Thursday, June 29, 2006

chicken and tomato soup with (fresh) olives and capers

Chicken & Tomato Soup with Fresh Olives and Capers

We had the Teradas over for dinner. Well Junko and John were able to come for dinner. Junko showed me how to make this yummy and very spicy Thai curry chicken dish (and she made some Jasmine rice to go with it). And, I taught her how to make Chicken and Tomato Soup with Olives and Capers. We had the Chicken and Tomato Soup with Olives and Capers for dinner.

Ingredients for the Chicken and Tomato Soup with Olives and Capers:
  • organic chicken breast.
  • yellow onions.
  • minced garlic (i used the garlic press).
  • organic canned tomatoes.
  • organic free range chicken broth.
  • ground cumin.
  • paprika.
  • saffron.
  • fresh (not canned) olives.
  • capers.
Yummy, yummy! Junko kept saying how pretty the soup looked. She also commented on how colorful it was. So, I took a picture of a bowl of that soup. I don't think the picture does justice to how "pretty" it looked. Oh well, enjoy!

Saturday, June 24, 2006

a baby shower that roksana threw for me

this afternoon, a colleague and friend - roksana alavi - threw me a baby shower. had a really good time, with good people, yummy food, fun games, and cool presents. played some interesting baby games. thank you roksana for throwing me a baby shower; that was super nice of you!

to begin with, we played some games. for one game, angela turned a shoe box into a baby, in which one end had eyes and a mouth cut into the box. the object of the game was to dish cotton balls out of a bowl with a spoon, with eyes closed, and see how many cotton balls a person could put into the baby's mouth with one try. the person who dished the greatest number of cotton balls into the box won. i dished no cotton balls into the box; the poor baby starved under my feeding care. a second game involved looking quickly at a basket of baby care items that roksana and her mom got for me. the person who could recollect the greatest number of items in the basket won. a third game we played was guessing the circumference of my belly using toilet paper. the person who guessed the closest match to the circumference of my belly won. my belly, today, is nine or ten squares of toilet paper long!

after playing games, we ate food! whoo hoo. loved all the food. roksana prepared a lot of food, but then, jenn and christine also brought some delicious food they had made. before i got to finish what was on my plate, it was time to open presents.

got lots of very nice gifts. think there are too many to include pictures of everything. received a variety of items, ranging from clothes and hooded towels to a diaper bag and the diaper champ. people were very thoughtful and generous in their gift giving.

just when i thought the shower was over, roksana whipped out the cake. the cake was so good. though i'm not one accustomed to eating much dessert, i ate the two pieces roksana dished me. okay, i ate the two pieces, minus the icing. loved the chocolate flavored cake. after eating the cake, i went back to finishing the food i left to open presents.

today was an exceptionally hot day. spent most of the afternoon sweating, despite the fact that the baby shower was indoors. the heat is one thing i really, really dislike about living here in the valley.

overall, the shower was a lot of fun. i was a bit worried about how everyone would get along, coming from such different places. i knew some people from church, others from the university, and one friend i met on the fly (actually her husband and she rescued us when our car failed in april). everyone seemed to get along just fine.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

beautiful, dressy pregnancy top from mommy & daddy

guess what i got in the mail today? yes, yes, junk mail and some other assorted stuff. i also got a pleasant surprise - a beautiful and dressy pregnancy top from mommy and daddy! it's gorgeous. it's a bit big, but i have a ways to grow in the remainder of my pregnancy (less than three months). i'm in my third trimester now, 28 weeks today, to be more exact.

the photographer for these pictures is the brilliant troy-meister.



Monday, June 19, 2006

baby present from cristina

one of my former students and friends, cristina, is coming over weekly. she comes on mondays to discuss c. s. lewis's "mere christianity" with me. and sometimes on tuesdays, she comes for the philosophy of religion discussion. when she came over today, she brought over a couple of presents for our little munchkin. that was so sweet of her. thanks cristina!

isn't this a sweet little onesie?


what a neat receiving blanket.
the side of the blanket you see in this picture is incredibly soft.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

girls' sleepover at manda's

the night before last, friday night (june 16), manda had a girls' sleepover and israel and robert hosted a guys' sleepover. manda asked me to come over for at least part of the evening. given that manda's a good friend, i was more than happy to oblige; i definitely wanted to offer her moral support in her endeavor to open up her home and her heart to the youth from our church. an added bonus was that i got to know the gals a bit better. the party started at eight o'clock, and i stayed until somewhere between eleven and midnight, before returning to sleep. first of all, i'm the oldest in the bunch, and i need my beauty sleep. if you don't buy that, i've got to sleep well for two, the little munchkin in my belly and me.

