Thursday, January 29, 2009

Help! I'm Turning Into My Mother

Neither my mother (Love you, Mamma!) nor I should ever be trusted to watch the bread. I do not know what genetic code we are missing, but it is sadly beyond our skill level. Maybe that's why I enjoyed this little anecdote from Becky Freeman's book so much.

From Chapter 10:

For as long as I can remember, our smoke alarm has served as our family dinner bell. When our now-married son, Zeke, was five years old, I handed him a perfectly browned piece of toast one morning.

Without batting an eye the little guy took the toast--along with his dinner knife--walked to the trash can, and automatically started scraping it.

"Zeke, honey," I said cheerfully, "You don't have to scrape your toast today. Mommy didn't burn it!"

"Oh," he said thoughtfully, glancing down at the toast in surprise. "I though we always had to whittle our toast."

Crackers, anyone?

Happy Day

Three and a half years with these braces has been no small price to pay, but today the fruits of his labor were realized.

Wearing this amusingly appropriate t-shirt, Captain Speedy received the gift of smooth, straight pearly whites. He was opening a pack of Trident gum as we drove out of the parking lot at the orthodontist's office.

Enjoy, Big Guy!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Garlic Brown Sugar Chicken

1- 1 ½ lbs. chicken
1 C brown sugar
2/3 C vinegar
¼ C lemon-lime soda or lemonade
2-3 T minced garlic
2 T soy sauce
1 t pepper

Place chicken in slow cooker. Mix other ingredients and pour over chicken. Cook on low for 6-8 hours. Serve over rice.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Potato Cannon

What can I say? They're my guys, and I love 'em.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Pin Curls

I wonder what the morning will bring.

We failed to make a picture, but it was really very pretty. Our girl had curls galore! I'm sure we'll be doing it again sometime. Photo then, I promise.


Chili, Cranium, and a little bit of crazy...

What fun to spend an evening with friends! We had a great time last night visiting a dear family who was brave enough to cook for us and entertain us in their beautiful new home.

Hospitality is very much a lost art today, but these folks have it down to a science. We felt welcome and comfortable. It was truly a delightful time, and we are thankful.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Winter Sunlight

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Four Star Texas Chili

1 lb. each of two types of meat (beef, turkey, venison, or chicken)
1 large onion, chopped (2 C)
½ C Italian dressing
1 16 oz. jar of salsa
1 can (14½ oz.) broth
1 T chili powder
2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
4 C hot cooked rice

Brown meat with onions in dressing. Mix salsa, broth, and chili powder in slow cooker. Add meat and beans. Cook on low for 4-6 hours. Serve over rice. Top with shredded cheese and sour cream.

The success of this chili is the salsa. We love On The Border salsa, and it gives the dish a deliciously spicy flavor. Milder salsa will produce milder chili. Add more chili powder or some red pepper flakes for a little more heat.


Saturday, January 17, 2009

Arsenic and Old Lace

Congratulations to Katrina who correctly guessed Arsenic and Old Lace as the answer to the Apron Surprise giveaway.

Cary Grant stars in this dark comedy which was released in 1944. His character, Mortimer Brewster, thinks that he will inevitably become insane because each of his family members is quite mad. One brother, for instance, believes that he is President Theodore Roosevelt.

Thanks to everyone who entered. We will have to do this again sometime. It was a lot of fun on this end.

Happy Weekend!

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Ready To Go

Here is the Apron Surprise ready to go out to the lucky winner of our giveaway. Thanks to everyone who has already entered.

My sweet son has offered to generate a random selector Java program which will choose a winner in the most equitable manner possible. Apparently drawing a name out of a hat is way too simplistic and subject to corruption.


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Apron Surprise Giveaway

One of our children, who shall remain nameless, has a tendency to mix metaphors.

Our children have been taught to ask to be excused from the dinner table. When they finish their meals they say, "I enjoyed my meal. May I be excused?"

One night this particular child needed to go to the bathroom and knew there was an appropriate way to ask. The request that came out was, "I enjoyed my meal to go to the bathroom?" After a brief moment of silence, there was an outburst of laughter as we all realized what had been intended.

