Thoughts on a Thursday

I know, I know, I already posted today...just a few hours ago in fact. But its one of those days when 1. Zeke is playing nicely all by himself in the kitchen. 2. my house is messy and I dont want to clean it and 3. I have a million different thoughts running thru my head. Which equals blog in my world.

So what else am I thinking about today? I mean, besides my mission to eat healthier and my hatred for the margarine I buy every month?

I think Zeke is at the perfect age. If I could freeze him just the way he is now I would do it. Although I'm glad that I CANT freeze him, because I'm sure there will be lots of enjoyable stages, and I would never reach them if I froze him now. but I'm also sure that I will want to freeze him THEN too. Im logical that way :)

I just love all of his new games, playing with him is so much more fun these days. I love to play with his Little People Arc or his cars with him and Josh loves to play catch. And the way he laughs when he finds me while playing hide and seek is worth it every time. He LOVES to make us laugh too, so anytime we do he's bound to repeat that action over and over again.

He's also starting to pretend. His number 1 pretend game is cooking, in fact right now he has a spatula and a frying pan in the kitchen. And he absolutely LOVES it when I find things in the kitchen that he can help with, which is hard with a 10 month old but I try. I've been letting him stir lately and its been a big hit. But he will also pretend to type on the computer, or talk on the phone. He has started to insist on doing things like Josh and I do too. He will only let us brush his teeth with a real toothbrush now and he will only eat with a real fork.
Enjoyment of this developmental stage may have its bad effects, however. When I got home from knitting last night he woke up and instead of nursing him and putting him back into his crib like I should have done, I brought him into our room and let him stay up for an hour softly babbling between us while Josh and I talked in bed instead. I couldnt help it. He was just so adorable babbling like that in a soft little baby voice, snuggled against me, and smiling every once in a while, his eyes closed the whole time of course because he was so tired.

I find myself having a harder and harder time balancing the fact that he's only little for so long with the fact that I dont want to "spoil" him and I rarely know which side of right I am on, or even if there IS a right. I believe and subscribe to the theory that if you give a baby and toddler all the attention they desire during those first years that they will end up requirng LESS of your constant attention in the end, growing independant because they are able to trust that you will always be there. A need fulfilled basically instead of a need ignored.

But at the same time the attention they desire those first few years is almost constant. And it gets tiring a lot of days. And since the payoff is literally years in the future I dont get to know if its working. Maybe fulfilling his needs for attention is really just going to make him always demand attention 24/7 forever...who really knows. As with all things parenting you can just choose the way you think is right and hope your kids get a good enough job to afford the therapy you are causing them to need.
Im also feeling restless the past few days. I get this way every 6 or so months and depending on the strength of the malady find myself either getting a new tattoo, a new peircing, drastically changing my hair, or if I'm having rather weaker symptoms I can just make some sort of ecclectic fashion statement and be done with it.

I dont know where I get this. If its caused by my sex or my generation or my age or maybe the way I was raised (see above and the therapy). But I am totally considering a lip ring. I havent had any peircings for almost 5 years now...
What a strange place to end.

Healthy Eating

I've been on a mission the last...oh 2 years or force my family (i.e. my husband) to eat healthier. My definition of "healthier" is a very simple one, but hard to switch over to, so I've been doing it rather slowly, one change at a time. (Which is really the only lasting way to change a diet, I think.)

Here is my basic theory: The less the food has been "messed with" the healthier it probably is. I'm all for nature, baby. We lived for 1,000's of years before the invention of processed foods, added nutrients, "fake" mayonaise, ect. and I think we where honestly a lot better off. So like I said, easy to understand what's on my "good" list and my "bad" list but hard to put into action in today's world.

