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Too Many To Count Two

Wednesday, January 31, 2007


Our little Lucy can get into anything. It's really charming. Not.
This used to be a big problem. She would go help herself, open youghurts, drop eggs, spill milk, or just take a look and then leave the door wide open.
Then last week I found this at Wal-mart and our problems are solved (at least with the fridge).
Easy but it works for me!!

For more tips go visit Rocks in my Dryer!

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

OwlHaven's writing contest.

I Am
I am the first baby girl born in San Francisco, Ca to immigrant parents. The first to start life on US soil and in freedom passed down through generations.
Who loved to see the camels at the zoo, and Baba Katya, and reading National Geographics.
I am the child who played in the warm summer sand and weeded the garden and cried over multiplication tables.
Who loved horses and reading and drawing pictures.
Who stored a hoof pick in my treasure box in hopes of someday having a horse of my own.
Who dreamed of adventure in space and never thought she would be a mom to many young adventurers.
I am the teenager who lived for stake dances.
Who wore 501’s and a “life’s a beach” tee shirt and loved donuts and hated that darn rubix cube that I never did solve.
Who spent the morning in the surf and then the afternoon in the snow (only in CA)
Who dreamed of seeing the world and knew she would make a difference some how.
I am the woman who became a mom when I was still just a girl.
Who loves God and Family and Friends
I am the mother who loves sweet little feet and goes crazy if I have to sort socks and whose moments of perfect bliss come as I sit at the table with all of my dear ones and listen to their chatter, and laughter, and yes even their fights.
I am the mom who loves baking and avoids going to the dentist and who tries to be a good example each day.
I am the woman who is patient and kind and a little bit quiet.
I am the person who survived cancer and divorce but still can't put her face under water.
I am the woman who still loves chocolate and sandy days by the surf, but never will fit those 501’s again.
Who still longs to learn how to knit, or speak Hebrew, or bake a perfect funnel cake.
I am the person who dreams of her children’s future and a day of peace and is grateful for each breath I take, for each one is a gift from a loving Heavenly Father.
To participate click here, leave a comment and tell her that txmommy sent you. Also let me know if you are writing one of your own.

Monday, January 29, 2007

Moroccan Chicken Stew

I tried a new recipe tonight. Not everyone loved it but I thought it was really "yumm-o".
The vote went: Mom and Dad (who have dinner and FHE with us each Monday) both liked it. S thought it had too much squash. E ate some but not a lot. J liked it. DH not so much. H and G liked it well enough to share a second bowl at bedtime.

1 T oil
1 small onion chopped
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 t turmeric
1/4 t cinnamon
3 whole cloves
2 bay leaves
2 cups chicken broth
4 skinless, boneless chicken thighs
1 can whole tomatoes
1 large carrot sliced
1 can green beans
1 small summer squash, sliced
1 can chickpeas
1/2 t salt
1/3 cup golden raisins

In a large pot heat oil. Saute onion and garlic for 2-3 mintues until onion is clear. Stir in turmeric, cinnamon, cloves, and bay leaves and cook the mixture for 2-3 more minutes.
Add the chicken broth, thighs and tomatoes and bring the stew to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 25 minutes.
Stir in carrots, green beans, squash, chickpeas and salt. Cook, covered, stiring occasionally for 10 minutes.
Add the raisins. Raise heat and cook for 10 more minutes.
Ladle stew into a shallow bowl around a mound of couscous.

I had to double it.

We served it with salad, olives, sweet pickles and sliced cantalope.

things we like to play

I got a new game today. It's called Hiss and it is very fun. Brother and I played this afternoon. We also played Crazy 8's, which he loves.

While I was fixing dinner tonight the kids got in the linen closet and got almost all our blankets out and made a huge fun tent on Lucy's playset (which is still in the living room). They then played on it for a long time. There was a lot of laughing.

For FHE we played both Crazy 8's and Hiss. H added a rule that anyone who won a hand "got" to wear her jesters hat.

While we played games Lucy got to play with play-doh. She had so much fun she had to use hands and feet to fully enjoy the goo. She's a little monkey.

This picture cracks me up. They were a tangle of feet and hands and body parts like a litter of kittens.

