Monday, April 28, 2008


Hello, Bom Dia! My name is Lisa Decker Gomes. I am Robyn Decker's older sister. I grew up next door to Kirsten and Katy, they are my other sisters. I have been married to a catholic hard working man who is Portuguese for 4 years but we have been together for 8. His name is Mario. We have a beautiful 14 month old girl named Elianna. I am a housewife and I work 7 hours a day as an Inside Sales coordinator. I may be the only office working momma on this blog (correct me if I am wrong). I wish I could stay at home and raise my daughter but unfortunately our bills outweigh our means. I live in Denair California which is just south of Modesto. We have a little house and a big dog named Callie. I am a member of Turlock First ward and I teach the 14-15 year olds. I enjoy running on my little treadmill and I like reading in my spare time which is far and few in between. I wish I had more free time to cook and do crafts... maybe one day. Thank you Katy for the invite! I am truly grateful.

I cut Gage's hair.

I don't know what made me think that I could- or should- give my child a hair cut. It just kind of happened. There are a few long spots that I'll get later but it's not too bad. Right?

Helicopter vs. Free-Range Parenting

This columnist let her 4th grade son ride the New York subway by himself and stirred up some controversy. Check out the article 4th Grader Rides Subway and her blog Free-Range Kids.

My feelings on this are mixed. Aidan will be in 4th grade next year and I don't even know if I am going to let him ride the school bus because it is mixed with 4th grade up through high school kids.

I grew up in a non-traditional family situation. At my dad's house on weekdays we had really strict rules: curfew, couldn't be out driving after a certain time, couldn't eat certain foods that were normal in other houses and on and on. On the weekends I would go to my mom's house and there weren't any rules over there. My mom's car only seated 5 so two of us rode in the trunk area (it was a station wagon type of car). My sister almost drowned in the ocean because we went swimming and there was a strong undertow and my mom had no idea where we were at the time. Before I moved in with my dad, I lived with my mom in Hawaii. She let me walk home from school as a Kindergartener and a man followed me home once and was trying to get into the house while I hid under my bed praying he would go away or that my mom would come home. Another time she left me in a sugar cane field on the side of a highway and drove off. She still says to this day that she would have left me there if my little sister hadn't been crying so long and loud for her to go back and pick me up. I rode the Bay Area Rapid Transit (subway system in Northern California) from the time I was 10 to get to my mom's house on the weekends. Once a man was staring at me from across the aisle and touching himself. Actually, a lot of that kind of thing happened to the girls in my family and it stunk!

I can't help but wonder what my life would have been like had I been a little less neglected by my mom and a little more trusted by my dad. It is true that at my dad's house I walked to school and was allowed to ride my bike all over the place until dark and without a helmet. I was allowed to have sleep overs.

Now as a parent I am way too cautious. I do let my kids ride the school bus and most of the time walk home from the bus stop, but the bus stop is only one house away. I let them play outside, but only in the backyard and it is fenced in and I am secretly checking on them about every 20 minutes. When they ride bikes in the neighborhood I go with them. If they want to play with a friend that isn't right next door, I walk them over. I don't allow them to have sleep overs. I am afraid to take them camping because of weirdoes and wild animals. So I guess I am in the helicopter camp. I don't like them to play at a friend's house if only the dad is home. I teach my kids what to do if they do get lost, they know their phone number, etc., and what types of people to go to for help (a mom with kids, someone with a name tag, etc.,). I wish I could be more of a free-ranger, but my childhood was more like A Series of Unfortunate Events than Little Women.

Is the world a scarier place than when we were kids? What do you all think? What type of parent are you?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Quick Tamale Pie

We often have corn bread muffins left over from nights when I make chili or soup. I had a bunch leftover this week and used them in this super quick version of tamale pie I made up. Collin and I both really liked it and it only took about 20 minutes from start to finish. I used Boca grounds which can be found with all the other fake meat in the freezer at the supermarket. You can use cooked ground beef or turkey though, but it will be more fattening. This is inspired by Amy's Tamale Pie which is also in the frozen vegetarian section.

1 T oil
1/2 onion, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn, drained or 1 cup of frozen corn
1 packet of boca grounds, or cooked ground beef or turkey
1 can chopped tomatoes with juice
fresh ground pepper and coarse sea salt to taste
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder
cornbread muffins, sliced in half horizontally 
cheddar cheese 

Heat oil in skillet over medium. Add onion and cook until tender. Add zucchini and mushrooms and cook out some of the liquid. Season with cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper. Add corn until heated through. Add canned tomatoes with juice. When tomatoes with juice are heated through add boca grounds. When boca grounds are heated through, add black beans. Put cornbread muffin halves on top of mixture in a single layer. Shred a bunch of cheddar cheese on top of the muffin halves and put a lid on the skillet. Turn the heat down to low and keep lid on until cheese has melted and muffin halves are heated through from steam.