I started, way back two years ago with 3 moves that mostly just affected me:
1. I started buying fresh produce ONLY. No more canned (which has been processed, see?). Then winter hit and I had to also concede to flash frozen, which I've now learned can actually be a lot better then winter greens. (and I'll admit I still keep canned tomatoes around, because hell, sometimes I just cant find any good tomatoes!)
2. I switched as much as possible to whole grains. Whole grain bread (the real expensive kind, not the dyed brown white bread), whole grain rice, whole grain crachers, and whole grain flour in my baking.
3. I switched to honey over sugar whenever possible. I started buying honey sweetened yogurt, putting honey in my tea, and using honey in a lot of my baking. And when I couldn't do that I tried to use brown sugar over white. And when I couldn't use brown sugar I of course went ahead and chose real white sugar over corn syrup. So basically I moved in order of least processed to most processed in my sugars.

As soon as Josh and I got used to those changes, I moved on to something VERY close to my husbands heart. Our processed foods. I made the changes 1 at a time, again, so as not to give Josh shell shock. I basically look at the ingredients list and choose the one with the shortest and most recognizable list. We now pop our own popcorn. Ingredients: corn and oil of MY choosing. We also buy Adams all natural peanut butter. Ingredients: peanuts and salt. See the pattern here? You'd be amazed at the ingredient list on a jar of Jiffy peanut butter or box of Pop Secret popcorn.

We also now buy all-natural salad dressings, all-natural barbeque sauce, Annies over Kraft mac and cheese, steel cut oats over instant, dried over canned beans, whole-fat dairy products, and when I couldn't do any better I switched Josh to Triscuts over Wheat Thins on my mom's advice. Boy loves his crackers.

One place I haven't been able to budge Josh, though, is margarine. Stuff is pure processed evil but he was raised with it and he loves it. And while he will use butter now in almost all the baking he does he still likes to use it to spread on his toast (and sometimes if I'm not watching him to butter his pan for eggs). I just cant find a good alternative. He wants the ease of spreading and I cant stand leaving butter on the counter to rot. We go thru so little that it always would.

And I realize suddenly that you may think we are WAY healthier eaters then we really are so let me say once and for all that Yes, we have Ramen Noodles in our pantry. Yes, Zeke eats Gerber snacks. Yes, I almost always have oreos around the house. And, no, none of that will change any time soon. I do what I can but I'm no whole foods afficiando. Just a concerned wife and mother with a slight yet growing hippie streak. Blame Washington.

The next step (besides further gleaning our snack and processed foods) is to plant a garden so we can have fresh organic veggies for part of the year. We decided there is no way we will be able to plant more then our tomatoes this year (and only those because they are going to be hanging) but that also will give me a full year to start my plot and my compost pile. The key to healthy veggies is healthy soil, yes?

WFDW- chicken burger and roasted bell pepper

In case you haven't noticed...Josh and I pretty much live off chicken.

Today we are going to smash it, to about an inch of even thickness. The easiest way to do this is to cover it with plastic wrap and thwack it with a heavy spoon.

Then depending on the size of the breast you can cut it in half to make 2 burgers and throw them on a frying pan.

Meanwhile slice and broil 2 bell peppers and toss with olive oil, parsley, salt and pepper.

Put your chicken on a bun with lettuce, tomato, mayo, and whatever else you like on your chicken burger. The peppers are great on the burger too!

Swine Flu

Ok lets all start by taking a breath. Talking to Kaitie and Sheena this morning I didnt understand exactly how much the world is FREAKING OUT. Watching the news I learn. Its the flu people. Only a flu. Ok, yeah its a bad one but in the end its just a flu. Wash your hands, be healthy, maybe stay away from mexico but calm the heck down!!

In most cases, the strain responsible for the swine flu outbreak causes only mild symptoms.

Only 40 US cases have been reported. No deaths. Even in Mexico mortality for this strain of the flu is only at 6% (and they are of course only counting those cases that go to the doctor with it, and I highly doubt every mexican with a runny nose is running in to see a doctor, a lot of studies think its more like .1 percent morality and there are thousands if not hundreds of thousands of cases that arent being reported) Mexico's numbers aside it seems to be the only country at all with any real mortality rate. Whether this is because there are actually 2 different strains, because of health standards and practices in Mexico or any other number of reasons is unclear but they DO know it seems to be much worse over there.

