Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Just a couple of things...

  • I made it a little bit easier to find the blog. If you type in "www.savorthismoment.com" you will be able to get here without adding the 'blogspot' in there. Don't worry if you have savorthismoment.blogspot.com favorited or saved on your computer, you don't need to change it, you can still get here that way.

  • Like I've said before, I love cranberries. And it's not just because our friend has a cranberry farm, either. (but that helps!) Heidi at 101 Cookbooks has a great idea for sugared cranberries. They're beautiful on the buffet or plate, and sweetly tart to the taste. Or maybe they're tartly sweet. But either way, they say Christmas to me!

  • Now, this is not to be missed. For the past few Christmases, Ro from ScrapGirls has written a Christmas story that is told in 12 days. I am linking to her home page here, and if you scroll down to the bottom section "What's Happening At Scrap Girls?" and look at the right hand box, there are links to her newsletters.

Starting from the December 13 newsletter, she begins to share the new story, "Here I Raise My Ebenezer". The title comes from a line in the song "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing", which I wrote about in this blog post. You can click here and listen to the beautiful song while watching the slideshow of images from "Reflections of Christ".

This Christmas she is dedicating her story to all of the men and women in uniform. Remember them in your prayers this Christmas, and every day throughout the year.

God Bless America!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Job Description

This is from an e-mail my dad sent me.

The cost of parenting 4 kids to adulthood? Priceless.

POSITION : Mom, Mommy, Mama, Ma Dad, Daddy, Dada, Pa, Pop

JOB DESCRIPTION : Long term, team players needed, for challenging, permanent work in an often chaotic environment. Candidates must possess excellent communication and organizational skills and be willing to work variable hours, which will include evenings and weekends and frequent 24 hour shifts on call. Some overnight travel required, including trips to primitive camping sites on rainy weekends and endless sports tournaments in far away cities! Travel expenses not reimbursed. Extensive courier duties also required.
RESPONSIBILITIES : The rest of your life. Must be willing to be hated, at least temporarily, until someone needs $5. Must be willing to bite tongue repeatedly. Also, must possess the physical stamina of a pack mule and be able to go from zero to 60 mph in three seconds flat in case, this time, the screams from the backyard are not someone just crying wolf. Must be willing to face stimulating technical challenges, such as small gadget repair, mysteriously sluggish toilets and stuck zippers. Must screen phone calls, maintain calendars and coordinate production of multiple homework projects. Must have ability to plan and organize social gatherings for clients of all ages and mental outlooks. Must be a willing to be indispensable one minute, an embarrassment the next. Must handle assembly and product safety testing of a half million cheap, plastic toys, and battery operated devices. Must always hope for the best but be prepared for the worst.. Must assume final, complete accountability for the quality of the end product. Responsibilities also include floor maintenance and janitorial work throughout the facility.
POSSIBILITY FOR ADVANCEMENT & PROMOTION : None. Your job is to remain in the same position for years, without complaining, constantly retraining and updating your skills, so that those in your charge can ultimately surpass you
PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE : None required unfortunately. On-the-job training offered on a continually exhausting basis.
WAGES AND COMPENSATION : Get this! You pay them! Offering frequent raises and bonuses. A balloon payment is due when they turn 18 because of the assumption that college will help them become financially independent. When you die, you give them whatever is left. The oddest thing about this reverse-salary scheme is that you actually enjoy it and wish you could only do more.
BENEFITS : While no health or dental insurance, no pension, no tuition reimbursement, no paid holidays and no stock options are offered; this job supplies limitless opportunities for personal growth, unconditional love, and free hugs and kisses for life if you play your cards right.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

More Cheap and Easy Christmas

Here is an idea for the Christmas tree lights. Guess I have to get mine to work first!

This article from the LDS Living archives about managing Christmas has some good organizational tips. Simplify!

Opossum Sally has a list of 103 quick and easy Christmas gift ideas here. My favorite is 20. A juice pitcher filled with candy canes- "We pitcher you raising a little "cane" during the holidays!" Have a merry Christmas!!


Into the Wild Into the Wild by Sarah Beth Durst

My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Actually, I would give this 3.5 stars.

Julie is the daughter of Rapunzel, but doesn't know her father at all. (That is the opposite of all of the Disney movies; they usually have a father and no mother.) Her grandmother is the now reformed wicked witch who put Rapunzel in the tower to begin with. Julie feels like she doesn't belong anywhere. She is so different from her schoolmates, but also doesn't know how to relate to the other fairytale characters in her everyday life.

This was a fun, modern-day meets fairytale-land. Natalia recommended it to me, since she read it for school, and I can't wait to read the sequel "Out of the Wild".

