Saturday, May 28, 2016

Taco Salad.

I posted a picture of my taco salad on Instagram the other day and was asked how I make it.
It's so nice and easy.
The only difficult thing is remembering to buy all the ingredients.

I use Iceberg lettuce and cut it with a big knife.  I like smallish pieces.
So I make fat shredded lettuce.

1 pound of ground beef.
1 packet Taco mix.
(follow directions on packet)

Shredded cheese.  I bought the Mexican mixture this time.

Tomatoes or Salsa.

Black Olives.

Avocado if they have a ripe one at the store....They did not have ripe avocado so I bought Wholly Guacamole.  It worked great.

Sour cream.

Tostitos or Fritos or Doritos. (As much as you like crumbled on top)
Sometimes the chips are crumbled up and almost a whole bag mixed in with the lettuce.
If you LOVE can try this.

Cilantro if you like.

Dressing if you like.

Dressing?  Yes.  I think this is how Nancy made it...I think it was French dressing.
I did not have any french dressing in the house but I did have Raspberry vinaigrette.
I squirted the dressing around the edges of the plate in case it was icky mixed with the meat...
but it was yummy.  You may like your salad dry.  But I like mine wet.  So I like the addition of a little dressing.


I layer my salad in the order that I have written the ingredients above.

You may add or delete anything you like.
Use that delicious green salsa from Trader Joes,  hot peppers, green onions, or how about some shredded carrots.

Would you like to know what Katie puts on her taco salad?

Layer one-Tostitos
Layer two-taco meat
Layer three-cheese
Layer four-Guacamole (1 teaspoon)

As you can see I forgot the olives and crumbled tostitos.
It's so delicious.  I have eaten this three times in the last three days.

Try it.
You'll like it!

With love,
The easy chef.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Too much love.

We need to raise kids with too much love
and not enough money. 
~ Dr. Phil 

Thanks Dr. Phil, for making me feel better about all the times I've had to say 'no'.

(That's baby of my overly loved children.)

Encourage one another,

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wedding day. 5-16-16. Patrick and Shelby

The wedding was at a lovely chapel and barn in Shelby Iowa.  It rained...until about an hour before the service!

We arrived very early for pictures. The flowers were very pretty.
They men had different colored pastel ties.

Shelby's father carved flowers for each table.  This most elaborate piece was on the sweetheart table.
Isn't this amazing...and so special.

Matthew and Ezekiel.
What cuties.

Emma preformed the wedding (beautifully) and Katie was a greeter.

Malachi and Asher had a long, long wait.  Melinda took this picture cute picture.

Our first look at the bride before the ceremony.  She looked so beautiful.  Her dress was darling (dotted swiss).  She made the pink bow...and maybe even her hair piece.  (I didn't have a chance to ask.)  
Picture by Melinda.

Patrick wore a tux. He looked elegant. I wore the shawl I knit last year and a black dress.
Patrick was more sentimental than I was I think.

My babies.

I repeat.  
My babies.

Quick selfies before the ceremony. Or as I like to call them...

My and my big boy.  So happy and proud of him.

My sister Nancy.  She was such a wonderful help!  It's her thing. :o)
We had a great time and were so delighted that she could come to the wedding!

These two look fabulous even tho they were busy with all three boys.  At one point Malachi lost it and declared he would not walk down the aisle.  He was done. 
But walk down the aisle he did....and at the end of the ceremony he dashed out the back of the church.

Making their entrance as Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Boucher

Uncle Paulie could not wait to sing. 

Oh look.  There is Aunt Susan!! Behind Shelby.... I could just the pictures I did not take.

Matthew is the best dad I know.
Hi Joe and the background!

First dance.

I hope I will be able to share the professional pictures with you all when they are available.  

