Friday, June 26, 2009

Lemonade Slush

Ice-cold lemonade is wonderful on a hot day but when you've been in a week of beastly hot weather - frozen lemonade is even more refreshing.

Super simple to make if you have an ice-cream maker...about 8 lemons, 1 c of sugar and water. I know my sisters-in-law and mother-in-law have the same ice-cream maker as I do - so if you guys are reading this and haven't made frozen lemonade in it yet - go ahead and make some - you won't regret it.

I grate a little lemon peel into the juice for some added flavor.

Thursday, June 25, 2009


We are leaving Friday afternoon for our trip to visit my family in Canada.

When the kids were real small we'd drive straight through the night to take advantage of their sleep schedule. Can't do that anymore - we'd fall asleep at the wheel.

We'll make it as far as Missouri Valley, Iowa on Friday (approx. 7.5 hrs from home).

Saturday we'll have about 10 more hours of driving before we arrive at my parents' place.

Saturday through Thursday we'll be visiting with family and visiting some old haunts.

Early Friday morning (July 3rd) we'll drive to Minneapolis. Not too sure what all we'll do there but we plan to see The Mall of America and Ikea for the first time, visit John Piper's church and watch fireworks by the river.

Not a whole lot of books at the library dealing with the Dakotas and Minneapolis - hmmm I wonder why?

Worms in Tequila Sure but Worms in Tortillas??

The other day we had some chicken fajitas...yum! I took 4 tortillas out of the package - warmed them up, served them and we ate them all up.

There were takers for seconds so I opened the bag to get out the next tortilla and slightly freaked out when I saw a large worm stuck to the tortillas!!!!!!

I think I threw down the bag, then picked it up and peaked inside and took a better look.

On closer inspection I found that the "worm" was actually a piece of dough. But the coloring and even the edged texture of the dough looked exactly like the little ridges on a worm.

After I was certain it was only dough, we continued eating the tortillas:) The "worm" got torn apart so that's why it looks less realistic in the photo - it also became squished. Actually the worm looked so realistic it makes me almost wonder if it was intentional. Some bored tortilla factory worker playing with some dough forms a worm. Hey wouldn't it be fun to throw it in with the tortillas he says to his work-mate.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

"Fresh" Raspberries

This morning the kids and I walked to the bank to pick up our passports for our trip to Canada this weekend.

Next door to the bank is a Save-A-Lot grocery store. As it was beastly hot outside I thought we'd step inside there on the way home to see if there were any cold sodas.

While walking past the produce aisle I spotted some red jewels! Fresh raspberries! Well as fresh as they can be having been picked some time ago and then delivered to the store - but at least they were not frozen. The best part was the price - two little containers for $3.00. Cheapest price for raspberries I've probably ever seen around here.

The girl and I each bought a package. The first package was eaten "raw". The second package was sprinkled on tapioca pudding (we love it on tapioca but have always just used frozen ones before).

Biting into my first raspberry transported me back to Nixon Lake, Ontario... Picking your own berries straight off the bush is best of course, but beggars can't be choosers - so Save-A-Lot berries will have to suffice.

I remember picking raspberries and having to look closely inside each hollow center to make sure there wasn't a little wiggly worm tucked inside...

Monday, June 22, 2009

Not in a blogging kind of mood...

We had company over the weekend - the kids' grandma stayed with us from Thurs until Sun so I wasn't doing any blogging.

This week we'll be preparing for our trip to Canada - so I'm not too sure how much time I'll have for blogging.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday - HULU (and I don't mean hooping)

No this is not a novel method of exercising for adults...though I have tried out a hulu-hoop recently and found that I can still do it!

Mayhap you all know about HULU by now - just b/c I just found out about it doesn't mean everyone else is also behind the times...but in case you haven't...

HULU is "Hulu is a website that offers commercial-supported streaming video of TV shows and movies ..."

I'm not interested in the new t.v. shows out there b/c really there isn't much that is worth watching - but they also have old t.v.s shows - programs I remember from my youth...Airwolf, Knight Rider, The Three Stooges, Alfred Hitchcock Presents and many, many more.

I have to admit I've enjoyed watching some of the old Alfred Hitchcock Presents 1/2 hour shows...they are not very scary but do end with a twist.

The commercials shown are super short and only one at a time. On a 1/2 hour show you might get 3 - 15 second commercials. One word of warning - the commercials might not all be "child-appropriate" as in regular t.v. - so you might want to be monitoring what they are watching.

