Thursday, March 31, 2011
In honor of him turning 30, here are 30 things that I love about him!
1. He puts Archer to bed almost every single night (if you know Archer, you know this is a pretty big deal!).
2. He makes breakfast almost every single morning.
3. He does the "heavy lifting" for my landscaping projects!
4. He shares my love for scooters.
5. He is a complete sucker for his sons.
6. He buys me Dutch Bros. randomly, especially during $1 week. :)
7. He reads my mind on a regular basis.
8. He loves his job...
9. And he's good at it. (I trust him with my teeth!)
10. He reads books that I've read and liked.
11. He buys books to read that he knows I want to read (very handy to have 2 nooks so we can read at the same time!)
12. He makes me laugh every single day.
13. He always makes time for the boys, even when he's completely exhausted from seeing a million patients per day (no shortage of patients in public health).
14. He loves to garden with me.
15. He wants a souped-up mini cooper some day.
16. He's currently restoring a vintage vespa, saying it's for me, but really, he loves it.
17. He reminds me to take vitamins every day.
18. He kicks me out of the house when he gets home and I've had a rough day with the boys.
19. He eats every meal that I make, even if it's not very good.
20. He tells me that the food is good, even if it's not (although I can tell by his face what he REALLY thinks!).
21. He doesn't (usually) complain about eating beans & rice on a regular basis.
22. He watches chick flicks with me, without complaining, and sometimes will even admit to liking one.
23. He sometimes surprises me by unloading the dishwasher before he goes to work in the morning. I DESPISE unloading the dishwasher, so this totally makes my day!
24. When I told him that I wanted to buy some new clothes, but I needed him to give me a budget so I didn't feel guilty for buying stuff for myself, he told me an outrageously high number. And he meant it. (And when I didn't spend it all, he was genuinely SURPRISED!)
25. He no longer makes comments about the amount of shoes that are in our closet.
26. He lets us tag along to conferences with him (well, we don't actually GO TO the conferences...but we've taken a few "vacations" this way).
27. He GETS our boys. He knows what motivates them and what makes them tick. Like when he recently took the batteries out of their Leapsters right in front of them as punishment. That was pretty effective, but I would never have thought to do it.
28. He says things to me like "You are NOT putting another tree in our yard!" and then calls from a nursery to see if I'd like him to order another tree (or 5...thanks to Kira's hubby!).
29. He spends his weekends doing things that I've schemed about all week.
30. He works hard (and especially harder than most dentists!) to pay off debt (like my student loans which are now PAID OFF!) and now to pay down our mortgage.
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
1. 2:00 am slobbery kisses from a 1.5 year old (who is a master at climbing out of the pack-n-play, so he is now sleeping in his toddler bed...sometimes!).
2. Soup from the freezer & PB&J sandwiches so I don't have to cook a meal today.
3. The gigantic 6-in-1 Dr. Seuss book that I bought on impulse the other day - it's already earned it's keep.
4. Seeds that just started sprouting!
5. Boys who will occupy themselves with floor puzzles (until their little brother walks across it of course).
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
Friday, March 25, 2011
The only way we can keep it somewhat under control is to buzz it, but they like "long hair" and hair is not really something that we choose to fight over. Plus, when it's buzzed, we have to cut it about every 2-3 weeks in order for it to be short enough to stay under control and they HATE home haircuts. Really really hate them. Preston claims to be scarred by an incident where we "forced" him to cut his hair about 2 years ago (what happened was that he wanted his hair cut, so we started cutting it...and he wanted us to stop after one swipe. Not going to happen. So we persevered, and apparently the rest is history). So you do the math. $10 per kid per hair cut every couple of weeks = lots of $. Incidentally, they love going to get their hair cut. I've tried it all (many, many bribes. I'm not above bribing in these situations!) and no luck. They still despise having their hair cut at home.
Anyway, enough justifying. Check out their hair styles from the past month!
|Okay, so this one was actually helped along by the static, but still...|
|2 out of 3 with crazy hair. Archer's hair is definitely crazy in the making, it just hasn't quite gotten there yet.|
Thursday, March 24, 2011
This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!
To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.
Note: To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime� 6.5 or higher is required.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
So, for lack of anything more interesting to blog about (it snowed this past weekend and even though it melted, it still feels like WINTER here, blah...), here is what's on the menu this week at our house! Notice two things...First, pretty much everything can be made in the crockpot. I have realized that late afternoon is NOT the time for me to prepare a meal in our house. The boys don't like to cooperate with that, so I now take the time in the morning to prepare the meal when they are slightly more independent. This makes for much less interesting meals, BUT it helps us avoid the dinner-time-panic. Secondly, while I don't really plan it in advance, we always have some sort of a veggie on the side if the dinner isn't chock-full of veggies already. Along with fresh veggies, I keep a full supply of frozen veggies and home canned green beans! My boys love steamed broccoli & canned green beans more than anything so we have those A LOT. Also, the last couple of months, the Aerogarden has been providing us with a couple of salads per week! Yum.
The bonus of cooking this way: there is virtually no temptation to eat out, because it's all planned ahead and mostly cooked ahead. The prep-time is minimal. And it's cheap (except for the fish that we try to eat at least a couple of times per month)! It's not uncommon for our grocery bill to be around $200/month, not counting another $300 or so per year for stocking up on bulk foods. I'm hoping this will actually go down since we're expanding our garden this year, but we'll see!
Breakfasts are: granola/yogurt, smoothies, eggs, oatmeal, pancakes (any combination...John is in charge of assembling breakfast in the morning). Our lunches during the week are generally leftovers, PB&J sandwiches, quesadillas, wraps, etc. Pretty uneventful.