After the littles went to bed J and DH and I played Scrabble. J just learned how to play the other night. S came home from drill team practice while we were playing and helped J out for a while. We had a fun time visitng while we played. And, for the record, I won.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

guess who went to nursery today!

Lucy went to nursery. She had fun. Maybe this is the start of something good!

This morning H called Abba on the phone. Somehow Lucy got a turn, she had a wonderful time listening and nodding and smiling. She wouldn't relinquish the phone for a long time. Abba is a good sport!

Clay Pit

Turns out the restaurant is called the Clay Pit. It was really good. I had mango curry chicken which was delish! They served us family style so we got to try a little of everyone's dish. I liked all but dad's choice. He got something that was a little too hot for me. Everyone else liked all of dishes. The Naan was also very good.
All these years we've been stopping at Chili's on the way home from the temple and little did we know just 3 blocks farther there are a TON of interesting restaurants. We'll be venturing that way to try more in the future.
We had a nice evening. I saw a friend of mine that was in my ward in CA in the temple. It was so fun to catch up with her while we were leaving. Her little boy, who I taught in primary, is serving a mission in Peru right now. His older brother just got home from his mission. She's a grandma as her oldest daughter is married. Fun! It's a small world :)

Today is Happy Sabbath day. Starting at 1pm this year is really different. We have a lot of time in the morning. Which is nice. Church is in the middle of nap time, which is not so nice.
It's cold and sunny day. E has the scripture and prayer in primary and tonight is General Priesthood Meeting.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

I hate to be cold!!!

Winter is my least favorite season. Of course I love Christmas and the rare dusting of snow is fun but other than that it stinks. I hate wearing a jacket inside the house since DH likes to keep the heater set at a brisk 68. Brrr! I hate getting out of the shower and having the arctic blast hit my bare skin as I run for clothes. I also don't like finding jackets and sock and hats and bundling everyone up to go to the mall and then what do we do with the 8 jackets and hats and mittens and whatever while we walk around?
I do like making soup, which is sort of a wintry dish. And I like hot chocolate. Mostly I am very glad to live in TX where the temp. is warm most of the year.

Here's a little reminiscing from warm days past to hold us through until the spring:

Our first summer with our own pool. H went from scardy cat to slippery fish. She LOVES the water.
J at the St Louis zoo in July. Nice and hot!

Swimming in San Antonio on a fun long weekend trip we took to see the Alamo and Seaworld.

Weekend is going well. Last night mom, S and J and I went to the movies. Dad and DH watched E and G and H got to spend the night with Emmaline, her friend down the street.
Today DH is playing paintball, S had drill team practice.
Tonight we're going to the temple with Mom and Dad. J will baby-sit and S is going to a fundraiser at the HS for a girl who has osteosarcoma. After the temple we're trying out a new restaurant in Dallas, the Clay Pot. Indian cuisine.

Big bummer of the weekend we found out the girls didn't get picked for EFY. They, and I , are very sad.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

decorating style: playskool meets garage sale finds

Some day DH and I will be real grown-ups and have lovely furniture. Right now we have kids and dog instead.

Little Lucy got some money for Christmas, as did all the children. We ordered a playset and slide for her.

Tonight DH went out home teaching with Papa. I had the kids ready for bed and we were reading stories on the couch when SURPRISE they came in the door with her box. It had arrived!

While the kids were having a lot of fun playing in the box DH and Papa put the playground together.

Then more fun began. Everyone loved the slide and climbing around. We'll keep it inside upstairs until the weather warms up. Lucy will have a great time and so will the other kids.

Happy Day!

Things to do when you're not playing X-box

Day two of no X-box is going so great! Yesterday we played 20+ games of Crazy 8's, read books and he jumped on the couch for an hour. All better than X-box.
Today brother's friend K came over after preschool. They played outside for close to two hours, with no fighting or crying, or begging for X-box. They came running in about 1/2 an hour into their playing and said "come take our picture we made the teeter totter into an "X". So cute!

