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Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Snow Day #1 and a Chocolate Pie

Snow Day #1 and a Chocolate Pie
We got some freezing rain and sleet yesterday and again this afternoon so the kids were out of school today. We found out yesterday evening that they were going to be out so we knew that we were going to get to sleep late in the morning.

Mike went ahead and went to work but the rest of us slept in. I had to log in to work at 8 am but I stayed in bed as long as possible. Noah is a morning person and I'm pretty sure he was awake for quite a while but he stayed in his bed until I came out of my room at about 8 am.

We had breakfast and then Emily and Noah played on the computer while I handled some work calls. I told them that there would be absolutely no fighting, fussing, or arguing while I was in my office but they could come to the door if there was an emergency.  They were good and I didn't hear them arguing at all.

Mike's office closed at 11 am so he came home and they hung out until lunch. I hadn't planned for everyone to be home so it was peanut butter and honey sandwiches for the win!




Early afternoon, the precipitation kicked up again and the hard surfaces were covered with sleet and snow and ice. I wasn't willing to go outside but I took a picture out the window.



For supper, I made smoked bacon-wrapped chicken breasts, mashed potatoes and green beans. Then we had a chocolate pie for dessert. We're all spoiled! We get good food like this all the time. I make this smoked chicken quite often and freeze the individual breasts. Whenever I want a healthy meal, I just pull one out and defrost it and put it with some veggies. 





The chocolate pie was just a snow day surprise. I'd had some pre-made pie crusts in the freezer for a while that I'd been meaning to use. I figured what better day than this?

I meant to get really fancy and take a picture of a slice of pie for you, but we ate it when it was still warm and the slices didn't come out pretty at all. The other issue that I have to think about is that we always eat on paper plates and that doesn't make a very pretty picture. Where can I get a selection of inexpensive but pretty plates/saucers/dishes? Or should I just do simple white plates for my blog pictures?

Well, the schools have already announced that there is no school again tomorrow so we'll have to figure out something fun to do.


Yield: 1 deep dish piePin it

Microwave Chocolate Pie

Whip up this thick and delicious chocolate pie filling in less than 10 minutes in your microwave

ingredients:

For pie filling
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 5 Tbsp cocoa
  • 3 Tbsp flour
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 stick margarine
  • 1 tsp vanilla
For meringue
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1/2 tsp cream of tartar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

instructions


  1. Stir together sugar, cocoa, and flour together in a microwave-safe bowl.  Add in egg yolks and milk then stir until combined. 
  2. Cook in microwave on full power 2 minutes. Stir. Cook 3 more minutes. Stir. Continue cooking in 2-minute intervals until thick and pudding-like consistency. Stir in margarine and vanilla then pour into baked pie shell. 
  3. Beat egg whites and cream of tartar in a glass bowl until foamy, add in sugar 1 Tbsp at a time. Beat until stiff peaks form. Spread on top of pie filling. Bake in 350 degree oven for 12-15 minutes until browned.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Winter Band Concert

Winter Band Concert
Emily has started playing the clarinet in band class this year. At first, she wanted to play another brass instrument but she got put in the woodwind class and they didn't have room for her to change. I think she's starting to enjoy the clarinet and she's doing really well with it though.

Back in December, her 7th grade band had their Winter Band Concert at the school. I was so excited to see that Emily was on the front row.




She and the band played Christmas music. I was afraid the concert was going to be a "squeak-fest" but it actually wasn't. And I could actually recognize some of the songs they played.


The day of the concert was the first time the woodwind class and the brass class had practiced together for the performance. That's pretty impressive, don't you think?



Here are a couple of clips of the concert for your listening enjoying.



I know you'll be impressed, as I was. 


As you can tell from this last picture, Emily was very pleased with the performance as well. For the final song, the conductor invited the parents to come as close as we wanted.  We were sitting on the front row because I had my boot and knee scooter so I was planning to just stay where I was, but Emily seemed to want me to come up closer so, of course, I did. 


We had a lot of fun at the Winter Band Concert and can't wait for the next one in the spring.



Were you in the band? If so, what instrument did you play?


Monday, February 19, 2018

President's Day Weekend Adventure - Guthrie

President's Day Weekend Adventure - Guthrie
We were so lucky to get to extend our President's Day Weekend Adventure with Grandmother and Granddaddy for another day. We headed out this morning to drive to Guthrie, Oklahoma. First, we went looking for a car shop that Granddaddy wanted to check out, but we never found it. We ended up on a muddy dirt road and it just kept going and going. We ended up turning around and finding something to eat instead.

We headed to The Stables Cafe in downtown Guthrie. It's a cute little restaurant in a converted horse stable. 




I always like to check out the decor in these historic places. I noticed an old-fashioned leather football helmet at one of the other tables that was really neat. I would have taken a picture of it but there were people sitting at that table and that might have been a little awkward. 


The old signs are always very interesting. And this young lady is pretty neat, too. 



