July 31, 2013


Posted by Lori~

Last week my family (mom, dad, sisters, brothers, nephews, etc.) were at the lake for a vacay.  We actually spend our week at Devil's Lake, ND.  Mom grew up just a 45 minute drive from the little city, ND town.  

My great grandparent's actually homesteaded to their farm.  No one is currently living at the farm house, however it is filled with MEMORIES AND HISTORY.

Nearby (and on my Grandparent's land) is an abandoned missile control center.  At one point, ND was filled with missiles pointed at the Soviet Union (back then it was the USSR).  My guess is that they picked ND, because if a missile from Russia did hit the US, ND is the perfect location.  It has such a low population. 

Apparently Grandpa wasn't given a choice.  He was told that a missile control center would be built on his land.  He was paid for this, however according to my mom he always said the government picked his "best" piece of land.

It currently sits empty and is in pretty bad shape.  Currently my Aunt and Uncle own the property.

What an awesome piece of history.  And, we were lucky to walk through those hallways!  

July 30, 2013


Posted by Lori~

I am just coming off a week-long vacay and I NEED TO GET CAUGHT UP!  But first, I must show you some photos from our get-away (before our week long get-away) to Aberdeen, SD (the home of STORYBOOK LAND!). WHAT AN AWESOME PLACE!!  

Mur-Man had a BLAST!  He especially LOVED being dressed like Captain America riding a "Captain America" horse on the merry-go-round.  

And the best part--it was MOSTLY FREE!  

July 29, 2013

Baby M has arrived!!

Posted by Ethne~

After much stretching of her mother’s stomach, Baby M is here!

Absolutely perfect!

We are most excited, as Steph is one of our very best friends.  I talk to her daily – and she’s in the GT echelon, meaning we’ve known each other since elementary school.

Since M had popped Steph’s bump out almost instantly, I had guessed at a 9-pounder, but she came in just at 7 pounds, 14 ounces.  I was totally off.  I was wrong on the name too, seeing as my suggestion was a combination of my middle name with Slags’ middle name (WHAT?).

Steph’s first comment (a text to us practically from the operating room, which we expected) was that M was FEISTY, crying non-stop from the moment she came out!  They got her calmed down and she’s been a dolly ever since.

This is how she came out.

I sincerely hope she does a nice meconium squirt on her daddy since he pretty well gags at the sight of baby poo.  Then we’ll really know if she’s still got that feisty in her.  Auntie Ethne has her fingers crossed.  (You're welcome, Ryan.)

In the meantime, Steph and Ryan and fam, have a ball with this wee little princess.  I can’t wait to meet her in person!  Congratulations!!  Then, you can get down to the important business of contemplating which cosmetic procedure to attack first: breast implants, tummy tuck or botox.  [All theoretical; WE don’t actually need THOSE things.]

July 26, 2013

Daycare Whodunnit - our next crime case!

Posted by Ethne~

Ah, Friday!

Guess what’s starting Monday on Headline News (HLN)?  Another crime drama, this time out of Georgia – the daycare murder.  Prosecutors allege that Andrea Sneiderman manipulated her mentally ill boss/lover into murdering her husband over life insurance money.  And the murder occurred as the husband dropped the kids off at daycare!  Horrible!  The boss/lover is already convicted and Andrea’s trial is set to go Monday.

But the development yesterday was that prosecutors may be dropping murder charges against Andrea and she now may only be facing perjury charges (lying at the boss/lover’s trial) and cover-up charges from during the investigation.  Still prison time, but I’m sure Nancy Grace is RIOTING!!

Stay tuned.

credit: HLN; Get fully caught up over the weekend by reading this article here

July 25, 2013

George is probably the next Emma.

Posted by Ethne~

Did I ever tell you I was a park ranger at Mt. Rushmore National Memorial in college?  Well I was.  And of course one of the famous faces carved was George Washington, our beloved first president.  They always took a poll at the park cafeteria of the visitors’ favorite president of all time and it was usually a close tie between George and Abraham Lincoln.

