Friday, February 29, 2008

Chipper Banana Muffins

I love this recipe - I was served these at a friend's house - and couldn't believe it when she said the recipe was taken from a Weight Watcher cookbook. These muffins always turn out moist and yummy!

2 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 Cup sugar
2 eggs
1/2 Cup unsweetened applesauce
1/3 Cup canola oil
2 very ripe bananas
1/2 Cup skim buttermilk
1/4 Cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350
line or spray muffin tins
In med bowl combine flour, baking powder and baking soda
In large bowl with mixer at med speed, beat sugar, applesauce, eggs and oil until frothy.
Add buttermilk to bananas. Alternately add banana mixture and flour to egg mixture stir until combined - do not overmix. Fold in Chocolate chips.
Spoon batter into cups - filling 2/3 full. Bake 20-25 minutes. Remove from tin and cool.


Thursday, February 28, 2008

A new look!

So, what do you think? Thanks to the Penuels at loudmouthlogos - Twiaa has a new spring time look! I am impressed with their work - and it was super easy to do. If you're looking for a new look for your blog, you should definitely check them out!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

A literary moment

During a weekend of much needed rest, I spent most of my time watching movies in bed. It's been a very long time since I've been able to do that! My Hubby was my hero this weekend as he came home early on Friday - and did nothing but take care of me and Little One all weekend while I rested.

One of the movies that I saw was Becoming Jane. I loved it! It's a story about Jane Austen prior to becoming the author. I loved it on many levels - the first being that Anne Hathaway is such a doll! I loved her in Disney's Princess Diaries and it was really fun to see her act in a more mature roll. I thought the movie did a great job portraying events in Jane's life that she could have incorporated into her novels. For example, in the movie Jane's mother is surprisingly similar to Mrs Bennett in Pride and Prejudice. I also liked how they expounded on the character of Tom Lafoy. As I recall from the courses that I took in college, not much was known about Tom, just that he was an romantic interest for Jane and that they did not marry. I liked how they gave him such a charming personality - and oh so handsome! :)

After thoroughly enjoying the movie, I went to the special features and was even more delighted. There is an option to watch the movie with pop-ups and bubbles - and I was so impressed with all that I learned! They give you facts about the era, the actors, and settings. THEN I watched The Real Jane commentary and squealed with delight to see one of my English Professors, Joan Ray, interviewed. Professor Ray is the President of the North American Jane Austen society, and the one to whom I owe my love for Jane Austen. She introduced a world to me that I would have never known and there she was being interviewed!

If you haven't seen this movie yet, and if you enjoy Jane Austen I encourage you to check it out! I think for me, it's a definite for the home library.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Emergency Rooms and such.

Don't be alarmed - all is pretty much well - although it's been quite the week. On Wednesday Little One awoke with a low-grade temp. Now, being a relatively new mom, I always freak out a little when his temperature flares. But, after going to the doctor numerous times in the past and always being told, "well, he just has a virus, there's nothing we can do but wait it out..." I decided not to rush to the doctor this time. I did call a pediatrician and described the symptoms and she agreed -
"he probably has the flu..."
"We'll be here for another hour and you can bring him in, if not, just bring him in the morning..." Judging from past experience I decided to wait until the morning. Besides, he only had had the fever for three hours. This was all at noon.

Ha. We had a very restful afternoon - and Little one and I both fell asleep for two hours. He awoke shaking, heaving and burning up! I ran to get the thermometer - and it read 105.0! Now, I knew I had reason to freak out - and when he started to vomit - although he had nothing to eat all day - I really knew there was a problem. Thankfully, Wil was on his way home and just minutes away. I was a mess - and couldn't really make rational decisions - so Wil determined to take him straight to the emergency room. We spent about 5 hours there - they got the fever down, they tested him for the flu, RSV which both came back negative. Then they took blood for blood work - and determined that he had a high white blood cell count - and there was some kind of internal infection. Treating with a monster shot of antibiotics.

Poor little guy! All the poking prodding, and not to mention the tiny little hospital gown they put him in. Boy, did it make me thankful for our health. I have a new appreciation for mommas and families that have to deal with serious illness. I've said a few prayers for them in the past few days.

We were advised to see the pediatrician in the morning - to determine if he needed to continue the antibiotics. Sure enough - over night he had developed a full fledged upper respiratory infection. He is now feeling much better - right now wearing his miderman boots and telling me that he is going to throw the trash can. (right now he is totally into figuring out what he can physically toss and what he can't..)

