Monday, December 15, 2008

Homemade Sockeye Salmon Chowder

1 14 3/4 oz can salmon
1 c chopped onions
1 c chopped celery
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 T margarine or butter
2 c diced potatoes
2 c diced carrots
4 c chicken broth
1 t thyme
1/4 t bl pepper
1 c chopped broccoli or zucchini
1 13 oz evaporated milk
10 oz frozen or canned corn
minced parsley

Drain and flake salmon reserving liquid. Saute onions, celery and garlic in margarine. Add potatoes, carrots, reserved salmon liquid, chicken broth and seasonings. Simmer covered for 20 minutes or until veggies are tender. Add broccoli and cook 5 minutes. Add flaked salmon, evaporated milk and corn. Heat thoroughly. Sprinkle with minced parsley to serve.

That is the original recipe as I received it from my Aunt Eunice Little Gautsche.

However, I make my own salmon flakes by requesting all of the scrap when I have a salmon filleted at the store. I then steam that on the stove until it flakes off the bone in about 1/4 cup of water. I then drain off the liquid and use it to saute the onions and celery instead of the butter/margarine. After the salmon has cooled I debone by hand the meat, discarding the bones.

I have also never made it with the broccoli or zucchini because we do not eat it fast enough and the broccoli or zucchini won't reheat well (at least in my opinion). It is very good however when I have had it at my aunt's.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Meteorologists in Portland Receive A++++++++++!

Definitely newsworthy is the fact that meteorologists in Portland correctly predicted Arctic Blast 2008 complete with 4 inches of snow at Fanno Lodge! YIPPPEEEEE! Predictions are for the final snow fall to be between 6 to 8 inches depending on where you live here in the Portland meto area!

For a week now the news has been that this Arctic Blast is coming. Yesterday we were not too sure they were going to be right but we ventured out to the mall to get some time away from the house in hopes that the meteorologists would be right. Since I do not have any rain boots, Arthur found me some Lands Ends rain boots on sale at Sears. They are beautiful pink.....color officially called Cherry. It has been years since I have owned anything from Lands End and so I feel very blessed!

This morning we woke to dimness in our bathroom which is unusual because it has a sky light. That was my first clue that maybe we had some snow....I figured is was just a dusting.

I opened the pure white winter DELIGHT! SNOW everywhere and coming down (at that time) in big flakes and quite hard.

Here we are at about 3:45 in the afternoon and it has been snowing all day. Dacia Grace and Daddy went out to play for about a hour but she is now down for a nap. She is tired but so happy to have the snow here at her house!

While she was sleeping, Arthur and I went out did the final touches to the house in preparation for the cold temperatures that are can feel the temperature dropping! We are officially hunkered down, warm, and ready for a frigid week with temperatures in the 20's. We have electricity! YIPPPEE! This is very unusual weather for Portland and we are loving it. While outside I told Arthur that if you were just looking at a picture of our street, one would think we were in Kansas not Portland, Oregon!

Sunday, November 30, 2008

A Hallmark Moment

Earlier this month, I attended a Mom's Bible study offered through my church. I was preparing to leave for the evening and was making sure that dinner would be ready for Arthur and Dacia Grace since I would be gone.

"Where are you going Mommy?"

"To a Mommy Bible study with other Moms."

"What are you going to do at the Bible study?"

"Learn how to be a better Mommy to you and a better wife to Daddy."

"You don't need to go Mommy! You are already the bestest Mommy in the world! You can't be any better!"

It was all I could do to keep the sobs inside! What a precious little encourager God has given me in Dacia Grace!

Friday, November 28, 2008

Hungry All the Time!

On Thanksgiving Day we loaded up the car and headed up to Mt. Hood to go play in the snow. On the way to Mt. Hood, the following conversation....quite shocking conversation occurred.

"Mommy, God put a baby in my tummy that is why I am hungry all the time!" Dacia Grace informed me.

It was all I could do to keep a straight face. Where does she come up with these things!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Ten Year Anniversary!

WooHoo! Today is the ten year anniversary of the day that Arthur and I met and started dating...Thanksgiving Day, November 26, 1998! As most of you know, we met a Singles Thanksgiving Dinner hosted by Laura and Mike Joback. (They were not married at the time either although they were dating and may have been engaged.)

Ten years later is time for the truth to be revealed.....I had been very sick with walking pneumonia for a week so I was not planning on attending. BUT when I called Laura to explain the situation she informed me that the new guy Arthur Hung was going to attend. It was at that point that I determined that wild horses could not keep me away! They did not keep me away that day and they can't drag me away even now!

Well he did show up and to make the story even funnier....he was also sick with walking pneumonia that week!

We spent the day helping to prepare the dinner while enjoying one another's company and laughing. I know others were there that day....I may even be able to tell you who they are...but quite honestly I don't remember anything that they said! Ask me though what Arthur was wearing......a blue denim shirt with jeans.....he was HANDSOME!

After the dinner we washed dishes together (he willingly helped I might add). Then we went for a walk with a couple of others who showed up and Nora, Laura's little adorable rat terrier! The weather was unseasonably warm for St. Louis in late November allowing us to walk for a long time enjoying the evening and ... each other's company.

Later back at Laura's house, he asked for my phone number and the's wonderful history! I married the perfect man for me! Arthur is not perfect but I know that he is indeed the perfect husband for me and the perfect daddy for Dacia Grace!

