Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Little Love Note From My Girl.....

I love Frontierville on Facebook!  I used to play Farmville until it stopped giving me choices to expand my farm.  So now, I have Frontierville, Cityville, and Pioneer Trail.  I only have been playing one of those because really, it would take all of my day just to keep up with these virtual places and the missions that go with them.  However, they are the cleanest farms/gardens/cities that one could ever tend to.

Not long ago, I was on Frontierville, and I had several missions going in which in order to get them done, I needed to work on my "neighbors'" towns.   So, being the list maker that I am, I wrote down all of the things I needed to do.


Then, I left my computer so that my kids to have their time on it.  My daughter sees my list and wrote..........

Yes, that's me, I'm a "Zynga Nerd"!

I need to find a more productive hobby....


Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Mac & Cheese Freeze!

A few weeks ago, I was in the mood to start making meals to freeze and then heat up when the weather starts getting nippier.  I had already made and froze a batch of soup, so this time, I thought that I would make some macaroni & cheese.

 I have my mac & cheese (actually I multiplied the recipe by 4, and if I do that again, I'll need to use a larger cooking pot).
 And I have my quart sized freezer bags.............
 Measure out the amount that you think you'll need (I have a teenage son, who is never full, so I pack about 2.5-3 Cups per bag).
This part is a tad messy.  If you need to spoon it into the bag, I won't disown you!  Please remember to wipe off the edge of the "zipper" before closing the bag.

Don't forget to label & date it (even though by looking at it, you obviously know what it is, and because of that, it will probably  be on the dinner table within a week).

Lay them flat in the freezer until they're nice and solid....

Once frozen, they stack or "stand" nicely in the freezer.  I guess you could say that this meal stands on it's own!  Haha!

It turned out to be rather handy for me to have done this when I did, because while I was recovering from surgery, the kids were craving some mac & cheese and all I had to do was get a couple of packets out of the freezer to defrost, transfer to a baking dish and heat. 

Happy Freezing!


Monday, August 22, 2011

Never Too Tired for a Birthday!

Our girl had a birthday recently, however, she was away at summer camp when it happened.  I packed in her bag a present to open and two packages of Oreos to share with her cabinmates (because I wasn't willing to drive 10 hours to deliver homemade cupcakes).   Before she left, she told us that she wanted to open her gifts from us as soon as she came home.  I wasn't so sure that she would be up to doing that after a 10-12 hour bus ride home.  However, when we picked her up, she was hopped up on Mountain Dew and more than ready to tear into gifts!

Presents ready (do you think that she likes pink?).

The tired, yet happy, and caffeinated  camper, ready to open her gifts.

Teenagers never tire of getting money (and it's already spent!).
Her theme this year was "Diary of a Wimpy Kid", and this little stuffed doll was a treasure.

The requested birthday dinner: home made macaroni & cheese and tater tots.  Starchy carbs all the way!!

And for dessert, chocolate cupcakes!!

Then, a few days later, we had our family birthday party:

Even though it was the girl's party, she spent most of the time entertaining two little cousins (which she doesn't mind, and they LOVE her!).

I could not have done this by myself.   After I frosted the cake, my girl scored the Whimpy Kid face onto the cake and I piped the black frosting around it.  It turned out very well!

The birthday girl had help blowing out all of those candles!

Nephew, "B" loves to play with baby dolls.  He and his brother were playing with our dollhouse and furniture (and a few naked Barbies).  B was putting the baby in the crib and then rocking it and singing to it.  Very cute!

Nephew "D" was helping my girl unwrap her presents, including a picture that he drew for him by himself.

The rest of the day included the kids playing on the Wii (during which, my 4 year old nephew stopped briefly and asked "Does everybody want to see my underwear?"), and then my girl and brother-in-law playing on the Wii (which he is now inspired to buy), followed by an attempt at a  4-generation family picture that my nephews and son didn't want to be a part of  (we got them in there anyway though, under much protest).  

Another birthday memory made, and another year to plan for the next one.


Friday, August 19, 2011

Surgery & Vicodin

The title probably tells it better than I can.
So just a bit of a disclaimer here, before I go on, if anything is misspelled or just doesn't make any sense, or you can mentally hear me slurring my words in this post, blame it on the Vicodin (ok, twice I've misspelled that word.........and fixed it).

Once again, this post is in "novel" form (meaning that I have no pictures, and after you read this, you will probably be glad that there aren't any).

