Wednesday, March 31, 2010

all i want to do is cook

I cannot stop cooking, therefore, i cannot stop eating. And I really need to lose these last 10 lbs. Rather, I need to lose these last 10 lbs so I can work on the pre-existing 10 lbs I needed to lose before.

But all I want to do is BAKE and cook.

I've made the whole wheat sandwich bread out of the Artisian Bread in 5 minutes a day. So delicious, I think I ate 6 pieces the first night. Then I made grilled cheese out of it. Not smart.

I want to make these cinnamon rolls and then there is the "healthy" version.

I made these lemon bars today for dinner club tomorrow.

People, this is getting out of hand. I need to start giving it all away.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Smokin' recipe

I have been craving these every week. No joke, i could eat the entire amount.

My friend Willow passed this onto me and I have no idea where it originated. I still love my Asian Turkey wraps, but these have a different flavor.

Asian Chicken Lettuce wraps

1 head bibb lettuce
3 TB Hoisin
2 TB Soy sauce
2 TB Water
5 garlic cloves
2 tsp fresh ginger
2 tsp + 2 TB of peanut oil
1 lb ground chicken
5 green onions
(you can also add water chestnuts, but I'm not a huge fan)

1. whisk hoisin, soy and water, set aside
2. mix garlic, ginger, and green onions, and 1 TB peanut oil
3. heat 1 tbls peanut oil and cook chicken
4. remove chicken and heat remaining 1 tsp oil, add garlic mixture. cook for 30 seconds
5. add back in chicken (and water chestnuts and peanuts) and add sauce.
6. cook until heated through.

We serve these with rice and bean sprouts and peanut sauce. I love cutzi's peanut sauce but when I was at a Thai restaurant the other day I asked the lady what she put in her's (it was delicious) and she mixes with coconut milk instead of water. I think I'm going to experiment. Until then, ENJOY!!!

Friday, March 26, 2010


A few new sites I've added to my reader

** Good (&CHEAP) Eats

**My Frugal Lifestyle

**Smitten Kitchen And her super fabulous St. Louis Gooey butter cake is calling my name

I made these pancake mix muffins today. They were a bit dry, but I was using oatmeal pancake mix so I think I should have added milk. But a really quick muffin on those days where you need something yummy.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

keeping a record

I have to say this b/c I think I need to be reminded of it every once in a while.

First, Sam rarely, if ever, takes a nap longer than 40 minutes. 3 of them a day, to be exact.

Second, this makes me incredibly frustrated at times. So much, that I need to walk away from him or I'll be angry with a baby (not good).

My pediatrician mentioned a few months back that his son didn't start napping (longer than 45 minutes) until 8 months. 8 months. Are you kidding me?

Here I am approaching 8 months and I still have a catnapping baby. (He sleeps 12 hours at night with 1 feed at 4 a.m. - not bad).

I've done everything. Literally, everything. He falls asleep independently and has for months. Consistent bedtime. Regular feeding schedule. You name it, I've done it. (Maybe that's my problem, too much involvement)

This is what I need to remember. Sleep is fleeting. It ends in a few years. And while I value the peace that it brings, he's still a happy kid. And if I spend hours on end working a 30 minute nap into 90, then what have I given up with the other two? Most likely they are sitting in front of the TV with a stressed out mom begging them not to move an inch. Doesn't really sound like a fun life.

So I've thrown in the towel. I've reconciled myself to the fact that I don't have 'those' kids that take 2, two hours naps during the day. I just don't. And we are OK.

So Kate, remember, when he's applying for college, excellent sleeper isn't a requirement for acceptance.

He just woke from a 30 minute nap, go figure!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


Spring is in full bloom today. The sun is shining and it's almost my perfect day. The perfect day would be partly cloudy and 65, buy I can take a break from that every once in a while.

We spent time at the park this morning with friends from church.

then onto swinging

Wearing our swimsuits.

It's a great day!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Celebrating Easter

As many of you know, who read the blog and know us in real life, we follow the Christian faith and believe passionately in the life, love, and truth of Jesus. We strive to love Him and through that love He will give us the grace and ability to love others, exceptionally.

With that belief, comes teaching our children about who Jesus was/isA key tradition/holiday to this is Easter. It is the memorial of Christ's death (Good Friday) and the joy of the Resurrection (Easter Sunday).

This year, while sitting in bible study, my teacher was talking about worldly traditions that have overshadowed the true religious meanings of certain holiday's, particularly Easter. Instead of the central focus being about egg hunts and candy, make it about what it was intended to be -- about Christ and His saving grace.