The flu outbreak was NOT this weekend. The first case was reported over a month ago. So we are talking 100 odd deaths in mexico THE LAST MONTH not over the last weekend. BTW its really only 23 confirmed flu deaths, the other ones they are guessing about.

Speaking of Mexico, this state of emergency thing is WAY more about the Calderón administration grabbing some useful power to do whatever the hell they want then an actual pandemic. Calderón has authorized his health secretary to inspect and seize any person or possessions, set up check points, enter any building or house, ignore procurement rules, break up public gatherings, and close down entertainment venues. The decree states that this situation will continue "for as long as the emergency lasts. " Same goes for Russia, who have been looking for an excuse to stop allowing imports for a long time and found this WAY too convenient.

Because you cant get swine flu from eating pork thats been cooked properly so stop throwing away all your bacon.

Getting or having a flu shot does NOT protect you. Seriously do you people even know how flu shots work? They protect you from 3 very specific strains of flu that the CDC guesses will be popluar that year. If they guess wrong, you get the flu that isnt popular, or a new one shows up you are out of luck. They cant protect you from all the different flu strains. That would be a monster shot, use up a LOT of embyros, and take a LOT of money and work, not to mention it would be dangerous as hell.

And sorry but those masks dont work either. I know the Japanese love to wear them around everywhere but they dont do any good. The virus is small enough to pass right thru, in fact 99% of viruses are. To efficiently protect yourself you would need to wear a full-faced mask with a high-efficiency particle air filter.

The WHO may be calling this a level 4 outbreak (out of 6) but according to their own descrption of each level its really only meriting a level 1 ( affecting less than .1 percent of the population). Repeatsies on my above comments on political power.

So lets just all take a deep big breath.

Verse "of the week"

We had a really busy weekend. We started a "new" every-other-Friday-night bible study (more on that in a bit), then had a party to attend on Saturday, a barbeque on Sunday after church and then only time for a short nap before our weekly Sunday dinner with friends. Good thing Zeke is so good about staying up late and being busy! Although I will admit by a half hour after bedtime on Sunday night he was starting to get frazzled. Even Rockband wouldnt keep him happy.

I was getting a little frazzled too, to tell the truth. And it would have been even worse but I kind of cheated by making Bakerella's super easy Oreo Truffles and bringing them to 3 of the above said events instead of trying to come up with something different to bring to each one. The deliciousness of the truffles made up for the slight rudeness I think...

So little down-time this weekend. But it felt good to get back into the swing of things. And Zeke was happy to do something other than play with his Ark, which is his new favorite toy. Or maybe that was me that was happy to have something to do other than play with his Ark...
Anyways, now to my point. We started a "new" bible study in 3 Strand (you know "a rope of 3 strands isnt easily broken" and all that...its a group in our church that focuses on godly parenting and marriage). And I saw "new" because we are doing the Love and Respect book, which Josh and I have actually already done twice in our 3 years together, once right after we got married and once just a few months ago. And I have a sinking feeling that God is going to bring this up over and over again in our lives until I actually learn something from may take doing the study a lot more than thrice, lol.

Its actually a great book. The subtitle is "the Love she most desires/the Respect he desperately needs" and the jist of it is farily apparent: wives want to be they NEED to be loved and husbands NEED to be respected and its hard to believe but they need this just as much as we need to be loved. Crazy I know. Who wants to be respected more then they want to be loved? My husband apparently. He told me so.

And these roles, to love and to respect are clearly defined in the bible:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated his own body, but he feeds and cares for it, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.
However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Ephesian s5:22-33

Ick right? We arent taught, us american women of the 21st century and all that jazz, to use words like respect or worse submit when it comes to our husbands. They can be hard words to swallow. And I very often suck at the practise of them. Luckily I actually have a great deal of respect for my husband, I wouldnt have married him if I hadnt, its just not really in my nature to ACT respectfully. Which I need to do. I mean it would hardly count if Josh loved me but didnt act lovingly would it?

