Monday, February 23, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

Here's my plain and simple menu plan for the next two weeks!

M-dinner at my parents' house
T-garlic ginger chicken with rice
W-stew and rolls
Th-chicken cacciatori

Su-venison roast with potatoes and carrots
M-meatloaf and rice
T-venison steaks and mashed potatoes
W-white bean minestrone soup (crock pot)
Th-pasta with a new sauce recipe TBD

more menu plan monday

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Joys of Parenthood!

Little Man has been growing so much lately! He is becoming quite a "big boy" and is developing more personality and skills all the time. Here are some of the cute things he has been up to lately.

He sees Grandpa and Daddy carrying firewood and has decided that he wants to be like them. He loves moving around little logs, making stacks and handing them to us. He has started proclaiming himself to be "BIG!"

He also loves to help in the kitchen. Here he is helping me make banana muffins. I enjoyed giving him a little spoon to help stir with while I stirred in the big one.

He also loves carrying around shoes. Especially our boots. Today he brought me quite a pile of them. When we went on our trip, I found a small wodden nut from his toy tool set in one of my boots, and Ben found a foam letter "A" from a puzzle in his!

We are having so much fun watching him grow and change and communicate with us on a deeper level.


I did not sleep well last night. I woke up tired and cranky. Yikes. My poor family! And then my husband sent me back to bed telling me he was going to take care of Little Man. I felt kinda selfish and undeserving but was oh, so relieved to get some more sleep.

Well, guess what. When I woke up again (feeling much better!) I went upstairs and my husband had not only cared for Little Man, but had also washed the dishes and scrubbed the counters. He was in the process of thoughouly cleaning the stove and proceeded to sweep!

As I got ready for church, all I could think of was how treasured I felt. And then I had to laugh as I realized that I've watched The Princess Bride far too many times as the line, "So treasah yoah wiiiife" imediately went through my mind. hehe. Anyway, my husband has definitely been pampering me lately!

Last weekend he took me to a bed and breakfast in Swan Valley, Idaho for two nights. We enjoyed a going skiing at the Grand Taghee Resort, soaking in the beautiful scenery, relaxing in our room, and eating the bed and breakfast's gourmet breakfasts and dinners off antique china. It was amazing!

It was interesting because even though we didn't realize it, the bed and breakfast has recently opened, and we were there first over night customers! (They serve dinners to the community, so they have had other guests; they just hadn't had over night guests before.) And let me tell you, if you are ever in Swan Valley, you really must look into the Old Irwin Lodge.

Here are some of my favorite pictures:

This is part of "our" charming suite.

Part of the view from our window.
A snippet snapshot of our Valentine's morning breakfast.

Us after out Valentine's dinner.

The view of the Grand Tetons on our drive home.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


Well, we decided to cancel our Internet service. It will be less expensive to do without. They are sending a technician out tomorrow to disconnect us. So, my posting will probably be sporadic at best.

I do have mixed feelings. I am going to miss keeping up with friends on a daily basis through facebook and the bloggy world, but I know I will be able to spend more time focusing on my guys, my housework, and my projects. And that is good.

I'm not really saying "good-by", just saying that it might be a while until you hear from me again.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Menu Plan Monday

I feel so unmotivated to menu plan right now. I'm not sure why. But I'm going to press on and do it anyway!

Oh here's something rather humorous. A few weeks ago, I decided I was going to cook up the rest of my garbanzo beans and make hummus. Well, after searching through my cupboards and storage area unsuccessfully for that good sized bag of garbanzos I knew I had, I remembered that I had already cooked them up and hummused them months ago. So now I have to come up with a creative use for my excess of kidney beans. After all, we can only eat so much chili. Any ideas?

M-Probably taquitos dipped in beans with hot sauce. It's going to be a full day. I have my OB intake appointment in the morning, and I'm going to try to go grocery shopping in the afternoon.
T-ham and egg sandwiches on bagels
W-Grilled chicken, pasta, white sauce, and asparagus (it's on sale this week!)
Th-A crock pot soup TBD
F-out of town on a romantic getaway with my amazing husband!

I need to make a whole bunch of over-ripe bananas into a giant batch of banana muffins this week. I'll freeze some for later and use some right away.

