Sunday, November 29, 2009

Championship Hockey

The twins' team brought home another Championship trophy this weekend from the Mankato Meltdown. Captain said they had to battle hard to win their final two games! I hear they are eating ice cream out of the trophy cup after practice tomorrow. Aunt Mary and Cousin Pam came to the championship game. Dorito's team won on Sunday morning, too. The wins help make it a more pleasant drive home.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Waterpark and New Moon Fans

I took the four teenage cousins to the Waterpark at our hotel--very fun. Then we stayed up watching the Final Episode of "Monk" on TV. It is really a two-part episode so we'll have to find a cable TV next Friday to see the conclusion of these 8 years of our favorite show. Do we have enough "Monk" quotes? Can you ever ever have enough "Monk" quotes? It's a blessing and a curse. Speaking of curses, the "New Moon" fans wanted me to find a Burger King in downtown Minneapolis. Took a bit of work, but we have the fan pack to prove it! Character cards, commemorative cup, and a Team Jacob/Team Edward crown. P.S. Dorito's team won one and lost one (in overtime!) today.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Penny Log

I found two pennies today en route to the hockey tournaments. I'm also lucky that Uncle Tony and Aunt Mary are letting me borrow their mini-van for Dorito's games--now I have room to take cousins Ethan and Alyssa along! The twins and Captain are going to play hockey in Mankato, which is two hours away.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving

This center piece turkey was created by Polar Bear and Winger for our hosts in Minnesota. It contains the dry ingredients and recipe for making a turkey casserole with your left-overs, so it's a perfect gift! The twins revived it from Meggar's TV cookbook for the "Boys Can Cook" class this fall, where everyone devoured the dish.
Gobbly Good Turkey Casserole
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of celery soup
1 pkg. onion soup mix
1 c. rice
1 1/2 c. milk
2-3 c. left-over turkey, chopped
Combine all ingredients in casserole dish. Bake, covered, at 350' F for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Travel Literature

We are travelling today to the Minneapolis area for Thanksgiving with Dale's cousins and godparents. Despite the rain, our trip is off to a good start. We are reading "Treasure Island" aloud for the boys' sake, not because it is connected to the Pilgrims, but just because it is a classic we haven't gotten to yet. Also, Meggar and I are in the middle of "A Tale of Two Cities," which is also not related to the Pilgrims but an equally beloved classic. And Captain has started Sully's book about being a pilot and the days that change your life forever. I love the way good literature feeds the soul. I am mindful how blessed we are for the freedom to homeschool and to spend these years with our children about us. "I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder." -G.K. Chesterton.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

NCYC - National Catholic Youth Conference

Meggar, Dorito and I went to the Sprint Center today for the opening of NCYC joining 22,000 other teens for the National Catholic Youth Conference! Our homeschool group was evenly balanced with 3 chatty girls and 3 quiet boys. :-) Our first stop was the Theme Park, called the "Reign Forest" because this weekend is the Feast of Christ the King. The middle floor of Bartle Hall was full of Catholic vendors, T-Shirts, music, colleges, Guitar Heroes, inflatable obstacle courses, and a sports center created by Benedictine College with a mini-soccer field, 3 basketball courts, and frisbee games. Hannah D. met the "Moos Brothers" and everyone was trading hats, pins, and cool give-aways (mostly cow themed). Everyone loved the glow-in-the-dark yo-yos. Actually Dorito had more than his share of free yo-yos from the Salesians. Fun tricks on the dinner breaks.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Last Book Club of the Year

I almost forgot to post about my Tuesday night Book Club for November. Such a nice group of friends - and they all bring great treats. YUM! I savored Angela's blackberry cobbler and the Coconut Chai Tea Connie brought. We discussed "The Thirteenth Tale" which was a Gothic novel full of lonely people. It sort of takes a line from "Jane Eyre" and spins a story of twins orphaned on a large estate in England. Made me appreciate the people I am closest to--especially as Thanksgiving draws near.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Old Man Slippers

