Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Oven Roasted Tomatoes

I've made this dish probably four times now, and each time I forget how I did it before and end up winging it again. So, for future reference... this is what I did tonight. It is a great way to complete a meal.

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Serves 4-5
  • Fresh ripe tomatoes.
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Parmesan Cheese (grated or shredded)
  • Garlic (crushed, granulated or powdered)
  • Onion Powder - optional -
Spray a 8x8 or 9x9 inch casserole dish with cooking spray. Wash and cut tomatoes into sixths and place into casserole dish until a single dense layer is formed. The tomatoes will shrink, so don't hesitate to pack them in. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, parmesan, garlic, and onion powder. Put in a 400° oven and bake for 1 hour. Tomatoes should be well cooked down and have very little juice left in the dish.

The oven temperature can be raised or lowered if you need to use the oven, but the tomatoes seem better when they cook for at least an hour. My oven's top element doesn't work, but I imagine it would give a more 'toasted' flavour and I'd definitely use it on this recipe if I could!

Monday, October 20, 2008

Lost Lambs

"Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."
Matthew 11:28

"Like a Little Wandering Lamb"

Like a little wandering lamb,
Lost upon the hils I am;
Like a shepherd Jesus stands,
Holding out His blessed hands.

"Come," He says, "Come back to Me,
Little lamb, I died for thee;
I will take thee to My home;
Little lamb, I pray thee, come.

"Though thou has a wayward will,
Little lamb, I love thee still;
Come to Me and be forgiven;
I will bear thee safe to heaven.

"I would have thee lie at rest,
Little lamb, upon My breast;
Thou shalt be My sweet delight
All the day and all the night."

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

There's a little lamb that the Shepherd is seeking. Please pray for me that I would have the wisdom needed to be His tool.

"For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost."
Luke 19:10

Friday, October 17, 2008

Thanksgiving... continued

Traditions are great, and our Thanksgiving traditions are some of my very favorites. After the Chestnut Picking, it is tradition to go to Grandpa & Grandma's house for the rest of the day. First everyone mills about or helps Grandma C. put on the Breakfast Feast. I was in picture taking mode that day, so here's a few shots of what the family did while they waited for breakfast.

The Food Approval Team

The Underfoot Ride-on Specialist

The Masterminds

The Outdoors men

Grandpa kept the fire going amongst other things, Sir was doing something on the computer, Bashful was Mom C's right hand and I mostly took pictures until the food was ready. Then I got sidetracked getting plates together for my kids and forgot to get a picture of the Breakfast Feast. It looked as good as it tasted - and it was delicious!

This year we had sliced ham, breakfast sausages, sauteed mushrooms, toast, egg omelet, cinnamon rolls, biscuits & gravy, baked tomatoes, orange juice, cranberry juice, hot chocolate, Mandarin oranges and jello. For breakfast! And it's possible that I'm forgetting something.

After breakfast, which usually ends around 11, everyone works on little projects. We don't have lunch, but there are snacks around if you don't think you can make it 'till suppertime. This year Sir and I took our kids home for early naps. It was also so Sir could flush the radiator system on our van during daylight hours. While we were there I baked a coconut cake for Grandma C. so she could put the turkey in her oven earlier. I also worked on Pockets and helped Sir with the van a little. But we were back in time for the kids to get plenty of pistachios, peanuts and apples before dinner was served.

When the van was finished, and the kids were up from their naps (3:45), we headed back over to Grandpa & Grandma's for supper. Doc had come after he got off work, and a couple of Aunt Knittery's girls came and brought Tea with them. We had plenty of time to decorate and set the table and help Grandma C. with the last of the dinner preparations.

Dinner was delicious. I know I posted this picture in my last post, but it helps to see the 'spread' instead of just imagining the homemade cranberry sauce, dinner rolls, butter, gravy, jello salad, turkey, mashed potatoes, pickle plate, brussel sprouts in cheese sauce, oven roasted vegetables, stuffing and an assortment of beverages to drink. Then there was dessert - we had pumpkin pie, rhubarb-berry pie, coconut rice cake, whipped cream and ice cream to go with coffee, tea or hot chocolate. It was a Feast, it was Family, and it was Fun. I didn't get any pictures of the desserts, but I got before and after dinner pictures of Emma - it's how we all felt, but she's more photogenic stuffed.

