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Thursday, September 29, 2011

ooooh where is T's hairbrush??

image 1


how could you not love a face like that? i'd like to introduce you to T's twin! ohmygoodness isn't he the cutest?!
T likes to wear his hair all nappy like this right now (i wish i could capture a picture but he always runs and hides from me)...it's what all the cool kids on his team are sporting right now (honestly, though, i must say i can't blame them...they get home from practice so late with freshly showered heads and go straight to the pillow creating all that bed-headedness)...i even convinced him that those 97cent brushes in the travel section that fold into themselves are oh so cool...that lasted about a day...i guess he doesn't want to be the only boy sporting a hairbrush in the locker room.  oh well.  he's cute.  so is his twin (see photo above).  we are going to go meet his twin this weekend to see if maybe we are all a match for each other!! his mama was describing his personality and I have to admit I was cracking up at how similar he is to our T!! I think both C & T will be so excited when we surprise them with a meet & greet with this cute little fella!
I am already in love with him!!!

Monday, September 26, 2011

spent...

I just read the best article...one that made me super uncomfortable, thinking about all of the times when we didn't know how we would make ends meet, scary times when HUGE bills came...and yet, it somehow all worked out...but for some people that is their DAILY reality...some people would dream of living in a house like mine, or even having the credit to get a car loan for a car or cars like mine...
I remember helping this woman to rush to get in line at the homeless shelter in Denver because the temperature would most definitely drop that winter night...and then going home to my warm little cottage, turning on the fire, then curling up under piles of blankets...
I'll do the same tonight.  i sit comfortably on my cozy couch with dozens of candles in my favorite scent (Yankee home sweet home) lit...I rationed these expensive candles out...just as I've rationed my expensive mascara out so that I could make two more long trips to the Dr this month...and so I could add a fun class to my schedule...I rationed a few things out so that my kids could add some new activities to their extra-curriculars...those two are snuggled in their own beds in their own rooms...they will wake to a warm breakfast and a car to drive them to school.  We have a good job with good benefits, we have playrooms and creative spaces in our house and a nice little fenced cookie cutter yard...
how selfishly I live...yes, we DO have to be very very frugal, we have to live very simply...the Mr. and I find creative ways to clothe ourselves and we may go without but our kids, our kids have never.  WE are SO spoiled and SO very very rich, we really do want for nothing when you consider how much so many others in our very own country are suffering...like the mama in the following story, read the article I just read...and then click on this link: your last $1000 I ran out of money on day 10. 

Monday, September 19, 2011

morning laugh

OMG we cannot stop laughing...we do not know how they did it, but our kids made television! check out my back seat

what does your back seat look (or smell) like?
LOL I told my husband that our cars are smelly (I meant the funny exhaust smells they make) and he said, like I had no idea what took place in the seat behind me and all of these years it was piling up, "umm, babe I'm pretty sure that's rotten food you are smelling."

Saturday, September 17, 2011

artichoke sauce

So, I've been looking for a yummy artichoke sauce recipe ever since I had the yummiest pizza ever at a vegetarian restaurant...I was able to choose my sauce and all of my ingredients...lol,  sometimes my "creativity" can be a bit too much but the combination of artichoke sauce+olives+fresh tomatoes (now no longer allowed in my diet)+olives+feta+mozzarella was deeeeeeelightful!
Here is a yummy recipe that I discovered...it was actually a pasta sauce that contained chicken, but I omitted those things and tweaked it...then spread it on probably the grossest ever gluten free pizza dough (tasted like we were eating flour...could've saved myself some time and not cooked it at all)...but the sauce alone flavored it so well it made up for dough grossness! we threw some salami, olives, feta and mozzarella over this sauce and it was so tasty.  I spread this sauce cold on toast today...i think it might be kind of good on a ciabbata (sp?) bun with some sandwich makings too...anyhow, here's the recipe we used:


artichoke sauce
Heat 2T olive oil in skillet on med-high and cook 2 minced garlic cloves about a minute
then add:
1/4 white wine
s & p to taste
1- 15oz can artichoke hearts drained and pureed [(to a thick paste) in food processor]


reduce heat and cook until heated through. 


then ADD:
1/4-1/2 Cup (or more, I just tossed a bunch of handfuls in) of fresh shredded Parmesan
about 2T dried basil...i didn't measure.


cook  until cheese has melted into sauce and basil has softened.


