Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Happy Valentine's Day

Artichoke Spinach dip
Grilled Steak
Baked Potato
Broccoli w/ cheese sauce
Asiago Artisan Bread
Molten Lava Cake w/ vanilla ice cream

We had a great family dinner, with candlelight and church shirts.

We exchanged handmade valentines. This is the origami lotus flower BJ made me.

Then we watched a movie called World's Fastest Indian. It was not a real romantic flick, unless you count his relationship with his motorcycle, but it was a great story.

Electronics 101

Large mound of speaker wire
Piles of electronic equipment
Triumphant 10 yro boy

He just finished hooking up the tuner, cd player, vcr, dvd player, and TV to 6 different speakers. That wire, along with 5 of the speakers, have been piled up behind the armoire for months. My little techie spent the afternoon getting everything set up beautifully.

Check out other projects here.

Look What I Got

I had been saving for months to get a new washer and dryer. Then last spring, I fell and broke my wrist. Thanks to thousands of dollars in medical bills, my washer and dryer dreams were forgotten. Until Now.

After B hooked them up on Sunday, he wanted me to do a test run to see if there were any leaks. The kids and I watched the clothes wash, crowding and elbowing each other for a good view, for over 40 minutes. That thing is amazing! I even bought these cute little blue mats to make W and D feel welcome. As a free bonus, the kids got a new fort.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Menu Plan for Feb 16-21

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Leftovers
Dinner: Chicken Tetrazini

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Hot Dogs, peaches
Dinner: Potato Soup, bread, salad

Breakfast: English Muffin w/ peanut butter
Lunch: Chicken Nuggets, Corn
Dinner: Spaghetti, green beans, salad

Breakfast: Puffy Pancakes
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Burritos

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs, toast
Lunch: Pizza
Dinner: Bible Study

Breakfast: English Muffin w/ PB
Lunch: soup
Dinner: BBQ Chicken Wings, potatoes, salad

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tough Love

I've really been trying to get more exercise into my day. I've discovered that if I don't do it first thing in the morning, it just doesn't happen. However, what I like to do, love to do, want to do first thing in the morning is drink a big ol' cuppa joe and check email/blog/facebook in my slippers! So, I made a deal with myself. I CANNOT go on the computer (or have my coffee) until I do my workout. It really is tough love. It seems to be working. So far.

Check out other great tips at Rocks in My Dryer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

File It!

These neatly sorted piles of paper used to be dumped in this bucket. I am estimating it has been a YEAR since I filed. (I know, I know. ) Anyway, I managed to sort, purge and file ALL this stuff. It has been hanging over my head as a must do for weeks months, and it only took me a couple hours. What a relief!

Check out other projects here.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Menu for Feb 9-14

My pantry was getting quite full, so I took stock of what I had and planned the majority of these meals without having to buy much at all. I'm planning to splurge most of the week's grocery budget on a yummy Valentine's Day meal for the 6 of us.

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Hot dogs, peaches
Dinner: Shredded beef tostadas, rice, beans

Breakfast: Cereal
Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup
Dinner: Pot Roast, carrots, potatoes, salad

Breakfast: English Muffin w/ peanut butter
Lunch: Dee-Licious Soup
Dinner: Hawaiian Chicken, egg rolls, rice

Breakfast: Puffy Pancakes
Lunch: Bean and Cheese Burritos
Dinner: Leftovers

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: BLTs, fries

Saturday (Valentine's Day)
Breakfast: Apple Crepes
Lunch: soup
Dinner: Steak, baked potatoes, broccoli with cheese, green salad, rolls, choc mousse

Be sure to visit orgjunkie for hundreds of other menu plans.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Picture Tag

A little photo meme.

