Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Day!

I am thankful for so many things so I won't bore you with it all. I would like to wish you all a very Happy Turkey Day and let you know I am thankful for you all who stop by for a visit.

On a side note........don't tell, but I added cauliflower to my smashed potaotes. Shhhh........

Monday, November 15, 2010

Stink Eye!

Have you ever gotten a bit of this?
Well, I think I may have gotten a bit of it this morning. A great way to start Monday isn't it? Sadly it isn't from anything I have done or my friend for that matter. I believe it has to do with a serious case of being overly sensitive. Imagine that!

For 2 days the boys and I played hard with their friends. We went on a bike ride while the moms walked, played baseball and soccer at the park and then proceeded to the batting cages. That was day 1 and it was full of activity. My kids fell asleep at an early hour that evening. The next day we went to lunch and the movies. Another full day, busy because lunch and the movie was at the mall. So we got to deal with noisy mall crowd and counting kids. Great fun. We had a blast! I kept the boys busy so they didn't have time to think about was ingenious.

This other family and I have a mutual friend who was unhappy with both of us. She thought we were flaunting our activities in front of her and was hurt she wasn't "invited". I have to say, she was invited to lunch and movies on Friday and the park is well....a park, in her neighborhood. There wasn't any reason she and her children couldn't come join us, but she was feeling hurt and upset and not included. I get it.

So today I swing by to say "Hi" and receive THE STINKEYE. I stayed long enough to say my hello's and then bailed out. I can take a hint. She isn't happy with me. Oh well, she will hopefully get over it.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I have been using these to make.......

these! It's hard to say how many I have, but I have a whole lot more to do.

With 29 plants it's tough to keep up. I have been giving them away by the bag and canning as many as I can. I have a feeling Monday is going to be much of the same.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Been Busy!

Sweet Pepper Salsa

7 c. chopped tomatoes (about 5 lbs)
3 c. chopped peppers (1 red, 1 yellow, 1 green)
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic
2 tbs. cilantro
1/2 c. vinegar (5% acidity)
2 drops hot pepper sauce

Combine all ingredients in a saucepot. Stir and bring to a boil; then reduce heat and simmer for 10 min. Prepare canning jars as usual. Then ladle salsa into hot jars. Process in a boiling water canner for 15 min. (covering the tops of jars with approximately 1" of water. Yields 3 pints. I double the recipe to can more at a time.

So far I have canned about 7 pints and 10 1/2 pints. It is not at all hot, so if you want hot you will need to add some sort of hot pepper either before or after the processing. Enjoy!

Monday, September 20, 2010

A Teachable Moment

Teachable moments are priceless.

Teachable moments are valuable.

Teachable moments are important.

Yesterday's teachable moment was all of the above, but might not have been under other circumstances.

I was at soccer, about 45 minutes away from home. This is the norm for us on a Sunday. I play soccer and Jeff has the boys. It is my few hours of peace, quiet, sheer enjoyment.....without interruption. I am happy to make the drive if it means some "me time" and a bit of sanity.

Jeff took the boys to the yard, which is about 20 minutes through town. It's a truck yard. We keep our equipment there, my BIL and his business partner run their business from there, and we rent space to truckers who need a place to park their rigs. So when the rental spaces are full there could be any number of people on the premises. And it's any combination of people we either know personally or don't know at all.

I go to pick the boys up from the yard late afternoon and they are bursting in conversation. They all want to tell me about their day at the yard. What they did, who they saw, what they had for lunch. I'm listening and it all sounds good. They had a great day!

Later that evening I let Jeff know that none of the boys get dessert, they had quite a bit of "junk" at the yard. He proceeds to tell me that they didn't have anything dessert like at the yard. I told him that Bubba and Trevor went for a ride to get some Laffy Taffy and some Drumsticks to share with the dads and other boys. Jeff looks at me a bit perplexed.

Jeff: "Trevor didn't leave the property."

Me: "Ah, you didn't know about this?"

Jeff: "What do you mean he left? Trevor did you go with Bubba to the store?"

Trevor: "Dad, you knew!"

Jeff: "Uh....did you ask me if you could go?"

Trevor: "No, but you were right there when Bubba said we were going to the store."

Jeff: "Did you ask me?"

Trevor: (crying) "No!"

We have ALWAYS told them they need to make sure one of us knows where they are and who they are with before they are to go anywhere.

