Monday, February 25, 2013

fromt the kitchen

Have you tried these excellent recipes yet?  These were all found via pinterst.

baked potatoes in the crockpot.  One of my colleagues told me about this one.  You just wash your potatoes and wrap them in tin foil. No poking them or anything first.  Place them in your crock pot on low for @ 8 hours. Don't add any water or anything else to the pot.  Just let them go. They are the most moist, delicious potato.  I'll keep making them this way for sure!

I remade the crockpot rotisserie chicken using a little olive oil rub and it make a tremendous difference.  Here was my first attempt at it.  We ate on it one night and then I used it in chicken and noodles and we ate on it three more nights.

Pancakes in the oven:  (photo borrowed from the blog linked)   They've been great to make up a pan on Sunday night and then have for breakfast for the next few days.  I double it for a 9x13 pan and add a dash of vanilla.. Cause my Grandma does.  Also added a few M&Ms this last batch.  Cause my tummy told me to.

crockpot chicken and noodles:  (borrow picture from that site as well)  These were delicious and the kids gobbled them up.  Next time I'll sub out the cream of chicken soup for homemade this version.  I hated using one of my free range whole chickens and home cooked chicken broth with cream of something soup with the 'other' ingredient in it.  I've made them twice this month. 

I'm trying these fried pickles next!

What new recipes have you tried lately?

Sunday, February 24, 2013

new on the tables- robot style

I've had these two table toys in the plans since before Christmas, but our recent 'robot' theme was my push to get them made.

Here's the first, it's a nut and bolt board.  It's just two scrap pieces of wood (left over from the Christmas nativity project) screwed together with holes drilled in the top piece.  I painted it and added a robot vinyl sticker from my silhouette, just for fun.  For cost reasons, I stuck with two sizes of bolts and two styles of nuts.  I'm sure if I had asked my dad or father in law, I could have gotten a bucket of random nuts and bolts of all sizes. I didn't think ahead though.  A larger board would have been fun, but I went with what was in the scrap box.

The kids just find the right sized hole for their bolt and the right sized nut and tighten and untighten them in place.  It's been a popular activity.  I've had it our two full weeks now.  I usually only leave something out for a week, but the kids haven't seem to tire of it.

Here's the lock board I've been slowly gathering locks for.  I asked my co-teacher for locks for Christmas and she helped me finish out the parts for it.   Again, scrap wood was used.  I picked up a little cheap latch from Menards and two sizes of eye screws.  The locks all go through those, which were placed randomly on the board.  I used a chain from an old necklace to hold the keys to the board. 

Some locks are luggage locks, others are pad locks.  Most of the keys fit a variety of the locks.  the kids have been having fun unlocking them all and the reattaching them differently.  It's stayed out extra time too without complaint.

Robot day was super fun too.  I'll share those plan any day now.  I have camera uploading software and editing software loaded, I just am missing iTunes so I can load from my phone without emailing myself each picture. 

Saturday, February 23, 2013

these days

Well, I'm still without any camera software on the computer.  I have it, I just fall asleep at 8 pm every night.  I'm hopeful it will happen again this weekend. I have weeks worth of school things to get up here.

In the meanwhile, here are phone pictures.  Lou's a ninja turtle.  He used his hard earned money on this set. 

Bee lost a second tooth.  Top teeth must just be worth $1.  Two more wigglies are coming along. 

And Tippy is still here.  He's just about what we would have order in a dog if we could have picked him out of a catalogue. 

 He's already proving to be a lesson to hubby in flexibility.  Perhaps he's a lesson to me in judgment.  And sweeping.  So, despite the extra sweeping and mopping, he stays.  Somebody needs to hold down the couch. 

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

dog days

I told you about our new dog.  The perfect dog for non dog people. He's great.  We have an issue though.  Of course we would.

He is lovely.  He hasn't had a single potty issue, he's great on a lease, he doesn't bark, he doesn't chew on things or get into things.  He seems to like the kids, he's tolerant to their laying on him, he wants to be with us, but is alright hanging out in the other room too.   He sleeps a lot.  He's just really nice.

Here's the  issue.  We were told that he's a black lab mix.  We knew full well that his past (apart from the month he was in the shelter and the two weeks in the foster home) was a mystery. He was an owner surrender, so they knew the story that someone gave, but it's basically not known.   All the paper work we saw, the online profile and the page hanging on his crate at the adoption event all said black lab mix. The mix part was the mystery.  So, as we've been walking him around the neighborhood, we've had two separate people mention something about him being a pit bull.  I didn't see it until they said it. Maybe that's the mix.  I'm pretty much not wanting a pit bull who has a mystery background.  It's scares me.  Now it's all I see.

