Wednesday, September 29, 2010

the one about football

This fall, Quayd decided to play tackle football. We started practice a couple weeks before school started and it has been a little more than any of us bargained for! We practice for two hours Monday-Thursday and games one night a week and every Saturday. Quayd is on the Broncos (woo hoo!) and they are doing AWESOME. They are the number 2 team in the league and we are so proud! It has been a little hard to watch my baby boy play such a tough sport, but I have enjoyed it and I have actually learned the game!!! (Something Brett has been trying to teach me for YEARS now!) Not only have I learned the game, but I am starting to LOVE the game! Who knew?

Yesterday morning, Quayd had a dentist appointment. When he was finished he earned a token to use in the little prize machine. I was paying at the desk while he chose his prize. We got to the car and he was so excited to show me what he got... A FAKE MUSTACHE! It is so funny, and SO Quayd. He put it on right then and wore it all day. He even insisted he wear it to his game. He said that nobody on the other team would want to tackle a tough kid with a big old mustache!


Thursday, September 23, 2010

the one about my dinner group

I recently joined a dinner swap group. I must say, it has been one of the best things in the world for my family. It is a pretty simple concept.... I cook dinner one night a week for 3 other families. I get food delivered to my house 3 other nights. It is amazing! This is actually the second time I have been involved in a dinner group and I have loved it both times.

I love to cook and I feel like I am a pretty good at it. My problem is that I have a busy family and simply don't have time to fix an elaborate sit-down dinner each night. With my dinner group, I don't have all of the hassle of cooking and cleaning up every night, but I get the benefits of a delicious meal.

The first time I was involved in a group, we all pitched in and got nice dishes to pass around. For 4 families, we bought 6 sets of dishes. (One set of dishes included 1- 13x9 casserole dish, 1- 8x8 dish, and 2- glad ware rectangular containers) When we started, the Monday night cook had 3 sets of dishes. Tuesday night cook started with 2 sets and the Wednesday night cook started with one. Thursday night cook had zero to start. On Monday, the cook delivered 1 full set to each family (even if all dishes were not used) and used her own dishes to cook for her family. On Tuesday, with the set of dishes delivered the night before, the cook has 3 sets of dishes to deliver her food. At this point, the Wednesday cook has received another set, and so has the Thursday cook. By the time it is your turn to cook, you should have 3 complete sets of dishes to pass around. Does that make sense?

My current group does the dishes thing a little differently. We just use the disposable dishes from the dollar store. Whenever you cook, you buy whatever dishes you need. Personally, I like having the real dishes better than the cheap throw away dishes.It cost a little more up front, but was worth it in the end.

I found this GREAT website that will answer all of your questions about starting a dinner swap group. They explain things FAR better than I do!!

I have to say, my favorite thing about being involved in a dinner swap group is the time it saves during the week for me to be with my family. We sit down together and eat dinner as a family at the table nearly every night! I usually set the table, which I didn't always do before. I am not as stressed about "slaving" in the kitchen all night every night, so we actually ENJOY our time together in the evenings. I also love the fact that I work extra hard to prepare a nice meal on my night because I know I am feeding more people. Sometimes we get too comfortable and forget to take care of the ones that mean the most to us, so this type of cooking reminds me to do that. Plus, I know that every other night, the cook is doing the same thing for her family.

I am not even kidding... this has been a WONDERFUL thing for my family!!!

This is a sample menu and recipes from each one of us in my group. "A week in the life of Mandy, Cara, RayDean and Aubrey." :)

Turkey Pot Pie (On Monday, from Me)
1 (15-ounce) package pie crusts
1/4 cup butter
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup milk
3 cups cooked, cubed JENNIE-O TURKEY STORE® Turkey Roast
2 cups mixed vegetables

Heat oven to 425°F. Place pie crust in 9-inch pie pan. In medium saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion; cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Stir in flour, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in broth and milk. Heat to boiling, stirring constantly. Boil and stir 1 minute. Stir in turkey and vegetables; remove from heat. Spoon turkey filling over crust. Place second crust over filling; flute edge. Cut slits in several places. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Chicken Zucchini Bake (on Tuesday night, from Cara)
2 (8 ounce) cans refrigerated crescent rolls
2 tablespoons honey Dijon mustard
4 cups sliced zucchini
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup butter
2 cups cooked, shredded chicken breast meat
3 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1 (8 ounce) package shredded mozzarella cheese

