Thursday, May 29, 2008

CrockPot experiment

After seeing the blog about the one year of using the crock pot, I got inspired. Maybe I should try something new. My great idea? Bread! Whole wheat bread, at that.

First, I looked at the recipe and dumped all the stuff into the crock pot. Then I continued reading the recipe and realized I was suppose to do the mixing in a bowl and put the dough into a bread pan and put the bread pan in the crock pot. Huh? OK, so I emptied the crock pot into a bowl, finished mixing it, cleaned out the crock pot, greased a bread pan, put the dough into the pan and carefully placed the pan inside the crock pot. I was amused and curious.

Here is the bread in the crock pot.

Two and a half hours later, my timer went off and I opened the crock pot. I was amused and horrified at what I saw.

It didn't bake all the way through, as you can easily see from the sink hole that formed in the bread. I'll stick it in a normal oven and see if I can't get it to bake the rest of the way. The bread overflowed into the crock pot and now I've got to clean it again.

Oh well, it was worth a try. Am I discouraged from using the crock pot in unusual ways? Not at all. Next time I try a new crock pot recipe, it will be apple honey oatmeal for breakfast. The problem I'm seeing though, is it is suppose to cook for five hours. That means to have breakfast by 7 a.m., the crock pot needs to be started at 2 in the morning. Maybe 10 hours on low is the same as 5 on high? I'll let you know when I make the oatmeal. Until then, we'll eat our um... bread.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Use your CrockPot

Check out this website:

This lady is using her CrockPot every day this year. She has some fun looking recipes - breakfasts, dinners, desserts, soups, and more!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

new do and bird update

Today I got a hair cut. The first hair cut in I think two years. I've trimmed it once in a while, but it was long, long, long and heavy. It was always tangled and I kept it in a bun or braided down the back to keep it out of my way. Today, I had had enough. I donated 10 inches to Locks of Love! I'm so happy about that. I hope it can be used for someone. My hair now rest on my shoulders. It looks better and it feels light and looks good again. I'm excited about my new do.

So, I took off over 10 inches of hair and then I was thinking it is time to start taking inches off my body. To bad taking inches off my body isn't as easy as a haircut.

Our attack bird has nothing to protect anymore. The three baby birds have flown the nest. The mockingbird is still hanging out in the tree, but it is not there quite as much and do not attack quite as often, although it swooped at my head today when I was taking out the trash. I'm glad that those birds are grown and gone. I was getting really sick of the attack mockingbird.

Well, off to fix dinner...

Nice weekend

We had a very nice weekend here. It was a special one. Hubby's mother came to spend 9 days with us and it was a nice visit. Then on Friday was my son's 8th birthday. He had a fun day and for dinner we had BBQ steak and ribs. For the last two years he has had a cheesecake instead of a cake. We all like this better. This year was a white chocolate cheesecake with white chocolate sauce. Mmmmmm!

On Saturday, my parents and grandmother came from Texas. That evening was my son's baptism! It was such a nice event. My father gave a talk, my mother gave a prayer and my m-i-l played the piano. I conducted music, Hubby baptised and confirmed our son and our entire family sang a song for a musical number. After the baptism, we went to Red Robin for dinner and some tasty hamburgers.

On Sunday, Peanut was blessed during Sacrament Meeting. Her blessing was given by Hubby and it was very, very nice. Such a sweet baby girl and a blessing to match. My m-i-l left right after church. My family left yesterday morning to head back to Texas.

It was a whirlwind weekend of family and special events. Such a great weekend, but I'm glad it's all done now. I'm happy to start getting us back into a routine. Three weeks until school is out. My boys are so excited! Little do they know what I've got planned for them this summer...

Monday, May 19, 2008

See the attack bird

Beware of this bird:

Don't mess with it's nest or go anywhere in a hundred yard radius, you will be attacked. This evening, as we were headed out, my two brave sons, armed with sticks, stood in the yard and protected me and Peanut as we made our way to the SUV. My heroes!

When Mockingbirds Attack!

Our not-so-friendly mockingbird is still attacking and with more agression than ever. It has actually hit my hubby in the back several times and it got my mother-in-law on the head. Of course, she was trying to look in the nest at the time. I do what I can to avoid the nest, but the bird still comes after me. Now there are two of them watching over the nest and attacking. I've started carrying a broom when I go outside. It still flies at me, but a swing of the broom forces the bird to quickly change it's course or be smacked. I found that just holding the broom in the air usually keeps it from coming at me at all, but not always. I can't wait for those baby birds to grow up!

