BAM Family

BAM Family

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The theme of Passport is "Barefoot" this year with the theme verse being "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news" (Romans 10:15). For the opening night (last night) they introduced every church and showed a creative picture of each group. The picture had to answer the question, "What do you  do with your feet?"

Aaron's nephew Josh actually came up with our idea. We thought it was pretty clever and the picture turned out great. Click on it to enlarge so you can read the words.

We were in Concord MA at the Old North Bridge ("The shot heard round the world!!!") which is also on the property of Emerson's family home. I love Concord. The place is seeped in history. It was a beautiful day, warm with a nice breeze. I also go to tour Louisa May Alcott's home. I don't have pictures of that but it was amazing.

We are having a great week so far. Today was the first full day of camp and we all enjoyed time at our Mission sites. I spend the early afternoon cleaning out window wells at a beautiful Episcopal church that was built in 1880.

Hopefully I will get to update again soon!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Passport 2010 Day 1

Well, all I can say is, our trip to Passport camp has been much less eventful than last year. We passed the place where we broke down and thanked the Lord above that the van was purring like a kitten. AND we made it to our hotel with not problems besides some brief pouring rain.

Aaron and I were both pretty sad to leave the boys this morning but three calls to Aaron's mom (who is staying with them for the week) assured us that they stopped crying soon after we left and then went on to have a great day.

We have five boys and three girls on this trip and let me say, the boys are FULL of energy and noise. It just makes me think, Hmm this is going to be us in about 11 years....w.o.w.

We are having a great time. I got some brand spankin' new books (nothing to do with the thesis [read: mindless fiction]) for the trip and am enjoying them tremendously! ::happy sigh::

Tomorrow, we go to Concord to visit some amazing literary sites, maybe to the beach (though we are trying to convince the kids that the beach in New England is not the beach of North Carolina or Florida) and on to check into camp. Wish us a happy week! I hope to update our adventures as the week goes along! Stay tuned.

I am just glad we are not spending another night in Frackville....

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

This is what my life looks like right now....

A look into the world of the thesis writer. These are 5 of the 6 Austen novels that I am using. Chapter One is done--it turned out to be 42 pages (!!!!!!) That is definitely the longest paper I have ever written. Now on the Chapter Two...I already have 30+ pages of source notes....::shakes head and sighs::

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Miss Carrot--a short anecdote

My college friend Carrie came to visit yesterday. I hadn't seen her in a few years and we had such a good visit. She is an elementary school teacher and is wonderful with kids; she was in LOVE with the boys. They thought she was pretty cool too. She played throw the ball, toss the stuffed bird into the ceiling fan (a game Daddy started) and was all around awesome!

I tried to get the boys to say "Miss Carrie" They both tried but it didn't come out quite right.

Micah came up with his own version: Miss Carrot! Or simply "Carrot!"

It was so funny. But "Miss Carrot" loved it!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

There are a few good recipes for this pasta salad online but this is my tweaked version. It is the perfect summer lunch or side dish. Yummy!

Chicken Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad

4-5 slices of bacon
1 large chicken breast
Salt and pepper to taste
2 cups small pasta (I used small shells but large shells or that twisty pasta works well too!)
1 large carrot cut into small matchstick pieces
2 TBS Ranch seasoning (from the packet)
Onion powder to taste
2/3 cup mayo (I used olive oil mayo to make it more healthy)
3 TBS milk

Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add pasta. Cook according to package directions. Add carrots in the last 5 minutes. Drain pasta and carrots and run cold water over pasta for a few minutes. 

While pasta is cooking, fry bacon. Drain on paper towels and drain majority of fat. Cook chicken (I butterflied my chicken breast so it would cook faster, about 4 minutes on each side) in the same skillet after seasoning with salt and pepper. Remove chicken and let cool. 

In a serving bowl, wisk the last four ingredients together. Chop bacon and chicken into small pieces. Add pasta and carrots to ranch mixture and stir to coat. Add bacon and chicken. Cover and chill for 1-2 hours before serving (so the sauce can soak into the pasta and flavor it really well)

Other add ins:
Green olives
Cherry tomatoes, halved
Cubed cheese
Or substitue bacon with low fat pepperoni or salami cut into small pieces


Serves 4-6 adult portions

Pizza Pork Chops

Disclaimer: These pork chops taste nothing like pizza. Benji thought they looked like pizza when he saw them though so, it seemed like a good name for these yummy chops that I made a few nights ago. Here is my recipe:

Boneless pork loin chops (mine were about 1/2 inch thick)
1 slice of bacon for each pork chop
Salt and pepper to taste
finely chopped onion (about 2 tbs-1/4 cup, depending on how many pork chops you are cooking)
1 clove garlic, minced
favorite shredded cheese (I used colby jack)

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.

