Thursday, December 8, 2011

A preview of what's to come in April, 2012!

Today we FINALLY got to see our little one that is tucked away safely in my uterus. We also got to find out if the baby is a he or a she.

I'm pretty darn excited to tell you all that Trent and I get to have another daughter to smother with love, and Ila is going to have a little sister! I'm referring to the baby as "Ila's best friend" since we won't name her till she is born and haven't thought of an in-utero name. We didn't really call Ila by any name while she was in utero (although my family called her Tae and Doris) so I'm not sure if we will with Ila's best friend either.

As for growth and health she is looking very good. Right on with my estimated due date of April 23, 2012. A nice strong well developing heart, brain and bones. Her face reminds me so much of Ila's when Ila was in utero.

Here she is!
This is her profile...just like it says.

Here are her little feet. So precious!

3D shot of her cuddling with the placenta. She's going to be growing a lot of skin in the next 20 weeks, so that those bones will get covered up!

And here she is with her back turned to us. She had enough of all the poking around, and wanted to get some sleep!

And here she is with her big sister! See, best friends already :) Photo credit goes to Trent.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Random List Wednesday! TV Characters.

I had a friend post a pretty hilarious blog today and it gave me an idea. Random list Wednesday! I'm not going to totally commit to posting a random list on Wednesdays, but I think I'll try to do it...sometimes.

So this week's random list is......

5 Favorite TV show characters:

1. Cosmo Kramer (Seinfeld).
He's a lonesome offensive brute, yet I can't look away.

2. Dwight K. Shrute (The Office).
"Before I do anything I ask myself "would and idiot do that?" And if the answer is yes, I do not do that thing."

3. Gob Bluth (Arrested Development).
"Caca-ca, Caca-ca!"

4. Liz Lemon (30 Rock).
"I want to go to there." "Blurg!" "What the what?!?"

5. Chandler Bing (Friends).
"I'm not great at the advice....can I interest you in a sarcastic comment?"

Honorable Mention goes out to:
Elaine Benes (Seinfeld).
"Get OUT!"

What about you? Any favorite TV characters out there?

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Boy? Girl?.... ULTRA SOUND TIME!!!

Well, the time has come! Ultra sound time! We have an appointment on Thursday, and I can hardly WAIT to see our little baby. I wonder what fun position the baby will be in. I want to see the hands, the feet, the face!!! In Korea we had ultra sounds at every appointment, so you can imagine how different prenatal care seems to me here, with only 2 ultra sounds in 40 weeks. I loved seeing Ila's in-utero growth over the 7 months we lived in Korea, it really was spectacular. I do like being able to actually TALK to the doctor and staff though, you know, since we all speak English. That has been a big blessing this go around.

I think I'm 19 weeks tomorrow, but I keep losing track, so I could be 20 weeks tomorrow....either way, I'm feeling great and enjoying looking pregnant. I like baby bellies, they are just so cute! Yesterday a stranger asked me when my baby was due. I was happy that she asked. I guess I'm over the "don't ask that lady if she is pregnant because she might be...or she might just look pregnant" stage. That can be rough place to be in.

So, here is your chance to guess the gender. I like this game. So go for it, put a guess out there. Will baby Becker be a BOY or a GIRL???

Now I'd better be off. Baby Becker is kicking me in the bladder (for the first time, and not the last, for sure!). I love the little kicks!

Monday, November 28, 2011

5 smells I currently can't get enough of.

Today I've been thinking about smells. As you may know, pregnant women have much more sensitive sniffers then a normal person. This usually seems to be a negative aspect of pregnancy, but today, I'm thinking about how it is also good. It is good, because smells I usually like, I LOVE and I also get to experience a new level of aroma with other things. So here is it, my current list of things I LOVE to smell, and aromas that I find very pleasing.

COFFEE. I walk by the section in the grocery store multiple times and inhale deeply. I was given a bag the other day, and I smelled and smelled and smelled it and tried to absorb as much flavor through my nostrils as possible.

ILA'S HAIR. I love this smell because it means I'm probably snuggling with her, which is a rare treat due to the activity level of a 2 year old.

CARMALIZING ONIONS. I carmalized some last night for a batch of spaghetti, and decided that French Onion Soup NEEDED to be made to following night for dinner, so it's on the stove cooking away now!

LAUNDRY AT MY MOM'S HOUSE. Tide and snuggle. It's really the best scent you can give your clothes. So I bought some snuggle when we got back home, because I missed the smell!

TRENT'S CLOTHES. This sounds weird right after talking about the smell laundry gives our clothes, but Trent's clothes hold onto this delicious almost wood type smell. We call it his scent, and it is delicious.

Any smells you are currently loving?

Thursday, November 10, 2011

That month flew by!

So much has been happening since I told you all about our silly little girl over a month ago. That silly girl is now 2 years old,
and that comes with extra sas and attitude and a whole new desire for independence and freedom! Since our little Ila turned 2 she has had the flu, which she shared with her daddy and Boise Grandparetns, but (praise the Lord!) not with her mommy. She made a new best friend...a kitten named Draco, who she follows all over my parents house, picks him up, pets him, feeds him and chases him. She spent 3 days with second cousins and had a blast, but towards the end of the time she started thinking that being the only kid around just might be better!
Here she is with several second cousins, and her Granny!

I suppose 2 solid years of being the only kiddo in our house, and also the limited time she spends with other kids her age has affected her patience for putting up with others! She didnt throw fits or anything like that, she just started sqwaking in the kids faces when they tried to pick her up and she played on her own a bit more. She'll learn the joys of having a sibling in another 5ish months though, which will be good for all of us! She's also had an ear infection :( and celebrated her 3rd Thanksgiving.

What have Trent and I been up to? Well, we have been BUSY, busy BuSY spending time with family, working, catching up with friends and parenting. Trent did a 2 week loft project for my parents with his dad. It turned out great (see facebook for the photos). We spent from Ila's birthday till the day after Trent's birthday in Idaho on above mentioned project. We are finally back home, which is nice, although an adjustment to getting back into the time management of getting to town and what not!

