Monday, August 31, 2009

cooking 101 with noodle

so i think i mentioned before that i had signed noodle up for a cooking class on mondays through our city's recreation center. we've done classes there before and because i know noodle's love to help in the kitchen, i thought he would really like this class.

much to our dismay, we were informed a week before class started that it had been canceled due to poor enrollment. so we took our lemons and made lemonade and thus began our class, "cooking 101 with noodle."

last week we made a dozen pumpkin muffins and a dozen cinnamon muffins. today we tried out a new recipe for some yummy brownies.


black and white brownies

what you need:
1 19-21 oz. pkg. fudge brownie mix
1 10-12 oz pkg white chocolate pieces
1 c. semisweet chocolate pieces
1/2 c. pecan pieces
1/4 c. butter, melted
3 Tbsp. hot water
2 c. sifted powdered sugar
1/4 c. unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla
3/4 cup pecan pieces

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees. grease the bottom of a 13x9x2 inch baking pan; set aside. prepare brownie mix according to package directions. stir in half of the white chocolate pieces, all of the semisweet chocolate pieces, and the 1/2 cup pecans. spread the batter in the prepared baking pan.

2. bake about 30 minutes or until center is set. sprinkle with the remaining white chocolate pieces and bake for 1 minute more. cool in pan on a wire rack.

3. for frosting, in a small bowl, combine melted butter and hot water, stir in powdered sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. beat by hand until smooth. spoon over top of brownies. sprinkle with the 3/4 cup pecans. cool about 1 1/2 hours or until frosting is set. cut into bars. makes about 36 brownies.
easy and yummy!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

a new treasure


today has been a full day. yesterday was too. i am beat.

the boys are beat. their song about "hot dogs and bikinis" on the way home tonight was a sure sign of delirium. especially since they have no idea what a bikini is!

part of the busyness of our day had to do with the acquisition of this:

a wonderful new treasure (i guess i should be specific and say the sofa) i found thanks to my good friend craigslist. what do you think?

Friday, August 28, 2009

Run Burrito Run

I still cannot believe it! Burrito ran all 35 laps with time to spare! The Boosterthon Fun Run was a success and I think everyone involved loved it! Good job, Burrito! We are so proud of you!

This picture cracks me up! Look at that focus and determination!
Noodle cheering on his brother, or maybe trying to figure out how these things work!

I thought this was such a clever idea! At the end of each lap, volunteers marked the backs of their shirts to keep tab of their progress. And lookie there, he did all 35!

Taking a break to cool off after the race.

Lining up to head back to school.
Time for a class picture!

Thanks again to all who made pledges! Burrito will be calling you to say thanks and to tell you all about the race!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

a lesson in rutherford mathematics

what do you get when you take:

one child recovering from an illness

one child coming down with aforementioned illness

money saved up over several months in their respective piggy banks?

you get this!

and after 2 hours of this sweet momma's time
you get this!

and what did i get?

sweet lego-induced peace in the house! (how do you like noodle's hairstyle there? i promise, he wakes up every morning with hair like that or worse!)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

could you be, would you be....

won't you be my neighbor friend? didn't you just love mr. rogers? (on a side note, if you do love him you must read this book: I'm Proud of You: My Friendship with Fred Rogers by Tim Madigan....really, really good!)

i am a little sad today because burrito is sick and home from school. now while i do love having him home with me, sickness always stresses me out. i have no explanation for that. it is what it is. you see at the top of my right hand column a section that says "followers?" could you make my day by "following" my blog? it's not hard. i promise. that could be my silver lining to an otherwise gray day.
and if you read my blog on facebook because you are an IRL friend, could you actually get on the blog and add yourself as a follower there?

thanks for being my neighbor, friend, follower!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

out of the mouth of noodle

do you remember this post where i talked about verbalizing to the boys that when i am reading the bible, i am spending time with jesus? i want them to know how important this is and to understand what's going on. well, i'm not sure if noodle totally gets it. on our way back home after dropping burrito off at school today:

noodle: "so mom, what's the plan for the day?"

me: "i don't know honey, let me think about it for a minute."

noodle: "i know mom. we're going to go home, i am going to watch a movie, and you are going to read to Jesus!"

