Friday, July 31, 2009

Wow, 300 Posts!

I can't believe that I hit 300 posts yesterday without noticing. I thought I would do a highlight reel of the best posts. Thing is, what I think is great is not always what you all think is great. My traffic reader tells me the most popular blog posts and so far the one that is hit every week is Flagellated Sperm, seriously! Click HERE to read that one. Or my Captain Underpants story that gets a hit almost every week. Click HERE for that story. I won't give you the link to my rant titled Homework Sucks, because it was just that, a rant. But it is the third most hit post on my blog. I guess I was not alone in that rant. My favorite post was Dear Snowmommy letter. Click HERE to read that one. We are still laughing about that one! Thanks everyone for following along in my journey. I know it's not always funny (like Tiffani's blog) but I appreciate your comments.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Cool off, and find dinner

I wanted to do tacos for dinner tonight. The problem is that I haven't been able to get to the ground beef in the freezer, for ummmm, months. It's frozen on the bottom shelf, and I can't get it out. With this high heat we are having, I decided to defrost the freezer. Why not? It's about 100 degrees in the garage, so it will defrost fast. It did, and water is everywhere, but I still can not get to the ground beef. In the meantime, I am pulling everything else out, and sticking it in other freezers. I ran out of room, and am now putting stuff in the freezer in the trailer. And still the ground beef is stuck. We ended up having sloppy joes for dinner, because that was the only container that I could get out before dinner. Thank goodness precooked sloppy joes that only had to be reheated. So, I have a pool in my garage, full freezers, and maybe tacos for dinner tomorrow?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Makeup and Hollywood


Lily had her friend Rylee over today. They were playing in the bathroom, putting clips in their hair. Then they come out with makeup on. This SHOULD have been a red flag for me, but Lily has a small collection of her own makeup and is allowed to play with it. If I would have looked closer, I would have realized that the pink on her eyes was lip gloss, MY lip gloss. Lily and Rylee had gotten into my makeup. Lily knows better and tells me that Rylee made her do it. Just like last night her friend Liam got the sugar for the tea party, but Liam doesn't know where the sugar is. I'm starting to see a trend here. Then Lily asks when we are going to Hollywood to see Hannah Montana. Oh Boy, are we in trouble now.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

I had an "Oh Crap" moment this morning when I realized it was Tuesday. What oh what do I post for Tasty Tuesdays? I'm a very practical person, and a seasonal cook. Today is going to be HOT, and there is no way I am going to make the house warmer by cooking. I'm not sure if Dan will by home in time to fire up the BBQ, so I may have to attempt it myself (notify the fire department that they need to be on standby!). Here's my idea for tonight, Hobo packets. Hobo packets can be done on the BBQ or over a fire pit. There really is no recipe, the idea is to use what you have. So, I have chicken that I need to use, so mine will start with chicken. I did Hobo packets at my Dad's and we used hamburger patties, potatoes and onions. So here is what you do. Place large pieces of foil on your counter, one for each person you are cooking for. Slice up potatoes thin and place about 1/2 cup on each piece of foil. Top with some sliced onion, maybe carrots, garlic or whatever else you think sounds good. Try to avoid things that will cook too fast, like zucchini. Top with the meat, and season. Dan loves Johnny's Seasoning Salt, so we will cover it with that. You could also top with BBQ sauce. Fold the foil up into a packet, completely sealing the food in. Place on the BBQ at medium heat (I'm guessing about 250-300?) for 45 minutes to an hour. Good luck, let me know if you try it and what you used.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Summer Storm

We had a big summer storm come through tonight. We had plans to BBQ at our neighbor's house, and we all were watching the sky closely. Dan pulled out his iphone and was watching the Doppler weather pictures. Right before we sat down to eat I asked Dan to go get our pop up tent, just in case the rain came. As soon as we got the tent up, the rain came down. Then the thunder and lighting show started, the lighting lit up the sky and the thunder rolled. It was really cool. This was the first time in the 6 years we have lived here that we have gotten together with our two sets of neighbors. We laughed when Ron came down the hill with the ice chest in a wheel barrel. We had an awesome dinner, sitting at a picinic table under the tent watching the storm. We are truly blessed to have such great neighbors.

