Simonet’s Lentil Stew

We ate this tonight and it was really good.  I may add bacon next time and I forgot to buy garlic.  I had just purged our old garlic from the fridge after our Colorado trip and didn’t replenish it.  We served it with bread and salad.

2 16oz pkgs of Lentils – I used Goya

1 onion

1 red bell pepper

1 package of mild publix italian sausage, deskinned.  5 in a package

about 5 shakes of soy sauce

1/2 cup rice

1 packet of Sazon con Azafran- I actually used 2 packets

Garlic cloves

Instructions: With a bit more than a 2 to one ration boil the lentils with water the WHOLE onion and the red pepper cut and half deseeded, about 45 min.  When the Lentils are soft, deskin the sausage and fry it up.  Take out the onion and red pepper and chop it up together or blend it together.  Add the packet of Sazon, the cut up onion, red pepper, garlic, and fried sausage into the lentils with 1/2 cup of the rice.  You may need to add a bit of water.  Add 5 shakes of the soy sauce.  Bring to a boil and then simmer on low.  Should be done and you can serve when you want to.

What you need to be careful of is burning the bottom of the pot.  Make sure you don’t keep the temperature too high and watch and stir.  Probably something you want to know – you may no’t want to multitask while cooking once you add the rice and other ingredients.

If you don’t like Lentil – don’t try this.

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Missed Opportunity

Tonight JR took Eddie to Walmart, a big shopping trip and guy time. The girls were excited because they wanted to watch a movie with me. The movie they wanted to watch was called Switching Goals. Check the link to see what it is about. Needless to say, I was extremely not into it, to the point where I just told them I didn’t want to watch it. We looked for something else on Netflix instant play that we could watch and there really wasn’t anything else. So, I did try to put this into the queue and make it possible to watch…however, after adding it to the queue and putting it in the #1 spot we just couldn’t find it on the Wii.  Maybe we needed to wait longer for things to transfer.  The kids, knowing I didn’t want to watch it were okay with it. Honestly, I think I missed an opportunity here. There are just some things I’m not into and those “girl” movies are it. Now…you might be saying what about the Romantic Comedy….I am all for those and enjoy them, but this movie doesn’t fit into that category, and my girls are a bit too young for the Romantic Comedy and all there innuendos. So, I’m stuck with a missed opportunity.  I tried with all my might to float the Batman comic and a couple more adventure type movies, but it didn’t quite work. They wanted the “girl” movie and who can blame them.

The funny thing is that I just read this really fantastic book that has great “real” insight into marriage and family called Somewhere More Holy.  It really inspired me to be a better parent.  It only took 2 days for that to wear off, actually probably less than that, but I’m trying not to count.  Here was an open opportunity to hang with the girls and have girl time, and frankly, I just wasn’t up for it and I really thought of myself first because I just wanted some down time.  So what am I doing in my downtime….writing this, why…..because I really feel guilty.  I talked the kids into watching something else that was only 30 minutes long a TV show called American Dragon.  They like that and were fine with it, but I think there would have been a lot more memories of snuggling with mom over a girly flick.  I am hoping to redeem myself after the show……

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The Love Bug

Our church, Fellowship Orlando, has a great kids program. The latest series for the kids has been on worship. Lately, they are learning how to worship God by loving each other. Last night, the kids came home with a worksheet challenging the family to use “The Love Bug”. Since Eddie likes bugs, we have plenty of fake plastic bugs around the house. To do this activity, you need a plastic bug and you call this bug “The Love Bug”. This morning, we drew straws for who would get “The Love Bug” first. Hannah won, so she gets “The Love Bug”. She must demonstrate love to a member of the family through service. Then, that person gets “The Love Bug” and it goes on till everyone gets a turn. The rules are that you can’t give “The Love Bug” back to the person who gave it to you, so that way everyone gets a turn. Once everyone has had a turn, “The Love Bug” goes back to the person who started it and you see how many times it can go around your family for the week. Should be fun!

Thanks to Terry for reminding me, inadvertently, that I should update this blog a bit more often 🙂

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Tutoring at the school

Two times now I have had a chance to help a 4th grade girl with math at the school. I found out that her father passed away when she was 3. Her mom works a lot to take care of her two children. Today I am reminded how good I have it. So, I thought if I wrote it out here, it would be an even better reminder for myself. I am also reminded not to judge a situation when you really have no clue what’s going on in other peoples lives. Hopefully just writing it down will help it stick more in my life.

