Count Your (Many) Blessings

Against my better judgment, I have ALL the wood and ALL the vinyl cut, and ALL the supplies ready to make these projects on Saturday, though only about 10% of the people signed up have paid me. This is the green version, as opposed to the RED version I posted previously. Sigh... here's hoping everyone shows up, so I don't have to take all this stuff back home, and hound people for two months trying to get rid of it...



Highlights from the concert:

Black Eyed Peas as the opener. "Let's get it started!" They certainly did.

Fergie's legs. HELLO! Who do I have to sell my soul to to get a pair??

"Where is the love" - that Taboo guy was the ultimate dork. Can you get any more cheesy? LOL.

Will I Am's colorful language and his strong feelings about his favorite song, Pump It.

Unbelievable, ginormous rocket ship stage.

Bono's introduction of the rest of the band. You could feel the respect that he has for each one of them, and could tell what a great camaraderie they have, especially with The Edge wearing his "post-apocalyptic gingham"...

The Edge. I'm in awe of him every time I go to a concert. The three different guitars he played, the 20 plus songs he led, his voice... Side note: This guy can probably go out in public any time and not get recognized, without his skull cap. You think??

Bono and the Edge doing "Stuck in a Moment" alone, without drums or bass. Amazing.

"Elevation" - Funnest song to sing along to...

"Sunday Bloody Sunday" - Can this song seriously be more than 25 years old? It was incredible, still. U2 ROCKED it.

The entire stadium singing "I still haven't found what I'm looking for" - Fergie tried to do this with "Big Girls don't Cry", but it didn't quite work... hee hee...

Bono pulling three girls up on stage and dancing with them while the crowd sang the "ooooh" part of (which song was it again?"

I swear, this guy is the ultimate performer. Everything he does, every move he makes is just COOL.

Sigh. Too bad they only come around every four years...


What's for dinner?

What do you make for dinner for your family on a regular basis? Not talking about your fabulous gourmet recipes you get from the Food Network - but what do you make for your family when your days are busy or when it's 5 PM and kids are gnawing their hands off, or climbing into the pantry to find nourishment...? Usually on those days, if I'm not terribly hungry, or N's at a meeting, I throw kid food at them - hot dogs, cheese crisps, and the like... but on OTHER days...

I was tagged by Ashlee - and I think this is a great idea, so here's a list of my go-to meals. I want yours too! I must preface this by saying that I buy Whatever's.On.Sale. meat-wise, so that tends to dictate what we have each week. Chicken is generally the cheapest per pound, so we most always have chicken. Nice and boring. I like to buy tenderloins because they're tender, (duh) quicker to cook, and have much less fat on them. And they're the same price as breasts.

We're not great at side dishes or veggies. Sometimes I throw canned corn at the girls and we can bribe them to eat it - but mostly N and me just eat salads with whatever we're having. M will eat tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and spinach - but only raw.

A is a picky eater. And that is an understatement. As long as dinner includes some sort of meat as the primary ingredient, preferably left in big bite-sized pieces, and not covered up with too much sauce, etc, so that it may be separated out and dipped in ketchup... then she will join us for dinner.

1. Fajitas - I make them ALL the time. This is my only real "go-to" meal. I cut the chicken into strips, saute in some kind of taco seasoning, and then remove from the pan before cooking peppers and onions. That way, my kiddos can make their chicken tacos easily, without picking out all the "gross" stuff. Then I at least feel like we're all eating the same thing..

2. BBQ Pork - Crock pots are my friend. I either buy pork roasts when they go on sale at Fry's, or get the ginormous ones at Costco and freeze them into three chunks. Add a McCormick packet of BBQ pulled pork seasoning, a little apple cider vinegar, a little brown sugar, some hamburger buns... 6 hours later we're ALL eating it. Even A, with no complaints. Though she eats hers separate from the bun, and dipped in ketchup. Sigh.