I love you Arthur Gene Hom! You are the love of my life!

Monday, November 24, 2008


The other day we went to the mall to look around and happened upon shoe sale where I found some great new shoes....a really cute pair of pink running shoes called Bounce.

Arthur asked me, "Who makes Bounce?"

"Tigger!" Dacia Grace piped up incredulously.

Now my new pink running shoes are called Tigger shoes or Bounce shoes. We get a good laugh everytime I wear them.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Your Response and Participation Requested

Personally I have very strong political views but have always chosen to only share those views when questioned by an individual. I don't share my views randomly and liberally. This post is not so much about my political views as it is a call to action by Americans everywhere.

We as a country voted (or not) to elect Barack Obama as our next president. The Electoral College will be held on December 15, 2008. Most likely Barack Obama will be voted in has our next president HOWEVER, there is a problem with this election. Until the secret of his birth certificate can be fully explained, the Electoral College will be electing a man of questionable American citizenship.

Article 2, Section 1 of the United States Constitution requires that no one can be sworn into office as president of the United States without being a natural born citizen. Barack Obama has not proven his citizenship or provided a certified and legal copy of his complete birth certificate stating the name of the hospital where the live birth occurred and the delivery doctor as well.

What this means to the average American citizen is probably not very much on a day to day basis. BUT on a much broader and deeper level, this unresolved issue calls into question Barack Obama's character and his commitment to upholding the United States Constitution and the office of the President of the United States. It also calls into question the ability of the United States to abide by the parameters set forth in the Constitution.

Please read the following articles and sign the petition requesting the Electoral College and all election authorities to hold off on this historic vote until the question of Barack Obama's citizenship has been unraveled.

Article: Petition to see the Birth Certificate


Petition: Petition For Public Release of Barack Hussein Obama's Birth Certificate

Thank you for your response! Remember, regardless of your personal political views, this does effect you and your vote.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Wednesday's Weads

Princess books are not the only type of books that are loved in our home. Dacia Grace also devours the Cowboy Sam series One of the reasons that she enjoys this series is because of the horses that are part of the stories. I foresee horses being another one of her favorite subjects at some point in the future.

Cowboy Sam and his friends live in Texas (I believe) in the 30's or 40's. They brand cows, adopt a Skunk, corral horses, and track down cow rustlers. The stories and the vocabulary are engaging as well as the illustrations. Aimed primarily at boys, many girls are also interested because of their love for horses.

We "found" this series because I read these when I was in kindergarten. When I was single I found about ten of the books from the Cowboy Sam series and bought them hoping that one day I would be able to share them with my children. You can purchase these books now through

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday's Weads

I thought that it might be fun to share a little slice of Dacia Grace's passion for books. This passion was passed down to her by me and became quite evident when I found her at the ripe old age of nine months sitting with a stack of books taller than she and contentedly reading and studying each page. Unfortunately that photo will forever be etched in my memory bank and mine alone.

Librarians at the Tigard Library know her well as the little princess walking along behind her Mommy and reading a book as she walks. (She still wears her princess dresses to the library whenever possible.) The library is one of her favorite places to visit. (I probably should do a post on her favorites.) Dacia Grace would visit the library everyday if it were possible not that I am complaining mind you.

I have decided to share with you a few good "weads" on Wednesdays. These will give you a glimpse into her life and what she enjoys as well as give you some ideas of good books for the little princess in your life.

The Jellybeans and the Big Dance

The main character Emily loves to dance and is excited to attend her first dance class. Once there however she is dismayed to learn her classmates are as different as jellybeans and have very different interests than she does. Emily learns that differences can be overcome and friendships can be made that will triumph life's challenges. Not only is the story engaging but the illustrations are top notch.


Pinkalicious learns to stay true to her one likes and not to be swayed by peer pressure as the other girls in school all like black not pink. She also finds that staying true to herself brings new friends that see the special qualities of her and her favorite color.....PINK!

SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHh: Some of the dialogue is changed when this story is read by Mommy and Daddy as we do censor the vocabulary and some themes that we deem inappropriate for Dacia Grace.

Fancy Nancy

In this the cornerstone of the Fancy Nancy series, Nancy and her less than fancy family is introduced as well as new vocabulary that is.....fancy. Nancy soon learns though that being fancy has its own drawbacks as she experiences embarrassment in public. Her family though is quick to surround her with love! A fun story to read and to study the illustrations. I do believe that Dacia Grace and I will be working on transforming her bedroom into a fancy bedroom! LOL!

Align Left

Little Ballet Star

This is the second story about Tilly a young ballerina. The setting for this story is Tilly's birthday adventure at The Sleeping Beauty ballet. Tilly is given a tour of the backstage as a present from her Aunt Gina, the prima ballerina, complete with a wonderful surprise! I won't give it away. But for any little girl, the surprise is indeed a dream come true! Once again the illustrations are fabulous!

I am sorry about the picture sizes being off. I was not able to save the pictures from Amazon in a uniform size!

Friday, October 31, 2008

To Frost Or Not To Frost?

That is always the question for me! See I don't really like frosting EXCEPT for whipped cream frosting. That is hard to make (in my opinion) AND does not hold its color. So in making cakes for the Harvest Festival at church, I had to come up with a solution. Not that I was going to eat the cake because it was for the cake walk but I wanted it to be superb!