So the teachable moment for Trevor was that he needs to remember to ask before he goes. Another teachable moment for him was the realization that he could have left, without Jeff's knowledge, and never come back. We explained that someone with bad intentions could have taken him and we would never see him again. Fortunately we know Bubba and have know him for many years.

The teachable moment for Jeff? Keep better tabs on your kids! One of them left and he had no idea.

It could have been a very scary situation.

Thank goodness it wasn't.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

More words from the Kids

I figure today of all days we all need a good laugh.

All 3 boys:
"If you tickle my pickle, I'll give you a nickel."


A freind of Trevors:
"Hey have you ever been to Disneyland and gone on Space Mountain? Well when you go down really fast it makes my wrong spot fly."


Luke: Hey mom, look under there.
Me: Under where?
Luke: Ha ha ha, you said underwear!


Luke: Mom, what kind of bees like milk?
Me: I don't think any do.
Luke: Boo Bees. Get it? (Laughing uncontrollably)


Trevor: Mom can I watch a bit of TV?
Me: No, you had enough yesterday.
Trevor: What? There is nothing to do around here! I wish we had a bigger back yard!
Me: (laughing) You have 5 acres to run around on.
Trevor: 5 acres? We need a thousand!
Me: If you are bored on 5 acres you would be just as bored on a thousand.
***He doesn't know how good he has it. One day he will and think back to a time where he could be carefree.


We recently got a new puppy. She is a chocolate lab and her name is Scout. Ella, my niece, is playing with her and petting her and tells Luke and I this:

Ella: Her ears are softer than a bungee cord.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's been a long time.....

.....since I've had a blond moment.
But today I did. It was/is a bit humiliating.

Life happens.

Chaos happens.

Frustrations happen.

Today, with many many things on my mind, I had a blond moment. This doesn't happen often, in fact I can't remember the last time I did something so STUPID.



Not to say blonds are any of the above mentioned derogatories.
So please don't take offense.

Today, I put GAS in my truck. What's wrong with that you ask? My truck takes DIESEL!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

It's a Scary, Nerve Wracking Transition

I'm nervous, scared, worried, and terrified for my oldest.

He is no longer in the "younger kids" grouping. His now officially a 4th grader.

Do you know what that means? You don't? It means he officially gets LETTER GRADES!

Gone are the days of S, NA, O, NI, etc. He won't get those insignificant letters that are considered generalities and are completely subjective. He will get A's, B's, C's, D's, and F's (well hopefully not the D's and F's) and he is excited about it!

Why is that exciting? How can that be exciting? For me, knowing he struggles, it is terrifying. I know what he is capable of, I guess I just need to give him that push, encouragement, positive reinforcement to make him see that YES he CAN do it, he can do well.

I told him all that matters is if he tries his very best, he knows that is the most important thing.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Super Fantabulously Awesome

Do you see this beauty?

Oh wait, I meant this one. See what I'm talking about? Talk about being super fantabulously awesome!

I meant the one on the RIGHT! Got it? Oh good, so glad you aren't confused anymore.

Not too long ago I needed some mathematical help. I'm no accountant, so I needed some expertise help in understanding terms, numbers, and well.......a basic class in accounting (the short version). The first person I thought of was Pooba! She is, after all, an accounting whiz. She came to my rescue and helped me far beyond what I had imagined.

Thank you Pooba! You Rock!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I've Been Makin' Whoopee....

Lots of whoopee. Whoopee in the morning, whoopee mid day, and whoopee in the evening. Can't get enough whoopee!

.....Whoopee Pies that is!
I love chocolate chip cookies so I thought I would try these first.

Chocolate Chip Whoopee Pies
by: Sarah Billingsley and Amy Treadwell

2 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
4 tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
4 tbs. vegetable shortening
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. packed brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 c. buttermilk
2 tbs. milk
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. white vinegar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. mini chocolate chips

*Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat oven to 375. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.
*Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt onto a sheet of waxed paper (I skipped this step)
*In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together butter, shortening, and both sugars and beat until light and creamy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs and the buttermilk and beat until combined.
*In a measuring cup, combine the milk, baking soda, and vinegar. Add the milk mixture to the batter along with the flour mixture and beat on low until just combined. Add the vanilla and beat on medium for about 2 minutes, until completely combined.
*Using wooden spoon, stir in chocolate chips until incorporated.
*Using a spoon, drop about 1 tbs. of batter onto one of the prepared baking sheets and repeat, spacing them at least 2 inches apart. Bake one sheet at a time for about 10 minutes each, or until the cakes begin to brown. Remove from oven an dlet the cakes cool on the sheet for at least 5 minutes before transferring them to a rack to cool completely.

