Sunday, May 31, 2009

Aaargghh! Part 2

And now the air conditioning has decided to quit on us! Thank goodness for ceiling fans!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Changes on the Horizon

It's that time of year. The time where I reassess our home school curriculum, determine our needs for next year and decide if homeschooling continues to be the best option for my kids.

While we await the results of the Iowa Basics this is what has been established thus far:

1. Sweet Cheeks will be attending a charter school for her high school. We were fortunate that she was wait listed at a low number. We had toured the school and both felt very comfortable with the class size, student to teacher ratio, and curricula offered (all honors or AP courses). The "feel" of the school was right, if that makes any sense. Shortly after our tour we were offered a slot that had just opened up. We took that as a sign, from God, that this was the avenue to pursue and accepted. A wonderful sense of calm swept over me once this decision was made. Fortunately, Mr. Sister is in agreement with this course of action.

2. For Munchie Boy homeschooling remains the best option due to his "learning disabilities". Oh how I hate that phrase as it is such a misnomer. My son is so very bright but he requires time to complete his tasks and assignments. Additionally, he is quite literal so abstract ideas are difficult for him to grasp. Anyway, I have been researching alternative home school curricula and have found one I would like to try. It is a computer based curriculum that incorporates both on line and workbook lessons. Master Munch loves all things computer related so I think this might be a great avenue and a good fit for him. The only downside is that this curriculum is secular. Munch has such a wonderful faith and prayer life that I do not think this will pose any major problem. Additionally, Religious Education will remain an intricate part of our daily studies.

I will continue to pray that these decisions are the right ones for my family and for Mr. Sister and myself. So far...it appears to be the correct course of action as I am at peace.

Monday, May 25, 2009

What Do You Have?

Take one incredibly charming Mr. Sister.
Mix with an even more incredibly charming 5th Sister.
Blend in 8 weeks of dating.
Add a 3 day ski trip to Michigan
And toss in an impromptu marriage proposal
On the bus trip home.
What do you have?

18 years of wedded bliss!


Happy Anniversary!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

What Was I Thinking?

Take one 14 1/2 year old girl.
Toss in 2000 lbs. of metal and a combustion engine.
Add summer driving lessons.
What do you get?
A very unhappy Mr. Sister
reflecting on the future rise
of our insurance premiums.



Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Tuesday's Puzzler


What in the world am I wearing and why?
Will you be the 1st to answer correctly?
Prizes?
Heck no...we, at The 5th Sister, play purely for pride.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Good Bye Dr. Roe!


Dear Dr. Roe,

Words cannot begin to express the gratitude we feel. You were able to take 1 severely asthmatic child and turn her life completely around...in less than a year!

It was also a joy to work with you. Yes, you could be "testy" from time to time but it was always the patient's best interests you held at heart. And working with you was a great learning experience that will be forever appreciated.

You will be fondly remembered and you will be missed. Indiana's gain is our loss!

Goodbye, good luck and God bless!

Sincerely,

Mr. and Mrs. Sister

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Olympic Gold

Take one kid.

Add 2 Olympic Gold Medal Champion swimmers
(Mel Stewart and Rowdy Gaines).

And 1 real Olympic Gold medal.
Priceless.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday Fish Night


Flounder Almondine


2 lbs. flounder filets

2 eggs, beaten

1 cup flour

Salt, Pepper and seasonings to taste (I add 2 tbsp. of fresh dill to flour mixture)

1/4 cup butter or margerine

1/4 cup almonds, toasted

2 Tbsp. lemon juice

Olive oil for frying


Season flour.

Dredge fish fillets in beaten egg mixture and pat into seasoned flour.

Heat oil in skillet and fry fish on both sides until golden brown.

Heat butter in a separate skillet until butter begins to brown.

Stir in almonds and lemon juice.

Spoon over fillets and serve.


Serving suggestion: goes great with Pioneer Woman's Crash Potatoes and Steamed Broccoli.

Friday, May 15, 2009

What's for Dinner?

I had no idea! By the time we got home from swimming last night the time was tight to prepare a healthy and edible meal. Fortunately, I had the hindsight to have set out a package of ground turkey to defrost.

My cupboards are currently fairly bare but my freezer is adequately stocked. Oh, and I found this little goody in my fridge. How will I use this? Well, I have an idea...just be patient.

First, I chopped up some carrots and pulled out some frozen green beans and lima beans. I then placed these veggies into a pot to steam boil until just tender.


Meanwhile, in an oven proof skillet, I sauteed some chopped onion and garlic, added the ground turkey to brown and seasoned with salt, pepper and some fresh herbs from my garden. I used my "Simon and Garfunkle blend": Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme.

Next, I added a can of drained, chopped tomatoes followed by the 2 cups of veggies, previously steamed.

Now here is where the Pillsbury "Recipe Creations" comes in. I "popped" open the can and removed the dough. I rolled the dough thin and sliced it into strips. I then placed these strips across the top of the meat/veggie mix. After which I added a couple of pinches of fresh parsley and Polly's Signature Spice Blend to the top. I then placed the pan into a 375 degree oven to cook for approximately 15 minutes.

