Monday, May 30, 2011

Thai Chicken Satay (12)

Here's a recipe sure to please just about anyone at your dinner table... from the Weeknight cookbook.

Thai Chicken Satay
limes, 2 large
rice vinegar, 1/2 c
chunky peanut butter, 1/3 c
fresh cilantro, 1/4 c minced
ginger, 1 T minced
garlic, 3 cloves minced
soy sauce, 3 T
light brown sugar, 3 T firmly packed
asian sesame oil, 1 T
skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, 4 cut into thick strips
romaine lettuce, 1 small head, cored and leaves shredded
cucumber, 1, peeled and sliced

What to do?
Marinate the chicken
Place 8 bamboo skewers in cold water to soak until ready to use.  Grate 1 teaspoon zest from the limes and squeeze 1/4 cup juice. Whisk together the lime zest and juice, vinegar, and peanut butter until smooth.  Stir in the cilantro, ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar and sesame oil.  Reserve about 1/2 cup of the mixture in a separate bowl for use as a sauce.  Add the chicken to the marinade and turn to coat.  Let stand at room temp for at least 10 minutes, or cover and refrigerate for up to 2 hours.

Cook the chicken
Meanwhile, prepare your grill for direct-heat grill over medium-high heat and oil the grill rack.  Or, preheat a broiler (grill).  When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade, discarding the marinade.  Divide the strips among the 8 skewers, threading the strips on lengthwise.  Place the skewers on the grill rack, or put them on a baking sheet and placed under the broiler.  Cook, turning once, until seared on the outside and opaque throughout, about 6 minutes total.  Divide the lettuce, cucumber slices, and chicken skewers among 4 plates.  Drizzle with some of the reserved sauce and serve, passing additional sauce at the table.

Eat and Enjoy!

Friday, May 27, 2011

30 weeks

 I had to take these a little differently today because Hubs is gone for the morning and I wanted to get them posted before the day got away from me.
30 weeks pregnant.
My fundal height is measuring in at 40 cm. (wowzers!) My doctor laughed when she measured me and I said, "Wait! Wait! Let me guess..." and I was right. 40!
I'm still feeling good for the most part.  
I am usually ravenous in the mornings and not particularly interested in food at night.
I feel stuffed pretty much 90% of my day.
I'm officially several weeks in my third trimester and officially on house rest.  It has been good to stay home more and I actually love that I can nap and lay around whenever I am tired.  I'm usually winded after climbing the stairs and usually take naps after running an errand or two.
I've been on a mission to get all my to-do list from the past year and a half of living in our townhome done the last week or so.  We bought curtains for our living room, set up the nursery, bought a kitchen cabinet (farmhouse style) and got a new couch.
Whew! Hubs has been working hard.  He's done 100% of the projects mentioned above and has never complained about my wild ideas, since I can't lift or do a lot of things at this stage, he has steadily loved me through all of these projects.  Thanks Hubs!

 The latest with pregnancy is that we will receive two more ultrasounds (4 weeks apart).
The next ultrasound is scheduled in two weeks to measure their growth and make sure they are on track.  We don't want one of them hogging all the food and growing a lot faster than her sister.
The second ultrasound will be at 36 weeks and that one will be more for "final" positioning of the babies.  If both girls are breech (which they were this last appt) then we will schedule a c-section for 39 weeks.  If Baby A (closest baby to the "exit") is head down they'll wait for me to go into labor on my own.
We are praying for not just one but both babies to go head down so that I can labor on my own but I keep reminding myself, "not my will, but Yours be done" and I know that God is writing the story of these little girls' lives and I want to keep my heart and mind open to His plan for them.
I know God doesn't "mind" me praying my own heart and desires while I can though.
So I am praying but understand that it may happen differently than we are imagining.
Please pray with us!

Thursday, May 26, 2011


I got this idea from my beloved friend Jamie O. over at High Countries (click on title) for doing a blog and since I have no news worthy of an entire blog than I thought I'd just catch you up on all the little happenings around our home.

about all sorts of random things.  I have the most fantastic and vivid dreams during pregnancy.  Last night I had two that I remember...
#1 was me drinking our plant water... ok, so back story on this one~ I am trying to start my own plant from a leaf that I cut from my ivy.  I called my Grandma up and followed her directions to starting it and she mentioned that I should put plant food in the cup of water in order to speed up the process of the cutling starting it's own roots.
In my dream, I drank the cup full of water and miracle grow and told Hubs it was to help the babies grow. Weird!!
Dream #2 was longer and more indepth but basically my high school bf Sarah and enrolled both of us in grad school in Wisconsin.  And I was seriously considering going and living in the dorms again. CRAZY!!!  When I woke up though I had an intense desire to go back to the midwest and also to return to school.  I hope I can do both someday soon.

