Wednesday, December 10, 2008


To help us get in the spirit we've been listening to a lot of Christmas music using our good friend If you haven't ever used it you should check it out. You tell it what artists or songs you like and it builds you a station based on that. Currently we have a Christmas station playing almost non stop that is, "O Holy Night." + "Jingle Bells" + "Celtic Holiday"+ "Frank Sinatra Christmas" + etc. So fun.


When I was pregnant with my son I could hardly wait to show. I wanted those maternity pants to prove to everyone I had a baby. With my daughter I wasn't nearly so excited. Imagine my happiness when at 51/2 months my regular pants were still hanging off my body. That apparently will not be the case with my third child. At only three months along my stomach muscles have given up the fight. I can only get one pair of normal pants on anymore and they happen to be the ones I was able to wear entirely through both of my previous pregnancies. I recently dropped off my friends son and when I showed her my belly she asked if it was possible I was having twins. That same day another friend teased me that maybe I was off on the due date. Welcome to pregnancy the third time :)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saturday Is a Cleaning Day

This week I've been helping my husband transcribe interviews from his month in Jordan. It is how I put myself through college and while I really hate it, there is always someone who needs it done and I've found myself doing lots of transcription since graduation more then five years ago. There is high demand for the skill and the pay is usually good but when you are doing it as a favor for you husband the monetary pay might not be good but the fringe benefits are excellent. Dr. J decided to keep me motivated he'd offer me a dinner out for every tape I finish. He also stays home and keeps a loose eye on the kids. He transcribes downstairs while they run around him like little banshees and I transcribe four times as fast upstairs. Finally there is the household chores. This week we've really gotten behind. When you are working, your husband is transcribing and trying to finish his proposal, and your kids are being "loosely" watched well your house starts to look unloved pretty fast. Yesterday Dr. J said tomorrow is going to be a cleaning day. And just like he called it today was a cleaning day and Dr. J was leading the charge. Let's just say I like cleaning the house when my husband is helping.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

7 Years Today...

As November begins I have to prepare myself for the rush of emotion I feel during all of our "winter anniversaries". Today is the 7 year anniversary of Dr. J and my first date*. Dr. J claims I'm overly sentimental which is why I remember these dates, but the truth is it is so easy to remember because it was exactly 15 days before his birthday the anniversary of our first kiss. Let's just say we had a birthday kiss that went a little too long. What did we do on this momentous occasion...we watched videos on campus my roommates and I had made with our entire ward and then we watched a movie on my couch and held hands. It was all very awkward in the way these things always are. It wasn't the speed of course, I'll be honest, fast was my style**. The awkwardness was just meeting someone new and seeing how you fit. The surprise came when I realized I actually really liked my hubby and I wasn't just getting a kick out of the fact that someone new liked me***, in fact I liked my hubby a lot, and that feeling never went away. Here is to awkward moments on the couch, that led to more awkward moments, that eventually led to true love and eternal bliss!

*When I say date I mean that in a very open sense of the word. It was more just hanging out since let's face it, Dr. J was dating many ladies at the time and he had to make his small cash pile go as far as it could.

**In fact there was an apartment of boys who once made a bet on how many WEEKS they thought my latest fling (not with my hubby) would last.

***Dr. J claims I was in love with him even before I realized I liked him. He's probably right. The only time he came over to my house to study before we had our first date, I kept rubbing his foot with my own foot under the counter. It was really embarrassing because I swear I didn't mean to do it. It just sort of kept happening. Another one of those awkward moments. The same day we got in an argument and I sent him a card to say I was sorry. I've read it. It is puke-o-rific. He still has it tucked away and he calls me the sentimental one. Also that same day I told my roommate I was going to marry him one day to bug her because she thought he was too serious.

Monday, November 10, 2008

The King is Home...

The Queen is Happy.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Clean Room

I've had it. How do you get a four year old to clean his room. I feel like I'm in a constant power struggle over that piece of land. Right now he is suppose to be getting dressed but he is to busy emptying all his tubs of toys. I need help!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Election Time