And I'm not advocating you all spend more time watching "tv" or your computer monitor as it were - but you might enjoy seeing some of your old tv shows from yesteryear. One thing I have found out when I've watched some of my old tv programs is that they are TOTALLY LAME! The acting, the special effects, the story lines - you name it...but I enjoy the nostalgia aspect of it all.

The website is

For more Works for Me Wednesday go to We Are That Family.

After Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Pickled Peppers

Peter Piper Picked a Peck of Palatable Pitas...

The other day I made a heap of pita bread. I had doubled the recipe not thinking a single recipe was enough - I definitely got enough doubling it!

I used a combination of whole-wheat and white flour...they are best eaten when they are warm and fresh. I have found that pita bread freezes very nicely - which isn't the case with all breads. They don't stay as nice and puffy - but even leaving them on the counter they tend to deflate after awhile.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mastodon State Historic Site

On our way home from St. Genevieve we finally had a chance to visit Mastodon State Historic Site. As we drove up to the museum we noticed that it was set to close in less than 10 minutes. I also noticed that there was a fee - $2.50 for adults and children under 14 were free. We decided to pop inside and I asked about the closing - they said we could take a quick look around (for free). We did get to see the mastodon model and a giant mastodon tusk and tooth - the kids were rather impressed.

Though the museum was closed - we still could walk along the trail outside and hike down to the Kimmswick Bone Bed. Even though we were only there a short time - the kids enjoyed it - though they were probably a bit disappointed in not finding a pile of mastodon bones in the bone bed. We need to return when the museum is open and we can spend a longer time looking around.

“Mastodon State Historic Site contains an important archaeological and paleontological site - the Kimmswick Bone Bed. Bones of mastodons and other now-extinct animals were first found here in the early 1800s. The area gained fame as one of the most extensive Pleistocene ice age deposits in the country and attracted scientific interest worldwide.

Archaeological history was made at the site in 1979 when scientists excavated a stone spear point made by hunters of the Clovis culture (14,000 - 10,000 years ago) in direct association with mastodon bones. This was the first solid evidence of the coexistence of people and these giant prehistoric beasts.

Today, the 425-acre property preserves this National Register of Historic Places site and provides recreational opportunities. A museum tells the natural and cultural story of the oldest American Indian site one can visit in the state's park system. A full-size replica of a mastodon skeleton highlights the exhibits.”

Monday, June 15, 2009

King Edwards Chicken

We recently visited King Edwards Chicken.

The restaurant is located in a little strip mall in St. Charles, Missouri. If we hadn't read reviews on the chicken place before we walked in the door - we probably would have walked right back out.

The inside is small and dumpy and greasy smelling. The chairs desperately need to be reupholstered.

We decided to eat-in and the whole time we were there, there was a stream of people coming in and out - most people were doing take-out.

I ordered the 2 piece chicken dinner - which was chicken with fries - it was wonderful! Nice and crispy but didn't seem overly fatty like KFC tends to be. The fries were the crinkle cut and cooked to perfection (I'm picky about my fries - I hate when they are undercooked)...and lots of them (and it was a small side order).

King Edward doesn't just serve chicken - they have a variety of fried foods on the menu: catfish, clam strips, frog legs (yeah!), breaded zucchini sticks and more.

The prices are reasonable - $5 for my chicken dinner (soda extra) and I definitely want to go back.

The chicken reminds me of Chicken Delight.

“King Edwards uses only premium whole fresh white skinned chickens that are delivered fresh and never frozen… King Edwards continues the practice started by Mr. Edwards in 1966, and hand cuts each piece of chicken daily. It is then hand battered and deep fried until crispy and golden brown. The crunchy outer shell of breading retains the moisture inside the skin of the chicken. The cooked product is monitored for temperature and time under our heat lamps. You will never be served a piece of old chicken, we throw the old stuff away and cook new hourly.”

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Ste. Genevieve Adventure

This morning we got up early and played tennis. We came home and I was getting ready to head out to some garage sales when the hub asked me what our plans for the day were.

It's never good for us when Saturday is already upon us and we haven't figured out how we are going to spend the weekend. My plans didn't go beyond "play tennis" then "hit some garage sales" - so we checked out 2009 Plans For The Year - nothing there looked too interesting.

So I checked my planning/idea binder under "travel" to see if anything sounded doable...

Mastadon State Historic Site popped up - a place about an hour from us that I have wanted to visit for the past few years. While researching it on the internet I came up with another park - Hawn State Park, which led me to the village of St. Genevieve.

St. Genevieve is the only original French Colonial Village left in the United States.

