Monday, February 22, 2010

5 loaves and two fishes?

O.k. Not really. But I did feed 25+ people yesterday with only $15 worth of ingredients. And, since it was a soup, it could have been a meal in itself, although there were other contributions to the meal, both times the soup was served yesterday.

The first group we served the soup to was our missions committee. There were 16 of us because we have the committee members bring their entire family for lunch after church once a month. I guess since Jude really doesn't eat that much, we shouldn't count him, but he ate some soup, so I will.

Then we brought the leftovers to small group where at least another 9-10 people served themselves the soup.

And what is this miraculous soup, you ask? (Or, maybe you don't? Oh, well. I'm tellin' anyway.)
Why, chicken, corn, black bean soup, of course! Once upon a time, I got the recipe somewhere and have tweaked it over time to get it how I like it.

Here's the run down. You can cut the recipe down to suit your needs.
(all cans listed refer to 15oz cans)
8 cans of black beans (rinsed/drained)
4 cans of chicken broth
1 jar (20oz?) of your favorite salsa (I use the Walmart brand Black bean & corn salsa, but the garlic and lime is really good, too)

Mix all in a stock pot, then use an immersion blender to puree it all up. (If you don't have an immersion blender, I guess you could use a regular one, but that's going to be a little more hassle.)

In the mean time, I had browned 2-3 pounds of chicken chunks. Toss that into the mix, as well as 3-4 cans more of black beans (rinsed/drained) and a bag (16 oz) or two of frozen corn. Simmer for a while (until the corn is at the level of tenderness you desire) and voila! It's soup.

Serve with sour cream or grated cheddar cheese. Or, plain if you want. If you like a thicker soup, you can cut back on the chicken broth.

I find this to be a perfect (and quick!) meal for these cold winter days. Now, I think I am going to hit some of the left overs from last night:-)

Saturday, February 20, 2010

505 days

Dear son, today you have been on this Earth for 505 days. What in the world are you up to these days?

Well, about 32 inches and 27 pounds. BIG boy:-)

You LOVE pretzel rods and getting your picture taken. . . and tearing through your toy box like a tornado:

To see you from the front, you look pretty bald. Our little Charlie Brown. But then you turn around and display the most precious wispy curls. Might you be doomed with your mother's genes for hair? Guess we'll have to wait and see.

You're a clown. We have Daddy to thank for that. And while your lips may be sealed tight here, that is certainly an unusual thing. You're usually going a mile a minute with the 27 real words you know in addition to whatever that foreign babble is that you use. Though you're hiding them here, you've got 12 chompers in that mouth! 6 molars, 4 front top, and 2 front bottom. We don't stick our fingers in your mouth anymore;-)

Would it be too much to ask that you not poke your finger into my camera lens? I am really tired of cleaning it! At least you are cute when you're being inquisitive.

We just want you to know that these last 505 days have been some of the most fun days of our lives. Thank you for the joy and light that you have added to those days!

Friday, February 19, 2010

And another one gone, and another one gone. . .

Another pound bites the dust! For the record, that is 15 pounds in just over 3 months. Yahoo!

On a side note, I got a good recommendation for a hair dresser in town who turned out to be FAN-freaking-TASTIC! Pics to come later once my hair is dry. I had to wait a day to see if I loved the cut, because I had to make sure I could fix it myself, being the non-professional that I am;-)

Update: Before & After

Wednesday, February 17, 2010


This sweet new (to me) blogger that I "met" recently has given me a Beautiful Blogger award. Her name is Chrissy and you should check out her blog: Traveling Light.

I am always amazed when anyone who is not family actually enjoys reading my babbling. Sort of justifies the years I spent learning to write relatively well in order to teach writing skills to my 6th graders. Don't look for much in that department, though. The entire time I taught English, my motto always was, " I only have to be able to write a little bit better than the students!"

So now I am to follow the rules of the award. So the rules for this award are:

1. Link to the person who gave you the award.
2. Pass the award along to fantastic blogs you've recently discovered.
3. Contact the blogs via a comment to let them know you've giving them the award.
4. State seven things about yourself.

The blogs I want to pass this award on to are:
My Mother Is A Fish simply because she is my dear friend and I always gain from reading her blog.
Single, Infertile, Female: Now What? because I really appreciate the honesty in her posts. She doesn't try to act like she has it all together and a lot of her stuff makes me laugh my head off!
My Crazy 4 because she is as crazy outspoken about public breast feeding as I am!
Larger Family Life because I think she is doing a terrific job with her large family even while dealing with problems with her oldest! And again, the honesty there is inspiring.

O.k. So here are the seven things about it. (This is kind of like one of those chain letters, huh?!)
1. I get terrible migraines. Right now I have my second one this week, but thought it was really nice of my body to give me a break for my birthday yesterday! I recently started seeing the chiropractor, so I hope it helps.