Brownies...Straight from the pages of Taste of Home to my kitchen

I spent a few minutes browsing my cook books to find a recipe to make to take to my friend. Actually that is a favorite past-time of mine, browsing recipes. I chose one and after getting the missing ingredients from the store I headed to the kitchen to start creating. I was all alone, mixing and measuring. I should have known something was wrong. Where was my "help"? Instead of enjoying the peaceful whir of the mixer I should have suspected something was amiss.
Lucy, who can get into anything, had gone to the pantry and gotten several packages of Dinosaur Egg Oatmeal. She then took them to the living room, ripped open the packages, emptied out the offending oats and retrieved her prize. I little pile of dinosaur eggs which she then could suck on and get the candy out of the middle.
Isn't she cute?
The brownies turned out great. This is not a good picture of them but they are absolutely worth a try.
1-1/3 cups all purpose flour
1-1/4 cups sugar
1/2 cup baking cocoa
1 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
4 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup melted butter
1/2 cup each milk chocolate chips, semisweet chocolate chips and white chocolate chips.
3 snickers bars. cut into 1/4in pieces.
In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cocoa, baking powder and salt. Combine the eggs and butter; add to dry ingredients and mix well. Stir in chips.
Transfer to greased 13x9 in pan. Bake at 350 for 30 min. Immediately sprinkle with candy bars. Cool and cut into bars

Snapshot challenge

Got this Snapshot Challenge from HolyMama
Reading: Cane River, so far I really like it.
Music in my head: I don't often have one in my head. This morning it was Shakira something or other on the radio as I drove the kids to school. Before that it was the primary program CD while we were getting breakfast.
Drinking: big tall glass of water
Wishing: there was a magic drop 50 lbs pill
Considering: should I sign brother up for soccer again, or try something new like karate.
Feeling: in a good mood
Goals: make a dessert for my friend Robin who just got out of the hospital without eating any myself....well, at least not more than one piece since I have to double it anyway for the starving masses that sit around my kitchen table every night.
Tomorrow's To Do List: go to a baby shower, go grocery shopping, drive the kids everywhere they want to go. Have a sleep over for H.
Hours gloriously spent in bathtub today: 0
Things Accomplished: it's 10:40 am. I got the kids up and bathed them, then fed them breakfast. H caught the bus. J and S got driven to school. Took brother and K to preschool. Stopped by Albertson's for chocolate chips for dessert for Robin. Filled out rebate form for new cell phones. Went to pack and ship to mail form, jury summons and package to D. Fed the dog. Checked my blog.

Challenge: Pick at least 3 of the above categories and list your Snapshot in the Comments.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007


Easter 2001
I was looking at some old pictures last night while DH was working late. Besides needing haircuts so we could see their eyes don't they look cute?!
Yesterday brother went to preschool. After he was supposed to go play with his friend. He didn't want to because he wanted to play x-box. Now we have NO x-box during the week. He can play on weekends with his dad but that's it. I don't want a game box to take the place of friends. This morning while we were driving home from taking the girls to school he asked if he could invite Reid over to play. I said yes and now they are happily running around the house blasting stuff.
Last night I made Lamb and Lentil soup from my new "Soup Bible". It was good but not good enough to make again.
Last night we also went to watch S dance at the basketball game. They did a kick routine that was really good. I took all the kids and DH worked late. I was pleasantly surprised that they were so well behaved. We went in and found seat and then they sat in them and watched the game and the dancers. We left before it was over but our team was way behind so I am sure we didn't miss anything. I was really glad everyone stayed in their seats. Yeah!

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

I've been tagged

foldmylaundryplease tagged me to do a book meme

Here are the directions:

Grab the closest book to you
Turn to page 123
Go down to the 5th sentence
Post the next 3 sentences in your blog
Don't forget to include the name of the book and the author
Tag three other people

In my computer room the closest bookshelf is the one with my recipe book collections. So I walked over and randomly grabbed the first one.

"Turn steak over and brush with remaining mixture. Cook 2 to 3 more minutes for medium-rare or until desired degree of doneness. Turn steak over again and cook 30 more seconds. "

from a recipe for Chipotle Steak with Pineapple-Avacodo Salsa which I have never made but it sounds yummy and I might try it now.

all recipes all time favorites
Best Brand Recipes
oxmore house

if you want to do it consider yourself tagged!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Where I admit to being the world's biggest slacker.

