Clothes Take a Bath?

“Clothes take a bath? (Yes.) The soap is for the clothes to take a BATH?! (Uh huh.) That’s silly!” -Elle, when she was helping me to put soap in a load of laundry.


Forty Days of Facebook Fasting and Other Things

Yes, I gave up Facebook for Lent. I had a friend that did it last year and I was in awe. Not that I overly abuse Facebook compared to some people I know, but I use it enough to notice a difference. Today I deactivated my Facebook account (a day late, I know). For the most part I haven’t even thought about not being able to post things to share, but I have thought about what sales promotions may be going on from the pages I’m subscribed to, I’ve also had to resist the urge to look things up on Facebook. For example, the 40 Cans for Lent project has a Facebook page and I wanted to share it with friends and family to let them know that I’d be happy to deliver canned goods to my church if they had any that they could donate.

I have noticed a shift in my communication with some people. For example, I probably would have sent my friend a Facebook message to just chat, but instead had to text. I can see how Facebook allows us to take the shortcut of more impersonal methods of communicating, so maybe this little experiment will force me to write letters or to actually call people. I will keep you posted of any noticeable differences in my lifestyle or any moments that I just feel like only Facebook could provide an answer.

My decision to give up Facebook came from a great sermon at church on Ash Wednesday in which the Father said that Ash Wednesday is the day that people start their “diets” by saying I’m giving up chips/sweets/sodas for Lent. He called us to find something that would be a real sacrifice that would somehow bring us closer to God. A step away from the computer, my smart phone, and probably one of the biggest time-wasters in my life seemed like the best option. I’m guilty of wasting time on many other things, but Facebook is probably the biggest piece.

The other things I am attempting this Lenten season are giving up sweets (which is that diet that the priest mentioned) and buying things that are not necessities. This is going to be a very hard one for me because I LOVE looking at and buying things. I’m already facing a dilemma: I have a company awards banquet to attend and I’m finding it very hard to not categorize a new dress into the necessity category. My attempt to give up buying things that are not necessities is a way for me to sacrifice the material things and focus on the things that are required for living, not just living comfortably or conveniently. Like I said, this one will be VERY hard, but cutting Facebook out removes one of my sources of temptation for shopping. 🙂

I’ll keep you posted on my progress and revelations.

Pinterest Cooking

So this is what I made tonight: Hearty Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash & Quinoa.

This is the first time I’ve ever made or shopped for quinoa (keen wah) and yes, I had to Google the pronunciation and read what exactly is quinoa. Here’s a little bit about it from

Quinoa is 100% whole grain and is close to being a perfect food source in the balance of nutrition it provides. Technically it’s not a grain but the seed of a leafy plant related to spinach. Quinoa is an excellent source of protein – 12% to 18%. According to The National Academy of Sciences, quinoa is “one of the best sources of protein in the vegetable kingdom”. Quinoa contains the amino acid lysine which helps the body produce protein. It also helps the body process the protein in the quinoa and in other foods. The World Health Organization has rated the quality of protein in quinoa to be equivalent or superior to that found in milk products.

So one day while browsing Pinterest, I came across this photo/recipe that my friend pinned. It looked so delicious so I decided to check out the recipe. It sounded so flavorful and healthy at the same time; not like the typical bland healthy food. This is full of butternut squash, tomatoes, quinoa, chicken, onions, and garlic. The mixture of butternut squash with chicken broth gives a faint flavor of the yummy combination of sweet and salty. It is definitely hearty and a perfect cold-weather dish.

I’d say that this recipes is a little more advanced beginner because there are so many steps involved. It took me quite a while to mince the garlic, peel and chop the butternut squash, chop the onion, seed and quarter the olives, and trim the fat off the chicken, but once I completed those tasks it was pretty quick to make. I like that the ingredients are pretty basic and easy to find in the grocery store. On more than one occasion I’ve come across a photo of a dish I want to try to make and I have no clue what some of the ingredients are or what certain cooking terms are. It kind of sucks to have to sit on your tablet with messy hands to look up things like roux.

During the last few steps I was worried that it looked like something Ted would never touch, but he actually liked it. Elle kept commenting on how delicious it smelled, but I’m skeptical that she will try it once she sees it. Rhett on the other hand will try almost anything so we’ll see how it goes over with his 18 month-old taste buds. 🙂

Source: via Nancy on Pinterest

And this is what I made Tuesday night: Spinach and Chicken Pie. This recipe is very quick and easy. It’s probably even quicker if you wilt fresh spinach which would free up the time it takes to thaw and squeeze excess water from frozen chopped spinach. I enjoyed making this one because it’s super quick with minimal chopping since it uses ground chicken. I am not a fast chopper and I do not enjoy standing in one place chopping for half an hour, but I’m also too much of a perfectionist to throw it all in a food processor. The flavor is subtle, but it’s supposed to be a healthy kid-friendly recipe so it works. I usually bring leftovers of new recipes to my guinea pigs co-workers, and my sister (one of my co-workers and also a much better cook than me) said it could use some balsamic vinegar to give it a little tangy flavor.

I made this beautiful dish Tuesday night also: Peanut Butter Chocolate No-Bake Dessert. Here’s what I have to say about this one: way too easy to make and eat. Proceed with caution.

The Lost Tooth

Boy, am I glad I took that picture on Jan 25th! Elle lost her tooth the next evening while eating dinner. Not just lost, but literally lost. We are pretty sure she swallowed her first loose baby tooth. I was so sad. Elle, on the other hand, was so excited about losing her tooth. She cavorted around the house, showed her baby brother her new grin getting about an inch away from his face, and even let out an exuberant, “YEEEEEE HAWWWW!” Rhett then mimicked his sister by proudly walking around the house, chin up and chest out, with a huge toothy smile. It was a pretty fun night in our house.

