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2007 October » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

a clean kitchen

30th October 2007

a clean kitchen

It’s 10pm and I’m sweaty. I just finished cleaning the kitchen, which included scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees. We have a tile floor and the mop just doesn’t get it all clean. Of course, by 8 am tomorrow there will be Cheerios and bit of fruit and who knows what else smeared all over it. But for now, it’s clean and I like it. When I wake up in the morning it will be clean. My mom comes over frequently and she’s so kind to not mention how dirty my kitchen is most of the time. Honestly, I do try, I really do. But these little people that live in my house keep wanting to eat and drink and I just can’t keep up with it all. So, I’ve mucked it out and it’s shiny and all the dishes are washed and the floor is clean.

And, although I didn’t get any formal exercise today, I was listening to music while I washed the dishes (by hand) and boy, did I get a workout. I was dancing all around and I’m assuming that no one was watching and I enjoyed it. At one point I heard a Carls Jr commerical that just gave me the giggles. It’s about their new Strawberry Banana Smoothie/Shake. They can’t decide what to call it - schmake? schmoothie? You have to hear it.

I’m off to shower. Trust me, that’s a good thing.

posted in Kitchen stuff | 4 Comments

29th October 2007

A job? What’s that?

I was tagged for a meme by one of my faithful readers, Jen. She’s also a faithful commenter (so for all of you reading that don’t comment, shame on you!!). Looks like I’m supposed to talk about all the jobs I’ve had.

1. My first job was at age 14 working after school for one hour a day at a daycare run by a family friend in her home. It was in walking distance from my high school.

2. Next came I Can’t Believe It’s Yogurt, a frozen yogurt store where I had to wear a white polo shirt with orange trim and I decided to buy orange Converse low-tops to match. True fashion. I seem to remember that I worked there until halfway through my senior year of high school.

3. Then I worked for a credit-reporting office and I was the chief filing girl. I remember having bloody cuticles from all the filing until I got the hang of how to avoid that. I worked after school each day for about two hours. I worked there all through the end of school and through the summer until I went away to college.

4. I took a bit of a hiatus when I started college (although I don’t know why) but then I moved back home and decided to go to the local college (best move I ever made, besides getting married to Handsome of course :) ) and I worked for my grandmother for a few months, who owned a frozen yogurt store. Learned some hard lessons about working for family.

5. Although more of a volunteer position, I spent the summer after my first year of university as a summer missionary in Michigan. I worked in a different church each week for ten weeks, doing all kinds of different things but a lot of VBS. Many of the churches were very small. I would arrive on Saturday afternoon and they’d ask me and my partner - okay, which one of you plays the piano? Which was me, so I would play every Sunday. I got really good at sight reading hymns.

6. Next I worked for a locally owned Christian bookstore, in the music department. It was great. I got some free music, got a staff discount, met some very interesting people, got to take books home to ‘preview’ them. I worked there for about 18 months.

7. I left there in 1997 and went to work for my grandmother again as the store manager for her yogurt shop. She was having hip replacement surgery and needed someone she could trust to run the place. We had resolved our differences and it was a great experience (for me anyway!) I worked there until I finished college at the end of the year.

8. After finishing university I went to work for the International Mission Board as a journeyman missionary. I was in South Korea for two years.

9. Next job was as a temp for various offices after I moved to New Zealand. BORING.

10. Next job was at the University of Canterbury as International Admissions Officer. This was a great job, as well. It had its fair share of drudge work, but the perks were excellent. I took several overseas trips while working for them and had a great deal of flexibility that I appreciated. I worked there until I had my first child, so nearly four years.

11. Then we moved to the North Island and I was a stay at home mom until Precious was nearly one. Our circumstances changed and it was necessary for me to go to work, so I started working at the University of Waikato as a student advisor in the Waikato Management School. Also a very flexible working environment, but I was bored out of my mind. It’s probably a good thing that I hadn’t discovered blogs yet because then I would really have had no motivation at all to achieve anything. It was hard enough as it was. I worked there for only ten months because I discovered after working there just a few months that I was pregnant with daughter #2. Definitely a surprise, but God knew.

12. After that I did a little work for my husband and father-in-law in their consulting business and now I’m here in America, definitely not employed, but definitely busy :)

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

28th October 2007

Menu Plan Monday - October 29

Just in case any of my 15 readers are interested in what we’re going to be eating this week, I’m participating in Menu Plan Monday, hosted by Laura at I’m An Organizing Junkie. I am usually quite organised in the kitchen because having a menu plan means that I generally spend less money on groceries. I have a steadfast rule that if it’s not on the list, I don’t buy it. The only exceptions are when I find a really good deal on something that wasn’t in the store flyer. For example, Saturday I went to Winco to do my fortnightly shopping and they had Stovetop Stuffing for 99 cents a box, which is really really good. I bought some, even though it wasn’t on the list. In spite of having a list and a menu, I’m still flexible. Even if the menu says we’re having pork chops on Wednesday, if Wednesday rolls around and I’m just not interested in pork chops I’ll substitute something else on the menu. But at least I know that I have the ingredients for different meals.

Anyway. On to the exciting part of the post. Almost all of these recipes come from my newest book purchase - Desperation Dinners. I first found this book at the Christchurch City Library (which is a great, fantastic, super library) (in New Zealand) several years ago. I still make one of the recipes (Speedy Black Bean Soup) on a regular basis. When we lived in Christchurch I had to go to the local health food shop to buy dried black beans and then soak them and cook them in order to the make the soup. Here I can buy a can of black beans for 50 cents. It’s still cheaper to buy dried beans, but boy, just opening a can is a lot easier. And I’m into easier at the moment.

