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Saturday, March 31, 2007

The times, they are a-changing

So Isaac's job has changed again!

I tell ya, Navy life is a veritable rollercoaster o' fun!

He is still going to the same battalion, they haven't changed that. But his job in the battalion has changed.

He is now in charge of a detachment of guys in Japan. The good thing is that it's great for Isaac's career. God had to line up a lot of stuff to make this happen.

The bad thing is that they want him to be part of an advance party, which means they want us to move May 1, instead of May 18.

And that's just two weeks after we go househunting.

I've never bought a house before, but I'm thinking that's not quite enough time for things to close and whatnot.

So we're not exactly sure what God has in store for us, house-wise, but it will be interesting to find out!

Just a reminder, we leave Monday, and Isaac's surgery is on Tuesday. The Navy does something that is not LASIK, and starts with a P. I forget the name, but what I do remember is that it is extremely painful for about three days.

And all five of us will be staying in one hotel room while he recovers.

So, if you get a chance, please pray for us next week!

I'll let you know how things go when we have internet access, possibly from the hotel, but maybe not until we get back.

My Recent Bad Day and Benefiber

So I recently posted about how I was having a bad day, and my friend Sheree commented that she was surprised I'd found time to blog.

It made me think.

I know she didn't mean it as a criticism, but it made me wonder-

Why did I feel it necessary to blog in the midst of a frustrating time with my kids?

And then I realized that it helped me to dispel the urge to spank the ever-lovin' daylights out of my kids.

And not to discipline them or anything. Just to relieve my frustration.

And it always helps to hear that other people have the exact same feelings and same bad days.

And it never hurts to get a new way of sneaking fiber into your diet, now does it?

Because, really, now that we've all given birth, our bodies just aren't the same.

So, I am here to reassure you- you can't tell that the Benefiber is in the coffee at all. But stay away from the Metamucil, because that stuff is just nasty.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Snotty Von Whinypants

You know those days where everything just comes together?

You get a shower in and even manage to do your hair and make-up, the kids are dressed and have their teeth brushed, no one watches too much tv, and you just plain enjoy your kids?

Today is not one of those days.

In fact, this week is not one of those weeks.

I started the day off on only an hour and a half of sleep.

By one o'clock, Luke was crying and dripping snot everywhere because I finally turned the tv off after, oh, FIVE HOURS.

Chloe was sobbing dramatically in her room because I told her she couldn't slam her bedroom door in Luke's face.

Audrey was screaming because she was not attached to my bre*st and she is apparently going through a growth spurt.

Finally everyone is napping, and man, do I wish I had a shot of something to add to my coffee.

Besides the Benefiber that is already in there, that is.

Cashew-Lime Chicken

Because you asked...

(From Quick Fix Meals by Robin Miller)

1 cup rice, cooked
1 tsp peanut oil
1 tbsp peeled and minced ginger
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/4 lbs chicken, in bitesized pieces
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup hoisin sauce
1 tbsp lime juice
1 tsp finely grated lime zest
1 cup cashew pieces

Heat oil over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook, stirring, one minute.
Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides, about 5 minutes.
Add salt and pepper and stir.
Add broth, hoisin, and lime, stir and bring to simmer.
Partially cover the man and simmer until chicken is cooked through and sauce slightly thickens, about 8-10 minutes.

*You can cool this and refrigerate up to three days.

Serve chicken over rice and top with cashews.

My husband loved this the way it was, but next time I will use less broth and hoisin :)

*edited to add- you can partially cover the man if you want, but I don't think it will help in the cooking of dinner. You'd probably better partially cover the pan instead.

Monday, March 26, 2007

And it was such a nice day...

We had a great morning. The kids were finally starting to feel better from their virus and we had a lot of fun playing.

Nap time was peaceful.

And then Luke woke up screaming and clutching his head.

Tylenol and a lot of very awkward cuddles (Audrey also woke up and was ready to nurse at the same time) finally got him to stop crying, but he remained pretty fussy.

I finally got Audrey fed and Luke and Chloe settled with crafts, and started dinner. I got my onions sauteeing on medium-high heat and then Audrey started screaming, and was ready for her evening nap.