As for mom - she's got the bug. I think one of the hardest things about being a mom is that the world can't stop when I am sick. There are still dishes to do, grocery lists to make, a child to care for, laundry to be done etc.... Now, my sweet husband did stop at the grocery store, ordered me to bed when he got home, brought me soup, and was up some of the night with Little One while I slept - and offered to come home early today. So, it's really not that bad and am so thankful for him. But, being sick sure makes me miss all the friends and family!

I am really hoping that I feel better by this evening - because I am supposed to go to a stampin up workshop. I have been wanting to get into this hobby for a long time - and have found a group that I'd really like to connect with - and tonight is their monthly meeting. I have been looking forward to this all week - as I am so wanting to find friends here.

With that being said, I better go rest - or something of the sort. :) Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

"Miderman Boots" - Little One's Favs

We are borrowing these Spiderman boots from Little One's little cousin, Jullian. It was silly of me to even pack them when we moved from Colorado, but somehow they made the cut. Well, they have become Little One's favorites. When he spies them he follows me around with them until I put them on his feet. "miderman boots! miderman boots! Put on!" Once on his feet, they don't come off until bath time. Here is a picture of how he looks most days when we are around the house: Jammie top, diaper and spiderman boots in 70 degrees. Can it really get much better than that?

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Look What Compassion Is Doing!

One of my favorite blogs to read is Boo Mama. Oh my, she just puts a bright spot in my day. Right now, she and a team of 14 other bloggers are in Uganda with Compassion International right now - blogging about their experience. You can find the links to all of these bloggers here. It's been very interesting to read all of their different perspectives.

When we lived in Colorado Springs, I worked for an organization that did very much the same thing Compassion does. I've seen the pictures, read ooodles of letters from children around the world, and talked with project managers. My Mother-In-Law works for Compassion, and she keeps us up to date on all that is going on there. It's so amazing to hear her testimony as to what God is doing in and throught this organization. We have always wanted to sponsor a child, however, with a growing family and unstable income, we didn't feel it was time to make a commitment.

Then we moved to Texas. As of right now, we don't have a home church and want to give - and thought this would be the perfect time. So, yesterday we sponsored a little girl named Mildred from Uganda. She is three years old who lives with her grandma. I am so excited! It's so great to be on the sponsor side - I mean, having worked for a reliefe agency for years...I guess I kinda let my heart get cold and numb to it all. When I signed up to be a sponsor my heart was beating, and I couldn't wait to write her a letter and get to know her.

I encourage you to visit their website and see what it's all about! If anything, check out the bloggers who are over in Uganda. It's pretty cool.

Thank you, Compassion, for giving our little family the opportunity to reach out beyond our selves.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Right now Bronco Bread is baking - and should come out of the oven right in time for my Hubs to take a loaf to work. It's a sweet bread for my Sweetie! I love this recipe - and hadn't made it in such a long time - I thought today would be the perfect day.

Bronco Bread - Taken from the Colorado Cache Cookbook

2 Tbls softned butter
1/4 C hot water
1/2 C orange juice
1 1/2 Tbls freshly grated orange rind
1 egg
1 C of Sugar
2 C flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 C fresh blueberries, or frozen or canned, well drained

Combine the butter, water, orange juice and rind in a bowl. Add egg and mix well. Add dry ingredients and fold in blueberries by hand. Bake at 325 in a greased 9 x 5 inch baking pan for 1 hour and 10 minutes. Cool on rack.

And now, on to other things. First of all, a great big huge thank you to all of you who have sent us Valentines! We were showered with cards and packages yesterday. So much fun! Thank you for your thoughtfulness.

I have to admit, I haven't been too festive this year - it's kinda been hard cooped up with no friends around. We are still a one car family - and Little One and I are going a little stir crazy. Yesterday I awoke with an idea - why not rent a car for a few days? Well, I did - and the car Little One and I have to zoom around town in is a lovely red! Happy Valentine's Day to me! The car rental is less than a mile away - they came and picked us up - and Little One and I were off!
We had lunch at Chic-fil-a (Little One's absolute favorite) explored the local post office, the library, and one of the many absolutely cool shopping areas. (More about that tomorrow). We had a really great day. And then, to top it off, after we got home - I left for the evening and got my hair cut. I feel like a new woman!

I have to return the car on Friday - so today we'll be out and about again!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone!


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Slow Cooker Meatball Sandwiches

These are a great hit with my family - and so so super easy. Taken from the Southern Living Slowcooker cookbook.

