Wednesday, May 6, 2015

We Are

We are two more things down on the dreaded end-of-year-to-do-list.  Prom (as you'll soon see) is now behind us.  Tonight caps off the long-in-production 8th Grade Education Fair, with an open-to-the-families viewing.  Projects were due bright and early on Tuesday, followed by interviews with the judges and then the school kids were able to see them.  It's truly inspiring to see the creativity and thought put into the 40-some projects.
  • We are hoping that we just weren't able to find our pulse, otherwise we have problems
  • We are very precise with what we've been asked to do.  Good thing for stiff boots to make that heel-toe step
  • We are getting kudos for our speaking part
  • We are trying to pretend we don't see mom
  • We are the 8th Grade
  • We are creating. . .too bad it's only her Senior Poster
  • We are Senior Prom bound
  • We are the St. Anne's group within The Group (friends with the one on the right since Kindergarten (and last year's Prom date), with the one on the left since 1st Grade)
  • We are the Party Bus group - a ginormous magenta affair
  • We are "The Fam"
  • We are celebrating Star Wars Day. . .May the fourth be with you
Happy Wednesday, 

Thursday, April 30, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

We have reached the point in Spring where the skies are crystal blue, the foothills are snow free and starting to green-up and the back country peaks are heavily frosted in snow.  I will never tire of that view.

Today, I've managed both really old photos and a really old kit.  The photos are from 2005, of my now 14 y.o.  The Bo Bunny line is from 2009, but I don't remember the name and I can't find even a sheet online to trace back to the name.  It's one of their vintage Christmas looks, which they rotate in every couple of years.  The sketch came from the PageMaps Layout - Week One class I took.

I had already used this kit on other layouts.  The kit was heavy on paper to begin with (it wasn't an Apron Strings kit, which are always just right on paper ;).  The kit didn't have many embellishments to begin with, so there wasn't anything to use on this page, which is pretty obvious given there are basically none.  There are a few rhinestones in the upper left circle - hard to see in the photo.  

If I'd been at home, I'd have pulled from my stash to do some layering.  Shoot, if I'd planned even just a little before leaving for the crop, and glanced through my kit/photo pairs, I might have seen there were only rhinestones in the kit and tossed in a handful of stash items.

As it was, I worked with what I had.  It was, also, my last layout of the night.  This is one where, looking at the photo, I may break my own habit and actually go back and add something else.  It feels and looks unfinished and I don't like that.  Simple, clean - I can work with that, but this doesn't have that feel for me.

Maybe I can snag a few minutes to fluff it up a bit before I call it done.

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

We Are

I've got quite the list of things on my calendar for the next several weeks.  This past week I crossed off the Race for Education.  Work on the 14 y.o.'s project continues to move forward towards his deadline next week.  May Crowning is the end of the week, times two kids.  Prom is Saturday.  I'm not thinking about the quickly approaching last day of High School for my 18 y.o.  She's got her number, and I'm in denial and I will probably camp out here through the summer.

  • We are thinking 24 hours before the official kick-off to the weekend is NOT too early to start drinking
  • We are cheering the first runners - the little ones, including the 6 y.o.  He ended up running 3 miles in 50 minutes.
  • We are two soon-to-be-graduates.  He ended up with 3 3/4 miles in 50 minutes.  She reminisced.
  • We are the out-going eighth graders.
Happy Wednesday,

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

The weather may just hold out for tomorrow's Race for Education - a big fundraiser for the kids' school - the two younger kids, that is.  Because of the Race the kids will have a half day, which may allow me to, if not be crafty, at least clean up the crafty area - because. . .ugh!

I created this layout the last time I got to play with paper.  I used a sketch from PageMaps University's layout class, Week One.  I'm pretty sure I stayed true to the layout.

Since the kit is Studio Calico's LemonLush from the June '14 Smaller than a Breadbox kit, that's hardly a throw-back.  But the photos are.  My currently 18 y.o. daughter is just 7 or 8 here.  Crazy hard to believe 10 years have gone so fast.  

Anyway, the paper line was just perfect for doing this page, love that apple green.  I'm thinking I only have a sheet of cardstock and a full sheet of patterned paper left.  I may have a few wood veneers, but not much else.  Gotta like that!

Happy Thursday,

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

We Are

I'm getting a calm before the storm feeling.  

My 18 y.o. informed me, via Twitter, that today marks exactly 30 days until her graduation.  Which means it's 37 days until my 14 y.o. graduates from his K-8 school.  It means there's 13 days until the giant Ed Fair project is due.  It's nine days until May Crowning - a big deal for the exiting 8th grade, but I also have a first grader who has a speaking part at his own classroom's Crowning - I haven't even looked to see if that's going to be a conflict in times.   Prom is in 10 days.  Field Day for the first grader is coming up, though the date escapes me.  And the big Race for Education is at the end of this week - weather allowing.  And that's just the stuff I remember.

  • We are waiting for the curtain to rise on the 14 y.o.'s play
  • We are impressed with how good he is - he's so natural and calm and super funny!  He's rockin' Lord Zeek
  • We are in Prom-prep mode
  • We are road trippin' to Cheyenne for the afternoon
  • We are so not getting these...ewww.  Who eats these?
Happy Wednesday,

Friday, April 17, 2015

Snow for the Weekend and Food

Man, if this were just straight rain, we'd need an ark.  As it is, only the snow that fell over night (and is now being slowly melted by the rain/sleet/hail) is keeping streets from being outright flooded.  There is still plenty of standing water on the streets and in the low spots of yards.  The 6 y.o. loves driving though the puddles, making the car drive seem more like the log ride at the amusement park.