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.Open the cans of crescent rolls, unroll the dough, and place the dough into the bottom of an 11x15-inch baking pan. Do not separate the rolls. Press the edges of the dough up the sides of the pan to make a shallow crust. Spread the honey mustard over the dough.
3.Place the zucchini and a few tablespoons of water into a saucepan over medium heat, cover, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and cook the zucchini until tender, about 15 minutes. Drain and set the zucchini aside. Place the onion in a large skillet with butter over medium heat, and cook and stir until the onion is translucent, 5 to 8 minutes. Stir the cooked zucchini and chicken into the onion, and mix well. Let the mixture heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Spread the zucchini mixture in an even layer over the crust.
4.In a bowl, beat the eggs with salt, black pepper, basil, oregano, and garlic powder; pour the egg mixture over the zucchini. Sprinkle the cheese over the top.
5.Bake in the preheated oven until the egg mixture is set and the cheese is browned and bubbling, about 20 minutes.

Lasagna (on Wednesday, from RayDean)
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
3/4 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup minced onion
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 (6 ounce) cans tomato paste
2 (6.5 ounce) cans canned tomato sauce
1/2 cup water
2 tablespoons white sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons dried basil leaves
1/2 teaspoon fennel seeds
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 tablespoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
12 lasagna noodles
16 ounces ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1.In a Dutch oven, cook sausage, ground beef, onion, and garlic over medium heat until well browned. Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, tomato sauce, and water. Season with sugar, basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, pepper, and 2 tablespoons parsley. Simmer, covered, for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
2.Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Cook lasagna noodles in boiling water for 8 to 10 minutes. Drain noodles, and rinse with cold water. In a mixing bowl, combine ricotta cheese with egg, remaining parsley, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.
3.Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).
4.To assemble, spread 1 1/2 cups of meat sauce in the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking dish. Arrange 6 noodles lengthwise over meat sauce. Spread with one half of the ricotta cheese mixture. Top with a third of mozzarella cheese slices. Spoon 1 1/2 cups meat sauce over mozzarella, and sprinkle with 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese. Repeat layers, and top with remaining mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. Cover with foil: to prevent sticking, either spray foil with cooking spray, or make sure the foil does not touch the cheese.
5.Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes. Remove foil, and bake an additional 25 minutes. Cool for 15 minutes before serving.

Stuffed Pork Chops (On Thursday, from Aubrey)
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 thick cut pork chops
3 cups day-old bread cubes
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 tablespoons chopped celery
2 tablespoons chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning
1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
1/3 cup water

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.In a skillet, heat the oil and brown the pork chops. Place the pork chops in a baking dish.
3.In a bowl, toss the bread cubes, melted butter, chicken broth, celery, onion, and poultry seasoning together. Put heaping mounds of the bread crumb mixture onto the pork chops.
4.Combine the cream of mushroom soup with the water, and pour this mixture over the stuffing and pork chops.
5.Cover and bake for 30 minutes.
6.Uncover and continue baking for 10 minutes longer or until juices run clear. The meat thermometer should read 160 to 170 degrees.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

the one about our cute moms

My mom, Julie and Brett's mom Gleneita just had their class reunion. I have to share these pictures because they are so cute!! Gleneita was SO nervous, so she had to come down to my house so I could reassure her she didn't look like the "class hooker." (her words, not mine!) And my mom needed my help getting into her "slimming apparatus," as she called it. They were both so cute and looked so BEAUTIFUL! Brett and I wiped a tear as we sent our girls out for a fun night with their old friends. (Not really, but we kinda felt that way!!)


Saturday, August 21, 2010

the one about the fair

We LOVE the County Fair! We look forward to it all year. We love the concerts, the exhibits, the food, and of course the CARNIVAL!
It seemed like our family was at the fair the whole week this year! I am a 4H leader so I was asked to take a few shifts working "security" for the indoor home, arts & crafts exhibits. Brett helped with the fireman's challenge and there were just so many fun things happening so Quayd wanted to be there every minute. He visited the little red barn, participated in the candy drop and played at the carnival nearly every day. He also worked very hard this year and made some projects for the 4H exhibit. He is not an official 4H member until he goes into the third grade (in 4 more days) or turns 8 (in 9 days) so he wasn't able to compete or place for state judging this year, but he earned rainbow "Cloverbud" ribbons for all of his projects.

