Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Today I am 33 & I couldn't be happier.

What?  I am happy about being older??  Yes, and I have a very good reason.  A while back while surfing Pinterest, I came across this blog.  The author spent her 38th birthday doing random acts of kindness (RAOK) for 38 people.  It inspired me.

Today, being my day, I posted this challenge on facebook:

Today is my birthday. I challenge you to do one random act of kindness for one person, or more if you would like. Pay for someones coffee, gas, meal, etc. Help someone to the car with their groceries, scrape someone's windows in the morning. Make someone's day. I know my day will be made with all the facebook messages I will get & I want to spread the joy. Welcome age 33!  I have many goals this year, but I am starting out with this one! Have fun & message me what you did!! I want to hear about it. ♥

I have been overwhelmed with what my friends have done.  Here are some examples:

Nikki :  Paid for a cup of coffee & some doughnuts for a guy in the gas station.  She also went a HUGE step further & sent a package for her boss on her own dime, returning his money to him.  He wanted to continue the RAOK & suggested she send the money to the food pantry.  Instead it went to a family in need to provide Christmas presents & was matched several times over.  N also took on some extra work so a co-worker could leave early.  Yay!!  Her husband also helped out a person at his job by providing a lady a way to purchase gifts for her family.  Awesome job, Brian! UPDATE:  Nikki & Brian's good deeds came back to them in a big way.  They were blessed with an unexpected gift that made them so grateful this holiday season. God is good!

Gifts purchased by Nikki & co.  
(extra work done by Nikki!)

Jodi- felt the urge & made someone's day as well (she didn't give me the specifics, but I know it was amazing!) UPDATE:  She messaged me & told me her story.  It WAS amazing!!!!  Have a wonderful Christmas, Jodi.  I know that person you bestowed with kindness will.  :)

Becky- left some uplifting notes in fellow teacher's boxes.  We all know teachers are overworked & under appreciated. Becky also purchased a gift card at a gas station & then turned around & handed it back to the clerk.  I wish I could have seen that reaction!   Way to go, Becky!  I also heard Becky salted her neighbors driveway!

Stacie- paid for a meal for the guy behind her at the drive-thru.  She said it made her feel so good.  Woo hoo!!  Great one!

Lynn- a simple smile at an elderly lady at the grocery store.  She also has more in store.  Yay Lynn!! UPDATE:  Lynn bought a coffee for a co-worker who was a little frazzled & didn't have time to stop for her own today.  So sweet!

Matt- (husband of a facebook friend)  Helped out a guy at the gas station who had forgotten his wallet.  $5 may not seem like much, but I bet it made both Matt & the receiver feel great!

Steph-  left cookies & a card in the mailbox for the mailman.  She also just sent me a message saying she was going to give blood today as well.  Way to save a life & do an act of kindness, Steph!  You rock!  Update:  Steph had a friend Robin who purchased Christmas gifts for some children who lost their mom suddenly, not long ago.  (its contagious!!!)  ANOTHER UPDATE:  Steph also helped her sister clean her step-mom's house.  :)

Brenda- bought a soda for a gentleman this morning.  Even the simple things can make you feel wonderful!

Gina- baked some yummy treats for her mail carrier & son's school bus driver!  Gina is also an awesome prayer warrior & decided she was going to challenge herself to pray for more people daily.  She also picked up some kids & got them to school on time because the school bus had broken down.  Great job, Gina!

Tara-  Tara is a teacher & purchased some coffee for the janitor & cook at her school (also very under appreciated, often over looked people), complimented several teachers, and purchased 2 extra lottery tickets for the people behind her at the gas station.  Way to go, Tara!!

Cari-  Cari paid with a $5 at the toll booth for herself & the next 4 cars behind her.  Great idea, Cari!

Craig(AKA the father in law)- Went to the barber shop for a hair cut & told his barber he would like to pay for the haircut of a young man in the shop as well.  Way to go, Papa Craig!!

Haley-  Purchased a gift card & carried it around for awhile before finding the perfect recipient.  She visited with a kind lady at the grocery store while bagging groceries & noticed she had just the essentials.  While the lady was putting her cart away after unloading her groceries into her car, Haley slipped the gift card & a note onto her windshield where she would see it when she returned.  Such a sweet gesture, Haley- Amazing!

Deb-  Deb is a sweet lady that goes to our church.  She runs an at home daycare & has a family that was struggling to make ends meet.  While purchasing groceries, Deb walked by the diapers & thought about this special family.  She purchased the diapers & presented them to the very grateful young mother this morning.  Thanks, Deb for being an amazing support for this family!  Awesome job!

Alesa- Alesa helped an older lady with some heavy items (cat food & litter).  The lady couldn't find her son when it was time to check out, so Alesa lifted the items out for her.  Good job Alesa!  I am sure the sweet lady was thankful for you at that moment.  :)

Deb- Another friend named Deb simply sat with her father while he received his IV iron therapy.  I am sure your father appreciated you taking the time to sit and visit with him, Deb.  Family time is the best time.  Cherish those moments!

