Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Logan's BIRTHDAY!!!!

Yes, today is April 1st, or better known as April Fools' Day. And it's also LOGAN'S BIRTHDAY!!!!! He is 27 years young today, and so Weiss and I want to wish him a very happy birthday. (And as everybody knows, birthday's aren't as much fun during the work week, but his office staff in Austin had a little impromptu party for him and so will his Marble Falls staff later today, so he'll get some love at work! And of course, we will have a small family party, too!)

Anyway, Weiss has been so funny this week and man, he is REALLY talking. Logan was playing with him tonight and crawling around, chasing after him. Logan would then lay face down on the carpet. Weiss would say, "Daddy, please get up! Get up, Daddy!" He was also making overdramatic hand/arm motions to show Logan "how" to get up, as well as jumping around. (I call him my little "televangelist" because he acts just like John Hagee, even though I am a fan!)

Weiss and I went on a nice 3.2 mile walk this afternoon. When we got back home, I also wanted to be productive today in the yard and get some more sticks and things picked up. However, Weiss did not want to have any of it. He wanted to stay inside and watch "Elmo's World." He was saying, "Elmo hands and feet, Mommy!" He meant he wanted to watch the "Elmo has 2 Hands, Feet, and Ears" episode.

We made some Central Market pumpkin tortellini tonight--which, I might add, for those of you with kids, is EXTREMELY yummy, kid-friendly, and organic--and Weiss pulled his step stool up to where I was cooking and said, "Mac-roni and cheese, Mommy?" It was so cute! I tried to explain we were going to eat tortellini....tell that to a 2 year old!

Weiss is very interested in gingerbread houses, and it was late February before I finally threw out the Christmas gingerbread house. Well, I found an Easter gingerbread house for us to make, and Weiss saw the box and got REALLY excited. We'll be making it soon, and so I'll have to update with a picture......

Sunday, March 29, 2009

The Book I've Been Reading.....

As we are approaching Easter, I have been reading a book that fits this season of unconditional forgiveness and love. I didn't plan to read this book during this particular time, but God's timing is perfect. This book, "Dark Journey, Deep Grace" by Roy Ratcliff, may be seen by some as absurd, ridiculous, infuriating, or a vast array of many more emotional responses. Until you read the book, please don't prejudge it. And it's a quick, captivating read.

This book delves into the controversial topic of forgiveness. For those of you who are Christians, this should NOT be a hot-button topic. When one asks Christ into their lives, God provides anyone forgiveness anytime they ask with their heart. It's as simple as that. However, is this how the rest of the world sees it? Is repentance really that simple? How do some "professing" Christians see it? What about the legalism involved? Why is the topic of forgiveness so polarizing? Are there offenses out there that society deems "unforgiveable?" This book dives headfirst into these questions.

Roy Ratcliff, a co-author of this book, is now a full-time prison minister after his encounter in 1994 with the controversial individual within this book. He dares to ask the question: "If God forgives, can He forgive someone like Jeffrey Dahmer?"

A Note on Running and "Seinfeld"...........

Okay. For those of you who get sick of my posts that talk about my running, stop...... reading..........


(Now that I've cleared the air, I'll continue on.....)

Two of my old time running buddies, Denise Rhodes and Lexy Hinson, are in faraway beautiful lands AS I TYPE. No, not in the same locale. Denise is doing the Lavaman Olympic Triathlon on the Big Island in Hawaii TODAY and Lexy is visiting her best friend, Beth on the beautiful Caribbean isle of St. Kitts. And since I know you guys are going to eventually be reading this blog, I AM EXTREMELY JEALOUS RIGHT NOW!!!! The weather has been not so fun here recently, and they both skipped town.

Lucky friends, huh?

Anyway, another note on running..... Next weekend, Denise and I will participating in the ZOOMA Austin half marathon (13.1 miles). The ZOOMA is a woman's benefit run (5K or half) that is technically in Bastrop, Texas, at the beautiful Hyatt Lost Pines Resort. For those of you who aren't familiar with Bastrop, as you drive towards the town, it is flat. However, the first settlers planted many, many pine trees there (or so my husband tells me), and there are these HUGE trees rising from the middle of nowhere. Absolutely breathtaking. I am looking forward to it! The course is supposedly a "hilly" one....


Denise (a. k. a. "Mrs. Buff") is ready for the run (obviously). I am NOT!!!! For those of you who want to pray for me as I crawl across the finish line on Saturday morning, I WOULD APPRECIATE IT!!!! :) However I do it, I am going to get the super cool necklace ZOOMA gives to race finishers in lieu of a cheesy medal!!!

Logan and I have plans the night before to see Mr. Jerry Seinfeld himself in Austin. This will be Logan's second time to see one of his favorite icons. It is my first. I am excited. Although, I am a big fan of George Constanza on the "Seinfeld" show. We will stay the night, and then I will meet the group at the Austin Airport to carpool out to ZOOMA, or until I talk to Denise about further plans!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Funny Little Things....

Because Weiss is talking more, he says some funny things. At least once a day, I am brought to tears of laughter because of something he says. I constantly am laughing at him. I absolutely LOVE this stage....errr, well, THAT part of it. (Granted, there are tantrums at times, he wants to run around and explore in public places, and also the "fun" diapers right before potty training....those are the minuses.) My point: I forget the little things he says, so I MUST document them. I was on the phone with Mom and Dad last night and I couldn't remember something he said yesterday morning! How sad!

