Lately Samantha has been pulling out her hair. And I'm not talking about little strands of hair here and there. I'm talkin' hand fulls of hair. She's always played with her hair, but recently she twists and pulls, getting her fingers caught in her tangled hair. The other day I noticed that her hair had significantly thinned on top. So, we had to do it. We had to use the flowbee. We had to cut her hair so her fingers couldn't get tangled. No more sponge curlers for a little while.
Big Oops! I'm so sorry. So, I made some tortillas this afternoon for dinner tonight, and in the process of doing so, I realized I wrote the recipe down wrong. I put in my one cup of water, and boy was it not mixing well. I don't know what I was thinking...but I just wrote it out from memory, and my memory failed me! So, here's the real recipe that I use.
I do make these from memory, but it's not usually a problem. I definitely don't use 1/2 c. oil. I just a couple tablespoons at best...and I do use 3 c. white and 3 c. wheat flour. Sorry about that folks. Happy tortilla making!
6 c. flour 1 t. salt 2 c. hot water 1/2 c. oil
Separate dough into individual balls. Roll out to desired thickness. Cook on hot skillet. When dough begins to bubble, flip over. Cook an additional 10-30 seconds.
To be perfectly honest, Spokane has been kind of a shock to me. When we found out we were moving here, we were told fabulous things. When we got here, we didn't see fabulous things. We got here the end of August. Fall was pretty, but most of fall was spent getting Samantha situated in therapies, getting insurance, just a lot of running around. Also, about 3 weeks after we moved here, I was extended a calling which takes a lot of my time from the time I don't have (but I do love my calling). So, I missed most of fall.
Winter came. And winter was a beast. I have never seen snow like this before. We had record breaking snow and it was pretty much the most insane weather conditions I have ever experienced. We were snowed in for days. It took Marcus about 2 hours to get to work everyday. It was just miserable.
Our beastly winter. Model courtesy of Cat Tales cat zoo in Spokane. Callie loved the kitties!
In the meantime, we live in a not-so-great area. Our car was broken into. Our car was damaged by our neighbors. We've had a car accident. Our camera broke -- though that has nothing to do with our neighborhood. We've had our occasional extremely loud domestic fighting. There's been an exciting drug bust in our complex. We miss the family we lived by and our great friends. I continue to stay busy taking Sammy to therapy and trying to diligently fulfill my calling while attempting to be a good wife and mother. And I just can't lose this darn weight that I've been wanting to rid my body of! Grrrr Stress? Maybe. Extra cortisol levels in my body -- definitely.
So, I honestly and sadly say that I haven't had the best of feelings about Spokane. I have tried really hard not to let anyone know that it's been a struggle here for me. Is this sad or what? Yes. I've been really wanting to soak in Spokane. I was convinced that I'd love anywhere I lived because any situation is what you make it. But, darn it all, this has been a hard one for us. Not to say it's been all bad -- because that's not true at all. I've met some people here who I just love. I love Sammy's therapies. I love that Marcus is getting good assessment experience which will make him more marketable in the future. I love Greenbluff and look forward to picking fruit this coming season. I love that I learned how to can meat and actually do it, or did it with Cherie's help. I love that Julie and Greg are letting me share garden space with them. And I love that we'll have some fantastic stories for our kids. When my parents came out, we went around Spokane a little bit. I saw a side of Spokane that made me change my attitude, for which I am grateful. We went down the the Bowl and Pitcher and walked across the swinging bridge. Sammy loved the loud rushing water underneath the bridge. She giggled in delight hearing the rapids underneath us. We walked around the trails a little and saw the gorgeous green trees, the rock formations, and the heard the sounds of nature. I love the sound of outside -- rushing water, birds, the crunch of leaves, and the grinding of rocks with each step. It's so peaceful.
Standing in front of the swinging bridge, that really did sway quite a bit.
We went up to Newport to our friend, Julie's, house where she grew up. It was gorgeous! Her parents live on a ton of land -- 100+ acres (I think 200) -- and the girls freely ran around. We saw cows, moose tracks, a little pond, streams, and "puppies" that Callie LOVED. It was really fun being up there with them.
Target shooting. How fun!
Julie taking the girls for a stroll in the wheelbarrow.
We went downtown and saw the waterfalls and since it was nice weather, there were so many people out jogging, riding bikes, and just being together with family and friends at Riverfront Park. It was wonderful. And I decided that Spokane wasn't so bad afterall, that it was beautiful, and that a place or situation really is what you make of it. I feel like I've wasted so much time here, but I'm not really sure how I could have squeezed anything in earlier. I guess I just needed to take time, drive around, and open my eyes in order to gain a better appreciation of where I live.
We went down to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. It is so pretty over there. And of course, if there are swings, we have happy girls.
It was so great having my parents here. Unfortunately, my mom was sick for a portion of it. One of the days she was sick, we went to a nearby "gym" called Jump n' Party. The girls loved it! Callie was leary at first, but soon fell in love with all the inflatable toys!
Sammy figuring out how to drink out of the fountain.
Callie and Grandpa -- who she calls "gpa", or "papa", depending on the urgency of the need for grandpa.
