Archive for May, 2009

weekend and stuff.

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

Another pretty productive weekend.  Matt was productive anyway.  He has been on a mission to use less energy, so he installed a big vent thing in the attic and then added some vents in gables.  It was a hard, hot job… but someone had to do it.  Glad it wasn’t me :). It was nice to have the pool ready for quick cool downs between jobs.  I mostly ran errands for the “boys” all day Saturday.  We need cardboard displays

Me & Emelia washed my car.  Emelia can’t stand to not have a part in the action… so here she is washing away. 

carwash

She helped me vacuum and armour all… and then “helped” spray stinky cherry stuff everywhere!

She and Izzy enjoyed some movie/computer time together.

girls

Izzy is wearing one of her newly acquired “orange” shirts from Gram & Melanie.

fave five.

Sunday, May 31st, 2009

After finally clearing out my huge number of unread posts on bloglines, I realized quickly that the general concensus is that blogging is taking a back seat for many people.  I’ve said it before, facebook is just flat out easier than blogging.  Instant social gratification.  You can type one sentence and connect with fifty people you haven’t seen in fifteen years.  But, I still refuse to end the blog.  I like the way I can look back at what happened two years ago in April or what that recipe was that we liked… just by searching my posts.  I still love the blog. 

In honor of “blogging…”  I am gonna list my fave five things I read on other people’s blogs this week.

1.  My friend Dena “growing up girlie” way over in S.C. has an adorable children’s shop.  She has been dabbling in sewing clothes for her sweet little girl Annie (her last name is my maiden name!).  Cool huh?  Well she made this adorable little outfit and I am so on this!  If I ever get a free moment I am going to attempt this for Iz.

dena

2.  I’ve really been intending to make this pizza I saw posted on BIGMAMA‘s blog!

bigmamapizza

3.  This was a great devo on Internet Cafe…

4.  Sandra posted a monkey bread recipe!  Matt made monkey bread when I saw it posted on Pioneer Woman a few weeks ago.  YUM.  Sandra’s reminder made me want to have some this weekend!  Sandra always posts delish recipes.

mb

5.  OHAmanda’s top ten tuesday list!  Love her!

I realize that over half of this post was about food.  There were other interesting things I read on blogs… like some info on the Gosselins I almost wish I hadn’t read, Kat saying she was going to quit blogging, Gail making tents in her dining room with the grandkids which reminded me of the tents we used to make in the dining room, and lots of other fun stuff.  Amazon books rock.

Visit Susanne to share your fave five!

so far…

Tuesday, May 26th, 2009

We had this recipe for spaghetti & meatballs last night…

Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meatballs:

  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 slice white bread, cut into cubes
  • 1 pound 80 percent lean ground beef
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 sticks mozzarella string cheese, cut into small cubes or 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
  • Nonstick cooking spray

Sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion diced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 (16-ounce) box spaghetti

Directions

For Meatballs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine the milk and bread. Let the bread absorb the milk. Add remaining meatball ingredients except the cheese. Using your hands, gently combine all the ingredients until they are thoroughly mixed. Take about 3 tablespoons of the meat mixture and roll into a ball and press into a patty. Place a mozzarella cube or 1 tablespoon shredded cheese onto the patty and bring up the sides around the cheese and roll between hands to form a ball. Place onto a nonstick baking sheet or a baking sheet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Repeat process with remaining meat and cheese. Place the meatballs into the oven and cook for 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from the oven and set aside.

For Sauce:

In a medium pot heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, garlic and saute for 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 10 minutes. Gently stir in the meatballs and any pan drippings from baking sheet and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Spaghetti:

Cook the spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente, about 8 minutes. Drain and place the pasta on a large serving platter. Place the meatballs over the spaghetti, pour the sauce on top and serve immediately.

and then I made these calzones with the leftover meatballs today…

Calzones.

  • 1 pound refrigerator pizza dough (I used a batch of mom’s homemade bread dough)
  • 2 cups leftover spaghetti and meatballs, chopped
  • 1/4 cup leftover tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or if you have a nonstick baking sheet, lining is not necessary.

Divide the dough in 4 equal portions. Place on a floured work surface and using a rolling pin, roll out the dough into a small round about 6 to 8 inches in diameter. Repeat with remaining pieces of dough. Set aside.

Place about a quarter of the leftover spaghetti and meatballs in the center of the dough round. Top with 1 tablespoon of sauce and sprinkle with a tablespoon of cheese. Brush the edges of the dough with a bit of water. Fold the dough over to make a half circle and crimp the edge with a fork. Place on prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remain filling and dough.

