Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Daybook December 23, 2008

FOR TODAY... Tuesday December 28, 2008

Outside My Window... DARK. And it's Tuesday not the usual Monday.

I am thinking... about what I need to do tomorrow before we leave for Christmas Eve at Surferman's Sister's Home.

I am thankful for... quiet car rides with Surferman listening to Christmas music on the radio and the soft snoring of Grom in the back seat.

From the kitchen... Cookie dough is in the fridge waiting to be rolled and cut. Grom bought some animal cookie cutters at a garage sale on Saturday. We might be having Christmas Animal Cookies if I can't talk him into stars and trees and...

From the schoolroom... We are still limping through "Prayer for a Child". The season's busyness has slowed us down.

I am wearing... my blue thermal nightshirt, so comfy...

I am creating... a Christmas Card to distribute via email (I decided it's not tacky)

I am going... to bed. Of course I'll finish this first.

I am reading... I finished the Yadas! I should've found a good non-fiction book, but instead picked up a Lisa Samson book, "Tiger Lillie". So far, so good.

I am hoping... Grom's latest cold will relent and that this will be the last one he gets this winter.

I am hearing... the weather report. Rain is on the way!

Around the house... you know that Christmas poem that goes, "not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse"? Well, it's not entirely true around here. We have a RAT in our utility room (like a garage). Mud, our cat, is on the job. I hope she gets him quick. YUCK!

One of my favorite things... herbal scents. Lavendar, Peppermint, Rosemary, ahhh....

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Christmas Eve (including the infamous Dice Game) at Surferman's Sisters, Christmas Eve at my parents church (sigh... I'd rather go to our church, but the timing messes with my parents dinner plans), Waffles and presents Christmas mornings, Christmas Cracked Crab Feast, Friday Family Game Night and on Monday, Grom leaves for a week of camping (in a 30+ foot motorhome) with my parents.

Here are some pictures I am sharing...This is a Yule Log that our friend Joan made. She designed it herself using a store bought angel food cake. Frosting held it together and marshmallows and chocolate kisses made the mushroom decorations. It was adorable. I don't know anything about the tradition behind Yule Logs. I guess Google is my next stop.

Update!: Guess what... Yule Logs are pagan. I just skimmed, but read about a god of intoxicating spirits and feasting (that was enough for me). I still think Joan was creative. But I won't be making a Yule Log next year. Maybe a stump of Jesse?

Read other Daybook's at Peggy's Blog, The Simple Woman.

Chicken Spaghettini

I was taking a meal to a friend who had surgery. Hmmm... what to cook? I looked to my pantry and Allrecipes.com. They have a great feature where you can put enter ingredients you want to use and it finds all the recipes they have that include those recipes.

I wanted to use cooked chicken. The last time Albertson's had an 8 hour sale, chicken breast was a steal. I bought 10 pounds. Surferman grilled them up. They are in the freezer waiting to be made into quick meals.

I found a recipe for Spaghettini Chicken . After reading the reviews (another great feature of Allrecipes.com), I made some modifications. It was delicious and a definite keeper.

Here's my recipe...

Chicken Spaghettini (pretty original eh?)


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
6 cups chicken broth or 6 cups chicken base or 6 cups chicken bouillon
1 (14.5 ounce) can Italian-style diced tomatoes (or such, or add italian seasoning to diced tomatoes)
1 teaspoon dried basil, crumbled
salt and pepper to taste
12 ounces thin spaghetti
2 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat
1/2 bag fresh spinach leaves

Grated Parmesan cheese (garnish)

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; saute onion and garlic until onion is translucent.
  2. Stir in broth and tomatoes; sprinkle basil into sauce. Simmer for 15 minutes over medium-low heat.
  3. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until cooked as desired.
  4. Add cooked chicken to heat through; stir in spinach just before serving to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.
  5. Serve in bowls. Garnish by sprinkling with Parmesan cheese.
Complete the meals with Salad and French Bread.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Finished! #9, #20, #42, #58, #82, #93,

68 things left to do.

