Friday, March 20, 2015


How has your week been?

Here in the Mitten, we are on our second week of most days' temps being above freezing. Wow! It feels fairly tropical. And a couple days even flirted with 60. I have had my windows open several days. Out with the old, and in with the new. Big sigh...

I have fresh green growth were my bulbs lie buried. That is encouraging. Spring is showing it's face in many, many ways. I have yet to see any crocuses, but I know others have in my area. I'm looking...

I have been running outside, in the early mornings. Spring training is in full on mode. I ran two 7 mile runs this week, plus a 4, a 3 and a 2. Every week the miles are increasing, as is the speed of said miles. One of my routes includes a 1/2 mile span that overlooks our city. That scenic view was topped with a colorful sunrise this morning. It was a reminder of why I love early mornings. And why I love to run in the early mornings. I'm not going to say that I love running...

I spent a fair bit of my week doing spring cleaning. The boys' room got the run down, and then I washed my own bedroom walls. And all the linens. Everything looks and smells fresh. Spring cleaning is kind of a funny thing. I always can tell when I've done it, but if you'd asked me before, I would have said my house was clean. All that sunshine and fresh air emphasizes all the licks and promises of the winter.

We are counting down the weeks until summer break. And we hit a milestone this week. Only 9 more to go! Which is almost a quarter of the year, but still. It is so close I can taste the freedom! On the one hand, I want those weeks to fly by. On the other hand, the 9 weeks corresponds pretty closely with our 25k race, and I want every single one of those weeks to crawl by. I'm not in panic mode about training, but I still have a lot of miles to pick up in 8 weeks.

Here are a few things I've been reading around the web this week...(when I wasn't cleaning or running)

A Stay at Home Parent is Not a Luxury "So in some ways, yes, we are lucky that I can stay home. But a luxury is a nonessential item. An indulgence. What I do is essential, and certainly not self-indulgent."

How the New Christian Left is Twisting the Gospel. Very thought provoking. "In order to safeguard the trajectory of young evangelicals, we must uphold the authoritative Word of God. It is imperative that those in a position to influence millennials have transparent and honest discussions about the culture wars evangelical youth are already engaging. Otherwise they will be silent and accepting in the face of persecution and false doctrine."

What is Spiritual Abuse? "It is not a coincidence that these abuse prevention policies are often known as safety policies. Because if shepherds are doing their job right, the sheep are safe. They are protected. They feel secure. And they don’t leave the church en masse."

I am on Day 20 of No Chocolate! Whew! Some days I miss it. Most days I don't. I need to have a game plan come April 1. Something realistic. Dessert one weeknight and one weekend day. That's it. I've been holding pretty close to that this month, and I think it is good.

While I am abstaining from chocolate, I know you aren't, and so I decided to share one of my most favorite and most consumed forms of chocolate.

Chocolate Chip Cookies.

I know that everyone has their favorite recipe. Mine is a bit different. I use butter, shortening, and peanut butter. But, not a lot of peanut butter, because they aren't peanut butter cookies. They are chocolate chip cookies. I also use real vanilla. The cookies are melt in your mouth soft straight out of the oven and good dunkers on the subsequent days. I also love to freeze my cookies, and then dunk them. I love the frozen chocolate-ness, and the way they still soak up the milk and get kind of chewy soft.

I generally make cookies every week or two. My kids aren't thrilled when the cookie jar is on empty.

Okay, I've got to stop talking about these or I am going to highjack my own resolve.

Chocolate Chip Cookies
1/2 cup shortening
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
1-1/2 cups white sugar
1-1/2 cups brown sugar
4 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
1 tsp water
4-1/2 cups white flour
2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 cups (12 oz) chocolate chips

-Heat oven to 375 degrees.
-Cream the shortening, butter, peanut butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the eggs, vanilla, and water, and beat well.
-Add the flour, baking soda and salt, and stir in, scraping the bottom of the bowl, until combined. Fold in the chocolate chips by hand.
-Place teaspoons full on a greased baking sheet about 2" apart. Bake at 375 degrees for 10-11 minutes, until lightly golden on the edges.
-Cool on the sheet for 2 minutes, and then remove to a cooling rack to cool completely.

Have a magnificent start of Spring weekend!