Tuesday, December 29, 2009

all i need and want

here are two pics from yesterday. i cannot even believe they are my off spring! especially topher. he does not look even remotely asian to me. anyhoo, in his pic is sporting his new phoenix suns sweatshirt that he got from jeehon imo, and holding a nerf basketball that has a few bite marks in it, that chris got for him. (and he is wearing one of my hats that almost fits him!) topher is all about basketball right now,especially the two that he is holding in this picture. he wants to bring them everywhere. they have to be in his crib when he goes to sleep. he throws them in his crib, and then tries to climb in after them. it has made putting him to bed a dream. i told chris the other day that topher could not wait to get into bed to play with his balls. chris said that was not something a mother should report happily about her son. whatev. but chris is SO HAPPY to see his little boy, his name sake, loving basketball. though not necessary, it's a nice bonus.

the other pic is of lily strutting her stuff. her aunt lindsay got her the tutu and the matching explosion of tulle and flowers on her head. you could call it a headband, but it's just so much more than that. lily LOVES this present. when she sees it, she says "princess?" and puts it on and twirls and poses and laughs till she's about to throw up. it's ridiculously adorable. she then says "cheese?" as in "get off your lazy butt, find the camera, and start capturing the wonderment of these moments woman!" and then she poses more. here she is wearing my sunglasses and holding the phone. a real woman about town. yes i complain about my lils. a lot. she drives me crazy! i don't know why she still wants to sleep in our bed. and i don't know why she won't just pee on the potty. BUT she clearly has a mind of her own, complete with attitude, charm, heart, and personality. if you ask any parent what they want for their child, the number one answer is good health. especially if that parent has a sick child, or knows a child that is sick. everything else is gravy. lily is made of gravy.

today was a funny day. topher came up to me and made me crouch down next to him. he looked at me. reached for my glasses. took them off. put them on the floor. and walked away. i think he was telling me i look like an ugly nerd. then lily did her usual thing of being an almost-3-year-old which is cute and trying. she is always quick to say 'sorry mom!' if she does something that she knows is not allowed. if i make a noise like i am actually vexed though, she is quiet for a second and asks: "are you happy mom?" it kinda breaks my heart. she doesn't want to make me sad. i just love love love my kids.

anyhoo, back to my day. december has kicked our finances in the behind. we a little bit over spent. oopsee. i saw our bank statement yesterday and noticed that there was probably just enough to cover our first of the month bills. just enough, if not a little shy of the mark. this is never a good feeling. and chris had just gotten paid. and we hadn't even tithed yet cause i forgot our check book on sunday. and then another thing came up that chris and i had promised we would give to. so we swallowed our common sense and gave. and you know what? God gave back! big times. we got a check that we have been waiting MONTHS and MONTHS and MONTHS for! and God conveniently waited for TODAY to give it to us! not before we gave back to Him, when it would have been easy to give. but just a few seconds after.

God has given us SO MUCH. He gave us his Son to die for us. I say it often, but that's just to keep reminding myself that that's all that matters. and yet He keeps on giving. so lavishly. so excessively. and His timing is of course- impeccable. i am amazed when God gives me the things that i need. and some of those things are things i didn't even know i wanted in the first place. but now that i've got em, i need em! i just love love love my God.

Christmas and Weddings

it really struck me on december 26th this year that Christmas is a lot like a wedding.

1.you spend a butt-load of money. everything involved in a wedding- dresses/tuxes, food, location, gifts, bombaniers, center pieces, flowers, etc. etc.; or presents for kids, your parents, your in-laws, your nieces and nephews, your boss, cookies for the neighbors, a million white-elephant gifts, stocking stuffers, stocking stuffers, and more stocking stuffers!

2.you have a bunch of pre-parties before the big shabang. bridal showers, bachelor/bachelorette parties, rehearsal dinner; or a million small group parties, work parties, christmas eve dinner, 50 christmas eve services at church.

