Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Catching Up...

I am sorry that I have been gone from the blog for the couple of months or so. Things have been pretty busy around here. Judah is now completely mobile and takes only one nap a day, so the little bit of down time I did have has shrunk drastically. We have been really busy with Judah's party preparations, my DH traveling for work a few weekends, getting ready to a garage sale, all piled up on top of the busyness of everyday life.

I have several different things that I want to post about and some new pictures to post as well.

I can't believe that November is already here. For those of you that know how much I like to decorate for fall, things have been so crazy I haven't even gotten to start decorating yet.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Tolerable Weather and a Nice Size To-Do List...

First of all, do these lashes not make you jealous? I mean, I wish mine looked like that. Anyway.

I can tell that fall is making its way to us. It was just something in the way that the sunlight twinkled in through the leaves this afternoon. As I sat in the car this afternoon as Judah napped and I made my weekly to-do list, I almost thought I felt a crisp, fall breeze. In truth, it was only my imagination and excitement from not having triple digit temperatures this week. We've just had mid to high 90's and it feels so great comparatively.

The "cooler" temperatures that we have had this week brought Judah and I outdoors twice this week. On Monday afternoon I had Judah's monthly photo shoot, 11 month one, and I couldn't get him to smile. He was in a very serious and contemplative mood. Nothing I did, said, or sang would even make the corners of his mouth turn up the slightest bit.
This afternoon, we once again found ourselves outside, this time outside my DH's work. We walked around and then found a nice patch of grass to play on. Judah is very interested in crawling around in the grass and pulling at the blades. I was able to get a couple of non-serious baby pictures then.
I have a pretty large to-do list going on. On top of the list is putting away the mountain of clean, folded laundry in the laundry room that is teetering on the verge of a chaotic avalanche. We are taking a short trip to Washington DC over Labor Day weekend (my DH is going for work and Judah and I are tagging along), so I am starting on the whole packing process and have implemented the "if you want to wear it on the trip then don't wear it" statute. I have been working on a few sewing projects for Judah that I need to have done by his first birthday. I have some blogging that I want to catch up on as well.
So, now I am off to bed so tomorrow is productive and I can keep up with my busy little fellow.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Showing Some School Spirit...

This past weekend, we had some of my DH's students over for dinner and dessert. We had 15 students over, which made our little house extremely cozy. However, it was fun having them over and getting to meet some of the students my DH teaches.
All but two of the students we had over are freshman. It was funny because for the first time in my life, I introduced myself as "Mrs. _____". I think I truly felt "old" for the first time when I was introducing myself to all of these college freshman.

So in keeping with school spirit, I made some ribbons to go around my drink bucket and tried to make the table look festive without spending a bunch of money.

For dessert I we had a Brownie-Strawberry Triffle, Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies, and some fruit. The school provided Lasagna, Salad, and Breadsticks.
I couldn't believe it, but of the 4 dozen cookies I made only four were eaten and we had 1/4 of the triffle left. I also bought 4 12-packs of various soda, a 12-pack of water, and a couple of containers of Simply Lemonade. Hardly any of the sodas were drank, 1/4 of the lemonade was left, and all but 4 of the waters were drank. I was worried about having enough (especially considering there were 18 year old guys there, but apparently I was wrong.

Good thing we are going to be LIFE Group hosts for church and we can use up the sodas.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Three Quarters of the Way to One...

Yesterday, Judah had his 9 month check-up with the pediatrician. He was so good while we waited for the doctor and he "walked" over to the nurse when she was asking the routine questions.
Judah now weighs 24 pounds and is 30 inches long. He is in the 90th percentile in both weight and height. What is kinda' funny is the fact that Judah loves his veggies and usually acts like you've given him a lemon when we try to give him fruit. The doctor said he has heard that conversation so many time but under opposite terms. My DH said that Judah will be the most popular child in the lunch room saying "I'll trade you my cookies for your broccoli". Judah scored really well in the development test we did. He is right on track, which translates into Judah being interested in everything around him and now having the capabilities to try to check said items out. At least the falling over has slowed down ever so slightly.

I just can't believe my precious boy is 9 months already.

Tubes and Tunnels...

On Monday evening after dinner, we walked over to the playground by our house. Judah did his best to climb around.He tried out the tube slide and the tunnel tube. He was a big fan of the latter and he crawled back and forth from my DH to me and back again.
When Judah would get near the end of the tube, he would start holding one of his hands up for me to hold and then he would stand up as he exited the tube.
We also walked on the moving bridge thing (I am not sure what the real name of it was). Judah thought that it was fun and managed to keep his balance pretty well, holding on to my fingers of course. I can't believe how big he is getting.It was so nice to be out is the fresh air, even if it was a more than a little warm.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A Zoo Day...