3. Pork Chops - Again, these go on sale A LOT. Depending on whether they're boneless or not usually changes what I feel like doing with them. Sometimes they go in the crock pot with cream of mushroom soup and such, most times they get marinated and thrown on the grill. M loves potato pearls, so that is usually a side dish, or corn, or both... And A will eat these easily, and loves them.

4. Crock pot tacos - frozen chicken breasts, black beans, corn, salsa - I like to go get Carolina's tortillas to have with these when I can, which make everything better! These need fresh cilantro and sour cream to finish them off, methinks.

5. Stir-fry - Chicken, cut up into strips, sauteed in a little bit of garlic, and oyster or teriyaki sauce... I buy those huge bags of frozen stir fry veggies from Costco, add peppers, onions, whatever the produce basket has blessed us with that week... Rice in the rice cooker, and done. M loves the little corns! Even though A usually doesn't eat the chicken and veggies, the girls both love rice with butter and salt. Sometimes I throw in pineapple chunks and eat mine with sweet and sour sauce... N drowns his in rooster chili sauce, of course.

6. Roast - Crock pot. Onions. Carrots. A few potatoes. Seasoning. Ketchup. You know the drill. Usually only happens on Sundays. And then a couple days later, the container of cooked potatoes gets thrown away because no one wants them after the meat is gone. Does anyone else relate?

7. Pizza night - to my utter distaste, Friday nights are hot-n-ready at my house. Kids totally look forward to this all week. Which is okay, I guess, because they end up having leftover slices for lunch on Sat and Sun usually.

8. Soup - I consider myself a pretty good soup maker. Now that it's not so blazing hot, soup is usually my meal of choice! Hard to mess it up, really... My favorites are my White Chili, and a simple Chicken Noodle Soup - you can't go wrong with a crock pot and chicken, egg noodles, veggies and plenty of rosemary, sage and thyme! I like to use half chicken broth and half cream of chicken for the base.

Other recipes I really like:
Fish tacos, with mahi mahi fillets (I'll have to try Ashlee's blackened version), corn, cilantro, avacado, black beans and Kraft's GREEN GODDESS dressing ( I LOVE that stuff - use it on all kinds of taco salads, etc... )
Meatballs, when I have the time to put them together. I like meatball subs, with provolone slices and pasta sauce.

Black bean Enchiladas
Chicken Enchiladas
Cajun Shrimp
Avacado Chicken
You know I like you if I make Trader Joe's Salad when you come over. , or a version thereof.
I just bought stuff to make THIS this week, too...




Anyone who knows me, and my house, and my destructive son well, knows that I've needed and wanted new dishes for a WHILE now. Couldn't find any I loved (I like COLORS, and hand-paintedness, and weight), nice ones were always too expensive, blah blah blah... well those days are OVER! Check out all I found and bought today! White! And! Green! And YES! The green matches my dining room chairs and is beautiful! And YES! I plan to mix and match! FYI: There are 16 total dinner plates, square, and 16 salad plates, plus 10 cereal bowls, 8 pasta bowls (impulse number, I should probably go get more) and a couple of ramekins. Guess, just GUESS how much I spent. Keep in mind that I'm not Ashlee, who could have probably gotten all of this with CVS bucks and some lint from her pocket, and somehow come away with a giftcard to a spa too. I didn't do THAT well. Closest one to the right price gets to come have a dinner party with us!


The best Sunday of the year.

You know which one I'm talking about - Primary Program Sunday! We had such entertainment today, I loved it! A and M both did okay with their parts, though M was taken aback when she couldn't read the word "phrase" (We've been practicing her part without that word, I guess... "President Thomas S. Monson likes to quote {the phrase} ... The family that prays together stays together!" Bria stole the show with her boisterous, and only once in a while, off-key voice, gotta love her! She definitely had some competition with her classmate Caleb - hilarious - and M was ironically so not Christlike, as she was having a shoving match and arguing with her classmates, all during the song "I'm trying to be like Jesus" ... Hilarious. You just have to sigh and shake your head when half the kids that knew their parts inside and out yesterday were too nervous to speak at the podium today! It's so great not to have to sit with my kids during sacrament meeting - - why don't we do this several times a year???


