Saturday, June 30, 2012

Mmm, Homemade Strawberry Shortcake

4 C fresh strawberries, washed, sliced
sugar (to taste)
1 1/2 C flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
4 T sugar
1/3 C chillled butter, cut into pieces
1/2 C milk
1/2 tsp vanilla
Whipped Cream (or Vanilla Ice Cream)

Preheat oven to 425'.

In bowl, stir together strawberries and sugar. Set strawberries aside to juice while preparing shortcakes. In separate bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and sugar. Using pastry blender, cut butter into flour just until it resembles coarse crumbs. Add milk and vanilla to flour mixture stir until combined. (Don't overwork.)

With spoon, drop mixture into 4 large (or 6 smaller) piles on ungreased baking sheet. Bake 12-15 minutes @ 425'.
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Friday, June 29, 2012

Snoogles and Starbucks

I woke up this morning happy. Like, really happy. The kind of happy where peace surrounds and one's level of comfort is so great that one may not be able to get out of bed. I credit my new best friend, the arrival of which was one of yesterday's biggest highlights. How I managed to forget it in in last night's post I'll never know. But, better late than never.

Yesterday afternoon I was in the midst of painting a piece of nursery furniture when the FedEx truck pulled onto our street. I knew it was for me and I was so excited that I nearly dropped my Purdy paint brush on the dirty ground, which would have been a terrible shame, and ran to greet the driver. (Worth their price tag, Purdy paint brushes are my favorite. Not cheap, but the best.) You see, after my constant talk of the Snoogle and how supposedly amazing it is, Brian ordered one. I'd been counting down the days to its arrival and alas it has come!

***In case you find yourself wondering, what is a Snoogle? ...It's a maternity pillow designed to follow the shape of the pregnant body and support back and tummy.

Gleeful over the arrival.
I slept so hard with the help of my sweet, sweet, Snoogle that Brian was able to get up without waking me. He ran to Starbucks and returned with my current fave: an xhot coconut hot chocolate.
Between my Snoogle and my Starbucks, it's been a pretty fabulous morning.

 ...Is it bad that I can hardly wait to go to bed again tonight?
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Thursday, June 28, 2012

A beautiful day

From grandparents, to fresh food, to DIY projects. today couldn't have been better.
It was rewarding, happy, and as the Mr. put it "necessary."
Today was our therapy.

First Brian mopped the kitchen floor and hallway. I realized how blessed I really am. Upon finishing he said, "I bet this is way harder when you're pregnant." Note:  He said it, not me. I am not complaining, nor am I pulling 'the pregnant card.' Also note: Today was the first time he's ever done this. In other words, don't go thinking I make my husband do all my housework. Final Note: I may have the best husband in the world.

Grandpa Lawrence and Grandma B arrived mid morning. We enjoyed coffee/tea, a lovely little catch up, and a super yum lunch at The Grill. B even brought us a big Tupperware of her chocolate chip cookies.

When they left Brian and I went straight outside and each started on our own projects including:
Weed Eating
Lawn Mowing
Painting (and spray painting)

We've been working on a project for our bedroom. Today I completed it. 
Stay tuned, separate blog post to come. :)

Brian and I can't get over the fact that we live within a very short walk of the local Farmer's Market and it takes place on one of his days off. We love our little life here. :)

Cute lil peacock pillow. But, dare I say, not quite worth the $45 price tag. 
(Were they kidding?!)

Believe it or not, this is a bag of mixed salad, complete with edible flowers.

On the walk home we stopped at the hardwood store for weed eater line and potting soil. In addition we ended up purchasing a couple more flowers, a hose holder, stain for the aforementioned project, another paint brush, and who knows what else. All of which we needed, expect maybe the flowers. While I selected a stain color Brian analyzed our soon-to-be-purchases and realized that unless we were to push a shopping cart home, we were past our arm's capacity. While I waited for my stain to be mixed, Brian jogged home for the car.

