Monday, March 31, 2008

Monday, Monday

Normally, at this time on a Monday I would be headed to the gym. 

This morning, The Girl got ready for school and said she didn't feel good, although I was a little uncertain as if she was REALLY sick. She didn't have a fever.

I tried to make staying at home for the day sound really awful: no TV; no movies; no making forts in the living room with the couch pillows.  She would be in her room, in her bed, resting and reading (if she felt like it).  I informed her that staying at home with me would not be fun. Still, she insisted she really didn't feel well. 

We were in the car when The Boy started complaining about his stomach. He takes medication for IBS. He is pretty tough and his IBS is chronic, so he's learned to live (and go to school) with belly pain. He rarely complains. He just takes his meds when needed, and moves on in life. This morning I could tell his stomach was really bothering him and asked if he wanted to stay at home for a few minutes to let the meds work, and then I could sign him in late. He kept saying 'no'.  He may have heard the "locked in your room lecture" I had just given his sister. 

When we got to school, and started to walk into the building, he said he felt like maybe he should go home. He might need to throw up. He was as white as a sheet. So we left.

We've been home about 30 minutes and they are both in bed reading and drawing. No one has upchucked. Yet.

I am praying it won't happen. There are only two things in motherhood that I could really live without: snot and throw-up. 

Let's not even talk about it.

Let's talk about Strawberry Shortcake instead...

The Mister's favorite summertime dessert is Strawberry Shortcake.  

There is a small market in town that sells the best produce, and last week they were selling strawberries at 4 pints for 5 dollars. So, of course, I bought them.

Which meant we ate strawberries all weekend long.  We were ready for a summer time treat!

The crazy thing is that I have had a baking problem as of late. I haven't been writing about it because it has been frustrating me to no end. The week before Easter I botched not one, but two, batches of Easter sugar cookies. In the first batch I accidently added an extra cup of sugar, and they turned out flat and stick-to-your-teeth-chewy. Not to mention they were so sweet that even my kids turned them down.  

The second batch I accidently added two teaspoons of soda instead of baking powder, and they turned out bitter.  

I guess you could say that last week? I was tossing my cookies

Last weekend I made some cinnamon rolls that wouldn't firm up. I cooked them 20 minutes over the baking time, browning them on the outside, but the inside remained very doughy. They were awful.

All this to say, I have been in a baking slump.  This Angel Food Cake was a chance to pull myself out from the depths of a bakers nightmare.  You can see my concentration in the picture below.

It all turned out. Whew!  

Well, since I started this post The Girl has come out of her room twice now to ask if it is lunchtime yet. Uh, it's only 9:00 o'clock. 

The Boy came out to see if I could find him another book, and to tell me that he feels good as long as he doesn't move. (?) But he's Ok. And "Can I have a snack?"

The school just called to find out where they were, and I was tempted to say, " Well, they suckered me into believing they we sick. They won't be in today."

But they aren't throwing up, so it's all good!

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, March 28, 2008

Holding Fast

I have been sitting on a few things that I wanted to write about, mostly because I didn't have any idea on what I needed to say, but today I know.

So here it is...

Last week I was reading my bible, and drinking coffee of course, and I read this verse in Joshua 22:5-

Love the Lord your God, 
walk in all His ways, obey His command,
hold fast to Him and serve Him
with all your heart and soul.

Although I am fairly familiar with this verse, I felt that I needed to write it down in my journal. Ii wasn't sure why.

I was taken with the words hold fast. Hold fast to Him.  

I thought maybe it had to do with an opportunity that came several weeks ago.  

Mrs. Moofish and I were given an opportunity to do some ministry together for the Women's Group at her church, and I was up to my eyeballs in preparation to speak to this group.  It's a seven week study on biblical womanhood. The first night I would talk about what it means to be a Christian woman in today's society. We would be looking at Psalm 84 and see, first hand, how the Christian life was meant to be a journey. One that we have to commit to, lest the distractions of the world steal our focus from the Lord, and place it on areas that seem more attractive. 

When I read the verse in Joshua, I felt God was trying to get my attention, but why? Was it to hold fast as I got ready to teach? Perhaps in preparation, to encourage someone else to hold fast? (Isn't it funny when we hear a word from God, and we assume it's meant for someone else?)