Su-sandwiches or a quick pasta of some sort
M-meat loaf and rice
T-lamb roast and roasted potato salad (gotta remember to stock up on spicy brown mustard)
W-chili and honey oat pan rolls
Th-chicken lettuce wrap (I'm going to try adding some rice noodles to the meat/veggie combination to add some carbs)
F-Venison steaks and scalloped potatoes
Su-probably to dinner with friends. If not, something quick and easy.

More Menu Plan Monday

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Cookies

Every once in a while (like yesterday afternoon) I have a craving for these. They are the easiest (and best, in my opinion) peanut butter cookie recipe around. And that's saying something because usually I hate peanut butter!

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar (you can use a little less if you want)
1 egg
1/2 cup miniature chocolate chips (Normal chocolate chips work too, but the mini ones are better)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix all four ingredients together until they are well combined. Place on cookie sheets in rounded tablespoons. Bake for 10 minutes or until barely golden on the bottom. They are good hot, and better cold (once again, my opinion here.)

Isn't that so easy?

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Created to be His Helpmeet, Chapter 3

A Thankful Spirit

What God says:
"Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful. " (Colossians 3:15)
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." (Philippians 4:6)

My thoughts:
This has been a hard week. A really hard week. While I have had times of enjoyment, of sharing giggling jokes with my husband, of laughing at and delighting in Little Man's accomplishments, I have had had other times of downness that have been very dark. And some of the down times were reasonable, I think. But now it is time for me to move on, rejoicing in what God has given me as I overflow with thanksgiving.

This chapter was a particular encouragement to me this week. I have been challenged again to look at the world through thankful eyes. I looked up the Bible verses that have the word "thanksgiving" in them. Many of the times it is used, it is used in the context of an offering of thanksgiving. While we don't live under the same Old Testament sacrificial system, I think this is instructive. Living a life of thankfulness often takes time, effort, and sometimes even sacrifice. Giving thanks is an act of worship.

A favorite quotation from this chapter:
"Joy begins with thankfulness. Quite often our attitudes hang in the balance; by making a conscious choice, we can tip our souls into dark moods of complaining, or into thankfulness and praise."

Practical goals for this week:
~Remember things that I'm thankful for in my husband each day (BTW, he's making that very easy right now!)
~When I find myself feeling down and moody, remember to look at the things for which I am thankful and not dwell on the irksome side of life.
~Keep an attitude of worship (prayer, encouragement to others, music, thanksgiving, serving others, all can be worship to God). As one of my friends says: "Worship is a lifestyle."

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Mint Bars

So my sister-in-law sent me this amazing chocolate mint recipe this weekend. Since I'm a die hard chocolate mint fan, I just had to make them right away! And oh, it was worth it. They were easy, tasty, and attractive. Unfortunately, the tastiness was greater than their attractiveness as testified by my lack of photos. ; )

Mint Bars

1/2 cup butter (no substitutes)
1/3 cup baking cocoa
1/4 cup sugar
1 beaten egg
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup flaked coconut
1/2 cup finely chopped walnuts (optional)

1/3 cup butter softened
2 cups confectionery sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon peppermint extract
green food coloring (optional)

2/3 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 tablespoons butter

In a heavy saucepan heat butter, cocoa, and sugar over low until sugar is dissolved, stirring often. Remove from heat, stir a small amount of the hot mixture into egg. Return all to pan. cook and stir until mixture coats a metal spoon and reaches 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from heat, stir in cracker crumbs, coconut and walnuts. Press into buttered 9x9 pan. Set aside.

For filling, beat butter, confectionery sugar, milk and extract until smooth. Tint with food coloring if desired. Spread evenly over bottom layer, set aside.

For topping, melt chocolate chips and butter over low heat until blended smooth, stirring often. (I used my microwave.) Remove from heat. Cool 10 minutes (I didn't wait nearly that long since my sister-in-law said she has had problems with it seizing up), spread over filling. Cover and refrigerate until set, about 1 hour. Cut into bars, store in fridge. Enjoy.

Winter Blues

Got the winter blues.
stock the fire,
bundle up,
try to get the errands done.

Got the winter blues.
sick of the cold,
short days,
those long, dark nights.

Got the winter blues.
ready for spring,
warmth, and planting time.

Got the winter blues.
be patient,
wait wait wait.