Saturday, April 30, 2016

What We're Reading

We've gone classic over the last month.  Here's what the family's been reading since my last reading post:

All about the Twain.  I started reading Huckleberry Finn as our bedtime book.  It's a great one, but man, is it hard to read Jim's dialogue aloud!  I have to read slowly because of that and so that I can catch all the "n" words in there and say "slave" instead.  Scott had little to no knowledge of slavery prior to reading this so he keeps stopping me to say, "Wait.  What?  Why would he have to buy his own kids???"  Great for some deep discussions.

Jesse broke out The Complete Short Stories of Mark Twain a couple of weeks ago.  He and I had a date planned to see River Songs & Tales with Mark Twain at the local theater so he was prepping for that.  It was a great show and now he keeps sharing stories with me from this book that he wants me to read.  I had not even heard that this show was coming to town when I started reading Huck Finn to the kids.  It was just a fun coincidence, especially since a couple of the recitations in the show were from that book.

I ordered The Grapes of Wrath from the library and it is another one that has some hard dialect in it.  But at least I don't have to read that one out loud.  I just finished it and must say that I did not enjoy it.  It was depressing and the final paragraph left a disturbing mental imagine for me that I haven't been able to shake yet.  Ugh... on to something more light hearted for me!

Scott is on book 3 of the Harry Potter series.  (That's got to be considered classic by now, doesn't it?)  And Bekah is reading White Fang.

Here's what is topping Alarik's list lately:
LMNO Peas
More Bears!
The Von Hamm Family - Alex and the Tart
The Bear Ate Your Sandwich
Beekle the Unimaginary Friend
Yes Day!

Friday, April 29, 2016

School/City Partnership

The 4th and 5th graders from Bigfork School walked across the river to Main Street last Friday and helped us City staff members pick up litter in honor of Earth Day.  This is the second time that we've had them come and work with us and it's always fun. 

Handing out gloves and garbage bags:

Since Jesse wasn't working, I convinced him to come and help.  He and Aaron got the group of rowdy boys and both told me afterwards that they want a group of girls next year!

A reward of cookies and juice goes a long way with this crowd:

Less than a week later, I was working with the 5th grade class again.  This time I was the one crossing the river to the school.  I spent about 45 minutes in their classroom talking to them about local government, council structure and role, city staff roles and responsibilities, and issues facing the City.  They got to be a mock city council and discuss and vote on an issue.  Then they were given a persuasive writing assignment on why citizens should be engaged in their local government and how the City can encourage that participation.  I can't wait to read their suggestions!


Thursday, April 28, 2016

If you thought I was a nerd before...

...you haven't seen it all yet!  My sister Steph accused me of being "Queen Nerd" when I posted about my de-cluttering progress and revealed that I've been taking notes/journaling during the project.

Well, if you thought that was bad, it's about to get worse.

Do you play Words With Friends?  I do and be warned that some shameless bragging is about to commence:

146 points on the word JAMS - that's right!!!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Library vs. Bookstore and Book vs. eReader

Books are something I've never really held back on spending money on.  If the kids want a little something on a shopping trip, I'm happy to let them pick a book.  It's a tradition that Bekah, Scott and I head across the way to the local bookstore after our annual eye doctor appointments and pick out a new read.  We almost always stop by a Barnes and Noble when we go on a larger out-of-town trip and make a big deal out of everyone getting a new book (or two, or three!).  When the kids bring home those awesome Scholastic book order forms, I usually spend more time perusing them than they do.

However, since my desire to simplify and declutter has really kicked in, I've been less likely to splurge on a stack of books.  I want our house to be filled with books so that we can all just grab something new to read once we've finished a current book, but I don't want the clutter of books that no one is going to read again.  Our collection of picture books are ones that we DO read over and over (and over and over) again.  And I'm ok with owning books that are in a series that the kids are "collecting" and enjoying each new one coming out.  Jesse tends to buy more often than borrow and I'll have to work on him to make sure he clears out the ones he's not going to read again. 

All that said, we are also big fans of borrowing from our regional library system.  Though we live an hour away from the nearest branch, we are lucky that they offer a mail-a-book service.  We can log-on to our account online and request whatever book we want and it comes in the mail, postage free, a few days later.  We mail it back, also postage free, when we're done.  It's great!  Jesse listens to several different sermon podcasts and is always getting ideas from them of books he'd like to read.  He is constantly asking me to request certain books or books by certain authors for him.  It's very handy to be able to check them out from the library instead of waiting until we can get to a bookstore and then possibly buying a book that he doesn't really like.

