Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Schedule Recently

Let's catch everyone up since I've been completely overly busy lately!
Last week I was babysitting... as I will be through this month and then hopefully the lady I'm babysitting for will be going to full-time. It's not that I dislike watching her kiddo but I know her family could really use her being full time and once she does that they will move her to days which I work days too so I'll be unable to babysit any more.


Thursday:

So have you seen this recipe floating around facebook for Red Velvet Chocolate Cookies?

Well I happened to have about everything around the house though not many chocolate chips so I took some melting candy and broke it up and threw it in too.
They were interesting. They weren't bad but very soft! I ended up putting the ones we didn't eat that same night into the fridge because I was afraid they'd go bad otherwise.

Friday:

I finished up sewing my microwave potato bags for the ladies at work. Today (Wednesday) is actually our luncheon so I was cutting it close.








Saturday/Sunday:

So the ladies in the area and myself have started something called...
Stitch N' B* (fill in the blank).Where we meet once a month and we all work on our various crafts and talk.
Brielle wants to make bags for her friends for the holidays and we even bought the fabric but I had never used the pattern before so I cut up a pair of old slacks that couldn't be donated and made one out of them.
I even recycled one of the back pockets to make the inside pocket and removed the zipper from the slacks and used it on the purse!
Peter was rather impressed with what I did with his old pants.
I started Saturday with cutting up the slacks then went to the Stitch N'B* and got the pieces cut out (oh I also worked on copying the pattern because I didn't want to tear it up so I traced it out on some wax paper). Saturday night after I got home Peter went out to go play games with some boys so I stayed up until 3am! sewing. Sunday I picked it back up and finished it up.

Saturday Brielle worked on woodburning an item she got for one of her friends for the holidays. She did a really good job for her first big project so we just need to find some time to finish it up.

Sunday we brought out the decorations and at least got the tree up though haven't gotten anything else really done. A few other things out but nothing put together right yet. It's all pretty chaotic!




Monday:

Monday the folks I babysit were able to get a different babysitter for that evening so we could go to the Homework Diner with Katherine.
It's something our school got a grant for where we have dinner at the school (yum school food *cough*) and then have homework time.
Katherine really wanted us to go for the last few months but this is the first time we've made it out.



This was Monday's schedule.
Monday got pretty messed up because when I took Brielle to get to where they were picking up for the field trip we found out the bus had already left but that wasn't on us that was the instructor so the kids carpooled with some of the parents.
I then tried to go to Aldi then realized they don't open until 9am so then I went to Walmart (I try to avoid there but it is cheaper to get my oil done there) and after I handed them the keys to get my oil done I asked how long it would be and they informed me it would be 2 hours!!
Determined not to let this set the tone for the day I went over to Subway and got a breakfast sandwich, some coffee and sat down with my coupons and started to organize and go through them.
While at the doctors office for my 2pm appt I get the phone call that Brielle is actually going to be at the school at 2:15 to be picked up even though I had 3 o'clock wrote down. Thankfully wasn't in for long it just was my B-12 injection but it was 2:30 before I could get down to pick her up.

Tuesday:
This was Tuesday's schedule. It was pretty packed but most of the stress was making sure everyone was where they needed to be and then I tried to help out at the Extension Service Holiday Extravaganza.

 The kids made crafts and enjoyed themselves though when we got home it was back onto school work and getting ready for bed.

Thankfully I had thrown stuff in the crockpot for this night.





Wednesday:
Today is pretty straight forward but I do need to be running because I'm falling behind schedule. I have to get ready for work and I probably should try to look a little festive and nice as we are going out. I do have to pick up Brielle at some unknown time because of Monday's field trip she missed one of her big tests so she's making it up today after school. 

Thursday:




Goes absolutely crazy again. We were suppose to go to the cooking Holiday Extravaganza but then I got told that there is an Orchestra Concert and also Katherine has a field trip with Champions Club which is through the school.

Needless to say this has been and will be one heck of a week!







Friday:
Pretty straight forward with babysitting and I will help Brielle get started on her sewing project while Peter is out at Friday Night Magic.
I will also start cooking because the cookies I make take two days because the dough has to be chilled.

Saturday:
We have a potluck... thus the cookies so I'll be making cookies that day and whatever else I can whip up and then that afternoon we'll be going to a Christmas Potluck with friends.

Sunday.... I think it's open! OMG!