Well election time has come and gone and I took G with me to the polls to fulfill my civic duty. We went at eight thirty and it only took about ten minutes total to make it through the line, vote, and turn in our ballot. President wise it really didn't matter who I voted for, I mean for crying out loud I live in Illinois. I could vote for the person who was definitely going to win the state, or the one who wasn't. The choice was mine but to be honest it didn't matter one single bit. I often wonder how the United States would change if electoral votes went proportionate to the number of people voting for each candidate in a state. I mean on this election it wouldn't have mattered. Eight years with W pretty much made the democratic candidate a shew in but in other elections it might. If you were a republican living in my state I'm sure it would encourage you to vote...or a democrat in Arizona. I mean sure there are some swing states but all the rest of us are stuck by the party that rules our state. Speaking of the party that rules my state...have I ever mentioned how ridiculous my state government is. You want to talk about people who can't get anything done...sheesh. We are basically always in a fight between Springfield who is the capital and Chicago who thinks because of it 's much greater population it should be the capital. We have had more former governors linked with corruption then any place I've ever lived. We have a current governor who besides growing hair seems totally inept and unable to be a team player. We are completely broke and even though our schools are falling apart we are completely incapable of getting people to pass a tax bill to help eduction out. This week they attempted to pass a 1% sales tax increase for education on everything but food, farm equipment, and cars. I know a lot of people are anti tax but it seemed like a decent idea, moving taxes for education away from property tax. It was going to take some of the burden off of property tax and raise a lot of money for our schools, including the money to build in a school in my neighborhood a needed blessing because I live in a state of school of choice, which means you rank your schools and then depending on how close you live to a school and your race you get placed at a school. Basically the way it works out is kids that live closest to schools get a point to go there and kids that are not white get a point to go there. If you are white and don't live close to a school well then good luck. The problem is the kids in my neighborhood don't live close enough to any schools...or I guess I should say the school they live closest to is brand new, but we don't live close enough to get the close to it point so if you are white your chance of getting in are pretty much nil. So you better believe I'm going to put little E's Mexican heritage on the paper but the sad thing is that most kids in my neighborhood end up going to different schools. Which means six buses pick up in my neighborhood everyday and none of the kids know each other very well. What a waste of money. So they proposed this tax and part of the deal was they were going to use the money to build a school in my neighborhood. The land has already been donated they were just waiting for the funding to build. They tried passing a bond to build this school three years ago and of course the voters said no because they didn't want an increase in property tax so they tried something new this year and guess what...IT LOST BY 300 VOTES! Interestingly enough I think quite a few of my friends voted no. I think the rule is if you are republican you just automatically vote no on new taxes :) So who knows my church could be entirely responsible for the failing of this tax. I guess to them it probably doesn't matter either way since most of them will be out of here before their kids start school, but some of us will be here, and for those of us that are we are bummed out. The thing is people always complain about a lack of money for education, but when it comes time to show the money, well few people but the ones who actually have kids in school are willing to do it. There is a reason that in Arizona if they want to pass a bound for a new school they always wait until summer when the snow birds are vacationing else where :)

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Halloween Dinners

So being as there is a holiday coming up I decided to do some fun Halloween meals. Can I say I LOVE FAMILY FUN! Who are these people that come up with these awesome ideas!

Mummy hot dogs!

Spiderweb pizza!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Sometimes even moms need to have a little fun. Notice Baby Girl did not think this was fun!

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What am I missing?

Okay what am I missing? Why are mormon women so obsessed with Wicked and The Twighlight books? I don't get it.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

100 post

Today is my 100th post. I could do something cute like 100 awesome things about me but since I think I'd have a hard time narrowing the list down that far I decided instead to just flash back on what I was doing this time last year. Oh yes I was in the hospital, doped out of my mind, with a cold recovering from having my appendix out. This was the day that the guy came in to check my lung function and like a jerk told me I had none. This probably had more to do with the fact that I had a serious cold/borderline bronchitis but instead of being able to tell the idiot that I started crying because he told me I need to make sure my family left me alone so I could start working on my breathing and I was hardly seeing my family even though my birthday was the next day. It is hard to visit the hospital when you have two kids to take care of and school. Anyway that birthday STUNK! So glad this year I just have a cold ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

I have a secret...

I started a blog about the mundane things I do everyday while I'm living alone for thirty five days. It is my way of keeping track but seriously so boring I figured I'd make it its own thing. Anyway if you ever want to know how many sets of dirty sheets I've washed or about losing it with the kids...well find that info here at

