Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Ten on Tuesday This Week

1. We are thoroughly enjoying our Christmas break. Curtis had a four day weekend and then "worked from home" yesterday. We've watched shows, played games, put together puzzles, read books, and enjoyed not having any outside responsibilities.

2. You'd think I would have been able to get a "Ten on Tuesday" post up on Tuesday, but sitting on the computer just doesn't seem to happen when Curtis is home. So I'm getting it written on Wednesday, which, considering I was rarely posting at all, isn't that bad at all. I'm thinking that I should just aim to get something posted each week. As long as it's up somewhere between Monday and Thursday, I can still call it "Ten This Week", right?

3. We totally took advantage of the flexibility of not having anywhere to go or anyone to entertain when it came to Christmas dinner. We bought a turkey early last week and popped it in the freezer in anticipation of a traditional dinner with all the fixins. On Thursday we decided we'd have the turkey dinner on Christmas Eve so we could just enjoy our gifts on Christmas Day while munching on leftovers. We put the turkey in the fridge to start thawing. When we got it out on Saturday it was nowhere near thawed. No problem, we'll just have turkey dinner on Christmas Day after all! When we got it out on Sunday, it was still as solid as could be. Well, guess we won't be having a turkey dinner for Christmas at all! We pulled some other things out of the freezer for dinner and put the turkey back in the fridge. The plan is to have the turkey dinner for New Year's Eve. Next year, we'll either pull the turkey out of the freezer a good week before we want to roast it or we won't put it in the freezer at all. Had no idea that chest freezer would freeze the bird so deep that it would need twice as much time to thaw as the instructions recommend!

4. Zachary crawled in our bed at 4am last night feeling warmer than he usually does (which is already pretty warm!) and the thermometer this morning showed 100.6. So he's chillin' on the couch watching Franklin with his brother. What he really wants to do, though, is play the new Wii game he got for Christmas: Lego Pirates of the Caribbean. That boy is addicted to screen time.

5. We've instituted a payment system where he has to pay 5 tokens to watch a show or play a Wii game. He earns tokens by helping out around the house. It's actually working pretty well: instead of bugging me all day "can I watch a show" or "Can I play a game" he follows me around asking, "Can I help you with something?" He's getting pretty good at putting dishes away and loading the dishwasher, putting clothes in the washer, putting clothes in the dryer, emptying the dryer, sorting clothes, sweeping, vacuuming... It's amazing how many things a 4-year-old is capable of doing when he's motivated!

6. Eli's Christmas present to us was sleeping 11.5 hours straight on Christmas Eve. It was awesome. If only the other children in the house could have slept straight through the night too. It seems there's always someone up in the middle of the night for one reason or another. Eli hasn't slept straight through like that since, but that's okay. We're working on it. At least he's sleeping in his crib in his own room now. He won't nap in there - too quiet apparently. Kid seems to nap better in the middle of the living room amidst all the noise. Good thing, too, since he's got two older brothers! He naps in the Moses basket (sorry the picture is a little dark) and is actually napping there as I type. So sweet. I'll be sad when he outgrows it.

7. Remember last week I talked about our Kindle Fire and how many books I've read? Well, I've exhausted the series I had started and am a little gun-shy about choosing new books and need suggestions. Read any good books lately?

8. The boys has been saving their gift money and we are really excited to be getting a playset for the backyard! The hardware and slide arrived earlier this week and Curtis will be picking up the wood this afternoon. The plan is to stain the wood this week and build it this weekend. I'll let you know how that goes...

9. Speaking of new purchases, I fell in love with a bedding pattern at TJ Maxx and am so, so pleased it was still there when I got a chance to go back yesterday.

However, they were out of the shams and cute toss pillows and such (except one), which is really disappointing. So our bed looks like this:

(Not to mention the lack of headboard or even a bedframe...) Hey, if you're in the Huntsville area and happen to see this pattern somewhere, would you put a couple shams and toss pillows on hold for me, then come watch my kids while I go get them?? Curtis and I searched online and couldn't find it all. But even without the decorative bits, I just love the way it looks. Love it.

