Tuesday, June 30, 2009

TWBA: A List of Favorite Books

I am so not a reader of adult books. I have tried on numerous occasions to be a reader of adult books. It just doesn't happen. So my list is going to be favorite children's books- fitting since I have a five-year-old and I'm a 2nd grade teacher, no? Ten of my favorites, in no particular order.

The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith



The Kissing Hand by Audrey Penn




The Crippled Lamb by Max Lucado



James and the Giant Peach


The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe



Time for Bed by Mem Fox


First Day Jitters by Julie Danneberg and Judith Dufour Love



The Wretched Stone by Chris VanAllsburg



The Lorax by Dr. Seuss



Skippyjon Jones by Judy Schachner




Of course, there are a zillion other winners out there. These are the ones that I swiped off the top of my head. :) Enjoy!


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Saturday, June 27, 2009

Back in the saddle.

I finally made myself sit down and do a little scrapbooking. Here are three of the layouts I finished tonight.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Foto Friday

My friend Heather is starting themed days... and I think I will use her Friday theme today. Today's photos...



Roses from Joel to celebrate our 7th anniversary on Monday.










My talkative little kid and his dog.











And my latest self portrait, picnik style. :)


Thursday, June 25, 2009

New hair!


I finally bit the bullet. I got my hair chopped. Normally I see a hairstyle I want and then decide to cut my hair. But this time, my mom gave me a gift certificate to a local salon. It took me two months to decide what I wanted to do with my hair. And, honestly, I wasn't even sure of the color when I went in. One solid color or highlights? I asked Mindi, my stylist, and she said I have enough natural variations in my hair that it'll come through the color. So I just got a color. :) I really like my hair. I'm so excited. :) Now I can do my weekly photo assignment on The Dressing Room... the self portrait. Stay tuned. :)
Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Kind-of Camping

When we go camping as a family, we usually just go to the in-laws and camp in their ginormous backyard. It's the best of both worlds-- a campfire, a tent, roasted hot dogs & smores, yet there is a real toilet and a shower, and air conditioning if you get too hot. :) That's my kind of camping! The past few times I slept inside on a bed in the a/c. And when Luke saw that I was sleeping inside, he wanted to be with me. But this time I was bound & determined to sleep in the tent. It cooled off enough by night that it was going to be fine. Then Joel started blowing up the air mattresses and one of them didn't hold air, so I volunteered to sleep inside. Luke was still pumped that he was going to sleep in a tent-- until I headed in. So, once again, Joel and his brother were the brave ones to sleep outside in the tent. Ha ha! We had a fun time cooking our hot dogs over the fire and each smores. :) I told Joel my ideal camping time is in the fall when it's nice and cool and you wear sweatshirts and sweats to bed.





Monday, June 22, 2009

{TWBA 6/21/09} Scratch, scratch, scratch...

What do I despise about summer?

MOSQUITOS!!!!!!!!!

We went camping over the weekend. And not even at a campground. It was in my in-laws backyard. And I didn't even sleep outside that night. I was inside with Luke. I managed to get 48 mosquito bites on my feet & legs. (And one of my ring finger. ha ha!) FORTY-EIGHT!!!! And they won't stop itching!!!

It's pretty sad when you use Caladryll Clear as your regular lotion for your legs. "Poor a dime-size portion into your hand and run thoroughly on your legs."

Ah, the joys of summer.

Friday, June 19, 2009

TWBA: EC {Strawberries}

I finally found my way to Shirk's Family Produce today on my way home from lunch with Grandma. Oh how I've waited for those freshly picked strawberries. While we were there, Mr. Shirk was unloading a new batch of strawberries off of his Amish buggy! Woo hoo! Perfect timing!



I bought a flat. One entire flat of strawberries. I really had no idea how many strawberries that was... it's a lot. I chopped up half of them for strawberry freezer jam.



Strawberry Freezer Jam
1 qt. strawberries
4 c. sugar
1 box Sure-Jell
3/4 c. water

Prepare containers and fruit:

Wash and rinse with boiling water and drain. Use 1 to 2 cup glass or rigid plastic containers with tight fitting lids.

Have fruit at room temperature. Wash and drain well. If using food processor, take care not to puree fruit. Use exact measure of prepared fruit; extra fruit can affect sets.

Remove caps from berries. Thoroughly crush fruit one layer at a time. Measure 2 cups into large bowl. Measure exact amount of sugar (4 cups). Add sugar to fruit and stir thoroughly. Let stand 10 minutes. Mix 3/4 cup water and contents of Sure-Jell in small saucepan.