Anyways that's what's going on ... that's why no post recently though not a lot of excuses last week.
I'm still alive and kicking!!!.... Barely!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Busy Monday, December 1


Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Write this Blog 
  •  Make Menu
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Groceries
  • Work on Christmas Presents
  • Sign the kids up at 4-H center for the upcoming STEM project also sign up for the Holiday Extravaganza.
  • Babysit

Menu

  • Turkey Pot Pie (Should be the last day for the Turkey to be good need to get it used up)
  • Pork
  • Spaghetti w/Meatballs
  • Tacos
  • Pizza
  • Chili Dogs
  • Grilled Chicken & Pasta



This Week's 'To-Do' List

  • Babysit - Yes, I've picked up a second job so after I get off my first job at 2 I am on the road and running to pick up my second job. A 6 mo old baby girl that watch for about 7+ hours Monday-Friday. The first week was hell because that was last week while I was trying to get ready for Thanksgiving. 
  • Continue to work on Christmas presents. I have decided for lack of better ideas on what to get the ladies at work that I was sewing up potato zappers. Little bags you put your potato in and then stick it in the microwave. 



Last Week

So I didn't take a lot of pictures last week as I was rather busy. Monday I worked which is why you didn't see a post and also it was the first day I started Babysitting so I was super busy.

Tuesday I worked and then Peter watched the baby (with the mom's ok) while I took the kids to 4-H Project club. Prior to past Monday (I believe it was Sunday) I went out with a friend to a city an hour away where they have a huge Jo-Ann Fabric and got the craft stuff for this club activity. No pictures of it yet because the kids haven't finished yet.
Oh you might remember a couple weeks ago I said the kids had STEM club... well they never gave a time or anything official in the newsletter so I called them up and they said they weren't having the club. Later I see on Facebook they did have the club. I was livid and I made sure they knew it. The lack of organization is driving me batty! 
....
So after 4-H this past Tuesday (Nov. 25) we came home and started working on Lefse. We had to peel and slice 10 lbs of potatoes and then instead of using the potato ricer I decided to use the ffood millI had just purchased when I was making apple sauce and it seemed to work much better as far as time goes.

Wednesday, the day was spent making lefse and baking pies. I had a total break down where I was screaming and jumping up and down by the end quite literally. Trying to deal with a very fussy, teething 6 month old and dealing with my children while needing to get the lefse made .... Well it was all too much. Brielle picked up the little one and walked to the other room and let me have my 10-20 seconds of total meltdown. It sounds unprofessional but I let the mom know what happened.

Thursday, was Thanksgiving of course and I was up early in the morning cooking. We had some friends spend Thanksgiving dinner with us and it was a good time. I was afraid after the day prior that everything was going to fall apart but it worked out. Later that night the lady I watch the little one for, her fiance and her little one came by and stayed until the wee hours of the morning talking and playing Rockband. It was a good evening. I wish the little one had been that good days prior... I think a lot of it has to do with gasiness too. I had mentioned it to them and they started using some gas drops which seemed to help. Because Tuesday wasn't just fussiness I was being continuously thrown up on... Gassy Gassy baby.

Friday.... Black Friday. I did go out and brave things but I only went out at 10am with the kids to Jo-Ann Fabrics. It was very busy but it wasn't 'crazy' and I wasn't out there to fight anyone for anything.
We bought a few discounted items, we got a few knick knacks, we bought some pillow forms, a couple decorations and got some cuts of fabric.
I tried to do some sewing Friday but since I was babysitting again it just didn't work out. 

Saturday I spent a good part of the day sewing on a fabric book for the baby I watch. That is her present a little Christmas fabric book. I used batting so it did get a bit annoying to try and sew through at the end. 
That evening we went to a birthday party... I had a bit too much to drink aka an entire bottle of wine after this past week. No one has ever seen me like that. Apparently I'm a hoot.... It's a very rare thing for me to drink. It's an extremely rare thing for me to a have a few too many. It all turned out good though and everyone had fun so I'm trying not to stress over it but now there's a story floating out there of the time I've had too many and a couple days after I've yet to live it down.

Sunday, I spent the morning dinking around with fabric again. This time Katherine had picked out some fabric she wanted me to make pillows for the house with. She really loved this fabric when we went out to the craft store and because it was a 'door buster' sale I was able to get a yard of it for like  $2.50 so that's really cheap. 
I spent the morning watching youtube videos on sewing to make sure I wouldn't mess up my measurements and then cutting out fabric.
I took a break that afternoon to get dressed and meet up with a bunch of ladies for coffee for a couple hours.
After coffee I dropped a couple of the ladies back off at their homes and then I went out and bought a headlight. I had noticed the night before when I went to the party that one of my headlights was out so I wanted to get that fixed as soon as possible.
A quick cheap fix and I was back to legal again.
We went out as a family and watched Hero 6 at the theater since it was still matinee time. It was a very cute movie and the kids kept laughing out loud really loud and we had to keep reminding them they weren't at home but it was a very funny movie so I don't completely blame them. 
After the movies we decided that our diets (Mine and Peter's) are already shot so we went to the Chinese Buffet.
Here's where the 'real' fun comes in. (That was sarcasm by the way)
As an off question Peter asked the girls if they had any homework they needed to finish up before school. It was 6:30pm and we figured after so many days off of school that the answer had to be 'no'. Well our teenager springs it on us that she's got this project due that she hasn't started on, that her computer isn't working, etc. So needless to say as Peter tried to fix the computer and ultimately hasn't been able to find out the problem I then had to download the program to my PC so she would have a place to work. Needless to say she got a huge lecture!
Since my computer was in use I went ahead and made up the pillow covers.
It was past midnight when Brielle (my oldest) finally finished her homework and she and I were able to get off to bed. Needless to say I'm dragging.

