Sunday, May 23, 2010

Food makeover

Shrimp Lo Mein

This was tonights food makeover winner! The girls loved the shrimp and no complaints about being hungry at bedtime tonight. I got it from We edited a few ingredients. Basically because we couldn't find them at the store or I was tired of chopping :) Neither Nate or I had ever bought a whole head of cabbage...interesting. We have determined that WE NEED A WOK!


  • 1 pound fresh or frozen peeled and deveined medium shrimp
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon cooking oil
  • 2 stalks celery, thinly bias-sliced (1 cup)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage
  • 2 cups fresh pea pods, strings removed, or one 6-ounce package frozen pea pods, thawed
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded (1/2 cup)
  • 4 ounces dried Chinese egg noodles or linguine, cooked and drained
  • 2 green onions, sliced (1/4 cup)
  • Carrot flowers (optional)


  1. Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Cut shrimp in half lengthwise. Set aside.
  2. For sauce, in a small bowl stir together water, soy sauce, and cornstarch. Set aside.
  3. Pour cooking oil into a wok or 12-inch skillet. (Add more oil as necessary during cooking.) Preheat over medium-high heat. Stir-fry celery and chopped onion in hot oil for 2 minutes. Add cabbage, fresh pea pods (if using), and carrot; stir-fry for 1 to 2 minutes more or until vegetables are crisp-tender. Remove vegetables from the wok.
  4. Add half of the shrimp to the hot wok. Stir-fry for 2 to 3 minutes or until shrimp turn opaque. Remove shrimp from the wok. Repeat with remaining shrimp. Return all shrimp to the wok. Push shrimp from the center of the wok.
  5. Stir sauce. Add sauce to the center of the wok. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Return cooked vegetables to the wok. Add hot cooked noodles or linguine, green onions, and thawed frozen pea pods (if using). Toss all ingredients together to coat with sauce. Cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes more or until heated through. Serve immediately. Garnish with carrot flowers, if desired. Makes 4 servings.
  6. Make-Ahead Tip: Prepare vegetables; cover and chill up to 4 hours before cooking.

Saturday, May 8, 2010


I can't help but wish, on Saturdays, that time would last like it did in childhood. Remember that, when an hour seemed like five! Think of the good times we would have! Instead, it is usually filled with trying to pack all extra house chores, extra curricular activities, and extra home projects into one short day.
I tried not to feel the pressure, self inflicted, to get every to do list done today. I dragged out of bed at eight when Ava was calling. Nate dragged quicker and got her up, dressed and a cup of milk before my eyes even decrusted. Then off to the store he went. Came home with my grocery list done and three gifts purchased at Kohl's. whoa! That should have taken care of his goals for the day.
Then he, yes, he made breakfast....eggs and toast and bacon and coffee. That was nice. I think I was piddling around looking at house plans and... well, probably telling the girls to get dressed.
Got a little more laundry started before taking the girls to weekly swim lessons at eleven. Those went smooth today. Even in the locker room:)
I made a quick trip to Kohl's again before the power shopping hours were over and stopped by HD for some soaker hoses for the garden. The garden I was planting today. Was. Now Monday. I even found the tp I needed at HD! We need a lot around here.
The girls found some giant worms in the front garden.

They got their money out to buy from the ice cream truck they had heard. It never came back by. How sad for them. Nate and I finished moving our four tons of rock to usable places other than the driveway.

I had determined we would be done working by four o'clock today. Then, we were getting dinner and a family movie. By five forty we were at Papa Murphy's getting our pizza. Not bad. We rented Alvin and the Chipmunks II. Apparently, Naomi, and her friends play this on the play ground. The girls enjoyed it. Even Ava was dancing and eating a huge piece of crust from one of her sisters. She tried to stuff it in the VCR first though :) When they got in bed, they were asleep in about 6 minutes! Nate and I watched a show called State of Play. It was good. One of those mystery, thinker, suspense kind. Relaxing family movie night was good.

To help me feel accomplished, earlier, I made cinnamon rolls and drum roll.....labels for my flour and sugar containers! That makes me happy!

On to more weeks. Thanks for reading this one week of our lives.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Friday in Pictures!

