Monday, March 31, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 13

It was a good week.  Started with my birthday, which is always fun, and ended with a service project that brought tears to my eyes.  A good week.  Take a look. . .
Had to get a picture of these handsome guys on Sunday with their matching ties.  Sure love my boys!

This was my gourmet birthday breakfast the kids made me.  I was impressed.  The heart is piped nutella.  Yum!  The drink is a grape/banana smoothie.  It was all delicious!

Happy Birthday to me!  Love these kids of mine.  They are the greatest gift I have!

My birthday cake this year was a lime ice cream pie that is my Deedee's (my grandma) recipe that Ben made me.  It is so yum!  I was spoiled today!

We have been seeing these new neighbors in the field behind our house lately.  It is fun to look out and see them.  They are a welcome addition to the neighborhood, except when they jump the fence and eat my garden, then we aren't so happy with them :) but until then, we like them.

Girls Lunch Out with some of my bestest friends!  We had lots of fun shopping, eating, and talking.  Good friends are the best!

We finally got us some new baby chicks that will grow up to be good egg layers.  Mr J was so excited!   He loves them and takes very good care of them.  We got 6 Production Reds and one Americana because the kids read they lay blue/green eggs, and they wanted one.  The Production Reds just lay brown eggs.  So hopefully come August we will have some really pretty eggs!

One of my birthday presents was a new purse and wallet--on the left.  So I swapped out my old purse and wallet--on the right--for the new one today, and I am so excited!

So Friday night I drove up my 2 girls and another cute girl to our church in the city for a stake dance.  We stayed the night up there with some friends and Saturday morning met up with 180+ youth from our church to do a service project at a school for disabled/abused/mentally handicapped kids.  Our kids did crafts with them, played games, colored, and talked with them.  I was so impressed with how our kids (all 180+) behaved and treated the other kids.  At a meeting I recently saw they said, "Treat everyone as if they were a Child of God" because they are, and these kids did that.  It brought tears to my eyes.  I was so proud of them.  Above was my group of youth from our local congregation which I was extremely proud of, my 2 funny girls in the middle, these 2 awesome boys, and another cute girl.  It was a wonderful service opportunity that I am very glad we didn't miss!

Thanks for visiting! Have a great week and come back soon!
Linking up with The mom Creative

Friday, March 28, 2014

Friday Thoughts

My weekly Friday thoughts. . .
My weekly inspirational bathroom mirror quote.  Say it, mean it, show it.  Love it.

And look what we finally got yesterday!  Hello baby chicks!

And this little guy could hardly contain his excitement!  He loves them!  We got 6 Production Reds and one Americana because it lays blue/green eggs and the kids thought that sounded cool.  So, hopefully come August we should be getting a bunch of fresh brown and blue/green eggs.  Yeah!  So they are in this container in the house for about a week until they get too big and smelly :), then they will move to a bigger container in the garage until all their feathers come in and then they can be moved outside to the regular chicken coop.  So fun!  I am so not a pet person, but I don't consider chickens pets.  I consider them food storage :)

Have a great weekend!  See you Monday!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

What's up Wednesday--overnight French Toast

This is another overnight breakfast recipe I found last year as we were trying to find breakfast ideas for Friday mornings and Ben's seminary class.  This is one of the kids' favorites--our kids and the seminary kids.  It is so easy.  It calls for a whole loaf of French bread, but even squishing them in really tight, I can never fit a whole loaf  in the pan.  Just fill in the pan with as much bread as you can and call it good.
Overnight French Toast

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1 T corn syrup

5 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 loaf French bread, cut into thick slices

In a medium saucepan over medium heat mix and melt brown sugar, butter and corn syrup.  Spray a 9x13 pan with non-stick spray and spread the butter mixture on the bottom of the pan.

Mix eggs, milk, and vanilla.  Arrange bread slices on the baking dish--squish them in.  Pour egg mixture over bread making sure not to miss any area and use all the mixture.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  The next morning just bake at 350 for 30 minutes and serve.  Yum!  