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The movie Avatar

JR and I just saw the movie Avatar for his birthday. My friend Cecilia watched the kids for us. I have to say, that it may be my all time favorite movie. Of course, I didn’t get all the hype about it, but now I do. If you can, go see it.

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Taking a class

Through my work I get to take an Apologetics class in January.  The course work includes reading 3 books and 7 articles, completing 7 two page worksheets and writing a 5 – 9 page paper.  Anyone who knows me can attest to the fact that this is not my forte.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to read, but having to discuss it and write about what I read is another thing altogether.  Also, I want to say that my job is not forcing me to take this class.  It was offered at a good price and I thought that taking the class would help me in my faith.  So far, the reading has done that.

The first book I read is called A Reason For God by Timothy Keller. Wow, this book is really good, 5 stars.  If you are looking for a good book that can answer difficult questions regarding Christianity, I recommend this one.  Also, I HIGHLY recommend his other book The Prodigal God.  I’d also give this book 5 stars.  In fact, read The Prodigal God first.

Now, the second book I just finished, and well…out of 5 stars I am being nice in giving it 3 stars. It’s entitled 6 Modern Myths about Christianity and Western Civilization.  Probably one reason I didn’t like it was the frequency the author would say, “I will go into further detail on that topic in the next chapter.”   Now, that’s not a direct quote, but close enough.  It annoys me when an author gets to something that I think is interesting and then says, “but I’ll talk about that later.”  Pretty much his writing style was extremely difficult for me to follow.  Also, the introduction was 26 pages.  I know, I know, I am a wimp.  There are tons and tons of books out there with much longer introductions and I shouldn’t be complaining, but hey, I did anyway.  On the other hand, the author educated me on quite a bit.  I never took philosophy in college – on purpose.  So, I had to look a lot of things up as I read.  He made me think more about what I have readily accepted as fact, but quite possibly is a myth.  So, that’s why I give it 3 stars.

The third book I haven’t read yet, but I hope to start tomorrow.   It’s called I’m Glad You Asked.   I just hope I don’t have to participate a lot in class.   It’s hard for me to remember last week much less these books that I’m reading.

All in all, though, I am looking forward to it.   It’s good to read things that are higher than a 5th grade reading level occasionally 🙂

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The first Sunday for Advent

Sunday marks the first Sunday for Advent. Here’s what we do as a family tradition. I got this idea from Stacey Thacker, a wonderful person.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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Weird Autumn at the Peck House

This has been a weird Fall for me. I’ve had a couple health issues and just decided to not run a marathon this year. I still run. This morning I ran 8 miles. Maybe next year. JR’s trip to Singapore went very well. I actually was able to sleep while he was gone this time which was a nice change. Both girls were on antibiotics for strep throat while he was gone, but thankfully I didn’t get it.

Rachel and I went on a 4th grade field trip to St. Augustine. It was really wonderful. The kids had a great time and the whole experience was fun. We left the school at 6AM and returned at 8PM. I survived an entire day as a field trip chaperone and a bus trip where my seat was located next to the bathroom on the bus. The funny thing was on the bus ride, the big hit for the kids was pictochat with the Nintendo DS. This is a sign of the times in my opinion. Every kid with a DS, which was a lot of them, was writing back and forth to each other on a Nintendo DS screen. It was like a big chat room on the bus. It actually made the bus trip quiet.

On the field trip, the kids learned a lot about Ponce De Leon, got a tour of the Military Hospital, saw the Fountain of Youth and tasted the water, toured the old school house, toured a reenactment of a Native American Village, saw another school area, went on a trolley tour, and of course toured the Fort. The hardest thing was carving out time to go to the bathroom. We had 30 minutes at the end to buy something on St. George’s street.

At the fort in St. AugustineRachel and her friend hiding under their fort on the bus

Then we came home to JR which was nice. He was pretty exhausted from his 30 hours of traveling. The next day was Eddie’s class play on Thanksgiving and Hannah’s Thanksgiving celebration in her classroom. It’s been a long week or so over here. The kids have no school this coming week and I am sooo looking forward to it!

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article on hard line policy in North Korea

            

I think this article is right when it comes to change in North Korea. It’s not like a know much anyway about the situation, it just seems correct as an outsider.

