Sunday, May 19, 2013

God Bless the Salad and Other Updates

I present to you our favorite Saturday dinner. It's some kind of Cobb salad, since it has avocado and bacon. At least that's what I tell myself. It's also part-Nicoise on account of the potatoes (boil, smash, drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, rosemary, roast until crispy).

I'll shout it from my high horse: I love a good salad!

But the salad was really just the beginning, because Calvin did get his yellow belt. My tiny little baby kicked a board in half with his foot and we were all so stinking proud.

We got our garden planted with help from our new friends Brad and Deb. They totally deserve a pair of shiny crowns or at least a couple of sashes. Their kindness made me cry a little. They are our people now, a new and beautiful part of the community God gifted us with when He sent us here on what seemed like a lark. We shouldn't be so surprised by His goodness. Thank you guys!

And then...I found a bike at Chain Reaction! A vintage American Eagle. Oh boy, did I ever waffle. Because there was a turquoise bike and a green bike and then the AE, in a drab bronzey olive. The two men running the shop probably wanted to smack me with a spoke half-way through my deliberations. I finally confessed that I sort of hoped for one in a prettier color. They smirked and pretended to understand. In the end, I did what I never ever do and erred on the side of practicality. I know. In her defense, she had shiny fenders and will pair nicely with a hot pink or coral basket. And yes, she's a she, even though she's drab. I have vowed to love her forever, just the way she is.

Then today? Prison run. With the two cutest baby boys on the planet.
Robert is growing dreds dreads, people. And I love them. He's so handsome with his little baby dreds! (Do not tell him I called them little baby dreds. Even though that's what they 

I can't stop thanking God that Robert took us as his parents. Such a gift. The usually sober guard came to our table to see the babies and I know a window when I see one, so I asked if he gives her trouble and watched in amazement as she grinned and, dare I say - giggled. Our boy, he's a charmer. I'm so proud of him. He passed his big test this past week and I shrieked like a maniac when he called to give us the news. Dude is smart and amazing.

Life is good, you know? I'm a lucky lady.

Now here's where you come in - I need your help. Friends and countrymen, I have a speaking gig tomorrow night (Monday, 6:30 pm). Like, with a podium and a microphone. I'm sharing a big part of our story at Fairview Missionary in Angola, IN.  I enjoy public speaking and did quite a bit of it in my former life, but it has been a while. And I always get clammy right before I start. If you think about it, would you shoot a prayer my way? And if you're in the area, come out and join us!

We just got off the phone with Robert and he offered some advice:

Robert: Let me tell you a trick I learned because you know, I've done a lot of public speaking (giggle). Don't try to think about it, but just keep telling yourself that they're not gonna call your name. Then when they do, just go up there and start talking.

Me: But I know they're going to call my name because I'm the only speaker.

Robert: No you're not.


Robert: Just make sure you don't forget your speech.

Me: I'm showing them a picture of you, is that okay?

Robert: Yeah. As long as I look good in it.

Me: Have you ever looked bad in a picture?

Robert: Good point.

I'll let you know how it goes!

Until then...Happy Mondaying, friends!


  1. If you're after a good salad, you must try this one. It's our standard summer, winter and fall fare. We just change up the fruit we put in it.

    spinach, craisins, apple (mango/peach/etc...), bacon, pretzels and a dressing of 1/2 balsamic vinegar and 1/2 poppy seed dressing. Top with black pepper.

    Good luck with the speaking engagement!

  2. Have you read The Irresistable Revolution by Shane Claiborne? I think of you. Still trying to figure out what living like The real church looks like for a family with kids. He is single and lives in a community of people the Simple Way. But the book is challenging and a good read. I think you are on the right track even though to most you appear to be way out in left field ; )

    1. Read it winter of 2012 and LOVED it. It was challenging in the best of ways. Just starting Red Letter Words now!

    2. I'm always late to the party. I happened upon it whilst searching for a Davey Crockett bio for my boy at the library. It was beside it. Providence.

  3. You are an inspiration to me and I won't get to see you in person! You and God got this.....

  4. Oh boy, does The Big Boy read your blog? Little + baby is gonna get you in trouble!

    To ice the cake, you can mention them in your talk tonight. 😉

    Will definitely shoot a prayer. You'll be great- enjoy the adrenaline rush!

  5. The photos of your food make me want to invite myself over for dinner every time!! I love those crash hot potatoes...PW, right?