I took a picture of our bird, but I can't find the camera at the moment, maybe later I'll post a mug shot of the attack bird.

What else? My mother-in-law is in town for 9 days. It is a pleasent visit. Tomorrow we'll go to the Botanical Gardens.

My seven year old will be seven for only a few more days. His 8th birthday is on Friday and we are all very excited. I haven't shopped for him at all yet. I really couldn't think of anything to get him. When he plays, he plays with a toy sword and jumps on the trampoline. He wants a watch. Since we've been learning about time here at homeschool, getting him a watch will be fun. Speaking of this kiddo, about a week and a half ago, he lost a tooth. This morning he told me the tooth fairy still hasn't come. (OOOPS!) What kind of a mother, I mean, a tooth fairy am I? I was so good about my oldest when he lost his teeth. I haven't done very well with the second kid. What is it going to be like when Peanut looses her teeth? I think tooth fairy might just have to write her a check for all the teeth she will loose in her lifetime and put the check under the pillow. Then the tooth fairy won't have to feel bad about falling behind again.

This Saturday is my son's baptism. We are excited for this special time in his life. On Sunday, we'll bless Peanut. My parents and grandmother are coming in on Saturday for the two special occasions. How neat it will be for my son and Peanut to have two grandmothers, one grandfather and a great-grandmother here for their special days. You can be sure there will be many photos being taken those two days.

Hubby and I went and saw Prince Caspian. It was great. I can't wait to see it again. That is definatly a DVD I'll buy. I don't go to the movies often, about once to twice a year. This year, though, I'm planning on three movies at the theater. I already saw Prince Caspian. In July I want to see Mama Mia (provided the rating is acceptable) and I want to see Harry Potter. I think that comes out at the end of this year, but I'm not entirly sure. So, those are my big movie plans for the year.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Beware of attack bird

Vicious attack Mockingbird - that's what we have in our yard. Last week, I was out in the front yard with my daughters. I was holding Peanut and talking with Princess. There was a mockingbird in the tree in our yard. It was squawking and fanning it's tail at us. I thought, how strange, I thought mockingbirds made pretty sounds. I went over to the Azalea bush in the yard and started pulling off the dead flowers from it. Suddenly, I was swooped at by the mockingbird. It came at me twice. I ran to the front door and called for Princess to come too. I assumed the bird had a nest in the bush and was protecting it. I told hubby about it. He laughed.

Several days later, I pointed out the bird to my hubby. Later that day, hubby was taking out some trash to the large trash cans. They are in the drive way on the other side of the bush. The mockingbird dove at him, twice. I looked up mockingbirds on Wikipedia, it had this to say:

"The Northern Mockingbird builds a twig nest in a dense shrub or tree. It aggressively defends this nest and the surrounding area against other birds and animals, including humans."

We leave the bush alone, but it is the the surrounding area that is a problem. It is our front door and driveway where we part the van. Also, to walk out to the mailbox, you enter the domain of the bird. The bird is extremely aggressive. It has come after me a number of times, hubby and several of the children. Anytime we open the front door, the mocking bird is there, in the tree watching us and squawking. It chased me down to the mailbox this morning and watched me like a hawk as I went back to the house. I went way out of the way into the yard to avoid the attack area.

So, if you come to visit my house, beware of the attack bird. I hope those eggs hatch soon. Going out to the van and buckling my kids in their car seats is getting dangerous with the attack bird coming after you. I think the next time I go out, I'm taking a broom. This is my house, My Nest and from now on, I'm going to aggressively protect my nest and my hatchling's!

photo from Wikipedia

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Double the dessert, double the fun

Last night we had some friends over for FHE and dessert. I planned on making brownies. I pulled out my cook book, opened it to the brownie page and I started getting things ready. Once I had the bowl in place, I started in on the recipe. It wasn't until I got to the last ingredient, chocolate chips, that I realized something was wrong. I didn't think this brownie recipe had chocolate chips and I never put any cocoa powder in the bowl to make the brownies. I reread the recipe several times. There was no call for cocoa powder. Finally, I looked at the name of the recipe and there I discovered I had made chocolate chip cookies, the recipe on the opposite page of the brownies! Oh well. So, I finished mixing the cookies, pulled out a new bowl and started the brownies. It all worked out just fine. The guest had a choice of dessert and I had enough leftover cookies that I was able to bag them up for my son and hubby to take to school and work in their lunches.

