Archive for March, 2011

March 31, 2011

A New Calendar Page

I LOVE to turn the page on my calendar and start to fill it in!  It makes me happy to look at the blank month and start to fill it in with all our family activities.  This winter we have taken a break from all activities except for church.  That meant our calendar in January and February was still mostly empty.  It was nice to spend a lot of evenings at home and to get “recharged” as a family.  However, I am a person who likes to be busy.  I like the going from here to there, the practices, the birthday parties, the games, etc.  So, with spring upon us our calendar is looking so fun!

Joshua is doing soccer, so there are practices once a week and a game once a week.  Molly is in girl scouts and with the weather warming up there are more activities scheduled, including a weekend camping trip in April (I hope I don’t freeze!).  Joshua, Tom, and I are also all involved in 2 different musicals at our church, so rehearsals are definitely a part of our calendar!  Plus, Tom and I BOTH have a birthday this month!!  Maybe my husband will surprise me with a night out…hint, hint!

On my calendar I also menu plan for a month at a time.  It is so nice to have it done and know what’s for dinner each night.  Sure, we diverge from the plan once in a while, but that’s life.  This month we are going to try some more recipes in the Dinner in Your Deep Covered Baker cookbook, some recipes Kari has posted on this blog, and a new recipe a friend just e-mailed me for Creamy Chicken Taquitos.

When I step back and look at the calendar with the writing all over the place it makes me feel happy.  It makes me feel blessed that we are fortunate enough to be busy.  Does that make sense?  We still have our nights at home, we are not go, go, go all the time.  We have a family game night that is sacred to us.  Getting out of the house, meeting people, spending time with people we know, those things make my heart smile!  Happy April!!

P.S.–Sneak Peek at my May calendar has in BIG BOLD letters a visit to Savory!!!  Can’t wait!!

–A

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March 28, 2011

The Best Laid Plans of Mice and Men…

This weekend was the weirdest combination of stressful and relaxing all at the same time.  Friday night I had grand plans in my head for a “date night in” with Mike.  K was going to sleep over at a friends, Z had a track meet that started during the school day and then was going to go out after and we had the perfect meal in mind.  The Pittsburgh Steak salad. Now…before I had even HAD it I was in love.  Just watching Guy Fieri talk about it on Diners Drive Ins and Dives was enough to know that it was going to be awesome and ALL DAY at work I looked forward to it.  I even skipped lunch so that I would be extra hungry.  As I was pulling into the Y to pick up K my phone rang.  It was K’s friend M saying that her mom was sick and could they have the sleepover at our house. Ug. I instantly wanted to cry, but said yes anyway.  It would keep the girls happy and not ruin their night and also help out M’s mom.  I couldn’t say no.  For those of you that know me…I do NOT deal well with last-minute sabotage.  I get my hopes up so high that falling definitely fractures something.  At any rate…I tried to save the evening in my mind.  We never actually SEE the girls when they have sleepovers.  They usually stay up in K’s room and watch movies and do makeup and nails, so dinner and a movie in the living room still worked.  Then Mike called.  He had gone to watch Z run and he hadn’t yet run by 6:30.  I knew from working in the school district office this meet was going to last until 9 or 10.  There was the final blow.  It was going to be me…alone…entertaining the girls.  AND not getting to watch Z run. AND not getting the meal I had waited for ALL DAY.  In the end it worked out just fine…as it usually does, but I couldn’t see that in the moment.  We made sandwiches and had a grape fight in the kitchen, then the girls played outside until about 8 when they came in to watch a movie and eat popcorn in K’s room.  I got to watch Private Practice and Grey’s Anatomy, which was just ending as Mike and Z walked in the door at 9. 

Saturday morning was a very relaxing day.  I made banana bread for breakfast.  I haven’t made it in so long, but I had bananas that were past their point, so it just seemed perfect.  And it turned out GREAT!  It was gone by the end of the day.  I will have to make more tonight because I only got one little slice.  Z had to attend the JV track meet and help with events until noon, so while the girls played outside Mike and I watched Due Date.  It was a funny movie.  AND I got the socks sorted.  They have been building up in the laundry basket for what seems like forever.  All of the laundry was clean, so whatever was unmatched I threw away.  I probably threw away 30 unmatched socks. Still don’t know how that happens.  At any rate, the afternoon was spent eating pinwheels and watching The Fighter with Mike and Z while K was at M’s house.  It was a good movie.  It didn’t hit me who the movie was about until he had “Irish Mickey Ward” on his back.  Duh! I have watched him fight a million times. Lots of cussing, but the kind where you tune it out because that’s how they talk in that neighborhood.  Much like Good Will Hunting.  It wasn’t misplaced so after a while I didn’t notice.  I LOVE true stories. It was apparent that Z was going to be in for dinner, so I ran to the store to get more steak for the salad while Mike started the fries.  Here is the Diners Drive Ins and Dives episode where we found the salad. You can skip to 3 minutes 35 seconds to view the salad part of the video.

