Sunday, January 25, 2009

Out of the mouth of DD3

Tuesday we were heading to town, at the intersection of our road and the next paved road DD3 looked to the right and saw 2 horses and riders. (Background, DD3 was a cowgirl for Halloween, used to ask for horses, but after being told "no" too many times now says she will be a real cowgirl when she grows up and have her own horses. She really really likes them.)
She said "Look Mom, horsees!" I said " Cool, looks like they're having fun doesn't it?" She said, "Roll down your window!" I said, "Why, Can't you see them?" She said, "I can see them, but I want to hear the clippity-clop, clippity-clop!" I cried, as it hit me as one of those super sweet- only -a -mom -can -understand things your kids say. DD1 looked at me with "that" look only a 9 going on 14 year old can do and asked why I was crying. Just a reminder, this blog is as much for me (to remember) as it is for those who read it (to share). This may be one of those remembering posts, but I can show it to DD3 when she buys her first horse.

Monday, January 19, 2009

7 things I Love

I don't know why I picked 7....but just go with me on this one. There are the very obvious things, I tried to dig deeper.

Music....loud, when I can sing and pretend, hope and pray no one is listening! Like in the car, by myself. Does anyone else have the false sense of security that others can't see you behind the windows of your car. I am amazed at the power music has, to take you to a place you haven't been in many years, to bring a smile to your face or make you cry, to make you walk faster or want to go to sleep. I know this is not a new revelation, hence the mp3 revolution, but give me a break here, I'm trying to be philosophical.

Our neighbors....ever have one of "those" people in your life, we all have them. The song "find out who your friends are" was written about them...well we're lucky enough to have them a big strong stones throw away from us...about 1 minute from a phone call in the middle of the night, away from us. I can only try to list the phone calls I've baby's not breathing right....I need eggs for the cookies.....I hear voices in my back yard....the garage is flooding....we're out of toilet paper for the birthday party...someone's arm hurts, they have a rock in their ear, they won't walk on their leg (fyi, they are paramedic, fireman, and rn wrapped up in one awesome package), the snowblower is broke and we just got 8 inches of snow (we didn't even have to ask on this one).... I try to have extra eggs on hand to repay all those favors, but goodness, I'm going to need to buy chickens. It's not only the things they do for us, but just their family in general that is a bright spot in our day. Thanks guys, never ever leave us, ok??????????

Soft sheets...I remember buying sheets for the first time and thinking, "like it really matters...sheets are sheets" now when I lay my weary old body on my 600 thread count softies, I realize...yep, it really matters.

Stetson... that's what Paperman wears, always has. nuff said.

My Sleeping Babies.... It's not what you're thinking...yep, they sleep, she's off the hook for a good 10 hours. It's the innocence, the renewing of their bodies and souls for another day of growing, learning and loving, it's all that it takes to make everything right with the world (mine anyway) to look at them so peaceful.

Sunsets and rainbows... One of my oldest and bestest friends and I used to have a saying whenever we saw a beautiful sunset.... "Wanna go?" That was over 20 years ago but I could still call her up, look out the window and utter those 2 words. She would respond "Sure!". I have passed this on to my kids too. Often we'll be driving and someone will say "LOOK!" with responses of "cool..." "wow" and in my head I hear "Wanna go??" We have also been known to jump in the van and chase the rainbow to get a better view.

The ice cream truck... yes, the prices and the music are both outrageous but they can't overshadow the pure excitement that rushes through this house with the faintest tune. Being willing to drop everything, grab a fistfull of cash and run down the lane (Paperman has been known to jump on the 4 wheeler with a kid or 2). It is ice cream, it is summertime and it is being able to give my kids everything they ever wanted (for those 5 minutes anyway).

Crockpot recipe

Made this today, pretty much a made up recipe that everyone ate except for dd3. She only eats things made with sugar and/or American cheese, and broccoli. She may grow up to be a diet book author and I will not be able to wear a shirt that says "my kids are not picky eaters" as she has taken that from me.... I'll just keep plenty of broccoli and mac and cheese on hand and hope she doesn't waste away the other 6 days of the week!

Beef Veggie Stew
1 lb stew meat, cut small
1 large onion diced
1 c chopped celery
2 c sliced carrots
1 can beef broth
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2 T tomato paste or ketchup
3 cups chopped cabbage
1 c water (or as needed to cover veggies)
mix well in crockpot and cook on high 4-6 hours.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Below are some recipes I've tried new or tried and true this week!

(New) Crispy Baked Kale
1 large bunch kale, washed, dried and tough stems removed
1T olive oil
1-2 t. sea or kosher salt

Prepare kale, toss with olive oil and salt, bake in 375 degree oven until crispy (about 20 minutes).
** This had a generally good review with the family. A fun way to get your greens. It was healthy and the kids can tell no matter how it's done, but everyone tried it and some even had seconds.

Roast Turkey

1 turkey, thawed
1 oven roasting bag
Tastefully Simple Seasoned Salt
vegetable oil
1 T flour

Place flour in bag and shake, add onion and celery (reserve some for turkey cavity). Rub oil on turkey and season inside and out with Seasoned Salt. Place turkey in bag with onion and celery. Roast per directions. Lots of drippings for gravy!!
** I have made turkey many different ways, but I think this is my keeper based on the compliments from my family.

