Saturday, March 27, 2010

Sasha's first camping trip

We are camping this weekend. And hoping to do lots of camping this year. So far, so good. The nearly full moon and howling, gusty winds made it hard to fall asleep, but I slept hard, as did everyone else.
Chilling for a bit. It's a rare occassion that Aubrey will read to Lauren unprompted - melts my heart every time I see it.
The view from our tent. Ahhh.
Here's 'home' for the weekend.
It was C.O.L.D. this morning. Brrr. It is still March, so I won't complain about the chilly morning, just brrrrrrrrr.
And, of course, we have comedic relief whenever Little Miss Lauren opens her mouth. Today's gem, "Haha, I got my weenie wet!"
I hope you are having a great weekend. There'll be more pictures later. :-)

Monday, March 15, 2010


Do you have a collection of recipes? If so, how do you keep them?

Andy and I each have our own favorites, and for a long time we each had a seperate binder, but now that we've been together long enough that we think this relationship will last, we've decided our recipes could comingle. Kind of. ;-) More like, we needed a small binder for a different project, and had a huge 3-incher itching to be used, so we decided to combine them. Sort of.

When the binder is right side up, Andy's recipes (all typed in Times New Roman 11pt) greet you, alphabetically, of course. Each recipe is in it's own sheet protector. When the binder is turned over and around, my recipes greet you. Still in the sheet protectors (that is really stinkin' smart!), but mine lack the anal retentive flair Andy's possess. Some of mine are hand-written. Some of mine are photo-copied. Some of mine are falling apart, after having spent years in my Great-Aunt Ibby's cookbook. Alphabetical order is out the window. And, some of mine, *gasp* share their sheet protector with another recipe or two. Shh, don't tell Andy's recipes. They may not take well to hearing how their neighbors live.

Most of our recipes have also made it to the computer (well, all of Andy's, seeing as they are all typed), and many also have a home in our e-mails. That's proven helpful many a times, when we've been visiting family and the in-laws want my cobbler, or my cousin requests that Andy make his pumpkin pie. Sure, we could (and do!) find substitute recipes online, but the recipes that we've saved are the ones that we've used again and again, and that we know work for us.

And today I'll be adding another recipe to my side of the binder. Granola bars. Oh my. You should try these. Really, you should. :-)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

ah, the library

I love the library!

We try to go every Wednesday for storytime (skipped today, though, because of an awful cough that hasn't yet gone away).

I logged on to the library today to renew a book, and I learned that so far, in 2010, I've saved $294 by borrowing rather than buying. At this rate, I'll save $1200 for the year. That justifies a shopping spree, don't you think? ;-)

The book I renewed is Michael Pollan's The Botany of Desire. Interesting stuff. And now I want to learn more about the real Johnny Appleseed. (When googling the book to create the link, I learned that pbs made a documentary based on the book. Have I told you lately that I love pbs?)

What are you reading?

Monday, March 8, 2010

and about the angels

We've all been fighting a cold... lots of coughing going on around here.

Friday night Andy, Sasha & I were laying in bed, watching a movie. (Inglorious Basterds - we loved it)

Andy started coughing, and couldn't stop, so he got up, hoping that he could clear out. He couldn't. He kept coughing, not doing much breathing.

Then he fell. Backwards. Stiff as a board, didn't bend his knees, twist around to try to stop his fall, nothing. All 240-ish pounds. Boom.

He blacked out. Didn't know he had fallen until he saw me, above him, with panic written all over my face.

He is fine, thank God. His head hit the side of the bed, scraping his neck along the bed frame. If he had fallen a few inches closer to the bed, I'm afraid he could've broken his neck. If he'd fallen a few inches farther from the bed, his head would've broken his fall.

The scariest moment of my life. I feel really lucky that I can say that, seeing as he's fine. (In lots of pain, bruised up a bit, but fine)

Tomato Soup

I love making soup, but have always been intimidated by tomato soup. And, honestly, I still am, in that I'm not ready to make it from tomatoes I pluck from the vine. But Rachael Ray, man, I love her. You know that, so long as you have the ingredients, you'll be able to make one of her recipes. Or, I know that I can, and feel like most people could, because she's very good at sharing easy, quick, real recipes.
Here's her recipe, with my modifications in bold parens:

2 (15-ounce) containers, chicken or vegetable stock/broth (preferred brand: Kitchen Basics) (30 ounces chicken broth, made from water and Better Than Boullion chicken base)
1 (28-ounce) can concentrated crushed tomatoes (organic crushed tomatoes - I couldn't find concentrated)
1 cup heavy cream
Coarse salt and black pepper
Fresh basil for garnish (I left off the basil only because I didn't have any)

Combine broth and tomatoes in a medium saucepan over moderate heat. When soup bubbles, stir in heavy cream and reduce heat to low. Season with a little salt and pepper and simmer gently 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. With an immersion blender, puree soup. Serve bowls of soup with basil chiffonade and floating soup toppers (grated provolone, a bit of freshly ground pepper - delish!).

This soup is simple, easy, and so tasty. The flavor is more mild than Campbell's, but that doesn't mean there isn't depth of flavor. It means that there's no high fructose corn syrup. Looking at reviews, folks have switched the cream for lower fat options and have enjoyed the results.

Andy used the immersion blender just a bit, so there are some tiny bites of tomato, I love it like this. And, you could do this with a regular blender, just use your patience, as you'll be working with HOT soup.


#59 ~ homemade tomato soup. This soup is so yummy, it deserves it's own post.. I'll work on that.

#60 ~ long walks around the neighborhood.