I recognize that this doesn't come easily to a 3 and 4 year old. I feel like I have to tread lightly on the death part and talk only of things they can understand at this stage in their life. I have to remember that we have many years to come of understanding the enormity of it all, and ultimately it will be their decision to choose to follow Christ and the Holy Spirit has to lead them to do that.

So, I think of myself as the teacher who gets to bring practical applications to help them learn more about this.

--these "He has Risen!" rolls seem really cute and so perfect for little minds to understand.

--another family noted that they were going to celebrate with a memorial on Friday and then everyone gets new fresh clothes for Sunday to help them understand the new life in Christ. (I'll be honest, I'm going to have a hard time connecting this one. I just get super excited about clothes and I feel like if I try too hard to connect the spiritual part, I'm faking it a bit.)

--I like #5 of this. My friend Jodi did this also. I might do this next year. I just don't think my kids are quite ready for it. Nor am I ready to devote the time it needs me to give it.

--tonight I found cookie cutters in the shape of a cross, church, lamb, and bible. We'll be making some sugar cookies for Sunday's brunch at church.

This is the first year I feel like the girls get it and are grasping some of what we are passing onto them. I'm looking forward to talking about Christ and His redemption over the next couple of weeks and I hope that will carry over to many more conversations throughout the years to come.

Thursday, March 18, 2010


::I mentioned my thoughts of eating and sugar. This article was interesting and some good thoughts. Eloise is still afraid of seasoning in her food (basil, green onion, flecks of anything green).

::Felted wool laptop bag...very cute!

::I've always wanted a husband who was handy enough to build this. Maybe I can rent one. :)

::i want to do these for my room


::this looks beautiful

Have a great first weekend of Spring!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

hearts of thankfulness

Thurdsay, we were driving to a friend's house for dinner.

In the back I hear Lily, "Mama, please answer me!"

me: "Sorry. I didn't know you were talking to me"

Lily: "Great job turning your wipers on" (it was raining)

me: "oh thanks Lil".

Eloise: "Ya, and thanks for being so safe while you drive us".

I was beaming. Even though they were two very insignificant compliments, they were compliments. And that is a sign, to me, of gratitude and I love it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Linky loo

I think I might have an addiction to links, not kidding.

**I made these this week. But I added chopped peanuts, whole flax seed, wheat germ, and I skipped the M&M's. The girls loved it and dave took them to work. Mine didn't totally set. I think I might have needed to add something more with the extra ingredients. But at least it's a good start.

**We made Easter bunnies out of TP rolls this week. Crafts make me want to break out in hives, so I'm considering this a great start.

**I'm in love with Asian chicken lettuce wraps with peanut sauce. LOVE THEM! I couldn't find the recipe I use online to link to it, but people tell me that P.F. Chang's has some pretty good ones.

**Making some baby food, looking at these few sites.

**I might be able to try this craft...very cute!

**I'm itching to make this bread

Monday, March 8, 2010

first born daughter

It's rest time -- the most peaceful part of my day. On days when all three kids are down, it's a time to forget about dishes/chores and focus on thinking, praying, and sitting in silence. No TV, music, or other such distractions (besides the computer, today, b/c I'm obviously on it).

I have a nagging thought tapping on my shoulder lately. It was heightened today with a dramatic little 4 year old meltdown.

That thought is -- How can I model grace to Eloise when i really don't want to?

Eloise is my sweet, loving, longing to please, emotional, first born daughter. She is like me in so many ways, but might have gotten Dave's lack of patience. Or it could just be that she's 4 and life feels stacked against her.

When she gets in these modes of drama or emotions, it takes me to a place of pure frustration. When it's a leg that hurts and she can't describe the type of pain and there has been no obvious injury, when she feels slighted by her sister taking something from her or hitting her (as Lily is often known to do), or when she just can't get something to work. It's at that time that I have absolutely NO IDEA what to do.

If I was the mom of just her, I feel like my focus could be on figuring out the problem. But when I have another crazy, just as emotional 3 yr old and a 7 month old begging to be held, the problem escalates quickly.

I snap at her. I tell her I'm frustrated and I try as hard as I can to keep the lid tight so I don't explode. She asks me if I'm mad at her. I tell her no and explain that I'm really frustrated. I know she doesn't get it.

Mustering up grace at that moment is painful and every part of my being doesn't want to give it to her. And then i remember that I'm shaping her. I teach her about grace. I model it. My words are the words that she will use on her siblings or friends. They are my actions that will be acted out. If she doesn't learn some acceptable ways to respond to a stressful situation, shes going to end up acting out the wrong one.

