Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 4

I am really beginning to think that winter might have skipped us this year?  We have had a good week, and hope yours has been good too!
Sunday:  We get home from church around 1, have lunch, and then I always take a nap.  It is just programed into my system.  Sunday afternoon nap-necessity for me  :)  Now my kids know this, and sometimes they catch me at a weak moment, like today just as I was falling asleep Mr J asked, "Mom, can I build a train track in your room?"  "Huh?  Yeah, just don't wake me up."  Results from my weak moment above.  I am really glad those tracks are wooden because if they were plastic with as much as they get stepped on we wouldn't have a track left!

Monday:  She is official and legal--if  I am in the front seat :)  She is learning quick!

Tuesday:  Piano lessons night--we have a 2 hour block of lessons for 4 kiddos.  Our teacher gives them at a local church, and the kids know to bring their books as they wait for their turn in the church lobby.

Wednesday:  The kids get out 30 minutes early on Wednesdays for teacher meetings, and since the weather has been so nice, we have been enjoying the park after school on Wednesdays.  Today the kids wanted to roll down the hill.  I happily watched from below and took pictures :)

Thursday:  Free family bingo night at school.  Our kids' elementary does a free family bingo night each year.  They buy books for the kids' prizes and have themed baskets as prizes for the adults.  They have an optional chili dinner for $1.  It is a great, fun family night out.  We love our schools!

Friday:  Tonight we went to the big city to see our friend in his high schools' winter play.  It was Thoroughly Modern Millie, and the kids loved it.  An evening at the theater is always fun.

Saturday:  Miss A had a church volleyball tournament today in the big city.  It was a long day full of volleyball.  They started at 8:30 a.m. and didn't finish until about 3:30 p.m.  They came in 2nd place!  Yeah!  

Wishing you all a great week ahead!!

Monday, January 30, 2012

Cooking Tip #398

As I have mentioned before I am a "so easy and simple" cook, and I have learned a lot in the 16+ years I have been married and cooking, yet sadly I still have a lot to learn.  New lesson learned this Sunday. . .
Do not frost a warm cake--only frost a completely cooled cake

Cooking tip:  slightly warm does not equal completely cool
Sunday was Kansas Day, and we celebrate it at our house.  We have the tradition of making a sunflower cake on Kansas Day.

Some years it looks better than others :) (circa 2005)

So yesterday for various reasons that I won't bore you with we didn't get the cake made and out of the oven until almost 7 p.m.  We have scriptures, prayers, and the kids go to bed at 8, so there was no way the cake would be cool by 8.  The kids were not negotiable on having the cake tomorrow.  Sunday was Kansas Day, not Monday, so I said, okay, it is mostly cooled, just slightly warm, it shouldn't matter that much should it?  Um, yes it does matter.  My kids were standing, watching, and saying, "oh, dear Mom," but then followed it with, "don't worry Mom it will still taste good," as they piped on the flower and put all the chocolate chips on it.  I love my kids.  So at 8 p.m. we enjoyed a piece of slightly warm, badly frosted Kansas Sunflower cake, and everyone went to bed happy with visions of sunflower seeds dancing in their heads.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

You are never alone

Monday evenings are family nights at our house.  We get together, sing songs, plan the week, eat treats, and have a (hopefully) spiritually uplifting lesson.  This last Monday Ben was in charge of the lesson.  He reviewed a talk by President Thomas S. Monson on standing alone, and how sometimes we may be standing alone to choose the right.  We talked about different times when the kids might have to stand alone being the only one who doesn't smoke/drink/make fun of others, etc.  Then we asked, "But are we ever really alone?"  "No," the kids said. 
"Who is always with us and watching over us?" 
"God, our Heavenly Father, is always with us and watching over us," they said, 

"And Santa" said Mr J, "he is always watching you." 

Complete silence, and then everyone started laughing, "well, he is always watching," he said.

Yes, I am teaching my kids correct principles, and isn't it comforting to know that you are never alone because your Heavenly Father and Santa are always watching? 

