Thursday, April 24, 2008

Chicken tater tot casserole...

One of my girls favorites. I had posted previously the original tatertot casserole... but have since updated it so that the eldest will eat it. She doesnt do beef or pork...

1 pound ground chicken
1 small onion diced
spare peas
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can cream of celery soup
handful of shredded cheddar cheese
1 scant bag of tater tots

Saute the onion in a bit of olive oil in a pan. When translucent remove and then add the ground chicken, brown. Take a 13x9 inch pan, grease it or use pam. In a bowl, mix the soups, peas (we use frozen) onion and cheese. As soon as the chicken is browned and drained add that to the bowl. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Top with tatertots. Now we like to be kind of obsessive about this. We work as a pair and try our darndest to line the tater tots up perfectly. I am sure just dumping them would work as well *smiles* Cover with foil and bake in a 400 degree oven for 45 mins or so. Test the tatertots in the center of the pan... if they are hot, and the casserole is bubbling away, toss a bit more cheese on top and bake till melted. If the tater tots are still cold... then its not done lol... so cook a bit longer.

We like to eat this with a tossed salad and biscuits.

Its not healthy... but dang its comfort food with a capital C.

I think we are having this for dinner tomorrow night.


Wednesday, April 23, 2008

wonderful wednesday...

Maddy returned home from her amazing adventure with her grandparents. It concluded with a trip to the Shrine Circus with her Mimi, her sister, her aunt Nan and cousins Sophie and Gabe. The circus was the awesomest (is that a word) she had ever seen.

Eileen.. aka Teengirl is spending the day with her Mimi tomorrow. Grammie is coming at 10:30 to get the child/teen/young woman... and who knows what mischief those two will get into. This whole job thing has been incredibly stressful for Ms Eileen. Its her senior year, she is going to prom in a week, graduating in a month, going to college orientation 3 weeks after that and then to college end of August. She doesnt have her license yet... up until this week her job wasnt giving her more then 5 hours a week... and the financial aid package she was offered is $8000 short of covering her costs for school. So anyways... a day away with grammie will do her some good.

We got the news today that Hubby isnt getting the job with the company in central Maine... according to them " they still are interested in bringing him on board" but they are talking months... not weeks. They did mention an opening they currently have... were almost embarrassed to offer it... but heck I dont know... if they can give him a position now... that will lead into a different one say 6 months down the road... its a job. On the other hand if he took it we still wouldnt have health insurance and couldnt afford to buy it on our own... and we would have to sell the house yesterday... move up there tomorrow... cause we couldnt afford to pay for him to commute. I just dont know anymore... I am getting rather discouraged. Heck ... forget that. I am moving past discouraged and onto Angry with the world. So I spent the day slapping primer on purple walls and trim... and muttering. Im not angry with hubby ... not even angry with the company... just sad and depressed and I want it to just all go away.

just call me cranky pants...


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Went to dinner at Hubby's mom and dads house tonight where the Chef du jour was Miss Madelynne. She prepared a 3 course meal for us including a lovely potato and leek soup starter, a chicken and pasta course featuring greek olives, a tossed green salad and rolls and it was all finished up with a yummy brownie pudding cake that her great great grammie used to make for her Mimi Linda when she was a little girl. Maddy was quite tickled with herself and Mimi Linda was a bit proud as well.

We had a birthday today... Mr Jasper is officially 1 year old now. Woot... Happy Bday Meestah J. Its hard to believe he has been with us for 9 almost 10 months.

We got some more work done on Maddys room today, that purple is being awfully stubborn and we are going through primer very quickly. I cant wait to get that room done so we can move on to the next project *smiles*

Maddy, Grammie and Teengirl are going to the Shrine Circus tomorrow... after that the tired Mimi is dropping the girls off here at the house and then probably going home for a long nap... lol I think Maddy has worn her grandparents out.

Guess thats all from this front...


Monday, April 21, 2008

Post weekend...

Dang I am tired....

On Saturday my sister came down to visit with her eldest and the bf... (boyfriend as opposed to bestfriend) Teengirl had plans and was gone most of the day... but the maddster was here and the kids spent some time wandering a local beach and then playing on the wii. The two 16 yr olds actually seemed to have a good time hanging out with the 10 yr old... no fights... no screaming... no slamming doors... well until the 18 yr old came home, then all hell broke loose. *sigh* I guess its normal... some sisters just dont get along. I never used to get along with my sister either...and look at us now. So I am in hopes that eventually the two girls will love... like... be able to be in the same building without sparks flying out of their eyes and nasty words spewing out of their mouths. A mom can dream eh?

