Friday, August 29, 2008

McCain's VP

McCain's VP choice - Alaska Governor Sarah Palin! I'm so excited - I love Sarah and she's super pro-life! Not only talks the talk, but has walked the walk! Go, Sarah! I was half-heartedly supporting McCain, but now I'm totally on board!

Height Chart

Great-Grandpa sent this height chart for Adam, but as you can see, he isn't quite on it yet!

TP Fun

Adam has discovered the TP roll!

New Toy

We redid Adam's overhead gym to be a crawl you can see it took some time for him to figure out how to use it!

Ray's Leatherman

Adam's going to be a fix-it man - already after Daddy's pocket knife! As a note, this was in the case - he couldn't hurt himself!

Adam's Reading Habits

Biography of Calvin Coolidge
The religion section
This is a children's book by Lynne Cheney

I want the kitty!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Passing the Buck

This amused me so much I had to pass it on. So I called my brother because Ray needed something from him. So he says, sure he'll send it to us. Turns out that he just foisted it off on my mother....who in turn had her mother do it! My poor grandma ended up mailing it! I thought this note (Grandma stuck it in the package) with it was Billy reminding Mom to mail it to me, and then Mom asking Grandma to do it! I guess Grandma just found it on her table when she got up - Mom left it there on her way to work.:)

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

My Day

So my day is not going the best. I was up late, Adam got up in the middle of the night, then was up early, so I was tired to begin with. Its raining, so no walk, plus it is giving me sinus issues. On top of that, Adam is cranky (asleep right now, so hopefully will wake up happier). I've fell twice (not with Adam, thank God) and just nothing is going right. So I'm taking a tea and blog break before trying to do some work. Just not a good day.

One good thing, though. I went grocery shopping (oh, yes, so fun) and noticed when I got to the car that my diapers were the wrong price. Since it was a $1.50 off, I decided to go back and argue it. Well, I was right and since it was a scanner mistake, I get the item $19.99 worth of diapers free! That was a GREAT moment!

Hopefully, the day will get better. I'm making shortcake later - when Adam gets up, he can "help" in his kitchen chair. Let's hope that goes better than the rest of my day! Amy and Warren are coming this weekend (YAH!) and since it is Ray and Amy's birthday on Saturday, I wanted to make cake.

Strawberry Shortcake Murder
Modified from Joanne Fluke's Strawberry Shortcake Murder

***The shortcake needs to chill for 48 hours so plan ahead!***

**Needs to sit for 48 hours**

1 1/2 cups softened butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour

Generously butter and flour two 9-inch round cake pans. (The recipe says Pam doesn't work...I haven't tried it that way yet so I can't comment.)

Cream softened butter and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until they are nice and fluffy. Then ad the sour cream, baking powder and vanilla. Mix it all up and then add the flour, one cup at a time, and beat until the batter is smooth and has no lumps.

Pour the batter into the prepared pans and bake at 325 degrees for 45-50 minutes (should be golden brown).

Cool in the pans on a rack for 20 minutes. Run a knife to loosen and then turn them on racks to finish cooling. After the cakes are completely cool, wrap each one in plastic wrap, sealing tightly. Wrap these packages in foil and store them in the refrigerator for 48 hours. Take them out an hour before you serve, but don't unwrap until you are ready to serve.

NOTE: This makes two cakes - if you don't need both freeze one and then half the other recipes. Or half the recipe and only make one (I've done both).

**Prepare a few hours before serving**

Wash 3 boxes of berries and remove stems. Slice all but a dozen or so, reserving a couple for topping. Taste the berries and ad sugar if they're too tart. Stir and refrigerate, covered tightly.

NOTE: I've used frozen if I don't have fresh (meaning they were too expensive and I was feeling cheap) and this still worked great. But as strawberries are currently in season, I'm going with lovely fresh!

Hannah's Whipped Creme Fraiche
**Can hold for several hours (or actually days....) if you want to make ahead**

2 cups heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup brown sugar

Whip the cream with the white sugar. When it holds a firm peak fold in the sour cream. You can do this by hand or by using the slowest speed on the mixer.


