Tuesday, April 29, 2014

My Cat Misty

On Thursday, April 24th, we had to unexpectedly put my cat, Misty, to sleep.  We got home from the boys first soccer games and were getting the boys ready for bed when I realized that I had not seen Misty all day.  Normally, she is all over me anytime I sit down, on the table eating, and, well, meowing really, really, loud throughout the day.  (She is part Siamese . . .they are loud cats!) Darryl and I went looking just to make sure she was ok but, when I found her under the bed, I knew things were not right.  She was struggling to breath and did not want to move.  I was able to get her out from under the bed, set her on top of the bed, and she just wouldn't move.  She stretched all out, which I learned from the Vet is what they do when they can't breath in order to try to open up the airway more.  At that point, we knew she needed help so we called the Vet (who has a 24 hour emergency line) and, without hesitation, he told us he would meet us at the office in 20 minutes.  So, we loaded up the boys and Misty and made a pretty quite 20 minutes drive.  Darryl and I already knew what we were going to have to do but we still held onto a little hope that it would be ok.  After checking her over our wonderful vet (yes, he really is - so kind and caring) told us that her lungs were filling up with fluid and her heart was struggling.  At 19 years old, there really was very little to be done.  I was able to hold her for quite a long time before the Vet took her away.  It was a very, very difficult thing to do.

Misty has been my "baby" for 19 years.  I got her from my niece and nephew because she was their favorite kitten and they had to get rid of all of their cats/kittens due to moving.  They begged me to take her and how could I say no?  She has always been a tiny thing - so tiny that when she was fixed and declawed, the vet had to give her special sleeping stuff to make sure that she didn't get too much medicine.  She couldn't jump up on anything until she was well over 6 months old.  Her favorite place to sleep was with me - as a kitten she would curl up in my hair.  As she grew she loved to go under the covers and curl up by my feet.  Other fun things she did - she would drag my jewelry all over the house - she loved gold chains!  She used to get up on my stereo and lay her body over the lamp that was next to it to soak up all of the warmth.  Every day when I took a shower, she would come in the bathroom and lay on my towels.  She loved Doritos, Cheetos and drinking out of my glass (if I let her!) with her paw.  Misty was my best friend and confidant for years!  I loved her big eyes and pointy ears.  She was soft and sweet and loved to sleep on my shoulder anytime she could.  As you can imagine, she is missed very much.  The house is quite and my feet are cold (since she isn't sleeping on them!).  Even though I knew that she was nearing the end of her life I did not expect it to be this past week as there had been no other indication anything was going on.

This week, I've discovered so many things I will miss - seeing her curled up and as flat as pancake on the dishwasher in the sun, seeing her in "her" cupboard above the fridge (where it was always warm!), seeing her curled up in the laundry basket on top of the fresh, warm laundry, "fighting" with her when I made tuna salad (I always left a little in the can and let her enjoy a treat), seeing her waiting for me when I come home - and meowing at the top of her lungs, having her sit on my towels while I take my shower, and hearing her meow at the bedroom door when it gets closed while she is still in there sleeping, having her snuggle on my neck at night while I attempt to do things on the computer . .. all just to name a few things I will miss about my sweet Misty! 

You will be missed, Misty!! 

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Things my Kids Say

*Sometimes if I don't write things down, I forget them and I almost missed this one!  This is Nate's version: of old familiar "verse":  Eeney, meeney, miney moe, Catch a find a pat a toe.  hahahahahaha

* So this is more of a story.  Obviously, Easter was last Sunday.  On Wednesday, I took the boys to get their hair cut and Kylie, our "cutter", asked Nate about Easter.  She asked him if the Easter Bunny brought him anything.  He kinda looked puzzled and said, "No, the Eater Bunny only hides eggs but the Leprechaun brought me gifts.".  Seriously.  I had to bite my lip to not laugh as he continued to explain how Leprechauns came to the house and left him presents on Easter.  He told us that on Sunday too but I just kinda let it slip by as an oversight but obviously the Leprechaun had a bigger impression on him than I realized.

* We've tried to teach the boys about things that are appropriate but I really thought it went over their head.  Well, the other night Josh made some comment about China (the dog) sniffing Nate's booty after the bathtub.  We all laughed so he said, "I'm going to say it again because everyone laughed", which he did and then he said, "Ok, I won't say it again because it is not 'pproriate." I guess he IS listening!!!

* The hairstylist also asked Nate if he got any candy and he said, "Yes, I got triangles and semi-circles."  She looked at me, puzzled so I told her  . .. .Hershey Kisses and Reeses Peanut Butter Egg Minis.  At least he knows his shapes.