At least I didn't get the recipes mixed up. That would have been messy.

Monday, May 12, 2008

A true series of randomness

I hope everyone had a great Mother's Day. My day was very nice. Hubby did dishes for all the meals! I love it when he does dishes. I hate that chore. Hubby is arranging for a house cleaner to come in a few times. I have mixed emotions on that. I am embarrassed because I'm home all day, I should be able to clean everything. Second, when she does come, I have this feeling that I should clean before she arrives. However, if she does bathrooms, I would be so happy. I hate cleaning bathrooms, especially the kids. Also if she dusts, that would be fantastic. Most of the house isn't that dusty and it is nothing that I can't keep up with, but my hubby's computer room is a different story. He collects Lord of the Rings and Star Wars nic-nacs and toys and they are all displayed in the computer room. They are always covered in dust and I don't want to mess with them. They are his toys and collections and I think he should take care of them. So, I might have clean bathrooms and a dust free computer room. That will be so nice.

On Friday, I attended a girls night out at the church. We were about 25 women there from about 6 pm until midnight. It was lots of fun. One thing I did there was paint my nails bright red. I came home and my hubby saw them. He called them devil's claws. I really like the red, but it startles me each time I see my hands. It is so strange. I've never been one to paint my nails much, but to go bright red? It is shocking.

Have you ever seen older ladies who are what you might call eccentric? I'm sure you've seen them, they have a pony tail on the top of their head, wear 50 gold bracelets on each arm and drive a red convertable? Or the lady at the restaurant with leopard print clothes and enough bangles to make a gypsy jealous? When I get old and eccentric, I want to wear big hats and red lipstick. Wouldn't that be great?

I saw a blog where they talked about being a one car family. It said there are more cars than drivers in the US. I would believe it. The family across the street from me has at least 5 cars. We are a one car family, but it is not because we wish to be "green". I would love a second car. We are a family of 7, so we need to have a big vehicle to get our family around. Big vehicles = big gas prices. I would love a second car for several reasons. One, so hubby can drive his 60 miles of commute each day and save money in the gas prices. Second, so I can have a way to get out of the house. I don't need to go somewhere everyday and I wouldn't spend just a lot of time out and about, but it would be so nice to get out if I needed to, or to take the kids to the gardens once in a while (they get cabin fever too), or if there was an emergency, I could get out and take care of it. As it is, I'm stuck at home, while hubby drives our huge family SUV, puts a ton of miles and a ton of gas and money on the thing. I think we would be more "green" if we had a 2nd vehicle than we currently are as a single car family.

Peanut had a rough evening last night. She screamed and cried for hours. This is very unusual for her. Something must have hurt. I don't know what, but something had to have hurt. Poor baby. At least this morning she is sleeping and acting normal. Hopefully, whatever it was that hurt is gone.

It is mid May, almost. Last week we had temps in the 80s. Now it is in the 50's. I don't mind, although it does feel more like an October day outside rather than a May day. Anyway, I looked at the temp on the site. It says it is 52 degrees and it feels like it is 52 degrees, but the wind is blowing 17 miles an hour. I'm sorry weather station, but when it is 52 degrees and the wind is blowing almost 20 miles an hour, it doesn't feel like it is 52 degrees outside - it feels much, much colder.

Well, I think I've taken care of most of the random thoughts floating about my mind. If not, I'll be back.

Friday, May 09, 2008


I've started using cloth diapers on Peanut. I'm not very good about remembering to change her as often as I should, which means I end up changing her outfits as well as her diapers when it starts to leak. Still, I've been happy using the cloth. While searching the Internet for the plastic pants that go over the cloth, I found a neat little invention that is called Snappi. It takes away the use of pins in the cloth diapers. I ordered one, to test it out. It arrived a week ago and I'm loving it. It is such a handy little device.
See the little pink Snappi?

I still use regular diapers at nights and for church.

Gosh, I've had so many ideas lately and I can't remember them by the time I finally get to sit down and write. Today has been a tough day. It is one of those days when I'm ready to throw in the diapers and say "I'm done!" Really, the day has been a normal day with a few of the normal kid "crisis" thrown in. It is just I'm in a not so happy mood today and I'm not coping well with the normal stuff, much less the crisis going on.

