What's Cookin' Wednesday? Turkey Burgers!

A few disclosures to start out this post:
1.  These photos are from July.  It's just me and 'da kids this week, so I am not cooking any big meals. Don't want to let TOO much food go to waste.
2.  The photos don't actually have ground TURKEY in them, it is actually ground pork (I think).  I have found it to be nearly impossible to find any kind of turkey in the Netherlands.
3.  Sorry if the talk of all of this meat offends anyone.

# # #

Alright, so if I have ever entertained you during the summer (in Minnesota, with a grill), you have likely had these.  This is the ONLY recipe that I sort of created on my own.  Amazing that I only have one almost original recipe, isn't it?

Jen's Turkey Burgers
So what do you need? 
1 lb      ground turkey (or whatever ground meat you can find, as in my case)
1 tsp.    Worcestershire sauce
3/4 tsp.  garlic salt
1/2 tsp.  pepper
1/2 c     shredded cheese (amount can be adjusted to your liking)

What to do?  Pretty simple... 
1.  Combine all ingredients
2.  Form into patties
3.  Grill as desired

(or, fry in pan if you live in somewhere you can't have a grill)
 My patties never look very pretty.  Any tips?
Luckily they get put in a bun, so are pretty much covered up.  Extra piece of cheese?  Totally optional.  I just LOVE cheese.

Oh, and which day did we have these?  July 4th, of course.  Wanted to have one of the most American meals we could.  So, here is what we had with it:
Yes ma'am, those are Nacho Cheese Doritos.  Numnumnum, a TREAT in this household.  Oh, and I think that is the whole bag right there.  The whole "smaller package sizes" in Europe is NOT a myth.

And what do you get when you add turkey burgers + doritos?
Happy boys, especially when a little one gets to have an oreo too (that would be why his mouth is black).

Linking up again with Heather at Life as We Know It with Two Twinkies and a Tator Tot for What's Cookin' Wednesdays.


Sweet & Short

It's Tuesday.  

Just in case you were wondering...

Last week the days just FLEW by.  This week?  Not so much.  

Maybe because J#3 was up at 5:40 this morning, so the rest of us got to be up at 5:40 too?  Yup,  think that might be it.  

And I am still reading The Lord of the Rings.  60% done.  Just about to start Book 5 (of 6).  Wish me luck.  

So, a sweet & short post for you today.  But a new feature I hope you will enjoy. 

This week I am joining up with Darcy at Life with My Three Boybarians for Sweet Shot Tuesday. The idea is to link up the best photo you have taken over the last week. Seems like a good way to keep honing my photography skills.  

Since yesterday's post was "Ode to J#3", guess who gets featured today? 

Hmph. Guess he snuck in there again.  Two-year-olds have a way of doing that, don't they? 


Ode to J#3

If ONLY these were my words; but this woman writes it so well. I believe this comes from the children's story book You Are My I Love You. 

# # #

I am your parent, you are my child.

I am your quiet place, you are my wild.

I am your calm face, you are my giggle.

I am your wait, you are my wiggle.

I am your dinner, you are my chocolate cake.

I am your bedtime, you are my wide awake.
I am your lullaby, you are my peekaboo.
I am your goodnight kiss,  you are my I love you.

by Maryann K. Cusimano

P.S.  There is a free printable of this poem here.  Isn't it awesome?

Bucket List Flashback: London? Check!

While making some organizational changes {and a few additions} to my bucket list the other day, I realized I never told ya'll about our trip to London last December. Which would make sense, because I didn't start writing this blog until January.

So will you please join me for a step back into time?
We treated ourselves to a pretty nice hotel, since it was our first Christmas ever away from our family and friends in Minnesota.  {I was eight months pregnant with J#4 so an overseas plane trip wasn't in the cards for us.  But a train ride to London?  Golden!}  This is the view from our balcony. Not to shabby, eh?

"Hey look kids, Big Ben, Parliment! Hey look kids, Big Ben, Parliment! Hey look kids, Big Ben, Parliment!"  Can anyone guess the movie?
I think the view might have gotten even better at night.  

