Thursday, November 19, 2009


The girls always have something funny, interesting or weird to say. Take, for example, the five-year old. Here are a few randoms she's shared with us the past few weeks:

Momma - this is true. Girls love their daddies,
and boys love their mommies.

I need to have a little boy then, so he'll love me.
But, we love you too, Momma.

I love getting in the bed with you in the morning
because you're so warm.

Espy, who are you going to marry when you grow up?

Momma, I can pick wedgies in front of you & daddy,
but not in front of other people.

Your hair looks funny.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Let's Make Soap

Homemade laundry detergent!
You know you're a domesticated mother of three when you're excited about making soap.

I am not ashamed.

Thanks to my efficient friend (Thank You, Becky!), here is a wonderful recipe that you should try - sooner rather than later.

Laundry Soap ... Under $1.00

bar of Fels Naptha
3/4 cup 20 Mule Team borax
3/4 cup Arm & Hammer Super Washing Soda
essential oils (optional)
4 quart pot
container for homemade soap

Grate a bar of Fels Naptha, put in a pot on the stove,
and add 6 cups of water.

Let water get warm enough to melt all of the soap.
Pour 4 cups hot/warm water into the container
that will hold your homemade goodness.

Add borax and washing soda to the pot on the stove.
Stir until completely dissolved.
Add essential oils (optional).
Pour the soap mixture into your container of hot/warm water.
Add 1 1/2 gallons of water to your
container of homemade awesomeness.

Put the top on your container, and get all excited because YOU just made your very own laundry soap!

"How about them apples?"
Guess which movie that line is from.
Do you own it?
I would like to borrow it and watch it.

Happy Soap Making!

Side Note:
The recipe above almost filled a 15qt container.
That almost makes me excited to do laundry.
I still have plenty of borax and washing soda to make more. I'll just have to pick up a bar of Fels Naptha before
my next soap making adventure.

Photo by: Erich Ferdinand
Online by erix!.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Mommy's Playdough

Today I made two things that I've always wanted to try at home. One has nothing to do with the other,
but both will get great use in this household!

This month it was my turn to make playdough for Gianna's preschool class. Her teacher sent home the recipe last week, and here it is:

2 cups flour
1 cup salt

2 cups water
2 tablespoons oil

2 teaspoons cream of tartar
food coloring

Mix all the ingredients together. Cook approximately 5 minutes on medium heat. Dough will pull away from pan when ready.
Knead until smooth.

Easy enough, right? Yes, it is.

But why does it always take me extra long to find the one spice I need (cream of tartar) among the 1,092,387 spices on the shelves?

I digress.

Just make sure the playdough is totally "done" before you take it out of your cooking apparatus. I took mine out a little early and ended up with yellow goo slowly creeping off the cutting board. I stuck it back in the pot for just a minute or two more, and me & Mr. Playdough were good to go. Let the kneading begin.

Gianna was quite proud of the yellow playdough mommy made -
and who are we kidding? Mommy was a little proud, too.
It's the little things.
I know - I am easily amused.

See what else makes me happy tomorrow
when I share my other fun project.
Again - it's the little things.

Photo by: Robert S. Donovan
Play-Doh colors by Robert S. Donovan.

Friday, November 13, 2009

A Long Two Days

eye muscle surgery
YouTube-ing eye muscle surgery (not a good idea on my part)
Espy getting the swine flu
experiencing flu-like symptoms myself
having to reschedule Espy's surgery because of a 103 fever
nasty weather
loss of power

no school for two days
a phenomenal pediatric ophthalmologist
knowing exactly what will be involved with Espy's surgery
(not necessarily enjoyable, but good to know)
rescheduling Espy's surgery at a "good time"
(when she's flu-free & before Christmas)
a sweet friend in our pediatrician's office
squeezing Espy in to be seen
(Thanks, Trista!)
apple juice
his awesome job (yay FCM!) that gives him the flexibility
to stay home and take care of me & the girls
that no one else has gotten the flu...yet
sweet family & friends checking up on us
family time with no "modern day / technological" distractions
our Christmas tree is up
God is in control!