Trent is still on the job search, and also on a "what do I REALLY want to do with my career" search. His spirits are high, but I know that figuring out the next step in our lives is something we both want NOW! We get to work on patience though, as we wait for direction, as we wait for answers, and as we wait for opportunities. It is a hard place to be in, but we have the Lord leading our steps which makes everything so much better!
Trent on his birthday

I am doing great these days. Our baby in utero has been moving so much the past few days which has been exciting. My morning sickness ended about 3 weeks ago, so it lasted 15 weeks. It was a very rough 15 weeks and I've got to say that the world seems a brighter place now! I'm enjoying having an appetite, but being very mindful about portions and snacking because I currently feel like a beautiful pregnant woman, and would like to maintain that attitude. It will be much easier to maintain that attitude about myself if I don't gain loads of excess weight! My doctor and I discussed the right amount to gain, and I am certainly trying to stay to that amount! Self control is a beautiful thing to work on all the time really.

So there you have it!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Silly Girl

Ila is hilarious. SHe has a great sense of humor and will laugh at anything remotely funny and she makes us laugh all the time!

On Saterday morning Ila woke up and started playing nicely in her room (at least we think this is the case, Trent and I were still sleeping). We both heard her once or twice, but since it sounded like she was playing nicely so we dozed back off (her room is very toddler safe, so don't worry about that!). After 20ish minutes, she came into our room, ready for us to be awake. We both said good morning to her and then she asked for food and ran off to the kitchen. I rolled out of bed and found her in the kitchen like this:

She had gotten into her drawers and found a skirt to put on. I though it was hilarious and super cute. And it even looked decent with her jammies. My girls got fashion sense!

This is Ila being silly this morning after having some breakfast

And being silly in the car the other day.

And being cute with Her daddy this morning.

The Lord sure has blessed us with a beautiful child inside and out! Ila reminds me to not take things too seriously, and to laugh at the silly things, because laughing is fun!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

It is with great joy that we are announcing...I am pregnant! I'm 13 lovely weeks now, and we are feeling so blessed by God's touch in our lives. Baby Becker #2 is due April 24, 2012!

When we first figured out my due date, I was immediately worried. I had both my miscarriages in April, and now we have a baby due in April. I just figured that month was doomed for us! The more I think about it now though, the more I see God and his love and caring for us in that. April is full of new growth, the world of nature seems to come back alive after months and months of seeming lifelessness. Easter is usually in April too! We gather to celebrate Christ's resurrection, His coming back to life. And for us, next year, we will have the joy of bringing another life into this world. I really think the Lord knew what he was doing when He helped us in the art of conception and that lovely time.

We've been bursting at the seams (me more than Trent, and quite literally in some of my pants!) to share our news with you all. It's also been easy to not share though, since the last 12ish weeks have been full of feeling quite terrible, puking, and lots and lots of napping. I didn't want to share our great news in the midst of feeling so terrible. The doctors love to hear that pregnant women are MISERABLE, because it is usually a sign of a nice healthy pregnancy. I was so miserable we thought I must be having twins! But no, there is just the one little baby floating around my uterus! I'm also starting to feel much better. I had a rough day yesterday, and ended up in bed at 7:30. I slept till 8 am today. Trent slept on the couch so he could intercept Ila on the way to wake me up in the night too, which was super sweet. Ila made it past him once, but I had been asleep for 5 hours by then, and didn't mind getting up and carrying her back to bed and giving her kisses! I sure love and appreciate that Trent did that for me! I guess I was sick multiple times yesterday because of exhaustion!

So, that is the latest from Our Becker Family! We are thrilled to finally share our news with the world!

Monday, October 10, 2011

Best Chicken Tortilla soup EVER!

My mom and I make delicious Chicken Tortilla soup. People ask for the recipe often, so I figured I should just post it, and then I wont have to type it out anymore! :) It is delicious and tasty, and my favorite chicken tortilla soup ever. It does not have corn or beans in it (which you could add if you really wanted, and it would still be good), which is probably why I love it so much. So, have at it if you'd like :)

In a large soup pot
1 onion, chopped in some oil

3 cloves garlic, minced
1 t. cumin
1 t. oregano
.5-1 t. chili powder
.5 t. pepper

saute till fragrant

1-2 pounds chicken, diced
8 c. chicken broth
14 oz. tomatoes (or more)
1 small can green chilies

Boil till chicken is cooked.

-While boiling slice 10 corn tortillas in .5 inch size strips
-chop a bunch of cilantro
-cut up an avocado or two
-shred some cheese

Add the strips to the soup and stir. Keep boiling, but you can turn it down to med. Cook the soup for another 20-25 minutes. The tortillas will break down and thicken the soup.

5 minutes before you serve the soup, add 1/2 c. cilantro to pot and stir it in.

****When you serve the soup add a dollop of sour cream, some shredded cheese and avocado chunks and more chopped cilantro. You can also crunch up some tortilla chips and sprinkle on top. This is the BEST way to eat this soup, hands down!

It can be a little spicy. If you want more kick, add some crushed red pepper. The sour cream makes it MUCH less spicy. Ila can eat it with no problems at all, so it is kid friendly.

It's also good with bell pepper chopped up and saute with the onion. Don't be afraid to add extra spices either. I usually do :)

Hope you enjoy, I think I'll go make a pot right now, and maybe post some pictures! :)

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Ila's adventure on the Ranch!

Ila went over to Doris' house to play the other day. It was a much needed break for this mommy, and a break from mommy for Ila. I've been sick. Sick, sick, sick, and it's hard to have a toddler running a muck when you feel like crud. Doris has told me that if I ever needed a break to just give her a call. Doris LOVES Ila, and Ila LOVES Doris, so I went ahead a made the call. Doris came right over and picked Ila up and off they went. I knew Ila would have fun, and I was so thankful to have a moment to myself. I took a nice long nap, and felt like a new woman when I woke up.

