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Friday, July 31, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday - CampMommy Edition

My BFF, Jennifer, has been at the beach all week with her four kids. And this means my 2 kids were without their BFF's. So in anticipation for a very long week, I deemed this week CampMommy.

An alternate name could have been CampLet'sSeeHowMuchMoneyICanSpendSoIDon'tHaveToHearMomI'mBored1000Times.
But CampMommy is much catchier. Don't you think?

This is how we kept busy this week.

On Monday I took the kids to The Winston-Salem Children's Museum. We've been a hundred times but the kids never seem to tire of it. We haven't been any this summer so they were excited to go yet again. As usual, Peter wanted to spend the entire time in the Build-It room playing with the Legos. Because, you know, we don't have 1000 of them at home.

On Tuesday we went bowling. I signed up for the KidsBowlFree program. Sign up prior to going and every day during the summer your kids can bowl up to two free games per day. THE CATCH - you do have to pay shoe rental. At our bowling alley it was $4.50 per pair. ACK!! We won't be bowling for "free" any more this summer.

And unfortunately, the bowling ball smashed into Sarah's finger after the second frame and she refused to finish bowling. Peter got to bowl all of her frames while I tried to keep the screams, whimpers and whines to a minimum. She perked right up when it was time to check out the arcade though.

On Wednesday, we saw Ice Age 3. I did not realize that it was in 3-D and you have to pay extra for that. So a matinee for 2 kids and 1 adult ended up costing $26. YIKES! It was a cute movie though and the kids loved it. We don't normally take them to the movies so this was a treat for them.

I also didn't realize it but had I taken the kids on Tuesday we could have gotten popcorn and drinks for $1 each. But since I took them on Wednesday the kiddie packs were $6 EACH and they were very small. So I told the kids no popcorn and instead took them for ice cream after the movie. I felt like a scored a small victory by spending $4 instead of $12. Take that Carmike Cinemas!

On Thursday we went blueberry picking. It was hot and humid but we suffered through. Peter's method of blueberry picking involves spending 5 minutes to find the biggest one and then complaining that I have more blueberries than he does. Sarah's method involves complaining about the heat and then asking me if I will dump all of my blueberries into her bucket.

When we got home Sarah and I made blueberry pie. It is delicious and we just might have it for breakfast this morning. CampMommy is all about fun after all!

Today we are going to play mini-golf. The kids love mini-golf and are excited about this. I do have a pass for a free game so it shouldn't cost me too much money. However there is an arcade and bumper boats. So I have a feeling the old wallet is going to get hit pretty hard again today.

The kids have attended VBS every evening this week. While the kids are playing, crafting and singing, Dan and I have been going out to eat, having uninterrupted conversations and enjoying each other's company. It's a win-win!
I'm sure if I asked the kids what they enjoyed most about CampMommy, Peter would say when I let him destroy an old cell phone with a bat and a hammer. And Sarah would say the hour long bubble baths she got every afternoon before VBS.

I probably could have saved a lot of money this week by seeking out old unused electronics from friends and family members and stocking up on cheap bubble bath!

And Jennifer, next summer, we need to coordinate our vacation schedules!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Honey, the 1970's called. They want their skin cancer back.

"Stop using so much sunscreen on the kids. It's the end of July and the kids look too pale."

Yes. My husband actually said this to me last week.

I know! I couldn't believe it either.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Miracle Monday

Here's Mr. Linky. He's ready to go!

If you want to share a miracle, an answered prayer or even a prayer request, it's easy.

Write a post on your blog and leave the link to the post (not the link to your main page) here with Mr. Linky. And be sure to mention my blog and URL in your post. You can even use the Miracle Monday button on your post if you want to. If you have any questions just email me. My address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday!

Friday, July 24, 2009

7 Quick Takes Friday - There's a lot of nothing going on around here!

I don't have much to say about a lot of things so I thought it would be a perfect day for 7 Quick Takes Friday so here goes...


