I need to start organizing all of my recipes. They are getting messy. I would really, really, really, like something like this for Mother's Day. And a media center so we can finally move the wagon and bins away from the TV.
I have mixed feelings about the arrival of summer. For one thing I'm excited because I'm ending my first semester of being back at school. For another I'm not at all excited because that's when my work schedule picks up. Crap.
But, one thing I am very much looking forward to this summer is READING. Gosh dang it I love it. I love to read. Always have always will. I've suffered a little these past few months because my reading has been confined to documents on Theology and Gender (though we did get to read The Red Tent) and children's books like Charlotte's Web and The Midwife's Appretince. I have, along the way, snuck in chapters from a book or two but for the most part my nose has been in schoolwork.
We finished reading our last book for Children's Literature on Monday and took a quiz and since then (it's what, Wednesday) I have plowed through 2 1/2 books that I already own. That's how starved I was for recreational reading! I've decided to re-read the Sookie Stackhouse books because a new one comes out in May (hurrah!). I will probably re-read Gone With the Wind again for the 50th time. I usually read that book ever summer. Its my fave. I'm also thinking of rereading The Book Thief. This is the book ranked second on my "All-Time Top Five Books I Love And Could Read Forever" list. Gone With the Wind is first.
I like to make lists. I have a grocery list before I go shopping. I have a packing list of stuff to not forget when we go on a trip. I have a list of tasks I need to do. I'm a lister...
So in honor of my weird obsession with lists, I'm going to list the books I intend to read this summer.
1. Gone With the Wind
2. The Book Thief
3. Winter Wheat
5. Dead in the Family (Sookie Stackhouse)
6. World Without End
7. Some books we examined in my Children's Literature class
8. Maybe a romance novel (but just one) :)
9. The Girl Who Fell From the Sky
10.The Handmaid's Tale
I might read another classic. I read Pride and Prejudice last year. Maybe I'll re-read Sense and Sensibility.
I'll let y'all know what I think about the books.
Also, on taps for the summer- getting this book and reading it to Caderyn and Lucy.
Dinner: Chicken Tacos
Verdict- and I quote: "I'm on my third one..." Jeff, the husband and resident taste tester.
1 can of tomato sauce
1 4oz can of green chilis (I used two because I know my husband loves the kick)
1 cup of onions (I used 1/3 because Jeff's not an onion fan- he didn't even know they were there mwahaha)
2 tbsp of chili powder
1/4 tsp of garlic powder
It called for worschestershire sauce but I hate that stuff. So I added 2 tbsp of vinegar and 1 tbsp of maple syrup.
Put chicken breasts in crock pot- mix ingredients in seperate bowl and pour over chicken. Cook on high for 4-5 hours. Service with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, tortillas- anything you like on beef tacos. I was thinking about adding black beans the next time...hmmm...that's a thought.
Up next in my baking adventures, I'm going to tempt Jeff's tastebuds by making him a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. All from scratch. Jeff's a yellow cake fan, but I don't really like the fake 'n' bake boxed cakes and frostings so I'm trying different things. Oh if only I were a stay at home mom and rich we'd all be plump and well fed.
Also- I'm trying to branch out here. Feeding a one-year-old has become quite difficult lately. Its hard to keep it healthy and keep the little guy interested.
I'm going to start keeping track of what we make him for meals online and any new creations we might stumble across in hopes of helping people/parents who read my blog (if there are any at all). I would love input on recipes.
Today for dinner Caderyn had a whole wheat tortilla with cheese and organic black beans. I figured that's good 'cause its the grains, the dairy and then the veggie and protein/fiber. I'm a little concerned though about what the beans do to his pooper. Man, am I in for a stinky diaper in the morning.
Breakfast for the little guy tomorrow:
Apples and cinnamon oatmeal
Lunch: Organic Southwestern soup and carrots and crackers
Dinner: Whole wheat pasta with olive oil and parmesean cheese.
Caderyn loves being outside. He loves going for walks and playing in the yard. He loves playing in the dirt and climbing stairs and chasing Lucy. This is the face Jeff and I constantly see him making. This is Caderyn's "Please take me outside" face. It's pretty hard to resist.
The Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting...WAS A SUCCESS! I've had to wrestle at least one piece away for myself after I weigh in on Friday. There are only like three pieces left and I didn't even have one yesterday. I'm so excited to enjoy my piece on Friday. The cake was really easy. It was the Betty Crocker Chocolate Cake recipe and the Peanut Butter Frosting was 1c peanut butter, 2 1/2 c of powdered sugar, 4tsp of milk, 1 tsp of vanilla. You have to mix it for like 4 minutes and make it fluffy. Its delish.
On a side note: Why are Montana- local- commercials SO BAD?
We're going over to a friend's house for dinner tonight. This is something VERY wonderful for Jeff and I. We don't get invited out a lot. I offered to bring dessert and went looking through my cupboards and cookbooks yesterday. I thought I would make a boxed cake, but was bored with that idea and wanted more of a challenge. So I checked to see if I had enough ingredients to make chocolate cake from scratch. I sure did. It was a success. The cake looks and smells delicious. I whipped up some peanut butter frosting (my first attempt making this) and I think it will add a nice touch. I'll maybe write a follow-up on the verdict after dinner. Here are some pictures. I didn't put it on my pretty cake platter because I'd have to transport it and the pan with the lid is just nicer to carry.
The peanut butter frosting- looks like peanut butter huh!
A shot of the actual cake under the frosting. There's some flour on the bottom of the pan to prevent sticking.
