Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Just "wrong"

#1. Jackson has learned a new word; a word that I suspect I learned when I was about 14! *Cannibalism* HAHA!

see 30-second clip of Johnny Depp in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory": Link

#2. Brady has come home from school today with some news; news that this mama is rather ill about... He is being bullied by a classmate and his posse. There are three boys, apparently, and each of them like to call him "Ro-Baby." Also, he has some skint up knees from where the head bully pushed him down on the play ground today.

 #3. If I were in the mood to enforce gospel principles, I'd make sure Brady knows that two wrongs don't make a right, and that he needs to kill the bullies with kindness. BUT, I'm not.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Old Food *meets* Prophetic Vision :)

Last week, the impending doom of Hurricane Earl (or, not so much, thank goodness!) caused me to study out or family's 72 hour kits. I recalled that about 5 years ago not too long ago, my mama I worked tirelessly to prepare one for each member of our family. It was a well thought out, thorough, tasty supply of food and just-in-case essentials (like flashlights, tarps, washcloths, matches, hammer, a little cash). Should we find ourselves quickly escaping harms way, with no certainties of a place to stay, even a safe hotel room, it would be just what the doctor ordered. Picture Hurricane Katrina-like worst-case-scenario. A family's got needs - but most of all, food and water to throw in the back of a car in an especially urgent evacuation.

Anyway, I found our stash in the garage just where I knew it would be. I had to start by dusting off each of the 4 containers (2 are dedicated to bottled water only, while the other 2 were: "Leah & Brady's box" and "Rodney & Jackson's box). There was no Carter man at the time. That's kinda sad to think about, isn't it?! After getting the large plastic boxes clean enough to bring into the house, I did so, and began to unpack the forgotten, edible and expired treasures. Examples of tasty favorites are:

*instant oatmeal packets
*individually packaged snacks like chex mix or graham cracker stick
*even dog food (God bless Saydee Doo)
*beef jerkey
*peanut butter

So, days went by, and I naturally did nothing else with the stash except leave it right where it was initially unearthed. It's actually still there. Gonna tackle that little problem sometime in the next couple of days. At least that's what I keep telling Rodney From time to time, the boys have gone and glanced at the piles, and wish I would let them eat it, but time after time, I've have to remind them that unfortunately, the food had expired.

Well, in the last two days, Carter has eyed the delectible pile. He not only eyes it, but grabs what looks good to him. When he approaches me with any packet of "old" food, he asks me if he can eat it with this question, "Mom - can I eat this food, or is it inspired?"

And did you know that September is "National Preparedness Month!?" For more fabulous resources on Emergency Preparedness, look no further, I gotcha covered:

American Red Cross "Prepare Your Home and Family"

And a little something truly "inspired."

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Yardwork in September

So, I'm rather sore today. Yesterday was yard day. As in - we-haven't-lifted-a-finger-out-here-for-about-16-months-so-let's-get-it-lookin'-good -again-day. Who knew that pickin' some weeds, trimmin' a few bushes (all flowering bushes - that's September for ya), and spreading 5 cubic yards of triple-shredded hardwood much could be so taxing?! (Translation: FIVE trips to the mulch yard, FIVE times Rodney UN-loaded the mulch onto the driveway to add to growing pile, and FIVE THOUSAND (ish?!) wheelbarrows full spread ever so carefully around our front and side yards... Just sayin.')

Before and after pics are always nice, yes?

8-26-10 Mulch was practically dead. No better way to describe it.
8-26-10 Flowers in full bloom, but unfortunately on their last leg.

And the AFTER PIX! (*WHY WHY WHY did I forget to get a "During" shot? Not gonna lie - Mr. Steelman doing yardwork has always made my heart go pitter patter.)

9-4-10 New Mulch!!!

Just for reference - 5 cubic yards (in one heap) are about the size of a 2000 Toyota Tacoma. In case you were ... wondering. ;)

Poor Lantana - I bet they feel like they've been neutered.
Hard to tell from this picture, but the bush pictured here at the base of one of our crape myrtles is a loropetalum. I'm so proud that we've finally planted a few of those that lived - I've tried and tried, and finally succeeded!

Not my pic - but the variety of Lorotetalum I believe I have - It's called "Razzleberry!" How cool is that?! Makes me think of the a certain feel good song from the movie Pete's Dragon. Oh, why not? Here's the link below:

Brazzle Dazzle Day

Last pic. Thanks for stoppin' by. Come back soon. :)

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

In the kitchen

So this week, we've tried two new recipes, and will definitely be doing both again soon! The first is has a little too much *kick* for the average child, to be honest, but Rodney & I really enjoyed it!

The first was a Mexican rice bowl, topped with black beans, and grilled chicken.

Rodney's Mexican Rice Bowl
(Makes 4-6 adult portions)

~1 pouch of McCormick Grill Mates "Mojito Lime" Marinade
 (It was either this flavor, or maybe the "Baja Citrus" ... Oh, gosh, now I think it could have been "Southwest." I have no idea, now.)
~water and vinegar to mix with marinade, as instructed on the pouch
~1 can Bush's Grillin' Beans - "Black Bean Fiesta" flavor. Oh, these are so good....
~2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cut into strips before marinading
~Cooked rice - enough to serve your family, prepared as usual (but not for long)
~1 Package of refrigerated "Wholly Guacamole" (that's the brand) guacamole

1. Marinade chicken for a few hours
2. Prepare rice as you typically do, but just before serving, mix in some guacamole. For us, I started with about 1.5 cups of dry rice, 1.5 cups of water, and when it was done, added about the same amount (little over 1 cup) of guac.
3. Grill chicken strips.
4. Heat baked beans on the stovetop, or in the microwave.
5. Ready to serve - It can be served either by letting each of the three (chicken, rice, beans) stand alone on a plate, or like we did - We started with a nice helping of rice in a bowl, then topped with the black beans and chicken. :) Very, very yummy!


Leah's Spaghetti Bake (makes 8 adult portions)
Not my picture, but still very accurate. :)

1.5 lb spaghetti
3 eggs
8 oz. cottage cheese (1 cup)
12 oz. shredded mozarella cheese (1.5 cup)
8 oz. grated parmesan cheese (1 cup)
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 10 oz. jar spaghetti sauce (reserving about 1/4 jar as a topping, before baking)
2 medium green peppers
1 large onion
5 cloves garlic
Final topping - An additional 2 cups any shredded cheese (I used mozarella)

1. Prepare spaghetti noodles as usual.
2. In 13x9 glass dish, mix all ingredients, except for 1/4 jar of spaghetti sauce, and the final 2 cups of shredded cheese.
3. When noodles have been strained and rinsed, combine them with the mixture that is already in the baking dish. Press into pan, to prepare for final toppings.
4. Optional step: Finely chop 1 medium onion, 2 medium green peppers, and saute (along with minced garlic) in 1 TBS. vegetable oil for about 5 minutes. Spread over spaghetti mixture.
5. Spread remaining sauce over spaghetti. Cover with aluminum foil.
6.  Bake at 350 for about 40 minutes. Remove from oven.

7. Top with remaining 2 cups shredded cheese, and bake an additional 10 minutes, uncovered, or until cheese is melted.
8. Let cool for about 10 minutes, and serve.