Have you heard of Pinterest? I might be a bit addicted. Not in the, “spend-millions-of-hours-pouring-over-crafts-recipes-expensive-things-I-cannot-afford-home-improvement-kind” (although that may be false) but rather in the “expand-my-horizons-and-keep-my-diligently-xbox-playing-studying-husband-company-kind.” Can you see the difference? No? Never mind then.

I’m addicted to trying new things lately. Maybe it’s my “next step” in the grief process or maybe it’s because I’m simply feeling antsy, ready for something new. I can’t be the only one that gets that wanderlust feeling? Unfortunately and fortunately, I don’t have the resources for such large adventures so I’m content to keep my changes small and continuous for the time being. Enter Pinterest! So many little and new changes that I can implement in my cooking/baking repertoire and on my kids and in my house! Okay, I totally lied about being that kind of pinterester.

Any way. I wanted to share with you a few of my recent successes and also failures from my adventures. I’ll try and get better at documenting said projects but until then, I’ll just “repin” from my arranged boards and  (<= insert lots of Pinterest jargon that no one really cares about). In fact, I’m digging this change and new adventures thing so much that “Pinteresting” is going to become a regular (by that I mean once a month–I do still have somewhat of a life) feature at Kimchi Sauerkraut.

THUS, here are my top 5 Pin Wins of late October/early November:

I used a vinegar/baking soda method to get the weird funk out of my bath towels and so far, so good.

Okay, so I’m combining the two cleaning pins as one since they’re about deep-cleaning appliances. And this one totally took the stench of standing water away from mine. If you want deets, leave a comment and I’ll fill you in.

And my top 5 Pin Fails:

ANNND, next up for me and the girlies’ breakfast tomorrow:

This concludes the Oct/early November Pinteresting round up…for the time being. I’m looking forward to sharing more of my “Pin Wins” and “Pin Fails” on upcoming installments of Pinteresting. Let me know if there’s something in particular that you found through Pinterest that you think I should try or would make my life easier (isn’t that the lie intrigue that it sells us?).


I’m thankful for…

Day 9: I’m thankful for my job. I love my job. Seriously. It’s such a blessing to wake up every morning and be excited to go to work with other people who really care about what they do and want to make a difference. I’m so blessed to be apart of a team, of an organization, that believes all people are created in God’s image and thus deserve to be treated with respect. I could go on and on (seriously) about my job and how it makes not being home with my girls bearable doable.

Day 10: I’m thankful for Moses. My annoying, smelly, snorting, farting, almost-5-year-old pug. As aggravated and enraged that he makes me (he is now a 3x pound convict), I can’t imagine how less snuggly my life would be.

Day 11: I’m thankful for my parents, who will drive to my house and entertain my girls and install a beautiful new sink in my kitchen for a day and think nothing of it. I’m continually reminded and inspired by their willingness to give and I’m thankful that I have been given such an example to pass onto my daughters.

Day 12: (Hey, might as well get a jump start on the week while I’m on a roll.) I’m thankful for all the men and women who have served our country throughout the years. Thank you for your willingness to serve and for all the sacrifices that you made. I cherish the freedoms that you have pledged to protect and uphold for me.

I’m thankful for…

Day 3: I’m thankful for baking. While some  find it frustrating or nerve wracking or simply a throwback nuisance, I find it to be the perfect relaxer. For whatever reason I find comfort in knowing that step-by-step something is being created that can be enjoyed by many. It’s a great time to think and sort through things that have been pressing on my mind because the work has typically already been done and I just need to mindlessly follow directions. It’s time that I can do alone or share with someone (or some people) else that I care about. Or time to get to know someone new. And seriously, what’s better than fresh muffins or gooey, crispy cookies straight from the pan?

Today the girls and I made a mini cream cheese pound cake for our tea time. It should be noted that snack time round these parts has adopted a new name, aren’t we so continental? 😉 It’s a quick, 1 bowl recipe that makes the perfect amount for one tea time snack (+ 1 late night snack for Daddy since he’s working) for 2 little girls and their mama. And although baking with little ones can be sometimes stressful, the measuring for this recipe is so simple (1/2 dry cup and 1/2 teaspoon are really the only measuring that goes on). Try it and enjoy a piece with a steaming mug of tea on this cold, blustery day.

I’m thankful for…

There’s this “new” thing on facebook statuses lately tied into the BEST holiday ever, Thanksgiving!! (I may just be a wee bit excited.) Nonetheless, I may be a day late but I have decided to hop on the proverbial train and join in. In order to make up yesterday, I’ll post #2 today.

