Thursday, January 31, 2008
My two older kids left early for school this morning because Thursdays are early show choir practice. They went to pick up one of K's friends on the way. Before they got to her house, they were turning a corner and they slid and ended up in a ditch! And they have a four-wheel drive vehicle!
You should see the difference between the roads in Illinois and in Wisconsin. If you are driving on the highway in Illinois during a snow storm, there will be plows out plowing and salting the roads. Once you cross the border into Wisconsin that ends. Then you can start counting how many cars and trucks are in the ditch. Last time this happened (just last friday) on a stretch of highway that takes only 15 minutes to drive, we saw atleast 5 cars in the ditch. In Illinois ZERO cars in the ditch. In Wisconsin FIVE!
Fortunately, K's friends dad was able to help the kids out of the ditch and all is well. But I can't help thinking how much worse this could have been.
End of rant.
Cheese Fry Casserole
2 lb. frozen hashbrowns
2/3 lb. velveeta
8 oz. sharp cheddar - shredded
1 pint half & half
1 C. butter
Heat half & half and 1/2 C butter on stove until butter is melted. Add cheese and stir until that's melted. Grease a 9x13 pan. Spread hashbrowns in the greased pan. Pour cheese mixture over the hashbrowns. Let sit at least an hour in the fridge. When ready to bake, top the cheese mixture with pats of the remaining butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Bake 350 for 45 - 60 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.
I usually serve this as a side dish to chicken or beef. Round the meal out with some veggies or a salad. Give it a try and let me know what you think!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Hi Ladies! I have gotten such a great response to my first giveaway that I've decided to giveaway two more things!
Just leave a comment letting me know which one you would like! I will randomly pick 2 winners on Sunday Feb. 3rd. It's OK if both winners pick the same thing. This giveaway is open to US residents only.
Check our Bloggy Giveaways for more awesome prizes!
Anyway, my solution to the empty box problem is to have a Treat Box. When I come home from the grocery store, I empty any individually wrapped treats into the Treat Box and then recycle the empty box right away. This way the kids can reach into the box and get a treat, and I don't have to mess with an empty box when I have a craving for a granola bar, or say some chocolate.
This is what Works For Me! Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more great tips!
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
No, that's not snow on the driveway, its ice pellets. Here's a close-up.
This is what I'll be doing tonight. The kids and I are going to have pizza and watch Muppet's Treasure Island. (S of course will be eating PB&J)
We miss you and can't wait for you to come home. I hope the weather is better by the time you fly back over the "big blue wet thing. "
And to celebrate the over 100 and counting comments I've gotten on my giveaway, I am planning another giveaway! I am still working on it but it should be ready tomorrow.
So stay tuned for another Bloggy Giveaway!
Monday, January 28, 2008
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Bloggy Giveaways is hosting a Bloggy Giveaway Carnival! With Valentines Day coming up soon, I decided to have a Valentine giveaway. I'm giving away a set of four handmade valentine coasters, and a valentine mug filled with Lindor truffles!
All you have to do to enter is leave me a comment. I'll pick the winner on Friday February 1st. Limited to US residents only.
Get yourself over to Bloggy Giveaways for more exciting giveaways!
We had a great day, but boy was I tired when I got home. I'm not used to seven hours on my feet. Fortunately, the kids don't have a competition next week. I'm looking forward to a quiet weekend!
Saturday, January 26, 2008
I am off to spend the day at my daughters High School. It is their Show Choir Invitational today and I'm signed up to volunteer from 10:30 - 5:30. The first three hours my job will be to stand at the door that the performers use to get back stage and make sure that nobody enters or exits during a performance. The note on the bottom of the instruction sheet they sent me says "We like to open outside doors to let fresh air into gym. It gets chilly so bring your coat" It is currently 20 degrees and snowing here. Doesn't that sound enjoyable? (note to self: wear comfortable shoes and warm clothes.) At 1:30 I move over to the cafeteria. Yes, I get to work in the kitchen! Do you suppose I'll get to wear a hairnet?
