Wednesday, December 31, 2008

movies to itunes

so, for the longest little while i've been trying to figure out how to get the movies that i own from the DVD onto my ipod so i can watch them whenever and not have to purchace them a second time... and i've finally found something that works so i want to share it with you all. There is a program called "Magic DVD Ripper" and it really is nice, almost magical. You open the program, put the dvd in your computer, browse for where you want the movie located, push a few other buttons, and voila! a little while later your movie is on your computer. it is so great.... it came in really handy when i wanted to take some movies on our last little trip, but didn't want to pack the dvd's...

environmentally friendly.... and more.

during our holiday travels we stayed at a hotel that had this...
which i think is the greatest thing... for multiple reasons
#1- it's environmentally friendly... none of those plastic bottles that get thrown away
#2- easy use... i hate trying to get those bottles opened especially if my hands are soapy or lotiony
#3-they have conditioner (which is not common)
#4-whatever brand they have of hair product, i like it.... it helped my hair dry faster!!

ok... i take it back.

i am no longer upset.... i'm so excited. just after i posted the last post my ext hd booted up and i copied all my pictures and am currently copying music to my computer.... I'm going to go out and get a couple of more external hard drives, one to replace my current one that's on the fritz, and a new one for back-up purposes.

you say tomato, i say....

why is technology not perfect. I am SO upset. something has happened to my external hard drive.... the place where i store all my music, movies, and most importantly pictures. its dead. I've got all my movies, 90% of the music in other places so that won't be hard to re-do (just INCREDIBLY time consuming). The only pictures I've got are the ones i've blogged. which makes me so incredibly sad because that's a really small percentage of all the pictures i have. So upset...

Tuesday, December 23, 2008


Saturday, December 13, 2008

The Nutcracker

Last night we ventured out to Nooksack High School to see "The Nutcracker Story & a Celebration of the Season with Dance". My friend Angela's daughter Madelyn was a Snow Princess in the Nutcracker. She is the cutest girl, and she did so great up there. I was a little worried about Maria, and how she'd do, but she was GREAT!! She slept in the car on the drive over and woke up shortly after we got there, but before the play began. She watched the whole Nutcracker part of the presentation (1 1/2 hours) and made it thru the first 5 numbers of the second half before she started fussing a little. She watched over two hours of dance last night.... maybe our little girl will be a ballerina.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

random stuff.... plus thanksgiving

ok. i've a few items to post about.... i did update Maria's blog earlier this week, she's now 3 whole months old!! so exciting! she's growing up so much, but you can read about all that over at her blog.

~so, i noticed, not too long ago, that on itunes the songs are not actually 99 cents a song.... we get charged sales tax too. how icky is that. it's times like these i would like to live in oregon. (we went shopping there over thanksgiving and it was amazing..... marco bought a soccer ball for 9.99 and he paid 9.99!!)

~we were having a conversation the other day about words and stuff. I know, I'm SO eloquent and descriptive... but that's kind of the point. So I'm going to pose the question to you all.... how do we become more eloquent? Hang out with smart people? Read intelligent books?.... any suggestions. I'm open to them. Not that I'll follow everyone's suggestions, but I will take them into consideration.

~Ok... on to the main event


This year we (my parents, Marco, Maria, and I) hopped in the motor home Wednesday Night and headed for Oregon to spend the holiday with Chad, Rachel, and Lily! They opened their home up to us and all of our craziness, and we had a great time!! Marco, Maria, and I crashed in Lily's room, while Nanna and Grandpa Toyk slept out in the motor home.

Rachel posted some of our goings on on her blog, including one post of Thanksgiving Day

Rach also posted this cute picture of Lils that makes me want to sing a song... you know that one from the simpson movie "... spider pig, spider pig, does whatever a spider pig does..." yeah except change the "pig" to "lils" and you've got it!!

Rachel is so wonderful.... she did these cool "turkey
s" with compliments to each person on each of the "feathers", She even did one for little baby Maria.

This was our first trip with Maria and I'm pleased with how it all turned out. We had enough diapers, wipes, and clothes for Maria.... the only things we forgot were Marco & my bathroom items, so Thursday morning we went out and bought ourselves shampoo and toothbrushes...

