Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Big Girl Agabell.....and a little ice

I just heard that our babysitter in Texas, "big girl Agabel" as the kids used to call her, recorded a music CD. She is absolutely the best babysitter ever! **Pics shamelessly used from her facebook and myspace page** Anyhow, I am so proud of her!

A little background here.....when I was in college at OU, her parents were my host parents. The church I went to had a program where the members would 'adopt' a college student. Her mom and dad's home became a home away from home for me! I have fond memories of OU. Many of them include time spent at the M household. She had a slew of brothers and sisters. I think she might have been three or four then.

When we found out we were moving to Texas in 2006, her mom told me she was going to school about 15 minutes from where we lived! Whew hoo! I already knew a babysitter. Finding a good babysitter is truly one of the hardest things to do every time we move.

We are iced in today. No school for the kids but Husband had to go into work. What is up with that? I can only hope that we can find enough to do around here without going stir crazy! Kind of appropriate that we made snowballs yesterday! Sure sugar them up, then keep them contained in the house. We'll see how that works for me.
Happy Tuesday, y'all....stay warm.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Manic Monday and some snowballs

What gives you hope? I hate to sound cliche. But, the kids do.

How often do you get your haircut? I am growing out the Victoria Beckham swisshy haircut....so about every 6-8 weeks.

Describe your worst haircut. Describe? How about some visuals? (This was 1990. ) First, to get my hair that curly, it would take twice the amount of normal perming solution. Then what is up with that spaceship shape of my hair. Friends don't let friend perm!

What's your most treasured piece of jewelry? My wedding ring. Why? It is a symbol of a relationship I have with Husband, the commitment we have to each other.

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here

For muffin Monday, we are almost finished with the cookie recipes we wanted to try. This one is called Pecan Snowballs. (Kind of appropriate, since we are supposed to be slammed with a snowstorm tonight.) Can you see the Littlest Pet Shop animals amongst the silly faced kids? They had to have them in the picture!

1 cup pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups confectioners' sugar
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 cups all-purpose flour

*Heat oven to 350° F. Spread the pecans on a rimmed baking sheet and toast for 8 minutes. Let cool and roughly chop.

*With an electric mixer, beat the butter and 1 cup of the sugar until fluffy.

*Mix in the vanilla and almond extracts and salt.

*Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.

*Mix in the pecans.

*Shape the dough into tablespoon-size balls and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

*Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

*Transfer half the balls to a second parchment-lined baking sheet, spacing them 1 1/2 inches apart.

*Bake until lightly golden, 18 to 22 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 10 minutes.

*Place 1/2 cup of the sugar in a large bowl. Toss the warm cookies in the sugar and return to the baking sheet. Sift the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar over the cookies before serving.

*Plate and share with friends!

*To Freeze: Instead of refrigerating the balls of dough, freeze them on the baking sheet before storing them in bags for up to 2 months. To bake, follow the recipe instructions, baking from frozen, and use the upper end of the time range. Yield:

Makes 34 cookies

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Photohunt: chipped

While Husband was deployed, one of the few goals I had was to NOT go to the emergency room.....well, we almost didn't make it. While we were outside playing, Will comes up to me, "I hurp my poop."

Me: "What? You pooped! "

Will: (his lips curled around his teeth): "No, I hurt my pooth."

Me: finally understanding lip-curled-over-the-teeth speak: "You hurt your tooth? Let me see." There is no blood and he is speaking, so I thinking he just bumped it.

Will, showing me the DENT on the handlebars of his bike: "My mouth hit it here!"

Me, feeling a tad more worried after seeing tooth dust on the bar...."Yep, buddy, you chipped it."

Just the tiniest bit chipped off the corner of his tooth. He was so worried the other kids would laugh at him at school. But by the next morning he was fine.

Whew hoo....another crisis averted....move on grasshopper, at that point we only had 17 more days to go!

Next week's theme: furry

Friday, January 23, 2009

Friday Fill in

1. Oh, I am so tired of the achey sick sick running rampant in the house!

2. Embrace changes, big and little.

3. During Livi's ballet class, I sit with Will in the car. He plays a game on my Iphone, I catch up on my magazines.

4. It's dark on the way home from ballet; are you kidding me???

5. Right now I'd like to be right here, vegging on the sofa, with my laptop.

6. My new Iphone is my favorite gadget. Before December I would have said my camera.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to pizza with the family, tomorrow my plans include resting, I can't like being sick and Sunday, I want to my all time favorite, sleep in!

