Thursday, January 29, 2009

cpl party, finally

last saturday was dave’s company party, and as promised, here are some pictures. there aren’t a whole lot that really show my non-ridiculous dress, and none that show my fabulously, uncomfortably cute red shoes, but this is what i’ve got.

see my cute red bag? my shoes matched it.

that’s me w/ my back to the camera… white sash. it was a "blues brother’s" theme… notice all the hats and the band. made for very fun dancing music!

mr. ‘white man’s overbite’, himself.

more dancing. really, i did dance with my husband, just not when anyone was taking a picture.

okay, dave just sent me a new one that someone else took. we’re actually dancing together, AND, you can see my shoes… disregard the totally goofy look on my face.

sorry that the pictures and captions are a little funky. i usually use live writers to do posts w/ pictures in them but for some reason, it wouldn't publish to blogger right now, so i had to redo the post and the pictures never line up right. oh well, you get the general idea.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

happy blogiversary to me!

it all began 1 year ago today! aren't you all just eternally grateful that i decided to start a blog? glad the situation isn't quite the same today.

white chicken chili!!!



this is one of our favorite recipes EVER!!! well, by ‘our’, i’m referring to dave and i.  actually, micah loves it, but shane and layla would rather have something else and never forget to tell me that they don’t like it.  what is it with kids?  i guess it’s just that round about way of getting even with me for doing this to my parents.

anyway, it’s super-duper easy, and even yummier!  let me know if you want the recipe!

Monday, January 26, 2009

meal plan monday

so here we go again. we're having some visitors this week so my original plan of eating everything out of the freezer and not having to buy anything or cook all week got shot down a little. but that's okay.

monday: chicken, zataran's red beans and rice, salad
tuesday: white chicken chili, sourdough
wednesday: beef & barley soup (out of the freezer), bread
thursday: chicken pot pie
friday: pizza and green beans
saturday: i'm not here, dave didn't tell me what he wants to make, so i guess they'll starve and i don't care cuz i won't be here! did i mention i won't be here?
sunday: pancakes, bacon

i have to remember to take a picture of the white chicken chili to show mary for comparison's sake. and cuz it's fabulous and i love it! mmmmm... i'm kind of wishing we were having it tonight now. i might take a picture of the chicken pot pie too. i have to screw with the recipe a little. last time i made it, i added some seasonings to the sauce and it was good, but there wasn't enough of it. i even wrote a note in the cookbook, "not enough goo, too much bread"... so we'll see what i come up with this time.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

can someone please explain to me…

… how THIS qualifies as a dress:

_5644528 ????????

i mean, i realize that it’s probably a sure sign of getting older when you go shopping and statements like that go through your head, but really?  why would somebody wear that?  what’s with the band around the bottom?  i find the thickness of that band kind of comical, but most of them look like this:

_5685029 what the heck?

it’s grotesquely reminiscent of 5th grade when the big thing was super long sweatshirts worn with stirrup pants.  because that sort of thing is just so flattering to someone’s body shape.  apparently the pear-with-chicken-legs image is all the rage this year.  who looks good in this?  skinny people? no.  fat people? no. who???  even the models in the pictures look ridiculous!

this is what i encountered when i went shopping for a dress last night.  it’s funny to see how trends change.  i’m not claiming that everyone had the best taste when i was in high school… fortunately, none of those pictures are digital, so i can’t put them up for scrutiny.  but short dresses are definitely the in thing now, as opposed to a couple years ago when everything was very LONG.  that era was actually pretty nice.  people looked very elegant in those long, simple dresses.  now we get stuff like this:


yeah.  i had a good time last night. 

i took about 15 dresses into the dressing room – none of them looked like THAT – although a couple did have me laughing outright once i put them on. 

i was amused (but impressed as well) by the fact that so many of the dresses come with the boobs already in them!  it’s great for people like me who don’t come with our own.

also, i learned that, if you’re having trouble getting it ON, by all means, STOP!!!  trust me, it’s even harder to get it off.  apparently zippers are not IN this year.

so i did successfully get a dress.  i don’t think i look ridiculous in it and i’m pretty sure i’ll be able to get in and out of it with relative ease.  i also got a FABULOUS satin trench coat that i’m super excited about!

i’ll do my best to try and get some pictures of us tonight.  oh, and i found out there’s a 3 free-drink limit this year.  up from last year’s 2.  that should be amusing!  i might not make it though dinner!

