Friday, March 30, 2012

Conference Time

It's almost here!  I've spent the last couple of days working so that we can watch it on the comfort of the couches in the family room instead of around the computer in the office.  I don't know if I was successful at that or not.  There's one more option to try, but I need Wayne to bring his iPhone home first.  However, we do have a couple of new "toys" and are all ready for Jeff to bring his laptop home this summer.  And, with only three, the office is still comfortable.  Besides, as long as the M&M's are handy, who cares where we are?

There's been a lot of activity around the web as others prepare as well.  Here are some of the sites I found that looked intriguing:

General Conference Guessing Game (a pre-conference trivia questionnaire)

General Conference Quiz (How much do you remember from last fall?)

Both of these sites have wonderful ideas for making conference enjoyable for your younger children; try here and here and here.  Don't forget SugarDoodle.  And here's a great post for those with older children - remember that they'll live up to your expectations.

Can't forget the official site!  All of the answers to your really important questions can be found there.  Enjoy a wonderful weekend!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Florida Trail - Segment 4

or "What we did during Spring Break this year"
The first day - 13.1 miles along the L-2 Canal

Orange line = trail
Our campsite in the Seminole Indian Reservation
The second day - 14.6 miles along more canal levees
The ending point - John Stretch Park at the south end of Lake Okeechobee
Relaxing with some miniature golf at the campground.
Driving home via a detour around the lake to find the next ending point!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Menu - Week 11

Sunday - Parmesan Pork Chops, Lemon Potatoes, Petite Peas

Monday - Fettuccine Alfredo with Shrimp

Tuesday - Chicken Stir-fry with rice

Wednesday - Italian pasta

Thursday - barbecued chicken

Friday - hamburgers and potato salad

Saturday - take-out pizza

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Preparing for the Florida Trail

We wanted to give Michelle a taste of the adventure she has to look forward to later this week, so spent last Saturday afternoon at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Preserve.  It was a beautiful day, don't you think so?
In addition to the hundreds of birds and hatching crickets, we even saw an alligator sunning itself near a turtle.
They may be flat, but the Everglades are still beautiful.  
I wanted to get some pictures of them hiking, because I won't be along for the next one.  (Someone needs to do the dropping off and picking up so they don't have to retrace their steps, and 27 miles worth would be a lot of steps to retrace!)  I can assure you, though, that the terrain will be pretty much the same - along a series of canal dikes leading from the Seminole Indian Reservation to Lake Okeechobee.
And now that the hiking boots are warmed up and ready to go, it's time to pack everything else.  Segment 4 of the Florida Trail, here we come!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

First Day of Spring

Happy First Day of Spring!
We took advantage of actually having the first day of spring during Spring Break to spend some time at the beach.  It was a beautiful sunny day, although a bit windy.  We hope you're all enjoying a wonderful springtime yourself.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Menu - Week 10

Sunday - Chicken with Company Crockpot Potatoes, corn and salad and ice cream
Monday - Chicken Stir-fry with Rice and corn on the cob

Tuesday - Relief Society Birthday Dinner or Spanish Corn Chowder (guess who had what)

Wednesday - HAPPY PI DAY! Two Potato Shepherd's Pie and Key Lime Pie

note: Sweet potatoes don't taste good mixed with hamburger, onions and celery, at least not in this version.

Thursday - leftovers
Friday -  Sausage Broccoli Calzone

Saturday - Spanish Corn Chowder and Cabbage

Friday, March 16, 2012

Sewing Time

One of the things I've enjoyed lately is actually using the sewing machine.  Believe it or not, now that she's a senior in high school I'm finally getting to some of those "things to do when Michelle's in school" projects from the list I compiled before she started kindergarten.  Of course motivation also came from having a precious new baby join the family!  So, after making the mending pile vanish, it was time for some fun.
For Relief Society a couple of years ago, we had a service project of making layette gowns to send to the Humanitarian Center.   Since I wanted a sample to show the sisters, I decided to make one myself for our first grandchild.  (Here's where I found the pattern.)  And thus started a new tradition.  The little hat pattern was created by my friend on the committee, who figured it out by taking apart a purchased one.  It's basically two oblongs sewn together (with a couple of little darts) and folded ingeniously.
Michelle has a tradition of making a blanket for her new nieces and nephews out of "ultra cuddle" fleece.  This time around she decided to try a different edging, which we found here.  You can follow the tutorial yourself if you want, but basically you cut 2" deep, 1" wide strips around the edge (the tip for using tape and marking it every inch was a great one).  Then you cut a teeny slit in the center of each strip, and carefully thread them through each other (until the very last one which you cut in half and knot).
While she was working on that, I used the leftover fabric from the new skirt Michelle wanted to try out a baby dress pattern I had in the closet.  It says "small" but I suspect Miss Brooke will be close to two years old before she fits in it!  Michelle's looking forward to getting a "matching" picture taken some day!!
It's possible to sew things for bigger kids as well.  Adapting Cocoa's tutorial I made this little gift/tote bag using some of our "fabric to keep until you find something to do with it" box.  I'm looking forward to doing more projects to empty that box!