Election Time - Just a ton of Complaining

Well the election is drawing closer and I just can't help but wonder..."Are these really the only two choices that I have? Seriously?" I hate to say it but I'm more then just underwhelmed. I guess perhaps I should explain my political upbringing. I grew up in a very republican state the daughter of an illegal alien* and a rebellious white girl who came from a very conservative Republican family. At some point she became not so rebellious and found herself more in a conservative frame of mind but because she is a teacher also held a lot of ideas from the democratic party. She isn't always as well informed as she should be but for the most part she tries to vote for what she thinks is right, not just along party lines. In her family that is not always the case. When I first turned eighteen I registered to vote but it wasn't until I was twenty that I got a full taste of a presidential election. I remember talking to my grandfather. He told me I'd be an idiot to vote for a democrat. I think that was actually the day I registered myself as a democrat. It was easy to do. First off I lived in a state where concealed weapons were legal, super Republican. I could see the flaws and figured why not try something else. Probably just as important though was the fact that I'm a rebellious spirit myself and that was almost like a dare to me. It was hard not to find security in my decision though. Yes Al Gore was a wet blanket but people I'm telling you even then I could tell George W. was bad news. I also felt like abortion was a non issue. Not that it isn't a personal issue for me, I think it is wrong and wish people would just not get pregnant in the first place but as a political issue I think it is not something to pick a party on. I doubt it will ever be possible to outlaw abortion completely so I felt like there were other issues I should choose on and for me personally I felt like Republicans (at least the ones I ate Thanksgiving dinner with) were in serious denial. Plus I'm Christian and in my naivety I thought the Democratic party was the one that took care of the poor, which seemed like a good thing to me. Then came the Iraq war. Dr. J and I wrote so many letters. This was his area of expertise and for me it just made sense that this wasn't some easy thing to do so both of us saw this was a huge mistake. Do you know what responses we got back. We got back letters from senators and representatives that said , "The Government has information you don't. You don't know all the facts." We told our friends it was a mistake and they pretty much said the same thing. They said, "Well obviously the government knows what they are doing. They have to have information." But then it turns out they didn't, and Colin Powell a man who I hugely respect and think all people should, regardless of party was left holding the bag of crud on that one. So when the 2004 election came around you had better bet I did not vote for George W. Bush. But as time has gone on I found that my opinions have shifted a little. Some of this I believe has to do to the fact that I now live in a Democratic state and guess what, the grass isn't necessarily greener. We might have health care for all the kids in the state (which by the way sounds suspiciously similar to the plan Barak Obama is touting) but most doctors refuse to take it because the state is over a year behind in payment, and these are payments that are already too low. Then we have a budget which in 2006 let us be the state with the largest state deficit. I think California has blown past us in recent months but we are still in the top ten of states on the brink of implosion. Our schools are run by Unions that every year strike over things like a couple extra vacation days. We have huge amounts of disparities in school spending so how did we solve the problem, instead of distribution of the wealth we came up with school of choice which means that we have five different buses picking kids up in the neighborhood. Meaning all the little kids have an hour long bus ride to school, just not necessarily the same school. A total waste of tax dollar money and bad for the environment. Plus it means kids don't go to school with the kids in the neighborhood. Crazy. And while we are on schools let me say the unpopular thing. Even if you do equal money (and I do feel money should be equal) that doesn't necessarily mean equal education because if I a college educated mother am working with my son everyday on his letters and sounds, if I'm bringing him books about art, music, if I'm teaching him basic pathology and encouraging his interest in anatomy then regardless of IQ he is going to be 100 times better off then a kid whose parents don't have the time or the ability to do that kind of work. And you can't throw money at something like that. I've also come to realize that the Democratic party does not have all the answers. I still think we should take care of people who lack the ability to take care of themselves. I still think we should offer people the opportunity to better themselves. What I don't think though is that the government should fix every persons problems because as I've grown older I realize some people created their own problems. You can fix them over and over and over and it isn't going to do any good. Thank you bankruptcy laws. Thank you government bail out plans. Thank you politicians who say this is what your country should do for you, versus people wake up and do something for yourselves. You know what my generation has learned, eat your cake and someone else will pay for it (oddly enough it is going to be us in the end we just collective can't see far enough into the future to grasp that). And so here is my problem. I still think people who want to succeed should be given a chance and education is the best way to do that, so make the education good. Unfortunately that doesn't just mean throw money at it. That means invest in stuff that works and too few districts are doing that. I think a college education should be affordable so that people who want it can work to get it. I don't necessarily think everyone should get it. I paid every cent of school through scholarships, a job, and one unfortunate loan. I got 250 bucks from my mom when I left home. That was it over five years. You had better believe that made school important to me. Grading for the University I've seen plenty of students who could care less. Why should tax payers have to waste money on kids who just come to school to party. I think basic health care should be provided but people should realize that if we are going to provide health care for everyone it will be impossible to provide high quality care for everyone. People who tell you it is possible are lying to you. If you want health care for all you go to a socialized state. If they want the best health care in the world they come here. Med school cost 250,000+ dollars. Applying cost 1500 or more. Boards cost over 1000. Our first year in residency we will be making probably 40,000. Malpractice insurance for an optometrist in this state is 41,000 a year for an OB over 100,000. The hours are ridiculous. You spend most of your life surrounded by florescent lights taking care of seriously the most complicated systems/machinery/thing known to man in the world. If you are going to do everything for everyone it is going to be costly. So here is where this leaves me:

For the Republican Party we have John McCain. I'll be honest I liked John McCain on a personal level if you ignore the whole adultery thing with his former wife. I thought he had interesting stories and I liked the role he played in the senate. But seriously he is 72. The comment about not using e-mail? The fact that he won't update his face book page. That he makes no attempts to connect to younger voters. He is easy to connect to George Bush. He seems really quick to make decisions, sometimes you wonder if he even thought about them first. Sometimes he reminds me a pit bull maybe acting before he looks. Palin seems like an interesting person. Nice, pretty, smart? I seriously have no way to judge. I think she could definitely have a career in politics but is VP the place to start?

For the Democratic Party we have Barak Obama. I'll be honest here as well I didn't like Obama from before the election. I read his book "Dreams of My Father" and thought it was annoying. I hated the story line he played out. It felt overdone. I then got a little more irritated in the primary. I'm sorry I liked Hilary Clinton. I thought she was smart and vicious and I wondered how long it would be before there was another chance for a woman like that. Plus I realized how manipulative Obama could be. Case in point the election money promise. Remember when he challenged the Republicans to use public funding, and then after he realized his funding was much greater he came out and gave some speech about how he wasn't going to do that because the system was corrupt. I think I would have like him a whole lot more had he just come out and said, "Well I was going to do that but then I realized I'd raised a whole ton more extra money and I want to win so I'm taking it." Also another pet peeve of mine, getting rid of the Iraq war is not a way to pay for things at home...seeing as thanks to George W. that was deficit spending already.