  1. I am thankful for tomorrows. I am thankful that tomorrow is another day and tomorrow is another chance. I am infinitely thankful that tomorrow is another try at things that I have failed again at. If there was ever something that consistently happens that reminds me of how much God loves me is the fact that every day, no matter how bad I mess up, He loves me still, and He will tomorrow to. 
  2. I am thankful for my children. Although Nellie clings to her daycare lady’s fridge, crying that she doesn’t want to leave when I go to pick her up after work, I know that she loves me. No, really…she does. And I’m thankful that Ada is passionate and creative, flexible and inquisitive. That despite her Daddy and Mommy’s hectic, ever-changing schedules, she’s willing to bend and go with the flow. I’m thankful that they play together and actually enjoy each other’s company. And even though they might hate all the “togetherness” and could use a break from “sisterly love,” I still find them snuggled up, sleeping against each other in one bunk each night. For them, for me, for us as a family, I am thankful.

Reading, reading

I went to the library this weekend with the family–interesting as always. The girls got a million picture books, Dylan got a handful, and I got a few to broaden my “parenting” horizon (oh, and a Korean cookbook, because who goes to a library and doesn’t try to expand their waistline culinary expertise too?).

Now I’m not a big parenting book type. In fact, I’m not much of a “parenter type,” which is a label that I made up solely to represent the fact that I don’t invest much into the “styling options” that are available to US American parents, nor do I care to listen to them much (I guess that could be considered a style?). Dylan and I rely more on common sense and what works for us as a family instead of trying to adhere to something, we tend to mix and blend different strategies together–maybe we’re the “real” *haha*giggle*snort* hipsters of parenthood.

I heard about “Bring Up Bebe” by Pamela Druckerman through some weird, latest news-type source…probably one of Sheila’s an anonymous source’s People magazines. I thought that the rest of the title “One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting” would make an entertaining read, be it good or bad (to be truthful, I was expecting most of it to be a bit bad, er, rather more ridiculous in nature). However, I was/am pleasantly surprised by what I’ve read! Druckerman touches on sleep education, the importance of waiting/patience, and the value of strict but permissible parenting. I know that all sounds like a bunch of blah, blah, to someone who hasn’t read the book but it touches on some things that I’ve been thinking about lately for Ada.

Let me start off by saying that my daughter, Ada, she is awesome. I have a kid who is creative, respectful, inquisitive, passionate, and sensitive. She lives her life with gusto and pulls her Daddy, sister, and I along for the ride. Ada is also four, almost five, and is a child. By child, I mean she still has tantrums, still is figuring out her place in the world, who she is, what things are, she still believes herself to be the princess of the universe, master of her domain–which she is–to an extent. This has lead to some epic attitude battles in the Casa de Dachtler house as of lately and is what has spurred me to begin thinking of some alternative choices for parenting for her.

I still haven’t finished the book but I’m sure it’s not too far off in the future seeing as how much I like it. Druckerman is honest and informative about the differences in her personal parenting compared to other Frenchwomen’s, she includes some facts but nothing that will bore you to death, and she also has some interviews with leading child psychologists/”child whisperers.” It’s nice to read a parenting book that while extolling some virtues that may be different from mine she has a way of recognizing this throughout her book. Druckerman is able to put the reader at ease in a way that does not claim she has the market cornered on parenting but rather that she’s learning as she goes along too and is simply inviting the reader into her chaotic world to learn from her failures and successes. I like that she even goes so far as to keep reminding the reader that in the US we focus too much on success and failure and that childhood/parenting is about enjoying each other and the present and educating for the future.

I know this is a bit vague of a post, a jumbling of thoughts about a book that you probably haven’t read, but I will get back to you as soon as I’ve finished. In fact, I pledge to blog about the top three things that I learned from the book/pot introspection about parenting in the near future if you’re interested. Otherwise, if you’re not, there will be Pumpkin Patch pictures in the next post.

You Got It Sister.

Check this out, a response to Rush Limbaugh’s woman-hating ways or rather,

(Rachel H. Evans is much nicer than I ever will be). 
But seriously, check it out
She speaks truth.

Eat the World: 196 Countries

I’m half-way through day camp at work.


(That also could be due to Nellie’s sleepless teething/sickly/growth-spurty-nights.)
This summer I chose and wrote an 11 week program centering on an around the world theme, in fact, it’s aptly titled “Around the World in 11 Weeks.” We started out in the Carribean and now, seven weeks later find ourselves studying the Middle East. Today we focused on Jordan, Kuwait and Iraq. We had three speakers from the ESL school in town from Kuwait to talk to the campers about their home country. The kids even got their names written in Arabic! And later this afternoon we took them to Bauer Honey Farm in Fertile, MN (you know, Middle East–honey…makes sense…right? Okay, I admit, I was stretching the tie-in a bit…), where they got a tour of the business and complimentary honey jars to bring home. 
Anyhow, the whole point of this was to say that I’ve really enjoyed exploring the different countries and continuents with my campers this summer and the few times that Ada has been able to attend, she has LOVED it too. Thus, I pitched the idea of eating a meal from every country in the world as a family. 
I should back track a little bit, during camp I have put together a “cookbook” of “authentic” (as authentic as I can get for some of them) recipes that we eat at lunch. The meal is sometimes a compilation of the countries that we focus on for the day and sometimes all entirely from one. It’s been an interesting ride with the kids as most of them are used to pretty tame, heavily salted, pre-packaged fare. (<—-This particular statement is not meant as a slur against their parents, we too indulge in some ready-made, fast-foody type consumables…but we are blessed enough to be able to purchase more fresh produce than some of the families that I work with.)

