Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkin-Spice Bars

I think I have a new favorite here!! :)  I am really not a big pumpkin fan (I don't really care for pumpkin pie, or pumpkin bread) but these are so very yummy!! I could eat the whole pan myself!! :)

4 large eggs
2 C granulated sugar
1 C vegetable oil
1 15oz can of pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
2 C flour
2 t baking powder
2 t ground cinnamon
1 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1/2 t ground ginger
1/4 t ground cloves

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease bottom and sides of a 15x10x1 pan.  (I have a 15x10 inch jelly roll pan I used)  In mixer beat together eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until smooth.  Stir in flour, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, salt, ginger and cloves.  Spread into pan.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool completely.  Frost with Cream Cheese frosting.  (you can either buy it from the store like I did :P or make it)

Cream Cheese Frosting:
1 3oz package of cream cheese (softened)
1/2 C butter (softened)
1 t vanilla
2 C powdered sugar

Beat together cream cheese, butter and vanilla until smooth, gradually stir in powdered sugar until smooth and spreadable.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pathetically out of shape!

I have been bugging Mike about replacing the inner tube in my double jogging stroller so I can walk Noah to school for a few weeks now.  He finally got around to doing it last night for me, so I decided there was nothing holding me back from doing it.  The school is really close to our house and I felt rather silly driving him, but its hilly and it would be hard for him to walk it.  So this morning I packed both the boys into the stroller and headed off to school.  I got down our big long hill of a drive way and street just fine, but then I had to walk up an enormous hill to get to the school, and let me tell you my lungs and legs were burning.  Apparently chasing after an almost 4 year old and one year old everyday is not exercise enough!  I am so out of shape it is not even funny!  It took all of 7 minutes to walk from our house to the school, and I was out of breath and wishing I had driven...lol.  It was a lot easier though going home with just Ammon in the stroller.  Pushing 20lbs is a lot less work that 50+ pounds.  I almost had myself convinced that I was too tired to walk to pick him back up, but I figured if I was ever planning on getting in shape I couldn't make excuses, I just needed to do it.  So I huffed and puffed and made it down and up and down and up the hills again picking up Noah and going back home.  I guess I need to get out and be more active or something. :)  Mike has started getting up super early and going to the gym with one of his friends from work, so maybe I need to follow his lead and get my butt in gear!!  So I am making a goal of walking him to school everyday he has school (4 days a week) and taking walks with Ammon on the days Noah is visiting his dad.  I may even throw in an extra day of exercising at home while the boys are napping.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Magic Cookie Bars

My mom made these yummy cookie bars all the time when we were growing up, and I LOVE them!  I decided to make them tonight for our family night treat, and thought I would share the recipe.

1/2 C butter
1 1/2 C graham cracker crumbs (we usually take one package of graham crackers out of the box, put it in a ziplock bag and crush it up with a rolling pin)
1 14oz can sweetened condensed milk
1 1/3 C shredded coconut
2 C chocolate chips
1 C chopped pecans

Place butter in 13x9 pan and place in oven while it preheats to 350 degrees to melt butter.  Once butter is melted, sprinkle graham cracker crumbs evenly in bottom of pan.  Spread sweetened condensed milk over graham cracker crust.  Sprinkle coconut, chocolate chips, and pecans evenly, and press down.  Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until golden brown.

Family Pictures

A couple weeks ago we decided to go and get some family pictures done.  We got everyone ready and Noah was excited to go get pictures done, but when we got there Noah decided to have a melt down, and didn't want to cooperate.  It took several minutes of convincing but we finally got Noah excited about it again (and he ended up being quite the little ham!) but then Ammon was cranky and didn't want to cooperate.  I guess you can't have it all.  After all the crankiness, we did end up getting some pretty cute pictures, and here they are:

(The scanner isn't the greatest)

The Time Traveler's Wife

So when the movie "The Time Traveler's Wife" came out I thought it looked really good.  I still haven't been able to see the movie (we don't have a movie theater here in Tonopah) so I thought I would read the book, besides books are always better than the movie, or so I thought.  A couple weekends ago the library here was having a book sale and I found this book for only a quarter, and I thought "what a great deal!"  Later on I was happy I only spent a quarter on it.

The book was terrible!!  The concept was a good idea, but I could have done without the "f" word 6 times in every paragraph, and the several racy scenes through out the book.  Not only that, but the main character Clare just drove me crazy.  She didn't seem to think anything wrong of sleeping with her best friends husband not only once, but twice!! And one of the times was after her husband had died.  Her husband told her to live her life, that he would see her again when she was old, but not to sit around and wait for him wasting her life...so what does she do??  She goes out and sleeps with her best friends husband.  The ending was horrible, it was like the author just got tired of writing and had to end it somehow.  After Henry told Clare to live her life and then died, you think that it would explain some of what she did the next 40 years to follow what Henry wanted her to do.  The only thing she did was sleep with Gomez, draw a picture and wish she could disappear in time, then all ths sudden she was 82 years old and Henry came to see her.