*Nate has informed me that it is summer so therefore he only wears shorts and short sleeves;  Josh, on the other hand, only wears sweatpants and long sleeves.  Yes, they are really that opposite.  :-)

*Darryl took the boys to the store to pick out a cake for my birthday (which they actually got two . . .).  When they walked in the store Nate told his dad that he wanted to get a "Chocolate Fuzz" cake.  It took Darryl a few minutes to figure out he wanted a Chocolate fudge cake! 

Friday, April 25, 2014

Food Friday - Veggie Pizza

Veggie Pizza 
Adapted from . .. a recipe I've had a very long time

This is a recipe that I took to a pot luck recently so I thought I would share it. Veggie pizza is such an easy thing to make and it travels easily plus everyone seems to like it!  I've tried numerous recipes through the years and I like this one that has evolved because it has tons of flavor!  One recommendation is to make it 24 hours in advance (or at least the morning of an evening event).  The cream cheese mixture tastes better if it has time to blend flavors. 

2 (8 ounce) cans crescent rolls
1 cup sour cream
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 teaspoon dried dill weed
1/4 teaspoon garlic salt (I often leave this out)
1 package ranch dressing mix (1 ounce package)
Veggies, chopped small, such as carrots, radishes, bell pepper, celery, snap peas, broccoli
Shredded Cheese (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Spray a jellyroll pan with non-stick cooking spray

Pat crescent roll dough into a jellyroll pan.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Pierce with fork.

Bake for 10 minutes, let cool

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cream cheese, dill weed, garlic salt and ranch dip mix.  Spread this mixture on top of the cooled crust.  Arrange the veggies on top of the creamed cheese mixture.  Top with cheese.  Cover and let chill.  Once Chilled, cut it into squares and serve.

**Note:  To make it easier to cut, I usually cut it right after I put the cream cheese mixture on it.  Then, after it is cut, sprinkle everything over the top.  By doing that you do not have to cut through any veggies :-)  


Thursday, April 24, 2014

Weekly Menu - The One with My Birthday!!

Wow, it's my birthday week.  How did that happen?  This year, my birthday falls on a Sunday, which is nice because I don't have to plan my day - instead I get a day "off"  .. kinda :-)

Here's our plan for the coming week!

Friday - It's the start of the birthday weekend so the kids will get Mac and Cheese and Darryl and I will order in!  No cooking for me YEAH!

Saturday - Darryl has the day planned and, again, no cooking for me!

Sunday - We'll be at my parents so, again, no cooking for me :-)  I haven't decided what I will do about my cake . . .I usually make myself a turtle cake because I love it and it is my birthday but I would have to make it on Friday so I'm not sure  . .

Monday - Back to reality ;-)  I'll do something with Chicken, Potatoes and a veggie. (I don't even plan on going to the store until tonight after practice so it is "clean out the fridge" night!)

Tuesday - It is time to grill - the plan is Hamburgers or pork chops - depends on what is on the best sale this week!.  We did chicken last week and it was awesome.  The sides will be based on the mean choice.

Wednesday - I "think" Darryl will be going to practice this week so I'll pick up frozen pizzas for the boys and I.

Thursday - It is Soccer night so we'll grab something after soccer.

That's the plan . . .always subject to change!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Easter 2014

We had a wonderful Easter and I hope all of you did too!!  Actually, our whole weekend was wonderful.  Saturday I was able to take off at about 9:00 and head into "town" for a day of Scrapbooking.  I actually took advantage of my trip and started the day with a little shopping (to finish up some Easter Shopping) before going to the crop.  I then worked all day on my main goal which was to finish up June 2013 (our vacation to Mackinaw) and I did!  I also got half of July done.  Darryl got to spend the day with the boys and I heard they had a great time!!

Sunday dawned a beautiful day!  We started our morning by heading to church for Easter Breakfast.  Now, one of Josh's favorite things is to eat at church.  I have no idea why but he does - it is HUGE for him and this was extra fun because it was breakfast!  They got their fill of Pancakes, Sausage and Krispy Kreme donuts!!  That was followed by a great church service where I was able to use my ministry and sing in an ensemble as well as sing a solo which was just great.  I love to sing (even though, yes, I get nervous still after signing for over 30 years in front of people!) Once church was done we headed to lunch.  I know I left you all hangin' last week as to what we were doing but after much thinking, and re-thinking an idea popped into my head that was perfect.  We went out to the Chinese Buffett!!!  Yes, Chinese on Easter!  We got there before the regular church crowd hit so it wasn't busy and the food was good.  The boys love it because they can pick food and get ice cream when it is done ;-)

 Josh and Nate :-)  Trying to get them to do "normal" smiles is a tough job at this age!

