Tuesday, October 30, 2007

odds and ends

...The 142 pumpkin whoopies went to the Fall Festival and everyone who tried them loved them. There were way too many leftover but thanks to my neighbors who really loved them, I didn't get too many back.
Boiling eggs was for the egg race. I agree with Justin. I thought boiling eggs was silly for a game that no one really liked. Oh well.
I didn't tell you that the pumpkin Rhett and I carved won 2nd prize at the Festival. Oh yeah! I'll show you a picture of it on my Halloween post tomorrow. It was a great one!
Today, I heard on the news that not making your bed is actually healthier for you. Dust mites don't like the dry environment. If you are neat and tidy and make it, then the dust mites will be loving the warm, moist sheets. Ewww. Good thing we rarely make our bed around here!

Seriously, I don't make a big deal about making beds. Usually we don't have time. Sometimes around the middle of the day, we might get to it but that is only on weekends when Seth is home and he is the one to do it. :) Oh and when we have guests. Of course.
Rhett and I also made a turkey for a school project. It is hilarious and cute. I'll show you a picture of that too sometime.
Noah actually got sick of wearing his Pokeman costume. He has worn it at least 4 times and it is not even Halloween yet. So today, at his Halloween party, he is wearing Spider-man. Thank Goodness I saved those old costumes!
I've got to go to the party and help so have a great Tuesday!!

Monday, October 29, 2007


...This weekend was filled with baking, boiling eggs and getting ready for the Fall Festival. Two of my neighbors and I worked hard and it was a success! I think everyone had a great time, especially the kids.

This week is going to be busy: making a turkey with Rhett for school, Halloween party for Noah, Trick or Treating, Book Fair, Open House for Noah, Parent/Teacher Conference for Rhett, and I still need to clean my house from last week!

I really can't believe November is here this week.

Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 26, 2007

that's a lot of whoopie

...I mentioned yesterday that I was going to make Pumpkin Whoopie Pies for the neighborhood Fall Festival on Sunday. What I forgot to mention was that I would be making 144 of them.

I am just now realizing that is CRAZY!

Guess what I'll be doing tomorrow?


Thursday, October 25, 2007

subbing, fires, and food

...Today I was a sub teacher at Noah's preschool. I spent half the time in the 3-4 year old class and the rest of the time with Noah's class. What a difference a year makes. The 3 and 4 year old class were still unsure of themselves whereas the older 4 and 5 year olds knew they were the big kids. That class is all boys too so it was more competitive and "look at me!!" Noah was great though, even with his mom in the class. :) I had a lot of fun. It was good for me to do something out of the norm. It is always good to change up your routine every once in awhile.

So these fires in California are so terrible and sad. I really have a heavy heart about it. But I love how people come together and help during tragedies. I wish people wouldn't need things like this to remind them that there is something great about helping others and being kind and caring.

Fall is here in full force with cold weather and wind so I have been in the mood to cook! I made a lasagna last night and also made breaded pork chops the other night. I am still using the Deceptively Delicious way and adding vegetables to things and trying to make healthier choices. The lasagna had spinach and although the boys weren't happy about it, they ate it, if only because of dessert. Hey, whatever works.

I am also in the mood to bake and one of the things I made last week was Pumpkin Whoopie Pies from Rachael Ray's magazine. They were so yummy! I am going to make them again for the neighborhood fall festival on Sunday and I am so excited to eat them again. Seriously, these were so easy and quick and delicious. But anything with cream sandwiched in between two cookies is good, right?

have a great day!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


...Is it a sign that one shops too much when catalogs from toy companies (i.e. Fisher Price, Hasbro) come directly to your house?

Is it a sign that one needs to find a life when those said catalogs are looked at cover to cover like a really good book?

Just wondering...

