Thursday, December 24, 2009
*Driving around after the Christmas Eve service to look at the luminaries and lights in Joppatowne
*Putting out milk and cookies for Santa, though we didn't believe in him.
*Eating Pillsbury cinnamon rolls for Christmas breakfast, with extra icing.
*Dad wearing his brown robe and over-sized matching brown slippers.
*Sleeping in so late that our parents woke US up.
*Getting special Christmas dresses from our Aunt Gail, who now buys one for Isabel.
*Having our stockings stuffed so full that the gifts had to be placed underneath them on the floor
What "little" traditions do you remember from your childhood?
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Don't make the same mistake my friends. Your Trader-Joes loving children will thank you.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Saturday, December 12, 2009
2C White Sugar
1C Buttermilk (or a little less than 1C milk and 1T lemon juice-let sit 10+ min)
1C hot water
2t Baking Soda
Cream sugar and shortening. Add eggs and beat. Add liquid and dry ingredients alternately. Drop teaspoon sized balls onto greased cookie sheets. DO NOT make the cookies larger than tablespoon size!
Bake at 400 degrees for 7 minutes. Cool completely and fill.
1 1/2C Shortening
2 egg whites, room temp.
4C 10x Sugar
Beat flour and milk. Cream in shortening. Add other ingredients and beat until smooth.
Spread a generous amount of filling onto one cookie. Top with another. You can freeze these; wrap individual pies in plastic wrap, then place in a freezer safe container. Defrost in the fridge.
Tuesday, December 08, 2009
Monday, December 07, 2009
...time to take up the traditions of the ladies in my family. This Christmas, despite Miguel's protests, I am going to make Whoopie Pies (my mom's recipe, IF I can find it) and Moon Cookies (a Lithuanian tradition, and my grandmother's recipe). Whoopie Pies are a lot of work, so I've never attempted them. I used to despise Moon Cookies, so I've never made them. I am up for a challenge. Bring on the Whoopie Pies. My tastes have changed. Bring on the Moon Cookies.
Friday, November 20, 2009
Right now, you are loving your "Little People" farm books, balls, babies, and of course Cuzco. You follow me around, but also play on your own. You have managed to take every baking and cooking utensil I own out of the cabinets, but can't seem to put them back. The toilet paper is never around the roll, and I can't help but let you do unroll it every time. You laugh and giggle, and my heart melts!
Precious baby girl, our prayer for you is that you will grow up to love our Savior. That you will be a beautiful girl-inside and out. That you will cling to His faithfulness and goodness, no matter what the coming years hold. We love that God chose us to be your parents and truly cannot wait to watch you grow.
Wednesday, November 11, 2009
I was driving myself insane, all in the name of keeping a neat, organized home. Then, last week, I had a revelation of sorts. Why not save the mental and physical energy during the day and do one big clean up after Isabel is in bed for the night. Wow, earth-shattering.
I have learned to be OK with this (at least for the 12 hours Isabel is awake):
Now, I have *huge* reserves of energy for things like reading and watching t.v. once she's safely tucked in bed, unable to destroy my house until tomorrow.
Sunday, November 01, 2009
I would love to know what your favorite items were for your 12-18 month old! What books did your kids most enjoy? What toys kept them engaged?
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
Monday, October 26, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Thursday, October 08, 2009
Saturday, October 03, 2009
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 03, 2009
Tuesday, September 01, 2009
About an hour later, Miguel made himself fried eggs. He does this almost every morning, so I thought nothing of it. After breakfast, I went to load the dishes and realized that the spatula was no longer in the dishwasher. Yup, you guessed it. He had grabbed a spatula out of the dishwasher because there wasn't a clean one. He used the poopy spatula to flip his eggs!!!! SICK.
Sunday, August 30, 2009
Friday, August 28, 2009
"Make sure your contact's name is spelt correctly."
