Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I Looked Out My Window...

I looked out my window and what did I see?
A family of Robins gazing at me.
Spring has brought me such a nice surprise.
The miracle of life right before my eyes.
I love to sit and watch as the wormy treats
Are fed to the babies...oh how sweat!
Underneath my deck, robins with red chests
What a great place for a bird to build a nest!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Altering the Management of Affairs

Alma 49:11 - But behold, Amalickiah did not come down himself to battle. And behold, his chief captains durst not attack the Nephites at the city of Ammonihah, for Moroni had altered the management of affairs among the Nephites, insomuch that the Lamanites were disappointed in their places of retreat and they could not come upon them.
 No, I did not copy the wrong scripture. When Eric had one of the kids read this for Family Home Evening last week I thought that he had given the wrong reference. This is one of those scriptures that I would normally breeze through without a second thought...not my wonderful Hubby...he did an entire lesson on this scripture.

Moroni was captain of the Nephite army during devastating wars with the Lamanites in The Book Of Mormon. This scripture says that he altered the management of affairs among the Nephites, so much so that the Lamanites could not come against them to battle. So.....

Are there things in our lives/families that we need to alter or change or manage differently to keep negative influences out? It may take a lot of work to change and to become stronger, but in the end it will protect ourselves our homes and our families. In Ether 12:27 is says that the Lord will make our weaknesses into strengths if we will be humble and have faith. If there are weakness in our fortification against evil...change, and through humility, and faith turn it into a strength that does not allow it into our lives and homes...just as Moroni did with his army. This life is a battle and I need to continually change and strengthen the management of my affairs to come out victorious.

Wow, all that from a scripture that I would normally ignore. Thanks Eric!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Cream Cheese Apple Dip

Mmmmm, this is my new favorite pot-luck item to take to a party. 
It is a hit and SO EASY!

Cream Cheese Apple Dip:
  • sliced apples
  • 1 package softened cream cheese
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla
Blend cream cheese, brown sugar, and vanilla until smooth....that's it! Instant party/finger food.


Thursday, May 26, 2011

Bubble-Wrap Hopscotch

"Oh what do you do in the spring-time when all the world is wet? Do you sit in your house and lazily dream of the sunshine that hasn't come out yet? Is that what you do? So do I."
Oh, this crazy rainy weather! I am getting pretty sick of sitting in my house thinking of things to entertain my kids with. It is so much easier to just send them outside...and yes, it did get to the breaking point when I just sent my bored, hyper kids out in the pouring rain because I couldn't take it any longer!

Here is one boredom buster idea I saw and copied (I can't remember where so I can't give credit where credit is due...sorry if you are the genius who made this up). This is great for these rainy days when the kids need to get some built up energy out:

Bubble-wrap Hopscotch

Just cut a roll of bubble-wrap into 10 squares, number them, put them in any hopscotch pattern you want and let the kids go crazy jumping and popping the bubble-wrap as they go. Nathan loved to just put them in a circle and then jump from square to square...and of course mean-old-mom had to make it educational by having him say what number he landed on with each jump.

I hope this helps make your day a little brighter, even when it is gloomy outside!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

My Mother Taught Me...

 I read this and it put a smile on my face...I hope it does yours as well. I don't know who wrote this, but whoever it was...I am sure she is a mother because I say/do these things all the time!

1. My mother taught me TO APPRECIATE A JOB WELL DONE.
"If you're going to kill each other, do it outside. I just finished cleaning."

2. My mother taught me RELIGION.
"You better pray that will come out of the carpet."

3. My mother taught me about TIME TRAVEL.
"If you don't straighten up, I'm going to knock you into the middle of next week!"

4. My mother taught me LOGIC.
"Because I said so, that's why."

5. My mother taught me MORE LOGIC.
"If you fall out of that swing and break your neck, you're not going to the store with me."

