A Year Ago Tonight

A year ago tonight, my mom and I were on our way home from a soccer game. The Farmer's team (he coaches high school boys' soccer) played an early game because the girls' team played afterward. I remember this because the Farmer called to ask if he could stay to watch some of the girls' game. I said, "Yes" but then added, "but I think we might be having a baby tonight." The Farmer told me later he thought, "Aww, I hope not. I'm too tired." HA! His team played that exact same team tonight, so Sweet P and I made an appearance.

When the Farmer got home we had dinner (Boca burgers and asparagus, which just so happens to be exactly what we had tonight, too! (not on purpose!)). My mom had been timing my contractions and around 9:30pm she told me to call my midwife. I didn't want to go to the hospital before showering (and my mom said, "well you better hurry up") so I hopped in the shower before calling my midwife. I'm pretty sure that while I was in the shower shaving my legs (what I could reach) and washing my hair (if I was having this baby tonight, I wanted clean hair!), I was in denial. I didn't really think it was happening. After getting out of the shower, my mom handed me the phone, Auntie Rosita was on the line. No offense to Auntie Rosita, but sometimes in hectic situations (and I'd say labor is pretty hectic), Auntie Rosita can stress me out. I hung up with her and called the Farmer into the bathroom where I promptly started to panic.

I called the midwife after I laid on the bed and felt a POP! and my first painful contraction (I'd had Braxton Hicks since 28 wks). She told me to try to relax and get some sleep (uh huh, riiight). So we popped in a movie (Nacho Libre to be exact) and I sat on the exercise ball. About 10 minutes into the movie I realized my water was breaking and made it to the bathroom in time. We left for the hospital 10 minutes later.

The hospital was F-U-L-L full so we were put into a C-section room. We later learned it was the very last room available. Oh my stars, I don't know what I would have done without a private room (there were women laboring together in triage). After we were settled, the Farmer and I walked up and down the hall looking at the babies in the nursery. We were both SO tired and I started to have really painful contractions. About 5am, I broke down and asked for pain medicine. I started with Fentanyl...uhm, just felt drunk and still felt contractions so I opted for an epidural. I was really sad because I didn't want one and I'd wanted to badly to go natural...I went to sleep right after the epidural kicked in and woke up about an hour or so later. They wanted to check me to see if they needed to start pitocin (also, didn't want to go there). Luckily, I was dilated to a 9! and they started to prepare for pushing.

Here is where I tell you that as soon as I started pushing, that nice little epidural of mine wore off and they even tried to fix it. No luck. So I felt all 3.5 hours of pushing and while it hurt like heck, I'd do it all over again. And I'm glad I know what it feels like, because people tell me they didn't feel anything when they pushed the baby out. What the? At least I know what's coming next time.

Those 3.5 hours were ppppaaaaiiinnnfuuull. I even tried to bite the Farmer once. Sweet P's head just wouldn't stay in the birth canal. She kept sliding back up when I stopped pushing. So my midwife, after 3 hours, told me my options (because our hospital only lets ya push for about 3 hours). They could try to vac her out OR we could do a C-section. At that point, I don't think I really cared what they did, but I'm pretty sure I knew I didn't want a C-section. So the vac it was. So at 12:49pm after one pull and a push, out came Sweet P with that gorgeous head of hers. They immediately laid her on my chest and I remember looking at those big blue eyes. And we cried. The Farmer, my mom and me.
So that's how Sweet P came into the world, as I remember it today. She was born on her due date and weighed 8 lbs 11.9 oz. I thank the Lord for her and all she's brought into our lives. What a Joy she is to us and an amazing little girl.

Happy Birthday Sweet P.

One More Night

Whew, even Sweet P's worn out from packing

After tonight (which I'm not really counting), we'll have ONE MORE NIGHT! in the apartment. Can you tell I'm excited?

