Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Painting is HARD work!

We had to paint our home. It was time. We asked our friends and family for advice, for loans of their ladders and supplies, and for their help. We were so very blessed by what they gave us. For two days we had enough people to complete the majority of the task. To my sister and her boyfriend, my brother and his wife and their sons, my husbands brother and his wife.: THANK YOU!!! We love you guys! You all did such an awesome job!!!

This is the before picture. We were just getting started.

My very brave hubby climbing the ladder! He did such a good job!

I even put the kids to work! Here is Son#1 helping his Aunt paint the shutters.

I think this the only photo of me! I even got my brave on and climbed the roof.

This is the end of Day #2. We still have a bunch of trim and touch up to do, but the big hard stuff is finished. Whew! This was such a HUGE project!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Corn, Avacado and Tomato Salad

There is something so refreshing about summer. One thing that I love during the summer is serving fresh produce from the farmers market- somehow it just tastes better. Now if I could ever figure out how to actually grow my own veggies- it would be even better! This is a recipe that I discovered on the Food Network from Paula Deen. I love it. It is very simple and tasty!

Corn, Avocado, and Tomato Salad
2 cups cooked corn (fresh or frozen)
1 avocado, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp grated lime zest
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Combine the corn, avocado, tomatoes and onion . Mix together the dressing ingredients in another bowl, pour over the salad and, gently toss to mix.
To find more great recipes check out Blessed With Grace who hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays

Monday, June 22, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

This is one of my children's favorite weeks of the year- Vacation Bible School. This year our church is having a night VBS. I am going to really have to be on the ball to have dinner made early enough for the boys before we leave for the night. I am playing around with having dinner for lunch and then PB&J's for dinner. I might try it both ways. But hopefully we will not give in to temptation and eat out for convenience sake. So here goes-my plan for this crazy week!

Monday: Gingered Chicken Breast- a recipe a dear friend passed along.

Gingered Chicken Breast
From: South Beach Diet

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 ½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

Combine the first four ingredients; pour over chicken breasts and coat. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, up to 2 hours. Pan cook it, broil it, bake it.

Tuesday: Crock Pot Baked Potato Bar

So very easy- Wash your spuds and put them in the crock pot all day on low. Serve with various tater toppings- whatever your crew likes.

Wednesday: Mexican Stuffed Shells I have to pull this one from last week because I did not get around to trying it and I really want to!

Thursday: Asian Vegetable Pasta a new one for us but it looked yummy!

Friday: Parents night at VBS we will be eating there.

Saturday: BBQ Beef Sandwiches from the crock pot

Sunday: Make your own pizza night

For a huge group of great menu ideas and recipes check out Menu Plan Monday here

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Happy Father's Day!

To my very special husband. You are such a great dad. Our boys are so very blessed to have you as their father. I know that we appreciate your awesome dancing skills, your sense of humor, your calm caring nature, your logical-ness and your grilling skills. You are such a great example of a servant, of a humble man. Thank you for all the hours you toil to provide for us. We love you Daddy!! We hope that you get a chance to put your feet up and count your blessings.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Malt Shop Pie

A chocolate malt reminds me of what I like to drink in the summer. Cool, creamy and very refreshing. To put it in a pie is wonderful, that way you can share with your family and friends- or not, I won't tell!
Malt Shop Pie
1 1/2 cup chocolate cookie crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
1 pint vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup malted milk balls, crushed
2 Tbsp. milk- divided
3 Tbsp instant chocolate malted milk powder
3 Tbsp marshmallow creme
1 cup whipping cream
Garnish: whipped cream and malted milk balls
Combine cookie crumbs and butter, press into a 9" pie pan. Place in freezer while preparing pie filling. Blend together ice cream, milk balls and 1 Tbsp milk. Pour into pie crust and freeze for one hour. Mix together malted milk powder, marshmallow creme and remaining milk. Fold in whipping cream and whip until peaks form. Spread over pie filling and freeze overnight. Garnish with whipped cream and malted milk balls.
One of my favorite things about this dessert is that you don't have to turn your oven on- something I look for in my summer recipes as we don't have air conditioning. This recipe is just one of many over at Life as Mom who hosts the Ultimate Recipe Swap. Check it out!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


We have a seven month old. We love to camp. Generally speaking these two items do not go well with each other. It is difficult for all of us to sleep in a tent normally, but add a baby who feels that it is his duty and privilege to wake up at his leisure during the night to eat, and you have non-compatibility. However, we have come up with a compromise: daycamping.

All the fun of camping minus the overnight stay. We had a fire, the roasting of hot dogs and the makings of smores. We had Frisbee tossing, dirt digging, slingshoting and general laziness. We had a great time. The baby was happy, we were happy.

The baby was passed around to his delight and did rather well. The fresh air wore him out and he took a nice nap.

