Friday, October 30, 2009

Friday Night Laughs

"Hey Pete, how does my foundation look?" I innocently ask while driving 5 loud kids around.

Pete looks at me with horror, and with all seriousness replies, "I do not know what that means. That is like me showing you an aircraft and asking what the drag coefficient would be. I simply do not understand that language."

...enough said!
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thanksgiving GIVE-A-WAY!!

I know you all are pretty sick of hearing about this pie. Please allow me this one final moment with my pie. Because I have grown very attached to the deserved admiration of this particular pie, I suffered a weak moment this afternoon during lunch. While I was slaving over a bag of hot dogs that were being nuked in the microwave, my brilliant 8 yr. old came in the kitchen sniffin' around for some previews of what was being served to both her and her court for their mid-day meal. When she saw the disappointing plate of hot dogs and carrots she made a risky move and said, "Mama, you know what I have been thinking about all day? Your amazing pie with that buttery flaky crust. Do you think we could have some with our lunch?" All I heard was buttery and flaky and before I knew it, I was slicing pie for lunch.

I know you all are looking at that lunch with a small wave of disgust and are probably asking yourself, "pie with hot dogs?" At least I threw in the carrot for some nutritional value, right?!? Another thing I can bet on, is that you are looking at my can opener and thinking to yourself, "Where can I get one of those babies ?"
Well, I am glad you asked...
This is the world's best can opener. I can promise you that. I have owned and ruined lots of these handy devices. In the past I have been at a crucial cooking moment and the one thing that stands between me and certain culinary perfection is an un-opened can. Un-opened because the can opener failed me. Well, I can safely sy that I no longer suffer from such crisis. Pete, being a genuine rescue hero, bought our family a SWING-A-WAY CAN OPENER!! And my life has not been the same ever since.

Yes, I know it's not that pretty. It has no vibrant colors and no graphite blades. It is not that ergonomic either. But boy oh boy can it crack a can open. Plus, the little darling is made in the States with good old fashioned Pittsburgh steel.

Lets face it, a reliable kitchen gadget can really make a girl smile! And since it is almost November and we will all be opening a lot of cans, I am giving AWAY a Swing-a-way Can Opener for the month of November. I will be sending the lucky winner their very own brand new can opener (not the one from this photo).

"How do I win?", you ask...well keep reading kemosabe...

I LOVE this silly little Blog of mine and I love reading any comments you have. I wish more people would I sound like I am begging??

Anyway, if you want to be able to open a can with ease and satisfaction this Thanksgiving, please leave a comment in the comment section telling me about the one kitchen tool you can not live without.

The give-a-way ends on Sunday. Please play along. Enter a comment and begin a life of "can opening ease" soon!

Here is my own comment:


I LOVE your blog. Since I am you and I can not win the give-a-way I still wanted to leave a comment because I know you love them. My favorite kitchen tool this last month, besides my Swing-A-Way, is my kitchen scissors. A friend turned me onto to them when we were recently eating pizza at her house. She whipped out her kitchen scissors and cut pizza for her hungry tots quicker than I thought possible. I did not need to see another thing. I bought myself a pair the next day and have been happily cutting all sorts of things into bite size pieces, waffles, sausage, pb&j sandwich's, bananas, cheese, name it and I can cut it with these remarkable scissors.


...and let the most frustrated can-opening chef win!!!!

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Pie-Crust Take- 2

Two years ago when we arrived in Mobile I was unsure if I was going to homeschool. Lucy was about 6 weeks old, Jack was 1 and I could not imagine myself sending Emily to school for 7 hours a day. She would miss all the "fun" of discovering our new home and our new baby. Still, I was not sure how to go about the whole homeschool thing. Aren't most homeschoolers weird? Within the first few days of arriving in Mobile, after a 7 day drive from Alaska, I had to go to an orientation for the "church" school I would have to enroll under if I decided to homeschool . Being new and nervous I was overwhelmed, to say the least. As soon as I walked in the door I saw Kathy. She sat with her friend Shelly, and the two of them looked so normal, not weird at all. They were cuttin' up and smiling, having a good time. Being the NEVER shy person I am I walked right up and began asking all the "first-timer" questions. They were so great and answered all the "socialization" questions I had.