After dinner we headed home for all of our Easter fun but we took the long way home with the windows down to enjoy the fabulous weather!

 Their "Easter Baskets".  We like to keep church first on Easter Sunday so we don't put out the Easter Baskets first thing.  Instead, as the boys head out the door, I quickly set up their stuff so it is there when we get back from church.  The Pogo sticks I had actually bought at Christmas but they had enough stuff so I put them away for Springtime.  Their main gift was some new tools and I bought them each a Thirty - One Tool bag that said "Josh's Tools" and "Nate's Tools".  It was a huge hit!  It was funny though because Nate kept saying the Leprechan came while we were gone and left his Easter Stuff. 
 Again trying to get them to stand with their stuff was useless.  This is the best I could get!

 The boys also got some new Flip Flops for the summer, a pair of binoculars that I had picked up last summer on clearance as well as a Bubble Blower that I bought last summer too.  We had also found some bug nets at Target for $1.00 each and of course, some candy.

Josh trying Pop Rocks for the first time.  He actually liked them which kinda surprised me !

Nate is a Bubble King.  He loves bubbles so he headed right out side to use his new Bubble Maker.  (Yes, a Halloween shirt on Easter but he loves his "bones" shirt!)

After enjoying their gifts for awhile, we got out the eggs to decorate.
 Like last year, I used Kool-aid to dye the eggs.  It smells good and washes off pretty easily. 
 "Decorate" might be too strong of a word.  How about, "dip and be done".  Next year I think we'll be ready to get more creative ;-)

For the record, we did 14 eggs and yes, I'm eating quite a bit of egg salad for lunch this week.  :-) :-)

Then it was time for the Egg Hunt!
 I "hid" all of the eggs in the front yard.  Originally, I had done them in groups of two but then gave up and just figured it could be a free for all. 

This, again, was the best photo I could get of them with their loot!!!  They were hoping for money in their eggs but I just did some candy.   Honestly, they have already forgotten about the eggs (and the candy) . . .maybe next year I will do change in them instead.  Who knows!

Finally, we just had some Bubble fun!
 Bubble's anyone?  Everyone laughs at me for buying all of these but Walmart had a great deal and, we've already gone through 1 and a half bottles!

Nate caught himself . . .hahahaha

So, that was our Easter!  Always a fun day!

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Christmas in . . .April?

I've had a project that I have needed to finish since, well, Christmas.  It was actually supposed to be done to put out as decoration FOR Christmas but between a week long bout of the stomach flu that I had back in December, winter storms every time I planned a shopping day in town and a mistake in my order when finally ordered the stuff I needed on-line . .. well, it just got done! 

It is a very simple project that revolves around the Nativity Scene - something that is the basis of my Christmas! 

 All you need is some basic supplies like glass blocks, Christmas lights and ribbon. 

And a super cute kid who wants his photo taken (oh wait, that really isn't a requirement!!)

Here's the final product!!

Like I said above, this really was a simple project.  I ordered the vinyl from MWC Vinyl Lettering on Etsy and was very pleased.  She included a full sheet of instructions on how to make the project look like the one she shared on her Etsy page.  All I had to do was add the vinyl figures to the glass blocks.  Now, if you look close you will notice that the blocks in the first picture are not the same as the final product!  When I ordered the blocks originally, I order two small squares instead of two rectangles!  I finally picked up the right blocks at Hobby Lobby just a week ago.  I also ended up ordering some white LED "wedding" lights to use instead of traditional Christmas lights.  The lights come with a switch on the strand instead of just a blog.  The only thing I haven't done is to put a frosted glaze on the blocks only because I haven't found a . . .well, frosted glaze yet.  That will help cover up the intensity of the lights.  

I'm really excited about this project because I've always wanted a nativity set but didn't want all of the little pieces.  This is the perfect solution.  I look forward to displaying it in just 8 short months HA!  


Monday, April 21, 2014

Homeschool Corner - Pinterest Style

I wanted to have some pictures this week of what I accomplished but I don't have photos yet.  I DID work on some of my projects though so pictures will come - hopefully next week I'll have them!

So, here is what I'm going to "investigate" this next week and either toss or create.

1. The Verse of the Week Chalkboard concept.
 2. Some printables for the boys to practice letters. 
3. The Sunflower Clock - the boys love time and I think this would make a great asset to our classroom.
4. Name Practice - good review for all of the boys.