Yah, what you said

The other night we had our friends the Timmer's over for a BBQ. The kids were playing outside and a ball got thrown into my marrionberry bushes. Lily came over and here's her conversation with Dan.

Lily: The ball is stuck in the forns.

Dan: You mean the ball is stuck in the thorns.

Lily: I can't get the ball because of the forns.

Dan: TH-orns Lily, say thorns.

Lily: Forns

Dan: TH-TH-thorns

Lily: Yah, what you said.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Sailing in Seattle

For our Anniversary last May, Dan wanted to take me to Seattle for the weekend. Of course I was knee deep in homework and there was no way we could go out of town until Summer. So Dan booked us a day of sailing for this past Sunday. We invited a miss mosh of friends, and we couldn't have picked a more beautiful day. This was our sail boat for the day. Below deck were three cabins (beds) and a kitchen with a large table. This would be a great boat to take out for the weekend!
Dan and his brother Kevin were being goofy. But we learned that Kevin is a natural sailor (just like his brother!).
This is Mt. Rainier behind a cruise boat that was leaving Seattle.
Dana, our skipper for the day.
They even trusted me to take the wheel for awhile. I was told to follow a sail boat in front of us, and then I freaked out when they decided to turn. I'll stick to letting someone else drive!

It truly was a great day out on the water. We would love to do it again sometime. Anyone up for a sail?

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Welcome back to Tasty Tuesdays! For dinner tonight we are having shredded beef sandwiches that have been in the crock pot since yesterday. Since I already shared that tip, I'll share a new recipe that I found in my Simple and Delicious magazine. I'm not a huge potato salad fan, and have never made one that I like. So for that reason, I stopped trying to make potato salad. When I found this recipe, it sounded good (and I had bacon that needed to be used). That night when we were eating it for dinner, Dan said," Wow, since when can YOU make potato salad?". He's lucky he didn't get beaten upside the head for that comment, but he was right. So if even I can make this salad, you can too!

Bacon Potato Salad

4 cups cubed red potatoes
1 cup chopped onion
7 bacon strips, cooked and crumbled
2 TBsp minced fresh parsley
1 1/3 cups light mayo
3 TBsp grated Parmesan cheese
3 Tbsp prepared ranch salad dressing
2 Tbsp prepared mustard
4 tsp white vinegar
1/2 tsp minced garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and cook for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Drain. In a large bowl, combine the potatoes, onion, bacon and parsley. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Pour over potato mixture; toss to coat. Refrigerate for 1 hour or until chilled.


Enjoy!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Tractors and more tractors

My Dad restores and paints tractors. So his yard is filled with them. The kids always have a blast climbing on and riding the tractors.
Nate loves to drive the lawn mower around. Dad will take Lily with him on a second lawn mower and they race around the fields.
Dad has bought a peddle tractor for all of his grandkids. He only pulled out three of them this time, and the kids rode them all over.

I couldn't even tell you what kind of tractor this is, but Dad thought it was just Nate's size. We can always count on playing on the tractors when we go to Dads.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

My Dad the Redneck


My Dad has always been the redneck farmer. We learned early on that Dad was great at building new creations from junk or "making do" with junk. I wish I could remember everything he has made. I do remember sleds made from car hoods and barrels (not always the safest!). The ER staff at the hospital in Ontario Oregon call him Tim Taylor because he is just as accident prone. He did have me a little scared the other night when the BBQ caught on fire (and the bottle of lighter fluid was melting).
Dad was just a little excited about the our visit. He decided that the kids needed a balloon launcher. Not just any balloon launcher, but a giant redneck one. The first prototype didn't work well, so he adjusted it, and this is what we got.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Home Again

