Friday, February 27, 2009

Raising Canibals

OK, one more encounter with kids I just have to share.
Beano and Dubs were running around playing some imaginary game this morning.
I was not really paying close attention to how this game was going, but Mr Bird caught a snippet that, taken out of context, was quite funny...and a little disturbing.
As the two super charged boys came bounding down the stairs Mr Bird hears the following exchange:
Dubs: I'll never be married to you.
Beano: Then how will you eat? (implying he has to be married to have some one cook for him, how rude! What is Mr Bird teaching our boys?)
Dubs: I'll kill bad guys for their meat.
That was just wrong on so many levels. But funny as all get up. Where they come up with this stuff, I'll never know.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Truth About Glitter

Do your kids have their own words for common things?
Do you avoid the temptation to correct these little errors simply because you think it's really cute when they say the wrong word, only they don't know they're saying the wrong word?
Mine do it all the time.
Today we were sitting at a stop light and we saw some soda cans and old garbage in the gutter.
Beano shook his head and said,
"Ooo, somebody glittered!"
I held back the belly laugh that was fighting to come out.
I just did not have the heart to correct him.
Sometimes I think if I correct all those words that more of their babyness will be gone forever.
Then from way back in the 3rd row comes Doodle, ready to add to the conversation,
"When people glitter it destroys animal's habitats!"
At that I lost it.
It was just too much for me.
I know, I know, I really should tell them the truth about glitter.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Happy Mardi Gras

photo by Newlyweds!
I almost forgot today is Mardi Gras!
How could I forget?
Doesn't this king cake look absolutely to die for? I have never tired it, but I think tonight just might be the night.
I love the Mardi Gras beads, heaven knows we have plenty of those hanging around our house.

Photo by realbakingwithrose

And french onion soup is my favorite.
Do you think I'd have mutiny in my kitchen if I tried making this tasty dish for a bunch of kids who hate onions?
You know what? I am going to try it in the name of Mardi Gras. If they don't like it, they can celebrate skinny Tuesday instead!
Now go check out those recipes and start cooking!

Spring Fever

I was looking at random photos and found this one from last spring.
I have Spring fever in a bad way.
This makes me wish for green.
I can't wait for the tiny leaf buds to appear on our trees,
or the snow to melt and give way to florescent green baby grass.
I can't wait for our bulbs to push up through the no longer frozen ground,
or for my baby apple trees to get their first set of apple blossoms ever.
I can't wait to dig in our rich soil and plant lots of tiny vegetable seeds and watch them emerge into tiny plants that will feed our family.
I can't wait to feel the warmth of the sun on my skin and just bask in the sun light.
I can't wait for horse rides and picnics.
I can't wait for park days and riding bikes and spring time hikes at the Nature Center.
I feel like we are on the thresh hold.
It could all happen at any moment.
I know, I know, we still have at least another month.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Taste the Rainbow

These little candy hearts are my favorite candy.
Except maybe chocolate.
I am sad they are gone until next year.
Except I'm really glad because I have no self control when these are around.
I think I ate 3 entire bags myself.
I still have a tummy ache.
Someday soon I will give up sugar for good, no looking back, like my friend Lara has done.
Someday soon, but not today.
I think of myself as a strong woman in many aspects, but I just don't know if I'm strong enough for that.
Almost, but not quite

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

I Spy With My Little Eye, A Bargain!

