Friday, November 25, 2011

Cooking Questions: Please Respond!

My pots and pans need replaced, but I am not sure what to replace them with?  I am very fond of the tephlon-type cookware because of the no-stick feature, but there are some who say that stainless steal is the only way to go.  Please share with me what you use and why.  Santa is listening.

Made a few purchases today on-line and received the doorbuster prices!  Wooo!

I know this one is short, but I think I need to get out and plant my flower bulbs while this beautiful day is still beautiful.  Rumor has it, winter is on its way.  Of course we just welcomed 80 some new calves to the farm who will need their temperatures taken around Tuesday when it's supposed to be 32 and snowing.  LOVELY!  At least I will have my brand new Carhartt bibs to keep 90 % of me warm.  Now if I could just figure out the feet part!

Happy shopping and Christmasing if that is what you do the day after Thanksgiving.  I believe our tree will be up this weekend too.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

Went in to help Tink's sub teacher with all the festivities of a Thanksgiving meal.  Her teacher had a little baby girl a few weeks ago, but she always loves to let the kids help put together a Pilgrim's feast.  I totally wanted to see this and help out Mrs. P with all the chaos of serving that many kids!

We, of course, brought corn!



They made their own placemats and were pretty good about trying everything on the menu.  What a great bunch of Pilgrims!

Now I'm quickly drinking my coffee because our littlest Pilgrim woke up with more energy that five turkeys being chased by a hungry farmer.  We are off to the BIG little town for Thanksgiving with Tall Guy's family.  Mine will be in Logansport, and I will miss them all, but we will see each other soon.

Thanksgiving is always a big day for me.  It's filled with a lot of memories of tradition, mostly created at The Farm with my Grandma Phyllis.  We always went up the night before, literally over the river and through the woods, and were baking and cooking fools right up to dinner time, but as a little girl I loved every minute of it.  Our special dish was the bread/oyster dressing.

Ironically, we lost Grandma the day after Thanksgiving eleven years ago, and as a woman of almost 50 year, it still makes me cry to think of her as being gone on this day.  I know she is always in my heart and on my shoulder, but sometimes I wish I could give her just one more hug and break up some bread with her over that big silver baking dish we still use for the dressing.

May you all have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day and be grateful for each and every person who sits at your table and fondly remember those who cannot be there.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Meet Mini Bear


Well SCORE ONE for Momma!

Little Bear LOVES her American Girl Doll!!!  She showed up a bit late to the party, but all is well now, and she hardly goes anywhere without her.

We gave her the doll Sunday before I had friends over for a FABULOUS Dove Chocolate party hosted my my friend Megan's sister Barbara.  Our mutal friend Miss Jane had been talking up how good this chocolate is, and it lived up to the hype!

 "SHE HAS EARRINGS!!!!!!"


Bear is letting her bangs grow out, so these two will grow to look more and more like each other.


The Second Outfit!  (Because a girl just cannot run around with only one set of clothes!)


P.S.  If you have never ordered one of these and are thinking about doing so, don't forget to order the hair brush that goes with the doll.  Ours is on its way.  Just sayin'  Apparently their special hair needs a special brush.  Who knew?



Anyhooo.....As all the guests arrived, Miss Bear greeted everyone by introducing them to her new doll.  I seriously felt kind of bad for Tink, being all AG doll-less and all.  Hers is stashed up in the closet waiting for her birthday on the 30th.  I tried to talk Tall Guy in to letting her have it early, but he said, "No."

DANG!

Sorry Tink!  I did try!

BTW, The sleepover went just dandy, and I would absolutely do it again!

I know everyone is out there starting to gear up for the Day of the Gobbler.  May your pie crusts be flaky and your guests not so much ;-)

gobble gobble!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I am a Question Box Today

Whew!  Survived round one of birthday madness, and now I have 13 days until the next go 'round......But not quite.

Bear is having her two Birthday buddies over for a sleep-over tomorrow night, and I need some help!

What do you do to entertain little girls on a sleep-over?