Wellll.......the answer. Jello Frosting! That's right. See I had heard of Kool Aid frosting but heard that the taste and texture was a little "off" but that kids enjoyed the color and the cool flavors. I thought why not Jello. I am a HUGE fan of Jello Frosting now! Not to mention the color options! We used Raspberry Jello! YUMMY! The color was exactly what I was going princess pink! So here is the recipe compliments of

3 oz pkg Jello of choice
2/3 cup sugar, granulated
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla, optional
1/2 cup boiling water.

Combine jello, sugar, egg whites and vanilla. Pour in boiling hot water. Beat at high speed using the whip attachment for at least five minutes or until the desired spreading consistency. Enjoy!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Lentil Soup

1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic chopped
2 T olive oil
3 -4 carrots, sliced
2 stalks celery, diced
1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
6 teaspoons dry bullion
6 cups water, boiling
1 c lentils
1 pinch thyme
1 large can stewed tomatoes (minimum 14.5 ounces) *Personally I like to use Muir Glen Organic Fire Roasted Diced Tomatoes because of the flavor that it adds to the soup.

(1) Put water on to boil.
(2) Saute onion and garlic in oil.
(3) Add carrots and celery, saute 2-3 minutes more.
(4) Add chili powder, bullion, boiling water, lentils and thyme.
(5) Cook covered for 35 minutes.
(6) Add tomatoes and cook for 5 more minutes.

Make sure to use boiling water. This decreases that amount of time needed to cook the lentils.
Bullion can be either chicken, veggie or beef. It should be dry bullion otherwise the liquid will be doubled. So if you need to use a liquid bullion/soup base, boil the base and omit the dry bullion.

This is the basic recipe. There are many things that you can add to make even more yummier soups.

Lentil and Lamb Stew
Add 1 -2 cups lamb meat, cooked
Decrease the water by 2 cups
Add some oregano...Greek oregano if you have it

Today we added cooked chicken, leftover noodles and some browned turkey meat. So yummy.

Serve with shredded cheese, chopped green onions, black olives and some hot bread.


This recipe is compliments of my mother, Esther Ruth (Hostetler) Zook who would often make this in the fall when the Midwest weather would turn crisp and cold or would become cold and rainy. "Good soup day!" would be my mom's comment as she began to pull the ingredients out of the cupboards. I think of her every time I make this soup.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Chinois Update

A dear friend from Community Bible Study (aka church school to Dacia Grace) owns a chinois that she has so graciously loaned me. Thank you, Audra!

Also, tomorrow (Thursday) I am going to pick up a chinois from a fellow Freecycler. Here is hoping that is will be in good shape and will in fact be what I am looking for in a chinois.

I do have to say that I really, really like If you have never checked it out, you really should. It is a way to pass on things that you no longer use to someone who is in need of the item. No money is exchanged. All that is asked is a courteous thank you and for you to pass on something to another that you are not using. We have added many necessary items to our home this way.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chosen Name

This morning I had a very interesting conversation with Dacia Grace regarding what she likes to be called. Her choices were:

Dacia, Dac or Dacia Grace

Her choice.......Dacia Grace.

"When you introduce yourself to someone, what do you tell them your name is?" I asked.

"Dacia Grace!" was her very definitive response. "You need to work on that Mommy."

"Okay, I will Dacia Grace."

Off she went to play but coming back several times today to ask me, "So what is my name, Mommy?"

So cute!

I remember I was about her age when I had a similar conversation with my mother about my name choice. So I mother, like daughter!

Oh Where Is My Chinois? Sniff, Sniff!

What is chinois you ask? A cone shaped food puree sieve used to make sauces and broths of all kinds (i.e. applesauce, tomato sauce, ketchup, fish broth, etc.) As I continue on in my endeavor to make things from scratch thus avoiding the long list of allergens that plague this family, I found out the mine is MIA! I have looked high and I have looked low. So sad. Not only was mine very useful but it also held many memories of making applesauce with my mom and my sister. Ahhhhh...... I guess I will have to add it to several other things that are MIA as well. Meanwhile I will make work on my 37 pounds of apples while reminiscing about Chinois!
If by some chance you have one of these collecting dust on your garage shelves and you would like to donate it to a lonely housewife, I would be so happy!

Friday, September 19, 2008

My Times Are in Thy Hands

Hymn by William F. Lloyd

My times are in Thy hand;
My God, I wish them there;
My life, my friends, my soul I leave
Entirely to Thy care.

My times are in Thy hand;
Whatever they may be;
Pleasing or painful, dark or bright,
As best may seem to Thee.

My times are in Thy hand;
Why should I doubt or fear?
My Father’s hand will never cause
His child a needless tear.

My times are in Thy hand,
Jesus, the crucified!
Those hands my cruel sins had pierced
Are now my guard and guide.

My times are in Thy hand,
I’ll always trust in Thee;
And, after death, at Thy right hand
I shall forever be.

Almost 20 years ago to the day, this thought provoking song ministered to me as I was seeking God's direction while in college. It ministered to me again today as I was doing my Bible study and praying for our family and all that God has in store for us in the coming year.

We have an amazing God who lovingly asks us to follow Him and trust Him! What a reminder to me during the current economic "slump" and during this pre-election time! Our times even as a country are in His hands......what a wonderfully comforting place to be!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

DG Approved!

Yummy Italian Minestrone Soup!

Courtesy of Arlene on Clean and Cozy Yahoo!

