Sunday, October 31, 2010

What a "Super" Halloween!

We had a "super" time at Crosspoint's "Trunk or Treat" event on Saturday night.  Stafford was especially smashing as superman thanks to Auntie Liz!!


Super Family

All members of the "super squadron"

Kristen & Supermom

The Thomasson clan with their "Sweet Pea"

Ethan & Stafford "talking"-this was ADORABLE!!

Two Supermoms!!

Superman Stafford had to wear his outfit one last time on Halloween

And doesn't he look "super-cute" in his Sunday best? 

Stay tuned for some super recipes this week!!  I've been cooking up a storm!!

Friday, October 29, 2010

Stafford Travels Again

Our NC Cabin
View from our porch

The Euler Family
Stafford has been busy traveling again!  In October we met up with the Porters in Bryson City, NC.  We rented an awesome cabin with a great view and a hot tub (of course)!  Vacationing is definitely different with babies but we had a great time hiking through the mountains and just relaxing in the peaceful setting.  Stafford and Hannah got to hang out too, which is important, since they are destined to be best friends!

The Boys

The Girls

The Porter Family

Stafford visited his first pumpkin patch with our friends the Tuckers.  He wasn't too keen on picking a pumpkin so we took some pictures instead.  Jonathan was super excited though and had a great time!  It will be fun to do these things with Stafford next year when he is a little older.  I love experiencing things through the eyes of children!

Stafford doesn't like pumpkins!

The Tucker Family

Even though we live close to the ocean Stafford has visited KY, TN and the mountains of NC before seeing our beautiful SC beaches!  Tonight we changed that.  We had dinner at Poe's (our favorite burger place in town) and then walked out to the beach on Sullivan's Island.  It was too chilly to stick any baby toes in the water but at least the little guy has been to the ocean now!

Mama and Stafford at Poe's

We last ate here 3 days before Stafford was born!

Ready for the beach!



The little guy is all set to travel again when we visit the families at Thanksgiving.  I can't wait to take lots of pictures!!  Hope you enjoyed these!

The D-Word

Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life Study Guide - eBook
Remember when you were a kid and someone cursed and then someone else tattled?  He said the S-word!  She said the d-word!!  Well....get ready because I'm about the say the d-word....

DISCIPLINE

Ouch!  I think this d-word is worse than the real one.  Well, maybe not considering the eternal implications of damnation....but still, discipline is a hard word to hear.  God has pretty much been chanting "discipline yourself....discipline yourself...discipline yourself...." for oh, well, my whole life.  And if I am really honest about it, I stink at it!  I stink at eating healthy, exercising regularly, spending time in the Word.  I mean, my dog isn't even totally potty trained!  I figured I needed to start figuring this out before my child is at an age where he needs to be accountable for who he is and who he is becoming.

I've read this book before but I don't think I finished it.  So I'm starting "Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life" over again.  This book devotes a chapter to the spiritual disciplines that the author finds really important.  These are: Bible intake, prayer, worship, evangelism, service, stewardship, fasting, silence & solitude, journaling and learning. The author, Donald Whitney, uses a verse out of I Timothy where we are told to discipline ourselves "for the purpose of godliness".  Basically what he's saying is that if we never get the practice of disciplining ourselves (to do anything) down, we'll never grown in our faith.

Here is where the first chapter of this book REALLY hit home.  And it made me really, really sad....and disappointed in myself.  He talks about how we are so willing to discipline ourselves to do other things like train for a marathon (although we all know I have done and will not be doing that) or excelling at our job, yet we totally ignore our need to be spiritually disciplined!  This is the part that hurt.  "Christians trivialize their effectiveness for the Kingdom of God through lack of discipline.  Spiritually they are a mile wide and an inch deep.  That have dabbled in everything but disciplined themselves in nothing." Ouch Ouch Ouch!!!!

I am determined to be disciplined.  The D-word isn't a negative word!  It is a power tool that ultimately gives us freedom!  Freedom and discipline aren't mutually exclusive.  Another author says that freedom is actually the reward of discipline.

Starting in November I'm going to focus on one discipline a month.....in addition to other areas of my life.  I've spent so much time "dabbling in everything" that I really am good at nothing.  The Lord has blessed me with a sweet baby boy and I want him to be able to grow up and be disciplined as well.  I need to be an example for my children and that starts with examining myself.

