Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekly Winners: Dress Up

I didn't break out the camera much this week so there are only a few. The kids are really into dress up now and take any opportunity to pile on the clothes, hats and shoes. Then they immediately ask me to take their photo. It's been fun.

My little ham.

Cleaning out the closet today, they found the winter hats. My children are hat kids! Thanks Granny Randi for knitting them, you rock.

Even Dad is dragged into the fun....pink cowboy hat and all.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Our once every decade purchase

It's a special day in our house. We did something we do about every ten years. We actually bought a new computer! I know, I know...this probably isn't that special to everyone else but this is big news for us considering computers are used for my business and Sean's career revolves around them. We've been hobbling by lately using a laptop that a very generous friend gave us. But it's battery finally died for the third time and we felt it was time. So we packed the kids up in the car and off to Best Buy we went to search for that special new member of family. Walking the isles of laptops left me a little disappointed. They all seemed so cheap and flimsy, even the expensive ones. So perhaps a laptop is not what I was looking for after all. Then around the next turn I saw it. This big, beautiful screen that beckoned to me "Buy me!". I fell in love with the all-in-one computers. They have a giant screen with the computer built in. The kicker here? The thing that made me buy it was the touch screen. It is so cool. It's like a giant iPad.

We knew we could get a better deal for it online than at the store, so I wrote down the model number of the Dell I liked and Sean came home and did oodles of research. He finally found one on Dell's site that was refurbished and about $150 less than the one in the store. Then at checkout we saw the coupon code slot and Googled "Dell Coupon Code" to find a code for 20% off. Turns out it worked! Got another $123 bucks off. All in all, it was a steal! We're feeling like pretty savvy consumers right about now. I have to admit that the very best thing about this whole purchase was sitting in front of a 23 inch full screen of Farmville. Pathetic? Yes. But so worth it.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Funday Sunday: Jalapeno Bacon Poppers

These things are simply sinful. I actually had them for the first time down in New Mexico for Thanksgiving. Someone brought them as an appetizer and I sat there and inhaled them since I was starving. They are a bit spicy but if you pop em in your mouth without letting them touch your lips then you avoid the burning lips. They are oh so good. Give them a try especially, if like me, you have a ton of jalapenos hanging out in the garden. If I get a hankering for these I'll run out and grab 4 or 5 jalapenos and make enough for a snack. You can also make a huge amount for a BBQ. Tasty little suckers.


Jalapeno Bacon Poppers

Ingredients

  • 20 whole Fresh Jalapenos, 2-3 Inches In Size
  • 2 cubes Cream Cheese, softened
  • 1 pound Thin(regular) Bacon, Sliced Into Thirds (or you can use the already cooked bacon for small batches, just place it flat on top)

Preparation Instructions

If you have them, slip on some latex gloves for the pepper prep... Cut jalapenos in half, length-wise. With a spoon, remove the seeds and white membrane (the source of the heat; leave a little if you like things HOT). Smear softened cream cheese into each jalapeno half. Wrap jalapeno with bacon pieces (1/3 slice). 
Bake on a pan with a rack in a 375-degree oven for 20-25 minutes. You don’t want the bacon to shrink so much it starts to the squeeze the jalapeno. If, after 20 minutes, the bacon doesn’t look brown enough, just turn on the broiler for a couple of minutes to finish it off. These are best when the jalapeno still has a bit of bite to it.
Serve immediately, or they’re also great at room temperature.
Yum!

Friday, August 19, 2011

ATV

I busted out the camera this evening, something I haven't done in a couple of weeks. We went over to my folks house to see their newest toys. They recently purchased two 4-wheelers to take out to Colorado and we thought we'd take them for a test drive before they took them out there. I've never driven an ATV before and, boy, was that fun! Wesley had a ball too, we could hardly pry him from the seat when we were done. It made for some cute photos. I'm looking forward to trying them out in the mountains!

Wesley and Papa

  
My cute parents

Wesley and I raced all over that yard.

Greta was too small for the ATV so she got to ride the tractor. 

Nothing much cuter than that smile.