UPDATE: When I went back to TJ Maxx to return some other items, I dragged Curtis with me, just in case they had some of the toss pillows in stock. We ended home bringing home another quilt that I get to use as material to make pillow covers! I'm really excited 1) about a fun sewing project and 2) about having a complete, finished bed set when I'm done. Now I need to figure out what pillow forms we want. I'm hoping to have enough material to also cover the cushion on top of the cedar chest Curtis' grandparents gave us for our wedding. The current fabric is exactly the type that our cats like to sink their claws into, so it's always been covered with another fabric.

10. Lastly, how about an update on the townhouse? Our tenant of two years moved out in October. The property manager finally found new tenants who will move in on Dec. 30th. They talked us into lowering the rent but they signed a 2-year lease. There were several things that needed attending to before they could move in, so the property manager sent us some quotes. We choked and decided it would be a significant savings to drive up to Nashville and do the work ourselves. It ended up taking two trips to get everything done, but in the end we didn't spend anywhere near the hundreds of dollars we were quoted. Some of the work was fixing or installing things that we would have liked to do before we moved out but simply couldn't afford it (and the tenant didn't seem to care) and other things were just getting it ready for new tenants.

graphic signature

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Ten on Tuesday

1. Hard to believe I'm actually getting a "Ten on Tuesday" post up on a Tuesday!! Perhaps it has something to do with having 2 out of 3 boys asleep and also a willingness to suspend reality and pretend I have no other chores to do.

2. From 2:30 to 3am last night I sat on the couch crocheting in the dark, checking on Eli every so often to convince him he doesn't need a middle-of-the-night feeding anymore. He eventually caved and fell asleep. I went back to bed. but an hour later I heard him crying. I asked Curtis to "stick that binky back in" and he went and brought Eli back. I fed him and we all slept until 7:30. Curtis was late to work.

3. It is so awesome to watch Zachary play with the Little People nativity scene. He's acting out the story with the characters. Sometimes he lets his brother play too.

4. We found a buyer for our Risograph. We weren't sure we would but listed it on Craigslist anyway. Within days we got an email from the owner of a local roller rink. He said he'll sometimes print 20,000 copies of something, and his 30 pages/minute printer wasn't cutting it. So we unwrapped all the plastic wrap from the machine and turned it on to make sure it was working. That was when we discovered that all of the rubber bands inside were dried out as every single one broke while we were testing the thing. So the guy said he'd buy it if we could get all the bands replaced and verify that it's working fine. Here's the awesome part: he even said he'd take the 6 extra drums off our hands too! (a Riso can only print one ink color at a time, and to change ink colors requires having a different drum for each color.)

5. Today was "Goody Day" at Curtis' work. Employees' families are invited to come for a potluck lunch. We hadn't participated before but thought we would this year. It was fun. And now 2 out of 3 boys are sleeping, so it was totally worth it!

6. Tonight is the division Christmas party at Dynetics. Goody Day and the division party don't usually fall on the same day, but this year they do. Of course we're going. That's two meals I don't have to prepare and clean up! Someone called me hardcore for being willing to bring three little kids to Dynetics twice in one day. I don't think they realize how much easier it is to convince the boys to go somewhere in the car than it is to prepare food that they won't eat. And then clean up. No, no contest.

7. We got all of our Christmas cards addressed and stamped last night and they're set to go out today. We're 6 shy of the 100 mark this year, which is our limit. Next year may involve some paring down of The List.

8. Using our debit card rewards, Curtis and I bought ourselves a Kindle Fire shortly after Thanksgiving. In the less-than-4 weeks that we've had it I've read about 7 books. Hello, my name is Jennifer and I'm addicted to disappearing into a book for hours at a time. And my husband is an enabler.

9. Daniel doesn't seem to be on track with his speech development, so our pediatrician referred us to Early Intervention, a federally-funded program to help kids under 3 who are developmentally behind in certain areas. Last Thursday two evaluators were supposed to come to the house at 10am to determine if Daniel qualified for help. At 10:15 I called the office to verify I had written the date and time down correctly. I had. At 10:40 I called the office to ask if they were still coming. The gal said she'd call them at call me back. At 11:00 I called the office again. She told me that the evaluators had come to the house and got no answer at the door. However, they could hear the dog barking. I told her we don't have a dog. Turns out they went to our apartment. The one we moved out of over a year ago. All this simply because they didn't want to verify my address over the phone when I made the appointment. "We already have it in the system," they said, "It's the one the state sent us." Whatever.

