Saturday, March 27, 2010

Premade pizza crust bags….

I just got the pizza ready to go for pizza night, and I thought I’d tell ya what I did. I made up several quart ziploc bags filled with the dry ingredients, and I threw them in the pantry. I wrote the wet works on the bag with a sharpie, so all I had to do was pour and dump in the bread maker. I use the short dough cycle, so it takes 45 minutes to get pizza dough this way. And here’s my recipe for one medium size pizza crust…


1 Medium Pizza Crust

3/4 c. water

1 T. olive oil

2 c. flour (I use 1 c. white wheat and 1 c. bread flour)

1 T. sugar

1 t. salt

1 t. active dry yeast


Water and oil go in first, all dry on top, then yeast in a little well in the dry stuff… Enjoy!

A morning walk…

Sun streaming through finger smudged windows… a baby strapped snugly to his mama’s chest… sucking tiny fingers… birds sing like mad…

Big boy climbs into his bright green chariot. “Where we going, Mama?… “We’re walking to the grocery store, big boy!”

A leisurely stroll down neighborhood streets… pausing to talk to the neighbor putting out his pine straw…

“Can I push the cart, Mama!” “Sure, little man.” And so he does… the little cart, just his size… His steering has improved a lot since he last pushed it… How did that happen?

“Let’s buy something else, Mama!” We put in hot dogs, hot dog buns, and some ice cream for the friends we’re having over tomorrow evening…

Our stroller sits behind the counter, waiting for us. Big boy puts all his purchases on the conveyor belt. The ladies behind him in line smother giggles. He’s very cute.

He’s paid, and now its time to go home. We stroll out into the springtime world, smell the blooming white trees, and head for home…

Friday, March 26, 2010

My new beco…

beco in paige


I’m pretty excited about my new Beco baby carrier. This is the one my mom got me as a belated baby gift for Evan. I’d been using my Baby Bjorn a ton, way more than I ever used an infant carrier with Seth. That’ll happen to ya when you’re chasing a toddler and trying to help him cling the jungle gym, and you still have a baby mewling over in the corner…

But Evan is getting a little heavy for the Bjorn, and I decided that it might be worth it to have him on my back more. (This is a front and a back carry, but you can’t turn their heads facing out.)

I LOVE it. I’m sorry I didn’t get it even earlier. It’s so much more snug than the Bjorn. Evan feels very secure, like a part of my body. I don’t worry that he’s going to fall out if I bend over, either. I finally see now why people are so into baby wearing. Bjorn wearing doesn’t have quite the same feel.

The price tag is a little steep, and you can’t find these used yet because they’re so new, but if a friend or relative wants to give you a really nice baby gift, I’d ask for one of these…

about windows live writer…

Ok, I’ve found something that may keep me in the blogging game longer, y’all. It’s called Windows Live Writer. Go ahead, ask Dr. Google about it. I’ll wait right here…

You can blog without being signed in to Blogger, and your posts don’t get eaten, and your pictures don’t get messed up. And it doesn’t take a bajillion years to upload a single photograph anymore. It’s as fast as… gasp… Facebook! And best of all, if you put in a picture and some text, the text doesn’t turn into one long paragraph!!!

I think I’m in love…

NCSU Farm Days….

IMG_0312  We headed out to NCSU Farm Days on Wednesday morning. I’ve got to say that one of my favorite things was watching the farmers park minivans in their dusty boots and faded wranglers. The guy waving me in did not look like your typical parking attendant. =)IMG_0313   And these guys sitting at the table signing in suburban moms were just as funny. They genuinely seemed glad to see us, though. Poor guys… having us moms and kids running wild all over their barns. IMG_0316Seth got to hold a baby chick… four separate times. He loved it, even if he did have a hard time figuring out how to hold his hands together to do it. =)IMG_0321  The pig petting was really fun, too. A kind volunteer picked him up and set him down in the pen when it was his turn.

We actually got to have free ice cream, too! They were giving out the ice cream that N.C. State makes at their dairy. It’s called Howling Cow. Get it? Howling Cow. Well, I thought it was funny….

Thursday, March 25, 2010

A few moments to type...

Evan is happily gnawing on something or other in the playroom, so I have a few minutes all by my lonesome to type. And I have an ice cold Dr. Pepper with crushed ice at my left hand, so life doesn't get any better.

I've realized that this blog has gotten mighty boring, mostly 'cause I don't feel an aching need to type on it lately. I attribute that to things rolling along at a nice pace, lots of friends, good weather, and a general lack of loneliness. Oh, and books from the library. Those have taken up time as well.

I'm wondering if I initially started writing here because I was lonely and frustrated and just needed to get stuff out. Who am I kidding... of course that was it. I was smack dab in the middle of depressing infertility, and Facebook hadn't been invented yet, and I needed a brain dump. So this blog was started.

But now I am in a great city, I have two tiny boys who needs lots of loving, I have more friends and family around than I can spend time with well, and life is generally quite pleasant. Boringly pleasant. Guess I just don't have as much to say. I'm ok with that. And if 12 of ya have stuck around to read occasionally, I'm alright with that, too. This is still my own little personal corner on the web, and Facebook just isn't that personal feeling to me.