View all my reviews >>

Friday, December 4, 2009

These are a few of my favorite things...

The kids were watching "The Sound of Music" last week. I love the simple list of things in the song "Brown paper packages tied up with strings, Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes", etc.

With Christmas ON THE HORIZON, I was thinking of some of my favorite things.

When I was a kid, Christmas was really a simple holiday. Lots of baking and visiting, singing carols and circling all of the toys we wanted in the Sears Wish Book. I actually don't recall getting any of those toys that I actually indicated I wanted, but it never bugged me at all.

Some of the favorite gifts that I DID receive were books. I would read whatever I could get my hands on! The best gift ever was the boxed set of Little House on the Prairie books. I was about 8 or 9 years old, and I read them all, one by one, then started them right back over again! I still have them; they're sitting on my dresser right now. Thanks, mom!

Anyway, I'm always looking for tips to make Christmas easier, more simple, and cheap. Here are some tips that I've come across this year.

The US Catholic site has this post: ’Twas the fight before Christmas : A survival guide to a fairly happy holiday. Of course, what's a family get-together without a little drama?

I love homemade gifts, so etsy is a great go-to website to find unique gifts, and support the indie crafters at the same time. This is one of my faves right now. It makes me laugh. And it's cheap, too!

Here are a few ideas on Mahalo, and BellaOnline has some frugal Christmas ideas, too.

Craftbits has some cute and simple crafts for gifts and decorations. I think I'll try out the stamped candy bar wrappers. Cute, yummy, and cheap! (I think I see a pattern forming.)

And when all else fails, Martha Stewart will always come through with ideas and inspiration.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Some good music...

These guys are the real deal, and I'm so glad their single is out! I saw Matt Lopez and Brad Hull when they performed with Jason Deere to promote his "Joseph" CD, and they were great musicians and their harmonies were...uh, harmonious! Add Tim Gates' voice to the mix, and I think they're here to stay.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

I love this!

Online shopping is one of the best thing ever invented. Now, with my customizable Blastoff page, I can shop online and get cash back, discounts, and special offers.

I can shop stores like Target, Barnes & Noble, and even Bass Pro Shop.
From my Blastoff page I can search Hulu to find the most recent Medium episode. You know, the one I missed because I was too busy yelling at the kids to go to bed to be able to watch it.
I can also update my Facebook status. I know you want to hear what I had for dinner last night.
So, why just surf the net when you can Blastoff into cyberspace?
Blastoff is your personal launch pad into the best of the web. A fully customizable homepage that puts news, games, videos, music, and more right at your fingertips. Blastoff also pays you cash back on every online purchase, and when you invite your friends to join, you get paid every time they shop online too. As your network grows, so does your income.
Blastoff is completely free, tons of fun, and easy to use.
So don't delay-Click here to Blastoff today.

Thursday, October 1, 2009


And then it was October. I think I missed September. Really. I don't even remember it!

I've been busy with, well: kids, chickens, Mellisa's kids, PTO, and it still feels like I'm more behind than ever.

But, since I should be doing something productive, I'll forget about work and share some of my new favorite things:

The Black Apple is awesome. I love Emily Martin's art! Now Jenny Hart from Sublime Stitching has Black Apple patterns. Makes me want to take up embroidery.

This is my favorite song right now. Something about the guitar. Mmm.

Sunflower seeds. I just read in a magazine that if you crave something salty, eat sunflower seeds. The magnesium in them gives you a natural energy boost. I can totally justify my addiction to seeds now. Need I say more?

When I'm in a scrapbooking rut, I go here to PageMaps. Love it!

Can't wait for conference!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

First Day of School. Whew!

Now, I can take a deep breath and just feel my blood pressure going down...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

My Summer by Natalia

That's Matteo swinging in their backyard.

Abrahm riding his bike.

Here's Demi Lovato at the concert!!

David Archuleta!!!!!

Here he is again.

And again. Okay, this is how close Carmen and i got when we ran up to the front of the stage.

Hi. This is Natalia. I just wanted to tell you about my summer. The best part of summer was going to a Demi Lovato Concert with aunt Mellisa, aunt Emily, and Carmen. The concert was at the Sprint Center in Kansas City. We got seats 16 rows from the stage! It was cool! For the first part of the concert, a band called KSM performed. They were good. Then David Archuleta performed!! He was awesome!! And then they had a 20-minute intermission and Carmen and I had to run out TWICE because we forgot something the first time. We were sooooo glad we didn’t miss Demi Lovato coming out on stage! When she did she was Amazing!!!! It was SO much fun!! We didn’t get home until about 1:00 the next morning and we had left at 3:45 Wednesday afternoon. Besides going to the concert, baby-sitting is pretty much all I have done this summer. And some video from the concert, but not by me.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Music...it soothes the savage beast.

