Thursday, October 30, 2008

My Husband

It has come to my attention, that I don't say enough about my husband on my blog. Thing is, I'm never sure how much to write about him. I have no problem saying things about myself, and potentially embarrasing myself, but I don't want to do the same for him, so I err on the quiet side. So it was perfect that Danielle tagged me for this meme about how well I know my husband. After 10 years together, this should have been easy, but I'm not all that sure I answered correctly.

1. He's sitting in front of the TV; what is on the screen? Bones
2. You're out to eat; what kind of dressing does he get on his salad? Ranch and sometimes Thousand Island
3. What's one food he doesn't like? Seafood
4. You go to a bar. What does he order? Duck Farts or Smirnoff Ice
5. Where did he go to high school? Selah
6. What size shoe does he wear? 11 usually
7. If he was to collect anything what would it be? Guns, Cars
8. What is his favorite kind of sandwich? Homemade Vegetarian
9. What would this person eat every day if he could? He likes variety, so not sure he'd eat one thing every day. Although peanut butter and cheddar cheese (not together) he eats most every day.
10. What is his favorite cereal? Lucky Charms (I think)
11. What would he never wear?A suit and tie
12. What is his favorite sports team? He roots for several football teams, but not sure he has a favorite.
13. Who will he vote for? For President? I don't know. Dino Rossi for governor. We both hope there aren't endless recounts this year that cost him the governer's seat.
14. Who is his best friend? I am.
15. What is something you do that he wishes you wouldn't do? Pick at my hair.
16. How many states has he lived in? One for the most part. Although he did spend some time in Alaska and in California
17. What is his heritage? Umm... no idea.
18. You bake him a cake for his birthday; what kind of cake? White cake, chocolate frosting, but I'm not sure that's his favorite.
19. Did he play sports in high school? Drag Racing, although it wasn't through the high school.
20. What could he spend hours doing? Riding his motorcycle, working in the garage, shooting at the range

Well honey, how did I do?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Last week I went on my very first field trip as a mom. I was a chaperon to 3 students, one of which was my own. I definitely felt like cattle in a herd, as all the kindergarten students for Kaia's school were there. The pumpkin patch had so many groups that they herded us from one section to the next, with just a bit of time spent at each.

I had a great group though. The little boy wanted to hug me all the time, and Kaia became quite jealous. I also had a shy little girl that hardly spoke, and knows only a little English. She was quite opposite Kaia, who is very outgoing and never stops speaking. They got along great though and we had fun.

Kaia picked out one of the biggest pumpkins to take home with her. She could barely carry it. I picked out a small one for Mo. I hope tonight we can carve them so they will be ready for Halloween. And in a move that is sure to kill my chances for the mom of the year award, I scheduled an appointment for my kids to get their flu shots on Halloween morning. Mo knows, but Kaia doesn't. She'll find out when we get there, and not before, or I'd be dragging a screaming child into the clinic, and that is never fun. I'm hoping the costumes that the staff wear will make the visit a bit more fun. Plus she can wear her princess costume (a fancy dress from Grammy and Papa and one of my tiaras from my pageant days), so it shouldn't be too bad, right?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Raven's Roost

It was a long drive up to the top of Raven's Roost. It's a winding, one-lane dirt road. That meant everytime a vehicle was coming the other direction, someone has to pull to the side. Being opening elk weekend, there was plenty of pulling over.

We were blessed with a beautiful clear day. It was cold and windy, but you could see for miles.

When up at the top, you feel like you are on top of the world, until you glance over at the towering Mount Rainier.

A quick glance over the edge reminds you just how far up you are.

I'm not a panicky mama, but everytime Kaia stepped within 4 feet of the edge, I came unglued. I don't mind heights, but I don't like edges. Especially not ones that my girl could trip and fall down, and we'd have no way of saving her. I shudder thinking of it!

The Jeep got a little muddy on the way up, but it got even muddier on the way down!

Notice I'm hanging on tight to my girl, and staying in front of the "barrier". I'm still not sure what that barrier could possibly keep from going over.

Notice there is no Mo in the photos. He sat on my hip for a bit, I let him down for about 30 seconds so he could inspect the radio tower that is located up there, and then he was cold and wanted to go back to his car seat. I was happy to oblige.