Catherine-  Catherine & her boyfriend stopped to help a fellow motorist out of a snowy ditch.  Turns out the lady had been sitting for 30 minutes with several people driving right by.  Great job helping her out!

Katie- (AKA my sister)  Baked cookies (my grandmothers awesome spice cookies to be exact- yum!) and took them to several neighbors & her husband's boss, who has been bed ridden.  Katie, who is a nurse, also has been helping out this gentleman by doing dressing changes for his wound when the home health nurses can't make it to him.  She also gave a nice tip to the mechanic that did her oil change.  Way to spread the Christmas spirit, sis!

Kristi- (AKA mom-in law) Scooped her neighbors driveway, and took her to work this morning.  She also paid for someone's breakfast at McDonalds.  Thanks for your generosity, Kristi!

As for my random acts:  Well, my first idea failed.  I intended to buy the crossing guard at my daughter's school a hot cup of cocoa.  He stands out there all day in the cold, helping the little ones stay safe & I often wonder if he ever gets thanked.  But, I unintentionally left the house without my purse or wallet, so I couldn't do it.  Boo.  I WILL be doing this one soon though.  The kids are out for break now, but when that cold January weather comes, Mr. Crossing Guard ( I really should learn his name) will have a warm cup of cocoa!!

My second one was to leave a jar of homemade jam and a thank you card for our mail carrier.  Thanks, Ms. Mail carrier...sorry I complained about the postal service the other day...

#3 for me- I scooped our neighbors driveway.  Of course it hasn't stopped snowing, so you can't even tell, but I did it & plan to go out again later.  Update:  done again- by hand.  The snow is too wet & heavy & just clogs the snow blower!  Good deed & a good workout!

#4 & by far my favorite of the day-  I stopped at the gas station to get some much needed juice for my truck ( my gas light was on)  Instead of filling up completely, I opted to only get half a tank.  I went inside & paid and then asked the attendant if the elderly gentleman at pump #2 had used a card or if he was paying inside.  She said he would be paying inside.  I told her then that I would like to pay for his gas.  She teared up, and I told her "Today is my birthday & instead of getting gifts, I would like to gift others.  This is my gift to him- can you tell him that?"  I also left an invitation to our church's Christmas Eve service to give to him.  By then the tears were coming down her face.  I paid for the man's gas, and walked out.  As I passed the man walking in, I simply said "Merry Christmas, Sir" (he responded "Merry Christmas pretty lady" which right there made my day!), walked to my truck & drove off.  I wish I could have seen his face once he got inside, but I knew I would cry if I stayed.  I smiled the entire way home.

I will be adding to this blog post throughout the day.  I hope you all have a very merry Christmas & remember it isn't about the gifts.  It is about that baby who changed the world for nothing in return.  So go out & do those RAOKs.  I promise you will feel amazing, blessed, and so proud.

So, now you understand why I am happy about aging.  I truly have been given the best gifts today.  Thanks so much you awesome friends!!  I am lucky to have you!!

Friday, December 9, 2011

Pinspiration Challenge

Okay, I admit it.  I am totally addicted to Pinterest.  While I pin, I always think "will I ever do any of these projects?  Well, the answer is yes.  It just takes me awhile.  Kind of like blog posts obviously take me awhile.  I am going to try to be better about it though!  Really, I am.  ( I know I have said this umpteen times before...)

Anyways, one project I found on Pinterest was this:

How easy is that?  All it is is an old ladder hung on the wall with some L brackets & decorated with a few knick knacks!  I knew exactly where I could get an old ladder too.  I just had to wait until I went home.  

Fast Forward to Thanksgiving:  Here is the conversation:

Me:  "Hey Dad, do you have an old wooden ladder that you don't use any more?"

Dad:  "Why?  What do you want it for?"

Me:  "Just a decorating idea- Can you chop it down to around 5 feet?"

Dad:  "Okay, whatever. (I could see he was slightly confused as to what I was doing)"

Dad went to his shed & found his old wooden ladder, had me decide what section I wanted- I opted for the middle section that had some rusty metal hardware, but no broken rungs.  It was covered in bird poop though...Nothing a little scrubbing couldn't fix.  

After getting it back to South Dakota, I put the husband to work in mounting my ladder on the wall.  I loved it, even without decorations on it!  It was perfect!  Obviously now its Christmas time, so I decorated it with Christmas knick knacks.  :)  Duh.  Here is the final result:  

I love it!  It works perfectly with the wall decal I had up.  This spot had been intended for a nice framed family photo we had done 2 summers ago.  But since we had those awesome pictures taken, we have added little miss H & I didn't feel right paying big moolah to have a canvas print made of just the 4 of us when we have a new precious little one (she's nearly 10 months now, can you believe it?!).  So the ladder is perfect.  I took some great fall photos of all 3 littles & I plan on framing those & putting them on the shelf after Christmas is over.  So, what Pinterest projects have you completed??  

