Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Lucy's Self Portrait

This is the picture Lucy brought home from school yesterday . . .

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Layered Greek Dip Recipe

This recipe is from Better Homes & Gardens. I've had it several times and it's awesome!

1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. dried Italian seasoning
3 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups prepared hummus
1 cup chopped cucumber
1 cup chopped tomato
1/2 cup chopped pitted Kalamata olives
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
1/3 cup sliced green onions
Pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips

1. In medium mixing bowl beat cream cheese, lemon juice, Italian seasoning, and garlic with electric mixer on medium speed until smooth and combined.

2. Spread cream cheese mixture into a deep 9-inch pie plate, or shallow serving dish. Evenly spread hummus on cream cheese layer. Top with cucumber, tomato, olives, feta cheese, and green onions. Cover and refrigerate 2 to 24 hours. Serve with pita chips and/or multigrain tortilla chips. Makes about 2-1/2 cups dip (16 servings).

Monday, November 9, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 13 days

I can't believe I'll be in Oklahoma in 11 days! I can't wait to see everyone!

Yesterday, in training, I ran/walked 9 miles. I'm pretty sure I jogged at least as much as I walked if not more which I was not even planning on doing so I was super psyched about that. I averaged less than 15 min/mile which was my goal so that was good also. Not super speedy but we all have to start somewhere.

I had lunch with my dear friend Jennifer yesterday and she reminded me that the Pittsburgh Marathon is in May so today I signed up for the half marathon! I am quite confident that I can run it! I'm so happy to have a new goal to focus on and work towards so I don't stop after all this training.

Who wants to join me in Pittsburgh on May 2, 2010???

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Fire Pit

I love Fall. My favorite season.

Right now there are leaves everywhere. Men and their leaf blowers cannot keep up. I wish they would just take a break and leave the leaves where there are for awhile. I love shuffling down the sidewalk through newly fallen leaves. I love watching the leaves fall as I walk the dogs. I love that the dogs are mostly quiet as we walk and I can escape the constant chatter and banter of my house. I think my absolute favorite smell might just be a wood burning fire from some unknown location as I breathe in cool fall air.

I have been begging for a fire pit all summer and now that most of our outdoor projects are finished we finally have one! It sits upon a small stone patio that was added when our retaining wall (pictures of that later) was being put in. And that is our new fence which replaced the one that was literally falling down. If you look closely you'll see that there are two mini Adirondack chairs that match the big ones.

Our marshmallow/hot dog roasting sticks arrived yesterday from amazon so we broke in the pit last night with s'mores and hot dogs. Kids love roasting anything and I love a fire. Doesn't get much better than that. Except, of course, if YOU were here : )

Monday, November 2, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 20 days

It's early so I'm saying this out loud now while I'm feeling motivated. I'm going to give up alcohol and crappy food for the next 20 days in preparation for the half-marathon (and Thanksgiving). I think I will feel prepared and a little lighter for the walk. It would also be nice to lose some chub chub before Thanksgiving, cookie exchanges, holiday parties, etc. etc.

I am quite sore today after my long walk yesterday. Some stretching and light exercise today should do the trick though.

No school today or tomorrow. School conferences. Have no idea what the day will bring.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Route 66 Countdown: 21 days

Today my goal was to take a fairly strenuous 2.5 hour walk. I wasn't as concerned with my distance but wanted to incorporate big hills and go for at least 2.5 hours. I did it, actually walking for 3 hours. And I didn't chicken out on any of the hills. I had new kicks I was breaking in and could tell they were much better than my old shoes. I felt pretty good when I was done. My hips and lower back were sore. I just wanted to sit and stretch.

But, just as I got home it was time to take Henry to hockey and Chad was busy working on the house and yard so I took him. After getting him on the ice I had to return the boys' football equipment for the season. Then I picked Henry up, getting home just in time to take Sam to hockey. Chad was still working hard so back to hockey I went.

Sam was practicing as goalie today which he was SUPER excited about. He wanted to get there early because goalie equipment is different than what we're used to. We have to put goalie pads on at the rink as opposed to at home with normal hockey pads. For goalie leg pads he lays the pads on the floor and then lays on top of them, belly to the floor, while I strap him in. The first time I did this we didn't realize we had to put the skates on first (they go on last with regular pads) so we had to unstrap and start over. Today, after he was all strapped in he stood up and the coach told me I had them on the wrong legs! Start over! Oh well, I think now we've made all the newbie mistakes and know what we're doing. At least as far as getting dressed.

We made it home about 4pm and I finally took off my running shoes. One blister. I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher and here I am. Wiped Out.

While I'm typing, Lucy is in the next room flitting around to her Barbie and the Diamond Castle movie. She is such a girl. Earlier, however, she was determined to put those goalie pads on herself. No one would help her but she was trying her darnedest. She would not take no for an answer. Just about the cutest thing. I love that these boys have a little sister and I love that she has two older brothers. She will be so much tougher and they will be just a little softer.

UPDATE: Obviously, I was really tired and wiped out tonight. So was Chad. After talking to him I found out he moved the equivalent of 3 tons of tile and stone today. Yep. 3 tons. Among many other things. I think that trumps my 10 miles. He consistently amazes me.

The Holiday Season is Upon Us

November 1 marks the beginning of the Holiday Season in my mind. I'm planning a Cookie Exchange party. Thanksgiving is right around the corner. All of the stores are putting their Christmas stuff out. I need to get a picture of the kids this month for our Christmas card. Every year that seems to get harder and harder. It shouldn't be that hard. They're so super cute. I'll try bribing them with Halloween candy. It's a little early for the "Don't make me call Santa" line.

Can someone come up with a way to keep coffee in a coffee cup hot for a long time? I usually drink my coffee out of a thermal mug which does the trick but this morning they were all dirty so I'm drinking out of one of my cute coffee mugs. I forgot how much more enjoyable it is to sip from a mug. It just doesn't stay hot. And I don't want some "special stay hot mug" because I like my own. What about some type of hot stone or something???

I'm walking for two and a half hours today in training for walking the half marathon (which is in 21 days!). Yikes!! I hope that gets me to 9 miles but I'm adding some killer hills today. In any case, it will be a good workout. I'm going to have to get serious during the next three weeks. You too, mom. Jessica is going to kick our butt.