Monday, March 31, 2008

Seedlings



My good friend up in Michigan has been ever so nice to walk me thru the ins and outs of starting things from seed. We have tried and failed several times before and this time I really wanted to get it right. So, naturally, I went to an expert! It has been so great of her to help me thru this adventure and to be so patient in answering all my questions. And believe me, there have been quite a few.

We started our seeds Easter day. I had hoped to get an earlier jump on things, but I ended up with the super human flu bug and that didnt happen....so we had to wait. Needless to say, when I felt better we dove right in. I decided to go the peat pellet route to get them started and will transfer them to bigger peat pots when Angie tells me to(I mean, when they are big enuf!). I have never used a peat pellet before and I thought that they would expand much more then they did. But, what do I know, right? We went ahead and planted the seeds, watered them, and popped the lid on the tray. A couple days ago I noticed that they were beginning to sprout! Hooray! Once I noticed the growth I had Shawn hang up a light above the tray and we have been keeping the light on them from morning till we go to bed. And of course making sure that they are being kept moist.

I am going really light on planting this season since we are gonna be moving in a little bit. I wasnt sure how much time I would have to maintain a garden. Especially since we really dont have a spot marked out on the property for a garden. I know. I am nuts. Starting seeds right before a big move...yard hasnt been seeded itself at the new house, much less graded. We will have to add a ton of compost and black dirt to the yard before we can really do much of anything. I hope my little seedlings end up being pretty hardy. They have a few obstacles in their path to become fruitful plants. I decided to go with Amish paste tomatoes and Cherokee purple tomatoes. I have heard really great things about both of them. I also purchased some cucumber seeds, but all the advice I got on them was to wait to plant them in the ground directly. So that is what I will do!

Here in the midwest we have lotso fields. Flat fields. They once grew corn or soybeans. When you live in a newly constructed home in a subdivision they take all the good dirt and leave you with crap. Sorry, clay. It is a pain to work with and even harder to get things to grow well. You really have to amend the soil. Altho, I must say that the japanese beetles dont seem to be affected by it at all. They still terrorize us every year. Lacing all of my lovely flowering plants.

So, wish me luck on my adventure. If the plants do well, I am sure there will be more than enuf maters to go around!

Quality bro time

Just one of the things we like to do around here.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

meme

I got tagged by children in the corn for this meme.

Where was I ten years ago?
Let's see....I would have been 23. Man, that seems like forever ago. I would have had my first child by then. We would have been renting a tiny, super tiny 2 bdrm house. The kind where you can reach every single spot in your kitchen with barely having to turn around. It was a house that we had to share the driveway with the house next to us. The guy was always out drinking and I would have to wake him up at 4 in the morning to move his truck so I could get out of the driveway to get to work. I was working at a bakery then. Making cookies and decorating cakes. One of my most fave jobs ever.

Things on my to-do list today?
Play with the little guy, catch up on the laundry, try to stop eating all my kids' easter candy, and drive over to the new house to tell them where I want all my towel rods hung up. Exciting, I know.

What would I do if I suddenly became a billionaire?
Hmmm....I would probably sell the house we just had built and find a nice piece of land that we could then have a farm on..animals and the whole deal. I would more than likely give lots of it to charities and other such things. Make sure that the kids were able to go to a school of their choosing when it was time for college.

What are 3 of my bad habits?

Just 3? I would say getting rid of stuff. I am always getting rid of something and then a couple weeks later the kids will ask me for it or my husband will and I have to say we dont have it anymore.

I like Nacho Cheese Doritos. No, I love Doritos. As healthy as I eat...I still love them. Especially with a big, cold glass of root beer.

Cleaning up as Shawn is cooking. I will come into the kitchen as he cooks and begin to follow after him and put things in the sink or the dishawasher...thinking that he is done with the item, when really he is not.

5 jobs I have had:
I dont know if I have had 5 jobs.
1. Manager at McDonald's
2. Manager at Subway
3. Bakery clerk
4. Person who makes coffee at Barnes and Noble(I Hated this job)
5. Had a job at a retail store, but never showed up.

5 things you dont know about me.
1. I dont like to arrive at the movie theatre late. In fact, I like to be quite early.
2. I dont like to cross traffic when I am driving. I will drive around the block to avoid doing that.
3. I like to put MandM's in with my popcorn. Salty and sweet.
4. I hate coffee.
5. When I was in grade school, one of my friends had this really great jacket she had just gotten. I asked my Ma for one and she said my jacket was just fine. I had one of those like plastic kinda jackets. You know you had one. Anyway, I took the scissors to it and then told my Ma that it got ripped when I was playing soccer. She was beside herself. I figured I was home free and would be getting the new coat in no time. Little did I know that she was gonna fix it up by using some duct tape. I was horrified. I had to walk around with it like that for quite some time. Many months later she surprised me with that new coat. She even sewed my initials on the collar with little buttons....I think she really knew the whole time and just wanted me to think about what I had done.

That's it. Play along if you want!