Its a struggle to say the least.

Zombie Attack

So I wasted a good half hour today on a Facebook application deciding what 5 items I would want in case of Zombie attack. If you know me well you are either surprised a. that it took me that long, didnt I already know what i'd bring? or b. that it didnt take longer while i researched the matter farther. I take zombies very seriously and am trying not to think about how NOT zombie proof our new house is going to be. Big windows....difficult to collapse stairs...the middle of town..

After a lot of thought I decided I needed A MACHETE. The best weapon for fighting the undead. You see, guns will run out of ammo, also I have no sense of aim so I'd need a machine gun type of gun which I hear get hott and hard to handle. And yes a machete will get dull but as time goes and the zombies rot they will also be easier and easier to chop up. Plus I already own a machete and I look WAY hott with it strapped to my thigh.

I also would want A HOUSE BOAT. It goes without saying this would be a really nice boat. Zombies dont cross water so as long as I got myself to the middle of a big lake I'd be safe to anchor and wait the infection out.

Next I need an INDOOR GARDENING KIT so I could plant a garden on my houseboat. I could basically live off squash and potatoes all winter and in the other seasons have plenty of healthy food.

And a WATER FILTRATION SYSTEM for obvious reasons.

Then I need a TRANSISTOR RADIO, which would work even after internet and phone lines went down.

If Josh was with me, with another 5 items we'd bring a TREBUCHET and some NAPALM, (two items but worth it in case shit really hits the fan. I'll light half the shore on fire if I have to!!) A SPOTLIGHT (ALWAYS useful), a crowbar (classic zombie item) and A SNIPER RIFLE for Josh.

We would both be wearing leather trenchcoats of course. Anyone nerdy enough to tell me what they'd bring?

Inspection and other details

On the Zeke front- His bad cold left a gift when it left ear infection (that I was actually unaware that breastfed children could even CATCH, let alone breastfed children already ON antibiotics for the kidneys) that reared its ugly head after only 2 days of apparent getting-better. But in lighter news he is also starting to walk, 3-6 steps at a time before falling down, but still, that's walking.

On the house front- The inspection was this morning and it went well. There was quite a list of little things that need to be fixed, either by the seller or by us as time goes, but nothing that you don't expect from a 60+ year old home and nothing to make us change our mind.

So we are chugging right along on that. IM mostly focused on painting. You see, this ugly peachy pink color has GOT to go:
Fortunately (because it would take 102 coats to cover and includes, God forbid, the CEILING) that dark red over by the staircase can stay. In fact, I I'm going to try to match that same color in the kitchen killing numerous birds with one stone. 1. The kitchen is also currently an unholy peachy pink. 2. that red while absolutely gorgeous doesnt have anything else in the house to ground it and make it fit in (the drapes dont quite cut it and are being removed anyways) and 3. All my kitchen stuff is red anyways.

But UNFORTUNATELY my husband has decided to be exeedingly witty about my color choices for the livingroom. I like yellow. I've ALWAYS liked yellow. I've ALWAYS planned on painting my livingroom yellow, since I was about 5 and started thinking about paint colors (yes, I started thinking about paint colors at about 5).

I've sent him a TON of pictures:
His opinions so far? "This color gives me a headache", "That color makes me feel like I'm waiting for something", "You are just trying to give me cancer of the eye, arent you?", "Wait, did you actualy want me to like that one?"and my favorite "That looks like zeke painted the wall with his poo."

Oh brother.

WFDW- Fried Rice

We eat a lot of really americanized oriental food around here. What can I say? Josh loves Chinese food but I tend to hate it at restaurants (hating anything deep fried). So I learned to cook his favorites. One of which is Pork Fried Rice.

For my pork part of the deal I use bacon. Traditional it is not. But greasy, delicious, and usually available in the house it most definitely is. Actually I am fairly anti-bacon, we rarely have it in the house. But when we DO Josh does a dance.