Trent picked Ila up on his way home from work. They got here around 6:30. When Ila walked in the house she was talking. Well, babbaling to the untrained ear, but I could understand her pretty well. "babble babble babble cow, mooooo, babble babble, neighhhhhhhh, babble babble dog, woof woof, babble babble babble." She was telling me all about the cows, horses and dogs that she got to see and pet with Doris. She liked saying hi to them up close, because she always hears the cows moo at our house, and wants to go see them. She did NOT stop talking till she went to bed (and she went right to sleep, thanks for wearing her out Doris!). She didn't just get to see the animals though, she also helped Doris unload the dishwasher, one piece of silverware at a time and she carried a baby all around the house. She didn't have any accidents until Trent got there to pick her up. I'm pretty sure she would have held it if she hadn't been so excited to tell Daddy about the animals!

Other then that, I'm not sure what they did, but I know it was one of the best afternoon's of Ila's life. It's so great to see her so excited about the animals. She really does love them! And what a blessing it is to us that we live where we do and she gets to see them up close and even pet them! If we move, I will miss our neighbors more then anything, and I know Ila will too.

So, thanks again for the wonderful afternoon for both Ila and myself Doris! You really are a blessing to us :)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Miss Mischievous

Ila is mischievous. I probably wouldn't have said that last week, but this week, everything has changed.
(Here she is in an outfit she picked out all by herself. Daddy was in charge of dressing her!)

It all started on Saturday, at nap time. I laid her down like usual, tucked her in and and shut the door. Within about 10 minutes she was up and talking. This happens every so often, but she usually just goes right to sleep. So, I went back in there and tucked her in again. 15 minutes later, she had climbed out of her crib, opened the door and run out to say "hi" to me. She finally did it, she learned how to crawl out of her crib. I was not happy, and Trent was thrilled with "his little climber!" She did it 2 more times before she finally went to sleep.

Then Monday came, and I laid her down for her nap and she talked and played and took her diaper off, but stayed in her crib. An improvement I thought... until 1.5 hours had passed and she was still in there playing. Then I heard "peepee Mama. I go peepee." I figured she wanted me to come rescue her from her crib, because she was trying not get out of napping. So I waited a minute or two (mistake). Then she said it again, "I go peepee Mama!" So then I thought she must actually need to go so I'll get her, take her to the bathroom and THEN she'll nap. I went into her room to find her out of her pants, diaper cover and diaper, and standing over a very wet spot on her bed. Yep, she took her diaper off and peed in her bed. So, I changed the sheets, put her diaper back on and laid her back down. Over the next 1.5 hours she still didn't nap, and was grabbing on to her ears and all that jazz, so I knew it was time for a trip to the doctor (we've had both been feeling under the weather the last few days). She FINALLY fell asleep at 1pm, with just her t-shirt on. Yep, she took her diaper off again, but I just let her be, and figured I would RUSH in there when she woke up, so we didn't have another accident.

Then Tuesday came, and we were both SUPER sick. Double ear infection and a sinus infection for Ila, and a sinus infection for me. I figured (hoped and prayed!) we would have a nice quiet day at home together recuperating. I was so wrong. After she woke up from her nap, she quietly took her diaper off and pooped on the bed. I was napping too, and woke up to "I go poo! I go poo!" I hoped that she was just tooting (she thinks they are the same thing), and my hopes were shattered when I opened her door. Not only had she pooped, but she had taken off her diaper and pooped on the bed. So, I got that all cleaned up. Then I decided that no matter HOW terrible I felt, the kitchen floor MUST be mopped. It was overdue for a mopping (and I mean REALLY overdue). So I unloaded and loaded the dishwasher, and started it. I checked on Ila, who was in her room reading books. Then I started to hand wash the few dishes left, and after a few minutes (probably 5) I heard a bang in my bathroom. I went running, because she likes to play in the bathtub (I know, scary right?!?!). I turned the corner and saw Ila, standing in the toilet, with the toilet bowl scrubber, toilet water EVERYWHERE, pee in her little toilet, and on the floor and a large pile of toilet paper soaking on the toilet water covered ground. I put her in the bathtub and had her fold her hands for a time out while I went about cleaning up the large mess she made. While doing so, she peed in the bathtub (I mean, she had JUST peed in the toilet, what the what?!?!). After I got all that cleaned up, I finally finished the dishes, and wiped the counters down, swept and mopped.

Now it is Wednesday. Already I have cleaned up a smaller toilet mess (I don't know how she made such a mess in the few moments she was in there without me!). Then, while I was on the phone (skype, with trent who has the cell phone) she got the crisco and the almond butter out of the pantry and spread it ALL over the kitchen floor. It took me awhile to figure out what gets crisco off the floor, but I finally did. While I was cleaning up the mess, I kept thinking about how it serves me right for holding off on mopping for so long, that I get to do it two days in a row. It's not even noon yet, and I don't know what else the day holds, but if I close my eyes for one second, or get distracted I'm sure little Miss Mischievous will be into something else!

She is SO MUCH like her daddy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New chapter

Some of you may have heard our news that Trent is no longer employed at Mercer. It was quite a shock to us, as the news came on friday and was without much explanation. We've deduced though that Trent's immediate supervisor was taking credit for all Trent's work, and at the same time, bad mouthing Trent to the big boss in order to get rid of my awesome, hardworking husband. It's unfortunate for us on so many levels. Trent loved his job, and was great at it. We were feeling settled and really at home here in the middle of nowhere Washington. We were finally established in a church, and we hadn't moved in almost a whole year! Most people would say in this situation "well it's Mercer's loss," and that is so true, but it is ours as well. It's not fair, but neither are a lot of things in life. One of the good things though is that this said supervisor will be found out soon enough, when all the things Trent was doing are all of a sudden not being done. And as we all know, liars ugly faces can only be hid for so long! But that doesn't really do much for us anyway, so it's time to look forward.

