Monday, April 30, 2007

Growing Up

To say we have picky eaters is an understatement. Oh, I know every toddler is a picky eater, but mine have elimated entire food groups from their meat (and "real" meat anyway)and veggies. Most fruits get the cut as well, but they will occasionally surprise me. And, what they do eat, they don't necessarily eat much of. This morning, though, they gave me a glimpse into the season I know is coming: the teen years when boys, no matter how picky, eat like a horse! I know because I watched four of my brother eat my mom out of house and home! I was amazed at how much they could pack in, and often just as a snack!

This morning, the boys ate an entire bowl of oatmeal, an entire piece of toast, 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter (a food they've only recently accepted) and a sippy of milk!!! They must be growing.

And, on the note of growing up, I've been hearing Tucker call me "mom" instead of "mommy" lately. It's sort of making me sad, and even though I know I should just let him address me in this more 'grown up' way, there's a part of me that wants to ask him to please still call me "mommy". :)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

A Very Rare Occurence

All the people in my house are asleep all at once, except for me. And, actually Bella has yet to fall asleep, but she's on her way. I should be taking advantage of such an opportunity by catching a few winks myself, but I'm going to blog instead. My friend, Lydia, sent this to me via email and I thought I'd post my responses here on the blog. If you think it's fun, copy and paste the questions and post it on your blog or shoot me an email with your answers. I don't normally do these, but I have a second and don't feel like folding laundry. :)

1. Where do you work? From home as a wife, mommy and homemaker.

2. What color are your socks right now? Barefoot.

3.What are you listening to right now? The noisy breathing of my beautiful baby girl along with the peaceful inhale/exhales of my gorgeous husband.

4. What was the last thing that you ate? Does a cold eeze count? Otherwise, a pita pizza.

5. Can you drive a stick shift? Love to.

6. If you were a crayon, what color would you be? Some kind of earthy green.

7. Last person you spoke to on the phone? My father-in-law.

8. Do you like the person who sent this to you? Yes and I wasn’t expecting her to email this to me, so now I’m hoping she’ll read this blog.

9. How old are you today? 30

10. Favorite drink? I have a few: diet caffeine free coke, herbal teas, iced coffees from Dunkin Donuts and good ol' fashioned water!

11. What is your favorite sport to watch? Football--Pro. and Highschool.

12. Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes and have many bad hair stories to share sometime.

13. Any pets? Nope and don't want any...ever.

14. Favorite food? chocolate if that counts as a food.

15. What was the last movie you watched? Chariots of Fire

16. Favorite day of the year? Easter Sunday

17. What do you do to vent anger? Oh, not anything productive or God-glorifying most of the time: throw things, hit things, slam dishes, doors, yell. Occasionally, I'll clean like a crazy woman or run.

18. Favorite childhood toy? Water babies (something my sister and I created ourselves).

19. Cherries or Blueberries? Bing Cherries love 'em; Bluberries, in milk with sugar or frozen with lemon yogurt.

20. Do you want your friends to post this? Pretty please?

21. Who is most likely to respond? Zoanna if she hasn't already and if she's feeling better (hope

22. Who is least likely to respond? Amanda Kim--but I love ya nonetheless. :)

23. Living arrangements? Town home

24. When was the last time you cried? teared up over the V.Tech coverage.

25. What is on the floor of your closet? shoes and clothing I need to send to Beth Chase.

26. Who is the friend you have had the longest that you are sending this to? Well, if my friend, Shannon Fisher is still reading's her. We've known each other from birth and ended up as roommates our freshman year of college. Are you out there?

27. What did you do last night? Inputted receipts into Quicken, sitting next to my hubby who was also working, both watching a very stupid show, "Swapping Spouses" (or whatever it's called)

28. Favorite smells: my babies' breaths, fresh spring air.

29. What do you regret the most in life? that I gave my parents such a hard time as a teenager.

30. What are you most afraid of? My hubby dying on me.

31. What are your favorite types of hamburgers? Veggie

32. Favorite breed of dog? Not a dog person.

33. Number of keys on your key ring? 3

34. How many years at your current job? 3

35. Favorite day of the week? Sunday

36. Which states have you lived in? Maryland and Pennsylvania.

37. Favorite Holiday? Easter

38. Ever driven a Motorcycle or heavy machinery? No

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Other Recipes

Shrimp Salad:

If buying frozen shrimp (not cooked), thaw in water; clean by splitting the backs.