 Once home we hit it again. 
Sooo many [outdoor] projects, so little sunshine. *

My Grandpa gave me this little dandy. 
Earlier this year when helping with our house, he began to notice my love for all things almost all things old. Way back when, he had rescued this fixture from a house that was being demolished and it's been resting peacefully in his shop attic ever since...until today when I gave it a whole new life.
Although I love it's ancient blush, I think we can all agree that it needed some updating.
Armed with Rustoleum's Oil Rubbed Bronze I was anxious to transform. But, like the responsible spray painter that I am, first I primed.
Only now when looking at the picture do I see that primer was claimed to be included in my paint.
So I guess I double primed...
Here's a quick shot of the finished product.
Next on my list of to do's was following my overactive pregnant sniffer to the backyard where Brian had begun grilling.

While he finished the BBQ chicken, I went inside to sample the huge doughnut wash cherries from the market.

Seriously though, I did wash the cherries, only after sampling said mammoth doughnut...and before eating my dinner...

Thank you Jesus for serving me a day with cherries on top. 
The day *and the cherries* were just what I needed.
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Sunday, June 24, 2012

In Response

To those who have said the following things...

'At least you still have one baby.'

'Two would have been a lot to manage...'

'Thank God for back-ups.'

Our reply is a quiet yes, but a louder no.

Yes, God gave us a bio baby.

Yes, we are abundantly blessed.

Yes, we are forever thankful.

NO, God did not put these babies in front of us and then realize, 
'Hmm, two might be more than they can manage.' 

NO, Bio Babe is not and will never be a "back-up."

That is not how God works. He doesn't mess up. God doesn't require hindsight or create back-ups for His own work.

Brian and I can't claim to see how God's hand is at work right now. We know He is working. We know He has a plan. We even know it's a good one. But that is not the same as understanding why something is happening. However, despite sadness, perspective remains. I have experienced the loss of a nephew. I have watched my brother and sister-in-law travel the gut-wrenching, heartbreaking path of mourning the loss of their own baby. The loss of life, the magnitude of which I can't comprehend. The loss that Brian and I currently experience is painful, but so minimal in comparison. We are thankful for all we have been given, but still we wonder... He placed a birth family in our life, allowed me to be present at the 20 week ultrasound, placed 'August' in our hearts and allowed four months of relationship-building and love-growing. What was His plan through it all? Were we a shining light to the birth family? Was he somehow using us in a way we can't yet see? We hope so, but perhaps we'll never see. What we know is that He is working. He urges us to look outside of ourselves, past our own questions and confusion, to place our trust in Him. And that is what we will do.

*  "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, do not rely on your own understanding.  *
Acknowledge Him in all your ways, and He will make your paths straight."
Proverbs 3:5-6

*  "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him,  *
who have been called according to His purpose."
Romans 8:28

Thank you to all who love and support us. Not one kind word or prayer goes unappreciated.
Thank you for rejoicing with us in the happy times and lifting us up in life's sad moments.
We love you. :)
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Saturday, June 23, 2012

Squaw Creek Cattle Co.

The Hem fam has recently begun a new endeavor raising and selling Local Grass Fed Beef. Our family isn't new to raising beef but business has grown and we're excited to have a contract in the works with Bellingham's Boundary Bay Brewery and Bistro. If all goes as planned, starting in September all Boundary Bay hamburger will be a product of Squaw Creek Cattle.
In addition to their grass diet our cattle have recently begun receiving a supplement of spent brewer's grain from Boundary Bay. They're pretty excited about it! Each Friday night our family gets together for a feeding frenzy that begins with pizza around Papa and Nana's dining room table and continues out to the cows in the field. Here's a glimpse into an average Friday night feeding mash, as we've come to call it...

 Brian unloading the mash (in the barrels) after picking it up from Boundary Bay.

 Kiddos, anxious to feed their cows.
Lil Supervisor #1, Sydni Anna Mae
Lil Supervisor #2, Moses Lawson
Lil Supervisor #3, Kolt Dayne Jefferson
Lil Supervisor #4, Millie Laine
Headed out on foot...

Squaw Creek Cattle, hungry for their mash!

 Papa with his little helpers.

 Happy Herefords. :)

This reminds me of the classic, 'You been farmin' long? picture. :)

*** To learn more about Squaw Creek Cattle Co. or to place your own order for 
Local Grass Fed Beef see our Facebook Page or Craigslist Post.
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