6. My mother taught me FORESIGHT.
"Make sure you wear clean underwear, in case you're in an accident."

7. My mother taught me IRONY.
"Keep crying, and I'll give you something to cry about."

8. My mother taught me about the science of OSMOSIS.
"Shut your mouth and eat your supper."

9. My mother taught me about CONTORTIONISM.
"Will you look at that dirt on the back of your neck!"

10. My mother taught me about STAMINA.
"You'll sit there until all that spinach is gone."

11. My mother taught me about WEATHER.
"This room of yours looks as if a tornado went through it."

12. My mother taught me about HYPOCRISY.
"If I told you once, I've told you a million times. Don't exaggerate!"

13. My mother taught me the CIRCLE OF LIFE.
"I brought you into this world, and I can take you out."

14. My mother taught me about BEHAVIOR MODIFICATION.
"Stop acting like your father!"

15. My mother taught me about ENVY.
"There are millions of less fortunate children in this world who don't have wonderful parents like you do."

16. My mother taught me about ANTICIPATION.
"Just wait until we get home."

17. My mother taught me about RECEIVING.
"You are going to get it when you get home!"

18. My mother taught me MEDICAL SCIENCE.
"If you don't stop crossing your eyes, they are going to freeze that way."

19. My mother taught me ESP.
"Put your sweater on; don't you think I know when you are cold?"

20. My mother taught me HUMOR.
"When that lawn mower cuts off your toes, don't come running to me."

21. My mother taught me HOW TO BECOME AN ADULT.
"If you don't eat your vegetables, you'll never grow up."

22. My mother taught me about GENETICS.
"You're just like your father."

23. My mother taught me about my ROOTS.
"Shut that door behind you. Do you think you were born in a barn?"

24. My mother taught me WISDOM.
"When you get to be my age, you'll understand."

25. And my favorite: My mother taught me about JUSTICE
"One day you'll have kids, and I hope they turn out just like you!"

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Two Green Thumbs Up

Remember our garden boxes that we built last summer? Well, they are now all planted with tomatoes, zucchini, peppers, peas, green beans, raspberries, cucumbers, pumpkins, lettuce, broccoli, cabbage, and some marigolds scattered in there to supposedly keep the bugs out.

Why did we go to all this work?.....
  • to be a little more self-reliant
  • to have a living and growing science experiment in our backyard
  • to teach my kids to work
  • to have fresh, healthy veggies throughout the summer
  • to be able to can salsa from the tomatoes and peppers
  • to have something to share with my great neighbors
So here's two green thumbs up for our garden...hopefully it tastes as good  as it looks!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Picture Perfectionism

Family pictures...I get all tense just hearing those words. Those of you who know me know that I am NOT a perfectionist...I like to do things the simplest and quickest way possible. But when family pictures are looming around the corner I turn into an obsessive monster who stresses over having the perfect family pictures. I go shopping for hours, finding the right outfits that go together, yet aren't too matchy-matchy. I make sure we all have haircuts, finding that right balance of not too short right after a cut, yet not waiting too long when it starts looking sloppy. And after all that, the day of pictures comes and trying to keep everyone clean and happy is exhausting!

I did it. I found cute shirts that compliment each other yet don't match too much. I gave everyone haircuts about 2 weeks before - giving the mistakes time to even themselves out. And on the day of pictures I managed to keep everyone clean and in a somewhat good mood...with some bribery of ice cream afterwards. I guess all the picture perfectionism paid off...if you ignore the bags under my eyes from being so exhausted.

Now my problem is trying to decide which one to print for my wall...any suggestions??

What was I so worried about? My family is beautiful to me no matter what! I need to remember that for the next time...in at least 3 years!

I will not let family picture de"feet" me again!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Happily Forever After

I was fascinated by the Royal Wedding. It was so beautiful. Kate and William looked amazing. She walked in as a commoner and walked out as a princess and future queen. But one thing was sad to me....the phrase "till death do you part". She will have this potential for royalty just for this life.

It made me think of my wedding. No, it was not perfect or extravagant. The entire world was not analyzing my dress and watching my every move. But I married my prince for eternity. I was married in a beautiful temple where we were promised to have the potential to become King and Queen together forever. Talk about a royal wedding! I am so grateful that what we created in this life will not end when we die.

