Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Hightlights from the Holidays...

Finally got a chance to look at the pictures I took over the holidays.

Interestingly enough, I didn't get ANY worth keeping of the festivities...you know decorating the tree...making the ginger bread house...wrapping or tearing off the wrapping paper.

But I did get some sweet ones.

Grandma played A LOT of games with the girls...probably not as many as they would have liked. I mean seriously, as far as the girls are concerned...there are no other purposes for grandmas besides THEIR enjoyment.

Here they are playing cribbage...



And here is one of the several games of Uno. Things got to be pretty competitive before all was said and done. Grandma ended up putting a KIBOSH on Uno eventually. They were a tad sad that Grandma, with all her fun, still had the gumption to put a kibosh on ANYTHING! All I can say, as her daughter, is that I TOTALLY knew she had it in her. Well done Grandma.



You can see where this is going in those little faces...can you guess who started it??? Her nickname MAY be Bear...but her attitude was Stink Bug.



At some point during all of this Bear had her last soccer game of the season...I got a couple with just Bubba and Bear, lucky for you...



Bean wasn't all that keen on watching the game...but one nice thing about the indoor "field" is that there are a few arcade games to keep her busy and most of them are old, so that makes ME happy. But they also have an air hockey table...WHEEEE!!! I love air hockey. It's probably my favorite "sport".



And this is how Grandma and Monkey Face watched the game...



I really think they had more fun than anyone else there...

See ya around...

The Snot Monster attack!!! AAAAA-CHOOOooooo!



See ya around...

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Turtle Girl

Look what I almost tripped over when I got out of the shower yesterday afternoon...



That's right...an over-turned laundry basket...or is it.






May I present (the fully recoverd) TURTLE-GIRL...





"What are her super-powers?" you may ask. Although it should be obvious...she can stuff her entire little body inside a regular-sized laudry basket and hide in plain sight. Well, mostly....









So that only her twinkley little eyes show...







She is also EXTREMELY adept is sucking people into her vortex of cuteness...(Look I think his head is stuck)...







Wait, is it possible that THIS is the way she catches criminals...sucks them in and TRAPS them (or at least their heads) UNDER her mighty laundry basket?





Or maybe it's just goofy Daddy. He is a terrible marsh-mellow when it comes to cuteness...I, of course, have overcome the cuteness. As you well know, I am completely immune...especially to those constantly grubby, little, dancin' feet...





Heaven help me...


See ya around...

Scottish Rite Hospital UPDATED...

There are a million things that I'd like you to pray about...but I think the biggest one that we need over here is "THY WILL BE DONE"...and for the peace to live within that.

Please join us in prayer.

If you have NO idea what I'm talking about please click here to see earlier blog posts about my Beanie and Legg-Perthes. You might want to scroll to the bottom because it's in order of newest first.

UPDATE
It went very well. Her hip has rounded the corner and is starting to rebuild...YAY!!! The X-Ray is still not "pretty" but her mobility is GREAT and other than waiting for it to regrow, there is nothing much to be done.

They don't want to see us for 18 months unless something comes up like a fall or a major increase in pain.

Praise God. We really have been so blessed throughout this thing. I think the sweetest part is that Bean is starting to realize she might actually be able to run someday.

Something that is kinda funny. Beanie hates that she limps...and she is SO stubborn that when she thinks about it, she CAN walk without a limp...and she was doing that so well that our doctor had to foil her to see what he was looking at. He made her stand on her healthy right leg...when she was confident that she could do it...he put his hands just outside her hips and told her to go ahead and stand on her left leg...sure enough...she almost fell over...but the good doctor KNEW she was going to do that and caught her. He said, "See there, you can't fake me for long."

So thank you for your prayers...keep 'em coming...for now we are great!!!


See you around...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Oh My, Pie!



ALERT THE PRESSES!!! I, though it may not be written down, am an ASTOUNDING pie maker!! That's right, I've made THREE, count 'em, 3...IN A ROW...EGGGGGGG-cellent pies in the last couple of weeks. Therefore, no matter what future pie failings I may have...I can still claim the ASTOUNDING pie maker title.

The one in the picture above is LITERALLY the best chicken pot pie I've ever eaten. Now to be fair, it's the FIRST homemade pot pie that I've ever eaten...it's better than the Marie Calendars pies I've eaten in recent years and it plain smacks-the-snot out of those little frozen hockey pucks from the bottom of the grocer's freezer that I ate for years and years.

