Thursday, January 29, 2009

I've been wanting one of these!

for real!

http://www.usatoday.com/life/lifestyle/2009-01-27-snuggie_N.htm?se=yahoorefer

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

another snowy day!

I am seriously getting tired of this!

I really miss sunshine. and planting flowers. and sitting out by the fire. and having bbqs.

SUMMER - come soon!

Friday, January 23, 2009

valentine's day poem

Nathaniel wanted to write a poem for his 'girlfriend' for Valentines day. So he did what any smart eight year old would do: asked his big sister to help him!

Here is what they came up with:

The time of love has come back this year
The time of flowers, kisses and ribbon
Hang a pearl in every cow slips ear
and let your love know you care.
Let the light pour in,
From the smiling faces,
All I ask is one simple question:

Will you be my Valentine?


Nathaniel(8)
(with some help from Hannah (10))

I tried to scan this so you could see the swans he drew but couldn't get it to work !(

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Men!

Always start off with a good title eh?

My DH (dear hubby) is blessed with both a mathematical mind (mechanical engineer that he is - this comes in handy at grocery stores too!) and a musical mind (he's one of the best guitarists and pianists I know). He can fix mechanical things, is a computer WHIZ and manages to repair just about any thing I can break around the house. Living with someone so smart and talented without feeling worthless can be a challenge at times.

Add to this the fact that he is a genuinely nice guy. Fantastic dad, great provider and loving Christian and it can be hard to find fault (though somehow I manage!). None of us are perfect. Not even my DH who at times can be major-ly grouchy, forgetful, insensitive, bossy and, may I even say, at times condescending (see previous list of accomplishments if you are having trouble imagining such a thing!)

It always has bothered me that I am often told how lucky I am to have married him. OR that I am awfully lucky to be married to a man that 'lets' me do what I want to do. I guess on some level this is true. I am married to an incredibly intelligent, sweet, loving and great looking man who has nearly no Neanderthal qualities.

Still I wonder. Why is it that I am the lucky one? I mean, isn't he lucky to have me also? I think he is. And he thinks so too.

Let's teach our daughters their worth shall we? Don't they deserve to have the kind of man we'd all like to have?


scruffy DH

Sleeping DH

Guitar playing DH

Daddy DH
Welcome to the 2009 edition of getting to know me. This is a total cheat as I got the list of questions in an email .. .

1. What time did you get up this morning? 8:00am
2. Diamonds or pearls? pearls
3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema? Tale of Despereaux
4. What is your favorite TV show? Biggest Loser
5. What do you usually have for breakfast? coffee & toast
6. What is your favorite dessert? blueberry crumble (homemade)
7. What food do you dislike? brussel sprouts
8. What is your favorite CD at the moment? none
9. What kind of car do you drive? Jeep
10. Favorite sandwich? Falafel & hummus on Pita
11. What characteristic do you despise? lying
12. Favorite item of clothing? great fitting bra (so rare, so important)
13. If you could go anywhere in the world on vacation where would you go? Europe
14. Favorite brand of clothing? Nothing Particular
15. Where would you retire to? no idea!
16. What was your most recent memorable birthday? 30th
17. Favorite sport to watch? Volleyball
18. Furthest place you have travelled? Canada
19. When is your birthday? Feb 23
20. Are you a morning person or a night person? night for sure
21. What is your shoe size? 6
22. Pets? 3 cats
23. What did you want to be when you were little? an actress on Broadway
24 What is your favorite candy? salted black licorice
25. What is your favorite flower? Daffodils
26. What is a day on the calendar you are looking forward to? the 31st - girls trip to Seattle!
27. Do you wish on stars? not during the day
28. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Orange
29. How is the weather right now? coldish and sunny
30. The first person you spoke to on the phone today? customer service!
31. Favorite soft drink? diet coke or diet grapefruit
32. Favorite restaurant? Provechos
33. What was your favorite toy as a child? a doll house w/ a million little parts
34. Summer or winter? summer
35. Hugs or kisses? kisses
36. Chocolate or Vanilla? chocolate
37. Coffee or tea? coffee
38. When was the last time you cried? I never cry and tell
39. What is under your bed? dust
40. What did you do last night? played in a comedy improv show
41. What are you afraid of ? my kids getting hurt, DH being killed in a car accident
42. Salty or sweet? salty
43. How many keys on your key ring? too many!
44. Favorite sound? baby laughter
45. Favorite day of the week? Friday
46. How many towns have you lived in? over a dozen
47. Do you make friends easily? yes

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

OH how I love my crockpot!

