Think Beyond The Specialty Aisle

It never ceases to amaze me how much food that teenagers go through. I say “go through” rather than “eat” because I feel like they waste a lot of it. Not sure if it’s because they always leave the dang chip bag open or if they just get sick of eating so much of the same thing all of the time. I don’t know one person that enjoys stale chips, potato, corn, or otherwise. I also think that normal average appetites could not eat an entire half gallon of ice cream and want to eat the second half gallon before it becomes freezer burnt! There could be another reason too… bagels aren’t as appealing without cream cheese, turkey sandwiches need bread, and cereal generally needs some sort of liquid, milk or otherwise so that the roof of your mouth isn’t in sheer pain the following day. If either one of those things runs out before the other… well, you get where I am going with that. Which brings me to my next point. Not sure if you noticed, but teenagers generally and conveniently do not “like” leftovers. I think it was a couple years ago, after realizing that our weekly household budget takes a $400.00 ding… EVERY SINGLE week, I decided I would need to become an expert in “new dinner”. It’s  not leftovers, just “new dinner” made from leftovers. I have a small disclosure here before I go any further. I admit that I am not a very good cook. I actually used to have a food blog, but I only created it because I was always so annoyed when I would receive so many texts from kids all afternoon (while I was trying to wing it in the kitchen) and they were always wanting to know what was for supper… hence the blog title, Supper Is Ready.  I have never been good at following a recipe and having it turn out perfectly the same every time. Besides, who ever has everything they need in their pantry all of the time, especially having grazing teens around? No disrespect to The Pioneer Woman as I am one of her biggest fans. She posted a lovely pic of her fully stocked pantry on her blog yesterday and I couldn’t help but think how super unrealistic it was, at least for me! Needless to say, I have gotten really good at taking what I have on hand, using up things that are otherwise going to go to waste, and calling it dinner! It’s always different, it’s always delicious, and has ultimately shaved about $150.00 off my weekly food budget!

My oldest daughter, Allison made a fancy, authentic, Mexican dish on Monday, which was delish by the way! She went to the grocery store and spent about $30 on its “special ingredients”, you know the kind of “special ingredients” that The Pioneer Woman keeps as “basics”. To be honest, I don’t even know where you would look for these things at the grocery store. Needless to say, there was about 1 1/2 Cups of some “red sauce” left that she spent most of the day simmering after she spent forever chopping and blending different things for. There was 3/4 bag of tostada shells which were ironically stale… hmm, go figure, and a partial bag of frozen chicken. The cilantro was wilting, and one out of the three limes was hard as a rock, so you know they were well on their way to the compost pile. Here’s what I did, I made lasagne! Well, lasagne with a twist that is! I added jarred mild salsa to Allison’s “red sauce” to stretch it farther. I used the stale tostada shells as the “noodles” and created layers with all that, the cooked chicken and grated cheddar cheese. I even topped it  with the zest of lime and lovely cilantro. Baked it at 350 for 1/2 hour.

Next time you think of throwing food in the trash, think beyond the specialty aisle of your local grocery store. It will really pay off and maybe your hungry teens won’t realize they actually just ate leftovers!

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Actually, my pantry is kind of a disaster compared to the #pioneerwoman

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Intentions and Expectations

Stepping Off The Pedestal

I created this blog for you! I invite everyone to post your everyday issues and comment on mine without any expectations of feeling good about what you have done today, or any other day.  After all, if you posted your daily accomplishments on FaceBook or told your sister, neighbor or best friend that you were supermom/super wife today and did an art project with your toddlers, accomplished 4 loads of laundry, prepared dinner already and its only 2 p.m! That would be a great thing to feel good about, for sure!  However, we need to start feeling good about accomplishing these things simply because we love feeling pride for ourselves.  These everyday accomplishments define part of who we are. I mean, come on! Did you truly do all of that laundry to make your best friend jealous because she didn’t have as much energy or love for her family…

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20 Weeks!!

I have to admit that I have really been looking forward to updating everyone! Kylie and Lopez had their 20 week ultrasound yesterday, lucky for me, I was wrong about thinking they were having a girl, and it’s a boy!!!! I can’t be right about everything after all!

