Monday, February 25, 2013

Project 365: Day 56

This is where we spent our day off:


Daniel packed and shipped six online orders and I took pictures of some new plants for the website. Gideon got into everything, like always.













Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Project 365: Day 51 Glamour Shots in the Dairy Aisle

Every time I think of the word "glamour", I think of Fergie spelling for us in the song: "G-L-A-M-O-R-O-U-S". Then I can't get that stupid line out of my head. OKAY! We get that you can spell! It's about as inspired as listing off the days of the week. I'm looking at YOU, Black Eyed Peas. Isn't that the same formula that Rebecca Black used? And yet "Tonight's Gonna Be a Good Night" was a hit. There's no fathoming the top 40.


Project 365: Day 50


I have two canners: one little and one large. The larger one we use as a toy box 11 months of the year. The smaller one sits in the garage 11 months of the year. Except when we bring it out to hold other toys. Or Gids.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Project 365: Day 49 Visit to the Duck Pond

Gideon was not too sure about all those birds. The pigeons kept taking flight all together, which startled my poor boy.

He loved the water, though. It was tough to keep him at the top of the disgusting bank, and not in the disgusting pond. There were at least six differently-marked ducks, along with three different types of geese, all mingling with pigeons on the shore. So cool!




Creamy Delicious Soup



I said I've been making a lot of cream soups, lately, and I'll share with you my base recipe.

It starts, like most wonderful things, with a roux. Equal parts (by volume) of butter and flour. Melt the butter, add the flour, and stir to combine. Cook for no more than a few minutes, just til everything gets puffy and bubbly. To that, add 2 cups of milk. If you want a richer soup, substitute up to a cup of cream for the milk. Stir, on medium to medium-low, until thick. It'll get all the way to paste if you let it.

In another pot, start your water+bouillon or chicken broth. Once it's boiling, add your star. Usually, this is potatoes (3 cups, diced), sometimes, it's broccoli. But this is the part where you can do anything you please. Diced onions? Don't mind if I do. Celery? Only if Daniel's away. Red peppers? Yes, please!

Once your potatoes (/broccoli/onions/celery/peppers) are soft, stir in the roux, add cheese (if it's a cheese soup) and any other finishing flavors you'd like. I'm fond of bacon crumbles, ham chunks, fresh herbs, and, occasionally, kale or spinach.

Basic Cream Soup
5 T butter
5 T flour
2 c milk
3 c chicken broth or 1 T bouillon in water

For Potato Soup
Add 3 c diced potatoes and 1 c diced ham. Pepper to taste.

For Broccoli Cheese Soup
Add 1-2 c broccoli to broth and 1 c grated cheddar cheese when you mix in the roux.

For my version of Zuppa Toscana Soup
Replace butter with 1 lb of pork sausage (Olive Garden uses Italian; I prefer hot breakfast (because I hate the taste of fennel)). Reduce flour by 1 T. Add 2-3 c thin-sliced or diced potatoes and 2-3 c chopped kale to the broth. Serve with crusty bread and a tangy green salad.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Daniel, have you seen Gid's toothbrush?"



Contents of the crevice behind the couch:
1 remote
3 manual toothbrushes
1 electric toothbrush
1 envelope
1 1/3-cup measure
1 baby spoon
2 grownup spoons
2 measuring spoons
1 giant rubber band

Project 365: Day 48 Self Portrait Sunday


Saturday, February 16, 2013

Project 365: Day 47

This little boy had a blast playing with the bowl that I need to return to the church kitchen.


New Shoes

I just got new shoes. And I love them. And I love that they were only $30 at Costco. Because I'm a $30 at Costco kind of girl, when it comes to walking-around shoes. But, as I thought about posting their picture on my blog, I had a teensy second thought: what if someone high class sees these? Specifically, what if someone in particular whom I know IRL (and whom I would never name in public) saw these?

I have been told by this person that JC Penney is a "ghetto" store. Now, I'm not low class (socio-economically speaking), but I'm okay with second hand clothes and I shop at JC Penney (sometimes. I actually don't really match them in style.) But I'm okay with Penney's on a philosophical level. And when I hear this person say things like how low class JCP is, I think, Gosh, what must you think of me? Because I own shoes like are pictured in that other post. Because I'm excited about $30 shoes.

I have a hard time feeling like a person from that perspective would truly respect me without pity, that they would be looking at me like some sort of "noble savage". Which is a problem, because I interact with this person with some regularity.

I know, caring what other people think is for sissies. I'll freely admit that I'm a sissy, then.

Just take this post as a disclaimer on my previous post: I am aware that my clothing choices are inexpensive, and I have chosen that freely. Someday, when we're rich, I will shop only at Banana Republic. Until then, I am SO PUMPED about my newest purchase.

Project 365: Day 46 New Shoes!

I just bought my first new pair of shoes in two years! I'm very happy with them, and wore them all around today. Their trim is kind of peachy colored, but that's the only minus. I figure It'll be covered in road stuff soon enough. Yay!


Now, I can throw out my high school running shoes. These things have run all over Gold Beach, OR, Folsom, CA, Provo, UT, and my current city. Now, they can visit the dump and stay. There's no nostalgia on my part!


Project 365: Day 45 Soup!

I've been making a lot of cream soups, lately. My very favorite is my own soup based on Olive Garden's Zuppa Toscana. However, this soup isn't far behind in taste. I love broccoli!


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Baker in Training

Gid loves when the timer goes off. As soon as he hears the buzzer, he says, "Oh!" and runs to the oven, pointing. He's very good about not touching the open oven door, and, apparently, watches me pretty closely when I use my oven mitt to grab things. He also loves to carry silverware around. He takes it from the dinner table and throws a fit if we try to reclaim it.


