Tuesday, March 31, 2009

chips off the old block


What do a 17 month old and a 7 year old have in common?





Friday, March 27, 2009

Garden Goodness!

Community Garden Receives Fiskars Grant

Montrose Community Garden volunteers will be using $1,500 worth of high-quality Fiskars gardening tools in the community garden this year. They will also be able to spend $1,000 on garden-related materials (i.e. green goods) for use in the garden or other beautification projects in Montrose.

Since 2003, Project Orange ThumbSM has funded over 100 community projects with more than $200,000. Project Orange ThumbSM is a grant program that provides community garden groups with the tools and materials they need to reach their goals for neighborhood beautification and horticulture education. This year there were over 1,000 applicants.

Montrose was one of 20 recipients selected nationwide. The application process included a written portion submitted online, and a creative element. Volunteers worked together to submit a quilt wall hanging. Some of the quilt’s squares were made from photos of the town’s community gardeners either working in the garden or distributing vegetables from the garden to Montrose-area residents. It was felt that the photo quilt strongly represented the sense of community we experience while gardening together.

The Fiskars organization will, in the upcoming months, organize a ribbon-cutting ceremony. They will also ask recipients to participate in a blog with photos and updates.
A list of the recipients from 2009 and previous years is available at the Project Orange ThumbSM web site www.fiskars.com. The Montrose Community garden was started in 2007 as part of our town’s participation in the Horizon’s program. Located just east of the Central Farmers elevator in town, numerous residents volunteer their time and sweat planting, weeding, and picking produce which they make available to the community for free-will donations during the growing season.

HeadShot Mega Energy Mega Bail-Out!!


Here at mommyville I consider myself an EODF = Equal Opportunity Deal Finder. So, although I may not drink energy drinks (it's not because I don't need them) someone in the greater blogosphere probably does. This deal is just way too good to pass up. You're welcome.

Three cases of energy drinks for $30 shipped.

HeadShot Mega Energy Mega Bail-Out!!

Posted using ShareThis

Maleah's Surgery - for sharing

video

Divine by Karen Kingsbury

Got two hours and a box of kleenex? Read this book. I just did. It was amazing. The charachter Grandma Peggy reminds me of the way that Karen describes her mother.

Things, they are a changing...

Yesterday we had some unannounced visitors. The house was, at best, in shambles. Toys, baskets of laundry and counters of dishes were a few of the distractions. Most disgusting was a bag of icky smelly trash sitting right by my back "front" door.

It was a long crazy week, much like the past week and the week to come. So I guess I can say it was pretty much normal which is really not "normal" at all.

I spent a good amount of time going through the baby clothes. Nora is wearing pants that Addison was wearing last week. It is going to be an interesting ride with those girls. I also had dad put together the second crib for Addi so she can graduate to her "new" room and we can begin getting our bedroom back from the babies.

Anyway, the house was a mess. But the crazy thing was I didn't freak out about it. I sat and had coffee with my mother in law and listened to her explain that the moment I cleaned the house there would be no company. (I guess I was mentioning it out loud then, wasn't I) Carey stopped by with the Bible Study dvd and had to walk right past the stench of dirty diaper garbage. I just shrugged my shoulders and visited with her like there wasn't an elephant in the room. And, you know what? It worked.

I still feel a little guilty about not having a put together house, but as long as there is a toddler to take out the play food, there will be messes to clean up after.

I think I will live by the refrigerator magnet motto; My house was clean last week, sorry you missed it. (even it is a little far from the truth)

In other unrelated news:

We use a satellite to watch television. The remote we use actually cannot be pointed at the tv, it is pointed up toward the ceiling on a good day, sometimes toward the wall or the floor to reach the receiver which is in the basement.

Anyway, today I caught Addison holding the remote in the middle of the living room, waving and pointing it in every direction wildly. I suppose that is what we look like when we try to change the channel. I laughed so hard I peed my pants, which isn't really that big of a deal anymore, but it was funny.