Well I need to finish getting ready for the day. I still need to fit in a lot of stuff on my "day off" before I start babysitting. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin Seeds

So I've actually had the recipe up for pumpkin seeds for awhile but it's been mixed in with another blog post. I wanted to try and make a post just for roasting pumpkin seeds but being the silly person I am I don't have pictures for everything. I will try and walk you through though. 

Step 1

Get a pumpkin and carve out the seeds. I like to do this around Halloween mainly because that's when I'm normally carving out pumpkins. 

Step 2

Separate the seeds from the stringy pumpkin bits. I like to rinse but some people feel that the pumpkin stuff adds more flavor. I'm not sure what flavor they are going for though so I rinse my seeds well.

Step 3 

Boil in salt water for about 20 minutes. (If you go longer don't worry). Boiling in salt water helps puff the seeds up and has the added bonus of helping separate off any more little pumpkin tid bits. 

Step 4

Let seeds dry. Spread them out over trays and placed between cloths or sheets of paper towels. I normally let them sit over night. 

Step 5

Making the pumpkin seeds!


Measure out 2 cups of seeds.



Melt 3 TBS Butter or Margarine
Measure out 4 tsp of Worcestershire Sauce

Mix into seeds.



Add 1 tsp of salt to the pumpkin seeds. Apply this by sprinkling and stirring. 

(If you are trying alternative seasonings then keep in mind what kind of seasonings you are using and how much salt each one generally contains. While everything really is to taste I don't highly recommend a lot of salt for anyone in any recipe.)


Add 1/4 tsp garlic salt.
Garlic powder also works well.
You can also use other seasonings too or combine seasonings. I used Garlic Powder because I was adding steak seasoning to this batch and steak seasoning already has a lot of salt in it. 
I added about 1/4 tsp of steak seasoning but also 1/4 tsp of Garlic powder I like a lot of flavor to my seed shells.


Bake @ 300F for 40 minutes and then if desired sprinkle with sugar.
It sounds odd but especially for the base recipe I've given above the sprinkling of sugar on it really gives it a nice taste it just fits together well in my opinion. Maybe try some with and without and find what you like.

Just like sunflower seeds the outside shelling can be ate but it is very tough. You may just want to suck on the shell then dig the seed out. It's really all up to you. 

Busy Monday, Nov 17




Today's 'To-Do' List

Not sure how I'm going to tackle today. I'm going to do some cleaning around the house that I know but the rest is in the air because it's a snow day! 
I did the menu and the grocery shopping yesterday so I wouldn't have to go out into the snow today. With me having all the kids I won't be going out for lunch with Peter because we cheated the last two days due to how late things have been and we went out to eat. Needless to say my savings is going "Ouch! Quit it!"

Here's some snow pictures to make up for my lack of a 'To-Do List'










Menu
  • Meatloaf, mashed potatoes, corn
  • Spaghetti w/Italian Sausage
  • Crockpot meal (I still have some of those crockpot meals I got for a trial they aren't good but they're food)
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Pizza
  • Chicken & Pasta w/Peas
  • Chicken Nuggets/Fish Sticks & Fries
Incase you have forgotten I make a list of meals no meals are on a set day unless there is something going on that day.


This Week's 'To-Do' List

  • Work -Tue-Fri
  • Wednesday - 4-H (There is another 4-H club Brielle and Katherine wants to start going to this Tuesday too but I'm not sure I'm going to be up for it.... I will consider it)
... I'm not sure what else might be going on this week. I have started on my Thanksgiving list though so I'll probably need to find time to finalize that and finish getting my shopping list together and bake times ready... Yes it's about that time.

Last Week

During the week it was all pretty standard work stuff. Though the septic pump broke at work so it made it extremely annoying to get to a restroom that worked. I think that was my biggest annoyance though I was pretty buried with work too.

Thursday Brielle had an Orthodontist appointment that I never got onto my calendar so I'm glad they give a reminder call. She's now doing the bands. I don't know exactly what they do but I remember kids changing out their bands during class when I was growing up. I should have had braces but my parents couldn't afford it so going through all this stuff with Brielle is pretty new to me.

Friday night Brielle decided to go to Friday Night Magic with Peter so it left just myself and Katherine home that evening. We started watching Horrible Histories. I'm not sure if I'd call it age appropriate but then again if you really think about it history isn't naturally age appropriate. We had a lot of good laughs though and learned some interesting facts.



