Tuesday, November 25, 2008


Thanksgiving is 2 days out and I haven't even decided what (or if) I'm going to prepare. It's just the five of us. No family close by. No visitors or friends coming over. A few times in the past we've been invited somewhere - not this year. All of our friends have family close by and are spending the holiday with them, I think. So, my dilemma is, since Jacob is going to be 5 in January, is it time to start our own family tradition for Thanksgiving?

I remember Thanksgivings growing up because my grandma (mom's mom) would always fix a huge feast and everyone that lived in town (many years this also included my dad's mom) would come over for lunch and then spend some time hanging out. Nothing spectacular or extravagant, but the food and fellowship was always wonderful.

I want this for my children, but in reality, Thanksgiving Day for us, isn't really much different than any other meal of the week. The food might be different, but that would probably be the extent of it. Last year we had pizza and watched football, sort of like any regular Saturday during football season, just on Thursday instead.

What would you do (or what do you do if you are in the same boat)? Any traditions you'd like to share?

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Rice, rice, rice

I do not enjoy cooking rice. There, I said it!

Brown rice takes so long to cook and I usually forget to start it in enough time to be done when dinner is ready and that just frustrates me. So I came up with a solution: cook a batch of rice in the middle of the day when I'll be home for a while (ie. nap time).

I try to put it on when the boys go down for naps, that way it's done in just over an hour. Then it has time to cool and I can put it in the fridge before the boys get up (hopefully). Then I don't have to think about it until I am working on dinner and all it needs is reheating!

Here's how I do my rice:

2 cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup water
1 cup brown rice

Bring water to a boil and add rice and give it a stir; Reduce to medium for 5 minutes; Then reduce to simmer for appx. 1 hour (depends on where you live - altitude makes a difference). I set my oven timer for 30 minutes, then check it, just by lifting the lid and looking (yes, I know you're suppose to leave it alone, but I find that it takes different times to cook each time I do it.....). After the first 30 minute check, I set the timer for 10 minutes or more at a time and check until it's done. I realize it takes a little longer this way because I let the steam out every time I take the lid off, but it's better to take longer than have burnt rice - ick.

For more kitchen tips, be sure to visit Tammy!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Rachael is 2 months old!

Yikes! Where has the time gone? She actually turned 2 months last Wednesday, but her checkup wasn't until today... I'll have to admit that this 3rd child thing has me very overwhelmed - but I'm going to attribute that to the fact that Michael has been TDY for 4 out of the last 5 weeks and the 2 year old that is off the deep end right now... However, Rachael is an awesome baby! She's very relaxed and happy! And Hallelujah, she's sleeping thru the night already! Yes, I know, I'm very blessed!

Here's a summary of what she's up to:
* Cooing and making those throaty, chortle-ish noises
* Smiling on purpose - all.the.time!
* Holding her head up for several minutes at a time
* Almost giggling when she smiles
* Starting to show some interest in toys
* Beginning to move her hands around to bat at toys
* Sleeping 8-9 hours straight at night

She's so scrumptious, I just wanna eat her up!

The boys (including daddy) are totally smitten with her, as well!

She looks EXACTLY like Eli (especially when he was this age)!

At her checkup today, she weighed 10lb. 15oz. and is 23 inches long. I find her size amusing because Jacob was 9lb. 15oz. and 23.5 inches at BIRTH!

I posted more pics over here.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Absolute randomness

Back in January, we were in Australia visiting Michael's family, Michael's dad, Andrew, was playing around on YouTube showing the boys crazy videos, and we caught in on a few. Side bar - Michael was born in Australia to Australian parents (yes, he has an accent!!!) - when his mom remarried, she married a man in the USAF. That's how he ended up over here (in case you were wondering....). I'm not sure what prompted me to think about this yesterday, but I just had to share this with you.

Watch the video before scrolling down to my description, m'kay?

Ever heard of the island of St. Martin? It's east of Puerto Rico, in the Caribbean. A popular resort/beach destination. Got it?

So, this is a real airport and there are MANY more videos just like this one of these landings. The first time he showed us a video like this, I thought, "seriously?" That was all I could come up with. After you get over the sheer flabbergastedness (did I just make up a word?!) of this runway, you'll enjoy watching all the videos of the crazy people who stand out there and video the landings and takeoffs.

If you keep looking for videos, you'll come across some that are of takeoffs and the exhaust actually knocks people over..... Who's idea was it to put this runway here?

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My flat iron can do more than straighten my hair!!

After getting dressed recently I noticed a place where the hem was turned up on the denim skirt I had on - it was like that when it came out of the dryer. I was just going to leave it that way because I definitely was not going downstairs, pulling out the iron and board and waiting for the iron to heat, all to iron a 6 inch spot on my skirt (and then put it all away, as well).... that's when I realized I had just unplugged my flat iron and if I turned it all the way up, maybe it would be hot enough to fix that little spot!

