"The real winners in life are people who look at every situation with an expectation that they can make it work or make it better." - Barbara Pletcher

Saturday, May 29, 2010

It's off to a great start...

Our Memorial weekend officially began with Rowen's 3 1/2 hour nap Friday afternoon.  God bless that child and his love for sleep!  Must have been a nappin' kind-a day, because at one point I was alone in my quiet kitchen while 6 people in my house slept!

Good thing, because I was working on these:

and this.

Seriously, you'd think this was a food blog with this many posts dedicated to FOOD! I think it's safe to assume that I'm obsessed. Obsessed with really good food. :)

Then, we headed to the Jacob's Well Block Party, where a good time was had by all...

...especially by the big napper, himself.  Koo-laid from a big boy cup leaves a pretty sweet 'stache. 

Choosing to love,

Friday, May 28, 2010

Skinny Beach Club progress, and a Wheelie

Avocado spread production...doesn't that chili pepper look awesome?

Looking a little less awesome here, pre-blender stage.

Looking positively disgusting here.  I put 2 tbls of spread in each, and froze them.  Once they are completely frozen I'll pop them out of the trays and put them in a Ziploc freezer bag.  That way, I can pull out one at a time for a sandwich.  A few seconds in the microwave, and viola!  ***This brings back many, many fond memories of my baby-food-making days.  Many, many, many late nights spent in my kitchen with that blender and those ice cube trays!  BIG SIGH for babies growing up and being able to chew their own food :)***

That's one piece of romaine lettuce (basically 0 calories), topped with one slice of provolone (170 calories, 5g fat), 3 big slices of turkey (50 calories), 1 tbls avocado spread (17 calories, 1.5g fat), 1/2 tbls miracle whip (20 calories 2g fat or less), sprouts.  Total: about 260 calories, about 8g fat. 

I made a test wrap and fed it to my sister-in-law, who suggested more avocado spread, so I made the cubes 2 tbls (35 calories, 3g fat). Thanks for being my guinea pig, Misty! :)

It honestly tasted really good.  I think the next time I make the spread I'll use less onion...and I'll top the whole thing with tomatoes and cucumbers from my garden!  I'm also going to buy my provolone at the deli counter, and ask them to slice it REALLY thin.  The cheese I happened to have on hand was sliced really thick.  I bet if I had it cut half as thick I'd cut out some significant calories and not sacrifice too much taste.  And, my goal was to get it to be around 200...

And, just for fun, here is one of the "reasons" I need to stay away from carbs until I look like Britney Spears (she might be crazy, but she has a smokin' bod, no one can deny that!)...

Popping a wheelie on your sister's Barbie bike is about as cool as it gets when you're TWO :)

Choosing to love,

Sex and The City 2

My favorite quote of the night didn't come from the glamorous gals on the screen, but my handsome, well-groomed husband who bought tickets for us to go to this movie as a surprise.

Mitch: "If it appears to you that I'm stuffing my face full of popcorn in a very unattractive way, it's because I want to make it clear to the women in this theater that I'm your gross, manly, husband."

Me: "As opposed to...??"

Mitch: "You're best gay friend."

Me: "Oh. OK then.  Here's a napkin."

(And, he did use the napkin.  Heaven forbid he wipe his buttery hands on the jeans he had just IRONED.  What man irons jeans? A gay man, that's who!)

The movie was everything I thought it would be-totally trashy and delightful in every way ;)

Choosing to love,

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

For Hire...

Gosh, I love him!  I just discovered today how much Rugger enjoys washing dishes.  How did I not realize this before today?  I don't know!

"What was that? You want to wash dishes??  Yes, it will take four times as long, my floor will be so wet by the end that I'll have to mop, and we won't be winning any GO GREEN awards because of all the water we wasted...but my goodness, by all means, go ahead and wash dishes you sweet little boy!"

The floor wasn't the only thing that got soaked :)

I ended up making lunch for tomorrow while he rinsed and loaded, and we had a great conversation, so I'd rate the experience with at least 4 stars. 

And, I did mop the floor afterward.  The entire floor.  Because once I mopped around the sink and dishwasher area, I was left with a huge gleaming clean spot that drew attention to the rest of the filthy mess.  :)

Choosing to love, love, love,

Love it

Who wouldn't love coming home to that?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Garden progress...

Well, the veggies are in the ground. They look so small, I hope they make it!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Skinny Beach Club

So there are three issues. #1, I am obsessed with the Jimmy John's Beach Club. #2, I hate paying $5.50 for a sandwich, even if it does taste like what I imagine food in heaven will taste like. #3, I refuse to pay $5.50 for it and leave off the best parts-the french bread, and mayo (which contribute the majority of the calories).

I'm pretty confident I can make the french bread myself, and use a smaller bun, which will reduce the calories and cost.  I need a good recipe.

I have the ingredients to make the avocado spread, which doesn't look too tricky.

1 sm. Chili pepper
1 med. Onion
1 sm. Garlic clove
1 sm. Tomato, peeled
2 med. Ripe Calavo avocados
1 tbl. Fresh lemon or lime juice
3/4 tsp. Salt
1 dsh. Seasoned salt
1 dsh. Dry mustard

I need to find good turkey. 

I need to find a good-tasting, lower-calorie alternative to the mayo. 

I'd like to find cheaper sprouts.  Since I've never purchased sprouts before, (ridiculous, I know) I'm not sure what I should expect to pay.  I paid $2 for 4oz. last night at Super Saver.  Maybe four ounces will go farther than I think?? 

Hmmm....I'm working on it!

Free Freakin' Cuss Day

I should start by offering this disclaimer: we never cuss in front of our kids (or anyone else's kids!). Ever.  Even jokingly.

