Monday, March 30, 2009

Spring Is In The Air!

Yes indeed! I was enjoying a gentle breeze outside while the kids were playing, and I noticed that things had "greened up." I really just became aware that Spring is officially here. We have "real" shade for the first time since we'd built our house. Our property used to be an orange grove way back when... and we had no trees. When we built our house we had to plant several trees, well, we were mandated by the county to plant trees I should say. Those trees have finally grown into decent shade trees, it's a beautiful thing.

Our chickens are hatching chicks, which is such a beautiful and exciting springtime event as well.

And then there's the weeds. Yes, the weeds are back in full force. We will be overrun with weeds in the weeks to come. The yard needs our attention yet again. Our winter furlough has come to a screeching halt as the weeds begin to take over the flower and tree beds. Time to don the garden gloves and the pony tail, and get to pullin' weeds.

I have great plans for my "failing" rose garden. It will involve white picket fence and the removal of some nuisance hedges, soil enrichment, and plenty of my husband's elbow grease will be involved in these plans. Dan cringes at the thought of wasting time on any tree or plant that doesn't bear some sort of fruit. But, the flowers are my fruit...I better be careful what I write, if he reads this he may make me eat those roses.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


Katie and Sophie are beginning to look a lot alike. They are both just so pretty! They really look angelic in this picture.
My three beautiful kids! They are growing up so fast!

This is Sophie dancing with her cousin Zoe at the wedding we went to in Miami. My girls were dancing all night! Katie didn't want to leave.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Hello Old Friend...

Well, it seems I've been incommunicado for a week or so. Our trip to Miami was good, but exhausting. Upon our return my kids, one by one, came down with very high fevers. This threw an interesting twist to my schedule since Dan was out of town and Adam couldn't go to school on Thursday - when I had to go to work. Luckily my mom is currently without a job and I was able to call her at the last minute to come and be with Adam.

The Wedding in Miami was a nice "American Style" wedding. No weird food or anything! We went to a BBQ at the bride's parent's house the day after and Adam told the bride, "that was the worst wedding ever! The music was so loud!" He sounded like a little old man. Luckily, the bride got a good laugh and wasn't offended.

I tried on a $50,000 sapphire ring while I was was the property of a New York jeweler, who is trying to sell it through Dan's cousin to someone in Boca Raton. It was a perfect fit, but was too gaudy for my taste, besides I can think of a few better things to spend $50,000 on.

Friday was the Persian New Year. I took the kids over to Dan's parent's on Friday morning for the festivities. Which includes a little ritual of being sprinkled with rose water, looking into a mirror while smiling, eating something sweet, and walking two doors down to Dan's uncle's house to do the same thing again. Typically Dan's uncle makes this neat Iranian dessert which is called Faloudeh (Faw-loo-day). It's kinda like tapioca without the pudding part, rose water syrup (which I have finally acquired a taste for after 13 years!), milk, & ice cream. Anybody who wants to give it a whirl can come over for a foloudeh party sometime. Anyway, he didn't make it this year. Drat! That's my favorite part. My Mother-in-Law requested that he not make it because everyone is on a diet. Hhhmmph!

Yesterday, 3 chicks hatched from our eggs. Cute little blonde chicks. I'll post pics tomorrow, maybe. My internet is acting up...

Friday, March 13, 2009

Look Mom! That Moon Is The Same Shape As My Butt!

What a beautiful moon our God placed in the sky for us this week! The ONLY good thing that came from the time change this week was getting to see that beautiful moon while leaving for work in the dark. When I pointed out the moon to the kids in the backseat Adam exclaimed, "look mom, that moon is the same shape as my butt!" Okay, that cracked me up!

Speaking of butts, I've been dragging mine ALL WEEK LONG! Man oh man! Why can't we just leave the time alone? My internal clock is not is very inflexible to change!

On another note, we are off to Miami for the weekend. Dan's cousin is getting married tomorrow. It should be interesting, she's Zoroastrian, her groom is Hindu, we're Christians. I'm praying the Lord would make His spirit shine brightly through us in the midst of these other religions and cultures.

I really don't feel up to this wedding. You see, I have this "hair thing" that bugs me. I can't do my own hair. Well, I mean I can blow it out, curl it up, & spray it down, but it always reverts back to flat and lifeless. I don't want to go to a wedding in a pretty dress, with "soccer mom" hair. So, that's my problem. It's pretty silly, I know, but what can I say I'm having a superficial moment. It will pass...