I took the kids to the dentist this week for the 6 month cleaning and Peter has a cavity...ON HIS PERMANENT TOOTH! When the dentist told me that I almost started to cry! I felt like I had failed him.

Normally we brush twice a day - he brushes by himself in the morning and my husband or I do it for him at night. I guess we all weren't doing a very good job. The dentist assures me that it is very tiny. Regardless of the size, I still feel like I let him down.

I am now having the kids brush after every meal and snack. We'll see how long this lasts.


If you weren't already aware, it's BlogHer Conference time. Thousands of bloggers are going to be in Chicago yucking it up this weekend. I'm very happy for those who are able to go. I'm sure it would be a good time. My problem is that for those of us left at home, we have to read about it on every one of their blogs.

There are a lot of bloggers that I read regularly that are in Chicago right now. Which means, for the next week, I will have to see pictures of them all meeting one another, talking about how cute they all are in person, what cute clothes they are all wearing, how nice they all are in person and what a WONDERFUL time they all had.

Yes, I know I'm just jealous. And yes, I'll get over a week when everything gets back to normal in the blogosphere and they stop posting pictures of all of them hugging...


Here's a great little recipe for broccoli. This is such an easy way to prepare it and it is delicious. It's not soggy like steamed broccoli and it's full of flavor. Try it. You won't be sorry!
And I guess I should add that the recipe comes to us from Jillian Michaels.

Roasted Broccoli With Lemon


  • 4 cups broccoli florets
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lemon, cut into wedges


Preheat oven to 450°F. Toss broccoli with oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a large baking sheet (not air-insulated) and roast until the broccoli is tender and blackened on the bottom, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges.

Makes 4 servings.


Speaking of Jillian Michaels - I'm still Shredding. I am having trouble getting rid of the couple of pounds I put back on while on vacation when I was eating like a pig and not Shredding.

Does anyone have a good diet plan? I just really want to get off 3-4 pounds but I'm having trouble. Perhaps where I am now is the weight I should be at and maybe I just need to keep working out to keep toned up and not worry about the scale.


We just recently started sponsoring two children from Honduras through Christian Foundation for Children and Aging. The little boy is Sarah's age and the little girl is Peter's age. Their names are Mery and Elias.

I wanted to do this to help these two adorable little children, but I also wanted to do this to help my kids. I want Peter and Sarah to understand that God wants us to help those less fortunate than ourselves. I want them to understand how much we have and how lucky we are

. I have been mentioning Mery and Elias in our prayer over breakfast and I just wrote a letter to them. I can't wait to see what they write back.


I went into the garage this morning to get an extra carton of cream for my coffee and when I opened the door, I almost got knocked down by what I thought was a bat. I quickly realized that it was just a little brown bird (I don't know all of my bird names but I bet you my grandmother could have told me instantly what kind it was!)

I hope it makes it's way out of the garage and not into my house. The last time I had a bird in the house BOTH of my lampshades ended up with poop on them.

And whenever I think about that story I always think of my friend Julie from college who got pooped on by a bird as we were all walking to the cafeteria. That was hysterical (for all of us who didn't get pooped on!)

And then when I think about Julie, I think about the Farside cartoon that we found on a greeting card that showed a bird's view of the ground and all of the people down below have bulls eyes on their heads. I'll be chuckling all day. (Tiffany! Are you reading this!? Do you remember when Julie got pooped on?! Good times!)


I'm still reading through the Bible. I'm currently on Day 38 of the 90 day program. I am currently in Job and I must say that it is so nice to be out of Kings and Chronicles.


I know it's SEVEN quick takes, but I guess I have a lot to say today...Just a reminder about Miracle Monday. If anyone has any miracles to post, please do. I haven't had anyone post a miracle in quite sometime and I'm contemplating ending it. So, if you have a miracle, write about it this weekend so you will be ready to post it on Monday.

For more Quick Takes, please visit Jennifer at Conversion Diary.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Easy way to peel, core and slice onions.

