Goodbye Dear Friend

Let’s see if I can type this without crying.

.
.
.
.

We had to put down our sweet, beloved, furry baby on Monday.  He would have been 15 in April, and we were so blessed to have been his for 14 of those years. He outlasted everyones expectations, and we are so thankful he did!

As 2 (very) young newly married kids, we went to ‘just look’ at the pound, and came home with a 50 pound ball of fur. We had to sneak him into our apartment! We were moving out in 2 days, but the pound said that they just couldn’t hold him for us. He helped us learn more about ourselves, and life in general. He was waiting by the door as we brought our first baby home. He was waiting by the door as we brought our second baby home.   As the boys have grown up he’s been a constant playmate.

But in the past year he’s slowed down. He was happier inside, than out, but he would lay outside and watch them play. He still lit up when he saw his red leash in one of their hands. He wagged his tail in delight when we walked in the door after school, or running errands.

Until recently. He was tired. He was confused. He seemed sad. We knew his time was near, but we put it off. We prayed God would let us have one more Christmas, and praise Him, he did! It was right after the New Year we started to notice the biggest changes. After 4 bad days we decided we couldn’t keep him here for our good. We needed to make that tough decision for his best interest. So we did. The boys had the day off of school. We brushed him one last time. The boys asked to feed him one last time. We went for one last walk around the block. It was painfully obvious that it was difficult for him. We went to the park one last time, running around and just laughing. We didn’t even care about the 5* weather. It was sunny and clear. It was a beautiful day. He found a chicken bone by the trash and was so happy. We went for one last drive. It wasn’t long enough.  We went to the vet, one last time. I sat in the waiting room with Tiny. Fred wanted to spend every precious second with Java, so he went back with Jason.  Java was held until he took his one last breath.

It was a silent drive home.  The tears waited until we were home. He was not by the door waiting for us.  It was devastating.  After letting the tears flow we looked though hundreds of photos. Pictures we’ve long forgotten. It was the best way to spend the afternoon. Remembering Java’s better days.  Seeing his young face helped us realize how bad he had gotten.  I sit here and think, now I have one more reason to look forward to heaven one day. But while The Good Lord wants me here, I know Java couldn’t be in better hands, and he’ll be waiting by the front door when I get there.

spring09-6

Spring 2009

Pinterest Review- Chocolate& Peanut Butter

Ok, I have no pin for this one, because there are a meeeellion pins for chocolate + peanut butter on Pinterest.

Seriously. One million.  Search it for yourself if you don’t believe me…. go. I’ll wait.

See. I told you. There are PB chocolate balls, bars, cupcakes, cookies, spreads, parfaits.  All sorts of crazy things.  The only thing… most of them aren’t all that unique.  I’ve made some of those things before.

So why am I reviewing something everyone has tried before? Short answer… Because I want to. Long drawn out answer…. I’m glad you asked!

I do not buy any peanut butter that comes in a jar with a Disney character, or misspelled word, that I really don’t know what it means. I don’t buy peanut butter in a jar that could last for years in my pantry.  I don’t buy peanut butter in a jar.

I grind my own peanut butter at our local store, back in the bulk area. Fred Meyer and Winco both offer this service. If your store has a bulk section, see if they have this option to make your own.  There is one ingredient. You know exactly what that ingredient is. There are no preservatives. The most refreshing part, if you don’t use it in a timely manner, it will go bad!  Some people might see that as a negative, but seriously, please do not eat ANYTHING that doesn’t go bad. It’s  not good for you!

Some people will say that the texture of fresh ground peanut butter is awful, and a long time ago, I would have agreed with you. Jason has always loved it, so I weaned myself off the jarred junk by purchasing the more natural version that you had to stir before using.  I hated stirring it up, and it always made a mess.  I bought the no stir option, but it added an extra ingredient that I didn’t want.  Plus, it is pricey!!  I decided to just go over to the grinder, and make my own for SOOO much less.  My boys love it, Jason loves it, and now, I love it.  Jarred peanut butter tastes gross  to me now. It’s so sweet with all the sugar they add to it! Blugh!  I have not bought jarred peanut butter in years.

Okay. I’ll put my soapbox away.

With the knowledge that I buy grind your own peanut better, I’ll let you in on the negative. There is just one. It is very difficult to bake with.  Baked goods just do not come out the same.  BUT!!!  It makes the best peanut better cups! The Best.

