Saturday, May 31, 2008


My husband has been watching the Stanley Cup Finals, so there has been a bit of hockey on in our house. Today I was cleaning the bathroom and Logan came in to chat with me while I cleaned.

Logan: Momma, why do we have those hockey poles in our storage unit?

Me: Well, Daddy likes to play hockey and maybe someday soon he can teach you how to play.

Logan: I already know how to play.

Me: Oh, really.

Logan: Yeah, you just bump into each other a lot and use those hockey poles..

Me: You mean hockey sticks.

Logan: Yeah--you use those hockey sticks to push that thing around on the ice.

Me: Puck, it is called a puck.

Logan: Yep...a puck. You push it around on the ice.

Yes, I'd certainly say he's got it figured out...LOL!!

And the fun begins....

Summer is getting close and that means hot, humid days are in my future. Yuck!! I grew up in Texas, and while it gets hot there, it just wasn't humid (I lived in the panhandle). Heat I can handle--humidity I can not!! Then there is the fact that before moving to this area I lived in northern CA and it typically doesn't get hot there. We vacationed there 3 years ago this summer and when it got up to 70 degrees, we had someone ask us if we were enjoying the heat!! I seriously thought they were kidding....then they realized that 70s was a break from the heat for us...especially considering we were there in August!!

Another thing in my future is a boy looking a bit goofy from the swelling he gets from mosquito bites. We sat outside for a few minutes the other night and when I felt myself getting a bite, I said it was time to go in. I noticed he got a bite and cringed. The next morning it was swollen, but not like it has in years past. I also noticed a second bite in his hairline. However, this morning he wasn't so lucky. The swelling has spread down into his eyelid and even the side of his head. Last year he got a bite just walking out to get in the van---the poor boy doesn't even have to be playing outside!! And, let's not talk about the pesky little things that sneak in the house when we go in or out of the house.

In case you can't tell, the bite is above his right eye.

Here are a few shots from previous years...

This is the next morning...

He had these next two at the same time. The one on the back of his leg caused his poor leg to swell so much that he had a hard time walking!!

Here is one where is eye swelled completely shut!! And can you believe that every time he has had a mosquito bite that causes his eye to swell, he has also had a black eye (even in the top picture he has a black eye--but it is almost gone and hard to see--this time he fell and hit his eye on the hardwood stairs)?? Here, he hit his eye on a shopping cart.

This one made my ear hurt looking at it, but I thought it was a pretty good Ross Perot impersonation--LOL!!

So, while most are out more in the summer, we seem to stay inside to avoid the mass amounts of mosquitoes that this lovely humid weather brings us!! Yep---I'd have to say I'm not a very big fan of summer!!

Friday, May 30, 2008

The kid in me....

5 Minutes for mom is having another photo contest. This time around, it is "The Kid in You" contest. I decided to show a few pictures that lead up to the picture that I am submitting in the photo contest. These were taken by my MIL in April 2006 at Great Falls National Park.

(Here is my official entry below--you can click to enlarge.)

While watching Logan try and try to blow the dandelion, I couldn't help myself and had to show him how it is done. I don't care how old you are, that is still fun!!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

D.C. Zoo--Bird House (WW)

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Monday, May 26, 2008

I LOVE it!!

Remember this post?? Well, the canvas from Val has arrived and I LOVE it!!

Originally, I thought I'd put it in the dining room, but it didn't seem to fit the space, and I wanted it in a spot where others would I'd see it more often. I really wanted it in the living room, but there wasn't an empty spot for it. I decided to remove a picture already in there and see how it would look. I'm glad I did, because it totally changed the look up!! I liked it just fine before, but I LOVE it now!!



(This is a picture I took at the Cherry Blossom Festival.)

Val, thanks again----we absolutely love it!!

Menu Plan Monday...

Last week we didn't use two of our meals, so we are carrying them over to this week. The buffalo chicken chili mac makes a huge amount for us, so we ate that several times. I think we get FOUR meals out of it, but we love it, so that's a good thing!! We didn't have the sour cream noodle bake until last night (Sunday) and it also makes a huge amount, so we'll eat that again and have it for lunches!!

Speaking of the sour cream noodle bake, we really liked it. I wasn't sure if Logan would, but he gobbled it up. He loves pasta, so I shouldn't be too surprised, but I did have to pick the meat out for him. I cheated and used cottage cheese with chives in it!

I also made the Hawaiian bread yesterday. It is good, but it doesn't really taste like King's Hawaiian bread to us. Perhaps I did something wrong, but it was more dense than King's is. I also think I slightly over-baked it. I baked it for 40 minutes, so next time I will check it around 30-35 minutes. That's alright, because we still liked it!!