Have a good weekend. I'll post pictures and a full report from this wedding on Monday.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An 'Andy Rooney' Moment In The Frozen Foods Aisle

Andy Rooney is that older gentleman that rants and raves on the news program 60 Minutes. I found myself having an Andy Rooney moment in the frozen foods aisle at Wal-Mart on Sunday. I haven't bought ice cream in a while, and I have to say I was shocked that most half gallons of ice cream are not half gallons anymore. They are 1.5 quarts, or 1.75 quarts, but not 2 quarts. The price is the same, if not more, but the quantity of product is less! It's official, we're in big trouble, what is this world coming to? It's also official that I'm getting older...I remember hearing my parents and grandparents talk about "way back when..." Well, now I hear myself saying, "I remember when..." For instance I remember when the Plen-T-Pak of Juicy Fruit gum was $.49. Now, it's like $1.29 for a pack of gum! oh. my.

Monday, March 9, 2009

About Those Cookies...

I forgot to mention 2 VERY important instructions about my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe in my last post. First, it is very, very important not to overmix the dough. Once the flour is added, mix just until all the flour is combined, quickly add the chocolate chips, and step away from the bowl - if the dough gets overmixed the cookies will be flat. Also, the instruction to chill the dough is vital to these cookies turning out. the dough must chill for at least an hour.

I have to say that this dough itself is a rather delicious cookie dough. I sometimes struggle with whether I want to eat it baked or raw. Yeah, it's that good! You have to try these cookies. You may ask yourself if it's worth buying a bag of bread flour just to bake a batch of chocolate chip cookies. It is! Trust me! That bag of bread flour won't last long. You'll be out of it, and your skinny pants, before you know it.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The Chewy

These are my all time favorite chocolate chip cookies! The bread flour is very important. Don't substitute all purpose flour. Bread flour is made from hard winter wheat and has more protein, which gives these cookies their "chew."

2 1/2 dozen cookies

Cook Time:
15 min

2 sticks unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/4 cups brown sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
Ice cream scooper (#20 disher, to be exact)
Parchment paper
Baking sheets
Heat oven to 375 degrees F.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottom medium saucepan over low heat. Sift together the flour, salt, and baking soda and set aside.
Pour the melted butter in the mixer's work bowl. Add the sugar and brown sugar. Cream the butter and sugars on medium speed. Add the egg, yolk, 2 tablespoons milk and vanilla extract and mix until well combined. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture until thoroughly combined. Stir in the chocolate chips.
Chill the dough, then scoop onto parchment-lined baking sheets, 6 cookies per sheet. Bake for 14 minutes or until golden brown, checking the cookies after 5 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet for even browning. Cool completely and store in an airtight container.

The Crud

My poor, poor Sophie has the crud. I don't think Adam & Katie have ever been this congested. I'm slathering Vapor Rub on her like body lotion. I'm giving her Mucinex, and hot water with honey. She's a miserable little girl right now, and is loving every minute of all the attention she's getting. I've been letting her sleep with us so I can watch her and keep her head elevated.

I struggle with when to take kids to the doctor for this reason: doctors over-prescribe antibiotics. I know this because dentists over-prescribe antibiotics. Want to know what happens when we take antibiotics unnecessarily? They don't work when they are absolutely needed to fight a real infection. I should mention that not all doctors over-prescribe, but a great many of them do. I should also mention that I am by no means anti-doctor, or anti-modern medicine. I have a great deal of respect for physicians.

My kids have never been on antibiotics. This could be because I generally don't take them to the doctor when they're sick, but it could also be because their immune system has been allowed to do its job. Maybe I'm right, maybe I'm wrong.

So, back to Sophie. If she's not better by Friday, I may just have to break down and take her to the doctor.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Manic Mondays

Monday is my least favorite day of the week. Probably because I have to play catch up after a busy weekend. We enjoyed a day at the beach on Saturday, followed by a nice visit to a friend's house, and a very late bedtime. Adam & Sophie had fevers close to 103 degrees late, late Saturday and through the day Sunday. I have been living in fear of becoming sick myself for the past 2 weeks. I can manage sick kids. I can catch vomit in my hands, deal with their diarrhea, & feed them chicken soup. I can't deal with any of those things happening to me. Chicken soup is probably one of my least favorite foods, unless it's laden with cream, and fresh herbs, and has some fancy French name.

The beach was fun. It's a little crazy that one day we can go to the beach and the next day we have to wear layers. I can't tell you how ready I am for some consistent weather. Although I know that "consistent" weather will be consistently hot, so humid you feel like someone whacked you in the face with a wet towel, and did I mention HOT?

I took the kids to the library after preschool this morning, followed by a little stop at our new little cupcake shop. Okay, so it's a regular-sized cupcake with icing on it for $2.50. Huh? I can make a whole batch of cupcakes for that much. I told the kids they could all agree on one cupcake to share. Yes, you read that right, one to share. What am I thinking? This ain't my first rodeo. I should have known better than to expect them to all agree on ONE cupcake. Well, long story short, I chose for them, they didn't like the one I chose, so I got to eat the majority of it. Works for me! That made my Monday a little better.