Thursday, September 30, 2010

Just Call Me Crazy

It's been super busy around here with school activities, PTO, Scentsy, Kids Club, working at the school, volunteering at the school, field trips.......and the list goes on. And because I am crazy, I bought a box of nectarines yesterday to can. I have never done nectarines, but it was a good price, and I thought it would add some variety to the pantry. As soon as I got home with my box of nectarines, I had a message on my machine that more tomatoes were ready if I wanted them. I am a little obsessed with not letting food go to waste, so I ran over to pick up a couple boxes of tomatoes. Really, like I had nothing better to do. So today I was making more salsa (gotta say it's pretty yummy.....and no I am not sharing!). So this weekend I will be canning nectarines. I have no idea when I will find the time to do this, we have a busy weekend. Wish me luck!

Monday, September 27, 2010

The Shopping Cart Dilemma

I have a bit of a shopping cart dilemma. Nate is now big enough to push the shopping cart and likes to do this. Here's my reasons why it's a bad thing.

  • He runs over the back of heals, at least twice.....and it hurts!!
  • I swear he makes a video game out of it. 100 points for hitting an isle, and extra 100 points if something falls off. 200 points for hitting someone else's cart. 100 bonus points for an old lady, and 100 bonus points for a Canadian (that's an easy one, they are everywhere!). 
  • He always blocks the isle, and I need to tell him 14 times to move out of the way. (BIG pet peeve of mine. Seriously people, if you stop, don't block the whole isle!). 
  • He still gets distracted (SQUIRREL!) and will wander off to look at something.
  • His wandering always takes him to the bakery and cookies!
  • I'm afraid to buy anything fragile, like eggs. With all that cart bumping, they may not make it to the car.

Here's the reasons why I like Nate pushing the cart.

  • He has to keep his hands on the cart, so he can't  grab extra things to put into the cart. 
  • He has to keep his hands on the cart, so he can't touch his sister.
  • He has to keep his hands on the cart, so he doesn't have time to take the bottom apple in the display. (My kids would NEVER do that!). 
  • He has to keep his hands on the cart.... well, you get my point.

We will keep working on Nate's cart driving skills, in hopes that he will get better. I may have to put a warning out to little old ladies and Canadians before we enter the grocery store. And I may need to pick up more band aids while we are there, for my heals!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nate Speak

We had Curriculum Night at school this week, one night for Lily and another for Nate. They are both loving their classes and I think it's a good fit for them both. I am always nervous as to what teacher they will get. I pray all summer that the God will give them the best teachers for their personalities. I know my kids are great students, but they are quirky and need teachers who will encourage them. I believe that God answered my prayers and the kids are in the classrooms that are best for them.
When in Nate's classroom the other night, his teacher told me that her family is also big Star Wars fans. And not only Star Wars, but Clone Wars. Nate is obsessed with Clone Wars, and anything Lego Star Wars. He has his own language that I don't understand because I don't watch the show. I was so relieved to hear that his teacher speaks his language! His teacher will understand his Halloween costume! It may sound silly, but God knows what's on my heart, and I am so thankful for answered prayers.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Chili Update

Note to self: Stop putting habaneros in the chili!

This week I have tried two different recipes for chili. I really liked the first one, but the second wasn't bad, just not trophy worthy. I was the chili fairy, dropping off containers of chili at people's doorsteps, just to get rid of it all.

I had gotten some peppers from my Grandparent's garden. I thought they were sweet peppers. Wow, was I wrong. The first day, I put a whole habanero in the chili, and let's just say the chili was best with a BIG dollop of sour cream on it! The second recipes actually called for a habanero and two jalapenos. I cut back to half the habanero and one jalapeno. It was still pretty spicy.

While researching chili recipes online, I found a recipe for alligator chili. I posted the link on facebook, and got bunch of interesting comments. My friends down south said alligator isn't bad, and would make a good chili, as long as you don't over cook it. I had friends totally grossed out at the idea. I even found out how much it would cost to ship alligator meat. Not sure I want to pay $20 a pound plus overnight shipping. It's been fun to freak out my friends though. Our chili cookoff is a blind taste test, meaning nobody knows who made what. So even if they knew I made alligator chili, they wouldn't know which one it was until after they ate it. (Insert evil laugh).

I have one more recipe I want to try, but I think I need a chili break for the week.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Chili Debate

My friends have an annual Chili Cook Off and Pumpkin Carving party. Every family brings a chili and we vote on our favorites. A trophy goes to the winner and a boobie prize to the loser. It's tough competition, and trash talk goes on all year. I like to try new and interesting chili recipes, and have always been near the bottom. We have found that any vegetarian recipes will get you the boobie prize.

