Thursday, January 31, 2008

A new recipe....and they like it!!

I was looking at the Sunday newspaper and I found a recipe that sounded really good. I clipped it and made it for the gang on Monday night and they LOVED it! Especially THIS guy! He went back 3 times for more!

Here's the recipe...

Ham and Tater Corn Chowder
a bag of frozen tater tots
2 cans (14 oz. each) chicken broth
2 cans (12 oz. each) evaporated milk
2 cups cooked, diced ham
1 3/4 cup instant mashed potato flakes
1 can (15 oz.) whole kernel corn, drained
2 teaspoons, onion powder
1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Prepare tater tots according to directions. Meanwhile, combine broth and evaporated milk in a large saucepan. Bring mixture just to a boil over medium-high heat; reduce heat to low. Add ham, potato flakes, corn, onion powder and black pepper. Cook, stirring frequently for 8-10 minutes until creamy and slightly thick. Top each serving with some tater tots. Makes 6 servings. YUM!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

A question for you....

If Luke tells me that my perfume smells like Dad's toot, I'm guessing that's a bad thing, right??? Never a dull moment here. Jill

Monday, January 28, 2008

A weekend recap...

Having 3 basketball games on Saturday between the times of 11:15 to 3:30 equals "lets go out for dinner." I'm loving that!! We went to a local restaurant and I swear next time I'm going to make all of my sons get water, NOT SODA--there was so much, air escaping from their mouths loudly, that it caused a great deal of glaring from the lady in the next booth over. Here they are...don't they look guilty??

We got home just in time for Dad to head for the basement to play his first game of Guitar Hero....he totally stunk up the song...a beginner song. As I sat upstairs, I could hear the giggles and laughter from the younger crowd who have practically mastered the game.

The highlight of our Sunday was going to a different church to hear some very good friend's of ours speak about parenting. It was fabulous! Then they invited us back to their home to have subs!! Cool! Later that evening at home, we all decided that we needed to watch this for about the 45th time. It's a winner!!

A great weekend!! Jill

Friday, January 25, 2008

Love is......

According to Andy Gibb's song from the 1970's..."Love is higher than a mountain, love is thicker than water." According to me...Love is.... a 6 pound bag of gummy bears. Gotta love Costco! TGIF! Jill

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Basement

We're attempting to make some positive improvements in our basement- not just a place for kids to play video games and throw balls around, but a "nice" space with new furniture (not purchased yet) a new tv on the wall (Kid's bought it with their $), and some fun this...

Here's the that we bought the pool table, they threw this in at NO CHARGE!

HOW FUN IS THAT?? Maybe the kids could just LIVE down there....we have a nice bathroom down there, and a fridge, and a bedroom..... Jill

Tuesday, January 22, 2008


The kids will be so excited today....a 2 hour delay for school. Overnight we've had snow accumulating to 10 inches!! Woo Hoo!

Andrew was so excited on Sunday because he had his first chance to coach Ben's team by himself...for the WHOLE game. Even though the ref's calls were inconsistent, our team still came out VICTORIOUS!! Here's a picture from the game...(Andrew's in the collared polo)

Make sure you check out the height differences of the players!! The TALL guy in the dark hooded sweatshirt is one of Andrew's friend's..he's 6 ft. 4 inches...

Monday, January 21, 2008

In Mourning...

Yes, our household is moving slowly this morning after the nail-biting defeat of our beloved Green Bay Packers. Too bad, the Superbowl would have been FUN!! It's amazing to me how the world stops revolving around here (in our town) when the Packers play...and we're a few hours from Green Bay. Yes, this game was a special one, but there were church meetings moved and basketball tournament times moved to accommodate the game!! Anyway, enough on that subject...

Can you believe this???? Yes, it says MINUS 10...

You know it's cold when you see this...

Despite the fact that it was COLD, we still managed to go on a "date" this weekend that ended with this.. MMMMMMM.

We took a bunch of hoodlums (Ben's team) out for pizza after their game on Saturday...

funny thing, this pizza was left over.... too many veggies, I guess...

Well, I'd better get off the computer and face the young'ens who want for the Packers, there's always NEXT year!!! Jill

Friday, January 18, 2008

Chocolate Moose Drink

My friend, Ann, picked up Anna from school and took her back to her house while I took Luke to the dentist the other day. When I arrived to pick her up, here's what I saw...

This is, of course, after her buffet of snacks ...a banana, various nuts, pretzels and cheetos. My goodness. Ann made this very special drink by adding chocolate syrup to milk, topping that with whipped cream, adding chocolate shavings and a cherry. How fancy.....and she loved it!! She said "this is the best chocolate milk EVER!" Anna felt SO SPECIAL. Now...where's mine??? Jill


Thursday, January 17, 2008

A day in my life....eating bon bons

Just in case you are wondering if I sit at home and eat bon bons, here was my day yesterday...

