Thursday, February 28, 2013

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

Well, I was hoping to get this up before we went to a hockey game, but, alas, clearly I did not. Our school was playing to go to the state tournament against our rivals...and we lost. So stinkin' sad, but oh well.



I'm over it.

Pretty sure they're not, but I am, and that's all that matters, right? ;)

Okay, right to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are worn out from all the stupid sicknesses going around. 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, March 1st: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Deanna (@deannajw) from Musings, Julie (@newmanjulie), Sandy (@PardonMyDust) from Pardon My Dust, and Brooke (@HallBro) from Brook and Michael for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What was the most productive thing you have done this week?

2. Enjoying the winter or ready for spring?

3. Are you an introvert or extrovert? Is your spouse the same as you?

4. Would you rather go without music or television for 1 year?

5. Have you ever been truly scared of someone?

--------------------------
See ya right back here in the morning!



Tuesday, February 26, 2013

In the Kitchen with Gram...Caramel Pull-apart Rolls...Orange Pull-apart Rolls!!

Deciding on a title for this post was hard..."Caramel and Orange Pull-apart Rolls" sounds like a combination of caramel and orange flavors...*sigh* the challenges a blogger faces. ;)

Anyway, as Gram's Vegetable Beef Soup simmers on my stove top, I figured I should finish up today's recipe! So, let me share this amazingly simple, incredibly delicious breakfast companion!

These rolls remind me of Easter brunch...they're one of Gram's "signature" breakfast dishes (served alongside soft boiled eggs and sausage? YUM. Is it Easter morning yet?) and I have yet to find someone who doesn't like them.

And, BONUS...they're super easy.

Okie dokie, let's get started.

Generously butter two 9x13 baking pans:



Now, it's time to mix up our "stuff" for each pan of rolls.

Orange roll "stuff" first:



Sugar,



And orange zest:



Caramel roll "stuff":

Melted butter:



Brown Sugar:



Cook 'N Serve pudding:



Next up, cut your thawed rolls into thirds,



letting them fall into your buttered pan (do a "layer" of rolls, then coating, then finish with rolls):


Be sure to get a roll into each corner of your pan...Gram's strict instructions! ;)

Now, pour your "caramel stuff" over the bottom 1/2 of the rolls (the caramel tasted much better than it looks!!):


Then, finish the "top layer" by cutting the remaining rolls and pushing them gently down into the spaces:



Next up, orange rolls topping.

Sprinkle the orange zest/sugar mixture over a "layer" of rolls in the second pan (this looks oddly like mashed hard boiled eggs...it's not, I promise!):


Then, cut the remaining rolls onto the top, wedging in rolls into spaces like you did with the caramel batch!



And, pour melted butter over them!



Now, it's time to set them aside and let them raise...here they are before raising:



And here they are raised and ready to put into the oven!



Bake as directed below, until the centers are done:



Then invert them onto a foil lined pan, making sure to scrape any goodness that's left on the pans!



Now, just pull apart and serve!



Yum.




Gram's Caramel Rolls



24 frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes), thawed (make sure they aren't pre-cooked rolls!)
1/2 c. melted butter
3/4 c. brown sugar
1(3 oz) pkg Vanilla Cook 'N Serve pudding

Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter 9x13 pan. Heat butter, brown sugar and pudding on stove top. Cut dinner rolls into thirds, about 1/2 way through cutting rolls, pour brown sugar mixture over rolls in pan, then cut up remaining 1/2 of rolls, wedging pieces into any visible spaces and making sure a roll is in each corner of pan. Set aside (on top of the warming oven in a good place, just make sure all burners are off and NOT hot!), cover with towel and allow to raise til double in size. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until center rolls are done.

Break apart and enjoy!