We take advantage of this service regularly but I also still want our home to be a place where there is always something to read.  Heaven forbid that anyone go a day without a book in progress, so we can't put ourselves in a position to be waiting for a library book to arrive!

Knowing I was super-late to the party, I started reading books on my ipad a couple of months ago.  I had purposely not looked into the option because I was pretty sure I'm a physical book kind of girl.  But then I discovered that I could borrow books from our regional library system via the OverDrive app and not have to wait for the titles I'm wanting to read to arrive in the mail.  Score!  While my first preference is still to curl up with an actual book, I have started sprinkling in some eReader books.  I like this option because, as I mentioned in another post, I find it much easier to stop reading a book I'm not enjoying when I'm reading it on my ipad as opposed to when I have the actual book in my hands.  I know that makes no sense, but something about being able to just click and return the book to the library seems less like a reading fail than taking out my bookmark, closing the book and mailing it back, unread. 

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Questions from Scott

Three posts in a row that are about beer.  I better talk about the kids a little bit before someone signs me up for AA.

Some of my favorite things to record about Scott are the crazy questions that he comes up with, seemingly out of nowhere.  Read some of his prior ones here.

At breakfast yesterday morning he asks me,
"Mom, how do dragons' teeth hold up to all that fire they breathe every day?"

and on the way to school he suddenly says,
"Mom, what's worse, lipstick on your teeth or a chipped nail?"

Seriously!  I don't wear makeup so I have no idea how he even knows about the problem of getting your lipstick on your teeth.  Such a card, that boy.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Orange Cinnamon Beer Bread

I stumbled upon a sweet variation of my beer bread recipe.  Some time ago I went to make a loaf and the only beer we had was a Redd's Apple Ale.  I used it and it gave the bread a wonderful sweet taste.  That gave me an idea.  My sister left a bottle of this Henry's Hard Orange Soda at my house and I thought it might make a good breakfast version of the beer bread.

Instead of the savory spices, I used cinnamon and nutmeg.  I did the melted butter on top and sprinkled it with sugar before baking it.  It turned out dee-licious!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

I'm not Sewing

I shared the view from my sewing machine one time.  Tonight the view from the table was just as good, though I was clearly not sewing.

Jesse has been on a quest to find the perfect biscuit recipe.  He landed on "Biscuits Supreme" in the good ol' red and white checked Better Homes and Gardens cookbook and tweaked it a little to his own version of perfection, of course.  Tonight he was grilling pork chops, roasting Brussels sprouts and teaching Bekah the fine art of homemade biscuits.  And as you can see, I was kicking back enjoying a cold brew.  A fine evening indeed!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Simple and Delicious Beer Bread


Several years ago, after buying yet another beer bread mix at $8 a pop, I decided it couldn't be that hard to make yourself and set out to find an easy recipe.  There were tons to be had, but none were that perfect mix of simplicity and deliciousness, so I set out to experiment until I created one that was both.  Here is the result:




3 cups flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 Tsp baking powder
2 heaping Tbsp parsley
1 1/4 to 1 1/2 Tsp seasonings (I use Cabela's Beer & Garlic seasoning if I have it.  If I don't, I use a combination of garlic powder, onion salt, seasoning salt, etc. - really anything savory will work)

Combine all dry ingredients.  Pour in one 12 oz can of beer and stir until all of the dry mix is moistened.  Put dough in a greased loaf pan.  If you would like, you can melt a couple tablespoons of butter and pour over the top but it's not necessary.  Bake at 375 degrees for one hour to one hour and fifteen minutes.

This bread goes great with any soup, stew, pasta or salad and it's a hearty little snack all by itself as well. 

Monday, April 18, 2016

And the Purge Goes On

Jesse was without work for a couple weeks and I came home one of the days to find him totally on board with the decluttering.  He had gone through the contents of the kitchen island and some of the cupboards and shelves and he did such a great job.  He got rid of more than I probably would have and even re-arranged what was left so that it made the most sense.  He purged the seldom-used bread machine, a cookie press, drink stirrers, duplicate or unrecognizable cookie cutters, plastic cereal boxes, the bread box, unloved cookbooks, and a bunch of knick knacks.