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

crock pot pizza

Crock pot pizza is a recipe my mom gave me.  She makes it for a lot of pot lucks & now I do too!  The kids like it, too.  You can change it up, so its different every time.  

2 packages of Kluski noodles (these dont get mushy and fall apart)

pizza sauce of your choice
1 lb. hamburger or sausage, browned and drained
Mozzerella cheese
other pizza toppings of choice- mushrooms, peppers, olives, ham, etc.

Boil noodles until al dente.  Drain.  In a crock pot or casserole dish layer 1/2 of the noodles, sauce, meat (veggies here if adding those) cheese, and pepperoni/ham.  Repeat layer, ending with cheese and putting the pepperoni on top.  Cook on low in a crock pot for 4-6 hours, or bake in oven at 300* for 30-45 min till cheese is melted and bubbly.  Super easy & generally a crowd pleaser!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Where has summer gone? { August Menu}

Well, today is officially August 1.  My oldest starts school this month, and one can say summer is ending.  Where has it gone??  Better question- where are my blog posts that show what we did this summer??  I promise they are coming & I promise I will be better at this blogging thing once we get back into the school routine & I have a little more breathing time.  Some of what you have to look forward to:

  • Our experiences in geocaching
  • Our mini vacation in the Black Hills
  • the completed nursery! (it's almost done!)
  • Roll top desk makeover
  • some recipes-
  • Craftiness.  Yep.  I was crafting even without a stinkin craft room...
  • Basement progress...oh wait...there is none.  
Meanwhile- here is our August menu.  I realize I skipped July.  July was one big chaotic mess of a month & half the time I didn't know if I was coming or going.  So, therefore, no menu.  But, I'm back on top of things this month (even made it to the gym today- yeah me!) so here it is!

August Menu
1.  Crock pot Pizza & Salad
2. Chicken Cordon Bleu with corn & roasted baby potatoes
3.  Broiled pork chops, Mac-n-cheese, green beans
4.  Softball night- eat at ball fields
5.  Chimichurri steak, salad, crusty baked bread
6. Brats, pasta salad, fresh veggies
8.  Quinoa burgers, roasted veggies
9.  White Chicken Chili, cornbread
10.  Breakfast for supper- sausage, pancakes, fruit
11.  Tilapia, salad, rice
12.  Grilled individual pizzas
15.  Roasted Veggies over noodles, sourdough baguette
16.  Bourbon Chicken over rice, broccoli
17. Grilled pork chops, potatoes, corn on the cob
18.  Tuna steaks, arugula salad, bread
19.  Beef with peppers over rice noodles
20.  State softball tournament- out of town
22.  Veggie burritos
23.  Turkey burgers, french fries
24.  Grilled pork sandwiches, mac-n-cheese, broccoli
25.  Fish sticks, carrot sticks, tator tots
26.  Ribeyes, corn on cob, loaded baked potatoes
27.  BLTs, potato salad
29.  Spaghetti & veggie meatballs, salad
30.  BBQ chicken, cheesy rice, corn
31.  Roast with veggies

I didn't link to recipes this time around.  Sorry- however if you want a specific recipe, just let me know in the comments or e-mail.  Have a wonderful & safe August!  Happy eating.  :)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Parenting tip #249

Here it is.  My parenting tip for the day.  I saw this on Pinterest, and I just had to share.  It made me giggle & I am going to use this tip soon.  Muuuahh ha ha.  {that is my evil laugh in case you were wondering}

The only thing about this I have an issue with is the grammar.  The last line should be two separate sentences. As in Lean in real close & whisper.  It's much scarier.   Rant over.


J- Mom of 3 who refused to nap today & who sometimes has moments where she still thinks she is an English/Grammar teacher.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mindless Monday

This post really doesn't have a purpose.  I just have some random thoughts and happenings to share.

1.  I may have had the best grilled cheese sandwich of my life today.  Just sayin'.  It wasn't your momma's grilled cheese & probably is a little too spicy for littles unless they are into spiciness.  The recipe can be found here.

2.  I have a kazillion projects that I really really want to get done soon.  Our July is just so packed that I find myself wondering if I will ever finish these projects.  We recently moved  N & O into the same room (bunk beds are wonderful!) and now I need to finish H's nursery.  I also have a roll top desk that needs painting, an armoire that needs painted & moved into H's room, and a few other projects that either need painted, sewn, or just decorated.

3.  Our dog snorts like a pig when she sleeps.  Random, I know.  But she is sleeping right beside me & if I have to listen to her snorts, you need to know about them.  Important stuff.  I'm also thinking she is trying to create another dog.  Our supposedly non shedding dog is leaving clumps of hair everywhere.  Or maybe its a sign she needs to be groomed...

