Clam Dip with Bread Recipe

September 30, 2007 by  
Filed under Recipes

This is an EASY RECIPE I got from my mom and we both make it a lot at holidays or for company. I make fun shaped bread to go with it but you can find mini loaves in the store. It can be made the day before a party. I’m having a busy day so I’ll post the recipe tomorrow, Sorry!

Okay here it is (can be halved but its really good so make the whole recipe):

  • 4 cans minced clams
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Simmer first 2 ingredients a few minutes and then add the following

  • 1 stick butter (my mom uses 2 sticks but I think its too much)
  • oregano & parsley
  • 1 minced onion
  • 1/2 – 1 teaspoon tabasco

Cook for about 5 minutes and turn off the heat, add breadcrumbs and then transfer to microwave safe serving piece.

  • 1 1/2 cups bread crumbs
  • paprika & parmesian cheese to sprinkle on top after its in serving dish
  • microwave for 10 minutes right before you are going to serve this.

The above can all be done the day before. I use Pampered Chef bread tubes with pilsbury french bread dough to make my bread.

All in the family

September 29, 2007 by  
Filed under Kid Conversations

“I made a kid poopy and a daddy poopy and they’re in the potty!” Ben said this tonight (9-18-07) but Ethan also used to make “families of poopy” all the time when he was a little younger. It’s very funny when they go through the same weird phases.

I needed to add to this post after last night (9-28-07), Ben made another poop in his little potty and said “I made a double poopy! A big worm and a little worm and they’re snuggling up together!”. He was so excited and proud.

National Alpaca Farm Day

September 28, 2007 by  
Filed under Family Activities

If you’re looking for something different and FREE to do with the kids this weekend, try visiting a local Alpaca farm. We’ve posted about visits to a farm near us in the past and how much fun the kids had. Well, this weekend is National Alpaca Farm Day and Alpaca farms around the country will be having open houses. Visit the website and search for a farm near you, but remember … peeing on a goat is frowned upon.


Family camping in Maine’s Acadia National Park

September 28, 2007 by  
Filed under Family Activities

The Parent Bloggers Network is asking for parent bloggers to post about family vacations in support of their campaign blast for PickPackGo, a website where you can lookup rental vacation homes for your family. We haven’t tried renting a house for a vacation yet, but it is something we’ve discussed doing in the future.

Ethan climbing the rocks at AcadiaOur favorite family vacation is camping at Acadia National Park near Bar Harbor in Maine. Heather and I first went when we were dating in college. After we got married and starting having kids we saw no reason to stop going every other summer. We took Ethan when he was 10 months old and Ben when he was a year old. The only thing we changed was the size of our tent.

This park is a great place for a laid back vacation. We spent most days just exploring areas on our own schedule. The rocky shorelines provide a natural jungle gym and their are numerous trails to explore at your own pace. We always go blueberry picking so we can make pancakes for breakfast. Our last visit we decided to try some of the boat tours and really loved the lobster boat tour and Diver Ed’s Dive-In Theater.

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10 things our family loves about Fall:

September 28, 2007 by  
Filed under Family Activities

  1. 70 degree weather with blue skies and no breeze (you know perfect spring and fall days)
  2. apple picking on a day like #1
  3. jumping in the leaves
  4. LONG lasting fall foliage
  5. Halloween decorations and costumes
  6. Halloween parties
  7. cinnamon
  8. cider dough-nuts
  9. pumpkin carving
  10. pumpkin anything

Rabble Rouser

September 27, 2007 by  
Filed under Our Life

So we were at the grocery store last night doing the Team Family shopping thing.  I had Ethan and Ben with me.  This time Ben was the only one in the cart and Ethan was being very good leading the way and helping me get things.  When we were all done they asked if we could stop at the Halloween display where all the motion detecting noisy decorations are.  They’d been real good during the shopping trip so sure, they earned a fun pit stop.

The large skeleton that sings Super Freak was no longer there so we went over by the candy dishes with hands that try to grab you when you reach in.  Some employee was smart enough to turn the front row backwards so they stopped going off whenever people walked by so I told Ethan to reach in to set them off.  At this point I got Ben out so he could join in.

Then they discovered the small skeltons that sing when you press a button. My first reaction was “Oh no, my kids are making noise, I should stop them.”  Then it hit me … maybe it was from the interview Manic Mommies had with Jane Porter, author of Odd Mom Out… why was my first reaction to be apologetic and stop my kids?  This isn’t a library and these stores put the noisy annoying stuff out in reach of kids on purpose.  Maybe its time for a little revenge.

I proceded to encourage and help Ethan and Ben to press the button of every single skeleton in succession…all 20 of them…and the next few winters were a chaotic cacophony of overlapping hit songs from the last 20 years sung by foot tall animatronic seasonal decorations.  The sky didn’t fall.  The police weren’t called.  People walking by who had puzzled expressions on their faces looking for the source of the racket saw how much fun we were having and laughed along with us.

I’m sure there could have been people who would have looked at us disapprovingly, but you know what?  Anyone who can’t find the humor in a spontaneous, harmless stunt that brings laughter to a pair of kids and their dad aren’t the kind of people I want approval from anyway.  Something else I realized … these displays are always there to lure spontaneous purchases and the kids are always drawn to them.  Let them play with them.  Let them set them all off at once.  Owning ONE will NEVER compare to the fun you can have in the store with 20 of them!

