Thursday, December 3, 2009

Selfish Me

I got myself a birthday present.
Nothing much. Nothing (too) frivolous.
It came yesterday.
The best part about online shopping...getting packages in the mail!
And guess what?
Hooray for sales, that's what!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Today's Menu

Cream of Carrot Soup
Celery, Radishes, Olives
Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Mashed Potatoes
Fresh Green Beans
Corn Oysters
Cranberry Sauce
Whole Wheat Rolls
French Salad
with Tarragon Vinaigrette

and for dessert:
Pumpkin Pie
Apple Pie
with fresh Whipped Cream

So yummy!
So many leftovers!

Our nonconformist selves couldn't
handle turkey this year!

Best part? Not even starting cooking till 2pm!

Then we had games,
books, and movie.
And writing on a poster everything we are thankful for.

Hope everyone had as lovely a day!

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Lost in the Crowd

I've always known I don't stand out.
I don't have any defining features.
Nothing spectacular that would make people remember me.
I would HATE it if I did.
Never liked being the center of attention.
But, I was amused this week though when two people confessed they always get me confused with someone else, or two somebody else's.
Just something for me to dwell on incessantly.
Although I also got the reaction from a teenager that I "look 20!" upon them hearing my actual age *gasp*.
I had to laugh heartily at that one!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Wish Me Luck!

Tomorrow I take my first midterm for my nutrition course! I have studied like crazy and HOPEFULLY will do okay.
Well, alright, I'm really not okay with just "okay." I want to do GREAT!
I'll drop the kids off at school, do some last minute looking over notes and head on in!
Is it odd that I get a rush from taking tests?
Maybe I'm just meant to be a perpetual student after all!
And for my reward, you ask?
I think I'll go old school (literally) and buy myself some lovely Pee-Chee folders to keep myself organized!

Monday, October 26, 2009


For about a day our children's books had no home of which to speak.
Don't they look sad?

Friday, October 23, 2009

Move Over Lunch Lady!

I love Fridays.
Well, okay I hate Fridays at 5:30 Friday morning when I have to get up and actually shower before getting the kids to school.
But the purpose of actually showering that early in the morning (the norm is 9am, there, I said it) is that I get to help out in #3's kindergarten class!
It is just too much fun!
I get to hang stuff, staple stuff, glue stuff, play on the floor, read books, do projects.
Not much different than the usual routine at home with #4, but it's only for a couple of hours, and kindergarten kids are so excited about learning! They just love it all!
This morning I even got to play with the school's big and not-so-scary-anymore laminating machine and have an intelligent conversation (often rare around these parts) with the art teacher!
(ahhh, I miss art history...)
Anyway....a couple of weeks ago #3 suggested that I quit my job and get a job at his school (which, I presume means he actually likes that I am there once in a while, even if the other two pretend they don't know me).
I had to explain to him that my job is being a mom and (much as I want to on some occasions) I can't quit!
He had to think about that for a minute then came up with the obvious solution that I get a job, quit that job, and then get a job at the school!
Brilliant!! Why didn't I think of that?
Maybe that's just the change I've been looking for!

Monday, October 19, 2009

The 7-Year Itch

Somewhere in my line of ancestry must have been a wandering nomad. Following the goats where ever they want to roam, packing up all their belongings and carrying them around, living in and amongst nature. I'd love to live that way!
We've been in our wonderful home now for a little more than 7 years. And I LOVE Albuquerque!
On that note...I am just dying to get out of here!
I love, crave and sometimes demand change!
Growing up I moved my furniture constantly, much to the amusement of my parents I am sure. And even now, I can't stand to have the furniture in the same place for longer than a couple of months. Do any of you recall me talking about the switch we made that affected our entire house?
Stuff like that.
In our first five years of marriage we moved 5 times. I loved the freedom, the new places, new faces, new opportunities to learn and grow and become a better person. I loved being able to be in charge of where I was.
And it certainly doesn't help that our house is too small for our family.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

My Morning With A Toddler--By The Numbers

1-half hour of Mr. Rogers
2-pairs of pants he's worn so far today
3-loads of laundry done
4-minutes he sat on the potty (and, nothing)
5-songs we sang
6-times I asked him to not sit in the refrigerator
7-minutes I had all to myself (until now, that is)
8-times I was tackled playing ball
9-minutes I spent running/crawling from or dodging being licked
10-books we read together

What fun!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

All Hallow's Eve

So, it's no secret that I pretty much detest Halloween.
Silly to dress up.
Begging for candy? Really?
Intentionally trying to get scared? Never been a fan.
We dragged our heels on dressing the kids up and taking them trick-or-treating.
#1 was, oh, 4 years old before we gave in.
So it is with reluctance that we still do costumes.
But, here is a preview of what each child will dress as this year.
I, of course, will be the usual Halloween Scrooge.





