Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Slow Cooker Pork Chops & Red Potatoes

He said, "it's ok". Do I know my man or do I know my man?!!!

I found this recipe online. It looked easy and I happened to have all the ingredients so I made it for dinner tonight. Not that either of my children will like it. Unless I can find a way to disguise the pork chops as chicken nuggets and the red potatoes as french fries.

It tastes pretty good. Willie hasn't tried it yet because he's still at baseball practice. I'm placing my bet that his response will be, "it's ok", because that's what he says about most of the stuff I cook, especially boring meat and potato dishes, which are some of my favorite to make. It doesn't help that his Mom was a wonderful cook...and pressure.

It was very easy to make; another reason my family probably won't like it.

I'm such a A Year of Crockpotting wannabe...

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

A Good Book

One of my very favorite things to do is curl up with a good book and read for hours at a stretch. I used to hide under my covers at night with a flashlight so that I could read until late at night undetected by my Mom. Now that I'm all grown-up, I no longer hide under the covers, but I still stay up late reading. I did that last night. Willie, if you're reading this, I promise that I will stop reading, blogging, swimming, etc. and clear a path in the office sometime this century...


This book will not help you have better Abs in 30 days.

It will not help you define your political views or educate you about the Middle East crisis.

It will not strengthen your relationship with your spouse or the Lord.

The fact that it was strictly shallow and fun entertainment without trying to make me think too hard or improve myself is probably the reason I was hooked after reading the first page:

"I was in the fifth grade the first time I thought about turning thirty. My best friend Darcy and I came across a perpetual calendar in the back of the phone book, where you could look up any date in the future, and by using this little grid determine what the day of the week would be. So we located our birthdays in the following year, mine in May and hers in September. I got Wednesday, a school night. She got a Friday. A small victory, but typical. Darcy was always the lucky one. Her skin tanned more quickly, her hair feathered more easily, and she didn't need braces. Her moonwalk was superior, as were her cartwheels and her front handsprings (I couldn't do a handspring at all). She had a better sticker collection. More Michael Jackson pins. Forenza sweaters in turquoise, red and peach (my mother allowed me none - said they were too trendy and expensive). And a pair of fifty-dollar Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles (ditto). Darcy had double-pierced ears and a sibling - even if it was just a brother, it was better than being an only child as I was."

Excerpt from
Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin

I was an only child. My sister and brother are actually half siblings (my brother refers to himself as my "brother from a different mother") so we didn't grow up together. I love them like "wholes", but I still got the only child experience growing up. My boys don't know how lucky they are to have each other to beat up on, blame stuff on and make fun of their parents together.

There was no way my Mom was going to fork out the kind of cash the 80's trends required so I didn't have any Forenza sweaters, only cheap knock-offs. When I started working at Ross Dress For Less at the age of 16, I finally scored a pair of "imperfect" bleached out Guess jeans with zippers at the ankle. I wore them with my white high-top Reeboks every chance I got. My skin was pale and my hair would only feather with lots of curling, coaxing and Aqua Net.

I was lucky to be able to perform a perfect somersault, much less a handspring. I actually had the kahunas to try out for cheer in the 9th grade. My girlfriend Dae Foti and I were both totally lacking in coordination, but we somehow convinced ourselves that we had the right stuff. The try-outs were nothing short of a total disaster for both of us and we laughed so hard at ourselves all the way home that I swear I almost peed my pants. If only I had those try-outs on video...It's good to be able to laugh at yourself. I can actually still do the moonwalk, but I would have gladly traded that skill for a Forenza sweater...

So, leave me a comment...I want to know how many and what color Forenza sweaters you had, did you have a pair of Guess jeans with zippers at the ankles? Did your skin tan and your hair feather easily? Can you do the moonwalk? How many siblings or were you a lonely only too?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Random Summer Stuff

Sleeping Beauty with the much-loved, "Ducky".

Adam in full catcher's gear, ready to take the baseball world by storm!

Jacob and Adam being cheesy after clay class.

Adam displaying his clay masterpieces...such a serious artist.

Jacob and his clay masterpieces

Pool Stunts - Help!

Anybody know how to flip videos around so they're not sideways? I've tried everything I can think of...Help!

