August 26, 2014

Just Because

As much as my little pups drive me absolutely bonkers sometimes and I want to drop kick them on occasion, I truly love them more than words can say. They give me opportunities each day to develop Christ's characteristics, especially patience and charity. And those are definitely qualities I need. It's a slow process, and I hope that they can forgive me for falling short.

For some reason this is the first thing that popped into my head. Maybe I need to chant this throughout the day, huh?

Anyway, without further ado.....
Doesn't he look so grown up?

This is Goob's new trick. He loves doing and laughs hysterically at himself.  (side note: his laugh has turned into a full on evil villain sort of laugh. It's kinda creepy)
Heart breaker!

Brother love
Oh the drama! 

August 24, 2014

Necessity Breeds Invention

This is a gloat post, so discontinue reading if you don't feel like hearing about how awesome I've done at not wasting food.

While we have been so blessed in our transition to Rochester, there have been some pretty heavy challenges already. We still have not got any school loans which is our only source of "income" for the next 5 years. Every day, the first thing I should do as Mr Medic walks through the door ought to be to greet him with a welcome-to-our-immaculately-clean-calm-always-cheery-home kiss, but I usually ask about the cash first. I'm terrible, I know. The fun doesn't end there.

Throughout the interview/admissions process we were made to understand that there were many resources and funding available (grad loans can be as much at $100,000, it's just up to the school on what they actually disburse) Each school has their own estimate on the cost of living for a student, and that determines what you get. UofR only has one cost of living estimate, and it just so happens to be for a single student (nothing for students with dependents) Therefore the school basically approved Mr Medic for an amount that completely and utterly ignores mine and the boys very existence! 

We've been in 100% panic mode and exploring all our options on how to meet even our basic needs. There are still no solutions yet, but we are determined to be optimistic and trust that the Lord brought us here for a reason, and that He will take care of us just like He always has!

Seeing as money is tighter than the lips of a prude schoolgirl it's pretty clear that we have either stooped to an all time low, or are just being super frugal, however you want to look at it. 

Exhibit A:

Mr Medic would never touch the boys gnawed on food remains from meals with a ten-foot pole. I on the other hand have always been the one to "take one for the team" and it's never really been my pleasure. It's just what we mommas gotta do. For a while now, I have seen Mr Medic willingly take the scraps so as not to waste. I know how much he detests that, but I also know that he wants to do his part to save money. May seem silly, but I think it's quite admirable myself!

Exhibit B:

I rarely enjoy eating leftovers. It's gotta meet certain criteria for me to re-heat and eat something from the fridge. First, I am 100% convinced that meat, especially chicken, tastes funky after it's been nuked. Totally grosses me out. Also, I usually have myself convinced that it's already "gone bad" when clearly it hasn't. 

Anyway, I have been working really hard to not let the leftovers go to waste. Whether that means I make much less so we don't have to put anything in the fridge, remember to send it with Mr Medic for lunch, offer it to the boys for numerous meals, eat it myself, or recreate it into something new.

I can honestly say that I have only thrown away 3 pieces of produce since we moved here. I didn't get to the food in time since the Public Market produce has a shorter shelf life than the supermarket,. Something I didn't know beforehand. 

Tonights dinner was no exception. I offered the boys sauerkraut and wieners, one of their all-time favorite sloth (aka paternal family) dishes. They've eaten that up like champs for several meals over the last few days. I really wanted chicken pot pies, which I'd made earlier in the week, but I wasn't up to making more crust, yet I was determined to use it up. I texted Mr Medic to give him the option of sauerkraut and wieners or a creamy soup I'd make out of the extra pot pie filling. I knew what he would choose before I even asked, but I thought I'd let him think he had a choice anyway. 

Needless to say I thinned out the filing with just water (hello...it's FREE! Well....sorta. I guess I pay that bill too now!) and had myself this delicious creamy soup! Mr Medic got the short end of the stick for sure...

I sincerely consider being more conscious of food and making it last or not wasting it a blessing from Heavenly Father.

Necessity truly does breed invention, and this invention while not brilliant was delicious! 

Here are my recipes:




FLAKEY PIE CRUST 
Combine-
1/3 C Milk 
1tsp Vinager

This is a way to make your own buttermilk.  The vinager will start to curdle the milk, wait till it thickens some. 

Combine-
2 C Flour
1 tsp Salt


Then add 1 C Crisco ( I like the butter flavor kind) using a pastry cutter ONLY UNTIL SLIGHTLY BLENDED.
Pour "Buttermilk" into flour mixture and mix, but don't overdo it.  

