Tuesday, June 28, 2011
Our next door neighbor got a new puppy a few days ago. The sweetest most calmest puppy you ever saw, actually. The only problem is she works all day. So with Kirby in tow, she came over to see if either Meghan or Noah wanted a dog walking job.
Meghan politely said no, even though she needs a job. But that $2.00 a day spoke Noah's language and he proudly (and quickly) took Patty up on her offer. But being the kind of kid that he is, Noah felt that $2.00 a day was w-a-y too much so he negotiated with Patty to $1.00 a day. He said he would feel funny taking any more than that from her. What a guy.
Long story short? Noah now has a job walking Kirby to the tune of $5.00 a week.
His plan for all that money? (because that's a lot of money each week for an 8 year old) "To give some to church and to save the rest." Again I say: what a guy.
Sunday, June 26, 2011
We watched this guy play t-ball. Watching him play was only made better by seeing him make two great plays that got two guys out and finally seeing them winning a game.
Brought this tray of cookies to a team BBQ after the above mentioned game where we swam, played t-ball, played on the Rainbow System and watched 4 kids get 4 black eyes. The cookies disappeared in minutes, the memories of the day will last forever. Great people, great food, and lots of laughter from both the kids and the adults.
Took this little ray of sunshine on what seemed like a bazillion bike rides. She loves that she can bike on her own to certain "landmarks" along the sidewalk such as the stop sign or a lightpost talking and singing as she goes but stopping every so often to watch the birds or the ants.
Spent Sunday doing some projects. All these jars are missing now are some white flowers and to be delivered to various neighbors.
Sunday ended with me actually making dinner. Granted it was spaghetti sauce from a jar and frozen garlic bread, but it was cooked at home by me so it counts!
Saturday, June 25, 2011
I created my two-week menu. I printed off my shopping list. (this self-generates as you create your menu then all you have to do is click print) And I printed off my recipe cards. So I should be good to go. Well, other than the fact that this requires that I actually get to a grocery store to get the items on my shopping list that is........
And I guess it would be helpful if I remembered to look at the menu each day so I know what I am cooking.......
And it might even be helpful if I actually cooked the meal in addition to reading the menu each day........
But other than that, I think we're good to go!
Friday, June 24, 2011
Coconut Chicken with Apricot Sauce
1 cup sweetened coconut flakes
1/2 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
4 boneless chicken breasts
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup apricot preserves
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Lightly beat the egg in a medium bowl; set aside. Mix the coconut, flour, garlic powder, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl. One piece at a time, dip the chicken in the bowl with the beaten egg and then coat with the coconut mixture. Place on the baking sheet. Once all chicken breasts are coated and on the baking sheet, evenly drizzle with the melted butter. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, flipping once halfway.
To make the apricot sauce, mix the apricot preserves and the Dijon mustard in a small bowl. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Taking these three monkey's to see Mr. Popper's Penguins on a gloomy day. We were the only people in the theater~ it was great. The movie was pretty good, too!
Finding some material and a just the right size pillow form at JoAnn's so I can make a pillow for my new bench that is currently housed in our upstairs hallway.
FINALLY getting a warm sunny day so I can sit on my patio and soak up some sun while I read a magazine, an easy cheesy book and drink a big ol' glass of ice water.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
After deciding we wanted to attempt camping this summer, we decided that this was probably the way to go for this year. While we've camped a couple of times, I wouldn't call us experienced campers. Nor would I even call us comfortable campers, for that matter! And since we don't have a tent, paying their flat fee for the whole experience seemed like a great idea. So, I hopped online to book one.
Only when I logged on, I discovered that at Gooseberry Falls (a park we've always wanted to camp at and a place we've always wanted to take the kids to) offered a two-night I Can Camp! session. Perfect, I thought! Two nights of camping at a place we've wanted to camp at, under their guidance and we get to use all of their equipment. I mean, all I have to do is bring our sleeping bags and some clothes; it just doesn't get any better than that! Or so I thought.......
The I Can Camp! session advertises that it's $50.00 for the night. So, when I started making the reservation for Gooseberry I figured it would be $100.00 for the two nights. Obviously a little more expensive, but still darned cheap when you think of what all we're getting for our money: a tent that sleeps 6 to use, air mattresses, a cookstove, cookware, their guidance and a whole state park to explore. It just seemed like such a great deal to me. Until I registered and discovered that.......
It was/is only $50 for both nights. Are you kidding me?? I mean, how awesome is that?!