Monday, August 24, 2009

bad hair day

burrito has dr. doss and mrs. debbie to thank for his bad hair day today, ha! thanks to their pledges towards his school fundraiser, the boosterthon fun run, burrito scored the crazy hair ball and bag today. thanks guys! ;)

his outfit is complements of a friend from school. we are blessed to receive all of her cool hand me down clothes and toys, and this power ranger outfit was a huge hit this afternoon. burrito declared that this would be his costume for halloween this year. i hope not. i have their pictures traditionally made each year in their costumes, and this just doesn't make for as cute a picture as these.

noodle was signed up to participate in a cooking class at our local rec center. well on friday (you remember, friday the "off day") i had a message from them that the class had been cancelled because of lack of interest. great. i was really excited about this one for noodle because he really loves to help in the kitchen.

i knew that if i didn't tell him the class had been cancelled, he would never remember we were supposed to go today. and of course, his blondness prevailed, and he had no clue. so i decided that i would be his cooking teacher each monday.

with school, i don't have the time i once had to get up and make a nice breakfast in the mornings. we are huge muffin eaters, so noodle and i decided to make 2 dozen muffins today...some to eat this week and some to freeze for later. on the menu: pumpkin and cinnamon streusel. yummo!
and here are a few pics from the block party we attended saturday night at my sister's and brother in law's church. the boys always gravitate toward the basketball goal...big ones and little ones!

Friday, August 21, 2009

goodbye snake house

today marked the end of an era.

on sunday, our zoo will be closing the herpetarium, otherwise known as the snake house. now, i am not a fan of snakes or anything remotely resembling a snake, but i am a sentimentalist and i am sad about this. this is the same zoo i grew up visiting as a child. back then, they had these little buttons you could push underneath each exhibit to see if that particular reptile or amphibian was venemous or not. this was seriously one of my most favorite things at the zoo. i would try to guess and then see if i guessed correctly. i know, i'm weird.

now the zoo is not just eliminating the herpetarium all together. they are building a brand new spot for these creatures scheduled to open in february. the old snake house closes on sunday and will be torn down.

i hate that. i understand it is outdated and probably needs repair but why do you have to tear it down? it was built in the 1960's so it has all sorts of mid century modern influences throughout. i love it, minus the snakes and all.

but i am learning seasons come and seasons go, and i don't have any say about it.

but we had a good time today, nonetheless. i was a little skeptical about going because the skies looked like this this morning.

but the rain had stopped, the temperatures were in the 70's and the zoo was virtually empty! it was great!
i love how the giraffes must really spread their legs out to get down low enough to eat the grass.

noodle was really excited about having his picture taken, can't you tell?
now this thing just taunts me everytime we visit. this is the harpy eagle and it is seriously scary. and sick. and i am not sure why the Lord created such a thing. but the boys love to aggravate me by making sure we go to see him.

this is, according to him, his snake face (below).
see how empty the zoo was? even the train was deserted, a sight i don't think i have ever seen!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Burrito says thanks! and other random thoughts

burrito says thank you for all who have pledged or have shown an interest in pledging towards his fun run next friday at school. he actually came home toting prizes that he's already earned, including the headband you see here.

he looks ready to run, don't you think? i think the headband was the most appealing to him so he was pretty pumped to get that today!

noodle and i made pasta milano for a friend at church that just had a baby. we took it over and visited a bit with her, her 2 year old son and new baby. it was flashback time for me. i remember really wanting visitors because we were stuck at home but then a little worried about how the house was a mess or how i had not showered in days! it is amazing how quickly that season of life comes and goes. i was just lamenting to john the other night about how we are almost out of the "zoo pass" season of life. once both boys are in school, we'll never have the opportunity to visit as frequently. *sniff, sniff*

i have been thankful to the Lord for the contentment He has given me these past few weeks. i feel such a joy and pleasure to be a stay at home mom and homemaker, and i am really grateful to God and my husband for allowing me to do what i love most.