Monday: We had Black Bean Soup with homemade bread and canned green beans.
Tuesday: Tonight, already in the crockpot, we are having Vegetarian Curry with quinoa. I made a couple of substitutions, but that is the basic recipe that I used. It looks really yummy already! (This is my absolute FAVORITE crockpot website. I've made probably 90% of the vegetarian meals from there, and most of them have been good!)
Wednesday: Leftover curry with quinoa.
Thursday: Salsa Lentils with rice (I make a big batch of rice and use it for leftovers)
Friday: Taco Salad, using the leftover lentils, and probably some taco meat for the boys if there aren't enough leftover lentils.
Saturday: Lunch - Split Pea Soup from the freezer (PB&J for the boys since they don't like Split Pea Soup), Dinner - Spaghetti
Sunday: Lunch - Grilled cheese sandwiches & tomato soup, Dinner - Salmon & rice (leftover rice)
There you have it. Not gourmet by any means, but they are meals that we all like (except the split pea soup), that are healthy, which is a pretty big accomplishment with my picky eaters. I used to just plan 1 week of meals at a time, but the past few months I've been doing 4 weeks. It is so helpful to me to plan ahead (and stock up on bulk purchases at Winco!). I only make it to Winco maybe 3-4 times a year since it's a bit of a drive, so I stock up on dried foods when I go (rice, lentils, beans, quinoa, flour, oatmeal, etc.), and this way I can figure out how much we really need. The cashiers probably dread it when I go into their line...they have to type in a million bulk food numbers!
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
Friday, March 11, 2011
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Bryton: I'm NOT Bryton.
Preston: Well, who are you then?
Bryton: Noah! I'm Noah.
Preston: Okay, Noah, let me show you where the ark is. You can clean up all the puke from the animals.
Monday, March 7, 2011
I really don't like "extra" kitchen appliances. Especially ones that sit out on the counter. I'm sure that they make life easier in a lot of ways, but I'm obsessive about decluttering the house so things like that just don't belong in my kitchen. I was debating if I REALLY wanted to deal with all those individual jars and parts...clutter, clutter, clutter!
That being said...I broke down and bought a yogurt maker. But it's not your typical "plug in and let it sit" yogurt maker. It's an Easiyo! You are technically supposed to buy their powdered yogurt starter and use that, but here's what I did instead:
Pour milk into the jar. Put some yogurt in. Put on the lid and shake. Boil some water, pour it into the outer jar (NOT in with the milk!) up to the line. Put jar (with milk and yogurt) into the outer jar, put the lid on, let it sit on the counter for 8-12 hrs. I think it actually says you can be done in about 6 hrs, but I think it seems to get thicker when you let it sit for longer. It made the THICKEST homemade yogurt I have ever made. It also got the approval of 3 little yogurt connoisseurs who said it was the best homemade yogurt yet (okay, 2 out of 3 said that...the other 1 just ate very enthusiastically).
Easy, minimal parts, electricity free (well, if you have a gas stove, or another way to boil the water), consistent results, and GOOD. Plus it's pink! I used a quart size canning jar, but the plastic jar is BPA-free and food grade. The plastic jar on mine was cracked on arrival, and I don't think I want to deal with sending it back in since I would probably opt for using a glass jar anyway.
Bacteria, Part 2.
I attempted lacto-fermented vegetables.
I found a REALLY easy lacto-fermented carrots recipe, and since I have a bunch of whey leftover from making cheese, I thought I would give it a try. YUM. They are so good. They taste like dill pickles, and they are just the right crispness after about 4.5 days of fermenting on the counter. It's definitely going to be a repeat recipe. Preston, Archer, John, and I all liked them. B only took one bite, but he didn't say anything negative so I'm not sure if he didn't like it or if he was just in one of his non-eating moods.
I'm now on a quest to find some more easy lacto-fermented recipes so let me know if you find something that looks good/easy/interesting...especially if it's appealing to kids like the "Pickle Carrots" (as Preston calls them).
Friday, March 4, 2011
Food Renegade is doing a giveaway for 3 starter cultures from Cultures for Health. I think I blogged about Cultures for Health on my old blog (or maybe it was here, I get confused!), but I am just getting ready to order some new yogurt cultures from them so I'm REALLLLLY hoping to win this giveaway.
So now you know. Go. Enter. (Or don't, and give me better odds of winning!)
But this morning something exciting happened!!! Now, this won't really be exciting for anyone but us, but it's exciting to us nonetheless:
I JUST MADE THE LAST PAYMENT ON MY STUDENT LOAN!
A year ago or so, I read Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover. I remember my dad suggesting this book years and years ago, but I pretty much ignored him then (my dad suggests lots of reading material). I will say that we didn't follow Dave Ramsey's plan to the letter...we still use our credit card (we get cash back!) but we have always paid it off every month (even before reading TMM), and we only use it for things that we actually have the money to buy. Also, Dave recommends paying off the smallest balance debt first, but we changed things up a bit to fit our circumstances. Reading the book just kind of motivated us to get started on the debt that we DID have, even if it wasn't consumer debt. We had just sort of ignored it until then.
We have made a HUGE dent in our debt this past year. We can see the light at the end of the debt-free tunnel, and would like to be COMPLETELY debt-free, including our mortgage, in about 5 years. That may be an aggressive estimate, as we will probably re-evaluate and start contributing more to college funds, investments, retirement, etc...but it's still a good feeling to know that it is POSSIBLE.