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Tuesday, February 28

Good & Bad

For the past couple of years we have been having our taxes done by a gentleman who comes into the bank where I used to work. He volunteers his time and does this service for free. Wally is great but he is getting up there in age and his sight isn't quite what it used to be. Last Wednesday we went down to the bank to have our taxes done - I had done some rough calculations and guesstimated what we would be getting back. It was by far the largest we've ever received. So we went and met with Wally and the final number he came up with was good but not quite what I was expecting. On Sunday night I couldn't sleep and decided to see if I could find a way to e-file our taxes for free. I found a couple sights and proceeded to punch in our numbers - no matter what I did though I could not even get close to the number that Wally came up with. My number was almost 3 times what he had put down. I decided to go to sleep, I figured I would work on it some more in the morning. I found the part where the figures differed - it was in the amount of tax that we were supposed to pay in. Wally had put down that we were responsible for almost $10k but the number that the other software came up with was closer to $7k. I went up to the IRS website and found our tax bracket. Wally had accidentally put down the number for "single" instead of "married filing jointly". SCORE!! I'm so happy because now we will definitely get enough back to put new carpet in the house.
Now onto the bad thing. Back in August when Logan was only a week old Mike got into a car accident and totalled our 1999 Mustang. He got cited for a ticket but the cop told him to set up a court date and the cop would not contest the ticket. Mike requested a court date and it was set for Dec. 20th. We had planned on going back to ND for Christmas so Mike hired a lawyer to take care of it. I sent her the $350 and she sent Mike an email confirmation saying she would take care of it. Well today when I got the mail there was something in there from the Dept. of Licensing - I opened it and it stated that as of 4-13-06 at 12:01 am Mike's license would be suspended because he FAILED TO SHOW UP FOR THE HEARING!! What?!? I called the lawyer, she didn't know what was going on. A couple minutes later she called back and said that the last time Mike had hired her was in 2004 (different accident). Ummm, no - we hired you in December. I informed her that I sent the money to her through Paypal. We are still trying to figure out how this happened and Mike is going to be calling her tomorrow to find out what needs to be done now. I just can't get over the fact that she accepted the money and emailed Mike confirming the information and then completely dropped the ball!

Monday, February 27

Quick Updates

Just some follow-ups I wanted to make sure and post from past blogs.
Mike did really well on one of his finals. He got a 97% on his Java one - he has yet to hear what he got on the English one. I'm sure he did well on that one too!
Logan & I went grocery shopping and I took the advice that some of you posted and used the baby carrier for him. He loved it! We usually use the Baby Bjorn at the mall, but had never thought to try it at the grocery store. I plan on just keeping it in the vehicle from now on so we'll always have it with.
I'm not quite sure what is going on with Kanoodle. I am still receiving a lot of clicks but not a lot of impressions (the ones I get paid for) - I would be interested to hear from other's who have sponsored links on their site to see if they are making more than me. I'm just not sure if people are just clicking on them to open them or if Kanoodle is not honoring all of them. Not sure if you noticed but I'm going to try to update how much I've made from it. It's located right above the sponsored links on the right hand side of my site.
Mike finished the other bathroom yesterday - it turned out wonderfully! I love the new look of our bathrooms! Thanks Mike for doing it - I love you!! Attached are pictures of the before and after (notice the nice chip in the sink).
One last thing - Logan has moved up to a bigger carseat. My baby is growing up!! He seems to like the new one, he's able to sit up more.

Sunday, February 26

My Ode to the Olympics

Stupid remarks made by sports commentators during the 2006 Olympics (in no particular order):
- While watching Bobsledding one of the commentators apparently thought the TV watching audience did not know that the best time would win. Here is the pointer he gave us "If you see the time in green with a minus sign that means they're in the lead". Really??? Cuz I always thought you wanted to have your number in red with a plus sign.
- During Women's figure skating short program one commentator commented on the Italian skating "She can fly really welll". Moments later while watching the same skater another commentator remarked "Wow, she can't fly at all". Way to make your co-commentator look like a complete idiot Dick.
- During Women's figure skating a commentator said, "She achieved 3rd Place at the World Championships last year and she's been working ever since to grow into that spot". So basically what you're saying is she was "lucky" to get the medal but didn't deserve it?
- And OMG - could the media try to fuel the fire between Chad Hendrick and Shauni Davis any more??
- Oh, and did you catch the interview of Shaun White aka "Flying Tomato" by Bob Costas? They could not stop talking about how that medal was going to help Shaun "get lucky". He was hoping it would be with Sasha Cohen.
- And FYI commentators, we don't have THAT SHORT of an attention span. No matter what event you're watching they have to mention the SAME thing about the SAME person like 5 times during their event. For instance - we heard you the first time when you mentioned Jennifer Rodriguez's mom was battling cancer for the second time! (For those of you who don't know Rodriguez is a speedskater which means her race only lasts about a minute so to mention that fact 5 times is completely ridiculous?!?)
- Women's Slalom "She's in that hurry up and wait position." What? WHAT?!? Someone please tell me what that means - no really, I want to know.
- And is it just me or is Dick Button a complete pervert? (He's one of the commentators for ice skating/dancing) He's always making comments like "She has such a straight line" or "That's not a very attractive position" or "That doesn't look nice. Oh, now that, that looks nice".
- Speaking of Dick Button he' also one of the rudest commentators. He's constantly pointing out every bad thing the skaters are doing. Just now he commented that the current skater "has no fire, there's just no spark". You won medals in 1948 & 1952- SHUT UP!!!!
- Ok and at one point they were bitching because one of the women ice skater's laces were hanging out and not tucked in and that it was very unattractive and she wasn't selling the whole package. Give me a break.
- During Women's figure skating this was said, "She doesn't have a lot of speed coming out of these jumps but she has lovely knee action" - what does that mean? Again, please tell me what that means.

