Saturday, June 30, 2012

As American As...

....Apple Bread!

I stayed up until midnight last night to bake two loaves so Nick would have some for his breakfast.  I am ever so grateful that we still have apples from last fall in our freezer!

Friday, June 29, 2012

Berry Bounty

Raspberries have been in full swing this week courtesy of Grandpa Ben and the superb care he has given his raspberry bushes over the years.  Also, Daddy and the kids found a quiet little path close to the church where the kids have piano lessons.  Blackberries grow wild along that path.  Boy, were they good with my yogurt last night!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Dumping the Big G

Today I attended a protest/rally with Minnesota for Marriage across the street from General Mills Headquarters.  I was so thrilled when a friend e-mailed a group of us moms to see if anyone wanted to join her.  I jumped at the chance!

So after sending off the three oldest girls to theater practice for the afternoon, I headed out with the boys and Jane.  We were asked to bring any General Mills products to donate to a local food shelf in protest for their most recent support for gay marriage.  You can read more about that here.

Here is one of the comments made in support of corporations taking a stance on political issues:

"It's important for business leaders to make that case that this is an economic issue...... It's not just about gays and lesbians, it's about the kind of state we want and it's about attracting young, well-educated, talented workers to the state.We want to make the case that having a welcoming community is in everyone's best economic interest."

Really?  What if I support marriage between one man and a one woman and am backing the amendment in November?  Will I not be welcome in the corporate world?  No, I'm just one silly, little mother who can speak with her actions, her pocketbook, and her kids!  So what about the majority of employees that are in favor of marriage between one man and one woman?  Why aren't companies saying they support them?  If you're going to support one side, you'd better say you support the other.  Or better yet, why not just stay out of it all together?  This is a hot button issue, and they know it.  It's about popularity and the way the culture is portrayed by a few as swaying.   But the majority will be silent no more! 

Gifts from Grandma...Dora Cereal.

Bye Bye, Dora!
So, can we really dump General Mills products?  I say you can.  Here are a few links you can use to help you steer away from packaged cereal.

Homemade Granola
Honeyville Farms (for steel cut oats)

As for the canned products, try generics.  And here's what you can do with any leftover oatmeal....

Leftover Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Curious to know what products are marketed by General Mills?  Here's a link to their brands page.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

For My Dad

On Saturday, our biweekly cleaning day, we decided to skip out and head over to the State Fair grounds.  Every year the Minnesota Street Rod Association hosts a "Back to the 50's" car show for car enthusiasts throughout the world.  I'm emphasizing "world" because it is the largest collector's car show in the world that spans 3 days.  Over 11,000 cars were registered for the show!  I'm not a fan of collector cars, but we got the bug and wanted to see what all the hype is about.

Boy, did we get to see what all the hype is about....

We went searching, searching, searching for a 1960 2-door Impala, but this was not the one.

We found that Gabe really likes Mercuries.  He has no particular make or year.  He just likes them all!

Again, we thought we'd found the right Impala, but this was not it either!

Finally!  They found the car!

A 1960 2-door, hard top Impala that we found just for you, TX Grandpa!

The boys loved looking with their eyes and not their hands.

Some of us had to have a cat nap here and there.

The grass is never this luscious during the State Fair!
I was really loving the overcast weather.  Naturally diffused light is the best for getting great shots!

I think it was well worth skipping the housecleaning!  

Friday, June 22, 2012

Strawberry Girl

I was so excited to see that Lisa had posted about making Strawberry Freezer Jam. I remember my mom making peach freezer jam when I was a kid. Spreading her peach jam on my toast on summer mornings was the best. I can still taste the sweet peachy goodness of that jam, and it makes me happy. My mom always used square, plastic freezer containers, but I only have jars so that's what I used to make ours.

Strawberries, organic sugar, balsamic vinegar, sea salt, and pectin....that's it!

Lucas helped me ladle.

It's almost imperative to have a wide-mouth funnel to save you from the hassle of cleaning up messes.

Our yield:  9-1/2 pint jars of jam!
I realized last night that the yarn I'm using to make a new set of dishcloths is reflective of my summer mood these days.....

Peaches and Cream yarn in "Strawberry Ice Cream" on Size 7 straight needles.
And, of course, this was Molly's breakfast this morning before heading out to her ballet camp....

Thanks again, Lisa, for the idea and leading me to the recipe.  Happy Summering, and don't forget about the Fortnight for Freedom!

Prayer for the Protection of Religious Liberty

O God our Creator,
Through the power and working of your Holy Spirit,
you call us to live out our faith in the midst of the world,
bringing the light and the saving truth of the Gospel
to every corner of society.
We ask you to bless us
in our vigilance for the gift of religious liberty.
Give us the strength of mind and heart
to readily defend our freedoms when they are threatened;
give us courage in making our voices heard
on behalf of the rights of your Church
and the freedom of conscience of all people of faith.
Grant, we pray, O heavenly Father,
a clear and united voice to all your sons and daughters
gathered in your Church
in this decisive hour in the history of our nation,
so that, with every trial withstood
and every danger overcome—
for the sake of our children, our grandchildren,
and all who come after us—
this great land will always be "one nation, under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all."
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
taken from the USCCB website for Fortnight for Freedom

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day!....We Couldn't Wait.

We were all so excited to give Paul his Father's Day gifts early.  We just couldn't wait!  I mean with all the kichy things we found for the kichiest guy in existence, who could wait?  And when I found out that Georgeanne is hosting a Linky Party for Father's Day cookies at her blog, Lila Loa, I knew it was providential that I gave Paul his gifts today.  And I have to say that keeping things a surprise from Paul is the EASIEST thing in the world.  What gives away ALL of my surprises?   ME!!!  I usually blow it by blurting something out or just plain giving in and giving him his surprises early.  I just love it.  He's the easiest guy to give gifts to.

He loved his gifts so much.  See....

This guy loves anything that has to do with Lucha Libre, guitars, surf music, and the 60's Baby!

Los Straitjackets Cookies.  A complete set including guitars and martinis.

He loves to humor me!!

Gabe tried to play his guitar.  Cute!

Lucha Libre "Sock It To Me" socks.

For the man who has everything.:)

"Cool Jazz" ice cube guitar tray from Fred for his night caps.  I just couldn't resist!
Here are a few more shots of the cookies so you can get the full effect.  I know how much you want that full effect!!

And here's a little Summer Surprise from Los Straitjackets in time to get your groove on for the upcoming solstice!:)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Pretty, Happy, Funny, Real: Granola, Granola

round button chicken

This PRETTY little girl loves to eat "granola, granola" for breakfast.

2 hour a day patching should help her weaker eye strengthen up.
Even a busted lip needs a Band-Aid!

Saving a little money always makes Mom and Dad HAPPY.  So I decided to try my hand at making my own granola.  I started with a few simple grains.

To this I added a cup of raisins, a cup of semi-chopped pecans (I didn't have almonds....rats!), and 1 1/2 T. cinnamon.

I mixed it all up and added 8 oz. of honey.

I spread it out on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

and baked it for an hour at 225 degrees.

I let it cool and then brought the edges of the parchment together to crumble up the granola.  I keep our granola in a plastic container that has a rubber seal.

I thought it FUNNY when Jane reprimanded me for spilling the granola just to get an artistic shot!

Big crunchy clusters....just the way they like it.

According to Jane, the granola is REAL good!

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