As your bacon cooks, get some carrots and peas ready. You can use fresh or frozen, or as I did this time, a mixture of each. I had fresh carrots and frozen peas.

When the bacon is done chop it up (I realize all of a sudden it may be smarter to cut the bacon up FIRST...) then IN YOUR DELICIOUS GREASE saute the bacon, your veggies, some garlic, some left over white rice (cold left over rice is WAY better than fresh), and plenty of soy sauce.

When the veggies are cooked and everything is warm push it all to the sides of the pan and scramble a couple eggs in the center. If your pan's not big enough just use another to scramble your eggs but you will probably be fine. Its ok if rice gets mixed in with the egg in the process because its all going to be mixed in the end anyways.

This can be served with anything. But I'll recommend chicken, because I always do.

One mom's solution

One mom's solution to a baby that WILL NOT STAY SEATED for his snack.

My obsessions...

On the home-buying front, we are going to accept their counter offer tomorrow. So THAT ball is just rolling right along.

But this post isnt about the home-buying front.

Its about one of my obsessions.


Tank tops.

You see, I have an addiction. Especially to the Old Navy brand tank tops. The evidence? Behold my tank-top drawer:
These are almost all exclusively from Old Navy. I told you...addicted. But they are so versatile! Perfect for layering in the winter, staying cool in the summer; great with jeans, great with skirts; never out of style. They are a true staple of any wardrobe I tell you, right up there with your little black dress and your jean jacket! And I love to buy the men's 3 pack for wearing under those shirts that just dont quite cover my tummy because they are thinner and cheaper then the women's.

I went to Old Navy earlier in the week (in an awful hail storm, in fact) to buy my yearly flipflops...and guess what?!?!?! I resisted.

But now I regret it. If only I could fit a few more in my drawer...

Dont believe in my self-control too strongly, however...I gave in to certain OTHER demons...

I mean...a girl has to have fun!

Rock Starr!

My son has some truly awesome bed (or shall I say crib?) hair.

WFDW- Quesadilla's

Quesadilla's!! Yum yum. I hadn't made "good" (aka more than tortilla and cheese microwaved) quesadilla's in years... in fact, not in all the almost 4 years that Josh and I have been married! So when I told my hubby that was what was for dinner he was pretty skeptical that it would be filling enough. We've had this discussion many times before, you see, what exactly qualifies as a "meal" (it must include meat, apparently). Well I am here to assure you that this WFDW got Josh's hearty approval. And THAT is saying something!

You start by cooking your all-important meat. It can be steak if you prefer or you can go with chicken like I did (because while Josh may insist on meat I can insist on it not being always red!)

Next you shred up some cheese. Cheddar, Mozzerella, Jack, whatever you have around the house, or even better a mixture of all of the above!

Next you put a tortilla onto a hot (med is hot enough) and buttered frying pan and add the cheese, meat, and any veggies you like. Tomato, onion, green and red peppers are all good choices.

Add a bit more cheese and another tortilla and flip! Make sure your cheese is completely melted and then you are done. Serve with guacamole or sour cream!

We havent been hiding...

We haven't been hiding I least I haven't been hiding that is. It has just seemed like we're a little MIA because first Zeke and then I came down with a pretty bad cold. What a winter! I feel like I've been sick 100 times at least! Come on spring! We are tired of this snow!

Yes, it had been snowing again.

So what with the weather and the sickness we've been pretty boring around here in the Clark home. Nothing going on to excite or impress at least.

And I've bee asked a few questions about the house buying process, and how its been going over the last couple weeks, and I haven't really said much because well...there hasn't really been much to say. Its been a waiting game on my part while Josh prayed, and asked advice, and took stock of our income and savings, and considered our current and future expenses, and looked at the house I liked, and looked at a few other houses in the same price range, and looked at the house I liked again, and counted our money again, and prayed some more and thought some more and generally was Josh-about-to-make-a-decision while I was Courtney-trying-not-to-commit-murder (although I will attest and I am sure Josh would agree I have been handling it REALLY well and have nagged very little).

