Sunday, July 29, 2012

Getting Excited!

I always loved the first couple of weeks of school! The new books and the new material always made starting school a treat! I was homeschooled from 1st grade, till I graduated highschool, and my mom still made starting the new year a treat!

I'm starting homeschooling my 2 oldest this year, and I couldn't be more excited! My 4 year old is starting Kindergarten, and he's thrilled! Although, he's already reading at a 1st grade level, so I'm going to have my work cut out for me! We have had such a blast preparing for the school year; buying all the materials they are going to need, printing off all the work they are going to do, and getting the dining room ready for school! They have had so much fun helping me make and hang anchor charts, helping put the paper in the spiral notebooks, and marking the books! They are so excited that they want to start now!

This is going to be a great year of learning! I'm so excited to watch my 4 year old blossom; see how far he goes! My 2 year old has decided that she needs to do school work too, so that she can be like big brother, so she's starting pre-school! Her scissor skills are already pretty impressive! We are looking forward to a fantastic school year!

Until Next Time,

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Kitchen Curtains

This year, my husband and I are redoing our kitchen. It's something that I've wanted to do since we moved in, but never had the time. This year, I decided it was time, especially when I saw the neighbors, across from us, looking in our kitchen windows from their back porch with a telescope. Can you say creepy?! That was the final straw, and the redecorating began.

After the paint color was picked out, the drawer pulls, etc. it was time to think about window coverings. After seeing the neighbors staring at us, thru my sheers, I decided that I wanted something that was fully lined, fully covering, and you couldn't see anything thru it. After pricing and looking at curtains online, and in stores, I knew that I could make some that were better looking, and cheaper. Most curtains started at $20 a panel, and I needed 10 panels for all the windows in my kitchen! And, those panels were not at all what I wanted for my kitchen! Fully lined panels start at $40 and go up from there!

So, after finding a sewing pattern I liked, I started looking at fabric. Man, fabric has really gone up from when I worked in a fabric store! After finding out that most starts out at $5 a yard, and goes up from there when you get into prints, I decided to use bed sheets. Yes, I said bed sheets. I got 2 king sized flat sheets, in the color I wanted, and 2 more in for the liner. All told, $60 for the 4 sets of sheets, as the main color I wanted was on clearance for $15 a piece and the liner color was the Wal-Mart brand of sheets, for $15 a piece. I was then able to buy the more expensive, patterned fabric; spending only $60 on that for valances and tie backs. All told, with the thread and plastic rings needed for the tie backs, I spent about $130 for 5 full window treatments.

Following this Blogs idea, I measured my windows, drew them out on a piece of paper, then laid the washed fabric out, and drew out the shapes I needed with tailor's chalk. I did the same with the lining material, and pinned them together. I didn't do my curtains loops like she did, but made tabs. The valance and tie backs were a part of the pattern I bought.

I'm quite thrilled with them, and the fact that they block the morning's sun from beating in the windows. Now, I have to make some curtains for my office! I think I'll skip the fabric store, and just go straight to the sheet aisle at Wal-Mart!

Until Next Time,

Friday, July 13, 2012

Gone but not Forgotten

This is has been a tough week and a half. Anyone that knows me, knows that I am an animal lover; I'll care for an animal that is brought to me. Will I end up keeping the animal, after it's been cared for? No, but I'll find it a great home, and care for it the best way I can while it's in my care. I wrote, a couple of weeks ago, about 2 sweet puppies that were dumped, and I found them. I wish I could say that all ended well for the puppies, but it didn't.

On July 1, 2012, I was really excited because I knew I had found a great home for the little brown dog. The girls, who were going to care for her, named her Princess, and rightfully so. Princess was delivered into the arms of 2 squealing, delighted girls and their proud mama. It was a match made in heaven. On Tues the 3rd, Princess had her shots, at the vet, and I had taken our puppy, Pips, to the vet for his shots. If you are in the Kansas, Nebraska, Iowa, and Missouri area, you really should check out Angel Vet. They are an animal sanctuary that provides low cost treatment for dogs and cats. I mean, seriously low. Princess' mom paid over $140 for her visit and shots, while I paid $36 for the same thing. Well worth the drive.