Here are the rules:
Find your 5th photo file folder,then the 5th photo in that file folder.
Post that picture on your blog.
Tag 5 others to do the same.
Here is my photo. It is me (age 7) on the right, with my grandpa and cousin. A few years ago, I made a scrapbook for my grandparents' 60th anniversary. I have very few pictures from my childhood, so I took advantage of having all their photos and scanned in a bunch I wanted to have.
I have tagged: Angie, Sheri, Rebeca, Heather, and Shanna

Saturday, February 7, 2009

The Agony of Defeat

It was a loooooooooooooong day of wrestling. Z and BJ were competing in two separate tournaments today. In two separate cities. So, I accompanied Z to his tournament and B took BJ to his. Z got a tough, tough, tough 6 man bracket which meant he had to wrestle 5 matches. He was the youngest and lightest in the bracket and it was a physically challenging day. However, it was even more of a mentally challenging day, he wanted to quit, but he persevered. I am so proud of you!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Funny

She was in the bathroom, putting on her makeup, under the watchful eyes of her young granddaughter, as she'd done many times before. After she applied her lipstick and started to leave, the little one said, 'But Gramma, you forgot to kiss the toilet paper good-bye!'

I will probably never put lipstick on again without thinking about kissing the toilet paper good-bye!!

To Do Lists With Style

Ambiance (finding beauty everyday)

I always have a to do list sitting on my kitchen counter. I generally make a list each morning as I drink my coffee of the things I'd like to accomplish that day, then as things come up throughout the day, I add them to my list. Best of all, I get to cross off all the things I've done. What a feeling of accomplishment!! These lists are written on scratch paper, usually re-using the back of something the kids used for school. Last week, while shopping at Ross, I came across this beautiful set of Laura Ashley notepads. They came with a bright colored holder. Twelve pads, each with a month of the year written on a beautiful Laura Ashley pattern, 40 pages in each, and a magnet on the back. Now my to do list adds a bit of style, beauty and color to my day.

See how others live a beautiful life at The Inspired Room.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

What's Up in the Yo?

When E was very young, she used to run around the house saying "What's up in the Yo? What's up in the Yo?" while throwing her arms into the toddler version of gangsta signs. Ever since, the phrase has been commonly heard from all of us when we are feeling silly. Lately, it has come to have new meaning.
The boys have succumbed to a yo-yo obsession. It all started when B was cleaning some things out of the attic and came across an old yo-yo, he gave it to Z to play with. Eventually, they all realized that this was "way better than the ones we get at the Dollar Tree". In the never-ending quest to have the best, most up-to date of everything, BJ began a little online research. After pooling money, and enlisting my help to get out of paying the exorbitant shipping rates (find us one of those online coupons, mom), they placed an order and the waiting began. I was prohibited from running errands during "mailman time". What if we missed the delivery of the "package". One afternoon while standing in the kitchen, I saw the mailman pull up. I announced this exciting news and the entire gaggle of us stood at the front windows and watched the mailman hold a large parcel in his hand, scan it with his thingamajig, slip our mail into the box and drive away WITH THE PACKAGE. We stood there in disbelief. I ordered BJ to run over there and check the mail. He sprinted across the street, pulled the mail out of the box and held up that little orange slip. I signalled wildly with my arms through the kitchen window, go after him! So, BJ proceeded to sprint down the street, nearly two blocks he would later report. He caught that mailman and demanded his package. Now, BJ was so excited to receive the delivery and probably really enjoyed the chase, so he did not realize that the mailman deserved a tongue lashing for this behavior. Can you believe he did not even get his lazy butt out and attempt to deliver the package? He obviously did not even LOOK at our house to assess if someone was home, or he would have seen FIVE of us staring out the window at him. Oh, I was steamed.
Anyway, we now have four yo-yo's, a Fireball, the Brain, a Gamma Brain, and a Duncan reflex. According to M, "They have centrifical clutches in them that release the axle so they can return on command." Huh? They came with a dvd showing 150, I repeat 150, different yo-yo tricks. I believe BJ has mastered 12 of them. I did manage to slip in a little history lesson about the origins of yo-yo's. "A weapon?? Cool."
"What's up in the Yo?"

