Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm too hungry...

I could post about my awful week. For example how between my hubby and I we made over 10 trips to the city and filled all three vehicles with gas at least once, OR, how half of those trips were for doctor appointments ranging from acute care, to general practitioner, to oncologist and finally the OBGYN. I could tell you about the 1 and one-half days missed subbing because of strep throat and misdiagnosis for my ds. I could tell you about the kind gentlemen who got out of his car at the stoplight to tell me my car was 'smoking something awful' on my way to the OB. I could tell you about my husband driving the sick kids in to fix my broken down car in the medical building 3 parking lot. I could tell you about me almost missing another half day of work because my car was broken down, but instead I left one sick child with my hubby and took the other sleeping one and tried to teach while making frequent visits to the sick one, passed out from pure exhaustion in the car. I could tell you how excited I am about this weekend because; A) we are leaving for the cities B) I got permission to spend time in the hot tub from the OB C) my daughter may be able to see the American Idol Concert in person and D) I really need a weekend without doctors offices, computers, or my broken dryer. But I won't. Because I haven't eaten yet today and it's 3:18. So, here's my favorite alfredo recipe. I am taking some breadsticks out of the freezer and pigging out tonight. I have a bag of frozen shrimp that I was saving for a rainy day calling my name, no matter how sunny it is...

Alfredo (without the fuss)


2 tablespoons butter

2 tablespoons flour

1 cup milk, half-n-half, or cream (to your liking, Ijust use plain ol' milk)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 teaspoons Italian seasoning

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Stir in flour and heat until bubbly. Slowly stir in cream, Parmesan, and seasoning. Heat over medium high heat, stirring constantly for 5-7 minutes or until thick. Serve over pasta.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Photo Special

Get 50 prints for $5 with coupon code GETFIFTY thru Aug 30.

*Coupon code GETFIFTY valid for up to five uses per account through August 30, 2008. Online orders must include 50 or more 4x6 prints at time of checkout to qualify. All print orders containing 50 or more prints will be priced as $.10 per print. Coupon code must be entered at time of checkout to apply discount. Coupon code does not apply toward taxes or shipping charges. Orders must be placed by logged-in customer by August 30, 2008 at 11:59 p.m. Central Time to qualify. Timing will be determined by Walgreens server clock. Offer valid online only.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Who's that pretty baby?

Baby is crawling now and yesterday she found the cutest baby to play with.
Shoot, this would have been perfect for WW.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

a GREAT day in the village...

Dancing in the dark.

Two years ago this month I had just started chemotherapy and was recovering from a major surgery. I felt extremely blessed to be alive but afraid that my life may be cut short by cancer.

For one beautiful sunny day in August all my fears were put on the back burner when my village came together like they had never done before. It was amazing. I cannot use words to describe what those 9 hours on August, 26, 2006 meant to my family.

Last year, the event continued with a new respect for the beautiful richness and amazing benefit of togetherness that we received from just spending the day together with our neighbors. It was wonderful. Instead of one family, the whole community reaped the rewards.

This year at the 2nd annual Spud Fest, we actually improved upon a good thing. I didn't think that was even possible.

It began early in the morning with a good healthy run/walk and some potato digging. The kids rode bikes and lawnmowers for prizes and the parade entertained us and satisfied our sweet tooth beyond belief. There was a horse drawn trailer and kiddie train rides all afternoon. There was inflatables and cotton candy. The kids could bob for potatoes, get temporary tattoos or toss a potato in a bucket for prizes. There was a bean bag tourney and kickball games. There was a concession stand with yummies and booths selling treasures and a silent auction to peruse. There was a dunk tank and a cow pie bingo game. There was an evening catered meal, car show and live band. There was enough to keep a family busy all day and into the night dancing and singing and eating and drinking to our soul's delight. All these amazing coordinated events couldn't even touch the most amazing part of the whole day. Fellowship with your neighbors, family and friends. You can't put a price on the value of that. I wouldn't have missed it for anything.

Did you miss out? Put it on your calendar for next Last weekend in August, 2009. Come on over, we'd love to have you. It is too valuable an experience to miss. Maybe next year I won't be pregnant or going through chemotherapy. I can't even imagine how much more fun it could possibly be.
Daddy in the dunk tank.Taking a chance to dunk daddy.

August 2008 - cancer free and two babies later WE are the ones who are ridiculously blessed.

Thank you, GOD!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The one Hundred and Fifty (+) Dollar Haircut.

Okay, the truth will set you free so here goes.