Now I really don't mind all this. Our school has such a fantastic Show Choir program, and my daughter just loves being a part of it. It's honestly her whole life, and all her friends are involved too. But the kicker for me today is that my Almamater, the High School that I graduated from almost 25 years ago (yikes! I can't possibly be that old!) is coming to this competition. I have lost touch with all my old high school friends, but what are the odds that someone that I knew in school will be there with their kids? And there I'll be, 42 years old, having gained more weight than I care to think about, and wearing a hair net.Perhaps they'll just think I'm the lunch lady.
Friday, January 25, 2008
4 Tbsp. Olive Oil
4 Tbsp. Soy Sauce
2 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp. Brown Sugar
2 cloves Garlic, minced
1 tsp. dried Basil
3 Whole Cloves
Pepper to taste
Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
Mix the first eight ingredients together in a ziplock bag. Add boneless skinless chicken breasts (or whatever meat your prefer). Refrigerate and let the chicken marinate for 2-3 hours. Sometimes I put this together first thing in the morning and add frozen chicken and let the chicken marinate as it thaws. As for cooking the chicken, usually we will use the grill, but I have baked it, broiled it or sauteed it and it still turns out well.
I usually serve Carmen Chicken with rice and corn.
I hope you enjoy Carmen Chicken! I'll be posting more of Momala's Favorites from time to time.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
One of the traditions we have is called The List. In our family we have had more than our share of picky eaters. (Thankfully my two older teens have grown out of this and have turned into great eaters) One of the things we did to get the kids to eat what I prepare for dinner was to let each child have their own list of two foods that they don't like. If I make something for dinner that is on one of the kids lists, that child doesn't have to eat that food. Now, the beauty of this system is that whenever the kids don't want to eat something, all I have to say is "is this food on your list?" and if it isn't, they have to eat it. If the food is on their list, they will usually eat either a piece of fruit or pb&j or, if I'm being a really bad and lazy mom, a bowl of cereal.
The kids lists are currently as follows:
- J - He has nothing on his list. He'll eat anything.
- K - Sausage Gravy and Polish Sausage. I guess the girl just doesn't like sausage.
- A - Swedish Pancakes and Enchiladas
- S - Carmen Chicken and Polish Sausage
The kids can change the foods on their list when we have our family meeting each month (I will be posting about our family meetings soon) We have been using The List for over ten years now, and our kids have really enjoyed having that little bit of control over what they eat. I enjoy the fact that they can't argue with me about eating something they don't like if it's not on their list!
Since we enjoy the traditions in our family so much, I will from time to time be sharing some of our favorite traditions with you! What are some of your family traditions? Leave a comment and share some of your favorite traditions!
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Recently, S has become more and more interested in Lego's. (For Career Day at school he went as a Lego Designer) One day I was really upset about the Lego's all over the house. S was forever making new creations and they were everywhere! I happened to be down in the basement and spotted the train table and realized that it would make a great Lego table. I had my husband move the table up to S's bedroom and he now uses it to make and display all his Lego creations. We store all the extra Lego's in bins under the table and under his bed. This really Works For Me! Head over to Rocks In My Dryer for more great WFMW tips!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Anyway, my day today will be filled with snow and laundry. We are supposed to be getting 4-7 inches of snow today, and I need to tackle Mt. Dirty Laundry in my basement. Both of which, I believe, will require a shovel.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Friday, January 18, 2008
We will be going out to eat tonight because it isn't a celebration without expensive, fattening food.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
I'll deal with the positives first:
I thought the movie looked beautiful. It seemed to capture the time and setting of the book very well.
I also thought the score was beautiful.
I liked the actors cast as Anne and Captain Wentworth. Captain Wentworth in particular was a very dashing leading man, although he didn't look like a sailor who had spent eight years at sea.
On the negative side:
They did a lot or rearranging of the plot. For instance, why did Anne have the conversation about the fickleness of women in Lyme with Captain Benwick, instead of in Bath with Captain Harville? That conversation is a turning point in the book that gives hope to an eavesdropping Captain Wentworth, and causes him to write the note in which he declares that he still loves Anne. Why change it?
In the book, Mr Elliot does show his preference for Anne, but he doesn't make an outright proposal.
I thought that Sir Walter Elliot, Elizabeth, and Mary, while portrayed as very unkind and unfeeling to Anne in the book, are portrayed as downright mean and nasty in this movie.