Natalia loves Taylor Swift, and I love Coldplay. Jon Schmidt figured out how to put them both together, and I think it's awesome. Love Story that morphs into Viva La Vida.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm a lone, lonely loner.

We quote Sid the Sloth a lot at our house. The kids and I went to see this movie on Friday. They love Ice Age 1 and 2, and even though we rarely go to the theater, we had to see what those crazy pre-historic mammals were up to. It was pretty funny, but the best character was crazy Buck. He cracked me up. Maybe it was his underbite.
Anyway, Sid was feeling bad because Diego wanted to move on and Ellie and Manny are expecting a mini-mammoth, so Sid says, "I'm a lone, lonely loner." That's my new Sid line.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

We miss you! Happy Anniversary.

Grandpa is a cowboy. Grandma is a teacher. They met 58 years ago on the fourth of July, and went on their first date the next night. The problem was, they were paired up with other people.
Grandpa was working on a ranch near the badlands in South Dakota, and the ranch owner also owned a restaurant. He told some of his cowboys that he had three new girls coming in to waitress there on their break from college, and he would make sure that these cowboys got the first dates with his new waitresses.

So, Grandpa and Swede, who was an older (thirties) ranch owner, took a couple of girls out in Swede’s old Ford. Grandpa was driving, and he came up to a river, and Swede told him to go right through it. Grandpa gunned it, and promptly got the car stuck in quicksand. They all got out, and Grandpa said to Grandma, "Come on, let’s go to the next ranch to borrow a jeep to pull the car out!" (Actually, when Grandpa told the story he said, "I said, ‘Rose Ann, let’s go—'" and Grandma interrupted him with "Oh, no, you said to me,‘Come on!’ because you didn’t even know my name!")

The rest is history. Guess Grandpa knew a good thing when he saw it. And Grandpa eventually remembered Grandma’s name.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Clean is a dirty word

When the chickens are shipped to be turned into the chicken nuggets that you may have just ordered at your local Mickey-D's, it's time for clean-up at the farm.

Adam has spent the last couple of days power washing the fans, etc., in the barns. But in order to do that, he gets covered in water and dirty feathers. So, the fans might sparkle, but the washer looks and smells like a wet chicken.

And apparently I've gotten a little bit of a reputation around the farm. I was looking for the thing-y (that's a technical term, you know) to put on the drill to raise and lower the brooders, and Adam asked if I knew how to use the drill to wind up the winch automatically. He said, "You have to be careful, though." Then he looked at me and just put that drill bit away. Hmm.

I did a little bit of mowing yesterday. Andy's been working long hours, and now that Brian is big and old, he's working on another farm full-time this summer. That means, with Grandpa gone, the mowing is falling behind. I like to mow, and I would help Andy with it sometimes, but Grandpa is definitely the resident mower. I miss looking up or out the window to see him bouncing around on the mower and then I would sometimes send the kids out with a tall glass of kool-aid, since he doesn't drink water straight, you know.

Friday, June 19, 2009


It's really been storming this spring. We've had a couple of them go through in this last week or so, but just with a few limbs and branches down. The town of Norborne, MO, was hit harder during the last storm, and a group from our church went to help clean up. My dad and brother included. If you watch this video, Dad is in the burgandy T-shirt with the chainsaw, and Ben in the orange T with cut off sleeves and a chainsaw.

Thursday, May 28, 2009


  1. Grandma is still sick, but Andy and I are not.
  2. Aren't these tool boxes just adorable? I think they're going to be my next project.
  3. Summer school started and all of the kids are going.
  4. Getting ready for a garage sale takes a bit of time.
  5. I'm hosting my book club for June and this is the book we're reading.
  6. Brian has a baseball game tonight, and I'm ready to scrub the mud off his pants, cuz it's been raining ALL week!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

VENTING...Warning. Reading the following post may be hazardous to your health.

My grandma is sick, and there is nothing I can do about it but pray.

I'm sick.

Andy's sick.

Bad weather.

Kids with attitude.

Out of control.


Friday, April 24, 2009

Check out my review at Steals and Deals...

It's right here. If you love books, or know someone who does, this is a fun way to keep track of all of your favorites, and all of those books you loan out and hope you'll see again.

Plus, they're doing a giveaway, so enter at Steals and Deals! Contest ends on 4/27/09.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

It's madness, I tell you...

My kids are funny. I know every mom thinks that, but really, mine are funny. And a little irreverent. I don't know where they get that from, though.

