September 25, 2017

Date Night Gone Wrong: Rock Climbing

One day while attempting to put you down for a nap, I couldn't help but notice that you were trying to pull yourself up in your crib. Daddy lowered your mattress and his timing couldn't have been better, two days later I caught you standing up in your crib. As soon as I walked in the door, you fell over and hit your head of the crib. I'm sorry I startled you.

Wednesday night you hung out with the Crooks so Daddy and I could go on a date. You enjoyed your time at the Crooks and we mostly enjoyed our date. We decided to go rock climbing, it had been years since we climbed so we took a refresher course and then hit the wall. Daddy made a final trip up the wall and as I was belaying him down my hand got caught in the belay device.

I felt the pain instantly and knew what had happened. The pain was so intense that I couldn't call out or look down at my hand. I tried to yank hard on the rope to get some slack in the line, but it didn't work. Luckily one of the employees saw what had happened and she ran over and yanked on the rope. It took two employees yanking on the rope to get my hand out. I lost several layers of skin, my hand swelled up, it bled and it bruised. I cried a little bit, but that is to be expected. I am so grateful that the injury wasn't worse and that I didn't have to make a trip to the hospital. More importantly, I grateful I still have my hand.

You started saying "Mama" on Thursday night while we were at the consignment sale we like to go to every six months. Yay! You know my name.

That face.

You hate the swings. Every time I put you in the swing you scream bloody murder.

Saturday, we spent the day working on projects around the house. We made a trip across the street to visit the neighbors and their dog Marnie (this is something we do almost daily). To my surprise you started saying "Og" I think that is your way of saying dog. You said "Og" about four times, each time we were either near Marnie or going to see Marnie. Your face lights up every time you see her, I think she is your adopted puppy dog. She gets so excited each time she sees you too!

Riding in your hamper car.

You just love that bat.

Mommy!!!! (Yes, you were crying and I took a picture)

First time seeing bubbles.

Sunday morning we went on a family walk before hopping in the car and heading to Dallas. My cousin Cooper came home from his mission in Alaska and we went up to hear his homecoming talk. You did so good during church! It was so good to see family and catch up! I can't believe it has been two years since Cooper left, I remember going to his farewell like it was yesterday. It's crazy how fast time passes.

September 22, 2017

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I don't know about you, but I struggle when it comes to meal planning. For me, meal planning feels too restrictive. What if what I planned to make for dinner that day doesn't sound good? What about my leftovers? When will they get eaten?

Another thing I struggle with is wasting food- I hate to waste food! I hardly ever throw food out, I manage to find a way to use everything. On the rare occasion that something doesn't get eaten in time, we feed it to the chickens.

And, I only go grocery shopping twice a month. The exception to this rule is making a milk run (we only have one fridge).

At this point you might be scratching your head wondering what we eat. Honestly, we eat a lot of whole grains, lean meats and A LOT of fruits and vegetables.

On more than one occasion Andy has suggested that I should blog about what I make with "nothing" in the fridge. While it's a good idea, I'm not sure it would help very much, since what is in my fridge is probably different from what is in your fridge.  

I guess I should get back on track-- this post is supposed to be about chili. About a year ago my sister gave me an awesome chili recipe, I changed a few things in it, entered the chili in a couple of chili cook offs and won. Since it's chili season again I thought I would share the recipe with you.

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

1 Medium Yellow Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, finely chopped
1.75-2 Pounds Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs
2 (15 Ounce) White Beans, drained and rinsed
2 (15 Ounce) Cans Diced Tomatoes
2 (4 Ounce) Cans Green Chilies
1 1/2 Cups Chicken Broth
8 Ounces Neufchatel Cheese (found next to the cream cheese at the store)
1 Tablespoon Oregano Leaves
2 Teaspoons Ground Cumin
2 Teaspoons Chili Powder
1 Teaspoon Paprika
1 Teaspoon Kosher Salt
1/2 Teaspoon Black Pepper
Chopped Cilantro, for topping
Shredded Cheese, for topping
Corn Tortilla Chips, for topping

Place the onions and garlic on the bottom of your slow cooker. Place chicken on top in a single layer. Add the beans, tomatoes, chilies, chicken broth, neufchatel cheese, oregano, cumin, chili powder, paprika, salt and pepper and cover. Cook for 8-10 hours on low or until chicken is very tender. Remove chicken and shred with a fork. Once shredded stir the chicken back into the soup and season with salt and pepper as needed. Ladle into bowls and serve topped with cilantro, cheese and tortilla chips.  Serves 6-8

While the photos are not the prettiest, this chili is the tastiest! Your belly will thank you for eating it. I took some chili to my neighbors this evening and they came running outside asking for the recipe-- it's that good! Enjoy!

September 21, 2017

Bubba At 10 Months

My sweet little boy, how has it been 10 months already? It's hard to believe how fast you are growing up. It seems like you learn something new almost daily. You can roll, and crawl, and sit yourself up. You have two cute little bottom teeth now. You have started eating "real food" like pancakes and Cheerios. You love green beans! I'm not sure when you decided you likes them, but that's been a positive change. You make different noises when you want different things. And you giggle when delight when you are excited!

We love you so very much! Our lives wouldn't be complete without you!