I quickly plugged it back in and turned it on before it had time to cool off, waited a minute and then placed it on the spot and 'ironed' the hem of my skirt and it worked perfectly! I'll say this works for me!!

I've since used this little trick on another skirt with the same issue and I'm very happy with my results!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I've been recycling (albiet, half heartedly) for a few months. I'm all for less in our landfills and doing more to help the environment and all, but my trash company only collected 3 categories (newspaper, plastics 1 & 2 and aluminum) and they required it to be separated into paper bags and in a special bin.... So every few days I would have to take my pile of things out to the bin and dump them in the appropriate paper bag. I realize this isn't that difficult, but it was kind of annoying - and lets not talk about the fact that if I chose I could also recycle other items at local places, but I have 3 kids and driving around to make drops at the different locations just didn't seem appealing.

UNTIL..... my trash collector changed their recycling program. I came home 2 weeks ago (on trash day) to discover my recycling bin gone.... ugh. Then I found a flyer on my front door detailing their new no-sort program, that also has a new bin!! In addition to what they already accepted, here's what's been added:
* Corrugated cardboard
* Paper board (ex. cereal boxes)
* Office paper
* Phone books
* Plastics 3-7
* Steel/tin cans
* Empty aerosol cans (with the sprayer taken off)
* Glass bottles/jars
* Magazines

So, I immediately signed up for the program. The new bin is actually a green cart (on wheels), just a smaller size than my trash cart. I'm still waiting on my bin, but it should be delivered this week sometime!

After I see just how much this changes how many trash bags I put out each week, I'll either change my service to be every other week or will do a smaller cart (you're billed differently based on how much trash you put out).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A toy actually worth buying

Shannon at Rocks in My Dryer is hosting a themed edition of Works for me Wednesday this week and I just had to join in this time!

The theme is toys that you have purchased or been given that were actually worth the money spent on them.

My oldest 2 are boys and while the standard Matchbox cars and jet planes are absolutely wonderful, I have found that when they are 'bored' or in need of a change of pace, we break out this:It's a good ole Magna Doodle. But it HAS to be the real thing made by Fisher Price. We have tried the cheap-o store brands and they just don't hold up very well. The Magna Doodles the boys currently have were purchased after Thanksgiving last year and have held up very well. And let me say, they have not been treated the best. They've been dragged around by the cord that attaches the 'pen', thrown, stepped on and just plain abused, but they're still hanging in there.
We use these for everything from learning time (shapes and letters), drawing fantabulous drawings and guessing games (I draw something and they have to try to figure out what it is) and they have provided HOURS of entertainment!
For Christmas they are both getting new ones, so I went out last weekend and bought 2 new Magna Doodles (Target had them on sale for $13.99)!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Politics schmolitics...

I've had just about all I can stand of the anti-opponent ads, the name calling, etc.

I vote by absentee ballot since I'm a legal resident of Florida but live in Colorado (military) so my vote was cast and my ballot mailed in over a week ago.

Here was my (and Michael's) dilemma - we voted for a candidate we didn't really want in office (McCain) to give him a better chance of winning over Obama.

Our real preference would have been to write in Ron Paul or Fred Thompson, however, after agonizing over this, we felt that doing so would be giving Obama a better chance of winning (by giving the only viable opponent less votes). Granted we are only 2 voters, but that's 2 extra voters in Florida and who knows if that will make a difference or not when it comes to the electoral votes.

What do you think? Did we make the right decision in voting for McCain instead of who we really wanted to vote for?

Also, the choice has been made and the vote has been cast so tactful comments would be appreciated. I'm not interested in defending my choice of Fred Thompson or Ron Paul, simply interested in your opinion of the decision we made to vote for someone who was not our #1 choice.

Eli cracks me up!

Let me set the scene:

We were driving to church yesterday and we passed a Wendy's (the same one we pass EVERY time we go to church)...

Note: Eli is only 29 months old and he has an amazing vocabulary and grasp of conversation.

Eli: "That's Wendy's"

Me: "Yes, it is"

Eli: "We eat Wendy's?" (he actually meant he wanted to stop right then and eat there, he must have been hungry!)

Me: "No sweetie, we are going to church."

Eli: "O-Tay"

Eli again: "We eat Wendy's after church?"

At this point Michael and I cracked up laughing because not only was he trying to get what he wanted, but we were amazed that he could think that far ahead and know that after church, the first thing we do is eat lunch!! He's brilliant!

Michael: "If you remind me after church, we'll eat there"

Eli: "O-Tay daddy"

And sure enough, after church when Michael asked him where he wanted to eat (we usually eat at home) he remembered!!