I crossed a number of things off my Fall Bucket List last week! I’m not sure I’ll have them all crossed off by the beginning of December, but this has still be a successful fall! Having a few fun things to look forward to and a list to tackle helped me stay in the moment and enjoy all that autumn had to offer.
We had a couple tense moments while I was trying to learn to drive the Volvo, but in the main, our marriage survived and I can now say that I can drive a manual transmission without too many hiccups. Last weekend I successfully drove her home from Costco!
You know how sometimes you try a new recipe and instantly know that it will become a favorite? These Ginger Snap Cookies were like that for me. These are amazing. I’m surprised they lasted long enough for me to package some up for our neighbors. I am already trying to figure out when I can steal a few hours to make another batch.
In the interest of full disclosure, this picture isn’t really from the walk we took on Sunday afternoon – it’s a cropped photo from a few autumns ago. We really did take a walk though! And, I walked through piles of leave on the sidewalk and heard that satisfying crunch – which of course scared Ike. One of the things that was so great about the walk was that we didn’t take our phones. No distractions (and no photos). I hope we can sneak in another one of these before winter sets in.
How was your autumn this year? Any last minute activities you’re trying to squeeze in before Christmas?
Posted by Erin on November 24, 2012
This was a full weekend. There’s a lot going on right now, but we made time for the garden (cold-weather crops out! summer crops in!) and a few naps with the boys.
The Volvo 2012 National Meet Up was in St. Louis on Saturday!!! There were some pretty cool Volvos on display. My favorite was a yellow Volvo 100 wagon. Loved it! We enjoyed walking in the sunshine and getting to know other Volvo-lovers. The boys came with us and made a few friends of their own.
Saturday evening was spent in the park across the street with many of our favorite neighbors listening to some great live music and watching Happy Feet 2 on a big screen. Even Mayor Slay was there and stopped to chat with us for a while! The company was great, but I’d skip Happy Feet if I were you….it was weird. Still, no matter how cheesy the movie, sitting outside on a blanket eating fresh popped corn with friends always makes for a great summer night. Here’s to the start of a wonderful season!
Posted by Erin on June 5, 2012
One of my favorite things lately has been participating in our Neighborhood Association Meetings. What better way to get to know our neighbors than to show up with warm banana bread straight from the oven! Ever since I sent chocolate chip cookies along to a meeting with Mr. ThirdRow, the first thing that the ladies at the registration table ask us is “What did you make this time?”
I try not to disappoint. I have several banana bread recipes that I love, but my favorite it from (you guessed it) Joy the Baker. I didn’t have quite enough to make double of her recipe but sometimes you just have to work with what you’ve got.
This recipe was yummy, a little heartier than the loaves I normally make. It was best straight from the oven with a little butter spread on top.
5 over-ripe bananas
1 new banana
1 stick melted butter
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond extract
2 tablespoons bourbon whiskey
2 tsp baking soda
pinch of kosher salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
2 tablespoons flax seed meal
1 cup wheat flour
2 cups all purpose flour
Mix all ingredients together until just combined. Divide into 2 prepared loaf pans (buttered well).
Bake at 350 degrees for about 1 hour or until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool for a few minutes in the pan, then gently loosen with a butter knife. Slice and serve warm.
Posted by Erin on May 29, 2012
Donate here. Comment here.
Posted by Erin on April 19, 2012
There are hundreds of thousands of girls who are sold for sex each year. Hundreds of thousands.
The average age of girls being forced into prostitution and a lifestyle of addiction and abuse is thirteen. 13.
When these girls are rescued they need a safe place to go. A safe place to recover, to find refuge, to be restored. There are currently only 100 beds for these girls in the entire country. One hundred safe places. That is not nearly enough.
The Covering House is an incredible organization in St. Louis that seeks to provide refuge and restoration for girls under the age of 18 who have experienced sexual exploitation or sexual trafficking and this year, 2012, they want to open the doors to their house. They are raising funds to cover the cost of not only purchasing their home, but to cover their operating costs for the first six months.
Team Gehret is looking for 91 donations of $20.12. Could you skip Starbucks this month? Can you go without one more cute top from Target? I bet you can.
And I’ll up the ante. How about a delicious box of home made goodies delivered straight to you? All you have to do is make a donation here and leave a comment below letting me know that you did so. I’ll choose a winner, at random, on Friday morning (9:00 am CST) April 20th!
Posted by Erin on April 16, 2012
Last Sunday we gathered with some friends in our neighborhood just before sunrise to celebrate Easter. We came together to remember that the light has overcome the darkness; that Jesus is risen from death.