"Hey! don't forget about me down here!"

"Life is Good."

And then, after dinner, the kids disappeared to remote areas of the house to play, and all of the adults played Dictionary. When 9:30 rolled around, it felt like 11, so we put the kids into their pajamas and followed all the other guests examples by going home to bed.

Traditions... they're worth more than you sometimes think.

Feasts, Family, and Fun

Monday was Thanksgiving Day in Canada. We celebrated it with Sir's family last Saturday.

The family tradition is to get up bright and early and go Chestnut picking first thing in the morning before breakfast. This year we were all supposed to meet at Redwood Park at 8am, although I must say, the five minutes it was going to take me to get out of bed turned into another 20 minutes because I fell asleep again so we started out running behind.

The morning was gorgeous. Crisp cold air and glorious sunshine filtering through the leaves. All of the kids had bright red noses and icy cold fingertips, but nobody was complaining. We hunted and hunted, but at best we found only a few handfuls of fallen chestnuts. I got some pictures of the outing though.

Following the path through the forest to the gathering place.

Hunting for Chestnuts:


Grandma & the Girls

The Guys

The Canine Unit (PC & Silly)

The Rewards

Eventually it was time to head back for breakfast. I started to gather people together for a picture when a lady walked by with her dogs. She offered to take a group picture for us which was really nice of her.

Then we headed back:

The main body

Lying in Wait


Bringing up the rear

And I have a whole bunch of pictures for the rest of the day too, but I can't put them all in this post - it would end up too long. Besides, I'm not getting very much done on it between putting my kids back down for their naps over and over again. So, that will be all for now.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Accurately Stated

Our Front Door
About a week or so ago, Sir suggested I put this on our front door. I'm not sure how serious he was, but after living here today, I thought it was most appropriate. Here's a closer Look:

I love the "We are open for your enjoyment 365 days a year!" part.

Well, I am working on another post, but I figured I should post something in the meantime. Life has been busy. Then again... life is always busy here.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Another One of 'Those Days'

Yes, today is turning out to be another one of 'those days'. I've blogged about them before.

Maybe it's because I had higher expectations for today than 'just making it through'. I thought that today we could catch up to ourselves... and maybe put the house back together... and maybe I'd get to work on Pockets if I finished hemming Sir's jeans from last week's project.

Yesterday the kids and I were in and out of the car for 10 hours. We stopped at 13 different places before we finally ended up at home and probably drove close to 100 miles. So, I was hoping today would be a slow day.

It may be a slow day for me, but definitely not for my kids. Before I was even up, they were toting toy dishes full of water from the bathroom to their bedroom. Beside ending up with a pile of soaked cardboard books and a sopping wet closet in their room, they managed to completely flood the bathroom and leave wet spots all the way down the hall.

Then before I could get Sir's lunch packed, PC climbed up the back of the bunk bed (I put the ladder on the top bunk every morning to discourage climbing) and then he proceeded to drop the ladder off the top bunk onto Emma. She ended up with a fist size bruise/abrasion on her shoulder, but thankfully everything still works - including her vocal cords. Looking at her an hour later you'd never know she was clobbered by her brother with a ladder.

Next, I managed to get my fabric into the washing machine only to find that one of my little birds had died. Yesterday I didn't feed them before we left - I thought they'd be ok since occasionally I feed them every other day and they're just fine. But either they didn't have any birdseed backup, or I didn't give them enough soaked dogfood the day before, because they didn't have any food left this morning. Maybe they were just eating it faster because it's been cold and they need food to keep warm. I don't know, but today wasn't a good day to add losing a pet of 6+ years to the mix.

Following the bird discovery, I hadn't even gotten breakfast on the table before all three of my kids managed to completely empty and scatter the contents of my Reading Card container. It has the reading cards, progress sheets, sticker bucket (probably the main attraction this morning), pencils, pens, rubber bands and of course ERASERS. Erasers make wonderful chew toys - especially the ones that Mommy likes best of all.

So, now that my house looks like a hurricane hit it, due to the laundry, two days of dishes, kids and oh yeah, more kids... I think I'll try to put some order to life around here and maybe - just maybe I'll manage to get a nap today.