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The Eighteen

On Sunday morning I ran eighteen miles.  I was very nervous about this run.  I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to do it since my last run of 16 miles was a bit rough.  We had spaghetti the night before and I was pretty cognizant of drinking plenty of fluids the day before.  I also changed up the amount of fluids I drank on the run.  This time I drank 2 small bottles of water and one small bottle of G2 grape colored for the entire 18, along with one gel pack.  These bottles are for my kids lunch, so they are quite a bit smaller than the type you purchase.  I felt like I could have drank a ton more, but I didn’t want to have to use the bathroom during the run.

My pace was great until about mile 14, somewhere around 9:15  and then I slowed down considerably.  All in all, I think it went well.  There were a few minor issues, but nothing worth mentioning unless they pop up again after the first 20 miler of the season.  Hopefully there will be no show stopper issues to come in the next several weeks.

I am pretty sure that if I can do the marathon this year, that next year, I’ll be sticking with the 1/2 marathon until I hit 40.  Why?  Well, to be quite honest, I am beginning to think marathons are for crazy people.  However, it’s hard for me to bail on it after I’ve started and gotten to some decent mileage, but still, I mean come on….it is a bit crazy to make yourself run 26.2 miles.  So next year, I’m thinking, no more craziness and I’ll stick with the very fun 1/2 marathon distance of 13.1.  You may think 13.1 miles is crazy too, but don’t hack it until you’ve tried it.  JR says I always mess up my sayings, so if I get that wrong forgive me 🙂

By the way, many weeks ago I switched to New Balance for shoes.  I really wanted the way expensive $120 pair of Saucony’s but I refrained and went for the New Balance pair 🙂

Oh yeah, also my latest invention for chaffing problems, chapstick.  Maybe men don’t have to worry about this because they don’t have to wear a bra, but it works for me 🙂

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The Not-So-Smart Week for Me

Well, this week, let’s just say my many idiotic mistakes humbled me 🙂  I was definitely above the normal range for stupid decisions this week.  The biggest mistake I made was with my running.  I wanted to sleep in on Sunday morning, so I decided to do my long run Saturday late afternoon/evening.  The only problem was that I didn’t have a carb load before hand, didn’t eat enough that day, and didn’t drink enough that day.  But I ran 16 miles anyway using water and a power gel.  I actually felt pretty good until about mile 14.  I slowed down quite a bit and did finish the run.  Thankfully after my run, my foot and muscles were fine, but I was EXTREMELY nauseous.  After about an hour I ate a banana and finally felt a little better.  It probably took about an hour and a half afterwards before I felt hydrated and my stomach felt normal.  I pretty much did everything wrong in preparation for that run.  The worst part is that I know the right things to do, I just didn’t do them.  I was pretty much an eejit.  Oh well.  It makes life interesting and it’s always fun to see JR’s reaction when I do stupid stuff like that.  Here’s a pic of a dead armadillo – southern road kill for those of you in AZ.

Southern Road Kill

Southern Road Kill

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Chicken Curry

Here’s the what I did tonight and please note that I am not to great at relaying specifics in directions, but I’ll do my best.  The fact that I even cook this is a miracle in itself.  It really shows how much I like chicken curry.  Just like Apple Strudel.  I’m going to have to make one of those soon.

Ingredients:

One onion

6 cloves Garlic

Boneless Skinless Chicken Thighs – that’s just what I prefer, I used a package and a half approximately.  You’d be fine with one wrapped package.

Garlic Salt and Pepper sprinkled on the chicken.

One tablespoon of each of the following:  Ginger, Cumin, Crushed Coriander Seed, Tumeric

Half Teaspoon of the following:  Cinnamon, Cardamom, Red Pepper

1.5 cups of whole milk<I am pretty sure this can be adjusted in a ratio with the vinegar, I think others use yogurt>

1/3 cup of white vinegar <I am pretty sure this can be adjusted in a ratio with the milk>

Here’s what I do:

Saute one chopped onion and 6 cloves of garlic in olive oil

Combine all spices together in a bowl and mix, add to saute mixture with some extra olive oil.  It will be looser than a paste in consistency, I think, sorry I can’t explain it more than that.

