Our anniversary date was wonderful, we went to The Wine Bucket and had wine and a tray of cheeses, olives and nuts. Next we went to America's - we had crab fingers and champange to start. For the main course I had beef and Will had pork, both with chimichurri and plantains, rice and zuchini. Afterwards we went to the Chocolate Bar. Holy cow, folks if you get a date night in Houston you have to go to the chocolate bar - it isn't a bar, it's a dessert place with every kind of chocolate you can imagine. We had ice cream but they had cakes, shakes,coffees and all kinds of stuff dipped in chocolate like fruit, pretzels, cereals and even pringles. We had to try the Pringles! Today we slept in. Ten o'clock found us relaxing on the front patio of Taco Flores with hot coffee and breakfast tacos. Fantastico! We grabbed the Sunday paper on the way home, where I proceeded to change back into my PJ's and read the paper and clip coupons. This afternoon Will has gone to Conroe to pick up the kids and I have been to the store and am currently baking a Peach Cobbler and doing some housework. It is a fine thing to work. To work hard, with purpose, to serves others, is better still. To work uninterrupted, 'tis the finest of all.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
Yesterday, April 24th, was our ten year wedding anniversary. Hurray for us! If I get to feeling industrious in the next couple of days I'll scan some pictures from the wedding and early years. They were all taken before we had a digital camera or even a computer. Yes, Virginia there was such a time before everyone had such things! It will be a busy day today. Bella and I have haircuts at ten, later this afternoon we'll drop off the kids for a sleepover at their grandparents. Will and I have a special date night planned. Somewhere in there I need to make some desserts for a home group function and get to the market. On the subject of groceries - Thanks to the goodly influence of my friend Jessica I have started couponing. There's a lot to learn to make it worth my while and yet not get sucked into the trap of buying something just because it's "such a good deal". There are tons of blogs, websites and books that guide the newbie, but the big takeaway for me was this: To really impact your budget the key is to get to the point where you have reserves of the more expensive household staples such as diapers, cereal, shampoo, toilet paper etc. Here's what I mean, when you need something and go out and buy it then it is a Seller's market - you are going to pay full price or more for that item because you have to have it right then. On the other hand, the wise woman begins to store up these things which in turn allows her to wait and only purchase them when the price is advantageous, therefore creating a Buyer's market. So it isn't an instantaneous thing but I'm on board now and having a ton of fun doing it. Interestingly, this is a biblical principle. Proverbs 21:20 tells us that the wise, by diligence and care, lay up and increase wealth, while fools spend-literally, "swallow it up," greedily." Wow. I have some other things planned which sound fun and will save money, I want to make my own yogurt and laundry soap. Stay tuned, it could be a disaster but I'm going to try!
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Stormy Saturday All plans cancelled homemade strawberry scones puzzles on the living room floor Nowhere to go Dishes done Laundry done Bathrooms done We all take long naps waking up late afternoon to more rain and the smell of baked potatoes in the oven and back to back episodes of The Legend of the Seeker.
Friday, April 17, 2009
This past weekend we attended Good Friday services on Friday evening and then had a typical busy Saturday the next day including a much needed hair cut for Jacob. I’m happy to report that Jacob’s previous haircut grew out enough that we could go get it cut again and that most of the awful layers came off. I have found an awesome place to go, Sherri’s Cuts in Atascocita. Sherri herself cut Jacob’s hair, she is a no nonsense grandma that couldn’t wait to get her hands on Jacob’s hair which she declared was in a “right sorry state”. It looks so much better now. Saturday evening Will’s parents came to sleep over and we had dinner and dyed eggs with the children. Easter morning dawned rainy; we went to 8:30 church in the misty moisty morning. The service was wonderful and had all the bits that make it feel like Easter to me. Since it was the first sanctuary service all the vestments, altar flowers etc. were brought back in and the cross which had been draped in black was revealed covered in white flowers. Will’s Dad cracked a joke saying “Couldn’t they have finished getting everything ready before the service started?” The music included “Was it a Morning Like This”, “Christ the Lord is Risen Today”, “He Lives”, “In the Garden”, and closed with the choir singing the Hallelujah Chorus. There were hand bells which Jacob adored. The only hymn I miss was “Up from the Grave” which we always sang in the Baptist church growing up, on Easter I always miss giggling with my Mom about Jesus being Low in the Gravy. Back home we had an indoor egg hunt and a tasty dinner. Then Jacob finally got a piece of the special Easter cake I made. I have to admit I am a little proud of this cake – it was a four layer lemon cake all done from scratch with lemon curd filling and real whipped cream icing. Jacob loves to bake and both kids were up on chairs “helping” me measure and stir. After it was iced Jacob could not stay away, I caught him just staring at it longingly. “Can I please, please have some?” “Yes, after dinner” “Well, Mamma do you think I could I just lick it a little now?” After lunch Will’s parent went home and we all took long naps. When we woke up every trace of clouds and rain had passed and it was achingly beautiful outdoors. As the morning rain had kind of thwarted my picture taking plans and Jacob was still napping, I dressed Bella up cute and got a few pictures of her sweet self out in the sunshine. I don’t like food to waste so Sunday evening I ran leftover cake to the neighbor’s house and made Deviled Eggs from the Easter eggs. I was not too cheerful over peeling that many eggs – especially since the tricks for making them easy to peel couldn’t be done since I wanted them to stay nice and uncracked for dying. But the deviled eggs are worth the effort. Here’s the recipe I like from my 1963 edition of McCall’s cookbook 12 hard boiled eggs 2 T Mayonnaise 1 T White Vinegar 1.5 t Worcester Sauce 1 t Dry Mustard ¾ t Salt 1/8 t Pepper 1/8 t Paprika ¼ cup Sharp Cheddar Cheese Mash the eggs with a fork or sieve. In a separate bowl mix mayonnaise & all other ingredients except cheese. Add this into the eggs and mix thoroughly. Add in grated sharp cheddar cheese. Chill and devour. I'm not crazy about how some of these pictures looked cropped in this collage - but I'm still trying to learn how to work with Picasa and it's too late tonight to mess with anymore. It's 11 PM, yike's, only 7.5 hours until the kids are up again. (Sorry, if you are a new mommy reading this and longing for that much sleep, remember college and sleeping TEN hours straight??? ) Boom! It's really storming out there, With the thunderstorms rolling in I wonder if the babies will both end up in my bed before the night is out....
On Sunday following the zoo trip Will went out and got a 44 gallon galvanized trough for my mini-garden. He helped me to plant my tomato plant, chives, basil, cilantro and a row of green beans. Over the last few weeks everything has really started to grow and bloom. There are also some lilies and other things in the front yard that are beginning to bloom. I can't tell you my excitement once the beans sprouted - poking their little heads up they reminded me of little babies. I was surprised how tender I feel over these tiny living things. My other "tiny living things" (aka Jacob & Bella) have really enjoyed watching everything, they like to smell the rosemary and marvel over how fast the beans are growing. (There's just four days between the tiny bean sprout picture and the one with leaves!) Everyday when we get home we go back and "check on the garden."
A few weekends back we spent Saturday at the San Antonio Zoo. My whole family met up there to celebrate my niece's fifth birthday. It was a really fun day but also a really long one. It was so special to have everyone all together and a really fun daytrip! I'm not sure about driving to San Antonio and back in one day though.