This list only begins to show the dumb comments spoken during some of the events. Needless to say the ice skating commentators are the worst. Especially Dick Button.

It Was A First and He Loved It!!

Saturday night we decided that Logan was probably big & strong enough to sit up in the bathtub on his own. We laid a towel on the bottom of the tub to prevent him from slipping around too much. He had a blast!! It was by far the longest time he had stayed in the tub. He loved the fact that he could splash the water. And splash he did - Mike & I were both soaked. We put some of the bath toys in with him but he could have cared less, all he wanted to do was SPLASH! He stayed in there for at least 30 minutes and it could have been a lot longer. When Mike took him out Logan instantly became unhappy. He wanted to stay in there, he didn't even care that the water was getting cold. I think tomorrow night we'll start the bath a little earlier so he can spend some more time in there. I'm so glad that he enjoys the tub, I can't wait until it warms up outside so he can go in the hot tub with us.
He also had a couple other firsts this weekend - Saturday we went and had breakfast at Denny's where Logan had some pancakes. He also tasted ice water with lemon for the first time. Then on Sunday we ran over to Woodinville and stopped and had lunch at Wendy's, Logan had his first taste of a Frosty. His facial expressions were so funny - I really need to remember to take my camera everywhere that we go!
*Note: The video up on the sight right now is of Logan's bathing experience.

Saturday, February 25

I've Been Tagged!

Austin tagged me so here are my 5 crazy things. Sorry they're so boring.

5 Crazy Things About Me:
1. I have to be covered up when I sleep. Even if it's really hot at night I still need to have some sort of covers on me - especially on my feet.
2. No part of my body can hang off the bed when I sleep - I'm scared something will grab it!
3. I'm terrified of the dark - I blame this on two of my uncle's, even though my Mom says they didn't scare me in the dark. (They totally DID)!!
4. I can watch the same episodes of reality shows over & over again. Yes, I'm a reality junky.
5. I am obsessed with pulling strings on my clothes. I have wrecked shirts, pants, socks, you name it from pulling the strings on them.

Well, I guess they're not really crazy but it's all I could think of.

Fellow bloggers I'm taggin to do this:
Mike - I'm sure he won't do it but hey, it's worth a try!!

Friday, February 24

Recipe Change

Since I love trying new recipes and sharing them with people when they turn out I think I'm going to try to post Recipes of the Week. This will allow me to post a multitude of recipes instead of having a huge stockpile and then only posting one. It's been very difficult to wait until Monday to post another recipe but this week I'm going to. Starting on Monday though I'm going to post several - hopefully throughout the week. I think I'll try this for a couple of weeks and see how the response is. I'm going to keep them all on the same blog though so it won't show up as a new blog entry. Which means you'll have to check on the recipe link every once in awhile to see if it's been updated. I might try to put a note in my entries if I have updated it or maybe just put a little note at the top of the list that says when it was last updated. Like I said, I'm not quite sure - we'll see how it goes.
Sorry this post is SOOOOO boring but I'm still watching the Olypics so give me a break! Hahaha

Thursday, February 23

It's A Record Folks!

Right now Logan is taking his fourth nap of the day. That's right FOUR! I'm not quite sure what is going on with him - we think he might be cutting some teeth since this is what he did the last time he got them. Normally he takes 2 naps a day, so hopefully tomorrow when I check his mouth I will see a tooth or two poking through. He was so cranky today too! Mike wanted to think it was because Logan missed him (Mike has been working from home all week), but I'm sticking to the story that it's because some teeth are coming in.
Oh, and speaking of Mike he has his finals tonight so help me wish him luck. I know he'll do fine (the man as a 3.8 GPA).

Wednesday, February 22

Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

I usually cringe during this time of year. It's the time of year when I usually ask the question "How much do we owe THEM this year?" THEM of course being the IRS. I have hated the IRS ever since we moved to Washington. Don't they understand that we make money to pay our bills? They take enough out of our paychecks, why do they need more? In 2004 though it finally turned around - we got a little back. But this year, this year is FANTASTIC!! We actually got more than just a couple hundred back and we have one person to thank for that. Thank you Logan!! Now if only the amount we got back could provide for you all year that would be wonderful.
Hope everyone gets some money back like they deserve to!

Tuesday, February 21

Logan's First Playdate

This morning Logan & I drove over to Duvall to visit Leah & Samantha. I used to work at Michael's with Leah about 5 years ago. Samantha is her 3 1/2 year old daughter. We had such a good time! Logan & Samantha played so well together - she shared all of her toys with him. And when I say all I mean ALL! She surrounded him with toys, it was so cute. It was like there's Logan and his mound of fluff!
When we arrived at their door Samantha greeted us by saying "I'll entertain your baby" - how cute is that? Logan was also fascinated with Samantha's feet. I'm sure he was thinking "They're like mine but just a little bigger and they move around. They move around ALOT! She can jump, run, and twirl with them. That is so COOL!! I played 2 games of Candyland with Samantha. I haven't played Candyland in years - and guess what??? I won one of the games! We stayed for about 2 hours and we look forward to doing it again

Monday, February 20

Recipes of the Month

For the month of June
Easy Morning Cinnamon Bread
2 loaves frozen bread dough 1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup white sugar 1 tsp. cinnamon
In a greased 9x13" pan, cut up frozen dough into 1/2" pieces. Let them rise for 6-8 hours until they fill out to the edges.
Poke the risen bread with the handle of a wooden spoon - make lots of craters and holes in the bread. Pour heavy cream over this, then sprinkle on sugar mixed with cinnamon.
Bake immediately at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. So easy to make and So tasty!!!
Black Bean and Corn Salsa
2 cans corn - drained 2 cans black beans - rinsed and drained
2 cans rotelle tomatoes 2 tomatoes - cut up
1 green pepper - cut up 6-8 green onions - cut up
2-3 Tbsp. garlic about 1 cup of Italian dressing
Mix everything together and enjoy. Will last for quite a while in the refrigerator or you can even can the jars.

