Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Busy, busy bees

Well we have been feeling pretty productive lately.  What have we been up to?

Curtis has been digging a drain along the trees so excess water from the front goes to the backyard.
He is almost done building Georgia's Club house.
He is always working or fixing something...
he runs some serious circles around me. 

Georgia is almost done learning her cursive alphabet.
She enjoys listening to books on MyOn...a website the school uses.
She has art projects going all over the house.
She ran Family night on Monday and she had us making Halloween decorations.
Love that girl!

Levi is in underwear 75% of the time now.  Hallelujah!
He has been going to the chiropractor 2x a week...
That Dr. is amazing...seriously.
Anyone who can get Levi to lay on a table to crack his neck has 'the force' with them.  http://elevationfamilychiropractic.com/
Levi has been coming out with more phrases like
"too tight", "I go bye bye", "come here", "help me".
It isn't all the time, but I would say a few times a week we hear a good 2-3 words put together.  Awesome.

In the past month I have filed 4 boxes of paperwork that has been sitting for quite a while.  
Along with that, I just finished shredding paperwork for years 1999-2004 (What?!)  That stuff is old! 
I'm just about done with the 4th of July quilt and will be sending it to the quilter this week.  Hooray!
Today I got the chicken coop cleaned out and fresh straw put in it.  The chickens aren't laying as much the past couple weeks.  We are getting about 3 eggs a day instead of 6 right now.

That is about all at the moment.  I just got the supplies for Georgia's costume in the mail yesterday...so I'll be working on that this next week.
She wants to be Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon.
Thank goodness for Pinterest :)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Family Night

Last night for Family night Georgia was dying to put up spider webbing for Halloween.  So we did.  Amazing how such a small thing is so exciting for her.  We also made some yummy strawberry coconut ice cream.  It was delicious.  Here is the recipe (can be doubled...our ice cream maker is small, so this was the perfect amount):

1 can Trader Joes coconut cream
1/2 cup sugar + 2 tbsp divided
3 egg yolks
1/4 tsp vanilla extract (I actually forgot this, but it was still great)
1 1/2 baskets of strawberries


  1. In a medium size sauce pan over medium heat, simmer the coconut cream and 1/2 cup of sugar until the sugar is dissolved, about 5 minutes.
  2. While the sugar is dissolving, place your 3 egg yolks in a medium size heat safe bowl. Whisk the egg yolks vigorously for at least 2 minutes until they are light in color. Temper the eggs by taking a ladle full of the warm coconut milk and slowly pouring it into the eggs, whisking constantly. Add in 1 more ladle full, whisk to combine, then add the tempered eggs into the pan of coconut milk. Add in vanilla extract and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes until the mixture has slightly thickened.
  3. (I skipped this step, and it still worked out nicely) Cool the ice cream base in a double bowl ice bath, or place it in the refrigerator until it has completely cooled.
  4. In a blender, puree the hulled strawberries and 2 tablespoon sugar until liquefied. Set aside.
  5. Follow your ice cream makers instructions.  (I mixed my cream and strawberries prior to putting it in the mixer.)  In the last 20 minutes, pour in the pureed strawberries. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container and freeze for at least 1 hour until it is firm. Top with toasted coconut chips when serving if desired.


---

Mashed Potatoes

5-6 medium russet potatoes

wash, quarter and boil for 25 minutes until fork tender.  remove from water and let cool, peel skin (will come off easily)

in bowl mix:
1/2 cup coconut milk (unsweetened)
2 tsp salt
cracked pepper to taste
2-3 Tbsp Earth Balance Spread


Saturday, October 4, 2014

Done....and Done

2 boxes of filing done.  Yea!  I can not even explain my excitement and relief right now.  I have 4 more to go.  

Note to self:

Never get behind again!

Having a kid with special needs creates so much paperwork.  It is really insane actually.   A couple years ago my parents gave us their old monstrous filing cabinet.  It is just what I needed to get things organized again (Plus 5 plastic filing boxes :) 


Maybe one day we will go digital....LOL!  That is funny, who has the time to scan all of that.

In other news:

Georgia earned her BRONZE service pin for Young Marines.  50hrs of service.

Levi went a full day yesterday in underwear with NO accidents!  Hallelujah!

Curtis and I went to see "Catch Me if You Can" a new musical.  It was really fun,  We also hiked some hills around here.  Super nice, with the weather cooling down.