The rules of thumbs are as follows:

1.) All kids must try at least one bite of everything on the plate. 
2.) They are allowed to like and dislike foods but they must not loudly go on and on about how much they hate something. 
3.) They are not allowed to complain about being hungry at all if they do not eat their lunch that day. 
Considering we’ve got 22 kids ranging in age from 6-11 years of age, they’ve done exceptionally well being polite and adventurous. 
So…back to the food challenge. While looking for all the different recipes I’ve stumbled across many food sites that were helpful and also piqued my interest (as if I really needed help doing that with food). I brought up the idea of eating a meal from all of the 196 countries in the world (some say 195 and others 196…we’ve chosen to air on the side of 196 and count Taiwan as a country)…please don’t censor me China. Plus, Dylan and I both love to travel and even though we aren’t able to do so right now, this will help us fill the void a bit and enable us to enjoy good food and good times with our friends and family. Dylan agreed that it would be fun and educational for our family to do this too …so…off we go!
We’ve started searching for our first meal and we will be going on a weekly basis of each country…although during Holidays and such this plan may deviate a bit. But that is our intent to travel the world gastronomically week by week, country by country. 

Day Eighteen: The Person You Wish You Could Be

Life by the Spirit

“(13) You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love. (14) For the entire law is fulfilled in keeping this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” (15) If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other. 

“(16) So I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. (17) For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want. (18) But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law. 

“(19) The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; (20) idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions (21) and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God. 

“(22) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, (23) gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (24) Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (25) Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. (26) Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other.”
NIV, Galations 5: 13-26

Day Nine: Someone You Wish You Could Meet

Day Nine of the 30 Day Blogging Challenge: Someone I Wish I Could Meet.
That’s a hard one.
Does that include the dead?
Top Five, maybe?
1.) Birth Mother
2.) Birth Father
3.) Mother Teresa
4.) My Dad as a young man
5.) My Mother as a young woman
I think that those would be the most interesting to me anyhow and I suppose not in any specific order either.
1. & 2.) Birth Mother; Birth Father
I feel as though, maybe this doesn’t need explaining? I have a lot of questions that I would like answered. (?) Maybe? I don’t know.
3.) Mother Teresa
I’ve always admired her life. Her life was her work and her work was Christ’s love. Things I strive for and continually am learning to achieve.
4.) My Dad as a young man
I think Dad and I would’ve been friends if we had been the same age–which for obvious reasons cannot happen. Plaid pants, an afro and a bow tie? What’s not to like?
5.) My Mother as a young woman
Depending upon when I would encounter her in her youth, I think she would’ve been an interesting person to know as an individual characterized other than as “Mom” for me. She is certainly an interesting character now… 🙂 (And yes, Mom, I think we would’ve been friends too…)

Day Six: Someone that Inspires Me

Day Six: Someone that Inspires Me
Mother Teresa is my standby-look-up-to-emulate-strive-to-be-human-hero. She always has been, she always will be.
“If we have no peace, it is because we have forgotten that we belong to each other.”
Mother Teresa
How could you not love her? We certainly didn’t always agree on views/politics, but that doesn’t mean she’s someone unworthy of emulating. Obviously Jesus trumps Teresa (I think she would only agree), but I wholeheartedly think He supported and applauded her commitment to life, love and Christianity.
But back to the subject, pick someone that inspires me… I am cheesy enough to say that my daughter inspires me. She is the most beautiful thing I have ever created (with a little help). She is one of the greatest blessings I have ever received and continue to receive. She stokes the passion behind what I do and want to accomplish. She is my precociously haphazard teacher, my exasperation and my joy. Besides the peace that I have found in Christ, besides the godly example I strive after in his perfect life and my amazing husband, she is simply the best that I have experienced.
I want to be better in everything–to be more educated, to be more polished, wise, confidant, in love, communicate freely…all because I want her to have the best opportunities and experiences possible. I want for her everything that I had, didn’t have and want to have. If that’s not an inspiration for life, I don’t know what is.
It’s hard to imagine that Dylan and I will soon be welcoming another little girl as perfect as Ada into the world (we’re T-minus 69 days today). All of our fears, hopes and joys bundled into a perfect, tiny little Nellie and this process will begin again; this process of inspiration and fierce love. I know it will and yet, it’s so hard to imagine that it will be the same, an equal amount to what we feel for Ada. How is that possible? Thank God I don’t need all the answers, just the capacity and willingness to accept God’s gifts in my life.
So thank you Ada for loving me unconditionally and childishly; for inspiring me to continue to try living out Mother Teresa’s legacy and most importantly, to strive for a deeper Christ-like life.