Place in oven and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot with a side of tomato sauce.

I’m putting these up along with a bunch of grilled corn for lunch tomorrow!

And for dinner tonight I made this!

fish & chips.

For Fish:

  • 4 small russet potatoes, washed
  • 3 cups canola plus 2 teaspoons canola oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus 1/2 cup for dredging
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 2 cups seltzer water
  • 4 tilapia fillets, each fillet sliced in 1/2

For Tartar Sauce:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoon seafood seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons pickle relish

Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat.

Using the slicing attachment on a food processor or a knife, slice the potatoes into thin discs about 1/4-inch thick. Place 1/3 of the sliced potatoes into a container with cold water and reserve for Round 2 Recipe. Place remaining 2/3 of the potatoes in a large bowl with 2 teaspoons canola oil, salt and pepper, to taste, and toss to coat. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the potatoes to the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes, flip each chip and bake for another 10 minutes.

In a medium pot heat 3 cups of canola oil to 360 degrees F.

In a large bowl combine remaining dry ingredients except 1/2 cup flour and season with salt and pepper. Whisk in the seltzer water.

Place the remaining 1/2 cup flour on a plate or pie dish and season with salt and pepper. Dredge the tilapia in the flour, shake off excess, then dip into batter. Carefully place the battered fish into the hot oil. Working in batches so not to crowd the pot, fry for 6 minutes until golden brown. Remove to an oven-proof plate lined with papers towels or a brown paper bag. Repeat with remaining fillets. While frying remaining tilapia keep the cooked fillets warm in a preheated 250 degree F oven.

Serve immediately with chips and tartar sauce on the side.

For Tartar Sauce:

Combine in all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until well blended.

Gotta write post for Blue Cross North Carolina.

I didn’t eat the fish.  I hate fish.  I thougth tilapia would be mild but it smelled like fish. ewww.

Everyone else LOVED it.

Oh…. and I got a pedicure too! Yay.  I asked for black tips this time, I like the tips usually with polka dots.  The girl wanted to paint my toes bright yellow and paint black designs on them.  Not really my style, so I declined.  Then she wanted to do them like her toes.  They were cute on her but not my style either.  She is very sweet and a little hard to understand because she doesn’t speak much english.  Anyway, she ended up painting a small pink line under the black tips.  They are a little weird and I’m not sure I like them but they are just toes so whatever…

pinkblacktoes1

my four graduates…

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

Senior graduate & Valedictorian Amanda!

amanda-grad

9th grade graduate Bailey!

bailey-grad1

Elementary graduate Emelia!

emelia-grad

Kindergarten graduate Isabelle!

isabelle

So Summer begins.  Tomorrow.

Amanda’s Baccalaureate

Sunday, May 17th, 2009

Today was Amanda’s Baccalaureate.  It was a short, sweet service. 

Here she is with her forever friend Tiffany.  They played basketball together all throughout Junior High.

amanda-tiff

You can pick Amanda out of the crowd, she’s the one with the white gown and blue collar!

group

Amanda, Tiffany & moi!

aat

Mom, Amanda and moi again!

3

Amanda with her friend Jessamine, they are planning to room together at the University of Oklahoma this Fall!  She is a Salutorian. 

amanda-jess

amanda-grad-pic-23

5 years ago today.

Saturday, May 16th, 2009

I posted izzy’s story a couple of years ago… now, 5 years later I am reposting… I hope even one toddler is spared from a drowing accident.

Izzy continues to amaze us daily and we KNOW the best is yet to come.

As you probably know if you read my blog, I started blogging after the near drowning accident of my youngest daughter Isabelle (Izzy). I started her blog after I had been emailing updates to friends and family and the email address list was getting so big I had to do several separate mailings to get it all out. That along with the fact that people’s addresses changed and would ask about updates. It was just easier to have a central place where I could write about her progress. The emails those first few months were priceless and I was so happy to have a way to correspond with people who love and care for our family. We were out of state for a couple of months in a rehab facility with Izzy. Later I started this blog because I enjoy the memes and general blogging that I don’t feel is appropriate for Izzy’s blog…

I have had several people email privately asking for the details of Izzy’s near drowning accident and have sent them the information. But, in an attempt to help people understand the potential for drownings, I am going to sum up her accident here…

