Saturday, June 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged

Joys and Fears Meme


1. My hard working, charming husband and the crazy nine children who occupy our home and a place in my heart.

2. Having my bed made, the kitchen counters cleared off, and the laundry finished all in the same day.

3. Quiet moments to myself when all of the little kids are asleep.


1. Running out of beef jerky

2. Sleeping in. I almost always have to set a battery operated alarm (don't want to worry about the power going off and the alarm not going off at the right time). If I don't set the alarm, I can't fall asleep because I am too worried I will not wake up on time.

3. ?


1. Being a better wife and mother

2. More dejunking and organizing our home

3. Losing weight (I've lost 40 lbs since my birthday last year)


1. Blogging

2. Finding yummy, fast, cheap recipes

3. Checking out books from the library


1. I am a list person, to do lists, grocery lists, project lists, menu ideas . . .

2. I wish I didn't have to sleep and my body would always be rested and ready to go.

3. I organize my closet by color.

Another Dinner Idea

We are kind of getting into the fast, easy, and cheap dinner ideas right now with the increase in food costs.

Tostadas is another family favorite.
We buy these tostada shells at the grocery store for less than two dollars. We pile on refried beans reconstituted from our food storage, taco bell sauce, grated cheese, and shredded lettuce.

Fast . . . easy . . . cheap . . . and yummy!

Another Aspen Grove Picture

The Staff at Aspen Grove takes pictures all week long. The final night they do a slide show of the pictures and then the pictures are posted on their web site. This is one of the pictures they took of our family from Aspen Follies as mentioned in the previous Aspen Grove post. Kim climbed in the bucket to displace the water. As you can see, Travis was more than willing to pour the water in. What you don't see, the next bucket of water he poured right on top of her head.

Yard Sale Find

Here comes a new project. I found this very old sewing machine cabinet at a yard sale last Saturday for $10. I have great hopes of cleaning, repairing, and painting it. And then replacing the knobs with old fashioned looking glass knobs. I have two perfect spots to place it when I am done.

Wish me luck!

Happy Birthday Grandpa

It is so hard to know what to buy him at this point in his life. He has everything he wants and needs. Check out this great gift Grandpa received for his birthday from Jenn and Steve. Yum!! What a great idea.


Why is she so upset? Because we made our barefoot and carefree little girl wear shoes.

Happy Birthday Thomas!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fun in the Sun

How long does it take to cover 6 kids in sunscreen for an afternoon in the sun and sprinklers?!

30 plus minutes.

And then hours of fun . . .

Thursday, June 19, 2008

And I Say Goodbye

There it hangs with all of the other bags in my closet, fraying and falling apart.

It was my favorite souvenir from our trip to Mexico 8 years ago. I used it so often that I had to tape the handles to keep them from falling apart. The top of the bag began to tear and the bottom began to fray. The last few times I used it, pieces of it were left behind.

In all my efforts to dejunk and get organized, it is hardest to let go of objects with deep rooted happy memories. And so my bag has hung for a couple of years unused.

One last picture . . .

to remember.

And then it is gone.

Speaking of Recipes . . .

Tried another recipe earlier in the week. It sounded so simple I wasn't sure how it would turn out. The whole family loved it. Everyone had two bowlfuls except Niko who had three.

I have no idea why this is called Mulligan Soup because it isn't like any Mulligan Stew I've heard of . . . maybe it's because it's so quick, cheap, and easy to throw into a pot like the original Mulligan Stew . . .

Mulligan Soup

8 oz elbow macaroni
1 pound ground beef
1 large onion, chopped
1 can (46 oz.) V-8 juice
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1 Tablespoon sugar
1/2 Tablespoon salt, or to taste

Cook the macaroni in lightly salted water. Cook the ground beef and chopped onion together, drain. Place all ingredients together in a large pot and simmer for 10 minutes.

I was amazed at how yummy this was even though the only seasoning was chili powder, sugar, and salt. I also thought it would be a little spicy with that much chili powder, but it wasn't.

Both this recipe and the Waldorf Pasta Salad we doubled for our family. I looked at this huge pot of Mulligan Soup thinking I made way too much and was sure we would be eating leftovers for lunch the next day. But there was not even a spoonful left in the pot. It sure does take a lot of food to feed 12 people.

Cool Recipe, Hot Summer Night

Sometimes after a long hot summer day, I just don't want to eat anything hot for dinner. I tried a new recipe for dinner tonight. Loved it!
Waldorf Pasta Salad

8 oz macaroni pasta
3 medium sized apples
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
2 stalks celery
1 cup cooked chicken
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Cook the pasta in lightly salted water, drain, rinse in very cold water, and drain. Chop apples into bite size pieces and toss in lemon juice to prevent browning. Chop celery and chicken into bite size pieces. Place cooked macaroni, apples, celery, chicken, raisins, and pecans into a large bowl. Mix together the mayonnaise, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Add to the bowl and mix everything together. Enjoy right away or refrigerate for up to 3 hours.

Serves 6

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Father's Day

Happy Father's Day, Todd!

Yes, I caught you riding around the kitchen island and through the family room!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Jamis Has Gone Home

In all the rush of the last week of school and getting ready to leave for vacation I forgot to post about Jamis going home.

His mother (not biological) did everything she was suppose to do and more. We are so impressed with her and we feel great about Jamis going home.

And I must add . . . nine children are definitely easier than ten.

Caught Off Guard

Thomas is so hard to get a picture of. I caught him off guard when he was playing his guitar.

I love how he is always filling our home with music.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Aspen Grove Family Camp

So many pictures . . . so little time!

We had a great time at Aspen Grove Family Camp. We had activities to do together as a family and twice a day the kids would meet with groups their own age while moms and dads went to their own activities, lectures, or nap taking.

Two cars to get us all there.

We are finally here!

Family Talent Night.
We sang "I'm a Little Teapot" to the beat "We Will Rock You" taught to us by Travis. The most incredible view!

The Walk
We had a long hike to our cabin several times a day.
Age Groups

Cowboy Village
Arts and Crafts

Aspen Follies . . . Family games. This picture was taken after we were timed to see how fast we could fill a trash can full of holes with water. The family all gathered around the trash can and stuck our fingers in the holes. Kim had the great idea of climbing in the can to displace the water and fill it up faster. She was volunteered for the job.
Peddle Carts


Air Riffle



Miniature Golf
Ropes Course

This was one of my favorite moments at camp. My petite Erica, who is afraid of loud sounds and elevators, climbed a vertical log and traversed a cable high in the trees.

Frontier Night
The Whip

Hatchet Throw


Train Ride

The Closing Show

All of the kids put on the closing show with their groups.

We can hardly wait to go back!