I got to get my camera out while we were there and take some pictures. I love taking pictures of Maria, but honestly she doesn't do a whole lot yet that can be captured on film... but Lily (who is 7 months older) is quite the mover and will sometimes even pause and smile for the camera.

I learned some new things while there....
~when eating a pomegrant you do eat the seed
~if anything is left on the floor a mobile baby is sure to put it in their mouth, this includes, but is not limited to: apples, tomatoes, power cords, extension cords, shoes, toys, and other babies pacifiers.
~babies, once mobile, will get into anything, so it's best to be prepared... keep the bathroom door shut (there is a toilet and toilet paper that you'd rather not clean up later), make sure the garbage can is under the sink (or wherever it belongs 'cause you don't want to clean up that later either)

Chad got out his longboard and freeboard while we were there and was teaching/showing Marco a few things... I went out there and managed to snap a few pictures before they came back inside (my battery was dead when they first when out, so it was a mad dash to get it charged in time!!)

Here's Nanna with Lily:Here's Grandpa Toyk with two of his grand-daughers:

Marco doesn't exactly like having his picture taken.... here he's hiding behind his hands:
and here he is hiding behind the longboard

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Going Private

I've decided to go private. It's going to happen before the end of the year, so if you want to continue reading this then send me an email and i'll make sure it happens...simplymer (at) yahoo

Monday, November 17, 2008


My parents drove over to Spokane this weekend because Jeff Dunham (Je-fuh-fuh Dun HAM) graced our corner of this beautiful country with his presence. They enjoyed it.

ok... so this may be slightly inappropriate, but it sure is funny...

Friday, November 14, 2008

Maria's Blog

So, I made it so that if you click on either of Maria's photos on the side of the screen it will take you to her blog! How cool is that. I love blogspot!! Also I posted a couple of then and now pics of her to show how much she has grown! it's so exciting... yet sad. I already want to freeze time so my baby will stay a baby forever!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Home Cookin'

This weekend we tried out some new recipes. They were delicious so I thought that I'd share them with you all. So below are recipes for Butternut Squash Ravioli, Wonton Soup, and Salmon. Enjoy!!

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Ok... yummy Butternut Squash Ravioli
cook the squash and the scoop the flesh into a bowl.
mix in 1/2 heavy cream
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp salt
we used both homemade pasta, and wonton wrappers (because i had heard that they were a good stubstitute) In my opinion the wonton wrappered ravioli were better. It was hard to work with the pasta dough, and the in the end it was thicker than we would have liked.

Here I was working with the pasta dough... but go for the wonton wrapper.... less labor intesive and really lets the butternut flavor shine. scoop about a teaspoon of filling onto the wrapper
here you would coat the edges of the wrapper with water and then seal cover with a second wrapper and seal. try not to trap any air. boil in a pot of water until it floats (maybe 2 minutes)
We had ours with a brown butter sage sauce, which is so easy to make. Throw some butter in a pan and let it melt over medium-low heat (a rough estimate of how much to use.... 1 Tbsp per person) as it melts the milk solids will separate from the fat sinking to the bottom of the pan and browning. There will be some "foam" on top... this is ok. then I ripped some fresh sage leaves into small pieces and dropped them into the butter. Let them fry up a bit so they are nice and crispy. Drizzle a little of the sauce over your butternut ravioli and...

Voila!! Butternut Squash Ravioli with a brown butter sage sauce.

Won Tons

So for the butternut squash ravioli I got wonton wrappers for the noodle part.... that got my mom thinking about wonton soup, so she made some.... and it was oh-so-yummy!! better than any wonton's I've ever had before.

Start off with 1/2 lb ground pork..... add 1/2 c diced waterchesnuts, 1 tsp minced garlic, 2 Tbsp minced onion, 1 tbsp soy sauce, dash of pepper, and 1 egg... stir it all together so it looks like this:
then spoon a tsp on to the center of a wonton wrapper

moisten the edges and fold it over into a triangle:

Moisten the edges and fold both corners in once again:
and you should get something that looks like this:

So, once you've got your wontons all wrapped and beautiful..... you'll want to have a big pot of boiling water.... Boil the wontons in batches for 3 minutes each and then set aside. We had a pot of chicken broth that had come to a boil and we set it aside (it was still hot) We then placed a few wontons in a bowl and then laddeled some chicken broth over them.... you could add some diced green onion for color... but we didn't have any so we didn't.
Voila!! Yummy Wonton Soup!!

the best salmon ever

Ok. I have had salmon a bunch of different ways; salt and pepper... add a little lemon juice, salsa, soy sauce, bbq-ed, baked..... anyway this version is my favorite.... you can bake it in the oven, or throw it on the bbq (on top of some tin foil) So here's what you do...