--Weiss drinks almond milk (a non-dairy beverage) that comes in a carton. He LOVES chocolate milk, and we always have to add chocolate syrup to the vanilla almond milk. When I don't have the vanilla flavored almond milk in stock, I usually have a carton of chocolate almond milk. However, when he sees this carton with brown on it instead of the white/vanilla carton, he says, "Yeah! COFFEE!!!" He is convinced he is drinking coffee. It's really cute!

--When I am disciplining Weiss, he tries to avoid eye contact. To make sure we are understanding each other, when he is really in trouble, I squat down to his level and take his face in my palms and say "Look at me.... You need to _____." Anyway, when he really wants my attention, he takes my head in his palms and says, "Momma, look at me. Look at me...." It is the funniest thing because he is very serious, just as I am when I address him when he's in trouble.

--Weiss gets "amen" and "the end" confused, so he just says "amen" for everything. At the end of books, "Aaaaa---men!!" When we eat, even if we forget to pray sometimes if it is chaotic, he usually says "aaaa--men" before he eats. It is precious.

--Instead of "open it," Weiss says, "Openick!" Everything is "openick, openick," and he rarely says "close." He still hasn't got it quite yet.

(I'll have to think of some more things, but right now it's naptime, and I'm needing a nap! I'll update this list at a later date... :) )

Thursday, March 26, 2009

"An Ode to My Carpet"

by the world renown poet, Courtney W. Stanley

Oh Carpet, Oh Carpet,
You drive me insane!
My constant vacuuming
Is growing quite mundane.

When we moved in
You were newly laid,
We felt we would not remove you
Because of the price the previous owner paid.

Your color was chosen,
But NOT by me!
Oh carpet, we started out
On the wrong foot, I'll agree!

So here we are--
Several months later.
And yes, I'll admit:
I'm a Carpet hater.

You may be for some,
But You're NOT for me.
I prefer slate, tile or wood,
Even a nice area rug, maybe?

Weiss's roast beef vomit, and Zoey's messes,
I loathe how you absorb scents abound!
In my house, if you've a sensitive nose,
Don't worry--plenty of candles are around!

You've traffic patterns and
You're accumulating spots!
Oh Carpet, the joys of living
In a home with active tots!

Oh Carpet, you truly are
A daily gloom!
You are everywhere--

However, there are benefits
To owning you, I know!
Vacuuming gives me
Some daily cardio!

For this moment, however,
You will remain in our midst.
Because there are many more
Purchases ahead on the list.

I'll probably deal with you
Until the move when our family grows.
Until that day comes,
You'll unfortunately remain under my toes!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


So---- Just as I was beginning my last post, my neighbor came over, bringing me some roses from her garden and telling me about the bad weather that was on its way here. I had no idea. Personally, I don't watch the local news anymore because it is so depressing, and it's cheesy Austin news. (And it's also not my beloved San Antonio KENS 5 with Chris Marrou, Steve Spreister and Ursula Perry...) Okay, I'll get to the point.

So I flip A&E TV on to "Cold Case Files." (My kind of programming.) A red screen cuts in, saying to turn to channel 10 for emergency warnings. It said Burnet County and several others were under a tornado warning until 5:30 and a severe t-storm watch until 9:00. Now, being from West Texas and growing up in a house with a cellar (which we never used, by the way...), I tend to take certain weather warnings with a grain of salt. I think that's from growing up with my dad. When I was little and warnings would flash across the TV screen, I would ask him, "Don't you think we need to get in the cellar?" He would always say, "We'll be alright." (And I understand now how it would have been MUCH better to risk the storm than to crawl into the cellar with who knows what and all kinds of creepy crawly things...)

So--I call my dad. My parents both grew up in Haskell County, Texas, which ALWAYS seems to be having tornadoes or heavy t-storms. (I kid you not.) I remember staying with my grandparents and going through so many t-storms and tornado watches. I had a roll away bed I used in their bedroom and I remember seeing lightning flash outside the window and hearing the wind howling while they were fast asleep, my granddad, "Paw," snoring. I also remember going into the neighbor's cellar one time (by the way, the ONLY time in my life I have been in a storm cellar due to weather). A tornado hit my grandparents' town in the 1990s, and thankfully, their house did not receive any damage. Anyway, back to my story.........

I did, thankfully, move my citrus trees and pink hydrangeas under my front porch. However, I was starting about 140 different seedlings in a special plant nursery, and didn't move my backyard plants under the back porch..... I stepped back in the house, on the phone. All of a sudden, the stillness turned to calamity. Hail the size of giant gumballs/silver dollars began falling, and the wind blew in Meadowlakes like I've never seen before. (Not that that amounts to much---we haven't been here that long!) The news later said we had up to 50 MPH wind gusts! I watched my backyard plants being pummeled before my very eyes. It was not pretty, folks. After the storm let up (10 minutes or so), Dad told me to check my west windows. (Thankfully, we didn't have many windows on the west side....) However, 2 of the 4 small windows on the west side were broken. However, the 2 that happened to be broken were double paned, so no water is leaking into the house. During the hail, Weiss kept saying, "Look, Momma! White snow!" It looked like it had snowed.

