Thursday, May 29, 2008

Look! I made this! I did!


Uh huh, I got skilz.

Tonight one of my BFFs, Marcie, and I took a sushi-making class taught by a lovely Japanese sushi master.

For some reason the whole time the teacher was talking I couldn't kick the urge to spend some time with Kim and Natalie.

It took me and Marcie all we had to behave in that class. Everything was just so stinkin’ funny to us. And the odd thing was no one else seemed to have noticed all the funnies. It was puzzling. I believe I recall that phenomenon happening with Marcie when we were in classes together in jr. high. And high school. And college. It was equally puzzling back then.

If you get a chance to take a cooking class at Francis Tuttle, it really is fun. We’ll be going back. And, as stated previously, because of this class I now have a brand new skill. And it’s for life. For life.



Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Birthday gifts from God

A few years ago on Riley’s birthday, she was sitting at her little table in front of her window in her room when she looked up and saw a bright red cardinal sitting on her window box, just looking in at her. She was so excited and told me immediately that she knew that was her birthday gift from God. Her joy and faith over this experience made my heart smile for days.

Since that birthday, it has become a tradition for my kids to ask God for a birthday gift. It has been such fun watching during the day to see when the gift is revealed and how they feel about it. Sometimes it is subtle, with little fanfare, but they know just the same where it came from. Sometimes it is quite the opposite.

One of my favorites is the year we were going to the drive-in movie with aunts and uncles and cousins and cake for Tyler’s birthday. When we go to the drive-in, we all bring chairs and blankets and sit on the ground under the stars, never in cars. Tyler had been so excited about going, but it had rained and stormed all day on his birthday. When it was time to head to the drive-in…still raining. Pouring. We decided to take a chance and drive over there to delay the disappointment. I kid you not, you can ask any of my family members, the second we pulled into the parking lot the rain stopped. Stopped. We all got out and got our stuff situated and had a great evening. And if I’m lyin’ I’m dyin’, as soon as the credits began to roll, the monsoon hit. We were soaked before we could open the door to get in the car. And the rainy night continued.

How much fun is that? How crazy about you is God that he stops a whole stinkin’ rainstorm so you can watch Cars for your birthday just because He knew that was the desire of your heart?

This I know. He is right there. He is absolutely nuts in love with you. He is all kinds of fun. And he cares deeply about your details. So stop and enjoy what He has to give. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. Be alert. And enjoy the show.

Even if it’s not your birthday.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

New York City- last day!

Most famous place of the day

I’m counting this as today because it happened after midnight last night. If you guys haven’t heard, this is the city that doesn’t sleep. By the way, I took this picture myself. I set my camera on a glass.
We had to have the experience of enjoying a famous frozen hot chocolate from the famous Serendipity. We didn’t see anyone famous, but we just missed Tom and Katie and Suri by a couple of weeks. Apparently Suri had the grilled cheese. And Tom and Katie did a lot of kissing.
It’s a very cool little place. David said he thought it looked like an old crazy lady’s house. I think that is pretty accurate. He walked into another room and saw the table where they filmed John Cusack finding true love. I wanted to, but I was too tired to move at that point. It was yummy. And like everything else in NYC, soooo reasonably priced. I'll take four, please.

I ain’t never... We decided to have a “street dog” before we left today. For those of you who aren’t downwidit, that means a hot dog from a street vendor. The thought of this causes me start to break out in a cold sweat, but I decided to do it anyway in the spirit of fully experiencing New York City. Now, it is no secret that I am a major germaphobe. So imagine my delight when I saw that the Street Dog Guy had on gloves. Gloves! A sanitary fellow. And then we paid him. And we saw that the same gloves with which he carefully prepared our dogs were used to collect money and give back change. David could see the panic spreading over my face. He calmly told me to BLOCK IT. I prayed to Jesus and ate the whole thing. Every last germ. It was like my own personal fear factor. And it was deeeeeeeelicious.

Combo category:
Most beautiful and my favorite Hello! My entourage! I missed them so much and I was so happy to pick them up tonight.