24 frozen cooked Italian Meatballs thawed ( frozen works too!)
1 26 oz super chunky mushroom pasta sauce
1 15 oz can Italian style tomato sauce
1 5.5 oz can spcy tomato juice
6 hoagie rolls, split not through and toasted
1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

  • Combine first 4 ingredients in a slow cooker
  • cover and cook on high 1 hour. Reduce heat to low and cook 4 1/2 to 5 hours or until slightly thickened. Spoon meatball mixture evenly into rolls. Sprinkle with cheese.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Entertainment for little one. And mommy too.

Being homebound much of the time (we still have only one car) I have been looking for ways to keep Little One busy without resorting to the TV. Since moving here he has become an avid fan of "Dora the Explorer", "Elmo's Room", and "Blue's Clues". Blues Clues is especially his favorite - he wants to sit in his "dinking dair!" (thinking chair) and always wants to walk to the mailbox to see if we got a letter. And, any piece of paper that he finds around the house, he holds it and starts singing the "we just got a letter" song. At least the TV is providing some sense of creativity and imagination when we aren't watching!

Anyway, in my search of fun things to do I've found the following - and have become a fan.

The first is Hermie and Friends Scripture Memory Songs CD. A big thanks to my friend, Allison who recommended them. We are total fans! It is pure scripture with a good beat and pace. I have been looking for ways to bring scripture into our daily routine - and this is perfect. So, I just put this CD on and have it playing while we play, dance or whatever we are doing. I notice the difference - the CD brings peace and joy - The TV brings whining and crying. Hmmm....

At Target I picked up this and am super impressed. Little One loves to "help" blow bubbles and wants to hold the wand and tries to blow - only to be frustrated when no bubbles are coming. Well, with this handy deal, Mom has a wand, and he has two - and can run around and chase the bubbles mom is blowing, while trying to blow his own. We've spent much time doing this activity! Oh, and it really is no spill - our bucket has tipped over many times with no mess to deal with.

And, I am anxiously awaiting for the UPS man to deliver this book. I am hoping that this will give me some more ideas - and will be sure to let you know.

Now, for some Mommy fun. I have found some really fun websites. I love little details. So, these sites offer fun little detail kind of things for Mom. Now, I'll be honest, the prices are a little more than I like to pay - but there are some really fun ideas.

The first is See Jane Work. The second is Loop De Lou. I hope you enjoy looking!

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

Thanks, Carrie, for the great pics!

Monday, February 4, 2008

A super bowl picnic?

Yep. You read that right. What an adjustment to have a picnic in 70 degree weather in February! We met most of Hub's co-workers at the park and had a great afternoon. The company is composed of three or four bachelors, a temp receptionist, and then two guys who have a family. We are one of those families. ;) I sure am thankful for that other family - they have three boys - and it's nice to have a familiar friend in a place where everything is so new. Plus, she's got some experience under her belt and I really respect and appreciate that. Anyway, the two of us moms took the kiddos to find a playground while everyone else played sand volleyball.

The playground was ENORMOUS - I didn't get a lot of pictures because I was constantly on the go. There were a ton of people - and a ton of things to do - such as huge xylophones, a river to wade in, a lake swimming pool (complete with swimmers, duck, swans and diving boards) pigeons to feed and a snow cone and ice cream stand. By the time we were done, Little one was covered in dirt, ice cream and who knows what else.

After the park, we headed to one of the bachelor's pads to watch the game. (A very nice bachelor pad I might add!) They cooked us wings, ribs, and a bunch more. Phew, it all makes me want to take a nap!

Here are a few of the pictures from the playground.

Little One is very much into birds right now. He is constantly looking for birds in the trees. Usually it goes like this "bords, tees, hi to sky!" "hi bords!" (aka: birds in the trees. high in the sky. hi birds!) So, it was very cool that these pigeons were so sociable. He was pretty amazed to see them so up close! Oh, and yes, by this point of the day, he has no shirt on. He was SO hot in the 70 degrees weather and the humidity.

However, seconds after I took this picture, the flock swooped up and right over Little One's head! He ran to Mama's arms and stayed there!

Love to you!

And the winner is...

Congratulations to heather - (with a gmail address) the winner of my bloggy giveaway contest! Heather, I'll be sending you an email to get your address!

Friday, February 1, 2008

Deep Thoughts...

While doing the Breakfast dishes yesterday, I let Little One go toddle around the backyard. With the back door open, I can usually hear what he's up to - jabbering to himself while his little feet patter on the patio. I noticed that his play had become strangely quiet, and I peeked out to see what he was up to. This is what I found:

He had found a nice little spot to sit and think. I wonder what thoughts were going through his little mind? I especially like the one where he is checkin out his feet!

Have a great day!