Somedays I think I live with four old men... they come down to breakfast in their robe and slippers. "Slippers just make you feel so cozy," Polar Bear said. Dorito and Captain bought new slippers last week--out-grown for one, and worn-out for the other. Seems to make everyone happier.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Stars Playing Super

Polar Bear and Winger faced some stiff competition in St. Louis today. They played the AAA St. Louis Blues team, who are ranked #2 in the country. We lost, but their team said it was close enough they invited us back in January. One of their players is the son of Keith Tkachuk, who visited our team's locker room with some encouraging words! The rink was a practice facility for the NHL Blues team (see the cool blue ceiling rafters?).

Penny Log

I found a penny in the Mavericks parking lot. And a nickel when I went to buy the Sunday paper.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Music for the Christmas Shoppers

"The Fiddlers Three" provided holiday music for the Christmas shoppers yesterday at the Sugar Plum Gift Mart. Meggar was accompanying the homeschool choir at two nursing homes during the show, so Wife filled in at the keyboard. I was very proud of the boys to handle two continuous hours of playing.

Shopping Chics

Meggar and Hannah had fun dressing up for the Sugar Plum Holiday Mart at the Art Museum. Meggar received a dozen compliments on Gr. Judy's 1963 vintage dress. Her happiness jar was full. We bought a few treasures from "Just Claudia" and the "Rusty Chandelier" during our girls weekend: Dorito was on a Scout campout and the twins were playing hockey in St. Louis.

Mavericks Hockey Moves to Town

Last night, we attended the first home game of KC's new professional hockey team. The Mavericks won--after overtime and a shoot-out! Very Exciting! The twins had free tickets and Dorito sat with his Saints team to watch #27 Andrew Davis, whom he interview last Thursday for the iTeen KC magazine. His article will appear in the December issue. The twins were thrilled to peek in the locker room, see all the Sherwood sticks, and to get autographs on their Mavericks summer hockey team jerseys. Polar Bear met #16 (Bill Vandermeer) outside the locker room. Bill was the player who scored the shoot-out goal! Yea!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Lucky 13

Today is Friday the 13th, but I have to tell you about my good fortune. I FOUND 3 things that were missing! NO KIDDING!! The digital camera was in the Fiddlers Three tip jar (not in Meggar's car as I suspected), my black earring was found hooked to a black bauble bracelet from two months ago, and the NCYC folder was found stuffed down in the file cabinet. *Sheesh!* Luckily, someone also returned Dorito's lost debit card to the bank for us. We had been praying HARD to St. Anthony for several weeks to help us find these lost items. Today, we could joyfully offer prayers of thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

One-Room School Houses

For his Eagle Scout Project, Dorito is helping the Pony Express National Museum with their One-Room School House. Today's field trip to Kansas City allowed us an up-close look at two school houses. We have fond memories of participating at Mt. Gilead when all my kids were younger. We took pictures of several artifacts, including a 1928 Dictionary, Palmer Penmanship book, and McGuffey Readers. We also visited Missouri Town 1885's schoolhouse. Excellent weather for an outing.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Last Cooking Class with the Boys

We made Thanksgiving-themed recipes today for the final week of "Boys Can Cook" class. The boys seemed to like the Turkey Soup (chopping all the veggies)...

and Cranberry Dip. The moms/helpers liked the Cranberry Cake with Warm Vanilla Sauce
2 T. melted butter
1/2 c. sugar
1/4 c. water
1/4 c. evaporated milk
1 c. flour
1 t. soda
1/8 t. salt
1 1/2 c. cranberries (fresh or frozen)
Stir together all ingredients. Pour into greased 9” pie plate. Bake at 350’ F for 25-30 minutes.
Warm Vanilla Sauce: (enough for two cakes)
1/2 c. melted butter
1 c. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/2 c. evaporated milk
Melt together all ingredients in pan on medium heat.
Let guests pour sauce over each slice of cake.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Veteran's Day Tourney

Dorito's team lost the championship game in overtime by 1 goal! Big 15 was so disappointed to lose at their home tournament.