2. I am terrified of getting hair cuts. If you had my crazy curls, you would be, too!

3. Since I have been teaching childbirth classes, I have been feeling the pull to become a DONA certified doula, but the uncertain schedule is currently the deterrent.

4. I'll take completely unmedicated childbirth any day of the week over being stung by a wasp. They terrify me and I can remember every last detail of all four times I have been stung!

5. I tend to get myself over involved in things, and have a hard time saying no even when I am too busy.

6. I am extremely unorganized.

7. When I was a teenager, my room was SO messy that I had to make pathways to get from the door to the bed, the bed to the dresser!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Nope. No Different.

No, 31 does not feel a bit different than 30. Except when my dad asked me if I felt any different today than I did yesterday, I was able to respond with an emphatic "yes!" because yesterday I had my worst migraine in almost 5 years. Enough to send me to the chiropractor today. But thankfully, today for my birthday, I got a migraine free day.

31 years ago today, I was born at home. Er, I mean, at my parents' landlords' home. My mom didn't know she was in labor and did not have a phone so she went over there. I can not imagine what they thought. I would love for her to write a guest post telling that story one day. Had my first (only) ambulance ride when I was only minutes old.

19.5 years later, I watched this inspirational woman give birth to my little sister. Her first birth attended by an actual OB (because the nurse "caught" my other sis, the one who is almost 14 months younger than me, while the doc was washing his hands. . .) and the first birth my father made it in time for.

We drop 'em fast in this family. Watching Vickie's birth that day made me sure I could do that and 10 years later, that one day is part of what made me sure I could trust my body and the process that God set up for birth enough to have a home birth.

And all of this began coming into works before I even made my arrival into this world. 31 years ago, on a couch in Mulrennan, FL. Who would have thought.

Oh, and what a happy birthday it was. The most difficult decision that I had to make all day was if I wanted to get my free birthday meal at Mojo Burrito or Provino's and if I wanted to have a free birthday Cold Stone Creamery creation or a free birthday Blizzard. (Mmmmm. Midnight Truffle Blizzard. Guess what I chose.) And we were the only stupid ones sitting in Dairy Queen eating ice cream in 28 degree weather. My 16 month old son, being the smartest one of the three of us today, took one bite of the ice cream and clammed up, refusing another bite. Well, at least one of us had a brain. I, on the other hand, had midnight truffle;-)

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Curly Girl, Revisited. . .

Here's a post for my Curly Girls. (Or anyone who cares!) We're nearing the 8 week mark here of no shampoo. I have discovered that it is really hard to get a picture of your own hair, and that even when you get someone else to take the pic, it's hard to show that even after (nearly) 8 weeks of not shampooing, my hair is not greasy!

Can you tell?

Close up:

I do think, however, that these pictures show that I need a hair cut. I just wanted to wait a while and see if the experiment worked. I think I'll be treating myself to a hair cut next week. My first since May of 2008.

Lest anyone think, "Eeeew! You're not washing your hair?" No, that's not what I said. The Curly Girl philosophy is just not to use shampoo to do so. We simply use conditioner to massage the scalp, rinse and condition as usual. Except with a LOT more conditioner than I was using. (3tbsp!) Then once a week, instead of the plain old "conditioner wash" I mix in some brown sugar and do the "brown sugar scrub."

That part seemed weirder than the no shampoo thing. I didn't do it for the first month because I couldn't get past the idea of putting sugar of any kind into my hair. When I finally broke down and gave it a try, I couldn't believe how awesome it was.

I'm sold! It's Curly Girl for me from now on:-)

Friday, February 12, 2010

Woah! Snow!

Exactly two weeks ago, I thought it was amazing that in two days we had received the same amount of snow that we usually get in a whole year here. Today, I am even more amazed because we've probably doubled that. So, we bundled up the boy and took him out, and there he stood, frozen like a statue, certain that he couldn't move unless someone provided him with some assistance. (Putting him in hard bottom shoes for the first time probably did NOT help with that!)

This is just to give a general idea how deep the snow is:

Frozen to the porch. Not going anywhere mom!

Daddy is building Jude a (little) snowman:-)

He likes it.

REALLY likes it!

Covered in snow!

Hanging out with Daddy.

Little foot prints:-)

And a little video. Nothing exciting happens, but I am sure that the grandparents will find it interesting!

And a bonus video for your enjoyment! Jude helping Daddy move his highchair back into the dining room. (Pardon our mess!) Maybe we won't win any parent of the year awards, but we found that the best way to distract him from his growing molars long enough to eat something is to put him in front of some cartoons!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Due to this newly acquired skill, Jude will be wearing pants indefinitely or until he stops trying to go commando.

Kind of looks like he's giving himself a wedgie!

Wait for it. . . .

Notice how daddy just sits on and watches. . .

O.k. So mommy is just as guilty because she was just standing by taking pictures.

Our couches will never be the same again!

BTW, that's a Baltic amber teething necklace he is wearing. Don't bother bother buying one. I don't think it did a thing.