Bring to a full boil, boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir into fruit and continue stirring for 3 minutes. (A few sugar crystals will remain.) Ladle quickly into prepared containers, filling to within 1/2 inch of tops.

Wipe spills with a clean damp cloth. Cover at once. Let stand at room temperature 24 hours. Store in freezer. Small amounts of unfrozen jam or thawed maybe covered and stored in refrigerator up to 3 weeks. Makes approximately 4 3/4 cups.

*****************
Then, I used 1/4 of what was left to make strawberry shortcake. I haven't tasted it yet-- I'm waiting for Joel to come home from a board meeting. But it LOOKS delicious. (This was Luke's portion. And, yes, he ate every last bit of it.)



Old Fashioned Strawberry Shortcake

Ingredients:

  • Biscuits:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 stick butter, chilled
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup half and half, milk, or cream
  • .
  • Filling:
  • 1 quart strawberries
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • .
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream for topping, or non-dairy whipped topping

Preparation:

Rinse the berries under cold water; drain well. Hull and slice the berries; place in a bowl. Sprinkle with the sugar; cover and let stand at room temperature for about 1 hour. Whip the cream (sweeten with 2 or 3 tablespoons of sugar, if desired) until it holds a soft peak. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Set rack at center level.

In a food processor (you can use a pastry cutter or fingertips) combine the flour, baking powder, salt and sugar and pulse to mix. Cut butter into about 8 pieces and add to the mixture. Pulse until the mixture resembles coarse meal, but with few pea-size chunks of butter left in the mixture. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and make a well in the center. With a fork stir in the cream or milk, just until dough is moist. Be very careful not to overwork. The dough doesn't have to hold together well at this point. Let the dough stand for a minute. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Fold the dough over on itself (knead) 2 or 3 times, until it is holding together and is less sticky.

Gently pat the dough into a 6 by 12-inch rectangle about 3/4-inch thick and cut into 8 (3-inch) biscuits with a floured round cutter. Transfer to a buttered foil-lined cookie sheet. Brush on a little milk or cream and sprinkle tops with some sugar, if desired. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until risen and golden brown. Remove to a platter and split each biscuit horizontally with a serrated knife. Butter the hot buscuits then top with about 1/3 cup of berry mixture. Replace the tops and top with a tablespoon or so of berries. Serve with whipped cream for topping.

Monday, June 15, 2009

TWA: A perfect summer day.

At the beginning of each week at The Dressing Room, I post "This Week's Assignment," or TWA. This week's topic: What is a perfect summer day to you?

That's what today is. It's gorgeous outside. (So why am I inside???) Sunny. 79 degrees. Warm in the sun. Cool in the shade. Soft breeze. This is how I love my summer.

Each Monday is the special program at the library. Luke and I pick up Brady and the two little five-year-olds hang out all morning together, playing with trains, reading books, and learning how to be creative. Today's theme was Being Creative in the Garden. They each got to plant a sunflower seed to bring home.

Afterwards, the boys and I have planned to come home and have lunch at our house or head to McDonald's and play in the PlayPlace. I originally going going to do the McDonald's route because, well, my house already looks like two five-year-olds had a hay day inside. :) However, it was gorgeous outside. (Have I mentioned that it was gorgeous outside?) So I emailed Sarah and mentioned having a picnic at the park. So that's what we did. The boys spent about an hour playing before they ate. Then Sarah and Hannah joined us for lunch. Then, they played for another good hour or so. Sarah and I sat under the shade of the Cottonwood trees and just chatted.

I love summer. At least summer days like this. Ask me how I love summer at the end of the week... 90s and humid! But that's another assignment.

*********************

Luke & Brady on a perfect day last May.
Friday, June 12, 2009

New forum!


My good friend Meghan just set up a new forum and we'd love for you to join us! It's a forum on making your blog pretty, photography, WAHM business, and just life in general. Come and check it out... just click here!

New pool at the Kratzer household!


Last weekend Grandma bought Luke a pool for the backyard. He couldn't wait to get it blown up (thanks, Joel!) and filled with water. He spent practically three days straight in that pool-- and it would've been long if we wouldn't have had such chilly & rainy weather! Here are a few pics of Luke enjoying himself in his new pool.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009

One of my favorite sites is having a raffle!

Enter to win some pretty cool prizes... and only $2 per ticket!

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Kristin
I'm Kristin. Married since 2002 to a super cool guy named Joel. We have a super amazing boy named Luke and a super cuddly pup named McCarthy. I'm not a very consistent blogger (at all) but I do go in spurts. I like to keep people on their edge of their seats. Ha!
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