May 20, 2012

Solar Eclipse

Anyone else catch that eclipse tonight? WOW! I didn't have the special glasses and I didn't make an eclipse viewer, but I DID have two pairs of sunglasses that I layered together! ;) If you squinted and shaded your eyes a bit, they worked just fine. Just don't look for TOO long at a time.

You can kind of see it in this picture, if you look at the flares below the sun, you'll see the full eclipse effect. I used those two pairs of sunglasses as a filter for my lens. Awesome, right? HAHA!

Here it is when it was just starting, without the "filter." The sunglasses were shielding my eyes for this one. 

We totally rocked this look. ;)


May 19, 2012

Cheesy Chicken

This is going to be another edition of HOLY CRAP MY CUPBOARDS ARE EMPTY WHAT THE HECK AM I GOING TO MAKE?! It's another "in between paychecks" week, and my kitchen is definitely looking like it. I have a freezer full of chicken, thankfully, which is going to get us through the next few days. It just will require a bit of creativity and willingness to experiment. ;)

So while staring at my little pantry, willing groceries or an idea of what to do appear, I came across a random can of bread crumbs left over from some other meal. I KNEW I could do something with those! I also had about half a bag of the 2 cup bags of shredded cheese left. Done. Normally, it seems like breaded chicken recipes use eggs to dip the chicken in before coating in the bread crumbs. I didn't have eggs. But I DID have a can of evaporated milk. I figured, what the heck, let's go for it. So I poured the evaporated milk into one bowl. In another bowl I had the bread crumbs mixed up with the cheese. Dip, coat and into the frying pan the chicken went! (I have no idea what the evaporated milk did, other than to make the cheese and bread crumbs stick to the chicken.)

I had one can of green beans left over. Normally I like to heat the green beans up in boiling water, drain, then add some butter and salt to them. (Not healthy, I know. But I like what I like. lol!) But, alas, today I had no butter left. (It's going to be a long week. HAHA!) I did have some leftover chive and onion cream cheese and some more bread crumbs. So I experimented. I boiled the green beans and drained them. Then I mixed in the bread crumbs and a dollop of the cream cheese, then put them into a little pan and baked them in the oven at 350º for a few minutes. I think with a little Parmesan sprinkled into that mix they would have been killer! As it was they were pretty decent for some random green bean experiment.

Over all, a pretty good meal. This chicken is for sure a keeper! It was so good! I was pretty impressed with myself, I must say, which is why I had to share. ;)

May 5, 2012


So we're two days in to riding bikes to school and work. We are LOVING it so much! Well, the first day I loved it in the morning but was dying and ready to call it quits by the time we got home. Here's how it went:

I got up at 5am and started making breakfast for us all. Oatmeal. I thought that would be a nice, hearty breakfast to get us through the bike ride. Got the kids up and ready and we were out the door by 6:10. The night before, Alayna said a special prayer for my bike to work, because for weeks now we've had one problem after another with my bike situation which kept preventing us from starting. Long story. But the day before we set off for our first bike commute, my awesome boss loaded the bike up into his truck, brought it to work and fixed it. So Alayna said her prayer that it would stay fixed and that it would work so we could ride bikes in the morning. As we set off and got going, she was SO excited that we were finally getting to ride our bikes. She kept saying, "My prayer worked! Jesus fixed your bike, Mom! He made it work!" Oh my gosh, I love that girl. She also kept saying that she had been dreaming and wishing to ride bikes to school for so long. She cracks me up!

About halfway to the school, Hunter needed a little break. He's just on his scooter until I can get him a bike of his own. Poor guy! But overall they were such champs! Amazing little troopers, I am so proud of them. It ended up taking about 40 minutes to get to their school. It's not FAR far, but it is a bit of a distance to go, especially for kids. I am just constantly amazed by them! We got to the school with about 15 minutes until their before school program started, so they got to play on the playground. Bridger was SO excited to get to play on the "big kids" playground! They were all so cute together. Alayna helped Bridger play on zip line handle bar thingy, and Hunter is seriously a little pro on the monkey bars.

This is my "WE MADE IT TO THE SCHOOL!" shot.

It always amuses me to see little Bridger dangling like this.

After we got Hunter and Alayna settled in class, Bridger and I set off for the next leg of our "commute." That part only took just over ten minutes to get to my work.

And here's my "WE MADE IT! WE MADE IT! WE MADE IT!!" shot.

Bridger's daycare is about three blocks away from work, so he and I have walked from the office to the daycare. The road is a lot busier and has no shoulder to ride on. We're good with walking. It's Bridger's official job to push the buttons to cross the street and he LOVES it.

I definitely didn't have enough to eat to sustain that kind of workout twice in one day. And oh my gosh, that seat HURTS so bad after a ride like that. By the time I got Bridger in the afternoon and we needed to set off to get the other kids, I just couldn't do it. I was starving, tired and sore. So we walked to the elementary. And then the kids rode while I walked the bike and trailer. They'd stop and wait for me. I'd keep trying to ride again, but I just didn't have anything left in me. We got to a park a little ways past the elementary school and I let the kids play for a while before we set off again. And then I walked pretty much the rest of the way home. By the time we reached home, I was so frustrated with myself and absolutely not feeling well. I started shaking, I was freezing even though it wasn't cold, allergies or a head cold set in, and I was SO sore. Then it felt like a bit of asthma was kicking in. I was ready to call it quits! I did not see how I could do it again the next day, when I was feeling like that.

Well, the next morning came. I slept in a bit, thinking I was just going to call in. I laid in bed thinking, and fighting with myself. I didn't want to be a quitter, but I did NOT want to feel like that again. I didn't want to do it again, but the kids had a field trip they'd been looking forward to for weeks. I couldn't let them miss that. So I finally dragged myself out of bed, thinking it was going to be impossible and painful to move. But it wasn't. Well, not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. So we did it again. And this time I even rode MOST of the way home. (I did walk for a bit, I'll admit it. lol)

I am SO glad I didn't give up so easily. Yes, I'm sore. Yes, it made me tired. Yes, I KNOW I'll get used to it. After just two days, it already got a little easier. I've been able to spend more time with my kids. It's amazing how rushed I felt with a car. Knowing I could sleep in longer, still rushing to get us all ready, zooming to school and daycare and work. Missing out on so much! I've seen the sunrise twice now. I've spent so much extra time with my kids, playing and doing something good for ourselves! I've accomplished something I didn't think I could actually do. I've become even more proud and grateful for my kids. Just two days. Totally worth it!


The sunrise from Thursday:

The sunrise on Friday:

Friday morning, at the school (Bridger refuses to be in pictures):

I'm kind of glad our car died. We're getting a lot more out of life this way.

May 2, 2012

Spinach Quiche with a Brown Rice Crust

I made this for the first time a few months ago, and it's been a favorite ever since! SO easy, it's a great go to recipe that isn't a ton of effort but tastes like it was.

I wish I could remember where I saw the original recipe. But I've changed it a bunch, so I won't worry TOO much about not being able to properly cite my "source."

2 cups cooked brown rice
1/4 cup grated cheese
5 eggs
1 cup milk
2 cups chopped spinach
1 cup sharp cheddar
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)

Mix the rice, 1/4 cup cheese and 1 egg. Press into a greased pie plate and bake at 450º for 5-7 minutes.
Mix remaining ingredients and pour into the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes.

Simple, right? ;)