Monday morning of this week, I woke up anxious. It would be the first night back in ministry   since we moved from North Carolina.  I had a lot to do on Monday but I knew if I didn't take 10 minutes to be with the Lord in prayer, things would only get worse.  It was almost 1:00pm before I had the opportunity to do so, but when I opened my bible, to read further into Joshua, I read this:

But you are to hold fast to the Lord your God, 
as you have until now.
 Joshua 23:8 (emphasis mine)

Uh, hello? There was my answer.  

I still felt anxious, but I felt better. What I didn't realize was this verse was not meant for that day, but for the days that were to come.

Mrs. Moofish and I facilitated our first Bible Study night together, and things went well. As we locked the church doors and drove home, we were very excited, and wound up, and slightly heady from all the nerves we carried throughout the day.  

Although I was exhausted, I didn't sleep well, and on Tuesday morning I was tired. Later that evening I felt unsettled and grouchy. 

Tuesday night sleep felt like it never came. 

On Wednesday, I found myself entertaining old, and ugly thoughts.  The Mister calls it "Stinkin' Thinkin'. I knew something was up. 

About 7 years ago I was dealing (very poorly) with some old issues in my life, and as a result I lost a significant amount of weight. 

On purpose. 

It hadn't been the first time I had done this, but it was the first time it had become visible enough to really concern those around me. This time it was more critical, because not only did I have a family to care for, but I was also getting pretty involved in the women's ministry at our church.  I had responsibilities. 

This problem in my life was a symptom of other issues. I guess I could say I was trying to take control of things or situations that felt out of control, but I really believe that it was much more than that. When this happened I was very happy, had two beautiful babies, a loving husband and all the stuff thats useful for living a productive, happy,  American life.  Things were all very well, and good. Except my head was filled with false thoughts I chose to believe were true.  

I was believing crazy things that a rational, well fed mind, don't believe. Like, unless I worked out for a certain amount of time, then my entire life would be ruined.

I also believed crazy things that we all experience in the day to day life of a media fueled culture: that thinner is better; that being fit means you are a well organized, disciplined person, who has her life put-together; that all those things combined make you like-able; make you good.  Perfect.

You know what? These things? In and of themselves, are good things. But, they don't define who we are.

God does. So hold tight, hold fast

And I am mostly talking to myself.

Why I am sharing this detail about myself in all this internet glory?  I am not really sure. But I do know this: I am not one who blames satan for hangnails, and everything that goes wrong in life, but I do believe he is our enemy. An enemy who is ready, and willing, to distract us from the deep and abiding water of life that is God! 

The Lord and I, with the help of some excellent Christian counselors, and the support of family and friends, have worked through some amazing issues in my life. I have felt fairly free from the old habits of wanting to be super thin (give or take some hormonal moments!) for almost three years now.

Today I feel strong, and healthy! I eat normally, with the exception that I eat frequently! And I do this, for the most part, without guilt, or obsessiveness.

This week the enemy tried to get me to believe that I was still a slave in a field that I don't want to walk in anymore.  And that makes me mad! 

I am still consciences about how I fuel and care for my body, but I am no longer a slave to the numbers, to the outward appearance. I no longer believe the lie that those things will make me happy, fulfilled, and good.   This was not an over-night process. It took years, and I still have to work through things from time to time. But the struggle isn't what it used to be. 

I am no longer a slave. I am free. 

This morning, after days of cloudy thinking, I woke up ready to fight! I have worked too hard to just "mosey on in" to that stronghold again.

When I opened my eyes this morning I remembered to hold fast.  If I am going to be really honest, then I must tell you that this morning I sort of grabbed on in obedience. I grabbed on because I knew I really hadn't any other choice.  And right now at 1:00 pm Friday afternoon, I literally feel the "weight" sliding off my back. There is NOTHING heavier than believing something that isn't true.  

We can hold on to Him! We don't have to believe things that aren't true about us. We are who God says we are.  When we hold fast to God we don't have far to look when we have lost sight of the truth!