10. Last Monday two ladies came to the house (which they found with no problem now that they had the correct address) and evaluated Daniel for any developmental delays. They asked me a lot of questions and they also played with him to see if he could perform certain tasks. They evaluated him in cognitive development, physical development (including vision and hearing), communication development, social or emotional development, and adaptive development. He passed all areas with flying colors except for communication, which was right on the cutoff. His receptive communication (how well he listens and understands) almost pulled his expressive communication (talking) up too far, but since he was just on the line, he does qualify for aid. Whew. It was weird to sit there and watch him, wanting him to perform the tasks and do what they were asking him to do because I know he's so smart, but at the same time wanting him to be unable to do the task so he would qualify. I guess I can be happy with landing right on the cutoff line. Sort of like the best of both worlds.

graphic signature

Monday, December 5, 2011

A hair-raising tale

A day in the life...
While changing Eli I noticed a hair wrapped around one of his toes. The cute little toe was turning colors above the hair and it looked like the hair was embedded in the skin. When I couldn't get it off my first reaction was to call his doctor for advice. They couldn't see us til 2:00 - two hours away. I didn't think it should wait that long and my next thought was that I needed another adult's help, so I called my neighbor Liz. I'm so thankful to have such a wonderful neighbor! She stopped in the middle of making lunch, scooped up her son and came right over. The two of us were able to get the hair off with little difficulty. She headed back home to lunch and Zachary and Daniel came running in to say that they saw Beau (our outdoor-loving cat) catch something and take it under the patio table. We couldn't find anything under the table so I went back in to finish getting Eli dressed. The boys came back in again and it took me a few moments to realize that they were telling me they had seen Beau take his catch INSIDE the house. They had left the back door open and I had no doubt that Beau had been thrilled to bring his prize inside. Not good. Not good at all. I started looking for him and quickly eliminated rooms, until my room was left. I walked into my room, turned the corner into the bathroom and my stomach did a backflip when I saw the cat slinking into my closet, with a live rat in his mouth. A live rat. I tried to grab the cat (while holding Eli in my other arm. Was I thinking I could carry the baby and the animals outside? Or was I just trying to get them out of my closet? I don't know) and he dropped the rat. Which ran deeper into my closet. A live rat running loose in my closet. I screamed. Not a high pitched "help" scream, but a loud low noise that escaped me several times before I could get it under control. There was a live rat in the closet. Beau was not pleased that he had dropped it and quickly ran after it. As I left to set Eli down and get gloves or a bag or something, I could hear the thing squeaking. At least it wasn't running loose in my closet anymore. When I returned, Beau had dropped the thing again and fled. I now had a dead rat in my closet. I scooped it and the article of clothing it was on up into my gloved hands and carried it to the closest trashcan, then dropped the bag and the gloves into the trashbin outside. Then I washed my hands. A couple times. Ugh. I hope those boys learned why we close doors when we go out or come in! (This is not the first time Beau is responsible for creatures in our house. He once chased a lizard through the front door that I was holding open as I scolded the cat and told him to drop it. It almost crawled up my pant leg but thankfully decided against it and ran outside again. I think the rat story is worse though.)

graphic signature

Saturday, September 24, 2011


I like to eat. Did you know that? I don't miss many meals and I'm always bummed when I'm sick or something prevents me from enjoying something. I don't know if my boys enjoy eating the same way. They can be so picky sometimes that they go to bed hardly having eaten any dinner. When they reach some milestone or make some discovery that allows them to enjoy food in a new way, I get so excited for them!

When Daniel's molars started coming in I was so thrilled for him that he was going to be able to eat all sorts of foods that he couldn't eat before! I don't think it mattered to him that suddenly he could actually chew instead of gumming foods or swallowing them whole, but I couldn't be happier.

I realized in the hospital shower this morning that I couldn't wait for the nurse to bring Eli in, yes because who doesn't love snuggling a newborn, but mostly because my milk is coming in and he's going to get to eat real food! He still isn't here yet, which is about the only reason this post is happening, and when we do start nursing this morning he probably won't be excited about the milk like I am, but that's okay. I can't wait.

graphic signature

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It's Raining, It's Pouring...