Wed. the 4th, Pips was acting like he didn't feel good. At first I thought it was due to his first shots, and the de-wormer that he had. He was sleeping all day, not eating, and just acting odd. The next morning, he was still acting out it, and was vomiting a bit. The vet told me that there was a chance of him vomiting up the worms, but she never mentioned sleeping all day and not eating. I called the vet, told them what he was doing, and they said that it sounded like he had Parvo, and to bring him back to the vet immediately. I packed up the kids and dog, and got him to the vet as fast as I could.

The tests came back positive, our sweet puppy had Parvo. I was shocked, and even more shocked when the vet said that it had a 10-14 incubation period. I called Princess' mom, and told her that Pips had Parvo, and that probably meant that Princess did too. She told me that Princess had just started acting sick, and she would take her to the vet as soon as she could. Within 3 hours, Princess died, while on her way to the vet.

I can't express to you how saddened I was that Princess had passed. That beautiful puppy was the sweetest thing, and didn't deserve. Because of the incubation period, it is more then likely that the puppies had just gotten sick when they were dumped.

Well, the first 24 hours were touch and go for Pips, but he made it. I ended up spending the whole weekend, before he came home, bleaching everything. I bleached the floors, the yard, the bottoms of our shoes, everything. After 4 days, he was able to come home. I've been nursing him back to health, cooking plain chicken and rice for his meals, so he will eat. He's had to go back to the vet this past Thursday, because he suddenly started throwing up the food he was eating. The vet gave him some different shots, and he should be able to come home in a couple of days.

Sadly, it was to late for Princess. She wasn't as strong as Pips, or able to fight as long. I'll miss that little dog. She was such a sweet heart, and I know that her little girls miss her too.

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Zio's Greek Pasta

My husband and I love Italian. Something about the bold flavors, the rich food, and the atmosphere makes it a favorite for celebrations. There's a restaurant here, in KCK, called Zio's Italian Kitchen. If you have one near you, you should go check them out. One of our favorite dishes is their Greek Pasta. The bold Kalamata Olives, mixed with the Feta cheese and chicken makes this dish to die for! Of course, the first time we had it, we were in love, and I knew that I had to figure out how to make this! So, the last time we were there, I dissected the dish, and figured out how to make it! This year, for my husband's birthday, I made his favorite dish, and it turned out even better then the restaurant! Here's the recipe!

  • 3 C. of raw chicken, sliced into thin strips.
  • 1-2 TBSP of fresh garlic
  • 1/4 c. white wine
  • 1 tsp. of olive oil
  • kalamata olives, drained and rinsed.  (trust me, you want to rinse them off. The brine is strong)
  • 4 stalks of green onions, diced
  • roma tomatoes, diced
  • 4 oz. feta cheese
  • 2 TBSP of organo
  • 8 oz of cooked Penne' pasta
Cook pasta according to package directions. Once done, pour cool water over drained pasta to stop it from cooking. Meanwhile, saute the chicken and garlic in the olive oil and white wine. Once the chicken is cooked, toss in the olives and green onions and cook for about 5 min. Remove from heat and toss chicken with the pasta, tomatoes, feta, and oregano. Enjoy!

Until Next Time,

Monday, July 2, 2012

Strawberry Chocolate Chip Cake with Strawberry Icing

This past Saturday was my husband's birthday. I always try to make a big deal out of birthdays, making them something to remember, and always try to make his favorite dessert: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie. I don't know what it was about this year, but finding fresh Rhubarb was impossible! I called 20 different stores, and no one had it! So, after asking if I could do something different, I went with a beautiful strawberry chocolate chip cake with fresh strawberry icing. It was INCREDIBLE! My a.m.i.l. and her husband loved it, the kids loved it, and most importantly my husband loved it! And, of course, here's the recipe!
• 1 box strawberry cake mix
• 1 pkg. instant strawberry creme pudding mix
• 1 3/4 cups milk
• 2 eggs
• 1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips

For the icing:
• 1 stick butter, softened
• 3 3/4 cups powdered sugar
• 1/2 cup fresh strawberries, diced (I used frozen, and put them in after they were thawed. I didn't need any milk to make it spreadable, as the strawberry juice added the needed liquid)
• 1 tsp. vanilla
• 1 Tbs. of milk, if needed

Mix all ingredients except chocolate chips with and electric mixer till well combined.
Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour into greased 10x15 inch baking pan. Bake at 350
degrees for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely. Beat the
butter with electric mixer. Add powdered sugar and beat. Add strawberries and vanilla.
If needed to make the icing spreadable, add a bit of milk a teaspoon at a time. Spread
icing on cake. Store in the refrigerator.

Until Next Time,

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