 “If a man marry a wife by my word, which is my law, and by the new and everlasting covenant, and it is sealed unto them by the Holy Spirit of promise, by him who is anointed, unto whom I have appointed this power and the keys of this priesthood; . . . and shall inherit thrones, kingdoms, principalities, and powers, dominions, all heights and depthsand if [they] abide in my covenant, . . . it shall be done unto them in all things whatsoever my servant hath put upon them, in time, and through all eternity; and shall be of full force when they are out of the world” (D&C 132:19)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Sarah's Key

 Sarah's Key by Tatiana De Rosnay is about the importance of remembering history. The history of this book takes place in Paris in 1942. 10 year old Jewish girl, Sarah, along with her mother and father are arrested as part of the Vel'd'Hiv' roundup. Before they were arrested, Sarah told her little brother to hide in a secret cupboard in their house. Sarah locked him in to keep him safe, thinking that she would be back to get him. Sarah carried that key, trying to get back to her brother locked in the cupboard, thinking of him as she endured one of the worst times in Paris' history. It is this history that helps a woman, Julia, 60 years later as she researches about the Vel' d'Hiv' and discovers that Sarah's family lived in the same apartment that her husband grew up in after Sarah was forced to leave. Sarah's key unlocks a dark secret that brings these two families together.
I know, another book from WWII...I am just fascinated with that time period. It is in these books that I read about the very worst and the very best in people. I even have another one on hold at the library. This was a good book. It was sad because of the time period of WWII. It does have some strong language, which I hate. I also thought that the ending was too drawn out...but a good book nonetheless.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Sloppy Joes and Sweet Potato Fries

This was a yummy combination:

Sloppy Joes
recipe from my Grandma W. 
  • 2 lbs ground beef or turkey
  • 1 onion chopped fine
  • 2 Tbsp flour
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 12 oz tomato juice
  • 1 Tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 Tbsp mustard
  • 2 Tbsp brown sugar
Brown beef and onion, drain grease. Add flour and stir thoroughly. Add remaining ingredients and simmer 1 hour, stirring frequently. ( After I added the flour to the beef, I just through it all in my slow cooker and let cook on low for about 3 hours).

Sweet Potato Fries
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes peeled
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 425.  Cut sweet potatoes in wedges or like french fries. Place wedges on large baking pan or cookie sheet. Pour over olive oil, and toss to mix. Now sprinkle over brown sugar, salt, and black pepper. Toss to coat wedges. Spread out in a single layer. Place pan in oven and bake for 15 minutes, then take out and turn wedges over. Place back in oven and bake another 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and crispy on the outside. Sprinke with extra kosher salt to taste. The cooking time will depend on how big the wedges are. Enjoy! Note: These are also good with a little ground cumin sprinkled with the other seasonings. Have fun and experiment!


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Some Real Thrills

Here are some of our favorite things that my kids and I have done during this year of blogging:

SpEGGtacular Eggs - different ways to dye eggs
April Fools Pranks - a LOVE a good, clean prank...especially on my kids
Rub-A-Dub-Dub Fun in the Tub - 4 activities to do in the bath
Hi Ho! Chocolate-Chippy-O - not your ordinary Hi Ho! Cherry-O game
Kool-Aid Play Dough - make your own play dough that smells good too
Fall Nature Hunt Bracelets- a fun Fall scavenger hunt that makes a fashion statement
Magic Mud - ooooey and goooey fun
Oobi Eyes Glove Puppets - fun puppets made from gloves and hair accessories
Kid Wash - my most popular post...make your own sprinkler to ride bikes through
Shaving Cream Finger Painting - finger painting that cleans your counter tops
Goin' On a Bear Hunt - fun activity to do with a classic song
City Construction - turn your floor into a busy highway and city

I hope these ideas help you have a thrilling time with your kids!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Word Up

Words have the power to make us laugh, cry, inspire, think, learn...the list is endless. Here are some of my favorite Wednesday's Words:
Springtime of Motherhood - tending to our gardens as mothers
Weaving - stitch by stitch we are weaving something beautiful
Dear Santa - a Mom's wish list
Indiana Grandma, Wicked Wanda, and Spooky Sam - my grandma's "spook"tacular Halloween party ideas
Your True Love Said To You...- 11 days of little gifts that go with a poem to give to your true love before an anniversary/birthday
My Own Kind of Best Mom - stop comparing yourself to others - be your own kind of best mom
Squeeze Every Minute of Life - live life to its fullest
Before I was a Mom... what motherhood has done to us
Whatever! - a great thing to say during life's crazy moments
Day Old Child - a poem about babies
Getting Delirious - enjoy playing with your kids

