Friday, March 30, 2012

Fabulous Friday

Some random things I am loving this Friday. . .

My spring subway art that I got free at eighteen25  I got a cute Valentine's and St. Patrick's day one there too. 

I love to be able to fly my flag.  I also love that my lilac bushes are blooming, you can see them in the background.

This week I have loved these eye drops.  4 out of the past 5 days I have had kids home with pink eye, and I have been so thankful for this stuff!  The last time we had pink eye my 14 year old was 4, so I am ready to go at least another 10 years or so without it again!

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Mouth-watering Wednesday--DeeDee's chili

This is my DeeDee and Grum.  They are my maternal grandparents and my kids' great grandparents.  They live 1150 miles away (give or take a few), and we miss them a lot.  DeeDee is an amazing lady.  She is also an amazing cook.  Anything and everything DeeDee makes is so good!  She is most well-known for her chocolate chip cookies of which she has made literally thousands and given away.  This is her chili recipe.  It is a sweet chili which is why I like it.  I don't like anything spicy, but there is chili powder in it, and if you want it more spicy, add more. 
DeeDee's Sweet Chili

1 lb ground beef
2 cans stewed tomatoes, don't drain, but blend up
2 cans red kidney beans with juice
1/3 cup ketchup
1/2-1 tes chili powder
1 small chopped onion
1 small chopped green pepper

Cook the ground beef with the onion and green pepper.  Drain if needed.  Put meat in crock pot with other ingredients and put on low for several hours.  You can also just cook this on the stove top and simmer a couple of hours.  Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 12

What a week, what a week!  I thought I was going to have lots of down time with 3 of my 4 kids gone most of the week, but that was not the case.  I drove over 1000 miles last week, and all of it in the rain.  We had spring break last week, and it rained.  every.  single.  day.  Needless to say, we were all happy to see the sun, and I was happy to leave my car in the garage for a few days and send the kids back to school.  Sadly this week started out on a sour note.  Mr J woke up with pink-eye Monday morning--went to the Dr., got the drops, then this morning when I thought I could send him to school, it is in the other eye.  Life is never dull :)  We are just grateful for the sunshine!!

Sunday:  Took my camera around my yard to get some photos of spring.  This is one of our red bud trees starting to bud. 

Monday:  Mr J is my youngest and only boy, and his room is the cleanest out of the 4 kids.  He is so good to remember to make his bed each morning.  He makes it very nicely and arranges all his animals and pillows on it by himself each day.  I think it is too cute, and I wish his older sisters would take a lesson from him :)

Tuesday:  These shoes have been required all week with our rain each day.  Mr J loves his rain boots.

Wednesday:  My youngest sister invited my kids to come stay spring break with her.  She lives about 5 hours away, thus the long driving I did taking them there and back (in the rain).  But they had a blast with her and her husband.  My sister took some pictures for me of their activities.  This was a playground by my sister's house that they played at each day.

Thursday:  Miss A was not able to go to my sister's because of some commitments she had at home.  Instead today we went to the city (more driving in the rain) and went to the art museum.  Monet's Waterlilies takes my breath away every time I see it.  Once I was able to see all 3 together.  That was amazing.  A rainy day spent in a art museum is always a good day :) or any day spent in an art museum is a good day I think.

Friday:  Happy Birthday to me!  Ben made me a lemon cheesecake (from scratch, not a mix) with a strawberry sauce he put on top.  It was divine. 

Saturday:  I went to a matinee of The Hunger Games with some friends today.  It was very good.  The book was better (isn't it always?), but I thought they did a good job with the movie.  Miss A went to the midnight showing on Thursday.  Fun stuff!  After I saw this picture I had to laugh with the fire around my head.   My friend said, "you're the girl on fire." 

Hope you all had a good week!  Thanks for stopping by!