Monday, January 23, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 3

Hope you have all had a wonderful week.  Here is what we have been up to. . .

Sunday:  Our family really enjoys playing games.  Sunday evening we were playing Qwirkle--a shape/color matching type game that we all enjoy.

Monday:  No school today, and the weather was nice and warm but very windy.  Miss E and Mr J tried to fly a kite, but the wind was so strong it broke the string off--darn!

Tuesday:  Mr J was home sick today from school--no fun, but luckily it was a short duration stomach flu, and so far no one else has gotten it, which is something to be very grateful for in a house with 4 kids!
Wednesday:  My poor front yard--our water meter sprung a small leak, and they came to replace it and fix it today, but had to dig a huge, huge hole, so we know we will be planting new grass this spring after they level it :)

Thursday:  Once a month during the school year I get together with some dear friends, and we go out to eat and shop to different little towns near where we live --GLO (girls lunch out).  This is so fun and such a life saver for me.  What would we do without friends?  Sure love these ladies!

Friday:  Snapshot of our life--piano bags--all 4 of my kids take piano lessons--Miss A is going on 8 years, Miss O 6 years, Miss E 4 years, and Mr J is just finishing his first year of lessons, so piano bags are a big part of our everyday lives--practice x 4 in our house each day.
Saturday:  I am not and have never been a real "girly-girl," just not my thing, and my 3 girls have never really been into the princess "girly-girl" stuff either, but every once in a while it is fun to do their nails, and Saturday afternoon we had nothing else going on, so we broke out the nail polish and did toes and nails. 

Hope your next week is a good one!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Easiest Roast Ever

I am so a "simple and easy" cook.  So a "hamburger and boneless, skinless chicken breast" cook.  Anything else really kind of scares me :)  My poor kids--I made spare ribs once, and they about fell over "What is this mom?"  "How do you eat it Mom?"  "Are you sure this is okay to eat, Mom?"  So, I am pretty predictable in the kitchen.  I try to branch out--pork chops, sausage, pork roast, and beef roast---occasionally.  I had a hard time expanding to beef roasts.  I was scared of them.  I was really scared of them and didn't have a clue what to do with them until I discovered this recipe. . .

These 3 cans + a beef roast + your crock pot = roast divine

It is really, really good, and so, so easy!  Just stick your roast in your crock pot (I usually sort of try to thaw mine, but it isn't always completely) then pour over
1 can beef broth
1 can Campbell's French Onion soup (or other brand if you can find it)
1 can Campbell's Beef Consomme soup (ditto to other brand, but my store only has Campbell's)

Cook on low for 6-8 hours or more if you need to (it won't burn or dry out), then you can slice it and have it with mashed potatoes, or put it on sourdough rolls and use the sauce in the crock pot as your dip for divine French dip sandwiches. 

I am no longer afraid of beef roasts.  Try this and you won't be either!  :)

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 2 and history

2012 makes my 4th year in doing a picture-a-day type scrapbooking and documenting of our family's life.

2008 was the first year I tried it.  I was lucky enough to get one of the Project 365 kits.  Becky's first kit like this when she was with another company. 
This is a page out of that album--sorry it is sideways I could not get it turned.  It had a little different layout with the pictures and cards.
This is my 2009 Project Life album.

And this is a page layout from it.

My 2010 Project Life album

And a page from it.

And now I am very happy to be starting my 2012 album, and these are the pictures which will go in this week's layout. . .

Sunday:  We are Settlers of Catan fans at our house.  Even my 6-year-old likes to play.  Sunday evening we were finally able to all play because we bought the extension that allows 6 to play.  Lots of fun!

Monday:  Lately Miss O and Miss E have been into having their hair braided at night after they shower so it is all curly and poofy in the morning.  Tonight after Miss O got out of the shower Miss A was nice enough to braid all her hair.  Sadly, I forgot to get a picture of it in the morning, but it was cute, curly and poofy :)  She said everyone at school wanted to touch her hair.

