Thursday, December 31, 2009

Resolutions and Orange Cranberry Scones

I know we are supposed to have wonderful things planned out for the year ahead and I really love the idea, but I NEVER follow through. Within 24 hours of the year coming in, I completely forget I made a resolution until around July. In July I think "Well, shit."

So, for this year I am going to continue the things I like in my life:
  • I hope to continue to succeed in school (it makes me proud of myself).
  • I plan to continue to eat smaller portions and watch my weight (it is too hard to lose to put it all back on again).
  • I hope to continue to successfully homeschool the 8 yr. old (because I really don't want to screw this up).
  • I plan to continue to spend quality time with the Family each week (which isn't too hard because I feel guilty with all the time I spend at school and work).
  • I plan to continue to cook healthy meals for my Family (Or have the hubby cook healthy meals for the Family ;).

And one new one:
  • I plan on buying a new washer or gently used washer immediately in the new year!
Happy New Year Everyone! I hope everyone is able to accomplish ALL their New Year's Goals this year. This Year can be the year of Success!

And to bring in the New Year, here is a recipe to my most favorite pastry EVER!

Orange Cranberry Scones

Orange Cranberry Scone


One medium to large Orange
1/2 C. Very cold Butter (not the fake stuff)
2 C. Flour
2 tsp. Baking Powder
1/2 tsp. Salt
2 Tbsp. Sugar
1/2 Cup diced Fresh Cranberries (I am sure you could use the dried and sweetened ones, just leave out the 2 Tbsp. Sugar)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

1. Zest the entire orange, set aside.
2. Then squeeze all the juice out of the orange (pulp is good, but not chunks), set aside.
3. I did it all in my food processor: Sift the Flour, Sugar, Salt, and Baking Powder together.
4. Cut the butter into small squares and mix it into the flour mixture. You want the mixture crumbly, but you don't want big chunks of butter. This is where a food processor really comes in handy because you want the butter to stay as cold as possible. This is what makes the scone flaky.
5. Add in the zest and the cranberries. Mix until coated. (I pulsed it a couple of times).
6. Drizzle in the orange juice and stir or pulse. Be careful not to add in too much liquid, you don't want the mixture sticky. You do want it to form a ball. If you don't have enough juice from the orange, just add in a little store bought juice.
7. Divide dough into 8 pieces and form into whatever shape you want.
8. Place on baking sheet (I use stoneware) and bake for about 15-20 minutes. You want them to be slightly golden brown on top.

Directions for the icing glaze:

1 Cup Powder Sugar
2 to 3 Tbsp. Milk or Orange Juice

Put powder sugar into bowl and drizzle in the liquid one tablespoon at a time, mixing well between each until you get the consistency you want.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Bad, The Good, The Grotesque?

You know that job interview I had? Well, I don't think I got it. The manager said I should hear from them by this past Monday and I have heard nothing. Nada. Zip. Maybe it's a sign and it's just not meant to be. I will admit that I am a bit disappointed. Luckily, I already have a job--which I like. But, there is this idea in my head of wanting to work in a hospital. I am sure it won't be anything like what I think, but the desire is still there. Especially, the desire to learn and what is a better place to learn in than in a hospital?

On a good note: The Hubby got a job. He starts today. It's minimum wage with minimal tips, but it's a job. I wouldn't say we are "excited" but we are feeling a little relieved.

I know I said I wouldn't talk about it for awhile, but my school starts back in 2 weeks! I am so nervous and excited. I can't wait to take Anatomy and Physiology. Did you know we get to work with actual Cadavers in anatomy?! I can't wait. Let's hope I remember my Bio class information ;).

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Just have to share..

We had such a great Christmas! We got the kids a Wii Fit Plus and the new Super Mario Bros. Game for Wii. We spent all morning taking turns on the Wii Fit and most of the afternoon and evening playing the Super Mario Game.

My favorite of the two is the Super Mario Bros. Game.

