Thursday, July 20, 2006

Life Lately

Here are some recent pictures of life here lately. Sometimes I get pictures of Lydia, like this one, that look so funny. Don't you think she has sort of a "cartoonish" look to her?

Lydia loves her little dog, Pup. We never go anywhere without him. (Actually we have two Pups...I cycle through them both so neither one looks "new" or "old." This enables me to keep the well-loved animal fairly clean. I suppose we got "lucky" when she gravitated toward this stuffed animal --it is machine washable. It amazes me how many stuffed toys are "spot-clean." How ridiculous.
Why does bath water always taste better...
My good friend from college, Shawn, came over one day this week to hang out and...what else, pack!! She helped me "cull" and gave me the boost I needed to get rid of sentimental junk. We found these gloves from Ben's days in MN - they are for serious winter weather. The name "hotfingers" caused Shawn to go into hysterics!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006


Okay. I would like input from anyone and everyone. I think I may have mentioned that we are buying a new fridge because the one we have now will stay here at the request of the buyers. I've been trying to educate myself on all the features etc. When we bought several years ago, we just went with a basic white, top freezer model. It has been great.
All I'm certain of now is that the new one won't be white. (The cabinets are cherry and the other appliances are black.) I know I want a large least 25 cu. feet. (I mean, I'm likely to have this one for the next 10 years, so I might as well buy all the space I can right? Who ever wishes they had a smaller fridge?!!) The main concern I have is what style to go with. If you have a side-by-side, please tell me if you like it or not. It seems that they are the most popular, but I've never had that kind, nor did I grow up with that, so I don't really know the pros and cons...only what I've been able to read about them. Bottom freezers seem to be the new rage, and I like the idea of having the fridge space on top, but the freezers on these seem to be sort of small...Also, there are not as many of these models to choose from and they seem to be the most expensive.

Please help!!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Time to Walk

This has been a very busy week for us. I've been busy packing up the house every day. On Wednesday, Brittny came over to watch Lydia so I could devote myself to packing. Besides entertaining Lydia, she ended up helping me box up various things in the kitchen. I have a small kitchen and it is amazing how many boxes it has taken to get most of it cleared out. She was a lot of help and it was fun to have someone to work with.
Thursday Liz came over to hang out and to keep Lydia corralled in the living room while I packed. She is slowly returning to her "old" self -- I miss spending time with her! The yucky initial phase of her pregnancy has really prevented us from getting together like we would.

Lydia has decided that she is ready to start walking. Last Saturday, while Ben and I were house-hunting, she took her first "real" steps at my parents' house. (We missed it!) She has continued to walk a lot more this week and is slowly getting more comfortable with it. I know you moms out there would probably say I will look back and wish for the crawling days just because walking means increased mobility, but I am ready for her to be able to go outside and walk in the grass instead of crawling. She loves to be outside, but she has cut and scratched her little legs numerous time from all of her "hands and knees" exploring. Also, she still puts everything in her mouth and I have some hope that she won't be as tempted to pick up other peoples' trash (like at the soccer field last night) when she is a little higher off the ground!! (Wishful thinking?...perhaps!)
Lydia rediscovered bananas this week. Previously she would eat them if they were mashed, but she didn't want anything to do with banana pieces. So, I tried again this week and she seems to love them! In fact, Sunday evening she ate the whole banana during church.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Under Contract

A lot can happen in 10 days. We've experienced the truth of that statement this past week. Some of you know that we decided to put our house on the market about a week ago and "see what happens." With Ben no longer working for ARMC, we didn't feel we needed to stay in our house here any longer. We decided to start the process FSBO (for sale by owner) since we weren't in a hurry - and who doesn't like to save money! A friend listed our house on MLS for a flat fee and four days later we had two offers! We knew where we'd like to move, but we had not even begun looking. The contract on our current house was finalized Wednesday and with a closing date set for August 15 we knew we had no time to spare. With the help of our agent we looked at houses on Thursday evening and Saturday morning. Thursday we a bit discouraging as we really didn't see anything that we liked, but Saturday turned out much better and when we walked into this one house, I knew we really didn't need to see any others.
So, here we are, one day after finding the house and we now have a contract on it. Also, Ben decided to change both closing dates to August 11th to take advantage of the weekend for moving. Add to this the fact that we already have plans to be gone on vacation from July 27- August 5!!! (Oh yes, and I still have two more weddings to play this month and I might be teaching a music camp during the evenings next week.)This is crazy. Everything has happened so fast that I'm not sure I'm processing it all. Basically, this leaves me 2 weeks to pack up the house before the vacation and about 4 weekdays when we return - yikes!!!
I would definitely appreciate any and all advice on moving, tips for strategic packing, any words of encouragment and of course, prayers for my sanity!
One more thing...we'll be purchasing a new fridge as the buyers are paying us to leave our current one. I'd like to hear from anyone who has a strong opinion -positive or negative - about their fridge. What do you like, what do you hate...if you were buying another one in two weeks, what would you do differently.(I have heard of a finish called "ultra satin" - the look of stainless without the hassle. Does anyone know anything about this?)
Ok. I'd better stop blogging and get packing...

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Chicken Parisian

Here is one of our favorite chicken dishes. It is sooo easy and really good. You can make as much or as little as you need and it is impossible to mess it up. Here are the basic ingredients:

Chicken breasts (either bonless or bone-in)
Sour cream
Cream of Mushroom Soup
Cooking sherry (or any drinking wine you have open)

Mix together equal amounts of sour cream and the soup and enough wine to make it "thinner" and more runny. (I would use 1-8oz sour cream and 1 can of soup and perhaps 1/3 cup of wine for about 4-5 pieces of chicken. I never measure the wine so I'm just guessing!) Pour this mixture over the chicken, sprinkle with paprika and cook uncovered for 30-40 minutes at 350. You get a nice sauce when it is done and it goes well on either wild rice or egg noodles.
*This recipe also works just as well in the crockpot!

Grumpy Girl

Lydia has been quite irritable the last several days. She had a fever Thursday night and Friday morning and threw up twice, but then the fever went away and she seemed "over it." I had two weddings to play on Saturday, so I was hardly around her, but I heard she was not her usual happy self. Sunday, upon arriving at church, we noticed she had a rash all over her legs and bottom. Conferring with several mothers at church, we concluded it was either a heat rash or something related to her fever...nothing contagious or serious. Since Saturday, she has been grumpy and irritable, so I wonder if there were any lingering effects from whatever she had. It is so hard to know for sure when they are little like this...sometimes I just wish she could tell me what hurts! We are ready for our happy, playful and non-clingy little girl to return!

On another front, our house is up for sale and was listed on the MLS. So far we've had two showings, one offer and another on the way! Pretty amazing. I feel like things are happening so quickly. I wasn't expecting anything so soon. We have been scoping out the Dacula area for houses we like and the plan is to go look at some with Bob Boyd this week. I really hope we find a few, or even one, that we really like and can afford!

Lydia enjoying her birthday gifts

Happy Girl

Bathtime is lots of fun!