Friday fill in courtesy of the talented Janet...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

No Soup for You

I have a confession to make. I love soup. I was so ready for "soup" weather I was making grilled cheese and tomato soup in September. I should have probably waited until November or so.

Maybe I should have some soup criteria for next year:

* must be no warmer than 60 degrees for so many days in a row

* must be willing to make my own bread to dip because I love to dip bread as much as I love the soup.

* maybe throw in a frosty night or two

In any case, I love soup. Tomato soup, chicken noodle soup, beef stew are a few of my favorites. I have had a pear soup at a wine dinner that was delicious! I have never seen a recipe for one since. But Google is my friend, maybe I'll hunt one down.

So tonight, when we were having this peppered beef soup in asiago cheese bread bowls, I knew I had to snap a few pics. This recipe was from Southern Living, so you know it was good! Now that my belly is all warm and happy, I need to go rest!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thursday 13 ....#53

Today I decided I needed a little help writing my thirteen things list so I went to Google and it kindly helped me out. I simply typed in “Tommie needs” and voila!

1. tommie needs to shut it down. We have enough average guys to fill his shoes right now, we don't need Tommie average. I only wish there were enough people to fill my shoes. I'd put one on dishes, one on cleaning...etc

2. tommie needs to Buy Katie Holmes Maternity Wear.......uuhhmmm only if I get invited to the baby shower!

3. tommie needs to get paid and (s)he deserves his contract. I get paid...I handle the checkbook.

4. tommie needs to decide what he wants to be when (s)he grows up and then grow up real fast. While I never thought I would be a SAHM, I love it. okay, most days I love it. I don't really miss teaching, but I do miss my friends at old CJHS.

5. tommie needs a hug. Totally not a hugger, unless I have had several Coronas. Then I will hug anyone.

6. tommie needs to stay and has earned a lot of cheese. Question is will the Bears pay it? Cheese! Now we are talking....wil the Bears kick in some wine too?

7. tommie needs to eat more in this off season. I mean screw diet soda, screw fat free anything. Tommie, you go out and eat that ...wooahhh, stop the bus. I need my diet DP!

8. tommie needs the help of interested .......interested what??

9. tommie needs to get healthy to excel. Finally one I can agree with!

10. tommie needs to continue to embrace the ...the gorgeous sunsets I see while leaving Livi's ballet class.

11. tommie needs to grab some pine! This must be sports related....no thoughts whatsoever!

12. tommie needs a new chair ...I just got new dining room furniture...chairs, table, buffet, hutch.

13. tommie needs a vacation now and again too! Yeah, what Google said.

I have blogged a "tommie needs" in the past......I am surprised they are a bit different.

Want to play: the new thursday-13

Monday, January 19, 2009

Manic Monday and an ooyey gooyey chocolate mistake

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here

What do you do to make yourself feel better when you are sick? Go to the doc if necessary. Take meds, drink water, and rest.

What is the most amazing weather you've ever seen? Hands down, the aurora borealis. The first time I saw it, we still were in a hotel waiting for housing on post. We had lost electricity. We stepped out onto the balcony. It was like green and yellow ribbons floating across the sky. We lived in Fairbanks for almost three years. I never tired of seeing it!

Do you listen to music or talk radio in the car? Depends if I have the kids with me or not. Livi already wants me to crank up "So What" by Pink every time she hears it!
Me: Say cheese, guys. Livi, look at me.
Me: Livi, thanks for looking at me, but try not to look like crazy Jack Nicholson eyes. Will, say chocolate.
Will: oh I love chocolate!
Livi: Are we done yet?

Will: Can we just bake the brownies.
Me: Yes, sweetie, yes, we can.

These fudge brownies are VERY rich. I made the mistake of not letting them cool enough before we frosted them. So the frosting just kind of melted all over them...kind of an oooyey gooyey chocolate mistake. But they were good!

Fudge Brownies:

1/2 c. butter
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
3/4 c. all purpose flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts

1. Grease an 8x8x2 inch baking pan, set aside. In a medium saucepan melt butter and chocolate over low heat. Remove from heat. Stir in eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Using a wooden spoon, beat lightly just until combined. Stir in flour and nuts.

2. Spread batter in prepared baking pan. Bake in 350 degree oven for 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Cut into bars. Makes 24 brownies.

3. Top with No-Cook fudge frosting

4. Plate and share with friends.

No-Cook fudge frosting
2 1/2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 c. butter
1/6 c. boiling water (use half of a 1/3 measuring cup)
1/2 t. vanilla

1. Combine powdered sugar and cocoa powder. Add butter, boiling water and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until combined. Beat for 1 minute on medium speed. Cool for 20-30 minutes or till mixture reaches spreadable consistency.