Monkey always has something funny to say. Last night it was just him and I, and we were watching a little TV. The show was very appropriate until the actor said, "Damn, she's good". Which, of course, Monkey repeated. As I opened my mouth to tell him that it wasn't a nice word, etc., etc., he said, "Damn, I farted." How could I not laugh? I know, I should have used it as a teaching moment, but he caught me off guard!

One Sunday, Emily waved me over her in Primary and said, "Monkey has three Books of Mormon that he checked out of the Library. I just wanted you to know so you make sure he gets them all back there."

I sat down next to Monkey and asked him if he checked the extras out for his friends in class. He said, "No, I wanted three so I could have a triple!"

Joe has turned into a real food expert. We were at a potluck dinner at the preschool, and Joe cut a bite from a meatball, then chewed it up, tilted his head and pointed his fork at me and declared, "Homemade!"

Another day, he was helping me make pasta for dinner. We cooked and drained the pasta, then he added the pesto and tossed it around. He then informed me, "Mom, I need to taste the pasta, cuz that's what all of the professional cookers do!"

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Watch out for this crazed bunny

Oh, I guess she might be OK.
Looks like trouble just hatched.

She even likes a Monkey.

Got Eggs?

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Nauvoo Women's Retreat

This past weekend my mom treated Emily and I to the Nauvoo Women's Retreat. It was really wonderful and uplifting. We did not sign up for the first day's sessions since we travelled in that morning, hitting a couple of thrift stores on different towns on the way up. When we finally arrived, we met up with my sister Monie and my aunt Ramona. They were both involved in the Re-enactment of the first meeting of the Female Relief Society of Nauvoo. I took the pictures she put on her blog post, so I'll steal them and add them here with a little more information.

This first picture is of Monie and the actors who portrayed Joseph and Emma Smith. They are married in real life, and were very nice. His name is Stewart Peterson. Does he look at all familiar? He didn't to me, either. But I have see him in movies before and didn't realize it. He was in Where the Red Fern Grows and Seven Alone , along with some others films, when he was young.

This is upstairs in the Red Brick Store, where the original meeting was held 167 years ago. Monie portrayed one of our ancestors, Nancy Naomi Alexander Tracy, and had a small speaking part. They all look funny because they were in the middle of singing a song! Monie is in the middle, and Ramona is on the far right without the bonnet. She took hers off to give to a baby behind her to play with.

I'm going to have to blog about the retreat with several posts, since the presenters were so amazing! For a tiny little conference (about 150 women were there) I was so amazed at the wonderful speakers and talent who participated.

Go visit some others at Talk About Tuesday!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

New(ish) books for the youngsters

The kids will be having a week’s worth of testing starting the 30th, and the school is suggesting that each family live TV-free for that week. I think that’s a great idea, but it will take a lot of selling. We don’t watch a lot of TV since we only have an antenna but the kids like to come home from school and do their best couch potato impersonation for a little while. I’m on the lookout for some ideas for activities, especially since summer break is coming up so fast. I want the kids to be reading, working, etc. this summer, not spend those weeks tuned out of life and tuned into the television.

I spent last weekend at a conference for Early Childhood Educators, and a couple of the sessions I attended were on books and literacy. So, when we have the TV turned off, hopefully we’ll be doing a lot of reading.

Here is a list of some new(ish) books that I’ve discovered:

1. Wave by Suzy Lee
This is a wordless book that has beautiful illustrations covering the two-page spread. It’s lovely as a picture book, or the reader can make up a story to go with the pictures.

2. Potato Joe by Keith Baker
A take-off of the rhyme “one potato, two potato”, with simple but cute graphics.

3. Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox
Don’t babies just love to look at other babies? Even though these babies aren’t photos, they’re illustrated, they are so cute you can’t resist! Mem Fox has a style all her own, and it shows up in this sweet book about those ten little fingers and ten little toes that babies all over the world have in common.

4. Puff, The Magic Dragon by Peter Yarrow and Lenny Lipton
Yes, it’s the Peter, Paul and Mary song as a children’s book. (Will this finally dispel the rumor that it’s about smoking weed?) I’ve always loved this song since my Grandpa Hall would play it on the guitar and the rest of us harmonized our way through it. Again, the illustrations are awesome in this book, too!

5. On The Farm by David Elliot
Of course, I can’t resist a farm book! This one consists of short poems about farm life. The woodcut and watercolor double-page illustrations are, not to be redundant, awesome.

6. Playtime Rhymes for Little People compiled by Mary Finch
This book includes classic rhymes, and again, the illustrations are amazing. The artwork was prepared in antique fabric and felt collage, and have to be seen to be appreciated. Have I mentioned that I love fabric?