So when Will and Kate named their baby Prince George Alexander Louis yesterday, I was a little like, ‘aw, man they picked the stodgy one’.  I knew George was the family fave, but still. 

But then I remembered that even though George isn’t really that popular here in the States for little boys, we do have one really great George too.  Prince George isn’t named after George Washington, of course, but I it is nice that there’s someone I liked with the name.

I also remembered one other thing.  Watching the Friends episode where we found out what Rachel named her baby, I distinctly recall saying, “Just watch, the name Emma will be the most popular baby name in no time.”  And sure enough.  So maybe it’s just a matter of time before George skyrockets to popularity too.

I’m fairly certain HOWEVER that were Shaun and I to have any more kids, and if it happened to be a boy (NONE OF WHICH IS GOING TO HAPPEN, THIS IS THEORETICAL, NOT JOKING), we’d still go with Jack.

Oh, and since we were keeping track, remember the royal baby name game?  I picked Alexander and Lori picked Louis, so we weren’t totally off base.  Steph was TOTALLY disappointed they didn’t pick Skylar.

And in case you were wondering, I was pretty much the cutest park ranger in history.  If I can track down any pictures (packed away somewhere from our last move), I’ll share.

July 23, 2013

Pesto Chicken Pasta with Homemade Pesto {recipe}

Posted by Ethne~

The other night we were cooking with leftover chicken.  We often do this, and our go-to is quesadillas or fajitas, but the girls advised me they weren’t interested in Mexican.  O-KAY.

So I Googled “what should I cook with my leftover chicken?” and got some great results.  [Much improved from when I asked my phone to find the phone number for suburb’s city offices the other day and it had no idea what I was talking about.]  One of the recipes was minty pesto-pasta, that you make with fresh mint and a box of fresh peas, neither of which I had.  I did have fresh (frozen) basil, a ¼ cup of fresh (frozen) peas and fresh (frozen) spinach – along with the rest of the required ingredients.  DECISION DONE.  (Sorry I didn’t save the original recipe.  If you find what I’m referring to, feel free to let me know the link in the comments.)

So here’s how I made Pesto Chicken Pasta.

I chopped up the equivalent of about one pre-grilled/cooked chicken breast pretty small.

I steamed my frozen fresh basil (about 2 handfuls of fresh leaves), frozen fresh peas (1/4-1/2 cup) and frozen fresh spinach (about 2 handfuls) with a little water in a frying pan over medium heat on my stovetop.  Watch very carefully.  These will cook very quickly – just a few minutes.  You really only want to thaw them, not cook them.  I immediately put them into a colander immersed in ice water to stop the cooking process.  [Note: you can use these things fresh and un-cooked if you have them un-frozen, but I needed to thaw mine, hence the quick steam.]

Frozen stuff into the pan with a little water

In the meantime, I boiled up some spiral pasta in salted water until it was my desired tenderness.  We prefer ours slightly past al dente.  Once drained, stir with just a little olive oil and the chicken and set aside with lid on to keep warm.

My pasta have sneaky veggies in them too.

As the pasta boiled and greens cooled, I grated ½-1 cup of parmesan cheese (whatever kind you have is fine), measured out 2 T water and 2 T olive oil.

In my food processor, I placed the parmesan cheese, drained greens and ¼ t salt and pureed it.  When the mix was smooth, I stopped, pushed down the sides with the spatula, started things up again and through the top of the lid, slowly poured in the water and olive oil.

Green = Healthy!

That’s it.  Super easy.  You couldn’t taste the spinach or peas at all.  They pretty much just made the consistency right since I didn’t use pine nuts, which are what help with the consistency of traditional pesto sauce.  (Good to know for anyone out there with nut allergy concerns.)  Plus, of course, a sneaky vegetable!

I did not use all of the pesto in my pasta dish.  Probably ¾ of it.  I just spooned it into my pasta and stirred it around until it tasted good.  Then I put the lid back on the pasta pot and set the dish aside for a few more minutes to let the pesto warm up.  I refrigerated the rest of the pesto and plan to use it this week as pizza sauce.  Yum!!!!