But I can't really tell you the recipe...because while I was looking at a recipe for the general idea...that's here...I have no idea how Ina Garten's recipe would turn out because other than eyeballing the list as I threw things in, I didn't follow her method at all...

Here is what I did...because it is what I had...

2 Frozen SOLID chicken breasts
about 5 cups of chicken stock (and I added a cube of bouillion because Ina did, but pshhhhht...I don't think it was necessary in this recipe AT ALL)
6 Tbl of butter
1 medium RED onion, chopped
about 3/8 cups of flour (seriously, I had my 1/8 cup out...No, I DON'T really know why...shhhhh)
2 good sized carrots, quartered and chopped
1/4 cup of cream (or 2 1/8 cups, just in case you are using that rare beast)
Some frozen peas...if you pressed me I'd say somewhere slightly over a cup-ish
Salt to taste
McCormick Italian Herb Seasoning Grinder to taste
Puff Pastry

So I put the chicken stock and bouillion cube AND the two frozen chicken breasts in a pot, slapped the lid on it and cooked it on high for awhile...it came to a boil...then maybe 7 minutes after that...

While that was working I chopped the onion, melted the butter in a big old high sided frying pan. Threw the onion in there, let it get soft. Then I put the flour in and mixed it around so that it would cook that raw flour flavor out. Then I threw in the carrots and the cream and let them cook for a couple minutes, cuz you know, carrots take a minute. Then I put about 2 cups of the now boiling stock into the onion/flour/carrot mixture and mixed it around to see how thick it was...twas hokey dokey.

I pulled the now, MOSTLY poached chicken breasts out to my cutting board and chopped them into about 1 inch chunks. Threw them into the mix. Added in the peas. Mixed it around and added some more stock...maybe another 1 1/2 cups...let it reduce a bit.

Meanwhile realized that I hadn't left enough time for the puff pastry to defrost...so trusting in a bit I saw on Alton Brown's Good Eats...I threw it in the microwave. Yes, it was the wrong thing to do, I know that now. But what was I to do, I told the kids "Chicken Pot Pie"...not "Yummy Chicken and Veggie GOO"...so I pressed on.

I DO have a rolling pin. I slapped that droopy, sticky dough down on the back of one of my shiny clean cookie sheets. I rolled it out and then kinda pulled on it so that it would fit my container.

I grabbed said container, put the aforementioned "Yummy Chicken and Veggie Goo" into it and eased the puff pastry over the whole shebang. I put it in the oven at 400 for about 15 minutes...give or take...and there it is.

Now if you are cook that likes to fly by the seat of your pants you can follow me on this one...start to finish it took 40 minutes and that is WITH the microwaving debacle...I probably COULD have done it in less than 30 without that and a LEETLE forethought.

If you are one that needs a strict recipe, go see Ina's, she's famous for that kind of stuff.

As to my new title, y'know "ASTOUNDING Pie Maker" (I know that you forgot.), I give you links to two more to-die-for holiday pies. Both were posted on one of the blogs I follow and so you may have seen them before.

Here is the crust I used for those...it turned out PERFECTLY.

Scrumptious Apple Pie a la Pioneer Woman - the only change I made was that I didn't have any caramel syrup, so I melted caramel candies over a double broiler, added a couple tablespoons of butter and about 1/4 cup, maybe a touch more, of heavy cream so that it wouldn't harden up when it cooled.

Sugar Pie with Nuts - oh excuse me - Pecan Pie a la Pioneer Woman - This was my first foray into the joys of pecan pie...and seriously if you've never made it yourself...you just don't know what you are missing.

See ya around...

Friday, December 5, 2008

Sleep Baby, Sleep...



Well it's been 19 days since I posted that I'd been sick...we had ABOUT a week after that before it started running through the rest of the family. Bear first a couple days before Thanksgiving...and then she, Bean and Bubba had a really bad night the Wednesday night before Thanksgiving. I basically didn't sleep that night although I wasn't the one who was sick.

