Friday, August 24, 2007

New game for the littles...

Now they play "evacuation." I do realize that is how kiddos process events. It's cute and sad at the same time. Brennen, of course, plays the fireman who "shoots" out the fire.

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Guess what we got to do again?!?!

Once again... two days shy of last year's events, it happened again. Fire. Big, scary, fast-moving fire!

Sunday afternoon, I had just returned from town. I was going to show Jason how the whipping wind was making the coal dust from the energy plant look like smoke. When we looked out the window, we saw real smoke. Lots of it. Soon we could see flames. We prayed with the kids. We started packing the stuff we'd like to save. We prayed some more. I sat down to nurse Cael and looked out the window to see lots and lots of smoke blowing towards us. It was so dark! And then... thru the smoke... I see flames. Much closer and moving our way. The power went out and we knew we needed to leave immediately! We grabbed the kids and we were gone! No time for photos. No time to pack more.

My dear friend, Amber, and her family allowed Kjersten & Brennen to stay with them. It was such a relief not to worry about keeping them entertained. Rhys, Cael, Jason and I stayed with my in-laws at Jason's grandparent's house. We just waited and prayed. It sounds a bit petty (you'd be amazed what you worry about...) but I was really concerned about my OAMC meals in the freezer. See my post below. With no power, I kept thinking "I'm gonna lose all those meals and all the frozen milk for baby... Whaaaaaaaaaa..."

We were allowed to return Tuesday afternoon. Our home is fine. Our view is so sad. Two homes lost and a number of outbuildings. No lives lost. We are so grateful!
The plane is dropping slurry. Our house is the one on the right.

Our new view. The (not nearly wide-enough for comfort) valley between our home and these is where the fire was stopped. It did not come up our side, thanks to the efforts of the fire crews. One crew even brought in all of our flammable belongings off our deck. The less fuel for fire outside the house, the better. (We'll remember this in the future!)


I love Once-a-Month-Cooking! I don't actually do it once a month and I don't use my meals many nights in a row. Instead, I cook once every three months or so. When I do my weekly meal planning, I just plan an OAMC meal for one of those nights each week.

When school starts this fall, I'll be using those OAMC meals on co-op nights. So... with the school year looming, I got together with Tawnya and Amber and we cooked! I have 20 meals now and 4 batches of cookie dough (all balled and ready to go into the oven). It's a great feeling!

I made:
  • roast x 2
  • manicotti x 4
  • oriental chicken x 2
  • cheesy chicken x 4
  • chicken pot pie x 2
  • meatloaf x 4
  • tomato sauce x 2
  • oatmeal M & M cookies x 2
  • chocolate chip cookies x 2
Kjersten stayed home to help us! Here she is with Tawnya.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

I already dislike zoology...

I do not like any bugs. None. Unfortunately for the mama, we are doing Zoology this year. Bugs, bats, & birds to be precise. I have already decided to rebel and NOT do a bug collection. I like dead bugs slightly better than live ones.
Here, Jamie and Kjersten created a habitat for a pretty (according to Lou) beetle. As long as it stays contained, I can handle it for a day or two. This does not translate to keeping an assortment of dead bugs under glass for my viewing pleasure. The beetle in the jar is my compromise. End of discussion!
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The littles...

My friend, Jamie, comes to visit each time I have a baby. Each time, she takes photos of the new baby and the other littles. This time, I lobbied for some close up black & whites. Of course, I'm a bit biased, but they are some beautiful kiddos!!! We love the pictures! Thanks Jamie!

Sunday, August 5, 2007

The verdict is...

Wow!!! We loved it! I fed the kiddos canned ravioli as I just knew that they would not appreciate the meal as much as they should! The steak was awesome. The onions in the potatoes were delicious all by themselves. I could have eaten a bowl of them alone! Here's a less than appetizing photo. It's mainly just to prove I did it and, in no way, is indicative of the actual taste!Note the lack of a real vegetable. I cannot cook a new and fairly involved recipe and add in peripherals at the same time. So, no salad this time...

By the way, making dessert after this spectacular display was too much to ask. Hence, Betty Crocker brownies (with peanut butter chips mixed in) are baking as I type. Jason is giddy! Like I said below, I cannot top this... I think I should abandon cooking and return to canned chili and tacos.

And now... the coup de grace...

I think I shall be done cooking after tonite. I may have really outdone myself!!! I am making...

Pepper-Crusted Filet Mignon and Potatoes Lyonnaise

My hubby is beside himself with joy! And I have learned a fair amount.
  1. Don't cut up your own filet mignon. Yes, this is budgeted into my Dave Ramsey cash-only budgeted grocery money. However, in an attempt to shave $3 off per lb. I bought a chunk of filet. Ummm... it's a pain to cut off the fat and silver skin. And now, I have what looks like significantly less meat! Argh!
  2. Don't taste the pepper straight. Duh.
  3. Teaching a child to peel potatoes is harder than one would think. We're going to work on that!

