MIA

Missing in action is what you can pretty much say I have been with this blog. It started with my cat passing away and we tried so hard to save him it was just a horrid experience. That wasn’t what kept me away. My Daughter had been having issues on and off for the last year and a half. She just never felt right and though a born complainer she was complaining about the oddest things. It started with a swallowing issue. Then massive weight loss like almost a 100 pounds in less than 6 months.  Then she started getting really sick and there was nothing we could do to make her better. We found out her blood pressure was through the roof! She still had all these little issues but now she was on beta blockers and feeling a bit better but still something was off. I had called it pretty early on and though it took another 6 months from me saying it to the doctor we had a diagnosis of Graves Disease. She had to have a radiation treatment via a radioactive pill and supposedly her thyroid should be slowed or shut down completely. We should find out in a few weeks whether it worked or not. There was other drama going on but I can always save that for another day needless to say we were busy. Now that there is less drama I plan to post as much as I can.

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Andrew proudly sporting his Autism Awareness shirt last month!

Yarny

I have been crocheting a lot lately. I started when I was about 12 and was sent to my Aunts for the summer. I was just taught the basic chain and single crochet,  most things I made that were meant to be rectangular somehow ended up as a triangle. Eventually I got a little better and made the most basic baby blankets for my Aunts but I was so basic the trim was sewn on eyelet lace. A few months ago I just sat down and gave it a shot at trying to teach myself some more stitches and then how to follow a pattern. Needless to say it is all starting to make sense to me. I really get it now and was even able to make this for an old friend who just had their second child.

I even made a matching bonnet but honestly I was unsure how I was even going to put all 64 squares together. To make matters worse the baby was born early so I was busting my butt to get it all done and put together on time. I will say that I really love this Book for learning how to do granny squares. Not only does she explain it well but there are step by step images to follow the instructions, it really leave very little room for messing up. However I haven’t found an amazing books for crocheting in the round so that has been a ton of hit and miss and pulling the project and starting over but so far I have managed a few bonnets. I am working on building up a prop stash for when I really start concentrating on newborn photography. The more I make the less I buy the better!

Home-Style Potatoes

I mostly bake stuff but today I cooked something that is really yummy. It is my comfort food and it has potatoes in it yum! I love potatoes of any kind! You name it fried, mashed, baked it is all good to me! I always used to have my Mom make these for me but now I am going to make them for you.

First we will start off with the ingredients: 5 red potatoes, 2 yellow onions, garlic salt, regular salt, and black pepper.

And butter! I looooove butter I can’t tell you how much I love it! Julia Childs is my hero because she loves butter too! My Mom says that when I was little I used to open the fridge and scrape the butter with my fingernails and it eat. I believe her. I love it so much it gets its own photo.

First you chop your onions. let me just say I hate chopping them. Chop off the ends they are no good and taste bad, trust me I tried to eat an end once is was disgusting!

Then I make a slit down the center, it makes it easier for me to take the skin off of it.

Since we chopped off the ends the onion has a flat side so it makes it easier to chop in half.

Chop it a few more times into long strips. At this point I remember why I hate chopping onions! I feel the burn start and I rub my eyes with the hand that was on them. Never a good idea to do that it only makes it worse!

Turn your onion and chop all the strips into happy little chunks of onion. At this point my eyes are watering and I look like I have been crying because I am! my eyes were so red too!

Happy chunks of onion and I went to go wash my hands and eyes, it didn’t help much.

Chop 3 glorious table spoons of butter. You could scoop it too if that is how you do your butter, but me I like mine in big fat rectangles!

Get a deep frying pan one that you have a lid for. Melt your butter on medium/high heat. I crank it all the way up because I want the butter to melt faster. Just don’t forget to turn it down after it has melted.

Add in your onions cook over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes enough to make them turn brown.

You want them brown, not dark brown or black because black is burnt and burnt is nasty.

While the onions are cooking chop your potatoes.

My pile-o-tato!

Add your potatoes to your pan. Do it slow sometimes the potatoes make the stuff cooking splash up and hit your arm, it doesn’t feel too good.