Monday, March 24, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 12

What a crazy week!  It was spring break, and it didn't go exactly as we had planned.  My mom had surgery and a pacemaker put in which we were not planning on at all.  Thankfully she is home now and recovering and all will be fine--but crazy!  My kids were gone 3 days with my sister which was a nice break for everyone.  Here is a look at our week. . .
This cute sister missionary from our church is so wonderful!  She has been in our area over 6 months and is leaving, and we love, love, love her sooo much!  

Miss E is the queen of scarf knitting.  This was one of her spring break projects.

We got to spend the day with these cute sister missionaries from our church.  We went out the lunch and so enjoyed being with them!  It was their day "off" and the kids had so much fun with them!

Our traditional "green" dinner for St. Patrick's day.

Needed treats for spring break and all the extra kids we had over to play, so we made muddy buddies a few times.  Yum!  Mr J and Miss E were good at making them.

A new movie always makes things more fun.  Frozen is finally out and we got it in the mail the day it came out.  Thank you Amazon :) Love that movie!!!

So the kids went to my sisters for a few days, and the weather was nice so I finally got to get some flower beds cleaned out.  Spring is coming! Yeah!!

Went to pick up the kids from my sister and brother-in-law's house on Saturday.  The kids had a great time!  They spoiled them rotten.  Lots of fun!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon and have a great week!!

Friday, March 21, 2014

Friday thoughts

Some random Friday thoughts. . .
My weekly bathroom mirror inspirational quote.  I like this one. 

I read this book this week.  It is the last in a trilogy by Jean Ferris.

This is the first book in the trilogy.  It is a fun princess mixed-up fairy tale.  I like those kind of books.  My 11-year-old Miss E read all 3 of them last week and really liked them.

You just never know what to expect from life.  I am a planner and like to have things go the way I plan.  Sometimes life just doesn't work that way.  This week is spring break.  Per tradition, my kids always spend part of spring break with my youngest sister and her husband.  They spoil them rotten and have a blast.  They all love it.  I love it too.  No kids for 3 days is a nice spring break for me as well I admit.  This week was looking to go great.  Monday was fun day with friends over, Tuesday was another fun day with lots of friends over.  Ben came home and we had 5 extra kids running around.  Wednesday morning my kids left with my sister.  Wednesday aftenoon I also got a call from my dad that my mom was not feeling well and they were sending her to the big city to the heart hospital. Uh, what?  Where did that come from?  My mom is extremely healthy, exercises, eats right.  What is wrong with her heart?  Well, Wednesday night we found out they were going to put a pacemaker in.  Really?  Her heart rate was so low, and then so irregular for whatever reason they had to put one in.  So the surgery went well, they got it in, and she is recovering, but then we find out they clipped the top of her lung when they put it in.  It should heal itself and re-inflate but it hasn't yet.  If it doesn't to that by tomorrow they will have to go back in and fix it.  Crazy.  Just Crazy.  Life is very fragile.  You can plan all you want, but we really aren't in control.  It makes you grateful for the moments when you are calm, at peace, and you need to enjoy those moments--and even enjoy the crazy moments because life is that--the calm, peace, and the crazy all together.  I know my mom is going to be okay.  This will get fixed and she will be home soon and feel much better after she is healed.  I am grateful for caring, attentive doctors who know what to do.  And I am especially grateful for a Heavenly Father who loves us, watches over us, hears our prayers, and has a bigger plan for us than we do.  

Enjoy your weekend whatever it may bring!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

What's up Wednesday--overnight breakfast casserole

You may not know that Ben teaches an early morning scripture study class--we call it seminary--for the high school kids in our church.  He has 4 kids including Miss A.  They meet every morning there is school at 6:10 a.m. in our basement.  This is his second year teaching, and he does a great job!  When he first started teaching last year he decided on Fridays they would have breakfast for the class.  Because of this, I keep my eye out for easy, yummy breakfast recipes.  Overnight casseroles that you make the night before and just put in the oven in the morning are the best, and the seminary kids love them.  I tried this new one a few weeks ago, and they all really liked it.  I like that you can either bake right away or it can wait overnight.  Nice.
Overnight Breakfast Casserole

4 English muffins, split
1 lb pork sausage
8 eggs
1/2 cup sour cream
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 drained 4 oz can green chilies
softened butter to spread on English muffins

Pam spray a 9x13 pan.  Spread butter on each muffin half and place buttered side up in 9x13 pan.  
Brown sausage and cook until done.  Drain
Spoon sausage over each muffin half.
In a bowl whisk eggs and sour cream, then stir in drained chilies.  Pour over sausage and muffins.  Sprinkle top with cheese.  

