Thursday, December 13, 2012

Green Fist

My aunt declared the other day I don't just have a green thumb, but a green fist.  Below is the proof.

Christmas Cactus Bloom
Poinsettias in Bloom

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


We survived the show!  Kaia was amazing, if I may be permitted to brag.  Actually the whole cast was amazing, and I really enjoyed meeting everyone, and have come away with new friends. 

Life is still insane in our home.  The 3 year old Bobos are a force to be reckoned with.  I lobby to have every  hurricane and tornado named Brendon or Bryce from here on out.  I cannot keep up with their shenanigans.  Balls have been flushed down toilets, nail polish on the floor, any food or drink must be dumped on the floor... It's a good thing they are cute. 

And so I leave you with some photos of our life the last few weeks.

Kaia and the orphans
Alice looking cozy
Princess Bryce
Mr. Jingles, our Elf on the Shelf

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Trial and Error

In these weeks of rehearsal, I have learned that sometimes, the best recipe ideas don't work out.  Some of the simplest recipes are the best. You can't always avoid takeout or frozen burritos. Occasionally, I can throw things to make a gourmet meal.

The chicken broccoli casserole fiasco definitely was bad, and a waste of meat and cheese.  And the pork roast created this week, was delicious!  I found the roast on sale, and it came with a free bag of produce.  I wasn't sure how to prep it.  I had a can of applesauce I'd accidentally purchased a month or so ago.  So, after reviewing different recipes, I decided I could create something tasty with my ingredients, rather than what the recipes called for. 

Apple Mustard Pork
Pork Loin
1 small onion quartered
3 large carrots cut into 2 inch sections
stone ground mustard
1 tsp sage

I put the meat and veggies into the crockpot.  I smeared mustard all over the top of the pork, and then put the applesauce right on top.  I sprinkled the sage over everything.  Cook on low heat for 8 hours, and enjoy!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Living out of our Crock Pot & Taco Soup

These days, I do all of my cooking in the morning.  Every morning I make dinner, while the kids eat breakfast.  It goes in the crock pot or into a casserole dish, so that when Kaia gets home from school she can eat dinner.  I've managed to do this every Monday through Thursday, and it's been working well. I have just enough time to eat when I get home, and then whisk Kaia off to rehearsals. 

Yesterday's recipe smelled amazing before I even turned the crock pot on!

Taco Soup
1 lb browned ground beef,
1/3 cup chopped onion,
1 green pepper chopped,
1 c sliced cabbage,
1 large can of diced tomatoes,
1 can of pinto beans,
2 cups of water,
1 t beef bouillon,
1 packet of taco seasoning. Combine in crock pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve with sliced avocado and tortillas.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Super Proud Mommy Moment

I am not sure how many posts have been devoted to my Starlet, my Actress, my Diva... but I know it's been many.  She is big time now!  Not Broadway or Hollywood, but community theater.  The Warehouse Theater.  She auditioned for Annie, along with 110 other kids, and she is Kate the orphan!

Life just got into a whole new level of insanity with rehearsals every evening Monday through Thursday, and each Sunday afternoon.  My crockpot is in full-time use, and my Suburban is going through the fuel.  But, it will all be worth it when the show opens on Thanksgiving, and our Star gets to do what she does best!

Friday, September 21, 2012

New Family Members

We have added 2 new pets to our home.  First we took in Fatly Ratly.  He occupies Danger's, the hedgehog, empty tank.  Kaia took his loss hard, and when our niece needed a new home for her rat Ben, we accepted.  He's a lot of fun, and absolutely loves his food!
Most recently, another cat joined our home.  Also from my brother's house.  Otis.  He's a big old love bug, and fits in well with our family.  He didn't fit in well at my brother's house due to another big male cat.  Since the other kitty is blind, it was decided that Otis should relocate when they move to the West Side of the State.  He is really our Boomer replacement.  He's so much like him. 

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Another Blog

I don't have enough on my plate, so I started a new blog.  This blog is to keep our family on track to meet our goal.  So join the fun!

Welcome Fall!