What's for Dinner - Week of December 22, 2008

Christmas week is here! Yippee! And as usual... we're eating.

Grom and I have cookie dough in the fridge. We'll be rolling, baking and decorating those early this week too.

Taking dinner to a friend who recently had surgery
Spaghettini Chicken
French Bread
Peach Cobbler Dump Cake - a variation on this recipe

Pizza with Surferman's Family

Early Christmas Eve @ Surferman's Sister's Home
Take - Buffalo Chicken Dip
After Church...
Prime Rib
(my parents are cooking)

Christmas Cracked Crab Feast
Caesar Salad
Sourdough Rolls

Movie Night
Fun Food - Taco Bar?

Grom leaves with his Grandparents
TJ's Chicken Pomodoro (from the freezer)

Have some people over for dinner / games?
Anyone want to be invited?

Millions, well maybe hundreds of menu plans can be found at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Snowy Day

We have a new favorite book. Well... one for the list of favorite books. I think we like this one because the main character Peter reminds us of Grom's Friend Buddy Elias. Such a fun book we shared this week.

Along with "The Snowy Day" we read...
"Snow" by Manya Stojic
"Weather" bu Gallimard Jeunesse and Pascale de Bourgoing
"Snip, Snip...SNOW!" by Nancy Poydar
"The Snowman" by Raymond Briggs

We had videos of
The Snowy Day along with other stories featuring Peter by Ezra Jack Keats.
The Snowman (also website)

We looked at websites about weather and snow...
Making Digital Snowflakes
About Winter Weather
Read A Long Version of The Snowy Day

Here are some pictures of Grom's lapbook.

Living on the coast of California, we don't have many opportunities to experience snow. One of the fun things we did was to play with shaving cream snow. I filled a cookie sheet and let Grom have at it. What a mess! But what a memory!

Did you see this?

Laptop Lunchbox Giveaway Winner.

I think I squealed.

Guess I'm going to have to blog about my bento obsession...

I've always wanted a Laptop Lunchbox. I think this is going to be mine. I have plenty to share with Grom.

Thanks Biggie!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Daybook December 15, 2008

FOR TODAY... Monday December 15, 2008

Outside My Window... It's raining, it's pouring... YAY!

I am thinking... it's a bit chilly.

I am thankful for... creative friends. And one in particular who opened her own etsy shop. Her photos are beautiful. Go check her stuff out.

From the kitchen... my beloved kefir was thrown out today as spoiled. People who do not consume dairy should not decide when fermented and cultured dairy products are spoiled.

I am wearing... ahh ha! Something different today! Jeans. White T. Black Sweater. My funky grey and black Birkenstock "bowling shoes" with white socks - because whenever possible your socks should match your shirt. I think that's the preppy 9th grader that remains in me.

I am creating... uhhhh... yeah....

I am going... to the dentist tomorrow. I have a failed filing that needs to be replaced. Failed filings are wrong. I'm still paying for that candy I ate during little league.

I am reading... The last Yada Yada Prayer Group Book. It's bittersweet. I'm glad to be done with the series so I can move onto something else. I'm also sad because I enjoyed the characters so much. Kind of like saying good bye to Mitford.

I am hoping... 2009 will be a positively wonderful year. I have lots of plans.

I am hearing... the sound of cars on the rainy highway outside. The wet sound of wheels on asphalt.

Around the house... Surferman and I are starting plans to redo our bedroom. New paint, new carpet. It's time to get rid of the orange sherbert colored walls - What was I thinking?

From the schoolroom... We just finished "A Snowy Day". We are starting "Prayer for a Child" this week. I got our schoolroom back in order today. It's wonderful to have a clear and tidy desk.

One of my favorite things... Survivor. I admit it. And I'm glad Bob won. And I wonder why I'm having trouble finding time to be creative...