Anyone who knows me well knows how much I love a bargain.
I am a pinny pincher to the max.
I get 5 Sunday papers so I can have 5 sets of coupons.
Our local news paper has a coupon special which includes 5 Sunday papers each week for $18.50/month. That works out to less than $1/paper.
When certain items go on sale and there is a coupon to match I get the deal 5 times instead of just once.
In an average month I spend around $400 on groceries for the 6 of us.
That includes diapers, shampoo, soap, deodorant, cleaning supplies, tooth paste, ect.
When stores have their end of season sales I stock up on clothes and shoes for the next year for the kids and me. I usually buy the size bigger than they are.
I store them in bins in the barn until the next year.
You can imagine my thrill today as I went shopping and found killer deals every where I went.
I have found a discount grocery store that is just killer.
Today I picked up bananas for 10/$1.00.
I bought 53 of them.
They freeze really well and make wonderful smoothies.
I also got red, yellow and green bell peppers 4/$1.00
(the red and yellow ones sell for around $2 each in the grocery store).
These also freeze well and are great for stir fry or fajitas at a moments notice.
They had yummy salad kits for 69 cents,
Fresh pre-washed spinach for 69 cents per bag.
Plus they take coupons so I got my yogurt there for free after the coupons.
They had 4 packs of Yoplait Yo Plus for 99c. After the dollar off coupon they are free.
They also had Juicy Juice 100% juice for 99 cents, again free after the dollar off coupon.
I have started stopping at this store before I do my regular shopping in case they have better deals there.
It is kind of hit and miss.
Some weeks I score and get tons of deals, other weeks there is not much there to get excited about.
My local grocery store had my favorite mascara and eye liner buy one get one free. After I used coupons on top of that I paid about $1.00 per item. They would have cost around $7.00 each typically. They also had diapers on sale for $6.99 with peelie coupons on the pack for $3 off. I bought 2 packs for $3.99 per pack.
Not too shabby.
So here is the kicker.
I heard one of my favorite clothing stores, Down East Outfitters, was having a sale where they were taking an additional 50% off all clearance items.
I hit the jack pot.
I ended up getting 4 shirts, 1 sweater and a pair of pants for me.
Guess how much it cost.
Go ahead, guess.
Try again, lower still!
Can you believe that!
The receipt said I saved over $205
And they are all really cute, too!
Cha Ching!!!
All said and done I spent less than $100 today and got a weeks' worth of groceries, clothes, diapers, a new muffin pan, 2 mascaras, 2 eye liners and a box of 1/2 off Valentine's chocolates so Mr Bird would not feel so bad about not getting me any.
What would Valentine's day be without chocolate, I ask you!
The best part is, the pants were size 2 and they fit me!
I usually wear a size 4, but they did not have them in a size 4. I decided to take a chance and try them on and low and behold, they fit!
I can't decide if I was more excited about the size 2 or the price tag of $2.85 for perfectly cute
chocolate brown corduroy pants.
To see what others are chatting about this frozen solid Tuesday visit The Lazy Organizer

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's On Parade

I was informed today by my cute Sister-in-law that is really more like my real sister that I need to blog about my Valentine's Decor. The kids and I (OK, mostly me) have had a really fun time creating our Valentine's decorations this year. Here is a little of what we (I) created.
This old window came from my friend Calene.
I had a hard time taking a decent photo of it, the flash glared and without a flash it was the most blurry picture, even at broad day light.
I was at Calene's house one day and saw one like it in her bathroom. I asked her where she got it and she, being the sweet heart that she is, sent me home with a spare one she had in her garage.
I put different scrapbook papers in each window pane to make a cute wall hanging then hung the hooks on the front.
Actually, Mr Bird put the hooks on and hung it for me, he's handy like that.
I can change out paper for each holiday if I want, or I my just leave it how it is, since it matches my red kitchen.
Here are the deep red Valentine's Lovers Candles with a sweet pure white flower filled heart adorning our dining room table.

And you know me, I just have to have something hanging from the ceiling. The streamers are left over from our inaugural ball, I just took down the blue ones.
Then we made wax paper hearts.
You just get a long piece of waxed paper, put crayon shavings on one half, then fold the other half over the shavings.
Iron the waxed paper between two towels until the crayons melt and the wax paper seals shut.
Then trace hearts shapes (I used different sized cookie cutters) onto the wax paper and cut.
These look really cool in person, the colors are all mixed and they are really pretty when the sun shines on them.

This is one of my favorites. Anyone that comes to our house gets to pick a treat from our Sweet Heart Shoppe. You can choose from conversation hearts, red hots, a candy bracelet or a real beaded bracelet that Doodle and I made.
So come on over and have a treat, we would love any visitors we can get!

