Friday, May 28, 2010

Summer Reading List

So with the end of 24 (and now a free weekly Monday night) and the beginning of summer right around the corner, the SUMMER READING LIST has made it's appearance!  You see, I am somewhat of a self-proclaimed nerd.  I particularly enjoy reading...when I have the time...which is why I am so excited about summer and free time! To read! (I feel a disclaimer is necessary here:  I am most definitely NOT a nerd in anything related to math or science, I am far more nerdy on the right side of the brain ;)

I am not your typical reader (or what I think may be a typical reader), I am more of the "read-to-learn-and-I-just-really-like-reading" type girl.  Which means I'll read just about anything.  I'm not so limited to a certain genre.  While I do like reading books that grow me (namely, authors that challenge me to think deeply on my relationship with Christ and what it means to be a Christ-follower), I also like reading classics, romance novels, some history books, books my students at school have read, and well, you get the picture, right?

So with all that said, I'm introducing to you the Summer 2010 Reading List:

Radical by David Platt
Dear John by Nicholas Sparks
Journey to Topaz by Yoshiko Uchida
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
Anna Karenina by Tolstoy
The Scenic Route by Kirshenbaum
Iberia by James Michener
Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis
Enemies of the People by Kati Marton
The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender

And that's it for now!  If you have any other must-reads, let me know so I can add them to my list ;)

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Summer Berries

That's it, really.  Just some delicious summer berries that make me happy for two reasons: 1) color and 2) taste!

Yay, it's ALMOST summer!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The Clampetts...or the Palmers?

We have been overly and abundantly blessed.  With storage sheds, as a matter of fact.  As a result, and in lieu of us hopefully moving soon (praying it sales first!), it was time to move one of the THREE sheds we have in our backyard to it's new home.  Nathan and Marianne's backyard.

We began a seemingly simple process.  One in which we all thought would be pretty quick and easy.  This, we soon found out, was more of an adventure...

Beginning to take the shed apart and putting it on the not-quite-large-enough trailer...

Hasta la vista, shed!  And so the slow trekking to Marianne's house over Guess road (and back roads) began.

After some help from these muscle-y men as it made it's way through the gate (barely).

And I only wish I knew how to get the pictures off of my cell phone from the road (they were humorous!).  At one point we stopped along Guess Road to readjust everything.  I was certain one of my students would ask me the next day "Was that you, Mrs. Palmer, on the side of Guess Road, with your HOUSE!?"

But, alas, we (shed and all) made it safely to the backyard.  After working in the rain, and getting some grub, the floor was installed, lawnmower rolled in, and all was good.  Good work, team!

*Please note that I was the photographer of the team and only lent my ever-so-impressive muscles on one occasion ;)*

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Enchiladas Verdes--on the skinny

Isn't every Spanish teacher supposed to know how to cook enchiladas?  (or as my not so very well accented husband says--who is part Cuban, might I add--"AHN-chiladas").  So then, this past week, I decided I needed to make some enchiladas.

I found a great recipe and tweaked it a bit.  Simple and delicious.  Here goes!

What you'll need (serves one hungry male and a female but can easily be doubled):

2 chicken breasts (boiled and shredded)
1 (15 oz) jar of green chili salsa
(about) 1 cup of regular salsa (I used mild)
Fresh lemon juice to taste
3 cloves garlic
1 bag (reduced fat or skim) cheese
5-6 reduced fat tortillas

1)  Mix both types of salsa, garlic, lemon juice, and cilantro.  Blend well.

2)  In a bowl mix chicken, half of salsa mixture, and half of cheese.

3)  Spoon chicken mixture into tortillas, roll up, place in baking dish.

4)  Top with the rest of salsa mixture and the rest of cheese.

5)  Heat in oven at 350 degrees until cheese is melted.

Finish with a sprinkle of cilantro and a side of multigrain chips.  And the best way to eat these guys?  Why, afuera, of course! (That means outside, just in case ;)

Ok, ahora, ahora, rapido, son deliciosas!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Fotos for a Friday

Here's what's been going on FOTOS (or photos, which is the grammatically correct way ;)

A bit of organizing.  This may not look organized, but I can promise the desk drawers before were horrendous.  This is now all of the desk items Jas and I have organized into one nice, neat box.

Some playing with the baby girl (as we lovingly call her ;)  She's a Tarheel fan, can you tell?

This is the current state of our study.  After moving a desk and recliner out, boxing up some stuff, and preparing to bring in other furniture to store until we move for good, we've created quite a mess!

And, at the end of the day, after everything seems crazy, this is where we've been spending some time.  Thinking, praying, playing, laughing, talking. I'm a fan of these times.

And now for the weekend!  Bring it on :)

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

poached eggs on parmesan bread

If you follow this blog you know my love for breakfast.  I think on more than one occasion I have blogged about pancakes.  And really, if you don't know, then let me explain.  I could eat breakfast for ANY meal of the day.  That simple...haha.

So on Tuesday night, Jas and I had a different kind of breakfast for dinner.