Monday, October 22, 2007

this is

...This is the playset that we got for our boys (and for me) to swing and have fun.
This is Noah and Rhett's reactions to the playset we got for them to swing and to have fun.
This is the wonderful surprise that we found by taking a side road to Turner Falls on the way to Fort Worth for our weekend of fun. Beautiful.
This is the first thing the boys wanted to do when we got to Fort Worth Stockyards because it was a longhorn and they thought their Grandmom would love it because she is a big UT fan. The longhorn's name: Pecos Bill.
This is the cowboy hat that Rhett wanted so badly when we got to the Stockyards (I bought one too!) This is Noah who bought....a rubber yo-yo frog. Sigh.
This is the friendly cowboy who said, "Howdy" to the boys during the longhorn cattle drive that we watched at the Stockyards during our weekend of fun.
This is the Botanic Gardens, which is where I wanted to go during our short little trip to Fort Worth. The Conservatory was neat. This is the waterfall that was there. But the Japenese Gardens is what we liked the best. It was peaceful, beautiful and serene. It had a meditation garden, lots of bamboo, a huge koi pond and many interesting things.
This is just funny. (found at the Japanese gardens)
This is just funny too. This is at the Fort Worth Zoo where we met Seth's brother and his family and spent 4 hours looking at animals and trying to keep a hold of our animals, I mean, kids. Noah and I found these turtles and they just look hilarious.
This is Matthew, Noah, Rhett and Sara who had a lot of fun together. They all got tired and cranky (but then again, so did the adults) but we all had a great time. I am glad that we met them during our weekend of fun.
And this is to my friends in the Fort Worth area: Sorry we didn't call and see if we could visit you. It was really a quick trip and we were already meeting family there. I thought about all of you though when we were stuck in traffic and wished and hoped that you didn't have to do that every day. The traffic was terrible. I think I have become quite spoiled. Oklahoma City does have traffic, but not to any degree of what Dallas/Fort Worth has.
Anyway, this is me, signing off so I can enjoy one more day of Fall Break. My neighbor brought over some corn chowder and since it is rainy and cold outside, I am going to enjoy every bite.
Have a wonderful day!

Friday, October 19, 2007


...Fall Break is here! The boys are loving it and so am I! So is Seth because he took vacation! Yea for us.

The boys are also loving their playset. I will get pictures up here on Monday or Tuesday. Feeling lazy today.

Loving the weather. No tornados the other day but a strong hail storm which was neat to watch. It was over in 10 minutes.

Week 1 of the DD food plan is considered a success. We are eating more veggies! Yay! I feel so much healthier already!

We are planning a weekend o' fun so today is the day we get everything done so we can have our weekend o' fun. We are going to take my Tahoe in to fix the speedometer today too. Sometimes it freezes up on me. At the most inconvient times. (Of course). So this weekend it gets fixed.

I have noticed that the boys are actually having conversations about things other than tv shows, toys or an unfairness that has been committed. The other day I heard this:

R: Man, the weather was so weird today.
N: It really was, Rhett!
R: This morning it was really foggy outside.
N: It was so foggy!

And that was it, but I was excited. :)

Have a great weekend!!!

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

everything I love: surprises, food and birthdays!

...Today is a weird day, weather wise. We have a tornado watch for the entire day! It is very eerie feeling outside too. And, two men are in my backyard, right now, trying to put together the play set that we bought for the boys (Surprise!) I am very excited for this play set. One, because it has swings and Noah and I (uh, I mean Rhett) love swinging. Ok, I mean me. I love swinging and that brings me to Two, this play set is strong enough for adults to play on it too! Three, we had a play set in Midland and the boys played on it a lot so I am so happy that we are going to have one again. Plus, if we move, this thing is going to come with us. It has a lifetime guarantee and the company will move it for us. Excellent! So, I am hoping that it will be put together before any major weather happens. Mainly, I don't want those men to get caught in the storm. Of course, I will let them in, but you know what I mean. :)

Sherry asked if I could post a recipe from the Deceptively Delicious cookbook. I will do better than that. I will post a recipe from that book and also my Mom's Manhattan Meatballs that I added puree to. Your son will love these meatballs, Sherry. Every man and boy who has ever tried these meatballs love them.

