Saturday, March 31, 2007

New Clothes!

Today Beth and I went to Texas Thrift Store and Old Navy. I must admit that until Kim reminded me about thrift stores that I had not been frequenting them recently. Which is strange because growing up that was almost the only other place we got clothes than hand-me-downs.

But then I moved to Abilene and the thrift stores there are not good at all. And here I just hadn't taken the time to find any that were good, and before I lost weight it was frustrating because they don't carry many larger clothes.

Today, though, on Kim's recommendation, we went to Texas Thrift Store, and what a difference! All of the clothes were orderly and in great condition. There were lots of choices in my size (12-14)!!! and in general it was great. I picked up 2 pair pants, a swimsuit, a dress, an Easter dress for Emmy, and sandals and a sunhat for Denali. I'm wearing one of the pants right now and they're really comfy. I spent $30.

Then we went to Old Navy and found some sandals for Emlyn for $10.

Not a bad day all in all, considering that a new swimsuit could easily have cost me $30 all by itself. Thanks again Kim for the gentle reminder that sometimes thrift stores are the way to go.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Another Full Day

Today went by fairly quickly. It was filled with joyous and not-so-joyous things.

We went to an assisted living home this morning to wish the residents a Happy Easter. I wish we had had more time to visit with them as they are so sweet, but we didn't have much time.

Then we went to playgroup and visited and played.

The rain came pouring down during nap time, and I did some housework.

Now I'm babysitting 3 extra kids. I had to put Emlyn down for bed early as she was so grouchy and tired. I am afraid she has a cavity. Last checkup the dentist said he could see some maybe starting in between her molars but we were hoping to prevent them with fastidious flossing. Unfortunately she has been complaining about those teeth hurting. I keep forgetting to call her dentist because I'm SUCH a great mom. So I doped her up with Tylenol and sent her to bed. Poor kid.

The rest of the kids are watching Cars. In a little bit I'll put Denali to bed and then there will just be three kids.

I ate a homemade pizza tonight with that sauce recipe and now I don't feel very good. I'm about ready to stop eating entirely.

On a good note my laundry basket has been nearly empty for a full day and my dishes are mostly all clean as well. I vacuumed today and even swept the kitchen. Let's see if I can put some bluebonnet pics up. Nope, not tonight.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Bluebonnets and Sunshine

Yesterday ended well even though it started badly. Thanks so much for all of your encouragement!

I ended up doing about 10 loads of laundry, cleaning most of the house, and going on a walk with Kim. Even though I was a total grouch on the walk (sorry Kim!) it made me feel better.

Today Joel discovered why our laundry has not been doing as well as it might. Turns out the drain hose on the washer is full of crud and won't drain. So maybe we won't have to buy a new one imminently after all.

Today in the afternoon we all went rock climbing. The creek we cross to get to the rock wall is usually mostly dry and sometimes completely dry, but today the water was waist-high because of all the beautiful rain we've been getting. Joel and I carried the kids across and were wearing quick-drying shorts but failed to wear wicking undies, so we had wet tushes the whole time. That's cool though. The kids really enjoyed throwing rocks in the water and getting in the mud, and I tried two climbs and completed one. We had to trade off watching the kids because of the high water but I think Joel got in about 3 climbs. We were there with a group so it was easier to watch the kids.

It was really nice to get out in the sunshine and relax a little. It was also nice hauling 35 fewer pounds up the rock than I used to. Speaking of which I had to recalibrate my scale and I'm back to holding at 160 this week. Not sure if I really gained or if it was just my scale.

Yesterday after picking Emlyn up at preschool we stopped off at the bluebonnets behind Joel's work. It's some kind of tradition here in Texas to take pictures amongst the bluebonnets. Ideally your children would be dressed in pristine white ruffly things but not my kids. They were just wearing random clothes.

Anyway I'm tired and sore and ready for night, and it looks like blogger doesn't want me to put bluebonnet pictures up tonight...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Vegan Garlic Cream Sauce Recipe

Tonight I wanted to eat up the leftover salmon we had in our fridge. I googled and found this yummy recipe for a cream sauce. It's mostly vegan, which means it uses few animal ingredients.
Source: Photo blog
recipe: vegan garlic cream sauce

1 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
.75 cup coconut milk
1 tsp dried basil
6 cloves garlic, pressed.
.5 tsp salt

melt first two ingredients in a sauce pan on medium-low heat. stir in everything else until it reaches sauce-like consistency.

We ate it with the salmon and noodles. The author of the recipe used it as a pizza sauce.

I might decrease the garlic to 5 cloves next time. Other than that it was tasty.


My house is, as usual, a wreck.
My son is pooping every hour and it's really runny.
My laundry is piled up and my washer is on its last legs.
I have no clean outfits other than skirts/dresses because I have two pairs of pants and two pairs of shorts, and that's just not enough.
I don't want to take Emlyn to preschool or go to the physical therapist.
I'm tired.


