Nothing like life to interrupt your plans…

I’ve been quiet on here the last few days because life was having a go-round with my dear hubby (I’ll just refer to him as DH). I got up a few days ago to get the kids off on their first day of school & as soon as they were out the door, DH approaches me looking like he’s about to hurl, three shades of white, with legs as wobbly as a new foal. Now, I don’t know about your DH’s, but mine redefines the word STUBBORN when it comes to Dr’s and hospitals. He can’t stand them, he won’t go to them without an act of Congress or an act of war on my part. On this particular morning however, I knew we were in a whole ‘nother level of “sick” when I mentioned taking him to the doctor and he replied he thought he needed to head to the ER instead. He’d evidently been up all night dry heaving and writhing in pain in the living room on the couch so he didn’t wake the rest of the family up the night before the kids’ first day back at school. Now, I appreciate the thought of that, truly I do… HOWEVER… discretion being the better part of valor, if you are writhing in pain with dry heaves, nausea, and you generally think you are dying, MOST people wake up their spouses or significant others before 6 hours have passed. (I’m just sayin’.)

Being the good wife I am, I spared him that particular lecture until after we came home from the hospital 8 loooooooong hours and multipllllllllle tests later. First they thought it was his kidneys. Nope. Then they tested his liver. Nope. Then they heard Michael & I talking about him eating popcorn while he played Skyrim and how he hadn’t had anything to eat since then… The dr & the nurse whipped their heads, shared a look of a thousand words & promptly BET that it was Diverticulitis. For those of you who don’t know what that is, in layman’s terms according to his dr: it’s an infection in your intestinal wall where it’s gotten stretched out & food that your body can’t process (like popcorn) gets trapped and it causes an abscess and infection and just generally eff’s you ALLLLLLL up. Nasty hmm? Our biggest worry was that the infection had gotten so bad the dr was worried the abscessed area might burst & that would mean immediate surgery to repair the intestine and that would mean a good solid month in the hospital at the least. NONE of this was what either DH, myself, or the dr wanted to happen, so 4 IV doses of antibiotics, 4 IV bags of saline fluids, and umpteen doses of dilaudid later while they monitored his progress, tested & retested his blood, they finally write a mini-book of prescriptions for DH to take home with him, and send him on his merry way to sleep and rest at home now that they had a course of treatment and thought they had him stabilized and recovering somewhat.

Ohhhhh that it should be so simple and end there. Nope, my renewal lesson in “in sickness and in health, to death do you part” wasn’t quite over yet… DH then spent the next three days horizontal, passed out like the dead alternated with short grumpy-grizzly spells. He likes to think he was up & about, but that never lasted more than 10-15 minutes at a time until tonight when he finally drug his still sicky booty into work.  Let me tell ya, taking care of a sick man is like taking care of a hurt wild animal. They are cranky, liable to snap at you, pace and grumble at their weakness & are just generally better off with minimal contact until they decide to rejoin the land of the living.  DH isn’t back to his normal self by a long shot yet, but we’ll all be REALLY glad when he is.  🙂  It’s hard seeing a tough guy so sick. Messes with ya. Here’s hoping & praying he gets to feeling better soon…

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*EASY* Crockpot Chicken Stew

EASY CROCKPOT CHICKEN STEW:

I wanted something warm, hearty, and soothing on the tummy for dinner the other night, and thought about making stew, but wasn’t in the mood for beef or pork, so I decided to try & come up with a chicken stew recipe on the fly via the crockpot (It was a Tuesday: Scout night for our family, which meant I had no time to cook unless it’s done ahead of time… dear God I love my crockpot on Tuesday nights!)

What I ended up with made my eyes literally close in delight and my family RAVED about it, sooooo onto the blog it goes!  🙂

Ingredients:

6-8 red potatoes, chopped

4 c. fingerling carrots

1 can corn, strained

6-8 chicken breast tenderloins (I threw mine in frozen)

1 can cream chicken soup

1 can cream mushroom soup

2 cans water (use the ones from the soup)

1 tablespoon garlic & herb Mrs Dash

1 tablespoon garlic salt

1 tablespoon pepper

Directions:

  1. Put potatoes, corn and carrots in bottom of crockpot.
  2. Dump out soup mixes onto veggies, pour in 2 cans water.
  3. Add all seasonings.
  4. Mix it all up.
  5. Push chicken tenderloins down into veggies, set crockpot to cook for 4-6 hrs.
  6. Stir about halfway through the cook time to make sure all potatoes are getting cooked nicely.ENJOY!