One Saturday the whole family worked together to cull the DVD collection.  We tackled the books again and got rid of WAY more of them.  Between Netflix, YouTube, our regional library's Mail-a-Book service and ebooks, we just don't need to have much reading and viewing material on hand.
We did a little more work in the kitchen by taming the cupboard of water bottles and travel mugs.  I swear those things must multiply in the cupboard!  Everyone picked their two favorite water bottles and Jesse and I each picked two travel mugs.  The rest went into the recycling bin because I can't imagine anyone buys those kinds of things at a thrift store.

And, I'm happy to report that I was finally able to come to terms with the rest of the baby and other blankets.  We kept only as many blankets as would fit in a basket in the living room for movie-time cuddling, the rest went to the thrift store or the crises nursery.

A side bonus of decluttering is that those odd nooks and crannies of the house that rarely or never get cleaned end up on your radar.  Two of those places for me have been under the kitchen sink and the odd closet we have at the top of the stairs.  When I showed Jesse the cabinet under the sink after I'd purged and scrubbed it, he thought I had re-painted it!  I enlisted Bekah's help with the upstairs closet.  Because it's made on the outer wall of the A-frame house, it's odd-shaped and awkward for a grown up to get all the way back into.  Bekah and Scott have already earned all they need for the orchard they plan to plant, but now Bekah is saving for a DVD player so she's still on the prowl for chores for money.  She drug all the boxes and sleeping bags out of that closet and then scrubbed it down while I sorted stuff.

Besides finally cleaning those oddball spots in the house, decluttering has made it easier to keep the house clean too.  It's easier for all of us to get stuff put away when there's less stuff to begin with.  I feel like we've made some great progress.  There are still areas left to tackle including:
1. the rest of the kitchen cupboards, especially that dreaded plastic container one
2. the board games
3. the kids' arts and crafts supplies

Sunday, April 17, 2016

April Sunburns & Sidewalk Chalk

I did put sunblock on the kids but they ended up with pink cheeks anyway after two days of beautiful weather this weekend.  That first touch of sunburn is a Minnesota Spring rite of passage.

Alarik dug some sidewalk chalk out of the closet and the whole family made some sidewalk art together.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Sibling Love and War

I'd say my three kids are pretty average when it comes to the amount of time they spend fighting vs. the amount of time they are getting along.  Actually, once they get on a roll of getting along, they can go pretty long stretches of time with no fighting.  So maybe they even get along a little more than the average siblings.  But sometimes...sometimes it seems like they fight, argue and work to search out new ways to be mean to each other constantly.  And it makes me crazy.

I try not to get sucked into the issue but it's so hard not to referee and try to make everything go smoothly again.  It hurts MY feelings when they are mean to each other.  After all, I made that cute, amazing little person, how can you be so rude to him/her???

We talk to our kids a lot about what they mean to each other and tell them that our family sticks together. We will even tell them that we're sad when they are mean to each other because we love them all so much.  Hopefully we are laying the groundwork for a long-term process of learning to love and appreciate each other.

In the meantime, I haven't figured out any great, fool-proof remedies for the bickering, but I at least know enough to savor the sweet moments when they come along.  I have been known to just forget about chores or instrument practice or even homework for a time when I can hear the kids playing some elaborate imaginative game together.

(Now that I think of it, it could be that they are on to me and know just when to start being sweet and kind to each other so that I won't bother them with a list of to-dos.  Do you think?)

These are just a few of the small sweetnesses I've noticed between them lately:
Bekah and Scott always wait for each other before coming out to the car when I pick them up after school.  When I pull into the pick-up lane, I can see through the window if one or the other of them is already out of class and waiting for me.  Even though they can see me, they always wait for the other one to get there before coming out to hop in the car.
Bekah and Scott, as I've mentioned before, are saving for their own orchard this summer.  They've spent a lot of time huddled up together making notes and plans for the orchard.  Plus they worked together awesomely at the chores they did to earn the money.
Yesterday all three were involved in some make-believe game together and I heard Alarik getting scared because the other two were being witches and goblins.  All of a sudden he cried out, "Please stop being mean to me in the game!" and the other two toned it down for him instead of teasing or kicking him out.
Today Scott had a friend over and they were playing basketball.  Little brother wanted to shoot too and usually, especially when a friend was over, Scott might just ignore him or even tell him to go away.  But not today.  Today the two older boys worked together to make sure Alarik got to make a few shots and feel good about himself.