For the month of May
White Enchiladas
2 lbs. ground beef 1 pkg. taco seasoning
1 diced onion 1 - 6 oz. jar taco sauce
1 can green chilies
2 cans cream of mushroom soup 1 can water
1 can green chilies 1 - 12 oz. container sour cream
2-4 Tbsp. diced onions
Brown meat, add onions and chilies. Salt and pepper if desired. Add taco sauce and seasoning. Roll up into 16 tortillas (about 2 Tbsp. of mixture per tortilla) and put into two 8x10" baking dishes. Boil sauce ingredients together and simmer. Pour sauce over tortillas with 1-2 cups shredded cheese sprinkled over top and bake 15-30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Week of April 9th
Aunt Gail's Peek-A-Beans
1/2 pound bacon, cut into pieces 1 Tbsp. vinegar
1 lb. ground beef 1 16 oz. can pork and beans
1 medium onion, chopped 1 16 oz. can kidney beans
1 cup ketchup 1 16 oz. can butter beans or black beans
1/2 cup brown sugar
Brown backon. Add ground beef and onion. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, minus juice from kidney and butter beans. DO NOT throw juice away. Add enough of the reserved juice to keep mixture from sticking to the pan. Heat to boiling. Cover, let simmer 20-30 minutes. Add liquid as needed.
Aunt Gail's Honey Garlic Ribs
4 lbs. pork ribs 2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup honey 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
1/4 cup soy sauce 1 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup distilled vinegar 1 tsp. garlic salt
Cut ribs into individual pieces. In a large bowl combine honey, soy sauce, vinegar, garlic cloves, brown sugar, and baking soda. Mixture will foam. Add ribs and coat them with the sauce. Cover a baking sheet with foil and place ribs meat side down on pan. Cover with remaining sauce and sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake at 375 degrees for one hour, turning every 20 minutes.
My Chocolate Caramel Bars
1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix 1 cup white chocolate chips
1/3 cup oil 1/2 cup butter
2 eggs 32 vanilla caramels, unwrapped
1 (12 oz.) pkg. chocolate chips 1 (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 13x9" pan with aluminum foil. Spray foil with non-stick cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, oil and eggs; blend well. Stir in chocolate chops and vanilla chips. Press half of mixture in bottom of greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, in medium saucepan, combine butter, caramels, and sweetened condensed milk. Cook over medium-low heat until caramels are melted and mixture is smooth, stirring occasionally. Slowly pour caramel mixture evenly over partially baked crust. Top with remaining cake mixture. Bake an additional 18-22 minutes or until top is set and edges are deep golden brown. Cool 20 minutes. Run knife around outer edges to loosen. Cool 40 minutes. Refrigerate 1 hour. Cut into bars. Store in refrigerator.
*You can add other things besides chocolate chips. This recipe is also good with toffee bits or peanut butter chips. Might also try walnuts.
Week of April 2ndCrispy Oriental Green Salad
1/2 cup butter
2T sugar
1/2 c sunflower seeds
1-3 oz pkg slivered almonds
2-3oz broken ramen noodles
Melt butter in skillet, add rest until lightly browned, cool.

2lbs. bok choy, chopped
4 green onions

3/4 c. vegetbale oil
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
1/2 c. sugar
2 T soy sauce

Combine all ingredients one hour before serving.
Aunt Raylene’s Salsa
12 cups tomatoes diced (not peeled) 1 cup green peppers
2 cups onions, diced 3 jalapeno peppers
1 (6 oz.) can tomato paste (optional)
Put tomatoes in a pot, bring to a boil, reduce heat and cook at a low boil for an hour or until they have cooked down.
1/3 cup vinegar ½ tsp. basil leaves
½ tsp. cayenne pepper ½ tsp. chili powder
½ tsp. crushed red pepper 1 tsp. sugar
½ tsp. black pepper ½ tsp. cumin
2 Tbsp. salt ½ tsp. garlic powder
Add seasonings and simmer at a low boil for ½ hour. Add onions and peppers and simmer 15 minutes, add tomato paste and simmer 15 more minutes. Process 15 minutes in a hot water bath.
*This is one of the easiest salsas that I’ve made – I love the fact that I don’t have to peel the tomatoes. I highly recommend using the tomato paste because it helps to thicken the salsa.
Fruit Slush
1 (46 oz.) can unsweetened pineapple juice 1 (10 oz.) bag frozen strawberries
1 (12 oz.) frozen orange juice 2 pkg. strawberry Kool-Aid
1 (12 oz.) frozen lemonade 1 ½ cups sugar
1 (16 oz.) can crushed pineapple 3 quarts water
Mix all together. Put in freezer and stir occasionally. Serve with 7-Up or Sprite. Also good with a little rum or vodka.

Week of March 26th
2 lbs. ground hamburger Velveeta Cheese
1 can tomato soup 1 small can tomato sauce
1 Tbsp. Italian seasoning garlic powder/salt to taste
10 lasagna noodles, cooked

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Brown hamburger; drain off fat. Add soup, sauce, Italian seasoning, and garlic powder/salt. You might need to add a little water if sauce is too thick. Heat until warm. Spray a 9x13" pan with non-stick cooking spray. Begin to layer ingredients: 4 lasagna noodles, sauce, cheese (usually 5-6 slices per layer); next 2 layers use 3 lasagna noodles. Cover with tin-foil; cook for 30 minutes. Remove tin-foil and cook an additional 10-15 minutes. Let cool about 5 minutes and enjoy!!
**You could also do Mozzarella and Velveeta if you wanted a little different flavor.

