Thursday, July 30, 2009

Nothin' Much

Wish there was something exciting to tell you, but there isn't, so I'll just ramble for a little bit until I get tired of typing.

We bought a guest bed yesterday. We got a steal of a deal on a queen-sized mattress, box springs, and frame for $330! Just so you know, this is a GREAT deal. I had no idea how pricey beds were! Dave's mom and aunt bought us our bed when we got married, so we had no clue how much one can spend on such items. We're super grateful that we didn't have to spend too much. We're setting up the bed in the corner of the sunroom for the many guests we hope to entertain. We've never had a guest room before...I guess we still don''s more like a guest corner. :)

We bought a few things to make it more homey--nightstand/bookcase, alarm clock, lamp, bedskirt, new pillows. Everything was priced low, so that helped us keep costs low. Sad thing is that we don't have a truck, so to get the bed to our house, we had to pay $100 for delivery. Believe it or not, a Uhaul wasn't any cheaper! We thought for sure it would be. Nope.

I am researching decorative screens to divide the room up and provide the guests with a little privacy. They are not cheap. For the size we need, we'll probably spend anywhere from $150-$200! I don't want to do a curtain b/c I think it will look tacky. It would probably save money, but man, it would be a price to pay on my eyes. :)

Sam and I played Uno today. I totally helped him the whole time. I think if we play a little more, he'll start to understand the strategy a little more. He's got the basics down, but he doesn't understand strategy at all yet. We also read Chapter 1 of The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. He told me he wants us to go buy a wardrobe so he can visit Narnia and become a Narnian. He also said that he doesn't really want to go to another world because he would miss me too much. He'll just stay here in this world with me. I have a feeling I may have to remind him of this in a few years.

We are still van-shopping and church-shopping. I know that sounds awful, but it is the truth--church shopping, I mean. We haven't said what we're doing this week. Last week was fairly horrendous. I'm being dramatic, but it wasn't what we were hoping for. I'm thinking we're just going to have to be weirdos at a church where we don't fit in. Perhaps that is the plan. We're still waiting for peace.

We're going to a Chamber of Commerce meeting tonight. Free food. No cooking. It's a winner, folks!

Have a nice evening, and let me know what you think about satellite TV--Dish Network or DirectTV? Those are our two options if we want ANY channels. And, is it worth the HD upgrade on the receiver and DVR?

Sunday, July 26, 2009


Just so you know, I'm not depressed or anything. I think I may have worried some of you. I'm actually good, but we all have bad days. I thought I would catch you up on some of our happenings.

Friday night, Dave and I watched "Paul Blart: Mall Cop." It was funny in our generation kind of way--like "Happy Gilmore" meets "Dumb and Dumber." We enjoyed our relaxing night together.

Saturday, we geared up to go to Little Rock for the day. I had a chance to see some of my good friends while I was there. I got to visit with Marla for a tiny bit. They were in for a whirlwind 48 hours, and Nate's parents' house was busy, but it was super good to see them. We realized we hadn't seen Nate in 3 years! It has been over a year since I last got to see Marla, and it was fun to see Shep and Owen.

Maryn decided to go down the slide into the pool WITHOUT floaties or a life jacket on, and she went under. Before I realized what was happening, Nate's brother's girlfriend jumped in the pool with all her clothes on and brought Maryn out of the water. Maryn was a little upset, but went right back to the pool (WITH a life jacket on). I couldn't thank Angie enough! Surprisingly, though, I was really calm and at peace. Thank you, Lord, that I didn't flip out. I think that actually helped Maryn get back in the pool. I'm glad she wasn't afraid to go back.

I also got to see my friend, Abby, and her two kids, Aden and Angel. It was so great! We met at a McDonald's b/c Abby was on her way home to Alabama. I was glad to see Angel while she is still a tiny baby! It's always good to see Abby. She is the oldest best friend I have. I still have my half of the necklace to prove it. :)

Another highlight of the day (besides Sam's Club and Target) was going to pick up my Basket-a-Month from the Central Arkansas Farmer's Market CSA (Community Supported Agriculture). You have to buy a three-month subscription for $180, but you get a basket each month of locally grown and produced foods. It is pricey, but I really love supporting local farmers and putting money into our communities here. I have never been in a position to do this before, and it is very exciting to be able to. It's also great b/c all the food is fresh and organic.