Now we are rural, and there is a grown-up movie playing in the little town's theater, BUT Bear did get the new Barbie Charm School DVD, so this is kind of on my evening plan.  McDonalds is a good 10-15 miles away, but we do have a few pizza places to pick from.  I told Bear to ask her friends if they like spaghetti.

There is also a quick trip option in to the hot tub.  We keep it at 98-99 (to protect Tall Guy's sensitive skin hee hee.  He can't stand it to be hot!), so I think that would be ok as long as they don't splash...

What do I do with Tink?  Let her join in or keep her otherwise occupied?  She is still at that stage where she doesn't think all of her sister's friends are dorks. ;-) 

I would LOVE to hear more ideas from my readers.  I may have to do this all again with Tink's friends in just a few days.

Here's another question:  Do you save wrapping paper?  Tissue paper?  I just refolded all the tissue paper because I literally wrap presents up in it, using no tape, and then put them in bags.  Bear knew which present was from my mom and dad because mom still wraps everything and puts bows on at the end.  I try to do that for Christmas, but birthdays usually get the quick wrap and stash. 

Ok,  Off to clean the upstairs.  FlyLady would not be very encouraged with my house right now, but I am trying to regain control.  If you don't hear from me again; however, you will know the Dust Bunnies won the battle and the war!

Toodles!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

HAPPY BIRTHDAY LITTLE BEAR! HAVE SOME PUPPY CHOW!

Today our littlest one turns the big SEVEN!  Want to read about her crazy entrance into this world?  Go to the Long Walks/Talks tab, scroll through the escaped cows story, and get ready for one wild and crazy baby delivery story!

We started the big celebration this past weekend with a three-way birthday party.  Three of the girls in her class have birthdays within two weeks of each other, so this year we three moms decided to combine the fun and take the class bowling!

Love her facial expressions!


 Getting a few tips from Daddy

and Miss Julie

She hasn't rode on her daddy's foot in a long time!  Might be the last time according to Daddy!

But how can he resist that smile????


The whole crew


 The birthday divas girls

One kind of fun thing we did is ask all the guests to bring books for the girls.
 

At the end of the evening, each girl picked three books to take home, and the rest went back to their school as a donation.   I feel so much better about this kind of gift-giving, and the kids were excited too!





Our wonderful little town has a six lane bowling alley that is perfect for such gatherings.  We all made some goodies and decided to buy pizza for the main course.  I made Puppy Chow!  Here's the recipe!

Always have more ingredients on hand if you make too far in advance.  This stuff tends to "disappear," and everyone blames good ol' "Not Me!"

Puppy Chow

Ingredients:
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
9 cups Crispix cereal (any flavor)
3 cups powdered sugar
Instructions:
1. Combine peanut butter, butter and chocolate chips in a microwave safe bowl.
2. Microwave for one minute then stir to blend all ingredients thoroughly. Add 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Stir well.
* Obviously I went the old-fashioned way with this batch and cooked it all on the stove, med-low heat!
3. Place the 9 cups of Crispix cereal in a very large bowl.
4. Pour the peanut butter-chocolate mixture over the cereal and toss evenly, making sure all the cereal gets a good covering.
5. Place the powdered sugar in a large zip-lock type plastic bag.
6. Add the peanut butter-chocolate cereal mixture to the bag, leaving enough room for the puppy chow to be shaken (you may have to divide the mixture into smaller batches, coating one batch at a time).
7. Shake the bag vigorously to evenly coat each piece of the puppy chow with powdered sugar.
8. Once the mixture is fully coated, place in a large serving bowl.
9. Coat any additional pieces by shaking the mixture in the powdered sugar filled bag.  Add powdered sugar to the bag as needed until all the mixture is coated.







That is a TWO GALLON BAG of PUPPY CHOW! (which is the recipe times three!)


HAPPY BIRTHDAY MISS BEAR!  HERE'S TO SO MANY MORE FOR US TO SHARE!
(Yes Tink, Yours is next!)

