Spring High School Musical Production — Seussical



The Spring Musical was a big success last night.  Nate was not on stage, but played the tenor sax part in the pit orchestra.  I wasn’t able to get a shot of the musicians while they were in the pit, but I like this photo nonetheless.

It was a ton of fun.  The kids did a FANTASTIC job.  I love seeing high school kids pouring their hearts out on stage.  You could tell it was not the easiest thing for some of them, especially the guys.  But it was well-done, funny and a great way to spend a Friday night.

We are blessed to have a high school with a budget large enough to pull off such great productions.



Was there a standing ovation at the end?  You bet!  Great job guys!


Your Turn:  What fun things do you have planned for this weekend?  Be sure to leave a comment.


Making Chili — At 9PM on a Monday Night? You Betcha!

Chili in CrockPot

A Weekly Food Plan is a smart way to reduce the “What’s for dinner?” dilemma.

I promised my wife that the boys and I would take of the weekly food plan this week.

To make good on that, I made chili tonight.  I multi-tasked.  I prepped the chili while watching the Notre Dame vs. UConn women’s basketball game.  And WOW!  What a game.

We’re in triple overtime as I’m typing this.  It’s exciting  And it’s tough to make chili with all the nail-biting going on.  Geez!

Here’s the recipe for my wife’s CrockPot Chili.  It went in the slow-cooker at 9:15PM and (on low) will stay there until the alarm clock goes off at 4:30AM.  Yes, you read that right — 4:30AM is when the iPhone starts playing that cool marimba tune.  To get everybody up and ready for school (which includes showers, ironing clothes, breakfast for everyone) we have to be ready to start the day early.  Really early.

In a large slow-cooker add:

  • 1 lb of browned, lean ground beef
  • 1 46oz can of tomato juice
  • 1/2 an onion, diced
  • 3 ribs of celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of diced tomatoes (including liquid)
  • 1 14.5 oz. can of kidney beans (no need to rinse, just add them to the pot)
  • 2 t. chili powder
  • 1 t. cumin
  • 1/4 t. coarse, black pepper

Cook on low for about eight hours.

What did we make over the weekend?

Chicken and noodles with mashed potatoes and sweet corn.  We have leftovers.

Hamburger + Potato casserole.  We ate that tonight and still have leftovers.

Chicken salad (we added Paprika this time — EXCELLENT addition).  Nate took some in his lunch and made a sandwich at school. We still have some for lunches tomorrow.

I had some chicken salad tonight — atop a salad of lettuce, red peppers, Roma tomato and chopped onions.  Finished off with oil + vinegar salad dressing.

Devil’s Food cake.  It’s going fast.

Go Irish!

Time for bed.  Notre Dame beat UConn.  Woo Hoo!  It’s always good to end the day on a positive note.

Hope your Monday was a good one.





Whistle While You Work

community garden 2011


Garden Memories

I’m not a big whistler. Oh, once in a awhile I’ll whistle a little tune, but it’s rare.

My grandfather was the king of whistling.  All the time.  It’s one of the special things I remember about him.

He was good at a lot of things.  Gardening was his passion.  And that bit of DNA has been passed on to me.

Matt (my 12-year old) and I are strongly considering a community garden again this year.  We opted out of gardening last year — there were just too many things going on.

We missed our garden.  The trips to the plot in the pickup truck.  The stops at Penguin Point for a burger and fries after an hour or so of hoe-ing, watering, and weeding our 20 x 40 foot patch.

Yes, we got REALLY aggressive (a/k/a foolish) and tended TWO 20 x 20 plots in 2011.

Even after washing up for dinner, I’m sure we had dirt under our fingernails when we were eating.  We didn’t care — we were farmers.  It didn’t matter.   : – )

This year’s plan

I’ve done some research and found that, due to budget cuts, the community garden will no longer be handled by the City.  It’s been handed over to the Master Gardener club.  I’m okay with that.

My contact at the Environmental Center says he has a meeting with the leaders of the Master Garden Club this coming week.

I’m waiting to hear how their meeting goes. I am hopeful.  We are hopeful.

Matt and I are thinking positive, green-growing thoughts that we get to rent a 20 x 20 foot space for this season.  We REALLY want to get our hands in the dirt.

There’s something really awesome about planting some seeds and seeing them produce a harvest.  You can almost watch cucumbers and zucchinis grow before your very eyes.  That’s how much they can change in just 24 hours.

It’s amazing.  It’s nature.

We Remain Hopeful

So, for now, visions of tomatoes and green beans and zucchini are dancing in our heads.

We have our fingers crossed that we get a space.

The seed catalogs are filling up our mailbox each day.  They are teasing and taunting us with their beautiful photos.  We MUST tend a garden this year.

And I might just whistle while I work.  My grandpa would like that.


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