"The village of Ste. Genevieve was established somewhere between 1722 and 1749. The first permanent European settlement in what now is the state of Missouri, the community was established as a trading outpost and was later settled by lead miners, farmers and fur traders. Before the Louisiana Purchase in 1803, the dominant architecture was French Creole with wooden homes built in several styles. Most of these homes feature galeries, or porches, surrounding the homes. These homes were gradually replaced by brick buildings as the American influence on the city took hold. Most of the earlier French structures are gone, but Ste. Genevieve holds the distinction of the having the largest concentration of French Colonial buildings in the country."

As it just so happened - today was the French Heritage Festival. I'm glad we did not visit St. G specifically for the festival or we would have been greatly disappointed.

St. G itself is a charming little village that we enjoying strolling around in. The old homes - some restored - were great fun to see.

While we were strolling we were invited to join the "promenade" down to the village square for what appeared to be the opening ceremonies for the festival. There was a little speech, singing of the French National Anthem by some costumed singers and then some candy was thrown down for the kids (it was kind of funny b/c first of all there were only a handful of kids and there was only one type of candy - salt water taffy - which no one seemed too thrilled about - so there were pieces left for the adults to pick up).

We heard that there was to be some "Indian Dancing" at 11:00 AM - but I think they made a mistake b/c they were still practicing around 11:30. We watched the practice - the best part was the costumes - and figured we'd seen enough.

While the hub and son rested and listened to some music on the street corner - the girl and I visited a couple of antique stores. We then had a picnic lunch while listening to the music - then headed to an old drug store - now an ice-cream shop for some ice-cream. The kids had regular cones while the hub and I had something very delicious...I think it was called a "mint dip cooler" was some mint ice-cream sandwiched between two small wafer cookies and then dipped in chocolate - yum (it would be fun to try and make my own).

Mint Dip Cooler

Overall the festival was a big disappointment - maybe things pick up towards the evening when there was going to be some Cajun dancing and some gumbo eating. But since we didn't go specifically for the festival - the trip was a success.

After lunch we drove around town looking at some more cool old houses and then took the kids to see the ferry. It would have been fun for the kids to experience a ferry ride (and would be a first for me as well!) - but we didn't know what was on the other side and a return ferry ride would be $20.

A couple of parks came next - but I'll save that for another post :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Works for Me Wednesday

I haven't done a Works for Me Wednesday in a long time it seems - but last night I was thinking of this's for a cheap, easy, washable summer couch protector...AKA a bedsheet.

To me, my couch is still newish (less than 2 yrs old) and is lighter colored than I would like with two dirty-footed kids running around in the summer.

And it's not just the bare feet - it's the sunscreen and bug spray that is all over them (and me!)...not to mention sweatfulness, sand and grass.

I don't want the hassle and cost of nice slipcovers - b/c with the aforementioned problems I figure they'd be in the washer more often than not...or waiting to be ironed (do you iron them??)...or trying to figure out how to put them back on.

Enter the queen-sized white cotton flat sheet.

I remembered how when we were young kids out at the lake - my grandma would have a sheet covering her couch. Maybe she did that all the time or maybe she just did it when she had dirty-footed-sunscreened slathered granddaughters running around the place.

It doesn't look nice - but then again a dirty couch doesn't either. I usually remove the sheet when company is coming over and just have to trust they won't come prancing in with mud splattered bare feet or an overabundance of freshly applied sunscreen.

For more Works for Me Wednesday tips, head on over to "We Are That Family".

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Little Babushkas

The kids have been attending VBS the past couple of nights.

The bandanas are courtesy of VBS and they, especially the girl, have enjoyed wearing them on their heads.

Growing up in the 70s in Manitoba, Canada I remember girls wearing bandanas - but we called them babushkas.

I'm thinking a babushka will be a good thing to control the girl's hair during the summer...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Garage Sale Find

It seemed like there were a lot of garage sales close to home this weekend. I love going to garage sales but I don't like driving too far b/c it just wastes time if the sale ends up being a garBage sale rather than a gaRage sale.

I hit probably 10 sales on Saturday after we played a little tennis.

One of my best finds was a Nike tennis bag for our rackets - that came with 4 rackets 4 only $4.00 4 the whole shebang!

The rackets are not high end but they are the newer lightweight style that would probably cost $14 a piece at a good deal for some extra rackets to have for the kids to use or if we want a change from our regular rackets.

It's nice to have a bag that can hold our rackets plus a few cans of tennis balls and room left for whatever else we need to throw inside.

For more "Today's Thrifty Treasures" head on over to Southern Hospitality.

Coco Loto Coconut Juice with Coconut Jell

Coco Loto is a product of Thailand - I think we paid less than $2 for this little bottle of "juice" (10.5 oz). The juice contained 169 calories.

