Friday, May 25, 2012

Dancer Daughter's Day

Our second child, Dancer Daughter, graduated high school. What would you like for your party was the question asked. Ice cream was the correct answer.

Trying to turn a room at church into an ice cream palor 'look' was the mission. I sort of think we accomplished that mission as well as we could. What do you think?

It was a long, exhausting day but one that was also joy-filled. Dancer daughter has accomplished a mile-stone and we are proud. She is such a joy and we are proud to call her our daughter. 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Zucchini Overload

Well, it is about that time of year. People who planted zucchini appear from nowhere begging you to take some zucchini off of their hands...pllluuuueeeease! And, so you do. Now what do you do with it?

The old standby is to shred it and freeze it in two cup quantities so you can make zucchini bread this winter! [yes, you heard sarcasm in that sentence starting with 'so you can make...] I have thrown out frozen bags of zucchini because I've come to realize I will never...did you hear me? make zucchini bread in the mist of winter. Honestly, I forget it is the in freezer until we are defrosting the freezer, oh let's say every 3-5 years that happens. I figure by then, it is a space waster.

Zucchini relish anyone? This is basically just like sweet pickle relish. Use it on hot dogs, hamburgers or anything you eat with sweet relish. Taste just like pickle relish. Here is the recipe:

5 c zucchini, ground (it is roughly two big zucchini)
3 c celery, chopped
2 c onion, ground
2/3 c green pepper, ground
6 c water
1/4 c salt

Mix these together and let set of 1 hour. Drain. Then, if you don't like you relish runny, SQUEEZE water out of the zucchini. Do not squeeze it dry though. You'll want a little liquid. Add to this mixture:

3 c white vinegar
6 c sugar
2 T mustard seed
1 t celery seed
1 t turmeric

Bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes. Place relish in jelly canning jars and seal by placing in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

My sister-in-law thought she was fooling us one year and made an "apple" pie with zucchini. It was delic! My kids had no idea but I was cutting the pie thinking...this is so zucchini. And, as any good mom would, I didn't tell the kids until after they ate a piece. They had no clue. She told me she just used her favorite apple pie recipe and used thinly sliced zucchini instead of apples. Thinly sliced is the key.

And, to all my friends and, I do not want zucchini this year. But, thanks for thinking of me!

Monday, May 21, 2012


Listening. That is all I was really doing. Listening to others speak in a woman's small group I was attending. Just soaking it all in. Thinking. Listening.

"You're quiet and haven't talked yet. What to you think, Deanna?" the leader asked.

Inward gasp. All eyes on me. I'd love to melt into the floor. Instead I took a breath and rattled off something like, "I'm just listening to the others" thinking that would get me off the hook.

But, no. What happened next was something so uncomfortable I never went back to class. Yes, wrong response to this situation. My fight or flight response was flight. I didn't need this. This introvert-self had enough of the very extrovert leader and a few of the extrovert classmates.

I left that night wondering what was wrong with me. What was wrong with them. Why can't others realize we, as a people, are not all cut from the same cloth? I'd never expect the extrovert leader to sit there quietly when it wasn't in her. Yet, why did she push and push me to utter a word when I was happy and content to listen and think?

How many times have you been in a meeting where the leader throws an idea or a sermon series title out to the group and says, "Let's brainstorm some ideas and decide what we will do." Or in Sunday School and on the way home from church you think I should have said this, this, or this. A small group leader calls you out and says, "You've been quiet. What are you thinking about x, y, and z?"

Quiet-The Power of Introverts in a World That Can't Stop Talking. Written by introvert Susan Cain, this book delves into the history and differences between introverts and extroverts. I personally do not like labels...even though I just labeled the small group leader....oops. Quiet is eye-opening. I may be normal after all!

This book is neither pro or con introvert verses extroverts which I applaud. If the reader is an extrovert, I firmly believe the extrovert will understand those of us who are introverts. And, visa versa. If you know me personally, you may not think I'm an introvert. There are many different levels of introverts and extroverts, I've learned.

Don't know if you are an introvert or extrovert? The author provides a handy quiz. There are different levels of introversion. Author Susan Cain informs us not everyone is the same level. One can actually be in the middle of an introvert and extrovert, called ambivert.

My daughter and I took the quiz separately. We both ended up with the same score. My daughter stated, "Oh, now that makes sense" when reading one of the quiz questions. Reading Quiet opened my eyes to see how our country really does regard extroverts as leaders. Should we conform or as the saying goes, 'come out of our shell'? In a world that is blaring "be yourself", it seems as though it is saying, "be long as you are a leader, a go-getter, a social butterfly...". Quiet is full of introvert leaders. These leaders just have to pretend to be extroverts to get out there publicly.

Author Susan Cain does have quite a bit of history and studies in her book. Did the book drag on and on? In some sections, yes. In other sections, no. I would assume it all depends on how much information of a particular study you'd find interesting.

Quiet is full of so much information. It makes it hard to write a thorough review. I do recommend Quiet to employers, parents and anyone in leadership positions at church. Quiet will definitely help us all understand people--extroverts, ambiverts and introverts. Just think, if God made everyone the same what a boring world this would be.

I received this book free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing through their Blogging for Books program. I am not required to write a favorable review, only an honest review.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


It's May first, people.
As in, "where in the world has the time gone" May first.
May. Wasn't it just January first?
May as in, "this is the last month of the school year" May.
Do I have your permission to panic?
Graduation of a senior means a party.
Graduation means a diploma to ready and sign.
Let's not talk about the transcripts. Eeek!
Assessment of a freshman which means a portfolio to finish...okay, start and finish.
I may be quiet for a while in this bloggy world.
It comes at you fast and hard at times.
I need some time to get things done.
I need to figure out a way to become less overwhelmed.
When I'm overwhelmed, I tend to not do anything because, well, I'm overwhelmed.
I don't know where to start. What to do first. So.I.don't.
Need shake this because...
the days are flying.
It's May!
I need to remember joy, peace and grace.
My dancer daughter is graduating and life is good for her.
She is following God's desire He has placed in her heart for this season.
Firefighter son is following God and putting things 'first' in the proper order. Phew!
This is a little tricky.
I don't feel peace since I'm overwhelmed.
But, I feel peace knowing God is orchestrating the important things in life.
His important things. Not mine.
I'm trying to extend takes practice, people.
I'm praying to receive it when my overwhelmingness and horromones come together at once.

Until I 'see' you again, be thankful you won't be in my home when overwhelmed and horrormones come together. What a horrifying thought! Please take a moment and pray for my family. ☺
I'll see ya when I see ya....