The phone rang as I got her ready to sleep. It was my husbad saying he'd be home late.

As I was talking to him on the phone and jiggling Audrey so she wouldn't scream, I noticed that Luke was coloring on his plastic elephant.

With marker.

And my onions were burning.

Onions off the heat, elephant in the sink, Luke to his room for a time out, Audrey in a rocker.

The onions barely survived, so I got the soup quickly into the food processor.

And pressed on.

And had mashed potatoes and broth EVERYWHERE.

It flew out the top and leaked out of the bottom.

And of course it was on the counter opposite the sink, so I had to carry it across the kitchen to clean up.

There are a whole lot places for mashed potatoes to get stuck in a food processor.

When my husband gets home, I'm going to Panera Bread.


Menu Plan Monday

I got the new cookbook "Quick Fix Meals," which I am loving, and most of my recipes come from it this week :)

Monday- Potato Cheddar Soup, Baby Spinach Salad (uses leftover mashed potatoes from last week)
Tuesday- Teriyaki Chicken with Soba Noodles, Broccoli
Wednesday- Leftovers
Thursday- Focaccia with Capicola, Mortadella, Salami and Provolone, Ministrone Soup
Friday- Steak, Sauteed Mushrooms, Salad with Strawberry Pecan Dressing
Saturday- Cashew-Lime Chicken and Rice, Sugar Snap Peas

Don't forget to visit Laura to join in the menu-planning fun!

Friday, March 23, 2007

In Which I Fail Greatly To Be Insightful

We had some dear friends come and stay with us last weekend. Since then I've been wanting to write a deep and insightful post -with pictures- about the blessings of friendship over time. But I'm just way too tired.

And the snot.

Oh. My. Goodness.

Three snotty kids just makes for a lot of snot.

(That's a pretty icky word, isn't it? Snot.)

(And do you think I could say it a few more times?)

So some other time when I haven't been woken up every hour for three nights in a row, I will hunt down pictures and be all insightful and stuff.

Today my brain is limited to dwelling on snot.

Oh, and PEPPERS! Did you know that you don't have to saw away at peppers to cut them?

I really like my new knife.

And I still have all my fingertips.

In case you were wondering.

Although, with this level of exhaustion I have acheived, maybe I should just hold off on using my new sharp knife for a few days.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

I fear for my life

Or at least my fingertips.

I got a new chef's knife from Pampered Chef and used it to chop some potatoes tonight.

Did you know that potatoes are easy to chop?

I sure didn't.

I guess it may have something to do with my old knife that I'd been using for a year or ten without sharpening.

And, well, we all know that I am the epitome of all that is graceful and light.

I fear for my fingertips.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I just sent an email to friends and family, and I find myself a bit overwhelmed as I contempate the next three months of my life. Here it is:

1. We are still moving to {our new base}, but the battalion Isaac is assigned to has changed. He is now assigned to {a different battalion}, which means he will be deploying {in a few months}. We don't know the exact date or where he'll deploy, but it will be for about 6 months.

2. This means that we are checking out of here and moving on May 18, and then driving to {our new base}.

3. The Navy is also paying for Isaac to get his eyes fixed. He will have laser eye surgery on April 3, with follow-up appointments on April 4th and 6th. The whole family will be staying {near the hospital} during that time, and I don't know if we'll have email access.

4. We fly to {our new base} on April 8th for a househunting trip. We are planning on buying a house, and have until April 11th to find one.

So that means that in the next three months, my husband is having surgery, we'll look for and buy our new house, we'll make a major move almost half-way across the country, have almost enough time to unpack, and then my husband will deploy, leaving me in a new city with a 4.5-year-old, 2.5-year-old and 6 or 7-month-old.

God doesn't give us more than we can handle, right?

So I know I can do this.

But prayer is much appreciated.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What do you think of blogs with ads?

Do you notice them?
Do you hate them?
Do you use them on your blog?

I know there are a lot of people who make money through their blogs, and I've been giving the idea some thought (but not enough to invest time in actually researching it!)

Plus I'm not sure that I actually have enough readers to make any money :)

I mean, I didn't start this blog to make money, it was just an outlet for me, and a way to make some friends since we move so often being a military family.

But now I wonder...