Gram's Orange Rolls



24 frozen dinner rolls (Rhodes), thawed (make sure they aren't pre-cooked rolls!)
2 c. sugar
Zest of 2 large oranges
1 stick butter, melted


Preheat oven to 350*F. Butter 9x13 pan. Combine sugar and orange zest, stir well. Melt butter on stovetop in small pot. Cut dinner rolls into thirds, about 1/2 way through cutting rolls, sprinkle sugar/orange zest mixture over rolls in pan, then cut up remaining 1/2 of rolls, wedging pieces into any visible spaces and making sure a roll is in each corner of pan. Pour melted butter over roll pieces. Set aside (on top of the warming oven in a good place, just make sure all burners are off and NOT hot!), cover with towel and allow to raise til double in size. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-40 minutes, or until center rolls are done.

Break apart and enjoy!


I Bribed Her

I'm working in my In the Kitchen with Gram post, and while I do, I thought I'd share a little something with you.

As you know, my baby just turned 5 *sob*...you may not know this though: she loathes getting her pictures taken. Well, actually, that's not entirely true. She just loathes anything that anyone wants her to do...it's all gotta be on her time.

So, I totally bribed her. TO. TA. LLY.

I was all about asking nicely at first. Then pleading. Then I resorted to the bribes. First, a treat.

And her eyes lit up...then, I threw in going out for lunch and she was putty in my hands.

I'm quite pleased with what I got!

Take a look:









Friday, February 22, 2013

Five Question Friday!! 2/22/13

Word on the street is that I'm gonna get to hold my sweet nephew this weekend! Haven't seen him in what seems like forEVER! Can't. Wait.



Bought new bedroom linens that I'm dying to get on the bed, but I'm all "well, maybe we should paint first and if we're gonna paint we might as well get new flooring and while I'm at it maybe I can spruce up our cheap old dressers with a little paint and Distress Ink and gosh, I can't do a ding dang thing until the bed skirt is on and the bed weighs 8 billion pounds so I can't do that by myself..." see what happens? I just can't toss on the comforter and call it good.

Geepers.

Anyway, let's get to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are worn out from all the stupid sicknesses going around. 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, February 22nd: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Mrs. E. Schmitz (@emschmitz) from They Call me Mama, Amy (@amy_mcmommy) from Mac or Cheesy and Adrienne (she of the locked Twitter account and no blog) for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What is a hobby you would love to learn and why? 

2. What do you wish you could have delivered to your house but does not deliver?

3. What's your favorite snow day activity? Inside and out?

4. Would you meet a stranger from an Internet dating site?

5. If you had to spend 35 hours in a car with 4 other people, who would you choose?


-----------------------------------------------

1. What is a hobby you would love to learn and why? 
To sew. Because I'm constantly pestering my friend to sew this and fix that and can you whip together this and will you make that?


Also, I'd love to play the piano because I love seeing that talent and also, I haven't heard a piano player with a bad voice...it's like a two-fer-one talent.

2. What do you wish you could have delivered to your house but does not deliver?

Ooooh, good question! I suppose it depends on my mood...some days I'd die to have someone deliver me a Caribou Coffee...other days, I'd kill for Chipotle and then there are the "oh, crap...I'm out of butter" and would love for someone from the grocery store to run over, right then, with some butter for me.


I should really try to take advantage of grocery delivery...I hear it prevents you from buying unnecessary items...like the Chocolate Chunk Vanilla yogurt I bought today.

3. What's your favorite snow day activity? Inside and out?

Well, I'm not really that outdoorsy, but I remember when I was a kid, my mom and I would bundle up and go for a walk in the dark while it was snowing like crazy and it was one of my very favorite things to do...I keep meaning to do it with my kids, but it never seems to work out. I need to seize the moment more and JUST DO IT, fer dang sake!! 


Now, we just need a good nighttime snowstorm!

Indoor activities? Games with a crackling fire in the background, or a good movie snuggled up under my covers with my hoodlums all around me.

I kinda love snow days.

4. Would you meet a stranger from an Internet dating site?

Eeek. No. See...I'm married? ;) I'm really glad that I'm not dating in this day and age...I know people who've met their significant other online and it works well for them but gosh, I dunno.


But then, there's some Twitter friends I have, some I've already met in real life through other life circumstances and others I only know from the hilarious and wonderful tweets we exchange and I would LOVE to get together with these ladies!

