Sunday, January 29, 2012

Kansas Day

Happy 151st Birthday to Kansas! We have some friends who have a Kansas Day party every year - it's an old fashioned pie social (A-K brings Savory and L-Z brings Sweet) some good old timey music, Free State Beer, Kansas Trivia competition and a journal to write all the things you love about Kansas.    The rest of our weekend was spent at basketball games, so the change in scenery was a highlight for all of us!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

homemade meatballs

Yesterday, my extended family all came to my house.  While the guys unloaded firewood, worked on this table and watched basketball, the rest of us made 450!!! homemade swedish meatballs for the freezer.  So fun!  We all laughed, worked, talked - I can see how women loved to get together to "make" things years ago.  There is something very satisfying about stocking up, making from scratch, doing it together, making memories along the way.  Each time I pull a bag out of the freezer this winter, I'll think back on yesterday and probably smile a little at something that was said or just a picture of the day.  

The recipe is below - my friend Jill made these for our family when I had Simon, 12 years ago.  I've been making them each winter since, they are great to have on hand.

3 lb. ground beef
12 oz. evaporated milk
1 cup oatmeal
1 cup cracker crumbs
2 eggs
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. chili powder
Mix above ingredients and form into balls.  Freeze in single layer

Sauce (for 10 - 12 meatballs)
1 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 tsp liquid smoke

Bake at 350 for about an hour.  Serve over rice.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Irish Oatmeal

It is hard to drag myself out of bed to go run at 5:30, especially when it is only 14 degrees outside!  Some friends of mine have been talking about having steel cut oats ready when they wake, and since my kids love oatmeal, actually, any warm breakfast, I thought I'd give it a try.  I want share how I made mine....

1 Cup steel cut oats
4 Cups water
3/4 Cup dried cranberries
1/2 Cup fresh blueberries

mix all in crockpot and let it cook on low overnight.  I will add some fresh blueberries and a little honey to my bowl, I'm sure there will be brown sugar on others in this house.

Have a great weekend!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Brian has been using a Palm Pilot organizer for years, we used to "beam" our events to each others calendars.  My Palm Pilot died about a year ago and his finally fizzled this month.  He asked the school district to replace it for him and they did, with an iPod Touch.  We aren't Smart Phone people, yet.  I am starting to see how convenient they are and now that all of our calendars are in sync, our e-mails are right there, right now and we have access to anything at anytime,  I can see the pros and cons.  On the one hand, if you aren't that connected you really are playing catch up most of the day.  On the other hand, I like not being so "on the grid".  I am still keeping a couple of things sacred; meals and during family time, but I can see that I might need to get at least one foot on board with the rest of the world.  I still have a year and half until my phone is available for an upgrade, who knows what will be out there by then.
Another thing - do you think all of this instant communication has kind of put the kibosh on planning ahead, or is it just a teenage thing?  It feels like we are just going along and all of sudden someone wants to be dropped off downtown in 5 minutes, getting picked up in 10 minutes.... is it the technology or the teen!  Call me crazy, but I don't remember it being like this when I was teenager..... right mom?

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Basketball Clinic

This weekend, Maddie organized a basketball clinic at her school for the Special Olympic athletes.  She volunteers for this organization as a swimming and basketball coach and thought it would be fun to get the players on the Varsity basketball teams at her school involved.  It was a huge success, about 90 people attended the clinic.  She is hoping to make this an annual event.  Interested in supporting Special Olympics?  Click here, or find your local chapter and get involved.... you won't regret it!

Monday, January 9, 2012


It's no secret that things have been spinning a little out of control at this house.  The puppy, the teenagers, work and lots of play... nothing troublesome, just the usual spinning.  I love a good word or two to think about each year,  I usually come up with a calming word, something to bring me focus.  Since I'm feeling about a lightyear away from "calming" right now, I've been struggling to come up with a theme.  For some reason today before I opened the door to my classroom, I paused and looked at the window.  I'm always rushing in, thinking about what needs to happen before the children arrive and don't REALLY pay attention.  And Aha, right there in front of me.... my words for 2012 - strength, vision. Yes, exactly what I need.  What we all need.  And look at that, the foundation around it has settled. The picture I took is straight but the door is crooked, settled in, supporting that door that is leaning a little these days and right in the core of it all is strength and vision.  That might be what I'm feeling these days, a little crooked and really depending on the foundation we have laid to hold us up through these busy days.

So - strength and vision it is for 2012!  How about you? 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

January garlic...

I planted garlic this year and this warm January weather has tricked it into thinking it is time to grow.  We have been so spoiled this winter, running in shorts and t-shirts, heading out for errands with light jackets and not having to warm up the car in the mornings. I am amazed at the time we save.  I wouldn't want to have this kind of winter every year, one of the things I love about living in the midwest is the change of seasons... but after last year, I don't mind this break!

outside my kitchen window today....

these are from this same time last year...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012


For some reason, the flickr slideshow stops each day.  I'm sure it's something I don't know how to do and I'm not going to try to fix it.  So, you can click on the link in my sidebar and then hit slideshow... if you want to see it.
I've started another one for 2012 and I've added that link as well.  Also, Maddie is giving it a try with her iPhone.  It is really fun to see her view each day,  I hope she'll stick with it.

Tonight is the last "no school tomorrow" night of their break and they have friends here for dinner and a movie.  6 teenagers, 1 pre-teen who eats like a teenager and 2 adults - 2 pans of homemade lasagna, 2 loaves of garlic bread, a huge salad, one jar of cranberry juice, an apple pie, homemade hot fudge and ice cream.  The movie has just started, maybe that means they will be still for while.  As I type this, the youngest one has headed to bed and I can hear a lot of laughter from the movie watchers.  If there was a way to record Maddie's laugh and put it on here, I would... for you to hear and for her to hear later in her life.  It is contagious and the best laugh in town.

More soon.