3 Dresses for $3, I'm Not Kidding!

So I was at Old Navy yesterday returning some pants that I thought were cute and Collin said were ugly and I saw these dresses for 97 cents each. They come in black, red and a really pretty brown. The brown is definitely my favorite. I think I could wear it as a top with some skinny ankle jeans, but I am not brave/bold enough to buy any yet. Collin hates the red one, but said it would make a great Mrs. Claus costume. The black one can be my little black dress or maybe I could wear it with leggings. Did I mention these are made out of stretch velvet? So they are best worn in winter than anything other season. I happen to have shoes to match each dress. The red one goes with shoes from Kirsten's wedding, I never thought I would get a chance to wear them again since I was six months pregnant in the skirt they go with.

If you are wondering why my legs look a little scary muscular it is because I am training for the Lewisburg triathlon. Two of my friends are on a team with me, they are doing the running and swimming portions. Since I am doing the bike leg of the race I have been riding 10 miles a day pulling Ian on a tagalong to preschool. It is great exercise. I think next year I will try to go solo, but I will have to take some swimming lessons first.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

3 Ingredient Peanut Butter Cookies

This is probably redundant since all of you are great dessert makers, but I like it because you can make peanut butter cookies lightening fast and they aren't dry like other recipes I've tried.

1 c peanut butter
1 c sugar
1 egg

Blend well. Roll out into 1" balls or use a small ice cream scoop (greased lightening method). Press down with a fork in the usual manner. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Let cool 5-7 minutes and voila, you've got a batch of cookies made in about 20 minutes.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Dessert Ideas

Justin's youngest brother, Jeremy, has prom next month. His group is doing a progressive dinner and he volunteered me to do dessert. I'm excited to do it, but I'm not sure what to make. I want to do something a little fancy, but that 18 year-olds will like. Any suggestions?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Oh My Decadence!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Reeses Pieces Cookie Sandwich

The cookies were just made from a chocolate cake mix (adding two eggs and 1/2 cup of oil to the mix) with Reeses Pieces. Bake for 12-15 minutes at 350. The frosting is 1 cup powered sugar, 2 Tbs butter, 2 Tbs cream (or milk), 1/2 tsp vanilla, and 2 Tbs peanut butter. I need about a gallon of milk just to finish off one of these cookies. They're that wonderful, and far too easy to make for my own good!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Three's a crowd

Well, I am sure no one has noticed, but I haven't posted in a while. I had a baby three weeks ago and I am just coming out of no man's land-- well kind of.

Just wanted a little advice...

See that little mischievous blond in the picture. That's Mia. She was fine with baby when he first came home, but novelty is wearing off. She's now experimenting... stepping on him, trying to pick him up and other nonchalant acts of violence toward him- plus she's turned up the water works and fit throwing about 10 fold. She's 3, she's now the middle child, and I am not sure what to do with her.
I am also tired of saying "don't touch the baby" when the kids throw themselves literally on top of him or have their faces constantly in his. I don't want them to resent him, or me.

Quiet Book

I'm thinking about attempting this quiet book for a new project.

Monday, April 14, 2008

My Own Quasimodo

This is what happens when you decide to play midget, a game I have told my kids over and over again is offensive to little people. I think Ian at least learned his lesson. He was on a bench in the kitchen and tucked his arms and legs in his sweatshirt and then tried to walk off the bench. He fell off and hit his head on the tile floor and a goose egg popped up. I hope it is not a sign of my neglect that this is the second time he has had a hematoma within two years. Later as I was icing his head as he lay on the couch, he said, "I cracked my head open like an egg!" 

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Favorite websites

I know I'm not the only one who enjoys surfing around the internet. What are everybody's regular and favorite sites to visit. Here are some of mine (besides suppermommies obviously)...

There are others that I enjoy shopping at like amazon and old navy but I don't visit them as often.

Another Fun Find

I have a weakness for cookbooks and the other day I found this at TJ Maxx for only $4.99! What a lucky find.