This one is super easy. I filled one of our large drinking glasses (you could use a vase of any shape) with red hots, tied a ribbon around it and put flowers in the top. It looked a lot better when I first made it, Mr Bird keeps taking the flowers out and eating the candy!
Now the roses have all come apart and are not as tight as they used to be.
I painted LOVE on the cup with craft paint and letter stamps I already have.
The great thing is that the paint will just scrape off the glass when I am done with it.

Same concept for this one, only prettier and pinker.
Conversation hearts are my favorite. I have to keep buying new bags of them to replace the ones the kids and I eat. This is my last bag, I promise.
Good thing Valentine's Day is in 3 days!
Now I just need to decide which fun Valentine's Day Goodies to make.
I'm sure you'll hear all about them when I am done!
Happy Valentine's Day
Now, go kiss your lover!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The Perfect Mess

In this corner we have
The Three Year Old
eating and spilling chocolate milk mix.
(Look at that face? How can anyone get mad at that face?)
In this corner we have
The One Year Old
playing in a sipie cup full of spilt milk.
I don't know how he figured out how to get the lid off, but he did.
What can I say, he's a genius.

That little heathen was having way more fun sitting and splashing in the milk than we was drinking it.
Now for the ironic part. These two incidents happened within 2 minutes of each other.
Chocolate milk anyone?
Oh, and I forgot to mention that Mr Bird was only about 6 feet away from them.
I will not tell you where I was...
To see what everyone else is chatting about this ice blue Tuesday

Monday, February 9, 2009

I just love it when it snows.
Sure, it's nice to look out the window and see the world around me all dusted with powdered sugar.
It's nice to have an excuse not to leave the house all day.
It's really nice to sit on the couch all wrapped in blankets reading to my kids all morning long.
But do you know what I like best?
I like it when the kids beg to go play in the snow after lunch.
I love it when I tell them they can after we clean up the house and magically there is no whining about cleaning up.
I love it that our house gets super clean in record time without fits.
You know what else I love?
I love it that Doodle and Beano can get their own snow clothes on all by them selves now.
I only have to bundle up one kid.
I love it when I can watch from my nice warm house with Baby as the kids have a ball in the freshly fallen snow.
I love that they can still play in it like it was the first snow fall of the season.
I think it's so funny that they only last 1/2 hour until they come in frozen, ready for a big mug of hot cocoa.

Technically my kids don't like hot chocolate (I know, weird, huh?), but they do LOVE hot vanilla.
And I love the heart shaped strawberry marshmallows.
How cute are those, I ask you!
How do you make them you ask?
Let me tell you, I slaved away in the kitchen the whole time they were outside just so these could be ready when they came in.
No not really, they are super easy.

Just flatten a marshmallow with a rolling pin and cut it with the smallest heart shaped cookie cutter and there you have it.

Fun and yummy heart shaped marshmallows floating and melting into a big ball of sweet gooeyness right in your very own mug of hot chocolate...

or vanilla.

Don't worry, I only ate one.

OK, two

So what if I ate half the bag!

Goin' Crazy

I think I've gone around the corner to the luney bin.
Guess what I did?
I signed up to run the Ogden 1/2 Marathon.
I am way excited.
I hope I don't die. I also hope I'm not the last one to finish, which I likely will be.
I am so slow, but this will be a fun adventure.
There are a little less than 14 weeks to train, who's with me?
Sign up at this link
and download a training schedule at this link!
Come on guys, lets get running.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Granola