Okay, the pretty way to do this is do it by slice....I usually just do the entire thing at once. Start with shortcake, then top with strawberries and then creme fraiche and finally sprinkle with brown sugar. Garnish with whole berries (if you are going to do all at once I wouldn't bother with the whole berries).

Serves 12 (each cake serves 6).

Ray loves this - it really is delectable. I'm going to try raspberries with my frozen cake, I think, as I love raspberries. Blueberries, if you like them (I don't) would also be good, I'm sure.

Monday, August 25, 2008

My Brother

Reminded me of Billy


We've been crazy here as school is starting today. Since we've had such a nutty summer, we were really behind. I changed math textbooks...oh, what a nightmare...all my lectures are rewritten, but I'm still rewriting keys. I also have new editions in my history classes which means that any chapters that students need have to be rescanned...again a huge time sink hole. Actually, that's what I'm doing now...scanning a few history chapters for a student in Greenland whose books are still AWOL because it takes so long to get anything to him. My life is SO fun.

In other news, if you stand Adam up and let go, he can hold himself up for a few seconds! What a big boy! We spent the last few days at the Portage County Fair at the right to life booth. It was SO HOT!!! AGGHHH! I brought Adam home both days and stuck him straight into the tub to cool him off. We were in a building, but you know how hot those open air buildings get. It had been such a mild summer, I was hoping this wouldn't be bad, but oh, my hot, just like last year!

We are getting visitors this weekend (Amy and Warren) and are really excited about that! Something to look forward to at the end of the first week of craziness as classes start!

My Olympics

We've been watching the Olympics and I have to say, it was a great one. I do have to say for all those complaining about Chinese gymnasts age. First, off, gymnasts are often underdevloped and hard to pinpoint ages and then add in the Chinese small stature...they could be any age! Second, what is an investigation going to do? If China is lying about it, they will just falsify more documents so who cares? And third...they are awesome gymnasts and deserved to win. Now, there was also a lot of complaining about scores. In a subjective sport, that will always be there. I did have a few I disagreed with, but overall, it depends on what you look at. So many people are focusing on the landings, but also look at air position. The Chinese have PERFECT air position and the Americans are well SLOPPY!! You can really see this is diving. Which, by the way, was cool. The Chinese divers were great. I felt sorry for that last guy - messing up their 8 or 8, but Matthew Mitcham of Australia did a fantastic job.

I do HATE the new scoring system in gymnastic, but I am slowly figuring it out. You just have to look at execution scores and nothing else.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Chicken Cornbread Casserole

We made this last week and Ray really liked it because it isn't a "cream" casserole. I think this will be great as Thanksgiving leftover casserole too - turkey inside of chicken and leftover cornbread! I might even see if I can modify it to use up my leftover cornbread stuffing.

Chicken and Cornbread Casserole
Modified from Southern Living

2 celery ribs, chopped
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
3 cups packed crumbled cornbread [I made Jiffy cornbread muffins and crumbled them...I used 10 muffins.]
1 tablespoon poultry seasoning
3 1/2 cups chopped cooked chicken
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1 cup sour cream
1 large egg, lightly beaten
4 oz mushrooms, sliced [this originally called for jarred, but we don't do canned mushrooms.]
1/4 teaspoon dried crushed red pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded sharp Cheddar cheese

Sauté celery, onion and mushrooms in hot oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender; set aside.

Combine cornbread and poultry seasoning in a large bowl.

Layer half of cornbread mixture on bottom of a lightly greased 11- x 7-inch baking dish.

Combine onion mixture, chicken, and next 6 ingredients in a bowl. Spoon mixture evenly over top of cornbread mixture in dish. Top evenly with remaining half of cornbread mixture, and drizzle with butter.

Bake, covered, at 350° for 30 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven, and top with cheese.
Bake, uncovered, 10 more minutes or until cheese is golden.

Makes 6 servings.

Adam's New Kitchen Tool!

Look what Grandpa built Adam!