Pictures of the actual event will come later!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Andean Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Quinoa

I smelled this and barely tasted it at a friend's house one evening, but just knew it would be good. I had asked for the recipe, but she lost it, of course. So I did a search online and found this.
I LOVED this recipe.
First, holy health food Batman! Beans, squash, garlic, onions, tomatoes (vitamins!!)...Meatless (gotta follow that Word of Wisdom thing!)
Second, have you ever tried quinoa??? I believe (and please correct me if I'm wrong) that it is one of the only-if not the only-plant derived protein that is a complete protein. Meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids that our bodies need to function (yea, for my nutrition course paying off!) Usually you only get that with animal products. Plus, it is super easy to fix. And super yummy!

Now, onto the recipe.

Andean Bean Stew with Winter Squash and Quinoa

1 lb dried pinto beans, rinsed and picked over, soaked in 2 quarts water overnight or for 6 hours
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1tbs sweet paprika
4 large garlic cloves, minced
1 bay leaf
14-ounce can chopped tomatoes with liquid
1 lb winter squash, such as butternut, peeled and cut into ¾-inch cubes
½ cup quinoa, rinsed thoroughly
Freshly ground pepper
3 tbs chopped fresh basil or parsley

1. Place the beans and soaking water in a large pot. Add water if necessary to cover the beans by about 2 inches, and bring to a boil, Skim off foam, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 60 minutes, or until the beans are tender but intact. Add salt to taste. 2. Heat the oil over medium heat in a large, heavy nonstick frying pan and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion is tender, about 5 minutes, and add the paprika. Stir together for about a minute, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for a minutes or two, until the garlic and onions are very fragrant but not brown, and stir in the tomatoes and ½ teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down slightly and smell fragrant, 5 to 10 minutes, Remove from the heat and scrape the contents of the pan into the pot of beans. 3. Bring the beans back to a simmer, add the bay leaf and winter squash, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes or until the squash and beans are thoroughly tender. Add the quinoa and simmer for another 20 to 30 minutes, until the quinoa is translucent and displays an opaque thread. Taste and adjust salt. Add a generous amount of freshly ground pepper. Stir in the basil or parsley, simmer for a couple of minutes more, and serve, with cornbread or crusty country bread.

It takes a little time, mainly to cut up the butter nut squash. Unless you have a rubber mallet, which, of course, I don't. Other than that, it just simmers forever and makes the house smell nice and warm, just in time for Fall.
I altered the recipe a tiny bit...I didn't care to wait to soften the beans. And considering my mental state right now, probably would have forgotten to do it the night before anyhow. So instead I just used 2 cans of pinto beans with the liquid and then put a little more water in (maybe about 1/2 inch over the beans, brought to a boil and simmered for about 7 minutes). Then followed the rest of the recipe.
The kids even thanked me for dinner! (Okay they usually do, but not generally when they don't like what we are eating.)
And the cornbread...delish!

Friday, October 2, 2009

Am I Being Set Up?

I know this is a little late in coming...but I loved the General Relief Society Meeting that was broadcast from Salt Lake last Saturday!
I appreciated how straight forward all the talks were in motivating the women of the church. We need to know what is expected of us and what we need to do in order to be of service to the Lord. I much rather be told what I need to do better at, than be told I am doing so much good. Because in truth I'm not!
It seems that at these meetings in the past that's been the main focus..."You are so good! And doing so much service! Hurray for you!!" And then one of two things happens. I either believe them and I get in a mindset that maybe I am doing good, and I start to get lazy and relaxed in my service ("All is well in Zion!"). Or I don't believe them and I feel guilty and as if I am the ONLY person not doing what they are talking about.
I know I can be doing more and doing better!
Sometimes I just need to be gently reminded.
But, last Saturday I also got the feeling that all these talks are leading up to something BIG. A new announcement? A new plan getting put into action? Were we just slowly used to the idea of giving more, streamlining our lives more, to be able to do more for others? I have no idea. And maybe it will just be something big for me (personal revelation, you know).
In short...
I can't wait to hear the talks at General Conference this weekend!