Needless to say, it was AWESOME!  Good Saturday.

Sunday was a mixed day.  Started with K and I going to church early as the choir was singing.  She likes to go with me and play on her ipod and listen to us practice.  GREAT service and got to see part of the musical set up on stage. 

 It is SO COOL!!!  I am amazed at the talent and hours being put in by the leaders and church body.

For lunch we had grilled cheese.  The kids went with American and bacon, I had bleu cheese, provolone, tomato and bacon and Mike had both of those AND some other concoction involving the pinwheel mixture from the day before.  He started throwing up 5 minutes before I left for musical rehearsal.  We had plans to have a soccer meeting and dinner with the other captains parents at 4:30.  As of 4:15 we still hadn’t gotten to my second scene and MY stomach was hurting.  Didn’t know if we had bad food, if Mike has a stomach virus and was going to pass it on OR if it was in my head, but I felt icky and nervous.  I HATE throwing up.  I texted the mom of the other captain and went on stage.  After getting OFF stage at 4:45 I had a text from Z that I had sent it to HIM…not her.  So we were already late…hadn’t notified her AND had to cancel.  I felt HORRIBLE.  But what could I do?  Mike spent the rest of the night ill.  I think and hope that he just ate too much rich food.  Dunno.  I guess we shall see, but I am keeping my fingers crossed. 

But today is a new day!  I switched back to my full size coffee maker in lieu of the one cup Keurig.  I can set it to be made when we wake up and both of us can have coffee together in the morning while we get ready.  I had coffee, got to work on time AND had work kudos upon arrival.  I like this Monday.   Tonight…Baked Chicken Bacon Alfredo, Caesar Salad and Garlic Bread while watching The Suite Life Movie with the fam.  After tucking K in Mike and I will watch the season premiers of Nurse Jackie and The United States of Tara…if all goes according to plan 🙂

Happy Monday to you all!!! – Savory/Kari

March 25, 2011

A Weekend of P’s

I have a lot on my to-do list this weekend.  I was so hoping for some nice spring weather to get me through all the tasks I need to complete.  Instead, I get to look forward to cold temperatures and snow.  Yay!

Here is a glimpse at my weekend:

Friday night:  Freezer Meal Group.  This is a group I belong to that gets together once a month and prepares 8-10 meals that can be put in the freezer and taken out whenever I am in need of a dinner option that is as simple as defrost and cook!  I love it!  There are 24 people in the group and we cook in two sessions, half the people on Friday night, the other half on Saturday morning.  This month we are preparing the following recipes:  BBQ Shredded Pork, Seafood Creole, Breakfast Burritos, Urban Garlic Chicken, and a bonus side of cheesy biscuits!

Saturday:  Joshua has his first soccer game of the spring season.  Yep, in the freezing cold and possible rain/sleet/snow.  How fun for them! The boys will probably love it, it will be the spectators freezing!

After soccer I plan to get my Costco shopping done and then head home for some spring cleaning.  On the cleaning agenda?  The Playroom and the Pantry!  I plan to go through ALL the playroom toys and purge/re-organize.  I will also clean the toys and the room to rid it of any lasting wintry germies.  In the pantry I will completely empty it, get rid of anything I feel needs to go, clean the shelves, and then put everything back in an organized manner.

In the afternoon Joshua has rehearsal for the church musical he is in, GPS.  He is a police officer and he is really looking forward to it!  After rehearsal both kids will head to my mom and dad’s house for a sleepover!  They are sleeping over there so I can go out to hear my husband’s band play!  They are playing at Lumpy’s from 9pm-1am on Saturday night, if anyone wants to come hear them.

Sunday:  I am on worship team this month, so I will be at church at 7:30 for rehearsal.  I will be there for 1st and 2nd service until about noon.  I then get to run home, change, grab some lunch, and then go back for our Easter Cantata rehearsal at 1.  We practice from 1-4 and Joshua practices again from 4:30-5:45, so we will at church most of the day.

