Thursday, August 27, 2009

The Girls

Whitney, Josh's sister, and I were due a week apart...each with a girl. Whitney went early and took my due date, having Jaekob on April 19th. I was glad someone got to use it since I always seem to deliver late. Ainsley came 5 days later on April 24th. Now that the girls are getting older, it is neat to see them play and interact with one another. I am not sure who has more fun...the girls playing together or us watching them. Based on the following video clip, the girls are actively looking for a manager to help them take their show on the road...coming to a city near you!

They Done It Again!

Josh plays, every July in Amarillo, in the Budweiser partnership with his high school buddy, Greg. They have won the tournament twice. The first win came in 2001, thus the picture on top. The second win came this summer in 2009, thus the picture on bottom. Let me assure you that these are the same two men posed in both pictures!

Congrats gentlemen on a tournament well played! You both are like a fine only get better with age. :) Which do you think has changed the most...for the better of course?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Yummy Dipping Stuff!

Some girlfriends and I decided to do a recipe swap to help "spice up" our dinners. I was way excited to have received such yummy ideas that I started trying the new recipes right away. One was for La Madeline's tomato basil soup. WOW, is it delicious. We made it with grilled cheese sandwiches that we ended up cutting like croutons and dropping in the soup. Andrew ate every last drop and requests the "yummy dipping stuff" every time we have grilled cheese sandwiches. I thought I would share the recipe for you all to hopefully enjoy as much as we have. It is very easy to make.

4 cups (8 to 10) tomatoes, peeled, cored, and chopped or 4 cups canned whole tomatoes, crushed (I use one 28 oz. can of crushed + one 14 oz. can of whole that I then crush as I put them in the pan).

4 cups tomato juice or mixture of tomato juice and vegetable or chicken stock (I use one 11.5 oz. can of tomato juice + one 14.5 oz. can of chicken broth). You can buy single cans of vegetable juice at Wal-Mart on the juice aisle.

12-14 fresh basil leaves (it is worth planting basil just for this recipe).

1 cup whipping cream

1 stick sweet unsalted butter, softened

salt to taste

1/4 tsp. cracked black pepper (I just use regular pepper).

Combine tomatoes and juice (or juice-stock mixture) in a saucepan. Simmer over medium-low heat for 30 minutes. Cool slightly, then place in a blender or food processor with the 12-14 basil leaves. Process to puree. (This will need to be done in batches. I found that my blender is good to have about 1 and a half cups at a time so that it does not leap up and burn your hand while blending).

Return mixture to the saucepan and add cream and butter. Stir over low heat until cream and butter are incorporated. Stir in salt and pepper before serving. Garnish with basil leaves.

This makes about 10 cups of soup. Each eat half and then freeze half!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Put It In Writing!

I have learned why Weight Watchers works...they make you journal, aka write down, what you eat for the day, therefore keeping track of your caloric intake. There is nothing more powerful than having to write down THE number, however small or large, just writing it down...seeing it on paper...staring back at you...leaving you sitting there thinking, did I really eat that much? It is enough to make a grown man (Josh) leave a white-chocolate, macadamia nut cookie on the break room table just so he did not have to record the 310 calories it would have cost him to eat it! Now that is the power of the pen!

Josh and I are going to Mexico with some good friends at the end of September. We have, well Josh did and then convinced me to, started writing down the calories we eat in order to hopefully shed some unwanted pounds before dawning a bathing suit for the lavish beaches of Mexico. (When I say it that way, it makes me more motivated to lose some jiggle). It seems to be working. I find myself contemplating, do I REALLY need to eat that. I have learned that fruits and veggies are your caloric friend, while pasta, rice, and potatoes are not so calorically friendly.

Also, a dear friend of mine from high school called and invited me to run in a half-marathon (13.1 miles for those who were wondering) with her. For some unknown reason, I am sure it was divine intervention, I opened my mouth and enthusiastically accepted her invitation. Then I started running. I have found the ole bod is not what it was in high school. My legs ached, my knees were sore, and most of all my back hurt. What you see here is one solution to my aging running shoes. I had to go all the way to the big city to find them. Apparently College Station is not a mecca for running paraphernalia. They seem to help along with some veteran advice to build my core strength, nice way of saying lose your flabby mid-section, and also to work on my hamstring flexibility. All-in-all, my body aches have subsided thanks to all the heeded advice and I am actually enjoying getting back into running. Now, come January when the race gets here...we will see. I know I am anxious too!

What has God put on your heart to do lately that you have just had to go blind faithly into?

Mr. Literal!

Andrew: "Aunt Whitney, what is that on the wall?"

Aunt Whitney: "That's the first aid kit."

Andrew: "Where's the second?"

Josh's Girlfriend!

This is something you don't see with straight hair! Josh and I joke that this is the closest thing to a girlfriend he will get! :) When I get my haircut, I have my girl straighten my hair for me. There is a reason God gave me curly hair...He knew I would never be coordinated enough to use a flat iron on my own.

Unfortunately, this will be the last time I get my hair straightened. After my last hair cut, my face broke out in water blisters and I ended up at Urgent Care in San Antonio. I am apparently allergic to the straightening serum my girl sprayed on my hair...which involuntarily ended up on my face also. Just one more reason not to mess with Mother Nature! :)

Love That Small Town Feel!

Let me preface with I am WAY behind on blogging, so I apologize for the tardiness of this posting!

We spent the 4th of July in Canyon. After not being there for the 4th last year, I have come to decide small town 4th's are the only way to go! Yes, every town, regardless of size, has fireworks. But the difference I appreciate is in the quaintness and charm that comes with the small town celebration. For me, I love the community spirit and togetherness that comes with this patriotic seems more magnified and genuine when experienced in a small town atmosphere.

We kicked off the day with a pancake and sausage breakfast put on by the Lion's Club, where our children bought American flags and red, white, and blue twirly-whirls. From there we went to the "Fair on the Square," around the downtown courthouse building, as we awaited the start of the parade. Face painting, greasy fair food, and homemade crafts galore! Of course we sent scouts out early to find the best parade-watching spot while the rest of us tooled around looking at all the various booths and catching up with old friends it is so fun to run into. The afternoon was spent swimming and bar-b-queuing in the backyard. What better way to end this magical day but by watching fireworks in the front yard of our dear friends.
You can take the girl to the big city, but you can't take the small town 4th out of her! What are your favorites parts of small town living?