Saturday I slept in but the kids weren't up yet and Peter was watching a show so I wandered into the kitchen and decided since I had all these blackberries I got from Aldi that I really needed to do something so much to Peter's surprise I decided to pull out my cookbook and make some crepes. I haven't made crepes since I was a little girl. It's not that they are hard it's just I never do it for some reason. The girls absolutely loved it. I didn't have pie filling so I let them pull out the jellies. Katherine loved taking the peach jelly we canned last year and putting it with fresh apple we sliced up for it. Brielle I think was just grabbing all the jellies... I'm not sure what she was making but she sure did enjoy it. 
Peter and Katherine went out to pokemon league that afternoon and Brielle and I stayed home and cleaned house. I'm starting to reclaim my house... I think. It seems there is a always a new pile of mess for me to try and tackle.
After Peter and Katherine got home I left out of the house as I was meeting a bunch of ladies I know for some coffee. It was Buy 1 Get 1 Free at Starbucks and one of my friends really is super into the fitness stuff so one of the sites that tracks this (Humanavitality I want to say it is) she earned gift cards for Starbucks so she footed the bill and for less than $10 we all got nice large coffees and we got to sit around and chit chat for a couple hours... no kids, no men folk just us ladies so it turned into a bit of a vent session for a little bit but we all decided we needed that and I think we all really feel we'd love to do this more often because it really seems like we just get out to do it only once a year. 

By time I started heading home though Peter told me not to worry about cooking dinner and to go pick something up. Not in the budget but at 5:30 I understand why he said it and was just glad he wasn't too frustrated with me.  (I think next time the ladies and I need a selfie to show that we really don't have our children sewn onto our hips.)

Sunday I picked up my friend Johanna and we went to the grocery store. I had planned to avoid this completely but we were out of milk and eggs and nearly out of bread so there wasn't really any getting around it. After the grocery store that afternoon I then took her out to a lady she was picking up some free items for. Now I have been driving around with stuff I was trying to sell for over two months and I got tired of it so I handed it all to the lady so she could give it away to those in need. After that I drove Johanna home and her fiance yelled down from the upstairs if we wanted our window A/C unit we loaned them. Any other time in the last few months I wouldn't have had room but I just happened to have gave everything away so it worked out so now I have an A/C in the back of my van.
As soon as I got home from all that running it meant more running. (I had made a quick stop prior to drop off the groceries so when I got home I didn't have to put them away). I loaded up the family and we went shopping for a birthday party happening that evening for one of their little friends who's family is friends of the family. I knew the perfect spot and the kids picked up a bunch of stuff and we had to hold them back as we didn't need to go broke on Hello Kitty (which is what their friend loves). By 4 o'clock we got down to the birthday party at the bowling alley and we had a fun 2 hours there but as I said it started at 4 o'clock which meant everyone was starved for dinner so we ended up going out to Penn Station. Peter said since he never officially got his birthday dinner that we could count that. I think he was trying to lessen the blow of cost because for a sandwich shop it's not cheap. 

We got home and got the kids ready for bed. I stayed up too late folding clothes being a silly butt but once I get started I have a hard time stopping. 

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Applesauce


Applesauce

Making applesauce can sound pretty intimidating at least I know it did to me. I mean it's so cheap to buy why would you ever bother making it? 
  • Well one reason would be you have apples that are about to go bad. 
  • Another reason would be you want to know exactly what is in your applesauce especially if feeding it to a small child.
  • Perhaps you are just curious on the process. 
Whatever the reason it's not quite as hard as it may seem and afterwards you have some extremely potent apple juice and spice it up for some hot apple cider.

Now I forgot to take pictures of everything so you'll have to forgive me on that front.

Step 1

Preparing the apples. Now there are two ways really to go about this. The  way I did it is I just took one of those apple slicer and corers and skins and all tossed them into my stock pot. Another way is to peel the apples which would make the process simpler and you probably won't have to work so hard to get every bit of applesauce. I was lazy at the start so had to work harder at the end. 

Step 2

Cooking the apples. With your apples in a stock pot put about an inch of water into the bottom. Cover and cook. I would suggest you bring the temp up to a rapid boil you may want to make sure you can stir your apples but it won't take long for that little bit of water to boil. Cover your pot, reduce heat and let simmer. Truthfully I didn't time this I just left it on the stove for like half an hour or so and checked the apples with a fork. If the fork takes any pressure to go into the apple then it's not ready. You want these apples SOFT! 

Step 3


Now your apples may have a lot of juice so you may want to drain them through a sieve. We don't want our apples too watery otherwise you'll have apple soup instead of sauce!
I got lazy and used a slotted spoon until I got near the bottom. Though I also was doing about 12 lbs of apples!




Step 4


I used a food mill for the next part. You can use a food processor if you peeled your apples for small batches. There are a few different ways but what you are trying to do is get a consistent texture and size especially if you are canning it.

