Saturday, January 26, 2013

Winterized

I got outside with my camera towards the end of the week, when the temps finally got up to a whoppin’ 16 degrees.  It almost felt balmy!  The snow was coming down lightly and I did a bit of exploring to see if I could find some color and interesting subject matter.  I love winter time when the snow is abundant and the temperatures leave you with cold cheeks.  There’s nothing better than coming inside and feeling that pleasant tingle in your face as you slowly warm up (the promise of a hot cup of coffee doesn’t hurt either!).

This weeks items:   Lace, Bling, Wood, Fuzzy, Fabric

 

Lace

This Juniper tree by my driveway has fronds that are lacy.

Juniper-web-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Bling

There is a little bling in the winter… you just have to search for it. (Wild Rose Hips)

January 2013-Wild Rose Hips-web-SycamoreLane photography

 

 

 

Wood

Wood is for woodpecker!

Downy Woodpecker-web-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Fuzzy

Bob….. our newest edition.

Bob-web-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Fabric

This girl is an intricate part of the fabric of my life. 

Sis-Jan 2013-web

 

 

Linked up with Ashley:

4795223164_aa1eb66c07_o

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Gathering

 

Gather-hd-texture-SycamoreLane Photography

 

That’s what we have been doing this week.  My chicks and I are gathered right here in our house.  And when I wake up in the morning and see the temperature is –1 before the wind chill is factored in, I am ever so thankful that I do not have to bundle up my children and send them off for the day.  We do have to venture out to do chores, but before my boys even set foot out the door I made sure they were winterized from head to toe. It is the kind of cold that makes your nose stick together and so the face masks were brought out and pulled on as a line of defense. 

Two of my crew are down with a cold. I know it could be so much worse so I am thankful it is only sore throats, low grade fevers, and the snuffles.  We are taking our days slow, reducing the amount of school work for those feeling crummy.  There has been a lot of reading snuggled up under fleece blankets on the floor, couch, or any where that lends itself to a cozy little nest.  We’ve even had some extra creativity and coloring going on. We broke out the oil pastels, a fun treat,  for super duper amped up color.

 

school

 

school-2

 

school-1

 

school-3

 

 

Bitter cold days produce in me this need to bake bountiful quantities of bread and hot meals.  What a blessing to be able to do this.  I am so grateful to God for providing food for my family and for those in my neighborhood who are in need. 

One of my guys recent favorites are these hard rolls.  I didn’t have a single one left the night I served them.

 

hard rolls-web

Hard Rolls

(recipe from: The Secrets of Jesuit Breadmaking)

4 1/2- 5 1/2 c   all purpose flour

2 T  sugar

1 t  salt

1 T  active dry yeast

4 T  butter, softened

1 1/2 c  warm water

1 egg white

 

For the Glaze:

1/2 c  water

1 t  cornstarch

Poppy seeds

 

Combine 1 1/2 c of the flour, the sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Cut in butter.  Gradually add water to the flour mixture and beat for 5 minutes. Add the egg white.  Beat for another 5 minutes, adding flour until dough begins to pull away from the side of the bowl. (I did this portion by hand since I do not have a mixer that does well with bread dough.)  Turn out on a lightly floured surface.  Knead 8-10 minutes, until dough is smooth and elastic, adding flour as necessary to prevent stickiness.

Lightly oil a large bowl.  Place dough in the bowl and turn to coat on all sides. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled in bulk, about 45 minutes.

Line baking sheets with parchment paper or grease sheets and sprinkle with cornmeal.

Punch down dough. Turn out again, cover with a towel, let rest 10 minutes. Divide in half and shape into two 9 inch rolls.  Cut each roll into nine 1-inch pieces and form each into a small ball.  Place on the baking sheet and 3 inches apart. Cover with towel and let rise until doubled- another 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 450.

To make glaze, mix water and cornstarch in a pan. Bring to a boil.  Cool slightly before brushing on rolls. Slit tops in a crisscross fashion.  (I cut the tops before I let the rolls rise. I wasn’t sure how easy it would be to cut the rolls once they had risen.) Sprinkle with poppy seeds.