Two years later and a couple more kids between us, Kathy and I have become BIG Pioneer Woman fans.

And because  PW's cookbook came out this week we wanted to have our own Pioneer Woman Cookbook Party. And since we both ordered ours off Amazon, neither of us had the cookbook today for our cooking party. That did not stop us.

Lucky for us Pioneer Woman is in Southern Living Magazine this month and so are several GREAT recipes. Some by PW, but mostly just good Southern Living stuff! I was going to use one of PW's recipes from the magazine, but I could not stop thinking about the pumpkin pie on the cover. And since I am still trying to master the art of pie-crust making I choose the pumpkin pie from the cover.  I have always had a hard time following the rules, even ones that I make up.

I bought my ingredients, packed up my gear and headed to Kathy's for a fun afternoon of cooking.

We got to work right away. We knew the pie would take a long time to cook so I jumped right in and began rolling out the dough.

Let's just say I still need a little practice with the whole rolling the dough transferring thing.

I was not discouraged. I knew we had 2 masterpieces in the making.

We crumbled, mixed and stirred, all the while 11 little helpers would come in and out of the kitchen.  That's right, between the 2 of us we have 11 children.  This is the crowd I run in, big and Catholic!!
  I was trying to be a good mom and a good friend during all of this, but I was a little obsessed with the pie crust....

And my dear, patient friend was getting a little tired of me saying, "What do you think, does the crust  look OK?"

I am proud to present to you 2 pumkin pies housed in a homemade crust.  And nothing is more fun than that...well, maybe having your own cookbook published, or winning a new remodeled house by HGTV or having people read your blog about cooking with a friend.  Ok, there are other fun things that can happen.  But, for me, making my own pie crust and liking how it looks and tastes is pretty exciting!

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Tuesday, October 27, 2009

If I have Nothing Nice To Say...

...then I should say nothing at all, right?

Some days are just harder than others.

Some days I just need my mom!

Some days I just need to shout "NO SCHOOL TODAY!!" bake goodies, watch movies and turn off my ever thinking brain!
Check back tomorrow to see if I was able to do it. My heart screams yes...but my to-do list says NO!
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Monday, October 26, 2009

An Interview With The Author

Question: I know some days are hard as a Mom to little ones. What would say is the hardest part for you right now?
Answer: I need a new pair of shoes. I can not seem to find what I am looking for. I have tried to shop for an hour or so on the weekends when Pete is home but I can not seem to find what I am looking for. Actually, I do find what I want...but $200 for a pair of shoes seems a bit silly.

Question: You have lived in several different places. You now live in Mobile, but you came from Alaska. Do you miss Alaska?
Answer: I had really great hair in Alaska. I do not know why or how it was just GREAT!! It was long and healthy and I had a great hair dresser. I really miss the hair I had in Alaska. So far in Mobile my hair has been NOT SO GREAT. Largely due to the fact that I CHOPPED it all off one hot July day when I was pregnant with Priscilla. Pregnant women should not be allowed to cut off their any state they live in!

Question: You seem like a girl who may be about to celebrate her birthday. Do you have a few items you might be hoping for?
Answer: I have always been a big fan of celebrating ME!! As far as gifts go the list is pretty endless. I am still after a pastry cutter. I wanted a can opener that actually opened cans but Pete finally found the perfect one (more on that later), so that is no longer on my list.  The first thing that pops in my head is this amazing turkey platter from Williams Sonoma.  I think my turkey would taste a lot better and feel more welcomed if it were served on this platter.

Question: This interview is almost over. What else do you want people to know about you?

