A picture, some updates, and random links

The table is already being put to good use!


For those of you (Nicole you can do it) considering the 100 push-up challenge I encourage you to give it a try and don’t worry about getting it done in six weeks.  Matt and I have decided instead of moving on to week 3 we are going to do the third column in week 2 instead (we were doing the middle column).  We did our test at the end of week 2 and didn’t think we were quite ready for the challenge of week 3.

Matt and I have both been consistent with getting in three runs a week.  I am excited to see myself slowly improve. 


Now onto some links that I am just too lazy to do whole posts about.

Facts on cloth diapering.  

Wind energy is taking off

Changing lives with used bikes.


Slowly Preparing

Matt and I have slowly been preparing our house for the arrival of Tom and Jerry. We do little things around the house each and every month. Some things are for them, some things for us (the kind of things we know we won’t have time for after they arrive). This weekend we sold a lateral file cabinet that was in my office/den/future playroom and finally had a place to put the table we had bought Tom and Jerry from Ikea. Carter loves the new addition to the room and thinks it is a great place to catch the morning sun.

I like going at a slow pace preparing for their arrival. We don’t know how long the wait will be, and if everything was already finished I believe the wait would be harder to go through. This nice slow pace gives me hope for the future, while keeping me here in the present.

Go By Bike Challenge


Take a pledge to take all those little short trips by bike and you could win a free bike.  I personally like taking my short trips by bike and still take a few, but right now it is so HOT.  I cannot wait for fall and then I can take all my short trips by bike again and arrive at my destination a little dryer then I currently do.  

Random Stuff

My Aunt Kim sent me this cute video on being a mother and I just had to share:


This story is inspiring.  The woman featured in the story was told she was too disabled to benefit from a service dog.  Well not only did she get her service dog, she started her very own organization matching service dogs with people who aren’t normally eligible for service dogs.

I started my running program this week and managed to get out of bed early enough to run three days, which was my goal.  🙂

Matt and I have also started our journey to 100 push-ups.  We have done two of the three recommended workouts and are feeling pretty good.  (We are doing the third tonight.)  Just don’t ask me to raise my arms above my head!



My little fig tree has been producing figs faster than I can eat them (Matt is still not sure about them).  So I decided to learn how to make jam.  I found this recipe and the batch size looked just right for me and Matt (he loves jam so I figured this would be the way to get him to eat the figs).  I decided to skip the sesame seeds it called for (I didn’t have any) and follow some of the reviewers suggestions of adding cinnamon.  I also cut the sugar to one cup but did add two tablespoons of honey.  I forgot to add the lemon zest, but I think that is okay.


Here are the figs when they just started to simmer:

Here they are about an hour into the process:

…and the finished product:

I did give it a try this afternoon and it was pretty good.  I think it might be better chilled, it was still warm when I ate it.  It wasn’t as sweet as I was expecting based on the reviews, which is good, because I don’t like my jam too sweet.  Overall it was a really easy recipe to make and didn’t take a lot of effort on my part!  Anyone want to share some of their jam recipes?


One of my biggest joys every day is going outside and seeing what I need to harvest.  I’ve been getting a little each and every day and everything is tasting yummy.  Mostly figs and banana peppers right now, but soon I will have tons of tomatoes.  (I also have a ton of basil, so if you are in the area and need fresh basil, come on by)  The garden is providing us with a decent amount of our fresh fruits and veggies and I cannot wait to expand the garden so it can hopefully provide almost all of them.

Gardening websites can make you think you need to spend a lot of money on tools and gadgets to make the job easier.  Last week I saw this basket and thought that would be nice for picking my fruits and veggies, and then I saw the price, $35.00!  There was no way I was going to pay that much for a basket.  I decided I would look at Goodwill over the weekend and found two different baskets and spent a whopping $1.98.  (One is pictured above with this morning’s harvest in it.)  Now I can harvest keeping both hands free and not dropping stuff, which to Tank means that one is his!  By the way he doesn’t eat them, just carries them around.


I have kept to my word and started baking our bread.  No more store bought stuff in this house.  Monday I realized Matt was just about out of his sandwich bread and that I had to make bread.  This was the first time I have made bread without the help of a bread machine.  It was an interesting process to watch, plus I got to make a big mess that Matt later had to help clean up.  


Here is the bread in its beginning stage, the dough was super sticky at this stage.  It would have been great to have a pic of my hands covered in it, but I was home alone and I don’t think dough all over the camera would have been appreciated.



Here is a pic of Ms. Kitchenaid doing all the hard work.  Yeah, it had to be kneaded for 20 minutes, and I wasn’t about to do that by hand.


The dough rising.  Not very exciting.

Here is the finished product.  It isn’t the prettiest, but it will do.


The good news is it is edible and it tastes fine to me.  It’s not the best bread ever but it will do for making sandwiches and toast.  I will try a few more recipes before I settle on one as our sandwich bread recipe.  Here is the recipe I tried if you are interested.  

Green Meat

Matt and I have been reducing the amount of meat we eat because raising and producing meat is more taxing on the environment.  We do still eat meat a couple of times a week and thanks to Burban Mom’s most recent post we will be looking into more sustainable meat.  I have been kind of lazy into changing the meat we consume because here in town we only have two major chain grocery stores (no Whole Foods, no Sprouts) and I have never seen grass fed beef at either.  Of course, I haven’t bothered with asking the butcher either, I just didn’t expect to find it.  I will have to check into it more the next time I go to the store, but if not, thanks to localharvest.org I did find a local farm that will deliver grass fed beef to your door.  How convenient is that?  It is way more meat than Matt and I would need so I would probably con some family members into eating more natural and sustainable meat in the process, an added bonus.  If you are interested in reading more on the meat industry check out this NY Times article.


On a side note here is a link to a new website that will help you make those small changes that really do make a big difference:

Keeping Busy

Matt and I are finding new ways to keep ourselves busy during the waiting period. The Ethiopian courts close for two months starting August 6, so even if we got a referral right now our case couldn’t be finalized until October/November. Plus I am pretty sure that there are still a few couples ahead of us waiting for a sibling set. We are hopeful for the end of the year, but early 2009 is looking more realistic. So, we are just trying to stay busy and keep ourselves occupied. Continue reading “Keeping Busy”

Cardboard bikes

Ahh my two favorite topics finally merge in a new way. Bikes and environment.

BBC is the best. They have a story out on a 21 year old college student who has designed and produced a bike made of 95% cardboard. And its rideable. The only non-cardboard parts are the chain, tires, crank & rims. Even the spokes are cardboard. 



What I love most about this, is the outside of the box (pun intended) thinking. As an avid biker, I’m glad to see new ideas. As a environmentalist, its great to see new uses for organic materials. 

This bike is estimated to be produced for $60. This is 5x cheaper than the bamboo bike I have been drooling over for a few years.

Goodies from the garden

This year stephanie planted Banana Peppers just for me. She must love me, or something like that. This one plant has been producing peppers like crazy. 2 months ago we pickled 2 jars worth. Today we took about 15 more peppers and pickled 3 jars worth. 

3 weeks of pickling can’t be done soon enough. I don’t know why, but I really dig pickled pickled banana peppers on sandwiches. 

(click for crazy close details)

the finished product

(click for crazy close details)