Yikes what a crazy week. The kids and I went to Adrian Oregon to visit my Dad and Step-Mom. We had a great time, and I have fun pictures that I'll get to tomorrow. The drive today took 11 hours, and I'm beat. I'm sitting at the computer and I still feel like I'm moving.....really weird.
One quick story to get you ready for pictures and stories tomorrow. My Dad loves to make pancakes, and so he made some every morning we were there. Yesterday I was in the shower while Dad and the kids started dishing up. When I sat down, there was only one fork left, so I grabbed it and buttered up my pancakes. I was just about to take a bite when Nate blabbed that Lily had dropped that fork and Bridget (the dog) had licked it. Needless to say that Bridget got to eat those pancakes, and I got a new plate (and fork).

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tasty Tuesday!

I am writing Tasty Tuesday on Sunday, and it feels weird. The kids and I are off to Eastern Oregon to visit my Dad and step mom, Marsha. (And see one of my good friend Amy.....she's kill me if I forgot her). In honor of Marsha, I'll give you one of her famous recipes. Last Friday I made this salad for the family b-day party. The next day at the parade my Grandpa pulls me aside and asks me about the cucumber salad he ate the night before. I told him I made it, and he laughed and said he knew I made it, and wanted me to know I could make it for him anytime. Thanks Grandpa, I'll try to remember that.


Marsha's Cucumber Salad

5 large cukes, sliced (peeled if you like)
1 small onion, sliced thinly
1 cup mayo
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup sugar

Mix the mayo, vinegar and sugar together. Toss with the cukes and onions. Chill for one hour before serving.

As always, if you try this out please leave a comment. Enjoy!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Not Me! Monday!



Not Me Monday was created by Mckmama, check out her blog to see what she's not doing this week.

Also, check out my sister in law Tiffani's Not Me! Monday! for her hilarious take on what we did NOT do this weekend.

Tracie did NOT tell her brother in law Brad that if he let Dan or I into her house while she was gone for the weekend, that she would make him sleep with the pigs.
I did NOT call Brad and tell him that a group of friends would be showing up at Gordon and Tracie's while they were gone, to have a BBQ and pool party.


Brad did NOT throw up his hands and say that he had nothing to do with this party.



We did NOT use Gordon's BBQ to make some tasty chicken, kibobs, and brats. (Gordon is drooling right now). We did NOT have a great dinner and make a big mess on the deck. Abby did NOT find a leftover kabob and take off with it. (Abby is the little dog in the picture).



Tiffani, Marty, Emma, Grant, Ben, Dan, Me, Nate and Lily did NOT jump in Gordon and Tracie's pool to cool off after a hot day. The pool was NOT a chilly 78 degrees. I did NOT stand on the pool ladder as shown here and not go in any further. I did NOT spend the rest of the time on the side of the pool holding Grant who was scared of the water.
We all did NOT leave hints on Facebook saying that we had a great BBQ and pool party.
My friend Erin did NOT freak out because she was out of town and thought we were doing something at her house. (You are next Erin......he he he he he).
Tracie is NOT on her way home today and planning on her revenge. I don't want to know the conversation she will have with Brad tonight.

On another note.......I did NOT bowl the best game of my life last week. I was NOT freaking out because the only time I bowl well is when I am pregnant. My friend Amy who we were bowling with did NOT suggest that I stop at the store on the way home and pick up a preganancy test. I would NOT totally freak out if I was preganant, being that I just bought a new car that won't fit 3 car seats.

What did you NOT do this week?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Parade

Saturday was the Everson Parade. The kids had a blast, and it's tradition for my Mom's whole family to gather in the same spot to watch the parade. Lily and Nate saw friends from school and my Aunt Joni, who is a teacher, was constantly waving to and hugging kids. This first picture is Lily, Emma and Ben. They were dancing and jumping up and down (I don't see the band, so I don't know the reason they were dancing!).
This is Nate throwing candy. Poppa Wayne is driving Grandpa Dennison's 1940 Ford. Because Nate was the birthday boy, he got to ride in the car and throw candy. To him, this is way more fun than collecting candy. Poppa Wayne stopped the car in front of the whole family and we sang Happy Birthday to Nate.
Also a 7-11 birthday is my Aunt Ruthi. Nate was born on her birthday, which makes him extra special in her book. Hope you had a great birthday Ruthi!
This is Poppa Wayne, Mom and Nate before the parade.

