Friday, November 30, 2007

I Surprise Even Myself...

I decided yesterday that I would do some more FREEZER MEALS. So I went grocery shopping and got everything I needed for about six meals. This morning, I realized I had forgotten a major ingredient for one of my recipes, so I went back to the store, when it opened at 9am. While I was at the store, I quickly got some other ingredients for a few more meals. So after I came home, got the kiddos a snackie snack, and got my groceries in order, I started in.

I am so proud of myself! I flew through all the meals I had planned, and then made some I hadn't planned for, and then searched for more... I filled my freezer. I made 18 meals, and finished at 1:30pm. I worked 3.5 hours. Just call me Speedy Gonzales.

Here is what I made:

Meatloaf
Cream Cheese Chicken
Hawaiian Meatballs (2 meals)
Apricot Meatballs (2 meals)
Chicken Tetrizini (2 meals)
Potato Casserole (2 meals)
Yogurt Parmesean Chicken
Chicken Alfredo
Orange Chicken
Taco Twist
Broccoli Ham Casserole
Honey Lime Chicken
Chicken Enchiladas

What sounds good to you? I'll post a recipe.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Bird's Nest Ornament

Looking for some simple gifts to give to your neighbors and friends? Here is a favorite.



You can buy a big package of this Spanish Moss at Michael's Craft for about two dollars, and you can buy the eggs there too. They are found in the same aisle. Break off a good handful of the straw, form it into a nest with your hands by cupping around it and indenting the middle with your thumbs. Use some hot glue to glue about three little eggs to the nest. Then print off the saying, tear the edges and either ink them or burn them. Put it in a clear gift bag (also found at Michael's) and tie with a ribbon. They make great gifts. It will probably cost you under a dollar when you figure out the total cost. Very cool.


Here is what the paper says:


An Old Christmas Legend


Long ago, great happiness and good fortune came to those who chose a


Christmas tree with a bird's nest in it's branches.


Here is a little nest for your Christmas tree. May the legend come true for you.


Give it to your friends and tell them to set the nest amongst the branches of their Christmas tree. It was tradition for my mom to have her nest be the first decoration for the tree. Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

The OLDEN Days

Kamy came into my room today, telling me that tomorrow was 70's day at school, and that she needed to dress up like "The Olden Days". When I asked her what that meant, and how she wanted to dress up, she said "Ya know, like the Pilgrims. That's the Olden Days. I need to look like that."

So I guess I was born in the time of the pilgrims.

But that's not so bad. A few weeks before, Kamy asked me how old Grandma Weber was and what year she was born. When I told her, she said "Oh. Was that when Jesus was born?" (sorry mom)

Monday, November 26, 2007

We have a big problem!

That is what Keaton said to Kamy. You see, Heath and I have been discussing where on earth we are going to put a christmas tree in this tiny house. There really is NO ROOM. We are filled up. So Keaton overheard us saying that there simply was no room for a christmas tree. He got scared. He went over to Kamy and said " We have a big problem, Kamy! There is no room for the christmas tree. If there is no room for the christmas tree, then where are the presents going to go?"

Now here's a kid who was thinking!

No worries son. We made room.









After we decorated the tree, we had a snack. STICKY CORN. You should try it. It's so easy to make and really yummy.

Microwave two bags of popcorn. Removed un-popped seeds. Pour into a grocery-size brown paper bag. Add 1-2 cups nuts (optional).

In a 2 cup glass measuring cup (or glass bowl) combine 1 cup packed brown sugar, 1/4 cup corn syrup, 1/2 tsp salt, 4 tbsp butter, and 1 tsp vanilla. Microwave for 2 minutes. Stir. Microwave for 1-2 more minutes. Add 1/2 tsp baking soda and stir (mixture will foam).


Pour into paper bag all over popcorn. Roll top down and shake shake shake to combine. Pour into a big bowl and make yourself sick eating it because it's so good.

Memories

This weekend I got the de-clutter itch, so I dragged Heath along and we cleaned out the storage closet we have outside our new tiny house the military has us in. When we moved, so much of our stuff didn't fit, so we just shoved it in that closet. Well, it was time to clean it out.


