Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Redbud Trees

These beautiful trees are in full bloom right now here in Oklahoma.  Their beautiful, bright color is peppering the landscape everywhere we go.  The girls have even noticed the "pink trees" and have started a game of counting them as we drive around town.  Redbuds are our state tree in fact, and I feel like I've never fully appreciated them until this year (fyi--our state flower is the mistletoe.  i think this is strange because i never see it growing anywhere.  oh well.)  For some reason, after a really long winter, the Redbud's vibrant blossoms have 
brought a smile to my face.  

They are one of the many things I love about springtime.

What are some of your favorite Spring things?

Thursday, March 19, 2009

New Words

The creators of the following amazing new words.  This was taken this morning as they came wandering out of my closet wearing some of my clothes.  Genius and stylish at the same time.

I thought I would compile a short list of new words you all might want to add to your vocabulary. I'm not sure that Webster has picked them up yet, but you can be cutting edge by knowing them early.  These words come from the creative minds of Hannah and Leah.  And I'll help you out by giving a brief definition and by using each of them in sentences.  

1.  Whobody:  This is a combination of the words "who" and "somebody".  Whobody took my dinosaur?  Whobody gave this necklace to me?

2.  Osally:  This time we have combined "also" and we think "usually".  Leah, you osally need your shoes on.  I osally need to brush my teeth! 

3.  Cornabbacob:  Translation = corn on the cob.  I want cornabbacob with my dinner tonight.

4.  Skintain:  This refers to any crayon that could possibly be used for a person's skin color.  We are assuming this is the new word for "skin tone."  Mom, is this a skintain color?

5. Twirly Slop:  Twirly slop is the new hip phrase for the whipped cream that comes out of a tube.  Leah couldn't remember the name of it one night, and so dubbed it "twirly slop."  It has since stuck.  I want some of that twirly slop on my ice cream, please.

So there you have it.  Five new words that are soon to used worldwide.  I thought I would do some of you select readers a favor and share this information with you in advance.

You're welcome.  =)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sick of Being Sick

We've been in the thick fog of sickness here at our house this week.  Leah kicked it all off with a wicked upper-respiratory infection that warranted a trip to the doctor on Monday.  She was wheezing like crazy and running a high fever.  After our doctor visit, we started her on an antibiotic and are using our nebulizer ever four hours to help her breathe better.  Having a child with asthma (mild as it may be) is scary.  Things can go from bad to worse better quickly. Thankfully, though, she is doing much better, but....

She's passed it on to me I think.  I can feel it deep in my lungs when I breathe.  My head feels like it weighs as much as a few bowling balls piled up together and I'm sooooo, soooo tired. But I'm thankful that I do not have a fever and I do not have asthma to complicate things.  

My plan:
Get as much rest as possible
Take extra vitamin C (I'm having a few more glasses of my beloved orange juice each day)
Drink lots of water
And did I mention rest?  

I'm hoping this will go away before it gets any worse.  

Other things I can be thankful for:
Hannah and Mike are not sick
It is an absolutely beautiful day outside (86 degrees and sunny!)
My parents are taking the girls for a few hours this afternoon so I can take a nap!
This baby boy inside me is kicking like crazy

Ok, back to snuggling on my bed with my two favorite little girls in the world.
Is hope everyone else out there is feeling great!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's a......


We found out this morning that we're expecting a sweet baby boy.  During our ultrasound this morning we laughed, smiled and were in a general state of shock.  We really thought it would be another girl.  We've lived in the land of pink, flowers, dolls and dresses for the last four years.  Now we get to venture into the world of blue, cars, trains and all things baby boy! What a fun adventure!  Our girls are thrilled to be having a baby brother and so are we.  I just cannot wait to see his wonderful little baby face.

20 weeks down, 20 weeks to go!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Luscious Linguine

photo courtesy of Mike 

Ok, so here's my step-by-step recipe for an amazing pasta dish called Luscious Linguine.  I did not make the name up just so that's clear, although it is very luscious indeed.  In fact, the story behind this dish is that for years and years I totally turned my nose up at it.  My dad found this recipe when I was in high school, and it quickly became one of my parents' favorite meals.  I however found the idea of combining raisins, almonds, and tons of garlic quite revolting and would make myself a sandwich whenever this dish graced our dining room table.  Finally, just a few months ago, I was at my parents' house for lunch and my mom served none other than the dreaded Luscious Linguine.  I was really hungry and grateful that I wasn't at home making lunch, so I took a bite.....and that was all it took.  It was SO good!  I'd been missing out on this amazing pasta meal for over a decade!  So if the combination of ingredients in this meatless (possibly vegan if you leave out or substitute the parmesan cheese?) dish scares you, my advice is:  just try it!  It truly makes a scrumptious meal.  It will cause some serious garlic breath though, so beware!

