Friday, February 26, 2010

Friday Felicities ::: February 26

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Things that are making me happy...

  • sunshine
  • Sonic diet Sprite with cranberry
  • homemade egg salad
  • soccer practice
  • soccer practice in the sunshine!

and lastly, but certainly not least ...

  • a new baby on the way. We are tickled pink ... or blue! : )

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ten on Tuesday...ish

1. Yesterday the new Family Fun magazine arrived in the mail ... some really cute Spring ideas in there this month. The new issue of Everyday Food also arrived and it is FULL of spring recipe ideas ... my mouth was watering as I read it. The first recipe that I came to was a roast pork with squash and onions that sounded so delicious ... it's probably going on my grocery list for March.


2. Speaking of Everyday Food, they have a new book out and it's going in my Amazon cart until the time comes and I can get it. : ) I received their first book, Great Food Fast, several years ago and love using it. My favorite thing about the first book is that the recipes are organized seasonally and it helps me get seasonal produce in our rotation. (Note to self: get that book off the shelf and look at it again.)


3. Other items in my Amazon cart at the moment: Brady Bunch Season 4, Bringing Up Girls by James Dobson, and Betsy and the Great World/Betsy's Wedding.




4. Back to cooking talk ... I still have not made a recipe from the Julia Child cookbook my husband got me for my birthday. Safe to say, I am very intimidated by them!

5. Even though the weather has dropped back down into the 30's and 40's for the rest of this week, and the calendar is still on February, it's obvious that spring activites are starting or gearing up to start when you look at my calendar. N1 had her first soccer practice on Friday night and it was chilly as we stood out there and watched her practice.

2.19.2010

6. N1 and I have been reading fiends lately ... last week we finished up our Betsy-Tacy read, and this week we have wrapped up Peter Pan, and are flying through Beezus and Ramona. It has been years since I've read any stories about that rascally Ramona. The girls love them, but now that I'm a mama, I am realized that Ramona is a little pill. A funny one, but still a pill. : )

7. I made this corn chowder for lunch today, with numerous modifications because I didn't have fresh sweet corn on the cob. (Who does in February?) But still. Delicious. I some how managed to over-buy milk the last few weeks so I made a double batch of the soup to use some up and made a quadruple batch of waffles this morning to finish up the rest.

8. Tonight is Wednesday. That means big girls go to Awana and I go run errands with BBoo. (Tonight: the library). Then we come home to put tired girls to bed and T and I curl up and watch last night's Lost. Wednesday nights are good nights.

9. This Saturday, my husband is being super gracious and letting me spend the day at a homeschool seminar. I'm stuck on a few decisions for next year, and am looking forward to spending the day hopefully getting some inspiration and illumination. : ) Well, that and getting some ideas of good books to add to my ever growing Amazon list.

10. And with that, it's time to start getting us ready to head out the door for the evening. (Our standard pre-Awana dinner is cheese quesadillas for easy, easy prep). : )
Hope everyone has a good evening! : )

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I have been reading through the Betsy-Tacy series by Maud Hart Lovelace, both by myself and with the girls. Last night I finished Heaven to Betsy, and N1 and I wrapped up Betsy, Tacy & Tib Go Over the Big Hill yesterday. Where have these books been all my life? They are delightful!! Seriously. If you have girls and they have NOT read the Betsy-Tacy books, then you need to get to a library or a bookstore and find them a copy.

2. We are enjoying more snow (which could probably be said by so many people right now). : ) We are also enjoying a terrific head cold which has been passed around. We had a slow day yesterday - N1 and I managed to get about a 1/2 day of school done in spite of how puny she felt and when she was resting, I got several things done around the house (those things that I never seem to like purging stuffed animals for Goodwill and cleaning out the bathroom closet).

3. With this snow, we also enjoyed a huge pot of homemade potato soup last night. It's my Mom's recipe and I have finally figured out the knack of making it consistently. We also made and ate cherry cobbler in honor of President's Day. This post at the Bonny Glen is worth reading not just for the cobbler recipe. It's also pretty funny. : )

4. Tanya asked me, after viewing this post, if I played any musical instruments. While my husband is the true musician in the family, I took piano lessons from about first grade through my freshman year in college. I also learned how to play the guitar after I got out of college and played for about 6 years or so with my church's music team. I really did enjoy playing guitar ... not sure exactly why I quit. I think something about three babies coming within three years might have had something to do with that. : ) My husband, however, has a degree in jazz and classical guitar and knows his stuff. I'm happy to let him take the musical reins in this house!