Here's a list of what was in my basket:
  • Sweet potatoes
  • 2 canteloupes
  • Watermelon
  • Okra
  • Tomatoes
  • Purple-Hulled Peas
  • Italian and Japanese Eggplants
  • Peaches
  • Spring Mix Salad
  • Free Range Eggs
  • 3% cow's milk
  • Homemade butter
  • Beefalo--(cross b/w a cow and a bison)
  • Colby Cheese
  • Tomato Infused Whole-Wheat noodles
  • Buttermilk

Super exciting, eh? I just need to find some good recipes and QUICK!!!

You don't get to pick what's in your basket; it is a surprise each time. I like that.

I have some spiritual posts forming in my mind. Be on the lookout for those. I'm sorry I haven't commented much lately. Our internet is REALLY annoying. I'm way behind on reading too. I get overwhelmed when it is actually working, b/c it doesn't seem like I have enough time to check everything. Be patient with me!!! xoXOxo

Friday, July 24, 2009


I'm in a bit of a melancholy mood today--missing my friends and just kind of Debbie Downer-ish. I think today is that day because Dave also started work today after a glorious 3 week+ vacation. It's so true that stuff and money can't make you happy. I recently heard someone say that it could make you comfortable but not happy.

Well, now that we're livin' the high life with a doctor's salary, I'll tell you this: it means NOTHING. It's nice. We're blessed. We're able to bless others in ways we have never been able to. We are thankful. But it doesn't replace community. And THAT is what I really want out here in the sticks.

A Scripture is coming to mind, "Better a meal of vegetables where there is love than a fattened calf with hatred." Proverbs 15:17

Not that we are hatin' around here, but the truth is that community and love go a long way--farther than any dollar. Sunday is coming up, and my heart is hoping that this church is the one. But, I know I have to be okay if it isn't. I'm ready to make friends and invest in some relationships.

I had some pretty incredible friends and groups I was a part of back in Oklahoma. However, I do recall feeling much the same way when we moved there 3 years ago. It's a cycle, and I know it will get better. It just stinks to be in it right now. If you know what I mean. :)

I found a few pictures I wanted to share with you. No house pics yet--they're coming soon. Everything is almost finished, and I want to get things all picked up and prettied up with the new curtains I'm making. The fabric is GREAT!!!

But, oh, the pics--the first one is of my LAST book club meeting before we moved. :(

Kaysie (bottom left with the bagel) invited me to book club three years ago, and it was such a blessing for me. It was MY thing to do, and I loved it. That day, Ronna (2nd from the top on the right) was making me tear up. I miss these ladies, and I plan to migrate back to Tulsa once in awhile to have book club with them. XOXO, Book Club.

This is what I made for dinner last night--Chicken Tikka Masala (one of my favorite Indian dishes). I used this recipe. It was good, but it could have been spicier. It was pretty mild. I like it spicy! I also made Jasmine rice, naan, and curried lentils.

It was GOOD.

And this is the beautiful place I live. There is a gorgeous lake just down the road--like 2 minutes down the road. I took these pics shortly after we got here. It's just lovely.

And we caught Sam taking care of business off the deck. Check out how the fencing is wet on the right. Nice. Country livin', folks.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Things to Celebrate!

1. My brother has finally made me an aunt! I have two nieces and a nephew by marriage, but this morning about 2am, Addison Mae joined our family, and I now have a niece by blood. It is VERY exciting, and I can't wait to meet her and cuddle her. Miranda sent me a picture on my phone, and she is just adorable. She looks a lot like my brother! It is fun to see him in a little baby.

2. The painting is almost finished. The house looks great. We are slowly seeing it come together. I can't wait to post pictures!

3. Maryn is going on the potty quite well. She has had fewer #1 and #2 accidents. Her biggest hangup with #2 is that she wants to do it all by herself...which makes for a messy situation. :( But, she's getting it down, and I am so proud of her!

4. We may be buying a van today! We have shopped around, and we found an older Odyssey for a good price. We want to pay cash, so we can't spend much. It has quite a few miles, but we are having our mechanic in Conway take a looksie at it this afternoon. If he gives it a clean bill of health, we will more than likely purchase it! I haven't completely gotten my hopes up about it, but I am excited. This is something we have been waiting for since February of 2008.

5. We're gearing up for a week of meeting people. Dave has several functions to attend next week to let people know he's in the area. I'm hoping to figure out some activities for the kids and me to do together.

6. We're trying one more church this week, and unless God tells us to wait, we will be making a decision quite soon on where to attend. This has been a very difficult process for us. We are really seeking His peace and direction for where to be. You can join us in prayer for guidance and discernment in this situation.