Why does a day like this have to happen so close to Mother's Day? On a day that I should feel happy for the choices I've made to be a mother and a stay-at-home mother at that, I am instead feeling very inadequate and like a failure. Like I said, I'm just having a cloudy kind of day. I would love to go sit in my room, alone, for about an hour (or two). No kids, no one allowed to bang at the door, and I want to write. I just want a little bit of peace to rejuvenate and feel creative.

Well, Peanut has woken up, thanks to Princess. Right now, Princess yells everything she says, often waking Peanut and often making my ears ache with her volume. OK, time for Peanut.

Thursday, May 08, 2008


My sweet baby is now 5 weeks old. She has left behind the newborn and turned into a baby. She smiled today, a lot. She has been giving us random smiles off and on for a few weeks. Today, though, she smiled at daddy when he talked to her. She smiled at me when I came into view. She smiled at the angles that seem to live over my shoulder and right behind me. Peanut if often looking very intently just over my shoulder and talking. I'm guessing she is still seeing her gaurdian angles. I love her sweet smiles and I can't wait to see more of them.

Well, I was ready to do a month of limited grocery spending. I had most of the foods necessary to make it through the entire month without buying much more and it would cost us around $250. Well, hubby decided on Saturday last that we were going to have our first BBQ party of the year. He invited 3 or 4 families from church. Then, last night he went shopping. He had my short list of things we needed. Instead he came home with 20 bags and I'm sure the budget I had planned for the month was probably more than doubled. Well, it should be a great BBQ and pot luck!

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

I hate car seats!

I've got three kids in car seats now. Princess is in a booster, Toddler is in a regular car seat and Peanut is in an infant. Our family vehicle at the moment is a large SUV. Because it is so tall, I half to climb into it to buckle anyone in. Princess is getting better at being able to buckle herself in, but about half of the time, she still needs help. To help her, I have to go to the other side of the SUV from where Toddler and Peanut are and climb into the vehicle. Peanut's car seat is an old infant carrier. I won't say how old, I might get in trouble. The SUV is too high and she is in on the drivers side which means I have to use my left hand to pull out the car seat. Because of the height of the SUV, I can't lift the car seat out. That means, when I'm alone out with the kids, I just have to take her out of the car seat and leave the car seat in the van. Not easy when you are going grocery shopping.

To get everyone in their seats and everyone out of their seats takes quite a bit of time. Everytime I'm dealing with this all I can do is grumble, I hate car seats.

Can you imagine sleeping like that? At least she is legally buckled in.

Monday, May 05, 2008

garden, budget and other ramblings

I've sat down many times in the last week to write, but I never get to do it. I've usually got Peanut in my arms, like now, and it makes it so hard to type.

Peanut is growing fast. She is leaving that newborn stage and is becoming a true baby. She sleeps less and fusses more. Her face is very round and her eyes are still brown. I love her. I've had lots of thoughts about her and babies in general lately, but now that I sit here to type, I can't remember any of it. Oh well.

The garden we planted is growing. I want to start a few more rows of things. It is funny, I hate veggies, but I'm so excited about this garden. Hubby and I keep talking about our longing for a "homestead" where we can raise chickens and have a much bigger garden. I would like some fruit trees as well. If there is enough room, I would like to have a dairy cow. We go through so many eggs and so much milk. We will continue to dream for now.

Through some good friends, I'm finding various food programs in the area that provide food for good prices. There is a bread thing here where every Saturday morning at 8 am sharp, you can go get free bread. I love that! I go once a month and get enough to last all month long. I just stick a lot into the freezer. Another friend just introduced me to the SHARE program. For $19 I'll chicken thighs, chicken nuggets, beef steaks, Italian sausage, frozen waffles, 3 lbs of potatoes, and 3-4 various fruits and veggies. I'm excited to get the package in two weeks. I'm working hard to stretch our food budget. I'm hoping to spend no more than $200-250 on food for our family this month. Hubby wants to do a big BBQ party with lots of friends. That wasn't included into the budget. As long as he doesn't have the idea that we are providing meat for everyone. That would kill our budget. Still, I'm hoping to keep our personal budget down. Two hundred and fifty doesn't get much for a family of 7. We'll see, we'll see.....

OK, Peanut has had enough of me typing. Time to rotate laundry and check on the kids.