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

A Leap of Faith Too

Well, we did it. Together we faced our fears. I dropped him off at junior high and watched him walk away. He stepped out of the safety of his mother's presence and walked into public school. Alone. I drove home and sat in the driveway, sobbing. Questioning God. Maybe I misunderstood him. Maybe he made a mistake. I mean after all he has so many to look after. Maybe I should go back and get him. Then I heard God whisper, "trust me". So I got out of the car, slamming the door in utter frustration. This whole idea was a lot easier to digest when it was just a concept. Now it was a reality. An in my face, my baby is gone, reality. It was the longest day of my life. I kept watching the clock, thinking I wonder what he is doing now. We got there 20 minutes early to pick him up and waited anxiously in the parking lot, searching each group for him. Finally, he emerged. A big smile on his face as he waved across the parking lot. I was so relieved to see him. He climbed into the car, full of happy chatter about the days events. We did it. God is good.

If you are wondering why this homeschooling mama sent one of her lambs out to the big bad wolf, you can read about it here: A Leap of Faith

Shop Vac

Several years ago, we ripped all the carpet out of the living areas of our house. We put in laminate flooring. Ever since then, I've been struggling with how to clean it. I tried several vacuums that had "bare floor" settings, but they never seemed to work that great. For the last few years, I've been using one of these

We call it R2D2 because of the way it follows me around the house like a little robot. I've never used the "wet" feature of my wet/dry vac, but its good to know the option is available if the spills get out of control. You can also get lots of great attachments for it, including one to clean your computer keyboard!! That's what works for me!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Menu for Feb 2 - 7

Breakfast: Oatmeal
Lunch: Macaroni 'n' Cheese, corn
Dinner: BBQ Beef Sandwiches, Coleslaw, Baked Beans, Tator Tots

Breakfast: Blueberry Muffins
Lunch: Macaroni and Cheese, Corn
Dinner: Artichoke/Spinach Lasagna
Breakfast: English Muffin w/ peanut butter
Lunch: Grilled Cheese, Chicken Noodle Soup
Dinner: Ajiaco Soup (see recipe below)

Breakfast: Puffy Pancakes
Lunch: Bean and Cheese Burritos
Dinner: Chicken Curry Crepes

Breakfast: Scrambled Eggs
Lunch: Sandwiches
Dinner: Chicken Parm, penne pasta

Breakfast: Cereal
Dinner: Burgers 'n' Fries

Be sure to visit orgjunkie for hundreds of other menu plans.
I got the recipe for Ajiaco Soup from my friend, Rebeca.
Here is what she has to say about it:
It's super easy and goes together very quickly, in spite of the long looking list of ingredients. It has only a little meat, and could easily be made without it. It freezes well, and I often double it and freeze half. (Never, never make a small pot of soup!) Best of all, it's yummy, and everyone I've served it to likes it a lot. I originally got this recipe from a Wycliffe dinner theatre, and it originates in Colombia. For your cooking and eating pleasure....
Ajiaco Soup
1 Full boneless skinless chicken breast
6 C Water
6-8 Chicken Bouillon Cubes or 6-8 t Buoillon Powder
3 small to medium potatoes, unpeeled and diced
2/3 C each Garbanzo, Kidney, and Green Beans, well drained (I usually double the recipe and use one can of each.)
1 1/3 C Instant Mashed Potatoes
1 Bunch chopped Green Onions
2 T. Oil
3-4 t. Minced Garlic
2 T Onion Flakes
1 1/2 t. Basil
3/4 t White Pepper (I use black)
3/4 t Paprika
1 C Frozen Corn
For Serving:
1/2 C Chopped Cilantro
Capers- 1 t per bowl
Avocado- 2-3 slices per bowl
Use a 6 Quart stockpot. Simmer the chicken with two bouillon cubes and two cups water until cooked. Turn off the heat and remove the chicken from the broth and chop or dice then return to stockpot. Saute the garlic in the oil in a small skillet until tender. Add the onion flakes to the garlic and stir together then add to the chicken and broth. Add four cups water and the rest of the bouillon. Return to burner to start cooking. Add the other ingredients in this order: potatoes, mashed potatoes (whisk in and then stir to dissolve), kidney, garbanzo, and green beans, green onions, and spices. Cook on low-ish until the potatoes are tender, then add corn and simmer about ten more minutes. Stir cilantro into soup just prior to serving, or use it as a garnish. Serve with capers, avocado, and a splash of cream. (Sour cream is nice too, if you prefer not to use real cream.)