3. the day comes and it's AWESOME. family, friends, food galore! who could want anything more? but then in the grand scheme of things- it's just ONE DAY. we prepared for this day for weeks and weeks and weeks, and dropped tons and tons of cash (even though we tried SO HARD not to!) all for one day. you have sex on your wedding night. most of the time. but sometimes, as on christmas night- you don't have sex cause you are too tired, and you're broke.

4. the next day you are still tired. and still broke. and you are sitting in your living room in the midst of awesome new presents and so much wrapping paper that you are pretty sure you can hear trees actually wimpering.

5. you are SO glad it's ALL over. you are SO not looking forward to looking at your bank statement or credit card bills. but you had SO much fun and you are kinda looking forward to diong it all over again next year. (Christmas only. Weddings are too stressful to do more than once in a lifetime.)

hope you all had great Christmases. happy belated birthday Jesus!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Celebration Weekend: Part 2

today i will talk about the presents and the 'parties' from our awesome celebration weekend. this is very fitting because tomorrow is christmas and chris and i will not be exchanging presents, so it's good to remind myself that i got hooked up last weekend!

chris and i try to incorporate the 'traditional anniversary gifts' every year, but we've managed to screw it up every year except for the first. the first year is paper, and that went over really well. chris wrote me an awesome poem that is still sitting on our dresser. i wrote out our 525,600 minutes of married life. a good portion of my life spent writing that, which i will never get back. then for some reason i thought i read that the 2nd anniversary was supposed to be wood. so i made something for chris out of wood, and he bought me a bag of firewood with a coupon that said he would make me dinner one night and we would eat it by the fireplace. never happened people! i need to find that coupon so i can redeem it... by the way, cotton is the material for the 2nd year. then the third year gift is supposed to be leather. for some reason i am drawing a complete blank on last year's anniversary. hopefully i blogged about it... i will investigate after this post...

this year's thing was 'fruits and flowers' for the traditional gifts, and 'appliances' for the modren gift. we never do the modern gifts, cause they are so random. sure the traditional ones are random too, but they are the TRADTITIONAL ones. and if you look at the whole gammut of gifts-


on the traditional side, the 20th anniversary is supposed to be showered by china. (not the country) but on the modern side, year 2 is supposed to be marked by china. i don't like it one bit. except for this year. chris got me a cute dress from target that has flowers on it, AND a bissel little green carpet cleaner!!!!! yeah! for all the pooping on the carpet that happens in this family- i really really needed this.

anyway, we had a great anniversary and birthday bash this weekend. chris and i have had four wickedly good years together, and i praise Jesus for that. and, i guess i also thank my super-relaxed and good-looking and good-natured husband for that as well. love you christobear!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Celebration Weekend: Part 1

This weekend we had Chris' 30th birthday and our 4 year wedding anniversary. There is so much to report, so I think I will have to break it up into sections. For this portion, I will cover THE FOOD!

Saturday morning, which was the actual day of the two major events, we woke up late and dillydallied to breakfast. We originally planned on going to breakfast at about 9am, but since Chris got home from work about 5 hours before that time, I decided to let the old guy sleep in for an extra hour. We got to Liberty Market on Gilbert Rd at about 10:30ish. And that was perfect. No line up , tables available, just noisy enough where we aren't yelling at each other to converse, but also not so quiet that I feel bad for having our kids with us.

We ordered the 'American Standard' which consisted of 3 eggs, potatoes, a freshly made biscuit, and bacon. The bacon was made to perfection- a little crispy, but not even close to burnt! This was 8 and a half bucks. Very reasonable. I got 'Grilled Bread Pudding' which was pure awesomeness. I know lots of folks who don't love bread pudding. And because I love them so much, I have nothing bad to say about them. Lainey. Anyhoo, that was 8 bucks. I could have gotten just straight up bread pudding for 3 bucks less, but it was my anniversary and I felt like spending an extra $3 on my food touching a griddle, and coming out with syrup and a serious dusting of powdered sugar. Now, we should have stopped at that, but I wasn't sure how big the portions would be, so I made Chris get a blueberry scone ($3.50) and an extra side of Liberty Potatoes ($3). The scone was deliciousness itself. Very flavorful, and as moist as a scone is allowed to be to still be considered a scone. The Liberty Potatoes were super too. The bill came out to about $17, with 2 coffees to boot, cause it was Chris' bday, and Joe loves people's birthdays. And I LOVE JOE.