This is not Grandpa's first time either...this is me in mine years ago (Adam's is a new one...this one was given away after us kids outgrew it)
Oh, and Adam found a creative use of it:

Recipe Carnival

The newest recipe carnival is a southwest one - enjoy!

Friday, August 22, 2008


Dear Tech Support,
Last year I upgraded from Boyfriend 5.0 to Husband 1.0 and noticed a distinct slow down in overall system performance, particularly in the flower and jewelry applications, which operated flawlessly under Boyfriend 5.0.

In addition, Husband 1.0 uninstalled many other valuable programs, such as Romance 9.5 and Personal Attention 6.5, and then installed undesirable programs such as NASCAR 6.0, NFL 5.1 and Golf Clubs 4.1.

Conversation 8.0 no longer runs, and Housecleaning 2.6 simply crashes the system.

Please note that I have tried running Nagging 5.3 to fix these problems, but to no avail.

What can I do?



First, keep in mind, Boyfriend 5...0 is an Entertainment Package, while Husband 1.0 is an operating system.

Please enter command: ithoughtyoulovedme.html and try to download Tears 6.2 and do not forget to install the Guilt 3.0 update.

If that application works as designed, Husband 1.0 should then automatically run the applications Jewelry 2.0 and Flowers 3.5.

However, remember, overuse of the above application can cause Husband 1.0 to default to Grumpy Silence 2.5, Happy Hour 7.0 or Beer 6.1.

Please note that Beer 6. 1 is a very bad program that will download the Farting and Snoring Loudly Beta.

Whatever you do, DO NOT under any circumstances install Mother-In-Law 1.0 (it runs a virus in the background that will eventually seize control of all your system resources.)

In addition, please do not att empt to reinstall the Boyfriend 5.0-program. These are unsupported applications and will crash Husband 1.0.

In summary, Husband 1.0 is a great program, but it does have limited memory and cannot learn new applications quickly. You might consider buying additional software to improve memory and performance. We recommend Cooking 3.0 and Hot Lingerie 7.7.

Good Luck Babe!
Tech Support

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Math Joke

So true!

Recipe Carnivals

I'm way behind so here are the last few recipe carnivals:

Try something new for dinner tonight!

Fun at PaPas

We went up to Michigan on Sunday - as you can see Adam had some fun!

Hasn't quite figured out flowers yet!

New Car from Great-Granpda

Great-Grandpa got Adam a little wooden car in Homer.

Pretzel Rod

We gave Adam a pretzel rod to chew on to help with the teething

Shopping with Mommy

Shopping with Mommy in the car BY HIMSELF!! No more infant carrier.:)

New Car Seat

We had to upgrade Adam's carseats as he was too long for his infant carrier one. Still rear facing, of course, but just bigger.

Happy Adam

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Playing with Mommy's pans!
Playing with Mommy's newspaper

Adam's Wagon

Adam got out in his wagon this week to help Mommy weedy.
Checking out his new digs

Figuring out what is happening here!

Adam's Cruising

Adam is getting good at getting where he wants!


First off, congrats to the US women's gymnastics team on silver and the Chinese on gold. I'm glad the Chinese won - they deserved it and I like seeing someone new win.

But what I really want to talk about...the stupid scoring system! Gymnastics, like figure skating, has revamped their scoring system and it now makes NO SENSE!!! I want one easy score back! They are trying to turn a subjective sport into an objective one! You can make everything numbers! And what is up with how long scoring is taking? It is like they are having brain freezes ALL THE TIME!!! AGHHHHH!!!

CT Trips Stops

I've been writing up our museum stops at the APB if you'd like to read them.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Congrats to the Men's Gymnastics!

China, as expected, won the men's competition with Japan in second. Although that is the way everyone thought it would turn out we did get some unexpected drama out of it. The US men's team actually did really well, considering how bad they did in quals. They ended up with a bronze and were rightly thrilled with it. They did awesome! I'm also really glad China won - they deserved it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Some Rambles

First off, why do restaurants always keep their AC so low? I have to take a coat with me to most restaurants in the summer! It is ridiculous!

