Saturday, January 28, 2012

Going Under

I'm sinking deep into my overwhelming to do list.  This coming week is going to be pretty busy and my house is in dire need of cleaning, but all I can think about is snuggling up in my bed for a nice winter nap.  

Today's To Do List  (warning scary pictures may be seen below!)
~ grocery shopping (check)
~ clean sunroom (check)

~ put kids down for naps /quiet time (check)
~ start on the washing backlog- eight loads to do (check)
~ put groceries away (ummmmm . . . . not quite there yet)

~ clean great room (the table is clean, at least that is a start!)

~ fold six loads of clean laundry (I have one load done, does that count?)

~ make homemade beef stroganoff for supper  (sirloin steak is thawed)
~ make chocolate chip banana bread
~ wrap the kids birthday presents  (have to do while they are down for the count)
~ take Princess to get Pumpkin a birthday present

Tomorrow's To Do List
~ go to church and Sunday school
~ go to basket weaving class (Berry basket, Yay!!!!!)
~ clean the kitchen

~ continue washing and folding laundry
~ clean bathroom
~ work on everything I did not have time to do on Saturday

Upcoming Chaos List
~ Monday: Pumpkin's surgery
~ Tuesday: Family dinner night
~ Wednesday: CLEANING!!!!!!!
~ Thursday: Princess's birthday
~ Friday: CLEANING!!!!!!!
~ Saturday: Kids birthday party
~ Sunday: Pumpkin's birthday & church

I'm willing to feed anyone that would like to help me with my cleaning & decluttering projects (wink, wink).

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Who Are You?

Today was one of those Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde days. 

Pumpkin was one challenge after another.  He copped a huge attitude at the grocery store, which resulted in no one getting donuts today ~ a first to be sure.  Then at the end of lunch, we had a stand-off over pudding.  Pumpkin will be five soon and he still insists on being fed "messy" food.  I will not do it, but daddy often gives in.  So the spoon remained on the table through a tantrum, Pumpkin was sent to his room for a required nap time, and the pudding returned to the refrigerator.  Since Pumpkin has fluid in his ears (he has surgery for tubes coming up), he has no concept of volume control right now.   I think he is stuck on as LOUD as can be, which is a bit too LOUD for my ears to take.  If only I were an ostrich and could put my head in a nice quite hole.  Needless to say Pumpkin is still up, but hopefully the hyper buzz will end and he will get to sleep soon.

Princess on the other hand, was quite the doll today.  She actually ate her pancakes instead of playing with them.  She helped daddy crack mixed nuts, then of course helped to eat them.  She helped me out when asked.  She picked up dominoes that she had dumped out (without being asked).  She gave lots of hugs and kisses.  She ended her day with Ladybug Girl Loves . . . as a bedtime story.

I cannot wait to see what happens tomorrow!  Will Pumpkin chill out a bit?  Will Princess get in on the action?  Will we survive the day without tears?  Who knows?  Visit again soon to hear the adventures of Pumpkin and Princess.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Books Transport Into Worlds Unknown

Reading is an amazing adventure.  It can take you far and wide.  Into the future, present, and past.  When you find a good book, it is like magic and you are transported into the story.

I have experienced that through the books of T.L. Highley.  T.L. Highley is an amazing author of fiction.  She has the amazing ability to link history of an era and places into the faith and struggles during the beginnings of Christianity.  I have read five of the Seven Wonders of the World series and look forward to the last two books that are to come.  Her published titles of this series are- Pompeii: City on Fire, Petra: City in Stone, Guardian of the Flame, City of the Dead, and Shadow of Colossus.  My favorite so far is Guardian of the Flame about the lighthouse of Alexandria.  I finished reading Petra: City in Stone this weekend and I have to say it comes in as a close second.  

You have heard that saying "Never judge a book by its cover."  The same goes with people.  First impressions do make a difference, but until you get to know a person there is a chance that you may have misjudged them.  This book has that type of connection.  

This story is centered around a young poor mother, Cassia, and her young son, Alexander.  They travel from Damascus to Petra in search for lost family and hope for a better future.  Julian, another center of the story, is running from his outspoken past in Rome and flees to Petra to protect those he loves.   All three of these characters will change the history of Petra forever.  This story is about losing faith, finding faith, discovering faith, and the everlasting love of God through all journeys of life. Even in the darkest times, he still walks with us hand and hand and if we listen closely enough he guides us along our way. 

The imaginary depicted is breath-taking.  The author visits and researches the ancient scenery and customs before she begins her books which paint such a vivid picture of what life may have been like thousands of years ago.

