Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Grandma is home!

Thank you everyone for your continued prayers. Grandma Dennison is finally home. While she is far from recovered, we are happy to see progress. My hope is that Grandma will take it easy and let everyone take care of her. This is a difficult thing for her to do when she is home.

For example, when we have large family gatherings, you won't find Grandma sitting. She will not sit down until everyone has eaten and has a drink in their hands. I give warnings to friends when I bring them to Grandma's house: just take a drink and hold on to it. Doesn't matter if you want a drink or finish your drink, just take it and hold it so Grandma will leave you alone.

While I don't see Grandma hosting gatherings soon, I'm hoping by Thanksgiving that she will be back to her perky self.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Yipee, Tasty Tuesdays is back. Every year I want to try something new to can. Last year Dan found this sweet and spicy salsa that looked heavenly. I had never canned salsa before, but gave this a shot. The whole two hours it was cooking on the stove, I was stealing bowl fulls of this salsa. Dan loved it, but since it only made about 6 pints, he hoarded it! He asked me to send him a care package over Christmas, and I sent a jar of this salsa. I paid extra for priority mail, but the box got smashed, along with the salsa. (He said it was a very messy box!). I promised him I would make more this year, and today that is what is on the stove top. I'm giving you my version of it, but it's close to the original recipe. So if you have a chilly afternoon, give this recipe a try, you will LOVE it!

Peach and Pear Chili Sauce (From Better Homes and Garden's New Grilling Book)

4 1/2 pounds ripe tomatoes
4 medium pears (peeled, cored and diced)
4 medium peaches (peeled, pitted and diced)
3 medium green sweet peppers, chopped
4 small onions, diced
1 med. red sweet pepper, diced
1-3 seeded and chopped Serrano chile peppers
3 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups cider vinegar
2 teaspoons ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tbsp ground cinnamon

Blanche tomatoes, peel and remove ends and cores. Cut into chunks, then combine the remaining ingredients. Simmer, uncovered for 2 hours until thick, stirring occasionally. Ladle hot sauce into jars, leaving 1/2 inch head space. Process in a boiling water canner for 25 minutes, remove from canner and cool on towels.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back to work, 3 lost teeth, and a tooth fairy talk

Tuesday I received my first phone call to sub as a Para Educator. This is why I finished my degree last year and busted my tail for. The hope was to get a position at the kid's school, but there wasn't one open. So I filled out the paperwork to be put on the Substitute list. From there it's just a waiting game, hoping to get a call. Sometimes the subbing is prearranged, so I have advanced notice, sometimes it's a call at 7:20am the morning of. So Tuesday morning I got a phone call asking me to sub at the kid's school. I jumped at the chance. I have been volunteering in this building for the last 4 years, so I am familiar with the staff and procedures. Of course it's different when you are actually working, but it was nice to have knowledge of how things run at the school. I loved my first day at work. I worked in the Life Skills class with the special needs kids. Wow, what a learning curve for me! The kids were great! I got called to work in the same class on Wednesday, and had fun. Thursday I was asked to work in a kindergarten class, and then Friday I worked both kindergarten and Life Skills. I really am enjoying the work, and know this is what I want to do. What a relief!

So during this busy week, the kids lost 3 teeth..... AT SCHOOL! Nate lost two, two days in a row, and Lily lost one on Friday in the lunchroom (while I was there!). I knew Nate was getting suspicious about the tooth fairy, asking to set up surveillance cameras to really see if she was real. Then this morning he came to me, and this was our conversation.

Nate: Mom, can I talk to you in private?

Me: (freaking out) Ok. Lily can you go in the other room please.

Nate: Mom, what do you do with the teeth?

Me: What do you mean? (playing dumb)

Nate: I know it's you that puts the quarters under my pillow.

Me: How do you know this?

Nate: The kids at school say it's the parents and not the tooth fairy, and I saw you the other night. (He soooo did not!).

Me: Well...........You are right Nate, there is no tooth fairy. Thank you for having this talk in private, because Lily still believes in the tooth fairy.

Nate: So, what do you do with the teeth? (Like seriously Mom, that's all I wanted to know!).

Me: I keep them in the bathroom in a little bag.

Nate: Ok.