On those trying days when it seems they are all purposely pushing each others buttons, I will remind myself that it's a marathon, not a sprint, and do what I can to foster a strong bond between them all.  After all, my sister still bears the scars I gave her as a child when we were knock-down-drag-out fighting, but now we're BFFs!

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Decluttering Progress, cont.

About the end of February I finally came to grips with the fact that I could talk about decluttering, valuing your things and being grateful for them, simplifying, blah blah blah, with the kids until I was blue in the face, but they just aren't going to 100% "get it" and embrace that style of living...just yet.  We can work toward it, for sure, but I just shouldn't expect them to be willing to keep the two stuffed animals that they love the most and get rid of the rest.  They genuinely love and find joy in all of those dozens upon dozens of stuffed animals right now and aren't ready to purge it down.

With that resolved, I turned to my own closet.  As I mentioned in my first decluttering post, I get to wear blue jeans to work and I have uniform shirts with the City of Bigfork logo on them.  But do you want to know how many I have?  Twenty-four.  That's 24.  Too many.  Any that were ill-fitting or had a flaw of some sort, I threw in my sewing basket.  Perhaps someday I will make a cool patchwork curtain for my office with them.  Then I talked with myself about the fact that 5 days a week, I wear a rotation of 24 shirts.  So how many other shirts do I really need?  Not too many.  I purged the t-shirt drawer, the hoodies, the plaid button-ups (and let's not even talk about how many of those there were), the previously-mentioned dress pants from a prior job, two pairs of too-small jeans that it would be nice to fit back into someday but I realize it's not someday right now, and some lounge clothes.  Whew!  My closet is much nicer to find things in now and it's easier to put laundry away in there.  Win.

Besides just decluttering stuff, I've also tried to simplify in other areas.  Just over a month ago I removed the Facebook app from both my phone and iPad.  I haven't missed it.  Not even once. 
I also removed several rebate apps that I had been using including Ibotta, Checkout51 and ReceiptHog.  After many months of using these, which probably took me about 10-15 minutes after each shopping trip, I STILL hadn't met the $20 minimum cash out amount on any of them.  So long, time wasters!

Spring is in the Air

Spring has sprung in Northern MN.  It's been a gradual process.  Here is Scott getting the mail on Saturday when it was still pretty chilly. 
He had been playing ball in the house and was all hot and sweaty, but still.  Perhaps this is why he ended up sick again!

The kids picked right back up with their favorite imaginary game from last fall, Dragons.  Alarik's dragon power is fire.  Bekah's is water and Scott's is weather.  The fly all over the yard scorching, drowning or blowing away bad dragons.

We crept near 60 degrees the last couple of days.  Warm enough for squirt guns according to Scott.

I walked out to Bekah's fort with her to check on how it survived the winter.

This old swing is getting pretty ratty but the kids still love to hang out on it...especially when that sun is shining!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Decluttering Progress

Though I've been extra-inspired/motivated by several books I've read lately and podcasts/blogs I have found, I actually started decluttering our stuff back in November of last year.  The ball got rolling with my sock drawer.  One morning I noticed I was pushing past the same pile of socks all the time to find the pairs I really liked to wear.  Though I left my healthcare accounting job over two years ago, I still had all the "dressier" style socks that I used to wear with my work pants.  I never wore them anymore (thank heaven for blue jeans and logo-ed shirts at the city!) so why was I keeping them?  Out went half of my socks.

For no logical reason, I moved on to books next.  These are always hard for me because I find I'm the one with the emotional attachment to certain books which the kids couldn't care less about.  I ended up being able to weed out close to 100 books (and that left us with over 200 still).  I got rid of a few duplicates, books the kids had never loved (even if I did love them), books I had intended to read to them but haven't done so yet, and, I must admit, those few books that I dreaded reading because they were SO bad!  Books that made the cut were those much-loved, often-chosen favorites, any books in a series that the kids were still into, books received as gifts (especially if the giver had written a note to the kids in them), a few books that I haven't read to them yet but promised myself I will, and a few picture books from my own childhood.