Posted by Erin on April 15, 2012
Do you listen to Joy the Baker and Tracy from Shutterbean’s podcast on Homefries? You probably should. It’s hilarious. I love listening to Joy and Tracy, as well as Simple Mom while I’m working. Such entertainment!
Recently Joy and Tracy handed out a little homework to their listeners…blog about 5 of your favorite things. So, here they are! These are five of the things I’m digging right now.
My parents gave us this vase for our wedding. I think it’s just the most beautiful thing ever. It reminds be of our Dogtown neighborhood and Irish heritage, family, and spring. Right now it’s on our dining room table filled with roses from our garden and theirs.
I love these boys. They drive me crazy, but they are still my best snuggle-buddies. Yes, they have claimed the guest bedroom for themselves and are currently holding the bed hostage.
I can’t get enough! I’ve made Lemon, Chocolate with Mint Icing, and Red Wine Dark Chocolate with Blackberry filling. What should my next flavor be? I’m thinking maybe caramel….
I love where we live and I love the people we live here with. I’m thrilled that summertime is almost here and our patio will once again be filled with friends and neighbors and grilled chicken.
There are blueberries and chard and kale and carrots and…..well, there’s an entire summer’s worth of meals growing in our backyard and I love it.
Check out some of my favorite products this spring.
Posted by Erin on April 9, 2012
Last year, Mr. ThirdRow and I were invited to join my parents and some of their friends to celebrate a Seder Meal. It was one of the most beautiful dinners I’ve ever participated in. I learned so much about Jewish tradition and, more importantly, God’s story of redemption. This year, we celebrated with our neighborhood community group. I hope that this will be a tradition we continue to enjoy with our family and our community for years to come.
The Seder dinner is a feast that has been part of the Jewish passover tradition for centuries and is a reflection of how our good God keeps His promises. It is the telling of the story of God, to remind us of His story and His faithfulness. While the Jewish people are still looking forward to the coming of their Messiah, we know that He has already come and will come again to restore all things.
Come quickly, Lord Jesus!
If you are interested in a copy of the Seder Haggadah that we used please leave a comment below or email me at email@example.com. I will be happy to share our script with you for your personal use.
Posted by Erin on April 3, 2012
I am an Irish girl. My grandma was Irish. She lived in the same Irish neighborhood that we live in now and literally painted her house green and white. I have fond memories of being in Dogtown on St. Patrick’s day when I was a kid and it was great to be back again this year. We celebrated with our community group over a lazy breakfast and people watching at the parade. I’m already looking forward to next year!
Posted by Erin on March 19, 2012
Sometimes the ideas of church, theology and mission can be a bit theoretical. We get lost in the ideas of what things could and should be and miss the people who are right in front of our faces. I’m like that. I get caught up in all the little things that I think are important – organizing the pantry, cleaning our house, volunteering at church, and getting ready to do something big. I don’t always know what I’m waiting for, but I think while I’m waiting for a big opportunity I miss a lot of everyday ones. I mean, what good is a clean house if no one is there to enjoy it and to mess it up again?
Many people love the idea of the church as a community. But when we eat together, we encounter not some theoretical community, but real people with all their problems and quirks. The meal table is an opportunity to give up our proud ideals by which we judge others and accept in their place the real community created by the cross of Christ, with all its brokenness. It’s easy to love people in some abstract sense and preach the virtues of love. But we’re called to love the real individuals sitting around the table. pg. 48
A Meal with Jesus was another good reminder that God meets us in our everyday lives. We don’t need to do something extraordinary to be a part of His story, of what He is already doing. We all eat. Most of us eat 21 times a week (at least). Why not share those meals, at least a couple of them? There’s something wonderful that happens when we gather over a meal. We get to know each other as more than acquaintances. We become family around a table. This is what we are trying to do with out everyday lives, with our meals, with our community. My friend Kara recently posted about our Monday night dinners with our Community Group. She really did the beauty of the evening justice. We started as strangers and we really have become family around that table. Serving each other. Encouraging and challenging each other. Laughing. Celebrating.
I’d recommend Tim Chester’s book, A Meal with Jesus to anyone who wants to share their lives like that but isn’t sure how to take the idea from theory to practice. There’s nothing novel in there, no crazy new ideas. It’s about living life around a real table with real people just like Jesus did when he was on earth. He didn’t spend his time praying with the pious or comparing notes with the scholarly religious elite. He ate and drank and talked with regular people. We should be doing just the same thing, sharing our table with the people we know and meet who need to be loved, who need to know the love of God.
Every time you place a meal on the table with quiet satisfaction, you’re sharing the joy of the Creator at the creation of the world when he declared everything good. pg. 69
Posted by Erin on March 10, 2012