Molly and the Leash

Saturday, October 30, 2010

When I was growing up, I had a dog named Molly. She was my best friend, mainly because we were so alike. We were both antisocial, oversensitive, misunderstood, and never fully trusted anyone. I recall the time my aunt tried to leash-train Molly. As you can tell, Molly wasn't your ordinary dog. She did things her way. This made leash-training her...interesting. As soon as my aunt put the leash on Molly, she immediately threw herself at the very end of the leash, yelping and writhing on the ground as if she was demon-possessed. This, of course, shocked my aunt, who was watching all of this go on, yet she patiently took a step forward in hopes that Molly would get used to the leash. Each step was just as dramatic as the last, though. Over and over again, Molly would throw herself around, yelping as loud as she could. Eventually, she did "get over it", and started walking with my aunt on the leash. Then another bomb dropped. My aunt changed directions. The whole show started all over again, with Molly fighting every step of the way. I don't know if she ever got used to the leash. Strange dog.

My point? The story of Molly and the leash is a perfect illustration of my walk with God thus far. Molly and I had much more in common than I thought, despite her just being an animal. It's made me see things from God's perspective on this road of sanctification. When I got saved, when He hooked that metaphorical leash to me, and we started to walk and I realized I didn't have total control of my life anymore, I freaked. Unfortunately, I still tend to do this when trials come my way. I throw myself at the end of God's will, kicking and screaming. All the while, He's patiently walking behind me, guiding me on the path He's chosen for me. Eventually, I break and obey and trust my Master, walking the way He's commanded. Until He changes direction and we're back to square one. And yet He calmly starts the lesson over again, knowing I'll just freak and throw myself to the ground just like I've done so many times today. That's amazing grace.

Unlike poor Molly, I will eventually "get it", but my leash-training days are far from over. How about you, Christian? Are you a Molly? Do you fight God's hand in your life? Are you trusting Him fully to guide your path? Submit yourself to Him today and trust His loving hand. Otherwise, it's going to be a very long and exhausting walk Home for both of us.

Drew at Seven Months

Friday, October 29, 2010

Holy smokes! My baby boy is going to be seven months old tomorrow! This year has flown!

Yes, he's in a laundry basket. Why, you ask? 1) He's all over the place and 2) it's stinkin' cute. That's why. He is rolling EVERYWHERE and getting into EVERYTHING. He's also trying his hardest to figure out how to crawl walk. Instead of practicing getting up on his knees, he's decided to just go for trying to get up on his feet, in a bear crawl stance. He also loves to stand up against the ottoman, with assistance. This is quite cute because he wiggles his little butt like he's grooving to music. I remember Robby being a lot of fun at this age. So far, Drew's been no different. He started babbling last night, saying "blah blah blah". He's still quite moody at times and has a very low tolerance for pain, still. I think he'll just be one of those kinds of people. Any little discomfort makes him quite upset. It's something we've tried to get used to, but since he's always been on the sickly side, that when he's really sick (he just got over a cold after his bout with HFMD), his extra-moodiness can be quite taxing. He doesn't beat around the bush about how he feels and is usually very vocal about it, too. He's a pretty content fellow the majority of the time, though.

I really hope he keeps those gray eyes. They are stunning. Thank you, Mom.

Birthday Cake

Thursday, October 28, 2010

I just had to share this. It's a photo of my super delicious birthday cake from Mi Pueblo. It's a three leches cake (it had a layer of caramel and sweetened milk on the bottom), strawberry in the middle, and glazed strawberries and whipped topping and chocolate on top. Oh. My. Goodness. This cake was awesome!

Speaking of my birthday, it was definitely one of the better ones I've had recently. It will never compare to last year, when Matt took me out on a surprise date. I think that will always be my favorite, but this year was really nice, too. To start, Matt scheduled his vacation that week, so we got to spend extra time together and I got a little bit of a relief from my mommy duties. The morning of my birthday, we all went to breakfast at Depot Grill, where I had the best pancakes EVER. Then we went to Mi Pueblo to order my cake. That evening, Cher came over and watched the boys so we could go to a musical at one of the high schools. It was called "Curtains!" and despite some unnecessary profanity, it was fun to watch. It was just a nice, quiet day spent with my family. What a blessing.

I'm curious to see what 27 has in store for me.

Buzz Lightyear Afghan

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

I made this themed afghan for Robby, who's absolutely OBSESSED with Buzz Lightyear from Toy Story. It was meant for a Christmas present, but he may end up with it early, since it's getting cold here quickly; especially at night.