A dedication

I would like to dedicate this post to my Fit Flops. You were so good to me this trip. You took me miles and miles and my feet were always happy. I would like to apologize to you for the day that I left you alone in the room and took my Nikes out on the town. I knew in my heart they would never give me the loving cushion and arch support that you give, and I paid for that choice. I want you to know that my Nikes are dead to me. You have earned the highest spot on the walking shoe ladder in my life. You will be the chosen one to take me anywhere that requires excessive walking until the day that the weather is just too cold for you. Congratulations and thank you.

Thanks for sharing my trip with me everyone! By the way, Kelsey and Kim, you silly girls, you know I got a chocolate cupcake too.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

New York City- Day 3

We walked a thousand and five miles on this wet day. The bottoms of my jeans will never be the same. I think I will now refer to them as my city jeans.

And the winners for today…
Most beautiful thing

I know, it’s not a beautiful picture and I am sorry for that. But it was beautiful. The sky was kinda pink behind her. We didn’t go all the way out to the island. I just wanted to see her from the pier.

I ain’t never seen that in Oklahoma

I’m sure you know this if you have been here, but there are these tiny shops all down the streets. Some of them are literally about 3 feet wide and not much deeper. This one is a little bigger, but still it was only about 4x6 feet.

My favorite thing

We went to The Magnolia Bakery! I’ve wanted to go there for years just because of all the publicity it gets in movies and TV shows. I needed to have a famous cupcake. David is going to have to sell his car when we get home to pay for our cupcakes, but it was worth it. He won’t mind walking. He’s in pretty good shape.

Magnolia is in Greenwich Village which was so cool. It is just off the busy NYC streets and it is pretty and tree-lined and quiet. It reminded me the set of Sesame Street.

Here is a picture of David trying to act all street like the guys on the Lazy Sunday skit in front of Magnolia Bakery on Saturday Night Live. Yeah... I know. But he felt street. And we'll cut him some slack since he's hot.

Bonus category:
Most goosebumpy thing
This is the hole in the city where the World Trade Center towers should be. It is very surreal down there. Below is a picture of the fire station that is right across the street. The first ones on the scene. You can see through the window the memorials they have for the firefighters who died on that day.

Oh, AND…

We ditched the taxi and hopped on the subway tonight.

In the dark.

Don’t tell my mom.

Really though, it was a nice ride! I was surprised to find that it was extremely clean and quiet. And it smelled…fresh. For real. And hey, did you realize that subway stations actually have subway tiles? Go figure. I just thought it was a name.

See you tomorrow. It will be our last day here.

Monday, May 19, 2008

New York City- Day 2

Most beautiful thing We went to the top of 30 Rockefeller to look out over the city after dark. We had been to the top of the Empire state Building before so we decided to do this tonight since it is just down the street from our hotel. It is hard to believe how huge this city is. I could look at those tall buildings and lights for hours. This picture doesn’t even begin to do it justice, but you get the idea. Also I was just excited to be at Rockefeller Plaza. Very cool.

I ain't never seen that in Oklahoma
Ok, the picture for this is going to be in your mind. That’s right, we are going to have an activity. Imagine with me, if you will, as I describe the aromas one might smell within a 30 second period of time on a New York City street.

Seconds 1-3: Ahhhhh, fresh bread!
Seconds 4-7 Whoa! Sewer!
Seconds 8-10: Now that is some powerful B.O.
Seconds 11-15: Yummmm, roasted nuts…
Seconds 16- 20: Oh! Vomitrocious!
Seconds 21-26: Oooooo…grilled kabobs…
Seconds 27-30: COFFFFFEEEEE!!!!!

Yes, it is olfactory over-stimulation. I don’t think I’ve experienced such a menagerie of scents since I had babies and toddlers in the house.

My favorite thing
My favorite thing is David. Always is, but it’s a different kind of fun hanging out with him in the Big Apple.

