Monday, May 30, 2011

Taco Night

Tonight was taco night. As usual, I made cole slaw to go with. Growing up I never liked cole slaw. A few years ago I found a recipe for steak fajatas with homemade cole slaw. Somewhat sceptical, I tried it and liked it. The dressing was lighter and not as thick as I was used to.

I started making it with all Mexican dishes, though I do, as usual, substitute with whatever I have. Tonight really liked it and just had to write it down:

1 package of chopped cabbage
1 julianned bell pepper (red is my preference, but tonight I had yellow)
1 stalk of celery, chopped

2 tsp mayo
2 tsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp celery salt
1/2 tsp sugar
Dash red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (fresh WOULD be better, but tried is so much easier)

Wisk dressing and pour over veggies. Toss together and let sit at least 30 minutes. Serve over your favorite Mexican dish. It's really good with chicken dishes.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

Home Made Bread

Is there anything else that says “home” like the smell of bread baking? The smell is so comforting, so mouth-watering, that even if you didn’t grow up with home made bread, I can’t imagine the smell conjuring up any other thought for someone.

When Rocky & I were first married, he wanted me to learn 2 things from his mother: how to make her fried chicken and bread. When Maggie was born, she showed me how to do both. Now the chicken was easy. The bread, well, for something with so few ingredients, it takes a LOT of practice!!

Our Memorial Day weekend plans changed with all the rain and flooding. We had originally planned to go to Luccock and help the park get ready for summer. Then the rain rain rain came down down down and I 90 got flooded. It was closed for a while and when it opened back up, we debated going, until we heard it was snowing! The idea of spending a weekend at camp in the snow with a 1 year old did not appeal to us. So we stayed home. When I got up yesterday, I thought home made bread sounded really good. I checked to be sure I had everything [which I did, but I didn't have ENOUGH flour, whoops]:

A big spoonful of salt (and you must have the right sized spoon – Bonnie actually gave me the proper one – it’s a large serving spoon)
2/3 cup sugar
A big spoonful of lard
8 cups lukewarm water (I heat in the microwave and check the temp to be sure between 110 and 120)
3 packages rapid rise yeast
Lots of flour – it’s probably around 5 lbs total.

2011-05-28 2011-05-28 001 003Mix salt, sugar and lard in a large bowl – I have an old metal bowl that a pizza place in Watertown SD used to make pizza dough. Add water and stir to dissolve salt and sugar. Add yeast, stir gently and let sit for 10 minutes to allow yeast to proof.

Add about 3 cups of flour and stir until the dough starts to look like dough. Let sit for 30 minutes. Add more flour and stir until you can2011-05-28 2011-05-28 001 006 no longer stir with your spoon. [Yesterday, I didn’t have enough flour to get to this part and had to run to Wal-mart to get more flour.] Continue adding flour and knead in until the dough is no longer sticky [this is the part I always, always get impatient in and I always always think I’ve added enough flour, but I never have]. Let the dough rise until double in size. At this point, Bonnie would tell you to check it, pay attention, etc. We went to the zoo and lunch and Sam's Club while the dough rose. It got big, but still is very taste (as Maggie would say).

Form dough into buns or loaves, or whatever you want, and let rise another 30 minutes.

2011-05-28 2011-05-28 001 010Bake for 25 or so minutes at 350.

Let the bread cool and enjoy. I prefer my bread with real butter and peanut butter and/or jelly and coffee! The bread freezes very well, which is good, because this recipe makes A LOT of bread. I think I have 3 dozen buns in the freezer right now.

This was the first time I’ve made bread since Jessie was born. I’ve been meaning to for quite some time, but it’s one of those things that you do have to plan a little bit for (and I wish I had planned a little more for so I wouldn’t have had to make that run to Wal-Mart)

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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Bath Time Fun

What better way to end a day of fun than bath time with your sister?

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Sunday, May 22, 2011

Pre-K Graduation

And Maggie is one step closer to Kindergarten. Pre-K graduation was Friday May 20th. She’ll continue to go to Little Seeds through the summer, but come fall, it’s Kindergarten!

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Friday, May 13, 2011

When I am 6

Maggie has been talking a lot lately about what she will do when she is 6. Like sleeping in her own bed. This evening we went on a family walk to Lake Elmo and she told me that when she is 6 she will cross the monkey bars all by herself. Then, she proceeded to climb up and dis it!! She is growing up much too fast!
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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Day 342

Jessie is now 11 months old! It’s amazing how difficult is has gotten to do these little updates.  She has changed so much in the past month!

She recognizes the dogs and if you ask her “What does Wiconi say?” she will howl at you!


She has been walking for about 4 weeks – about a week after she turned 10 months old, she just started walking.  Is it terrible that I can’t tell you the exact day?  I remember Rocky & I whispering to each other, but it was like she just decided to get up and walk.  Her little legs are still so short that she has that Frankenstein’s monster gait and daycare has told us that she has the little crab sideways walk as well.

