Monday, February 13, 2012

Snow Day

This time last year, I had had several snow days.  It seemed like the snow will never stop.  Clint got stuck trying to get out of the sub-division during one of those snows, and couldn't get to work.  A normal 20 minute drive from my school to Dade's school took almost 1 hour and a half and resulted in me pushing the car at one point while Clint drove. 

This year however is a completely different story. The first snow was on December 6th, and I wouldn't really call it a snow.  It was a mere dusting and somewhat pathetic.   If it's only going to snow a bit, I'd rather it didn't snow at all.  That was it, until a few weeks ago, when again we got another dusting.  I was beginning to lose all hope of a snow day.  Teacher's love them just as much as the kids do.  It's a nice surprise getting that early morning phone call (or text message in my case) that we don't have school.  When this year's school calendar was being created, we put in ten extra days to account for all the possible snow that we might get this year.  Yeah, those won't be necessary. 

So today, Feb. 13 of 2012, was my first official snow day.  And what did I do?  Well, besides going outside for about 20 minutes to help build the first snowman of the season, nothing.  The medicine that I'm on for my mishap last week (I sliced my thumb open on a glass while doing the dishes) has literally made me want to do nothing but sleep.  I'll be glad to have that stuff out of my system in time for Dade's bowling party next Sunday.  I was happily watching Dade play with his cars and race track this morning, and next thing I know I'm waking up 30 minutes later.  I then went back to bed and go up around 1pm when a neighbor kid knocked on the door thus creating chaos in the house between Slinky barking and Dade yelling at him to stop.

Here are some pictures from our little snow day fun!

For Christmas my co-teacher Patrick and his family gave us a snowman building kit. Inside the red hat was the scarf, pine cones, nose, and buttons.  It also had the original Frosty the Snowman movie, and some yummy treats.   We've been waiting since then to use it.  We made a simple head (mainly because Clint and I didn't have any gloves), but it turned out quite nicely.  Dade was rather excited about it.
Dade is always wanting to shove the driveway, so Clint gave him the snow shovel.  He felt very big because we let him help clear everything out. 

Dade got tired quickly after shoveling the driveway.  Luckily, Clint was there to lend a helping hand.

It was nice to have an extra day off and spend it with Clint and Dade.  The next two weeks are going to busy around here.  Our 6th wedding anniversary is the 18th, Dade's birthday party is the 19th (Robot Themed Bowling Party), Clint's big 3-0 is the 24th, and then Dade's actual birthday the 26th.

Fun filled times ahead.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

My Almost 4 Year Old

 I cannot believe that in a few short weeks Dade will be four.  That is just mind blowing.  I am not exactly  sure where the time as gone.  It feels like not that long ago we were bringing him home from the hospital for the first time.  We took  him  yesterday to get his pictures taken.  He doesn't particularly enjoy posing ( you cannot tell this from  the pictures,  but it is true), so we had him pick out his own outfits and let him bring some of his favorite things.  He picked out a really cute outfit that had dinosaurs on it, and  decided to bring his "baby".   Then Friday night while we were at Target,  he got all excited because they had a shirt there that looked like a shirt Clint would wear, but for little boys.  He said he had to have that shirt for his pictures. He then told me that he wanted to take his drum sticks with. He actually wanted to take his whole drum-set, but we told him that he couldn't do that. Here are the results of the pictures. The results were too cute, even though we had a breakdown between the first outfit and the second. 



 My little baby boy is turning into a very handsome young man! 



Sunday, January 08, 2012

To Sell or Not to Sell: That Is The Question

Everything I look at in the house has this glow around it. The glow is whether to sell the piece of furniture or to keep it because I can use it where ever we end up.   Last time we moved it was a literally a few blocks, and we went into this purge and burn mode.  If we had not used it since living at the Summit House ( all of our homes are referred to has the street name it was) then we got rid of it. Trash diggers in the KC area loved our house for like a month.  

I guess I should back up a few here. This move won't be somewhere else in the KC metro area, it will either be across the country or across the big blue pond.  It's been a dream of mine since I started teaching to get into the DODEA system and teach on military bases. It is a long process to get into.  I started the process in August in 2010.  After a year and a half, my account went into the "active" status and I have interviewed for a several different jobs. The first job was for a job in Italy. That job went to someone that was already in Europe and could get their quicker.  The second job was for Puerto Rico. Finally there was the Alaska job interview.   Both the Italy job and the Alaska job were for the Base Youth Center, not in the classroom.  I actually would like something out of the classroom.  After being in the classroom for 6 years, I am ready for some sort of shift.   I don't want out of education, just something new. 