Bake for about 15 minutes.  Transfer to a wire rack to cool.

yield 18 rolls

 

 

So as you can tell from this post our days have been pretty quiet.  I have enjoyed them.  I needed some quiet!  It has been good to just be home, I love the coziness of it all.  To be able to focus on school and the needs of my family is just what I have been needing.  And for a girl who loves the snow, but can’t do the bitter cold it’s been a wonderful week of watching the snowflakes from the warm side of my window!

Friday, January 18, 2013

Be Still

 

Be still-w-SycamoreLane Photography-001

 

It’s time to stop, to stand still.

Surrender.

It’s time… long over due.

God’s been calling and I’ve been dodging

 

Hands in the air- full submission.

I’m creating moments of silence.

instilling a Discipline.

Of being still.

Of waiting.

SHHHH!

Breathe in- Breathe out.

 

My heart quiets.

My mind stills.

Holy Spirit come.

His presence is here.

And I absolutely know that HE is GOD ALMIGHTY!

 

 

How about you? 

It’s a discipline, being still.  It’s not easy in our rush and tumble days.  We hurry furiously from activity to activity, running here and there to accomplish.

In the process we miss so much of what is truly important.

But, God says “Be Still”.

Stop. Listen.

SHHH.

Breathe in- Breathe out.

Slow down!

Clear your mind and your agenda.

Tell Him you’re ready to hear what He wants to tell you.

Even when we are on the move we can listen if we just open our hearts and minds to what He is speaking.

God has words to soothe your very soul.

Take the time today to just be with Him.

Be still

And

LISTEN!

“Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.” Psalm 46:10

“The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." Exodus 14:14

“Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.” Psalm 37:7

 

 

Linked up with Sunday Snapshot:

Sunday Snapshot

Monday, January 14, 2013

Meandering

Meander: to wander aimlessly or casually without urgent destination.

 

aka…  A sunny January afternoon spent in the snow. Sledding, rolling, snow eating when momma isn’t looking, fort building, snow ball throwing,

AND

You want me to do what?

 

January 2013-snow-3-web

 

 

Deep breath in and Blow….

January 2013-snow-1-web

 

 

Just a bit harder…

January 2013-snow-4-web

 

 

You got it!

January 2013-snow-2-web

 

 

Perfect!

snow-web

 

 

I love snow days!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Home Made Pizza Rolls

My family loves anything and everything pizza.  So I find myself making pizza or pizza type foods a couple times  a month… at least.

For a while I have been making a recipe for Chicken Broccoli Rolls that I just love.  One night when we were eating these Joel just happened to casually mention that these rolls would be perfect with pizza topping stuffed into them.

Being the loving wife I am I decided to surprise him one night with Pizza Rolls.

These can be a bit time consuming, but they are well worth the extra effort.

The recipe that follows is what I make for 3 boys voracious boys, 2 adults, and my daughter who can pack it away just as good as her brothers can.  You can easily cut this recipe in half or increase it if need be.

 

Home Made Pizza Rolls

Dough:

2 packages of yeast (this is equivalent to 4  1/2 t)

2 c  warm water, divided

2 t  sugar

1/2 c melted butter, cooled to room temperature

5-6 c flour white, wheat, or a combination. I tend to use 1 to1  1/2 cups wheat and the rest white.

3 t salt

In a bowl dissolve yeast in 1/2 c water. Stir in sugar and let set for 5 minutes or until bubbly. Pour in cooled butter and remaining water, stir.  Add 2 cups flour and the salt.  Mix well using a hand mixer for approximately 2 minutes. Work in as much of the remaining flour as possible by hand. Knead for about 10 minutes or until dough isn’t sticky.  Place in a bowl and let rise for about 1 hour or until doubled in size.  Punch down, cover and let rest for 30 minutes more.