Calling climbing up the inflatable ladder and just about to go down the slide. She kept doing this over and over and over again once she figured it out.
Just hanging out together.
Oh the excitement.
Sammy and Daddy going down the big slide.
This place was so much fun. I wish that while the Greens were in town we'd be able to go, but they're just here over the weekend and open jump is during the week. Oh well. This place is great. You pay only for the kids but you get to do everything with them. There was an obstacle course we went through. I was with Callie and Marcus with Sammy. Callie was clinging on for dear life. She was just a little too nervous about the whole thing. With Sammy in hand, Marcus went over a large inflatable tube. He fell over and Sammy went with him. She thought that was just the funniest thing she'd ever seen, or experienced I suppose. She was laughing and laughing. Pure joy for all of us.
And until blogger allows me to post pictures, here's my granola bar recipe. These are a big hit now in my ward and with Callie and Samantha. Callie all day is asking for "cookie, cookie"-- not that she gets them everyday. But hey, if she thinks these are cookies, great. Here we go.
2 cups oats 1/4 cup brown sugar 1 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1/2 tsp. baking powder 1 tsp. cinnamon 1 tsp. salt 1 tsp. vanilla 1/2 cup honey Any dried fruit, nuts, seeds, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, etc.
Mix all ingredients and press into greased pan, 11 x 13. Dough will be very dry and crumbly, but press until dough forms with pan. Bake at 325 for 20 minutes or until edges are browned. Take out, cut, and let cool entirely. Cut into strips and store in baggies.
These vary. First of all, the real recipe calls for 1 c. brown sugar. You can try that if you want, but they were way too sweet for me and plus, that's just a lot of sugar when you have honey in there too. So. I cut that way down. I usually add chocolate chips. I've added peanuts, coconut, and peanut butter. All yummy. I haven't ventured too far from these combination. One hint, I would cut the granola bars when they come out, or shortly thereafter. If you wait until they are cooled, they are really hard. Enjoy!
3 cups wheat flour 3 cups white flour 1 cup hot water 1 t. salt 1 T. oil
Stir together with hands to create dough. Take a small amount, roll into a ball. Then roll out with rolling pin on a floured surface. Roll out to desired thickness. Cook on hot skillet (no oil needed). When tortilla begins to bubble, flip over to other side. Cook an additional 30 seconds or so.
There's no exact science to this, but this is what I've figured out. -- If you use all wheat flour, it doesn't roll out as well. It's too tough. I've made them before without the oil. They're also good, but they don't roll out as well, and they aren't as soft when they are cooked. But, I frequently make tortillas without fat. This makes a large batch, but I just put them in a ziploc bag and eat them throughout the week. If you leave them on the countertop, they will mold more quickly. Try putting them in the fridge. These really don't take too long to make, especially once you've done it a few times. When one is cooking, you just roll out the next one. It goes pretty quickly. I also haven't perfected the perfect round tortilla, but I think that just adds to the homemade feel. It's all good.
Recently, my parents were here visiting us in Spokane. I loved it. And, as usual, I cried like a baby when they left. I can't help it. I guess I just can't cut the cord -- but I love having them around. They stayed with us in our tiny apartment, and it was great. (pictures to come)
While they were here, I realized that some things I do to save money on our grocery bill -- not everyone does. I guess I knew it before, but it all had become routine for us. So, here are some of those things:
* We eat a lot of beans in our meals. * I never buy tortillas anymore. I just make my own wheat tortillas. No preservatives and they're hearty. * I buy my spices, pasta, rice, sugar, oats, and flour from the bulk food section. * I plan our meals for a month -- as I've mentioned before. * I've started to buy dry beans instead of canned beans. (I'm looking for a good refried beans recipe if anyone has one) * I don't buy granola bars anymore. I make them. (once again, no preservatives, and much cheaper) * I've started to can meat. When there's a good deal on chicken breasts (recently $.99/lb), I buy a bunch and can it. Thanks Cherie for helping me.
These are just a few things I do, but it has really made a huge difference in our food bill. When I have money left over in our food budget, I've been stocking up for our food storage. I'm really trying to get a working 3 month supply going, and we are on our way. I get so much satisfaction from making good, nutritious meals, saving money, and getting our food storage going.
"'Cuz if getting food storage and eating healthy meals is wrong, I don't want to be right." -- Marcus Green
you drugged your child? Because I did it Monday night. Yep. This cute little girl....
was given a bit of this little girl's ...
seizure medicine. "Oops" doesn't quite cover the thoughts that went through my mind when I realized I had given Callie some of this. I was pretty panicked and shaken up all night.
I'm a busy person, but I usually keep the important things in order -- like Sammy's medicine. Of all the stupid things. Callie was sitting in her high chair. I was feeding her dinner, while giving Sammy her medicine as she clung to Callie's chair. I gave Sammy her Topamax. She sat down. I gave Callie a bite of dinner. I filled the little syringe-thing to 5 mL and gave it to my child. I thought, "Wow. Sammy doesn't normally suck out the medicine quite like this." That's when I realized that Sammy wasn't sucking out the medicine. It was Callie! AH! She had 1 mL of the Trileptal -- an anti-seizure medication that is also used for Bi-Polar. Not one of my finest mothering moments. Callie was upset that I took the medicine away from her and started to cry. I gave Samantha the right dose and immediately called a nurse in our ward. I'm pretty sure he thought I was an idiot and considered calling Child Protective Services. Luckily he didn't call, and luckily, luckily Callie was fine. Trileptal takes a couple weeks to get in your system, and she had a pretty small amount, but still! I mean, really. Who does that?
