Thursday, October 30, 2014

MENU: 10/30/14 - 11/5/14

We've got some late nights and full days ahead, so I'm sticking with some easy dinners and desserts. I have one new recipe for you first, though.

* angel hair with kale, artichoke hearts, and olives - This was a "let's see what we can pull from the fridge, freezer, and cupboards" creation that turned out good enough for me to scarf ridiculous amounts of it.

ADVANCED COOKING (These aren't always planned, so they'll often be things I did the previous week.)
* I cooked a turkey, froze most of the meat, and made bone broth from the carcass.
* I'll make up a month's worth of seasoned meat for Taco Tuesday, using homemade taco seasoning.

* maple cluster granola
* doughnuts at church
* oatmeal with brown sugar, cinnamon, milk, homemade peanut butter, maple almond butter, raisins, dried cranberries, fresh or frozen fruit, huh-koe-pee milk, and/or energy mix as optional toppings x5

* buffalo slaw (seasoned meat from the freezer)/rice
* new recipe/no-knead bread
* hot dogs at a harvest festival
* potato soup/no-knead bread
* teriyaki chicken (crockpot)/rice/frozen corn
* tacos - seasoned meat, crockpot beans from the freezer, and some other toppings served in a tortilla, bowl, as a salad over a pile of greens, or with mound of rice
* leftovers

* candy from the harvest festival
* 4 Spoons toasted coconut & salted caramel cookie dough, made by one friend and given to me by another
produce, including some black bean dip (made with crockpot beans) for carrots
* popcorn (kernels from the Winco bulk department that get popped in my Lodge Dutch oven)

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I'm thankful for our fairly new tradition of having dessert when we come home from Bible study.

What's one thing that you're thankful for?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


As of 30 minutes ago, we have another runner in our family. Technically this person has been a runner for nine weeks, but this morning they completed Couch-to-5K

Those shoes on the right? They've run three miles with me three times over the last week. 

That girl on the left? She's an awesome kid who, like her mom and a brother before her, is not naturally athletic, but stuck with the C25K program and went from struggling to run for a full minute to running three miles without a break. I'm so proud of her!!

Needless to say, she'll be coming along for some "I finished the whole program" ice cream when Devon and I cash in Cold Stone gift cards for our "I held a ten minute mile pace for three miles" ice cream in the near future.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014


This is what our dining table looks like almost every afternoon. I love it!

Update: Someone asked on Facebook what popper I use when I linked this post there, so I thought I better come back and include that info. We have used a West Bend Stir Crazy for years and years. It's an oil popper that allows you to go on about your business while your kernels pop. It's a wonderful popper and I highly recommend it.  It goes on sale all over the place for $20.00 - $25.00 around Christmas. Here's what it looks like.

A couple months ago our Stir Crazy died. It was a sad day, as we eat popcorn almost daily and I wasn't going to spend cash or Amazon gift cards on a new one. I decided it was time to learn how to make popcorn on the stovetop, busted out my Lodge 5 Quart Cast Iron Dutch Oven, and looked up some directions online. We've been making popcorn that way ever since. I never thought I'd see the day when I'd say that I don't miss my Stir Crazy, but I don't. The Dutch Oven is working just as well as the Stir Crazy. Here's the one I have, which I got on sale for $25.00 on Amazon a couple Christmases ago. 

Stir Crazy pros: The popper is designed to stir the kernels, which means you can walk away while they're popping. The lid flips over and becomes the serving bowl.

Dutch Oven pros: A multi-use dish, which means one less dish/gadget in the kitchen cupboards. 

For whatever it's worth, we don't butter our popcorn. We just use the kernels, oil, and a little bit of seasoned salt or Creole seasoning.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014


My post-C25K running goal has been to hold a ten minute pace for my three mile run, which is a challenge for me, but I didn't officially pace myself when Devon and I did the program and haven't been timing myself since coming back from a break at the start of September. I was really struggling in mid-September, thanks to taking a month off, and took the advice of several people to slow down and build my endurance back up again. I backtracked a bunch, including giving myself two breaks per run for two weeks, then one break for two weeks.  For the last week I've been running all three miles with Devon without a break, but not worrying about my speed.

I can't time myself during the week, which is actually good for me because I don't worry about how fast I'm going, so I decided to bust out the stopwatch this afternoon and give the run my best shot. I just wanted to see how close I could get to doing all three miles in thirty minutes. Here I am in my post-rainy run glory.