Add chicken to pan and coat the chicken with the spices and fry for a bit in the olive oil.  I used medium heat.  <I guess I fried it for 5 minutes maybe?? before adding the milk>

Curd the milk and vinegar together<don’t ask me how to curd something, I just mix it> and pour over the chicken and mix the sauce with the milk.

Bring to a boil with the chicken in it.  Simmer for awhile, sorry I don’t keep track.  Turn occasionally.  Personally I prefer to go longer than shorter in time so the meat soaks in the flavor.  I think I put the stove on 2 for the simmer, although I probably could have put it at one.

Serve over rice, I’ve used white rice and brown rice.  Both are good.

Notes:  The 1/2 tsp of red pepper will be about the same spiciness as “Thai spicy” at Durian Durian here in FL, per my husband.  My kids ate this just fine.  However, I think it would be great with 1/4 more tsp of red pepper.  Also, next time, I will probably use 8 cloves of garlic and use 1.5 onions instead of just one onion.  I use Coriander Seed and crush it with my rolling pin.  I put it in a ziploc bag and roll over it until it’s crushed.

Good Luck 🙂

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The Number 15

15 miles has always been difficult for me.  I’m not sure why, but it has been.  I was supposed to run the long 15 yesterday, but easily talked myself out of it as I lay in bed next to JR all warm and snuggly.  So, today was the day.  This actually will fit our schedule better since the kids sports will start up soon.  Thankfully we now go to church at night – for anyone who cares about that aspect.  I gotta say though, church at night is a TON easier than church in the morning.

So, today I ran around East Park, saw an old guy with his shirt off along the lake reading a paper and smoking pot.  The smell was unmistakeable.  This acutally made me a bit nervous though.  There is not a lot of activity along that lake in the early morning.  I try to stick with paths that make me feel safe.  I’m not sure if I’ll be running that route again.  So, I continued down Narcoosee turned around and came back.  Around the lake on the way back, the man was gone, not too surprising.

It took me under 2 hours and 15 minutes to finish.  So, I was under a 9 minute pace.  This was great.  I carried my water and gel pack with me the entire run in JR’s old fanny pack from the 80’s.  This is humorous to me since I still use the same running shorts I ran with my senior year in high school.   This weeks total mileage was 33 miles.  Last week I ran 32 miles.  Next week will be a resting week and only 28 miles with a long run of 11 miles.

My right foot is a bit sore, so I’m icing it now.  All in all, I’m tired, but still have some energy.  Mentally, this run was difficult once I hit mile 11.  Why I am doing this, I ask myself.  I’ve already run a marathon, do I really need to do it again?  Do I really need to try to run it in under four hours?  Does it really matter at all in the big scheme of things?  Is the discomfort, the soaked, sweaty body at the end worth it all?  Well…I’m not sure.  For some idiotic reason, I’ll probably keep training.  Last week I ran 14 miles at a 9:01 pace.  That was a pretty smooth long run.  I tried Clif Shot for the first time last week.  Today I used Power Gel.  I’ll be sticking with Power Gel for the duration.  Sometimes when I’m running I hear in my head the voice of Dory from Finding Nemo with one word changed….”Just Keep Running, Just Keep Running…”

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First 5 weeks complete

Today was the completion of the first 5 weeks for marathon training.  I ran twelve miles at a 9:14:30 pace.  I am shooting for a 9 minute pace for the marathon.  This will be difficult for me to accomplish, but it’s worth a shot.  I’d like to finish the race at or under 4 hours.  But really, I’d be happy with just being able to train and run it without injury.

I felt a lot better this week than last week.  I attribute this to a significant carb load last night.  I am using Hal Higdon’s intermediate training with a bit of a twist.  I only like to run 4 days a week.  So, the fifth running day he has scheduled, the lighter run, I drop.  So this week, I ran 6, 3, 6, 12, instead of the 6, 3, 6, 3, 12 scheduled.  Mostly I do this because I really do think my body needs the extra rest.  In addition to that, you’ve got to get up early to run here in FL.  With the 3 kids and spouse, I could use the extra day of getting up after 6AM.  Also, I’ve added two more weeks to this schedule.  It has been suggested to run a 23 miler before the actual marathon.  I am going to try this out.  The last marathon, I significantly slowed my pace from mil 21 to finish, so I am hoping if I can get this run and mentally and physically push through, it may make a difference on race day.