Monday, March 23, 2009

I Will Survive

Spring Break has begun for the kids! I didn't know how I would handle it, especially having been at home with them without a break all weekend while Boyfriend was away.
So far today I have been able to:
Sleep in till 7:30am.
Go through the kids' clothes to figure out what they need to summer.
Read to #3 without falling asleep.
Shower at 1:30pm.
Make a yummy lunch that ALL the kids ate and enjoyed.
Reuse torn pants for #1 to now use as shorts.
Use above mentioned pants to also create and sew and adorable purse for #1.
Endure (without laughing mind you) #1 doing interpretive dance while listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber.
And the days not over! We still need dinner, FHE, and a yummy treat involving crepes and Nutella.
I hope your Spring Break has started as fabulously as mine!!

Saturday, March 21, 2009

"I Feel The Need..."

...The need for CAPRIS!
I've never been much of a "shorts" person, but I love capris. What's the problem, you ask?
I don't have any! I used to and then they all grew too big for me and now I need to go shopping (boo hoo). Any ideas of places to find some?

Friday, March 20, 2009

It is in the thirties that we want friends ~ F. Scott Fitzgerald

Boyfriend is out of town. When he is gone I have a very difficult time sleeping. I just don't feel tired. Maybe I am nervous about being the only adult? Or maybe the idea of being in bed alone just isn't appealing? In any case I didn't get to bed till after 1am (which, incidentally means I had 4 1/2 hours of sleep, but that's a whole 'nother topic!)
Since I couldn't sleep I stayed up and watched "Miss Potter," it just happened to come in the mail when I could watch a nice girly movie, while finishing 2 baby quilts. In the movie Beatrix Potter becomes, as #1 put it so eloquently recently, "fast friends" with her publisher's/lover's sister. When they met the sister said "I have decided you and I will be friends!"
I also read a friend's blog recently when her daughter made friends very quickly with another little girl because she said she was cute!
I only wish I could make friends that easily!!
And in trying to figure out my difficulty, I will use this blog as my therapy (it would be much more comfortable lying on a couch though!)
It takes me a while to open myself up to people and be okay with not being perfect around them. Yet, another issue stemming from my OCD! And, recently it seems, when I finally get to that point of trust, they just move! And I have to start all over again with trusting others.
Lately I have been looking at others as assets in my life. I try to decide what each specific person has to teach me. Maybe there is some reason God put them in my path. And I need to figure out what I can learn from them. That way, even if they do move, I have felt the benefit of there presence in my life and can move on without regrets.
But I want to know what your secrets are? How do you make friends quickly? How do you judge who would be a good friend? Do you have many close friends? How do you maintain those relationships despite busy families, work, etc?
An another note...and speaking of is Fred Roger's birthday!! Happy Birthday Neighbor.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Taking Notice

This morning I did not want to get out of bed. #4 is sick and wasn't sleeping well due to coughing (that's a new symptom) and a stuffy nose (couldn't breathe). And Boyfriend and I were taking turns helping him get back to sleep. But, that doesn't mean that when it wasn't my turn I wasn't awake! So after reluctantly climbing out of bed and waking the kids I had to get started on my day.

Being the crazy woman I am (lets face it...I have issues!) I prefer to have beds made, dirty dishes in the dishwasher, kitchen and dining room wiped down and clean, and the rest of the house straightened up before I leave to take the kids to school at 7:15am. Because we woke up a little late this morning I didn't have time to unload the dishwasher to pile the breakfast dishes in. And being a person who likes to blame others I immediately (in my head) start grumbling about Boyfriend not helping out in the morning and taking off so early for work that he can't do something as simple and helpful as unloading the darn dishwasher!!

So, when I had four minutes to spare before it was time to get in the car and everything else had been accomplished, I finally opened the dishwasher thinking I could at least get some of the dishes put empty dishwasher!!!

And, because I hadn't noticed earlier a few dishes on a towel on the counter that needed a little more drying time before being put away!!! Come to think of it, what had Boyfriend been doing this morning before he left for work? I was so busy worrying about myself and all the things I needed to get done and walking around half asleep, that I hadn't noticed what he had been doing. Maybe, and it turns out to be so, he was unloading the dishwasher!! Thanks Boyfriend!

I sometimes take the same attitude at church meetings. I am so worried about myself and how I am feeling (stressed by the kids usually), or anxious about giving a lesson, etc. That I fail to notice the needs of others around me. I have heard too often recently from people visiting, new and not so new in the ward about how unfriendly our ward is. That no one smiles or says hello or introduces themselves. And I feel so much blame and guilt that I COULD have said hello, if I had not been thinking that nobody was saying hello to me! Or I COULD have smiled if I had not been rushed that morning because of my own selfishness (this is a recurring theme for me). Or I COULD have introduced myself if I had not been so worried about my lesson preparation. And the list of what I COULD have done (SHOULD have done really) goes on and on, as does the guilt along with it.