I recommend reading at least one of T.L. Higley's books even if the thought of reading a Christian book is a deterrent.  Regardless of ones beliefs, the historical aspects of ancient times mixed with fiction are well worth the read.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warm Up Those Winter Blues

When it is nippy outside I enjoy cooking in the oven.  I do this for two reasons: One- for yummy delicious food, Two- to warm the kitchen and surrounding rooms.  This evening we had Ham & Cheese Pot Pie, Grandma’s Sugar Pie and cutie oranges.  Princess was just interested in the oranges and would giggle in delight when I added more to her plate.  Pumpkin turned up his nose to it all.  He is one tough cookie to crack.  Of course, hubby and I chowed down on the pot pie and oranges.  So what happened to Grandma's Sugar Pie?  Read below to find out.

Ham & Cheese Pot Pie

1 ham steak, warmed & chopped
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
½ a bunch of fresh broccoli florets, chopped
½ a head of fresh cauliflower florets, chopped
1 small onion, chopped
1 tub Chive & Onion Cream Cheese
1 ready-to-use refrigerated pie crust
1 egg
1 Tbsp. water

Heat oven to 400ºF.  Combine first 5 ingredients in a 2 quart casserole dish. Microwave cream cheese spread in microwaveable bowl on 1 min. or until completely melted, stirring every 15 sec. Add to ham mixture; mix well. Beat egg and water until well blended; brush onto top edge of casserole dish. Unroll pie crust and press around edge of casserole dish (May need to pre-stretch to fit dish); brush lightly with egg wash. Discard any remaining egg wash. Cut slits in crusts to vent. Bake 30 to 32 min. or until golden brown.

Grandma’s Sugar Pie

Take the extra pie crust trimmings.  Ball up dough in the hands and place on a cookie sheet.  Use the fingertips to knead the dough into a thin layer.  Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar.  Bake until golden brown in a 400ºF oven. 

I remember my maternal grandma making these yummy treats when she had extra pie crust when I was growing up.  Mmmmm. . . . do I have to share?????  Nope, I snuck it all and did not share.  Guess we will just have to make some more. (wink, wink)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Frosty Adventures

Snow in the morning!  
Snow in the afternoon!  
Snow in the evening!  
Snow what fun!

Snow outside!

Snow inside!
Snow in the tub!

Snow to slush!  
Slush to water!

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Hopes, Wishes, & Dreams

We are a week into the new year!  

Time seems to fly so fast nowadays.  
Pumpkin will be five and Princess 
will be three before we know it.

This new year, as all new years go, 
is full of hopes, wishes and dreams.

In 2012, I am looking forward to:
~ hugs and kisses from my children.
~ building a snowman with the family.
~ trying oodles of new recipes.
~ the spring wildflowers popping up.
~ reading many wonderful amazing books.
~ the warmth of summer.
~ Pumpkin starting kindergarten in the fall.
~ the beautiful vibrant fall foliage.

In 2012, I hope & wish that:
~ Pumpkin's surgery goes well with a swift recovery.
~ dad's bone marrow transplant will be successful.
~ we will have better medical insurance. 
~ we get the trim around the exterior windows repainted.
~ Princess will be able to attend preschool. 
~ we have a family picture taken by a professional.
~ I have more time for sewing projects.

In 2012, I dream that:
~ we can get a new garage door.
~ we can take a mini-vacation.
~ my basement would be organized and cleaned.

What are your hopes, wishes, and dreams?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

We Are Having WHAT For Lunch?

Oh, Pumpkin!  How I do love you!  

Today has been full of adventures.  Pumpkin and Princess chilled out in front of PBS kids this morning while I made pancakes for breakfast.  Pumpkin decided that he wanted his two pancakes cut into four pieces with syrup in bowl for dunking.  Princess decided she wanted her two pancakes whole with nothing on them.  Pumpkin pretty much downed his, but Princess just nibbed on hers.  Sometimes I think that they have an unspoken food pact going.  You never know from day to day what and how much they will eat.

Our next adventure led us to the grocery store.  We just got my car back last night.  We were originally going to replace it, but Pumpkin will be having a second set of ear tubes and his adenoids taken out later this month so we had to go with the option that did not include a monthly car payment.  We went over the great grandma's house and picked her up for our Saturday morning shopping trip.  

At the store, we picked up the necessities and I got the supplies to try a new recipe: Baked Shrimp Scampi posted by Dinner at Cheshire Farm.  The two little monkeys did a great job at the store, so we each got our Saturday morning donut. As soon as we get home from the store, we take our coats and shoes off.  Then before we can get our donuts we have to wash our hands.  Thankfully for me, that delays them long enough to get their donuts onto their plates.  

After donut time, I forced the kids into service.  They actually had to pick up their toys in the sunroom.  What a mean mommy I am! (wink, wink)   Pumpkin absolutely hates it when I vacuum.  Instead of trying to pick his toys up faster so the vacuum will not eat them, he is occupied with trying to stop me from vacuuming.  I vacuum under the dinner table, under both couches, the tv stand, and the lazy boy.  I am hoping that my back won't be angry at me later.

