Thursday, April 30, 2009
A few years after I got married, someone taught me how to make a pretty crochet edging around a baby blanket. I don't think I ever finished the blanket.
Which brings me to a year ago, when my sister SHARON put up a few dollies on her blog that she had made. (Here is another link to another doll) They were so cute and sweet and I really really wanted to know how to make them. Fast forward to this past week, and we got out my new package of crochet hooks, a few spools of yarn, and I sat at the Master's feet and learned how to crochet a dolllie. If you want to know how to make them, here is a link to the AMAZING DOLL PATTERN. Sharon and I didn't follow the pattern. Since she already knew how to make a doll, we just winged it, and shaped it according to our liking, which is the reason that our dolls are two different sizes, and the dresses completely different. We just went with it, and it was FUN.
1/2 cup warm water
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
We chose two subjects who were bound to be harboring lots of germs: Keaton and Kolby. We waited until the most germ-abundant time: Right after school.
We put one squirt of regular soap in Keaton's hands, and one squirt of antibacterial soap in Kolby's hand. Kamy timed them for their 20 seconds of scrub time, and then they rinsed their hands under water to remove soap and germs.
Then Kamy rubbed a Q-tip over Keaton's hand, and then rubbed the Q-tip in a little glass dish to deposit any germs that may have been left. We did the same with Kolby's hand. We marked which dish had been swiped from the antibacterial soap with a big A.
Friday, April 24, 2009
Melissa and I had the supplies to make this cute messenger bag, which can also double as a diaper bag. The picture shows the inside of it, with all the elastic pockets. The outside is decked out in Velcro pockets and hidden zipper pockets. It took three of us, ALL DAY, to figure out the pattern and get the bag made. It kicked our butts. I don't think I'll ever make this bag again. However, if you are more gifted at following a pattern than I am, you might try to make the bag yourself. Here is the link to the instructions. Have fun. Don't blame me if you throw the bag across the room in frustration.
Then we all made these cute watch bracelets, which were the hit of the weekend. Melissa brought all the watch faces and beads, and after we each picked out the colors we wanted, we made our cute chunky watch bracelets.
Courtney spent the weekend painting some pictures for me to hang on our wall. She calls them her "Sexy Trees" paintings. I think they look so cool. She did a fantastic job.
You may wonder how we accommodated all the extra bodies at bedtime. We had two air mattresses, a comfy couch, and an extra Queen bed downstairs. The three extra kids that came shared beds as well, so everyone had a nice place to sleep.
Here is a picture of everyone working on a project. Stay tuned for the next post to see what we did.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Friday, April 17, 2009
Strawberry Cream French Toast
1 pkg cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp strawberry preserves
1 Tbsp orange zest
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
8 slices Texas Toast
Combine your filling mixture in a small bowl and set aside. Mix together your eggs, milk, and vanilla extract in a shallow bowl. It says in the instructions to slice a pocket into the side of the bread and add in a spoonful of the cream cheese mixture, and then to dip the bread into the egg mixture, and cook over medium heat on your skillet until both sides are lightly browned. If you are adventurous enough to do this, I say go for it. I never have. I just make the french toast like normal, and reserve the cream cheese mixture to spread over the top after it's done cooking. Either way, I think it tastes pretty darn good. We serve this with OJ, hashbrowns, and sausage.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
However, this is the only version I know how to make. It is very good, and very comforting on a cool night. It also freezes very well, so if you want to make a double batch, you can bake one and pop the other in the freezer for another time.
(for the potato topping)
2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 Tbsp sour cream
1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup cream
Salt and pepper
(for the meat mixture)
1 1/2 pounds ground meat (I use ground turkey)
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp butter
1 cup chicken broth
2 tsp Worcestershire Sauce
1/2 cup frozen peas
Alrighty. Brown your meat and onions and carrots in a frying pan. Cook until the onions and carrots are soft. Season with salt and pepper to taste. In a small saucepan, melt butter. Add flour and stir for a minute or two over medium heat. Add the chicken broth and Worcestershire Sauce. Bring mixture to a boil, stirring constantly. Mixture should have thickened up. Add to the meat mixture and stir in peas. Place this mixture in the bottom of a casserole dish.
While the meat mixture is cooking, boil your potatoes until they are fork tender. Drain water, and add in your sour cream, egg yolk, cream, and salt and pepper. Mash together. Spoon potatoes over the meat mixture evenly, then sprinkle the top with paprika.