Please dear God give me a spirit of joy and happiness. I've got nothing.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Food Budget Poll

I'm trying to figure out how much our family should spend on food monthly. I've created a poll for people to take so I can see what the average person does. Please take a couple of minutes to take the poll- there are only 3 questions and it's completely anonymous so I will have no idea who said what. Thanks so much!

What is your monthly food budget?

Or to see the results without taking the poll, click here.

Results: What is your monthly food budget?

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Denali has reached the age where he is now scared of things. Long term things, things he didn't notice before. He's 2 years and 2 mos.

In the last week he has turned up scared of:
Dave and the Giant Pickle "Who will fight me?"
The Fib from Outer Space
The robot monkey in Emlyn's room (still don't know what that is)
Me being a tickle monster
and, the kicker,


Evidently my poor boy has never seen flies in our house until yesterday when they became the scariest things he'd ever seen. Having one buzz near him put him immediately into sobs. We all tried telling him he didn't need to be, that we could say "shoo fly," singing songs, laughing, etc. He cried every time he saw or thought of one for about an hour. This was rough because 4 had gotten in yesterday and he was trying to eat fruit. We all know how flies love fruit.

Eventually we were in the kitchen and I started swatting at them with a hand towel. I don't have a fly swatter, so that was the best I could find. Finally he decided that flies were okay if mommy could kill them.

So I killed 3. There's still one in my bathroom that I'm not going to tell him about.


Just so you know, mayo can turn and go bad.

Didn't know that.

Didn't know what to look for. Evidently it will smell bad just like anything else.

So go smell your mayo. Is it bad?

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My new blouse and other happenings

Here's the brown blouse that Joel likes. I just feel so skinny in it.

Here's me at 20 weeks (of my diet, not pregnancy! I'm NOT pregnant!). Amy thought it was funny she was taking a side view so I pretended to be pregnant. I'm NOT.

Don't you just want to eat that dimple? Denali is very sternly contemplating something here.

This was one of Joel's outfits 20 something years ago. The expression is one made when mommy says "stand still!"

This is a very beautiful chalk maze made by Emlyn.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

My New Hero

Kim is my new hero.
Today she wore a beautiful blue shirt and I asked if I could have it. She said "no" but that I could go buy my own. It is at JC Penney and the brand, A.N.A, is SO CUTE!

So I went and tried some clothes on, all by myself.

Evidently according to A.N.A and some other brands I am a size 12 and a Medium. What's that? A medium! Joel of course says women's clothing sizes are useless, blah blah blah, but if someone tells me I am a medium, I will buy their clothes. End of story. The shirts are cotton and not stretchy, which is a change for me. They could be called blouses...

The brown one I bought I couldn't find a pic of online. I guess I will have to take a pic of myself in it. Joel likes it a lot but he's sick of me wearing brown.
This one I have in blue. I like it a lot and Joel doesn't as much.

Anyway so I bought two shirts and tried on jeans. I liked the Lee straight leg 12M the best.

Yay for new, little, clothes.

Weigh-In Wednesday

Well this morning I weighed in at 157. That's pretty good, and actually showing a loss. Last week I must confess that I didn't post because there was nothing to post except a maintaining weight. I know that's a cop-out. Sorry.

So 157 is 1 pound down from two weeks ago, 38 pounds lost, and 7 pounds towards my goal. One of these days I really am going to start exercising.
Haven't yet.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The part where I try to throw $50 away

So I'm trying this new budget stuff where you take out in cash the amount you've budgeted for a specific period of time and when you go to the store or whatever you only bring the money you're planning on spending and no cards or anything.

It's working tolerably well.

Yesterday I was planning to go to the store and needed money out of the "household" category and the "groceries" category. There was only a $50 bill in the "household" envelope so I took it out, looked at it, and decided not to take it with me. I left it on the couch.

Later Joel asked me what that was for, and I told him, and he gently suggested that I not leave it sitting around. So I folded it up in the Home Depot list and put it on the end table.

This morning when Joel got ready to go to Home Depot he called and asked me where the money was.

"Folded up in a paper on the end table!"
"No it isn't."
"Yes it is! Sheesh!"
"I can't find it."
"Whatever. Just go use a card. I'll figure it out later."

Later I came home fully expecting to see the money right where I had left it. After all, we all know guys can't find things they're looking for!

It wasn't there. Nor was it in the office, which is The Official Place For All Papers in our house.

I prayed, and started to get this nagging feeling that it could possibly have been thrown away.

I decided to get right down to it and look through the kitchen trash. Sure enough, in a smaller bag with other "real" trash from the living room clean up last night, there was a white piece of paper with a $50 bill in it. I should have put it back in its envelope the second I decided not to take it with me yesterday.

