Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Hummus Anyone???

A few weeks ago I attempted to make homemade hummus. It was quite an adventure for several reasons. I got this recipe from The Pioneer Woman-she makes really really good food. She teased that one would never go buy store bought hummus after trying her recipe. It was good, I'll admit. But have you ever noticed how cooking shows, blogs, etc., make things look so easy. Nothing is ever that easy-well, maybe pouring a bowl of cereal or buttering some toast, but nothing I have found is a cinch. Not with the Smarts.

First of all, the garbanzo beans, which is what hummus is primarily made from if you aren't familiar with hummus, were a bit tricky to find at the grocery store. I could not find any other brand except these organic ones. Organic is good, but I wanted some cheaper ones for my first attempt, but I'll take organic. Hummus is also very healthy. Lots of protein. The tricky thing was the jar of Tahini. #1 - who ever has heard of Tahini in west Texas anyways? But The Pioneer Woman thought this was a very important ingredient. After many strange looks by the high school kids that work at my neighborhood United, I was sent to the Market Street United. Why was I asking high school kids anyways? "Tahini" should be a tricky word on their SAT test! Evidently, the Market Street store has more "worldly" goods. One guy knew it was made from sesame seeds and guided me towards some in a large jar. I didn't know what I was looking for and it was expensive, so I decided to try my luck elsewhere. I found an Asian store in the phone book(hoping that Asian people use Tahini in their dishes, wild guess) and drove all the way down to 34th street and almost the interstate. I was kinda scared to go inside, but to my secret relief-it was closed on Tuesdays. Hhmmmm, I guess I would try a health food store and drove to the closest one. There I found the above jar of Tahini and it was almost identical in appearance and cost to the Market Street Tahini. If I would have bought it there, I would have saved myself lots of driving and gas mileage. Hind sight is 20/20, right!

FYI-The Wikipedia definition of Tahini........Tahini (طحينة), zhimajiang (芝麻醤), nerigoma(ねりごま), or sesame paste is a paste of ground sesame seeds used in cooking. Middle Eastern tahini is made of hulled, lightly roasted seeds. East Asian sesame paste is made of unhulled seeds.
Tahini is a major component of hummus bi tahini and other Middle Eastern foods. It is sold fresh or dehydrated.
Sesame paste is an ingredient in some Chinese, Korean, and Japanese dishes; it is a key ingredient of the Szechuan dish Dan dan noodles. Because East Asian sesame paste is made from unhulled seeds, it is more bitter than tahini, and higher in some nutrients.[citation

You learn something new every day.

After adding my tahini, garbanzo beans, oil, and garlic(in which I stumped my toe on), I placed it all in the blender. Fifteen minutes later I realized that I just need to buy a new blender. I mean the thing can't even grind up garbanzo beans. It's time to let go of the blender, Chey-Anne! You should have realized this at the baby shower in March when it took an hour to grind up berries for the punch. The people that bought it for you for your wedding got their money's worth. Throw it away. Now!
Enough of talking to myself.......The hummus was good except for the damn blender, the endless tahini hunt, and extra garlic pods I decided to just "throw in". Note to self: Only put the listed amount of garlic in hummus as the recipe calls for. No vampires would have come within two miles of me after this hummus. But if you've read Twilight, you'd know that garlic is just a myth and it doesn't deter vampires, so Edward can come to my rescue anytime he pleases.

These are good chips. Pita chips. It's what Pioneer Woman recommends to go with the hummus. They are good, but it really defeats the purpose of hummus. We are trying to be healthy. You should be dipping the hummus up with celery or carrot sticks to reap the health benefits.
So you ask, would I make homemade hummus again? Maybe. Maybe if I had a new blender. Maybe since I have lots of leftover Tahini. Maybe since I would not put in too much garlic next time and it wouldn't offend Edward. Hummus lovers of the world, UNITE!!!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Happy Anniversary

to US!!!!!!! Eight years ago today, I married this handsome guy. Little did we know that day that in eight years, we would have two blonde kiddos, one with a third birthday coming soon, and an almost first grader! We've built a life together and I feel so lucky. I just wasn't aware on my wedding day that around the same time the lady was glamorously applying my makeup, in eight years I would be cleaning Slade's rat cage. Boy, there are lots of chapters in the book of life! But you cannot understand the book unless you read every chapter-and some chapters might involve your six year old and his rat!

We got a sitter tonight and went out to dinner and a movie. What a treat! I don't know the last time Kyle and I went to a movie together. He also broke the rules and brought me this sweet little bag home. Our night out was supposed to be our gift!!! I went ahead and accepted the gift-I didn't want to hurt his feelings or anything. I will just have to sacrifice and carry it.

And I got this too. Such a good husband. Happy Anniversary, Babe!!!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Somebody Help Me!

