Thursday, February 28, 2008

all signs indicate wind!

The big news of the week is that this year it looks like it's going to be WINDY for the 80th Annual Zilker Kite Festival this Sunday! For the last 2 years there has been NO wind on the day of the festival but it's been a windy late winter here and it's not stopping for that special day this year. We are so excited!!! After The Farmers Market three weeks ago we were flying our kites in the parking lot (did I tell you about that before?). Here are some pictures of our flight to encourage you to fly some kites of your own even if you can't get to the festival.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

I don't like late winter

Sorry to whine about something this minor but it bugs me.
See, after Feb 15 it pretty much starts to be spring here. We'll get days in the 70's and 80's, lots of sunshine, lows in the 50's. But every few days we'll get a day that's only in the 60's and we'll have lows in the 30's. Like last night, the low was 31 degrees. Two days ago it was 100 degrees in the afternoon sun on our back porch and now 48 hours later it's 31 degrees. That's just not right! And it will be like this until March 15 when it stops dropping down into the 30's for good until late fall comes along in December. Every year this happens and every year I complain. I always feel the urge to take down the green house/hot house right after Valentine's Day but I KNOW that we'll have at least 8 nights where it'll drop to freezing before the middle of March. And you know what? The last one of those freezing nights will be about March 12, like clockwork. See, I used to have peach trees in the back yard and about every other year they would be in full bloom just in time for that last frost to hit in mid March. And these trees weren't planted in the front where they would warm up quickly. No, they were planted in the valley in the back yard where the cold would settle in and not warm up until after 10 am. So every other year I would have NO peaches because all the blossoms would get frozen and killed - no flower means no fruit. So, even though we have days that are so hot that the plants in the hot house are in a sauna, I can't take it down because 2 nights later they would be nipped or killed by the frost. Oh well.

In those years that I did have peaches I loved to stand out there watching them grow while singing a wonderful song by a band from Seattle called The Presidents Of The United States Of America. It's called "Peaches" and you can listen to it right here about 1:45 into the song it gets to my favorite part "Millions of peaches, peaches for me. Millions of peaches, peaches for free."

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I seem to remember seeing these guys in concert with our friend Duane, once upon a time.

Monday, February 25, 2008

dinner correction

I realized that Joe is getting a bit tired of eating chicken breasts so while shopping today I got him two pork loins. One is salsa seasoned, the other is mesquite BBQ seasoned; he had the salsa one for dinner tonight and he was pleased with it. Just over half a pound, cooked in the toaster oven at 425 for 20 minutes with a 10 min rest afterwards. He was still hungry and not pleased with the asparagus so overall he could have had a better dinner. You had to use your molars to eat the asparagus. The BBQ loin is just over 1 pound so he should be filled up by that one when I cook it later this week.
Oops, I just realized that I never finished chopping up all the celery for freezing. I was using my new knife from Lee Valley Tools. Actually, I got the knife about 5 months ago but I just now got around to using it for the first time. I'll finish this one 5 pound bunch of celery up tonight and leave the other two (bigger) bunches for tomorrow.

where are my posts?

I swear that I've been blogging. It's just that I've been doing it inside of my head while lying in bed at night instead of writing it down here. Sorry. It's easy to post when the weather is bad but when it's nice, well, that's another story. I'm sure that once spring comes to Kansas we'll never hear from Rechelle again.

We went to the pool yesterday. It's outdoors but it's heated from October to March so it's wonderful except for on windy days. Well, before church yesterday Giselle decided that it'd be a good day to go since it was going to be in the upper 70's (our thermometer showed 100 in the sun). After church she called everyone she knows trying to get them to join us at the pool; everyone was busy or not at home. I had to get rid of a month's worth of hair on my legs and we got to the pool around 2 pm. The pool was a blast! At first Paul said that he wouldn't be doing any jumping yet but by 3:30 he and Giselle were doing cannonballs off of the side (Paul does his with a floaty on). It was cold when you first get out of the water but as soon as we dried off it was wonderful. Giselle is already psyched to go all the time this summer. Actually we were planning to go ALL the time last summer but it rained for the entire month of April, May and June and then it was colder than usual in July. Let's hope that this summer is warmer than last year! I could go for the rain again but I need my summers to be in the 90's and 100's NOT 70's and 80's.
I'd love to stay and chat but Giselle broke the strap on one of her ballet slippers and I need to fix it before her lesson today.
Thomas (and Bobby?) are coming over for dinner tonight - tamales from Tamaleo. If you live in the Austin area you HAVE to get some of their tamales soon. Either drive to Cedar Creek (it's near Bastrop) or pick them up at the Sunset Valley Farmers Market on Saturdays. The kids and I eat the black bean, the pork have a spicy green sauce and the chicken is in a mole sauce. After Thanksgiving they made some turkey ones in the green sauce. We'll be eating ours tonight with Daisy sour cream (full fat only) and Goya salsa verde. Joe'll have his chicken breasts with Pace green sauce. Hmmm, what to have for veggies? We ate all of the broccoli, spinach and snow peas last night for dinner. Maybe I'll get inspired at the grocery store.
See ya!