Corn Bread
1 cup corn bread 1 tsp. salt
1 cup all-purpose flour 1 cup milk
1/4 cup sugar 1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 Tbsp. baking powder 1 egg
Combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk, oil, and egg. Mix well. Pour into a greased 8" square pan. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Serve warm. For muffins: bake in oven for 15 minutes.
*This is excellent with just butter or for something different pour maple syrup over the top!

Week of March 19th
Stuffed French Loaf
1 loaf French bread 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard, divided
8 oz. spicy pork sausage 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/3 cup chopped onion 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 cup olive oil
1 egg 1 tsp. pepper
2 Tbsp. parsley
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Slice bread in half lengthwise and slightly hollow out each half, leaving a 1/2" thick layer of bread. Place bread crumbs in a blender or food processor and process for 15-20 seconds or until finely chopped. Cook sausage, onion, and garlic in a heavy skillet over medium heat until meat is brown; drain. In a large bowl, combine bread crumbs, meat mixture, egg, parsley, and 1 tsp. mustard; set aside. Using a blender or food processor, process cheese, olive oil, remaining 2 tsp. mustard, and pepper until mixture forms a paste, about 1 minute. Spread cheese mixture evenly over inside of each bread half. Spoon meat mixture into the cavity of each bread half. Place bread halves together. Wrap loaf in foil. Bake 30-35 minutes or until heated through. Cut into 1" slices.
Taco Salad
1 medium head of lettuce, chopped 1 small onion
1 pound hamburger 4 tomatoes, diced
8 oz. cheddar cheese, grated 1 pkg. taco chips
1 pkg. taco seasoning
8 oz. 1000 Island dressing 1 Tbsp. taco seasoning
1/3 cup sugar 1 Tbsp. taco sauce
Brown hamburger. Add toaco seasoning, reserving 1 Tbsp. for the sauce. Using a large salad bowl, layer the ingredients, starting with lettuce and ending with cheese. Exclude taco chips until sauce is added just before serving. Cover and refrigerate. Right before serving add sauce and taco chips.
Pudding Cake
1 pkg. yellow or white cake mix 1 cup powdered sugar
1 small pkg. instant pudding,
chocolate 1 small tub of Cool Whip
1 Hershey's chocolate bar
Prepare cake according to package directions for a 9x13" pan. Remove cake from oven and let cool. Prepare pudding mix according to package directions. Let pudding slightly thicken. Pour pudding over cooled cake. Spread Cool Whip on top of pudding. Chop chocolate bar into thin pieces and sprinkle over top of Cool Whip. Refrigerate cake for at least one hour before serving.
*This recipe is fun to experiment with - try different flavors of cake and pudding. Pistachio pudding works well!

Week of March 12th
Fettucine Alfredo
1 lb. cooked fettuccine noodles
1/2 cup margarine
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not powdered)
1 can evaporated skim milk
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. garlic powder
Melt butter; add skim mlk, cheese, salt, parsley, and garlic powder. Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Top with freshly ground pepper.
Trudy’s Shrimp Scampi
2 1/2 lbs. large shrimp
1 cup butter
1/4 cup olive oil
1 Tbsp. parsley
1 Tbsp. lemon juice
3/4 tsp. salt
3/4 tsp. basil
3/4 tsp. garlic
1/2 tsp. oregano
Place all ingredients except shrimp in a large skillet - heat on med-high heat. Once butter is melted add shrimp. Cook until they turn pink.
Garlic Monkey Bread
1 loaf frozen bread dough
1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. dried parsley
Cut partially thawed bread dough into 20-30 small pieces. Mix remaining ingredients. Dip the pieces of dough into the mixture. Put pieces of dough into a round tube pan; let rise until doubled in bulk. Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes.
Berried Delight (from
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 1/2 cups Cool Whip
1/2 cup sugar
2 pints strawberries, hulled and halved
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 pkgs. Instant Vanilla pudding
3 1/2 cups cold milk
2 Tbsp. milk
Combine crumbs, 1/4 cup of sugar and melted butter. Press firmly into bottom of a 13x9" pan. Chill. Beat cream cheese with 1/4 cup sugar and 2 Tbsp. of milk until smooth. Fold in half of Cool Whip. Spread over crust. Arrange strawberries in even layer. Using 3 1/2 cups cold milk, prepare pudding as directed on package. Pour over berries. Chill several hours or overnight. Before serving, spread remaining Cool Whip over pudding. Garnish with strawberries.
Week of March 5th
Weeknight Chicken Cordon Bleu
Prep: 15 min Cook: 25 min Makes: 6 servings
1/3 cup milk 2 slices Swiss cheese
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs 2 tsp. vegetable oil
2 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves – pounded to ¼” thickness
1/3 can cream of chicken soup salt and pepper to taste
2 Tbsp. and 2 tsp. heavy cream 2 sliced cooked ham