Trent got a temporary job yesterday, to get us through the season, and then hopefully something permanent and with benefits will come about. We could use prayer, job leads and a good word though, if you think of us! We are being positive and pressing into the Lord, and that is always good! So there you have it, the latest in ourbeckerfamily news.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Tale of the Missing Groceries

Today I was not very happy about having to go into town and go grocery shopping. Sometimes I look forward to this task but this week I was dreading it. It was one of those days where you wake up lacking energy from the get go, and with a potty training, energetic toddler, driving to town for groceries seemed like a daunting task. But off we went. It was a nice drive, and I passed one of Trent's co-workers, Earl, on the way (a piece of info I wouldn't find necessary to mention on a regular trip to town) and Ila read books and didn't pee her pants.

I decided on the way into town that we would shop at Fred Meyer this week instead of Winco. I thought that was a brilliant idea, because as much as I love Winco prices, I really don't like their produce, and if I have a bit of an odd thing on my list, they never have it. I had a few things on the list I figured they wouldn't have so Fred Meyer (FM) it was. In retrospect, going to an unfamiliar grocery store when the energy is down was probably not the BEST choice ever, since I actually had to LOOK for things (I could probably navigate Winco with my eyes closed) but we made do. They had everything on my list and I even got a freebie juicer thingy, which was nice. I was also glad that they bagged my groceries for me, a service not provided at Winco (but that is okay, it does keep prices down). I loaded my groceries into the cart and was a bit distracted by Ila trying to remove all the contents of my wallet, which she had grabbed out of the diaper bag that was just in her reach that I unknowingly forgot to get all of my bags.

We were ready for lunch and really wanting some fried rice, so after a few phone calls Ila and I ended up at a place close to FM and enjoyed some cheap, delicious Chinese food. Then we were homeward bound.

Trent was home for lunch when we got home so he unloaded all the groceries (in one trip, that buff, good looking husband of mine) for me while I laid Ila down for a nap. Usually I would have immediately started putting the groceries away, but I wanted to rest for a few minutes first. After about 30 minutes passed, I got up to put the groceries away and realized that I was missing a few items. Here is what happened in my head then:
1. oh no, I left the panda bag at the store (the panda bag is my FAVORITE bag we got in Korea and it holds LOTS of groceries).
2. I couldn't have left groceries at the store, trent must have missed a bag
3. no, i don't remember loading it in the back of the van, I KNOW I forgot it at the store.

So naturally I called Trent as I walked out to the van to check. "Babe, did you bring the panda bag in from the car?"
"Panda bag? The bag with the books to donate?"
"No, that panda bag with the groceries in it...."
"Um, there wasn't a panda bag in the back, sorry Nicole."
"awwwwwwww shit.... I left it at the store, I KNOW I did....k, thanks, love you, bye.

So, I call up FM and talk to a girl who says "yep we've got your bag. When can you come pick it up?" So I explain that I live far away yada, yada, yada and tell her I'll come get it today or tomorrow. Then I call Trent and ask him if he knows if anyone from work is currently in the tri-cities. He says no, and then has to go, because he is busy.

Then I realize that I didn't leave just the panda bag, but I left 3 cartons of eggs as well. So I call the girl at FM again and she says, "yep, we've got 3 bought and unclaimed cartons of eggs too, back in the cooler."

Then I remember that Trent has a co-worker that lives in the TC and who may stop on the way to work tomrrow and grab our groceries for us. So I call Trent and ask him to call that guy. Then, because God is awesome, I remembered that I had passed Earl on the way into the TC's, but it was HOURS ago. I knew Earl would be haeding back this way sometime today, since he lives on the farm. So I call Trent again and tell him that I knew Earl was in the TCs today, and maybe he hadn't left yet.

A few minutes later, Trent called me to tell me that Earl was eating at Jack in the Box, right across the street from FM, and he would gladly pick up our forgotten groceries. He also told me to call FM and let them know that Earl would be coming, and if they could have it all together that would be great. So I called the lovely girl and told her. She said "okay, great, what does he look like, so I make sure I give it to the right person?" "Well, his name is Earl and he looks like an older man, a farmer and........he doesn't have any front teeth" I say, a bit shamefully. "Okay, great, no front teeth, got it, we'll give him your groceries, have a nice day!"

So now the groceries are back on the farm, sitting in Trent's pickup, ready to come home. I'm going to make Earl some cookies (soft ones, Trent told me) to thank him for helping us out. I'm also just really thanking God for making it so easy to get all our groceries here today.

Oh, and I had a very lazy mom moment today at lunch. I knew I should take Ila to the bathroom before we left, but I didn't want to hassle with it. I figured she would wet her pants on the way home, and I would clean it up then. No, I'm not proud of that lazy moment, and I will fight the lack of gumption next time. HOWEVER, when we got home Ila was dry. She ran to the bathroom when I asked her if she needed to go and she REALLY went. She peed SO MUCH, I was SO proud of her for waiting till we got home! What a champ!

Sunday, August 21, 2011


I'm sure you would love to read about how Ila likes to to somersaults

or about how Aunt Telcia and Uncle Jon came to visit Ila (and Trent, and me).

You may even like to hear about Aunt Tawna visiting, with her kiddos

but so much fun was had by all that I can hardly begin to blog it! Thanks for visiting us, we sure had fun!!!

Sunday, August 14, 2011

FIRE! 10 minutes, 5 things.

Last week we had a bit of a fire scare. It ended up not being a huge deal since it was put out quickly, but it could have been pretty terrible. I had a few minutes when I was not certain if our house would survive the fire, and I quickly began thinking of all the things I should grab and pack up to be ready to leave in case we did have to evacuate and our house burned up. These are the things I thought of:

-Trent and Ila's baby books
-My Great Grandma's bible
-the hard drive with several years worth of pictures on it
-as many cloth diapers that would fit in the diaper bag as possible
-my baby blanket and Ila's baby blanket that my Grams made

And that was it. Of everything in our house, those were the 5 things I thought of that I just had to grab. I find it humorous that cloth diapers were on the list because that is something very replaceable and if our house did burn down we could just get some disposable diapers at the nearest store. I guess it just goes to show how much we love cloth diapering!

I was really hoping that Trent would get home and help me save a cabinet that his dad made for his grandma, that holds the baby books and the bible, because the cabinet has a lot more special things in it as well, but I knew that if it weren't possible, I could just get the SUPER important things out!