Will someone please go buy a copy of this hot new bundle of burnin' love and let me know how wonderful it is! It is on the newsstands as of today and I'm in the sticks. Which sadly means no newsstands, no magazine, and no Edward. Boohoo out here in the boondocks! Just tell how it is to have your hands on it. Or don't. Or yes, do. Please? Anybody? I do believe Mr. Cullen, um Edward, oh I mean Rob - that you are a Hottie!!!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

My How Time Flies

I cannot believe I have not posted since Sunday! Where has the week gone? I'm at my parents house-the kids and myself came up on Wednesday and we spent the night in Iraan with Nana and hung out at my mom's work all day today. I helped her boss cut out a few things, ordered some gifts for Priss' bday, ate chalupas at Isabella's(no barfing from either of my kids-thumbs up!), and had a cherry lime from a little shop on the corner square. We got to the ranch and swam for probably two hours. Seeing that it is sooooo hot and my dad has some kind of black pipe/pump/water warming system invention, our swim felt more like a jacuzzi! My dad is similar to Doc Brown on Back to the Future minus the white hair and bug eyes. He is very inventive and could probably make a time machine out of a DeLorean if given proper tools, plus kill the Libyan terrorists with his own concealed handgun. You might think of it as MacGyver meets Dirty Harry meets Sheriff Pat Garrett. Let's just say that he would be a good man to have around if you found yourself in a realife situation of say... the movie Castaway.

So we have a weekend planned that involves alot of swimming, ice cream eating(yes, homemade), reading, lounging, chocolate chip binging, creek wading, jeep driving good times. I'm sure that I can think of a few stories to fill my blog with the next few days. How abouts I leave you with a teaser of my next blog story installment. This is a story I want to call "Trying to Mentally Blockout My Visit to the Urologist". It involves a my bladder and a not so ugly doctor. It was lots of fun, girls!

OH, and what about Michael Jackson? What the heck???

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sweet Feet

These small feet belong to a sweet little girl I know. I know these feet by heart. They are made up of part me, part Kyle. I kissed these feet when she was born and counted all ten toes on them. These feet will carry her all through her life. They can climb mountains, swim seas, walk through sandy beaches. They can take her wherever she wants to go. Dance in the rain, perhaps? One day they will walk her to Kindergarten and then stroll her down the isle to receive her high school diploma. They will take her into a church on Sundays to praise God. She will hopefully walk all over a college campus using these feet, possibly in the snow or rain. They will walk her to the love of her life with Kyle on her arm someday. And into a hospital to bring forth a new set of baby feet that she will love forever. They will take her to the airport to catch a plane to anywhere. The possibilities are endless. These feet can do anything and everything. Run, girlie, run! Enjoy your journey. Love, Mom

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Sea World Baby

Vacation continued..............................A scene that you do not see often! Me on a ride. Kiddie ride, but ride none the less. I'll have you know that I actually did get on a ride with Slade. I didn't like it, but I did it. I was still scared. I'm a Scardy-Cat! Sorry you can't see Slade, but he's there liking it.

The star of the park. The Big Kahuna. Shamu! It was a neat show. The kids were very worried that they needed lunch and this point, so it was hard for them to concentrate on this show-even a show that had killer whales.

Caught in mid-air. Cool pic! Cute show. It was really hot during this show and it was morning.

The best place in the park! As you can imagine, anything having to do with penguins involves ice. ICE! I love ice. You could even ignore the obnoxious fish smell-just the wonderful feeling of ICE around you was pure heaven! Heaven I tell you. I love ice.

The fogginess of this photo is due to the humidity which in turn means that it was HOT! I did sweat off lots of calories this trip. I'm certain that I would be skinny if I lived here because you simply just sweat. Lubbock folks are used to DRY air. Our hair does not know what to do about this wetness.

The kids have conned Kyle into buying something. They did this alot on the trip.

This was the first thing we looked at when we got to Sea World. Finley was scared. We were worried that this was going to be a lonnnnngggg day. But she came around. She also did alot of sweating. She would have to have a different hairdo if she lived here.

My boys. Real men wear pink.

Poisonous Dart Frogs. Need I say more?

Stingray. It was really neat. Very graceful. Very oceany.

I have no idea what this is, but it is an awesome fish. I wish I had this fish in a tank in my house.
Sea World was a hit. We had lots of fun. You'll loose weight when you go there, too. Gotta love that!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Dolphin Frenzy

I've decided to split up our vacation pics into different blog entries since there are so many. Plus I don't have time to sit and load all of them - I have things to do!!! Or need to be done! Let's begin with Slade's favorite part of Sea World. The dolphin feeding. It was cool, neat, spectacular-all those words that might describe the awesomeness of actually getting to feed a real dolphin!