There you have it. Another moment in the life. Aren't you glad you stopped by today?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Addison loves popcorn and Nora Jumps


Ryan and I went to a local workshop last night for a few hours and my mom watched the kids. When we got home, the house was pitch dark and I thought everyone had turned in for the night. When we entered the living room there they all were lined up on the couch watching a 'movie'. The curtians were pulled wide open and they were watching cars and lights out the front window. They each had a bowl of popcorn in their lap and all I could hear was crunch munching. For the record, Nora wasn't eating any. I had to use a flash to get this photo and Addison couldn't keep her eyes open, but I like the photo anyway.
My mom got us this jumper toy for Addi. Nora absolutely loves it. I have to hold her up to get her to stop jumping. She makes so much noise, you can't do anything else except listen to her.
Video by dad, so, you know, he didn't pick up the house or turn of the SDSU game or anything...

video

Maleah was in the bathroom with me this morning, getting ready. She suddenly sniffed and said, "What is that smell?" I thought maybe it was a dirty diaper until she said, "YUM! pancakes!" Maleah never smells especially from that far away. We are so happy for her.

The Gavinator spent 20 minutes doing his hair this morning in the mirror.
Then he put his hat on.

(sigh)

Monday, March 23, 2009

Signs of Spring



The snow is gone. The bikes are down from the hooks and the sun is shining. A week ago (and then again this weekend) we saw hundreds, maybe thousands of ducks flying in V patterns to the north. It was a sight to see and hear. They were a honking to beat the band. It reminded me of one of my fathers favorite jokes to tell.
You ever see geese flying in a V-pattern in the sky?
You wanna know why one side is always longer than the other?
Wait for it....
Because there are more geese on that side.

I can't help but think that if my father were alive today he would have gotten a kick outta what my 5-year old son did the moment he heard the honking start...


Yesterday the winds and rain picked up. Last night it was thundering and lightening all night. My sister lives 4 hours north of me and they are experiencing some flooding. The weather is stormy and there was even mention of snow in the west and tornados in the east.

I noticed a few green spikes poking through the brown in my yard. It is greening up, as they say.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

About Maleah


I just finished the online pre-registration for Maleah. We went to the ENT yesterday and he put a fiber optic scope up her nose and couldn't even get past those giant adenoids on one side. They are outta there! She is having surgery tomorrow and maybe she will be able to breathe through her nose for the first time by the weekend.


He said her tonsils looked wonderful so he will just be removing the adenoids. She is all game, she sure does love the one-on-one attention she gets from a doctor. She is bummed she is going to miss the science fair, but she is actually excited for surgery if you can believe it!


We (finally) took her for pizza the other night. She earns a free personal pan pizza from the Book It program each month. She enjoys setting the timer and reading to her brother and sisters. She reads all the time now. The back of cereal boxes, signs, the computer screen (gads?). There is a Pizza Ranch just a few miles to the east of here that takes the coupons for us, we just don't get into the big town much as a family anymore.


I am really excited about this surgery. Both the ENT and GP we see are thinking it could help with the circles under her eyes, her tiredness and her snoring. I can't wait to see the difference in her. We tried allergy medications for months, to no avail. I think this will help us see results.


It's hard to think of your baby going under the knife, even if it is a tiny one. Last night, of course, dad had to Google the procedure. I think she was shocked to see what it was all about. I wanted to remove my husbands hands and fingers after that. But, he was just trying to help, I think. Maleah was as white as a ghost and she even cried a bit. We sent an extra long prayer up to the Big Guy to help her get over her fears. This morning she said she thought about all the ice cream she was going to get to eat and that's the only way she could get to sleep. Note to self: buy ice cream.


She knew this appointment was coming and I have tried to prepare her for anything and everything that could happen so she has been talking to the kids at school about it. They have told her all about the wagon that takes you to surgery, the ice cream and popsicles, the cartoons you get to watch in the recovery room... they conveniently left out the part about the surgery and the pain. Maybe they forgot? Maybe it's a bit like the pain of childbirth...well worth it.


Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday (with words:))


Nora eats rice cereal for the first time and likes it!

What's for dinner, mom?

If you are a parent or the cook in your home, for that matter, you probably hear this question every day.

I just stumbled upon this cool website that will help you have an answer for that question as long as you have a couple of ingredients in your fridge or cubboard, supercook.com.

From the website...

Supercook is a new recipe search engine that finds recipes you can make with only the ingredients you have at home. To begin, simply start adding ingredients you have in the green box on the top left. The more ingredients you add, the better the results will be.

Happy cooking!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

A RECIPE EVERYONE SHOULD KNOW


The most dangerous cake recipe
5 MINUTE CHOCOLATE MUG CAKE

4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.
Pour in the milk and oil and mix well. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts (high).
The cake will rise over the top of the mug, but don't be alarmed!

Allow to cool a little, and tip out onto a plate if desired.


EAT! (this can serve 2 if you want to feel slightly more virtuous).