And so,
on my blog,
I leave you with this:


Friday, March 16, 2007

Blessing Your Husband

I recently gave my lesson on "Blessing Your Husband", the same one I gave a year ago. I've received such positive feedback about these prayers that I wanted to share them with you. They are scriptures that have been personalized so that in the place of "my husband" you can put your husband's name or anyone else that you need to be praying for. They are very powerful and very cool.

Print it out or something.


God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip my husband with every good thing for doing your will, and may you work in my husband what is pleasing to you, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. -Hebrews 13:20-21

May my husband know your grace is sufficient for him, for your power is made perfect in weakness. -2 Corinthians 12:9

God of hope, may you fill my husband with all joy and peace as he trusts in you, so that he may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. -Romans 15:13

May my husband call upon you, Lord, and may you answer him; may you be with him in trouble, may you deliver him and honor him. May you satisfy my husband with long life and show him your salvation. -Psalm 91:15-16

May my husband accept your words, Lord, and store up your commands in his heart, turning his ear to wisdom and applying his heart to understanding. -Proverbs 2:1-2

Lord, thank you for being with my husband; I know you are mighty to save. May you take great delight in my husband, and quiet him with your love; may you rejoice over him with singing. -Zephaniah 3:17

Be my husband’s rock of refuge, Lord, to which he can always go; give the command to save him, for you are his rock and his fortress. -Psalm 71:3

May my husband receive from you all wisdom and spiritual understanding for full insight into your will, Lord, so that his manner of life may be worthy of you, and entirely pleasing to you. -Colossians 1:9-10

And this is my prayer for my husband, Lord: that his love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that he may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ--to the glory and praise of God. -Philippians 1:9-11

May my husband’s eyes look straight ahead, may he fix his gaze directly before him. May he make level paths for his feet and take only ways that are firm. May he not swerve to the right or the left; may he keep his foot from evil. -Proverbs 4:25-27

I pray my husband will trust in you today with his whole heart, Father, and lean not on his own understanding; may he acknowledge you in all his ways, that you will make his paths straight. -Proverbs 3:5-6

And finally, Lord, may I never cease to give thanks for my dear husband when I mention him in my prayers. I keep asking that you, God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give my husband the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that he may know you better. I pray also that the eyes of my husband’s heart may be enlightened in order that he may know the hope to which you have called him, the riches of your glorious inheritance in the saints, and your incomparably great power for us who believe. -Ephesians 1:16-19

These are all from this book. I highly recommend it for further reading.
Blessing Your Husband by Debra Evans
ISBN 1589970039

Some Pictures to Brighten Your Day

The other morning I grabbed my camera and went all around the yard snapping pictures of Spring. Here are a few.

Peach tree in bloom



Gratuitous pic of my cute kids wearing Alaskan clothes

Old and new (see the new leaves poking in the middle of the old Live Oak leaves?)

Wednesday, March 14, 2007


I don't think I often post about music, which is funny because music is such an integral part of my life.

Every day I sing. Every day I listen to music. And every day my children sing too. Once every 2-3 weeks I sing in worship service with a praise band, and it is the highlight of my week.

I am envious because I know I could never write music as beautiful as artists do. Many songs speak to me and say things better than I ever could.

Last night I watched "Amazing Grace." It's a movie about the emancipation of slaves in England and the British Empire. The movie is also partly about the origin of the song "Amazing Grace." Now I know most people know the words to Amazing Grace, and it's such a famous song. But I'd like to put the lyrics here.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost but now I'm found; was blind but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear, and grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear the hour I first believed.

Thru many dangers, toils and snares I have already come.
Tis grace that brought me safe thus far, and grace will lead me home.

When we've been there ten thousand years, bright shining as the sun,
We've no less days to sing God's praise than when we first begun.

This is one of the many songs that speaks to me on a daily basis. If you haven't really listened to some music lately, do it. It's good for you. And sing along, even if you think you're a horrible singer.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Drowning and Kids

I just read a reminder about children and drowning, and how often it happens.

Please go read this post and remember it when you and your children are at a place with a pool.

My life as Annie

The weekend in which we traded a cat for hives

This weekend I drove up to Hillsboro to give our cat Mairi to my aunt and uncle. They already have five cats on 15 acres and didn't think it would be a problem to have another. So I filled the car with cat supplies to help them out in their added burden and my youngest sister Ruth and I drove up with the kids.

We had a lovely visit with my aunt, uncle, three cousins, and my oldest cousin's 3 kids. We got to visit and talk about hairy stomachs and see their farm.

Sunday morning at church I noticed something on Emlyn's face. Upon further inspection back at the farm we discovered it was hives. ALL OVER HER.