On Saturday, before the demolition derby, my mom and I took Brayden, Brennen and Quayd to the carnival. We all had so much fun! I started not feeling well after a couple of hours, so I had to leave a little early, but not before getting some great pictures!!!


Tuesday, August 17, 2010

he did it AGAIN!!!

Remember the helpful household tip??? Pine Sol in the swamp cooler?

Well, Brett did it again. Only MUCH WORSE this time. He came home for lunch the other day and I asked him to do the Pine Sol trick. I had done it the last time but I am just a little too short and when I dumped the capful, more ran down my armpit that actually went into the cooler. I reminded him, "just a capful!" Quayd and Brennen were in the living room playing Wii so Brett and I went to my bedroom to watch the noon news. After a few minutes, the boys came in and told us that they were getting all wet. Brett just ignored them. They came in a few seconds later and said the floor was all slippery. I told Brett to get his butt out there and see what was going on. Well no joke... we had 1/2" standing water on our living room floor! The couches were saturated and soapy and the power strip that has all of the tv cords was SOAKED! It shorted out and sparked and we lost power to that outlet. The living room smelled like a forest fire!

I was trying so hard not to be mad... BUT SERIOUSLY!?!?!? Twice? Come on, Brett!

Monday, August 16, 2010

the one about my super fun girls weekend

My friend Cara was invited by some friends and I was invited by Cara to attend the first annual wine tasting girls weekend in Palisade, Colorado. Cara and I rode out together. We left Saturday morning and arrived in Palisade, met up with the other 6 girls and had lunch. We hired a limo to drive us around to different vineyards and winery's. It picked us up at the hotel at 1:00. Natalie, Nan, Jeanine, Cara, me, Jen, Amber and Kim

We were able to taste, shop and tour several winery's and a brewery. It was a 4 hour tour.... a 4 hour tour. (Get it? Gilligan's island, hahaha!)
Anyway, the tour was really cool and we had a great time! We stayed at the Wine Country Inn. It was SO nice! Cara and I shared a room and it was beautiful!
We had dinner at a cute little pizza shop then everyone wanted to swim. I was so tired, so I hung out in the room that night. I hate it! I wanted to play with the girls, but I also have to respect my body. When it says slow down... I gotta listen. Anyway, we slept like LOGS that night. I guess having a bed to ourselves with no interruptions is just what we both needed! We woke up Sunday morning and first thing, took care of the most important thing you have to do in Grand Jct./Palisade this time of year.... PEACHES!! We each bought a big box of fresh peaches. YUMMY!!! After that, we headed to the mall and got school clothes. I can't believe school starts NEXT WEEK! And I really can't believe my baby will be 8 in two weeks!!!! Summer has just flown by. It seems like school just barely got out for the summer, and here I am, getting Quayd ready for 3rd grade. Anyway this girls weekend was the perfect way to say goodbye to summer. Thanks girls for the invite, and I can't wait til next year!!


Tuesday, July 20, 2010

the one with a helpful household tip

It's hot. Lets face it, we are in the dead of summer! I heard this little tip the other day and thought it was too good not to share. When you are running your swamp cooler 24/7 it kinda starts to get that musty smell. To get rid of that smell and also just to freshen up the smell in your house, raise one of the panels and put a capful of PineSol in there! It instantly freshens your whole house.

HOWEVER.... (you knew there would have to be a story, right???)

Don't over do it! A little goes a long way. While I was at work Saturday, Brett was cleaning the living room and decided to use this helpful tip. I am not sure how much he put in there, but he suddenly noticed bubbles blowing all over the house!!! He ran (well, limped!) outside, lifted the panel and soapy bubbles came pouring out. He had to spray out the whole swamp cooler and had quite a mess to deal with. HaHaHaHaHaHaHaHa! Poor Brett!!!