We got our overstuffed bodies into the car and zipped over to Joes Real BBQ across the street. Chris walked up to the take-out window, ordered the 3 meat sampler with a side, showed his i.d, and came back to the car with a bag full of free food. Did I mention that I love JOE? This food went directly into the fridge, and made a brief, yet wonderful appearance for lunch after chuch on Sunday.

Then we went to Abuelo's on Chandler Rd. for dinner at about 5:30pm. We were a little pressed for time since we had to be at the Suns game before 7pm, but we decided we would make the most of our dinner together. Cause we were ALONE. not in the restaurant, but without our kids. (Thanks Barb and Jerry!!!!) We ordered our food, and literally waited about 7 minutes. It was ridunculous. And somehow the food tasted fresh, cause you would think with that short a wait time that they have these plates just sitting around waiting to be ordered. Like Mc Donalds or something. I got the steak chimichanga plate, and Chris got steak and chicken fajitas. The food was yummy, the service was awesome, the ambiance was just right. We walked out of there just before 6:30, having paid about $24 for a very filling and delicious meal, complete with two soft drinks, thanks to my 'free entree' coupon! Abuelos es mi amore. (I think that says my grandfather is my love, but I'm not sure cause I failed Spanish in university...)

So, like I mentioned earlier, it was perfect that we had a later breakfast because we were able to get away with just eating an awesome breakfast and an amazing dinner. Obviously we missed a few great free eating hot spots, but my birthday is coming up in a month, so those restaurants will see me and my hungry family soon enough.

Friday, December 18, 2009

Christmas Parties!

i love this time of year. i love buying presents for other people. i love wrapping them up. i love seeing christmas lights strung up on people's houses (and particularly on their cacti on their lawn. i love living in the desert!)i love it all. and i really love christmas shindigs. we've already been to three, and we have four more to go! we went to our small group's party on tuesday, and we also went to the high school volunteers' party a few weeks ago. and we went to chris' work party on sunday. (that was for the guys on his squad.) here are a few of my favorite moments from those parties:

-at the high school volunteers' party:
one of the white elephant gifts was two mostly-eaten boxes of chocolates accompanied with pictures of the giver of the gift eating the chocolates. there was also a note that said: "Your real gift is dinner with the Suiters!" creative. and awesome. chris stole that present and we are looking forward to hanging with the suiters in the new year!

-at our small group party:
-one of the white elephant gifts was a giant bag of peanut m&ms and a note that said 'dinner with chris and jihae!' that seems like such a lame thing for chris and i to do, right? to steal someone else's idea for a gift? except that wasn't one of the gifts that chris and i brought to the party. robert and lindsay put that gift in the pile, unbeknownst to us. pretty much the funniest thing i have seen in a long time, so i can't even be mad that i am being 'forced' to make dinner for another couple. (which we are really looking forward to hanging out with john and betsy!)
-there were lots of lame presents at our white elephant this year. and juan was really trying to 'sell' his gift to anyone who had a turn coming up. he had opened a bag that had a super festive-themed sugar bowl and creamer set. i could only see it froma distance but i think i saw snowmen, santa, and possibly even a menorrah. perfect for a young bachelor like himself... when it was jenny's turn to pick a gift, juan really turned on his sales pitch for the set. jenny looked him straight in the eye and said: "why would i want that? it came from my house!" you had to be there. it was so amazing.

