We’ve been chopped!!

As in “Chopped” by our cooking judges…

Team G’s judged Ella and I tonight as we played a pretend game of the cooking show Chopped.

Cutest judges ever!

My kids love watching the Food Network when they visit their grandparents, it’s only a given that they love to play it too lol! So tonight when Ella wanted to help me in the kitchen, we had to give the boys a job or I probably wouldn’t have heard the end of it! Judging was the answer. Can’t have too many cooks in the kitchen right?!

The babies

So Ella and I got right down to work. I let her do most of the prepping and she wanted to help marinate the chicken. She went a little shake happy with the garlic powder though, so we were nervous about what our judges would have to say about that…

Gavin kept us on our toes the entire time!! He had us with 10 minutes left on the clock…oh for about an hour…. Longest 10 minutes known to man I think. But it was funny. We were enjoying every minute!


By the way, this zucchini recipe I found on Pinterest of course 😉 I love to incorporate it when I can cause it’s easy and yummy!! Ella also played announcer by giving ingredient and cooking updates along the way.

The green beans are in the pan now and she’s adding some oil…oh and some spices….”

“The zucchini things are coming along nicely!”

I of course had my own sentiments…

“I cook with wine, sometimes I even add it to the food.”
W. C. Fields

Loving my new glass 🙂

Well you know what I mean, I didn’t add it to the food tonight, but it sure is nice to sip along the way!

The meal was ever satisfying and the judges actually DID enjoy it!! Here they are eating away at the meal and the artichoke we had to go with it…

So how was it that the judges loved us but still had us chopped? That brings me to the kicker of this story. Never mind that Gavin was messing around by going back and forth between chopped or safe throughout the entire dinner, leaving us totally confused. No it wasn’t that which got us chopped.

So our favorite little green stemmed friend, the artichoke… he decided to show his ugly side tonight. Or buggly side I might say. This long standing, family loving tradition of artichoke eating has NEVER, I repeatNEVER shown this side of himself before. I WAS APPALLED!! I mean was I dreaming when I compared a perfect artichoke to a perfect man.. beautifully compacted in a bit of smooth yet tough exterior, sweet and consistently perfect on the inside with a heart that is to die for?!

Oh wait you mean there is also no such thing as a perfect artichoke either?! Darn, well we learned that the hard way tonight.. the vomiting in my mouth hard way when about halfway into eating one of the chokes, Gavin pointed out some strange black dots clustered around some of the leaves. Right away inspector Mommy was on the case and with a little prodding through the next few layers I discovered what I feared I would.

Ughh, It still makes me shiver as I think about it again. A little white worm sticking out through a couple leaves underneath. Plenty of wormy poops to go around I might add…Just typing it is killing me now because the thought of what we may have eaten is just the most disgusting thing to me. Of course in the moment Mommy had to have her bearings and swiftly toss it in the trash before any major revelation by the kids of what “it” was. All they needed to know was that just as much as we need and love to eat a plant like our trusty artichokes, other insects in this world love it too…

And… gulp…must eat like us…gulp… unfortunately we were sharing ours with another friend tonight. You know I love a natural learning experience, but did it really have to come in the form of a creepy crawly in our food tonight?!! Seriously, I had to chop myself from our little game because if I had known to inspect an artichoke better than I did, we could have avoided this I think. Shame on me!


I was totally surprised by this episode tonight and can you imagine that we still were able to finish off the other artichoke?! Well it was already almost done anyway which is about the best part remember?!


An artichoke heart is a work of art…

Yes it is all about the heart!!

And that was our evening, eventful as always! Join us next week on chopped if we can be trusted again to safely inspect our food haha 😉

The Roly-Poly pet!

It all started today as we were out attending a “park day” with some of our homeschool friends. Adventure was in the air between all the kids running around the playground, playing in sand, swinging or sliding, and paling together in some imaginative play in the distance. They love the interaction, and I love to get some time to connect with the mom’s!

At one point, the kids happened upon one HUGE roly-poly and were all very fascinated by it. They were taking turns holding it and inspecting it of course. Somehow, it was later given to Ella to “have” and before I knew it she was begging for me to let her take it home and take care of it. After I tried to convince her that the lil bug would be better off in its own habitat, rather than with us, I gave into the pleading as well as all the other girls encouraging this wonder of a pet. Her friends were very helpful in telling Ella how she should take care of it and what to feed it.

So Ella, beyond excited, got to take her new pet home but not without a bit of drama though…

While stopped at the gas station, she decided to take it out of the container we had for it, and hold it. Then she accidentally dropped it down the side of her seat in the back, deep into the abyss of cracker, crumb, crayon, and who knows what else is down there. Well maybe it wasn’t that bad, but after calming the cry’s of a new poly owner, I had little hope of actually finding it. I could only assure her that we would try our best to find “Sarafina” when we got home.

She was happy with that answer, but I could see her disappointed face in my rear view the entire way. I was praying we would luck out.

The first thing she did when we got home was hop out and make a wish on a dandelion, that her poly would be alive and found.

After tearing my car apart and finally dismantling car seats, to fold down the bench seat in the back, lo and behold there was Sarafina in a little crevice under the bench, upside down  and scrambling none the less.

YESSS!!! Thank you lord for not letting her first roly-poly pet experience end before it had a chance to start!

Ella was thrilled she FINALLY had a dandelion wish come true too 😉

Meet Miss Sarafina!

A hiding spot for the little friend

After house hunting, and decorating subsided for this lucky little isopod’s new home, we just had to learn what she needs to eat!

The roly-poly food groups...not much variety

Now Sarafina is well equipped in her new abode. Lots to do and see for a bug right? Ella already thinks she likes to play hide-and-seek, because every time we peeked in Sarafina was hiding under something. It’s cute to see a little imagination with this probably short adventure….

Oh the life of a bug must be rough...

Ella’s friends made her fully aware  today that poly’s don’t often survive the night. We are prepared for a burial service by tomorrow, but that’s okay! Ella understands it’s just part of a bug’s life. Sarafina lived a very complete life of a bug, after the adventures she had today anyway!

Ella told me that she really wanted to do this to prove to me that she could be responsible enough to get a tea-cup chihuahua like her Aunt. She wants one VERY bad and believes that by feeding the poly and cleaning poly poop if there turns out to be such thing, than she would be able to handle a dog.

I couldn’t love this rationalizing anymore than I do, because it’s so hilariously cute and I love that she means well!

I told her I can’t promise the dog, but I know this does show how responsible she is. She has been guarding the box with her life the rest of the afternoon.

responsibility over the tiniest life

Hopefully little Sarafina at least makes it through one night but we will see.

I’m actually excited because this new pet tied in well with our recent studying of the amazing skeleton and the exoskeleton. I love it when teaching moments tie in so naturally to what life has to offer us each day!

I’m happy Ella wound up with this roly-poly to take care of for a bit. It’s a sweet reminder of the gentle care we can show to any living thing, big or small. 🙂