The ingredients are coconut juice, water, sugar, coconut jell... In my opinion the water should have been the first ingredient b/c that is pretty much what I thought it tasted like. It was a bit thicker than water and a bit sweeter but I really couldn't taste any coconut flavor.

The girl liked it and thought the square jells added some "texture"...she was content with the coconutfulness of it "because kids have more taste buds" she added.

I did like the little bits of "coconut jell" just because it was something different. For the amount of calories and lack of flavor I'd pass on this again.

I give it extra points for the fun tab for opening the bottle.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Grant's Farm

This morning we visited Grant's Farm. I don't remember how long it's been since we were there - but the boy is 7 and he doesn't remember ever being there before.

Grant's Farm costs $11 per vehicle and an additional cost if you want to: a) ride the carousel ($2) or b) feed the goats ($1 per bottle) or c) visit the elephant house ($5).

We were there for 2 hours and felt like that was enough time to see all there was to see. The kids liked it - though the boy said "I was a bit disappointed". I think disappointed that there were not more animals to see.

We did see the bird and elephant shows and it's nice to be able to get up close to the animals - unlike at some zoos... My favorite were probably the giant tortoises.

I figure a visit to Grant's Farm once every couple or so years would be often enough.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

"Take Me Out to the Ballgame" - St. Louis Cardinals

Last night we attended our first baseball game of 2009. Even though the home team lost - we had a fun time.

We had great seats courtesy of my husband's employer.

We anticipated being cold so we brought plenty of warm clothes.

We anticipated being hungry so we brought lots of snacks...good way to avoid the temptation of ballpark food prices. When I made a trip to the bathroom with the kids - they were sorely tempted by the giant cinnamon and sugar pretzels - but the girl wisely decided to scram before her pocketbook became a little lighter...

As we were leaving the stadium, tired and with full stomachs, the boy remarked "I have a super duper MUZZLE-LOADING stomachache!" Yes guns influence all aspects of his life. Good thing he didn't have a giant cinnamon and sugar pretzel along with all the M&Ms, Root Beer, Peanuts and "Snack Mix".

This was our first time parking downtown for the game - usually we take the MetroLink. Wasn't too sure if we'd have a hard time getting out of the parking garage - but it all went fast and smooth and only cost $5 to park.

We got home pretty late (we left before the game was over - I think it was the 8th inning and Cardinals were down by about 6 runs...) - both kids fell asleep in the car.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Wiffle Ball

Lately the kids have been playing Wiffle Ball - a favorite pasttime of my dh when he was a boy on the farm. You don't need many players (2 works) and you don't need much space - so the backyard works fine...except when the ball lands in the neighbor's yard. In the picture above there is a tee - but they don't use that anymore (helpful when no pitcher is around).

The ball is plastic and full of holes - lightweight - a glove is optional and if mom's pitching she doesn't have to be too scared about getting hit with the ball.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Deconstructing a Bird's Nest

On a walk one morning ,I found a bird's nest (it was on the ground and obviously abandoned) and decided to bring it home for the kids to study. The egg inside was not found in the nest but elsewhere (and it was only a 1/2 shell) - but I thought I'd bring it for them to see as well.

I had the kids observe the nest, draw a picture of it, weigh it and then tear it apart to see what all it was made of. It was interesting for all three of us to see what that industrious little bird included in her nest.

Along with the usual mud and dry grass, some of the interesting building materials included: silvery plastic paper, thick shoelace, thin string, part of cigarette fuzzy stuff, red plastic rope, clear plastic thing that stacks of newspaper are wrapped in, fur (dog?), growing plant, blue plastic, 2 candy wrappers (Smartees?), pine needles, silver twist tie, old twist tie, plastic coated wire, thin blue plastic, white plastic, small piece colored metal.

Nest Eggs
Robert Louis Stevenson

Birds all the summer day
Flutter and quarrel
Here in the arbour-like
Tent of the laurel.

Here in the fork
The brown nest is seated;
For little blue eggs
The mother keeps heated.

While we stand watching her
Staring like gabies,
Safe in each egg are the
Bird's little babies.

Soon the frail eggs they shall
Chip, and upspringing
Make all the April woods
Merry with singing.

Younger than we are,
O children, and frailer,
Soon in the blue air they'll be,
Singer and sailor.

We, so much older,
Taller and stronger,
We shall look down on the
Birdies no longer.

They shall go flying
With musical speeches
High overhead in the
Tops of the beeches.

In spite of our wisdom
And sensible talking,
We on our feet must go
Plodding and walking.