Monday, March 31, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

It's another super crazy week in our household! The start of baseball season adds another crunch for time to our already busy schedule! We moved to the country for a simpler, still waiting for that to happen!

Monday: Chicken fettucine alfredo, salad, garlic bread.
Tuesday: Enchilada casserole. Working day for me so this will go in the crockpot the night before.
Wednesday: Tacos and pintos.
Thursday: Baked penne and salad.
Friday: Homemade pizzas.
Saturday: Hot dogs and tots. Doug has a wedding, I have a class I have to take for work and Kyle has a game! Pray for us!
Sunday: Beef stew and cornbread.



Sunday, March 30, 2008

Cloth napkins

I came across some of my vintage cloth napkins today. I collected these treasures from yard and estate sales but never used them much because I wanted to "save" them for a special occasion. Who am I kidding? We hardly ever have dinner parties or special luncheons, so I thought I would get a few out to use this next week. I put them in a cute little basket on the edge of the counter and hopefully I'll remember to use them!

Who knows, maybe I can get the boys to start using their napkins and stop wiping their mouths on their sleeves!

Divine Mercy Sunday

Eternal Father, I offer you the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your dearly beloved son, Our Lord Jesus Christ. In atonement for our sins and for those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world.

Read more here: Divine Mercy Sunday

Friday, March 28, 2008

Let's see what's growing in the garden!

Our family garden is coming along really great! All the seeds that were planted have germinated and are surviving the wind coming off the field (in another 4 weeks, the hay will be a nice wind shield!)
The corn has sprouted up nicely. I double planted each spot in case of some of the seeds didn't germinate...they ALL germinated! Now I have to pluck out one of my babies so the other one can thrive :-(

There was also the surprise of a little baby bell pepper growing! I had seen the flower bloom, but thought the plant was too young to actually produce anything!

My fruit trees seem to be happy, too! I thought it would be years before we'd see any apples, but this morning I found a beautiful deep pink blossom (with two more to come!) We still might not get any apples, but the flower show will be really nice!

And here is our ever faithful fig tree. It seemed to have popped out all those leaves overnight! Sonya, if you're reading this, you're going to have to come down this summer and help me make strawberry/fig preserves!

...and yes, that's Shorty's behind you see there in the picture! He was busy chasing the birds out of the yard this morning!

Thursday, March 27, 2008

First thrifting of spring!

Found this great platter at the thrift store today. It's hand painted and extremely heavy (and was only three bucks!) When I was checking out, the lady said, "Oh what a pretty tray! With a little touching up it will be perfect!" I'm thinking, touch up? Who the heck would want to do that?

I also got some awesome baskets for .75 cents. Nice big sturdy baskets for books and garden tools.
....Now to get geared up for garage/estate sale season!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Spring Scrapbooking!

I spent the evening digitally scrapbooking our Easter fun. I downloaded a FREE spring kit HERE.
I really prefer digi-scrapping to traditional scrapbooking. First of all, it can all be done for free by downloading different kits online. Second, it took me less than 30 minutes to do these three pages. Third, I can get them printed for less than two bucks a page! I'm all about simple, quick and cheap!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter!

Have a blessed Easter season!
Prayers and good wishes from the Creamer family

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

My husband RAWKS!

I have been having a little difficulty sleeping so my dear husband got me this:

It is a SOOPA-FABULOUS pregnancy pillow! It came while I was at work, by the time I got home the boys had totally broken it in. I can not wait to snuggle up in my nest tonight...although, I may need to beat a kid or two out of it first!

Lots of folks emailed and asked where they could get it, so I'm posting the link HERE
You can do a search on for "pregnancy pillows" and will find TONS listed!
BTW, it really is an awesome sleeping on a cloud!

Monday, March 17, 2008


All day long we've had 30-40 mph winds in advance of a storm front that's coming through tomorrow. I had just stepped outside to go into the garage when I heard a loud SNAP! I looked up and watched (it seemed like slow motion!) this huge tree branch falling towards our house! Thank God and all of our Guardian Angels that the limb missed our home by about two feet!

John Paul and Danny thought it was "super cool" and asked if we could leave it there and make a club house out of it. I told him the homeowners association would NOT think it was "super cool," so we called a local tree guy to cut it up and haul it away.

We'll be thanking God tonight for sparing us and our home!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

Simple meals planned this week! We will be steadily busy with ball practices, CAP, CCE classes, and evening Masses for Holy Week...still, dinners together as a family are very important to me!