The menu had a written history and old photos of the building. I thought that was pretty cool. The building has a really neat history. 

                                            

Noah flashing the "I love you" sign in our selfie. This is our family sign.



Their food was delicious. I had the BBQ beef sandwich and onion rings. I let Noah try an onion ring and he ended up eating probably half the pile. I didn't know he was such a fan of onion rings. Noah also had a strawberry soda. I thought that was the perfect drink for our adventure. 



Emily had a triple-decker turkey sandwich and fries. She had to take half of it home for later because it was so big. She thought it was good though. 



When we walked out of the cafe, it was at least 10 degrees colder than it was when we'd walked in, so we went to the car and got our jackets before heading out on the next part of our adventure. 


We decided to walk over to check out some of the museums and historic buildings in downtown Guthrie. It's so neat to see all the old buildings and signage around the area. We went by the Oklahoma Frontier Drugstore Museum, but it was not open. 



We walked over to the State Capital Publishing Museum, but it was not open either. 




I'm not sure if it's ever open right now. It didn't really look like it. I found a news article that said a group was trying to save the building because it's crumbling and needs to be restored. 



The building was still really neat to see though. It amazes me how they made such fancy and intricate buildings way back when. They sure don't make them like that anymore. 


One of the historic buildings housed a coffee and chocolate shop so of course, we had to stop in there. It was called Rick's Fine Chocolates and Coffees. All their chocolates are handmade and they all looked wonderful. 


We all got to pick our favorites.  Noah picked the Rice Krispie treats covered in sprinkles. Can't say I blame him with that choice!


I was impressed with their selection of treats. I think I saw a bag in my kitchen that still had some chocolate left in it so hopefully, someone will hide that one for (from!) me tonight!



And then we headed to Target - Noah's choice. He and Emily had some money from Valentine's Day that they wanted to spend. The got to spend their money any way they wanted. Emily got some colored pens. And I can't remember what Noah got so that'll have to be a blog post for another day. 




When we got home, we had a couple of projects to work on. My parents are wonderful at helping me with my projects around the house. I wish I'd taken some work pictures so that I could show you what we did. Maybe I'll take some pictures of the finished product and show you?

I had to snap the picture above when the kids were snuggling with Grandmother on the couch. Grandmother and Granddaddy will drive home tomorrow and we're going to miss them so much ... until next time!



Sunday, February 18, 2018

President's Day Weekend Adventure - RV Show and Movie Night

President's Day Weekend Adventure - RV Show and Movie Night
This afternoon, we extended our President's Day Weekend Adventure and went to the RV Super Show at the Oklahoma State Fairgrounds. I wasn't sure what to expect when we went because I'd never been to an RV show before, but we had a good time. 

Noah found this cool 3-wheel motorcycle called a Slingshot.  How cool!




Noah always surprises me when he just hops into the driver's seat of any automobile he finds. He's not shy or afraid of it at all. It makes me wonder what he'll want to explore when he gets older. Clearly, Emily is not impressed. 




Noah's going to be the one driving all the beautiful ladies around!


And don't worry, Emily got a turn pretending to drive it too.  Doesn't this look like a scary image? "Watch the road! Stop looking at the corndog stand!"


We also saw some really cool RV's, too. They had TV's on the inside and on the outside and some nice looking kitchens and fancy features. 



Noah and Emily found this one with a loft bed that was very high. But I think it would be a lot of fun. 






And of course, Noah found his way into the driver's seat once again. 



After we got home, we had family movie night. We watched Wonder, which was a really good movie with a powerful message about being kind to others, even if they are different from us. We popped some popcorn and made a date of it. It was the perfect way to end the day. 

What did you do on your Sunday? 




Saturday, February 17, 2018

President's Day Weekend Adventure - Tulsa

President's Day Weekend Adventure - Tulsa
Grandmother and Granddaddy are visiting us this President's Day Weekend. Emily and Noah are out of school on Monday so we'll get to spend an extra day with them. This is their first visit to our house since Grandmother retired. 

They went with us on an adventure to Tulsa today. Emily didn't want to go so it was just me, Noah, Grandmother, and Granddaddy. Our plan was to go to The Tulsa Air and Space Museum & Planetarium (TASM). We let Siri guide us to our destination but he took us to the Tulsa International Airport, right to the terminal, where the TASM is not located. Ooops!

We decided that we needed to find lunch before we went to find the museum. We looked on our phones and found a place called Tally's Good Food Cafe that was close and had good reviews. We drove over and found the cafe on the corner. The parking lot was packed but we went ahead and found a line out the door. We sort of debated whether we wanted to find another place or not, but we ended up staying. 


How cute are they??

While we were waiting on line, Granddaddy noticed a sign for a car show that was in town this weekend. We looked it up and it was only 5 minutes away from the cafe. It didn't take us too long to get a seat at the back of the cafe. We had huge cheeseburgers and Noah had huge pancakes.  The food was all really good and the price was very affordable. 




