Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Green Summer

I am so proud of my little daughter.  She is Green.  She had to do a project for school.  They are studying government and how laws are made.  They had to write a bill, send it to the senate, argue for the bill and see if the "President" (Principal) would pass the bill and sign in into a school law.  Well the principal liked Summer's proposal so much that she wants Summer to write a letter to the city council asking for her proposal to be accepted by the city in real life.
This is what Summer proposed:  There is so much waste in school lunch that Summer wants to the paper and plastic to be recycled and the food waste to be used for composting.  Hehehe.  I was so proud of Summer for doing such a good job on her project AND for coming up with a solution for the waste at school.  Summer says that there are about 600 students in her school and about 500 of them eat school lunch.  Of those 500 lunches, less than 1/2 of the food is eaten, the rest goes into the trash--that's a lot of trash every day.  And they use paper napkins that can be composted.  Plus that's also a lot of plastic utensils that are thrown away every day.
Good job Summer for thinking GREEN. 

Friday, April 25, 2008

Movie review...

you'd think we watch a lot of movies with the number of movie reviews lately.  But we don't watch very many movies. 
This one is...I Am Legend.  Wow.  I almost didn't finish watching this movie, not because I was falling asleep, but because I almost got up off the couch and went to bed.  But I didn't because I didn't dare go upstairs by myself.  Rick liked this movie more than I did, but that wasn't hard.  See this movie if you want, but be prepared to sleep with the lights on.  I did. 
(I should have known how this one would rate when all of my beehive girls raved about what a great movie it was.) 

Guess what else I did?

stopped at a cute little fabric store and bought some goodies. 
Some cute apron fabric.
And some patriotic pieces for a little wall quilt thing to replace the pink and brown valentine number that is till hanging on the wall in the entry way because I can't bear to take it down because I love it so much.
I should be working in the yard, but because it is 12 degrees outside with the wind chill factor, I guess I will go downstairs and do something with my cute fabric.  Yippee.  OR maybe I will make some oatmeal cookies for my neighbor who had a baby boy on Monday and went back to work today.  She is wonderwoman.  She was mowing the lawn last week at 9 months prego with her two year old strapped to her back.  She deserves a good cookie, don't ya think?  

Look what I just did...

I signed up for an apron swap.  This is hosted by Abbey who is a friend of Melissa who is from the Kirksville days.  Abbey and Melissa are buddies up in my old stomping grounds in Michigan.  I participated in a swap once before hosted by Abbey and received the most adorable apron made by Lucky Red Hen (check out her link on the right). 
You have a few more days to join this swap.  If Grandma Nan can do it, anyone can.  It will be so fun.  I will certainly post pictures when I get my own computer up and running again.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Is it just me...

or do all blogaholics walk through Sam's Club composing their next blog post?
Well, this is what was going through my mind this afternoon:
Seriously People.  Are you really going to eat all of this rice?  Every person in Sam's Club had bags of rice in their carts (buggies if you're from the South).  There was a bit on the news the past few days about the price of rice, rice shortages, blah, blah, blah.  There was even a sign up on the shelves above the rice area that said something about expecting rice shortages in the near future and to be prepared for the rice to be unavailable for several days at a time while shipments catch up with the demand.  It was hilarious.  People were standing around talking about storing rice, and how much they should be buying, and what's a good price for rice, etc.  One man grabbed a bag of rice and said, "It's gonna take me at least a year to eat all of this rice."  I mentioned that we should all buy beans because there isn't a shortage on beans yet and they're still pretty cheap.  All of the old people laughed.  I was expecting some of them to pull up some lawn chairs and order a cup of coffee while they gathered around discussing the price of rice.
As for the question as to whether or not people are going to eat all of this rice--we will.  Within just a few weeks, I'm sure.  Rice is one of Cole favorite foods.  Along with beans, chips, and salsa.  And sometimes he eats Oatmeal.  And I bought some of that today, too.
and then there was flour.  Or not.  There was no flour to be found in Sam's Club today.  Which is ok.  Because my bread making is going so well that I am going through flour like crazy.  Which is not good.  We love our carbs at this house.  Sierra walked in the door from school the other day and exclaimed, "Oh mom it smells so good, did you make bread?"  And we sat down and ate a loaf.  I made 2 loaves last night and Rick and I had a midnight snack, leaving only 1 loaf for the kids to have sandwiches for the rest of the week.  Not good.  So, I took it as a sign that because there was no flour to buy, I should stop making bread.  I bought my 2 loaves of nasty dry sandwich wheat bread for 2.74.  Sam--you win.  But, I figure in the long run in will be better this way.  I was worried that I had made entirely too much freezer jam this past month but I can see now that it will not go to waste at this house.  In the future if it looks like it's been in the freezer too long I will just whip out the mixer and make some bread and the freezer jam will disappear in no time.  As will the nutella.  Which we bought for special occasions, but at our house these days every day is a special occasion.   
I'm sure a few other things went through my mind at Sam's Club, but those are the highlights.
If you're bored over the next few days, go to Sam's or Costco and hang out in the rice aisle (or the wheat).  Let me know how it goes.  If you're really hard up for entertainment take a lawn chair.  Or get one of those flatbed carts and pretend like you're going to buy all of the rice left in the store and then watch people panic.   Take a camera.  Post pictures.     