Makes about 48 2-inch cakes.

Classic Marshmallow Filling:

1 1/2 c. Marshmallow Fluff
1 1/4 c. vegetable shortening
1 c. confectioners' sugar
1 tbs. vanilla extract

*In the work bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the Marshmallow Fluff and the vegetable shortening, starting on low and increase to medium speed until the mixture is smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Reduce mixer speed to low, add the confectioners' sugar and the vanilla, beat until incorporated. Increase mixer speed to medium and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes more.

Personally? I wasn't too thrilled with the Marshmallow Fluff center. It was fine the first day when it set, but the next day? Not so great. Next time I am going to give butter cream filling a try.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Irrational Minds

.......make me a little crazy! Okay, a LOT crazy! I don't get it. What makes a mind think they way they do? Nature or nurture? Probably a bit of both.

I'm no rocket scientist, but when someone tells me they don't want to sink money into their home (unless they intend to sell it) makes ZERO sense to me. Why would you want your home to fall in disrepair while you live in it? Why would you take the time to fix it up only to turn around and sell it? Why would fix it up for someone else, but not yourself?

Please explain! Where is the rationality in that?

Saturday, August 14, 2010


I'm full of it these days. Before kids I would take to the street and

Now that I have kids I have to find other outlets, after all I can't just get up and go anymore. Once school is in session I will be able to do that, as well as get back into a routine that doesn't involve dragging them all over the place. My outlet still involves getting physical, it helps to get out the pent up energy, frustrations, etc. As of late my task has been to stack

It's like a science to stack. Some people have a building to prop the pile up against, while others use 2 trees as their guide. Me? What do I use? My brain. In order to stack it so that it doesn't fall over you have to create an end that is stable and sturdy. It needs to be squared laying the wood in one direction and then laying the wood in the opposite direction as I build. Because I have to think about what I am doing and placing the wood properly, my mind works out the frustrations and angst that have built up during the summer.

I also have a tendency to bake. Well, actually, I love to bake. When I'm hit with frustrations that I can't run or exercise off I will bake. Today I made some of these

Who doesn't love a bit of chocolaty goodness? Me? I could eat the whole pan! I won't because my body is already falling into the shape it was in prior to a rigorous exercise program. Another good thing about school is that I WILL be able to get back into an exercise routine. Once the brownies cooled off I decided I needed to share with my SIL....see she gets to have a piece of my angst (the chocolate of course).

What works for you?

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Nope, Not Tired!

This kid claims he is never tired. Doesn't need to go to sleep, take a rest, etc.

However, he CAN sleep just about anywhere, anytime.

He passed out on the shop floor while dad was working on the dirt bikes.
Nope, not tired!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Here is a quick post brought to you by Friday Fill-Ins.

Graphic courtesy of Crystal we go!

1. Life is good.

2. I just have to keep going.

3. My last text message (or IM) ended in these three words: a gr8 day.

4. Shrimp is what I'm thinking about for dinner sometime soon.

5. On the 1st day of August I played soccer.

6. Puppies are lively and energetic.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to watching a movie, tomorrow my plans include the Farmer's Market and Sunday, I want to celebrate the hubby's 40th!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Better Blueberry Muffins

I like to get magazines that talk about nutrition and fitness. One of them is Shape. While I don't have subscription to this particular one, I will buy one on occasion. The last one I bought was the July issue and it has an awesome, healthy blueberry muffin recipe and I am going to share it with you.

Better Blueberry Muffins

For the muffins:
1 1/2 whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 c. plus 2 tbs. sugar, divided
1/2 c. quick cooking oats (not instant)
2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
3/4 c. plus 2 tbs. lowfat buttermilk
1 large egg
2 tbs. canola oil (I used applesauce instead)
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 c. fresh blueberries, washed and dried

For the topping:
1/4 c. blueberry all fruit spread (I used blueberry jam, it's all I had on hand)
24 fresh blueberries, washed and dried.

Preheat oven to 375. Combine flour, 1/2 c. sugar, oats, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk buttermilk, egg, oil, and vanilla. Toss blueberries with flour mixture and stir gently. Line a 12 count muffin pan with paper liners (or spray with nonstick cooking spray). Divide batter evenly; sprinkle with remaining sugar. Bake 12-15 minutes or until tops are set. Remove from oven; top each muffin with 1 tsp. fruit spread and 2 blueberries. Bake 3-5 minutes more or until golden. Cool in pan for 10 minutes and serve.

