Friday, September 30, 2011

Chicken and Dumplings

Despite having come down with my first cold of the season, I was feeling ambitious and made homemade soup and my first loaf of bread with my new stand mixer. I chose to make Potato Bread. They turned out nicely. Lovely texture, good crust, but there was a funny aftertaste so I won't be saving this recipe.

They were supposed to be "rustic," just maybe not this rustic!

I didn't want to go through the effort of homemade noodles, and I had experienced very yummy chicken and dumplings at niece, Christina's house a few months ago. Thought I'd give it a go. In doing some google research, I discovered two schools of thought regarding dumplings. One is more like a biscuit and the other like a noodle that you roll out and cut up. If memory serves (and it rarely does), Christina's was like a biscuit, but different. Hard to do a Google search with those parameters! My dumplings were very noodle like. Enjoyable, but I want to get Christina's recipe and try that too. (Hint, hint, Christina....)

The kids all enjoyed the soup. Morgan even decided he liked dumplings! Miracle! And for me, it was just what the doctor ordered!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Mrs. Poxleitner

Glenn's sister, Nancy, was out of town all last week and I tried my hand at being the substitute teacher for her high school career's class. It went surprisingly well. Granted it was only 23 juniors for 50 minutes a day, but still. I might even be willing to do it again.

I had to take my own "first day of school" picture. My clothes seem a tad casual for high school teacher, but this is Cottonwood, Idaho. I may have been overdressed by some people's standards!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Beach Time

We took the kids to the Salmon River for a couple hours of beach time last Friday night.

There was a little dancin' going in. Nicole recently learned the "Ten Step," and taught it to her sister.

There was a *little* drinkin' going on. Can you even see the tiny beer can that Glenn is holding? I'm still unclear why he picked this size. It was cute. Not sure beer is supposed to be cute, though.

This is a 20 minute drive from our house. How lucky are we? I don't know why we don't live there!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Poxleitner Babysitting Services

I offered some time ago to babysit for Glenn's nephew Joe and his lovely wife, Jen. Being a smart lady, Jen took me up on it! She had a conference in McCall last weekend and she took her hubby along. We were supposed to have the kids from Thursday to Saturday, but sadlly, Jen's grandfather passed away last week and the services were Friday/Saturday so she cut the conference short. We had them for about 20 hours. That was a good start. It all went well, but easing into it is nice too.

Andie is about 18 months old. She's a doll. A doll with an attitude. She was much friendlier after mom and dad left. Ellea read her a book. She read the same book over and over. She was unfamiliar with this adorable, if tiring, trait of small children. Ellea didn't care. Andie was actually sitting with her for longer than 90 seconds!

The next morning, Ellea was a big help. She changed Andie's diaper and got her dressed, fed her breakfast and fixed her hair. I was very sad Ellea had to go to school. So was she. I briefly considered letting her play hooky, but sometimes I try to be a responsible parent. It was tempting.

Sam (3 years old) begged to go outside. We played in the dirt pile, played on the swing set and rode the four-wheeler. Andie was a little unsure of the four-wheeler, but it was that or stay with Glenn. She chose the four-wheeler.

It's been a while since I've had small people around. I forgot just how much work they are! I also forgot just how much supervision is necessary. I left Sam to his own devices for a couple minutes while he was using the bathroom. I checked on him and found the toilet paper completely unrolled.

I asked him why he did that and he said because he wanted to roll it back up. Good reason.

Monday, September 26, 2011

DQ Delight!

After our fun day in Lewiston, I took the kids to Dairy Queen for some ice cream treats. Nicole and Ellea went for Blizzards. Sadly, Ellea didn't know what they were and Nicole was just recently introduced to them by a friend. What can I say? I'm too cheap to buy Blizzards for a family of five!!

They had to sample each other's flavors of course. Nicole had Mint Oreo and Ellea had Caramel Brownie. They both got a thumbs up!

Morgan had a hot fudge sundae. How beautiful is this? I was quite taken by it. Sadly, it didn't measure up to good ol' Micky-D's hot fudge sundaes. Their presentation might not be quite as remarkable, but it's really about taste. Can I get an Amen?!! There are few things that McDonald's does exceptionally well, but hot fudge is one of 'em!

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Mommy Time

I took the kids to Lewiston yesterday. Glenn decided to stay home and get some work done. His day didn't go so well. The bees are thick around here right now, and his tractor broke down. Poor guy.

The kids and I did a little shopping and a lot of goofing off. We played a few video games, wandered around a Dollar Store, went to a movie (Zookeeper--cute. The kids really enjoyed it.), ate dinner at Taco Bell (I'm a big spender!) and played at the park. We topped off our day with some Dairy Queen treats. Phew!