While not QUITE obsessed, I have been using the crock-pot a LOT lately. (the discovery of the Crock-pot Lady's Blog has certainly inspired me to try new things) Also, in keeping with those aforementioned resolutions, eating healthy meals at home has been key to resisting temptation, saving time and money and staying on track. What's not to love abut the crock-pot!?!?

I'm really overdue for a trip to the grocery store so supper tonight is a 'pantry/freezer' meal. Here is what is simmering in my crock-pot today:

1 quart sized freezer bag of homemade vegetable spaghetti sauce (I make this in big batches several times a year and freeze the leftovers. the recipe changes depending on what I have on hand)
1 jar Newman's Own spaghetti sauce
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 pkg Italian turkey sausage links browned on the stove top and then cut up (I had these in the freezer)
2-3 generous handfuls of (pre-bagged) baby spinach
1 small (2oz) can sliced black olives drained
1 teas sea salt
generous grind black pepper

This is just a mess of things I found in the cupboards, freezer and fridge. The picture does it no justice. It already looks and smells fantastic. I will serve this over whole wheat noodles.

Monday, January 19, 2009

thank goodness for the extra day!

So the kids are home from school today and I am SO GLAD! It was a crazy busy weekend and I needed Monday for some R&R (rest and recoup)!

On Friday and Saturday J & I went to the PATA auditions in Portland. This was a great experience! A lot of good performers. Some were just fantastic (and few were pretty boring)! So overall it was a great mix and very informative!

Saturday night Comedy Sportz from Portland held their first public performances in the 'Couve in Magenta Theater's new space. What a fantastically fun and rewarding night that was! The house was packed for both shows and I know this will be a great return venue for our new facility. I was thrilled!

Finally on Sunday we had a powerful and positive congregational meeting (which I know a lot of us needed!) I left feeling renewed and hopeful about my church which is always a good, good thing. Then we rushed home to eat (thank you crock-pot) and clean up a the house a bit as we had our very good friends D&S and A over for some Battlestar Galactica viewing fun. We've been meeting to watch this for a long time now (two years really???) and this is some of my most favorite times with friends! But its the last season and I know we will have to find a new obsession so we still have an excuse to get together!

Today the kiddos and I are enjoying a lazy morning around the house and then we are having some friends for lunch and some time at the park . . . .

Maybe I'll rest tomorrow!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Feel Better Stew

I am not feeling well today. Sinuses are plugged and achy, throat is sore, a bit feverish and dizzy.

I hardly ever get sick but when I do its disgusting. (sympathetic much?) I think this may be because I am one of those people that pushes themselves to the point where they get sick. Taking on too much, having too much stress, burning the candle on both ends, over-committed, that sort of thing. When I do finally succumb I am truly run down.

Here are some of the things I do to feel better. Sleep, if I can, even during the day, and try not to feel guilty about it. Drink tea. Licorice tea is absolutely the best for a sore throat I find. Works better than a lozenge and has no sugar too.

Finally, I make something with red meat. I know, so out of character for me but my husband is convinced that this is what I need to build my immune system back up when I am sick and I think he may be onto something. Last night in between sniffles on the sofa I had an undeniable urge to make beef stew. Maybe my feverish body was telling me something?

So here is what I came up with this morning. It looks really good and I think the flavours will be really nice. Feel free to play with this however you want - its pretty hard to screw up stew. I'll update on how it turned out later.


