Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Saga of Hello Kitty

Until last year, I had cruised through parenting. I avoided the one thing I'd heard so much about: Comfort Items. Kaia was never attached to anything other than Minners, so there was never any tears over a missing blanky or stuffed animal... then Morgan went to the hospital. It felt life changing at the time for both Dana and I, but the kids really did take it all in. And from the hospital stay on, they both have comfort items.

My mom (Grandma Owie) bought Kaia a Hello Kitty during that first weekend. She gave Mo a puppy, but that didn't become his comfort item. He grabbed onto his Thomas Blanket that Grammy made him, and that has been special to him ever since.

Hello Kitty has been through a lot in her 7 months at our home. She goes almost everywhere with Kaia. Outside to play. She went to Grammy's house. She went to preschool many times (and accidentally spent the night, which meant night time tears at our house). She went camping. She had a huge hole dug in the back of her head where the stitching failed. It took at least a month for Grammy and I to convince her that one of us should stitch her up. Finally, Kaia relented and allowed Grammy to do it, but we weren't allowed to wash her.

Today, she had her first wash ever! I wish I had taken a photo of her before, although you can reference the photos from Memorial Day weekend to see a portion of the dirt on her. You should have seen how brown she was with dirt all over. You also should have seen purple marker on her. Apparently the gals that watched her in the afterschool program saw nothing wrong with Kaia tracing her white Hello Kitty with purple marker! And the reason for her finally getting a bath... on the last day of preschool, someone let Kaia take Hello Kitty with her when she went to the bathroom. Hello Kitty in an attempt to either escape or finally get a bath jumped right into a toilet. Ewwwww!!!!! She looks much better, although still smells a bit funky!

Kaia wants you to know that Hello Kitty didn't smile for this photo, because she's too scared. Also Hello Kitty doesn't like water, but loved taking naps at preschool. Kaia is elated that Hello Kitty is no longer in the wash, and that she is making an appearance on the blog!


I read an article this week about how many people are turning to SPAM to stretch their budget! Ok here is my first issue, SPAM costs $2.49 for a 12 oz can on average! Ummm... Hello???... A whole chicken costs between 79 cents and $1.30 per pound (16 oz). If it's not on sale get it on the sell by date and you are sure to pay less than $1 per pound. Ok, so you don't like chicken. I can buy ground beef at $1.78 all month long at Fiesta Foods. At other stores in town, depending on the sales, it is easy to pay less than $2 per pound. Don't like chicken or hamburger? Not a problem! This week at Safeway, I purchased Ranchers Reserve Bottom Round Steak for... $1.49 a pound! Serious! Cheaper than hamburger.

The article mentioned that many people liked the shelf stability of SPAM. You know, at the end of the month there would still be a can of SPAM in the cupboard. Well I'm here to argue that this is the worst possible reason to buy SPAM! Dana and I lived in duplexes the first 3 years of marriage. We didn't have a big freezer, just whatever came with the fridge where we lived. I still managed to purchase and freeze less expensive fresh meat during my frugal shopping trips. Anyone that claims lack of space as a reason for not being able to buy fresh meat, hasn't given their freezer a serious look. Sure I may have only been able to stock up for half of the month, but it was definitely cheaper than a can of SPAM.

Now if you like SPAM, then by all means buy and enjoy it. If you are trying to save money... there are so many better choices!

I want to say that I agree whole-heartedly with Mrs. Mordecai's comment! Beans are an excellent shelf stable source of protein, and extremely cheap. I'm not sure why the article didn't touch on that. It did touch on ramen noodles, and they may not be the healthiest of meals, a package can cost 10 cents or less and is fairly filling. I have a recipe that I will share soon, as in as soon as I can make it and take pictures, that uses the noodles to make a great, quick, almost no cost meal.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Pre-K Graduation

Is it really possible my little girl starts school in September? Well according to her Pre-K graduation yesterday, the answer is yes. Photos courtesy of my dad!

I was of course a beaming mommy as they sang a few songs for all the parents and grandparents. Kaia not only sang as loud as possible, but did all the moves, and even helped her teacher remember what line was next. She's so outgoing, and loves an audience!