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Top Ten Tuesday's Triumphs

And the TOP TEN Tuesday's Triumphs are.....
10. Chore Charts Revamped...Again...Our chore chart system that has been working great!
9. Make Your Own Laundry Detergent - so easy, inexpensive, and works like a charm
8. Don't Hold Your Breath - after 3 months, Kaylee cleaned up
7. SUPER Costumes - make your own super capes
6. SUPER Nathan - potty trained at last!
5. A Sister For a Minute - Travis' extreme makeover
4. Hairy Haircuts - save $ by cutting your boy's hair
3. Code "Balloon" - help kids control their anger before they pop
2. Babies Don't Keep - relax, take time to hold your kids

And the #1 most viewed Tuesday's Triumph is.....
Entertainment Center to Play Kitchen - making something old...

into something new:

Monday, May 16, 2011

My Most Maddening Mondays

I have experienced a lot of maddening moments over the last year...here are some of the worst, grossest, and days that I didn't think that I could live through:

If You Give a Mom a Minute - my take on "If You Give a Pig a Pancake"
Spring "Break" Defined - Spring "Break" is no break!
A Mom's March Madness - Being a Mom is a lot like basketball
Why? - Nathan's catch all phrase
Twas Two Day's After Christmas - and all through our abode....
Waiting - to find out what was wrong with Aaron
If Mama Had Said There'd Be Days Like This - thanks for not telling me Mom!
Travis The Troll - talk about bad hair days!
Free Year Old Giveaway - my first giveaway with no takers
Big Bum - kids are too honest!
Nathan the Tornado - this one stinks!
It's Tomorrow - waiting to clean until tomorrow
Mommy's Tantrums - send me to me room...please!
Yellow Baby Poop Stains...BLAAAAH! - ick!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Inspirational Scriptures

Have a great Sabbath Day! Here are some of my favorite Sunday's Scriptures:

Honor Thy Mothers - a funny little "psalm" about motherhood
Calming The Storm - reach up, He will help you
Refocus on What Matters Most - refocus on priorities
Create Something of Beauty - improve the world within you
Gratitude Ratio - how often do we express our gratitude?
Hold on to the Children - teaching our children to hold on to the faith
Looking Through Dirty Windows - judging others
Temples and Homes - making our homes sacred like a temple
Teaching Kids to Fish - teaching our kids to be spiritually steadfast
All is Well! - lessons to learn from the Pioneers
Encircle Our Little Ones - my favorite scripture story applied to parenthood
Patience=Success - patience...what I need to work on
Pep Talk From President Hinckley - one of my favorite talks

Wow, that was a lot more than I had planned on...if you haven't read your scriptures today here you go!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Super Stories

Here are my favorite books that I have read throughout the year. So find a nice quiet place, pull up a comfy chair, grab one of these books, wrap up in a blanket, and have your favorite snacks close by, and enjoy a nice long break as you read....ok, maybe in a dream world...but if you have a minute, you should really read these books!

Can You Cuddle Like a Koala - my favorite children's books by John Butler
The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything - my favorite story that Aaron wrote
Fablehaven - my favorite read aloud that I read with my kids
Pioneer Heritage - my favorite story from my family history
The BFG - another fun read aloud...LOVE Ronald Dahl books!
Even in Australia - my favorite tweak that I wrote from a story
Grandpa's Stories - the stories that Grandpa told me as a little girl
The Hiding Place - my favorite story...very inspirational!!
Stephanie's Story - my favorite blog to read
Book of Mormon - my favorite book!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Friday's Favorites

Oh man, this was a hard one to narrow down! I love all the recipes that I have posted...I wouldn't post something that was gross! But here are some of my favorites over the last year:

Bunny Buns for a fun new Easter dinner tradition
April Fools Poo Cookies for a fun April Fools prank
Chicken Enchiladas...chuck full of chicken, beans, and rice...yum!
Barnyard Birthday Cake - one of the most viewed posts
Creamy Black Bean Salsa Chicken - one of my favorite slow cooker recipes from 365 Days of Slow Cooking
Strawberry Romain Salad - I love taking this to parties...it is a crowd pleaser
Stromboli - a baked sandwich...another crowd pleaser
Breakfast Daddy - the perfect breakfast in bed meal!
Sweet Pork Salad - have Cafe Rio anytime!
Peanut Butter Fingers - because I have to include a peanut butter recipe on PB & Joy...so good!

