Tuesday, August 23, 2011


In the Spring Seth went out to buy some baby plants for our little garden. He thought he bought 3 cucumber plants, but 2 were mislabeled, because instead of cucumbers, they produced these:

Not the girl. The zucchini. Just to clarify. :)

So lately I've been chopping zucchini, shredding zucchini, finding places to store zucchini, and giving away zucchini. (Our freezer is already full or I'd be freezing zucchini!)

(Ignore the RoundUp-induced brown edging on our lawn in the background. Seth went a little nuts with the weed killer a couple weeks ago!)

Today I made four loaves of pumpkin zucchini bread. Tomorrow I might make chocolate zucchini bread, and google some more recipes.

What's your favorite zucchini dish?

Saturday, July 30, 2011


Since I rarely make it to the computer downstairs these days (and since my husband wiped the hard drive clean and installed Linux and now my photos and iTunes, etc. are gone), I thought I'd give this BlogPress app a try. One of the things I didn't like about posting via email is that I could only upload one photo per post. This app should remedy that. I hope. So bear with me in this test - post, please. It's going to be a sort of casserole post, with a little of this and that. :)

First, I'd like to post a few recent photos of the kids. It's amazing to me still how fast they grow and change.

This was taken on Mother's Day, after my kiddos picked a bunch of "Daddy-lions" for me. Aren't they sweet?

Ethan is nine, and will be starting 4th grade in September. His current interests include reading "The 39 Clues" series. He is on book nine now, I believe. He also enjoys Rick Riordan books, riding his bike, playing Wii games, and consuming larger and larger quantities of food. (Hm, growth spurt approaching?)

Kibby is 5 and will start Kindergarten. This photo was taken right after she cut her hair and Ruby's at the end of January. See how proud she looks? Not cool. Mommy was not proud. (Ruby's looked much worse!) As it turns out, though, this is one of my favorite photos of Kibby! It's very rare to get her to look at the camera and look happy at the same time! She finished up preschool in May & June (she attended 2 of them with the program she was in through the school district.) It was bittersweet to attend her little "graduation" ceremonies. She had a really great teacher this year and we're all going to miss her! We don't find out until the end of August which teacher she'll have for this year, and I'm trying not to be anxious about that. :)

Ruby is 3, and still our mischievous little entertainer. I'm seriously considering starting some type of homeschool preschool with her in the Fall during the hours while Kibby is in school, but maybe only 3-4 days a week. I'd like to teach her to read. And keep her curious little mind busy and out of trouble - at least for part of the day!

Ean, still the baby (he is nearly 21 months now), is still Momma's little boy. He loves to snuggle an play and laugh and tease. It's so fun to see his sense of humor develop. He is talking some... He says about 10 words, maybe? Mum-ma, dadda, no, up!, all-gone, go!, okay!, Nana, Bumpa (the kids' word for Grandpa), uh-oh, and ow. That's all that I can think of right now. He isn't putting 2 words together yet, though. He is very loud, very vocal, and likes to point and say, "OH!!" and babble gibberish (in an excited tone) at things. He has about 10 teeth and is learning to sleep through the night better again. (He had a rough spot there for awhile!)

The kids are trying to stay busy this summer. Parks, Bookmobile, the zoo, going to the beach, camping, parades, visits and playdates with friends, time with family... and boxes and boxes of Popsicles!

As crazy as day-to-day life is, I'm really going to miss them in the Fall and am glad for several more weeks of laid-back morning routines before the hectic school days start up again.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Beef Salad!

Well hello, my long neglected blog! And blog readers - if any of you are still out there! :)
It has come to my attention just now that my previous post, written waaayyyy back in February, was my 100th post. And I didn't even know it. I was blogging from my phone and never knew.

Sooo, in honor of my 100th post, my 101st post will be about one of my favorite things.

Beef Salad.


My Facebook friends have been patiently waitin
g for me to post the recipe to my husband's delicious recipe. I've tried posting it on here before, but may have gotten the sauce a bit wrong. Let's just say he's had more experience lately in making it so he's pretty much perfected it.

And it truly is perfection. Without further babbling.... her
e is the "recipe" for our Beef Salad:

The ingredients. (This makes a pretty big batch, probably enough for about 8 big servings):
~ a big, lean chunk of beef steak. Pick your favorite, but not too thick of a cut.
~ fresh veggies. Specifically these:
~ cucumbers
~ bell peppers (I personally think the more colors the better!)
~ red onion
~ tomato
~ mushrooms (fresh. white or baby bellas wor
k well)
~ fresh cilantro
~ fresh, sweet Thai basil. It has a purplish flowe
r at the tip. Might be hard to find outside of an Asian grocery.)
~ Jalapeno or thai chili peppers
~ about 4 fresh limes
~ a few fresh garlic cloves
~ fish sauce (Friendly warning - don't sniff the open bottle. It reeks, but TRUST me, you need this! Here is a photo of the kind we use.)

~ chili garlic sauce (available in most stores, Again, here is the kind we use.)

~ a little white granulated or raw sugar
~ a little salt
~ steamed jasmine rice

Begin by slicing up your veggies into thin strips. Add the fresh cilantro and basil. We usually put them in a couple bowls, and it looks like this when all done:

Next, if you have 2 people, one can grill the steak and the other can make the sauce. If only one person, make the sauce first. Or whatever. Live on the edge and grill first if you like. :) Grill the steak just until it's still a little pink in the middle but no longer bloody. When done, slice it into thin, bite-sized strips. Set it aside if you don't have the sauce ready.

Oh yeah, and don't forget to cook your rice. Not that
I ever forget to do that... a-hem....

For the sauce, begin by smashing up the garlic cloves into a near paste-like consistency. Roll your limes to soften them to get the most juice out of them. Or let your kids drop them and play with them while you're slicing the veggies like we do. :) Squeeze the juice into a bowl with the garlic and add about 1/2 cup of fish sauce. Hold your breath if you have to. ;) Add 3 tablespoons of the chili garlic sauce, 1 teaspoon of salt and 2 teaspoons of sugar. If you want it spicier, you can mince the jalapeno or thai chilies and add them right into the sauce.

Once the sauce is mixed up, add the beef strips and marinate them for a bit. Then, add it all to the bowls of veggies and mix it up. Let it sit for a few minutes (if you can, this is the hardest part for me!) to let the flavor develop a bit more. Serve over fresh steamed rice.

Enjoy! And let me know what you think if you try it! :)

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Someday I'll get back to blogging more often than just for birthdays! I hope. I miss it!

I had to post about our sweet Kibby, though. She turned 5 last week, and had a fun pink birthday complete with a pink cake with pink frosting and pink sprinkles. (She's a bit fond of the pink, yes.) :)

Today we were at the doctor's for check-ups, and I was reminded that my sanity is fragile. I took 3/4 of the kids by myself while Ethan (my oldest, 8 yrs old) was in school. It wouldn't have been stressful if the appointment wasn't for all 3 of them. Small room. Bored kiddos. Hungry kiddos. Dressing and undressing themselves kiddos. (The gowns were quite the novelty.) Hearing and vision screens that weren't gonna fly for my dear autistic girl. Trying to help her be cooperative while holding a squirming, hungry 15-month-old and keeping a curious 3-year-old from: stealing all the gum from my purse, squirting out the entire contents of the big pump-bottle of hand sanitizer on the desk, and touching every single item in the room (yeah both girls had to try out the reflex hammer for themselves.)
Two hours in this little bitty room. They should consider padding the walls.
Did I mention all 3 needed shots?
That's a story for another day. For now, it's enough to be able to type this as proof that I survived. :)