Observations from my vast experience (all two days’ worth) of carpet removal and installation: [Read more…]
I started making this amazing recipe from Kitchn a few months ago. I’ve tried a few tweaks, but none improved it. This is one to make as written. It’s delicious! The only -teensy, tiny – problem? You might think that a 13×9 pan yielding 20 bars would be more than adequate to feed a whole household. And maybe it would work for your house… but this is what happens when the kids start eating at my house:
(I thought about fixing these for breakfast when we had 6 extra folks here for a family visit last weekend. Now I’m glad I didn’t! –Or if I had, I obviously would’ve had to round it out with a whole spread. Maybe with eggs and bacon and fruit, my children wouldn’t feel the need to destroy the entire pan in 15 minutes!)
It’s just five days away – our first trip to Walt Disney World with the kids. 🙂 “Excited” does not begin to cover it around here. I have planned and researched and planned some more. I thought I’d make a quick list of some of the blogs that have helped!
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 1/4c. dried green lentils
2 1/2 cups chicken broth, plus 2 cups
1 bay leaf
1 cup long-grain white rice
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
2 tsps. finely grated lemon peel
salt & freshly ground black pepper
Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in large saucepan. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic and saute until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in the lentils. Add 2 1/2 cups of broth and bring to a boil over high heat. Decrease the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer gently until the lentils are just tender, about 15 minutes. (Note: if you use red lentils, the proportions stay the same but it will take 45 minutes to an hour to cook the lentils to tender.) Drain well. Transfer the lentils to a large bowl. (Note: I prefer to save the liquid and use in the next step, only adding enough new broth to make the measure.)
Meanwhile, bring the remaining 2 cups broth and bay leaf to a boil over high heat. Add the rice and return the broth to a simmer. Cover and simmer gently over low heat until the rice is tender and liquid is absorved, about 20 minutes. Do not stir the rice as it cooks. (Note: you can use brown rice, but cooking time will increase to 50 minutes-1 hours.) Remove the saucepan from the heat. Fluff the rice with a fork.
Transfer rice to the bowl with the lentils. Add the olives, parsley, thyme, and lemon peel. Toss the rice mixture with the remaining 3 Tbsp oil to coat. Season to taste with salt & pepper. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Shocking confession time: I enjoy working out.
My first foray into anything remotely athletic was the flag corps in high school, and I loved that – but I would have chalked it up to the comraderie and the music and yada yada yada. Not the exercise (although in hindsight, I’m sure that’s from whence at least part of the ‘high’ came.)
And then a baby came along. And another, and another. And I wasn’t working anymore. And we moved four times. And there were a million reasons that I couldn’t join a new gym, and there were a million reasons that I couldn’t figure out how to fit in some kind of exercise on any given day.
Over those years, I forgot something: that I actually, really, truly did ENJOY working out.
On my 30th birthday, I had a blessingway. One very precious part of the ceremonies was the reading of a letter my mother wrote (since she couldn’t be present, as she was in the middle of chemotherapy at the time). She gave me advice and encouragement and I will always treasure that piece of her heart… and among other things, she urged me to work out. “Pick something you love to do, and do it regularly. I love to walk and I used to do five miles a day!” There was advice about marriage and parenting and memorizing Scripture, too. But this exhortation to exercise is now in my head as Something My Mom Wanted Me To Do.
Today, I’m a busy busy busy mother of three. I homeschool and I attempt to blog. I scrapbook (I’m a teensy bit behind… but in my heart, I’m a scrapbooker). I read my Bible every day and I waste way too much time on Facebook and I cook and I do laundry. I shuttle us to the library and speech therapy and karate class and Sunday School and pediatrician’s appointments.
But I started working out.
Even then – there is a part of me that feels guilty for trying to sneak in this time at all. There are other things I could be doing when the kids are asleep, and if they are awake I feel terrible for trying to quickly handle the immediate need and get back to the sets they interrupted.