When the dough turned golden brown, I removed the skillet from the oven and allowed the dish to rest for 5 minutes before serving. And voila:
Polly's Impromptu Pot Pie!
My family, as well as I, really enjoyed this one dish meal. Give it a try...it's pretty tasty. If you use ground beef instead of turkey I would suggest draining the meat mix prior to adding the tomatoes and veggies.
This dish lends itself to interpretation...heck, I can picture various versions already: spinach, tomatoes, onions, kalamata olives, oregano and feta for a Greek version...corn, peppers, onion, cayenne and cumin for a Mexican twist...or even cabbage/sour kraut, sausage, potatoes and paprika or caraway for an Eastern European flare. The skies the limit. Have fun with it but be sure to share your own unique creation!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Completed Deck and Garden Update

I just realized that I never posted a completed deck/screen porch photo! I still have a few things that need to be finished (staining the door which was only recently installed, stain a few panels that needed replacing due to warping and cleaning/clearing up the corner where the hoses are presently parked.) All in all we are quite pleased.

News flash: The garden is growing! That's saying a lot since, other than herbs in containers, we have never gardened before. The tomato plants have little flowering buds on them. The corn is coming up quite nicely and the carrots have started to make their presence known. I don't think the cucumbers, zucchini, watermelon and honey dew will fare well but I could be wrong. Should I be "staking" them, too, I wonder? We will have an overabundance of peppers I do believe (3 each of green, yellow, red, jalapeno and banana). Mr. Sister added the "fence" to keep critters at bay. So far so good!

To my followers who also happen to be gardeners, any and all advice is welcome by this novice!

My Mother's Day

I'm sorry to not have personally posted since early last week. It was another busy weekend at work. I was on my feet most of my 12 hour shifts. I was exhausted by the end of my 3 day stretch. On top of that, I'm not sleeping well as my insomnia has decided to rear its ugly head. Suffice it to say I was cranky. However, all that faded away when I was greeted with these:

Aw, gee...thanks kids! I'm proud to be your mother!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mr. Sister goes to the movies...

Hi 5th sister readers! This is Mr. Sister again. 5th sister had to work on mother’s day, but wanted all of the blog’s regular readers to have something insightful to ponder on. But, instead, I said I would write something!

On this blog take-over, I won’t expound upon a new high-tech toy or gadget that has found its way into the 5th sister household. I am going to discuss movies and television. Now, I don’t watch that much TV, but when I do, I enjoy good Science Fiction .

There, I said it! I enjoy good Science Fiction and I’m proud of it! So, it wouldn’t be a big surprise to anyone that I dragged --er took my kids to the movies today. What did we see? Don’t worry; it wasn’t the X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie (even though I would like to rent it when it comes out on DVD)…. No! This is BIGGER than the X-men! And we boldly went where a lot of nerds and closet nerds went, before! Did you guess it? Yes, I took them to J.J Abrams’ movie --Star Trek.

For those of you who think mentioning the title and a little insight into the movie are considered spoilers… PLEASE STOP READING!

For the rest of you, I will not try to give any real spoilers. First, it was a joy to watch a first rate sci-fi movie. The previous Star Trek movies were TERRIBLE!!! A real pain to watch (…and I watched them all!)… That is with the notable exceptions of Star Trek the voyage home, and Star Trek, the wrath of Khan.

J. J. Abrams gave his nod to the original series by playing most of the characters true to form (with the exception of Uhura). He wove the story around Lenard Nimoy (the original Spock). The movie even answered some of the back history that was never revealed on the original series… Why did Kirk always call McCoy “Bones”? But, in the same way that Abrams gave his nods, he said we will not be a slave to the original Star Trek timeline (I won’t say more or there may be a spoiler).

All in all a good solid sci-fi movie! I would rate it as one of the top Star Trek movies ever made (now, as mentioned earlier, that might not be saying too much). I would definitely see it again!

To finish off, I’m going to give my top 5 sci-fi movies and television shows… What are yours?

Movies
1) The Princess Bride (even though this fits more into the “fantasy” genre)
2) The Dark Knight
3) Ironman
4) Spiderman
5) Harry Potter (the whole series)
(If I were to include a 6th, it would be lord of the rings!)

TV
1) Chuck (Yes, it is sci-fi!)
2) Star Trek: The Next Generation (Some of the best cliff-hangers in television history!)
3) Quantum Leap
4) Dr. Who
5) Stargate SG1

Now, as always… Mr. Sister signing off! …. Back over to you 5th Sister….

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

For Your Listening Pleasure

The Chamber Ensemble of the Charlotte Children's Choir performs "Holy City". Sweet Cheeks is singing alto for this number and is the first child , on the left, in the front row. These kids range in age from 11-14. Enjoy!

video

Monday, May 4, 2009

Let Me Tell You About my Best Friend


This is me (on the left) with my best friend, Betty (on the right).
I truly love this woman. We have been best friends for almost 11 years, now. We met when our daughters were in preschool together. Our personality traits complement each other well. For example, where I may keep things bottled up inside she has no problem speaking her mind (wish I could be more like that!) She's beautiful, smart, witty and supportive. All the stuff that makes for the "bestest" of best friends.
We used to be Girl Scout Leaders together so we always had an excuse to get together. But I miss her. Ever since I decided to home school we don't see each other as often as we should. And this past year she took on a job so that makes our time together even more rare. But when we do get together we always have a great time! It is so easy to pick up where we left off. That's the thing about true friends...it's not the quantity of time together but the quality that counts.
Here's to you, Betty, and to all best friends everywhere!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Another Award!


