Monday, May 31, 2010

Memorial Weekend Post and Veggies, too

This has been an amazingly busy weekend. We have worked our little fingers to the bones and have sore muscles where I didn't think muscles even belonged.

There will be many pics of our accomplishments in tomorrow's post, but for today I just wanted to touch base and let you all know that we are, in fact, still alive and kicking.

And, last but certainly not least, I want to give a huge thanks to all of our past, present and fallen military members. That you are willing to give your life so that my family and I can be free and safe is more than I have any right to ask. You are amazing and we appreciate you so much. God bless you all.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Pure torture

I went to get my mail today.

My camera was in it.

The mail lady was not there.

I know my camera is at the post office, I got the notice in my mailbox.

And I also know it has to sit there until Tuesday.

I am in mourning.

All those lost photo opportunities.

All those memories.

Gone.

Gone Forever.

Or they have to be taken with my old camera.

That's OK I guess.

It'll do.

Until next week.

Friday, May 28, 2010

D-I-V-O-R-C-E

I'm about to divorce May. Enough is enough. I am still heating my house and there are three days until June. This is ridiculous. Not a sun in the sky, not a 60 degree day in sight.

Frankly I am sick of it. I have plans, May, and you are ruining them.

My garden is non existent because of you and your constant rain showers. My lawn is too tall and overgrown from the rain. I can't mow it because IT KEEPS RAINING.

May, you are ruining my life, my tan and my attitude. You have three days to change your ways. I'm warning you, this can't keep going on. I have a life to live and you are hindering my ability to do so.

Also, if you wouldn't mind, please remember that no one was happy with you this year and do not make this a repeat next year.

Shape up or ship out.

I'm serious.




Look at what you're doing to the children, May. Are you happy with yourself? I hope so.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Invasion of the Cheeks

I'm writing this from naked baby central. Apparently they have mutually decided that diapers, and pants for that matter, are optional.

So, now in addition to my regular day, I spend a lot of my time chasing squealing, running children down to re-diaper them.

I can see this getting old fast. It's also quite like potty training a puppy. Accidents everywhere.

Puddles. Puddles to slip in. I will not be elaborating on that, I'll let you use your imaginations.

So, now my life is like living in the Ray Stevens song "The Streak"

And so for your viewing pleasure, I give you this:

 Enjoy this Video!


Welcome to my world people, welcome to my world.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Here a Chick, There a Chick, Everywhere a Chick Chick






My little chickens are growing by leaps and bounds. Do chickens leap and bound? I'm not sure. I have seen them run and hop, but never leap or bound. We had a chicken once that would climb way up into our tree and glide down to the barn to the hayloft. But that was a long time ago. Many, many moons ago.

ANYway, remember my little chicks?

Well, this is them now:




They have big chicken feathers now. And have changed colors.
Where has the time gone? It seemed like only yesterday they were little fluff balls peep-peeping around. Now they chirp-chirp around and have gotten giant.


Why do babies have to get bigger?

They should stay little forever.

And snuggle.

With me.







Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Strawberries!


We went to town and bought our plants for the garden on Sunday. As we were shopping along we found these little beauties. Lovely, lovely strawberries. Also, that is our hound dog, Dottie in the background. Ignore her, she's eating one of our children's shoes. It's her hobby.

Back to the berries. We had some last year and they didn't do very well, so when we found these and they looked so healthy, I bought them. All of them. 10 of them. I am going back for more.



They were just so green. I am dying for green things this year. Other than grass that is too tall that can't get mowed because of the rain. But, that is besides the point.



They even had little berries! Bonus!

I can go to bed now and dream of strawberry jam, strawberry jelly, strawberry lemonade, strawberry shortcake, strawberry margaritas, and daiquiris, and lava flows and strawberry salsa...... I might not sleep thinking about it all.......


Monday, May 24, 2010

Chewy Granola Bars



I was cruisin' around the net looking for new recipes and stumbled upon this recipe for chewy granola bars.

So I made them.

And took pictures.

Lucky for you.




These were my ingredients.

I mixed up all the dry stuff first:



I was making white chocolate, almond and cranberry ones. Yummmmm!

Next I mixed up all the wet stuff:



Then I dumped the wet onto the dry until it looked like this:



I was actually sceptical that this was going to stick together in the pan. But, I went with it and kept on.

I poured it all out into a greased 9"x13" pan.



Look at that fancy camera work!

Next i spread it all out:



and popped it into the oven to do its time.

It looked like this when it came out,



and this when I cut them:



These were delicious. I have to say though that I changed 3 things. 1) I did not add the additional 1/3 cup sugar, and they were plenty sweet. 2) I didn't have the sticky bun sugar so I used their suggested substitution and it worked out just fine. 3) Greasing the pan is not enough. You should probably line the pan with tin foil or parchment and leave the ends sticking out to act as a "sling" to help you get them out of the pan.