Spread a thin layer over pizza dough as a tomato-ish sauce substitution. 

retired carneys


lol a tad bit creepy

a tad bit creepier


I love cotton candy

and the cotton-candy-maker


one of the many many ways we celebrated turning ten this past summer was to throw a 'stache party...I couldn't look at the mister without laughing...i tried to talk to him into shaving his mustache into shape the week before our party to "support the cause" but he wouldn't do it.  We kept the cotton candy machine an extra day and my sweet love made loads and loads of cotton candy...ahhh...he sure does know the key to this girl's heart. 
**side story** M was home for lunch one day this past summer and he left the garage door open...he heard a knock on the door...when he opened it, some neighbor's were there to frantically warn him that a turkey had gotten into his garage...M is a very quiet and often serious looking fella...so, he just shrugged and said "yes, I know, she lives here," (i told him he should've acted shocked and ran and picked her up and shooed her out, you know for a show) lol the neighbors walked off muttering "what kind of neighborhood is this?"*** SO on the night that we sat up making cotton candy in the very noisy cotton candy machine (we attempted this in our kitchen and wound up with grainy "floss" all over the floors) Matt said, "the neighbors probably think we are former carneys with a turkey in our yard and now a cotton candy machine," he decided we should hang a sign on our door that says "retired carney."  We delivered cotton candy, rather than cookies, to the neighbors. 
Olive getting a stroller ride...T says she's "overly civilized."

Thursday, September 15, 2011

food allergies: the thing that changed my life (well, for this month at least)

duh.  of course a food allergy would change your life...by changing my life, I mean...I suddenly have more free time (well less time in the kitchen)! YES, it's still sad to not be able to eat a reeses in all it's chocolatey peanut buttery goodness...but baby this food allergy thing, THIS month, it's pure motivation...
I finally did it.  I finally took the whole once-a-month-cooking-challenge...and it is fabulous.  truly fabulous. 
yes, I did, indeed, want to shoot myself in the foot DURING the whole food prep/cooking thing...and yes, the time optimist in me, TOTALLY miscalculated how long it would actually take...time optimist says 1 day, reality says 3-4 days (and thanks to my sweet husband, who did ALL of the vegetable chopping, he shaved at least a day off of that total)....LOL I really only have one meal left to make, BUT we've had the flu at our house followed by me chaperoning a fourth/fifth grade camp, followed by another camp...so, I'd have to say 29 out of 30 meals ain't that bad.  and ain't is not a word by the way...I must state that fact b/c there is the little boy who says it all the time as if it were a word and my little T came home, said it, followed by me saying "we do not say 'aint' it is not a word," to which he replied, "yes it is, Colter says it all the time." thank you, Colter. 
Anyhow, Once a month cooking is seriously the coolest invention ever...lol we'll see how some of the meals turned out once I thaw them...but, it's SO nice to be able to grab a meal based on how you feel and heat it...that's right, heat it.  Both my hubby and I are super picky about lots of food...we really do like things made from scratch, and I'm so not kidding when I tell you we really do not like fast food...so, I felt completely overwhelmed by these new food allergies popping up right when our lives start to get busier with the school year and fall activities starting back up...ALL of my go-to-quick recipes contain soy or tomato...im not kidding. 
Here's the best part of my once a month cooking: cookie dough on hand.  I was in the middle of making chocolate chip cookie dough the night before we did our once a month shopping, when creative Thursday started (more on that later), so I quickly balled up the dough and divided it into little zip locks and VOILA...cookie dough for me to eat.  along with the occasional hot cookie on command...loving that! ohmygoodness, now I am craving cookies.


I wanted to share this fabulous recipe, I found it while searching on my ipod forever ago, so, I am so sorry to whoever posted it, I cannot remember you to link up!! OH and also I am sharing it from memory, lol, so if it doesn't taste right, tweak it!!! This recipe is one that you can throw into your freezer in a large zip lock...if you are buying a large bag of chicken breast and have five minutes to pull 4 tenderloins out, it's that simple! You need:


4 Chicken breast tenderloins (pounded thin)
zest of 1 lime
chopped cilantro (about a tablespoon)
1-2 T olive oil
Garlic
S&P
juice of 1 lime


I basically threw everything in a zip lock minus the lime juice.  I put the lime juice in its own little zip lock then placed all of it into another large freezer bag.  I froze it, then let it thaw the day I needed it. 
The recipe says to throw the lime juice in about 15 minutes before cooking...not sure how long we let it sit in there, probably longer....

