Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving food notes Andy

Because I'll forget by next year, I wanted to capture a few of the things I did to the turkey that worked really well.

The Turkey:

I thawed it a day early so that I could marinate overnight. My marinade injection was:
  • Olive oil
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Finely chopped basil
  • Finely chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper

The Gravy:
I pureed some of the veggies I roasted with the turkey (carrots, celery, garlic, onion) in a food processor (I don't like chunky gravy). I stirred this in with the drippings before adding the flour slurry (how's that for culinary-babble?). I might have added too many carrots, cause the gravy was kinda orange, but REALLY good, and it didn't need a whole lot of help to thicken.
The Leftovers:
It was kinda cold after T-day this year, so I was feeling like soup. I had a couple cups of turkey drippings left, and a bunch of chicken stock. A quick trip to the pantry, and here's what happened:
  • Great Northern Beans
  • Triple Succotash (tomato, corn, butter beans)
  • Sliced carrots
  • Chopped turkey leftovers
  • turkey drippings (skim off the fat... unless you want it to stick on the way down)
  • chicken broth
  • cheese tortellini
You should probably make sure everything is done before adding the tortellini so that they don't fall apart while everything else cooks.

All in all, it was a really good meal, It was a kind of pot-luck event, and everything was yummy! Thanks to all who came and shared your Thanksgiving with us. We are really thankful for our friends and family!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

It's Been A Long Time! Becky

So since we haven't posted since August, you can tell how busy we've been. We now have a 1 year old and a 2 year old if that gives you an idea! Devon turned one on November 7. You can see how much he enjoyed digging in to his first piece of cake! He loves playing with his new Little People and trucks he got for his birthday! He has a very comical personality! These two are great entertainment for us! Cammie loves to dress up and help in the kitchen. She has just gotten in to watching Blues Clues and Thomas the Train reruns on the "Sprout on Demand" channel and she sings all the time. I love to hear her sing her songs about Jesus. Sometimes I get all teary-eyed. I guess you can say Cammie & Devon have the typical sibling relationship. Sometimes I feel like I play referee all day as I hear "No, Devon!" and see them pushing eachother around. Other times, they are playing so sweet together and one gives the other a hug and I just enjoy watching the moment and trying to capture it in my memory. Nap time is now over, so I must go. I do thank God for little breaks to restore my own energy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Word "Snobbery" Andy

For various reasons I have a problem with certain words, making those who say them (including myself), sound snobbish when they are spoken out loud! I don't really blame the words themselves, because they are innocent enough, but the pronunciation of them is what get's me. What's that you say, some examples perhaps?

  • As any 3rd grade teacher(Thank you Mrs. Spaugh) will eagerly correct, "often" is pronounced without the "t". But whenever I do say it like that, especially if someone else has or is about to say it with the "t", I feel that I am being condescending or "grammar-preachy". I know what is correct, but the common vernacular has embraced the "t" as a letter of equal importance to the "f". I avoid this word.
  • Take "humble" for instance. This one wins the award for irony. It is supposed to be said with a silent "h". Everyone I know with the exception of the word-nerdy say it as it's spelled. This word, when spoken properly, is a hammer that the haughty use to put us vulgar masses in our place! The very act of saying "-umble" is an attempt to wow the listeners with the speakers knowledge of haughty grammar. Exactly contrasting the word itself. I laugh when I hear it, and avoid using the word myself. But I'm humble enough, that I find I don't have to tell everyone how "umble" I am. It pays to be so humble! ;)
  • "Legos" - There is a great online debate whenever someone types the plural of "Lego", as "Legos". Don't believe me, google it! I, for one say "legos" loudly and proudly. The corporate stance is that the plural is "Lego Bricks".
  • You know those yummy lamb pita sandwiches..."Gyros". I get so scared of embarrasing myself that I sometimes have to order something else from those greek restaurants when all I really want is a gyro. If the cashier is obviously mediteranean, I will safely order a "yee-ro". But if there is any doubt, I worry that if I say "yee-ro" they will think I'm a snobby-white guy. And if I order a "Gi-ro" They will think I'm a dumb redneck. The fear is paralyzing, and I usually end up getting kabobs. How can you say THAT wrong?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

National Hair Accessory Appreciation Day Andy

I heard from a reliable source that today is National Hair Accessory Appreciation Day. What better way to celebrate then to wear a tu-tu?

Do you ...? Andy

I really need some online friends. I'm on all these online communities, and not really connected to a whole lot of people I know (except facebook). So here is where you will find me online! Hit me up sometime.