Many of you reading this now, probably know all this already. But just in case you don't, take it from someone who's been there. God cares for you. Hold fast to Him. It doesn't matter what you look like, or what you struggle with, or how unworthy you feel. He cares for you. 

Don't you believe otherwise...

~La Vida Dulce!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Mt. Crestuvius

Late last night The Mister and I had a very serious conversation. We were tucked in bed, with the lights turned off. We had said our good nights and silence hung in the air. 

I spoke into the night, ready to bring the subject out into the open.  

Me: "Have you seen the kids toothpaste?" .

The Mister: "Yes."

Me: "What should we do?"

The Mister: "Honestly, I have given up. I have tried and tried to teach them how to get the toothpaste out neatly, but it has fallen on deaf ears."  


The Mister: "But you know, I can't blame them too much because I think it's hereditary. Their toothpaste looks just like yours did when we first got married."

Me: "WHAT??"

The Mister:  "It's true."

Me: "Hmph..."

So, we have an exploding toothpaste problem in the house.  Oh, to have problems like ours!

I am sharing these next few pictures to show you why I love having a ten year old boy in the house.   

At first he hangs out in the hallway asking why I am taking photographs of tooth paste. As if that is the most ridiculous thing in the world.  

Although now that I think about it, he might be right.

For the next shot he gets a little closer. When he sees the shot in the screen he is quick to say: "Mom, I don't want to hurt your feelings, but your cheeks look like chipmunks in that picture."
Now that he has warmed up to the idea of my taking pictures of his toothpaste, and has broken the ice by telling me I look like a cute rodent, he decides now would be the best time to try to catch me in a shot with Bunny Ears.  Only he was too slow.

Then he decides to really get in on the action. He sweetly asks to be sure that this picture gets put in today's post.  You can't tell, but he's laughing at me and my crazy Thursday morning photo session.

Goodness, I LOVE that kid.  Love.

La Vida Dulce

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Let's Lunch...

It has been a really long time since I have been able to have a Blogging Lunch.  It's really my favorite time to sit and blog. It feels so productive, what with all the eating and typing, and trying not get peanut butter on the key board. 

What I really should do is go sit down and write something of substance

You know, my head has all these really great things that I am wanting to write about, and yet for some reason I am digging my heals in when it comes to using that time wisely

I would have more time to write if I didn't do things like read 2867 recipes on allrecipes.  I wasted an hour of precious time, and I still couldn't find any lunch recipe I might be able to use with a can of tuna, bread crumbs and diet Coke.  Cuz, that's what was in my cupboard, until todays trip to the grocery.

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot lately about quality vs. quantity on blog posts.  Which is funny, because I never really thought about it until about six months ago, when I realized that I have almost 100 people who look at this blog everyday. Everyday.  Before I had a counter on my site I was writing to my little handful of "in real life" people, and I would write about things as I saw them, and my friends would all read, and we would laugh, and I was oblivious to the fact that anyone else could (or would want to) read it.

Honestly, 100 people is nothing, because there are bloggers out there who have thousands of readers. I have been blogging for over three years now and for some reason now I feel pressure. Pressure to say something witty. Pressure to say something wise. Pressure to post every single day with something that is good.  Pressure to be liked.

Which makes me laugh out loud, because I don't even consider myself a writer, and it kind of irritates me that this is even on my mind!  But it is...'cuz I feel privileged to be able to have met so many amazing women all over the country through this platform.  People I love to get to know through their blogs. People I would have never met otherwise!  

I think I am frustrated, because I am such a people oriented person, and I often wear my heart on my sleeve.  I am a "sit and interact with people" kind of person, and I think at this very moment I am irritated by the fact that I cannot be sitting across the table with you, eating our peanut butter and strawberries, sharing life face to face .  Without the hassle of having to spell check and re-word things, and make sure I haven't written "know" instead of "now".  Or that I have just written a complete run on sentence.  To be able to share life together, because writing it out seems so hard!

Whew! Who knew I was going to get so hormonal during this lunch? But I am feeling like things around La Vida Dulce have been a little bland. 

Does this all sound like I have completely flipped my lid? If you have a blog, do you feel this way?