I would NOT recommend for anyone to read this book, it was a waste of time!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

You Know You Married a Hunter When: (My Ode to Hunting Season)

Your freezer is filled with white paper packages of deer meat including one that says in bold permanent marker "DANGER Neck bone with broad head"

You spend your time searching on the internet for recipes that can disguise game meat as beef.

You know the difference in taste between deer meat, elk meat, and antelope, and which you prefer.

You have to put your foot down and say "I'm not eating that" even if your husband might get his feelings hurt.

You don't mind to terribly having dead animal heads on your wall.

You are not too surprised or disgusted (ok, maybe you are disgusted) when you look out the front door to see your husband half way through skinning some poor defenseless creature.

You have to explain to your husband WHY it is gross to have animal skins sitting on a stretcher in the middle of the living room.

You know the difference between a buck and a bull.

You know what tines are and why they are important.

Hunting season rolls around and you almost forget you have a husband because they are gone so much.

You consider a family outing going out to scout for deer a welcome chance to get out of the house and spend time with your husband.

Too smart for his own good! (or maybe for momma's good!)

A few weeks ago Ammon learned he could open one of the bedroom doors.  This bedroom leads to a bathroom door and the basement door, both of which he discovered he can open as well.  There are lots of fun things to get into in the bathroom (like the toilet, and yes, he can open the lid to that too) and when you open the basement door there are stairs!!  He was thrilled; mommy, not so much.  (In fact today while I was folding laundry in the bedroom he sat and opened and shut the door over and over while he was whistling.  You can see him whistling in the first picture.)  So we have to angle a chair up against that bedroom door just so, so that it rests on the lip of the wall and he can't push it out of the way. (because he learned how to do that too!)  This has worked fairly well the last few weeks, and he wasn't quite tall enough to reach any of the other door knobs/handles just yet.  However, last night Ammon discovered how to open the front door!! I was sitting on the couch reading a book, and I look up to Ammon pulling the front door open!! Good Grief!! So now we are going to have to keep the door locked when he is up and about or he is liable to end up like his dad and walk out the door and down the block to Papa's store!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's for Dinner

Tonight for dinner I am making meatloaf (Mike's favorite), homemade mashed potatoes, and green beans.  If I get really ambitious, I might make lemon bars for desert too.  This is our family's favorite meatloaf recipe, I have tried several different ones, but this is the one that tastes the best and is the easiest!

Souperior Meat Loaf

1 envelope Lipton Onion Soup Mix
2lbs Ground Beef
3/4 C plain dry bread crumbs (I use the Italian seasoned kind)
2 eggs
3/4 C water
1/2 C Ketchup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Combine all ingredients in large bowl.  Shape into loaf in a 13x9 pan and bake for 1 hour.

To go on top of our meatloaf I make a yummy sauce by mixing ketchup and Worcestershire sauce.  I just squirt some ketchup into a bowl (whatever looks like enough for however many people are eating) then dump the Worcestershire sauce in and mix it up.  I put in just enough Worcestershire sauce to give it a nice spicy kick :) (learned how to do this meatloaf sauce from my mom!)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Halloween is coming!!

I am already getting excited for Halloween this year :) The last 2 years Noah was with his dad for Halloween, and we finally get him this year! Plus Ammon is a little older so he can get into trick or treating too!! :)  I was looking online for costumes at Old Navy and these are the ones I like for Ammon:

These are the ones I like for Noah:

I think the shark one would be cute for Noah too, but I think he will like the dragon one the best :)

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Boys get silly when they are tired

It was getting close to bedtime last night and the boys started getting silly.  Noah started jumping from one mat to the other in the entry way, and Ammon started laughing at him, so Noah started laughing back.  I grabbed my phone and caught a little bit of their silliness on video.  I thought it was super cute! Times like this makes all the hard times of being a mom worth it!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Easy Mac and Cheese Casserole

I am not a Mac and Cheese fan, but this recipe for Mac and Cheese casserole is easy and yummy :) Its what we are having for dinner tonight.

1 lb Ground Beef
Dehydrated Onion, Salt & Pepper to season ground beef
1 box of Mac and Cheese
1 can Cream of Mushroom soup
Cheddar Cheese

Brown and season ground beef. Drain and set aside.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook noodles according to package.  Drain and while still hot mix in cheese packet, a handful of shredded cheddar cheese, ground beef and cream of mushroom soup.  Place into covered casserole dish and sprinkle additional cheddar cheese on top.  Cook at 350 for 30 minutes.  (Its also good if you add in a can of sliced mushrooms)

Noah's first day of Pre-K 2010

Today Noah had his first day going to preschool at Tonopah Elementary. He had been excited and talking about going to school for MONTHS. We got him some new school clothes, that he even helped pick out. He was excited about going up until we actually got to school. Once we got there, however, he wasn't so sure about it any more.