Child labor works pretty well for this whole process. Especially when there is apple pie sitting near by.


And really now from this point it's just working the apples through. If you didn't peel them then you'll need to stop every so often and scoop the peel out. You can try to squeeze a bit more out of it later since it doesn't cleanly come away, just make sure that you had cleaned your apples well before starting this process.

If you prefer a sweeter more spiced applesauce you can add sugar and cinnamon. The amount of sugar needed will really depend on what kind of apples you used. I'd take it slow and taste test as you go until you get what you want.


Step 5

Now I didn't take any pictures of this part but apple sauce can be water bath canned. I had to really look into this because there has been so many conflicting opinions on this but the general consensus is that it is fine to do.
You will need to make sure your jars are clean and keep the applesauce nice and hot on the stove. What you are doing is hot packing the apple sauce.
Look up your canning time according to elevation and please do be careful as you always should be while canning.




There you have it! 100% natural, yummy applesauce!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Busy Monday, November 11 - Late Edition



Today's Yesterday's 'To-Do' List
  • Get kids to bus 6:40 & 7:15
  • Make Menu
  • Go to work
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Go back to work
  • B-12 Shot
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Get groceries
  • Pick up kids


Menu
  • Left Overs
  • Breakfast for Dinner
  • Spaghetti with Chicken
  • Hamburger Helper
  • Pizza
  • ?
  • ?
Yeah I never quite finished the menu but I did buy some chicken so we'll have some sort of chicken dish for one of those days and then I'm sure I have enough food around to put something else together for the other day. 



This Week's 'To-Do' List

  • Work -Mon, Wed-Fri
  •  Clean up around the house - This is a permanent main stay. 
  • Tuesday - Take Blacky to the Vet
  • *does a little dance* I'm off of work today even though I'm not a Veteran. My husband raised his hand and doesn't get today off but I do because my work has it as a paid holiday.  
  • Wednesday - I have to remember to pack up Katherine's Lunch. She decided she wanted two lunchables... Not exactly what I had in mind but she doesn't take a lunch often so okay I'll splurge. Oh and she wants to take applesauce. This Wednesday at school is salad bar day and the only option is salad bar apparently so Katherine opted not to eat that day and I really can not have that! So one day a month she can pick out something to take for lunch. 
  • Friday I was suppose to have my annual exam but my doctor decided to be out that day so they rescheduled me for February I was not pleased about that and they assured me all my prescriptions that are now out of refills would be taken care of by the pharmacy to get refills okayed and I'm completely confused by that! 
And amazingly that's it! It's an extremely slow week! Horray! 

Last Week

So Monday (11/10) I was also suppose to take Blacky to the vet but I forgot to take away his food Sunday night so I wasn't able to take him in because I have to restrict his food because they have to knock him out for them to be able to clean the plaque on this teeth... what teeth the poor boy has left. He just celebrated his 70th Birthday (10 years in human years) so the poor boy has been looking at me all day just so sad wondering why there is no food. 
This included me picking up a friend of mine and her infant and we went and checked out Aldi's and then we had to go to Krogers. I have mixed feelings about Aldi's it's not the end all be all folks had made it out to be to be the saving grace to my grocery budget. They do have a few good things but given where they are in town most of the time it won't be worth the drive. 
Basically I left the house around 8:30am and I came home at 7pm. It was a long day yesterday. 

Now really onto last week let's see here let's start with Tuesday?

I went to work and then I went by and met up with a lady to buy some 'used' hexbug stuff because Katherine really wants to get into hexbugs. Katherine has even said we can get rid of her zuzu pet stuff which is awesome because that's a humongous tote!  

After that, Tuesday was the day to get out the vote! Sadly a lot of folks I voted for didn't get in but many did also. We had a very large ballot for our area that included not only the highly covered state race but also a lot of local positions. 
No matter if you are a Democrat, Republican or a 3rd party it really is your duty to vote! 
A lot of  people died so we could separate and have the right to vote. 
The folks to have the longest battle for the right to vote is Women so especially us women need to not make the sacrifices of those that came before us be in vain. 

So many people across the world are still fighting and dying for this right and in some countries just the act of going out to vote may lead to you being killed and people still go out and stand in insane lines! We shrug our shoulders and then we wonder why our governing bodies, local and federal, are so messed up and not representative of the people. It may  be because our voting turnout in areas especially in cities doesn't seem to want to exceed 50%! That's disgraceful! Make yourself an informed voter, many debates even local ones you can find recordings of (which is what I did I don't have cable TV and I didn't have time to show up to debates so I found where they were being shared). 
Anyways off my soap box there. 