Baby CoffeeGal

I was digging around my parents photo boxes and found these pictures. 

I had never seen these photos before and they made me laugh. 

Given that these picture was taken in November of 1973, I am properly dressed in my polyester, nautical themed, zip-front, pantsuit. 

I was a regular, 13 month old, fashionista. 

Let's hope they don't bring that back any time soon.

The picture on the top right is of me and my Dad, when I am about two or three months old.  

The lady in the pictures is Grandma Maude. 

Back in the day.  

I would love to see some of your baby pictures!  

I tried to do a Mr. Linky but it was all too technical and I didn't want to take the time to figure it out, so if you decide to post your baby picture on your site, please let me know!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Easter Recap

The CoffeeGal has been on an extended hiatus, huh?  Do I have any readers left?

It's been a great couple of weeks. 

There was movie going and easter baking. Egg dyeing and kite flying.  The picture above is part of the egg coloring we did. The Mister is always very artistic. That egg was the beginning of his Desert Mountain themed egg.  He also had a Log Cabin In The Forest Egg too. But they didn't photograph as well.

Easter Sunday was a really fun day. We went to church with Mrs Moofish and her family, and then spent the rest of the day between our families, feating on pork products and chocolate goodness. There was also an Easter egg hunt and the unveiling of the matching Easter dresses.

Today I will be cleaning like a mad woman, trying to reclaim my home after two weeks of fun and relaxation.

La Vida Dulce!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Food for Thought: Good Friday

Rom. 5:6-8 -- You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

Mark 15:22-25 -- They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him . . . 25 It was the third hour when they crucified him.

Rom. 5:9-10 -- Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! 10 For if, when we were God's enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!

1Pet. 2:24 -- He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

John 19:38-42 -- Later, Joseph of Arimathea asked Pilate for the body of Jesus. Now Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly because he feared the Jews. With Pilate's permission, he came and took the body away. 39 He was accompanied by Nicodemus, the man who earlier had visited Jesus at night. Nicodemus brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about seventy-five pounds. 40 Taking Jesus' body, the two of them wrapped it, with the spices, in strips of linen. This was in accordance with Jewish burial customs. 41 At the place where Jesus was crucified, there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb, in which no one had ever been laid. 42 Because it was the Jewish day of Preparation and since the tomb was nearby, they laid Jesus there.

Matt. 27:60-66 -- He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb. 62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 "Sir," they said, "we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, `After three days I will rise again.' 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first." 65 "Take a guard," Pilate answered. "Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how." 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.

Gal. 2:20-21 -- I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21 I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!"

Thursday, March 20, 2008

The Birds and the Bees

It's the first day of spring, and even the animals know it.

Yesterday Mrs. Moofish and I took the kids to our local zoo.  We got there early and were allowed a peek at the majority of animals.

Perhaps we went too early for Mr and Mrs North American Black Bear.

We walked up to their exhibit to see the large male bear being very attentive to his smaller, female counterpart.  I was laughing out loud because, of course, we had to walk up just as the male was sniffing around the back side of the female. The kids all began to laugh and giggle at this behavior, and we all laughed and walked around to the other side of the exhibit.  

We didn't realize that when we rounded the corner we would be within 8 feet of this affectionate couple, separated only by a large piece of glass.  The sniffing had commenced when, all of a sudden-like, the big black bear mounts the female and they start to have, well, a very intimate moment.  

They didn't care that the eight of us were standing there one iota.

Between the giggling (Mrs. Moofish and I), and the questions from our younger ones ("What are they doing, Mommy?"), we managed to gather up our chicks and move to the next exhibit while thinking up ways to answer their questions ("They were hugging!"  Good thinking Mrs. Moofish!).

Upon arrival to the next exhibit, I was standing under a tree, when a strange looking white bird perched high on a branch, decided to let loose his bowels.  

The weird thing was as we walked the path that meandered thorough the zoo, I would look in various trees and see that bird.  It was like he was following me, just waiting to get me again.  

Yes, it was a glorious day at the zoo my friends.  And it didn't end there. 