And what I believe...that we are going to go through a squeeze in this country. We are the first generation that will live worse off then are parents. We are there already. I don't think either candidate is remotely prepared for the fall out. Both have some good points, both have some bad points but mainly both have made me question what type of person wants to be president of the United States. So what do I wish they would do for the next election. Stop with campaign commercials. They stink! Stop with biased news reporting. Give me a break CNN we know where you stand already and as for Fox news, do you even really count as news? And finally stop spending millions of dollars on garbage. Have your televised debates and then put up a platform online with what your plans are for trying to accomplish the things you say you are going to be able to do and then I can decide if I think you are worth voting for because right now, after millions of dollars of spending I don't want to vote for either of you.

*In all fairness the man has been a citizen since I was four. Spent my younger years in the Army, spent my teens in the reserves, and the only year I consistently got weekly letters from him happened in my twenties when he was serving in Iraq. He may not have been born here but he gave his time, his blood, and sometimes I think his sanity for this country.

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Gym

In less then a week I will find myself the sole parental caretaker in the house for over a month. In anticipation of my soon burden I've lightened the load by joining a gym that has in house babysitting. For 45 dollars a month I get 90 minutes a day of glorious uninterrupted free time. So far I've taken four Zumba Classes, run 12 miles, and taken six alone showers. I never thought I'd be one to enjoy "group fitness" but running on the treadmill all alone three times a week was starting to get old. I never thought I'd be the kind of person who would like showering in a locker room but two kids that can strip themselves and get over the edge of the tub have mad alone showers a true luxury.

The Cons:
It cost almost 50 bucks a month.
I have to drive there.
Some of the woman do their hair standing in front of the full length mirrors in just panties.

The Pros:
I shower alone.
There is a hot tub and sauna in the ladies dressing room.
I get 90 minutes a day to exercise/get ready that doesn't cut into Jason's schooling.
There are crazy fitness classes that take the edge off just running.
I can work out at eight instead of having to leave at six.
I meet lots of fun moms who are just trying to fit exercise into their lives.

In my opinion it is definitely worth learning to keep your eyes focused about five feet up :)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Moving Day

For those of you wondering where I went...we've moved! We still have the same phone number but our address has jumped from 191 to 134. We are now exhausted but happy to be in our three bedroom town house!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Olympic Fever?

We have been watching a lot of Olympics at our house. Every night we haven't been to bed until after twelve. Dr. J says, "Wow I never realized how into the Olympics you were." This was after he had conked out on the couch at ten and I'd stayed up until one for the Men's Gymnastics All Around. He says, "I can't get you to finish out any movies after nine. You always fall asleep." Well I guess I just find this more entertaining. There are tons of feel good moments and nail bitting finishes. How can you not get drawn in. The competition has even crept into my morning work outs. On Monday I ran three miles which was the farthest I'd ever run. Wednesday I figured hey if I can run three why not run more, so I ran 3.25 or a 5K. I know there are many of you out there that can do more but this is the longest I've ever run in my life and amazingly when I got to the 3.25 point I thought hey I could still run for longer if I wanted. In high school I couldn't even run a full mile. It sounds pathetic but it is true. Then on Thursday I decided to just run a mile as fast as I could. For me my fastest time is now 9 minutes and 50 seconds. I'm nowhere near a 3.50 mile or a marathon but it was still fun to push myself a little harder. Why not nurture that competitive edge with myself :)

From the Garden

Some of our garden produce. For some reason this year the garden has just not been my favorite thing. We've had squash bugs that have killed off our cantalope and are in the process of killing our pumpkin and yellow squash. Blight is taking a toll on our tomatoes. Only one stalk of corn came in. It is a lot of work and while I enjoy the results I wish there was a little more.
Some of our garden produce.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

The Magic Number 5

Last night we watched three of our friends kids. Dr. J had agreed to the job the night before but when it came time for the kids to come over he decided he "needed" to go pick up some paint at Wal-Mart. He left me with four kids at the playground. Then almost an hour later he showed up with the fifth. We had a 1 year old, 2 year old, 3 year old, 4 year old, and a 5 year old. We played outside until eight, then headed home for treats and drinks while the kids watched Arthur. Then we finished off the night reading stories. After their parents showed up we decided we wanted to go to bed. There was still time to read, clean, or watch a movie but we were pooped! How do parents of five do it?

Lovey Hubby

Cute or creepy? You be the judge.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Bye, Bye Baby

Today we did it. We bought the plane ticket that will separate me from my sweetie for a month. We are 1,200 dollars poorer, excited to finish off this part of our lives, and very sad about being apart for a month. Well at least I am. I think those feelings must have been taking control while I was making the online purchase. Four times I missed up something or other on the form and I had to fix something before the computer would allow me to continue. CRAZY! Amman Jordan here he comes.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

What do you do with all that Squash?

Thanks to our garden and the CSA we have plenty of squash. I was trying to come up with something to do with it and decided to try my hand at a nice veggie bake. I chopped up new potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, onions, and belly pepper. I three some chicken on top seasoned with olive oil and Mrs Dash and I threw the whole thing in the oven for an hour at 375. We went to the playground so it would be bearable. When we came home was had this delicious number waiting for us. YUM!