I have been pretty good about keeping the kids' rooms decluttered.  I go through them at least once a year when the kids aren't around to "help".  I did tackle Bekah's room shortly after the sock and book projects though.  At that point I had decided to make some notes about my progress (because I'm a nerd like that) and here's what I jotted down after spending several hours getting lost in Bekah's room and digging my way back out through the clutter:

I spent a little time in the boys' room the next day.  As I've found every other time I've worked on the  kids' rooms, they play so much better in them when they can find all the pieces of any given toy and when they actually have room to spread out on their floor and play with stuff.

With Christmas approaching I was not looking forward to the glut of new stuff that would surely make its way in.  Jesse's Grandma, in particular, is a big fan of over-doing Christmas.  We've tried to get her to scale back but it's been a lost cause.  To help with this, Jesse and I spent a lot of time talking to the kids about why we were decluttering, stuff doesn't make you happy, being grateful, etc.  The kids agreed to not give gifts to each other and to have just their stockings from Santa and one gift from Jesse and me.  We donated the rest of the money we would have spent to Samaritan's Purse.  The kids really got into picking out the chickens, sports equipment and stuffed lambs they would send to those less fortunate.  We experienced a small Christmas miracle when Grandma Helen actually DID scale back this year.  Victory!

When Christmas was over, I took advantage of the changing of the decor and weeded out the Christmas knick-knacks as I took them down and the everyday stuff as I put it back up.  I also completed attempt #1 on the bin of extra blankets.  These are worse for me than books.  I remember every person who made every baby blanket for each of the three kids.  But they are now 11, 9 and 4...how many baby blankets do they need???  I managed to weed out a few and the bin went from bulging to just full.

To be continued because long posts all about my stuff are kind of boring, at least compared to those posts that feature fun photos of my kids!

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Morning

When I was growing up, Saturday morning cartoons were a big deal.  Jesse and I looked up tons of YouTube videos of theme songs from great 1980s cartoons that we used to watch.  That's a thing of the past these days as far as I know.  We don't have TV at all and rely on Netflix for our watching needs.  And we would never let the kids get up on a weekend and watch a show first thing! 

Nope, Saturday mornings at the Storlie household are all about cleaning up and doing chores.  Jesse and I are pretty big on chores and making sure that the kids all know how to pitch in and take responsibility for the household tasks.

Here's what we worked on this morning:
Bekah washed dishes.
Alarik sorted laundry.
Scott cleaned the bathroom.

We also dusted, vacuumed, swept and picked up bedrooms. Now we've done all the work and can enjoy the rest of our weekend.  It's pretty cold and windy today so the kids are spending just a little time outside right now but I imagine they'll be in soon.  We'll probably have a little screen time and then we invited Steph and the cousins over to eat dinner and hang out for the evening since all the guys are off doing something together.  These are my favorite weekends, when we don't have any plans and can just relax and do what we feel like.

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Scott is an ISFP

Does Meyers-Briggs work for kids?  I'm not certain, but Scott and I sure had fun with it one of the days he was home sick.  I kept him home through Wednesday with a fever but he was feeling enough better that we had a pretty darn good time at home together.  He joked a lot about being "so sick".

I encouraged him to read a lot.  He is in a position to get to one million words this year in Accelerated Reader which was a goal he set for himself.  He just finished up the second Harry Potter book and was without something new to start.  We have a bookshelf-full of stuff he could read and one of them I keep trying to get him to read is "Shiloh" which was a favorite of mine growing up.  I finally succeeded and he read the first three chapters that day.

Later in the day, he took the quick version of the Meyers-Briggs personality test on 16personalities.com.  He turned out to be an ISFP.  I haven't spent a ton of time looking over the results but the overview of that type does seem to fit Scott pretty well (except for that whole painting thing)

After he found out what type he was, he wanted to know mine.  I'm an INFJ.

As we were reading about my type, one of the statements said that INFJs will fight tirelessly for an idea they believe in.  Scott immediately commented, "Yeah, that's true about you", then in a voice that mocked mine said, "You should read Shiloh. Just do it. It's such a good book. "Just try it. You have to."  What a wisenheimer!

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Duped.

I'm feeling let down at the moment.  I finally started feeling better today but was home with Scott who was feeling "not enough better to go to school".  I devoted much of my extra day at home to cleaning up the house, but I also logged a lot of reading time.  I had checked out a new book after dumping one halfway through that I wasn't into.  (Odd side note: I find breaking up with a book I'm not loving easier when reading on a device than when I have the actual book in my hands.)