Bear needed me to sleep WITH her Wednesday, Thursday and Friday because every time I'd go back to bed either her ear would hurt really bad (apparently my AURA dampens ear ache pain, who knew?) or she would have really scary fever dreams...I TRIED to stay in my own bed on Wednesday night but by Thursday had given it up completely in the hope that SOME sleep would come my way. But even that was dubious at best because if I, by chance, dozed...that would cause Beanie to start that barking-like-a-seal cough that every mother dreads.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure that Bubba didn't tell me he was REALLY sick until that Wednesday...of course with the other two so sick, it's possible I ignored him. But by Thursday morning (3am) all the vitamin C in the world wasn't going to get rid of it...but he was OKAY as long as he slammed back about 8,000 mg every couple of hours...

Thanksgiving was kind of interesting. Now, I WAS NOT sick...just SOOOOO TIRED. (I've gotten to be such a sissy about sleeping all the way through the night. There was a time, when Bean was a wee one that I could be up 6 or 7 times in the night and still go to work the next day...BUT, I digress.) And at my house, I'm the main cooker, the main cleaner, and the main organizer, I do usually get some help with these things. But my helper, was WIPED out...He couldn't come down or go back up the stairs without needing a nap...so that made me the ONLY cooker, cleaner or organizer.

Go ahead and try it yourself...cook everything the same day (because you couldn't do it early, no, that would make things FAR too easy), clean every dish in between, put every dish away, put pretty dishes on the table (you know the ones you CAN'T just throw in the dishwasher because they are over 100 years old)...then clear the table...handwash all the dishes all on about 20 minutes worth of sleep. Oh, and don't forget to be joyful doing it.

Well, if you know me at all you probably realize there was no way I was able to do that all HAPPY. So I did as much as I could while maintaining my happiness and waited on the rest of them who were by this point pretty sick. On Thanksgiving we had Duck, Cranberry Sauce and Stuffing on paper plates with PLASTIC forks, thank you very much. On Friday, I did the greenbeans with something else and on Saturday, I'd had some time to dig out the kitchen so I made two pies.

Sunday I did NUTHIN'...except church.

By Sunday night, Monkey Face was really not feeling very well. I couldn't decide if she was really SICK...she was just REALLY crabby. So because Bubba was on the mend...still snotty, but perfectly willing to put on the Barbie movie du jour and sit around napping...I went to church at night.

Well by Monday morning Monkey Face had the snorts and snots...and an ear ache...and my aura wasn't working. Because she is a MAJOR crab when it comes to any of the natural things I force on my other kids (vitamin C - she doesn't like it, Garlic Oil in her ears - she screams and screams) and this thing hit in the middle of the night AGAIN...I resorted to a 1/2 teaspoon of baby motrin, arguing inside my head...pffffft...I gotta sleep. Well, I took her to our chiro on Tuesday morning and she felt a lot better the rest of that day...but again...in the wee small hours she wakes up with the OTHER ear hurting...so another 1/2 teaspoon of Motrin. And the next day she is feeling worse.

Long story cut a tad shorter...I finally got a clue yesterday and dropped the Motrin...made her accept garlic oil in her ear and made her take her vitamin C and garlic DURING THE DAY. It took 2 doses of the garlic oil in her ear (about 1 hour apart) for her ear to not hurt at ALL anymore. It was amazing. I hadn't been able to touch her ears for 2 1/2 days...the motrin would make it better for awhile but then it would come raging back. After that second dose, I could tink on her earlobes again. Woo Hoo!

And something else...she slept for longer than 15 minutes at a time. She slept almost 2 1/2 hours yesterday afternoon, ALL NIGHT (other than wanting a drink), slept until 9:15 this morning and is going on 2 hours now for her nap.

And she started giggling this morning. Ah, what a joyful noise.

And, while I'm sorry for gushing...isn't it a beautiful sight?



See ya around...

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Time out, indeed...







What is that?

I'm pretty sure I told her to sit on the couch. I'm pretty sure she was being a tad irritating and I told her to chill out by herself. I'm pretty sure she was crying just a second ago. I THOUGHT she was terribly sad that she had misbehaved and caused her mother a frowning brow.









This is not what I had in mind. I'm sure that I meant she was to be solemn...quiet....still. She was SUPPOSED to be THINKING about what she had done and coming to some sort of repentance. Those feet are not solemn. Nor do they look repentant in the least.








I believe those unrepentant feet are dancing.




Sigh...sometimes the cuteness just sneaks up on me.

See ya around...

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Not Naan...but not bad...

Last night I was on an indian food kick. I'd found a recipe for Butter Chicken that resembled my favorite Indian Restaurant's Chicken Makani...and I found a recipe for Naan (with an option for Garlic Naan).

