"For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." Jeremiah 29:11

Monday, March 30, 2009

vacation - part 1

Over spring break we had a wonderful little get away to the Oregon coast. I will post more about the trip and put on some pictures, but wanted to share some of the cute comments that we heard.

At the aquarium we got to watch them feeding all the fish, aenomes, and crabs. The man explained to the kids that they feed the crabs until they are big enough and then they feed them to the octopus. Molly very quietly looked down at the 2 crabs deuling over fish heads and quietly said... "do they know yet?" You had to have heard her little voice - it was priceless!


The kids spent most of the time in the pool. One night I left for a minute to run back to the room. Yordi got out of the water and ran over to Tom frantic. He asked him "where did my mom go? You know my REAL mom, not that other one." Tom said he experienced a moment of panic... like how could HE get stuck with this question... He was about to start answering when I walked back in. Yordi ran over, threw his arms around me, looked back at Tom and said..."Here she is, dad, this is the mom, the real one... Dad didn't know where you were."

sigh... I am the "real one"

Granted, Yordi got back into the pool and was nailed by his brother for saying such a thing. And I looked pretty conspicuous hauling a screaming black child down the hallway while he yelled at the top of his lungs "let me go. Your not my mom" over and over again. Wonder how many people believed him. Oh yeah, good times!!! But I am the real one!!!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The 80's...

It has been spirit week all week at the middle school. Yesterday was 80's for the 8th grade class. Addie came up with the outfit all on her own. I just helped with hair and makeup... she was a little shocked by the bangs sticking straight up so we toned it down a bit... The kids didn't recognize her in the morning and the teachers decided that she "best represented the 80's". She said it was such a fun day... It was so funny to look at her though. It was a blast from the past as well as a "oh my, we really didn't leave the house like that DID WE?????".

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

some of my favorites

I had to post these recipes... I don't post them much (recipes that is) I usually stick to interesting stuff, like kids... but we are so hooked on these that I had to share... First is Baked Potato Chowder- I grew up eating it, and now that I have 5 kids I know why. It is fast, easy and cheap. My version is a bit different, but it can be ready to go as fast as you can make mashed potatoes. It really is better though if you let it simmer all day. Then we have the best bread in the world. LOVE this recipe... just found it (thanks mom) and it is thick and crusty with soft bread inside. You can even make the dough up a day ahead and cook it as you need it. 1 batch makes 2 loaves. Lastly, is a recipe we tried yesterday for the first time. The kids decided it's name- Chocolate Pnut Butter Cake really ought to be changed to "Makes Reeses Pnut Butter Cups going crying to their mommy". Easy to make- time consuming because it needed to be refrigerated/frozen at different stages in order to frost easier- that and Yordi was helping and my oven was full of roasting chickens. Enjoy...

Baked Potato Chowder:
Clean 5 pounds of potatoes and cut into chunks (I don't peel, but you can)
Cover with about 2 inches of water over the tops of potatoes
Add some onion, salt and pepper

Cook until potatoes are soft, but not too mushy
Drain most of the water and then refill pot with milk (to about the same level as the water was)
Crumple in some bacon and add about 1 cup cheese. Simmer until ready to eat. Serve with sour cream dollops and more shredded cheese.

Crusty Artisian Bread:

In large mixing bowl (I use a kitchenaid) add 3 cups of lukewarm water to 1 1/2 T yeast and 1 T salt- stir until salt dissolves. Add 6 cups flour. Stir only until no dry lumps- dough looks rough not smooth and soft. Cover and let rise for up to 5 hours (I usually go 1-2 hours, but the beauty of this recipe is that it is very forgiving) or cover loosely with saran and place into refrigerator for baking later (up to 3 days). When ready to bake select a heavy pan (these are round loaves so I use heavy ceramic dishes- pampered chef or cast iron is also recommended - just not flimsy aluminum pans). Grease well and heat pans in 450* oven for 10 minutes. While pans are heating use enough flour (about 1 cup) to allow you to handle the dough (it is a VERY soft sticky dough- way softer than normal dough). When pans are heated add 1/2 your dough to each one (almost a big blob). Place 1 cup of water in the bottom of the oven- the bread needs the moisture. Lightly cover with foil or lid and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake about 30 more minutes until golden brown.

Chocolate Pnut Butter Cake
Makes 8 inch triple layer cake

2 cups flour 2 1/2c sugar 3/4c cocoa powder 2t baking soda 1t salt
combine well and then add:
1c oil 1c sour cream 1 1/2c water 2T white vinegar 1t vanilla 2 eggs
Mix well and add to 3 greased cake pans. Bake at 350* for 30-35 minutes. Cool 20 minutes and remove from pans (these cakes are very very soft- firm up in the freezer 30 minutes before frosting).