Oh yea!!!! Spell check is working again!!!!!!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

This week's words

This week's words for spelling/language arts are:

And here are the sentences that Giselle wrote today:
Which one is your favorite team?
The whole sky is dark and windy. It might rain today. Oh no!
I am without a mom or dad.
I won the prize at the game.
I won't go to the game.

Monday, February 18, 2008

this weekend? GONE!

Saturday started out cold and raining. It stayed that way for the entire Farmer's Market. I was a good mommy and brought a 1 quart thermos filled with homemade hot chocolate and some insulated cups for drinking out of while we worked at Finc Pura Vida's booth. I brought my travel mug with a piece of La Popular chocolate in it for making mocha out of the decaf coffee from Katz's Coffee. It probably never got much above 45 the whole day, even though it was supposed to be 62. Gayla brought some calf bones for sale as dog bones so I got some for our dog and got the heart for my sister's dog - we were going to see her on Sunday.


Sunday we got up at 6:30 AM and were on the road by 7:15 to go to a dog show in San Marcos. We had to get there by 8 to see the Staffordshire Terriers and the American Staffordshire Terriers show at 8. The were all beefier versions of our dog and we got to pet a few of them - they were soooo lovey and full of kisses.
I'll post more about the dog show later - got to help Giselle with school.

Friday, February 15, 2008

More Disney

After we got rained out of the park this afternoon we came home, broke out some Necco conversation hearts, large sized, and proceeded to start to watch Bedknobs and Broomsticks. I've actually never seen this movie before, strange since it came out when I was 5 years old. We stopped briefly for hot dogs & chili and have resumed the viewing. Gotta run, Joe's got friends coming over soon to watch a movie and I've got to get the kids to bed before then.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

From the January issue of Real Simple

Chickpea Pasta with Almonds and Parmesan
(NOTE FROM NATALIE: all of my changes and notes are below the recipe)

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
7 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt
1 pound angel hair pasta
1 15.5-ounce can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/4 cup unsalted roasted almonds, chopped
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the broth, red pepper, and 3/4 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Add the pasta and cook, stirring, until the broth is nearly absorbed and the pasta is al dente, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chickpeas and parsley. Divide among individual bowls and top with the almonds and Parmesan.

Yield: Makes 4 servings

CALORIES 652(22% from fat); FAT 14g (sat 1g); SUGAR 6g; PROTEIN 26g; CHOLESTEROL 8mg; SODIUM 782mg; FIBER 7g; CARBOHYDRATE 110g
Sara Quessenberry
Real Simple, JANUARY 2008

So, my changes were:
I used 2 HEAPING TBS of minced garlic
I added 1 tsp dried oregano
I added 1/4 tsp dried Italian Seasoning
I used 3 cups of vegetable broth and 4 cups chicken broth
I didn't use any red pepper flakes
I used 1 lb of whole wheat farfale pasta
I used a 25 oz can of garbanzo beans that after draining and kid snacking was just over 1 1/4 C
I used basil instead of parsley and chopped it fine
I didn't use any almonds
I used 1 cup of freshly grated Parmesan

I added the salt while cooking the garlic
I cooked the garlic for 5 min
I cooked the pasta for 9 min because at 6 min it was still too al dente
I poured off the remaining unabsorbed broth into a 2-Cup measuring cup so I could add it back in after I poured and stirred in the Parmesan cheese
It must have been good because both kids had seconds!
Joe did not have any since this is an Atkins unfriendly dish

AND I'm halfway through my February issue of Real Simple. They sent me the March issue yesterday but I'll have those read by next week and then I can start on all the unread issues of MS Living that have acumulated since September. I'm getting LOTS of reading done while the kids ride bikes every day!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Disappointed in HEB

So 'my' HEB has stopped carrying our favorite hot dogs (Oscar Mayer Natural (nitrate and nitrite free) Hot Dogs) and I'm NOT happy about it! I had to get Pederson's this week and I'm not enthused about the pork/beef ones - we tried them for the first time tonight with our homemade chili. Maybe the all beef ones will be better, I hope.

