Moms Birthday

The family gathered at mom & dads to celebrate mothers day AND moms birthday. They weren’t on the same day this year, but only 3 days apart so sadly, mom gets only 1 celebration for the both of them. We did get 2 sets of presents for her though to make it fair! :) Here are some pics for the day.

The birthday girl

The more important girl…. they are both so focused on her

Again, with the most important girl in the house :)

Blowing out the candles on the cake Trina made for her.

Guess who again?? :)

My sister, myself, Bo and Joe were all there too…. but I only took pictures of the important ones. :) hahahaha. Happy birthday mom!


Well, I uploaded these pictures all out of order and can’t re-arrange them on the blog now so here’s a mix up of our yard progress!

This is my garden, I planted tomatoes, cilantro & jalapeno at this end this weekend. The green on the far end is the peas I started a month or so ago out of seeds.

The front of our house. Bo mowed. We fertilized and over seeded the front lawn so hopefully the bare spots will fill in. Thank goodness it’s rained 2 days in a row now!

The side where the new neighbors house just got built. We laid seed over there too to attempt to grow grass.

The left side, we seeded here too (heavily) so hopefully we’ll get grass in the whole dirt area.

The back yard. All the rocks we picked last year. We seeded this whole area too and are hoping for grass.

The left side again.

The right side again… Bo raking the seed/fertilizer

The back yard with the additional patio we had poured last year. Now we just need to get a couple chairs so we can sit out on the back patio!

My cute little flowers mom bought me for my birthday. They were getting pretty sad so I checked on them the other day and saw that the pretty little pink pots don’t have drainidge holes in them so the flowers were literally floating in full buckets of water. Oops.

This is our butterfly plant Bo’s mom bought us for easter. I’m hoping it grows big and tall and we get lots of butterflies around it!

The other side of my garden. This side has the peas then beyond the peas where the line is drawn, for the next 2 feet is romaine lettuce seeds. I planted an entire packet of seeds, we’ll see how many grow. I’m so excited for fresh lettuce!!!


Friday night Bo called me while I was walking to my truck leaving the parking lot at work. he told me to meet him at a friends house right now and not to ask any questions. So I did, I drove to our friends house, met him there, locked my truck and got in his car. I noticed a pair of shoes and a bag in the back seat…. hmmmmm. Off we went, dinner at a drive through and 3 hours later, this is where we arrived!

On the windy beach

We had a blast! It was SO nice to go to a hotel where we had no computer, no dishes, no laundry, no responsibilities! I was a bit worried to see what he had packed for my overnight bag so the first thing I did was unpack the bag he brought me. We were staying for 1 night, in my bag I found 3 sets of underclothes, 5 pair of pants and about 8 shirts. GOOD JOB! He knows 1/2 the stuff in my closet doesn’t fit me so he brought all of it to make sure SOMETHING he picked out would. hahahahaha.

We went to the beach until it rained

And spent the rest of the night in the casino playing cards. We both play blackjack & texas hold em, Bo plays roulette & I play penny slots. We sat in the casino and played the night away then went up to bed. Slept in Saturday morning, had $1.99 breakfast and hit the road! It was SO MUCH FUN! Thanks for the awesome getaway dear, I loved it!

Kari Birthday

These were from my birthday back in March. We had my family over for Pizza, games & cake one night. Bo made my cake and it was fantastic, he did a great job!

My first birthday celebration was with Jerry & Anna, they came over for a game night as well and even made me a cake too!

Trinas Birthday

This was back in February for my sisters birthday. The whole family got together at Red Robin for dinner and presents.

Mom & Chloe & 1/2 of Dad

Mom with her shades on, she’s got inflammation in her eyes which is very painful so she had to wear shades most of the time. She is still having issues with this, please pray for her.