7. Dave starts working on Friday! He's excited and nervous. I'm so happy for him, and I hope all goes well.

8. I have a new project--rag rugs. I'm starting off on just one, and we'll see how it goes. I'll post pics when I am finished. My friend, Carrie, sent me the tutorial which can be found HERE.

What are you celebrating?

Friday, July 17, 2009

I Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Ethnic Food.

Things are moving right along. I suppose we'll be buying the signal booster any day now. We did get a landline. It has helped. I want to continue using my old calling card from Sam's Club (we used it faithfully the first four years of marriage instead of long distance b/c it was only 2-3 cents/minute--and we didn't have cell phones). We're planning a trip to Little Rock in about a week, so Sam's Club better "Look OUT!". I will have NO mercy.

Living out in the sticks has made me a better cook. Our eating out options are limited, and what we do have is fairly American (with the exception of the local Mexican restaurant). If you know me, you know I love ethnic foods. So, I've been trying to cook them at home--mostly Indian food. They're never as good as they are when a native of that country cooks them, but they sure do help. I've had several friends bragging on Ethiopian food lately, so I thought I'd give it a whirl.

Kristen, a former student of mine and a friend (hope I can call her that without it being weird), is a fabulous cook and a great art and food blogger. She's also vegetarian and recently posted a great Vegan website with tons of recipes. I am not a vegetarian, and will never be vegan (I know...never say never), but I love to incorporate vegetable-only meals into our weekly menu for our health and to save money. I have a TON of lentils that I bought from various Indian grocers, and I wanted to find more lentil stew recipes. I love lentils. You should too--they are superfood. Not kidding--tons of fiber and protein. I found an Ethiopian lentil dish called "Mesir W'et." It has several spices and vegetables in it along with the lentils and you typically serve it with a flatbread (injera). Well, we're low-carbing it around here, so it'll just be the stew.

[And just a note for those of you already thinking, "Oh, she's such a wonderful cook and how adventurous of her!"--the only thing that makes me a good cook is that I can read and follow directions (most of the time). Seriously, if you can read, you can cook, in my opinion.]

BUT, it called for an Ethiopian spice paste called "berbere". I knew no one in our county would have this stuff, especially since I couldn't even find PESTO! (And they didn't know what "pesto" was. "Is it in the Mexican aisle, do you think?" Seriously...I had this conversation.) So, I knew I'd have to either a) make my own berbere or b)wait until I get to Little Rock to find it in an ethnic grocery or at Whole Foods. I opted to make it. How hard could it be?

Really not that hard. There was a LONG list of spices. I had most of them. Except for ground fenugreek. I knew I might not be able to find that anywhere but Whole Foods. So, I thought, "Well, I'll just look at our local herb store and see if they have it, but if not, I may have to order it online or wait until we go to LR." I stopped at the herb store the other day. The only fenugreek they had was in supplement form. Dave happened to be in Conway yesterday, though, and he stopped at a health food store and found fenugreek seeds--just need to be ground. They are really small and hard like little pebbles. My food processor wasn't doing the job, so I cleaned out the coffee grinder, and it worked like magic. I was halfway through the berbere recipe when I realized it called for 2 CUPS of paprika. CUPS. Insane. Of course, I needed one more cup, so I had to run to Walmart last night and get more paprika. I should have known how involved this would be. I finally finished making the spice paste--which made 3 cups!!!!

I checked my recipe. It only calls for a tablespoon.

So, Kristen, if you or any of your friends (or anyone else, for that matter!) want some homemade berbere paste, let me know.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Wish I Had a Title, but I Don't. So there.

Trying to think of what to say.

Sunroom is unpacked. It looks a lot better. We need another desk in here. I'm planning on taking over the old desk and making it my sewing desk. Dave wants a bigger desk for the computer (and for MY calendar). I want a big desk calendar like I had when I was teaching. I like to look at it and write everything down that I need to do. I forget more now that I have three kids. Like right now, I know I have a bunch of things I was supposed to do--like pay student loans, change addresses, send support $, but my head is swimming. I'm ready to get organized in the sweet moolah department.

I also want to secondhand shop for a queen sized bed frame so we can have a bed in the sunroom for guests. We want to buy a new mattress/box springs for it b/c our parents are all creaky in the back. I mean no disrespect. :)

We got a roof estimate, painting estimate, and now we're waiting on a sign-on bonus to help out with the repairs/painting. I told Dave to take a rest this time and let someone else paint. I didn't want him to use his whole break painting like we did before residency started. He has been working so hard for the last seven years, I think a mini-vaca is reasonable.

