Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Thing That Did Go Right This Week

This week seemed to have lots of "Those Days". You know the ones I mean. The ones that make a mom wonder why she's even bothered getting out of bed at all. My friend Steph blogged about her battles with The Grump while her Hubby was in Mexico on a Missions trip. I read her post and could totally relate. My week wasn't all that bad, but Wednesday and Thursday I was doing hand to hand combat with The Grump. Mr. Man has been diligently working on the roof all week, plus the 2 days he took off that project to go to school for meetings. Bean is quite fond of asking "Where Daddy?" and by Thursday she was answering herself "On da roof!" However she was quite unhappy about the fact that Daddy was home, but unable to be with her.

Wednesday I answered the queries of "What's for dinner?" with pork chops, only to have the Boy go into a full fledged meltdown. He was super tired and he wanted Special Pasta for dinner. Since I was already at the grocery store to get pork chops, I grabbed a can of olives so that I could change my mind and make special pasta ;-). After considering how long it takes to get the grill up and running along with Daddy's need to be back on the roof working after a break to help me take the kids to the spray park, I decided Special Pasta was the way to go. After I got dinner all together I was met by the compliment from Mr. Man, that the pasta was the best he's ever eaten. He couldn't have made it better (it's his signature dish).

Special Pasta (Greek Pasta)

1 1/2 pound penne pasta (or similar shape)
1 large can of black olives sliced
4-7 Peppercinis (to taste. you control the heat here)
4 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 to 3/4 C olive oil (enough to coat the pan 1/4" thick)
4 oz crumbled feta cheese
1 roasted red pepper chopped (optional)

1. Bring a pot of water to boil. Cook pasta as directed on the package.
2. Chop peppercincs, garlic, and olives (and roasted pepper if using). Pour olive oil in a saute pan and add everything but Feta cheese. Saute while the pasta is cooking.
3. Drain pasta. Put it in the serving bowl, top with sauce and feta cheese. Toss to combine and enjoy.

We all love this recipe. The kids, especially the Boy, and even Bug who is a picky eater. It was inspired by Mr. Man's desire to re-create some of the dishes he ate on a trip to Italy & Greece.

Thursday, I did battle with The Grump again, but I was more successful and won. Bug on the other hand did her battle with the grump. But she's only 5 and was extremely tired. Miraculously, I stayed calm and did not lose my patience as I often do when she is feeling grumpy. She had several ffull fledged meltdowns during the day and each time I was able to remain calm and not respond in like. By the time evening came, I earned an evening off after such a long week and it was greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Recycling Ziploc type bags

It's Tuesday, which means it is "Kitchen Tip Tuesday" at Tammy's Recipes!

My kitchen tip for today is probably a familiar one for those of you who have been re-using Ziploc type bags. I was washing up a few bags the other day. I was trying to think of an easier way to get the insides dry as it usually takes a while. Then it hit me. If I turned them inside out they would dry quicker. So I did just that and then stuck the dryer inside over a spatula I already had in the dish drainer and it had plenty of air circulation to dry in the same time as my other dishes.

Of course, the funniest part about this post is: When I was a kid, I despised the fact that my mother was too "cheap" to just buy new bags. Don't you know, now I do the same thing. Of course I don't re-use bags that have had raw meat in them like she does, but anything else in a bag and I'll wash it and re-use.

Monday, June 22, 2009

A Trip to Grammie Cheryl's

It's been a long weekend for us. We left Thursday for a visit with my in-law's. They live 2 hours away. We started off our trip with a short stop at my mom's to pick up Bug and Bear who went for an overnight visit. They had lots of fun with Auntie Kristin & Auntie Kayla. They got to make cookies,

Bear rolling out the sugar cookie dough.

Bug rolling out her dough.

They played "Dress up" with all of Auntie Kristin's neat stuff.

They also planted beans in the garden. I wonder if this will mean they'll be more willing to try them in the fall since they had a part in planting them.



After we had picked up the girls and loaded them all into the car we were off on the remainder of our trip to the in-law's.

