Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Going back to the 1940s

My Dad has 3 sisters, June, Leonie, and Ann, who have all graduated from this life.
He was the little brother. (with 2 older brothers)

Last month my cousin Ron and Yolanda surprised me with a CD of old family pictures. The ones that 
struck me the most were of my Dad's sisters as young Moms. These were all taken in the 1940s but I 
had never seen them before. Long before I was even born, I must say.

I think Aunt Leonie was pregnant with her very first baby (of 5) here. 

How cute is she!

Three years later in 1946. I think she looks like a movie star. 
(Something curious about this picture though. Isn't that a large soda bottle in the next room? 
I didn't think they had those back then…it must be something else.)

Here we have Aunt June in 1941. 

Aunt June again with her 2 boys, David and Donny, in 1948

Aunt Ann holding her daughter Kristine in 1950.
(Kristine was an only child, and went on to have 4 daughters and last count she has 18 grandchildren!)

Back to Aunt Leonie in 1941 with her nephew David….
Make note of David's little face because….

Here he is last month and he still has that same face 73 years later!
The definite Rozier look.

I can't get enough of these pictures so here's a few more….Aunt Leonie again in 1943.

Again, a few years later in 1948. Probably just a moment in time of an ordinary day.

The older I get the more I realize there are no ordinary days. 
They only seem so as were are living them perhaps, but certainly not looking back.

In this same group of pictures was this picture I'd never seen of my parents in 1961. 

And while I've seen the posed version of this picture of 1931, 
I'd never seen this more natural one.
My Dad (the baby) surrounded by his siblings. 
By the look on June's face, it's obvious she LOVED her baby brother. 
She once told me that they all kissed my Dad so much when he was a baby, 
she was surprised his skin didn't come off!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

What I've been thinking about

I've decided that no matter how wonderful a couple's life is together, 
no matter how great their marriage is, 
having small children is lots of hard work, and sleep deprivation and challenge.

I got to have a front row view into some of it this past month, when first the McKs came for an 
11 day visit, and then Karen and Tyler also came for another 11 day visit.
And I am in awe!

I am in awe over what young parents go through day in and day out, and over again. 
No matter how tired they get.
I had forgotten how truly hard and challenging this season of life was. 
It brought me back to a day when my first two were toddlers. I was sitting on the front porch one
afternoon thinking….this is so hard! The joy like none I had ever known, YES….
but hand in hand came all the work and severe sleep deprivation. 
I know, I keep mentioning sleep deprivation.
 I'd also been reading a book this past month called, “This is How We Grow” by Christine
Hibbert. It's a memoir of loss and motherhood. The author's sister and brother in law die and she
and her husband get custody of their 2 nephews, along with the 4 they already have. It's in detail
the depths of struggle they go through to make this new life of 6 kids work.
Page 302 she writes, 
“…comfort is overrated. If we choose to grow, we choose discomfort. Growth is after all, 
by definition, an uncomfortable stretching to something greater.”

On page 347, this same author shares this quote from an unknown person: 
"Many of the great achievements of the world were accomplished by tired and 
discouraged men who kept on working.

My mother, who raised 8 kids, had written on the inside cover of one of her journals: 
"There is no progression ease to ease." 

I told Karen one day as teething Leo was clinging and reaching for her continually all day long
that my friend Darlene and I have discussed how we both MISS being needed THAT MUCH by
one little person. NEVER since has anyone NEEDED us that much. And never will they again.

To me, this is on the front line of what life is all about. 

And I have no doubt, my grandchildren are all living in GOOD homes.
What peace this brings to me and Grandpa Dennis.

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Odd moments from the past 2 weeks of family

Some of these pictures I really like. Some are baffling to me. 

Like this one of cousins Violet and Richie.

 I had to think for a bit to figure out why Grandma Susan 
was behind the plant in the corner. 
(Then I remembered was Susan looking out at our back yard right before I snapped this picture.
But there is something about it that just makes me LAUGH.)

Or this picture. I have no idea what's going on 
here with Erin and Karen. 
I only hope this is not how they really feel about our family gatherings.

Or this one….who took this picture anyway? Brock?

Richie was so proud of his new skill.
I like his focus here.