Monday, February 11, 2008


Today is your birthday, we're so glad you came along!
Today is your birthday and that's why we'll sing this song!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

check it out, it's in the Bible

find it all at

Proverbs 26.11 - as a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly.
New American Standard Bible (©1995) Like a dog that returns to its vomit Is a fool who repeats his folly.
GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995) As a dog goes back to its vomit, so a fool repeats his stupidity.
King James Bible As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a fool returneth to his folly.
American Standard Version As a dog that returneth to his vomit,'so is a fool that repeateth his folly.
Bible in Basic English Like a dog going back to the food which he has not been able to keep down, is the foolish man doing his foolish acts over again.

Romans 13:9 For this, "YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY, YOU SHALL NOT MURDER, YOU SHALL NOT STEAL, YOU SHALL NOT COVET," and if there is any other commandment, it is summed up in this saying, "YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF." (NASB ©1995)

Saturday, February 09, 2008

I have no name for this one

It's 82 in the sun here, the kids are out playing on the driveway in the runoff from the sprinkler - it's been so dry this winter that I'm having to water to keep the grass alive. The Market was good and while there I picked up two birthday gifts for myself under Joe's orders - a wonderful pair of sterling silver earrings (I adore the ones I got a Christmas so much that I had to get another dangly pair), and a pink fresh-water pearl necklace that has a big pink quartz pendant on it. It's double strung and with the extender that I had Mae put on it, it hangs at the perfect length. With the small teardrop shaped pearl that came off of the first extender Mae made a cute little necklace that we'll give to Giselle for her birthday. Secret (I'm having Mae make a braclet for the little girl for her birthday that matches my necklace) Don't tell!!

Gayla had TWO QUARTS OF MILK for me today!!!!!!!!!!!! And two dozen eggs! I can eat cereal again (if I want to)!

The kids have a friend over and it sounds like they are having WAY too much fun out there so I'm gonna run.

Friday, February 08, 2008

screaming balloons

Giselle is hard at work on school so that we can get to the park ASAP. Paul is running around blowing up and then releasing those super long screaming balloons. He loves it so much, it's so funny to watch! Fortunately the dog was already outside since she is so afraid of balllons that it's sad.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

A Day of Nothing

It was a perfectly nice day today so I cancelled school and stayed in bed all day while the kids watched TiVo. I'm not sick nor am I pms-ing, I just felt like staying in bed because I could. I didn't get out of bed until 3:35 pm. I was a bit light headed from not eating since last night's dinner so I ate a baby banana, drank some green juice and I'm now eating Kettle brand Salt & Pepper potato chips.
Enough chips!
It's supposed to be sunny and 76 degrees for Park Day tomorrow so we'll be there all day.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

wrapping up first grade

We're just about finished with all of the first grade books and have been tip-toeing into the second grade ones. The next two weeks will finish it all off and then we'll dive into 2nd grade full bore. Not to say that we'll load on the work, I don't want to overwhelm her, but we'll be doing only 2nd and 3rd grade work from that point on. Actually, I take that back. We still have to read the book "What Your First Grader Needs To Know" but that should only take us about a month to cover since most of it is just reading classical literature. I'm hoping to knock out most of 2nd grade by the end of May so that we can just do science all summer long. Then in the fall we'll review 2nd grade and start on 3rd grade by Thanksgiving. School has been going well recently, even with tardiness each morning we are getting all the work done by 12:30 or so.

Paul has been participating in our daily geography lesson - we are learning all about maps - in addition to doing art with us and practicing writing his name. Next week we'll start on the alphabet with him.

I'm considering ballet summer camp for Giselle but I don't know the details of the program yet so I haven't even mentioned it to her.

see ya!

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

so much for that!

We did the Mardi Gras/Shrove Tuesday bike parade at church this evening and ate at the Pancake Supper afterwards. The kids had fun, I took pictures. Those pancakes could have used some cinnamon to jazz them up though.
After closing the bedroom door on the kids at 8, I seriously thought that I was going to join them shortly. Unfortunately, I opened Turbo Tax to work on the 1099's and I got sucked into my former life as an accountant. Not that I did taxes for a living but I did work with numbers all day long and I do still really enjoy working with numbers (and spreadsheets, boy I LOVE playing with spreadsheets, and graphs too!). So when I start playing with numbers I loose track of time and now it's 11 pm and I'm still up. I forced myself to quit at 10:30 and then I checked in on CDW, PW and SJ so now I'm off to bed.

