Day 274- Mug Brownies 101

Mug Brownies 101...
I thought I would share this oh so delicious/oh so dangerous recipe with you all. Because well, sometimes you just need a little chocolate. My sister, Stephanie, is working on a healthier recipe (she's getting her master's in dietetics). I'll update you when she perfects it.
4 T flour (I use whole wheat)
3 T sugar (the original recipe called for 4)
2 T cocoa
2 T oil
2 T water
Get one mug from your cabinetAdd flourAdd sugarAdd cocoaAdd other ingredients, then mixPop it in the microwave for 60 sec (seriously fast!) Then add toppings if desired. 1 scoop of icecream is usually what I add. I love melty cold with gooey hot! I've also added Andies mints, chocolate chips, butterscotch chips, and eaten the brownie plain. It's a little bland plain, but hey, for 60 sec with all easy access ingredients- you can't beat it! Sit back and enjoy!!!!!

Day 272- 1 year!

Happy 1 year, Caleb!
You have grown SO much in the past year. You are really getting to be a "big" boy these days. You walk pretty well and prefer it compared with crawling. You eat mostly table food with only Stage 3 baby food or oatmeal to supplement when you don't like what mama makes for dinner. You love goldfish, oranges, black beans, pasta, salmon, sweet potato, yogurt, cheese, and applesauce. You wear size 3 or 4 diapers and size 12-18 month clothes. You weigh 21 lbs, 13 oz (35%) and are 30.5" tall (75%). Your favorite toys are books, balls, your new car track, blocks, and shapes puzzle. You aren't saying any words yet (that we can tell), but you understand a ton. You can point to your head, ears and feet (and someone else's mouth or nose). You follow some simple commands like, "get a book" or "bring that paper to mommy." You sleep through the night from 8:00pm to around 7:30am most days, but have an episode every once in a while if you get hungry or too cold. You also take 1 nap from around 12:30-3:30. You are a total joy! We have been going to the park a lot and taking walks to enjoy the beautiful weather. I'm excited to see all the new things you learn and do in the next year!

Hanging out with Paul and Bethany tonight- love having these friends close!
281. MOPS
282. dinner with the Sheltons tonight
283. finding a park nearby
284. a visit with a neighbor this morning
285. the internet (it's seriously amazing when you really think about it
286. having 2 cars
287. finding out about a REALLY affordable housing option
288. pumpkin dip
289. leaves starting to turn
290. the 1 flame red tree on Lamar Ave I pass every day
291. Alan's good test score on his Pharm test
292. a new lamp
293. a relaxing evening
294. going to see The Help tomorrow night!
295. that it's almost the weekend!
296. an easy enchilada recipe from my mom
297. that a good friend might come live with us for a while
298. generous friends and family at Caleb's birthday
299. that we've been able to see both sides of the family multiple times since we've moved
300. finding a good pediatrician


Day 268- Birthday Party!

Caleb turns 1 tomorrow, so we had family/friends come for a birthday party on Saturday! Kayleen (Alan's mom), my parents, Stephanie and Charlie, Stacy, and the Sheltons were all able to celebrate with us. Here are some pics from the extravaganza...

Caleb's first birthday presentNot sure what to do with the box :)Mama helps...We did a Korean tradition called a Toljabee to see what Caleb's future profession would be. You lay out several objects representing career areas, then let the child pick which object he/she is drawn to. Apparently Caleb is going to be an Athletic musician. He's sure to be a lady's man with that combo. :)Totally spoiled!Lego present from Uncle Steve and Aunt MaryYay... sometimes the wrapping is more interesting than the presentBlow out the candleYummy!The Galbo/Hunt/Loup family

We did get a pic with Kayleen too, but it's on her Ipad. I bet it will be on facebook soon! Alan and I were so thankful to everyone for coming in to celebrate our son's first year of life. He's a huge gift to us and we treasure all the support we've had in starting our journey as parents.