So get to baking! You will enjoy these moist little morsels.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

We struck Gold....

......actually we went to Gold Lake, which is about an hour north of Truckee, California. It's a beautiful place. In fact this was my view for the better part of a week. We didn't get the same site as last year, but it worked to our benefit.

This time we camped out 2 campsites away from our original site and had a nice stream, of snow melt, going right past our campground.

Adam spent a great deal of time in that stream. He couldn't get enough of it.

I don't ordinarily give them "crap" for cereal, but you know camping is a big deal and I let them choose their own breakfast cereal. I call it the Breakfast of Champions.....NOT!

We were a little more prepared this year, we bought an inflatable boat and got the boys a life vest so they could go "boating" in the lake. They didn't go very far but had a blast doing it. Adam is my more adventurous one, Trevor was ready to bail out because Adam was taking the boat out too deep.

The fishing wasn't quite as good this year, but we had fun trying.

Yes, lots of snow on the ground still.

Some old cabins we came across while 4 wheeling. They are in bad shape, but pretty neat to check out.

Them marks there? BEAR! Someone was hungry.....

It seemed like every time we got in the Jeep to go exploring the boys would break out in a fight, start bickering, nit pick about anything and everything. Jeff had enough and was scolding 2 of them on the side of the road. Had to take a picture.

A bit of 4 wheeling.

Last year we 4 wheeled to a lake called Smith Lake and found an old aluminum boat. I had a few holes but was water safe. So this year we went back to the lake for 2 reasons......there was a boat and the fishing was incredible. We decided we would catch and release, we still had a ton of food back at camp. So this year we did not have any fresh fish. A little sad (because it's soooooo good), but a longer life for those native fish to live and reproduce.

Adam reeling his in at Smith Lake.

The bonus of this trip? Adam lost his first tooth. (Don't mind the grubby little was a week of no showering and this is on our way out.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Dear Fellow Target Shopper,

I know that I can talk loud, I mean it's hard not to when there are 3 boys who can drown the sound of my voice out, and it's easy to eavesdrop overhear what I am telling said boys. However when you kindly tell me what you think about my conversation with the boys I consider it crossing the line. I like to let my boys know what is going on and what to expect, especially when it comes to our new puppy.

I like to let them know that the first thing we do when we get home is let her out and take her to her potty spot so she can take care of business. I also like to get errands done in a timely manner so she isn't stuck in the crate for long periods of time.....and I explain that to the boys. When you, fellow shopper, ask me "Where is your dog?" and I answer "At home in her crate." and then respond with an "Oh, I don't like that." I don't really care.

I have to say I was rather polite to you and told you that is how we do things at our house. However I wanted to tell you that I could bring said puppy to your house and you could leave her unsupervised while you ran errands. I know you would have loved what you came home to.....a giant mess! Since you know so much about puppies then you won't mind her eliminating where she wants, chew on anything she wants, and has her way with your house and your things. So please let me know when you would like me to bring her over, I'm sure she would have a field day.

Suzi and Scout

Monday, July 12, 2010

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler

Not too long ago I bought a Le Creuset Ductch Oven. I LOVE it and found myself asking why I didn't buy one sooner. It is in their new color called Caribbean Blue and it is beautiful. A friend of mine suggested I make a Paula Deen's Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler. I thought that was a great idea.

Isn't she pretty?

Dutch Oven Peach Cobbler
Recipe courtesy of Paula Deen

2 (16 ounce) cans sliced peaches in heavy or light syrup, or in fruit juice, your choice (I used fresh peaches)
1 pint fresh blueberries, optional
1/2 c. baking mix (recommended: Bisquick)
1/3 c. sugar
Ground cinnamon

2 1/4 c. baking mix (recommended: Bisquick)
1/4 c. sugar
1/4 c. (1/2 stick) butter, melted
1/2 c. milk
Cinnamon sugar (1/4 c. sugar combined with 2 tsp. ground cinnamon; store in an empty spice shaker, shake well before each use)

Preheat oven to 350

Spray Dutch Oven with vegetable oil cooking spray.