Kids, adults and dogs alike will love these. make them, they are worth it!


Sunday, May 23, 2010

I Get A Gold Star

 
Today we went to town and bought these:



And not just these, but a bunch of petunias too. I forgot to take a picture of them. Please forgive me.

The girls and I took the flowers and planted them is baskets for the deck and porch.




We made this one.

 Please don't mind the tag from the walmarts. Or the fact that you can't see the actual flowers for the dirt. I have little helpers who apply dirt like fairy dust. It makes everyone happy.




And we made this one. Oh, and does anyone want to come and paint a fence? I ran out of energy two years ago and never finished it.



We made this one too.

And then we made these:

Three baskets.
And a nice picture of my neighbors truck. And garbage trailer. remember when I wrote this? That would be where they keep all their nastiness.

You would have thought I would've shut the screen door before I took the pick, but nooooo, that would have been to easy.

To normal.

To predictable. That's me baby, all about the unpredictable.

Um, yeah.

They Grow Up So Fast

Today we will be putting our chicks in the big chicken house with the older hens and not just in my garage. They have grown a lot since their last picture, and hopefully today I will find some time to get an updated one on here.

We are also getting some plants for the garden today and I'll try to get pics of that as well.

Also, we should just about finish the deck project today and, you guessed it, I'll try to post pics.

Sorry this isn't very interesting, things are all needing to get done at once and sometimes that means my hobby has to take a back seat.

Pictures soon, better posts soon. Promise!

Friday, May 21, 2010

Disaster! Plague! Horror!

The last light bulb in my kitchen just went out. Summer better get here soon so I can see to cook. Guess this means we eat take out from now on. Yeah, probably not. Crap.

Lainee-ism



Yesterday Lainee  was having a casual conversation with her dad about "the blue lines ALL over my body". It was a great little lecture he started to give her, about how your heart pumps blood to all the parts of your body and that makes your fingers, toes and limbs move

She looked at him and said' "Daddy, did you know that when someone shoots you all you blood pours out? Did you know when your heart stops beating YOU ARE DEAD? Did you know that would happen??????"

I'm a little concerned that she is so interested in what will kill people.

I should probably sleep with one eye open:)



I mean, she doesn't look like a deranged lamb or anything......we're all probably safe. Right?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Procrastination


It is my weakness. I am sitting here, right now, blogging so that I don't have to start cleaning my house. The house that is so dirty because I have been doing anything but cleaning it for a couple days now. Oh, the excuses are easy, "The kids have been a handful." or "I got wrapped up in other things and time got away from me." and my personal favorite, "I just didn't have it in me today.".

I gotta stop this stinkin' thinkin'. I know it has a lot to do with wanting to be outside and doing some projects in the garden. but it also has to do with being lazy. I know it. I'll admit it, I'm not ashamed. Hello, my name is Charley and I am lazy.

But today my friends, while I put off my chores some more, I want to introduce you to that little guy at the top of the page. That's Norman, my garden gnome. He sits at the entrance to my garden and keeps an eye on it for me when I'm not around. Until one of the kids picks him up and carts him off. In that case, I find him all over the place.

So, now that you have met Norman, let me ask you: What item from your garden are you most anxious to start sampling? Corn? Tomatoes? New peas? Spring onions? Lettuces? I personally can't wait for the radishes, spicy and delicious dipped in a little salt. How many of you are going to garden this year? Are you gardening in a dedicated spot or incorporating it into the landscape (you have to water it anyway, it might as well feed you, right?) ?

Drop me a line in the comments and let me know what your garden plans are for this year!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Place for The Kids

This probably won't excite some of you, but anyone with small kids will enjoy this site. It's a great place with a lot of hands on activities for the younger set. Most of the time there is no special craft requirements, she just uses items from around the house. So please go to No Time For Flashcards and be amazed at all the exciting things she has for all the kiddies. Also take a look at naptime crafts if you have older kids, they are easy and fun to do.

And now for the kids at heart here is a great place for you CW. There are some of the most amazingly horrible bakery cakes you have ever seen. Some of them are so obviously done by someone who hates their job you almost cringe.

So go forth and explore some of my favorite places. In the comments leave me your favorite blogs, I'm always looking for new ones....

Monday, May 17, 2010

Feedin Time at the Zoo!!!

*WARNING*

Some of the following images are disgusting!

First up:


That is just horrible. Gross. Disgusting. Some peoples kids, don't they teach them any manners?

And then there is this:



Someone should get that kid a napkin.



