Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Quick Thinking Daughter

The other day, after I'd left for work, K decided she wanted to make brownies. She called and got permission from J to make the brownies. She got the mix out, and realized that she didn't have enough vegetable oil for the brownies.

She's watched me experiment quite a bit in the kitchen, trying to make baked goods that are healthier, free of allergens, etc. She had seen me substitute applesauce for both eggs and oil. We didn't have any on hand, and thought for a moment.

She ended up using yogurt instead of oil. The brownies tasted slightly different, but not significantly. I was really impressed that she was so quick thinking and made it work. I'm guessing it saved quite a few calories and fat to use yogurt.

She could've called her dad and asked him to pick up oil on the way home, but she instead chose to substitute. I'm so proud!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Close Call

On Tuesday, we decided to visit the zoo with my grandmother and uncle. My uncle hadn't been in a long time, and my grandma hadn't seen the new baby elephant, Zuri. Since our membership doesn't expire til the end of the month, we thought it would be a great time.

K had her 12 year old well visit and immunizations, so we decided we'd all meet at the zoo, and then my grandma and uncle would watch the younger three while K and I dashed off for the doctor.

Things went well at the doctor, though we now know officially that K is exactly the same height as me. The nurse measured her barefoot, and she was 62" tall. Just to double check, we had her measure me as well. Exact same height. I am sure that K will be taller than me by the time school starts.

When we got back, we found everyone at the bird show, waiting for it to start. I noticed that Z was extra loving, and very cuddly, and my grandmother seemed shaken.

Apparently, while they were looking at the elephants, Z managed to wander off and get lost. Considering how small and quick he is, I'm not at all surprised. Losing a child in a public place is every parent's worst nightmare, and the sad thing is, I'm sure it's happened to every parent. My grandmother looked frantically for him, and had M running all over trying to find him, with no luck. After a couple minutes, they alerted a zoo employee, who got on a radio to alert the other employees.

Thankfully, another employee had already spotted Z, and had put him on his golf cart and had been driving him back to the offices so they could stick him wherever they put lost children. When my grandma got to him, he was his usual, stoic self, not crying or anything. He reported that he got to go for a ride with Lee (apparently the employee had introduced himself).

I consider the fact that all ended well (except I suspect my grandmother is deeply traumatized by the whole thing) to be a minor miracle. I know that 99.9% of the time when a kid gets lost, it ends this same way, but that doesn't make it feel any less miraculous when it happens. Everyday miracle, perhaps?

I feel bad that my grandma had to go through all that. I know that horrible feeling when you do a head count and come up short. I suspect it's even worse when you've been entrusted to care for said missing child. I know that she is a great caregiver, and trust her implicitly with my kids. Kids are just slippery little suckers, and easily get away. I'm hoping that the whole thing spooked Z a bit, and he'll be more careful to stay with the group from here on out.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Further proof of my eccentricity

I told K that she could invite her entire class over for a birthday party for her 12th birthday. We'd attempted to have everyone over for an "end of school" party last year, but it didn't go so well. First, another boy in the class decided to have a party on the exact same day. I thought that was incredibly inconsiderate, especially considering they sent their invitations out several days after we sent ours. Then, to make matters worse, it POURED RAIN the whole party. Seriously. I live in the desert. We only have a handful of rainy days a year. My odds of choosing a rainy day were in the 1/300 range. But I managed to pick one. Go me. The kids were all amazing and wonderful and good sports, but we did have twenty something kids crammed into my front room, and had to think of games/activities on the fly. Regardless, I think the party last year was fun.

I figured if I let her have the party in July, my odds of choosing a rainy day would go down, and there'd be less chance of other parties interfering. I did tell K that if it rained again, I would have to commit suicide. Lucky for me, it was probably one of the hottest days we've had all year.

We had a good twentysomething kids come. We served hot dogs that they got to roast on the fire, fruit salad, chips, pasta salad, and marshmallows. We also gave out ice cream sandwiches. The kids had a huge water fight, played basketball, capture the flag, and "touch the electric fence".

As crazy as the whole thing sounds, it was actually a lot of fun. The kids seemed to really enjoy themselves, and the younger siblings also had fun. I let M invite one of his friends to the party so he'd have someone to pal around with.