Pnut butter frosting:
10 oz cream cheese 1 stick butter
cream and then add:
5 cups powdered sugar 1 1/2 pnut butter
mix all until creamy. I added a splash of milk to make it easier to spread.

Spread between the layers and then frost very thin layer over whole cake. Freeze 30 minutes to chill and then finish frosing with a thick layer (this way no dark crumbs show)

Chocolate Pnut Butter Ganache:
8 oz semisweet chocolate (I for some reason was completely out of choc chips so used leftover dark hershey kisses from Vday)
3T pnut butter 2T corn syurp

Heat in microwave or over double boiler until melted and smooth
whisk in 1/2 cup milk.

Spread on top of cake and allow it to drip down the sides. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. Remove 30 minutes before serving. Serve with a JUG of milk!!!

Too Funny

It is a beautiful sunny day out. Yordi was goofing around on the porch (in typical Yordi fashion). He ran and got some sticks so we could go fishing. He caught a shark and since he couldn't wrestle it to his fire to cook it up for me he decided he needed to just build the fire on top. Buzz was willing to play along... it involved a nap in the sun and being rubbed on the belly with sticks. Poor kids- they have no idea that playing with pigs isn't the *norm*

Family Night Craft

I should have posted this awhile back, but actually forgot that I had pictures to go with. Addie came up with this craft that we did for Valentines Day, but plan to repeat for Easter. We used silpats (like you use in baking) but waxed paper would also work. We drew out heart shapes using "white board" markers and then let the kids trace using puff paints. Let them dry overnight and then decorate your windows and mirrors. Once they were stuck on I was even able to clean my windows without them falling off. We have now taken them all down and stuck them into a flat shirt box and stored for next year. Each kid got their own window. Addie and I did words and that was fun- cursive was definitely harder to transfer... we are going to premake egg shapes and then let the littles "decorate" them.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

We are so lucky...

It is terribly stormy here today. We took the kids and drove to town to the mall. Just to hang and get out of the house for awhile and to celebrate the big bully goat going to a new home. We came home and plugged in a movie- A Bug's Life. Around 6:30 we decided we needed to eat dinner. I broke out the boxes of cereal (the non-breakfast kind, you know with artificial colors and sugar) and made toast. As I'm buttering more toast I hear- "This is the best dinner EVER". "Yeah I know, we are so lucky". I think we will start having cereal more often.

Monday, March 9, 2009

It just cant be.

How can it be that I just sent this little girl to school for the first time and then last night we sat on the couch registering for all of her needed high school classes. What electives she would like, what classes would look good on a resume, what would be needed for entering into college. How is that right? When did that happen? I am not ready...

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Round 2

Round 2- Molly has the flu. She managed to miss all the dolls and stuffed animals tucked in around her and more importantly, her sister. So after a late night bed change and a quick clean up, I threw all the bedding into the garage for morning. That always sounds like a better idea than it really is. I found a place on the floor next to our bed for Molly- in between all the other sleeping bodies and we got through the night.

My poor washer. By the time Tom got home from work he caught her trying to escape the garage. The only thing holding her back was the cords. Poor little darling... I know how she feels.

Good news? This flu doesn't seem to last long. It does its best to make a terrible mess, leaves kids in tears and mom hopping... so, 2 down 3 to go...

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Does God love vomit?

We woke up this morning and Noah was complaining of tummy issues. This is a normal, ongoing complaint, so being the caring, compassionate mom that I am - gave him 2 tums and told him to get ready for church.

Noah didn't feel up to going to 5th grade class, again not out of the ordinary. A couple glances at him during the sermon told me maybe he really wasn't feeling good. Then they served communion. Noah leans over and starts making wild gestures. I realized this wasn't gonna turn out too good. Of course we sat on the far side of the exit doors. We made it through the double doors leading to the foyer where Noah vomited all over the beautiful tile floors. A few more steps and he vomited right in front of the main hall and then for good measure right outside the mens restroom.

2 fancy ladies squealed and ran. I ran for the women's bathroom followed by a mom in torn jeans and tshirt. As she is peeling papertowels from the rack she is trying to explain why she isn't dressed up. She doesn't go to church but brings her boys every Sunday. She said she felt bad for me- while the church ladies ran. She "might not know how to do church, but she know how to clean up vomit". I returned to the scene to be greeted by the nicest usher who was scooping up piles of my childs vomit into a trashcan. He apologized for his English- he is hispanic and has been attending for a few years hoping to get a hispanic service started. He faithfully scooped, cleaned, mopped and then went into the mens bathroom to check on Noah for me.

It dawned on me... this is church. Not fancy church ladies, but true mucking up vomit servants. Language, dress, or even "doing" or "not doing" church. That's where I think God is... I hope I don't run. Please let me be the one to help muck up.

On a side note, as we were cleaning I realized I had worn open toed heels. Yeah, he managed to hit my feet too. Now, how do I clean vomit out of my new red heels...