Monday, January 31, 2011

Artisan Bread?

Artisan Bread?



Umm...I think not.  I made home made chicken noodle soup for dinner (which turned out a little bland).  I wanted some fresh bread to go along with it.  This is what came out of the bread maker.  It looks terrible but it tasted alright, a little dense.  I'm pretty sure it just didn't rise right.  I can't remember the last time I actually used the bread maker to cook the bread.  I usually just use it to make dough.  Guess I won't be trying this again any time soon.



It's a good thing the banana cake for fhe turned out beautifully or I would have to say I was having an off day, cooking-wise.





Happy Birthday to my baby brother, D.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Keeping Quiet

During church the kids find various ways to keep quiet.  Sometimes I provide puzzles made from gospel art kit pictures, coloring pages, or the Friend magazine as quiet activities.  I'm also hoping that they are listening to the speakers while keeping their hands busy.  The last several weeks I noticed Meg drawing in a notebook.  I peered over to see what she was drawing.  Cats.  I figured they were from Warriors, the book series she reads.  And I was right.  Here's a little sampling of her artwork.

Meg's Cats

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Pile Up

Catching Water





This was going to be the potd, Kade catching drips from icicles, until I went to do a load of laundry and found this.

Pile Up



Can you guess what the kids did this afternoon?



If you guessed play outside you'd be correct.  The second picture better represents our normal life.  Not that the first doesn't.  The second (clothes laying on the floor in a pile) is much more likely to happen, on a daily basis.



Other things we did today.  We all cleaned the church for the last time.  Then Mickey took Meg and Kade to sign up for little league.  We have now committed ourselves to months of practices and ball games.  Then they stopped by Home Depot for a few project supplies, then Best Buy, and lunch.  Meanwhile, Mattey and I went to JoAnn for a few things and stopped at the mall to find some earrings.  We found some great deals.  We ended up having lunch in the food court.



Now Mickey and I are going to enjoy some quiet time while I now do two loads of laundry.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Whirley-Pop

We all enjoy popcorn for a snack.  Lately our microwave hasn't been doing a very good job of cooking it.  I think it's on it's way out.  I had to go without popcorn for a while and then decided we needed to get something to make good popcorn.  We ended up with the Whirley-Pop.

Whirley-Pop





It makes great popcorn.  We all enjoyed some tonight while watching James and the Giant Peach.  (Mattey's pick.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Book Fair

This week the reds' school is having their book fair.  I volunteered to work a shift this afternoon (and got $5 towards my purchase).  The reds came to the gym after school to pick out what they wanted.



Kade got a Scooby Doo and a 3D Clone Wars book.  Mat got three Captain Underpants books.  She didn't waste any time starting one.

Book Fair

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Black & White

Nothing much is happening lately.  Mat's been home sick the last two days.  She doesn't want me taking pictures of her coughing.  She's better and going to school tomorrow.



For Christmas the kids all got Mickey some Super Hero shirts.  And they got me some black & white plates to hang in the dining room.  (I really did all the shopping but the kids were happy to wrap the gifts.)  When I bought the plates I also bought plate hangers.  Then I put them away and couldn't remember until yesterday where they were.  Needless to say I got the plates up without any trouble.  I can admire them while standing at the kitchen island.

Black & White



I am loving black & white with a pop of color.  It's not something I used to like.  I wonder when that all changed?  Now I can't wait to get the black & white curtains hung.  I have to hem them.  Those were a Christmas present too.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Another "Not Seen Everyday"

boil over



I guess I shouldn't cook before 7:00 a.m.  This was cream of wheat.  What was left in the pan turned out fine but a lot of it was obviously not edible.  Next time I need to use a bigger pan.  I would have this morning but it was dirty and I didn't want to wash it.  I've learned my lesson.  I will wash it next time so I don't have to clean up an even bigger mess.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Time for Bed

It's been a l-o-n-g busy day.  We are all going to bed early.

Time for bed

Sunday, January 23, 2011

New Testament

Last year I blogged about our family reading the scriptures every day (here).  For the entire year I would say we read about about 90-95% of the time.  Not bad.  For some reason we didn't reward ourselves at the end of every month.  Maybe that's why we didn't get 100%.

