Monday, May 31, 2010

Summer Reading

Last week, I asked for summer book requests on facebook. I got such great recommendations!  Here are the books I'm holding until's going to be really hard to keep my paws off of them for the next month!

Also, I just read:

The Tender Bar (a memoir) by J.R. Moehringer, a lovely book.  Might be my favorite memoir ever.
The Red Tent by Anita Diamant.  A must-read.

On my list at the library, waiting to come in:

The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Baybery
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson
Half-Broke Horses by Jeanette Walls
Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurty
One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus
East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Thank you to all my friends for the recommendations!

Saturday, May 29, 2010


Yesterday, I had the wound from my neuroma surgery drained.  Today, Cory had plans to go to a Twins game with some of the Plymouth firefighters.  So, my sister in law agreed to help me with the kids while he was gone (but then sent me a text that my in-laws had stopped by her house and were taking them home with them to have dinner...I have the BEST family!).

Cory met the other guys at Matt's house for the game.  Another firefighter, Chuck, left me a voicemail a couple hours ago:  Hi, Leanne, it's Chuck.  Hey, just saw your husband over at Matt's house and heard you had surgery.  Just wanted to let you know that I'm around all day as duty officer, and if you need anything at all, just call.


When I called Chuck back, I was saying to him that I really want to take the boys to Ft. Snelling on Monday.  All of Cory's grandparents are buried there, and the rugrats are at a great age to start talking to them about honor and sacrifice and patriotism.  I told Chuck that if I rest for a couple days, I should be up to taking them there!  We started talking about what an amazing place Ft. Snelling is and it's good to go pay our respects (Chuck also served in the military: God bless him.).

We started talking about community.  How years ago, everyone needed their neighbors.  I feel like we've become isolationists in so many ways, and in days prior, people leaned on their communities more.  And I realized, in that moment, that I am so in love with my firefighter family for that reason.  In it, Community is very much alive.  As evidenced by a phone call from a "family member" saying, "Hey, I heard you're laid up, let me know if you need me."  You know, like the olden days.

Someday, when the rugrats are men, and they call the wife of a friend who is laid-up and offer their help, I will know that I did my job. May my boys learn the value of Community at a young age and always remember that a man is more valuable when he doesn't stand alone.

And on Memorial Day weekend, a time we set aside to honor men and women who truly understood this concept, I say a prayer that my boys remember, respect, and maintain strong community always.  Amen.

Monday, May 24, 2010


I love mowing the lawn.  It might be the most gratifying household chore.  Nothing more beautiful than a fresh-cut lawn.  It's a little bit hard to parent the rugrats at the same time, but we're figuring it out.  I'll take a little interruption for this task!  Plus, I can't really hear them whining and fighting over the sound of the mower.  Hehe.

Friday, May 21, 2010


We are digging this summer weather at the Peterson house.  Happy weekend, all!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


The teenager is a pretty good sketch artist.  He just showed me some fish he's been working on.

EDITED:  Oh my gosh.  Cory was doubting these drawings, so we did a random room search.  They're tracings.  I thought about just taking this post down, but I think it's pretty typical for his age.  Now the question is (and I value your input), do you confront him and call him out on it??  The teenager is going to be the death of me.  :) 

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Happy Birthday, Son.

Happy birthday to my sweet boy, Matthew.  From birth, we called him Matty.  But as long as he could speak, if you asked him his name, he will tell you, "Matthew."  By definition, however, his name is "Beloved."  And that he is.

He was an adorable baby, and precious toddler, and a curious and thoughtful young boy.  He's a thinker. He has an incredible memory, and asks really hard questions:

Mom?  When will I go to Heaven?  I really want to see it.  Will you come with me?
Mom?  Will I be buried in that cemetary?
Mom?  But what does God look like? 

If you watch him think, you can quite literally hear the wheels turning.  He gets lost in thought and I love to hear what comes out of his mouth.  The other day he asked again if he could marry me.  Then he asked if I'd always live in this house.  When I told him I surely would, he looked at me as if he'd caught me in a lie.  Pointing to the sky, he said, " you won't, because remember...?"  Yes, son.  Eternally, I'll live in Heaven. 

I am so incredibly blessed to have such a soul as his in my charge.  God help me answer his questions carefully, thoughtful, and with the respect he's due.  Amen.

Happy fifth birthday, my son.  I am so deeply grateful for you.

Friday, May 14, 2010


A few months ago, Libby posted a photo challenge to find hearts in unexpected places. I kept a vigilant eye open for a long time, but didn't find any. So I was very happy today when I noticed my shrub, in the shape of a heart.

(NOTE:  I do hope it grows back into the nice, rounded shrub it used to be.  It's splitting down the middle, but I hope it fills in!)