I can sit at the table reading for as long as I want (well, within reason...), but as soon as I have to go to the bathroom, they're banging on the door and chanting "Mommy" in unison. When I finally open the door (and yes, I stayed in there longer than I needed to in the hopes that they would give up and go away), they were sitting side by side on the bed, absolutely as cute as can be. So hard to stay grumpy at them. This did not stop me from explaining to them how rude they had been and what behavior I expected of them next time, however. (One of the tricks of parenthood: the ability to be and look stern while not feeling the least bit upset. At times more difficult to achieve than one would think possible.)

A Story
It being a gray, drizzly day, I popped Wives and Daughters (W&D) in the DVD player and have been watching bits and pieces of it throughout the morning. After lunch Zachary wanted to play Wii (Lego Star Wars) and only needed a little reminding that the playroom was not tidy. He doesn't usually get it cleaned up well or quickly. I figured I had plenty of time to get some more laundry done etc. and watch another episode of W&D before he would be anywhere near ready. I finished the chores, turned the machines on and sat down on the couch. Our TV makes an audible "bzzzt" when we turn it on and Zachary can hear it from a mile away. He instantly appeared and asserted that he wanted to play his game. I asked him about his playroom. He (predictably) said it was clean. I heaved myself off the couch (big belly, coming through) and couldn't believe my eyes when I walked in the playroom: he had actually cleaned it up! I cannot convey to you, except to other mommies of young boys with too many toys, just exactly how amazing this accomplishment is. So of course I had to let him play. I asked if he wanted to watch a little bit of Mommy's show first but he declined. So I brought the disc into the office and will very shortly continue watching it in here. Just 'cause they've taken over the TV doesn't mean I can't enjoy my show too!

graphic signature

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Humpty Dumpty

Someone posted on Facebook recently asking how we knew that Humpty Dumpty was an egg? The rhyme does not mention what he is - we always assume he's an egg because that's what's in the picture. I learned today that "Humpty Dumpty" is not a story, but a riddle! I think we dismiss it as another silly nursery rhyme that's fun to say, but it was actually originally more than that. This image to the right shows Humpty Dumpty as a riddle, with answer, in a 1902 Mother Goose book by William Wallace Denslow. (See the article in Wikipedia for more...)

Here is how the riddle appears in Beatrix Potter's The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin (first published in 1903):

"Humpty Dumpty lies in the beck,
With a white counterpane round his neck,
Forty doctors and forty wrights,
Cannot put Humpty Dumpty to rights!"

(Beck meaning "small stream or brook", Counterpane meaning "bedspread", and a wright being one who constructs or repairs something, as in "playwright")

Interestingly, the "King's horses and King's men" that we're familiar with from our modern version of Humpty Dumpty appears in this one of Nutkin's riddles:

Old Mr. B! Old Mr. B!
Hickamore, Hackamore, on the King's kitchen door;
All the King's horses, and all the King's men,
Couldn't drive Hickamore, Hackamore,
Off the King's kitchen door."

Any guesses as to the answer of that one? Scroll down:

You're thinking about it, right?
Have you made a guess yet?
A sunbeam.

If you have The Tale of Squirrel Nutkin there are several more riddles to enjoy. Before getting frustrated and Googling for the answers, I'll tell you the secret: the answers are the italicized text on the same page. You're welcome :-)

graphic signature

Sunday, August 21, 2011

First Day of School

First day of school pictures! "Okay Zachary, time to take some pictures!"
"Um...I'm not sure about that "smile", let's try something...can you show me a scary face?"

"Ooh, good scary face! Now show me a...silly face!"

"THAT is a very silly face. Now show me a sad face."

"Oh dear, you look very sad. Now show me a happy face!"

Zachary started "school" last week. To tell you the truth, it really didn't feel like a big deal. Not like it did last year. Over the summer we took advantage of a ministry our church offers to members of free Mother's Morning Out days. It's only once a week, you have to register a week ahead of time, and there's limited space, but it was a fantastic way for them to do something fun, stay cool in the heat, and I got some time to myself (granted I tended to schedule my OB appts for those mornings, but at least I didn't have to drag two little boys to very many appts!). We also did VBS at the church, we started going to to Wednesday night suppers and staying for discipleship classes, and of course we've been going to Sunday morning worship services. So dropping Zachary off for "school" didn't feel any different than dropping him off for any of the other various activities. And even though he's not in the same classroom he was in last year, it IS the same room he's in this year for a couple of the activities.

