Sunday, May 4, 2008

The Menagerie Post

Long time no blog! So here goes ten short blogs in one ;-)

The girls and I spent the week at my parent's house. We had lots of fun, but Sierra is now struggling through grandparent detox. Any of you with kids know what I'm talking about---they develop this malady after anymore than 1-2 days with the grandparents. Suddenly, your reasonably well-behaved kid dissolves into a tantrum-ing mess at the mere mention of the word, "no" or "not now" or even "in a minute". The crazy thing is she didn't even really get that spoiled, I think she just got used to having someone's attention 24/7.

Josh spent the week doing the written part of his pre-lims. Fun fun times. Basically consists of getting a question in the morning, writing a paper all day/night and turning it in the next morning. Repeat every day for a week. You have to pass your pre-lims to officially be a PhD candidate in the science world. I have had many many many of these moments since getting a biology degree, but this was another that made me go, "oh yeah, this is why I don't want a PhD" ;-) He has his orals on Thursday and then he will get a small raise and be on his way to graduating soon (I'm hoping for the long shot--december '08; he's saying maybe May '09; and his PI is saying August '09)

Yesterday was our five year anniversary! Where does the time go?? We've now been with each other longer than either of us had ever dated anyone else. It really doesn't seem like it's been that long. Like I told Josh, I'm not even annoyed with him yet LOL Erin (my friend that I've decided is really more qualified for "sister" status at this point) is perhaps the only person who will truly understand what a compliment that is ;-) I so don't have all the answers after only five years, but I will offer a few small bits of wisdom anyway---
1) Argue without yelling. Sure we disagree sometimes, and we both roll our eyes with the other turns their back sometimes, but yelling doesn't fix anything
2) Work as a team. There are 4 gender assigned jobs around here--Josh takes out the trash and moves the chicken coop; I clean the bathrooms and do the breastfeeding. Honestly, besides that, there are no other daily chores that we won't both do. When it needs done, do it. We have our comfort zones, but mostly, we share (for more on that, try reading The Second Shift)
3) Laugh, laugh, laugh. We make each other laugh and that can make a bad day good and a horrible day bearable.
4) People before money. Okay, you need enough to keep a roof over your head, clothes on your back and food in your tummy. But really, that doesn't take nearly as much money as a lot of people think it does. The job that stresses you (or your spouse, or both of you) out so much that you're no fun to be around anymore isn't worth it, even if it is high paying or a great career move. I could care less what my resume looks like when I die, I want memories with my family.

Quick and easy recipe of the week...So I found this recipe on that blog I found a while back. She adapted the recipe from The Duggar Family website, and I adapted her recipe even further, so I guess I could call it my own now. Anyways....
Crockpot Lasagna
2 cans black beans, drained
2 carrots
2 pints spaghetti sauce
3/4 c water
1 pound mozzarella cheese, shredded
8 oz ricotta cheese
8 oz lasanga noodles

1) Mix beans, spaghetti sauce, water, and carrots
2) Spoon thin layer of bean mixture on bottom of crock pot, top with layer of lasagna noodles (break them as needed to fit), sprinkle in a layer of mozzarella and 4-5 big spoons of ricotta (just drop them in in different spots)
3) Repeat layers 3-4 times, end with noodles-->ricotta-->mozzarella
4) Cook on low 3-4 hours

This made 6 adult sized servings. Could stretch even further if you added salad and bread.

And while we're on food, a few weeks ago, I hosted my mom's group for Bunco one evening. One of the lovely ladies left the leftovers of a veggie tray with me. Here's a lesson in making the most of what's around and not wasting (increasingly expensive!) food----I snacked on the veggies for a few days, then was able to throw everything that was left (and it was already chopped and ready to go!) into a homemade chicken pot pie. I also already had chicken in the freezer (I stocked up 6 months ago when it was $0.67/pound), so I was able to make a huge pan that gave us 6 adult servings using only what was already in the pantry!!!

Food prices are going up and up and up. Well, everything is going up and up and up. I think I'm actually going to have to increase the fuel budget here soon :-( At least until Sedona is big enough to fit into her helmet so she can ride in the bike trailer. I take comfort in the fact that I get a rush out of scrimping and pinching pennies is nothing new to me. I would really really like to be able to make huge extra principle payments on my house, but I can "get by" quite well with very little money. And speaking of that--our garden is doing great! Almost every tomato plant has set fruit now--yay! We have 65-70 plants, so it looks like we will be swimming in tomatoes again this year. Our potatoes are now at a size that I can go dig up some whenever I want potatoes in an omelet and currently have 3-4 potatoes per plant (over 50 plants). The corn is about a foot high and the beans are growing like crazy. Squash and melons have all popped up and are starting to make flowers. No eggs from the chickens yet, but they are looking really good and will probably start laying pretty soon. The fruit trees we planted last year have leafed out. Our apples didn't do great (only one lived, and you need two trees, so we will probably just ditch that effort), but the peach, plum, pear and fig trees are all happy. Maybe next year we'll start getting a fruit or two.

Off to start this year's 50 books in a year post!

1 comment:

Christine said...

SO glad it worked for you! If we all keep altering it, pretty soon there will be a game - "Six Degrees of Duggar Recipe Separation"! ha!

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