after dropping burrito off at school in the mornings, noodle and i come back home and he knows that i will read and "spend some time with Jesus." i like using that terminology with him. to see me do that and know what i am doing i hope will leave a lifelong impression on him. and honestly, the Lord has shown so much grace towards me the last 6 years because i have not been like that. to say i am not a morning person is quite an understatement and so it has always been a battle to get out of bed and spend time with the Lord. it is quite shameful. and by the time bedtime rolls around, it takes about 1 minute of reading to put me fast to sleep.

this summer though, has been a different story. once i got up and started reading a bit, i really found that it shaped the rest of my day, and in a great way. i would think about what i had read and try to live out those things with my husband and kids. it has been so good, and i am so thankful.

one last random thought. do you know the fruits of the spirit? love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control. the boys memorized these and for the longest time, noodle had to repeat them before every nap and at bedtime too. well, in my reading this past week, i had a huge revelation. the fruits of the spirit are not something i can muster up with my own will. they require the Holy Spirit's help! i know, it sounds pretty simple. that's why they call them the fruits of the spirit! why did i not get this before? why do i not have enough patience (or fill in the blank with any of the fruits!) with my husband or boys? because i am not relying on the Holy Spirit. i am trying to summon that up from my own resources and i fail! ughh! if only i had figured this out years before!
so that's my big revelation for the week. thanks for reading through all my randomness! :)

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Boosterthon Fun Run

Burrito was so excited about school today because all the kindergarteners were able to ride the big blue school bus over to the main campus. Here he is with his class.

There was a pep rally at the main campus today to psyche the kids up for the Boosterthon Fun Run. This is the only fundraiser the grammar school (grades K through 6th) participates in for the year. We like this fundraiser over others because it promotes character building and exercise, as opposed to selling cookie dough or magazine subscriptions.

This is the second year the school has participated in this fundraiser. The kids walk or run laps (with a max of 35 laps) and collect pledges per lap they complete. The laps are short and the kids are well hydrated so they do a good job keeping the kids safe. Last year, the school set a goal to raise $10,000 toward the construction of the new grammar building. The kids last year raised $54,000! Craziness! They also encouraged the kids to get pledges from all 50 states. They were real close with 49, with West Virginia eluding them.

So the pep rally was today and we've started collecting pledges. The actual fun run takes place next Friday. Noodle and I went to the pep rally today to check it out and he had a good time. He even scored these cool sunglasses from one of the guys from that organization.

So if you want to make a pledge to support Burrito let me know, especially if you live in a different state! :) And in supporting him, you would also be supporting classical Christian education!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

the locksmith

you better go ahead and sit down because you are not going to believe this story!

now this is a continuation of the post below, so if you haven't read it, stop right now, scroll down and read it first! :)

so the locksmith rolls up and gets out of his truck. he comes over to john (who is in his boxers, need i remind you) and asks to see proof that we are the residents of this home. oh dear. we just moved in earlier that day so obviously our drivers' licenses have not been updated with the new address. i remember that i have a letter from the u.s. postal service showing that we requested our mail be forwarded from our old address to this address but it is inside, of course!

so the locksmith looks at us a bit incredulously but goes about trying every key on his key ring to get the door open. after trying almost all of them, he stops, backs away from the door and tells us that he has a funny feeling about this. are you kidding me???