More breakfast.
Ava is playing and I am making a grocery list.
We took Naomi to school, then headed to the Y. It was work out with Emily day. We worked hard, but I was laughing later because we don't stop talking until we are parting ways. Friendship is great!
Went to Target. It. Was. WINDY! Stel was not happy with me when we got home. I told her she had to wait till after lunch for the pudding she just bought. As a result, she cried her gum into her hair.
They Mayo trick. Worked like a charm.
Cut some flowers for a bouquet to brighten our house up.
Ava practicing smelling flowers.
The girls and I went outside to play with the new bubbles and sidewalk chalk. Ava was real upset that we wouldn't let her use the bubble wand. Worked an ency bit in the vegetable garden. Oh, yes, it was continued laundry day. So, I had started some before the early drive to school and I put some away before the afternoon pick up. Still some left, as always.
Ava was happy today!
Naomi gave me flowers and a personally made card for mother's day. It is so sweet to have some of her artwork just for me :) After super we all played out front.
Naomi and Daddy.
This picture reminds me of my pictures as a little girl.
Ginormous peony bloom.
Naomi drawing.
To end the night, Nate let us sit in the back of the pick up and watch the sun go down.
Fridays are good.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Thursday in our weeklong adventure

Slept super hard last night. Got up and the back aches were gone, but the sore throat was worse. Good thing a little medicine helps that! This did solidify the decision to turn the air conditioner on. I think these ear infections Ava and I keep getting are all from allergies. After a shower everything feels better anyway.
Here are the lovely faces I wake up with every morning.
Naomi sleeping beauty of the top bunk.
Stella sleeping beauty of the bottom bunk.
Rise and smile Ava.
My older girls alarm has been going off for thirty minutes and they still look like this :) It is playing happy music and not beeping. That must be easier to sleep to?
Today was bring your teacher flowers day. It was the absolute cutest thing watching all the kids run (very carefully) in to school with flowers for their teacher! You could tell they were all excited.
This is Naomi's arrangement we made together before school from flowers out of our garden. It has some peonies, salvia (which is stinky), a red rose, and for good smell a pink rose and some lavender greenery. I must say, I liked it a lot! It is the first arrangement I have ever made from our garden. So excited that the plants have finally reached that point!
Stella, Ava and I did some more drive by garage saleing (not a real word, I know) on our way to the nursery. It was winnnndy at the nursery. We picked up some vegetables to plant. A variety of peppers, tomatoes, and squash, plus a little glow in the dark stick that we thought was cool.
Thursdays are laundry day. I brought clothes up to fold and put away...they are still there, neither folded or put away. Did wash a couple of loads too. Did do some dishes. The sink is clean! It is really either or for me when it comes to dishes and laundry. Would like to break that somehow. Any ideas?
Planted some plants my Sis had sent me from her garden with Stella.
Here she is with her dirt. Notice the "gardening" glove.
BTW my sister, Resa, is where I got the idea to blog one week of our lives. Her blog is entertaining and has a WIDE variety of topics. Resa's Pieces Just check it out.
Decided it was time to rest for me. Got Stel set up to watch some shows and Ava was still asleep. Went to my room and started reading my BSF notes, of course Stel needed more food and her video reran. Her screaming woke Ava. I got her some milk and stuck some books in her bed. Went back to my bed. Stayed there too long, but sleep alluded me.
Never really got going after that. Nate came home and took Naomi out on a date. They didn't bring me any ice cream:( Naomi reminded me that it isn't good for me:) Fixed stir fry for dinner. It was good, but it is too hot to eat, even with the air on!
All three girls played out back with Nate and I am hoping to wrap this day up and get to bed!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010


Naomi Beauty at Breakfast
Around here we had rice chex or rice krispies with bananas and blueberries on it, toast with jam, milk or coffee and water for breakfast. Got Ava fed good and early this morning. Just in case she wanted to replay the last two days again. Totally restocked my emergency trunk bag before I left. I added several burp cloths to the stash and made sure each girl had a fresh, comfortable outfit in it. Made lunch and snacks for us all and grabbed some fruit for Naomi's teacher gift today on the way out the door. Stella needed the snack in the car. Apparently all that breakfast wasn't enough! We had a nice uneventful drive to school. AAAHHH!
As soon as I kissed Naomi goodbye, we headed to Bible Study Fellowship. Stella was looking forward to seeing Lily there today. It is a refreshing time to study the word and see some good friends at the same time. Two hours away from my kids would normally seem an eternity, but not there. The child care is so great and truly loving my kiddos and teaching them about scriptural truths. I am so thankful for those women and their service.
We did a couple of garage sale drive bys. They were not worth getting out :( Ava fell asleep in mid bite of her peanut butter and jelly while driving to meet Nate for lunch. Stella got her wish and we ate our lunches in the church playground area. She swung and climbed, while pointing out that Naomi would be scared, but not her! She is a daring little girl!
The second we got home, Stel was knocking on the neighbors door. No answer and she was sad. Us girls read some books. Then I rocked Ava a little. Oh, I wish I could have stayed there all day. A baby cuddled on your chest is just the best feeling ever! Stel and I read some more. She recited the nursery rhymes she knew to me. She loves to get each word down and know just what it means.
Then I planted my entire vegetable garden! Not really, just wish I did. I thought maybe I was getting sick, so stayed indoors and browsed my rose catalog ( and studied Acts 8 for small group. Then went to Sonic to cure whatever was getting me down. Got a route 44 lime aide. It didn't cure it. I don't even drink pop anymore. And this one did disappoint. But the girls were happy with the drinks I got them.
Waiting for Naomi in the car.