Monday, March 24, 2008

Pizza

My husband has revised my menu maker to cater to our meat types. Simply put, when I enter new dishes I click on what kind of meat it is and then the menu prints out based on how many different meat dishes I want in one week. For all the menu items that I had in there already I just went thru and labeled them as to what type of meat it was. Then he has it set up with some sorta logarithm that makes it all random for me. The less thinking I have to do come dinner time the better. Just tell me what to fix and I can do it! It makes my grocery shopping a breeze. I print out my menu and then make my list based on what prints out.

Our typical week we have one pork dish, one beef dish and a couple veggies dishes, leftover day, and then a couple pasta dishes. When my farmer has chickens available come May then we will add a chicken option.

Pizza sorta falls under the veggie option. I am looking for some new pizza recipes. Anyone have any? We normally do the standard red sauce and mozz pizza, but having it on the menu every week I am looking for some different ideas. Once the market starts up I will have access to more fresh items....and then I can try like goat cheese and asparagus pizza....or basil, sundried maters, and fresh mozz. In the mean time, what ideas do you have to throw my way?

new home news

Moving day is scheduled for April, 12.......

Do I have any volunteers?

I will feed you....

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Hit by a Mack truck

This past Thursday I came down with a huge case of the flu. HUGE, I say. The hugest I have seen since, well, I dont even know. Today as I sit here checking my mail and such for the first time in about 1 week....my eyes still feel like they are gonna pop outta my head. The pain is unbearable. On the brighter side. I woke up this morning without a fever for the first time in a week. On an even brighter note, my husband is coming home a day early from his trip out to Cali.

Yes, you read right. He has been outta town. He was here for the first few days, but the day he set out to leave I was a real mess. Now, dont go getting your underwear all in a bunch over that. He would have stayed if he could. He had to be at a conference. Did I want him to stay home? Hell, yeah. Did I tell him that? Well, no. I knew he felt very torn already. I was super sick and he is getting ready to take off. I just pulled on my superwoman cape and got to work. Yeah, not so much. I was so sick I couldnt even lift my head off the pillow. I couldnt even open my eyes.

Sunday was the worst, I think. That was the day he had to leave. My head was just pounding, along with my sinuses. And my eyes? I dont even want to think about it. I called him everyday, crying. Sometimes more than once. I was a mess. I have to say, I felt very helpless. My Ma was able to help when she didnt have to be at work(that was a huge blessing) and I have other friends. But, most of my friends have kids of their own. I hate being an imposition. And who wants to help out at a friends house who is sick and then take that all back home to their family? See? The hardest part? Having a little one at home and not feeling up to taking care of him. The other hardest part? Not being able to just lay down when I knew that was exactly what I needed. The big kids really had to pitch in and work some overtime. And they did. They were a huge help. But you know, there are things that just mama's can do. Like tuck you in and give you kisses when you bonk your noggin.

I am so happy that S is on his way home. I may be able to get some sleep yet.


Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chicken movies

I have made a new blogger friend over at On the way to Critter Farm. And so has my son.

She, along with many other people are getting their orders of little chicks. I am so jealous. I want some chickens. Anyway, since this isnt all about me(or is it?), she has been posting some really cute videos of her chicken endeavors. Like when she got her chicks, the chicks in their new home, the chicks not being nice to each other, the chicks getting in trouble, the chicks on time out.... It has been very fun to watch and follow along while she has this new experience.

My 2 yr old son has been involved every step of the way in regards to the chicken movies. He has to watch them all. ALL DAY LONG. Every minute he is asking to watch the chicken movies. Okay, I know. You think I am kidding. NO, he asks all day. If you know him then you know he is quite capable of this. If G is anything, he is persistent. To the point of literally driving me bonkers.

So, to our sweet surprise,the most recent chicken movie was dedicated to G. He was totally elated when he was made aware of this. Simply by clicking on her video button he gets to hear his name. This was the icing on the cake for him. His name being said on the computer for him to hear(over and over)...AND another chicken movie on top of that? The boy is in heaven. HEAVEN. The best part of this movie for him was for sure the drinking of the water. He loves watching the chicks drinking the water. He loves the Top Hat chicks. I am not really sure that is their true name....but he likes them because he says that they have a ball on the top of their head. Really, it does kinda look like that.

So here he is in all his glory(and having every single toy out of the toy box), along with his acceptance speech for the chicken movie that was made just for him.

video

New home pics

Got some pics of the new house last time I was there. Just a little idea of whats been happening there lately.










Friday, March 7, 2008

Tasty afterschool snack

Or really a whenever you're hungry snack. I saw this in a magazine or something quite some time ago when I was at the library. Of course, I dont have the actual magazine to refer to, but here is the general idea. Or my version, anyway.

Fruit salsa and cinnamon chips

6 flour tortillas
butter
cinnamon
sugar

Variety of fruits, diced
apple jelly
brown sugar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lay tortillas on a baking sheet. Spread very thin layer of butter on each tortilla. Then sprinkle with cinnamon and sugar. I have my cinnamon and sugar already mixed together in a shaker because the kids use it often. So, it works out nicely for this recipe. Place baking sheet in preheated oven for 5 minutes. Take out and let cool.

