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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

JUNIOR HIGH'dome: Entering the transition

Yeah. So we are heading there now. Me and Farmer, Jr. Junior high. Today was the field trip for 5th grade to the Junior High so the students could get a tour of the campus and also a presentation by the Junior High students about what clubs are available and what 'Junior High' life is like.

Farmer, Jr. only half way interested. Me, getting anxious, excited, paranoid? Yes, all the above. A wee bit "WTH are we in for?" Yeah, that too. MY BABY!! MY BABIES!! (I know all these kids and they look so small and young to be on a Junior High campus... sweet peaches, I just want to cuddle them!)

The principal gave a great speech. Although, I didn't find it quite as inspiring as I would have thunk but rather a slight bit - um, intimidating... I thought that speech would be saved for the first day of school.

It is so different from when I was a kid. Farmer, Jr. and I are a team though and we break into each new year together with all of its challenges and cool stuff too. By the time Lil'Gal comes along I've got it down. Which is good. Because she doesn't like change and transition either. And, she has separation anxiety. (I'll let you know what year she kicks me to the curb). :-P

So, I am preparing as much as him to endeavor onto a new campus and get to know new staff come July.

I will say, Farmer, Jr. has a good little group of friends. At lunch we got a table together because, well, at Junior High you can sit wherever you want. ;-) A bonus for growing and maturing. You also get a whole lot more food choices and a way better snack bar. The boys commended the food; this is what they are most looking forward to. :-P FJ went and grabbed a couple friends and one or two might have grabbed him to sit at our table. Most of the boys are in Safety Patrol with him which means they were selected from 4th grade for exhibiting excellence in behavior and academics. (These are the type of boys I'll let over to my house with him).

At the 'assembly' the Junior Highers' shared about various clubs. Band, Choir, NHS, Cheerleading (obviously NOT his thing but Lil'Gal will probably jump all over that one - pun intended), Yearbook, Swim Team, etc. I would mentioned to FJ, 'Hey, you might like that?" Him, shrug. Me, "What about that???" Him, shrug. Me, "What about THIS one?" Him, "I don't want to do anything that makes me stay after school." Okay. Well, there'ya'go. LOL! I guess extra curricular will stay with hunting, fishing and 4-H. FINE with ME!

The campus. I need to sign in as a guest and introduce myself to Ms. S, the librarian there so I can meander around the campus to find my way around. With 13 5th grade classes and a quick tour I couldn't figure out which way was up and down. Do I really have to know? YES.

One of my bestest friends is a teacher, Ms. Les, and she asked me recently, "How long are you going to follow them around until you let them out on their own?" Or something like that. She meant it well.

Me, "Copter, copter, copter..." A) Farmer, Jr. needs me to on a certain level; dysgraphia is something that doesn't just apply to ELA. It affects him in every course. Notes, testing, etc. So I have to be aware of what is going on in the classroom to be sure he is getting the accommodations needed (and, of course, ONLY what is needed). B) Lil'Gal still wants me around. My being on campus provides her with confidence. C) I know the kids. ALL the kids and they know me. They like me. My kids will grow up with them. I will know who and what and when to help my children make good social choices should they ask my opinion. D) I have friends with children in the same age range who don't have the opportunity to be up there all the time. I'm their eyes and ears when I see things going one way or the other, I can hug their kids or high five them and help them when they seem to be falling astray. D) I LIKE it. One day my kids are going to thank me for all that I do and have done and for the fabulous opportunity that they had with my being 'around'. Helping in school. Knowing the staff. 

It all pays off in the end. Think of me as the mom Sandra Bullock played in "The Blindside". (If only I was as good looking as her). Yeah. She's all cool and put together. She's a super mom. Yeah, THAT's ME. 

So while somewhat intimidated by all the changing of classes and hoping FJ can keep all his stuff organized, I'm almost getting kinda-sorta-maybe ready to help my first born grow up a little more. Ya' know. In a few months. After summer. 


Saturday, April 27, 2013

Farmer*sWife's Easy Muffin Tin Apple Pies

So I made these today. For the CCD bake sale tomorrow for their project to help children in between foster placement. (Yes, I had to brag about the kids again.)

Anyhow, these are so easy. I just kinda' made them up. We had apples, I wanted to sell something different, we had brown sugar and biscuits... TADA!

