Search me! :-) If you find it at Glass Half Full, it's all good!

Tweet Me! Tweet Me!

Follow Glass_Half_Full on Twitter

Monday, February 27, 2012

Monday Morning - a new path

Howdy! Happy Monday! I know, I'm quite sprite this morning, right?

Luckily, the first Monday back up and running after intersession didn't kick my PIE. It's been rather nice to me, actually.

So, I'm heading out into the world this morning to cut a slightly new path. Hopefully, I'll have provided all the required documents to the ISD so I can begin subbing for the kids school campuses. I'm both excited and slightly intimidated - the intimidation part is regarding my schedule. I can hardly keep up as it is sometimes. But they let you pick and choose so I guess in addition to my 30 minutes pre-dawn, I'll be checking the assignments each morning.

The extra $$ will be great; that kind of cash goes into my 'mom account'. Not meaning for me because I'm the mom in this household but actually for my mom. She's got some pressing medical issues that we need to have tended to. But as it goes, ain't nothin' in life that is free.

I'm also doing it because I can be on campus with my own kids (not that I'm not already) and I think it will even be fun; especially with the little ones.

It is March already. Can you believe it? OK, so technically we have two more days but the way my schedule works February is over. I've got library duty and field trips this week, and invitations to make and send out for 'Les's' 40th birthday/Masters Degree celebration at the end of the month.

I think I mentioned it awhile back but I did complete my writing course. However, I've put my WIP on hold for awhile. There are some changes I need to make and I'm just not ready to go there. It's like starting over - or remodeling actually - and now I get what a pressured mess that is when all my author friends go through that. I think I'll hit back on it this summer when we do our traveling. I know I love to write when I'm in the woods at my Dad's in Arkansas.

I made a reading goal at the beginning of the year on Goodreads. It's kind of over-the-top with expectation. The goal is to read 100 books this year. According to Goodreads I'm currently 8 books behind. *sigh* Go figure :-P I've got two I'm currently reading which I'm going to finish in a day or two (setting new high expectation goal). I know this because I've decided on this fine Monday (well I decided over the weekend) that I have GOT to get SERIOUS about being consistent on the treadmill. I'm just not feeling the love physically. You know?

And, after all. I am going to be 40 this year. It'd be nice to 40 and Fab as opposed to 40 and fluffy. Well, that's it for now. Time to throw breakfast in the over and wake the family for the fifth six weeks. Hope you have a happy one!


Friday, February 24, 2012

FW Creamy Potato Soup!

As most of us know, the lenten season is upon us. And, today was a windy blah day. I mentioned dinner ideas to hubby, to which fried fish was a great hit with him. But not so much me. I had a longing for hot, creamy, chunky potato soup. And to my joy, hubby agreed to eat some if I made it! [He and FJ aren't really soup eaters.]

<------ Now that's what I'm talking about!

After posting this pic on FB I had a few comments to share the recipe. The cool thing is, you really can't mess up creamy potato soup.

But here is what I did:

Step 1: Long day, pour a glass of wine. :-P [Just kidding, you can skip that step if ya' want]

I use a favorite soup/chili cooking porcelain pot. Love it.

Ingredients (and this can vary):

  • 4-5 large potatoes (depending on how much soup you are making)
  • 2 -3 cups reclaimed chicken broth (I always save the chicken broth from whenever I boil a chicken etc. The best flavor - you can use canned broth though, or water and Knorr bouillon cubes instead)
  • Veggies: some people like celery or carrot slices etc. My kids won't touch those in a soup UNLESS they can't taste them or see them. I tend to keep small containers of pre-minced or purried veggies for quick meals. I used about 4 oz minced carrots and about 4 oz of pureed yellow squash - these also help thicken your soup broth as they break down into the soup.
  • Fresh diced onion (1/3 a large purple onion)
  • Fresh pressed garlic (2-3 cloves)
  • 2 Knorr chicken boullion cubes
  • Milk or half and half (some use whole milk, 2 % is healthier but I had half and half on hand and it was wonderful - not heart healthy) :-P
  • Black Pepper; Paprika


Place the frozen chicken broth in soup pot along with, a cup of water and the frozen minced/puried veggies. Then crumble two Knorr chicken bouillon cubes into the veggie broth mix. Add the onions and garlic, and some black pepper, and let that simmer while peeling and cubing potatoes.

Peel and cubed four potatoes. I peel and finely dice the fifth potato. The diced potato cooks more quickly and disintegrates thus thickening the soup stock. After everything is bubbling nicely and the veggies are boiling well into the broth add a couple more cups of water. Don't fill the pot, because you still have to add your potatoes.