7. Here’s A Little Poem collected by Jane Yolen and Andrew Fusek Peters
Over 60 poems are included in this huge volume. And, of course, great illustrations, too!

8. The Boy Who Wouldn’t Share by Mike Reiss
Edward is stingy with his sister Claire. He hoards toys in a heap so mountainous that he gets stuck under it. Good book for siblings who don’t share. Maybe they’ll get it without having to nag? Would be great to read while eating a plate of fudge. Come to think of it, wouldn’t every book be better with fudge? Funny illustrations done by the same artist who did the great illustrations for I Ain’t Gonna Paint No More.

9. Truck Stuck by Sallie Wolf
When a truck gets stuck under a low-hanging bridge, quite a scene develops as the traffic backs up. This is a rhyming book, and is perfect for truck lovers.

10. The Little Yellow Leaf by Carin Berger
Other leaves turn red and flutter around the little yellow leaf and down to the ground, but he’s not ready to let go of his branch. Love the collage art illustrations!

11. To Be Like the Sun by Susan Marie Swanson
This is a great “Spring” book, and includes a packet of seeds if you buy the book, and not check it out of the library like I usually do.

13. Ish by Peter H. Reynolds

Ramon loves to draw: "Anytime. Anything. Anywhere." When his older brother laughs at one of his pictures and points out that it does not look like a real vase of flowers, a dejected Ramon crumples up all of his efforts. However, he soon learns that his younger sister has hung the discarded papers on her bedroom walls. When he declares that the picture of the vase doesn't look like the real thing, she says that it looks "vase-ISH." The child then begins to produce paintings that look "tree-ish," "afternoon-ish," and "silly-ish." His "ish art" inspires him to look at all creative endeavors differently. I love this book! My kids have always had a hard time accepting that they can't make the "perfect" art, or drawing, or whatever, on the frist try.

Friday, March 20, 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party

Ultimate Blog Party 2009

The Ultimate Blog Party is going on at 5 Minutes For Mom! Go check it out. There are great Mom Blogs to explore and tons of prizes up for grabs! What prizes would I love to win?

1. Decorative Pillow, Country Primitive Style, Says “Family”Provided by: Beautiful2God (#85) It's so adorable! If I don't win it, Monie, could you embroider me one?

2. Blog Makeover BLOGGER platform only Provided by: Busy Mama Blog Design (INTL#23)

3. The Jillian 30 Day Shred DVD and The Biggest Loser Family Cookbook from Pudget: Losing Weight on a Budget (#49)

4. $30.00 gift card to Amazon.com. (INTL#61) I could spend this and then some!

5. $40 gift certificate to Carrabba’s Italian Grill Provided by: The Divine Miss Mommy. (#88) Maybe Andy and I could go on a date?

Those are only a tiny taste of the awesome prizes at 5 Minutes for Mom. I'll see you there!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Monkey Moments

Monkey has really been saying some funny things! He's been known to do that here and there.

Here are some recent conversations:

Natalia: Monkey, are you going to sleep in my room tonight?

Monkey: Hmm, my mind says no, but my heart says yes.

Natalia: (Trying not to crack up) Which one are you going to pick?

Monkey: I'm going to have to go with my brain.


Joe: (After putting his tie on for church) Dad, do I look like a missionary?

Dad: Yeah, Joe, you do!

Monkey: (Hearing their conversation) Dad, do I look like a prophet?

Dad: Like a mini-prophet!

---Later on, while getting out of the car at church and Joe was pushing Monkey out ahead of him...

Monkey: Joe, you can't shove a prophet!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

What The

I don't like it when my kids say "What the..." since it sounds like it will be followed by an expletive, but that's what I thought when I saw the FRED (Federal Reserve Economic Data) shown here.

What the...

I know I've been posting a lot of videos lately, but, wow, this scares me. Thanks, Dad, for sending it on to me!

I love all of the references to Al Gore. At least that makes me laugh.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A couple of books about reading books.

A book about reading books. I wasn’t sure if I would like it, as far as entertainment value or useful information, but I saw it on the library shelf and thought I’d give it a turn.

Sara Nelson, author of So Many Books, So Little Time: A Year of Passionate Reading, is a publishing correspondent; her work is books. But she also loves to read. As she says, “Books get to me personally. When things go right, I read. When things go wrong, I read more.” Sara decided to read a book a week for one year. That doesn’t sound very hard, does it? She chronicles her ups and downs, including the list of books she read, as well as the books she intended to read.

Some of the books I haven’t and probably won’t ever read, but I was entertained with her journey.

