Tuesday, November 18, 2014

No shortage of books.

Tonight my lovely daughter told me, after learning that I had picked up new books at the library today, that If there were ever one thing we were short on, it would NOT be books.

Very, very true. We take books seriously here. We probably won't ever have enough bookshelves and baskets for them all. I spent a good chunk of my day at the very least thinking about what I'm reading or going to read next or when I can read again. I hope we are passing this on to our children.

They just finished these books: Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul (Fisher), and Magic in the Mix (Alla). Both recommended!

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Whew! We made it to California and back successfully!

2. We went from flip flops and sweating while out for short walks, to Uggs and temps in the 30s when we landed at home two days later, to snow boots and gloves and back-breaking shoveling the next day.

3. The reunion itself was AMAZING. Can't say that enough, to be around people who you don't get to see regularly, and others you haven't seen since graduation, it was just so fun to catch up. If you happen to be in charge of planning your high school reunion, take some notes from the classy ladies that put on ours: a wine bar. Super casual (well I still had to wear heels, ugh!), lots of mingling, a slideshow (!!) of during and after high school, even gift bags. Seriously, girls, you OUTDID yourselves.

4. So, our flight was delayed coming home and we spent 3+ hours in LAX. In. Instead of out, where the sunshine was. Thanks a lot United. Speaking of which, I still have to go and claim my lame gift to try and make up for making me late picking up my children.

5. And getting groceries. No time for that Sunday night, it was 9:00 when they got to bed as it was. So we ate frozen peas on Monday. But today I shopped! The lady in line behind me at Target, as well as the cashier, both commented on the amount of produce I was buying. I admitted to them I really was starting at zero.

6. Spent 3 hours at the Honda dealer this morning having that airbag recall done.

7. Good thing I had a book: Orange Is the New Black.

8. Now that we're getting down to the end of the year, I've had to narrow down my to-read list, which means prioritizing what I can actually read before December 31, which means the following: Station Eleven, A Man Called Ove, and Rain Reign. I'd also really like to read Unbroken before the movie comes out, but let's face it, I'm going to see that on Netflix, so I have some time.

9. When you've just returned from a short trip, had a snowstorm that impedes driving, spent 3 hours at a car dealer, and then finally done the weekly grocery shopping, you need an easy meal: Crockpot Chicken Tacos, which assumes only that you have some defrosted chicken and a few taco-ish ingredients on hand.

       Brown salt and peppered chicken in a little butter and olive oil for a few minutes on each side. Place in crockpot. Add some chicken broth to the pan to deglaze. (I know it's an easy meal but this step isn't hard, so don't skip it or else you're leaving all those flavorful browned bits out of your taco dinner.) Add in some green or red salsa, stir into the broth and browned bits. Pour over your chicken in crockpot, add a little more salsa and mix around in the crock. Turn on high and leave for 3-4 hours. Serve, obviously, with your favorite taco fixins, which for us  are: cheese, guac, sour cream, red pepper slices, and SLAW. The slaw always makes the taco.

10. Lastly, thank you military service people, who are too many to list, but specifically my husband, my brothers, and my father in law.

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Not sure what I feel best about today - voting, running, or selling (yes selling!) the kids' leftover Halloween candy. I can tell you what they were happy about. Earning three dollars eaches for that haul.

2. I went to the dermatologist last week and she told me my daily SPF 15 (that I love) was not cutting it and I needed SPF 30, so there's your PSA for the week: get your SPF 30 on every single day.

3. This weekend is my 20th high school reunion celebration. 20 years.

4. What I'm really thinking of is what I am going to read on the plane.

5. Alla found a new read that she says is going to be as good as Half Upon a Time. She can tell from the first chapter.

6. Dinner has been a nightmare lately. One kid hates soup. One kid hates chicken. I'm going to start eating dinner someplace else just to avoid the whole thing. Anyone want to invite me? I might have a few diet restrictions, too, though.

7. At least we have vegetables. In the regular rotation: broccoli (roasted), carrots (raw), beets (when I can get them, sliced and roasted), green beans (roasted), red peppers (raw), sweet potatoes (sliced and roasted with coconut oil and cinnamon). Of course the grown ups around here have a whole slew of other vegetables we like, so there's often a series of them on the table, but still I think we can expand our regulars.