While tortillas are baking, mix together the apple jelly and the brown sugar and pour into a saucepan. Heat until the jelly and brown sugar melt. Then take off heat. I used about 1/4 C apple jelly and 1 T brown sugar.

The jelly step does not take very long, but you can go ahead and get your fruit ready. Use any assortment that you like. I happened to use a banana, 3 kiwis, and 1 gala apple. I diced it all up and tossed it into a bowl.

Then you pour the jelly mixture over the fruit and mix it together till the fruit is nicely coated.

Once your tortillas are cool enuf to handle then break them up into chip sized pieces.

Spoon some fruit onto a tortilla chip and enjoy! The kids loved it! They were surprised at how filling it actually was. It isnt a total health snack, but the kids were throwing down on all the fruit...even without the tortilla chips. So, in my book, its a winner!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Kleen Kanteen

After much research and even more saving I am finally the proud owner of 5 Kleen Kanteen water bottles. I have 4 18 oz ones designated for the big kids and the adults and a 12 oz one for the little guy.

I also purchased the sports caps. Kleen Kanteen offers various interchangeable lids, including a flat top, a loop top, and then the sports cap one. Which is pretty much like what you may see on a sports water bottle. The kind that you pull up on and then suck the water out. The nice thing about it is that is has a little lid that clicks on the mouthpiece so it doesn't get covered in unnecessary dirt and germs.

The bottles are great. The openings are wider than some of the other stainless bottles out there. That means that you can fit regular sized ice cubes in there and also clean it much easier. The water stays nice and cool and it tastes much better than having been in a plastic water bottle. It really helps the water to have that fresh, cool taste. Making you want to drink more. Which, is a good thing, I would think!

The 12 oz bottle had the option to come with a sippy cup adapter and we have that as well. It is nice when your little ones are smaller and need that over the sports cap style. My little one is right about 2 now and he sees me using the sports cap and, of course, he needs to use it, too. So, the sippy adapter has seen its day, I think!

One cool thing I found for the Kleen Kanteen is the Built NY insulated sleeve that I can put them in to keep your drink cooler. It also prevents the bottles from getting dinged up in case you drop them. That is a nice feature if you have kids. The sleeve is made out of the stuff that they make wet suits out of, so it pretty much absorbs the condensation from the bottle. As you can guess, the stainless has a tendency to condensate quite a bit. I purchased the 12 oz sleeve to go with all the bottles that we have. For the 12 oz bottle it fits in there leaving enough room on the top that my little guy can use it as a handle. For the 18 oz one it is taller so there is not as much space left on the top...you cant use it as a handle as easily, but it is still more than worth having. Another great feature of the sleeve....it is machine washable! Just throw it in the washer and let it hang to dry and you are good to go.


Compared to a plastic water bottle, the price tags on these puppies are a bit higher. BUT, I have to say well worth the extra dough. The water tastes so much better and you arent contributing to the insane amount of plastic usage in this world. You dont have to worry about buying prefilled plastic water bottles all the time and then worry about making sure they get recycled.

Kleen Kanteen gets a huge thumbs up from me and my gang.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Radicchio

Anyone out there had this? Loaded with magnesium and potassium....that's great. However, it is bitter, bitter, bitter. That sentence there at the beginning of the page I linked to..."mildly bitter"....that is a tad deceiving. Have you ever had a bitter cucumber? That is what the taste reminded me of.

I had this great salad all laid out. This was going to be a new one for us, never having eaten it before. Radicchio, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, green onions....had my kids chopping all the veggies while I made the chicken to accompany my grand veggie delight. The salad then had this great creamy dressing to go with it....some mayo, some capers, some dill, some red wine vinegar, olive oil....it was quite tasty. Not tasty enuf to mellow out the radicchio, tho. Even my little guy, who eats anything, was not having it. He was eating all the capers out of the dressing(for which I am surprised I had enuf to add to it because he kept reaching his little mitts onto the cutting board to grab all the capers!)

Have you guys eaten this? Is it supposed to be way bitter? I still have one head left. The kids are frightened that I will attempt to use it again. Any ideas? Maybe a tried and true recipe that you keep going back to? Help.....

Monday, March 3, 2008

Kinda slow

Not too much to report here. Things have been kinda slow due to my youngest being under the weather. It seems like he has been with a cold since Christmas.

The spring like weather got us outdoors for a little while yesterday. Not too long tho since the youngest has a double ear infection he was not really up for a lot of playing.

My husband did some computer work for my step dad and was there for quite awhile. Imagine my surprise when S comes home and says that my step dad offered to barter instead of cash payment. I love that idea. Love it. So, for the work S did on his computer we are now the proud owners of this. Funny, since I was just looking at these a week or so ago. My brother and Ma have one and they really like them and rave about them. I was trying to justify the expense as well as the idea that we have virtually no room right now for something like that. So, I have to say the timing could not have been better. I cant wait to get in the new house and have some actual counter space so I can try it out. I am hoping it will be a a good way to get in lots of fruit and veggies.