Answer: I want people to know that I have never had a Whopper!!

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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Great Conversations

Friday night Pete and I got to go out on a date. The Coast Guard was having a Hail and Farewell party. This just means a fun night with fellow Coasties welcoming new Pilots to the Air Station. Some wives HATE these events. I love them. First, I get to wear a different color than black because there is no expectation of someone spilling things on me.

I get to eat something not shopped, planned or prepared by ME!! I get to shock people with the fact that I have 5 kids, I homeschool them and can still manage a smile.

But my favorite part, aside from the fact that I am there with the cutest guy in the room, is that I get to have conversations with people and get to refrain from reminding them to say please and thank you. I get to talk about things without being interrupted. Every now and again there is an annoying person, however, I quickly remind myelf that I am a stay at home mom to five kids (4 that talk, 2 rather well). Let's just say that I can handle annoying (it's a large part of my job).

This particular night a good friend of Pete's said something to me that has been on my mind all weekend. It was a comment, said innocently enough, about women and mothers. He laughingly said to me, "All women eventually turn into their mothers!" "Really?" I enthusiastically replied. This is great news for me. That means I have hope. If what he says is true then I will one day be an amazing woman like my mom. I will be patient and loving!! I will be a person who always has time to listen. I will always think the best of everyone and always be willing to help. I will be a good mom. The more I thought about what he said, the better it sounded. In my case, I hope eventually comes soon!!
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Saturday, October 24, 2009

My Boys!

After we had Molly we left San Diego and moved to Sitka Alaska. Molly was a good baby and we thought we were done with our family. The thought of having more than 2 kids never really dawned on us. Not because we were opposed, I don't think, we just had never really allowed ourselves to think past 2 people.

After several conversations and some pretty fun nights I convinced Pete we needed to have another baby. After several months of trying we finally turned a stick pink. I was thrilled!! The baby was due Christmas Eve 2005. Being pregnant is never fun for me, but we were so excited.

At 20 weeks I started having really bad back pain. I just thought I was getting older and this baby was just sitting weird or something. The pain went on for several days. I was not sure if I was contracting but I went to the hospital anyway. The monitor told me I was not back home I went. The next morning there was a little bit of blood. I knew something was wrong. We had friends keep the girls and Pete and I went to the hospital. By this time I was not feeling well at all. I was not sure what was happening. The docs were not sure either. All the monitors were saying I was not contracting. I since have discovered, 4 babies later, I rarely will show contractions on ANY monitor! They decided to keep me over night anyway.

Pete had to go home to be with the girls. About 8:00 at night things got REALLY bad. I was in such pain and I was not sure what was happening. All of a sudden at about 5:00 in the morning I passed out with no more pain. I woke up about 2 hours later thinking all was well with the baby and myself. The nurse came in and said that about 5:00 in the morning my water broke.

Right away I knew there was no more baby being born Christmas Eve. We had to deliver the baby and being 20 weeks old the baby did not survive. Later on we found out that I had a uterine infection that caused me to go into labor. The baby was fine... I was the problem. The best part of this story is 4 weeks later I got pregnant with Jack!! I had lost a boy the last time and now I was getting another one!! Without us loosing baby Joey...we would never have Jack...and maybe not even have our Lucy!
We were all meant to be together!
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Friday, October 23, 2009

Counting The Minutes!

Pete and I dated while he was at the Coast Guard Academy. During those very fun years I would fly up to New London once a month to see him on the weekends. I remember how excited I would get for those trips. As soon as one ended I was counting the minutes until the next one.

I would get to see him Friday night after school and then watch him play football on Saturday. All the while I was imaging, and hoping, that maybe he would want to marry me when all this star quarterback business was over. I have to admit the whole uniform officer bit was pretty attractive to me.

Somehow during that very fun time in or lives I got him to fall in love with me. He asked me to marry him on March 15th 1996!

How I got this lucky, I will never know.

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