After the parade we went to the Everson City park to check out the festivities. After that we got all dressed up to go to Dan's cousin's wedding. After the wedding we had a great BBQ and pool party. Details on that one will have to wait until tomorrow. Let's just say that my sister in law Tiffani has plenty of things for Not Me Monday!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Happy Birthday Nate the Great


Nate the Great turns 9 today. Wow, how does he grow up so fast? We celebrated his birthday yesterday with two parties. His friends came over in the afternoon to play, then our family came over for dinner. Today Nate gets to be in the Everson Parade. He's going to ride in his great grandfather's 1940 Ford, and throw candy. Happy Birthday Nate!

P.S.
To all my family......congrats on your nephew/grandson's birthday!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Yummy Raspberries

We finally got over to my Grandparent's house and picked raspberries. Grandma and Grandpa had already picked one row of berries, so the kids and I picked the second row. I came home with two flats of berries. I love raspberries, but man, that's a lot of berries. I made two batches of jam that night, and then a third last night. I froze the rest. We are so lucky to live in the raspberry capital of the US. Take advantage of this time and go u-pick some berries. Then get creative, raspberry scones, spinach salad with raspberries or raspberries over ice cream.......yummmy!

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How did the War begin?

Today my wonderful hairdresser and friend Stephana and I were talking while she was doing my hair. We were discussing this little war going on between us friends. The one that started with Gordon, yet has continued with all of us girlfriends. Click HERE to read how the war started. Ok, so I forgot to add that last year Tiffani joined in the little war going on. She was temped to mess with Gordon and Tracie's house once while they were gone, only to find fake little "cameras" hidden. Like fake cameras would stop her! Tiffani also rearranged some of my wall decorations while we were in Maui, and messed up my spices that were in alphabetical order. She did such a good job that I was finding things for weeks....ok, maybe months. So back to the war in May. After Gordon messed with my bathroom, then I delivered a toliet to his porch for his wife's 40th birthday. The payback for that one came last week when Tracie snuck in with Tiffani and messed up stuff in the house. Ok, so I really don't know how this went from Gordon to us girlfriends, but we can't seem to stop. Gordon and Tracie are gone this weekend and I'm hear threats already. Like threats have ever stoped us before....he he he he he.

Brown Eyed Girl














Lily is my brown eyed girl. We introduced her to the song of the same name, and she thinks it's "her" song. We were riding in the new car (which Lily calls the talking car) and were asking the talking car for music. The talking car has Microsoft Sync so it works with my MP3 player to give us music. Lily wanted to hear her song, so we asked the talking car to play Brown Eyed Girl. Here's the conversation.



Car: Please say a command.

Lily: Play Brown Eyed Girl.

Car: I do not understand. Please say a command.

Lily: Play Brown Eyed Girl.

Car: Play Casting Crowns.

Me: No, Cancel.

Car: Please say a command.

Me: Play list, Brown Eyed Girl.

Car: To play Rascal Flatts say 1, to play Kathrine McPhee say 2, to play Third Day say 3 after the tone. (Tone)

Me: CANCEL!!!!!!


Note to self, you must know the name of the artist you want (Van Morrison) to be able to play a song. Oh, and don't fight with the talking car.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Blue Eyed Boys


Nate and my nephew Drew are the only blue eyed kids in our family. This is funny because my siblings and I are all blue or green eyed. Lily, Emma, Grant and Ben all have brown eyes. Until Drew was born all of Lily's cousins had brown eyes. So naturally she believed that any kid with brown eyes was her cousin. She was talking to my cousin's son John (who we call a cousin because it's too complicated to go into details) and she told him, "John, you are my cousin because you have brown eyes".

