Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yup, I am definately in the runnings for mommy of the year for this one...

a short time after I stopped working full-time I came across (with the help of an amazing friend) the Tightwad Gazette.
Now, many of you may or may not have heard of Amy Dacyczyn (A.K.A. the Frugal Zealot)but she is a super star in the world of living cheaply.

Anywho, I had a few leftovers today and I thought of her universal casserole recipe, so I took the thick volume off the shelf and looked up the page. Here is what I found.

1 cup main ingredient
1 cup second ingredient
1-2 cups starchy ingredient
1 1/2 cups binder
1/4 cup "goodie"

Main ingredient suggestions; tuna, cubed chicken, turkey, ham, seafood.

Second ingredient suggestions; thinly sliced celery, mushrooms, peas, chopped hard-cooked eggs.

Starchy ingredient suggestions; thinly sliced potatoes, cooked noodles, cooked rice.

Binder suggestions; cream sauce, sour cream, can of soup.

Goodie suggestions; pimiento, olives, almonds, water chestnuts.

Topping suggestions; potato chips, cheese, bread crumbs.

Thoroughly mix your combinations of the above ingredients. If it seems dry, add 1/2 cup milk or stock. Place in buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30-45 minutes.

So I used a cup of baked chicken and two slices of ham, onions, garden tomatoes and a can of peas, my homemade cream of soup recipe (thanks again clm), some cooked macaroni noodles and cubed cheddar cheese. I topped it with a few of the crumbles left in the bottom of the chip bag. I seasoned with my Tastefully Simple seasoning salt, so much for being frugal?!?! Of course it was twice as much as I needed so I had to add a little milk and I baked for 35 minutes at 350. The result was a fresh, light dish that the kids gobbled up. Well, the 3 year old picked out the tomatoes and the 5 year old picked out the onions, but otherwise they gobbled. I served it with apple slices.

Then for dessert (which you have to have on Sunday). Homemade chocolate cake with cocoa-mocha frosting. Mommy of the year, I am telling you...

Saturday, July 28, 2007

the week in review...

There goes another week of heat, humidity, and crunching, dry, dead, grass under my feet. The other day I was walking the kids home from swimming lessons and listening to the crunch...crunch of the grass all the while dreaming of cool, fall days. I could almost feel the breeze on my cheeks and see the colored leaves falling from the trees. A big wet drop of sweat dripping down my brow brought me back to reality and I remembered this is still July (the hottest July I can remember) and I am still pregnant and I don't exercise like I should so walking home from swimming lessons easily takes my breath away, in the most literal sense.
My sister and her crew came this week and we had a blast. We did the thrift store thing and got a ton of great deals. We took the kids to the lake and everyone but me went tubing and boating. It was exhausting, but worth it.
The kids finished swimming lessons today. I was so proud of my little fish, I mean five year old. My three year old has some things to learn about the water, but he enjoyed himself.
It was my brother's birthday today, too. I got him the coolest UPS uniform at a thrift store and I think he loved it as much as I thought he would. So we spent the morning watching the parade in his little village and I got a few ideas for the parade that my village is hosting in less than a month. The kids got a baggie full of candy and spent an hour or so with their cousins so they were happy, too. My brother reminds me of my dad. He looks so much like him and his mannerisms are similar, too. It's sorta freaky. I often wonder what daddy would think of his 9 going on 11 grand kids if he were here today.
It is Saturday night, I went to church, the kids are bathed and daddy should be home from work any minute now.
We have a busy week planned with District baseball games(the Muckdogs are looking good:) keep tabs on the tourney at, doing some vacation planning, and doctor appointments. Happy end of July everyone.

yet another dose of three year old wisdom...

I was getting dressed this morning when my three year old son comes into my room.

Looking into my mirror I stated, "Mommy has a big baby belly, huh?"

Without missing a beat, ds shot back, "and a big baby butt, too, mommy."

Yet to be named event planned for August are some details...

