Call it Slop

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A few months ago we were out of groceries. Again. Hey, these kids will eat you out of house and home. Literally. I used to cook those 3 course country kitchen kind of dinners every day- back when I had 3 kids. Now, I try to cook gigantic batches of food 3 times a week and hope they carry us through. (Thank goodness for pizza night.)

I used to like grocery shopping, but that too has changed over the years. I blame Wal-mart, but I’ll complain about that some other day. Needless to say, I’ve become a master at avoiding the store. So, I’m known for throwing a bunch of stuff in a pot and calling it dinner. Surprisingly those are my kids’ favorite nights! They don’t want fancy, they want hearty. Especially if I forget the “whole grain” stuff… Read the rest of this entry

Rainbow Sausage

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Rainbow Sausage

This is one of the recipes I made up to amuse my kids… (read more)

2 packages of Hillshire Farms Polska Kielbasa Sausage
32 oz. Garden Rotini
2 cans of Rotel
Half a box of Velveeta Mild Mexican
2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese
1 can of cream of chicken soup

Just brown the sausage, drain the grease. (Boil the pasta according to package directions while you’re working on the sausage.) Add the rotel and cream of chicken to the sausage. Stir in the cheese until it’s good and melted. Drain the pasta, add it to the pan with your sausage mixture and there ya go!

Buy some whole grain pasta, it’ll make you feel better about the processed cheese.
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Slop

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Slop

 

This is one of the recipes I made up to amuse my kids… (read more)
In our zoo we have to double this recipe, but this should make enough to feed 6 people!

1.5 lbs lean ground meat (beef, turkey, deer- your call)
2-3 carrots, shredded or sliced (whatever you like)
2 cans of fiesta corn
1-2 cans of rotel tomatoes
1 package of frozen potatoes O’brien
2 packages of Pioneer brand brown gravy (the only product where brand makes a difference- 1 package of Pioneer = 2 cups of gravy. Other brands typically yield 1 cup.)

Just brown the meat.Season it with garlic salt and pepper. Add some Tony Chachere’s  or McCormick’s Kickin’ Chicken (personally I could put that on anything) if you like a little kick. Drain the grease if there is any. Add the carrots and potatoes and cook until browned. Stir in all the other cans. Add 3 cups of water, bring to a boil. Meanwhile mix the gravy into 1 cup of water and stir well. Add the gravy to the boiling pot, stir well as it thickens, simmer a few minutes and serve.

Wanna be truly indulgent? Add some buttered bread to the table. Tell yourself there are vegetable in there somewhere….

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Teach a Man to Fish

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Teach a Man to Fish

What’s that they say? Give a man a fish,  feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish,  feed him for life! Well,  I say it’s more like teach a kid to fish and he’ll steal your boat.

Lately Dyl Pickle has been going fishing.  He’s always loved fishing.  I can see him now,  4 years old standing on a grassy bank, little fishing pole in hand….

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When The Doves Cry

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Isn’t it amazing how we connect our lives through music? I’m such a lover of music, and I have such an eclectic taste in music and there are a thousand songs that help me remember the stories of my life. I think the first song I remember loving was “he’s just a Coca-Cola Cowboy, with an Eastwood smile and Robert Redford hair…” I was about 2 or 3 years old when I ran around the house singing that. It reminded me of my Daddy, who was driving a Coke truck while going to the Fire Academy. “Jeremiah was a bullfrog- was a good friend of mine,” that was my anthem! You lose most of the day-to-day memories of childhood, but those stick with me, maybe because they’re attached to a melody.

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Rain, Rain, It’s Ok

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I always hear people complaining about the rain. Not me. I love rainy days. I like it when the house is kind of dim and the steady pitter-patter of rainfall seems to render the children just a little quieter. I don’t mind the occasional rain-out of the ball-game or telling the teenager: “You’re staying off the roads tonight!” I like to snuggle up, watch movies and peek outside at the lightning. Last year the thunder still scared the bejeebers out of my old dog and send her squealing and crying, but now that’s she’s nearly blind and mostly deaf, old Macy handles storms like a trooper.

My favorite thing about a rainy night just might be the hazy morning after. This morning I sat on my porch, bewildered that my little hummingbirds have already returned. I watched them dashing back and forth from feeder to feeder.

Morning walk 027-2

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Two Pieces of Pie

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It’s been quite a week here in the zoo! Partly because today is my birthday, and I’ve been celebrating all week long. I often get the birthday blues because I shared my birthday with my grandfather for 27 years. Losing him still stings like a swarm of bees straight to the heart.

My life is chaotic. I spend half my time hoping he’s up there watching me, and the other half praying he didn’t see that… you know the moments- the ones where the house is gross and the kids are grosser, or when I forget to hold my tongue, the days when I accomplish nothing. How many times do I say to myself: “If Softy were here, he’d know what I should do…”? Read the rest of this entry

Amelia Grace

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I’m one of those people who believes whole-heartedly that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we’re all better off if we get to know the kids around us, if we try to be a part of their world. I’m also one of those people who believes that actions speak louder than words, so I try to live by the ideas I find important.

If you stop by here on any given day, you will see the village. There are always 10 or 12 kids hanging around. I’m good with that. I’d rather them be here, so I can try to guess what kind of mischief they’re cooking up in their ever-changing brains. Read the rest of this entry

Blessings, Not Bee Stings

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I have to admit it. I’m one of those people. I love inspirational quotes. Yep, I do. I try my best not to over-share them on Facebook or pin too many on Pinterest but sometimes a good ole quote is exactly the boost I need!

This morning as I walked up the stairs at the high school, I noticed some very profound words hanging on the wall. They went something like this:

Respect

It was a good day for that reminder to cross my path. I was on the verge of spewing some highly disrespectful thoughts. Sometimes it’s very hard to face ignorance with kindness. Read the rest of this entry

Still in Shock

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Still in Shock

I’m not sure why, but I’ve always been captivated by Anne Frank. To me, she embodies the kind of optimism I try so hard to cling to. Despite being locked in an attic during her coming of age, despite being a victim of one of history’s darkest moments, she still held true to the idea that really the world is made of people who are genuinely good at heart. Whenever I go through tough times, I try to remember that even when faced with the holocaust she believed in the goodness of humanity.

Sometimes I feel like maybe I’m just a little too naive when it comes to believing in people. I always say to myself “we’re safe here” or “nothing bad is gonna happen” and then when I’m wrong, it’s a devastating feeling. Read the rest of this entry