My father may not be on Skype, but I bet if he were his name would be SPELLED correctly. Oh happy day! Nothing brings a smile to my face like a grammatical error first thing in the morning!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
What is your favorite product scent?
Sunday, August 23, 2009
What are your favorite food websites and blogs?
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Sunday, August 16, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
On Friday, I woke up with a very sore throat. This sore throat traveled north into the sinuses and has resulted in the use of two entire tissue boxes.
On Saturday, I arrived at the beach to realize that I had forgotten MANY things:
1. Isabel's sunglasses
2. My strapless bra that would go with 3 tank tops.
3. My white cami that would go with my OTHER 2 tops (read: No shirts to wear!)
4. My razor.
5. My contact case.
On Sunday, I went into my HOT car and found my favorite tub of lip gloss...melted all over the place.
On Monday, well, Monday was an OK day!
On Tuesday, I drove home from vacation, only to realize that I had forgotten MANY things:
1. My bathing suits
2. Isabel's bathing suit
3. One cantaloupe, a box of granola bars, and food containers
4. One green towel, one white towel, one washcloth, and one pink pouf
On Wednesday, I had another OK day.
On Thursday, I drove past my exit because I just had to tell Kristin something that I had forgotten to tell her just seconds earlier. I then had to drive 10 miles out of my way to hit the next exit and turn around.
On Thursday, I also managed to buy a box of crackers that I didn't really want for a measly $4.99!!!!!! While browsing the cracker aisle, I saw a new type of cracker with a "Try me for free" rebate sticker on it. All that was required was an original receipt and the rebate form. "No problem," you might be thinking. However, in the self-check out line, I ran into Erika. We chatted while I checked out. I left. Once I was home, I went to fill out the form and realized I had forgotten to grab my receipt. Lovely.
It truly was a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad week...at least for my organized, generally put together brain. I think I'll move to Australia. Or go make a list.
Wednesday, August 05, 2009
Friday, July 31, 2009
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the LORD, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits-
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's.
6 The LORD works righteousness
and justice for all the oppressed.
7 He made known his ways to Moses,
his deeds to the people of Israel:
8 The LORD is compassionate and gracious,
slow to anger, abounding in love.
9 He will not always accuse,
nor will he harbor his anger forever;
10 he does not treat us as our sins deserve
or repay us according to our iniquities.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Story of a young girl in WWII Nazi Germany. Story told by the omniscient narrator, "Death."
Initially, I was hesitant to read this book club selection. It's on the 9th grade reading list, for heaven's sake! It is shelved in the Juvenile Fiction section of the library. Yet as I delved in, I was pleasantly surprised. The author's writing style was unique, and the plot was more than the typical WWII drama. You will fall in love with Liesel, the book thief, as she grows and changes. You will laugh at her misadventures; hold your breath as she stares Death in the eyes; cry at her losses; and perhaps even feel your heart breaking for her. Warning: I sobbed through the last two chapters of the book.
Another Thing to Fall by Laura Lippman. Suspense thriller about a private investigator. One of the books in the Tess Monaghan series.
Laura Lippman used to write for the Baltimore Sun, and I was told that all of her books are set in Baltimore. That was the initial draw. It certainly didn't stop there! I couldn't put this thriller down. The writing was excellent, and at times, dictionary worthy. The characters were believable, and the plot was intense. I loved that I could picture Tess walking through town to eat at Burke's. Or the film crew cruising along Locust Point. I will certainly be grabbing the next book in the series. Warning: there is a bit of foul language in the book, though no more than a PG-13 movie would contain.
Monday, July 20, 2009
Friday, July 10, 2009
As I splashed in the pool yesterday, I had this overwhelming desire to ensure that Isabel grow up with those very same experiences. Perhaps it won't be Mr. Norm teaching her to swim. And perhaps she will prefer strawberry shortcake Good Humor bars. It really doesn't matter. I want my daughter to have vivid memories of her childhood, giggling and splashing away the summer hours.