Monday, May 10, 2010


We got to spend some time this weekend with most of my family.  Which seems to be these days, a rarity and a special treat.  I love this photo so much because my nephew Keith was totally dominating this conversation.  He wasn't saying any words, just jibber-jabbering, but clearly felt like he was contributing to the conversation with is dad and his uncles.  They did too.

Some of my siblings call my brother Dan "D-Money" so someone coined his son "Pocket Change."  Pretty cute stuff.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

We took a few photos today for Mother's Day.  Because I'm usually behind the lens.  I love my rugrats.  Every minute of every day.

And then of course, because mothering those two would be impossible with my big strong fireslayer. 

Friday, May 7, 2010

Parmesan Pasta Salad

This recipe is for the other bacon lovers out there.  I've been making it for awhile, and everywhere I take it it's a hit.  And it's simple.  (and totally unhealthy, but ignore's worth it.)

1 lb pasta (I use either bowtie or mostaccioli)
1 lb bacon
1 jar Jimmy's parmesan dressing (in the refrigerator section)
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1/4 c chopped red onion
1 small jar pimentos
1 c parmesan cheese

Cook pasta as directed.  Fry and crumble bacon.  Mix all ingredients together; chill and serve.

(Note:  I can't find my recipe.  I'm not positive on the measurements of sunflower seeds and parmesan cheese.  I just throw in a couple handfuls of each.

Also, I leave the onion and pimentos out when I'm making it for "picky" company, like when I bring it to my family functions!)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


I posted this on facebook, too, but I need to keep it in my "permanent record." 

The boys are certain they are going to catch a robin.  They'll be looking out the window and see one anywhere in the cul-de-sac and whisper their plans to me.  They'll sneak out the door (usually shoe-less - makes me crazy!), tip-toe up to it quietly...and, well, you know how it ends.  Almost always followed up with an "AWW!  It got away!"

So we were pleased to notice a robin building her nest on our gas meter.  It's way over the robin-chasing rugrats' head, so it would have been a good choice for her.  But, for some reason, she abandoned it.  I'm not sure if this is the same one, but she or another robin built a nest at my neighbors' house, on a three-foot wooden bear statue.  How adorable is this momma bird sitting on her eggs all day?

Thank you, Mother Nature, for this gift to Trenton Lane.  As payment for my gratitude, I will not tell the rugrats where this birds' nest is.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rhubarb Crunch

I'm noticing a lot of my friends are picking rhubarb already, and I stole some from my father-in-law's garden today as well.  This is my Aunt Anne's recipe from the Torola family cookbook, page 242.  It's amazing.

Rhubarb Crisp
6 c fresh rhubarb, diced
1 c sugar
2 T flour
1 tsp nutmeg*
1 c brown sugar
1 1/4 c flour
1 c oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c butter
1/3 c shortening**

*I used cinnamon
**I used all butter

In bowl, thoroughly mix rhubard, 1 c sugar, 2 T flour, and nutmeg.  Pour into 9x13 pan.  In separate bowl, combine brown sugar, flour, oatmeal, and salt.  Cut in butter and shortening until, crumbly.  Sprinkle over rhubarb mixture. 

Bake at 375 for 45 minutes or until crisp and brown.  Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.


Garage Sale: 2010: Doing it all

I wish, especially this week, that I had the ability to just let some stuff slide once in awhile.  At least during Garage Sale Week.  But it turns out I'm a little nuts, so I need to have the place cleaned up, the laundry done, the kids bathed, my work well as getting organized for the sale-at-which-i'm-going-to-make-a-fortune.

Today I said to Jack, "Oh, Jack. How are you so smart?"  Without skipping a beat, he said, "Because.  I'm a super-hero."  If you can ignore my complaining and my sore feet, I'm a super-hero too. 

Have a great weekend if I don't get back here this week!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

German Apple Pie

Cole requested this pie for his birthday, and it was delish.  The cup of cream makes it taste like the ice cream is cooked right inside the pie.  I highly recommend it!

1 1/2 c flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 c shortening
1 tsp vanilla
2 - 3 tbsp ice water

1 c sugar
1/4 c flour
2 tsp cinnamon
6 c tart apples (I used Granny Smith)
1 c heavy whipping cream

In a small bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in the shortening until crumbly.  Add vanilla.  Gradually add water, tossing with a fork until dough forms into a ball*.  Roll out pastry to fill a 9" pie pan.  Transfer pastry to pan.  Trim pastry to 1/2 inch beyond edge of pan; flute edges.

For filling, combine the sugar, flour, and cinnamon.  Sprinkle 3 tbsp into bottom of crust.  Layer with half of the apples, then sprinkle half the remaining sugar mixture.  Repeat layer.  Pour cream over all.

Bake at 450 for 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to 350 and cook for 55 - 60 minutes or until apples are tender.  Cool on a wire rack; store in refrigerator.*  Serve with whip cream, if desired.

*I just get my hands in there and mix it up.
**if there are leftovers.


Garage Sale: 2010

I'm back at it.