I've been "dieting", whatever that means. Week two just finished. Week one I did great, stayed on points lost weight. I was happy. Week two I stayed on pts as well. On Friday I snuck onto the scale and was glad to see it was down 3 more lbs. I thought for sure by Monday I'd be down 4. Today, my official weigh in day, I had only lost 2 lbs from last week. I gained one back? How did that happen? I didn't even cheat. What's up with that? I was annoyed.
So, what did I do? What any normal person would. I made a batch of oatmeal raisin cookies, and ate some. ( I would have made chocolate chip cookies but we didn't have any chocolate chips)
Some I put on a plate and took them to my friend Nikko.
Because I'm a nice neighbor? No.
Because it's her birthday? No.
It was because I am the world's worst borrower. She brought me homemade pizza when I broke my ankle. I had several friends bring in meals and I thought I returned all their dishes but apparently not. Saturday night she told my mom I had two of her pizza pans. Today I found them. One of them had been used by my DH to catch water that was dripping out of our AC and is still there. So before I could return them we had to go buy a new one to replace that one. Then I made the cookies and we walked over both pans and the plate (paper). If I have anything else that belongs to anyone I know IRL let me know (except joyismygoal...I know I have your videos I'll bring them back to you soon)
And I have yet to write thank you notes for Christmas, although I bought note cards a couple weeks ago and I am grateful.
And now instead of cleaning my house I am blogging, and instead of fixing dinner tonight I ordered pizza, and .....
the list goes on.
If you are a RLF of mine you might want to reconsider :)

Lucy's birthday (in random order)

Birthday cake, it turned out delicious and she loved it. As did her daddy:)
Lucy opened up her presents after dinner. She was very excited, I guess she remembered about opening gifts since Christmas was not too long ago. She ripped her paper and exclaimed joyously over each item!
The day before I had her practice blowing so she could blow out her candles. She didn't even pucker so I was very surprised when she not only blew but actually blew out her candles. She was very pleased when we all clapped for her.
Lucy wore a special birthday crown. No occasion is really complete without one:)
Right after the candles went out. Look who's two!
We went to the mall in the afternoon. For several months she has been taking my earrings or her sisters and trying to put them in her ears. When I would ask her if she wanted earrings she always vigorously nodded in the affirmative. So we had decided that when she turned two we would take her to get them pierced.
She hopped up into my lap all smiles. Sat still for the wiping, and marking and picking of little pink studs. ....After the deed was done she didn't think it was such a great idea though.
The Birthday Princess!

Weekend recap

Friday we had book club here. Lots of people came, we had some new faces. Not everyone liked the book "The Time Travelers Wife" but that's okay. I liked it. I could have done without the bedroom scenes and the profanity but the story was interesting. Next month we're reading "Cane River" by Lalita Tademy. I picked it up at the book store this weekend for $6 and I'm excited to start it.
Friday night DH and I went out with mom and dad. We went to Red Robin and then to the bookstore. It was raining. We had a fun time.
Saturday it was our turn to clean the church so we did that in the morning. In the afternoon we went to celebrate G's birthday.
Yesterday we went to church. Then in the evening we had a special "Turning 8" meeting with H and all the kids in the ward who'll turn eight this year. She was very excited to go and to find out her baptism date.
After we tucked the kiddos into bed DH and I went and did some of my visiting teaching. We had a very fun visit with our friends David and Donna.
It was a fun weekend.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Lucy's Two!! and a rambling birth story

Today little Lucy turned two years old. It's been a delightful two years. She's a very sweet girl who brings a lot of joy to our family. She loves her babies, to read stories, to play with her sisters and brother. She can say a few words, although I am the only one who can understand them. She signs a few things too. Everyday she takes a long nap. She loves to go outside to do anything and loves to take a bath. She refuses to go to nursery, wants to feed herself and knows how to open anything (including child safety locked medicine bottles, locked doors, the fridge and the oven.)