What memories do you have of your childhood summers?
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
- 1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
- 4 medium zucchini
- 1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
- 1 cup grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 1/2 cup almonds, chopped (about 2 ounces)
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 3/4 cup grated Parmesan (3 ounces)
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- Heat oven to 400° F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa and 1 cup water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the quinoa is tender and the water is absorbed, 12 to 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Arrange in a large baking dish, cut-side up.
- Fluff the quinoa and fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, 1/2 cup of the Parmesan, and 3 tablespoons of the oil.
- Spoon the mixture into the zucchini. Top with the remaining tablespoon of oil and 1/4 cup Parmesan. Cover with foil and bake until the zucchini is tender, 25 to 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
"We live unto the Lord."—Romans 14:8
Why are His children still wandering hither and thither through a maze...? The answer is—they are here that they may "live unto the Lord," and may bring others to know His love. We remain on earth as sowers to scatter good seed; as ploughmen to break up the fallow ground; as heralds publishing salvation. We are here as the "salt of the earth," to be a blessing to the world. We are here to glorify Christ in our daily life. We are here as workers for Him, and as "workers together with Him." Let us see that our life answereth its end. Let us live earnest, useful, holy lives, to "the praise of the glory of His grace." -C.H. Spurgeon
Right now, I am called to live a useful life, a holy life. My areas of ministry may have shrunk drastically, and my contact with "the outside world" may be limited, but I am still called to bring glory and praise to HIM in this season. As I go about my daily chores, as I care for Isabel, and as I carry out those oh-so-boring tasks today, I pray that I will keep my purpose in life in mind.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Me: Get it, get it. *sitting straight up in bed, screaming*
Miguel: What is it??
Me: I'm serious this time, it's really in bed.
Miguel: WHAT is it??!
Me: An umbrella, get the umbrella! I'm serious!
Miguel: What's an umbrella going to do??
Me: Poke me in the eye!!!!
When Miguel told me our conversation, I cried from laughing so hard! I often dream that things are in our bed-bugs, animals, people. I have never, however, dreamed that a killer umbrella was on the loose. Too many rainy days in a row, perhaps?!
Thursday, June 04, 2009
Hear my cry, O God;
listen to my prayer.
From the ends of the earth I call to you,
I call as my heart grows faint;
lead me to the rock that is higher than I.
For you have been my refuge,
a strong tower against the foe.
I long to dwell in your tent forever
and take refuge in the shelter of your wings.
Friday, May 29, 2009
Thursday, May 28, 2009
Fun things she's doing:
*Sitting up on her own
*Sleeping on her belly 90% of the time
*Blowing raspberries quite loudly
*Feeding herself everything in sight (including rice puffs)
*Eating solid foods and loving every single thing she's tried
*Showing us two very different personalities-loud and silly at home; quiet and reserved in public-wonder where she gets those two opposing traits?!
Friday, May 15, 2009
Grocery shopping has become quite a task with Isabel in tow. Her car seat is too large, and therefore does not snap into the grocery cart. I either carry her in the baby carrier or put the car seat in the main part of the cart. By the time I am done shopping, the bottom is full, Isabel is surrounded by food, and she usually has one or two items on her lap as well. It's a bit of an adventure, to say the least. Today was no different. The senior citizens were out in force, every line was jammed, and I had a longer than normal list.
As I waited in line, the line behind me continued to grow. I rummaged through my bag to get my coupons and wallet ready. My wallet. The one that I KNEW was in the bag, because I had double checked. As I rummaged around, I let out a sigh. No wallet to be found, just a pretty, sea foam green nursing wrap.
Thursday, May 07, 2009
Isabel is a SLOW bottle drinker. Some days it would take her more than 45 minutes to drink 5 ounces. It was to the point that we really hated giving her bottles! The other day, Miguel defrosted some milk and it was therefore warm. She drank it down in about 2 minutes. We realized, duh, that we'd been giving her cold and/or not-so-warm milk. Some babies don't mind, but obviously she was trying to tell us something. She HATES cold milk. Now we heat the bottles, and like magic, she slurps it down in under 5. That's my girl.