Over the last few days I have thought of other things that would have been smart to grab (passports, birth certificates, marriage licence and similar things), but I've also thought "man we have a lot of stuff that I wouldn't even consider saving!" It sure makes me realize just how much we have and that I need to keep in check with my materialistic-ness, and what really is important (Jesus, family, relationships).

I also thought it would be fun to hear what YOU would save, so let's hear it! If there was a fire near or at your house and you had 10 minutes to grab 5 things (and your family, pets and any living member of your family was already in the car (and your keys are in the car too!) waiting to drive to safety), what would you grab? 10 minutes, 5 things. Ready, set, fire (hehehe, pun totally intended!)!!!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Hunting down some fun!

Trent's harvest is a bit unusual this season due to the mild spring. They didn't dig any potatoes last week (but don't worry folks, there was plenty of work to keep him busy!), and after they dig one field up over the next few days, they won't dig any for another 10 days. Then after that, it will be dig, dig, dig, till all the potatoes are up. Because of this, Trent has been able to spend some time with us here and there and we even had time for an adventure today!

Our church had a work weekend up near Yakima and held the church service there, so we decided that a 2+ hour drive for church was just not going to happen (and we wouldn't have made it anyway since Trent worked from 5:30am-9am). We were thinking about going to another church just for this week but decided to hunt down our own fun in the Tri-cities. By the time we made this decision, Ila was already showing signs of needing a nap, so we laid her down a bit earlier then usual and planned to leave when she got up. Trent got a little nap too and I got to relax, so it was a good plan. A few hours later we were off to Pasco to check out Country Mercantile. It was pretty exciting and I think we'll go there some other time and let Ila ride the carousal and the mini roller coaster and fun things like that.

Then we headed to The Playground of Dreams for some fun and for a trolley ride they have during the summer (.50 cents for kids and $1 for adults!). When we got to the playground we were SHOCKED by how busy it was. After we drove around and looked at all the people we decided that Ila would have more fun at the little kid play area in the mall, so off we went. We did some window shopping and then stopped in at Barnes and Noble and I read her books for 30 minutes or so. She loves books so much! Finally we made our way over to the play area and she had a BLAST. I missed most of it because I went off to make a purchase and to get us some dinner. She apparently let Trent know she was done playing by running out of the play area (the little stinker!).

We left the mall with dinner in tow and headed to Winco, where Trent dropped me off while he ran to Walgreen's and picked up a few things and to feed Ila some dinner. Once they picked me up we headed on home.

It was a great day with no pictures (because the camera battery was dead). I sure love spending time with my little family, they are the best!

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Another quick update!

Sorry for the lack of blogging these last 2 weeks, we have been BUSY! I know I said I would write a proper blog next time around, which is this time, but I think that we'll have to wait till NEXT time to do that. Here is a breakdown of whats happening in ourbeckerfamily (yes, i just linked my own blog!)

-Harvest has officially started. Last Sunday actually. You don't even want to know what Trent's schedule is like, because it's painful even thinking about it. He is having a great time though, and is blessed with a hard working, respectful crew, so the long days don't seem as long as they really are (well, most days!). Also, the potatoes are BEAUTIFUL and DELICIOUS and BIG!

-While Trent was hard at work last weekend Ila and I drove to Boise to spend some time with family. Ila spent the first evening there playing in her kiddie pool and hanging out with Grandpa and Grandma.
We headed up to Terrace Lakes on Saturday, where my Aunt and Uncle have a cabin
and enjoyed some great time with two of my awesome cousins,
my Aunt and Uncle and my Grandma. My parents were there too, so it was one big party! The next day we drove another hour north to McCall, where we joined another Uncle and his girlfriend at her cabin on the lake and went jet skiing. My other 2 female cousins where there, and my cousins husband. It was a FANTASTIC day, full of all things summer. It was my first time jet skiing and I look forward to getting back out there next summer for more fun. There were lots of other great times had that weekend, like a rowdy game of Apples to Apples, sequence (my grams and I were the big winners!) swimming in the pool, bocce ball, BBQing and chocolate peanut butter milk shakes.

-We got back to Boise on Monday afternoon and spent the evening with my brother and his girlfriend. We had a delicious Salmon dinner with a tasty Rose' wine. Ila loves her Uncle Chris! We managed to take zero pictures of this event :(

-Tuesday was our Flesher family day. Ila and I went over to Trent's sister's house, and spent the day with them. Ila has 5 cousins there,

but the oldest was missing (off rafting the middle fork with Marma and Poppy!) and of course Aunt Tawna and Uncle Eddie. Ila had a great day playing with her cousins while Tawna and I had a great day catching up. The family evening wrapped up with a tasty spaggetti dinner.
Then, Uncle Eddie stayed home with his group of kids and Ila went back to grandma's house and Tawna and I went out for a sis-bliss (sister date) and saw a movie and got some delicious frozen yougurt.

-We're back on the farm now enjoying the summer. We've been swimming a few times at Crow Butte park, which is on an island in the Columbia River. Trent even got to join us yesterday for a dunk, which was GREAT!

-I've been walking with my neighbor Doris in the mornings and it sure feels good to get outside and do that everyday. Carrying and/or pushing Ila adds to the workout, and boy do I feel the burn!

-This morning Ila woke up with the most amazing bed-head ever. i had to document it, because it was just so awesome.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

BBQ Beef Biscuits. by Nicole

If you eat meat and have kids, this is a GREAT meal for your family! If you eat meat and don't have kids, it's still a great meal! If you don't eat meat and do/don't have kids, this is NOT a great meal for you (can you tell that I have vegetarian and non vegetarian family/readers?!)

I got this recipe idea online, but of course, it was just too simple to leave it be, so here is my twist on BBQ Beef Biscuits

Prepare Biscuits but instead of putting them on a cookie sheet to bake, get out a muffin tin. Grease it up, and place the raw circle biscuit into the individual muffin spots and press the biscuit dough down, and up the sides of the muffins space. You should have a nice amount of space in the biscuit covered muffin tin for the meat mixture that will be placed in there.