So it's technically a mystery, but since googling pictures of both Labradors and pit bulls, I frankly feel stupid.  So do we just deal with it, be happy that he seems gentle or pursue it with the adoption group, tell them we feel tricked and insist they take him back?  That seems cold.  We really like him, I just don't want a dog that when people see him they cower their children behind them, or make up an excuse to not let their children come over to play.  I don't feel like I can defend a dog that I don't know to a friend's parent.  What if we go to board him at some point and they won't take him?  I don't think I feel right about sending him away.  The cats wouldn't mind, but I don't think I could do that to the dog, let alone the kids.  Should I mention, the big lug of a dog is sleeping next to me on the couch.  Maybe he just has a big head.  Darn dog.

Goodness, I don't usually come here to rant, but I did.  Geesh.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

new family member

The kids have been begging.  Begging. So we've been looking for a few weeks now.  This little guy has found his way to our home. We have a dog.  I'm not sure I can say we are dog people.  But, we have a huge dog sleeping on the couch this evening.

We found him after the 10th visit to the adopt-a-thons.  He's a black lab mix and came with the name Tipsy.  The tips of the toes are white.   He seems to know the name, so unfortunately we're stuck with it. 

He tried to eat the cat, but I think we're going to move past that. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

valentines shirts and heat transfer vinyl

 Well, I've figured out how to email myself a picture from my phone, but I have no editing software or even to upload to the new laptop yet.  I stand by my original statement,  Windows 8 is weird.  I fumble from one screen to the next and don't know where I put things or what programs are open.  I think we're supposed to call them aps now.  I don't know.  I'm too old for this big of technology change. No really, I had a birthday yesterday. 

regardless, here are the kid' Valentines shirts.  These are the first projects with the heat transfer vinyl and my silhouette.  Also stand by that statement, Best Gift Ever.  

 Lou requested a bow and arrow with a heart.  After a little google image search and a little image editing, I ended up with this manly love day shirt.

The grey shirt is for a friend.  He requested a shirt with a heart. That's it.  His mom asked me to man it up a bit with an arrow.  The arrow heart was a free silhouette image.
Bee let me give her a few possibilities.  This bird is what she chose.  It's a silhouette image bird with a little heart wing cut out using a quick edit.   We added a heart on the sleeve with the wing cut out.

The heat transfer vinyl was easy to use and the results are really nice.  They look like we bought  them.  I'm beyond impressed.  I'll get a demo together soon, but really I learned from a youtube video.   Also figured out the print and cut feature too.  Best Gift Ever.
Here are a few past year's Valentines shirts:
2010 crocheted heart
2011 freezer paper painting\


We must have worn 2011 shirts in 2012.  I can't seem to remember or find another year's shirts.   hmmm. 

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

paper Lou

The kids' school had an open house this evening for prospective students.  Lou's class made paper students to sit in their seats while they were gone.  The teacher had the kids bring in a shirt and the kids drew their faces on paper plates. Paint sticks hold the head up.  I assume the paint sticks are taped to the chair under the shirt.  I loved this idea and can't wait to copy it someday!

(still working on getting my photos to the new computer.  I have popcorn day, robot day, valentines table activities, etc...)

Monday, February 11, 2013

just like that

I crashed my computer last week (while giving a demonstration at a meeting).  I bought a new one.  The printer wont work now, I bought a new one, although I haven't figured out how to install it yet.  I jammed up my laminator, thankfully Lou was able to fix it (the boy is handy to have around when he's not embarrassing me by running from me during Sunday school drop off).  I bumped my car into a light pole in the church parking lot one night in the rain after a late meeting last week.  This is the first time in a week I've been able to get onto blogger. All my passwords are saved in an appropriately titled document on my old computer that I can't access.  I finally figured out the one for my blog.  I have tons to share, but no pictures software yet on the new computer.  Hubby will be working on all that, but I'm still fumbling through windows 8.  It's weird. So, I'm technologically shorthanded right now, but, I have Downton Abbey to keep me company until I'm up and running again.  Have you watched it yet?  I'm hooked.  So, In a few days I'll be back with lots of business to attend to. 

Monday, February 4, 2013

teeth and growing up

We were the only second graders with a mouth full of baby teeth. Until this week that is.  Goodbye tiny baby teeth.   Thew new tenant was already moving in.  That big nobby tooth couldn't even wait for a spot to open up.

It happened at school.  After wiggling it for nearly a month, a boy in her class pulled it out for her.  She wanted it to happen at school because you get that tiny plastic treasure chest to store it in.  It's also the best way to announce that all the second graders have joined the teeth looser club.

We put her little tooth (and treasure chest) in one of our tooth pouches that we've had ready for over two years and she found a crispy two dollar bill inside in the morning. 

