Friday, March 30, 2012

What's Cooking?

We have had some good looking strawberries down here. I hope to take the kids to pick strawberries at a farm, but we plan to do it every year and never make it. It's almost an hour drive. Jessica has been doing chocolate strawberries using almond bark.

This is the first set. The next carton of strawberries I had were about three times this big. Almost the size of a small apple. I didn't take pictures of those, but I should have because they were unbelievably big.

Not all the chocolate went to the strawberries! But she did stay out of it until we were done.

Adam made meatshell pie. He used boughten bacon bits rather the frying up real bacon. Much easier.

Meatshell Potato Pie

1 can tomato soup
1 lb ground beef
1 egg slightly beaten
½ c bread crumbs
2 c mashed potatoes
¼ c shredded cheese
cooked bacon crumbled

Mix ½ can soup, beef, egg and bread crumbs. Press firmly into a 9" pie pan. Bake at 350F for 25 minutes. Frost with potatoes. Top with remainder of soup, cheese and bacon. Bake 10 minutes more.

Jessica is still working on stir fry, trying to find a recipe she really likes. She made the same recipe as last month but with some additions to give it more flavor.

That meat looks good. I'm getting hungry posting these pictures.

Jessica used the recipe below but added some beef bullion and a couple squirts of lemon juice for extra flavor.
Beef Stir Fry
2 tbs cornstarch 2 med carrots thinly sliced
2 tsp sugar 6 oz package frozen pea pods thawed
6 Tbs soy sauce 2 Tbs chopped onion
¼ c apple juice 2 Tbs vegetable oil divided
1 lb boneless beef round steak 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts undrained
cut into strips hot cooked rice
3 c broccoli florets

In a bowl, combine corn starch, sugar, soy sauce and apple juice until smooth. Add beef and toss to coat; set aside. In a large skillet, stir-fry broccoli, carrots, pea pods and onion in 1 Tbs oil for one minute. Stir in water chestnuts. Cover and simmer four minutes. Remove and keep warm. In the same skillet, stir-fry beef in remaining oil until meat reaches desired doneness. Return vegetable to pan. Toss. Serve over rice.

Jasmine made linguine, alfredo sauce and broccoli which is her favorite meal.

So that's what the kids made this month.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


There's not a lot going on this week so I thought since I posted about Tyler and Jeff I'd post about Jessica.

Jessica will graduate May 4 with her associates from our community college. She just found out she missed the deadline to register to be in the graduation ceremony, but I've told her I will take everyone out to eat at her choice of restaurant. I'm thinking she will pick TGIF. We'll see. Her associates is in criminology. Our community college recently became a four year college, but they don't have the program she wants. Her major will be criminology but I think they call it public safety now (which doesn't sound near as impressive). But her specialty will be underwater crime scene investigation. That is, it will be if her ear cooperates with the pressure changes it will have in scuba. We will know next fall.

Jessica is taking digital photography this semester. She has to shoot on manual mode. Her assignment this week is self portraits. She can't just be sitting and looking at the camera. There were several requirements that have to be met. I'm posting three of the ones she took.

These pictures of Jasmine are from a project where Jessica had to shoot the same person from many different angles.

Jessica isn't enjoying this class as much as she thought she would. For one thing, it's a three credit class but it meets for six hours a week instead of three. She has FIVE other classes and is going a bit crazy trying to keep up and also work part time. But she will be done the first week in May and can take less credits in the fall. She just wanted to finish her associates this spring and she had to repeat Pre calculus (a D is failing) and that meant adding a class she hadn't planned on taking.

She is very capable, but organization isn't a strong point for her. Those of you who know her know I'm not exaggerating when I say that : ) But we love her anyway.

It's a slow week here. Ten weeks of school left. Things will start getting crazy in a couple of weeks when we have Easter, dance photos, recital, band concert, and all the other end of school year stuff.

Adam just got home from his track meet where he ran his mile in 5:14. I would be just about 1/3 of the way about that time!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Fun Run

We had beautiful weather for the race yesterday. It was a little hot by time they actually ran, but better that than the rain that was expected. Jasmine and Kayla before the race.

Looking at the boats at the marina before the race.

Stretching out.

Kayla came in at 9:38. This is her first one-mile fun run. She did a 1/2 mile one last April, and will do that one again in two weeks. She does run in PE and at home.

This lady ran the second half of the race with Jasmine and was encouraging her. I thought it was someone she knew from school, but turned out not to be. I wasn't that worried with it being Jasmine (she has always had great attachment) and me being right there. I think it was nice of the lady to stay with Jasmine even when Jasmine walked.

Jasmine came in at 10:47.

They didn't give places, just a ribbon to all the kids who finished. Kayla would have been first in her age group I think.

The thing about my kids, well, anyone's kids probably, is that they are all different. Jasmine is four years older than Kayla and taller, but Kayla is scrappier and more competitive. Some days they are the best of friends and other days they can't breathe the air in the same room.

I would say that Jeff, Adam and Kayla are my more competitive ones and perhaps my more athletic ones although Jeff's talents seem to be mostly in running. He played some baseball when he was younger but was just average and wasn't really into it. He played a season of soccer and his strength was his speed not his soccer skills. He played a little tag football but really running is his thing.