It was a nice little break for the day, and fun family time.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Where to Camp?

One of the biggest questions you may face is, "Where should we go?" We are blessed to live in Central Washington. There are camping opportunities all around us. There are at least 4 nearby mountain passes (all within an hour's drive) with numerous campgrounds, and I can think of 4 other nearby areas where there is camping and some campgrounds.

First thing to do: Ask around. Find out where others' enjoy camping. Be sure to ask about the facilities, and what they do while they are camping. I know of a campground that is right on the Columbia River, but it is really meant for people with some sort of watercraft, so it's not an ideal spot for us.

Second thing to do: Look online. Check out, but remember they don't cover many great US Forest Service Campgrounds. So check out your local Forest Service website. For us, I check the Naches Ranger District site, to find out about burn bans, campground closures, and trail information.

Last, once you have some ideas of where you'd like to camp, take a day trip. Pack a picnic lunch, pile everyone into your vehicle and spend a Saturday or Sunday at the spot you are considering. Many have day parking for a small fee, others have parking nearby, and some may require you to purchase one night. Still a $10 fee to spend the day and decide if you would enjoy a weekend there is much better than spending $20 or $30 to camp during the weekend, and leaving because you are miserable.

Our camping trip this weekend, is now a day trip. As my header explains, it is never dull around here. Our house has been pretty crazy the last 2 weeks, and we have not had time to pack, nor have we found firewood. It is also opening weekend of elk hunting. While there are many responsible hunters out there, there are also some irresponsible ones. Just yesterday, a friend told us that he was up near Ellensburg, WA and there was a truck being driven by two women. There were two men in the back. One guy had a beer in one hand, and his firearm in the other. It was 10 a.m. That is scary! So this weekend, we will take the Jeep up Chinook Pass and go up Raven's Roost. It's a great spot where you can see for miles you are up so high. We'll have some lunch and head back home.

Camp Steaks, Who says you can't eat gourmet on a camping trip?

2 Steaks (I love rib steak or t-bone, Dana prefers sirloin tip)
Marinade (recipe below)
Green Pepper

Marinade: Worschestire Sauce, 1 or 2 garlic cloves, red pepper flakes, seasoning salt. Chop up the garlic, use enough worschestire to coat the steaks thoroughly, add just a bit of the red pepper flakes, and about a teaspoon of seasoning salt.

Marinate your steaks in a plastic food storage bag for at least 6-8 hours. One easy thing to do is to put them in to the marinade at home, and just pack the plastic bag.

Cook your steaks on the grill to desired doneness. If you don't have a grill and are using a camp stove, you can buy a griddle that has a grill top and that works well too.

Thinly slice your pepper, onion and mushrooms. If using a stove, saute, if using your grill put them in foil with some butter and cook on the grill.

When steaks reach the desired doneness, top with the veggies and enjoy! These are great served with potatoes baked over the fire!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Camping Fun

One key aspect to enjoying your camping trip is to have fun! For many people the question is, "What do we do once up there?" The answers are many, and all depends on what you enjoy.

  1. Growing up camping meant hiking to me. We'd set out and follow the trails around Mt. Rainier. Or, we'd just climb right up a hillside to see what there is to see. Many campgrounds have nearby trails that you can follow. Just being out in the fresh air, enjoying the beauty of God's great earth, and getting some exercise can make your day a lot of fun.

  2. Water is fun! Whether it's camping by a lake, a pond or near a river, having water to play in makes the trip fun for kids and adults. Our favorite campground is across the road from a river where in the warm summer months we go to cool down and look for the crawdads and small fish that live near the banks of the river. In the early spring there is the frog pond, which also houses salamanders and in the nearby rocks are small snakes. Another great camping spot we enjoy is on Rimrock Lake. We just wade in the water, but many lakes have some place nearby that rent paddle boats. Also if you are near water, you can go fishing, just be sure to check out the rules and regulations for your area.

  3. Camp near an event or activity. Jennifer mentioned in the comments of my last post that they used to camp out for a football game. Great idea! We went camping in 2007 near Silverwood Theme Park. We were able to enjoy camping, and go have fun on the rides. Many outdoor concert venues in Washington have campgrounds nearby so that you can enjoy your favorite band without driving all night to get home.