the next afternoon, manda had agreed to accompany me to motherhood maternity, where i'd ask for her opinion on a particular top i was interested in purchasing. before coming over, around mid-afternoon, she told me to bring my camera because she had something interesting to show me. she's cameraless for the time being, since her hubby took the camera with him to galveston.

the moment i arrived near manda & johnny's home, i noticed right away that their truck had changed in appearance. turns out the boys had come over to take the girls to breakfast with them. but before knocking on the door and making their presence known, they rolled manda & johnny's truck in plastic wrap! here are the pictures to document the alteration of the vehicle.







Friday, June 16, 2006

baby book from maritza, diana, and monte

from maritza, diana, and monte

Last night, we got a new book for the baby. Actually, Maritza and Diana picked the book out and got the book for the baby. Thank you very much! Love the book. They must have known that people in the Chang-Nunley household are avid readers. Can't start too early with the little munchkin!!

Thursday, June 15, 2006

visiting baby maverick and family at the hospital

Rhonda and John Westcott had their little baby boy yesterday afternoon. I must say, John did a fantastic job reporting the stats. of his little one. Here they are:

Maverick Chandler Westcott -
  • Date of Birth: Wednesday, June 14, 2006.
  • time of birth: 2:47 PM.
  • Place of Birth: Rio Grande Regional Hospital; McAllen, Texas.
  • Length: 19 inches.
  • Weight: 6 lbs. & 9 oz.
We went to visit the family at Rio Grande from about 1 pm to 2:15 pm. Though I'm trying not to bring my camera everywhere I go, the Westcotts are good friends. So, snap, snap, and away I went with my pictures. Didn't post all the pics. I took. But here are a few. He's gettting close to a day old when I took these.

troy holding baby maverick. where did maverick go? he's hiding!


there he is! what a cutie-pie maverick is.


a tender, sweet moment between father and son.


baby maverick.

I was the first guest/non-family member to hold baby Maverick. Honestly, I almost cried as soon as I saw him. Holding him was so much fun for me. Both times that he was in my arms, he fell fast asleep. Sweet, sweet little baby.

I want a little one, too! Oh wait, I will be getting a little one . . . in just three months. Unbelievable. Oops, I got side-tracked.

Congratulations Rhonda and John! You must be extremely proud (though unbelievably exhausted) parents. We love you guys.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

the rolls royce of strollers and travel systems - the graco metrolite aluminum travel system

Before deciding what to put in my baby registries, I did a bunch of research. Okay, research consisted of looking through Denise & Alan Fields' "Baby Bargains, 6th edition" (great resource by the way; I highly recommend this to any expecting moms) and talking with new mommies.

In terms of car seats and strollers, I ended up deciding on the Graco Metrolite Aluminum Travel System. The sticker price for the combo sounds a bit shocking, but not only did "Baby Bargains" highly recommend the stuff, but I've heard really good things about the products from friends.

Troy's mom and dad, whom I call Momma and Poppa (I don't like referring to them as my mother-in-law and father-in-law, because I like them so much, and such titles though accurate don't sound as friendly), gave us this Graco Metrolite Aluminum Travel System. We got it via UPS tonight! Thank you SO much Momma and Poppa. You guys are the bomb.

My good friend Manda came over tonight so we could go on one of our famous Target runs. But, I had to show her the little gift I got for Troy for Father's Day. And, I wanted to show her the fabulous Metrolite Travel System we got today. Well, not long after pulling the stuff out of the box, I hadn't gone through a few pages of the instructions before Manda already put together all the parts to the stroller and assembled it. You're a genius Manda! Thanks for helping or putting together the stuff for me.

