Thursday, May 31, 2012

Three Completely Unrelated Things

This morning, as I was checking Facebook, Miss Emma Bean looked over my shoulder and saw a Facebook post by The Pioneer Woman - Ree Drummond.


Miss Emma Bean asked very excitedly if The Pioneer Woman and I were Friends. I mean she was like getting Cherry Berry frozen yogurt excited!




I had to tell her, "No, I'm just a fan of The Pioneer Woman on Facebook."


Miss Emma Bean's face fell, her disappointment was clear and she just said, "Oh." 


I know Miss Emma Bean. The Pioneer Woman and I are really good friends in my mind though! If that counts at all. A little? Maybe??


Anyway...


My streak of double yolk eggs has ended.


Lately, all of my eggs have had double yolks. I've cracked open 22 double yolk eggs. Consecutively! From 3 different cartons of eggs! It was very weird!




When I finally cracked open a single yolk egg, I was kinda sad the double yolk streak was over. (sigh)


Anyway...


I made pork wrapped in bacon the other day and it was AMAZING!!


Cut pork chops in half.




Coat the halved chops with your favorite BBQ dry rub.




Our dry rub is from the Husband's stepbrother, Steve. It's a secret recipe. I don't know the secret. If I did, and I told you, I'd have to eat all of your pork wrapped in bacon. I really wish I knew the secret!


Once your chops are coated in dry rub, wrap them in bacon. (Mmmmmm)




Place your pork wrapped in bacon (Mmmmmm) on a hot grill and give them a drizzle of Sweet Baby Ray's BBQ sauce! (double Mmmmmm)




They'll take about 10 minutes or so to cook through. The new rule is to cook pork to 145˚. I still cook mine to 160˚.




YUM!


Pork wrapped in bacon goes really well with coleslaw and pineapple! Try it! Invite some friends over, real ones if you're willing to share or the ones that are only in your mind if you're not, and enjoy!


Christine



Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day

Today we will gather with family.

We will celebrate, we will laugh, and we will enjoy a peaceful afternoon.

We will throw something yummy wrapped in bacon on the grill.



We will openly say a prayer of thanksgiving!


We will do all of this because men and women have sacrificed their time and lives to protect our nation and our freedom! They have not sacrificed alone. Their families too have sacrificed much.


I am deeply grateful!


To the men and women who serve...


THANK YOU!




God bless you and keep you safe!


Christine

Friday, May 25, 2012

Not a Perfect Mom

I am not a perfect mom!


I did not get a manual. What's with that!??


I've made lots of mistakes. I would list them, but I don't want you to waste your long weekend reading a list!


I do try though. 


I want to be a good mom. I long to be a good mom. I hope that I'm making a positive impact on my children! I suspect, that in this, I'm no different than any other mom. And that is why I am going to share this with you.


A quick disclaimer...I am not trying to toot my own horn! Read the above! (ha ha I said toot!)


I was taken by wonderful surprise when Miss Sofia gave me a printout of the short essay she had written for school about a person she admired. When I read it I thought, "Wow! Mistakes and all, I am making a positive impact on my girl! Yay!" Then I cried! Then I decided I wanted to encourage all of the moms, and the dads too, who really want to do what's best for their children, and sometimes wonder if their efforts make any difference.




Miss Sofia's essay...


There are many people I admire, but for now I will write about my mom.


The first reason why I admire my mom is because she is a good role model. She is very devoted to God and is always trying to set a good example for me and my sister. She is very caring, and wants to help people in need. (Here I would like to interject, Wow! She's been watching!)


Secondly, she is always there for my family. She is always finding ways to get us to hangout together, either through playing board games, video games (Yeah, I do like those!) or going for a bike ride. She also takes care of us when we are sick or just need a shoulder to cry on. (I feel much better about making them spend this time together now, even though they complain sometimes and say, about playing a game together, "Do we have too?" They actually like it. They really like it!! I won't tell anyone though. Well I'm telling you guys, but that doesn't count.)


Finally, I admire the fact that she is always willing to listen, whether I need to talk about the hard day I had or how excited I am about the upcoming school event. Also she is willing to talk and cheer me on. (sniff!)


These are only three of the reasons why I admire my mom. I admire her because she is a good role model, she is always there to take care of our family, and she is always willing to listen.


My girl did not write about the mistakes I've made. She did not write about the things I could do better. She wrote about the effort she sees me make to be the best I can be for her and our family. This is so encouraging to me! So let me pass it on to you! 


They see! Your children see your efforts! They speak louder than your failures! So keep on moms and dads! Don't ever stop trying, and you will make a positive impact on your children!


I'm also going to suggest we take away this lesson...let's allow our children's efforts speak louder than their failures too!


Christine










Thursday, May 24, 2012

Food, Friends, and Hairnets

I scooped!


Well I didn't actually scoop. I sealed!


I worked the last two mornings sealing packages of food with Miss Sofia's and Miss Emma Bean's classmates, as the girl's schools participated in the Scoop project - packing meals for Feed My Starving Children.


