Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Devin's Exotic Salad

Recently, Devin has been craving some exotic food for dinner. This is not an easy task here in Midwestville. At the grocery store a few weeks ago we bought some pineapple. Delicious. Being the man he is, he uses this pineapple as a source of inspiration, in coming up with his latest recipe:
Devin's Exotic Salad.
2 carrots, grated
1 can crushed pineapple, juice and all
1/4 c. chopped peanuts
1/2 c. raisins
1/3 c. mini marshmallows (optional)
cinnamon

Mix all ingredients together, except cinnamon. Let sit for 10 minutes. Prior to serving, lightly sprinkle cinnamon over top. Serve.

It's fresh. It's sweet. It's crunchy. Call it what you will, it's exotic. And that's all we asked for.
Give it a try!

Friday, November 21, 2008

Delicious Bread


As many of you know, I am married to a man who bakes bread. He usually bakes bread on Sundays, and it is always delicious. I have dabbled in banana bread, and that's about the extent of my bread baking experience. Devin decides one day that I should bake the bread. So, I get out the flour, salt, sugar, yeast and water, and I mix them all together. Oh, how delightful. I watch the mixer turn the dough around and around and around. It's too sticky. I add flour. Still too sticky. Add more flour. Ok, looks good. Dump it out, play with it a bit, put it back in the bowl, let it rise. Now it's ten feet tall and billowing out the top of the bowl. Rising is done. Dump it out of the bowl, twist and separate into two bits of dough, to make two loaves. Shape the dough into nice balls. Let sit for five minutes to relax. I can only imagine that this is all very stressful for those hardworking yeasties. Return to task at hand. Pick up one ball of dough, and begin flattening it out into a lower case 'l'. Make wider at top. Wet the dough, roll up, place in bread pan. Voila! One loaf almost done. Repeat flattening process with second loaf. Let dough rise in bread pans. (I must admit, the following part, Devin did for me.) Put in oven. Bake. Remove from oven. (But he tells me that anyone could have done that part... so I still say that I baked the bread, although there is a voice inside me that says, "But you didn't bake it. You did everything else, but you did NOT "bake" it...) Remove from bread pans, let cool on side. Eat with dinner. Delicious!
Please, feel free to admire my bread.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Regis, Kelly, and Hillary Clinton

I love these guys. Regis and Kelly that is. I don't know Hillary...
Well, you might have guessed, and it's true. I've been reunited with my old friends, Regis and Kelly. Oh, how I missed them! It's my second morning back with them, and already I've learned so much. For example, from Regis I've learned that bangs are back, but Kelly won't wear them she says. Neither will I. I remember how it looked last time I tried it. From Kelly I learned what dim lighting can do for a woman's look, it's about the opposite of bangs, for girls like us. That was yesterday. Today I learned something very interesting. It's David Cook's fault that Hillary Clinton lost. Did you know that? Regis figured it out. Here's how it happened:
David Cook was invited to play for Hillary Clinton, at Carnegie Hall I believe he (David Cook) said, and he played a song that she requested from him, because apparently she's a big fan. That's the key. She told David Cook that while she was campaigning, she would call people she knew and ask them to vote for David Cook. That's when Regis knew how it went down. Hillary Clinton put too much effort into making sure that David Cook won, that she was distracted from her own campaign. Well, isn't that something? I love getting my little daily dose of knowledge every morning from those guys. What would I do without it?

Sunday, November 16, 2008

A Saturday Night at the E.R.

Calm down. It was not a serious trauma injury. Hallie was sick, so we called the doctor to ask what we should do, and we were told that we needed to take her to the E.R., or an Urgent Care clinic. Our insurance doesn't pay for urgent care clinics, so we went to the E.R. We were afraid that we'd have to sit in the waiting room for hours, as we were not a trauma injury, so we packed ourselves a dinner. We got there, and to our surprise led Hallie straight to a room to be examined, where she was given some Motrin, on top of the Tylenol we had given her before leaving. Then we were taken to a room upstairs to be looked at by the doctor. Four hours later, she had been seen by 5 nurses, 2 techs, 1 registration lady, 1 resident, 1 doctor, and 1 pharmacist. She had her heart rate checked via her big toe on her left foot. She had her throat swabbed, and her chest x-rayed. Devin said he could see all her teeth lined up ready to come in. They looked at her eyes, her ears, and down her throat. They decided she has an ear infection and an upper respiratory infection. So, we pump her full of Tylenol and Motrin, and try to get her to eat and sleep... which for the most part she completely refuses to do. Devin and I are exhausted. I can only imagine that she must be also. We're crossing our fingers that she will be well again soon... BUT the thing I really wanted to say is that while we were sitting there waiting for the next thing, Hallie started playing peek-a-boo... with us!!! All of a sudden she just started holding the blanket up in front of her face, and then she would suddenly put it down! We couldn't stop laughing. She was entertained by herself for the longest time... up went the blanket, down it came. Up, down, up down. Where is Hallie? Peek-a-boo! There she is! Uh oh, where is Hallie? Over and over... How I wish I'd had our camera... What a great night at the E.R.! The picnic was fun too. She's the smartest little girl of all.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Secretaries

I can still remember with that awe that comes from the innocence of childhood the secretaries at the office where my dad worked. I thought they were all a grown woman could aspire to be: glamorous, beautiful, sophisticated. I believed this because I saw the evidence in the way they answered phones, the way they wrote messages, and the way they sat at their desks. It was the glory of those desks that really brought home to me the magic that must be their job as a secretary. It was not the desk itself that fascinated me, but rather the pens, the stapler, the notepads, especially the big phone with blinking lights. I think it's quite clear what my secret dream was: to be a secretary when I grew up. It had to be a secret of course, by very virtue of the fact that I wanted it so much. It couldn't possibly ever come true, like catching a falling star, or having a prince in shining armor come riding up on his white horse...