After we finished eating, we went to find the car show that was at the Tulsa Expo Square. When we drove up, we saw a huge HUGE man standing out front. Noah wanted to walk over and see him.  Does he look big? He was taller than the building!



Did you see me and Noah in the picture above? We look like tiny ants at this guy's feet!  This is the Tulsa Golden Driller. He's the tallest free-standing statue in the U.S. and is a popular symbol of the self-proclaimed "Oil Capital of the World."


Noah had a lot of fun crawling all over the huge shoes. He thought this statue was pretty cool.



There were some cars parked out in front of the expo center that we checked out before going inside. 



Granddaddy was like a kid in a candy store. We had to get a picture of him taking pictures of the fancy hot rods. 



They did have some really fancy cars. All different kinds of cars. There were so many cars in the expo center. They were all unbelievably shiny and sparkly. 


They also had some cars that were just really interesting. Is this car drivable? How does that work? 




There were several famous car people there signing autographs. This is a guy named Ryan. He's on a TV show about cars. He had a car that he'd fixed up on display in his booth. 

We left Granddaddy at the car show and headed over to the Air and Space Museum & Planetarium. We got there a few minutes before the last show of the day at the Planetarium so that was our first stop.



They wouldn't let us take pictures after the show started but we got a couple snaps before. The Planetarium had a domed ceiling where they showed the films and the chairs lean way back so that you're looking up at the dome.





We got to see three different mini shows. The first one was views of the earth from outer space, the second was the history of flying, the third was a trip to the middle of the Milky Way. The flying one was my favorite because it felt like we were actually flying in parts of the movie. It was really cool. 

After our planetarium show ended, we were going to go over to the museum but it was closing for the day so we didn't get to check out any of the exhibits. That just means we'll have to go back another day.

Maybe next time we can get Emily to join us. We missed her a lot on our adventure. We had a lot of fun though!  What will we do next?



Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine's Day
Happy Valentine's Day! 

Did you have a wonderful day? I definitely did. There is just something about the day of love that makes everything exciting. 

I remember when I was a kid and we'd be super excited to get those little paper Valentines from all our friends in our class at school. Things are different now. The kids give each other candies or snacks with pinterest-worthy Valentine greetings attached to them. 

And can we talk for a second about the Valentine boxes that kids need every year? When did they start this? Every time I get on Facebook, I see these fancy handmade monster boxes or princess boxes or heart-shaped macrame boxes. This morning, Noah and I were sitting in the car drop off line and a mom was carrying her daughter's 3-foot tall glitter unicorn box into the school for her. This is insanity! Noah had a gift bag with hearts on it and his name in glitter letters and he was super happy with it. AND he could carry it to school all by himself. #winning

Anyway, I digress ... my Valentine's Day was good. My family got me some beautiful double delight roses. They are white with red tips and they look so fancy!




All the blooms are fresh and beautiful. They are on my kitchen counter right now, but I might have to move them into my office tomorrow so that I can enjoy them all day. I don't see why not!


I made a delicious dinner with cheesecake for dessert. Nanny came over and joined us and we had a good time talking and visiting. 



The cheesecake was really good tonight. I've used this cheesecake recipe a few times and it always turns out great. 


Yield: 1 9-inch cheesecakePin it

New-York Style Cheesecake

Cooking this cheesecake in a water bath will result in a beautiful, thick and creamy cheesecake with no cracks. Serve with cherry pie filling, chocolate sauce, or caramel sauce.

prep time: 30 MINScook time: 1 hour and 25 MINStotal time: 1 hours and 55 mins

ingredients:

For graham cracker crust
  • 12 full sheets graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted
For cheesecake filling
  • Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1 2/3 cups sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp vanilla extract
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream

instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 325°F. Crush graham crackers (or use food processor), add sugar and melted butter. Mix together and press into 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 8-10 minutes, until crust is lightly browned. 
  2. In an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch together on medium speed, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl several times. 
  3. Add vanilla and eggs, mix well.  Add cream and mix until completely blended. Do not overmix! 
  4. Increase oven temperature to 350°F. Wrap the bottom and sides of springform pan in foil. Pour batter into prepared crust. 
  5. Place the foil-wrapped pan in a large shallow pan. Pour in hot water until it is about 1 inch up the side of the springform pan. Bake until light golden brown and the center barely jiggles, about 1 hour and 25 minutes. If the center still jiggles, bake an additional 5-10 minutes. 
  6. Remove the cheesecake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours. Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight.

What did you do special for Valentine's Day?


Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma

Fall Adventure in Central Oklahoma
Noah wants to tell you about an adventure that we went on. The thing is that we went on this adventure back in the fall but I just never blogged about it until now. 


But, I'll give you a few hints ...

"Hey, gimme some of that!"





"Artistic Fish"





"Childhood nostalgia"

So, are you curious?

You can go to these posts to find out more:
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