    I'm praying for your speaking thing! You'll do awesome. It'll totally flow...remember, you're telling your story, and no one else can tell it better than you. I'm a former public speaker myself, who also was recently invited to do a quick blurb in front of church (see:announcements) but I was a hot mess, because I'm not an expert in our church's goings-ons. I might have said "um" a few times.

    BUT, you're an expert on your life. It's always easier to speak on what you have permanently imprinted on your heart. Let the love you have for your life spill over through your words, and you'll be awesome. xoxo

    1. Can't thank you enough for this shot of encouragement. :)

  6. I so wish I could be at your speaking gig but I'll be in Marion. Boo.

    I also wonder if Robert would protest at you saying he giggles. He's giggling in baby dreds. I'm guessing he would not like that sentence. :)

    So proud of Calvin! Can't wait to see your garden! Love random Taco Time meet-ups and fun in the field!

    1. And I want in on that salad.

  7. I will be praying for you tomorrow but you won't need it because your story is so powerful it will be amazing. I want you to know how much of an inspiration your blog has been to me. I wish I could reach out to my community and kids in need of family like you do but I don't even know how to begin.
    Good luck tomorrow!

    1. Ok so I guess your thing is tonight... so I will be praying tonight!

  8. so bummed i have to work tonight and can't come see you! you will only be 45 minutes away...sniff. praying for you!

  9. I too have bought a bike from Chain Reaction. Did I say bike I meant a Schwinn, no gears. It's sweet! I masked off where it says Schwinn and spray painted the rest a lovely shade of pink.

  10. Love that Salad...
    I'm gonna pin it under "Salads & Veggies."
    Remember when I pinned one of your other dishes under the wrong category? Scary moment for me.

    I bet you did a wonderful job last night...follow up with us...let us know how it went.

    love that Robert is that he loves y'all.
    can't imagine the redemption taking place in all of you bc you now have each other. God in his goodness.....

  11. As I just finished reading your post, Shannan, I let out a content, happy sigh and said to myself out loud with a smile on my face, "She's so refreshing," and before I moved on to catch up on the other blogs I follow, I heard a little voice in my spirit r(God) that said, "Tell her so." So that's what I'm doing... telling you how refreshing you and your words are, how I love the way you write, and how your story is inspiring, unique, and a joy to follow. Blessings to you and your family!

  12. Gorgeous salad, I'm gonna make one today! I'm duty (I just said "duty". Huh, huh.) -bound to tell you that a true salade nicoise does not have any cooked vegetables: potatoes or otherwise. My very French grandmother, from Nice, used to say with her heavy French accent, "If ze salade nicoise has coooked potatoes or any coooked vegetable for zat matter, you are among enemies, and you must run!"

    Consider yourself warned - there are culinary enemies lurking. . .

    I'm positive that all went well with your speech especially since you were talking about the spectacular love you share with Robert.

    1. No way!! Get out!!! I've been led astray by the boiled potatoes!
      Or what about blanched green beans? Is that wrong, too?

      I want to meet your very French grandma from Nice. :)

    2. For realz! The too-wonderful-for-words Julia Child is the one who introduced all of us to the idea of cooked vegetables in a salade nicoise, and I don't know anyone (other than my grandmother) who doesn't prefer it that way.

      My grandmother passed many years ago, but another gem she left me with is, "To have feeet that are not smooooth, it is rude to everyone around you."

      She wasn't kidding.

  13. i really love you.
    and a good salad, nothing beats.


  14. Yay Calvo! (Do you ever call him that? I had a rowdy friend, Calvin, growing up and I always called him that.)

    Sister friend, we have the same ol' bike. But mine is less olivey and more browny and it's a Schwinn. Just last week a dear, darling 82-year-old man walked into Josh's office wheeling a pedal bike that his FATHER IN LAW rode. He wondered if I might like it? Ummm, YES. Yes Wally, I would. I picked myself up a pinkish basket and now I feel like I'm forever 12. Shall I ride it to your house?

    Robert never fails to make me grin. Goodness, he's smart. We all need a Robert.

    I'm sure you rocked your gig!

  15. Sweetheart it's dreads. :) Signed, Silly white girl with dreads down the middle of her back. Now back to the salad discussion

    1. Hahahaaa! I wrote "dreads", then "dreds". It looked wrong. So I asked Cory. "Dreds". And I bit. The lesson: When in doubt, Google! ha. Thanks!

  16. I'm looking at House of Turquoise, another of my daily reads, and I'm thinking "this looks familiar!" Love the "barn" door which I don't ever remember seeing here. Congrats!

  17. Dang! Posted to the wrong post!