In an ode to The Pioneer Woman's cooking section of her blog, here are the cast of characters:
1/2 cup olive oil
4  whole cloves of garlic, plus 2 cloves minced 
12 oz. dry linguine pasta
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup dark raisins
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 tsp. red-pepper flakes
1/2 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
salt and pepper to taste
grated parmesan cheese, optional
croutons (make your own if you're fancy or buy some at the store if you're like me)

1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over low heat.  Add the whole garlic cloves and cook until they begin to color, about 10 minutes.  Remove oil from heat and discard the garlic.  This step helps give the olive oil a nice infused garlic flavor. Warning:  do NOT let garlic burn.  Once you do this it tastes bitter and there's no turning back.  Just start over if that happens.  

2.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil.  Cook the pasta until tender.  Drain and place in a large serving bowl.

3.  While the pasta is cooking, add the minced garlic, raisins, almonds, and red-pepper flakes to the reserved oil; place the pan over low heat.  Cook until the garlic just turns golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Again, don't let the garlic burn!
 Here's a pic of step 3.  I turned the heat up to med-low and just kept a good eye on it!  

4.  Add the oil/raisin/garlic mixture to the hot pasta along with the chopped parsley.  Season with salt and pepper.  Toss very well.  Top with grated parmesan cheese and croutons if desired!  

That's it!  A nice salad would finish this off perfectly I think (although I didn't have time to make one Sunday night).  I hope some of you are brave enough to try this out!

Sunday, March 8, 2009


Mike took these photos of me and the girls this evening and I thought they turned out great.  I am definitely growing!  And my bellybutton is starting to turn inside out!  I'm nineteen weeks now which is almost halfway.  I am feeling more little kicks and flutters, but they are still not very consistent and still very light.  I've heard the feeling described as bubbles popping or butterfly wings gently flapping, and both are true.  Eventually I'll feel the movements more strongly, but for now it's just a sweet, subtle, miraculous thing.

We had a pretty busy weekend around here.  We took the girls to a local high school on Saturday afternoon to see their production of The Wizard of Oz.  My lovely friend at work actually purchased the tickets for our whole family as a gift which was so very thoughtful.  And the girls loved it!  They did get a little squirmy toward the end, but overall they thought it was great.  And we thought it was a terrific production for a high school-- there was a real, live Toto (he stole the show!) and Glinda, The Wicked Witch and the Flying Monkeys all actually flew! Thanks to a harness system, the flying never ceased to amaze our girls.  

Saturday night we rented Changeling with Angelina Jolie.  It was actually good!  I'm not a big fan of her work to be honest (Tomb Raider is just not my thing), but her acting as a distraught mother looking for her kidnapped son was pretty believable.  And I love that the movie was set in the 1920's.  It was such a neat era.  Anyone else see this movie recently?  Thoughts? Opinions?

Today the weather was spectacular, so Mike took the girls to the zoo for the afternoon.  They had a blast and came home very worn out.  I, on the other hand, hosted a Private Quarters party for my dear friend Nikki.  Private Quarters sells high quality linens, towels, pillows, bedspreads, etc.  Nikki recently signed on as a consultant, and so I helped her out by hosting a party.  It was fun, and it gave her a chance to practice a little.  And I am absolutely convinced that the pillows we sleep on are a disgrace.  I constantly buy cheap pillows and regret it a few months later when they resemble a bag stuffed with cotton balls.  I am going to have to save up for some good ones!  

Oh and I made a delicious pasta dish tonight that I documented with photos.  I will post the yummy recipe and aforementioned photos tomorrow sometime.  So stay tuned...=)

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's March!

Yay!  It's March!  Somehow when the calendar turns from the shortest month of the year to March, I feel like celebrating.  This may stem back to my teaching days when I could start counting down the days to Spring Break.  Or it could be just knowing that by the end of this month we'll have trees in bloom, many warmer days, and the official start of spring.  

Things have been really busy here for some reason, and of course the one time I got my camera out to take snapshots of something, the battery was of course dead.  Note to self:  start charging the battery on a regular weekly basis.  

But one great thing that happened over the weekend was a much needed date for Mike and me. We try to spend time alone at least once a month (or more) and I would encourage all parents to make this a priority.  I want my kids to grow up knowing that their Mom and Dad really liked spending time with each other!  Anyway, we decided to go on an afternoon date.  Usually we opt for the typical dinner/movie night.  These are fun, but usually kind of rushed.  We have to hurry to get to the restaurant in time so that we can hopefully avoid a wait and then make it to our movie on time.  

In our pre-kid years (and I cherish all 5 of them--8 if you count the dating years!) we enjoyed wandering through antique stores, flea markets, and bookstores.  We loved that quiet togetherness where sometimes we would talk and sometimes just meander around in a comfortable silence.  So Saturday afternoon we dropped the girls off at my parents house and headed out for the afternoon.  

We started off by grabbing lunch at Tim's Drive In in Bethany, OK, one of our favorite hole-in-the-wall places that is famous for their greasy hamburgers and Indian Tacos.   We opted for the Indian Tacos and ice cold bottled Cokes.  Afterward we went to a few of our favorite places: Rink Antique Mall and Flea Market and the Antique Theater on May Ave.  We had such a great time as we spent the next few hours walking around, pointing out neat and/or ridiculous things to each other, talking, laughing.  By the time we picked up the girls we felt so refreshed and reconnected.  I love that.

What are some of your favorite things to do on a date?