What's your opinion?

Wordless Wednesdays- Nighttime Snow

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Snips and Snails and Puppy Dog Tails

The difference between boys and girls:

Chloe's favorite question: WHY?

Luke's favorite question: WHY NOT?

Monday, March 12, 2007

The Red Dress

Blest over at One Weigh or Another asked us to dream big and share, if we could do anything after we lost all the weight we want to, what would we do?

Red DressMy dream is this red dress that I own. Not so much the dress itself, but what the dress represents.

I wore this dress last year when my husband and I went to Cancun after he returned from Afghanistan. I was 15 pounds from my weight goal.

I looked good. I felt good.

I wore a bathing suit in public.

I frolicked at the beach.


In a bathing suit.

In public.

I didn't care if my husband saw me out of the dress either ;)

Also, I was a better mommy. I had more energy.

I got down on the floor and played with my kids more. The whole family went for walks and jogs together. I played at the park instead of just watching my kids play.

I want to be that person again when I lose all this weight.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

I am an HGTV addict

I used to think that home shows were so boring. I couldn't understand how my parents could spend every weekend at Home Depot.

And then we decided to buy a house.

And now I can't get enough HGTV.

I watch "Get Color" and dream about all the colors I could paint my new walls, and think about ripping up carpet.

I watch "Curb Appeal" and think about planting Meyer Lemon trees and placing fountains strategically to maximize the relaxation factor.

I watch "Design on a Dime" and man, those gals can really make $500 go far!

I watch "Designed to Sell" and "Flip That House" and think about the profit to be made through renovations.

But here's the thing.

We don't own a house yet. We haven't even started house hunting, since it will require a more-than 10 hour drive. Our house hunting trip is scheduled for April.

And yet I'm mentally sorting through paint chips and debating whether we need new windows with plantation shutters.

I need help.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Bloggity Book Club

Thanks to Robin and BooMama for hosting this! Their first pick was Get Out of That Pit, by Beth Moore.

I was excited to read this book because I love Beth Moore.

Not because I thought I was in a pit or needed help.

I mean, I tend to be a pretty laid back, casual kind of person (bet that doesn't surprise you if you look around my blog a bit!) and I'm fairly optimistic, too. I don't struggle with depression, although I have bad days and weeks.

So I didn't go in to the book expecting it to really speak to where I am now.

Beth described the three different ways you can get into a pit- being thrown in, sliding in or jumping in. She said that people in pits often make themselves right at home, decorate their pit, and invite others to join them there in their pit.

And when she said that people in pits lose their vision, I finally came to the realization that I did slide into a pit- more than one, really- years ago, and I've only recently begun getting out.

One of those pits is my weight. It just crept up on me slowly until one day I realized that I actually needed to lose 30 pounds, not the 5 or 10 I had been thinking. And then I got pregnant, and well, I just dug my pit a little deeper. And for a long time I believed the lie that I could never change. I do know now that I can lose weight, yet it seems that I just can't help shoveling my pit just a little deeper for that one snack. And that one. And, well, that one, too.

But the even darker pit I slid into was one of separation from God. Becoming a mom combined with living in Japan was a slip n slide right into a pit for me. I think all moms have walked right up and looked into this pit. We're tired. I mean, really tired. And we're busy. And we have so many people depending on us. And the crumbs. My goodness kids are crumby, so the floors need to be vacuumed and the hands washed, and then there's laundry to do and baths to give. And it's just so easy to skip that Quiet Time in favor of a little more sleep or another chore.

Or a shower.

Or to forget about it completely.

I told myself that God understood. And the truth is that He does. He knows how tired I am. But that truth has too often become an excuse for me, and I tell myself that I'll get to my time with God later. And somewhere along the way I lost a lot of my vision. I stopped reaching out to people the way I used to, and expected them to come to me. And while I started the process of getting out of my pit before I read the book, realizing that I was in a pit really helped me to understand a lot of what I have felt emotionally in the past few years.

This book really made me take a look at where I am and where I want to be, and it's written in Beth Moore's totally sistah-like style, making me feel like we were just sharing a cup of Starbucks and having a chat. I would recommend it even if you don't feel like you are in a pit!