I check the website daily to see if there are any new postings, as well as the DODEA website now that it's getting into the hiring time for next school year. We really want Europe. It would be an amazing chance to live as cheaply as possible and then travel all over the place with Dade. Once you get into the system you have a better chance of getting the "dream" jobs in Europe. 

Okay, so back to the beginning of this post. Clint and I seem to be on the same page with what to keep and what to sell. What it will come down to in the end is if we have to move ourself (state-side) or if we will get moved by the government. Most of the large furniture will go. Mainly because we won't know the size of the new place. Dade's stuff we will keep, his bed, toys, etc . . . We already have a list of things we are ready to let go of, now I just have to get pictures taken, and the listings put on Craigslist. The nice thing about moving is the adventure of getting to the new place and setting everything up how you want. It is always fun to decorate a new place. 

In the coming months, there will be a new adventure for our little piece of the Krause Clan.  I plan to blog about it along the way. 2012 brings us into a new adventure! 

Somewhat Therapeutic

I am writing this while I watch my laundry spin in the dryer. I am not exactly sure what makes coming to the laundry mat relaxing and calming.  In all honesty, I LOATHE doing laundry. It takes so much time to wash everything, dry everything, then fold it, and finally put it away. I would much rather be doing something else.  However, coming to the laundry mat is a very different experience in and of its self from doing laundry at home.  

First of all, if you come at the right time of day ( which for our laundry mat is weekdays and Sunday mornings) there is hardly anyone around.  You get your run at the machines, and can wash five loads ( or more) at once.  That right there makes my day. Nothing like unloading all your baskets to get them all washing at the same time.   Second, its rather quiet. Again that goes along with number one of knowing the right time of day to come.  I can last Saturday in the morning and it was a nightmare. Everyone  and their brother was in here doing their laundry, and I had machines going throughout the entire laundry mat, which makes it difficult to watch your stuff. Lesson learned: only come Saturday morning if completely necessary.   Finally, you see an eclectic group of people at the laundry mat.  When I was here last weekend a mom was teaching her son math by playing UNO. She made him count off the left over cards and keep track of all the scores. Today a lady was working on a hand stitched quilt while her laundry was going. Then you have people like me who come in with their iPad and write a blog about doing laundry at a laundry mat, how profound. 

Like anything, there are pros and cons of doing your laundry at the mat, but for us the pros seem to out weigh the cons.  With moving in our very near future, we don't want to invest in a new washer if we cannot take it with us.  For now, we will make our little trips to the mat a few times a week to get what we need done.  It's always an adventure, that's for sure. 

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Reading Goal

This time last year, I made a challenge to myself.  Clint purchased my NookColor as a Christmas gift, and in less than a week, I had read the entire Hunger Games trilogy. I was feeling pretty good about myself.  I had graduated with a 4.0 from Baker with my second Masters, and was blowing through books.  I challenged myself to read 24 books.  I figured I could attempt to read 2 a month, and see where it took me.  Although I didn't reach my goal, I still feel pretty accomplished in reading 21 books in 2011.  Here are the books that I read this past year.  As you will see, I enjoy reading YA novels, and that the majority of them had something to do with vampires and/or werewolves. No, none of them were the Twilight Series. I was forced to read books 1 and 4 for a graduate course on Vampires in Literature, and they are trash for vampire literature, not to mention how the portray women to be helpless as well.  (Didn't mean to go on a tangent there, sorry!)  Without further ado, the books I read in 2011.  Feel free to ask questions about the books.  I will give you my honest opinion about them. 

1. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen
2. A Reliable Wife - Robert Goolrick
3. Fallen (Fallen, #1) - Lauren Kate 
4. Shiver (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #1) - Maggie Stiefvater
5. Torment (Fallen, #2) - Lauren Kate
6. Marked (House of the Night, #1) - P.C. Cast
7. Jane Goes Batty (Jane Fairfax, #2) - Michael Thomas Ford
8. Betrayed ( House of the Night, #2) - P.C. Cast
9. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
10. Chosen (House of the Night, #3) - P.C. Cast
11. Untamed (House of the Night, #4) - P.C. Cast
12. Hunted (House of the Night, #5) - P.C. Cast
13. Tempted (House of the Night, #6) - P.C. Cast
14. Burned (House of the Night, #7) - P.C. Cast
15. Awakened (House of the Night, #8) - P.C. Cast
16. Witch & Wizard (Witch & Wizard, #1) - James Patterson
17. The Gift (Witch & Wizard, #2) - James Patterson
18. 11 Birthdays - Wendy Mass 
19. Destined (House of the Night, #9) - P.C. Cast
20. The Secret of Zoom - Lynne Jonell
21. The Help - Kathryn Stockett 

These are the books that I purchased, but still haven't finished yet.  They are the first in line for this year. 

1. American Gods - Neil Gaiman
2. The Awakening (The Vampire Diaries, #1) - L.J. Smith
3. Fried Green Tomatoes at the Whistle Stop Cafe - Fannie Flagg
4. The Potato Chip Puzzles: The Puzzling World of Winston Breen - Eric Berlin
5. Passion (Fallen, #3) - Lauren Kate 

Currently I am reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.   This year I am challenging myself to read 23 books.  It's two more than last year, so we shall see!  If you have any suggestions on what I should read, let me know.  I am always up for suggestions. Believe it or not, I do like reading adult books as well, and stories that aren't about vampires. 

*This was my first post using my iPad, and I am pretty excited about how easy it was! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cookie Crazy

I'm getting ready for my 3rd Annual Cookie Swap in the next month, and I've been on the hunt for a different type of cookie for this year.   I found 3 potential cookies for the swap, and will be using Clint's family tomorrow as my guinea pigs.  Here are the recipes that I've made tonight to try out:

Caramel Corn Chocolate Chip Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups coarsely chopped caramel popcorn
  • 1 cup  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 1 cup  Butterscotch Flavored Morsels
  • 1 cup peanuts or chopped, toasted almond slices
PREHEAT oven to 375° F

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in popcorn, morsels and peanuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 
** I think if I make this one for the Cookie Swap, I'll be purchasing Topsy Popcorn instead of the microwave Caramel Corn. **

Pudding Chip Cookies

  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 pkg. (4 serving size) instant vanilla, butterscotch or chocolate pudding mix
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 large egg white
  • 2 cups  Semi-Sweet Chocolate Mini Morsels

 PREHEAT oven to 350° F.

COMBINE flour and pudding mix in small bowl. Beat butter in large mixing bowl on medium to high speed for 30 seconds. Beat in brown sugar and baking soda until well combined. Beat in egg and egg white. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels. Drop dough by rounded teaspoon 2 inches apart onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 10 to 12 minutes or until set. Cool on baking sheets 2 to 3 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.
*** I used chocolate for this batch***
Sweet and Salty Cookies

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt (optional)
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups (12-oz. pkg.) Semi-Sweet Chocolate Morsels
  • 2 cups coarsely broken rippled potato chips
  • 1 cup small pretzel twists, broken into 1/2-inch pieces 
  • 1/2 cup unsalted peanuts (optional)
 PREHEAT oven to 375° F.

COMBINE flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in morsels, potato chips, pretzel pieces and peanuts. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

BAKE for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on baking sheets for 2 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely. 

***This one really grabbed my attention with the combination of potato chips, pretzels and chocolate chips***
All the cookies are now cooling on my wire racks, and I'm interested to see what is liked the best tomorrow. 

I really like the pudding ones because they are simple, but the Sweet and Salty have a pretty good taste too.  

Choices, choices, choices!

Monday, October 31, 2011


It's Halloween!  In the spirit of the day, I thought I'd blog and post pictures of Dade's costumes over the years.  I say over the years, but I for some reason cannot find pictures of Dade's first Halloween.  I know that they must be somewhere digitally, but I cannot locate them.  So without further ado,

Halloween 2009 


Halloween 2010 

Train Conductor Dade

Halloween 2011
Box Robot Dade 
I am extremely happy with how his costume came out this year.  Last year we asked if he'd like to be a train conductor, and he said yes.  This year we asked what he wanted to be, and he said a robot.  When asked what kind of robot he wanted to be, he responded with "A Box Robot."    There's a game on the xbox that I enjoy playing called Costume Quest.   He wanted to be the robot from that video game.  Here is a picture of that robot and Dade's costume side by side

I'd say that Clint and I did a pretty good job of getting it to look like the original version.  In the video game when the little kid in the costume knocks on a door of a house and there's a bad guy inside he turns into this

I firmly believe that Dade thinks that if there's a bad guy at a house tonight, that he will turn into this guy, and defeat them for candy.   I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens! 