Hubs' old boxer shorts, a maternity top that no longer covers the bottom half of my belly and a beanie to keep my wayward hair in place.
Buh.  Since I'm the same size as a single pregnancies final days I am running out of options for clothes.  Yes, I could go out and buy some large and extra large shirts... but I'm hoping to make it through the summer without having to make another maternity outfit purchase.  It's pretty comical to me and before you go judging me for my outfit, I am staying at home 80% of my days these days anyway.  So no harm done to the general public.

that these little munchkins inside will decide to shift head down in the next couple of weeks.  It's been a battle in my head because I would really love to go for a natural birth and see what my body can do and experience the process of laboring... but I also will not at any cost put my children at risk.  Move babies, move!  I woke up this morning and it was the first thing on my mind. Their positioning... and so I started to pray and pray and when I finished I glanced at the clock and it said, "8:28"
Oh, how i love when God does this.  It's like my own little message from Hm.  For quite awhile now, I can't even remember how long, but for some time God has laid Romans 8:28 on my heart whenever I see the clock strike that time.  It has been a comfort to me in the past and was today.
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.  

a ton of desserts from Hubs' birthday last week and being blessed by two showers in the month of May.  I felt overwhelming blessed by my Navigator women's shower and the church ladies shower.  Thank you to all who came and helped hostess!! I felt blessed and loved and so lucky to have a wonderful group of friends in Long Beach. Praise God!!

mostly just cereal these days.  Milk sounds soooo good these days and the cereal is quick and easy for when I'm suddenly struck with hunger pains.  I eat big meals in the morning and tend to slow down for the rest of the day.  I don't feel very interested in food at night.

our wedding anniversary by eating the top of our wedding cake.  Okay, it actually wasn't as romantic as that.  It basically went like this...
Hubs: "can we get this cake out of the freezer?"
Me: "but it's for our anniversary..... ooooookay, but we still have to eat it."
after eating it, Hubs: "this is gross"
Me, shoving a forkful in my frosting tinted mouth, "Really?!? I don't think it's so bad."
 So we celebrated our one year, 8 months and some change anniversary by eating two (or maybe I had more) bites of our beautiful wedding cake. 

for my books I put on hold to come through for me in the library. I'm trying to do a lot of leisure reading this summer while I can but the books I've been wanting to go through (which a lot of you beloved readers suggested to me) are all checked out at the library. Hmmm...

God for all the daily life blessings that He has given to me.  I'm working my way slowly up to a thousand gifts.
I know they're there, Lord, please give me the eyes to see them. 

Thursday, May 19, 2011

and baby makes three...

My best friend Kelli just had her little girl....
Welcome Miss Maebry Joanne to the world.
She was born on May 18th at 11:20AM and weighed 8lbs. 10 oz.
What a sweetheart.
Kelli was a champ at laboring. I can't wait to hear more of her story and of course, to kiss her sweet cheeks (Maebry's cheeks not Kelli's) and love on them next time God crosses our long distant paths.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

the last little bit... of a birthday

  Oh sweet Moses how this boy makes me giddy and tingly inside.
I can't imagine a life I love celebrating more than I do my sweet Hubs.
Hubs is so much more to me than just a Hubs.
Hubs is the calming voice of reason when I am floundering about in a sea of emotions...
He is the steady flow that neither pushes me too fast nor too slow...
He is very tender, very sweet and very aware of others and their needs.
I wish I were more like him.... he is such a generous person with his time, his money and his energy.
He'll answer random phone calls of friends who are wanting to treat their girlfriends to a good dinner and want Hubs advice on where the best korean/chinese/japanese/dim sum/sushi, etc. can be found.
He is a man of quality.

When I first met Hubs almost 4 years ago I was intrigued by his countenance and the way he handled himself.  He was a gentle leader.  He was in charge of a group of students traveling overseas and he was always gently steering them without being overly zealous or bossy.  He is a servant leader.  I was continually impressed with him.  He teased me and challenged me in a way that was cute but never too misleading (although after a couple months I was like "dude, quit flirting with me and let's date already!" but that is just my personality speaking)
I was giddy and glowing and totally 100% in love with Hubs.
Although I told myself I wasn't and I knew I had to hold back and show some restraint.
So we took our time and dated.

and he was and still is totally worth the wait.

