Sunday, November 30, 2008

Conversation with a 3-year old

Grant: "Monty is a really good dog."
Marissa: "Yeah, but he poops in the wrong place sometimes." (which is definitely the case...he likes to go next to the kids' swingset instead of his corner of the yard...a habit we are consistently trying to break)
Me: "You know, Marissa, you used to poop in the wrong place sometimes too."
Marissa: (wide-eyed), "Back when I was a dog???"

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Quick Dinner Rolls

I love this recipe! I got it from Crystal over at Biblical Womanhood and have modified it a little. It is fast, easy, and makes delicious rolls. Sorry the picture isn't better....I didn't get a chance to take any before dinner and this was what was left. We like bread. A lot. :)


1 c. warm water
1/3 c. oil
1/4 c. honey
1 1/2 T. yeast (or 2 packets)
1 egg
1 t. salt
3-4 c. flour (I use white whole wheat, sometimes part all purpose)
1 T. dough enhancer (optional)

In a large bowl, mix water, oil, honey, and yeast. Add the egg, salt, and flour. Mix until well combined and dough isn't too sticky. Knead (or just use your mixer with dough hook like I do) for about 5 minutes. Dump onto a large cutting board and divide into 16 sections. Form each section into a roll and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Let rise for 10-20 minutes. Bake at 425 for 8-10 minutes, or until lightly browned and done.

You can let them rise longer, of course, and you'll end up with larger rolls. But as directed, they still end up great. And I've never seen a roll or bread recipe that is completed this fast. Plus they taste really good!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

This and That

Grant's chin is healing quite nicely. He took out the stitches a week ago without any problems and is looking quite good. It is a little hard to tell since he still has the beard.....but I really don't think he'll have much of a scar! Pretty amazing, if you ask me.

In other news, Grant's parents will be arriving very late tonight for their Thanksgiving visit. They'll be here for two weeks. We haven't seen them since Christmas, and the kids have changed so much since then. Corban has been counting down the days for several weeks now and is bummed that they'll arrive long after he's asleep. We're looking forward to a great visit and lots of fun activities. Hopefully it won't be too's hovering in the upper 40s/low 50s for highs during the day, which is a bit limiting in outdoor fun for the kids.
We're planning a trip to nearby Jamestown on Friday, but it is supposed to be pretty chilly and a lot of the fun stuff (Indian village, ships to explore, etc) is outside. So we'll see how that all works out.

My friend Ellen had her 5th baby last week, by emergency C-section. It's a complicated story, but God was watching over her and little Daniel in a miraculous way that stunned even the doctors. I love seeing the hand of God move. They're doing well and are home...I got to spend an hour with her on Saturday and held Daniel the whole time. He is just darling, a perfect precious baby. I'm looking forward to seeing what special plans God has for his life.

That's about it for now, I've got hungry kiddos and a crying baby.


Herbed Corn

I really like corn...we ate it a lot growing up. Of course, the best corn was homegrown, straight out of Grandad's garden.....not that I'm biased at all. But I can't get that anymore and unfortunately haven't had any homegrown corn in many years. But this recipe is so tasty, it almost makes up for it. This makes a huge batch, which is great for a potluck or a large family meal. Even people who don't like corn in general have liked this recipe. I got it from Taste of Home, by the way. The original said to just use 1 cup of water; I find that to be utterly useless, so I use probably 3 cups.

12 cups frozen corn
3 cups water
1/2 cup butter or margarine, cubed
2 T. minced fresh parsley OR 1 t. dried parsley
2 scant t. salt
1 t. dill weed
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. Italian seasoning
1/4 t. dried thyme (good, but I've made it without and it's just as nice)

In a large saucepan, combine corn and water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 4-6 minutes or until corn is tender. Drain; stir in remaining ingredients. Yield: 10-12 servings (and those are big servings!).

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I still like quizzes.....

Could you out-spell an eighth grader? Try this quiz and find out! I just can't resist taking such things when I see them online. I guess I want to prove to myself that I haven't lost all my brain cells with pregnancy and kids!

I did pretty well, by the way. I did miss one, the last one actually. If you take the quiz, let me know how you did!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Do you have a question? I have an answer.

I got an email from my friend Amy with one of those questionnaires about myself and decided to post the answers on my blog. Just FYI.

