Thursday, April 30, 2009


I want everybody else to blog, and I don't really want to blog lately. I just am not feeling it. Nothing that exciting is happening. I have no news to share, not even the news I really want to have about adoptions and jobs and maybe moving.

But I am happy. Things are good. I have really cute and smart kids who keep me on my toes, and a very smart and patient husband, and amazingly wonderful friends, and springtime in California.

While it makes for a pretty nice life, it makes for a pretty boring blog.

I should remember to resort to food writing when that happens.

Here's one thing that made me happy this week shortly after I found amazing deals on good cheese at Grocery Outlet. We won't talk about how much Brie I have been eating.

Barbecue chicken pizza

Your favorite 14" pizza crust (I use the Betty Crocker big red book recipe, more or less - 1 c warm water, 1 tbsp. yeast, 2.5 c. flour, pinch each sugar and salt, splash of olive oil)

Your favorite bottled barbecue sauce
1/2 - 1 c. chopped cooked chicken (grilled is best)
About 1 c. grated Gouda cheese (can substitute mozzarella or jack, but Gouda is best)
1 green onion (scallion) white and green parts, sliced thin
2-3 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

Spread sauce on crust as thick as you like. Top with chicken, cheese and onions. Bake at 375 degrees 20-30 minutes. Slice and sprinkle with cilantro before serving, or let diners sprinkle their own (not everyone likes the herb my mom calls The Weed).

I first had this type of pizza at Wasatch Pizza in Salt Lake City. They use red onion instead of green onion and bake the cilantro on the pizza. I think a similar pie is also on the menu at California Pizza Kitchen. But I think it's best homemade with a whole wheat crust.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


Just in case you didn't know yet, the season for roasting and baking is officially over. Done. Today I made pork roast and peanut butter cookies (I know, huh? They were good) and I am dying in my house. It got so freaking hot. Now the open windows and ceiling fans are finally starting to do their job and I am not sweating in my computer chair. I am so not turning the AC on yet. We are too poor for that.

The kids got to play in the hose today. It was 91 degrees according to Sally Lou, and I am a lax Mormon mommy who doesn't feel that's a Sabbath breaker, so sue me. They put it up on the roof to create a waterfall. My kids are smart and danger-happy. Me, I figure if the roof can survive a Central Valley winter it can certainly take a garden hose for a couple of hours. We have definitely had rainstorms that have dumped more water on it than that.

My cooking has been less inspired lately because we are relying on food sources that steer us more toward the most basic of basics. But maybe I can get my mojo on with the grill and the ice cream maker, officially being fired up this week.

Bye-bye, roasty toasty. Hello, grill marks and frozen treats.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


My little Z has asthma inherited from her birthmom. (I have it, too, and so does A, ever since we came to the San Joaquin Valley where we mainly breathe diesel exhaust and particulate pesticides.)

At this time of year, she also has allergies. Again, the rest of us can certainly sympathize.

And then she got a cold. It seems to have pushed her poor little voice over the edge. Mean mommy thinks it is really, really cute.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Just some images from our trip to the zoo yesterday. 

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Back to life

Did you think Watch Out for Mama was dead? It only sleepeth-ed.  I'm back with Easter fun. And I have to share some pictures because some people (Dad!) are not on Facebook. That I know of.

Yesterday we had a lunch/egg hunt/pool party for crazy cold kids at Sally's darling new house up north of here. It was so relaxing and fun, and our wonderful friend Lehua from our University of Utah married student housing days came, too. The kids had a wonderful time and got cold in the cold cold pool. (Dude, my best friend has a pool! I can't wait for summer!)

K made the quickest work of his candy, but Z also kept her mouth pretty full!

A and Sally's S got chilly in the pool. Great friends.

Not only did we get to catch up on life, we got to have some very deep and enlightening conversations that I am still turning over in my mind. Love these girlfriends who are not afraid to get right down to the real stuff and open up their hearts. Thank you, thank you ladies. I love you so!

Lehua came back to Merced with us and we gabbed late into the night. Glenny had to catch up, too. He didn't go to Sally's with us because, HELLO! He is defending his dissertation THIS THURSDAY! I normally try not to be a shouter, but ... THIS THURSDAY! Can you believe it, after six years of doctoral studies? We are finally approaching the end. Really close.

Anyway this morning I got up at a crazy time and made muffins and then went over to the church to practice with the choir and run through my solo one last time. All went fine there. Came back home for the final roundup and took some pictures of the kids with Auntie Lehua. How blessed we are with loving, wise and wonderful friends.

Then, church. Lehua came with us which was a treat. I only made two bathroom trips with kids during sacrament meeting, and the choir number and the solo both went fine. I mean, I can always find points to criticize when I sing,  and sometimes I am very aware that I am not as trained as I could be. But the really key points in the song ("The King of Love my Shepherd Is") worked well and overall I am satisfied. I am especially lucky to have had a wonderful, versatile and talented accompanist today. That makes everything so much easier and makes me miss my dad a little less on a special day!

Then I subbed in doing singing time for junior primary and taught my darling class, which was really special. Because I happen to know the words to a couple of musical settings of the Easter story as recounted in the Bible, I am able to share it almost word for word by heart, and at least for me, that has a lot of power. I think, and I hope, the kids in my class felt what I felt. He is risen, as he said. (Oh, His promises are sure!)

I had a little meeting after church, wherein friend Matt (who is married to dear friend Molly) subtly suggested a blog update, telling me he blog-stalks while he is waiting for his patients' anesthesia to take effect. Or something like that. Who knew? Maybe I would taken his career option if I knew it was a career that offered blog-stalking time. 

We came home, and then I fixed lunch, grabbed a quick 45-minute nap, and started cooking Easter dinner. We had baked ham, mashed potatoes, peas, green salad, water with lemon, and banana cream pie. And missionaries, but not to eat. We have some fun new missionaries in our ward and the kids loved meeting them and pestering them. Haha ... really, we are very grateful for the positive example these elders provide for our children and the opportunity to have them in our home. 

After dinner, a quick Easter message from the elders and a little candy hunt in the backyard. (We didn't want to give the kids all their candy before church - just a little. This strategy worked pretty well and I think we may do it again in the future.) I watered my little plants including new nasturtiums and greens just sprouted. We are going to have some yummy salads soon! Then we watched Pinocchio and ate chocolate and snuggled until bedtime. Nice.

I felt like a superparticipant today. I am tired, but I like how it feels to work and serve and know I am contributing in my ward and my family and my friendships. And I did get that nap!

One sad note: I had to say no tonight to a 9-month-old baby boy who needs a foster family. I wish we had more capacity, but it is important to be honest about what we can really do. It's just that the county is technically not even supposed to be calling us for placements right now, at all, so when they do, I know they are running out of options. And that means the child is running out of options. And then what happens? (Is there room in your home for one of these little ones?)