And is that really different? Not really I guess. I just hope they aren't killers. ;)

5. If you had to spend 35 hours in a car with 4 other people, who would you choose?

Oh, boy...that's a hard one. Can I say me, and The Father, Son and Holy Spirit? ;) I could totally spend 35 hours with my hubby, for sure, and we've done 14 hours in a car with all 7 of us.

Are we talking 35 hours straight? Oy...I'm pretty sure that whomever I choose I wouldn't want to see much after that 35 hours. Gosh, I'm so flustered by this question I can't even answer it straight!

I'll leave it at this: If I'm traveling anywhere and it takes 35 hours to get there, I'm assuming it's a pretty worthwhile place to visit, so I'd want my whole family with me. Yes, all 7 of us.

And I'm sure we'd hate each other by the end of it. ;)



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Thursday Night 5QF Sneak Peek!

Just a lazy night around here, kids getting in missed snuggle time with daddy, since he was gone for the last three nights, me, just biding my time until I get my own snuggles in! ;)


Was so good to cook with Gram today...seems like it's been forever since we've cooked (2+ weeks), what with all the people getting sick. Ugh...and now, Belle has another cruddy cold. SERIOUSLY. So over the sickness.

Let's get to the questions!

Welcome to Five Question Friday!! You've come to the right place if you want a fun, easy post or if you've suddenly discovered your muses are worn out from all the stupid sicknesses going around. 

Rules for 5QF: Copy and paste the following questions to your blog post, answer them, then watch for the linky post to appear Friday morning and LINK UP! 


Oh, and remember (pay close attention...this is the important one)...HAVE FUN!


Questions for Friday, February 22nd: (Special thanks to Pam (@trooppetrie) from Troop Petrie, Mrs. E. Schmitz (@emschmitz) from They Call me Mama, Amy (@amy_mcmommy) from Mac or Cheesy and Adrienne (she of the locked Twitter account and no blog) for these 5QF question suggestions! I would love to link you in a future 5QF, so come on over to my community or watch for my Thursday afternoon shout out for questions on Twitter and offer up your best question suggestions! Remember to @5crookedhalos me and use hashtag #5QF if you go the Twitter route!)


1. What is a hobby you would love to learn and why? 

2. What do you wish you could have delivered to your house but does not deliver?

3. What's your favorite snow day activity? Inside and out?

4. Would you meet a stranger from an Internet dating site?

5. If you had to spend 35 hours in a car with 4 other people, who would you choose?

----------------------------------

And there you have 'em! See you in the morning!



Valentine's Day...Late, like, duh.

So, I was all Pinteresty this Valentine's Day (and just getting around to posting it after crawling out of the great, dark abyss of norovirus)...last year, I did this after getting the idea from a Facebook friend:


And this year, I went all out. Even woke up early so I could get things going for the kids!

The Mr. and I did the streamer love notes again for the kids...I just love the whole process, thinking of numerous reasons of why I love each of my kids and all for their very own and unique ways and writing them down so they can see it in black and white.

Or, you know, black and pink. ;)


Then, this year, I made bacon hearts and heart shaped (use your imagination) cinnamon roll muffin waffles.

My kids? They loved me.


And, I'll admit...heart shaped bacon tasted just a little bit better. Must've been all the love I added to it. ;)

Now, I'm off to Gram's to cook...been way too long with all the illnesses we've had around here!


Wednesday, February 20, 2013

When the Cat's Away...The Whole Damn House Falls Apart.

So, I get home from picking the kids up from daycare yesterday and we walk into the house and instead of being met with a welcoming, warm, enveloping atmosphere, we are hit with air that is no where near warm enough to keep us comfortable from the below zero temperatures outside.

Turns out Hambone didn't shut the door all the way when he was the last one out this morning (Pal had morning duty, you'll see why in a sec) and our home was filled with cold, frigid air. Here's the kicker, we have "off peak" heat because we have a fireplace...so when energy usage is at "peak" the electric company can shut our heat off for a bit because we have a back up heat source.

