Wednesday, December 24, 2008

All I Want for Christmas

We made a video of Reese dancing to All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth, but the file is too big to load. I'm posting a meaningful song instead. It's my favorite this Christmas. This is the only video of the song I could find, so you'll have to deal with the less than stellar quality...

From the Squalor of a Borrowed Stable

Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Bad, Bad Dog

Rudy Fleetwood Deines

Our dog lives like a prince. He gets a walk every single day (weather permitting - key part of the story), he has his own chair and ottoman in our bedroom, his own full size bed in our extra room, he eats premium dog food, etc. Rudy is treated like a member of the family and he lives in better conditions than a lot of people.

Rudy has been known to pull some devious shenanigans around our house. He broke out of our fence, so we bought a dog run. He broke out of the dog run and we started calling him Rudini. He's chewed on and eaten everything imaginable: glass Christmas ornaments, whole socks and gloves, plastic bowls, magazines, a couch, mail, the wood on our house, the old fence, and he's tried unsuccessfully (so far) to eat both of the cats. Rudy has even knocked people down and has bitten several times. Yes, we really love the mutt, or he would have been gone a long, long time ago.

A few years ago, we hired a Bark Busters trainer to come help us with Rudy. He challenged the trainer, but by the time she left our house, he was like a changed dog. He learned to follow George's lead on a leash, how to sit at the door when people enter and leave, and how to come when called. If you've ever heard us use the Bark Busters' "BAH" sound, you know we look like idiots when disciplining our dog. We've come to terms with the humiliation. The BAH works!

We've been super cautious bringing Reese around Rudy and never leave them unattended. Rudy has done very well with him so far, and seems to understand that Reese is a part of the family. We'll have to always be cautious though.

This morning I guess Rudy was a little mad at George. It was freezing outside (literally) and pretty wet, so George decided to not take Rudy for his morning walk. Rudy wasn't happy about that, so after the mean master left for work, Rudy got George's favorite Rancid beanie. I heard him growling at it and when I went to check on him, Rudy showed me his teeth. I learned a few years ago that when a dog growls at you and shows you his teeth, he means business. So, I called George, and he came home from work to rescue his hat. Of course, Rudy knows that George is his master, so he didn't growl or show his teeth to George.

Rudy being BAD

After all of his bad behavior, Rudy got a walk. That was really for our benefit, not Rudy's, because now he's sleeping by the Christmas tree and being a good doggy.

Recipe: The Deines Shake

I'm sitting here drinking my favorite breakfast shake, so I thought I'd share the recipe. My friend Caren calls it The Deines Shake, but we got the recipe at the State Fair of Texas a few years ago, when we sat at the Vita-Mix tent for hours. Not joking - we were mesmerized!

We didn't buy a Vita-Mix that day, but we dreamed about it for the entire year, and purchased one the following year. We use it at least once a day, and sometimes 3-4 times a day. It was one of the best purchases we've ever made.

At the risk of this sounding like an ad for Vita-Mix, there's one more thing I have to say about it. It doesn't leave any ice chunks in shakes at all, so you may need to adjust the amount of ice in the recipe if you're using a blender. George and I also put veggies in our shakes (carrots, kale, sweet potato, etc.), because the Vita-Mix completely blends them and you can't taste them at all. You probably won't want to try that with a blender. I also sneak in flax seed and omega 3 oil.

The Deines Shake
1 cup milk (we use rice milk)
6-8 ice cubes
1 packet hot chocolate mix (I never use this much, and often use half chocolate protein powder, half hot chocolate mix)
1 spoonful of peanut butter
1 banana

Add all ingredients to blender and blend until ice chunks are gone.


Saturday, December 20, 2008

8 Months

Today is Reese's 8 month birthday! He has now been with us longer than I carried him inside me. I have to admit, that made me tear up a little this morning. He's growing and changing so fast.

Someone loves the remote.

Reese's two front teeth and the tooth to the right of them have almost broken through. I've just about decided that teething is more unpleasant than childbirth. Even childbirth without any pain meds.

This smile didn't last long today.

Reese shares his new teether with Rudy.

We made a video to share, but Blogger won't let me load it. I'll try to get it posted soon.

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Plague

The plague has hit our household. I had it yesterday and George took care of Reese and me all day. George has it today, so I am taking care of Reese and George. So far, Reese is well and hopefully will not get sick.