What I'm not excited about are the shin splints I'm currently suffering from since we live on the 3rd floor of an apartment bldg with no elevator. Doesn't moving out sound like fun? Oh it is, it is. It takes me 30 minutes to pack the car with a load and about 5 to unload it at the house...why? Oh. Yep. Stairs. But I'm not complaining. Really. I'm just so doggone excited about getting out of here that I shouldn't even be talking about those stairs. I also have to remember that we decided to save money and do it ourselves so I need to just settle down.

If I had some pictures, I'd show you how desolate our apartment is. But I haven't really been up to par in the picture taking area (remember?) and I get reprimanded by Gammie on a regular basis ("Where are my pictures of Sweet P?"). I know you're reading this mom, so there you have it. Plus, there's a pic of her up top.

Also, if I haven't mentioned it, Sweet P's first real word is BALL. She says ball for just about everything, because if you think about it...there's a lot that resembles a ball. Like onions, apples, balloons...you name it. It's a ball to Sweet P. She amazes me that she can find a ball in ANY store.

Tomorrow night I'll post a super fun post about what went on that same night a year ago. It'll be the last post from the apartment. And then we'll be MIA for awhile as we set up shop in our new home and get around to setting up the good ole internet.

Shout out: To Auntie Rosita who had her first open house tonight! I haven't heard how it went yet, but I'm sure it was fabulous. If you haven't checked out her work, you should! I'm not just saying that because she's my sister, either.

How long are you breastfeeding?

I'll be honest. I kinda hate that question. Mostly because I get a number of responses when I tell them my goal.
"Good for you." (I like that one.)
"Oh wow, I don't know how you do it." (Not bad.)
"You're not going to go until she can talk are you?" (Define talk.)
"Once they can ask for it, that's just weird."

Let's talk about that last one for a minute. I hear that line a lot. And I have said that line a lot. Until last week. Someone said it to me and as I drove home that day I mulled it over in my head and came up with this.

Why is it so weird that a child would ask to breastfeed? We teach them time and time again to use their words, to ask for a sippy cup, to tell us if they want more food, to let us know if they want a snack and then we start giving them choices. Why then, if we teach them to ask for things is it so odd for them to ask for the one thing they've known since birth? Is it weird for them to ask for a glass of milk? a cup of juice? a bottle?

The only thing I could come up with is that it gets to a point where a mom could potentially feel embarrassed by a child who asks to nurse, which brings me to my next issue. Why is breastfeeding embarrassing!? Oh dear sweet Western society, what you have done to make breastfeeding so absolutely taboo? For some reason people tend to forget that before formula and bottles, those things were the only option we had. And honestly, I can't for the life of me figure out why a woman would be offended by a breastfeeding mother. It drives me nuts that society has turned breasts into insanely sexual objects.

Now, I am not a "let it all hang out" breastfeeder (unless I'm among friends and even then I try to be discreet). I know it makes people uncomfortable and I'm really not that excited about people staring as I feed my child. However, those people and I feel that way because of the way our culture has shaped breastfeeding.

Did you know that WHO (The World Health Organization) reports that the world average for breastfeeding is 4.2 years? 4.2 YEARS!?!? With that knowledge, I rest assured that it's not that "weird" to be breastfeeding past a year. Things are still going well for us and I see no reason why stopping to give her whole cow's milk would be more beneficial.

So for now, we'll keep on keepin' on and keep answering the question with "My goal is 2 years."


This is what packing with an 11 month old looks like

Tomorrow is closing day. At least we think so. Our realtor hasn't talked to our banker so we are a bit confused, but we're doing our final walk through tonight and by tomorrow at 3pm, we will be first time home owners. (We hope.)

It's a little sad saying goodbye to our little apartment of firsts. We joked tonight that Sweet P said, "We're moving?! I've spent my whole life here!" But that sadness lasted about 2 seconds before I remembered that by this time next week we'd be celebrating Sweet P's first birthday in our new digs.

Will I miss my loud neighbors? Nope.
Will I miss the pregnant lady across the way who smokes? Nope.
Will I miss the door that isn't sealed and allows a nice freezing breeze in the winter? Nope.
Will I miss having to traipse down 3 flights of stairs only to realize I forgot the garage door opener? Double nope.