#61 ~ nice old men (anyone, really, but most rececntly it's been an older gentleman) who talk to us on said walks around the neighborhood.

#62 ~ teensy, tiny wildflowers just emerging, reminding us that spring will be here soon.

#63 ~ angels watching over us (this deserves it's own post, as well... I'm on it).

#64 ~ book fairs. Oh my, I'd spend $100 before blinking if I knew Andy would never know. Good thing he's around to keep my feet on the ground - or close to it!

#65 ~ cucumber-lemon water. So refreshing and calming.

#66 ~ SmartDogs Synergy flip flop slippers - super duper comfy, I go everywhere in mine. And, ~$16 at Sam's Club (different style than the link).

Saturday, March 6, 2010


My middle child is pretty much fearless. Not even a dash of shy, except when I am trying to introduce her to someone. She just began really talking with anyone nearby. Really talking, to anyone. About anything.

It all starts with, "I'm Lauren." If we are grocery shopping and there are busy people bustling around who don't have time to talk, that's where the conversation ends. And then approximately 2 seconds later, as another passerby passes her way, "Hi, I'm Lauren." "I'm Lauren." "I'm Lauren."

If a kind stranger has a moment, they will indulge Lauren with conversation, and as their reward for indulging her, they will learn that she is 4, and will remain 4 for forty more days. That Lauren is spelled L-A-U-R-E-N (this comes in especially when someone has mis-heard her and calls her Lori or Laura). That her baby sister is called Hotdog, or Sprinkles, or sometimes Sasha. That Aubrey is in 2nd grade. That Daddy is at work. That Mommy's name is Rachel. That we have a new cat named Skippyjon. That Daisy finished Lauren's breakfast when Lauren wasn't looking. That Oscar is a fat old cat. That Haley is crazy. That the moon was out this morning with the sun. That this is her new outfit, and that she wore it yesterday and the day before that. That pink is her favorite color and she loves Spiderman. That she has an Ariel puzzle. Oh, and the man in Batman's suit is not Bruce Wayne, but Charlie Lawlson.

It's dizzying. But maybe not, because she is 4, has a bit of a lisp and is missing her two front teeth, so it sounds more like: "blablahblahfourblahblahblahL-A-U-R-E-NblahblahblahHotdogblahblahblahsecondblahblahblahDaddyblah blahblahMommyblahblahblahcatblahblahblahbreakfastblahblahblahfat old catblahblahblahsunblahblahblahoutfitblahblahblahpinkblahblahblah spider manblahblahblahAriel puzzleblahblahblahBatmanblahblahblah."

Hmm, no, it's dizzying either way. Anyway, we went to the park today, and a little boy, maybe 9 years old, thought I looked like the kind of person who would listen and indulge him in his tales. So I learned all about the channel Animal Planet, and all the shows that he loves on that channel, and I got to watch him act out his favorites. And his aunt lives in Deming (where my Tio lives) and do I maybe know a lady that goes by Louisa there? Yes, I do, it sounds like it might be the same one (the one with the baby bison). And he used to have chickens, but they belong in the country, you know, so he doesn't have them anymore, but at the feed store they were selling baby chicks and they were this big, and others were this big. And on and on. He was very sweet, and I'm pretty sure that's how adult strangers view Lauren.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Lauren's growing up so darn fast

"Look, mom, now I'm a man!"
the beard suits her, don't you think?

it's easier to just stick my tongue out next to her than photoshop a grin on her face. plan on seeing many pictures of my tongue in the future, because this girl is having way too much fun with the "stick your tongue out when you see a camera" phase. Except, of course, when she's all bearded up and manly.

this girl, though, will grin. it may be goofy, but she'll grin.

see, goofy. and Skippyjon. after a literary character we love.

the way Aubrey ended a postcard to her aunt. Love us chicks. I LOVE it!

and what's a post without a picture of Sasha Belle? she and Oscar are becoming the best of friends.

In a two day period, 3 friends had babies. 2 girls, 1 boy. Plus, our new neighbors have a 9 day old boy. When I mentioned that to Andy, he thought maybe I was getting baby fever. I don't know where he's been the past 7 1/2 years, my baby fever does not kick in while I still have a babe in diapers... we've got some time.

Marinara sauce is on the stove, the house is smelling so yummy! Andy wasn't here to make it so I got to put carrots in. I would've also added chopped spinach, but I'm out. Instead we'll have steamed green beans next to our spaghetti.
Happy weekending!

Monday, March 1, 2010


#49 ~ books that make my girls want to read more and more

#50 ~ new friendships growing deeper

#51 ~ a t.v. free week

#52 ~ in-laws that are going out of their way to bring me stuff from my Grandma's

#53 ~ taco night

#54 ~ lap cats

#55 ~ seed catalogs inspiring big plans

#56 ~ girl scout cookies

#57 ~ playdough

#58 ~ great-aunts that write letters

My March 1st Resolution

I commented to Andy last night that the past few times I've talked with my mom, she's been a little off. I joked that maybe she wasn't enjoying what I was talking about.

Andy replies with, "Well you do complain an awful lot. Maybe she's tired of hearing you complain."

My gut reaction was denial, then I wanted to (but didn't) say, "WTH??? How dare you say something like that!"

But after a deep breath, I knew that he spoke the truth, because Andy is incapable of lying. Seriously. Never ask him if your new jeans make you look skinny, or how he likes your new haircut (*ahem* he teased someone for close to a decade that her forehead was huge, she went and got bangs, and he said, "eh, you look better without bangs."). He's not trying to be mean, or even funny. He can't help it.

Anyway, so I'm resolving to be more positive, and complain less.