Tuesday:  This white bowl with this turtle in it has been on my kitchen counter for the last week.  Mr J bought one of those water expanding animals with some Christmas money and has had it in the kitchen to see how big it would get.  Those are really not one of my favorite things, but he enjoyed looking each morning to see how much it had grown.
Wednesday:  The day started out about 60 degrees, and the kids and a friend had fun playing outside, but then the wind picked up and dropped the temperature about 30 degrees, so the kids came in freezing and in desperate need of hot chocolate which is something we are never without at our house. 

Thursday:  End of quarter awards day at school today.  Miss E and Mr J show off their school awards.  I don't think Mr J was too excited to share :)
Friday:  Wow, thank goodness it is Friday, and we can relax!  What a little man with both remotes!  Too funny!

Saturday:  Sorry for the far away, blurry picture, but Miss A was in a regional honors choir this weekend and with how far away we were, this is the best I could get.  They practiced all day and gave a performance in the afternoon.  She is right above the conductor's head with a black hair band on.  They were very good.

Hope you all had a great week!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My 2011 Reading List

I posted my 2011 Reading List on my book blog.  You can see it here

I think my favorites this year were

* The Lemon Tree by Sandy Tholan

* Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand

* Dragonfly by Julia Golding

* The Sweetness at the bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley

* The Youngest Templar series by Michael Spradlin

* The Ranger's Apprentice series by John Flanagan**if you read these, read book #7 after book #4, then go on with 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10. He wrote that one out of order.

So check it out and let me know your favorites for the year!

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 1

Welcome 2012!  Our first week was a good one.  Our weather was divine!  I will take sunny and 65 in January anytime :)  Here is what we have been up to. . .
Sunday:  Not exactly sure what we're are going for here.  I took a nap after church and these 3 had fun with Dad, his suit coats, ties, and the camera.  I just saw the evidence after :)

Monday:  First Monday night in a new year we always make our goals sheets.  Each of us chooses goals for the new year in different areas--physical, mental, spiritual, temporal.  Everyone was working on their 2012 goal sheets at Family Night.

Tuesday:  The dreaded day that we put all the Christmas stuff away.  Lots of stuff and a big mess.  Nice when everything is clean and back to normal :)

Wednesday:  The kids were playing 'old fashioned' school today after school.  Love their hats.

Thursday:  I was working at the school today and got to snap a picture of Miss E working.  It was fun to be at their school for the day.
Friday:  This has been on our family room coffee table all week.   Our Harry Potter Lego village.  We love HP and Legos, so this has been extra fun.

Saturday:  We got the kids' pictures hung today.  They are so beautiful.  I am so glad we got them done. 

Happy New Year to all of you and hope you have a great week!

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Last Blue Jeans Week of 2011

The last week of 2011 pictures. . .

Monday:  Santa left us with some pretty cool new bikes, and our weather has been nice enough that the kids have ridden them every day since.

Tuesday:  Grandpa teaching Miss A how to drive--drive!!!  I try not to think about that too often--14 year olds can drive legally in our state--crazy!

Wednesday:  Mr J had two things he requested on his new bike from Santa--a basket and a bell.  Santa found the cool black zipper "basket" and the silver bell.  You can hear the bell all up and down the street when he goes riding.  He loves that bell!  He says when he rings it he is saying "Hi!"

Thursday:  Mr J hanging out and playing with his Uncle.  Love it when family is in town to play with!

Friday:  Ben and I got away for our 16th anniversary.  We went to one of those themed room hotels.  We had the Presidential Suite where you walk into this library and then one of the shelves in the library is a door and opens to the room and jacuzzi tub.  So fun!

Saturday:  New Year's Eve was celebrated at our friends' house with yummy Chinese food and lots of Just Dance on the Wii.  Ben, Miss A, Miss O, and our friends get into it.  We were planning on staying until midnight, but about 10 everyone was about asleep, so we set off some fire works and were home by 10:30. 
Happy New Year!  Welcome 2012!