Seriously, this MetroLite Travel System is like the Rolls Royce of Strollers. It's so amazing! The tires in the front part of the stroller turn all the way around (360 degrees) but can also be locked in place. Certainly, the back wheels can be locked, too. The stroller has ample storage below. There is plenty of covering to protect the baby from the sun. There are cup holders near the handles for adult drinks. Then, up front, in front of the baby, are cup holders for baby drinks! The stroller, even with the infant car seat in it, isn't uncontrollably heavy.

the stroller and car seat side by side.


the stroller - Graco makes different kinds of strollers.
if my memory serves me correctly, the MetroLite not only easy to fold,
but also, it is lighter than many other strollers.


the Graco infant car seat.
some people go with convertible car seats,
but, we decided to go with an infant car seat.
will better snuggle & protect our little one.



the infant car seat snapped into the stroller.
this feature is so cool. literally the infant car seat
snaps into the stroller, and there are two other locking mechanisms
to secure the infant car seat into the stroller. love it!


an upclose shot of the infant car seat sitting in the stroller.
look on the right hand side of the picture,
where the gray semi-circle thing is inside the stroller;
that's where the baby's head goes.
she faces the direction of the hand,
the person pushing the stroller, in other words.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

church service the day after VBS concluded

Instead of having a regular church service today, we showed the adults what the kids have been doing in VBS, from yesterday to last night. The kids sang the songs they learned and showed the movements (to the words) they learned. One of the stories they heard was retold on stage, the story of Zebedee and the fishers of men.





This is the retelling of Zebedee and his sons story.

\

Saturday, June 10, 2006

celebration at cold stone with manda & johnny regarding a dissertation milestone!

from top to bottom & left to right:
me, troy, manda, johnny.

This is a bit premature to be celebrating, but, I think given the hard, long-lasting work I've put into my dissertation (over a year and a half's worth of work), I think what happened today was a milestone! I conversed with my dissertation advisor, and she has given me the green light to pass my dissertation on to my second reader and to schedule the oral defense!!

This is absolutely huge news! So, this afternoon, I e-mailed my entire dissertation (title page, chs. 1-7, works cited) to my second reader. And, I e-mailed all of my committee members to schedule a defense date. Whoo hoo! Party on dude.

The real party . . . where we have people over to celebrate . . . will take place after I pass my defense and after I turn in all the paperwork for my degree. Can really see a bit of the light at the end of the tunnel now. Thank goodness. Thank you, Lord!

vbs, day 4 - the last day

EVENT: Vacation Bible School (VBS)
DATE: Sat., June 10, 2006 - last day of VBS

LESSON: Jesus is our Savior.


TODAY'S DRESS UP THEME: TWINS!


me & troy (i know, i know - this is grammatically incorrect, but this is the order of the picture)
the picture was taken by the lovely and talented manda-manders (huddle).

thank you manders for taking this picture of us. momma, here's your picture of both troy and me.



the next set of pictures are pictures of "twins" - ready?

diana & tracy




robert & valerie














israel & troy
okay, um, israel's looking kind of scary!


mary & baby abram.


the kids learn a lesson from valerie & manda.

loads of baby stuff from abirami

Abirami (known to most everyone else as Abby) and I became best friends in the 4th grade. So for those of you who are stellar at addition, we've been friends for a very long time. I was around eight years old in the fourth grade.

The time is technically, 1:34 AM on Saturday, June 10. Received this delightful package from Abirami last night. The UPS guy delivered to us just as we were about to leave for VBS. So, I didn't get to open it until after I got home from VBS.

Can't believe Abirami got me (actually the baby so much stuff). I feel bad that you spent so much time and money on our little one. Thank you, thank you, thank you for your love, kindness, and gifts!!!

Abirami got different sizes of clothing, so our baby girl will have different things to wear from her in the first six months.


carter's 3 month onesie
isn't this one of the greatest inventions?
it's a onesie with a skirt attached to it; viola, the outfit looks more dressy.


bright future's 3-6 months sleeper with cute little socks.


izod's 3-6 months dress.
this is the first dress our little girl has received.
i think it's absolutely adorable, and look at the matching bloomers!


carter's 6 months onesie.
got to love these onesies with skirts attached -
looks great yet so easy on the mommy & daddy.



oshkosh 6-9 months
hey! she'll have something to wear on the 4th of july.
did you plan that one abirami? you're a genius.


carter's 9 months.


bright future 3 washcloths.


bright future 2-ply receiving blanket - 100% cotton.
this is the first receiving blanket we've gotten - yay for receiving blankets.
haven't figured out what they're for, but i'm told i need several of them.


bright future hooded towel.
wow, you do think of matters far and wide abirami -
haven't thought as far as bathing stuff yet.
you're definitely one step ahead of me!


wahoo. this is like christmas for our little one. thank you. thank you, thank you!