We had a wonderful visit with Grammie Cheryl, Pappy Dick, and cousin Nessa. We had planned lots of outside play and even a possible fishing trip on Pappy's boat. Unfortunately, the weather was not to cooperate and we had a rainy weekend. We did have lots of fun playing in the house, watching movies, and getting our hair cut~ Thank You Grammie!!

Friday, June 12, 2009


It's been a busy week here. Monday we started re-shingling the roof on our house. My dad and mom were over. Dad to help Hubby, and Mom to help me :-D Progress was good for the first day, then Tuesday we (okay Dad and Hubby) ran into some trouble. Our roof had 4 layers of asphalt shingles, PLUS the cedar shakes from the last time it had been done. It's interesting what you find in 100+ yr old houses, isn't it. Wednesday had the previous day's section shingled. Now we're waiting to do the leaky part until Dad gets back from his missions trip to Mexico.

The boy went home with Grammy & Papa Wednesday to stay for a few nights. It's his first time away from home with out any of his sisters. I don't think he misses us too much from what Grammy says. I'm missing him a lot and so is everyone else. We're looking forward to his return tomorrow. Bean talked to him on the phone and said "I miss You Boy." I know he's having a blast on the farm. He's helping Papa build a chicken coop, and playing with Harrison the rooster (who is more like a pet dog than a farm animal). I can't wait for Auntie Kristin to post pictures. While he's gone, I've been busy getting ready for Bean's birthday. She is 2 today. We're having the family party tomorrow. Boy have I been cooking like crazy today. I even put the Bear and Bug to work while Bean was napping. I also let all the girls help me make rolls. Our menu for the party is:

Hot dogs and Hamburgers with Homemade Buns
Broccoli Salad(my mom & gram's recipe)
Grandma Eva's Baked Beans (Hubby's Gram)
Jello Salad (my gram's recipe)
Veggie Tray
Cake & Ice Cream

Everything is prepped except the veggie tray and the cake. I still need to cook that. I take the easy way out though with decorating. I bought a Blue's Clues cake topper set from the grocery store. Nice professional toppers for much less than the store bought cake. I love looking at my menu and seeing the "scrapbook" of recipes and our family's special dishes in it. It's like we have all of the members with us even though some of them have passed. Usually my parties are a group effort. This time I'm proud to say I've done almost all of it by myself. Grandma Wilda is bringing the Jello Salad, and that is the only dish I did not prepare. I'm quite proud of myself.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Random Bits & Pieces

I was visiting and Erin has a wonderful giveaway going on. Pace Picante Giveaway for 5 flavors of Pace Picante Sauce.

Please be praying for my friends Mark, Stephanie and their little boy Ishmael. They are faced with some heartwrenching decisions regarding Ish's health. Thier story is at Ishmael's Story

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Ends and Beginnings

I love this time of year. When school is winding down and summer stretches out full of unplanned days, endless possibilities, sunshine and flowers. Mr. Man came home from work today in a great mood. Tomorrow is the last day of school. He is very excited to have a break and all the paperwork behind him. The children and I are quite excited too. Knowing that Daddy will be home all summer for us to play with and enjoy. We are all looking forward to the special time we get together as a family and the beginning of many happy memories. Bug is a bit sad though because it is the last day of kindergarten. She will miss her teacher and all the friends she has made this year. She is looking forward to visits with her Grandparents though. This year will be the first year that she and Bear get some one-on-one time with Grammie & Papa. She and Bear will have lots of fun with Harrison the Rooster and the hens, Molly and ANnie the dogs, and of course Auntie Kayla, Auntie Kristin, and Uncle Jim. I'm looking forward to sending them off on thier adventure with GRammie and hearing about all the new memories they make.

I am looking forward to the beginning of summer's warmth. I love waking in the morning to the sun streaming in my windows and hearing the birds chirping and singing their morning songs. The little ones all wake happier with the sunshine and we all get to have fun and make new memories together.