And it didn't come true. I am not a secretary. But what is it they say? The apple doesn't fall far from the tree? Is that because the parent forces the child to fullfill the unfulfilled dreams of their life, to live vicariously through their offspring? Well, for whatever reason, Hallie has all the makings of a great secretary:
She can type approx. 60 non words a minute, with the keyboard upside down in front of her. Beat that.
She even has to help mommy out sometimes, when mommy gets behind on her work.
Clearly, she loves filing too.

These pictures could also be used as a blog entry under the title: Why We Don't Need to Buy Hallie Toys... on second thought, maybe the title should be "Why We Need to Buy Hallie Some Toys".

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Going Places

I love going places with Hallie. (And Devin too, of course... but this is not about him.) She is a natural friend-maker. In the mornings, when we go walking at the mall, she is admired by all the senior citizens we pass. And the ones that pass us. (Believe it or not, some of those guys really book it, they don't mess around with their morning workout.) They think she is so cute, and I mean really, she just is. I love the little random interactions that I have with people as I go about my business, running errands. The other day I was at the bank. While my transactions were being processed, I heard people murmuring behind me. "Oh, look at her." "Isn't she sweet?" "Hi, pretty girl!" And I might have felt flattered, fooling myself into thinking they might have been talking about me. But no, as I turn around to acknowledge this praise, all eyes are drawn to Hallie, and her precious five toothed grin. The same thing happened at the Driver's bureau when I went to get license plates for the car. She had charmed everyone in that building, and you know people waiting in line at that place are not in the mood to be charmed. That's just how irresistible she is. I love these little happenings though, especially when they are more one on one, because then invariably, the other person begins telling me about their own kids. If it weren't for Hallie, I might never talk to anyone but Devin... yikes!

Friday, November 7, 2008

I found the picture of Devin and I at the temple with Devin's mom.
I've been thinking about the Netherlands again lately. I've been remembering what it was like to go to church there:
It reminds me of how difficult it was just to get to church there, the trouble with buses, and the day we walked for hours without finding it... how much all the struggle to get to church made me truly appreciate how important it is in my life.

The time I got lost, and was immensely cheered up by the sight of these goats, seemingly with a play area of their own:
You can't see all of them in there, but there were five little goats. These guys really cheered me up when I got on the wrong bus and had to walk home for miles...the day after we had gotten there. It could have been such a bad memory, but every time I think of it, I think of these goats, and they always make me smile.

Even now, when Devin and I are driving somewhere, I find myself longing to look out the window at a scene like this, which is all you see driving around the Netherlands:
(Those are sheep. Sometimes, admittedly, it is cows instead of sheep.)
Not to mention the infamous windmills:

Last, but not least to be mentioned, are my favorites. The wild swans that are everywhere, in the canals in the countryside, in the canals in the cities, you cannot escape them. I love them. I miss them:

Well, honestly, I miss a lot about it. Sometimes (dare I say it?) I even miss being pregnant...

Pride

I'm so proud of myself! Look what I did. There, up there. The new header thingy maboop for this blog. I did it. It took me much longer than I am comfortable admitting. But I did it! I loved the one you did Mimi, but in a fit of boredom I wanted to try and make something myself. So I fiddled and I tweaked, and I am pleased with my results. It was a lot of fun! Now I have to figure out how to make the rest of this blog look the way I want it too... Any tips?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Beautiful Song

This is one of my new favorite songs. I cry every time I listen to it. I sit there, and hug Hallie so tight that she squirms. So, go find someone you love and give them a big hug. These are the people I hug every day:


Click here to watch the music video and listen to the song. I think it tells a little of his family story too, which makes the song all the more poignant, if you have time to watch/listen to that too. It is especially moving when you consider the tragedy his family recently went through, which I think must make him appreciate this song even more. I know it made me think about each moment with Hallie, even when she won't nap, and keeps biting me on the shoulder...

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Halloween!

Ok guys, I'm ready to be a chicken. Put it on me. I guess I'm going to be so cute.I think I'll just let you see how it went from there... These are in chronological order:



I'll give ten cents to whoever comes up with fun captions. Ok, ok, an ice cream cone to the best captions. Ready, go.

This Week, in Review

Tough Chick Tells the People How It's Gonna Be
Unsolved Mysteries: How Does she Do That?
Cute Pair Caught Having Quality Time
They'll Have a Steak, and a Shake, please.
How a Family Grows and Grows
Preparing to Channel my Inner Nicole
I've learned a few things about myself now.
A.) I have no inner Nicole
B.) Apparently I can channel a duck.

And now the duck is angry.
Well, I won't quit my day job.
I guess not everybody can look sultry; some of us just keep trying though.