Monday, May 30, 2016

Projects, projects, projects...

While I work on finishing the Velcro replacement on the diapers, Jared has started redoing our bathroom. 

This is before. 
I love purple. First, we tried light purple. It didn't work. I like darker purple, but it makes the small bathroom look even smaller. So we picked this in-between shade. It didn't work either. The paint was weird. When it was wet it would turn pink. Sometimes it would stay pink. It wasn't good. 

So, this time we are going with wainscoating on the bottom and grey on the top.

This is the inspiration photo. Right now the bathroom is primed and all the fixtures are taken down. Jared also has put up the wainscoating. 

We hope to have pictures up next weekend or two weekends from now of the finished project. Then maybe we'll move on to shuffling around for the new baby. We are still playing around with ideas for that. 

Also, this week I will post updates on the chickens and show off my nifty chicken coop and run! 

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Boy Party

We told Martin we are going to a party this week. He said, "I am going to have a party now."

At his party they eat desserts ("zerts") and salads made of tractors, tools, cranes, Legos, and matchbox cars. But at least they put a tablecloth (the quilt) on the table (the couch cushions). 

"You have a chocolate zert and I have a brownie zert."

M: Here Daddy, you should eat more food. 
J: But I just ate three meals. 
M: Three isn't a lot...
J: I am full. 
M: Why you fool?
J: Full. Not fool. 

Friday, May 27, 2016

Hood removal

We had this shirt.  It had a hood.  The hood was annoying and in the way.  It made the collar lay funny. 

I picked apart the collar, removed the hood, and sewed the collar back on.  Good as new.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Happiness is...

A cupboard full of stuffed diapers. 
A vacuumed house. 
A clean kitchen. 
All the trash collected and taken out. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Happiness is...

* A nice long soak for my sore feet (for years Jared has given me lotions and things for my feet, I never find time to use them until I am pregnant and my feet start aching). 
* A new David McCullough book (I've had it on hold for four months now - it came yesterday and ended my reading drought - I've been repairing diapers and put reading in the back burner. I haven't finished any books in May).  
* A bowl of fresh strawberries (I picked 12 quarts yesterday, after an already long day, but I couldn't resist the call of fresh strawberries - they are my favorite fruit, but also probably the reason my feet are sore. But they are so amazing!! There is nothing like a bowl, no sugar, no cream, nothing but a bowl of fresh strawberries. So good.). 
* (sometimes it is) A quiet house (we had a long day today and it is good that the boys are now asleep in bed - they were near meltdown stage). 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Sweet corn and tomato risotto (fast)

This is probably my favorite recipe right now.  I used to reserve ordering risotto to restaurants because the process of making it is so involved and takes too many pots.  However, then I saw this recipe by America's Test Kitchen for Speedy Risotto.  I made a few changes because I wanted it to taste like a version I had in a restaurant recently, but feel free to leave out the corn, tomatoes, and bacon for a different variation.  I have also cut the butter and Parmesan down. It was too greasy. And I added a bit of white wine because that is what most risotto recipes call for. 

They also suggest that you can add shredded chicken to this to make it a complete meal, but I like my chicken on the side.  I usually grill chicken or pan saute it with a simple sauce. The risotto is so rich; it doesn't need competing flavors. I love eating it with a simple spinach salad or just on a bed or spinach. It is so good.  I think it would be amazing with some scallops. :) 

Speedy Risotto
* 1 c. Arborio rice
* 3-1/2c. low-sodium chicken stock
* 1/4 c. white wine (or more chicken stock)
* 4 T. butter
* 1 onion, chopped fine
* 1-2 garlic cloves, minced
* 1/4 c. basil (or 1-2 tsp of dried) - I don't really like basil and so I cut this way back
* 2 tsp. lemon zest + 2 T. juice (I have made this without the zest and it is still good)
* 1 ounce Parmesan cheese, grated (1/2 c) - the original recipe calls for twice this, but I don't like it so cheesy.  Also, I have used real Parmesan and the powdery green stuff and it both turns out. 
* 1/2 white corn (I use frozen)
* 1 tomato, diced
* A few pieces of bacon, cooked and crumbled

1. Combine the rice, 2 cup broth, and 2 T. of butter in large bowl. Cover and microwave until most of the liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes. 

2. Meanwhile, melt 2 T. of butter over medium heat. Cook onion until soft. Stir in garlic and cook 30 seconds. Stir in hot rice mixture, corn, remaining broth, and white wine. Bring to simmer and cook until rice is tender, about 5-10 minutes. 