I'm thinking of writing more about the books I'm reading or about the things I'm learning in Bible study, etc., etc. Some days I'm tempted to be grumpy because the things that bother me and that I'd like to vent about, I really can't talk about on here anymore. Too many people I know read it, and somebody would be likely to get offended even if I wasn't trying to be offensive, like they have in the past. Sometimes I have urges to start another, totally anonymous blog, and tell none of my friends and family about it. Those of you with blogs may understand this fantasy.

So, I guess this blog will continue to be boring and uncontroversial because I can't be very controversial anymore. For instance, if I say that I'm frustrated because someone in my life expects too much of me and asks me to do things that I consider big sacrifices at this point in my life, then all of a sudden, I start getting emails from people wanting to know if I'm talking about them. I wanted to write it out, see if someone out there had a little perspective I was lacking on the issue, etc., etc. But that's no longer an option. So I feel shackled and hamstrung. And I will just write about the good bits on here, and the bad bits you'll hear about if you email me. Sigh. Maybe that's better anyway... =)

Monday, March 22, 2010


Hi, y'all. We're having some bee-you-ti-ful weather around here. We spent the whole weekend outside, it seems. Seth had his very first corn dog at the park on Saturday night, and he liked it. I was sooo proud. =)

Evan weighed in at 17 lb. at his 9 month check up. He's started saying real words! His first word that we can tell was related to an actual thing was "kit cat." He got very excited when the cat walked into the room and started repeating it. He can also say his brother's name. Almost every morning, after he nurses, he says, "Set, Set," a few times. It's really early for such good talking, but he's a little conversationalist. He makes lots of excited jabberings and noises all day long.

We have a basket that I've filled with baby toys, and I just move it around to wherever I am during the day. He'll get bored with one toy, and I'll hand him another. He'll make noises like he's cooing his approval of the new amusement. He likes to take things out and occasionally put them back in now.

In unrelated news, I think I've decided that I prefer the casual drop in and impromptu dinner to planning something out. We had a couple of friends eat dinner with us at the last minute on Friday night, and it was so fun and casual. And a neighbor and friend dropped by while on a walk recently, and I really enjoyed just throwing open my door and saying, "Come on in! So glad you dropped by." In our culture, most people plan their lives to the hilt. There are some friends that we have to get on our calendar a month in advance, or we won't see them. I've decided that I'm opposed to this in principle. We should all scrap our calendars and just fly by the seat of our pants, wandering around town, dropping in on people willy nilly. And we should cheerfully bring our dinner over to a friend's house at the last minute and have a potluck with them. The end.

I have no idea if Blogger is going to decide to run all these paragraphs together because I've dared to put a photograph on this post (one reason why I've been more scarce on this blog lately), so I shall stop now. Besides, the small one at my feet is now tired of his plastic giraffe. He's been gnawing on it for awhile, because, oh yeah, he's getting his first tooth!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

How to become a legalistic Christian in 3 easy steps...

Just found this link....

Amazingly easy, isn't it? =) Most of us either tempted to fall into the legalistic ditch or the "sin a bunch so grace may abound" ditch, seems to me...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

First lenten sacrifice...

I've given up desserts for Lent. There is an exception for eating dessert with guests, but snarfing down a box of thin mints all by myself after the kids go to bed is totally out.

This is the first time I've given up something for Lent. And it's been surprisingly hard. I'm not too good at self denial, apparently. Not like I didn't know that already...

But this tiny, insignificant sacrifice in the larger scheme of human things has been illuminating for me. I see where I am a slave to good things taken to excess, and I see how weak and frail I am when fighting off temptation. And when I desire sweet stuff, I have been reminded to pray. (I prayed in the yogurt aisle the other day as I made myself put back the key lime pie yogurt because it would totally violate the spirit of the no dessert policy.) It's good to flex my self control muscles, and it's good to see Christ help me in something small like this...

But I've gotta say that I'm really looking forward to falling into an Easter candy induced coma very soon...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Cheater "Sopapillas"

Hi, all! We've been too busy grousing about lack of sleep and trying to catch up (that would be the royal "we") and enjoying the spring weather (that would be all of us) to do much blogging.

But I thought I'd share my slacker, no plan ahead dessert recipe. This is what you serve the college student you've adopted when you're too tired to make him dessert when he comes over for his monthly dinner. Josh is very long suffering...

Cheater "Sopapillas"

flour tortillas (which I always keep in my pantry)
canola oil
cinnamon and sugar (mixed to taste)
the last couple of scoops of vanilla ice cream at the bottom of the carton =)

Heat a couple of inches of oil in a skillet on medium high heat for a few minutes. When it's good an' hot, put a flour tortilla in there with tongs. It'll fry up nice and puffy and light brown in no time. Take out, let oil drip off, and put on a plate. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar, drizzle with honey, and plop a scoop of ice cream on top. Serve warm and melty....

Friday, March 12, 2010

Things to be thankful for today...