Today Levi and I get to go see How to Train Your Dragon 2

Georgia is at the Air Show with the Young Marines

Life is Good :)



Monday, September 29, 2014

A frustrating morning


I call this picture "Grrrrrrr".

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Computers, Quilting and Baking

Yesterday I got to see Curtis give a presentation at Cal State San Marcos on Computer Science.  He did a great job.  I was so proud of him.  I wish I had taken a couple pictures.  Sorry I don't have any to share.  It was a great experience to see him talk about his career and education with the college students.  He really knows his field of work.  Way to go!

I have been working on a 4th of July quilt and in the process, I have learned how to make flying geese.  Thank You Julie for teaching me!  I love how they turned out.  I'm guessing I'll have the quilt done in a month...stay tuned for the finished picture.


So, I have been playing around a bit with the recent pot roast recipe I posted.  Last night, It turned out the best ever.  So I wanted to share my changes.

Since I don't drink wine, I honestly have no idea how to choose a good one for pot roast...I just look at the descriptions at Trader Joes and pick the first one that says "dry".  So I must have really lucked out because this bottle (besides having a fabulous aroma when I opened it) made the best roast ever. 

 


I started with the roast.  I very generously salted one side and used cracked pepper.  Heat a pan with some olive oil and fry salted side down for several minutes.  I then very generously salted the top side and used cracked pepper.  Turn and fry for several minutes.  

In the crock pot, I turn it on low and drizzle some oil in the bottom, sprinkle 2 tsp garlic salt and 1-2 tsp panch phoran mix.  Place roast in the bottom.  

To the fry pan add a chopped onion, cook several minutes.  Then add 3 peeled and chopped carrots (I cut mine in about 1/2" chunks).  Cook for 3 minutes, add 1 cup of red wine.  I don't measure...it might be 1 1/2 cups...but about that much.  Let cook for a few minutes, then transfer all to the crockpot.  

I didn't add the broth that the recipe called for.  The roast makes plenty of juice all it's own.  It is best to let cook 10-12 hours on low.  I put it in first thing in the morning and then it is ready for dinner.  

It was really good.  When it is done, I strain some of the juice and make gravy.  Even Georgia said that it was really good without me even asking her.  So that my friends, is a miracle :)

Lastly

My hand mixer died last summer, right in the middle of making Angel Food Cake.  Because I have wanted a kitchen aid for so long, I was determined that I would buy one as a replacement.  Christmas came and went, and I just was not wow'd at the deals the stores were offering on kitchen aids.  In the mean time I occasionally borrowed a hand mixer or use my little immersion blender.  But for the past few months, it really has come time to finally get a kitchen aid to replace my broken hand mixer.  

I have been searching Craigslist for several months.  It was very apparent that everyone really loved their kitchen aids from the prices.  I understand that it is an expensive piece of equipment, but if you are selling it for what you bought it for, then it really doesn't help me.  I might as well buy a new one.  
Finally after several months of looking, I found one, on budget.  Yea!  It is white...and while I was hopping for another color, I figured, it wasn't a big deal.  I'm excited to finally make Angel Food Cake again...oh and whipped cream, which turned out okay with the immersion blender, but will be so much better with the kitchen aid.  ~**Happy Dance**~
    

Monday, September 22, 2014

Young Marines

We are the proud parents of a Young Marine.  Georgia joined in April of this year after completing 6 weeks of boot camp.  6 Saturdays of training for 7-8 hours.  We are so proud of her.  She gets to be involved with a lot of community events as well as activities, camp outs and lots of service.

In May we went to a Memorial Day event.  Afterward her troop put flags out for those who have served in our military.



In June they did a parade and color presentation at the local Tractor show.


She is the little one in the back :)









Sunday, September 21, 2014

Ode' to Marvin


Charlie and Marvin are brothers from the same litter.  We got them just over a year ago.  Marvin is on the left and Charlie on the right.  We first got Charlie.  He was a great kitten, but he cried and cried and cried.  So a few weeks later when the owner called and said they had one more from the litter, without hesitation, I said we would take him.  Charlie stopped crying and he and Marvin have been best buds ever since.

It is a sad day.  Marvin died.  We don't know what happened.  Maybe he got sick.  There was nothing obvious that we could see.  I found him yesterday by the back gate.  Like he had just laid down for a nap.  Poor Marvin.   We are going to miss you.