So I found this blog through Talk About Tuesday a while ago and I just can't get enough.
This lady has 9 children.
That alone is sheer inspiration.
Plus she comes up with some really yummy and healthy food to feed those 11 mouths.
I have made many of her recipes and love them because she speaks to my whole grain, health nut side.
So remember a while ago when I said I was craving comfort foods this time of year.
Well, this one tops all.
I have a hard time making this and not wanting to eat the entire pan all myself in one sitting.
On a day that is grey and dark and cold, this brings life and sunshine to my world. My kids love it too.
For us though, it is way too sweet for breakfast.
We eat it for that snack between lunch and dinner, you know the one when your blood sugar drops and you feel like you could eat the whole kitchen and it's still 2 hours until dinner time?
We grab some of this tasty and satisfying peanut butter granola with a glass of milk and it does the trick.
It makes me feel all warm and cozy inside.
Of course, I have to change things a little I can not just leave well enough alone. So here is the recipe, which I have tweaked to suit myself and my family.
Try it today, you'll be glad you did.
Peanut Butter Granola
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
2/3 cup natural peanut butter
5 tablespoons honey
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup chocolate chips
1/2 raisins or craisins
1/2 cup toasted oat cereal rings (Cheerio's)
2/3 cup wheat germ
1/4 cup milled flax seed
1/2 teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine brown sugar, honey, peanut butter, applesauce and vanilla. Mix well. Add the remaining ingredients. Mix to coat all dry ingredients in the yummy peanut butter gooeyness. Taste the dough and try not to eat it all raw. Press in a GREASED cookie sheet (once I forgot to grease the pan and we literally had to chip little bits off at a time, it realllly sticks, in a bad way, and it's no wonder with all that gooey peanut butter happiness in there). Bake 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. You can cut into bars but we just break it into bits and eat it like granola.
P.S. My cookie sheet is huge so I double the recipe and it turns out better, plus we have a harder time eating it all in one sitting and there might be some left for the next day!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Cutest Baby

I need your help. I am thinking of entering Baby Cakes in a beautiful baby contest and I need a photo.
Which one should I submit?
I know, I know, baby contests are so degrading, all they will be judging them on is their good looks.
It's really more of a scholarship program. You see the winner gets a college scholarship of $125,000. Now who could pass that up.
And besides, he just might be the cutest baby on the planet, except maybe Lara's baby, but she would not think of putting her baby through all that non sense, no, not Lara!
So since Sweetness is out of the running Baby Cakes might have a shot.
So what do you think?
Come on ladies, which is it, cuz I really can't decide!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

They Say it's Your Birthday

Isn't this a beautiful model?
I love her thick honey colored hair and how she seems to exude confidence.
I love her kind eyes and how her hair swooshes over her perfect brow.
I love her natural look and beautiful smile.
Actually she is no model at all.
She is my good friend, Lara.
You know, the one I talk about all the time from the Lazy Organizer.
Guess what?
Today's her birthday!!!
Happy Birthday, Lara
For her Birthday her loving friends are sharing how she has inspired change in our lives.
She truly is an amazing mom.
Here are the top 10 things I do thanks to The Lovely Lara
1. I have weird things like alfalfa and wheat sprouting in my kitchen. Plus thanks to her I plan on sprouting lentils and sunflower seeds (by the way, thanks for lunch!)
2. After leaving her house and seeing her grain storage bins I went to Wal-Mart that very week end and bought my own, just like them. My grains now live happily in them and not the silly plastic bags they came in, all crammed in my cupboard.
3. I must soak all my grain over night before I can eat them.
4. She helped me understand sourdough and gave me the recipe for the yummiest sour dough bagels and muffins ever.
5. Notice how all these revolve around food? I really like to eat.
6. Just today she showed me her spice drawer and now I am plotting to evict a whole drawer full of stuff just to give my spices a new home, just like Lara's.
7. I found out from her it's OK to give my children more responsibility and now Doodle buckles Dubs in the car every time we get in, plus all my kids wash their own hair. I know, sounds silly, but those two things really save me time and frustration.
8. We all have her blog to thank for mine. I clicked on the link to her blog from an email she sent me way back when we first met. I was instantly hooked on her blog and dreamed for a long time of starting my own. Many moons later here I am with one of my very own. Yup, you all have Lara to thank for this wonderful blog that I just know you could not live without.
9. She shows me that it's OK when I'm not perfect because she is not either, and she is brutally honest about it. She can laugh at her mistakes and move forward. I need to be more like that.
10. Often the stories on her blog make me laugh so hard I cry, mostly because she is so real. When I read what she writes I can almost here her talking, she is that true to life.
Happy Birthday Lara, We all hope it's a good one.
And that your children don't bug you all day and that they will make all your meals and clean the whole house and take care of Sweetness so you can sit and read or sew or what ever you want all day long!