-at chris' work party:
-there are six guys on chris' squad, and all those guys and their families were there, with kids ranging from 12 years old to 2 months old. the kids were all really good about playing together and eating together, and all that. then they started to do that game that, i would love to say only kids play, but unfortunately adults do it too, and it's the "yeah, well i am better/richer/cooler than you" game. the 'game' gets started:
kid 1: "Yeah, well i have an xbox and a playstation..."
kid 2: "Yeah? well i have an xbox, a playstation, and a DS..."
kid 1: "Yeah? my dad has a rifle." (way to change it up!)
kid 2: "Yeah? my dad has a rifle too."
and that's when i wanted to point out to all of the kids at the party that ALL of their dad's had rifles. not a party you would just want to crash folks.
-chris is known as the 'cheap guy' on his squad. he gets ridiculed for his views of not wanting to live in debt, and for driving a '97 town car (c'mon! it's a lincoln for crying out loud!...), and for giving his kids a used gift from craigslist for christmas (a $70 thomas train table complete with tracks and 5 trains. that would have cost us over $160. something we are not looking to spend on out kids any time soon. especially since they still have no idea what christmas really is.) chris continues to have a winning attitude about it all. he embraces it. so the squad did a $25 white elephant gift exchange, and chris decided we should buy a $30 gift and take $5 out of it. so we went to costco, bought a bottle of vodka for about $20, and a bin of chocolates (that were individually wrapped) for $10. we took a good portion of the chocolates out and presented the gift. every one loved it. but in hindsight we probably should have taken out $5 worth of vodka. ;)

anyhoo, hope you are enjoying your holidays as much as i am enjoying mine!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Crazy Love

I finished my second book since living in the apartment a few weeks ago. Truth be told, it's also the second book I have finished for 2009. I am trying to fit in a third before the year is out!

So the book is called 'Crazy love' and it is by a pastor from California, and his name is Francis Chan. Francis is Chinese, he is married and has four kids. He talks about his past a little bit in the book- his mother died giving birth to him, his step-mother died when he was 9, and his father was a hard and emotionless man, who died when Francis was 12. Francis has always been, and continues to be around death in a very real way, performing funerals almost every week. We could go at any moment and find ourselves in front of the judgment seat. What will that look like? What will you say to the Creator of the Universe when you are face to face with Him? We should all have a sense of fear of that day, but also a sense of longing and excitement for that day. But that's all 'shoulds'. Do we? Do you? Do I?

A few days ago I was downloading something to my computer. It said I had 2 minutes till the download would be complete. So I thought that would be a GREAT time to have my quiet time. For two minutes. I actually sat in front of my computer, where I am right now, and I closed my eyes and clasped my hands together and started to pray. I am so grateful that God did not shoot me down with lightning at that very moment. He should have. But He didn't. And that's grace for ya. I had to stop because I felt so disgusting. Chan talks about giving a Holy God our leftovers. He who gave me life, an amazing husband who loves me, 2 healthy and wonderfully crazy kids, a handful of friends, and a gigantic family that loves me; He also happened to create the universe and sent His only Son to die for me on the cross so that I wouldn't have to spend my eternal life in hell, or my earthly life in misery, hopelessness, and meaninglessness. And I was going to give Him as much time as it took to download a program to my computer. And that's it.

The Christian life is not about minutes spent with God however, and I know this. And I am thankful for it. The point of this book is to get to Christians to wake up to the fact that Jesus truly loves us. It's a crazy love, and yet our response to that unconditional and undying love is so- normal. Pathetically so. We, myself very much included, try to appease the Lord our God with a few quick minutes of 'quiet time', read a chapter of the Bible, say a prayer or two, and then we get to check off the 'Did Christianly things today' box on our long list of things to do- which also happens to include 'check e-mail, blog, facebook, watch tv, eat, shower, sleep.'

One of the most memorable things that Chan says in this book is when he talks about the Marine Corps. And why he didn't join it. Because in the commercials for 'The few, the proud, the Marines', they were always running. And Chan hates running. "I didn't bother to ask if they would modify the rules for me so I could run less, and maybe also do fewer push-ups. Tha would have been pointless and stupid, and I knew it. Everyone knows that if you sign up for the Marines, you have to do whatever they tell you. They own you." (p.80)

God tells us to do one thing- to Love. Not to run 3 miles a day. Not to sit and spend 20 minutes with him every day. Or even to read the Bible in a year. Every year. No. God tells us to love Him, with all our heart, soul, and mind. (Matt 22:37) Him. Not money, not acceptance of others, not the internet, etc, etc. Him. Then he tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves. People! Not things! (thanks for the extra reminder in your post Cindy) He calls us to love Him, and to love each other. This translates into being a good and dependable friend, a loving mother, a responsible father, a respectable husband, a kind stranger, a generous human being.