Here's a bonus idea if you have "s'more" Peeps from Easter...the only way to eat Peeps!:

S'more Peeps
  • Marshmallow Peeps
  • graham crackers
  • chocolate chips

Put Peep on 1/2 graham cracker and broil until brown on the outside and gooey on the inside. 

Load other half of graham cracker with chocolate chips and press together. 

Mmmm...instant s'mors without a fire and roasting sticks!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Happy Birthday PB & Joy!

Today is a birthday,
We wonder for who.
We know it's for someone (thing)
Who's right in this room.
So look all around you
And find someone who.....
Is on you computer screen!
My goodness it's you!

Happy Birthday to you,
Happy Birthday to you.
Happy Birthday to PB & Joy.
Happy Birthday to you!!!

One year ago I set out to write something everyday for a year, to try new recipes, to find new and easy activities to do with my kids, to research and solve problems, to increase my spirituality, to have an outlet for creativity, and most of all to be a better mom. I did it!...Well, writing everyday...not the better mom part...that's a life-long pursuit, but this has helped.
What is the future of PB & Joy? For the next week I am going to post my favorite/most popular posts. Then I will continue to write...when I have something to write about...which will NOT be every day! I will continue my career in motherhood and if I find things worth sharing, then I will share.
Thank you for reading PB & Joy. That is what kept me writing...knowing that someone was reading. Sorry for all of the spelling errors and disgusting posts :)

In honor of birthdays, here are a few of my favorite birthday parties that we have had for Kaylee (Aaron usually chooses to go somewhere as a family instead of a friend party):

Princess Party

All Royal Princess were invited, dressed in their party gowns. They played Don't Eat Peat! Which I printed off for each girl for a party favor at the end. They decorated their own cupcakes with lots of toppings, and had a great time!

Chef Party
 Made their own pizzas
 Decorated their chef hats
 And decorated their own cupcakes for dessert
At the end I gave each girl a basket with a cookie mix and little cooking utensils so that they could be a chef at home.

Valentine Party
Decorated Valentine cookies and made cute Valentine crafts.

HaPpY BiRtHdAy!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Oxygen First to the Parent

"It's interesting to listen to a flight attendant describe what to do in an emergency on an airplane. They say that if the oxygen masks come down, "If you are traveling with a child, put on your mask first, and then help your child with theirs." Keep this in mind: oxygen first to the parent! A very important concept.
It is incredibly hard to help our children with their emotional development when we are drained dry ourselves. If the mother is dragging around like a beaten-up doormat, how can we expect the children to be emotionally healthy?
Look to your own emotional health--and look carefully. The most powerful lessons you teach your children are the ones you teach by example with your own life. Are you teaching them to take care of their health and get enough sleep? Or are you lurching through life sleep-deprived, overweight, and under-exercised? Do you teach them to take regular time off for fun and recreation? or do you keep working, working, working, and grinding yourself to a pulp?
Remember, oxygen first to the parent!
If you respect yourself, they will be more likely to respect you as well. And if they respect you, they'll respect themselves because they have seen how to do it! That circular lesson sets the foundation for so much more. Don't deprive them of learning it." - Merrilee Boyack, The Parenting Breakthrough

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Soccer Mom

I have a confession: I do not enjoy taxiing my kids around to their sports practices and games. I do not enjoy spending one extra minute in my Mom-Mobile...yes, I have the traditional white Dodge Grand Caravan. I don't like fitting the "soccer mom" stereotype...that is until Aaron's last soccer game.
He scored a goal!!!
It was so exciting. It was the first goal that any of my kids have ever scored in a game. I was so proud and Aaron was beaming.

So I have come to terms with the stereotypical mini-van and I will even embrace the title of "Soccer Mom" for the small payment of occasional goals. It makes it all worth it!