  4. Invite family and friends. One of the best things about camping is having friends and family come up to join us! Whether it's a day trip for them, or they camp beside us, it's always enjoyable to spend time with those we love. If you don't have family and friends willing to join you, take a note from Kaia's book of life: Make some! She always meets a new friend camping, and we've been able to chat with the parents and get to know them. On one occasion, her new friend, was the son of my friend from high school.

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you are coming up with some ideas, and maybe thinking about future camping trips. On the sidebar you will find a link to all of my Camping Menus. Here are a few food ideas:

Corn on the Cob:

Corn is a delicious and easy side dish to your camping meals. We've cooked it several ways, but here are two of our favorites.

On the grill: Shuck the corn as if preparing to boil it. When the grill is hot, baste the corn with seasoned melted butter. I like to add garlic salt and seasoning salt. Place corn on the grill, turn and baste often, until cooked. The corn will get a little dark in spots, but it just adds more flavor.

Over the fire: Shuck corn and lay it on a square of foil. Add a tablespoon or more of butter and any seasoning you would like. Wrap corn with foil, making sure the ear is completely covered. When the fire has nice hot coals, place the grate over the coals and put corn on it. If you just have one of those little half grates, make sure there are coals under it. If you don't have a grate at all, you can put the corn in the pit, as close to the coals as possible. Turn a few times, and check for doneness after 20 minutes or so.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Camping 101

To start my camping series I'd like to start with the basics of camping. If you haven't been camping, then it may seem like a daunting task. What do I need? Where do I start?

I grew up camping. I was never a fan of the backpacking trips where you hiked in with everything, and you brought it back out. My dad and my brother lived for these trips though. Instead I enjoyed the family going up with our tents and coolers. There was an outhouse, and at some locations real flushing toilets, and always fresh water to use. I'm going to assume, that is the kind of trip you will take too.

  1. Make sure you have enough. That includes everything. Think you have your meals all planned out and don't need anymore food? Take a box of mac and cheese or a can of ravioli, just in case. No one is sick? Still take some fever reducer/pain reliever with you and a basic first aid kit. Always have an extra pair of socks and shoes, and an extra change of clothes too. Also, plan an extra blanket per person. Even with a trailer like ours, things happen. Heaters can go out, and then you are in need of those extra clothes and blankets. If you have a propane stove, make sure you have plenty of bottles. If you are using battery operated lights, have extra batteries.
  2. Have water. We always fill the water tank up in the trailer before leaving. Even though we have all that water, we also take some water jugs with us. We set one up on the tailgate for handwashing. Another is used to fill the dogs water bucket. And if you are tent camping you will need it for washing dishes and drinking/cooking water. Most organized campsites have a place to refill the jugs as needed.
  3. Setting up camp. The first night at camp can be a bit hectic. You have to level a trailer or set up tents, a campfire to start and everything to unload. A good idea is to plan a quick and easy dinner for that first night. Something made ahead that just needs reheated, or something with very little prep. We've tried to do hamburgers, but it just takes too long. Spaghetti, chili, or even hot dogs are good first night dinners.
  4. Have fun! Camping is a time to kick back and relax. It's also a time to play. So go for a hike, play in river, catch frogs and snakes (and release them), just enjoy your time playing. We also have a bubble machine, horseshoe set, and books and magazines to enjoy.
More camping fun and ideas, coming up! Here is a recipe for an easy, one skillet breakfast:

Dana's Camp Breakfast
2 Large Links of Spicy Sausage
1 Green Pepper
1/2 white or yellow onion
6 eggs
2 T oil
Cheddar cheese to taste

In a large skillet heat the oil. Cut the sausage into small pieces and add to hot skillet. Cook for a few minutes, stirring constantly. Add diced green pepper and onion. Cook until soft. Reduce heat to medium/medium low. Break eggs into skillet, and stir lightly. Let sit until eggs start to firm underneath, then gently push the eggs around. Let sit again. When eggs are almost set, add some cubed or shredded cheddar. Stir, then turn off heat, cover and let cheese melt. Serve with Tabasco sauce or Tapatio and enjoy!