*=new recipe

Monday--leftovers (sour cream noodle bake, salad, bread)

Tuesday--lemon butter chicken*, spaetzle, salad, homemade soft serve ice cream*

Wednesday--steak and gravy, rice, cauliflower

Thursday--Italian steak rollups*, salad, pasta, French bread

Friday--breakfast for dinner--eggs, bacon, waffles

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Thursday, May 22, 2008


I was sooo pleased with how my homemade bread and butter turned out!! I had made the bread before, but made a few changes this time. Last time I reduced the heat to 375 degrees because my bread pan said to cook the bread at 25 degrees lower than what the recipe called for. I also used half wheat flour and half white. This time I used all white flour and kept the temp. at 400 degrees (I also sprinkled it with cornmeal this time and didn't last time). The bread was very good last time, but I did much better on it this time!! Samantha, I'm so glad you posted the recipe because I know we'll have this often around here--we LOVE it!! It's actually pretty easy to do, as well!!

I made some homemade butter to go along with it. The recipe says that you can make it in a food processor or a blender. My blender did not work--it got thick and no longer mixed it well. I switched to using my hand held mixer and it worked great. When it thickened and turned yellow, it was ready. I dumped it out onto several paper towels stacked together and used a spatula to press the moisture out. As the paper towels got wet, I got new ones and repeated the process. Once it was all pressed out, I placed the butter into my butter bell. I only used one cup of cream and half the salt because I wasn't sure how it would turn out. The one cup seemed to be the perfect amount for one loaf of French bread.

This will definitely be a frequent combination in this house!!


Both of my boys are sick. Logan woke up with a barking cough on Friday and that is now a lovely congested cough. He ran a low-grade temp. for a few days, but now it is just the cough. On Tuesday, Lucas was super fussy and I thought he felt a little warm, so I took his temp...99.6. Other than being fussy, he had no other symptoms. Next morning he woke up with 102.5 and it stayed that most of the day...making it up to 103.1 at one point. Today he woke up and I was afraid it would still be high...nope...98.3...YAY!! However, I know he still isn't feeling well because he goes from this...

to this in 1.2 seconds!!

(And right before I posted this I checked his temp and it is 99.1 now....hopefully it doesn't go up again!!)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Am I big enough, Momma? (WW)

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Monday, May 19, 2008

Bubbles and Butterflies....

You might be wondering what these two things have in common...keep reading :-)!!

My MIL sent me this picture yesterday (taken by hubby's uncle last summer) and when I saw the look on Logan's face, I was pretty sure I had seen it before.

Oh yes---here it is...

Meet Logan--the boy who is afraid of butterflies and bubbles!!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Menu Plan Monday....

Last week we had the crockpot steak and gravy and really liked it. So much so that hubby asked for it again this week!! I only used half of the package of French onion soup mix. It is pretty much like pot roast!!

We also had the cayenne rubbed chicken with avocado salsa. I really liked this one a lot---and I don't typically like raw onion!! I took the advice of a review and cut back on the onion--using about 1/2 cup. I also upped the avocado to two.

I also attempted homemade eclairs (hubby's favorite), but something isn't right. They taste okay, but need a little tweaking. I used a nifty eclair pan and followed the recipe that came with it. I messed up on the filling--it was too runny--and had to do it over. It seems I was over cautious about it and made it too thick. I was able to thin it out some and it tasted pretty good. The taste of the shells and chocolate are off though. I'll keep working on it!!

Although it didn't photograph very well, the steak with black beans was pretty good, too. I think it was a little bland for us. I think I would add 2 cans of green chilies next time. I liked mine with fresh lime squeezed over it!!

*-new recipe


Tuesday--beef tips (I use French onion soup mix and only use half the package), rice pilaf, steamed Normandy veggies

Wednesday--lemon butter chicken*, spaetzle, salad

Thursday--sour cream noodle bake*, salad, Hawaiian bread*

Friday--steak and gravy, rice, cauliflower

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Friday, May 16, 2008

Good deals....

I LOVE getting good deals. Big surprise, huh? I mean, who doesn't? I shop thrift stores often and I always hit the end caps at Target!! I don't hit the thrift stores as often as I used to because it is soooo hard for me to pass up a good deal---meaning, we wind up WAY too much stuff. However, there are a few things that I've been wanting to post about that I was soooo happy to find!!

Up first....a Pottery Barn rug. I happened to spot this thing not long after we moved in here and was super excited. Even more so when I saw they only wanted $9 for it. SOLD!!

Then there is this lovely little contraption that I found new in the box for $4 (did you notice it retails for $80?)!!

It keeps this little monkey contained!!

I know that not all agree with using this, but it has been so nice to not have to worry about Lucas climbing out of his crib and falling down the stairs. We need to get a gate installed at the top of the stairs, but I have to order a special part in order to do that. In the mean time, this keeps him safe!!

I needed a new high chair desperately, but was hesitant to spend money on a new one. When Logan was little, I had found a Peg Perego Prima Pappa at the thrift store for $7!! Well, it was an older model and didn't have the straps that go over the shoulders and by the time Lucas was needing a high chair, it had seen better days. It was still in decent shape, but the biggest problem was that Lucas was so tiny and even with the strap tightened all the way, it was still loose on him and he always wanted to stand up. Well, while browsing the thrift store, I found a Chicco Mamma and it looked brand new (it does have shoulder straps, but I don't have to use them because I can tighten the waist straps down enough to keep him from climbing out)!! Better yet, it was $15!! Yippee!!

