Tuesday, August 28, 2007

North Carolina Trip and Random Pictures

Jamie says I have to post something. Here is my first attempt at blogging:
Today we got back from a 4 day trip to North Carolina to visit Dave and Serena. We left last Friday after I got off from work and drove all night until 4:00AM. We decided to do it this way so Allison and Lindsay would sleep most of the way.

Over the weekend we cruised "The Triad" and "The Triangle" seeing all the immense sights and sounds of these locations. For Non-North Carolinans, "The Triad" is composed of Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and High Point, and "The Triangle" is composed of Raleigh, Durham, and Chapel Hill. Allison enjoyed paddle-boating in a nearby lake and practicing her artist skills at the Greensboro Art Museum.

Allison became the Queen of Dave and Serena's home. Within minutes of arriving at their home, she walked around like she owned the place leaving a wake behind her wherever she went. Lindsay didn't care one way or the other as long as she was being held by whoever.

Here's Dr. Allison with her surgeon's cap:

Here's where we live (as seen from Schuyler Nichols' plane):

Lindsay needs to be on this post too:

Friday, August 24, 2007


Hey, we've been tagged by my good friend Lindsay. I thought I would post my results and then I'll post Steve's answers later--just for fun. I've been after him to post something for a while, but he's just been too busy. After all it is the Gammon family blog. Anyway here are my answers:

4 jobs I've had . . .
Greaseball #4 -- Digging trenches for my dad's landscaping company.
Salad Girl -- Stocking the salad bar at an old-time saloon. Who knew that cowboys liked salad?
Old Man Bum wiper -- Nurse's aide at the Veteran's hospital.
Registered Nurse -- Still wiping bums, but getting paid more to do it!

4 movies I could watch over and over. . .
Roman Holiday
Pirates of the Caribbean--I'm a sucker for pirates, AARGH!
Little Mermaid-- Oh, wait. That's not me, that's Allison. Over and over and over.

4 places I've lived . . .
St. Louis, MO
Cincinnati, OH
American Fork, UT
Saskatchewan, Canada -- Okay, so it's just wishful thinking.

4 favorite television shows . . .
So You Think You Can Dance
Sesame Street--It let's me take a shower in the morning, how awesome is that?
American Idol

4 places I've been . . .
Sharon, Vermont
Matewan, West Virginia
Key Largo, Florida
Havasu Falls, Arizona

4 favorite foods . . .
Grilled squash and onions
Rachel Cobia's chicken fajitas
Homemade bread and raspberry jam
Vegetable lasagna

4 websites I check often . . .

4 hobbies I enjoy
jogging--okay so I don't enjoy this right now, but I will once I get back into shape.
cooking and feeding people

4 people I tag . . .
Jesse and Rachel
Leslie M.
Heather P.
Shayleen L.

You're it!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Mmmm . . .

We tried a great new recipe tonight. Here it is:

Grilled Rosemary Chicken and Red Peppers with Cucumber Relish

2 c. plain fat-free yogurt, divided (Greek-style recommended)
3 medium garlic cloves, finely chopped, divided
2 Tbsp. fresh rosemary, finely chopped
4 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 lb. chicken breasts, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
2 large sweet red peppers, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
1 large cucumber, diced
1/4 c. red onion, diced
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
2 tsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper

In a medium bowl, combine 1 1/2 c. yogurt, 2 chopped garlic cloves, rosemary and lemon juice. Add chicken and let mixture marinate at least 15 minutes or overnight in refrigerator.

Grill or broil chicken and peppers--about 3 to 4 minutes on each side.

Meanwhile, to make relish, combine cucumber, onion, remaining 1/2 c. yogurt, remaining garlic clove, parsley, oil, salt and black pepper in a medium bowl. Serve relish over chicken and peppers. Yields about 1 1/2 c. of chicken/ pepper mixture and about 1/2 c. relish per serving. (5 points per serving)

This was pretty fast and easy and it was delicious. I realized while I was typing, however, that I forgot to add the garlic to the relish. It was still great! Leftovers would taste great in a pita or wrap the next day.

It kind of reminded me of this recipe that I tried a few months ago, which was also really yummy and fast.