All of my landscaping in the back is damaged. Hopefully most of it will live. My $50 worth of seedlings will probably not. However, the landscaping in the front is okay because the house protected it as the storm blew in from the northwest. Thank goodness, because this is where my "really pretty stuff" is. Logan was at the office and had both side mirrors busted and hail damage; I had one mirror broken and hail damage on the top of my car. (And yes, we do have a garage, but it is filled with junk, not with a car.) We will most likely need a new roof, along with everyone else. However, all of this is minor damage compared to all of the homes on Meadowlakes Drive. Hannah called me when I was on the phone, checking to see how my in-laws' place fared (the lakehouse at Kingsland was a-okay). They live on Meadowlakes Drive, and all of their front windows blew in, bringing glass all in the house. The girls' bedroom was covered in glass, along with their family room (where they have a play area with all of their toys by the windows) and Casey's office. I haven't talked to her this evening, but she told me this afternoon they were at her in-laws' house tonight.

When Logan got home, we hopped in the car to see the damage. There were already many cleanup crews and handymen out because many houses were damaged. People were outside, milling around their property, looking at the damage, driving around, and working, boarding up windows, cleaning up glass. Tree limbs, plant debris and leaves were everywhere. On the area of Meadowlakes Drive running north to south, ALL of the houses had their western windows knocked out. It was a mess. So many of these homes have beautiful landscaping, and much of it was also lost--shrubs, flowers, small trees--due to the severe hail and wind damage. Please pray for the people in these homes.

Tomorrow, I will walk the perimeter of the house and see exactly what we need to replace. We'll call our insurance agent, along with everyone else, and see about replacing our roof, windows, and getting the areas fixed/replaced on our cars. There is much cleaning to be done; limbs and leaves are EVERYWHERE.... I was working so hard to get everything fixed up, and had all of the limbs picked up in the backyard. I also pressure washed the back porch yesterday, which now looks worse than before. However, I can't complain. I am thankful our house was, for the most part, unscathed.

The Little Man Is Out of Sorts and Locked Out, AGAIN!

Hello, all! This week I have been savoring my time with Weiss because it seems like he grew just the few days he was with my parents! He is now putting several words together, trying to construct complete sentences. It seems like it happened overnight..... Dickey and Cinda came over for dinner last night, and we were looking at pictures from Christmas. Weiss was looking at the Christmas tree in the background. He said something like, "Green Christmas tree is all gone now..." I told him we would bring it back out to celebrate Jesus's birthday next year. He said, "Green Christmas tree out for Jesus's birthday next time?" He mimics everything you say, and it is so funny, entertaining, and heartwarming.
Yesterday was Bible Study Day. I was debating whether to go or not because Weiss was feeling out of sorts. Since he came back from West Texas, he has had the runny nose junk and now he has been pulling at his ear. His ears have not been able to pop because of his sinus pressure, so I went to the health food store and got some colloidal silver to put in his ear. He is remarkably better today, but yesterday, before I secured the remedy, this was not the case. I was getting ready, debating whether to take him to Bible study. I had a tight white tank on--it was to go UNDER another top I was wearing. (Basically, I was "nonpresentable" without the outer layer on.) Regardless, I was getting ready to make some phone calls to see about Weiss's ear. He was all dressed, and so we stepped out in the backyard to let Zoey out quickly before we left the house. (Mind you, it had been drizzling all day and was STILL drizzling....muddy, too.....) I close the door behind me because bugs are really bad here around the lake, so things are always buzzing into the house, which is annoying....

The door locks.

There is a deadbolt and a regular lock on the doorknob, and we never lock the doorknob lock. I guess Weiss was playing with it and turned it.....

So we are locked out---AGAIN---for the SECOND time this year (see the January 1st post). The front door is locked because we had not yet opened it for the day, and Logan used the "secret" key to open the house last week, and I sat it on the bar....

So I am really flustered. I pause and think. Should I break out a window? I had my pruning shears outside, so it could be done. What would be more "cost effective---" the locksmith, or breaking a window?

I decided to call the locksmith.

I went next door, to my neighbor's. I called the locksmith, and about 30 minutes and 55 dollars later, we were back in the house. And I'm also pretty sure the locksmith thought the way I was dressed is the way I dress EVERYDAY.

After I made myself more presentable (i.e. put another layer of clothes on), we go run some errands and head to the health food store for some sinus/ear things and some snacks. Weiss has a major meltdown in the store. He was grabbing his ear. We get home, eat, and he's better. (The great thing about him not feeling so well is that he snuggles and takes extra long naps, which I love.) During his nap I got several things accomplished in the front yard, and after his nap, I even pressure washed the back porch, which was LONNNGGGG overdue. After his nap, Weiss played with this new Step 2 sand and water table, which he absolutely loved!!!! He didn't know what to think of the sand at first, but he grew to love it!!! (He doesn't like things on his hands....) We then went to Meadowlakes Park in the jogging stroller and then walking with Bridget Slyker and her precious daughter, Susanna. She and Weiss were funny to watch in their strollers side by side.

We got home and had dinner with Dickey, Cinda and Logan. Weiss was glad to see him.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Elton and Billy!!!!!!