CSA Week Nine

1 pink blackberries
1 pint small tomatoes
1 bell pepper
2 onions
2 cloves of garlic
1 large zucchini
2 pears

CSA Week Eight

Two bell peppers
1 basket of black berries
1 pint new potatoes
three small tomatoes
1 small squash
2 onions

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

CSA - Week Seven

1 pint new potatoes
2 onions
2 garlic cloves
1 long green pepper
1 yellow pepper
18 black rasberries or blackberries. I can't tell. They are red and black. I suspect they might be under ripe blackberries because they are a little bitter.
2 cherry tomatoes
1 apple
1 zucchini
1 bunch of weeds

Now I know some of you probably think I'm kidding about the weeds. I'm not. When we opened up the bag Jason said, "Hey that is the weed that grows in our backyard." I told him he was full of HUD. Then this morning I went picking blueberries with a friend who also does the share and gets e-mails from Farmer Bob. I apparently never signed up for that. Anyway they really are weeds. He said he likes to throw them in there once a summer to let people know they are edible. I just want to say that I've decided just because you eat something and don't die that does not make it edible.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Diaper Deal and More

Easy Saver Catalog and the coupon on page 17.

This week Walgreens is having an awesome diaper deal. You go in and pick up three packs JUMBO packs of their comfort stretch diapers, premium comfort stretch diapers, or comfort stretch training pants. You use the five dollar off coupon from the Easy Saver catalog this month (pick it up at the front of your store). It is at the bottom of page 17. It says Save $5 on two. You pay your money and get a $5 register reward to spend as you wish. Here is the break down.

3 pack of diapers at 5.99 = 17.97
coupon takes 2.50 off per pack so = 17.97 - (2.50x3) = 10.47 plus tax
Then you get five dollars in register rewards. So basically three packs of diapers for 6.50.

I've been getting the premium packs in a size four and those end up being about seven cents a diaper. The only thing is you can only get one register reward at a time so you have to buy them in groups of three. Also if you use your five dollar register reward from the diaper deal to buy more diapers you won't get another reward.

Walgreens also has some great deals on school supplies this week. Using coupons out of their weekly mailer that you can pick up at the store you can get five packs of Bic highlighters for 39 cents, five packs of paper mate mechanical pencils for 5 cents, Crayola markers for a two dollars (you can submit for a two dollar back rebate on these in the easy saver catalog), and a two pack of G2 pens for a dollar (these also have a one dollar rebate on them).

CVS has physician formula organic wear for buy ten get five dollars in ECBs (basically money you can spend in the store). I had a coupon for six dollars off bronzer. It was 11.99, I used the six dollar coupon, and then got five ECBs. They also have Trident Extra Care gum for buy one get one free. They are 1.49. For each two you buy you get 1 ECB up to five. That makes them about 25 cents a pack. Some people have coupons for these that sweeten the deal even further. I also used another two Johnson buddy coupons to get four more free bars of buddy soap. The soap is only 99 cents a pack so the two dollar off two coupon has to be adjusted down.

Finally Target has started clearancing out their value packs. If you have coupons for Oil of Olay, Secret Deodorant, Ziploc bags, Stayfree, dial soap, degree, old spice, suave , etc. you might want to stop by. Even without the coupons you can get a three pack of deodorant for four bucks or a six pack of soap bars and body wash for 3.82.

Friday, July 18, 2008

CSA - Week Seven

This week we got:
1 bunch of beets-still thinking about making that soup
1lb of apples
2 onions
1 pint new potatoes
1/2lbs salad mix

Target Clearence

I found these cute shoes clearenced at Target. The kids shoes were all under three dollars and the brown shoes I bought for myself were five. I generally stick to garage sales for kids clothes but if I can get the shoes new I prefer it. The kiddoes are just stinky feet kids. I prefer only having to deal with their stink :) Plus they both need leather tennis if I can find them clearenced it is all the better for me. I got the pens for free using a coupon off It was 1 dollar off two bic stationary products. The pens were 50 cents this week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

CSA - Week Six

This week was the best week ever. I sort of feel like each week from now on I'm going to say that. It is just easier to be excited when your food production starts to happen. We got:
2lbs salad mix
2 onions
1 clove of garlic
1 pint of new potatoes
1 pint gooseberries
Six beets

I made pesto again, we ate a lot of salad, and we used the potatoes in a meat and potato dish on pita bread. YUM! I haven't decided what to do with the beets. I'm thinking borshe (sp)?

A Study In Lighting

Any outfit is a good outfit for pearls

Thursday, July 3, 2008

CSA - Week Five

This week I was suppose to do CSA pick up but my friend Jenny volunteered to do it that I think about it I think it may have been a self preservation measure. Everyone else in our group had sick kids...well regardless I really appreciated it. Personally this is my favorite week so far. We got.

1/2 pint of black rasberries
1/4 pound of yummy/not bitter salad mix
2 oinions
1 nice sprig of basil

I was very excited about the basil since earlier last week I went to a talent show where a perfect grill cheese sandwich was created using pesto.

I decided that it was time to try my own hand at pesto making.

Two cups of fresh basil.

1/3 cup of pine nuts.