Why, oh why, did Anne keep looking into the camera? Was it for some kind of dramatic effect? I found it distracting.
Captain Wentworth buys Kellynch-hall for Anne as a wedding present? I hadn't realized that it was for sale.
And there were many other details of the plot that were changed, including Mrs. Smith not being sickly, Mrs. Clay being pretty, Anne running and running, and running through Bath, ( I would have passed out) and many, many more.
So, there it is. While it looked beautiful, it was overall disappointing for me, especially as Persuasion is one of my favorite of Jane Austen's books. I thought that the 1995 version starring Amanda Root, while not a perfect adaptation, was a much better movie.
Did you watch the movie, and if so, did you like or dislike it? I'd love to hear your opinions, let me know what you thought!
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Our oldest turned 13 over five years ago. At the time, we were trying to decide on something to do for him that would make this birthday special. We settled on a surprise father-son weekend trip. My husband took him to the Football Hall of Fame in Canton Ohio. Sixteen months later, my daughter had her 13th birthday (by now the trip wasn't a surprise) She wanted to go to a beach and go shopping. So that's what we did. We took a mother-daughter trip to Florida and stayed on the beach and went shopping. Last year my 2nd son turned 13. My husband took him to Arizona to go to Cubs and Brewers spring training camps. We have really enjoyed this tradition, and the kids still talk about what great memories they have of their trip.
So that's one way our family celebrates the teen years, and it Works for Me. Head over to Rocks in My Dryer for more great WFMW tips!
Monday, January 14, 2008
And I began to notice I was having more and more of a desire to just veg out in front of the TV. After writing this post, it only took a few days of not being in the Word for my heart to start changing right back again.
It made me realize how much I need to be in God's Word every day. I need to wholly rely on Him to just get me through the day!
For me it works best to get up before the rest of the family to do my devotions. This isn't always easy, (I'm pretty bleary eyed until I get my first cup of coffee) but it is well worth it. If I don't do it first thing, I never seem to get around to it.
How do you find time to spend in God's Word? Is there a specific time or place that works best for you? Do you use a devotional or just read your Bible? Do you have a specific devotional that you would recommend? Leave a comment! I'd love to hear what works best for you.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
BOOKS THAT HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE:
Desiring God by John Piper - I loved this book and I want to read it again. It transformed my walk with Christ.
BOOKS I'VE READ MORE THAN ONCE:
Every single Jane Austen book. Some more than others. I think I read Pride and Prejudice about once a year.
The Persian Pickle Club, The Chili Queen, Alice's Tulips, and The Diary of Mattie Spencer, all by Sandra Dallas.
Christy by Catherine Marshall.
The Fitzwilliam Darcy, Gentleman series by Pamela Aidan
BOOKS I'D WANT ON A DESERT ISLAND:
Lisa said "The Bible, Pride and Prejudice, as I have yet to grow weary of reading it! " I must agree.
BOOKS THAT MADE ME LAUGH:
Pride and Prejudice and Emma by Jane Austen
BOOKS THAT MADE ME CRY:
I tend to read books with happy endings, so I can't think of any that made me cry.
BOOKS I WISH HAD BEEN WRITTEN:
How to Control Your Hormones In Three Easy Steps
BOOKS I WISH HAD NEVER BEEN WRITTEN:
Can't think of any.
BOOKS I'M CURRENTLY READING:
Emma by Jane Austen, again. Are we seeing an Austen trend in this list? I think so.
Discipline The Glad Surrender by Elisabeth Elliot
The Excellent Wife by Martha Peace
A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman
BOOKS I'VE BEEN MEANING TO READ:
When I Don't Desire God by John Piper
French Women Don't Get Fat by Mireille Guiliano
Feminine Appeal by Carolyn Mahaney
The Devil In The White City by Erik Larson
If you feel like playing along, consider yourself tagged!
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Fortunately, the two cars behind me were wise enough to be driving slowly, so they were able to stop and watch the crazy lady in the spinning red minivan. I hope they were entertained. I then turned the van around and sheepishly drove home at about 10 mph.
When I told my K what happened she was very sympathetic. But when I told the boys they thought it was awesome. J figured out that I had done a 540 degree turn. I guess to a teenage boy that's about the only cool thing you can do in a minivan.