Now, another book about reading books. This one is Book Smart: Your Essential Reading List for Becoming a Literary Genius in 365 Days. How could I resist that title? Author Jane Mallison categorizes 120 books into the 12 months of the year, each with its own theme, and 10 books in each month. January is “Because They Are There: Towering Works to Read in Translation” and includes such old standards as Don Quixote, Dante’s Inferno, Homer’s The Odyssey, etc.

Other months include: “Growing Up: The Pains and the Pleasures” which includes some of my favorites; Little Women, To Kill a Mockingbird, and one that I’m reading right now, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn. “Jury Duty: Crimes of Various Sorts” with Crime and Punishment, The Scarlet Letter, and Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

Though Jane Mollison neglects to include anything by Jane Austen and George Eliot on April’s Top Girls: Strong Women, Admirably So and Otherwise list, she redeems herself by adding in the chapter preface that she regards them as she regards Shakespeare and the Bible, the importance of reading them is too obvious to list.

Now, there is no way that I could read 120 books in a year unless the majority of them were powder puff reads, but I really enjoyed reading the back stories or blurbs that Jane Mollison writes about each book included on her list. I’ve added a few more from “Book Smart” to my to-read list.

If I had to choose between these two books, I would definitely read Book Smart. It's more about the books themselves, and So Many Books… about the author’s own experience.

Monday, March 9, 2009

St. Patrick's Day Menu

We love having a meal based on a holiday. Oh, who am I kidding. We love a meal anytime! Here's a quick and easy St. Paddy's Day menu. The bread is not quite Irish soda bread, but a cheap imitation. I also realize that it is called a New England Boiled Dinner and not an Irish boiled dinner, but it's yummy all the same. And I'm not sure if the Irish traditionally eat pistachios, but anything green is game for St. Patrick's Day, isn't it?

Irish Bread Machine Bread

1 cup buttermilk
1/4 cup water (70º to 80ºF)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine, cut up
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup bread flour
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons Fleischmann's® Bread Machine Yeast

1. Measure all ingredients into bread machine pan in the order suggested by manufacturer.

2. Process on basic/white bread cycle; use medium/normal crust color setting. Do not use delayed-bake feature. Remove bread from pan; cool on wire rack.

New England Boiled Dinner

3 pounds corned beef brisket
6 carrots
2 turnips, optional
6 onions
6 potatoes
1 cabbage head

1. Cut meat into serving-sized pieces, cover with water and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer for approximately 3-1/2 hours. Remove meat and keep warm.

2. Scrub the vegetables and cut into quarters or cubes. Cut the cabbage into 6 wedges.

3. Bring the broth to a boil; add carrots, turnips, onions and potatoes. Cook for 15 minutes. Add cabbage and cook for 15-20 minutes longer.

4. Arrange meat on serving platter and place vegetables around the meat in an attractive pattern. Sprinkle all with fresh ground black pepper.

Green Pistachio Cake

1 package White cake mix
1 3.4 ounce package instant pistachio pudding mix
1 cup oil
1 cup water or lemon-lime soda
3 eggs
1/2 cup pistachios, chopped

2 envelopes whipped topping mix
1 1/2 cups cold milk
1 3.4 ounce package instant pistachio pudding mix

Combine cake mix, pudding mix, oil, water or soda, eggs and chopped pistachios. Beat for 4 minutes. Pour batter into a greased and floured tube pan, and bake at 350 for 45-50 minutes. Cool in pan for 10-15 minutes. Remove and cool completely on a wire rack. Frost and garnish with nuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

For Frosting: Combine whipped topping mixes and milk. Beat until soft peaks form. Add pudding mix and beat until fluffy.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Spring is Around the Corner

The kids and I planted some starter seeds for the garden. Grandma and Grandpa are in California, and because of Grandma's health they will be staying there longer than they thought. That means if we want a garden it's up to us! ( We need positive thinking on this one!)

We planted the herbs last week, and are getting tiny little shoots showing.

This week it was tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers and peppers. The basics.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Altered Magnet

This magnet is actually one of those business card magnets that people give out. I didn't need this one anymore, and as a challenge on the YMDB board, I altered it with my scrapbooking materials. All but the paper are vintage scraps: the buttons, ribbon and lace. The words are clipped out of an old book. Isn't she cute? My little reminder to myself.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Casseroles as a sign of an economic downturn?

I just heard on the radio that with the economy the way it is, more and more people are cooking casseroles. Because of that, cooking magazines are now featuring more recipes for casseroles. Hmm. Is it because a casserole is considered comfort food, or because they tend to be budget-friendly?

I like casseroles as well as the next person, but you can’t mention the word to Andy without him reminiscing about his mom putting a 1970’s crushed chip covered concoction on the table, and his dad then getting up to get the Cheerios out. Mention the word “casserole” to Andy’s brother John, and he’ll tease me about “Tater Tot Hot Dish”, which was a cheap and easy dinner my mom made for the family when I was growing up.