So anywho... my sister didnt leave until almost 10 oclock at night... we ate homemade pizza for dinner and played several rounds of Assassin (incredibly fun game) and then the jerks got me hooked on yet another freaking "reality" tv show. America's top model or something like that. Its not like I dont watch enough of that stuff... american idol, survivor, the amazing race, big brother, top chef, project runway, Hell's kitchen... I love all these shows, though currently I am sort of ignoring survivor and AI and barely keeping up with BigBrother (thank god for tivo or the fake version my cable company offers). Also on Saturday my mother in law called and made arrangements to pick up ms Maddy on Sunday, so on top of watching the show with my sister, making dinner, intervening when bloodshed was looming with the girlz... i was doing laundry and helping the youngest decide what she would take to grammies house.

Sunday- Mimi Linda showed up at noon to pick up the maddster... Maddy was so freaking excited and she did all the packing for her trip (10 minutes away lol) She took 3 pairs of pants, 3 shortsleeved shirts, 3 long sleeved shirts, unmentionables, pjs, 1 jacket, 2 movies, 3 books, one borrowed knitting bag with a project as well as her new knitting book she got for Xmas, 1 stuffed animal, her DS and all her games and her most important item... her new Rachel Ray cook book... "cause mimi and i are gonna cook up a storm" When i carried all the stuff out to the car i jokingly said this is the first load, and Hubbys mom laughed and laughed. The kid had one duffle bag, one back pack, one plastic bag of shoes and one knitting bag. Apparently Tuesday Mimi and Maddy are going to make up a menu, go shopping for ingredients, cook a meal and we are all going over for a fine dining experience.

After Maddy left I spent the afternoon trying to muck out her room. Her room is one of the ones we definitely need to paint before we sell the house.. maybe I mentioned already the dark purple walls with almost blackish purple trim... the list of friends in the closet and the writing on the ceiling. I would like to have the ceiling, and trim done at least before we pick up miss maddy... it would be nice if it was all done but at the same time we are working on the upstairs bathroom. right now its a upstairs hole. We are talking no floorboards... just floor joists... no walls just studs... plumbing pipes sticking up out of the floorless floor and wall-less walls. Its horrid. Hubby is working hard on it... and as soon as he gets a few more wall studs in we can call the plumber to come and start putting in the new plumbing and taking out the old icky stuff. I cant wait till this is all done... it feels like the projects have been going on for the last few years. We start we stop we start we stop... yanno? Life just gets in the way and before you know it you have been down to one bathroom for over a year and it becomes "normal" I dont remember the last time both bathrooms were working because before this era (of the upstairs bath not working) it was the era of the downstairs bath not working. Any ways... it will all eventually be done and we can sell the house and move to a new one where the projects begin anew. Yikes!

I didnt actually get a chance to pull out maddys quilt, when we finally were done with the days work, had dinner etc we took showers and threw ourselves in bed and were asleep in seconds.

Hope you all have a wonderful day... the teen wants to go driving, i want to start priming the trim and hubby... that rat is still sleeping.

Wishing you peace ...

PS... Teengirl mentioned to me that she really misses Maddy. *shakes head*

Friday, April 18, 2008

Life in the fast lane...

We worked on the yard a bit more today, spent time in the fresh air and digging in the dirt. Maddy made another "stew" and then proceeded to host her own show about the best way to make meatballs to go in said stew. The kid is a natural born "foodnetwork" star... her admitted heros are Rachel Ray and Paula Deen... the kid has a future I tell ya.

We grilled hamburgs and one Amy's Veggie burger for dinner and followed that up with the chocolate cake i talked about yesterday. Dang the thing is good... and it only takes 20 minutes to bake. Yum!

Hubby hasnt heard yet from the company up north... I am trying hard to not be discouraged by this. I know they will get in touch... its just a matter of when.

