Monday, June 30, 2008

A Prayer Request

I was going to post pictures of our mini vacation today, but something more urgent than my beach pictures has come up.

My niece, Rachael, is about 3 weeks further along in her pregnancy than I am. This is her and her husband John's second child. Because of severely high blood pressure in her first pregnancy, their son, Elijah, had to be delivered by emergency c-section at only 28 weeks. He spent the first six months of his life in a children's hospital. Thank the Lord he is a happy, healthy, typical 3 year old little boy now.

Rachael and John went for their sonogram this past Friday. They discovered they are having another precious little boy. The doctor also discovered cysts on the baby's brain. His gut feeling is that this baby has Trisomy 18. There is a 1% survival rate in a child with Trisomy 18. To say Rachael and John are devastated is an understatement.

They have an appointment with the perinatologist on Wednesday to determine if this is, in fact, Trisomy 18. I would be ever so grateful if y'all would lift them up in prayer. Please pray for peace and strength during this time. Please pray for a correct diagnosis. And if you are ever so bold, please pray for ultimate healing. We know the Great Physician is in control and he CAN heal this baby if He so wills.

Thanks so much y'all. I'll keep you updated.

Friday, June 27, 2008

10 Years

Yes, I know I'm on vacation.


Today is mine and Monk's 10th wedding anniversary!!

I couldn't let today go by without letting everyone know how happy I am that 10 years ago today I married my best friend. He's the biggest nut on the planet and I love him for it. He's a great father and a fantastic husband. God has been good to me.

Thanks for putting up with me for the last 10 years! It's been a wonderful adventure with you! And might I say, we produce absolutely beautiful children! I'm looking forward to the next 10! I love you!

And now back to our regular scheduled programming.


Might I just say, the waves are simply fantastic!

Progession of the Popsicle

What's this? Hey, it's pretty good, despite its artificial colors and sweeteners.

Ow, that really hurts the bottom teeth, Momma!

So, how do I do this again?

Oh yeah, I got this one.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Post In Which I Should Say I'm Packing...But Instead I'm Giving Recipes To You Fine People


I'm still baking, if that tells you anything. With some packing in between. Monk gets rather compulsive before a trip, running around and such. But me?

I'm somewhat of a slacker. I tend to fiddle around and pack a little, talk a little, pack a little, talk a little, bake, bake, bake, talk a lot, pack a little more!!

OH! MY!WORD! I crack myself up!! Do y'all even get that one? I came up with that all by myself!


Mrs. Elliot asked me about my recipe for pizza dough and I thought I would oblige her. Because I like her and such. And she's fixin' to move to England and I will then have a friend "across The Pond". I've always liked that saying. It's soooo British.

I can't take credit for the recipe though. I picked it up from Crystal's blog. But for the sake of time - mine and yours - I will post it here.

Easy Pizza Dough

Preheat oven to 450 degrees

1 TBS active dry yeast
1 c. warm water (105-110 F)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
2 TBS vegetable oil
2 1/2 c. flour ( you can use all white or a mixture of white and wheat)

Dissolve yeast in water. Add rest of ingredients and mix. Dump on a floured surface and knead into a smooth dough (approximately 5 minutes - adding a little flour if it's too sticky). Roll out and press dough into pizza pan. Add sauce and toppings. Bake at 450 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

This really is the easiest recipe ever. I tried many a pizza dough recipe before falling in love with this one. I have found, in my own experience, that if I will let the dough rest a little (say 5-10 minutes) after I'm done kneading, that when it cooks it develops a crispier crust. Yum-O!

I have four pizza pans. Two large and two small. If I double this recipe I can make one large and two small with the dough. Hopefully, that will give you an idea of how far the dough will actually go.

Feel free to ask additional questions if you have them.

I will say that we have almost completely quit buying take out pizza. This is not only dirt cheap to make, but the pizza is SOOOO much better tasting. And...I can control the ingredients.


And now for one more recipe to stop me from finishing up the inevitable task of packing. I hope y'all appreciate that despite the fact that the clock is tick, tick, ticking away on me....I love you enough to share a recipe. Or two.

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Muffins - yields 24 good size muffins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

4 1/2 c. flour
2 c. sugar
4-5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp pumpkin pie spice (or a combo of
cinnamon and nutmeg)
1 tsp salt
1 c. butter
1 c. buttermilk or sour milk
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3 c. shredded zucchini
2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 c. chocolate chips

Grease and flour muffin pans or use paper liners.

