Thursday, September 25, 2008

Buttermilk Dilemma

I have to be honest, I've only used buttermilk a handful of times before. I used to work at a diner in high school and some old men would come in and ask for a GLASS of buttermilk with their breakfast. I almost gagged just pouring it for them. Who in their right mind drinks this stuff? Isn't it just curdled milk?

Buttermilk is great baked tightly INSIDE of a recipe.

This is where you come in.

I have a half gallon of buttermilk sitting in my fridge just waiting to expire in a few days. I need all of your yummylicious, tightly-shaped, buttermilk-filled recipes. What kinds of things do you make with buttermilk? I've made buttermilk pie, buttermilk pound cake and buttermilk pancakes. That's the extent of my knowledge of how to utilize buttermilk. I need your help! Submit your recipes in the comments section!

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Taylor Joyisms

Time for another round of Taylor Joyisms...

I start a piece of paper each time and once it gets full, I sit down, write a blog post and then start a new one.'s that time again.

She really has exploded with words, sentences, MONOLOGUES this past month... And you should hear her prayers. More on that later.

Here she is reading her Bible: "Adam and Even were eatin' the flowers and God said, 'no! no!'"

One morning I was making her oatmeal and sometimes I'll put an ice cube in it because it's too hot. She said, " You puttin' icing in it? Okay!"

After I asked her if she wanted a yogurt smoothie one day she said, "Yeah! I want a yogurt 'xcuse me!"

One of the hymns that Taylor Joy knows is "Brethren we have met to worship" and the line at the end of the song goes, "Brethren pray and holy manna will be showered all around." But, when Taylor sings it, she says "holy manners." Ha! Allen and I got a good laugh at that. We LOVE to hear her sing that.

The other day she kept telling me, "I'm your daddy, mommy!" and the only thing I could think of was, "whose your daddy?" What's that from anyways? I can't remember in my old age.

And lastly, I want to talk about her sweet prayers. This little girl has a special gifting when it comes to prayer, I'm convinced. She loves to pray and will pray on the spot when she feels like it. Here are some things she has prayed for lately:

Thank you for mommy and daddy and Beckett
Thank you for family worship
I pray that you bless mommy and Beckett
Thank you for macaroni and cheese
I pray that Beckett no cries
I pray that Beckett eat his carrots
I pray you make Chelsea no sick
I pray you help my hot dog cool off
I pray for Jason and Ashley
Thank you for cheerios

You can see what a treat it is every time she prays. Each time there is something new to smile about. Thank you, Lord, for this sweet girl! What a blessing she is!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

9 months...

Our little Beckett boy is now 9 months old (Monday) and just as happy as ever to be growing up and moving around like crazy.

Some things he enjoys these days:

- pulling up on EVERYTHING

-following big sister around (she eggs him on to follow her and he does! it's really cute to watch. On a sidenote, I think we are entering a new era in the Duty house. The era of kids being able to actually entertain each other, where I am not the primary entertainer anymore. Praise the Lord! I may be on the verge of a shower that's longer than 2 minutes!)

-smiling...just look at the guy and he's grinning from ear to ear. Everything is hilarious in his world.

-being tickled (he is SO ticklish and he will get a pretty hardy laugh when you tickle him)

-playing in his crib (this started awhile back, but he will play in his crib up to 30 minutes after he wakes up from his nap. He hasn't stood up in his crib yet, but I feel it coming)

-food! He's finally becoming a good eater and outeats Taylor Joy at just about every meal.

He had a doctor appointment on Monday and it turns out he's stepping down on the charts. In the past he's been either off the charts or around the 90-something percentile for both height and weight. Well, now he's down to the 75th for both. He's weighing in at 21 lbs. and the height is at 29 inches. A big, healthy boy!

Monday, September 15, 2008

O Persistent God,

deliver me from assuming your mercy is gentle.

Pressure me that I may grow more human,

not through the lessening of my struggles,

but through an expansion of them...

Deepen my hurt

until I learn to share it and myself openly,

and my needs honestly.

Sharpen my fears until I name them and release the power they have

locked in them and they in me.

Accentuate my confusion

until I shed those grandiose expectations that divert me

from the small, glad gifts of the now and the here and the me.

Expose my shame where it shivers,

crouched behind the curtains of propriety,

until I can laugh at last through my common frailties and failures,

laugh my way toward becoming whole.

Ted Loder
-Guerillas of Grace-

Saturday, September 13, 2008


When the Kinnard's told me they were "hunkerin' down" last night, I just had to ask myself...what DOES it mean to "hunker"? Here is the information I found:

It sounds like the most typically American of phrases, but it seems originally to have been Scots, first recorded in the eighteenth century.