New Testament





This year we are reading the New Testament.  I am also teaching New Testament in my Sunday School class.  I'm hoping to get more insight into the life of Christ.  I'll be sure to pass on what I learn with the rest of the family.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cupcakes

cupcakes



There is a training meeting after church tomorrow.  Lunch will be served.  I'm providing the dessert.  Cupcakes.  I made 114.  Do you think that will be enough?  I hope so.  I made carrot and triple chocolate.  I tasted both.  Both are yummy.



Update:  Carrot cake link.  I did substitute 3/4 cup of the oil with unsweetened applesauce.  I just couldn't put in 1-1/4 cups of oil.  That's gross.  I still used 1/2 cup of oil.  I also used walnuts instead of pecans.  The cupcakes were a HIT.  The stake president couldn't stop talking about them.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Lunches

This is an almost daily occurrence I need to record.



Pretty much every night before school the question is asked, "Are you packing or buying tomorrow?"  I also ask the kids to pack some of their lunch when they're packing.  So far Megan is the only one that actually does this.  Which is helpful since I'm rarely up while she's getting ready to leave.  The reds somehow get out of packing theirs.



This morning I had to pack two lunches.  They were very helpful by telling me what they wanted.

packed lunches



P.S.  I just entered this contest.  I really hope I win.  The fabrics would make a lovely quilt.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mathboard

Mathboard



This is an app we've recently purchased to help our kids with their math skills.  Kade loves it.  He's really taken to adding.  Mat uses it to help her remember multiplication.  She doesn't love it because it's "hard work".  I don't believe Meg has used it yet.  Mickey tried it out to see what he could remember, math wise.  I think it's pretty neat.  You can pull up a "chalkboard" to work out a problem.  I can also change the setting (skill level) for the quizzes for each child.  It's totally worth it for a few dollars.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Blocks of LOVE

Mickey and I had a lunch date today.  We were supposed to go out on Saturday but that didn't work out.  It's much easier to sneak in a date when the kiddos are at school.  After eating at Logan's we stopped in at Target.  (I'm thinking I need to make a Target category since I've been mentioning it so much lately.)  I joked about finding treasures in the store and Mickey didn't seem to think we would.  But we did.  The dollar spot sometimes has really great things.  You have to keep checking it because they are constantly changing what's available.  Today we picked up a few coloring books for the kids.  (They need something non-electronic to do once in a while.)  Then Mickey found a little something to help us start our Valentine decorating, which I've been itching to do.  He said something about putting it on the little table in the foyer....I don't know if my jaw dropped open or not but I could totally tell I've been rubbing off on him.  This is what he found.

Love Blocks



I love them.  And they were only $2.50 for the set.  One side says love (obviously), one says hugs, one says kiss, and the last says OXOX.  I think it's a treasure.  How about you?  Now I need to find some supplies for the kids to make some decorations to hang around the house.  I'm sure I'll post about that sometime.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Finn

Finn is a cute little red headed boy who's probably too smart for his own good.  Last year he came over once a week and played with Kade while his mom got used to dealing with two new babies.  When school started again Kade was no longer around to play with and so he didn't come over anymore.  The kids see him at church and flock to him to try to win his attention.  They all love him.



The kids didn't have school today.  Teacher record day.  I talked to Finn's mom on Sunday and made arrangements for Finn to come play.  All four kids were excited about the playdate.  Here's Finn doing one of the things Finn does best.  Figuring out how things work.  In this case, changing parts on the motorcycle.

Finn

Monday, January 17, 2011

Grease Monkeys

I had to add a new category for this post.  "Not Seen Everyday".  This is so not the norm around here.

Grease Monkeys



The men fixing a burned out head light.  Mickey is very handy around the house and knows his tech stuff but when it comes to cars....I'll just say it's an area in which he lacks know-how.  This was an easy enough fix he decided to do it himself.  Kade, of course, had to tag along and help out.  It always cracks me up when he tags along on a project.  Especially when they're my projects.  I guess he's an equal opportunity learner.



Kade had treats for fhe tonight.  I bought some cookie dough but that's not what he wanted.  He announced during dinner he wanted cupcakes.  I looked at the clock ready to say no.  I decided we had some time if we were quick.  I finished my dinner and let Kade get things started.  He put liners in the cupcake pan and cracked the three eggs required for the mix.  (Can you believe I let him do that?  I think I'm mellowing, a little.)  I let him do the mixing too.  Later he asked me how the beaters spin around.  I did my best to explain about the motor inside and it makes the beaters go.  He said okay but probably wanted more info.  I told him when the mixer dies (and I made sure he understood that part) he can take it apart and see how things go together.  That seemed to satisfy his curiosity, for now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Stripey Fun

Striped Socks



These are my new favorite socks.  They are from Target and are very reasonably priced at $2.  The only bad part is they're thin.  That doesn't work too well in our freezing cold winter but I make do.