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, sliced
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup sliced carrots
1/2 cup sliced potatoes
2 cups sliced cabbage
1 cup sliced zucchini
1/2 cup garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed if canned)
1/2 cup navy beans
16 oz can tomatoes with liquid (I used Fire Roasted from Trader Joe's)
1/2 cup celery
2 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 tablespoon minced fresh parsley
1/2 cup rotini (uncooked) (I used macaroni because that is what I had in the pantry)

1. Sauté onion in oil until brown. Add broth, carrots, and potatoes, cover and cook for 30 minutes.
2. Add remaining ingredients and cook for 20 minutes more.

NOTE: When I make this again I will probably double the broth since this was more of a stew than a soup. I plan on adding the broth right before serving.

Makes 8 servings (1 serving = 1 cup)

Calories - 116
Fat- 3 gr. (23%)
Carbohydrates - 19gr. (66%)
Protein - 5 gr. (17%)
Fiber - 4 gr
Sodium - 188 or less mg

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Wasp Stings, Trojans and Leaking Roof

What do all three of these random things have in common? Why would I be blogging about them? Well.........all three happened within the span of about 36 to 48 hours here at Fanno Lodge.

That's right folks! Tuesday started very bright and early with me out in the front yard taking advantage of the cooler weather to tame the Weed Dragon that had overtaken the flower beds. Arthur was up and out of the house for a busy day at work. (He is down an assistant at work so the work load has doubled and in some cases tripled.) Dacia Grace had come out to learn how to use the special garden tool for yanking out nasty dandelions by their roots. When all of a sudden, OUCH! and into the house I ran calling for Dacia Grace. She followed as I began to .... ahem .... divest myself of my pants for you see the dang wasp had gotten trapped in my pants from the pant leg. As I began to inspect the pants to see if I could kill the dang wasp, it proceed to sting me not once but two more times on my upper arm......I SCREAMED!

For those of you who do not know, I have a history of BAD experiences with bees, wasps, mud dabbers, you get the picture. (Actually the week before this happened I was at the allergist being tested for bee sting allergies....I failed on the first test so they had to do a blood test to determine the extent of the allergies....we don't have the test results back yet and won't for quite some time.) I 50 mg of Benadryl later, a 911 call, a frantic call to Arthur's work requesting him to come home as soon as he arrived, two phone calls to Arthur FROM the 911 and paramedics found me quite loopy but doing just fine. So yes.....I am allergic to bees, wasps, yellow jackets, mud dabbers, bumblebees. Yes, my purse now weighs more since an Epi Pen is carried with me EVERYWHERE!

Trojans and Leaking Roof......our trusty computer started acting excessively weird that same evening. But it was not until the following day that I was able to discover through the help of my trusted computer advisor, Melissa and her wonderful hubby Sam that our computer is infected by a virus, a trojan and a worm! Yes, you read that correctly....all three!

At about the exact same time that I was discovering this nasty bit of news, I went outside on our wonderful screened in porch to rest on our couch.......WET! It has been raining quite a bit this week and our roof is leaking! Not just one spot but two!

So folks, no pictures available on this post of our beautiful girl because....well.....I just can't upload one right now. This will be my last post for awhile until our trusted computer (I need a name for this member of our family) is repaired and in working order. Neither will I have much email access so I will catch you all when I can.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Artist in Training

Not only is Dacia Grace an artist in training but she is also very compassionate. She loves her friends and when one of them is hurting she is very concerned about them. When she found out that a good friend broke her bottom jaw in three places, her first response was, "Mommy, we need to share my Princess band aids with Amarissa! That will fix her owie!" What a sweetie! So this morning Dacia Grace is busy painting Princess pictures to send with the band aids to her friend. Later today we will mail the picture and the band aids along with other cards for some sick and hurting friends.

Father, I pray that You will continue to grow Dacia Grace's compassionate heart for the sick and the hurting. May she always be willing to reach out and share Your love with those in need.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Camping at Beverly Beach

In mid-July we spent three days and two nights at Beverly Beach which is located just south of Lincoln City and north of Newport on the central Oregon Coast. It was a wonderful break from the 90 degree weather that Portland was experiencing.

We had breakfast/lunch one morning at Cafe Stephanie located in the historic Nye Beach are of Newport. It was WONDERFUL! If you ever have a chance to eat there, you will not be disappointed.

We also stopped at Seal Rock one day where much to our delight we found a OSU art extension class being taught. There were about 50 or so artist using various mediums all painting Seal Rock. Dacia Grace was in AWE of the artists than their interpretations of the landscape. One artist was even painting a rendition of the other artists painting Seal Rock. What fun! Mainly though, her fascination was the BEACH!

Sorry, no pictures for this post as there is a problem with blogger. However, you can click here to see an online album of our camping trip.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Newly Married Fellowship Reunion Pictures

Everyone was concerned about Emma....she was so tired!

Dacia Grace (3 1/2), Jaden (almost 2)
Brett (6 months) and Emma (10 months)

Here they are just chillin'

Five years ago this summer about twelve couples started on the journey of marriage. Once married all of us joined the newly married fellowship. None of the couples knew each other but we soon became friends as we met for a year and were discipled by two of the neatest couples in the world....Chris and Amy McReynolds and Tom and Alicia Moore. Over the five years about six of the couples have stayed close friends. In mid-July we gathered one afternoon at the home of Kim and Jamie for a reunion. Here are our kiddos.....not everyone was able to be there but what a blessing these kiddos are to each of us!
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Beauty and the Letters

Here is our little Beauty playing with the letterboard that was mine when I was a little older than she is now. She loves to play dress up....currently her favorite is Belle. I found this dress at Value Village for 99 cents! Actually it was more but I would not pay for it and when the manager heard me talking to Dacia Grace, she lowered the price! Wonder why I am such a loyal custormer.
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My Little Helper

I have the sweetest little girl....she is a gem! Recently we have been watching her little servant heart grow and grow. Here are just a few of the precious moments from this last month.