266. a refreshing time with family this weekend
267. watching the Bronco's game today with friends
268. going to MOPS
269. that Caleb doesn't regularly wake up in the night
270. going on a date with Al on Wednesday
271. crockpots
272. Moms (as in my mom)
273. safe travel for family
274. all of Caleb's new gifts (he loves them!)
275. having a cancellation on Friday so I could complete most of my notes for the weekend
276. a beautiful afternoon at South Lake Park with Caleb
277. the changing seasons
278. fuzzy blankets
279. Extreme Makeover Home Edition
280. Love and Respect


Day 262- any thoughts on adoption?

So, the idea of adoption or fostering just keeps coming up. Some days I think it would be a great idea and that it's exactly what God wants us to do. Then I start thinking about any practical matter and basically dismiss it. Anybody have thoughts? Anyone have good resources? Al and I are way far away from even being in a place we could consider it, so it's just an abstract idea currently. I just have a hard time looking at the hundreds of kids that need to be adopted just in the state of Kansas without being convicted that if God loves these children, shouldn't I as well?

256. A beautiful fall day
257. Accepting women at MOPS
258. Eating dinner last night at a "real" Ethiopian restaurant
259. Hanging with the Sheltons
260. Caleb walking more and more
261. Ripe kiwi
262. A loving husband that sacrifices his time and sleep to make sure I have time to do things like run or take a shower
263. A fresh, clean comforter
264. Kasha frozen pizza
265. Al already has job opportunities

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Day 260- Recently read...

I've been reading a lot lately, which has been so refreshing! It has been a long time since I've read fiction on a consistent basis. I feel like it takes me to another place, a different world/time (even if I'm just at home while Caleb naps). These are my most recent reads...
I really wanted to read this one based on nothing except for the fact it was Tina Fey and the picture on the front was so odd/disturbing/hilarious. In the book, Tina Fey describes her life and rise to her current position as the producer of 30 Rock. I learned some things I didn't know about the comedy business and had a few laughs, but overall I didn't enjoy the book that much. Mostly I felt like I was stuck in a book full of punch lines with no substance. It's a quick read, so if you want to give it a go, you could finish it quickly or just read a chapter at a time because no chapter is super-related to another. Not sure I'd read this one again. (must give a shout out to the "mother's prayer section"- it was pretty hilarious).

The Hunger Games Series:
I LOVED these books. They are young adult fiction, which made them super-easy/ quick reads. They are written in stream of consciousness, which also contributes to the readability. The story is set in a futuristic North America that has been decimated by natural disasters and civil war. There are 12 districts under control of The Capitol, the ruling power over all of Panem. In order to remind the districts of its power, every year The Capitol hosts the Hunger Games, a televised event where one boy and one girl from each district fight to the death in an arena. Warning: don't start these books unless you have time to read the whole series! You won't want to put them down until you find out the end result. The only negative was that I thought the ending was a bit weak, but overall they were very excellent, enthralling books.

Snow Flower and the Secret Fan:
This book is set in 19th century China. If you enjoy reading about different cultures or time periods, you will enjoy this book. The story beautifully, and often painfully, shares the lifelong friendship of two women and the different paths they take through childhood, marriage, motherhood, and death. It highlights a written language used by Chinese women called "nu shu" that was unrecognized by men until the mid 1950's. This book is a little slow at the beginning, but it pulls you in as you begin to see life through the main character's eyes.

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Day 254- thankfuls, 9/11

251. Yummy soup and cornbread with good friends
252. Surviving an 8 mile run
253. A reflective, gospel-centered reflection on 9/11 at church this morning
254. That people volunteer their time to provide childcare during church services
255. A friendly neighbor

I just wanted write a small note about 9/11. I still remember where I was sitting in Pre-Cal when an announcement came over the intercom that a plane had hit one of the towers of the World Trade Center. I remember thinking... "How stupid! Someone would have to be totally asleep to hit something like that!" I had no idea what was really going on until 2nd period, when they turned on the TV. It was my creative writing class. My teacher just left the TV on and had us write during the whole class. I kept on recording my thoughts and emotions for the next several days. I still have that notebook and hope to share it with my kids someday to help them understand what 9/11 meant to me as a senior in high school. And, when I think about it now, it has truly changed our world.

