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2008 April » Philoxenos

Philoxenos

House Hunt update

8th April 2008

House Hunt update

We decided not to make an offer on that other house; HOWEVER, we have put in an offer on a different house. We’re still waiting (waiting, waiting!) to hear. They have until 5pm tomorrow to get back to us.

In the meantime, I’ve been busy reading all Martha has to offer :) I’ve never been a decorating kind of person, but we’ve always rented. Something about owning our own home that we actually think we’ll live in for several years makes a huge difference.

When we do move again it will be our eighth move in eight years. And it will be, by far, the largest house we’ve ever lived in. Our one couch will look very lonely :) But lonely is good. Better than being in debt just to have more furniture!

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4th April 2008

house hunting

We have found a house that we really like. A lot. It’s in a great neighbourhood, beautiful house, larger than anything we ever expected. There’s a park about three minutes walk away. We’ve seen a ton of photos and the floor plan, as well as driving by. We’re going to see inside tomorrow. The price is definitely right.

The only downside? It’s a short sale, meaning the seller wants to sell it for less than they owe the bank and therefore have to have bank approval. It’s a pre-foreclosure measure. We’ve been told that it can take forever to get the bank to respond to an offer like this. So, we’ll see what happens.

Prayer appreciated!

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1st April 2008

Freezer Cooking, CSA and Blood Oranges

I must first begin by giving a huge shout out to Renee at Baker’s Dozen . Through her blog she introduced me to the most amazing cookbook I’ve read in a long time - Fix Freeze Feast, by Neville and Tkacsik. Renee is friends with one of the authors and was telling her readers about the new book several weeks ago. I went online to the library catalogue and put in a request for it. It came a couple weeks ago and I picked it up and was, like, WOW! I showed it to my mom who thought the recipes looked pretty good. We scheduled a day to do some cooking together and today was it!!

People, this is a seriously good cookbook. The basic premise is cooking with recipes that use a ‘tray pack’ of meat from a warehouse store, such as Costco or Sam’s Club. So we’re talking about 6 pounds or so of beef mince or chicken breasts or whatever. It allows you to take advantage of the great prices, as well as making meals in advance for when you really need a quick dinner. I don’t want to write a review of the book because that would require a bit more forethought. Just take my word for it! Check it out from the library and then you’ll want to buy a copy, it’s that good. And the book is only $10.17 at Amazon. And then you must make the Mozzerella Meatballs. You MUST!

The other highlight of my day was picking up our very first box of produce from our CSA farmer. Read more about Community Supported Agriculture here. The basic idea is that we pay a set amount each week and get a box of produce each week throughout the year from the same farm. What we get is dependent upon the season and what the farm is growing. Our farm has been organic for 25 years and is very local, which is part of the reason we joined. We’re trying to reduce our impact on the planet and all that. Buying food grown just miles away, instead of thousands of miles, just seems like a smart thing. I first read about CSA at Enjoy the Journey, which appears to no longer exist, and we checked into it and thought it was something we would like to try out when we moved to America.

I was a tad disappointed by the amount of food we got, considering that we’re paying $18 a week. It’s all organic, which of course makes the price go up, but it’s still on the pricey side. We’ll continue with it for a quarter and then reevaluate.

Michele, what did you get in the box?? I can hear you asking.

Well… we got four of these:
blood-orange.jpg

and some of these, which were sweeter than any I’ve tasted since leaving New Zealand:
carrots.jpg

and we also got some baby bok choy, which I promptly put into a stir fry tonight (Made from the fabulous Cashew Chicken from the aforementioned cookbook), as well as some asparagus, Yukon Gold potatoes, fresh dill, delicious tangerines, which we’ve already eaten, a huge head of Red Oakleaf lettuce and I think that’s it. The information I received said this size box, the family box, is enough for a family of four for a week. Uh, definitely not. However, I’m excited to get different kinds of fruits and vegetables that I wouldn’t otherwise try. I’m also excited to get the kids trying different foods, too. And the even cooler part is we get to go on a farm tour at the end of the month!!

Tonight during dinner I told the girls that they had to try a bite of each of the vegetables, explaining that they were grown at ‘our’ farm. Precious asked me why they had to try them and I said that we were going to go visit the farmer and he might ask her if she had been eating her vegetables. That seemed to work! Go CSA!!

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1st April 2008

This blogging thing

As I mentioned yesterday, the fog is lifting. I think all my synapses are firing again. I’m pretty sure that this means I’ll be blogging a lot more. As I read through some of my archives last night (have you read this one? Hilarious!) I remembered one of the reasons that I wanted to blog. It helps to document our lives, for ourselves and for those who care about us. But it also helps me to process ideas. One thing about being the mother of three young children - I don’t get a lot of complex conversation during the day, unless one counts deciphering two-year-old speak.

So… I will start writing more. And of course, the more I write, the more I write :)  I’ll probably never be cool like Carlos (more on him another time) or have a following like Boomama, but that’s okay. We all have our place in the world and I appreciate all eleven of my readers :)

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1st April 2008

A self made early bird

One result of waking very early for an entire year is that I’ve basically made myself into an early bird. It is rare that I sleep past six o’clock. I prefer this, however, because it means that I can get up, get completely ready for the day, have a bit of time in prayer/Bible reading, hopefully have time online, before the children wake up or at least before they’re allowed out of bed at 7am.

And because I’m getting a solid night’s sleep, I can stay up until 10pm and not feel like a zombie the next day. This is good because Handsome stays up much later than I do. Going to bed at 8:30pm wasn’t doing a whole lot to develop marital communication.

ETA: However, going to bed at 8:30 did help my mental well-being and being a sane wife is always a good thing. 

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