P.S.  Due to a snafu that I will tell you about later, the AG will not be here for the celebration.  Sigh..... She will be here next week.  UGH!  I'm trying to not let it bother me any more!  Breathe in... Breathe out...Breathe in... Breathe out......hmmmmm..... still need to repeat several more times!


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Maximus

Dang!  That's a big name for such a little guy, but his mommy and daddy want to give him a name he can grow into.  His middle name is Alexander, and he is my great-nephew!

Here's a picture of his mommy and me a few years ago:




Then she grew up a bit:



And now she is a Mommy!




BONUS:  We were able to see Josh Sunday!





The girls LOVE their new little cousin.  Welcome to the family Little Max!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

NewsFlashes then Hunk of Meat Monday: Pork Chops 101

First of all, Welcome to the World my dear little great nephew!  Born Saturday night while his great-aunt was throwing a Birthday Bowling Bash in the little town!  The girls and I met him on Sunday morning right after church!  Here's a sneak peek!

More to come!

Second, it's time to keep our Leontine at the front of our prayer list and hearts as she starts another round of treatments this week.  This cure is a tough procedure, but our friend is one tough lady who is only strengthened more by our good thoughts and prayers.  Thank you for keeping her in yours.

Now on to Pork Chops 101.....

How many of you love pork chops?

I do too! ( Yes, I know we raise beef, but variety IS the spice of life!)

Do you order them out?

How much is a GOOD pork chop meal running these days?

What if I told you I can feed my family EIGHT meals of pork chops for $21.96?  That's a total of 24 chops, about 3/4 to an inch thick!

Want to try it?  It's super easy I promise!

First you check the local papers to see who has pork loin on sale.  I went to Sam's because that is where I was, and I found this lovely piece of meat!


Now I just scooped it up and brought it home to cut myself, BUT you can ask the butcher to cut the loin for you at the store if you do not particularly like to handle raw meat.  I'm not so squeamish about it, so on we go.

Next, I cut the loin in half so it is easier to work with.  I also removed all other food from the cutting area after spying them through my lens!  OOPS!


The rest is easy.  Just cut the loin into the desired thickness you and your family like, package what you will not use, and cook the rest!  LOVE cutting meat on this Pampered Chef cutting board so that the juices do not run on to the surface of the cabinet!






Seven packages went off to the freezer, and I grilled the three remaining chops for supper.  Poof!  Meals on a dime!  Can't beat that!  Enjoy!


Hunk of Meat Mondays

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What I Am Thankful For Today: Our Veterans and My Nephew Being State-side This Veterans' Day

Today I am off to a meeting in the Big little town (Indy) to see my Real Farmwives of America & Friends.  I really need a girls day to catch up with everyone after harvest and have some fun face time with a group of great ladies....

BUT.....I am missing the Veterans' Day ceremonies at our school.  It's the first time!  And of course, Bear is marching in with the flag.

Sigh...... I think Tall Guy is going to go, and maybe, just maybe I can con him into taking the camera with him.  Danged ol' Mommy Guilt!

But, on this Veterans' Day, in addition to always being thankful and grateful for those who have served and are serving our country, and those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom, I am especially thankful that my nephew Josh is safely in the good ol' USA to observe this day.  He has severed one tour in Iraq and one in Afghanistan.  This year he is at Fort Campbell, KY with his men.  He just posted, however, that he and his men had to welcome home a fallen soldier this week, and that loss just brings home to us that every day is a challenge for those overseas.

I will share with you some pictures from ceremonies at our school from previous years.  Thank you Grandpa Todd, Uncle Floyd, Uncle Howard, Uncle Warren, Uncle Dick, Josh, Joe, and all those who have worn or do wear a uniform to serve and protect this fine country of ours.

 The Cool Dude in the sun glasses is my nephew Josh!  Yes Ladies, I believe by all reports he is single!









Happy Veterans Day to all those who serve!  We honor and cherish each one of you and thank you for answering the call to duty.