On Sunday, we went for a family outing to the zoo.

It was extremely hot out, even though we tried to get there before the hottest part of the day. Here I am trying to bring sunhats back into style and avoiding a sunburn at the same time.
We think that the fish are Judah's favorite part of the zoo. He tends to recognize them and they manage to hold his attention the best.
We also figured out that Judah can last about 1/2 of the zoo. Before we were finished, he was zonked out.Matt and I did manage to get a pretty good self-portrait while the little man was napping though.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Mom aka Grandma...

My mom came for a week long visit over the Fourth. It was so nice to have her here and our time always flies by.
We got to brainstorm ideas for Judah's birthday and do a little bit of crafting. Of course, my mom (aka Grandma) also got to play with Judah as well.

We also went out to dinner to celebrate my mom's birthday, which was on the 11th. Judah helped her open her cards and her gift. We got her the Pioneer Woman Cookbook. I ordered one for myself as well so that we could cook some of the recipes together across the miles. Mine hasn't come in yet, but I can't wait to start cooking from it, I have heard so many good things about it.

I just love this picture, I think it is really good of both of them. I think my mom is so beautiful.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

My Messy Office? Not Anymore...

I survived the office mess. To start with I thought that I might have bitten of more than I could chew, but I managed to get it all put away after all. Here is the after picture of the office. The lone box you see is my donate box.
For the record though, my house cannot hold another piece of furniture in it and I am pretty sure that all of the storage space is maxed out as well. My laundry/storage room is filled to the ceiling.
I did manage to keep my crafting stuff somewhat accessible, which my DH said was a must. He said if I put it all away in crates, I wouldn't touch again. So, with his help we reworked the bookcases in the office so I could put the books that were in the below bookcase out in the office. Then I filled the recently emptied bookcase with fabrics. One of these days I am going to start on that long list of projects I have to complete. For now, I am trying get crib rail covers sewn for my teething little boy's crib.

I also found some great sheets that I am wanting to use to redo our bedroom with. I am doing a room makeover on a tight budget and I was sooo excited to find some twin Ralph Lauren floral sheets (the same print as the comforter in the picture) for $8 each at Marshall's. I am wanting to make some pillowcases, a bedskirt, and some valances out of them. I was thinking about trying to find a queen sheet to make a shower curtain out of, but my DH said we might should do our bedroom first and make sure it isn't too much of the same print. I will have to put some before pictures of our room and then some after ones (once I actually change it up).

Speaking of before and after pictures, I had to wonder what possessed me to put up pictures of the office in such a mess. However, I figured out that it served to be great motivation to get the office finished. I needed to be able to post the cleaned up after pictures quickly so that my office didn't go down in blog-infamy looking the way it did in the before pictures. So, you just might see more before after pictures around here.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Flying Again...

Well, the office/laundry room is almost finished getting reorganized. In fact, the laundry room is done and now I am finishing up the overflow in the office. I hope that I manage to get the office finished by the end of the day and have pictures tomorrow.

This week, I am really wanting to get back to the basic FlyLady zones. I understand that I am not going to be able to go over it with a fine-toothed comb as I have previously done, but I do want to do the big things.

My mom is coming for a visit at the end of the week (Yay!) and I want the house to be nice when she gets here. My DH's parents will be here later on in the month, so I hope that I can carry on my zoning until they arrive. I just hope this little FlyBaby can manage to keep flying and get back in the FlyLady routine of things.

Judah is getting so close to walking. He is crawling all over the place and pulls up anytime he can. He is still learning that once he pulls up he can't just let go. I am learning that falls come with the territory, but I am hoping I don't have a heart attack before he gets the hang of it. I constantly feel my heart jumping into my throat and am always wondering whether or not the last little fall gave him a concussion. (Those of you that have gone through this, did you feel the same way or is it just me?) I am seeing how much Judah bases his reaction on my reaction so I am trying not freak out every time.
I am currently taking a little rest with my sweet little boy napping nestled right up next to me. He is having a snuggle day today. I think one of his top teeth is about to break through because he is kinda' unsatisfiable today. When I set him down, he just crawls over to me and starts pulling up on my legs. So, snuggle day it is and I am cherishing these moments.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Invictus Movie Review...