4.  The baby started solid foods this week.  Can you really call strained peas, pureed peaches & bananas, & mushed up sweet potatoes solids?  Anyways- I think she likes it.  Can you tell?

mmmm...I will raise my non existent eye brows to show you how I feel about bananas!

5.  I still sing the Gwen Stefani song when I spell bananas.  Just sayin'  You know you do it too.

6.  I need to make more laundry detergent.  It will be a blog post.  I love making my own laundry detergent, but I hate grating the soap to make it.  But unless I want to wear dirty clothes, I need to get grating.

7.  This blog post is a form of procrastination.  I should be cleaning.  

8.  My 5 year old lost her first tooth last Thursday.  It may or may not have been the result of her chin connecting with her knee earlier in the week...  The tooth fairy came.  Her name is Agatha (she left a letter). 

9. I got a very nice sunburn yesterday.  On my shin.  Not shins...shin.  The right one to be exact.  Who does that??  Of all places to get a sunburn, I manage to burn my shin.  It will be super sexy when it starts to peel.  But the aquatic center here in town is very nice & we had a blast as a family.  Even the baby liked swimming- along with the 4 year old who last year was very afraid of putting his face in the water.  This year, he has turned into a fish.   

10.  I haven't been to the gym for over a month.  H is having a growth spurt or something & since I am the only one in the family with to feed her, I am the one waking up at 2, 3, and 4 am.  This makes waking up at 5 to hit the gym nearly impossible.  Hopefully now that she is on solid foods, she will sleep better & this mommy can go work out.  I feel better after exercise & a mommy that feels better is a happy mommy.  

11.  Touching your eye after making & eating the sandwich mentioned in #1 is not recommended.  That being said, I think my random rambling is over.  The tears are making it hard to read the screen.  **Ouch!**

Have a blessed week everyone! (or all 4 of you that read this!)

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Why Grandma & Grandpa's house is magical

I grew up in an extremely small town.  Not 20,000 people- which some people consider small.  Not even close.  My town's population is 209 & I have a hard time believing that is correct.  I had ten people in my graduating class.  When I graduated, I couldn't wait to leave my small town and small community and pursue bigger and better things.  I chose a college as far away from home as I could, without going out of state. (Dad said out of state schools cost too much.  Frugality runs in our family.)

As I have grown older, I have come to appreciate the small town I lived in.  Not a lot of my friends now can say they participated in every. single. activity. their school offered. (except cheerleading- no desire to do that one)  I was a 3 sport athlete. I was also on the academic decathlon team, speech team, drama team, in choir and band, mock trial, and the list goes on.  Granted, I did have to run cross country at another school since ours was too small to have a team.  Plus, I could still call up an old teacher if need be, and they would know exactly who I was.  I taught for 5 years, and I KNOW I couldn't tell you the names of every student I taught.  Of course I had more 6th graders in one year than there were k-12 students in the school I grew up in.  :)

But I have come to realize that I took advantage of living in a small town.  I know it instilled in me values I will have forever.  Skills that have helped me succeed.  Lessons I learned, mistakes I've made, and dreams I have dreamed were all forged in that small community. 

Grandma & Grandpa's house
Where you can...
 Fight off imaginary villains with a big stick- "Stay out of the sandbox!"
 Play under a willow tree
 Find the perfect hiding spot...
Jump over a running stream...

Spot a frog on a lily pad...

 Learn how to shell peas...

 Look at LOTS of pretty flowers...
Enjoy the beauty in a walk along the railroad tracks...

See the sun set over the farm...

I pray that my kids will always love going to Grandma & Grandpa's.  My mom often voices that one day they won't want to come hang out with her & will find the farm "boring".  I hope that doesn't ever happen.  For now I don't have to worry.  They love our visits there.  Even if it takes nearly a whole day to get to my parent's- its worth it. 

For home truly is where your heart is. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

June Menu

Summer vacation is here.  It has thrown me for a loop.  In reality, this is the first time I have really experienced having all 3 kids ALL the time!  The older two littles were in school when Miss H was born three months ago, and even though they didn't go every day, I had 2 days a week where it was just H & I.  Those were the days I dedicated to organizing the house & running errands like the dreaded grocery shopping.  This past week has me shaking my head in wonder.


I love all my kids dearly, but they are very needy individuals.  Granted, the older two can entertain themselves for long periods of time, but there are the "help me mommy" moments, the "I'm thirsty" moments, the "she hit me or he took my toy" break up the fight moments...etc.  It makes it impossible for me to focus on a task for any amount of time.

Needless to say, there is nothing in the fridge for dinner tonight.  But, I am not grocery shopping today.  This morning was out- I didn't shower till 10:30 because the baby was cranky.  By the time I was ready, it was lunch time.  Right after lunch, the older two take a nap.  I don't skip naps...If my kids skip nap, the devil takes over their little souls & turns them into the whiniest, most dramatic kids on the face of this earth.  Don't believe me??  Feel free to borrow them for a day & don't give them a nap.  Do it.  You'll understand.