Slowly add potatoes. I add them in phases, otherwise as the flavors melt the potato cubes will become too soft and the soup won't have any 'potato chunks'. :-)

Again as half the potatoes are simmering and becoming soft they will also thicken your stock. Scoop out about half a cup of the potato broth and add about three tablespoons of half and half or milk; then with a fork whisk in two tablespoons of flour until the consistency of gravy. Make sure all flour is thoroughly mixed in. Then pour this into your actual potato soup. Stir gently; almost folding. You don't want to break down your softer potatoes.

Add more black pepper as needed (you won't need salt due to the Knorrs bouillon cubes); add in some paprika if desired.

You can repeat this as necessary until you get the creamy thickness you desire and prefer. If you are still wanting more creaminess add some more half and half or milk into the soup. Let it continue on a very low simmer or turn off for awhile to let the heat set the potatoes (my range top has a simmer setting that turns the heat off for a few minutes and then reheats for a short time - it cycles which is awesome) :-D

You can play with this anyway you want. Just remember to portion your potatoes so the flavor is infused but you still have chunks of potatoes. And, you can make it as thick or broth as you like. Just play around with it and make it your own.

TWIST: It is lent so we aren't supposed to eat meat; as in a full meal. But, for GREAT creamy potato soup it is nice to add in cooked crumbled bacon along with the potatoes.  Or, as I did. I minced some left over venison sausage for flavor and added that in. Just a couple tablespoons. It cooked down into nothing but added that extra awesomeness of flavor.

Again, play around with it and make it work for you! Also, serve hot in a mug or stew bowl and you can top with grated mixed cheeses - though it totally doesn't need it. :-D


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

FW's Great Skate-Capade!

Saturday, Lil'Gal and Farmer, Jr. were invited to a friend's roller skating party. I think this is the only remaining roller rink within several towns because there were other birthday kids from surrounding towns and areas.

The kids were excited! The dad hosting the party said he was going to skate too. Me, being the participant I am, decided if he could skate then so could and would I. Mind you, I haven't been in a pair of roller skates in a good 30 years (I know, right?) But, I wasn't half bad in the day so I thought "How hard can it be?"

In the beginning I was wobbly. I had to remind myself to watch my form (that being, don't lean back or you'll fall). The kids took off falling here and there with *kersplats* and then getting right back up to go at it again. It took me about 20 minutes but it started coming back to me. And, for an almost 40 year old I took to the rink and started making my way. I was going forward, I could spin, I could spin and skate backwards. FJ was particularly in awe of me and perturbed because he just couldn't figure out how I did that spin to a stop thing. :-D I could skate and dance. I rocked it - WTG Me!

UNTIL... The take down. Lil'Gal was hollering for me and as I spun around to a backward stop she came bolting at me at full force. She literally knocked me off my feet and into the air - skates spinning. I came down on my back and left butt cheek and then my head proceeded to bounce off the floor. Lil'Gal of course, ended up landing right on top of me.

My first thought was, "Oh cr@p. Am I going to have to go to the ER?" I was concerned about a concussion as my head was throbbing. Lil'Gal apologized profusely to which of course I explained that it was just an accident and came with the territory. I rolled myself to the exit where I had someone inspect my head. My theory was that if it wasn't bleeding then I'd survive. Of course, what to do about the pounding in my skull? Luckily, someone had some advil on hand. So I tossed that back and being the trooper I am, I rolled myself back out and onto the rink.

I skated! I had a blast! Though, age started taking over and toward the end of the skate session I could feel my butt, my back, and of course the goose egg on my head. But we finished out the session and everyone had a great time. Lil'Gal wants to have her next birthday party there.

My only regret is that two days later my neck is still extremely stiff with a whiplash feeling. I applied the heating pad last night (probably should have used ice instead for inflammation) and took my fair dose of ibuprofen. I'm wondering if I might should actually go see my doctor. But I wonder what he would say. So, I'll just tough it out a few more days.

Side Note: Hubby found a couple muscle relaxers from when he injured his rib. Half of one and I felt better last night and slept better too. I think another night like that and I'll be back in better form.

It was SO worth the fun! And, we so wanna' go back and skate again!

Happy Valentines Day!


Friday, February 10, 2012

Hip Hip Hooray because it's the little things :-)

<----------------------- I especially like this pic of the plants cheering because that is what the ground and soil and greenery around our parts have been doing the past few days.

After almost a year of no rain, it is finally getting wet around here.

Will it be enough for the crops? Let's see how much more we get. Keep it coming Mother Nature and thank you!!

So, it is FRIDAY! FWFD OTW!!!