I don't get my haircut but once or twice or maybe three times a year. Now, there was a time, before kids, while I was working full time that I did go every six weeks like clockwork. It just doesn't happen anymore. Partly because I can't find the time, partly because I don't have the money, partly because I only know one person who can tame the mane. She thins the heck out of my horse hair. It feels weird and selfish to complain, again, about something that only a couple of years ago I was losing faster than I could say 'chemo'. My husband (who I think is extremely lucky that I don't still require 6 week haircuts and 4 week manicure's)is usually floored that I pay(his cousin, no less) $30 for a haircut and eyebrow wax. Anyway, today was the day. I came home from subbing, parked the 'new'(to us) Suburban in the driveway and hopped in the little commuter car off to my appointment. It was quick; I was maybe gone an hour and a half, tops. But when I came home I couldn't believe my eyes. I parked in the driveway next to a vehicle that was missing a backseat window. Now, those of you who know where we live know our street and the problems we have had with the highway. We have had people try to make the corner on icy winter roads and drive into our garage. We have had our dog ran over, our car ran into by a speeding motorist and now this. I peeked in, past the shattered glass shards to see a hunk of concrete smirking back at me from the comfortable leather seat. My heart sank and my stomach churned. It was devastating. No note. No message on the machine. It was just a freakish accident that I was going to have to buck up and pay for. OUCH. A quick trip to the local and marvelous body shop and $125 later we have an appointment to replace the broken shards with an actual window. Sigh. Guess it will be a year or two before I get permission for another hair cut. This is one time it probably would have been cheaper to drive the gas hog. Self portraits follow, view at your own risk.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Peter Piper picked...

I have found the easiest refrigerator dill pickle recipe. I have cucumbers coming out of my ears. A dozen quarts are in my fridge. This recipe creates quite the zesty pickle but my family loves them. Thanks to Rachel Rappaport over at Coconut Lime for the original recipe.I dare you to check out her blog. You will be in heaven and she will be in your bookmarks faster than you can say coconut.

First Day of First Grade

She was so excited, I don't think she slept a wink :)

Monday, August 18, 2008

3-2-1 summer countdown

almost all of us...
at the swimming beach, Lake Mitchell
"putting up" with Bobbi

that's a happy baby

We are BUSY, whew!

Since school starts on Wednesday we are trying to cram in a whole summer's worth of family time into one weekend and a couple of days. This past weekend we camped in Mitchell and watched the State amateur baseball tournament. The kids also enjoyed swimming and fishing with dad while I commuted back and forth between dr. appt's. and other commitments. We got home last night and I had to put it in hard gear to get working on the parade for the Spud Fest this weekend (I have meal {catered traditional Irish meal from 6-7 p.m.- roast beef, potatoes and carrots} tickets for sale if you need them - $7 for school age and up). Today, alone, dad or I drove to Sioux Falls three separate times. That is just plain nuts. Happy First Week of School everyone!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

a teensy weensy bit of KARMA

Guess what happens when you don't eat your mommy's delicious healthy meals?

A huge rain/wind storm comes out of the blue and almost blows your tents away...

he. he. he.

They kept asking me, "Why didn't you tell us it was going to storm, mom?"

I guess mommies also predict the weather now.

I am refusing to cook supper...

That is it!

I try and try to make healthy foods for my kids and recently they have begun refusing anything that is remotely healthy.

It's driving me bananas.

Last night I made taco soup (little ground beef and onion, peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes, taco seasoning and kidney beans served with shredded cheese and taco chips). THEY REFUSED TO EAT IT. The baby had two 1/4 cup helpings. I took away dessert.

Today I made veggie abc soup from a can and toasted ham and cheese sammies with broccoli and cauliflower and carrot dippers in ranch and fresh peaches. The baby ate her weight in food. Again, refusal from the almost 5 and 7 year old. I am going out of my mind. I took away snacks. Nothing but water to drink is allowed until supper, which I am refusing to cook because I am stomping mad that I have thrown away enough food in the last 12 hours to feed a small underprivileged country...

We'll probably have cereal and they will each eat three damn bowls full. At least milk is healthy, huh?


Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hey, it's much better than a tent and an air mattress...

1. For 8 days, August 8, 2008 through August 15, 2008 (the Promotion Period), 800 room nights per night will be offered at a rate of $8.88 US/CAD at participating Super 8 hotels in the U.S. and Canada.