Second, I've started watching the summer Olympics. While I love that I can DVR it all and thus not worry about when what I want to see airs (mainly just gymnastics), it does mean I don't have to watch anything else and so miss a bit that way. Although being able to skip all the sob stories and dumb interviews is certainly nice! Anyway, the US men's team is sucking it up. No surprise with both Hamm twins out of it. The US women's team is in 2nd going into finals, but I'm not impressed. They were falling constantly. They just lack discipline. The commentators were making comments about the Romanian team being weak, not like normal - hate to tell them, they are just like the US now and lacking discipline. If you want to see discipline look at the Chinese gymnasts!

Friday, August 08, 2008

My Garden

We got more beans and three more zucchini out of our garden. As such, I made zucchini bread this week. I made five loaves and then froze all but one. I'll have it for later in the year. I'm sure I still have more coming...zucchini is good for lots of things though as it is mostly water and fairly mild.

Zucchini Bread

From Grandma Cottle

3 eggs, beaten until foamy
1 cup margarine
2 cups sugar
3 tsp vanilla
3 cups flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 cups shredded zucchini

Beat the eggs to foamy. Add the rest of the wet ingredients. Put the baking soda nad baking powder in with the flour and beat that in slowly. Once blended then fold in zucchini.

Bake at 350 for 1 hour.

As a note...make sure your pans are big enough as mine were a little too small and made a huge mess! I just split up the next two batches into three pans.

Our Update

So we are finally getting back caught up, but now I have a ton of prep work to do for next fall. My math book for algebra is changing, which means rewriting ALL my lesson plans...such fun...anyway, that is my entire next week.

Let's see, Adam is finally settled back into routine after two weeks of running. We are going up to Cleveland tomorrow, but we have been lying low for the most part. We have a bunch of mundane appointments, trying to get things in line before Ray goes back to work. We've had a slow leak in the basement and finally figured out that it was our AC and got that fixed today. Life has just been crazy here...hopefully it will be getting better before the new semester starts!

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Recent Adam

Fire hat from Great Grandpa
Playing with his hammer...the first toy I bought him when I knew he was a boy! And Christine might recognize that shirt...

Stamp Book

Since I was just at three NPS museums, I thought I’d share this idea. We just bought Adam a NPS Passport Book so we could record all his museums for him and have a way of remembering all the places he has been. NPS books aren’t that expensive (under $10, even with tax) and a great way to keep track of your children’s memories. I’m planning on recording all museums, even non-NPS ones, in this book for him, even though those won’t have the stamps – I can make my own notations. We were actually just as the Garfield Monument in Cleveland I did just that, so he'd know when he was there even though it wasn't a NPS site. If you don’t want to buy a book, you could also make one yourself (and probably be more creative with it), but it is a great way to share American history and culture with your children and memorialize it – whether with an NPS booklet or not. As he gets older, I'll keep all the things he does at this museums with the book as well.

Adam moved up to the BIG TUB

Playing Peek-a-Boo

Adam and his Great-Grandma Stannard

At Auntie Sue's

Playing in his Crib (rather than taking a nap!)
Playing Peek-a-Boo

Taking a Bath at Auntie Sue's

Two more Roosevelts

We went to two more Roosevelt museums - Val-Kill, Eleanor's museum (top) and Sara Roosevelt's house (so Franklin's...that's where his presidential library is) (bottom). It was hot in all these - no AC! We toured the museum, not the house, at Franklin's and that was AC and that was nice!

Sagamore Hill

We made three musuems - here are the three of us in front of the first one - Sagamore Hill, the home of Theodore Roosevelt.

Adam's first Hotel

We spent a night in New York - Adam had fun running around after a day in the car!

Adam and the Horses

Four Generations

Adam's CT Trip

We got back on Sunday from CT, but it has been crazy here trying to catch up. Lots to do and little time to do it...anyway here are a few pictures.


NARA has a huge backlog - as do most archives - and are trying to do something about it. Good luck to them - processing definitely needs to get done so we can use their records!