Put together a marinade of beer or wine (a pink blush), Old Bay, white pepper, 1t. italian seasoning. Marinade in sealed container for at least 1/2 hour.

Drain marinade into saucepan and boil with a little water added to it if needed. When water is boiled, throw in shrimp and 'steam' for not very long...just until it turns pink. Drain, cut up shrimp and add mayo to taste. Serve on Kaiser rolls.

Creamy Tomato Soup:

1 medium onion, chopped
2 T. butter
2 cans (10 3/4 oz each) condensed tomato soup
1 can (14 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 1/2 cups milk
1 t. sugar
1/2-1 t. dried basil
1/2-1 t. paprika
1/8-1/4 t. garlic powder
1 pkg. (8 oz) cream cheese, at room temp. & cubed (I usually use only half or less)

In a saucepan, saute onion in butter until tender. Stir in tomato soups and tomatoes, milk, sugar, basil, paprika and garlic powder. Bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in cream cheese until melted. Great to enjoy with grilled cheese sandwiches. YUMMY!!

Quesadillas con huevos, frijoles y avocados (don't know the word for avocado in spanish) :)

Simply make cheese quesadillas, fry an egg, and heat up black beans in your microwave. I like to drain the beans and rinse them to minimize the sodium. Peel and slice avocado.
To assemble:
quesadillas cut in triangles go on the bottom, followed by a bed of black beans, fried egg on top of that and then sliced avocado. I like to sprinkle a little paprika on top for extra color to an already very colorful dish. Enjoy!

If you want me to post any other recipes from my summer meal list, let me know in the comments. Otherwise, I'm hoping to move on to other topics real soon. :)

Excellent and Easy

I tried a new recipe from Real Simple, and loved it. It was really simple to make, no oven required and tasted great! I will say the original recipe is not the healthiest, but there are ways to make it healthier. So, here it is along with my healthier substitutions.

Tortellini with bacon, greens, and brown butter (don't ya think this needs a different name?!)
1 pound cheese or meat tortellini (I use cheese)
4 ounces sliced bacon (I used turkey bacon)
6 T. unsalted butter (I used only 4 and will try Smart Balance or Olive Oil next time I make it)
2 cups arugula, about 1 bunch (I used fresh baby spinach)
1/4 t. kosher salt (I didn't use any)
1/4 t. black pepper (I didn't use any)

Cook the tortellini according to package directions. Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp, 7 to 9 minutes. Reserve bacon and discard the drippings. Wipe out skillet and return to medium heat. Add the butter and brown. Remove from heat. Break bacon into small pieces and add to skillet with the arugula (spinach), salt, pepper and cooked tortellini. Toss well and divide among individual bowls. Serves 4.

I will try to post some of my other summer recipes sometime this week.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

A Great Parenting Resource

If you are a parent and trying to raise your children in a way that glorifies God, then you need encouragement on a daily basis. It is no small task to raise our children to love the Lord with all their heart, mind, soul and strength. May I recommend an excellent parenting series I have listened to that you may listen to free of charge, right online?! It is taught by Kenneth Maresco, a pastor on staff at Covenant Life Church in Gaithersburg, a church that is a part of our larger body of churches that belong to Sovereign Grace Ministries.

Here is the link for your listening pleasure and encouragement:

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

My Summer Meals List... far.
I'm up to 17 different meal ideas and would like to get to about 25 to circulate through for the rest of the spring season and throughout the summer. Here's my list, and at the end of it, I'll post one of our favorite recipes. Let me know if you want recipes for any of the other things on this list. You will see, though, that my list is rather simple. Most of these things do not require a recipe; they're intuitive. It's almost embarrassing to post my list, but for any other mommas out there of young kiddos, you may appreciate seeing the reality of our very meager dinner options over here.

1. Pizza Bagels
2. Tomato Soup with grilled cheese--I have a special recipe for the tomato soup
3. Zuchinni Chowder
4. Taco Salad
5. Grilled Chicken Salad
6. Shrimp Salad Sandwiches--I have a great recipe from Doug Shriner
7. Spaghetti with meatballs
8. Pork BBQ sandwiches
9. Grilled meat with fresh fruit and veggies
10. Chicken Pot pie--I have a yummy new recipe I got from
11. Tortellini--I usually put it with spaghetti sauce, but I'm going to try a new recipe I found in Real Simple
12. Tuna melts
13. Egg salad pitas
14. White Chili--I have several recipes, but am still trying to find the best all around.
15. BLT’s
16. Quesadillas with egg, beans and avocado--This might sound like an odd combination, but I had it on a get away with my husband down at a little cafe in Solomon's Island, and it was amazing. Now, I make my own version of their dish.
17. Tortilla soup: recipe on

I can't remember if I've posted this recipe already or not, but it's for Zuchinni Chowder. It's a recipe my mom gave to me, and it is one of our all time favorite meals.