I am tired after writing this blog.  : )  I hope to sneak in some quiet, silly, giggly, quality moments with my family during this weekend.  Though we may have a “To-Do List” that we want to get accomplished and things that we have to get done, I don’t want the weekends to fly by without any quality time spent!  Here’s wishing you a fantastic weekend filled with wonderful moments, and, of course yummy food!!  🙂

–Angela

March 22, 2011

Peaks and Valleys…Flooding Valleys

It’s only Tuesday.  This is the thought that keeps entering my mind today.  Some of you know I was home with my daughter last week.  She was diagnosed with Flu B and told by the doctor to stay home until Monday.  That was Wednesday morning.  We had a very busy weekend with the Krumps in town and K skating in the ice show.  It really flew by.  

Monday hit me like a smack in the head.  And I already feel like it should be at LEAST Thursday.  Most certainly the huge storm that is making its way into town worrying people and generally putting them in bad moods is not helping.  Tonight we are to expect another blizzard.  It is March 22nd.  Last year it didn’t snow in March once. Not once. I know because I lived here then and I remember it because at the time I was saddened by the lack of snow.  Not this year.  Seen plenty.  More than in my whole life.  

Now don’t get me wrong…Im not really sick of it.  Not like the other Fargoans.  You would think someone shot their dog.   It’s not really that upsetting to me.  It just means I will have to drive slower to work in the morning.  Spring will come a little later. But it WILL come. I shant worry about it.  I will eat tacos for dinner and fold laundry and watch TV just like any other day.  But the impending 6-16 inches expected over the next few days is adding to the fear of Fargo Flood Watch 2011.  That part I DO understand being worried about.  And you can’t escape it.  It is everywhere you turn. 

So…please keep us in your prayers.  However, I wanted to write about fun things today.  Like how awesome K was in the ice show. And she was. 

Her first venture into her own “thing”.  For a while it has been all about Z when it comes to watching and traveling for and generally running around.  But she is getting older now and has her own craft that she enjoys and wants to work at improving.  I think she is happy feeling more a balance in that area. On the Z front…he made the varsity track team and placed second in his first meet.  Very cool.  This is a sport none of us know much about.  I have never been to a track meet. I am sure there will be much learning involved.  Just like when we started with heavy duty soccer.  And now we’re pros. Or at least pros at being soccer parents 🙂  April is sure to bring great things.  K starts on her next level of figure skating and Z will be in deep in track by then.  

For those of you who don’t know…I got my ear pierced with my sister this past weekend.  

I was worried about infection because they give you so many rules, namely that I cannot sleep on my left side.  WHAT!?!?!? You couldn’t have told me this BEFORE you stuck a huge needle through my ear? Really.  OK then.  I tried the first night, but now that it doesn’t hurt…Im pretty sure I am sleeping on it.  Hopefully it is healing fine. No redness. No swelling.  Only itching. But that’s a good sign, right?  Nonetheless…I like it. It’s cute. Thanks Kimmy!

The Bachelor has passed and the Big Love series finale was kind of a let down.  I am now in search of the next big thing for me on TV. Still have all the little sitcoms of course, but it seems everything has been on a break.  Vampire Diaries and 90210 finally returning this week, but if anyone knows of anything new in the pipeline…let me know!

-Savory

March 16, 2011

Dinner is served!

I have been making new recipes lately and have found several that I really like!  I am not great at gauging if a recipe is super healthy and I have decided that if I control my portions, don’t go wild with snacking, and move a little it doesn’t matter.  I mean, I am not making meals with pounds of butter or anything!  : )

Anyway…I have a Deep Covered Baker from The Pampered Chef.  I love it.  It allows me to cook dinner in minutes in the microwave, but is also a fabulous casserole dish for the oven.  So, no matter what kind of cook you are it’s great.  I recently acquired the new cookbook for the DCB and have tried the following recipes:

Homemade Chicken Pot Pie:  It is chicken breasts cut in chunks, a package of any frozen veg you like (I used peas, carrot, green bean mixture), some chicken broth, spices, and a sheet of puff pastry for the crust.  It was super yummy!  The only issue I had with it was it was a little runny.  It sort of turned out like chicken soup with dumpling like crust on top.  I might have used too much broth…still very yummy!  Kid vote:  Thumbs up!!  2 clean plates!