I'm fine with this, but now he's questioning the Easter Bunny! I knew this day was coming, but it's so much more fun when they don't question these things!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

When it rains, it pours

Seriously! Things have been so crazy, that I missed Tasty Tuesday last week, and I can't think of anything today. Update on Grandma, she was getting better and they moved her out of ICU, then she coded during the night and they put in a temporary pace maker. Today they are hoping to put in a permanent one. Please keep her in your prayers today.
I have been canning away, finishing peaches for Grandma and Grandpa. Dan went tuna fishing over the weekend and brought home 300 pounds of tuna.....and a squid. Last night we had our first canning party and got a bunch of it vacuum packed and canned. Today Dan and I were going to bust out more canned tuna, but I got called to sub for a Para Educator at the school. (Whoo hoo, my first day of work!). Canning will have to wait until this afternoon.
Wish me luck and please keep Grandma in your prayers!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Peach Queen

I can't believe the price of fresh peaches this year! Back in the old days (when I managed a fruit stand) I sold peaches for $12 a box, and people thought that was high. My sister in law, Tiffani, went searching for peaches and the best deal she found was $22 a box. I always try to get peaches from Idaho because they are cheaper. One year we planned a trip to my Dad's over Labor Day weekend, and were fortunate that Dad's peaches were ready to can.

So these last few weeks I have been asking family and friends to pick up peaches for me if they are over on the East side of the mountains. I lucked out this week when a truck driver friend of mine called and said he was going through Idaho. He brought me 3 boxes of beautiful Hale peaches, and they came to $15 a box. (He will be rewarded with canned peaches!). The boxes were mostly green, but had a few peaches that were ripe, so I did a canner load last night, and then another tonight. (Note to self, make sure you have enough lids BEFORE you start canning!). Canned peaches on the counter are a beautiful thing!

Back in my glory days at the fruit stand, I sold hundreds of boxes of peaches each year. My produce supplier was amazed and started calling me the peach queen. Because I still can peaches every year, the nick name has stuck. My mom ordered me the labels for the canning jars, and I have a few different kinds. I love these big old fashioned labels. I have others that are small and say "from the queen of the kitchen".

So I'll be busy for the next couple of days, finishing all the peaches. Maybe I should save a few for peach pie! YUMM!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Contribute 2009

Contribute 2009

Scentsy has come up with a fabulous idea to help small businesses. They tried this in their own community this summer and had a tremendous impact on their local economy. They wanted to share this with the whole nation. The idea is that 100,000 people pledge to spend $50 on October 12th at a local family owned small business. This would put $5 million dollars into small business that are struggling right now.
I have made a pledge to do this, and I encourage all of you to do the same. Click on the link in the sidebar of the blog, and it will take you to the site to make your own pledge. Scentsy is also offering tee-shirts for $9 that promote Contribute 2009. In return for purchasing a shirt, Scentsy will send you a $10 coupon on your birthday to be used for Scentsy products. I hope you will help make a difference!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What about the pears!

Last Saturday we went over to my Grandparent's house to pick pears. We were a little late for the pears on the bottom of the trees, so Dan got Grandpa's tractor and put me in the bucket to lift me up to the top of the tree to pick pears. Now I have to tell you that I am afraid of heights. So why was I up in the bucket and not Dan? It's not because I couldn't drive the tractor, I have driven many a tractor. Dan had started some new medications that morning and was feeling a bit woozy. I didn't need him falling out the bucket (and then kicking the bucket). So I was stuck picking the pears, and I didn't get very many. After a bit I decided it really wasn't worth it.
Grandma had already gotten my cousin to pick pears for her, and they were almost ready to be canned. Grandma had just gotten home from the hospital the day before and still wasn't feeling like they found the issues that were causing her pain. I offered to take her pears and can them for her, but she wouldn't give them up. I didn't want to offend her, but in hind sight, I should have put my food down and stole the pears.
Early Monday morning Grandma was rushed to the hospital and they found she had a torn aorta. She was rushed into open heart surgery. We went into the hospital that day and had lunch with the family. Grandpa turned to me and expressed great concern about the pears. REALLY? Grandma was in the middle of an 8 hour open heart surgery and Grandpa was worried that that pears wouldn't get canned. I told him not to worry about it.
So yesterday morning I went over to Grandma and Grandpa's to get the pears. Grandpa had told me he put them in the fridge. Problem is, they have like a million fridges, in different buildings. It took a phone call to Poppa, but I found the pears in the blue fridge (blue fridges are a whole other story) in the barn.
I was elbow deep in pears yesterday when Grandpa stopped by. He wanted to make sure I didn't need his help, or jars or anything. He told me that he had been to see Grandma in the ICU that morning and asked her where the extra jars and lids were. REALLY? I finally convinced Grandpa that I had it all covered, pears, jars and lids.
The pears were a little overripe, so I only got 14 quarts for them, but at least they feel that the pears didn't go to waste. Maybe Grandma will get better more quickly if they both aren't worried about the pears! Please keep them both in your prayers. Grandma is in a lot of pain still, and Grandpa is still in pain from his back surgery.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Please Pray

Please pray for my Grandma Dennison who is having open heart surgery right now. Also, Grandpa just had back surgery last week, and is still in pain. Please keep them in your prayers. Thank you!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Another reason we love fresh corn on the cob

Fresh corn on the cob is great for knocking out that loose tooth! We told Lily that she looks like a Jack O' Lantern.....she didn't agree. Her other top tooth is loose, so she'll be singing, "All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth".