God's love is crazy, and it takes a lot of courage and wisdom to even try to almost fathom what that means. "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God." Ephesians 3:16-19.

This is my prayer for myself, and I encourage you to pray this for yourself. I think we all know that God loves us. When will we wholeheartedly respond to that love? HOpefully sooner than later. What will our lives, and the lives of those around us, look like when we respond to that love? I guarantee it will look better than it does now.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

if only we had a fan that crap could hit...

today was a long day. in our efforts to not have lily sleep in our bed, she now wakes up in the middle of the night and cries. last night i went to bed pretty late, and chris came home at about 3 am(from work. not clubbing.) so when lily started crying, no one took notice. except for topher. so chris and i woke up at about 5am to lily and topher crying their heads off. chris brought lily back to bed with him. i slept on the floor in topher's room with topher. only topher didn't sleep. he stared at me. did laps around the room. collapsed on to my face for kisses and hugs. it was all so funny and sweet. if only it hadn't been 5 in the frickin morning.

so that's how the day started. and it didn't get better. chris woke up at about 10ish. we started getting ready to go to costco, when the kids decided they needed a chocolate boost for the day- so they both said they wanted to potty. smart, conniving kids. so we gave them their dues- one m&m for sitting on the potty for at least 15 seconds. and i went to my room to get dressed, and to use the potty myself. topher was running around bare bottom, which happens a lot lately. but of course, today was a disaster. i was in the bathroom for a minute. max. i come out and find topher standing in his own feces that are stamped into the carpet. there is a GIANT turd right in front of me, a smaller turd beside that, and a smooshed turd, and little turdy footsteps leading to where my absolutely wretchedly disgusting son is standing. 'Oh no! Poo poos!' he says. i said the same thing, (in my head!) only using sinful adult vocabulary.

i threw him (almost literally) into my bathtub (where he dropped another baby deuce)and yell for Chris. kinda cause i need his help, but mostly so he can just see what happened. and boy was he disgusted and impressed. i am not joking- it looked like an adult had crapped on my floor. it was a big one. i picked up most of the poop with toilet paper. i scrubbed the crap outta the dirty spots with carpet cleaner and a sponge. there is surprisingly very little evidence left that anything inappropriate happened here today. i then proceeded to give topher a bath, and picked the poo in the bathtub up with my bare hands. cause why waste the toilet paper at this point? i already had stained hands from trying to get poo flakes to go down the drain in the tub.

so that was my day. it got better from there- but come on, how could it have gotten worse? i guess he could have pooed and ate it and then vomitted on the carpet on top of his poops...

Friday, December 11, 2009

You Know You're A Mom When...

-It's 10:40 pm, and because you have children-induced A.D.D, you remember when earlier today there was a punk kid who drove up next to you with their rap music blasting from their cool stereo in their cool car. And you remember thinking: 'Hey that was me, not too long ago. I should drive around blasting my stereo too.' But then you realize 1. You drive a minivan. 2. The music that is usually playing in your mini van is sung by a woman named 'Miss Melody' and she sings about shapes and colors. 3. Even if you were a cool punk kid five years ago, you are not cool anymore for the aforementioned reasons.

-It's 10:43 pm, and you are no longer playa-hatin yourself because you are having the greatest time being BY YOURSELF. The Suns game is on in the background, you are working on various Christmas projects, and you have scissors and other very dangerous things laying around- just cause you can!

-It's 10:45 pm, and you realize you are still wearing clothes that your son peed on while he was peeing on the toilet. Changing right then and there was not an option, but since the kids went down at 8:30, there were numerous opportunities to change your clothes, but you didn't cause 1. It makes you so happy that your son peed on the toilet that it's an honor to get peed on at all. 2. This time by yourself is too precious to waste on changing clothes. That will happen right before you collapse into bed in about an hour or so.