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place milk and bread crumbs in two separate shallow bowls. Season the chicken with salt and pepper. Place one slice of ham and one slice of cheese on each piece of chicken; roll, and secure with toothpicks. Dip each chicken roll into milk, and then into breadcrumbs. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Brown rolled chicken on all sides. Arrange the chicken in a 9x13” baking dish. In a small saucepan over medium heat, blend soup and cream; season with salt and pepper. Pour over the chicken. Bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until chicken is no longer pink and juices run clear.
Cream Peas
1 can peas 1/3 cup cream, half & half, or milk
2/3 cup water (can just use water from peas) 2 Tbsp. All-purpose flour
1/8 tsp. salt 1 Tbsp. sugar
3 Tbsp. butter
In a medium saucepan, combine peas, water, and salt. Bring to a boil, and then stir in butter. In a small bowl, whisk together cream, flour, and sugar. Stir mixture into peas. Cook over medium-high heat until thick and bubbly, about 5 minutes.
Deep-dish Brownies
Prep: 15 minutes Cook: 45 minutes Yield: 18 servings
¾ cup butter, melted ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 ½ cups white sugar ½ tsp. baking powder
1 ½ tsp. vanilla extract ½ tsp. salt
3 eggs ¾ cup all purpose flour

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8x8" square pan. In a large bowl, blend melted butter, sugar, and vanilla. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Gradually blend into the egg mixture. Spread the batter into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 45 minutes or until brownies begin to pull away from the sides of the pan. Let brownies cool, then cut into squares.

Week of February 27th
World’s Best Waffles
Prep: 10 min Cook Time: 2 ½ - 4 min Serves: 6
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cornstarch
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 tablespoons white sugar
Preheat a lightly greased waffle iron.
In a large bowl, mix flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and salt.
In a medium bowl, beat together egg yolks, milk, vanilla, and vegetable oil. Blend into the flour mixture to form a batter.
In a medium bowl, whip egg whites with sugar until soft peaks form. Fold into the batter.
Spray waffle iron with non-stick cooking spray, or lightly brush with oil. Ladle the batter onto preheated waffle iron. Cook the waffles until golden and crisp (about 3 minutes). Serve immediately.

Shrimp Tetrazzini
Prep: 10 min Cook Time: 55 min Serves: 4
2 tablespoons butter
1 onion, chopped
1/2 - 1 lb. fully cooked shrimp
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 – 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper (to taste)
1/2 Tbsp. garlic powder
2 cups milk
1/4 cup sherry
1 (8 ounce) package spaghetti
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. Cook spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water until al dente. Drain well.
2. Over a medium-low heat melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion to melted butter and stir until onion is soft. Add shrimp and mushrooms, cook for 5 minutes stirring often. Remove shrimp mixture from saucepan, place in a medium size bowl and set aside.
3. Remove saucepan from heat. Combine flour, mayonnaise, salt, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, milk, and sherry in the saucepan. Mix well. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook until sauce thickens.
4. Pour sauce into the bowl containing the shrimp mixture. Add the spaghetti to the bowl and mix well.
5. Place all ingredients in a 1-1/2 quart casserole dish (baking pan). Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top of the mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 minutes.
**If you decided to make more spaghetti make sure that you also make more sauce. I also left out the mushrooms and it still turned out excellent!

Sesame Broccoli Salad
Prep: 15 min Cook Time: 10 min Serves: 8
· 2 tablespoons sesame seeds
· 1 1/2 pounds fresh broccoli, cut into bite size pieces
· 2 tablespoons rice vinegar
· 2 tablespoons soy sauce
· 2 tablespoons sesame oil
· 2 teaspoons white sugar
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Toast sesame seeds for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the seeds begin to turn golden brown. Set aside.
2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook broccoli in boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes, or until desired tenderness. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, and sesame seeds. Pour over broccoli, and toss to coat.

Caramel Bars
Prep: 20 min Cook Time: 12 min Makes: about 24 bars
32 individually wrapped caramels, unwrapped
5 tablespoons heavy cream
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). In a medium saucepan over low heat, melt together the caramels and heavy cream, stirring occasionally until smooth.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, oats, brown sugar, baking soda and salt. Stir in the melted butter until well blended. Press Half of the mixture into the bottom of a 9x13 inch baking pan. Reserve the rest.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes in the preheated oven. Remove and sprinkle with chocolate chips and walnuts. Pour the caramel mixture over the top and then crumble the remaining crust mixture over everything.
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes, or until the top is lightly toasted. Cut into squares while it is still warm.
**Might need to add about 1/4 cup more flour so make the dough a little more crumbly.

Week of February 20th
Giant Ginger Cookies
Prep: 20 minutes Bake: 11 minutes Oven: 350 Makes: about 24 cookies
3 ½ cups all purpose flour
4 tsp. ground ginger
2 tsp. baking soda
1 ½ tsp. ground cinnamon
1 tsp. ground cloves
¼ tsp. salt
1 ½ cups shortening
2 cups sugar
2 eggs
½ cup molasses
¾ cup sugar

In a medium bowl stir together flour, ginger, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt; set aside. In a large mixing bowl beat shortening with an electric mixer on low speed for 30 seconds. Add the cups sugar. Beat until combined, scraping sides of bowl occasionally. Beat in eggs and molasses until combined. Beat in as much of the flour mixture as you can with the mixer. Stir in any remaining flour mixture.
Shape dough into 2" balls using a ¼ cup measure or scoop. Roll balls in the ¾ cup sugar. Place 2 ½" apart on an ungreased cookie sheet.
Bake in a 350 oven for 11 to 13 minutes or until bottoms are lightly browned and tops are puffed (do not over bake). Cool on cookie sheet 2 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack and let cool.
*Note: I usually shape dough into a 1" ball.

