Thursday, June 30, 2016

40 Clove Chicken

40 clove Chicken... yes 40 cloves of garlic! Vampires will never come near you again!
Truthfully though all this garlic slow simmered in the crock pot it really doesn't overwhelm like you would think it would.
This actually pretty slow carb depending on what you put as a side and low sodium.

Servings: 6

3 lbs Boneless Skinless Chicken Breast

Salt & Pepper - optional and to taste
1 TB Olive Oil
40 cloves garlic
4 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 + 2 TB cup dry white wine (the 2 TB you can use something else like vermouth but I couldn't find any in town)
2 TB fresh parsley or 2 tsp dried
2 tsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Pinch of red pepper flake
Juice and Peel of 1 lemon - I zested my lemon peel in personally.

Season chicken with salt & pepper if desired. Heat oil in pan over medium heat. Add chicken and brown on all sides approx. 3-5 min. Remove to crock pot.

Add garlic, celery, wine parsley, basil, oregano and red pepper flakes to the chicken in the crock pot and then coat the chicken well and good in it. (If you find it easier you can coat the chicken in a bowl first but I hate extra dishes.)

After chicken is well coated sprinkle lemon juice and peel over the chicken. Cover and cook on Low. It's suggested 6 hours but you know me I'm too busy for that non-sense so I had it on low for 8 hours.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Busy Monday, June 27

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Clean 
  • Put things away from the trip
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Write this Blog
  • Divide and freeze hamburger, pork and chicken
  • Spaghetti
  • Grilled Pork w/Baked Potatoes & veggies
  • Chicken & Salmon w/rice & veggies
  • Hot Dogs -- Sides to be determined
  • Pizza
  • ??
  • ??
This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • Work - Myself & Peter M-F
  • Thursday - 4-5 Brielle has an appointment
  • Saturday - Babyshower for one of my friends
  • Saturday - City Fireworks 
  • Sunday - Local Park Firework
Last Week

Alright so last week the girls and I were on our road trip. Since my camera didn't want to sync to my laptop I'll go all the way back.

Friday we were on the road as I said so Saturday we went to the Lewis and Clark Welcome Center that is a part of the National Park system. Online folks said, "It's one hallway and you can get through it in 30 minutes." Well it is apparent they didn't even watch the video let alone do all the activities in that one hallway because we were there for nearly 4 hours. 

Location: Omaha, NE

I took a lot of photos here but to put it blunt I took a lot of photos everywhere! 

This is the hallway. 
I'm going to try and keep my photo selection down because I don't need to put over 200 photos onto this I think you'll get the idea. 

Again, this is the 100th Anniversary of the National Park System. There are also several sites that if you can't go there in person you can take a digital tour of them and even have access to the Junior Ranger program where you can mail in for it. 

The LCNP actually had an outside garden area too where it had wild plants that Lewis & Clark came across and described in their journey to find the passage to the west. 

It is amazing how they took this journey and how they were able to communicate what had been the country's original goodwill towards the Native Americans. 
The story of Lewis & Clark is not just one of their journey but of America's endless curiosity and pure intentions at the beginning. It is also the story of all those that took this journey with Lewis & Clark. The expedition would have long failed before they got anywhere without Sacajawea. So especially for those with girls this is a great part of history for them because a woman with a newborn traveled with these men across what is now the United States and helped them in so many ways which in my opinion should be an inspiration for working women today. 

Moving along....
We made it to South Dakota on Saturday and it was a bit of a rough trip because my grandfather is 90 and while I love him it did seem we clashed quite a bit but I tried to stay as neutral as I could during those times because the last thing I wanted to do is argue. Though I did get shouted at quite a bit as he would get riled up. It is what it is. 
We did have some fun during the trip though and swam down at the park lake and went to Storybook Land and the girls did paintings at the public library (which I never did get a picture of I'll have to do that later).We went to twistcone and we had a fun time at my cousin's home with his wife and little girl and my aunt and uncle. The girls got to ride on ATVs and give me a heart attack. The kids seemed to have fun most of the time and that is what matters. Oh and went to the little zoo and petting zoo they had also.

Friday, we left South Dakota and made the drive to our next destination. Homestead National Monument.