Well, last night we had another delightful mix-up. While cleaning up the supper dishes, there was a discussion about whether we could watch a movie from Netflix. This precious offspring asked, "Can we watch Abercrombie & Fitch?"

Now, here's the fun part. Can you figure out which movie was "Abercrombie & Fitch?" If so, leave a comment, and I will choose one person who guesses correctly to receive one of my Apron Surprises.

Here are your clues:
1. It stars a very famous Hollywood heart-throb.
2. He thinks he's crazy because his family is crazy.
3. Teddy Roosevelt is involved.

Entries will be accepted until noon on Saturday. I will post all comments and the winner at that time.

Good luck! I really hope someone besides my sister leaves a comment.


Several of you have guessed the correct movie. Excellent! I haven't posted any of the comments yet because it would be simple to see what everyone else has guessed. You wouldn't want me to give the answer away, would you?

This was supposed to be fun rather than difficult, however, so I will gladly give you two more clues.

1. The movie is a classic from the 1940s.
2. It is considered a Dark Comedy.

In the spirit of sportsmanship, we will give two entries to anyone who gets the correct movie and one entry for anyone who gives it a shot. How's that?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Bathroom Updates

This copycat idea comes from my incredibly talented sister and brother-in-law. They saw it in a handyman-type magazine and used it in their bathrooms with great success, so we were inspired to try it, too.

The mirrors in our bathrooms are the plain ones just glued to the wall. Using scavenged trim from the construction of our house, my husband cut two frames to fit the mirrors in our master bath and kids' bathroom.

Here are the before and after shots.

We used double-sided adhesive to adhere the trim to the edges of the mirrors. My sister used a Liquid Nails product designed for use with mirrors.

What a quick and easy transformation! You gotta love a man with a miter saw.

Kick-A-Poo Joy Juice

64 oz. apple cider or juice
2 C pineapple juice
1 small can frozen orange juice
¼ C lemon juice
½ C sugar
½ t cinnamon
¼ t cloves

Mix all ingredients together and simmer in a Crock Pot.

This one hits the spot on a cold winter morning. I love to use whole cloves and a cinnamon stick broken into pieces. It just makes me happy to see them floating on top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Round Robin Thank You

Writing thank you notes after Christmas can be a somewhat daunting task, especially for kids. Over the years, we have experimented with various gimmicks to get the job done. I've bought them cute cards, allowed them to type their notes on the computer, and even created fill-in-the-blank notes for them to use when they were smaller.

The most fun option we've discovered, however, is to do a massive round robin session and knock them out all at once. Since each member of our family often needs to thank the same person, this method allows us to send one note to each individual.

I gather up Christmas stationery, stamps, envelopes, and our address book. We make a list of all the notes we need to write. Everyone picks a name and starts a note. Once their portion is complete, he or she passes it along to the next person until we've all included our thanks and wishes for a blessed new year. Everyone signs his name at the bottom, and wa-la! The job is done.

Each person can choose a different color pen to make it simple for the recipient to determine who wrote what. The end result is a good, long letter with unique thoughts and often a bit of humor. We have a good time together and enjoy talking about the time we spent with family and friends over the holidays.

Many hands make light work and hopefully thankful hearts.

For more great ideas, visit Rocks In My Dryer.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


CO. 4219
U. S. Naval Training Center
Bainbridge, Maryland
August 18, 1945

Our special hero: Row 5, 13 from the left

Monday, January 5, 2009

Back to School

I am actually looking forward to getting back into the groove today. Too much time with no routine makes me a bit restless.

We're diving into circle graphs and Little Women. It's going to be fun.


Saturday, January 3, 2009

My Favorite Sister

Leaving your 20's behind is not so bad. Look at all the wonderful things you have to show for them. A charming, handsome, devoted husband and three fun and precious little boys top the list.

You are a beautiful, gracious, fascinating lady with numerous skills and talents. It has been a real joy to watch God bless your life.

Besides, no matter how old you get, I will always be ten years older. You love that, don't you?

Happy Birthday! I love you.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Making Memories

Well, look in this mouth and what do you see?
A great big hole where a tooth used to be.
He wiggled and jiggled until it wriggled free.
Now there's a window when he smiles at me.

Lost: One tooth
When: Christmas Day
By: Captain Speedy