Friday, October 17, 2008

My Decision

What happens when I don't like either the Democratic or Republican Candidate in any office? I vote Libertarian. I have never joined the Libertarian party, but I have always liked their philosophy. In a nutshell, government goes too far. On a Federal level the belief is that more power should be in the hands of the States. Or as the slogan on Bob Barr's site says "The Answer is Less Government." Since I cannot bring myself to vote for McCain or Obama, Barr will get my vote. Will he be elected? No, but at least I know I voted for someone that I felt could do a good job.

Camping Theme

Thank you all for your patience as life has been more important than blogging lately. Next week, we are planning to go on our last camping trip of the year. It will be the last weekend of October, the same time we took our last and fateful camping trip last year. This year, however, Mo is not going to get pneumonia and spend 5 days in the hospital scaring the crap out of his parents, it's just not allowed!

Something that I find amazing, is that most hits I receive from search engines are people looking for camping menus. So next week, my posts will all be camping themed. I cannot promise a post everyday, but I do promise some great camping ideas, and food. If there is one thing we Kihn's enjoy, it is camping!

Please take a moment to let me know, if you have any camping questions in the comments. I'd be happy to answer them.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Just Another Bedtime at the Kihn's

Hey, it took a lot of work to convince him that this was a better bedtime choice than sissy's yellow ruffled dress.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Doc Says

Strep Throat. That's what my darling Kaia has, and she kindly shared with her little brother. Both are on antibiotics now. Kaia on amoxicillin, and Mo on azithromyacin (he's allergic to amox). Both seem to be better today. Kaia will go back to school tomorrow.

Sorry for lack of posting, but 2 sick kids and me trying to get caught up at work is a bit time consuming.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


She did it! Kaia was a busy, buzzing bee in Missoula Childrens Theater's Rumplestiltskin yesterday. She had lots of family at the 3 o'clock show to watch her do her stuff.
Hard to believe that on Wednesday, at her first rehearsal, she was like a zombie. She swore she was just cold and tired. When rehearsal was over, she climbed onto the couch and went to sleep. When I checked her, she had a 102 degree fever. Thursday morning, she woke with a fever of 103. I kept her home from school, and the poor thing slept most of the day in between being too hot or too cold.

I had promised her she could go to rehearsal if she was feeling better. Except things weren't looking better. Just an hour and a half before rehearsal, her fever reached 104! I put her in the bath, gave her another dose of ibuprofen, and called the doctors office. Kaia became hysterical. She HAD to be at rehearsal, PLEASE don't call the doctor.

After the bath her fever dropped to 100. I talked with the nurse at the doctors and she agreed that Kaia could go to the rehearsal, but should wear a mask. So we stopped at the store to pick up a mask, we dosed her with tylenol, and I sanitized her hands when we got to rehearsal. The mask definitely got her some sympathy. Amazingly, she did really well that evening.

It was a tiring experience for her, but she is set on doing it again next year!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Frugal Meat: Soup Bones

If you came here for some sexy, exciting post... well you have happened upon the wrong blog for you. I want to talk about a great frugal meat: Soup Bones.

You may know that my parents gifted us with a third of a cow early this summer. One of the great cuts, which I have found very inexpensive in stores is the Soup Bone. The trick with soup bones is that they really are made for soup, stews, or any other dish that will allow them to be cooked at a medium temperature for several hours. This may seem a challenge to some, but the great thing is they provide excellent flavor to a dish for little money.

I've made many different soup type dishes with this meat. Mostly it's beef soup or stew, but also tomato based one pot meals. Just remember to put the meat into a pot, add some seasoning, cover with water, and cook on low to medium heat for at least 2 hours. Then remove bone and meat (they usually separate) cut the meat into small pieces. Add meat back to stock that you now have, and add your veggies. I like to add onion during the original cooking time, then add celery and carrots after the meat is put back in. Add some potatoes, rice, barley, or pasta and any other seasonings and finish cooking. Veggies like peas or corn should be added right at the end of cooking if desired. An inexpensive cut of meat goes a long way to feed a family of 4 with leftovers!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Neighborhood Ghost

Some neighborhoods have a little tradition. It involves anonymous gift giving around holidays. Our neighborhood now has the Neighborhood Ghost. We were hit by the neighborhood ghost on Sunday night. Whoever ghosted us gave us included a coloring book for each of the kids, a Family Circle Magazine and some fruit snacks.