we were heading up to cook over a camp fire, and I'll be honest, as grilling weather nears its end I can only take so many hot dogs and hamburgers (no matter how kosher or high of quality of meat they are) SO we grabbed this bag of frozen marinated chicken and, VOILA another meal on command!! LOL i wanted to share this recipe b/c one doesn't actually have to prepare an entire month's worth of cooking for this one....you could simply throw the ingredients together and have it frozen for a quick dinner.  We had refried black beans and white rice with this...SO yummy...yummy enough that my child who never actually eats, requested more the next day. 


another easy peezy freezy meal: soups.  y'all probably already knew this fact...soups freeze and reheat fabulously, and you don't exactly have to thaw these dishes overnight...i always freeze my left over soup in individual portions for sports practice nights...or place it in a large ziplock and place the frozen block in my crock pot if I'm not planning to be home, or throw it on the stove on low. 


anyhow, that's all I have to share from my plethura of cooking confusion knowledge...

Monday, September 12, 2011

bubble

Ten years ago yesterday, I remember waking up and watching the news...or listening to it, rather, to keep track of time as I got ready for work.  I remember the horrifying clips of all that was going on that morning...and I remember thinking, "I'm bringing a baby into this world...I can't raise a baby in this world, what am I doing?!"
I was far from NYC as the twin towers crashed to the ground, but, I remember that day vividly.
Today, I still have moments where I ask myself what on earth I am doing raising children in this world...how on earth can I shelter them from all of the acts of hatred...how can I keep them small and innocent forever? how how can I train them up to be little activists? lovers of ALL human beings? kind, giving, compassionate, forgiving, merciful, gracious? HOW? how do they not become jaded by all of the hurt in the world? how do I keep them from being hurt so they never hurt? These questions ran through my mind ten years ago and honestly have at least once a week since each of my children have been born.  There are times when I just want to put my children in a bubble so they can be sweet and innocent little people for all of their lives...so they can grow up and meet a nice person who loves them very much, who was raised in a bubble too and they can live happily ever after and never suffer any pain.
but that is not real.  what's even less real is expecting them to be kind by placing them in a bubble...ha! that couldn't be farther from the truth...yes, I have done my best to instill love and compassion in those babes of mine...but, let's face it, they are human and were born sinners...my own little world at home is filled with tantrums and treating siblings unkindly...I have to take those moments and use them as teachable moments in hope that my children will go out into the real world and exhibit the same kind of love they are shown at home....
I realize that by sheltering my kids from the hurt and pain in the world, I am leaving them in the same American bubble that frustrates me...the one where celebrity gossip makes more time on the news than does the tragedies taking place all over the world and to little people the same age as my children...I realize that I MUST educate my children on horrible horrible acts like 9/11, the holocaust, heart mountain, slavery both in our country and happening to people currently ALL over, civil wars taking place RIGHT now in other parts of the world, starvation, orphans, HIV, homelessness...I MUST tell them about these horrible things, so that they have compassion, so that they can help stand up against such things...so they can love on others.
what I find most sad is when hatred is taught...when prejudices are sewn into the minds of little children...that, that kind of hatred can only be learned.  I remember not liking the looming racial tensions that still exist in the south...being raised in the west (or north from a southerner's perspective) and very far removed from prejudice, I had no idea hatred like that could exist...and, to be completely honest, when we arrived in Savannah...no matter how excited I was to be at SCAD, I was so afraid that my children might be around people who still held onto their southern prejudices, feelings that had been passed down from one generation to the next...I hated the thought that my children could even be exposed to such things.  That is one thing that will NEVER be okay in my book...never, never, never...
I want you to read my blogging friend, Sabina's story, I like to read Sabina's blog because she is quite the seamstress...but in this particular post she didn't write about sewing, she wrote about how 9/11 has affected her...it's so sad...please take a minute and read.  Sabina, like so many Muslim-Americans has been terribly affected by 9/11.

For those of you that are in need of a good book...one that broadens our awareness (about many subjects) check one of these out (and this is just a small list that touches the surface...there are tons of amazing organizations out there to help victims of 9/11, victims of child slavery, victims of famine, former child soldiers etc etc.  I suggest reading some of these and then getting involved in an organization that helps what ever it is that breaks your heart, something you are passionate about):
A Long Way Gone, Memoirs of a Boy Soldier
The Kite Runner
Mountains Beyond Mountains
Night
The Help
Safely Home
or watch Blood Diamond
and for kids:
Sounder
Number the Stars
Meet Addy: An American Girl