We had poached eggs on toasted parmesan bread with kilbasa on the side.  It was GREAT!!!  I poached the eggs so that they were a little runny and we let the bread soak up all the runny yumminess.  The parmesan bread Jas made and it was the perfect base for our poached eggs.

Is your mouth watering yet?  Oh delish...we'll be making this meal again ;)

Tuesday, May 18, 2010


There is one thing I look forward to every May... It's gorgeous, it's colorful, it smells good, it makes me smile REALLY big.

Are you curious yet?

It's the hydrangea flower bush that blooms in the front of our house!  Hydrangeas have got to be my favorite flower (second, I think, to sunflowers).  I enjoy watching them bloom all spring and look forward with anticipation to the end of May.

Why!?  Because at the end of May they burst forth out of their green-ness into all their colored glory!  And then I get so excited for a few weeks while their color lasts.  And unlike it's slow forthcoming, it's rapidly gone.  Into the world of brown, ugliness.

Ok, maybe that's dramatic.  But I do anticipate the beautiful blooms of this flower annually.  And so, it's ALMOST here!

Here's proof.

By Memorial Day weekend I should have an amazing photo to share of it's beautiful blue/purple color.  Now, aren't you as excited as I am!?

Monday, May 17, 2010

a little sampling

We received a sweet package of Slovak goodies from our future team members.

Item 1:  (the green package with a name I'm unsure how to pronounce still)....that's some kind of soup, I believe.  This one we haven't tried yet.
Item 2:  LEIBNIZ!  These are butter cookies.  We'll just say we're going to be eating these up...they're YUM!
Item 3:  Podravka is a spice (kind of like all spice) that they use on nearly everything (so we hear).  We've eaten it on mashed potatoes so far and we're already digging it, too!

Now to learn Slovak so we'll actually be able to cook and prepare food in our future home.  But this little sampling of foods sure makes us happy :)  Here we come, butter cookies!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Beach Fling

A week ago today I got the chance (a rare one at that!) to go hang out at the beach with my college roomies.  It was good to just spend time together since we're fairly spread out and it's tough for the four of us to find common time.  It was quite enjoyable! :)

Lovely sunset at Joe's Crab Shack (by the way, they have DELISH popcorn shrimp...umm...)

Our side of the dinner table.

And the other side.

Haha...take a look at those baaaad pirate faces.  Argh, I think Steph wins, and I think Ems may need to walk the plank (her pirate face is a little too giggly).

Let's do it again, friends!  (and maybe without a 30 minute scenic detour through the neighborhoods of Myrtle, eh!?)

Friday, May 14, 2010

Are you in the market?

That's right!  It's up for sale.  Our house, that is.  And it could be YOURS!  Located in a great neighborhood with wonderful neighbors.  Adorable red door (ok, I'm biased because I am quite the fan of the color red).  Three bedroom, one and a half bath.  Updated kitchen.  HUGE backyard, great for your active pet (believe me, our active pet has released lots of energy out there).  Only a small price to pay monetarily ;)

It would love to have an owner! Maybe you could even tell a friend who's in the market if you're not?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

some BIG news

We've got some big news to share!  I'll start from the beginning.

Back in August of last year,  Jason and I started to examine our "call."  We know we are ALL called to make disciples (according to the great commission every Christian is called to make disciples with the understanding that we're already "going").  We began to wonder:  Where do we want to go?  We began considering (and praying all the while) going overseas.  We saw a great need for Christ in other nations.

We started applying with the IMB thinking and praying "Lord, if you open the doors and continue to open them, we'll go through."  Long story short, after lots of interviews, conferences, prayers, and essays, we were offered a position as church planters for Slovakia.  We are thankful and excited to say that we will be heading to our new home early next year.

This is an exciting time for us, as well as a time of lots of "new experiences" and emotions.  We've never left our families for longer than well, months for me and weeks for Jas (outside of the states, I mean). We've never shared such big news with friends and family that are important to us.  We've never experienced selling a house together or experienced the planning that comes with moving overseas!  We've never been more eager to get to know and share Christ with a people group!  We've never learned another language together, and the list goes on...  It's crazy, it's challenging, and it's exciting all rolled up into one.

It's likely this blog will morph and change into a more day-to-day spill of our happenings in Slovakia.  We hope you'll join us for this journey and we covet your prayers.

And because you know I like keepin' it real with photos, here's one for old time's sake...

That would be our sweet friend Davidko.  We are at a Slovak restaurant where he kept trying to teach me lots and lots of Slovak words...I only wish now I had paid EVEN MORE attention ;) I tell you, I would adopt him (and Wanderson) if I could.  Somehow, I don't think either of their moms would like that.  But wishful thinking doesn't hurt, right?

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Wicked Date

Last Thursday night Jas and I got to go on a wicked, hot date ;)  We headed out for our new favorite restaurant, Mt. Fuji (in Brightleaf Square).  As a little sidenote/promo:  they have half off sushi on Thursday nights and AMAZING pad thai.  Jas stocks up on sushi while I indulge in their to-die-for pad thai.  They have lots of other Asian foods as well.  End promo.

We then killed some time and walked around Brightleaf Square and the adjoining area.  We particularly like that part of town. 

