Sunday, August 31, 2008

My new favorite

I'm not usually the type of person who listens to music during the day, unless I'm in the car. That's all changing now. My Dh came home a few days ago and told me about this really cool site you can go to that lets you customize your own personal music channels.

It's called Pandora Radio.

You MUST check it out. You start by adding bands you like, then it picks songs for you based on your likes and dislikes. As you are listening you give each song a thumbs up or thumbs down. It's that simple and yet so very awesome :)

Now while I'm reading stuff online or folding laundry in my room I can enjoy some music of my choice. All without digging out CD's or having to hear commercials!!

So, if you like music I urge you...GO.CHECK.IT.OUT.

Then come back and tell me what you think.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Not really in a bloggy mood

I'm not quite sure how it happened,

maybe it was the toddler spilling dirt out of a plant all over the kitchen,

maybe it was the big kids pleading me to play a game,

maybe it was the apples ripening begging to be picked,

maybe it was the blackberries plumping up calling to me,

I'm just not sure.

I think of many things, adventures, funny stories, but always when I'm in the middle of something. Now I'm sitting here, the house is quiet, tidy and dinners all ready in the crock pot. Can I think of something funny now?

Hmmm, maybe.

My two year old has developed a new habit. It's called stalling. Here's how it goes,

Me: Abram, it's time to go to bed.

Abe: Mom, I need to tell you something.

Me: Ok, what?

Abe: Why did the chicken cross the road?

Me: *sigh* I don't know...Why?

Abe: Because the shark crossed the road.

Yep...Makes perfect sense.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Birthday Girl turns 8!!!

My journey into motherhood started eight years ago today, with this beautiful blue eyed girl.
She is incredibly sweet, reliable, active, a bit of a smartypants (in a good way), an avid reader (see below photo), a great big sister and a wonderful daughter!

I try to accommodate the kids wishes for their birthday meals, she chose pancakes with blackberry syrup and whip cream for breakfast...Yum!

She will probably not like me posting this picture, but it shows how she falls asleep most nights...with a book in hand!

We love you girl....even though we wish we could skip your birthday and keep you at 7! :)

Saturday, August 16, 2008

I missed taking pictures

My camera has been without batteries for a couple of weeks because someone (I don't know who) kept forgetting to buy more. Finally, today I was able to snap a few photos...and this one's my favorite.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Summer Days are fading away

Summer seems to be coming to an end. I'm reading about kids already starting school.... our homeschool co-op is meeting to begin yearly plans...Awana starts in a couple of weeks....


It's sunny out today and all I really want to do is sit in a lawn chair with a good book and a tall glass of iced tea, with the kids playing in the sprinkler. Maybe even break out the Popsicles...

Maybe I will do that. But (there's always a but isn't there?) I guess I should tidy up the inside first and start on my menu plan/grocery list as tomorrow will be our shopping day.

I've been thinking I need to get my next curriculum/school supply order all ready too. I purchased most of what I want in the spring so I only have a few I want so far. I also just got Exploring Creation with Zoology: 1 and can I just say that this book looks AWESOME!?! I just hope my kids will like it too :)

I guess I should wrap this up as I really don't have much of a point today just a bunch of rambles...Ta Ta!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Lacking structure

I'm thinking of purchasing this...has anyone used it?

I'd appreciate knowing if it's worth buying. I guess with the more kids I have and the more are getting school age I'm just wondering how exactly I'm going to stay on track. I already have trouble keeping up with house work (lots to do with being a procrastinator myself!) And while I'm asking...if you don't use a 'schedule' per se how do you deal with chore time, school time, free time and all that?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Eventually I'll stop talking about food, just not today

It's Friday again, wow! This week flew by. Since things have been busy around here I've been trying to use my crock-pot quite a bit. One of our favorite things to eat around here happens to be pizza. Now if you know me that's not a surprise at all. Pizza (other than delivery) is just not something I want to whip up after a busy day so I found a recipe for crock-pot pizza. All the yummy flavors with noodles instead of crust ;) My kind of meal indeed!

1 lb browned hamburger (I used leftover taco meat this week)
2 cans tomato sauce
1 jar spaghetti sauce
1 box rigatoni noodles (any noodle really but this is the best IMO)
2-4 cups shredded mozzarella (I like to use lots!)
8 oz sliced pepperoni

Layer all in crock-pot ending with a good layer of cheese and cook 8 hours on low or 4 hours on high. Great with garlic bread and a salad!!

This is really a versitile recipe because the sauce can be pretty much any tomato based sauce. I've used all spaghetti sauce, all tomato sauce, pizza sauce, or a combo. Just use what you have.

Visit Gayle's blog for more recipes!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

I feel blessed today.

Have you ever had a period in your life where things just seem to break down? A time when the van you drive needs work, so you start driving the other car...then it starts having problems? Well, the last couple of months seem to be going like that here. I'm not one (usually) for much complaining, I'm more of a roll with the punches kind. Our landlord in the last month has replaced a fridge and a washer do to problems and the aforementioned vehicles...yep that's where we're at. Not a big deal really, we'll just deal with it until we budget (time and money) in to fix them. Something happened yesterday though, to give me a nice reminder that even when things seem to be going in the wrong direction, God still cares about the little stuff. It started last week when my only pair of contacts were needing replaced because they were irritating my eyes. I thought, okay, I'll just wear my glasses until I can schedule to get into the eye doctor. No prob. Then yesterday morning my Dh and I are sitting in the living room and I went to remove my glasses to rub my eye and the arm fell off. Not bend weird or the screw came loose...just fell off. I'm holding my now broken, back up glasses.