The before pic after I've assembled them:

The pic when they are toasty and done:

Plated to cool and be wrapped for the bake sale tomorrow! YES, we tried one. My brother said I should exhibit a pic of one cut in half but we only had one left and it was eaten before a camera or phone could be clicked :-P

Here is what we did (so simple) and remember to make it your own:

3 apples, two pink ladies and one granny smith (the best pies are made from the most flavorful apples)

Half an orange (I added this because we had some that needed to be eaten, and the citrus is good for the apples)

1/2 a stick of melted butter

brown sugar (I didn't measure; 1/2 - 1 cup; I did mine in batches so that is why no measurement)

About 3 tablespoons of flour

All spice and cinnamon to your liking

Canned biscuits (not jumbo or flaky although I think flaky might work really well)


Peel and dice the apples into mini cubes like about 1/4 inch or smaller. Mix up melted butter, brown sugar and spices. Add in apples and mix. Squeeze the orange juice over the apple mixture and mix well.

On a floured surface roll out canned biscuits, one at a time. Roll it out until about 3 inches in diameter.
Place rolled out biscuit in one of the (bakers sprayed or non stick sprayed) cups on a muffin pan. Lightly tuck the middle into the muffin cup. Fill the cup with apple pie filling.

Fold the edges of the biscuit in a flower style over the apple pie filling.

Repeat for the rest of the biscuits and pie filling.

Melt additional butter and brush on the tops of each muffin apple pie. Be generous but don't drown them. Then put in 400 degree oven for about ten minutes. Check them. Pull them out and check the bottoms as well as the tops. They will be unset and tender so be careful not to break through the bottoms.

You might want to brush with butter once more (I did) and put back in a watched oven for another couple of minutes. They will still need to cool to set up after done baking (when crust is tender brown on bottom and top).

Let sit about ten minutes and then place on a plate or other dish. SERVE. ICE CREAM WOULD BE NICE!!

It is so much easier than it sounds and they are fantastic!!

Happy Saturday and happy baking!!


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Farmer*s Wife Fish Stir Fry! EASY PEASY!!

As posted on Facebook yesterday, I am posting the Fish Stir Fry recipe I made up yesterday evening to spice up the seafood and veggies in this house! It came out fantastic!!

You can find several online via google and pinterest but my family won't do teriyaki sauce or most other asian sauces. So, I improvised (although the kids hate the veggies anyhow so I broiled their portion of the fish).


So, we usually have fish on hand since Farmer, Jr. and Hubby fish a lot and I always keep frozen vegetable mixes and frozen stir fry mixes on hand because - well - I love steamed veggies.

My recipe.

Fresh fish/frozen fresh fish/fish you can find depending on what is available in your area.

We prefer trout, flounder or tilapia if we have to catch it or purchase fish. (I prefer steak-ier fish as well like salmon, tuna, and shark but my family does not).

I cut the fish into cubes a little under 1" squares. Then I used a minimal amount of olive oil (just enough to keep it from sticking to the pan) and I dusted the fish cubes with our homemade fish fry recipe.

Fish fry mix:

1 part flour
2 parts corn meal
Seasoning of your choice (we use Tony Chachere's)

Place fish in pan with oil warm/hot and powdered with your cornmeal mix. Stir until mostly cooked and a crispy texture. Then remove into another dish.

In the same pan, add frozen vegetables. Whatever stir fry veggies you like. Sometimes when I stir fry I even add fresh veggies that we get from my Fabo FIL's garden. Squash and the like. Use whatever YOU LIKE.

I use spray butter because it has minimal sodium and little to no calories. The fresh frozen stir fry mixes have their own water. So I stir them around and season according to my family's liking until pretty much cooked through.

Obviously, I like a lot of yellow squash and broccoli. Once this is done I add the fish back in. To finish cooking it (and warm it of course) and get it all yummy with the veggies.

And here it is! (Up above) Click for a larger view. It was SOOOO good. Hubby raved over it and I even had it again for brunch today.

Oh, and don't forget. Only if you want to. I did make some lightly seasoned rice to serve it over/with. The rice I did in my rice cooker my Daddy got me YEARS ago to which I am eternally great-ful for.

I used a pat or two of butter, two measures of rice, two measures of water and a chicken (knorr's) bouillon cube and some ground black pepper. But you can use any type of rice you like!

It was yum. And easy! *patting self on back*

Happy cooking!