Saturday finally came: Elton and Billy's concert!!!! This is the second time I have seen them together--but the third time I have seen Elton (he played solo at Caesar's in Vegas). Logan and I left around lunch, planning to rendezvous in San Antonio with his parents and some of their friends, Troy and Linda Fraser, who also had tickets. We got Starbucks for lunch (I am addicted to their prosciutto and ricotta panini) and headed out of Marble Falls. We went by our "old house" first in San Antonio--which still hasn't sold--to check on it and move some things out of the garage (garden tools, etc.). We then went to Nordstrom Rack, which is their "outlet store" that just opened before Christmas at the Rim. If we lived in San Antonio, that was a 5 minute drive from our house, along with La Cantera and all of those other great stores, but I really guess it's a good thing we are further away from them....... We found some good stuff for Logan and I got some workout clothes.
We then headed to the Quarry to meet the other four at P. F. Chang's. I got a mojito (which I haven't had in AGES) and my usual, lemon scallops. (If you've never tried them, you SHOULD! They are really the best!) All six of us had a great dinner. Logan and I left our car at Chang's and piled into Troy's sedan because he gets priority parking as a Texas Senator. (That was nice because the concert was sold out and so parking was CRAZY!) We get to the AT&T center, pull right up to the doors, Troy flashes his car to the parking attendant, and Dickey hops out and moves the parking barricades. We are pretty much right by the entrance. I am amazed!
Logan had bought the tickets in November, and Troy and Linda were sitting in a box, Logan's parents had pretty decent tickets, and our tickets were good, but the worst of the six of ours. I assumed we were going to our seats. However, we all hopped on an elevator and it took us up to the Terrace Level, where all of the boxes are. I had obviously never been. 
We got up to the box, and it was a bevy of politicians and lobbyists for Time Warner. (With our group, there were probably 16 people or so up there.) The new Texas Speaker of the House and the Lieutenant Governor were both up there, along with their wives. I just wanted to see the concert, however. And I did! Logan asked if I wanted anything to drink; I declined because I was scared to leave the box and go to the bathroom! (I thought they would look at our tickets like they do when you go back to the "normal" seats and kick me out!) Linda reassured me I had passed security and was okay! WHEW!!!! Anyway, it was very fun and they had an AWESOME dessert bar that would roll through every 30 minutes or so with HUGE cakes. I was really surprised for a large venue like that the cakes were so good and beautiful. (They were so pretty, I took pictures when I was away from the cart with my phone!) 
Elton and Billy played for about 4 hours; it was incredible! They encored to "Piano Man" and "Bennie and the Jets." Elton changed outfits during the break and the crowd was really getting into it, so Elton was actually smiling and making funny faces. (He's notorious for being a big diva and not flashing his smiles when he's not enjoying himself.) Billy was awesome and was cracking jokes. He also got a mike stand and was chunking it around, spinning it like a baton, just basically being a goofball. He was absolutely great! I was sad when the concert was over, because those two are in my "top" favorite artists, along with ABBA and the Beatles. I am already for them to have another concert series again! It was AWESOME!!!

Friday, March 20, 2009

Lions, and Tigers and COBRAS---Oh My!!

ARGH!!! I've been intending to blog all week, but just never got around to it. Weiss and I left for Merkel last Sunday afternoon since it was Spring Break week here in Marble Falls and all activities were cancelled. I got to see lots of people I had not seen in awhile: the Whiteheads (just happened to run into them--Robert, Becky, Heather, and her little girl, Josie), the Hunts (Freddy, Linda and Brian), the Bellahs (everyone except Chase--who was at college and Pierre the tortoise--he's still hibernating), Monty and Debbie Howard, and Brother Jimmy and Dorothy, who was our pastor who recently retired. (And Mom---if I'm forgetting anybody, please let me know!!!!)
We all went to the Abilene Zoo on Monday, and Weiss had a great time. He was all about running around and being a toddler. They have recently done some renovations, and the snake/reptile/insect exhibit was moved to a new building called "Creepy Crawlers." We go in. And you know, every time I have seen snakes on display, they are usually not doing much. They're always curled up in a ball, or maybe you'd see an occasional flick of the tongue. Not with the Moroccan cobra, however. That snake was moving around all over his cedar-lined enclosure. They had some clay pots in the glass enclosure, I guess to make it look more "Moroccan-ish." The snake would crawl in and out of the pots, and it is amazing to see. However, that's not why I'm mentioning the snake. Weiss went up to the glass enclosure of this particular snake, and because of his size, his head was ground level for the snake. The cobra, seeing only Weiss's head at HIS eye level, rose up, even FLARING HIS HOOD OUT. Mom and Dad had moved on ahead to another animal, and I began saying, "get the camera, get the camera!" By the time Dad got the camera ready (lens cap taken off, camera turned on, flash turned on) the cobra had put his hood back down. As a mom, this was VERY freaky because cobras only flare their hoods when angry, excited or intimidated, and Weiss made him feel bizarre enough to flare his hood out. Anyway, thank heavens for the glass and several inches that separated that venomous snake from my Pookie Bear. We saw other animals--giraffes, a jaguar, bears, a panther, lions, and the Abilene Zoo is getting a white tiger, which will hopefully be there the next time we go! Afterwards, we ate at one of my favorites, Chick-Fil-A, which I am majorly missing here in Marble Falls. Weiss had a great time playing in the children's play area afterwards, for about 30 minutes or so. That child has endless energy!
On Tuesday we went to the Grace Cultural Museum's Children's Museum. Weiss LOVED this.... He ran around like a wild banshee, climbing all in their toddler area. He was NOT ready to leave, even having a major meltdown. We had a quick lunch and ran some errands afterwards. That evening, we all went back to Abilene, meeting Monty and Debbie Howard for dinner at Logan's Roadhouse. (Weiss called them "Mommy and Daddy," which I thought was funny. Hey---that's kinda the way their names sound, huh?) When we got home, he was NOT ready for a bath. He heard me running the bath water, and he was stripped down to his diaper. He got behind Dad's chair, against the wall where I could not reach him. To bribe him out, I asked, "Can I have a hug and kiss?" He came out with a smile, saying, "No bath? Okay!" He then proceeded to give me a big hug and kiss. We all cracked up. (He often does that---Weiss will ask a question and then answer his own question. "No milk? Okay.") 
On Wednesday, I left Weiss to come back to Marble Falls to get some work done around the house. I cleaned when I got home and grocery shopped. On Thursday, I worked in the yard and painted some of our bedroom. Thursday evening, there was the "premiere" of Logan and Dickey's temporary office at the Gateway building. The Marble Falls Chamber of Commerce hosted an open house for the entire building, which is a new medical office complex. There is a husband/wife doctor's office, a place for skincare called the "Skinstitute," a hospice office, Logan and Dickey's office, and Hill Country Pediatric Dentistry takes up the second floor with our friends, Dr. Bobby Walker (Steve's office manager), Dr. Steve Hernandez and my friend, Dr. Hannah Burns. (aka "Phia's Mommy"). It was a fun evening and a good time to meet and greet. Although the office is beautiful, this is their temporary location; the new office is right down the road on the corner of 1431 and 281, overlooking Lake Marble Falls. Anyway, enough about that.....
Today I have been doing homework and getting stuff done around the casa. I will post some pictures soon of Mr. Weiss. Mom and Dad are coming tomorrow to keep him here until Sunday, BECAUSE..................

