Hi, I'm Beth

A thirtysomething gal, a wife, a mama, and avid runner. Completely abusive relationship with coffee. Attached mama and semi-control freak, realist with perfectionist dark side. Prone to random song and dance.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Prettiest girl I know

Photos courtesy of Marie Photography, Sedalia.  I think the dirty feet are my favorite part.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tea towels are in!

 By the numbers: it takes 544,000 trees to feed Americans' paper towel habit each year; throw in disposable paper napkins, and that number tops 1 million
according to the National Resources Defense Council.

Just in case you were wondering :)

No new news, but no bad news.

Wow, it's already been two weeks since I posted last... sorry if you were stepping in to see something fabulous (hahahahahaha :) ... but hey! It's been a busy two weeks, for sure; the race, pumpkin patch, family reunions, pto book fairs... you know. family and school stuff.  I actually have a few minutes alone, with O asleep in the swing, and C almost home from school. This "riding the bus" thing rules!  At first I was feeling all guilty, choosing not to drop her off at school so that Owen and I wouldn't have to leave the house twice a day (sometimes now we never leave the house), and sacrificing that time with Charis. But really, she is fine. FINE!  sniffle, sniffle... any hoo...

I don't have my pictures of the race yet, but when I do I will be sure to write about it. It was great!  I'll post our pumpkin patch and family reunion stuff sometime this weekend. Tomorrow we are shopping for Charis' xmas gifts, and going to my Grandma's for October birthdays (which I am still not sure if I know who those are, lol. But free food! ). Other than that... time at home!  No cities to drive to, no overnights away. Time at home :).  Starting with girls' night tonight, with Care Bear (aka Carius Bearius, Sis, Biggie smalls... Charis...). We are going to see a play at the university here in town, called Ribbit. I think it is a Frog Prince themed piece, so that should be tolerable  fun.  Here's a pic (or four) to enjoy! Have a great Friday folks!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Hello Friday!

Hello hello! I just plugged my phone into my computer and downloaded (uploaded?) 1700 pictures. About half are Charis' shots, of random things like salt and pepper shakers. But I like to believe she has an eye for that stuff, so you know... I keep them.  It's Friday! YAAYY!! This afternoon Charis gets out of school early, and Dad is going to take her to the farm for the night. Owen and I are going to head to the city after that, and we are picking up Eric, our race packets, and eating dinner with the siblings-in-law (dan and rhonda).and then staying on the Plaza with my mom.  Whew.. tired already! 
enjoy a few pictures and have a great weekend! :)

little and me


Four legs
Birthday spoon

Pesto lunch

Birthday company

miniature Battle of Lexington 

history lessons


afternoon delights

fashion is what you make it :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Cookie Recipe

Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies
1 cup softened butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 box (7.4 oz) Alpine Spiced Apple Cider Instant Original Drink mix -not sugar free- all 10 packets (I found this in my grocery store near the hot chocolate mixes.)
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 cups all purpose flour
1 bag Kraft Caramels (14 oz)

  • Preheat oven to 350° F. Line cookie sheets with parchment. (You really need the parchment!)
  • In a small bowl whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon.
  • With your mixer (or an energetic spoon) cream together butter, sugar, salt and all 10 packages of apple cider drink mix powder, until light and fluffy.
  • Beat in eggs, one at a time. Add vanilla and mix well.
  • Gradually add flour mixture to butter/egg mixture. Mix until just combined.
  • Refrigerate for about an hour. (If you're really impatient you don't have to do this, but it makes it so much easier to work with.)
  • When you are ready to bake, unwrap your caramels. 
  • Scoop out cookie dough ball about the size of a walnut. (I used a rounded cookie scoop-full. My scoop holds about a Tablespoon.)
  • Flatten the ball of dough slightly in the palm of your hand. Press the unwrapped caramel into the center of your dough and seal the dough around it, covering it completely. Place on parchment covered cookie sheets 2 inches apart.
  • Bake 12-14 minutes, or until very lightly browned around the edges. Please don't over-bake! Once the cookies are done, slide the parchment off of the baking sheet right out onto the counter. Allow cookies to partially cool on the parchment. When cookies are cool enough to be firm but still slightly warm, carefully twist off of parchment and allow to finish cooling upside down (either on the parchment or on a rack.) If you forget about them and they cool too much and stick to your parchment, put them into the freezer for a few minutes and they'll pop right off.
  • Yield: about 4 dozen, depending on how large you make your cookies (or how many caramels have been snitched out of your bag before you begin.) Store in an airtight container.
  • Next up, pumpkin cookies. I will have to wait until after the race Saturday to post these, so I can make it through the race...  Happy Thursday folks!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The new glasses, in a horribly unflattering pic. And the little man, of course! He has my ears :/

Make these NOW!!!

Guys and dolls, drop whatever you are doing and go make those cookies now! They were delicious. Still trying to figure out how to post my own pics without complete technological overhaul here. Stand by.
Well hello, Wednesday! Today I am making Crockpot Chicken and Dumplings, which makes me think of my lovely friend Teri.  Hi T! She makes good REAL Chicken and Dumplings.  Really good. But the real recipe for today is this. Caramel Stuffed Apple Cider Cookies.  YUM O! I cannot wait to pop these in the oven, and eat them over a steaming mug of tea, as suggested.  Here is a pic:
courtesy of the Cooking Photographer.