3. Off heat, stir in basil, lemon, Parmesan, and tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Top with bacon. 


Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Crane in Rain

Last week, after The baby's checkup, I was talked into stopping to look at the crane. It poured down rain. We sat there for 30 minutes and watched them not work because it was raining. But the boys thought it was wonderful. Thankfully, we found a tree that kept us dryish. 

You can tell from the baby's head how soaked we got. It was the walk out to the parking lot that did us in. If I had planned ahead we would have had rain coats and boots to splash in puddles. Oh well, next time. 

In all it spent a good hour of our day, which was good since Warren had a shot and needed a distraction. 

Friday, May 13, 2016

Barbleys (our favorite restaurant)

Jared and I have a favorite little restaurant, that is in the middle of nowhere.  It takes us about 45 minutes to drive to.  It is only open four days a week and is in an old general store.  They have cards and other games that you can play while you wait.

The fried chicken is amazing.  They have several things that are always on the menu and then specials each night.   Once they are out of something, it is gone (like the Strawberry pie and Apple Dumplings).  If you have a late seating it is usually wise to put your order in for those when you order dinner.  

And this is crab stuffed rockfish. I actually liked the meatloaf better, but it was still very good.   I love that their plates don't match.  Last time Jared was served on a Christmas plate. :)

We always talk about taking people with us... maybe someday...

Sunday, May 08, 2016

I might like this book...

If you haven't read this book, you should. I heard the author speak at a mercy ministry conference and just loved the ideas behind this book.  I have already given out six copies and lent out my two copies. 
 I snagged fifteen more copies for my ESL staff at almost 50% off! I am about halfway through inscribing them and writing thank you notes. 

Saturday, May 07, 2016

Surrounded by boys...

Even when we were 90% guaranteed that my three yellow chickens were female, we still ended up with a rooster. Poor Roo. He will be "retired" to a friend's farm (probably to be a bowl of soup in the future). We were holding out hope he might be a she, but he started crowing this morning, loudly.  

He hasn't been sent off yet. So, the female to male count in our house is 6 to 5. Once Roo (in the front of the picture) leaves for his new home, we'll be down to 6 to 4. 

Other than the rooster, only the runt has a name so far (known as Runt or Fuzzhead because she still has downy feathers and is smaller than the rest).  I don't know if we'll name any of the rest unless they do something to make them standout. 

Jared finished the chicken coop this week. I got to drill a bunch of boards and screw them in (that makes for a happy engineer). It is the first time I have felt well enough in the last five weeks to help out. The birds were happy to be allowed outside. They are so entertaining. It makes me smile to look out my kitchen window and see them running around their pen. 

Friday, May 06, 2016

Table runner and apron

My best friend from college (probably the only one that I still talk to with any regularity) asked me to make her an apron for Christmas (I know, it is MAY and I am finally posting about this).  She even bought the fabric and brought it to me.  I had been wanting to make her an apron for a while, but I was stuck on fabric.  We have different tastes in prints and patterns.  

There was just enough of the fabric left that I was able to throw together a little table runner with the leftover pieces.  

I used some Christmas fabric of mine on the back that coordinated with the light blue binding.  I really love the way it turned out. I wanted to keep it. 

But that is the great thing about starting a project and knowing it is going to someone... 

I really love it.  

I didn't have quite enough fabric to make the binding. I cheated and I made half binding, half bias tape.  It was a little thinner than normal binding. 

And this is all I had left of the binding when I made it all the way around the runner.  That is it.  From all the fabric she bought me, that is all I had left.  I was pretty impressed I was able to turn all of it into something useful. 

On to the apron:
I made my own bias tape to go around the apron. 

Here it is finished. Don't you just love the ruffle?!? I love it.  It is the best apron I have ever made.  It took about 8-10 hours to get everything perfect, but I did have to keep stopping to help Martin with things.  He doesn't stay entertained for too long by himself when I am sewing.  He wants to stop and help.  :)

Wednesday, May 04, 2016


I am converting all my Velcro diapers to snaps (it was either that or replace the Velcro - which would have taken way more work). 

I have over 1,000 snaps coming. I got a little snap happy. But the price difference was so different, that I couldn't resist. What else should I use them on? :) I'll have to think up some fun projects. 

Here is an example of new snaps on a diaper. I bought these Chinese made diapers online. My only complaint about them vs. the bumgenius diapers are that the one row of snaps has a way of twisting. So, I added a few snaps to test out a second row. Now they are much more secure.