I gave Emlyn some Benadryl and began to try and think what could have caused the hives. She only has one confirmed allergy and that would not be in play in this situation, but the problem was there are so many new and different things there that I couldn't pinpoint one. So since her hives were not going away I decided to cut the trip short and head home.

On the way home her hives seemed to be much worse and she was sleeping slumped over all weird and I started to freak out. I had Ruth checking to see if she was still breathing and started calling people. I called Joel from Ruth's phone because my phone was dead. No answer. I then called my mom to see if we should stop at the emergency room in Waco. She was helpful and I asked her to call Joel and have him make an urgent care appt while I drove really fast to get home.

We finally arrived home after a nerve-wracking 2.5 hours.

Joel was there to help me assess the situation and give her topical cream for her hives.

On Monday I took her to the doc and she said there's no way to tell what caused the hives except that she didn't think it was anything about the farm. She thought it was just a strange reaction to a virus. So Emlyn is now on fancy allergy medicine and I am beat. I could probably sleep for the next two days straight and still be tired.

I still worry about Mairi a bit but am glad she's got a better home.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Small Rant

This weekend my sisters and I want to go shopping without the kids. The problem is I'm trying to actually stay on a budget this month, instead of pretending to be on a budget when I'm really not.

So I decided to take a few things to a consignment store to get some quick cash.

I didn't have any movies or books to sell but I have a formal, a coat, and some kids' clothes that my friend gave me.

I packed the kids in the car and off we went.

The lady said she couldn't help me for the following reasons:
1. I didn't have an appointment.
2. They don't take adult clothes except for maternity.
3. They only take upscale clothes from these 15 labels which I don't know anything about.
4. They only take things in season.
Blah blah blah

So I called this other adult clothing place and they didn't have any appts till April, only take things in season, blah blah blah.

The kids' place near there that might have taken walk-ins seems to not be there anymore.


At any rate I'm going to Amy's house at 4:30 and we'll try to have a Friday afternoon yard sale. If you want to drop by feel free.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007


I love to organize and today I read a post about art materials. It inspired me to rearrange my kitchen and office so that Emlyn (and Denali when he's old enough) has a whole cupboard for her art stuff. This meant that there was more room in my office so I now have more surfaces clear. What a nice night! I also spent 30 intense minutes cleaning so now in the middle of the night I won't be stepping on too many items.

Off to move the laundry and then sit on my duff.

Weigh-In Wednesday

This morning I am again showing a loss of 2 pounds. That brings me to 158. My new goal is 150, so I have 8 pounds to go.

After I reach that goal, or maybe before, I will begin exercising like a mad dog. Look out world.

Today is Rodeo Day at Emlyn's school. I have to come up with a "cowgirl" outfit. Did I mention I grew up in California? Yesterday they sent home a little book modeled after "Brown Bear, Brown Bear, what do you see?" but it started with Texas and got down to "Austin Texas, Austin Texas, what do you see?" and then there was a picture of Emlyn and it said "I see a Texan looking at me!"

I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be raising little Texans.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007


This week's Supernanny was a great reminder to me.

Recently Emlyn has been very frustrated with Denali when he messes up a project or gets in her stuff. I have not been dealing with it well.

Today as I watched Supernanny Jo said something that I need to keep in mind. I have been lax about helping Denali follow the rules and as a result Emlyn is trying to be the disciplinarian. I need to step up and get onto Denali. Emlyn really has the following rules thing figured out but most of the time I just call out to Denali (from another room) to stop or whatever. I need to get in there and talk to him every time so Emlyn doesn't feel like she has to. Maybe then she can trust me to do it every time.

Thanks Supernanny. You're great.

Sunday, March 04, 2007


I thought I would be posting this afternoon explaining why I wouldn't be online this week very much. You see our computer broke on Friday and when I took it to the Apple Store they said it would take 7-10 business days to fix.

This afternoon they called me and said it was finished. Hurray! They charged us nothing and I didn't have to detox from the computer.

After I drove 30 minutes to get it they informed me that a new Apple Store will be opening less than 10 minutes from us on Friday. I kinda wish my computer had broken next weekend instead of this weekend.

Anyway hurray for free computer fixing!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Denali's Sayings

Denali: I baby. Wah. Baby wants cereal.
Mommy: You're a baby? No, I think you're a big boy.
Denali: I not big boy! I baby! Wah!

Emlyn (frustrated at Denali): Arggh!
Denali: You a tiger?

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Couch Picture and A Little History

Recently I was asked why the word "chicken" was in the title of my blog. I don't really know the answer except that a few years ago "chicken" became the default silly answer to questions.

"What's your name?" "Chicken."
It doesn't really have to do with being "chicken." It's just silly. Maybe it was Grace or Sondra; I'm not really sure. At any rate it's just part of my silliness, and it gets me more hits for chicken recipes...