Bicycling 2010

Today I rode to reach my 2010 goal of 1500 miles on a bicycle. I should have destroyed the goal many months ago, but did a terrible job or riding these last few months as you can see in the chart below. On January first last year I was on pace for over 4,000 miles. This includes riding outside and indoor on a trainer (thing real bike hooks up to, much harder inside, no coasting, but you can watch Hulu.)

I loved every minute on the bike. The longest single ride was 86.5 miles while on the Katy Trail with Tony. The last 5 or so of those were straight up hill to our hotel for the night.

In an ought to be expected result I’ve put on weight these last three months that I have not riden much. Hopefully I can reverse that with more riding in January. This coming year I have set my goal at 1550 miles.

92 Rides
1,341 Miles
110 hour and 8 minutes on a bike
Average Speed 12.2 mph

97 Rides
1,500 Miles
122 hours on a bike
Average Speed 12.3 mph

189 Rides
2,841 Miles
232 hours on a bike (a little over 9  24 hour days)
Average Speed 12.2 mph

Number 3, please

This soup is called Cheeseburger Soup. Brian thought it should be called #3 soup cause it comes with “fries” (the potatoes). I think that’s a compliment, cause he likes McDonalds.

One of our good friends made us Cheeseburger Soup when we had Sadie Piper (and again when we had Berkley…yep, we asked for it, but to be fair, she asked us what we wanted! 🙂 Thanks Amy!), so when I saw this in Taste of Home, I already knew we liked Cheeseburger Soup!

1/2 pound ground beef (or turkey)
3/4 cup chopped onion
3/4 cup shredded carrots
3/4 cup diced celery
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes (didn’t have this, left out)
4 tablespoons butter, divided
3 cups chicken broth
4 cups diced peeled potatoes (1-3/4 pounds)
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups (8 ounces) VELVEETA Pasteurized Prepared Cheese Product (used the 2% kind)
1-1/2 cups milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup sour cream (went fat free and didn’t miss the fat)
In a 3-qt. saucepan, brown beef; drain and set aside. In the same saucepan, saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley in 1 tablespoon butter until vegetables are tender, about 10 minutes. Add broth, potatoes and beef; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir for 3-5 minutes or until bubbly. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low. Add cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook and stir until cheese melts. Remove from the heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings

When Mom leaves town…

…it’s much more fun round here! Berkley and I headed to Dallas for a few days, Brian cemented his “Coolest Dad Ever” title.

CFA for breakfast


First time EVER Becks finished eating before SP. It’s not that she’s fast, he’s just so sloooow at everything. Brian calls him Molasses.


They picked us out our Christmas tree.


Hit up our “favorite Hy-vee” just to ride the horse


And ate ice cream for dinner. Really.


All that just Day 1!

They ichatted with Grandma


Batman drove with them I guess


We can’t find our camera, so I didn’t get many good pictures, but here’s a few of our time in Dallas.

Notice Berkley’s gimp arm, I dislocated her elbow (didn’t know it here though). Scott fixed her. I’ve called him with doctor-type questions in the past, and since he’s so wicked smart, he’s super specialized in cancer surgery, anything I’m asking he just answers with, “I don’t know, but I can take your appendix out.” He redeemed himself figuring out what was wrong with her and popping her elbow back in…for the record, it IS super cool to have a Dr brother! 🙂 Thanks Scott! (and no worries, I’ll never live any of it down!)


Hanging with Mimi


Mimi hooking her up

BTW it was Fall there, 77 degrees!!!

Country Blue Bumpkin


Almost two years ago I went for a bike ride on a huge iron horse mountain bike. It weighed over 40 lbs and was 4 inches too tall for me. This was the first time in many years that I had hoped on a bike. I loved it. I rode 5 miles that day, 2.5 out and 2.5 back. This began a renewed love for bikes with me.

Not long after that I purchased a Felt mountain bike and then a Gary Fisher Road bike. I sold the Felt and bought a used Gary Fisher 29er (mountain bike with bigger wheels). I saw cyclocross and bought  a used Kona Jake the Snake. During all this I was learning what kind of bicycling I liked to do. I didn’t feel comfortable on the road with cars and felt even less comfortable in spandex. I didn’t have time to go find mountain bike trails to ride. I loved riding around town, on paved paths and to church. I slowly converted what was made to be a cyclocross racing bike into a commuter bike. Added a rack, raised the handlebars, water cages, brooks saddle, etc.