Note: To puree, roast or steam vegetables (I roasted the butternut sqaush for about 45 minutes and steamed the carrots and spinach) then puree them in a food processor. Add a little water with the carrots and spinach to make it creamy. The cookbook comes with all the instructions on how-to puree.

Manhattan Meatballs

1 lb ground beef
1 lb ground sausage
1/2 c chopped onion
2 eggs
2 c bread crumbs
1/2 c butternut squash puree
salt and pepper to taste
dried parsley (a big pinch)

Mix beef, sausage, onion, eggs, bread crumbs, puree, and seasonings together. Make into meatballs and brown in a pre-heated skillet. Place into a baking dish.

For sauce:
1 c apricot preserves
1/4 c carrot puree
1/2 c barbeque sauce

Mix together and pour over meatballs. Bake for 30 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Serve with rice or couscous or noodles.

Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious Brownies
Note: These brownies will only get better. The first one is good. Then on the second day, you will find that it is even more delicious. By the third day, you are hooked! Be sure to let them completely cool, so that the spinach flavor totally disappears. I sprinkled powdered sugar on mine. So yummy!

Nonstick Cooking Spray
3 oz semisweet or bittersweet chocolate
1/2 c carrot puree
1/2 c spinach puree
1/2 c firmly packed light or dark brown sugar
1/4 c unsweetened cocoa powder
2 T trans-fat-free-soft tub margarine spread (I used Canola Oil instead)
2 t pure vanilla extract
2 large egg whites
3/4 c oat flour or all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat an 8x8-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
2. Melt the chocolate in a double boiler or over a low flame. (I melted it in the microwave)
3. In a large bowl, combine the melted chocolate, vegetable purees, sugar, cocoa powder, margarine (or oil), and vanilla, and whisk until smooth and creamy, 1-2 minutes.
4. Whisk in the egg whites. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt with a wooden spoon.
5. Pour the batter into the pan and bake 35-40 minutes. Cool completely in the pan before cutting into 12 bars.

Makes 12 brownies
Info: 133 calories per serving, 3 grams of fiber.

(from Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld, pg 156)

Today we celebrate another birthday in my family (3 in a row!). Happy Birthday to Gran Valoris! I talked to my dad last night and my mom made him an apple cobbler so he was happy. :)

I hope you have a fantastic Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

the healthy way of living

...It is a challenge to eat right, stay active and have a healthy state of mind. I say this only because for the last month, when I was not feeling well, I did not do any of those things. I was too tired to cook good meals for my family, so we mostly had quick (i.e. frozen or take-out) meals. I did not feel good enough to work out or do yoga or anything for that matter. And when you don't feel good, you obviously don't have a healthy state of mind.

Last week though, I had had enough. I ordered a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife) called Deceptively Delicious and I love the idea of it. Basically, you puree vegetables and then put them into recipes that your kids already love. But it makes those things really good for you. So I decided to try it. Friday morning, Noah and I went to the grocery store and bought all kinds of vegetables (cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, squash, spinach and sweet potatoes) and then came home and started steaming, roasting and pureeing. Noah thought everything was smelly and gross and just wanted to make banana bread. So after I got everything pureed, including some fruits as well, we made the banana bread recipe from the book. I snuck in some cauliflower puree in with the banana so Noah would not know. Let me tell you, he licked the spatula clean. Loved the batter. The bread is wonderful, especially with peanut butter.

I also made the brownies (with spinach and carrot puree). Seth thought they weren't sweet enough, but I really love them. I especially love them because they are low-fat, have some nutritional value and they taste good. The boys loved them as well. I am excited by this point.

Now some of the recipes the boys haven't gone for. The sloppy joes weren't as good as the ones I usually make and they didn't like the mac and cheese but I have found that you can add these purees to a lot of your own recipes.

Mom's famous meatballs: I added butternut squash in the meatball mix and carrot in the barbeque sauce.

Barbeque chicken: I added carrot in the barbeque sauce as well.