*This is the halved version of the one in the BHG cookbook. The original recipe is way too much for this small pan of brownies.

Friday, January 16, 2009

lots and lots of hats

from last winter at my mom's...."no more pictures"

getting ready to leave Texas....Texas NEVER felt like home...despite loving my house.

Christmas in Ohio, swinging on the same swing Husband did as a child

tags for all the presents going to Ohio.....sparkly "hat"

Lots of "hats" to absorb....
amd favorite hat pic of all......hands down ....whem husband reunited with the kids after 15months!

Photohunt, courtesy of TNChick

Friday fill in


1. Enough with the super duper cold weather.

2. Disciplining the kids causes me to be conflicted. I know they need boundaries and rules. But passing out consequences breaks my heart! Good thing Husband is much better at that than me!

3. I've been craving cheese and crackers, with a splash of wine.

4. Husband....the kids....Josie running around chasing the kids makes me laugh.

5. I wish I could go to my mom's next week.

6. My lack of desire to blog or even to pick up my camera and take pictures has been on my mind lately.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to curling up with several magazines and something warm to drink, tomorrow my plans include staying inside and staying warm and Sunday, I want to the standard answer: sleep in!

Friday fill in courtesy of the talented Janet...

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Photostory Friday: Stayin' Alive

I will be the first to admit, I don't have much of a green thumb for indoor plants. I can plan flower beds, hanging baskets, and pretty much anything outdoors. But bring those plants and flowers indoors and they curl up and go to plant heaven.

So, when we moved here. Livi and I were in Walmart for all those little essential things that you have to buy every time we move. She saw this African Violet and wanted it because it was purple. My sister-in-law has these all over her house. So I figured I could get some expert tips from the master. I apologized to the little purple flower because I knew all too soon it would be making a little trip.

I made a phone call to SIL Mary. She gave me some tips: indirect light for several hours of the day, don't change the container immediately, water when dry. Okay, gotcha. I think we can do this. As ugly as the little brown plastic container is, I still haven't changed it to a proper pot. BUT after being here for six months, it is still alive! Alive and even going so far as to say doing well! It flowers all the time. Every once in a while, the leaves will butt up against the window pane and get a little scorched. I just snip if off.

Since the flower has been alive for so long, I decided to start some basil from seed. I am proud to announce, they sprouted! Pretty soon they will be ready to put into individual pots. I see an herb garden in my future.

I even bought some spiky green houseplant the last time I went to the commissary. Let's see how long I can keep that one alive!
While trying to take some shots of the violet, Will had to get his mug in there. "Cheese me, mommy!" *See the ugly brown plastic pot it is in? I guess I need to call her and ask her when I can transplant it!*

Overheard tonight while we were getting ready for bed:
Husband: Boy, why are you growing up so quickly?

Will: Because I eat alot.

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Muffin Monday....or pastry Wednesday ..take your pick

Muffin Monday was a day late this week. We had Husband's big dawg bosses over for dinner on Monday night. So there was no way I was even going to try to do too much in one day.
Will received a Ratatouille game for his Leapster for Christmas. One of the things they do on the game is put together food items to make various recipes. One of the things they can make is eclairs. Or 'd'clairs' as Will likes to call them. So this week the kids kept saying they wanted to make eclairs for muffin Monday.
We make muffins because I know we can prep, mix and bake....and be done in an HOUR. But he was bent on making them. Okay, okay, put my grouchy mommy attitude away for a bit.
I have NEVER made pastries in my life. But I can follow a recipe. I got out my trusty Better Homes and Garden cookbook. Yeah, yeah yeah. we have water, butter, sugar, flour....let's get on it.
It was actually fairly easy. I am very reluctant to let them cook around the stove, so they really just handed me stuff. They did get to break the eggs into a cup to mix in...but I pretty much made these.
We put a chocolate pudding filling in the inside. Will has issues with texture and did not like the filling in them at all. So, a handful were just pastry with the chocolate glaze.
Overall, very good, I would even say excellent, but very labor intensive. Make pastry....make pudding filling (the bake on the stove kind!!) and then the chocolate glaze.
1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/8 tsp. salt
3/4 cup all-purpose
1/4 cup whole-wheat flour or all-purpose
4 eggs

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease a baking sheet or line with parchment paper; set aside. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, sugar, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add both flours all at once, stirring vigorously with a wooden spoon. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well with a spoon after each addition.

2. Drop dough using a 2-tablespoon-capacity ice cream or cookie scoop or by heaping tablespoonsful 3 inches apart onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a deep golden color and puffs are firm. Transfer puffs to a wire rack; cool completely.