But they DO look so happy. Even if they are animals.



Dirty, grubby and sticky with filth. But Ooh so happy. That's the most important part.






Saturday, May 15, 2010

KayCee-ism



IMG_0249 
Isn’t she pretty? And so thoughtful too. Insightful even.
It must be many hours of this kind of deep thinking that makes her come up with things like this:
“Mom?”
“Yes?”
“My throat is so swollen. It’s so swollen that I think it’s touching my uterus. It hurts really bad. I think I need some medicine.”
“You should go tell your dad that, and then I think we should go to the ER.”
You know it’s bad when it’s THAT swollen!!!
IMG_0283 
I’m happy to report that she is on the mend and things have gone back to their normal places.

Kahlua Cake


IMG_0333

Doesn’t this look delicious? It should because it is!! This is what I made Kevin for his birthday cake and I took some pictures so I could share with you.
Two things I want to point out: 1) I cook a lot, so please do not judge my utensils by looks alone. They have earned their scars and various stains. 2) I took these in a kitchen that only has one light bulb right now. It’s a long story about that, but let’s just say I am sick of buying bulbs at $8.00 a pop.
This cake has a lot of steps, and I don’t want that to turn you off of it. Most of them can be done in advance and it really is easy.
You need to get a chocolate cake. Make it from scratch, make it from a mix, buy a cake from the lady next door. It doesn’t matter as long as it’s chocolate and baked in a 9x13 pan.
IMG_0324
Now, go make a box of cook and serve vanilla pudding. It has to cool all the way, so making it the night before is probably a good idea.
Mmmmmmm, pudding.
Make some simple syrup. People, this is simple. Just mix 1 cup of sugar and 1/2 cup of water in a saucepan and heat on low/medium until the sugar is completely dissolved.
IMG_0328
Pour a small bottle of kahlua into the simple syrup. You probably won’t use the whole cup of syrup, but I can think of other uses for it. Brownies anyone?
Ok, now we get to make the best part, the ALMONDS!!!! I do not recommend doing this until the day you are going to use them. They get soggy. I’m sorry for that, but it is what it is.
IMG_0319
First you crack 3 eggs and separate the whites into a bowl with 1/2 cup powdered sugar.
IMG_0321
Whip those babies on high until they are stiff but not dry.
Now, add 2 cups of slivered almonds and stir them gently. It’s going to look like way too much meringue for that amount of almonds, but I promise it will be fine.
IMG_0322
Next, spread them out on a lightly sprayed cookie sheet, like so,
and bake at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes, stirring after the first 10 minutes and about every 5 min after. They will get all clumpy like this:
IMG_0323

and that is good. Keep stirring them until they are golden brown and delicious (or GBD for all you AB fans). Now we get to put it all together.
Cut your cake in half. It isn’t scary and you can do it, use a long serrated bread knife and gentle back and forth sawing motions and you will be fine. And if you aren’t, it’s ok. Just stick it back together as you ice it.
Put the bottom layer on something, I used an upside down cookie sheet. If you are taking it somewhere nice, cut a piece of cardboard about 11" x 15” and cover it in tinfoil. Now that you have the bottom layer down and you are going to take some of that kahlua-simple syrup mixture and drizzle it on the cake. Liberally. I also do the top on the cut side. Don’t make it so wet that it’s soggy, but you want every bite to have that flavor. I use a teaspoon and drizzle away. Next we are going to smear on some hot fudge for ice cream, but don’t heat it up. I guess that would make it cold hot fudge. Does that even make sense? I hope so.
After the hot fudge you are gonna slather on that pudding. You remember the pudding right? It should be in the fridge. it will look something like this:
IMG_0330

I apologize for the bottom of my cookie sheet. It has seen better days. Slap on the top layer and whip up a pint of whipped cream with about a 1/3 cup powdered sugar. DO NOT USE COOL WHIP. It won’t taste the same. Frost your cake with the whipped cream and liberally apply the almonds. Everywhere. The top, the sides, anywhere an almond will stick. Put a little (cold) hot fudge into a zip top bag and snip off the corner. drizzle it on your cake in any design that you like. It’s your cake after all and it all tastes the same!!
You will end up with a cake that looks like this:
IMG_0333

And it will taste like heaven! Go forth and bake. You will not be disappointed.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Birthday!!

To my hubby, Kevin. I won't tell you how old he is, but I will say that he is having his last birthday of his 30's. And so today I will be liberally applying booze to his cake, whipping up a gallon of cream to ice it with and slathering it down with hot fudge. Sounds good, no? YES!! And lucky for y'all I'll be taking pictures of the whole process. There will also be the birthday dinner to prepare (he has requested fish tacos) and kids to wrangle all day. Busy, busy so I better get to it!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I can make that!!