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: work, Mommy and Me Bible Study, Kid's Club (teaching), laundry, decluttering, sleeping, wrapping, christmas cards? - in no particular order or importance.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...Grom's creation from our friends Gingerbread House Party. He's smarter this year. Any candy might be able to be eaten, so load it up.

Read other Daybook's at Peggy's Blog, The Simple Woman.

What's for Dinner - Week of December 15, 2008

So last week instead of valiantly eating all of those veggies, I hit a cosmic reset button and gave them all away. Yep, I just packed them back into the box they came in and passed them on to some friends (who I hope are still friends after I gave them all those vegetables). It was such a relief. They didn't rot in my refrigerator and I didn't have to fight with Grom and Surferman (or myself for that matter) about eating turnip greens. I'm sure turnip greens properly prepared are lovely. I just wasn't up for it. And, what do you know... more of the same vegetables this week. I might try freecycling them this time.

On with the menu plan...

My Mom's Birthday Extravaganza
Sweet Potatoes
Green Beans
Gingered Cranberry Sauce
Chocolate Birthday Cake

Turkey Soup
of course!
Green Salad

Mommy and Me Bible Study Christmas Brunch Potluck
Spinach and Sausage Quiche

Kids Club
Turkey Sandwiches
Corn Soup

Lentil and Veggie Soup
I can't find a recipe, so I'll be winging it.

Chicken Chili

Date Night?

Family Dinner

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

My kid cracks me up

We were in the middle of the Hurry Scurry this morning (that's Yada Yada reference for Stacey). I went into Grom's room to see how he was doing at getting dressed. No Grom. Just a pillow on the floor.
Or was it a pillow?

Later today Grom was horsing around with Grandpa. I was urgently called to COME QUICK. Never something a mommy wants to hear. Then they yelled, GRAB THE CAMERA. With a sigh of relief, here's what I found...
He is spanning our hallway. Feet on the sliding glass door (I won't have to wonder where the foot prints on the window came from) and hands on the wall. Grom held himself there for an amazingly long time.

He cracks me up.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Daybook December 8, 2008

FOR TODAY... Monday December 8, 2008

Outside My Window... dark now, but we have had some beautiful sunsets lately. See below.

I am thinking... that I have no idea of what to get my father for Christmas.

I am thankful for... cheese.

From the kitchen... the best split pea soup. And I got a big ham bone out of my freezer.

I am wearing... grey button front t-shirt, black pants, and what I think of as my grey and black Birkenstock bowling shoes.

I am creating... lapbooks and projects with Grom. I want to get my machine out. Projects are piling up in my mind.

I am going... to send my Christmas card via email. Is that tacky or are we all wired enough that it's become somewhat acceptable?

I am reading... Yada Yada still. Stacey is still breathing down my neck. Laurie will be breathing down Stacey's neck. Michelle will be breathing down Laurie's neck. I'm getting all of my friends engrossed in these books.

I am hoping... I can get my Christmas shopping done this week.

I am hearing... some crazy TV show. Why don't I just turn it off? Ok... just did. Now I have Sherri Youngward's Christmas Album playing. I love that album.

Around the house... the halls are decked. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

From the schoolroom... I've mostly caught up blogging the books Grom and I have read and worked through. We are currently rowing The Snowy Day. It's been a lot of fun. The main character reminds us (physcially) of his "friend buddy" E. Can't wait to pass on the book and the great video we found. More later.

One of my favorite things... Vanilla Steamers. I heat milk and Torani French Vanilla syrup in the microwave until it's very hot. Yum!

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Busy, busy and more busy. Grom is getting an award at Kid's Club at church. He's very excited and inviting everyone to come and celebrate with him. QB's (my quilting friendship group) Christmas Dinner. Night In Bethlehem event at church. A gingerbread house making party. A date night with free childcare thanks to gymnastics. And then the Melodrama. pheeew.

Here is picture I am sharing...
It was taken and shared by a man who goes to my church. Breathtaking!