Bo & I

Dad & Mom (notice the painful eyes)

The Birthday Girl!! With hiding Chloe & Joe

Happy Birthday Trina! (in February)

Attempting to cook

I’d call myself an OK cook. I never took classes in school or cooked too much with my mom when I was little but I can sure follow directions (for the most part) and can make a mean Hamburger Helper. It wasn’t until a few years ago I learned that spinach was not just dark green snot out of a can but an actual lettuce type leaf that I really like! I had no idea that what slid out of that can and into the bowl to be microwaved was actually nothing like how the vegetable started. So I’ve been trying to cook more, be domestic and use more natural foods and less boxed things. So my mother in law made this dish quite a while ago that I loved and got the recipe. I’ve purchased the ingredients 4 times now, the first 3 times I let them rot in the fridge without preparing the meal. (bad girl!) But tonight, I finally decided to make it figuring it would be a great dinner with leftovers for lunches this week. Of course there has to be a point to this story or I wouldn’t be writing about my experience cooking this meal. Below is the recipe as written in my cookbook and below that is where it gets interesting. What I actually did. Apparently I’m a bit sidetracked, absent minded, not focusing, whatever but wow, I surprise myself! Here’s the recipe:


1/2 head cabbage chopped
1/2 onion chopped
several carrots chopped
4 stalks celery chopped
2 1/2 cups rice (cooked)
2 lbs hamburger
pie crusts

Cook rice. Sautee veggies & set aside. Fry hamburger w/ lid on to retain moisture, remove meat from pan. Add flour to meat drippings until absorbed. Season with garlic powder, salt & pepper. Slowly add milk maintaining simmer making gravy. Mix everything together & put in 9×13 pan. Prepare rice and layer on top. Prepare pie crust and place on top. Bake 350 for 1 hour.

And here’s what I did:

Forgot about the rice. Cooked 1 lb hamburger with no lid, check the recipe and see that was supposed to be 2 lbs WITH a lid, oops. Remembered that I forgot the rice and got it out of the cupboard. Fried my chopped onion, carrots & cabbage (thought I had celery but I didn’t so that was entirely omitted from the recipe) because I was using my simmer pan that has a lid for the meat and my large fry pan does not have a lid and 1 only have 1 simmer pan. Had to add water because they were turning brown and shriveled. Meat, done – Check! Veggies, done – Check. Rice? Still in the bag on the counter. Check the recipe, remember rice but instead of starting that, spoon out a large pile of veggies on top that hadn’t been mixed in/cooked yet to put in my salad later this week since I don’t need that many now that I’m apparently 1/2’ing my recipe because of the error with the meat. Remember again that I forgot the rice. Check recipe, go to add flour to the meat drippings …. but there are none, I didn’t put the lid on the pan when i cooked the meat. oops. So decide to throw some butter in the pan (same as meat drippings right!!?!) and go from there. melt some butter, grab the milk, open it up and stuff comes SCREAMING out at me… it’s pretty bad, who knows when it expired but it was screaming when i opened the lid. Poured the gelatinous ooze down the drain and ran the disposal for a while. Butter has now evaporated or cooked out so I need to add more butter to the dry pan cooking on the stove. Find a can of evaporated milk in the cupboard – Perfect! use the whole can, some flour & butter, add a bunch of seasonings and call it gravy! Check the recipe again and remember again that I still have forgot to cook the rice. Get the baking dish out, mix all ingredients (except uncooked rice I still haven’t started yet) in the big simmer pan and turn it off while I decide to start the rice. Cook rice, layer it on the bottom of the pan, cover the rice with the meat/veggie mixture, check the recipe, notice that it was backwards,the rice was supposed to be on top. “prepare” the pie crust by pulling it out of the freezer and unrolling it, hopefully that was all I was supposed to do, throw it on top and shove it in the oven. We’ll see how it turns out in about 50 minutes!

It smelled and tasted pretty good when i tried a bite though we’re missing celery, the rice was a bit mushy and all the other errors I made.

Now it’s officially NAP TIME!!!!!!!

Treasured Posessions

I have been given MANY gifts throughout my life. Like this plaque below my parents gave me a number of years ago.

It reads “A special Daughter – So many of the good times we remember from the past happened because of you. You’ve brought laughter and joy to our lives and so much love to our hearts. The most precious things we can wish for you are the things you’ve given us… Happiness and Love”

Beautiful plaque, meaningful saying, my closet treasures it’s presence. It’s never been displayed in any of the homes I’ve lived in (I’ve had it for a long time.) Yet I know it’s there, wrapped in it’s bubble wrap in the white box it came in, in my closet. I think my sister has actually displayed the one she received in her home (who’s the better kid?) I love the sentiment behind this, I love the feeling from the words, and to see the heart that came behind the plaque. Yet I’ve never displayed it. (sorry mom and dad). I’ve also never got rid of it. I know it’s still there.