Photo by: D Sharon Pruitt
Free Turquoise Sky Bubbles Creative Commons or Texture for Layers by Pink Sherbet Photography.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Kitchen Time

Apparently I'm not very good at cooking bacon.
I wanted to try out a new recipe that I just knew my family would love - chicken, bacon, cheese - all ingredients that Bill & the girls (even Espy!) enjoy. The recipe is a great one, if you want to make a good chicken dinner. However, make sure your bacon is cooked thoroughly. Bill had to recook the bacon, and show me when it's really done. Oops.

If you haven't already checked out The Pioneer Woman, you need to!
The cooking section is my fave.

P.S. If any of you would like to get me her new cookbook,
I'll love you forever.

She serves the chicken as a sandwich, but we paired it with homemade mashed potatoes and some oven-roasted asparagus. Yummy.

Photo by: Ree Drummond

I also tried my hand at a new dessert.
It's called The Best Chocolate Sheet Cake. Ever.
And it really is - no lie.
You should make it - right now.
Believe me - you'll thank me later.
Oh, and be sure you have a glass of nice cold milk or a cup of coffee while you're enjoying the awesomeness.
Mr. Workout will be waiting when you're done.
Photo by: Ree Drummond

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

From the Husband

If you read my last post, you'll know that my husband just ran a marathon. 26.2 miles! I still can't imagine myself running one. For all you runners out there who might be able to empathize, and for those of you non-runners who might take an interest - here's Bill's take on the whole experience:

Well, it's done. I just ran my first official marathon a couple days ago. I must say it was the most trying thing I have ever done in my life. It tested me mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I have seen pictures of people finishing marathons in tears and can remember thinking to myself, "Why are they crying?" My question was answered this past weekend. It was quite an experience.

The day before the marathon (Saturday), I woke up feeling great. Around 10AM, I started noticing my lower back tightening up. The tightening soon turned to pain. The pain became more and more excruciating. I had a hard time sitting, walking, and laying down. The two hour drive to the OBX did not help matters either. Once we got to the OBX, I began the day long process of icing and heating my back - which did very little. On top of this, I was mentally a mess. I was frustrated at the thought of training for something for 16 weeks, and then not being able to do it because of back pain that just seemed to come out of nowhere. I went to bed that night and hardly slept due to a poor little sick daughter, an aching back, and my mind refusing to shut down. I woke up at 4:45AM in order to catch a shuttle at 5:45AM. My back felt better. The pain was gone, but the tightness was still there. I slapped on an icy hot patch, put on my gear, had a bowl of oatmeal, and decided to run it and see what would happen.

We arrived at the starting line about 6:20AM - an hour before the start. My back seemed to be loosening up a bit. The weather was great - nice and cool. Runners started to gather. Excitment began to grow. Adrenaline started to flow. Before I knew it, it was time to go. This was the biggest race I have been in so far. There were over 2,000 runners for the full and over 3,000 runners for the half. It was awesome to see the mass of people. We were in the second wave right behind the elite runners. The horn blew the elites went out. We stepped up to the line and waited for the horn. By this time I am not sure how my back felt. I was so pumped, excited, nervous, scared...I was ready to get started. The horn sounded and off we went.

The first mile went by so quick. Had some great conversation, great supporters along the road...before I knew it we were passing mile marker #1 with a 7:17 pace. A little slower than I had planned but still in the ballpark. For the next 9 miles, I left the guys I started out with and began to pick up the pace. Through this stretch we were running through neighboorhoods mostly. We ran by the water for a bit, went by the Wright Brothers Memorial, and then had a couple sections out on the long, straight, flat highway. Overall I was pleased with this section. I finished mile 10 averaging 6:59 which is exactly where I wanted to be.