Oh, and my biscuit recipe made 12 of these muffins, with just a bit extra dough left over (probably enough for 2 more biscuits, but we ate the dough instead!)

Now, move over to your stove and...

1 pound ground beef
1-2 T. minced dry onion OR 1/2 raw onion
1 t. oregano
1 t. parsley
1/2 t. pepper
1/2-1 t. salt

any other seasonings you think would go well with the meet.

once cooked, pour BBQ sauce (I HIGHLY recommend Bullsye original. It is tasty and free of HFCS ) on the meat. Once again, I failed to measure, but I just made sure that the meat was nicely covered but there was no extra sauce in the pan .

Now, scoop the meat mixture into the individual biscuit/muffin spots. You can really FILL them up too, don't fret it the meat up over the edge, it's no big deal. once you have all the meat filled in, you can sprinkle each one with a little cheese.

Bake at 400 for 12 minutes. Getting them out of the muffin slots it the hardest part, so make sure you use lots of grease and a fork ought to do the trick of getting them out just fine.


OH, and next time I'm going to add a bunch of veggie, finely chopped to the meat mixture, I think that is going to really kick these into the awesome category!

Granny's Buttermilk Biscuits

I'm not a fan of Bisquick. I prefer the taste of scratch biscuits and feel that the extra 4-5 minutes they take, is totally worth it.

So, here is the go to biscuit recipe that me, my sister, my mother-in-law and of course Trent's Granny uses. It's her recipe, and I'm sure its similar to many others out there, but our Granny's biscuits are the best! I think each of us make these a bit different, but here is how I do it:

2.5 c. flour (go ahead and use any mixture of wheat and white flour you so desire)
1 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1 T. sugar
1 t. salt

sift (or stir) dry ingredients together.
Once mixed well, cut in:

1/3 c. shortening (I personally use coconut oil because we don't care for hydrogenated oil that is in crisco! I have not used applesauce instead, but it may work...)

1 c. buttermilk (now, if you don't have buttermilk and you want to make these, don't fret! You can always use regular milk and vinegar/lemon juice. i've done it and it works well!)

stir it up till it is moist.

dump dough onto a floured surface (about 1/4 c. or so) knead till easy to spread without sticking (this does NOT take long at all).

get your rolling pin out and roll the dough out, but make sure to keep it about at least 1/2 inch thick, but no more then 2/3 inch thick.

then use a round cookie/biscuit cutter and make biscuits!

Place them on a greased cookie sheet. rub the first side of the biscuit on the greased pan then flip it over.

Cook on 400 for about 12 minutes. Remove from pan immediately!

Hope you enjoy :)

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Neighbors. by Nicole

I've always been bless with awesome neighbors who were willing to share enough of their lives with me that I never felt like I was living next to strangers (which exception to S. Korea, and I'm going to chalk that up to the language barrier). I don't think I've ever taken my relationship with my neighbors for granted but I've never thought much about how great it is to know them!

Now that we live in such a remote area, I have really begun to understand just how important our neighbors are. The Lord has blessed us SO MUCH with our current neighbors, who happen to be our landlords as well. When Trent got his job, housing was provided. At first the farm didn't know where they would put us, since all the houses were full on the farm. I was a bit concerned about that as they tried to figure out where we would be living, as Trent and I packed up our belongings. When they called and told us they had found a place about 8 miles from the farm, on a neighboring ranch, I was relieved and nervous all at the same time. Those feelings didn't last long though, because the first time I met Doris and she invited us to church I felt super comfortable with the living arraignments. As we've gotten to know Doris and her husband Gary, and her son Eric (who is our other neighbor) & his wife (as of yesterday) Becky and Doris's daughter Annie (who is great, but lives in Pittsburgh!) we've kept on feeling blessed. They are amazing people.

Now that we have been here for 9 months (I know, the time has flown by!) I have really gotten to know my neighbors and they are amazing. I continually thank God for bringing us not just to Mercer, but to the McBride Ranch. They invited us to spend Thanksgiving with them, when they found out we didn't have plans. They have welcomed us into their home again and again for meals, good conversation and wedding planning fun. I've went to a bridal shower and we went to Eric's wedding yesterday. Doris has watch Ila for us, and she was such a support to me during the miscarriage back in April. Every time I spend time with the Hess family I walk away feeling loved and cared for. I have to mention here that Doris is also THE hardest working woman I know! It's so nice having neighbors that are friends, and we are so thankful that it's worked out that way.

These sort of things don't just happen though. You've got to be willing to put in the effort of getting to know people. I know that back in the day every one knew their neighbors, and you could borrow a cup of sugar or an egg, or ask them to watch your kids for 5 minutes while you did this or that. These days are not so much like that, as least not in the city. I know so many people who have no idea who their neighbors are, and I find that a bit sad. I realize that not all neighbor situations are not like ours. Not only do you have to try to get to know your neighbors, but they have to be willing to get to know you as well, if you are going to get anywhere. The only way to figure out if you have social/relational neighbors is to introduce yourself to them and show interest in them. Something that I continue to learn is that it is MUCH better to know something for sure (even if it is unpleasant like your neighbors wanting nothing to do with you, or that someone does not like you etc.) then to assume that something is a certain way.

I would like to encourage you to be a neighbor who cares and NOT to be the neighbor that wants nothing to do with your neighbors. What a blessing you may be to your neighbor if you access the friendly communal part of you.

Speaking of communal, stay tuned for my next blog, which will be about COMMUNITY.

(make sure you click on the "neighbor who cares" link for a special treat!)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Catch up!

Here are some things we've been up to and that are going on.

-24 trip to Portland (actually Vancouver) to pick up our neighbor's daughter for her brother's wedding (yeah, that does sound confusing). Stayed with Aunt Jill, we had a blast and bonded over House Hunters International!

-Ila fell on her face twice in a week. First time she bloodied and bruised her bottom lip, second time bloodied and bruised her top lip. Both times she cried a lot.