Hopefully I can wrap up last weeks plans and also accomplish some of these and show them all next Monday :-)

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Happy Easter

Today we celebrate Easter.  We begin with taking time to remember that Jesus not only died on the cross to cover our sins but he also rose again and brought new life. 

We finish our day with some traditional fun by coloring eggs and going on an Easter Egg Hunt. 

We wish all of you a blessed and fun Easter! 

Saturday, April 19, 2014

"Saved the Day"

With Easter Weekend upon us I thought I'd share one of my all time favorite songs which happens to be an "Easter Song".  It is "Saved the Day" by Phillips, Craig and Dean.  The group my husband plays in also does a version of this song and I just love it!!  Enjoy (I'm off to scrapbook the day away leaving the boys and the Big D home to enjoy the day together.)

Friday, April 18, 2014

Food Friday - One Pot Meal

One Pot Meal (Roasted Drumsticks and Potatoes)
Adapted by Let the Baking Begin

I was using up items in the freezer recently and had a bag of Drumsticks in the freezer that were begging to be cooked.  I went to Pinterest and searched for recipes.  This "One Pot Meal" caught my eye because, well, it was easy.  The recipe sounded really tasting and it did not disappoint.  Not to mention that my house smelled fantastic! 

  • 8 chicken drumsticks
  • 6-8 large potatoes, cut in quarters or halves
  • 5-6 carrots, cut in 1-2 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt
  • Black ground pepper
  • 4 tsp ground pepper or 5 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (optional)
  • 3-4 Tbsp olive oil.

  1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a baking sheet with foil or even better, parchment paper.
  2. Thoroughly wash the potatoes & carrots with a scrubber and cut them in smaller pieces. Pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Rinse the chicken under running water & also pat dry with paper towel.
  4. Add chicken, potatoes and carrots to the lined baking dish and sprinkle with salt, ground pepper and garlic. Drizzle with olive oil. Toss everything to coat.
  5. Place in the oven and bake for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check for doneness, if the potatoes and chicken drums are soft and easily pierced with the fork they are ready.
  6. If the chicken and potatoes have not browned up as much as you would like, turn the broil setting on the oven and broil for 5 minutes. Watch carefully, or they will burn.
  7. Remove from the oven and serve right away in the baking dish or transfer to a warm serving plate.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Weekly Menu - The One with Easter

Do you know what I miss?  Being able to post about food prep from the week before!  I'm waiting for all of the fresh veggies and fruit to start looking a little better and then I can finally do that again!

I really have nothing else exciting to say this week so I'll just move on to the menu!

Friday - I'm going to try the same taco recipe as last week (which didn't turn out - the roast was like shoe leather!) but use some sirloin instead.  It should be tender!

Saturday - I am going scrapbooking a.l.l. d.a.y!!  (Seriously, it's a 10-10 crop!) So I'll leave meals for the boys.  Thinking just sandwiches for their lunch and then Darryl will have options for dinner like Mac and Cheese or Hot Dogs or Soup.  I have to take stuff for a potluck/snack so I'm going to make Taco Salad and the Ham and Pineapple Cheeseball.

Sunday - Easter!  I think I know what we are doing but I'll make you wait until I do a post about Easter to share what we eat!  For dinner lately, we've been enjoying soup (just the good old canned stuff), a relish tray and cheese/crackers.  It's simple and everyone has something they like.

Monday - I never did do breakfast for dinner a few weeks ago so we'll have it tonight - Eggs, Bacon/Sausage, Hashbrowns and Toast or Waffles

Tuesday - It was a little cold last week to Grill so, if the weather holds, we'll have Chicken on the Grill, Baked potatoes and green beans.

Wednesday - Darryl has a stomach scope today so my mom will be at the house.  Whats for dinner depends on when we get home.  Probably a fast food run will be in the works.

Thursday - So, tonight is the first night of Soccer.  My plan?  To make sure the boys eat a good snack at about 4:00 (soccer is at 5:30) and then I think we'll grab something on the way home after soccer. 

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Fun Filled Family Saturday

This past Saturday, all the stars aligned and we actually had a family fun day!!! Darryl didn't have to work on Saturday and we didn't need to go out of town so we decided to do some fun things (and accomplish some things too!) Darryl will be having back surgery sometime in May so we really were hoping for at least on more time to do something Fun with the kids.

As always, I made my list (and checked it twice HA!) so we knew what we wanted to do.