So, I will try to be better at being aware (not just of the services my darling Boyfriend gives to me) but of the ways I can be of service to others.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some Comfy...


These are things that make me more comfy, how about you?

~Boyfriend's sweats-oh, so comfy and cozy! I took them so often he actually ended up giving them to me. What a sweety!

~Organic Raspberry Leaf Tea- what Boyfriend calls "uterus fiber." But it is marketed as "supporting the female system." I dare you to try it when Aunt Flo is visiting! (And I've heard it also works for inducing labor, if any of you need that sort of thing.) I found it at Whole Foods.

~Brown Bread- Mom used to get this once in a while and I haven't been able to find it, till now. I bought some (at Albertsons) on a whim and smeared on the butter. Mmmmm...

For ultimate comfort I combined all three and was in heaven for a while.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Best Medicine

Recently Boyfriend introduced me to a blog called 1000 Awesome Things. Not long ago there was an entry about crying, as an awesome thing to do...makes you feel better, relieves tension, etc. Apparently women cry an average of 5 or more times a month!!! Am I just emotionally stunted? I haven't had a good cry for over a year! (Last time we had a fight to be precise.) Sure things well-up once in a while (good books, good movies, being moved by the Spirit) but to actually let tears flow? It has to be big.

At least now. When I was a teenager I sometimes forced myself to cry (well, bawl really) when I was feeling stressed. And back then, just about anything would do it, too. A sad movie, a song, I was pretty sappy once in my life. And it worked. I would feel so much better so I can understand the good and relief that comes from crying.

But now? I certainly don't feel pent up. And it's not that I am never stressed anymore. Goodness, no!

But I think I know of a better cure. It is more relieving and more awesome than crying.... Laughing!

I love it and I realize I do it ALL the time (wow, did I ever really laugh as a teenager now that I think about it? Okay there were a couple of car trips with Mom and Sister #1...)

Boyfriend and I make each other laugh constantly (and sometimes we make ourselves laugh too!)

Laughter is more joyful and engages the whole body (when you do it well). Sometimes you just ache after laughing so much. Humor makes you think. Laughter makes you feel better afterwards (which is WAY better than the wallowing that is crying).

Humor and laughter make you more of a positive person and help you look at life in a humorous way. It makes you smile more.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Nevermind Motherhood...

I want to be a grandma!
I am starting on a new project (cause, I don't have to actually finish the other ones first! and there is nothing like having my mind scattered!)
I am making a quilt out of the baby clothes the kids used to wear. I am just cutting squares right now and I still have to wait for #4 to outgrow a few things, so it will take lots of time.
But, I thought I could make this huge quilt that I could put on a spare bed for when my grand children come over and they can see (and sleep under) the clothes their mommy or daddys used to wear. It will be full of stories and memories that we can talk about! Can't wait!

Friday, January 9, 2009

Out of the closet

Wanting to follow Boyfriends stellar example of cleaning his side of the closet, I attempted to do the same to mine.

I first took all the clothes, etc. out of the closet...

I have come to the conclusion I have too many clothes!

I put some in a bin the garage (those more suitable for summer wear), and some in a Goodwill pile (of course those will sit in the garage for months as well, before we actually get around to dropping them off.)

And now I have just the bare essentials. (Although Boyfriend still thinks I have too many!)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I'm Losing It...

um...I should say them.
They have been with me forever, but especially since I was 13.
They have have given me pleasure and pain.
They have nursed my 4 children.
And they are officially gone!!
I have lost a one cup size after finishing nursing #4, and one cup size since losing 20+ pounds, (that's 2 cup sizes if you need the help).
I like losing the weight, but do I HAVE to lose it/them (*huff*)???

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to Normal (?)

What is normal you ask?
Anything than what my life has been like for the past 3 weeks.
I was sleeping in till 7:30am some mornings.
Staying up LATE watching movies with Boyfriend.
Taking a break from studying.
Being ignored by my children while they play with each other.
Not doing laundry (Boyfriend took that over while on vacation.)
Now? Well, today I got up before 6am (*gasp*) to get the kids up and ready for school.
I sorted the laundry, washed, dried; then folded it and put it away.
After working out and showering (I did continue to do both of those, before you think I am completely lazy), I started my new course and finished lesson 1!
(On a side note I have made a goal to finish two courses this year.)
Then I made banana bread with Isaac and we actually got to play with some puzzles and games with Evan. Then we read some books together. (I forgot how pleasant it is to have half my children at school during the day!)
Okay, so we're not actually totally back to normal. Boyfriend does still have another week off work. But you can't expect me to rush back into real life too fast, now can you?