Tacos: Add crushed tomatoes to your meat instead of just water with the taco mix.

I am very optimistic about this. I love that there are ways to get your kids to eat healthier without forcing them to eat something they normally would never eat. I love that the purees are easy to add to your food. I love that they really make you feel satisfied. (Normally, after I eat a brownie, I want another one. Chocolate is addictive for me. I feel like I can't have enough. One brownie from this book was perfect. I felt satisfied. I didn't need another one.)

I was so excited about this I decided to cook all the meals for the week on Sunday. And I loved that too. Now we have good meals prepared and I won't be rushing around at 5:30 wondering what I could make that is quick.

I am going to keep this going. I want to keep this going. For my family, especially the boys. And I recommend the cook book. It is fun to look at and read and I love when cookbooks are fun. That makes cooking more fun for me.

Happy Birthday to my dad today! Dad, we love you and hope you have a great day!

Monday, October 15, 2007

oh yeah...Blog Action Day

...On Saturday I posted that Monday is Blog Action Day and then I forgot! Anyway, Blog Action Day is a day where bloggers post about a single issue to create awareness. The issue for this action day is the environment.

My husband jokingly refers to me as "Conservation Girl" but the truth is, I am not nearly as close to being the conservationist as I want to be. But here is where we are now:

1. We have now replaced half of our lightbulbs with the energy-efficient kind.
2. We now recycle full time. All paper, cans and plastic go in the recycle bin.
3. I waste no bottled water. If we happen to forget that we have bottled water (in the car, around the house) and it is no longer what I call drinkable, we water the plants with it. And yes, we don't buy bottled water that often anymore. Just for the kids' lunches and if we plan on having company.
4. I am letting 4 of our magazine subscriptions run out. (2 for the kids and 2 for me). That leaves us 4 magazines left. (I just realized that we have 8 subscriptions to magazines. Yikes. Of course, 2 are new subscriptions that I bought from my son's fundraiser, so we never had 8 all the time.) Oh and we recycle those. Or pass around. :)
5. I tell my husband all the time that we should plant bamboo. Somewhere. He thinks I am kidding. ;)
6. I try to get all my errands done all at once, in an effort to save gasoline. It is still hard and I still find myself going to and from my house a lot because of school and swimming and such, but I am working on it.
7. I secretly praise my husband or myself ever time we sweep up the grass after mowing. We don't use a leaf blower and never have. Yea for us.
8. I unplug my cell phone charger if I am not using it.
9. My mom will attest to the fact that we keep our thermostat at 78. Seth would put it at 79 if he could.
10. I am spreading the word to conserve. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle!

And if you haven't read my first post of today, read on...


...Noah's school celebrated Oklahoma's Centennial Birthday last Thursday. They even got their picture made for the newspaper! Then they had a parade around the gym, waving Oklahoma flags, blowing on kazoos and wearing Wally the Worm glasses (he is the mascot of the school). I love that my boys get to celebrate the state's historical birthday. It is pretty cool.

Speaking of cool, the coolness factor went way down in our house on Saturday night. We went to a costume/birthday party and Seth got the idea for us to dress like nerds! The coolness factor went even furthur down when we realized it took us virtually no time at all to look like nerds. Seriously, no time.

I wish you could have seen the bottom half of our costumes. I had knee high socks and a kleenex sticking out of my shorts for allergies (unfortunatly, I really had to use it because my nose ran all night!) Seth wore white socks with his dress shoes and don't you love his teeth? (Oh, Krista and Mom, do you see my bangs? I wasn't lying when I told you I was going to get them! And when they don't look like this, I really like how I look with them. ;) )

Anyway, everyone loved our costumes. They even said we were the best couple's costume. After awhile, I took my glasses off and then I got a scare. Someone thought I came as Britny Spears! Aaaaahhhh! Hee. Hee.

The yellow things are my sons. Rhett is Frankenbob Squarepants. I made that little ditty myself! He wore it for exactly 2 minutes. Oh well. There is still Halloween night. Noah is Picachu from Pokeman. And no I don't know if that is how you spell that or not or even what Picachu does.