Read other Daybook's at Peggy's Blog, The Simple Woman.

What's for Dinner - Week of December 8, 2008

It's a busy week around here. We will be out a lot with special events and celebrations of Christmas. The start of the week is most important as I try to use up the veggies from our CSA box. TONS of peppers and lots of leafy greens. I wish I liked leafy greens more, especially mystery leafy greens.


Split Pea Soup
(leftover ham bone)
Broccoli Slaw Salad

Roasted Veggies with Baked Tofu
Turnips, Beets, Carrots, Fennel,
and whatever other veggies from our CSA box
that need to be used and can be roasted.
Brown Rice

Grom gets his first award!
(boy can he memorize scripture!)
Chicken Veggie Soup
(the rest of the veggies that need to be used)

Dinner out with my quilting friends
Surferman and Grom - YOYO (you're on your own)

Out with Friends before
"Night In Bethlehem" at church

followed by
Date night for me and Surferman

Dinner out with friends
at Old Juan's before the show

More menus can be found at Organizing Junkie's Menu Plan Monday linky.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Maybe he'll be a photographer...

or not.

Grom got a hold of my camera the other day.

And so without further ado... his momma proudly produces his first photographic installation. Prints are available for a donation to his college fund. Signed prints might be harder... he's fussy about writing his name. He can't do it perfectly yet, so he'd rather not. I think the perspective from 42" is interesting.


This one is my favorite. Those are the flowers he bought me for my birthday. My birthday tea is also in the background. I like the pattern the chandelier casts on the ceiling.

Don't tell Grom, but he's getting his own camera for Christmas. It's my old one, but he'll love it anyway. All the best photographers started out with a hand-me-down camera.

Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Carrot Seed

I'm catching up my blog posts on some of the books we've been doing lately. We studied, "The Carrot Seed" by Ruth Krauss (illustrated by Crockett Johnson) a couple of weeks ago.

We enjoyed this nice little book about patience and perseverance. We covered most of the curriculum and I found some other fun things to do.

It was a carroty week around here.

Books we read:
The Enormous Carrot by Vladimir Vagin
The Giant Carrot by Jan Peck
The Tiny Seed by Eric Carle
How a Seed Grows by Helene J. Jordan
Eating the Alphabet by Lois Ehlert
The Ugly Vegetables by Grace Lin
The Little Fish that Got Away by Bernadine Cook and illustrated by Crockett Johnson (same illustrator).

We talked about the illustrators style. Through the book he uses the same colors and only draws the characters in profile. We talked about "profile" and practiced showing each other our profiles. He know profile as when you only see one of the person's eyes. We looked at another book illustrated by Crockett Johnson and noticed that the people in that book are also drawn in profile.

I bought carrots at the store that still had their tops (or at least some of them). Grom arranged them by length and determined which was the longest carrot both the orange vegetable part and including the greens. Then we cut the the greens off and cut the carrots to different lengths. The carrots were put in a bowl and kept watered. We speculated as to which carrot would sprout more greens the fastest. Grom's carrot won. It was the one with equal lengths of carrot and greens.

I found lapbook stuff at homeschoolshare.com. Grom is having more fun with letters and completing projects. His coloring is getting better and he is sometimes using multiple colors instead of his usual monochrome.

Play With Me

Play With Me by Marie Hall Ets was a recent Before Five in Row book. Our time with this book was a little pushed so we didn't do as much with it as we could have.

It's a sweet book, but not one of my favorites.

Books we read a long with "Play With Me":
Titch by Pat Hutchins
What Game Shall We Play by Pat Hutchins
Won't Somebody Play With Me by Steven Kellogg

We made a folder with printables from Homeschoolshare.com.


Thanksgiving week was a blur. We didn't have enough time to do all the things I wanted to do. I guess we can make hand print turkeys next year.

