Thursday, January 30, 2014

The Beginning of the Last Season

Dallin is the only Watson kid left who still plays soccer!  This is his last club season.  I don't know what I'm going to do when there are no tryouts for anyone in May.  I don't know what I'll do this fall when I don't need to go to high school games on Mondays and Wednesdays.  I don't know what I'll do in the spring when my weekends won't be taken up by cheering on the kids' teams! 

Monday, January 27, 2014

A Negative Project

No, I don't mean a 'bad' project!  Haha!  I mean I'm working on transferring all of our negatives (for those young'uns who don't know what I'm talking about - before we had digital cameras, we had to buy film.  Then we had to take the film to be developed and we got the photos and the film back - with the photos 'imprinted' on them and we called them negatives.)  Thanks to my Aunt Sandy, who is lending me a handy-dandy computer attachment thing, I have been able to get our old negatives onto the computer!  They are totally not the best quality photos - thank goodness we have digital cameras now!  No more 'surprises' when we go and pick up our prints to see how the photos look!  I am highly amused at the way most of the negative images look - just like the 'vintage' or 'retro' setting!

I have 'stored' (meaning thrown in this bag) negatives for years!  Since 1989!  Pre-1989 I used a disc camera.  I've had no luck at all trying to find an inexpensive way to have the disc images uploaded onto my computer.  I've found 3 places online that will develop the photos again - but I don't want the photos, I want them on my computer!  I am thinking about looking through my scrapbooks for the pre-1989 photos I really want and just taking a photo of the photo. They would probably turn out about the same as the negatives I'm uploading.
This photo is one I uploaded from the negatives from 1992.  This is my Granny McVaugh holding Tyler the day he came home from the NICU.  (He spent 14 days in the NICU in Newark, NJ.)  I'm not quite sure why I keep thinking the 90s are 10 years ago!

Monday, January 20, 2014


Good Grief!  So far, it seems that every week, my definition of 'menu planning' becomes more lax!  I promise to get better at this!  Last night we had one of our family's favorites - creamy chicken noodle soup. It's so EASY to make, and I usually have the ingredients in the pantry.

Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup (originally from Taste of Home magazine)
8 quarts of water
8 chicken bouillon cubes
(or you can use 8 quarts of chicken broth and skip the cubes!)
6 1/2 cups wide egg noodles
3 cups cubed cooked chicken
2 cans cream of chicken soup (or one large family size) undiluted
1 cup (8 oz) sour cream
Parsley, salt, and pepper

Bring water and cubes (or broth) to a boil.  Add egg noodles.  Cook until noodles reach desired tenderness; DO NOT DRAIN.  Add chicken and soup; heat thoroughly.  Turn off heat; add sour cream; stir until well combined.  Sprinkle with parsley, salt (if desired), and pepper.  YUMMY!

For the rest of the week, I'm thinking along the lines of more soups and some chili - it's supposed to be COLD here.  (12 degrees at night is FREEZING here - like don't go outside freezing!)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

After Christmas Mess

I generally feel very creative around Christmastime.  Mostly it starts when it's way too late to begin crafting for people's gifts!  This past Christmas was no exception.

Everything that I have no actual spot for when we decorate for Christmas, gets put in the 'office' - we call it an 'office' when Tim is around.  When he's not here, we call it the 'craft room'.

I tried to at least make it neat enough to start working on things again.  Some year, I've really got to get my act together and be organized enough to make gifts in time to give!  Maybe this year.....

Monday, January 13, 2014

Menu...Kind of

So last week, I planned out a week's worth of meals.  For the most part it worked, except that Tim wasn't home for several of the meals, so I didn't make them - the kids are completely happy with pizza, so why not??  He is probably not going to be home for a few meals this week either, so I'm planning just 3 days:

Monday - Bacon Sandwiches on Pumpernickel bread with orange marmalade. (yes, that sounds strange, but it is incredibly yummy!)  OR tuna sandwiches if you don't like bacon.  I know - for real - who doesn't like bacon???  well, one of my kids doesn't.  I won't tell which one for fear of he/she being ridiculed!

Tuesday - I'm not sure what to call this, so I'll explain how I make it!  I brown ground beef (amount depends on how many are eating) with onion, salt, and pepper.  Then I add golden mushroom soup and dilute it just enough to make a hamburger 'gravy'.  Then we have it over toast.  It is old-fashioned good!  Some of us put grated cheddar on ours or some sour cream.  We'll have a vegetable with it too - I'm thinking I'll crack open the first jar of green beans I canned last year from our garden!