This is the first ripple afghan I've ever made and I had a blast making it. Lucky for me, I have two more to finish.


So, of course, after I wrote yesterday's post, my stubborn tot decides to stay dry all day. I guess we'll just play it by ear.

*sigh* One day at a time...

By the way, my son calls pooing "making brown". I about died.

I Surrender

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

This is my white flag of surrender. I officially give up on potty training. For now.

After getting to the point that all three of us (Matt, Rob, and myself - Drew could care less) wanting to bang our heads against something solid, I've finally decided to throw the towel in for the time being. Rob's just not ready; plain and simple. So all you moms that successfully potty trained your tot at the ripe age of one can keep your snickering to yourselves. It's just not going to happen here and now.

I know my son. And I knew better, but selfishly pushed forward anyway. He does things on his own time on his own terms. Always has; always will. That's why he rolled over "late", crawled "late", and walked "late". Because he's my child and he wants it HIS way. I can't help but feel like a slight failure, though. I was *thisclose* to being freed of one extra diaper change.


Banana-Cue A la Mode Recipe

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Last night, we found ourselves watching Bizzare Foods on Netflix. If you've ever seen the show, you're probably wondering where this post is going. I promise you that this recipe is 100% disgusting critter free. Trust me. The host was in the Philippines, more specifically Manila. While browsing the street vendors, he talked about a tasty, treat-on-a-stick called banana-cue (or banana-que). Basically, it's barbecued banana; although it never actually goes anywhere near a grill. Still trying to figure that one out. Hmm. Anyway, we consulted Chef Google and found a simple recipe. We didn't have saba bananas, so we used regular bananas. Really, our version didn't turn out like traditional banana-cue, but that didn't diminish the yumminess factor at all. We served ours hot on some vanilla ice cream and it was decadent. That's really the only word I can use to describe it. It was definitely a dessert you savor. Really, the only thing that could have made it better would have been either whipped cream or a little chocolate drizzle to top it off, but it was amazing as-is. If you're thinking "banana split", you'll be sadly mistaken. Think warm, candied banana. Mmm.

Banana-Cue A la Mode

Vegetable Oil
Brown Sugar

1. Heat oil in deep fryer or deep pan on medium-high heat.

2. Cut bananas in half. Roll in brown sugar to coat thoroughly.

3. Drop into deep fryer and cook until brown and crispy. Drain and re-coat with brown sugar. Fry again until brown and crispy.

4. Drain. Serve hot over ice cream. Savor.

Unplanned Potty Training

Robby has decided on his own that he wants to be potty trained. Right now. Well, as of early last week. This came to as quite the surprise, as I assumed he wasn't ready and wouldn't be until he was 2 1/2-3. Just goes to show that trying to plan anything around children is down-right laughable.

So far, Rob is doing fairly well. He's definitely grasped the concept of going on the potty and he's getting better at letting us know he has to go before it's too late, but he's not staying 100% dry yet. We bought the spiffy Pull-Ups with Cool Alert (they get cold when wet). I never wanted to use Pull-Ups, but I'm strapped for cash right now and can't afford to do that much laundry right now. With Matt being on vacation all next week, it should be easier to stay on top of his training. I can't tell you how excited I am at the aspect of not changing one set of diapers! We're getting very close! Still trying to figure out how to keep him dry overnight. Tips welcome.

By the way, the potty shown here is the potty chair we bought Robby. Him, Daddy, and Brother went to Walmart Monday night to pick one out. I thought it was really cute because it matches the boys' bathroom. =)

Uncle Nate's Visit

Monday, October 11, 2010

My brother-in-law came to visit and have me do his senior photos this last weekend. It was a very short visit - only a little over 24 hours, really. Way too short, but we made the best of it.

Nathaniel flew in on Saturday morning. A couple hours after getting here, him and I left to go do his senior shoot. It was a little awkward being out with my husband's brother alone, but we ended up having a really fun time - mostly laughing at each other. He can be quite ornery; much like his older brother. He very much enjoyed having his nephews all to himself and let Robby get away with murder. "But he's so cute," he told us. "How can I tell him 'no'?" All I can say about that is turnabout's fair play, Nate. Just wait until you have kids. :)

Sunday, we went to church, went to Sunday School, came home, ate lunch, and then Matt drove back up to Boise so Nate could catch his flight back to Denver. He was here so briefly, that it seemed like he wasn't here at all, now. But we accomplished what we set out to do and my in-laws were extremely pleased with the results. I admit I was slightly worried again; even more-so than I was with Emily's shoot. Everyone wants to try and impress their in-laws. I'm no different. I was worried about what they'd think about my photography style, since art is so very objective. Thankfully, they were very impressed and paid me many kind compliments. So many, in fact, I felt almost uncomfortable.