Wednesday, I grieved over the election stuff. I think we all need a moment to shake our fist and go, "What the heck are you guys thinking!" It seems like my area likes to vote for the same folks over and over and over even when it doesn't work. 
I didn't have a lot of time to grieve though because it was a busy day so I had to throw stuff in the crockpot. This was the last meal from the crock pot cuisine that we hadn't tried and it was suppose to be beef lasagna. I had my misgivings about portions sizes since this is suppose to be 5 adult servings but while it cooks it does double in size. The problem with doubling in size is it because completely burnt! We salvaged what we could and I went out and bought bread to go with it to supplement dinner. It also was tasteless as it literally had NO taste. I've never ate something I could completely say was empty calories until then. At least sweets taste good this was nothing but gritty nothingness in your mouth it was absolutely strange. I wanted to love this but the whole family agrees that a LOT of doctoring would be required to fix it. 

So Wednesday after work I went and got some groceries needed and then I went and returned my books to the library and paid my 20 cent overdue fee. 
I then rushed home to get Brielle and then I drove her out to the High School for basically what boiled down to a student led conference about her engineering courses. For Brielle to continue in Orchestra like she is wanting while taking engineering and while completing her course requirements for High School it means she is going to have to take some online classes probably over the summer so we are trying to find out information about that and start the ball rolling. I also need to get Brielle signed up to take the ACT which apparently takes 6-8 weeks before she'll be registered and can take it. Apparently they want a base line for her. In any case if she stays on track like she is she's looking at walking out of High School with her first full year of college done. I may pull out all my hair by then but she's on the fast track to doing well out in the world.
After the presentation we ran and got Katherine and then needless to say it was dinner time... time for our burnt, tasteless Lasagna... I still can't get over that.

Thursday was... Well it was Thursday! If you missed it I made a whole post dedicated to the crazy schedule. "Thursday Madness"

Thursday included a lot of running and showed the true power of having a partner in crime... aka My Dear Husband.
I had thrown Chicken Tacos in the crockpot but due to the very burnt nature of the previous nights dinner I added water when I really shouldn't have so we had very drippy, wet soft tacos.

Friday, Peter (my dear husband) was off of work just because he felt like it and went about and did stuff. I on the other hand was at work but after work we gathered up the kids and I dragged everyone out to Best Buy and we picked out a present for my husband since his birthday was coming up Sunday. We got him some video game stuff so he stayed home from Friday Night Magic and played with that. We did go out to eat that night with some friends which wasn't planned but it worked out well and while his friends were hurrying to eat so they could get to playing cards since Peter decided he was staying home it meant we were all able to enjoy our meal.

Saturday was pretty much a goof off day. We were suppose to take Blacky to the groomer and I totally dropped the ball and forgot because we had company over and Peter and the girls helped me work on cleaning the house.
Peter had a magic game that night so he went off to do that in the evening and then I kicked the kids into high gear because all those apples we picked were about to go bad! Infact we had to cut away some bad areas on some! That's okay just cut away the bad and the rest is fine. Apples are awesome in that.
The girls made another apple pie and then we made lots of apple sauce! I do plan to make a post (maybe today) about how to make applesauce at least our way which is we don't add anything to it! It is just pure apples and with just a dash of cinnamon/sugar Katherine loves it. I'm not a fan of applesauce though I am trying. I do want to make some apple butter with it though which is another reason we didn't sweeten it.
After all the applesauce we had the apple juice left so I made up some hot apple cider for the girls. It wasn't quite right though. The thing about apple juice like that is that it is so concentrated that you really do need to water it down and I didn't think about that but the girls were still happy to have the treat.
**Additional: I forgot I also made roasted pumpkin seeds that night. Yes I just got to it. I had them dried but I hadn't roasted them yet. That is another post I want to make because my original is so mixed into a general post.

Sunday we had lots of people over for Peter's birthday! Him and another friend of ours share a birthday so we kind of did a combined thing. The guys all sat around and played video games for the most part and us ladies stepped back and chit chatted. I went out and bought a bunch of pizzas and we just had a good ol' time.

That was pretty much last week. I felt like I was running.. running... running... and on my personal Facebook page I'm sure my friends were abit tired of hearing me whine about being ready to just drop and stop. I'm too stubborn to stop though.

Well I suppose I better get up from this seat before my rear becomes permanently affixed to it. I actually did get up once because I had to have Blacky down to the vet before 8. I still can't believe how much it is going to cost but part of the cost is having his blood work done because he's 10 years old in human years! He's mostly blind and has teeth missing upfront already... Poor old dog so I figured making sure all his blood work was done so there are zero accidents while putting him under would be a very good thing.

Have a great week folks!




Friday, November 7, 2014

Thursday Madness

Another post from me? Wow this must be a record and it's not even Monday!

I was sitting here this morning thinking about it while sipping my coffee that Thursday was so insane that I didn't want it to dominate my Monday post and also I felt the need to gush over my kids since they are such awesome kids.

So really this is just a proud mom tooting her horn.

