Thursday, July 26, 2012


The opening ceremony is tomorrow night!  I'm so glad I have Tivo so I can record it, since I'll be at a baseball game.

In honor of the games starting, I decided about two weeks ago that I wanted to make Olympic Cookies.

Simple sugar cookies with a ring of icing.

Easy Peasy!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Tin Roof....Rusted!

Name that song.  But for our house it's more like  Shingle Roof....Busted!

On 5/29 we got hit by a hail storm.  We had gone to see a movie and on our way home it was on the radio that some large hail was heading straight for us.  We barely made it home just in time to move junk around in the garage to get both cars in.

Shortly after, I think our power went out and our house was hit with hail.  It was so loud and sounded like the house was being hit with a hundred paint ball guns and hammers.

Yeah....getting artsy pics of shingles!

About a week and half later, we were finally able to get up on the roof and assess the damage.  

And we saw for ourselves that the hail gods answered our prayers!

After the insurance checked out the roof damage, it was totaled!

But our deductible was high, and it's SUPER hard to get a good upgraded roof without having to pay the deductible.  Oh well, at least we're going to get some nice shingles and ventilation which is BADLY needed on our house!

And yes, this is a hole in our roof.  Yay for hail!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

At the Dump

Last November we tore down the shed on the side of our house and jackhammered the concrete slab it was on.  We were able to haul away most of the stuff except for the last bit of concrete.

We were going to just put it in our trash bin over the next few months....but we never did.

So, a few weeks ago, we also decided we were going to cut down a tree that is technically in our neighbor's year, but growing over into our yard and our roof.  Since we have to get a new roof and it's constantly littering our yard with twigs, we cut it down.

 About halfway done here.

All done!  We really just got all the branches off from one trunk.  It was getting pretty hot and now we had to deal with the massive amount of branches.

We dragged them all over our backyard so they were easier to manage and cut into smaller pieces.  Then we moved them to the side of our house to hang out until we could haul them off.

Since the transfer center doesn't take concrete, and the concrete place is only open from 8-5 on weekdays, we decided the best course of action would be to take the branches and concrete directly to the dump.  

It was an interesting place.  Really, not trash smelly, but chemically giving off some kind of gas smelly.  There were about 4 truck loads dropping off trash while we were there, so needless to say, we worked quickly to get out of the way.

The dump is kinda depressing if you really think about it.  That's all our trash just piled in between layers of dirt which will take forever and 5 years to decompose and some of it may never decompose.  It was amazing to see just how many plastic bags and recyclables  were strewn about.  And clothes, too.  If you can't give them away, you just throw them away, but how long does that take the decompose.  Do they?  I'm not sure.

And of course, our little adventure to the dump would not have been possible without borrowing my parents car and the Knights trailer.  Yet another reason why it's so awesome living near parents and a reason we just can't move away yet!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Outtakes! I'm sorry in advance....

I see Molly's underpants!

He's either saying "Cheese" or squinting at the flash...

Not really an outtake I guess, just a cool, mid-air, jump shot!

Write your own caption for our thoughts.... 

Being a goof.

Sorry Brian.

and sorry Liesel!

This was on purpose.

Molly decided to photobomb and Dad is doing is best 'taken by surprise' mugshot.

And I save the best outtake for last.  At least they are all looking at the camera!!!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Family Visit Part II

We take really good impromptu pictures.  We did not coordinate wearing blue and green, but It worked out really nicely!

Molly knows how to say "Cheese"

And she's actually screaming and getting really fussy here..but you'd never know!  It really just looks like she's laughing!

On Thunder Game night we all dressed in Thundergear!  This is the best picture we got. It's just a bummer the sun came through the trees on  Brian's face as the timer went off.

Now, I've got some seriously good outakes coming your way some other day!


The other night, I had the bright idea that I was going to make homemade spaghetti sauce.  I pulled off a bunch of little roma tomatoes and three medium sized round tomatoes (plus two from the store to supplement the sauce, since I knew I wouldn’t have enough big tomatoes for this) Sometimes when I want to try something new, I don’t exactly think ahead before I start making it to even know if I have all the ingredients.  Luckily, tomato sauce is pretty easy and the only thing I had to run to the store to get was tomato paste (thickener) and mason jars.

Also, this post would be so much more interesting if I had progress pictures while I was making this…but “I don’t exactly think ahead before I start making something….”  definitely kicked in here. Nevertheless, I can give you a quick run down.  Oh.  And this recipe has no measurements, I completely eyeballed EVERYTHING!!!!!

1.Pick some fresh tomatoes from your garden. I had 1 softball sized and like 4 baseball sized ones, plus like 10 tiny romas. 

2. Saute about ½ a large onion and 1tbl for minced garlic.  Set aside.

3. Heat some water to boiling, then put all tomatoes in for about a minute to loosen the skin.  (it will take longer if your tomatoes are cold)

4. Have a bowl of ice water ready, then take tomatoes out and put in the ice water.  Immediately peel the skin off.

5. OPTION- to save time simmering, if your tomatoes are really watery and have a lot of seeds you can scoop the seeds out and squeeze the tomatoes in a strainer before moving forward.  Mine happened to be quite meaty, so I didn’t bother.

6. Quarter the tomatoes and place in a blender with the sautéed onions and garlic.  Blend.

7. Pour everything into a pot and add a handful of fresh chopped basil and other spices to your desire.

8. Add 1 can of tomato paste and a dash of salt and 2tbl lemon juice (this is crucial if you're going to can this because tomatoes are a low acid fruit so you need the lemon juice to help the sauce not to spoil.

9. Simmer for a while…like 2 hours.

10. Put in the blender again to get the sauce even smoother.

11. Simmer a bit longer, until it’s at desired consistency.

Thoroughly wash mason jars, then pour sauce into jars and enjoy!

But Wait!!!  We're actually not done yet.   I used Ball brand mason jars (16oz), and if you want to put this is your pantry you have to "process" (boil) the cans to pressurize the lid.

First, you need a really big, tall pot.  Fill it with water, enough so that when you put the jars in, they are submerged with at least 1" of water covering the top.  When you have the water boiling, put the jars in and continue boiling for 35 minutes.  When you take them out, just let them sit on the counter overnight to cool.  It shouldn't take long for you to hear them "pop" which means they are pressurized and should be safe to store for a few months.

If you want to make the sauce and just freeze it...then you just need to put it in quarter size freezer bags.