Reese's

These are mindblowingly delicious! And painfully easy to make. Which makes me wonder why I don’t make them more often? Oh yes, because they are dangerous to my hips.

Reese's (4)
First you have to get your double broiler going.  Or if you do not have a double broiler, like yours truly, just set this up. Just make sure you use a heat resistant glass bowl. You’re probably smart enough to know that without me telling you though.

Reese's (10)
Throw your chocolate chips in once the water is boiling. I used a little more than a handful because I wasn’t making a lot. Just eyeball how much you think you’ll need. The good thing is that it’s extremely easy to melt more chocolate if you didn’t do enough the first time.

Reese's (13)

Pretty, melting chocolate. Make sure you stir it the whole time. This is not the time to go vacuum your living room.

Reese's (21)

Now that the chocolate is melted comes the fun. If you used chocolate chips, you have some time to work with it. It takes a bit for it to set back up. But be warned it’s messy. Just think, you get to lick your fingers when you’re done. The easiest way to work with the peanut butter is to refrigerate it first. Once it’s hardened, it the peanut butter balls roll through the chocolate pretty easily.

Reese's (2)

Reese's (14)I also spooned some chocolate onto the peanut butter that I had put into cupcake wrappers. I made a chocolate ball for all four of us, but only had enough chocolate for three. I didn’t want to melt more chocolate for one peanut butter cup.

Reese's (22)

Then you stick it in the fridge for a while. Or the freezer if you’re as impatient as me. You can tell that it’s ready when it’s not shiny anymore. It’s a matte texture. That’s when you know it’s set. Even if there is just a tiny spot that is shiny, you need to wait a little longer.

Reese's

Ready.

Reese's (15)

Heavenly!!!

Reese's (6)
Gone.  The boys love these.  And I do not feel one ounce of regret letting them eat them. They are a very yummy, fun sometimes treat.

Just a Little Somethin’ to Dwell on.

Story:

So this woman buys a McDonald’s hamburger and fries. She sets it out on the counter and takes a picture  of it. I mean who in their right mind wouldn’t?  Seriously. Well, she continues to photograph this fine specimen.  For 1000 days.  Yes.

One.Thousand.Days.   I did the math for you…. that’s 142 weeks. Or 32.8 Months. OR 2 years and 8 months.

Sally Davies Flicker

This is not exclusively a McDonald’s issue. It’s any place that uses highly processed, highly preserved food. We’ve all eaten it. We’ve all hit the drive through when time was short, or wanted a lazy meal.  But stop and think for a minute about the last time you cleaned out your car and you found that hidden fry that shimmied in between the seats, and found a nice home under the bench seat. It was there for months, yet it still looks like it did the day you purchased it.  There’s your warning that you’re not eating real food.  Real food rots!!!

Please eat real food!

Hello, 2013!!

It’s been brought to my attention that some people are tired of looking at that picture of the protein ranch at the top of my blog and that I should update!

I agree!  I haven’t felt like blogging at all, BUT I have been keeping up with my Pinterst Reviews, so I have a bunch of photo’s and posts to put together.

Before we get to all that nonsense though, a little boy I know turned 10 a few weeks ago! My baby is a double digiter! We will no longer have a single digit kid in our house.  Boo… *tears*  Okay. Tears are gone, and I’m moving on.

Ian is 10 (9)

 

I had him fill out his birthday survey.  That boy makes me smile every single day.  He is so genuinely happy, that is just absorbs into you!  I love him to pieces.

 

How old are you?  10
What is your favorite color?  Blue
What is your favorite animal?  Husky
What is your favorite food?  Enchilada
What do you want to be when you grow up?  Something with technology
What is your favorite book?  Percy Jackson
What is your favorite song?  Titanium by David Guetta
What is your favorite TV show?   Cook’s Country   (what? If I were to answer this for him I would say, The Middle)
Where would you most like to go for a vacation?  Sandal’s Resort,  in Bahamas’   (to much Wheel of Fortune?)
W
hat is your favorite thing to do?  Playstation
Where do you like to go for dinner? Olive Garden

Pinterest Review- Protein Ranch

I was intrigued when I saw this pin:

Protein Ranch Dressing

I pinned it quite a while ago, but never got around to trying it. I finally tried it this past week. I had Chef Salad on the menu, and thought it was the perfect time to try it.
But for some reason, I feel like I should explain something before I go on.  I love ranch dressing. Probably more than the average person. And I don’t just love it. I get annoyed…. almost angry, when I go out to eat, order a salad, and the ranch tastes like crap.  It’s a huge disappointment to me, and a lot of times, will dictate whether or not I will ever return to said restaurant. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s the truth.  Red Robin and Idaho Pizza have good ranch.  I can depend on them every single time.  Other places… not so much.  I almost want to ask for a sample before I waste my money on a salad. BLUH!