Logan and I are going to the ELTON JOHN and BILLY JOEL concert!!!!!!!!

Yes, two of my most favorite performers of all time, performing TOGETHER and singing TOGETHER!!!!! I have seen them play together in 2002 and I saw Elton alone in Vegas in 2004, but Elton and Billy are BACK!!!!!!!!!! SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO EXCITED!!!!
And no, I don't care if they play exactly what they played in 2002; I'm just gonna be glad to see them!!!!!! I'll keep you all posted!!!!!!!!!

Friday, March 13, 2009

What I'm Reading.....

This is the book I just finished reading and it's great. I couldn't put it down and would find myself going to bed earlier and staying up super late (I wouldn't even get tired when reading!). What made me choose this book is that I've seen so many people reading it over the past year or so, and I was curious. It is extremely well researched and the characters are well-developed. It's the story of young veterinary student, who for reasons in the story, leaves Cornell veterninary school and ends up working for the Benzini Brothers Circus before the Great Depression. The story flashes back between Jacob as a 93 year old man in a nursing home/assisted living and as a young, naiive man with a wonderful story plot surrounding him. The research author Sara Gruen is evident within this book; the "circus jargon" (yes, it's like a whole other language), the oddities of yesteryear's traveling circuses, the plethora of animals, and the drama that unfolds around young Jacob.....It is wonderful and highly suggested! 

What We've Been Up To....

It has turned out to be a dreary, cold, wet week. Hopefully this will be the end of the "wintery-like" weather, but we certainly needed the rain. (Especially my baby plants I just put in the ground---God's timing was perfect!) 
Because I want to be in better shape for Sunny Riggan's wedding in mid-April, I have been doing more arm workouts (I want Michelle Obama's arms!) and trying to watch my intake of empty calories. I have been on a kick in the last two months or so drinking those 100 calorie cans of Coca-Cola..... So random, considering I have never really been a big soda drinker growing up. Anyway, I am--for the moment--keeping a food diary for Weiss and I to monitor what we are eating and how much exercise we are getting. If I stay faithful to jot down what I eat/drink, I'm sure it will help; it's much scarier seeing the list of stuff you've eaten on paper than just shoveling it down the hatch... ANYWAY--this leads me to my next story.
I told you I am also keeping track of my runs/exercise and the like in the diary. Because yesterday was so dreary and cold, I didn't leave the house for a run. The day before I took Weiss out in the jogging stroller, but yesterday was way too cold, coupled with the wetness in the air. So after we got home from Mom to Mom, I tried doing a "Pilates type" home workout with DVD and a bar with stretchy cords attached for your feet. After about 10 minutes of this, Weiss kept laughing, so I had to stop. (Yes, he was really laughing at me!!!!) I figured I could try again after Weiss went down for the evening. However, I also thought on a full stomach after dinner, my lack of willpower would probably get the best of me and I would poop out on my exercise. So I just decided I would clean house. And man, did I get on a tear! I vacuumed, mopped, did sheets, the laundry, washed rugs, scrubbed toilets/showers, dusted, and even cleaned the blinds! I also have sooooo many books lying around in our bedroom and bathroom area, so I cleaned all of these up and reorganized my vanity and Logan's, as well. I put new globes on our light fixtures. I moved a chair and ottoman that had been our temporary furniture in the living room back to our bedroom, where it was "supposed" to be. I got out a new rug and put it in the bedroom. I was really getting after it. And man, today, I am so glad I did. I am actually sore from all of the "exercise" I got! (I'm going to count it as such, because I certainly did not have time to sit down since I did this all afternoon!)
Anyway, while I was exercising, I was going through the house in an ancient pair of shorts (from high school cheer camp, orange with paint spots on them from painting the half-bath) and a turquoise sports bra. To top it all off, I had pulled my hair back with a tacky headband and put a bright green "Queen Helene Mint Julep" face masque on, which I left on my face from noon until my shower last night at 9:00 PM. (What?!?! I was staying at home all day....) Anyway, I hear the doorbell ring. I step out into the hall. The UPS man sees me in all of my glory. I run back to the bedroom to throw a shirt on over my sportsbra. (I have no clue why he didn't just leave the package after seeing me and go--it wasn't anything that had to be signed for or anything.) Anyway, so I go back to the door--WITH a shirt on--saying, "You sure do see everyone in all their glory..." Anyway, later my neighbor comes by to give us their contact info for when they are on vacation this week. (I wasn't embarrassed this time because I learned my lesson and had a shirt on over my sportsbra.....Even though I still had my Martian green masque on, it wasn't as big of a deal. And it was Russell, whom I know.) 
So Logan gets home late yesterday evening. Weiss was already bathed and dressed for bed. I didn't tell him how hard I had worked cleaning, but he opened up the bedroom door and his eyes bugged out of his head. (In Loganspeak, that means he's impressed with what he sees...) 