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She and Maggie still get along fabulously!  They love to wrestle and Maggie does a good job, most of the time, keeping herself in check so she doesn’t accidentally hurt Jessie.

No words yet from Jessie, but lots of “mumumumumum”s and “dadadadadada”s.  She has signed “Eat” and “More” a couple of times, but nothing consistent yet.  Maggie is helping us teach her a few signs.  Maggie LOVES to teach Jessie words and is almost constantly telling Jessie was something is and asking her if she can say something.

We are having Jessie baptized June 5 and will have a little party at our house after with cake and hopefully (if the grill is working) hot dogs & hamburgers, though we haven’t quite decided how big this shindig will be.  It just doesn’t seem possible that she is almost a full year old.  

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Rest in peace, Otis

snow03 We unexpectedly said goodbye to Otis this past weekend.  On Friday evening, he suddenly lost the use of his legs.  Rocky carried him outside.  He wagged his tail and looked up at me happily when I gave him some leftover ham.  Rocky spent time time petting him Friday evening, but when we woke up Saturday morning, he was gone.  Rocky buried him in the garden and Saturday afternoon, Maggie & I planted the garden over him (though Maggie doesn’t know he’s buried there).

Otis came to live with us soon after we got married and were living in Otis02Virginia. We felt Nala needed a companion and found Otis from a Humane Society who was showing dogs available for adoption outside a Pet Smart.  He was barking, but stopped when we got close.  We decided to foster him for a week to be sure he would get a long with Nala.  His first free time in the backyard led to the first of many escapes from the our backyards.  We didn’t think we should keep him as he was such an escape artist and we didn’t want to have a dog on a chain.  After returning him, the Humane Society (knowing a sucker when they see one) called me and, well, Otis came back home with us.

Otis & Nala got along quite well and loved to play together.  Probably Otis03 because Otis was such a young dog, he was probably around 2 when he came to live with us.  He loved to play and go on walks, but he was never what you would call a “pack” dog.  He never “needed” to be with the rest of the family.  And quite honestly, there were a few times we seriously considered getting rid of him.  He wasn’t quite sure of what to make of Maggie when we first brought her home, and expressed his dislike of her when she started crawling by snapping at her.  We sent him to doggie boot camp when we went on a 2 week vacation and he did better around her after that.  Once she got out of toddlerhood, he really seemed to enjoy her company.  He never really seemed to like Jessie, but tolerated her once she started walking and would let her grab her ear without too much fuss.

Otis adjusted to life well in Montana and adjusted well after Nala Otis06passed away.  He did well as an only dog and did good with whatever we threw at him, even Wiconi.

He really was a good dog in ways I never expected.  Maggie is comforted by thinking about Otis playing with Nala in heaven.  I hope and pray that he is.  Perhaps he is enjoying some sun and the cool breeze that he enjoyed so much since moving to Montana.  Otis, you may not have been the most handsome dog, but you were ours.  I am going to miss seeing you sleeping on my side of the bed each morning, the way you would come running if you thought there was the slightest chance of a treat or even a plate to lick, your special little Elvis lip.

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Friday, May 6, 2011

"I'm just happy I was brave"

Maggie got her Kindergarten shots on Tuesday. She has been so excited about this day for so long. I took Monday off and we registered for Kindergarten and had a Maggie & Mom day. We had Japanese food and went to the bookstore.

And Tuesday was THE day. Jessie was sick so she came along. Maggie entertained Jessie while we waited. She weighs 39.5 pounds and is 47 inches tall. She's right on the 25% curve. They tested her hearing and eyes. Dr Sorenson felt Maggie is very healthy but did have a concern about her lisp and recommended we have her evaluated by a speech therapist. I need to call and get an appointment set up as there aren't a lot of speech therapists in town and I'd like to get her in with one of the Billings Clinic therapists.

Then came the shots. We had talked about them some and Maggie knew they might hurt. Miss Carol even told her it would be okay to cry. Nurse Cheryl brought in the 2 needles and the band aids. Maggie held my hand but really wanted to watch. She counted to 3 each time but didn't even get watery eyes. So proud of her.

She is such my big girl and it has been so wonderful to watch her grow these almost 6 years.
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Sunday, May 1, 2011


I started this blog as a way to keep family updated on Maggie and now Jessie. It's been a great way to track some of the grey things, funny things that Maggie does and says. I enjoy bragging on my girls.

I haven't spent a lot of time bragging on the other member, the only male in the house. Rocky has been working on his Educational Doctorate since we moved to Montana. Last month he took and passed his comprehensive examination. He wasn't at Holy Thursday services because he was in Bozeman at class, which he's had to do numerous times in the past year since MSU decided to discontinue the Billings cohort (his group will be the last). He is now working on his dissertation.

He set a goal for himself to have his doctorate before his 40th birthday. He is well on his way and should be done this time next year. Im so proud of him!
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