Father and son.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Bad Blogger

I'm a bad blogger. It's been over a week since I blogged last. There are no excuses, well maybe one excuse. It's summer! The time of the year I dream of the other nine months of the year. So I've been trying to fill it up to the best of my abilities for these kids. Yet it's slipping away. Next week is the preschool open house and then Wesley starts back up at preschool the beginning of September. This year he'll be going three days a week and he's super excited. I'm kind of excited too....perhaps I'm not supposed to admit that?

We've been working on various house projects on the weekends. Lately it's been clean up projects. We have tons of rotten siding piled up and ready to go to the dump. The pile of broken up tiles in the house are next to go. Sometimes I think the clean up can take as long as the actual project itself. I'm so looking forward to finishing up the floor project and having thick, plush carpet put down. I literally can't wait.

That's about all that's happening. Wish I had more to blog about....pretty slow around here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weekly Winners

Swimming day with friends!

Accurate picture of the insanity. I love it!

Greta adores Abby.

Cucumber eating dogs....they've cleaned out the garden. Cody goes back there and drags a cucumber with the vine back. I'm able to laugh about it now.


Tunnel from a garage sale with two kids and an adult in it.

The face of sheer defeat.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Baby Doll

I'm pretty sure she's pushing the weight limit on her doll stroller. They did this for over an hour.

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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

An Overgrown Garden

Looks like I won many battles but lost the war. My poor zucchini are wilting and dying. The squash borer is doing it's damage. It's really sad to see considering all the work I put into keeping the blasted things alive. I have a new theory on squash beetles and squash borers. Do what ever you can to keep them under control
but you will never eradicate them. They will kill your plants eventually, it's all about how long you can keep the squash plants alive to produce. I kept mine alive long enough to make many many loaves of zucchini breads, muffins, brownies and more. Now that I know then end is near I've been shredding all that I can find and shoving it in the freezer for this fall and winter (I've read that it freezes well shredded and not blanched). Here's ten cups worth:



RIP zucchini, see ya gain next year.
On a happy note, the cantaloupe is producing like crazy. I planted eight started cantaloupe plants in the spring, along with twenty seeds and now have 26 cantaloupe out there among the vines. We've already harvested three and ate one last night....oh how I LOVE cantaloupe, as do the kids. The watermelon is having a bumper crop as well with 13 melons out in the garden. Next year: MORE cantaloupe and watermelon. They are winners!




The sunflowers didn't dissapoint. With a name like "Sunfower Forest" it had to be good! The big ones on the edge of the garden (where  the goat manure got spread) are a huge 11+ feet tall. I've read there are even larger varieties which I'll order and try next year.



Tomatoes are going nuts too. Looks like it's time to make some salsa! Too bad my cilantro puttered out in the heat. Still got onions and hot peppers though. It will be a salsa making weekend. Yum! In the mean time I found a good way to get rid of tomatoes. Skin them and hand them to a little girl. Greta will devour a big tomato in about 30 seconds.


Proof of Greta's little tomato addiction.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beating the Heat

Ok, it's summer. It's the time of year when the kids are outside running around screaming, something good is grilling on the BBQ, and sitting in chair under a tree with a cool drink sounds pretty good. Right? Wrong. It's so hot the the kids stand next to the tree with you, with their little red cheeks, begging to go inside to the air conditioning. Nothing is grilling because you might as well save the gas and toss the meat on the sidewalk. It's absolutely unfathomably hot. So on that note, what better to do on a boring Monday? Drag the kids to the fair! Yep, the county fair was going on this week, so I picked Jessica and her kids up and we all headed out. All in all not my brightest idea, the animals were all spread out in their pens miserable from the heat and the kids just drug their feet around. Oh well, can't say we didn't try.



We got the new slip n slide out and got it set up, boy did that turn out to be a hit! There is one section of the grass in the backyard that I keep watered, so I set it up on that grass since it would provide some cushioning while sliding (you know, verses the virtual dust bowl that the rest of the lawn is). The problem turned out to be too much water from the slip n slide created a nice mud pit that attracted the kids more than the slide. I gave up and let them have their mud fun, then hosed em down. At least it was a great way to beat the heat!

Oh to be young and crazy again.

And look! Goats grazing in the dog kennel in the background....can we all say "redneck"?

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