Ice Cream on par with Stone Cold…

homemade ice cream with fresh blackberries

I got this… stone cold. (sorry, couldn’t resist) 😛

My family loves ice cream. When I say that, I don’t just mean in the normal context of “I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream”.  I mean: my family are ice cream snobs of the first order, extremely picky, and would (if I let them) consume gross and vast quantities of ice cream daily. Lucky for their waistlines I don’t let that happen, but I do think ice cream now & then on a hot summer day can be THE BOMB, especially when it’s homemade & you’ve poured a little labor & love into it & top it with fresh fruit.

Knowing this, my family bought me an ice cream/sorbet & gelato machine for my birthday this year. (Personally I think that was their very sly and wicked way to bribe me to make ice cream. LOL)  The box said “Frosty frozen treats in 20 minutes!” Between you & I, I am going to call a big fat, whopping, hurking load of B.S. to THAT nonsense right here & now. Not ONE recipe in the book the machine maker provided offered a recipe that could be ready in 20 minutes. NOT ONE. Yeah, I was a tad irritated by that. LOL!

Sooooo, fine! I will play their silly little game and test out the new machine with one of the recipes in the book. Only, by now, you are starting to realize I never really cook recipes exactly as they as written, so I’m giving you the instructions of how I made it, not how it was written originally. HAHAHAHA!  😛  Now, it should be noted here that the prep time was about 5 minutes, the cooking time (yes, you read that right: cooking time – it’s a frozen treat, there should be no cooking required my stubborn brain insists!) anyways, that was about 20 minutes, the mixture had to then cool in the fridge for about two hours. Then I FINALLY, FINALLY! got to add the mixture to the canister I’d prepped in the deep freezer the prior 24 hours. The machine did it’s work in about 35-40 minutes, and then the whole batch had to “ripen” in the freezer for another 2 hours.  I don’t know if you’re keeping track here, but from the moment I opened my box with the intention of making ice cream to the moment we all actually got to roll our eyes in heavenly oblivion, a whopping 27 hours had passed. Let me just say by the time I closed my lips around that spoon I was ready to swear off making ice cream recipes that required cooking for all time. That is, until my taste buds actually came in contact with the ice cream we actually made. I will still search for other no-cook ice cream recipes, or maybe even simpler ones to try in the machine so we don’t have to wait 27 hours for a batch of pure decadence, but for the days we feel like taking a side trip floating on clouds of decadence and supreme taste-bud heaven, I will be making the following ice cream recipe:

Be warned: this is not waistline friendly, but damn it’s good. SO good, that my younger son Garrett said it rivals Stone Cold ice cream. Yeah. You read that right.  Enjoy!

2 c. Whole Milk

2 c. Heavy Cream

1 c. Granulated Sugar (divided in half)

1 pinch salt

1 whole Vanilla Bean, halved & seeds scraped

5 large Egg Yolks (no whites)

1 1/2 tspns pure Vanilla Extract

  1. In a medium saucepan set over medium-low heat, whisk together the milk, cream, half of the sugar, salt and the scraped vanilla bean (including the pod). Bring the mixture just to a boil.
  2. While the milk/cream mixture is heating, combine the yolks and remaining sugar in a medium bowl. Using a hand mixer on low speed (or a whisk), beat until mixture is pale and thick.
  3. Once the milk/cream mixture has come to a slight boil, whisk about 1/3 of the hot mixture into the yolk/sugar mixture. Add another 1/3 of the mixture, then return the combined mixture to the saucepan. Using a wooden spoon, stire the mixture constantly over the low heat until it thickens slightly and coats the back of the spoon. This mixture must NOT boil or the yolks will overcook – the process should only take a few minutes.
  4. Remove from heat, discard the vanilla pod and bring to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cover and refrigerate 1-2 hours until completely cool.
  5. Turn on your ice cream maker, pour the mixture in, and let mix until thickened per your machine’s instructions.*  The ice cream will have a soft, creamy texture. If a firmer consistency is desired, transfer the ice cream to an airtight container and place in your freezer for at least 2 hours to allow the ice cream to “ripen” and firm up. * I wanted to note here that my machine’s instructions indicated it should be at this point by 20 minutes… it wasn’t. It took more like 35 minutes to reach that ultra-dreamy phase. You’re looking for soft-serve ice cream consistency (or firmer) BEFORE you pop it in the freezer.
  6. Wait. Wait some more. This is the hard part. Wait some more.
  7. SERVE! (add fresh berries if you have them or any other treat you like)