There was a very unfortunate series of events that happened yesterday...first, the whole "leaving the door open when it's -20 below" outside and then, like a kick to the gut, I believe we also entered an "off peak" time because the temps were so low everyone around us was cranking up their heat. What we were left with was a frigid house without a good heat source and a fireplace that is really more ambiance that efficiency and DANG was it cold!

Here's another kicker...the hubster was out of town. He had to talk me through making a fire in the fireplace (yes, yes he did) and man alive did I get a good fire going! Kinda. Actually, no...it was pretty wimpy...not at all like the Mr.'s warm, roaring fires, but it warmed our fingers.


Then I threw in the towel and packed up the kids and called my baby brother and forced him to go to "burger basket" night at an amazing restaurant that is really too far away to drive to on a Tuesday night but HEY! I didn't have heat, so time was meaningless to me! I figured we'd drive there, eat, drive home and the house would be toasty warm.

WRONG.

Colder. Yes, it was colder when we got back. Baby bro had to tap into our internet (the parent's is wonky sometimes) and this is how he did his work:


Yes, it truly was that cold.

Then I began to fear that something was wrong. I mean, we were talking HOURS now without heat and I was facing an entire night with 5 children who likely would all be bunking in my room to share body heat. Which in my eyes = frigid, sleepless night. Or, in other words, a slow, painful death. Being cold and sleepless? Shoot me now.

But LOW AND BEHOLD, just as I was about to start a campfire on our living room floor, I heard the familiar "tick tick tick" of our baseboards warming up and I ran from room to room testing them and IT WAS TRUE!! The heat was on!

Each kid scurried to find a baseboard to warm up their frozen toes and fingers on and I breathed a sigh of relief. No slow, torturous, cold and sleepless death for me. Thank goodness. 

So, next up, one of our smoke alarms starts chirping. Easy fix, right? Just change the battery? Yeah, only this one doesn't HAVE a battery. It's wired. And yes, I looked to make sure there was no battery. I even had the brainstorm to disconnect it and THEN guess what?

IT STILL CHIRPED. 

Like it was mocking me. The base and the jumble of wires chirped at me. So, I sent a text to our amazing friends and saviors (who rescue us WAY too often) and while I was waiting for a response, I decided to press and hold the button that said "press and hold to test weekly".

And magically it stopped.

But, whilst I was downstairs investigating failed breakers that could make this alarm chirp, I heard a spine shivering skittering in the utility room that let me know there was likely a little critter in there. By this point, I was done playing Mr. Homeowner and I marched right over to a mouse trap, baited it and set it in record time.

Good golly, I worked hard last night. I think I earned some kind of reward or something for all that.

*Yawn* Like maybe a nap?


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Happy Birthday, Gram!

Today, my friends, my Gram celebrates her 81st birthday!!



My Gram is one of the most important people in my life. She and I share a bond that I cherish and I hope someday that I will be able to experience a bond like this with a grandchild of my own.

She's taught me what it really means to be a grandparent and I am so, so, SO very grateful for her!

For the time she gives me.

For the love she shows me.


For the cooking she teaches me.

For the relationship we have.

I love you Gram, to the moon and back! Thank you for being you. 



Slowly Clawing Our Way Out...

Well, if you follow me on Twitter, you have a general idea about what this post will be about.

Ages and ages ago on February 9th (so, yeah, okay it was just over a week ago, but it seems like eons ago) my wonderful husband surprised me with a date night for our anniversary. Dinner reservations and even an overnight sitter, so we could spend the night at a sweet little cabin (that his brother owns).

A nasty storm was blowing in, so we decided to scratch the overnight plans and walked in the door just as our wonderful niece (the babysitter) was putting Hambone in the bath because he "had a tummy ache and a fever". And that, my friends, was the beginning of the end.