I'll post a review of both recipes later tonite. In the meantime, go look up these recipes along with the Chicken Parmesan below. So yummy! (Oh, and a friend pointed out that you have to join "America's Test Kitchen" to access the recipes. It's free and so worth it!!! Trust me!)

Freezer Blog Challenge

An Internet-loopie friend has posted a challenge. Read about it here.
I have an OAMC day planned with Tawnya and Amber on August 18th. In preparation for that, I plan on taking inventory on both freezers, using up what we can, throwing out anything nasty, and organizing what's left. Then, after we cook for a day or two, fill it back up! I don't want to cook on co-op days and those days are coming up soon!

Here are some "before" pictures. Hopefully, the "afters" will be noticeably improved!
This is the door of the deep freeze...
This is the deep freeze...
This is the freezer attached to the fridge...

Friday, August 3, 2007

I am getting the "Feeding" part down...

As you can see to your right, I am reading "The Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands." No, it's not literally about "feeding" husbands, but in my case, it is! Jason really loves food. He's not picky and eats almost anything, but loves when I cook. I don't cook often enough so I am working to remedy that. Hence, the cake.

Last night, I made dinner for the in-laws. Pork roast, scalloped potatoes, rolls, coleslaw, and warm apple crisp & ice cream for dessert. Whew!

Well, tonite I did one better! Chicken Parmesan with Simple Tomato Sauce Oh my goodness! It was so good! All the kiddos loved it. I don't usually care for tomato sauce, but this was great! I made spaghetti to go along with the chicken and that thrilled the pasta lovers in my house (Jason and Rhys). It was just perfect all the way around. I'll make that tomato sauce again. I might even make that the standard for pasta sauce around here. I might even eat spaghetti once in a while. (Most of you know, I don't like pasta...)

What am I going to do to top this? Ack!


I just love this photo. She actually jumped in the way of grandma taking Taylor's picture. Stinker!


Brennen was to be washing off his feet so I could apply a band-aid to an owie. Hmmm... I know better. Playing in the bubbles and wet to his chin. Dry PJs and and a band-aid and he's good as new.
More sitting.
And his favorite position (since birth)... standing!!!!

Kjersten is home again...

Kjersten went with Grandma and her cousin Taylor to visit her great-great Grandma Ragna in Minnesota. Then they traveled West to see Auntie Heidi. She was gone for 8 days and we all missed her. Rhys even said, "Is Kjersten coming home today?"... "Good! I can hardly remember what she looks like!"

Here is great-great Grandma Ragna. She's 99 and still lives alone in her farm house. I swear she hasn't changed a bit in the 17 years I've known her!

"Did you find a prince in disguise?"

Yes... Kjersten is painting her nails in Grandma's BRAND NEW (one day old) car!!! Only grandma would allow that!

At the water park near Auntie Heidi's...

Kjersten and Taylor in their new outfits~ thanks grandma!

I feel much safer now!

We now have a black belt (Jr.) in the house. Rhys and Addison tested for their black belts this morning. He passed! Now, he moves into a more difficult class (unbelievably at a less convenient time for me) and will really have to work hard now.

We are so proud of him!!!!

He weighs how much?!?

Took Ole in today. Thought he might have an ear infection. He's not been his usual cheerful self for the last two days. Well, he's fine. But since we were there, the nurse and I decided to weigh him. Ummmm... 9 days ago he weighed 16 lbs. 4 oz. Seems he's been busy. He now weighs ...
17 lbs. 6 oz.
(Yikes! That's a pound and two ounces! I guess that's only 2 ounces a day, which doesn't sound so bad!)

Poopy Pants!

My friend, Cynde, gave Cael this cute little outfit when he was born. He's worn it four times. Each time he wears it- he poops out the back! And he rarely does that otherwise! I was explaining this to Wendy as I was chatting with her on the phone while dressing him the other day. I was getting ready for book group and thought it would be nice if Cynde actually saw him in the outfit. Should have known...

No. He didn't poop out the back. He just pooped. As soon as I got the outfit on him. I change him (still talking to Wendy on the phone) commenting on how "I dodged that bullet. He didn't get a chance to poo out the back." Ha ha! Yeah, my bright little 2 month old taught me a lesson. I went to button him back up and there was poop on the outside of the clean diaper. Yuk!!! And on his leg... Yuk! And the culprit? Yup... the socks! He'd stuck one foot in the dirty diaper and transferred poop everywhere. Argh!

Yes, I kept the outfit. No, he's not wearing it again!!!