Show & Tell: Bedroom

I'm back with another Show & Tell, hosted by Kelli at There's No Place Like Home. She's the sweetest hostess around, so if you want to participate, head on over for all the details.

Last week Kelli suggested showing something from your bedroom. So here it is:

Ok, that's not my Show & Tell, but it honestly is the laundry pile in Dana's and My bedroom. Good thing the forecast is now saying a sunny weekend, because I will need the clothesline.

What I really wanted to share was this cool vase made by June, aka Grammy, aka Mother-in-Law.

I think of all the wonderful ceramics she's made for us, this is probably my favorite. (The nativity set is pretty high up there too.) I love the colors on it. So neutral and yet so vibrant at the same time. It really reminds me of a Monet work. I haven't found anything I really want to put in it yet, but I think it is beautiful all by itself.

Here is another ceramic she made for us:

While it may look like a simple candle holder, or even another vase, it has a very useful purpose. Inside are tea lights, candles and matches. If the power ever goes out, I know exactly where those things are stored. Plus it has pink roses on it, and pink is my favorite color! (Next to it is a pink and blue candle that my good friend Lindy made at the beach in Lincoln City. See the sand? You put it in the mold, so you have a beach candle.)

Thanks for visiting! I look forward to seeing all of your items. Also, I'd love for you to see my cutie pie's pics from her pre-k graduation!

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You

After having watched Jen's participation in Sincerely 'Fro Me to You, I had to join in the fun!

I shared this photo a while back, but didn't tell you much about it. I definitely didn't show you a close-up.

This picture is either 6th or 7th grade. I'm thinking most likely the end of 6th grade. It was in 6th grade that I absolutely had to have that really cool black ESPIRIT bag. Because all the kids that were cool had them. I don't know how I got my hair that big. It was definitely the style though, and we all had bangs. During the 7th grade the bangs were thinner and higher, so this must be 6th. By 8th grade, my best friend Misty and I started the no-bang, hair parted down the middle trend. Very hippy, and in all the teen mags. We did it first at our school, and soon others followed. Pretty good for some middle of the road kids. We weren't the coolest, and we liked it that way.

Like that half-shirt? Yeah, awesome huh. That almost see-through white jacket had turquoise panels on it, and didn't it look cool with my black pants? Syke! My guess is they were Jordache or Guess jeans. Come 7th grade I bought (well my parents bought) jeans that were stretchy and zipped up the back. They also had small zippers at the ankle so I could get my foot through the narrow bottom. The result was boys loved to go behind the girls and attempt to unzip the pants. They never made it, but they enjoyed the pestering.

Wow, if I were to pull all those notes out my friends and I wrote each other... then you'd really have a laugh. This has been fun, and I know there are more terrible photos! Actually they are the ones I haven't scanned...yet!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008


It is past my bed time and I have a cold. I should be sleeping, but life is funny sometimes!

I was watching "So You Think You Can Dance" and waiting for Kaia to get tired. When my show was over, and I started on another, I realized that her show must be over by now. She was watching Never Ending Story on our Netflix Watch Instantly, and while she loves the show, she graduates preschool tomorrow and needs her rest. You can imagine the giggles and quick moves to find the camera when this is what I saw:

All I can say is "ouch!"
She should be fun to wake up at 7 a.m.

More from Memorial Day

Our camping site was just across from the frog pond, which is also where the salamanders, periwinkles, and snakes could be found. So I'm sure you can imagine where the kids spent most of their time.

This guy posed for a shot on Monday afternoon. If you ever want a peaceful camping experience, head up on Monday of Memorial Day. The place was completely cleared out, and the frogs were obviously feeling the relief of not being manhandled by the hordes of children.

Camping with a trailer isn't all fun and games. We decided to pay the $5 to dump at a tire place on our way home, instead of driving the extra 12 miles to use the free one. At the price of fuel, it pretty much evens out. This sign caught my eye, and Dana laughed when I took a picture.

Monday, May 26, 2008

What I Did This Weekend

  1. Tripped near the campfire, fell and busted my lip (on Dana's knee)

  2. Caught a small salamander

  3. Took photos of Kaia with the salamander she caught

  4. Caught a green frog

  5. Got muddy

  6. Pet a small snake (very unusual for me, but it was teeny tiny)

  7. Had a great weekend!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

This will almost be us!