I hate to peel onions. It seems I'm always getting the brown skin everywhere and I usually lose half of the onion trying to get it off. And then I do a horrible time chopping the onion.

But I recently discovered simple and easy way to peel, core and slice onions.

Check this out....

Get out your hand dandy apple slicer/corer. Slice off the top and the bottom of the onion so the onion doesn't slip.

Place the apple slicer/corer on top.

Push down.

Now that the apple is cored and sliced you can easily peel off the brown skin.

And remove the core.

And voila...perfect onion slices!

For more tips and tricks, please check out Works For Me Wednesday at We are THAT Family.

And lest you think I am a complete genius, I saw this trick in Cooking Pleasures magazine.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

“Like little drops of heaven you can eat.”

Early last week, I decided that this past weekend I would make biscuits for breakfast. I realized after multiple trips to McDonald’s on our trip up and back from Massachusetts that my kids love biscuits. And really, what’s not to love?

So I informed my husband we would be having biscuits. He is reticent to change so I thought I should let him know early that our normal breakfast of Saturday muffins and Sunday cinnamon buns was going to be interrupted.

Intrigued, he asked, “Homemade?”

“Ha!” I scoffed. “They will be Pillsbury. You know I don’t roll out dough.”

He looked disappointed but I didn’t let that stop me from purchasing a can of biscuits at the grocery store on Monday afternoon.

Then on Wednesday morning I was reading the newspaper and low and behold they had a huge article on food scientist Shirley Corriher. She is a cookbook author (Cookwise and Bakewise) whose first book inspired Alton Brown’s show Good Eats.

And both of her cookbooks have won awards from the James Beard Foundation. And if you watch as much Top Chef as I do then you know that’s a big deal.

The newspaper mentioned that her BISCUIT recipe was so famous that she included it in both of her cookbooks.

I read through the recipe and when I realized that I would not have to roll out any dough, I decided to make it.

And y’all…I am so glad I did.

These things were easy to make. They were quick to make. And best of all THEY WERE WONDERFUL!

Over breakfast, my husband leaned over to my son and whispered to him, “These are like little drops of heaven you can eat!”

I asked him why he didn’t say that out loud to me and he said because he didn’t want it to go to my head.

I spent the better half of Sunday twirling around and saying, “My biscuits are like little drops of heaven you can eat!”

My husband knows me too well.

Oh! And it gets better. Shirley Corriher also included a Cherry Chambord Butter recipe that was wonderful on these biscuits. In fact, it is so good, I’ve been eating it by the spoonful.

So without further ado…here are the recipes…

Touch of Grace Biscuits

Recipe from Shirley Corriher's Bakewise.

Nonstick cooking spray
2 cups self-rising, low-protein flour, such as Southern Biscuit, White Lily, Martha White
¼ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
¼ cup shortening
2/3 cup heavy cream
1 cup buttermilk or more
1 cup plain all-purpose l flour, for shaping
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, for brushing

1. Heat oven to 425 degrees and arrange one shelf slightly below the center of the oven. Spray an 8- or 9-inch cake pan with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together the self-rising flour, sugar and salt. Work the shortening in with your fingertips until there are no large lumps. Gently stir in the cream, then some of the buttermilk. Continue stirring in buttermilk until the dough resembles cottage cheese. It should be a wet mess -- not soup, but cottage-cheese texture. If you are not using a low-protein flour, this may require considerably more than 1 cup buttermilk.

3. Spread the all-purpose flour out on a plate or pie pan. With a medium-size ice cream scoop or spoon, place 3 or 4 scoops of dough well apart in the flour. Sprinkle flour over each. Flour your hands. Turn a dough ball in the flour to coat, pick it up and gently shape it into round, shaking off the excess flour as you work. Place this biscuit in the prepared pan. Coat each dough ball in the same way and place each shaped biscuit scrunched up against its neighbor so the biscuits rise up and don't spread out. Continue scooping and shaping until all of the dough is used.