I believe Sundays are going to be harder to blog about since church starts at 11:30.  This really throws a wrench in the day.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dinner Out

We had a busy Saturday.  I don't like it when that happens.  It makes the weekend go by too fast.  We started with cleaning the church at 9.  Then went to a baptism at 10.  At 10:45 we finished up the cleaning.  We then came home and relaxed a little.  I finished up Meg's quilt while Mickey and the kids played some video games.  Then he took the kids to his parents' house (I was still sewing) to help with their computer.  At 4:30 we went to another baptism.  We decided to go out for dinner and call it a family date.  We needed to stop by my parents' house for something (which we didn't end up doing) so we invited them to come to dinner with us.  The plan was Logan's Roadhouse but there was an hour wait for a party of 7.  Who wants the wait an hour?  Not me, although I could hear those yummy, fresh rolls calling to me.  We had to come up with Plan B.  Hooters and Del Taco didn't make the cut.  It was between Chick-fil-a and Culver's.  Culver's won.

Dinner Out



Just imagine that I'm sitting to Mickey's right, where the salad is.



Here's the girls' quilts, finished and freshly laundered.



Meg's



Meg's Quilt



Mat's



Mat's Quilt

Friday, January 14, 2011

A Little Protection

Since getting our new table Mickey and I have been trying to come up with ways to keep it "safe".  I know that's not very realistic with three active kids but we're doing our best.  We've used kitchen towels for place mats until I bought real place mats.  We had a tablecloth on for a little while too.  But the thing about both of those is they get dirty after one meal.  Did I mention my kids are messy eaters?



I was at Kohl's earlier this week and decided to look in their kitchen linens section.  I came across something I think will work well, at least as long as they hold up.

Placemat



These place mats are made out of bamboo.  (They roll up so Kade keeps calling it his treasure map.)  So far I've been able to shake or flick off any food that's fallen on them.  They go perfectly with the color I'm going to paint the big room.  And the best part was they were on sale for 50% off and then a 3 day special of buy one get one half off.  That's on top of the sale price!  So the first was $2 and the second was $1.  I got 8.  I probably should have gotten 16 so we could have them a lot longer.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

The Bane of my Existence

Wonder what it is?

Fund Raiser



School fund raisers.  Meg's selling magazine subscriptions so her school can buy athletic uniforms.  Anyone need a magazine?



The thing I really don't like is when my kid(s) come home with all these grand ideas and amazing prizes they could win.  Meg really wants to earn 9 ducks so she can ride in a Hummer limo.  One duck = 3 subscriptions.  I don't think that's going to happen.  It's not like we know a lot of people with piles of money laying around.  The realist in me just wants to write a $20 check to the school and just be done with it.  Am I the only one that feels this way?



The clean bedroom contest winner is.....drum roll please.....Kade.  He asked me tonight when I tucked him in when I was going to paint his room.  I'm sure I'll hear that everyday for a while.



Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Booby-Trapped

This evening Mickey went to get some water from the Brita pitcher and ended up with this.

Boobytrapped



There was also water on the floor, his pants, and socks.  What Mickey didn't know was that Meg had just filled the pitcher a minute before he went to pour some.  It hadn't finished filtering yet and all the water from the top came out on him.  This is not the first time this has happened to him.  I guess we'll have to come up with a system so he knows when you can't use the pitcher.



Contest Update: The clean room contest is over.  It came to an end last night.  Can anyone guess who the winner is?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Kade's Quilt

Kade's Quilt



Me:  Kade, tell me about your quilt.



Kade:  It is very warm and very comfortable.  When you sleep at night you are very warm.  It is very colorful.  I love it.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Taking Advantage of a Snow Day

School was cancelled today because some parts of town got 3 feet on Saturday and I guess some streets still hadn't been cleared.  It was nice that the school corp. let us know last night so I didn't have to set my alarm.  We all took advantage of a day off.  (Too bad Mickey still had to go to work.)