Miles 11-13 on the other hand were a totally different story. The course is described as being flat and somewhat fast - but these three miles are anything but that. At mile 11 the course goes off road onto a dirt/gravel road. For the next 2 1/2 miles I was running up and down unanticipated hills. The road had been recently packed and the surface was pretty easy to run on but the hills were the killer. At mile 12 1/2, I saw a sign that said 1/2 mile to pavement. At the sign, we took a left off of the the dirt/gravel road and onto a single track trail in the woods. The trail went straight up a hill for about 50 yards. What was so bad was that the trail was covered in mulch. For the next 1/2 mile I was running up and down hills in soft mulch. The only worse surface to run in that I can think of is sand. Needless to say when I finally got to the pavement I could tell the last three miles took a lot out of me. I averaged about 7:15. Miles 13-21 were pretty tough. I was able to pick the pace back up again. By mile 20, I was averaging 7:04. These miles were much like miles 1-10 - neighborhoods, main highway, neighborhoods, main highway...By mile 21 I was still feeling okay. I ran that mile at about 7:15-7:20. I figured that all I had to do was maintain at least and 8:00 average for that last five miles to meet my goal of qualifying for Boston. That's when it hit me - not the wall but the bridge.

At about mile 22 you begin to cross a bridge that is 1.05 mi long, 82' high, with a 650' climb to the top at a 4% grade. Halfway up this thing, my groin muscles felt as if they were going to explode. I started to slow way down. By the time I got to the top of this man-made Everest, I was toast. I went past mile 23 and looked at my watch and was saddened by the 9:30 that I saw. The last three miles were horrible. I picked up the pace a little and got it into the 8 minute range, but my groin muscles were shot and were now in charge of how fast I would go. I crossed the line with a time of 3:14:25, just a few minutes off my goal pace. My wife ran to meet me and I am very sad to say that tears began to well up within me. I am a pretty big guy (6'2" and about 195lb), but I was totally overcome with emotion.

It was a great experience. I am very pleased with my time even though I didn't meet my goal. The course was a lot harder than anticipated. I look forward to running one again next year. As for right now, I look forward to getting back to walking normal again!

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Amazing Race

This weekend was amazing!

the beach
a house full of family & friends
the beach
coffee, coffee, coffee
the beach
cheesecake & brownies

Can you tell I love the beach? I didn't even make it there, but knowing the beach was close by was comforting nonetheless.

Of course, it's always tiring taking three children five and under on a road trip - especially when one of them is sick (and three years old). All the tantrums & tiredness are worth it though.

My favorite part of this weekend was the husband completing his first marathon with a time of 3:14:25. I'm so proud of him I can hardly stand it - it's as if I ran 26.2 miles in weird November heat over a huge long bridge and an unexpected 4 mile stretch of hilly terrain. My calves are sore from running up and down three levels of the beach house all weekend. I can't wrap my brain around running 26.2 miles straight. Just thinking about it makes me tired!

Whenever I see Bill race, I'm always inspired to throw on my shoes and start running. Then morning comes, and my bed is just so comfy and warm. One day...maybe.
Until then, I can live vicariously through my incredible husband!
Roma (09.2004) by Philipp_Roth.
Photo by: Philipp Roth

Friday, November 6, 2009

All the Fighting

Things that will stop the girls' bickering in an instant:

Christmas music (any time of the year)
David Crowder Band's I Saw the Light
dessert and/or candy
Bill walking in the front door
ice cream truck music
Isabella crying from her crib

Just in case you needed to calm my girls down
in the near or distant future.
There you have it.
What helps you stop the arguing - between your kids
or between you & others?
I'm not particular!
Free Girl in Colorful Polkadots and Rainbows Creative Commons by Pink Sherbet Photography.
Photo by: D Sharon Pruitt

Thursday, November 5, 2009

At the Moment

I saw this on another blog and wanted to share with you.

.:READING:.Everybody's Normal "Til You Get to Know Them by John Ortberg
for the third time - it's that good.

track of all my ToDos - there's a lot going on, isn't there?


a Brownie Mosaic Cheesecake for the second time - it's so yummy.


The Proposal (Grace's Choice)
Taken (Bill's Choice)

to figure out how to get addicted to running like Bill.

fun plans with friends.


a sweet family on the birth of a new baby boy!

What do you happen to be doing at the moment?
Leave your thoughts, I'd love to know!