Friday, December 23, 2011

Something's going down in the stable...

Cael says someone's called a meeting in the stable. Everyone's attendance was required- animals included. You can see that even the angel (far right) came down from her perch for this gathering. Must be BIG!

Not everything should be a Jell-O flavor!

On Wednesdays, all the kiddos hang out at AWANA. This means I get to do fun things with my friends. Sometimes we go get iced tea and chat. Other times, we peruse the aisles at Target. Sometimes, we're desperate (the cupboards are empty) and we're forced to grocery shop! But doing the marketing with friends is always more fun. The company is great and we find all sorts of interesting things!

A few weeks ago, Stacy and I discovered this treasure. Candy Cane Jell-O. I do love peppermint. My kiddos do love "candy cans" and we all enjoy pudding so... I took some time to debate the hot pink box and the $.96 price tag. Obviously, I caved to peer pressure. We both agreed to give it a whirl with the younger set, despite the fact that it goes against all that is good & holy in my food-issue-riddled-mind!

I told you the box is hot pink! You'd think that would serve as a deterrent. Nope.

The pudding mixed up a lovely shade of pale pink. I was worried, given the illustration on the box! It was thick and pretty. Alas, no one liked it but Lou and even she only ate a bit. Should have listened to "mommy radar" on this one...

Boys should be pickier.

Rhys wasn't keen on the after dinner mints at the Mexican restaurant up the road. Instead, he opted to spend his own quarter on a handful of pistachios from the vending machine. Ummmm.... duh. Well, he was tickled to find a worm in one of the nuts. Well, after finding another worm in the next nut and then the next and then the next... he finally decided he may have wasted his hard earned $.25. Being 14 years old, he did eat several of the pistachios, and no they weren't the first few before he found the worms... They were the ones he cracked and didn't see a noticeable worm. Gee, some things should bother boys.

(For the record: we did go back and tell the restaurant and tell them about their petting zoo in the making. They didn't care. I feel for the poor unsuspecting folks who get a more than they bargained for with their handful of peanut M&Ms next time... Blech!)

Monday, December 19, 2011

Date night...

Well, it wasn't really a date. And it wasn't really night. I went to a movie yesterday afternoon with Jason & Rhys. Somehow, the three younger ones went home from church with grandma and grandpa (whoo hoo!) and we were left with some unexpected free time! I've had some gift certificates for the local theater waiting for a happenstance such as this...

A quick search with my not-so-smart phone revealed an afternoon showing of Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows. Off we went: the fourteen year old, the mama and the dad.

(Side note: have you been to a movie lately?! I love previews. I make a concerted effort to be there early as not to miss those previews. I should say used to... Yesterday, we were treated to 30 minutes of advertisements with a few previews mixed in. Actual television commercials. Lots of them. Ugh!)

The movie itself was great. All three of us enjoyed it. It was an odd experience to sit, wedged between these two kindred spirits. It's a bit disconcerting to sit between Jason and his younger self. I watched my eldest child laugh at humor that would have so readily gone over his head so recently.  He followed the plot with its many twists and turns. In short, sitting there he resembled an (gasp!) adult. It was unnerving, but delightful at the same time. I think we may have to do that again soon! 

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Almost homemade bread...

I should have a really good excuse for not blogging for 8 months. I don't. I should "catch up" all the posts. I'm not going to... I'm am just starting where I am. It's all I can handle these days. Frankly, it might be more than I can stand. Stay tuned...

Last night, I made BBQ ribs in trusty crock-pot. As dinner time neared, I realized we needed bread. I'm not a Minnesota native, but having married into a Midwestern family, I have been taught- dinner needs bread. And truly... ribs deserve bread.

A quick survey of the kitchen and a quicker rundown of my baking skills revealed few options for quick bread. However, I did discover two tubes of Simply Pillsbury Rustic French bread in the fridge. I use those for stromboli, which is a favorite throw together meal around here!

Well, I popped those cans, plopped those bad boys on the cookie sheet and hoped that we'd have bread in 23-28 minutes...

Success!!! You wouldn't mistake it for homemade. Then again, you wouldn't have the mess to clue you in that someone made homemade bread either... The kids loved it and having warm bread on the table to sop up BBQ sauce from the ribs was awesome. What's sad is that my kiddos thought it was the "best meal ever..." Really?

Sunday, February 20, 2011

A mere four days ago...

Seriously... flip flops and short sleeves. Now we have many inches of snow and is hovering at zero! Wrong direction, weather man!

Sunday afternoons...

Home from church early on a cold winter day means.... books & breakfast!

Rhys: happily reading a library book instead of finishing his literature homework.

Lou reading to George, although George would claim it's the other way around!

Cael working hard on his umpteenth waffle! (Is it awful that I mix my raw milk with Bisquick to make waffles?!)

Lou & I had to go pick up an Azure delivery. This is at 3pm. Brrrrrr.... It's a good thing we had 60's earlier this week or I'd be hard pressed to believe that spring really is on the way!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bountiful Baskets

Finally... a great deal on produce! Don't get me wrong, I love Costco for my fruits & veggies when the farmer's market is on hiatus, but... $15 buys a box of grapes and a tub of spinach. That's all. Not a lot of variety for those few dollars...

Introducing, Bountiful Baskets. For a $15 contribution to this co-op, you get a lovely basket of fruits & veggies. Here, it's every other week, but seeing as we have three locations already, perhaps they'll be enough interest to move to weekly!

Today's basket included: Jerusalem artichokes, strawberries, spinach, carrots, squash, cabbage, cantaloupe, bananas, sweet potatoes, mangoes, apples, and little bitty pears!

I'll be honest: before this morning, I'd never heard of Jerusalem artichokes (also called 'sunchokes'). A quick google search shows me that they are similar to parsnips and can be used in place of potatoes.

The goal for us it to use all of these groceries... the ones we love as well as the "unheard" of variety!

For $6.50 (my half of the 20 lbs. citrus box), this is what we found inside! Pummeloes, oranges, minneolas, lemons & limes. I think this will prove very popular here!

Cael was most entertained with the citrus. A full 1/2 hour was spent playing with his "lunch"!

$10 for 5 loaves of tasty bread! We also ordered tortillas and, man, are they dense! I'll bet those go over well with my boys!

Friday, February 18, 2011

Science is so much fun!

Our personal planetarium. Isn't that just cool? The kids drew constellations on the underside of a dollar store umbrella.

Measuring craters made by dropping small household objects into a pile of flour. What great fun!

George and his homemade 3D glasses. Stylin....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Fun in the (fake) sun...

My youngest nephew had the audacity to turn two, despite his mother's insistence that he stay a baby... She caved and threw him a lovely party at the water-park.

Cael spent his time in the wave pool- spinning. I have video but blogger won't cooperate...

George launching out of the big-kid slide!

Lou crossing the floating lily pads.

Lou & cousin, Maddi, having a bribe, er... treat for getting out of the water and dressed!

Welcome to double digits, Lou Lou!

Emma, Anna, Lou, & Hannelora helped her celebrate with a "girl's night!" Kjersten requested pizza, a movie, Wii playing and, most importantly, NO BOYS!

The girls had to check out the snow- in their pajamas!

With no boys at home, they were free to take over the living room. I went to bed at 10pm and never heard a thing. Of course, the earplugs might have helped!

(Rhys took refuge at Evan's house and Jason took the little boys to grandma & grandpa's where they all had a sleep over of their own!)