Our bonus category tonight is…..
My Dream World

We went to Chelsea Market today. If you do not happen to be as obsessed with the Food Network as I am, this is where their studios are. It is also an incredible market with tons of shops where you can get every ingredient under the sun. This is where all the shows get their fresh ingredients. It was so cool to see the different shops for
Alright, alright, I’ll stop. I know not everyone is as thrilled with this as me. Oh, I also got a Food Network apron (I know, Amy!). I think it is going to kick my cooking up a couple of notches. And some cool brown prep bowls that are also measuring cups! HeeHee! I’m very happy. See ya tomorrow.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

New York City- Day 1

Here are the pictures from today!
Most beautiful thing
No, not me after I walked in drizzle for an hour. Behind me. I'm in Grand Central Station. I hadn't been there before today and I had no idea how amazingly beautiful it is! The sculptures and the architecture and the painting on the ceiling. Wow. It is huge and gorgeous. And the people, oh my they were everywhere. It was like Grand Central Station in there. (Sorry, I couldn't help it).

I Ain't Never Seen That in Oklahoma

These mannequins are freakin' me out. They are everywhere and they all have different expressions. They do seem to be having more fun than Oklahoma mannequins, but I don't think it is necessary to rub it in. They frighten me.

My Favorite Thing

Many of you know that I am a sucker for great bed linens. Well, this bed has them. And after a long day of traveling and walking miles around Times Square, I am ready to drop and my bed is about to be my favorite thing. And it has six pillows! Six! One for David and five for me. Oh, you know I am kidding. He can have two.

And our bonus category tonight is...

Breakin' the Rule

This is a picture of David breaking our rule of not patronizing any chain food establishments while we are in New York City. We are committed to authentic NYC cuisine. We have seen many a Chipotle, but we walk on by like we have never met. We broke our rule for Starbucks. Since there is a Starbucks on every corner (and if that is an exaggeration, it is only a slight one), we knew that the Lord was calling us in for some chain coffee. Otherwise why would He keep putting it right in our path? Exactly.

See you tomorrow night!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

An update and a preview

A few of you have asked me to post a picture of the "after" of Bathroom Disaster 2008. Bathrooms are so difficult to photograph, but...

Remember this?

I survived and it's all better now.

And...David and I are soon heading to New York City for four days. I am so excited because OHMYGOODNESS I love New York City. The grandparents will be taking over here. Yes, they joyfully take all four kids at once. They always have, even when part of them were babies and toddlers. They are amazing. That's another post for another time.

The preview is this. Every night in New York City I am going to post an NYC picture from 3 different categories.

1. Something beautiful
2. My favorite thing
3. Somethin’ I ain’t never seen in Oklahoma

And possibly some bonus categories if I feel so impressed.

See ya Sunday night.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Orange Julius

These drinks are so delish. Everyone in our family loves them. And I think they are actually healthy because they have orange juice and milk. And sugar. But still, orange juice and milk. That’s right friends, vitamins A, C, D, calcium and pottasium.

And sugar.

Orange Julius

6 oz. unsweetened frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup cold water
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup sugar
1 cup crushed ice, or a little more than a cup if it is ice cubes
Blend together in a blender until smooth. Serve immediately.
By the way, did anyone notice how coordinated all four pictures in my last post were? All those circles and squares? I didn't even plan that amazing visual extravaganza.

Monday, May 12, 2008

I need to show you a couple of important things...

Alrighty. First of all, last weekend Riley was looking at the Kandinsky painting, Squares with Concentric Circles and she decided to create her own version.

We are calling it Sassy Concentric. You like?

And second, you may have noticed that there was some discussion about my mints. I started trying to figure out where I could get some more because David got mine at a resort in Arizona. My research turned up NADA. They are not to be found in my area. This made me need them even more. The adorable slide-tin and embossed designs on each mint combined with their elusiveness were making me nuts. So look what David ordered to surprise me...

Yes, that is ALL OF THE FLAVORS! All of them! All mine! He loves me. I now have jasmints, a new mojito mint, classic peppermint, fabulous fruit, mimosa mint, green tea mint, 7 deadly cinnamon, spare mint, and night light caffeinated chai mint.