Roasted Garlic Chicken:  This was a whole fryer chicken that I dolled up and roasted in the oven.  It had a halved lemon and quartered onion shoved in it’s cavity, and some garlic, spice, zest, evoo paste under its skin.  This was very tasty!  It was a whole new thing for me to prepare a whole chicken this way and I was worried it wouldn’t turn out right, but it was good!  I served it with some broccoli and my garlic roasted potatoes.  Kid vote:  Thumbs up!!  2 clean plates!

Chicken Piccata Pasta:  This was chicken, angel hair pasta, lemon, spices, artichoke hearts, and some capers.  This was really good too, but a little too lemony.  It calls for lemon pepper on the chicken and lemon juice in the sauce.  Next time I would cut back on some of the lemon.  Also, I would definitely make it without capers next time.  Not a fan.  I just found this out.  Kid vote:  Eh, ok.  They ate, but it wasn’t their favorite.  They also left the capers on the plate.

On the menu for tonight is BBQ Bacon Stuffed Meatloaf.  I am excited about this twist on meatloaf!  It looks very simple to prepare and yummy to eat!  I will let you know how it turns out and if my family likes it!

Happy Eating!

–Angela

March 14, 2011

Tad Overwhelmed…Party of One!

Between the church musical, the ice show, family visiting, soccer, track, looking for a house and mentally preparing to move and AFFORD a move and working full time…I am feeling WAY behind the eight ball.  My brain is in worry mode all of the time.  My husband will tell you that I have gotten a LOT better about my worrying problem.  I simply don’t do it.  I plan to fix things, but if I can’t do it right now there is no sense in worrying about it right now.  But today I feel anxious and out of control.  K is home sick today.  She hardly ever gets sick so of course that kind of puts me in a funk, but more than that if she doesn’t get better she can’t healthily go to the last ice show rehearsal then dress rehearsal and skate three shows.  And…if she doesn’t get better quickly I will have to miss work to stay home with her and I wanted to take off the end of the week when my sister and her family are here.  Then that thought reminds me that I need to clean my house and figure out how to afford food when I already shopped for 4 people for the week.  Hmmm….will that food go bad?  Should we have the same things just add more to it? I dunno. 

But all of this weighing on my mind I am droppin the ball on things. Forgot about a party K had on Saturday and she had to go without a present. I felt horrible.  And I don’t have any time to go shopping for one in the next few days so that she can give it to her late. Sheesh.

The best, worry free time I have had in a while was painting the musical set on Saturday.  Mindless labor that is enjoyable.  With other people from church.  It was nice. I laughed a lot and just had some good “me” time.  The set is going to be awesome.  Looks really good. Everyone is doing a GREAT job. It’s very exciting. Looking forward to more rehearsals and set construction.  Does my brain good. 

Today I am working while Mike stays home with K.  So that means he will make dinner and I can just go home and clean.  Or maybe I will clean tomorrow and have Mike take K to ice skating.  Gonna take it day by day. Try to get K well. Enjoy my company. I keep thinking if I can get through March I will be fine.  And its true…I will be. I always am. 

-Kari

March 10, 2011

Spring Break!

It’s Spring Break next week and we have nothing to do.  We can’t afford to go out of town.  I am wondering…who has some cool ideas for things to do in town during Spring Break?  What are you and your family doing?  What are your kids doing while you work?  Hmmm…  Let’s get a good list of ideas going and maybe it will be helpful to more than just me (and, let’s face it, even if it is helpful to just me, that’s what I’m after, right?)

–Angela

March 8, 2011

John Steinbeck was right

March is successfully under way…and in my books that means it’s time to start looking forward to summer! Yes we’ve finally started the uphill climb to May. Goodbye boots, so long scarf, adios frostbite! Being from Fargo, it’s a pretty exciting time, spring.

Island Park in April

I love the way Fargoans suddenly come out of hibernation, and people are instantly transformed from moody and cynical to ridiculously jolly as soon as the temperature finally makes it above 15 degrees.  And while that would be considered cold to people in other areas, Fargoans rejoice!  We moved here a year ago this week and while it is colder and snowier today than it was then…I am still excited for the trees to start blooming. And friends to visit.

With me being in a new job, I don’t have much time off this summer to make the trip south, so I am hoping friends and family might visit.   Angela’s family is coming to visit for Memorial Day weekend/week, which I am SO looking forward to.  Should be a relaxing week spent on the lake, playing cards, exploring the woods, reading in the hammock and enjoying the company of friends. As for the Fourth of July there are rumblings of visitors but nothing confirmed and I shant get my hopes too high. 

