Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #9

My daughters and I spent several hours Wednesday in the kitchen, preparing all sorts of good things to eat. We aren't having company, nor are we going anywhere--so it will be just our family, but we prepared a nice meal and will set the table pretty and enjoy the day! As I made yet another run to the grocery store I thought about how much "trouble" it was to prepare Thanksgiving dinner... and then I remembered that it's really not much trouble at all these days. So for my Thanksgiving Thursday Thirteen, here are...

13 Things I Didn't Do For Thanksgiving Dinner
  1. I did not milk a cow to have whipped cream, sour cream, butter, cream cheese, shredded cheese. I only went to the store and put the packaged products in my cart and brought them home!
  2. I did not churn the butter or make the cheese mentioned in #1.
  3. I did not raise the turkey and butcher it and dress it. I bought it frozen, let it thaw, then popped it in a baking bag and into the oven.
  4. I did not plant and hoe and dig potatoes. I bought a 10-pound bag, washed 'em, peeled 'em, washed 'em again, cut 'em up, cooked 'em, mashed 'em, and mixed in the goodies we like. Easy compared to hoeing and digging!
  5. I did not grow a pumpkin in my garden, then have to cut it up and cook it to prepare it for making a pie. I have done that before, but not this time. I bought a can of pumpkin and mixed it with spices and milk and eggs to dump into the pie crust.
  6. I did not raise and can the green beans. My parents did that! And we do appreciate having home-grown green beans. Otherwise, yep, I would have bought those, too.
  7. I did not raise out-of-season vegetables in a greenhouse. Bought those, too, fresh from the produce department of the local grocery store!
  8. I did not pick the apples I peeled and cut up for a pie.
  9. I did not grow and mill the wheat for the flour in the rolls and pie crusts.
  10. I did not make pudding from scratch for the chocolate pie that my husband loves. He likes instant pudding/pie filling just as well, so that's what I used.
  11. I did not chop wood or have to keep a fire going in a wood cookstove to get the cooking done.
  12. I did not weave the tablecloth nor spin the fibers it is woven from.
  13. I did not forget to thank the Lord for all these and many other blessings!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Menu Plan Monday

I plan to spend most of Wednesday in the kitchen, as is my tradition, but I need a plan for the other days, as I have a lot to do this week. Keeping it simple...

Monday - tacos
Tuesday - chili dogs
Wednesday - chef salad
Thursday - Thanksgiving dinner, of course!
Friday - leftovers

Saturday, November 17, 2007


After months of anticipation, the new Cabela's store in our area finally opened last week. I had never been in one before. I could not understand what the big to-do was. Just another "man store" with huntin' and fishin' gear. We already have Sportsman's Warehouse and Joe's, plus some non-chain "outfitters"... Occasionally I like going in those places with my husband to look at camping gear, but mostly it's just another "man store"... you know, like Lowe's and Home Depot, for the do-it-yourself projects... oh, yeah... then there's Best Buy and Circuit City for the nerdy side. It's gotten to where my husband almost enjoys shopping more than I do! (Which really wouldn't take much, as I'm not much of a shopper.)

Anyway, my husband decided that Thursday evening would be a good time for us to check out the new Cabela's. So we did. And just let me tell you, it is much cooler than the other "outfitter" stores around here. There are more interesting things to look at than guns and fishing poles and camo clothes. My favorite part of the store was the "Home and Cabin" department. I also liked their ladies clothes. The whole family was fascinated with "Conservation Mountain" in the middle of the store with dozens of real "stuffed" animals. It was really neat to be able to see the animals much closer than we ever get in the wild, or even in a zoo or something.