I will definitely miss having 2 bathrooms! There's not much else about the apartment itself that I'll miss. The location is convenient, it's right behind a grocery store, but when I remember all the other inconveniences living behind a shopping center brings...I'm not so sad about not being able to walk to the grocery store at my new house.

So these are the last posts from the apartment and truthfully, this week they may be few and far between. But we'll be back soon posting as usual from our new house and new kitchen (oooh, I can't wait for that!).

Special thanks to my friend K who came over yesterday with her daughter L to entertain Sweet P so I could pack. And for bringing me a much needed latte! Thank you!

Banana Baby Muffins

Sweet P loves muffins, just about as much as she likes baby pancakes. In fact, baby pancake batter can also be used to make muffins. I was trying to figure out a way to make the batter last longer than the few pancakes it was making so one day I decided to pour it into some mini muffin tins and bake it. And wa-la! Banana Baby Muffins were born. As with most of the recipes around here, try other things besides bananas like sweet potatoes, pumpkin, blueberries or apples for a new twist on the muffins. And don't forget to mix up the spices (pumpkin pie spice, ginger, coriander)!

Banana Baby Muffins
2/3 c organic oat flour*
1/4 c oats
1 tbsp organic ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
1/4 c water
1 mashed organic banana
1 tsp cinnamon (or nutmeg)
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp organic plain yogurt
1 tsp organic olive oil
*I make my own by grinding organic oats in a coffee grinder.

Mix dry ingredients. Add flaxseed and 3 tbsp water and mix well. Combine water, banana, yogurt and oil until you have a smooth consistency. Grease a muffin tin with organic butter or olive oil. Pour batter into muffin tins. Bake at 350˚ for 15-18 minutes.

Mini muffins are so easy to take on the go and have great stuff in them. If you remember the flaxseed and water act as an egg replacement so this recipe is wheat, egg and milk free. These all make great mama muffins as well!

They go really fast around here...which reminds me that I need to go make a new batch. We'll be trying out apples today. What do you put in your muffins?

Finally Friday

Dear Friday,
I have been waiting for you all week. And it's not even because I have an 8 to 5 working for the weekend job (I have more like a 6:45am to 11:11pm job). You brought rain which means daddy gets to spend the day with us visiting Home Depot and packing boxes. We haven't seen much of daddy in the past few weeks so we are relishing in our Friday with him before he is whisked away to his high school boys' soccer game tonight. So I am so happy you're finally here, Friday, and listening to the sounds of daddy feeding Sweet P yogurt in the kitchen.

And enjoying my 11 month old for one more week. I can't believe it's been a year since she looked like this:

Happy Earth Day

What a great day to celebrate the earth. It's been another beautiful spring day in Iowa. Sweet P and my day started off full of teaching fitness classes (visiting child care for Sweet P) and packing boxes. But! Sweet P's nap didn't last long so we headed to Drake to visit daddy before his faculty meeting. We spent about 45 minutes under the shade of some trees on campus watching teams filter in for the 101 annual Drake Relays that officially start tomorrow. Sweet P had a ball examining twigs and branches that had fallen out of trees. So we may not have planted a tree today, but we definitely hung out with a few.

Next year I hope to have a few activities planned for Sweet P on Earth Day, but this year things are pretty hectic and she'd rather just eat leaves anyway.

What do you and your family do for Earth Day?

Sweet P's Sweet Potato Fries

This is the easiest recipe. Ever. So easy I'm not sure it can be called a recipe. Seriously, you're going to look at and think...what in the world? Surely there's more. Nope. Here it is:

Sweet P's Sweet Potato Fries
1 large sweet potato
1 tbsp olive oil

Chop sweet potato into fry-like strips. I chop the sweet potato into circle and make small fries from there. Place on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, take out and stir with spatula. Return to oven for 25 more minutes.

See SO easy! The hardest part is waiting on them! You can also sprinkle them with cinnamon for baby or sea salt for mommy & daddy! And of course they were a hit with Sweet P.

