Sunday, March 20, 2011

Croissant French Toast with Fresh Strawberries

This is one of my all time favorites. Its out of Southern Living magazine, and what isn't fabulous out of that magazine????
First of all, you must start with the most skilled kitchen helpers around. They must be fresh out of bed and in their pajamas
Then you take your large croissants and slice them in half. Whisk together 3/4 C milk, 2 large eggs, and 1 tsp of vanilla. The girls and I have this thing with vanilla. It absolutely can not be imitation. And we always, always take a big sniff and "ahhhhhhh" before we use it. Its like our pregame ritual. Then you melt some butter on your skillet, dip the croissants in your milk/egg/vanilla mixture on both sides, and brown. Then top with your sliced fresh strawberries that have been in the refrigerator overnight with 1/2 c of sugar. You could also top with whipped cream, but we went with powdered sugar. And here is my oh so NOT Pioneer Woman photo of our finished product. But this, with coffee and the Sunday morning paper.....bliss. Except watch it, you might get caught up in the bliss and be late for church...just sayin.


Just Finish?!

My training schedule deems Saturday the "long run" day. So when your training, that is the day of the week you get your longest run in, be it 4 miles or 10. As of today, I've officially switched my long run day to Sunday. I wish I could describe to you how it feels to be alone, in the wee hours of the morning, with the moon low in the western sky, with nothing but your ipod and your thoughts. Literally no one is out of bed at 6am on a Sunday morning. And there's something that just refuels me. Now I'll be honest, my run wasn't all euphoric this morning. The wind was something fierce, and halfway through, I got a side stitch and my right knee started to hurt. I had to slow my pace down quite a bit. So about the last mile, I was literally talking myself out of walking home. I just kept telling myself to just finish. That last few blocks I'm usually picking up my pace, racing to my mailbox where my Propel water awaits me. Today, I did good to just not walk.

So here's my little bit of Sunday morning encouragement. Sometimes, it doesn't matter if you finish strong. It just matters that you finish.

Profound, I know.

Now, I'm off to make something super delicious for the fam for Sunday morning breakfast before church. I'll be sure to post pics and a recipe!!!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Biscuits - and we're not talking out of a can


Well, spring break week is coming to a close, for some weird reason, I have not gotten to get my bake on. But tonight I did bust out some homemade biscuits. Tonight was breakfast for dinner. One of our family fav's. They are sooooo simple, and sooooo much better than the canned ones. Just take 10 more minutes and make these. Your body will heart you for skipping most of the preservatives , and your family will thank you for some tasty biscuits.


2 1/4 c. flour

1 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt


fluff together with pastry blender in a large bowl


blend in 1/2 c shortening ( I use butter flavor crisco sticks) with pastry blender until coarse pea like texture


1 c milk.


Add the milk and stir.


You could get out a mat, flour it, and roll your dough out and cut nice little circles. But because i'm usually in a hurry, I flour my hands and then shape them into circles and slap them on the baking pan.


Bake at 450 degrees for 10-12 minutes


And you get what you see above..... mmmmmm


Saturday, March 12, 2011

I've got an itch

Working full time doesn't led itself for a lot of "play" time in the kitchen. And I have to say I miss that. So with it being Spring Break this week, and I have a few days off, I'm going to spend some of it on the kitchen.

And I am allllll about this blog right here.

I'm soooo about to get my Martha on.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Evening with the Elephants

Our zoo sent our elephants away 2 years ago to another zoo, so they could make little baby elephants. Well now our elephants are back, and one is pregnant. Our zoo has made them an incredible new home that we got a sneek peek of tonight. I met my mom and kids afterwork to go check it out. I have to say, it was pretty impressive. The weather was perfect and the tram was free! Here's a few pics of our fun evening.

Rene' refused to be in this picture





















Wednesday, March 9, 2011

I feel like I need to start this with a little disclaimer. We all know life is not giggles and roses, although we'd love for it to be. Me especially. And there are many a blog out there where your going to get that. But this, is not one of them. I want people in my life who can get real with me, and not pretend that they're perfect, or their families are perfect, because we all know it isn't true. And we just traipse through the mud together, holding each other's hands, no matter how dirty or tired we get. And because of that, I'm going to always be real here.

Ok, that said, I've gotten my feelings hurt. In 2 totally different relationships. And I'm honestly trying to figure out exactly how I should handle it. My initial response is to jump on my high horse, and make my totally right point known. On the other hand, I want to say nothing, back away, and leave the other person wondering what happened. Part of the problem is I feel like I'm a little misunderstood. Like unfair expectations have been placed on me. And while I'd love to be that person I'm expected to be, at this point in my life, there is no way I can be.