M is DYING to have his entire class over for his birthday. Part of it is the funness, and I think a bigger part is he saw the MAD LOOT that K got. Seriously, some of these kids (and their parents) are so much more generous than I am!

I broke the news to M that his birthday is in February. I am NOT going to have 30 kids in my front room on purpose. He said that it could be a snow party. Ummm, no. I told him he could have a summer party. But then he wouldn't get gifts!!!!

Who knew that having a summer birthday was so much better?!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Another egg!

Lucy laid another egg today! Even more exciting, she laid it in the nesting boxes we made.

I thought the first one was amazingly huge, at 2.5 ounces. Today's egg was even bigger though, at 2.75 ounces.

Wow!The first egg has a one on it, and the second egg is next to the mountain dew. I felt like it would provide better perspective than my hand.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Our first Egg!!!!!!!!!

I've been starting to fret and obsess over the fact that our new hen, Lucy, hasn't laid an egg yet. I think J was too- between the two of us, we're checking almost every hour.

This morning, I was starting to worry that she was egg bound (basically means an egg is stuck, and can be fatal to chickens). I even posted to a forum worrying about it. They convinced me that I should palpate her belly and figure out if I could feel something in there.

So, I headed out to the coop to see if she was ok or not. Before I got a chance to molest her, I happened to see that she was most certainly NOT egg bound! I am so excited!

I took a picture of her egg, and put a grocery store "large" egg next to it for comparison. My egg is 2.5 oz, which is considered "jumbo".
Isn't it beautiful?

Now I'm thinking about trying to incubate it, since odds are really good that it's fertile.

Wild day at the "farm"

Yesterday morning, I went to check obsessively for eggs as soon as I woke up. As I was walking to the chicken area, I found what appeared to be a small cowpie. Hmmm, interesting. No egg though.

Disappointed, I walked back inside, and found a second cowpie on my way back.

Curious now, I went to check my neighbor's facebook page to see if she'd had any adventures this morning. Sure enough, there had been mischief.

When J was getting ready to leave for work yesterday morning, he saw the two horses and cow grazing in our neighbor's front yard. Originally, he thought they'd been tied there to be lawn mowers. When he came out to officially leave, he realized they were in our yard now too. He managed to wake up Jennie and helped her get the animals to the back yard. Bella took a couple bites out of my corn, but J managed to get her away before hurting the rest of my garden. Moose, the calf, walked through my garden, but managed to not step on a single thing. Amazing!

He helped her get the animals situated, and left for work.

Jennie and I were chatting about it soon afterwards, and I got a phone call from one of M's friends who lives on the next street down. They spotted Moose walking down that street. I ran over to let Jennie know, and a couple neighbors had managed to get Moose to Margaret's front yard.

Jennie was mortified and decided to keep her horses and cow in her fenced back yard proper where she knew they couldn't escape until they strengthened the fenceline in our yard.

This morning, we have a new and improved fenceline, so hopefully, this won't be a home where the livestock roam...

All in all, I found it to be hysterically funny, but it could've been tragic, and my poor neighbor was pretty upset about the whole thing.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Addition to our flock

Now that the roosters are gone, I felt free to go buy one more hen. We haven't quite decided on a name, but Betty and Lucy are right up there.
For those who care, she is a Black Copper Marans. For those who REALLY care, she comes from Wade Jean and Bev Davis lines. I know that currently Bev Davis has a TWO YEAR PLUS wait for her fertilized eggs. Black Copper Marans lay a chocolate brown egg. Betty/Lucy did not lay an egg for me this morning, but after the trauma of being moved, I didn't expect it.

She is a full grown hen, just over a year old. Even though I could have gotten some chicks and raised them in the smaller chicken tractor, I just didn't have the energy, so I opted to get a full grown hen. She seems to be acclimating well with the other girls.

Clover is still around, but she didn't feel like getting her photo taken with everyone else.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Rooster Update

We posted ad for us to be adopted to new famlee on KSL. Owner got phone from guy who tattle on us. He sez "Did you know your chickens have been sneaking on the internet?" Tattletale.

But, we forgivz him becuz he buyed us. He bring us to home with 40 girl chickenz who r verrrrry pretty. Plenty of girlz for both of us. Our own Harem! (henum?)