Help kids gather trash, put it curbside (7:30 am)
Murphy bed representative here to measure in the basement (7:45)
Kids to school (8:00)
Dog to Doggie was Wednesday, ya know. (9:30)
Pool table guys set up the new pool table (10-3:30)
Complete 3 loads of laundry
Noon Recess Duty/ Serve lunch at school 11:30- 12:45
Pick up the clutter in the kitchen 1-2
Dinner prep (2:15)
School pick up (2:50)
Gymnastics for Anna (3:45)
Pick up Bella at Doggie Daycare....oh boy was she tired! (5:00)
Decide that my pork tenderloin wasn't going to get done on time for dinner (5:20)
Go to Dairy Queen to get cheeseburgers (5:45) hee hee
Luke's basketball practice (6:30)
John, Andrew and Anna go to Ben's band/chorus concert (7:00)
Jill goes to groc. store during Luke's practice
Pick up Luke at practice (7:45)
John and kids home (8:15)
Ice cream time!! (8:30)
Jill falls into bed after half heartedly "tucking kids in" (9:15)

Whew! Let's just say I'm glad it's a new day and not as busy today....Yea!!! Jill

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Works for me - Wednesday

I just have to share a few books that my boys are just crazy over...
Guinness Book of World Records
Ripley's Believe it or Not

These books are full of exciting and sometimes gross facts (which they like) and include colorful pictures too. If my boys had a choice to pick any book to read at bedtime, it would be one of these two. It works for me.... Jill

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Bath tub or Shower?

Little Miss Naughty dog started smelling like, well...a dog, so she needed to get a good washing. I've heard that Labs love the water, but this was a different story. We had always given our dogs a bath in the bath tub in the winter but some very smart friends of our told us they put their dog in the shower with them to get their dog clean. Hmmmmm....Well, we decided to give it a whirl.

John got his swimming suit on and headed for the basement shower...the largest shower. He wanted me to grab 3 towels, the dog shampoo and a towel for him too. I knew as this adventure was unfolding that I would need my camera too. So here goes...

John led Bella into the shower which was fun until he turned the water on...

Oh look, she has green eyes, just like me!!

Dear Lord, what in the world have I done to deserve this?

Whatever it is, I promise I won't ever do it again!!!

Mom.....Mom, could you possibly put down that camera, stop giggling, and rescue me?? Please???

She's so squeaky clean now...I wonder if she prefers the shower or the bath tub??? Jill

Monday, January 14, 2008


The highlight of our weekend was seeing the Packers kick some booty on Saturday afternoon.... You wouldn't even believe the smack talk that was being yelled in our family room. Some of the phrases were...
"He's got skills, to pay the bills" referring to Atari Bigby
"You are so outta here"
"Oh yeah, sack 'em baby"
and the list could go on and on....
Oh yes, and don't forget the celebratory chest thumping...

but we did have times that were more calm...

Can you believe that Anna didn't even watch the game??? She went out for lunch and went to High School Musical, the play, with a friend.

Stay tuned for tomorrow...there will be more on this subject... Jill

Friday, January 11, 2008

The secret

Well, Mr. P chalked up another win for the 7th grade basketball team last night. Hooray!!! I thought I might let you in on a little secret that my hubby is using for coaching. He has recently had trouble with the boys on the team feeling lethargic during the game. Well, aside from making sure they're properly hydrated, he's using this to rev them up for the game...

and guess who couldn't stop smiling as he ran down the court after scoring 4 three point shots last night!!

Yes, of course he's hot and sweaty. Don't look too closely and certainly don't click on the photo to get a closeup....EEEWWW.

Now, let's hope they don't decide to drug test our basketball team...they'll find performance enhancing drugs....caffeine!! Have a good weekend! Jill

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Doggie Daycare

We had done some dog training at a facility in our area where they offer doggie daycare. I laughed at the thought of people taking their dog to a place all day while their owners were at work... How absurd!!

I am now eating my words.

With there being snow, slush and lots of muck on the ground outside, it's hard to get Bella outside to exercise her without having to give this 55 pound puppy a bath every time we went out. SO- I tried doggie daycare yesterday.

We arrived at about 9 am and filled out LOTS of paperwork asking necessary questions about your dog's behaviors such as aggression toward other dogs and then asked some not so necessary questions about what type of crate does your dog use...plastic or wire?? Is she allergic to Milkbone dog biscuits??

I stayed for the all important "introduction" to the other dogs in the playgroups. (They call them playgroups, can you believe it?) The owner put Bella with her in a very large "Playroom" which was actually a huge room in a warehouse building. One by one, she called (by walkie talkie) to have Bella's new playmates enter the room in a slow fashion. Let me tell you...there was a lot of rear end sniffing going on...
The docile dogs were introduced first...then Mitzi, the poodle mix that is the queen bee of the daycare. Bella ran up to her with "exuberant energy" and Mitzi just rolled her eyes and gave a quick, sharp bark to Bella, letting her know that she WASN'T interested in any puppy play, thank you very much. Bella reacted positively to that cue and more dogs eventually entered the facility. I think I left when there were at least 15 dogs in the large playroom. She was doing very well.