Saturday, July 17, 2010

the one about fruit roll-ups

Quayd left this box of mini fruit roll-ups at my work. There were two left. Earlier today, I decided to eat one. It was delicious. Later, since I had been thinking of how yummy, sweet and chewy it was ALL DAY, I decided to eat the last one. Now, I am no expert on eating fruit roll-ups, but I really thought it was pretty user friendly. Yummy green candy spread out on a thin sheet of paperey plastic. Peel and eat. Right? WRONG! I could not get the fruity divinity off of the thin papery HELL! I used my teeth, my nails, and apparently the rest of my face and tounge since it was all green by the time I gave up. I finally gave up after trying for about 20 minutes. After I finally threw it away, I realized that fruit roll-ups really arent that good afterall. Why was I so persistent on something that is not only bad for me, but BAD alltogether! I couldn't stop thinking about it all day though, just because it was right by me. And I was like a raging wolf trying to get it all off the paper and into my belly. SICK! 20 minutes of my life was wasted on this nasty green glob of papery plactic gooey chewy green MESS!!!!


Monday, July 12, 2010

the one about the pouring rain

The pouring rain, you ask? Well, it has been made clear to me lately that when it rains, it pours! That is not meant to sound negative, but in this update, every story has something to do with rain or pour. Plus, we have had so much going on lately, that.. yes. It does seem like when it rains, it pours!

I'll begin with rain/pour story #1. (Warning, this story is kinda long, so feel free to skip ahead.) As probably everyone knows already, I have some issues with my heart. I really hate talking too much about this but I have been having some problems recently and thought I would share. In January, I went in for my regular check up. My Doctor decided to take me off of my medicines because I had been doing so well. It was decided that the negative side effects of my medicine were not worth it anymore and as long as I didn't get pregnant, I was fine. The first few months were going well, but lately I have noticed things were changing. My energy was crap and my blood pressure and heart rate were getting high again. I got super sick with flu like symptoms during the first week of June. I went to my family doctor and she said I had a virus. I had been fighting a fever, aches, chills and all of that fun stuff. I started feeling a little better within 10 days or so, but still not awesome. I was up and down for a week or so, then i got really sick again. I was feeling awful and I knew it was my heart. Brett had called my cardiologist and made and appointment, but until then I was supposed to stay down and track my vitals. (Sure is handy having an EMT for a husband!) My appointment was set for Thursday July 1st. The Friday before, I could feel I was going down fast! I felt awful. I had a RESTING heart rate of 120-140. I had headaches, body aches and a sharp pain in the left side of my neck. We were super scared. We called the cardiologist and he didn't seem to concerned. He kept saying that my heart looked great in January when I had my last echo cardiogram. Well a lot had changed since then and I didn't feel like he was taking us serious. By Tuesday night, Brett was scared enough that he felt like we needed to go to the hospital. I didn't want to go to our local hospital because I knew they would just send me to SLC. We packed up everything, sent Quayd to my brother's house and hit the road. We got to SLC around 11:00 pm. When I got to the ER, there were several people there waiting to be seen. As soon as they took my vitals and heard my symptoms they marked my chart as "URGENT" and took me right back. I saw a Doctor right away, they started an EKG, blood work and a million other tests. I had a fever of 101.5. They did several different tests and scans on my heart and decided that except for the high heart rate, it looked good. They knew there must be an infection somewhere but didn't know where so they didn't dare give me an antibiotic. (BUG! What is with doctors and antibiotics these days?!?) They gave me some meds and IV fluids and I started feeling better. They released me the next day. I still had an appointment with my cardiologist on Thursday so we just got a hotel room and crashed. When I went to the cardiologist, he was a total jerk to me! He made me feel like I was wasting his time. Don't get me wrong, I was glad that he said my heart looked good but he didn't even take the time to listen to everything that had been going on. He pretty much told me that I was old and fat. OLD???? I am 31!! Fat??? Yes, but had he looked at my chart and cared a little bit, he would have been impressed to see how much weight I have lost since I last saw him. He adjusted my medicines and sent me home. He was a huge ass! We drove home and I was feeling worse than ever. On Friday, I went back to my family doctor and she said that it was obvious that I had a terrible sinus infection. I had a fever of 102 and she gave me an antibiotic. I have been feeling better, but my heart rate is still high. I still have body aches and I just don't feel that great. I guess it will just take time. Whatever. Anyway, I can't end this story without telling about the HUGE outpouring of love I felt during all of this. I have such great family and friends and they were right there, bringing us meals, stopping by bringing treats, visiting, calling and texting and it seriously meant the world to me! My pal Cara let me borrow her New Moon movie so I could get all caught up before I go see Eclipse. She also brought me some popcorn, licorice and these fun vampire teeth!