  • Have a Wii? Add my number 8785762163089019, and send me yours. I'd love to play GH3 with you!
  • Have a PS3? I'm 'donkeykickaj', look me up! Anyone like PAIN?
  • Facebook? You should look me up, I'm there!
  • Have Netflix? Will you be my friend? I would be happy to share some movie suggestions!
  • Digg? Look me up, I'm 'josman'

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

FIRE! Andy

Well, more like a lower case 'fire'. Our washing machine blew up today. Luckily, I was working at home and was able to catch it. I think it's a blown motor, but I'm not going to plug it back in to diagnose it. The house smells like electrical smoke, but no scorch marks. Becky's pretty excited about getting a new washer... so I guess It ended up OK.

update: hhgregg delivered a new washer this morning. Cammie said, "It's bigger!"

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Recipe: Tushi Pasta Andy

I was at Harris Teeter today and they had a 1/2 price special on Sashimi-grade tuna steaks which means that it was handled with such care that you can eat it raw... or sushi style. Being in the mood for pasta and trying to eat healthier after a vacation, I came up with a sort of italian-blackened-sushi pasta dish.

Tuna steak, 3/4 inch thick. (I used a pound)
Chopped Basil
Chopped Green onion (I used 3 stalks)
Sliced and quartered zucchini (I used half a large one)
Can of chicken broth.
Olive Oil
Garlic (2 cloves)
Whole Wheat bowtie pasta.

I started by cooking the noodles. While the noodles were boiling, I pan fried the Zucchini, onion and garlic in a splash of olive oil while the pan was heating up for the "blackening." Once the veggies where cooked just right I set them aside and put some chicken broth over the top of them, as well as the oil they cooked in, trying to make a light sauce/dressing. I added a bit more oil to the pan and let it heat up some more.

I rubbed some dried chopped basil on both sides of the tuna steak. Since it was Sashimi-grade, I wanted the pan to be good and hot so it seared the outside without cooking it all the way through, in fact I wanted it raw in the middle. Just a quick minute or so on each side, and it was just about right. I pulled it out and sliced it up into thin strips and tossed it all together with the veggies and noodles. There was still a lot of good drippings and spices in the pan so I poured in some more chicken broth which quickly reduced and poured that with the drippings into the mix.

The Verdict:
It was so good I decided to start blogging my recipes.

Other things to try:
Next time I might include more veggies, perhaps mushrooms, maybe even some chopped stewed tomatoes. Maybe wine in the pan if I had any laying around for whatever reason.
It could probably be chilled and served as a salad.

Lessons Learned:
Be careful when flipping your steak. Searing of the skin could result if you aren't careful.

My Recipe Box! Andy

As those who know me know, I like to eat. But, I am going to let you in on a little secret. I'm what might be referred to as a bit of an experimental chef. I like to stare at the contents of the pantry and the fridge and come up with new and exciting recipes. The problem is, when they are good, they rarely get repeated. Partly because I don't measure anything, and partly because I just forget. Well I can't do anything about the first issue, I don't like to measure ingredients. It just seems to put the food in a sort of box.

What I CAN do is give a ballpark recipe here, as well as what I would do differently and what worked great. I might even log my dismal failures (if my pride isn't too much to swallow) as well, but mainly as a warning to myself, and other experimental chefs among you.

I'll be posting them here for all to see, and if you're brave enough, try for yourself.

Bon Apetit!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Kids Craft Blog Becky

Since I don't know how to add this blog. Here's a fun one if you have kids and are looking for fun craft projects to do:

Monday, July 7, 2008

I need a Yellow Shirt! Andy

Devon Update Andy

Here's a quick little update for Devon. He's almost 8 months old, and has the build of a future NFL linebacker (or maybe a defensive end, too early to tell for sure). He Is crawling now and he is FAST! It's not a typical crawl though, It's kind of a frog swim on land I think is the best way to describe it. He's also able to set up after crawling. Becky and I can't remember ever seeing him do that before, so we're calling this the first time.

His verbal range is increasing, both in volume and vocabulary. He can say all sorts of words... none of them english except the occasional "dada" and "mama". I'm not sure what language he is learning, but it seems to consist of sequels, giggles, piercing shrieks, and coos. Maybe it's Dutch?

He got another haircut yesterday, and once again behaved like an angel!

He continues to show his love for Mommy by sneezing while she is feeding him. To bad he doesn't Love ME like that ;) !

Remind me I have to post some video of him crawling...

