Sunday, December 28, 2014

Lasagna soup ***The easiest soup you will ever make***

This soup was given to me by a dear friend. I asked for the recipe and she made a copy of hers and mailed it to me.  The recipe had hand written notes for adjustments. I love that others before me found improvements and wrote them down.  I'll look for the picture and add it to the post if I can find it.

This is the easiest soup you will ever make and its full of flavor.

Ingredient list

1 lb sweet Italian sausage (We like it from Roth's) you can also get a spicy sausage for an extra kick.

2 cups onions, chopped

1 cup of carrots, diced or sliced

2 cups of mushrooms sliced

2 T. Minced garlic

4 cups or more of chicken broth

1 can of Italian style stewed tomatoes chopped (14.5 oz)

1 can of tomato sauce (10.75 oz)

1 cup of mafalda pasta  (we use rotini because mafalda is hard to find)

2 cups of fresh spinach

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese shredded

4 t of thinly sliced fresh basil


-Brown sausage in a large pot over medium-high heat.  

-Add onions and carrots; sauté for 3 minutes. 

-Stir in mushrooms and garlic, and sauté another 3 minutes.

-Add broth, stewed tomatoes and tomato sauce, and bring to a boil.

-Drop in pasta and simmer until cooked, about 10 minutes. 

-Stir in spinach and cook until wilted.

-Serve and garnish with Parmesan & basil.


I slice a baguette, rub it with raw garlic, drizzle olive oil over bread and toast it in the oven until it's lightly golden brown. 

You can also serve it with croutons.

Friday, November 28, 2014

I love a good deal

I found these jeans at our local Costco outlet for $6.59, they are Reagan's size, so I bought them.
Tim inherited his late fathers work cabinet that has all sorts of odds and ends. One of the items I found, was a snap repacement kit. I was just itching to use it. 

Here is a closer look at the finished product.
Reagan likes the snaps much better, because the fancy jewel buttons hurt when she sits down, so they are perfect.

I also found a real disney Elsa costume for $10 for McKinley's birthday and 3 ultra allergen 1900 3M air filters for our furnace for only $25.
I love this store! 

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Polish Popcorn

This recipe is from one of my longest friends, her mom use to make it all the time and its a big hit here at our house.

Today I seasoned plain oyster crackers with this recipe.

1 pkg of oyster crackers
1/2 tsp of dill weed
dash of garlic salt
1 pkg ranch dressing mix* (if you buy in bulk or make your own, use less, I use about 1/2 to 3/4 of a package.)
2/3 cup olive oil

mix everything in a large bowl and then spread out on a pan that has an edge.
Bake at 350 for 10-15 minutes
Serve and enjoy

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans Day, repost from 5/26/07

Saturday, May 26, 2007

My Dad

My Dad's old squadron in the Air Force Reserves is being relocated and they are having a ceremony honoring all the past reservists. So, my Dad came over so I could take a couple head shots of him in our back yard. I think it turned out really good. I'm so proud of you Dad for serving in the reserves and retiring as a Chief Master Sargent.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Madam President

7 years ago in September my Granddad died the day before his 69th wedding anniversary.  Reagan was 4 and had started just started pre-school.  I had bought this pink houndstooth tiny suit by LeTop for Reagan because, well, it was absolutely adorable. She looked like she could be a tiny President, a tiny Prime Minister or maybe a tiny First Lady.

She had just realized that Nana's Grandma Frankie was under the grass.

We pulled down the size 4 clothes tub and McKinley instantly eyed the tiny suit.

Now McKinley looks like a tiny President, a tiny Prime Minister or a tiny First Lady.

Aren't they adorable, yes of course they are!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

House guests

We had my bestie from Montana (Montana Mia) stay with us a few weeks ago. Her hubby couldn't make the trip this time, so she drove with her 3 kiddos in one day?! Super woman, if you ask me!  Alric, their youngest had a few post op appointments for his cleft palate surgery. They stayed 6 nights in "The Lincoln Bedroom".

I was kind of nervous, as we have never had house guests stay with us for that long.  It's a level in friendship that most friends don't get the opportunity to attain. Most of our friends live here and there isn't a need to have family sleep overs.  

Will our families mesh, would there be enough space for 3 adults, 4 big kids and 2 little ones?  I don't think it could have gone any better. The kids had so much fun, I have so many mental images of them playing stand up comedy, giggling, playing hide n seek, deciding they were flying squirrels and countless other games.  And Mia and I would stay up and chat for a few hours after the kids went down. It really was fun, easy and I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

I added this picture because Alric loved our rocking elephant named George. I mean like he LOVED him.

This summer we are driving to Bozeman to visit them and go to Yellowstone, and we can't wait!!

Sunday, October 5, 2014

School started, late picture update.

First day of school. They all dressed themselves, even McKinley. She is a hot mess most of the time, we just go with it.

They hold so much of my heart, I wonder if they know that?

