Thursday, February 12, 2009


We're still planning menus from the fridge and cupboards this week.

Yesterday Jackson made BBQ Smoked Sausage with egg noodles. Basically, you just slice the sausage, throw in the electric fry pan (mine is a Farberware and is really big), dump BBQ sauce on them, and cook the egg noodles. He mixed everything in the pot that he cooked the noodles in when they were done. Easy and fast. The kids like it.

Today I'm making Round Steak Parmesan. Instead of the tomato sauce and diced tomatoes, I just used a jar of spaghetti sauce. It's still in the oven, so no reports on if it is good or not, but it's starting to smell good! We'll microwave some vegetables to go on the side. I think I'll do some garlic bread, too.

I haven't cooked any breakfast since Monday. Maybe tomorrow, maybe not. We've had a lot of fruit and carrots for snacks. Chase did mix up some chocolate chip cookie dough yesterday and baked it into bars. They're long gone. We're stocking up some leftovers for evenings in the fridge.

Shannon is taking me out for dinner tomorrow night, so I'm not sure what I'll cook tomorrow. I still have that chicken in the fridge, so I'll need to use it soon.

Last week Target had whole frozen turkeys on sale for $.49/lb. I bought a couple of them and have them waiting in the freezer. I'll be cooking one within the next few weeks, probably.

"The lazy man says, 'There is a lion in the road! A fierce lion is in the streets!' " Proverbs 26:13

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


I haven't been planning menus this week. We just went to the store and bought a bunch of food, and I'm coming up with ideas on the fly.

Saturday we made breaded pork chops and vegetables. I dipped the chops in milk, then rolled in seasoned bread crumbs. I fried them in the electric skillet. I tried using applesauce to fry them in instead of oil, but it just burned on the pan. I didn't want to add fat by using the oil. They turned out fine, although in retrospect I will probably just bake them next time, because I could only fit 4 in the fry pan at once, and had to cook them in three batches. I ended up turning on the oven to keep the first batches warm while I finished up the last ones. It would have been easier just to bake them.

Sunday Shannon made pork loin. He seared the outside in the fry pan, then rolled it in breadcrumbs and baked while we were at church. It smelled yummy when we got home! We had vegetables with this, too.

Yesterday we had beef stew and cheddar biscuits. They were both good. I made the double chocolate banana muffins that were scheduled for last week, and they were a big hit, too. The kids weren't as wild about the banana chip muffins from earlier last week.

Today Shannon made Sloppy Joes, and we're eating out tonight. I'm not sure what's coming for tomorrow, but I think I have boneless, skinless chicken breast in the fridge, so I'll probably use that.

"The heart of her husband safely trusts her, so he will have no lack of gain." Proverbs 31:11

My Birthday

Today is my 39th Birthday.

Back when I was nineteen, I'm pretty sure that sounded a lot older than I perceive it to be today. Perspective...

At exactly 12:00am I received a text message on my cell phone wishing me a Happy Birthday. I had no clue who it was from, so I texted back to find out who it was. It was John Bower. It was very sweet of him to think of me, and extend birthday wishes at the earliest possible moment. I'm just really relieved that I was awake at the time. I might not have been as pleased if I had been asleep. We didn't get home from the basketball game until about 12:30. We stopped at Walmart after the game and then had to drop the boys off in Reinbeck so they could be in town to work this morning.

Bryce was up promptly at 8:00 to wish me Happy Birthday. Katie, Colton and Hudson showed up around 9:00. Naomi followed shortly after that. I have spent a very lazy day on the couch playing around on the computer. I've received many happy birthday greetings on Facebook, and completed my list of 25 Random Things.

My mom stopped out early this afternoon and we had cake and ice cream that Shannon and the girls prepared for me. Although the cake has '29' on it, it's not because I'm in denial. We just don't seem to have a number '3' anymore.

We're planning to meet Papa Joe at the Meskwaki Casino tonight to eat at their buffet. Papa Joe is a regular there, and he's always getting free coupons. Makes for a cheap date, and the kids like the all-you-can-eat aspect of it.