Monday, February 2, 2009

We're Havin' a Heat Wave, a Tropical Heat Wave

Lara over at the Lazy Organizer is hosting a Home Tour this week for Talk about Tuesday.
Since it has been a while since I've blogged about my home I thought I would share what our yard looks like these days. If you don't live in a frozen wasteland, count your self lucky.
It is this time of year I really start to get bitter about the coldness.
I ache for spring.
I start craving comfort foods, the really fattening kinds.
I need sunshine on my skin.
You see, I was raised in California where we thought 65 degrees was bone chilling cold.
Oh, what I would give for 65 degrees.
The kids on the other hand LOVE nothing more than to go play in the snow, even for just 15 minutes, then come in for a nice warm mug of hot chocolate.
The other day it was unseasonable warm for our climate. It got up to 38 degrees, a whopping 6 degrees ABOVE freezing.
It had snowed a couple of days before and the snow was nice and soft, almost melty, perfect for making snowmen.
Doodle and Beano bundled up in their gloves and scarves and boots and coats and hats.
I swear they were dressed for winter when they went out.

I few minutes later I looked out the back yard window from my warm and toasty house to see this lovely site. They had built a cute, cute, cute mini snowman, all by them selves. They even put in the walnut eyes and donated their very own hat and scarf.

When I went out to take pictures I found them in the front yard making this gigantic thing, all by themselves.
They were too funny rolling those huge balls with all their might. It was even funnier when they tried to lift the middle ball onto the bottom one.
Finally they begged and pleaded enough and I found some gloves and helped them lift it up.
It took all three of us to lift the sucker, it was huge.
And I'm a wimp.
When it was all said and done we were sweating like it was a
bright sunny California day.
I ended up having fun, even though I totally did not wan to be outside.
They sucked me into the fun once again.
I sure do love my kids, I really think life would be boring without them.
Do you want to know how long our beautiful snowman lasted?
Less than 24 hours.
The very next morning they went out to play again and knocked the whole thing over.
They came in very pleased with them selves for making a
Snow Bench!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Hey Good Lookin, Whatca Got Cookin?

Do you feel like you ever get stuck in a rut when it come to dinner ideas? Do you find yourself preparing the same 5 or 6 meals night after boring night?
Well, have I got a meal solution for you!
This little ditty is tasty, easy and does not call for half the kitchen to prepare.
Just 7 simple ingredients, most of which you probably have in your kitchen as we speak.
So next time you go grocery shopping through a fresh lemon in your cart and you can make this ever so tasty
Chicken Picata
First start with 4 boneless skinless chicken breasts. First, pound them a little so they are not so thick up at the top. Then coat them in flour and brown both sides in a skillet with some olive oil. Do no worry about cooking the meat all the way through, it is not done yet, this is just the first step of it's long journey to tantalizing your taste buds.

Pull the chicken out of the pan and place on a plate to rest.
Next saute 1 medium onion and 1-2 cloves of garlic, depending on how bad you want your breath to smell when you are done.

When the onions are tender add 1 cup of chicken broth.

Put the chicken back in the skillet with the onions and broth and place slices of fresh lemon on them.
After a few minutes turn the chicken and let it cook until all the broth has reduced down and the onions are slippery and yummy looking.

Like this!
Now this is the most important part.
Don't eat the lemons!
But please, please, please do eat the onions. They are so tasty.
The chicken turns out yummy, but the caramelized onions are my absolute favorite. I think next time I need more onions.
Place a chicken breast on your plate and top with as many onions as will fit.
Serve this beauty with some cranberry almond rice and steamed veggies and you have a fabulous healthy meal that is out of your rut.
Unless you like it so much that this becomes your new rut.
Chicken Picata
4 bonless skinless chicken breasts
1/3 Cup flour
3 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Onion
1-2 Cloves of Garlic
1 Cup Chicken Broth
1 Fresh lemon, sliced