2. The promotional rate will only be offered on the Super 8 website (www.Super from 8:00 PM EDT until 11:59 PM EDT (the Daily Offer Period) each day of the Promotion Period. Once the 800th room night is booked or the Daily Offer Period ends, whichever comes first, no more room nights will be offered at the promotional rate for that day. Only a total of 6,400 room nights will be made available during the Promotion Period.

3. To enter the promotion, participants must go to the Super 8 website ( and click on the promotion banner or copy which will link them to the promotion landing page. Once on the landing page, participants will be placed in a queue, and will be offered an opportunity to book a room at the promotional rate on a first come, first serve basis. If selected, the participant will be offered an opportunity to choose a Super 8 hotel using the Super 8 search engine and then to book a room night at that hotel. Exiting the queue to the Super 8 search engine or booking page does not guarantee the participant that he/she will receive the promotional rate. Only if he/she is one of the first 800 participants to actually book a room night during the Daily Offer Period will he/she receive the promotional rate. A participant will be deemed to have booked a room, if he/she completes all fields on the booking page, provides a valid credit card to pay for the room night, clicks the box to accept the terms and conditions, and clicks the Submit Reservation button, and the reservation is accepted by Super 8 Worldwide, Inc. issuing the participant a confirmation number.

4. The promotional rate is only valid for one room night, per person, per website address for hotel stays through December 30, 2008.

5. A valid credit card must be given to prepay for the reservation. Once booked, reservations cannot be canceled, changed, or transferred to another person. No refunds will be issued.

6. The sponsor is Super 8 Worldwide, Inc., 1 Sylvan Way, Parsippany, New Jersey, whose decision on all matters related to the promotion will be final.

7. The promotion is governed by New Jersey law. By entering the promotion, each participant agrees that all disputes, claims or causes of action arising out of or in connection with the promotion shall be resolved individually, without resort to any form of class action, and exclusively by the state or federal courts located in Morris and Essex Counties, New Jersey, respectively.

8. Super 8 Worldwide, Inc. shall not be liable for any technical failures of any kind, including, but not limited to, the malfunctioning of any computer, server, cable, or network; the unavailability or inaccessibility of any transmissions or any telephone or internet service; or any damage to any participant?s computer hardware or software as a result of participating in the promotion.

Saturday, August 09, 2008


Remember those pockets I made this week?

Well I sorta forgot about the leftover dough in the fridge so I had to quick use it up today.

We made Runza's. Made me think of college, remember Kris?

I put mushrooms and Swiss in ours. YUMMO!

Friday, August 08, 2008

Wisdom from my kids

We went to the library at the school the other day. My 6 year old opened the door and took a huge sniff and said, "I love the way the school smells." I wonder how long that will last?

More quotes from my six year old daughter;

"I was born to eat."

"Can I microwave my popsicle?"

"Maybe when I am big I will remember being little. Looking at pictures may help me get my memory back."

"I don't really want a lot of things, but I just like things SO much. Sometimes I wish I had a bigger house so I could have more things."

"Taking care of my baby sister makes me feel like a mom, does that make you feel like a grandma?"

"Mom, today I choose to help dad clean out the Blazer INSTEAD of cleaning my room...not both."

"I really want another little sister but then my brother won't get a bunkbed."

"I wish I could catch the kittens at Grandma's like I can catch gophers."

and one lone quote from the almost five year old;

(Praying at lunchtime the day after daddy told him about the raffle for the four-wheeler at the state tournament.) "Thank you God, for the 4-wheeler contest. I hope we win. Mom, if you win I will give you rides because you don't know how to drive."

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

The painful path...

I completely lost it this morning at the breakfast table. I broke out into full blown slobbery cryingness. I had to hide my face for fear of scaring the youngsters so I hid in the bathroom for awhile.

My emotions are crazy these days. I'm up, I'm down and I am both at the same time. I could blame it on the pregnancy, I could blame it on the spilled apple juice that made my kitchen all sticky, or the fact that in 9 weeks I will have another baby and my 9 month old is still in my bedroom, the fact that school starts in 14 days and so does my sub job, I could blame it on a lot of things. But the truth is I think I bring it on myself.

I can't get my head on straight these days. The tiniest thing makes me go completely berserk. I fly off the handle and it takes me days...weeks to get over it. I suffer, punishing myself for my stupid childish behavior, making excuses for why I am the way I am and then I just wear myself so thin that I can't even complete a simple daily task like serving breakfast to my children.

It is one thing to pray, but without the Word of God I sometimes get lost and confused and end up digging a deeper hole for myself. Some people go to the horoscopes but I go to the Bible.