We're start with the cut and dry schedule of events Thursday:

  • 6-7:10 - Get kids up, ready and out the door for school
  • 7:10-8:30 - Get myself ready for work, start Crockpot for Chicken Tacos
  • 9am-2pm - Work
    • 11:30-12:30 Lunch with ladies from work - I worked over time Wednesday to have time for this.
  • Stop at Dollar Store for new umbrellas because ours went missing and for candy to donate to the school.
  • 3pm Katherine gets off the bus
  • From 3pm-3:45pm
    • Have Katherine have a snack (homemade applesauce)
    • Try and do Katherine's hair up
    • Use baby powder & hair spray to try and make her hair look white
    • Throw together parts of the costume we hadn't finished ... so it ended up she wore one of my skirts and we just belted it on her. 
  • 3:45 Arrive at the school. The actual arrival time wasn't until 4:15 but Katherine informed me people were showing up early so I wanted to make sure that if we missed anything I'd have time to go back and take care of it. 
    • From there found out they were low on lanterns so left Katherine and went back home and got a lantern and drove it back to the school.
  • 4:30 - 5 Rest and dink around on Facebook
  • 5pm Serve dinner
  • 5:45p Peter and Brielle leave
  • 5:45-6:30 Dink around on Facebook and make Blog posting on the Chicken Tacos
  • 6:30 Go to Katherine's school and pay to walk around and listen to the different kids give their speeches. 
  • 7pm Katherine's event ends and I help her clean up her spot and then we rush to the van and drive out to the High School
  • ?-8pm We are at Brielle's Concert at the High School. 
  • A little past 8 we are home and then it is just getting kids through showers, teeth and into bed. It was about 9 o'clock by time we got them to bed (9:30 for Brielle) so it was a late night for us.

    I was so high strung from work yesterday because I had a lot of stress and a lot of things land in my lap that I didn't get to bed until 12am!! And then back up at 6 today. 
So there is the cut and dry of yesterday. There a few places that I could have been away from the PC but I had to decompress and let my mind turn to mush with Bubble Witch Saga.

Now onto the fun stuff! 

You've seen me post this picture earlier but here is the jacket that I started with from Goodwill. I did this... Last week. My $4 blazer with my $3 of lace. 





And here is Katherine as Elizabeth Cady Stanton.
She had everyone in stitches. While most of the kid gave just a very informational speech Katherine took it a different direction and dove into the personality of her character and brought up obscure little things.

"In my day men were spoiled brats."

"An' that Abraham Lincoln (points to the kid playing Abraham Lincoln down the hall) wasn't much help. He freed the slaves but he didn't free the women!"











 Brielle has really enjoyed her violin and I have really loved watching her over the years.

















Well I've done the whole brag on my kids thing so I guess it's time for me to run off to get ready for work since everyone else is already out the door (Other than Peter since he took the day off he's still in bed). 



Thursday, November 6, 2014

Crockpot Chicken Tacos


Chicken Tacos

Okay so I've mentioned making crockpot chicken tacos before but I don't think I ever made an official recipe post on it. This recipe is a lot like others you will find around on the internet. Your classic three ingredient chicken taco filling.

Ingredients
  • 1 lb. Chicken (boneless, skinless)
  • 16 oz Salsa
  • 1 package fajita seasoning (or taco if you prefer)
Optional
  • Whatever you want on your taco! 
    • Soft shells
    • Hard Shells
    • Avocado
    • Sour Cream
    • Cheese
    • ... I think you get the point!



Put 1 lb of chicken into the crockpot. I used frozen chicken tenderloins because that is what I had in the freezer.

Add in 16 oz of salsa. You can really use any salsa I just use the cheap stuff because well... it's cheap and the salsa Brielle had canned up I think we all agree could use some more kick to it so I didn't want to use that.






One package of fajita seasoning (some people use taco seasoning but my homemade taco seasoning was not a hit with this particular recipe so I tried pre-packaged fajita seasoning and the family prefered it.
Set the crockpot on low for 8 hours. (You could probably do it on 'high' too but I don't know for how long since we're always running even when I put it on for 8 my crock pot still kicks over to warm for a couple hours so I never mess with 'high' cook temps.)
It may not look the best when it's done but once you shred the chicken in the pot and stir it around a bit it'll be just fine.




(This picture is before I added any liquid.)
There is plenty of liquid in the salsa. I actually added water tonight because we had a fiasco (I'll explain later) and was afraid it might burn and what we ended up with was soup and I only added maybe half a cup if that. The moral of this story is don't add water, you really don't need it. First and only time I made that mistake and it happened with this post of all things!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Busy Monday, November 3

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Get kids to bus 6:40 & 7:15
  • Make menu / Grocery List
  • Write Blog
  • Get Groceries
  • Laundry
  • Lunch with Peter
I'm sort of flying by the seat of my pants today for the most part. I've been under so much stress between work and getting everything ready for Halloween and now the new stress of things going on this week that I think I really just need to take it easy for the most part and I'm just going to piddle around the house randomly cleaning what I feel like cleaning instead of setting lofty expectations of myself today. 