You buy little plates of fish and they come up to you and you drop the little fish in their mouths.

Their skin is so soft and slick. They are magnificent creatures. The little teeth are neat, too.

Here's one of him in action. Of course, Finley was scared and whined the whole time! Then she was mad that she didn't get to feed one-go figure.

I like to call him.........................Flipper. Very original, huh.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Not Me Monday

I decided it would be fun to try the Not Me Monday from MCKMAMA's blog. Here we go.......

I most certainly did not let my kids jump into the swimming pool so that I didn't have to wash off their chocolate fudge pops remnants and muddy feet. I'm not that lazy.

When I had something in my contact I surely didn't put in in my mouth for some moisture and then place it back into my eye. That is just plain gross.

After deciding to swim last minute, Slade ran to the house and brought back my swimsuit and I changed in the little pool closet in the neighbors backyard, folding my clothes into a bundle to take home. I absolutely did not loose my bra somewhere on the way home and still haven't accounted for it tonight. I'm sure it wasn't sprawled out on the lawn somewhere, not my bra?

I really do not have a child that fell down running on the sidewalk and passed out (because she holds her breath), hitting her head on the concrete. That would not be a child of mine.

Tonight while I should have been paying bills or sleeping, you would not have found me checking a website that had 23 pictures of Robert Pattinson aka Edward Cullen in NYC filming a new movie and then sending the pics to everyone that loves him and putting "hot" in the message on the email. Only teenagers do that type of thing, not a mom.

And surely I didn't throw away Slade's Oreo Cookie Pop Tarts that were in the pantry because they look so disgusting and unhealthy and then play dumb when he was searching for them and asking what happened to them.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

So Far, So Good.......

The first few weeks of summer have rolled along quite nicely, hence my title. We are back from our trip-it was really fun! Pics to come sometime this week documenting our journey to the hill country. And before I begin, can I please just state one thing that is weighing heavily on my mind. There comes a time in every girl's life that she must admit certain things to herself. One of my self-admissions occurred to me during our trip. I hate waterparks. I hate to say it, but I'm just not a waterpark type of gal. Call me crazy. Everyone on earth loves waterparks. I hate them. If I never go to another waterpark again, I will be completely satisfied with the waterpark notches in my belt that I have acquired these 31 years. I decided this week-I do hate them. I see no need in standing in line for an hour to ride down a thirty second ride that splashes you in the face and pulls your bathing suit into your buns. I hate walking in a wet bathing suit and having to wear water shoes while walking on the moldy, squishy green turf type flooring. I hate seeing really large folks that have no business being in small bikinis(although this does make my self esteem rise a bit-I'm not so bad looking after all) or the occasional Speedo wearing European man showing his package that we really care not to see him flaunting in front of children. I hate having to go to a locker to find my sunblock, applying the sunblock(seeing that I am half albino and it is a must for me) every two hours and it burns when it runs into your eyes. I will do it again for my children's sake-but I don't have to like it. Call me a Grinch if you want but do let me clarify. I LOVE to swim. I LOVE a pool. I LOVE water aerobics. I freakin' LOVE to float on the river. Waterparks, not so much, but we'll discuss this anomaly in a future blog. Let's move on to the photos. So far, summer has brought about............................

Lot's of sand castle building, sand in your bum, and sand tracked into my house. But that's ok-sand is a summer tradition.

Some very yummy homemade chocolate ice cream. There should be a law against something this good. You must eat some at least four times this summer or you have not enjoyed summer to it's proper extent.

The purchase of a pink eyelet lace dress that I find ever so cute. I love it so much. So girlie and sweet.

This boy's last day of kindergarten. He is officially a first grader. I remember my first grade year with Ms. Shultz-we had a treasure chest and kept our paper money in little black film cases. Such fun!!!

A handpicked bunch of flowers brought to Nana by Finley. She actually stole them from Campbell, but took all the credit for them.

Lots and lots of Play dough. Mixed up dough, dried out dough, dough mashed into the cement. Gotta love it.

Some sneaky sand eating. Good source of fiber I hear.

And a brand spanking new fancy modern state of the art cage for Max. It rates a 10 on a rat habitat fanciness scale. And just so you know, we also came home with two new African Swimming Frogs from San Antonio. Always adding to the Smart menagerie!

Monday, June 8, 2009

San Antonio or Bust!