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Cammie Turns 2! Becky

Cammie turned 2 on June 21. She loves Abby Cadabby from Sesame Street, so we used this opportunity for her to wear her fairy costume from Halloween again (which looks kinds like Abby's) and Andy found someone who customized a picture of Cammie and made a poster of her as Cammie-Cadabby ( She thought it was funny as you can see! Cammie also loves to help us in the kitchen, so her cousins were ready to pass on their play kitchen with lots of great accessories and the Furrys got her a chef's outfit. She had a fun party at Nana & Papa's house with Chandler, Colby & Cassidy who also dressed up like fairies! Andy & I decorated an Abby cake, too.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Bye-bye ba-ba Becky

Cammie had her 2 year check up today and was such a little angel! I told her pediatrician that she still takes a pacifier when she sleeps and I've been waiting for the right time for her to part with it. He said now would be a good time and I just told her in front of him "Did you hear that? Your doctor says no more baba." (she came up with that name for it and has been quite attached to it, especially when she got her last 4 teeth around the same time. It really helped her through that and we were glad she had it!) I was fearing this would be really tough for her. At nap, she asked for it and I said "no, remember the doctor said no more baba." She said "ah-ha" and I rocked her for a few minutes and put her down and never heard a peep. Andy put her down for bed tonight and same thing. She's been asleep for a little over an hour. So far, so good!! I'm so proud of her!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Dadda Andy

It's official! Devon said "Dadda" this weekend, while looking right at me. It's a few days late for Father's Day, but I can't complain. Devon is starting to vocalize a lot more... voice rather than screaming. Things are getting to be more fun.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Fun with photobooth Andy

One of the built in features of Becky's mac is the photobooth application, which you can use to take pictures or videos with the webcam. Not only that, but you can put funny little filters on the pictures as well. Cammie and I had fun with this the other day.

It was lots of fun UNTIL...

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Little Helper Becky

Here are some pics that Cammie's "Papa" took. We're blessed to have Andy's folks take care of the kids the two days I work at the church. They do such fun stuff with them, too. Cammie learns about gardening at their house...she helped Papa plant his tomato plants and as you can see she loves to water their plants and get a little wet herself in the process! Our now 23 month old's favorite phrase is "I help!" She loves to help take care of Devon, cook, bake, plant things, make things, clean, whatever. Sometimes it slows us down, but I keep in mind that she is learning things that may become very important to her in the future and we want to help her blossom. Andy & I have a song we love that fits Cammie so well. Andy used to play it for me when we were dating, now we think of Cammie when we hear it and it brings tears to my eyes. Its called "Butterfly." Andy'll have to play it for you sometime. I think of that song as I look at these pictures. Andy, our little girl is growing up so fast!

Andy adds... Here's a link to a snippet in the iTunes store...

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Devon's First Haircut Becky

Check out our little stud! He was so good and flirted with all the hairstylists. All the ladies were goo-gooing all over him. It was fun! I took him to Great Clips right at the front of the neighborhood and he fell asleep on the way home. So tired after showing off all his charm!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Boo-boo! Andy

Last night Cammie was walking on the kitchen table bench. She slipped and hit her bottom lip on the table and she got a bit of a cut on her lip. This was the first time I can remember that she had a bleeding injury. It was heartbreaking! We ended up giving her a freeze pop to put some ice on the fat lip. It worked and she was happy and sticky only a few minutes afterwards. She's such a tough girl!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Redesign... Andy

Well, there you have it. I officially finished the site redesign. Let me know your thoughts on it. I think it turned out pretty good, if I do say so myself. Some of the graphics might need to be sharpened up a bit. It was actually pretty fun and easy.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Our Family Logo... Andy

OK, here's some wasted free time... I made a family "logo" I think this will go somewhere in the blog layout... A promised redesign is coming... sometime! Feel free to post your opinions. Some of you with design background *cough* Dan *cough* may want to offer suggestions on how to make it even better!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Poolside... Andy

Last night we went to the aquarium... Cammie's favorite was the jellyfish

Another day on vacation... this one we spent at the pool

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Sunshine and Fried Bologna Sandwiches Andy

On the spur of the moment this week, we decided to get out of town, and head east... to the beach! So here we are in Myrtle Beach. This morning we went and played on the beach.

Then it's back to the hotel for baths, lunch and naps. (And what better way to eat bologna than to pan fry it and melt some cheese on it, or maybe thats just me)

So far, all is going well, except for the smoke detector chirping every 30 seconds to tell us there is a low battery. We'll call someone once naptime is over.