The boys have 3 days of school this week and then it is fall break! And they are getting a big surprise (well, they sort of know, but you don't, so isn't that still a surprise?) on Wednesday, hopefully. I will be sure to let you know when it happens. :)

Be sure and have a good day. And remember to recycle old magazines. I did that over the weekend and I feel so good about myself. Oh and I also made all of this week's meals on Sunday. I am so happy about that! Not only that, they are good for us! I'll have more about that another day...

Lastly, my nephew turns 7 today. Nicolas, I cannot believe you are 7 already. I still remember when you came to meet Rhett for the first time (you were 4 months, Rhett was 2 months old). Now you are a rocking 1st grader! You have a high coolness rating in our house. :)

Saturday, October 13, 2007

i'm this kind of blogger

What Kind of Blogger Are You?

Blog Action Day is October 15. That's Monday! See you then!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

just rolling along

...Let's see, this week

*Seth and I had a touch of the flu. His was really worse than mine (isn't that always the case thougth?)
*Both boys were in charge of snacks for a day at their schools. This is a big deal. Picking out the right snack is very important. You can make or break your coolness by bringing the right or wrong snack. Stressful.
*Rhett lost his lunchbox. Again. Sigh. This is because his teacher (God bless her) has a rule about no lunchboxes in their backpacks. Ok. I agree, sort of. In the morning, when their lunchbox is full of yummy, juicy things, don't put it in the backpack so no messes will take place in there. But, in the afternoon? After lunch? When the lunchbox is empty? And little kids can leave their lunch box here or there? Please can we put it in the backpack then? Please?
*I found out the reason Noah does not want to go to Enrichment. Because he misses me. Let's say it together now: Awwww. But, really, I am thinking, "Come on Noah! Go out and enjoy life, my sweet, sweet boy!" So today, he is going to Enrichment. Only because they are making cookies. So, yes, cookies win over time with mommy. And I can understand that. :)
*The boys started their third session in swimming lessons. And I am so excited for them. They are getting really good! No more staying at the shallow end for us!
*Noah's school is celebrating Oklahoma's birthday (100!) this week. I think the actual birthday is next month. Anyway, Noah comes home from school every day saying, "It's Oklahoma's birthday today!" Funny.
*Oh! Because of the dog show on Friday, which went very well, Scout was awesome, Rhett is no longer afraid of her or Brinkley. He is playing with them again and I am so relieved. His teacher really knows what she is doing. See, she sent home a paper explaining 6-year old behavior and one of the things on there was that a lot of 6-year-olds are afraid of dogs. So she had a whole unit on dogs and a dog show. Smart woman.

I think that is it for now. Have a wonderful Thursday!

Monday, October 08, 2007

What are they saying now?

...Today both boys learned about Columbus. Rhett even made a cool 3 boats on waves which I was very impressed with. So at supper, I asked them about ol' Christopher.

Me: What did you learn about Columbus today?
Rhett: He sailed in 3 ships.
Me: Why?
Rhett: Because he wanted to.
Me: Well, what did he find?
Noah: Indians! And you know what? They were naked!
Rhett: Yeah, because back then...
Noah: Rhett! Don't interrupt me!
Noah: You know what they wore back then? They wore skins of cheetahs, not clothes.
Me: Oh. I did not know that.
Noah: Yeah. Cheetah skins.
Me: So, what did Christopher Columbus find besides the Indians?
Rhett: Umm.
Me: Why do Americans celebrate Columbus day?
Rhett: Because he liked to sail?
Me: Was it because he discovered America?
Rhett: Oh. Yeah. Sure.

That is still the story right?

Friday, October 05, 2007

If there was a trophy, Scout would be a winner!