3. Cut puffs in half; if necessary, remove soft dough from inside. Spoon in filling. Replace tops. Sift powdered sugar over tops.
Makes 10 cream puffs.

Eclairs: Prepare as above, except spoon dough into a heavy resealable plastic bag. Snip a bottom corner to make a 1/2-inch opening. Pipe 20 to 22 strips of dough (about 4 inches long) 3 inches apart onto two baking sheets that have been lightly greased or lined with parchment paper. Bake for 30 minutes or until deep golden and firm. Cool and split, as in Steps 2 and 3. Fill eclairs as with the cream puffs. Makes 20 to 22 eclairs.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Manic Monday

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here

If you were to name the most creative outlet that you have, what would it be? Probably photography. A few years ago, I would have said scrapbooking....but we all know how caught up with that.

What spot in your body would you say is the center of your emotional being? Dang, Lisa..such deep questions for a Monday evening....my spot would have to be my mind. The whole mind over matter thing.

What do you think is the secret to a tranquil soul? Living a life that has a meaning...taking care of myself and those I love.....all the other stuff is the little stuff.

Note to self: Because I think every post should include a picture. This was taken on Thursday PM...I had to make an emergency run to Target. There are just some things that I CANNOT run out of.....with just a few left in the box, I had to go stock up!

PS, no muffin Monday today......we had Husband's big bosses over for dinner! But we do have something fun in store for tomorrow.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Photohunt: Aftermath

The aftermath of going to the commissary after NOT going since before Christmas. The pantry was bare at the Tuesday Update household!

Next week's theme: hat(s)

Photohunt is hosted by TNchick

Friday, January 09, 2009

Friday Fill in

1. It's January; and we have had a dusting of snow this week.

2. To go finish reading this book is what I crave most right now.

3. Cork and wine go together like.....poptop to Diet Dr Pepper??

4. A little treat for me every now and then is so nourishing.

5. Let us dare to live simply and peacefully.

6. I love my home.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to taking Will to a birthday party, tomorrow my plans include going to the commissary and Sunday, I want to what else?? Sleep in!

Friday fill in courtesy of the talented Janet...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Photostory Friday: not loving the blur

This was taken at the change of command for the First Cavalry way back in April. ...<----Army speak for basically when one big dog takes over for another big dog. The big dogs hand over the leadership in symbolic ceremony....see those big flags? Each battalion/brigade has one. There are little streamers from each flag or guidons for each thing they have fought in. Since this was a division change of command, there were six battalions, which is a whole lot of honkin' soldiers.

Anyhow, this photo is representitive of my state of being right now: Am I running full speed shooting guns in the air? Yes, they do really do that. But no, I not quite to that level of stress. I am talking about the blur....about the fuzzy, loopy feel to this picture.

I have experienced vertigo a couple of times in the last few years. Vertigo has reared its ugly fuzzy head again. I feel loopy and dizzy. Not the good buzz loopy, more the I-am-going-to-barf loopy.

Fear not, one day soon I might get caught up on my Google reader.

Happy Friday, y'all!

PhotoStory Friday
Hosted by Cecily and MamaGeek

Boomer Sooner

'Twas the night before the BCS and all through the land,not a Gator was stirring, not even the band.

Their Jockeys were hung by the locker with care, in hopes that the Sooners soon would be there.

Tebow was nestled all snug in his bed, while visions of glory danced in his head.

And Meyer in his kerchief full of Florida pride, and Bob and the Sooners ready to ride.

When down in Miami there arose such a clatter, Harvin sprang from his bed to see what was the matter.

He realized the Option was gone in a flash, and Tebow's dreams of running had just been dashed.

The Gator running backs trembled as they watched the show, A Crimson and Cream luster set the horizon aglow.

When what to their wondering eyes should they find, but a miniature Schooner, seven National Titles behind.

With a wizened old driver, skilled in leading his troops, they knew in a moment it must be Bob Stoops.

More rapid than Texas his players they came, and he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

"On Bradford , on Gresham, now Madu and Murray! On Chris Brown! On Iglesias! On Stevens and Curry!

To the top of the BCS! To the top of it all!

Now dash their hopes! Dash their dreams! Dash away all!"

And then in a twinkling, the Gators fought back a scream, and Tim Tebow saw the last of his Heisman trophy dream.

The defense drew in their breath and looked all around, and realized that their "savior Meyer" was nowhere to be found.

Bob's eyes how they twinkled, his coaches how merry! As they carried on the legacy left them by Bud and Barry.