At the park, Morgan kept suggesting different pictures opportunities (for my blog, of course!). Smart boy.

The girls made a bee line for this cool climbing wall. They reluctantly agreed to a photo.

Can you see who lost a tooth? Darn tooth fairy still hasn't come yet. She must be a busy lady.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Steam Engines

Glenn's been cleaning up all the old metal "stuff" that's been sitting around for 50 years since metal prices are through and roof and well, it's nice to clean things up.

Glenn's dad, uncle and grandfather ran a sawmill for many years in what could be considered our backyard. At one point, the mill was powered with steam engines. They still have one that's intact, but they had these two bodies also.

Glenn was feeling rather sentimental about these two hunks of metal. I understand. It's something that his dad was a part in and he misses his dad. It was a part of the sawmill and he started working at the sawmill when he was 6 years old (pond monkey--pushing logs from the pond into the mill). It's a cool piece of history.

And, he's a sentimental fool. That's why I like him so much.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Egg Roll Recipe

It was requested that I share my egg roll recipe that I teased you with yesterday and I am not one to stand between a person and fried food, so here you go...

Egg Rolls
2-3 chicken breasts cut into small chunks and cooked
3 large carrots, grated
4 stalks celery, chopped
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1-2 (16 oz) pkg bean sprouts
4 c cabbage, chopped
1 Tbs sugar
1/4 tsp pepper
1/4 tsp garlic
1 tsp sesame oil (opt.)
Egg Roll Wrappers (2 pkgs) found in produce section (this last time, I only had one package and it wasn't enough, but two packages would've been too many. I wonder if you can freeze them...)

Saute carrots, celery, pepper and onion in 1-2 Tbs Olive Oil until crisp-tender. Add cabbage and bean sprouts and heat through. Add cooked chicken and seasonings.

Assemble egg rolls by laying out one wrapper on counter or a dinner plate with a point facing you (see picture) and add 1/4 cup filling. Combine 1 Tbs cornstarch with 1/2 c water. Use this as your "glue" to hold the egg roll together. Dip your finger in the cornstarch mixture and dab/spread some of the "glue" on the egg roll wrapper edges. Fold bottom up and each side into middle.

Fold the top down after you've added some "glue" and voila, you've got yourself an egg roll. The wrappers are fragile. Be careful not to tear them. You can still cook them if they tear, but it's messy.

Heat 1/2" of oil in skillet and fry a few at a time for 2-4 minutes until golden, turning once. You can keep them warm in a 300 degree oven until they're all ready. This is a recipe that my mom got from a neighbor when we were kids and they had us over for dinner one night and wowed us with egg rolls! I've tweaked the recipe a little bit.

Now, I won't eat my egg rolls with Sweet and Sour Sauce, so I better share that recipe also! My mom got this recipe from a microwave cookbook she had. It is yummy good!

Sweet and Sour Sauce
1/2 c sugar
2 Tbs cornstarch
1/4 c cold water
8 oz crushed pineapple
1/2 c chopped green bell pepper
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/2 c cider vinegar
2 Tbs soy sauce
10 drops Tabasco (opt.--I don't do this, but I'm a wimp!)

In 1 1/2 qt. casserole dish, stir together sugar, cornstarch and water. Stir in remaining ingredients and microwave uncovered on high for 5-7 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes until thickened. Let stand 5-10 minutes to develop flavor.

Another option is the dipping sauce recipe that was on the package of egg roll wrappers. Ellea likes it better than the Sweet and Sour. I think she's crazy, but maybe you're crazy too.....

Dipping Sauce
2 Tbs soy sauce
2 Tbs White Vinegar
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
Stir and serve.

And there you have it. It's an undertaking and I always make a huge mess of my kitchen. Wait, I make a huge mess when I make dinner every night. That's why I hate cleaning the kitchen. Come to think of it, I should be cleaning my kitchen right now!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Egg Rolls




I love egg rolls and haven't made them more than a couple times over the past 15 years because Glenn didn't seem a big fan and they're a lot of work to feed to someon who doesn't appreciate them. I fed them to my girls (Morgan won't eat most things that aren't hot dogs or mac and cheese!) recently and they loved them. Glenn's tastebuds have apparentlly matured because he ate his fair share also! I forgot how delightful they are. I'm definitely making them more often!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Stand Mixer Delight

I was SO happy to see this guy in my driveway! I knew he was bringing gifts! You'll recall that I ordered myself a stand mixer a few weeks ago and I was anxiously awaiting its arrival. I had the perfect spot picked out for it. As a matter of fact, I built a perfect spot for it into my kitchen which we moved into six years ago!!!!!