Anyways, I feel somewhat accomplished today (after a mini breakdown to my husband in which I may have told him supper was not happening today).  I got diapers washed.  They are hanging on the line in the glorious sunshine that we actually have today.  Of course that sunshine is partnered with 125 mph winds...I'm praying the clothesline doesn't decide to take flight and head to Wyoming.

I also made out my June menu.  I usually only plan one week at a time, but I decided I was going to write out the whole month & then when grocery shopping time came, I would just have to look at the calendar & go from there.  Genius, right??  So, I thought I would share with you what I came up with for my June menu.
Forgive me, I don't know how to make a calendar to put in here...

  1. Turkey Meatballs with peanut sauce, rice, edamame
  2. Tacos
  3. Grilled chicken legs, roasted potatoes, corn
  4. Coffee rubbed flank steak with a chimichurri sauce, sweet potato fries
  5. Popcorn night!
  6. Fish sandwiches, waffle fries, salad
  7. Breakfast casserole, fresh fruit
  8. Turkey strombolis, roasted veggies
  9. Beef & Broccoli, rice, egg rolls
  10. Chicken spaghetti, garlic bread, green beans
  11. Pork chops, Crash potatoes, salad
  12. Popcorn night!
  13. Asparagus primavera over couscous
  14. Spicy pork roast with coleslaw and corn tortillas
  15. Pizza muffins, salad
  16. Cheese burgers on the grill, Mac & cheese, raw veggies
  17. Smothered chicken breasts, hash browns, broccoli
  18. Meatloaf, stuffing, corn
  19. Popcorn night!
  20. Honey glazed salmon, lemon creme pasta, spinach salad
  21. Pork tenderloin sandwiches, fresh fruit, french fries
  22. Beer chicken in the crock pot, rice, corn
  23. Sour cream noodle bake, green beans
  24. BBQ chicken legs, cheesy potatoes, roasted carrots
  25. Grilled individual pizzas
  26. Popcorn night!
  27. Pasta with bacon & leeks, spinach salad
  28. BLTs, pasta salad, steamed asparagus
  29. Thai turkey lettuce wraps
  30. Steak & egg bistro salad
That's it!  We actually are planning a mini vacation, so not all of these meals will actually happen, but if something comes up & we don't go- I still have meals planned.  And yes, as you can tell we are a meat and potatoes family.  Sundays are popcorn night- its a family tradition from my side going back a couple of generations.  Mondays are always meatless or fish.  I try to have a variety of protein the rest of the week.  The hubby likes his beef & pork.  :)   

Well that is the menu for the month!  I linked some of the recipes & if there is another that you would like a recipe for, just let me know.  Most of these I make from memory, but I can type out the recipe if you would like it.  

I must go.  O woke up from nap & is having an "I'm thirsty" moment.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Tatortots & Jello give away

My blog cohort at Tatertots & Jello is having a giveaway for one of these:

Want to know what it does?  Go here.

I'm blogging about it so I have a chance to win.  Call me guilty, but I hope you don't want one.  Or never read this...It ups my chances that way.  Just sayin.  But if like me, you are also drooling over the possibilities of what a Silhouette machine could do for you, I suppose I will let you enter too.  But if you win, I will hold a grudge. :)

Recipes of Love.

May 2 was a tough day for us as a family.  The Husband was out of town on business- 4 hours away.  He got a call no one wants to get.  His grandmother, Alice, had passed suddenly.  It was a shock to our family.  Alice hadn't been ill at all.

The next few days were a whirlwind.  Travelling to NE, helping the family plan services, going through Alice's small, quaint apartment, and remembering a feisty lady who we all dearly loved.  In the nearly 11 years that I have been part of my husband's family, Alice had become my grandmother as well.

She was spunky in all sense of the word.  Wasn't afraid to tell it how it was, whether you wanted to hear it or not.  Loved to play card games & dice games, though she had certain games that she would only play with certain people.  She lovingly referred to me as her "Little $hi#" after I surprised her one evening when she was not expecting me.  It was our little joke for years.  I loved all the talks we had.  She was opinionated, stubborn, and one of the most caring people I have ever known.  Not a birthday, anniversary, or special event was overlooked.  We always received a card in the mail and a phone call.

When going through Alice's apartment with the family, there were many tears shed as we would find something that would touch our hearts.  Often it was photographs (and there were MANY!), or words that she had written.  We found birthday cards for 2 of her great grand kids, not yet sent- but already filled with her love.  One of those was for my son- whose birthday is today.  Alice was at his birth & was the first to hold O, when he was just minutes old.  
Alice & Owen 5/18/07
We found many trinkets and treasures that held memories.  We discovered things that made us laugh through the pain, and sometimes wonder what she was thinking.  But, when her kitchen cabinets were cleared out, I jumped at the opportunity to have this:
Alice's recipe box
I love recipe boxes.  Especially ones that have been filled with recipes from years ago.  Recipes handed down over generations, ones from newspapers, now yellowed with age.  Recipes written in the familiar graceful scrawl of a woman we loved.  Sometimes there is a random note, or words of wisdom.  I didn't know for sure what I would find in Alice's recipe box, but I knew I wouldn't be disappointed.  
 I found this notepad, which had the date 1960.  There were several recipes on brittle pages, worn with age, and stained with evidence that these were recipes she called on often. 
 This recipe for "Idiot Rolls" from a friend of Alice's.  The notation on the back said "So easy an idiot could make them"  It made me chuckle, knowing this was something Alice would say.  