Greek Chicken Kabobs

1/2 cup KRAFT Greek Vinaigrette Dressing (I used a generic brand)
2 Tbsp. mayonnaise
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 medium red onion, cut into small wedges
1 medium lemon, halved

COMBINE dressing and mayo; pour into large resealable plastic bag. Add chicken; seal bag. Turn bag over several times to evenly coat chicken with the dressing mixture. Refrigerate at least 20 min. or up to 2 hours to marinate.

PREHEAT grill to medium-high heat. Remove chicken from marinade; discard bag and marinade. Thread chicken and onions alternately onto 16 wooden skewers.

GRILL 8 to 10 min. or until chicken is cooked through, turning occasionally. Meanwhile, place lemon, cut-sides down, on grill grate next to kabobs. Squeeze lemon juice over kabobs just before serving.


Sunday, August 12, 2007

Change is good

A few months ago I saw something on the Oprah show that really made me think. A pastor of a church in Kansas City who preached a sermon about speaking positively and the effects of complaining. At the end of his sermon he handed out some plastic bracelets to the congregation and gave them a challenge. He challenged them to wear the bracelet on their right wrist as a reminder to not complain, speak negatively, or gossip. The challenge was to go 21 days without complaining or speaking negatively thereby creating a habit of positive thinking and speech. If the member of the congregation messed up, then he or she was to move the bracelet to the other arm and start over. Apparently a large portion of his congregation have taken the challenge and have succeeded.

I was so inspired by the story of this congregation. I complain ALL THE TIME. I knew it was time to start working on it. So I got on the church's website and ordered a bracelet. (It was free!) It came in the mail a few weeks ago and I started the challenge immediately. Then I gave up after changing my bracelet to a different arm at least 5 times in about three hours. I decided to give it a little time and then start over.

Last weekend I had a little breakdown. Steve was on call the majority of the weekend and both girls were quite a handful. So when Steve came home Monday and told me that he had to study all night, I lost it. Unfortunately, Allison was the unwilling witness to my breakdown (Steve had gone to bed) and I think it frightened her. After I put her down for a nap too I had a little time to reflect. Here is what I came up with:

I have lost touch with what is really important. I've allowed myself to wallow in my "poor me" mode and forgotten all the good things I have in my life. I've also allowed myself to only focus on just getting by and I've forgotten to do the things that help me to thrive. I read something this week that reminded me that feeding myself spiritually should be my highest priority. Whether that means reading my scriptures, or taking time to really ENJOY my family, I need to take care of myself. I am truly blessed and when I feel spiritually awake and alive I can recognize my blessings. When I am not taking care of myself spiritually, I perseverate on all of my "problems."

So I've come up with some things that I can do to help myself. And I will try again with the "A Complaint Free World" bracelets in the near future. Hopefully I will be a little more successful the next time I try it.

Friday, August 10, 2007

And I wonder where those chubby cheeks came from . . .

Lindsay has been so smiley this week. I have tried to catch it with my camera all week, but this is the best I can do. I guess I can scratch becoming a professional photographer off my list off my list of careers I'd like to have. She really is much cuter when she smiles than this fat-cheeked picture shows!

I want to tell my mom how proud I am of her in this somewhat public forum. She is on a backpacking trip in the Uintahs right now--probably being eaten by mosquitoes. Anyway, this is a pretty major accomplishment for her. She has been getting up early the last few months and walking or hiking 2-3 miles. Mom, I am inspired by your diligence. Now if I could just follow your example.

I found an awesome treat when I was at the grocery store the other day. I generally don't buy into the "100 calorie" treats--way too expensive and a waste of good calories. But I was walking by the Hostess treats section of the store and I saw, you guessed it, 100 calorie packs of Ding-Dongs. What the . . . Ding Dongs? So I closed my eyes to the price tag and bought some. They come with three tiny little cupcakes per portion. I tried some when I got home, and they were pretty good. By the end of the night, however, I came to a realization. Hmmm. . . four 100 calorie packs equals 400 calories. Whoops! So the moral of the story is: 100 calorie packs of Ding Dongs--good. Eating 4 portions of them--not so good. ( I failed to mention that each pack had 5 grams of fiber. Which made my tummy VERY unhappy.)