Speaking of activities, I counted up the other day and realized that we have Zachary in SEVEN different things this year!! Sunday school, AWANA, MOPS, MMO, Children's Choir/Mission Friends, and The Little Gym. Four of them at our church. Daniel is in three: Sunday school, MOPS, and The Little Gym. Crazy. When we moved to Huntsville two years ago, the boys (well, boy. D wasn't born yet) were in nothing. Then we added MOPS and MMO. We did Kindermusik for a semester, then added The Little Gym. It was very manageable with a new baby. This time, the baby is just going to have be adaptable because we've got a lot going on!

Anyway, Zachary's first and second day went well (he goes twice a week, so we've only had two days so far.) He already knew his teacher - one of his best friend's mommy. (the end of that sentence sounds terribly awkward, but I'm not sure how to reword it and frankly don't want to spend the effort on it.) Some of his friends from last year aren't in his class this year, but he still gets to see them at other times (AWANA, Children's Choir/Mission Friends, or Sunday school). It will be interesting to see if his "best friends" change this year or not. While Z is in school, Daniel has his Little Gym class one day and the other day I reserve for any appointments or errands I need to do. Those things don't usually take up the full 4 hours that Z is away, and my goal is to spend that extra time just with Daniel. It's hard to get one-on-one time with Daniel when Zachary is home, because they each want to do what the other is doing. One-on-one time with Zachary isn't as hard to do because Daniel still takes a lovely 2 - 3 hour nap in the afternoon. But time with Daniel was hard to come by this summer.

So, our 2011-2012 school year had begun. Almost everything has started up, except for MOPS which will begin 9/5 (though we have a Steering Team meeting this month, so it's almost started up for me.) We'll see how we do with so many things going on (though not nearly as many as some - we haven't even started sports yet!) or if I need to scale back on anything. I've kept my jealously guarded Tuesdays free, and I dropped organizing the playgroups for the school year, so half of my Mondays will be free too. (well, unless someone else picks that up. But even so I won't be going to the playgroups in Oct and at least part of Nov because of the new little one.) Oh, and Z's Little Gym class is in the evening, so that frees up Friday. It should be manageable. (am I trying to convince you or me...?)

Maybe with such a manageable schedule, I'll be able to blog a little more often! (ha. I think everytime I've said something of that sort I disappear (as far as this blog is concerned) for months at a time.) This is the second post in a short period of time, right? So maybe I'll be back again soon!

graphic signature

Friday, August 19, 2011

Car Buying Lessons

This past week we bought ourselves a larger car to accommodate the new addition who will be joining our family next month. While this was not our first car buying experience, nor our first time buying a used car from a private party, we learned more things from this experience than from previous ones.

First, we learned that the least expensive and most efficient way to get money out of our online account for a large cash transaction was to wire money to a local bank and then get a cashier's check. We first tried to get the equivalent of a cashier's check - a treasurer's check - from our online-only bank, but it was going to take a week and a half for them to ship it to us! Expedited shipping would have set us back $50, which seemed a little steep. Especially when wiring the money to a local bank only cost $12. (Not including the fee to actually process the check). The online-only bank (meaning that there are no buildings with live tellers, only a 24-hr customer service line - with extremely friendly and helpful people, by the way) gives us a higher interest rate, but after this we've decided to definitely hold on to a free checking account at a local bank, just in case.

Second, we learned that buying a used car with a lien on it is a little different than buying a used car that the seller owns free and clear. When we bought the Acura, we handed them an envelope of cash (less than $3k), and they handed us a bill of sale and the title. Easy. This time, not only was the amount of $$ higher, but there was still a lien on the vehicle. Fortunately we did not learn this lesson the hard way. While still trying to figure out how to get the money out of our online account, we walked through an imaginary scenario in which the sellers took our money and bought themselves a nice entertainment system for their living room instead of paying off the lien. It turned into a nasty courtroom battle in which we weren't sure we'd get the car or not. It definitely ruined the sellers more than it ruined us, but it was a headache we could avoid. So we had the cashier's check made out to the lienholder. Fortunately the seller had no problem with this. It turned out that the lienholder was another local bank, so I met the seller there and handed the cashier's check right to the teller. I was expecting to receive an official looking document that said something to the effect of, "upon receipt of X dollars, lienholder has no further interest in vehicle" since that's what the advice I found online said I would get. All I got was a photocopy of the receipt that showed "account payoff" and a balance of $0. Good enough I guess!