I slept in which meant the kids had free reign with the tv.  They had a Hannah Montana marathon.  (Disney has been so nice to add a few more seasons to Netflix.)  The kids also took advantage of all the snow.  Meg had a friend come over and they all went sledding.  They started on our hill but eventually moved to the neighbor's.  (This is one of just a couple pictures that turned out.  I was not happy with my photography today.)

Sledding

Sunday, January 9, 2011

New Slang/Obsession

Since we moved the kids have added a new slang word to their vocabulary.  It makes no sense at all and drives me crazy when they constantly say it.  You'll never guess what it is so I'll just tell you.  Steve.  Variations include Stevette and Stevie.  Like I said it makes no sense.  And it doesn't even mean anything.



I think it all started with the "Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs" movie.  The monkey's name is Steve.  One of our neighbors is named Steve too.  They say this word/name about 100 times a day, but it feels like a million.  They call each other Steve.  They chant Steve.  They name their stuffed animals Steve.  They also say Steve in many different voices.  At one point I was so fed up I told them if they said it any more I would put pepper on their tongues.  That slowed it down for a while but somehow Steve has made a come back.  I found evidence of that last night on the basement floor.

Steve



This name is going to haunt me for a long time.  I hope I'll be able to tune it out, eventually.





Contest Update: We are down one contestant.  Knowing my children I would have guessed she'd be the first to go.  The bad part is the "mess" was only a few things she left laying around.  If only she would have gotten up to check her room before the inspection like I suggested.



I'm having a hard time typing this because I have tears running down my face.  The kids don't have school tomorrow.  Now I don't get to volunteer at the library but on the bright side I get to sleep in.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snowed In

We got up this morning and got ready to clean the church.  Mickey cleared half of the drive way so we could get out but then we hit the street...

Stuck



..and got stuck.  He told the kids to grab a shovel and start moving the snow.  Our street is probably one of the last ones to get plowed in the neighborhood (the joys of living on a dead end) so we could be here for a while.



Snowed in



Here's the view from the back door.  We have almost 14 inches!  And it's still coming down.  Ugh.



I think I'm going back to bed where it's nice and warm.



Update:  A snow emergency has been issued.  Anyone driving will be ticketed until Sunday at 8:00 am.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Special Delivery

Since sometime before Christmas our Dyson has been giving us problems.  The brushbar wouldn't spin, meaning it wasn't really picking anything up off the carpet.  The suction on the hard floors still worked.  But most of our floors have carpet.  You can probably imagine that our house was getting a little dirty.  We did our best but, you know, unless you're willing to get on all fours and pick dirt up by hand (which I wasn't willing to do) the carpets looked messy.



Last week my husband came to the rescue.  He called Dyson, after doing all the trouble shooting on their website.  The woman asked a few questions and then said they would send us a new part and everything would be good as new.  That made us happy.  Until we had to wait, and wait, and then wait some more.  Mickey called again and they said it was shipped out yesterday and should arrive today.  Supposedly they were backed up from the holidays.



Well, the part did come.  They didn't just send a new brush bar but the entire cleaner head.  Mickey installed it and we put the Dyson to good use vacuuming the entire house.  It had to be emptied twice.  That's really gross.

dyson



I still love my Dyson.



The clean room contestants are all still in the running.  Now I'm worried it's going to be a three way tie.  Then what do I do?  Have them draw straws?  That won't go over very well.



And for any of our readers who may not be having snow right now.  This is my gift to you.



Winter night

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Runny Nose

As I mentioned yesterday, Kade has a cold.  He stayed home again today.  He was the only one.  His poor nose has just been dripping like crazy.  He's gone through several kleenexes today.  I went upstairs for something and saw this.

All in a Row



I think it's hilarious that he lined his dirty kleenexes on his window sill.  It kind of reminds me of this post, just a little neater.



I worked on Kade's quilt this afternoon, putting the binding on.  I watched a video first to make sure I did it right.  Kade watched over my shoulder.  Then he watched over my shoulder while I sewed.  When I got to the corner he reminded me about making the triangle, to miter the corner.  I wanted to laugh.  I can't believe he actually paid attention and understood the video.  Maybe he'll sew some day.  Actually, I think he'll do some kind of building/designing.  I'm pulling for an engineer.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

California Adventure

I don't know if I ever posted a link to all of our vacation pictures, well the ones I'm willing to share.  Who really wants to look at all 579 anyway?  Here it is.