1. That this week is officially over...
2. That Evan is very forgiving and loving, even when I growl at him, bark at him, and generally show him that I'm very exasperated with his __________ (bad sleeping, bad napping, waking his brother up with his over-the-top screaming, knocking over of things with lightning speed, etc., etc. Because, of course, he's out to get me, you know. Yeah, that must be it.)
3. The total awesomeness that is my husband, who is currently upstairs bathing both boys in the same tub. Splash zone!!!
4. Chocolate chip cookie dough...
5. The fact that I could care less that the dust bunnies have taken over upstairs...
6. Two healthy little boys who were very brave at their doctor checkup today. Evan is a healthy 17 pounds, and Seth is my string bean at 27 lb. They both got a shot and handled it very well.
7. A tiny dum dum pop after said shot for the big one.
8. That my husband still thinks I look good, even though my clothes still don't fit, and I carry a decent bit of my extra weight in my face. Because that's where it goes first. And I hate that.
9. Nowhere to go tomorrow.
10. Twinkly lights that are still up.
11. A decent solution to a knotty, nasty problem created by a spiteful (and I really mean that) person at work. Easter plans shall not be ruined after all.
12. That life is not really as bad as this list makes it look. =)

Monday, March 08, 2010

Rice Cooker Black Beans and Rice...

I used my new rice cooker to make black beans and rice tonight. (I got this recipe from Recipe Zzar.) So easy, so cheap, pretty healthy, and so yummy.... I think I'm going to have what I need to make this in my pantry all the time. Even Seth went back for seconds...

I have figured out, though, that my new rice cooker isn't non-stick like my small one, so a nice coating of oil is probably in order next time. No wonder it always sticks a little =)...

Rice Cooker Black Beans and Rice

1 c. rice
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of Rotel or generic Rotel, drained
1 can of low sodium chicken broth (approximately 2 c.)
a handful of frozen corn kernels
a generous dash of cumin and chili powder

Put it all in the rice cooker, stir, and turn it on. Sprinkle cheese on top to serve. I think my rice cooker took about 15-20 min. to make this. Yummm....

Things to put in a glass vase...

I've been lusting after one of these large, clear vases for awhile. I'd walk by them at Walmart, see the price tag, and reluctantly pass on by. Well, the spoils go to the patient, as I've noticed before. I snapped this up at a yard sale this weekend for $1 (along with some bigger snow pants for Evan that we'll use next year, etc., etc.)
What to do, what to do? I contemplated filling it with Easter eggs, but I haven't gotten any yet. But then I found this article. And now I'm brimming over with ideas. It looks a little funky and whimsical, but if you have some pastel yarn, you've got a spring display of sorts. =)

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Bean Soup with Spinach...

Hi, all. Just thought I'd pop on to share a new recipe with you that my mom recently gave me. Cheap, healthy, good.

Bean Soup with Spinach

1 c. chopped bacon or ham (I save ham slices after Easter and freeze them for things like this)
1 onion, diced
2 celery stalks, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1 14.5 oz. can diced tomatos, undrained
2 14.5 oz. cans Great Northern beans, drained and rinsed (don't get the kind cooked with pork, my mistake, try Bush's)
3-4 c. chicken broth (not a typo, you'll see)
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. pepper
several cups fresh spinach, chopped
Parm-Reg. cheese, to taste

(I used the medium shred blade on my food processor for all the vegetables. That made it faster. A larger shred blade might've been a little better, but no biggie.)

Get out your big ol' soup pot. Put chopped ham or bacon in there over med. heat and saute' for 5 minutes, until almost crisp. Add all veggies and garlic, and saute' until soft, about 5-10 minutes. Add tomatos, beans, broth, and seasoning. Bring to boil, reduce heat to simmer, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in chopped spinach. Serve with cheese on top.

Monday, March 01, 2010

My house got messy today...

I'm a bit of a neat freak. Just a bit. (Insert husband laughing hysterically behind me. He's the guy who likes to knock my magazines slightly askew on the coffee table so he can watch me straighten them.)

I blame it all on infertility. See, when I couldn't control anything else in my universe, I could control the state of my house. Three years of that, and you have a woman who likes things neat. Too neat sometimes.

When the toy room floor starts getting covered with stuff, I have to start cleaning up so we can walk. I'm ok with this. It's a safety issue, right? =)

But today, I didn't clean up right away. And it was awesome!

Seth and I played with his bin of pinto beans on the floor in the kitchen, and despite his best efforts, playing with them meant that a lot of beans got on the floor. And I didn't sweep them up. I made him lunch around them and all the cups and cars he was playing with in them. And it was just fine.

We played outside with the roller coaster on the driveway after lunch, and I didn't waste time cleaning up the lunch table before we went out. No biggie.

So after I took him up for his nap, I could look everywhere in the house and see the evidence of our activities. There were the beans and trucks on the floor, there were the crumbs of his grilled cheese sandwich, there was the place on the changing table where he spilled beans after trying to pour his "chocolate milk" (beans) in his baby brother's mouth (Evan's ok, and I'm not freaked out anymore). There were remnants of construction paper on the floor that he cut for me from his first attempt at using scissors. (Should I save them? Maybe...) I could see it all and smile because it meant we'd lived well this morning...

Maybe messy is ok after all...