 Many many recipes of all the baked goods that her family remembers her making- prior to an injury that left her limited mobility in her dominant arm.  Recipes with notations of how good they were: "!!!Excellent!!!" Gingersnaps, and "Delicious" chocolate crinkles.  "So & So's favorite". Some more visibly older than others. 
 newspaper clippings so old they were almost brittle to the touch.
 Easy Rye Bread that apparently appeals to men.  I wonder how many gentleman callers she had when the smell of this baked good was wafting out her windows?  And was she trying to impress someone when she came across this several years ago??  The thought made me smile.  
Tips and tricks on how to get rid of mice, ants, and roaches.  Because, simply, you never know when you will need advice like this.  
 We also came across a few of these- stacked neatly and tucked away in a corner. Only one was written in.  
It was to be my Christmas present this year.  

The recipe box has become a treasure of mine.  I love it as much as I love my own grandmother's- which I received when she passed several years ago.  Timeless treasures that I hope someday will continue to be passed on.  

We love you & miss you Grandma Alice.  
I feel the need to make a Strawberry Rhubarb pie.  According to the recipe card, it's my husband's favorite! :)

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday the WHA???

I am not having a good day.  It started okay- alarm went off at 5:10 am.  Got up to go to the gym.  Renewed gym membership.  Went down hall to Spinning room.  Had an INTENSE workout.  Sweat dripping off tip of nose intense.  All good and dandy.

Returned home at 6:35 am.  Joined the husband back in bed.  Played some words with friends.  Kind of drifted off.  Kissed husband goodbye as he left for work.  Fell back into a DEEP sleep.  Here is where it gets interesting.

Woke up at 8:45 to the two oldest littles poking me & saying they want breakfast.  Me= doing all sorts of facial contortions to try to see as my contacts had glued themselves to my eyeballs.  "huh? "What time is it??"  I grab my phone.  See that its 8:45.  Crap.  Late start (On Fridays I let the littles sleep in as long as they want & I usually am up having coffee & some quiet time before the chaos begins.) Let the dog out <--remember this for later.  Get the kids breakfast.  Use some eye drops.  More facial contortions, followed by poking myself in the eye to dislodge left contact which has now moved into my brain cavity.  Give in.  Remove offending contacts (the left one needed rinsing as I'm pretty sure there was some gray matter on it) & put on glasses.  Let dog back in.

Baby wakes & begins crying.  Change baby, feed baby.  Baby won't stop crying.  Baby lets out HUGE fart.  Stops crying for a bit.  bit= 5.198367 seconds.  Commences crying.

Tune out baby, or try to.  She is #3 & screams at a decibel that makes dogs howl.  It ensures that she is not overlooked.  Survival of the fittest or something like that.  Try to quickly clean up kitchen.  Open cabinet to put away plates.  Rooster cookie jar that I use for decoration purposes above my cupboards comes flying down at my head.  Brushes my ear. Shatters on counter top.  Yay me.  Sigh, clean up the little shards of ceramic and piece the head back together.

Baby still screaming.  I vow to never eat brussel sprouts again.  Or at least until she is off the boob.  Take two tylenol.  Drink a cup of coffee.  Have a moment of peace.  Feed baby. O then announces that the dog had pooped in the mud room.  AFTER she had been let outside.  Apparently the wet grass is too gross for her to do her business outside & she has found the need to Crap on my floor 3 of the past 4 days.  I clean up the poop mess, gagging the whole time.  Grab the stupid mutt & put her outside AGAIN.  She will be outside all day.  She is not in my good graces.

Break up fight between O & N over a puzzle piece.  Really?  Have 2nd cup of coffee.  Check facebook.  Blogger is still being a pain & won't load properly.  Kids say they are hungry.  Really??  Already??  What time is it?  Crud.  Its 12:30.  Make lunch.  Feed kids.  Baby starts fussing again.  Change her, feed her.  Still crying.  Administer Gripe Water to help her tummy again.  Curse myself for trying something new for supper.  Get kids cleaned up from lunch, send them to their rooms for nap time.  Finally get baby to sleep.  Go to bedroom & get clothes laid out for after my shower (yes it was 1 and I hadn't showered yet.  Don't judge.)  Grab robe & towel.  Head to bathroom to find N looking over the toilet saying " I dropped a deuce & it won't flush".  Grab plunger, dislodge turd.  Flush turd successfully.  Send N back to her room for nap.  Take quick shower while all 3 are sleeping.  Get dressed.  Collapse on couch.  It is only 2.  I'm ready for bed.