Fry bacon in a large skillet over medium high heat until cooked through but not crispy (it will continue to cook in the oven). Let bacon rest on paper towels. Drain most of the bacon fat out of skillet, reserving just enough to coat the bottom of the skillet. Season pork chops lightly with salt and pepper (the bacon is salty too so go lightly on the salt). Add chops to (screamin' hot) skillet and cook two minutes on each side. Place on baking sheet.

Add onion to skillet and saute for 1-2 minutes until they start to get brown (they will cook fast since the skillet will be really hot). Add garlic and cook for 1 minute (or less) stirring constantly (burnt garlic = no good). Sprinkle onions and garlic evenly over pork chops. Cut up bacon into small pieces and place one piece of bacon on each pork chop. Sprinkle cheese over bacon, as much or as little as you want.

Bake in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick your chops are). Don't overcook (!) or else your chops will turn out dry (Sad day...)

Enjoy your "Pizza Pork Chops"!

I served this with green beans and potatoes (one of those microwave veggie packs) and yeast rolls. Aaron loved it and the boys had fun eating all the bacon and cheese off....go figure. :)

Saturday, July 10, 2010

One on One time

As a mother of twins, it is really hard to get one on one time with my kids. Even if I WANT one on one time, sometimes the boys resist! The other week I decided I would take just Micah on a walk with me. The day before we had had such a nice time walking Goldie and he held my hand the whole time. Benji, on the other hand, cried and fussed the whole walk. So, I decided to see if Micah wanted to have a "Mommy and Me (and Goldie)" time the next day. No way. For either boy. Micah, when he discovered "brother" was not going wailed and would not even step off the porch. Benji, even more pitifully, wailed "walk! walk! walk!" at the screen door. So, I ended up taking them both. So much for one on one time.

Well, yesterday I finally got my wish. I heard some talking in the boys' room after their nap and went to get them up. It was only Benji talking. Micah was still fast asleep. So I got Benji up and for the next hour we had a grand ol' time! We played cars, tickle fight, roll-around-on-the-carpet, read Thomas the Train books, and laughed a lot. It was great! It was so nice just to focus on one kid at a time and feel like I spent some really good quality time with my son.

Oh, I forgot to tell you what I discovered when I went to get Benji up. Micah WAS fast asleep. But he was also covered head to toe with poop. Yes, this has turned into another poop story. He had thrown his diaper out of the crib and had thrown poop all over the room. Plus he had painted his arms, legs, and crib with poop. I decided to deal with it all when he woke up.

No wonder that sweet hour with Benji was so nice.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

First Prayer

Micah prayed his first prayer tonight. It was so cute and I'll admit, I got a little teary.

We asked him if he wanted to pray at dinner. This is how it went.

Me: Micah, do you want to pray?
Micah: Yep!
Me: Go ahead. (I close my eyes)
Me: (I open my eyes)
Micah: (Looks at me askance)
Me: Go ahead. Can you pray?
Micah: Yep!
Me: Ok. Let's pray.
(All close eyes and fold hands)
Micah: God mumble mumble mumble Jesus mumble mumble mumble mumble mumble
Me: (I open my eyes and look at Micah. He has opened his eyes and is looking at me--and smiling) Amen?
Benji: (very loud) YEA!!!!

Precious, Precious, Precious. Sniff, sniff. :)

Monday, July 5, 2010

Jello Mousse

This is a yummy dessert that I made up and have been making this summer. It is super easy, yummy, and very budget friendly! We ate it tonight. :)

Jello Mousse

One small package of jello, any flavor
1 cup hot water
1 cup ice cubes
1/2 tub of Cool Whip (approx 1.5 cups)
Fruit (optional)

In a LARGE bowl (believe me, it is a lot easier to use a large one than a small one on this recipe) stir hot water into jello until dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour in cup of ice cubes and stir CONSTANTLY until ice is almost melted and jello is starting to gel, about 3 minutes. (Make sure you stir it constantly--otherwise you end up with a lumpy mess...believe me, I know). Take out the extra ice, if needed. Scoop out the Cool Whip and stir or wisk into the jello mix until smooth. It will be pretty runny. Pour into small cups. Add fruit if desired. Chill in fridge for 4-6 hours until set. Enjoy!

