Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Home Again

The boys in my little house on my little street love smoothies in the morning...but I am pretty sure they aren't as glamorous as some people's smoothies.

A splash of orange juice, a handful of frozen berries, half a banana and a few fresh berries blended all together.  Nothing creamy in there, thankyouverymuch.

As for me...I like my fruit whole much, much better.  I'm kinda weird like that.  But seriously, is there anything better than a really crisp, juicy apple?

Yesterday morning was Bible Study and after a very brief 'wanna ditch and go to breakfast instead?' thought while in the parking lot (gotta love temptation....sigh) we went on in and it was fabulous.  As always.

And after?  Bento boxes and girl therapy.

The perfect Tuesday.

Well, sort of.  

My oldest got sick on sick that he couldn't travel home with the group and had to stay behind.  Ugh.  What is it with our family, Las Vegas and food poisoning?  Poor thing.  All is well and he'll soon be on a plane home.  Weighing less.

That guy that I like so much IS home (and off from work the rest of the week!) and I happily relinquished my spot in the middle of the bed and the cats are back to being they listen.  Gotta love cats.  


Time to get our garden ready for Spring.


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Needing to Chill Out

This has been a long week.  And, wait for it, it's only Tuesday.


In my defense, that guy that I like so much skipped town (with 50 college students) and there's just something about him being gone over a weekend that makes it feel like it's not a weekend at all.  And time just seems to move sooooo slowly.

But he comes home tonight and so this is kinda sorta like Friday.  At least to me.

I've been grumpy.  I met a friend at Marmalade's for breakfast, but lo an behold and sadly's shut down.  Just like most restaurants at the District...but oh, how I will miss the granola pancakes (purchased with the buy one, get one free coupon) in front of the fireplace.

So we hopped across the way and sat in the sunshine and I had a sugar free raspberry mocha in a big 'ole mug.  Yummy.

And then?  Ugh.  I cried for a solid hour with my girlfriend.  Not just a sniffly cry but an ugly cry and she, being the kind of friend that she is, cried right along side me.  And she had nothing to cry about.


The bottom line?  My job has gotten SO bad that I almost can't handle it.  And she listened and listened and listened some more.  June will be here soon.  Right?

So then I came home and dug around my paint collection for any color already owned paint that could cover up the daffodil yellow I once painted the laundry room...and lucky me, I found some chocolate brown.  Milk chocolate brown.

I got as far as a test patch and I like it...with white shelves.  Now to unload everything and get started with the primer.  

Sunday morning was rough in every sense of the word.  The drive to church has suddenly become hard...the 30 minute drive that used to be all about us being all together is now about us being apart.  And I'm not handling it too well.

Brian dawdled.  I got angry.  I sped, got a ticket and told Brian it was because he dawdled.

My mothering these days?

Not good.  Not good at all.


Oh, and in a funny twist?  My job (that I don't like so much) has me working with cops...and one of them 'fixed' my ticket.  For reals.  Pretty sure it's God's way of telling me to 'chill out.'

So, I'm trying to have an attitude adjustment and find the good, rather than dwell in the bad.

My job will end in June and financially, that will be ok.  Two weeks after Easter we will once again be worshipping in the same place, at the same time...only this time it will be 3 blocks from our little house.  That guy that I like so much comes home today and is on Spring Break the rest of this week.  Yippee!  

All will be well.

Deep breath.


Monday, February 27, 2012

He's 22!

Twenty two years ago, I became a mama.

So thankful.

The boy who cried EVERY SINGLE DAY of kindergarten is graduating college soon.  

Time flies when you're having fun.


Happy Birthday, Matteo.  Happy Birthday.

(Mama loves you.  Lots.)

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Cookie Brownie Madness

That guy that I like so much is away and I am here with too much time on my hands.  Sigh.  I've had a pretty productive day, though...I cleaned out my closet and painted a test patch of wall in my laundry room.  Goodbye daffodil yellow; hello milk chocolate. 

And in between?  Hours watching the Hallmark Channel and playing on Pinterest.  

Anywhooo....there's a recipe floating around there with a name I don't like but sounded so wickedly yummy yet bad for you that I had to make it.  But I changed the name to Cookie Brownies because, well, I have a 13 year old in my house and while I can't control words used outside of our little house, I can control them inside.  Because I'm the mom.

But the girl who created these?  Genius.  


So, you spread a roll of cookie dough in a pan and then top it with double stuffed oreos.  Laugh a little while you are doing this because it just seems so....wrong.  Yet right.  Yet wrong.

Then, mix up a box of brownie mix.  Continue to think to yourself, 'this is SO bad' the whole time you are stirring.  Bad as in good.  Pour that batter right  over the top of the cookies and smooth it out.