Hubs, you have always given me the tingles.  You always make me feel like the most beautiful woman and the most appreciated floundering child of God that I am.  You are quick to remind me of grace and forgiveness and always quick to give me both when I need them.  You love me well and excel in leading me back to the cross where grace flows freely.
It's never about you.  That's why I love your birthday because it's the one day I get to make it about you.  And I hope that I can make more days than just today about you... because baby, my life is incomplete without your quirky little behaviors that I have grown to love and grow fond of.
I love that you eat chicken feet
and pig feet
and love fish cheeks.
I love that you would drive out of your way for a black noodle dish that I don't quite understand.
I love that you help out friends when they ask you to do things like drive across Arizona in the hottest weather in a vehicle with no air conditioning.
I love that you want to encourage more people in life.
I love that you desire to grow more in your friendships.
I love that you eat my cooking and have learned to say "it's not my favorite".
I love laughing with you.
I love lazy days when we're home together.
I love holding your hand
and carrying your children.
I love that you talk to the Twinkies and "discipline" them when they're kicking me in the ribs.
I love that you are soft-hearted and tender towards our nephews and nieces.
You are honest.
You are genuine
You are my favorite. 

I don't know how else to say it but just that I love you more than I ever thought was possible. Thanks for asking me to be your wife.
 Happy Birthday Hubs!

This is how much I adore you.
Oh, and thanks for letting me wear these glasses. :)

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

from the book to the canvas

 When I found out we were pregnant, regardless of the gender of our wee ones, I knew I was going to do a Narnia themed nursery.
If I could transfer myself to any place in literary history, hands down I would go to Narnia.  You can keep your Hogwarts and your... uh, is it the Pacific Northwest for Twilight?.... I would go to Narnia any day. So when I started to dream up my Narnian nursery I knew it needed three essential things working for it... a. it needed a wardrobe door.  Instead of a normal door, you'd enter the nursery through a wardrobe and b. it needed to be moveable since I know we won't be in our two bedroom apartment forever and c. it needed all the characters from all the books that I loved and held dear.  I'm a huge fan of Lucy Penvesie but I can also see the value of Miss Jill Pole, the courage of a Reepicheep, the simple humility of a marshwiggle named Puddleglum and of course, the pauper turned hero Shasta.  If you have no idea who I am talking about, add the 7 books of Lewis' to your summer reading and enjoy!
Why Narnia? You may ask. Let me tell you why I am infatuated with Narnia.  Several reasons, I was practically raised on Narnia.  It's the innocence and the bond of my heart to my brothers as we were read the stories together by my father.  It's the reminder of a childhood that was precious and protected by said brothers and my parents.  It's the story of children conquering and overcoming evil in this land that they come to love and even yearn for.  It's the reminder to me of better things to come.  It's the story of a forgiving King of the land who created, cared for it and gave the land it's name and animals. It paints a beautiful picture of what heaven will be like, what it is to be reunited to old friends and how the yearnings of a place you can't quite get to are not the yearnings of a "fool" but of someone who knows what "better" is and that "better" can't be experienced here.

Sorry, I don't know if any of this makes sense.
In short, the stories of Narnia are to me the best stories of how ordinary children become their potential heroic selves and overcome the evil that persistently threatens to ruin and deteriorate the land that they love.
So the wardrobe-as-a-door idea is still on hold and seriously, this may always be a sweet dream of mine.  But the one thing I could do was make "moveable art" that included all my favorite scenes from the books.
Here's how Hubs and I took the books and made them into art....
 well labeled stickies so that when Hubs went to scan and print the images he'd know what size to print them as.
 multiple prints of the same image so that I could practice and make mistakes without ruining our only copy.  We also took images from all the books trying to include the stories as a whole.  Even though Lucy and her discovery of Narnia is my favorite part, I want my babies to be able to enjoy and discover their own favorites in these stories.
 metallic gold paint to highlight some features of the paintings.....
 mod podge! oh, how i love thee.

and canvases of all shapes and sizes.

take an image.... spread mod podge on the canvas, then slowly lay the paper on the canvas smoothing it so that no air bubbles can get trapped.  No matter how slowly or carefully I did this, I got air bubbles.  But it adds character so I didn't mind.

 after the paper is secure and dry for the most part (shouldn't take too long depending on how much mod podge you used) you can mod podge the top.

then I added little gold highlights to different paintings.  Like Prince Rillians' sword as he is killing the serpent, the walls of the "inner garden" and Narnia "growing" from Aslan's song. 
Then Hubs sprayed the paintings with a finishing spray so that, should the prints ever endure a highly humid climate... ahem, Japan... they won't melt or become sticky.  They're supposedly "sealed" for life.
 then we hung them in our sweet daughters' room.

