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!