Friday, March 30, 2007
I have a friend who teaches at a military base. The MAJORITY of children at that school have a parent (or two) who have been deployed at least once during their lifetime. These children are growing up without their parents. Some are fortunate enough to have them return. But at what cost?
I support our troops. I am grateful for the men and women willing to serve on my behalf. I can't fathom the sacrifices they make. But no matter your stance on Iraq - I can't imagine anyone NOT hoping and PRAYING for the day that they can all come home.
I saw this clip http://video.msn.com/v/us/msnbc.htm?g=889466da-5eb2-42da-aed6-2edd2b656525&f=00&fg= on The Today Show this morning. I don't care which side of the political coin you sit on....this is heart-wrenching. God be with our nation.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Yesterday she said the drama of the day was huge. She said several boys were suspended. I asked what grade they were in and she said 6th. When I asked what they were doing to get suspended, her response was...
They were "depantsing" each other. When I inquired further, turns out they were pulling each other's pants down, just as boys might run around stealing hats or giving each other wedgies.
All I could think was....future frat boys!
Tuesday, March 27, 2007
IHOP now has the dine-in or carry-out option, called IHOP 'n Go Carry Out. http://www.ihop.com/ihopngo/index.html
MMMMM..carrying out eggs over-easy and pancakes...yeah....that'll make it home in an edible condition - NOT! Give me a break! Now seriously, WHAT would you order from IHOP that you'd want to sit in styrofoam and then trek across the town to eat at home? Or maybe I'm judging a little too harshly based on that time I saw a waitress stick her finger in someone's food and taste it...and THEN come around the corner to SERVE IT!!! EEEEW! Never, and I mean NEVER sit where you can see things happening behind-the-scenes. You don't want that information - trust me.
Monday, March 26, 2007
* Being a designated driver sucks. Whether you are sober Sally, or carting your husband's dilated eyes home from a dr. appt., nothing fun about it.
* There is absolutely no reason a dr. appt. where surgery is not involved should take 3 hours. That's just rude...you should pay me for the visit.
* There is not a single pop or snack machine available to the public in that office building. Coffee that was made at 7:30 a.m. this morning when it is now 2:30 p.m....and a public water fountain - not good enough.
* Reading material doesn't help in these situations...because after 2 chapters, now I"m tired...and there is absolutely nowhere to lie down.
Next time (6 months from now, of course), I'm going to do some research ahead of time. I'm going to look up new, exciting eye diseases...that'll help with my game. And I"m packing a pop and snacks. Or better yet? I'm dropping him off, heading to the mall and he can call me when he's done.
Being a designated driver sucks.
Sunday, March 25, 2007
Tuna Tortellini Pasta Salad
1 - 20 oz. pkg. of 3-cheese Tortellini prepared according to pkg. directions and then cooled. (I used the Hy-Vee bag of cheese tortellini - not sure if it was 20 oz. or not - but our family of 4 had tons left over).
1/2 lb. green beans, cut into 1-inch pieces, cooked and cooled. (Yeah - so I didn't have many frozen green beans, so I used what I had, PLUS some frozen mixed veggies I had. I think peas or whatever would be fine in this recipe...but go with the frozen stuff - not canned).
4 green onions, sliced (I left this out).
2 cans solid white tuna in water, drained (I went with one big can)
1 lg. tomato, diced
3/4 C. ripe black olives, sliced (I didn't have these - but they would be good in this recipe if you like olives)
3/4 C. mayo (I used Miracle Whip)
3 T. Balsamic Vinegar
3/4 tsp. celery salt (I left this out too)
Mix it all together and chill. Although it is a pasta salad...it has tuna in it, therefore I count it as a meal. I served it with grilled cheese because I knew Mark & Bailey would complain if they only had a salad on their plate.
Saturday, March 24, 2007
Tonight we decided to have a date-night and cash in on Des Moines’ German cuisine. What we were surprised to find was an experience we might want to share with the kids in-tow. Granted, the Hessen Haus IS a “bar,” it was also much, MUCH more than that. In fact, as we entered the front door, we saw at least two families dining with young children. I immediately noticed that high chairs were available.
We headed clear to the back of the restaurant to the non-smoking section. This section is not really separated from the other section, so if there ARE smokers around, you would be exposed. However, we were early diners arriving around 5:30 p.m. (seems the families with kids had the same idea) and the restaurant was not smoky at all. In fact it wasn’t until around 6:45-7-ish that it started to feel more like night life. I feel confident that for lunch or an early dinner families would be in the clear.
Other things I noticed that made me consider this venue for a family outing?
* It is literally a hop, skip and a jump from the new, AMAZING Science Center, making it a handy stop after a family day of fun at SCI.