Izzy was 21 months old. It was May ’04, a Sunday evening. We had been to church (morning and evening) stopped at the store for a few things, came home to read the Sunday paper and watch Extreme Home Makeover… My son Bailey who was 10 at the time was going outside (the side deck which is away from the pool) to lift weights for fun. Izzy was his constant shadow and he called to tell me Izzy was with him… to which I replied, “okay, but watch her!” I have to pause here to say that Isabelle was terrified of the pool. She even hated taking baths. I had just put her in the pool with Matt a few days before this and she screamed so I took her out immediately. I guess my point is she was afraid of the water and I felt like she would never get into it alone. I was wrong. Isabelle wondered away in a blink and got into the pool. I have replayed this a million times in my mind, the what if’s … what if I had said, “no, she needs to stay in the house.” what if I would have glanced outside and noticed she was headed in the direction of the pool… etc. What did happen was I had a weird thought, “isabelle… pool” came into my mind which was odd for the reasons I stated. Amanda was walking by and I asked her to make sure Izzy was still with Bailey (just to be sure), she came right back and said, “Bailey is still on the deck.” What about Isabelle? She went back out and before I could get there I heard screaming. Bailey pulled Izzy out of the pool and held her upside down. Matt came second and started giving her breaths. What seemed like hours was only a few seconds and the image I saw was a ifeless blue baby. It was the worst thing I have ever seen in my life and I prayed for a year for God to take that image out of my mind. I still get shaky thinking about it. I called 911, and took over cpr while Matt talked to the person on the phone until the ambulance arrived. I did cpr until a emt took her from my arms. After that I laid on the ground begging God to spare my baby. They worked on her for about 20 minutes in the ambulance. I wasn’t allowed near. I sat with the kids and we prayed for her … We were finally told they were heading to the ER. When we followed, we didn’t know walking in whether or not she was alive. We went into the family room and were told they had gotten a pulse but were still working on her. Before five minutes passed there were so many people there we had filled the family room and the hall of the er. They then took her to the Children’s Hospital by medivac. We followed again and were told that Izzy would probably not survive the night. The rest of the story would take a week to write, but she is alive… it will be three years in May! She is healthy and making progress and we have learned so much about our faith and about God. We believe that she will be completely restored.

A while after her accident I joined an online support group for parent’s of near drownings. I have come to learn that this happens far too often especially to children around 2 years old. I feel compelled to plead you to treat any open water as if it were a loaded gun. It is so dangerous for toddlers because they don’t have the rational to know the danger involved and it happens so quickly. I have read parents stories of babysitters, grandparents, birthday parties, koi ponds, retention ponds, it happens everywhere in every way! You cannot be too careful.

One great preventative if you have toddlers is to teach them to swim. The guys who come over from Australia to do Izzy’s brain therapy have made videos that show how to teach your babies to swim at a very young age.

If you are interested in more information on Izzy’s progress, you can look at her blog. If you are a person that prays, any prayers of faith for Isabelle would be greatly appreciated.

Here are a few statistics…

  • In 2000, there were 3,482 unintentional drownings inthe United States, an average of nine people per day.(U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • It is estimated that for each drowning death, there are 1 to 4 nonfatal submersions serious enough to result in hospitalization. Children who still require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) at the time they arrive at the emergency department have a poor prognosis, with at least half of survivors suffering significant neurologic impairment. (American Academy of Pediatrics)
  • Drowning is the second-leading cause of injury-related death among children under the age of 15. (U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • 19% of drowning deaths involving children occur in public pools with
    certified lifeguards present.(Drowning Prevention Foundation)

  • A swimming pool is 14 times more likely than a motor vehicle to be involved
    in the death of a child age 4 and under. (Orange County California Fire
    Authority)
  • Children under five and adolescents between the ages of 15-24 have the highest drowning rates. (U.S.Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • An estimated 5,000 children ages 14 and under are hospitalized due to
    unintentional drowning-related incidents each year; 15 percent die in the hospital and as many as 20 percent suffer severe, permanent neurological disability. (National Safety Council)Of all preschoolers who drown, 70 percent are in the care of one or both parents at the time of the drowning and 75 percent are missing from sight for five minutes or less. (Orange County, CA, Fire Authority)

  • The majority of children who survive (92 percent) are discovered within two minutes following submersion,and most children who die (86 percent) are found after10 minutes. Nearly all who require cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) die or are left with severe braininjury. (National Safe Kids Campaign)

 

food… and work…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Matt took today (and Monday) off.  Monday because that is the day of Amanda’s graduation… and today just because.  We compiled a lengthy to-do list for the day.  I started by going to the variety show emelia was performing in at her school.   I’ll try to post it later tonight…. She’s on the left btw. 

