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Last week we went out to the country to visit our Granna. We sat on the porch and did nothing. Doing nothing sometimes means doing everything.

I always take my camera out to the country and was debating on which lenses to bring. I settled on just one, my Canon 100mm 2.8. I use this lens mainly for macro shots, but when I was forced to use it since it was all I had with me, I remembered that it shoots beautiful portraits also.

She was sitting about 3 feet away from me, swinging back and forth, eating an ice cream cone. And I was taking her all in.

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She’s shown a big interest lately in taking pictures. I can’t imagine where she gets that from!
And so I put the strap around her neck and let her hold my camera to see her world through my lens.

I set the camera to f/3.5 in Av mode, and I love the shots she took!
(I didn’t edit these other than changing a few to black and white.)

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She has an eye for composition!

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Although we might need to have a lesson in focusing… 😉

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This was my favorite.

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“Here Momma, you take my picture, and I’ll take yours.”

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I’m thankful that she shares this interest with me. One day I might end up as her assistant!

 

Today is Mother’s Day.  Now, I’m honestly not one to get wrapped up in what I think are made-up holidays by Hallmark.
(Mothers should be celebrated more than just one day per year. I’ll leave it at that.)

I was reading “Letting Go of Perfect” this morning, and Amy Spiegel hit the nail on the head when she said, “I am not here to make my children happy in a fleeting, earthly way, though I try my hardest…. we must embrace them as instruments of grace being used for our own betterment.”

I’ll be honest. Lately, I have not felt like the best Mom in the world. Rewind to when the kids were just babies, and I felt pretty good about my Mothering abilities. Keep them clean, fed and clothed, and you’re doing pretty good. Fast forward to present day when they have attitudes, talk back and yell. Well, I’m not feeling like I deserve any kind of gold star. I can lose my cool before 9 a.m. most any day. It. is. hard. It’s a daily struggle at my house. How am I supposed to discipline the kids and teach them wrong from right, correctly?

Most of the time, I feel like she’s 5 going on 16.

allofhisgrace.net

But I have to remember that she is just 5 years old. Giggly, girly and spunky. She’s my tomboy princess. 
And though I struggle with her, I’m reminded that she is a mini-me. We act just alike.

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The things I struggle with most with my children, are the things that I struggle with myself.

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I told him not to smile. And what I got was a glimpse of what he might look like as an 18 year old as he’s headed off to college. *sigh*

I’ve been celebrating Motherhood for 7 years now. I hope that as the years pass, and as they make mistakes, I can always remember where I stand in the eyes of God. And I hope to offer them as much grace as He offers me.

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When I read that passage today, I felt God saying, “Hey, did you just hear what I said to you? I’m using your children, which are gifts from me, to make you a better person.”

They are such gifts. What a blessing it is to watch them grow and unfold with their own personalities.

Thank you Lord for this journey of Motherhood. This journey of grace.

 

So this morning I was requested to make French toast, which is something I hardly ever really make.
Breakfast at our house usually means the kids grabbing a cereal bar. Can I hear an ‘Amen’?

But we had no where to be this morning, so French toast it was.

I found a recipe that I made a few changes to, and we really loved the results.
I sliced a banana and sauteed it in a little butter to put on top.

Ummm yummmm.

This recipe is a keeper!

French Toast recipe - allofhisgrace.net

 

 

 

French Toast
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Ingredients
  1. 6-8 slices Texas Toast
  2. 4 large eggs
  3. 1/2 C milk
  4. 1/2 tsp vanilla
  5. 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  6. Butter or oil
  7. Maple syrup
Instructions
  1. In a cake pan (or other shallow dish), whisk together the eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon.
  2. Heat a skillet on medium heat and spray with oil or melt a dab of butter between cooking each slice.
  3. Quickly dip slices (do not soak), one at a time, in egg mixture and cook until golden brown on both sides.
  4. Keep egg mixture stirred and spices well blended.
  5. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve with fruit or warm maple syrup.
the Sparrow's Nest http://sparrowsnestblog.com/

 french toast recipe, best french toast, easy breakfast recipe

This is my go-to one-and-only rib recipe. I found the original recipe on Pinterest last year, tweaked it a bit and haven’t used another rib recipe since. This is a crockpot recipe! And the ribs are so so so good. The meat falls off the bone every. single. time. Try it and let me know what you think!