My only reaction was to break out laughing.

Dh did a bit of Macgyvering and managed to get the arm to stay least for the day. It was definitely not a permanent fix. I went on with my day. In the afternoon I needed to drop some things off at the post office, so the kids and I are driving through town. We drove around the block where the eye clinic is and I felt that I should stop. I was thinking, "well, maybe, they could repair them. Just get them to work until I can get in to have and exam and get new ones." I drove around the block again just feeling unsure. At my last eye doctors it seemed like they charged an arm and a leg for any repairs no matter how minor. Well, I stopped. I went in and the lady working there was someone I recognized from the church we attended for awhile here on the island. I showed her the glasses and asked what they might be able to do. She told me to wait and she'd be right back. She took my glasses and headed into a back room. (at this point I guess I should add that not only was the arm broken but they were also missing one of the nose guards. They looked pathetic.) So I'm waiting and chatting with the other lady at the counter. A few minutes later she comes back out and hands me the glasses.


She had found a new arm (almost identical) in a box of misc. pieces and two new nose guards (so they'd match). In a matter of 5 minutes or so my glasses went from pathetic to looking almost new. A bit nervously I asked her how much it'd cost. She had the best reply ever....NOTHING! She said that the parts were extras, so it was free! And she was glad she could help! Isn't it amazing that God can use someone to bless someone else even through stuff like eyeglasses??

(and I should add that most of this is scheduling conflicts. Just so you know I'm not complaining about financial troubles. Getting in to the eye doctor without taking all of my 7 kids can be a scheduling nightmare! They don't tend to work on the weekend when my hubby's here.)

Monday, August 4, 2008

The benefits of friends who garden

It's summertime here and with summer comes gardens and fresh produce! Now, I wasn't on the ball enough, or nearly energetic enough to actually plant my own garden. I wish....maybe next year. I do, however, have an awesome friend who planted a HUGE garden and let me come this past week to gather some green beans. I was really excited! Not because I like to eat green beans all that much and neither do my kids. Huh, wonder where they got that from? Anyway, the kids were wondering what all the excitement was over these silly green things. Well, it goes back to my childhood you see. My mom canned these wonderful things she called Dilly beans. (kinda like pickled green beans, only I don't like pickles and I like these) I can remember watching my mom make these and canning them and waiting and waiting and waiting for her to let us open a jar and eat them. I was a very patient child *cough* *cough*. I loved them and could eat a whole jar if she'd let me :) So I gathered my supplies and made a batch yesterday. I was going to make my kids wait and wait and let the beans marinate in the jars just like my mom did. BUT, one of the jars sadly didn't seal. Aw, shucks! Now we have to eat them *wink* I gave one to each of my kids and by the time I got to the last kiddo, there were hands stuck out waiting for more. Hmm, a way to get my children to eat a vegetable! There was a lot of "can I have more?" and some "Mmmm" and even one who said, "I think I'll use my B-day money to buy beans so you can make more.' Hehehe. I think it's great. So I'm going to pass along the recipe just in case there is someone else out there who wants to know. Oh, and a couple pictures of my cute little helper.

Dilly Beans

Snap beans to length and pack loosely in hot, wide mouth, pint jars. To each pint add:

1-2 heads fresh dill

1/2 tsp. mustard seed

1 clove garlic (I used minced from the giant costco jar)

Make a brine (in a 2qt pan) of: (for each pint)

1/2 cup vinegar

1 cup water

1 1/2 tsp. pickling salt (I used reg. salt)

Bring a big pot of water to a boil. Fill hot jars with ingredients then fill to within 1/2" of top with brine. Process in water bath 10 minutes. Serve like you would pickles.

I think these really are best if you wait a couple of weeks before opening, but the ones that we had just the morning after making were still Yumm-O!

And here's my sweet little helper. She cut off the ends of the beans for me, it was very cute :)

Friday, August 1, 2008

Recipe Swap- Potlucks!

It's now the second week of recipe swapping over at Gayle's Grocery blog. I had a lot of fun looking through other people's posts last week so I've decided to participate again :)

I got this recipe a couple of years ago from a friend and I just love it.

Chinese Chicken Salad

2 Chicken breasts cooked & chopped
Head of cabbage chopped
1/2 cup each of toasted almonds or sesame seeds (I just use 1 cup of whatever nut I happen to have)
small bunch green onions chopped (optional)
1 package chicken Ramen noodles, crushed up
1/2 cup-1 cup dried cranberries (optional...but not really)

2 Tblsp. Sugar
3 Tblsp Vinegar
1/2 cup olive oil (or veg.)
1 tsp. salt
1 chicken packet from Ramen

Mix all of the ingredients in a large bowl. Mix up dressing and pour over the top. If the head of cabbage is really big I usually double the sauce.


Now I'm off to read others.....