom to give your children a godly worldview, teach them how to be polite, teach them about loving others and treating them kindly, make them feel like a blessing and not a burden, teach them about following Jesus and living to further His Kingdom.  

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These seem like small things, but they aren't.  These are the big things.  These are the things that will truly last when you are gone.

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Don't short-change yourself or minimize everything you do as mother, as if it's not a worthy use of your gifts.  It is.  You are making a difference.  

You are changing the world.
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