He had a melt down when his teacher asked him to hang up his backpack, he didn't want to go pick out a book for reading time, didn't want to sit on the mat when the teacher started circle time, and was VERY upset when it was time for me to leave. He was crying, yelling, sitting on the floor and refusing to follow any direction. I felt awful. This preschool is to help him get a jump start for kindergarten. He has been having some defiance issues (among other things) and his evaluation said it would be a good idea to get him some help now so it doesn't affect his schooling in the future. We are trying to do everything we can to help him, but days like today just make me feel like I am not doing enough.

As bad as it sounds, his melt down at school today made me feel like a bad mom, I just don't know what else I CAN do to help him. We are taking him to a play therapist, I have read books about dealing with "spirited" children, I do everything I can to make sure he knows he is loved, and to try and create a stable home for him. With him going to his dad's house every other week there is only so much I can do. I can't control what he does/learns while he is with his dad. I have tried talking to his dad about things until I am blue in the face, and he just tells me what I want to hear, then does whatever he wants to. Poor Noah is just getting hurt in the process. This whole situation is EXTREMELY confusing for him, and as a three year old, he really does not deserve such a hard life. I just keep praying everyday that the situation will change in Noah's best interest, and I keep trying to do whatever I can to make it easier on him. Sadly it is never easy on me. I really try hard not to beat myself up, I know I share part of the blame on how Noah's situation has panned out, and on days like today that blame just seems to eat me up inside.

His teacher told me that after about 30 minutes of crying when I left, he did start to do better. He colored some worksheets (even wrote his name on one!) and read some books. She said he told her he wanted to come back tomorrow, so HOPEFULLY tomorrow is a much better day for him.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Zucchini Recipies

This summer I grew some zucchini in my garden.  I usually went out and cut them when they were a decent size, still small and tender, yummy to saute or broil, etc.  However, I was stuck up in Reno for a week waiting for Mike's truck to get fixed, and when I got home I had one GIGANTIC zucchini.  This thing weighed a TON!!  Out of this one zucchini I got 11 cups of shredded zucchini and here are a couple of yummy recipes I found to use up all the zucchini I had.  (I still have baggies of frozen zucchini in the freezer!)

Chocolate Chip Zucchini Bread

(This was a HUGE hit! Everybody loved it and the orange zest added a lot to it!)

3 C all-purpose flour
1/2 t baking powder
1 t salt
1/2 t ground cinnamon
1/2 t ground nutmeg
1 t baking soda
3 eggs
2 C granulated sugar
1 C vegetable oil
2 t vanilla extract
2 C grated zucchini
1 C chopped pecans
1 C semisweet chocolate chips
1 T orange zest

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 2 9x5in loaf pans.

Mix together flour, baking powder, salt, spices, and baking soda.

In large mixing bowl beat eggs until fluffy, add sugar and beat until well blended.  Stir in oil, vanilla, zucchini, pecans, chocolate chips, and orange zest.  Stir in flour mixture and pour into greased pans.

Bake for 50 minutes or until knife inserted in the middle comes out clean.  Immediately remove from pans and cool on rack.  (It took a little longer than 50 minutes for mine to cook, I think b/c of the high altitude.)

Fried Zucchini Patties

3 C shredded zucchini
1/2 C shredded cheddar cheese
3 t dried parsley
1 large clove garlic minced
1 large egg
1 C Bisquick
salt and pepper to taste

Mix all ingredients in large bowl.  Spray cooking spray into large skillet and heat over medium high heat.  Drop by tablespoon fulls into skillet.  Once brown flip and brown the other side (pretty much like a small pancake)

They are really yummy if you dip them in marinara sauce :) 

Friday, September 3, 2010

Ammon is One!

My little baby turned one on Monday, I can hardly believe its been a year already.  We had a little get together at one of the parks here to celebrate on Saturday and everyone had a great time.  The weather was really nice, and other than a little bit of wind it couldn't have been more perfect.

I made these AWESEOME cookie monster cupcakes for the party, and they turned out really cute.  I found a picture of them on the internet, then I found a video on youtube on how to make them.  They were surprisingly easy, and everybody loved them.  I took chocolate muffins (they are denser and less likely to crumble than cupcakes) frosted them with blue frosting (just regular old frosting you buy at the grocery store dyed blue) dipped them in coconut I dyed blue, cut a slit for the mouth, stuffed in a chips ahoy cookie, made the eyes with white chocolate candy melts and stuck chocolate chips to them with black cake decorating writing gel.  Much easier than the Diego cake I made for Noah's second birthday, spending 4 hours piping little stars in different colors.

Ammon enjoyed eating his cupcake.  He wasn't sure what it was at first, he kind of poked at it like he thought it was some weird toy, it wasn't until daddy showed him he could eat it that he really dug in a made a mess.

Noah and the other kids at the party had more fun checking out Ammon's new toys then he did.

It is so crazy to me to think that already a year has gone buy since Ammon was born.  He has grown from this tiny little quiet baby who would just sit and watch and take everything in and was so dependant on mommy and daddy for everything, into a walking, talking, independent little toddler.  Its amazing how much they can learn and grow in just one year.  He has such a little personality, and it is so cute.  I just love being a mom and watching these little boys grow up!