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Recipe Post...Sweet Potato Chili

Okay, Katie K! This is for you. (Well, it's for me, too, so I don't lose the paper copy.......) And yes, it is very good if you like sweet potatoes and some spice. It came from a "friend of a friend", but the recipe's creator is Joe Russo of Whole Foods. It's low-calorie, high protein and YUMMY!!!! I also put in the substitutions I used. And, as with any soup/stew/chili, it's better on the second day. So if you've got company coming or just want it to be REALLY good, start it early and let it simmer on low for several hours!

Sweet Potato Chili

--1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil (EVOO, for you Rachel Ray fans!)
--1 medium onion, chopped
--1 large red pepper, seeded and chopped 
(NOTE: I subbed in a package of Nature Ripe Cherub tomatoes cut in half because I didn't have a red bell pepper. It was really good, as well.)
--1 large clove of garlic, minced (or 3/4 tablespoon)
--1 pound boneless, skinless, chicken breast, chopped 
(NOTE: Sherri used and suggested I try chopping a rotisserie chicken into the chili instead; I cut up the whole thing, sans skin, and it was great!!!)
--1 (15 oz.) can of cannellini beans, drained 
(NOTE: it really could have used 2 cans, I think. These are white kidney beans.)
--1 cup chicken stock
--2 1/2 cups cold water 
(NOTE: I used 3 1/2 cups of chicken stock total, and no water. Logan and I are all about the
flavor, baby!)
--2 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
--1 fresh jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced, or 2 ounces of canned, diced green chilies
(NOTE: we used the jalapeno)
--2 teaspoons crushed red chili flakes 
(NOTE: I left the chili flakes out because of the toddlers (Sophia and Weiss) eating the meal, and it still had a "kick." But if you want extra heat, keep this ingredient in....)
--1 teaspoon cumin
--2 teaspoons chili powder
--1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
--1 bunch of scallions, mnced
--sour cream (for topping) 
--fresh cilantro (for topping)

In a large pot, heat the EVOO over medium heat, and saute the onion, red pepper, and garlic until firm-tender. 

Add the chicken breast and saute for 2 minutes, until opaque. Add the beans, stock, water, potatoes, red chili flakes, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and chilies. Bring water to a boil, reduce heat, ands immer uncovered for about 30 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender. Garnish with the chopped scallions. Top the chili with a dollop of sour cream and some cilantro, if desired.

NUTRITION: (Per 1 cup serving)-----170 calories (25 from fat), 13g protein, 24g carbs, 2.5 total fat, (.05 saturated fat), 25 mg colest., 110 mg sodium, 15% DV calories from fat 

Sweet Berry Farm and Something Not So Sweet....

Checking out the new baby goat with "Sweetheart" and Mrs. Glenna.
Weiss is finally understanding what the word "Cheese" is for.......
Starting to pick the berries...... Can you tell he's already been eating them????