These are the funniest commercials! They mostly focus on the West Side of the State, but I remember a few camping trips like this when younger (well not quite this wet). We are going to get rained on tomorrow, but we have a trailer, and a plan to have fun!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


We aren't going as far as Rainier, Chinook Pass is still closed due to snowfall. The good news in that is almost no one from the West side of the state will be at our campgrounds. Due to snowfall, many campgrounds are still closed, so less people from the population dense West side means a better campsite for us! (click on photo to read part of the article)

So I'm really good at having a plan and then not following through. However, this week I posted my menu on Menu Plan Monday and have stuck to it! When I hadn't pulled the ribs from the freezer this morning, I almost said, "Forget it!" Then quickly my brain said, "No, you said you were making ribs and coselaw, you better do it!" So I grabbed the ribs and let them defrost slightly on the counter (oh hush on the food safety stuff, it wasn't for very long) and then put them in the crockpot and covered them with sauce before I left for work.

I have the garlic bread and spaghetti stuff purchased. I am hoping to get it cooked up tonight so that tomorrow night after we set up camp, I can just heat it up. First night at camp always gets a little crazy in the rush to set up, eat and then get the kids settled down (the last being the hardest part). This will be a good trial run with a prepped dinner. If it makes the first night a bit less crazy, we'll definitely stick to it for future trips.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Did ya know?

I have some amazing people around me! When I have a bad day, they are always doing something to make me smile. Lately the days seem to have more negative than good, so much to think about and consider, but I'm trying to keep it all positive here (as much as possible).

There are so many of you that don't comment much on my blog, but are always encouraging me. Granny in Mexico, Nana, Mom (aka Gramma Owie), Rebekah, June (Grammy)... the list goes on. (Dana is one of those non-commenters, although he does read regularly)

If you do read my comments you will see that Mrs. Mordecai and I both have sons the same age, and Ann's daughter and Mo were born just days apart. Mom's of two year olds can always commiserate together (they really are so much fun!). Kelli comes by and always makes me feel good. She has hundreds of people reading her blog, but she takes time to stop in and say something personal.

The commenter that has really been making me smile lately, Jennifer! We often have conversations in each other's comments. She always has something sweet and funny to say to me! I really appreciate that!
I lifted your photo, but it's always easier to ask forgiveness than ask permission!

There are many more of you that I didn't mention, but I just had to say Thanks for the smiles!

Monday, May 19, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is my first time participating in Menu Plan Monday. I always say I should, and then don't. Because of the holiday weekend, and trying to make sure everything is ready, I need to be super organized these next few days. So here it is:

Baked Italian Chicken (chicken thighs marinated in italian dressing) with vegetable rice and asparagus

Chef Salad with homemade ranch dressing

BBQ Beef Ribs, coselaw and french bread

Take-along Spaghetti and french bread

Weekend (dinners just depend on what sounds good each night):
Grilled steak with mushrooms and peppers, corn on the cob (cooked on the campfire)
Taco-ish salad (ground beef, iceberg lettuce, kidney beans, red onion, olives and Catalina dressing served with Doritos)
Burgers, chips and fresh veggies

Sunday, May 18, 2008

There Goes the Neighborhood Part Deux

Ahh good to put all those years of French classes to use! Once again, I am out out to irritate the neighbors with my frugal ways. Actually this time, I don't think any of them can really see what I'm doing.

One of my "big" expenditures with our rebate was to buy this $49 parallel clothes dryer. I used to have to ropes strung on the back porch, but that was pre-BigDumbDog. We put a piece of lattice up for privacy in that spot anyway.

Yesterday was 94 degrees, and I didn't want to run the electric dryer (although I did to dry the comforter which was covered in Callie's fur). The dryer hasn't been put in the ground yet. So my ingenius idea was to fill a bucket with rocks around the base part, then add water for even more weight, and then lean it up against the house so it couldn't fall over.

It is way too high for me right now, but will be perfect once in the ground. This is the South side of our home, and there is a hedge between us and the neighbors to the South, and the tree and trailer help block the view from the street.