We read some nice books:
One Little, Two Little, Three Little Pilgrims by B.G. Hennessey
1,2,3 Thanksgiving by W. Nikola-Lisa
The Very First Thanksgiving Day by Rhonda Gowler Greene
The Story of the First Thanksgiving by Elaine Raphael and Don Bolognese
Give Thanks to the Lord by Karma Wilson (excellent book - I bought this at full price. Not normal for me.)

Grom made this fall tree. I can't find the link to the blog where I got the idea. Grom had a lot of fun using his fingers to make the leaves.Grom and Grandpa made their famous applesauce for the Thanksgiving Feast. It was a hit.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Daybook December 2, 2008

FOR TODAY... Tuesday December 2, 2008

Outside My Window... It's dark. But not because I'm up too late. Instead I'm up too early. Just couldn't sleep anymore. I got up, spent some time with the Lord in Luke and now I'm blogging.

I am thinking... that I need to sit down with my calendar. I think I'm missing something. Very busy time of the year.

I am thankful for... renters. We signed a rental agreement yesterday. Please pray with me that my discernment is accurate and these will be good folks to live in our home. I'm thankful for my job at church. I really enjoy (usually- it is a job after all) what I do and work with a great group of men and women who when all is said and done, just want to be more like Jesus.

From the kitchen... "healthy food". We are (again) trying to eat better. Last night I made a fantastic pasta with "green sauce". The secret ingredient is KALE! Tonight it's Honey Baked Lentils. For recipes see my Menu Plan Monday post from this week.

From the school room... We are finishing up "Play With Me" and will be starting "The Snowy Day". I'm really behind on blogging our home preschool adventures. There never seems to be enough time to do everything I want to do when we are "rowing" a book.

I am wearing...yikes! I'm still in nightclothes and probably look like someone who raided the thrift store... short nightgown over capri length lounge pants with orange felted slippers (Thanks Mom!) all covered with a sweater that is too stained to wear in public, but very warm and comfy none the less.

I am creating...no time. I have some sewing projects I want to bust out. Some things for me. Some gifts. Maybe next week I'll have some pictures.... maybe...

I am going... to Weight Watchers tomorrow morning whether I want to or not. I started about a month ago. It's been a challenge. I had a week where I followed the program and gained weight. That is NOT fair and very discouraging. I've been looking for a morning class that can fit my schedule. 7:15 am seems to be the best choice.

I am reading... Yada Yada Prayer Group #5. My friend Stacey is breathing down my neck for her next book, so I'm reading as fast as I can. Note to self... don't give Stacey books from a series you're reading until you're done with said series. She reads much faster than you do (and she doesn't spend as much time online).

I am hoping... this Christmastime is a sweet celebration of Jesus' birth and not a stress packed frenzy of activity and shopping.

I am hearing... sweet quiet with the occasional blaring of Surferman's alarm clock which sounds like the garbage truck backing up into our bedroom.

Around the house... it's beginning to look a lot like Christmas. Home Depot had a Black Friday door buster of 6" poinsettias for $1 each. We have lots. And for the record... I wasn't at Home Depot in the dark. I was in bed. My mom was the shopping fool. At least this time...

One of my favorite things... listening to talk radio. I like to learn things when I'm driving or working in the kitchen. Podcasting has made it easier to focus what I listen to. Some favorites... The Dave Ramsey Show, NPR's Story of the Day, NPR's Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me and Bible teaching from Pastor Bob Coy and Pastor Sandy Adams.

A Few Plans For The Rest Of The Week: Mommy and Me Bible Study (I'm teaching). 4WD Club Christmas Party (I'm decorating and coordinating). Women's Board Lunch. And... remember I need to sit down and check my calendar... I'm sure I'm forgetting something.

Here is picture thought I am sharing...
We started our Jesse Tree last night after dinner. I participated in an ornament exchange and can't wait to see all of the ornaments. Grom was so excited. I'm so glad we are doing this.

Read other Daybook's at The Simple Woman's Daybook.

Monday, December 01, 2008