Monday, August 30, 2010

Oh Hail No, Part 2

2 hail storms in one summer?  I don’t even remember that as a kid.  It’s been a wild summer for weather here, that’s for sure.  I had hoped to see more mild summer days and spend some time on walks or in the backyard with the baby.  But the heat and wild storms kept us indoors much of the summer.  Plus I have a baby that didn’t care much for her car seat/stroller and by the time we got the Moby Wrap, she had created herself a schedule and didn’t like missing her big morning nap.  Oh well.  It was a blessing to just be able to spend so much time with her.

0829001719On to the storm: It hit late Sunday afternoon, but didn’t last long, maybe 10-15 minutes.  Enough to do some damage to the garden.  I have some young pumpkins and squash that are now pock-marked, but should survive.  I have some hearty tomatoes that are still growing, turning red and waiting for the next delicious thing to become.


As quickly as the storm arrived, it disappeared, leaving behind a cloudless blue sky.


And a little girl wanting to go on a bike ride.0829001837

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Chatting with Grandpa

Tonight, while online, I started chatting with my Dad. Jessie decided she had enough of playing alone, so I picked her up and turned on the video chat (the laptop has a built in web cam).  Grandpa was thrilled to see Jessie.  Maggie had to talk to Grandpa and spent most of the time telling him all about “Open Season 2" which she was watching.  Rocky took a picture of us on his cell phone. I’m so happy that we are alive today with the technology to allow my girls to be able to see and talk to their Grandparents in ways I was never able to.  It also makes me happy that things like Facebook, blogs, cell phones with photo-taking ability, heck, even the internet, didn’t exist when I was in high school/college.


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Just me & my girls

Maggie decided she wanted to stay home with Jessie & me today. She hasn't asked to stay home with us very much this summer (very much to my surprise) and as it's my last week at home, I couldn't say no. We didn't have anything planned and I wasn't sure what to do with her all day. I asked what she wanted for breakfast: pancakes. So, we made pancakes. She watched "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer", Spanish language version. We went to Lake Elmo and enjoyed the water. After lunch, I told Maggie she had to have some quiet time (she didn't get any yesterday and ended up falling asleep early and getting up VERY early). So I got her set with SpongeBob on her ipod and sent her to her room. Even though it wasn't a punishment, she acted like it was and found many excuses to come downstairs. My favorite was when she told me about the story she wrote that she wanted me to read to her:
There was a beautiful dalmatian who was rescued from the mean butterflies by the beautiful horse.
I know there's more to the story, but it got lost in the translation. I finally let her come downstairs and have quiet time on the couch, well, after she told me "but Mommy (and she never calls me Mommy), if I have quiet time upstairs, I will be all alone and no one will be with me. And I might get lonely." She saw maybe 5 minutes of "Phineas and Ferb" before falling into a nap.

Jessie just enjoyed hanging out. She took a looong nap this morning and just hung out the rest of the day, being her usual happy baby self. She's 12 weeks now. It is so hard to believe she is already 3 months old and almost in daycare. Our new normal will start in just a few weeks. Fall is almost here which means football, chili, small group and Sunday School. It will be nice to get back into a routine. And daily shower . . .

Jessie's 2 month appointment was last week. She weighs 11 lbs 11 oz and is right around the 50th percentile for weight, length and head circumference. She's a bit on the short side, but aren't we all. Dr. Sorenson was pleased with her growth and talked to us about helping Jessie get to sleep on her own. I think once she starts daycare, we'll work on it. I'm lazy and prefer her in my bed at night simply because I can more readily feed her and not get out of bed several times. Jessie does well with settling herself during naps and even at night sometimes, so we may have better luck with her than we did with Maggie. As I'm currently in bed with BOTH girls and my husband is in Maggie's room.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Of course she’s happy, she’s at Luccock!

 luccock10bAnother beautiful weekend at Luccock Park Camp.  We arrived late afternoon Friday August 20th. It was a bit warm, but not even close to the heat in Billings. 

As expected, it was a wonderful weekend.  Maggie & Rocky fished and met a black bear, we hiked to the  falls, I got to read a little bit in my “Amazing Grace” book, Jessie got lots of attention and enjoyed the breeze on her luccock10atongue.  Most of the weekend was filled with free time.  We had campfires each night, and smores each night.  Sunday morning, a retired Bozeman pastor held a worship service and talked about baptism.  It was a moving service in which we were all blessed again and Jessie got a little informal baptism – Rocky & Maggie missed that part as about halfway through Maggie decided she needed to see the water again.