The last exhibit was the Bengal tiger. He was walking back and forth in his cage, growling his deep growl. We were thrilled to be standing right there when this was happening!  Here was a tiger, within feet of us, acting agitated and making sounds!   Well, it turned out that he had a stomach ache.  

I'll save you the details, but let's just say I am almost sure that some intestinal ailment was going around the zoo.  It was at this point that we decided that we had had enough.  We had seen everything the zoo had to offer. 

And a whole lot more.

Anyway, aren't you glad you read this post today?

The good news is that Mrs Moofish and I? We like to laugh. 

Yesterday, the laughing was unstoppable.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

At Least It wasn't My Fingers

Yesterday, in a rush of early morning chores, I decided to make muffins for the kids and their cousins, The Moofish Four.

Mrs Moofish had a quick appointment down the street, so the kids were to spend some time at my house.

I really wanted the muffins to be ready by the time they arrived, but, I also wanted to shower.  

Instead of choosing one over the other, I decided it would feasible to do both.  If I hurried.

So I quickly whipped together the muffins, got them into the oven, and then dropped all the measuring spoons in the sink, along with the dirty mixing bowl, and ran for the shower.

Soon after, The Moofish Four and my kiddos were quietly sitting at the table eating muffins....(OK, who am I kidding?  They were all laughing and talking and slurping milk, with their muffins) and began to clean my baking mess.

The recipe called for a couple eggs, and as I normally do, I threw the shells into the sink.  

While cleaning I noticed that the sink wasn't draining as quickly as possible, and I remembered the aforementioned eggshells. I reached over the sink to switch on the disposal, and the sound that came from my sink was a sound between a large mouse running his squeaky wheel and a Mack truck hitting a chain link fence. 

I immediately turned the disposal off.

Unfortunately, my first thought was not, Ooh! Something is stuck in there. But instead was those eggshells sure are tough.  And I turned the machine on again. 

This time the sound went something like ka-chunk! and then there was complete silence.

I stuck my hand in down into the sink hole and swished it around. 

I was kind of disgusted to find the remains of a half eaten banana, some very soggy bread, and of course the crunched up egg shells.  But nothing seemed out of the ordinary. 

So I ignored it.

Later as I was getting dinner ready and chatting with The Mister I decided that I would reach down in the disposal one last time before calling a plumber.   Deep down underneath some unknown metal object I felt the rounded edge of my favorite teaspoon set (given to me by a dear friend!). Sure enough I gave a good tug and it came loose. The 1/2 tsp was bent at the handle but none the worse for the wear.

I flipped the switch to the disposal again. 

Still Nothing.

I have no idea what possessed me to reach into the disposal yet a third time. Maybe it was the money I knew I was about to fork over to a plumber Maybe it was my women's intuition. Maybe it was the Good Lord giving my husband something in which to tease me about the rest of the evening, but somehow I managed to find another spoon.  This time the full teaspoon, who didn't bode so well.

The Mister couldn't believe that he had just watched me pull two metal measuring spoons out of the disposal.

The good news is that I don't have to call the plumber. 

The garbage disposal?

With the exception of kitchen utencils, it works like a charm.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Don't Panic...


This morning while going through the Morning Grooming Ritual I was faced with a very real, and very scary, reality.

You might want to sit down.

Are you ready?

Oh, hold on I need to compose myself...

OK, I think I can type it now.

I just found a gray hair, on my left eyebrow.

My eyebrow, y'all, my EYEBROW!!!!

As if chin hairs and dry skin patches weren't enough.

What in the world will come next?

Before you know it I will be blogging about hot flashes and fiber drinks.

Or wait, I think I decided to keep those things secret...never mind.

I went ahead and plucked that silver strand, but pul-ease! let's hope that this mornings event was a weird, one-haired fluke.

It could be.


Friday, March 14, 2008


In a rare turn of events, the internet has been down due to a stupid computer malfunction. I have been without a computer for over 5 days.

Amazingly enough, on Friday morning I was able to get my entire house cleaned. I am not talking, light housekeeping here. I am talking mopping the floor, scrubbing the base boards, and dusting (which, can i say, in the desert, is ENTIRELY useless).

In an act of crazy Internet Deprivation I cleaned my car. Oh, the treasures I found!