We have a few plans for the weekend... my sister is coming down for the day tomorrow. She needs help with her Statistics class work, and she is bringing my niece and the bf. Her hubby and the boys are staying home but hopefully next time they will come and visit. We are going to continue to get some work done in the yard, as well as the house. I need to get out and purchase the paint for Maddys room, and perhaps get the good stuff for my trim paint... its either that or repaint all the trim in the bathroom, living room and dining room to match the new cheaper aka crappy trim paint we picked up a month ago.

The kids are both off for April Vacation next week so other then the days Maddy is with Mimi and Papa and the time Teengirl spends with them we will be all busy busting our behinds working on the house.

I also want to try and get some more work done on Ms Maddys quilt. She has now taken to hinting that it would make a fine birthday gift... as long as its done. She started saying this in January. Does she know her procrastinating mom or what? Granted... January is when life started its little rollercoaster dance... but still! I have one strip of border on... need to continue it around and then 3 other border strips to go... Its supposed to be a twin... we will see.

Wishing you a wonderful weekend...


Thursday, April 17, 2008

Spring has sprung...

The weather has been just beautiful the last couple of days, so we have been spending lots of time in the great outdoors.

In the front yard we took a bunch of old concrete pavers (that we had sitting in piles in the back yard) and used them to seperate the tree garden from the lawn. Everything inside the pavers is garden... everything outside is lawn, sounds simple I know but at times it was hard to tell. So everything outside the garden has been raked and is soon to be fertilized and then over seeded... and everything inside the pavers has been weeded and hopefully will have a fresh bed of mulch on top of landscape fabric. (I wont be putting the fabric on until the hostas start coming up... and we know for sure we are getting mulch.)

The yard is starting to look rather nice in the front... but we still have so much to do. Its a bit odd... making the yard look so nice so early in the season... and to know that someone else will be enjoying the gardens and the lawn this summer. I don't think its really hit any of us yet that we are moving. On one hand the idea of moving and having a fresh start is exciting... but at the same time... leaving behind my huge maple tree ... the gorgeous lilac bushes... the gardens... the girls' swimming pool... the neighborhood... our beloved neighbors Linda and just feels a bit uncomfortable. This is one situation where you have to just trust... trust that the universe has a plan... cause I sure as heck know I don't *smile*

Maddy is going to be spending a couple of days with her Mimi Linda... she is so excited. She wants to cook and knit with grammie... and she is making lots of plans. I sure hope Mimi and Papa are prepared for the whirlwind that is heading their way. I am in hopes of getting Miss Maddys room emptied out... and painted while she is gone. A nice neutral color... currently is it light purple with an almost eggplanty purple trim. Not sure what in the heck we were thinking *smiles* but its gotta go.

I am going to make The best chocolate cake from The Pioneerwoman Cooks . I have made this before and the family just lapped it up... you really have to try it.

The dog has been really enjoying his outside time lately... we stuck his tie up right in the front yard and when we are out there.. he is out there. Sure has cut down on the amount of barking he does at people and trucks passing by.

Hope your week ended on a high note... and I wish you peace!


Monday, April 14, 2008

Life is changing... the merry-go-round that seemed to be running smoothly took a drastic nosedive and has transformed itself into a roller-coaster. Up and down, around the curve... the last few months have been mind-numbing.

Hubby was laid off in March after a couple of months of short weeks. He has been searching for a job, I have been searching for a job and we have been in a bit of a slump. We have tightened our belts, held tight to our girls and through all of this we have learned some surprising things about ourselves and what we are capable of.

Hubby has a hot job prospect in central maine... but its been an incredibly slow process. We should hear by Thursday, and we are all keeping our fingers and toes crossed for good news. We are acting on the premise that the job is his... and that the job offer will be one we can accept, in which case we go into overdrive getting the house ready to sell.

Maddy and I have continued to homeschool through out this. I readily admit that somedays were incredibly short and other days it just didnt seem to stop. We are still working in our Saxon math book... and the things she is learning boggle my mind, I sure wish i had access to such a book when i was her age. Perhaps my fear of math wouldnt have followed me into my 40s. *smile* Social studies is going well... We are learning about the beginning of the revolutionary war... She seems rather fascinated with the whole thing. In science we are learning about ecosystems... what happens if a creature is taken out of its environment and moved to a foreign one... etc. We are using the Oak meadow courses for both Social studies/English and Environmental Science. Not sure i would sign up for the science again... but the other is pretty dang awesome.

I am in hopes of updating this blog a little more frequently... until we talk again...

I wish you peace,