My husband, two younger boys and I will be heading up to Madison for lunch (our favorite Gyro place, YUM!) and then we will go to the competition to watch her group perform.
This is the beginning of a very busy few months for our family. K has competitions almost every weekend for the next 3 months. And, their group is also going to be performing at Disney World in March! We try to go to as many of the competitions as we can, and we will be going to Disney World too. We are so excited! We haven't been to Disney World for over 9 years, and S has never been at all. I was pregnant with S the last time we went, but he doesn't seem to think that counts.
I'll try to post some pictures of her later today.
Thursday, January 10, 2008
They will never find it.
Wednesday, January 9, 2008
Anywho, please help me! My husband and children want me to make fried chicken and I don't know what I am doing. So if you have any recipes, tips, warnings, etc. about fried chicken, please help a girl out. Thanks!
For more backward WFMW, head on over to Rocks in My Dryer!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
First I have to post the rules:
Link to the person who tagged you;
Leave a comment on their blog so that their readers can visit yours;
Post the rules on your blog;
Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog;
Tag 7 random people at the end of your post;
Include links to their blogs;
Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
- I love to rearrange my furniture. I mean I really love it. (My husband is the one that suggested this for my first weird thing) It bugs my husband because his parents have never rearranged anything in their house in over 40 years. And, when they redecorate, they buy the same sized furniture and put it in the same places as the old furniture. The great thing is that I now have 2 teen aged boys to do the heavy lifting for me!
- I am totally grossed out by spit and phlegm. When I have to clean a bathroom sink that hasn't been rinsed out, I feel sick to my stomach. Now I have 4 kids and I can handle any amount of dirty diapers and throwing up, but its the spit and phlegm that do me in. I could not be a dental hygienist.
- I hate spiders so much that I pay my kids $1 for every spider they kill in the house. If they are running low on cash, sometimes they go spider hunting.
- I think I am the only woman on the planet who can't multi-task.
- My favorite breakfast when I was growing up was toast with peanut butter, jelly and baloney. I'm not sure how that started, but I still like it.
- At 42, I am dealing with both acne and wrinkles. Life is not fair.
- I am afraid of fried chicken. Not eating it of course, but making it. My family really wants me to make it and I'm scared to death. I don't know why.
So there it is, 7 weird things about me. If you want to play along, consider yourself tagged!
The biggest problem for me with this kind of weather is the headaches. I get a headache whenever there is any kind of storm coming through. This time it started Sunday night and is still going strong. I have tried every pain medication known to man, and nothing will knock this baby out.
I have heard that some people's arthritis flares up before and during storms, but for me it's headaches. Does anyone else get any weird physical symptoms during storms?
Monday, January 7, 2008
This weekend I decided as part of my New Start in life, to clean up the clutter in the house. Now a lot of this involved some rearranging of furniture and other stuff. (This, he thinks is a little weird. Anyone else like to rearrange furniture every once in a while? I think its fun, but he thinks it's an odd thing to do) I did pretty well clearing up the clutter, just don't look in my basement because that's where a lot of it is piled.
This morning my husband kept on saying how nice it is to wake up to a clean bedroom. So while he doesn't complain when it is (usually) messy, he really appreciates it when it's clean.
Maybe keeping our room clutter free is the least I could do for such a great guy.
Saturday, January 5, 2008
But the Lord has been changing my heart. I didn't really notice it at first, but I am realizing that since I have been reading my bible daily, my tastes and interests are changing. I no longer feel drawn to the TV. And there are so many shows on TV that I previously found funny, but now I just don't want to put that in my head. (I'm not saying that watching TV is bad in itself. I still enjoy watching occasionally, just not all day every day)
I am also noticing an actual desire to be in the Word. I only used to read my bible occasionally, and only out of a sense of obligation. Now I look forward to it, and I feel drawn to read and understand what Gods Word says.