I will do the laundry, Mommy!

When I am done here, do you want me to BBQ, too?

Notice she is standing on a small stool and reach the sink!

When did my little baby grow up?

So happy to be washing dishes with and for Mommy!

"Reading" the directions for Mac-n-Cheese to Mommy.

Time to add the cheese!


Early in July I purchased some English Peas from the local produce stand. Dacia Grace was very excited to learn how to shell peas. She sat on the counter and shelled peas for about 30 minutes or so. I told her about growing up in St. Louis on "the farm" and shelling peas under the apple trees with my brothers and sister or down in the basement when it was too cold and rainy outside. Growing up we would shoot peas at each other until our Mom would finally call a halt to Dacia Grace had to try shooting some peas as well. She did a fine job of that as well! She has a good eye for throwing anything...including peas!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Fanno Lodge Has Been Invaded!!!!!!!!!!!

By a bookworm! Dacia Grace is a true book worm and has been since she was about nine months old. She loves her books. A trip to the library is a weekly event. We live just 1/2 mile from our local library....this was one of the HUGE selling points when we bought our house last summer.

When I was a little girl every summer was filled with the local library's reading program. It was a much anticipated time for me. The summer between second and third grade I read over 150 biographies. I still remember reading those and enjoying my "quiet time" in the hot St. Louis afternoons reading in my room by a fan.

I knew that I wanted Dacia Grace to enjoy the summer reading program as well but thought that I would need to wait until she was able to read. Not so. They now have summer reading programs for even the littlest of "readers"...i.e. babies. The prize is a new free book. The parents or the child chose a goal for the summer and they read aloud to achieve the goal.

Well this year, I asked Dacia Grace how many books she would like to read. Her response was so unusual.....I want to read this many Mommy! as she held her hand up to above her head. YEP! She wants to read a stack of books that is as tall as she is! We actually have to wait until the end of the program or until her book stack reaches her height to find out just how many books that will entail. Currently we have read almost 60 books! For a 3 1/2 year old....that's a lot of books!

Currently her favorite book is Oops a Daisy by Claire Freedman. If you have not read the book, stop by the children's section of your local library to take a peak. It is quite cute!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Fish Chowder!!!!

Last night I made a wonderful Fish Chowder.....that is quite can use whatever you have on hand for the veggies AND a can or two of tuna. I used some "fresh fish" that I had frozen several months ago.....I knew its taste would be sort of flat so I just steamed the fish and added it to the Yummy!

Potato Tuna Chowder (Fish Chowder)
Serves 4 - 6 people

2 1/2 c diced potatoes (divided)
2 c chicken or veggie stock
2 T finely chopped onion
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp sage
1/4 tsp paprika
Dash of white pepper
1/2 c sliced carrots
1/2 c green beans, cut into pieces
1/2 c sliced celery
3 c milk
1 (6 1/2 oz) can tuna fish, drained and broken into chunks.

1.) Combine 1 c potatoes, chicken stock, onion and salt in large saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 10 - 15 minutes, or until potatoes are fork tender.
2.) Add sage, paprika and pepper to saucepan; with fork, mash potatoes in saucepan.
3.) Add remaining potatoes, carrots, green beans, celery, and milk to mashed potatoes in saucepan; bring to a boil, then immediately reduce heat. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until veggies are tender.
4.) Add fish to saucepan. Simmer for 5 minutes, until well heated. Serve at once.

That is the recipe as listed in the book. Now here are my modifications/notes:

1.) Used one medium to large sized Yukon Gold potato.
2.) Since I had no Sage or White Pepper on hand, I used Summer Savory, Oregano, Basil, Marjoram and Black Pepper.
3.) While the potatoes were cooking, I steamed my fish by placing it in a shallow frying pan on a rack and adding some water, fish sauce, garlic and fresh grated ginger. Steamed until fish flaked. Took out and let it cool.
4.) No green beans on hand so I threw in some fresh asparagus, broken, some sliced mushrooms, fresh chopped parsley (coarsely chopped).
5.) Served with grated colby and a Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad.

There are many possibilities with this recipe. You can use any canned fish or oysters that you can find on sale. You can use whatever fresh veggies you have on hand or use some frozen veggies. Don't be limited by what the recipe says....use what you have on hand..... This can be quite economically ladies!

Original recipe from Creative Cooking: Fish and Other Seafood. Ottenheimer Publishers, Inc. 1992. Page 18.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Cheer Hero!

Love the Dacia-isms that come my way on a daily basis....

After catching a floating balloon, Dacia asked me "Am I your cheer hero?!"

What a great word. We should all use cheer hero. It combines the best of two wonderful words.....cheerleader and hero. I pray that as her mommy and as Arthur's wife, I will be their number #1 cheer hero!

Side note: Please keep me in your prayers as I am battling a nasty, nasty cold! Hence no pictures or updates about our vacation. Just trying to keep my family feed and taken care of on a daily basis is a huge challenge!