That being said….

I got all the ingredients, there’s only three; cottage cheese,  ranch seasoning, and milk. You put them in a blender and  that’s that.   (Don’t you love my  Clean Shower bottle?  It’s so old, but really strong bottle, so I’ve kept it and use it over and over again. I forgot to put it away though!)

It looked pretty good. I liked how thick it was!  Definitely off to a good start. And the whole blender thing was pretty quick. I made this on a soccer practice night, and we had to go pick up a team mate, so I needed quick.

I put together our salads. In disposable bowls. We were eating on the go. This picture will forever be a reminder that I once ate my dinner out of a red solo bowl! Booo!  But in my defense, at least I did not buy them! Jason’s mother brings me disposable dishes every time she comes over for a dinner. She insist we eat of them so I don’t have to do dishes! I hate feeling so wasteful!  Most of the time I use my own dishes anyways, but she often leaves them here. So I was lazy, and I used them.  Most of the time they are used for paint, or stain, or something like that. Whoo, I’m glad I got that off my chest!

But back to the dressing, you can see just how thick it is! I probably should have added a tad more milk, but like I said, I was in a hurry. Whenever we have Chef Salad, I always pick my veggies off, like I have a veggie plate, so the thick dressing was kind of nice for this salad, but if it was a traditional salad, thinner would have been better.

The Verdict?

Well this is kind of hard.  It was decent. I used a ranch packet brand I had never used before. I usually use the Hidden Valley packet, but I’m trying to get away from weird preservatives and junk, so I bought an organic brand that only has a few ingredients.  That alone was a big difference.  I did not care for that brand. I loved the texture, and creaminess of it. I will definitely try it again with my regular Hidden Valley. If I can find a recipe that tastes VERY similar to Hidden Valley, I will try it with that.  I will post an update to this when I try it again.

Too Busy?

I was getting ready to write up this post, and was thinking about how busy, and rushed we’ve been, and I stopped in my tracks when I realized that, that is seriously ALL I ever blog about!  Like no one knows that…. or even really cares!  I mean really did you really come here to read all about how busy I am?  Are you really surprised to learn that we stay busy all the time? Are you new here?

I started to think about all the times how busy we all are, and/or how tired we always are comes up in our daily conversations.  I know for me it’s a pretty common topic of discussion. I think it’s for a couple of reasons.

1) It’s true, and we are just talking the truth.
2) Lack of real, in depth topics to engage in.
3) We feel like martyrs. Like we need a crown or a trophy in honor of how busy we stay all the time. And heaven forbid someone not acknowledge how busy we are!

I certainly hope I DON’T fall into the 3rd category!  In all truth, I think a lot of the time I fall into the second, though.

Of all the things that are on our list…
-Work
-Soccer and soccer practice 4 times a week
-Church (that includes prep for my Sunday School class)
-Youth group events
-School events
-Class at CWI for me
-Daily chores, including  grocery shopping and boring stuff like that

Etc, etc….. you get the point. looking over the list, it’s not all that overwhelming, but it just keeps us busy.
Like every.other. single.houseold.in.America.

Then I got to thinking about WHY we all seem to insist on staying busy, having every-last minute of our day full.

1) We choose to.

That’s it. That’s the only reason I could come up with. Well, besides the whole work thing.  None of us really have a choice to cut that out of our schedules! But every other thing on our list, or your list is a choice.

Soccer? We choose to shell out the money for our boys to play soccer every season. Because THEY like it.  I think that might be the easiest thing to scratch off our list! It takes up the most amount of time, it doesn’t benefit me directly. It kills our gas budget. It kills our overall budget, and it cuts into the boys homework time.  But the boys love it. They keep their grades up. It teaches them team skills useful in life. It keeps them active. It shows them that we care about them, and the things they like. And it’s fun.