2 things really stick out from the weekend:  1. Someone commented that Jessie is a happy baby.  Brenden Miller heard and remarked: “Of course she’s happy, she’s at Luccock.”  2.  Maggie did not want to leave.


 luccock10dluccock10fluccock10e luccock10hThere is just something about being up in the mountains that renews my soul and strengthens my faith. 


Friday, August 20, 2010

Maggie & the garden

I’ve blogged a lot about the garden.  Last weekend, I took Maggie’s art board outside and she decided to draw a picture of the garden.  She drew the sunflowers, sun and herself.  She asked me to draw the grass and tomatoes, though the tomatoes also look like strawberries.


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tomato Soup

tomato soup1Maggie LOVES tomato soup.  They have it quite a bit at daycare and when we put tomatoes in the garden, she talked a lot about being able to MAKE tomato soup.  So, yesterday, we/I did.  I ended up using a couple of cans of tomatoes as we didn’t quite have enough from the garden (I think we’ll plant a few more next year).  I got a recipe from my dad and mixed it up with a few others I found – his recipe is from the hospital he works at, so it makes quite a bit more than I wanted to make.  And because I enjoy reading food blogs, I thought I’d do the same with the tomato soup:

In this recipe I used:

2 lbs fresh tomatoes (I did not peel or seed the tomatoes.  In the future I might seed them as I did end up with a few seeds in the finished soup)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1 medium onion diced
2 cloves of garlic
1 medium carrot diced
1 medium stalk celery diced
3 T butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 cup flour
1 cup chicken stock
Fresh basil and thyme
2 cups milk
Salt & pepper to taste

tomato soup2tomato soup3

Melt butter & olive oil.  Saute onion, garlic, celery & carrots for 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook 5 minutes.  Add flour and cook 5 more minutes.  Add chicken stock and herbs.  Bring to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.

I used an old stock pot and despite the butter & olive oil still ended up with a burnt mess on the bottom of the pot.  I ended up throwing it out, though it’s not really a loss because I hadn’t used that pot since moving into the house.tomato soup4Strain the soup to remove solids.  I used a strainer and potato masher to get all the tomato-y goodness out.  It was quite messy.

Return soup to pot and add milk, salt and pepper.  tomato soup5Simmer on low until it reaches your heat preference.  After heating, I let the soup cool and froze in quart sized baggies.  I got 4 baggies out of this soup.  To reheat after freezing, let the soup defrost enough to get out of the baggie.  Can be reheated on stove top or in crock pot.

We had soup & grilled cheese for supper tonight.  A little strange on a 90+ degree day, but not so strange for a lazy supper!  I had planned to take a photo of the soup with the sandwich, but I had polished it off before I had a chance.  Rocky had chicken noodle.

I will have another food post soon: Cilantro Chicken!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Joy in the Journey

I’m returning to work in 2 weeks.  I’m not the stay-at-home-mom type; I’m bored at home, even working part time. I’m looking forward to my return to the office.  In just this week, Jessie & I have left the house maybe twice: once for church and once to go to Dairy Queen for dinner (yay for free Oreo Blizzards).  Yet, I feel like my leave has gone by too fast and I’m just now getting to know who Jessie is. She looks so much like Maggie did, though Maggie had/has a rounder head.  But she is just now starting to develop her own personality.  Giggles and coos.  Tonight, I watched Jessie studying me.  Her eyes were taking in my face, looking it over as if she were memorizing each feature. She studied me like I’ve studied her over these past 10 weeks.  Taking in each freckle, each line, each imperfection.  And then, she does it.  She breaks into that big, toothless baby grin that could melt the heart of the SnowMiser himself.  And I can help but be thankful for the privilege of being allowed to do this all again.

I look forward to watching Jessie grow and turn into her own little person.  Even the difficult times, like tonight with Maggie.  Getting upset over a missing straw was over the top and so was the punishment for lying (both me) – Maggie likes to tell you what she thinks you want to hear, so she is having trouble with lying.  And of course, then SHE does it.  She hugs me, looks at me with those big blue eyes and says “I love you, Mom.”  And I realize that it’s all about the journey we are taking together and the joy in that journey.