The Wii Fit is neat but the Super Mario Game is better. It is very similar to all the other Mario Games except for my favorite part: I love that four of us can play all at once. This creates a very competitive edge even though it is supposed to be cooperative effort. I believe we broke a lot of noise barriers with all the screaming, yelling, and laughing. If you have kids, a fun family, or some fun friends to invite over, I totally recommend this game. I can't wait to play it with the Family when they come next Thanksgiving!

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Merry Christmas!

Traditions are important and my kids will not let me alter our traditions one bit!

Tonight, Christmas Eve, we get to have Cornish Game Hens, Wild Rice, Artichokes, and Cherry pie for dessert. The kids will drink apple cider wine in wine glasses. We will then go and look at Christmas lights around town and make lots of oohing and aahing sounds. The kids will go to bed at about 9 pm because I am a horrible mom who has to go to bed at some point. While waiting for them to fall asleep, I will watch It's a Wonderful Life while I wrap presents. (I have yet to stay awake through the entire movie so I don't know how it ends).

Christmas morning we will wake up early at the butt crack of dawn and open presents with some more oohing and aahing noises. I then get to spend the next lifetime making wonderful things to eat like pancakes with strawberries and bananas and whip cream on top, bacon, cream cheese eggs, and orange juice (Everything is made from scratch, except the O.J.).

Normally, at this point, I am done. I don't normally cook Christmas dinner. For the last 6 years we have gone out to eat for Christmas dinner. We live in a fairly small town where even Denny's (which is ALWAYS open or so their sign says) is closed. We have known to be seen at Jack in the Box the first couple years and a chinese restaurant the last couple. Last year we went to a friend's house for dinner and I actually missed my chinese Christmas dinner.

This year my grandmother drove up. (yes mom, she's here). She brought with her a 10 pound prime rib that we will be cooking for Christmas dinner. It's really nice having someone here for dinner. I love having people over and I think I like to go out for Christmas dinner because it is less lonely. I get to be around the big crowds (it's amazing how many people go out to eat Christmas dinner).

Next year I think I am going to invite over anyone who doesn't have plans, family to go to or have come over, or those who just want to get away from their family. It would be fun to have friends over to celebrate Christmas with.

I hope you have a wonderful holiday as I know we will!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

This and That and Gooey Chex Mix

I got my final grades today and I did much better than I ever have in school! School has never been my "thing." I have always struggled with school....Did I mention I dropped out of high school in the 9th grade? (I did take something similar to the GED and passed the first time).

So, here is the final tally:

Biology: B
History: A-
Communications/Speech: A-
English Literature: A- (I got an A on that 8-page paper I was writing)

I am so proud of myself!

Yesterday, I made a whole bunch of some of the best Chex mix I have ever made for all the residents I help take care of--all 37 of them. They really liked it and it was fun. (recipe at the bottom). I had two of the ladies ask me for the recipe because they want to make it for their families. Yeah, umm, these ladies don't have a kitchen... But, I obliged and gave it to them anyway. Maybe they can convince their families to make it.

I am also giving out my pomegranate jelly to friends, neighbors, and co-workers. So far, everyone who has gotten one is really excited. Most have not tried it before, but are so excited to try it. I love seeing how happy everyone looks when they get one!

What do you give out for Christmas?

Did you guys realize Christmas is in 3 Days?! I can't believe how close it is. We still haven't decorated the tree or done anything Christmasy. So, we are going to cram a whole bunch of stuff into the next 3 days.

Today: Decorate 1 Christmas tree (and clean the house).
Tomorrow: Bake cookies and decorate them (and possibly make a run to the laundry room).
Christmas eve: Big Dinner and look at lights.

Gooey Sweet Chex Mix

Gooey Chex Mix 1

Into one really big bowl:

6 Cups Honey Grahams
6 Cups any Chex Cereal
1 Cup Slivered Almonds
1 Cup Shredded Coconut

Into a medium sized sauce pan on medium heat:

1 Cup Butter and let it melt and then add
1 Cup Light Corn Syrup
1 Cup Sugar

Let the mixture come to a boil. Let it boil for 3 to 4 minutes. It will start to turn a light tan color, this is good.