On Saturday, I began to develop a slight twitch, but that was easily remedied by increasing my caffeine intake.

Of course that slight twitch may be due to something I like to call The Sugar Hangover. On Friday night Mrs. Moofish brought her oldest daughter to my house, and The Girl and I hosted a Nancy Drew Girls Night. We watched the Nancy Drew Movie, while eating a girls night must: Popcorn and Peanut M&M's mixed together.

I managed to eat my weight in chocolate and popcorn, which resulted in a Sugar Hangover. I had to take 800 milligrams of Ibuprofen and drink twice as much water yesterday to get rid of the headache and general yucky feeling I get after a sugar binge. Does this happen to anybody else?

Getting old, it's a killer!

Anyway, the Girls Night was a really fun evening and already The Girl is thinking about when we could do it again.

So the rest of the weekend has been all about trying to get the computer up and running again (I am currently typing away on The Mister's laptop), and of course trying to stop thinking about what I am supposed to do without reading blogs and emails now that all the laundry is folded!

I am hopeful that my computer will be up and running by tomorrow, so hopefully, next week will be a little more active on the blog.

Of course, I could go outside, read a book, write a real letter,...


La Vida Dulce!

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Kellie's Second Grade Stories

Many, many years ago I was in the Second Grade.

Well, It wasn't' all that long ago because I can still remember my teachers name: Mrs. Batstone. She was lovely. A petite, blondish-red haired young woman, with lots of energy and a gentle nature.

She, as most second grade teachers, was very interested in honing our skills in writing. I enjoyed writing.

I don't remember writing these stories, but looking through the book pictured above is hilarious, because not much has changed for me, or my writing skills, since Second grade. I still adore babies (both human and animal) and flowers during this time of year. And I often start sentences with the word and. Even though i know grammatically it isn't always necessary, or even, correct. Those flowers on the cover? When I am just doodling on a paper with a pencil? I still make those flowers today.

Oh, and I still draw trees and sunshines with smiling faces, the exact same way.
In case you cannot see the writing, here is my Second Grade Thesis:

What happens in the Spring?
The flowers bloom.
And the butterflies come out.
And spring begens.
And the leaf bloom.
And the mother rabbbit have babies.

And I could go swimming.
And birds have babies.
And ducks go swimming.
And ladybugs come out.
And animals play.
And kangaroo's hope.
And turtles come out.
And leafs shed.
And the mole gos don the hole.
And a worm maycs a cocoon.
dragonlflies come.
A sckuck come.
And befers swims.

I was going to translate the Second Grade Code for those of you who haven't had the privilege to become fluent. But it's much funnier with kangaroo's that hope.

Happy Spring!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Spring Has Sprung!!

I am celebrating Spring here on the blog!

My sweet friend, Jo-Lynne of Musing of a Housewife, is sure to be busy this Spring as she starts a new business venture: Blog Design.

When I heard her announcement this week I knew that I had to get in on the action before she has waiting lists and a full time job!

I have been wanting a personalized header for the blog for over a year now but ran into some snafu's. Mainly, the affordable, and stylish designers out there were very, very, busy.

So I jumped on this, because having read Jo-Lynne's blog for over a year now, I know that she has an eye for fashion, and I was certain that she would be able to turn that talent toward fun blog design. She also seems to have an eye for detail, which makes me happy! She is also very affordable! Icing on the cake, my friends!

So here is the new Spring look for La Vida Dulce!

What'ya think?

Monday, March 10, 2008

10 Random Facts About Today

1. Spring Break in the desert is fun. The weather is fine and the days go quick.

2. When Granny buys a Wii (for medicinal purposes), everyone will show up at her house to play.

3. My niece, Jasmine Cat, was practicing her "jumping into the pool" technique, by jumping off her living room couch. Unfortunately she learned that jumping onto carpet isn't as forgiving as water. Upon landing she broke her clavicle. She is one tough kid!

4. I am apparently going through another phase of Anti-communication. Today I realized that I have 10 cell phone messages; 3 text mesages; 3 voice messages; and 52 emails that have been completely and totally ignored. I think I better work on correspondence tomorrow.

