Pie Crust

Last night I made chicken pot pie.

“I want a new computer!”

“I want chicken pot pie.”

“I want a new car.”

Don’t understand? You should be watching Modern Family on Wednesday nights then.

So, I made pie crust because what is chicken pot pie without the pie crust?



My chicken pot pie had only a top crust to save on calories. Under this, I added chicken, carrots, leeks, green onions and sweet potatoes. Those leek haters didn’t even notice!

Except, I forgot to add the peas.

Chicken pot pie really misses something without the peas.

It misses joyful green next to the vibrant orange.

And, it misses some flavor, some chicken pot pie flavor.

Back to the fabulous pie crust.

Do you know anyone that loves that weird, dull flavor of unbaked pie crust?

It’s me. I do.

I LOVE pie crust, unbaked, freshly rolled out.

Weird, I know.

But wonderful.


We are in the Loop

The modem is in the craft room, so tonight Jack saw it and noticed that it was from Qwest. The conversation that ensued follows:

J:  What is that for?

Mom: For the internet.

J: ARE WE IN THE LOOP????? WE are IN the loop!

Mom laughed and poked her finger with a stick pin because she was pinning fabric.

Seriously, how does he know all these commercials?

We were in the sewing room because Jack has taken up sewing lately. He has finished two projects, one project each night. His grandmas will be so proud! The first project he wanted to make was a bag which is good because, if there is one thing I can sew, it is bags. He picked out the fabric from the stash, and we designed as we went along.

I thought that it would be really hard for him to sew through his finger, but honestly thought it was a distinct possibility because he is as clumsy as his mother.

He is such a perfectionist which, in general, makes for a very good sewer. He selected a detail stitch for the edge and a straight stitch for the seams. The detail stitch can be seen on the picture next to the finished product.


He threaded cord through the bag and attached a cord lock with my help. It turned out GREAT!! He filled it with candy, and we’ll deliver it to his cousin Ty this weekend.

attaching-the-cording finished-bag-for-ty

Tonight he wanted to sew again, and since his cousin Riley was in the hospital overnight to get some tests for his migraines (he is 6), we decided that making him a bed buddy was a good idea. What is a bed buddy you ask? Well, we didn’t know either until Grandma Babs came over last weekend and told us.

A bed buddy is a bag filled with rice or dried beans and sewn shut. Bed buddies can be microwaved for 30 seconds to get warm and are perfect for little boys (and girls) to fall asleep snuggled with. As it turned out, I had one made out of my dad’s sock when I was pregnant because my midwife recommended it for back pain. I think I like Jack’s version better.

Jack selected his fabric, then considered an R applique. I have always wanted to applique, but haven’t tried it yet. Given the fabric was flannel, it was a must for this project if the R was going on. I cut the R and Jack did the rest! I am very impressed at how well he did…he took his time and was very precise.

applique-front finished-project

Because homemade sewing articles from our house also come with tags most of the time, we made Jack a tag too! I didn’t think of it until tonight, so we didn’t get one on the bag. Unfortunately, we don’t have a microwave, so we couldn’t test it out.


Troy got Stratego for Christmas, and we got to play last night. I remember playing my step dad all the time when I was a kid. Troy is really good at it and has some good strategies. I am always amazed at ALL the things he keeps track of in his head like complicated rules, detailed plot points, random musings, everything! He does really, really well in school as well, so I don’t know how the heck he has so much room for all that stuff in his brain!

It’s Wednesday night which means I’m crying again

because the Biggest Loser is on! Ed and Heba…*gasp*

Did you just hear what Ed told Heba?

“I never truly lived before I met you.”

My favorite part arrives in just a moment – transformation. Did you see Jerry’s transformation last week? I really was AMAZED at his dedication and progress since leaving the ranch. That made me cry too because I was so happy for him.

OMG…Ed did awesome too! Wow!!! 85 pounds!

Too bad I was eating popcorn when I was watching the show. Speaking of popcorn, Cub Scout popcorn sales starts in a week! We don’t have a microwave anymore, so we’ve been making old fashioned stovetop popcorn. It is SOOOO much better than microwave popcorn!! It takes a little time to get the amount of oil right though…underestimating is a good idea.

Jack, Burt’s Bees and What Men Like

Jack was introduced to Burt’s Bees products beyond chapstick tonight. First in the store, he asked after seeing what presumably is Burt’s face, “Does he have a bunch of bees or something?” Then later, in the car while looking over the Peppermint Foot Lotion, he asked, “Do you put this on your feet so men like to smell them or something?”

I swear, I have NO idea where he gets this stuff!