Totally deserves to be bolded, enlarged and underlined! :-D

Today is going to be a great day even though it is a damp and brrrr-diddle cold one. For one, well, it's FRIDAY! Whoop! For two, I'm covering the library today - I feel like a kid when we used to play school only I get to play librarian in the real library. Ms. M is out at a conference and I volunteered to cover the library for the whole day so the kids could exchange their books. They need books over the weekend and next week is the last week to get AR points in for this grading period.

Now, by no means could I actually cover Ms. M's position. Librarians do SO MUCH behind the scenes that most folks aren't aware of. But, at least I can work the circulation desk and start a DVD or two when called.

Third, COOKIE BOOTH! This will be our third and last cookie booth this afternoon/evening. Wish Lil'Gal and Diva and the other girls from our troop warm thoughts and lots of successful sales!

FOURTH: [cover your ears] *SUPER-SQUEEEEEEE!!!!!* Guess what comes out at midnight?

"BREAKING DAWN PART 1" Sweeeeeeeeeet! Totally. Now, I'm not that crazy that I'd run out at midnight (probably because I'll have already passed out from a week of 4:30 mornings) and purchase my copy - no waiting in line for FW. BUT, you can bet your bananas I'll be at Walmart in the morning picking up my sweet collector copy.

And, after the skating party Lil'Gal is invited to - I'll be burning up my DVD player with the next part of the whole Edward/Bella/Jacob saga = and insert a new character = Renesme.

FIFTH, Valentines day is coming. <3 The day of love and hugs and well wishes. The kids and I are going to make cookie pops for their teachers and dip them in melted flavored chocolate/candy. That'll be our fun project on Sunday after church and CCD.

I hope YOUR FRIDAY and weekend is as full with sheer goodness as mine!

Don't forget to compliment someone and throw those smiles around!



Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Bang A Drum! - Making the grade.

Happy Tuesday!

Seems I've fallen off the blogger track the last few days. I've been busy with the usual and then throw in a couple of Girl Scout cookie booths. That's going really well BTW. I doubt we'll make it to the 85 or 125 case mark. But at this moment Lil'Gal has sold 35 cases. Man, if we could just make it to 50. [Always good to increase our goals.] :-)

So, yesterday, along with umpteen other things I worked on my spirit outfit for the Parent Involvement Conference tomorrow. This is a big deal. They actually bus participating parents in from various districts and campuses (well, at least our district does). The conference committee has speakers on several issues and then they have a general session where the teachers and parents are supposed to dress up and show their school spirit. They give out a prize and of course recognition for this.

Our teachers in charge of this for Lil'Gal's campus were really encouraging our enthusiasm for this. Apparently, one of the other districts has a hornet as their school mascot and their people came in full on hornet costumes. Wings, stripes, stinger and all. :-P

So, yesterday I made my spirit head band, and died and beaded up my spirit t-shirt and borrowed Farmer, Jrs indian drum for the event. After all, mom's have school spirit too - it is required to make the grade.

I have to say that although the first six weeks was such an overwhelming transition for us this year - waaaay more than I had mentally prepared myself for - rocking through the second semester feels like house slippers. I know what we need to get done. I know how to help my kids. I have the tools, and the time, and I'm working hard to support their effort. And, I've built the relationships with the teachers and staff. They are wonderful. They love their district, ahem, our district and they will do whatever is needed to help everyone succeed.

I'm at home in our new district. Hubby is still considering applying once more at the district that we thought was best for our kids. I'm apprehensive about that. We haven't really discussed it lately which allows me not to stress about it. His concern is that it is smaller and homier. But, having 4 six weeks and multiple hours of volunteering and personal involvement invested in our current district I disagree. It's a wonderful district by all means. But, for me I'm not looking at next year - I'm looking at eight years down the road.

Gotta make the grade here...
See, making the grade is also a numbers game. Our district we are in currently is huge. But, this provides an advantage to us. It allows our kids to shine for the effort they put in. In a smaller district where everyone is making the top ten in grades there is more competition. Competition is a good thing. But, in a smaller district what if my Lil'Gal or Farmer, Jr. turn up #11 out of the top 10. Or in the 11% up against their best friend - meaning, they don't get automatic acceptance into the college to which they have applied.

Being #11, #15 or even #18 out of a class of 200 affords them more opportunity. And, that is part of what making the grade is. Knowing the numbers. After them having spent 14 years in the education system I feel that my kids deserve full benefit and full fulfillment of the goals they are setting now. Yes, now they themselves are setting their college goals.

To  make it here.

So, tomorrow I will learn. I will dress up with my indian head band, and my beaded outfit and I will beat my little drum. Because Mom's have school spirit too! And, I wanna' make the grade.

Happy Tuesday! Bang your drum be loud dance and smile. ;-)


Saturday, February 4, 2012

Slumbering Saturday and the Big 13!