Church?  Well yeah, that’ a choice, but not in this house.  We love the Lord, we love to go, and worship Him. We love to teach the boys, and the kids at church about Him. Jason and I both know a life without Him, and that’s not an option anymore!

Youth group? Same idea as church, but more fun.  :)

School Events? We choose to send our kids to a school that has a few more concerts and events than the average school. We choose to drive our kids to a different town to go to that school. We choose to put our kids in a school, that we feel, is better quality than the one down the street.

Going back to college? Yeah, a total time sucker. More than I thought it might be? YEP, but still my choice!  I had the option to back out the first two weeks of school, AND get my money back, but I chose to stay in for the long haul!

Daily chores and such?  Yes, they are a choice, but I REALLY don’t want to be eligible for Hoarders!  And my family likes to eat… on clean dishes!

 

So yeah, I could take a few of these activities out of the line up and have a lot more  time on my hands. I also know that if we were to do that. We would start to get bored!

I’ll try to refrain from posting about how busy we are in the future. It really gets on my nerves!  Ha!

 

 

 

 

August

We went out to our favorite spot along the Snake River Canyon during a pretty significant dust/wind storm. It was so windy that I could not get any decent pictures.  I almost didn’t post these, since the quality s so poor, but I decided that they really show how windy it was! We had a pretty good time!

Lots of yard work was done. This topic needs to have it’s own post. The hard-scaping is what’s taking the longest, plus Jason keeps adding to it, making it take even longer. Kinda a 1+1=2 thing, huh?

We love to go out to Owyhee Lake, but we really don’t go as often as we should. Also, we need a new raft because 1) this one is to small for our family now, and 2) it has a slow leak, which prevented me from trusting it to hold me up!

Evidently Bam uses the camera to take fashion shots of Java when I’m not looking.  He makes a good model. This also explains why the battery is always dying.

Bam is quite the model himself! We got a little overwhelmed with all the back to school shopping so we detoured. He saw these women’s slippers and decided to try them on for me. I think they make the man!

A little family time back in my home town. The girl cousins give Jason his girl time, and they don’t seem to mind his rough play! They beg him to swing them around and act dead so they can beat him up! It is so fun to watch them play and have so much fun.

This baby girl wanted nothing to do with Jason Time and everything to do with Auntie time.  Who could say no to that? Not me, that’s who.  Lots of snuggle time, her and I.  Her momma got a lot done with all of her babies having someone else to hang on to!

Fred is so good with his baby cousins. He likes to play soft with them when he thinks no one is watching. And because of this, I had to take pictures on the sly. This equals cruppy photo’s.

The reason for our trip to Hometown, was because my cousin was getting married. We left the boys with Nana and Papa, and left a few hours early for some much needed alone time. What do you and your Sweet do with your alone time?  Go to the mall, get bored and walk the canyon rim?  Us too!  It’s my fave!

My older Sis and I, both not paying attention to our pictures being taken. Nice. Just nice.

On the road again.  Good bye Hometown, We will see you later. The drive home reminded us just how bad the fires have been this year, and just how close they are getting to towns. Scary.

A quick trick to the capitol for a Dr appointment for my main squeeze. And since i had promised to take the boys to their favorite park before school started, we decided to save gas and make one trip. We packed a dinner and make a date out of it. I just love this park as much as the boys. We hiked the trails (no pictures of the boys-they took their own way), played a little Frisbee, and played on the playground.  They good thing about our boys being small for their age? No one knows our 12 year old is playing with their 8 year old!  Not that our 12 year old would initiate any kind of conversation or play with any other living being, unless they’ve known each other for at least 10 years. It just isn’t going to happen!

We have decided that we are too old and/or broken to go camping anymore. With my back, and Jason’s knees, sleeping on the ground is enough to make tears come to my eyes. BUT I love camping!  So Jason surprised us with a back yard, best of both worlds camping trip. He got hotdog makings, smore’s makings, and started a fire in our pit, and  we all had a great evening around the fire. When we all got sleepy, we poured water on the fire, came in, showered, and went to bed. In our nice, soft, warm beds. It was a night we will treasure for a long time. In our talking with the boys we learned that the don’t like tent sleeping either!  We’re a spoiled bunch.

School starts on the 4th of September. I hope we can make a few more memories before that day comes, but if not, I hope we can all just sit back and enjoy this last drink of summer we have together.