Sunday, January 31, 2010

Feeling Better

Daughter W. is looking and feeling better this morning. She is set on doing things for herself, and is happy to be out of pajamas. She insisted on cooking eggs for both of us this morning, but has retired to the couch to do color and sticker books and watch TV. Tomorrow we go to get the cath out. We're both excited about that! Daddy and the girls went to church.

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Gaylin and Glenn
Blue-eyed posse, and Andrea the party planner

Bekah and the grandkids (and a future grandkid.)

Tonight we went to our sister-in-law Gaylin's surprise birthday party. The girls came from the homeschool one-act play competition, and Husband stayed home with the recovering Daughter W.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Tater Tot Casserole

An oldie, but goodie!

Tator Tot Casserole

2 lbs. hamburger

1 onion, chopped

2 cans cream soup (chicken or mushroom)

1 can milk

2 cans vegetables, drained

1 pkg tater tots

Brown hamburger and onions. Spread over bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Top with drained vegetables. (We like corn on one side and green beans on the other side.) Mix the two cans soup and 1 can of milk. Pour soup/milk mixture over vegetables. Dump frozen tater tots over the top of all. Level tater tots. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 min.

Variation: Arrange tater tots in military rows before baking.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Hospital Visit

Daughter W's kidney operation was a success. We got home this morning about 11:30. *Deep sigh of relief all around*

Pre-op with Pinky
Friend Sidney, Blossom the turtle from Cousin Holly and Bob
Cousin O's and Aunt Lissa

Some of the "haul": puppies from her favorite brothers. Although her sisters thought the gifts from everyone were "better than a birthday," W. stated she would have gladly given up the presents if she had not had to have the operation. But... we all agreed that the presents helped the whole experience a lot-especially when you are seven. Thanks to everyone for the cards, calls, visits, presents, meals, help with kids and prayers.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Operation Update

Daughter W. operation went well. Pain and recovery a little rough the first few hours. She was feeling quite melancholy. Now she is acting more even. Had a little nap that seemed to help. Thanks for all the prayers and thoughts and visits.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Operation Prep

We are getting ready for Daughter W's kidney operation early tomorrow morning. (Right ureteral re-implantation-she has kidney reflux.) We bought fun, fuzzy socks to wear, and have the favorite blanket and Pinky the dog ready to go.
She has been drawing these little "things" to give to her nurses and doctors at the hospital. (From Ed Emberly's Big Purple Drawing Book.) It gives her a way to prepare, and think outside of herself. She has been sick with a cold, and we were supposed to go to the Dr. for another check this afternoon, but with the snowy weather, we cannot get out. I will have to cancel it today and see if we can even get out tomorrow morning for the actual operation.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Ice Skating

Ice skating. The ice was crunchy and not-so-great, but the company was excellent. (W. had to miss. She was sick.) Group pix by Friend Ana.

M., Maria, Grace, Nicole

Rachel, Hannah, Isabel, L., Grace

Heather, Rachel, A., Ziggy

And a few of the moms! Me, Nanc, Sandy, Ruth, Ana

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Front Room

We changed the front room around today. I like it.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Mom's Chicken Doodle Soup

My mom always made chicken soup with her own doodles. (The texture is between a dumpling and noodle.) My grandma taught her this recipe, and all my kids can make it. Son J. just made it at his place last week when he had the flu, so this is a well-loved, four generation recipe for our family. I have never met anyone who did not like these noodles and soup. You'd better make a double batch of noodles if my brothers or sister are coming for supper, but you'll need a strong arm to stir up a double batch.

Chicken Doodle Soup

My chicken soup-

chicken (whole or pieces-Bones and skin make a richer broth. You will remove them after cooking.)
carrots (sliced or canned-use the liquid if you use canned)
onion, chopped
chopped cabbage
salt, pepper, celery salt, parsley, bay leaves and basil

Cook chicken, onion, cabbage, sliced fresh carrots in water until chicken is tender. Remove bones, skin and fat, skim surface of broth if needed. Add spices. (If using canned carrots instead of fresh, add them when you add the spices.) Simmer until hot. Increase heat to boiling and drop noodles into hot broth.

Doodles (Dumpling/Noodles)

4 eggs, stirred with a spoon
1 Tbsp oil
1 tsp. salt
1 1/2 c. flour

Stir eggs, oil and salt together well, add flour and stir with a large spoon until well blended and "ropy." Take another spoon and push bits of noodle dough off the end of the first spoon into the boiling broth to make doodles. My grandma made very small noodles, and the girls like to make huge ones. Stir through the boiling soup occasionally as you drop noodles. If you dip your spoon in the broth, the noodles will slide off the spoon better. After dropping the whole batch, turn off/down soup and serve.

Clay Animals

A few more clay creations we have made lately. The little birds were something I tried for Valentine's favors, but changed my mind on. I do still like them, though. The black cat and dog are original creations by Daughter W, who is always original! The dog is a dead arma-dog, something like a dead armadillo that she saw on our vacation in MO. The cat is my favorite. I especially love the design of the cat's legs.

Fog Frost Fotos

It continues to be a photographer's dream with all the lovely images from the fog frost. It takes me extra time getting places in the car because I have to stop and get some shots, or backtrack to places I saw when I was unable to stop at as I went by earlier. This last shot is of corn still in the fields, a sight we see too often around the area. Too much snow to get it out right now.

Monday, January 18, 2010


Cousins Nick and Bekah and Nathan had the girls up yesterday to ride on the tubes behind the four wheeler. L and M went; W was not feeling well, so stayed home. The girls and Gus sledded, and they all had a great time riding the tubes. Bekah models her farm girl pregnancy. Too cute, as usual.

Mexican Dish

This is a top-of-the-stove recipe I make pretty often. You can see the recipe above, but I forgot to add the corn chips to the picture. I believe it would be fine for celiacs. (Check your packages for ingredients.)

Mexican Dish

1/2-1 lb hamb. browned
1 pkg taco seasoning mix, made as directed on package
1 can corn, drained
1 can Ro-tel chili, drained (mild or desired HOT-ness)
1 small can tomato sauce (8 oz. or so)
1 can black beans, drained
Shredded cheese-of choice

Stir all together, simmer on stove about 10 min. Top with corn chips and cheese. Remove from heat, cover and let sit until cheese melts, about 5 min. Serve with additional salsa and sour cream, if desired.

Dog Blanket Clay

These little clay dogs are so cute and are fun to make. The top one was made by our friend Kelsey when she was still in high school and liked to play with my artsy stuff when she was here visiting. Daughter W. and I made the purple one today. The bottom view (last pix) is revealing, but saves on clay. (You're looking down into a "cup" of the blanket between the head and tail.) We put a couple of marbles under the belly area until it was cooked, or you can crumple up some foil to do the same job. W. did the blanket by herself. Our best tip is not to make the ears or blanket too thin or they break easily after baking. See packages of clay for baking instructions. We use Sculpey clay.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Butterflies and Cousins

We were at the Butterfly House with Chris, Piper and the O's today. Almost everyone had a butterfly land on them. Olive thought it was neat until it happened to her. Owen stayed out and shopped the giftshop with Uncle Kevin.

These butterflies (above) are both the same type, but the black turns to the blue/purple when it is hit by sunlight. Cool! (Top five pictures of butterflies are by L.)