Some Events for the day INCLUDE

Potato Digging Contest 8:00 a.m.
Lawn Mower Poker Run 9:00 a.m.
Parade 10:00 a.m.
Motorcycle Poker Run register 8-10 a.m. run starts after parade
Potato Salad Contest 11:00 a.m.
Pot Luck Noon Meal 11:30 a.m.
Bean Bag Tournament register 11:00 a.m. tourney start 12:00 noon
Tator Tot (kids) Games 1-4:00 p.m.
plus Inflatables, Greased Watermelon Race, Bingo, and Dunk Tank for the older kids
Cow Pie Bingo 3-6:00 p.m.
Kick Ball Tournament starts at 4:00 p.m.
Potato Bar Supper 6:00 p.m. includes Music by the Dakota Gaels
Live Music by: NEO Johnson 8p-12a

Booths Welcome!


Parade Entrants

For the currently unnamed first annual community event held on

10:00 a.m.

Do you have a unique vehicle?
A business you would like to advertise?
An interesting talent (like potato juggling)?
Can you prove you are a creative couch potato?


Call Rani or Janel by August 20th to register!

Wanna name the event? The name should embrace our Irish community culture,have something to do with potatoes and include how the whole town is celebrating together. Leave me a comment and I will forward your name and suggested event title to the person in charge of the name the event contest...happy creative thinking!

STOLEN, with permission...Read this, it could save your life!

Stolen from toddler planet website

We hear a lot about breast cancer these days. One in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in their lifetimes, and there are millions living with it in the U.S. today alone. But did you know that there is more than one type of breast cancer?

I didn’t. I thought that breast cancer was all the same. I figured that if I did my monthly breast self-exams, and found no lump, I’d be fine.

Oops. It turns out that you don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer. Six weeks ago, I went to my OB/GYN because my breast felt funny. It was red, hot, inflamed, and the skin looked…funny. But there was no lump, so I wasn’t worried. I should have been. After a round of antibiotics didn’t clear up the inflammation, my doctor sent me to a breast specialist and did a skin punch biopsy. That test showed that I have inflammatory breast cancer, a very aggressive cancer that can be deadly.

Inflammatory breast cancer is often misdiagnosed as mastitis because many doctors have never seen it before and consider it rare. “Rare” or not, there are over 100,000 women in the U.S. with this cancer right now; only half will survive five years. Please call your OB/GYN if you experience several of the following symptoms in your breast, or any unusual changes: redness, rapid increase in size of one breast, persistent itching of breast or nipple, thickening of breast tissue, stabbing pain, soreness, swelling under the arm, dimpling or ridging (for example, when you take your bra off, the bra marks stay – for a while), flattening or retracting of the nipple, or a texture that looks or feels like an orange (called peau d’orange). Ask if your GYN is familiar with inflammatory breast cancer, and tell her that you’re concerned and want to come in to rule it out.

There is more than one kind of breast cancer. Inflammatory breast cancer is the most aggressive form of breast cancer out there, and early detection is critical. It’s not usually detected by mammogram. It does not usually present with a lump. It may be overlooked with all of the changes that our breasts undergo during the years when we’re pregnant and/or nursing our little ones. It’s important not to miss this one.

Inflammatory breast cancer is detected by women and their doctors who notice a change in one of their breasts. If you notice a change, call your doctor today. Tell her about it. Tell her that you have a friend with this disease, and it’s trying to kill her. Now you know what I wish I had known before six weeks ago.

You don’t have to have a lump to have breast cancer.

toddler planet website

P.S. Feel free to steal this post too. I’d be happy for anyone in the blogosphere to take it and put it on their site, no questions asked. Dress it up, dress it down, let it run around the place barefoot. I don’t care. But I want the word to get out. I don’t want another young mom — or old man — or anyone in between — to have to stare at this thing on their chest and wonder, is it mastitis? Is it a rash? Am I overreacting? This cancer moves FAST, and early detection and treatment is critical for survival.

