Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sour smell?

I've been noticing over the past couple of weeks that our washer's been smelling a little sour and the clothes coming out of it weren't smelling like the power of sunshine as Gain promised. Now, this could be due to the power of suggestion (my mom had mentioned to me that hers was smelling funny) but I decided not to take any chances. After doing some research I found this site and followed their directions for cleaning a top loading washer (most of them at least, I stopped before the "get your q-tips out" part). I just took out a fresh load and it seems the sunshine has returned to my laundry area!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

It's not noticable . . .

My favorite part?

What's going on with your face?

I don't know . . . Maybe I look a little more well rested?

Monday, August 25, 2008

Sesame Chicken

I'm getting back in the swing of cooking a more well-rounded menu than just frozen ravioli and grapes and now that I don't become nauseous just looking at recipes, I've been having fun going through magazines and cookbooks again! Here's a new Ross Favorite:

Lighter Sesame Chicken



Serves 4

  • 1 cup brown rice, uncooked
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or crushed with a garlic press
  • 2 large egg whites
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, cut into 2-inch chunks
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil, such as safflower
  • 4 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 pounds broccoli, cut into large florets, stems peeled and thinly sliced
  1. Place a steamer basket in a large saucepan, and fill with 1 inch water; set aside for broccoli. Cook rice according to package instructions.
  2. Meanwhile, make sauce: In a small bowl, combine honey, sesame seeds, soy sauce, and garlic; set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together egg whites and cornstarch. Add chicken; season with salt and pepper, and toss to coat.
  3. In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tablespoon oil over medium-high. Add half the chicken; cook, turning occasionally, until golden and opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate; repeat with remaining tablespoon oil and chicken. Return all the chicken to skillet; add reserved sauce and scallions, and toss to coat.
  4. Meanwhile, place saucepan with steamer basket over high heat; bring water to a boil. Add broccoli, and cook until crisp-tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Serve sesame chicken with broccoli and rice.
This was actually the first time I had cooked brown rice and it was a crash and burn experience. It was crunchy to the texture of cereal . . . yea . . . but we actually do prefer brown rice (when it's cooked properly) so I'm determined to figure out what I did wrong. I have a feeling that I wasn't paying full attention when I measured the water and I didn't put enough in. Any thoughts or suggestions from you brown rice cooking masters??

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

An Update

Thank you again to all of you who have been praying for Greg and I over the past 3 weeks. We so appreciate your prayers and have needed them so intensely.

I'll leave out most of the details, but I wanted to give a quick update to those who have been following our story through our blog. When we found out 3 weeks ago that we had lost our baby, I had not yet experienced the full miscarriage. 3 weeks later, this past Sunday Greg ended up taking me into the ER for an emergency procedure because my body was losing too much blood as it was completing the process of the miscarriage. We came back home the same day and everything is going well, I just need to take it easy for the next couple of weeks as my body heals.

The whole rushing the spouse to the hospital was a new experience for Greg and I (though we've both spent our fair share of time in hospitals growing up, Greg more than I) and there are probably some aspects we would do differently if we were ever in that position again. For instance, me sitting in the car honking the horn to trying to hurry up Greg as he gathered important information wasn't really helpful . . . but now we know. *Confession* I actually knew at the time it wasn't helping anything, but I felt I needed to try anyway. And we'd grab some snacks or cash for the vending machine; "any minute now" in hospital language, we've learned, translates to any number of hours.

There was definitely a temptation to fear as the situation was unfolding at our house Sunday morning, but God was amazingly faithful to give us peace. As soon as I woke up that morning quotes from Spurgeon's Beside Still Waters were floating through my head rather than anxious thoughts about what was going on. We were able to get in touch with my family right before the church service started and had both our families and many close friends praying for us. And, this still amazes me and give me goosebumps, Leah was being prayed for at her church (over an hour away) that morning and one of the men praying for her stopped in the middle of praying for her and began praying for a "close friend of Leah's" (me!) who was experiencing a miscarriage. Leah had no idea what was going on with me that morning, but she and others were covering me with specific prayers right when I needed them most. (That's the cliff notes version)

So, that's my "quick" update. We're full of anticipation to see how the rest of this story will unfold!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

a daily record, as of occurrences, experiences, or observations

I was organizing our bookshelves a little bit yesterday and came upon some old journals that for one reason or another weren't packed away in the attic. I'm a very inconsistent journal-er and whenever I go back and read I always wish that I was more devoted to it because I LOVE reading the details and the memories that I'd forgotten over the years. The journals I found yesterday spanned the years from 2002 to 2005 (thankfully my high school journals are in the attic, those are kind of embarrassing to read . . . haha).

Anyways, there was a specific entry that made me laugh out loud, and Greg, too, when I read it to him:

July 12, 2004

(This was a rather long post summerizing my time at Celebration - a retreat our church used to go on every summer)

One night Greg, Evan, Leah and I played Hand and Foot [a card game]. Greg and Ev beat us badly, but it was Leah's first time playing. If we all get married, we're going to have to take some family vacations together and hopefully when the guys get married they will pour their affections on their wives rather than on each other - - it was getting a little annoying =)

Case in point:

Leah and I certainly had some competition, but thankfully everything has turned out just the way we hoped it would =)

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Back to School

I'm one of those odd ones that actually misses college because of the class time, not the social life (probably because I didn't really have a social life due to how much I loved the class time . . . Leah can vouch for this). I really, really miss being in class, learning new things and taking lots and lots of notes . . . This fall I have a chance to get back at it and I'm super excited. Beginning in September, I'll be taking a tax certification course for the semester. So come tax season I'll be preparing taxes one way or another, whether it's out of our house or working for a CPA. Right now I'm just excited about pulling out my spiral bound notebook, assorted pens, blank index cards and highlighters . . . School here I come!