Location: Beatrice, NE

Oh goodness what can I say about the Homestead National Monument? It really felt like we were driving to the middle of nowhere!
Beatrice is an old community and you get that feeling when you start driving into it and it has some gorgeous churches we were only able to drive by. An old style downtown a little ran down like most older towns.

We had to drive out of town and another few miles to get to the National Park.
It is a beautiful building my pictures don't do it justice because I didn't get a good picture of the other side with a view of the prairie. Homestead NM is built on the site of the first homesteader. It has trails through the countryside and if you walked the perimeter path it would be 3 miles!
They have information about farming but also about the impact on the Native Americans as cities were getting over populated so the government came up with this to push people to the West but also increase farming production.
It talks about the reasons for the dustbowl too which was such an avoidable disaster.

It talks about how this westward expansion really caused industry and technology to push forward as people needed many things but also the inventiveness of the people living out there who were too far from town or did not have the money to always buy things so they would often find new uses for old items that may not be able to serve their original purpose any more.

There is so much information in this place and stories of homesteaders. They even have a place that if you have stories about homesteading relatives you can have your story recorded and put into the archives.

Well those were the major highlights of this past week. I'm trying to make plans to go to at least one more National Park this year so hopefully that all pans out.

I never liked American history until I started really being able to interact with it so it's not just for the kids this also for myself because I have gained such a greater appreciation for things since I started having us go to the National Parks and really interacting with them.

Fun Fact: Did you know the Homestead Act of 1862 did not end completely until 1986, for most of the country it ended in 1976 except in Alaska where it continued until '86.
I'm not sure about anyone else but I didn't know that and it came as a shock to me when we learned that there.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Busy Monday, June 20

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Peter - Work
  • Myself & kids - Vacation
  • For myself & kids
    • Chili Mac
    • Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup
    • Dinner with Family
    • Spaghetti
  • For Peter
    • Whatever he makes himself
This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • Peter - work & play with friends
  • Myself & the girls
    • Go to the park
    • Thursday - Painting activity at the Public Library

Last Week

So last week I worked M-Th and the girls were home and of course Peter worked. It was a very strange week and it felt like I was doing all sorts of running around though I can't tell you what it was all for. 
Brielle babysat Tu-Th last week a 9 year old. This 9 year old who is a friend of the family was going to a day camp but it ended at 2pm which of course her mom & dad and pretty much everyone else is at work at those times of the day so Brielle was hired to go pick up the kid at camp using the public bus every day.
Brielle had never used the public bus system so Monday Peter got off work and took Brielle on the bus to show her how to use it and what stops she was going to need.
Brielle did very well on the bus and one day I called her and told her the library was doing a special Star Wars event and that if they wanted to try and take the public bus down there that day that was fine with me (after I checked with the other kids mother and got the okay). Well turns out that day was extremely stormy and strong down pours and Brielle had only bought two rain ponchos that day so Katherine got soaked but at least the other girls were alright. I had rushed out of work to try and get down to them since they couldn't hear their phones over the rain but by time I got down to the station they were just loading their last bus so I let them finish up their adventure. 

All of us parents were very impressed with how the kids handled themselves.
I will be looking at getting both my girls bus passes for the rest of the summer so they can do things like go down to the public  library instead of being stuck at home while I'm at work. 

Friday the girls and I left at about 6-6:30 am. I wanted to leave by 5 am but that just didn't happen. We started our trip to South Dakota. Our first day we pushed all the way to Omaha and stayed there. The girls slept pretty much the whole trip.

About an hour outside of Omaha we got a phone call from the hotel asking if they could exchange our room for the same price. See the College National Baseball stuff was going on and finding a room in Omaha was a chore! We did have a 2 queen sized bed room reserved but I agreed and they moved us into a suite with a king sized bed and a couch that converted into a bed. 2 bathrooms and a jet tub. The girls were ecstatic. 

Saturday, before we started on the road again I made plans to go to the Lewis and Clark Welcome Center there in Omaha and then was going to go to the Union Pacific Museum in Council Bluffs because someone said the National Park one was this little hallway and it would only take 30 minutes. 