Today is also George's birthday. Not a fun way to spend his special day.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Recipe: Taco Soup

The Deines Family is a vegetarian family. We were once vegan, but now we just say that we're "near vegan". I need a little ice cream from time to time, and vegan ice cream tastes about as good as cardboard. Yes, Reese is also a vegetarian, and will be one until he decides on his own to eat the rotting flesh of a dead animal. Yuck.

People always wonder what we eat and how we get enough protein. If I had a dollar for every time I've been asked about protein, I could buy myself a lot of Starbucks hot chocolate. There are other sources of protein than just meat! Did you know that many fruits and vegetables even have protein?

Okay, back to the reason for this post. I thought I would share some of our recipes, so that you can get an idea of what we eat. You might even decide to try out a few recipes! Vegetarian food is much more than a few steamed veggies on a plate and it can be quite enjoyable.

This first recipe is a Paula Deen recipe, y'all. A member of our church family brought us this taco soup after Reese was born and it was so delicious we asked for the recipe immediately. I ran across the same recipe on Paula Deen's website a few months later, but we still call it Amber's Taco Soup.

The recipe calls for meat, which we just leave out. It also calls for olives, which I think would taste really good in it, but I haven't convinced George of that yet. It's perfect for a cold day like today.

Taco Soup
Photo from


Chopped green onions
Grated cheese
Sour cream
Corn chips
1 1-ounce package ranch salad dressing mix
1 1 1/4-ounce package taco seasoning mix
1/2 cup green olives, sliced (optional)
1 small can black olives, drained and sliced (optional)
2 4 1/2-ounce cans diced green chilies
1 14 1/2-ounce can tomatoes with chilies
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1 14 1/2-ounce can Mexican tomatoes
1 15 1/4-ounce can whole kernal corn, drained
1 15 1/2-ounce cans pink kidney beans
2 15-1/2 ounce cans pinto beans
2 cup diced onions
2 lb ground beef


Brown the ground beef and onions in a large skillet; drain the excess fat, then transfer the browned beef and onions to a large crackpot or a stockpot. Add the beans, corn, green onions, tomatoes, chilies, olives, and seasonings, and cook on low setting all day (6 to 8 hours) if using a crockpot, or simmer over low heat for about 1 hour in a stockpot on the stove. To serve, place a few corn chips in each bowl and ladle soup over them. Top with sour cream, cheese, and jalapenos.


Open House

The Deines Christmas tree! We have a dog angel on top.
No, angels aren't dogs just as much as "angels are NOT pretty women
dressed in robes with glittery wings." to quote my friend Michelle.

If you enjoy home decorating, or at least enjoy looking at pretty homes, don't miss out on the plethora of opportunities to get a peek inside homes beautifully decorated for the holidays. Here are just 2 holiday open house parties that will keep you busy for hours. Grab some hot tea and enjoy!


Monday, December 15, 2008

A Gift from Oman

Last week a package arrived for Reese from a land far, far away.

He tore it open and was quite excited to try on his gift.

Reese received his very own kandoora!

And a little cash too.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Best Part of Waking Up...

I love breakfast. I'd classify myself as a morning person, and there's nothing better than watching the sun rise and eating a good breakfast. The first thing I eat every single day is a banana. Then I normally eat a quick breakfast of cereal, a "Deines shake" as my friend calls it (I'll have to post the recipe for it in the future), steel cut oatmeal, fruit, or toast. When I was pregnant, I would sometimes eat all of those things!

This morning it was cold outside, so I decided to make a special breakfast.

Here's what's left of the sleet and snow from last night.
Reese got to see snow for the first time!

I made flax seed pancakes with faux sausage and orange juice.

Of course, Reese got fussy 5 minutes after I started cooking, so I had to put in his Baby Signing Time DVD for him. That made him smile!

When I was little my mom made breakfast for dinner quite often. She made wonderful cheese blintzes with strawberry preserves. I'm getting hungry just thinking about them! Unfortunately, George thinks breakfast for dinner is "gross", so we won't be having any breakfast for dinner around here.

Do you have breakfast for dinner in your home? Leave a comment and let me know. Maybe I can convince George that breakfast for dinner is actually normal.

Saturday at the Onion Shed

George, Reese and I ventured out to Farmersville on Saturday to check out their flea market. It's held at the old Onion Shed (pictured above) the first Saturday of each month. We didn't arrive there until about 2:00 and many of the vendors were already packing up.

We didn't find anything we couldn't live without at the flea market, so we went to a few antique stores. I think this was Reese's first time to go antique shopping outside of the womb. I went quite a bit before he was born.