Wednesday - pork loin and roasted canned potatoes.  The grocery store had buy-one-get-one free seasoned pork loins...that's a good deal.  I buy canned potatoes and roast them in butter and paprika in the oven until they're browned - the kids love them!  I'll make some rolls or biscuits to go with dinner too.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Handmade Christmas

Several years ago, there was a sweet sister from Finland in our ward.  One year at a Christmas Relief Society Meeting, she explained to us that if you give a store-bought gift to someone for Christmas in Finland, you need to also apologize that it's from the store and you didn't get a chance to make them something.  Someday when I grow up, I'm going to make most of my gifts!  I like the idea of having handmade gifts as part of Christmas.  I think it really shows the Spirit of Christmas!  For the past several years, Tim has told me to go ahead and buy what I want for myself - and that's been nice - (I buy myself things like books and I DON'T READ THEM UNTIL I OPEN THEM CHRISTMAS DAY - now that's self-control!!). This Christmas, I purchased myself the Pioneer Woman's new Holiday Cookbook - I didn't even peek at it until Christmas Day!  I also got a scarf and a stamp press I've been wanting.  BUT Tim surprised me this year!  He got me several gifts himself without my knowing about it.  A longer cord for my phone charger (since I'm constantly unplugging mine by accident), a new green nail polish, a mortar and pestle for the herbs and stuff in the kitchen, (and an extra pestle for breaking up the 'icebergs' in my ice water!) and 2 handmade cutting boards!  They are gorgeous!
This long one behind the canisters is for bread.  It's made from a piece of walnut and is very 'rustic' - love it!

This one is pieces of maple that Tim pressed and glued together.  (Yes, I KNOW I have horrible countertops - that will be changing SOON....I just try to ignore them.)

After I took the photos and checked them, I noticed something unusual...besides the needing to re-write 'brown sugar' I mean....does anyone else see the little pile of brown sugar on the counter??  For YEARS, literally YEARS, someone has been sneaking brown sugar.  I can't figure out who it is, but apparently it's one of three things:  The child who does it still lives here; It's more than one child; OR IT'S TIM!!  I can't figure it out.

Friday, January 10, 2014

Happy Birthday Tim!

No Birthday party today though - he's working, of course!  But shhhh......I am going out to get him a new pillow (he's wanted one for a couple of months), and I'm going to bake him some meringue cookies (I totally agree with Ina Garten - once you reach a certain age, you really don't need to have a cake).  Brandee bought Tim a gift while they were visiting over Christmas and left it here for his birthday - so he'll get that gift when we do whatever birthday dinner thing he wants.  

So - I woke up the other day and realized IT WAS COLD in the house.  This is supposed to read 68, not 58!  The coal stove and the fireplace were both started and 'cranked up' to max.  We called our favorite heating and air conditioning people, but told them that we were okay - nothing would freeze - and if they had higher priorities (like people TOTALLY without heat) go to them first. 
Tim and I set up the air mattress in front of the living room couches (is there an age that you reach when an air mattress really feels horrible?? Because I think I reached it!).  The girls slept on the couches (and yes, they probably would've been even worse to sleep on than the air mattress!).  The above photo is the view when I looked forward....the photo below is the view from behind my head.  Silly little girl! 

This was the temp in our bedroom the next morning - really glad I slept near the fire!  All is well now though.  We only had 2 days to put up with being a little chilly.  I think I would've been a HORRIBLE pioneer!

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Menu Monday

I've decided to join the "What's on the Menu Monday" gang. I'm hoping (and Tim is too!) that this will help eliminate those evenings where I give up trying to come up with something yummy and wholesome and just make a frozen pizza.  This week might actually have to start on Tuesday though, because I think I'm going to Asheville with Tim on Monday and I won't have a chance to go to the store other than running in for a rotisserie chicken.  (although if some kind person reading this blog would like to go shopping for me and deliver it here, I certainly wouldn't say no! *** and Tim says don't forget to pay for it - hahahaha!)

Monday - this meal will have to be quick since I'm not going to have much time to cook.  Hayleigh bought me a great little cookbook - Rotisserie Chicken Cookbook - 101 Hearty Recipes with Store-Bought Convenience (from Southern Living)  - from the school book fair.  We've tried this recipe before, and it was what we call a 'have again'.  ~~ Meal - Creamy Chicken and Noodles; salad; sliced Italian bread; dessert - cookies

Tuesday - Little Cheddar Meatloaves; au gratin potatoes; frozen vegetable*; pears; dessert - brownies

Wednesday - Saucy Roast Beef Sliders (over on my pinterest 'beef' board); carrots and celery with dip; potato chips; dessert - the rest of the brownies

Thursday - Dutch Babies (or oven pancakes, if you prefer); thawed strawberries and blueberries that I froze last summer; breakfast sausage. (no dessert needed - the Dutch Babies are sweet enough - especially with the powdered sugar my kids sprinkle on them...and the syrup!)

Friday - Chicken Pillows (on my pinterest 'chicken' board); frozen vegetable*;  dessert - cereal treat bars

*frozen vegetable - whatever bag of vegetables I have in the freezer.  Usually I have green beans, broccoli, corn, peas, and mixed vegetables.  Most of the time I also have cauliflower with some kind of sauce.


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