I will tell you right now that is a joke! If you go in there with kids and do the junior ranger program it is easy to spend nearly 3 hours in there like we did so needless to say we did not go to the other museum. I have pictures of it but I forgot all my cables to transfer that stuff from my actual camera so I will have to post something else later. I will say that the Lewis & Clark stop does look small it is just one hallway but everything is replicas so you are able to interact with everything and there is a movie to watch about the expedition and that alone is nearly 30 minutes. The kids found it very informational and completed their junior ranger program and they had them say the oath and they got their certificates, badges and even patches. Many of the National Parks are doing something special because this is the centennial of the creation of the National Parks system. 

Little bit of a late post today but we are out visiting my grandfather, the kids great-grandfather and so timing on things is always a little weird right now but hey I got it done! 

Monday, June 13, 2016

Busy Monday, June 13

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Work
  • Make a menu
  • Groceries
  • Catch up some more around the house... basically whatever I have time for
  • Lunch with Peter
  • Doctor's Office for monthly B-12
  • Fix my prescription. I was tired so I broke the seal but realized they gave me an old prescription that I had VERY bad side effects with. Thank goodness I didn't take it!
  • Tacos
  • Grilled Chicken w/brussel sprouts & potatoes
  • Spaghetti
  • Pizza
  • Sat-Sun girls and I will be out of town so no plan other than probably eating out those days
This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • Work M-Th for me, Work M-F for hubby, Work (babysitting) Tu-Th for Brielle
  • Clean
  • Pack for trip
  • Friday leave for South Dakota and travel the next few days since it is just myself and the kids. 
Last Week

So was at work in my office and a wasp bit me, stung me and just generally made me loopy and then I took benadryl and then when I was waiting in the car for the kids to get home from camp I passed out asleep and was late after getting their early for picking them up but not insanely bad late thankfully just a little. It was a rough day.
Friday - Sunday was OMG Con it's an Anime/Video Game convention we go to every year.
Video game room

Making chainmail

Out for dinner

You want to hear the sad thing? I didn't even get a photo of the girls in their cosplay. Brielle enjoyed hers and there were a lot of comments on it but I think Katherine did great with hers too and really enjoyed it also. They also both sat on a panel! This was Brielle's first OMG Con but she knew people from another Con so they were doing an Undertale (don't ask me) panel. They also invited Katherine on it and this was Kat's first Convention ever! So both the girls have done something Peter and I haven't and I'm quite impressed with them. 

So Peter and I went to the masquerade ball. There was some panic there. Peter kept saying, "Oh you'll fit your wedding dress fine." So I never tried it on. He forgets that it was 6+ years ago that I had put it on so night before the convention I put it on and it doesn't fit so we had to change our outfits and masks. We ended up switching masks because there wasn't time to repaint them and then just putting on some formal attire. We 3D printed the masks, Peter put them together and did all the bondo and sanding work and I did all the fine detail painting after they got a good spray of base coat. 
The next night was the "Dance Party" since they don't like it called a rave. It was fun as always! 
Katherine got to ride a life sized Toothless! It was pretty awesome! 

These are some pictures from OMG Con of other folks. I cannot take credit for these those as I really didn't get many pictures due to the nature of how crazy this con was. I want to thank my friend Nikki for giving permission to use these. 

And that is a pretty quick run down from last week. During the week itself the girls were at 4-H camp where they got to do all sorts of things but of course I have no pictures of that just their word that they really enjoyed themselves. 

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Busy Monday, June 5

Today's 'To-Do' List
  • Well it was suppose to be getting this blog up but that didn't happen. I started it Monday at least.
  • Grocery Shopping
  • Menu
  • Drop kids off for 4-H Camp
  • Drop Blacky off at Groomer - Peter took care of this for me thankfully.
  • Go to work
  • Pick Blacky up from Groomer
  • Um... food? It's just myself and Peter this week. We had steak I found on discount for Monday. One day we are planning Chicken Quesadillas and I know we plan to make some spaghetti. I'm not sure what else we will have. 
This Week's 'To-Do' List
  • Go to work of course
  • Yard work - I need to get out and mow since the kids are gone so I can't pay them to do it. 
  • Work on quilt - I'm running out of time and I found this neat stitch but I may end up stitching in the ditch which is sad but surely the ladies will understand. 
  • Tuesday - Get oil change
  • Wednesday - Take car down for a recall they need to reprogram some stuff
  • Thursday - Peter has a dental (I told him it was Tuesday and he didn't believe me so when they called him Monday he rescheduled it... I have a calendar for a reason!)
  • Thursday - Get kids picked up from 4-H Camp dropoff
  • Thursday - Clean up the stuff from camp
  • Thursday - Help kids finish their cosplay for OMG Con
  • Friday - Every one is off work! We go to OMG Con! And we will be there all weekend! Thankfully it's in town so no travel required though Brielle is asking if a friend can spend the night and travel with us. 
Last Week