5. I just pulled a Diet Cherry coke out the the fridge. When I opened the tab it was slightly frozen inside. That feels like a little bit of summer.

6. The kids are lying on sleeping bags on the family room floor (a "vacation" thing), listening to the "bloopers", in Spanish, for the VeggieTales Jonah movie, and laughing like they might pee in thier pants. This makes me laugh because, 1. VeggieTale bloopers had to be intentionally created, since vegetables don't actually talk. And 2. my kids don't speak Spanish.

7. "I need to tell you something, I haven't got a belly button." This song is playing in the back ground as I type. If you have children between the ages of 2 and 10, you will know why I am going to loose my mind. I will now be singing this song in my head for two weeks.

8. Tortilla chips go well with my frosty Diet Coke. These will totally ruin my dinner appetite. It also makes me feel a little grouchy because it reminds me that Costco stopped carrying my favorite salsa. :(

9. When I sat down to type I just knew I had ten things to tell you about today, but for the life of me I cannot remember them.

10. I am making turkey tacos for dinner. What are you making?

Friday, March 07, 2008


When we lived in NC, Friday was Cookie Day. I would make a batch of cookies for an after school snack.

Today I made Snickerdoodles. I did it for the kids. Yeah, the kids.

I got out of the habit when we moved.

Speaking of moving, exactly one year ago this week we were making our trek across the country.

To my Carolina Peeps, it seems impossible that I haven't seen your faces in a whole year. I miss you!

You know, this week has been long. I want to write something cute and cunning, but I can't.

My heart has been heavy.

A 12 year old girl was killed last Saturday afternoon in the street behind our house. She was walking in the cross walk, when suddenly motorcycle hit her. meh and I watched as she was helicoptered out of our neighborhood to the hospital. She died from her injuries early Sunday morning.

She was killed in a crosswalk, that my family has walked in many, many times. It's just yards from my house. So close that you can look over the block wall in our back yard and see it.

Life is so incredibly fragile. When tragedy suddenly strikes it definitely makes me appreciate the things in life that are truly worth cherishing; and worry less over things that are silly.

I have been praying a lot this week for this precious grieving family (I didn't know them personally). I have been snuggling my kids more, hugging my man longer, and remembering to slow down a bit.

One of the thoughts that I have had this week is how quickly I become complacent in my day to day life. Since we have moved several times in the last three years I had learned that time is so short. I learned to make the most of where we were. To risk loving people and places, even though there is pain in the leaving.

Saying goodbye is not as bitter as death, but it has a sorrow all it's own.

When this tragedy happened in our neighborhood last week I realized how I have become very comfortable here. Settled. Which on one hand is good, but on the other hand is dangerous.

I never want to live in fear so that I cannot experience life, but I must hold that in tension with becoming apathetic and listless, because life, and death, happen. In the end I can be grateful, and thank God for the sweetness of life when it happens, and pray that He will strengthen me when life brings a suddenly.

I may not be able to predict it, but I can certainly remember to appreciate what I have while I have it.

This is a good time to be reflective, and enjoy my family more, because today starts Spring Break for my kiddos. I love when they are home. We can get back into the habit of being together. This time will allow for more leisurely conversation at the breakfast table and throughout the day, and give us the quantity time that is required for quality fellowship.

This is also the time when they eat more, make more laundry, make more mess. They ask more questions and interrupt conversations. They wake up early and go to bed late. They talk on my phone, use my computer, and monopolize the TV.

They are going to eat all my Snickerdoodles.

And because I have a new perspective, I am sincerely going to enjoy every moment of it...

Anyway, this post is so incredibly random, but it's what is on my heart.

La Vida Dulce.....

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Granola Recipe ***Updated at bottom of post!**

Whip out your Birkenstock's and throw out you bra's, girls! We're making granola!

I have been accused from time to time of being a "granola", because I eat a relatively healthy diet and I don't really need to where a bra. Also, sometimes, in the winter, I forget to shave my legs. But I digress...these accusations have come from individuals who don't know that I always (meaning, at all times) have a 3 lb bag of Peanut M&M's in my cupboard. Y'all, sometimes a girl needs a little junk.