...I know my blog has been lacking any substance as of late, and that won't change with today's post. Sorry. :)

Today Noah and I are taking our boxer, Scout, to a dog show at Rhett's school. This is a little worrisome to me. Not that Scout is a bad dog, she is not. She is a very sweet, loving dog who sometimes gets so excited that she is around other people that she jumps on them. I also don't know how she will act around other dogs. I don't think she will be territorial because it won't be at her house, but I hope she won't bark or growl at the other dogs. I am also a little unsure of how Rhett will be. He has been a little afraid of dogs lately. Any dog, even ours. He doesn't like to be near them. Yet, he has told me over and over that he wants Scout there. So we'll see. But I do know that Scout is a beautiful dog and everyone who sees her loves her.

And, no, I didn't even think of taking Brinkley. I would be crazy to take that over-hyper, can't control even with a leash, slobbery, huge lab-something else mix. Love him but only from afar. Just kidding. I do love him. Really. But still not taking him.

Noah asked this morning if there would be a winner at the dog show. I told him I didn't think that it was going to be a contest, just a show. He was disappointed.

Rhett said he thought the whole school would be there at the dog show. Again, disappointment when I said that it was just his class.

I would take pictures, but with my sore arm (yes, still with that tetanus shot!) it will take all my strength just to control my dog. So you'll just have to imagine how things will go. Paint a good picture for me, will you?

Thursday, October 04, 2007

hint hint

...This morning after Rhett had breakfast, I catch him dragging his laundry basket, full of his dirty clothes, through the living room. I look at him and he says, "Mom. This is getting a little full."

Hmmm...is that a hint or what? :)

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

a little catch-up

...I need some Advil PM. I just saw a commercial for it. Maybe it will help me sleep through the night. You see, every day since last Monday, my arm has been so achingly sore from the Tetnus shot that I got, that I cannot sleep through the night. Lesson here is: If you ever have to get a Tetnus shot, get it in your hip, not your arm.
So the new tv season is upon us. I am so glad to be watching new episodes of The Office and Grey's Anatomy. I also like the new show Chuck. It is hilarious. Pushing Daisies looks pretty interesting too.
My neighbor is having a Halloween/Birthday party for her kids next Saturday. The catch is that she wants the adults to dress up too. I haven't dressed up for Halloween in forever. So after careful thought (mostly thinking about what Seth would be willing to dress up if he will at all) I think I will tell Seth to dress as a teacher and I'll dress as his student or teacher's pet. That way he just has to wear regular clothes and I am going to wear those knee high socks with some black shorts and either a white shirt or a sweater and carry an apple. Good idea or no? Oh and by the way, I haven't told Seth this yet. Hee! Hee!
Tonight I am going to cook for the first time in over a week. I am looking forward to it. Seth had cooking duty this weekend. He made Peppercorn Turkey Burgers and they were delicious. I think we ate on those for at least 3 days.
Allergy season is seriously kicking our rears. We are tired, sneezy, stuffy-nosed, tired, tired, tired! I am ready for a good freeze to kill that ragweed. But on a positive note, my flowers are so pretty outside. The orange and yellow marigolds look so good with my pumpkins.
Have a great Wednesday!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007


...Here is a sampling of questions just asked this morning by my 2 sons:

Can I move my ladder over?
Can I go to the bathroom?
Do I have to go to school today?
Can I have the doughnut with orange and black sprinkles?
Why does my brother always want what I want?
Can I have another doughnut?
Do I have to go to Enrichment?
Who is the Toys R Us gift card for?
It is a coupon?
What are coupons?
Are you sure it is not a gift card?
Do I have to wear pants?
Do I have to wear my tennis shoes?
Is everything in my back pack?
What do box tops do?
Do I have to wash my face?
Can you carry my lunch box?
Can you?
Can you put my coat in my back pack?
Can you buy me a blue light up light saber?
Can I wear my Krispy Kreme hat to school?
Can I watch tv?
Can my friend pick me up from school?
Can I go to his house?
Why not?

This was just in the first hour and a half of the day. My mind is frazzled. I am glad I have a few hours to recuperate until they are back. :)

Have a good day.