Happy Birthday to MEEEEEEEE! :)

MJ’s got three games she is cheering at tomorrow at the Jamboree. What better way to spend your birthday than with your kids and having fun? 🙂

Getting ready to spend the day playing with my kidlets at the Jamboree at Aloha High School tomorrow.   Li’l Bit is cheering for three games, Cody is helping at the Rock Climbing wall, Garrett is helping at the Bounce House & the Dunk Tank & I’ll be selling tickets & wristbands to all the fun!  It doesn’t take a lot to make me happy… time with those I love is the number one gift I want most years for my birthday.  😀

Reservations are set for summer @ Camp Kern 2013 in California!

I can’t even *begin* to tell you how excited I am about the upcoming summer camps planned!  This coming year, we are spending a week on Huntington Lake in California at the EPIC Camp Kern!!! The boys voted two weeks ago and reservations have been set for summer 2013! Our boys do a three year rotation of summer camps. One year locally in council, the second year somewhere in the WESTERN U.S., and the third year is a NATIONAL camp. Summer 2014 is one you don’t want to miss the voting for, because right now for the National trip is including places like SEA-BASE in Florida, Campbell River Alaska area, and the US Virgin Islands. Uhm… I don’t know about you, but I am ok with ANY of those options!!!

Now… how are we going to PAY for this you ask? GOOD QUESTION, and to that I say: WE GOT THIS!!! Our troop has been blessed with being able to man/attend/run a parking lot that corners up to the local FARMER’S MARKET. Each Saturday we have customers that pay $5 to park their car in our private lot right next to the market. We have a GREAT time doing it, and our boys make money to pay for summer camp and other activities throughout the year.  🙂  National trips take a bit more financing, which is why we plan 2 years ahead for those trips, and boys save up funds for those.

I am adding a link to a video on you-tube about Camp Kern… I hope you enjoy it, and if you’re interested in joining us, we meet every Tuesday at 7pm at Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton. We love seeing new faces & meeting new people, stop by & see us when you get a chance! 🙂

http://vimeo.com/35486483  This is the video to check out Camp Kern!  :)

When canoeing, it’s critical to know how to get back in the boat…

This July, our troop spent 7 days at Timothy Lake, Oregon. This is a most beloved annual campout our troop makes (this was the 24th anniversary!) teaching canoeing, personal watercraft, and boating skills and techniques. Once the boys have learned basic stroke skills for paddling, the very first lesson/drill we teach is how to “right” the canoe once you’ve tipped it… for arguements sake we’re going to assume you did that accidently unless you’re playing TORPEDO, and then all bets are off.  😉 Our scouts have canoed to Little Crater Lake, around Timothy to see the abundant wildlife, across the bay to pick huckleberries & competed in water-based scout olympics.

One of the hallmark moments of this year’s trip was the 10 mile hike that was done… now 10 miles may not sound like a lot to you, and it may sound like A LOT to others, but for some of the guys in this trek, it was… well, transforming. Michael hadn’t been on a hike of any major length since he’d ruptured his achilles a few years back so this was a MAJOR test-run for him. Some of the boys had never been on a wilderness hike more than 1/2 mile or so… needless to say, that all changed, there was some character building that occurred, only one blister was started (let’s take the opportunity to teach about using Mole-Skin!), some pretty sights were seen, and the best part of the hike was when one young man who truly didn’t know if he was going to be able to make it, got to the flag arch just outside camp at the end of the hike and whispered, “YES!!! I DID IT!” and did a little fist pump, a-la-Tiger Woods style… After all, isn’t that what these outings are really all about in different ways? Giving yourself opportunities to try new things, accomplish things you truly don’t know if you can do (but having the guts to try anyhow), and then being so thrilled with yourself when you achieve what you had only hoped to do?  THAT is why I am a scout leader. I believe in hope, I believe in daring yourself to try new things, and I believe in building self-confidence through experience.