1/2 cup of parmesan cheese
1/3 cup of olive oil
Blend in the food processor and perfect pesto! Delicious. I spread it on two slices of bread, added ham, mozzarella cheese and put in on my George Formen Grill. Two minutes later the best sandwich ever. At least that is what my husband said after he got home starving :)

Free Buddie Bars

Here is a printable coupon for 2.00 off Any 2 Johnson's Buddies Products. The buddie bars are a dollar a piece at Meijer, Wal-Mart, or Target. Backspace to print it twice and get four free bars of soap. (I had to print it in Internet Explorer). My kids love these bars. When I first saw them I thought they were ridiculous but the kids really enjoy the weird little green bag around them. It is easier for them to hold. I printed this coupon off about a month ago so even if you have printed it off recently you might want to try it again. I think it has been reset.

Glamour Bag

A couple of months ago I sent away from a free bag with summer items from Glamour. The catch was you had to buy certain products from CVS and send in proof of purchase. I bought some spray on sunscreen that I have loved and sent in the form. Then I heard some bad news. A coupon board that I belong to started posting that they were only sending out 500 of the bags and that they had gotten way more entries then that. I knew I hadn't sent mine in on the first day, the first week yes, but not the first day. I thought I wasn't going to be one of the lucky people that got one. Today though when I got home from a play date there was a package on my door. My son and I opened it up and EUREKA! Can I just say I LOVE CVS!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

CSA Shares Week 5 and Garden Produce

This week from the CSA we got:
1/4 lb of salad mix (there was a lot less bitter stuff in this one so I quite enjoyed it)
A pint of goose berries (Bitter, but in a good way. When they ripen to purple they are quite good. We've just eaten them plain.)
A pint of cherries (Really bitter, in a not so good way. I dried them and will be adding them to granola.)
Two super yummy sweet onions. We haven't actually eaten any of the bulb yet. I need some green onion for a pizza I made. I just chopped some of the stem and it was so delicious! I just put sliced onions, olives, and stewed tomatoes on top of the sauce, and then covered it with a mozzarellas mix.

A recent garage sale I went to yielded up this prize food dehydrator with all it's pieces, and instructions for three dollars. I asked the couple if it worked since it didn't look like it had ever been used. They said, "Sure we used it one time to dry some parsley." OK then, I bought it. I've been wanting to try it since then and a local sale on peaches for 79 cents a pound was just the excuse I needed. I made a tray of fruit leather and a tray of dried peaches. Neither of them lasted past a second day. DELICIOUS! I canned three quarts and four pints of peaches. So yummy.

Once again we have a garden this year. We planted peas, peppers, both bell and hot, yellow squash, cantaloupe, watermelon, tomatoes, pumpkin, and tons of onions. Dr. J loves to plant onions. It is all part of our organic plan to keep down on some bugs. Actually we are probably just as organic because of pure laziness and convenience. Who wants to go to the store to get the bug killer and then who wants to keep the kids out of it. I can't keep the kids out of the garden. They always want to be digging things up and watering. Dr. J has also been a huge help in the garden this summer. He is out there every week weeding and watering. I really appreciate it and so do the plants. Here are some of the peas we've gotten. So far I've harvested about four lunch meat containers full. Sugar snaps are so sweet!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

CSA - Week Four

This week was a small week.
1 pint peas
1 pint strawberries
(Not picture. We gave ours to some else. I didn't think we could eat another full pound.)

My kids love peas out of the garden, but the baby and the picky one. We took these guys to a picnic today and they were gone before we got home.

What to do with CSA shares?

What to do when you have a bundle of rhubarb and some bitter strawberries...well make a pie of course. Our church makes pies for all the men on Father's Day. This was my contribution. I thought it was truly beautiful and lets face it a labor of love. The fact that they get pies every year drives me nuts. For mothers day we get long stem rose that our children love to turn promptly into swords. This is one girl here who doesn't really like flowers that much. Oh they are pretty and all but the shelf life is short and a lot of times they just make the water in the vase stinky. YUCK! Plus what is a girl to do with a single long stem rose. I myself am more taken with labors of love. Baking a pie is a labor of love and quite frankly reaching into that hot oven on an exceptionally hot June night is just a labor :) I got to try a piece of this beauty. It wasn't half bad. FYI it would be wise to use a little less sugar.

Printed from COOKS.COM

Pastry for double-crust pie
1 1/4 c. sugar
5 tbsp. flour
1/4 tsp. salt
2 c. fresh rhubarb, cut in 1-inch pieces
2 c. fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half
2 tbsp. butter
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line 9-inch pie plate with crust. Roll out top crust. Mix all ingredients except rhubarb, strawberries, and butter.

Place half of rhubarb, half of strawberries in the pie plate; sprinkle with half of the sugar mixture. Repeat, then dot with butter. Cover with top crust. Bake 40-50 minutes. Serve warm or cold.

CSA - Week Three

2 pints strawberries
1 pint peas
1 1/2 pounds greens
2 heads of beautiful romaine lettuce (not received)

So here is the bummer deal on this week. I was picking up our share along with two other peoples and I had E and G along with our babysitter E. When we got up to Farmer Bobs place he said, "oops I guess I miscounted. Everyone else has gotten 2 heads or romaine lettuce but you guys only get one since I'm out." I was a little miffed at the time but now I'm a little more miffed. I wonder why he did give us an extra thing of peas or something to compensate for the fact. I mean I realize this is organic farming here but how about customer service. When you read the sign and get all excited about getting two heads of lettuce but then only actually get one, well it is a real let down. Then the really ridiculous part of the whole thing, and this is entirely my fault, when I was filling up the bags I somehow managed to forget to put one of those coveted lettuce heads in the bag. So I didn't even get one. It was a real bummer. I'd like to blame it on my disappointment but the truth is I really was just distracted by the kids staring at farmer Bob. Little man E could not get enough of Farmer Bob's beard. He talked about it all night long.