We started out with lunch at Grand Traverse Pie Company.  I will admit, this was a selfish move on my part because I've been craving their Turkey Reuben but I really thought the boys would be ok with it because they serve Mac and Cheese (The blue box).  Well, the Mac and Cheese didn't "taste" like I make it so they just nibbled on that and ended up eating the pickle and chips that came with the sandwiches Darryl and I got.  Oh well, at least I got my piece of pie for dessert ;-)

From there we headed to a place called "Catch Air" that I had heard quite a bit about it.  We were hoping that it would entertain for a couple of hours if we were lucky.  Well, three and half hours later the boys agreed to leave but only because they were hungry HA! 

 The whole "Catch Air" place is padded and geared for kids 10 and younger.  Even parents have to take their shoes off before entering the play area.  One side has a huge castle that, really, doesn't look like much until you get inside then it is full of stuff from ball rooms to tunnels to trampolines and slides.
 It was nice because a lot of it is adult height so as you run behind your kids you don't have to bend over the whole time!

 Nate having a blast!!!
 See this photo of Nate running?  Well, this is I saw most of the time - the back of him as he ran away to something else.
The other side of the place was a huge blow up slide and maze. 
 Josh was all smiles from the moment we walked in!  He loved it.
 Periodically they have dance parties where they turn off the lights and turn on "disco" lighting and big bubble machines and the kids dance.  It was awesome.

The boys had so much fun playing together on the slide.  The both came home with "rug burns" on their elbows from rolling down that thing.  The other thing that as nice about this place is the whole center is open with small kid tables and big foam blocks for the parents to sit on along the walls.  We would play for bit with the kids then sit back and watch them run around and play.  They have already asked to go back and trust me, we will. 

From there, we went to dinner at Smash Burger.  If you have never been, you should go!  Their burgers are awesome (I always get an Olive Burger) and I just love their Smash Fries. 

After dinner we had a few errands to run including picking the boys up some soccer shoes.  Our last stop of the night is always a big a hit!

 Yep, Krispy Kreme.  The "HOT NOW" sign was even on so we got to get hot, fresh donuts to try for free too.  Of course, we always buy some too.  Josh LOVES Krispy Kreme donuts. 
 Josh and Darryl :-)  (Yes, Josh is into taking funny photos again.)

Josh and Darryl having some fun with donuts!
 This was my favorite thing - a Mango/Passion Fruit Frozen Drink.  I love that ice cold slushy feeling and it even tasted really good! 
 Now, this is also a favorite place of Nate's but not because of the donuts (he is not a big sweet eater) but rather, his treat is to watch the donuts as they go through the process.  He watches from beginning to end and tries to figure the whole thing out.  He did tell me that he wants to be a donut guy when he grows up. (And then on Monday he told me he wanted to be an acrobat . . .. so I think his options are wide open!)

Darryl and his boys. 

Then we headed home . .. . to something totally not expected.
 No power :-(  Apparently, while we were having fun in the city, a HUGE storm swept in from the Lakeshore and did tons of damage.  Our only "damage" was that my swing was blown over but we really didn't see anything on the way home so we just figured it was minor. 
 Scardy Dog who was home during the storm .. .

The boys had a rare treat.  They got to stay up until they basically fell asleep which was about 9:30.  Some things I was thankful for:
1) Our IPads.  Even without internet the boys were able to entertain themselves with some games we had on them.  It helped keep their anxiety down and calm them down for betime.
2) The shortwave radio Darryl has had for ever.  He was able to tune into the Tigers game :-)
3) My Kindle - it is so much easier to read with that in the dark then while trying to hold a book and a flashlight!!!
4) Flashlights that actually worked ;-)

Around 9:15, Nate put away the game and crawled up into my lap.  He said he was tired, curled up, and fell asleep about 30 seconds later.  As I put him to bed, Josh came in and said he was tired and crawled into bed.  I really figured the power would come on during the night but it was still out when everyone started stirring at 6:30 so Darryl called into the power company only to find it that it was not expected to be back on until Monday night.  We packed up and headed to my parents for at least the day.  What they did not realize was how bad the storm was in their area.  As we drove closer to their house, we saw horrible damage with trees uprooted, (huge, huge trees) pole barns blown down and more.  Thankfully, they had power even though just a few houses down did not. 

The photos above are from the cemetery that is behind my parents house. 

We enjoyed a great day at my parents (Darryl and I even got to go out to lunch without kids to our favorite Coney Place!) 

Power was restored by about 4:00 Sunday afternoon so we headed by home that evening.  You don't realize how much you miss things like running water and lights until you don't have it HA!

So, our family fun day turned into a family fun weekend.