Ahhhhh. Saturday. A nice slow Saturday. I'm slumbering in it.

Last night Les and Diva came over and the kids played while me and Les enjoyed the wind and some wine. We made hamburgers and watched some Eclipse (you know, keep it fresh since Breaking Dawn Part 1 is coming out on DVD next weekend - Super Squeee!).

She and Diva headed out, I got the kids in bed and I was in bed before 10:pm. Hubby is out of town with some friends to go wade fishing. He called to tuck everyone in but we were already tucked. And, then I slept. Ahhhh, how I slept. I woke up at 5:am and thought about texting the Hubster good luck but then lazily decided to roll over and go back to sleep.

Lil'Gal woke and I heard her pouring some cereal. She then quietly closed my bedroom door. How kind. :-) I dozed as I heard the sound of the Wii starting up. The kids let me rest undisturbed. I woke lazily and crawled out of bed at 8:am. EIGHT A.M. Delightful. When I sauntered into the kitchen Lil'Gal asked, "Mom, why aren't you still sleeping?" Me, "Because I'm good Honey. Thanks kids."

I love the few Saturday mornings that come along where I don't have to worry about pressing deadlines and duties. I slumbered through the morning tending to a chore here and there and then prepared my CCD lesson. The kids have played Wii, watched a movie upstairs and basically gotten along so far. Sweet!

I'm still in my lounging pants. Me! Can you believe it?

I plan to hit the treadmill and then shower as Lil'Gal has a Girl Scout cookie booth to work this afternoon. Luckily the weather hasn't gotten nasty yet. We have another booth tomorrow after CCD and it is going to be wet and cold and blech. But we will work it with smiles.

Monday is Hubby and I's 13th wedding anniversary. 13 years of marriage and 17 years all together. When I look around me and take in my children, my home, my life - I'm thankful. The Hubster and I have built a wonderful life together. We have a wonderful family, loving extended family and dear and loyal friends.

School, volunteering, extra curricular activities, CCD, the laundry, the house and the pets - everything that keeps me typically so booked and scheduled is all part of the wonderfully full life I live.

Life... Is good.

Happy Saturday. May you be as content as I am and may your Saturday allow you some slumber.


Thursday, February 2, 2012

'A Friend Indeed' Children's book review

Book review. The other day I received an note in my email from my friend and author, Debbie Mancini-Wilson with Harmony Publications, LLC.

Included in the email was an attachment containing this book, written by Carma Lee and Illustrated by Debra Paule. This is a cute little story, written in rhyme, that reinforces the importance of friendship.

The illustrations and colors are very bright and vibrant which is what first caught my attention. It says its age range is four years through eight years, but I wondered a little about some of the vocabulary. I let my eight-year-old daughter give it a read and asked her what she thought.

"I like it." Was her response.

I also asked her if she understood the concepts. She read back through the book and relayed to me what was happening and what was the moral of each scene.

This is a lovely little book would fit well within the shelves of early education classrooms.

Thank you Debbie for sharing this little story.


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

February's full :-)


Can you believe January is gone already?

I don't know about you but my February is already booked up with lots of stuff to do and places to be.

Some big things about Feburary are:

Me and the Hubster's 13th wedding anniversary! [Though, I claim the whole 16 years we've been together. I earned it!] ;-P

Valentines Day!

My Daddy's birthday!

Hubby and I actually made plans this year to leave the youngins' with MIL and FIL and head to SA for the livestock show there. We are even going to catch a concert *GASP* I know right? Me, veering from my strict and color coded calendar and routine.

It worked out great though. Because the youngins' will be on intersession so no worries about homework, tests, and extra curricular events to attend.

The only downside to going out of town is that we will be in a hotel room together. Meaning, I can't escape the snore factor. Truly - this is a down side for me. I'm really weird about my sleep. But, it'll be worth it to spend some only semi-schedule time together. We need it.

I'm a stickler about routine and it takes a lot to get me to break from it. But that is just me and how I work. Still pretty bad when the Hubby has to make an appointment (an often penciled in).

 Anyhow, I see light at the end of the tunnel for this six weeks. And, fingers crossed everyone is holding their grades really well. Lil'Gal has 100s and 99s of course, with a high B floating in. Farmer, Jr. is holding but he has two low Bs that have me on pins and needles for the next two and a half weeks. I'm waiting for that unexpected major grade to catch me/him off guard.

But otherwise, February is lined out quite nicely. All labeled and coded in green, pink, orange, blue, another blue, yellow, red, purple - well you get the point. I *heart* my iCal and my iCloud.

Happy Hump Day! As I always say, 'Put some DIGGITY in it!'