In a large bowl, combine flour and sugar. Stir in baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the center, and pour in milk, eggs, zucchini and vanilla. Gently fold, adding chocolate chips and continue folding until blended. Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full.

Bake in a preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool and enjoy.

Now I do a few things differently than the recipe. I usually use half white and half white whole wheat flour. I have found the muffin is still light and tasty doing this and certain picky family members don't know the difference. I also use two different kinds of sugar, half regular and half raw. Another thing that you can do that is use coconut oil in place of the butter. I have big 'ol bucket of organic, unrefined coconut oil that I purchased from Mountain Rose Herbs and I love using it in my baking. It gives a nice moisture to the muffins and a slight nutty, sweet flavor.

And now that I've bored some of you to absolute tears with recipes, I will now proceed to show you my reading list for the trip.

What? You didn't think we would be taking books? Have some of you forgotten who we are? We take books e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e.

A little light reading for 3 days, huh? Actually, most of these are browsing books. I tend to skim them for things I'm interested in and leave the rest. However, I have checked out the Home Comforts book before and it is fascinating. I didn't get to finish it and so I'm having a second go 'round. I'm highly anticipating A Slice of Organic Life too. I've never seen that one at the library so I'm fairly intrigued.

Monk has his books, Sis has hers and LiverPie has a few newly checked out Fancy Nancy books. We are in business.

Now, if I could just get us packed.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Food For Thought....or Therapy

Two well known facts about me around the Monk household are as follows:

1. I'm a worrier

2. I don't handle stress well

One of my coping mechanisms is cleaning. The other, baking. Since I've been a little stressed and worried lately ( I can see the scripture references flying now ~ and that's okay), I've been using the latter of my coping mechanisms. Baking.

(I wish I would use the cleaning one more, but I really have to be hoppin' mad to be totally effective with that one. But I must say, my house is most definitely cleaner these days. I attribute it to stress and drugs. Drugs for morning sickness, that is.)

At any rate, while I may not be the easiest person to live with in this state of mind, my family most certainly appreciates the fruit of my worries. Here's proof:

Spinach, mushroom and Canadian bacon pizza on Saturday. I also made a cheese and a pepperoni.

What's left of two loaves of bread I baked on Saturday. Blueberry muffins that were made last night. Might tasty if I do say so myself.

And for today? Probably several more batches of muffins. Some for our trip and some for our my worries.

Worries go down better with soup. ~Jewish Proverb

Maybe I shoulda been Jewish. Oi vey.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Reaping In Spite Of Ourselves

I was going through the garden a few days ago and picked a few "fruits of our labor". If you could see the state of our garden right now you would understand why I put the last four words of the last sentence in quotes.

You see, months of morning sickness is not conducive to much weeding. Monk has not only worked his normal 8 or 9 hour job, but has selflessly spent hours cleaning once he was off work and then running out to buy the family some dinner. By the time all of that was finished, the day was pretty much over. He has spent several nights watering the garden in the dark. Usually tired from the previous day's hectic schedule, he would spend many of his lunch hours napping. So, not much time for weeding on his part either.

Our garden has suffered.

So as I picked the squash and cucumbers a few days ago, I marveled. I marveled that despite the overgrown weeds, things were still growing. In spite of our neglect, we were still managing to acquire some fruits for our labor, though meager it may be.

Then, I looked around amidst the overwhelming amount of weeds and the unkempt plot of earth and what did I think of?


All of sudden it dawned on me just how much I am like that weedy garden. How many times in my life has my spiritual life been as unkempt as that garden? How many times have I neglected to take care of it as I should? How many times have I gone "through the motions," performing perfunctory deeds just because I had to?

And how many times has God blessed me in spite of myself?

While many times I have forsaken God, he has never forsaken me (though there are times it has certainly felt like it). There are times, more often than not, that I am covered in weeds. And yet He sees, in His Divine Providence, to bless me anyway.

Do I deserve His blessings? Absolutely not. Did I do anything to earn these blessings? Absolutely not. Will He continue to bless me in spite of myself?

I just don't know.

What I do know is that my spiritual garden needs some tending. Did God slap me between my eyes to show me this? Nope. He could have though. He gently nudged me by showing me the weedy garden in my backyard.

So if you'll excuse me, I have a few gardens to tend.