5. I'm puttering around with our school plans for this spring. Taking a look at those Five-in-a-Row books that we haven't gotten to yet, and planning out a few weekly themes. It's hard to believe that we have only 60 days of school left for the year! Now, that will take us well into May because of miscillaneous activities and spring break, but still ... 60 days left. Not a whole lot and then my girl will have finished kindergarten. So hard to believe.

6. Olympics, Olympics, Olympics. : )

7. It's been so cold the last few weeks that I've been pulling out all our comfort food recipes to keep us warm. Potato soup, tater tot casserole, etc. (Notice I said comforting, not low fat.) What are your favorite comfort foods for cold weather?

8. I'm thinking through what I want to do with the girls for Easter this year. I don't want to overplan and overwhelm, but I also don't want to underplan and let it slide. I think I'm going to do bits and pieces from this Easter study and we're probably going to do some lapbook elements to The Legend of the Easter Egg. This year, I also really want to make resurrection cookies with the girls. I've missed doing that the last few years because it always snuck up on me, but this year it is a priority.

9. These are in my house. They need to leave fairly soon. : )

2.11.2010

10. The next few weekend are super-duper busy around here. I've been doing such a good job protecting our weekends from too many activities and the next two have caught up with me. This weekend has two birthday parties for two different girls on Saturday, a music rehearsal for T, and a girl scout event on Sunday afternoon. Oh, and I have a girls' night out on Friday night. I'm looking forward to all the events, but it's making thankful that the snow has kept us in so far this week. It's helping me build up my stamina for the weekend! : )

Friday, February 12, 2010

Friday Felicities ::: February 12

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Things that are making me happy...
  • our warm cozy home
  • my pink afghan
  • Girl Scout samoas (I may or may not have already polished off one box ... with help!)
  • husbands that bring home pizza for dinner
  • littlest girls that are getting over their cold
  • letting the girls pick out Valentines for their Daddy, grandparents and friends
  • not having to cook dinner tonight (see the fourth one above)
  • brownies
  • Olympics!!!
  • a light day of school today after a great week of work by N1
  • the moms in my girl scout troop ... I got to visit with them for a bit last night and they are some really neat ladies. Looking forward to getting to know them more.

Happy Friday! We are looking forward to watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics this evening and I'm sure several other events this weekend. The two big girls were set to have separate sleepovers with family tonight and tomorrow, but those plans are shifting as they both starting running fevers today. Hoping they are just coming down with BBoo's cold and, especially hoping that N1 isn't coming down with strep again. This would make it three months in a row. However, I'm thankful that this weekend is light enough that I can hunker down at home with them and love on them.

See you all next week. : )

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Pioneer Woman Test Kitchen ::: Meatloaf

A few weeks ago I made the meatloaf recipe from my Pioneer Woman cookbook. I hesitate to post a picture with this post because ... let me be honest ... meatloaf does not photograph well. At least not in my kitchen, in the winter, when it is dark at 5 pm and dinner wasn't ready to photograph until 6 pm. I had to use my flash which gives the meatloaf this crazy glare. It's just not pretty. How about I just give you a link and if you want to see the meatloaf I made you can click it, okay? : )

This recipe is exclusive to the cookbook so I can't link you to a recipe on her site; I'll try to give you a little run-down on our thoughts. The meatloaf part was excellent. The recipe really wasn't that different that my regular meatloaf recipe that I've used for years and everyone at our table (even the little folk) ate it.

What I liked about the recipe? One thing that I going to incorporate from her recipe to mine is her use of bread soaked with milk instead of the crushed saltine crackers (or dry bread crumbs) that I usually put in our regular meatloaf. The soaked bread mixed with the meat much more consistently and I liked that. Her tomato sauce over the top is also very similar to mine and good.

What I didn't like about this recipe? PW wraps her meatloaf in bacon and for us city-slickers, it was just a little too much. The meatloaf took two pounds of ground beef, and with the added bacon ... it was a lot of meat. Maybe we would have liked it a bit better if it had been covered with a bbq sauce as opposed to a tomato sauce, I don't know. Either way, it was too much meat for our tastes.

Our final verdict: The meatloaf recipe is a solid one if you don't have one in your arsenal of comfort foods to cook. Not a full two thumbs up this time on account of the bacon (I can't believe I'm saying that; I love bacon!)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

2.09.2010

(Almost) every night he plays a little. Lately it's been a jazz/bluegrass arrangement of "Just a Closer Walk with Thee" but there is always a little music in the evening.