I'm afraid the theme of 2011 has become for me the simple word "grace". I'm realizing I need a whole lot of it. And realizing I need to extend it in return.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sleep

I've made it no secret that I'm a girl who needs her sleep. Being a morning person, I'm lucky if I make it until 10:00pm. And honestly, if I don't get my sleep, I'm pretty sure you don't want to be around me. I'm short tempered, snippy, and an all around unpleasant person. I can feel it when it comes on, and as an adult, I try to recognize it and get myself either a nap, or to bed altogether.

So, in the spirit of self learning, you would think I could recognize this in my children, and make the necessary adjustments. After all, they have half of my DNA.

Wrong.

I knew when i came home this evening, after I looked at Rene' wrong and she gave me a dirty look, that it just might be a long evening. Andy was quick to let me know she didn't get a good nap. Again, that should have been my 2nd clue. The rest of the evening entailed small fits, lots of crying, and a spanking. And in hindsight, I should have put her to bed at 6:30. I asked myself, as I walked out of her room, after putting her to bed "Why do I constantly make the same mistake over, and over?" One of my friends made a comment I have never forgotten. "Sometimes our kids are just begging us to save them from themselves". Tonight was one of those nights. I'm promising myself, no matter what the evening's plans entail, if I see any of the above mentioned clues, I'm going to take action. For the sake of us all, especially the one needing sleep.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Basketball


Zak had his last basketball game yesterday. His sweet little team pulled out their first win, on their final game.


He stated at the beginning of the school year that he wanted to play basketball. He's played soccer, and baseball. And I want him to try things out and see what he likes, and what he's good at. We will most definitely not keep up 3 separate sports as he gets older. I'm a firm believer on not throwing kids in a million activities and preserving what little time we have at home together. But I also want to recognize their talents, and let them have the opportunity to refine them. So, basketball in the fall it was.


There's no other way to describe the season, other than brutal. Within the first 5 minutes of their first practice, I quickly realized, I might have made a mistake. Zak had just turned 8 in Oct, so I put him in the 8, 9, and 10 year old league. He was the shortest kid on the team, but seemed to pick up the drills ok. I talked to his coach after the practice and told him I thought maybe I needed to move him down to the 5, 6, and 7 year old league. He told me to do whatever I saw fit, but that he'd love to have him on the team. Well, I called the next day to see if we could change, and was told they couldn't "play down" a league. In other words, it wouldn't be fair for an 8 year old to play with 5, 6, and 7 year olds. Seeing her point, I sighed and said ok.


I catch a fair amount of flack from a few friends for putting my kids in the "recreational leagues". There is a local church that has a very well run program, and those are the leagues we play in. But the way I see it, if my kids going to be a superstar in a sport, it doesn't matter what league he plays in when he's 8. He's either got the talent or he/she doesn't.


So as the games started, I had forgotten something about myself. I'm really competitive. I found myself yelling directions to the kids (namely my son), cheering the loudest, and feeling my blood pressure rise. I so did not think I was that parent. And I plan on making sure, I'm not. But I still wanted our team to win. Now I played basket ball in the 4th grade. And I always fouled out. I wasn't afraid to be aggressive - to my determent. So to have a son, who is really out there, just to play and have fun, is a little hard to swallow. Zak hangs back, and doesn't go for the ball, like I think he should. He trots up and down the court paying more attention to the fact of whether or not we're videoing him correctly.


But they won their last game, and he was over the moon. I love my overly excited, short son. He may not be a superstar athlete (altho I'd so love for him to be). But man, I love that kid.

Good job Zak!!!

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life (sigh)

I apologize for the late post. Its amazing how life just continues on. Sometimes, I'm ahead of the game, ready for whatever comes my way. Other times, like the past week, I feel like its dragging me behind it, while I frantically try to catch up.

I went to one of my dearest friend's mom's funeral today. She fought a long hard battle with cancer. I have very fond memories of her mom. She was the mom who loaded up her van at all hours of the night to go TPing with a bunch of middle school giggly girls. There was always food galore (I remember the cakes for some reason) when we would go to her house. Sweet, sweet woman. I felt terribly for my friend. Its so hard to sit back and watch someone you love be in pain over something you can not fix for them. But there's also something to be said for mourning together. I sat on that pew in the church with 5 of my closest friends and my mom. We all grew up together from those early middle school days, and have remained close friends. Those are my "go to girls". If I needed anything, I know they'd be there in a heartbeat, with outstretched arms, or a reality check. Whichever was necessary, maybe even both. Those are the best friends to have, and I think they're few and far between.

And what is so terrible, is that I just looked for a picture of all of us together to post here, and I can't find one. I'm putting that on the to do list. And I'll come back and post it.

Be thankful for your friends people. Good ones are few and far between.