Thank you.

Friday, July 20, 2007

gotta lotta squash?

Thanks to a great friend I found this site with extremely simple instructions (including pictures)!

How to Freeze Summer Squash (Zucchini, Yellow Squash, Crookneck, Pattypan, Straightneck, White Scallop, etc.)

If you like frozen squash in the winter, just imagine how good it would taste if you had picked a firm, fresh squashs yourself and then quickly froze them at home! It is also one of the simplest ways to put up a vegetable for the winter. Here's how to do it, complete instructions in easy steps and completely illustrated. The squash will taste MUCH better than anything you've ever had from a store.

Good Luck!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Wednesday Wisdom

  • no matter how much you want to clean out the freezer and use up that tiny bit of spinach don't put it in the chicken pot pie, your kids will call it seaweed, and won't TOUCH it with a 10 foot pole.
  • as good as it feels NOT to have to hop over to the bathroom closet with your shorts around your ankles don't leave the extra rolls of t.p. out near the toilet, the kids will start a new roll each time and you will find 2-3 half used rolls on the floor in the bathroom (how much are they using anyway, I think we go through a roll a day...note to self; discuss toilet paper use at supper tonight)
  • even if you are in a super duper hurry to complete the laundry don't take a QUICK look at your hubby's uniform and toss it into the dryer without thoroughly inspecting it for grass stains in the most unusual places (I know this is why the Lord gave us the knowledge to create the Clorox Bleach Pen)
  • it may be nice to be able to turn the radio UP and do a load of laundry but don't be glad to finally get your sleeping hubby out of the house only to learn he use the expensive bug spray on the lawn on the only evening it is supposed to rain (in his defense he has been working nights and completely oblivious to the weather for the last few days)
  • if you have a puppy; always, ALWAYS cage your watermelons (see next post for more information)

Why are my watermelons caged?

We had a beauty of a watermelon growing; it was a bit bigger than a softball and she was perfectly round. With my 10+ years of 4-H experience in Horticulture Judging (I even once won a trip to Denver)I had little doubt this almost perfect specimen would be a purple ribbon winner.

Today the watermelon wrangler got her mug around the 'looks too much like a ball so I gotta have it' fruit and watery stools are in her future.

So, we caged the other two tiny bulbs of melons and we'll see if we can get one...

Monday, July 16, 2007

Don't miss these back to school shoes for $6.89 and free shipping! HURRY limited sizes!

Choose the item and add to cart for $11.89 - $5 Off at Checkout = $6.89 + Free Shipping

for BOYS
Disney Cars Boys' Lightning Checkered Flag Sneaker
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Disney Cars Boys' Lightning & Mater Double Strap Sneaker
Disney Cars Boys' Lightning H&L Skate Sneaker
Disney Cars Boys' Lightning & Mater Chex Skate Sneaker

and for GIRLS
Little Laundry Toddler Girls' Fairy Mary Jane in pink, white or purple Kids' Shoes

Saturday, July 07, 2007

a makeover for mommy

Dd decided to try and make mommy 'feel better' by doing my nails and my face.When she was done she confidently said, "You are pretty enough to go to church, mommy!"

Ultrasound is not so ultra; another battle for my brain.

Doc says the picture of the baby was not conclusive enough to rule out some important things so we do a redo next time at my August visit. I had her feel the tiny knot in my abdomen and she says normally she would recommend a biopsy, but since I will be scheduled for a PET in November, we can wait. My weight is down to less than what I was at the first baby visit, she is slightly concerned. I am not. I have not really been feeling all that well. I am extremely tired and my tummy aches all the time. I am emotionally spent and taking it out on my family, and those whom I love the most. I am praying for strength and trying to spend my down time reading the Word and doing my Bible Study. I think it has been helping, but I am not strong enough most of the time and I give in and scream and yell instead of taking a deep breath and counting to ten. Sometimes I wonder if there is something wrong with me. I'd like to blame it on the chemo chemically altering me, but I had these tendencies before I got sick.