Here's a deli named after us...not really, but we like to think so ;)

Then we finally go to go see the play I have been so eagerly anticipating...WICKED (hince the title, I know, I know, witty...or wicked-y...ok, I'll stop).  It was perfect and I loved it.  The costuming, singing, dancing, lighting, and of course the plot where just what I had hoped they would be.  I wish I could've stolen a few shots during the play, but I know that's distracting, and thus here are a few shots from the night.

Now that is one wicked, hot date, if I must say so myself ;)

Monday, May 10, 2010

ILY Pen!

I have an aunt who lives in Florida.  Today happens to be a special day for her.  It's the day she celebrates her birth!  She's probably the coolest aunt out there and always has been.  She's super creative (this chick can paint, cut wood, draw, create, and so many other things).

We're kind of like pen pals.  Whenever she sends something in the mail she always signs it with "ILY."  This acronym, of course, means I Love You. So, Pen, ILY and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

Hope you enjoyed your package ;)

Thursday, May 6, 2010


A sweet teacher friend of mine wrote this on a notecard and gave it to me on the first day of school.  I read it every morning before my students come in.

"I love you, O Lord, my strength.  The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.  I call upon the Lord who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved."  ~Psalm 18:1-3

HE is our STRONGHOLD.  Day in and day out.  And I am thankful He is.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

feelin' the love.

This week is a very special week in the life of a teacher.  That's's teacher appreciation week.  Not only do I particularly enjoy getting thank you notes from kids, but I REALLY enjoy the free food that comes on the second day of teacher appreciation week.  Why?  Because it's a WHOLE DAY dedicated to SWEETS!  Now if that doesn't sound right up my alley, I don't know what does!

Today proved somewhat humorous in the variation of treats I got.

Here's the whole pile of tasty sweet treats.

This is probably my favorite gift of the day!  A preciously wrapped plate of perfectly decorated cupcakes.  And made by one of my 8th grade boys to boot (at least he said so)!  Now THAT'S a cherry on top.

Aren't they precious!?  I don't want to eat them they're so cute.

And the two most random things I got for sweets day:

Don't need to explain those...random, indeed!  (Thoughtful, none the less...)

I guess all these sweet treats somehow make up for the two girls that gave me attitude today, right?! :)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Raviolis...Yes, please!

Saturday was my lovely mother-in-law's birthday.  She kindly requested raviolis be made in her honor.  There's kind of a story behind these goes:  Two years ago I made them as one of my first attempts to cook for Jason's family.  It was QUITE a messy process and it looked like the kitchen exploded.  I had never made homemade pasta dough before and I had never made a recipe that was so involved.  Everyone ate them and claimed to love them (though I think they were just trying to make me feel better ;)

All that to say, Ro requested I make them again.  I am glad to report this time I had far more success and without such mess!  I documented the process as a kind of visual step by step for me to look back at the next time I make them.  They're really should try them too!

I started with 4 cups of flour, 4 eggs, and some salt.  This made enough dough for plenty of raviolis (there were 7 people to feed) and we still had a few left over!

One of those somewhat painstaking, but definitely worth it experiences---making handmade dough.  The above picture is the well you create in the middle and where you place your eggs.  Then you work the flour in.

After 15 minutes of mixing, kneading, turning, flipping...voila!  A ball of pasta dough!

Dice your chicken, mushrooms, and onions.  This will make the filling.

Add red chili pepper flakes and salt to the 'shroom/onions mix.  Saute both the chicken and the veggies.

Marianne brought over her pasta machine, which really helps in thinning the dough.  When I made them the time before, the dough was too thick!

Spoon your mixture on one half of the dough and fold the other half over.  Create pockets of mix and use a fork to press down the edges (after cutting your squares).

For the sauce you'll need:  cream (about 3 cups), 2 cups of cheese, salt, and red chili pepper flakes again.  Keep it over low to medium heat and add your raviolis (after they've been boiled for 5 minutes).

Put in dish.  Sprinkle with parsley.  Eat and be filled!

There you have it.  The far less messy process of making delish mushroom chicken raviolis.

And of course, a picture of the birthday girl showing off her age ;)  Happy Birthday Mama Palmer...we love you!

Saturday, May 1, 2010


Allergies you make me mad
Allergies you're not so rad
You tickle my nose and
I can't even smell a rose
Without a tissue at hand
I drip and itch
And my throat feels all scratchy
Oh, allergies...WHY ARE YOU SO WACKY!?

If I could, I would
get rid of you for good
But I can't so I'll suffer
And hope they'll get no rougher
One day I know
I'll breath freely again
Until then...pollen, please be my friend!

I know, I know, I'm a poetical genius ;) That pretty much sums up my month in a poem. Oh, I love spring but I so don't like allergies.  I know Melanie feels the same way.

At least spring is beautiful...but I am gladly welcoming MAY (take that pollen away!) I just can't stop rhyming...

Ok, I promise that's the end of up close, flower still lifes for a while.  They've had their fair share of blog post glory.  Stay tuned for some ravioli-making coming your way!
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