Could you read the orneriness in her face?
We got home from school and I was sure I was not feeling well. Back ache and sore throat, no fever though. Nate cooked eggs and bacon for supper. We all went to small group any way. That is our couples Bible study group. It was good to discuss what I had studied earlier. There were great monster cookies too. Alas, they did not cure me either, but I did try:) Hopefully not contagious. Ya know how ambiguous that can be.
Watched Nate put the girls to bed, while I ordered "Barbie Fairytopia: Magic of the Rainbow" and Boom Chicka Trio from the book order form. The first title is for Naomi. It is the end of her first year. She deserves a fluff book like that, don't ya think? I was thinking Stel could memorize the others and learn her numbers and letters.
No pictures today. Stella took 47 yesterday, ie the one with my apple in my mouth. It was the best one, really! The rest were of pictures on the computer, the ceiling, a Narnia sticker, and dirty chairs of mine. Oh, wait, I did take a pic of Ava...I will download.

Hope it is not a sick day tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Well, today was supposed to be my running errands/get my hair done day. But, Ava repeated her upchucking on the way to school, poor girl. We pulled over and cleaned her up. I had almost left this morning with out an extra outfit, but thankfully remembered before leaving the drive! Naomi was a bit late, but she wasn't bothered. Just glad to get out of the car, I think!
After that, I rescheduled my hair appointment and ran by the bank real fast then home we went. (well, I guess, I did drive by some homes for sale in the neighborhood, looking for a friend...i might be a bad mommy) I now only had half a cup of milk left in the whole house. Wasn't sure if Stel Bel would survive the day without it!
Ava wanted to eat! What? I gave her a few pretzels, her favorite snack, and half a banana. Hoping that wouldn't come back up, I let her play on the wood floor. She and Stella caught a little Elmo together. Then some puzzles and stuffed animals and she was ready for a nap.
I finally found my camera cord. In the TV cord drawer! It is a new place for cords, so it took me a long time to realize that it could be there. Actually, that is Nate's department and I don't think I had ever even looked in that drawer.
Stella was busy finger painting. Putting water in her finger paint. Right after I said not to. That was the end of that.
I was working on laundry here and there. Almost got a terrible stain out of one of my shirts! Remembered NOT to dry it and reapplied stain stick. Huge accomplishment for me! Was also replaying yesterday by washing the car seat again:) Ava helped. BTW she felt fine the rest of the day and ate like a horse, for her.
Stella and I went out to plant the day lilies I had dug up three weeks ago and some seeds that I found cleaning my paper stash out. If either of them live, it will be just grand. They have not received any TLC. The ground was super hard clay. No hose would reach, I decided before trying to drag one over, so I watered, a little, with a pitcher. Now that about killed me so no work on the veggie garden today.

Canceled my out and about plans and had a great time riding bikes to the park with the whole family. I did huff and puff up Memphis hill on the way home. Felt kinda weeny, because Nate had the trail-a-bike and the trailer on his. He way beat me home! Baths for the girls and Nate went to the grocery store to get milk and such while I am writing this:) Oh, poor Nate, he just came in the door and had forgot his wallet! He will be right back.

Here are a couple of pictures of my garden that get a little TLC. My Joseph's Coat rose, which is my absolute favorite. It changes color as it blooms.

And my little girl garden. We got this group of Stella, Naomi, and Ava at Easter time. Were looking for fairies, but didn't find any cute small ones...I like the girls better. Hoping to grow a garden for them. Right now there are some pansies planted around them.