I like casseroles for a couple of reasons. 1. You can usually make it ahead of time. 2. Many recipes are actually a one-pot (or pan) meal; veggies, meat, and maybe a starch all in one.

This calls for a casserole recipe. I found this recipe in a Hoard’s Dairyman magazine waaay back when I was in high school. And I used the Hoard’s Dairyman to study for my Dairy Cattle judging team in FFA. But I digress. Here’s a yummy recession-proof chicken divan casserole recipe. I’ve tweaked it a little bit more to make it even easier.

Easy Chicken Divan

2 - 10 oz. Packages frozen broccoli
2 cups diced, cooked chicken (about three breasts)
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 cup mayonnaise
1 tsp. Lemon juice
½ tsp. Curry powder
½ cup shredded sharp cheese
½ cup breadcrumbs or cornflake crumbs
1 T. butter

Cook broccoli in microwave or on the stovetop. Drain and place in a 9x13 pan along with the chicken. Just jumble them all up in there. Combine all other ingredients except the crumbs and butter. Spread over chicken and broccoli in the pan. Sprinkle buttered crumbs on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 25-30 minutes, or until heated through.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Work is a four letter word. Sleep is not.

Winter has finally come to Missouri. Saturday brought us at least six inches of snow, which is still on the ground. The kids have been outside rolling around in it. They come in with chapped, red cheeks and track snow all over the floor, dropping hats and mittens as they go, like wannabe Hansels and Gretel. Too bad they don't retrace their path and actually pick them back up.

Yesterday Monkey and I braved the snow to clean the control rooms in the barns. We hopped on the four-wheeler, loaded it up with supplies, and started on our work day in the 30 degree weather. It took about 20 minutes or so to wipe everything down, sweep the floor, take out the trash and replace the water filter. My little helper went right along with me until the fourth barn. He decided to stay on the four-wheeler for a few minutes. I left the door open, and the next time I went out there he was still sitting there, leaning over the handles, sound asleep. I guess he was cozied up in his little Carhart coveralls, hat, gloves and workboots. He was so cute. And he stayed right there asleep while I finished the next two barns. I just climbed up behind him and held on to him while we drove to the next barn. Did I mention how cute it was?

Thursday, February 26, 2009


It seems like every time I find a TV show I like, BAM, it's pulled off the air. Never fails. This season's victim is "Pushing Daisies". I kept looking for it, even though it was in a horrible time slot; Wednesday's at 7:00. (so maybe that's why it didn't take off!) So quirky and witty! Kristen Chenoweth was hilarious as Olive, and Ned and Chuck, the main characters, were so likeable. Guess I'll have to move to the UK to see the rest of Season 2, though. Maybe Monie will move with me.

I thought victim number 2 was going to be Medium, a show about Allison. She sees dead people. With a time slot of Monday nights at 9:00 (after Family Home Evening and putting the kids to bed) I could usually manage to catch it. I'm happy to say that it's back! I can get my laundry folded while I watch Allison and her family deal with everyday life while she helps the DA solve crime. She's such a multi-tasker.
I'm usually commitment-phobic when it comes to TV shows. Sometimes I get tired of them after a few seasons (Law and Order) or I like them but they're on at a bad time (Survivor) or it is just so stinkin' long and takes up two nights that I can't even think of wasting that much time on it (American Idol). So for now, it's Medium. And Numbers if I can get to it.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Busy Bees

Well, Sedalia made the news. Too bad it was the "Strange News"!

We've been way busy, and our schedules look like they won't be slowing down any time soon. Some things we have been up to are:

  1. Basketball, basketball and more basketball. Brian had three games this week, and practice on the weeknights he doesn't have a game.

  2. Valentine parties! I'm room mom in Natalia's class, so I planned her party then didn't get any pictures. I did get a minute to run down to the other end of the school to Joe's class and snapped a picture of him with his Valentine frame and picture he made for me.

  3. Working the farm. Dad, Grandpa and I held down the farm while Mellisa, Adam and the three muskateers took a trip to see Adam's family.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Dear Brian,

The other night you climbed onto my lap, and you reminded me of the little 2-year old you who would do the same thing. Only now you are 12 years older, tower at least five inches over me, and your feet touch the floor. I can’t believe that it was fourteen years ago today when you made your entrance into the world. It’s no wonder that you still want to sit on my lap; I don’t think you were put down in the first few months of your life. If Dad or I weren’t holding you, then there was always someone else around, you know, “just coming to see how the baby is” and holding you, too.