What "Ah Ha" moments have you had lately? Any that will spare me months of parenting torture?!
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Check out the adorable site for more tags and labels.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Contentment. Not the lesson I wanted to learn. Yet, I have so clearly seen God's provision in God's timing. Was I going to have an "Ishmael" car by forcing the issue? Or an "Isaac" car by allowing God to bring the car of his choosing across our path?
Last Saturday, we stumbled across a newly posted Honda Pilot on Craig's List, and the story began. The car was beautifully kept, had low miles, and had everything we were looking for (and more) in a vehicle. But, it was out of our budget. Miguel called the woman, Ellie, and immediately liked her. We decided to go see the car, but had to wait until Monday. As we were walking on the trail, we decided to call her and offer her a lower price, just to see what she would say. Before we could call, Ellie called US and offered the car to us at the exact same price we were going to offer. She said to think about it while she talked with her husband. Monday we drove to see it, and we both loved it. We had our deposit ready until she quoted us a higher price. Her husband did not want her to sell it for such a steal. I walked away feeling disappointed, but honestly at peace. I could be content to wait a few more days, weeks, or perhaps even a month. The next day, Miguel called to thank Ellie for her time and to tell her that we would not be purchasing the vehicle. Ellie immediately told Miguel that she wanted to bless us as a family, and she would sell us the car at a greatly discounted price. Ellie's sister had reminded her that there is blessing in being generous and blessing others. We had our "Isaac" car!
Unbeknownst to me, Miguel had prayed that morning that God would be gracious to us and allow Ellie to offer an even lower price than she had originally quoted. Miguel prayed a big prayer and saw God answer immediately and powerfully. If for no other reason, I truly believe the my VW died to increase my contentment and Miguel's faith. It is amazing the circumstances God uses to mold us and teach us. I pray that in the next trial or test, I will be able to find contentment as I look back and see God's provision in God's perfect timing.
Thursday, April 09, 2009
Isabel's favorite things:
*Staring thoughtfully at people
*Watching her dog and laughing as he licks her hands
*Playing with her toys on her playmat
Silly things she's doing:
*Crying at certain (unnamed) friends
*Eating cereal and squealing between bites, almost as if she's saying "more Mom!"
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
This Reuben recipe was truly tasty: http://www.gilroydispatch.com/lifestyles/182780-the-reuben-corned-beef-vs.-pastrami
I even used the skillet and 28oz tomato can that they suggested. It felt silly, but it was fun!
And Bonkey's. There are not words enough to describe the experience. If you haven't been, please come up and we'll take you!!! Homemade ice cream shop housed in an old movie theater; families enjoying ice cream/snowballs/candy at incredibly reasonable prices; little town feel where you always run into someone you know; I love the whole Bonkey's experience.
Tuesday, March 10, 2009
Friday, March 06, 2009
1 C. Mayo (we use light or Smart Balance)
2 Chipotles in adobo sauce
1 T. Adobo sauce
Juice of half a lime (I use bottled juice and add to taste)
Salt and Pepper to taste
1. Chop peppers finely and add to mayo
2. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine
(This can all be put in a food processor and pureed. I don't have one so do it by hand.)
This is a very spicy, flavorful addition to burgers, chicken salad, and even tacos.
Thank you, Bobby Flay for spicing up my life and burgers.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
Wal-Mart, at least by us, has their Valentine's goodies discounted to nearly 90%. I purchased an "X" and "O" muffin tin, too cute, for $2; a lip-shaped cookie cutter for $0.50; and ten adorable heart-shaped gift boxes, perfect for giving small gifts, for $1.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
What small joys are you finding in life right now?