I see it in Dave. His dad did not model a healthy way how to deal with frustration. He spends ALOT of time working on how to correct that. And often times the default setting takes over. I don't want Eloise's default setting to be my mistake.

I realize at this time that I'm not perfect and I'm going to get this parenting gig wrong. But I want to put my best foot forward. I know, KNOW, that the most important concept for her to take away is LOVE and I want her to know without a shadow of a doubt that I find favor in her and I love her despite her faults.

My goal this week is to look for ways to let her know I love her and hope that those positive interactions outshine the negative.

Saturday, March 6, 2010


A little fun with this little almost 7 month old...he sure is cute. and I sure look tired.

Thursday, March 4, 2010


I've had several thoughts milling about for the last couple of weeks. I can finally think straight so that might be why. Here they are:

::thinking alot about my relationship with Eloise. She is my first born and I'm often times hardest on her. I'm sensitive to her and want to make sure that my impact on her is positive and encouraging. So if she is still peeing the bed and it's annoying to change sheets, I have to remember that she wants this just as badly as I do. No need for extra discouragement. (BTW - I've tried everything. literally everything. next might bed a bed wetting alarm, but we'll wait until she is 6)

::I've got sugar on the brain. Everyone says it's bad for you. I've heard it a trillion times. But why, what does it really do to our bodies that makes it so horrible? Addiction might be the first thing, but coffee does that too. I know everything in moderation is good and I believe that sugar falls into that category. I grew up with no sugar. Very organic without my parents calling it that. Farm raised beef, eggs, dried fruit, balanced meals, only home baked goods, etc. We only got sugared cereal on special breaks (spring break, christmas break, etc). I'm no less a sucker for sugar than the next person. So I'm not convinced that giving our kids the best food now will make them great eaters later. Not that I'm not going to give them good food, but I just don't think it seals the deal. (just my opinion, no negative comments here, I still see the value of good food, don't worry)

::in this thinking of food, it leads me to health. Eloise is at the age where she really wants to get involved in an activity/sport. I'm searching to see what might be a good start. Dance doesn't seem to be her gig (more Lily's), she really wants to ice skate though. We'll see.

::TV. Love it/hate it. I'm learning to use it wisely.

::Sam is almost 7 months and he is the cutest thing in the world to look it. He's sitting up on his own but Eloise likes to come to the rescue and help him.

::With that 7 month mark comes my deep breath time. At 8 month's old is when I finally start to take deep breaths. We made it! They are almost feeding themselves small pieces of food and showing signs of talking and uber cuteness. An independence. But still very much dependent. I do not miss those baby days one bit.

::Even though those baby days will never come again. I made the dreaded appointment for Dave. He turns white every time I mention the 'V' word. It is what it is. My family feels complete and it's good to start moving forward with life.

::thinking about signing up for a 5K, walking, of course. Running makes me want to pass out just thinking about it.

::I'm thinking about it b/c the endocrinologist I saw last week made a comment about my stretch marks when she was doing an exam of my abdomen. They are apparent and that is being kind to myself. She said, "Your husband needs to get you a tummy tuck". Not gonna lie, felt like I was 15 again and someone made a comment about how much I've "grown". Tummy tuck would be awesome b/c my stomach will never go back again, but it's life. It's having babies.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Our dryer has been dying a slow death for quite some time now. First it took 70 minutes to dry, then 80, then 150 minutes. I do 4 people's laundry (Dave does his own, by his own choice, which I gladly support) and it was taking me ALLLLLLL day and some of the next.

I'm a big Craigslist person. Six months ago, our dishwasher went out and I just happened to check out CL in the off chance that there might be something. A woman was selling a stainless, almost brand new dishwasher b/c her husband was remodeling the kitchen. So he was replacing the "old" one that she never used in the first place. $100. Sold. New fabulous dishwasher. I love it.

So I thought there might be a dryer out there on CL with my name on it. I looked for a month. People usually sell them as sets and we didn't need a washer.

Scrolling through, I found my moms washer and dryer on there for a 1/3 of what she paid. I thought it was interesting and moved on.

I called my mom and told her and she said I should definitely go look at it. No. But maybe., ust maybe.

We got home for church the next day, I ran to my computer, called the guy and he still had it. We rushed up to Vancouver and it looked great. I talked him down. An amazing deal. And he delivered it.

It was installed, ready to go, and before I knew it Dave was shoving his laundry in. He beat me! I've never seen the guy move that fast.

Once the load was started we all just stood around and stared. It was hilarious.

I love these things. LOVE them. Every time I walk out to my garage, I smile.