Baby is fussing again.  Guess the day isn't over yet.  I am done with Friday.  TGI WHAT??  Nope.  I want to skip today.  Fast forward.  Please let it be Saturday.  please?? pretty please with a cherry on top??????


Thursday, May 12, 2011

The chore I detest the most.

You would think it would be scrubbing the bathroom.  Laundry perhaps?  Nope- the husband does the majority of the laundry. (be jealous, its okay)  Dusting?  Vacuuming??  Picking up the kid's rooms?  Nope. Nope. Nope.

My least favorite, most hated, detestable chore shopping.
This guy looks way too jolly to be grocery shopping.

I can't explain why I don't like it.  It may be that it takes me forever to plan out a menu.  I have kids.  Picky kids.  Not as picky as some kids, but they only like certain foods.  I can only tolerate sloppy joes, tacos, pizza, spaghetti, and Cheez-it chicken so many times.  So, I try to find new, kid friendly recipes.  Something to give the husband and I a little variety.  Husband & I like to try new things.  Earlier in our marriage, I loved to try new recipes.  Some worked, some failed miserably.  But we had the option of trying.  Now- I have 2 other additional people to please (baby 3 still gets the boob).   Man, are they demanding.

I am not, however, a short order cook.  They get what we get & if they don't eat it- too bad.  They won't starve between dinner and breakfast.  I'm not going to be the mom who gives in.  Even if they won't eat my more exotic meals, they will at least try them.  They must take at least 2 bites before saying they are done.  Yes, there have been some gags (specifically from N).  There also have been times where they THOUGHT they wouldn't like a certain food & ended up really liking it!

So here is my routine.  I sit down- sometimes with the computer, sometimes with a food magazine.  I plan my menu & then I create my list- broken down in these categories:  Dry, Meat, Dairy, Produce, Frozen, & Other. I find when I break down my list like this, I have less of a chance to overlook items.  I know exactly what I need when I'm standing in the various sections of the store.   I also try as much as possible to stick to my list.  Sure there are items I forget I need & add them to the cart when I run across it.  No biggie.

I try to grocery shop on Tues or Thursdays since those are the days where both of the older kids are in school.  1 kid (baby, strapped in car seat or Moby wrap)  = somewhat enjoyable, though still detested shopping experience.  3 kids (baby + 2 that do okay, but have a tendency to touch EVERYTHING) = mommy needing a nap [or a xanax...]

 So, how do you do your grocery shopping?  Do you plan out meals before hand, or just wing it?  Do you even make a list?  Are you an every day shopper?? (AKA- Craaaaaazy!!!!!)  I'm wondering if everyone else despises grocery shopping as much as I do.  Because really, I would scrub your toilet if you went shopping for me.  Or send my hubby to do your laundry.....maybe I better check with him first before offering that service.

For your curiosity:  Here is what is planned for this week's menu.

Thurs- Turkey meatballs with peanut sauce, rice, roasted brussel sprouts (the hubby said he would try them.  It will be an experiment)

Fri- pork tenderloin sandwiches, waffle fries, carrot sticks

Sat- Beef & asparagus negimaki over noodles (a Rachael Ray recipe- I got the magazine subscription as a gift from my mom & dad)

Sun- Usual popcorn night.  Family tradition.

Mon- Super Nachos (husband will be out of town, so this is my kid friendly, super easy meal)

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Turkey Stromboli

Well, I did it.  I cooked for celebrities!  Well, not anyone like George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but I did cook for some A-MAZ-ING artists.  Sunday evening, Big Daddy Weave, Chris Sligh, & Luminate put on an incredible concert at our church that helped benefit the Christian school my 2 oldest littles attend along with a project our church has been working on.
 Big Daddy Weave
 Chris Sligh

I volunteered to cook the after show hot appetizer for the bands.  We weren't given any suggestions, so after carefully considering my options & reviewing several recipes, I settled on my turkey strombolis.  I say MY, because this is one of the few recipes that is actually mine!  Its a variation of a dish I had at a bridal shower years ago, but I have modified it over time to be easier & more family friendly.  It is my go to dish to make for friends who have  just had a baby, a surgery, or a family hardship.  I have been asked several times for the recipe after making it, so now that it is somewhat "famous" (hee hee), I will share it with all, uh, 12 11 blog followers.