Here is the best method I have found for mixing this: Drizzle some of the hot mixture over the cereal mix and stir. Pour more of the hot mix over the cereal and then stir. REPEAT until all the sugar mix is incorporated into the cereal mix. (I tried to dump it all on top the first time I made it and the sugar mixture cooled down way to fast and it was hard to evenly coat the cereal.)

Next, lay it all out on parchment paper. Try and spread it out. Let it cool completely.


Friday, December 18, 2009

Day 1: A little lost

Today is the first day that I don't have to worry about school.

I don't know what to do with my self right now. I am actually feeling kind of lost without the pressure of something due.

I have checked my grades online twice already this morning and I have only been up for 2 hours (I am still waiting for my other three classes to post my final grade-they have until Monday but I think it's a form of torture).

Laundry is done.....No, the washer isn't fixed. On Wednesday the hubby and I took EVERY single dirty cloth like item to the laundry mat. We got EVERYTHING clean. And it only cost us over $60. Painful. Lucky for us we had a bunch of books to sell back to the bookstore and that was just enough to cover the laundry. The wonderful part is ALL the laundry is done right now.

Did you know Christmas is a week away?!? I don't know how that got here so fast but I think it should wait another month so I have time to prepare....Oh wait, I will never be prepared.

I think I will teach myself Medical Terminology so I am ready for my classes next semester. Did I mention I changed my schedule? I have decided to take Anatomy and Physiology (which our college teaches separately) at the same time. I have been told countless times that these are really hard classes. I have also been told by countless people that one of the teachers I have to take is HORRIBLE. Only one person has said something positive about this teacher. So, I am really nervous about next semester.

The best part about doing them both at the same time: It makes it possible for me to apply to the extremely competitive nursing program in March. If I get in, I would start the program in the fall.

I also get to apply for my Associate of Science in January. Hopefully, I enough elective credits to receive it. I have all the core general ed. requirements for sure.

I will tell you: it is really nice to be at a point where there is light at the end of the tunnel.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Done! Done! Done!

I am done! I finished my last final tonight.

I got an A on my eight page research paper in my English Literature class.

The only final grade I know is Biology which is a B. (That's what I was hoping for.)

Now, I get to wait and see what the rest of my grades are. My goal was a B in each class. Let's hope I did it.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

A minor screw up?

Did you ever go on a job interview and later think "why did I say that?"

I had a job interview today. It was for a part time (very part time-like 12 hours every 2 weeks) position at the hospital here in town. The timing was great. I am planning on applying for the nursing program in March and getting a job at the hospital would be killer. (I really want the job. Even really part time opens the door for the next position that has more hours. And, I can stay at my current job until more hours open up.)

I think the interview went well, but I don't know for sure. I sure hope they call me back. He did say I may not hear anything until the week of the 28th because Christmas messes everything up for HR. So, we will see. Unfortunately, when thinking back on the interview I think I may have said something I shouldn't have.

He asked me something like "what do you dislike about your present employer." I told him I really like my present employer and the management team is great. But then I said the only thing I could think of is that they have a hard time letting go of people who consistently don't work well.

Maybe I shouldn't have said anything negative. I should have "forgotten" anything I don't like. Sigh. Oh well.

As long as I learn from this experience, that's what counts, right? And to do better at the next interview.

I sure feel like I have been saying that a lot lately.

I still hope they call, and they might call, but I wonder how likely it is now.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

3 down, 1 to go

As of right now, three of my finals are done and I have one more to go.

Tonight, I am drinking a couple glasses of wine and relaxing. Tomorrow, I get to start studying again.