Feel Better Beef Stew (in the crockpot):
(don't let the long list of ingredients turn you off - I put this together in about 15min)

1&3/4 lbs, extra lean stew beef (DH went to the store for me last night - otherwise I would never have had this in the house!)
4 medium-large Yukon gold potatoes
1 large sweet onion
2 sm handfuls of baby carrots
4 stalks celery
1 pkg. sliced mushrooms
1 can low sodium diced tomatoes
1 cup low sodium vegetable broth
1 12oz can V-8 juice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp Italian seasoning
1 envelope onion soup mix
1-2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
splash of Worcestershire
2 teas sea salt
generous amount of cracked black pepper

Heat a pan (I used my wok) to med-high and add olive oil. Dump the stew beef into the pan and brown both sides. This took about 7-8 mins turning once. Meanwhile rough chop your potatoes, onion and celery an throw them in the crock pot. Add the baby carrots (I left mine whole) and then the mushrooms. Place the beef on top of veggies. Open the can of tomatoes (with juice) and spread over the beef. Add the cup of broth and the V-8. Sprinkle the onion soup mix, Italian seasoning, Worcestershire, salt and pepper over that. Splash with Balsamic vinegar. Cover. I will cook this on high for two hours and then turn to low to simmer for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A new kind of sleep aid

video

proof that smart girls like stupid funny too!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

He faught the bar and the bar won!



before


















after








Poor Nathaniel. He took a face dive into a metal bar. Broke his two front teeth. Managed to get a pretty banged up and bloodied lip in the process.

So my first reaction (after he started to cry and I knew he would be okay) was to get angry. Really angry. I hate to see my kids hurt and I cannot count the number of times he has been told NOT to climb, swing or otherwise fool around on those particular bars. Not that my anger helped either of us. I felt like a monster and he felt even worse for disobeying mom.

Thankfully I had good friends right there with us at the time of the incident and they jumped right in with hugs and ice and first aid. And also consoling Hannah who was crying because her brother was hurting. And letting me know that anger is a normal reaction for parents - and its probably really fear and not anger after all.

After we got home and talked things over with the advise nurse on the phone, cuddles and calm reigned instead of anger and fear. And it looks like reconstructive dentistry is something to look forward to this week!

Oh, and one more thing to add to this rambling post:

Did you know the tooth fairy collects teeth shards? One little boy I know got a $5 bill under his pillow for a few bits of broken teeth. He looked at it and said - "oh good! I am going to give ALL of this to the kids with blood cancer" And promptly put it in his wallet.

Friday, January 9, 2009

True Friends

Love you even when your house is messy
Laugh with you at your mistakes
Listen to your issues even when they are busy with their own

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Useless Amazing Facts

Just for fun 25 useless and random facts. . . this may become a regular addition!


Honey is the only food that does not spoil. Honey found in the tombs of Egyptian pharaohs has been tasted by archaeologists and found edible.

Months that begin on a Sunday will always have a "Friday the 13th."

Coca-Cola would be green if colouring weren’t added to it.

The average lead pencil will draw a line 35 miles long or write approximately 50,000 English words.

More people are allergic to cow's milk than any other food.

The placement of a donkey's eyes in its' heads enables it to see all four feet at all times!

Earth is the only planet not named after a god.

You're born with 300 bones, but by the time you become an adult, you only have 206.

The longest recorded flight of a chicken is 13 seconds

Queen Elizabeth I regarded herself as a paragon of cleanliness. She declared that she bathed once every three months, whether she needed it or not

Slugs have 4 noses.

Owls are the only birds who can see the colour blue.

The average person laughs 10 times a day!

The word "queue" is the only word in the English language that is still pronounced the same way when the last four letters are removed.

What is called a "French kiss" in the English speaking world is known as an "English kiss" in France.

"Rhythm" is the longest English word without a vowel.

Human thigh bones are stronger than concrete.

You can't kill yourself by holding your breath

There is a city called Rome on every continent.

Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day!

Right handed people live, on average, nine years longer than left-handed people

The elephant is the only mammal that can't jump!

Like fingerprints, everyone's tongue print is different!