Farmersville is my favorite place to go antiquing, because the prices are pretty reasonable. Here's what I bought, and I spent just under $10 total:

A vintage Santa candle and a cute
Woodpecker Woodware bowl from the '50s

My first piece of milk glass for my new collection. I think I actually
already own a milk glass hen, but it must be boxed up somewhere.

George even managed to stay entertained by looking for Dr Pepper items for his office at work. He found a vintage bottle that he purchased, as well as some wrestling video from the '80s. I turned my nose up at the video, but he said it would bring back good memories from his childhood. And it was only 50 cents. Plus, it has Kerry Von Erich. I actually saw him wrestle in person when I was little, and (I can't believe I'm admitting this) I had a framed picture of him in my room. I think I still have that picture somewhere.

It will be fun to see what Reese decides to collect when he's a little older.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Way Overdue Update

I've felt like this the past few days...

But I'm better now.

Reese is sleeping MUCH better, now that we're co-sleeping. I never wanted to co-sleep, but it is the only way we are all able to get a decent amount of sleep. He only woke up 1 time last night! This is the best sleep I've gotten in 7 months. Poor George has been sleeping on a mattress topper on the floor though. Anyone have an extra king size bed?

The days surrounding the Thanksgiving holiday were very busy. George's family and my friend Caren came to our house the day before Thanksgiving and we had a huge feast. George had just taken a vegan holiday cooking class at Spiral Diner and we all benefited from his new recipes. He made cranberry salsa and black bean dip for appetizers, and for the main course: tofurky, cranberry pecan dressing and gravy, green beans in sesame sauce, and rosemary mashed potatoes. He made pineapple upside down cake and cheesecake for dessert. Everything he made was vegan! His family brought all sorts of goodies as well, including his dad's candied yams, which I love.

Eating acorn squash and sweet potatoes

1st Thanksgiving

On Thursday, we went to my mom's house and celebrated Thanksgiving with my family. We went to visit my dad that night, as it was also his birthday. Then, we had a birthday party for him at our house Friday night.

During all of this, we also got a new fence. This is a huge, huge improvement to our home, as our old fence was on way past it's last leg. Rudy has escaped from our backyard on several occasions (earning him the name Rudini), so we are happy to know that he is safely secured in our backyard now. Wylie fence company came and took down our old fence on Wednesday, but didn't get our new fence completed until Monday night, due to all of the rain. It was worth the wait!

Old fence...
(I'm trying to give away the swing set on Craigslist.
For some reason, no one wants it. I'm sure someone could fix it up.)

New fence...

Doesn't Rudy look proud of his new fence?

George went to San Antonio yesterday for a conference, so Reese and I will head to the airport to pick him up tonight. He's only been gone for 1 night, but we sure do miss him! I made banana nut muffins for him this morning. Can you believe it was the first time I've ever made muffins from scratch?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Still No Sleep

Time Reese spent in his bed last night: 5 minutes.

I'm beginning to wonder if we have a high need baby.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Who Needs Sleep?

Who needs sleep? Well you're never gonna get it. Who needs sleep? Tell me what's that for. Who needs sleep? Well you're never gonna get it. Be happy with what you're getting, there's a guy whose been awake since the second world war.

I've been singing this Barenaked Ladies song the past few days. There's not a lot of sleep happening in this house, except for the animals. Reese is teething. Again. And this time it's really bad. He screams when he nurses and claws at his face and ears. He'll be sound asleep, and the second I put him down in his bed, he kicks his legs and starts to cry.

Friday night, Reese slept for 25 minutes total in his bed. I held him until 5:00 or so and George was then able to get him to sleep on our bed for a few hours. Since we only have a full size bed, that meant George had to sleep on the couch.

Last night, he didn't go to sleep until midnight. He was up crying at 12:30. He slept on me until 2 something, we gave him more Tylenol, and George got him to sleep on our bed at 3:30. This time George decided to sleep on the floor. Rudy snored through all of this. Reese slept until 7ish, ate, smiled and talked to us a little, and slept on George until 10:30. At that point I took Reese out of the bedroom so George could sleep. He slept until noon.

I don't know how people manage with more than one child. I am in awe of Michelle Duggar, who is pregnant with her 18th child. She's been through the nursing issues, sleepless nights, and teething 17 times already. Wow. And I know I'm no Kate Gosselin. Those mothers are truly amazing.

Each day I pray God will give me enough patience and strength to make it through the day, and still manage to glorify Him in the process.
Today I hope He'll give us all a little more sleep too.