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Home Sweet Home!

We are home from a two week trip to southern California to visit Arthur's family as well as have some family time ourselves. We started on May 7th with a 30 hour train ride from Portland to Los Angeles. We were not sure what to expect from Dacia Grace. She did wonderfully! She had no problem sleeping on the train...neither did Arthur which is no surprise! On the other hand, I had some troubles surprise there either!

I fell in love with riding the rails! I am a big fan of long car trips but riding the rails beats the long road trips in my book. I am ready for another one SOON!

We arrived refreshed and ready to start vacation....not at all jet lagged like normal. Yes, we are some of those people who get jet lagged even travelling in the same time zone.

We went to La Quinta, California which is out by Palm Desert for a few days where we enjoyed the sunshine and the pool. Then it was back to HOT Los Angeles for a few days of family time where we visited Auntie Maxine's workplace....Disneyland and California Adventure. Thank you so much Auntie Maxine!

Then it was Torrey Pines, California which is just a few miles north of La Jolla, California. LOVED IT! We were even able to find the exact place that I had visited while in college...I was there for just an hour or so but fell in love with nice to go back....La Jolla Cove, California. If you are ever able to visit, make sure to look up Brockton Villa which is this wonderful quaint restaurant overlooking the cove. We were able to enjoy the pelicans, the cove, the park and the seals!

Finally it was time to take Arthur's Mom and Dad to Los Vegas. We were prepared for hot Vegas weather. The day before we arrived it was 108 degrees in the shade. The day we arrived it was 69 degrees in the sun and WINDY! So we managed but did not spend as much time in the pool as we had anticipated. We enjoyed the Bellagio fountains and the time together as a family. I am still not that comfortable with all that Dacia Grace's little eyes and ears took in there but I am confident that God will cover her with his grace.

Saturday the 24th we flew back to Portland. The flight was fairly easy and comfortable. But it felt so good to be home....even when we realized that both Arthur and I had come home with an unexpected souvenir and an unwelcome one......a spring cold! UGH!

I will post the pictures soon! I have to recharge the batteries....both the camera and my body ones!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Human Treasures

Here Dacia Grace models her human treasures! This was the only picture that was not so completely blurry....she was very busy twirling in her skirt and dancing and singing for me. She sat down for just a moment with this very pensive look...."I don't think that I have enough human treasures!"


Dacia Grace was so excited that she was a big girl!

Such joy about learning a new thing!

May you always find joy in learning!

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Thursday, May 1, 2008

Pure Craziness

Okay, this may not be craziness to some people but for me it is......I just went out and bought 50 pounds of white jasmine why do would I consider that crazy....well, I just never imagined that I would ever buy that much rice at one time. So for me it is pure craziness...the stuff that other people's lives are made of.....people with much larger families than I. Ah well........

The reason I bought it was because I could not find anything smaller.....I guess that adds to the craziness. When I was out shopping today for the rice, I talked to the grocery store managers to see if they knew what was up with the rice just flying off the shelves.

"If people would stop listening to the paranoia perpetrated by the news media, there would be rice on the shelves" I was told over and over. This just confirms what I have been thinking all week. The real reason the rice is flying off the shelves has more to do with the news media than with a true lack of rice.

It was also confirmed by one of the local wholesale grocer houses (here in Portland, Oregon the public can shop at the wholesale houses just like small business owners and restaurateurs) that another reason for the rice flying off the shelves is because of the price of gas, many distributors are increasing their shipping and delivery rates. It is more cost effective for small business owners and restaurateurs to do their own shopping. They come in and buy everything that they can get their hands on at Costco, Winco, etc. thus causing "a run on rice". He also said that gas prices are causing all of our groceries to increase in price. The news media is failing to report that it is the gas and oil prices that are driving up the grocery prices. Rather they are focusing on the "crisis" and the "shocking" rather than the truth. Hmmmmmm..

So ladies, keep your wits about you. Shop smartly but don't let the news media pull you into the paranoia of the day!

On another note: The shop owner where I purchased the rice wondered if I was a professional weight lifter because I was carrying the bag of rice on my shoulder! I laughed! ME!

Friday, April 25, 2008

I Won!!!!!!!!!!!

I never win anything ..... well, amost never! Rachelle had a contest on her blog and I won! Thank you Rachelle for the Starbucks gift card! I am very grateful for it! What a wonderful treat for me!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

On of my favorite things to do as a family in March/April is to spend the day at the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival in Woodburn, Oregon. Some years it is rainy, muddy and cloudy while some years it is sunny, warm and breezy. Every year since Dacia Grace was born, we have gone. I have not found the picture CD from her first year but when I do, I will post the picture of her with the wooden shoes. It is an annual tradition to take her picture in the shoe...although next year I do not expect her to fit inside it!

April 2006 (16 Months)

April 2007 (28 Months)

April 2008 (3 years)

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

New Birth at the Homs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today is a red letter day in our lives here! This one is right up there with those handful of days that are so special.......

the day that I met Arthur!

the day I married Arthur!

the day I found out that we were expecting Dacia Grace!

the day I gave birth to Dacia Grace!

the day I knew that God had healed my little girl!

Are you on pins and needles yet?................

Today at about 5:15 PM there was another birth in our family........................Dacia Grace asked Jesus in her heart!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What could be more exciting than that! What a privilege I had to lead her in the sinner's prayer...I cannot tell you what a wonderful and humbling experience that was! That God would allow me to show my daughter how to be spiritually be fully alive in Jesus!