Drain 1 can peaches. Combine both cans of peaches, including the juice from undrained can, the blueberries, if using, the baking mix, sugar, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. Place this mixture into the Dutch Oven.

To make topping: Combine biscuit mix, sugar, butter, and milk in resealable plastic bag. Drop bits of dough, using your fingers, on top of the peaches. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.
Place Dutch Oven into preheated oven and bake for 45 minutes, until top is golden brown and crusty.
Before the oven

After the oven

Top with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and it is delish!

You won't be disappointed. My kids wanted's that good.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Got Mud?

Ever hear of this?

It is held in 18 cities across the United States. Love this race. It's fun, dirty, and well, fun. In order to participate you must have a partner. This is how it works: one of you runs while the other bikes, at a certain point you have to go through a small obstical course and then the runner becomes the biker while the biker becomes the runner. It is about 6 miles long and there are 5 or 6 obsticals before you hit the mud pit. Good times!

This is the infamous Mud Pit. It is said that every year someone loses their wedding ring or car key. That stuff is so thick and sloppy. It was made just for kids. But in this case the big kids are the ones having all the fun.

As you can see we couldn't seem to stay clean. I always heard mud is good for the skin.

This year I joined the many who have lost a wedding ring or car key, but I lost mine on the trail somewhere. I lost my key, so I called hubby from the Ranger's Office (no cell service at this race) and waited patiently while he and the boys brought me a spare.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Yes.....We Are "Those" Neighbors

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July.

We spent our 4th of July unpacking from our camping trip (more on that later) and setting up our pool. Yes, it is an above ground pool. We call it the "Ghetto/Redneck" pool. Please don't take's just that we live in an area where this type of pool IS considered "Ghetto/Redneck" and I'm okay with that. After all it's about cooling off and giving the kids another source of tiring themselves out.

The men putting it together. Did you notice what it is sitting on? Classy, don't ya think?

Our way of filling it. Yes, a water wagon. My hubby uses it on some of his jobs and it was perfect for filling the pool quickly. After all the hose would probably take all night, the pool holds a bit more than 3,000 gallons.

The boys standing under the jets of the water wagon. They are loving it!

Good Times!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Random Thoughts That Make Me Giggle

My sister lives too far away. She lives in Australia and I miss her very much. So when she sends me emails like this it gives me a giggle. Enjoy!

Random Thoughts for the Day:

1. I think part of a best friend's job should be to immediately clear your computer's history if you die.

2. Nothing sucks more than that moment during an argument when you realize you're wrong.

3. I totally take back all those times I didn't want to nap when I was younger.

4. There is great need for a sarcasm font.

5. How the hell are you supposed to fold a fitted sheet?

6. Was learning cursive really necessary?

7. Map Quest needs to start their directions on #5. I'm pretty sure I know how to get out of my damn neighborhood.

8. Obituaries would be a lot more interesting if they told you how the person died.

9. I can't remember the last time I wasn't at least kind of tired.

10. Bad decisions make good stories.

11. You never know when it will strike, but there comes a moment at work when you know that you just aren't going to do anything productive for the rest of the day.

12. Can we all just agree to ignore whatever comes after Blu Ray? I don't want to have to restart my collection...again.

13. I'm always slightly terrified when I exit out of Word and it asks me if I want to save any changes to the ten-page paper that I swear I did not make any changes to.

14. "Do not machine wash or tumble dry" means I will never wash this -- ever.

15. I hate it when I miss a call by the last ring (Hello? Hello? Damn it!)but when I immediately call back it rings nine times and goes to voicemail. What'd you do after I didn't answer? Drop the phone and run away?

16. I hate leaving my house confident and looking good and then not seeing anyone of importance the entire day. What a waste.

17. I keep some people's phone numbers in my phone just so I know not to answer when they call.

18. My 4-year old son asked me in the car the other day "Dad what would happen if you ran over a ninja?" How do I respond to that?

19. I think the freezer deserves a light as well..

20. I disagree with Kay Jewelers. I would bet on any given Friday or Saturday night more kisses begin with a bud light than Kay.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Raspberry Lemoade Goodness

Hello Everyone!
Today I'm bringing you a very tasty treat.
These my dear people are Raspberry Lemonade Cupcakes.

Don't they look delightful?
Believe me they are.