KD's green grin of approval.

The girls, particularly Easy Mac, thought this was EXCELLENT.  I recall specific “oh my gosh’s” and “this is amazing’s”.  Rock on crouton.

Royal Baby Name Game.

Posted by Ethne~

Well, it should come as no surprise to the lot of you that Lori and I (and crew) were anxiously awaiting news of the birth of the Royal Baby.  You may recall from here when I got up at the crack of dawn to watch the Royal Wedding?

You could be on Team Who Cares and that’s fine.  In that case, you should totally read The Bloggess’ post here.  She always makes me laugh.  True, this baby isn’t from our country.  But England is, like, America’s BFF (along with Canada, which is cousins with England) so we TOTALLY should be happy when royal kids are born.  I’m sure the English REJOICED when the Kardashian baby was born.  Because we don’t have royals, we have celebrities.

I’m on Team Baby Cambridge.  First, I love babies.  Second, I love this couple.  They’re so sweet.  They’re in love.  They’re photogenic (good for Celebrity Fantasy Draft).  And if they do for their son like they’ve been taught, they will be good stewards and philanthropists with their public responsibilities.  {You can check out the official Prince of Wales’ (Prince Charles) website here to see some of the things they do, but one they did recently that I really liked was fundraising and awareness for preventing the slaughter of elephants for ivory.}

All my friends are on Team Baby Cambridge too, so we had a go-round of GUESS-HIS-NAME.  Here are our guesses (feel free to add yours to the comments):

Shaun~Prince Albert (don’t be gross, SHAUN)
Steph~Skylar Charles (going for the trendy)
Grizz~John Frederick

Lori heard Spencer today (as in Lady Diana Spencer) and George is still at the top of the running per news reports.  WE’LL SEE.  But now you know if any of us guessed anywhere near close to the real name.  And, if Steph is right and Will and Kate pick a name equivalent to North West (who am I kidding, THAT IS NOT POSSIBLE), I can’t wait to hear the reaction from the masses.  And their explanation.  ‘Our joy just made us want to look to the ‘sky’ in adulation!’

July 22, 2013

Garden Bean Disaster.

Posted by Ethne~

Friends, I don't know what has happened to my garden this year, but it's awful. (My neighbors said they took their crappy garden leaves to our local nursery and they said lots of people are having a bad growing season and so IT'S NOT JUST ME.)

First, my grape tomato (the Tami G) shriveled and died.  It got all nobbly and yellow.  I'm sure it was diseased.  Thrifty Nana got me a replacement cherry tomato so WE'LL SEE.

Second, my string beans started out fine and then turned brown and shrivelly and stunted.  They stopped growing altogether and even looked like they were going to die completely.  Shaun gave them up for dead, but I kept tending them since I want pickled green beans, SHAUN.

Then I sprayed them with some anti-fungal that's supposed to help with 70 diseases (got it for the Tami G but it didn't help at all), fed them with Miracle Gro, and they are coming back a little bit.

Brown leaves down below.  New leaves still shrivelly.  Fingers crossed.

I'm still not very encouraged since they should be 5-7 feet tall by now, but I'm glad they're not dead.

July 19, 2013


Posted by Lori~

I am going to an island for vacation....well, sort of.

Island float can be purchased here

My family, Steve, Mur-Man and I will be floating on Devil's Lake, ND all week on this island.  FUN!?!

July 17, 2013


Posted by Lori~

I am back to the beginning of the summer outdoor checklist!  Steve and I checked one more item off of our list when we purchased chair cushions for our outdoor patio space.

I love the color and how it looks with the house trim and our already purchased umbrella!

LOVE the stripes!
The cushions were on sale for under $20.00/cushion ($80.00 total).   Plus, the table/chairs were free and passed down from my in-laws.  If you look in the photo above there is a sneak peek at our new screen door.

