Monday, January 31, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

101. Elsie's speech. She has the cutest lisp right now!


102. A soft heart in Jenna, understanding the need for forgiveness.

103. Riding bikes, sidewalk chalk, and playing outside during these last few warm sunny days!

104. Laying nauseous in bed, but listening to the girls giggle together, and listening to their daddy take such good care of them.

105. A clean shower and bathroom.

106. 7 girls at church, spinning and dancing together while the men put the chairs away.

107. The hope of spring.

108. Both girls getting to feel the baby kick!

109. Healthy pregnancy weight gain (it's healthy...it's healthy...)

110. Homemade play dough.

111. HOT water showers!!!

112. Sunday dinner at Taco Del Mar for $6 thanks to free kids meals and a buy one get one certificate from the entertainment book!

113. The entertainment that one of Eric's customers gave him for Christmas!

114. Eric's LOVE for his new position at Starbucks!

115. How easy it is to be thankful when I just take a moment to count my blessings.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Skiing 2011

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Vegetable Pad Thai

I have been really enjoying trying new recipes this year. Here is on the newer side. I LOVE it, but the rest of my family doesn't really like Thai food. I make it sometimes for my lunch for a few days since my lunch options are limited and the rest of the family won't eat it :) Well, I take that back. If I am eating it for lunch it is all of a sudden Elsie's favorite meal. Anyways, it is so easy and I normally have all these ingredients on hand. So, here it is...


Vegetable Pad Thai

8 ounces dried, wide, and flat rice noodles
2 T dark brown sugar (or whatever kind)
2 T fresh lime juice plus wedges for serving
3 T soy sauce
2 t vegetable oil
3 scallions, white and green parts separated and thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, minced
2 large eggs (optional)
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
1/4 cup chopped roasted, salted peanuts.

1. Soak noodles according to package instructions. Drain.

2. In a small bowl whisk together brown sugar, lime juice, and soy sauce.

3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over med-high. Add scallion whites and garlic and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, 30 seconds. Add eggs (if using) and cook, scraping skillet with a rubber spatula, until eggs are almost set, about 30 seconds. Transfer egg mixture to a plate.

4. Add noodles and soy-sauce mixture to skillet; cook, tossing constantly, until noodles are soft and coated with sauce, about 1 minute. Add egg mixture and toss to coat, breaking eggs up gently.

5. Serve noodles with lime wedges, topped with cilantro and peanuts.

About 300 calories per serving, this recipe serves 4.

Monday, January 17, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

This week was an amazing week for our family. After years of faithful hard work, Eric was rewarded for his efforts. I am so proud of him. So, I am thankful for...


91. Eric's hard work and diligence through the years, even when no promotions or recognition.
92. An award! On Monday Eric recieved "Partner of the Quarter" for his entire district!
93. A promotion! On Wednesday, Eric was promoted to ASM! I know Eric will do fantastic at his new store and new position!

And around the house, things are falling apart a little bit. The water heater doesn't work very well, the garage door isn't opening, and Eric's truck broke down last night. But, I am thankful still for what is working well...

94. A home that stays dry. Our leaks from last year are fixed and we are dry.
95. A car that works. I'm thankful that one of our cars works so that we could take Eric to work and still run errands for the rest of the day.
96. A garage! I remember living in an apartment when Jenna was a baby, and having to run through the parking lot in the pouring rain with her cuddled in my arms. Though I have to get out and manually open the garage sometimes, we can still park in the garage to be out of the rain!
97. Warmish showers :) Many people around the world don't have running water, let alone hot showers, so I am thankful.
98. A trusted mechanic and parents who are willing to help me get the car to the mechanic while Eric is at work.

And last but not least, this weekend is Eric's birthday and his parents are coming into town! So I am thankful for...

99. Eric will be 31, and I won't be older than him anymore :) And we will get to celebrate him!
100. Poppy and Mimi!! Our whole family is SO EXCITED for their visit. I am so thankful that I have such great wonderful in-laws! I am very blessed.


Friday, January 14, 2011

Active!