Anyone who would like to visit…you are MORE than welcome.  The drive really isn’t so bad.  No worse than driving to Colorado.  Same boring plains, but if you have a good audio book…the time passes rather quickly.  Summers here, or rather in the lakes area, are very mild and enjoyable.  We plan to camp most weekends.  Our original plan was to have my parents come up in their 5th wheel and spend lots of time with them at the lake, but finances and not being able to find the right spot squelched that dream. 

So please…think about visiting Fargo.  Or…if you want to fly to Minneapolis and hang out in the cities…we will meet you there!

-Kari

March 7, 2011

What does the future hold?

On my mind today is my future.  I am currently a home daycare provider with a teaching certificate.  I taught for 10 years and then decided to open a daycare so I could be home with my kids.  I have been blessed in the daycare with good kids and good parents.  I currently have a great group.  All that being said, changes are coming… 

Molly will go to 1st grade next year and be in school all day.  One of my daycare kids will go to Kindergarten next year in another city so he won’t be here.  Another one will start 1st grade and so will only need after school care, drastically reducing what I would charge them.  Another hurdle to continuing daycare is the new Kansas law that all daycares must be licensed.  I am currently registered.  To be licensed might require things I can’t do, for example, putting up a fence.  We can’t afford a fence nor do we want one.  That also means inspections and paperwork hoops to jump through. 

I updated and renewed my teaching certificate so I am able to go back to teaching next year.  At this time, however, because of state budget problems, there are no teaching jobs.  It doesn’t look good for a few years.  I could be a substitute teacher if they unblock the application process.  Right now the way it is in our district is they have enough subs and so have put a block on any new applicants.

As I look toward next year and how I am going to help contribute to my family’s income I get sad and scared.  So, I have avoided it.  The months pass me by and I try not to think about it.  My heart’s desire is to be home with my kids.  I so wish I could just be mom and nothing else.  I wish my Pampered Chef income was enough (who wants to host a show?) : )  Sadly, our budget does not allow for that.  So, I have to make a decision.  Check into what it takes to keep the daycare going and look to fill spots I will have in the fall?  or  Hope a teaching job may come available?  Wait to see if they accept new substitute applications?  What if the answer to both of those questions is no…what then?

–Angela

March 4, 2011

Intestinal fortitude, sense of community and leadership come together

As of this weekend we have officially been in Fargo for one year.  I remember it like it was yesterday. Oh…wait…that’s because we were doing the EXACT same thing as we are doing now.  Sandbagging.  Fargo, North Dakota has had a string of bad luck when it comes to flooding. Currently a flood is projected for this spring…possibly breaking record levels set in 2009.                                                      We weren’t here then, but we witnessed the anticipation of a repeat last year.  Thankfully it wasn’t as bad, but it was an eerie feeling driving down the street with trucks full of sandbags, kids walking down the street covered in sand and mud on a week day out of school and Hummers on every corner with military officials keeping watch.  It was like a sci-fi movie starring Bill Pullman as President.  Fargo’s getting pretty good at managing these floods, so we started sandbagging last month.  The city is planning on filling 3 million sandbags and we are only half way there. These sandbags are just part of the efforts needed to protect the city from the Red River. Clay levees and other barriers are also being constructed… I suspect I will see Hummers any day now.  But as in years past something about the Fargo Moorhead area that you cannot deny is that the people look out for each other. They are and will continue to band together to do what is needed to fight the flood. It’s a very cool thing to witness. 

If all goes according to plan and the flood is averted, this will be the only blog entry I need to write about the flood. But if things get worse and we reach record levels once again, I’ll let you know. Or just watch the national news. You’ll probably see us on TV.

In other news…Mike made Alton Brown’s Fish Tacos last night.  Fish tacos have continued to pop up on this blog several times.  Mario Lopez says they are the key to weight loss…so lets keep tryin different ones!  Alton’s were very tasty.  Of course I loved the Crema the most.  The fattening part, but it was SO tasty.  Instead of making the crema from scratch and waiting 24 hours for the cream and buttermilk to MAKE sour cream…we just blended sour cream, cream and the chiles in adobo sauce. YUM!

I am off to fill sandbags with the school district this afternoon!  Keep Fargo in your prayers and let me know what YOU are planning to eat this weekend!

-Savory