And today finally...FINALLY Josh has agreed to make an offer on the house I like. So I asked if I could e-mail our realtor right away and he agreed to THAT too!! So I did. And as soon as I can get Marissa pegged down (which is WAY easier then getting Josh pegged down) we are going to make the offer. I am very excited. And although I know there is a LOT ahead of us, the offer being accepted, the inspection, ect, and that there is a LOT left to go wrong I really feel like I'm already over the hump of it. Just getting my husband on board and agreed is a HUGE step, and you know it is if you know Josh. He HATES decisions.

So heres for not having to start this all over again!

You do what you gotta do

Sometimes a boy's just gotta spend a day at home. You know...

Crawling around...

Listening to some tunes...
And checking out the local wildlife.

THAT was Thursday, and this IS Zeke and I we're talking about, so you know after a day like that we THEN went on the next day to go on a long walk, then a well child appointment, THEN a crafty Easter playdate where we colored, dyed eggs, and made handprint bunnies. (BTW Zeke is now 21 1/2 pounds and 31 inches, the 50th and 95th percentiles respectively...he also enjoys throwing eggs a lot more than dying eggs.)

THEN after all THAT fun I dropped Zeke off with his daddy at home and had a girl's night with Jen and Adria. Because sometimes a mommy's just gotta spend a night NOT at home. You know...walking around...listening to some tunes... and checking out the local wildlife... Maybe not the last one...I AM a married woman after all, lol. But a mommy DOES have to spend a night NOT at home once in a while, and maybe drink some really pretty martinis and gather some really fun stories about "fierce" faces and chips in bartenders numbers.

Thanks girls.

Giveaway Winner! picked number 22 and Wehaf won my April giveaway! I've e-mailed her and as soon as she gives me her shipping info I will mail out her new sling!

But dont despair (everyone else). Although I haven't yet received it in the mail, I've got my next Z's Favorite Things giveaway all lined up. And its a Mei-Tei carrier! That is right, folks. Yet one more chance to babywear to your hearts desire, for free!

So be sure to come back in May!

Verse "of the week"

I often have a hard time dealing with the....smallness...of my life.

I wanted to be a great writer, a great missionary. A great do-er of great things. I wanted (and still want) to be a woman of God, the kind of woman that really MAKES A DIFFERENCE in the lives around her.

I have pretty much accepted however that the few poems I published in high school and the few weeks I spent during much the same time in Mexico is about all the "greatness" my life is going to offer.

Instead I find myself first a wife, then a mother, and only after that (when there is TIME for an after that) am I anything else, and then mostly I'm just tired. Then there is the fact that I am at best a mediocre Christian. The Lord only knows how little I actually try some days.

And then this verse comes to me:

He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. Luke 16:10.

And it hits me quite strongly in two different ways.

At first it filled me only with guilt. Because of course how can the Lord trust me with the great things I always dreamed of in my beginning years as a Christian when I am so unfaithful with what I am given already? Then I was reminded of the story in Mathew 25 of the three servants each entrusted with some money. And how one servant was told "Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things."

And I realized that instead of only feeling sorrow
that I am not already a "good and faithful servant" I could always just try harder ;) (Isnt it funny how that realization always takes a few minutes?)

It isn't a new revelation to me that I don't have to be in India to feel compassion for and serve the poor, we unfortunately have plenty of poor right here in Spokane. And it isn't a new thought either that the Lord has already entrusted me with ONE life to make a very great difference in. I suppose in the end that serving right where I am just isn't as "glamorous". Which feels like a horrible thing to say but in the end is probably my hang up. Vanity usually is.