I'm no award-winning, pro photographer. Just blessed by God's good gifts that are used to bless others. He gets ALL the glory and credit for the work my meager hands produce. I am so grateful and undeserving of His kindness.

You can view more of Nate's senior photos by going here. A huge thank you to my in-laws for taking a chance and flying their son by himself on his first plane ride so I could do his photos. I'm deeply humbled and honored.

Sick Baby Boy

Friday, October 8, 2010

No smiles from this little guy today. Thanks to my step-mom's diagnosis over the phone, we figured out that Drew has Hand, Foot, and Mouth Disease. He has been absolutely miserable and screams in pain more often than not due to the sore throat and lesions in his mouth. He did have a mild fever yesterday and the night before, but thanks to some Infant Motrin, his fever broke sometime last night. Unfortunately, there's not much that can be done. All we can do is comfort him, help ease his pain with pain-relievers, and let it run it's course. Please pray for his comfort and recovery and for our endurance and extra patience.

On the flip-side of things, both boys are up-to-date on their shots and Drew had a check-up on Monday. He received the cleanest bill of health to date (this was prior to his HFMD episode) and now measures 27.8 inches long and weighs 19.4 pounds. He is a BIG BOY. To give you a comparison, Robby measures about 36 inches and is about 29 pounds. Not looking forward to these two hitting puberty.

Also, I have a couple other prayer requests. My father-in-law lost his job yesterday due to company-wide layoffs. Please pray for God's provision and for Dad's peace of mind as he looks for employment to support their family.

Matt applied for a different position within the company and had an interview yesterday. The interview went well, but they decided to choose another candidate who had seniority and experience. Matt will be looking into other employment or possibly going back to school to provide for our family in the very near future. Please pray for guidance and discernment on the matter, as he leads his family.

Somewhat related to my first prayer request, I have another shoot tomorrow. My brother-in-law is flying up from Denver for me to do his senior shoot. He'll only be here for a little over a day and a half, so we're kind of crunched for time. Please pray for ease of nerves and clarity of mind for me, as it's only my second senior shoot. We're looking forward to seeing him, though.

Thank you for your prayers.

Buffalo Chicken Ranch Pizza Recipe

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Awhile back, we had a pizza at Gertie's called the Buffalo Chicken Pizza. Surprisingly, we fell in love with it, but then our love affair ended there. Then, we got a Buffalo Wild Wings in town and our love for hot sauce was suddenly rekindled. I swear we put hot sauce on everything, now! We now make our own version of Buffalo Wild Wing's Traditional Wings with Medium Sauce thanks to an online recipe we found. Naturally, the next step was to make our own Buffalo Chicken Pizza, but (and I may be biased when saying this) I think our version turned out better than Gertie's!

Buffalo Chicken Ranch Pizza

1 (.25 ounce) package active dry yeast
1 teaspoon white sugar
1 cup warm water (110° F)
2 1/2 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Buffalo Sauce
1 cup Frank’s cayenne pepper sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 teaspoon granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/8 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
*Note: You won't have to use the full amount this makes. Add to taste.

Ranch Sauce
1 16 oz. container sour cream
1 packet Hidden Valley Ranch Dip

2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed
2 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
shredded mozzarella cheese, to taste

1. Mix together ingredients for Buffalo Sauce and set aside.

2. Mix together ingredients for Ranch Sauce and set aside.

3. Cube chicken. Season with salt and pepper and cook in a skillet with hot oil until browned. Toss chicken in Buffalo Sauce until thoroughly covering. Set aside.

4. Preheat oven to 450° F. In a medium bowl, dissolve yeast and sugar in warm water. Let stand until creamy, about 10 minutes.

5. Stir in flour, salt and oil. Beat until smooth. Let rest for 5 minutes.

6. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and pat or roll into a round. Transfer crust to a lightly greased pizza pan or baker's peel dusted with cornmeal.

7. Spread on Ranch Sauce. Layer mozzarella cheese, Buffalo Chicken, and some more cheese. Optional: Dash Frank's Red Hot on top, depending on taste.

8. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is brown and cheese is bubbling.

Drew at Six Months