Sunday, August 31, 2014

One of those weekends...

We're getting some much-needed rain here - but sadly it also means that I've had a nasty headache all weekend.  Son is doing a project for his pre-AP Language Arts class and we've been butting heads a bit on that.  I have a mammogram scheduled for this week.  And just tonight, I discovered our daughter has lice.  Yes, after only one week of school (the clerk at CVS commented they'd been selling a lot of lice product this week.  Somehow knowing I'm not alone doesn't exactly make it better.)

On the plus side, hubby has tomorrow off and kids have school.  Hubby wants to go shooting, but I'm not sure that me + firearms is the best idea ;)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Blintz Breakfast Bake (THM - S)

A few weeks ago, a friend on FB shared a Blintz Breakfast Casserole, and as I looked at the recipe, I thought, "I could totally THM-ify that!" I tried out a half batch (8x8 pan) and shared it with the THM group, and it was very well received :) I've made it twice since, and can confirm that it does freeze/reheat well, so here's the full sized version.  I also took additional pictures of the process, as some ladies mentioned they were having difficulty with the layers, but hopefully the photos make it easier to understand.  It's a nice option when you want something "fancy" for breakfast, but with very affordable ingredients.  Add some more sweetener, and it can easily become a dessert.

Blintz Breakfast Bake (S)
1 cup cottage cheese
8 oz package of neufchatel (reduced fat cream cheese), at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
2 doonks* of pure white stevia powder
2 eggs
1/4 c coconut flour
1/3 c golden flax meal (slightly heaping)
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup plain Greek yogurt (I used nonfat, but higher fat would be fine, too)
1/4 c Truvia (or erythritol or xylitol)**
1/2 c butter, softened
1 tsp almond extract (or another extract of your choice; the original recipe called for orange juice so I initially used orange extract, but I actually prefer the almond)
1/2 c almond milk
8 eggs
Preheat oven to 325 if using a glass pan, or 350 if using a metal pan, and grease 9x13 pan. Pour topping ingredients into blender and puree, then set aside. In a bowl, combine the first 4 base ingredients, and use a fork to remove any clumps. Add all remaining ingredients and stir together (a few small lumps are OK). Pour into pan, then gently pour/spoon topping over (it will swirl together somewhat, and that’s fine). Bake for about 50 minutes, until center is set, then let stand for at least 5 minutes. Top with on-plan jam or fresh berries.
*most pure stevia powders come with a teensy little scoop that measures 1/32 tsp, which somehow came to be called a doonk
**you could use stevia here as well, just microwave a Tbsp or so of the batter so you can taste it before baking and adjust sweetness as desired.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Daughter's Video Diary

I was clearing the emptying the camera's SD card when I discovered this gem from our daughter: her documentation that she really did empty the dishwasher.  Too funny not to share.  Please excuse the piles on the kitchen counters.

Another school year!


I don't know how it's possible, but our firstborn is now in middle school. Whoa.  He still likes it after two days :)  The big highlight on Monday was riding the bus - he's been longing to do this ever since kindergarten, but this is the first time that we finally are in a bussing zone.  I walked with (well, behind) him Monday morning just to make sure everything went OK - it's a whole quarter mile away, but there's no sidewalk (and drivers usually are doing about 10 over the speed limit on that stretch) but all was well. He's in pre-AP (advanced level) classes for all his regular academics, which will be a stretch, but we think he can handle it.  One thing I love about living in a smaller town is how you know about certain teachers & such... his math teacher attends a local church and we have several mutual friends, and his language arts teacher actually goes to our church. Seriously, how awesome is that? I have to admit that I had a few qualms about sending him off this year, but I know he's in God's hands.  There's also a YoungLife group that meets once a month, so he'll be checking that out -- looking forward to getting him better connected with some fabulous kids.

Daughter is now in 4th, and was happy to be back with her friends, and is very much looking forward to starting up GT (the Gifted - Talented program) next week.

Just have to share these for fun. I took the kids for haircut on Thursday (and that was right before the stylist started chopping away at the back of A's hair - she decided she was ready for something different).  D finished first, and he was reading a Calvin & Hobbes book that I had snagged for a quarter at the library the previous week.  This was his first introduction to the mischievous boy & his tiger sidekick, and he couldn't stop laughing at their antics.  He's not a big reader, so anytime he gets pulled into a book it's a win :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Here Kitty, Kitty

So while the kids were at camp, the hubby & I enjoyed a little time alone - nice to put aside the Mom & Dad responsibilities for a few days :)  As part of our staycation, we decided we would try to find a cat.  Our son has been asking for one for a couple years now - we got the gerbils two years ago as a "fuzzy pet that can be held but requires minimal attention" compromise, and decided we were ready to move up the pet ladder.  We did not tell the kids we were doing this, as we didn't want them to be disappointed if we did not find one that was a good fit.  I had a list of musts: female, already spayed, at least a year old, friendly and even-tempered, and preferably de-clawed.  We went to the humane society on Tuesday, and they had lots of kittens and adult males, but only a few females, and none of them were very friendly.  We went back on Wednesday "just in case," and ended up finding her (she was in the back getting checked when we were there the day before).  She is not de-clawed, but was very friendly right out of the holding cell, and hubby even said she was OK (and considering that he was describing a cat, that's high praise!)

So we did the necessary paperwork, did a quick run to the store to buy food, litter box, etc. and then picked up our newest family member.  I took her to the vet the next morning, and it turns out she had a mild intestinal parasite.  Nothing like adopting a pet and then having to give it medicine for ten days.  Giving a dose of oral liquid is definitely a two person job.

Anyway, we had her about twenty eight hours before the kids came back home - she had no idea what she was in for.  D was the first one in the house, and he noticed her food dish right away and gave me a puzzled look.  He then took another step and saw the litter box, then in a squeaky voice (he'd lots most of it from all the yelling at camp) said, "We got a cat?!?!?" I was standing right behind him - he gave me a huge hug, and then asked, "Where is it?!" A was right behind me and was excitedly but cautiously peering around, also looking for her (one reason we decided to go ahead and get a cat is because she is still super jumpy around animals, and we figured it would be good for her to have a pet of her own).  Anyway, both kids were super excited to see her all nestled into a chair across the room...

We named her Opal, and she's about two years old. We have no idea what breed she is, but probably some Siamese in there somewhere just because of those gorgeous blue eyes.  She's pretty mellow and very tolerant of D's attentions. She is not declawed, but so far she's not tearing up our couches or anything.  We did buy her a nifty little scratching post, but the kids play with it more than she does ;)

It's still kind of surreal.  Honestly, I prefer dogs, but our back yard has very little grass, plus it's so stinkin' hot most of the year that I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving it out all day if we were gone.  Cats? Well, they might be snooty but at least they're lower maintenance.  We'll see how this goes.  I was joking around with a friend that we've been married 18 years and have two kids, so now we're finally ready to commit to a pet. Yeah, we do things a little differently than most...

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Kids Camp!

Last Monday our kids headed up to Austin for a three day church camp (same church where they did music camp; they also go to AWANA there, since ours doesn't have many kids' programs).  I just have these few photos (mostly snapped by friends of friends on FB) but still wanted to share them. They really enjoyed themselves - the days were packed with fun activities, as well as rockin' worship and a lively speaker that they really enjoyed.  It also gave the hubby & I some time alone together.  Wonderful -- and kind of weird ;)  Our house was eerily quiet for those days, and I must admit I was happy to pick our goobers up again on Thursday evening.