Naptime Momtog

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mouth-watering Wednesday--pork roast

As I have mentioned before I am a simple cook, a hamburger and boneless, skinless chicken breast cook.  I occasionally do a pot roast.  I am okay with those.  The other day I actually bought a pork roast, and I had no idea what to do with it?  I was thinking that pulled pork sandwiches would be good and that I wanted to use the crock pot.  I went to my 'go-to' recipe site online  I love that site.  I put in pork roast and found several ideas, but the easiest was this, put your pork roast in your crock pot and then pour in a can of root beer.  Cook on low all day, then take out and shred.  Put on a bun and top with your favorite BBQ sauce.  It was so easy, and so good!  So today I recommend the root beer pork roast crock pot recipe :)  It doesn't get any easier than that!  Enjoy!

Monday, March 19, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 11

Hello!  Welcome to Blue Jeans Momma.  I am glad you stopped by.  I am doing my 4th year of documenting my family's life by taking a picture a day.  Here is what we have been up to this week. . .

Sunday:  Mr J and Miss O made this awesome train track in the family room today after church. 

Monday:  We played Uno for our family night game tonight.  That is such a classic, fun game that everyone can play and enjoys.
Tuesday:  After school my kids went down to the library to help their Nana paint a picture for her library.  My sister and brother-in-law were there to help too.

Wednesday:  Ben plays a duet with Mr J.  We have piano competitions and recitals coming up in April that all the kids are getting ready for.  Three of the kids are playing duets with their dad.  Love it!  (and glad it is him and not me :)

Thursday:  Awards assembly at school!  Super smart and hard-working kiddos!  Sure proud of them!

Friday:  We live in a small town, and our town has a Dairy Queen, but it is super small and closes for the winter.  When it finally opens in the spring it is a big deal.  "DQ is open!"  is the rumor through town.  So we heard, "DQ is open," and we had to go make sure they didn't change anything over the winter and make sure the blizzards were still as good :)  They are.  Miss E, my sister, Miss O, and Mr J hang out and eat their blizzards at DQ today.

Saturday:  Our traditional St. Patrick's Day dinner--everything is green--green mashed potatoes with green gravy, green jello, green milk, green broccoli, and green pudding!  Yum!  We had green sherbet floats for dessert!

These two leprechauns visited our house Saturday.  They woke me up in the morning "Top o' the morning to ye!" they said.  They decorated our front window with this pretty sign and spread (chocolate) gold coins all over the house.  Sure do like those leprechauns!

Hope you all have a great week!

Naptime Momtog

Friday, March 16, 2012

Fabulous Friday--things I love

Things I love this week?  Spring!  I took my camera and walked around my yard and got some shots of the spring things I love this week.
love the pale pink of this

My creeping phlox

love the daffodils

My forsythia is blooming

My apple trees are starting to bud out

My red bud trees are starting to show their color--gorgeous!

Hope you are enjoying the sights of spring where you are!   Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Mouth-watering Wednesday--sugar cookie bars

Have you heard about sugar cookie bars?  I have seen them several places, and I have made them lots of times.  I personally got the recipe from my dear friend Patty (thanks Patty!).  They are wonderful!  I love sugar cookies, but rolling them out is a pain.  No rolling out here, just put all the dough in a pan and bake, then when cooled just frost the whole pan.  They freeze really well also (if there are any leftovers :).  Enjoy!
Sugar Cookie Bars

1 cup butter, softened
2 cups sugar
5 cups flour
1/2 tes baking soda
4 large eggs
2 tes vanilla
1 tes salt

Cream together butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time and mix well after each is added.  Add in vanilla and stir.  Add in all dry ingredients until mixed well.  Spread in greased 13x18x1 pan (or a jelly roll pan) and bake 375 for 10-15 minutes or until light brown and toothpick comes out clean--do not over bake.
Cool completely and frost.

This is my favorite butter cream frosting.  It is supposedly from the New York Magnolia Bakery, but who knows?  I just know it is good.  The secret is to beat it for a long time after each addition.