Friday, January 23, 2009


wednesday, i made chili and it always looks so yummy, i had to take a picture.

Picture 342


i just wish i’d taken a picture of it dished up in bowls w/ cornbread crumbled and cheese grated on top.  YUM!!!!  and i froze half of it, so we get it again w/ NO extra effort!  i so need a second freezer.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

are you smarter than a kitchen appliance?

my name is rachel, i went to college for 12 years, and i am NOT smarter than a kitchen appliance.

i love my coffeemaker, BUT, it makes an idiot of me almost daily.


for christmas, my parents gave me a new coffeemaker.  they gave me a different one that i sheepishly tactfully told them i didn’t want and exchanged it for this one.  it’s great.  automatic shut off (a must for flakes like me), no carafe, programmable, keeps it hot, makes 12 cups (a big improvement from my tiny previous one that i loved, except when someone other than me was drinking coffee), you can dispense it with one hand into any size cup…  it’s great. 


it’s out to get me.

it really isn’t that complicated to use, but somehow i screw it up DAILY!

when you’re fixing to make some coffee, you measure the water into the part that it actually brews the coffee into.  then you (and this is crucial) pour it into the tank in the back.  you then put your filter in the basket, put ground coffee into the filter, put that on top of the empty (again, crucial) brewed-coffee receptacle (i really don’t know what that part is called, but it’s where the coffee is when it’s done) and close the lid.  then you push the ON button.  not too hard right?

fyi, when you forget to pour the water from the receptacle into the tank, the coffeemaker makes all sorts of horrible loud gurgling, sputtering noises and DOES NOT MAKE ANY COFFEE!  i don’t know why this is so hard, but i cannot seem to remember to do this!

also, if you grind your coffee, but leave it in the grinder and put an empty coffee filter in, you get fresh-brewed HOT WATER!


dave told me last night, after checking to see if i made it right and discovered that i had, of course, forgotten to pour the water into the tank, that the coffeemaker should come with a big warning in it.

**WARNING: in order to operate this coffeemaker, you must have had your coffee first!


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

pink bubblegum goo, inaugurations and insomnia...

yesterday morning, layla mentioned again that her ears hurt. so that, coupled w/ the neon green snot and the vomit-inducing cough won her an all-expenses-paid trip to the doctor's office. dual acute otitis. aka, both ears were infected. AND, get this, the doc said she had blisters on both her eardrums. BLISTERS! doesn't that sound awful? funny thing is, this was not one of those situations where it is clear as day that your kid has an ear infection (usually revealed in the middle of the night) and you start debating whether or not you can pump them full of tylenol and pray they last until 7:30am when you can call the dr.'s office and get the earliest available appointment, or if you have to go to the ER at O-dark-thirty. (btw, i'm sure my 'critics' will have a hay day with that last one, but oh well.) she really only mentioned her ears a couple of times, but never really complained or moaned or whined or cried about them like i would expect. we've done the whole ear infection thing in this house a number of times before, and i think i'm pretty good at spotting them. at any rate, they were indeed infected, as are her sinuses i guess, since the doc said she had puss in her nose. sounds gross to me, although i don't know how he could possibly see that past all the snot.

so that won us a ticket to the pharmacy.

life is pretty much back to normal today. normal mealtimes, nap/quiet times (micah did just sleep for an hour and a half... something that might be hanging over from residual sickness, or he just might be making it a habit! well, one can hope.) and subsequently, normal bedtimes of 7:30pm!!! just in case anybody was wondering....

shane was disappointed to have to leave for class at 9, and had i thought ahead, i probably would have excused him from it so he could continue watching the inauguration coverage. he was very interested in the past presidents in attendance and other important political-type people. i was pointing out the different presidents as they entered and when they were president and for how long. when i mentioned that bill clinton had been president for 8 years (2 terms), he wanted to know why it couldn't be longer than that. i explained term limits to him. he wanted to know why, being the president, he couldn't just change it and stay the president. i briefly explained the 3 branches of government, check and balances, and the concept of a dictatorship. i love these natural learning opportunities that arise from situations like this.

i'm thinking dave and i might want to partake in that 7:30 bedtime tonight as well. it seems both of us had trouble sleeping last night - something quite unusual. who knows.