It worked, though. The clothes were dry extremely fast and I had two loads dry before abandoning the laundry for the day. Now it's time to head back out with a new load.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Kaia went to "Sabbage School"

Kaia all dolled up to attend Sabbath School with Grandpa Carl and Grandma Mikey.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Show & Tell: Mt. Saint Helens

It's Show & Tell at Kelli's. If you would like to join in, head on over to her blog (it's fun!)

Castle made from ash

Bears on a log

On Sunday, May 18, 1980 Mt. Saint Helens blew. I was Morgan's age at the time, but I remember it. Well I don't remember every detail, but I do remember the day turning to night.
I spent Saturday nights with my grandparents, and went to church on Sunday morning with my Grandma Sarah. I don't remember going to church that morning, but apparently the smoke cloud could be seen, and ash was beginning to fall. One of the men in church, at the time was a teenager, and with all the talk of it almost being like the end of the world, he was baptized that day. I don't remember that. I do remember leaving the building, and asking my grandma why it was night time. That's what I was asking in my head, but I'm sure knowing Mo's vocabulary it was much more like, "Night? Gramma, Night?" She had me put my hanky over my face and keep my head down as we walked to the car. I was thoruoghly confused. How did we go into church in the morning and come out at night? The sky really was black. I have been told that I stayed with my grandparents for a few days after that. The city pretty much shut down to dig out.

Me and my Grandpa Alva (Al). This Polaroid is undated, but he passed away in the Fall of 1980, so I know it was most likely taken in 1980.

Almost everyone around here has jars of ash saved. Figurines made from the ash, like we have in our home, are sold all over. Gardens grew like crazy, with wonderful crops thanks to the ash fortifying the soil.

Here she is in 1995. She looks different now. You may have seen in the news when in 2005 she was building her dome, and blowing off some ash. I was pregnant with Morgan, and it was an eerie sight seeing plumes of ash rising from behind the hills. My drive to and from my in-laws home gives me a perfect view of Mt. Adams and Mt. Rainier. Mt. Saint Helens is nearby, just not visible from my vantage point. I showed Kaia the ash, and as we arrived home it was lightly dusting our yard and home.

This view was amazing to me. Driving up to see Mt. Saint Helens and after 15 years there was still so much devastation! But up here in the Northwest, we are resourceful. Someone took the ash and created some beautiful art and we enjoy it in our home.

Wolves made from ash

Thursday, May 15, 2008

I just really liked the orange

Your Brain's Pattern

Your mind is a firestorm - full of intensity and drama.

Your thoughts may seem scattered to you most of the time...

But they often seem strong and passionate to those around you.

You are a natural influencer. The thoughts you share are very powerful and persuading.

Hmmm... If you change the others and me around, they've got me pegged! I think I have some great idea, but when I open my mouth... scattered.
Wait, stop, negative thinking. New affirmation: I am a strong and passionate thinker, and I feel good about sharing my ideas.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Who I am

I went missing for a few days, and I apologize. I've spent the last two days at a seminar called Investment in Excellence. Lou Tice is the presenter via DVD and there is a work book and facilitators from the hospital. All of the hospital staff have gone through this, including my parents. My mom loved it. When I realized that is what I was doing (I admit to going into the room Monday morning with no idea what I'd do during the 4 day seminar) I was excited.

So many of us started off believing this was really a career thing, and have found that it is a personal thing. You have to build yourself up first, before you can change what's around you. Some of what's discussed is psychology. We've had the concious and subconcious explained to us. We also had to identify our negative self-talk, the areas in our life where we aren't performing as we wish, and now we are throwing our lives out of order with affirmations. We are resetting what is normal for us. The messy house, that's not me. While our affirmations should be personal, I want to share two with you all: I take pride in cleaning my home each night. I am an organized person and enjoy the pleasant home I create.

Don't laugh, if you read often, you know that has not been true. The point is, that I say this, in the present tense. I tell myself this before I fall asleep, and after I wake up. I envision myself doing this (not watching myself doing it, but I envision it through my own eyes) and I envision how it makes me feel. Successful sports players can tell you the power of visualization. Doing this makes it my normal, what my concious and subconcious expect from me. Eventually, the messy house will be intolerable, simply because I know that I'm a cleaner more organized person than that in my head!

