Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Congratulations to Me, Congratulations to Me (*to tune of Happy Birthday)

And although I might have been doubted, yesterday concluded my 2 straight weeks of everyday posts.  It wasn't actually as hard as I thought it would be, and I hope you all were duly impressed!  :-)

I actually still have more things to post about!  Just to tide you over a bit though until I have some time for a real post with pictures, I'm going to post a recipe that I used yesterday morning.  Matt and I (and the boys) woke up to freeeeeezing cold weather, and a freezing house.  This morning the temperature was close to the 30's (which is really really cold for here)  I poked around online for a recipe that might spice up our oatmeal a bit and this is what I found:

Hope you enjoy!!

Maple-Oatmeal Scones (direct link is to recipe on

1999, The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook, All Rights Reserved

Prep Time:
15 min
Inactive Prep Time:
5 min
Cook Time:
40 min
14 large scones


  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup whole-wheat flour
  • 1 cup quick-cooking oats, plus additional for sprinkling
  • 2 tablespoons baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 1/2 cup cold buttermilk
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 4 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 egg beaten with 1 tablespoon milk or water, for egg wash


  • 1 1/4 cups confectioners' sugar
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, combine the flours, oats, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Blend the cold butter in at the lowest speed and mix until the butter is in pea-sized pieces. Combine the buttermilk, maple syrup, and eggs and add quickly to the flour-and-butter mixture. Mix until just blended. The dough may be sticky.
Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface and be sure it is combined. Flour your hands and a rolling pin and roll the dough 3/4 to 1-inch thick. You should see lumps of butter in the dough. Cut into 3-inch rounds with a plain or fluted cutter and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Brush the tops with egg wash. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes, until the tops are crisp and the insides are done.
To make the glaze, combine the confectioners' sugar, maple syrup, and vanilla. When the scones are done, cool for 5 minutes, and drizzle each scone with 1 tablespoon of glaze. I like to sprinkle some uncooked oats on the top, for garnish. The warmer the scones are when you glaze them, the thinner the glaze will be.

I took some this morning to our church mom's group and it seems like they were enjoyed.  In case you make them, you might want to read the comments (always a good idea with online recipes).  I ended up adding a little less flour (a few people said they were dry) and about a tablespoon of Maple Flavoring to the batter, and a teaspoon to the glaze, to bring out the maple flavor.  If you aren't nuts about oatmeal, I can promise that it's really not the dominating flavor, it's very subtle.  I also just patted them into rounds and cut them into wedges (more scone-like, I think) rather than kneading/rolling out the dough/cutting it.  
A good warm treat for a cold morning!  

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Get LOST, Lost

I know in the past, I have sung the praises of Lost.  I won't delve into details and bore all non-Lost followers, but I think Matt and I are on the verge of giving up.

Thoughts?  Comments anyone??  (spoiler here, I've heard rumors that the sideways flashes are actually the ending and the bomb really did work, and now we're seeing flashbacks).  Would that not be WEAK???!!!

Have these writers spun a web that can't be outdone, well-concluded, or neatly explained?  Or is there some kick-butt, tied-up ending that is going to knock all of our socks off?

Give me hope people, because I'm ready to throw in the towel!

Our Storm, or His Talents?

I've posted a few times recently, about a hard time that Matt and I have been experiencing.  Thanks for listening.  A few weeks ago, at church, I was encouraged by the testimony of a fellow member and friend who spoke of our financial responsibility before the Lord, and how she was raised and taught about giving.

I'll paraphrase, but what she explained was that from a very young age she was taught to do 4 things with her money.  The first and most important was to give her money back to God (Mal 3:8; Prov 3:9,10), the second was to save some, the third was to choose a way to give it away, and the last was the money she could spend on herself.

Our friend quoted the parable of the talents.  "For to everyone who has will more be given, and he will have an abundance.  But from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away."

I'm embarassed to say that I have been focusing so much on what we have versus what we need, that I have forgotten how to give it away.  I see little further than our bills to pay and our tithe to the church and forget that we have so much.  I am like the "wicked and slothful servant" who has hidden the talents God gave him, in the ground because of fear.  I've been looking at all of this as a trial for us, a struggle and working so hard to "praise him in this storm", while I type on my sofa, in my house, in a room (of many) with books and toys and food and piles of clothes waiting to be folded.