I'm so thankful that the evil that happened on 9/11 has not been repeated on US soil. I am also reminded today of all the other evil and pain that is present in our world. I'm so thankful that we have a God who hates evil and is going to return one day to bring an end to all tears and oppression and pain. That he has cried out in sadness and anger, just as we do when our corrupt world causes suffering. I'm thankful that I can find hope in his promise to never leave or forsake us.
"On Christ, the solid rock, I stand. All other ground is sinking sand, all other ground is sinking sand."

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Day 253- Haircut!

Well... clearly, it was time. Time for a haircut!

Caleb's wisps of hair had been getting longer and longer. I was hardly able to keep them brushed over to the side and out of his face. So I decided to try my hand at giving my first baby haircut (first haircut period, for that matter!).

Caleb working REALLY hard at smiling!

Getting ready for the cut... Before:


Posed shot

Hats off, Mom!
While I was VERY nervous to give Caleb a haircut, I was determined not to pay $15 for snipping a small head of hair. Here are the items needed for cutting a baby's hair, plus a few tips I learned.


1 pair of haircutting scissors
1 highchair or other seat with harness (could also use another person holding baby)
toys or food to distract baby
optional: spray bottle to wet hair- personally didn't use
optional: comb- personally didn't use
optional: plastic baggie for collecting sample of baby's hair

1. Time is of essence... gather all items ahead of time and have a game plan before you start
2. Place baby in highchair
3. Give baby several items of interest or a favorite food to entertain him/her while you are snipping
4. Start at the front (so that if the cut only lasts for a few minutes, at least the front is trimmed
5. Take the hair between 2 fingers, pull it up vertically and snip at desired length (pull it vertically otherwise it will leave blunt lines- or so I'm told)
6. Continue doing this all over the babies head, until all the hair is roughly the same length everywhere
7. Trim around the ears (careful not to snip them!)
8. Recheck front and back to make sure the lines are even. (I believe the front is supposed to be more of a "wide smile" than a straight line, but that may depend on the look you are going for)
9. Request help from another adult to hold baby still for the last few snips
10. Step back and admire the new look on your "big boy" or "big girl"

Thankfuls... (with catch up due to my blog slacking)
226. Caleb being approved to start at a new childcare facility (nearly 1/2 the price!)
227. good garage sale finds
228. starting Razor's Edge- a spiritual development class at church
229. lunch today with Paul and Bethany
230. Al's chili
231. cool weather
232. being offered a formal contract with work
233. the discovery of HGTV on our TV
234. a few cancellations this week to help catch up on notes
235. new running shoes
236. that although we cannot achieve perfect integrity, we have a God who bridges our inconsistencies
237. houseplants
238. a chat with my sister, Stacy
239. having a healthy, nearly 1 year old (this time last year I was just hanging in there for a couple more weeks)
240. going on walks with Alan and Caleb
241. parents who demonstrated what it is to have a personal relationship with God
242. that America has not faced any more terrorist attacks since 9/11
243. the smell of coffee
244. reading a book that takes me to another world
245. Caleb's smile
246. having a husband who has a servant's heart
247. that Caleb loves to "read" books now
248. that Dave and Kayleen were willing to take Nigel and give him such a good home
249. that Fall library programming is starting up
250. the discovery of a cheap, good Ethiopian restaurant near our house!


Day 246- already September?!?

Wow... August pretty much flew by! Can't believe it's already September. Because September leads to fall and fall leads to winter, which leads to a new year! It seems like every year goes by a little faster. 2011 has been no exception!

Upcoming posts:
Book review on Tina Fey's Bossypants
Book review on the Hunger Games series
How to give a baby his first haircut (kind of)
Reflections on American hospitality (or perhaps my hospitality)

221. Going to a missions conference tonight
222. Caleb sleeping well
223. Rain
224. The ability to go and buy new shoes
225. Exposure to the gospel from the time I was little

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