* The parking ramp for the Science Center is right there, too, providing for hassle-free parking for the family minivan.
* Children’s menus full of kid-friendly American food, including Hamburger/Cheeseburger, Grilled Cheese, Corn Dog Bites and Chicken Tenders. Leave the ‘kraut to the grown-ups, this place has grilled cheese, milk and the like for the kids.
* Beverages for kids include Coke products, Iced Tea, Lemonade and good ole MILK! Did I mention the plastic cups with lids????
* The children’s menus were paper (good for pre-dinner drawing/coloring), and offered German-themed activities, like the Black Forest maze. Cute.
* Prices are VERY reasonable. The most expensive thing on the kid’s menu is $4.20. Everything else is $3.95.
* A very unique and cultural experience for the whole family.
Where they fell short:
* No changing table in the restroom. I’ll cut them some slack though, since it IS also a “bar.” But fyi – owners? There is totally room for a fold-down changing table in there. Install one! And don’t forget the Men’s room, either. That would be absolutely wunderbar!
* A REAL non-smoking section would be nice.
2. You can't wear sweatpants if you want to take your husband out for a nice b-day dinner.
3. Breastfeeding two babies has left me with a situation - and I can't believe people actually use bandaids to remedy it -- do they really do that? or was that a 70's solution?
4. The restaurant we are going to has things on the menu like "in raisin sauce" "served with pickled cabbage" or "sauerkraut". HURL!
Friday, March 23, 2007
Friday, March 16, 2007
First, there is the packing - BLUK! And since we aren't just visiting ONE house overnight - I've packed separate bags to hopefully make the in and out process easier (we'll see). And it is March in the Midwest, which means we have to pack for weather conditions in the 70's OR the 20's. Layering, I guess.
And then there are all the baby goods....the pack 'n play, a booster chair, diapers, wipes, sippy cups, bibs, toys, etc. And then my pre-teen will want to pack 6 books instead of one, 12 outfits instead of 4....ugh...I have a migraine already.
Did I mention the laundry? Of course I wasn't caught up with laundry, so I've been doing load after load since yesterday just so we can pack. And then there is the laundry we'll have when we return.
My husband is staying behind for this trip, he has to work next week. But since the kids have Spring Break, and once softball season starts we won't be able to go anywhere - I thought we should take advantage of this time and visit family.
Ok - back to packing - AAGH.
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
* "Oh, just SIT DOWN, Paula."
* "Diana's a little 'pitchy' tonight."
* "Sanjaya is prettier than Haley."
* "WHAT?!@# You have GOT to be kidding me!" (when Sanjaya was NOT sent home...AGAIN!)
Bailey, while watching American Idol tonight...
* "Chris is SOO the best."
* "What the heck?" (When Sanjaya was NOT sent home..AGAIN!)
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
Monday, March 12, 2007
The white countertop thingy that used to be next to the washing machine I moved into the "someday scrapbook room." I am hoping to use this as a workspace once I find a nice stool with a chair back or bar-height stool with a back - whatever they are called. I'd like to find one at a garage sale because I don't want to pay $70 or more for it. The lavendar/blue dresser on the right is an old dresser of Bailey's that I picked up at a garage sale for $40 and painted. It now holds craft supplies, material, gifts and other crafty stuff. The black thingy in the front is a cabinet that holds our internet stuff. I can't really move that because of the lack-of-outlets situation in the basement (grr.)
Anyway - this is what the future scrapbooking workspace looks like:
And finally, here is a picture of the current "cabinets" that I am going to tear out and put up a work table against that wall. That way I'll have two work stations. Here's dreaming anyway.
Sunday, March 11, 2007
And here is the Duvet I want from Wal-Mart. I think it is a pretty good deal, considering it comes with 2 shams AND it is machine-washable...AND any color should go with it. http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=5291716
The other thing I am consistent about each year when the weather turns warm is this. I wish we didn't have a dog. We were lazy in the bitter cold and just let her out in the back yard to do her business. Well, now that the snow is melting - I swear there are more "piles" than there is grass....and I HATE that. Lauren is old enough this year to play in the yard - so it HAS to be picked up thoroughly. So I have laid down the law that from now on, when Sadie needs to go out...she gets a leash on her and we WALK HER....on the sidewalk...and pick up her stuff out there...so NO MORE IN THE YARD!!!
