Friday, March 25, 2011


Many prayers have been lifted up for the people of Japan. People all over are thinking of that devastated country and with the electronic capabilities now, keeping up on what is happening through twitter, web news, and blogs. While there are many ways to help, our rotary club is paying for four people who work a vocational job to go for four weeks, sometimes it is overwhelming to know where to give. If you haven't had a chance to, you should go check out what the bento community is doing over on ebay. Bento bloggers like Heather at Ohayo Bento, Debra at Hapa Bento, are auctioning off bento sets to raise money for Japan on Ebay. What a great cause, and what cute stuff! Be sure to browse the selection and help raise money for those who are struggling while facing such a great disaster.

totally cute!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

My beautiful husband

A little love for my husband today.

I love his beautiful face. I love his strong character. I love how he encourages me to be whatever I want, and that makes me want to be his wife and the mother of his children all the more. I love his honesty, and how he stands by his convictions. I love his tenderness when everything at home seems to be falling apart around my ears. I love his faith in God. I love how he reminds me of my own father. I love how he would give the shirt off his back to anyone. I love that he is married to me.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Menu Monday March 21-27

Irish food week is done here for another year, so it is back to menu planning out of more than one cookbook. While a theme week is fun, I am always happy for the variety that several cookbooks bring.

Cranberry and white chocolate muffins, pears
Eggs and bagels
Pecan maple oatmeal
Egg casserole, mangos
Cereal and bananas
Kids choice
Brunch- Strawberry french toast, bacon and eggs

Egg rolls, somen, broccoli and oranges
Sesame chicken nuggets, onigiri, squash and pickles
Sausage octopi, rice, corn, potato croquette
Egg salad, bananas, chips
Country Steak, potatoes, green beans

Guinness beef casserole, carrots, no need-bread
Beef and green pepper soup, cheese bread
Orange chipotle chicken, rice, salad
Beef wraps, carrots, fruit
Spaghetti, garlic toast, salad

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happy St. Patrick's Day-2011

Death leaves a heartache no one can heal,
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.
From a headstone in Ireland
One year today, we still miss you Mr. Olsen!

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Makes me smile

God is good but never dance in a small boat - an Irish proverb

Brown soda breakfast scones

I like these for a change of pace, but they are not as tender as ones made with butter.

2 c unbleached white flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2c soft whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c buttermilk (plus a bit more)

Sift dry ingredients together. Make a well in the center of the flour mix and dump in buttermilk. Stir just long enough to soak in liquid adding more if your flour is too dry. Do not overmix, tough scones. Turn out onto a floured counter and gather into a ball by folding 2-3 times. Gently pat down to 1 1/2 inch thick and cut 16 scones either with a biscuit cutter or just into squares like I do.
Wash tops with egg wash or sprinkle with sharp cheddar and bake 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

Statements this Mom is grateful to hear

I don't know about every mother, but this makes my heart glad....

From my oldest:
-Mom, there are kids that actually eat the white bread they serve at school! That is so nasty! (nuff said)

From my youngest:
-I told Grandpa that I only wanted to play at McD*nalds, not eat. That food is yucky. (and he did despite being offered french fries that they were eating)

From my daughter:
-That girl's outfit is, like, so totally inappropriate! (oh we hope this lasts)

From my third:
-I need a haircut, my hair is touching my ears. (It is cute, but I am glad he wants to keep it short)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Menu Monday March 14-20

St. Patty's Week! Yes, it is all week here, not just Thursday, and we are celebrating all week because that's just how we roll around here. We will have Irish food, Irish beer, Irish whiskey, QVC All things Irish on tv, Irish music...not to mention our Irish children we will be doing all this with. Ok, maybe not the whiskey...or too much of the beer, a girls got to cook with it though. We may even have an Irish wake of sorts as we celebrate remembering Mr. Olsen. Here is our menu for the week.

Irish oats (also known as porridge, made in the crock pot)
Brown soda breakfast scones, soft boiled eggs
Potato cakes with butter and sugar
Buttermilk scones, raspberry jam, Irish cheese
Cheese toasties, tomatoes
Buttermilk pancakes with honey
Full breakfast/brunch-eggs, bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms, sausage and potato cakes (we will be skipping the kidneys and black pudding for now...)

Standard lunches/school lunch (see previous menus)

Dingle pies with beef rather than mutton
Corned beef, dumplings, cabbage and boiled potatoes
Mustard baked chicken, peas, colcannon
Irish supper at church (pork pie, beef and guinness pie and other goodies)
Salmon, asparagus with hollandaise, boiled new potatoes
Roast duck with apples and cider, roasted jerusalem artichokes
Spiced pork roast with apple and thyme cream sauce, carrott and parsnip puree, broccoli, baked caramel custard

Now that you know what we are eating this week, have you made your menu plan yet? What are your plans for St. Patty's day/weekend and do you have any traditions that your family normally celebrates?

Monday, March 7, 2011

Menu Monday March 7-13

Here is the menu for this week. I already shopped, and spent around $100 total, so that is good!

Oatmeal with bananas
Eggs and biscuits
Bagels with pb
Muffins and yogurt

Cheeseburger Mac (homemade), apples
Ham and Swiss sandwiches, grapes, carrot sticks
School lunch (Ash Wednesday, cheesy bread sticks)
Boiled eggs, soba noodles, broccoli
Nut butter sandwiches, dried fruit, veggie sticks
Grilled cheese and tomato soup

Chicken noodle soup, artichoke dip with crackers
Fat Tuesday... TBD
Fish, broccoli, purple rice
Chicken quesadillas, oranges, salad
Spaghetti, garlic toast
Ham and bean soup, bread, salad

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Money Money Money...

Always sunny, in a rich man's world....

They were playing this song last night on A Nun's Life Podcast Praying with the Sisters. I love this program, there is a chat room and a live podcast where you can see the Sisters as they talk and pray for all requests that are listed in the chat room. ABBA was being played after prayers to celebrate someone getting a job, and this was the song...
Somehow rather than feeling celebratory, it just felt burdensome to me. Don't get me wrong, I was very happy for the celebrator, it just brought up thoughts about our own budget and I always get crabby when I think about the budget.

So what am I thankful for? WE are on the budget, not me, WE. My prayers were answered and my husband sat down with me to figure out a plan for tackling our debt. No nagging, no crabbing, no begging or anger, just prayer. He is the head of our house, and once again, he delivered that promise that he made to God to care for me. Praying for your husband is good!

Now, we are not on a budget because we are in the poorhouse, quite the contrary, we and our kids have and do things I never dreamed of being able to do as a kid, much less when we first got married. We are on a budget because the Bible has convicted us to be more responsible with our gifts. Day after day, when I pull out the checkbook to balance it, pay a bill, purchase anything, I am reminded, "Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law" Romans 13:8. I even have that written on a sticky note stuck to my Sams Club card inside my checkbook cover. A reminder to be responsible for the gifts we have been given, and the debt that we still owe.