1. Do you like blue cheese? NO, NO, and again I say NO. Blech.
2. Have you ever smoked? Not even once. Blech.
3. Do you own a gun? Not personally, but Grant has three pistols, a shotgun, a rifle, and is about to get 2 or 3 more weapons from his dad. Don't worry, we have a gun safe. I've only been shooting (the Beretta) three times.
4. What flavor Kool-Aid was your favorite? My mom never bought kool-aid. And I'm not sorry about that. I won't buy such garbage either! :)
5. Do you get nervous before doctor appointments? Depends. If it's because I'm sick, no. If it's one of those lovely OB appointments, yeah.
6. What do you think of hot dogs? Used to hate I'll eat them occasionally. Kids will do that to you.
7.Favorite Christmas movie? It's a Wonderful Life, I make Grant watch it with me every year!
8. What do you prefer to drink in the morning? orange juice or water.
9.Can you do push ups? Well, maybe. I have a really weak wrist right now and that hampers me a lot. I can do a few on my fists. Don't really like to. :)
10. What's your favorite piece of jewelry? My engagement ring and two wedding rings. Grant got me a beautiful diamond-topped wedding band for our 5th anniversary, so I wear my original simple band on my right hand.
11. Favorite hobby? Baking cheesecakes! Probably because I love to eat them.
12. Do you have A.D.D.? No, but I can multi-task!
13. What's one trait you dislike about yourself? Physical? My hair. Other? I'm not so great at driving a stick shift and get terrified to even try.
14. Middle name? Sue, after my Mom's middle name.
15. Name 3 thoughts at this exact moment: I'm looking forward to our date tonight (we're going bowling together for the first time!), sleep is a wonderful thing, especially when it's the children sleeping!, I'd sure like a piece of cheesecake :)
16. Name 3 drinks you regularly drink? Water, orange juice, skim milk.
17. What is your current worry? Will Grant's stitches come out okay?
18. Current hate right now? Gaping holes in my husband's chin come to mind.....
19. Favorite place to be? With Grant and my kiddos
20. How did you bring in the New Year? Ummmm....that was months ago. I can't remember. Oh yeah, Grant's parents were here, we were planning Grant's birthday party. I made brown beans and ham, fried potatoes, and cornbread. Grant's dad liked the beans so much, he ate them for breakfast the next day!
21. Where would you like to go? Switzerland, Italy, Costa Rica, Prague, South Africa, Hawaii (for Grant), back to Glacier National Park, Prince Edward Island, lots of places!
22. Do you own slippers? Yes -- I get cold feet.
23. What shirt are you wearing? A blue t-shirt. Not dressed for the date yet, that's for sure!
24. Do you like sleeping on satin sheets? HA! Satin sheets are Grant's ideal (so he thinks), but we've never gotten them yet. I think they'd be too slippery. That's why he wants them.
25. Can you whistle? yes
26. Favorite color? blue
27. Would you be a pirate? Are you kidding? A pillaging, murdering, evil-minded robber? Not if my life depended on it.
28. What songs do you sing in the shower? I don't sing in the shower often, when I do, it's just whatever comes to mind. I like Christmas music a lot, actually.
29. Favorite Girl's Name? Marissa and Annika!
30. Favorite boy's name? Corban, Daniel, David
31. What's in your pocket right now? No pockets in my yoga pants. Oh, and I don't do yoga.
32. Last thing that made you laugh? A real hearty laugh? Has to be "The Office" on Thursday, when Kelly said, "Dwight, get out of my nook" and Pam shouted over the bluetooth in Jim's ear, "That's what she said! That's what she said!" (sorry, you non-Office fans....that probably made no sense whatsoever.)
33. What vehicle do you drive? Honda Odyssey, Blue of course
34. Worst injury you've ever had? Hmmmm.....probably my knee going out just before my junior year of high school. Torn cartilage, chipped bone....still gives me issues sometimes.
35. Do you love where you live? I love our home....I wish it was closer to family.
36. How many TVs do you have in your house? 2
37. Who is your loudest friend? Loudest talker? Maybe Lakesha. Loudest singer? Sarah takes the cake!
38. Do you have any pets? Monty, our black lab/boxer
39. Does someone have a crush on you? I don't know if I'd consider Grant's love for me a "crush". It's so much more and better than that!
40. Your favorite book? I like lots of books, but don't like any as much as the Bible.
41. Do you collect anything? Used to collect postcards, don't anymore. Now I guess I'm collecting children! :)
42. Favorite Sports Team? Not that I watch them, but I still root for the Ark Razorbacks!
43. What song do you want played at your funeral? I don't plan on having a funeral....maybe a cremation. I guess there might still be some sort of service. I'd really prefer to not plan that right now!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

What would you do to save $75?

You'll never guess what I did tonight.

I was an accomplice to a medical procedure that should never be attempted at home. Against my wishes, I might add.

Grant walked in the door (home from a two day trip to DC) as I was busy getting dinner with a screaming baby on my hip and calmly announced that he needed stitches....for an accidental self-inflicted wound on his chin. Don't ask me what happened, I can't tell you.
Like his new beard? He's only been growing it about 5 days.