Refrigerate overnight or bake right away.  350 degrees uncovered for about 30 minutes or until eggs are set.  Enjoy!

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 11

We had a fun week!  Lots of band stuff, and our boys basketball team made it to the state tournament for the first time in over 30 years!  We went and cheered them on.  The pep band was there and was awesome!  It was a fun week, so take a look. . .
Sunday afternoon was gorgeous, and Ben read to the kids on the front porch. Spring is coming!!!  Yeah!

League middle school band was tonight.  We went for the concert.  The kids did a great job.  This picture shows all 6 schools playing together.

I love, love, love strawberry freezer jam.  It is the only kind of jam/jelly I like and have grown up on.  Strawberries are finally getting cheap enough that I could justify making some jam today.  I usually make 4-5 batches which last us about a year.  

Had a big Wal-mart stock up trip today.  

I got to take these cute girls to the state boys basketball tournament.  We had fun!

And Miss O and Miss E were playing in the pep band for the big game.  

The band sounded absolutely awesome!  Sadly, our boys lost their first game, but they played really well, and we were proud of them!!!  

Saturday I got to go with this group of great kids to the city to the temple.  It was a neat day!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back soon and have a great week!

Friday, March 14, 2014

Friday thoughts

Some random Friday thoughts. . .
My weekly bathroom mirror inspirational quote.  Love everything from Jeffrey R. Holland!

So if you have followed my blog long you know I love, love, love Mel's Kitchen Cafe.  And I have made several new recipes from her site this past week that I wanted to share.

We had these Caramel Crunch Bars for dessert when we had company last week.  They were so good and easy to make.  They look like a homemade kit kat, and are divine!  Yum!  

Last night we had ham and these Cheesy Au Gratin Potatoes and we had the missionaries over for dinner, and one of the elders said, 'Man, I love these.  My mom makes them, but yours are way better! (pause)  But don't tell her I said that."  Ha!  So, that is a pretty good recommendation right there.  They are very good.

I have always loved broccoli cheese soup, but my family hasn't really liked the recipes I have tried of it, but then I found one on Mel's and made it.  Everyone--even my broccoli hating son--loved it.  Broccoli Cheese soup here

On her website she has an awesome "Menu" button and has weekly menu plans which are awesome!

Trying to plan things for our St. Patrick's dinner Monday.  We always do a green everything dinner--green food coloring is my favorite friend on this day.  This is last year's dinner with some friends and our sister missionaries.  We usually have green mashed potatoes with green chicken gravy, green salad, green jello, broccoli, and green lime sherbet punch with green cookies for dessert.  Anything green pretty much works.  

Both Ben and I are reading the Ascendance Trilogy by Jennifer A. Nielsen.  We both finished The False Prince and are currently trying to share and read at the same time the 2nd book called The Runaway King  which isn't working out extremely well, but my goal is to finish it before him so I can read the 3rd one The Shadow Throne first :)  These are an exciting adventure that you really don't know what will come next.  I am impressed with Nielsen's writing, and would highly recommend them, just make sure you don't have to share your copy with anyone else while you read them :)

So looking forward to spring break which starts end of school today!  So looking forward to getting Frozen in the mail Tuesday to finally see it!  All the kids have seen it, but Ben and I are probably the last parents on earth who haven't :)  