Oh, it's not just me - it's a Blogger-wide issue that the spell check isn't working.

B+; It's not just my blood type!

So last Thursday we went to the Blood and Tissue Center to give them my bi-monthly pint. I filled the bag in a speedy 4 minutes and 53 seconds! This is amazing since whenever I get cut or scratched I stop bleeding immediately. I'm just a good bleeder and a good clotter!

After the donation and the subsequent consumption of sugar-filled cookies and lemonade in the canteen, we went to do some shopping at Wheatsville. While there we got lunch and dined out on the patio where we people watched. Then we cruised The Drag (the main road through UT campus) doing more people watching. It was feeling like a very leisurly day so we decided to go to the Central location of the Austin Public Library.
We put all of our nickels and dimes into the meter and came up with 28 minutes to spend inside the library. I managed to come up with quite a pile of books in that time - the kids read while I picked. At check out I had a fine due of $1 on a Henry and Mudge book that had been returned late a year ago.
Here's the list of what we got:
Who's a Pest? by Crosby Bonsall
Clarence Goes Out West and Meets a Purple Horse
Mrs Armitage: Queen of the Road by Quentin Blake
Loveykins by Quentin Blake
The Perfect Spot by Robert J Blake
Togo by Robert J Blake
Akiak: A Tale From the Iditarod by Robert J Blake
Dog by Robert J Blake
Fledgling by Robert J Blake
Mrs Armitage and The Big Wave by Quentin Blake
Simpkin by Quentin Blake
Cockatoos by Quentin Blake
Yudonsi: A Tale from the Canyons by Robert J Blake
Clown by Quentin Blake
Babar and the Succotash Bird by Jean De Brunhoff
Babar's Battle by Jean De Brunhoff
Way Out West -- With a Baby! by Mike Brownlow
The Story of Babar: The Little Elephant by Jean De Brunhoff
Babar and His Children by Jean De Brunhoff
Babar the King by Jean De Brunhoff
The Travels Of Babar by Jean De Brunhoff
On the Pampas by Maria Cristina Brusca
It's a Spoon, Not a Shovel by Caralyn and Mark Buehner
Cheyenne Again by Eve Bunting
My Brother's a Pain In The Back Seat by Dale Bulla
Armadillo Rodeo by Jan Brett
Trouble With Trolls by Jan Brett
Wizzil by William Steig illustrated by Quentin Blake

Can you see that we're Quentin Blake fans? And I got all the Robert J Blake books that they had too. Think maybe that I loaded up in just the B section?
Giselle read the Pest book outloud to us on the way to our next stop - the animal shelter.
At the animal shelter (Giselle's pick for what we did next) we cruised the dogs up for adoption. We aren't looking to get right now but we go to see what's available as far as the variety of dogs. Giselle has a thing for Yorkshire Terriers that I'm trying to get her to overcome by showing her how many other dogs there are that are just as cute and are much more appropriate for a family of tall people. We found a great dog, Lucy, that we hope ends up in a great home soon; I'm sure she will since she was so cute and nice.
From there we went on home and completed the day by going to the court and riding bikes for an hour or so until dinnertime.
BTW, we had gotten all of our schooling done before we had to leave for the blood bank at 11 am.
Every morning Giselle has been reading the Babar books to Paul before I get up, it's sweet.

Monday, February 04, 2008

I went OUT!

I put the kids to bed at 7:45 and at 8 Marie came by and picked me up for our night out (hopefully the first of many until they leave in May for 2 years). We went and shopped at Spec's for an hour then went and ate nachos with margaritas at Flores for another hour and then went to her house for coffee ice cream w/ hot fudge for 30 min and then she brought me home at 10:30. It was fun, next time we're going to Spec's earlier since we only got down 2 asiles tonight and were still in the food products section. Next Tuesday they are having a wine tasting, maybe we'll go then.

I'm tired and I need to be well rested in case school starts out tomorrow like it started out today. Oh, and we're mortgage dancing again so I need to think clearly to deal with that too.

Is it just me or is the spell check function not working on any Blogger postings?

Sunday, February 03, 2008


we're off to ride bikes in the court again!
See you later!

Saturday, February 02, 2008


We flew kites in the parking lot for 2 hours after the farmer's market today. I'm beat.
Joe installed the new TV today. He's beat.