Free Cuss Day is a day when you are allowed to cuss, with a few rules.  #1-you are not allowed to use the Lord's name in vain. No exceptions. #2-you aren't allowed to drop the F-bomb. Although if you're totally, 100% kidding, you might be allowed to say "Eff", which refers to the F-bomb, and only because everyone knows it's a joke it's OK.  #3-you can't call anyone cuss-names, because that's just mean, even as a joke.  The origin of Free Cuss Day is questionable, and I'm unsure how widely it is practiced...

Top Ten Reasons I might declare such a day:

10.  A flat tire (or any similar car problem) with a van full of kids and groceries, in the Wal-Mart  parking lot.

9.    Having to wear my husband's belt because mine is too small.

8.    Realizing that I forgot to put on makeup, after I've spent an hour in public (or at work). 

7.    Setting meat out to thaw, putting it in the microwave to keep the cat from getting it, and forgetting about it until the next morning.

6.    The nurse at my child's school calling me, for the fifth time in one day.

5.    Getting puked on.

4.    Spending more than 10 minutes on the phone with any company, for any reason.

3.    Turning on the air conditioner for the first time of the season, and discovering it doesn't work.

2.    Discovering I'm out of Diet Mountain Dew.

...and, the NUMBER ONE reason I might declare a FREE CUSS DAY...

1.    The police getting called to my house for any reason (even if they start and end the conversation with "I know this is ridiculous, and I'm sorry").

And, I might blog about my NUMBER ONE reason, a different day, when it strikes me as funnier than it does right now!

What's on your top ten? 

Choosing to love,

Multiple Post Monday

That's right, so hang on to your hats!

Coming today: 

  • My quest to make a Homemade Skinny Beach Club that tastes like this but has the calories of this and costs as much as this.

  • Top Ten reasons a "Free Cuss Day" can be declared (including having the police called to your house and the cop saying "I know this is ridiculous...")

  • Progress from our first ever garden.

    Sounds exciting, doesn't it?  :)

    Choosing to love,

    Saturday, May 22, 2010

    I got distracted...

    What a great morning.

    What fun boys..

    What a good Daddy...
    What a sweet girl...
    What a fun thing to climb on...

    What a cool fountain to play in...

    What a fun way to avoid my to-do list...

    Choosing to love,

    Friday, May 21, 2010

    I'm on task, I promise

    It might not look like it.

    I'm actually clearing out some of the horrifying mess from my basement catchall room. 

    This is two cases of regular (not diet) pop I've been "storing" in my house since last summer's JDRF benefit garage sale.  We don't drink regular pop, but it didn't sell and I didn't want to waste it. 

    Sounds pretty ridiculous now that I just poured it all down my bathroom sink drain.

    Rowen is my biggest helper.


    So hard to get that box full of empty cans all the way up to that recycle bin!!!

    Please excuse my bathroom pictures, with my crappy phone camera, no less ;)

    Choosing to love (even while cleaning),


    1. Fix this mess:

    2. Transfer veggies into the ground, without killing them.

    My laundry is completely caught up (by some small miracle!), so no reason I can't get these things done over the weekend. Right?

    **Update** the plants are in the ground, being watered as I type! The basement room is about 80% clean, just need to file some papers.  Half the contents of the room are now in the hallway...waiting to be picked up by their new owners (please, craigslist, don't fail me!), but that's another issue! :) Hooray for a happier place to use the computer, and iron, and pay bills, and store groceries, and pop...HA!

    Choosing to love,


    "Can I lick that thing when we're done?"-Rugger. (He is referring to any thing that might still have dough/batter/frosting on it...be it a beater, spoon, or the entire inside of a bowl.)

    First thing he asks any time we bake something.  Afternoons, when the little kids are napping, and it's a little cloudy and cool...our favorite time to bake. Cookies are the usual request, closely followed by banana bread.

    The best part of baking with Rugger is watching him crack the eggs.  He has slowly discovered a method, and he concentrates very hard trying not to smash the shell into smithereens.

    I have been counting down the days until school lets out for over a month now.  Actually, more like two months or more... I HATE sending my oldest chicken to school every day, all day.  We love her, we miss her, we can't wait until she's home with us for the summer.  Life is better, the days more complete, our mornings less rushed, our afternoons more carefree...

    It hit me today, that I'm wishing away a part of the day I have loved so much this year...my afternoons alone with Rugger. 

    Preschool was right for Ryleigh, and I don't regret sending her.  We didn't send her to Kindergarten until she was 6, so I felt like she was ready, and even needed some time away.  She loved preschool, and I think she loved her time at home more because she was gone a few times a week.  I know I appreciated the time she was home more, that's for sure :)

    Since Rugger is going to Kindergarten when he's 5, he kinda has one less year at home.  I went back and forth trying to decide if I should send him to preschool...  I'm so happy I didn't.  He has the rest of his life to be in school.  This year has gone by so fast, and I've enjoyed every minute of our nap times together. 

    In the end, after all that work getting that beater good and full of cookie dough and waiting sooo patiently, he just offered it to Rowen.  That kind of thing makes my heart melt.  And, I can't help but wonder-had we spent the year rushing back and forth to preschool, spending even more time in the van and less time together at home, would this little heart-melting incident have happened? Maybe.  I'll choose to think it wouldn't have.  I love being home, love being unbusy, unrushed, love seeing my little smoochies love each other to bits and pieces. 

    **BIG SIGH** for babies growing up.

    I wish I would have come to this conclusion sooner, but I'm not going to sit around and "shoulda, coulda, woulda".  For now, instead of 8 long days of school left waiting for summer, it's going to be 8 short afternoons left to hang with my biggest boy.

    And we're going to love every minute.

    Choosing to love,