Boneless BBQ Ribs (6-8 servings)
5 lbs boneless pork ribs
cover ribs with water. add salt, pepper, bay leaves and onion or garlic (optional). Simmer about 1 hour. Remove from water and place in covered roasting pan, pour favorite bbq sauce over and bake 1 hour or until tender. (325 degrees)
BBQ sauce-
1 onion diced and sauteed in 2 t oil. add 1 t wor sauce, 1 c ketchup, 1 cup brown sugar and 2 t cider vinegar. simmer 15 minutes, stirring often.
** these came out just the way I like them, sweet and tender. The brown sugar is the kicker for dd3, and even she ate some.

Snow Ice Cream
1 big bowl of fresh, clean snow (easy to find after and 8 inch snowfall)
1 T vanilla
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 c milk (plus more depending on snow consistency)
sugar to taste (start with 1/4 cup)
Gather snow carefully! mix liquid ingredients and sugar together, pour over snow and mix well. Add more milk as needed. Eat right away.
** I had this for the first time at Tina's house growing up. I'm not sure it's ever tasted as good as it did that first snowy day....but it's still good and something the kids ask for after a big snowfall. Not to be made after school or on a weekend, best on a snow day from school!

Fareway, Sams and Aldis....

I visited each of these stores last week and spent just shy of $400. You're probably thinking, we must have been hungry or had a party, or both! No parties and not hungrier than normal, just trying something new. I have read of people who shopped for their groceries once a month with a couple of quick stops for milk and fresh fruits and veggies. So, I decided to try it. I wasn't incredibly organized, but did create a list of what we had on hand and what we needed to make meals to go with those things. We have enough for roughly 27 meals, most with leftovers (lunches). This does not include breakfast foods that we just have on hand (cereal, ingredients for waffles and pancakes, oatmeal, smoothie fixens, eggs, toast). Paperman and I discussed the $400. We decided that amount wasn't bad, comparing it with a 2 person household with two "expensive habits" would spend that much on "feeding the need" as we spend feeding our 4 expensive blessings (and ourselves too)!!! My ultimate goal is to do more OAMC (once a month cooking) along with my OAMS (once a month shopping). I did buy 10 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breasts and prepared 5 meals for the freezer in 1 hour. They included chicken taco meat, diced for stir fry, chopped for bbq chicken pizza, marinated, browned for something to be decided. DD3 enjoyed this day as she loves to squish her hands in raw meat...wierd I know, but it keeps her busy while I'm cooking. (yes, she washes very well when she's done!) I have thoroughly enjoyed pulling meals from the freezer and crossing them off my list along with having at least 2 extra hours a week not spent at the grocery store. I guess I'll discontinue meal planning Monday and as I get this down, I can share our monthly plan. I'm always looking for new recipes to try so feel free to share!


It's cold outside. We have a lot of snow. We live in Iowa and it's January. There's not really a lot else to say besides I need my slippers and blankie. Stay warm, drink cocoa and cuddle lots.

The Trendy Dollar

If you want some good reading or have some new year's resolutions based on debt reduction check out
Heidi is from Iowa and they have paid down a lot of debt and changed their lifestyle using the Dave Ramsey system. This is her new site. Enjoy!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


The new year...even if you don't make resolutions, it's a fresh start, opportunity for change, wonder in what lies ahead.... I always have a plan in place for my year, the picture in my minds eye that never changes. A healthy, happy, in shape, organized picture.... Will this be MY year? It just could be. Stay tuned, I'll let you know. Happy 2009!

Menu plan Monday

The new year is here.... back to trying to develop good habits and one of those is Menu planning. Here's the plan for the first full week of 2009-

Meatloaf/ Roasted Carrots
French onion Soup/Cheesy Vegetable Soup
Pasta with mushroom sauce/salad/Garlic bread
Shrimp/Broccoli light Alfredo pasta
Roast chicken/green beans/applesauce
Pita pizzas/fruit salad
Fish Tacos/refried beans

in a nutshell...

I did it. I took my break but now, I'm back. The last 2 weeks were busy and eventful. As I was writing my last post on 12/23 I made it short as I had a lot of things to take care of. I didn't want to be "busy" on Christmas Eve trying to get things organized, food ready, etc.... I got a lot done that night, got up early the next morning and got ready right away (instead of my usual when we don't have to be somewhere in the morning...). DD3 woke up and for the 5th day in a row, vomited. I decided it was time to take her in. The doctor decided it was time for her to STAY in. She spent 24 hours in the hospital on Christmas eve. She was a trooper and didn't take her long, once her iv was started, to get feeling better. Paperman was working and my Mom and Dad kept the other kids during that time. They might think twice now when they agree to watch 3 when I "run one to the doctor"!!! Santa with his magical wisdom still found each child where they were that night, hospital and all. My sister was sick and Paperman ended up being sick on Christmas eve also. Our celebrating was delayed a bit, but all family gatherings finally happened and we hope and pray we stay healthy the rest of the winter.