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 😉

Shmorgishborg lunch gone bad/good

Today started off pretty well, considering the rain that we were hit with last night. I usually look forward to our Wednesday’s so much because it is a more relaxed day in general. We don’t have anywhere to really be at on these days like Monday, Tuesday and Thursday so it’s usually time to regroup and catch up on schoolwork/housework, etc.

We started the week off rocky anyway, as Gavin had the stomach flu Monday night and was still in recovery mode yesterday. This morning all seemed well. The crock-pot demanded me to put him to use, as he always seems to do on a rainy/cloudy day. I was feeling in a random lunch mood today as well. I got the “ok” from the kids that they wouldn’t mind a break from our usual lunches.

So we wound up with your not so typical SHMORGISHBORG lunch!!

The shmorgishborg

It obviously doesn’t seem appetizing to everyone I’m sure, and not the healthiest ever, but it’s some of the things we like anyway…



Deviled eggs




I told you it was random right? But as long as they eat it, I don’t mind serving it!!

The good stuff!!

Pickles please!


Ok, ready for the part where it went BAD?

….well about an hour after Grant woke up from his nap, his lunch decided to come back up 😦

Apparently he picked up the same flu-bug Gav did.

Grant had no idea what was going on with himself, the poor thing. It’s the saddest thing to me when toddlers get sick because they freak out, not knowing why this stuff is coming out of them or what to do about it. But the beautiful, GOOD thing I’m finding as my kids get older is the nurturing that comes from all of them, when something like illness strikes. Especially that it was in the middle of our day, instead of the night like with Gav. I barely had Grant out of the bath after the first of many vomiting episodes this afternoon, and Ella and Gavin were already prepping the “sick area.”

It filled me up with so much love to see them running around to help out. Grabbing all the towels, Ella had a towel trail leading to the bathroom within minutes. Gavin grabbed him water and a wet wash-cloth that he wanted to use “to get extra throw up off” with lol. They were showering Grant with love and sympathy for what he was experiencing, and I was just in a motherly proud daze as my kids seemed to take over for a minute. Literally it was like these little workers running around me trying to do their job. I wasn’t prepared to witness this bit of genuine caring going on between them at this age, but at the same time it gave me so much reassurance as a parent.


We were all pretty much at Grant’s side the rest of the afternoon. The older two made sure he had everything he needed and I had him in my arms while practically in a running stance to get the bathroom at any given moment. It was quite some work to keep up with a bug that doesn’t let up for hours. After about five hours though he finally fell asleep and appears much better.

His spirit the entire time didn’t want to give into the sick, it was so like him. Around dinnertime, when I was thanking my lucky stars that I decided to put Mr. crock pot to use, Grant told me, “My good, my fine Mama…otay?” He seriously wanted to eat, but obviously that couldn’t happen…

Anyway, I’m just so glad it came to an end in a reasonable amount of time and he won’t have to battle the icky-ness anymore! I’m even more thankful that these kids have each other now. They are so full of love and I need to read this post again on the days I am doubting that. When they are at each others’ throats arguing over a toy, or playing the “he said/she said,” or whining about who gets to go first at something, I need to remind myself that those normal instances between siblings don’t ever take away from the fact that they love each other no matter what!!

It's LOVE 🙂

Now if only I’d made a Feel Better Friend for Grant already…I really need to get on that now!!!

When life hands you bruised bananas…

Make a math lesson, with banana bread of course! 😉


As you may or may not know, we are a homeschooling fam around here. So I’m always up to the challenge and fun of finding hands on ways to teach the kids. And of course those things which will help apply and connect the concepts to life experiences, is such a plus in my eyes! I came across this great website as I was searching for easy banana bread recipes to incorporate in our math lesson today. It was super simple for the kids to do, which was good!


Lots of measuring!









can’t forget mixing…


I have a new appreciation for cracking an egg. After seeing the delight it brings my children, when they get the chance to crack one, I wonder to myself if I was the same way. Funny how we forget those little joys as we get older LOL.



AHHHHH…. you beautiful bruised banana you… so begging to be transformed into something more pleasing to the eye, and satisfying to the palette…




A little stirring,


A lot of learning, and a pinch of love later, we have our bread!!!

Don’t mind my silly picture, I was trying out fish eye 😉


What a great lesson in patience too as they had to wait a painstakingly 65 minutes long for it to bake, but it was well worth the wait! Here’s to tasty learning!!