 Throw it in the oven and bake it for 30 minutes...and only 30 minutes.  It's gotta be still ooey and gooey because the the person who came up with this said so.  And I believe her.

Resist the urge to dig in right away.  Let it cool just a bit and then scoop it into bowls.

And oh my.


It is yummy.  Beyond yummy.

Trust's very, very worth it.


Cookie Brownies
(original recipe from HERE)

1 box chocolate chip cookie mix, made as directed on package.  (I used a refrigerated roll of dough)
1 package double stuff oreos
1 box brownie mix, made as directed on package

Preheat oven to 350.  Spread prepared cookie dough in a 9 X 13 pan.  Top with a single layer of oreos.  Pour brownie batter over the top.  Bake for 30 minutes...the top will looked cooked but it should still be gooey underneath.  Cool slightly, scoop into bowls and pray that your sons invite friends over to eat it so that you don't eat it all by yourself. The End.  =0)

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Whizzing On By

Somehow this week has whizzed (that just makes me laugh for some pathetic reason!) right on by.  I was actually shocked this afternoon when I realized that it is already Thursday.  Not that I've accomplished anything this fact, I've felt kinda sluggish and grumpy (AND I have the mother of all cold sores on my lip...too much info?) all week.  Oh well.

I made a lasagna earlier this week and have been eating it for lunch every day since then.  And I still like it.  I'm weird like that...I can watch the same movie over and over and over and the same with food.  If I like it, I can eat it again and again until one day, well...until one day I can't.

I drove to LA late, late at night to pick up the prodigal son from his trip back east.  He liked the school in Boston a lot (New England Conservatory)...Philadelphia (Temple) was ok.  Grad school decisions are easier on the parental unit, that's for sure.  We listen and nod and smile.  

I'm still struggling my way through James, but LOVING our discussions.  And snack time.  


Gas prices.  Oh my.  $4.05 last time I filled up...that same station was $4.35 this morning.  And I drive a gas guzzler...a PAID FOR gas guzzler.  That Vespa is sounding better and better and better.

My kitchen is my very favorite place to be.  It's not big.  It's not fancy.  It's just...I don't know.  Me.  It's my happy place especially when the sun streams in through the window.

Suddenly Lent is here and I couldn't be happier.  I love Lent...I love the time for growth and focus and spiritual renewal.  My fig tree agrees.  Every branch is bursting into life.  Every. Single.  Branch.  There's gonna be figs until the cows come home...which basically means forever since my town doesn't have a cow in sight.


How is your week going?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

A Strong Cord

Earlier this week I was blessed to gather with some of my favorite peeps for brunch at my neighbors.  It was Monday...the end of a full and busy weekend and the start of what I knew was going to be a full and busy week.  

But Monday?  Plenty of time for some girl time.


I love hosting parties. the planning and the prepping and the whole energy that having people I really like in our little house and garden brings.

But as much as I love hosting, I love being a guest.  I get what it takes to set a pretty table and make the food and clean the bathroom that the people will be using...but to be able to walk in and just 'be' is so lovely.  And relaxing.  And fun.

This group of woman, as different as we all are, are so much alike in the big ways.  We love God.  We love our families.  We struggle with the things wives and mothers struggle with and over the years have gotten to that place where we can just be real and share and laugh and cry and share our worries and share our joy.

Ecclesiastes 4 talks about what we think is the power of two...of if one falls down, the other will help them up, if two lie down together they will be warm, if two are together they will not be easily overpowered.  We then learn that it's not about two, but three...that if God is a part of the two then the two become three.  And three is not easily broken.

I have always thought of those verses as wedding verses...and they are.  They were a part of ours.  But as I was sitting at my girlfriends table, eating delicious spinach quiche and drinking tea and listening to my friends chat away, I kept thinking that those verses aren't just for marriage but that they are for friendships, too.  

And the reason we can be real and just be us is because our cord is strong.


Those few hours on Monday morning have held me all week...all the problems at work and worries about my boys and and the fact that I miss that guy that I like so much (and he is here, in town...but working SO much that it feels like he isn't in town) that it almost hurts, well, those few hours just fed me for the week.  

Physically.  Emotionally.  Spiritually.    

I am so thankful.


Friday, February 17, 2012

What's Been Up This Week

Yeah, he looks like his dad...but his personality?  All his Mom's.  And once again, sorry Mom for my teen years.  I get it now.


Chocolate chip pancakes on a Saturday morning and my absolute new favorite...oatmeal pancakes.  I had a bunch (as in 50 or one eats the original flavor out of the giant Costco box) of instant oatmeal packets and just added a bunch of them to regular pancake mix.  With berry syrup?  Perfection on a plate.

Also last Saturday...the Laker girls were at the gym.  Alex and his best friend (since kindergarten!) just had to boy's flat top cracks me up.  He's going for 5 inches...I'm choosing to not say a word in the hopes that the novelty will wear off and he'll cut it.  