The twins, however, won two raffle baskets: free tickets to the Mavericks Hockey game and hats from the St. Louis Blues team.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Teaching College

Meggar gave a slide presentation to two World Geography classes at Missouri Western today. Mr. Dagel invited her to talk about her trip to France, Spain, and Poland. She said the 9 am class didn't ask many questions like the 11:00 am class did. I'm glad her technology worked!

SAT on Saturday

Meggar got up early because they only offer the SAT in Kansas City. She liked it better than the ACT, she said. The essay is first (while your brain is fresh) and the sections are shorter (10 instead of 3) so you get frequent breaks. She thought she managed her time better this way. Guess it reveals something about her learning style, too.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

End of Volleyball

Did I mention that we are relieved volleyball is over??! The Knights finished 3rd in the league tournament last Saturday--in the midst of a busy Halloween weekend. Happily, they won their final match. Meggar had all good serves, a couple of blocks, and high intensity/hustle! Good friends like Kendra and Caitlin, who sat in the hot tub until midnight, made Meggar's final games more enjoyable.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Chipotle's Foil Wrapped Halloween

I am saving this spot for another Halloween photo from Chipotle... Meggar went with Becca in foil togas. The rest of us were more athletic. The prize for coming foil-wrapped is a free burrito! Afterwards, we went to the Schieber's house so the boys could trade trick-or-treat candy. I love when we can mix some new traditions in with the old.

Foil Togas to Go

The Chipotle offer for free burritos drove Meggar and Becca to great lengths - of foil! Nice Togas, ladies!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cooking in Chilly Weather

Today, I chose Soup Recipes for my "Boys Can Cook" class. In preparation for chilly weather, we made chili--and chili crackers, a new recipe from Julia and Faith. Not too spicy--I loved them! I was surprised, however, when the little boys eagerly ate my steak-and-spinach soup. I thought it would appeal to the middle school boys, who are older and more "manly."
Chili Crackers
1 box saltine crackers
1 1/2 c. oil
1 pkg (envelope) Hidden Valley Ranch dry mix
1 T. parsley (dried or fresh)
1 T. cayenne pepper
1 T. crushed red pepper flakes
1) Layer saltines in a large sealed container.2) Mix remaining ingredients together and pour over crackers. Seal the container. Let sit for 15 minutes.3) Then turn container over several times to help distribute the oil.
Steak-and-Spinach Soup
1 lb. London Broil or Round steak
2 t. cumin
2 t. garlic salt
1 t. dried thyme
1 t. black pepper
1 T. oil
1 small onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced
2 T. olive oil
4 c. beef broth
1/4 c. jalapenos or diced chilies
1 c. crushed tomatoes
11 oz. baby spinach leaves
1. Combine cumin, garlic salt, dried thyme, and black pepper in small bowl.
2. Mix in 1 T. oil and rub over both sides of steak.
3. Broil quickly until steak is medium rare (3-4 minutes per side). Let rest on platter.
4. Meanwhile, sauté onions and garlic with mushrooms in 2 T. olive oil.
5. Add beef broth, chilies, and crushed tomatoes and bring to simmer.
6. Slice steak against the grain into bite-sized pieces and add to soup.
7. Add baby spinach all at once. Simmer until wilted.
Serve with a small dollop of sour cream and a few tortilla chips on top.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

All Saints Day

Today is the Feast of All Saints--what a happy occasion! Our parish held a pot-luck luncheon after the Latin Mass, and it was half homeschool families. My boys did not want to dress up like a saint, but they played the guessing game for the little kids' sake. I took my famous Sweet Green Beans, and they were met with gleeful shouts from the Thilges family... and our orange-frosted cupcakes quickly disappeared.... plus all the left-overs from our NCYC Bake Sale. Meggar and Dorito had baked muffins, pies, brownies, and cinnamon twists for a couple of weeks and stored them in the freezer for this fundraiser. They made $235 thanks to some generous donors, and our family enjoyed the caramel popcorn best of all!