Friday, February 27, 2015

Five on Friday

1.  Easy Lo Mein - Good news, this really did only take about 15 minutes and is loaded with vegetables.  We used whole wheat Thai Kitchen noodles of some kind.  Very tasty!

2. Beef and Barley Soup - I made this earlier in the week and it was delicious and made a huge pot.  I've eaten it probably 6 times so far and still love it. I fiddled with the recipe slightly by browning the meat separately with 1 1/2 tsp. Great Plains Beef & Bison  Rub seasoning, then adding another 1 1/2 tsp. of the Great Plains Beef & Bison seasoning to the stew along with 2 small zucchinis cut in to bite sized pieces.  I also added some tomato powder.  (Yes, I like to tinker with recipes.  I'm sorry).

3. Salar Leggings - I know the trend in running pants is to have lots of colors and designs. I "think" they might get warped if I tried it given my, ummm, body type.  That said, I've ventured cautiously out of my completely black/dark grey running pants into these cool blue ombre ones.  It was a little weird at first, but I like them.  Very comfy and run well. 

4.  L'Oreal Paris Elnett Satin Hairspray Extra Strong Hold (Travel Size), 2.2 Ounce - This seems to be the mysterious secret to finally getting curls to stay in M's hair for a whole day.  It is currently on day two and there are still curls.  This has never happened before.  We are quite happy.

5. My Little Pony Shoes - My Little Pony is still very popular here, although Care Bears may be gaining on them.  I think these shoes are totally awesome.  M is slightly less sure :(  How could she not love rain bow striped shoes?   Apparently the issue is that they don't light up and she wants (and has not had in a long time) some shoes that light up....Regardless, I think these and the other MLP styles at Stride Rite are awesome. 

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lent

  Lent for me hasn't been something I focus on that much. Lent, in fact, can be kind of dark, or sad. Advent (roughly the month before Christmas), on the other hand, I have tons of focus for and we work on a lot - it is full of happy.  Our church's Sunday School provided resources for celebrating Advent at home, which was nice, but not too necessary as we were all set for how to celebrate Advent.  The Lenten resources have been a good surprise for me.  Both in scope and in tone.  They are very positive and focused on things like helping others, which I'm all for.  Here is what we're doing:

Together - 
1) Short reading from a Lenten activity book together -- It is really about a paragraph and every few paragraphs there is a seek-in-find puzzle with things we've been reading about.
2) Rice Bowl Prayer (from the side of the rice bowl) for those not familiar this is the 40th year of the CRS Rice Bowl Program to collect food for the impoverished during Lent -- they have an ap, facebook, utube, twitter and every concievable modern tool out there, which amazed me, but is awesome. 

M - her teacher has a daily prayer suggestion (our country, parents, friends, etc...) followed by instructions to go count something specific (cars, fingers, door knobs, etc...) and put that many coins in the Rice Bowl.  She loves it.  M & I also sing a special Lenten song her class is learning complete with arm motions.

B - B has a quick one page reading every day in his 40 windows for Lent booklet. Some days the reading includes a word puzzle or something to do.  B also made this little basket in class that has sticks in it that each list a way to help out at home or school.  He draws one stick per day and does that thing.  Many of them are things he would be doing anyway, but it is a good reminder.  He also adds money to his Rice Bowl, but in a more ad hoc way than M's counting plan. 

These are about 1/10 of the number of things we could be doing based on the amount of resources provided.  Each of the several booklets provided has daily readings (as does the flyer that comes with the Rice Bowl).  The school provided a list of 40 things to do during the 40 days of lent that vary widely, but are on the general theme of preparing for Easter, helping the poor, and learning more about God and the church. They were also provided this Lenten calendar for children, among other things in a big packet sent the weekend before Ash Wednesday. Some of those we may do, but we're trying to find a balance between making Lent present in our every day and it being too much for the kids. 