I imported my pictures and realized just how athletic and active the kids were this past week! On Saturday the kids started gymnastics (Christmas gift from my parents). They had such a fun time and I can't wait for their next class (and they're excited too)!! Sorry about the picture quality, the gym isn't the best place for photos. One of these weeks I'll venture out and be one of those photo moms, but I wasn't ready to stick out on my first week watching.
The sun came out and so the kids went out to ride bikes for a while. It was cold (notice the hat and gloves) but fun. Elsie got a bike for her birthday but hasn't had much opportunity to ride. But she really got the hang of it the other day!
And then today my dad and I taught the kids how to ski! It was rainy but so much fun. The kids went from struggling to walk in the stiff boots to skiing independently down the hill! It was amazing. Kids learn so fast. I'll probably do a whole post on the ski trip because I want to remember the details and post a video :)
This has been a very fun week.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Swagbucks

Swagbucks. I love it. And if you haven't tried it, I must say that I think you should start!


It searches the internet just like google or whatever other search engine you use, but it rewards you for using their site. There are no tricks or weird things about it, I promise. I have been using it for about two years now and over that time have cashed in my rewards (or "swagbucks") for tons and tons of amazon gift cards! That's right, real gift cards! One Christmas I did most of my shopping using the money earned through the year on Swagbucks. Crazy. (Or, you could do Starbucks gift cards...or one of the many others they offer. Oh, and amazon sells diapers, wipes, cleaning stuff, along with all the fun things. Just sayin...)

Anyways, I advertise for them again because they have a new fun way to earn swagbucks. Playing games. I don't do a ton of online gaming, but I tried a few of their games and they are fun. And when you play games on their website, you can earn swagbucks! Great deal!

So, that's all. If you haven't signed up, it's time. Click HERE and sign up through me and to check out the games (I earn while you earn, thanks!) And if you are already doing the Swagbucks thing, you can check out their free games by clicking here.

If you do sign up, you get a signup bonus of 30 bucks. And then use the code SBGames to get an additional 30 swagbucks for signing up TODAY!

Okay, that's all :)




Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Fish Tacos

I know that not everyone out there likes fish tacos, but we love them. And this is an EASY and DELISH recipe I found a while back that I thought I would share. It takes no time at all and is so fresh and flavorful. I hope you enjoy!

Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Lime

1 pound boneless, skinless tilapia filets, cut into 2 inch pieces
2 T olive oil
coarse salt and ground pepper
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 lime, half finely zested and juiced, half cut into wedges
hot sauce, such as tobasco
12 corn tortillas
1/2 small head of red or green cabbage thinly sliced
1 cup fresh cilantro
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1-2 small tomatoes, chopped

1. Heat broiler, with rack in highest position. Pat fish dry with paper towels and gently coate iwth oil on a rimmed baking sheet. Season with salt and pepper. Broil until fish is browned on top and flesh is opaque throughout, about 5 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine sour cream, lime zest and juice, and a few dashes hot sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Soften corn tortialls (toaster oven for a bit or microwave for a minute or so wrapped in a paper towel).

3. Divide fish evenly among among tortillas and top with cabbage, cilantro, tomato and onion. Serve with lime sour cream and lime wedges.

Serves 4. About 120 calories per taco.
(Gluten free, and can also be dairy free if you use a substitute sour cream!)
Fish Tacos with Cabbage and Lime Recipe
(I forgot to take a picture, so this from the Everyday Food website - Martha Stewart - which is where I got the recipe)

Monday, January 10, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

81. Couch forts and indoor winter fun
82. Homemade applesauce, and this wonderful tool
83. Another indoor couch activity - Obstacle course! (I remember the day when I wouldn't let the kids jump on the couch...ha!)
84. Lizards, snails, and puppy dog tails...

85. Ultrasounds and cute little profiles

86. Being able to volunteer at Jenna's school
87. GOOD sleep (I slept from 9pm to nearly 7am this morning!)
88. New ideas that are helping to corral our determined 3-year old
89. FUN time out with friends
90. A new small group starting tonight!

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Works for me

There is a website out there that does a feature called Works for Me Wednesday, where people share ideas that have "worked for them" in their life. I love that idea because some things are a great idea but not for your house or your kids or your season of life. Anyways, I have a few things that I have done around the house lately that have worked miracles in my home, so I thought I would share. They aren't brilliant, but they have made a big difference in my everyday life.


1. Water access. We don't have a fridge with automatic water in the door so the kids could never get their own glass of filtered water. The Brita we had was too awkward and heavy for them to pour on their own. And they couldn't reach the cups because they were up in the cupboard. Well, they could climb on the counters but the neighbor kids also need water a lot so I came up with a solution.