4. Place pan on the arranged shelf in the oven. Bake until lightly browned, about 20 to 35 minutes. Brush with the melted butter. Invert pan onto one plate, and then back onto another. With a knife or spatula, cut quickly between the biscuits to make them easy to remove. Serve immediately.
Makes 12 to 14 medium biscuits.

Cherry Chambord Butter

Recipe from Shirley Corriher's Bakewise.

½ cup butter
1 8-ounce package cream cheese
2 tablespoons Chambord or other raspberry liqueur **
1/3 cup confectioners' sugar
4 tablespoons cherry preserves

1. Place the butter, cream cheese, liqueur and confectioners' sugar in a food processor with a steel blade. Process to blend well. Stir in the preserves by hand. Chill well before serving. The butter will keep well for several weeks in a closed jar in the refrigerator.

**I did not use the liqueur and threw in an extra tablespoon of the preserves.

Touch of Grace Biscuitsbix4

The Cherry Butter


One of the “Little Bites of Heaven You Can Eat”. My husband has never been more right!


For more tips, tidbits and easy recipes, visit We Are THAT Family for Works For Me Wednesday.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Miracle Monday

It's Miracle Monday once again!

Please check out these blogs...

Momisodes - An answered prayer for Sandy!

It's Almost Naptime! - Guardian Angels really do exist!

If you want to share a miracle, an answered prayer or even a prayer request, it's easy. Write a post on your blog and leave the link to the post (not the link to your main page) here with Mr. Linky. And be sure to mention my blog and URL in your post. You can even use the Miracle Monday button on your post if you want to. If you have any questions just email me. My address is in my profile.

Have a great Miracle Monday!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

I guess they're on to me!

Friday evening I was hurrying the kids into the car. I was dropping them off at Jennifer's where they were going to spend the night. They had just spent the entire afternoon asking if it was time to go, yet when it finally was time to go, they started riding their scooters, playing with trucks, throwing sticks, picking their noses - everything but getting into the car as I had requested.

Peter said, "I'm excited to go on a sleepover."

I replied with, "Me too."

Peter said, "I know why you're excited."

"Why am I excited?" I asked, curious as to what his answer was going to be.

"Because you want to get rid of us!" he exclaimed and then he and Sarah broke out into little giggles as they both began to accuse me of wanting to get rid of them.

Then last night as I was hurrying them into the bath (it was already past their bedtimes and they were overtired from the sleepover the previous night) Sarah said, "I know why you are in a hurry to get us to bath and bed!"

"Why?" I asked.

"Because you want to get rid of us!" She and Peter broke out into giggles again.

I guess they're on to me - although I would prefer it if they would phrase it "are tired and need a rest" instead of "get rid of us."

Friday, July 17, 2009

R.I.P little orange one.

Our goldfish, Goldie, is no longer with us.

And it's all my fault.

On Wednesday night I noticed that her water was a getting murky. It had been two weeks since I had changed it last, so it was time.

As I was measuring the water temp while I filled up the bowl, I was wondering to myself, do I normally get the water to 74 degrees, 76 degrees or 78 degrees? I couldn't remember even though I had just changed her water two weeks ago.

I think to myself that 78 degrees will do just fine. (I later learn from my husband that we normally do between 68 - 72. Uh-oh!)

I put her back in the fresh water and watched as she darted around. She is always so excited to be in a bowl of fresh water that she normally darts around for a couple of hours.

But after about 1 minute of darting she stopped. She would occasionally float to the top for air and then back to the bottom where she would just sit.

Hmmmm, I thought, something isn't right.

I called Dan in for a consult. I had forgotten the chemicals you are supposed to put in after you replace the water so we quickly put those in.

But that didn't help.

We went to bed expecting the worst but she was still alive the next morning. She was barely moving though so I knew she wasn't long for this world.

After the kids woke up I told them that Goldie was probably about to die. Peter got mad at me for cleaning the bowl and for causing it. Sarah didn't seem too concerned one way or the other.

And sure enough, later on that afternoon, she was gone.