This past weekend, my DH and I had the chance to watch Invictus. I was completely unaware of the story that was portrayed, other than what I had previously gathered from the movie's previews. I don't want to give away too much information and ruin the movie for you, but here is a general overview.
The story is about the underdog South African rugby team, the Springboks, and Nelson Mandela's encouragement/inspiration to the team captain leading up to the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

In the development of the rugby story, the relationships between the English South Africans and the native South Africans come to life and how Mandela mediated between them.

The title of the movie comes from a poem that Mandela used as inspiration for himself and later passed on to Francois Pienaar, the Springbok's captain. The poem, titles "Invictus", was written by William Ernest Henley.

From a Christian perspective, the poem has questionable assumptions, primarily the closing lines (which are the summation of the movie).

"I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul."

These lines brought up a discussion between my DH and I about the validity of these lines. In regards to a Christian interpretation, I understand it to mean that an individual can choose whether or not to let a given situation be the cause of ruin for their life. In the case of Mandela, even though he spent 27 years imprisoned he didn't resign himself to being the victim for the rest of his life.

The movie wasn't without some bad language, but overall was had good content. To get a better review on objectionable content, you can go to Focus on the Families Plugged In Review.

I am curious if any of you saw Invictus? What did you think of it?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Mobility and Cleaning Out...

Around here, things have been steadily busy.

This last week, I work on cleaning up the bathroom closet and the hall closet. They are both catch-all closets and the hall closet was so full I couldn't get my vacuum cleaner back in it. Now they are cleaned out though. Here are a couple of pictures of the bathroom closet.A couple of weeks ago, I went through Judah's room and cleaned out all of the stuff he had outgrown because I was running out of space for current stuff. There is a nice size pile of stuff currently stacked up in the office. I need to condense my craft stuff so I can rearrange some of our stuff to get everything put away. Here is a before/current picture of the office and laundry room, hopefully I will have some after pics by the end of the week.
Judah, in addition to walking around in his walker, is crawling and regularly pulling up now. Judah has also hit that extremely busy and trying to get into everything phase. Couple that with the fact that he finds the stuff that he has outgrown, mainly his infant swing and moses basket, very interesting and you can see why it is imperative that I get the office back in order. Here are a couple of pictures of my busy little boy.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Caribbean Black Bean Soup...

Several months ago I discovered a new favorite soup recipe. It is really easy to make and tastes so good. The only downside to the recipe is that it takes a little more than 2 hours to cook, but because of that you don't have to cook the chicken beforehand like in most recipes. I usually make a double batch so I can put some extra meals in the freezer. It tastes just as good reheated.

The recipe is from the September 2008 issue of Southern Living. It has some orange juice in it, which gives it a hint of the Caribbean. It tastes great served with Lime Tortilla chips and some diced avocado on top.

Caribbean Black Bean Soup

1/2 cup diced onion
2 Tablespoons Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 (14-ounce) can fire-roasted diced tomatoes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup orange juice
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 pound chicken breast tenders
2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, drained
1/2 teaspoon salt
(Optional toppings - Lime Tortilla chips, diced avocado, chopped cilantro)

Saute onion and next 4 ingredients in hot oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat 2 to 3 minutes or until onion is soft and fragrant. Add garlic, and cook 1 minute.

Stir in tomatoes and next 4 ingredients until well blended. Stir in chicken. Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook 2 hours. Shred chicken with two forks in Dutch oven. Add black beans, and cook 10 more minutes. Stir in salt. Serve with desired toppings.

You can freeze any leftovers in an airtight container to have later. If needed you can add water or chicken broth when reheating to reach desired consistency.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Banana Pudding...

This past weekend, the grocery store had bananas 4 pounds for $1. My DH and I both looked at each with the same shine in our eyes, the thought of banana Pudding.

So Sunday afternoon, I made Banana Pudding under Judah's supervision, of course. Being that the recipe makes many more servings than two people should eat, we made up several small batches and then delivered them to our neighbors.

I wanted to share the recipe I use. It is the one that my mom uses and I think she got it from my Gram. So to me this is the way that Banana Pudding is supposed to taste. Haha! This recipe does use a little sour cream, which adds to the richness of the pudding while also toning down its sweetness just a tad.

Banana Pudding

3 pounds of ripe bananas
1 small package of banana cream instant pudding
2 small packages of vanilla instant pudding
5 cups of milk
1 (8 ounce) container of sour cream
1 large container of Cool Whip, divided
1 box of vanilla wafers

Peel and slice bananas. Set aside.

Whisk together all puddings, milk, sour cream, and 1/2 container cool whip in a large bowl.

Layer banana slices, pudding, and vanilla wafers. Top with remaining cool whip, adding a few drops of cold milk for spreading consistency. Refrigerate until time to serve.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Dry Eyes...