Caderyn is home with a nasty cold today. Coincidentally, I'm at work with the same cold. He's still his smiley, happy self but his nose is goobery and he cough and coughs and coughs and his throat hurts from coughing. This morning he coughed himself awake at 5:00 a.m. and wouldn't go back to sleep. So we hung out together on the couch. He snuggled and wanted his arm tickled for about five minutes and then he wanted to go play. So, play we did.
I figured out my work schedule in my head and decided I would be okay heading in to work around 8:30 a.m. this morning. We played with cars and looked outside and pretended to call people on the telephone. Then I got ready for work and thought I was would put him down for a nap when I left. So I did that and it was quiet so I left for work.
No sooner do I walk into my office when I get a call from the hubby saying that Bub hasn't gone to sleep and he's crying and coughing. All I can think about all day today is how much I want to be home with him to make him feel better. I want to snuggle him and smile at him to show him that he is loved.
My poor little guy.
On a happier note. A new ice cream place just opened in Helena. Its called...The Big Dipper. Now for those of you that don't know this ice cream, its originally a Missoula owned eatery. They have amazing ice cream flavors and I highly suggest you try it. I had a snack there on Saturday with my mother-in-law. I got the yellow cake flavored ice cream with hot fudge, rainbow sprinkles and whipped cream. OH-A-MY-A-GAWD. Delish!
Everyone needs to go there and try it. It's located in the walking mall in downtown Helena.
It's hard to believe that just a little ovevr a week ago we were still in the beautiful sun of Phoenix with my parents. We had a great time!
Caderyn did really well on the plane ride down there. We lucked out and had the middle seat between us open up so that put Jeff in the aisle seat, Caderyn in the middle and me at the window. This is a lifesaver and parents, if you have energetic little kids I would highly suggest just getting that middle seat. We had lots of toys and snacks for little man. We only had to do one diaper change. The only problem was that when we got there he was SO tired. He cried nearly the entire hour drive back to my parents house. It was horrible, there was nothing we could do. I just felt so bad for him and wanted to snuggle and love him. We finally got home and transferred him into the crib around 11:00 p.m. where he slept fitfully and finally got up around 4:00 a.m. Bleh. I think my mom came down around 5:30 or 6 a.m. and took over so I could get some more rest. Caderyn took a great nap- hurrah and then my parents and I took the Bub for a hike. Jeff got lots of sleep this day.
We went to 11:00 a.m. mass on Easter day. Caderyn didn't last there very long either, but he looked so very handsome and the most important thing is that we went. It doesn't matter that I was outside with Bud for half of the service and then Jeff was out for the other half. After that Caderyn and mommy both took very long naps. We had wondful people over to help us celebrate Easter and dinner was delicious! I don't have any family pictures from Easter up yet because I'm anxiously waiting to get them from my dad...HINT HINT.
The rest of the week was a blur. My mom and I walked a lot and did some hiking. We went shopping and got some fabulous deals. I got to see my friend Kristyn whom I haven't seen for over a year. Jeff and I got a date night and then we got to go to movies with my parents. We went to the zoo and Jeff and my dad got in some good golfing. We ate amazing food and desserts and had lots and lots of good laughs.
You know, I really didn't like Phoenix all that much when I was forced to live there, but now, when I go back and visit, I really think it would be a fun place to live with our little family for awhile. There's so much to do there- and not all fo it is expensive. They have wonderful parks and the sun is almost always out. Plus, they're practically giving houses away down there. We looked at some of the houses in my parents area and cringed at how affordable the houses were in comaprison to Montana.
Who knows, maybe one day we'll end up there.
Here are a few pictures from out trip. I dont' have all that many because our camera died. I will make sure to post more after MY DAD SENDS ME SOME.HINT.
Caderyn and Daddy on Easter
Caderyn loved playing in Mimi and Papa's fountain.
For those of you that read my blog ( I don't know how many of your there actually are- if any at all) I swear I'm still on this planet. We got back from vacation and I'm literally swamped with work and schoolwork. I have a makeup quiz and a test tomorrow and then I should be back on the straight and narrow and able to blog.
Sometimes its rough being a grownup and you find out that the wonderfully padded and flowery environment your parents helped create for you is actually a wall full of spikes gradually closing in on you. You know, like the kind you see in cartoons like Scooby Doo or Penelope Pitstop- I think there might have even been something like that in Star Wars...maybe...don't hate me if that's wrong.
Recently Jeff and I have been talking about a move or a job change of some kind. We're ready. One of us needs a better job or we both need to just get different jobs with better schedules. What we have now is so stressful and, I think, unhealthy for our relationship as a couple and as parents.
But what do you do when you finally decide you're ready and NOTHING happens. In the past year he and I have applied for so many jobs. I don't want to sound conceited, but I think we have pretty good job qualities. I mean, look at the jobs we have now. That's a lot of responsibility on two people who aren't even in their late twenties yet! But still, nothing. It's so frustrating and, at times, consuming. Sometimes its all we can think and talk about. The what ifs. I hate those. I just want to get rid of the what ifs.
We've just become so discouraged lately with a lot of different things and its hard to remember that we are actually very blessed. We have a good marriage (though, it takes work every day), a beautiful little boy and dog (who smells like deer pee). We are able to pay the bills each month, we have a roof over our head (although we'd like to buy a house but amazingly can't afford one in Hell-ena on our salaries). I just want everything to be answered. I want to know what I'll be doing in six months. I want to know if things will change. I want I want I want. Those are a lot of wants. Do we need to know where we will be in six months- no but it would be helpful since we are interested in that next step. Do I need to know if things will change- well, that's the mystery of life- but it would ease my heart and my mind if we did.
I know that things happen for a reason and we are being steered down a specific path by the mystery that is God but COME ON! Shine a little light our way, pretty please!!!! We are ready and willing- we just need that extra little nudge.