Is the Lord chanting in your ear?  Don't ignore Him!  The freedom He wants for you is such a better alternative than being good at nothing.  I challenge you to find out what He is speaking to you about and be disciplined enough to pursue it!

I also suggest reading this book!!  Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life by Donald Whitney

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Fall Food Fun

My helper was too tired to help cook and that was too bad because we did a lot of cooking!  First item-Tomato Soup.  I'm not very hard to please when it comes to tomato soup.  In a can is good enough for me.  But we were going to a Fall Pumpkin Party.  I couldn't take soup in a can! 

Roasted Tomato Soup
11 medium tomatoes (31/2 pounds)
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
2T Olive oil
2 T fresh thyme
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
12 basil leaves

This recipe is super simple.  Halve your tomatoes and garlic and place on a baking sheet.  Cut your onion in fourths and add  it.  Drizzle with olive oil and thyme.  Bake at 400 for 25-30 minutes; stirring once.  Cool.

Put it in your blender with the basil leaves and voila! Super yummy tomato soup!  Make sure you get tomatoes that are pretty ripe.  This obviously isn't tomato season and I think this soup would be even more "souper" (ha ha, that's a Dad joke!) if you made it in the summer when tomatoes are in season.  Seasonal cooking is really important!  In keeping with the season I also made a roasted carrot dip.  Keep scrolling!!



I didn't get a final picture of my tomato soup or the roasted carrot dip but I did get a couple of cute little boys in costume.  Sorry Mr. Banana, I'll get one of you on Saturday!!

Mr. Jonathan "Scarecrow" Tucker

Stafford "Superman" Euler (and his cute Daddy!)


This roasted carrot dip is an awesome alternative to pumpkin if you want something that looks and tastes like fall but aren't a huge pumpkin fan. 

Roasted  Carrot Dip

10 medium carrots

5 garlic cloves, peeled
2 T. olive oil
6 to 8 T. water
2 tsps white wine vinegar
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup sour cream
1/8 tsp sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
4 to 6 pita breads (6 inches)


Cut carrots in half widthwise; cut lengthwise into 1/2-in.-thick slices. In a large bowl, combine the carrots, garlic and oil; toss to coat. Transfer to a greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pan.

Bake, uncovered, at 425° for 20 minutes. Stir; bake 15-20 minutes longer or until carrots are tender. Cool slightly. Make sure you check the bottom of your carrots.  I didn't stir mine often enough and the bottoms got a tad burnt.  Not enough to compromise flavour or colour but still!  This is such a pretty dip you want it to be as orange as possible.

In a blender, combine 6 tablespoons water, vinegar, mayonnaise, sour cream, sugar, salt, pepper and cooled carrot mixture; cover and process until smooth. Add additional water if needed to achieve desired consistency.

For the pita bread, simple slice it and then bake it at 350 for 4 minutes on each side. 

That's it!  Easy as usual but oh so tasty!  You can serve it hot or cold.  It's great with the pita chips and decent for you!  I've already got the ingredients to make it again!!

I've got more fun recipes to share in the next few days so stay tuned!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Picture Day!!

Super-cool baby hair!

Mom! Put the camera down!

Fine, you can take one picture.

Practicing my superman moves for Halloween

2 months old

Doing homework with Daddy

Cooking with Mama

Friday, October 22, 2010

The Versatile Blogger

I hate video games.  I think it all started when Nintendo came out and everyone was playing Super Mario Brothers.  I was one of those cool kids who used the controls like a Wii.  I guess I was cutting edge but back then I basically looked like an idiot.  The bigger jump I needed Mario to make the more I moved around the control.  You know what I am talking about.  You've seen those people.  You probably laughed at those people because you were on the 9th level after you had taken some kind of secret door or eaten a mushroom.  I don't think I ever made it past the 3rd world.  Seriously. 

I started blogging after leaving a job I loved to stay home with my sweet son Stafford.  Well, for the first few months I stayed home with a huge belly.  But now I am at home with Stafford and I love it.  I blog first for myself (I need to do something creative) and second for the grandparents.  Although I'm not even sure if they read it.  And I do know my friend Gina reads because she forced me to change my justification to left instead of centering it.  I kind of think of myself as the "dorky Mario jumper" of bloggers because I have no idea how to get my blog to do anything cool.  I try to change pictures and such and everything ends up all chopped off.  So basically I rely on my charming storytelling and fabulous recipes to get by.  Oh, and pictures of my cute son.  Have I mentioned how cute he is?