So I recently got a very handy new kitchen tool/accessory. They make me look a little funny, like maybe a cross between a biker chick and a snowboarder, and Judah just stares at me when I wear them.
Have you seen these before??? They are onion goggles.

I don't know about you, but onions make my eyes burn like something crazy. I get so teary-eyed that I can't see what I am cutting and then my nose starts getting the sniffles too. It's is awful. In fact I used to hate to cut up onions. But not any more...

I saw Paula Dean wearing them one time on her show a while back and wanted a pink pair. Well, I got some for my birthday and I have been using them for about a month now. They work great. In fact earlier when I started smelling the onion as I was cutting it up, I was mentally preparing myself for me eyes to burn. They never did though.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

The New Normal...

Hello to you, that is if there are still any blog readers out there!

Since October, my life has changed in so many ways. What used to be the normal routine and
activities for me is either no longer or morphed into something different. Somehow in the back of my mind, I figured that I would still vacuum my house everyday, sew fun things, keep up with the laundry, make gourmet dinners, blog regularly, keep up on weekly FlyLady zoning, and spend all of Judah's waking hours playing or nursing him.

I realize that I had unrealistic expectations, especially considering that if Judah is awake I could care less about hobbies in light of playing with him.

I am settling into a new routine. I've figured out that if nothing else, keeping up on the laundry helps me not get too overwhelmed by my potential to do list. Judah and I have a system worked out for vacuuming. I carry him on one hip while I vacuum the house. He doesn't mind the noise then and I don't mind carrying him. Judah likes to play on the floor in his bedroom while I fold his diapers and put away his clothes. We read, do some "baby yoga", exchange "sugar", and play. Judah hangs out in his exer-saucer or plays with his daddy while I fix dinner. We have been trying to spend a few evenings a week in the back yard, enjoying God's creation before it gets too hot.
Judah also got a snazzy walker last week. He follows me around the house as I empty clothes bins and put away the odds and ends around.
I hope to be a little more regular with my posts. I have a whole list of things I want to write about and share. Not to mention catch up on many of your blogs. Hopefully as I begin to finally feel like we are in our new groove, I will be a better blogging friend.

I am curious, what housekeeping activity is your "when all else fails at least _______ has to be done" chore?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Living Room Redo...

Judah is now to the point where he is really close to crawling. However, we have hardwood floors all throughout our house which makes learning to crawl complicated on two accounts. The first, Judah's feet just slip around and he would quickly give up trying. Second, when he would slip he would come very close to hitting his face on the hard floor.

So this past weekend, my DH and I went on the search for a rug for the living room. After purchasing/returning 4 rugs, I found the one I liked. The next task was making the rug work in the living room. I looked for some before pictures of the room but I couldn't find any.

We moved the loveseats this way and that way. The armior was moved up and down the wall. Finally we decided to try it a comepletely different place and it worked PERFECTLY. I am going to do a small collage of pictures on the wall next to the armior and over the brown loveseat.

Friday, April 16, 2010

From Garden to Puree..

One of the big things that I knew I wanted to do when I was expecting Judah was start a garden so we could grew veggies to turn into Judah's baby food.

In January/February my DH put in some spinach, carrots, leaf lettuce, and English peas. Well, we have had two delicious salads from our leaf lettuce so far and harvested the first little bit of spinach.
I was able to make several weeks worth of baby food from the spinach my DH thinned out. I made some plain puree and tried out a fancy one from the cookbook Top 100 Baby Purees by Annabel Karmel.
The recipe we used had sweet potatoes, peas, and spinach. You cooked it until soft and then pureed it.
I am using ice trays to freeze them into individual portions and then popping them into a Ziploc bag after they are frozen.
It is working like a dream.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Adoption Fundraiser...

Over the last few years, I have made some new friends. Some I get to catch up with at local coffee places or cafes, others I catch up through their blogs and have never met face to face.

One of my blogging friends is Mrs. U. I "met" her about two or so years ago. They have such a sweet family and are in the midst of adding to it through adoption. She is having a Blog Party to help raise funds for their adoption.

Head over to her blog to get the details on how you can help out...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Baby Booties Cake...

At the beginning of last month, one of my DH's coworker's wife was given a baby shower. The theme of the shower was Victorian. They are having a little girl, but the mom isn't a really big fan of pink.
So, I came up with a cake design to fit the theme and the colors. I made some little Victorian baby booties for the top of the cake out of gum paste.
The cake turned out a little brighter green than I had originally planned. I had wanted more of a light sage color.