And why is this the most dangerous cake recipe in the world?


Because now we are all only 5 minutes away from chocolate cake at any time of the day or night!
















Blessings to you!


Belated birthday blessings for my beautiful Bible and blogger buddy and a pretty awesome friend, too.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Bread, no knead, too


I LOVE bread. Joe posted a bread recipe on his blog the other day and I just had to try it.

Of course after reading the link and the recipe, I broke all the rules and changed it up, Rani style.

The clincher for me was the no knead part. I HATE kneading bread, my wrists just weren't made for it. I LOVE the fact that I have a bread loaf just waiting to be baked. I love the no rise worries and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the crunchy crust. As for the sourdough. I missed that flavor, but it could be because I changed it up a bit.

Read the recipe, it has a lot of good information in it. But I cut and pasted the most important part for you below. I used a stone the first time, but the rest of the loaves and the pizza I made on a regular old jelly roll pan (mostly because I was lazy and the chocolate chip bars were still in the stone. I used plain old white flour and table salt instead of that fancy stuff. It is yummy and makes wonderful toast the day after, if you have any left. I want to try the honey wheat recipe next time.

(Artisan Free-Form Loaf)

Makes 4 1-pound loaves

3 cups lukewarm water
1 1⁄2 tbsp granulated yeast (1 1⁄2 packets)
1 1⁄2 tbsp coarse kosher or sea salt
6 1⁄2 cups unsifted, unbleached, all-purpose white flour
Cornmeal for pizza peel

Mixing and Storing the Dough

1. Heat the water to just a little warmer than body temperature (about 100 degrees Fahrenheit).

2. Add yeast and salt to the water in a 5-quart bowl or, preferably, in a resealable, lidded container (not airtight — use container with gasket or lift a corner). Don’t worry about getting it all to dissolve.

3. Mix in the flour by gently scooping it up, then leveling the top of the measuring cup with a knife; don’t pat down. Mix with a wooden spoon, a high-capacity food processor with dough attachment, or a heavy-duty stand mixer with dough hook, until uniformly moist. If hand-mixing becomes too difficult, use very wet hands to press it together. Don’t knead! This step is done in a matter of minutes, and yields a wet dough loose enough to conform to the container.

4. Cover loosely. Do not use screw-topped jars, which could explode from trapped gases. Allow the mixture to rise at room temperature until it begins to collapse (or at least flatten on top), approximately two hours, depending on temperature. Longer rising times, up to about five hours, will not harm the result. You can use a portion of the dough any time after this period. Refrigerated wet dough is less sticky and easier to work with than room-temperature dough. We recommend refrigerating the dough at least three hours before shaping a loaf. And relax! You don’t need to monitor doubling or tripling of volume as in traditional recipes.

5. Prepare a pizza peel by sprinkling it liberally with cornmeal to prevent the loaf from sticking to it when you slide it into the oven.

Sprinkle the surface of the dough with flour, then cut off a 1-pound (grapefruit-sized) piece with a serrated knife. Hold the mass of dough in your hands and add a little more flour as needed so it won’t stick to your hands. Gently stretch the surface of the dough around to the bottom on four “sides,” rotating the ball a quarter-turn as you go, until the bottom is a collection of four bunched ends. Most of the dusting flour will fall off; it doesn’t need to be incorporated. The bottom of the loaf will flatten out during resting and baking.

6. Place the ball on the pizza peel. Let it rest uncovered for about 40 minutes. Depending on the dough’s age, you may see little rise during this period; more rising will occur during baking.

7. Twenty minutes before baking, preheat oven to 450 degrees with a baking stone on the middle rack. Place an empty broiler tray for holding water on another shelf.

8. Dust the top of the loaf liberally with flour, which will allow the slashing, serrated knife to pass without sticking. Slash a 1⁄4-inch-deep cross, scallop or tick-tack-toe pattern into the top. (This helps the bread expand during baking.)

9. With a forward jerking motion of the wrist, slide the loaf off the pizza peel and onto the baking stone. Quickly but carefully pour about a cup of hot water into the broiler tray and close the oven door to trap the steam. Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the crust is browned and firm to the touch. With wet dough, there’s little risk of drying out the interior, despite the dark crust. When you remove the loaf from the oven, it will audibly crackle, or “sing,” when initially exposed to room temperature air. Allow to cool completely, preferably on a wire rack, for best flavor, texture and slicing. The perfect crust may initially soften, but will firm up again when cooled.