Feed My Starving Children is a non-profit, Christian organization that organizes children and adults to hand-pack meals specifically formulated to provide much needed nutrition for the malnourished in over 70 countries around the world. Check out their website by clicking here.




Each little vitamin packed Manna Pack will feed 6 children and costs only $1.44 to produce.


So we all donned our fancy hairnets!




And filled Manna Packs!




It was amazing to watch these young people work so well together and work so hard to meet the needs of children they've never met! My heart was filled with joy!


And it was fun to watch the little bit of friendly competition that went on! 


Miss Emma Bean and her friends filled 17 boxes. 36 Manna Packs per box! Wow!




When Miss Sofia and her friends found out how many boxes Emma Bean and her friends filled, they were determined not to be outdone and filled 20 boxes of Manna Packs! Amazing!!


I'm very proud of all of them!




I just added this photo of Miss sofia and her friends because I love them! They're great young ladies! And they look so cute sporting those hairnets!


Feed My Starving Children is doing wonderful work to meet the nutrition needs of those who are going without food around the world. Check out their website and see how you too can get involved!


Christine

Monday, May 21, 2012

Eleven

We didn't do anything particularly fancy. Only a few decorations here...




and there.




Of course birthday wishes covered the chalkboard wall.




But mostly it was a simple affair. 


A perfect day for a cookout...


Mmmmm steak sandwiches!
with a small gathering of family and friends to celebrate Miss Emma Bean's eleventh birthday.


Miss Emma Bean, who is, in her own words from a description of herself that she wrote for school - which I happen to think described her wonderfully - funny, sporty, dancing, singing, laughing.




Loves to joke around. I would add...and likes to dress up!




creating, swimming, running, loving, cutie, trendsetter!


That's my girl!!


The only other thing I would add is...and loved beyond words!




Happy Birthday to my sweet Emma Bean!


Christine 
a.k.a. Emma's Mom


P.S. OK I would also add...and growing up too fast!!

Monday, May 14, 2012

No More Tears

When my girls fell and skinned their knees, and cried great tears of pain, I was there. I would hold them tightly and kiss them. I would tell them it would be all better soon, that they had the strength to carry on, and I would wipe away their tears. 




When someone hurts my girl's feelings, and they cry heavy tears of sorrow, I am there. I hold them tightly and kiss them. I tell them truth and that they will feel joy again soon and I wipe away their tears.


When they disobey and get in trouble, and their hearts are so desperately sorry and they cry repentant tears, I am there. I hold them tightly and kiss them. I tell them they are forgiven, they are loved, and I wipe away their tears.


I am their Mom. I know they will face hurts and hardships and though I may not always be able to fix the problem or when there are times, for good reason, I choose not to resolve a problem for them, I want them to know I am there. I will be with them and comfort them and wipe away the tears.


When my heart aches as I learn of a beloved friend's diagnosis of cancer, or when grief over the previous loss of a loved one rises up again, or when distressing news comes that another beloved friend's son, after multiple surgeries and health concerns, needs yet another surgery, or when another shares the sad news that their marriage is coming to and end, God is there. (Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor dismayed, for I - the Lord your God - am with you wherever you go! Joshua 1:9) 


When the hurt feels like too much, God is my comfort. (Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. Matthew 5:4) 


And when great, heavy tears of sorrow fall from my eyes, I hold on to the promise that one day God will wipe away every tear from my eyes; there will be NO more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be NO more pain, for these things will pass away. God shall make all things new! Revelation 21:4


My good Heavenly Father holds me tightly, His strength shall give me joy again, He gives me truth, He is near and He will wipe away every tear!


Christine





Friday, May 11, 2012

Dandelion Seeds and Cannon Fire



In the midst of a field of floating dandelion seeds and gliding butterflies a deep boom shakes the earth!


It's Civil War Day for Miss Emma Bean's 5th grade class.


There's the cannon.




It's loud! Crazy loud. It totally freaks out every dog in the neighborhood! And it is totally cool in the eyes of every 5th grader! They get to help fire it.




The team is assembled.


The cannon is loaded.


Fire!


No real cannon balls were fired in this demonstration. In case you were worried!


The ground shakes. Children giggle with relief as they unplug their ears. Dandelion stems that were full of seeds are shaken bare.




All neighborhood dogs run for cover!




Civil war guns.




Soldier's sewing kit.




Gear.




How soldiers lived and managed in camp.




Letters to and from home.


Civil War day is very interesting and totally cool. The kids learn so much, and the neighborhood dogs eventually recover. They stick pretty close to their person for awhile, but they do recover.


Christine

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Fish Tacos

With the weather warming up, well kind of warming up. I live in Minnesota remember so warming up means; one crazy hot day, two cold days, three rainy days, two warm days...


Maybe what I should say is...It's May and my thoughts have turned to lighter meals and meals that can be made on the grill.