The only thing I can say about these changes is that it is all the Lord. I know for sure that this didn't come from me. I have no natural desires for what is right and good. The only reason for these changes is that the Lord chose to change my heart. And I am so thankful. While I have been writing, this verse came to mind:
Friday, January 4, 2008
Lets see, the day started out alright. I got up and did my devotions, made breakfast for the family, Then I got sidetracked reading blogs until it was time to put S on the bus. Note that I hadn't done the breakfast dishes yet. We wait for the bus at my neighbors house at 8:00, so after the kids got on the bus, she asked me in for coffee. Well, I'm not one to turn down coffee and a chat with her, that would be rude. So I didn't get back home until 9:15. Then of course I had to take a shower (no, I am not the most attractive mom putting the kid on the bus, but its a good thing my neighbor still likes me) Then I had to run out to Target because my daughter told me at 9:00 last night that she is out of deodorant. Please note again that I still haven't done the dishes. After Target I stopped at Goodwill because you just never know what you might find at Goodwill. ( I did get some great deals, will post about that later:) ) After wandering around Goodwill, I went to the grocery store where, as I said, I bought much more than was on my list. Now, they say you should never go to the grocery store hungry, but I say you should never drive anywhere near a Taco John's hungry. I couldn't resist the urge to drive-thru and get me some Ole`s. And darn it if they weren't cold when I got home. By now it was 12:30. After I ate, I had to go read some more blogs of course. Then, horror of horrors, our cable, Internet, and phone went out. I felt like I had lost a limb. I might as well tell you that this may be the only reason I got my breakfast dishes done. Oh, and I made the bed too. Then I took some pictures of my Goodwill finds, only I couldn't figure out how to hook the camera up to the computer. By the time I was done playing with the camera, the Internet was back up so I of course had to check out blogs again. Then I got a call from another friend who invited me to a girls night at her house tonight, to which I responded "heck yea". But of course, I had to run out and buy some snacks to bring to girls night because I can't show up empty handed. I also picked up a few toys for the dog. When I got home I played with the dog. By then it was 2:45. Time to go pick up my oldest son from school because my daughter was staying after school and needed their car. Since I got home, I have chatted with the boys about their day, and had a snack. Then I decided to write this post, which is turning out to be just a long, boring ramble.
So, there you have it. An enormous failure. Am I not the most unorganized, undisciplined person ever? I sure feel like I am.
Thursday, January 3, 2008
After going through a list of very practical advice, he gets into the scriptural reasons for being disciplined. Essentially, that self discipline starts when we realize this:
He explains that "We have been purchased at such a high cost & you will begin to seek a holy life when you begin to understand the price Jesus Christ paid for you." This message was exactly what I needed to hear. God is so good!
If you are struggling in this area I would highly recommend this series. I can't wait to listen to the next 3 parts. If you listen to these messages, please let me know how you like it!
I don't really want to put our budget online, but I will be posting about how It's going. Hopefully this challenge will keep me accountable! I have set up many budgets in the past, but have never stuck with them.
So, as I have committed to making A New Start this year, count me in!
Wednesday, January 2, 2008
When you donate plasma, they actually pay you. You can donate twice a week. The first time in a week that you donate you earn $20 and the second time you earn $40. That's $60 a week people! $240 a month! The process is very easy, and it only takes about 60 - 90 minutes per donation. I bring a book, or listen to my ipod. I am actually being paid to lounge and read a book! What could be better? The plasma is made into medication that is used by hemophiliacs and others. I can make my appointments on-line, and if I can't make it one day, I just cancel the appointment. They also provide free child-care for those who have small children.
So, that's what Works For Me! Head over to Rocks In My Dryer to find more great tips!
- Actually having the desire to read my bible, rather than just reading out of a sense of duty.
- Getting back to a normal routine after the holidays.
- Having breakfast with my family.
- Having our Christmas decorations put away.
- My husbands new job.
- Living in a great school district.
- Diet Coke.
- A brand new stack of books to read.
- Our new church.
- Ole`s at Taco Johns.
- My dog.
- Having good friends and neighbors.
Head on over to Musings of a Housewife and play along!
Tuesday, January 1, 2008
Me - Lets watch Ratatouille
S - OK, that's like number 14 on my list of top 20 movies!
Me- You made a list?
S - No.
Me - Huh?
Watched half of Ratatouille. We watched the ball drop in New York and had lights out at 11:01. (told ya we were boring) S slept in our room. He was talking in his sleep. He said "the monkey's potato."
All in all it was a great New Years.