I struggled with who to ghost next. Because I've been sick it took me a day, but finally I decided to ghost our neighbors Grandpa Carl and Grandma Mikey. She had a mild stroke a few weeks back, and they mean so much to us. At first I thought I should ghost someone we didn't know very well, but in the end our very special, and much loved neighbors received our gifts.

I did all my shopping at ShopKo while picking up some alcohol pads for Dana. I wanted a one-stop shop because it was about all I could take. I found some good deals while I was there. The patchwork pumpkin and the leaf with acorns were buy one get one free. So in the end I paid $2 each. The fleece was marked down from $12.99 to $4.99 and is a light blue with jack-o-lanterns on it, and finally I picked up some Country Time lemonade hard candies. They were in the dollar section, and everything in the dollar section was 75 cents. I spent about $10 total for our Neighborhood Ghost, but it will never be enough to repay the kind and wonderful neighbors we have.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

I have a Bee!

After a long and grueling audition... I'm only half kidding. You should have seen all the kids going round through the circle saying the line. It was almost 2 hours after we started that parts were assigned. I'm so excited that Kaia is one of the bees!

I was worried at first. They had the kids all lined up from tallest to smallest. Then they adjusted them for age as each child said their name and age in a loud voice. Then they went around and said their name and age in a happy voice, then in a mad voice. The problem was, that they started with the oldest kids then made their way to the youngest. By the time it was Kaia's turn, most of the kids around her had forgotten what to do. But, then they were all paired into A's and B's. The A's asked, "Why did the chicken cross the playground?" the B's would answer, "to get to the other slide." Then both the A and B had to laugh like it was the funniest joke ever. Well Kaia said her line! After her, it pretty much fizzled out to some young kids just staring at the directors.

Then came the singing. Row, Row, Row Your Boat. I knew Kaia would do well there. She loves to sing, sings mostly on key, and projects well when she sings. This time they were broke into groups. Kaia's group was last. Kaia and 2 other girls carried the group (the other 2 were a bit older) and I was very proud. Out of all the wee ones in her section, Kaia and the other 2 girls were the only ones to get parts. The 3 of them are bees, and first rehearsal is Wednesday! There were lots of tears that evening, but I was so thankful that they were not Kaia's.

On Dana's stuff, well it didn't go well, please just pray for some great opportunities to head his way.

Dirty Martini Dip

This may sound like a strange food, but during our recent trip to Leavenworth we sampled this yummy dip at our favorite food store "A Matter of Taste." I considered buying a jar, but it was $10.99 and seemed so simple. A quick look at the ingredients and I knew I could make it at home. Sunday night, we had company over, and I did just that. I'd love to show you a photo, but it was devoured!

Dirty Martini Dip
4 oz of cream cheese (I used italian cream cheese since it was on close-out at the grocery store)
10 small green olives, pimento stuffed (give or take a few)
dash of garlic salt (or more to taste)
6 jalapeno slices, nacho style or pickled (you could also use fresh, but I thought the pickled slices would give it better flavor)

Blend together in your food processor. We ate this with homemade potato chips and tortilla chips. This would also be excellent of fresh veggies. I believe this cost me $1.50 at the most, so a great bargain!

Monday, October 6, 2008

Big Day!

Today my drama queen has a chance to show her acting abilities! Yes, we have auditions for the Missoula Children's Theater production of Rumplestiltskin. They have lots of openings, and it is designed to get as many kids in the production as possible. I believe that her age group will be playing the part of the bees. (Don't ask where the bees were in Rumplestiltskin, I have no idea) She has been waiting a whole year to be old enough to audition, and is very excited.

I would like to share why, I believe that my drama queen will have no problem performing for an audience. She has experience showing off for large crowds.

Back when I was pregnant with Mo, Kaia enjoyed running away from me. It could be in church, the grocery store, in parking lots, it was all part of the fun for her. Toward the end of my pregnancy though, I could no longer run after her. She figured this out, and was living up the "run away from the waddling mama" game to its fullest.