Some of you reading this will be appalled and think "How could anyone do that?" Some of you may think it's a little comical -- only because nothing bad resulted from my stupidity. It is definitely a story that will be passed down in our family, I'm sure...and we will probably laugh about it -- but I felt so incredibly horrible. Boy did that experience make me slow down a little bit. That will never happen again.
The girls were not cooperating, so these were the best we got. Too bad because they looked so dang cute. Oh well. And, I'm really hating that I look pregnant in this family picture, but again, oh well. I'm not pregnant, I assure you all. It's the angle I swear! It's the ANGLE!!! Though wouldn't that add quite a bit of excitement in our lives that I really don't want.
So, Sammy had Speech this morning...and we have some great news. After their session, Carly came out with Sammy as she does each and every time. Sammy looked at me and in her sweet little high pitched voice, said, "hi." "Well, hi Sammy." Carly then proceeded to tell me that the entire time they were working, Sammy would say "hi" every time someone walked in the room. She would walk up to the mirror and say "hi." Tammy, another SLP who knows Sammy quite well, came in and then left the room. When she left, Sammy said "Bye." She didn't say "bye" again during the morning, but she continued to say "iiiii" when people would leave the room. Carly and Tammy both really felt Samantha was saying hi and bye (or iiii) with purpose. Carly was so excited, as was I. Being in that we've been at this place since August, I've made friends with the other moms and dads who bring their kids to the Achieve Center. So, when they all heard the news about Sammy's session, everyone started cheering and Sammy just smiled so big and proud! I was so excited I started jumping around with Sammy in my arms and Callie in my other arm -- in her carseat. Picture that one. Kind of crazy, but that's ok. Progress is happiness. Go Sammy!
Am I amazing or what?! One night Marcus casually asked me to participate in the NCAA tournament bracket with some of his friends. Sure. Why not? So, I picked my teams. And, here you go folks. I called it. Pay attention to the 99.67%. That means, for all you out of the loop, that my bracket is more accurate than 99.67% of all those guys across the country to claim to know a thing or two about college basketball. HA! I laugh in your face! (Marcus got 79% -- way to go...but not quite 99.67%)
I'm thoroughly disgusted with Calphalon. I loved my pots and pans, but after a short 4 years they are starting to peel. I have been very careful with them, but alas, it's time to move on. So, we're going stainless steel. I don't want to spend the money on a high end brand, but we're willing to spend a what we need to get a good set. Any suggestions? I've seen Bialetti, Ever Wear, and T-Fal sets that look good, but I can't decide. Does anyone have input on stainless steel brands?
Today is Marcus' birthday! Happy Birthday baby!:) So, for this super husband and super dad, we went all out. To celebrate a birthday for a 30 year old kid, there are certain things one must do.
1) Have a theme. It was obvious what I must do. Superman.
One of his gifts -- I was pretty excited about this one.
2) Go to the park.
3) Make his favorite dinner -- masman chicken (mmm Thai food. This happens to look disgusting, but it's really yummy.) Make extra so he can enjoy his birthday for lunch during the week.
4) Open presents. This year Marcus did pretty well. From me he got the picture (see above) of Superman and Lois Lane, The Office Season 4, Swiss Miss Pudding for lunches. From Sammy and Callie -- Whey Protein. From his mom and dad -- money and See's candy. From my mom and dad -- a new GPS.
5) Sing a Happy Birthday solo, unless you have babies who can sing as well.
Today was such a beautiful day, finally, we decided to take part of the afternoon and go to the park. (Thanks April and Bryant for letting us use your camera for the day.)
Sammy on the swing.
We have been working very hard on trying to get Sammy to hold our hand while she walks. It's one of the goals I set with her physical therapist when we moved here. It was one of my priorities. It's just too dangerous to have her walking around all over the place, and as she grows, I won't be able to carry her everywhere. I practice as much as I can. She has been getting better and better, and today Marcus was able to see how far she's come. She walked all around the park holding our hands. What a sweet little girl! (Note: These are the cute black shoes I bought at Walmart. I love them! And she really walks well in them.)
Sammy loved this pole. I couldn't get her away from it! What an angel.
Callie was a little unsure about this, but she stayed on for a few seconds. Enough to get a picture anyway.
Back on the swings. Callie giggled so much! She would put her head way back as she swung to and fro and just laugh and laugh. It was so funny. She could stay on those swings all day.
Though it makes me a little nervous, don't worry...she never fell out of the swing.
Just recently we realized how big Callie is getting. She is a little girl now...shorter than most her age, but still, such a little girl. She loves her headbands, shoes, and feeding herself with a fork. She is so cute, and getting cuter everyday.