With all of the trouble during her pregnancy early on, we’ve all been on pins and needles waiting for this ultrasound. I am relieved to report that upon close inspection, baby “Adrian Michael Lopez” seems to be perfectly happy and healthy! Hands down, the best Christmas gift ever!

Kylie has been remarkably better, despite a few headaches, a few meltdowns (bless Lopez!), and she is still taking her formula via tube feedings at night. She tests her blood once a week and we express ship it to the OSHU Lab in Portland where they test her phenylalanine level. The results since her feeding tube has been placed have been within the normal limits.

The next 20 weeks to go should be a breeze. Maybe they all can relax a little and finally enjoy the milestones of their little family-to-be!

 

Merry Christmas To Rome

Yes! The fact That I paid $10 for a bone for a dog I really don’t enjoy(ok, maybe a tiny) proves something that will be helpful to understanding this story!

First off… I do not understand why someone would deprive their child of anything that could enrich his life, besides selfishness. A Father that wants to be part of his child’s life and taking responsibility is rare, in my opinion. Secondly, what happens when that same father was taken advantage of at 16…. and she is still doing it two years later? As a foster parent, our family has always supported biological relationships even when it didn’t seem like the right thing to do in our hearts. Here is the thing though, it’s not about our hearts, it’s about the child. In my son in law’s case, If it was truly about the child… Lopez, himself was also a child. He was taken advantage of by his baby’s mother. He was 16 and she was 22 when their son was conceived! I seriously can’t be the only person on the planet that sees the injustice or criminality of this. The fact is, this is rape no matter how you spin it. If I were Lopez’s parent, she would be charged, if not for any other reason, but to have some small justice for her son. Normally I would think that separating a baby from his mother might not be in the best interests of her child, but in this case it truly is because she also has a previous conviction of injury to her other child (public record). 


Lopez’s attorney counseled him to seek his own paternity test to submit to the court, before he had to put in for a court order just to save some money on the baby’s mother’s end of things. It’s not officially court ordered at this point, but needed. Keep in mind, he is suing his baby’s mother for full custody. #itwouldhavebeenhelpfultoknow that one can simply purchase a paternity kit at a pharmacy for around $20 plus an $80 lab fee. What is so crazy? I am a former healthcare provider that worked in a lab. I am also spearheading a paternal rights campaign for my son in law and I sincerely had no idea that one could buy a paternity kit at Walgreens and have the report back in less than 2 days! If not for any other reason but piece of mind!
It’s been 70 days since Lopez has seen his son, because his baby’s mother is… well, selfish. If you think I am being harsh, guess what she said to submitting her son, “voluntarily” to a paternity test?
Yikes! Lopez’s baby hasn’t seen his father in 70 of the most important, informative days in his life, his baby’s mother should care about that! feel bad for her son, I feel bad for Lopez, I feel really bad for her, whom happens to be the one standing on that horribly wobbly, unstable pedestal. Wobbly indeed, only one probation violation could blow her right over all because she has effectively built this on the back of her very own son, and his father!

Thank you for letting me get that off my chest! Ok, I will admit, the $10 bone had nothing to do with this, Merry Christmas & enjoy your bone, Rome!

I

Ahh… The Christmas Letter

Seasons Greetings! We hope this letter finds you happy and healthy!