Last night was the season premiere of The Biggest Loser. The fact that I am SUCH a dork is reinforced EVERYTIME I watch this show because it always brings me to tears! It is just amazing to me that these people are willing to put themselves out there in front of the world while they work their asses off to lose weight. I am not that brave. The green team was voted off this week and it was AMAZING when they showed how awesome they looked during the reveal at the end of the show.

I have been spending too much money on a fabric addiction. At least I splurge in the clearance aisle which means $2-$4 per yard. I could spend hours in the fabric store. Seriously. I have started to walk through three craft aisles lately but only because they are on the way to the fabric at one of the stores.

Jack wants to make a quilt with me and while we were looking through the Denyse Schmidt Quilts book he had a pattern idea. He promptly drew it out and of course it is full of curves! I hope he changes his mind because I need more time to be able to do them well!

Tattoo removal

Well, tonight Jack and I sat and watched two hours of The Baby Borrowers mainly because he was grounded from playing outside with friends for mouthing off from playing outside. He stopped into the living room to watch a little bit of Friends, then we started watching the show.

The show’s premise is this: teenagers who think they are ready to have a baby are required to spend three days each with an infant, then a toddler, then pre-teens, then teenagers, then elderly people. Tonight was toddlers first, then pre-teens. He thought these kids were “Just my style” (his style, not mine). One of the girls was 7 years old and threw tantrums like a three year old and was quite mean to her sister. I pointed out how ridiculous she looked and how pointless it all was. (I’ll have to get back to you on whether or not it sunk in.)

At one point this 7 year old had to stay in her room in a timeout because she locked “dad” and sister out of the house. The teen “dad” wanted an apology from her before she could leave her room. He tried to coax her into apologizing by eating popsicles with her sister and offers of pizza. She just went ballistic instead. Finally, she wrote an apology on a sheet of paper and shoved it under the door for “dad” to find. Jack thought this was very clever and said so.

Another teen parent couple were told that they behaved like friends, not parents. Jack asked for clarification on that, and so I filled him in on the difference. He then saw the previews for the teenagers next week and predicted trouble. I told him that I wanted him to be 15 and still be talking to me and giving me kisses even though it may not be cool. He did not commit to anything.

During commercials, we flipped over to Supernanny, a repeat I’d already seen, but I really hate watching commercials plus I may have an undiagnosed case of ADD, but we won’t go there. Supernanny provided a tip to parents about making an easy star chart and how it can positively reinforce good behavior particularly when a family gets stuck in a negative reinforcement rut. (Any mother of a high-spirited child can relate to this!) Here is the conversation that followed nanny’s tip.

Jack: What’s so great about a star chart?

Mom: Does it ever feel like I don’t talk about the good things you are doing and I only focus on the bad?

*pause for thought*

Jack: No.

Mom: Really????

Jack (after thinking he clearly said the wrong answer): No, well, eh sometimes.

I think that gives me permission to seek laser removal of my worst mom ever tattoo across my forehead for the tooth fairy incident.

On to less interesting things…

I’ve been carpooling for two weeks now because driving round trip to work 90 miles is seriously putting a dent in my checkbook. Stefani and I carpool twice a week which is great for both of our checkbooks, but she is a morning person, and I am not. She needs to be to work by 8am, where I would normally stroll in between 8:30 and 8:45. We meet at 7am which means I have to get up by 6am to leave by 6:50am. (Did I mention that I still make an english muffin breakfast and hot tea for my hubby??)

The first day I got SO much done before 10am I couldn’t believe it! The high wore off though by morning #2, particularly by night #2 when I was exhausted by 10pm. (I’m a night owl, so this is usually the time that I get a second wind and start cleaning for the evening.) I survived and here I am in the middle of week two. Also, she has given me some good cooking ideas.

We are taking the kids to the Dells (of Wisconsin), and so I’ve been talking about it. I am so surprised at how many Iowans have never been there! It is much better now that there are water park options for rainy days! The kids are going to love it! It isn’t Legoland California, but it’ll still be fun! This summer has been so crazy with the move, that it will be the only time we camp this summer. (We normally camp 5-7 times over the summer.) We will be able to try our our Therm-A-Rests out that we got for Christmas.

Another baby was saved in Iowa today because of the Safe Haven law. This is the law that allows a baby to be dropped off at a hospital and left without consequences to the person dropping it off. This, of course, prevents babies from being abandoned in unsafe conditions.

Iowa’s golden girl, Shawn Johnson, is off to the Beijing Olympics and is on lots of national commercials now. She is a 16 year old gymnast and current World Champion. Jack thinks she is on the commercials because she is from Iowa, not because she is an Olympiad. Unfortunately, our camping trip is scheduled during part of the Olympics. 😦 At least my world traveler friends, Carrie and Bob, are taking their kids to China for the Olympics!!! They will be taking in some gymnastics, track and field, BMX and much more! I am so jealous!!! The kids even are missing the first week of school!