-It's 10:48 pm, and even though you aren't going to go to bed for another hour or so, you can't wait to check up on the kids before you go to bed, so you do it now, cause you love to hear their baby snores, and to see their sweet, chubby-cheeked, beautiful faces in 'rest mode' as opposed to 'i will throw another tantrum cause i feel like it mode'. And you do it again before you pass out into your bed (hopefully not in your urine-stained clothes.)

-It's 10:52 pm, and you know that the only chocolate in the house is in your kids' halloween stash that should have been thrown away a few weeks ago, but it is your happy treat at the end of a hard day (cause you got peed on), and it makes you happy that 1. You are saving your kids from having cavities by eating their hard earned sweets 2. You are eating chocolate.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Thursday's Thing- Eclubs and Free Birthday Food!

What is an Eclub you ask? If you go to a restaurant's website, you will often find a link that says "Eclub", or something of the like. It has been my new hobby for the last two days to enter as many eclubs as humanly possible. "Why?" you ask. Cause Chris' birthday is coming up next week and I want to eat somewhere awesome for as close to free as possible!

So here's what I have come up with so far:
-www.joesrealbbq.com This is one of the bestest restaurants in Arizona. Super family-friendly atmosphere (read: your kids can be loud and no one will shoot you dirty looks.) And very very yummy food. Best of all- you don't even have to sign up on-line to get free food on your birthday! You just show up with your id and you get $10 off of the food you order. The best deal for anyone who wants to drown the sorrows of aging in some great bbq'ed foods.

-www.joesfarmgrill.com This is a cute little restaurant that serves breakfast- waffles, and stuff, and gourmet burgers. It's the exact same deal as the above. Cause it's a 'Joe's' retaurant, and whoever Joe is- he wants you to be happy, full, and not broke on your birthday.

-www.libertymarket.com This is another cute restaurant in Gilbert. I've never been here before, but am jonesing to make a stop. Will probably do so on Chris' birthday, since you get $10 off here too. My gilrfriend Cindy said they have very good salads, sandwiches, and desserts. They open at 7am, so hopefully their breakfast foods are good too. I think 'Joe' owns this fine establishment as well, because apparently 'Joe' owns a good portion of the town of Gilbert. Again- my hat goes off to you Joe. If I could, I would hug you.

-www.redrobin.com Great place to have burgers and shakes. If you sign up for their Eclub, you can get a free burger on your birthday. And I believe you can use it within a week of your actual birthday, which is good, cause there are some places you have to go to ON your birthday, so save this freebie for later on in your birthday week.

-www.abuelos.com This is supposed to be a really nice mexican restaurant with very nice ambiance and awesome food. (This is the word on the street. I have never been personally but am hoping to go soon!) I just signed up for their Eclub, and just for doing an online survey I got a coupon for a free entree! Hoping something even better comes up by Chris' birthday...

Ok. I think I probably should have saved this post till next week, after I actually 'received' things for Chris' birthday (I hope I receive lots of awesome free things for Chris' birthday!) But, the biggest clue that I am going to get something is that they ask for your date of birth in your Eclub registration. Why would you want to know my birthday unless you wanted to shower me with gifts and coupons?!?!?!? So, I guess part 2 of this post will come after the 19th of this month. (I will probably be about 10 lbs heavier after all these good eats!)
I just want you to be aware folks- that there is a lot of good food out there to be eaten (this is the United States of America. Land of the eating-well.) but you can eat well AND not have to miss your mortgage payment.

Happy meal times to all! And especially- Happy Birthdays. Spend your hard earned birthday cash on stuff other than food.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Keepin Up With The Watsons

It's been awhile since I have posted anything about the kids, so here is a little update for you.

Topher has nine teeth. 3 on the bottom, 6 on top. Crazy little guy. But he still manages to take down a lot of food all at once without batting an eyelash. Yesterday he ate an adult-size helping of pancakes. He likes to stuff his mouth with as much food as humanly possible, then somehow he chews it all down, and then he goes in for more. It's gross, but really entertaining. We have high hopes for him to be the future hot dog eating champion in about 10 years.

