Monday, August 29, 2011

Kimmie in Real Life! (week 12)

First off,
I love these cute boys...
it was a bitter-sweet moment to send them off to school last week!

I apologize for the big gaps on my blog.
Life is really, extremely busy right now and it is hard on me.
I am a perfectionist, 
I like to be on top of things,
I like to have my life and days perfectly planned out and love to be able to check things off my daily lists!! 
However, these past 2 weeks have had SO many unexpected things thrown at me that my life has been completely and utterly disorganized!

Some days, when I think of how much there is to do I need to be reminded that I truly can't do it all!
Thus, my happiness for having this quote to reflect on and I realize how true it really is.

"We think we can do it all. But in the reality of the twenty-four hour day it seems unlikely. It takes a tremendous amount of time just to keep up with spouses who want our attention, kids who need our love, employers who demand our souls, homes that take a lot of our energy, friendships that require nurturing and our own inner cravings that need to be met. 
That’s enough for just one 24 hour day".

 So with that said, here are food highlights 
from 2 weeks ago...better late than never!

I loved this meal!!
Everything but the grapes was grown in our garden. We thinned out our beets and had some small ones to cook up, and so we cooked those up with some new potatoes we pulled from our garden as well, served it with our Mesclun salad greens, carrots, tomatoes and chives and it was PERFECT served along with a slice of homemade French Bread!  

It was a week of LOTS of baking!
Albeit, hardly any of the baked goods were enjoyed by us. Oatmeal Fudge Bars and French Bread were shared with neighbors that had let us come and enjoy their garden, Oatmeal Cookies were enjoyed by Tracy's scouts at his campout and Cherry Pie was given to my neighbor to thank her for watching our animals for us when we went on our hike.

We played a round of Egyptian Rat Slap 
because Ethan has been BEGGING to teach us how to play it, since he learned it on our backpacking trip.   
The kids begged me to make a batch of Ranch Popcorn to munch on.  My mom had sent the kid home with a whole box of fruit snacks when they visited her over the weekend and we sprinkled a few packages on the top and enjoyed!

Monday was a hectic day
and I only had 3 pieces of French Bread left from the previous day, which wasn't enough for us all to have a slice of toast with our salad.  
SO, I buttered the bread,sprinkled with garlic powder, cut them into small chunks and toasted them up and they were the PERFECT croutons to enjoy on top of our garden fresh salad.

Since we have SO much zucchini right now,
I took a large zucchini and sliced it up and lightly steamed it.
Took all of our salad greens from our garden and made a delicious salad, fried us each an egg, topped the salad with croutons and that was the most yummy meal!!

I could eat like this everyday.  
Absolutely delicious and so healthy and it's amazing that other than the grapes on the salad, everything came from our garden, 
I made the bread and the eggs came from our chickens!!
Sad that with the heat of the summer, our salad greens are no longer producing.  It will be nice when the cool weather of fall comes around and we can plant another round of Mesclun, Radishes, Spinach and Swiss Chard.
Tracy has been commenting that he can't wait to enjoy more Radish Top Soup!  
Smoothies truly are the highlight  
of each and every week of our summer.
As I write this post, we are now back in school and the daily smoothies are no longer happening!
Makes me sad!!
It was pack night for Scouts and Ethan was asked to bring Macaroni Salad, so my Pasta Salad came to the rescue and was very much enjoyed!
I had the HAPPIEST little boy that came home with the SPIRIT Rock!! He felt SO happy and proud and now we just need to think of something for him to add to the rock before next Pack Night.

Thank goodness for teenagers 
as they make sure we keep up on hair cuts and hair highlights!
Jade had to register for school on the 17th and it was also the day they took yearbook photos and so he BEGGED us to have a hair highlighting party as soon as we got back from Pack Night so he could look nice for photos.
So, we did what we always do to be FRUGAL with hair highlighting...
we divided our highlighting kit into thirds (here)
put on highlighting caps and I pulled Jade and Tracy's hair through and Tracy pulled my hair through,
we coated our hair well with the solution, set the time for 90 minutes and Voila...nicely highlighted hair!