Last aside…I love that Aaron, Jack and Troy all know how to properly use “well” (instead of “good”). They have no idea why (one is an adverb and the other is an adjective).

Sex In The City movie

I was a fan of Sex In The City though I didn’t ever get HBO. When I would spend the night at my parent’s house and sleep in a room with a tv, I would usually catch Sex In The City or Trading Spaces marathons. Unfortunately, this meant that I rarely got sleep because if the tv is on with something interesting in front of me, I will watch it FOREVER despite sleepy eyelids. This also meant that I could catch up on many episodes all at once which was great. I ended up getting the season dvd’s to complete my viewing background.

So, I was mighty skeptical when I heard that a movie was being made because so often the movie versions SUCK!!! I hadn’t read much about it since it came out two weekends ago which means that it couldn’t be that bad. I went up to visit my sister Friday night and her husband watched all 4 boys (thanks, Nate!), so we could go to the movie.


It was a full two hours, but it was good. I REALLY liked that it was about making yourself a family in every sense of the word, about making a marriage work, about forgiveness and about being happy. I would have been very disappointed had it been all about the singles and sex in the city. What was particularly funny about this whole thing was that there were two fights in this movie that I had literally just had with A within the last two weeks. The one that made me bust out laughing was early on when Miranda got some foam on her lip, and Steve told her it was there. Miranda’s response was to tell Steve that he was always too critical of her (which was my response as well). It was funny to see the same argument from the outside looking in and being able to recognize how ridiculous I was being.

I love Steve..he’s a guy like everyone knows. He tries his darnedest, admits when he’s wrong or has screwed up and is essentially the guy that every girl wishes she could find, except he is a bartender. He loves Miranda despite her flaws.

I loved that the movie had these hilarious moments that were the kinds of things that happen to real people, like me. I also loved that it wasn’t a clear cut happy ending with Carrie marrying Big. I loved that Carrie became wonderful friends with her new assistant as well. I also loved that Carrie sucked it up and purchased her own bifocals!

So, girls, see this movie with someone you love regardless of what kind of love it is – for me, it was sisterly love.

Kristi Who?

J enjoys Dancing With The Stars. I have to admit that after watching many episodes, I kinda like it too. It isn’t something that I would be sure to watch, but if it is on and nothing else interesting is on, I’ll watch it. I am completely impressed at what it takes to move like that. At any rate, J started watching last year after Grandma Mary got him hooked. She is a DEVOTEE of the DWTS…never misses an episode.

Last night was the season finale in which we found out which of the three couples would win – Jason Taylor (fire burning hot), Christian de la Fuente (who danced great despite a torn tendon), or Kristi Yamaguchi. They didn’t announce the winner until well after J’s bedtime, so at dinner tonight, I informed him.

Mom: Hey, J, Kristi Yamaguchi won Dancing With The Stars last night.

J: Kristi Mamaguchi?

A: Kristi who?

J to A as if he’d known all along and was not just told: Kristi Mamaguchi. She won the gold medal.

I like Kristi Mamaguchi so much better!

We are still living in a constant state of clean which I have to admit is a bit stressful, but at the same time is kind of nice because the house is always clean! It is annoying in the morning though when you are trying to get out the door and you see things that should be put in order just in case we have a showing.

In my old life, I was something of a MS Paint stick figure artist. I could create stick figure worlds which were impressive to stick figure aficionados. Granted, there are relatively few, but hey, my brother could outdraw me from the time he could hold a pencil, and he’s a year younger than me…MS Paint stick figure art is the closest I’ll ever come to any kind of art talent! At any rate, one day last week, I made a drawing of our house sale pending situation thinking it would make me feel better. As it turned out, it made me feel worse, but I’ll share it with you here.

I borrowed a book, The Spirit Catches You and You Fall Down by Anne Fadiman, from my friend Sarah about four years ago before she moved to Arizona. I just picked it up and read it. The book is about a Hmong family’s experience with the American medical system when their daughter is diagnosed with epilepsy. It is incredibly interesting from a clash of culture anthropological perspective. I learned a lot, and it reinforced my belief that I would not survive if I were forced to leave all that I know and dropped somewhere that all my knowledge was completely useless. No doubt about it, I would not last long as a refugee.

I’m looking for new books to read as I’m in an anti-audiobook funk right now. I think it is mainly because I haven’t found a good one in a while. Suggestions are welcome!