She had asked me to pretend we had a tooth fairy, so we went along with it.  If you don't do Santa, it doesn't seem practical to do the Easter bunny or the tooth fairy, but we can pretend.  Unfortunately the tooth fairy was unprepared and only had a 20.  Actually, as normal, mama tooth fairy had zero cash.  It was daddy tooth fairy with the 20.  Fortunately, I remembered a small stash of $2 bills I received in Easter cards as a kid.  My collecting of things started long ago.  I buy them back form the kids when they want to spend it anyway.

The next two teeth as close behind.  We're going to have a whole mouth of windows by the summer.

Friday, February 1, 2013

it's just us

I've unearthed a ton of photos from the depths of my phone.  I'm putting them all out there now, mostly in a chunk of one post. This is pretty much what we've been up to. 

We had the flu.  Rather the kids had the flu and hubby and I played nurse for almost a full week. Sick beds on the couch.  Comfy quilts, puke bowl, tissues -serious stuff.

 This was our first time on tamiflu.  I think it helped the adults from getting sick and sped up the kiddos yuck.  It has some side effects for us apparently.  We stayed on it only just long enough. 

Is it wrong to say I find the slightly sick Lou rather lovable?  Keep my secret, I'll say you're lying. 

When you're stuck inside, you're likely to get bored.  It's probable that the poor cat will get dressed up.  In my defense, Walmart had dog halloween costumes clearanced for 50 cents.  And for 50 cents, I wanted to see my favorite cat as a cowboy.  And a pumpkin.  And a penguin.  Don't judge. 

The new children's ministry director at our church happens to also be a 'strong mam.'  Lou and I met him at a staff luncheon last week.  My poor kid gets dragged to staff events (although this one was catered by a lady in our church who is from Thailand.  The food was AMAZING and Lou complained NONE, but helped himself to two full plates!).  The strong man/children's ministry director ripped a phone book for Lou.  Lou talked about it all day long and showed the half a phone book to everyone he saw. 

We read a book about Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill.  

Quality parenting.   (This is Bee's favorite outfit.  She'll wear it once a week if I let her.)

Bee is shooting an apple off Lou's head. Backwards.  All she needs is a blindfold.  

This poor recipe has been on my to-make list since the first of December.  I asked a friend for a recipe and she shared a plate of the treat in addition.  Chocolate and creamy mint together.  I'll just buy bigger pants.

After I ate the full plate she gifted, I had little reason to make my own.  Especially when I learned the amount of butter involved.  I've tasted other versions of this treat, but none compare.

  Husband in training.  

Actually, he's a boy on a mission to earn a few bucks.  He has his eye on a stuffed snake at the candy shop at the mall.

Ice skating with friends. Fun times.  On this particular day, the moms watched while one poor dad skated with the kids.  Sucker.

Here's Lou's school report on polar bears.  It required two facts and a drawing. 

 We went to visit my youngest sister at college.  And possibly shared the flu.

We took her to a restaurant where people for years have signed the walls and seats and window frames and ceiling and any other surface.  We didn't bring the right writing tools, but it looked like someone else took care of it for me.  It says Beth with a heart, just like how I sign it.

Bee managed with a regular ink pen.  Lou refused.  He's such a rule follower.

We visited her dorm.  Those were fun times, but not something I'd like to go back to for sure. 

A little girl time shopping with Bee.  The poor girl rarely has need to shop, we are so blessed by hand me downs from friends.  I did let her pick out a few things, although we seem to have very different styles!

It was time for me to retire my winter coat and gloves.  I've had them since my first year teaching.  That's been at least 10 years ago, which is probably a good life for a coat. The coat's button holes and gloves had been repaired and repaired and were beyond that. 

We found clearance at the mall and all of us were able to get new winter coats for next year with gloves and hats and such for the price of what one ladies coat might have cost at full price.  Seriously, kids winter coats for $12!   

We've been looking for awhile now for bed for Lou.  We were looking for a bunk bed, but he fell in love with this trundle captains bed.  I'm glad though, we were looking for something to last for years.  The drawers pull out to reveal another bed.  The selves are his favorite part and are full of treasures.  The shelves have the possibility someday of being a headboard for a queen bed. The trundle can then go under that bed as storage.  His poor wife someday will sell it at a garage sale and deem it the ugliest bed ever.

Bee is ready to sell her bed to also get a trundle.  I'm the only one in the house that loves her lofted bunk.  To help satisfy her bed wanting, we finally figured out how the tent part of her bed went up.  She's sleeping her her tented part now.  It glows pink on the inside and hurts my eyes.

 My silhouette cutter guy can cut freezer paper!  The possibilities for stenciled shirts have really opened up!  This one is on Lou's request.  Valentines shirts are in the works.

 Bee got well just in time for cheer clinic at her school. 

 All those little girls want to be just like the big girls.  

I've complained about bad seats at the kid's school events.  Lou and I arrived so early this time we got front row seats!   I ought to go ahead and leave my coat to reserve them for the next event!