It is such a rare thing for bananas to go bad at our house...
 they always get eaten the first day or two of buying them, but, my kiddos were at their grandparents for a few days, Tracy and I were off enjoying our own little adventure and so three of them got a little brown.
I've shared this HELPFUL TIP before
about what to do if you need 1 cup of oil for your sweet bread recipes
I love buying snack sized applesauce, dumping the applesauce in the mixing bowl and then taking and filling the applesauce container with oil and then dumping it in.
This saves on oil and calories and really makes your sweet bread SO moist!

Decadent, yummy and amazing...
that is what Oatmeal Fudge Bars are!!
I also love this recipe as it makes a large cookie sheet and you end up with LOTS of bars!
I always make these when I need to deliver goodies to a few different people.

Zucchini Quiche definitely makes the 
TOP 5 family favorite recipes at our house!  
I LOVE when zucchini is plentiful in our garden and this yummy recipe graces our table top a few times during the harvest time! 
This recipe also would make a great breakfast.

If you have plenty of zucchini in your garden 
this is a wonderful, tasty way to use it up!

I LOVE beans and legumes!  
This week I was craving one of my favorite meals...
Lentil Stew over brown rice
This recipe is SO yummy,
a great use for veggies, uses legumes that are plentiful in food storage and it tastes so good, you would never know it is a meatless meal!

My kids never tire of fresh fruit!!
I was given the most delicious cantaloupe from my sweet friend Tauna
and I purchased donut peaches and cherries!
This particular weekend, we pretty much lived on is truly better than any candy and I am always thrilled when my kids make comments like...
"Mom, when is that guy going to be back selling those doughnut peaches...
I just love them and I would really like some more...NOW"!!
It was Tracy's monthly scout camp-out and so while he loaded the truck with tents and all of the other things needed for the camp-out,
I cracked eggs into a container, cut up sausage, diced potatoes (that I had baked earlier), diced onions and grated cheese, and packaged them in a cooler so he could throw together a quick and easy breakfast for them in the morning using his Dutch Oven.

Week of August 14th to 20th
Apple, Fruit and Nut cookies,
Salad (lettuce, spinach, carrots, tomatoes from our garden) topped with grapes and homemade vinaigrette, and French Bread

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Tuna sandwich on homemade French Bread, apples, grapes, oatmeal cookies
(Kids and I) Smoothies, Tuna patty melts
Oatmeal muffins for snack
Salad from our garden greens, topped with fried eggs, steamed zucchini, homemade croutons and Homemade Honey Mustard salad dressing
(snack of Ranch popcorn topped with fruit snacks that we enjoyed while we played Egyptian Rat Slap card game)

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Oatmeal muffins, string cheese, apple, banana
(Kids and I) Green Smoothie and Quesadillas
Banana Bread for snack
Made Pasta Salad for Ethan's Scout Party
Also made banana bread

Steel Cut Oats
(had to do home CHATS from 7-9...made French Bread and Oatmeal Fudge Bars, before I started working)
(Tracy) Pasta Salad, Banana Bread, apple and grapes
(kids and I....took them shopping for misc. school items and we did our yearly tradition of having breakfast for LUNCH at Perkins)
(that afternoon delivered French Bread and Fudge Bars to our neighbor that let us pick raspberries and also to a lady that just recently had surgery)
Dinner...made Zucchini Quiche and Green Smoothies

Steel Cut Oats
(Tracy) Zucchini Quiche, Fudge Bars, Grapes
(kids and I) Zucchini Quiche and Green Smoothies
Lentil Stew served over brown rice for dinner
(went and picked more Cherries from our neighbors tree)