"excuse me sir, but do you see this garage that we are standing in piled to the ceiling with boxes? do you see that we are standing outside in our underwear? does telling you that my kids are asleep inside alone and have been for the past 45 minutes concern you like it does me? do you really think this is some elaborate attempt to break into someone else's home? would you like to go and confirm our story with the neighbors, who we just met for the first time in our undies?"
fortunately for me (and for him!), my husband interceded and assured him that we were the residents of the home and if he needed to describe the exact layout of the floorplan to him, he was willing to do that.
thankfully, he set back to work and used his credit card to jimmy the lock and let us in. i ran to check on the boys, who were still sleeping soundly, unaware of our current situation. john handled the payment and paperwork. the locksmith ended up telling us that we seemed like a nice, honest couple who had an unfortunate experience with a new house and so he charged us what he would charge for his services if they were to occur during the day. which was still a lot.
lesson learned. i hope the next lesson we learn like that will take place when we are fully and appropriately clothed!

Monday, August 17, 2009

embarrassing moments...

everyone has them, particularly in the junior high years. since john teaches 7th and 8th grade students, he always has a story to tell.

since we had just a regular ol' monday with nothing exciting on the homefront, i thought i would share with you a true embarrassing moment that we had 2 years ago when we moved into this house.

the boys were 3 and 1 when we moved in to this house and to say we were all exhausted by the end of moving weekend would be a gross understatement. our top priority was assembling burrito's bed and noodle's crib when we moved in. happy well rested children were very important to us! and we were able to accomplish that, and the boys went down for bed without a fuss. i think they were exhausted too.

around 11p that night, john and i were ready to hit the sack ourselves. we did the normal bedtime routine of washing faces, brushing teeth and donning pj's. without going into unnecessary detail, john had on boxers and a white t-shirt and i wore a shirt and panties to bed. before we drifted off to sleep, i started worrying about burrito waking up in the middle of the night and trying to find us in a dark and unfamiliar house. so john and i both decided to make our way out to the garage and dig through a few boxes to see if we could locate a nightlight.

after about 10 minutes of digging without success, we decided to give it up and just leave a light on in the laundry room that would be far enough away to not disturb our sleep but would give off enough light to help burrito see if he were to get up.

so we headed back inside only to realize that the door from the garage to the house was locked! we never, ever lock those doors but because we were in a new house and an unfamiliar neighborhood, john had locked the door before we went to bed. he did not remember this as we went out to the garage to scavenge for a nightlight, and the door has a knob that opens from the inside even though it is locked from the outside. who invented such a thing???

so trying not to panic, we try to jimmy the lock. for some reason, john actually had his wallet out in the garage so we tried using a credit card to no avail. i had a bobby pin in my hair, and we tried that as well with no luck. the boys were too little to waken from outside and follow instructions to let us back in. we were stuck!

as providence would have it, we heard voices, and when we raised the garage door, we realized our neighbors were up and outside. so john in his boxers and i in my shirt and panties (i did find a blanket in the garage to wrap myself up with!) venture over to meet the neighbors for the first time and ask to borrow their phone to call a locksmith.

apart from the horror of being in our underwear, john and i were equally mortified to think of how much this was going to cost us. a locksmith at 11p at night, oh dear! and the locksmith, well he was quite a character.

in fact, the locksmith encounter is a whole other crazy story that i will save for tomorrow. check back because you won't believe what happened with him!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

circulo de amigas

what happens when you take these 3 college roommates...

(heather with baby andrea, me & julie)

and pair them with these three Godly men?

(john, jon with baby andrea, & mark)

3 fabulous couples endeared to each other for life...

(john and me, julie and mark, jon and heather)

that produces a brood of fabulous children!

and not to mention some good times! the stars aligned correctly and our entire families were able to meet up last night to celebrate P's 6th birthday. (we're talking 3 families from virginia, lubbock and fort worth, quite a feat!)

the kids had a blast at the party and especially loved the chick-fil-a cow.

if you know my husband very well, you will know why this picture is so hysterical (chrystal, i did this just for you!)

happy birthday P and muchas gracias a mi circulo de amigas for a super sweet time. praying the Lord would give us many more opportunities to love on each other and on each other's kids. i think i see a wedding in our future, what do you think? (julie, i think he has the most camels, ha!)