What I'm wondering is if I could log that as a field trip in my homeschooling records?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Four Things

Four jobs I have had in my life:
  1. Cook (with a capital C!)
  2. manager of my home (and some days things are managed better than others!)
  3. educator
  4. child care provider

Four places I have lived:
  1. in Daddy's parsonage
  2. in my in-laws basement (for 6 weeks once)
  3. in our travel trailer (for 2 weeks between houses)
  4. in back of the print shop (currently)

Four places I have been on vacation:
  1. The Oregon Coast
  2. Pennsylvania/New York/Washington DC
  3. The Grand Canyon
  4. Mount Rushmore

Four of my favorite foods:
  1. grilled shrimp
  2. fried fish fillets
  3. popcorn
  4. real cheesecake

Four places I would rather be right now:
  1. on the road with Lyle ('cept he's not presently on the road!)
  2. at the shop watching Lyle and Loren remodel the front office
  3. but really, who says I'd rather be someplace else? I like being home!
  4. in a comfy chair, curled up with a book

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #8

Thirteen Things I Am Thankful For

My Thanksgiving count-down ticker says it's only 7 days until Thanksgiving. It's early this year, and I'm not sure I like that... because that means the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas is longer. I guess some people probably consider that a good thing. But for me, a 6-week long holiday season is just too much of a good thing. In any case, Thanksgiving is next week... so for today's Thursday Thirteen I thought I would "count my blessings"... at least as high as 13!
  1. The privilege we have of having a personal relationship with our Creator.
  2. The hope of heaven... this life is not all there is... and "this too shall pass"...
  3. A husband who cherishes me and enjoys spending time with me.
  4. Our beautiful children who bring so much joy to our lives.
  5. A Christian heritage and a loving, supportive family.
  6. Good health... which is something I never want to take for granted.
  7. A comfortable home and many material things we don't really need but enjoy.
  8. Plenty of food... way more than we need!
  9. Many freedoms we enjoy as Americans.
  10. An education... and a limitless supply of books so we never have to stop learning.
  11. The internet, which makes accessing info so quick and easy, and staying in touch with friends and loved ones even easier.
  12. Strength to work hard... and good jobs.
  13. Time to relax and "play" some, too.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Banana Nut Bread

The girls and I have decided to make goody boxes to give out at Christmas time to Daddy's co-workers and other friends. My oldest daughter loves to bake... and loves to share what she bakes, so I decided this would be a good project for us for the holidays. We plan to wrap boxes with lift-off lids and line them with foil and then just fill 'em up with all kinds of holiday yumminess!

Today was a gray, rainy day and Daddy had to work, so I suggested it might be a good day to get started on the holiday baking. L was enthusiastic about that idea. Since banana bread freezes well I had her start with that. This is the result of her labors today. Seven batches of banana bread = 21 mini loaves.

I'm sure everyone has a recipe for banana bread, but this is the one we like:

Banana Bread

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 cup mashed bananas
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 cup chopped nuts (optional)

Cream sugar and butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs. Mash bananas with lemon juice. Mix well, then add to creamed mixture. Add flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Stir until well-blended. Add nuts, if desired, and mix well. Bake at 350 degrees for 50 minutes. (Less for mini loaves.)

Oh! And here's a little tip... Any time we have bananas that are starting to get too ripe and I know we won't eat them before they go bad, I'll peel it, chop it into chunks and toss it in a zip-lock bag in the freezer. One banana per bag. These work great for banana bread... or fruit smoothies!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #7

13 Things I'd Like to Do Sometime That I've Never Done
  1. Write a book.
  2. Have the book I write published.
  3. Learn to spin (which would involve aquiring a spinning wheel and having a place to keep it!).
  4. Learn to weave (which, like spinning, would involve elaborate equipment).
  5. Take a road trip the length of historic Route 66.
  6. Take a road trip to Alaska (in the summertime!).
  7. Travel cross country by train.
  8. Take a cruise.
  9. Visit England.
  10. Visit New England (the northeastern states).
  11. Visit the Old South (the southeastern states).
  12. Have chickens (but that would not be conducive to traveling...)
  13. Own a house with a big front porch, a fireplace, and a view of the mountains (...might as well throw that in while I'm dreaming!).

Recommended Movies

We watched these two movies this past weekend... They are both excellent!

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Weekend in Seattle

We enjoyed a family getaway to Seattle last weekend in celebration of our anniversary. DH found a 2-bedroom suite in a hotel in downtown Seattle. We had a great view of the Space Needle from our window!