Anyway, the following recipe is my favorite granola recipe because it is yummy, and also because it comes from a family that is dear to my heart.

So without further ado, I give you:

The "Stewart" Granola

First, grab a cup each of your favorite nuts. I always use almonds and walnuts, cuz I'm nutty like that, but to each his own, you know?

Take those nuts and throw them on a baking sheet and place them in your oven at 375, to toast them up a bit. When they give off a nice smell, and the almonds start to crack a bit, they are ready (about 10 minutes or so). Take them out and let them cool.

While the nuts are in the oven, pull out the rest of the ingredients:

5 cups oatmeal
1/2 tsp salt
1tsp cinnamon
1/3 cup dry powdered milk
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/2 tsp vanilla
(almonds, nuts, seeds, dried fruit, etc.)

A note on syrup: some say that using pure maple syrup makes this recipe taste better. I say that pure maple syrup is pricey, and the people in this house don't really taste food as much as they inhale it, so they don't know the difference.

Also, it seems that there is a lot of sugar in this recipe. There is. But I would rather my kids eat this for a snack than say, Sugar Smacks, or Pixie Sticks. Plus, if they eat this stuff, with the protein in the nuts and the whole grain of oatmeal, then I know they are getting some good nutritional benefits. It also means I can eat all the Girl Scout Cookies, without sharing.

Mix dry ingredients together.

Go check the nuts. Burnt legumes are never classy.

Next mix the oil, brown sugar and syrup up in a microwaveable dish (preferably something not plastic). Zap that sweet mixture for a minute or so. Add vanilla after heating. Set aside.

If your roasted nuts are cool, go ahead and chop them up a bit. If you have a "real" processor then go ahead and pulse them for a second or two. If you have a cheap blender/ processor that makes a mean smoothie but refuses to actually process anything, then go ahead and get the chopping board and a big knife out.

Note to self: save $$$; get a real processor.

Mix together the nuts, dry ingredients, and sugars. Pour out on cookie sheet...

Pat it down with the back of a spatula (preferably one in your signature col-ah) until it looks like this....

Place in the oven for 15- 20 minutes @ 375. More time for crunchy granola, less for a little more chew.

Let stand in the pan for about 10 minutes, then take a spatula and lift the granola off the pan a little. When completely cooled break into bite sizes pieces and store in an air tight container (I use re-seal able bags).

Personally, I don't like dried fruit, but if you do, be sure to add you dried fruit after baking.

I like mine crunchy. This is good to eat with an apple for a snack. Or on yogurt. The Mister eats his like cereal with milk poured over it.

Be warned! This is filling and very addictive.

Happy Day!

**before you spread the granola on the pan for baking be sure to oil the pan lightly, otherwise the granola REALLY sticks to the pan! Forgot to mention that!

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Wednesday Answers!

Thank you so much for the advice on Lip Balm! I loved hearing from you! There were a few questions I thought I would address in a post!

Mattie - The Cupcakes were pretty good, and not at all hard to make! When you make a box cake you still have measure oil, water and break a few eggs. With homemade cake there are only a few more ingredients to mix! If you try the recipe I would love to hear what you think.

We should have a cyber taste test: Boxed vs. Homemade. Wouldn't that be fun?

Daiquiri - First, I just had to look at my comments three times to spell daiquiri...I am excited to hear from a fellow blogger I don't know and learn to spell a new word! To answer your question, I got my back ground from Pyzam. These are free templates, but don't browse through them with little ones in the room. For the most part, they are clean and fun, but there are a few that are not "kid friendly".

AutumnFawn: Another Zonie! Hi!

Thanks to all y'all for participating yesterday!

Works for Me Wednesday:Backwards Edition

OK, Y'all, I live in the desert. The humidity this week has been 5%.

I am so dry that my lips are about to fall off. So my question is:

What is your favorite lip balm?

Monday, March 03, 2008

Good Friend, Good Weekend

We talked, we laughed, we ate Mexican food.

We also got a sunburn after two days in the sun.

She just called to tell me she made it home.

The falling snow has greeted her with it's fluffy goodness, as if to say, "I missed you!"

Here's a picture to remember our warm weekend, meh. Hurry back friend!