Monday: Corned Beef and Cabbage. It's St. Patrick's day so you've got to have traditional Irish fare! Unfortunately, I won't be having any green beer this year!
Tuesday: Ruben Sandwiches. Will use left overs to make these wonderful sammies. Will toast them with provalone cheese because no one here likes them with sauerkraut but me!
Wednesday: Taco night!
Thursday: Beef Stew with homemade bread. Will put in the crock so it will be ready when we come home from Holy Thursday Mass.
Friday: Quick and Easy Vegetarian Stuffed Peppers
Saturday: Grilled Pork Chops with Mashed Potatoes
Sunday: Easter dinner at Doug's parents home. Will bring deserts and homemade rolls.

Danny has been licking Smurfs again...

Saturday, March 15, 2008

It's planting time!

We had some EMT students on our unit last week, one of which was a farmer. We had just two patients so after I got them settled, I pulled out my gardening books. The student noticed and we started talking about gardening and the like. He told me that you MUST plant this Saturday, the 15th, because the "moon will be just right for planting." Well, who am I to argue (and actually I'll take ANY excuse to start planting right away!) so I did it! I got up bright and early, had my garden plan in hand, and set to work!
My black plastic covered rows have warmed the soil considerably. The soil is moist and crumbly and ready for seeds!

In a week and a half, each of these holes will have a little plant sprouting up. It never ceases to amaze me that putting a small seed an inch into the ground can give us food to eat! God is truly amazing and good!
...but I'll tell you what's not so good, my seed trays were sitting on the windowsill ledge when the boys were horsing around. My tomato and pepper tray got knocked off and ruined, I was literally sick! Thankfully, the local nursery had plenty of varieties in stock. So I'm cheating a bit this year and using store bought plants!

Also bought at the nursery were some of our favorite herbs. I planted a ton of cilantro, rosemary and sweet basil in my wooden barrel on the back porch:

So I've got everything planted, here's what we're growing this year:
Sweet corn - two varieties
Squash - two varieties
Cucumbers for pickles
Cucumbers - two varieties
Green Beans
Peppers - four varieties
Tomatoes - three varieties
Cantaloupe - two varieties
Watermelon - two varieties

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Tennis anyone?

The two oldest boys have recently discovered tennis. They've been out at the neighborhood court everyday for the past week. Ryan is a real student of the game, thinking out strategies and working on his "top-spin." Kyle is still a baseball player at heart, thinking the only way to win is just to simply whack the crap out of the ball! It's a lot of fun to watch them court side, just as long as you are on the OTHER side of the fence~

John Paul doesn't care for tennis and would much rather spend his time at the creek digging for worms, and catching frogs and turtles....and oh yeah, playing in the pond scum!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Meet the newest Creamer!

That's right, we're pregnant with baby #5! He or she is due October 21st. We're very happy and honored that God would entrust us with another soul!
John Paul just knows that this one is a little girl, before you laugh, he knew Danny would be a boy before I even knew I was pregnant!
Here is his expression when we told the kids:

God is good, and we are so thankful for His abundant blessings!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Menu Plan Monday

This is another wicked hectic week! This week's meals are all easy no-brainers that require minimal effort and time.
Monday: Taco Night!
Tuesday: Spaghetti and Meatballs. Working this day so meatballs will go into the crock with sauce and cook all day.
Wednesday: BBQ Sandwiches and corn on the cob. Everything is precooked and in the freezer, it will just be a matter of warming up.
Thursday: Beef Quesadillas and Mexican rice.
Friday:Easy Quiche Very easy indeed! Our favorite version of this is to omit the broccoli and ham in the given recipe and replace with one box of frozen chopped spinach (thawed and squeezed dry!) and cheddar cheese. Served with fruit salad.
Saturday: Pork roast and vegetables.
Sunday: Grilled steaks and baked potatoes. I think it's high time for Doug to fire up the grill! I might throw on some extra chicken for meals next week!

Out in the garden...

I have definitely got spring fever! Today we spent getting everything ready for the plantings and seeds to go in. The rows are hoed and black plastic covers everything. I'm waiting another week for the soil to get good and warm and moist, plus, it's another week or so until our last frost date!

My seedlings have been enjoying days sitting in a sunny window. Today was very overcast and they really had to crane their necks to get a good dose of light!

Our strawberries are beginning to take root, another week and they'll be ready to hang out by the barn.

Our fig tree is even waking up from it's winter sleep. Beautiful leaves are budding everywhere!

Speaking of trees, I got a lemon, orange and self pollinating apple tree last week. Just as soon as I got them in the ground, we had two nights of freezing temps and wind. I hope they were not too traumatized and will hopefully bounce back with the warmer temps expected next week!