CSA - Week Two

This weeks haul:
2lbs of rhubarb
2 pints of strawberries
1 lb of greens
a bunch of garlic greens

Since we had some more rhubarb I decided to make a dessert Dr. J really loves. We are also pretty much just living off pasta, salads, and sandwiches. It is to hot to cook!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Circle of Life

The weather in the mid-west has been crazy. A few weeks ago a little bird was blown out of the tree outside our house. When I came out with the kids he was hopping around. E was concerned about him. He said, "Mom look at the bird. We need to pick him up." I looked at my darling boy and said, "Honey, circle of life, circle of life." Later on it hit me what I'd done. I grew up with a mother who was a sucker for animal rescue. We ended up with a dog because she saw the underfed flea bitten mutt chained up in someone's yard and offered to take her off their hands. More then one of our cats was an abandoned kitten and I to this day can remember her chasing our dog Sandy around the yard trying to extract some poor baby bird that had fallen out of a tree only to be picked up in big doggy jaws. She knew how to find the animal rescuer in town and would take little baby birds we'd tried to save there. You think with that example I'd have some compassion, some drive to do something more. I'd have a desire to instill the same love of all things precious and helpless in my child. In my heart though I am a biologist. I understand that even with help the chances of that baby bird making it were slim and there is no shame in entering the food chain. Predators have to eat. It is the reason I always feel uncomfortable in the ocean or in the woods. Circle of life.

Buy Dockers - Get a Gas Card

I just wanted to let everyone in on a deal we took advantage of today. Until the 15th if you buy $100 of men's Dockers you can send in for a gas card of $75. This deal was perfect for us. Between teaching at the MTC, seminary, normal Sunday church wear, and being a medical student who has to look professional, Dr. J's church pants get a lot of use. Recently we realized he was going to need some new pairs. We looked around but hadn't found anything we were really happy with. This deal was great motivation. We got two pairs of khakis (one light, one dark), a pair of nice gray slacks, and a nice looking blue shirt for 112 dollars (the pretax total has to be over 100). Once we send in for our gas card we will have gotten three pairs of pants and a shirt for $37...basically the price of one pair of pants. I was joking with the cashier on why they don't do deals like this for woman. Apparently though we don't need the extra motivation to go shopping.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

CSA - Week One Meals

With our veggies this week we ate two salads. One was a mixed green salad that we ate on the same night we had spaghetti made with chopped garlic greens instead of the onion. The second was a pasta salad made with our spinach. I also made rhubarb cookies which amazingly enough turned out quite delicious. When cooked the rhubarb got soft and while still tart reminded me of a cranberry. The cookies also stayed really soft for a few days, a feat my chocolate cookies never manage to do. I also made two rhubarb cakes. The funny thing about rhubarb is that you would think my kids would hate it but both of them loved it...and not only with sugar. They kept stealing the chopped up pieces I had until finally I just gave them each a stalk to chew on. Kids will be kids. At one point I also tried the garlic greens in eggs. I was not a huge fan and think I'm done with that from now on.


  • 1 (18.25 ounce) package yellow cake mix
  • 4 cups rhubarb, chopped
  • 1 (3 ounce) package raspberry flavored gelatin mix
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 cup water


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
  2. Line the bottom of one ungreased 9x13 inch baking pan with the diced rhubarb. Sprinkle the white sugar over the top. Then sprinkle the raspberry gelatin over the top of the sugar. Next sprinkle the cake mix over the top of the gelatin.
  3. Melt the butter or margarine and pour it over the top of the cake mix. Pour the water over the top of the cake.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 45 minutes.
  5. If you are using frozen rhubarb reduce the amount of water used to 1/2 cup.
So this is the basic recipe I used. I'll be honest though I was a little wary of just putting the cake mix on top so I actually made my up with the water and eggs you would normally use in the cake and then poured that on top of the gelatin. Maybe next time I'll be daring enough to make it without mixing the cake mix and seeing how it turns out.

Printed from COOKS.COM

1 1/3 c. brown sugar
1/2 c. shortening
1 egg
3 tbsp. milk
2 c. flour
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. cloves
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 tsp. soda
1/2 c. coconut
1 c. raisins
1 c. finely chopped rhubarb
1 c. nuts

Cream shortening and sugar. Add egg and mix well. Sift together flour, spices, and soda; add alternately with milk. Stir in remaining ingredients and drop by teaspoon on greased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes. Makes 4 dozen.

I used butter instead of shortening because shortening just makes me sick. I can't help it. I also left out the raisins, cloves, and nutmeg. It was still delicious.

