Friday, May 31, 2013

Crafts

Adam saw this project in his magazine (Turtle) and wanted to do it. So we dyed the pasta and then made necklaces with it over at a friend's house. The kids were all surprisingly diligent!





We also made hats!

Garden

My garden is in!

Using our new rototiller!

Ray's poor car

Ray got in an accident over Memorial Day weekend. Someone didn't look and pulled straight out in front of him. It wasn't his fault, but we are still waiting on the verdict on the car, which could royally screw us....I hate it when other people's idiocy messes up my life!  The insurance will pay, of course, it just is a matter of if it affects OUR insurance (which it should NOT, but I may have to fight over that) and if they total the car, which means we have to find a used one for what they give us for this one. I REALLY hope that doesn't happen!
 
As a note, no one was hurt, so obviously it could have been much worse. I'm just still not happy.

My project....

So one of my "big" project is organizing all my photos/keepsakes PLUS digitizing most of them.  Eventually the goal is everything will fit in one box per person....anyways, we put up shelves to help me keep them while I work on them....wish me luck!  I'm one year into what will probably be a two year project.  If the kids were more helpful....

Monday, May 27, 2013

Lemon Ice Cream

Ray adored this and it was very good, although I liked it better with the chocolate sauce on it (I like sweet and this is more tart than sweet). Definitely lemony! 

Lemon Ice Cream
Modified from Taste of Home
 
1 cup milk
1 cup sugar
5 egg yolks, lightly beaten
3 tbsp grated lemon peel (so use three lemons)
3/4 cup lemon juice (this is more than those three lemons by quite a bit...I keep it in my fridge...you know that bottle the grocery store sells...I juiced by three then filled it out)
2 cups heavy whipping cream
 
In small saucepan, heat milk, stir in sugar until dissolved.   Whisk in a small amount of hot mixture to temper the egg yolks, then return all to the pan and whisk some more.  Add lemon peel.  Cook and stir over low until it coats the back of a spoon (they say 160...I never tested this).  Remove from heat and strain (okay, so I didn't do this....and the texture of the lemon peel in the smooth ice cream was annoying...so I probably will next time).  Cool slightly (they used an ice bath...I didn't bother).  Then cover and refrigerate overnight (if you do the quick cool you can probably speed this up). 
 
Follow instructions on your ice cream maker.
 
Makes 1 1/2 quarts. (this was a great amount as we could eat it reasonably quickly).
 
 

Honey Mustard Meatloaves

My friend Christine recommended this recipe and Ray just loved it.  She is the one who suggested making these turkey meatloaves (as the recipe, if you follow it, uses beef).

Honey Mustard Meatloaves
Modified from Martha Stewart and Christine
 
3 tbsp honey mustard
3 tbsp ketchup
1  1/2 lb ground turkey
2 small eggs, beaten (I am doing 1 1/2 times this recipe (you'll see why later...), so you can either do 1 1/2 large eggs (and then you are stuck with 1/2 egg) or just use 2 small, etc.)
3/4 cup panko
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar (they said white...I used yellow)
salt and pepper
 
Preheat oven to 450.  Mix mustard and ketchup in a small bowl.  In a large bowl, mix ground turkey, egg, panko, half of the cheddar, salt and pepper.  Using a mini loaf pan (the one with 6 slots), make 6 little loaves in each. (So the original recipe did 4, freehand, on a baking sheet...I have these pans (just got them for Mother's Day), so I used them, but I have 6 slots, hence I wanted 6 meatloaves...so I modified this to fit what I have, which is the 6 slot.), divide mixture into 6 mini loaves.  Brush with mustard mixture then top with the rest of the cheese. 
 
Bake until loaves are cooked through (this is poultry, so make sure it is done!), 15-20 minutes. 
 
Makes 6 mini meatloaves. 

Catching Up

With the end of school then this flooring stuff, we've been crazy.  We are hoping for a little breathing room now that this is done and this is Adam's last week of school.  So hopefully, life can slow down for school!

Neither boy has been sleeping well, which doesn't help and the weather has been up and down.  So here's to a fun and relaxing summer!

Some random pictures

Flowers from the boys

"Grassman" from school

A "guarder"

New pool

Garden rototilled!

Zoo Field Trip

Adam's class went to the zoo last week and I got to go chaperone.

With his groupmates - we had three kids and three parents (all kids belonged to said parent), so it was actually really easy!  I guess chaperones weren't an issue this trip!

Feeding the animals

Jordan, Adam and Molly

Playing in the water

The Flamingos (that was their group name)


All three disembarking from the pirate ship!

All three in the gopher hole!

Refinishing Our Floors

We had our hardwood floors refinished this week by Old World Carpentry as since they are uncovered now they needed fixed. They did an absolutely fabulous job!

What we started with

Day 1 - sanded

Day 2 - stain/first two coats drying

This is all that is left of where the fireplace was!

