Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Piano Playing

Hannah and Danielle (13 & 10) had their first piano ensemble rehearsal tonight. This year they are playing together. Piano ensemble is an annual event and this will be the 54th Phoenix Music Teachers Association Ensemble. It is held in an auditorium at a large high school near downtown Phoenix. Between 10 and 15 grand pianos are brought in by a large, local piano store and all placed carefully and strategically on the stage. Each piece played is a duet. Have you done the math? That is up to 30 pianists playing the same piece on one stage. It is a glorious sound. We will hear beginners all the way up to the teachers themselves, who always play the most amazing piece, one we always recognize. Those in charge are sure to pick a nice variety of music. This is not your average, run of the mill, boring, let's get this thing over with, recital. I am always sorry when it ends. The extra time and energy it requires is well worth it, for me and the girls. Hannah will be receiving a special participation award (4 consecutive years). She is looking forward to that!

Do you play the piano? Do you play it well? I sure wish I was pushed/required to continue lessons. I wish more than anything that I could play for my family and to the glory of God.

Monday, January 30, 2006


I was so proud to add a few favorites to my side bar but look at how they won't line up...ugh! I have tried playing with the spaces etc. and am wasting too much time on this computer. Any thoughts?


Sunday, January 29, 2006

This and That

~ The intestinal flu is a good weight loss program. Nuff said.

~ Phoenix has just broken a record. 102 days without any precipitation. In 2005 we were 1.25 inches below the normal precip. I can't imagine what this really means because we probably only get 1.50 inches/year. This is very scary. A few years ago we had a horrible fire season in the Northern part of our state, I can't imagine what the summer will be like all over this state if we don't get rain soon, very soon.

~ Science class is going well. I've been asked to teach for 1 more week. We are learning about global wind patterns, air masses, and the Coriolas Effect. I had to do further reading about that one! It's one thing to understand it yourself but to be able to explain it to a classroom of 8th graders at 8 AM is tricky!

~ I've been working out 3/week at a small gym with a personal trainer. This technique is very different than what I've been used to. We use free weights, an exercise ball, steps, machines and do lots of lunges. Ladies, do lunges. No, you won't be able to walk the next day but that is a good thing! (?) I've also increased my routine from 30 minutes to 60 minutes. I've been hard at it for 3 weeks, hopefully in a few more weeks I'll really start to see results in the form of loose jeans, increased muscle mass and lower weight.

~ I'll leave you with a verse to encourage you. It was a life changing verse for me when I was a new Christian and struggling with guilt.

2 Cor. 5:17

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Amen and have a blessed day.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

You Should Buy This !

If you can find it...

"Sister Sue" included this absolutely perfect hand lotion in my Christmas box this year. It was a very pleasant surprise. I have tried many, many hand lotions in my time; Mary Kay, Arbonne, Body Shop and Bath and Body Works. This is my ALL. TIME. FAVORITE. hand lotion. EVER. I could not find this particular lotion on the Aveda webpage. It appears they created this product for a promotion in October for Breast Cancer Awareness. I found it on The Breast Cancer Research Foundation webpage but it is not for sale at that site. Sooo...Susie, do you know where to buy it? Please let me know if you can still find this wonderful stuff. And by the way, THANK YOU :-)

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


I mentioned in an earlier post that I have owned my Bosch for 14 months. I have tried many recipes and have had great success. I really enjoy baking bread. I don't consider it work. It is a hobby. Unfortunately, I have been stuck inside my very safe box. When I bake, I bake 5 loaves. One time I was very brave and baked three loaves and two pans of dinner rolls. Great.

Diane, on the other hand, uses her time wisely and apparently is not stuck in any box! Look at this beautiful picture! Bread. Cinnamon Rolls. Bread Sticks. Dinner Rolls. All with one batch of dough I assume. Very impressive Diane and good work. You inspire me. :-)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


I am substitute teaching at my children's Classical and Christian school this week. I was asked to teach 8th grade science using the Apologia science book. I was familiar with Apologia but never used the curriculum while homeschooling my children. I am really enjoying this book. The author, Dr. Jay L. Wile, 'talks' to the students. It is written in a very conversational way and very friendly. You feel like you are talking to a (smart) friend and learning at the same time. I was given my assignment on Saturday night so I feel like I am cramming, but I am really enjoying myself and hopefully these fine young students are learning.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006


Cindy, this post is for you! Thank you for your comment. I love comments, all 2 of them :-)

Here is the handy dandy Nutrimill. See the beautiful wheat kernels on the top?! Turn it on and you have delicious, nutritious fresh ground whole wheat flour in no time! I buy a 50 pound bag of white hard wheat and grind the portion I need right before I make my bread. It is best to use it immediately. We do freeze the left over flour and use it for our pancakes. I don't like to waste the flour. Sometimes I give the left over flour to my girlfriend for her bread.

On the left is the Bosch Universal. Ask your hubby about Bosch and I'm sure he will tell you all about Bosch motors and Bosch tools. Well, this baby goes in the kitchen and I love it. See the nice big bowl? I can make 5 loaves in one batch. The dough hook is the 's' shaped thing in front of the machine. So the dough hook and the powerful motor make my bread making very simple. It takes me about twenty minutes to gather ingredients, mill the wheat and mix the ingredients. Eight minutes to knead the dough, the machine does this for me. Thirty minutes to rise and thirty minutes to bake.

Now, won't you please join me for a cup of coffee/tea and a slice of toasted 14 grain bread with butter? I miss you. Love J.