Repeat after's just hair.  It's just hair.  It's just hair.

They scored brother points by getting Brian an autograph.

My bible study is doing the new Beth Moore study of James.  It's intense, in a good way intense.  There are different levels and one of them is to write the book out by hand as we're working our way through it.  The other?  To memorize the WHOLE book.  I will say, scripture is so powerful when read out I've been doing just that lately.

Our final basketball game...a CIF game, was Wednesday night and our boys lost. And it was OK...because as they said after,  'you gotta lose at some point'.
I absolutely adore all these's unlike anything I can put into words.  The parents are my friends and the boys are like has been pure joy to see them each and every week.  Of the 8 seniors, 7 have been on the same team since 4th grade.  Considering the fact that we've played year round,  roughly 48 weeks a year for those 8 years...well, it's been a big part of our life.  

I will miss it so much.

And my boy?  He declared (and what's scary is that everyone listens) the day after a 'ditch day' so they could all 'hang out, eat cartons of ice cream and watch The Notebook'.  So that's what they did...too funny!


I am happy that it's Friday!

What are your weekend plans?

Thursday, February 16, 2012


Sometime between the time when normal people go to sleep and normal people wake up,  I climbed in my car and went to pick up my oldest from his college.

It was dark.  And cold.  And there was a police car on my street which kinda freaked me out...I mean, why was there a police car on my little street?

I don't usually drive at 4 something or another in the morning and the world is a very interesting place at that hour of the day.  Quiet.  Still.  Lonely.

It made me thankful for warmth.  My little house is just that...little, but it is warm inside.  And anything but still and quiet and lonely...even when all my males are sleeping.  

I spent the whole drive to Matthew's college dorm praying for those who are cold.  And don't have a roof over their heads.  Or food in their bellies.  We (meaning me...and my boys) often (sadly) take that for granted...and when I do remember, it makes me feel ashamed.  

Picked Matthew up and drove to Los Angeles, where he and his four trumpets (all different, but that's all that I know about them!) boarded a big plane (while it was still dark) to the whole other side of the country where he is continuing his grad school search.

Not sure how to pray for all of this (aside from safe travels) so I just pray for God's will be done.  For His guidance in where my flock will end up.

But still hoping it'll be close.  That whole commune idea?  Sounds mighty fine to me.


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Happy Love Day

Valentine's Day arrived right alongside a lovely winter sniffly sneezy watery eyes cold.  

Hooray for me.


I decided to hibernate today and watched movies while doing laundry and catching up on some work...hoping that maybe one lazy day might make this cold get bored with me and move on its merry way.  It ended up being truly glorious...aside from having to blow my nose every two minutes.

 I did make supper...chicken cacciatore, which I stuck in the crock pot and let simmer the day away.  Our usual tradition is to do a special breakfast...even on school days, but with teenagers that doesn't go over quite as well as it did when the boys were younger.  

Sleep trumps donuts.  It's a boy thing.  Another boy thing?  I told them they could eat dessert first and there was much gnashing of teeth and roaring of roars and grumbling of words.  Turns out boys don't want dessert first...they want MEAT.  And bread.  And then dessert.

How many girls would turn down dessert first?


I, along with every other human in the free world, made Ree's Pot de Creme from her Saturday morning cooking show last weekend.  And let me tell you...this recipe is THE BOMB.  I served it in martini glasses (I made 5 and it was too much, not that anyone complained...but I think it'll make 8 perfect servings) and this will now be one of my 'go to' desserts after any party we have.    It's that good AND easy...the kind of easy that saves your sanity when throwing a party with the bonus that it tastes like you spent hours making it.



Thursday, February 9, 2012

And Just Like That...'s over.

(the boys went retro...LOL!  Alex is #25, in front.)
 The thing is...I get music.  Band.  Drum and Bugle Corps.  Theater.  Choir.

I get all that.  And it's a blast.  

The whole sports thing?  Kinda foreign to me...or at least it was until I gave birth to my middle boy.  It has been SO MUCH much for him as for me.  The first time he played basketball in 4th grade we knew he had some talent in that skinny little body of his, but who would've known it would evolve into years of sitting in gyms and traveling and deep friendships?

Not me...but what a fun ride it has been.


Last night was Senior Night...the very last league game for Alex.  We got to escort him onto the court and then cheer him on to a win.  Of the 8 seniors, 7 have played on the same team since 4th grade...and being crazy, dug out retro (as in the 80's) uniforms and played in the shortest shorts I have ever seen.  Too funny.  They are headed to play-off's next week, so we do have at least one more game...whew.

And Matteo?  I'm bringing my basketball cheering to your senior recital.  Gonna liven up the crowd.  Be warned.


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