We did great. I went through some totes that I hadn't looked through in about 7 years. Heath found his old mission photos, which he got great joy out of telling me about each picture, when all I wanted to do was move on to the next tote. But he did tell me that I should make a scrapbook out of those pictures. (Uh, like I haven't been trying to do that for years and you were never interested??)


But I did find a little sumthin' sumthin' that triggered my memory as well. Brace yourselves...this could be shocking.





So this little jewel came from my older sister. (So many of my posts are about her. Hmm, maybe I should try therapy....Naah. That's what a blog is for. She should try one too!) She gave me this book soon after she acquired status of MRS herself. She and her husband found this in a thrift store, and anxiously presented it to me. They even dedicated it to me, on the inside cover. It reads: To Shaina, our beloved sister, who we have hope for. Someday, Shaina, Someday. :) Then she signed it with not only her first name, but her new married last name, with all the glory she could muster. Oh, and her husband signed it too, just to add the effect that they are married, and I am not.

Now, I admit. When I was in college, all I wanted to do was get married. From the time I was little, I just wanted a husband and kids. Still, it's my passion, being a mom and wife. I love it. Anyway, I really wanted to find the right guy, but it was really hard because I hardly dated in college. I was great friends with amazing guys, but it just wasn't right to date them.

So my sister decided to rub it in. Let me tell you about the book. Here is what is written on the inside cover:

Dividing her plan into three easy-to-follow steps, bestselling author Wendy Stehling outlines a surefire method to catch a man. From dating to dressing, from dining to decor, Wendy spells out the new rules in today's confusing nuptial game. Included are quizzes to help the reader chart her progress; discussions of such common mistakes as wearing too-red nail polish, and ordering vodka when sherry is due; and a schedule of activities that will make catching a man easier than you ever thought possible. So get ready...get set...get married!

Sounds great, huh! But there is a problem, according to the book, the 3rd date is when I should be ready to hop in the sack with him. According to the book, men won't marry a woman until she has proven herself..in the bedroom.

So suffice it to say, I didn't take the advise of the book. It was all fun. I thought I had lost the book, but I found it! I showed it to my husband, and he was quite interested in reading it. "Save yourself the trouble babe. You've already got me."

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

A Lovely Fall Day

It's almost Thanksgiving. We are having a beautiful day. Just slightly crisp and full of sunshine. The kids and I took a walk today. We decided to take a silly picture. Wanna see??





For Thanksgiving we are going to our cousins' house. It will be the first year since moving here that we aren't doing a big Thanksgiving get-together at our house. Since moving, we just don't have the room, and we were delighted when our cousins invited us to join them. Roger, Laura, and their kids are the most wonderful people we can imagine, so it will be so fun to spend the day with them.



It's almost December, which means our baby will be turning two. It really is shocking for me to think about. When she turned one, I about had a meltdown. What will happen when she turns 2?


Monday, November 19, 2007

It's official

Keaton is no longer a little boy. He lost his 1st tooth Saturday night. His bottom middle tooth is now with the Tooth Fairy, who was very generous, by the way. He has his two new bottom middle teeth already half-way through, behind his baby teeth already. So he is well on his way to adulthood.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Would you move to Hawaii?

I know we all want to vacation there. We just did. But if the opportunity presented itself, would you want to live there? That was the decision Heath and I faced yesterday.
At the beginning of the week, Heath had applied online for a job in Hawaii, and the next day, he got a call from the company. They set up a phone interview for the following day and were anxious to talk to Heath about his work experience.

So this made us think...wow. Do we really want to move to Hawaii. We weren't sure. It is really expensive to live there (very comparable to the surrounding cities here in California) and we have always said that we want to move to a place where a good paycheck really means a good paycheck. Cost of living is important to us. But it's Hawaii for goodness sake!

Anyway, the question was answered for us when the interviewer offered Heath a salary that would be great for a single man living there, but not for a family of six. So we declined and are happy that it wasn't a tempting offer. We think we'd like to visit there again, but not live. Besides, my hair would be wacky frizzy everyday. I just don't think I can take that kind of pressure.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Seriously?