Next it was time for lunch.  Since it had only been an hour since donut time, I decided to try something different.  I told Pumpkin that today was fruit and vegetable lunch day.  I got a loud, "EWWWWW!  I don't want fruits or vegetables!"  So I allowed him to chose which ones he would eat.  Lunch choices included: apples, bananas, raspberries, strawberries, cutie oranges, celery, or romaine.  

Pumpkin decided that he wanted a green apple with peanut butter.  

Princess was excited about the choice and decided on strawberries.  She was even brave enough to try an orange slice.  Which of course squirted her in the eye, but thankfully she was not deterred and ate two orange slices.

I ended up having a bowl of strawberries, raspberries, and cutie orange slices.

The kids are off in their bedrooms now for quiet/ nap time.  I plan to work on some more cleaning and organizing.  I am really looking forward to supper time to try out the new recipe and I made sure to pick up a loaf of crusty bread just for the occasion. 

Monday, January 2, 2012

Three Days!

A three day weekend!  What fun!

Saturday ~ New Year's Eve ~
Great grandma took us grocery shopping!  Princess always rides in the cart and Pumpkin holds my hand as we wind our way through the grocery store.  Each Saturday if both kids have been relatively good, they each get to pick out one donut before we leave to take home for a snack.  Pumpkin likes to get the glazed cinnamon rolls and Princess like to get a star donut with chocolate icing and sprinkles.

We invited one of our good friends over for the evening.  We had Creamy Lemon-Chicken Pasta.  This dish is absolutely delightful!!!!  I have been making it a few times a month since I discovered it over the summer.  The chicken dish was complimented by chips, french bread and crescent rolls.  Of course the kids thought that the chips were the best part of the meal.   

We watched the movie Troy in the sun room and the kids watched Transformers cartoons in our bedroom. We made it until about 11:30  before hitting the sack.  But don't fear, we awoke at midnight to the sounds of the firework and loud booms from somewhere in the neighborhood.

Sunday ~ New Year's Day~
Oh the joys of sleeping in.  Even the kids slept in for a bit before everyone piled into our bed.  It is nice to have a family snuggle, but of course it never lasts too long. 

We ventured out for Sunday church service.  The kids love children's time.  This time Pastor took them around the sanctuary to look at different wooden cut-outs of the nativity scene.  They looked at Mary and Joseph with baby Jesus.  They also traveled to look at the wise men three on their way to see baby Jesus.  Pastor talked about the gifts that the wise men were bringing for the baby and then asked the children about the gifts that they received for Christmas.  It was a nice way to tie the scripture to our daily lives.

During quiet/nap time, I got the Christmas tree taken down and most of the decorations taken downstairs to be put away.  I'm sure that I'll be finding stragglers for the next few weeks or so.  Once everything has turned up, I'll take the decorations from their temporary box and put them away where they actually go.  

We chilled out the rest of the day.  We had a Veggie Tale marathon.  We colored on the easels.  I had the chance to wash several loads of laundry.  The kids actually stayed still long enough for me to take this wonderful picture!

Monday ~ Snowy Day
We are enjoying our last day home.  It has been snowing off and on all day long.  The snow has not had much of a chance to accumulate.  But I still though this picture from December 27th would fit in with the mood of the day.

We have a had a busy television-free day so far.  Pumpkin and Princess helped with a bit of cleaning this morning.  Of course it would take years for them to actually make a dent (wink, wink).  They do have good intentions.  They start picking something up, then get distracted by something else or by the other child.  I guess it is the thought that really matters.  A clean house is not what its cracked up to be anyway, at least ours looks well used.

We have made two loaves of chocolate chip banana bread, which just came out of the oven.  Pumpkin and Princess really enjoyed smashing the bananas, butter, egg, and brown sugar together.  It should be cooled just enough by the time they get up from quiet/nap time.

Princess has had a hard day so far, she has had two accidents thanks to her brother.  The first, Pumpkin spun her in the computer chair while she was standing on the chair.  Of course both her and the chair crashed to the ground.  Poor girl ended up with a bloody nose.  So after we got all cleaned up and all the tears were dried.  We talked about not spinning the chair and not standing on the chair.  

So, later Pumpkin whacked her with his bottom right off the couch and she landed with a thud onto her back.  Thankfully no blood this time, just a few tears.  Of course Pumpkin had a big smile on his face until he was told he had to tell his sister sorry.  Can't wait to see what happens when she gets big enough to stand up for herself. 

I'm sure that the adventures will continue after quiet/nap time.  I'm looking forward to supper.  I'm going to make sweet and sour chicken.  Of course with my allergies it will have to be made from scratch, but I have a good recipe.