The servant who hid his talents in the ground, when questioned by his master said "Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you scattered no seed, so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground."  I want to do well with what the Lord has trusted us with.  I want to be free from greed, from want of money, from wealth.  I can't believe how much we have.  With all of that how can I forget that the Lord has plans for us, to prosper us, and not to harm us.  To give us a hope and a future (Jer 29:11), and that He is not a hard man.

One more link to share and leave you with.  Just one way of giving away, that I was able to read about this week.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Late Night #2

It's late here, but I promised another blog today and I've been wanting to point this out for a few days, so this is my chance!

I am still following MckMama's blog:  I really enjoy it.  She has had a strong readership for years, and since the troubles with her son, Stellan's health and his miraculous recovery, her readership has grown exponentially.  She and her husband are in Kenya this week with Compassion International, and I've been following her stories, many from slums there.

I was really shocked reading some of her posts, and especially looking at pictures.  I can be wordy.  If you read my blog, you know that, so I'd just like to let her blog speak for itself.  I'd encourage you to visit and read the posts from the last several days.  If you don't want to read all of that, just take a peek at some of the highs, and lows.

Thanks for looking.

Facing Facebook

So I'm probably the only person left in the world in the 24 -29 year old demographic who doesn't have facebook.

I know I need to get it...

Sometimes I'll poke around in Matt's fb account just to see what is going on with friends but then I end up wanting to comment, or "like" or something and I'm stuck.  Maybe twice I've just commented as him and written (it's Laurie), and he's been very patient with me.

I know it's time to take the plunge, I have so many questions.  I think I need a lesson in facebook etiquette. Like poking for example.  Why don't people poke?  What is the purpose of poking?  What if I want to poke someone?  If no one does it, why is it there?  What do you do when you get a friend request you don't want?  Is it ok to send friend requests to people you only know through other people if you want to keep up with them?  If you update your status everyday does that mean you have too much free time?  What if I make an account and then 3 weeks later, my only friend is still my husband????  What is the difference between your "wall" and your "home".  What is "wall - to - wall" ??

So what do you think friends?  Can you help me learn a little about facebook?  Will you send me friend invitations.  I am wondering.... You all TOTALLY dropped the ball on my asking for Crock-pot recipes.  (I am very disappointed in all you wives and mommies out there....I know you use your crock-pot.  Stingy recipe sharers!)

Leave me a recipe (last blog)!  Tell me you are dying for me to join facebook and you'll be my first friend!  Answer one of my facebook questions for me so I don't go "poking" the wrong person.   hehehe

Show a girl a little bit of encouragement!

(and come back and visit later for a second blog today!!)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts While Running This Morning

Dogs are definitely getting smaller.  I saw at least 2 dogs that I could literally have held in the palm of my hand.  They were seriously tiny.

Shorts are getting shorter, and tighter.  blah.  Ok, short running shorts on a guy, ehhhh, ok.  Short, tight fitting biker shorts on a guy (who is not biking), no-k !!

My friend Chris is coming to visit in a week.  Last time he visited we all had a great time.  We also almost killed him.  (pictured here San Francisco, Jelly Belly Factory, Chinatown, Napa Valley, Lake Tahoe and Muir Woods)  He told us we have to take it easy this time.  Sometimes I worry about being the lame person with the kids who doesn't get out anymore or is all, "naptime is at this time, and he won't eat that so we can't go there, etc."  (not that I don't say that sometimes) and I think I can swing too far in the other direction.  We'll see how it goes this time.

Should have run an hour earlier, woke up to feed baby a little earlier than usual, baby went back to sleep, Joey still sleeping, all quiet, shoulda run then, but instead went back to bed until my alarm to run went off and didn't end up sleeping during the whole hour I waited for the alarm.  argh.  I was all concerned that it hadn't been 8 hours and I wanted to do a long run and it's better not to be tired at all beforehand, but I totally shouldn't have gone back to bed.  Then I would have been home with coffee made when everyone was getting up instead of getting home after Joey had breakfast.  Baby still asleep though.  That was good.  Thank God for a generous husband who lets me run and is so self-sacrificing.   He's out running now.  It's good weather for him, today, sunny and probably like 68 degrees.