Okay, time for bed. Or maybe laundry. (Can you guess that Steve's on-call?)

Thursday, August 9, 2007


When I change the template on my blog, that means I don't have to post anything. Right? I promise I have something in the works, but my brain is too tired to articulate. I'll just have to try posting in the morn . . . ZZZZZZ.

Sunday, August 5, 2007

Water parks, cowboy boots, and Vanilla Ice

I love having a digital camera. We bought it about three months ago and it is worth every penny. We are inching our way into the world of technology--we still don't have a cell phone. (We did have a cell phone when we moved to Cincinnati, but that's another story--one involving a bucket of water and me being a klutz.) Anyway. I love having a digital camera. It still amazes me every time I sit down and download pictures onto the computer. It takes less than 10 seconds to move pictures from our camera to the computer. With our old camera it would take months, even years before we would finally see what our pictures turned out like. (We aren't very good about getting film developed.) Even then we could not delete the pictures that didn't turn out so great. We just had to live with them. With the digital camera, I can take a look at the picture and say "Wow, do I really look like that?" and then happily delete it.

So we took the opportunity to use the digital camera this weekend. Steve had the whole weekend off--it was FANTASTIC! We have so much fun when he's around. After completing the list of chores I had compiled on Saturday, we decided to take the kids to the wet playground and then play Frisbee golf. We had a great time. Allison had fun running through water and laughing at us every time she sprayed Steve or me. Lindsay even got wet--Steve styled her hair to dry so that she would look like "Vanilla Ice". (Yep, that's the man I married.)

Allison also got a new pair of boots this weekend. A couple of months ago we found the COOLEST pink boots at Target. Allison campaigned hard to get them, (mostly by whining and crying) but Mommy just couldn't justify the price tag. When I was a Target this weekend, however, I found the boots on clearance for $3.00. So Allison got a new pair of boots this weekend. She loves, loves, loves them. She won't take them off! She wanted to wear them to the water park and she wanted to wear them to bed last night. Did I mention that she loves them? Steve and I got a big kick out of the fashion show that we had to go through in order to find a dress that she could wear them with to church. She looked so cute when we finally found "the right dress" that we just had to take a picture.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

My Greenish-Brown Thumb

Steve is on call tonight. This pediatric rotation has been tougher than he thought it would be. He spends a lot of time at work and then has meetings, projects, and studying to do once he is done with his 12-14 hour day. He really likes his work, however, and still thinks that this might be "his thing."

I took one of the first squash off the zucchini plant tonight. It seems that a small animal has decided to raid our garden. My bet is a squirrel, though I have seen rabbits in our yard. Our tomatoes and peppers have perfectly round bite marks in them. I'm not sure what to do to get rid of the pests. When I first moved to Missouri I thought they were cute. Now I am trying to decide if I should purchase a 12 gauge shot gun or try rat poison. Our garden is pretty sad right now. Steve's job was to water the plants, but he has been too busy to do so. I have also neglected them, but my goal is to start watering every day--at least our planters. I went to water Rachel's plants today (she is out of town) and her plants are beautiful. I'm trying to take inspiration from her diligent care for her plants. Dad will probably disown me if he sees our yard! Where did the Ellison green thumb go?

Allison fell down and skinned her knee while we were at Rachel's apartment today. We were going out to our car and she took off running straight out to the parking lot. I yelled at her to stop, but she just kept going. As soon as I started to go after her, she biffed it. (Is "biffed" really a word? I'll have to look that one up.) I think I must be a bad parent because what I wanted to say was "Serves you right!" I tried to reign in that instinct, but I had a hard time being sympathetic. A skinned knee is very dramatic to my little 2-year old. She kept showing me her boo-boo and wanting kisses all day. My heart warmed just a little bit when she wanted to kiss Lindsay's "boo-boo" better when Lindsay started crying tonight.

I had better end this now. I have the hardest time going to bed when Steve's on call. I mop the floor, I read a book, I work on a project, and now I write in a blog. I guess I need to stop procrastinating the inevitable. Good night!