Great Garage Sale Deals

I've mentioned before that I'm a huge garage sale queen. It is a great way to pick up cute clothes that I could never afford new for the kids and it is fun to spend time with my girlfriends. Last Saturday when I realized there was no way I could do another whole day alone with the kids, I called up my friends and they came and picked me up (they had started before seven). On our last garage sale I saw this little brown box. I opened it up and found this crazy little blade and cutting board, still shrink wrapped. They also had a brand new set of Martha Stewart dishes for sale so I bought the crazy little knife and cutting board and the dishes for seven dollars. Today I went online to see what kind of deal I made. The knife is actually a ulu knife and the set I bought sells on the site for 29.95. I bought it for $2, brand new, in the box with shrink wrap. The dishes sell for 29.99. I bought them brand new, never taken out of the box for $5. Our previous plates I bought for a dollar a plate at the dollar store. This was a better deal. Is it any wonder I just can't wait for summer!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Free Magazines

Some frugal blogs clued me in to this site where you can earn points for free magazines by watching little infomercial/commercials. Guess what I did last night while Dr. J was working on his dissertation. I watched probably 45 minutes of infomercials in two minutes increments and earned myself a year subscription of Good Housekeeping and Ode which as far as I can tell is an environmental magazine. So to some of you this may seem like torture but I have a confession to make. I actually kind of like infomercials. Pre Netflixs when Dr. J would go out of town I'd spend many a night watching late night infomercials. I can't sleep without my hubby, what more can I say.

CSA - Week One

This summer with some great encouragement and a monetary incentive from some friends we decided to join a CSA with farmer Bob. He takes money at the beginning of the growing season for a percentage of his produce. Each week until November we pick up our share of the produce. The positives are it is organic and local grown. You pay up front so it is a little pricey to join (hence why we needed some gentle prodding from friends) but the positives are:
1) We've already paid a significant portion of our summer veggie and fruit cost. Which when you are not going to be making any money and are living off your meager savings for the summer is a definite plus. Hopefully between this and our garden we can really cut our food bill.
2) We have a steady supply of organic produce.
3) We are helping to support local agriculture in our area. That is better for the environment and better for our country as a whole. There are a lot of things that I enjoy about living in a global economy but it makes me nervous that more and more of our food is coming from outside sources. What if a terrible natural disaster occurred or some horrible war or famine and we had to rely on our own stores again. Also once all the food in our country comes from other areas we are at the mercy of whatever those countries want to charge. It just makes me a little anxious. Most of my life I lived on the outskirts of towns right next to farms or orchards. The sad thing is though we wouldn't live in an area for very long before the farms were bought up, the fields leveled, and houses built. We are losing some of our best farmland and the knowledge on how to do our own produce. Bad idea if you ask me.
4) It's fun and will help supplement my own garden which truth be told is mainly a salsa and spaghetti sauce field :)

Above is our haul for the week. I'll post pictures each week so you can see what we are getting and what we are doing with it. This week we got 2 lbs of rhubarb, 1/4 pound of spinach, 1/4 pound of salad greens, and a bunch of garlic greens. Just like your own garden this one starts producing more and more as the season goes on.

Friday, May 23, 2008

New Shoes

A few months ago I wrote Sketchers a friendly letter that said, "Hey my husband loves your shoes but I'm never going to buy him another pair because the fake leather on the heel cuff wears off really early leaving the shoe looking like crude even while the rest of the shoe has lots of wear left." OK so maybe it was borderline hostile but this was the third pair of shoes that this had happened with and I was getting pretty darn sick of it. A customer service rep responded and told me that I could send the shoes to them and they would look over them to see if it was a manufacturing defect, ie their fault. I said sure thing and took the two pairs we still had, one brown, and one black and sent them off. So poor Dr. J was without two of his favorite church shoes for a couple months. After about six weeks I got a letter back from them saying they needed more information and could I please call them between the ridiculous hours of 1 to 5 pm Pacific Time. It took us several days to remember to call at the right time but when we finally did we got the good news that Dr. J could pick out two new pairs of shoes up to $69 dollars a piece off the sketcher site and then if we just called in the codes on those they would send them out. Well it took a few more weeks for Dr. J to get himself on the site but he finally did and found these two pairs of shoes that he really liked. Unfortunately they were 70 dollars a piece. He called the costumer service lady up and asked about them. She said no problem and ten days later they were here. Pretty spiffy if you ask me.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

How Tired Do You Have To Be...

Yesterday I was sitting on the couch with Doctor J. We were reading some book that had a list of girl names. I turned to him and said, "Next time we have a daughter let's name her this name." Then we both started laughing. In my exhausted state I had pointed out the name of our own dear 17 month old. I knew I liked that name when I read it :)

Thursday, May 8, 2008


We went to a Cinco De Mayo party this week and I decided to take Posole, a dish that my fabulous Aunt Salina makes for most of our family get togethers (especially around Christmas). I slow cooked 1/2 a pork roast, three tablespoons chili powder, chopped onions and garlic, and a huge can of hominy for two hours. Then I chopped up the pork into little cubes. Finally I chopped cilantro and limes and brought shredded lettuce. I don't know how it went over. A friend of mine called me over and said, "So this is the only thing here that taste authentic Mexican. Is it?" His wife said, "He is trying to pay you a compliment if you can't tell in that muddled sentence" :) Haha. Anyway the thing I think is the saddest is that I didn't properly explain the dish so most people just ate the soup plain but the thing is that it is the extras that really make posole good. The cabbage really gives it a great crunchy texture, and the cilantro and lime a great flavor. Thanks Aunt Salina for giving me a taste for this :)