Menu
  •  Sloppy Joes & Chips
  • Beef Pot Roast, Mashed Potatoes, Corn (still held over)
  • Crock Pot - Lasagna 
  • Crock Pot - Chicken Tacos  
  • Pizza
  • Hamburger Helper? (Out of ideas and I already have it in the house)
  • Out to Eat - Peter's Birthday!!



This Week's 'To-Do' List

  • Work -Tu-Fri 
  •  Clean up around the house - This is a permanent main stay. 
  • Tuesday - After work pick up some items being sold by a lady (hexbug stuff Katherine's new big thing) 
  • Tuesday - Go to Vote! I'm not sure if I'll try to do this before or after work but I always try to make my voice heard. 
  • Wednesday - Brielle has a presentation for her Engineering Class I've got to have her back at the school for at 4:15. It's not suppose to take more than 15 minutes but it's a bit of a hiccup in the course of the day. 
  • Finish Katherine's Costume for Thursday.
  • Thursday - Katherine has the school Historic Cemetery Walk 5pm-7pm 

    • This was one of those things we did NOT know was coming up. Katherine changed her mind from selling concessions to wanting to be in the walk and her teacher was 110% behind her on this so Katherine has been working on a speech while I have been trying to figure out how to pull together a costume for Katherine to be 'Elizabeth Cady Stanton'.
      So since Parent Teacher Conferences which was Tuesday right after 4-H... I've been trying to come up with how I was going to do this. Needless to say I've been a little stressed.
      Here is how we've started. I found a jacket down at Goodwill for $4 and I picked up about $3 of lace at Jo-Ann Fabrics. So here was how we started. I've got to go through my fabric box and see what else I can pull off.
  • Thursday (Oh yes there is more) - Brielle Orchestra Concert 6:15 arrival - 7pm start
  • Put away Halloween Decorations
  • Sunday - Peter's birthday! I need to decide what I'm going to get him for his Birthday and try and get everything planned


Last Week




Monday night the kids didn't have homework so I had them peal some apples and they mixed everything up according to the recipe (and I cheated and bought some pie shell dough) and the kids made an apple pie. It may not look the best on the top but it tasted very good and the girls really enjoyed making it.




Tuesday the girls had 4-H and learned how to cross stitch. I need to set them back down with it. They're suppose to have their projects done by April to show back off to the rest of the group and my girls picked some very intricate cross stitch patterns.  
After which like I mentioned above we hurried home to drop off Brielle so she could work on her homework and then Katherine and I rushed over to her school for a Parent/Teacher Conference. It all went very well with lots of praise from her teacher.

I told you I was going to do it right? Thursday I made up spaghetti and I even spent the extra to get Orange peppers. While Brielle ate her pepper, Katherine just nibbled a little but both girls thought it was super cute. 






Wednesday (and some Thursday) we carved pumpkins. Normally we do it earlier but the weather has been so odd going from low 30's at night to one day last week we were in the 80's! We knew the pumpkins wouldn't last long so we held off on them.




Friday was Halloween of course and my goodness it was VERY cold and extremely windy! We only went around a couple blocks before we were on our way back to the family friend's house for some chili to warm us up.
I had brought an extra jacket so Katherine put that on and then later Brielle stole Peter's coat so he rushed on back to the house ahead of us.
For all that freezing cold weather sadly many houses you couldn't tell if the porch light was on just to be on or if they had candy. The kids didn't get a 'haul' but they didn't need to anyways. Truthfully they had the most fun running around in their costumes.
The young man there in the picture beside Brielle is her 'boyfriend'... Oh yes the first boyfriend.
Lord help me... I have a teenager.





Saturday we went to a local farm that Peter's work rented out and the girls got to play on the farm games and also they had carnival rides for free. Again though it was so cold I found shelter with sort of heat (just a standing heat lamp thingy) and I pretty much stayed there. The kids had a lot of fun but after three and a half hours I was an ice cube!!
That evening Peter and I went to an adult Halloween Party and I got to watch Peter have a few drinks which is always funny. Peter and I rarely ever drink. Some folks have a few beers a night we just aren't those types of folks so watching Peter giggle was quite the sight. I played the role of DD because I prefer that role.

Sunday I worked on the above mentioned costume and then we went out and did some looking around. Brielle did win that costume contest (after lots of prodding of our friends on facebook to vote for her) so we took her down to the shop and she picked up a bunch of things she had been wanting ad then we picked out a Dr. Who Yahtzee game. I'm really hoping we start a family game night and the kids are excited about the idea too.

I also started another project Sunday night but I'm not done with it yet. I'll post about it when I get it done. It's kind of scary looking but it's my first attempt... curious yet?