To do the Oakland Half Marathon or not.  hmmmm. Matt's not.  I thought we were still undecided and the other day I asked him if he was planning on running it and he just said "No!".  With an exclamation point.  He didn't actually say "No, with an exclamation point."  But his "no" had an exclamation point behind it, believe you me.  I think probably not.  I want to, like half of our church is doing it, but I don't think I'm ready.  After the one in February, I've run pretty sporadically, like 1 or 2 times a week.  Better this week.  3 times this week with a long run (today - but only 6 miles).  But I don't think I can do it by the end of March.  It's amazing how quickly it goes, the muscles.  I mean, to the day it was exactly 1 month ago that I ran my first 1/2 marathon.  Who knows maybe I'll change my mind.  It's Oakland's inaugural running festival and it's first marathon in 25 years.  Definitely sounds like something to support.  Here is the course elevation.... yeah, I don't know about that, what's up with the end?  hmmm.

Looking through the website to put up the link really makes me want to do it now.  They are going to have crazy aid stations, like 8!!!  I would totally have to get up much earlier in the morning and bump up the long runs.  I might have to take another run just to think this over more.

If Oakland were a person she would be young but seem older.  She would be wary and worn and have seen far too much hurt and anger than she should have in a lifetime, but she would be hopeful.  She would be trying to become a better person and make a better life.  I'm tempted to run it just in support of her!  More thinking needed, for sure.

There were alot of people out running today in the nice weather.  There were people who I ran near or saw who ran just as much as I did and then more.  Running is totally in now!

Well, those were some of my running thoughts today.  Along with listening to alot of Chris Tomlin.  It was nice to come home and see that Matt and Joey had a great and easy morning and the little one wasn't even awake yet.  I had time for a nice hot shower before he woke up and it's a crock-pot dinner for us tonight (perfect if you have church Sunday evenings).  I am just sore enough to feel like I did something.

Can I ask some advice?  I'm trying to cook something in the crock-pot on Sundays, since we get home from church at 6:30 or 7.  I need something that I can put in earlier in the day and have ready when I come home.  Do you guys have any good recipes for your crock-pot.  I have Fix It and Forget It, but if you have it, you know, there are 100 recipes for every "slow cooker chicken" or "pot roast" and sometimes I can't pick one.  I just want a few really really good crock-pot recipes.  Can you help me out??

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Uh oh!

Joey and Ethan are a little concerned that it is dinner time and I haven't posted for the day yet.  Don't worry boys!  I'm going to see the whole 2 weeks through!

(If this video is small on your computer you may have to go to YouTube to view it.  
I promise I didn't focus on Joey the whole time, for some reason 
it just compresses when I put it on the blog.)

Friday, March 5, 2010


It's Friday!!

And at this house, we are EXCITED for the weekend!!

...So kick back

And rest awhile, maybe read a book in bed...

Don't worry too much about your hair...

Maybe don't even get dressed...

Just find someplace nice to curl up...

Or pass out wherever you land...

Get a snuggle or two...

Go on and watch Dora on your laptop... we won't tell!

And whatever you do do....

(or don't doodoo)  

Don't be too serious... 

and be sure to find a way to relax...

Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


For the last 8 weeks Joey has been so excited about going to "fool" (school) on Tuesdays and Thursdays!!  We found a SUPER cheap option, sorta nearby, for 2 hours a day, 2 X's a week.

He loved it, and I liked it too, although it didn't really work with my initial plans.  The original goal was for me to take him and come home and have some designated time to help Matt with business stuff.  It was just a little too far away for that, and not quite long enough, but I did like the socialization for Joey.  It ended up being a solid time for me to get to the grocery store (or another errand) without 2 kids in tow, which was very helpful in itself.  And, over 8 weeks it works out to be about $2.50 an hour.  (I told you it was cheap!)

Here are some pictures of the class and the last day.

Joey gets a high 5 and his completion certificate from one of his teachers, Ms. Tiki.

All-in-all, he really loved it, and it was at a great time for us, when some weekly church activities that we do, had stopped over the holidays and new year, but we aren't doing this session now.  I think we might do another in the summer along with some other mom's from church who are now interested.

Something to pray about for us, and for Joey would be preschool next year.  A few mom's in the church now are meeting to begin a Co-op! I'm very excited!  We've exchanged lots of emails and had our first meeting where we talked about our goals and curriculum and other logistical details.  It will most likely be for 3 days a week, 3 hours a day, or for 2 days a week, 4 hours.  It will give Matt and I some great working/business time, because it is a little longer than the Tots Around Town program that he just finished.  We're also excited about spending more time with friends from church, learning from a great pre-school curriculum and working together to "train up our children..."

We're planning another meeting next month and then a retreat together in April where we'll work on our goals and mission statement and other plans.  Please keep us in your prayers!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

A Fallen Friend

Dog toys don't last long at our house.

Even the ones for "Powerful Chewers".