I am sitting here in my fairly clean house with no dishes or laundry to do (it's a miracle!) trying to decide what to do with my free time. It's pouring outside, so that isn't an option. I have my garden planned out so I can't do that. The kids are playing house upstairs and booted me out. So, what choice do I have left? COOKING! Or, in this case baking. I was cruisin' around the ole 'net and found a recipe for chewy granola bars that look easy. I'm going to try them out today and see how that goes. If I can get these to turn out right it'll be one more thing to add to the ever growing list of items I don't buy at the store anymore. I've also recently seen a recipe for homemade velveeta. This I have to try. I mean, VELVEETA? At home? Too interesting to pass up. So those are my big plans today, made possible by my family. They cleaned my house so well yesterday that I have free time today. Best Mothers Day gift they could have given me. I hope everyone had a lovely day yesterday! Off to the kitchen now for me.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Happy, Happy, Joy, Joy

Happy Mothers Day!! Yes, I know it's tomorrow, but my kids have plans for me so I wanted to make sure I got this posted. We are going to be busy tomorrow, but I don't know with what. It's a suprise hatched up between my husband and oldest two girls. Really, it could be anything. I wouldn't be suprised if we were going to collect bugs or wash the car. But, whatever it is, I will love it because they picked it out for me. Or I will pretend to really love it, if ya know what I mean. I have heard rumbling of something to do with the coast though, so we'll just have to wait and see. Have a Happy Mothers Day moms, you deserve it!!

Friday, May 7, 2010

It's just the begining

Birthdays. We have a lot of them. So many that we have dubbed May the begining of "Birthday Season". It all starts with my husband, then the twins, then me, followed closely by KayCee, Randie and dad. After that we have mom and lastly Lainee. There are also several holidays and a couple anniversaries thrown in there. That's a lot of cake. Sometimes we get sick of cake so someone will want a pie or something. Or (and you know who you are) someone buys a store bought cake just so they can eat the whole thing by themselves because no one else can eat that wierd crisco icing. I thought it would be fun to show you all of the cakes I make this year for birthday season, and the ones I don't make too. Starting next week I'm going to post a cake/pie/sweet idea for you to enjoy. They will be very easy to make, and I might just include ideas for alternative birthday cakes too, (cheesecake anyone?), just for the heck of it!!! I going to make this a regular feature, so keep your eyes peeled. Enjoy your Friday!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

How does my garden grow?

First we had to mow. And what a job that was, we had to break out the tractor to mow this jungle!


Then, after the mowing came the plowing. We had to plow and plow and plow to break up  all the tons and tons of grass roots.



Then we started to till. We had to till for more than an hour just to make it look like dirt. We are letting it sit a couple days to let it dry out and then we will till more and more. But, when we got done it looked like this:



And here's the big suprise, we found these in the garden.



PYGMIES!!!!!!
They must have been hiding in the tall grass.....

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Floral Findings



Apple Blossoms, my favorite.



Pretty.



AHHHHHH!!!!! How did that get in here? Oh, well, it's another one of my favorite things. Baby buttcrack, soooo cute.

The garden is coming along very nicely. We tilled and plowed and worked and worked. Pictures coming soon!


Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Rhyme Time!



Charley Had Some Little Lambs




Little Lambs, Little Lambs




               Charley Had Some Little Lambs    
 



Who's Fleece Was White As Snow.
                                        

Monday, May 3, 2010

Dirt!

Yesterday our overgrown, weedy, tangle of a garden was tamed. First we mowed down the grass, then we plowed then tilled. There is still a lot of work to be done, but at least it doesn't look like a jungle anymore. We would have weed eated too, but there seemed to be something wrong with the weed eater. My guess? It got left in the rain and now it's toast. Moving on though, I just want you all to know that I took a lot of pictures of the whole process yesterday, and I will post them soon. Like this week. Because I get my computer today, not that I'm excited about that or anything. I hope you all had a marvelous weekend and keep checking back, there's good things headed your way!!!

Saturday, May 1, 2010

A whole new chapter

We are about to embark on a whole new chapter of our lives. A totallt tv free existance. I'm half excited and half scared at what I'll have to use to bribe my kids to do their chores. It is very exciting to think of how much time I'll have to do other things, more productive things. It will be different but well worth it. It sounds so silly to talk about ditching the telly, but it has been such a big part of our lives for so long. It's kind of like saying goodbye to a beloved family member. A very lazy, time sucking family member. But that's what we've decided and we're going to stick with it, by golly. Tomorrow is going to be busy and I am looking forward to spending some time outside. Have a good weekend everyone!