Steel Cut Oats
(kids left at 9:00 in the morning to go and spend the day at Tracy's parents for a day)
Tracy and I had Lentil Stew for lunch AND dinner along with Fudge Bars and apples
(made Oatmeal Cookies for Tracy to take for a treat to his scouts on their campout)
(made a Cherry Pie to take to a neighbor that had helped us takie care of our animals for our yearly backpacking trip)

I had ZOOM cereal with raisins before I headed off to work
(Tracy fixed Skillet breakfast for his scouts)
After we picked up the kids and came home we had Leftover Lentil Stew for lunch also snacked on Cherries and Donut Peaches
Melted cheese on Tortilla Chips and topped with Salsa for an evening snack

Links to recipes used this week:

Thanks for bearing with me as I try to get photos and thoughts in order from our last month of FUN and adventure... 
so much to share, so little time!
I have one more week of craziness 
and then it is back to "smooth sailing
and finally getting rhyme, reason and order to my life!   
I hope things are going well for all of you...
Life really is wonderful...curve balls and all!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Heaven on Earth! (2011)

What is heaven on earth you ask?  
To me, 
Heaven on Earth looks something like...
 this , this
this and THIS!!  
(you can click on "this" to see previous years FUN)

Heaven on Earth 
means having a few days 
without kids to spend with my sweetie! 

What a blessing these moments in time are, because facts are facts...
children grow up, graduate, and move on and 
 someday it will just be Tracy and I again.
SO, these precious times of the year, where it is just the 2 of us, are cherished and greatly  looked forward to, where we can enjoy one of our passions, that of of being out in nature together.

Each year, we always do some kind of backpacking trip
as we LOVE backpacking and being in the high country SO much! 

This year we decided to head out on a trail 
that we knew nothing about.  
A really nice man that we met on our Alaska Basin trip told us about this trail and we decided to give it a try. WOW, what amazing and gorgeous country we saw and we were SO thrilled that it connected up with a part of the Teton Crest Trail.

August 11th and 12th 2011

And we're headed off ...
 at this point of the day, we're not sure where the trail will take us, 
but, as usual, we're  EXCITED to see gorgeous country and have yet, another night of 
sleeping in our tent, seeing the sights, hearing the sounds, smelling the smells and enjoying each and every moment that the back country has to offer! 

(albeit the photo below of Tracy placing his hand by a bear track that we saw in the first 1/4 mile of the trail had me a little nervous, but we didn't encounter any other tracks, or see one bear sighting either...WHEW! What a relief!)
Stopping to enjoy some cucumbers and apples for a snack (yummy), while Tracy gets out his map so we can plan our route

This is why they call this the "Moose Creek" trail, as you can the moose that down in the bright green colored marsh. 
The fluorescent green color of the water was breath-taking!

Dehydrated bananas provided LOTS of energy 
and fresh mountain stream water was refreshing!

Can you say COLD!!
The snow run off was SO much that there was no physical way to cross this stream without taking off our boots, putting on our "Crocs", rolling up our pants and wading across it!
This is the Canyon of Moose Creek Falls
We were SO excited when we found a sign that was part of the Teton Crest Trail! (truly our favorite hiking trail ever!)
Excited to get to a sign that showed just .5 miles 
until we were officially in Grand Teton National Park!
This was an small unnamed lake at the top of the mountain...
Love being there with the love of my life!

And we're headed off to find a spot to camp for the night...
We had to hike out of Grand Teton National Park, 
because you can only camp there if you have a permit.
This view = Happiness!!  

Heading out...
The photo below is our GOAL...we are going to hike up there next year and hike all the way on top of the grassy mountain that you see being lit up on the left. 
It is a very doable hike and one that we are SO excited to do!
The end of a PERFECT two day adventure!
I truly could spend every waking moment with "Mr. Smith"
and NEVER, ever tire of being with him!!
Life is wonderful and OH SO fact,
Life is perfect!

 "The hours I spend with you I look upon as sort of a perfumed garden, a dim twilight, and a fountain singing to it.  You and you alone make me feel that I am alive.  Other men it is said have seen angels, but I have seen thee and thou art enough".  
~George Moore