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Applesauce, Day 1

Day 1 of applesauce last Wednesday and I got 13 quarts (plus a bowl for dinner). I love the feeling of accomplishment when I look at all the jars lined up on the counter. The kids actually like to help with applesauce, so I will be doing more another day when they are home. In the mean time, I picked pears today, am on the search for peaches, and have salsa on the horizon.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Like my new dress?

The kids have been helping put away their own laundry. Sometimes clothes get mixed happens. The other day Lily came out with this on. She asked if I liked her new dress. After laughing, I told her it was my tank top, not her dress. "But Mommy, it was in my pile of clothes!".

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tasty Tuesdays!

Yes, it's Tuesday. It feels like Monday, because of the holiday. The whole week is going to be messed up! Oh well, I hope everyone had a great holiday weekend.
Today's Tasty Tuesday is a quick dinner idea that a friend of mine suggested when we were camping. It's a great thing to have for a busy night of Awana or soccer. Hope you enjoy!

Quick French Dip

Hoagie Rolls
Sliced, deli roast beef
sliced cheese
Au Jus mix

Follow package directions on Au Jus mix. Once heated, add the roast beef until heated through. Take beef out of Au Jus and place on hoagie rolls, top with cheese. Heat rolls in microwave for 30 seconds to melt cheese. Serve with bowls of Au Jus for dipping.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Welcome Gardners!

My step-brother and his family just moved back to town. Not only do our kids go to the same school and ride the same bus, but they live right down the street. We are SUPER excited to have them back and look forward to many holidays, parties and camping trips!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Great first day of school

The kids had a great first day of school. Lily was super excited and told me every detail (although she couldn't remember any details on how she fell and scraped her hand and knee!!). I had to pull teeth to get any details out of Nate.
I had may annual coffee time with the Mom's from school. It's now tradition that I have my Mom friends from school come over for coffee the first day of school. It's like a little celebration. I need a catchy name for it. A friend of mine told me at her school they meet for Bagels and Boo Hoo's after they drop off the kids. There was no boo hoo's at my house, more like Whoo Hoo's. Anyone have a good name for me?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Dear DirecTV

Dear DirecTV,

We have been loyal customers for 9 years now. We took you with us when we moved, and have referred your service to others. So my question is why I am getting letters asking us to come back to DirecTV? And not just a couple, but one every other week. Also, please stop calling me! I don't appreciate getting your sales calls at bedtime, two nights in a row. No means no, please take me off your list.

Thank you,

The Snows

Sorry, just venting!!!!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

First Day of School

It's the first day of school for the kids. Hip Hip Horray! (Sorry, I'm just a little excited!!) Lily was super excited and literally ran all the way to her classroom. Nate and I stopped along the way to say hi to a few people, and by the time we got to Lily's classroom, she had all of her stuff put away and was playing traffic director, pointing other kid's to their desks. I gave her a hug and said goodbye, and she could care less that I was leaving.
Nate was Joe Cool and played it calm. He said goodbye in a "Yah, whatever" kind of way. I have to say that I'm glad that they are enthusiastic about school. (Nate's just too cool to admit it).
I am amazed at how fast the last few years have gone by. It seems like yesterday that Nate was starting Kindergarten, and Lily was crying as we walked out the door because she wanted to go to school too. Now I have a 4th grader and a 1st grader. I got the giggles as I walked out the door this morning because there was a little boy crying about leaving his big brother at school. Time may fly.......but I don't miss those days!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Giggles and Hiccups

Since Nate was a baby, if he got the giggles, then he would get the hiccups......and it makes me laugh every time!

Tasty Tuesdays!

Wow, it's September 1st already! The kids are going back to school tomorrow, and I don't know who is more excited, me or them! I will miss summer and but I love fall.

A few years ago I came up with this Mocha Mix that was great for giving as a gift at Christmas. This makes a big batch, so have storage containers ready.

So here's to all the Mom's who are getting kids off to school this week......may you be caffeinated!

Mocha Mix

3/4 cup instant coffee granules

2 cups hot cocoa mix

4 cups powdered milk

1 cup powdered sugar

Mix all ingredients, put into food processor or blender and mix until powder fine. Sore in airtight containers.

To serve: Mix 2 tbsp mix to one cup hot water.