1 lb. ground turkey
1/2 green pepper
1/2 red pepper
1/2 c. mayo or miracle whip- whichever floats your boat.
1/2 c. parmesan cheese + 1/4 cup. separated. (use the real grated stuff, please) 
2 Tbs. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. minced garlic- aprox 2 cloves
pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
 1 egg white
either refrigerated pizza crust or you can make your own.  I use this crust recipe:

4 cups flour
1 1/2 c. warm water
1 tsp. yeast
1/3 c. olive oil + more for drizzling
1 tsp. salt.  
1 tsp. sugar

Combine water & yeast in small bowl- set aside
Mix flour/sugar/salt in a large mixing bowl or bowl from your stand mixer
with mixer on low (with a dough hook) drizzle in olive oil until incorporated.  
gently stir yeast/water mixture & slowly add to flour mixture, until dough forms ball around hook.
Remove dough, place in a bowl greased with olive oil & cover with a towel.  Place in a warm spot to rise

*This dough recipe will make enough for the strombolis PLUS a pizza, so make sure you cut the dough in half if you are just doing the strombolis or double the filling recipe.  

Preheat oven to 375*

Brown turkey and drain. finely mince the peppers.  Mix all ingredients, reserving the 1/4 c. of parm. cheese.  
Roll out dough or cut dough into rectangles- aprox. 6 in by 8 in  Put 1/3 cup of the mixture in the middle & fold into thirds, pinching the ends closed or crimping them with a fork.  Brush with an egg white & sprinkle with remaining parm cheese.  Bake until golden brown.  

OR:  appetizer version- 
Cut dough into small squares & press into a greased muffin tin.  Place a scoop of filling in the center & top with a little parmesan cheese.  Bake until crust is golden.  Chiffinade some fresh basil to sprinkle on top.  

  So there you have it.  Enjoy!  This recipe is very family friendly & I usually serve it with a lettuce salad & fresh fruit.  Word from my friend Kayla, who is a teacher at the little's school & the person "in charge" of the hospitality for the bands was that the guys of the bands loved them & devoured them in mere minutes.  I'm pretty proud.  :)  

Thursday, April 28, 2011

A nursery in the making!

I have a vision.  That is all it is right now is a vision, but I did make some purchases today that make my vision more of a reality.  I'm REALLY  EXTREMELY excited about it, too!

When I became pregnant with little #3, I desired to make the bedding set for the crib.  We kept the gender a surprise, so I searched and searched for the perfect, gender neutral fabric.  After finding one I loved, I priced it out----> It would have cost me nearly $200 to buy the fabric amount I needed for the nursery.  Not to mention the time it would take to make it.  Boo.  I could buy a set that I liked for less than that & not spend the time & energy of sewing one.  Sure it wouldn't be as personal, but it would work!

Then, the move (#6) happened & we didn't have a room that could be dedicated to the nursery.  Currently, H sleeps in our room in the pack-n-play & the crib is in her sisters room- not really functional.  Right now the crib just serves as a storage bin for gifts we have received, my Moby wrap, and other miscellaneous items.

But....I have a vision.  :)

I didn't want to do a traditional "girly" nursery in pinks & purples.  N has that & I love it, but I didn't want to do it again.
N's room in Iowa before I got her headboard finished

 I decided I wanted more of a color scheme than a theme room.  I also have always loved the French country look & took that idea and ran with it.

First, I found a bedding set that I liked & was neutral enough that I could add the touches I wanted to.  Its gingham & red (my favorite color).  Here is what it looks like off the website image-  *note the crib in the picture is the same crib we have, only in black instead of the wood finish we have.*  (Yes, it is a drop side crib.  Yes, I am aware that these type of cribs have been recalled.  No, I am not going to purchase a brand new crib for baby #3 when I know this one is safe & I have checked all the parts to make sure they function properly)

The bedding set comes with the quilt, fitted sheet, and bumper.  (does anyone actually use those silly diaper holders, anyways??)  The crib skirt could be purchased separately, but that was TOO much gingham for me.  

I decided I wanted to make the crib skirt & curtains in a toile fabric.  I found several different fabrics that were red toile, but just not right for a nursery.  I didn't want it to be too stuffy & adult, I wanted it to be fun & child like.  Then I found this:

Covington Over The Moon fabric.  

Isn't it perfect??!!   It still gives me the French Country feel I want, with the toile I want, but the toile is covered in nursery rhyme characters such as Humpty Dumpty, The cow that jumped over the moon, Peter Horner, Mary Mary (quite contrary), and more.  Plus it has accents of sage green- the other color I wanted to incorporate into the room.  YAY me!!

The other project will be turning our pine computer armoire into a clothing storage component for the room.   
This is pretty close to what the armoire we have actually looks like.  But, it won't look this way for long.  I plan on painting it- probably an antique white & adding an antique glaze medium.   :)

The walls in the room are currently a very light gray.  One wall is a chocolate brown. (Not my doing).  I'm going to leave it for now & if it doesn't look right, I will consider painting the room.  I'm not a fan of painting rooms.  We did a LOT of painting in our last house & while it was a huge improvement over what was there, its a pain!

Now if we could get the basement finished faster so that N can move downstairs & I can put my plans into action.  I hope it turns out as well as I have envisioned! 

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