Adam enjoys cross country and track. He played baseball when he was younger and was quite good but doesn't really like it. He did tumbling and gymnastics this past year and now wished he hadn't dropped out when he was younger, but at that time he didn't really want to work on it. He has played some soccer, but he didn't make the high school soccer team this year. That was really because he hasn't played in a couple of years and didn't practice for try outs. He is going to try again next year.

Jasmine started out very competitive in soccer. As a U 6 player, she was unstoppable and was the one the other team hated to play against. But when she moved up to U 8 she lost her fire. Perhaps she realized she was much smaller and could get trampled. Or maybe she did get trampled. But she backed off and is now one of the players who let the others go after the ball.

We're going to try one more season of soccer in the fall and if she doesn't like it, we'll just let it go. She has so much homework that she's overwhelmed so we are going to have to pick activities carefully and stick with the ones she really loves. Right now she has band, drum lessons, jazz and tap. A nearby city is offering summer basketball. She's never played basketball but may give it a try since she won't have the homework pressure during the summer. We'll have to see how it fit in our travel schedule.

Kayla and Kaleb have played soccer one season and basketball one season. They did a little football camp and a soccer camp. Kaleb usually has no clue what's going on. He just runs around crazy doing whatever he wants and in general drives the other players crazy. Kayla is pretty focused though. She sat out sports this year due to some behavioral issues but she seems to be working hard on getting them under control, so I think she'll play soccer again in the fall. I'm not sure about Kaleb. It depends on if he is really going to focus and play. His PE teacher also has problems with him intentionally hurting other children during games, and I'm not going to risk that. They'll be U8 which is more competitive and it's expensive so if he's just going to run crazy and not listen to anyone, he can do that on the playground.

Jessica is not in sports any longer, but she starts scuba for her underwater crime scene forensics program in the fall, so if her ear cooperates, she'll be focused on the scuba.

That's probably more than you ever wanted to know about my kids and sports, but there it is. Here are some photos from earlier sports teams in no particular order. I don't have many scanned in yet from about 1995-2004 so these don't show much of Adam's first teams, but I'm scanning them in to make a book for him for his graduation (May 29, 2013)



Jessica (I have more of her scanned in due to making her a book for her graduation two years ago)

Jessica indoor soccer

Jessica roller hockey

Jasmine U6, me coaching






Tyler, roller hockey

Saturday, March 24, 2012


Tyler has been home for spring break this past week. He'll be going back to college today. He really isn't doing well in his major (or in college at all!) and realizes he just doesn't have the skill he needs for that major. Nothing interests him. So now he has to figure out what to do. He had a plan in mind but it was shot down due to his ADHD and aspergers. We haven't given up on it, but it will be later down the road. So we need to figure out what to do in the meantime. He doesn't want to continue college, but if he quits, he loses his insurance and he'll have to start paying back his loans.

I know that parents of adult children have been facing these situations for the past hundred (or thousand) years, but it's new to me. And my three adult children are all so different. Jeff went into the army and is doing well there. Jessica knows exactly what she wants to do and is pushing hard toward it--trying to do too much most of the time. But Ty has no clue. (And he is not he most ambitious person) I'm not saying this to be mean or cut him down--he says the same thing. We will stand behind him no matter what he chooses to do.

Right now Jasmine and Kayla are getting ready to go run a one-mile fun run. I hope the rain holds off.

We talked to the lady who promised Jessica the puppy. She says the puppy died. But we know who she gave the other female puppy to, and she could have given Jessica that one. It wouldn't have made that much difference. Her dog is in heat again, and she says Jessica can have first choice. But I'm not sure how much I believe or trust her. We will decide if/when the time comes.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012


Jeff is at Fort Bliss in Texas.

He has been working on his running and ran a 10K in 33 minutes on St. Patrick's Day. He's trying to qualify for a special army team. I'm glad to see that he has a goal and that he's working to reach it.

Please keep Jeff in your prayers that he'll remember the values he was taught and find his way back to them. Also for safety.

All of my children can use prayer, but the older ones all have decisions to make soon, and for one it's more complicated. I can't really share until things are in place. We don't know if things will work out or not. I also have to deal with a situation that has been going on for too long and sometimes it's hard to do what really should have been done earlier. Sorry to be so vague. I'll give more info on the one situation if it works out for the child. There are a lot of changes ahead either way.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

The Blah Part of Spring Break

We arrived home late Tuesday afternoon of spring break. On Wednesday we had pizza at the park.

Jasmine was not very faithful about doing her work on the road, so she had a bunch of math, social studies, and reading to do when we got home. We are almost caught up.

This is why it's best not to look the other way when you set your food on the floor while watch TV. Max likes Church's mashed potatoes as much as Jasmine evidently.

One last bedroom to tile.

The tiling went quickly. The sorting and putting stuff back is not going quickly.

So spring break has mostly been home work and work.

Remember Jessica's new puppy? This picture is a month old,and the puppy was old enough to come home now, so when we got back from our trip, we went down to pick her up. The house was empty and the lady and the puppies are gone! No one has heard from her. It really stinks for Jessica.

Tomorrow everyone is back to school except for Tyler who just got home yesterday for spring break.