- We're gearing up for harvest, I'm totally not ready to be a "harvest widow." this will be my first year with a full season harvest. I thought last years 3 weeks were long...

-The rat problem seems to be taken care of. The bunnies are out in full force but they hop and that is cute.

-Trent and I started a new devotional series, which will take us about 3 years. We're pretty excited about, and I'll share more about that later.

-Ila is talking, talking, talking. She loves to talk. I like when she talks to her toys and stuffed animals. My favorite is when she kisses them though.

-Yard project is finally at the plant the grass seed place. You may think we are crazy to plant grass in July in the dessert, and we are.

-Enjoying the church we've been going to and it's in Prosser, so it makes for much more enjoyable and Sabbath like Sundays.

-Trent's parents came up for the 4th of July weekend and we had a GREAT time with them, working, playing and just being together.

-I'm making new friends and loving this place more and more. I think it's strange that it seems to take about a year to make friends....back in the day it took 3 minutes on the playground to make life long friends!

I think that is a decent enough catch up. Next time I'll do a proper blog!

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Almost effortless mac n' cheese. By Nicole

That's right, you heard it here, a macaroni and cheese dish made from scratch, that is almost as easy, and much tastier, then boxed mac n cheese (not that I don't like that stuff, because I really do have a weakness for it). What is nice about this mac n cheese recipe is that you don't have to make a roux, which can be difficult to get right. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do!

-Put a pot of water on to boil.

-grate 2-3 cups of the cheese of your choice (I like monteray jack, or colby jack. Sharp cheddar is good too, but I find it a bit bitey (that sharp sensation in your jaw) for my taste)

-Get some macaroni cooking (if your water is ready of course). Shells, elbow, spiral or some shape you like. I would steer clear from the long, skinny pastas though.
Okay, now that you have got that going, get a pot out and put in the following:
(this is the part where I admit that I don't measure how much of each thing I put in, but I'll give you a ball park idea. You don't need to measure it either, just dump it in!)
-oregano (1-1.5 t.)
-garlic salt (1 t.)
-celery salt(.5 t.)
-paprika (.25-.5t.)
-pepper (white or black, or a mix, .5 t.)
-2 T. cornstarch (I measure that one, and I suggest you do the same)
-1 can (12 oz.) evaporated milk
-2ish T. butter

-start stirring right when you turn the heat on (and make sure your cornstarch doesn't lump up. If it does, smash each lump between your stirring device and the side of the pot).
-Stir it till it boils, and it should be kind of thick.
-once it boils, take it off the heat and add grated cheese. Stir till it is a nice cheese sauce.
-by now your pasta should be done, drain it and add to the sauce.
-stir it up.

Now you have 2 options. You can eat it just like that, and it is creamy and delicious! Or you can pop it in the oven, covered with more cheese and bake it. I can't honestly say that baking it makes it better, because we are always ready to eat once it's done (i mean I make while we are all hungry and waiting for lunch/dinner, so why would I take that extra 20-25 minute step?!). But it is probably tasty and has a nice crispness to it. So, if you have the time/desire to go the extra mile, pop it in the oven @ 375 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Finishing what you start. by Nicole

I find it humorous that I started this blog several days ago with just the title. I then saved it to finish up at a later date. Ironic much?

I really am excited about finishing something Trent and I started on July 5, 2010 though. We set out to read The Holy Bible in a year and it feels WONDERFUL to say that we did it, and with a few days to spare!

As this was our second attempt to do this in our short married life of 3.5 years, it feels GREAT to complete. It also is awesome knowing that I have finally, after 9 years of being a Christian, read the entire Bible! It would have been nice to say that years ago, but I sure struggled with books like Isaiah, Chronicles, Ezekiel and Revelation (to name a few), as most new Christians do. I had a firm understanding of the happenings in the Bible, but everything seems to fall into place so much more concretely now that I've read it all.

I'll keep my thoughts and pondering on the entire Bible quite short for the time being (because there is just so much!). I just want to say that I sure learned a lot about humanity (thanks Isrealites) and God's never ending lovingkindness.

I highly recommend The Bible, it sure is a great book. And like many books out there, it is worth finishing! I know that it can be confusing because within The Bible there are 66 books, so it may seem like reading a few will suffice, but would you have only read the first 5 books of The Lord of the Rings??? Yeah, I didn't think so :)

Also, I recommend finishing what you start. It is rewarding and helps us grow and mature into better people, and I think that is a win, win, win kind of deal.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Those Becker Boys! by nicole

Daniel, in his yard
Troy, making an Advent wreath with his son
Trent, trimming a tree the day before Ila was born
(and you wonder what put me into labor!)

We've been busy, busy, busy! I guess with warmth, comes work, which is fine by me! You may have heard about our little project replacing the front lawn of cheat grass and weeds with real grass. Well, like most Becker projects, a small project has become a big project. Trent, my darling Becker husband, has many things in common with his dad and his brother and this is one of them.

Now, when I say that small projects become big projects it's never, to my knowledge, been to poor planning. No, the Beckers know how to plan. I would say that the reason this usually occurs is that once they start the planned project, the potential of the area becomes much more apparent to them. So, in this specific situation, Trent saw that the lawn needed redone, and he made a game plan, but as he went to work on the plan, the yards potential grew and grew and grew! So, now instead of just a plain old green grass with a flower bed(which would have been nice), Trent has started a beautiful rock wall, build another wall with railroad ties and it's going t have 2 flowerbeds and wine barrels as planters (which is even better!). I'm pretty excited about the whole project, and helping with it is sure fun, as is watching my man dig holes, carry super heavy rocks and put his sweat into it.

I think of this whole process as quite artistic. All three Becker boys seem to have a strong urge to work with their hands, and create something useful and aesthetically pleasing, whether it be a yard, a house addition, a house remodel, a paper mache project, a toy chest, candle holders, tile work, a tree etc. This list goes on and on, but I'm always amazed at what these men produce, and find it to come together like a beautiful painting, or statue, or cathedral. It may be a bit messy in the process, and you can usually count on it taking a bit longer then planned, but the outcome has always been worth it!

