Chicken Soup and the Couch

I am currently taking care of two sick boys with colds. I kid you not, Richard seems to always get sick during his school breaks. In a way, it's a blessing because he's not missing school for being sick. Because of its consistency, I am pretty sure it is caused by all the stress buildup that comes at the end of every quarter. What do you think?

Anyway, I asked Richard if chicken noodle soup was the best idea for dinner and he agreed. I was ready to pull out a can of soup, but then thought, "What am I doing? I can make this soup myself!" So I pulled out the ingredients I had, put some chicken in the oven, and made a run to the store to buy 3 more boxes of tissue, carrots & celery. I posted my rendition of chicken noodle soup on the blog "Mothers in the Kitchen" as well as other recipes I made this week.

In Richard's words, "This soup kicks Campbell's butt." I'm just happy that I am feeling more confident in the kitchen and ability to cook foods that I've never made before.

We enjoyed eating them in our new bowls we received from some friends who are moving. They also offered us their couch. Richard readily agreed, and we already love it! It's a nice COMFY couch with more width, and Richard's favorite part....
...he can lay down, and stretch out his feet out and neither his head or toes touch the end of the couch. Tall people, rejoice! Thanks Clinton and Justine!

Bragging Rights

First off, let me give you the definition of three words in reference to Richard's Portfolio 2 class: Pass, Fail, and Conditional. Pass and Fail are pretty self-explanatory. If you fail, you have to retake the class. If you get a conditional on your review, that means you have the weekend to fix the noticed mistakes and improve elements in your portfolio for another chance at passing the class.

Richard heard some awesome news today from a teacher who was on the panel of teachers who critiqued his portfolio. He was informed that he was the only student out of the Portfolio 2 classes that passed straight-up, without any conditionals! Isn't that amazing! He was complimented for his great attention to detail and effort he puts into his work. Richard said, "It was a nice compliment, but I know there are mistakes." (The one I know that drives him crazy is in the text of one of his projects he placed a "-" hyphen where it didn't belong. Big whoopin' mistake, huh? Hardly.) Anyway, I am just so happy for him and proud of his accomplishments in school. After all, that is why we're in Seattle!

Have I ever mentioned that I love living here? Here's one reason:
I pretty much get to see this everyday.


End of Quarter Review

I have done very well this week at planning out meals and then sitting together as a family for dinner. It's been much easier with the fact that I've been working mornings, and Richard's classes are starting to die down. The biggest news of the month is:
Believe me, this is huge. I mean, this is the reason he chose not to come to Utah for my sister's wedding, of all things, because this class & all its projects were stressing him out to the brim! A week before everything was due, he kept sharing his doubts about passing. Last Sunday night, he pulled an all-nighter finalizing all the details and making sure everything was presentable. I woke up for work at 4am, and there he was still working away at the computer. When I got home from work at noon, we ate a quick lunch and he was out of here at 12:30, with all projects in hand. That's when my status update on Facebook stated, "I feel like a bunch of stress just walked out the door. Yay!" He was definitely in a happier mood when he got home, and has seemed like a different husband all week. I love this Richard. In celebration, (and just because we can) we went downtown to the Cheesecake Factory for a yummy dinner.

Now, let the countdown to the projects of next quarter begin.


Todays Albertson's Run

Before coupons this would have cost: $34.55+Tax
After coupons I paid: $14.25!

I had to do 4 separate transactions (I love self checkout).
•1st and 2nd order were 4 boxes of Post Cereals each. Post has a catalina attached to the purchase of their cereals until this Sunday, so after my purchase & coupons, I received $6 back. I applied those to my next order.
•3rd order was napkins, tampons, liners, and Huggies wipes. I applied applicable coupons, doublers, and the catalinas (Total was: $2.55)
•4th order was 3 Huggies wipes which each had $1 coupons attached to them. I used double-the-value coupons and received each pack for just .79cents a piece!

I have actually done the Huggies wipes deal multiple times because Safeway has coupon books all around their store (which no one ever bothers to take, sadly) with manufacturer coupons in them for $1/1 package of wipes. I just wait for Albertsons to print their doublers and I get wipes for really cheap! It's a great stock up deal for those who are interested--a much better idea than paying close to $3 on a whim when you are out!



So, remember how I said I ran errands yesterday. Well, here's what I bought:

A massaging cushion. And, I am absolutely loving it--at this very moment, in fact. As most of you know, I have wanted one of these for a long time. Well, I actually want the full on chair like I blogged about long ago, but this was a cheaper alternative and gets the job done.

Last week, due to prolonged sitting, and I would assume poor posture, Richard's back was really hurting him. It hurt him for days! We flipped the mattress, and I had to be liberal in my massage giving, but in the back of my mind I just thought about this chair. :) And, then the GM manager at work hurt her back & is out of work all this week, and possibly next so I am throwing freight all week. I always come home achy-achy, & I knew this chair would help that.