We never cease to be in awe of the amazing world that the Lord has created. This beautiful vista was a great place to visit, but we had to make it a quick trip due to lightening in the area. We spotted several trees that had been struck by lightening.

This is Son#3. He is such a monkey. We daycamped next to many large boulders, and the first thing that he wanted to do was scramble up to the top of them. He is my heart in my mouth child. I always feel like my heart is in my mouth with the crazy stunts that he pulls off.

Son#2 and Son#3 would dig a hole all the way to China if we let them. Anytime we go outdoors, they will begin a new hole. This time, he discovered a rusty old beer can. You would have thought that he discovered gold. We had to work hard to get him to rebury it. (There is no trash service or cans here in bear country- you pack it out and I didn't want to pack that out!)

The weather cooperated enough that we were able to have lunch and dinner over the fire. To me, hot dogs are best roasted over the campfire.
This is what Works For Me. Check out what works for others here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Tempt My Tummy Tuesday

My mom used to make all sorts of yummy munchies for my brother and sister and I growing up. She would make candies, rolls, fudge, cheese straws and many others. One of my favorites is this recipe for Melba Toast. They really hit the spot when I want something crunchy. They are also very easy to make and simple enough for kids to help out with as well. I hope you will give them a shot- they are quite tasty!

Melba Toast
1/2 lb. margarine (not butter)
1 pinch Italian seasoning
2 pinches curry powder
1 Tbsp. paprika
1 Tbsp. sesame seeds
1 Tbsp Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
Combine all ingredients. Spread on white bread and cut into four triangles. Dry in 250° oven for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Bread is done when there is no soft center. This uses approximately one loaf of bread.
For more great recipes check out Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays at Blessed With Grace

Menu Plan Monday

This Monday has crept up on me way too fast! I am feeling unprepared to post my menu this week, but I thought that I would give it a go anyways!. We will be trying a few new recipes this week. I will let you know how they went and if they were in the words of my hubby "a keeper".

Monday: Taco night- nothing special, just a quick go to on a busy night

Tuesday: Cheese Enchilada Stack I am going to add chicken or beef- depends on our mood or whatever I grab from the freezer!

Wednesday: Lettuce Wraps- This looks like a bit of work, so it will depend on our day, but I love lettuce wraps!

Thursday: Mexican Stuffed Shells

Friday: Antipasto Wraps - Perfect to take to Son #1's Tennis Tourney

Saturday: Tortilla Crusted Tilapia

Sunday: Burgers and Brats on the Grill for Fathers Day

For a huge list of menu ideas and recipes check out I'm an Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Friday, June 12, 2009

The Dog Days of . . . ????

My baby will be seven months old this weekend. He has grown so much from the scrawny little thing that he was last November. All that growing, being cute as a button and the center of his brothers world for seven months has been completely exhausting. It has plain worn the little fella out (mama too!). He fell asleep in his exersaucer. Somehow I just know that this little nap will perk him right up and he will be ready to once again be the "baby" and all that entails around here! Tough job, but he does it well!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

One of our Family hobbies

This might be a strange hobby to some, but being the mom of 4 NASCAR lovin' boys who live so very far away from all NASCAR tracks, we have come up with a hobby of sorts. We hear through the grapevine that a NASCAR car is in front of some store, or gas station. We will pile in the family van with our cameras and go take photos of the car and the boys. We have been lucky enough to get 8 or so. Today my sister-in-law texted me and told me that there was one in front of a local grocery store. This will be the first one with our newest little one. Here is a photo that I got today. This very cheap but enjoyable hobby.This is what works for us. Check out more great ideas here.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Pace Picante Sauce giveaway . . . .

At one of my favorite sites www.5dollardinners.com , they are giving away Pace Picante sauce and a cookbook. I LOVE Mexican food and chips and salsa is right at the top of my list. Head on over to see what you need to do for your shot to win free salsa, and check out all the great frugal recipes there. I am always finding great ideas.