If outings like this sound like fun, come see us on a Tuesday night at Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton Oregon at 7pm! We love seeing new faces & meeting new people.

Summer Camp: Camp Pupukea, Hawaii

Raising the flag in the morning, lowering it at night and being given the tremendous honor of being allowed to sleep overnight on the USS Arizona on Independence Day was an amazing gift our scouts will treasure forever!

Let me ask you this… Of ALL the places you’ve thought of going to summer camp, have you ever thought of going to Hawaii?  Well WE DID, and after two years of planning & fundraising, our troop went to summer camp at Camp Pupukea in Hawaii and it was a BLAST! Our boys were given the incredibly special honor of doing the morning and evening flag cermonies at the USS Arizona Memorial, and then they were given the incredible opportunity to sleep overnight there, making amazing and special memories our scouts & leaders will carry with them for a lifetime.

Lest you think the fun all stopped there, they spent the week exploring the volcanoes, rainforests, beaches, spent time snorkeling, scuba diving, and sea kayaking as well. One of their favorite encounters with wildlife was quite literally *almost* tripping (accidently) over a whole group of sea turtles who had come to shore to lay their eggs. This was something boys and leaders who were there will tell you about with a soft voice, almost reverently recounting…

While rock hopping at the beach, be careful you don’t accidently hop onto a sea turtle instead! 🙂 This whole group had come ashore to lay their eggs!

This coming summer (2013) we are planning on spending a week at CAMP KERN in the Sierra Nevada mountains at Huntington Lake sailing, scuba diving, zip lining, riding horses, canoeing, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing & more… STAY TUNED FOR DETAILS, or better yet, coem to a troop meeting any Tuesday night at 7pm at Fir Grove Elementary School in Beaverton, Oregon. We love meeting new people & seeing new faces, so come see us soon!  🙂

Are you a Screaming Eagle or are you ready?

Rik & Hunter… two of our newest Eagle Scouts! 🙂

No one knows more than a new Eagle Scout how great it feels to finally have accomplished something you have worked so hard for, and put so much time into… Some of those, we refer to as “Screaming Eagles” as they get distracted for one reason or another (I think it’s the fumes.. the car fumes, the perfumes, etc… that interfere) and then they come racing & flying in trying to beat the “18th birthday deadline”. Throughout all this, and despite any boy’s particular circumstances, one thing remains the same: It is an incredibly important, special and memorable day when their friends and family gather around them to congratulate them on a JOB WELL DONE!

Meet Miss Mykayla… aka MJ or Li’l Bit


Sometimes, when we least expect it, God blesses us incredibly. Such is the case with Mykayla. I love this little girl more than the sun, moon, stars and the universe… even more than chocolate.  🙂  She is one of the best things to happen in my life, partly because she reminds me daily that there are people in the world with pure hearts who simply can’t wrap their heads around some of the atrocities of life, and those people can’t help but encourage everyone around them to be better, to be more, to be the best possible YOU that you have inside you. My little miss loves to hang tough & rough-house with the boys, go shooting (yep, you read that right!), ride horses and quads, and then turn around, get gussied up, go do her cheerleading & ‘get her girl on’ in pretty dresses & jewelry.  🙂

Hello world!

This is the boy part of my zoo crew… my girlies deserve their own introduction. 🙂

OA Ordeal at Camp Baldwin; one of the most special weekends of my life. Cody & I earned Brotherhood & we welcomed Michael & Garrett as new Arrowmen!

Welcome to my new blog with experiences, recipes & lessons learned from the sometimes (ok, often-times) zany life of a scout mama. Both my boys are Boy Scouts, my youngest daughter is a Girl Scout, and life can get pretty fast paced at times, but boy, we sure have fun trying to make sure we set the pace ourselves & take time to stop and smell the flowers, eat the cooking, and enjoy the views along the way as we explore this gorgeous country. Come on by, cop a squat with us and giggle over our “sparkly” moments, cheer us on in our triumphant ones, and enjoy the views along with us as I’ll be sharing pics of our various adventures as well…