2 medium zuchini, chopped (I like larger chunks)
2 T. minced fresh parsley (or 1T. dried)
1t. dried basil
1/3 cup margarine or butter
1/3 cup flour
1/4 t. pepper
3 cups water
3 chicken bouillon cubes
1 t. lemon juice
1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1 (12 oz) can evaporated milk
1 pkg (10 oz) frozen corn
1/4 cup grated Parm. cheese
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I NEVER add this b/c the soup is thick and rich enough without it, but it's in the original recipe, so I made sure to put it here).
pinch of sugar, optional

In a dutch oven or soup kettle, over medium heat, saute the zuchinni, parsley and basil in butter until veggies are tender. Stir in flour, salt, pepper. Gradually stir in water. Add bouillon and lemon juice; mix well. Bring to boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, milk, corn; bring to boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until corn is tender. Just before serving, stir in cheeses until melted. Add sugar and garnish with parsley if desired.
Yields about 2 1/2 quarts.


Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Several Things

1st: Ben and Jerry's is having a free icecream cone day. Go here to get more information and find a participating store nearest you.

2nd: Yesterday, I ventured down to Hopkins with Judah, Bella and my dear friend, De who was a great help and wonderful company. Judah had an EUA (evaluation under anesthesia) for his eyes, and things went much better than I anticipated them to go in my faithless heart. Before we took off for Hopkins very early in the morning, the Lord led me to Psalm 91 where I read some things that helped to bolster my faith for the day.

If you make the Most High your dwelling—even the LORD, who is my refuge-
then no harm will befall you, no disaster will come near your tent.
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call upon me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
With long life will I satisfy him and show him my salvation.
Ps. 91:9-11, 14-16

Judah's eyes looked good, glaucoma-wise--no need for surgery. Thank you, Lord!! There is something the surgeon continues to see in Judah's right optic nerve that is of concern to him, but not anything that seems emergent. It could just be the way Judah's nerve looks given all the vasculature in his head. We will follow up about this concern with Judah's neurologist probably sometime next month.

Having Bella along was not a problem. She slept almost the entire time and was ready to nurse at just the opportune moment. De had some one on one time with her while I cared for Judah in the post-op. room and then, she fell asleep again for our ride home.

Judah did great with the anesthesia; although still a bit groggy when we returned home. By evening, you would never have known he had been put under that morning; he was back to his rowdy self, enjoying rough-housing with his brother.

Finally, I'm sure by now you have read or heard about the horrific shooting incident at Virginia Tech yesterday. We have prayed several times in our home over the last several hours, and our thoughts are turned toward the relative insecurity of this life here on earth. This morning I read from Ephesians 1, and there is provided a wonderful promise in light of the many wrongs committed yesterday down in Blacksburg.

And he made known to us the mystery of his will according to his good pleasure, which he purposed in Christ, to be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment—to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
Ephesians 1:9,10

The commentary provided in my NIV Study Bible stated the following in regards to verse 10:

Paul uses a significant term here that not only has the idea of leadership but also was often used of adding up a column of figures. A contemporary way of putting it might be to say that in a world of confusion, where things do not "add up" or make sense, we look forward to the time when everything will be brought into meaningful relationship under the headship of Christ.

What a wonderful thing to set our minds upon as we think about and pray for the many people affected by yesterday's shootings. One day, Christ will right all the wrongs done here on earth. Thank you, Lord.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Our Doctor Day

We had a busy day yesterday, but God's grace saw us through. I took Bella to the pulmonologist for a follow up visit in the morning and after sharing my observations of Bella over the last month, we decided to try yet another medication. So, Bella is now on three reflux medications. I'm never excited about giving my children prescription medications, but when it's needed I'm grateful they're so readily available to us. And, while our medical costs add up quickly, again I have to give thanks that God has always provided for us!

I rushed home to nurse Bella and then headed out again with the boys to pick up the prescriptions at Target, leaving Bella with my mother-in-law. That evening, we had another appointment with our pediatrician. It was Bella's 2 month check up, and Judah needed a pre-op. physical in order to go under anesthesia on Monday.