I believe my favorite right now is the jasmint. I mean, just look at it.

Marcie also found a couple of flavors at a secret coffee shop on the secret base where her secret military husband works, but that is not a place I am welcome. Although she did offer to get me some whenever I need a hook-up.

Which clearly won't be anytime soon.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

My exciting garage sale find

So we did a garage sale with my sister's family today. It's always fun. The kids have a lemonade stand and the adults have some laughs and we eat a little junk. There are worse ways to spend a Saturday, right? Times were tough this year. We just didn't sell much. Tyler even put out a nickle marked 2 cents and it didn't sell. Come on people. Simple math.

Anyway, I had a very exciting garage sale find.

I'll give you a was small and adorable... and smart and funny.

No it wasn't a chihuahua, although someone did have one of those for sale and there were some tears that were shed over my veto of some plans that were being made. I mean if a dog is being sold at a garage sale and he comes with a bottle of odor understand where I am coming from.

My find was...

Oh my word! For real! She wasn't for sale, but still! After we worked to convince each other that, other than today, we normally wash our hair and wear make-up and look quite glam, we stood on the driveway and met parts of each other's fams and chatted for a bit.

My sister couldn't believe that I had never met her. She assumed from my blog that we were dear friends. I explained to her that we kinda are. It's so interesting how you really get to know someone and their family and their heart through their blog, ya know? It's fun. So if anyone out there is reading and not commenting I'd love to hear from you. You are welcome here and we'd all love for you to jump in with your comments and let us know you are hanging out with us! If you don't want to that is fine too, of course. But if you do, bring it on. The more the merrier.

Kim. You rock. I knew you would.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Jarred heaven

I am a salsa snob. A big one. I require my salsa to be fresh and perfectly crafted by an experienced Tex-Mex chef. No jarred salsa for me. No way. Until now. May I present to you


I kid you not, this stuff is incredible. It is smokey and limey and tomatillo-y and pure perfection. I would drink it in a Route 44 with a straw if Sonic would serve it. Maybe even if it wasn’t happy hour. If you find the above flavor descriptions to be desirable, I urge you to give it a try. Especially if you love the lime.

Imagine my delight when last weekend one of my BFFs cooked this fine dish using my favorite jarred salsa. I love you Marcie! And you love me.

Salsa Verde Enchiladas

2 rotisserie chickens
2 jars (16- to 17.6-ounce) mild salsa verde
6 green onions, thinly sliced
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/2 cup (loosely packed) fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
16 corn tortillas (6-inch)
1 container (8-ounce) reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 package (8-ounce) reduced-fat (2%) shredded Mexican cheese blend

Remove meat from chickens and coarsely shred; place in medium bowl (you will need 5 1/2 cups; reserve any extra for use another day). Discard skin and bones. Stir 1/2 cup salsa verde into chicken to evenly coat.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Grease two 13″ by 9″ glass or ceramic baking dishes; set aside. In 12-inch skillet, heat remaining salsa verde, green onions, and lime juice to boiling on medium-high. Boil 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in 2 tablespoons cilantro; keep warm over very low heat.

With tongs, place 1 tortilla in salsa verde mixture; heat 10 seconds. Place tortilla on waxed paper; top with about 1/3 cup shredded-chicken mixture. Roll up tortilla and place, seam side down, in prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining tortillas and chicken mixture, arranging 8 tortillas in each dish.

Stir sour cream and broth into remaining salsa verde mixture in skillet; spoon over filled tortillas. Cover one baking dish with foil and bake 15 minutes. Remove foil; sprinkle with 1 cup cheese and 1 tablespoon cilantro. Bake 5 minutes longer or until cheese melts. Meanwhile, sprinkle remaining cheese and cilantro over second casserole and prepare for freezing.

To reheat after thawing:
Conventional oven: Heat, loosely covered, at 350 degrees F 45 minutes; uncover and heat 10 to 15 minutes longer.