Monday, June 16, 2008


8 yo Sis went to the doctor today for what we thought was swimmer's ear.

Alas, it was a full blown, knock down, drag out ear infection. This would explain the excruciating pain she was in yesterday and last night.

Did you know that one can perform amazingly well at 4 am when awakened by blood-curdling screams? I mean, I didn't know I had it in me to jump out of bed quite that fast anymore. I had the speed and agility of a cat.

Oh alright, I was stumbling around like a drunken sailor, but I got the girl her medicine and tucked back in bed and all was well. Except for the fact that my stomach began growling at me, telling me to feed it. I told it to shut up and go back to sleep, I was too tired to chew. Amazingly listened.

After the doctor's office today we went to Costco to fill the prescription. I did some light shopping while there and decided I needed some medicine of my own.

I BOUGHT A COCONUT CREAM PIE THAT'S BIGGER THAN MONK'S HEAD!! And that's big my friends! This thing is huge! My children and Monk so totally appreciate my crazy (sometimes sweet) food cravings.

And I wonder why I need maternity clothes already.

But hey, I'm coping.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Opinions Of A 5 Year Old

What we heard Liv saying tonight:

Liv: I don't like Wonder Woman's voice. She sounds like a man.


Liv: But I really like her hair.

When a 5 year old can determine that a cartoon figure has good hair, she is good people in my book.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Home Again and Oh, So Thankful For Solid Ground!

So I'm home again from my whirl wind trip to Michigan. I have to honestly say I had a hoppin' good time with my mom and sisters! I've seen my sister T. three times in the last 8 months now! It's some sort of record, I think. I have to admit though, it gets harder and harder every time I have to say goodbye. And with another little one coming along in December, I realize that there will be no more quick jaunts to Michigan and back. Depressing, really.

The day I left for Michigan our air conditioner decided to get sick and refused to work. Our house was 81 degrees and 8:15am! I was one unhappy, pregnant mother. Thankfully, it was fixed by noon and to the tune of only $234!!! But you know, money really becomes no object when your body is sweating profusely from every known orifice. And then some. And nursing an infant when you are both sticky and sweaty is really no treat either. I truly don't know how women did it 100 years ago. I am a certifiable wimp.

And do y'all remember how I talked about hating to fly? Well guess what?


Our flight home was a nightmare, to say the least. It was running late because of storms in Dallas. Then, when we finally boarded the plane and left the gate, we taxied around the airport for oh, 25 minutes! It was at that point that the airplane came to a stop and the captain turned OFF the engines. He proceeded to tell us there were more delays and we could unfasten our seat belts and mosey about the cabin. Actually, he said, "dance in the aisles". Smart alec captain.

Then a storm came through and we had to wait for that too. Lovely.


After another 35 minutes of absolutely, um...NOTHING we were finally told to take our seats that we were ready for take off. It was still raining, yet the worst of the storm was past already.

At least that's what I thought.

May I just say that during take off I was quite certain that I was going to be seeing Jesus, Himself, real soon. The plane was bobbing and swaying and DROPPING at an alarming rate. I'm fairly certain that had I not had an 11 month old baby in my arms I might have started crying. Profusely. My sister, S. just laughed at me.

Because you know, we are nothing if not a loving and supportive family. Ahem.

The girl on the other side of her was making some sort of singing sound every time the plane would lurch. I could swear it was scaring the Opera right out of her. My sister laughed at her too. Evil, she is.

I thought that once we got in the air that things would settle down. Apparently that's what I get for thinking. The plane bobbed and swayed for two and a half solid hours. I was a vomitous ball of nerves for the entire flight. And my sister? You guessed it. She laughed.

Forty-five minutes before we were to land, my bladder decides it cannot and will not take it anymore. I had to go! Baby G had slept the entire flight so far and it was killing me to have to wake her, but my body was NOT going to let her sleep. So, me and my sister have to ask Opera Girl to move so we could make our way to the back of the plane. She grudgingly obliges.

Did y'all know that turbulence is even worse in the back of the plane?!

And worse yet, did y'all know that one can nearly obtain brain damage upon trying to pull ones britches up when the plane lurches sideways and one's head is smashed firmly into the side of the tiny little bathroom stall? I'm just sayin', is all.

After near toppling into some poor man's lap on the way back to my seat, I managed to get settled, praying profusely that I would get to see my family again and not fall from the sky in a great ball of fiery flames. But I wasn't worried. Really.