Lily has a full mouth of teeth but does not like to use them on eating. Her latest, and grossest thing is that she chews up her food and then stores it in her cheeks, or behind her teeth. It is gross and not entertaining and will probably make her teeth rot right out of her head. It is a nightly battle to make her swallow the food she stores. It makes meal time last an extra 10 - 30 minutes. This usually only occurs when there is chicken involved, but sometimes she will mix it up and store some fruit or vegetables.

Topher has peed in the potty twice! That was two weeks ago. He hasn't done it again since. Lily has not peed on the potty since that psychotically communally traumatic time we tried to potty train her moths ago. That's ok tho. No pressure. Altho Santa gave me a heads up that she will be receiving one of those dolls that pees on the potty for Christmas. That should be interesting...

Everyday we try to go on our daily walk to feed the ducks. Topher and I take an extra trip to Discipline Land every day too. He is testing his limits, and my patience, in a big way lately. It is draining for everyone, but hopefully it will be over soon. Like within the next 15 years I hope. Lily also takes strolls through Discipline Ville, but not as fequently as she used to. Yesterday though, we were dropping the kids off at Nana and Papa's before bible study, and us adults were in the kitchen talking, while the kids were playing with a train that goes around the Christmas tree. All was well until we heard some crying in the other room. Topher was laying flat on the ground, under the Christmas tree, crying. Not moving, just crying. Lily was suddenly standing next to me and I asked her what happened. "I don't know," she said. "Did you push Topher?" I asked her. She nodded her head. "Time out!" I told her. And even though pushing is not allowed, being honest is always a good thing, so in that moment I was very proud of my bully of a daughter.

Other than that, things are pretty much the same old, same old. We are getting ready to celebrate Chris' 30th birthday next week, plus our 4 year anniversary on the same day, and then Christmas less than a week later. Things are busy, but things are good. Hope it's the same in your neck of the woods.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Super Simple Recipe- Shepherd's Pie

Today I would like to start throwing out some supereasy recipes that your whole family will love. I will not commit to doing it once a week, cause coming up with a 'Thursday's Thing' every Thursday is already too much stress for me! (Dang it! That's tomorrow!) But if you have any easy family faves, please feel free to share!

This is Chris' favorite right now. Cause it has meat and potatos in it. You can make this as easy, or as complicated as you would like. Depending on what you have in the fridge, and pantry.

Basic Ingredients-
1 lb of ground beef
3-4 potatos
1 cup of frozen mixed veggies
1 can of gravy

This should feed 4-6 normal human beings, but here it only feed Chris, me, and Lily and Topher (and Lily eats about the same amount of food as a regular 4 month old. Not a lot.)

Step 1- Preheat your oven to about 350.
Brown the beef in a pan. Drain the fat. Add as much or as little of the frozen veggies. You can get creative here. If you have mushrooms, celery, green peppers, add those too. We are in a recession folks- veggies are cheaper than meat. This would work especially well if you only had a 1/2 pound of meat. Then add the gravy. I like the Campbells gravy, cause it was pretty flavorful. Then I made it with no-name stuff a few days ago, and it wasn't nearly as flavorful. So taste your meat concoction. You might need to add some salt and pepper here.

Step 2- Make mashed potatos however you normally make mashed potatos. Some milk/cream, butter, a little salt and pepper to taste, sour cream, mayo, whatever you got. My mashed potato top comes out REAL thick. I usually use about 5-6 potatos. Mainly cause I am feeding Chris and he is a pig. And again- cause we are in a recession and potatos are dirt cheap.

Step 3- Throw the meat mixture in the bottom of a pan that can go in the oven. Then put the mashed potatos on top. If you have cheese and you like cheese, then you can throw a layer of it between the meat and potatos, or just cover the top for looks, or both.

Step 4- Put your beautiful pie in the oven for about 15 minutes. If you are making everything right before dinner, then all the ingredients should still be warm/hot, so it's just going in the oven for the cheese to melt, and for the layers to become intimate with one another in the heat of the oven. If you make this a day or two ahead, then you are obviously going to want this to be in the oven for about 30 minutes, or longer, so that your scrumptious meal is warm.