But some of my most treasured gifts, weren’t “gifts” at all. Like this mug, this used to be my dads mug. This is my favorite mug and while I’m not a collector, I’ve received quite a few mugs in my time as well. This one still is and probably always will be my favorite. It’s DADS mug and because of that alone, I love it.

This is a bowl. That’s all, just a bowl. Another non “gift” but a hand me down from my mom that I love. This is MOMS bowl. If I had recollection at all, I’d probably remember making cookies with my mom using this bowl when I was little, maybe not, I don’t remember. But I love this bowl, the icky green colored paint has worn off to a dull pale color and still, it’s my favorite bowl.

And my bear… pretty pathetic looking huh? Bo gave this to me before I went on The World Race to keep with me and I kept it all year and slept with it every night. He even sent me off with a TINY little bottle of his cologne that I sprayed on it from time to time. It’s raggedy, been stepped on, slept on, drooled on, sat on, smashed and squished in my backpack and dropped all over the place but I still held onto it every night. I even made it a scarf when I learned how to knit on a train in China so it wouldn’t get cold. It’s a pretty hideous looking thing now but it still gets tucked under my pillow between the mattress and headboard in the bed I sleep in now. Not an extravagant gift but one that means a lot to me.

I have lots of other things that mean a lot to me, these were just a few of my favorites off the top of my head that I thought I’d share. Of course the people behind these items and the relationships I treasure far more, but these things are little pieces of the people that gave them to me in my heart. What items do you have that you treasure?

Starting Gardening

I built a garden last year so I can grow our own vegetables and am finally getting to put it to use! My mother in law bought me a pack of peas a couple weeks ago and I finally planted them tonight! Here’s what I’ve got so far!

Peas in a packet

Hard, dry peas out of the package

I soaked them in a wet paper towel in a ziplock baggie on the counter for about a week and this is what I got! 14 sprouted peas and 2 duds!

And here are my first ever vegetables now planted in my garden! I’m so excited!!! I wonder if prayer is enough to sprout good hearty, healthy peas cuz that’s about all I’ve got now! ha

Dads Birthday & Miscellaneous

Dads birthday was February 3rd. We had the family over that weekend for dinner/party and had a blast! We had a great dinner,cake & ice cream and laughed HARD playing guesstures and catch phrase. So fun! Here are some pics…

Chloe helped Poppi open presents

Dads cake (Transformers with a semi truck transformer)

Chloe helped blow out the candles too

And helped Poppi read his cards

Apparently Poppi and Chloe were the only important ones at dads party because I completly forgot to take pictures of the rest of us! OOPS!!

And onto the miscellaneous… I was bored so I took a picture of a dinner I made one night. Roasted veggies & grilled chicken. YUM!

And of course I couldn’t blog without including Bowser.

Happy Valentines Day!!!!

Safeway Coupon Shopping

I took my list, the store ad & my pre sorted coupons and headed out to Safeway today for a few items we needed. The ONLY thing I purchased that did not have a coupon for was beer. Everything I purchased was on the shopping list so I didn’t grab anything impulsively just because it was a great deal or anything even if I could double a coupon on it. I keep a running list of items we need and just check them off as I am able to find good deals on them. There’s still quite a list left of things that we need/want that were not on sale with a coupon so I won’t buy those until I can get them on sale WITH a coupon as well. I do shop more frequently this way (weekly rather than bi weekly) but I save an average of 50% per trip so it’s well worth the extra hour trip to the store twice per month. Here’s what I got today. (The cat was ours already) :)

I always let the checker scan all the items before I whip out my coupons or enter my club card # so I can see the retail total at the end before discounts plus I’ve heard you can’t double E coupons on top of printed coupons but you can double printed over E coupons so I make sure everything gets deducted from my card before I hand the printed coupons.

This totaled $157.03 when she rang it up. I entered my club card # (with E coupons pre-loaded onto my card as well as the store club card sales) and handed her my coupons.

I paid $74.22

I saved 54% ($82.81)