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?