Monday, January 19, 2009

meal plan monday

yesterday, despite sickness, i did my sunday chores (one of which is making the meal plan and grocery list). so in an effort to celebrate how proud of myself i am, i'll publish, once again. (btw, please read excessive sarcasm into that last statement.)

monday: leftovers
tuesday: tacos
wednesday: chili and cornbread
thursday: oven swiss steak
friday: pizza and green beans
saturday: dave and i are going out, but i have a tator tot casserole in the freezer for the kids
sunday: waffles and sausage (last time i made waffles, i doubled the recipe, so i have a batch frozen)

given that i have only 3 real meals to shop for, the grocery list is pretty short this week. and i don't have to buy any chicken, which is always a money saver! i'll try to remember to take pictures of the chili and the oven swiss steak... i think they'll be the prettiest! and i'll take pictures of dave and i at the party... i'm sure we'll be the prettiest! HA HA!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

sick, sick, sick, sick, sick….

this darn cold has made a complete sweep!

shane started it almost 2 weeks ago now.  went to bed monday night totally fine, woke up tuesday morning coughing, hoarse, and feeling crummy.  that progressed to a runny nose that wouldn’t stop and, although he’s better now, he’s still got the cough.

a week ago, micah started coughing, and a day later, layla.  so the week has been filled with coughing and whining, and long naps and wiping runny noses and the constant hum of the humidifier.

although i tried really, really hard not to get it, on friday i could tell i was about to be unsuccessful and yesterday i finally gave in and admitted that i was sick.

this morning, dave woke up and said, we’re not going to church… i have phlegm.  and he’s since decided he’s not going to soccer tonight and has planted himself on the couch.

poor layla, as usual, got it the worst.  i don’t know what it is with her, but the child has always had a really bad time with colds.  she’s completely miserable, has a fever off and on and has now started complaining that her ear hurts.  yesterday, she started coughing so hard at lunch that she made herself throw up all over her plate.  lovely, i know.  she slept all of yesterday afternoon and went back to bed before 9 and didn't get up until after 10 today, so you know she wasn’t feeling well. 

here she is, the grand duchess of west rhinovirus, looking her best:Picture 320

poor thing, i think she was even attempting to look happy for the camera.

here’s hoping we’re on the mend.  and for some warmer weather after this is all over because this house will be in major need of an airing out!

Friday, January 16, 2009

last night's dinner...

no pictures.

so it wasn't a total flop, but it wasn't a keeper either.

i found a recipe online for 'pork chops supreme' made in the crock pot. i'm always looking for new and exciting things to do with pork chops, and making things in the crock pot is always a good idea.

unfortunately these were far from 'supreme'. they were edible, the pork chops themselves were good, but you cook them on top of a bunch of onions and potatoes and that part was kind of lame.

anyway, it was food, we ate it... well some of us did, and now i know i never have to make it again.

pizza tonight.... don't think there'll be anything too exciting to post about that. at least not until the new papa john's opens up at the new strip mall down the road.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

yummy soup

it was just so pretty i had to take a picture.