And you know what? BOTH of my devotionals had a serious message for me today. It's like the Lord knew exactly what I needed to hear and he put in on the page in black and white for me. I am so glad He has a plan for me. I don't like to even think about where I would be without Him.

Fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Romans 12:2

Sin is ugly, isn't it? My favorite part of my church service is the confessions and absolution. I feel like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders after that. I can confess my sins at home, too. But, there is something to be said about saying it out loud and hearing the pastor say, "As a called and ordained servant of the Lord I hereby forgive your sins..." I feel clean for a few moments anyway. My sin separates me from my Father. I don't like that feeling. If I can focus more on Him and not on sinning I know my life will be better.

And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. Mark 11:25

If it feels so good to be forgiven and I personally know that feeling, why can I not forgive others? Jesus wants me to let it go and for some reason I hold on to this awful feeling that I am owed something from someone. How ridiculous am I? I want things my way. I ask for God's help but no matter how much I want it I will only receive it when I become willing to do things His way. The path of forgiveness is a rocky one. It is not easy.

So I read the Word and I feel renewed. Now, don't get me wrong any self-respecting woman would have colored her hair, ate some chocolate and called her sister, too. So I did. I feel much better now.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Mommy's Hot Pockets

My kids love those store bought pockets with eggs and cheese or pepperoni and cheese in them. I bought them once years ago and they ask me every time I go shopping to get more. The problem is the price and the lack of nutrition, I just can't put them in my cart again.

So I have been searching and trying recipes so that I can find one that is easy and freezes so on school mornings or afternoons I can pop them in the oven and have a quick, healthy meal for the kids and myself.

I love the mommysavers site. It has lots of great recipes and I peruse them weekly. A few weeks back I found this pocket recipe and finally had time to try it this morning. Admittedly it took me much longer than I had hoped (but I had an awesome almost 5 year old helper) and we ate them for 'brunch'. YUMMO!

I am not good at wrapping things so instead of her neat pirogi style I folded each pocket burrito style. It worked and held together nicely. There was about twice as much 'crust' on the bottom as on the top, but it was fully cooked after only 20 minutes and very tasty.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is mucho tweakable, AND it makes a ton. I made kid sized pockets they were little 2x4 inch rectangles. I used only half the dough and came up with 16 pockets. I put the rest of the dough in the fridge and will make pizza tonight with it. I ran out of the egg mixture after about 12 pockets and then I put pepperoni and cheese and sauce in the last 4. I can use those for after school snacks. I want to make some chicken and veggie ones next time. I think they will work out nicely.

Pocket recipe:

1 1/2 cups water
2 1/2 tablespoons margarine
2 tablespoons molasses (I used honey)
2 cups whole-wheat flour
2 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Put on dough cycle in the bread machine.

1 small bag of frozen hash browns
6 slices bacon
1 cup diced ham
6 eggs
3 green onions
1 1/2 c. shredded mozzarella cheese

(You may add other fillings for lunch or dinner pockets. I use pepperoni and cheese, chicken with broccoli and cheese and a big slew of different ones for my family)

This recipe made 11 really BIG (adult sized) breakfast pockets so you could divide the dough even smaller for munchkin sized ones.

I had my bacon already cooked so all I had to do was fry the hash browns and scramble the eggs. Mix everything except the cheese together and let cool. Once cool mix in the cheese and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide dough into sections. Roll until about the size of a pita it will be VERY thin. Brush dough with melted butter and put approximately 1/2 c. of filling in the middle (I used a 1/4 cup for the kid sized ones). Now bring up both the sides and pinch together. It will look kind of like a big pirogi laying on it's back. Gently turn it over into your hand and place on greased baking sheet pinched side down. Tuck the ends under.

Let rise for 10-15 minutes. Mine didn't look like they changed shape at all, but I let the yeast do it's thing anyway...

Bake at 375 for 25minutes

Remove from oven and brush tops with melted butter and I sprinkled mine with fresh cracked pepper and cracked sea salt.

Move to cooling wrack so that they don't get soggy.

When cooled wrap in paper towel and put in a freezer bag.

Microwave on high for 2-3 minutes

Sunday, August 03, 2008

It ain't really over...

Friday night the Muckdogs got beat. That ended the season for the team as a whole. It was a blow-out. It wasn't pretty.
However, several of the guys got picked up to play with other teams for the state tourney. So, the neverending saga of baseball continues. My hubby got picked up by PBR. I am not sure when he plays but I can guarantee the only view of Mt. Rushmore we will be seeing this summer is someone else's photos.