The washer is still broken and we are quickly running out of clothes. I think I am going to have to take some clothes to laundry room tomorrow. Yuck. I will take my books and study while waiting. The best part about having big kids? They will get to help fold the clothes when I bring them home.

Monday, December 14, 2009

If it's not one thing, it's another.

Well, today is the official start of finals week. My first one is tonight. I then have two tomorrow and my last one Thursday night. It's nice to think I will get a couple of weeks off.

Our washer broke this weekend. I am not quite sure what we are going to do about that right now. We need clothes washed badly, but the laundry mat is pretty expensive. The Hubby took the machine apart yesterday and cleaned out the pump. We thought that would do it. But, no. It still doesn't work. Now I have to find time to take the clothes down to the Laundry mat and the time. If only the machine had waited one more week-that would have been a little more convenient for me.

I hope you all are having a better start to your week!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Getting there...Almost.

  • Eight page paper done-I got all assignments done last week!
  • Four finals to study for-I have a final on Monday Night, two on Tuesday and one more on Thursday night.
  • Three loads of laundry washed.
Now, I just need to find time to study this weekend. I work all weekend, so hopefully, I will be able to get it all done.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

And meltdown of the month goes to.....ME!

Completely overwhelmed by life right now. Between money and time, which I have neither of right now, I am completely stressed.

I am sure most of you are saying "totally understandable." Unfortunately, I don't like melting down. I don't like crying and feeling hopeless. I want to always feel like everything is going to work out or be ok.

We are two weeks before Christmas, I should be in the Christmas spirit, right? Ha. School has taken everything from me this week. I have been working so hard trying to catch up that NOTHING else has gotten done. Which is not good when your 3 year old wets herself while sleeping and you have no more dry, clean pj's to put on her.

I am now chanting:

"One more week"
"One more week"
"One more week"

I sure hope you all are having a better week than I am.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

English Literature

My English Lit. professor is driving me insane! I am not sure if he really our papers before editing them or if he doesn't know what in the heck he is doing. I am currently in the process of writing an 8 page research paper on a book called "The Stranger" by Albert Camus. Yesterday I got back my rough draft with some insane edits on it.

For instance:
  • I wrote: "It could bring major destruction, huge change, and even death. When we don't live in the moment, these things can destroy us and/or our belief system."
  • His edit: He circled "these things" and asked "What things?"
REALLY? Didn't the sentence just before say what things?

and then:
  • I wrote: "Meursault doesn't look for justification for his own actions."
  • His edit: "Whose actions?"
Ummmm....starting to feel a bit insane here...
  • I wrote: "always honest, extremely carnal, and he only knows how to exist in the moment he is in."
  • His edit: "explain-expand on this."
The rest of my rough draft is expanding on that.

Again, I feel insane.

I am going to just write my paper, ignoring his ignorant editing, and tomorrow go talk to him (nicely of course, he still has control over my grade) and ask him to explain himself.

Good times.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Quote of the Year, Week, Day....Whatever

Sleep is a symptom of caffeine deprivation.
~ Author Unknown

I love this quote. I am a HUGE coffee drinker and I really had to laugh when I read this.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Stress is good, right?

English Literature: Eight page research paper on a book that is only 123 pages long, due next Thursday. Four of the pages are due tomorrow. I still have to reread the book and find sources.

Biology: Test Friday.

History: Need to read ten chapters in my history book over the next week and a half. Each chapter is 25 pages long.

Communication (a.k.a. Speech): A five minute persuasive speech due on Tuesday. Have to do this with a group. We each have to do five minutes. There are three of us which means we need to give a 15 minute speech.

Finals in two weeks.

And then I get a three week break! I can do it.

I. Can. Do. It.

I hope.


I am happily (it's true) married to my high school sweetheart (known as Hubby).

We have five children:
C, 17 year old boy
A & B, 15 year old twin girls
L, 11 year old boy
M, 6 year old girl

I am currently working on the classes I need to apply to our competitive nursing program.

I understand I am crazy.

More about me.