Photo from my 365:2010 project.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. I wish I could get a good picture of the snow coming down this morning. So beautiful. I know I have mentioned how much I love winter before, but I do. Yes, I occasionally get very stir-crazy when we can't (or don't want to) get out but generally, I can be very happy to be homebound in this snow.



2. Also very glad for the huge pot of vegetable soup that I made yesterday and is waiting in fridge and freezer. I had set out some hamburger to thaw for spaghetti last night, but when the time came to cook it, it just didn't sound good. So, it went into a pot for soup and the girls and I made eggs and pancakes instead.

3. We finally celebrated N2's birthday this weekend with friends and family after the great snow storm the weekend before.




4. We've had some sort of stomach bug rolling through our family. Travis had it last weekend and he thought it was something he ate. Twenty-four hours later, N2 had it. Then a couple days later, BBoo. You see the pattern? This weekend was my turn. We're all hoping that N1 is spared. I've been doing lots of laundry.

5. We've also managed to pass on our germs to cousin Bubby. I don't know how. It's not like he gets close the the girls or anything.

2.7.2010 (extra)

6. This weekend, we also managed to get to our gingerbread house. No matter that it was almost 2 months overdue. The girls and T still had loads of fun putting to together, and then breaking it apart. I just tried not to wince when the girls bit in to some of the rock-hard candy.

2.6.2010

7. I finally broke down and ordered N2 some "school" for her to do. I was going to wait until this fall to really try any kind of pre-K stuff with her, but she kept asking and asking. She's been doing a few pages in her Explode the Code: Get Ready for the Code book and thinks she is pretty big stuff. : )

2.04.2010

8. I have been in a massive reading rut. Nothing has sounded good at all to read which is most unusual. I have been spending more time working on some scrapbook type projects and reading (looking at the pictures) in some of my favorite scrapbooking books for some inspiration. I feel sure my reading groove will come back ... it's just unusual to not have a book with me at all times!

9. Did you all watch the Superbowl this weekend? We had my family over to hang out and watch it together. I had a definite shift this year. I used to love the Superbowl, Superbowl parties, watching the commercials, but this year I just couldn't get into it. I thought a lot of the ads were very demeaning to men (and it sure seems like there were lots where the guys were walking around with out pants on.) Our guests left at half-time, and the girls and I abandoned the Superbowl in favor of an episode of the Brady Bunch.

10. And with that, we have reached #10 and the snow from the first pictures of the post has already melted outside my window. So sad! The rest of the week looks to just be COLD but hopefully some sunshine will peek through ... and the Olympics start this weekend! (What is your favorite event to watch? N1 really wants to watch the skiing ... at least that is her pick today, I believe). : )

Friday, February 05, 2010

Friday Felicities ::: 2.5.2010

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For more Felicities, see Becky's blog!

Friday Felicities is a meme created by Nattie – now a resident of heaven. This meme is all about creating a list of things that make you happy and Nattie knew that when you concentrate on your blessings your sorrows are not as overwhelming.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Read Aloud Thursday

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It's been a while since I've participated in a Read-Aloud Thursday. I have good intentions, but apparently when I said I was going to take a break from book blogging, I lost all motivation to write about anything book related. : ) We haven't quit reading around here; in fact this week, we have been reading lots of books about Groundhogs and are slowly working our way through a couple chapter books.

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We have loved How Groundhog's Garden Grew. I found this book on a recommendation from Dawn's blog and ordered it. It tells the story of Groundhog went around and nibbled from the other animals' gardens until Squirrel takes him aside and shows him how to grow his own garden. A great little story about how hard work (and help from a friend) goes into making a garden and all the great food that comes from it. And Groundhog shares his bounty with all his friends at the end of the story!

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Another great groundhog story is Gretchen Groundhog, It's Your Day! This is all about young Gretchen, a young groundhog, and it is her turn to go out and tell everyone if winter is sticking around. However, Gretchen is scared to go out before all the newspaper reports and the town. A neat little story about being brave even when something is new and a little bit scary.


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Lastly, Groundhog Gets a Say is a book that is packed full of groundhog facts cleverly disguised in a cute little story where the groundhog is being interviewed about why he deserves his own day of the year. We took a little homeschool field trip last week and learned about groundhogs (and other hibernating winter animals) and they really are fascinating.