Bernese Mt. Dogs are known for being chewers.  Ziggy rarely eats anything that he isn't supposed to, but is still likely to go through his own toys at an unimaginable rate!

And now, without further ado, I would like to present: DISCOUNT TOY THAT WAS ON SALE SUPER CHEAP!!!

He is cute!  He was cheap!  He has a tennis ball, and rope (Ziggy loves those).  We got 2, one for this year, and one to save with the Christmas stuff, and give to him next year for Christmas!

Goodbye Friend...
Little Penguin friend....are you ok?  You seem to be leaking some innards.  Will you survive?  Should I try to sew you up so you can endure 2 more minutes of puppy play?
Oh NO!!  Don't let him see!!  LOOK AWAY 2nd penguin toy, LOOK AWAY!!!

Goodbye fallen friend, goodbye...

In other doggie news... my mom was visiting a few weeks ago, and graciously offered to get Ziggy a new toy.  I warned her that toys that Ziggy can actually play with for more than 2 or 3 minutes (about the life span of Penguin friend) can be a little pricey, but her love for Ziggy won out and she got us:
the largest size Nylabone Double Action Chew.  He loves it.  He chews on it all the time.  It's been 3 weeks.  It's STILL IN ONE PIECE!  Thank you Mom!  Thank you Nylabone!  Thank you Penguin for your service (and sorry)!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Goodbye Old Girl

Last Sunday Matt and I finally said Goodbye to one of my oldest friends:

Would you join me for a walk down memory lane?   *sighs* Thanks, I really loved her. 

**Summer '00, at my job I saw a posting on a message board for a '86 (or something) car for like $900. I thought... I have $900.   OHMYGOSH I have enough money to BUY A CAR!!!  (ok, in retrospect I see the problems with that thinking, but after that I was determined that I wanted a car!)  

**More Summer '00 my dad encourages me NOT to buy that particular car because of high mileage, not being a great model, and general stupidity and inexperience on my part, but agrees to help me look for one.  I learn how to drive a stick in hopes of having more options and eventually find my Honda for sale in Fairfax.

**It is NOT what I was hoping for.  I wanted it to have a sun roof, and not be red, and the Honda is red *blah* and does not have a sun roof.  On the other hand it does have some bonuses.  The owner (there's only been 1 ) has all the records, has done ALL the maintenance and had no kids (the first cheerios I vacuumed out of that car, were my own child's (and Violets, but we'll get there).

**Take out my FIRST loan and buy the car!  Take it to college August of '00 and mostly let my friend Jenni drive it (who can drive a stick) because I'm still scared!  (I learned on a little bit newer manual transmission, so the clutch felt WAaaay different).  

**Drive the car for the next 3 years at college and 1  1/2 after college until I move to Honduras. (Car is PAID OFF the summer after I graduate, yea!  I still remember where I was sitting when I wrote the last check!)  My dad tries to the sell the car for the 4 months while I am gone, but it doesn't sell.  THANK GOD!  Because I come back in January and start using it again!  

**Drive the car back and forth from Harrisonburg, VA to Asheville NC while Matt and I are dating.  Love her.  She is so good to me.  

**In the Summer of '06 when Matt and I are married, our friends agree to take over ownership for the year we are in Chile.  We're hoping they'll use it some and we'll have a car to come home to.  They take such good care of it, and even let another friend of ours use it when she's visiting in town.   We are still so grateful to them!  

**Summer of '07 Matt and Jessie and I pick up the car on our epic cross country journey to CA, and trailer it here.  We use it here for the next 2 years without any trouble... haha (except getting it registered, but that's another story!).  

**Summer '09 Jessie drives out new car (generously given to us by Matt's parents who have gotten a new car)  and we start driving it.  

..... and the Present time.  A while ago, I washed and waxed the Honda, took a bunch of pictures and then put her on Craigslist.  I sold it the next day for $300 less than my Dad tried to sell it for 6 years ago, which is probably a sad sign of the times, or the economy in CA, either way....

Thanks for the walk down memory lane with me.  Thanks Dad for the great advice in buying my first car (and for not letting me "learn" by buying a hunk o' junk!).  Thanks Laura and Myers for keeping it for us and for taking such good care of it.  Thanks Kay and Tom for the new (and safer! and AUTOMATIC) car.  And bye Old Girl!  You were so so good to me!

And bring on the comments.  You know you loved her!   You know you remember her!  Let's send her off in style!!  Reminisce with me!!