Have a wonderful day!

Our weekend day Monday

Monday is like another Saturday to us here at the Hart household. Nate takes it off and it is such a delight to get up in the morning with him and take care of the girls. Our Monday tradition is to go to Squeak's Donut shop before dropping Naomi off at school. First we had bananas and milk and of course made coffee for Nate and I. Ava wasn't eating much so I rewarmed her milk and gave it to her in the car. Got out of the house on time and on our way to Squeak's. Poor Ava finished her milk and then upchucked it all over her and her seat. Just a little on Naomi and she was good to deal with it. That meant pulling over and thank goodness I still had an extra out fit for her in the trunk bag. Got her changed while Nate cleaned the car seat and put a diaper on the wet spot. Ava seemed fine. We all got donuts and even got one for Naomi's teacher. (it is teacher appreciation week) Dropped Naomi off at school.
We had a few minutes before taking Ava to her Dr appointment. Drove by a house that some friends have made an offer on. It is super cute! I hope they get it.
Off to the Dr.'s. Ava cried as soon as she saw the nurse. She definitely remembers her shots! I know I am going to be waiting a while when the nurse says "The Dr will be in, in a little while to see you." Turns out someone was being taken by ambulance to the we waited for some time. Ava was good, no infection, just a little fluid on one ear that will soon drain hopefully. She is having allergies, like mine. Nose running all the time. Starts the instant she hits the door. We are trying allergy meds. I really hate giving her medicine all the time, but also don't want her to suffer with ear problems and snot ALL the time. The poor girl seems to always have something that is just not quite right.
Done at the Dr. at ten fifteen and I was to be at the YMCA at ten thirty. Was not going to meet that! At home, took the yucky car seat out, put socks and shoes on, explained where to dig up the grass to Nater and made it by ten fifty. Did one mile on some sort of machine, push ups, sit ups and stretching. How is Emily getting me to do this much exercise, I don't know!
Got home and wasn't feeling like all the yard work I had to do. Used all my energy at the Y! So, lunch was made and served, cleaned the car seat, researched new car seats and some books for summer learning with the girls at our house. Ordered some books.
The dump truck came with four tons of rocks.
Stella loved watching them get dumped. Here she is with her worms for the day.
Ava helping Daddy!

Nate started hauling them to the area he had just dug up. He was working REALLY HARD! I hope he like the results as much as I do.
As soon as Mia got home from Walmart, Stella was over there living it up until three thirty! They did come to our yard for a quick jump on the trampoline and a short swing. But Stella likes having time in a different house, so they quickly returned to Mia's.
I relaid my soaker hose. I had been resisting doing it, cause it feels like work :) And the dirt gets on me. Did some reading with Ava. Got Stella cleaned up for the All Daughters Banquet at Cheney Baptist Church while Nate went to get Naomi. Encouraged Naomi to clean up for it and stop playing in the rocks. Discussed with Nate our shortage of milk. Which seems to be a pressing issue about every other day! Decided we could last till I went to the store tomorrow. He went to get his other mode of transportation from the church, his bike. Out the door when he got home, with pjs in tow for the girls. These banquets are always two hours long.
Stella with Grandma Patty. We were glad to get to honor her at the banquet.
Naomi with her Grandma Patty. They both look stunning!

While the older girls and I had a good time talking about heaven and the best is yet to come, Nate stayed home with Ava. He said she pushed her bike back and forth on the sidewalk while he finished rock moving. Then played in the back yard while he added some vermiculite to my garden soil. He had also finished my garden gate earlier with the supplies I got at the big HD. (Home Depot) The big news of the evening was that Ava was repeating Nate's words. Moo, hi and other animal sounds were on the list! Yeah! She likes practicing with her Daddy. And Nate is feeling more connected to her after being her provider for three days while I went on a girls weekend two weeks ago.
The girls were asleep when we got home. So glad I made it safely. I am not a strong night driver! I was wondering on the way home how I was going to cope when I was a lot older. Will I be one of those ladies that won't drive at night? I hope not!
Chilled with Nate on the sofa watching Castle and The Office. It was the bat episode. Michael Scott is soooo frustratingly dumb! I am still up in the air if I like watching it or not.
Anyway, blah, blah, blah...this will be more fun with pictures...I will now go find the download cord before posting this:)
God's blessings for your day!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