“I waited patiently for the LORD; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see and fear and put their trust in the LORD.” - Pslam 40:1-3

Friday, March 9, 2007

And the lie is...

#2- I did not have three majors in college. I was a combined major- psychology and linguistics, oddly enough, known as psycholinguistics.

My husband, however, did have three different majors (and was on the five year plan!). He started off his college journey as an electrical engineer.

Then he changed to art.

Then he changed (and stayed with) Industrial and Systems Engineering.

The WINNER of a random drawing from the corrrect guessers is Kelley from My Glamorous Life. Kelley, you didn't leave me a link to your blog or email address, so email me at afteracupofcoffee (at) gmail (dot) com and you can choose the colors of the mini album :)

The truths-

#1- Yes, I did have a pet cow.

Her name was Rosie.

We lived in the dessert in Southern California, and our neighbors moved and couldn't take their cow with them. I have memories of feeding her milk from a very large bottle :) But then we moved and we passed her om to someone else.

#3- Yes, I did get caught in a war. When I was in college I went on a summer missions trip to teach in English in a country in Southeast Asia. Several days into our trip there was a coup, when one part of the government seized control from the other. 40 people were stuck in one house for several days, but God protected us all, and provided a way to get us out of the country.

Thanks for playing and stopping by my party! We've been sick this week, so I didn't get a chance to stop by many other parties, but I will be dropping in sometime soon hopefully!

Thursday, March 8, 2007

The Ultimate Blog Party!

Welcome to the party! Brew yourself a fresh cup of coffee.

I thought we could start the party off with a little ice breaker. I'm sure most of you have played the game Two Truths and a Lie. If you haven't, here are the rules. I will say three things about myself. Two are true, but one is a lie. You have to guess (in the comments) which statement you think is a lie. After the party is done (March 8) I will pick a random blogger from those who guessed correctly, and that person will win a handmade mini scrapbook album!


1. I once had a pet cow.
2. I had three different majors in college.
3. I got caught in a war while in a foreign country.

Now, to tell you a little about myself. I grew up in Southern California, and went to college at USC where I met my wonderful husband. He is in the Navy and I am so proud of him. Last year he spent 6 months in Afghanistan. We have three wonderful children, and I am a new homeschooler.

We currently live on the East Coast, are getting ready to move and buy our first house. Before this, we lived in Japan for three years.

My main hobby, besides napping and drinking coffee, is scrapbooking. Once we move I plan to start selling customized scrapbook products. I am also trying to lose the ton of weight that I gained in my last pregnancy.

Take a look around, leave a comment, and try to guess what the truth is and what the lie is!

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

My wonderful husband

Isaac and I were talking about a family situation yesterday, and after some thinking he turned to me and said,

"You know, I asked God for wisdom, and He gave me you."

I melted into a puddle right there!

Saturday, March 3, 2007

2am Wakeup Calls

I'm not a big fan of 2am wake up calls. I really like my sleep.

So I was a bit put out when I woke up at 2:15 hearing Luke calling me.

And I wasn't feeling the love when I stubbed my toe on the laundry basket on my way to his room.

If it hadn't been past 2am, it would have been cute when he said, "My sock fell down!" and held up his sock for me to put back on.

So I sat down in the chair to put his sock back on, because me and balance at 2am? Not friends.

(See the aforementioned stubbed toe)

And then Luke gently stroked my hair and said, "Nice hair, Mommy."

And even at 2am that melted my heart.

And then I went back to my room and walked face-first into my bedroom door.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

My Prize For The Ultimate Blog Party

Don't forget that the Ultimate Blog Party starts tomorrow! Since participants now get to choose their favorite prize, I thought I'd post pictures of the handmade mini album I submitted. It is a 6x6 accordian album, all archival quality, made in a smoke-free house.

The front

The inside (the color is actually more similar to the picture of the front)

After I move in May, I will start selling customized layouts, mini albums and home decor, so check back soon!

Overheard in the bathtub

Dora- Let my people go!
Squirting Fish- No!
D- Yes!
SF- No!
D- Yes!
SF- Ok. No, I changed my mind! Ahhh, I'm in the water! Help me, help me!

Can you guess what Bible story Chloe has been learning in Sunday School? :D