The meals are definitely not gourmet, but most little kids don't want gourmet anyway. I haven't tried any of the recipes, but they look very family-friendly. The whole intro in the book is about how dinnertime should be a family affair and a chance to bond with our kids. (Has anyone else heard a lesson or two about that?) I really need to work on getting my kids involved with dinner preparations and making mealtime an enjoyable (rather than stressful) experience together. Each page in this book has an idea for "Together Time." For example:
"Color a tablecloth. Cover your table with brown paper or butcher paper, get out the crayons or markers and let the kids draw their neighborhood..." OR "Mix thing up for a little excitement on Wacky Wednesday. Serve dessert first, and pour your beverage into bowls to sip through straws. Have family members wear sunglasses or eat with their mittens on."
Doesn't that sound fun? These are obviously not things to do every night, but maybe once a week. It could be used as an incentive on the other nights for the kids to eat all their healthy food. If you guys want more of the "Together Time" ideas, I'll post more. I'm excited to try some of Betty's ideas.

Friday, April 11, 2008


Since I have thick, wiry eyebrow hairs, if I make one wrong pluck I end up with a big bald spot. So I decided I should get something to fill in those unattractive bald spots. I found this at Target.

Maybelline Define-A-Brow™ Eyebrow Pencil

It comes in several shades (I got light brown) and I am quite satisfied. Just thought I'd share my fun find.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


Tara first introduced me to this recipe and I love it! It's fun to make different varieties. I usually make the original recipe, minus the sesame seeds and raisins. Or I make the toffee granola (So so good), minus sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, raisins, and dried fruit. The toffee granola is more of a snack/dessert. It makes a great treat to give to a neighbor. This is the regular granola. I had some today and it was yummy.

Combine in a large bowl:
6 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut
1 cup chopped nuts
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/3 cup sesame seeds

Then coat with:
1/2 cup oil
2 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup honey
Spread on two rimmed cookie sheets and bake at 350 for 15 minutes. Add 1/2 cup raisins and 1 cup chopped dried fruit. Bake 5-10 more minutes, until golden brown.

Double coconut and pecans
Mango, pineapple, papaya, and macadamia nut
Cranberry and almond (can add white chocolate chips also when cool)

Toffee Granola
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
5 T water
In a large pot cook over high, stirring constantly 6-7 minutes. (Have your granola ready to dump in.) When the mixture is the color of a paper bag remove the pot from the heat. Quickly dump in your granola and stir to coat. Spread on wax paper to cool. You can also use this toffee recipe for popcorn.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Running away

Here is the latest problem I've been having with my 4 year old. Not all the time, but every now and again when I scold him for doing something wrong, he gets mad and tells me he is running away. He is going to go live somewhere else. I calmly ask him how he thinks that will work for him, where he will go, who he will stay with, where he will sleep, etc. He doesn't have an answer for any of these questions, but it doesn't deter him either. I also tell him it makes me so sad when he says that and I would sure miss him if he were gone. A couple of times he has gone out the front door when I'm not looking and hangs around the front of the house.

What do you think? Why is he threatening me with this? What should I do or say? I wouldn't put it past him to really take off one of these days when I'm not looking. Kinda freaks me out. Any advice??

Friday, April 4, 2008

More pillowcase fun!

I made the matching orange dress but it's too big and almost totally covers the pants. No big deal, though, it just means the dress will continue to fit her for a long time. Now I know for future dresses how big to make them. It took less than 30 minutes from start to finsh and will be good for playing around outside. I won't care if she gets messy in it too which is nice. And even though the pants are short I'll still have her wear them cause she has a tendancy to lift up her dresses and I'm sick of her showing the world her panties.

And since the ribbon was already out...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Hair cut

I finally got my hair cut and I really like it. I have pictures on my blog

Fussy baby & green poop?

You see this sweet baby of mine (THanks Katy for the cute pics you took), Well...we have a serious problem & I could use your suggestions/experience. I don't know what is wrong with this little guy but he is definately not happy. He has bright green poop & long fussy periods where I can't even set him down or he just cries. Yesterday it lasted from 11:30 am - 9:00pm. This isn't the cry of hold me, it's the cry of I'm in pain & he is all squirmy. I'm nursing this little guy & I've stopped dairy, and chocolate which says a lot for me! It's been over a week and still no improvement. Not to mention he has bright green watery poop? Okay not good & when the dr. office said to give him peppermint tea?? That doesn't solve the problem... I'm making an appointment tomorrow for the dr. to check him out. Let me know what you think or suggest?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Pillowcase fun

Look what I made out of a pillowcase! I'm going to make a matching pillowcase dress to wear over it. I know she'll probably look like a clown but that's even more fun.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008