I am  currently pretending it isn't almost 80 degrees and sunny; that will make the cookies and Dumplings taste better, won't it?
I got new glasses today.... first time in ... embarrassing to admit.... SIX years! When I can get my phone to work (or find my camera charger (I'm a MESS) ) I will post more pictures. Dying to post more pictures.

Three days till race time! My plans are all finalized with the running buddy, Eric. Babysitting figured out. Lunch plans figured out (most important part). List made. Going to pack tomorrow... only thing not done? Physical fitness, ha! Lest you think I am encouraging racing without preparation... I promise I will be very moderate in pace and listen to and love my body. It can do amazing things, so I will take care of it. I remember thinking having a baby is better than marathoning... that was before baby O and no meds.  I think they are about equal now :)And this is only a half, so I think I am good. Ramble ramble, those cookies won't bake themselves... here we go!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Fall run

Done. And it was beautiful!

I'm off to run twelve miles, folks.  I wish I were kidding... but I'm not.  I am probably too sleep deprived to do this well, but I've signed up for the KC half and I hafta do it.  (hafta is too a word!). This is now my fourth half (I've done one full marathon). Baby O likes to keep me up at night still, so I'm a zombie in the early hours, meaning I haven't run NEAR enough for this race.  But... I signed up just for fun and to motivate myself to lose the baby weight.  Which I have, save a pound or so.  I really was just looking for a few hours to myself.  So, that's what I will remember when I am out there this morning... time to myself! Stay tuned for a Steppin out Saturday post, the first for me! Yaya! I have two hours to think about what I will wear....

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Fall Yummies

Ladies and Gents, it's that time.... FALL! The most wonderfullest time of the year.... leaves changing, mums blooming, pumpkins , and fall harvest.  The weather may be eighty degrees today, but my mind is full of fall. So. It's time to break out the fall yummies, as in pumpkin bread, pumpkin cookies (the best!!!), caramel stuffed spiced cider cookies, and of course fresh apple cider.  Today, we start with pumpkin bread. I found this recipe two years ago and it has quickly become a family favorite.
I don't know about your house, but in mine, I am the only one who consistently eats and enjoys breakfast. (Well, that's not quite true... Owen loves breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, dinner, snack, bedtime snack... but I digress).  Joel and Charis seem to think they have done good if they hop over to the doughnut store and pick out some holes. You would think they whipped up a four course meal, seeing them and their holes, seriously. Anyhoo. In my quest to keep them full before lunch, I came across several bread recipes.  I particularly like banana pumpkin bread, and pumpkin bread. So that is what we will start with today. Here is the recipe (courtesy allrecipes.com) :

2 cups fresh pumpkin  (or one can)
4 eggs, beaten
1 c. oil
3.5 cups flour (use some whole wheat if you like!)
3 c. sugar ( I actually use one cup splenda, two cups sugar)
2 tbsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 c water
1.5 tsp salt
raisins or walnuts optional

Turn oven to 350.  mix all dry ingredients, then add in wet and mix lightly.  Pour into two 9x5 baking pans, and cook for one hour.  If you run into a problem with the outsides cooking and the insides still gooey, do what I did and use three pans or one larger pan.  you may need to adjust the cooking time, a toothpick in the center will tell you more than I can.  Pull out and cool for ten minutes in dish, then flip over gently and cool completely. This stuff is the BOMB diggity, really! Anytime you have a three year old picky eater who asks when you are cooking it, you know it's the bee's knees.
Oh, and watch for my post on fresh pumpkin... it's super easy and tastes SO much better than canned.  I think I was the only one in town who didn't flip out when the canned pumpkins were sparse last year, remember that?  I did buy three cans for this year, just in case.  Post pics of yours, mine is in the oven now!
What are your favorite fall recipes? Shall we do one each week this fall?

Let it go.

Today, I volunteered at my daughter's school. She just started kindergarten, and I fought tooth and nail with my husband to keep her home for another year. He won. I thought she needed me another year. To make up for the time we lost while I was finishing my degree, to make up for the newborn months with little O.  
But. She is thriving and growing well in school. 

I worked in the library putting books away (remember your dewey decimals?)  As I worked with Owen in his Ergo, I listened in as the librarian quizzed the kiddos on fiction and nonfiction, on the rules of the library, etc.  Charis piped up with answers every time. I thought... "hey! I'm supposed to be the one to teach her! That's my job!" I got super jealous for a minute. 

Then, I finished up my chores and came home with Little O.  I thought for a while... and realized this was just exactly why I didn't plan on having kids in the first place. 
You see... I always, always knew that if I were to have children, then I would tirelessly and endlessly aim to teach them, to show them, to prod them to learn everything, everywhere.  And, I was scared I would never have the patience to keep it up, to the level I would expect for my own children.  I just thought that meant I wasn't cut out for it. 

Now, I think I have turned a corner, just now, in that little library with the kiddie shelves and the smell of books.  I realize that I have to just let it go.
Let go of the perfectionism; of the destructive thoughts that tell me I am not good enough, or smart enough, or patient enough to be a good parent. I know that my best is good enough.  I used to think good parents were superheros.  Now, I think good parents are those that know when to push harder and encourage thier children, and know when to say they are not enough by themselves, and need the help that society can provide.  I am thankful she has a wonderful teacher, and librarian, and coach, and art teacher.  Now, I can let go just a little.  Just a little, though.  I still have some things to teach her. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Small things.

How was your weekend, folks?