We had a small patch tilled for a sunflower garden for the kids. John Paul and Daniel are planting four varieties of sunflowers. Some of these should reach up to 12ft. high (and hopefully will deter the birds away from my garden!)

And isn't this beautiful? It's the beginnings of my compost pile! I've been fussing at the kids all week not to throw away their banana peels and apple cores...they think their mom is psycho!

I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas! Spring can't get here soon enough!

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Just John!

Doug was testing out a new lens he bought and made John Paul pose for pics. He really didn't want to, but he placated his dad for a brief moment!

He also presented me with this sweet picture:

It's of Doug and me on our wedding day...kissing! This one definitely gets a frame and a place on the wall!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

There's no need to fear...

...John Paul is here!
John Paul has developed an obsession with Under Dog since seeing the old cartoons on YouTube (thanks Doug!) We even rented the movie for him and he just loves it! He was being really quiet today and Doug peeked outside and saw this:

As you can see, he tied a blue blanket around himself for a cape, and you can just barely see the inked in mustache he drew on himself to pose as Under Dog's alter ego, Shoeshine Boy. I just hope that washes off in time for Mass!

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Very busy day!

Lots to do today in the Creamer household! Doug started off bright and early by meeting a client and signing a wedding. I'm so proud of him! His business has really taken off - Thanks be to God! We had a quick lunch and the off to run several errands. We stopped by the local Catholic church to cast our vote in the primary election. Look who greeted us as we walked in to the polling location:

I had to say a prayer as I was filling in my ballot that God would continue to bless our country and give us good and holy leaders...
Ryan got a picture of me voting...and then got busted for bringing a camera into a voting place!

As soon as we got home, I had enough time to shovel some food into the kiddos as Kyle had his first baseball team practice tonight! He is so excited about this season, and he has really improved his game since last year. I can't wait to see him get out there and play! No pictures of him though, he was mortified that I brought a camera and threatened to disown me if I even pointed the camera his way!
I can tell you that JP and Danny were less than thrilled to have to sit through a two hour practice! Here's John Paul eating (and spitting!) sunflower seeds, and little Danny playing ninja with a stick he found!

Doug made a mad dash to Sugarland to meet with another potential client. We are both wiped out...only to start the whole thing over again tomorrow!

Homemade Bagels

No need to spend your money on expensive store bought bagels, just make your own at home! These home-baked bagels are crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and great with cream cheese or butter! As you'll see, they are very simple to make!

1 1/2 cups warm water
2 tablespoons dry yeast
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon salt
4 1/4 cups bread flour
8 cups of water, for boiling
1 egg white, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon water

Additionally, you can add one of the following:
cinnamon and/or raisins
poppy seeds
onions or garlic
sesame seeds

The bagels in this tutorial were made with whole wheat graham flour (substituted one cup of the white for wheat) and a few tablespoons of wheat germ.


1. In a small bowl, mix yeast, sugar and warm water together and let stand 10 minutes until foamy. If using instant yeast, you may skip this step.

2. Mix 2 cups of flour with the salt in a large bowl; then add the yeast mixture. Stir until combined and slowly mix in the rest of the flour.

3. Knead dough on a floured surface for 5-8 minutes, adding additional flour if necessary. Dough should be fairly smooth and somewhat firm. Place dough in a greased bowl, cover and let rise until double. I find that putting the bowl in your oven with the oven light on is the perfect environment to let yeast breads rise!

4. Punch dough down (if making cinnamon raisin bagels, add the cinnamon and raisins now -- knead just enough to swirl the cinnamon through the dough). Divide and shape into 12 balls. (For larger bagels, make only 8 balls.) Allow to rest for 5 minutes.

5. Bring 2 quarts of water to boil. Make a hole in each ball of dough and pull open about 2 inches, making a bagel shape. Place the shaped dough onto a cookie sheet and cover for 10 minutes.

6. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Drop 2 or 3 bagels at a time into the boiling water for about a minute, turn and cook for another minute.

7. Drain cooked bagels on a wire rack. Mix egg white and water; brush tops with egg white mixture and top with optional toppings, if using. Place bagels on greased baking sheets,
brushing the bagels with egg, after they've drained.

8. Bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes, turning once half-way through baking. (If making plain bagels, you can flip the bagels; otherwise, just rotate.) Bagels will be lightly browned and shiny.

You've GOT to try this recipe! We just love these bagels...and the house smells sooo good right now!