So naturally I pulled out my recipe file for some fresh ideas.




Ah recipe file, my old friend, it's been awhile.


Deep in the pile that is my recipe file I came across a recipe from Better Homes and Gardens magazine for fish tacos.


Fish tacos sounded delicious to me. However, I wasn't sure if the family would agree. But since they've been enjoying the other fish recipes I've tried, I decided to give fish tacos a go. And the recipe looked so easy I kinda liked them already!


Start by rinsing, patting dry and cutting 1 pound of fish (tilapia or catfish fillets) into 1 inch pieces. 


I bought my tilapia frozen from Target. I've been doing a lot of my grocery shopping at Target lately. They carry most of the items I need and have low prices! (Not a paid advertisement! Just sayin'!)


Juice 2 limes (purchase 3 so you have an extra lime to cut into wedges for serving) into a bowl, stir in 1/2 cup mayonnaise and 1 teaspoon chili powder. Remove 1/3 cup of lime sauce to toss the fish in to coat.



Heat 2 tablespoons of cooking oil in a large skillet over medium heat.


In a shallow bowl combine 1/3 cup flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Working with 1/3 of the fish at a time, toss fish into flour mixture to coat lightly, then add fish to skillet. 




Cook fish 2 to 4 minutes until fish begins to brown and become flakey. Drain fish on paper towels.


Place cooked fish in warmed flour tortillas. Topped with shredded cabbage and shredded carrots.(I purchased a ready made shredded cabbage carrot mix. Easy!) If you like a little kick you can add jalapeƱo as well. Drizzle the remaining  lime sauce over the fish tacos.




Oh that sauce is yummy!


Fish tacos served with mango that's been drizzled with a little lime and given a dash of salt...Excellent!




Then family gave fish tacos three thumbs up and a half way thumb. Half way thumb means, don't hate it, working on loving it. I can live with that. The fish taco recipe stays!


Our meal was topped off with laughter as we watched the girl's faces as they ate the last of the lime wedges. Wish I'd pulled out my camera! Next time.


Christine

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sanuk and Timbuk2 I Heart You

To celebrate Earth Day, Sanuk and Timbuk2 held a giveaway, The Groovy Green Giveaway, through Pinterest. To enter you simply needed to upload and Pin a photo of something you do that's "green."


The Husband encouraged me to enter.




From the gardening (I can't wait to start sharing what I'm going to do in the garden this year!) and composting, to recycling, trying to repurpose and reuse, we do in our home it was tough to decide what "green" activity to enter in the giveaway. 

Since I really enjoy sewing and have been very purposeful about finding ways to reuse our old clothing instead of just tossing out the things that are not in good enough condition to donate I decided to go with that and entered the shag pillow I made from old, worn out t-shirts. Did you see the tutorial I posted for the pillow on DIY Lady Hacks? If you missed it click here to check it out.


There were many great "green" ideas posted in the giveaway. There were people who bike as there main form of transportation, (love that!) people who garden, (love that more!) and people who are being purposeful about picking up litter! (love that most!) People care about being responsible for this earth. Sanuk and Timbuk2 included!

Sanuk was giving away a pair of R.A.S.T.A not shoes which are made outta (their word, gotta love it) hemp and jute, sustainable latex and cork, and recycled tires and P.E.T.

Timbuk2 was giving away a messenger bag made from recycled P.E.T.

Very generous of them!

Now imagine how crazy excited I was to learn that I had been chosen as one of the winners of The Groovy Green Giveaway!

I yelled, "No Way!" and then performed a happy dance!

My prizes arrived at the end of last week! 

Sanuks!


I requested a pair of mens not shoes for the Husband because he's the reason I entered the giveaway and he really wanted a pair of Sanuk not shoes. Sanuk was wonderful and said it was no problem.


It wasn't a problem for them. It may have been a problem for me.


The Husband said they were the most comfortable shoes he had ever worn. They made his feet happy!


I may have been too hasty in allowing the Husband to have the not shoes!

Suddenly I wanted happy feet too!

I went out and purchased my own Sanuks this weekend.


They are fabulous!


My feet are so happy!


I painted my toenails to match! So Happy!

I highly recommend getting a pair of Sanuks for yourself!! You want happy feet, I know you do!

And like that wasn't enough, I also received this great messenger bag from Timbuk2.


My sewing machine could fit in there!


It has an easy adjustable shoulder strap.


I'm still finding pockets!


I learned that Timbuk2 has been making their quality eh hem products since 1989. (Yeah, I flipped that little tag over and found this. Ha ha! Gotta love a company with a sense of humor!) If you're looking to get a messenger bag, Timbuk2 is the way to go! 

Anyway...I felt very cool today using my quality messenger bag and wearing my Sanuks!

Thank you Sanuk and Timbuk2 for these great products and for keeping it "green!"

Christine

P.S. You can checkout Sanuk's website by clicking here and you can checkout Timbuk2's website by clicking here.