Tim's sad little face and a fear in his belly, he shook on the field as his knees turned to jelly.

He spoke not a word, and the ball they couldn't carry, Stoops filled up the scoreboard and then turned to Barry.

And laying his hand on the shoulder of his friend, he gave Switzer a nod and said, "Like Missouri again."

Bob sprang to the Schooner, to his team gave a shout, to the BCS they flew and left Florida down and out.

And we heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,
"Boomer Sooner to All and to All a Good Night!"

PS, I have to admit, I am not a huge sports fan. I merely went to the games purely as a social event. But no matter where I will ever live, I am always a Sooner at heart! Go OU!
edited to add: I did NOT write this. My friend Ashlee sent this to me. She is an OU alum as well, she even cheered there!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


Definitely in a blogging funk, so just some random thoughts.......

awaiting on Husband's return....Thursday can't come soon enough.
Baby girl joined a ballet class. She absolutely loved it. The walls were this bright Tiffany blue!

Craving sweets....what's up with that? I usually crave salty.

Dang, got sucked into watching "The Bachelor" again....not too sure if I'll stick with it.

Elliptical has been my friend lately.

Found my wallet in my glove compartment....no recollection of putting it there. I am seriously going crazy!

Going to strive to be the best wife and mom I can.

Husband, hurry home!

Iphone....these pics were taken with it.

Josie has some stinky toots!!

Kitchen is clean, sink is shiny....makes for a happy tommie.

Loving my new phone.

Make up needs to be ordered. I love Bobbi Brown's tinted moisturizer.

New Moon....started the Twilight series over Christmas break. I just finished the third one.....fourth is on the way. It should be in tomorrow's mail.

Organized my junk drawer yesterday. Love me some organized junk!

Pretty in pink....she was practically dancing around all day waiting for class.

Quick whining and get out of this funk ....

Rain rain go away...come again another day.

sally's-salon-game is taking up way too much of my free time!

Thank you notes aren't going to write them themselves....I must do them this week!

Umbrella failure in the windy rain today.....looks like a spider with a broken leg.

Very cute umbrella it was too...black with multi-colored polka dots!

Will needed extra snuggles tonight. I almost fell asleep in his bed.

Xraying of the "girls" appt is next week....not looking forward to getting the girls smooched.

Y'all still reading....because I am getting ready to go get some

Happy Tuesday, y'all!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Manic Monday and cookie Monday

Fleur-de-Lisa hosts the original Manic Monday here.

Do you have any idiosyncrasies or unusual quirks when it comes to food and/or eating? I have food allergies, so I guess you could say quirks. I can't eat nuts, pork, or soy products.

Have you ever written love letters? I wrote husband while he was deployed. If so, do you still have any of them? He does have every single one of them. I have all of the ones he wrote while he was deployed as well. It was one of my very first blog posts!

How easy or difficult is it for you to say you're sorry?
Getting better with age, I can definitely say. I know I don't know everything...but it sure seems that way sometimes!

I guess we should call it cookie Monday since we haven't baked muffins in so long! But I still have a pile of recipes for cookies and candies the kids want to try!

glazed lemon cookies

3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 large egg yolks
1/2 t. pure vanilla extract
1/4 t. kosher salt
2 c. all purpose flour
2 T. fresh lemon juice (about the juice of one lemon)
1 t. grated lemon zest

* With an electric mixer, beat the butter and the granulated sugar until fluffy. Add the egg yolks, vanilla, and salt, and beat to combine. Gradually add the flour, mixing until just incorporated.

*Divide the dough in half and shape into 1 1/4" diameter logs. Wrap in wax paper and refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes.

*Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Slice the logs into 3/8" thick pieces and space them 1 1/2" apart on a parchment lined baking sheet. ( I just used my pizza stone, and they were fine!) Bake until lightly golden, 16-20 minutes. Let cool on the baking sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling racks to cool completely.

*In a small bowl, whisk together the confectioners' sugar, lemon juice, and zest until it forms a thick but pourable glaze (add more lemon juice if necessary). Dip the top of each cookie into the glaze and let set, about 15 minutes.

*Plate and share with friends.

Friday, January 02, 2009

photohunt :hope

I can only hope that these cookies taste good. My mother-in-law was so excited to make these with the kids. They are really a four part cookie....the base, a top with the circle cut out, a jelly filling, and the powdered sugar. The kids loved sprinking the sugar on them. I can only hope they tasted good. Since I have a nut allergy, I couldn't even taste them....apparently the cookies are made of almond paste. ooops!

Photohunt is hosted by TNchick