Chinese Chicken Salad

Chinese Chicken Salad
7 chopped green onions (green parts too!)
1 1/2 cups chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 cup toasted sesame seeds
1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
1 small can water chestnuts-julienne cut
1/2 package wonton skins- cut in small rectangles and fried in small amount of oil
1/2 head of lettuce- chopped
1/2 head of Napa cabbage- chopped
2 cups cooked chicken- chopped
1 can mandarin oranges- drained
Toss salad ingredients together. Combine dressing ingredients.
2 Tbsp soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp oyster sauce
3 Tbsp creamy peanut butter
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp. dry mustard
2 tsp sugar
Pour over salad and toss again.
When the weather starts to warm up, I really dislike having to stand over a hot stove at 5 pm at night. So I will turn to making a salad. This one is great and it makes a ton! I also really like the fact that if I am with it, I will do all the prep work in the morning when my house is nice and cool and all that I have to do for dinner is toss and serve. I hope that you enjoy my chicken salad. What do you make when your house is to warm to cook? For more great ideas visit Lisa who hosts Tempt My Tummy Tuesdays.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I am really liking the fact that my menu is posted online. My oldest boys visit my blog and will tell me that ". . .they are excited for Wednesday because you are making my favorite thing!" So for my boys and for you all as well, here is what we are planning for our crew this week. For more ideas and recipes click here.
Monday: Grilled Salmon and roasted veggies
Tuesday: Chinese Chicken Salad (will post this recipe tomorrow)
Wednesday: Pepperoni Bread (see below)
Thursday: Chicken Monterrey
Friday: Nachos
Saturday: We will be daycamping so we will be cooking hotdogs over the fire.
Sunday: We will eat out to celebrate a birthday.
Pepperoni Bread
1 batch of pizza dough (I make mine in my bread machine)
1 egg beaten
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
1 Tbsp. parsley flakes
6 oz. pepperoni
8 oz mozzarella cheese- shredded
2 Tbsp. Italian seasoning
2 Tbsp pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1 jar of favorite spaghetti sauce- heated
Roll out dough to 8"x 18" rectangle. Brush with egg. Sprinkle with Parmesan and parsley. Layer pepperoni and mozzarella. Sprinkle with Italian seasoning, pepper and half of your garlic salt. Roll up jelly roll style. Rub Olive oil on cookie sheet and on bread. Sprinkle with remaining garlic salt and parsley. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with heated spaghetti sauce for dipping.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Kettle Corn and an outdoor movie!

Every summer, our town hosts outdoor movie events. I have not been able to make it to one in all the years that we have lived here, but this year is the year. It is free and sounds very fun- you bring your lawn chairs and your own refreshments (they have some for sale, of course) and enjoy the evening. Tonight, weather permitting, we will hopefully be able to go see Kung Fu Panda. If we go I will be bringing this yummy and very easy treat along to much on.
Kettle Corn
3 Tbsp. oil (we use canola)
1/3 cup popcorn kernels
3 Tbsp sugar
Salt to taste
Heat the oil in a large dutch oven type of pan, over medium heat. Place one kernel in the oil. Wait until it pops before you pour in the rest of the kernels. Once you pour in the kernels, sprinkle the sugar over the top . Put your lid on, and shake while still keeping the pan on the stove, back and forth until the popping sounds have stopped (about 3 minutes or so). You must keep the kernels moving or the sugar will burn! When all popping has ceased remove the lid and pour into a large bowl to cool, sprinkle lightly with salt. Enjoy!
This recipe makes enough for 5 eaters- but we quickly ran out and had to make a second batch- it is that good! You do get a very good arm work out with all the shaking, but I can not stress how important that part is!
Check out Gayle at Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap for great recipes and awesome frugal tips.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Granola Bars

This is my first time to join in on TILT, but I have found some great ideas over at theDiaperDiaries.net For my first Thing That I Love Thursday I want to introduce you all to a wonderful little treat that I discovered in my local freezer aisle. Blue Bunny Frozen Yogurt Granola Bars- I got the Raspberry Vanilla variety. Let me tell you, these are so good! "Creamy raspberry low fat frozen yogurt with a layer of raspberry fruit filling topped with crunchy granola crumbles covered in a vanilla yogurt coating." is how they are described by the Blue Bunny folks- but my description would be YUMMY! I found these at our local King Soopers ( a local grocery store). I plan on hiding a box in the back of the freezer to have when the kids are eating their popsicles!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Free rootbeer floats at Sonic 6-3-09

I love root beer floats. The cool ice cream married to the flavorful root beer. So good! Today only at Sonic drive-in's they are giving away free root beer floats from 8 pm to 12am. I know what we are doing tonight! Start your summer off right . . . go get your free root beer float at Sonic tonight. This is most definitely works for me! Check out other great ideas here.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Oven Fried Chimichangas

For todays Tempt My Tummy Tuesday recipe, I decided to share what we are having for dinner tonight, and what I brought to my friend this morning.

Oven Fried Chimichangas
1 lb. ground beef
shredded cheddar cheese
8 flour tortillas
3 Tbsp. butter- melted
1 can green enchilada sauce- heated up in a sauce pan over medium heat
Toppings: chopped cilantro, shredded lettuce, shredded cheese, diced tomato, diced onion, sour cream, black olives.
Brown beef. Preheat oven to 400°. Spray cookie sheet with non-stick spray. Place a spoonful of meat or so into center of tortilla, sprinkle with desired amount of cheese. Roll up into bundles. Once they are all assembled, brush with the melted butter. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon heated enchilada sauce over top, and place desired toppings on top. Enjoy! These also reheat well the next day as leftovers.♥