Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Salad, anyone?

While my BFF is visiting me I want to be able to serve healthy salads without slaving away in the kitchen...I'd rather be visiting! So today I put together a salad bar that will serve us well for lunches and dinners. What you don't see here is the huge tupperware bowl full of young spinach, chopped romaine, and shredded carrots. Yummy, healthy, easy, yay!

April menu

3/29 Turkey and black bean burritos
3/30 (Heather arrives!) Pork cutlets, salad, couscous
3/31 Dinner out (?)
4/01 Pizza, salad
4/02 Roast, salad, broccoli, mashed potatoes
4/03 Spaghetti with meatballs, garlic bread, salad
4/04 Beef and bean burritos
4/05 Chili with corn bread
4/06 Potato soup, salad, bread
4/07 Clean-out-the-fridge soup, baked potatoes
4/08 Pizza, salad
4/09 Roast, salad, baked potatoes
4/10 Mealoaf, salad
4/11 Homemade macaroni and cheese, salad
4/12 Beef stew, biscuits
4/13 Spaghetti with meatballs, salad
4/14 Beef enchiladas
4/15 Pizza, salad
4/16 Roast, potatoes, salad
4/17 Turkey stirfry
4/18 Taco soup, quesadillas
4/19 (Nathan leaves Cordova!) Beef stew in bread bowls
4/20 White chili
4/21 Sloppy joes
4/22 Pizza and all the fixin's
4/23 Roast, salad, spuds, veggie
4/24 Meatloaf, potato soup, veggie
4/25 Beef and barley soup
4/26 Deli sandwiches
4/27 Beef and bean enchiladas
4/28 Homemade macaroni and cheese, salad
4/29 (Welcome home Nathan!) Pizza, etc.
4/30 Roast, veggies, spuds, etc.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Turning frugal fare into a feast

is as easy as baking a loaf of artisan bread for each of your guests!

These lovely loaves will accompany our turkey vegetable soup tonight. This will hopefully be the last turkey meal we have for quite some time!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Our trip to Merritt

Don and I bravely loaded the car and the Littles on Friday afternoon and headed to visit Grandma and Grandpa in Merritt! We took the portable DVD player (we took the Matrix, not the van) and all the kids happily watched movies all the way up. Halfway though the trip Nick fell asleep, so he had a short nap and woke up about 15 minutes before we arrived at their house.

We had a great time going for walks and quad rides, geocaching, playing cards, painting bird houses, and, of course, gorging ourselves enjoying Waneta's wonderful cooking. We were a little concerned about Nick, but he did really well as long as he got his "outside" quota in. But he went to bed early Friday night, allowing the adults to enjoy some card playing, and then he napped today, so we got to play this afternoon, too.

Don and Waneta have a delux GPS that is perfect for geocaching that they're letting us borrow. We're going to use it for a while and see how much better it is than the car GPS : ) In Merritt we found geocaches #5 and 6! It was a great trip and we're looking forward to going back, now that we know we can survive Nick : )

Monday, March 21, 2011

Dylan's spring recital

Haley and I went to watch Dylan perform in his final recital for this school year. It was very impressive!

Here it is for you listening enjoyment : )

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Miscellaneous farm news

  • Because of the horrible tragedy in Japan, we are no longer expecting to host two Japanese international students next week. We hear that everyone is okay in their families, but that they don't feel like this is the right time to send their sons oversees, which I totally understand.
  • Nathan is going to be in Anchorage tomorrow, Tuesday, and Wednesday for his physical and vision exam for the US Coast Guard Academy.  Nathan finds out by April 15 if he is accepted or not.
  • Sean has applied for a cadet trip this summer to go to Sweden for two weeks! He just found out when he went tagging (begging) for cadets on Friday night that there were open spots on this trip and he was asked if he wanted to apply. Of course he did! The miraculous thing is that it doesn't conflict with our family cruise...Sean will leave July 2 and return July 18. That will leave him plenty of time to get over his jet lag before we start our holiday : )
  • Speaking of Sean, the lucky duck is in California for spring break visiting with my parents. He comes home Sunday, and then it's back to the hard reality of school and cadets.
  • Dylan is in the process of applying for the most amazing summer job. I'm praying that he gets it because not only is it a job that he would do very well, but it pays $20/hour and that would definitely get him through his second year of university. It's a summer intern position, and they're looking for someone going into their second year of university. It's in Fort Langley, so it's very close. He's getting reference letters from two of his professors. I'll keep you posted on Dylan's dream job.
  • We might be going to Merritt for a couple of days to visit Don and Waneta and introduce them to geocaching. I know that once Don Sr. gets the hang of it he'll love it.
  • Dylan is teaching a trumpet lesson right now! It's his first real lesson and I hope that he's enjoying it and that his pupil is getting a lot out of it.