Form two balls (one for top and one for bottom, or save some for later) I find it easiest to refrigerate them for 30 min to 1 hr.

Roll out and use for any pie.  For pre-baked crust bake at 450 for 10-12 mins.

POT PIE RECIPE:

1/3 C       Butter
1/3 C       Onions, Diced
1/3 C       Flour
1/2 tsp    Salt
1/4 tsp    Pepper
1 1/2 C   Chicken Broth
2/3 C       Milk
1 1/2 C    Shredded Chicken
2 C          Mixed Veggies, Chopped (fresh or frozen. I even like to add a baked potato cut into cubes to this...yum!)

Heat oven to 425, place first pie crust into pie pan.

Melt butter in sauce pan over medium heat, add onion, cook 2 min until tender. add flour salt and pepper, stir until well blended.

Gradually stir in broth and milk cooking and stirring until bubbly and thick.

Stir in chicken and mixed veggies, spoon into crust. Top with second crust seal and flute edges, cut slits in top to let out steam.

Bake for 30 min or until golden.

ENOJY






August 12, 2014

First World Problems

I love to eat lots of veggies and would consider myself pretty open to a wide variety of flavors. My husband and boys on the other hand....they are picky as picky gets.

Mr Medic has never been one to complain. He's a true champion when it comes to eating things he doesn't like, but I can totally tell when he's choking dinner down and doing a bang up job of controlling his gag reflex (picture something like this)

We have been enforcing the "this-is-all-that-we're-having-for-dinner" rule with the boys for quite a while after I wasted time and food being their short order cook. If they don't like what I've made, they don't eat. We do a lot of talking-it-up too. We tell the boys that eating their dinner makes them strong and gives them big muscles, to which we then have to go around the table feeling everyone's "tough bones"


Anyway, I've been really looking forward to tonights meal, but the odds were against me from the get go. While I was prepping for it yesterday I took a licking from the kitchen mandolin and ended up with 4 stitches.


I went for another go at it today and just as I put it in the oven the power went out. I checked the breaker in the bog basement to no avail. The boys and I waited for an hour in the fading evening light as I grew increasingly annoyed that dinner would never be ready in time. WHY?!?!? This meal was just not meant to be!

I was determined to eat it though, so after Mr Medic fixed the breaker (I swear I'm not dumb, just freaked out with all the jerry rigging going on with the electrical stuff downstairs) we sat down to dinner just before the boys' bedtime. 

And here it is in all its glory!  It was so good! 

Zucchini Lasagna (the zucchini is the noodle, folks!) Recipe found here
I died and went straight to food heaven at first bite, but then I looked at Mr Medic who was doing a Jim Carey (just in case you didn't click the first time) Normally it's no big thang and I can totally ignore it, but man, I just wish there was at least one other person in this house that semi-enjoyed eating food that I whole heartily love. 

So, my life dilemma at the moment...Do I make food that is just so-so to me so I can feel satisfied that my family enjoys it? Or, do I make what I love and not give a hoot if anyone else likes it?

You tell me cause this momma just doesn't have a clue.

August 11, 2014

Stick Family Portrait, the Masterpiece

Twodles hasn't been one to draw. A person who shall remain unnamed would like to think it is all my doing since I made him switch from left to right, but the kid honestly wasn't into it...till lately!

It's fun to see him be interested in and eager about drawing. Today he was so excited to show me his first family portrait! What a masterpiece!

He asked me to take a picture and made sure to put the stylus behind his ear beforehand :)

This drawing may appear a little behind schedule based on this developmental guideline, but anyone who's anyone knows that Twodles is as sharp as a tack, just marches to the beat of his own drum!

The artist in me longs for him to love creating as much as I do and I'm committing to giving both my boys more opportunities to be creative even though the OCD in me (let's be honest here, all of us have a little OCD hidden in some cob-webbed corner of our being, right?) doesn't prefer messy adventures to clean up.

Here is a quote from one of my favorite articles that touches on the power of creating:

"Creation brings deep satisfaction and fulfillment. We develop ourselves and others when we take unorganized matter into our hands and mold it into something of beauty.."  -Happiness, Your Heritage, President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

If you haven't read the article you should! It speaks to my soul and motivates me to improve. It just might do the same for you.

Can't wait to see what he creates next!