So here's my dilemma. I want to win. I would love to kick some butt. But at the same time I really want to try something new. I found an interesting recipe, but the veggie to meat ratio may not get me extra votes.  I have been doing research on chili cook offs and winning recipes. Did you know most of them don't have beans? Maybe that would be different enough (and would make all the meat eaters happy). Did you know there is an International Chili Society? That's serious stuff! So from now until the cook off next month, I will be testing recipes. Send me your best, and only the best. I plan to bring that trophy home this year!! Bring it!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Busy as a Bee

I was so happy to have a friend bring me a box of peaches from Eastern Washington. They were beautiful Hales and I got 12 quarts of peaches canned. That afternoon, as soon as I pulled the peaches out of the canner, I got a phone call that my brother in law hooked me up with some free tomatoes. I don't turn down free produce! So I ran right over and got the tomatoes. So yesterday I made salsa. I made salsa last year, but was not happy with the recipe, so I tried a new one this time. So far I really like it, but the real test will be to break open a jar. So far I have had 13 people offer to be my taste testers. I only made 10 pints, so I may have to lock the door.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tasty Tuesday!

Wow, it's been forever since I did a Tasty Tuesday. I can't promise to keep this going, but I had a good one to share today. Last week my nephew Drew (sweet little monkey boy) fell out of his crib, landed on his head, and got a concussion. Marty and Tiffani spent the afternoon in the ER with him, and were pretty stressed. I offered to bring them dinner. It was 4:20 at the time, and I told them I would be there in an hour. Not very smart of me, considering it takes almost a half hour to get to their house. I quick grabbed a cookbook and found my recipe for Bubble Pizza. It's quick, easy, and only takes a few ingredients. I had that thing in the oven in a flash, and hot dinner delivered at 5:35. Not too bad! This is a great one to have the ingredients on hand for those frazzled nights when you are short on time. Enjoy!!

Bubble Pizza

1 can refrigerated Grands biscuits
1 pound ground sausage
1 can spaghetti sauce (or two cans of pizza sauce)
shredded mozzarella cheese (6-8 oz)
Optional - assorted pizza toppings such as olives, peppers, pepperoni....

Brown sausage in a fry pan, add spaghetti sauce. Cut up biscuits into quarters, place in a greased 9x 13 pan. Top with sausage/sauce mix then top with cheese. Bake at 375 for 20-25 minutes. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Canning Season

Canning season is finally here. Everything is late this year, making it more difficult. Normally I do green beans in late July and August. I didn't do any beans until this week! I did pears the other day, and I lucked out to catch them at the perfect time, not too green and not too ripe. I'm not a huge pear fan, but Dan loves them. It's the one thing I was low on. See, I have a strange love of canning. I can't turn down a chance to make more. I have enough green beans to probably last two years, yet I do more! I still have a few jars of peaches from two years ago, yet I will can more peaches this week. I just love looking at a full pantry at the end of fall and know that we will enjoy fruits and veggies all winter long. I also love knowing that I accomplished something that will benefit my family for a whole year. And of course, they just taste sooo much better than store bought! After peaches, it will be applesauce and salsa. My kitchen will be sticky for the next month, but it's worth it!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Corn Maze

The kids and I went to a Corn Maze today. I'm really worried about Nate's sense of direction. He kept taking us around in circles and dead ends. Or, he really didn't want to find his way out. Either way, we had fun. I love getting pictures of us deciding which way to go. Nobody ever agrees!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lawn stripes

This past Spring we had a water leak in the back yard. Dan had to dig up the front yard, following the water line from the street, until he found the leak (a whole 6 feet behind the fence). The fix for the water leak cost a whole $1.24. Well....then there was grass seed, and more grass seed, and more grass seed. We seeded the yard 3 times before it came up well. In the meantime, weeds had taken over. So I bought a bag of weed and feed and went spreading. What I didn't realize was the spreader was set for grass seed, and I put a whole 40 pound bag on the grass. This is what the yard looked like a week later. You can see my path was not always straight ( I swear I was NOT drinking!). The grass looked like this for a good month this summer, then I bought another bag of weed and feed and went over my missed spots. Everyone joked that I should have gone the opposite way and made a checker board pattern. I'm happy to say that the lawn finally looks great. It's all one color (hooray!) and nice and thick!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Auntie's House

My sister in law, Tiffani, did some work for my sister, Amy yesterday. I volunteered to take the 4 kids for Tiffani. Just a reminder, Emma is 6, the twins Grant and Ben are 3 1/2 and baby Drew is 18 months. The kids love to come over and play, and were super excited to see our new kittens. I love having the kids over, but they wear me out! I had them for less than 4 hours, and it was exhausting. I don't know how Tiff does it EVERY DAY!