--> I put the cups in a bottom drawer (along with their plates and bowls) and bought a huge brita with a spout that lives in the fridge (or on the counter) that they can reach. Now, they don't have to ask me for water. Freedom for them, and one less thing that they need me for! It has changed my life in a small yet big way :)


2. Cleaning. When I am cleaning with a spray bottle and rag, the kids always want to help me. I don't like for them to use strong cleaners so I often said no or wouldn't let them spray. But this is against everything I believe in! I want the kids to learn to clean and to help me and to find joy in daily chores!

--> So, I filled an empty spray bottle with water and a little dish soap. Now they can really help me, they can do it all themselves, and I don't have to worry about them spraying strong cleaners in their face or something! Soap and water works for the kitchen table, floor, windows, bathroom, and much more.

Hooray for simple solutions that make a mommy's life happier and a child's life more independent!

Monday, January 03, 2011

One Thousand Gifts

I really slacked on the Monday blessings for a while. I need to do some catch up!

70. I am very thankful for a brand new year. I love fresh starts. I love making goals and realizing where I have been weak. I need it!

71. For Christmas break. It was so fun to have Jenna and Elsie home all day every day. Jenna is back to kindergarden tomorrow and though I know she is really looking forward to it, I will miss her for those couple hours each day!

72. COLD weather. I'm thankful we have seasons in Oregon. It makes me really appreciate spring and summer.

73. Good sermons that encourage and convict.

74. Gymnastics! Both the girls will be giving gymnastics a try for a couple months this year! Thanks mom and dad for this wonderful Christmas gift!!

75. A warm home. Sometimes I complain about how small it is, and how cold it can be, but the truth is that we have exactly what we need, and many things we want. And I am thankful.

76. Parenting books that help me think through what I want to instill in my children.

77. A husband who has become very heath conscience in this new year! It is exciting and I love it! He is appreciating the low fat meals that I make! And though his weight is going down while mine is RISING, I am still thankful that he wants to be healthy :)

78. Baby kicks! The real ones, not just the flutters. I love lying still, thinking and praying for our little one, and feeling him/her move inside!

79. That tomorrow we find out (if the baby cooperates!) if we are welcoming a girl or a boy!! Yikes! I am a little nervous but excited too!

80. Days free of pain and nausea. There haven't been very many of them lately, so when they come, I am VERY thankful.

Any blessings you want to share on this lovely Monday?

Healthy Recipe - Bean Burritos

Cooking for my family is a bit of a challenge this year. Eric is trying to cut calories and lose some weight, and I am wheat free and dairy free. So, between the two of us, there aren't too many meals that work. But I'm finding some good healthy ones, and adapting my menu so that the rest of the family can still enjoy wheat, while I don't feel too deprived! So, here is a winner of a meal, low cal and adaptable!


Bean burritos and white rice. This is Eric's plate. To save calories, I put chips on the plate (instead of putting the whole bag on the table) and only added a touch of cheese. Whole meal was about 700 calories. Maybe that sounds like a lot, but that is for two big burritos AND chips AND rice AND veggies!
Here's my plate. No tortillas but I put the taco fixings on top of the beans and rice, and of course no cheese. YUM! I ate it with my chips and it was delicious! It felt like quite a treat.
I cooked up the beans (16 oz) in the crock pot with some minced garlic (two cloves), a few shakes of cumin (maybe 1/2 t) and about a teaspoon of salt. Then I mashed them up once they were tender enough to mash.

Oh, and top it all with some cilantro and a squeeze of lime for a great flavor! Raw veggies with no dip saved us some calories too.

Healthy and delicious, and for me GF and DF!

Saturday, January 01, 2011

New Year!

2011

Goodbye 2010, and hello 2011! One of Eric's friends put as his status update yesterday, "Goodbye 2010, don't let the door hit you on the way out!" The year was full of precious memories and fun times, but overall Eric and I are happy to say "See ya Later 2010". Oh, and though the year wasn't our favorite, we both learned a TON by the grace of God, our marriage is stronger, and our kids are treasures. We praise God for keeping us strong through the ups and downs of life.

Resolutions for 2011:
1. Keep the house clean and organized.
2. Read through the Bible
3. And starting in June(ish) lose the baby weight :)
(4. Cook a new healthy recipe each week - I am going to do this for a while but probably not the whole year. But maybe! Who knows).
(5. Keep the blog more organized and updated! We'll see how this one goes as well! But at least for now, stay tuned for lots of posts!)

Eric and I have lots of hopes and prayers for the new year. We can't wait to see what this new year brings!

Blessings to all who are reading this. May your 2011 be wonderful and may all the glory be unto GOD!