This is the happy little girl. The new running joke in the house is garlic bread solves loose tooth problems. 🙂

Post celebration, Elle wanted to write a letter to the tooth fairy explaining what happened to her tooth and why she didn’t have a tooth to put under her pillow. So she had me cut a tiny piece of paper and write what she wanted to say to the tooth fairy. I’ll have to post the photo of the letter, but for now here’s the box we used for the letter:

 Ted obviously has a silly sense of humor. It makes me laugh every time I read it and I’m sure Elle will think it’s hilarious when she learns to read and write (which is soon the next chapter in our lives – I bought Hooked on Phonics for Preschoolers).

So that night, the tooth fairy wrote a letter back to Elle telling her that kids swallow their teeth all the time. She also noted that she can tell that Elle takes really good care of her teeth and that she would be back to visit for her other teeth. The tooth fairy switched letters in the box and also left a golden dollar.

Elle happened to need a potty break in the middle of the night; she woke up and immediately checked the box. When I asked her if the tooth fairy had visited her yet, she said that her letter to the tooth fairy was still in the box. We double-checked after her potty break and she was almost too excited to go back to sleep after I read her the tooth fairy’s letter (twice). 🙂

Here is our note to the Tooth Fairy:

It breaks my heart how quickly she is growing up, but it’s also so awesome to watch her blossom into a little kid. The years go by way too fast and I wish we had more time to enjoy them.

Tooth Update

Two days ago I couldn’t watch Elle show me how loose her tooth was and tonight I’m helping her try to see the permanent tooth that’s underneath it. Yay for inurement!

Here’s a picture of Elle for her Tooth Fairy Tales book mentioned in my previous post.

I snapped the picture before loading the kids in the car this morning because I was worried that she would lose the tooth while at daycare. You can see her bottom right central incisor is sitting crooked. Yeah, it’s because the tooth is that loose.

Tooth Fairy Fun

Elle has a loose tooth; it’s been loose for a little over a week now and I have been in planning mode since seeing that little tooth wiggle. I’ve been having fun planning what exactly the tooth fairy will do in our home when Elle’s tooth finally comes out. I’ve had a lot of fun looking around on the internet to see what traditions other families have started and it’s so exciting to think that we will be starting a new tradition in our little family.

When I was growing up we left the tooth under the pillow and received 25 cents. Simple and sweet. I want to go the same route with my kiddos, but wanted to give them a little more preparation and a way to remember these special moments. I’m sure if my parents hadn’t been so busy making a living to provide the best for their three kids or if they were raised with American traditions that they would have done the same thing.

So here’s a little of what we are doing:

A cute little book about a night in the life of the tooth fairy:
We’ve read this book a few times and Elle absolutely loves it. There’s this one part of the book that has rules for kids to make it a little easier on the tooth fairy; she perks up at this part every time. She lists things like don’t put the tooth in a stinky sock and make sure to clean the tooth. I think that we are lucky in that Elle is still very young and is at the stage where rules are cool.

I also got Tooth Fairy Tales, a little journal to document the day the tooth was lost, how it was lost, and place photos of cute toothless grins.
It’s quite a bit of work, but I know that I would love to have something like this to see what kinds of things I thought about losing my teeth as a child. Sadly, I have a horrible memory and as the saying goes, “The faintest ink is better than the best memory.”

Lastly, we the Tooth Fairy is giving one gold coin ($1.00) per tooth. We wanted to make it more special than just the typical dollar bill and got the idea from my sister who read about it on Pinterest, I think.

Golden Dollars

We are now ready for the first five teeth. 🙂

I’d love to hear your family traditions or what you experienced growing up.

What’s Going On?

Happy New Year to everyone! The Higgs Family is hoping to make it the best year yet for the family as a whole, for our well-being – physically and spiritually. We have lots of things planned for 2012, finances and time permitting. Here’s a short list of things we want to accomplish this year:

  • Take a family vacation to Disney World.
  • Redecorate our home. We’ve started on the living room and are moving to the play room next.
  • Buy a new vehicle for Ted that will fit the whole family.
  • Move closer to family – this has been on our list for a while, but I have a feeling that this year or next year will finally be our year.
  • Spend more time together.

Since the new year started, Elle has started cheerleading and also discovered a loose tooth on January 14. She is so sweet to Rhett and baby talks to him a lot. She loves to cover him in kisses and shares with him very well. It’s heart-breaking how quickly she has been growing up these last few weeks. Santa was good to her at Christmas; he gave her the coveted Jessie with the yarn hair. Mommy and Daddy got her a Princess Charm School house, Barbie doll, and DVD. Her Christmas favorites were the gifts from Auntie Diane – a Polly Pocket airplane with a ton of accessories and a bride dress-up set.

Rhett “flipped the switch,” as Ted refers to it, on December 27 and has been talking and picking up new words at a rapid pace. He is constantly trying to communicate and says “thank you” for everything. He says things like truck, stars, train, me see, whassat?, stop it, monkey, blankie, and paci. He’ll repeat pretty much anything you ask him to and it’s somewhat comprehensible. Santa brought Rhett a stand and play race track that is as tall as Rhett. Mommy and Daddy got him small plush figurines of Elmo, Cookie Monster, the Count, Big Bird, and Grover.

Sara is such a sweet little puppy. She loves being around her family and loves to lick on Rhett. She has been tearing up the backyard on her little outings so we are trying to figure out what we should do about that since we would really like to start working on the backyard as well. Our goal is to make it comfortable for us to hang out outside and also a fun place for the kids and Sara to play.

There’s lots in store for 2012! We hope your plans bring you as much joy as ours do.