Since it took so long to fill this precious real estate with its intended occupant, it became storage. I'm still deciding where these items should permanently live. They're sad they've been evicted. Hopefully there's no hard feelings. If you're not familiar with this contraption, the shelf pulls out with the stand mixer sitting on it. Way cool.

I debated long and hard over what I should make first in my stand mixer. I was leaning towards bread, but that didn't fit into my dinner plans that night, and I decided I better start with something easier anyway. So cookies it was!

How beautiful is this? In so many ways.....

They were quite delicious, if I do say so myself. Of course, I haven't met too many chocolate chip cookies that I don't get along with!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Good Sports

The orginal plan in the insanity of driving half-way across the state to look at a horse was to drive there and back on Saturday and leave the younger two kids with friends/family. That didn't look like it was was going to work, so we decided to make it an overnight trip and drag the poor, unsuspecting two younger kids along. It's amazing what a little indoor pool-time will do for the psyche of a little person who has endured a long car ride.

I'm not positive that the 8+ hours of travel time was worth the 3-ish hours of pool time, but we sure had fun. The water of the pool was surprisingly warm, so I even enjoyed it. Normally you can't hardly get me in a pool because it's too cold for my blood, but these people like warm water apparently! A fun time was had by all.

Monday, September 19, 2011


Insanity is driving four hours to look at a horse. We were pretty sure we would be buying him based on his description, but you never really know. I've found that not all people describe their horses as clearly as one would hope when they know you live far away. I was having major anxiety over the insanity of not only driving all the way to Caldwell, but hauling a horse trailer along to boot. No sense making another trip to haul him home, but then again. . . . .

Thankfully, he turned out to be the perfect horse to replace Nicole's pinto that we sold last weekend. From our short little ride, he seemed to be a very willing guy who has done a little bit of everything. The lady told me he was 20 years old, but one glance at his registration papers told me he was actually 22. (Can people not do the math??) That was a little disappointing, but his price was right and if we can get Nicole a year or two of confidence-building, we're ahead of the game.

He needs to gain some weight and his feet are way overgrown, but we can fix those things. They called him "Zeus." I think it's cute and it fits in with our "Z" names of Zip and Zoey (the dogs). Nicole's undecided if he gets to keep it or not!

I'm just thanking God that I didn't come away looking the fool for dragging my poor family (and terribly cooperative husband) all the way to Boise for nothing. And we got a great horse at a great price. Phew!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Rocks for Sale

Morgan and "his girls" were quite entrepreneurial over Labor Day weekend. They spent hours on the beach setting up and selling rocks out of their "store." We paid in leaves. I played along.

The next day, they started setting up rocks at the campsite and informed me that these rocks were for sale for one to five dollars. I wasn't quite so receptive to that "game!" Being the party pooper that I am, I wondered aloud why I would pay them for rocks when I could pick from a river full of free ones! They weren't deterred in the least. Don't know that they made any money, but I'm sure they had fun trying!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Smiley Face

Nicole wanted pancakes one day when we were camping over Labor Day. She was hoping I'd feel ambitious and make them. No such luck. So, away she went and she discovered just how easy Bisquick pancakes are (we make them from scratch when we're home).The sweet girl offered to make her brother a "smiley face." I was skeptical, but she pulled it off. It's so nice having children who are beginning to cook! I could get used to this!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Roughing It

We're all about good old rustic camping. That's why we use a camper with all the comforts of home.

And watch movies outside. We're roughing it. (We watched Queen Latifah's "Last Holiday." A pretty good flick.)

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Table Dancing

We often have music playing when we're camping on the Selway with our big group o'friends. One evening, some of the ladies were feeling crazy and did some picnic table dancing!

This is Libby and Mary, "raisin' the roof!" You have to know these two. Not typically the table dancing-type. They tried to lure me in, but I wasn't feelin' it. I must be even less the table dancing-type than they are!

Not to be outdone, Morgan and "his girls," Elise (his beloved) and Jessie joined in!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

River Time

The newest sensation on the Selway are these pontoon rafts. They're fun and I greatly appreciate that I'm up out of the water. (That water is COLD!) They're also trickier to get the hang of than one would imagine. They're hard work.

As I'm not a big fan of hard work, I'm not sure I'm sold on them yet.

Nicole is sold on them. She was all smiles.

They also make comfy perches for reading a good book (or taking a nap).
Now that I understand!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Jumpin' Jehosaphat!

It was good times on the Selway. The girls brought along a long jump rope and it was surprisingly popular! People were waiting in line to take a turn, just like I remember in school. I used to be quite proficient with my jump rope skills, but the last time I tried it made by brain hurt. For some reason it didn't like being pounded against my (very hard) skull!