Anyway, I was surprised when my friend Amber over at Amber's Articles  sent me the "Versatile Blogger" award.  It was fun to know that someone other than myself and potentially the grandparents were enjoying what I had to say.
[versatile-blogger[2].jpg]

To accept this award one must:
* link back to the person who gave you the award
*share 7 things about yourself
*pass it along to other blogs you enjoy (it said 15 but i say do what you want!)
*make sure you tell your awardees about the award so they can repost!

Doing these "7 Things About Me" reminds me of all those lists on facebook a couple of years ago.  How in the world can you get to know someone in 7 sentences.  Do I make them funny or serious?  Regardless here are 7 things about me that you might not know.

1. My degrees are in Psychology and Educational Policy but my dream  is to become a marriage counselor.

2. I read history books for fun.  My current favorites are a series by Richard Evans about Nazi Germany.  They are big enough to be doorstops but SO interesting.

3. I wanted to visit all 50 states before I turned 30.  I didn't make it.  But I did get to go to Europe and visit 6 countries so I think that balances it out.

4. Stafford is the first boy on my Mom's side of the family in 4 generations. 

5. I wish I were more disciplined.

6. Notice there were no sports in the list.  I am embarrassingly awful at all things sports.  Except watching.  I'm going to be an awesome soccer mom!

7. My deepest struggle is wondering if people really like me or if they are just being nice. 

Here are some fun blogs I think you should check out!






Thanks again to Amber for the award and for reading my blog!!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Chatterbox

Can't help sharing this cute video of our little chatterbox!  We can't get enough of this cute little guy!!

My First Mommy Dilemma

Here are some things I've been eyeing lately...
Shiri Leather Over the Knee Boot
Super cute boots from Ann Taylor Loft

26

Rolling Vera Bradley Luggage

Another cute pair or boots!!
Regent Silver 8-Piece Queen Comforter Set

A new non-Bear-destroyed comforter
A sweater jacket and weather in which to wear it

Here is my Mommy dilemma.  In the grand scheme of life it's no big deal.  But in the "Mommy" stage I can't figure out where to shop and what to buy.  I'm not shopping until I get the rest of this weight off.  So the good news about my dilemma is that it leaves me a little time to decide!  I'm hoping that around Christmas when I get birthday and Christmas money I can take advantage of sales AND knowing where we are moving. Then I'll have a better idea of what I need for a new place and new weather!

Charleston is a very one-note place for clothes.  At least it has been for me.  I can't bear to go into a shop and try on a wool sweater or tights when it is 80 degrees out...which is today...in October!  I pretty much wear my "summer clothes" from March/April until November.  This leaves the summer clothes pretty worn out each year and I am SO sick of them by the time cooler weather comes around.  Summer clothes tend to be pretty casual and most of the events that we attend are casual.  Peter and I don't tend to eat out at fancy places and we really don't have very many occasions to "dress up".  I realized the other day that we've been invited to a cocktail  party to celebrate someone getting married and I don't have 1 dress that isn't cotton!!

Back to the Mommy dilemma.  Not only have I dressed more casually in Charleston but now I am a Mommy.  Spit up and pee, both of which covered my shirt and jeans yesterday, don't lend themselves to cute sweaters and designer jeans!  Not only do I not want them ruined but most days I am at home or running errands.  I don't need the dress pants and high heels that I wore when I worked. (Ok, ok, so maybe I cheated occasionally and wore jeans at work but still!)  But at the same time I still want to be able to get dressed up and even dressed for the day and feel "dressed". 

I see all these cute clothes in magazines but I can't figure out where the Mommy-clothes balance is.  Any ideas?  For all your Mommys what do you wear on a daily basis?  I can't wait to hear what you are wearing so I can gear up for my super shopping trip!!


Speaking of things I want....head on over to my friend Courtney's blog for a chance to win this!!

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Only Time I'll Use Math as an Adult


While I was pregnant I had to take my wedding rings off.  It was a SAD day because I love my rings.  I bought a super huge fake one to take away the sting and it was fun for a while.....but nothing compares to the real thing!  I was pretty excited when I could finally wear them again a few weeks after Stafford was born.

My rings are symbolic.  Yes I realize that everyone's wedding rings are symbolic.  But mine have a special symbolism to me.  And it's important for me to have them on and that I focus on that symbolism each day.