He took Annika with him upstairs so I could finish my task at hand and within a few minutes, I went up to check on him.

I found him in our bathroom, doing the unthinkable.

Yes, that is a thread going through his skin, strung there by one of my sewing needles. I shot this photo while he took a little break, all the while trying to keep myself from getting sick. I may have gotten the highest grade in my First Responder class in college, but that doesn't mean I can handle real wounds.

Oh, you're wondering why on earth he's stitching up his own chin? Because he didn't want to pay $75 to go to the ER. Yep, he'd rather spend that money on ammunition for one of his weapons. This was all against my counsel, for the record.

He took this photo himself, after I had left the room. My role in the procedure? Tying the knots. He couldn't get them too well and needed help and gosh darn it, Corban hasn't learned how to tie yet. It's a good thing he can sew better than I can, because I never would have been able to do it.

The finished product. Four stitches, with black sewing thread, done in our bathroom. Rest assured, everything, including the thread, was sterilized with alcohol and he covered the wound with antibiotic ointment after completing the task.
Not my favorite way to spend an evening. At least it was before dinner.....or I might have lost it.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Cookie Bars

I got this delightful recipe from my mom just the other day, which was long overdue because this was a family favorite of ours growing up. I don't know why I had delayed so long in getting it, because these are a real treat and so easy! I made them a bit healthier by using 100% white whole wheat flour, which is just as healthy but nicer for baking than regular red whole wheat.

We all enjoyed them, particularly Grant. I have a feeling these will become a pretty regular dessert around here.

1 lb brown sugar (2 cups firmly packed)
2/3 cup canola oil or expeller-pressed coconut oil
3 eggs
1 t. vanilla
2 3/4 cups flour (all purpose or white whole wheat, or combination)
1/2 t. salt
2 1/2 t. baking powder
6-8 oz chocolate chips
1 cup nuts, optional
  • Preheat oven to 350. Mix sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla, combining well.
  • Sift dry ingredients, then add to wet, mixing until combined.
  • Stir in chips and nuts.
  • Spread in a greased 13 x 9 inch pan; bake for 22-28 minutes, or until toothpick tests clean.
See how easy that is? Be sure to not overbake them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Close Call

I had one of those panicky moments that every parent dreads today. You know, those ones where you think you've lost a child in the store or something similar. Let me give a little background.
We have some house guests for a couple of weeks; some friends (a 4 person family) who needed a place to stay between when their lease was up on their rental home and the closing date on their new home. They've been staying with us since Tuesday and are scheduled to close on their home on Nov. 10. Anyways, we made sure to give them house keys, one of which Grant said was a spare one we keep in the garage.
Back to the story. It was about 11:30 am, the other family was away, Grant had left about 30 minutes earlier to go to a gun show in VA Beach with a friend, and I was home with the kids. Corban and Marissa were playing out back while I was doing a little housework with Annika playing in the living room.
I heard Corban and Marissa yelling loudly at Monty (which they do if he's trying to go potty in the wrong spot in the yard), so I went out there to see what was going on. I made sure to close the door behind me, so Annika wouldn't crawl out.
When I turned to go back in, the door knob was locked. Obviously, I hadn't locked it. Someone had probably inadvertently turned the button to the locked position, which only prevents you from coming into the house, not out.
Instantly, I freaked out. Annika was in there all alone, blissfully unaware at the moment, but who knew how long that would last. I had a sinking feeling that all of the other doors were also locked. And it's not like I carry my house key around with me. I darted through the yard, around to the front door. Yep, it was locked. Okay. I opened the garage door with the keypad (praise God for those things!) and tried that interior door. Yep, also locked. I like the house to feel secure when I'm home alone.
At this point, I really began to panic, because I distinctly remembered Grant getting out that key we keep in the garage to give to our guests. My mind was racing a thousand miles a second. What could I do? I'd have to run to a neighbor, use their phone to call Grant on his cell, and wait for him to get home with the key, a process that would probably take about an hour. And poor little Annika!
I rummaged around on Grant's workbench, hoping and praying that somehow there was a key there. In just about 20 seconds, I found it. Hallelujah! I don't know why it was there, why Grant had put it back, or what, but it was there, just when I needed it.

I really hate those panicked moments. I never need to have another one.

On another note, we took the big kids for their annual check-ups today. Here are their stats:
Height: 48 inches (over 100th percentile) -Is anyone surprised?
Weight: 47.5 lbs (90th percentile)
Height: 37.5 inches (55th percentile)
Weight: 32.5 lbs (75th percentile)

Both have great iron levels, Corban's vision and hearing came out perfect (they didn't test Marissa), they both are doing great in everything. Hurray!
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