Dear Mother Nature

I am writing to ask that you  please make it stop snowing.  The calendar says April and in my book that means spring.  Not just one day a week, but every day.  Please. 

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Stop the Junk Mail

Banishing Junk MailGo to optoutprescreen.com or call 888-567-8688 to be removed from the major credit bureaus' mailing lists for preapproved credit card and insurance offers. 
This tip comes from Martha.

Happy Earth Day

Saturday, April 19, 2008

movie review...

While we were in Mesquite we went to a movie, let me rephrase that, we WALKED to a movie.  We saw Leatherheads.  That one with George Clooney.  I didn't really like it so much, but I didn't fall asleep.  
We drove to Las Vegas and saw Spamalot (Rick's choice--I would rather have stayed by the pool, read a book and taken a nap).  However, Spamalot was awesome.  I would see it again.  So there you have it for this weeks entertainment news.  

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Be Prepared

OK.  Everyone who is anyone in my little, tiny, itsy, bitsy world has already heard most of this story, but too bad here it is again.
We took a quick trip down south last weekend.  Rick had to work until midnight on Friday and his conference started at 7:30 am on Saturday morning.  So, sometime in those 7 hours, we had to take a 3 1/2 hour drive to St. George.  We knew that if we snoozed at home and left at 3 am it would not be restful sleep, so Rick reserved a room on Hotels.com and headed South as soon as Rick got off work.   As we approached downtown St. George we could not see the hotel where we had a room reserved.  We quickly popped in the trustworthy GPS and typed in the address that was emailed to Rick.  What came up was a location 27 miles away (in the direction that we had just come from).  It was almost 4 am and we were both a bit irritated but we headed to the spot that the GPS was directing us to go.  It didn't make sense because Rick would have to get up in about 2 hours, go to his conference, leave me without a vehicle, and then come back and pick me up (sitting on the side of the road since he would arrive 3 hours after check-out).  But, we thought that we could at least get a shower and then drive back to conference center at 7:30 am since we had already paid for the room.  Well, when we arrived at the location the GPS sent us to, it was a little, windy dirt road.  No hotel.  We turned around and drove back to the conference center and slept in the parking lot.  In the Honda.  In the freezing cold.  
I later found out that the hotel we were looking for was just off the freeway near downtown St. George.  BUT, the name of the street had recently changed.  Hotels.com emailed us the OLD address and the GPS sent us to the correct location for that address, not the location of the new, current address of the hotel.   
But, what I want to learn from this is not only that you should not trust hotels.com, BUT that you should always be prepared to sleep in your vehicle.  I had felt prompted to bring some blankets on our trip.  I kept walking past my bed as I was packing thinking that my little, fuzzy blanket would be nice to have over the weekend.  But, my logical part of my brain kept talking me out of it because the forecast was for 80's and 90's in Las Vegas.  We always take our own pillows, but why in the world would I need my own blanket in  those temperatures?  
So, go put a warm blanket in the back of your vehicle and hope that you never have to unexpectedly spend the night sleeping in the car.

a new book

A Is for Apron: 25 Fresh & Flirty Designs
The pile of books on my nightstand is getting deeper and deeper.  I am excited to take a look at this latest book find.  I may have to take a quick trip to Joann's in the morning with  my 50% off coupon!!

Black Bean and Ramen Salad

I got this yummy recipe from a food storage website.  We gave it a try and we loved it.  Summer was able to make it all by herself.

1 pkg. ramen (w/o seasoning)
1 1/2 c. cooked black beans
1 red and yellow pepper, sliced
1/4 onion,  thinly sliced (we diced)
2 T. cilantro, chopped
3 T. red wine vinegar
1 T. oil
2 T. dijon mustard

Mix first 5 ingredients.  Put last 3 ingredients in a jar with a lid.  Shake vigorously.  Pour over bean mixture.  Serve immediately. 

Lion House Rolls

2 c. warm water
2/3 c. nonfat dry  milk
2 T. yeast
1/4 c. sugar
2 tsp. salt
1/3 cu butter or margarine
1 egg
5-5 1/2 c. flour

In the large bowl of an electric mixer, combine the water and the milk powder and stir so the milk dissolves.  Add the yeast to this  mixture then the sugar, salt, shortening, egg and 2 cups of the flour.  Mix on low speed of mixer until ingredients are wet, then turn to medium speed and mix for 2 minutes.  Stop the mixer and add 2 more cups of flour then mix on low speed until the ingredients are wet, then turn mixer on med. speed and mix for 2 minutes.  The dough will be getting stiff and you may need to remove the bowl from the mixer and mix in the remaining flour my hand.  Add approximately 1/2 c. of flour and mix again.  (this can be done by hand or mixer.)  The dough should be soft, not overly sticky and not stiff.  (It is not necessary to use the entire amount of flour.)  Scrape the dough off the sides of the bowl and pour approximately one T. of vegetable oil all around the sides of the bowl.  Turn the dough over in the bowl so it is covered with the oil.  Cover with plastic and allow to rise in a warm place until double in size.  Sprinkle a cutting board with flour and put the dough on the flour.  It is now ready to roll out and cut into desired shape and size of rolls.  Place on greased baking pans.  Let rise in a warm place until the rolls are double in size (approx. 1 to 1 1/2 hours).  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 15 to 20 minutes.  Brush with melted butter while hot. 