Step 1: generously sprinkle with brown sugar

Step 2: moisten brown sugar with soy sauce. not to much cause you don't want the brown sugar to all slide off when it's cooking.
Then you cook it.... i like the bbq method. just watch it cause you don't want it to get overdone.
and here's just a little side note. Farmed vs. wild salmon.... farmed is cheaper, but it also has added extra stuff, like coloring... where as wild is more expensive, it doesn't have the "extras" and it also has less calories. (for those interested in that kind of thing)

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

2 month doctors visit.

This morning Maria and I had to get up early becasue we had doctors appointments at 8 am.... this was the earliest we've been up and dressed since before she was born. She was fussy at 5:30 so I let her come in bed and cuddle with Marco and I. When I got back from taking a shower at 7 this is how I found them... she doesnt' look like it (becuase my camera did this funny flash think and kind of woke them up) but this is one of her favorite ways to sleep...
I think it's adorable. So we went to the doctor this morning, and she did so good... She now weighs 10 lbs 8 oz (still 4 oz lighter that you [chad] were at birth) she is 23 1/4 inches tall!! almost two whole feet!! she's grown 3 1/4 inches and gained 3lbs 11 oz. she is in the 50% for head circumfrence, 40% for weight, and 80% for height!! She got her shots too, which wasn't any fun, but she recovered pretty quickly. I got a couple of shots too, tetanus and the flu shot, and holy cow, where they put the tetanus one is real sore now.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Marco's Birdhouse!!!

So this was Marco's Project this morning....
i think it's so cool. i'm excited for the birds to make their home in his 3 story bird house!!
Here's Maria hangin' out in the crib from Opa while I did laundry!!

Here is part of Maria's room.... i think her favorite part is the butterfly mobile hanging above her changing table....

Baby Blessing

Chad, Rachel and Lily came up late Saturday night so that they could be here for Maria's baby blessing on Sunday. It was so good to see them again! I HATE that 1/2 my family doesn't live here.... I'd love it if they all did (hint, hint) so that we could hang out more, so I could see my nieces and nephew grow, so we could do girls nights.....
I was amazed at how big Lily got in the 3 months they've been away. Compared to Maria she is HUGE! and she's so cute! she totally smiles for the camera!!

Here's Chad holding Maria...
And here's a couple more of Lily posing for the camera..... Chad took these Sunday morning...

Marco and Maria.... she was a little overtired on Sunday, we waited up for Chad and Rach, and then woke up earlier than normal so we could enjoy our time with them.
A four generation picture for grandma.
mothers, and their daughters....

last, but certainly not the least.... Maria in her blessing dress. This is the same blessing dress that my siblings and I wore when we were all blessed. My Oma made it for us.


We didn't do anything.... It's had been a long week.

BUT.... i did make Maria a costume, and if we had gone out she would have been...

A Ballerina!

Thursday..... before Halloween

We started off the day by going here.... which is kind of in the middle of nowhere (aka Sumas) My Dad went to Canada to get the SmartCar serviced, but forgot the keys at the house. So Marco, Maria, and I went for a little drive. Sumas may be way out there, but it sure is pretty.
Then since we were out that side of the county, on the way back we swung by our favorite dairy for milk.... and ice cream cones! they have the best soft serve EVER!!
Maria enjoyed herself.... i wonder what she dreams about in all that time she spends sleeping... After ice cream we headed out to Belle Wood Farms...

They have nummy Apples.... but they also have... PUMPKINS!! and since we had not gotten one yet this season, we decided to go and pick our own!
Then we stopped by their little store and got a box of apples..... I'm going to try to see if I can convince my mom to make apple pie, it's the BEST!

That evening Marco carved our pumpkins, lit them and put them out on the back porch..... the one on the right is Dracula.... it's got fangs!