Day 2 - dried

Day 3 - final coat (semi gloss) drying

Day 3 - all done!  We then had three days before furniture and then a week for rugs (so those still aren't down again)

Eating dinner downstairs!

The boys' run - they got a TV up there as a treat since the living room was out of commission!

Our entrance while each coat was drying!

My kitchen.....
 
The boys were going crazy with all the restrictions, but loved running around in the empty living room when they could!

Childrens' Museum

I took the boys up the Children's' Museum on Wednesday to avoid the major sanding work on our floors. 
I thought this kind of looked like the opening scene from Phineas and Ferb!


Of course, Andrew had to try as well!

Driving some apples!

 
I also like this video of Adam hanging laundry!
 
And here are the boys hammering nails: Adam and Andrew

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Some Failures

I've actually had two recent recipes failures. They were edible, just not anything to write home about.  The first was Chicken Scampi.  I tried this simple version, but it was bland.  For the amount of butter in it, it needs to taste a LOT better. 

I also did a new burger recipe from Rachael Ray's Book of Burger that was okay, but not great.  It was a Florentine Burger and I had hoped it would be a good way to "hide" spinach, but is didn't really work. I didn't make the sauce, but the burgers were plenty juicy enough, just the spinach still stood out and the texture bugged Ray.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Changing Your Name

I got sucked into an article the other day called "retro marriage trend makes a comeback." I actually even followed it back to several other articles on this topic. I think you all realize I changed my name and it never really was a consideration to me to keep my maiden name  (although my paternal grandmother thinks you should drop your middle name and use your maiden name in place of it...which she still goes on about....I (and my mother, who has been married 30+ years and never did it) get things from her addressed as such...).  I did it because I wanted to and because I wanted to have the same name as my kids.  My husband wasn't adamant I had to do it, I just wanted to.  I felt it was part of getting married and being a unit.  Now I will say, I think it is cool when a man takes a woman's name for various reasons as well.  I can see why that might be beneficial. But I like the idea of sharing a name, albeit if you do it traditionally or not. I'm not sure if I'd call this "retro" though...as I don't think it really went out of fashion. Women just felt that they had to assert their identities...and there are many ways to do that, so maybe this isn't an important one. 

I found the reasons why women changed their name in this article (and what I followed back from it)  interesting.  I also thought the professor who was saying it was from watching their mother's struggle with the name game that made them do it as well.  I know that I've talked to women who have changed or hyphenated their names and some (who did it for good reasons) would have rather just changed it now.  Something I hadn't thought of - and wouldn't have been an issue in the 70s or 80s - is the annoyance of hyphenated names and computer systems. So many system make up things like usename with your actual name and this has created a problem.  Obviously, don't do something just to avoid tech issues, but that's another hassle.  I think the issue of your kids' name is where it really comes in and if you aren't going to change, then do you hyphenate your kids' name, just have a different one, what, and I can see how that is complex, on all fronts.  One of the women said she wanted to as a sign of her new identity, as that change to marriage...and I think that's moreorless how I see it.   Now, does that means a guy doesn't?  Well, I think the act of giving you his name does that....obviously, that's a sign of a patriarchal society, that we go that way, but that's part of who we all are.   Maybe that's a little cheesy, but I think that's important to a lot of guys - that they can do that and that's part of how they show they are married and a unit, so it goes hand and hand with it (I am not saying that if you don't change your name, you aren't committed to your marriage, so don't read it that way). 

I did see a story awhile back about a man who changed his name so his wife's family name wouldn't die out (it was important to her father) and then the government got all mad...that was ridiculous. The guy did the right thing from them and changing your name when married is legal...and if so for a woman, than also for a man!

I think it is also easy to do it young. I did it at 21 with no career behind me...it was easy for me to change "identities" per se, and it would be much harder now with a professional career in my name so I can see how something getting married older would have more issues with the name change. 

Anyways, I got sucked in, so I felt like talking about it. So hopefully you enjoyed my ramble!

Interesting side note - I followed Sarah Millar back and she is doing a blogging project on the Baby-Sitters Club...rereading them and commenting on them as an adult. I was addicted to those as a kid...that was also a fun little side jaunt! 

Rearranging

I rearranged the boys' bedroom as Andrew will soon be getting a BIG BOY bed!

New Bike

Adam got a new bike with training wheels!
 
Andrew had to try it too!

Sunflower

I planted Adam's sunflower...it looks pretty small so I hope it makes it!


New Zip Line

New zip line Thomas that Grandma and Great found at a yard sale (still in the box!)

Flowers on the Fence

I want to slowly increase the number of flowers on my fence...so I ordered three more hangers this year. I had to find new ones and resort to online, but these seem really great. I like they are adjustable!


Birthday Party Fun

We went to a birthday party for one of their friends today. It was at a local park and a lot of fun!

Trying to blow bubbles