Best Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup unsalted butter, softened (but I use salted because I rarely have unsalted)
8 cups powdered sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 tes vanilla

Beat butter and then add 4 cups sugar and mix well.  Add milk and vanilla and beat until smooth and creamy.  Add in 1 cup of sugar at a time beating well after each until desired consistency is reached. 
**This makes a lot of frosting, so make an extra cake or two, or you can just half it.
Yum!  Enjoy!

Monday, March 12, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 10

Welcome to Blue Jeans Momma.  I am so happy you came to visit.  I am doing my 4th year of a picture-a-day Project Life to document the life of my family of 6.  I try to blog on
Mondays--my week in pictures
Wednesday--mouth-watering Wednesdays where I share a recipe--a simple, easy, yummy recipe
Fridays--Fabulous Fridays where I share random things I love

Can you believe we are 10 weeks into this year?  They say times flies, but as I grow older it seems to fly faster, and I am not appreciating the spring forward time change.  To me that just seems to put things on 'fast forward.'  I think we should all adopt Arizona's policy and not have the time changes.  It would make my house happier.  It was not a happy morning getting everyone up today.  Hope it went better at yours :)  Here is what we have been up to this week. . .

Sunday:  Sunday evening desserts are a very treasured tradition at our house.  Usually we eat them while playing a game at the kitchen table.  Tonight we had key lime tarts and played Yahtzee. 

Monday:  Monday nights are family night at our house.  We have a religious lesson, sing songs, plan the week, play games, and have treats.  We rotate who is in charge of each activity.  Tonight Ben was in charge of activities, and he set up a Nerf gun shooting range in the family room with blocks to hit.  You got so many points for hitting certain blocks.  I think my score was 3, and Mr J smoked us all with his sharp shooting ability and won.  Miss A is taking her turn shooting while everyone watches.

Tuesday:  My family has varied musical tastes, but lately the one album we all love is Adele 21.  It is constantly blaring in the van while I am driving (thus this picture) and is on everyone's favorite play lists.  Even Mr J can sing you all the words to all the songs.  "Rumor has it" is his favorite :)

Wednesday:  In case you didn't know, we live in a small town.  My parents also live in this small town.  It is the small town I was blessed to grow up in.  My mom is the librarian at my kids' elementary school.  How awesome is that to be able to go to the library at school and check out a book and to get a hug from your Nana while doing it?  That has been a blessing in my kids' lives.  Today I worked at my mom's library as her para.  It was fun to check in and out books to all the kids--including my own, and spend the day helping my mom.  This is me and my amazing mom in her library at school.

Thursday:  In the evenings before bed Ben likes to read aloud to the kids.  He usually reads to them in our bedroom.  He is currently reading The Penderwicks at Point Mouette by Jeanne Birdsail.  While he reads Mr J likes to bring in his train pieces and make train tracks.  He has always been a huge Thomas the Train lover and lover of trains in general.  I love this.  After 3 girls it is fun to have lots of trains in the house.  Sometimes it can be rather annoying to step on train tracks in the middle of the night, but I keep reminding myself, "You are going to miss this one day," and I know I will, and I also know that day will come much quicker than I want it to.

Friday:  It was a beautiful day after school today.  To enjoy it Mr J and Miss E went out on the trampoline to read and enjoy the sunshine.  They came prepared with blankets, water bottles, and snacks.

Saturday:  Today was our state's Republican caucus.  I am very proud to be an American, and I take my right to vote very seriously.  When we found out a few months ago that our caucus was an hour away (one way) there was no doubt in my mind we would go.  Voting is very important to me, and I honestly don't think I have missed voting at a local, state, or national election since I turned 18 and was able to vote.  We live in a country where we are blessed to have freedom and a choice, and we need to vote and exercise that freedom and choice.  So, Friday Ben and I drove two hours round trip with my parents to vote at our caucus, and even though who I voted for didn't win our state, I still voted, and it was worth it. 

Hope you all have a good week and that everyone adjusts quickly to the time change--that is what I am wishing for here!  Soccer and track start this week--let spring begin!