So it's been a month since I've posted so I've got a lot to catch up on and I'm sure I'm going to miss some. I don't have the time right now to go over the new recipes I tried so I'm going to have to touch on that later as I do need to get off to work.


Katherine had her Spring Dance in May. The theme was Hollywood so we got pretty silly with the picture taking and of course we had to have the big sun glasses because every movie star has big sun glasses!

Here we are at the end of the year Choir performance for Katherine. (I believe my prior post talked about Brielle's end of the year Orchestra performance and Katherine's end of the year Band performance... I'm not 100% sure though as it has been awhile.)

So the first night of camping was actually the 27th and I don't have pictures of the camp ground because it was a very eventful first night! We were blessed that a friend of ours brought their 40x40 circus like tent (seriously it was purchased from the Shriners) and we oddly got it between trees though it was low and we had to keep pushing water off the top. That evening in between rain storms my husband went to the tent to get the bed ready and found we had an intent swimming pool... cool right... well you'd be right if you meant COLD! So he sopped up what water he could we unloaded the tent and pulled it, sides drooping under the circus tent for that night. Thankfully the next day we found a better place to put it and we didn't have the total downpours again. We did get a lot of rain that weekend but really Friday was the worst of it. It was our family and two other families camping together for mine and Peter's annual Anniversary camping trip. We've been married for 16 years now. So hard to believe!

On the first day we went to Kentucky Down Under (see picture above). We have a similar picture on the wall from when we went there when the girls were much smaller. Our other friends hadn't been there yet so it seemed a great activity for us and it made me happy to see other folks enjoying it too. By the way kangaroos are really soft!

Day 3 (Sunday), one of the families went home they hadn't been camping for years and they had a 2 year old so it had been a rough couple of nights. Ourselves and the other family of friends went to Mammoth Caves and did a cave tour. I'm so glad we are experienced at Mammoth Caves. It was a mad house this year since this is the 100 year anniversary of the national parks! Seriously check out your area you might have one closer than you know. 
We were standing there as I was having my kids do the Junior Ranger program again and I was introducing the other children to what a Junior Ranger program was and I overheard many people trying to buy cave tour tickets but couldn't because everything was sold out. That's generally how it goes you need to buy at least a couple days in advance to make sure you get a tour. It also did not help the congestion that many tours were shut down as they are redoing many of the cave tour trails updating the safety and the paths. 
We had an awesome time and my friend's family has lots of pictures though I gave Brielle the camera so our pictures are very moving photos aka blurry.

On the last day of our trip after we packed up camp we followed each other down to a trial and took a really nice walk and got a beautiful pictures. 
We also saw a nesting large bird we couldn't tell what type but it was young and in the cliffside. 

On the way home I decided to follow my car's GPS and I should have known better as I took and adventure and Peter decided to follow me in the other car and so I took him on an adventure through the back towns of Kentucky and Amish country. 

As you can see we did eventually get home but it was quite the detour. 

At this point these other pictures don't have dates I'm pretty sure they were all before memorial day weekend. 

Oh I almost forgot I also finished some sewing projects. In the Stitch N Bitch group two of our ladies are pregnant right now and both due close to the same time. 
I made two of these little outfits. Our ladies are having little girls but I thought the print was so adorable. 
Brielle and Katherine were at Jr. Homemakers Club and they were panting. They had lots of options of things they could use this is what they decided to make on their small canvases. 
We had a Meijer open here in town and I was insane enough that on Sunday morning I stood in line at 5am for the 6am open for a mystery free gift. I got $10 and then loaded my cart up with lots of fruits and veggies and then of course hit starbucks that was inside the store because it was much needed.