Third, we learned that should a mistake be made in signing over the title, one has to go to the courthouse to get an Affidavit of Correction, then both buyer and seller must sign it in the presence of a notary (though buyer and seller don't have to sign at the same time, as long as both signatures are notarized). This one, you can guess, we are learning firsthand: the seller accidentally signed the 'buyer' line on the title. (here's the killer: he was talking about the hoops required to jump through if such a thing were to happen as he was doing it!! I kid you not! He said, "Now lemme make sure I sign the right place, because I've been through the rigmarole before when you don't..." and then he handed it to me and I almost fell out of my chair.) The guy is unable to leave his place of business during business hours, so I had the pleasure of driving to the courthouse myself to get the affidavit, and then we realized that I wouldn't be able to take the signed title home with me anyway because he couldn't get away til after 5:30 to see the notary (this was all happening before lunch). (We bought the car in Decatur, another city about 30mins away from us. A city we very rarely drive to). So I left the title and affidavit with him and he's supposed to get it notarized and in the mail to us this weekend. Hopefully we'll learn that he's a trustworthy fellow and we'll be able to title our car soon

So, lessons learned. But even with all this, we are so thankful to have found this wonderful car and have been able to save up for it so we could buy it in cash. Dave Ramsey has definitely changed the way we do things!!

graphic signature

Friday, April 22, 2011

April Update

Wow, I haven't posted since January, and here it is April. I don't really have much time to post a long update, but I've been wanted to put one of these on here:

Lilypie Maternity tickers

Maybe I'll get it into the sidebar before September, but we'll see. (That sidebar needs some serious updating - there's no picture of Daniel!! And both boys have obviously passed their birthdays, so those tickers need to be updated too.)

I think part of the reason I've dropped off updating this blog as often is because I use Facebook so much more than I used to. Most of you reading this are probably reading it as a note on FB (and so never see the sidebar anyway. Can you see the ticker earlier in this post?). I've only recently done some updating to our photo site, and the video blog is so sadly out of date I don't even know where to begin updating it. (Again, I've been posting a few videos to FB now that I have a video capable phone).

Anyway! I just stopped by to say hi! This blog is not forgotten! But if you want more regular updates, please add me as a friend on FB! Now I'm off to enjoy some sunshine outside working in the garden with Curtis!

graphic signature

Monday, January 24, 2011


I made two quiches for MOPS this morning (that is to say, we had MOPS this morning but I made the quiches last night).

The trick to non-soggy crusts (according to America's Test Kitchen Cookbook) is to blind-bake the crusts: put the crust in the pie pan, cover with a double layer of foil (I only used one layer), add pie weights (I emptied my coin purse, worked just as well), then bake for 25-30 minutes at 375.

While the shells are baking, lightly brown the onions and meat in a skillet and gather the rest of the ingredients. I made two different quiches: 1) ham, onion, spinach; and 2) sausage, onion, and craisins. I didn't measure the goodies, just sort of eye-balled it, but I think it was about 1/2 an onion for each quiche, and probably 1/2 cup of craisins. I have no idea how much meat was in each, I just kept cutting it up until the amount looked right! Also, cheese (shredded). We like colby-jack, but cheddar or monterey jack are good too. Even Swiss would be yummy if you're a fan of it (I'm not). If you use frozen spinach you'll need to defrost it first and be sure to squeeze the extra liquid out.

Ingredients I did measure:
1 cup of whole milk (you can use half-and-half or heavy cream or some combination thereof. I wasn't in the mood to use up my half-and-half (coffee drinker here), so I used Daniel's whole milk. He didn't mind).
3 eggs, lightly beaten.
Mix milk and eggs together, preferably in something that has a pour spout. (I love my Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup - I use it as another mixing bowl!)