*Special thanks to Auntie Rosita for the sweet potato fry idea

White Bean Hummus...for Mama and Baby

I have to apologize. My picture taking abilities have not been up to par lately. So just pretend you see a nice picture of the White Bean Hummus I'm telling you about in this post. There's not much Sweet P won't eat right now. I know to treasure these moments because she'll soon become a picky toddler, so I get her to try lots of new things while she's in the "Feed me anything" phase. She loves beans, but I can rarely find organic chick peas. I found a bag of white beans and decided I could make those for her to eat plain or as hummus. So after a few days of plain white beans, I took what was left and made hummus. It's so easy and I think she's really going to like it when she has other stuff to dip in it. Maybe we'll try carrots (steamed, of course) today.

White Bean Hummus
For Baby:
1/2 c cooked organic white beans
1/2 tsp garlic
1/2 tsp cumin
1 tsp olive oil

Place ingredients in a food processor (I use a mini) and pulse for about 2 minutes. The hummus will be a thick and creamy consistency.

For Mama:
Add a sprinkle of garlic salt and 1 tsp lemon juice. This recipe can easily be doubled or tripled or...well, you get the point.

PS. The countdown to Sweet P's birthday begins. She'll be 1 in 2 weeks! Where did my baby go?

March of Dimes March for Babies

On May 8th (6 days after she turns 1!), Sweet P and I will be walking in the March of Dimes March for Babies in Des Moines. I am really excited about the walk and getting involved in this cause. Because of the love and support of my awesome family and friends, Sweet P and I have raised $555 dollars for our team!

How can you help? By clicking on the widget to the right...see it? Yep, right there, on the right. Why should you donate? Well, for starters because it's a great cause and it's raising money so that "one day all babies will be born healthy." Wouldn't that be a marvelous thing? If you're still not convinced (if you're thinking, well, where does that money go?), here are a few things that March of Dimes has done for our wee ones.

You can thank March of Dimes if you:
  • Took folic acid during pregnancy to prevent brain and spinal cord birth defects
  • Your baby was born early and spent time in NICU (neonatal intensive care unit)
  • You had a healthy baby due to good prenatal care
  • Your baby was screened to test for dangerous, but treatable conditions
  • Your baby received the polio vaccine
Even if you didn't have a premature birth or complications, perhaps you know someone who has. Help continue the mission to give every baby a fighting chance. Donate.

Easiest Blueberry Muffins

The vegetarian Farmer went turkey hunting this morning with a colleague. For some reason I find this extremely oxymoronic (vegetarian turkey hunter, if you will). Turns out they didn't catch anything, but he assured me he wouldn't have shot anything anyway. It does make me laugh a little though to imagine the two of them out there in the forest on the farm, making turkey calls and watching turkey fly out of trees (yep, they sleep in trees! Who knew?).

To get a jump start on the turkeys they had to be at the farm at 5:30am. Uh, we live 40 minutes from the farm. It was a fun morning for The Farmer, getting up at 4:30am. Being the good Farmer's wife that I am, I made him a lunch and then realized he probably wouldn't eat breakfast before skeedaddling out the door so I decided to whip up some muffins. And I'm pretty sure he and his colleague are glad I did. These things are super easy and super yummy.

Easiest Blueberry Muffins
1/2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c all purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tbsp ground flaxseed + 3 tbsp water
1/2 c vanilla soymilk
1 tsp vanilla
1 c blueberries
2 tbsp butter
1/2 c white or brown sugar (I think I like brown better)

Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl. Add flaxseed and water and mix well. Add soymilk, baking powder and vanilla, then gradually pour in flour until well moistened. Fold in blueberries. Pour mixture into well-greased muffin tins. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes. Makes 12 regular muffins, 6 large or 24 minis.

I made 6 large so that he didn't have to cart all those regular sized muffins around with him. I used white sugar the first time, but I'm pretty sure they taste better with brown (just make two batches and compare, trust me, they'll get eaten). You can also use regular milk and replace the flaxseed mixture with an egg. So easy and so good and the Farmer wasn't listening to his tummy growl instead of listening for turkeys.