So for some time now I’ve been on a research mission to find the perfect bicycle. I found it in Rivendell, but then their bikes cost a few grand which meant they were not quite perfect. Then I found the poor man’s Rivendell. Surly Long Haul Trucker and Surly Cross Check. Only these bikes are a bland as could could be imagined. black, dark blue, gravy brown and various other Nondescript colors. Then a few weeks ago just for kicks I visited their website again and found they had finally made the perfect bicycle.

A Robin’s Egg Blue Cross Check. It’s a bike made for racing, but with the capability of very high handlebars (more comfortable). I bought it. I love it so much I’m selling every other bike I have.

So I may grow to regret these words, but I have don’t think I’ll ever buy another bike for me again.

In our home we name our bikes. Here is the run down.

Iron Horse = Dobby
Felt = Weasel
Gary Fisher 29er = Mario
Gary Fisher Road = Bluigi
Kona Jake the Snake = Nimbus
Laura’s Bike = Cutie
Beckham’s Bike = Batmobile

The bicycle to end all bicycles is named Bumpkin or Blue Country Bumpkin. It’s what I call a country cross bike (as in cyclocross not Jesus cross). Bumpkin because it is the name of one of the pony’s the hobbits rode from the Shire to The Prancing Pony. Tom Bombadil named it and even sang a song about the ponys.

Hey! now! Come hoy now! Wither do you wander?
Up, down, near or far, here, there or yonder?
Sharp-ears, Wise-nose, Swish-tail and Bumpkin,
White-socks my little lad, and old Fatty Lumpkin!

So I’m a big dork and I’m looking forward to my third year of riding a bicycle again.

Baby Berkley

YayYay sent Berkley skinny cords. Doesn’t cuter than a trendy one year old!



And she gave her this toasty hat too!!



Too bad her mom won’t let her go outside and play with her big brother and sister (it was like 25 that day, but for some reason the big kids thought it was 70.) Too cold for her, so she watched. It was sad…and cute…and sad…



Fun Pictures

This is Becks with Becks beer. Is this funny or photographic proof we are bad parents?


This is what happens to your house when a water main breaks and it’s freezing outside. Bummer.



Cuties watching The Very First Noel. If you haven’t seen it, buy it! It’s hands down the best Christmas movie there is!


Kisses from the crazy, creepy guy in the mask. We call him, “Dad”



Crazy Dads have Crazy Daughters!


Nativity Pageant 2010

Some kids can’t wait to be an angel or shepherd. Ours just want to be the stable animals!




I thought for sure SP would want to be an angel. Nope, animal. But an adorable one she was!


Even when she picked her nose. (It’s at the 1 min mark, before that is just her riling up the other stable animals. Ironically, I was just wondering why we didn’t put her in the pageant last year. Now I remember…)

To be fair, she’s not the first Hough to nose-pick in that stable (2008)

Becks did do double duty as “Toddler Jesus” so he had a wardrobe change.


And for old time sake, here’s last year’s picture:

And 2008

And 2008:

Gringo Chili

This was a super yummy and super easy White Chili recipe. It was pretty spicy (added some extra sour cream to the kids’), but that was perfect for Brian. I just had to eat a lot of cornbread to put the fire in my mouth out, but I’m ok, don’t worry.


This picture was taken when we called it “Snowman Chili”…see the snowman, arms and all?!



  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 2 cans (15-1/2 ounces each) great northern beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 can (14-1/2 ounces) Progresso ® Chicken Broth
  • 2 cans (4 ounces each) chopped green chilies
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup (8 ounces) sour cream
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream


(I splurged and got a rotisserie chicken from Sams and used half of it for this, that cut the time for this down even more, and we got to eat some dark meat!! Yum!)

In a large saucepan, saute the chicken, onion and garlic powder in oil until chicken is no longer pink. Add the beans, broth, chilies and seasonings. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Remove from the heat; stir in sour cream and cream. Yield: 7 servings.

She’s our Sadie Piper

God gave this girl extra spunk. I watched a squirrel run across the street today and thought it was funny that they know to run. Then I started thinking about it, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen one NOT run. Then I thought of Sadie Piper and her jumping. She just gets excited about EVERYTHING and jumps. Last night it was getting in line to get her teeth brushed. Today she bounced all around with a blanket on her head and asked me to call her Mary. She’s a funny girl! Here are some random phone pics we have of her.

If Brian runs up to the store for something for me that I forgot, he will usually take one kid. This is almost always SP and Brian time! Then I get pictures like this back!


I put this shirt on her to make sure it fit. As she was taking it off, she made it so it was like a strapless dress and told me she wanted to wear it like this, cause it made her a princess. Her poor Daddy…


Is it ok to put a picture of her like this if she looks super cute?


Brian caught this few seconds that she cuddled…in her life!



Sadie Piper 3