Because while I, and even more so Josh because he works downtown, am "guilty" of always giving money to the homeless (and yes, we have heard your speeches on why we shouldn't do this but among about 1,000 other verses we always remember "Give to everyone who asks of you") I am also guilty of all-too-often looking the other way. I am not saying I have to give every single homeless person I see money, but I do have to feel compassion for every one I see. How can I be so heartless as to turn my head and not even think about them? It shocks me as I type this that I have ever been so cruel, but I also know I will do it again.

And while I long to influence people and share the Lord with them and have a voice that is heard I'm not spending enough time influencing the one little mind I have already been entrusted with. Or sharing with those already in my life.

So this is me re-committing to being faithful in the little things. To serve God right here in Spokane. To be a wife and mother and friend as if its a very mission from the Lord, because it is. And to stop longing for "greatness" because it will only be when I do that I will ever be entrusted with more.

PS Happy Passover.

Another look

Another look at the photo's I took of Zeke last weekend proved there were actually more "good" ones then I at first thought. Here are a few more that I finished up just now. I want to work more with angles, I think. The top 2 pictures 30 degree angle's were created post-production but I think if I remember to use it more while actually taking the pictures I will have even better results...

And I need to practice my photography more in general, but as soon as I get online and look at some people's REALLY good photo's I almost want to give up!! Oh the horrors of being an amateur photographer in a world full of people who not only own SLR's but REALLY know how to use photoshop!!

Lol, oh well. My kid's cuter then their kid! ;)

wfdw- easy chicken

I dont even know what to call this meal...except really really easy. I mean, even easier then a normal WFDW? meal. Which is sayin' somethin'.

All you do is cut up some potatoes and some zucchini. Put those and some diced chicken in a crock-pot. Add on top a little but of thyme (or whatever herb you like) and olive oil.

Leave on low for 5-6 hours.


PS. I'm a contest entering fiend this week. Im also trying to win some first year pictures for Zeke HERE.


The weather was finally nice enough to take Zeke out to the park to try to get some 9 month pictures done. Just in time too because by next weekend he will be 10 months! I have to admit that I'm slightly disappointed by how few really good ones we got :( But that's how it goes I guess. I will either call what we have good enough or I might try again at another location, it depends how my week goes. Here are a few of my favorites from today, though:Zeke is pretty cute, after all. Its a little hard to take a BAD picture of him.

I'm LOVING this warmer weather this weekend too. I've got every window in the house open, finally letting it air out after a long long loooong winter. It feels so nice to have fresh air in the house!

PS Zeke took his fist step last night!!! It was just one step before he fell down but we're going to have a walker any day now!!

Something Worth Doing

Don't forget to enter my giveaway!! It ends April 10th so there is less than a week left!!

Speaking of giveaways I'm trying to win a blog make-over here. It's not that my blog looks bad per se, I actually like the look of my blog. But it could certainly look better. I especially want little sidebar buttons. But alas this is about the height of my creative and technical abilities right here. Hence the trying to win a make-over. Anyone want to make me rad little sidebar buttons? Or maybe redesign me ENTIRE blog? Lol. I'd give you lots of props...and maybe cookies... that I am done begging, I can actually get on to my subject. Which is: One thing I have learned/am learning is that my old motto of "Something worth doing is worth doing right" can really only be taken so far.

But this actually requires a back story. You see, I am a clean freak. Not only that but I am a clean freak with slight (and sometimes seemingly not so slight) O.C.D.

Truths about me:
-I cannot sleep if there are dishes in the sink. Let's be honestly, pretty much I cannot function at all if there are dishes in the sink. I always do them right after each meal.
-I sweep my kitchen floor at LEAST 3 times a day, usually more (as in every time Ezekiel eats in his high chair).
-I always make my bed in the morning, usually directly upon waking up.
-Once a week I clean the entire house, we are talking "company" "spotless" clean.
-Once a week I also sanitize ALL of Zeke's toys, switch out livingroom books with his bedroom bookcase and reorganize his toy shelves and baskets.