Then, if all that wasn't enough, we got a huge package from the DNR in the mail yesterday. This package contained a list of what we needed to bring, a list of what they are supplying, a suggested grocery list, a map of the campground, a map of the state park, a list of other places to visit such as Split Rock Lighthouse........ and our itinerary.
Turns out in addition to just being taught the basics of setting up a tent and starting a fire, we will get to learn how to cook over a campfire and a campstove. The kids will have their own activity time provided by the park each morning and each afternoon. And each night they will set up a family style campfire where we'll make S'mores, sing songs and get some sort of presentation.
I am so excited for our camping weekend I can hardly stand it!
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
And then, after playing in the indoor play area for over an hour, we drove home. Now, I know this library is not new by any means. Others have basked in its glory for years, but today was our first trip there and the kids and I have now coined it our favorite. We can hardly wait to go back.
What's really got me is I have wanted to go there for years. I mean, we're talking since Noah was about three. But it seemed so intimidating. Between driving to Woodbury-- because let's face it, driving to Woodbury from Forest Lake feels like a day-trip-- and trying something new, just seemed like too much. But we tackled it today and I am glad we did! It was great experiencing something new (which I am usually game for, but it gets tricky with kids), it kept the crankiness and the boredom at bay (always a good thing!), but best of all, it was great crossing something off my bucket list.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Saturday, June 18, 2011
A quick road trip to Wabasha, MN via Wisconsin. (I know. I know. You're jealous because Wabasha is your dream trip too, isn't it?!)
What a blast! After dropping the kids at my parents house at 8:00 am yesterday morning, we boogied to Panera where we devoured a couple of breakfast sandwiches and some fresh fruit (that we didn't have to share with anyone!) before venturing out of Minnesota into Wisconsin. We caught Wisconsin highway 35 heading south and enjoyed the most beautiful drive. We felt like we were 1,000 miles away from home instead of a mere 45 the scenery was so awesome! The best part of the drive was listening to this CD. The whole CD seemed so fitting given the scenery we were passing. It was just so peaceful. (of course the peaceful feeling could have been because there weren't any kids fighting in the back seat, but......)
Along the way we stopped at the coolest antique store and scooped up a couple of goodies. We also made sure to act like the ultimate tourists and stop at every single scenic vista along the way. (complete with pictures of course!) We visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder house (see posted picture) where I just walked around in complete and total awe and wondered what life would have been like back then. We visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder museum. (which really had nothing to do with her, but it was free and it was there) Watched a fox trot down the road with a dead rodent in his mouth. (good times, good times) Stopped at a fruit stand and got the most delicious peaches and a really cool stepping stone for our yardette. (oh, and did I mention that I used a port-a-potty while we were there?! I think Marty about keeled over in shock!!) And finally.........we arrived at Wabasha.
In Wabasha we ate at a fun little cafe because Marty and I have a rule that whenever we travel we have to pick at least one dive-y cafe to eat at. We visited the Eagle Center, saw about 15 Eagles and learned more than we ever cared to know about Eagles. (and probably more than we'll ever remember!) We saw approximately 200 Grumpy Old Men benches and 300 movie posters. (I don't want to see anything Grumpy Old Men related ever again) We ate dinner at Slippery's, because, well, it was Slippery's! We walked through town and took pictures of all the old architecture before we walked along the river while listening to the "Free Music Under The Bridge" concert. And finally, our day ended with listening to the guy in the next room yelling at the top of his lungs in excitement because he knew someone who had a cameo appearance on the 10:00 news. This excitement was followed by what seemed like 40 phone calls before he finally slammed the door and left the hotel. (hope you enjoyed your 30 seconds of fame, Steve!!)
All in all, it was a great 24 Hour Road Trip that only got better when Marty graciously drove me the 45 minutes to Rochester this morning so I could spend 90 minutes wandering through the Amish Store. (and yes, it was really 90 minutes before I promptly announced I would just come back in August and that we could leave.)
Oh and did I mention the trip to the Flea Market in Zumbrota where he very nicely (and very calmly) wrestled with getting the old-door-turned-into-a-bench thing into the car? Talk about being a rock star! Not a word of anger was uttered in spite of the 25 minute struggle. Not even when I accidentally set off the car alarm and what felt like the whole town started staring at us..........
Thursday, June 16, 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011
Crockpot Swedish Meatballs
1 bag of frozen, pre-cooked meatballs (or use your favorite recipe!)
1 can french onion soup
Friday, June 10, 2011
P.S. I wish I could take credit for dreaming up this fabulous idea, but I can't. I got my inspiration from here and here.