Monday, May 9, 2011

If You Give a Mom a Minute

I can relate to the children's book If You Give a Pig a Pancake:

If You Give a Mom a Minute
If you give a mom a minute, she will realize that she needs to go to the bathroom.
She will sneak into the bathroom when the kids aren't watching to avoid them following her. When she is there, she will see that the last person to use the bathroom didn't leave her any toilet paper.
She will go downstairs to get some toilet paper.
As she passes the laundry room, it will remind her that she needs to put the clothes that have been sitting in the washer for hours in the dryer before they start to stink.
She will also start to sort clothes for the next batch because the pile of laundry just does not seem to be getting any smaller.
As she sorts the clothes, she will find a crayon in one of Nathan's pockets.
Seeing the crayon will remind her that Nathan has been especially quite for the last few minutes...and we all know what that means...Trouble!
She will go upstairs to find Nathan standing on a stool, pulling a box of cereal out of the pantry.
She makes it just in time to catch Nathan as he, the stool, and the full box of cereal plummet to the floor...but she was not quick enough to grab the cereal before it spilled all over the floor.
The loud crash will wake up Travis from his nap.
As the mom goes to get the baby, Nathan steps in the cereal and loves the crunching sound it makes. This only encourages him to pound on every little piece...grinding it into the floor.
Seeing the messy floor will remind her that it hasn't been vacuumed in weeks.
As she goes downstairs to get the vacuum, she sees Travis tight on her heels, heading for the stairs.
With super-human speed, the mom dashes to catch Travis before he falls down the stairs head-first.
And chances are...
If a mom of 4 suddenly sprints with a full bladder she will be reminded that she still needs to pee!
But if she wants to go to the bathroom...she will need some toilet paper to go with it!

Written by Me...when I had a minute

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Honor Thy Mothers

Exodus 20:12 - Honor thy father and thy mother: that thy days may be long upon the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.

 I hope all of you feel honored and loved today. I feel so honored to be a mother to these four kids. They may be whiny, and sometimes they make me worry, and a lot of times I get frustrated with them, and they are jam packed with personality and craziness that makes me frazzled...but I am honored to be their mom! They bring me the greatest happiness and joy I have ever known.

On the lighter side...enjoy this "Mother's Day Psalm" and Happy Mother's Day!!

Blessed art thou woman
For thou shalt be called mother
Yea, and thy chores and thy tasks
Shall follow thee all the days of thy life.

And thou shalt eat the bread of thine own baking
And thou shalt dwell forever in a dirty house
If thou doest not choose to clean it thyself

Thou shalt arise before the cock croweth,
And thou shalt say unto thineself
"Where are the offspring which were given me?"
"Yea, the sun has risen high in the sky,
And the hour is getting late;
Wherefore, I have been long at my labors."

And thou shalt say unto them, "Haste, arise and shine,
For I have many labors for thee to perform,
Wherefore, I have been many hours already preparing for the day."

And thine offspring shall linger in sleep
And shall say unto thee, "Thou didst not watch
The late, late, late show, as I did last night.
And mine eyes are heavy and mine bones acheth."

And thou shalt say unto thy offspring, "Get thee up from the cot
Ere I lay a hand on thee and go ye hither and scrub a sparkling tub
For thou hast left black rings upon its sides."

And thy offspring shall say unto thee, "I will go and do thy bidding --- in a minute."
And thy rage shall know no end, and thou shalt weep and wail
And gnash thy teeth mightily, nevertheless, thou shalt scrub
A sparkling tub thyself.  And glory shall be added unto thee
For thou didst not strike the lazy beast.

Thou are blessed about all others, and thy descendants shall
call thee blessed.  For thou preparest a table before them.
Thou cookest meat and all manner of tasty vittles,
And they shall sit at thy table with thee and partake with thee.

And they shall add glory to thy crown, for they shall let thee also
Wash the dishes, if thou wilt.  And when night falleth, thou shalt be POOPED!
And thy offspring shall say of thee, "She is an old woman, wherefore she
neither goes dancing, nor does she watch the late, late, late show."

Thy back shall acheth with arthritis, thy cane and thy husband shall be thy support.
Thy veins shall be varicose, on thy aching legs.
But thou shalt do thy labors with a smile, neither shalt thou gripe,
For in the day that thou doest, thy name shall be MUD.

Nevertheless, thou art blessed, for thou art crowned with the angels
On the second Sunday of each and every May.