Emma was the perfect baby. She slept through the night at 6 weeks old, and was just a very content and happy baby. I joked with Tiff that she would get twin boys next to make up for how easy Emma was. God liked my idea! Then came baby Drew......and now I say that God gave Tiff twins to prepare her for Drew. He may look like an innocent little angel, but that kid is super fast, and super smart! In the time it took for me to get a granola bar out of the cupboard, Drew had pulled a banana out of a grocery bag, had it peeled in half and was chowing down. Seriously. At some point during the morning, Drew snuck into my office and slobbered my camera. When I went to take this picture, I had to clean off the camera first. I asked him who slobbered my camera, and he laughed.

I started a list of things that I learned with four kids running wild. I didn't get to write them all down, because as soon as I turned my back, they were into something else. If you don't believe me, or think I'm exaggerating, just borrow the kids for a morning. You will have a new respect for Tiff!

  • If you ask the kids who left the banana peel in the living room, they will all agree that "Not me" did it.
  • If you let half the kids outside to play, the other kids stay inside, bad things will happen. All kids must go inside or outside.
  • One of those bad things is that Drew will bring the BIG bottle of bubbles in the house and spill them on your rug.
  • Drew will then stick the bubble wand in your coffee (not a way to make points with Auntie. Auntie NEEDS her coffee!).
  • Scissors can not be put high enough. Monkey boy will find them and put them in his mouth!
  • Don't let the kids play with play dough near the litter box. Play dough and toys will end up in the litter box.
  • No matter how many times (27....not that I'm counting) you tell the kids to leave the kittens alone while they are in the litter box, the kids can't hear you.
  • Sometimes it's hard to tell if someone needs a diaper changed, or the cat just used the litter box.
  • When Drew has wax on his hands, just smell it to figure out what Scentsy he got into.
  • Don't leave Ben alone in the bathroom too long. He will dump all the toys in the tub, and climb in.
  • Drew doesn't understand that that tablecloth is NOT attached to the table.
  • No matter how many times you tell the kids to stay out of the kiddie pool (14) they can't hear you.
  • They still don't understand that you can't carry the kittens by their necks.
  • Cookies or brownies are still the best way to get the kids to eat their whole lunch!

Monday, September 6, 2010

Camping Trip

We had a blast camping over the holiday weekend. We were blessed with dry weather, until last night. It was a wet soggy morning, making unpacking not much fun. The kids had a blast, and were trilled to see cousins stop by to play. They played in dirt piles, rode bikes (Lily finally rode without her training wheels!), played in the really cold river, and of course had campfires and smores. Last time we camped along the river, Nate and cousin Phil made a mud hole and played. This time Lily and Emma made a mud slide. Nate took the training wheels off of Lily's bike, and would patrol the perimeter of the campsite, making sure we were all safe. We were right on an air strip, so we got to see a biplane land in the field, and another plane buzzed right over us. The kids played hide and seek in the dark, which I thought was very brave. I was really impressed with how well they all played and found things to do. It was a great trip to end the summer!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

First Day of School

The kids had a great first day of school. Or, as Lily said, it was "Grawesome" (great and awesome). I still can't believe that Nate is 5th grade, the oldest in his school. When did he grow up? Wasn't it just yesterday he was starting kindergarten and I had to carry Lily, screaming and crying, EVERY day down the hall because she wanted to stay at school? And now Lily is in 2nd grade, growing up too fast!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New Fall Catalog is here!

September 1st has to be the most exciting day of the year for Scentsy consultants. It starts the new Fall/Winter catalog and all of our fabulous new products. Lily woke up this morning totally excited that we can order her Scentsy Buddy today. As of last week she wanted Penny the Pig, but this morning she said she wants Lenny the Lamb. And of course she wants the Camu Camu scent pack in it. Camu Camu is her favorite scent (it's her Daddy's favorite too!). Fragrance Foams are also a new product and I will be stocking up for my kid's classrooms! Both my kids are sensitive to regular hand sanitizers, and I'm happy they can use the Fragrance Foams because they are alcohol free. There are so many great new scents and warmers in the new catalog. Click on the link on the side of the blog to see them all. And of course let me know if you want to host a party or basket party this Fall!