Last weekend, was one of our normal weekends.   I went grocery shopping.  We ordered a pizza for dinner.  We just kind of took it easy on Saturday.  On Saturday evening, I went to church.  All normal things.  Then on the way home from church I started feeling sick, and then the sick feeling became painful.  By the time I arrived home, I just needed to get inside and lay down and was feeling badly enough that I didn't want anyone touching me.  No matter what position I was in, the sharp pains in my back and abdomen would not go away.   My husband kept asking if I needed to go to the doctor.  Well, when do you really know?  In the past, when I've felt that bad, as soon as I decide to go to the doctor, I start to feel better.  By midnight, the pain was still there and I was nauseas as well.  So at around midnight, I finally told my husband (just after he had taken some Benedryl and had gone to bed) that I thought that the ER sounded like a good idea.    And as soon as we were on our way, the pain started to subside.  However, once there, and after explaining my situation several times to ever new person who came to see me, and an ultrasound, and some poking around my abdomen, it was discovered that I was having gall bladder issues (if you've never had a gall bladder attack, it feels like the largest gas bubble that you've ever had).  After talking to the on call surgeon, the on duty doctor (who was very nice by the way) decided to admit me for observation.   

In the morning, the surgeon  came in and talked to my husband and I and it was determined that the best course of action was to remove the gall bladder, which should only be a day surgery.  So, I called my kids at home to see how they were.  I asked my daughter how her brother was and she offerred to give him the phone saying that "Mom was on the phone".  I heard him in the background ask her, in all seriousness, "She's still alive?".    Then later in the afternoon, my daughter called again, and said that she and her brother were outside because when she turned on the gas stove, it smelled like rotten eggs, and she remembered that in commercials for the gas company, the announcer tells you to do that.  So my husband went home to investigate and everything was fine (later on, I explained to her that if she smells the rotten eggs when the stove isn't on, is the time she should be leaving the house, and in the future, it might be a good idea to wait to start cooking until a time when a parent is home).

So Wednesday, was the day for the surgery.  I wound up having two separate procedures done (being under anesthesia makes the day go by faster!).  The first surgery was for the gall bladder and then the second procedure was to get a stone that was lodged in a duct that the surgeon couldn't get to.  The way to get that out was through an endoscopy (camera down my throat)  As I was feeling groggy and like someone kicked me in the belly, I was wheeled into a room for the second procedure and the nurse asked me, "Did they tell you what position you're going to need to be in?".  No I hadn't heard.  Then she tells me, "On your stomach".  So I had to scoot on to a table, and roll over onto my stomach with fresh incisions.  Fortunately, I was sedated soon after.

Needless to say, the powers that be felt that it was best that I spend the night in the hospital after all of that "fun".  

So now I'm home, and if I even move a toe, someone is ready to tell me to not move and they'll get me whatever I want.  Some time think this an easy thing to do, but it isn't.  I'm on pain meds too, which make me feel loopy (which of course makes me want to prove that I'm still coherent).   I've been told by several friends who have had this surgery before that I will feel so much better.  I hope so!


Friday, August 5, 2011

Church camp & Sibling Scavenger Hunt

For the past week, my dear girl, Heather, has been away at church another another time zone.  This was the first time for her to travel out of state without her parents and, needless to say (but I'll say it anyway), she was a bit anxious and also excited.    While she's been gone, we've been able to text each other so I was still able to tell her that I loved her before she went to bed.   So, she still seemed close.........sort of. 

It was also the first time that we've been apart on her birthday.  She turned 15 this week, while at camp.  I sent one gift (a "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" t-shirt) with her so that she would have something to open on her birthday, as well as some Oreos to share with her cabin mates (because this mama wasn't able to travel to another state to bring cupcakes).  So here at home, on her birthday, her dad, brother and I had a cupcake in her honor.   Before she left for camp, she told me that she wanted to open her gifts as soon as she gets home.  That remains to be seen.  In the past, when I've picked her up after camp, she looks worn out, sunburned and just about ready to fall over.  I'm picking her up this evening, so we'll see if, after a 10 hour trip, she has any energy to open gifts.   She might, and then she'll sleep for most of tomorrow.

As tradition goes around here (sort of because not everyone participates), when someone goes out of town on a trip, be it business or summer camp, I write a short note for each day for the traveler.  One year, my husband went away on a business trip and left notes for the kids with clues as to where a gift or treat might be.  So my daughter took that idea and has been doing that with her brother.  My son, Kylin, never likes it when his sister goes to any kind of overnighter or camp (protesting starts two weeks ahead of time).  For the past two camps, at least, she has written a letter to him for every day that she's gone and has left clues for him to find each day's gift.  

This year, she had 7 envelopes taped to her door
So he reads the letter
She drew a picture of his favorite characters (today's was a ghost from "Pac-Man")
Today's clue indicates that the gift is on top of her canopy
And it's a "CARS" folder (and Kylin is truly happy..........really, he is.......I swear)

Today is the last day for this little scavenger hunt, and the hunter is still sleeping!