Stretching a turkey

Today I roasted a turkey that I had purchased at Christmastime when the prices of turkeys were really good. It was a good sized turkey, not sure about the exact weight, but probably 20 pounds if I were to hazard a guess. And now my challenge is to stretch that turkey into a week's worth of meals. Here is what I have planned:

Tonight: Turkey Divan over pasta (yummy!)
Monday: Turkey and cheese enchiladas
Tuesday: Turkey fried rice
Wednesday: Turkey noodle soup
Thursday: Turkey pot pie
Friday: Turkey burritos
Saturday: Turkey deli-style sandwiches

Plus I'm planning on using some of the breast meat, that I've already sliced thin, for sandwiches for this week's lunches. If this goes according to plan it'll be the best $20 I ever spent : )


Our family has started enjoying a new hobby: geocaching! Don and I have been exploring it on the internet and thought it was a great thing for our family to do together...it's active, it's outside, it's free...what more can you ask for in a hobby?

So last night when Don got home from working and it was sunny out, we loaded up the kids and drove down to Steele Park, a little park about 3/4 mile south of our house. We searched for about an hour using Don's car GPS and we didn't find any of the caches that were hidden there. But we had fun anyway! Here are some pictures of our first high tech treasure hunt.

After searching for three caches unsuccessfully, we headed down to Otter Co-op to try to locate their geocache. It was, thankfully, much easier to find!

Tonight, after Don got home from work and it was sunny again we decided to meander over and try to find the Krause Farm geocache. Because Don insisted on bringing the GPS (I didn't think we'd need it) we were able to find it fairly quickly. The kids are all excited about geocaching now and we are bound and determined to find the caches hidden in Steele Park, even if it takes all summer : )

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Nathan news

I'm not sure if I ever mentioned here that Nathan applied, at his commanding officer's encouragement, to apply for admission to the US Coast Guard Academy. Well, he did. He jumped through many hoops to get reference letters from highschool teachers whom he hadn't seen since 2008, took the SATs, filled out umpteen pages of application, and then sent it off with a kiss and a prayer.

I had mixed feelings about this endeavor, mostly because in all the years I've known Nathan, I've never seen an overwhelming motivation to do well in an academic arena. It's not that he's not smart and capable, but he always had other interests that were more important than book learning and grades. So I had misgivings about this very academic pursuit, knowing that he'd be giving up his current Coast Guard job, which seems to be the perfect fit for him.

Anyway, Nathan just received a letter today from the Academy stating that they wanted him to have a physical and an eye exam. So, the Coast Guard is flying him to Anchorage next week for 3 days and paying for everything: the airfare, hotel, rental car, meals, you name it! So, while this doesn't mean that he got accepted, it does mean that Nathan is a candidate...a bonafide candidate.

Second-hand store treasures

On Sunday Sean watched the Littles and Don and I went on a date. We went out for some retail therapy, which I wouldn't normally recommend to anyone, but especially a couple on a budget. But anyway, we stopped at Value Village and scored some awesome finds. First, we (meaning "Don") found this adorable little Canucks jersey for Nick. We couldn't pass it up! And it's a size 4, so he should be able to wear it for a while.

We found both of the girls winter coats for next year. Patience's is a Gap warmest down jacket. We also found Nick a rain coat, which he needs because he wants to go outside and play regardless of the weather. At least now we can bundle him up and send him out.

Jordyn got some jeans, which she needed, Patience got a lovely dress that will be perfect for dressing up for dinner on the cruise. And various other items that were all amazing deals. Let's just say that I had quite a few loads of laundry to do : )

Folding table!

Remember how Don gave my laundry room an extreme makeover last month? And the last think that he had to do was build a folding table against the green wall? Well, that's what he did this weekend : )

He built it and painted it out in the shop and then he and Dylan moved it in this evening to finish drying (we're not exactly having good paint-drying weather here). When the paint dries I can actually use it...I can hardly wait!

Again, the room is so small that you can't really take good pictures in there, but you get the basic idea. I wonder when the kids are going to realize that this will make an excellent hide-and-go-seek spot?

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

March menu

So you know when to fish for an invite or just pop in unexpectedly : )
  1. Pancakes and bacon
  2. Spaghetti and garlic bread
  3. Minestrone soup
  4. Pizza
  5. Mom and Dad date night
  6. Roast, veggies, rolls, etc.
  7. Burritos
  8. Potato soup
  9. Spaghetti and garlic bread
  10. Pork chops, mashed potatoes, corn
  11. Pizza
  12. Crepes
  13. Roast, veggies, rolls, etc.
  14. Roast beef deli sandwiches
  15. Taco soup
  16. Waffles with bacon
  17. Chili with cornbread
  18. Baked potato bar
  19. Meatloaf, veggies
  20. Pizza
  21. Turkey, veggies, rolls
  22. Chicken stir-fry
  23. Lasagna
  24. Broccoli soup with homemade bread
  25. Pizza
  26. BBQ Hamburgers
  27. Beef and veggie stir-fry over rice
  28. Spaghetti and garlic bread
  29. Turkey, mashed potatoes, corn
  30. Crepes
  31. Pizza