September 18, 2017

Canning & Crawling

Well little one, fall is in the air. Fall is my absolute favorite season, I hope you learn to love fall as much as I do someday. This week we did fall like things: we frozen 60 pounds of peaches, we canned 30 quarts of pickles and 18 quarts of tomatoes, and we made a lot of roasted red pepper soup and tomato soup to eat this next year.

My little helper.

The final product.

I have a love hate relationship with canning. I love seeing all of the fresh produce, I love seeing the final product and eating everything, but it is a lot of work! The work is worth it though, home canned food tastes so much better!

We discovered you love fresh tomatoes.

And you love fresh cucumbers.

You reached a high milestone this week, Bubba- you started crawling. It looks more like an army man crawl, you move your arms but not your legs. Crawling the way you do looks like a lot of work. You are one strong and determined little boy. I can't believe you are mobile! You are growing up too fast! Please slow down, please.

That face just melts my heart.

You have a voice and you sure let us know when you object.

September 17, 2017

Oven Pancakes

Those who know me well, know that I am a healthy eater. I don't typically enjoy eating out and I don't enjoy prepackaged foods very much. I love to cook and I enjoy cooking with healthy raw ingredients.

Several months ago when my mother-in-law came to visit she asked if I had any flour. My response was, "I have whole wheat flour." I haven't bought white flour in years. I tend to use whole wheat flour, spelt flour, tapioca flour and coconut flour. Whole wheat flour wasn't going to work for my mother-in-law, so we made a trip to the grocery store where she purchased a bag of white flour. This flour has been sitting in my cupboard since then and I decided to bite the bullet and start using it.

I was craving oven pancakes (German pancakes, Dutch babies, fluffy pancakes--I'm sure there are many more names for this dish) one day and decided to try the Pioneer Woman's recipe. I was really disappointed with her recipe, it had too much egg in it and was kind of rubber like.

Just the thought of these pancakes makes my mouth water.

A few days later I called up my step-mom to get her recipe (I'd had it before so I knew it was good). I made a few changes to it and had the most amazing oven pancakes of my life!

The dish was so good, I made it two more times in the matter of a few days (shh, don't tell anyone I ate half the pan by myself). I tried experimenting with my favorite kinds of flours and it wasn't the same, some more experimenting may be needed in the future but for now this is the winning version of the recipe.


6 eggs
1 C milk
1 C white flour
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp cinnamon
A pinch of sea salt
Optional: fruit


Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan. Mix eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, cinnamon and salt until smooth. Pour the mixture into your pan. Sprinkle fruit on the top of the mixture (We have tried raspberries and blackberries together and we have tried peaches and blackberries- both were really good). Bake in the over for 18 minutes. Serve immediately with fresh lemon juice and powdered sugar on top. Enjoy!

 Maybe one of these days I will get good at taking photos of food, in time I guess.

September 12, 2017

Through The Eyes Of Bubba

I think I live a pretty good life. In the morning, I get to lay in bed for about an hour with Mommy and Daddy. Daddy heads to work and Mommy and I play with toys in my room. Then we head to the kitchen and Mommy makes breakfast and I eat Cheerios, they are my favorite!

Often we go outside to water the plants, feed the chickens and check the mail. We usually go visit our neighbors and say hi to Marnie (she is a puppy that lives next door).

Sometimes we run errands or go to the library for story time.

I love going on long walks and hikes with Mommy! I enjoy taking in all the sights and sounds around me.

During the day we sing, read stories together and dance around the house. Dancing with Mommy is so much fun! It makes we laugh and smile.

Sometimes Mommy says, "Meow." I don't  know what that word means but I like the way in sounds. It sounds funny and I laugh.

I laugh a lot. Laughing is the best though when Mommy and Daddy tickle me!

Usually I only cry when I am "done" or when I Mommy and Daddy try to put me down for a nap-- naps are the worst. Mommy and Daddy insist that naps are good for me, but I'm not so sure.

September 11, 2017

Bubba's 9 Month Check Up & Hiking Mary's Peak

Well little one, each day you get a little bigger and each day you get a little older. It seems as though you learn or discover something new each day. This week for instance, I was washing my hands in the bathroom and turned around to find you attempting to bite the toilet seat. Thankfully, you opted for licking the outside of the toilet bowl instead.

One day Daddy was holding you and you were fussy. I looked at Daddy and said, "I think he's hungry." Then we both heard you say what sounded exactly like, "Yeah Dad." It was pretty impressive!

We went in for your nine month check up and I am proud to say you aren't anemic. According to the doctor 1 in 4 breastfed babies is anemic, I'm so glad you aren't! The doctor asked what we feed you and I told him: pot roast, pancakes, green beans, baby oatmeal mixed with fruit, etc. I think he was surprised.

You are in the 30th percentile for weight, the 53rd for height and the 58th for head circumference. I was thrilled with these numbers because you are no longer in the teens.

We managed to get out and do a little hiking this weekend. We took the scenic route to Mary's Peak (It's is the highest point of the Oregon Coastal Mountain Range) and stopped at a few of our favorite farms along the way to get some produce for canning.

We hiked the 5.3 mile route to the top of the peak. The trail wasn't as steep as I was expecting, I'm grateful for that. I was hoping to see the ocean from the top, but it was too cloudy. A storm was rolling in as we were on the summit, we tried not to linger too long because it was cold!

I'm so happy we were able to get out and hike. I can finally scratch that one off my bucket list.