Sunday, August 30, 2009

First day of school and other adventures...

Tony went back to school full-time on Monday. He is taking 12 credit hours this semester, but his schedule worked out so that he only has a night class Wednesday night and then he's in class all morning on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Right now he's in the dual degree program for Spanish and business, so when he's all done he'll have two bachelor's degrees! Here's his first day of school pic:
Notice the lovely new bike that gets him to and from campus with much ease (unless it's raining... then I drive him).

Tony being in school full-time again takes some getting used to for all parties involved. There will be some days when he won't see Ruth for more than a few minutes, and I know that will be difficult. But in the end, the diplomas will be well worth all the sacrifices.

In other news, I am watching a little boy named Jack one or two days per week for a good friend of mine who works nights and needs sleep during the day. Jack is 18 months old. He and Ruthie like to watch a short video together in the morning.
He's a good little boy, and Ruthie gets along with him very well.

Ruthie is so close to walking it's not even funny. She can stand up now without holding on to anything, and every once in a while she takes a few steps without support as she cruises from one piece of furniture to another. It seems like all the other kids we know who are her age are already walking. I have a feeling that when she starts running around the house, I will be glad it took her a while to figure it out!

She's also starting to like putting on grown-up shoes, hats and other objects. Yesterday, she discovered she could crawl around while wearing an oven mitt:

It was super cute. Her hair is getting really long, too. Not quite long enough for a pony tail, but almost too long for just a barrette (not that they do any good, she just takes them out of her hair).

Tony and I are running in the Bill Seymour half-marathon in Grand Island on Saturday. We will try to remember to take pictures. Wish us luck!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Psst... the seeds don't make the pepper hot!

That's right! It's not the seeds that will make a pepper hot!

Inspired with some kind of sick desire for things spicy, I planted two habanero plants in our backyard garden. Coming in at a beautiful golden yellow-orange, the lantern shaped habaneros are almost good enough looking to suffice as eye candy. But, ranking in at a wopping 300,000 on the Scoville rating system (compared to 3-8,000 jalapeƱos or 10-20,000 serranos), why just look at them?

The chemical that causes the burning reaction in all hot peppers is called capsaicin (cap-sigh-ih-sin). This chemical is concentrated in the internal "ribs" of the pepper. The seeds don't contribute to the heat, they just seem to because they are located on the ribs.

So don't just pick out the seeds of a hot pepper. Core the darn thing. Unless of course you're me. Then you need to mix a whole habanero, chopped, three banana peppers, chopped, 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 tbsp. cumin and 1 tsp. salt and boil it until the stench curls the carpet and knocks your wife into a disgruntled, nostril-pained frenzy. Then blend, and voila!

Sure makes good hotsauce!




Monday, August 10, 2009

My favorite websites

I spend a lot of time on the internet during the day. Honestly, I probably spend too much time on the internet. However, all this web surfing has helped me gather a number of sites that are useful to me and probably would be to you, too. Here's a short list:

1. Hungry Girl ( This website was created by a girl after my own heart: one who loves food but still wants to be healthy. The Hungry Girl offers tons of recipes and tips for anyone who wants to watch his/her figure without feeling cheated. She offers reviews of snacks, dining out tips and healthy remakes of comfort food recipes and restaurant fare. A few days ago we tried the Hungry Girl's recipe remake of blue box macaroni and cheese. It was a good base recipe. (We added a cup of regular cheddar cheese... not the healthiest, but still healthier than the blue box!)

2. Hey, it's free! ( I became intrigued with the idea of getting free goodies online a few months ago. I found this website, and it is by far the best (and the only one I use at this point). They post freebies daily, as well as news about coupons and in-store deals. My favorite freebies so far: free subscriptions to Oprah and Popular Science magazines, a full-sized roll of toilet paper, and coupons for free chocolate.

3. Mint ( We don't use this site as often as we used to, but I still like it. is free financial tracking software. It allows you to get a simple look at your income and categorize your expenses. I recommend trying it. It's not perfect, but it's helpful in many ways. (And it's free!)

4. Hulu ( If you do not yet know the joys of watching free television (and some movies) via the internet, you should check out Hulu. It is a completely site that compiles full episodes and clips of television shows and makes them available for your viewing pleasure. I love it because we don't have cable, nor do we have a converter box. I love watching Intervention and my guilty pleasure, America's Got Talent.

While I am a Facebook junkie of sorts, I am trying to get more use out of Twitter. I know a lot of people (my husband included) say they just "don't get" Twitter. Twitter is like a very simplified version of Facebook and seems to be more useful when it comes to integrating a cell phone with social networking. I just don't have many friends who post on there very frequently, so it's difficult for me to justify the use.

I'm also currently experimenting with Google Reader. It's a tool in Google that compiles the updates from all the websites you like to visit frequently into one site. I like it so far, but I'm not convinced that it is of more use to me than simply visiting each site individually.

Anyhow, let me know if you have any favorite sites, or what you think of these.


Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Keepin' up with the times

Apparently I'm not very good at blogging! Sorry it's taken so long for me to update. I actually forgot I had a blog. :P

Anyway, lots of things have transpired over the past few months.

1. Ruth's first birthday:

We had a fun first birthday party at my parents' house. It will probably be the only time we have a party like it. Lots of relatives came and there was tons of food. Unfortunately, it was one of the few days she decided to be in a bad mood. Cake and a bath made everything better, though. :)

2. Vacation in Minnesota:

My grandparents once owned a fishing resort in Minnesota, so it's a family tradition to go up to northern Minnesota every few years for vacation. This year, we stayed at a place called Moore's Lodge on Leech Lake. It was probably the nicest resort we've ever visited, and we had a great time. Tony, Ruth and I went with my parents, my little brother and my nephew. (We all had a bad hair day in this photo. :-) )

3. Camping in Ogallala:

We went camping with some good family friends at Lake McConaughy in Ogallala, Neb., which is about 4 hours west of Omaha. We camped on the beach (I am still cleaning up after it, too!), spent hours digging out a van that got stuck in the sand, and endured five thunderstorms, all in about 36 hours. However, we did catch a large catfish, ate some delicious campfire cooking and had a great time swimming. The company definitely made it all worthwhile.

4. Saying goodbye to car #2:

We needed a more reliable car, so before we went on vacation in June, we sold my 2001 Ford ZX2 to purchase a 2003 Ford Taurus. After returning from vacation, we seriously contemplated selling our 1996 Dodge Intrepid (shown above). We bought the Intrepid 2 years ago, and it has been a true workhorse for us. We loved it more than we expected we would. With 170,000 miles on it, however, it had a whole host of mechanical problems we couldn't afford to fix. So we decided to sell it, and, as of Friday, we are a one-car family. We think with good communication and planning, we can make this work until we save up enough money for a new car. We bought Tony a new bike over the weekend so he can continue biking to school (about a 10-minute ride). Tony will take the bus to work on days I need the car.

Well, that's my summer update. Who can tell me where exactly summer went, by the way?

I'll try to update this more regularly!