Picture 310

this is the beef barley soup i made on tuesday. i varied it a little from holly's directions, big surprise. i never follow recipes exactly.  anyway, i doubled it to start, and since i couldn't find any quick cooking barley, i just used the regular stuff and adjusted the cooking time.  not sure how many veggies i added exactly, but i cut two carrots and threw in the rest of a bag of green beans, the rest of a bag of corn and maybe 1/3 of a bag of peas.  my first thought was that i'd saute some onions and garlic before putting in the broth - cuz everything is better w/ garlic.  but wound up IMing w/ kate and burnt my onions.  so, not wanting to cut another onion and all that, i just washed out the pot, threw in the broth and added some dried onion flakes and garlic powder and called it good.  i put half of it in a freezer bag for another day. 

i didn't take a picture of my creamy italian chicken on monday because, although it was yummy, i forgot to keep the cream cheese out of the fridge and it didn't have quite enough time to soften completely and therefore my sauce wasn't as aesthetically creamy as it should be in order to be picture worthy.

last night we had our LOADED baked potatoes, and i didn't take a picture of those either because they were just too yummy and were halfway inhaled before i even thought of taking a picture.

i'm trying a new recipe out tonight. will let you know how it goes tomorrow, but as of now i'm a little skeptical.  we'll see.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Piano Concerto #2 In C Minor, Op. 18 - Adagio

I got tagged by Mary so here it is.

Let's see what your music has to say about you...
Here are the rules:
1. Put your iTunes on shuffle.
2. For each question, press the next button to get your answer



3) WHAT DO YOU LIKE IN A GUY/GIRL? Sweet Talkin' Woman - Five Iron Frenzy

4) HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY? Nocturne #20 in C sharp minor - Chopin

5) WHAT IS YOUR LIFE'S PURPOSE? Haru Ga Kita - Raffi

6) WHAT IS YOUR MOTTO? My Style - Black Eyed Peas

7) WHAT DO YOUR FRIENDS THINK OF YOU? Swinging on a Star - Frank Sinatra

8) WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT VERY OFTEN? Undignified - David Crowder Band

9) WHAT IS 2+2? Shake My Sillies Out - Raffi

10) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR BEST FRIEND? Five Little Pumpkins - Raffi


12) WHAT IS YOUR LIFE STORY? Come All Ye Fair and Tender Maidens - Mae Robertson & Don Jackson

13) WHAT DO YOU WANT TO BE WHEN YOU GROW UP? Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There is a Season) - The Byrds


15) WHAT WILL YOU DANCE TO AT YOUR WEDDING? That's the Way Love is - The Commitments

16) WHAT WILL THEY PLAY AT YOUR FUNERAL? Wholly Yours - David Crowder* Band

17) WHAT IS YOUR HOBBY/INTEREST? End of October - David Crowder

18) WHAT IS YOUR BIGGEST SECRET? Andante from Sonata #2 in A Minor for unaccompanied Violin - Bach

19) WHAT DO YOU THINK OF YOUR FRIENDS? Christmas Time is Here - Vince Guaraldi Trio

20) WHAT'S THE WORST THING THAT COULD HAPPEN? Comin' Down the Chimney - Raffi

21) HOW WILL YOU DIE? Sit Down You're Rockin' the Boat - Dean Martin & Frank Sinatra

22) WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU REGRET? Funkin' Around - Outkast

23) WHAT MAKES YOU LAUGH? Blessed Be - Raffi

24) WHAT MAKES YOU CRY? Clap Your Hands - Audio Adrenaline

25) WILL YOU EVER GET MARRIED? House of Memories - Ten Shekel Shirt

26) WHAT SCARES YOU THE MOST? It is You - Newsboys



29) WHAT HURTS RIGHT NOW? This Old Man - Raffi

30) WHAT WILL YOU POST THIS NOTE AS? Piano Concerto #2 In C Minor, Op. 18 - Adagio - Rachmaninov

and now, I am tagging:

1) Lindsey

2) Kate

3) Brenda

meal plan monday

i'm stealing this from louise because i've thought it was a good idea and wanted to do it for awhile now and just haven't... but i've been really good the last couple of weeks about planning my meals and doing my grocery shopping, so now i can brag about it.  so here's this week's meal plan

monday: creamy italian chicken; noodles; salad (it's in the crockpot now!  yummy!)

tuesday: beef barley soup; sourdough (stole this recipe from holly and i'm excited to try it. i have some leftover pot roast in the freezer i can use up.)