PS. The Farmer brought home the first bunch of asparagus!

First Day at the Farm

We've taken plenty of trips to the farm since Sweet P was born. When all of our visitors cycled through, we took each of them out to see why we moved to Iowa. We visited the farm twice during the winter, once Sweet P and I got out. The other time, we stayed snug as a bug in the car.

Yesterday (the weather was fabulous), though, we made our first real appearance on the farm as a family. While we waited for The Farmer to get the garden ready, we basked in the sun, took pictures in the fields, played in her new tent, laid on a blanket under some trees and took a stroll. When he was ready for us, we set up Sweet P with her walking cart (see picture) and I set to work.

If you are not aware, I do not like getting my hands dirty (which is pretty essential for gardening, farm work, etc). I am also not a gardener, I don't think I've ever planted anything and the only yard work I've ever done that I can recall is pulling weeds for money as a teenager. But I am really excited about the new garden and I am even more excited that I get to be a part of it. Getting there is tough with Sweet P in tow, but now that we know what taking her is like--we'll be making a whole lot more visits in the future.
Planting Beets
Okay, okay, so what did we plant? I planted Bull's Blood and Albino beets, turnips and radishes (I can just hear everyone salivating, HA!) while the Farmer planted broccoli, potatoes, kale, sugar peas, cabbage, swiss chard, arugula, lettuce, onions (The Farmer found 100 mini bulbs at Menards for $1.00, are you kidding?!), spinach and bok choy (now I really am salivating). I can't wait until we see results. We'll be taking a trip out next weekend so I can see how the plants are doing. Why did I plant so little? Well, I probably could have done more BUT...

After planting the beets, I opened the turnip package to see the tiniest seeds...EVER (imagine planting a sprinkle). I planted one row, then turned to help Sweet P with something and came back to plant the 2nd row. It wasn't until I was covering them with dirt that I realized I'd planted the 2nd row on top of the Albino beets! ARGH. Then, I accidentally put the extra turnip seeds from my hand in the Albino beets package. ARGH. And finally, while I was replanting the 2nd row, the turnip package blew in the wind dumping all but a few of the seeds onto the ground (I never did find them...tiny little things). But The Farmer was super patient with me and I got it done.

Watering the seeds with Sweet P
With all that, can you really believe I'm the Farmer's Wife?

On the Go

Today the Farmer family went to the farm. Sweet P and I haven't been out there since snow blanketed the ground so it was high time we made a trip. But this post isn't about the trip (that will come tomorrow), it's about what we took to eat. But here's a sneak peek of a pic...
We knew we'd be out for awhile so we decided to pack a picnic lunch. The standard picnic sandwich for us is peanut butter and jelly. Much to our dismay we ate the last 4 pieces of bread yesterday. I had to think of something...quick! So I made pasta salad and it did not disappoint! It was quick and easy and really yummy.

Penne Pasta Salad
2 c uncooked whole wheat penne pasta
1 c broccoli
1/4 c olive oil
1/4 c balsamic vinegar
garlic salt
Chefmate Kick'n Chick'n (this stuff is amazing)
red pepper flakes
(any other spices you want to throw in)

Cook the pasta according to directions. Strain and allow to cool slightly. Cook broccoli until soft (can steam or boil). Pour pasta, olive oil and balsamic vinegar into a bowl and combine (this works best with a set of tongs). Add a dash of each spice to taste.* Cut broccoli into smaller pieces and add to pasta. Store in fridge for an hour to cool (or take it with you).

*I used a about 1/4 tsp of oregano, garlic salt, red pepper flakes, Kick'n Chick'n, and rosemary.

It was so good after walking around the farm. Next time I'll make it earlier and chill it because I think it would have been even better that way. You can also add roasted red pepper, carrots or sauteed onions, but we didn't have time for that!

Try it next time you go on a picnic!

You're going to what?

Yep. There. I said it.
The Farmer and I plan to homeschool Sweet P.