It may sound "new-agey" but it's not. It wasn't always fun and games either. Looking into my deepest thoughts... have you ever been in a room with 30 people and trying not to cry? There were several moments where I was doing that. And there were several moments were others were too. My big revelation, that negative self talk that I've allowed to play in my mind. I'm too skinny I'm cold I'm frigid I'm a b!tch I'm messy I'm unorganized I'm not worthy

That got me. I have allowed that tape to play in my head. Especially when anything in life is going wrong. I've been called every last one, except the unworthy, that one I seem to have told myself. No more though! I'm replacing my self-talk, as you saw in just two affirmations above.

I'm no longer going to let someone else's label be a part of who I am! I'm really looking forward to the two classes in June. I plan to keep you all updated on my progress!

We act like the person we know ourselves to be. Lou Tice

Hello, Goodbye

I had to say "goodbye" to one of my piercings today. Right after I said "hello" to antibiotics, and a DPT booster. OUCH! Last time I had a tetanus booster was 1996, and pertussis makes its rounds in our community. I had been putting off going simply because I did not want to take out my piercing and have it heal up. Not a good reason, I know, but I paid for it, and went through the pain to get it, I didn't want to give it all up. No idea why the infection, the peircing was not new, and the infection appeared to start above the piercing and spread down to it. Kind of a let down after the 2 amazing days I just spent learning. I'll post more on that soon!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Mother's Day Menu

Photo by my Dad

Thank you so much for all of your help! I really liked the suggestions, and funny how some of the same things were suggested. My mom had called to mention that should could make a roast. My friend at work agreed that roast would be good (she also had some other great ideas, but we've been entertaining so much that I've had barbeque and tacos a lot lately). That's when Jennifer mentioned the roast. I really liked Kelli's idea of pasta too, and then Mrs. Mordecai linked to a yummy looking recipe that included pasta. Ann's suggestion of sandwiches sounded perfect for an after church meal.

So I'm pretty much planning on all of the above. Just need to let people know. We'll have roast with potatoes and carrots, brought by my mom. The sausage and veggie pasta made by me. I'll have my brother and sister-in-law bring some kind of a roll that can be used for sandwiches as desired and a salad (green or fruit). I'll also make some dessert. This Coca-Cola Salad maybe?

The trick will be not to stuff ourselves too much, because we have a birthday party/Mother's Day barbeque to attend that day. I do have to bring food to that too! Guess you know what I'll be doing tomorrow (besides scrubbing down the house)!

Have a wonderful weekend! I'll be back to Show & Tell Friday at Kelli's next week.

A different dessert

Hmmm... maybe Rhubarb Sour Cream Pie is what we'll have for Mother's Day. I bought sourcream on discount, so have some in the freezer and some in the fridge. Also free rhubarb from our awesome neighbor. (Neither Dana or I are huge strawberry eaters, so this would be a good alternative to a Strawberry Rhubarb Pie).

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

What to fix for Mother's Day

We are having lunch at my house right after church. I'm not sure how many will be in attendance, but we don't have a bunch of time. Church is over about 11:45 a.m. and then my family has a birthday party at 3 p.m.

My brother suggested Chili Dogs. Umm... sorry, but I don't think us mom's are really looking forward to chili dogs for our day. On top of that we don't want our husbands and children eating chili dogs.

So I'm trying to think of something that can be prepared in advance, and then quickly made as everyone arrives. I do plan to solicit help, but need some ideas. So please, share!

Late Night

I intended to go to bed at 11 p.m. That is staying up late for me. I just wasn't ready to go to bed after Hell's Kitchen, and the "sanitized" version of Sex and the City is on at 10 so I turned to that channel. (Thanks to Miley Cyrus for a new word for edited) When it was over I flipped channels. I'm still not sure why, but I wanted to check out all the PBS channels. First I checked 47.5 nothing interesting, then 47.3. PBS Create, my favorite, had Rick Steves eating froi gras in France. Ewww... Finally I turned to 47.1 and it was a documentary called China Blue. I was enthralled and disgusted!