In the meantime prepare your toppings:

Sauce:

Use your favorite recipe or store bought brand.  I use a pint of my home canned tomato sauce mixed with a can of tomato paste, a pinch of sugar, a bit or garlic powder and a tablespoon of a pizza seasoning that I buy from our local Natural Grocery.

Toppings:

Be creative!  We use any of the following,i depending on what I have on hand:  sausage, bacon, peperoni, diced ham,  fresh tomato,onion and green pepper saut√©ed in a bit of olive oil, green or black olives, mushrooms, feta cheese, and mozzarella cheese.

 

 

Pizza Rolls- SycamoreLane Photography

 

Assembly:

Divide dough into 18 pieces.  Roll out one piece of dough into a circle, keeping dough about 1/4 inch thick don’t go to thin or your dough will break and your topping will leak out.  Place amount of sauce that you like on the circle to within an inch of edges. Place desired toppings on top of sauce.  Here you will have to experiment with how much you want in the roll or in our case how much you can fit in the roll!  Using warm water wet your finger and go around the edges of the dough.  Fold in the edges of dough and seal together.  Flip the roll over and place on a greased cooking sheet.  Repeat with remaining 17 pieces of dough.  Before placing in the oven poke with a knife or fork to create vent holes for the steam to escape.  I actually cut my children’s initials in their rolls, because everyone had different toppings in their rolls.

Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from oven brush tops with butter.  Sprinkle with garlic powder and Parmesan cheese.

 

 

Pizza Rolls-1-SycamoreLane Photography

 

Oh and try not to burn your mouth by being to eager to taste these. ( I personally wouldn’t know anything about that…Ah-hem)

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Scavenger Hunt~ 01/06

This weeks items:  Breakfast, Multi-colored, Stats with the letter “C”, Roll, Future

 

 

Breakfast

Our hens are laying very faithfully even on these bitter cold days. I love it when my son brings in the eggs and there is a speckled one.

Egg-w-sycamorelane photography

 

 

Multi-Colored

Little Miss likes to dress herself these days and most often she is VERY multi-colored! Not to mention the myriad of colors involved when you start playing with Polly Pockets.  This is what I love about laid back Saturdays… just being able to play quietly and wear the most comfy clothes you have in your closet!

January 2013-73-sis-w-SycamoreLane Photography

 

Linked up with Rebecca:

simple things-1

 

 

 

Starts with the letter “C”

My youngest son’s name starts with the letter “C”.

Caleb-1-w-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Roll

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls

cinnamon rolls-w

 

 

Future

I don’t know what the future holds for her, but I pray it will be beautiful and blessed as she serves the Lord with all her heart.

January 2013-sis-w-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Linked up with Ashley:

4795223164_aa1eb66c07_o

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This Quiet

In the quiet, I sit.  I wonder.  I hope for words to flow.

I wait for something powerful, something beautiful.  Words strung together like pearls on a necklace.

Nothing strikingly beautiful forms.  I am dampered, like the snow that blankets and hides the earth outside my window.

 

 

winter country road-9

 

The clock ticks… Think. Think. Think.

I look out the window seeking inspiration.  My mind is slow and tired. All I can think is quiet.

Quiet.

My hands hover over the keys, but no soul deep words flow from my fingertips.

 

winter barn-web-black and white

 

 

Quiet. I guess that’s my mode today.

I want to write heart deep, inspirational words.  But, I seem to be soaking in quiet.

Quietness of heart and mind.

 

 

post-sycamorelane photography-w-logo

 

 

And it’s okay that there are no words of significance for today.

Only life. 

A day full of routine. Normal.

Wash, Dry, Fold.

Mix, Knead, Dice, Chop, Cook, Bake.

 

 

honey wheat bread-web

 

 

It’s good, this Quiet.

Words will come another day.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Memories, Dreams, and Reflections 2012

 

2012 was a year of growth, learning, hurting, healing, and a whole lot of leaning on God.  It was a good year and a hard year, a blessing and at times a trial,  yet an amazingly strengthening year. 