Oh look, here's all my friends....
My only qualm about these is that I'm not used to such .... uncolorful decorations. But if I know how to do anything it's add color so I'm on the hunt for my next project which will be adding color to the walls and room...
also, I should add that the canvas collage is not finished because we have two more pieces to add that are not from the book but are pieces of art from two amazing artistically gifted people; a painter and a photographer. :)
More to come on that later.

Friday, May 06, 2011


I'm feeling overwhelmedly blessed this evening.
Nothing physically has changed. I'm not free of back pain, leg cramps or a stretching uterus.  Nothing has changed except my heart.
I was sharing with some lady friends about how I learned recently that it isn't recommended to feed the babies together for the first four weeks.  So for the first four weeks I'll be feeding every 2 1/2 hours one baby at a time in which feeding could possibly take up to an hour.
And as I was sharing I was .... let's be honest, basically complaining about the half an hour that I would have all to myself.
And I felt a little tug on my heart... a little "God tug" and the words from Luke 1 came to my mind, "Blessed are you among women..."
Now I am not claiming to be carrying our savior, or to be even as remotely as surrendered as Mary was (although I strive to be, Lord) or even claim to be more blessed.  I think every woman on earth is being blessed in some way, shape or form.
My shape and form happens to be an oversized but gorgeous uterus that I cannot take my hands off of most of the time.
I hope I can enjoy and relish in every little moment... even the ones that would be "normal" to vent about.  Like the extra poopie diapers and the spit up and the crying and. and. and.....
Nope, I'm blessed.
I think we need to remember and recall to mind that life, even in all it's ebb and flows...
is a blessing.
A blessing.

That's why I am going to start my "thousand gifts list".
I told you about reading this book One Thousand Gifts: A Dare to Live Fully Right Where You Areand how it has changed me and opened my eyes (click here for my thoughts).  But the truth is, I am forgetful and while I am able to recall some of the nuggets of gold to mind I am quickly forgetting the habit of being thankful for daily life.
So I want to start a small journal where I write down the thousand every day things I am thankful for.

#1  little nudges that inevitable begin when I lay down to rest. Private moments with two sweet daughters.

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

April 2011

I love this picture.  I love my butter dish. I just had to say that.
I'm such a country nerd.

April was a month full of surprises.
First, Hubs surprised me with four weeks of sewing classes.
Sewing class was one of my favorite things to do this month because I was able to not only sharpen some of the tools I had learned from my mom or the web but I was also able to meet some really fun people and connect with women in a new way.  It was fun to have classmates and to be able to talk to new people.  There was also four pregnant women in my class of about 10-12.  The class was on making aprons and pot holders from a pattern. Super fun!! I made mine out of a coffee cup fabric and even "quilted" my pot holder.
Lots of fun!!
The second surprise was actually for my Dad.  Hubs and I surprised Eddie Joe on his birthday by traveling to Illinois to see him and visit family for a long weekend.  It was wonderful!! Eddie Joe then surprised me with the above butter dish as a gift.

I did not get any reading in this month. Seriously, nothing on my shelves has tempted me and I haven't made it to the library yet.
Babies had a growth spurt. I passed my glucose test. I made another egg bake that didn't end up in the alley.  I had raging hormones and one of the hardest weekends emotionally for me for no apparent reason.

My mom was in town to visit at the very beginning of April and we did a TON of sewing, watching movies and eating yummy foods.  It was such a blessing to have my mom in California to see our lives here since neither her nor my father have been out since Hubs and I had our CA reception.  My house was full of boxes at that time. Boxes and well-intended wishes for what I could do with this house.  But now, our home is filled with stories, love, tears and laughter.  It was fun to share my home and life with her.
Mom and Dad will both be back out to California when the babies are born to help. Woo hoo!

Overall, April was an awesome month with lots of little fun moments tucked inside of it.