Monday, January 16, 2006


I saw this on a sign at a local Deli:

"The only thing more overrated than natural childbirth
is the joy of owning your own business"

I literally laughed out loud and wished someone would laugh with me but my two little girls just didn't get it!

Now don't get worked up...I've had 4 out of 5 natural births and we are very thankful for the two successful businesses God has given us. But honestly, both can be very trying at times.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Blender Pancakes

Amy asked for my pancake recipe.

We have become pancake snobs! My family loves these pancakes and we can't go back to Bisquick :) We make a double batch and usually eat all of them in one sitting. They store nicely in the fridge but I have not tried to freeze them. It would be wrong for me to let you think I am the pancake chef. It is my husband who whips up a mean pancake or two on Sunday mornings.

I'm going to share the recipe that was given to me and I will also explain a few changes we have made.

Blender Pancakes

Combine in the Bosch blender the following and mix on high speed for 2 full minutes.

1 C. whole grains (wheat)
1 C. milk


1 C. milk and blend 2 more minutes


2 eggs
1/3 C. canola oil
1 tsp. salt
1 T. honey

Blend well. Can store in the refrigerator over night.

Just before cooking, add:

1 T. baking powder, blend gently with moment speed until mixed.

Start Flipping!

Now, we are having a little trouble with our Bosch blender so we use our Nutrimill to mill the wheat first, then we put it in the blender and continue with the recipe. If you don't have a Bosch or Nutrimill just use your normal blender and buy the best whole wheat flour you can. Of course you can always use white flour.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

I'm Back

to bread making, that is!

I truly enjoy baking fresh ground whole wheat bread for my family. I didn't bake very much bread over the holidays, I was busy with cookies. I have owned a Bosch for just over a year and I absolutely love it. I usually bake honey whole wheat, a 14 grain whole wheat and pancakes on a regular basis. I have also used my Bosch for cinnamon rolls, mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and lots of cookies over Christmas.

Isn't this a beauty? It is Emile Henry, NOT pronounced Emily Henery, like I tried. I sounded like a hick, but now I sound French. My husband wasn't very pleased with me bringing a French product into our home. But isn't it lovely? Oh, it's very expensive but I got that piece 40% off and I just saw Emile Henry at Tuesday Morning, it was 50% off!

I can make 5 large loaves. One of my favorite things is to share my bread with family and friends. This one went to my dear friend Elizabeth as a thank you for a very special dinner party.

Monday, January 09, 2006


2 Things

2 names you go by:
1. Janet
2. Mom

2 parts of your heritage:
1. Greek
2. Danish

2 things that scare you:
1. The Grand Canyon with children
2. Lauren and the pool

2 of your everyday essentials:
1. Diet Coke
2. Nike flip flops

2 things you are wearing right now:
1. black capri adidas sweats
2. New Balance shoes

2 favorite bands or musical artists (at the moment):
1. Carrie Underwood
2. Johnny Cash

2 favorite songs at the moment:
1. "Jesus take the wheel" by Carrie Underwood
2. "I'm feeling you" by Santana and Michele Branch

2 things you want in a relationship (other than real love):
1. communication
2. laughter

2 truths:
1. God's will is perfect
2. All things work together for good. Romans 8:28

2 physical things that appeal to you (in the opposite sex):
1. Dark hair
2. Blue eyes

2 of your favorite hobbies:
1. laundry?ugh
2. cleaning?ugh

2 things you want really badly:
1. See my family (immediate and extended) follow Christ
2. Lose weight

2 places you want to go on vacation:
1. England and Ireland
2. Hawaii

2 things you want to do before you die:
1. See my family (immediate and extended) follow Christ.
2. read and travel

2 ways that you are stereotypically a chick:
1. I love manicures and pedicures
2. I cry at tv commercials

2 things you are thinking about now:
1. I'm going to be sore tomorrow
2. How do I get a handle on this laundry?

2 stores you shop at:
1. Target
2. Fry's grocery

2 people you would like to complete this meme
1. Amy
2. Crissy

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Salsa anyone?

Have you heard the song by Santana featuring Michele Branch called "I'm feeling you" It is great!!

It makes me want to dance. I'd do some sort of salsa dance if I knew how. For now, I pretend I'm doing a salsa and I pretend I can sing really well.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006


Dogspotting, how clever! I saw this in December at Kim's blog who saw it at Rebecca's blog. I'm a big fan of Phil Johnson's blogspotting and now of Rebecca's dogspotting. Here are my big, fat, lazy dogs, Dillon and Mack, whom I love very much. Dillon, btw, weighs 135 lbs. Mack is 13 and that is his favorite pastime.

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Fall in AZ, again?

Raking leaves in January! Imagine that. Raking is for October, right? We have 5 beautiful Shamel Ash trees in our front yard and our lawn is covered with leaves. The children and I have been raking and bagging for a few days. They think I'm crazy for raking when there are still leaves on the tree, in fact, they fall on our heads as we rake and bag. Is this stupid? They think so. I think we might as well do a little work now and then the load will be lighter in a few days. Anyway, I think it is fun. It is a beautiful 65 degrees outside, sunny and windy and more than anything it brings back very fond memories of raking in Northern Wisconsin when I was growing up. I usually raked with my twin sister, Janice, and of course I did MOST of the work ;-) There we raked colorful poplar, maple, oak and birch leaves.

We also did our share of jumping in piles, like my helpers did today. The air smells differently today than when I raked up North, it's not as crisp and certainly not as cold. A not so fond memory I have of raking are the nasty blisters I'd get. I dont' have blisters today. I'm tougher than I was, I've experienced more or maybe the leaves are lighter in Arizona??