Anyway, I am just excited about our new chair cushion. Awww......


Seasonal Produce

Michael and I ran lots of errands today. I had bought radishes at the store, and he snacked on them the whole time begging for more. I have also done a very good job at making dinner, and Richard and I have really enjoyed actually sitting at the table for dinner together! (It really happens irregularly in our home with our schedules). Also, if I help plan, shop for, and prepare the meals for two weeks I can pass off a personal progress value experience! :)

Anyway, I wanted to share this link (Click Here) with any of you who may be interested in learning what produce is considered "in season" during particular months. I had absolutely no idea, to be honest, considering I've grown up thinking fresh produce was available 24/7. Which it is, but they say (and no, I don't really know who 'they' is) that freshest is bestest.

Next on the menu for us is potato and leek soup, and a potato cabbage gratin. Wish me luck! New recipes tend to intimidate me.


Saying names & colors

Michael's dictation is getting much clearer as he copies what we say, and he knows the signs for most of the colors.

Michael repeating ABCs


Food, Inc

FOOD, INC <--Click here for their site If you have not yet seen this documentary titled Food, Inc, I 100-thousand percent recommend it to you. Everybody knows that I absolutely love chocolate, grocery shopping, eating, but that I also have a desire to be a better, well-rounded eater. This just heavily motivated me to get on the ball and be a wiser consumer. Our family has done really well on the produce front this week. I've gotten my full serving of fruits each day, and am getting there on the vegetables. Michael wants at least 2 oranges a day. So, I'm feeling pretty happy there.

My goals:
1. Buy more organic & local food.
2. Pass up the fruit snacks, or the like--even if it's a really good deal with a coupon.
3. Feed Michael how he deserves to be fed by his mother; a wide variety of colors and produce.

I am also half way through this book which touches pretty much on the same topics.
He basically encourages us to "eat food that rots" = more produce!

Now, if only I can get Richard to jump on this bandwagon! Ironically, he just walked in the door with a grocery bag of Tostitos, Oreos, Reeses Pieces, and Granola Cereal. And, I'll bet he didn't even use coupons. I just love my Richard.


In a nutshell

Suzy and Brycen are an absolutely wonderful and beautiful couple. & I'm not just saying that, cuz that's what everybody says. I 100% mean it, and love them! They were married on Feb. 27, 2010 in the Timpanogos Temple in Utah. I didn't get very many pictures with my camera, but I have to share what I have.

The traditional family picture. I would love to tell you the story--another time.

Uncle James is so wonderful. He is also a very good ballroom dancer. We danced together multiple times, at the reception or in the family livingroom.

Unfortunately, I hardly took any reception pictures. I mostly used my brother's nice camera, and don't have any copies as of yet. This is my sister, Michelle prepping the peppers for the cream cheese and veggie wraps we served at the reception.
I cut up a lot of pineapple for the reception. I showed Michael that he could lick this part of the pineapple and still taste the juice. Dig in!
My adorable niece.
My beautiful sister.
And the ONE reception picture. Pathetic, I know. But it was such a fun evening. Running around and greeting and seeing tons of friends I haven't seen in a long time!
Suzy's colors were Mint Green, Forest Green, and chocolate. You wanna know a piece of how she picked these colors? Brownies. I kid you not. Suzy wanted to serve her favorite treat the reception "BYU Mint Brownies", and picked mint green as her colors because of it! Isn't that hilariously fantastic!? And, can you tell me how many calories are in a nice slice of one of these? Suzy can.And, of course, you can't forget our late night volleyball game. After reception clean up, we raced down to another church building where cousin Jordan had set up a volleyball net. The game started at 10:30pm. I left about an hour later, but most stayed until 1 am. Crazy people.

Emmy and Michael and Showers

Cousin Emily and Michael were around each other for 10 days and got along soooo well. I don't think this video will ever get old to me. They are so fun to watch. During a Smith family bridal shower for Suzy, the kiddos stole tiny cups of Nerds from the table and giggled as they sneakily ate them.

The bridal shower had a pretty great turnout. I bought these 2 cute wedding bears from the dollar store as a table centerpiece. They were too cute. And we bought Suzy a little tiara to wear during the shower, since she was the queen of the show. A few of my cousins designed some wedding dresses for her. Which one do you like best?
And, this is me wearing my sister's clothes. It's nice to have a new wardrobe for the week.

A post I like

One of my cousins is on a mission in Chile currently and experienced the earthquake. Her sister just wrote a short post about Chile and being prepared.
Just thought I'd share. Couldn't have said it better myself.