I was the Head Jump Rope Turner. Yes, I am holding a wine glass, as experienced Jump Rope Turners are known to do.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Homemade Awards Ceremony

I'm sure you have all my previous blog posts memorized, so you will readily remember the one about the horse judging contest I took Nicole to back in May. Turns out she did rather well for herself. She placed third out of 25-30 kids who participated and was first in her age group. She did so well that she had the option of going to the state judging contest but as it was in Southern Idaho and she thinks horse judging is boring anyway, we didn't go. We knew all that. What we didn't know was that because she was the top Junior that she was going to receive a trophy!

She could've received said trophy at an awards ceremony at the Idaho County Fair, but because we didn't realize she was up for an award, we skipped the ceremony (as we always do...). So since she didn't receive it in front of all of her clapping, cheering peers, we decided to do the next best thing. We kept it a secret and handed it to her in a shoe box with her adoring brother and sister looking on. Almost as thrilling, I'm sure.

She was pretty tickled. She might like horse judging just a little bit more now.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

My Neck Hurts

I forgot how much I dislike painting walls. Well, not walls so much. Ceilings. I don't like painting ceilings. It's been 6 years since we painted EVERY wall in our new house ourselves (with some help from some fabulous family and friends). I swore it would be a long time before I painted again. Well, the time has come. Or, more accurately, Nicole talked me into it.

Nicole never really wanted the pastel pink that she chose for her room. It's just that she's such a pleaser and I may have encouraged her to consider painting her room the same color as her sister's so it would be easier for us. (We used a sprayer and we didn't want to clean it out more often than necessary--I know, lame.) It came back to bite me because she outgrew "Princess Pink" a few years ago. For her birthday this year, I offered to paint her room a color of her choice. She chose a fun yellowy lime green. Mom offered to help with the labor (God bless her!). We procrastinated as long as we thought proper and finally tackled it yesterday.

The girls were shockingly helpful. So much more than the last time we painted. Granted, they were 4 and 6 at the time, but still. They were pretty enthusiastic help too. It didn't take as long as we thought it might and it didn't smell as bad as we remembered paint smelling the last time we took a whiff. Painting the ceiling was still a drag. That hasn't changed.

Funny side-story: Nicole was wearing the above shirt to go check some cows with Glenn in the afternoon. They were riding on the 4-wheeler and drove through Keuterville (population 12--or less) and she says, "We can't go through Keuterville, I hate this shirt." That made me laugh. Who cares? It's Keuterville!! Now that a picture of her in that shirt is out there in cyberspace, she's really going to be excited! Yup, just doin' my part.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Need a Ride?

Those kids never cease to amaze me with their resourcefulness. They've been riding the same little ride-on toys for years at Grandma's. They've mostly outgrown them all, but that doesn't seem to stop them from using them. Lately the girls have taken to "towing" each other with Nicole's scooter.

Looks like they have a hitchhiker here. Sorry, buddy. No room.

They weren't happy about the picture taking, but couldn't get away! On the way back home, they were mortified that there were a bunch of boys near this building. They picked up the trike and quickly walked past. It's hard to have fun and look cool at the same time!

Friday, September 9, 2011

The Park

One nice thing about swimming lessons in Grangeville is that they're in Grangeville. We get to see Grandma a whole bunch and even stay overnight at her house. There is a great city park just a couple blocks away that we go to daily. Ellea is always begging to go there even in the dead of winter. That doesn't happen much.

My kids are always game for a good photo shoot (lucky for me!) and what better place than a park......

This kid's too cute for his own good. I'm gonna have to put a stop to it. Stop it! Stop it right now! Who am I kidding, he never listens to me.

"Grandmas are moms with lots of frosting." Author Unknown

It took us a while to understand this contraption. The kids slide down the curly thing. I've never tried it myself. I'd probably get stuck at the top.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Swimming Lessons

My kids are not big fans of swimming lessons. They've never liked water on their faces much. They get it from me. But why? Is it hereditary? It's not like I've told them to dislike water. I tried to be careful about getting water in their faces as babies, but I didn't make a big deal of it. It baffles me.

Even though it's more than twice the cost, we've been doing private lessons the last couple years. They were making zero progress in group lessons. They like private better and have actually made some progress.

Morgan would hardly get in the water last year. Here he is in the deep end. Granted, he has a life jacket on and always plugged his nose to go under water, but I'll take whatever I can get.

We discovered that Ellea is a champion at treading water! On the first day she made it over 90 seconds. Doesn't sound like much, but have you treaded water lately?!!

Nicole's the least freaked out about water in her face. She'd hate to admit it, but I think she *almost* liked swimming lessons this year. Both the girls have made huge improvements in swimming ability.

Now, if only I could swim worth a darn! Maybe they could teach me. . . . . .

Naaah, I'd have to put my face under water!