Then I think about when you were “Bubba”, and hung out with Ro all the time, and woke up at 6:00 in the morning, and then we’d be out in the backyard playing baseball at 6:30. Alicia from next door said that she didn’t need an alarm clock because she knew it was time to get up when she heard us out there. You had that morning schedule, and I know you don’t like to deviate from the plan.

Now, you’re almost grown up. And you have to shave. And your smile still gets you out of trouble nine times out of ten. I’ve been so impressed with how you’ve kept your grades up, even though you don’t like to read OR do homework. You are at school for ten and a half hours a day, with 2 hour practices, and you don’t complain. More and more I am seeing glimpses of the man you will become. I know you think I am way too hard on you, and maybe I am. But I want you to succeed! I want you to be strong, yet compassionate; steady and true. I want you to strive for excellence, but still learn from your mistakes. I want you to continue to grow in the gospel and to be a good example and a leader to those around you, including your brothers and sister.

Happy birthday, Brian!

I love you!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Dear Birthday Boy,

You are five today. My baby is five years old. Wasn’t it just yesterday, or maybe last year, when you were two weeks overdue and taxing my patience even then? You've been asking me every day for three weeks if it is your birthday today. Then we have to go over the days of the week and count until we get to the 28th. Oy.

This past year has been full of so much growing and learning. You surprise me every day with your ability to read my moods—“Mom, why are you so grumpy?” and to express yourself. When you use the words “excited” and “believe” and “disappointed” and use them in the right context--like the other day when Joe said that something worked “automatical” and you told him, “You mean automatically”--I can’t help but be proud of the big boy you are becoming. You can even ride a two-wheeled bike (no training wheels!) and do a cartwheel!

Now don’t get me wrong, we’ve had our tough times, too. Like the days that you didn’t want to go to preschool, or the days that you didn’t have school but you incessantly begged me to take you. And we can’t forget the day you broke your leg. It was terrible having to carry you and hold onto you on the way to the hospital, knowing that every little jostle and move caused you so much pain, but I’m so grateful that I was there with you. And when the x-ray confirmed your broken leg, I couldn’t stop the tears from pouring down my face. It was so hard to see you in pain, and I wanted it to be me instead. But you handled the whole thing like a champ!

And now you’re five. And you can tie your own shoes, and get your own water, and when you are really feeling independent you even wipe your own bottom. I know the night will come that you don’t crawl in bed between dad and I, and if I’ve learned anything these past four years it’s that the time will come much too soon.

I love you, Monkey!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Mom Bloggers

If there's one thing I know for sure, "Mom bloggers" are here to stay. Scribbit (one of my favorite mom bloggers) recently wrote a post on moms who blog, and Momdot.com put their list out of the Top 50 Mom Blogs of 2008. A few of my favorites were listed, too, including Rocks In My Dryer, the amazing C Jane, 5 Minutes for Mom, and of course, P-Dub.

When I first started this blog, I thought this would be an online journal of sorts. But it's turned into much more than that! Family, friends and acquaintances have called or stopped to chat about something I have posted on my blog. I have been able to network with bloggers I admire, writers I adore, and perfect strangers with common interests.

Now, our lives are not always peachy-keen. You're getting just a glimpse of us on the computer screen; our reality might horrify or fascinate you (or maybe even a little of both!) But I will continue to blog about those things. I hope you'll stay around to read about them, too!

Monday, January 5, 2009

2008's Resolution leftovers, warmed up and served again.

Happy 2009!

Last year's resolutions post was a bit tongue in cheek, since there was no way I was going to accomplish all of them. Not without retaining my sanity, that is. So, here we go again.

1. Lose 40 pounds

2. Never, ever, ever yell at Andy or the kids again.

3. Keep the house clean at all times

4. Read church lessons before they are taught.

5. Keep up with the laundry

6. Exercise every day.

7. Go back to school.

Why is it just when I want to get on with life, life gets in the way? There is always something to be done, but it's never what I want to be doing. Ok, that's my complaining for the day.

On to resolutions. As I was reading the local newspaper a week or so ago, an editorial piece caught my eye. I only had a minute to skim, but the author was basically saying that as a society we are not comfortable publicizing our new year's resolutions anymore. We are afraid to tell the world (and those closest to us) what our goals are for fear that we will not fulfil them, therefore looking like a failure, not to mention foolish!

Wow, that hits the nail on the head with me. I rarely tell others my dreams, goals, and wishes. Then I feel the pressure to be accountable for working towards or achieving those things. Who wants to be accountable? Not I! At least not after the first few days/weeks/months (depending on what the goal is).

My new goal is to work on improving all of those aspects of my life, and then some, and not feel bad when I fall short -- just keep looking forward and plodding along.
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