Bake at 450 for about 15-20 minutes. You just want to get it all heated through and the top to be lightly browned. That's it. If you had leftover mashed potatoes from a previous meal, they would work just fine for this meal. Just scoop the leftover potatoes over the meat mixture instead of making more. If you are going to freeze this, wrap it in aluminum foil very well to prevent freezer burn. Remove from freezer 24 hours before you want to bake it, letting it thaw out in the fridge. Cook time will be a bit longer, since the meal is cold. Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, then you can boost up the heat to brown the top before you serve it. Just use your judgement on cooking time, to make sure it's heated through.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
This next picture is what we woke up to the next day, Easter morning. I was confused as to whether we were celebrating the birth of Jesus or his Resurrection, because of how fluffy and Christmas-like the snow looked. It was very beautiful, falling down in huge fat snowflakes.
But it didn't last long. This next picture was taken the following day. Almost all of it was melted off by noon. I think that is the best part about living here. I love having snow, but I love even more, having it melt off so quickly.
Like I mentioned before, I have my family coming into town for the weekend. I have a few postings saved up for you though, so you don't miss me too much. I've included a few recipes. So have a fabulous weekend and I'll meet ya back here on the flip side.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
I answer it.
"Yes. I need to see Dr. Michaels Today."
"I'm sorry. This is a home number. The Doctor's office changed their number and I don't know what it is."
Sigh. "Why don't you have the number?"
"Because I am not their messaging service."
Seriously. I think I might just disconnect my home phone service. I think the only people that call me are Heath and my sister. The other 10 calls I get everyday are for the blasted Doctor's office, who selfishly changed their number and didn't tell any of their patients. I'm annoyed.
Friday, April 10, 2009
So when I make up my menu, I put down our simple favorites first. These include Spaghetti, Meatloaf, and breakfast for dinner...like pancakes or something. These are very cheap meals for us, and the kids love them too.
Then I think about any meals that I can use ingredients for more than one purpose. For example, on meatloaf night, I pop in a few extra baked potatoes. I reserve these in the fridge (after I remove the pulp from the skin) and the next night, I make Baked Potato Soup. Cook once, use twice. The same thing goes for Ham. When I buy ham, I usually have enough leftover for a few meals, so if I make Ham and Potato Casserole one night, the next night I can use the ham in my Chinese Fried Rice, or I can add the ham to our Breakfast for Dinner night, etc.
Some meals I make automatically make a double portion, like my Floating Tacos or Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. I make it the night we want to eat it, and then instead of putting the leftovers in the fridge, I double bag it in a freezer-safe bag and pop it in the freezer, to be used another time.
Then there are the meals that if I make sure to buy an extra pound of meat, I can double the recipe easily, and put the extra meal in the freezer, or take it to a friend in need for them to have for their dinner.
Another thing that is important, since I try to go to the store as infrequently as possible, is that I make the meals that require fresh ingredients first. That way, the veggies don't spoil before I get a chance to use them. If I make a big batch of freezer meals right after I go to the store(which is the best time to do it because you have everything on hand and defrosted), I put them all in the freezer, then make new meals every night until my fresh ingredients run out. Then, I start using the freezer meals. Make sense?
This week, my meals include Spaghetti, Sausage Penne, Floating Tacos, Meatloaf, Baked Potato Soup, Strawberry Cream French Toast, and Shepherd's Pie. Next week, we are having Ceasar Salad Wraps, Pizza, Tacos, Philly Cheesesteaks, Ham and Potato Casserole, Parmesan Chicken, Stroganoff, Chinese Fried Rice and Chicken, Lasagna, Funeral Potatoes and pork.
I like to write down all the meals I've planned on the fridge, so I pick which one sounds good to me that day, and either get it out of the freezer, or make it fresh. I don't like being strapped down to a specific meal on a specific day.
Half of these meals I can partly prepare ahead of time, if not all the way. I can cook up all the meat for the pizza and tacos. I can dice up all the ham and divide it up. I can assemble the Parmesan chicken and freeze that, and I can make the funeral potatoes and the fried rice. So, I can do a lot ahead of time. As much as I like to cook, some afternoons are just too crazy to make the meals I want. So I save myself time (and dirty dishes) by doing it ahead of time.
Hope these tidbits helped you with your menu.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
This is a picture of my sisters and my mom. It was taken in August. My youngest sister Nancy (the one holding the feet) and my mom are the two that will be missing from the craft weekend, but the rest will be here, along with the two not pictured, my sister in law Melissa and my best friend from High School, Bethany.