The important thing is to fill the partially-baked pie shell while it's still warm so that the egg starts to cook immediately and doesn't soak through the crust. So, when the timer on the pie shell goes off, take it out of the oven (reduce the temp to 350), sprinkle a layer of cheese (cover the bottom, 1 cup? 1 1/2 cups?) and add your goodies (meat, onion, veggies, whatever). It's better if you try to even out the top so you don't have a mountain in the middle, so spread everything around. Pull out the oven shelf part way and put the pie pan on it. Pour the egg and milk mixture into the pie pan, then push the shelf in and close the door. Bake for 40-50 minutes at 350 or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. I think you're supposed to let it stand for 10 minutes before serving. Of course this is moot if you're making it a day ahead. I baked both at once. The ham/spinach quiche was done after 45 minutes but the sausage/craisin quiche took 55 minutes because I had put 1.5 cups milk in (I had more than one recipe I was following, but I think it only needed 1 cup)

Here's my little confession: Since I was taking them to MOPS in the morning and I didn't want to forget them, I covered them with foil and put them in the car before going to bed. It wasn't going to get above freezing and I figured that was as good a refrigerator, without the hassle of rearranging stuff so they'd fit in the fridge and no potential to forget them!

I'm sorry at how convoluted this recipe is, think of it more as cooking notes than a recipe ;-)

graphic signature

Saturday, January 22, 2011

This one's a doozy

I haven't been using this blog much. I miss documenting what goes on in our family. I'm constantly writing posts in my head but I'm just not making the time to type them. Or when I sit down I forget what I wanted to write about.

So, what have you been missing? Let's start with Curtis ;-) A couple weeks ago he slipped on ice in the parking lot at his work and fractured his elbow. He didn't need a cast and can still use his hand and arm a little bit, but it's out of commission for the most part. This has put an indefinite hold on a project we started on New Year's weekend: pantry makeover. Currently, we have a "walk-in pantry" in our bedroom, which the boys love, and we have several items shoved into the pantry on top of the temporarily installed shelves. It's rather inconvenient. We keep telling ourselves that when it's all done we will have an awesome pantry with more useable space, but I can' t help wondering WHEN that's going to happen.

I re-established a relationship with FlyLady in early December. I don't remember if I blogged about our falling out some time ago, but I had gotten turned off from her after emailing for help about something and receiving a rather dis-interested reply. But I needed help getting this house clean and thought I'd give her a try again. Her website doesn't work for me, but I found an iphone app that, although not endorsed by FlyLady, was obviously inspired by her zone system. So I've said goodbye to her again but have totally incorporated her system into my life. It's a work in progress and some weeks I do better than others, but I'm definitely improving. In case you're curious, the app is "Home Routines" and it cost about $4 (I think. Maybe it was $4.99). I also use "2 Do" for my regular to do list as this one does better with due dates and any repeat interval you may need. Home Routines is better for tasks that repeat every day or every week, and of course if you divide your home into zones. No other app that I've found uses the zones.

While we're on the subject of apps, my favorite grocery list app is "Shopper". Among other features I like that it allows me to enter prices for the same item at different stores, and since C and I use the same account, if I update the app on my phone, it automatically updates on his phone. So we can both add items to it as they occur to us and neither of us is without the shopping list (we share the shopping task - he does it because he enjoys it and I do it because I can go during the week when it's not crowded).

What's Zachary up to these days? He goes to Mother's Day Out twice a week and The Little Gym once a week. His favorite place to go is the library - because he can play on the computers. His brother gave him a set of folding headphones Christmas, so we keep those in my bag and he's never without his "ears" when we go to the library. We've incorporated it into our weekly routine and go every week after school. He also gets to pick out one DVD to watch when D goes down for his nap. The library rents DVDs for only a week, so as long as nothing interrupts our routine I don't have any trouble returning materials on time. But over Christmas and then again during "snow-maggedon" earlier this month we didn't make to the library every week and I wracked up some hefty fines (hefty in the library sense). So now it's a running joke with C, who takes every opportunity to feign surprise when I don't have a fine on my account. It's okay though. He borrowed some books from a different branch to help with the pantry project and then didn't get them back or renew them on time and had some fines too. (It was a family outing to get library cards for both of us, so he can check materials out on his own account. Learned my lesson when we lived in Nashville and I was the only one with a card!)