The first known transfusion of blood was performed as early as 1667, when Jean-Baptiste, transfused two pints of blood from a sheep to a young man

Women blink nearly twice as much as men.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Taking pictures

can I just say i totally SUCK at this???

i just realized that despite having plenty of opportunity (two big parties at our house and being snow bound for a few days) over the holidays I managed to forget to take any pictures.

i wish i had something to post - a lovely living room scene with fire a-blazing and tree a-glow. nothing. i'dve loved one with the kids unwrapping their gifts on Christmas morning - nope. but mostly i'm sad that i didn't get a family picture - one with the four of us marking another year.

darn.

well here is one i did manage to snap of the kids playing in the snow - enjoy! (cause we all know its the only one you are going to get!)

Monday, January 5, 2009

Body Image and the Beast

First I must make two statements:
Women struggle with body image
I am a woman


Sigh.

I am a person who has been very fat. And a person who has been relatively thin. Here's what I have learnt from my experience:
- I have felt fat and ugly at both a size 6 and at a size 16
- I feel strong & powerful & sexy when I exercise regularly no matter what the scale says
- I know the difference between healthy, wholesome foods and junk
- I often choose to ignore what I know

A while ago (after taking a piece of chocolate) I confessed to a friend that I knew I would be much happier if I just lost these last (nagging, persistent, resistant, frustrating, infuriating, want to crawl under the covers and cry) ten pounds. Did I mention that I was eating chocolate at the time? This friend looked at me like I had suddenly taken all leave of my senses - he looked at me like I was completely crazy. He sighed, paused and then said very carefully (being married and therefore having some experience with female sensibilities) "If you will pardon me saying so - you are perfect. I mean lose weight if it makes you happy . . . but to me, and probably to a lot of people - you are just perfect." Now it was my turn to look at him as if he had completely lost his senses.

Now here's the thing. This is a good friend that does not lie and does not say things to make people 'feel better'. I believed him. Kinda. For about three minutes I actually believed that I was better than okay, better than fine. But one good look in a full length mirror later was all it took for the ugly beast of insecurity to rear its head again.

I know so many women like this! I know so many beautiful women who think of themselves as average, so-so or even ugly! A good friend that is one of the most beautiful women I've ever known who hates her own thighs; another beautiful woman who despises the size of her hips; another that feels if she could just 'fix' a certain facial facial feature she might just be pretty. What the heck?!? These are all gorgeous women - what is wrong with us?

I wish that all women would turn that focus into living positive lives.

Eating to sustain and nourish instead of eating our emotions. Exercising to build muscles and strong hearts rather than to burn more calories. Loving and taking care of ourselves a little bit more instead of harping on our flaws and taking care of everyone else.

Boy that sounds good. I just hope I can take my own advise to heart!

Friday, January 2, 2009

Drinking Champangne for no reason

the "almond champagne' we bought for New Years was AWFUL!!! So bad that after a good laugh we ended up dumping it down the drain. Today at Winco my DH bought me a nice, simple, yummy brut that is not gross at all . . . happy New Years!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

new year, same old me

We all have goals we want to accomplish. As I stated in a previous blog I am constantly making and revising resolutions for myself. This is my newest list. These are goals I am setting for myself for 2009. (followed by action statements - 'cause supposedly that helps you achieve them!) Be forewarned this blog may be very, very boring unless you are me!

I should mention that I think success is measured in by degrees. No-one is perfect - no one is infallible. I will not beat myself up if I do not fully achieve these. If I accomplish my goals 90% of the time I am sucessful!! (and gosh darn it people like me~!)

1) I will not let food and drink control me. I will control my food and drink. By:
- losing 12% of my body weight
- limiting alcohol
- exercising a minimum of 4 days/week
- building muscle definition
- achieving a 12 min mile

2) I will create a home environment that is pleasant and functional that does not contribute to my haze but alleviates it. By:
- consistently coming up with a healthy weekly menu
- freezing meals ahead of time
- eating out not more than once/week
- tackling organization projects like the tupperware black hole and my closet of nightmares

3) I will leave gossip and sour grapes behind. By:
- focusing on Philippians 2 as a 'health attitude' guideline:
- not contributing to gossip and slander no matter how much I may feel justified (if cant say anything nice . . . )
- remembering that we are none of us perfect, righteous or holy - so who am I to criticize?
- learning to just walk away . . . . !