This is the baby that DH had to lobby hard for. After we had brother I felt like we were done. I was happy with five kids, I was busy with five kids, I got to do most of the work of taking care of five kids. Besides that after H was born we had three miscarriages before we finally had him and I felt like we were lucky he was here. Also it's hard to have big kids and little ones. I felt like, and I still feel like, it's really hard to meet everyone's needs. I would like to do more things with my bigger girls but I can't always. I know there are many benefits they get from having younger sisters and brother and I'm not saying I'd change anything, I'm just saying it's hard. So after E I was done. (LOL) DH really, really wanted more kids. (He still wants more now.)
Eventually I agreed to "try". I got pregnant and miscarried and got pregnant again and miscarried again. Now I was really done.
Finally in one desperate attempt to convince me to try "one more time" he asked me to pray about it.
No. I was having no part of that.
Then one day I was reading in the Ensign and I don't even remember the article I was reading or anything but I knew I needed to take the matter before my Heavenly Father. After much prayer I too felt like we should try again. And I got pregnant. This should be the end of a happy story but it wasn't.
While I was pregnant with G I bled regularly. Every few weeks I would start bleeding. I would have a blessing, stay in bed, and it would go away. About 18 weeks into our pregnancy I bled a lot and we went to the hospital where we learned we were having a girl. Well the pregnancy stuck and 9 months later we had our little caboose. She must have really wanted to be in our family! I know she has a great work to do and is being looked after by more than her scatter brained, over worked mortal mother and family. Another day I'll tell the story of her guardian angel. But for today I have digressed enough and must get on with the story of the big day.

As is my tradition I will tell her birthstory. Lou's story is different than the others. She had a very medically managed birth. After E arrived in our car on the way to the hospital and we found out we were having another baby we decided we either needed to have a homebirth or an induction. I wanted a home birth but DH wasn't comfortable with that. I was a little disappointed as I had wanted to have a home birth for awhile.
With my first three babies I never thought of it or considered it. In fact we had a girl in our ward who had a home water birth (her mother was a midwife) and I thought it was so peculiar. Why would someone want to do that? A few years later as I read more about it and after having 3 great births with no complications (but some annoying interventions) I changed my mind. When we had H, DH was absolutely against it and as it was his first baby I knew he was nervous so we had another hospital birth. With E I don't think we really talked about it. With G I wanted to have her at home and we considered it but it came down to money. It cost $20 to have a hospital birth and several thousand to home birth. Anyway, we decided to have an induction. I didn't want to have a suburban baby again and if we were going to go to the hospital I figured we might as well have the works.

Being induced was really strange. A few days before she as born we had an appointment with my OB. I had started dilating and was 50% effaced so we set up a time at the hospital. Nana flew out the day before and we had everything set for the kids and the laundry done and our bags packed. It was so weird. In the morning we got up and showered and drove the hospital. The whole thing felt very surreal. We walked in and check in and I got changed. Then the anesthesiologist came in and started my epidural. Once that got going Dr Maxwell broke my water and we waited. While we were waiting we watched Pres. Bush's inauguration speech. I didn't feel a thing. It was very odd. After a couple hours the doctor came by to check how things were progressing and decided to start some pitocin. Then we waited some more. Eventually I thought I could feel some pressure so they topped off my epidural and the doctor checked and said I was complete and could push. I felt very odd, it was really really strange to not feel anything. Not having any pain was, of course, great but it was too weird.
I pushed for awhile. I felt like I was taking a long time and like everyone was watching me. (something that doesn't even occur to you with a natural birth). I was so surprised by how many people were in the room, DH told me that it was the same when H was born. Finally she was born. I didn't know so DH told me to stop pushing and I looked down at her. She had a cute little round face and was so sweet. They wrapped her up and handed her to me. The doctor finished all he needed to do and DH and I were left with a sweet new daughter.

I stayed in the hospital a couple days and G and I got to know each other. She was a very easy going baby. Very cuddly. This is a picture of her first bath, first sponge bath anyway. We wrapped her up in her cute pink flower towel.
This is her this morning, she still likes that crazy flower on her head. Now she dives under the water and splashes and laughs and plays with her ducks. She's still so cute and sweet.
Happy Birthday Lucy!!!!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

study study

Last 6 weeks J picked a book for her reader responses that she ended up hating and she was tortured by it. To The Lighthouse" by Viginia Woolf. The assingment took the whole 6 weeks as she procrastinated, cried, complained and agonized.
This time she brought me her list and I highlighted the books I thought she'd enjoy. She chose "Night" by Elie Wiesel, read it in two days, and is already finding quotes.
I love a good book!

new jammies!