So two weeks ago I was at the library and I discovered that they had the book!! I checked it out and started marking the recipes that I wanted to try. Like, real recipes that I knew we would probably like. When I got to over ten I decided to see if I could buy it used on Amazon. I was able to get a BRAND NEW copy from a second-hand seller on Amazon for about $1.50, plus $3.99 shipping. So of course I ordered it. And I love it. LOVE. IT. Handsome flipped through it while we were sitting on the couch a few nights ago and I could hear him saying Mmmmm… oh, that sounds good… yummmm… So this week’s menu features heavily with recipes from our newest cookbook (Edited to note: Actually, after typing it up I’m only using one recipe for the whole week. I’m sure I had a reason, but I don’t remember what it was. Stay tuned for next week. But I still recommend the book). I highly recommend you check your local library. The book purports that no recipe shall take longer than 20 minutes from start to finish. That is if you don’t have to soak and cook dried beans.

Monday: Homemade Hot Pockets (Handsome is at school on Mondays so we make easy, kid-friendly dinners. We love these and I make extra for the freezer)

Tuesday: Beef Stroganoff, garlic mashed potatoes, peas, salad

Wednesday: at mom’s house, trying to avoid trick-or-treaters. Our apartment will probably be inundated.

Thursday: Red Bean and Feta Salad (trying to recapture the summer.We love this salad. To all you NZers - a great salad for Christmas Day)

Friday: Homemade Pizza

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: PDQ Broccoli Cheese Soup (DD pg 11) . I bought a LARGE bag of broccoli at Costco a couple weeks ago so we’ve been eating a lot of broccoli.

posted in Kitchen stuff | 2 Comments

28th October 2007

Dad, since I know you’re reading…

My dad reads my blog. He tells me so. Every once in a while he’ll slip in a reference to something I wrote just to let me know that he’s reading. I like that he likes to read my blog. Although I write mostly for my own benefit I’m glad that other people enjoy it, too.

So, anyway, Dad. Just in case you decide you don’t want to buy me the waffle maker, the band Mercy Me has a new CD being released Thanksgiving week and it ROCKS. The songs are almost straight from scripture and you can’t go wrong with God’s words. I’ve added it to my Amazon wishlist in case you’re interested. I heard the title track on the radio the other day and immediately had to go find out which album it was on.

You know me, I just want to give you options.

Oh, and other internet-people, my dad rocks too. And you should see him with his grandkids. He’s a bit giant softy. And the big softy is taking his oldest granddaughter to Disneyland in a couple of weeks (shhh!! she doesn’t know) and I can only imagine what she’s going to come home with, besides a heart full of love.

Love you Dad!

posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

27th October 2007

Run to your nearest Trader Joe’s

Readers who live anywhere close to a Trader Joe’s (I’m afraid this excludes my international readers) must put on their shoes and sprint to the shop which is now selling Pumpkin Butter, which I believe is now one of my most favourite foods. Toast a bagel, spread some cream cheese, add a little Pumpkin Butter, and you’re just a little bit closer to heaven. It’s a seasonal product, so I must go buy a couple more jars. Which of course I’ll have to ration. And, gee, I’m so good at that, so it’ll probably be gone by January. Or November. Whichever comes first.

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

26th October 2007

Pink explosion

We had a birthday party for Precious today (see below) and it looks like some frilly pink factory exploded in our house. She got oodles of pink sparkly things and now they’re all over our house. How many dress-up shoes does one little girl need??

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

26th October 2007

William Tell Overture Mom

This was just sent to me from my mom. What a riot. And by the way, I’m supposed to be cleaning. I’m so task-oriented.

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

26th October 2007

Just one more…

Can’t leave out the little boy, can I?dsc00032-1.JPG

posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

26th October 2007

And since I’m posting pictures of the kids…

Here is a great one of Cutie, taken last weekend at my brother’s house.dsc00117.JPG

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26th October 2007

The Birthday Girl

dsc00046.JPGToday is the birthday of my oldest daughter, who turned four today. Here she is in a picture doing her most favourite thing - reading. This is a new book that she got in the mail from her Nana and Grandad in New Zealand.

In the last year she has grown up so much, it’s hard to believe it. She is constantly making up stories and singing songs; she loves to praise the Lord with singing and dancing - she often asks “Does Jesus like it when we dance and clap?” She ‘reads’ books voraciously and I believe that this next year she will learn to read for real. She has taught herself to write most of the letters of the alphabet, including all the letters of her name. And of course she loves to pretend to be a princess. Many mornings I am told over breakfast that today her name is Cinderella.

She is so silly (which Handsome says comes from me) and we do a lot of laughing and giggling. She is such a great companion and I really enjoy spending time with her one on one. Because she’s older now and doesn’t usually nap in the afternoon, she and I are able to spend a bit more time together just the two of us, after we’ve both had a rest. Sometimes in the evenings we will allow her to stay up later than her siblings and I’ll take her out to the grocery store or to some other place I need to go. She thinks this is really cool because everyone else is already in bed.

This year she started AWANA at church and is memorising scripture every week. I pray over her most nights that she will love the Lord her God with all her heart, mind, soul, and strength. And I think she’s definitely on her way.

Happy Birthday, Precious.

posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments