Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Week #4

No Lenten menu this week folks. I am being wheeled away for surgery bright and early Wednesday morning, so we winged it for dinner on Monday and Tuesday. The rest of the weeks meals are being provided by different church members.

No big deal on the surgery; I will be happy to divulge the details on some other, less public forum... like, um, my other addiction, Facebook.

Here is the biggest shout out possible to my mother-in-law, Kay. She is meeting Josh early Wednesday morning to take our kids so that I can recover from surgery in peace. We won't get them back till Saturday afternoon! Yikes, she is brave! Actually, Levi and Claire LOVE going to their grandmothers house. Her house is a child's paradise, with an entire room dedicated to toys, books and general mayhem. Both my kids know that what they get in trouble for here, is just a normal day at grandmas.

For example, in her playroom, or the red room as Levi calls it, she has one of those plastic play kitchens. There are pots and pans, spoons and plates, and one extra special thing that no mother would have in their play kitchens: real food. My mother-in-law lets them play with flour, salt and pepper, oatmeal, raisins, chocolate chips and blueberries (I am sure that she let them have more food than just this, but these are what I can personally testify too.)

Grandma also does not adhere to a bedtime schedule. Sure, they get a bath, read books, brush teeth, and go to sleep, just not necessarily in that order. Or before 11 pm.

Grandma and Grandpa also take Levi and Claire to the video store and let them pick out a couple of movies to watch. Scooby Doo and the Loch Ness Monster is always one, and lately the other has been one of the zillion Land Before Time movies.

"Pick up your toys" and "eat your vegetables" are two phrases that are never used in the Grandma Knight household. In fact, I think they are officially banned. Thus, after a day of my children being at Kay's house, it looks like a tornado replaced my two children.

I am convinced that my mother-in-law is totally spent after a couple days of watching my children; but she would never admit it. I know it must take her hours to clean up after them; but I could never drag that information from her lips. Because, of all the crazy things that go on up in Gold Bar, all the ways I am sure my children are getting spoiled, all the unnecessary toys that were purchased to entertain them specifically for this trip, Levi and Claire come home happy as clams.

Well, not really. They are actually sad to come home; they would rather stay with Grandma. But at least I know they are having a wonderful time, and that they are being cared for by two people who love them and want the best for them.

Monday, March 23, 2009

We have been Earthed

One way Josh and I like to celebrate is to spend money. Yep, even though I have none, I am doing my part to crank up the economy. You are welcome.

Anyway, on Thursday after Match Day, we took the kids to Costco, our favorite shopping store. You know when you walk into Costco and they have those HUGE tv's that all are showing the same show and it is really intimidating? Well, on Thursday they were showing Planet Earth by BBC. Oh My Gosh. It was amazing. We bought it.

For the past five days it is all we have been watching. Seriously. It is that cool. Levi's favorite has been the jungle video. There is a clip of male Birds of Paradise doing their "I'm too sexy" dance. These birds have some serious fashion sense! Levi's favorite one is this bird that ruffles up his feathers so that he appears all black with a smiley face on him in bright turquoise. It is amazing. Luckily almost everything can be googled:
My favorite so far is the caves. Watching this video makes me want to become a spelunker. Except for the closed in claustrophobic feeling, I think I would make a great cave-explorer.
Anyway, these videos are amazing and educational. We love them!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Match Day Results

I will get right to the point here:

Josh matched at our third choice, OHSU in Portland, Oregon. OHSU is only a four year program, so our first year will be spent in Spokane, WA at Sacred Heart Medical Center.

Josh is so excited! Me too... kind of. The housing market in Portland is not as phenomenal as, oh, let's say Indianapolis, but Portland is a super fun city. Plus there are lots of outdoor activities that will keep up busy.

The act of moving is now secure. I can search for houses, schools, stores, and have a sense of calmness and knowing. Who knows, we may like Portland enough to stay there and not return to the Evergreen State. Even though we are not leaving the Pacific Northwest, we will still continue to do our "Farewell Seattle" tour. The Space Needle is top on that list.

So, Match Day. It was, so unique. Probably 75 medical students and their families crowded into a lobby while the Deans of the Medical School randomly called out the names of students. The student would then walk up, grab their sealed letter, and take it away to be opened. Josh let me open his.

All around us people were crying, tears of joy and sorrow, hugging, and calling mom and dad. This same scene played out in every single medical school across the county, at the same time. Kind of neat.

Now is celebration time. Josh has secured his first job in seven years!

Monday, March 16, 2009


YES! He matched! Josh will be a radiologist! I am so excited and happy for Joshua. The excitement in his voice made the past seven years totally worth it. He is on such an extreme high right now, I think it may last till Thursday.

As promised, here is our rank order list:

1. University of Indiana, Indianapolis
2. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque
3. Oregon Health & Sciences University, Portland
4. University of Vermont, Burlington
5. Yale University, New Haven, CT
6. University of Washington, Seattle
7. William Beaumont, Royal Oak, MI
8. Dartmouth University, Lebanon, NH
9. Virgina Mason, Seattle
10. Maine Medical Center, Portland, ME
11. University of Massachusetts, Worcester
12. Sacred Heart Hospital, Spokane, WA
13. Grand Rapids Medical Center, MI
14. Rochester General Hospital, NY
15. Norwalk Hospital, CT

Thursday we will find out which one of these fair cities will be graced by the Knight family...

P.S. Statistically, 90% of radiology applicants get accepted into one of their top five.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Week #3

Okay, here is this weeks menu:

Monday: Corn chowder, salad, pumpkin squares
Tuesday: Indian tofu curry
Wednesday: Pasta bake
Thursday: Baked potato bar, brownies
Friday: Potluck at church
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Mujadarrah (lentils and caramelized onions over rice)

On another note, tomorrow is going to be an amazing day for us. The tension that has presided in our abode will dissipate and we will then be left with... more waiting. Monday is pre-match day. On Monday we will receive and email at 9am telling Josh whether or not he matched to a residency program. Then, Thursday is when we find out what program we matched to and where we will have to move to in three months.

Josh is going crazy. Hopefully he will get drunk tonight and quit asking me questions like "do you think I will match?" or "what will I do if I don't match?" All our conversations end the same. Me telling Josh to shut up. Seriously. I do not know how much more I can take! 9am cannot come soon enough.

Stay tuned though. Josh says that I can post his rank order list only after we find out if he matched.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lenten Menu

Okay, so one thing I know about myself is that I am a huge procrastinator. I realize what a foolish goal I set out for myself blogging every night about my dinners. Yeah, way too far fetched for this girl.

Thus I am going to change my Lenten recipe sharing posts. Instead, I will just post my weekly menu, and anybody that is absolutely dying to try one of the recipes, let me know. So, here it goes.

Monday: New York Goodwiches; Peach-cobbler muffins
Tuesday: Indonesian fried rice; Sweet potato soup
Wednesday: Artichoke pasta, naan, chocolate no-bake cookies
Thursday: Borscht, Flaky biscuits, veggie kabobs
Friday: Potluck at Church
Saturday: Leftovers
Sunday: Veggie burgers, salad, roasted red potatoes

Sounds great right! I guess we will see... half of my menu ideas I have never made before!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Curious Questions

Levi is a very curious boy. I suppose this is just in line with most four-year olds. However, Levi is very curious, or concerned might be the better word, with heaven and death.

I am not sure why he is fascinated with it. Perhaps it comes from his early obsession with dinosaurs or his knowledge that his Grandpa Russell is in heaven. But from an early age he asked questions regarding death and what happens after death.

With age, his questions have only gotten more direct. After watching the movie cars the other day, he asked me if God would have a tv for him so that he could keep watching Lightning McQueen. I told him that God wants us to be happy and he loves us, and God would provide for us everything that we needed in heaven. He then asked me if the dinosaurs would destroy our house. Because, Levi said, if the brachiosaurs destroyed our house, he might step on our tv that God gave us.

Levi is also an emotional child and there are times when he talks about dying, that tears come to his eyes. He is worried about being in heaven before us, he is worried about being alone, he is worried about the whole aspect of heaven. Seeing how sad he gets makes me equally sad.

Sometimes I do not know what to tell him. I want to be honest, but also vague. I feel uncomfortable saying that I will not die, or that we will die together. Being a child when my own father died was hard enough; I don't know how I would have reacted if my father had told me he would never die, then, poof, he dies.

I have chosen to tell Levi the things that I know; that heaven is a great place, where we will live together with God. Some people get to heaven earlier, but we all will get there. When he specifically asks me about Grandpa Russell, I tell him that God needed a pizza chef, and that is what Grandpa Russell knew how to do, so God asked him to come to heaven a bit early.

For now, this is working. Well, it also works to tell him that God keeps the dinosaurs in a separate place so that they do not smash any houses. And that God has tv and toys.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lenten Recipes

Well, Lent has officially started.

Last night I sat down with my vegetarian cookbooks and set to work making my March menu. I know that there are a lot of Orthodox families who struggle with delicious dinners during this time (hello! that is me!) while maintaining some sort of variety. But this year, I am making it a priority to provide healthy, tasty, and Lent-worthy meals for my family.

This is not going to be an easy task! I live with two picky children and one closet carnivore. However, I think it will be fun to share my dinners with other Orthodox or vegan families.

First, I have to share with you the best vegan cookbooks ever written. It is "The American Vegetarian Cookbook" by Marilyn Diamond. Followed closely by "Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone" by Deborah Madison. Madison's book is not vegan, just vegetarian. Both were gifts from my mother. She has great taste in cookbooks!
These two women have a plethora of tasty recipes that are not terribly difficult. Josh's favorite dessert, apple crisp, is from Madison's book. My favorite Lenten meal, New York Goodwiches, is from Diamond's.

Armed with these books I planned out several meals.

On Monday we had our favorite dinner, which we eat even on non-fasting days, Sauerkraut dogs. This are SO easy and SO tasty! All you need are hot dog buns, sauerkraut and tofurky dogs. Word to the wise, when you buy the tofurky dogs, make sure you are getting the "beer brats". Tofurky makes a couple other flavors, but they just do not taste as wonderful as the beer brats. Also, grilling the dogs is heavenly. I am totally serious. SO GOOD.
Anyway, simply cook your dogs, layer ketchup and vegan mayo on your bun, insert dog and top with sauerkraut. We had roasted red potatoes and caramelized Brussels sprouts. Levi and Claire love the dogs with ketchup.

Tuesday night I made a bean soup with Trader Joe's 17 bean soup mix. I added Tofurky kielbasa style dogs and it was delicious. I also whipped up some home made bread and served with a salad. I think Levi and Claire ate one bit combined of the soup. They ate tons of bread though!

Tonight we had tofu and vegetable stir fry.
I buy a large container of Mr. Yoshida's gourmet sauce from Costco and simmer the tofu until done. Unfortunately, I am going to have to find another simmer sauce. Much to my horror, Mr. Yoshida's has high fructose corn syrup in it. I am totally against HFCS and try really hard to avoid it. Let me know if there is another comparable product out there without the HFCS!
Next I sauteed tons of veggies, and then served everything over brown rice. My kids LOVE rice and sweet and sour tofu. They are not fond of stir-fry veggies so they got corn on the cob. What darlings!
Hopefully I can keep up the healthy meals, and keep blogging about them! Happy eating!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Nights at the Knights

Claire got a present today from Grandma Ann...

Her very own cape!
Levi and Claire wasted no time transforming into Luke Skywalker and Darth Vader. The battle of the evening was on.

Luke Skywalker claimed victory.

And Darth Vader died.
Then he (she), got up, and ran away from Luke.