Nobody seems to know exactly what its origin is, though it has been suggested it’s linked to the Old Norse huka, to squat; that would make it a close cousin of old Dutch huiken and modern German hocken, meaning to squat or crouch, which makes sense. That’s certainly what’s meant by the word in American English, in phrases like hunker down or on your hunkers.

The Oxford English Dictionary has a fine description of how to hunker: “squat, with the haunches, knees, and ankles acutely bent, so as to bring the hams near the heels, and throw the whole weight upon the fore part of the feet”. The advantage of this position is that you’re not only crouched close to the ground, so presenting a small target for whatever the universe chooses to throw at you, but you’re also ready to move at a moment’s notice.

Hunker down has also taken on the sense of to hide, hide out, or take shelter, whatever position you choose to do it in. This was a south-western US dialect form that was popularised by President Johnson in the mid 1960s. Despite its Scots ancestry, hunker is rare in standard British English.

So what did we do while we hunkered? It turns out our driveway actually doubles as a swimming pool during hurricane weather. Who knew? Can we get that added to the features of our home when we sell it?

Friday, September 12, 2008

Checkout our cuteness!

And by "our" I mean, all the others besides me. I wasn't having the best hair day on our picture day regardless of the fact that it was 100% humidity in the late evening here at George Bush library and we all had sweat running down our faces and backs. Okay, pretend you don't know all that and enjoy the Photoshopping that my friend, Larra, must have done to make us look good. Is she amazing or what? I would recommend her to you in paragraph form, but I think I'll just let her pictures do the talking:

I'm sorry...I'm not good at narrowing down! Please let me know which ones are your favorite! I want to order some for around the house and I need help! Thanks!

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Okay, here's what I said last year when I got tagged. In case you are a non-blogger and just a reader you may not know what tagging is, it is the passing along of trivial information.

Here are the official rules:

First, the rules.
1. Post the rules on your blog.
2. Write 6 random things about yourself.
3. Tag 6 people at the end of your post.
4. If you are tagged, DO IT and pass it along.

Obey the rules or there will be serious consequences in the blogosphere. Ha. Just kidding.

Here are my 6... 6 things you may not know about me, that is:

1. I am a very optimistic person. As a matter of fact, I am the person who enters all those sweepstakes where you get a free trip around the world, or the HGTV Dream House and while I am entering my name, I am SURE it's going to be me that wins. I actually entered me and Allen in an Olive Garden trip to Italy contest this summer and it was one where you could enter to win every day and I pretty much entered us every day. Crazy right? Not as crazy as us NOT winning! I was SHOCKED!

2. I have started a little on-the-side, family first (don't worry) bow business. I am working on adding more bows before I release the website on my blog. But, know that it will be soon. So keep looking and waiting. Just don't hold your breath. ;)

3. I used to be a gymnast. From itty bitty through 6th grade it was my life passion. During the later years when I was on team and doing level 5, 6 and 7, I was up at the gym 4 hours a day. My coach even picked me up from school to take me to the gym. It was a HUGE committment and a HUGE pressure when I was competing at the meets, but I always seemed to do good under pressure and won lots of awards, especially on the bars, which were my favorite. The beam was my least favorite. I went to gymnastic camp with Bela Karolyi and met Kerri Strug, Kim Zmeskal (my idol at the time), Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller. I was always the youngest on my team, and it seems weird that I put so much pressure on myself at such a young age. I still love to watch gymnastics to this day.

4. I tend to perpetually mess up sayings. I am known around my family for doing this and then they continue to make fun of me until I say something else silly. Here are some examples of things I can remember at least, I know there are many more:

"It's like a penny in the bucket" (drop in the bucket)
"It was anonymous" (nothing wrong with that except I meant unanimous)
"It's like hitting a bird with a stone" (oops, one bird with 2 stones)
"hit the hammer on the head" (hit the nail on the head)

5. I find time to read (or at least scan) blogs, but not often do I have time to comment on blogs. I guess this isn't news to anyone, but I just want to publicly say sorry I don't comment. It doesn't mean I don't love you. I really do. I'll try to be better.

6. And lastly, I should let you all know that my birthday month is coming up. It starts on Sept. 19th and goes all through October. Feel free to lavish gifts and cards upon me at any point during the process of turning 26, once again. ;)

I would like to tag everyone who has a blog. I "officially" tag: Misti, Lora, Heather, Kirby, Kelly and the girltalk blog (I'm going to do an experiment and see if they will respond!)

Friday, September 05, 2008

Beckett Laughing

Aunt B making Beckett laugh in the bathtub...such a funny laugh...I love that boy.

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