8. Kids are looking forward to seeing Big Hero 6 this weekend!

9. Kids also have a 3 day weekend this weekend, lucky ducks.

10. The temps are dropping so I am no longer craving the iced beverages of summer. It is time for the Hot Toddy. Cheers!

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

Sunflowers are the best.

That gardening girl of mine got one lucky sunflower this year to grow big and tall in a pot on the deck, and didn't break when the winds came due to some yarn love. Next year we're hoping to plant tons of them, in the hopes that a squirrel couldn't possibly gobble them all. Until then, we have this beauty to brighten our days.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. It was a warm 80 degree weekend, and then Monday, upper 50s. It's in between time. Too chilly for shorts (I'm trying to convince Fisher of this), but snow stuff is a ways off (hopefully). We went from flip flops to Mom where are my mittens this morning.

2. I personally am now very glad I purchased that lovely fleece in the middle of the summer on sale. It really came in handy this afternoon.

3. This week I'm reading I'll Give You The Sun and it's so intriguing.

4. The school is putting on a musical this year, Annie, and I have a little girl auditioning on Friday! I think the boy in our house is going to get tired of Tomorrow before auditions, let alone the performance in May.

5. One of my jobs that I take very seriously in our family is Library Book/CD/Movie Requester and Picker Upper.

6. As such, it is on my calendar for October 1st to request all of our favorite Halloween reads.

7. I daresay the bathroom is done. Ron's favorite part are the cabinet drawers that catch when they're closed so they close ever so softly. Mine is the light in the shower. It's just everything being able to see in there.

8. Conferences tonight, eager to hear about my rotten children. Ha!

9. The latest request for a pet from our children is for a trained monkey.

10. Tomorrow is October. October is a wily month here in Minnesota. It can be warm, it can rain, it can be windy enough to shake all the leaves from the trees, it can s-n-o-w. Whatever happens, when we meet back here again on the 31st, it will be quite different here on our street.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. The bathroom is almost done. Just almost enough that all the pieces are in place but we can't yet use it.

2. A few images from our trip to the apple farm two weeks ago, where we bought those two pecks of Zestars, which are now gone.

3. Really the best part of any outing for Alla is the possibility of finding new animal friends.

4. We are having an extended run of 70 degree weather which is just phenomenal.

5. The school year is certainly wiping me out, and Ron has taken to calling me a grandma because I'm falling asleep by 9:30 every night.

6. Falling asleep so early means that it is very difficult for me to finish a book these days, even when I'm less than thirty pages from the end!

7. Oh how I cannot wait for Parenthood to start this week!

8. I'm just going to say it. I hate hashtags. Probably that's not going to help with my grandma status.

9. I've been working for months on a canvas with TONS of iphone pics on it, and it's almost done!

10. Well I'm off to Home Depot, such a fun place, to get door stops. Have a great Tuesday!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Ten on Tuesday.

1. Fisher wins the prize for first cold of the school year.

2. We are in the throes of our bathroom remodel and it would be an understatement to say that we are greatly anticipating the completion of this project.

3. The kids and I just finished a fantastic book, Peter Nimble and His Fantastic Eyes. Seriously amazing language. We're onto this author's second novel, and I'm hoping it's not too creepy!

4. In other reading news, Alla and I both just read All Four Stars, which we both wholeheartedly recommend!

5. It's September, which means there are three months left in the year to read books and still so many on my list!

6. Today I ran not only in sunshine but in warmth, so I say that for any day I can run in September in just shorts and a t-shirt, I am grateful. For any day that I am able to do so in October, I may run an extra mile and kiss the pavement.

7. Despite the warmish weather, we had lentil soup tonight, eaten al fresco, and it was lovely.

8. I'm going to have to make a product recommendation here, and it's for a pencil sharpener. Maybe you have a pencil sharpener, maybe you have a few. All you need is this one. My kids are excited about sharpening pencils, and the adults in our house are practically hyperventilating at the sight of such perfectly sharpened pencils.

9. With two kids in school all day, I get an extra day to help out in Alla's class, so I'm quickly getting to know all of her classmates.

10. The biggest news around here is my daughter getting her ears pierced! She looks stunning:)