Sarah got excited and asked if "we could flush it?!" (She's just like me in this respect. She doesn't get attached to things very easily.)

Peter got upset at this idea and wanted to know if we could bury it. (He's exactly like Dan. He wants to keep anything he's every owned as nearby as possible.)

They bickered for a bit but when my husband got home he decided that Goldie would be great fertilizer for the garden so that's where she is resting right now.

And no, there was no little shoe-box coffin. There was no eloquent eulogy spoken as she was being placed beneath the tomato plants. And no, there were no tears, just requests for another fish or a dog from the shelter.

Looks like we will be heading back to Wal-Mart this weekend for another 37 cent fish.

And my husband will be in charge of any and all water changes because I can't have the blood of another goldfish on my hands!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Ehhhhh....What's up doc?

We picked our carrots yesterday and they all looked like this. Every single one of them.

Did we do something wrong?

Is this the way homegrown carrots are supposed to look? If so, I think I'll just stick to buying them at the grocery store!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Home again, home again, lickety split!

We are home from our vacation!

When we visit my husband's family in Massachusetts we drive so our trips are any where from 10-14 days. That's a long time to be gone but it is so worth it. My kids love spending time with that side of the family and there is always so much to see and do.

This vacation was relatively calm and uneventful except for the time right in the middle of it when I woke up with a sore throat which developed into strep throat. Oh joy! Because nothing says vacation like a trip to the urgent care!

And this bout of strep seemed to be much worse than the bout I had in May. Every time I swallowed I winced. I never realized how much I swallowed throughout the night and day until each time I did so it almost brought me to tears. There was one point when I was waiting for the antibiotics to kick in that I was actually spitting saliva into a napkin so I wouldn't have to swallow it. Good times, y'all. Good. Times.

But I survived, we had a great vacation and now it's over and I'm working my way through a giant pile of laundry and mail. We have nothing left to look forward to this summer except buying school supplies.

That's right. I said school supplies. I went to Wal-Mart to pick up some groceries on Monday afternoon and was shocked to see school supplies out already! It is still July. I haven't even received the list from the school yet letting me know what my kid's teachers require.

And I'll be darned if I buy anything early. I would hate to get the 24 pack of RoseArt crayons when the teacher specifies the 8 pack of Crayolas. I don't want the teacher to be annoyed with my kids on the first day of school because Wal-Mart is pushing school supplies in July!

Well I'm off to Shred (which I did not do during my vacation), read another 12 pages of the Bible (which I did not do during my vacation) get some laundry going, pay a stack of bills, figure out what we are going to have for dinner, dust, clean out the fish bowl and try to figure out what I'm going to do with the kids today so I don't have to hear "Mommmmm! I'm bored. What can I do?"

I think I need a vacation.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Miracle Monday

Miracle Monday is still on vacation this week.

Feel free to check out the Miracle Monday archives and remember...

He performs wonders that cannot be fathomed, miracles that cannot be counted.

He bestows rain on the earth;
he sends water upon the countryside.

The lowly he sets on high,
and those who mourn are lifted to safety. - Job 5: 9-11

Monday, July 6, 2009

Pride goeth before a woman in a white bikini.

I'm on vacation right now and before I left I purchased two new bathing suit bottoms.

I decided that after 4 years of wearing bathing suit skirts, I wanted to wear bikini bottoms with my tankini tops.

After all, I've been Shredding for 2 months, I've lost 3 pounds and my thighs were finally slimming down a little.

So before we made our way down to the beach on Saturday morning, I got out my new bikini bottoms and proudly showed them to my husband.

I put them on and strutted around a little.

And on the walk down to the beach I kept admiring myself. I am not ashamed to admit that I kept looking down at my legs thinking how nice they looked.

I was quite pleased with myself.

Even after we had been at the beach for 30 minutes I was still admiring my thighs.

And then I looked up and caught sight of a woman who was my age or maybe even a little older.

And I froze.

She was gliding down the beach with her 4 children.

Her legs were super toned and super tanned and she was wearing a bikini.