It's cold though, and it looks like this weather will be with us through the weekend; which is okay by me.

Tonight we have the eighth grader's, long awaited, class play; he and his classmates have already performed twice for the kids in school this week.  As much as he's enjoyed it, I think he's ready to move on to the next thing on his year-end-getting-out-of-here list - the Ed Fair, which is a ginormous project.  I have the plaster covered counters, filled molds, figurines, models and finished plaster pieces stacked in my dining room to prove it.

Strep has, just when I think we're free, found us again.  It's hit up the 16 y.o. for a second time.  We have the appointment this afternoon to see for sure, but I'll be surprised if the test comes back negative.  Happy, but surprised.

Cooking this week was all Pinterest.  If you're looking for something that's been tried (and is generally easy to prepare, and fairly quick to pull together) you can find what we've tried and like on the I Cooked That board (if I had notes, I put them in the description fields.)

By Monday I had not yet planned my menu, thus had not been to the grocer.  I had Chicken and Mozzarella sausages in the freezer and lots of odds and ends leftovers, including an almost full bag of angle hair cabbage.  Enter the Crunchy Poppy Seed Slaw to serve with the sausage.  Outside of the cabbage, I had green apples (subbed in for the red ones) and I had green onions.  I had no ramon noodles, so those were left out.  I had roasted pumpkin seeds, so those when in instead of the cashews.  I had other nuts (almonds, pecans, pine and walnuts) that would have also worked.  I didn't have Poppy Seed Dressing, luckily the recipe came with a link to a homemade version of Creamy Poppy Seed Dressing.  Outside of cutting down a bit on the mayo next time, this was a really good dressing - it makes a quart.  Because I didn't have a full bag of cabbage, I should have cut down on the dressing added, but didn't so my slaw was swimming a bit.  But it was really good, and I'm not typically a slaw fan.  I'd make it again either as written or with my subs again any time.

I eventually made it to the store, but this Spicy Smoked Sausage Alfred Bake was a recipe I could have almost made from my pantry stock as well.  I don't keep pasta on hand, so I needed that.  This was super good - creamy, a bit of garlic, a bit of heat and I use Hillshire Farms Kielbasa (it's on hand in my freezer at any given time and my go-to when sausage is called for.)  We had it on the first night of cold and snow earilier this week and was just the comfort food needed.

I sometimes worry about chicken dishes with sauces in the slow cooker because sometimes the sauces thin out as the juices come out of the meat, leaving a watered down version of the sauce.  That was not the case with this Slow Cooker Hoisin Chicken.  Holy crap this was good.  Sweet, salty, ginger-y.  I had originally intended to put them in wraps (we use Tortilla Fresca flour tortillas, our Costco carries them - they are awesome.  I will never go back to the prepared ones in the store) and top them with slaw, but I used up most of the tortillas on another night - and I wasn't planning on that.  Instead I served it over brown rice.  Totally a make again!

As I said, come Monday, I had no meal plan, and that included dessert.  I looked for something quick and these Banana Squares seemed to fit the ticket, plus I had all the ingredients on hand.  They were good; I topped them with left over Cool Whip.  My only issue, the cook time.  It was way, way too long.  I should have checked them when I could smell the bananas.  I'm sure it has to do with our altitude and, knowing this, I usually adjust all bake times down.  For whatever reason, I didn't do that with these.  I'll make them again and adjust the cooking time.  

My meatless meal came in the form of this One Pan Mexican Quinoa.  I had totally intended to serve it bowl-style.  But I looked at my ravenous family (the recipe said it fed four - and usually this type of dish will serve all six of us just right) and decided I'd give them the option of bowl-style or as a filling to a tortilla.  They all chose tortillas, which is why I was out of them on Hoisin Chicken night.  I, myself, had it bowl-style and it was quite good.  I made this before going to the grocer for the week, and had everything on hand, save the roasted tomatoes.  Looking back I could have subbed in Rotell tomatoes instead of plain diced tomatoes, but live and learn.  It was still good and super quick and filling.  My avocados were a bit over ripe, so I made guacamole (avocados, salt, lime juice and cilantro) and served it in dollops instead.

I've got dinner in the slow cooker, leftovers for the weekend, and things to do while the snow keeps me inside.

Happy Friday,

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Throw Back Thursday

So, yeah, it's snowing.  Big, fat, water-logged flakes are raining down.  My car has been covered in more than two inches of the fluffy stuff since I parked it, a mere two hours ago.

It's a definite contrast to the super sunny, almost summer day represented on the layout below.  I completed this layout a few weeks ago during my crop outing.  I used a sketch from the PageMaps class that I took; I'm pretty sure it was from Week One.  I paired the photos with Echo Park's A Perfect Summer, which was released in 2013.  The photos are the real Throw Back though with a 2006 date on them.  Look at my little monkeys, who are all teenagers now.  *sob*

I wanted something to fill the space above the photo on the left.  I couldn't find anything that worked.  You know, until I deemed the page complete, and then I found a photo that would have been perfect had I had it when I started laying out the page.  Finding it at the end, when I'm done, I couldn't get it to fit - the scale of the whole layout needed to be just a bit bigger - of course.  

I'm debating whether to scan it and shrink it or just be done.  Right now, it's just done and frankly it'll in all likelihood stay this way.  I have a real issue with going back to pages that are incomplete, which is why they get done the night I do them or they stay like this one probably will - finished with good intentions.

Happy Thursday,