Recipe brought to you by The Busty Baker adapted frome Lemon Yogurt Cupcakes in 125 Best Cupcake Recipes by Julie Hasson.
Makes 12 Cupcakes


1 1/4 c. all purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 c. granulated sugar
1/2 c. unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 egg
1/2 c. plain yogurt (I used Greek yogurt)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
3 tbs. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon oil or lemon extract (I used more fresh lemon)
1/4 c. raspberry puree

*Preheat oven to 350. Line muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.

*In small bowl, mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.

*In large bowl, whisk together sugar, butter, and egg until smooth. Add yogurt, lemon zest, and juice, and lemon extract, beating until smooth. Add flour mixture, beating just until smooth.

*Scoop 1 tbs. or so of batter into each prepared cupcake liner. Drop about 1 tsp. of raspberry puree onto batter. Drop another tbs. of batter on top of puree, then another tsp. of puree on top of batter. Swirl with a toothpick to give it the swirl pattern. Bake in preheated oven for about 22 to 25 min. Let cool in pan on rack for about 10 min. Remove and cool completely on rack. Top cooled cupcakes with frosting.

Raspberry Lemonade Buttercream
Makes about 2 cups (16-20 cupcakes)

2 c. confectioner's sugar
3/4 c. unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 tbs. raspberry puree
1 tbs. lemonade concentrate, thawed (Again, I used fresh lemon)
1/2 tsp. raspberry extract (I imaging using the raspberry puree would be fine)
Pinch of salt

*In a bowl, using an electric mixer, beat together confectioner's sugar, butter, raspberry puree, lemonade concentrate, raspberry extract, and salt until smooth.

*Spread frosting on cooled cupcakes and set aside at room temperature until ready to serve or for up to 8 hours.

Raspberry Puree
Joy of Baking

2 12oz. bags of frozen unsweetened raspberries
1/2 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon (optional)

*Thaw unsweetened raspberries in large fine meshed strainer suspended over a large bowl. Once the berries have completely thawed, force juice from the berries by gently pressing berries with back of large spoon. All that should remain in the strainer is the raspberry seeds. Throw away raspberry seeds. Stir in lemon juice and sugar to the raspberry juice.

*Store covered in the refrigerator up to a week or freeze up to a year.

*Makes approximately 1 3/4 cups.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Farmer's Market

My kids love fruit.
Now that soccer is over we can get the freshest of fresh fruits.

As you can see Luke is enjoying his Farmer's Market plum. I can buy $50 worth of fruit at the Farmer's Market and it will be gone by the end of the next day. It kills me to see it go so fast, but at the same time I am happy to see it go so fast. So now we are looking forward to this Saturday because we can make it part of our regular routine. The best part for the kids....they get to sample all the fruits as we pass by the stands. Then they tell me what was best so that I can get exactly what they want and like. I the Farmer's Market.

Now for the rest of you.....go find a local Farmer's Market. Trust me, you will be happy you did. Have a great day!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Decade Long Love Affair

Unless you count the years before the marriage.

Am I a sap? Not likely.
at Heart? Definitely!

Jeff and I got married 10 years ago today. I love him now as much as I ever have (trials, tribulations, frustrations and all). That's what it's about right? Loving your significant other despite the rocky, rough patches. When we got married we went the non-denominational route. So we didn't do the unity candle but did a rose exchange and we used the Apache Blessing as one of our readings. I have to say I still like it, it goes like this:

Apache Blessing

Now you will feel no rain,
For each of you will be shelter for the other.
Now you will feel no cold,
For each of you will be warmth to the other.
Now there is no more loneliness,
For each of you will be companion to the other.
You are two persons,
But there is only one life before you.
Go now and enter the days of your life together,
And may your days be good and long upon the earth.

I think it just about says it all.
Happy Anniversary Jeff!

Monday, June 14, 2010

A Summer Full of Reading

Luke gets to attend a reading intervention class this summer, just before school starts up in the fall. I feel bad for him. At this point he is a full year behind in reading. He was fine at the first conference, a little behind at the second conference, and when I talked with his teacher last week she said he is now a full year behind. It seems like excessive regression. Why? How can a child regress so fast when he is at school working with the teacher and a parent volunteer, who specifically works on reading and comprehension? Why?

I know what the problem is. I do. It's the written part, which has to do with comprehension. It's also retaining the information in order to answer comprehension questions. When he is able to verbalize his comprehension is fine. It's when he has to put those thoughts in writing. He struggles with writing. He can't make his brain tell his hand what to write. There is a huge jump from second grad to third grade on how they answer comprehension questions. They can't give one word answers, it has to be a complete sentence, a complete thought. This is tough for him. I feel awful. I feel sad for him. I want to help, I want him to succeed and not struggle, I want him to learn powerful, helpful strategies. I just don't know how to give him the strategies to get through it.