A white bikini.

Not just bikini bottoms and a tankini top.

A bikini.

A white bikini.

It was at this point in time that I stopped starring at my thighs and admiring them.

And in the last three days, I have eaten donuts, 2 different kids of pie, and several different kinds of ice cream. I am on vacation after all.

I have even been eating blueberry buckle for breakfast.

And let's face it. Even though it has blueberries in it, it's still just cake.

So I've been eating cake for breakfast for the last three days AND I haven't been Shredding.

It's a good thing I packed my old bathing suit skirt bottoms. I think I'm going to need them before this vacation is over.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Miracle Monday

Miracle Monday is on vacation for the next couple of weeks!

Please feel free to review any of the past editions from the Miracle Monday archives.

And remember...Add ImageLook to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced... (1 Chronicles 16:, 11-12)

If you have a miracle it's easy to join. Write a post and link to it here using Mr. Linky. Please remember to link to your miracle and not your main page. And include a link back to Miracle Monday in your post.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Note to self...

Must remember never to try to make French toast with regular bread. Must resist the urge to make French toast until firm, crusty bread is available.

Also must remember not to let Sarah be in charge of dunking the bread in the milk and egg mixture. Waaaaay to aggressive. Maybe when she's 6. Or maybe it wouldn't matter as much if I had firm,crusty bread.

One last note to self - Soggy French toast is not good.

In the words of Peter, "Can I just have a sandwich?"

In the words of Sarah, "I don't think I can eat this."

In the words of Mommy, "Who's going to clean up all the dried egg and milk that got splattered everywhere?"

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Mary, Mary, Quite Contrary...

Here's a picture of our adorable little garden! Isn't it cute?

My husband has been planting, weeding, watering and fertilizing for the last 6 weeks or so and I'm very proud of his efforts.

It may not look big but we've got lots going on in our little garden:

4 different varieties of tomatoes
Green beans

Some of the items were started from seeds and others were started as plants.

I've got lots of basil right now and lots of green tomatoes that we are anxiously waiting on to turn red so we can start having soups, sauces and of course, mater sammiches!

This is our first attempt at anything other than tomatoes so we are taking notes so that next we can improve on our efforts.

Two of the things we have learned so far...

We have already harvested lots and lots of zucchini and we discovered that none of us really like it. So I don't think we will be planting that next year. (And I wasn't too disappointed when squash bugs got to one of our zucchini plants and we had to remove it.)

We planted the green beans and the cucumbers on the inside row. Next year we will be planting them on an outside row so that they will be easier to pick. Or maybe just make our rows a little bigger. The kids are having a hard time helping us to pick these things because they are hard to get to being in the center of the garden.

This garden is helping us get us fresh produce cheaply, it's been fun for the kids and I think my husband has a new hobby now!

He mentioned the other day that he would like to build a brick fenced in area and plant an English garden.

Momma likes flowers but I'm not sure if Daddy knows how to lay bricks. One hobby at a time, honey!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Easy Method For Husking and Silking Corn on the Cob

This time of year I love serving fresh corn on the cob. But I hate getting the husks and the silks off. Hate it!

But I have discovered a simple technique that makes cooking and husking easy. Just follow these easy steps and you will be nibbling on corn on the cob in no time!
  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Place corn (husks and all) on a cookie sheet.
  • Heat in the oven for 30 minutes.
  • Remove from oven and let cool for a couple of minutes.
  • Start peeling off husks. You will find that they are super easy to remove and the silk (that dreaded silk!) practically slides right off! (And I have been known to use an oven mitt for this if I'm in a hurry and can't wait for it to cool a little.)


And for more summer recipes, visit Kristin at We Are That Family.

Let me clarify...

Early today my Mom asked me to explain the title of yesterday's post. "I don't get it," she said. "Why are you talking about chiffon in the title of your post?"

"Not chiffon the fabric, Mom! Chiffon the Margarine!"

An I the only one that remembers the "It's Not Nice to Fool Mother Nature" commercials?