Z has also gotten very proficient with the Wii remote and Netflix. We dropped our Blockbuster online account shortly after moving when we discovered there were no Blockbuster stores within a convenient distance. I kinda hated to drop it since we had a really sweet deal, one that wasn't even available anymore (2 mailers at a time and unlimited in store exchanges). We used to go through movies so fast in Nashville. The Blockbuster store was just down the street and between the online selection and then being able to just pop in and pick something up, it was awesome. But we just weren't driving downtown to the Blockbuster here, so we cancelled our account and joined Netflix because we could stream it instantly to the tv through the Wii. The instant streaming is almost as cool as the in-store exchanges but we use it differently: we watch more tv episodes and cartoons (Z) and only get movies through the mailers. They're shipping time is faster though. Anyway, that was a long tangent. Sorry. I was talking about how Z watches his shows on Netflix. He still watches his DVDs too, though I haven't seen VeggieTales or Franklin in a long time. When we watches Netflix I let him use the controller and when one 20min show is over, he navigates to another one.

When tv time is over, Zachary works on puzzles (he's scarily good at them - got some 48 piece ones for Christmas and mastered them in short order, then received a couple 60 piece puzzles and had very little trouble with them. It's really amazing to watch him. I had a 550 piece puzzle I was working on over Christmas and once in a while he'd come over to help and was actually able to put a few pieces in!!!), reads books, and picks on his brother. He also plays a game he made up that we now call "Angry Cars". Are you familiar with Angry Birds? I have it on my phone and Z has helped me play it a few times. The boys received a set of cardboard blocks for Christmas (do you know the kind I'm talking about?) and he sets those up, puts stuffed animals and toys (these are the pigs) on the towers, then uses his cars (the pull-back-and-go kind) to knock the blocks down. It's hilarious. He can set up and knock down the blocks for hours, as long as D doesn't decide to play "Baby-zilla" and knock everything down.

Okay, let's move on to Daniel. He's 14 months old now and walking. I love watching a toddler who's learning to walk. Such a darling mix of confidence and uncertainty. Once in a while he still drops to hands and knees because he can crawl much faster than he can walk. He loves shoes but his feet are still too small for the shoes Zachary got when he started walking. I have a pair of moccasin slippers that he wears but can only walk on them when we're inside. When he starts wanting to walk outside we may just have to buy him his own pair of shoes. He's only two months apart from where Zachary was (September vs. November), but there's a such a difference in size between them!! There are several things of Z's that D will never wear because they're the wrong size at the wrong season, and we were a little concerned that D didn't have enough warm clothes that fit when the weather turned cold last fall. He's finally in 18mos sizes now, of which we have tons in both warm and cold seasons. He's also starting to learn to talk. His first understandable phrase was "uh-oh" which he's been saying for a good long while now, and now he says "peek-a-boo" as clear as you can wish for. We've been working on the sign language and he picked up "milk" pretty quickly and uses it for "milk" "more" and "eat". It's so cute to see his little hands intentionally making signs!!

D-yo (as we continue to call him even though his big brother has gotten much better at pronouncing his name) does not go to any Mother's Day Out program yet - although I sometimes wish for just a half day without kiddos once in a while, I'm totally not ready to put him in something like that yet. But he and I go to The Little Gym once a week. D loves it. It's kindof a fight to get Zachary to go to class, but Daniel LOVES it. (D's class is a parent-and-me class whereas the parents stay in the lobby or run errands during Z's class). He's got a reputation in class of being all smiles all the time and is rarely hesitant or fearful about something, though that's not to say he isn't obstinate at times. One of my favorite moments recently was when we were bouncing on the springboard. D wiggled his arms out of my hands and crawled off the board, then stuck his hands inside the springs to see how it works! (Don't worry, he didn't get his fingers pinches or anything). Then he crawled back on top, bounced a little, then crawled off again and inspected. Looks like we're raising not one, but two little engineers!

Okay, one more thing and then I'll probably be out of time. We've been planning our garden and getting excited about what our yard is going to look like come spring! We have a gardening blog (here: that is not worth visiting right now, but hopefully we'll be getting better at updating it as we have more things to talk about. In fact there are a couple things that could make up a post now, so maybe I'll head over there right now since C is still on the computer (did I mention that he's going to be teaching another class at his work? He's going to teach how to program apps for the iPhone.), Z is still watching shows (it's Saturday. We're indulging him) and D is still asleep (I wasn't sure he was going to take a nap this morning, but then he yawned and that was that.)

Congrats if you made it this far! I know this was a monster post.

graphic signature