Hambone got sick, no vomiting, but massive diarrhea (again, if you saw my Tweets you may remember something about "sharts") and an off tummy for several days. Sunday, we were celebrating my birthday at my mom and dad's when Baby Girl started feeling punk and running a fever. We rushed out of there with a puke bucket and gifts in tow, blowing kisses and shouting thank yous.


She threw up a couple of times that night, seemed okay the next day and then proceeded to have bouts of vomiting off and on until Thursday when she started in with the "fast poops" and vomiting again. I finally threw in the towel and called the clinic and was told (of course) that she should be seen...it was just a little too much for a little too long.

We get there, see the doc who recommends we make our way over to "Short Stay" (kinda like a mini ER/hospital unit for kiddos that are anticipating a "tank 'em up and send 'em home" kind of stay) for some IV fluids and medicine to help her nausea.


We got settled in, she handled the IV start like a trooper, she got her medicine and fluids, we discovered her "bicarbonate" level was low, which earned her an additional fluid bolus, and we were sent home, IV still in place, with instructions to return the next day if she worsened again, but encouraged that with her bicarbonate level being low that getting fluids can "break that cycle" of vomiting.

It was just what she needed...she's been golden ever since.

The Mr. and I, however? We got hit. The Mr. came home from feeding cows on Saturday complaining that his hips hurt so bad he could hardly sit still on the way home. I was all, "yeah, sure, whatever" and dashed off to get birthday stuff for the Pal's birthday party the next day. (Before you think I'm a mean old wife, I did tell him to take ibuprofen and catch a nap...he did, and felt betterish.)

Then, Sunday came around. I got breakfast in bed. The eggs weren't hitting the spot, so I passed them up but scarfed down everything else. I was 1/2 way through my coffee before I realized my tummy was a bit off. I mentioned it to the Mr. who concurred that his was a bit too.

As the day went on, I felt crummier and crummier and at the moment I thought I could get up to finish making the dinner for that night's party, I was struck with back pain so awful that it took my breath away. For those of you that have been in labor...you know the contractions you get that stop you in your tracks and render you unable to talk, breath, move, etc? That was the effect this back pain had on me.

Oddest. Thing. Ever.

I hobbled back to bed, with quiet tears on my cheeks and waved my white towel. I was done. Could. Not. Function. With sheer will power and determination I did not throw up, but I will say, my GI system did, indeed begin to empty itself...ifyaknowwhatImean. Oy. 

And through it all, the only thing I kept thinking was "I had no idea the kids (or the Mr.) felt this awful!" while remembering the back pain and limb pain that Baby Girl complained of the first night she was sick. Poor little peanut. Oh gosh, hang on, I have to go hug her again. Sweet little girl.

So, my friends, that's what we've been up to. Fun stuff, huh? I can only hope, now that we've had a marathon of illnesses for the past several weeks, that we've had the upper respiratory junk and now this God-awful GI crap (HA! Pun intended..) that *crosses fingers* hopefully we're done.

I mean...WHAT ELSE could we get?

Wait. Don't answer that.


Monday, February 18, 2013

My Baby is 17.

Yesterday, my oldest boy celebrated his Golden Birthday. 17. SEVENTEEN!!!



 DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHAT THIS MEANS?!?!?!?

Well, for one, he can now go see rated R movies, or buy them or rent them. But, you guys, in one year he is officially going to be an adult! Legally, anyway...those of us who have made it beyond 18 know that at 18 we were, really, no where close to being an adult.

Anyway, this kid? He blows me away. He was thrown into a less than ideal situation with unwed, teenage parents and has thrived. Totally and completely grown into an amazing young man.


He is responsible, dependable (except when it comes to putting his clothes away), reliable and kind.

Not to mention wicked smart, incredibly handsome and an amazing athlete. All of which, of course, he gets from me. (Inside joke...I like to tell him he got all of his athletic skills from me, the most uncoordinated person on the planet.)


This kid is gonna go places in life. He's going to make a name for himself and find successes beyond anything I could've ever hoped for him.

I am so proud to be his mom and I can't wait to see what he does in life!

Happy Birthday, sweet boy...I love you so much, kiddo!



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