What? You can't read the stopwatch? Here, let me give you a close-up.


I realize hitting under a ten minute mile for three miles isn't a big accomplishment in the world of running, but it's huge in the world of Bethany. I'm so excited! Now I get to eat some Cold Stone when I cash in some gift cards to take Devon out for his "3 miles/30 minutes" ice cream. We both earned it!

My next goal is to hold that pace without feeling like I'm going to die for the last half mile or so. Then I'll figure out a new goal, either a faster pace or a longer distance. We'll see. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014


A friend wrote to me a few weeks back and said she wanted to take the little Ws for an evening, so we dropped them off for a movie and pizza last night. We didn't want to spend a lot of time driving, didn't have money to blow, and I was pretty tired from getting up at 5:00 that morning. So, we opted for a low-key evening and headed out.

Our first stop was the outlets for some Jamba Juice. We'd been given a gift card a couple years ago and had spent part of it on the kids, but there was still enough money on it for each of us to get a smoothie. We just sat and shot the breeze for a while, chatted with a student who recognized Tim and raved about how great of a sub he is, then meandered through the outlets.

Our next stop was The Children's Place. Someone had given us a gift card they didn't need and I wanted to look for a couple of things. We ended up finding a plain fleece for Teebs, which was exactly what I wanted.

Finished at the outlets, we decided to run a few errands - a quick deposit at the bank and a few groceries at a store than I don't like, but have decided to give a second chance because some friends love it. We swung by Goodwill to see if there was anything particularly entertaining there. There wasn't, but we ran into someone from church and chatted briefly before heading out.

We didn't have anywhere else to go and weren't bounding with energy, but we weren't ready to pick up the kids yet. We decided to head back home, left all electronics off, scarfed a bowl of popcorn, and played Phase 10 while we chatted and I yawned.

I was beyond exhausted by 9:30 and we'd had three hours of kid-free time, so we picked up the kids and called it a night.

Friday, October 24, 2014

MOVIES I'VE WATCHED: 8/5/14 - 10/23/14

Library. John Grisham, Harry Connick Jr., and baseball is a combination that our whole family enjoyed. This movie is about a widower and his son who change their identities and relocate to avoid getting in trouble with the IRS. I really liked that the movie showed how doing the wrong thing for the right reasons doesn't make one free of the consequences of their choices, that the truth always comes out, and that a loving family does not equal a perfect family.

Gimme Shelter
Redbox freebie. The true story of a pregnant runaway, this movie is all about overcoming obstacles, people trying to right the wrongs of their past, giving compassionate and practical help to those who are struggling, the ripple effects of our decisions on other people. I don't think it was particularly amazing from an acting standpoint, but I love true stories and this one strikes a realistic balance between "doomed for life" and "happily ever after". Bonus points for the fact that it has James Earl Jones (I like his voice) and footage of the people the movie is based on in the credits (love that).

The Reading Room
Library. Another movie with James Earl Jones, though I didn't realize we'd watched two of his movies back to back until this moment. This movie is the fictional story of a wealthy businessman who fulfills a wish that his wife made on her deathbed by turning a building they own into a place where kids can come to read, study, or just hang out. It's a place where the underdogs of a rough neighborhood are given a chance to succeed. Predictable, but good.

Mom's Night Out
Redbox freebie. I'd heard nothing but great things about this movie, but I had a mixed reaction to it. I definitely laughed at some parts, as I can relate to days where the nitty gritty of parenting and/or having littles in the house feels overwhelming, I like reminders to keep life in perspective, and the fact that the character who'd be stereotyped as the least responsible, caring, or insightful was a nice guy made me happy. However, I get so annoyed by movies (or anything else) that portray men as incompetent idiots who can't manage a home or care for the basic needs of their own children, which this movie does.

God's Not Dead
Library. A Christian philosophy student defends his beliefs in a class taught by a professor who's an outspoken atheist. It was good, but, like Mom's Night Out, I didn't think it lived up to all the hype. Maybe I'm just anti-hype.

The Glenn Miller Story
Borrowed. I've seen this several times in the past, as I love Glen Miller's music, but Silas' piano teacher suggested he watch it as he learns some jazz tunes. James Stewart plays Glenn Miller, a movie about a man who was very popular in the big band era. I really like this movie.

Night Crossing
Library. My dad recommended this movie last weekend. It's the true story of two families who escaped East Germany in 1979. An old movie that's not the best quality filming/sound, but it's a really neat story and worth watching.

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