I don't have any profound thoughts or goals for this last year of my 30's. I'm not dreading the 40's. Life just keeps getting better and better, so bring it on!

"The wise in heart will be called prudent, and sweetness of the lips increases learning." Proverbs 16:21

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Chuck E. Cheese's

Last week Katie decided she would like to go to Chuck E. Cheese's for her birthday party. We picked up Alex and Jack after work on Tuesday, and headed for Cedar Falls.

Back when I was in about 4th or 5th grade, we used to think it was a really big deal to go there, but at the time it was called Show Biz Pizza. They had a lot of video games like Pac Man, Asteroids, and Centipede.

We loaded up on pizza, soda and tokens, and even got to dance to some 80's music and be projected up onto the big screens. What fun! Colton just reminded me there was a disco ball, too.

There was just one other family there, so we pretty much let the kids have the run of the place.

She would really like a real pony. It's not gonna happen.

Smiley Naomi

The Birthday Girl

Colton playing Skee Ball

Bryce playing Skee Ball

Jackson racing one handed, and Hudson helping

Static from the slide

Smiley Naomi

Chase playing Street Hoops

Alex and Chase racing

Hudson loving/strangling Chuck

Hudson doing the piggy nose thing in the overhead tunnels. How many other kids do you think have done this before him? Ew.

Of course the kids collected the fun little tickets that spew out of the games as they played. We were able to redeem them for several bags of cotton candy and some twisty straws. We had a fun time.

"My fruit is bet than gold, yes, than fine gold, and my revenue than choice silver." Proverbs 8:19

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Katie's 5th Birthday

Last week we celebrated Katie's 5th Birthday. I'm ashamed it has taken me a whole week to get these photos posted, but not much seems to go according to plan these days.

We spent the evening before her birthday looking at hundreds of cakes online, trying to determine which she would like for her birthday. After much deliberation, we decided on the Princess cake. No problem. By the time I went to bed the cake was baked and the frosting was made and in the fridge.

Wednesday morning we spent decorating the cake. Naomi and Colton were my quality control specialists. They tried desperately to keep Katie out of the kitchen until it was finished, but that proved more than a little 5 year old girl could handle. She just couldn't contain her curiosity.

We baked a lasagna and garlic bread, and had Grandma Shirley and Papa Ken along with Papa Joe over for lunch. In the hubbub of getting lunch cleared from the table and cake and ice cream served, it was just about an afterthought to get pictures of the cake before it was cut. It was a beautiful sunny day, and way too much light was shining in through the dining room window. The Princess cake was much more pink than the photo indicates. She loved it, and it tasted good, too!

We gave Katie a big girl bike for her birthday. She really liked it. She also received money from Papa Joe and Aunt Kimmy, and shoes and some Polly Pockets from Grandma Shirley and Papa Ken.

Five year old GIRLS are a whole new ballgame around here after having so many boys! She is SOOOO dramatic. She can't get enough of writing letters and names and coloring pictures. She is continually asking me how to spell things.

She'll sit in front of the mirror and brush her hair for great lengths of time. She loves lip gloss and fingernail polish, and all things pink and girly. She loves being a little mommy to Hudson, and can still hold her own against the big brothers.

She is doing a great job in Cubbies learning her verses, and can't wait for Sundays so she can go to Sunday School and Church. She's the best cheerleader at her brothers' basketball games, and feels no shame in running up to the boys after a game and giving them a big hug and kiss.

Katie knows just how to twist her daddy around her little finger, and uses the skill to her advantage. She can be overcome with giggles at one moment, and very matter of fact the next.

She loves to help me cook and fold laundry, but is not so good at keeping her bedroom clean.

We are so thankful that God blessed us with little girls, especially our little Kathryn Isabella Clark, who has grown up into a sweet little girl.

"She is more precious than rubies, and all the things you may desire cannot compare with her." Proverbs 3:15