Monday, February 23, 2009
Friday, February 20, 2009
Isabel is three months old today. It is strange to measure in months and not weeks. Where has the time gone?? A few of her favorite things:
*Screaming when she's happy, which is most of the time
*Smiling her big, toothless grin at Mommy and Daddy
*Holding onto my shirt while eating.
*Watching t.v....sigh...when she's supposed to be eating. Miguel is firm in his resolution that she will NOT watch the Bachelor. But Isabel does love the Food Network.
Silly things she has been doing lately:
*Scrunching up one side of her lip and nose (a bit like Elvis)
*Throwing herself backwards while we hold her in order to get a good view of the ceiling
*Pulling my hair
*Outgrowing her 0-3 mo. clothing
*Waking up with "bed head"
Wednesday, February 18, 2009
Our life seems full of testing at the moment. We have seen God provide for us in amazing ways, only to see that same provision seemingly taken away. This week has brought about new opportunities to see just where my hope lies. Isabel's state-funded insurance has been canceled due to Miguel's new salary. Though he makes significantly less than he did at his previous job, he still makes too much for us to qualify for the insurance she was receiving. So, our application gets transferred to another agency, and we wait. We wait to see how God will provide. We pray for health and safety for our baby girl. At times, I feel like these trials will crush me. I don't always have the faith/vision to see the trials as the black foils. But my prayer is that I will remember HIS ultimate purpose in my current trials. I pray that He uses them to bring me to His feet and make my faith shine brighter.
"Trials make the promise sweet;
Trials give new life to prayer;
Trials bring me to His feet,
Lay me low, and keep me there."
Thursday, February 05, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
What is the best Valentines' gift you have ever given AND received?
Best Received: A cook top stove. Purchased and installed by Miguel while I was at work. I got home and saw a gorgeous bouquet of roses on the counter. I didn't even realize that they were sitting on a brand new stove! Miguel then made me a nice dinner on that stove. Perhaps not the most romantic gift, but definitely something I had desired. It was that much sweeter because it was a surprise.
Best Given: I have a horrible memory, so I can only remember last year! I had written a "menu" for the evening, including things like: a romantic dinner by candle light, a massage, etc. He earned "money" to buy the items by finding Hershey Kisses I had placed around the house. In the evening, he counted all of his Kisses and then chose several items off the menu. What he chose was based on how many Kisses he had found, and the value of each menu item. It was a fun, creative way to give him a gift (and inexpensive).
Friday, January 30, 2009
1. When I make salads for us, I don't wash the lettuce. If we have guests, I do.
2. Miguel picked all of the colors for our house. He has a much better sense of decorating than I do.
3. I hate to mop and have only mopped once in the last two months. I spot clean.
4. I drink my soda through a straw so I won't stain my teeth.
5. I am a closet Justin Timberlake fan. Yeah, I'm bringing sexy back.
6. I hate scary movies, but love Stephen King's books, especially Misery. I had to sleep with the light on one night after reading it in bed.
7. I change toilet paper rolls at other people's houses so the paper hangs OVER.
8. I loved being pregnant.
9. With that said, I wouldn't mind being pregnant again by this summer.
10. I don't like cheese on my burgers, but always get it on the side to eat separately.
11. I have a secret desire to go to culinary school.
12. I can easily shop for and dress others, but have a very hard time doing so for myself.
13. I have a horrible memory. I can't even remember the plot of the movie we watched this weekend.
14. I love technical writing and edit papers on the side.
15. I used to love ice hockey and had posters in my room of Pavel Bure and Sergei Federov.
16. I am a very critical person.
17. I think pretty much all babies are funky looking, even mine when she was born.
18. In college, if I ate on campus, I would order cheese and mayo on wheat with a big pickle. It was the cheapest sandwich on the menu and I love it.