Happy Haunting from The Krause's!


Sunday, October 02, 2011

Crock Pot Queen!

Since starting back to work, I haven't had the energy to cook a meal after working 10+ hours.  Clint has been amazing at helping with the cooking so I can come home and relax.  We've been trying out a variety of crock-pot recipes so that he can get them ready in the morning, and then not worry about it until I get home.   The recipes have been so delicious that I feel like I'm not being nice and sharing my yummy finds! 
Easiest Dinner Ever! 

Bag of frozen chicken tenderloins
8 oz. cream cheese
Can of black beans (rinsed and drained)
Can or corn (drained)
Can of Rotel  

Put everything in the crock pot in the order they are listed above.  Cook on high for 6-8 hours.   Serve over rice.

I will say that this recipe is better the second day because it's thicker.  I particularly enjoy this on a flour tortilla.

Taco Soup

1 lb. ground beef 
1 large can of diced tomatoes 
1 can of stewed tomatoes
1 small can of tomato sauce 
1 can of kidney beans (drained)
1 can of corn 
1 package of taco seasoning 
Small onion (diced) (optional) 

Brown the ground beef on the stove.  Mix all ingredients in the crock pot.  Cook on Low for 6-8 hours or on High for 2 - 3 hours.   Serve with cornbread and chips. 

Chicken Tortilla Soup

4-5 chicken breasts, cooked and diced 
1 large can of diced tomatoes
14 oz. can of enchilada sauce
1 medium onion, diced 
1 can of chopped green chiles
1 tsp. minced garlic 
32 oz. chicken broth 
1 tsp. cumin 
1 tsp. chili powder 
salt and pepper to taste 
10 oz. frozen corn. 

Place diced chicken, diced tomatoes, enchilada sauce, onion, green chilies, minced garlic and corn into the crock pot.  Pour in chicken broth, add cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper.  Stir.  Cook on low for 5 - 6 hours or high for 2 -3 hours. 

With 30 minutes or so left to go.  Slice corn tortillas into strips.  Lightly brush them with olive oil.  Cook 10 - 15 minutes at 400.  Garnish with tortilla strips, sour cream, cheese, or fresh avocado.

All of the above recipes came from this site.

Take my word that you will LOVE the above recipes.  The following recipes are on deck for this week.  I haven't tried them yet, but they sound delicious! 

Slow Cooker Chicken and Dumplings

4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
2 tablespoons butter
2 (10.75 ounce) cans condensed cream of chicken soup
1 onion, finely diced
2 (10 ounce) packages refrigerated biscuit dough, torn into pieces

Place the chicken, butter, soup, and onion in a slow cooker, and fill with enough water to cover. Cover, and cook for 5 to 6 hours on High. About 30 minutes before serving, place the torn biscuit dough in the slow cooker. Cook
until the dough is no longer raw in the center. 

Beef Stew 

2 pounds cubed beef stew meat
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
4 cubes beef bouillon, crumbled
4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
3 large potatoes, peeled and cubed
4 carrots, cut into 1 inch pieces
4 stalks celery, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 large onion, chopped
2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons cold water

Cook meet in oil over medium heat until brown.  Transfer to crock pot.   Dissolve bouillon in water and pour into crock pot.  Stir in rosemary, parsley, and pepper. Stir. Add potatoes, carrots, celery, and onion.  Dissolve cornstarch in cold water and add into stew.  Cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.

Recipes are from here.

Right now I have a Chocolate Fudge Pudding Cake in there.  I found a very simple recipe.  And I hope that it tastes amazing.  I've been craving a chocolate cake.  It smells delicious. 

That's it for now.  When I find more yummy crock pots recipes I will share them as well!  If you've got some that are yummy, let me know!

I think I'll be putting one of these on my Christmas List! Think of the possibilities!