I heart Photoshop.

and I'm in the mood to play with it lately. Want a new header for your blog? Email me and we'll talk price. Or, bring my family dinner one night next week and we'll call it even. Such a DEAL! shelliedesign at q dot com ...


Hooray -

Hooray for fall break being almost over. I don't know how much more of this fun togetherness I can handle.

Hooray for great weather. A/C has been off for several days now, and all of our windows are open. I actually wore jeans yesterday and didn't suffer a heat stroke. I even made SOUP yesterday!!!

Hooray for German pancakes. So much less effort, and so much more yummy than regular pancakes. Especially topped with fruit and sour cream sauce.

Hooray for the grocery store down the street. They've almost always got what I need, and have a super-fast delivery service. Sorry if you don't have one like it.

Hooray for the Children's Museum. After not being there for a few months, the kiddos really enjoyed it this week.

Hooray for Craig's List, and for Emily's yard sale. I'm slowly de-junkifying around here.

Hooray for nasal-spray type flu vaccines.

Hooray for Photoshop. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways...

Hooray for J being able to communicate SO much better - yesterday we talked about riding bikes, to the park, maybe with Cooper, and he said "Bie... Par... perper" over and over again. He gets it.

Hooray for U2! Eleven days and counting!

Hooray for the truck, who at least is running at the moment. We're hoping to get another 6 months out of our new tires and registration before selling it and getting a car.

Hooray for Ebay. Things I've received in the mail this week? A super cute necklace, a new cartridge for my Cricut, and a Hannah Montana wig for A.

Hooray for Thursday night volleyball. It's been a while, and my muscles are feeling it this morning. Somehow it's a completely different workout than when we play in the mornings with just the girls...

Hooray for girls who play "school" even when they're on fall break. They obviously enjoy it while they're there, which makes me happy.

Hooray for a little 6-yr-old who made it on the principal's list (all A's) and for a little 8-yr-old who made it on the honor roll.


Projects, projects, projects!

I have a plan! Or several plans, actually -

1. I'm going to add a new valance and a cute scalloped paint treatment to the girls room. I also realized I have some cute green and white striped fabric I could use to re-cover their memo board and their chair in there too. I always get ideas when I lay in A's bed!

2. I'm selling old Halloween costumes, and everything else I can think of on Craig's List right now. Yeah for de-cluttering! Playpen is going away today!

3. I want desperately to re-do my downstairs, with new furniture and new colors, but since I can't afford for that to happen, I'm at least going to paint another wall red in my family room.

4. I'm going to make some "chore placemats" for my kids, and I SORT of have a plan. Want in on this project? It might help me finish faster...

5. I want to plan a birthday card-making party for our next scrapbook night. Everyone bring an idea for ONE card, and bring ONE sample, then enough supplies to duplicate it several times. Fun, huh? Who wants in? Let's say get stuff ready by next Thurs, Oct 15th.

6. I'd like to make one of Jackie's magnet board idea for my craft room, reminiscent of Ashlee's magnet board. J - what are we using for the metal sheet? Are we framing it?

7. I need to get sewing and make a new valance for my kitchen window, now that I have shutters in there... hmmm...

8. I am going to create "BE" attitude vinyl kits to illustrate Pres. Hinckley's Be's, to go on a 16x16 tile. Don't know how much they will cost quite yet...


Turning 8 is great!

This morning, Daddy found a note in A's handwriting:

"To Do List"

Go To School
Eat pizza

and in really big letters,


Not on her to-do list?

Wake up with a scorching fever in the middle of the night.
Be forced to drink her Tylenol, because we're out of pills.
Not want breakfast, even though Mommy made waffles!
Eat a pink starburst at school.
Have an allergic reaction after eating pink starburst at school, complete with swollen face and eyes.
Take benadryl.
Take a two-hour nap.