Check out Jacob doing a flip from the HIGH DIVE no less!

And, not to be outdone, here's Adam demonstrating "The Mullet".

Crock-Pot Giveaway

Go here to enter a Crock-Pot Giveaway sponsored by "A Year of Crockpotting".

I made Vietnamese Chicken in my green machine the other night and I have to say that it was pretty darn good; even better, it was EASY!

Sunday, July 6, 2008

And the Winner is...Ruby?!!

Willie got out some of his Hot Wheels collection today. The races were on and Ruby was ready for action.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Boys will be Boys...Part Two

My two little pyros, posing patiently with their fireworks, thinking to themselves, "Hurry up Mom, I gotta get my hands on a punk!".

How I can be Safety Suzie all year long and then relax my standards on the 4th of July just doesn't make sense, but it's all in the name of fun and we really are pretty careful. I'm bummed that I didn't take more pictures of our 4th of July. Sometimes I'm just not in the mood to be burdened with the camera.

Before ignition...

After ignition...


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Boys will be Boys

I apologize for the personal nature of this post. My children just brought me a gift in the form of a frozen undergarment. At least they didn't freeze my favorite pair:

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Birds & the Bees

Excerpt from a conversation that occurred in my van today...

Adam (almost 6 years old): Mommy, do you have to get married before you have a baby?

Mommy: Thinking to myself, do I give the long answer or the short answer, remembering that my almost 9 year old son is also present, listening intently to my answer and will likely extend this conversation into dangerous territory if it gets too interesting.


(Not entirely true, I know, but it's something to strive for, dontcha think?!!)

Adam: How do people NOT have babies before they get married?

Mommy: Who wants to get ice cream?!!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Jello Cake

This is a big summer favorite at my house. It's super easy and your kids will think you are a rock star if you make it for them. Just make a yellow or white cake from a box mix. Then, take a 3 oz. box of Jello and mix it with one cup of hot water. Poke holes in the top of the cake while it's cooling and slowly pour the jello mixture over the top of the cake, allowing the jello to fill up the holes you poked. With the cake in this picture, I actually used both blue & red jello so there would be two different color stripes. Let the cake cool in the fridge overnight or for several hours and then top it with Cool Whip. Another yummy variation is to use a lemon cake with lemon jello.

My Love Affair with the Crockpot

My crockpot was a wedding gift from one of my favorite people, Carol (crazy Carol to those who know and love her). Willie and I were married in Las Vegas, but living in Wichita, KS at the time. No joke, Carol lugged this thing to Las Vegas and we in turn, lugged it to Wichita on the airplane, along with my wedding dress, bouquet, and several other large gifts and wedding items. That was an experience, let me tell ya! If we tried to do that today, the airline would probably charge us a small fortune, but back then, they were very nice about it.

When we first received this crockpot, I thought it was so huge that I would never use it, but now I have a love affair going with this sexy green pot and it has been used many times to make some wonderful meals...enchilada meat, Italian chicken, barbecued country style ribs, etc. (some not so wonderful ones too, in all honesty).

A Year of CrockPotting is a blog written by a gal named Stephanie who proclaims to have an unnatural obsession with her crockpot and made a New Year's resolution to use it every day in 2008. Today when I made my daily visit to her blog, I found out that she is going to be featured on the Rachael Ray show on 7/23! I will definitely be tuning in.

These are two of my favorite cookbooks. If you want to use your crockpot more often, but aren't a fan of recipes with a million ingredients you've never heard of, you'll love the recipes in these books.

House Guest

We are dog-sitting Riley while his family vacations at the Grand Canyon and in Las Vegas. He makes a very cute temporary addition to our animal menagerie, don't you think? Yes, there is a puppy underneath all that fur. I'm going to dust mop the floor with him later. Don't call the ASPCA; I was just kidding!!!

Below are some pictures of our permanent residents; Rocky, the stray cat who adopted us and now runs the household, despite my sworn disdain for cats, Max & Ruby, named after the cartoon characters, and Peanut, the elderly tenant who has tested our patience from the very first day we brought him home, 14 years ago!

Max is kind of a camera hog, isn't he?