S and G have fun

many mundane ramblings

MSV and her husband are coming to visit!! Yeah! Two weeks from today they'll fly in. They are going to stay for a long weekend and then drive back the alero for my youngest sister Em to have. YEAH!! I am excited. Of course V and I have been making plans for the time they are here. We are trying to convince R to move here. His job hasn't turned out to be as great as they had hoped and they are ready for a change.
Mom and Dad are planning on leaving at the end of summer to teach English at the University in China for a year, and then they plan on serving a 2 year mission. In the meantime they want V&R to live in their house. They are also talking about selling that house and buying one similar to some friends of ours who just built a home with two master suites so her parents can live with them. The neighborhood they're looking at is even closer to my home then mom and dad are now. It would be so great to have all the little cousins together, and to have V here.

Today Lucy and I went to Target. She got some new jammies and a baby carrier for her dollies. I got her birthday present bought. I can't believe she'll be two on Saturday.

Tomorrow is book club at my house, I need to decide what to make.

Raining today.

I'm kind of feeling yucky. I've had a headache since I got the flu shot on Monday. Hopefully it'll go away soon. Also having some reflux problems and got my test results for my blood work and my cholesterol is high. I guess it's good that this is the year I am finally dieting in ernest. So far it's been almost 2 weeks and I haven't gone over my points even once.

H wet her pants at school again today. I wish I knew what to do to help her. Her hemangioma isn't getting bigger but I wonder what it's doing inside. Probably the same. Hopefully she'll out grow this.

Hoping for some snow this weekend, think snow!

Abba booked breakfast with princesses for our dream Disney vacation!! Yeah, it will be so fun and H will be SO thrilled. She wants to sleep in the castle but this will be better.

DH is working late. I can't think what to make for dinner; the kids are having corn dogs. Dad and I met at the Portuguese Cafe for lunch and really I am not hungry yet. Harder to think of something to make when you're not hungry and feeling a little blah.

The good news is my ankle doesn't hurt at all anymore. Yeah! That took a long time to heal.

I need to take Millie to the vet. And turn in a rebate form I have sitting around. And I just got a jury summons for the first time in my life. Which I wouldn't mind doing all that much except that it would be a pain to get a babysitter for however long it would take so I probably will opt out. Next time.

Did I mention my sister is coming to visit?!!!
My other sister Anna is doing a bit better. I'm glad.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

S's idea of fun!

snow fun!!

Snow Day

Dawn was greeted with rejoicing and a plate of pancakes. Well, not really dawn but some pre-dawn moment when our alarm went off and it was soo freezing cold that when my toes hit the tile I knew we were in for a bone chilling day. Then the welcome news...SNOW DAY!!!

I happily snuggled back under the covers and as each child sleepily stumbled into our room one at a time over the next hour we said 'guess what?! No School.'


This is our snow picture. I tried to take it against the wall so you could see the flakes falling. They were big and fluffy for a while. Now they're pretty much gone but we're hopeful for more.

While my sister in Utah laughs her head off at our wimpyness I will share this line that really sums it up:

To Quote Antique Mommy

"Texans are tough when it comes to the heat. 103 degrees for ten days in a row? We laugh at that. Ha! And then we order chips and salsa to eat outside on the patio. But get a little ice, a little wintry mix? We cower in our house and eat cookies. And our trees faint dead away."

Who cares? We have the day off of school and she doesn't. Laugh at that! And I have free labor for the day and some chores that I have been waiting to do. And when we are done we'll don our snowpants and go outside and try to scrape up a snowball....if we use our whole acre and a half we might get a teeny tiny snowman! And I'll make cookies. And I finally made it on to the EFY website. And the new AR cast is up and some of my favorites are back. What a great day!

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

free lunch

A couple days ago DH bought a bird feeder. It has been a very busy spot ever since. It's freezing outside and we have a lot of little birds visiting and spreading seed around. I tried all morning to get a good shot from inside my bathroom window. I guess they could see me because they flew away if I got too close to the pane.
I'm glad they have a place to go to get some seed.

I love summer.