So there you go.  Maybe Emma can share some of the vows with you in the comments when she has the time.   They were lovely.  There were no toasts but lots of dancing by just a small number of us.  It was not a rowdy wedding at all. (Well except for the nine or ten small children.)  
The buffet style meal was delicious...I love a buffet, don't you?  
Shelby's parents were so sweet, they were perfect hosts.
I was so grateful that Susan and Joe and Paulie and Nancy made it all the way to Omaha and Shelby Iowa!  It meant the world to us and we will cherish the memory forever!  

God bless you Patrick and Shelby.
We love you.


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Patrick and Shelby's Wedding Weekend.

Patrick and Shelby.
Happily married.
For as long as they both shall live.

They've been together for about ten years.
I think they are made for one another.
There is a lot of love between them and it was so sweet to see it in person and hear them profess their love to one another.   You know sons don't gush....  We always knew what Shelby was 'doing' but we didn't hear how much he adored her.  This weekend everyone got to hear...and that was so lovely.  To hear how much Shelby loves Patrick made both Patrick Sr. and I so happy too.

We haven't been to many wedding where the couple writes their own vows.  Patrick and Shelby wrote their own and they were really neat...and similar.  Although they were kept secret, they wrote almost the same things.

You are the Marge to my Homer.
You are the Edith to my Archie.

You are the Luke to my Lorelei.
You are the Ricky to my Lucy.

We are delighted to have another daughter in our family,
one who is so excited to have Patrick as her husband. (finally)

Shelby's brother and sister-in-law hosted a BBQ on Saturday night.  It was just perfect. 
The food was delicious and the company was kind and welcoming! Our meager contribution was cheese curds and Boucher bakery cookies.  :o)

Sunday we bowled and had the rehearsal dinner.

Here are Shelby's dear parents.
They are really wonderful folks!  Shelby is the Katie is in our family.  Jan and I have a lot in common.

Meet Uncle Paulie Boucher.  He loves to bowl and loves to be with family. We were delighted and so grateful that Joe and Susan (our wonderful Madison family) were able to come to the wedding and bring Paulie along.  He is our special family wedding singer and joke teller. ( I will tell you about that later.)

Here's Joe.  What a great picture!  
(We were hosting the bowling so I did an awful job of even photography. )
Thank you for being there for us!

Aunt Susan and Patrick.  Joe and Susan get out to California more than Patrick and I and they really are incredible how they put family first.  They make such a great effort to spend time with Patrick Jr and have gotten to know Shelby by going out there, too.

Patrick gave Shelby a bowling ball and shoes for her wedding present.  They bowled on their first date.

Shelby with her best college friend who stood up with her.

Shelby's childhood friend Quinn was in the wedding too.

Long time friend Kristen with her littlest.


Shelby's big brothers and nieces.

Shelby's dear niece and nephew.  They were also in the wedding party.

Lots of games were bowled.   I hope everyone had a nice time.

Sunday night we went to Shelby's favorite pizza place for dinner and the wedding rehearsal.
I'll show you the pictures from that event and from the wedding tomorrow.  

The pictures are not the best and I did not capture nearly enough....but my memories of these special days are wonderful.

Thanks for stopping by.
Oh. By the way, the wedding was in Omaha Ne. where Shelby grew up and where Patrick went to college.


Friday, May 13, 2016

Name signs.

Hi!  Sonja asks in the comments why some people fingerspell the whole name and why some people have name signs.  You fingerspell the whole name the first time you meet someone so they know your whole name.  A name sign usually uses just a letter and a gesture.

Check out the video to learn more about it.

By the way.  When I sign Jimmy Carter  I am signing peanut and the letter C.  I forgot to mention my hand was in a 'C' shape.



Thursday, May 12, 2016

Nyle teaches Internet Lingo

After I graduated from Hillsdale College in 1979 I still wasn't sure what I wanted to do.  So I went to Gallaudet College in Washington DC for an intensive sign language course.  Gallaudet is the nation institute for the deaf.   It was fantastic and fun and cool.  Living on campus we were 'on the spot' and had to start using sign language right away.  It came rather easy to me.  I attribute this to years of cheerleading. Why? Because I was learning words with motions.  Just like sign language :o)

One Saturday I went with a group of deaf students to the beach.  We drove in a big van and I will never forget how loud the music was playing; Saturday Night Fever.