Sunday, February 19

No Project Is Ever Quick

So as I had reported last week we went to Lowe's and bought new sinks and faucets for 2 of our 3 bathrooms. From talking with the guy in the plumbing department it would be a "simple project", just pop out the sink and put the new one in. Same with the faucet. What a bunch of freakin' liars!! Thank God I have a hubby who likes to learn how to do knew things! Mike didn't start on the project until about 2 this afternoon, it's now after 9 tonight and he's still up working on it. The project got to be a bit more complicated than originally thought. After taking out the old sink he realized that the new sink was not as big as the old one. So the hole cut for the old one would not work for the new sink. That left us with two choices: take back the sink and get another one or get a new countertop. Mike decided to go and buy a new countertop since we loved the sink that we had picked out. I thought a new countertop was going to cost a couple hundred dollars but it was only $50!! So he bought one for Logan's bathroom and one for ours. Can't beat that! And to top it off I think it looks wonderful.
I think we will be waiting until next weekend to do our bathroom.

Saturday, February 18

Carseat + Baby = Callous

I have a callous the size of a dime on the inside part of my right hand. I have had this lovely rock hard patch of skin for over a month now. Some days it is more prominent than others. I tend to pick at this beautiful callous too. I can only attribute my new skin abnormality to one thing....................Budha Baby!! After over 6 months of lugging around a baby inside a carseat I guess it will have this sort of affect on one's hand. We even made a point to buy one of the lightest carseats out there - it only weighs 11 pounds but that is before baby is place inside. It wasn't that bad when said baby only weighed 10 pounds, hell it wasn't even that bad when said baby weighed 15 pounds - but now that said baby is 20 pounds?? Damn, that is a lot to lug around!! Last night we met Mike and some of his co-workers at one of the best Chinese restaurants that we know of. This restaurant is located in downtown Issaquah which means hardly any parking available especially on a Friday night. I had to park quite a distance from the restaurant and decided that there was no way I was carrying baby and carseat all that distance. I took Logan out of the carseat and it felt as though I was only carrying.............a 20 pound baby. I think I will start doing this whenever I go to the store now. Logan's old enough to sit up in a shopping cart isn't he??

Thursday, February 16

Blogging Boredom

Today will be a pretty boring blog cuz I'm being lazy. It seems as though we've just been running constantly today yet I feel like nothing got accomplished. So I'm just going to let you all know about my progress with Kanoodle and my sponsored links since I said I would keep everyone posted.
I'm finally starting to get some revenue!! I'm very excited about this. To date I've made $3.73 - nothing spectacular but hey it's something. I've had a lot of "impressions" (when you click on the link), but not a lot of "clicks" (these are the ones that make the money, you need to click within the web page that loads). I've found out that it doesn't matter what you click on within the web page that loads - you can even click on the "privacy policy statement". I guess the sponsors are just happy that people are visiting their sites and looking around a bit. I'm hoping you guys will keep clicking the sponsored links I need to get some money together so I can fly back for my brother's graduation (how's that for a sob story).

** I have a new photo album up - these are pics. taken with my new camera. Check them out!!

Wednesday, February 15

The Day After

* *Update at Bottom* *

Well, one more of Logan's first holidays is over. We had a great day. Mike was able to get home a little early so that was nice - I was able to make us a nice meal without having to watch & entertain Logan. Mike got me a dozen beautiful roses - they are all different colors. I got a chenille pair of socks from my Mom & Dad. Logan got me a nice card and a giant balloon. Somehow though I think the balloon was more for him than me. It's a huge heart that says "Me & You" on it and guess what else? It plays a song and OMG it's so loud!! It entertained Logan throughout dinner though so I think he made a good purchase.
Logan got some nice things for Valentine's Day too - I got him this soft squishy heart that says "Be Mine". He also got a box of stuff from my Mom & Dad. He got 2 new pairs of PJ's, and a soft red lion from them. He really liked the lion - he grabbed it and started kissing it as soon as I gave it to him.
This morning we ran to Target to buy some formula and check out the Valentine's Day stuff. I found a couple of towels, washcloth, chenille socks, and boxers for Mike that were all on clearance. They only had one aisle with all the V-Day stuff in it and there were a ton of people in there trying to pick through things so I didn't look too long in there. I hope everyone had a great day yesterday!
* * I almost forgot to let you know what we got Mike! Logan got him a cute little card and some candy. I got him a card and a strawberry blonde - you can pick one of them up here.* *

Tuesday, February 14

I Love Me Some Curling

I don't know what it is about curling but I love it so! I never really understood the whole game until the other night, I decided to go up to MSNBC to find out the rules of it. It's quite a simple game but there is alot of strategy involved in it.
I love ALL aspects of the Olympics - my hubby on the other hand does not. The other night he made this comment "I wish the Olympics were on every 4 years with the winter & summer ones on in the same year like they used to be", I asked him why and he said, "because then I would only have to endure this every 4 years". He's been a good husband though and has let me watch the Olympics every night. Sunday night we even laid in bed and watched curling. For some reason it's only on in the afternoon or after midnight. I hope you are all enjoying the Olympics as much as I am!

Sunday, February 12

He Rolled Over

Today was quite the busy day for us. Logan slept through the night last night and got up at around 8:30 this morning. It was so nice to get to sleep in!! Mike got up and fed him while I showered. We decided to run over to Lynnwood to get some shopping done. We stopped and had lunch at Qdoba first - Logan sat in a high-chair at a restaurant for the first time. Hey, it's the little things!! We then went to the mall where I was able to find myself a couple pairs of jeans. From there we went to Best Buy - Mike bought me my birthday present (about a month late). I got a new little digital camera - I can't wait to play around with it! After Best Buy we ran to Babies R' Us (good thing they don't have a credit card for that store ) - we bought Logan a new carseat (one he'll be able to use until he no longer needs one), a pack n' play, and some cereal. And then what we hoped was our last stop we went to Lowe's. The Lowe's in Lynnwood didn't have one of the sinks we had wanted so we ended up driving down to Bellevue. We bought some new sinks for both of the upstairs bathrooms. We also bought some new faucets for both of them. It seems that every stop we made we spent close to $300 - it's amazing how fast things add up! I'll get some pics. of them once we get them both installed (hopefully by next weekend).
We didn't get home today until around 4:30 - poor Logan. He did really well the whole time we were out though - he only fussed while at Lowe's and who can blame him for that? No nap and you'd be crabby too! When we got home Mike was playing with him on the floor and Logan was just giggling so I decided to record it for awhile. I stopped recording and what do you think Logan did? He rolled from his back to his tummy! He's been able to roll from tummy to back since he was 2 1/2 weeks old but never the other way. Of course I didn't get it on film. Luckily though we tried it again and he did it again - while I was recording!! We were so happy! Logan timed it perfectly too because both Mike & I were here when he did it. I have changed the video on here to show that.