The flight landed safely and it was at that point I asked my sister if I could whoop and holler, "Hallelujah". She did not laugh. I also vowed the vow of never stepping foot on an airplane again if at all humanly possible. And I meant it. I wanted to kiss the airport floor after we unboarded deboarded got off, but once again, my sister was not amused.

I was never more happy to see Monk in all my life and I told him so. He was quite happy to see me as well. We were happy people. Our flight was supposed to have landed at 8:54 pm. It was now 10:45 pm. By the time we picked up luggage, dropped off my sister and arrived home, it was nearly midnight. Despite the time, I was greeted by a gaggle of girls very happy to see their Momma! They made a sign and everything. And might I say that Baby Girl was quite happy to see her sisters as well, evidenced by her loud squeals of delight.

I have three words to say about that night. Land Is Good! And that's all I'm going to say about that.

In other news, I thought I would give a morning all day sickness update. I'm a wimp. I finally broke down and started taking the Zofran. And you know what? I feel a ton better. My laundry is getting done, things are getting cleaned, the couch is retaining its shape and meals are being cooked. My family is no longer suffering and that, my friends, is a good thing.

So, my new motto: Drugs Are Good.

Oh lawsy, I can't wait to see the key word hits I'm going to get on that little doosey!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Leavin' on a Jet Plane and Other Hair News

Do y'all remember that song? Leavin' On a Jet Plane? If not, then go to this handy little You Tube link and you can see the late, great John Denver in all of his shaggy haired, round bespectacled glory, singing the catchy little tune.

Just between you and I...John D. could sing. I am not ashamed to say that within the last 10 years I have owned a cassette tape of his greatest hits. I am also not ashamed to say that at some point, if one of you were traveling down some random Texas highway within the last 10 years, that you may have seen some crazed, red-headed woman singing Take Me Home Country Roads at the top her lungs.

That, my friends, would have been me. Oh, I am certainly special.

But unbeknownst to you all, this post is actually not about John Denver. Go figure.

It is to tell you that me and the bouncing Baby Girl are gettin' on an airplane tomorrow and heading to Michigan to visit my sister for a few days. Now for those of you that know me in real life, y'all understand just how bad I hate to fly. For those of you that don't know me in real life, let me just tell you.....I hate to fly. I loathe it completely. With every fiber in my being.

Curse those Wright Brothers. In my humble opinion, Orville and Wilbur needed to get a life. You know, besides changing the world forever with the invention of flight and all.

But for the sake of technology, I'll let bygones be bygones and I will board that airplane tomorrow. Sweating and shaking profusely, but I'll do it.

Me and the Baby Girl are a little under the weather and I'm hoping by tomorrow we will feel a little better. If not, then she will be heavily medicated given some medicine before the flight to help her sleep.

As for me? I figure a fifth of Vodka should work. I. AM. KIDDING.

In other unrelated, completely random news, I'm having a small hair crisis. This would be a step up from two days ago when I was having a very large hair crisis. Large, as in, my hair was big. Too big. My go-to style was a pony tailed bun thingy.

Let me tell you, it was nothing if not attractive.

I had also developed a patch of unseemly white hair along my left temple. And another one along my right temple. I don't know about y'all, but a pregnant woman with gray just doesn't jive in my book. So, I called my sister and begged her to call her stylist to rescue me from my hair purgatory. And she did.

So yesterday, for the first time ever, I had my hair professionally colored. Me and Ms. L'Oreal have been friends in the past, but yesterday I got to play with the big girls. Real color, applied by certified professionals, in a reputable salon, all while wearing a gen-u-ine smock thingy. Very much a step up from my drugstore color, in my messy bathroom, by me in an old, stained Eeyore t-shirt.

I have officially arrived.

Anyway, the color that was applied was described to me as "copper". And it was. I don't mind flaming copper hair, really I don't. My friend Andrea likes bright red hair too and that's why I consider her a kindred spirit.


After coming home and upon closer examination, my hair is TWO completely different colors. It is a bright, coppery color on top and a more muted auburn color on the bottom. It is quite freakish actually. The stylist told me the color would settle down after a few washes, but I'm not quite sure if the two-toned thing was supposed to happen.

Anyway, I'm stuck like Chuck until I get home and can call the stylist back. But at least I'm not a gray headed pregnant lady anymore.

Now I'm just a two-toned, unnatural looking freak. Colored by professionals, mind you.