But there’s another (admittedly, smaller) part of me that wants to just join a dadgum gym and drop the whole crew off in one of those kid-rooms and wave goodbye with a smile and go focus on nothing more than my delts and triceps and biceps for half an hour. You know? I wouldn’t do it – at least not at this point, with a 4 month old – but that little part of me does fantasize about it when I fix someone a third cup of water in the twenty minutes I’ve been trying to work out.
And that’s the final piece of the puzzle. I want to do this. I like doing this. I need to do this – obviously for my physical help, but judging by that last paragraph, probably for my mental health as well. If I ever hit on a beautiful, creative, fulfilling solution to the puzzle – where I get to workout, and not feel guilty about it, and not ignore my kids in the process, and not neglect all the other things I “should” be doing too… I’ll let you know.
For the last ever-so-many months, we’ve been saying we should take advantage of our newfound surplus of time and money by getting a babysitter and heading out for some time alone.
I’m getting “readier and readier” to meet this little girl. And one of the most fun things about the end of a pregnancy is making those Guess Dates – when you think the precious little bundle will decide to arrive.
- The average length of pregnancy for first-time mothers is 40 weeks + 8 days. The average length for subsequent pregnancies is 40 weeks + 3 days.
- Jonas was born at 39 weeks + 6 days (or 1 day “early”).
- Susannah was born at 40 weeks + 6 days (or 6 days “late”).
- My estimated due date (the 40-week point) for this baby is September 14.
- The full moon occurs on September 12.
- Chris is on-call September 5, 7, 12, and 23.
Today while I was fixing lunch, Jonas and Susannah started doing that ‘fun kid thing’ where they opened their mouths and just yelled, “AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH” at each other as loud as they possibly could.
*We used this tongue twister in a vocal warmup when I was in high school chorus. Yay for Mr. Ellis!
New sprinkler! And hey look, this is our backyard. That patio/deck is HUGE and needs furniture. (But then, so does most of the house. I have a feeling the patio is low on the list, haha!)
Two kids in a sprinkler! And Chris in the background putting yard stuff into his shed. He <3’s his new shed. 🙂
So, I’m dream-shopping again. Well, this time I’m going to call it “research” because we move in 49 days and have decided to leave behind our current kitchen table. That means we need to buy a new set pretty much immediately when we arrive in Owensboro.
I don’t want to buy anything before we get there, though – I’m afraid my memory and photos of the kitchen won’t make for a good match on colors.
The way the new kitchen is laid out, there’s a narrow half-height wall separating the eat-in area from the family room. I’m guessing it’s about four feet long, and chair-rail height. This half-wall makes a corner with the floor-length window and door to the patio. (I don’t know the proper term for that feature: it looks like french doors with a 12-pane window, but it’s actually one stationary window and a door with matching windowpanes. Does that make any sense?)
The previous owners have a round four-top here, but since we’ll be a family of five very shortly after moving in, I know we’ll need a bit more space than that! We’ll have a separate dining room, but furnishing that is further down on the priority list so this will be the main eating space for a while. Even after we have a “real” dining room table, I’m guessing the kitchen table will still be the primary place for
-breakfast for five
-school for three
-crafts and games for any combination of Nebels + friends
-lunch for four
The kitchen also has a built-in island that has bar-height seating for two. We asked for the current owners to leave their barstools, but they changed that in the counter-offer. So I’ll need to get two barstools as well, and if I can find a dining set that has matching (or coordinating) barstools, that will be an extra ‘plus.’
I’m thinking of a rectangular or oval table… I love pedestals and farmhouse style tables. I can’t go too “rustic” or “country,” since that’s not really Chris’ favorite look, but it can’t be too minimalist or European either (which he leans toward but rubs me the wrong way). I’d LOVE to get a table with a bench seat and four chairs. I’m thinking we could have the bench up against the half-height wall, and then we could keep 2 chairs (and eventually, a highchair) out all the time. We could stash 2 additional chairs in the under-stairs closet that’s just a step outside of the kitchen, and pull those out when we have company but keep them out of the way for less visual clutter the rest of the time.
A few contenders:
Example of a custom table & chairs from Cottage Home Furniture.