Hello, all! We have had a fun week so far, however, as of yesterday and ESPECIALLY today, the lovely spring weather has transformed into cold, wet, wintery weather (low 40s and mid 30s tonight... It's not supposed to freeze, and I certainly am hoping so, because I have now planted nearly everything in the ground!). On Sunday, we went to church--groggily, due to Daylight Savings Time--and came home for leftovers. We went to church Sunday evening and Pastor Steve Peace of Marble Falls FBC resigned after 8 1/2 years of service. Please keep this church in your prayers; we are not members yet, but are visiting there, and pray for a visionary pastor who can lead the church and its future generations forward. Please pray for Steve and Celia and their future church home, as well. Weiss and I got home and began planting. Little did I realize it still gets dark early until LATER in the spring. Oh well.... We still got a lot accomplished! 
Monday morning, Weiss and I woke up and went out to Sweet Berry Farm. I have gotten to know Mrs. Glenna Copeland through choir/piano, and she is such a kind woman with an effervescent personality! She took us to see the baby goats and showed us exactly "which" strawberries to pick. Weiss had a great time riding in the wagon, checking out the goats, and picking berries. He---or should I say "we"---have already eaten two pounds worth, so we are planning to go back at the end of this week if the weather gets better! As for the "something not so sweet" I mentioned in the title of this post, Weiss had a blowout on the way home, in his carseat. I thought this was only reserved for those parents with sick kids or newborns.... Boy howdy, was I wrong!!!! I had to take apart the carseat and clean it all out, not to mention give Weiss a bath right when we got home! Weiss took a long nap and then Kaili came over to keep Weiss so I could go to YoungLife. There was a great crowd of kids there on Monday; we had a "Scottish Games" night, complete with kilts, bagpipe music, a cabor toss, and tug-o'-war.
Tuesday morning was Kingsland Bible Study, and it RAINED when we were there! Awesome! We had been praying for rain, and it came during the lesson. We took a jog in the jogging stroller when we got home, and Weiss seemed to have a good time. It was nice and cool, upper 60s. We had a nice and relaxing day and spent lots of time in the late afternoon out in the frontyard. Weiss has really been enjoying sidewalk chalk. 
In the middle of the night, I woke up because of all of the noise from the wind and rain. This cold front that is here today hit, and it was QUITE cold outside! However, when Weiss and I got up, it was cold, but with no rain. Oh---and he has a new trick. Whenever he has a dirty diaper, he has to tell me, "yucky, Mama" or "gross" or "stinky, Mama" or something of the like. However, Weiss has figured out his own way to check his diaper HIMSELF. The way the parent traditionally checks diapers out--you know, using your index finger to look down the back of the diaper to see if there is a "surprise" inside-- has been mastered by Weiss. He now uses his hand/finger(s) to show me or Logan what he is hauling in the back of his diaper. So when he says "Yucky, Mama," he is backing up to me, pulling his diaper top by his bum back for me to take a peek. (Yes, it is gross, and yes, this is a sign we need to start potty training.) This is all fine and dandy, except sometimes he sticks his finger(s)/hand in a little too far...... You get the idea. (Hey, I know this is graphic, but I am using this blog to document all of Weiss's little details for him so I will remember them when I am a little old lady. And YES, I want to remember even the gross stuff.) Sorry about the random thought interjection. That's the way I work. Anyway, WHY am I telling you this?!?! Because he did this first thing when he woke up this morning. I had to clean him up before our jog.
SO---We took another jog around the neighborhood with the jogging stroller, in the cold. (I'll have a future post about that.....) Weiss didn't want to wear a jacket, but I forced him to. He saw me get his hooded Texas Tech sweatshirt out and he began saying, "no jacket, Mama, no jacket!" When we got home, he looked like Rudolph. It was colder than I thought! We got home, cleaned up, ate lunch and headed to the library. He is busy taking a nap at the moment. I have some pictures here from the strawberry patch.....

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Weiss Has Found a New Obsession....

Not much has happened this week.... We went to the park this week and enjoyed feeding the hissing and tempermental Canadian geese, choir practice, Mom to Mom, piano lessons with McKenna, and dinner with the Burns family. We always enjoy getting together with them, (which has been a while!) and Weiss loves "Fia." He gets so excited to see Sophia and Gabriella/Gigi/Giggles. (Hannah, I had to refer to all three names because they are sooo cute!) Anyway, we had a new recipe Sherry (Lexy's friend from church and and our running buddy) for sweet potato chicken chili, which was really, really good and really healthy. Anyway, I was supposed to go to a baby shower last night, but the grandparents were out of town and my babysitter was busy. Logan was at a Rotary event, and so Weiss and I went in to Austin. I had a major Chick-Fil-A craving (I MISS IT SO MUCH) and wanted to go to Baby Gap for Weiss. My goal was to do the errand really quickly and then go to Chick-Fil-A. Weiss had fallen asleep, so I thought this would work. However, he woke up at Barton Creek Mall and was hungry ("I hungee Mama!"), so we ended up eating at Nordstrom's eBar. He messily ate a chicken salad croissant (I forgot how good "real" croissants are!), cream cheese brownie, and a pomegranate shake. (Well, we split the meal.) A mother/son date! 
Today I got up and ran 9.3 miles with Lexy and Sherry. Well, they went a full 10, but I stopped at Lexy's mailbox because I hadn't run in TWO WEEKS!!!! I am NOT going to do that to myself again; I am going to run more this week. However, we had a good time, and I have the "runner's high" again. I came home, cleaned out my car and vacuumed it. I washed the floormats; they got soup on them from the Coleman's meal sitting in the floorboard the other day. We then cleaned up and went to Gabriella and Casey Burn's "dual" birthday party. Weiss started out in not so great of a mood; he was not too happy with Logan for going off and leaving. (Logan had the annual Rotary Golf Tourney today; this weekend was full of Rotary festivities.) He finally stopped crying and whining and wanted the kitty cat cake Hannah's mother had made. I got to meet all of Hannah's family, which was great. There were many little girls there, and Weiss was the only boy! We got home, took a long nap, and went outside to plant some more. We got 10 hollyhocks and some canna bulbs planted. Tomorrow we have much more to plant....Yesterday I planted 5 rosebushes, so everything is coming along. Now, only if it will rain..... Thank goodness we have a sprinkler system at this house, because my efforts would be futile if we didn't---but "free" water would be nice. Pray for rain all across Texas..... Weiss and I had planned to go to Merkel this week to go see my parents and also to the Grace Museum and the Abilene Zoo, but they got "busy" in the funeral home. We plan to leave next Sunday. 
As for Weiss's new obsession, I got a DVD in the $5 bin at Walmart with four episodes of the Doodlebops. I had seen them flipping through the Disney Channel before, and some of my friends have mentioned their kiddos watching. I didn't realize how ANNOYING they are until I watched them!!!! Especially the blue one!!! Weiss saw this DVD for the first time yesterday, but he BEGS for it now! "Doole Bops, please Mommy!" I thought Barney was annoying, but this group takes the cake. Mothers, beware! It's mainly music and it does promote eating your vegetables and sharing, but it drives me loca! 