2013 is here to stay, but here’s one final shout out for my families past year. I’m linked up with Ashley Sisk and joining in with others as we reflect on 2012 through photography.

 

 

1. Me!

Jenn-full-hd

 

2. I Love You – My beautiful family….Joel and are precious little miss… 

Joel and sis-edited

 

All my children, Joel, and my mom and dad,  enjoying a walk on the beach.

Lake Superior-edited

 

My 3 sisters, my brother, their spouses and children and my mom and dad…. the most important people in my life!

family-2

 

 

3. Still Laughing – in August we had a family get together.  Someone off the cuff said something about a race and before we knew it old and young were lining up on the road.  Some were more serious than others and we got to laughing.  All the children old enough to run thought it was the BEST thing ever and wanted to run again, the older and more winded voted them down!  But, a rousing game of Capture the Flag took over and the surrounding fields were filled with shrieks and laughter.

Family Reunion-5-edited

 

Family Reunion-3-edited

 

 

 

4. Winter Wonderland – we just received 4 inches of snow and I made a trip down the road to capture a winter photo of one of my favorite old barns in my neighborhood.

winter barn-web 

 

 

5. Birthday – I don’t get all crazy over my photography when we are doing birthdays.  I actually use my on-camera flash (gasp), because we always celebrate at night and I am not going to drive myself and everyone else crazy striving for a perfect photo.  My kids birthdays are for them not about me capturing a professional looking photo.  And so my birthday photographs always look like snapshots, but I’m okay with that!

Caleb- birthday-11

 

 

6. Friends –   I don’t have a single photo that I can share that shows my friends or my children’s friends…. but my two sons are friends and I love to watch them hanging out together.

boys-4

 

 

7. I Was Inspired… – by Macro photography and had to try it out this summer.  I have much to learn, but I had fun capturing some close up shots this summer.

butterfly weed

 

 

 

8. Spring Fever –

sweet almond-1-w

 

 

9. Travel or Vacation – Mackinaw Bridge that connects the upper and lower peninsulas of Michigan.

Vacation Sept 2012-bridge-3-w

 

 

 

10. Summer Days

sunset-1

 

lavander-1

 

 

11. A Day In My Life – feeding the hungry, voracious boys in my home!  This is one of our favorites, Peanut Butter Baked Oatmeal.

PB baked oatmeal

 

 

 

12. All Smiles

sis-6

 

 

13. Autumn Harvest

harvest 2012-1-hd

 

 

14. Family or Home

kids- walking down road

 

 

15. Celebrate! – I don’t have any pictures that I could find that shows celebrate, so this one will have to be for celebrating new life.

Canadian Goose Family

 

 

16. Let’s Do It Again… –  Vacation in the UP!

Vacation Sept 2012-Lk Superior shore line-w

 

 

17. I Miss You – SPRING…

Blackberry-hd-texture-words

 

 

18. Beautiful –  summer light!

DSC_1658

 

 

19. Dress Up – What?! Dress up to play in a mud puddle? Yep! I dressed her up on a unseasonably warm day in February and let her play in the puddles. She loved it!

sis

 

 

 

20. Macro

coneflower

 

 

21. Holidays

December 2012-gingerbread men-w

 

 

22. My Favorite – my beautiful family that I was blessed to take photographs for.

lincoln-48 blk & wht

 

 

23. Don’t Ever Change – 

How you think so intricately and all the deep questions you ask…

L-06-2012 

Your gorgeous smile and contagious laugh…

Caleb-2-2012

 

Your silliness, I love how you clown around…. 

jacob-3

 

Your kind heart and sense of humor… 

I-hd-2-SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

24. Just Because…So There! –  one of my favorites that does not fit into any of the categories.

music

 

 

25. Hopes and Dreams – For 2013 my hope is that my family will continue to live strong with integrity, deeply committed, and absolutely in love with our Lord and Savior.  With God in the center everything else will fall into place….Beauty unleashed.

autumn glory- SycamoreLane Photography

 

 

Happy New Year!

 

Linked up with Ashley Sisk:

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