Wherefore thou shalt be blessed about all others, for thou art Mother,
And thou shalt find peace and joy in thy offspring forever and ever,
If thou endureth to the end.
--Edna Everton Maurer

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lemon Tart

Lemon Tart by Josi Kilpack was a fun and easy culinary mystery. It combines two of my favorite things - a good read, and good recipes. It is the story of 56 year old Sadie who loves to cook and loves to keep busy. As she is busy making applesauce, she soon becomes entangled in solving her neighbor's (Anne's) mysterious murder that started with a lemon tart left in her oven.
This was a great book with a totally unexpected ending. I even bought the ingredients to make the lemon tart recipe. Hopefully mine does not turn out as disastrous as Anne's :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

You Made That in a Crock Pot?

Sorry for all of the slow cooker recipes lately...but I love them. They just fit my lifestyle and make cooking so much easier. I have two more today. These were surprising...I never imagined that I could make these things in a slow cooker but they turned out great! These come from my favorite slow cooker resource...none other than 365 Days of Slow Cooking.

Here are two great recipes...one on the no guilt, healthy side and the other on the little indulgent, sweet side.

Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Makes 4 servings

  • 1 cup steel-cut oats (these are a lot different from regular oatmeal. They have a more nutty taste and chewy texture. I found them in the bulk food bins at the grocery store.)
  • 1 Tbsp butter
  • 4 cups water
  • 1/2 cup raisins
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • Sliced apple
Melt butter in skillet over medium heat.  Add steel-cut oats and stir for about 2 mintues.  Transfer to the slow cooker.  Add in the water, raisins (I just topped my cooked oatmeal with Craisins...I'm not a big fan of raisins) , brown sugar, cinnamon and salt.  Cover and cook on LOW for 4-6 hours or on HIGH for 2-3 hours.  Serve with milk and sliced apple on the top. 

I doubled this recipe thinking that 1 cup of oats didn't sound like a lot....mistake! It made a TON. When I make it again, I will stick with the recipe...unless I am cooking for an army.

Slow Cooker Peach Crisp
Serves 4-5
  • 3 large fresh peaches, peeled and sliced (if fresh aren't in season, use frozen not canned...I used a 2 cup bag of sliced peaches and just put them in frozen)
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • 1/3 cup quick oats
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup butter
Place sliced peaches in bottom of a greased 3 quart slow cooker.  In a medium bowl combine the flour, oatmeal, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg.  Cut the butter in with a pastry blender or a fork.  Mixture should be crumbly.  Sprinkle over the peaches.  Cover the slow cooker with a paper towel.  Then put the lid over the paper towel and seal the crockpot.  Cook on HIGH for 2 hours.  Serve with vanilla ice cream.  

No more dutch oven peach crisp for me...this was so easy and SO GOOD! My kids couldn't get enough...they were licking their plates clean (ok, and so was I).

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Losing My Marbles

I have started something that has grown out of control. It occupies Nathan's every thought. He wants to do this ALL THE TIME but he can only play while Travis is sleeping so that he doesn't choke on the marbles...good enough reason right? Not for Nathan. It is a huge ordeal when it is time to put the marbles away. Why oh why did I start this? I keep hoping that he will forget about them...out of sight, out of mind. Not for Nathan. He even wants to sleep with his marbles. I'm about to loose my marbles with this "thrilling" activity!

So here it is...don't get too excited. It is not much but it is everything to Nathan. We made up a game together called Marble Jail. Here's how to play:
  • Each person selects 1 Police Marble
  • Spread the rest of the marbles out on the floor - these are the Bad Guys
  • Make a line about 3 feet away from the marbles
  • Sit behind that line and each person takes turns rolling his/her Police Marble at the Bad Guys
  • Whatever Bad Guys the Police Marble hits during its roll get captured and put in jail (a pile at the side of each player...or if you are Nathan...inside your slipper)
  • Keep playing until all of the Bad Guys are gone
  • The player with the most captured Bad Guys wins

 I must admit that I really had fun playing this with Nathan...for the first 50 times. It is now getting a little old. You have been forewarned. Don't blame me if you start something that you can't stop and causes you to loose your marbles as well!

Another version that we made up was Break Through the Fence:
  • Divide marbles in half between 2 players
  • Each player puts his/her marbles in a line (fence) about 3-4 feet apart from the other players' fence
  • Take turns rolling one marble at the other player's fence
  • If your marble touches any of your opponent's marbles you take them away from his fence
  • The first person to get all of the other player's fence wins