I said it... I'm the girl that was so excited for the hot temps, and I enjoyed them. But, Autumn is my favorite season, and I'm ready for mild weather and crisp leaves. Mostly right now, I'd like some rain. Not for the sake of rain, but to end these horrible forest fires that are creating a very bad environment. We've been eating pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin muffins. I'm using the crockpot a ton, and a pumpkin spice candle is what scents our home. If you are curious where all my inspiration comes from, I invite you to follow me on Pinterest.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

A Busy Summer

How is it August already? This summer has been flying by, and not always in a good way. Dana was really sick in July, and ended up in the hospital for his 40th Birthday. We had a small get together later in the week to celebrate his birthday, and he's been recovering. Until the last few days, where he has been under the weather. Sunday we took Kaia up to camp. We pick her up tomorrow. I'm hoping that she has had a fabulous time. I'm sure I'll hear all about it on the way home. In a few weeks we are traveling to Idaho. We are renting a house in Wallace, an old mining town. We will spend one day at Silverwood, and the rest of the time we will go on a silver mine tour, and enjoy the museums and mountain air. In 26 days, both Kaia and Morgan are in school. I'm looking forward to getting back in a routine, but I'm not sure I'm ready to say goodbye to summer. How has your summer been?

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Operation Send Kaia to Camp

This is the year! Kaia wants to go away to summer camp, and we are ready for her to go. Now, the hard part, paying for it. Sure it's really not that much in the grand scheme of things. However, we are trying to teach the kids that everything costs money, and you need to work for what you want. So Kaia will be selling Otis Spunkmeyer Cookie Dough and Tree Top juices to pay her way to camp. If you would like to make a purchase, or just make a donation, please let me know!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

It's been almost 3 years since this video was taken. In honor of the story in Playdate Magazine, I'm reposting this amazing video. The first 47 seconds is just the placenta, but after that, you'll see some boys.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Research for fun

It's official, I'm a geek!  I've spent months now researching a family in my spare time.  It's not even my family.  As far as I know, we are in no way related, but I still research.

I read a book called Hannah's Daughters.  I read it a few years ago, and recently picked it up again.  The book follows 6 generations of a family matrilineally .  Their stories were so real, and I could relate to the women and their struggles.  Hannah moved with her husband, father and brother to Yakima, WA.  The fact that her family had been here in my hometown, really drew me in.  The 5th generation Lisa was my mom's age.  I wondered if maybe they had ever met?  Her children were my age, her son at least. 

This book was written in the late 70's so when Grace decided the book aired dirty laundry, the author changed all their names.  She did not however change Hannah's birth date and place, or her death date and place.  I mean, who would take the time to do all the research to determine the real people in the book? 

She couldn't have guessed that in 2012, it would take me just an hour or so using free websites to cross check names and find the correct name.  She probably wouldn't know that Washington State now has Ask a Librarian, that allows you to request scanned copies of obituaries.  I knew Hannah's real name quite easily, and from there found where she was buried.  That didn't help me at all with her daughter's name though. 

First of all, Hannah had been married twice after divorcing her daughter May's dad.  Even if I knew her first married name, I knew that May had also been married.  So I had to wait for the obituary to arrive.  And after a 6 week wait, it did.
After reading her obituary, I requested her daughter May's obituary as well.  Then on a lunch break, I decided to visit Hannah.  I was saddened to see that she had the small plain cement headstone, that after only 36 years was wearing away.  But I plan to return with a flower for her, as it doesn't appear anyone visits her much.
I've started a Pinterest album to track all my findings.  I know that I won't be able to visit May's grave, as she died at the age of 100 in Pierce County.  At the time of the book's release, May's daughter Grace was also living in Tacoma.  I do know that Barbara and Lisa are both still alive, and I believe Lisa's daughter must be also, based on an Amazon review. 

This has really been a lot of fun.  It wouldn't be possible if I didn't have all the free resources on the internet, or the book to help sort out dates and places.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Best Birthday Ever!

Those were Morgan's exact words as he hugged me over and over again after his party Saturday.  I was happy he had so much fun, and I was beaming about the best Birthday cake ever. 

If you have been reading here for long, you will know my cakes are quite often a bust. From cupcake liners that don't do what they say, to a cake that stuck to the pan.  So this year, Dana told me to hire someone to make the cake.  I contacted someone, told them what I was interested in, and nearly died at the minimum of $3 per serving.  But, in light of my past mistakes, I figured we would go for it, and just get a small cake. I sent her a link of what I wanted, and told her my price range.  Then I waited.

I hadn't heard from her in the week leading up to Mo's Birthday, and figured I'd be making my own cake.  We already had the Zombie party invites sent out, Zombie plates, and the Zombie tablecloth which read "Let's Paint the Town Dead."  So the Plants vs Zombies cake was going to be my task.  Then one week from the party, I heard from the decorator.  She booked a wedding the same day, because my order was never confirmed.  Honestly, I was relieved.  I asked a few questions from someone with fondant knowledge, and headed to WalMart.