Sorry Sam...

I cannot buy your bread any more.
I usually buy the double pack of bread at Sam's Club for 2.74, but with the rising cost of grocery prices I am taking a stand and I am no longer willing to buy bread.  I am going to make it.  (wow, that sounds scary even to me).  I have spent the past little while searching for good bread recipes.  and I am now ready to attempt to make bread.  This is such a scary undertaking for me.  I am not a good friend of yeast.  I have limited experience with this fussy little critter.  So, my first attempt at a loaf of homemade bread is an amish white bread.  Sounds easy enough.  In the meantime I will let you in on my only other success with yeast:  Lion House Rolls!!  Yum. 

Thursday, April 10, 2008

new reading material

Confessions of a Jane Austen Addict
I found this book at one of my favorite stores (it was a used book!  go green)  In some of the reviews I read of Austenland, they said that Shannon Hale got her idea from this book.  So her idea wasn't all that original.  I laughed when I saw this book, because I had just barely finished Austenland, so how funny that I would find a copy of this book so easily.  So, I will try this one out and see if it's any good, and then I will pass it along to some of my Jane Austen reading friends!

Update on going green

I saw a thing on TV last night about our carbon footprint (the new word for the impact one has on the environment--I think I will try to use it to impress people at the checkout line at the grocery store).  They said the the average American uses/requires 24 acres of land to support themselves.  you know, food we eat, fuel we burn, cotton grown for the abundance of clothes we all have, etc.  They said that if every person living on the earth required as much land per person to live as Americans do, it would take at least 5 earths to support the current population of the world right now.  OH, I'm feeling guilty.  I think I'll go compost, and plant a garden this afternoon.  I'll let you know how it goes. 

update:  so, I've been talking about compost lately.  Lanny thinks he can compost better than I can compost.  We seem to be having a compost contest.  He is in the process of converting a big, huge barrel that he got for $25 into a rotating compost bin.  He believes that he can compost faster than I can compost because his stuff is spinning and mine is just sitting.  He also has access to more "green waste" than I do.  So, I think I will enlist all my neighbors to add their green waste to my cause.  I can make fun of my brother because he does not read my blog.  

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Book Review...

I just finished this book.  It took about 3 days.  It was good.  I would totally recommend it if you love anything Jane Austen.  However, if you are a huge Jane Austen fan you have probably already read this book.  The only thing I didn't like about it was that it was too short.  I have been around Summer too long and I need books that are long and take a week or two to complete.  So, now I need to find another book.  Maybe I will read a Jane Austen novel.  I read Pride and Prejudice in college, but I haven't read any Austen books since.  Any recommendations? 
PS.  Shannon Hale is the sister of a good friend of mine named Katie that I met in Michigan.  I would recommend any other Shannon Hale book that you can get your hands on as well.

Art City Music

I can't say enough good about Art City Music.  That is where my kids all take Music.  Summer and Sierra take a group piano lesson which I think is awesome and Cole is in a little toddler tunes class for 30 minutes each week.  My girls have learned more music in 2 years than I learned in 5 years.  They are learning so much more than just how to read music.  They are learning to sing and they are learning music theory as well.  I think Art City Music rocks.  I'm so glad we found them.  And they are not paying me to say this about them.  However they have given me a certificate that I can give to any one who wants it.  It is good towards one 4-session introductory course for Summer 2008.  They have classes in Springville (headquarters) and Orem and American Fork.  If you want to take me up on this offer, just let me know.  You can come pick up this certificate from me or I can give you a number to call to schedule your free session.  The only inconvenience is that a parent must attend with the student.  But I still think it is awesome.  Summer and Sierra had Miss Chrissy last year (we loved her) and Miss Emily (she's great) is their current teacher.   

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Go Green

I found some tips on going green so I thought I would post them and then try to do some of them.  Along with my Emergency Preparedness obsession, I have also been preoccupied with Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.

 1.  Make foods from scratch.
2.  Buy non-perishable foods that you consume a lot of in bulk.
3.  Make a menu and shop with a list so you don't buy unnecessary items.
4.  Avoid single packaged food or drinks.
5.  Store leftovers in reusable containers.
6.  Pack lunch items in reusable containers rather than plastic bags.
7.  Buy used rather than new when you can.
8.  Take your own drink cup with you to get a drink at Maverick.
9.  Reuse plastic water bottles.
10.  Make your own cleaning products.
11. Use reusable rags, brooms, mops, cloths, etc for cleaning instead of disposable.
12.  Use cloth diapers (Ummm, I don't think so.  I can't do everything right.)
13.  Compost your food waste.
14.  Plant a garden.
15.  Receive and pay bills online.
16. Use reusable shopping bags.