After I got Izzy to school I started mowing and Matt started trimming tree branches.  He ended up cutting down two trees that were almost dead.  I went to get the propane tank for the grill refilled and came home to vacuum the pool.  I got a really painful sunburn which is odd because I didn’t even realize it was that hot. 

I got this cool calphalon pot for $10 at Marshall’s last week that was just begging to be used… So I made homemade scalloped potatoes.

I sliced yukon gold potatoes thin, put a layer of potatoes… salt, pepper, chives, grated cheddar sliced onions, then another layer of potatoes, etc. about four or five layers deep and then poured half and half over the top and more cheese.  Delish. 

The potatoes cooked while I was picking izzy up and running errands, I came home and wrapped corn on the cob seasoned and onions and garlic head with butter salt pepper and a little sugar on the grill.  Later I added burgers.  I don’t know if it was the one meal a day thing or what but everything was so good.  Seriously.  I think they were the best burgers I have ever had.  I need to do a post on Colonix program

Matt and the kids went for a swim while I was being the grillmaster 🙂 … 

Yesterday was Amanda’s last day of High School. Ever.  Sad huh?  Not to her 🙂 …

Couple of prayer requests… a friend from church has a baby who was diagnosed with cancer yesterday.  He is just a few months old and obviously this is quite a shock.  Also my oldest brother, Jody, had surgery on his back Wednesday and is in a great amount of pain. 

Here’s a pic from the Tulsa World of Paula, Matt’s mom (and my fav. mil) volunteering at the Special Olympics.  You can tell her heart was in it huh?

izzy’s makeover…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Saturday Matt and I ran an errand and while we were gone I got a picture text from Emelia… iz-makeoverApparently they played makeover while we were gone… Amanda suggested Izzy start wearing makeup to school, but also thought maybe a little less lipstick.  I agree she looks gorgeous, but think we’ll stick with the natural look for at least a few more years.

Izzy is still pushing the orange thing.  She apparently loves oranges to eat too.  I just can’t imagine why she is so into orange 🙂 !!! I think of Texas or OSU when I see orange… reminds me of the post on auto insurance quotes Texas I need to finish.

orange … and zoo.

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Yesterday when I was picking up Isabelle from school, they were letting her choose the color of her new hand splints. I usually just order pink or purple when we get any type of splints or orthotics… anyway, with her new found ability to make choices using her left hand for no and right for yes… they were eliminating choices and had it narrowed down to three. Pink, neon green, and orange. I watched as they showed her each color several times and she chose orange! I couldn’t believe it! Gram and her love of OSU has obviously had more affect on Iz than I had thought! So she’ll be sporting fancy orange hand splints.

Today was the zoo field trip. After an early morning State Honor Society breakfast, me and Izzy headed to the zoo. We actually beat the school buses by almost an hour! I was happy to see a few old friends from church and then a couple of “girls” I graduated with not many years ago 🙂 … It was nice catching up and then we hit the zoo!

It was a very humid day. My hair is the biggest evidence of that!!!

Izzy and Emelia (Izzy’s school para/mom’s daughter) got airbrushed tatoos at the zoo. They chose butterflies.

We braved the stinky snake house! Here’s Izzy checking out a tortoise!

The snakes were icky! But we looked at them all!

There were two things I didn’t exactly enjoy about the timing of our zoo trip. 1. It was feeding time which meant there were a lot of animals gnawing on a lot of nasty bones and other things… and 2. Those things have to come out of those animals and the gorillas made quite a show of that. I will spare you the details, but lets just say some things should NEVER be eaten!  Like cattle supplies.

This is teacher appreciation week and me and Izzy sure do appreciate these two girls!!! Michele and Melanie are the most awesomest bestest para and teacher ever!!!


Here’s Izzy and Michele’s daughter Emily. They had fun zoo-ing together today!


This is what kept me and izzy hydrated! Our favorite drink!

diet…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

Since I’ve been doing the one meal a day I have really gotten used to not eating all the time. I am not sure it’s the best way to lose weight or the healthiest, but it works for me. I don’t need appetite suppressants either. I have started having a little protein late morning like a stick of string cheese with a few low fat wheat thins. Just to keep my body from thinking I’m starving it.