Yay us!

We live happily ever after.


Several different things collided yesterday to make for a great evening.

1- Our air conditioner broke
2- My dad quit working in the temple on Friday nights, so much more time for socializing
3- We haven't had my parents up in ages

So, we invited my parents up for dinner last night so they could visit, and fix our a/c. Initially I was going to grill ribs. As I got thinking though, I decided to make kabobs. I have to admit I went a little overboard though. I bought mushrooms, red and green peppers, purple onion, zucchini, yellow squash, and pineapple. Then, I set out to make three different kinds of kabobs. The first was very simple.

Ham & Pineapple Kabobs
I got a small ham and cut it into 1"x 1" cubes, and did the same with pineapple. Skewered them on the stick, and then grilled just until the outside had a bit of browning. These were definitely the biggest hit with the kids.

Next, I made beef and chicken kabobs. I used the same cut up veggies, but marinated the meat in slightly different marinades. For the chicken, I used one of my favorites, the Sanpete Marinade.

Sanpete Marinade

6-8 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

1 can lemon lime soda
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup creamy horseradish (it's usually by the mayo in the grocery store)
1/3 cup soy sauce
2 T crushed garlic
1 T ginger
coarse ground black pepper to taste

Cut the chicken into 1x1" pieces. Mix marinade in a gallon size zippered bag, and put the chicken cubes in the zipper bag. Let marinate in the fridge for a couple hours, or even overnight. I like the marinade even better with turkey, but turkey isn't as easy to get.

Steak Marinade

2 lbs steak, any cut, cut into 1x1" cubes

1/4 cup soy sauce
3 Tbl light brown sugar
3 Tbl distilled white vinegar
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp seasoned salt
1 Tbl pepper
1/2 c. lemon juice
4 fluid ounces lemon lime soda

Mix marinade in a gallon size zippered bag, and put the steak cubes in the zipper bag. Let marinate in the fridge for a couple hours, or even overnight.

I then assembled the kabobs. Knowing my kids are a little iffy about peppers and onions (and let's be brutally honest, I don't like them either), I made some kabobs that were all meat, and some that were all veggies.

It was so beautiful and colorful to see them on the grill.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Hmm, that's not right...

One of the plants I put in my garden was a spaghetti squash. This is my first time planting it, since my mother in law always gave me a couple in the past. We really liked using it in place of noodles for a healthier spaghetti. I decided to grow my own. My mother in law was disappointed that she couldn't find any easily, and the one plant she did find died. I told her that I'd share with her.

This morning, I started looking at the fruit starts (or is it a vegetable?). While I am a spaghetti squash newbie, this really doesn't look right to me:While this does look like a fun and interesting squash, I'm sad that it's my "spaghetti squash". I was really looking forward to that this year. Why couldn't it have been my extra zucchini (one of the kids tossed an extra in my cart), or even my crookneck squash? It appears to be the beginnings of a "Pattypan Squash". It may be fun.

Now, this may still be hope for spaghetti squash. I never thin my starts, and there was two plants in the cup. The other one is blooming, but hasn't shown fruit yet. Maybe it will be a spaghetti squash?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Pleez Halp us!!!

Pleez halp us! We iz very smart cockeralz. We think z we very handsum, but we herd our owner say we go to "freezer camp". This soundz bad. We think our only hope is to be show birdz. We stol camera and take photoz. Then we sneek on puter when everywun sleepytime. We post here to see if we have chance.R we pretty birds for showz, or must we goez to freezer camp?
Weez evun gud wif kidz.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Unfairly Tried!

Yesterday I went to Salt Lake to take S to her much anticipated sleepover. I haven't had internet for a few days, so I've been going through major withdrawals. I got a phone call from my mom telling my that my cousin's viewing was yesterday evening, in case I wanted to go. This cousin had unexpectedly died a couple days ago.

Unfortunately, I was NOT in funeral attire. I decided to stop at Ross to see if I could find something to wear. While waiting in line for the dressing room, Z suddenly says, very loudly, "Mommy!! You farted!!!!"

Of course, at least half a dozen people heard. Not a single one could control it, and they all started laughing out loud.

You know what the worst part was? I really hadn't! But of course, nobody is going to believe that. Little brat!