Monday, August 31, 2009

The Training has begun...

Her name is Fashionista for a reason. She wants to grow up and be a fashion designer. It's in her, she's good at it and now her official training has begun. It won't be long before she passes me and will need to find a new teacher, but for now what I know will do.Barbie clothes combinations became insufficient this summer and so she started using a needle and thread and sometimes glue to make the clothes right on their bodies. As an outfit began I would often wonder how it could become anything, but lo and behold a lovely Barbie would emerge.For her 10th birthday she got some Barbie clothes patterns and a collection of fabric.

Before setting her free on the machine with her fabric I took an idea from a friend and had her sew back and forth on lined paper. It was a great way to start.We also sat down with the sewing machine and it's manual and learned the names for each part, how to adjust tension and stitch length and how to thread the machine. I have to admit that I learned some things.This is her first pattern/sewing machine Barbie creation. I think she has a future in the fashion industry!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Duck Tape Mania (Duct?)

I believe in Duck Tape. I have used it time after time and witnessed it's powers for myself. Braided together it can tow a car. It has been used to repair books and hold a tent together while keeping out the rain. By the time you finish reading this I think you will believe it can hold a family together.Cycle Guy requested that I buy a few colors of Duck tape so that we could have "Duck Tape Mania" for family night. Fashionista and I made our way to Walmart and discovered colored duck tape numbered not a few.Red, Green, Neon Green, Orange, Black, Neon Pink, Blue, Aqua Marine, Yellow, Purple, Blue and Purple Tye Dye, good ole' Grey, Shiny Silver, and Turquoise... I may not have even remembered them all...
How could we possibly limit what we buy? Our goal was to buy six colors (I never thought it would be this hard to choose.) We didn't do too bad when we came home with 8. Neon Green, Black, Turquoise, Navy, Neon Pink, Silver, Purple, and Tye Dye.After dinner Cycle Guy taught us the basic method of layering and creating a checkerboard and we went at it.
By the end of the night we had cell phone covers, book covers, wallets, purses, Ipod covers, and scripture bags.If you overlap carefully, you can make a checkerboard. Tearing it into thinner strips can give you a lovely stripey look. Add some velcro and your coin purse won't lose it's change.Fashionista has a birthday party coming up and guess what the girls will be getting as their goody bag? You got it! Duck tape coinpurses! Now we just need to come up with a few small things to put in them. Happy Birthday 10 year old!Just look how cute the inside of my purse is!
What would you make?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

My Summer Vacation

Today's post was written by one of my favorite guest authors. My daughter Fashionista.

My Summer Vacation

The triplets

Three cousins, Three shirts, All exactly the same.

Pretty ‘n’ pink

Blue jean capris

All of us had side ponytails

The Cabin

Our cabin, our cabin, a wonderful place to be

Cousins all around, card games too

No one ever gets bored

Not me nor you

The Grandparents House

Big yard

Endless games

Lots of cousins to play

Awesome Grandparents

By Denise

Thursday, August 6, 2009

At the Cabin

There's a little town
at the base of a hill
It's known as Clifton
We go there with Jill

It's history is short
less than 200 years
But when this family gathers
We give it three cheers

It holds many memories
Grandma, Grandpa and Dad
It's where he grew up
What adventures he had

From hail storms on horses
Skinny Dipping in hats
Buying new sneakers
And old barn cats

We also remember
those who came long before
Grandpa shooting the Indian
and so many more.

We like to hear Grandpa
recite stories long past
Like the Wee Small Red Hen
And Annie's long fast

So once every year
We gather together
To spend time with family
Taking time to remember

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The Part Where Everyone gets Sunburned but Me

One good way to beat the heat is in Water, at a Beach, on the Puget Sound.
The supplies:

Track Ball
Beach Towels
Skim Board
Water Bottles
It's good to apply sunscreen before you ever get in the car. That way you won't have to deal with scratchy sand getting in the application process or forgetting until you are wet and sandy. I use a lower screening level on my body like 8 or 15 so I can still get a little color without burning but more like 30 on my face. Now, I never thought I had a big nose, but somehow no matter what number I put there my nose gets redder and darker than the whole rest of me combined. So I use the highest power I can get a hold of on that little protrusion.The rest of the members of Whoville? Well, yes, they do have their fathers darker skin but really... no sunscreen? I heard things like, "I never get a sunburn" and "I want to get tan" and "My skin is used to the sun".
But the next day, I heard things like, "My shoulders hurt", "Oh, my back", "My chest is killing me" and "Do we have any Aloe Vera?"With great effort I held back and never said, "I told you so." But instead lovingly rubbed cooling lotions with understanding tender remarks.
Bahahahaha, when will you learn to listen to your Mom?

Monday, August 3, 2009


In an effort to beat the heat in the kitchen and take it out to the barby, we first tried this as a "fun" dinner to make involving the whole family. We did it again because we like it so much we want to make it every day.


First of all the shopping list:

A good steak or beef roast ~Beef... It's what's for dinner.
Sweet Yellow Onion ~sweet is best in my opinion
Yellow Bell Pepper ~it's good to add color
Green Bell Pepper ~great flavor addition
Red Bell Pepper ~more color and good flavor
Small Red or Yellow Potatoes ~trust me... it will work
Chunk Pineapple ~Your palate will thank you~twice.
Mushrooms ~just wait until you taste them with this marinade!
Zucchini ~Did anyone else even use it? I did, and I liked it.
Anything you love that will stay on a stick...
Crusty French Bread
Bamboo Skewers

Next, the marinade.

I got this marinade from my favorite cookbook, well, my favorite published cookbook. We have a family cookbook that I use almost daily- it's my favorite, but The America's Test Kitchen Family Cookbook is so great, you need to get it today.

It is filled with information on how to buy, how to cook, how to trim, what to buy, and how to everything... But I digress...

The Marinade.1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup vegetable oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon dark Brown sugar
1 Tablespoon Ketchup
1 Tablespoon chili powder
2 teaspoons cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Combine all ingredients. Add beef which has been cut into 1 inch pieces. Marinate in refrigerator for an hour.

While meat is marinating, cut vegies into skewerable size hunks and place in individual bowls. (One bowl for each different vegetable.)

The potatoes need some special treatment because they require more cooking time than the other items. Cut the potatoes into the size you want for the skewers. Place in boiling water and boil to about 1/2 way done. Use your own judgment. Last time I boiled them a little too long and they still worked fine, just a little soft when putting on the skewer.

Remove meat from refrigerator saving excess marinade to brush on shish-ka-babs before grilling. (We usually double the marinade so there is plenty to brush on the skewers before placing them on the grill)

Call the family in from outside, gather them together around the counter and let everyone use their own creativity to build shish-ka-bobs a la (insert your family name here).

Once all the food is placed on a skewer brush them with the left over marinade and place on preheated BBQ. Cook until done. This part is Cycle Guy's job, I have no idea how to tell when it's done.This marinade is great, it is a little like a brine for tenderizing the meat and the flavor is divine! Serve with Crusty French Bread and Sliced Cantelope.

Try it today.

You'll thank me tomorrow.

Love, Jenny

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Six Word Saturday

Today I'm participating in a 'meme' called 6WS: Six Word Saturday.

My six words for today:

"Road Trip: I love our family!"

Vacation time with my family is the best thing about summer.

~Hours in the car
~Fast food on the road
~Singing the Idaho state song as we cross the border
~Convincing the kids that it's the Jen State, not the Gem State because I was born there
~Arguing for who gets to sit where (or at least I've heard some families argue about that=] )
~Finally arriving at Grandma's house for hugs, popcicles and fruit snacks
~Fresh peas from Grandpa's garden
~Seeing cousins after a year away. (Thank goodness for Facebook, the kids communicate with each other more than ever before.)
~Playing cards at the Cabin
~Sleeping? at the cabin with all the cousins.
~24 cousins, 4 cousin-inlaws, 2 great grand cousins

Oh yeah, I'm ready for a 1000 mile Road Trip! I love our family!