So when I started reading The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven and got into it, I plowed through and had finished the whole thing before bedtime.  It was a good book with just a few moments during the day where something about it rubbed me the wrong way, though I couldn't put my finger on why.  I finished reading it and decided to Google Alex Malarkey to see what he was up to today.  Well, I was late to the party because just over a year ago the news broke that he'd make the story up and from the sounds of it, his Dad capitalized on the whole thing with this book deal.  Grrr...I was duped.

Now I'm in need of a suggestion for my next read to pull me out of the slump that I just found myself in.  I was looking for something inspirational but moving away from the organizing/simplifying theme that I've been stuck on for some time now.  I did break away and read Unbroken and The Book Thief last week and loved them both.  I need to see both movies now!

I've been toying with the idea of starting the Harry Potter series.  Can you believe I've never read them?  Scott has read the first two and I thought it would be fun to be able to talk about them with him.  Bekah read the first a long time ago and now that Scott is into them she says she might pick them up again.  But honestly I'm worried that if I start them I will get so into them that my work and home life will suffer for it.  I tend to go all in when I get into a book or a show or whatever and it's hard for me to, you know, do anything else!

So what's your advice?  What should I read next?

You may wonder why I'm posing a question to my readers since I freely admitted when I started blogging again that Steph is likely my only reader.  Well, wonder no more because I happen to know that I have gained another fan...my good friend Shelly who is also an avid reader.  I expect some good recommendations from you two - the pressure is on!

Monday, April 4, 2016

"We're not gonna live like animals!"

Jesse's Grandpa Curly was famous for saying "You're not gonna live like animals".  For example, when Jesse was getting ready to head off to college and Grandpa Curly was trying to give away boxes of extra dishes, bed sheets, etc. that Grandma Helen had been hoarding - "You boys aren't gonna move up there and live like animals."

Well, apologies to Grandpa Curly but we've been living like animals the last couple of days!  I went home sick from work at noon on Friday and barely left my bed until this morning.  Jesse was gone at a coaching clinic and Bekah spent the two nights with Jade.  That left the boys to pretty much fend for themselves while I was down and out.  They had too much screen time, didn't see a vegetable for 48 hours, and guzzled the rest of the chocolate milk straight from the carton. (though they did come in and ask if they could do that which is how I gathered this evidence).

It wasn't all bad though.  Scott was such a good little helper to me.  He got Alarik dinner, (never mind that it was probably a far cry from daily nutrition guidelines) helped him brush his teeth, read him a story and tucked him into bed.  What a good little man.  Then, true to his man-of-the-house role, he fell asleep on the couch watching a movie.

But what does the poor guy get for his troubles?  He wakes up today with a fever, headache and sore throat, just like Alarik and then I had.  He ate a little bit of breakfast and then wanted to snuggle in my bed since "it's the comfiest spot in the house"  Now he's napping, complete with books and tissues (both used and not yet) surrounding him.  Poor dude!

Alarik was sick for about 5 days and I'm just starting to feel better after 3 days so Scott's got some time to serve yet. 

Saturday, April 2, 2016

She Bakes - and Cooks!!!

Bekah is amazing.  I suppose all parents think their kids are just the coolest.  I know I do.

My girl wanted to stop by the grocery store on the way home the other day so she could pick up some pie filling.  She had a pretty crummy day at school thanks to the new-to-our-lives 5th grade girl drama and whipping up a pie seemed to be her outlet of choice.  While in the store, she decided she'd also make dinner for us all and grabbed what she needed for nachos.
So we get home and she first makes the pie crust.  Notice I said "makes".  She did not buy a ready-made crust or even a crust baking mix.  Nope, not Bekah.  She makes it from scratch.  See, I told you she was cool!

With the pie crust made, rolled out, filled with peach filling and in the oven, she turned her attention to dinner.  Brown and season the meat: check. Set out the toppings: check  Set the table: check

The Storlie family enjoyed a lovely meal of nachos with peach pie for dessert. 

But her accomplishments of the evening were not over yet.  She also managed to find time for piano, violin and oboe practice, reading and watching a John Wayne movie with her Dad. (chalk another one up in the cool column for her).  The icing on the cake was that while I was doing dishes after dinner she said, "Mom, thanks for cleaning up even though I was the one that cooked and made a big mess."

I think we'll keep her.