Thursday, August 18, 2011

What Great Neighbors!

A couple weeks ago Mike and the kids were in Iowa.  I had one of the busiest weeks of the summer, so I came home without them. 

I’m not great at cooking dinner when there are four of us.  Turns out I’m less great when there’s only one of us.  My dinners consisted of popcorn, frozen meals, and cereal.

EXCEPT the night my neighbors across the street called and asked if I had dinner plans.  Now, I had just finished mowing the grass and it was ridiculously hot out.  I was so dirty and so sweaty that I wasn’t sure what to say except that I did plan to try stir-fry that night. 

Kristy said they made a dish and were wondering if I wanted any.  She told me I was welcome to come and eat with them, but to be prepared for a small table and not-so-happy kids.  I told her dinner sounded wonderful and I was completely gross, so I had no problem eating at my house.

And this is what she came across with…


Apple-smoked Turkey Tenderloin, the best potatoes I have had in a LONG time (great job, Matt!) and green beans.  And then she sounded apologetic when she said, “The green beans are from a can…”  Like I was going to throw it out. 

Hardly, this dinner was scrum-dilly-icious! 

We live in a great neighborhood for which I’m very thankful.  But right across the street we have the cream of the crop!  Thanks, guys!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

How Could I Forget?!?

As I was looking through pictures and trying to get them sorted from the last few weeks, I ran across a great accomplishment by a resident artist that I forgot to mention!

A couple weeks ago was the county fair.  After attending last year's fair, Jake had decided that this year he would create a Lego masterpiece.

We intended to go a few Saturdays back, but had a last minute trip to Iowa instead.  My parents called us from the fair to give Jake the great news:

He was pretty excited and we did a happy cheer for him in the car! 

Monday, August 15, 2011

Future After-School Snack

We have a favorite Mexican restaurant here in town.  The kids get sopapillas after their dinner.  These are muy delicioso!  (The people that work at this restaurant are also trying to teach us Spanish.) 

After our last visit Maddie swore she had a way to make these at home with 'Nilla Wafers.  I told her that was impossible, they wouldn't taste good - she needed to bake some tortillas to get them right.

Today she was not be deterred and set out to prove me wrong.

Mission: Accomplished.

Lay out some wafers, drizzle on some chocolate sauce, drizzle on some honey, add just a few sprinkles of brown sugar.  DELISH!!

What I think really made these great?  Our 'Nilla Wafers were a bit stale.  Or more likely...humidity had gotten to them so they were on the softer side.  (I can also tell you that this is how I prefer the graham crackers for my s'mores so take it for what you will....)

Jake came up to taste the concoction and said, "You know, Maddie? These taste like those sopapillas!"  She was beaming - the ultimate compliment!

After my bite I said, "Maddie, someday you are going to be quite the baker."  She replied, "Mom...I already am."

I think she definitely has the confidence needed to work in that biz!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Bright Spot

This summer I (seriously - this was all me!) installed three trellises against our garage to break up this massive wall space.  I was very happy with how they looked and after talking with a friend's gardening husband, I decided to plant Clematis flowering vines.  After much searching, I found three different types of Clematis and planted them and hoped for a miracle considering I really don't have much of a green thumb.

A week after planting the Clematis with the purple flowers, they all fell off.  I gulped, but told myself it was just soil adjustment and they'd be fine and I continued watering and adding fertilizer as my friend's husband had told me he did.

Near the end of July those purple flowers started coming back!  To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of purple, but I actually really like these flowers and was very excited for an added pop of color to our front walk!

Today I was out watering and talking to these plants again.  The purple flowers are still coming, but the middle trellis, while having a TON of greenery, is not getting the little white flowers it's supposed to be getting.  I'm not panicking until next year.  It's kicking butt in the vining department so we are good.

But the third trellis is about to break me.  Or rather, it WAS.  Today as I was watering it and begging it not to die despite it's never-ending brown leaves, I glanced up because something odd caught my eye. 

I realized it was a flower!!!

One lonely little flower and I was so excited and told her (him?) how pretty it looked and that despite the abysmal brown leaves around it, I was so happy to see it.

[Hi...I'm Crazy Kerry...I'm sure we've met.]

More color!  I hold out hope for next summer that our walkway will be brilliant with color!