Steve, Mur-Man, and I will be off-line next week at the lake.  Looking forward to vacation!

July 16, 2013


Posted by Lori~

It arrived!  Mur-Man's first Imagination Library book, and he loves it!

The program recently came to my little city, ND town and we are thrilled.

Dolly Parton's Imagination Library provides free books to children up to age five.  Typically it is run through your local United Way program.  The best part is it is FREE!

I would encourage you to see if this program is offered in your county.  If not, encourage your local United Way to partner with Imagination Library. 


Posted by Lori~

I was in need of a quick craft idea that Mur-Man could help with.  It also helped that the door hanger was on sale for 75 cents, and I had all other needed supplies in my craft stash.

Super easy and of course ADORABLE!

I had Mur-man put a layer of chalk-paint on the door hanger.

I let Mur-man go crazy with the paint!
I then added several layers of black chalk-paint over the center star.

 Someday he can add "keep out" and other fun messages!

July 14, 2013


Posted by Lori~

Recently I gave you a "list" of my outdoor project goals for the summer.  You can check it out here.  Steve says I put the list on WOM-MOM so there was no way he could get out of completing the projects.

So, far we have tackled several items.  First up, we decided we were desperately in need of a new doorbell.  Plus, the odd positioning of the doorbell interior box above the stove just wasn't going to cut it any longer.

The box directly above the stove to the right is the old doorbell box.
This is what it looks like behind the stove now that the doorbell has been removed.

Here is what it looks like above the stove now that it has been removed.

The old doorbell.
Removing the old doorbell.
The new doorbell is installed.

We decided to go with a wireless doorbell with two doorbells (one for the front door and one for the back door).  Total cost was just under $25.00 for the entire set.  NEW LOOK AND A LOW PRICE!

July 11, 2013

The Pintester Movement 2.0: Modern Bun Re-Test

Posted by Ethne~

Hello Friends.  And if you’re fellow Pintestes, welcome to Wom-Mom!

It should come as no surprise to any of you that I love a good blog challenge. Lori and I have done quite a few of them on this blog, just check the ‘Popular Posts’ column over there on the right.  The best part about the Pintester Movement is that we’re only being challenged to mediocrity.  Ingenious. (Check out other Pintestes test es on her blog's Pintester Movement Category here.)

This time, our sage Pintester has challenged us to re-test things she’s already tested for us.  I took quite a while scrolling through her tests, picking just the thing to try for y’all today.  I share Pintester’s longing to achieve Pinterest perfection in all the beauty pins.  But what a joke!  No actual human can do this sh!t. (No offense to the lady who originally posted this hairstyle - the Modern Bun - from her blog, here, she seems nice.) 

The original - very classy.
Pintester - VERY CLASSY.

Pintester’s hair was too short, or something, for the Modern Bun when she tried it here.  It looks nothing like a bun.  Surely my hair, which is much longer, will be perfect?

Long, lifeless tresses.

I followed the directions from the original post EXACTLY.

High, loose ponytail
My ends look like straw, no?

And I looked effing ridiculous.  The bun part stuck up so high I looked like I had all of my Bumpits stacked one upon the other underneath it.

It's a golden shower.

I tried to bobby pin the pieces in the back, but my layers fell out all over the place anyway.


Then the bun started falling apart.  Not even a whole can of AquaNet hairspray could save it.  Which I don’t have anyway.

Right.  One erect piece left.

It took me so long trying to take a picture with my phone that Shaun came to the bathroom door to ask if I was taking a deuce.  No, I’m doing a stupid hairstyle challenge for the blog, SHAUN (which is even more embarrassing to admit to my long-suffering husband).

I decided that the only thing left to do was to stick a pink shiny heart on my dimple, pretend I’m Amanda Bynes and take the best selfie I could.  "You're ugly!"

Nailed it.  PS, no, I do not normally have a double-chin.  PPS, Shaun asked me why I had a heart on my face when I came out of the bathroom.  Oh, you know, I'm fancy, or possibly pretending I have my cheek pierced.