wednesday: baked potatoes; salad (have some bacon in the freezer i'll cook and crumble, plus cheese, sour cream, chives, whatever.  the kids LOVE these.)

thursday: pork chops supreme; peas & carrots (found this recipe online - will report later on how we like it.)

friday: pizza and green beans (duh.)

saturday: mom's mac & cheese w/ ham; veggies (to be determined later)

sunday: breakfast sandwiches (aka: egg mcmuffins); hashbrowns 


and, since it's sitting in front of me, here's last week's menu...

monday: tator tot casserole (made 2 and stuck one in the freezer)

tuesday: ate at my folks'

wednesday: cowboy spaghetti; sourdough; salad (fyi, rachael ray has NO concept of time!)

thursday: broiled pork chops; rice; peas & carrots

friday: pizza and green beans

saturday: chicken/cheese enchiladas; spanish rice

sunday: breakfast scrambles; toast

if anything sound intriguing, leave me a comment and i'll be happy to share recipes.  pretty much everything is from scratch, and only a couple are mildly labor intensive.  (btw, i'm a lousy cook, so if i can do it, you can too!)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

if you're going to dress in drag, you may as well go all out.

aahhh, misunderstandings!

this evening, layla came into the kitchen with a pressing question on her mind. in one hand, she held her cinderella dress. in the other, a sparkly, pink cheerleader outfit. in all seriousness, she says to me, "which one should i wear to do my show?" i told her that either would be fine. i mean, really, how could you possibly go wrong with those choices?

shane decides to voice his opinion and points to the cinderella dress and says, "i would choose that one."

at which point she cheerfully holds it out toward him and says, "okay, here you go!"

Thursday, January 8, 2009

humor, by layla

layla got a set of these dot painters for christmas from my parents:

she's been having fun with them and the box was sitting on the table, where she'd been using them earlier.

she walked by them just now and exclaimed, with much enthusiasm,"hey mommy! i can share these with BOYS!!!"

"huh?" was my response.

"look mommy! see? i can share these with boys!"

i looked at the box and, sure enough, there is a picture of 2 kids, a girl and a boy, sitting amicably next to each other, working on their pictures.

"see mommy? the box says right here that i can share them with a BOY! i guess i can share them with my friend, shane!"

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

nothing blog-worthy here...

i know it's been like a week! but i've had nothing really pressing me to sit down and write up a post. 

the weather sucks.  the snow is all gone except for what the snow plow pushed up along the sides of the road and a few lumps left of our snowman and igloo. now it's just pouring rain like crazy and half the state is flooded.

dave's parents were here for a while.  that was fun.  they gave the kids mario kart for christmas and we played a lot of that while they were here... that and wii sports.  papa gary was determined to catch up to shane's bowling score before he left... i don't think he made it.  the best was watching him and dave box each other.  HILARIOUS!

layla wept buckets when we dropped them off at the airport saturday night... we tried to cheer her up by going to dinner at the rainforest cafe.  instead, it totally freaked her out. 

on the way to the airport, i had noticed that my phone was totally screwed up.  i could see maybe a quarter of the screen and everything else was colors and all spidery.  so after dinner we spent like 5 gazillion hours in the at&t store and i wound up coming home with a new blackberry pearl.  it's red... you know, so when i set it down in the kitchen, it will match.

shane's back to school, but he's got some evil cough going on right now that's wearing him out.  layla is layla... going through a super-cute name-calling phase.  her best is inspired by the movie cars.  she likes to call either of her brothers a 'nodder'.  micah has been doing a lot of whole-hearted crying for no apparent reason lately (including right now)... teeth maybe?  who knows.  he's had 8 for what seems like forever and it does seem like he should be getting a few more at some point.

and i'm supposed to be putting away my christmas tree ornaments which are spread out all over the living room floor.  i feel like an idiot because i totally want to stop and go to bed.  but i did it on purpose so i'd have to finish putting them away tonight or the kids will come out and destroy them in the morning.  ugh.

so that's it.  maybe something interesting will happen tomorrow.


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