McKinley is staying home one more year. She started ballet and I'm pretty sure she was born to dance. 

I'm doing homeschool pre-school and so far she loves it and so do I.

She colored the happy turtle all by herself.

You can't see it in the picture but she is standing next to the board that has a picture of Maddy, Reagan's bestie. 

Lincoln lost his 2nd top front tooth and yes, Ditka pulled it out as well. (Lincoln's eyes look green here, can you see it? Or is that just me?)

They had open house at school a few weeks ago and this what Lincoln wrote about his Summer.  I burst put laughing, I love that boy so MUCH!!

Monday, September 8, 2014

Boys and dollhouses

Lincoln said, "Mom, can you build me a dollhouse?" I answered his question with a quick no, but then I clarified that I would not be building another dollhouse.  Lincoln's not the kind of kid to ask for a dollhouse or dolls, I couldn't picture him playing with a dollhouse. He piqued my curiosity, so I asked him why he wanted a dollhouse.

He then said that what he really wanted was a haunted house. He wanted an all black dollhouse that would be his haunted house or haunted mansion. I thought that was pretty creative, what 8 year old boy wouldn't want a small haunted house that they could draw on and make spooky.  

I compromised with the great negotiator and told this cute boy (who got 3rd place at the state fair for his original Lego creation "battlefield of bad guys") 
that if I found a cheap already built dollhouse for $30 or less I would buy it and we would paint it black.

Wouldn't you know that on the first day of school I found one for $15?!!
It was big and heavy and much larger than I thought.  But for $15, I couldn't go wrong.

 I bought a bunch of spray paint 50% off, black, brown, blue, and black with gray specks. And last night we transformed it into a haunted house.

Doesn't it look great?!  Lincoln loves it. Of course he does. He has his very own haunted house.

A very strong haunted house.

Someone snuck in to take a peek.

I have to admit, it's pretty awesome.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Lily Dollhouse Oregon State Fair results

We actually went to the beach the day the fair opened.  Thankfully our good friend Erin went to the fair to check out the results.

We did it, we won first place in our class and in the division! 

We went down to the fair on Monday afternoon to see it for ourselves.  

They moved us to the woodworking section.  Can't wait to get the dollhouse back home :)  We celebrated while at the beach and bought some furniture and little dolls for the dollhouse.  

We are enjoying the last days of Summer until school starts on Tuesday.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

DIY pencil sharpener container

I don't know about your kids' school but at our kids' school they each need a pencil sharpener that contains the shavings.  

I think they charge a lot for something so small. The other issue we have is that the blade doesn't last the whole year and they don't sell replacement blades. 

Today I have two quick & easy projects that will take no time at all.

The first one is a pencil sharpener container.
You will need a protected surface like a craft table, cutting board, or cutting mat to work on.
-glue gun
-x-acto knife 
-package of tiny pencil sharpeners from the dollar store or ones around the house.
-pill bottle, mine is from Walgreens 

You need to draw a circle in the center of the lid, using the eraser end of a new pencil as your guide.

Next use the x-acto knife to carve out the circle. Go slow, it's doesn't take much.  You can also use a drill and it might give you a more even circle. (I just thought of that)

Once you have the hole cut, line up the pencil sharpener to see how it fits.
Then use the hot glue and apply it around the hole on the pencil sharpener.
Don't worry about getting it in the hole where the pencil goes. It will look something like this. After it dries the x-acto knife cuts it off like butta.

Don't put the x-acto knife down yet, we need to remove the child saftely latch on the pill bottle.  
Just apply a little pressure and slowly move the knife back and forth and it will come right off.

Now you can screw the lid on the bottle and you have a super cheap pencil sharpener container.  Let your kids decorate it with stickers or permanent marker, with close supervision of course. 

The second easy fix I have for you works on manual pencil sharpeners and for electric pencil sharpeners. 

We bought this pencil sharpener from Costco 3 years ago.  I love it!!

But after 2 years the blad was dull and it was breaking all the lead. I searched high and low on google for replacement blades with no luck.  

I had taken it out and was looking for maybe a hidden part number, when I realized it was the same size blade as regular pencil sharpeners.  

So I bought a pack at the dollar store and now I easily change the blades out when they get dull.  I tell you it's genius!!  

This also works for pencil sharpeners that you kids happen to love but don't sharpen like they use to.

School starts for us in less than 2 weeks, I'm ready and not ready, very bittersweet.

Battlefield of Bad Guys

While Reagan and I were working on the dollhouse, Lincoln was building and perfecting his original Lego creation. He calls it "Battlefield of Bad Guys", we all think it is very original, creative, imaginative and that it reflects his personality and creativity.  

There are so many awesome details, it's hard to capture them all.

If you get a chance to attend the Oregon State Fair that starts tomorrow 8-22 and ends 9-1, head to the Jackman Long building.  You can see his creation and all the other awesome builds as well.  You can also see the dollhouse and our family favorite, the cake decorating.