When I picked her up at 5 pm she had a happy, yet thoroughly worn out look on her face. I paid my bill...($20 per day) and the caregiver handed me a card that looked very similar to a postcard. On it had her name and this comment.. "Bella had a very fun time today.She has made so many new friends. Her best friends today were Reece, Macie and Shiner." I was so pleased to hear that she had found some new "friends".

She hopped into the car and moaned and groaned the whole way home. After arriving home,she managed to stay awake long enough to eat her dinner and then headed straight for her doggie bed--where she stayed all evening until it was time for our family to go to bed. AHHHHH...I guess she did manage to get worn out and had some fun too.

I'll probably take her back next Wednesday--just one day a week is good. And I'll probably pick her up around 2:30 or 3:00. The kids really missed being jumped on and licked when they got home from school. But Annie, the 15 year old dog, was never so happy to get that little whippersnapper out of here for the day!!! Doggie Daycare....I once laughed, but now I see the light! Jill

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Works for me Wednesday

Yesterday I stayed home all day because we got a new one of these installed...isn't she a beauty??

While at home,I happened to stumble upon a recipe that people are raving about on the internet, so I just had to try it out. It was a recipe for Oatmeal Crispie cookies. They are yummy! Just look and see.... (mine turned out a little flat)

Here's the recipe...

Oatmeal Crispies
1 cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
3 cups quick cooking oats
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)

Mix together the shortening and both sugars, add eggs and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix flour salt and baking soda. Mix thoroughly. Then, add flour mixture to the shortening mixture and mix thoroughly. When mixed well, add oats and nuts (optional). Chill dough for 30 minutes. (I didn't-maybe that's why they're flat) Place on cookie sheet and bake at 350 for 10 minutes. Enjoy!!
These work for me!!! Jill

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A snapshot of our day

I had a little buddy home with me yesterday. I guess this picture gives you an idea of my world. Luke is doing his homework because he missed school, the nebulizer is handy because his asthma is acting up and notice the creative rocket ship that he made from the Legos that are now dumped on my family room floor. I did drag him to the grocery store... it was nice to have a buddy who could help me put away a weeks worth of groceries. I must admit, it's kinda fun having one child home so you can spoil 'em a little bit!! Jill

Monday, January 7, 2008

Fire up the grill!

My husband thought it was Spring, it was so warm here this weekend!! He fired up the grill and made dinner last night. Cheeseburgers, sliced potatoes and onions, and fruit salad....YUM!!

My friend, Wendy, was here visiting with her kids so we did a little of this on Saturday...(all of the snow is gone now)

and they did this in the basement for hours...

Wendy and I looked like this when we went to the mall...we were all matchy, matchy.

Anna got this outfit on the mall trip... Are you seeing a color theme for the weekend???

Miss Wendy even brought a friend for our doggies Bella and Annie to play with...this is Marley Sue. Don't you just LOVE her gray beard?? Needless to say, everyone had fun this weekend!!

The good news is, they may come back in a few weeks! Hooray!! Jill

Friday, January 4, 2008

My own personal organizer

My friend from Chicago called me the other day. She had a dilemma. Her kids still had another week of vacation from school and she NEEDED to organize something and she didn't want to organize her house....hmmmmm. what to do, what to do???
Figuring that I'm a good person and all, and like to help people out (ahem), I invited she and her kiddoes up to HELP her quench her desperate need to organize. I was hoping that she could find SOMETHING to organize in my perfectly straightened home (You should be giggling by now).

Well, she definitely found something to organize....she's a trooper. It was the game/toy closet that she attacked...check it out...

The mess was enough to make me quiver but she found a way through it all and found a way to make it look like this....

AMAZING!!! Please do not call me for her phone number-- she's busy today...we're going back to Walmart to buy more sterilite containers and maybe a little trip to the Mall... Have a great weekend!!!! Jill

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Because she likes it that way....

My daughter is now officially obsessed with High School Musical... Jill

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Happy New Year!!

Happy new year to you!! We had the best New Year's Eve ever!! We took our kids and headed up north to our "Chalet". John went a little earlier than I did and found that although he called our "Plow-guy", our driveway had not been touched for weeks. Good thing he brought a shovel this time!! He started shoveling and a very kind man from the area stopped and offered him his snow blower...can you believe it?! There are nice people left in the world!! John started snowblowing and about a third of the way through, the "plow guy" came by and finished the snow removal. What a way to start the trip!!

When we actually got into the chalet, we found that we needed to snow blow the deck because we saw all of this.... about 18 inches of snow!!

We invited another family to join us "up north" and they brought something very fun...

They also brought something else very fun...I'm not kidding you, I saw this dog on the deck and thought it was a squirrel!! She's a tea cup Yorkie.

So, what do you for sleeping arrangements when 12 people are staying over night in a 3 bedroom house?? You let the adults and girls have the 3 beds and throw the rest of the boys in the loft with sleeping bags!!

We had a blast, too, going down the sledding hill over and over on sleds and snowboards. I must admit, we are ALL a little sore this morning. We did get a little time to relax and we laughed until our stomach's hurt...I guess that was the best part for me!!

I think that Mr. P has had a spark lit for a new, where's the tylenol?? Jill