Although I don't have a picture for this, I also buy tons of my boys' clothes at thrift stores. If it isn't from the thrift store, it generally has to be on MAJOR clearance before I will even consider buying it. I'm pretty picky about their clothes and I am able to find lots of nice, name brand clothes at the thrift stores!! When they outgrow them, I am able to sell some of them to help cover the cost of buying new things. What is great about finding them at thrift stores (and being super picky about what I buy---then taking good care to treat stains, etc..) is that I often make back a good portion of the money I spent on them!! It's almost like getting clothes for free!!

If there is one thing better than finding good deals, it is bragging about them sharing them with others, so head on over to Themommykelly's and share your good deals!!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Good Morning, Momma....(WW)

Mother's Day 2008

For more Wordless Wednesdays, go here or here!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Menu Plan Monday..

We tried a few new things last week and loved them all!!

First, I made honey balsamic chicken (scroll down for recipe) with homemade spaetzlele (scroll to the bottom for the recipe). It is amazing that only a few ingredients are needed to make this tasty chicken!! We LOVED it!! While looking for my French bread pan, I bought a few other kitchen gadgets in order to spend the $25 to get free shipping. This gadget was one of the ones I got and I'm so glad I did!! I wasn't sure how it would turn out, but we loved it! Even the boys loved them!!

Another winner was the peanut butter banana bread. I mixed it up in no time and we loved it with the homemade apricot preserves. My husband liked it best with peanut butter and apricot preserves--I didn't try it that way to save a few carbs!

Then there was my Mother's Day treat of homemade Old Fashioned Donuts!!

*=new recipe
round steak with black beans
*, rice, salad

Tuesday--boneless bbq pork ribs, mac and cheese, green beans

Wednesday--cayenne rubbed chicken with avocado salsa* (I believe I saw this on someone's MPM, but it was a while ago and I don't remember whose---also, I got avocados on sale for $1 each--normally $2 each, so I was very excited!!), cumin lime rice, beans

Thursday--crockpot steak and gravy*, rice pilaf, steamed cauliflower

Friday--buffalo chicken chili mac, homemade French bread, homemade butter*, salad

Honey Balsamic Chicken
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 T olive oil
2T balsamic vinegar
2T honey
salt and pepper to taste

Heat olive oil in pan, salt and pepper both sides of chicken and add it to pan. Cook chicken 8 minutes per side or until done. Add the balsamic vinegar and honey to the pan and simmer until it thickens (about 1 minute).


2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup water
1.5 cups flour
1/4 t. salt
1 bouillon cube (I used beef)

Combine eggs, water, flour and salt, beating until smooth. Add bouillon cube to 6 cups boiling water. Put batter into the square basket of the Spaetzle Maker and place over the pot of boiling water. Slide the basket back and forth letting tiny dumplings fall into the water. When done, they will rise to the surface. Use a slotted spoon to strain them out into a large covered bowl. Repeat the process until all of the dough is used up. Lightly toss with butter, parsley, and salt to taste and serve in place of noodles, rice, or potatoes.

For more menu plan Monday fun, head on over to Laura's at I'm an Organizing Junkie!

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Old Fashioned Donuts and 200 posts!!

What do those two things have to do with each other. Nothing---except that this post makes #200 for me!!

Today, for Mother's Day, Logan and hubby made homemade Old Fashioned Donuts. YUM!! They were so good!! This was our first time to make them and I think they turned out pretty well!!

I bought this nifty little cookie and donut cutter and it had the recipe on the back. (Scroll down for recipe)

Old Fashioned Donuts

3 T shortening
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2/3 cup milk
1 t. grated nutmeg
3/4 t. salt
3 cups all purpose flour
5 teaspoons baking soda (YES---5!!)
powdered sugar

Cream the shortening and sugar together. Beat the egg and add to the mixture. Stir in the milk. Sift together the nutmeg, salt, flour, and baking powder. Combine mixtures. Knead slightly to make a dough stiff enough to be rolled out on a floured pastry board. Roll to a thickness of about 1/4 inch and cut with the cutter. Fry in deep hot fat. Drain and sprinkle with powdered sugar or other favorite toppings.* (We got 20 donuts out of this)

*The above is the recipe on the back of the cutter. I did some research on cooking them and you will want to turn them as soon as they pop up. Turn them and cook for another minute. We thought that they were cooking super fast, so we left them a little bit longer and they were slightly overdone. You can see how brown they look in the picture---you want them to be slightly lighter. We wanted chocolate ones, so we let the donuts cool completely and then iced them.

Chocolate Icing

1.5 oz. semi-sweet chocolate (I think you could use bittersweet, but I had semi-sweet on hand)
2 T butter
1.5 cups powdered sugar
1 t. vanilla
boiling water

Melt chocolate and butter. Add in the powdered sugar, vanilla, and enough boiling water to make it the right consistency. Stir to remove lumps.

Dip one side of donut into icing and let cool.