Katie from Katie's Korner and Willoughby from This Stop Willoughby have granted me yet another blogging award. But in order to accept I must list 7 personality traits and tag 7 other blogging buddies.

Initially, I came up with the following traits:

1. Faithful: Both to my Catholic faith and to Mr. Sister
2. Dedicated: To my children and my job.
3. Caring: I couldn't do the job I do if I didn't care!
4. Artistic/Creative: The "artist within" is struggling to break free. I look forward to the day when I will have the time to devote to artistic endeavors.
5. Impatient: Patience is a virtue I struggle to achieve, but I'm working on it!

I stopped there. This is harder than I thought. Hmmmm. "Hey Munchie Boy...can you come up with a word to describe Mommy?" "How about sleepy?" he replies. Oh my, so very true!

6. Sleepy: I am terribly sleep deprived because I suffer from insomnia. I am taking medication but it doesn't always work. In fact, I am having difficulty sleeping tonight as it is 3:30 am as I am typing this.

"Can you come up with another?" "Yeah....cold!" he says. Yes, indeed, my son knows me well.

7. Cold: I am terribly cold sensitive. Please see my post on Raynoud's.

It is difficult to tag blogs that I follow that have not already received this award. Instead, I will tag my shyer blogging friends that I would like to know a little more about. They are as follows:

Christine from Marvelously Mundane

The aforementioned may be sporadic bloggers on Blogspot (although a couple have regular blogs on AllRecipes.com) however, their posts are an enjoyable read.

Other blog buddies I'd like to tag:

Who am I from One Healthy Mama
Jamie's Wife from Making our own Memories
Gracey from A Dash of Life (although her blog is currently in hiatus it was one of my favorites and I am hoping she'll decide to return to the blogosphere at some point in time)

Friday, May 1, 2009

I Graciously Accept this Award


Katie, from Katie's Korner, awarded me with the Passionate Blogger Award. Thank you, Katie. I appreciate and accept this honor.

By accepting this award, I must agree to the following 3 rules:

1. Put the logo in my blog.
2. Write 5 things I am passionate about besides my blog.
3. Tag 5 people on my list and let them know I tagged them

Hmmmm. What, indeed, am I passionate about?

1. First and foremost would have to be my Catholic faith and love for Jesus Christ. It wasn't until I began my spiritual journey that healing and miracles, in several forms, came into my life: I was healed of an eating disorder in my 20's, I met the love of my life; I survived complications from childbirth (twice from same pregnancy); my son survived his premature birth; my daughter, whom they were certain suffered from Cystic Fibrosis, has begun to demonstrate healing of her asthma, and so, so much more. God is good and the power of prayer phenomenal.

2. My husband must go into this slot. Although I do not tell him nearly enough, he is, indeed, the love of my life. He is an honest and caring man with a unique sense of humor. When we 1st met and he made me laugh. I knew, then, that he was the man for me!

3. My kids. What more can I say? I am so proud of both of them. Sweet Cheeks, my daughter, is so talented. I am in awe of her singing ability. She is growing into such a beautiful young lady. She is caring and dependable, always looking out for her little brother. I love her so very much! Speaking of her brother, Munchie Boy...this little guy is the most courageous soul. He has encountered and surpassed so many obstacles early on in his life: premature birth, failure to thrive, severe reflux, torticollis and plagiocephaly, developmental delays, being diagnosed on the autism spectrum and so on. To look at him now, one would never know of his prior struggles. Last year, he was in the 99th percentile on the Iowa Basics and is now an avid swimmer who will be attending his 1st swim meet this evening! See, son, with hard work and determination, we can all overcome and succeed.

4. My work. I love my job. See here: Respiratory Therapy

5. Cooking. I have fallen in love with food! I have had the most fun coming up with new and exciting recipes for the family to enjoy. I also love photographing food. (I wish, however, I was more adept at PhotoShop when editing said photos) Cookbooks are a great read for me, too. But my most favorite passion regarding cooking is coming up with new and interesting herb combinations. Ever since I began an herb container garden last year I have had the most fun snipping, drying and combining flavors. Rosemary, sage and basil is a particular favorite of mine.

I would like to recognize the following as my choice to recieve this award:

1. Luis Bueno from Muddy Runner for his passion about running and fitness.
2. Raouly's Girl at Who Has the Thyme for her passionate political views.
3. Thamesarino at Yesterday's Tomorrow because of her passion for her family and her overcoming her own obstacles.
4. Willoughby from This Stop Willoughby for her passionate Friday night posts (;oD)
5. Thrasher's Wife at Forty Something and Counting for her Tieman's Fusion Coffee passion.

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