Under that sweet face was a little tormentor!

That was the game one day at church. I took Kaia out because she was being extremely loud. She took off running into the fellowship area, and headed toward my classroom which was at the end of the building. There are plenty of toys in there, so I waddled over to see what she was playing with. It was then I discovered that she wasn't in the classroom. She had turned and gone down the hall. Waddling Mama started a fast waddle because she turned into a short hallway, which then turns to a long hallway, and at the end of that hallway is a door. A door that leads right into the front of the sanctuary.

I turned the corner to see turbo running, toward the door. I'm half-whispering, half-shouting "Kaia, STOP!" Waddling Mama actually breaks into a run, a run fast enough that it feels like Mo should drop out onto his little noggin. Alas, my pregnant butt was no match for Kaia. She opened the door before I could get to her, and ran into the front of the sanctuary. She went up to the podium on the small stage and attempted to talk to the entire congregation. Kevin our minister was down in the front reviewing prayer requests. I opened the door, out of breath, sweating, and ready to kill my first born. I snatched her from the stage, went right back out the door and into the nursery with lights off. I left them off and gave her a good talking to. Everyone else was highly amused by this, thankfully. I heard how funny it was, and how cute Kaia was. It made it a little less embarrasing, and I was able to laugh about it later that day. However, my talking to didn't teach her a lesson. She made another break for the front just months later, that time I caught her just a few rows up from where we sit. Again, everyone but me, was amused.

Today, I will enjoy seeing my girl on stage, when she should be! If she makes it, which I believe she will (because what mama doesn't?), she has 2 performances on Saturday. If any of you need help with your travel arrangements, so you can see my star in the making, just let me know!

One last thing, today is a big day for Dana too, can't give any details, but if you think about it say a prayer that all goes well this afternoon!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Fall decorations

This is mostly a repost from September, but I wanted to share my pretty Fall decorations. Plus this may inspire me to find some of the items that have "walked off" since I put them out.

Last month, I found the cutest chocolate brown plate on clearance at Target. (it looks lighter due to the flash)

I went to the produce stand that day to find fresh vegetables for a dinner we were having. The produce stand was filled to the brim with gourds and pumpkins. I knew that I would find what I needed to fill that cute plate at Target there. I'm not crafty, but Kelli inspires me to be a bit more. So I dug around in the closet in the basement, and found plenty of fall items.

I created this plate, with 2 of the 4 gourds from the produce stand, and some flowers from an arrangement I received last year.

There were still plenty of flowers though, from a bouquet that Kaia had brought home from Grammy's and started to destroy.

So I added them to the old bouquet after chopping with Dana's cutters from the garage.

I even switched the magazines over to early fall mags, and the Garden Moment Getaways that I received from Kelli's giveaway.

There were still more things leftover, though. So why not one more decoration?

I hope you are all enjoying this Fall. This post is part of Show & Tell over at Kelli's. Check it out, you may find more great ideas!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Sincerely 'Fro Me to You The 90's

The year was 1990. I was 12 years old and had the height of fashion in my closet after back to school shopping. MC Hammer triangle pants and an equally odd shaped, shoulder padded matching shirts in such lovely colors like mustard yellow and a harish green. Yeah it was a great year for fashion.

But, I was in love with Motley Crue, Poison, Warrant, and Bon Jovi. My friend and I wanted to be rocker chicks. Not the sexy, high-heeled, skimpy shirt wearing rocker chicks because quite frankly neither one of us could have pulled that off. No, we wanted to look like skid row rocker chicks. On school photo day, which if memory serves me right, I forgot all about having photos. I went to school rockin in my friend's white, oversized t-shirt with holes and a pair of skin tight stretch denim jeans that zipped up the back and at the ankles.

The frizzy hair, high bangs, and metal mouth really completed the look.

For more photos you won't find in the scrapbook, head on over to We Are THAT Family.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Some Days are Like That

*Microsoft Clipart*
This morning Mo came into the kitchen and said he was "foosty." Then he decided the remedy. He told me, "I want cawfee." I answered, "You don't need any coffee, Mo." That's when he put on his gruff voice and said, "I NEED cawfee!" I can relate, buddy, really I can.