And I just spent 45 minutes looking for a particular picture for this post and still couldn't find it. I need to un-banish my children from their room now though. If I don't we may just have one less room in the house by the end of today.

Saturday, October 04, 2008


I was going to title this post 'Luxury', but that sounded familiar, and sure enough I'd used it for a former post. So, I chose a synonym instead. And 'Relax', just didn't sound right either although that's exactly what I did.

Last night I stayed up until 2:30 reading a book. I even finished it. The last time I did that was probably ten years ago. Really. Then I slept in this morning until 9 - NINE! The kids were absolutely wonderful. Even though they woke up sometime before I did, I didn't hear a peep from them until I opened my bedroom door. When I did that, I almost tripped over two of them playing with plastic farm animals in the hall outside our bedroom. And as soon as Emma heard my bedroom door latch, she announced through the wall that she too was waiting patiently for Mama to start the day.

It was so nice. When I couldn't put my book down last night I knew I was asking for misery today. The kids had gone to bed at a reasonable hour and I was sure they'd be up and ready to go by 7:30 - 8 at the latest. Then when I slowly woke up and realized that I wasn't being assaulted by the sound of screeching/fighting/whining kids clamoring at my door it was almost unbelievable.

So, I came out, and made a big deal about how great they'd been. Gave them all a gummy bear (I know - there's nothing like starting the day with something to rot your teeth) and then we all piled on the couch and I read them a few books. When 10 AM rolled around I thought it'd be in my best interest to feed my little army before they revolted and deserted (at least the 'good behaviour' regiment). We made as many 'favorite' breakfasts as was possible, and had lots of fun doing it.

Sir had to grab his breakfast and go though, since he needed to go borrow a vehicle in his ongoing mission to repair our van. When he got back it was already almost noon. Since we'd had breakfast late, I wasn't in a big hurry to start lunch and the kids and I had tricycle races on the patio for a few minutes until PC discovered the hose and drenched Dolly. Then we came in and I started on a mending project.

I guess it was actually an 'altering' project, but all the same it was the first time I'd tried to hem a pair of jeans for Sir. Usually Grandma C. rescues me from these difficulties and I'm none the wiser. But this time I thought I'd try it myself.. after all, Grandma C. won't always be able to do all the little things I still haven't had to do. Anyway, I learned a lot in the process. 1st, cut BOTH pant legs before you start hemming. It really does make it more possible to create the same length legs. 2nd, black jeans are much easier to hem than blue, and 3rd, its a very good idea to make sure ALL of your children are in bed before you start a sewing project. I'd barely managed to thread my machine before I was called away for something and came back to find Dolly and PC attempting to figure this mystery out themselves. And every chance she got, Emma would steal whatever she could reach in my sewing cabinet door compartments. The little rascal!

Then once I got stuck on the blue jeans I switched gears and started working on other sewing projects that have been piling up on my mending basket. That was a lot of fun - especially the little quilt for PC, but that's a post in itself. The kids slept late this afternoon, and then they were pretty good for a while while I kept sewing. I realized they needed to eat when Dolly and PC kept having the same argument:
PC - "NO! Nana, ou bad!"
Dolly - (in a sing-songy voice) Don't touch that PC - you're being (voice drops to a low note) very bad." NO!! Don't HIT! (he's hitting her at this point)
PC - (more shrilly) "NAO! Nana, Me nao baa! yu bad.
Dolly - (as she swipes at her brother) Mommy, PC is being baad
REPEAT 3 times. They were arguing over who got to sit on what side of the couch and read which of the gazillion books they had piled on the floor between them.

So much for the perfect children ALL day long, but they did straighten up when we got started on dinner and then ate, had baths and I got back to mending with my audience. Finally it was time to put them to bed.

Sir had come in victorious over the obstinate water pump and announced our van was subdued and would perform its normal duties for us in the morning. That was wonderful news after almost a week of everyone getting places on foot, by bus or in strollers. I'm so glad he's done, because poor Sir has been struggling with this silly van all week. It paid off though - all his hard work - in the dark, after work, in wet, cold and windy weather. I have much to be thankful for.

Well, this post has wandered on and on and on, and I really want to keep working on 'Pockets' for PC so I'll close for now and see what I can get done before I should go to bed as well.