 

Fall-Off-the-Bone Ribs
You'll love how easy it is to make these fall-off-the-bone ribs in your crockpot. They are sooo good!
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Ingredients
  1. 3 Tbl smoked paprika
  2. 2 Tbl light brown sugar
  3. 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  4. 1 tsp salt
  5. 1 tsp pepper
  6. 2 lbs pork baby back ribs
  7. 1 bottle or about 3 C of barbecue sauce (I use Sticky Fingers' Carolina Sweet)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl, mix together all of the dry ingredients.
  2. Rinse off your ribs and pat dry. Cut the slab in half and rub the dry mixture all over the front and back of each half.
  3. Stand each slab half against the side of a crock pot with the thicker side down and meaty side against the wall of the crockpot. Pour the barbecue sauce over the ribs, cover and cook for 6-8 hours on low.
  4. After ribs are finished cooking in the crockpot, very carefully remove them to a wire rack set on a cookie sheet with the meaty side facing down.
  5. Strain the remaining BBQ sauce from the crockpot into a saucepan on the stove and heat until boiling. Let softly boil for 10-15 minutes while the sauce thickens and reduces.
  6. Move an oven rack about 10 inches below the broiler element and set your oven to broil.
  7. Once the broiler is preheated, brush the ribs with the reduced BBQ sauce and broil for about 3 minutes or until the tops start to bubble and caramelize. Carefully take the pan out of the oven and flip the ribs over. Brush the meaty side with the reduced sauce and broil for an additional 3 minutes. You can serve any remaining sauce on the side with the ribs.
  8. Enjoy! I like to serve mine with twice-baked potatoes and a big salad.
the Sparrow's Nest http://sparrowsnestblog.com/
 quick and easy rib recipe, best crockpot recipe, ribs, ribs recipe, bbq ribs recipe, crockpot, bbq recipe

I. love. cheese. Let me just put that out there. And I love a creamy macaroni and cheese. This recipe is easy to put together and is sure to become a family favorite!

I’ve used the pre-shredded Kroger cheddar cheese before and have also spent nearly $10 on cheddar in the specialty cheese section. They both tasted great, and I can’t honestly say that spending that $10 was worth it!

And, you don’t have to bake this in the oven after cooking your cheese sauce. But I like to put it in the oven to get a thin crispy layer of cheese on top. More cheese please. Can you ever really have too much cheese?

Oven Baked Stove Top Macaroni & Cheese
Serves 4
Super cheesy and creamy.
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Ingredients
  1. 12 ounces macaroni*
  2. 4 Tbl butter
  3. 4 Tbl flour
  4. 2 cups whole milk
  5. 2/3 C heavy cream
  6. 1 tsp mustard powder
  7. 1 tsp kosher salt
  8. 1/2 tsp pepper
  9. 3 C shredded cheddar
Instructions
  1. Cook the macaroni to al dente according to package directions, rinse with cool water and set aside.
  2. Melt butter in heavy saucepan over medium heat. Once melted, stir in flour and mix until smooth.
  3. Add the milk and whisk to smooth with flour.
  4. Once the milk has thickened, add the cream, mustard powder, salt, pepper and 2 C of the shredded cheddar. Stir until all cheese has melted and sauce is smooth.
  5. Add in your macaroni and stir until mixed well. At this point, you can serve it from the stove, or you can put it in a 2 quart dish and bake in the oven. If baking, top with remaining 1 C of cheddar and bake in oven at 350 degrees until cheese has browned on top.
Notes
  1. *To make this a little healthier, I use Tinkyada Pasta Joy brown rice noodles. They are the best gluten free noodle - not mushy at all!
the Sparrow's Nest http://sparrowsnestblog.com/