The arch in my right foot is a bit sore, but not enough to effect my gait.  I am icing it twice a day.  So far, so good.  Basically, I need new shoes.  Any suggestions from anyone, let me know, but hey, I think about only 3 people read this blog and they don’t run 🙂  Hopefully, I’ll be able to run the race Nov. 29th

On our trip, I ran in Baton Rouge Louisiana; Fort Stockton, Texas;  Phoenix, AZ; Strawberry, AZ, and Fort Collins, CO.  The hardest runs by far were in Strawberry, AZ.  Lots of hills, 5800 ft. elevation.  Any straight away was easily 1/8 of a mile in length or less.  It’s a great place to train.

Lastly, I tried the Strawberry Banana power bar last week and it was yucky.  Today I tried the Choc smoothing or other Power Protein bar and it was better, but still not the best.  I’ve gotta get the gels.  They are the best.

Happy Running!  Below is a pic from the top of one of the hills in Strawberry, AZ.

strawberry, AZ

strawberry, AZ

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Happy Mother’s Day!

What a great day.  We had Dunkin Donuts for breakfast, had sandwiches and veges for lunch, and pizza for dinner.  The kids went swimming and after dinner we went fishing for a couple hours.  Eddie got a bass on about his 3rd cast.  Rachel and Hannah tried.  They had bites, but nothing they were able to reel into shore.  It was fun.  The best part was when I went to a weeded area and fished top water with a mouse as bait.  On my first cast, I was reeling the mouse back in and as it gets close to the shore, out of the corner of my eye, I see something moving toward the mouse.  It was the baby gator in the picture below.  The funny thing is that before I went to fish, I looked for gators and didn’t see this little guy.  Hard to see when they are  small like that.  Very, very Fun Day!  Thank You JR for all you did.  I love you!

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IOA Corporate 5K

So far I’ve been able to participate two years in a row in the IOA Corporate 5K.  This year I ran it in 24:28, a bit under an 8 minute pace.  Very cool.  I was pretty happy about my time.  Here’s a couple pics of me in the IOA race last night, there’s two shots, #233.

Here’s a couple pics of our neighbor Tim.  He was smokin’ – ran it at a 6:40 pace.  He’s the one with the sunglasses.

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Silly Banner

Recently, the team I work with, GCX, has been promoting a new Help Center.  The GCX Help Center has video instruction, wiki pages filled with instruction, screen shots, I mean, it’s loaded with information that we have tried to make accessible and easy to find for all the users of GCX.  One of my jobs was to get someone to make a banner.  I tried it myself first for fun.  We decided to go with what I made until we get someone else to do it.  It was fun.  I really do like making stuff on the computer.  I would like to get better at it and hope to over time. finalbannervs3

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Six Mile Goal

Well, I ran six miles at an 8:26 pace.  I was pretty happy about this.  I really like my new shoes, Saucony The Ride, mine are the blue/navy color.  I was thankful to get them on sale at Track Shack our local running store.  I like supporting the local running store.  They do a lot for the running community here in Orlando.  I do wish that shoe manufacturers wouldn’t always change up their stuff.  Two years ago, Saucony made the perfect shoe for me.  Alas, each year it has been remodeled.

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Almost at Next Running Milestone

Today I ran 5 miles at an 8:27 pace.  I am still grinning about this achievement.  My first milestone was to run 3 miles at an 8:15 pace.  Yeah, I made that one.  So, my next goal is to run 6 miles at 8:30.  After today, I think I can reach that goal.  To qualify for the Boston Marathon, I need to run an 8:37 pace.  It would be neat to qualify for that race someday.  I am not really sure why – I guess – but it is the Mecca for runners.  My sister ran the Boston last year.  She said it was awesome.  Anyway, this year, I just hope to complete my second marathon under 4 hours.  Maybe I can qualify for Boston after my 3rd marathon, Lord willing.  26 miles is a long way.

I am hoping to run a 5k at the Central Florida Children’s Home Race.  It’s next weekend.  I haven’t registered yet, but if everything works out with the fam, I’ll get to run that race.

So, the big question is…why do I like to run so much?  Well, it helped me lose weight after college, it feels really good afterwards, it’s time alone outdoors to think, and it lets me eat lots of foods I probably shouldn’t – Ice cream, Chocolate, and Pizza.  Yummy!

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