Add your garlic salt, salt, and pepper. Do as much as you like or don’t like at least a few shakes in there. I like the garlic salt so I shook it 8 times! i don’t like pepper so much so I did less. Don’t try sniffing pepper either it is true it makes you sneeze makes you cough and choke too.

Put the lid on and let it cook for 15-20 minutes stir it around every five minutes or so. Test it at 15 minutes to see if it is done. If your potatoes still have some crunch to them cook it for 5 more minutes.

Yummy tasty heavenly goodness! This made enough for just about 4 people. I especially like this for breakfast with eggs, but you can have it as a side dish with dinner too. Sometimes I just make a whole meal out of it!

I hope you enjoy this tasty dish!

Starfish Cookies

I went looking through all my cook books for my next recipe. I picked this one because it was cute fun and looked really yummy! .I had a real hard time rolling out the cookie dough, so much so I had to have my Mom come in to help me. It turns out I miss read my recipe it asked for a half a cup of butter I thought that meant half a stick oops. My mom helped me by adding more butter and that fixed it.

The ingredients: 1/2 cup of butter (not one half stick), 3/4 cup sugar, 1 egg, 3/4 tsp vanilla, 2 cups flour, 1/2 tsp baking soda, and 1/2 tsp salt.

First you start off by wrapping your cookie sheets in aluminum foil. It sounds silly and it really is but we will just pretend it is Halloween and your cookie sheets are dressing up as robots from outer-space. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.

Oh yeah and you will also need some pam or any non stick cooking spray. This is why you have the aluminum all over everything. I have to do the stinking dishes and it makes a brown mark on cookie sheets that never comes off and makes my life just that much harder!

Now you need to soften the glorious thing we call butter, use the whole stick not half like it did. You can close your eyes now and pretend it is a whole stick. Go on close your eyes and pretend! See it now my half is now a whole!

Put your butter in a mixing bowl and cream your butter with a hand mixer or a stand one which ever you have. We have both but my Mom said to leave hers alone unless I can replace it. I can’t so I used a hand one. I hope you are still imagining one full stick of butter being there!

Add in the sugar beating till it is all nice and mixed up together and fluffy. Silly putting those two words in the same sentence “beat” and “fluffy”.

Now you can add in the Egg and the vanilla. We won’t talk about what is holding up the mixer!

Combine the flour, salt, and baking soda in another bowl. I used a whisk to mix it all up.

Add the the all creamed mixture to the dry mixture. It looks like a blob, but a tasty blob!

Mix it all up till it is all blended together.

This is where my mistake created some issues for me and I had to ask for help. My dough was very dry and flakey, and not doing what it was supposed to at all!

I added the rest of the butter that should have been there from the start and all was well! Seperate your dough in two to three balls. Roll it out remember to flour your surface and your rolling pin.

Take a star shaped cookie cutter (or any shape you like, looking through the shapes we have I found a cow!) and cut out as many cookies as you can.

Lay them all on a cookie sheet that you covered in foil and sprayed down in a non stick cooking spray about 2 inches apart. Put them in the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes.

Let the cookies cool on the cookie sheet for 5 minutes before putting them on wire cooling racks to cool for another 10 minutes.

At this point you can do one of two things. Go to the store and get some frosting or you can do it how I did and call your mom into the kitchen and beg her to make you some frosting. I will share the recipe with you, but since I didn’t make it we didn’t take any photos of it being made. It was really simple so next time I will do it myself.

FROSTING:

3 TBSP meringue powder

2 cups powdered sugar

1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP warm water

1/2 TSP almond extract

1 TSP vanilla extract

Any food coloring

Mix it all together in a bowl BEAT on high 3-4 minutes till it is all FLUFFY. Mix in food coloring tada all done.

I also Made greenish teal colored and Patrick orange cause I love spongebob I should have made yellow too but I didn’t think about it till now!

Take a rubber spatula and decorate your cookies, you can do like I did and add colored sprinkles and shapes. If you don’t have any of these you can add a little bit of food coloring to regular old sugar.

I had a fun time decorating all the cookies. My brother decorated his own and my Dad did too but then he dropped his into the sink and I am not 100% sure but I think he might have cried.