Bella is doing very well with her growth despite her breathing and reflux issues. She is in the 95th percentile for both height and weight!! This was so reassuring to me, and I give thanks for God sustaining and growing her. She also received her first round of immunizations which I never find easy to put my children through. But, I know it's for their best and for the good of others, so we do it. Today, however, she is having diarrhea. It could be a reaction to the shots, but I'm guessing that she, just like everyone else in our family but me so far, has fallen prey to this awful stomach virus. Please pray she'll be spared of the vomiting and high fever part of this virus and that she'll eat sufficiently to stay hydrated and out of the hospital.

While all the members of my family have been sick with the stomach virus, it's only been one at a time which has made it manageable. Thank you, Lord! I'm praying that if I do get it (and pray that I don't, please) that I'll get it on a weekend so that Lawrence can be home to care for the kids.

Judah will have an EUA (evaluation under anesthesia) on Monday morning at the early hour of 6 a.m. Please pray he will remain healthy for this procedure and that there will not be any significant signs of glaucoma which would require surgery. Thanks so much!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Summer Meal Ideas

It seems at some point, everyone has a post like this. So, now it's my turn. I'm posting to ask for summer meal ideas. I would like to come up with a list of 20-30 meal ideas to rotate throughout the spring/summer seasons. To be considered a summer meal, it has to be cooked on the stovetop, in the microwave, slow cooker or on the oven made meals. If you have the time to spare, please post your favorite summer meal in my comment box or on your own blog and let me know it's there. After a week, I'll post my favorite summer meal for ya'll to enjoy.

Monday, April 09, 2007

My Little Trooper

We didn't make it to church yesterday but celebrated at home with our resurrection eggs and lunch with Lawrence's family. Judah did end up getting a little touch of the stomach bug, but never threw up and never really appeared too sick, just a little diarrhea. So, we stayed home hoping to minimize the spread of this awful virus.

Today, I had to take Judah back to the dentist as she was unable to examine him upon our most recent visit. He was an amazing little man, sitting perfectly still while Dr. Diana examined his mouth. She pinched his cheeks, pressed on his gums and scraped some of his front teeth that had some superficial staining on them. He sat still the entire time, chatting her ear off. They wear grape flavored examining gloves. Judah must have tasted them because at one point, he exclaimed, "Tasty!" as she felt inside his mouth. After so many tortorous dr's appointments, it's so refreshing to have my little man cooperate and not be afraid. Thank you, Lord!

This week, I'll take Bella back to the pulmonologist for a follow up. She also has her 2 month check up where I imagine she'll begin to get her immunizations. :( Judah will also be going in to our pediatrician for a pre-op. physical as he will have an EUA (evaluation under anasthesia) next Monday for which a physical is required.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Passed Over...or so we thought!

For months, a nasty stomach virus has been making its way through the homes of many of the friends around us while we've gone untouched...until last night! Tucker threw up twice which wasn't all that bad compared to some of the stories I've heard from others. I don't know that he's in the clear yet as he's complaining that his belly hurts this morning and did not want to eat breakfast. So, I have the little buddy watching videos, carrying a Glad container around with him which he has since learned he needs to aim for if he thinks he's going to "spit out" (as he calls it).

The rest of us are waiting and praying that the "angel of stomach virus" will pass over us if he sees our doorposts sprinkled with bleach. (Forgive me if that's sacreligious; it's just my husband's sense of humor.)

We had a laser treatment scheduled for Judah for tomorrow, but I have cancelled that given the circumstances and potential for him or me to get it. I was really wanting to get him back into a consistent schedule with the treatments as I think they make a big difference when we're able to take him regularly. I am having to trust God's wisdom and timing is best even though I would choose otherwise. I have only to consider the cross, considered foolishness to those who are perishing but to those of us who are being saved, the power of God (I Corinthians 1:18). Here is the very truth we are seeking to celebrate this very weekend (which we will most likely be doing from home this year).

Obviously, we'd appreciate your prayers for our family. It would be great if Tucker was the only one who ends up getting it, but I'm not counting on that. My greatest concern is for the baby. Please pray Bella remains healthy.

We have several doctor's appointments coming up in the next two-three weeks for Judah and Bella. Please pray they are healthy enough to make these appointments (seems funny to ask for health to go to the doctor) :) It can be difficult to re-schedule for some of the specialists we need to see.

Thanks so much for your prayers. Have a great weekend celebrating our Savior's death and resurrection!!