Viruses and Legos

I don't know if it was all the rain and cold weather from our trip, riding in the airplanes, or what but most of us have been sick.  Knock on wood, I'm the only one staying  relatively healthy.  I can tell my body is fighting something but the something has not taken over, yet.



Here's this week's adventures (and it's only Wednesday).  Sunday all the kids stayed home from church due to their coughs and stuffy/runny noses.  Tuesday Mickey worked from home because he wasn't feeling good and Meg came home early from school with tummy pains.  I won't mention what became of that.  Today Mattey and Kade both stayed home.  Kade has a cold that really took hold.  Mattey has been coughing and coughing for hours at night until she passes out from exhaustion.  I took her to the doctor because she needed some relief.  It's just a virus and last night was probably the worst of it since they tend to last 7-10 days and are worse in the middle.  Good to know.  She's on a good cough medicine that should knock her out.



The reds spent a LOT of time in front of the tv today.  Since this doesn't often happen, and I didn't go to sleep until 3:30 am, I didn't mind.  They also got out the Legos and they played together.  Here's Mattey's house.

Mattey's Lego house



She got this set from Santa.  I'm not sure if the horse came with it or not.  I'm thinking not.



I really hope everyone is going to school tomorrow.  I need some alone time.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Planting Bulbs

Last night I had to run to Target for a few things.  I took my time looking around since the kids were in bed and Mickey probably wanted to watch a little football.  I came across a bulb kit on clearance, almost $10 off.  I just had to get it.



I opened it this afternoon to plant the bulbs.  Inside the pot were some rather weird items.  They are called coco fiber disks.  You put them in water and they "grow" into dirt, after a good fork fluffing.

coco fiber disks I coco fiber disks II



coco fiber disks III soil



Kade was my "helper" with the project.



Paperwhite bulbs



I put the bulbs in the pot, took the picture, and put the pot in my dark, cool closet to wait for them to start growing.  I think I only have to wait a few weeks.  We'll see.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Fireplace

The chimney got cleaned today.  Finally.  Mickey has been waiting and waiting to have a fire.  It happened tonight.

First Fire



The kids (all four) were so excited about the fire.  Some wanted to roast marshmallows.  I overruled since I'd already made a treat for fhe.  A rule had to be instated for the three little people.  No one is to be on the tile (the hearth) when there is a fire.



Contest results:  all three rooms pass again.  (Actually I never made it up to inspect but they all said their rooms were clean.  I will believe them...today.)

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Arch Support

Last week Meg went to physical therapy for her foot.  The PT decided it was time to try taping it since she had been in so much pain on our vacation.  He taped it Monday.  It worked like a charm.  She had another appointment on Wednesday.  Mickey suggested that I go with so I could learn how to tape her at home.  I watched and learned.  We had to replace it today.  It stays on for a few days.

arch support





It's amazing how taping can help her be free of pain.  Too bad he hadn't taped it before we left.  The tape is stretchy but also supportive.  It holds her arch up.  Eventually, when her calf muscle loosens up and she reprograms her feet how to support her weight, she should be all better.  The worst part is making (nagging) her to do her stretches and exercises.



Clean room contest results:  all 3 rooms passed inspection.  However Mat was given a warning about some clutter.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Another Year

Due to the high demand for another year (Amy) I will try to blog everyday,...again.  How hard can it be?  I've already done it.  My biggest fear is running out of stuff to photograph.  I don't want a lot of repeats.  But seeing as how I rarely have large amounts of down time I think I can come up with something.



Today's potd is about decorating.  Something I enjoy doing.  Something that Mickey's happy to let me do, as long as I keep the cost reasonable.  This isn't a big project but it adds a lot to the foyer.  Everything is from IKEA.  (desk, lamp, mirror)

Foyer



It's nowhere near done yet.  I need to give the walls and possibly the door a coat of paint.  And by that I mean color.



Speaking of painting....I started a contest for the kids today.  The contest will run for the entire month of January.  The winner gets their room painted first.  Wondering what they have to do?  By 7:00 p.m. every day their room has to be clean.  I don't think that's asking too much.  And secretly I'm hoping this will help them learn to pick up after themselves.  I believe I've heard that it takes 30 days to make something a habit.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed.



All three kids passed inspection today.  I'll continue to post how well (or not so well) they do.