On Friday afternoon, on our way in, we had to detour to Renton to visit DH's favorite place to shop: Fry's Electronic Superstore. Aisles and aisles (miles and miles?) of software and hardware and all manner of things that blinked and blipped and beeped. On the computer game aisle (okay, one of the computer game aisles) we found the first 7 of the old King's Quest games in one box for $20, so we "had" to get that. It had been updated so it would run on XP, but that's all the updates that had been made. We were telling the kids about playing it before they were born. I think we actually started with Volume 3, but the first game came out in 1983, so you can imagine how primitive the graphics were. The kids were not impressed when we installed it. Not even when we tried to explain what cutting-edge technology that was for the time. I think they fully imagine we lived in the Dark Ages!

We got a little turned around looking for our hotel downtown, but that ended up being a good thing (for me, at least) because we happened upon a Half Price Book Store. I had already told DH that he didn't have to hunt them down for me (which he did once when we were over there) but if we went past any we had to stop! So we did... and of course, since I need more books so badly, I ended up buying 5 or 6.

The kids watched episodes from the Andy Griffith Show on DVD in their room that evening, and DH and I watched The Ultimate Gift in ours. Great movie! Very touching story!

On Saturday morning DH took the kids to KidzFest which was part of the Franklin Graham Festival that was going on. They mainly wanted to go hear the Go Fish Guys. DH and the kids like their music, but I'm not a big fan, so I stayed at the hotel to write. (I'm participating in NaNoWriMo this month, so that was a chance for me to get off to a good start.)

In the afternoon DH and our oldest daughter went to a car show at the convention center. Seems that particular car show usually falls on our anniversary weekend. I went with DH one other year, but this year we decided that probably our daughter would enjoy that time with Daddy.

After going out for supper we relaxed in our suite again that evening, reading and playing computer games... We gained an extra hour that night when the time changed, and enjoyed the drive back home over the Cascades and across the prairie the next day. Not the most romantic anniversary getaway I've ever had... but still lots of fun!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Winners of "Boo Humbug"

Congratulations to Shannon and Nikki who each won a copy of Boo Humbug! It was fun to get the extra traffic to my blog for the Fall Y'all Bloggy Giveaway.

And the fun continues! I'll be giving away another book this week. Check my next post to find out what it is and leave a comment for your chance to win.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Thursday Thirteen - Edition #6

In honor of our 22nd anniversary tomorrow, I thought I'd list:

13 Things I Love About My Husband

(And yes, it could easily be 22 things... to commemorate 22 years... or any number really, because I could go on and on, but then we'd be here forever, and none of us have time for that, do we? So since it's supposed to be 13 things for Thursday, we'll just stick with that!)
  1. He loves me!
  2. He's my best friend. Really. I don't have close "girlfriends"... He's the one I talk everything over with, and while he doesn't always "get" the "girl stuff" I share with him, he's usually willing to listen anyway.
  3. He works hard. Too hard sometimes, but I am really proud that he has such high work ethics.
  4. He talks to me (but not necessarily to anyone else). Most people think he's quiet... and he is... so I appreciate that he will talk to me.
  5. His brown eyes. Everyone in my family has blue eyes.
  6. His sense of humor. This is probably the first thing that attracted me to him. He's not a "clown" (usually) but he definitely can see the silly side of life.
  7. His strength. Physically, emotionally, spiritually...
  8. His common sense. Which seems a stupid thing to mention, but it seems to be lacking in a lot of people I meet.
  9. He is a good dad. The kids (and the dog!) adore him.
  10. He's cute! Well... he is!!!
  11. He likes to drive... and I like to go along for the ride.
  12. His generous spirit. He loves to give and share.
  13. His commitment... to God, to me, to his family, to his job...
Well, that's thirteen so I guess it's time to stop... Happy Anniversary, Dear!

A Love Story

For those of you who missed it last week... this is back up! And still worth a read!

Okay... y'all gotta read the post on my nephew's blog about his grandparents. It brought tears to my eyes.