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

What's up Wednesday--homemade spaghetti sauce

I have been extremely blessed in my life with an awesome mom.  This awesome mom never used canned spaghetti sauce--never (that I can remember anyway).  She always used this recipe which was her aunt's, so it is my great aunt's recipe, and it is great!  Now I admit, I have used canned spaghetti sauce a time or two in my kitchen, but nobody enjoys it very much.  They like the real stuff, as do I.  And really, making homemade is not much harder than frying your hamburger and opening a can to dump in with it.  You just open a few more cans and add spices, and let it simmer, then utter perfection!  This sauce is thick, which I love, and freezes easily.  When I make it, I usually double it so I can freeze half for another day.  Perfect.  Served with garlic bread, a salad, and fresh fruit, I think it is my favorite meal ever.  Total comfort food for me.  I usually make this in the crock pot.  There is no set time to cook it, just set it on low in the morning, and eat it for dinner.  I have made it at noon, and cooked on low for just a few hours.  One time I made it and cooked it on high for just 3 hours.  I have also done it on the stove top, but I really prefer my crock pot.  You can do whatever you prefer.  Enjoy!
Homemade Spaghetti Sauce

Brown 1 lb hamburger with 2 chopped onions and 2 minced garlic cloves.  Drain.

In crock pot add

1/2 cup water
1 bay leaf
2 tsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp pepper
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp basil
1/2 tsp oregano
2 cans (14.5oz each) stewed tomatoes blended up so smooth
2 cans (6 oz each) tomato paste
1/2 can of black olives, sliced--optional
1 can sliced mushrooms--also optional

Stir all together and then add meat and stir.  Add 1 tsp dried parsley

Cook on low for several hours until ready to serve. 

If you do this on the stove top, just increase the water to one cup and then simmer covered on the stove for one hour.  


Monday, March 10, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 10

Looking at the pictures for this week, it looks like the week of Mr J :)  He did have a busy week and seemed to be where I had my camera.  There is a photo that shows evidence of his sisters in there too.  We survived the time change, which I do not like at all, and are just going to try and make it through this next week because then it is spring break!  Yeah!  We are all ready for a break!  This past week was a pretty good one, take a look. . .
They were doing an Olympic reading challenge at school.  Mr J worked very, very hard and earned a gold medal from his librarian which also happens to be his Nana.  Lucky kid!  Way to go Mr J!

Mr J got an award for winning in the Farm Bureau safety poster contest.  He got $15 for his prize and that money was so burning a whole in his pocket.  He wanted to go to the store right after the award, but I made him wait just one day before he could spend it. 

And what did he spend his prize money on?  A new Lego set.  He loves those 3 in 1 sets.  Tonight after we got home from the store Ben helped him put it together.

Spring is the season of music competitions, and we have a piano competition coming up next month.  Mr J got his competition piece and has been working very hard to learn it.  

This was a shot of the kids' bathroom right after they left for school this morning.  Evidence of 2 teenage girls and 1 pre-teen girl getting ready for school.  Needless to say, we had some discussions about this mess when they got home, and that their Mom is not a maid.  Even though it sure feels like that sometimes.   Anyone else relate to this???

Friday the elementary got out of school at 1/2 a day, so I just had Mr J with me.  We met some friends at the park and enjoyed a few hours there before the girls were done with school, and we picked them up.

Saturday night was a relaxing one, but we were missing the older girls--babysitting and band were their obligations, so the rest of us enjoyed a movie--Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 which was pretty cute.  Popcorn and movie nights on the weekends are the best!

Thanks for visiting!  Have a great one and come back soon!  

Friday, March 7, 2014

Friday thoughts

Some random Friday thoughts to wrap up the week. . .
The inspiring bathroom quote I had on my mirror this week.  Ben and I are lucky to have similar interests and enjoy going to lots of different things together--sports, art, drama, music.  We rarely attend things without each other.  That is a blessing!

Keeping it real here--this was what my kids' bathroom looked like one morning after they left for school.  The result of 2 teenage girls and one pre-teen girl running late for school.  I was not happy when I saw this.  Needless to say, we had several discussions about how Mom is not the maid and about how things left out were going to start disappearing and owing Mom money to get things back.  We will see how well that works. . .  