DIY toolbox – Non contact voltage tester

September 27, 2007 by  
Filed under DIY Projects

One of the skills I’ve learned since buying our house is electrical work. Messing with your electrical can be very intimidating, but any good home improvement book will teach you the basics. The easiest changes are replacing light fixtures, switches, and outlets, but even adding additional lighting and outlets is pretty easy when you have opened up a wall to replace sheetrock or add insulation.

Non-contact voltage testerOne tool I discovered that is invaluable to me for doing this work is a non contact voltage tester. Initially I had a simple voltage tester with 2 wires that you touch to your electrical wires to see if they are hot. It is a lot like playing Operation, but if you miss you could get a lot more than a buzz. A non contact voltage tester is exactly what the name implies…a tool that will tell you if a line is on without making contact. You just hold it near the wire, switch, or outlet and it will light up and chirp at you if there’s juice. It even works through sheetrock! This gadget is a must for anyone who owns a home.  Or you could test the old fashioned way, lick your fingers and touch 😉

Movie Review – The Love Bug

September 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Reviews

Has anyone else noticed that there are ZERO good kid movies in the theaters right now? Overall this has been a real bad summer for taking kids to the movies. We decided that if we can’t bring the kids to the movies, we will bring the movies to the kids and started a Movie Night in our house. After looking for new releases that were suitable for the kids we gave up and tried looking at older movies. Jackpot!

The Love BugOur first rental was The Love Bug (also known as “The First Herbie Movie”) from 1968. I have vague memories of watching the Herbie movies and really liking them so we thought this would be a hit with the boys and we were right. The kids LOVED this movie and I have to admit that we really enjoyed it too.

The kids obviously loved the concept of a car with attitude and got a kick out of the gags (peeing oil on the bad guys foot). Like any good family movie there was enough mom and dad humor for us to enjoy, but we also really loved the period (late 60s) humor. What caught me by surprise was Buddy Hackett costarring! He was famous for his dirty jokes, but he was excellent as the sidekick.

We ended up watching it about 3 times during the 2 weeks we had it and finally sent it back to get Herbie Goes Bananas.

Thanks to everyone who took advantage of the 1 month free Netflix trial. I hope you enjoy it as much as we do. For each person that signed up we got 1 free bonus rental. Woohoo! Well, we’ve used up all our free trials, but my mom has four to give away. So if you would like 1 month of free Netflix (and haven’t been a member in the past) use this link and one of these codes. You’ll get 1 month of free movies and my mom will get 1 free rental for each code used.Select and copy a code:

  • M4651736355
  • M21945028515
  • M79035378975
  • M93487954695

Follow this link to sign up:

Cross your fingers…

September 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Misc

I’m going to upgrade the site to WordPress 2.3 during lunch today.  Looks like there will be some cool new features along with a slew of minor bug fixes.  Here’s the good stuff:

  1. Native tagging support allows you to use tags in addition to categories on your posts, if you so choose. We’ve included importers for the Ultimate Tag Warrior, Jerome’s Keywords, Simple Tags, and Bunny’s Technorati Tag plugins so if you’ve already been using a tagging plugin you can bring your data into the new system. The tagging system is also wicked-fast, so your host won’t mind.
  2. Our new update notification lets you know when there is a new release of WordPress or when any of the plugins you use has an update available. It works by sending your blog URL, plugins, and version information to our new service which then compares it to the plugin database and tells you whats the latest and greatest you can use.
  3. We’ve cleaned up URLs a bunch in a feature we call canonical URLs which does things like enforce your no-www preference, redirect posts with changed slugs so a link never goes bad, redirect URLs that get cut off in emails on similar to the correct post, and much more. This helps your users, and it also helps your search engine optimization, as search engines like for each page to be available in one canonical location. More info here.
  4. Our new pending review feature will be great for multi-author blogs. It allows authors to submit a post for review by an editor or administrator, where before they would just have to save a draft and hope someone noticed it.
  5. There is new advanced WYSIWYG functionality (we call it the kitchen sink button) that allows you to access some features of TinyMCE that were previously hidden.

The tagging and WYSIWYG are of most interest to me.  I’ll let you know how the upgrade goes and what I think of the changes.

Farm Party with Animals & Tractor Cake

September 26, 2007 by  
Filed under Birthday Parties


I am getting ready for Ethan’s 5th Birthday parties, yes parties! He is having a Dino Party this Sat and then a Monster Party the next Sat (what can I say the kid has a lot of friends so we divided it up between playgroup friends and school friends). Anyway since I’m in party mode I got thinking about his Barnyard Birthday Bash when he turned 2 yrs old. It was one of my favorite parties (which is why Ben and Jamie had a similar pony party this year). One of the best parts of this party was the farm cake. Chocolate sheet cake and frosting can be turned very easily into a fun cake with the addition of some plastic barnyard animals and a couple tractors! Oh and you can’t leave off the green food coloring tinted coconut “grass”! Ethan loved it and so did his friends. This little cutie below had a lot of fun driving the tractors in the “dirt”. The weather cooperated with a perfect fall day for this party. We visited our neighbor’s horses and the kids played in the hay and drove our toy tractors. I hope I do as good a job with the upcoming parties!

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