August 9, 2014

Beach Boys

Twodles learned about The Creation (is that supposed to be capitalized? I mean it is THE CREATION) last Sunday at church. Someone mentioned the beach and of course Twodles had no idea what they were talking about...poor Idaho boy! He asked his teacher "can my dad take me to the beach?" and hasn't stopped talking about it sense.

Thankfully, we had our chance to go with some other mom's from our church, otherwise I might have gone batty from all the begging to go. The boys were both very excited when I told them what we were doing that day. Twodles wondered if there was a lot of sand, and could he swim in the water. He couldn't wait to see it!

We all had a great time at Durrand Eastman Beach! Twodles repeated "This is the best day EVER!" over and over. (I thought it was so cute until I realized he was quoting Tangled! hahaha) It's moments like these where I feel like being a mom and showing my boys all the wonders of the earth is totally worth it!

There are no words to describe how great this moment was! Pure joy!   





August 7, 2014

Rochester Public Market

I'm not sure if I'm giving the supermarkets here a fair chance since I have Idaho prices on my brain or what, but I haven't been excited about the cost of groceries. I finally got a lead for a ghetto grocery store called Price Rite, complete with security man at the entrance and all! I was more satisfied with the prices, although there were a few things I wasn't prepared for.

You have to bring your own bags or pay .11/bag, which means I may need to find me some reusables. They also have this weird checkout system where the checker scans all your items and puts them into the cart of the person who checked out ahead of you. Then you take your cart to this bagging area to put into bags. It works, but it's just different from anything I've ever seen. The store also does not take coupons, and doesn't have every item like a regular store would. For now it will do.

We've also been told by countless people that we need to go to the Public Market for produce. It's a year round outdoor market on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. The boys and I decided to go on an adventure today to see what it was all about!

Our mail woman was pretty surprised we "went all the way to the market" Not sure if it's a sketchy area or what.
These littles had a good time and a vendor even gave them a free bag of kettle chips to munch on while I shopped.
Beautiful rainbow of colors!

 The market doesn't take cash, which I kinda thought they might not, but didn't come prepared for some dumb reason. We found an ATM though and were ready to get our shop on. I thought the prices were good and the selection was fun! We will definitely go back again better prepared with a list of what we want...and cash!
Romane lettuce: $1/each. Strawberries: 3 for $5. 3 lb. Pineapple: $1.50. Blueberries: $1.50. Cucumbers and Zucchini: 3 for $1. Spinach $1. 4 lbs. of apples $3. **I spy a little snitch that took a chunk out of an apple already!**
The boys loved eating berries from the market for lunch. (We scored this little table for $10 on Craigslist. The boys love to sit out and have a "picnic")
Who wouldn't love these little berry munching humans?!? 

There have obviously been lots of adjustments, but so far we have really enjoyed Rochester and are excited for many more fun adventures to share!


June 19, 2014

Rochester Trip Part III

Mr Medic and I finally joined each other again Saturday evening for dinner and guest speaker. He was glad to be done with the case study and presentation.
 It was fun to be together somewhere out of the ordinary and looking spiffy. I think this is the only picture we got of the two of us most of the weekend.
Sunday morning we left for home. During our long layover in Philly Mr Medic worked on the 3rd and final portion of the competition, his essay. This was our little hangout for the layover. 
And of course we couldn't pass through Philadelphia without getting a Philly Cheese Steak sandwich. Granted this is just airport style, but it was still tasty.

We made it home safe and sound just in time to catch a little sleep and send Mr Medic off to work Monday morning. Then we just played the waiting game. I was really starting to doubt a scholarship increase once I knew others had already received offers. Come to find out Simon tried contacting Mr Medic while he was at work, but didn't leave details. We waited a day longer than everyone else, but were very happy with the increase in scholarship he received. Our trip to Rochester was well worth it, and I couldn't have asked for a better mini vacation.

We have felt so blessed all through this process and are excited to make it blog-official that we will be attending Simon Business school for an accelerated 2-year MBA (completed in one year) and then directly on to medical school at University of Rochester.

I'm positive if I were to look back on my thoughts and comments on our first year of applying to schools I would find a very frustrated and confused person. There were so many things we simply didn't understand. I know now we were meant to stay here for one more precious year, for so many reasons. I know now that we were meant to go to Rochester, a school that Mr Medic originally never looked at the first go around, a school that he was late for his interview (by no fault of his own), a school that offered him an incredible scholarship for his first year even though he thought he "bombed" the GMAT. All things considered, we shouldn't have made it, but we did. It is indeed God's will, and we are delighted to do it.