You can do what you want regarding the lowfat cheese versus regular, but I recommend you use the low sodium broth. I made them a couple of days ago with regular broth and found that the lime gives it such a bite that you really don't want any extra salt.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008


Yesterday Cole had a little accident and he wanted everyone to see. He fell from a pull-up bar and bit all the way through his lip. The picture doesn't do it justice. From the side his lip is sticking out as far as his nose. And the blood...oh the blood. It was everywhere. My friend Amy was over and got to participate in the fun. Luckily she and I are alike in that we don't get too worked up over things like blood. 'Cause it looked like a crime scene over here. He was brave and didn't even make a sound while the dentist was feeling around trying to see if the chipped off piece of his tooth was lodged inside his lip. Yeah.

I'm feeling a little paranoid that DHS is gonna come aknockin' because here is a rundown of my family and their injuries.

1. Cole and his fat lip.

2. Garrett and Tyler are covered in circle bruises they incurred while playing paintball last weekend.

3. Riley chose to give herself a hickey on her upper arm. It looks like someone viciously grabbed her and left a thumbprint bruise.

4. David also has the circle bruises from paintball, plus some other cuts and scrapes he received in a different incident. I won't go into details, let's just say it is sometimes painful to have the spirit of a 10 year old and be trapped inside a 37 year old body.

So that leaves me, the only member of the family without injuries at this time. Suspicious anyone?

Monday, May 5, 2008


As some of you know, we have a die hard drummer in our house. Well, recently Cole has decided that he also wants to be a drummer. He has asked for a drum set like Tyler’s and we have told him that he has to be a bit older to be responsible enough to take care of such an expensive instrument. I think that for a lot of people that would have been the end of the dream for now. But not Cole. He has created his own drum set. He is very serious about it and plays it all the time.

He puts his heart into it.

Pencil drumsticks are soaring, head is banging and blond curls are flying. He loves his drums.

I love that he went ahead with his drummer dream, not phased by the roadblocks in front of him. He couldn’t have a drum set, so he said “Hey! I know, I’ll use TRASH!” and moved on.

It makes me think of all of the times we are so easily derailed because things aren’t exactly right. You know, the “I’ll do _______ when________happens” syndrome. How often are we waiting around to do something we really want to do until we finally have our house perfect, or our bodies perfect, or a number of other excuses when we should be charging ahead and doing what we want to do despite the silly obstacles that are in our path? I know there are a couple of things on my list. How about you?

We would like to take a moment to thank Cole’s sponsors, Orville Redenbacher, Country Time Lemonade, Great Value Vanilla Cappuccino Mix, Planter’s Peanuts, and Hungry Jack Pancake Mix.

That's right, we are health nuts.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Refresh me

Here are my mints

Here is my phone

Ever since I got these delicious mojito mints, my kids flip out when I pull out my phone. ‘OH OH OH I WANT A MINT CAN I PLEASE HAVE A MINT! MINT! MINT! MINT!” I have to gently say “Oh, precious children, this is not a green tin of mints, this is my green phone, and I am trying to talk on it, so please soften your sweet voices.” Ahem..or something like that.

I have even noticed now that occasionally when I see my phone in my purse I crave a mint. But no mint is to be found. Only a fake. An impostor. A phone that offers no tingly refreshment. It’s starting to get annoying.

I was thinking today about all the impostors I have in my life. All of the things I think are going to be great and refreshing but turn out to be a disappointment.

I have found through much trial and error that God is the only path to my contentment and happiness. But I have also found that despite that knowledge, I still look to fakes for those needs. We all have them, those things we chase after hoping to find contentment. It may be money, control, food, addictions, material possessions, you name it.

But when we get them and find out what’s inside, we are left unfulfilled. So why do we keep grabbing for those things when we know the truth? Why is it so hard to hold fast to the knowledge that He is more than enough?

Lord, please help me to remember that you are all I need. You are all there is and all I want and all that ever satisfies. You plus nuthin.’

Oh, and please help me remember to get some cinnamon mints next time I am at the store. Amen.