10.30.2014

the king's curse



Regarded as yet another threat to the volatile King Henry VII's claim to the throne, Margaret Pole, cousin to Elizabeth of York (known as the White Princess) and daughter of George, Duke of Clarence, is married off to a steady and kind Lancaster supporter;Sir Richard Pole. For his loyalty, Sir Richard is entrusted with the governorship of Wales, but Margaret's contented daily life is changed forever with the arrival of Arthur, the young Prince of Wales, and his beautiful bride, Katherine of Aragon. Margaret soon becomes a trusted advisor and friend to the honeymooning couple, hiding her own royal connections in service to the Tudors.  After the sudden death of Prince Arthur, Katherine leaves for London a widow, and fulfills her deathbed promise to her husband by marrying his brother, Henry VIII. Margaret's world is turned upside down by the surprising summons to court, where she becomes the chief lady-in-waiting to Queen Katherine. But this charmed life of the wealthiest and holiest woman in England lasts only until the rise of Anne Boleyn, and the dramatic deterioration of the Tudor court. Margaret has to choose whether her allegiance is to the increasingly tyrannical king, or to her beloved queen; to the religion she loves or the theology which serves the new masters. Caught between the old world and the new, Margaret Pole has to find her own way as she carries the knowledge of an old curse on all the Tudors.- Goodreads



It's a Philippa Gregory book, of course I liked it. I might even say it's one of my favorites of The Cousins' War series. I really enjoyed the voice that was given to Margaret Pole in this book.

rating: 4 stars

10.28.2014

15

Einstein is 15. 

It seems as if he is growing before my eyes. He's about 3 inches taller than me and might pass the Man-Child as the tallest child soon.


I can't even put into words how much I love this boy. He is so kind and thoughtful...and pretty darn handsome.

Happy Birthday Einstein!

10.20.2014

menu monday


10.13.2014

menu monday



This is our menu for this week.
The recipe for Dr Pepper chicken is all over Pinterest. I'm not sure where I found the recipe originally so I didn't want to link to the wrong post.

Biscuits and gravy didn't happen last week so they got moved to this week.


egg & spoon



A fantasy set in Tsarist Russia.
Elena Rudina lives in the impoverished Russian countryside. Her father has been dead for years. One of her brothers has been conscripted into the Tsar’s army, the other taken as a servant in the house of the local landowner. Her mother is dying, slowly, in their tiny cabin. And there is no food. But then a train arrives in the village, a train carrying untold wealth, a cornucopia of food, and a noble family destined to visit the Tsar in Saint Petersburg — a family that includes Ekaterina, a girl of Elena’s age. When the two girls’ lives collide, an adventure is set in motion, an escapade that includes mistaken identity, a monk locked in a tower, a prince traveling incognito, and — in a starring role only Gregory Maguire could have conjured — Baba Yaga, witch of Russian folklore, in her ambulatory house perched on chicken legs - Goodreads


I liked this book, but I felt like Gregory Maguire got bored and just started adding odd content into this story. It started out great and then he just went overboard with little details that didn't add anything but a distraction from the story. Baba Yaga is an amazing character, but I could have done without the modern references. The Far Side reference was weird.

It's a fun read, but annoying at times.

rating: 3 stars

10.06.2014

menu monday



It's Fall Break for Casa de Chaos...
Which doesn't really mean much when you have kids in marching band. The Boyz have practice every morning, football games each Friday and marching competitions every Saturday. Our evenings should be a bit more relaxed during Fall Break so there will be more time to spend together. It makes it much easier to plan dinner when I know everyone will actually be home and eating at the same time.

At one time I was trying to keep Monday as a meatless meal. I've kind of given that up, but Mac-n-Cheese is a favorite. If you are still making it from a blue box please in the name of everything that is holy and good stop that right now. It's so easy to make from scratch and doesn't take much longer the the box crap. I found the recipe I use on a Betty Crocker app.

The Chicken Tater Tot Casserole recipe is here.


9.29.2014

menu monday




Our schedule this week is a bit whack-a-doo so I'm not sure how much of this plan is actually going to happen.

Fall is kind of crazy with marching band season anyways, but this week it goes on overload. 
Monday I know is going to happen, because it's Monday. You can find the recipe here
The rest of the week is up in the air.
Tuesday the Boyz have marching band practice and Roo has a band concert with an early call time. Wednesday should go as planned.
Thursday the Boyz are marching at the football game and Roo gets to play in the stands with them. That means all 3 of them have to be at the high school by 4:30pm. Kinda hard to have dinner that early. And can I just say it: a football game on Thursday?!?
I can almost guarantee that the burgers will happen on Friday.
Saturday and Sunday are General Conference, so it is a weekend of watching conference on TV and spending time together as a family. Who wants to spend a weekend like that actually fixing dinner?


9.22.2014

menu monday



I've been back on the menu planning routine for a couple of months and finally thought about posting it on the blog again.

We usually sit down as a family on Sunday afternoon and go over the upcoming week and what everyone has going on. This is also a perfect time to brainstorm the menu with everyone there to input ideas. I've found that I have less arguing about what we are going to have if the kiddos have a say in the upcoming menu...and I don't have all the pressure of trying to decide what to eat. It also helps when it comes time to actually fixing dinner when I know exactly what we are going to have.

I like using a task list in my Arc planner to keep it organized.



It's a complete accident that both recipes are from the same blog.

I have modified both recipes to be gluten-free for us.

9.10.2014

The Night Circus



The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within the black-and-white striped canvas tents is an utterly unique experience full of breathtaking amazements. It is called Le Cirque des RĂªves, and it is only open at night. But behind the scenes, a fierce competition is underway: a duel between two young magicians, Celia and Marco, who have been trained since childhood expressly for this purpose by their mercurial instructors. Unbeknownst to them both, this is a game in which only one can be left standing. Despite the high stakes, Celia and Marco soon tumble headfirst into love, setting off a domino effect of dangerous consequences, and leaving the lives of everyone, from the performers to the patrons, hanging in the balance. - Goodreads

Have you ever felt like you went into mourning after reading a book? That's how I feel about this book. I loved the beautiful descriptions and emotional imagery. The characters were delightful. The story was inventive and brilliant. I absolutely and thoroughly loved it all...and I am going to miss it terribly.

rating: 5 stars

8.25.2014

hair’s to today

I have these pictures on my phone of ways I’ve done LaLa’s hair. I thought I would post some occasionally.
I’m still having a hard time finding a place to take pictures in the morning and get enough light to see the details.

1. This is one we do quite often. It’s just a simple french braid on each side and then I combine them in the back of her head into one big braid. It’s fairly simple and quick. The bow is from All Things Ribbon.

2. This is another look she really likes. It looks more complicated than it actually is, but it’s kind of complicated to explain. Basically it’s a zigzag part and braids added into more braids and added into more braids. She says that people always ask about it. The bows are from All Things Ribbon.
 

3. This is the one that really started it all. It’s one of the first hairdo’s I did on Roo a long time ago. It’s a simple ponytail with “snakes” or twists or whatever you call them. Sometimes we do more small twists, but this day we just did 5 twists with her ponytail. The bows are from Gymboree from about 8 years ago.
Here’s a close-up of her twists. Her hair is perfect for looks like this.

I keep taking pictures of her hair and post a few at a time. If it’s a hair-do that I found on another blog I will post a link to their tutorial.
 
I linked to All Things Ribbons just because I love her bows.