This this study I am in, "Battlefield of the Mind", is enlightening in that it reminds me of the devils power and his strongholds over me. I have to continue to try to think and say the right things and not fall into speaking or thinking evil thoughts. That is a LOT harder to do than you may think.I often want to just give up and crawl into bed and sleep the day away.I am continually praying and asking God for the help to get through my chaotic days. One of the things Joyce Meyer says in the book is; "You cannot have a positive life and a negative mind." I never realized how important my thoughts really are. THEY HAVE AMAZING POWER! It is frightening to me that my pessimism can affect how I live my life. In Proverbs 12:7 the author says; "For as he thinks in his heart, so is he..." YIKES! Here is another verse from Matthew that identifies us through our thoughts; "Either make the tree sound (healthy and good), and its fruit sound (healthy and good), or make the tree rotten (diseased and bad), and its fruit rotten (diseased and bad); for the tree is known and recognized and judged by its fruit." Matt 12:33

I have a lot of work to do. Thank goodness for a patient and kind God.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Perhaps it's just me...

but lazy days of summer are a thing of the past.

It's already July and I couldn't tell you where my June went. All the bookmarks in my daily devotionals and calendars are stuck on May dates. Shame on me.

Dh has the week off, so this morning I had hoped to sleep in, catch up on some much needed housework and laze the day away. Not in handsome hubby's plan. He was up before 8(not me). Unpacking the pop-up (which now pops up like it is supposed to, but that is another post entirely)so that we (I) can re-pack. He folded the 4 baskets of laundry that I did last night (while I was downloading photos from the Lake Thompson trip) and started attaching the bike rack to the camper so we don't have to fit the kids bikes into the Blazer when we travel. I think his plan is to try and camp near his parents house so that we can visit and enjoy the great outdoors.
The kids are excited because they love swimming and fishing and being outside. I am anxious to maybe finally finish my crocheted baby blanket and start a few little projects I have been wanting to try. My last day in Vemillion I had to get an oil change so I walked over to Pamida while I was waiting and they had all this cool yarn for a quarter a skein. I spent $5 and want to try to make a handbag, a scarf and a few other small things. I also have some reading to do in my Joyce Meyer,Battlefield of the Mind Bible Study. This one caught me hook, line, and sinker with the introduction and reminded me of Frank Peretti's This Present Darkness. I am craving it like I crave chocolate and it promises to be a great study for myself and the handful of amazing women who are attending.

I just now finished putting dh's drawstring tie back in the waist of his favorite (old, and practically worthless) pair of insulated sweats. Oh to be the woman with a waist that required a drawstring to keep my pants on, sigh. A girl can dream, can't she?

So, I think we're off again. I feel like I haven't talked to my friends or family in ages. I think I will take the cell phone along this time and try to catch up.

Thursday is my big ultrasound and NO WE ARE NOT FINDING OUT THE SEX OF THE BABY! My mother has offered me an insane amount of cash to find out, but I can't, I won't, and honestly,I just don't want to know. That's it, end of story. Truthfully, I love being surprised and this will be the third BIG surprise of my life. How many of you can say you have been truly surprised 3 times? I count my blessings.

May you all be blessed with at least one lazy day before summer is gone.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Lake Thompson

A few friends invited us to camp with them this weekend. So we loaded up the pop-up and hit the road. The kids had a blast swimming, riding their bikes and getting buried in the sand. The guys went out fishing quite a bit, but weren't too lucky. Ds went on the boat for a couple of hours one evening with daddy. No more than 5 minutes after leaving the shore, he whined, "When can we go back daddy?" So, dad took a few moments to explain patience to him. An hour or so later when dad spoke up about the lack of bites on his line. Ds was quick to quip back at daddy, "You need to be PATIENT, dad, for the fish to bite." Lesson learned.