Kodak makes expensive paperweights

I sold off most of my cameras for one reason or another and I have one left. I decided it would be a good thing to update my point and shoot camera. I am a Canon girl through and through I have had nothing but Canons for the last 10 years at least. Before that I had a Sony it was decent but it was a point and shoot, it still works too my dad has it and I bought it when Katie was 3! I kept my eyes open for a good deal and looked at specs on any that I saw. I decided this time I will not be a camera snob and I would just get any brand that met the requirements. I saw the Kodak easy share M52 which is the same as the M552 just a different color. I thought great meets what I need and has a handy upload button to upload to facebook and that will break me out of another bad habit I have of having to post process all photos. I mean it is a point and shoot most just upload them but me I have to improve them. The camera arrived today. I took it out charged it set it up and was so eager to play with it. I of course hounded Katie who was trying to do her spanish but she could stop and smile for a second. Now Katie is a seasoned ham she knows how to pose and hold still and give me a smile at the drop of a hat. Blurry… messed with it okay Katie smile and blurry! Okay messed with some more settings blurry. Turned on a light blurry. Get that there is a theme here. Okay told Katie to get back to work went into a bright room used a freaking lemon and blurry. Sat it on the table clicked it with an inanimate lemon and wow focused. Grabbed Katie again who was now done with her school work and used the flash. Now it was in focus but blown out I mean how many people want to post washed out looking photos of their kids squinting and with barely enough detail to see your kid has a nose? Not me! I went and talking with online tech support all I picture is that commercial with “Peggy”. They told me my camera sucked and I should buy a better one from them. I called was on hold with horrid hold music for 15 it hung up on me. Called back on hold for 10 more and 2 humans later got someone willing to talk to me who told me my expectations were to high for this camera to which I asked what expecting a camera to take a photo is too much for you people? To which he said I would always have to use a flash if I wanted it in focus and I told him that no where on this camera’s add or specs did it say only takes photos in focus with flash. They said well it has no IS what do you expect and I said well a camera that at least takes better photos than the one on my phone. I am also having issues returning it, the site I bought it from knows Kodak must be bad because they don’t seem to want to take it back yet. I learned my lesson today… don’t stray from what you know is good! That and Kodak can kiss my big fat butt :

 


Photo not taken with a Kodak!

 

Gum!

I found something this week that I thought was really cool;  http://www.myextragum.com. I don’t know what part it appeals to me more, the photographer in me or the digital scrapper. I was able to use my digital scrapping kits with the site even the elements. I just had to set a paper as a photo and use it at the bottom as a background. How cool would it be to send your kid to summer camp or school with a message from mom wishing them well. I think I am already planning to use it as invitations to the girls birthday party come September that or as thank you’s, I haven’t made up my mind yet. I think their are a ton of possibilities for them. for now though I used it to brighten the girls day and remind her that she is loved.

I will take photos of them for sure when they arrive. you get a choice of spearmint, peppermint and sweet watermelon. I would have got for the boy also but he just had a birthday and with his birthday money bought 20 packs of the sweet watermelon flavor. It is the only flavor of gum he likes. Neither of them should really have gum since they are both in braces at the moment but it seems the sugar free doesn’t stick and we haven’t had any issues yet, though I can’t say the same for corn chips.

ETA: I don’t know why but Extra stopped doing this. It really was a great Idea if not promoted well enough.

 

Hello

Hi I am Rebecca and this is my blog along with my Daughter Katie who will be posting also. We have each had Blogs in the past mine dating as far back as 1999 just soon after I had my Son Andrew, back before there was the word blog. It is was there mostly to catalog the little moments in my children’s lives that I wanted to remember. Katie has had a few herself the first one was just day to day thoughts but soon it was deleted because she really had nothing nice to say and then she had a follow up blog that was all about cooking and crafting. When she would do her blog posts I would always assist her with the photography and then getting the photos into the post and whatnot. There were one too many times where WordPress just happened to eat her post on accident. After a while neither of us posted much so we decided to just combine our blogs into one. That way we can cover all bases :)