Monday, March 12, 2012

The County Awards Ceremony

Last week was the County Awards Ceremony for the winners of the History Day Competition.  It was nice to enjoy that opportunity with Michelle, and it was a great excuse to try out a little Italian place near our home. Congratulations Princess!
There were seven students from her high school that placed first or second in the different History Day categories.  Michelle's "individual presentation" project had to be dismantled to fit in the car after the County event, so she's trying to figure out the best way to "reassemble" it for the state competition on April 30th.
The first step was to add some music, and she found an old mp3 player and mini speaker to do just that.  She has one minute of a polka from the time period alternating with one minute of "crowd" noise; hopefully you'll feel you're a part of the Great Exhibition yourself! If anyone has ideas on how to add a banner with the title (that's the part she had to remove), she's open to suggestions.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Menu - Week 9

Sunday - took Jeff's Berry Salad to dinner with friends

Monday - Sloppy Joe's (with the last of the Wheat Chili added) and Oven Fries

Tuesday - celebration dinner (trying out the next restaurant on the list) - Capriciosa Pizza (ham, mushrooms, and artichoke hearts - a new combination for us)

Wednesday - Joe's Special 

Thursday -  Stir Fry Chicken over Rice

Friday -  Rice and Beans with Pork
Saturday -  Tamal en Cazuela (or, in English, Fresh Grated Corn Mush) - Which would you rather have?)

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

We have pictures to share

of our brand new granddaughter.  Isn't she precious?  We're so glad she arrived safely and we're looking forward to meeting her!

Welcome to the world Baby Brooke!  We're so blessed to have you part of our family.

Monday, March 5, 2012

Saturdays in February

Saturday # 1 - chores (included installing a new truck stereo - belated Christmas gift), then picnic, then youth fundraiser (dinner and silent auction - we skipped the golf tournament part)

Saturday #2 - install leather steering wheel cover (another Christmas present), then visit the International Art Fair and decide we have no desire to buy a painting that costs more than our house

outside the convention center - no cameras allowed inside the art exhibit
Saturday #3 - normal chores (Michelle's wrists are too weak to mow the lawn, isn't that sad?), picnic at the park, sew a skirt for Michelle, then watch a movie at home
Bonus President's Day holiday - explore the visitor's center and nature trail at the Loxahatchee National Wildlife Refuge while Michelle attends the county National History Day wearing her new skirt

Saturday #4 -  help with Eagle service project (reminder of Brad's - lots of paint and teenage boys), attend convert baptism, dinner (yummy Dutch oven casserole) with friends (who we can count as extended family because Justin's sister married Wayne's second cousin) 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Menu - Week 8

I guess one advantage to only having three people at home is you can make a giant pot of something and you don't have to cook the rest of the week.  Fortunately, it was a pot of deliciousness and we didn't mind eating it day after day.  That's probably not a very balanced diet, but we did have salad every night and our breakfasts and lunches were varied.

Sunday - leftover Dutch Oven Turkey and Vegetables
Monday - more leftovers (It was a huge pot!)
Tuesday - National Pancake Day - more leftovers, but Blueberry Crepes for dessert (I made blueberry filling to use up the last of the blueberries and juice from last week's Blueberry Upside-down Cake.)
WednesdayTurkey Frame Soup (although in this week's version I used some leftover cooked rice instead of the noodles and left out the tomatoes)
Thursday - more leftovers (But now the refrigerator isn't stuffed to the gills.)
Friday - Chicken Fajitas
Saturday - Turkey Soup and Oreo Milkshakes