19. As a kid, I hated messes and couldn't finger paint because my hands would get dirty. My granny still forced me to.
20. Irregardless is NOT a word, and I cringe it when people say it.
21. I am ultra competitive. Miguel and I have to be on the same team when playing games.
22. I'm embarrassed when people come over because of all the dog hair. I always offer a lint brush before they even sit down.
23. I would get rid of the dog so I can have a clean house for longer than 2 seconds.
24. I motivate myself to not be lazy by saying, "Do it now." sometimes I have to say it out loud, so I really hear it and listen.
25. Miguel laughed at me when I told him I was a laid back mom. Guess I am not!
Wheat-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
1 C. Peanut Butter
3/4 C. Sugar (we used 1 C., but I would definitely use 3/4 next time)
Whisk the egg. Add the PB and Sugar. Beat until well combined. Spoon rounded tablespoon sized cookies onto an ungreased sheet. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 8ish minutes. Cookies will set-up as they cool.
I was quite skeptical of these "cookies," but they ended up being quite delicious!! Not to mention they're the easiest cookies in the world to make. I always have the ingredients on hand, so Miguel and I will probably make them quite often to go with our nightly ice cream!
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
January's book was "Twilight" by Stephenie Meyers. I had no desire to see the vampire movie when it came out, nor did I have any intentions of reading the book. In fact, I didn't realize the movie was based on a popular young-adult book series. I went into it thinking "Harry Potter." Fabulous, a new series for me to devour. But, what I discovered was little more than a young-adult romance. It held my attention, and I was drawn in, I admit. It was a bit like watching those cheesy chick-flicks -we make fun of the movies, but secretly are quite entertained. However, I am not going to read the series. "Harry Potter," it was not.
Now, a complete shift in genre. "Love in the Time of Cholera" by Gabriel Garcia Marquez is our February book. I've found it a bit difficult to move from fluff to heavier reading. Perhaps because I am constantly stopping and starting again between Isabel's feedings...hmmm....wonder how long it will take me to finish?
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
Isabel turned two months today and our baby girl isn't so much of a baby any more. I was looking at pictures on facebook yesterday from the past 8 weeks, and teared up. She is so big, and I wonder who let that happen? Major milestones (at least to me!) over the past weeks have included:
-Smiling at us when we talk to her. She smiles and coos the most when she's on her back on the changing pad.
-Holding her head up on her own to look around. She absolutely loves to look over her left shoulder (??weirdo??)
-Sleeping through the night, at least most nights.
-Weighing in at 9 pounds, 14 ounces. OHMYGOSH. That means size 1/2 diapers and 0-3 month clothing.
I have loved motherhood more than I ever imagined I would or could. I am amazed by the most simple of things-watching her sleep, hearing her "tired" cries, seeing her stare at colorful objects. There are many times that I cry as I realize how blessed we are; I want to remember every moment of these sweet and all-too-quickly-passing days.
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
1 lb. chicken, boiled and shredded
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, softened (I used one low-fat and one regular)
1 C. Ranch Dressing (low-fat)
3/4 C. hot sauce, such as Frank's
2 C. shredded Cheddar Cheese
1. In a large bowl, cream together cream cheese and Ranch dressing.
2. Stir in hot sauce and 1 1/2 cups of the cheddar cheese.
3. Stir in chicken.
4. Bake in 350 degree oven until hot and bubbly. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 C. cheddar over top and let bake 2 more minutes or until melted.
Serve with tortilla chips, Triscuits, celery, etc.
Monday, January 12, 2009
As we were watching last night, Miguel wondered aloud what type of room he would want. A snowboarding room? A room full of tools and work space? He decided on a running/gym room, fully equipped with high-end workout equipment, weights, and training gear. Wonder what that room would cost??
I quickly stated that I would want my room to be a library. I can picture myself walking into a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves. Dark mahogany wood, of course. The shelves would be stocked with books of all kinds-classics, contemporary fiction, children's literature...and the book list would go on and on.
What does your "dream" room look like?