Step 5- Let it sit for a second or two before serving, and enjoy!

(not the best pic. i'm working on it. again- giant potato layer during the recession. maybe there will be a giant meat layer in times of plenty. whenever that day comes...)

Friday, December 4, 2009

My Two Cents About Weddings

i went shopping the other day for about 4 hours. by myself. it was glorious. some of it was grocery shopping (love that wal mart is open till forever.) most of it was Christmas shopping. one thing was a wedding present. i don't know why people get married in december. it's not smart. i know this as a person who is constantly shopping for wedding presents in the midst of my Christmas shopping, but i especially know this as a person whose anniversary is coming up in december. i am as stupid as all them other december brides! nobody wants to buy you a wedding present in december!
i'm not saying this as a person who didn't get a lot of gifts. don't get me wrong- chris and i got hooked up! BUT, i now feel so sorry for the wonderful people we invited to our wedding who had to do extra shopping in december for us. and i am also kinda sorry i got married on a monday night, cause who really wants to go to a wedding on a weekday when you have to go to work the next day? BUT it saved chris and i a ton of $$$$$! (so i am not that sorry!)
so here are my two cents- if you are planning to get married at some point- DO NOT GET MARRIED IN DECEMBER. january is not necessarily your best bet either. let people's bank accounts bounce back. go for april when people are getting their tax returns back. unless you have a lot of delinquent friends and family who you know are going to owe on their taxes. cause they are not going to want to buy you a wedding present then either.
i know weddings are about the union between two people, and two families, and yada yada yada. but there are not many occassions where you are going to be showered with gifts in your life after you hit the age of 16. so future brides and grooms (like guys actually read this blog!) plan wisely, know your audience, and have a great wedding, and an even greater marriage (with all your awesome gifts!)
and also, maybe consider getting married on a monday. it may not be the coolest thing to do, but saving money is way cooler than people want to admit.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Thursday's Thing- Marriage

i think my last three or four posts have been about marriage, so i figured my thursday's thing would be about marriage. i have to say that i am beyond blessed to be married to the amazing chris watson. he is a seriously wonderful person to be married to. sure he farts, and he doesn't like doing housework. i think that makes him a man. but he is SO patient with the kids, and SO patient with me, and he supports me in EVERYTHING i do. most of all, he is very honest. he is honest when he is struggling with personal things, he is honest when he is struggling with things about me, and it is his number one goal to not make me cry. but today's post isn't about chris. it's about marriage. and i am all for marriage (remember? go lamar and khloe!) but more than that God is all for marriage. it is one of his best gifts. and it's a gift that too many people take for granted (tiger woods. oh, i don't even have the words for that subject yet...)

for those who are not yet married, but are planning on getting married soon, check out this website: http://azpastor.com. (why is this not making a direct link?!?!? computers! i don't know how they work.)

what??! is that a shameless plug for my brother-in-law's personal website? YOU BET! robert is one of the most hilarious guys i have ever met. when he and chris are together, you better be wearing a diaper cause you WILL PEE YOUR PANTS. but along with being hilarious, he is also WISE. He has a profound love for Jesus, and it shows in his life, and when he speaks. if you have never heard him teach, go to high school group at 11:59am at Sun Valley Community Church. and if you want someone to marry you, who can seriously cater your ceremony to be the way you want it to be- robert watson is your guy! i have had the pleasure of watching him officiate a good handful of weddings, all very different, all very special.

another great thing you will find on that website is premarital counseling, which robert, and other pastors at Sun Vally offer. and you need it. we all need counseling. cause we are all messed up. and we are marrying another messed up person. it's awesome! God is very good at taking messy people and making them clean. spotlessly clean, actually.

so, for you married people out there- keep on keeping on! choose your marriage, your spouse, over everything else. and for those who are about to embark on the journey- take heart! the path is not easy, but travel it with people who will pray for you, and who are also for your marriage. i want to say that chris and i are so very blessed to have that, which is why we have the marriage that we do. and you will never see us in the paper, with chris crashed into a fire hydrant, and me wielding a 3-iron.