And that good old motto, "Something worth doing is worth doing right" always seemed to justify my actions. I don't just wipe off my counters after cooking, I have to move everything and clean the entire counter surface, along with the sink (drying it, of course, I cant stand water splashes on the stainless steel), and all the buttons and knobs on the oven. I don't just iron Josh's button-up shirts and our wrinkle-prone khakis on laundry day but I iron our jeans, my cotton t-shirts, and pretty much everything but our underwear.

But since having Zeke, and honestly even since marrying Josh (who supports corner cutting in all things), I find my standards relaxing. Because while something can and usually is worth doing right, it's not always worth the time it takes away from your loved ones. And while a clean home can SOMETIMES be a fun home, a fun home cant ALWAYS be clean.

So nowadays I've been known to sometimes skip making my bed and just avoid that room all day (so I don't see it). Or leave the dishes piled next to the sink to be dealt with in the morning so Josh and I can have an uninterrupted and relaxing hour before bed. I've even skipped ironing all together (gasp!) and just made sure to shake everything out and hang it DIRECTLY out of the dryer.

I still have to do my "company" clean once a week though. I cant let dust catch up on you.

Still snowing

if you can believe it, is what my front yard STILL looks like. In APRIL. I have been buying groceries at every Cadberry Egg run buying Cadberry Eggs at every grocery run for weeks. It's spring!
(come on, you know you do it too...)

I even found artichokes that didn't look dead. I HAS to be spring! Someone, please, inform the weather.

After all, I dont think Ezekiel can take anymore of this...
(Ok, ok, this isnt Zeke's reaction to another 2 inches of snow this morning. I think this is his reaction to being told "no, he couldnt eat tape." if I'm remembering right...the tantrums tend to all run together... But I thought about doing the same thing when I looked out the window.)

Anyways, we subsequently had a stay-at-home day today. A fall-asleep-in-your-highchair-eating-avacado-and-mozzerella kind of day.

But the good news is I spent the time FINALLY finishing Molly's doll.
Because yes, this rather ugly little Amigurumi doll took me about 3 months to finish.

My excuses run thus:
I didnt have a pattern so I was making it up as I went along.
I dont have a lot of time for my crafts these days, you know, having a son and a blog.
I'm burnt out on crocheting anyways after the beginning of the winter and all the stuff I made for Christmas gifts and Zeke's winter gear.
And the hair took me at LEAST a month of that time. Sewing doll hair is tedious and time consuming work.

Zeke's doll...
which is a rather perfected version of Molly's that I am about half finished with (although I realized too late that I should have made Molly's the perfected version of Zeke's since Z probably wont care if its ugly and M will) is definitely wearing a hat.

PS when I finish my doll pattern (because I'm still a little lost on the legs) I will be sure to offer it up to anyone that crochets.

WFDW-Pulled Pork!

Don't worry, I didn't forget in all the Giveaway Excitement that today is also a Wednesday. I've got a Pulled Pork "recipe" coming right up!

This is a favorite meal in this house. Especially with Zeke. You would be astounded to know how much pulled pork and spaghetti squash this child can eat:

He was going at it long after Josh and I had finished eating. In fact I had put away the leftovers, and cleaned all of the dishes, counters, and sink when we finally told him enough was enough and he had to stop!

And as always with my W.F.D.W. meals, it is very easy to make!

Your first step is to put a pork (or if you prefer beef) roast in a crock pot or slow cooker along with an onion chopped into 1/4ths, plenty of salt, garlic, and about 1/4 cup vinegar. It can be pretty much any cut, and in fact I'd suggest a pretty cheap one because when you slow cook something for this long it really doesn't matter. Anyways keep it on "low" if you are using a slow cooker or at about 275* if your using a crock pot in the oven.

When you're done ( a good 6 hours later) its going to be fall apart tender. Just shred it with two forks.

You can stop right there and serve it as-is (this is the way Zeke eats his). Or if you'd like you can smother and mix it with your favorite barbecue sauce and slap it on a bun (Josh and I eat it twice, once each way). A great summer food. Or a wish-it-was-summer food. And Zeke thinks it goes awfully well with squash. ;)