So any way....Nyle DiMarco is profoundly deaf and he is a Gallaudet graduate.  He represents the deaf community beautifully. (heh. no pun intended)
And he can dance!  He is on Dancing with the Stars this season.
 You may wonder what makes him a star?
He won America's Next Top Model a few years ago. So there you go.

I saw this cute video on Facebook today and thought I would share.
I happen to know the signs for Jimmy Carter and Nixon too.

Ask me some time.  I'll show you.

Encourage one another,

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

If you give a moose a muffin

How can it be Wednesday already?
It's a busy time here....
We have a wedding coming up very quickly.  I'll tell you soon...all about it.

I have been sprucing up and working a little and keeping up with Katie.
(I started my diet two weeks ago....after I tried on my dress.  It fits but I look pregnant.)
My hubby asked why I waited so long to diet.
I said, because I didn't want to be on a diet for five months.
I only want to be on a diet for four weeks.

I'd love to weigh a lot less.
But honestly, how many diets can one person go on?

I'll think about it tomorrow.


Katie was invited to be in a Leadership group this year.  Two/three students were chosen from twelve school in the Madison area.  They met once a month and they learned about the community, service and leadership.  Yesterday was the graduation ceremony. It was very sweet.  She is excited to be an alum. :o)

Leadership Greater Madison-Youth

Okay...that's all for now.

Happy hump day.



Saturday, May 07, 2016

Call the Midwives. Tenderness.

Happy Saturday,

Have you all been watching Call the Midwives?
Last weeks episode had me in usual.

"It is a mysterious place, the land of tears."

That quote, as you probably know is from The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery.

Sunday night a father was reading from The Little Prince on Call the Midwives; this is the portion the dad was reading,

You-you alone will have the stars as no one else has them...In one of he stars I shall be living.  In one of them I shall be laughing.  And so it will be as if all the stars are laughing when you look at the sky at night,,,You-oniy you - will have the stars that can laugh.
Isn't that so beautiful?

And then the teen son of the Dr was sitting on the floor playing with his little sister.  The young son had 'tricked' his father into quitting smoking.  (and his mother too) The mom said she was going to get fat from all the cookies she was now eating and she joked to her son that she was going to need his money to buy new clothing.

He said, " You can have everything I have.  You are my world."

In our world of sadness and woe...
The innocence and sweetness that is portrayed on Call the Midwives touches me so.

And now that they are in the 60's....the music continues to change and be amazing!!!

Thanks BBC for making a sweet show!


Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Prince Harry/People magazine article.

Paying tribute to his late mother, Princess Diana, Harry said that he is 'sure' she inspires the work that he is now doing, 'whether he knows it or not', admitting that he often thinks to himself: 'All I want to do is make my mother proud.''That's all I've ever wanted to do,' he explained, adding: 'When she died, there was a gaping hole, not just for us but also for a huge amount of people across the world. If I can try to fill a very small part of that, then job done.' 
~people magazine

Harry has started a charity that is similar to Special Olympics but it is for wounded warriors.  The games are called The Invictus Games. 

oops...there goes his speech

Next games are in Toronto.

May 8- May 12

Cheers Harry!
Your mom is proud of you. 
Not a doubt in the world.


Monday, May 02, 2016

The Summer Before The War/part two of part one.

Hi readers!
Jep sent a few more questions she found at LitLovers website.  
(Thank you Jep!)

Following are two questions that I think we can talk about before we start the next section.

1. Comparisons of Simonson's book have been made to the television series Downton Abbey. What parallels do you see? Consider class and gender issues, as well as the effect of the war on the staid Edwardian sensibilities.

2. How would you describe Beatrice Nash? Why does Beatrice reject the idea of marriage?


Thank you LitLovers!



Have you ever gotten lost on a bike ride or on a hike?