Friday, February 10

I Feel So Special

Last week I had mentioned that my Mom commented on my blog for the first time. I forgot to mention though that Mike also commented on it. They have yet to do it again, but hey, it's a start right? Well today I got two more surprises. Both Carrie and Jenn mentioned me on their sites! I personally enjoyed Carrie's entry the best though. I really enjoy blogging and getting to meet new people. I've only been doing it for a couple of months, but I've gotten to meet a lot of really nice people. Anytime I ask for advice I get great responses.
Tonight Logan had his 6 month check-up which meant more shots. He got 4 of them this time. He did really well though, as soon as I picked him up he stopped crying. He now weighs 19 lbs. 3 oz. and is 26 1/4" tall. The doctor said Logan is doing really well.

Wednesday, February 8

I Finally Got A Media Player

As I'm sure you noticed I have a media player on my site. The media player itself was very easy to import but getting the video up there was another thing. That part took me well over an hour. I think I worked on it the whole time the Grammy's were on. I put a lot of footage up there - but I think I'll probably shorten it down. I'm interested to know which parts everyone likes best. Oh, and the bathtub one - that's the stupid seat that I smartly returned!
Ok, onto another subject: Do all babies have these weird little quirks? Here is Logan's list:
He has a favorite commercial - the Qwest telephone one. There's something about the music that just captivates him. No matter what he's doing once that comes on he stops and just stares at the TV.
He 's balloons - today we were at Albertson's and they had a ton of Valentine's Day balloons, well he was just fascinated with them. I picked one out for him and the whole time we were at the store he was yanking on the string and giggling. Needless to say, all the old ladies shopping just loved him. They all stopped and had to tell him how cute he was. Of course he could care less since he had the balloon.
He adores Pooh Bear - anytime Pooh Bear walks by him Logan stops what he's playing with and just watches him. If I'm holding him and Pooh Bear walks up to us Logan gets the biggest grin on his face!
He is SO bi-polar - one minute he's happy, next one he's screaming - FOR NO REASON!! When does this part end? According to Amber, it's still going on with Haddie.

Tuesday, February 7

Small World

I'm happy to report that Logan & are feeling much better today. Thank you for all of your well wishes!! Logan only got up twice last night and slept until almost 11 today. His nose isn't running at all and I'm just feeling a little congested. Ok now onto my story:

It's so great finding someone who knows where you come from. What I mean is since I have started blogging I've met so many interesting people, but who knew the world was so small. One of my fellow bloggers, lottiemae used to live in ND. No - we didn't know each other (which is contrary to popular belief - just because ND is small does not mean we know everyone there), but she's been to the area that I grew up in. She said she has been to Hannover which is a town just 6 miles away from the one that I grew up in! How weird is that?
Here's another story to prove my point. This happened about 3 years ago. It was a Saturday afternoon and Mike & I were outside doing some yard work. It was getting close to lunch time so we figured we would run into town to get something to eat. We decided to go to Petosa's. We ordered our meals and were visiting to pass the time. Right next to us were three older women. They were talking and reminiscing - we couldn't help but overhear them. Our food arrived and while we were eating I heard one of the women mention "going back to Noonan every July". I looked at Mike and said "Do you think they are talking about Noonan, ND?"
Mike: "Have you ever heard of another Noonan?"
Me: "No"
Mike: "You should go and ask them"
Me: "I don't want to interrupt them and if it's not Noonan, ND they'll look at me like I'm crazy"
Mike: "Just do it"
Me: "Not right now"
So we preceeded to finish our meal. As we were getting up to leave I thought "what the hell", what can it hurt? I might as well ask them. So I walked over to their table and this is the conversation:
Me: "Excuse me, were you talking about Noonan, ND earlier"
Lady: "Yes, why?"
Me: "My Dad actually grew up in that town"
Lady: "Oh really, what is his name?"
Me: "Jim B."
Lady: puzzled look
Me: "Maybe you know my Grandpa - Dale B?"
Lady: "You're kidding!! I was in the same class as him & Dean (my Grandpa's twin brother). What a bunch of troublemakers!! Your Grandma was Alice M?"
Me: "Yes! She was!!"
Lady: "We were best friends! She was the Martha Stewart of our day. We always went to the bowling alley together that they ran. I was so sorry to hear she passed away. I have some pictures of her that I had always thought the family should have but I wasn't sure if Dale was still in Center."
Me: "He is now in Michigan with his girlfriend"
Lady: "Oh, I see. Well if you want why don't you give me your address and I'll mail you the pictures of your Grandma."
Me: "That would be great!!"
So I gave her my address and get this - about one week later a letter arrived and inside was a picture of my Grandma. I could not believe it!! And the really weird thing is - none of the ladies that were eating lunch at Petosa's lived in our town. They were just out shopping and decided to stop in our town. As soon as we left the restaurant I called my Dad. I told him the story and asked him if he knew them. He didn't - so I called my Grandpa.
Me: "Hi Grandpa - I have a message for you"
G: "Oh, what's that?"
Me: "I'm supposed to tell you the Rud girls from Noonan say hello"
G: silence
Me: "Are you still there"G: "I can't believe it - I haven't thought of them in years!"
I told my Grandpa of what happened and he just kept saying "I can't believe it!!" I think that truely was one of the strangest days of my life!!