Another thing I think is worth mentioning is the skills list that Trent, Troy (his brother) and Daniel (his dad) have together. I'm pretty sure that together they are the most useful set of hands you could ever ask for, which means that they are pretty darn useful on their own as well (So useful that Daniel started his own business doing these things and he is the best Handy Man you could hire in the Magic Valley Area). Just off the top of my head, I can think of all these things that at least one of them can do, without an instruction manual (and usually if one knows how to to it, the others have a darn good idea of it as well).

Running tractors, and other farm equipment
Fixing/keeping that equipment running
Tree trimming, care & removal
Tile work
Wood flooring
Carpet installation
Foundation building & repair
Sheet Rocking
Window installing
Electrical stuff
House building (yes, they can build an entire house from the ground up!)
General car maintenance
Tire changing (I've found this one particularly useful)
Wood art
Moving (like professional movers, for real)
Math Problems (this one may seem out of place, but it's not, at all!)
Furniture building

Now, that may seem like a long list, but I'm most certain that I missed a bunch. But really, you get the idea, my husband and his father and brother are amazing. AND that list is limited to just repair & building and whatnot. I didn't even mention their sweet card/game playing skills, their awesome diving and swimming, their father/uncle/brother/grandpa-ness of awesomeness, or anything like that. I didn't tell you that they are human jungle gyms to kids, they can fold a cloth diaper and put it on a baby, and know quite a bit about breast feeding (not from personal experience) and how to care for a sick baby. And how they are just all around fun, loving, fun loving, hard working, good looking, good people!

I'm sure blessed to be in this family! And not just for the sweet skills of its members! And (as if you needed a cherry on top) I didn't even tell you about my other brother-in-laws skills (and one of them is a Mechanic and the other studying to be a Doctor)! I can't even begin to start on the skills of the women in the family right now either because boy howdy would that be a long list!

I'll make sure you get to see the finished product of our yard once it's done...even though I'm not sure we too before pictures....

Friday, June 24, 2011

Missing a friend by Nicole

Two years ago we were living in Korea, my mom had just had neck surgery and I was 23 weeks pregnant. I received a phone call from my best friend, and she had terrible news. There was a fire at an apartment that Sarah, a good friend of ours lived in, and Sarah had been found dead inside. Over the course of the next week many things started to unfold and spiral down. The autopsy report found that she had died before the fire and that she was 20 weeks pregnant with a little girl. Her husband, a friend of ours as well, was arrested for murdering his pregnant wife and arson.

I miss my friend very much, and I dealt with some of that this week while I was in Moscow visiting friends. I drove by San Miguel's, a restaurant in Moscow that Sarah and I frequented together. It had just gone out of business and I was filled with emotion as I imagined our little girls, just a few weeks apart in age playing with each other as Sarah and I ate delicious tacos and talked like no time had passed since I saw her last. That's how it always was with Sarah, time apart never affected the closeness she had with her friends.

I miss her dearly, and I hate what happened to her. I still struggle with wh
at happened, I struggle with my feelings toward Silas, her husband and murdered and at a time in life, my friend, and I struggle with what could have been. I think that is normal though. Several of my friends from Moscow were close to Sarah as well, and we all seem to feel the same way and struggle with the same things.

It's important to mention and remember Sarah's faith though. She was a God loving, God fearing and God following individual. Passionate about loving others, doing what was right, and seeing the potential in everyone. She was a strong woman, a prayerful woman and a great friend. She would have been a fantastic mom, and I know I'm not alone in wishing I could have seen that. But I know that Sarah is at home now, right where she belongs, praising the Lord for eternity.

I miss you friend, and I wish our time together could have been longer!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

A happy Father's Day by Nicole

Father's Day started with a card and a gift for Trent when he woke up. Ila was very excited about the gift that her daddy got, because they were fun puzzles for her and Daddy to do together! There was supposed to be another gift, but it hasn't arrived in the mail yet.

Next was supposed to be a yummy breakfast of eggs and pancakes, but we only had 4 eggs, so it was eggs and muffins instead. We all seemed happy with that situation.

I had planned a nice hike up to some waterfalls off I-84 somewhere between here and Portland, but we decided that driving for 1.5-2 hours for a 2 mile hike round trip didn't sound super fun, so we found a few choices closer and went for those.

The first stop was to McNary Dam,
where we "hiked" about half a mile to see the dam.
In our short half mile hike we took a lot of pictures.

Next, we were going to go on another hike, but somehow we ended up in Hermiston. We went to a produce market because the sign we saw for it made the place sound much better then it was. We had a few samples and then took off, in search of a hike, a park, lunch or something.

We ended up at Fuddruckers for some yummy Elk and Buffalo burgers. Then Trent had a GREAT idea....
Miniture Golf!
Fuddruckers has a mini golf course behind the resturant and Dad's golfed free today. We also got a discount for eating at Fuddruckers before golfing. So it cost $6.75 for as many rounds as we wanted on the golf course!
The 18th hole doesn't steel your ball, so you can just keep going if you want and if the course is not too busy. Ila was ready for a nap by the time we had finished the course, but we went back and golfed a few holes a couple more times.

Trent was the big winner on the golf course but really Ila is the big winner, because Trent is her daddy, and he is the BEST daddy!
Then it was time to call it a day, but we stopped by the park that is on an island in the middle of the Columbia River, just a few miles away from home. It is a really nice park, with a nice swimming area and loads of camping spots (and places to put your boat into the river). Unfortunately there is no playground equipment, which I think Ila would really like, but there is lots of green grass to run in, and picnic tables and trees. It's a nice change from our mostly brown/tan colors we see. I love our view, and the area we live in, but the bright green grass of the park calls to me. My feet just want to run in the green grass!

Back at home we got cleaned up and Trent and Ila enjoyed a few minutes of Toy Story 3 together. Ila likes the Toy Story movies, but only can watch them for about 20 minutes before she gets restless.
Then it was time for bed, but not without one more picture with Daddy!
Thanks for being such a great Daddy and a wonderful Husband! We sure love you Trent!