Joy, to me, is more than happiness squared.  Joy is a contentedness that allows me to know there is meaning in this life.  Joy does not depend on circumstances and is in the big things (family) and little things (pacifiers!). I’m happy that God has put me on this journey with Rocky, Maggie & Jessie.

“This post is part of SOYJOY‘s What brings you joy contest. Learn more here.

Attack of the Clones

MaggieSmile 004  Maggiegood2

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Wednesday, August 11, 2010

10 Weeks Old

Jessie is growing so fast! We have her next pediatrician appointment next week and I'm very curious to see what she weighs. I would not be surprised to see 13 pounds! She is very smiley and "talks" a lot -- though I have no proof as she clams up as soon as the camera comes out. She enjoys sitting in her chair or propped by the boppy and look around (which is great for allowing me to get a little bit extra work completed after nap time). She is awake much more often. She has also taken to the pacifier, which means the nightly screamfest is no more. She still likes to be walked around a bit before settling down. Jessie is actually napping during the day and will settle herself down once I put her in the packnplay. She enjoys tummy time and I'm sure it won't be long before she's rolling over and holding herself up really well.
Jessie is still not a big fan of riding in the car, but is better when we're all in the van together. I think she just likes having someone next to her, paying attention to her.
She's outgrown her newborn sized clothes, so I'm bagging them up to give away -- we have 2 friends at church having babies soon. I'm going to have to go through the 3-6 month sized box next.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It’s a New Age of Wine

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA         More more wine! Again, I dug out a bottle called New Age that sat in my “wine cellar” since last summer. Actually, Rocky grabbed it when I asked for a glass of wine last week. I really kind of like it. It’s a great summer wine. Light, a little bubbly, and fruity, it’s great for sitting on the deck or in the back yard (like during a backyard movie, watching Steve McQueen & Paul Newman in “The Towering Inferno”, with friends) .

The wine itself is Argentinean and comes in white and rose. I found a great review from a Las Vegas newspaper reporter, Gil Lempert-Schwarz on the white. While we were out on Saturday, we stopped by City Vineyard and I picked up 2 bottles of the white and 2 bottles of the rose. The rose is a bit sweeter, as you would expect, but has the same bubbly feel as the white. I’m kind of on an Argentinean kick when it comes to wines and seem to like everything coming from South America. I still like my Grooner (which is actually Austrian), but it’s kind of nice to have a 2nd “go to” wine, especially one that gives me 2 options.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Training with Otis

A couple of weekends ago, Rocky spent Saturday 2010-07-24 2010-07-24 001 015morning golfing.  It was a beautiful morning, so Maggie, Jessie & I hung out in the backyard.  Maggie thought it was a good time to “train” Otis.  She took some dog food and doled it out piece by piece as she got Otis to follow her around the backyard.  I’m glad I grabbed the camera.


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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

If I could do it over again

Yesterday was the 9th anniversary of my 29th birthday. And birthdays are always a good time to look back on one’s life. I think about the choices I’ve made to bring me to this point and I wonder where I would be now if I had

  • gone to college at the University of Colorado
  • not returned to USD after a year in Missoula
  • selected a different major
  • not moved to Colorado for a guy
  • moved back to SD after said guy broke my heart
  • not gone to that Rockies baseball game with Dave and Rocky
  • not gone to work for the airlines
  • not moved to Michigan after getting laid off
  • talked Rocky out of accepting the teaching job in Richmond, VA
  • not accepted the position here in Billings or try to make the position in Portland OR work

Any one of those decisions may not have lead me to where I am today. And if I weren’t here today, I may not

  • have married Rocky
  • have 2 beautiful daughters
  • have 2 crazy dogs
  • have a career I enjoy, with flexibility I need
  • have a great church home with wonderful godly friends

Now, I’m sure there is the possibility that I might still be where I am if I had made different decisions during those crossroad situations (well, except for possibly moving to Oregon). But if I could do it over again, I don’t think I want to. I’m happy with where we are and feel so blessed that the Lord has lead us here – even if we went down this road kicking and screaming a few times! I’m looking forward to seeing where he will lead us in the future.

"For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?" Isaiah 43:19 NLT

However, I DO wish I had gone to Paris when the opportunity presented itself.

This post was inspired by MamaKat’s Writing Prompts.