Would any of you buy this? This came in a magazine, full of really odd things to buy. I'm sure they wanted it to be taken seriously, but come on...do people really buy these?


The thing that gets me, is that he is just so darn happy to be wearing that thing. It just makes me laugh.


Here is their selling point

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Tasty Tuesday

Thought I'd share a little bit of tastiness with you today. Here is a recipe from my collection of freezer meals.
Apricot Meatballs

1 pkg ground pork or beef

1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cub dried apricots, finely chopped

1 tsp soy sause

1 TBS Five-Spice powder

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp salt/pepper

1 egg

Mix all ingredients until thoroughly combined. Form into meatballs and place on cookie sheet. From here, you can bake them at 400 degrees for 20 minutes, or you can freeze them. Once frozen, place in a ziploc baggie and freeze until ready to eat.

Spicy Apricot Glaze

1/2 cup apricot preserves

1/3 cup sweet and sour sauce

1/2 TBS Five-Spice powder

Mix all ingredients in a saucepan. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. If you are making this ahead, do not heat up the sauce. Mix ingredients, pour into a small ziploc bag, and freeze with the meatballs. When you cook the meatballs, heat up glaze in the bag in the microwave or pour into saucepan to heat up. Enjoy.

Side note: I usually serve these with cous cous, fried rice, or mashed potatoes with a vegetable to make a complete meal.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Home Sweet Home

We are so happy to be home! We arrived here at 2:30 am after a very long day of waiting at the airport, and a very long and cold flight. We don't think we will ever do Space A travel again just because it was so up-in-the-air. We wanted to come home Wednesday, and had to wait until Friday evening to catch a flight. But if we hadn't wanted to come home so badly, the Space A thing is a pretty cool thing. We didn't pay for a flight to and from Hawaii, and that was a HUGE savings.


I have to give credit to my AMAZING friends who watched our kids for us. Originally, my mom was going to come down and be with them, but my dad had some health problems, which made it impossible for my mom to leave him. We were going to cancel our trip, but our friends wouldn't let us. They watched over the kids and were so wonderful the entire time. So thank you, Amy, Nicki, Heidi, Tasha, and Carolann! I am forever indebted to you.




Now, time for some pictures.....


We spent a lot of time in the car. We really explored the island.







This picture was taken from the rim of Hanauma Bay, the best snorkeling place on the island.






Heath and I went up to the temple. It was beautiful. It was closed, so we couldn't go through.





After the temple, we went over to the Polynesian Culture Center and saw their amazing show. It was really really good. Here's a picture of Heath with the Samoan Fire Warrior. He did a rockin' good fire show for the finale.





When we stayed at the Hale Koa, this was the sunrise outside our balcony.





I have always wanted to go skydiving. I got my chance!




We hiked up Diamond Head, the volcanic crater on the island.





Here is a view from the top of the mountain after a windy trail up and about a million stairs!




If any of you are "LOST" fans (and if you aren't, you should be. It's the BEST show on TV), this is the waterfall where they film many scenes. We also hiked around this area where they film lots of other scenes. It was great.




We went to a water park. Some nice Australian folks took this picture for us.




I made lots of little videos of our trip as well. As soon as I figure how to put it all together and make a fun video collection, I will post it. Until then, enjoy the pictures!


Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Stuck in Hawaii...kinda a bummer


Hello everyone! I just found out that there is a flight leaving tomorrow morning going back to California, but that there are no available seats left on it. We are ready to come home, so we are a little bummed that we can't. We miss the kids.
But, we have had a great time here. It has rained many of the days we were here, but it has been fun anyway. I found out that humidity and my hair are not a match made in heaven. I looked pretty terrible the whole trip. Good thing my husband loves me.
We returned our car rental. We have our bags packed. Hopefully we will catch a flight soon!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

And We're Off!

We think.

See ya in a week!

{Oh, and I got the recipe books mailed off. Hope you like them.}