I do love this one of Brock, Cami, and Erin.

Leo doesn't look like Prince George 
but in this one picture he sort of does.

No one agrees with me. Or cares. 

Leo is exactly one day older than George.

 And what is going on here?
(and don't worry, I did get permission to show this)

They are still beautiful when bored?…hungry?…tired?….listening?...not sure what they are here….

Maybe they just needed to eat?

I did NOT like the goodbyes.
If we could only figure out a way to live in California and Washington at the same time.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The contagious Granola

I don't know what it is about this granola but my family loves 
it. Dennis eats it every single day for breakfast and for a 
bedtime snack.  

And who ever stays with us lately, wants it everyday too. 
Crazy. Like it's contagious or something.

So I make it about once a week.

Here are the ingredients:

Pay no attention that the bottle of canola oil says high heat.
Any canola oil will work for this. Or probably other vegetable oils as well. 

While this recipe is definitely not mine, 
I've had many recipe requests for this so here it is:

Rebecca’s Almond Granola
12 C. oatmeal (old-fashioned)
2 C. brown sugar
2 C. coconut
1 tsp. salt
2 C. nuts chopped (we like cashews, pecans, almonds, and walnuts)
1 1/2 C. canola oil
2/3 C. water
3 tsp. almond flavoring
Mix oats and brown sugar in large bowl. In separate bowl mix coconut, salt, nuts, oil, water, and flavoring. Add 
coconut mixture to dry ingredients. Stir until oats no longer look dry. Spread on two rimmed baking sheets lined 
with parchment paper. Bake @ 250° for 1 1/2 hours, switching and stirring pans every 30 minutes.

*The only change I made, is, I just use 2 t of the almond flavoring rather than 3 t. I've never tried it with 3 t, but it 
works so well with 2 t, that I've just kept that going. 

I so LOVE karen's hair, btw.

 The night before's popcorn kept RIch and Leo 

busy while we cooked….

….Until….Rich fell back in his chair and landed on the floor. 

Poor baby.

Back to work Karen went, 

dividing the granola over 2 cookie sheets.

We've discovered the parchment paper is unnecessary. 

The last batch I made I didn't use it, and it was just as good. 

Bake for 90 minutes, 

stirring and changing out pans every 30 minutes. 

And there you have it. It makes A LOT.

If you stay with us, 

we'll have some granola waiting for you.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tyler's Ham Fried Rice

This is Tyler's special recipe that he got from his father in law, 
who used to be a chef. We all really enjoyed this last night. 

It's a mixture of lots of good things like brown rice, carrots, 
onions, eggs, ham, soy sauce and an entire package of peas. 
A meal in itself. The recipe is on Tyler's blog.

 He made it in my Ninja cooker, but at home he uses his wok. 
Or you could use a large frying pan.

Rich and Leo loved it too, and they are at ages, well….
let's just say they don't like everything…
but they do LOVE their Daddy's rice.

The only changes Tyler made in the recipe was 
he used safflower oil instead of peanut oil, and 6 eggs instead of 4.

 Formal diners we are not. We're going on 11 days of paper plates.

And it made enough that we had leftovers for lunch!

We are savoring our time together 
which is soon coming to a close. 
Less than 2 days and they will fly away back to Washington.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Karen's Quinoa Burrito Bowl

Does this not look good?!
So it's not our picture, but it's what Karen made 
for us yesterday for dinner.

I loved it so much that I hid away the tiny bit of leftovers so I could have more later.

Karen made this for us last year when we were in Portland 
and I loved it so much I asked if she would make it while here.  
And our very sweet girl said YES of course!

The only difference she made to the recipe is 
omitting the lettuce... and she used chicken broth in the quinoa 
instead of just water. 

And I had a little chicken left over from our potato bar 
a few days ago, so I added that to the toppings. 
(We didn't need the chicken but Dennis thinks it's not dinner without meat. So it made him happy.)

Thank you Karen for another wonderful meal!

Then after church today Karen put some of the leftover toppings 
from last night, over her tuna sandwich. She also sprinkled some 
celery salt over that….and it was DELISH….

 I know, because I tried the same thing.

Next up, Tyler's meal. He's cooking as I write this.

Do I have a great life or what.