I was very sad to squeeze the last tiny bit of lotion out of this bottle this week, can you tell?  I got this before Christmas at Bath and Body works--Merry Marshmallow Kiss, and I should have bought 3 or 4 because I loved it, and of course since it was a holiday scent they don't make it anymore.  Maybe next Christmas?  I hope, then I will stock up :)

I read this book last week.  It is number one is a trilogy.  I am half way through the 3rd book.  It is a good series!  Molly is a 7 year old girl unwanted at home and sent to the castle to work.  Little does she know she will grow up there, discover a new life, a gift, and save the king.  Magic, adventure, and a little romance make a good combination.  The story continues in The Cup and the Crown  as Molly continues to serve the king and discover her past and who she really is.  The story concludes in The Princess of Cortova which I hope to finish this weekend.

Have a great weekend and see you Monday!!  Don't forget to change your clocks--man I hate daylight savings time!  Go to bed early Saturday or take a long nap Sunday to catch up :)

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

What's up Wednesday--Cream cheese potato soup

This is my girlfriend soup.  I have had it twice over at one of my bestest girlfriend's house, and it is wonderful!  She just made it on the stove top, and it doesn't take long to do it that way, but I made it in the crock pot when I did it because we were leaving in the a.m. one day and weren't going to be home until dinner, and I wanted something that would be ready to eat when we walked into the house starving.  Because my kids are always starving, at least that is what they tell me--are yours?  This recipe worked perfect to do that way.  Perfect for starving kids--and their parents :)  And I had to get a picture of it on my new St. Patrick's Day kitchen table table runner that I made last week.  Cute, huh?  It is called a "10 minute Table runner" but it took me an hour :)  but it is done, and I like it.  Now onto the soup. . .
Cream Cheese Potato Soup

6 cups water
7 tsp chicken bouillon granules
12 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 (30-32 oz) pkg frozen cubed hash brown potatoes
1 1/2 cups fully cooked ham, cubed
1/2 cup chopped onion or use 1/4 cup dried onion (which is what I use)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp dill weed or less to taste

For crock pot--put all ingredients in the crock pot except dill weed and give a little stir.  Cook on low 6-7 hours or until potatoes are tender.  Before you serve, stir soup and make sure cream cheese cubes are all melted and stir in dill weed.  Serve with yummy rolls.

If you are going to just make this on the stove top, then your frozen hash brown potatoes need to be thawed.  In a large pot combine water and bouillon.  Add the cream cheese, cook and stir until the cheese is melted.  Mix in the potatoes, ham, onion, garlic powder and dill weed.  Simmer uncovered for 18-20 minutes or until veggies are tender.  

Either way is good .  Enjoy!

Monday, March 3, 2014

2014 Blue Jeans Week 9

 A fun busy week.  Last pep band performance, state choir competition for Miss A, cub scout award for Mr J,  and Project Life fun with my friends.  Take a look at our week. . .
My 3 girls are going to do a special musical number at church next week with the sister missionaries.  They were practicing today, and it sounded really good!

Last high school pep band performance at the basketball games this week.  Miss E got to play also for the last one as they were short a few trombones.  This is Miss E and Miss O with their amazing, we-cannot-say-enough-good-about-him, band director.  What a blessing he is in my girls lives!  We love Mr. K!

Today was so fun!  I got together with 2 of my bestest friends, and we did Project Life together.  We actually got almost a whole year done for my friend holding her album in just a few hours.  Project Life is just awesome!  She used the Cobalt core kit and Holidays mini-kit.
Cub Scout Blue and Gold Banquet was tonight.  Mr J got his Wolf patch and a gold and some silver arrows.  Way to go Mr J.  He also did a presentation on Denmark, and we ate aebelskivers.  Yum!

Miss A was gone Thursday to Saturday to the state choir competition.  She is in there on the bleachers on the left.  She had a great time, learned a lot, worked very hard--they rehearsed over 17 hours, and their concert was AMAZING!

There she is 2nd row, 2nd from left.  The concert brought tears to my eyes.  It was so good!  What a great experience for her, and we are so proud of her!  Way to go Miss A!!!
Miss E (2nd from left) and Miss O (with her hand raised the highest :) had fun with some friends this weekend "performing."  Those girls are a hoot!

Thanks for visiting!  Come back often. I blog Mondays/Wednesdays/Fridays.

Have a great week!
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