Naptime Momtog

Friday, March 9, 2012

Fabulous Friday-things that I love

Some things I am loving this Friday. . .

Loved this book.  I finished it in 2 days this week.  I thought it was much better than her original Austenland.  This was a fun read.  I am a huge Jane Austen fan and also really like Shannon Hale's stuff.

Loved that I walked into our library one evening and saw these legs sticking out.  I had to do a double take.  It turns out Dad was charging his i-touch, and this little guy just couldn't stand to leave it alone while it charged.  He thought he was hiding, but little did he know we could still see part of him :)

Hope you all have a fabulous Friday and a great weekend!  Thanks for stopping by!  See you on Monday.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mouth-watering Wednesday--Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake

I love cake mix recipes.  They always taste so good, are easy, and work out well.  Simple, yummy, and easy is what mouth-watering Wednesdays are all about here.

I got this recipe from my mom.  She made it a lot when I was a kid. 

Chocolate Cream Cheese Cake
1 chocolate cake mix (German chocolate, devil's food, whatever) made according to cake directions.
Pour cake mix into greased jelly roll pan (I use the Pampered Chef bar pan.)

In your mixing bowl, combine
-1 (8 oz) package of cream cheese
-1 egg
-1/4 cup sugar

Mix well then stir in 
-1/2 cup chocolate chips

"Plop" the cream cheese mix all over the cake and then stir/swirl gently in with a knife.

-you can top with more chocolate chips and nuts if desired. 

Bake according to cake mix directions for about 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  Enjoy! 

Monday, March 5, 2012

2012 Blue Jeans Week 9

Welcome to Blue Jeans Momma.  I am so happy you came to visit.  I am doing my 4th year of a picture-a-day Project Life to document the life of my family of 6.  I try to blog on
Mondays--my week in pictures
Wednesday--mouth-watering Wednesdays where I share a recipe--a simple, easy, yummy recipe
Fridays--Fabulous Fridays where I share random things I love

Hope you will come back often and share!  Have a great week.  Here is what we have been up to. . .
Sunday:  Mr J and I took some time to draw some pictures and color together tonight.  It is always nice to have some down time and spend it with one of the kids.

Monday:  We live in the country and have chickens.  Normally during the winter they do not lay very well, but our winter has been almost non-existent, so we have had lots of yummy brown eggs to use. Did you know there was such a variety in brown egg color?

Tuesday:  This is Miss E and her social studies quadrama project on South Carolina.  She worked very hard on it without any help (which is always nice).  She is very creative and loves making things like this.

Wednesday:  The kids always get out early on Wednesdays, and we try to do something fun with that little extra time--go to the park, go explore.  Today we went on a walk to explore an old train bridge.  It was "kind of creepy" but "cool" the kids thought.

Thursday:  Mr J, my 6 year old, took the camera for about 3 minutes today after school, and I have over 20 pictures from those few minutes.  This is one of them--exactly what I do every day after school--go through and sort the mountain of papers my 4 kids bring home, and my valentine's flowers are still beautiful that Ben gave me.

Friday:  Dr. Seuss Birthday at school.  It was hat day in honor of his birthday.  The kids could wear any kind of hat.  Mr J went with the more traditional look, but Miss E was very determined to wear her Dad's Russian hat.  She had no qualms about wearing it all day at school, and she did.  I was impressed with her.   I don't think I was that self-confident at 9 to do that.  She is my no-fear child. 
Saturday:  I went with Miss O and her friend to the district competition for the National History Day contest today.  Their board display was on "Paths of the Underground Railroad in Kansas."   They worked very hard and won district to qualify for the state competition next month.  Yeah!  Way to go girls!

Thanks for visiting.  As a side note in reference to last week's pictures, my Miss A did make it into the high school madrigals choir.  Yeah!  Thanks for all your nice comments and encouragement for her.  Come back soon and have a great week!

Naptime Momtog