Monday, February 6

I Hate Being Sick

Logan & I are both sick. Yesterday it felt like I was coming down with something - I had a sore throat, plugged nose, and was congested. I think it waited until the party was over to hit me full strength. Once everyone left I really started to feel like crap. We gave Logan a bath and put him down to sleep a little after 8 - he woke up at 10, his poor little nose was all runny. I went up and gave him bottle and put him back down, but he was up again around 11. Mike then went up to get him but he would not lay down. I think he was having trouble breathing if he was laying down. Him & I were up until 1:30 - he was fine if I was holding him upright or if he was sitting on the floor playing. I put him down at 1:30 and he was up again 2:30 - I brought him downstairs and gave him a bottle and then we layed on the couch. He slept on & off until around 4:30, I then took him upstairs - I didn't hear him again until around 8:30. I got up to get him since I figured Mike had gone to work but when I went into Logan's room Mike was in there changing his diaper. Mike decided to stay home with us today to help me out. It's been nice - I was able to go back to bed and sleep until around noon. I'm starting to feel a little better and Logan seems to be getting better too. I had some chicken noodle soup for lunch and my throat feels a little better. I just hope tonight is not like last night.

Sunday, February 5

The Party Was A Success!

Even though our beloved Seahawks did not win - we still had a great time! We had 9 people come over for the party. The food was great (if I do say so myself) and the beer was plentiful. Sadly, we did not get to drink the champagne that I was saving for when the Seahawks won.
The commercials were pretty good too - not as good as years past but we still laughed our a**ses off. We've come to find out that if Logan is not the one making the noise he does not like it when it's loud. There was one particular part of the game when a Seahawk intercepted the ball and we were all yelling and clapping - Logan did not like that one bit. He started crying and it took awhile to calm him down.
Oh, I almost forgot - Saturday Logan turned 6 months old. I can't believe it, my babies growing up. And don't even say it Jenn - it's way too soon to think about having another one. Oh, and that goes for you too Mom.

Saturday, February 4

Super Bowl Is Tomorrow!

We are almost all ready for the party. The last of the cleaning will be done in the morning. I've started making some of the food that can be made ahead of time. We should have a pretty good assortment. Here's the menu: Layered Taco Dip, Peek-A-Beans, Lil' Smokies, Crab Dip, Chicken Bites with assorted dipping sauces, Chili Cheese Dip, and Popcorn Balls. We'll of course have lots of beer & pop and I think Mike is going to make his famous Blender drink. It looks like we'll have about 6 other people coming so it should be a good time. We still have to move some of the funiture around - but everything is starting to come together.

Friday, February 3

The Baby In The Mirror

Logan has made a friend. Every night a baby shows up in the mirror when he's getting ready for his bath. He LOVES this baby. He has whole conversations with this baby. They smile at each other, laugh at each other, and talk to each other. He has even tried to kiss this baby! I just wish this baby would come around more often to keep him company.

Thursday, February 2

Good Luck Hon! We Love You!!

Mike has an interview tomorrow. It is an interview for his dream job. I know he will nail it, he's worked so hard to get where he is. The company that he works for has some of the hardest interviews that I've ever heard of. They last for at least 5 hours (closer to 8 if you are what they are looking for). Can you imagine selling yourself for a job for 5 hours?? Keep him in your thoughts tomorrow and wish him the best!! I love you Mike!

Went For A Visit

Today Logan & I went to visit Mike at work. Our little guy is such a flirt. All the ladies that Mike works with came over to see him and he turned on the charm. He was smiling, talking, and flirting with all of them. He even showed them his new teeth. We usually go and see Mike on Thursdays since those are the days he doesn't get to see Logan. He has school on Thursday evenings and doesn't get home until after 10 pm. But he only has a little over a year to go - YAY!!! It's so nice to go and see him - it gives Logan & I a chance to get out of the house and make a little road trip.
Not much else going on around here. I'm making salsa tonight for the party on Sunday - wish me luck!

Wednesday, February 1

I Love You Mom!

This is the response that my Mom gave me in regards to my last blog:
Remember who decides how much you get in the will. February 01 8:10 PM

Ok, so maybe I was exaggerating a little bit. But hey, I'm just glad she finally commented on my blog. I might have to write something else about her!!

Cleaning For the Big Day!

After reading Honor's blog today I felt I could totally relate to her having a bad day because of guests coming over. We too, are having a Super Bowl party. I have slowly started getting the house ready for it. Yesterday I cleaned 2 of our bathrooms from top to bottom. I also vaccuumed most of the house except the high traffic areas (I'll wait until Sunday morning to do those). The kitchen and dining room are almost ready. I have my menu ready to go and the grocery shopping is almost done. All in all I would say I've got a good start. Unfortunately, I think I take after my Mom when it comes to getting ready for parties. What I mean is by Saturday night and Sunday morning I'll be yelling at Mike for no reason. Even though he'll be helping me out - he won't be doing things correctly.
I have to admit, my Mom has gotten better about this over the years (although she could spiral backwards - my brother graduates this May). I want to apologize ahead of time: Mike, I'm sorry for all the bad things I will say to you this weekend. Just know, I love you and I'm sorry..............but dammit - take the garbage out, change Logan, let Pooh Bear out, and move the couch!!!

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