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's Been a Long Time...

Man!!! I was doing so good with keeping up with the blog, and I dropped the ball this last week. Not that I have been super busy, but we did have some stuff going on. My finals have also been this last week, so I have been preoccupied with them, as well! Anyway, we had our normal week, but the weather was SOOOOO nice the first part of last week that we replanted ALL of the flower beds in the front of the house Tuesday after Bible study at Kingsland FBC. I had a movie going inside, and Weiss went in and out of the house as he pleased, while I was covered in dirt and sweat (it was in the upper 80's!!!). I planted from lunch to about 5, and also planted some more on Wednesday. I have some more to do in the back; we have a low metal fence, which is really nice, but the neighbors can see EVERYTHING going on in our house and backyard. No privacy whatsoever. I plan to line the fence with cannas, lillies, hollyhocks, roses and elephant ears. 
We've had LOTS of new babies in our Sunday School class here (yes, CBC friends, there was a baby boom here, as well!), and after the Murray's, I took a meal to the Koziel's last week (baby Lilly) and the Coleman's (baby Pierce). On Friday night, we had the Homeyer's over, who have a bun in the oven themselves! It's only like a week and they find out if Weiss has a hunting buddy or a girlfriend (sorry Matt and Kelley---we would approve!). It was an exciting week for them, as well, because Matt is the pastor of Fellowship Baptist, and their brand new church opened Sunday! Anyway, it is always fun to see the Homeyer's and of course, EAT. (Weiss was at Kingland with Mia and Grappa living it up....)
On Saturday, Logan and I went to a Focus on the Family marriage conference in Austin/Lakeway. Although it was a teleconference, it was really good. (I am not big on watching people on DVD/TV--I really like reading or hearing someone live!) Gary Smalley, Beth Moore, Del Tackett, Gary Thomas and John Trent all spoke for about an hour each; Jeremy Camp provided the worship. It was broadcast out of Colorado Springs. I really enjoyed Gary Thomas, although they were all very good. He just had something especially for me on Saturday. After that, a group ate dessert at Mimi's Cafe and then Logan and I went to the Hill Country Galleria. We went to Backwoods outdoors store and stayed there for about an hour and a half and then to Dillard's. We got Weiss several outfits for the spring/summer because he is GROWING UP.... We then went to Best Buy and Petsmart for Zoey some more dog food. And speaking of Zoey.....
When we got home, we opened the door to destroyed crayons EVERYWHERE in our living room. Weiss has an artist's easel with a big roll of paper and a big bin for crayons, and Zoey took out EVERY crayon she could get to. (I had just opened up a brand new 24-pack of crayons the day before, and he already had a 16-pack out and a 24-pack of plastic Crayola "Twist-Ups..." you do the math....) There were only about 5 crayons left when her antic was all said and done.... Zoey had left the paper, crushed plastic, broken colors, and to top it off, a HUGE pile of Crayola crayon puke in the most obvious spot in the floor. Anyway, I was NOT happy with her. OH---Monday evening, I went to "restock" Weiss with crayons and to find something to clean up Zoey's HUGE purple stain on the carpet. (Just an aside, all the crayons were washable, but I guess dog puke is an exception...) I got him another 24-pack of the triangular Crayolas and some more plastic Crayola "Twist-Ups" (also a 24-pack). Weiss and I got home today from a quick trip to Walmart and Zoey had DONE IT AGAIN!!! (She only got about 4 crayons.) This time, thankfully, there was no puke. I was very frustrated because Hannah, Sophia and baby GiGi were coming over to play ANY MINUTE.... Bad, bad dog!
Anyway, for all of you moms out there that have dogs in the house, I have talked so several people about the "crayon incident," and they have all said their dogs like crayons, also. I tried about 4 different products I had around the house on the stain, and nothing was getting it out. Before calling a professional carpet cleaner (1-800-STEAMER......haha), I went to Walmart (on the new crayon trip) and got something called "Krud Kutter" in the paint/home projects area. It is awesome! And it is water-based, which is a good thing, especially for homes with small children. (Which means it's not TOO toxic....) Anyway, my taupe carpet where she puked is not "concord grape purple" anymore; it is a shade of "soft lilac." I highly recommend the product. I do not highly recommend leaving a devious goldendoodle alone with Crayola products, however. Her idea of "fine art" is more like her own version of a Picasso on the rug....