Do you remember your history? Workers live on site and buy their food on site, so very little if any of them actually have money after all the work? Oh yes, that's what is happening. Except the young lady you are following is 16 or 17. Her friend that she meets there? She's 14. They get fake id's so they can work. They make almost nothing, but they are cutting, sewing and trimming string from jeans. Levi's and Wal-Mart were both mentioned several times throughout by the workers. There is no overtime. The generous factory owner gives the workers a free snack at midnight when they work all night! The end of the documentary there are some facts stated. In the time it took to watch the documentary, Jasmine and her friends have completed 15 pairs of jeans and earned just 97 cents for it. These are jeans that Wal-Mart might sell for $10 (just a guess since I don't shop there). Levi's charges $19-39 depending on the style. I could ramble on for ever on this. It's disgusting. Yet as long as we continue (and this includes European markets too) to purchase the items, and allow companies to outsource work this will continue.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

There Goes the Neighborhood

I just couldn't stay away from Show & Tell at Kelli's! I had wanted to take some photos in my garden, of the bleeding hearts, but instead I'll show you my lovely front yard where all of our veggies are planted.

We're pretty sure that several of our neighbors thought that when we moved in. Since then, we've kept peace for the most part (a few grouchy neighbors excepting). This however secures our spot as the "trash" of the neighborhood.

This is the front of our home from night until morning.
Our next door neighbor didn't bat an eye, but he and his wife grow much of their own vegetables, and pick their own fruit. Also a friendly neighbor from down the road didn't seem to concerned with the look, just mentioned that it looked like a lot of work.
Those that haven't made their opinion known, I'm sure I don't want to hear it! Not much longer and the plants won't need protection. And this summer our family will be enjoying fresh tomatoes from our 14 plants, and fresh jalapenos from 4 plants all in our front yard.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Recipes

I forgot to link to the Summer Salad recipe, but since the SparkRecipe link doesn't always work, I'm going to repost. I found a recipe for what I call Summer Salad in a mediterranean cookbook. I took it and changed it like I always do. Then called it Summer Salad because in the summer, when there are lots of ripe tomatoes it is an easy side dish.

Summer Salad
2 medium or 3 small avocados
2 medium or 1 large ripe tomato
1/2 to 1 jalapeno
1/2 to 1 lime
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: cilantro, mozzarella, olive oil

Pit the avocados and chop into bite size pieces. Chop tomatoes into bite size pieces. Finely chop the jalapeno. Start small with the jalapeno, and add more as needed waiting at least 15 minutes in between. Add juice of half the lime (add more as needed for taste), salt and pepper. Stir and let sit. I typically do not chill as I like it to taste fresh from the garden, not fresh from the fridge.

Also I want to share my recipe for Mango Salsa. I originally found it at Martha Stewart's website, and tweaked it just a bit. I think it's probably pretty close to the original, which was awesome!

Mango Salsa
2 ripe mangoes
3-4 tablespoons of onion (Red is best for both color and flavor. Yellow and white will work)
1/2-1 jalapeno
1/2 lime
dash of sugar
salt and pepper to taste

Chop the mango into cubes, finely chop the onion and jalapeno. Start small with the jalapeno and add more to taste. Mix mangoes, onion and jalapeno in a bowl. Squeeze lime over the mix. Add a dash of sugar and the salt and pepper. Let sit at least 15 minutes before serving. (Martha Stewart dot com has tips for cutting mangoes, if you need them)
One last recipe: Eggless oatmeal cookies! I didn't have all the ingredients, so I skipped the topping and the vanilla. I added a bit of cinnamon and a tablespoon of maple syrup to the batter to make up for the lack of topping. I was shocked at how good these were, and how they are all gone! I needed eggless because I used all of the eggs making deviled eggs for dinner with my parents on Saturday night.
I wanted to use but couldn't remember the name of the site. It is awesome! Thanks to whoever told me about the website. It lets you choose what you have and what you don't and finds recipes. Perfect for using up what you have on hand.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Frugal Finds

Shopping has gone quite well the last few days! First I went to Fiesta Foods on Friday. I bought the mangos, milk on coupon, radishes and green onions, 2 whole chickens (Northwest grown), and the avocados. The avocados turned out to be quite small, even more so than I assumed they would be. The good news, I wasn't disappointed by the amount of flesh inside. The pits were also proportionately small so they were still a good deal.

We ate Summer Salad that night, and it was excellent!