We get a lot of questions about it like "why" and "what about her social skills and team building skills", but I'm not afraid of those things. As far as the social aspect goes...
I know many homeschooled children are perceived as "socially awkward." And I know that all children are different, but I have a hard time believing that a child of mine will have problems being social. I am what you might call a "social butterfly." You know the ones. The ones who got "Talks too much in class" on their report cards. Don't get me wrong, I have socially awkward moments all the time, but for the most part I am a social being. I love people and being around them. I hope to teach and instill this in my children by taking them to new places and meeting new people.

That said, the Farmer...not a "social butterfly." I could bet a million dollars the Farmer never saw the "Talks too much" comment on his report card. This does not mean the Farmer isn't social and never talks, it simply means he is more introverted than his outspoken wife. (That's why we go together so fabulously). A child who is shy or quiet is not "socially awkward." So yeah, compared to a loud, boisterous room of adolescents a homeschooled child might seem a little "socially awkward."

A lot of the time I can't put why I want to homeschool into words. It's something I am passionate about and am going to do with every inch of my being. Am I scared? Uh, heck yeah. Is it gonna be hard? Uh, heck yeah. Am I gonna have days where I want to say "That's it! You're getting on the school bus in the morning!"? Uh, double heck yeah.

But in my heart of hearts I know that this is what God is calling The Farmer and I to do. I know that Sweet P will benefit from having her parents as her teachers and I can instill Christian values in our children through their school curriculum (this is the part I absolutely love). I know she could learn this at a private Christian school, but honestly, I'd just rather do it myself.

There are days I think "eeeek, am I going to be able to do this?" and then there are days that I think "Bring it on! I'm ready now!" The Farmer and I have a LOT to learn...so you may hear me talking about our journey here and there because if you didn't know...Sweet P is turning ONE next month! And a lot of curriculums begin with preschool material.

If you are a homeschooling mama, please share your wisdom with me! What books do you use, what curriculum do you follow, are you organized or a go with the flow mama?

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare for our move...3 more weeks! Yikes!

What's Sweet P Eating?

Yum, leaves

When it comes to Sweet P, I try hard to mix things up for her. As you know, I'm sort of a looney-toon about making sure she eats organic and making her food myself. On Monday I wanted to try a few new things for her. Here's what she had:

Rice and Lentils
1/4 cup cooked organic brown rice
2 tbsp cooked organic lentils
1/3 cup cooked organic spinach
dash of paprika
dash of cumin
1 tbsp yogurt
1 tsp grated organic cheese

Cook the spinach in olive oil (not a lot) in a skillet and then add it to the rest of the ingredients. Mix ingredients together and serve. I burnt the first batch of lentils I made...apparently I didn't put enough water. That happens with beans A LOT in this household. She loved it (she loves most stuff right now, but hey, I take what I can get).

This was Sweet P's first experience with cheese. The Farmer and I had a discussion about cheese for Sweet P because I know there are a lot of kids out there that try cheese and then only eat cheese and not much else until they are 12. I know this because Auntie K was one of those kids. So I came up with the idea that we would only feed her cheese mixed into things and never as a food on its own. We'll see how that goes. Ask me again when she's 12.

If you haven't tried beans with your baby, they are a great source of fiber and protein (especially when paired with rice which makes a complete protein). And I'm pretty sure your baby will like them.

Mommy Smoothie

Who says babies have to have all the fun? Smoothies are a great breakfast treat. They remind me a of milkshake which makes me feel like I'm eating dessert for breakfast. This one is loaded with great stuff for you, so don't feel guilty...drink it up!

Mommy Smoothie
1/3 c vanilla soymilk
1/2 scoop protein powder (optional)
1 tsp agave nectar
3 tbsp plain yogurt
1 tbsp ground flaxseed
1 small banana
4 large strawberries (whole or chopped)
1/2 c spinach (yep, spinach)
1/4 c frozen blueberries
1/2 c ice cubes

Blend together in a high speed blender and serve with a straw. Can be 2 servings if you'd like, but I drink it all. You can't even taste the spinach and I've even started putting it in Sweet P's smoothies! She loves it (and so do I).