Speaking of reading, do any of you brilliant minds know of a series that would hold a 9 year old's interest? I have not been successful in finding an acceptable series for him. Nothing I throw at him captures his attention, his interest, his mind. I am willing to try anything at this point. I know it is important to enjoy what you read, it makes you want to keep reading.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Summer Days

I'm a little terrified of what summer will bring. For weeks now the boys have been nit picking each other over trivial things and getting into fist fights because the nit picking gets a little out of hand. They are just plain mean to each other. It looks as if it's going to be a long summer. I'm not sure we are all going to survive it. I must be creative, I must have a plan, I must be smarter than them, I must be one step ahead of them at all times. They might even get to a point where fighting just isn't worth it. If they don't I'll just have show them what I'm made of.

We do have plans. I have signed them up for All Sports Camp, it's one week long and I'm already looking forward to it. Sad, but true. I know, I know, I should cherish this time, they are only young once, but they are testing my sanity and right now the score looks something like this:
Them - 1
Me - 0
I'm off to a great start.

We are also taking a week and going camping. Husband is a little wishy washy as to when because of the snow. We camp about an hour north of Tahoe and there is still snow. He tells me today that he wants to be able to go fishing......NOT ice fishing. So the dates are tentative and that kills me. I am not overly organized, but when it comes to plans and planning vacations I need exact dates, I don't do well with generalities.

A little bit of excitement will be headed our way in July. We will be getting a puppy. A Chocolate Lab to be exact. The kids and I are excited! I think the hubby is a little indifferent and the neighbors may be a little reluctant. I say reluctant because Julia really isn't a dog person and because we all live on the same property she gets to deal with love this puppy by default.

What do you have planned for summer?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Funny Bullies Suck on a Bike and other Random Thoughts

Today I needed a bit of randomness to round out the day. I am joining Keely over at The Un Mom.


Bullies Suck! My oldest was tackled and dog piled by a number of boys, a bit unprovoked. I know playing kickball can be pretty competitive and getting your turn to kick is ultra important. What these kids forgot to see is that one push can get out of hand very quickly.

Luke played a funny on me:
Luke: Mom, look under there.
Me: Under where?
Luke: Ah ha ha, I made you say it!
Get it? Underwear? He's such a card.

Was driving to school to pick up the boys and saw a great bumper sticker that said Gas Sucks, Ride a Bike. The irony? The lady driving the vehicle was overweight. Got a kick out of that.

Where did society go wrong? Very wrong! Kids of today have this unhealthy sense of entitlement. Like we OWE them. Owe them for what? We brought them into this world, don't they owe us? They owe us good behavior, good citizenship, manners, etc. I know it's up to us to teach them all that...and more, but those who don't are killin' me. An example: My youngest was at a birthday party, I picked him up and his first question? Where is my goody bag? I had to explain that he was there to celebrate a friend and their special day and the parent's are NOT required to hand out goodie bags. He wasn't happy about it,, but he got the point. Life doesn't hand you goody bags for showing up.

That's all I got for today.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Looking Forward to Summer

There is a story behind this here ice tray. Isn't there always a story? But of course! Luke and Trevor decided it would be great fun to take one of Adam's LEGO men and smash the head to smithereens. Between the two of them they smashed it, trashed it, destroyed it....into tiny little pieces. They are so kind. As a result they had to buy a new LEGO guy for their younger brother Adam. I went to the LEGO store and got him 3 new LEGO men. He loves them. But while I was there I found these very cool ice trays. They are shaped like little LEGO men. I just couldn't leave without them.

Aren't they cute? I made ice out of them immediately.

Luke is liking these ice trays. Can you tell by the smile on his face? Sheer joy.

Here is the LEGO ice guy a little closer.

In case you were wondering......Luke and Trevor didn't get off scott free, they had to pay for the new LEGO guys. That was their consequence for destroying something that doesn't belong to them. Adam got the better end of the deal, he got 3 guys instead of just a head. He also won't allow his brothers to play with his new LEGO men. Yet another natural consequence for bad behavior.

Now I need to come up with some fun ideas to fill these trays. Maybe frozen yogurt or jello. Do YOU have any ideas? What would you make with these fun little ice trays?