Let me back up here........this morning we attended the Moms Group lead by two wonderfully godly women from our church. They are teaching a group of moms what a godly wife and mom looks like and what all it entails. WOW! (That will have to be another post!)

On the way home from the Moms Group, Dacia asked, "When are we going to go to heaven with Jesus?" This lead to a conversation about the only way to get to heaven was for Jesus to either come back and call all of His children to come home with Him (i.e. the rapture of the church) or for us to die and go to heaven to be with Him. Of course we talked to a great extent about who the children of Jesus really are......then we talked about the wonderful things that God had made...the rain clouds, the pretty flowers, etc.

Fast forward to late afternoon, nap time is done. Mommy's errands finished. Dacia Grace spent sometime visiting her favorite neighbor....

"Will Jesus live in my heart forever Mommy?" Dacia Grace asked as soon as we came in the door.

For once I was in tune with Dacia Grace and attentive to what was going on in her heart (thank you Paula and Alissa for your words today!). I stopped what I was doing and began talking to her. It became very clear that she understood the basics of salvation! I asked her, "Dacia Grace do you want to pray and ask Jesus to come and live in your heart forever!"

Her eyes lit up, "Yes, Yes MOMMY!"

WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I will have to ponder this some more......what a way to begin my gratitude journal! (An assignment from the Moms Group!) I cannot stop the tears from flowing.....I am so amazed by the whole experience today!

Here is my little girl......walking through the mud puddles yesterday at the Tulip Festival.....

Dacia Grace may you walk as confidently with God and as joyfully with God as you did through the mud puddles yesterday.......knowing that God is there in the midst of the mud puddles.....walking with you each and everyday.......

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you , nor will I ever forsake you." Hebrews 13:5

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or sword?.....But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who love us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35, 37-39

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Mommy's Little Helper

One of Dacia Grace's favorite things to do these days is to help me with whatever housework I have to do for the she is helping me to clean out the refridgerator. She takes her work very seriously. Today she promised that she would help me do the laundry after her nap. She was quite concerned that I wait for her help before starting the laundry. What a blessing she is to me! Her cheerful attitude toward work is one that I pray she never outgrows!
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Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Glamour Girl!

Saturday, April 5, 2008


Arthur attempts to root on his UCLA Bruins to the NCAA Basketball Championship game. In the process, he decided to "indoctrinate" Dacia Grace. Here is a shot of the celebrating one of the very few baskets that the Bruins made in that game.
Updated 4/8/08....UCLA was beaten by Memphis who was then beaten by least Kansas won! Arthur used to live in Olathe, Kansas!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Invasion of the Seals

To hear Dacia Grace cough you would think that our home had been invaded by a family of seals. Her spirits are good although she does not sound good. She wants to go to the park to play today! We decided to play hide and seek instead. I sent her upstairs to hide and then went to find her......she hid very well. I was surprised. I found her hiding in our walk in closet. After just two rounds of the game, she was ready to snuggle up.

I have the BEST husband! Yesterday Arthur stayed home from work in the morning so that I could attend the first meeting of the Moms' Bible Study that our church is holding in the month of April. What a blessing to me! The ladies who are teaching it are so encouraging. I hope that I will be able to attend next week.....Dacia Grace will need to be healthier for me to attend.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


Can't find a picture to post for all of you who do not live in if I do I will come back an add it to the post.

The weather this week is CRAZY! Here it is Spring Break week - not that anyone here goes to school - but we enjoyed seeing Sandy, Howard and Samantha (Arthur's sister) who drove up from southern California to spend their Spring Break at Welches/Mt. Hood. We expected that THEYwould see some snow on the mountain especially if they went up to Timberline Lodge but.....snow in the valley....snow at OUR house.....CRAZY!

This morning I braved the COLD, COLD, COLD weather to go do a couple of errands while the rest of the family slept. Snow, rain, and sleet was the weather of the moment....not even du jour because it chances on a dime multiple times a day.....even more than it did growing up in St. Louis! Go figure!

Today's agenda includes keeping warm by the fireplace, making and enjoying chicken noodle soup (nature's antibiotic for one sick 3 year old and one sick 40 year old) and making some breadsticks!

On another note, Adobe Photoshop just recently announced they would be making a version of their software available online......I signed up so quick the computer almost fell off the desk! Here is the results from my first attempt. I am no expert by any means but am happy with the results.

Before....not the greatest composition but I still like it.

After.....the pop of color really accents the Bible thus supporting a great story.

To read more about the story see Treasures posted on February 1, 2008.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

He is Risen...Death Where is Thy Sting?!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Sponges and Batteries

For several days now Dacia Grace has been asking me to find batteries for her small pink flashlight. So today I searched until I found some. Coming in from the garage I congratulated myself "A teachable moment! Watch as I do this up good!"

I greeted Dacia Grace with batteries in hand. "Look!"

"You found batteries, Mommy!"

"Yes, I did! Will my flashlight work now?"

"First we need to see if the batteries have power or not," congratulating myself once again that I used the correct term for this "teachable moment".

Going to the table to sit down and try the batteries in her flashlight, I asked, "Dacia Grace, do you know where we get our power from?" Pondering if she was going to "get" this spiritual analogy.

Dacia Grace looked up at me with an incredulous smile, "Yes, Mommy! We get our power from JESUS!"