Makes 6 1/2 cup portions

Orange jello with manderin oranges
Strawberry jello with sliced strawberries
Lemon jello with sliced strawberries
Or plain! It is delish just as it is!

(I have made it with orange (tasted liked a dreamsickle), strawberry and lemon. Lemon was probably my favorite. So light and refreshing!)

Enjoy! Let me know what you think!

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Random Adorable-ness

Just had to share so super cute things Benji has done lately--mostly so I won't forget!!

The other day Benji was sitting with Aaron on the couch with his toy elephant. Benji was very interested in Aaron' hair. In fact, it looked rather tasty--for the elephant! He kept bobbing his elephant up and down on Aaron's leg saying, "Elephant...hungry? Grass!!" ::bob, bob, bob::

This morning at church we picked up the boys from Sunday School. The boys had been talking about God's strength (I think) and they made little dumb-bells from pencils with wooden rings on the end. Benji was holding his and when I picked him up I asked him what it was. "MUSCLES!" Benji said proudly and he lifted dumb bell high above his head!

(I'm sure Micah has been doing cute things lately too but all I can think of is the messes he has peeing at the potty chair instead of in it, painting the bathroom wall with a watery paint mess from a soaking paint brush that Aaron had been using, and spilling sprinkles on the kitchen floor. Since Mommy had mopped the day before, she let the boys "clean them up" :)

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Potty Training: One Week Recap

Seems like the vast majority of my blog posts have to do with bodily eliminations. Kinda gross but that is my life right now, I guess. My brother (single) commented when he spent time with my sister and me (both married with kids) that all we talk about is poop. NO we don't! we loudly protested...and then went on to tell another blowout or diaper disaster story. So, it's true. Poop occupies much of my time and apparently, writing. I might as well accept my lot as a mother of two two-year-old boys...

...who am am trying to potty train at the moment.

The grand day was one week ago. On Potty Training Eve, I made adorable Thomas the Train potty charts, completely laminated. I then hot glued tiny pieces of soft velcro to the chart and then glued the sticky velcro pieces to carefully laminated Thomas the Train stickers. (If my camera and computer decided to cooperate I would just post a picture, but alas... they are still fighting at the moment).

I laid out many many towels all around my living room floor and furniture and I plopped our potty chairs in front of the TV. And the next day, all the boys (and I) did was sit on the potty every 15 minutes (well, not ME) and watch Dora the Explorer (PRINCESS ADVENTURE) over and over again. We had a few successes (!!!!) which were accompanied by much praise and singing from Mama, a sticker for the VERY cool sticker chart Mom made and mini chocolate chips.

I decided to go straight to underwear instead of going the pull-up route. I have a feeling the pull-up would be just like a diaper to the boys. On the first day, I refashioned 10 onesies into underpants (or as we call them, "unders") for the boys. Again, I would post pics but... We have 3 pairs of Walmart training pants and 2 pairs of some other unders from someone and not surprisingly, I have been washing unders and towels and clean up rags every day to keep up with the the demand. Yesterday we went through all the unders and I ended up putting them in a diaper so they wouldn't be running around the yard in glorious nudity--though they probably would have preferred that.

Over all, I guess the week has been ok. Monday was the best day. After 3 accidents (between the two of them) in the morning, they each went 3 times in the potty over the course of the rest of the day! WOOT! I was so happy! They are getting it!!!!

Well, no. Not yet.
Since Monday I think we have had 1 success a day. Between the two of them. SIGH.

I know I will look back in 5 years, heck, even 2 years and wonder why I was so frustrated. In 15 years, I won't even remember! And I am really not THAT frustrated. It has been a week. A week. JUST  a week.

It's been a pretty long week.

I am just hoping that one day, very, very soon, it will all click--they will tell me before they pee on the dining room chair (and not just say "wet..." afterwards), they will point their boy parts DOWN consistently (instead of peeing all over the floor), they will NOT poop in their underwear, and I will not feel discouraged every day.

Well, this LONG post must end. I need to fold a basket of clean unders and towels and gear up for PT week TWO!

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