Along with these books, we've been putting together a groundhog lapbook from Homeschool Share. We've learned a lot of interesting facts about these little rodents - did you know that they are one of many rodents that HAVE to gnaw on things to keep their teeth filed down? The groundhog's teeth never stop growing and if they don't continually eat then their front incisors will just keep growing and growing and eventually grow into their skull and kill them. (Eww. But N1 thought that was very interesting.) : )

Next week, we're off to the Olympics ... I haven't found many good books for N1's age about the Olympics, but I'm imagining will do lots of talking about them, watching the events, and maybe trying to act out some of them at home. (That should be amusing.) FYI - Homeschool Share has a free Olympic lapbook that looks really neat. We're going to be using it in conjunction with Amanda Bennett's unit study over the next three weeks. These are actually 4 week studies, but I know some of it will be over N1's head and in three weeks it will March and time for spring-ish books and studies! Yay!

For more Read Aloud Thursday, visit Hope is the Word.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Ten on Tuesday

1. We are going on day 4 of being home all day due to the winter storm of twenty-ten. Truthfully, I haven't yet wanted to get out of the house, however, I think we're going to brave it today and hit the library. N2 was ready to get out yesterday ... she wanted to know if we were going anywhere because she got a new booster seat for her big 4-year-old birthday and was dying to go for a ride in it! Daddy rescued her on that one as he needed a computer cable for something and she went with him to get it.

2. We spent most of Saturday very "buggled" up as N1 puts it. (Translation: bundled.) That morning we took the girls sledding for the first time and it was hiliarious. I wish I had pictures to show you, but I was trying to keep girls from sliding off the hill (it was slick!) and juggle our video camera. Travis has put a video of the girls sledding on Facebook, and if I can get him to put it on an external site like youtube or something, I'll post it here. N1 was so excited about sledding, however, she ran into a pole on her first run down and that pretty much ruined the experience for her. Hopefully, that event will have faded from her memory by the next snowfall. But, our little BBoo! She LOVED the sledding. She kept wanting to go on bigger and bigger hills and would have stayed out there a lot longer, but her very cold (and slightly crabby) bigger sisters were ready to go back to the van. We also went for a long walk that afternoon and slid around the neighborhood.

2010 Snow Storm

2010 Snow Storm

This was a MASSIVE patch of ice on our church parking lot that the girls decided was a personal ice skating rink for them.

3. Yesterday N1 discovered that she has another REALLY loose tooth, this one on the bottom. Her first tooth-loosing experience has not been on her list of favorite things, so when I told her that she was about to loose another one, she burst out "not again!!" and was quite distraught. (I tried not to laugh). She asked if we could pray that her teeth wouldn't fall out anymore, so we had to have a little talk about how it was all part of getting bigger and it wasn't anything that we could stop. That and we would rather have her teeth do a great job of falling out on their own instead of having to get the stubborn ones pulled out at the dentist like cousin J.

2010 Snow Storm

Really. I can hardly stand how cute she is with her tooth missing. : )

4. FYI from the taste testers in our house: Baked Lays Parmsesan and Tuscan Herb. Not good. PepperJack Cheese-Its. Good.

5. My current to-do list in my journal (of the running things that I need to get to sooner rather than later) has 20 things on it. Pleasantly surprised.

6. Lost is on tonight! (Which means we will actually watch it tomorrow night, but still...) : )

7. This weekend is take-2 for our birthday celebrations for N2. Friend party on Friday night and family birthday lunch on Sunday after church. I think I've said it already, but again, I am amazed at how well this little munchkin has done with having all her birthday stuff postponed. She's a trooper.

2010 Snow Storm

8. She also had her 4yo check-up on Friday, before the winter weather hit. No surprise to us, she is in the 15th percentile for her height. Yup. She's going to be the short one of the three girls. BBoo is already a little taller than the other girls were when they turned three (and she has 4 months to go!) She may be our basketball star.

2010 Snow Storm

9. T and I are going on a school visit for N1 this Friday. You might remember from last year that we explored the option of putting her in a two-day per week homeschool coop. We put that on hold for kindergarten - it was a brand new school on it's first year, and we decided to let them get a year under their belt and then visit again. It's not a question of whether or not N1 would love it. She absolutely would. And, now that I've done a year of kindergarten, I know I *can* do first grade if we choose not to join. That takes off a load of pressure on the decision making, you know what I mean? Neither choice is wrong/right and we'll enjoy 1st grade either way.

10. One last onus snow pic starring T. The girls were most impressed with this large chunk of ice he pulled off the van's windshield ... and even more excited when he smashed it on the ground. : )

2010 Snow Storm