I should note that we did not skip church this morning! Due to plumbing issues at our church, we've been having night services at another location.

Free Dr Pepper!!!

George and I are health nuts, but we are also a Dr Pepper family. We think that although not terribly healthy, life is too short to not enjoy a cold Dr Pepper every once in a while. We've toured the Dr Pepper museum and even use Dr Pepper barbecue sauce on our fake barbecue. : )

Today only, Dr Pepper is allowing every American to print a coupon for a FREE Dr Pepper. The company made a promise that if Guns N' Roses released the album they've been working on since the mid 90s by the end of 2008, they would give away free Dr Peppers. Somehow GN'R managed to finally get it finished and it was released today. It even came out on vinyl.

Now the last time I saw Axl Rose perform, he didn't sound so hot. But if producers can make Ozzy intelligible when he sings, they can definitely help Axl. How could they possibly top Welcome to the Jungle or Sweet Child of Mine though?

Anyway, be sure to get your free Dr Pepper!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Happy 7 Month Birthday, Peanut!

Today is Reese's 7 month birthday! Here are some random pics from the past few weeks.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Our Saturday in Pictures

1. Baby woke up happy.

2. Fresh squeezed orange juice.

3. Guilty dog ate 2 of Reese's socks.

4. New food - bananas.

5. New hair.

6. LA Gourmet - The best pizza in all of Dallas!

7. A quick trip to Whole Foods to purchase our Tofurky.

8. Nap.

9. New clothes.

10. Yummy dinner.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The War in Pictures

From the comfort and safety of my home, I often forget that our country is still at war. I forget to pray for the soldiers whose lives are at risk every second of every day. I forget to pray for the loved ones, who wonder if their soldiers will return home alive.

I often wonder how my grandmother, Mary, coped while her son was in Vietnam, a land she had never seen. I can't imagine how it would feel to send my little boy to a far off land, where he would be the target of bullets and bombs. I can't imagine what it must feel like to be a soldier at war.

One of the blogs I follow posted pictures of soldiers at work in Afghanistan's Korengal Valley. You must
take a few minutes to view these amazing pictures. Be sure to note the ages of the soldiers. They are all so young.

I pray they will return home safely - soon.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank a Veteran Today

My dad is a veteran who served in Vietnam. He was a Seabee, which is the Construction Battalion (CB) of the United States Navy.

The Seabee - I took this photo at Port Hueneme
Naval Base, where my dad was stationed.

The Three Soldiers

George's reflection in the Vietnam Memorial Wall

Thank you for serving our country, Daddy!

Monday, November 10, 2008

7 Years Already?

George and I became Mr. and Mrs. George Thomas Deines on November 10, 2001. I can't believe we've been married for 7 years. Not bad for two people who never wanted to get married!

I am so thankful God has blessed me with such a fine husband as George. He is caring, an excellent cook, funny, smart, and hard working, just to name a few. He often comments that he's my "servant leader" and he certainly does have a servant's heart. Just this weekend, Reese woke up at 5 am and George watched him for 3 hours so I could sleep. Then, he cooked me a delicious breakfast of pumpkin pancakes, faux sausage, and topped it off with fresh squeezed grapefruit juice. More important than all of the above attributes, George loves Christ and strives to glorify God and enjoy Him in all that he does.

A few years ago we read a very good book in Sunday school called Sacred Marriage. The book makes a case that God intends for marriage to make people holy, not necessarily happy. Now I'm not saying that we're not happy, because we are. But when two sinners decide to live as one, there are bound to be difficulties along the way.
We were glad to gain that perspective about marriage early on in our life as husband and wife.

This year the Lord blessed us with our sweet Reese and we are now a family of three. My transition into motherhood has not been the easiest at times and George has been a huge blessing. Even when working 70 hours + a week, he never hesitated to change a diaper, vacuum the house, or scoop the cats' litter box. (That last one proves he truly does have a servant's heart, huh?) I love to see George interact with Reese. They are crazy about each other. That's another thing I must include on his list of positive attributes - he's a good father.

I pray that the Lord will help me daily to become a better helpmate and wife to George. I hope I am able to encourage him and make him laugh as much as he does me. Most of all, I pray that we will glorify God as husband and wife
from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part.

We don't have a scanner, so I had to take pictures of these pictures and the quality is not that great. Plus, the batteries in our camera died and I can't find more, so I'll post more pics when I find more AA batteries.

Praying as the ceremony begins

Leaving the wedding - We didn't know at this point that
my little sister, Jessica, was hiding in the back seat under our luggage!