10. Refrigerate the remaining dough in your lidded (not airtight) container and use it over the next two weeks: You’ll find that even one day’s storage improves the flavor and texture of your bread. This maturation continues over the two-week period. Cut off and shape loaves as you need them. The dough can also be frozen in 1-pound portions in an airtight container and defrosted overnight in the refrigerator prior to baking day.



Sunday, March 08, 2009

Shrimp scampi with Linguini

I was at the grocery store the other day and the shrimp was $5 for a pound. We don't splurge much, but my kiddos do love the shrimpies, as do my hubby and I.

So I added about $2 worth of other ingredients and we had ourselves a fancy at home dinner. It was YUMMO! I pair this with my Italian breadsticks and the kids are lickin their fingers. I thought Addi was gonna pop:)

I added much more than a pinch of the red pepper flakes and it was nice and hot. It made you thirsty, which was the perfect excuse to finish off that bottle of wine you had to open ;) If you don't have wine, try a little chicken broth, it tastes just as nice.

This makes a ton! It will feed 6 hungry boys, or a family of 5, twice. I am not kidding when I tell you Addi ate more than my five year old.


Shrimp Scampi with Linguini

Ingredients

  • 1 pound linguini
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
  • 2 shallots, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch red pepper flakes, optional
  • 1 pound shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley leaves

Directions

For the pasta, put a large pot of water on the stove to boil. When it has come to the boil, add a couple of tablespoons of salt and the linguini. Stir to make sure the pasta separates; cover. When the water returns to a boil, cook for about 6 to 8 minutes or until the pasta is not quite done. Drain the pasta.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter in 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, garlic, and red pepper flakes (if using) until the shallots are translucent, about 3 to 4 minutes. Season the shrimp with salt and pepper; add them to the pan and cook until they have turned pink, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove the shrimp from the pan; set aside and keep warm. Add wine and lemon juice and bring to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons oil. When the butter has melted, return the shrimp to the pan along with the parsley and cooked pasta. Stir well and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle over a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.



Friday, March 06, 2009

Photo Book Offer

Found this new site called shopmultiply.com that is giving away free photo books that cost $30 - they do charge around $6 or $7 for shipping...but I think it is worth it. I made one and it was also much easier than the others.

ShopMultiply.com

Coupon code: FREEBOOKMULT

More photo opportunities from them:

Note...they are only for new customers so you can only use once and cannot combine....so you will have to choose one from below.

1. 40 Free Photo Cards
Code=40FREECARDS5BY

2. 50 FREE 4x6 Prints
Code=50FREEPRINTS1WC

3. FREE Calendar (Photo Calendar)
Code=FREECAL4A4

4. FREE Photo Books ($35 value)
Code=FREEBOOKMULT

Visit them at: Multiply

They are advertising 50% off....but when you checkout you enter the coupon code and the discounts will apply.

Thanks to mommysavers.com for the heads up.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Good sportmanship = don't do like mommy...

We've been having more of these no tv days lately. I began them as punishments, sort of a 'your grounded' deal. But, the days without the tube have been so enjoyable we have instituted them almost every other day.

Today, Gavin and I were playing mancala and I finally won. Ever since the day I showed him how to play he has been whipping me good. It was so fun to actually win I took Nora's arms and made her do a "mommy won" cheer, which was probably a little over the top, but hey I am only human.

My son stared at us sitting across from him on the floor and when I was finished with my victory cheer via Nora, he calmly said, "at least I don't pee my pants every time I laugh".

Chalk one up for the Gavinator, not only can he beat mommy most of the time in board games, he has also begun using those listening ears. Don't think I let him get away with talking like that to his mother. I learned my lesson, too.

Monday, March 02, 2009

Bruchetta Chicken Bake

Tried this the other night and I loved it. (recipe compliments kraftfoods.com)

Prep Time:
10 min
Total Time:
40 min
Makes:
6 servings, 1 cup each

What You Need!

1 can (14-1/2 oz.) diced tomatoes, undrained
1 pkg. (6 oz.) STOVE TOP Stuffing Mix for Chicken
1/2 cup water
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts, cut into bite-size pieces
1 tsp. dried basil leaves
1 cup KRAFT 2% Milk Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Make It!

HEAT oven to 400ºF.

MIX tomatoes, stuffing mix, water and garlic just until stuffing mix is moistened.

LAYER chicken, basil and cheese in 3-qt. casserole or 13x9-inch baking dish.


TOP with stuffing.

Bake 30 min. or

until chicken is done.