Ooooooo...I was SO excited.

And then reality hit.

The Butter Chicken didn't suck. I wouldn't throw it BACK atcha. I wouldn't grab a jar of pickle relish to eat with a spoon INSTEAD. That's really all I can say about it. Oh, I guess ONE other thing...my Indian restaurant REALLY has no cause for fear.

But the Naan. Well, for some reason I was thinking it was a quick bread...so I didn't start it until 5:00pm. As a yeast bread it was impossible to finish by dinner time. I did MAKE it to a degree...but it started getting late. You know, I had to cook the Butter Chicken, make the rice, clean the kitchen, goof off with girlies...throw things at Bubba. ANYWAY...so I got as far as punching down the dough...making it into golf ball sized rounds that I put on a cookie sheet and covered with a tea towel and stuck in my cool oven.

In almost clarvoiant fashion, I also stuck a pink sticky note on the oven door (just in case I forgot to mess with it) to remind myself not to just crank up the broiler before checking that I'd removed the stuff. I am very wise to my own idiosyncracies...and frankly it only takes one tea towel flambe, one time, 22 years ago to remind this old girl how terribly forgetful she is. But I digress.

As is my common practice, I took the girls upstairs and completely forgot there was a lower floor to my house for the rest of the night.

I got up this morning and noticed that, indeed, I'd forgotten the Naan. Well, hmmm, they looked a little overblown...but not much worse for the wear. I pulled them out of the oven, pre-heated it to 350 F, extricated my tea towel from the couple of pieces that had grown sticky overnight. When the temperature indicator beeped, I popped them in the oven as-is and baked them for about 15 minutes...I know it was longer than 10 because I'd set the timer...but beyond that I'm not sure.

Anyway, they CERTAINLY stuck to my cookie sheet...that will be a soak job for sure...but I scraped the top part off and put a little butter and agave nectar on it and it was definately yummy.

Real Naan is usually a flat bread, you do the second rise, flatten it and cook it on the grill (or so saith my recipe)...but this was crunchy on the out side, puffy and soft on the inside...sort of like an english muffin but not quite so chewy...yummmy!

So here is what my Not Naan, looked like...


and here is a link to the recipe. I think I'm going to try it as ACTUAL Naan next time...but I also am TOTALLY going to try it as more of a biscuit again...um, adding in the greasing of the cookie sheet, of course.

See ya around...

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Breaking my own rules of anonymity...

But for a very good reason.

This post is going to all the mommas out there that have a fussy writer.

Bean was a miracle child. She could write her name when she was two and a half. She had a harder time reading...but writing she had down cold.

Bear is a miracle child in many MANY ways...but writing is not one of them. Well, maybe she is...you decide. She doesn't LIKE handwriting. As a matter of fact while TEACHING her to write I've discovered that the child CAN NOT draw a counter-clockwise circle to save her life. (to those of you not teaching children, this is a vital skill for all ENGLISH writing...try to write a lower case a, c, d, g, o, q in either manuscript or cursive and you'll see what I mean.)

And she squawks about it..."I HATE handwriting!" "I don't WANT to do handwriting"...blah blah blah.

Check this out...this child can write...obviously when SHE wants to, but still, the child can write and I certainly didn't teach her this...All I do is spell stuff "one at a time"...



I've actually known this about her for about a year. I never really taught her numbers either I just wrote them on the top of the page for her...and all of a sudden she could write them...

This is August 2007...


This is September 2007...


This is June 2008...


And November 2008...


So even a child who can not write in lessons, might actually be able to write. Even a child who fights every opportunity in a certain subject, might still go on to learn said subject in spite of herself. Bottom line...even though I have a hard time TEACHING her to write...she's learning to write. Praise the Lord.

See ya around...

When Momma is SICK, ain't NOBODY happy!!

I'm sick. It started Wednesday night...turned into a good old fashioned chicken soup cold...and the stupid thing won't leave. So ANYWAY, I've not been feeling up to par this week and it TOTALLY shows in the pictures of my children. It's the weirdest thing too. You'd think they'd be happy that mom was letting them run nutty...watch t.v. ... eat more junk than usual. But NOT really... Here they are making pizza pretty much by themselves on Friday (day 2 of me being REALLY tired)...