I heard an illustration once about a triangle.  The top point of the triangle is Christ.  The bottom points of the triangle are you and your spouse.  Now if you know anything about math you know that in an equilateral triangle all sides are equal.  Therefore if you lengthen or shorten one side you have to lengthen or shorten all the sides.  I still can't believe that someone using math as an illustration influenced the rest of my life.  I hate math.  But I love the idea that in order to get closer to my spouse I have to get closer to Christ. 

Everyday when I look down at my ring I think of this relationship.  I wear my ring so the tip of the triangle points toward my fingernail.  I think of Peter as the bottom left point and myself as the bottom right point.  It's a good reminder that there aren't just two of us in this relationship and that our focus should be on Christ.  I certainly don't always have my focus in the right place, but it sure helps to have that reminder of my sweet husband's commitment to me and his commitment to his faith.  There is certainly nothing fake about that! 

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Popeye & Olive Oil Pitas

Unless I have really planned ahead (which, by the way, never happens) then sometimes Sunday lunch leaves a little to be desired.  Lately I've been trying to make soup once a week but the last two weeks we liked the soup so much there wasn't any left for Sunday!

So today I made these yummy pitas.  No pictures today....but these are easy!

Popeye & Olive Oil Pitas

3 cups spinach
1 small red onion thinly sliced
1 tsp lime juice
1 tsp lime zest
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
2 T. mayo
1/4 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
2 avocados, sliced
4 pocket pitas
6 oz. sharp white cheddar

Toss spinach & onions in a bowl.  In a mixing bowl combine lime juice, zest, salt, pepper, mayo and evoo.  Stuff your pitas with sliced avocados & cheese.  Then dress your spinach & onions with the lime dressing and stuff in pitas.

That's it!  These are seriously good.  If you are one of those people, or have one of those husbands, who MUST have meat at every meal then I'd suggest nice deli turkey.

Hope you enjoy!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Stuffed Onions

I have been wanting to try this recipe for a couple of months and now I can't believe I waited so long! This is a super fun and beautiful alternative to stuffed peppers or tomatoes. It does take a while to make however so be sure you have laundry to do or a favorite TV show to catch while you are preparing.




 Here are your ingredients
4 vidalia onions (8 ounces each)

1/2 teaspoon olive oil
3 cups shredded zucchini
3 gloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons chopped toasted pine nuts
3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  You have to bake the onions for 1 hour so they are soft enough to take out the centers.  Cut enough off the bottom of the onion so it will stand up straight.  Cut about 1/2 inch off the top of the onion.  Line a baking sheet with foil and set the onions on top.  I wish I had used larger onions or at least 6 onions.  I ended up having quite a bit of the "stuffing" left.

While the onions are baking you can prep the rest of your stuffing.  Pictured above is a garlic clove and a garlic bulb.  If you haven't cooked with garlic a lot you might not know the difference.  When a recipe calls for garlic it is usually calling for cloves.  The easiest way to get the outside "paper" off of the garlic clove is to place it under your knife and smash it.  This will partially crush the clove, making the paper peel off easily.

Shred your zucchini with a cheese grater to save time!  To get 3 cups you'll need two small zucchini.


Pictured above are the pine nuts.  I chopped them so they would toast faster.  To chop things quickly hold your knife with two hands.  I'm right handed so I hold the handle in my right hand.  With my left hand I hold the knife in one spot.  Then I rotate my right hand in an arc to reach everything I need to chop.  This keeps the knife from leaving the cutting board but still allows me to chop things quickly.
This is fresh basil.  I didn't have the dried herbs at my house because I grow as many as I can fresh.  The conversion for dried to fresh is 1 tsp dried = 1 Tbsp fresh.  So I added 1 Tbsp of fresh basil and 1 Tbsp of fresh thyme (pictured below) to my recipe.



Once I completed my prep I combined the zucchini, basil, thyme and garlic in a bowl.  In another bowl I mixed the bread crumbs, toasted pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

After the onions are finished baking scoop out the soft centers.  Leave approximately 1/2" shell so you can stuff them!  Saute the zucchini mixture along with 1 cup of the cooked onion for 6-8 minutes. 

After you are finished sauteing the zucchini mixture remove it from the stove.  Mix in your breadcrumb mixture and then stuff the onions!  Bake the stuffed onions for 20 minutes at 350 degrees.


These onions were yummy!!  Both Peter and I totally recommend this recipe.  It is hearty and fresh tasting and a great option fora vegetarian entree.  Let me know if you try them!

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