Project 365: Day 44 Our Helpful Boy





Project 365: Day 43

My boy is a rascally boy, and it's not often that he sits still in my lap. The only times he clings to me are when he's first waking up and when he's being shy. So I enjoy taking him into groups of people--he loves to hug me, then.


But leave him alone for one minute and he'll be up to his rascally tricks pretty quick:



The poor boy has a lot to learn. He innocently tried to play with these knobs (they aren't powered), but this little girl told him off. She's an older, more sophisticated woman, and knows not to touch knobs like that!


Sunday, February 10, 2013

Project 365: Day 41 Self Portrait Sunday

Sun room as craft room

Travelling

Daniel and his parents had a conference in the big city last week. Since Gid and I are pretty portable, we joined them in the hotel and got to spend boring conference time with my aunt and uncle. We had a blast exploring Portland, OR and Vancouver, WA. I (like a foolish fool) didn't think I would have many opportunities to take pictures, so I left my camera at home. I'm still kicking myself for a few awesome photo ops that I missed.

At the top
Here, instead, are some pictures my aunt sent to me of our trip on the sky tram to OHSU. The ride up was $4 and the ride down was free. If you have thirty extra minutes in Portland, I highly recommend it. I love the short views we got of peoples' back yards and roofs. I think it's so fascinating to see what's going on in the homes of these strangers. In one home, I was able to tell that they had pillar candles on a little table in front of their front window.

Is that creepy?




Straight down
Mid way up
View from the top

Project 365: Day 40 Playing with the Flash



Project 365: Day 39 Play Date

We wanted to take Gid and his cousin to the zoo to see the animals, but we showed up just as they were closing. We were bummed, but still wanted to play out of the house. I'm not a fan of the current outdoor temperature, though, so we stopped by McDonald's. The Play Place is probably just as good as the zoo in the eyes of these one-year-olds.



This kid had the greatest hair! I'll be disappointed when his mom gets around to cutting it... His cool spikes and porcelain skin make our Gid look almost flat and boring.








Project 365: Bath Time

We had Gideon's cousin stay with us for a few nights. It was possibly the most fun Gid has ever had. He loved playing all day with a friend, and I loved having someone else to entertain Gideon. 

Bath time was a blast. I learned that it's really hard to take pictures of naked children without capturing their privates. Thank goodness for the crop tool!


They loved pouring water from containers and dropping soap lids through the net hoop.


But I couldn't let them play for too long. At least one of them peed at least two times in the water, and Gideon enjoyed taking frequent gulps of water from his cup and straight from the bath. I eventually got too skeeved out to let it go on.



 They both love books, so that was the easiest part of the bedtime routine. Then it all fell apart for our boy.

Sleep? Hah.





Project 365: Who Knows What Day?

I went to a party last week which was off the hook with coolness. Since it was a pajama and snack party, most of the women were sans makeup, so I used that as my excuse not to photograph anyone. That, and it was hosted by a woman who happens to be a professional photographer, and I was too embarrassed by my meager skills to take a picture with her knowledge. So I snuck these pictures of a particularly pretty dessert assortment one of the other attendees brought.


Everyone "ooh-ed" and "ahh-ed" at them, but the guest insisted they were only cool because of the fancy shot glasses. Truth be told, they were stupid easy to make. The first (and the star of the first shot) is a brownie-based treat, for which she bought a few brownies from the bakery and crumbled them into the glass with alternating layers of whipped cream and caramel sauce. Not pictured (because this was a surreptitious shooting) is a shorter, more traditional shot, filled with vanilla pudding and coconut shavings, then topped with graham cracker crumbs. My favorite is the beautiful strawberry confection: one slice of store-bought cheesecake crumbled along with diced strawberries and topped with whipped cream.

She picked a good bakery, because I am pretty picky about my brownies and cheesecake. I usually tell people that I don't really like brownies because they're so hard to do right. These were done right. Oh, were these don


e right!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Canadians; Parenting; Christians

Today was a fun day. I got to meet a man from Toronto, who had the most perfect Canadian accent you've ever heard! It was a delight to hear the differences between our Englishes: almost the same, but just different enough to occasionally jar you.

***

We're working on weaning Gideon, who adores nursing, and it's a little bit rough. Tonight, after putting him down for the night, I remarked to Daniel, "Sometimes, parenting is fun..." And, after a brief pause, "But sometimes, it makes you want to stab your eyes out."

"Why would you want to stab your eyes out?" He replied, "Then you would just be blind. Wouldn't it be better to stab something else, instead? He is cute to look at."

Yes, I suppose he has a point.

***

Today, while we were at the print shop, they had the radio on a Christian station. Now, I don't mind Christian music. It's generally fine stuff, just not my cup of tea. The station had a contest where you had to be caller number such-and-such, then finish the lyrics to a song fragment. The caller who finished the lyrics won tickets for a cruise, and said something to the effect of, "Oh, that's so awesome! Thank you, Jesus!" And I laughed out loud in the otherwise quiet print shop. 

Then I had to cover my faux pas by telling Gid, "You're so funny!" Whoops.

I tend to believe that God is more of a hands-off sorta guy. I think that Jesus doesn't usually care if you go on a cruise or win your sporting event. So the idea that Jesus had something to do with this woman winning was laughable to me. She didn't even thank the people at the station, like they had nothing to do with it.

Except, notice I said "usually"? I shouldn't have laughed, just because it's rude. But maybe the Lord wanted this woman to go on this cool Christian cruise for some reason. Who am I to judge the mind of God? Bethany is suitably chastened. 

Friday, February 1, 2013

Project 365: Day 32 Keepin' it real

I made cookies today!


They didn't turn out quite how I wanted.


But that didn't stop Gideon from trying for them...



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