Nate and baby Drew are my blue eyed boys. Drew is reminding us more of Nate every day. He has the energy like Nate and is very good natured. I hope that they will be close even with the 8 year age difference. Drew lights up when he see's Nate and Lily (and of course his FAVORITE Aunty Holly).

Tasty Tuesdays!

Welcome back to Tasty Tuesdays. Sorry I missed last week, we were camping and did not have internet reception at that time. (Really, what's the point in paying Sprint money every month when the air card doesn't work?) Anyways..... I tried to pick raspberries today at my Grandparent's house, but it started to rain. In that line of thinking, I'll share one of my favorite bar recipes that includes raspberry jam.

Raspberry Crumb Bars

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup sugar
slivered almonds
1 cup butter, softened
1 egg
1 10 oz jar raspberry jam
mini chocolate chips (optional)

Heat oven to 350. In a large bowl, combine first 5 ingredients. Beat at low speed until mixture is crumbly. Add chocolate chips here if wanted. Press crumb mixture on bottom of a greased 8 inch pan, reserve 1 1/2 cups. Spread jam over bottom layer in pan, then top with reserved mix. Bake for 40 minutes, cut into bars when cooled.

This recipe freezes well after baked. Enjoy!

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Camping Pictures

Our first stop was Skamakawa Vista Park on the Columbia River. We love this campground because it's open and kid friendly. Nate and his cousin John were building sand castles in the open area next to our campsite. They also loved to play in the sand wall along the river.
Of course the purpose of this stop was fishing. Dan caught this sturgeon in a fishing hole that Lily picked out. Sturgeon need to be 42-56 inches to keep, pretty much as tall as Lily, but not taller than Nate. We had to throw this one back.
Our next stop was Beverly Beach State Park near Newport Oregon. The beach was beautiful, but it was so windy that we could have used Lily as a kite. The state park was huge and the first night there a tree came down behind the campsite next to us.
We visited Yaquina Head Lighthouse. It was fun to climb to the top, but again, it was really windy!
We took the kids to OSU Marine Center. It was great for the kids, with touch pools and tanks. Lily loved the octupus named Amigo.
Our last stop was Millersilvania State Park outside of Lacey. We went here last August and it rained most of the time. This time the sun was out and we actually went swimming! It's a great park for riding bikes, which is what we did alot!

Friday, July 3, 2009

We are home!


Yippee we are home! It was a long, but fun trip, but I'm glad to be home. I walked in the door to a sparkly clean kitchen, thanks to my sister in law Tiffani and my Mom.(Thank you, thank you, thank you!) I guess it's a good thing I told them where the key was hidden. The funny thing is that I had hid my car keys behind the bottle of bleach, thinking that NOBODY would check there. Of course in her search for cleaning products, Tiffani found my car keys. She was nice enough to get into the car and leave a note saying that she wouldn't be mean enough to do anything bad to the car. She did have me scared after reading her blog and seeing pictures of the inside of my new car! While Tiffani was here cleaning, Tracie came by for a visit to get paybacks for the toilet I left on her porch for her 40th birthday. Tracie moved my rolling pins to my bed, made a cute little statue in the bathroom, and did a little redecorating. I'm sure I have not found everything....yet. The picture is of Tracie's little statue. I'll put up pictures of the trip tomorrow. Right now there is a HUGE pile of laundry calling my name!

I wanna go home.....but maybe not

We are on our way home from camping, I am writing this on the freeway right now. We had squat for internet, so I haven't been able to put up pictures. I will get to that tonight. I'm ready to go home, it's been a long trip. But I'm also scared to go home because of what is waiting for me.
In my group of friends, we play tricks on each other while we are on vacation. I have come home to find things rearranged. My MOM called me the other day saying she needed to get into the house to put the mail inside. I knew she was just trying to get my key, but I told her anyway. I could her Tiffani's kids in the background, so I should not have trusted my MOM! Anyways, if you check out Tiff's or Tracie's blogs, they already have stories about doing something to my house, and my new car. I'm freaking out just a little right now. Really, just a little!