Not a smile. I'd go so far as to say they were all rather stoic. What's with that...they got to make PIZZA for crying out loud. I swear to you, I was not shouting, "Ha SLAVES, get that cheese grated" or anything of the sort. It's possible I threated someone with gypsy selling if they didn't hurry...but it's a little hazy...still...they aren't even smiling with the pepperoni flinging.

And then there is THIS portion. We were studying Michaelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci...so they made frescos...FRESCOS. Painting on plaster...what could be better. Terrible messy stuff...and then PAINT...I hate to paint nearish to meal time and this was AS I was making dinner...They are PAINTING just when they want to on a really cool surface...not one little crack in those faces....


Here are Bean and Monkey Face staying out of the way while Bear works on Math...listening to wonderful things of their own choosing on Bean's MP3 player...coloring, as per THEIR request...No Joy...(actually, after looking at the picture, Bean is doing spelling...but still)...


Well, here is a LITTLE joy...Monkey Face was VERY happy with her donkey and had to show her sisters. But doesn't that second one look like Bear is telling her, "Chin up baby-sister, as soon as those gypsies get here, we'll sell HER."


So just in case you are wondering if your feelings alter your home...here are some good examples of how they do. I'm a little sad that my kids weren't full of joy this week...stupid cold. Colds also APPARENTLY cause all photos to be grainy...ALL OF THEM.

However, perhaps things are looking up...this was yesterday...at the very least I now have a very clean spot on the floor...
video

See ya around...

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This, That and Medieval Torture Devices....

Well we put our Medieval unit to bed about 2 weeks ago...and since then...hmmmmm...what have I been doing???

I don't know. Nothing. Been Busy.

Actually none of those are EXACTLY true...but we haven't been doing anything interesting really...at least not photo worthy.

Let's see...okay there was Voting Day. Bubba stayed home so that I could go vote. I never manage to vote early...NEVER. Bubba usually does. I always want to, but then my flighty nature takes over and there is always something ELSE to do, until it's TIME TO VOTE. So anyway, during the primaries our voting place was VERY crowded. I didn't get there until about 6:45 pm after Bubba got home from work, and I was there until after 9 waiting in line. So I hadn't wanted that to happen again, so Bubba stayed with the girls and I went a-voting about 10 in the morning. There were EXACTLY 7 voters in the room. Pffffffft, I coulda taken the girls. Oh well, I took it as a blessing. I had Bubba all to myself all day, he had a day off AND I'd voted.

The next day was my birthday...WEEEE HAAAAW! Yes, indeed I'm another year older since you saw me last. But ANYWAY, I somehow managed to schedule a dentist appointment for both Bean and me ON my birthday. I really MUST be getting old. What kind of a person SCHEDULES a dentist appointment ON their birthday. The day AFTER, maybe, but ON?

My oral hygienist did remind me that at the very least I get to start my new year with very clean teeth. I was thankful for the sentiment, but held no guilt when later in the day I slathered those clean teeth with a Caramel Pecan Fudge Sundae from Braum's.

That sundae was only a possibility because Bear's soccer team had a little end of season celebration. It was such fun. We all went to Braum's and ate junk and visited. I had made a DVD for them all that had a simple slide show of pictures set to "Trashin' the Camp" from Disney's Tarzan...and one of the other parents had taken our team picture and gave those out. It was a pretty fun birthday all around.

I've often missed out on BIG birthday fun because I'm usually the one to make the fun...AND all of the rest of the family's birthdays are OVER by mid-June and I'm the sole end of the year standout. But luckily for me, the kid's sport's end of season parties have coincided with my birthday for the last few years, so I usually end up with an actual PARTY...I'm fairly impressed with my finagling.

So anyway...that's what I've been doing...schoolin' kids, eatin' sundaes, makin' videos, cleanin' various elements of my house, diggin' OUT the garden (so sad)...

So I don't know. Nothing. Been Busy.

But I can't leave you with NOTHING. These pictures were taken in October at a little friend's birthday party. It was a dress up party and we had just purchased our costumes for the end of our Medieval unit (there will be MORE pictures of those later). The party was sort of a spa day for the little girls (9 and under), the big sisters (14 and 12) pretty much ran the show, doing make-up, painting nails...oh it was just fun...we moms threw in to help with foot massages...




We DID learn that those toe separators that come in the little spa kits are not really MEANT for 5 year olds, unless you are into torture devices...

Look at her face....


Now look at her poor little toes...


That's what I call MEDIEVAL!!!

See ya around...