I am going to be honest, I have really been putting this annual Christmas letter writing off this year. For one thing, so many things going on with the kids seemed to be constantly up in the air and while waiting for a resolution to report on, it occurred to me that I might be waiting forever! For another thing, most everyone has a good idea of The Idaho McCarthy Family Happenings because I blog about them 3 times per week! 
In memory of my late Grandma Renken, who actually thought the world was ending the one year I decided to skip sending a card, well… here goes…
I will start with me, my life is a whirlwind of consumption. Consumed with kids, consumed with life, but trying so hard to let go of the grammar errors,because, quite frankly, they don’t really matter and that makes me happy!
Shane is working a lot. He is looking forward to taking a week off over the holiday and spending some good quality time with the family!
Josh and Allison made a go at their retail store, “Bonnie’s Boutique”. There was a series of events that made them shut the doors a couple of months ago. I wasn’t as sad as they were, because I missed them living so far away! They moved into the tiny house in our backyard. Josh is working full time and Allison is a full time college student once again. 
Kylie was married in October to Juan Jose Lopez, Jr. (Most call him “Junior”, but we call him “Lopez” because we already have one of those!) They live in the “apartment” above our garage, which I love because they are always so close! Lopez has a baby from a previous relationship that they are fighting for custody of, and he and Kylie are expecting a baby early May. For the record, I think it’s a girl!
Isaac is going to be 15 next month. Hard to believe my little 4 pound preemie is taller than me now… I am really not that short! We are running out of excuses why he can’t get his license until he is 30, but we will see what the future holds in that regard.
Sage just turned 13. She is in the depths of the “tween stage” for sure. A near fatal accident involving one of her besties last year allowed her some very rare “tween insight” when she was able to realize what is important in life. We all did! 
Edward (Junior) is 7 years old, missing some teeth up front, but instead of asking Santa for his 2 front teeth, he told me last night that he really wants a scooter. 
Aliyah just turned 6. She is in full day Kindergarten this year. It was bitter sweet. She asked me the other day when  she could go to the gym with me again. I do miss her while she is at school. For so long, it was just me and Aliyah!
Ahh, the gift of the Christmas letter… It’s definitely hard to appreciate all of the growth in the family, simply because we see them every single day. This letter has allowed me to do just that! 
Merry Christmas to all!
Project:
I will print my Christmas letter and tuck it inside these vintage Christmas cards which I bought on EBay and mail them out to all of my friends and family. They will not only receive the gift of a blast from the past, but stay on top of all the current events going on in the family too! 

Allison’s Two Children

My oldest daughter, Allison moved back home, and I say moved back when I actually mean that she moved into the tiny house in my back yard, along with her long time boyfriend, their giant Mastiff, and their very teeny tiny Pomeranian. It’s been 2 months since their lives temporarily fell apart due to two crazies from a certain Idaho town known specifically for crazies. Who knew? They were able to recover some of their belongings thanks to the local PD arresting one of the ranting crazies for… well, being crazy! and they have seemed to have put the whole horrifying experience behind them and are moving on. It’s never easy starting over and downsizing as much as they had to in order to fit their family into the tiny house in my back yard, which they lovingly call home now. Back to the dogs that they call children/fur babies/spoiled rotten puppies. (Ok, that last one was me!) After Kylie re-homed her dog, Sox when she was so sick a few months ago and in July, we had to put our 15 year old family Shih-Tzu down, I was pleased, relieved, and super excited to have no dogs to care for once again, because let’s face it, your kids get them, but we all know who ends up taking care of them! I never realized how much work they were until they were all gone! Before I could even eliminate the family job position of “pooper scooper”, Allison was back and along came Rome, the Mastiff who forgets he isn’t a person, forgets to close his mouth, so giant buckets of slobber does not pour out, forgets that when he takes a seat on the couch, he will need to take in account that he will need more room than most people, and forgets that the wag of his tail can take out a small child. Then, there is Lacy, a snooty little Pomeranian who thinks the world is HER muse, not the other way around, who is a master escape artist, she can get under any fence or gate, only to freak everyone out while she out-runs any dog catcher on the planet… only to end up at my front door wondering why no one has let her in yet! She is a real piece of work. I spent all day Monday vacuuming dog hair from my couches, mopping drool off my floors, and I knew it was time to put my foot down before I got the crazies too! NEW RULE: The dogs needed to stay out in their tiny house or in the backyard. At the beginning of the cleaning rampage, I was hot with livid fury, as the rain poured down and continued, I imagined that giant dog and pretentious,”I am too good for this tiny house” Lacy cooped up and I felt kind of bad. Then their parents let them out, and I have to tell ya, it was hard watching their sad, pathetic faces at my back door, while it continued to pour down rain, regardless of their perfectly lovely dog house. The next morning, I had a change of heart, maybe just let them in occasionally was my first thought. That would be fair, was my second thought, so in they came and Lacy immediately threw up on my rug. Needless to say, I don’t feel bad for their sad little needy faces at my back door anymore, but I think I have finally accepted the simple fact that “some kids give you grand babies while some kids give you dogs that they call grand babies”~AM