We are going to sew, bead, paint, knit, go on a hike to Garden of the Gods, go to a late-night movie, make lots of yummy food, and have our own version of a "Girl's Night". I can't wait!
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Monday, April 6, 2009
10 Favorite Snacks/Treats
2. Chips and Salsa at a Mexican Restaraunt
3. Peanut butter chunk icecream
4. Apple slices with chunky peanut butter
5. These Chocolate Chip Cookies
6. Orange Rolls
7. Hot chocolate
8. Fresh Bread, right from the oven
9. Flat Earth Peach Mango Chips
10. Rootbeer and popcorn
10 Places I've Visited
2. Grand Canyon
4. Vancouver British Columbia
5. Atlantic Ocean (S.C.)
6. Pacific Ocean (WA, OR, CA)
7. Gulf of Mexico (MS)
(That's about it, besides places I've lived)
10 Stores I Shop at
3. Hobby Lobby
6. JoAnn Fabric
9. Old Navy
10 Things I buy at Costco
4. Sour Cream
7. Lunch Snacks
8. Dishwashing Soap
9. Sandwich meat
10 Crafty Things I Make
1. Christmas Bird's Nest Ornaments
2. Christmas Wrapping Bags
3. Baby Blankets
10 of my Favorite Things to Wear
1. Pajama Bottoms
3. Pink Scarf
5. Gray Skirt
7. My "Snuggie"
8. My Babydoll Crocks (broken. Need to buy another pair)
10. Husband's sweatshirt
10 Shows I watch on T.V.
3. Amazing Race
5. Grey's Anatomy
6. American Idol
7. Food Network
8. So You Think You Can Dance
9. Dancing with the Stars
10. The Bachelor
10 Things I do in my Spare Time
8. Watch Movies
9. Talk to friends
10. Dance with the kids with the music turned up.
Saturday, April 4, 2009
You should check it out, if you are interested. I'll answer any questions you have. You can try it for four weeks for a dollar. By then, you'll know whether you want to continue or not. My only advice, would be to gather up a few weeks of coupons from the Sunday paper before you start. It helps you get immediate savings.
Friday, April 3, 2009
I keep a 5 pound bag of starbursts out of reach of the kids, and I use it to persuade Kolby to read to me, and do his homework. Well, there are no more starbursts in the bag. Kolby left his wrapper evidence behind the couch.
I keep a bag of cookie dough in the freezer. Well, I did. Kolby ate them all.
There are fruit snack wrappers, cracker crumbs, and gum wrappers under his bed. Today, I caught him with the chocolate syrup and caramel syrup behind a chair.
Yesterday, he spent the whole day within the confines of his room. He could only leave to go to the bathroom, and he had to get my permission first. I let him come out for school, but as soon as he came home, he went right back up to his room. I brought him his meals so he could eat, although I was tempted to let him have nothing but bread and water. Yesterday was the only day he didn't get into anything, because he was in "jail", so to speak. Of course, judging by the wrappers under his bed, he just may have a stash I don't know about.
I have taken away everything that matters to him, and still, he won't stop stealing food, snacks, and treats. I don't even keep that many sweets in the house, for goodness sake. But if it's there, he finds it.
I seriously need Kolby to get a punishment that matters to him. We already grounded him from sugar, or any treats of any kind, but it hasn't phased him in the slightest, since he manages to get into it anyway. Help. Please.
So Georgie and Kolby both got mac and cheese. Georgie still wants to sit on Daddy's lap as she eats.
It was discovered that Keaton is a rib man. He was so sure in what he wanted to order, and after he started eating his ribs, kept telling our waiter how good they were.
I ordered the chicken fried chicken, with mashed potatoes and white gravy. Quite possibly my favorite meal ever. Kamy normally goes for the ribs, but for some reason, this time she just wanted the chicken strips. I think she wished she ordered the ribs after hearing Keaton go on and on about how fantastic they were.
Not much more news going on over here. I have to apologize for the lack of posting, and lack of creativity lately. I've been feeling a bit under the weather, but I think I'm on the mend. I think my immune system has just been lacking in strength. Anyway, thanks for sticking around. I'll try to come up with another story from my childhood for you. Soon.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
She is staying home today from school. Hopefully the swelling will decrease enough tomorrow so she can go back. I tried to take a picture to show you, but she requested that I not post a picture of her on the blog. I don't think I'd want my hammered face to be made public either.
This happened the day after she found the 50 dollars, and she said "Well, I guess I can't have good luck everyday!".