My bubble burst, I queried, "Where did you learn that?"

"Church school" she answered as if it was obvious!

Now church school for those of you who don't know is the kids program at Community Bible Study ( We attend on Wednesday morning. The lessons she is learning literally BLOWS MY MIND AWAY!

I was reminded once again that my child as well as others are just little sponges soaking up all of the spiritual truths that we will pour into them. Of course they are not discriminating sponges at the moment so we need to make sure that the spiritual truths that we are pouring into them are based on the Source of all Truth.....Jesus Christ!

I was also humbled by my prideful attitude that I had thought up the wonderful teachable moment and orchestrated it! Who am I? Lord forgive me for my pridefulness. You love Dacia Grace far more than I. You have loaned her to me to raise and teach about You! May I never lose track of that in the mirady of daily life!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Saturday Morning Chores


This is a common sight in our home on Saturday morning.....Daddy and Dacia Grace dancing, singing and sweeping the floors! Aren't they cute!
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Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Presidents' Day

I would like to take a moment to recognize this little celebrated holiday....Presidents' Day. While government offices and schools are closed in honor of this day, no parties are thrown in honor to the men who have served as the President of the United States and to recognize their great accomplishments AND failures for all of us have both in our lives. The most recognition that we see on this day is from the merchandising industry with all of its many "Presidents Day Sidewalk Sales". Don't get me wrong I love a good bargain and shop with the best looking for the bargains that can be found. But this year, Arthur and I were reminded in a new and fresh way about the Presidents of the United States of America!

On Sunday, we were going eating lunch and talking with Dacia Grace when the following conversation occurred.

"See this man here Dacia Grace. He is George Washington." I told her as I pointed to a quarter. "So is this man. He was the very first President of the United States."

"I know that Mommy!" she matter of factly told me.

Quite taken back, I said, "You do!?"

"Yes, I saw a show about him."

"You did......that's right you did!"

Dacia Grace returns to looking at the coins in front of her while I turn to Arthur who has NOT heard the conversation and say, "Would you please scrape my chin off the floor."

"Why?" he asks.

So I tell him the conversation. His response is to ask Dacia Grace, "Where did you see a show about George Washington."

With great display of patience Dacia Grace says, "At WALT DISNEY WORLD, Daddy."

She responded as if everyone should remember that three months ago while on vacation at Walt Disney World we sat through a 30 minute animitronics show on the Presidents. It was here that she sat on my lap completely mesmerized by the show and learned about George Washington, our first president, and Honest Abe! We were once again blown away by the memory that she exemplifies DAILY and the GOODNESS of the Lord in healing our little girl's brain a little over three years ago!

Here is a picture from our Walt Disney World Vacation in November 2007.

Another side note: We did go down to the local outlet mall that afternoon where among other things, I was able to purchase $7.50 worth of coffee drinks for the price of naming 30 presidents! So to all of you who are still students out there, paying attention in your American History Classes does have its benefits! I scored FREE COFFEE!

Friday, February 1, 2008

My Treasures......

Door slamming upstairs. "Mommy, what are you doing?"

"Waiting on you. What are you doing?"

"Getting my treasures."

Noise ensues.

"I have my Bible, Mommy. It tells me the truth."

"Yes, it does."

"It says, 'Dacia Grace Hom, you must obey your Mommy and Daddy'."


"Yes, it says 'Obeying makes Jesus happy'."

"Treasures" is a concept that Dacia Grace learned from The Little Mermaid when Ariel is constantly collecting "treasures from the human world." This is the first time that she has translated that to the TRUE TREASURE of God's Word!

Interesting Note: I happened to be at the computer at the beginning of this conversation so I was able to quickly "record" this conversation as it occurred.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


We use the timer for many things in our home to help Dacia Grace transition from one thing to another....i.e. play time to nap time. Tonight when the timer went off, I was slightly indisposed and could not turn it off immediately. Suddenly I heard Dacia Grace called to me, "Mommy, I think it is time for you to give me a hug!"

Who can resist such a sweet comment? Certainly not this mommy!

Friday, January 4, 2008

Big Celebration Preparation!

Just thought I would share a glimpse of my day! I know that for some people the following may not seem like a major feat but for me.....a BIG FEAT!

By 5:30 AM the master bedroom has been picked up while Arthur slept through it all

By 6:00 AM Dacia Grace is dressed, hair combed and ready for the on the agenda....breakfast! Yes that time is correct!

By 6:30 AM I am showered and dressed for the day

By 8:00 AM the upstairs bathroom has been deep cleaned! The remaining pictures hung there. Already for the Big Celebration tomorrow!

By 9:00 AM the shower curtain liner is in the washing machine. AND the downstairs bathroom has been deep cleaned!

To what do I owe this good pleasure....

Well at o-dark 4:00 AM I hear....."the movie is off Mommy...I am ready for the Big Celebration!" There was no getting her to go back to bed regardless of the fact that her Big Celebration (i.e. birthday party) is not until Saturday afternoon!

On the agenda today is seeing the chiropractor as I wigged out my back earlier this week sitting on the floor at Arthur's office playing organize the papers with Dacia Grace. Then let's see .... pick up the birthday cake, clean kitchen, vacuum upstairs, dust mop downstairs, laundry, flip mattress and remake our bed, put away laundry, clean front porch, make hummus, cut up carrots, make dinner, make lemonade, make sure we have enough party favors for the guests.............. ! WHEW!