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.

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...