Love it! Thanks Cara! We had tons of fun with these!

Ok, rain/pour story #2. It was the Annual Galley family camp out this last weekend and it was a blast, as usual! We had a huge turnout and I love being around this great family. We were able to go river rafting on Friday morning, and even though I wasn't feeling great, I still had a great time. (There was on incident that happened that kind of put a damper on the weekend, but I am saving that for story #3.) The weather wasn't totally cooperative. It rained and poured almost the whole time. Oh well. Nothing can ruin our camping spirit!

Not even rain/pour story #3. Brett, Quayd and Finn headed up the mountain for camping on Wednesday night. I needed to stay and work another day, so I rode up with Talia Thursday night. It was so nice to get there and have camp all set up! Brett and Quayd did a great job. After we ate dinner that night, we were all chatting around the camp fire. Brett started playing around with some of the teenage boys. Not sure how it started, but they started having a fly swatter war. Some how, Brett stepped back in a hole and hyper-extended his knee. He was in a lot of pain but said it would be ok. By Friday afternoon, he was about to pass out from the pain. He decided to head to town and go to the ER. The ER doc said he tore a contour ligament and that he needed to see the ortho specialist. He said it would most likely require surgery. The Doctor put him in a brace, gave him crutches and sent him on his way. Brett made an appointment for Monday (today) at 4:30 with the ortho guy. We weren't sure what a "contour ligament" would be, so when he got back to camp, we googled it. (Yes, we had Internet on the mountain. Talk about "roughing it!") It is either the ACL or the MCL. Both are very bad. We decided to wait and see what the doc said on Monday. We went to his appointment and were told many different scenarios of what it could be. All sound pretty bad. Brett has to have an MRI of his knee so the doctor can see exactly what is going on, then we will go from there. I keep reminding Brett that he is not as young as he used to be, so playing with those teenage boys was probably not his best idea. Actually, he is suffering enough with the pain, so I have tried to keep my mouth shut. So when it rains health drama at our house, it pours!!!

Rain/pour story #4. A few weeks ago, Brett had to teach a HAZMAT class in Price. He had already been in Denver for a few days for work then 3 more days in Price. I had been feeling crappy and stressed and I just needed my hubby. Quayd and I packed up and drove there so we could spend the weekend with dad. we ended up staying an extra day and we had a great time! Brett was teaching with his friend Todd and his family ended up coming down too. One night while Brett was teaching, Todd's wife and I took Quayd and the other kids to Toy Story 3. The next day when Brett was finished teaching we went to the wave pool.

The waves were seriously pouring down on everyone! It was so much fun!

We were lucky enough to get to go boating with my brother and his family on July 4th and 5th. That brings me to story #5. We packed a nice big lunch, bought fishing licenses, caught night crawlers and got all ready for a fun day on the lake on the 4th of July. We were there for a couple of hours and guess what? It started to rain! And when it finished raining, it started to pour! We tried to stick it out for as long as we could, but we were freezing! We had caught several nice fish. We thought if we just cruised around the lake for awhile, it might clear up. We had been going pretty fast for awhile when we realized that our fish basket was still hanging off the side of the boat. We stopped pulled it in and it was empty. :( All of our fish fell out the bottom. It was raining even harder, so we packed up and went home. Empty handed. Because of the long holiday weekend, we packed a new lunch and headed out the next day! It was perfect! We caught lots of fish (and even came home with them!) and cruised around on the lake for hours.

The tooth fairy is responsible for rain/pour story #6. She has been hitting our house so hard lately, it seems like it is raining tooth fairy magic! Quayd is at that age where he is losing tooth after tooth after tooth.

It seems with each tooth comes less drama! Quayd used to freak out when it was time to pull a tooth. Last week, he lost one while eating a ice cream cone and it was never retrieved. He lost another last night and he came to me and asked me to pull it. The tooth fairy has brought "scratch and win" lottery tickets for the last two teeth lost. He thinks they are so cool. :) He is getting so big! I love and hate it!

So I guess that does it for my "when it rains it pours" blog. Kinda hokey, I know. And very long. Sorry about that. Once I finally take the time to sit down and blog, the word seem to just pour out!