I bought some precious lime-green 100% cotton, it has little fabric dots (of the same color) on it. I wish I knew what it was called. I also bought a SWEET knit print that's all Japanese looking--mainly white with black and red flowery stuff on it. MORE SKIRTS FOR ME.

We've picked out our paint colors. They are as follows (for those of you who recall how bright our former home was, this one is not AS bright, and is even more IKEA than the other house):

(All paint is Behr paint from Home Depot can be viewed at

Living room-- Anonymous (a medium gray)

Accent Recessed Area--Dark Granite (a dark gray)

Dining Room-- 1 Full Wall- Anonymous
3 Walls with chair rail--bottom is Anonymous, top is California Poppy (a brightish red that matches our red chairs)

Kitchen-- New Green (it's darker than the green in our old kitchen--kind of a lighter shade of avocado?)

Lucy's Room--One accent wall will be Traditional (a brown)...trying to decide about the other three walls. We want it gender neutral since it is a nursery, and we don't think we're done having babies. But, the room is so small, we don't want it ALL brown. Her nursery decor is the pink/brown combo we had for Maryn, so we want THAT to coordinate too...decisions, decisions...

We're leaving the sunroom white. The hallways will be gray and white in spots. Our room is remaining the robin egg blue and the kids' room will remain the yellowish/green color it is (similiar to our old kitchen). The bathrooms are another story...they need to be completely revamped, so we're talking remodelling them...color will come last.

Wish I had pictures for you...The before and after pictures will be fun.

I'm going to stop now, b/c I'm about positive you're bored to tears. I am, at least.

Friday, July 10, 2009

He's home!!!

He just came home!!!

He's been gone nearly 24 hours, but he's home now!

God answered Sam's sweet little prayer, "God, can you help Woodrow to come home? Amen."

Thank you, Jesus!


Woodrow is missing.

We're sad.

We think he took advantage of his freedom. Maybe it was too much too fast.

I can see a spiritual lesson forming here.

Pray he comes back. It's so hot out there. Dave has looked on all the roads around our house. We haven't seen him. I'm hoping he has water and didn't get attacked by any bobcats or wild animals.


Saturday, July 4, 2009

Home Sweet Home

No pictures to share this time. I'm waiting for the after pictures. A painter and roofer are coming out to give estimates on Monday. I'm hoping to get everything just so before I show you what we've done with the place. The before pics are very boring and blah, so I'll spare you. It has been fun putting feathers in our new nest. The kitchen came together the first night. It was my top priority. We have groceries. We have functional bedrooms and bathrooms. It's all good.

We had some adventures already. Our old house hasn't closed yet. We pre-signed documents on Monday as planned. They're hoping to close this coming Monday or Tuesday. Our closing here went well. The moving truck had a bit of a problem, though. Because it was a semi truck, it couldn't quite make the turn down our country road. The ditch was proving to be an obstacle. So, they ended up having to go into town to the U-Haul and shuttle our stuff out on smaller trucks--two trips total.

Woodrow loves roaming free like a real dog. His chest seems a little more puffed out than usual. He's a country dog now. He still enjoys the comforts of sleeping indoors. Who doesn't?

Maryn is in full-on pottytraining. She has been in underwear for two days with ZERO success and a BAZILLION accidents. She really doesn't get it. She's three and two months. I'm hoping she figures it out very soon. She doesn't enjoy being wet, but she hasn't quite figured out how to let it out intentionally...

We have NO CELL SERVICE at our house. It's a tragedy. We are looking into purchasing a signal booster to see if that will help out. They vary in price range, but the one we are looking at is about $350. I can kind of have a conversation in the driveway, but it's still hit and miss. We won't be changing cell providers b/c we're still under contract AND we've checked with two other major providers and they don't have coverage here either. We're contemplating the land line and possibly a pager for Dave so that the hospital will only have one number to use to contact him.

We have satellite internet. It's supposed to be fast, but it isn't for us. We think there's something wrong with the setup, but the installer guy swears it is our computer (which was fine before we moved...). So the technology stuff is annoying.

We will have to purchase satellite TV if we want local channels or other stuff. The jury is still out on that one. We may just stay unplugged in that regard. We'll just have to see. Everything we like to watch is online anyway. It would be nice to have local channels for weather and for PBS.

This is country living, folks. Did I mention how quiet it is here? It is, and we love it. We are in the woods. Totally immersed in the woods. It's like a western. I'm about to get a clothesline.

The Beverly Hillbillies have returned.