We've had a crazy weekend between keeping Campbell, my great aunt's surprise surgery, allergy-snot running-having to get medicine Campbell, the Air Show, Cita's errands, eight loads of laundry, and lots of swimming! Too much to mention except that we were dog tired by the time Sunday rolled around. Slade even had to sleep till 11:44 one morning just to catch up on his lost sleep. So to add to the craziness, we've decided to take our summer vacation to San Antonio at the spur of the moment, and I'm running around crazy trying to get things packed and ready to go tomorrow! The people whose house we get to stay at outside of San Antonio talked to Kyle last week and told him to decide when we were going. So when we actually got the calendar out and looked, it was either this week or a few days at the end of June. The other times to go either had someone at the house, or Kyle couldn't be gone from work, or a birthday, or a holiday, or gone to Devil's River. Basically it was now or wait until August. So here we are. We are leaving tomorrow and hopefully checking out Sea World, Schlitterbahn, the Zoo, and what ever else floats the Smart family boat! I'm excited but am loosing my mind trying to tie up loose ends. I will be without my computer for the remainder of the week-hope I can manage, yikes! In the spirit of summer trips, I'm leaving a few pics of our last visit to Sea World two summers ago. I want to compare the pics when we get back to see how much they've grown. It was August 2007-Slade was 4 and Finley had just turned 1!

Finley on the front porch of the ranch outside of Helotes.

Slade was very happy he got to buy food to feed the dolphins!!!

He loved the snakes and amphibians at the San Antonio Zoo.

Finley needed to take a rest on the curb at Sea World-those were the cutest little pink croc shoes ever!!!

Friday, June 5, 2009

I don't know if anyone will find my sweet little stories as funny as I did, but I'm writing them down anyways.......................
Preface. We are lucky enough to have some wonderful neighbors a few doors down that let us take advantage of their awesome pool during the hot months. Yes, we take full advantage of this gracious offer. It is so much fun to throw your suit on and walk a few yards down the sidewalk and jump in! They are a family of three-Doug(owns an electrical company and I think secretly enjoys watching us enjoy what probably took him many hours of hard work to payoff. Oh yeah, he also rides a Harley), Stephanie(works at a pharmacy), and Marsha(Coronado cheerleader, Go Mustangs). Doug maybe swims twice per summer, so he claims, though I've never witnessed it with my own eyes. Stephanie doesn't get out in the sun because of her sensitive skin therefore the pool is not on her agenda-ever. Marsha is all about the tan, lounge chair, radio blaring, and bottle of water. Don't you miss those days when you just worked really hard to look good and that was your only mission in life? So, you see the Smart fam is definitely in the water much more than the owner's family. I mean, who wants a perfectly good pool to go to waste-not on our watch! So we do lots of swimming. Now that you have met the neighbors, I have a Slade and a Finley story. Not much, but worth a chuckle.
Story One. See above photo. This is Doug's yard and you see the school sign and megaphone that indicate that Marsha is a Coronado cheerleader. My picture doesn't show all the colors on the megaphone, but it is red, white, and then yellow at the bottom. This megaphone has been up since this past football season, so we've seen it day after day for months. Long about February, we were walking home from school one day. It was Slade, the girls, and I. We pass Doug's house and Slade shakes his head and says, "I don't know why Doug hasn't taken down that candy corn from Halloween!" I was in stitches! Yep, it is certainly similar to candy corn-shape and all. I had to explain to Slade that is wasn't a Halloween decoration in the window, but a cheerleader's megaphone that showed that a Coronado cheerleader lived there. I'm thinking that when Slade is grown and owns his own home, you will not ever find the Christmas lights left up past January. This Halloween decoration really wore on his nerves at age 6! PRICELESS!!!
Story 2. The kids are both swimming in the pool tonight. The family is gone to Vegas, so we are making sure all is well with the pool and plants and such. I'm sitting there just watching them play and relaxing in the new rockers Doug bought for the poolside. Out of the blue, Finley looks up from the water with her sweet little face and asks, "What is Doug's favorite color?" I told her I'm just not sure and we would ask him when they came home. Wonder what her little mind was thinking about? As far as the favorite color-I'm betting orange and black-kinda like the Harley colors. We'll see.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Fast Forward

Do you think that they will grow up to be the best of friends, borrowing each others new Abercrombie jeans and lip gloss? Curl each others hair or pick out a prom dress together? Maybe keep a secret from the other's mom that she really didn't go where she said she would be on Friday night? Will one pick the other up for a movie date with two cute boys from school? Tell each other their birthday wishes? Fight over a friend, cry about a boy who was mean, or sleep over and stay up all night eating ice cream? Hopefully they will, and those will be some of the best days of their lives. It's good to have each other. Who knows-this might be the closest thing each have to a sister. And if so, she'll work just fine.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Note to Self.......

When you let your two-year-old run in front of you into the house, make sure you have a key to your house handy. Probably needs to be one hidden in the garage and outside under a stone. This knowledge might be especially useful when you've just come from the pool and have no shoes on, are wet, wrapped in a towel, and are in a bathing suit. Just another tidbit of advice from someone who has been there, done that.