More to come!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Devon's Dedication Andy

Here is our friend Drew doing his first Baby dedication... despite looking a bit nervous holding Devon, I think he did a really good job.
Click on the video ... it's bigger on the viddler site

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Props to Mr. Barbara! Andy

Here's a little story I submitted to a pretty cool website/podcast. You may remember they linked to this old post a few months ago. If you do get a chance, listen to the podcast... It's a pretty funny (and clean... I know... it's rare) show.Nobody's Listening Podcast

Monday, March 17, 2008

Blue Steel Andy

We had Devon and Cammie's pictures taken this past week, and while Devon was still dressed up, Becky had a little photo shoot of her own... There were TONS of great pictures, but this one was my favorite... It's kind of a Zoolander-esque pose don't you think?
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Sunday, March 16, 2008

Luke at his worst... Andy

As promised, here's a shot of Luke with his glorious head gear! Man he hated this thing, but he did good to let me even put it on him. He hasn't been wearing this thing for over a week, and seems to be healing nicely. He has a post-op check up this week. I'll let you know if there is any news.
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Cammie's in the kitchen... Andy

Cammie treated us tonight to french toast... she made it herself! Although I had to cook it. She did a great job, and it was delicious! I hope this will be the beginning of a great gourmand (how do you spell gourmand?)

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Friday, March 14, 2008

Pimp my Ride Andy

Well, I was inspired by a comment left by Bill to Pimp my Ride... So I threw this little beast together using "Inkscape"... a nice little FREE vector drawing software package. So here you go, A little bit of paint and we should be good to go. The spinners might be too much.

I was thinking of redoing the blog design based on this image.... and adding the new tagline "... Rockin' the minivan since 2008" Unless you guys can think of something better?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

He's Back! Andy

Good news... Luke is back! A bit humiliated with one shaved ear, and a bald spot on his leg for the IV. Not to mention he had that radar dish on when I picked him up. He's happy and healthy, and should be 100% in no time.

I'll post some humiliating pictures of him when I can find the camera. I don't think he reads this, so he won't know.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Under the knife Andy

Poor Luke is going under the knife today to have a hematoma in his ear drained and stitched up. It's pretty routine, but we still reserve the right to be worried.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

If the minivan's rockin' ... Andy

It's probably all of us inside singing the "Ittsy-bittsy Spider" with all the handmotions!

That's right folks... the latest blow to my wanning coolness comes in the shape of a 2007 Toyota Sienna. My testosterone level is down to an all-time low. We got a good deal from a friend of mine that works at a dealership ('sup, John?). Now I really am torn. I can't believe I'm driving a mini-van, but I like being behind the wheel of this beast. Maybe it's the height, maybe it's the great handling, or maybe it's a symbol of this stage of my life that I like most about it. I am loving fatherhood, and if this is what I drive as a result... I will drive it with honor. I know it's corny, but It helps to say it out loud...

"Hello, my name is Andy, and I own a minivan."
What, that feels so freeing!

Monday, January 14, 2008

Another Top 10 Andy

Here's another list, this one is the top 10 things that caught me by surprise about having 2 kids.

10) Pardon the algebra
X = energy expended raising one child
Y = energy expended raising two children
2X ≠ Y
In fact:
Y = X*X

9) If a baby boy is naked... he's only seconds away from peeing! Don't believe me? Try it (but keep your mouth closed!)

8) We don't need another baby! Two is perfect for us!

7) Minivans are a pretty sensible solution. This is still a work in progress, as we have still not "upgraded" to a minivan. But we did test drive a crossover, but found it lacking in either seating or trunk space depending on the 3rd row configuration!

6) Devon makes a great emergency space heater! If I hold Devon, he makes me sweat!

5) Life is untidy! Forget keeping a room tidy after nap time is over! Granted I could mess up a room pretty well, but It would take me a whole weekend!

4) Naps are a survival instinct. If you don't feel like taking a nap after dealing with the kids all day, I don't think you're doing it right!

3) We now tivo Sesame Street.

2) Vacations used to be relaxing!

1) Not ALL white baby's are weird-looking! No offense to any of you who have had weird-looking white babies!

It's been a while... Andy

Wow, I used to be so good at updating this blog, back when life was something resembling simple. Now, here I am two month's an a week into my son's life and just now getting around to updating all of our loyal fans ;)

Well, what is new? Maybe the better question is, "What isn't new?"

Cammie is growing up so much, testing some boundaries, and adjusting to having a baby brother around to share Mom and Dad with. She is saying names, and various household items. We are trying to ween here from her pacifier (she calls it a "bah-bah", still trying to figure out where she got that name from). Right now it's nighttime and car-ride thing only! And she's doing pretty well with it. She is being a great little helper. She will pick up stuff for Devon and she really enjoys sticking his pacifier in the general vicinity of his face.

Devon, needless to say, is growing and changing everyday. It's all happening soooo fast. We've had a few nights of uninterrupted sleep, which is a very welcome development! He's smiling a lot and recognizes us. He is a tremendous burper! I'm not talking those little venting sounds that some kids (and grown women) make, I'm talking rip-roaring-room shakers! ... That's my boy!