Saturday, March 10, 2007
Easy Breakfast Pizza
Prep Time: 30 min
Makes: 8 servings Nutrition Information
1 (13.8-oz.) can Pillsbury® Refrigerated Pizza Crust
1/4 cup half-and-half or milk
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 (8-oz.) container chive, vegetable or regular cream cheese
8 slices bacon, crisply cooked
Green onions, if desired
1 . Heat oven to 425°F. Grease 12-inch pizza pan. Unroll dough; place in greased pan. Starting at center, press out dough with hands to edge of pan. Bake at 425°F. for 6 to 7 minutes or until crust begins to brown.
2 . Meanwhile, in medium bowl, combine eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper; beat well. Melt butter in large skillet over medium heat. Add egg mixture; cook and stir until thoroughly cooked but still moist. Remove from heat.
3 . Remove partially baked crust from oven. Spoon cooked egg mixture over crust. Drop cream cheese by teaspoonfuls over eggs. Arrange bacon in spoke fashion on top of pizza.
4 . Return to oven; bake an additional 8 to 12 minutes or until toppings are thoroughly heated and crust is deep golden brown. Garnish with green onions.
Friday, March 09, 2007
**recipe from pillsbury.com
Prep Time: 15 min ; Start to Finish: 55 min
Makes: 6 servings Nutrition Information
1 box (15 oz) Pillsbury® refrigerated pie crusts, softened as directed on box
1 can (18.6 oz) Progresso® Rich & Hearty chicken pot pie style soup
2 cups Green Giant® frozen mixed vegetables (from 1-lb bag), thawed, drained
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 . Heat oven to 425°F. Make pie crusts as directed on box for Two-Crust Pie using 9-inch glass pie pan.
2 . In medium saucepan, heat soup, thawed vegetables and flour until warm. Spoon into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edge and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust.
3 . Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until crust is golden brown. After 15 minutes of baking, cover edge of crust with strips of foil to prevent excessive browning. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Cut into wedges.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
Monday, March 05, 2007
So, in effort to tighten the pursestrings in the grocery category and to hopefully use up some pantry goods, I am going to really start planning meals...at least dinner. Baby steps.
I thought I'd post our first-week's attempt at this in case you want to join the bandwagon.
(Supply list: taco shells, hamburger, seasoning, lettuce, cheese, tomato, sour cream)
Monday: BBQ Pizza (See recipe in previous post)
(Supply list: BBQ chicken, pork or beef - the kind that you can buy in a tub, pizza crust (ready-made), cheese, onion)
Tuesday: Grilled Cheese & Tomato Soup (I've got book club - so Dad is on his own. I think he can handle this one)
Wednesday: Omelets, Bacon, Toast (Yes, breakfast for dinner - why not?)
Thursday: Baked Chicken and Spinach Stuffing (see http://www.pillsbury.com/recipes/showrecipe.aspx?rid=41135 for the recipe...and lots of other good ideas on this Web site, too!)
Friday: At our house - Friday night is frozen pizza night. Yeah! Easy!!
Saturday: Hamburger/Rice Casserole served with corn and peaches (contact me if you want the recipe - easy and good...all you need is hamburger, cream of mushroom soup, cream of celery soup, rice...that's pretty much it!)
I hope I can stick to this!
Saturday, March 03, 2007
Bbq Pork Pizza
submitted by Krista B.
Makes: 6 servings
Heat oven to 400 degrees. Slice a medium size sweet onion into thin slices.
Separate slices into rings. Heat a medium-size nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion rings and cook 3 minutes to soften slightly.
Meanwhile, heat one container (18 oz) fully cooked BBQ shredded pork in microwave as pacage directs for 2 minutes. Lay one fully cooked whole wheat pizza crust on a pizza pan. Spread with softened onions, BBQ pork and top with one cup shredded cheddar cheese. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup sliced jalapeno peppers, if desired. Bake at 400 degrees for 12 minutes, or until pork is heated through and cheese is melted. Cut into wedges and serve.
Friday, March 02, 2007
Tanner dog has movable mouth, ears, head and tail
Comes with doggie biscuits and a pooper scooper
Thursday, March 01, 2007
Thank you, Stacy for this AMAZING and EASY recipe that was perfect to warm-up with on this INSANE IOWA BLIZZARD! (I've slightly altered this recipe because I"m too lazy to get up and get the piece of paper it is written on.)
2 cans of Chicken Broth
4 Cups of Frozen Hashbrowns or Simply Potatoes (refrigerator section)
1/4 C. Minced Onion (I'd use less)
1/4 C. shaved carrots (or sliced - whatever you prefer)
dash of seasoned salt
dash of pepper
1 8 0z. pkg. cream cheese
1. Bring everything but cream cheese to a boil
2. Reduce heat. Simmer for 10-15 minutes
3. Cube cream cheese and add to soup
4. Stir frequently until cream cheese melts
Great with sourdough bread! YUM!