A Bushel of Brooks

A Bushel of Brooks
Us as we are ...

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Alone at Home

Last night I had a book club meeting - fabulous ladies! - and lucky for me, this month instead of reading a book (which I have NO DOUBT I would not have completed), Tracey brought a craft to do while we munched treats and chatted away. This had been on my calendar for a few weeks. Eli was planning to stay home and have a "Dude time" evening!

And then he got offered two tickets to the KU game that same night.

Of course I told him he needed to go! That kind of offer does not usually fall into our laps - and we LOVE KU Basketball!

So, my sister and her hubby said they would watch the boys. Jonah had been asking to have his first "spend the night" at their house, so the plan was to send both boys with their jammies/pillows/etc., but I would be prepared to pick up Reuben at bedtime should he need to come home. He's never spent the night anywhere without me! He is still my baby boy ... my cuddler.
So, I left my book club a little early to head back into town and give Adrienne a call. She didn't answer. About ten minutes later she texted me that "all was well and both boys were asleep". I came home to an empty house, and went to bed with no little voices saying goodnight, no night light on in the room across the hall, no fear of hearing stirring from the bunkbeds.

And, it was weird!

I'm extremely grateful to Adrienne and Micah for even being willing to probably get a not-so-great night sleep in order to make two little boys grin from ear to ear, and to allow both Eli and I to get some time with friends! And Eli claims a "new era" has now entered our lives (he's totally starting to plan for our anniversary next month!), but it was still strange not to have my little boys at home with me. = ) As much as the bedtime can somtimes be a tug-of-war time, I missed those little faces resting amidst stuffed animals.

Friday, December 16, 2011


Our sonogram was yesterday. We took Jonah and Reuben with us. Jonah was completely "involved" in the sonogram. He asked questions, and really seemed interested in looking at his sibling-on-the-way. Reuben, on the other hand, was much more interested in a matching game on Daddy's cell phone. = ) At least he sat quietly for the half hour!

The sonographer set me all up, put the little wand on my stomach, and rolled over the baby. Eli said, "Oh, that's a boy, isn't it?" She said, Well, I wasn't looking for what baby is yet, I was heading to check something else, but we can take a look.

Sure enough ... Baby Brooks #3 is a B.O.Y.! It was rather obvious all the way through the sonogram.

I didn't have a "feeling" one way or the other - but when many many of my friends and family said that they thought the baby would be a girl over the past few months, I commented back several times that it could just as easily be a boy, and that it wouldn't surprise me if it was!

I was going to be thrilled either way - and I already can't wait to meet this little guy. Will he be a blondie like his brothers? Or brown haired/eyed like his parents? What will his little personality be like? I'm suddenly now impatient to have him in my arms (and slightly impatient to leave all annoying lingering nausea behind me!).

I figure that Eli and I have been given the big charge to raise strong, Godly men. Not a challenge to be taken lightly ... but one I am humbled to be handed. I truly love my bushel of boys - and I think my three amigos will be lots of fun!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Cornmeal at Its Best

One of my favorite "warm-up" comfort foods right now is Polenta. A fancy name for cooked cornmeal! But, it is SO good! And so healthy for you! It makes a great base for all kinds of toppings, or can sit in its own right as a tasty side dish.

Earlier this week I created this dish as a meat-free dinner. I had basic ideas in mind when I went grocery shopping the day before, and then just went with what sounded good as I cooked away! It was ready in close to 20 minutes - gotta love that!


2 c. water
1/2 c. cornmeal
extra milk
1/2 c. shredded low-fat cheddar cheese
salt / pepper to taste

Bring 1 1/2 c. of water to boil. Mix 1/2 c. of water with cornmeal until smooth. Slowly whisk into boiling water and return mixture to boil - it will become thick! Thin to desired consistency with milk (for creaminess factor). Add in salt, pepper, and cheese to taste. Keep warm over low heat and stir often

1 large onion
2 large green peppers
2 cloves crushed garlic
1/4 c. favorite vinaigrette (store bought or homemade)

Julienne cut onions and peppers. Heat oil in large pan and cook garlic 1 min. Add onion and peppers and cook until soft. Salt and pepper to taste, and stir in a little of that vinaigrette for extra flavor! Serve over polenta.

Y.U.M. Eli loved this dish too - and it kept us very full all evening! Simple to make, and can be transformed a number of ways!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Prep Time!

I am unabashedly a "holiday person".
I adore holidays - and have more plans and hopes of crafts/goodies/plans
than E.V.E.R. actually come to pass!
Of course, I love the Christmas season.
I don't mind the so-called "hustle and bustle" of the t0-do lists
(at least, most of the time!)
because it just seems that it is a cheery time of year.
A time to remember why this season even exists at all-
and to wonder at the miracle of Jesus' birth.

And what a wonderful way to look at the beauty of Christmas:

through the eyes of children.

It's true that there is a great challenge of helping little eyes to see that
the season is not about "getting",
but about giving to others and seeing the big picture of Christmas.

But, Eli and I love watching the boys' eyes light up as we pull out decorations,
set up the nativity,
arrange advent calendars.
Their expectations are only of wonderful things: no jaded ideas here!
When we sang "Hark, the Herald Angels Sing" on Sunday morning at church,

Jonah just looked at me, with eyes opened wide and huge grin on his face -
a Christmas song on Sunday morning! He couldn't remember the year before doing the same thing.

Now each evening that we're out after dark,
the boys beg for me to take "a special way" to our destination
so that we can hunt for houses with Christmas lights!
The next three weeks are only going to go by too fast,
and if I can keep that in mind as I plan each day,
we will savor the Gift that Christmas brings.