Fun in the snow

Here are a few pictures of the snow we got about 10 days ago. Mike’s uncle passed away and his cousin, John, and his family stayed with us. They are from Baltimore, so they are used to the snow, but were just as thrilled as my kids were. Emma even had the day off from school so she could play too (after a snow suit and wardrobe melt-down). It was a great packing snow – great for snowballs. Only a couple of inches fell and it was all gone by lunchtime, but it was fun while it lasted.

An apology

If you have checked out my blog over the past week – I am sorry that there has been nothing new to see. I could use the excuse of my kids having chicken pox, or the houseful of company I had last week, or the distractions of my new iPod touch, or the laundry, or even the rain. Really, I just haven’t done it. And, the worst part is that the corny Twilight video was the last thing I posted. So I hope you won’t give up on me and keep checking in with my blog.

Twilight spoof

I ran across this on You Tube.  If you saw the movie or read the books you might find it funny.  It made me laugh out loud but it’s late and I get punchy at night.  Anyway, I thought it was funny but I am a Twilight fan and like silly stuff.

A new toy for me!

I was dreading the daunting task of bill paying today, but it turned out to be rewarding. I clicked on a little link from the Wachovia Credit Card page that took me to the rewards page. Turns out I had enough points to get a 16G iPod touch!! I am so excited. Mike got a touch with a couple of Apple gift cards that he got for Christmas and I have loved using it to check email, read blogs,and look up recipes from anywhere in the house – not to mention the music and movie downloads. My 3 year old iPod nano has been giving me problems for a while so this is definitely an upgrade. I am usually not so excited about “techy” stuff but who doesn’t get excited when it’s free.

Disclaimer: this is not a promotion of credit cards – we have a little bit of a balance – but not a huge one. Most of the charges that earned me points were paid off monthly. You shouldn’t put stuff on the card just to get points – you’ll wind up paying for it in intrest and late fees. I still think Joe Sangl and Dave Ramsey have the right idea! Debt free is the way to be. We’re workin on it!!

What’s for supper?

I wanted to blog about something but I was having a block. So I thought I would blog about what I was thinking about – what to fix for supper. I usually try to set down on Sunday night or Monday and get a plan for the week but I am flying by the seat of my pants so far this week – no plan. I looked at one of my favorite cooking sites and found this. It’s called Monday night stir fry but I think it could work on a Tuesday. Looks yummy and now I have a plan. What are you having for supper tonight?

Here it is simplified but you have to check out the website for the full effect of pictures and comments.

Easy Monday Night Stir Fry

Peanut Oil
3 chicken breasts, cut into cubes (can also use beef, shrimp, or pork)
Splash of soy sauce
Drizzle of sesame oil
1 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
2 to 3 tablespoons fresh ginger, minced
1 red bell pepper, cut into chunks (can also use yellow or green bell peppers)
10 white mushrooms, sliced (can use any mushrooms you like)
1 small jar baby corn, cut into pieces
1/4 cup chicken broth
1/2 cup low sodium soy sauce
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup chicken broth
2 rounded teaspoons arrowroot
Rice Vinegar
Sesame Oil
Fresh Cilantro

After cutting meat into chunks, drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil. Set aside.
Prepare all vegetables and have them ready.
Mix 1/2 cup soy sauce with sugar. Stir together and set aside.
Mix 1/4 cup chicken broth with arrowroot. Stir together and set aside.
Measure an additional 1/4 cup chicken broth. Set aside.
To begin stir fry, heat skillet or wok over high heat. When it’s hot, drizzle in 2 tablespoons peanut oil. Add meat to skillet and fry quickly, stirring around for 3 to 3 minutes. When brown and just cooked through, remove to a separate bowl.
Add additional 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet.
Throw in onions and cook for 1 minute.
Add red bell pepper and cook for 30 seconds.
Add garlic and ginger. Stir.
Add mushrooms and stir. Cook for 45 seconds.
Add baby corn. Stir.
Pour in 1/4 cup chicken broth.
Pour in soy sauce/sugar mixture.
Drizzle in 1 teaspoon rice vinegar.
Drizzle in 1/2 teaspoon sesame oil.
Dump in cooked chicken. Stir together.
Pour in chicken broth/arrowroot mixture.
Stir together, then turn off heat. Sauce should be much thicker.
At the very end, seconds before serving, stir in 1/2 cup (or up to 1 cup) roughly chopped cilantro.
Serve over cooked rice.

*Can use any of the following vegetables: broccoli, snow peas, zucchini, any color of bell pepper, any mushroom, water chestnuts, green onions
*Add 1/2 cashew halves to make it even more yummy
*Eat with chopsticks if you want to feel really cool

How fast the years go!

Yesterday as I was out with the kids to dentist appointments, haircuts and grocery shopping I had a few reminders of how fast things change. First, Drew and I went into the optometrist office to pick up MIke’s contacts while Luke was in the dentist. There were a couple of middle aged ladies in there that commented on how cute Drew was so I said “thank you” and continued to talk to the receptionist. Their conversation turned to how they missed having little ones around. They both had grown children. One of them said, “When they are little they can be a lot of work, but when they are grown they just step on your heart.” The other lady agreed and said “When they are little they step on your toes, when they grow up they step on your heart.” I hope I never identify with them on that one.
Next, after school I took Emma to get her haircut. The lady in the chair beside her was admiring her new ‘do and told her she looked like a teenager. She asked her how old she was and Emma told her ten, and she said, “well, I think you could pass for 13.” Not exactly what a mom wants to hear.
After leaving the hair salon, we headed to Walmart for the kids to spend their Christmas gift cards and get some groceries. When we came out it was cold and windy and we were rushing to get into the van. Drew was a few steps ahead of me as we looked for the car and as I found it I said “There it is, let’s go”. Drew started to run across and I grabbed him just as a car came way to fast down the lane we were parked in. It was a close call, but didn’t really hit me until last night as I went to bed. I thanked God a little more sincerely and hugged my kids a little more tightly last night. Cherish your little ones today.

Naked Snowman

Even though we live in the mountains of Virginia, the place where snow covered Blue Ridge mountain postcards are photographed, we haven’t seen more than a flurry this winter. Because of our location here, it seems most of the snow usually goes north and west of us. I am hanging out with a few kids at Cornerstone tonight during our First Wednesday service and I thought we needed a little wintery fun. I found this cute build a snowman project at Family Fun. Kids can dress up the snowman with faces, hats and clothes without frost-bitten finger and slushy snow boats. I don’t really like snow but I do love the look on my kids excited faces as they sled down the hill, throw snowballs, build snow forts and snow men. So maybe we will get a snow day soon, but until then, we’ll have fun with this indoor snowman.

I’m back

I really didn’t intend to stay away from blogging for so long but I haven’t made time for it over Christmas. The Christmas decorations are on their way down I am feeling a little more back into the routine but I have 2 sick kids so that makes things still a little off schedule.
We had tons of fun over the Holidays, enjoying family, opening presents, cooking, reconnecting with friends. Hope your Christmas was a great one too. I’ll post some pictures of the fun soon and will hopefully be inspired to blog a little more.