A Week in the everyday life of the Harts

Not sure if this will interest any of you, but it may be entertaining to write! Here goes the beginning of the week.
Today I started the day by "waking up" to kiss my hubby good bye at maybe 5:30ish. I quickly fell back asleep while he went off to church. My second wake up was around seven. I got a quick update on the computer and was quickly lost searching random AI stuff. Stella joined me around eight. So up we got to get around and have breakfast, because her, I and Ava were starving! Naomi slept in till nine. Yeah! That girl needs more sleep.
After breakfast I encouraged them to get dressed quickly so that they could play outside in the beautiful weather before church. Naomi obliged and was ready to play. I don't usually call a tank top and knit pants church clothes, but didn't want to fight it today. Plus, she looked super comfy. Stella was still wandering around not getting dressed, just getting into trouble. It took her till about 10:30 to get it all done.
We started doing a little house blessing or chores, whatever you want to call it :) Stella got the trash duty and Naomi sent her laundry down the chute. We all love the laundry chute! I had the big cleaning job, because I was hosting BUNCO tonight. Of course, I want all to be perfect for that! Well, I would like it perfect always, so this was a good excuse to try. I really do enjoy deep cleaning.
The older girls were doing crafts and finding bugs outside till time for church. Ava wandered around by herself a little, while I cleaned. She looked at some books and played on the keyboard most of the time. I think I am remembering a getting into the toilet water somewhere in there too? Yes, yes and she ate some pink marker that I couldn't get off her hands and mouth and nose for church. I'm telling you, I scrubbed that stuff and it wasn't coming off!
Off to church we went. Got there right on time for the older girls to hurry off to super church and Ava to play in nursery. Great sermon as always and the best worship around!
Went to Jason's Deli for lunch afterwards and was happily surprised by the month of May special. 99 cent kids meals on Saturday and Sunday with the purchase of an adult meal. Woo Hoo! We couldn't have eaten cheaper at McD's. I got a great new wrap with hummus on it. Yummo.
After waiting for all to finish their ice cream we all came home. Even Nate. He helped clean by taking out the trash and bonus, washing all the trash cans. Then back to church he went.
When we got home from church the girls found a May day basket on our door. They were super excited. It had a super strange poem on it. Something about three whites, bathing and monkeys. If it is from you, fess up in the comments so we can know what that means. I loved the origami flowers in it and the girls loved the candy! Who knew you were to put candy in May day baskets? Oh well, I got my chocolate craving answered :)
Stella was glad Nate was gone because I had said when Daddy left they could see if the neighbor girl could play outside with them. So, they went over and played inside her house and had a delightful little snack there. I did a quick check to make sure that was all right and came back to setting up. Totally leaving the dishes for last. They are my unfavorite lately.
Four thirty came and I went to wrestle the girls away from the neighbors. (last week Stella was trying to trade mommies with Mia, the neighbor girl) Took them back to church for Daddy to take care of. Saw some friends that I wanted to catch up with so I chatted for a few minutes.
Drove home to finish the dishes and prepare drinks for BUNCO. Was so glad to get it done to make it peaceful and nice for BUNCO. Even made coffee, which I thought no one would drink. But they did! Cut one of my Joseph's Coat roses for the high table too. Won $20 bucks tonight for having the most wins! Yeah! Last month I got the most losses and won $3.75. Got to chat with the girls about gardening, vacations and just have some good laughs. It was great!
Finished putting the girls to bed after BUNCO. Read books with Ava. Trying to read the same books to her everyday. To see if she will learn the animals and do the signs or make their noises. She doesn't sign or talk much. As yet, she has "mooo"ed once, panted like a dog once, and tried to sign kitty. Oh, and she will "quack, quack" occasionally. She does giggle a lot at me and the animal pictures.
Stella and Naomi were hungry. Got them bananas. Turned the lights off and said no talking. Stella fell asleep and Naomi came out with bad dreams about "The Princess and the Frog"! I knew we should have not watched that movie! Next time I will follow my instinct. Needless to say, this is not the first time we have dealt with bad dreams about that show. After much whining about the camera not working for her to look at her pictures, I sent her to bed with a book to read until she falls asleep.
Nate was across the street with Neighbor Dave, as we call him around here fixing my air conditioning!!!! It is now good to freeze us out of the car. No more girls crying that there backs are sweaty when I am trying to garage sale :)
I am about ready for bed and it sounds like it is going to storm tonight. Hope my ferns and other plants make it through.
Will post pics tomorrow. I cannot find the cord for downloading. Apparently, the house isn't perfect :)