The only reason I added protein powder is because we have it and I figured why not? The Farmer had a wisdom tooth out last week so we bought it for him to put in smoothies.

This smoothie is a great pick-me-up and great for on the go moms.

April Challenge?

I hate to tell you that I will not be having an April Challenge. I know, I know. I talked about April being Health Challenge month, but with the packing and moving...I'm not sure I'll be on top of my game. So stay tuned for a Health Challenge later in the year.

My challenge for this month is packing up my apartment with my almost one year old in tow. That should be challenge enough for me!
My last Going Green Tip is to use your baby as a message board. Just kidding. But she's a darn cute message board if you ask me.

Easy Cheesy Rice Casserole

So, I have to admit we in the Farmer household are not healthy eaters 100% of the time. In fact, the Farmer and I both have a massive sweet tooth and definitely love some greasy french fries every once in awhile. We usually save most of our unhealthy eating habits for holiday meals. Because we all know how those can be. Especially when you're a vegetarian so all you eat are carbs! Well, and a few veggie dishes here and there. All this to say that I have a casserole for you. It's nice and healthy right up until I tell you to dump in a heap of Cheez Whiz. Yep, good old fashioned Cheez Whiz...or you can use Velveeta (which is not any better...and to be honest, if it's cheese and it's not refrigerated, that scares me a little).

Next time you're asked to bring a side dish, try this. It's easy. It's cheesy. And it's pretty darn good.

The Recipe:
Broccoli Rice Casserole (doesn't the name sound healthy?)

What you need:
2 1/2 cups cooked brown rice
15 oz. cooked broccoli, chopped (one frozen bag)
1 cup Cheez Whiz (or store brand which is what we did)
2 tbsp butter
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tsp garlic salt

Heat 1 tbsp of butter in sauce pan. Add rice, broccoli, garlic salt and cheese and stir until combined. Pour into 7x11 dish (2 qt dish). Heat remaining butter in sauce pan, add bread crumbs and toss until coated. Sprinkle bread crumbs on top of rice mixture. Heat oven and bake for 30 minutes or until crumbs are golden brown.

Happy Easter!

The Secret...

The Farmer and I are buying a house! We finally found a house we both love and are in the middle of the process. I wanted to wait until after the inspection before blurting it out to the world (which is tough, believe me). The inspection went well and they are changing a few of the things we asked of them. God is good and has definitely been guiding us through this entire process. We are on our way to being home owners and in my opinion, not fast enough. Here is an episode that occurred at the apartment complex this week...

The Farmer was getting ready for bed and came in to kiss me goodnight (I was finishing up some things online).

Me: Do you smell something burning?

Farmer: Yes, must be outside.

(Farmer goes to bedroom and gets in bed.)

I finish up and hear a loud POP similar to that of a gunshot...not a good sound. I looked up and saw the mirage in the air that a fire usually makes and thought: They are burning something right outside!

So I stood up and my eyes got wide...really wide. Approximately 75 feet from our building was a blazing fire inside of our dumpster. This would be fine and dandy if the dumpster wasn't surrounded by a wooden fence AND 75 feet from my child's window.


Farmer: What?! (half asleep)

Me: I'm calling 911. (calls 911)

We then watch from the window as two residents run out with fire extinguishers which do a whole lot of nothing to the fire. The fire truck finally gets there and has it out in about 2 minutes. After it was all said and done...

Me: I'm asking Adam (our realtor) tomorrow if we can close early.

The Farmer (just now): You should've taken a picture of the dumpster.


I have a secret...

And no, I'm not pregnant. (really, I'm not.)

But I do have a secret (and this is isn't an April Fool's joke, I really do have one).

But I'm not going to share it with you just yet.

So just sit and wait and hopefully in a few days...I can share it with you.

Thankful Thursday: Hello Spring!

I am so thankful for warmer weather! We welcomed spring in yesterday by a fun trip to the park. And even though I lathered up with spf, I still got sunburned. But in all honesty it's probably because I resemble a ghost.

Sweet P had a great time with her friends at our little picnic in the park.