I bought a nice Wilton cake pan, 4 boxes of already colored fondant, and those pretty cardboard squares to put the cake on. I also picked up a box of Duncan Heinz Butter cake, as Mo requested a yellow cake, since it's his favorite color.  Then my allergies hit me so hard, I thought I caught a cold.  So, what better way to relax than on the couch, watching Netflix and molding fondant? Nothing honestly, I was having so much fun.  And the end result was a beautiful and delicious cake on Morgan's Birthday.  My cost for all the supplies was less than $60, and I have enough left to make 2 more cakes.

Friday, March 30, 2012

One year ago

It's funny how little things have changed!  I want to work in my garden, but we've had an awfully wet spring.  Last year was a big bust as far as my garden was concerned.  Those flower seeds are still in my home somewhere.  Where?  I need to find them!

I want to go out and get the garden ready this year, but the weather hasn't received my request yet.  We have had an unusually cool and wet spring so far, and every weekend has brought us rain.  So for now, I will settle for planting my seeds for setting out later.  I'm hoping they all do well, and we have a bountiful garden all summer long.

I purchased all my seeds from Ed Hume Seeds and the plan is to not purchase plants.  I'll let you know how that works out.

Here is the list for 2011:
Oregon Spring Tomato (these were fabulous 2 years ago)
Gourmet Blend Lettuce (Buttercrunch, Grand Rapids, Red Sails and Parris Island Romaine)
Cal Wonder 300 Bell Pepper
Golden Cross Bantam Sweet Corn
Gold Nugget Tomato
Blue Curled Scotch Kale
Martino's Roma Tomato
Crimson Sweet Watermelon
Early Jalapeno Pepper
Olympia Hybrid Spinach
Spacemaster Cucumber
Mesclun Mixed Salad Greens
Cocozelle Zucchini
Sugar Ann Snap Peas
French Green Beans (bush beans)

And for the rest of the garden, and to get a start on our backyard garden:
Shasta Daisy
Godeti Double Azalea (free gift with my order)
California Poppy
Sweet William
Alpine Poppy
Livingstone Daisy

More on our backyard garden plans to come.  Let's just say we are reclaiming a large portion from the dogs, and our tax return is going to make it fun!

A Frugal Life

My kids get up in the morning and pour themselves a bowl of Apple Jacks which cost me 75 cents a box.  They top it with 99 cents a gallon milk.  We have 10 cent Cup of Noodles in the cupboard for a quick lunch.  The freezer is full of  15 pounds of ground beef, purchased for $1 a pound.  It also has 8 pounds of chicken thighs and drumsticks purchased at 79 cents a pound.  All of these items were purchased in the last 2 weeks, and I didn't clip a single coupon.

My trick?  I shop clearance.  All of these items were near or past the sell by or better by date.  Here are a few tips for shopping in this area.  Dry packaged goods like cereal and noodles have a better by date.  It is not an expiration date.  The company just doesn't guarantee it past that date.  The Apple Jacks had a better by date of December 2011, but they taste fine.  Everyone (except me, as I don't care for flavored cereal) has been eating and enjoying it. 

Milk is a bit trickier.  Most stores will mark it down when they have several gallons (or half gallons) that are within a few days of their expiration date.  Most milk will last for 1 week past expiration.  Keep in mind the higher the fat content, the faster it will taste bad.  Also milk in plastic containers will taste bad quicker due to letting light in.  Adding a pinch of salt when you open in will help it taste good longer.  Also, don't be afraid to freeze it.  I often open the container, pour off some milk into a cup or other container for immediate use, add a pinch of salt and freeze it.  The lower the fat, the better it freezes.

Finally, meat is simple.  If it's almost at it's sell by date, or at it.  Cook it up or freeze it.  I have learned that ground beef is the trickiest.  If you are hoping to use some of it in a way that would require you to completely defrost the frozen package first, do that right away.  By that I mean, I froze 2 loaves of meatloaf.  Pre form your hamburger patties, or mix up your meat balls.  You can even just cook it up and freeze the cooked meat if you'd like.  Other meats defrost well, but ground beef can taste off when exposed to air, and the closer it is to the sell by date, the less time you will have to work with the meat.  I often freeze the meat squished thin in the bag so I can just cook it from frozen for meals where it's not formed.

What are your clearance tips?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bad Girl!

I'm a bad blogger.  It's not that I intended to neglect the blog, I just have been busy.  Crazy busy.  A little more crazy than busy.  You get the idea.

We are all still alive and the Bobos are still into everything.  More to come...