It has been enormously helpful to have them provide all these resources and is definitely connecting me and the kids to Lent in a positive, daily way we haven't been before.  I am amazed how much more there is to Sunday school and the curriculum both at school and at home and glad to be in a place that is supporting the kids and our family so much.  


PS - did you know there are Lent aps? Here is a list of six popular ones.  My how times have changed!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

1.  First up - Happy Birthday to our oldest nephew, John, whose 7th Birthday is today!  We love him so much and loved getting to spend some of the weekend with him and his family.  Happy birthday also today to Aunt Suzi -- the chef of the Rouse family!  (Our family has tons of birthdays from Jan 20-March 9 so several birthday buddies). 

Photo credit goes to State Senator David Holt
 2.  We also celebrated George Washington's 283rd Birthday on Friday evening at Dust Bowl with the GW Oklahoma Alumni network (these are the kids of the alumni, obviously).  It was probably our best GW alumni event so far.  We had lots of fun, food, and great conversations.  All of the alumni present are lawyers which probably helps us find things to talk about rather easily :)
 3.  Then, after attempting and failing to go to sleep early, Brent and I woke the kids up just before 5am on Saturday for the drive to TX.  We banned electronics, books, and really anything for the first two hours in hope they would go back to sleep.  I even played their lullabye CD.  I think they got some sleep, but not enough.  Come 7am, E got to have some video for the first time and was very confused that it wasn't a touch screen. We dropped Brent off at a summer camp fair by 8:30am and were off to visit the Joneses.
 4. I really like looking down from the second story at Jamie's house.  It is beautiful and this little guy is so very curious.  He had an awesome time with his cousins and all the toys, but had to be banned from the kids sleeping room for keeping everyone awake way past bedtime (we did return him to his air mattress after he fell asleep in our bed).
 5. I had no idea we were going to John's basketball game while we were there, but it was great fun.  It was pretty fancy as grade school games go complete with a run in through a tunnel into a mostly dark gym when their name was called with pulsing music in the background!  John played a great game and the other kids behaved pretty well as spectators!

 6.  After lunch, M & B went to John's birthday party at the climbing gym.  E took a nap in the car while I went to pick up Brent and then we met them there.  Climbing was kind of hard for the kids, but they gave it a try and seemed to have a good time anyway.
 7.  This guy ate his Italian Ice in tiny bites like this for about 45 minutes.........


 8.  We made it back the next day in time for Ro's 2nd birthday party.  It was a woof woof themed party and full of fun, big dogs and little dogs, black and white dogs, etc.... It was also nice to see my siblings who I have seen very little this month!
9.  Monday, everyone went to school and then an unexpected amount of snow arrived.  These two loved playing in it and helped me clear off the driveway.  B joined them when he came home and they all rejoiced about having a snow day today.

10.  For the first time in this training cycle I missed a run --- shocking I know given how busy and exhausting my weekend was.  I was back on schedule today, but it is shocking how much I do feel it when there is a gap in my training.  Sigh.  It is going OK.  As usual, running is a largely psychological game for me.  That said, last Thursday's run was totally awesome so there will be good days.

This weekend I am celebrating my birthday with family and friends.  Thanks to all you readers who follow our journey and encourage us in this crazy life.  Love you!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ten on Tuesday