What I was surprised to find was: Green Peppers 3 for $1, and they were nice and big and fresh! The bottom round beef for $1.78 a pound was "whole" which I thought meant about $10 worth. Nope "whole" as in $20 + for the smallest roast. I just wasn't prepared for that, so I bought 2 packages of beef shank at $1.69 a pound. They are great for soup, and the trick is to cook them first with broth for at least an hour, then freeze. That way when you need them for a meal, it is nice and tender after the second cooking.

While I was cooking, Kaia and Mo played outside and made a huge mess! I might post some photos later, but I wanted to get a photo of my bleeding heart while it is still small. Yes, that's right, in this photo it is still SMALL! For reference, Kaia is 44 and a half inches tall (that's 3 and a half feet)! By her birthday at the end of June, this bleeding heart will be sprawled out across the sidewalk and driveway. What's amazing is it is in a spot where there is no water from the sprinkler system. It's dry powdery fill dirt that they put up against the house after it was built, but every year it comes back!

Last night I had the best find of all! A gift from my dad. I can use his nice Cannon digital camera. I'm kind of a camera dummy, but it's a 10D. The little Sony DSC-P1 will still be good when I need to stash it in my purse, but the Cannon will allow me to really get the photos I want, and that is using the dummy setting (aka automatic). So for all of you that read regularly, be prepared for my photos to improve vastly! I've already taken a great pic of Dana with Esmerelda, but I'll share that later.

Today after church, the kids and I stopped by Rosauer's because we are nearly out of cheese. While there I found non-fat milk on closeout for... 99 cents a gallon! I bought 4 of them. I also found chicken hindquarters for 79 cents a pound on closeout (nice when I don't want to cook a whole chicken) and frozen veggies for $1 a bag. When we got home I poured off a bit of each gallon of milk, added a pinch of salt, and filled the freezer! Mo's napping, Kaia wants to paint, and laundry is calling my name. If my dad and Dana are still on their ride when Mo wakes up, my mom is going to come over and we'll all head over to the nursery to buy some vegetable plants.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Show and Tell: Dishes

I haven't been on Show & Tell for awhile. Things have been just a little crazy between travel, birthday parties, baby showers, and a house that looks like a hurricane went through.

Today I want to show you something in my kitchen:

My Helper!

Mo has started saying more new words than I can keep up with! "Cook" is one of his favorites.
Ok now for the items in my home. I've mentioned before my dishes. I love them! My sister-in-law picked them up at a yardsale for me. I started out with 8 bowls, 8 saucers, 8 sandwich plates, and 8 dinner plates.

But, I'm a clutz and have broken two of the sandwich plates and a bowl. Kaia broke at least two of the saucers, and Mo has now broken a sandwich plate.

Now I do love these dishes, but my dream kitchen is a retro turquoise and red. So I wonder if I should try to replace the broken dishes, or when I do decide to buy new dishes, just yardsale what is left of this gorgeous set.

Now why the attempt to find replacements is so difficult:

If you know what manufacturer that is, please tell me! Also knowing who owned the set before me, I'm pretty sure these are pricey, and I probably would be able to buy a whole new set for the cost of a few pieces of this.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, May 1, 2008


Do you Live United?

Wanna Know a Secret?

TJ is not my real name. Those are my initials. I know, I know, DUH! But, you will quickly know why I use my initials. My name isn't all that easy to read and pronounce. Just try it (if you already know me, this doesn't work) Tysa Jayne Kihn. So I get all sorts of pronounciations from people, but here is my version of it phonetically: Tie-suh Jane Keen

So here are some pictures of her: One month old

Almost one with my Aunt (she was pregnant with my cousin)

Two years old

Four years old (at my cousin's party)


Elementary School

Middle School (I'm the dork on the right)


Senior Portrait (taken late summer early fall)

Close-Up trip to D.C. April of my senior year (notice dramatic change in hair)

My Pepperdine Suite-Mates and I on our last day together in Malibu (I'm in denim)

What have I learned from this? That my hair changes, and often! Also I appear tall in photos of me with other women, but I'm only 5 foot 5. So I'm going to guess that while Kaia towers over her peers now, she'll end up being just average height in the long run. Actually I'm the shortest person in my office, but that's why God gave someone the idea to create high heels!