 1. M has been doing some room reorganization again.  In an interesting turn of events she has recently discovered that she likes organizing things and setting them up just so.  Sadly, organizing them seems to require that they be organized neatly all over the floor, not, for example, put away in bins.  We had to stage a small intervention to get at least a portion of the things put away so B can reach his clothing......Also, enjoys writing and reading in her journal.  Thanks Grandma! (As an aside M needs her Grandma.  She craves their alone special times and when it doesn't happen crazy sometimes ensues.  I am so glad they get this time together).
2.  Friday night, Tracie, Mom, and I went out to dinner with one of Tracie's friends and then enjoyed the OKC Ballet's production of Romeo & Juliet.  Some parts were fabulous, particularly the beginning of Act III, any part involving Ronnie Underwood (I'm a fan), the sets, costumes, the principal ballerina, etc...  There were some thematic issues as Romeo & Juliet is largely about the words, it is Shakespeare after all and as lovely as the production was it didn't conquer the lack of language.  Also, the lead male dancer had quite a few partnering issues, but was a good actor.  Anyway, it was good fun, great seats, company, and music.  I'm looking forward to next season as well as Giselle and Peter Pan are coming!
3. I wandered in from the ballet around 11pm completely ready to go to sleep.  Luckily Brent reminded me that we needed to find and set out the trail of hearts.  M had been looking forward to it all week and especially the evening before. She (and I) would have been crushed if I forgot to do it.  After the annual frantic digging for where we put the hearts we set it up and she was suitably very enthusiastic when she woke up.  The added twist this year is that she can now read all the hearts, which added tremendously to the fun. 
4.  Valentines didn't work out as planned.  This is the wonderful world of parenting.  Two months. Two planned dates outside of our home.  Zero success in those endeavors.  This time, E woke us up Valentine's Day morning sick and proved he was serious.  We cancelled all plans, mourned, developed a somewhat overly complicated plan B. And enjoyed our time together anyway.  We are becoming pros at the "at home" date.

 5.  See? Sad puppy who needed lots and lots of snuggles all weekend.

 6.  We were home a lot over the last four days.  We tried to include as many non-electronic options as possible including a lengthy train playing session with all three kids.  We have a great set of trains and E got a new one (Charlie #14--- obviously) for Valentine's Day.  E rallied to get right into the train fun.
 7.  On Sunday after church we went to visit Brent's parents and celebrate his dad's birthday with his sister and her kids.  E had a very good time talking to Grammie (in less good news, many people at this event were later sick too....ooops?? So sorry).
 8.  Brent remains totally adorable with babies and Grayson enjoyed the company as his mom packed up for the trip home before the winter storm that was heading our way.
 9.  While at Grammy's, E discovered the harmonica and was a huge fan.  He played it for a very long time.  Mostly the same notes over and over.
 10.  M developed her very own raspberry muffin recipe with the tiniest bit of chemistry help suggestions from me. Very tasty.  She now wants to enter the county fair in the summer, which sounds lovely.
Bonus cuteness - these kids had today off as well for winter break.  After naptime I found them like this watching Care Bears.  Too cute.

Also - not much about B in the above.  He won the "Safety" award for his class for this nine weeks.  As far as I can tell it is one of the "Dophin Three" values and, in part, about making good choices, which I'm all for.  He and I continue to read Percy Jackson books at a very good clip.  This week we're on to Son of Neptune, which I admit I am loving.  Also, B wants to let you know that he lost his 9th tooth on Sunday.  He hadn't lost one in a while so there was much excitement. 

Friday, February 13, 2015

Five on Friday

Random Favorites this week:

1. Sergei Polunin dances to " Take Me to Church" by Hozier - I thought this was lovely, the space, and the dancing.  The fact that he is doing it on stone floors is a little scary, but the light and beauty is amazing.

2. When I'm on travel Come on Get Higher (Matt Nathanson) starts all my runs and is frequently in the mix here too.  Brent and I don't have a song per se, but this one definitely reminds me of him.  (Yes, Valentine's Day romance is swirling and I am still listening to songs from 5+ years ago).

3. Embodiment Running Tights - by Athleta - Love these.  My most recent running tights purchase and a return to my long-time favorite running apparel company.  I've drifted a bit because their stuff is rarely on sale and kind of expensive, but really, it is worth it and these are on sale.  Hooray!

4. Buxom Lip Gloss - I'm not even sure what shade I have (maybe blushing pink?), but it was a gift from Jamie last year and my go to on this trip. I wore it alone and with lipstick depending on what I was up to.  Feels great and is a nice shimmer.

5. Bound Hearts Bracelet - Brent bought me this for Christmas with five hearts - two big, and three small in between.  I've been wearing it nearly daily of late.  Love it. 

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