Since I was so far along in my pregnancy, we took it a little easy on this trip. And now that we are moving to Scotland, it should be easy for us to get back to London to see even more, right? 
We did the "hop on, hop off" bus tour.  I love this as an option when you are traveling in a big city.  Gives you a good lay of the land, so that you can pick and choose the areas you want to check out more once you are done with your tour. 
Seriously.  Do you see this little baby boy?  Where did he go??? 
First up was our required trip to the Hard Rock Cafe.  And with this being the ORIGINAL HRC, we had to make sure that we ate there.  And we did.  

We went twice.  

Yes, we did.  On our first day in town (on the tour) and then on Christmas Day. Yup, our Christmas Dinner 2010 was compliments of the London Hard Rock Cafe.  

But back to the sites.  We made a trip to Buckingham Palace.  But there weren't the guards out front due to the holiday.  Boo.  Hiss. 
And the ever classic British phone booths... 
All I can say is "thank God for cell phones".  This thing was not the most pleasant smelling place in the city, I can tell you that for sure.  Although, I am guessing my sniffer was a bit more sensitive than usual.
Trafalgar Square

Of course we had to try fish & chips.  It might look like I am forcing this on J#3. Trust me, I'm not. It was either this photo or a REALLY bad one of me.  I write the blog, so I win.  

But what about Santa?   Did he find us?  Well, of course he did!
Setting up the train tracks for J#3 to enjoy.  Thanks Santa!  Actually, J#3 got to see Santa in the lobby of the hotel.  He evidently was so thankful for his train set he decided he was going to give Santa our camera case.  Isn't he a kind, giving boy?  ;-) 
The last day we were there we spent some time at the park.  
What almost two year old boy doesn't enjoy some time at the park?  And what eight month pregnant mum doesn't mind a park with a bench and a daddy to play with J#3?
To top off our trip, we stopped for a burger at the train station. What does J#3 do? Grabs Daddy's burger and starts eating it. Random. Totally and unbelievably random for this kid.
 Seriously, doesn't he look SO young in this picture? 

And that, my friends was our trip to London.  

Now that we have the big sites out of the way, you'll  have to let me know if you have any suggestions for our next trip to London. It's not yet planned, but it WILL be happening. This time I think we will hit in the summer... 


Sunday Funday Favorites #3

Hey ya'll!  Ready for the last week of summer?  

Well, it is what I consider the last week of summer, just before Labor Day in the United States.  We don't have "labor day" here in the Netherlands but in this house it will be the last week of summer too. 

Next week, I start the couch to 5K (eek!).  But for now, I'm still on the couch. At least when I am not walking to the grocery store and park, making laundry trips up the stairs and playing with the kiddos on the floor.   

Here are a few of my favorites from the couch this week...  

Favorite Blog Post: 
A brief return to wedding photography

The mastermind behind the online photography course I took has a blog too. This post features a recent wedding that she photographed, so you can enjoy the photos. But the real reason I enjoyed the post was the story about the wedding location. If you have a few spare seconds, check it out.     

Favorite Etsy Shop: 
Truche Handmade Accessories & Creations
Check out this great necklace.  Not from Minnesota?  She has a lot of states and different countries too.

Abbie's House
This is probably a bit much for us right now, but seems like a fun option for a chore chart. 

Favorite Pin

Can you tell that chore charts are on my mind right now?  I think we are a few years away from chore charts.  Or are we?  Either way, I think these are adorable for a DIY option.  

& here is another pin: 

Source: yfrog.com via Jennifer on Pinterest

Favorite Photo: 
Technically speaking, this photo isn't the greatest.  But just warms a woman's heart.  Specifically, mine.  


Bucket List Progress: Update #1

Happy Saturday!  

It's the weekend, so that means it is time to play catch up, right?  

There are a few items on my bucket list that are sort of on-going items, or things that are a little harder to sum up and tie neatly in a post.  So every now and then I'll give you a bit of an update on what's happening with those items.  And today is one of those days.  

The photos throughout this post have NOTHING to do with the list.  Although, these munchkins do their hardest to distract me from it. And I guess the photos tie to #34. But only if you think they are good.  Hehe. 
34.  Learn how to take better photos

I am officially crossing this off the list. I have completed my online course, so I am up to speed on the basics of using my camera in manual mode.  This will ALWAYS be a work in progress, but hopefully you will continue to see better photos. 

36.  Write a book
I wrote a little about this yesterday.  I actually have a few ideas I am tossing around and have started taking notes so the fleeting thoughts that pass through my mind aren't lost. 

38.  Participate in an organized sporting event (i.e. biking event, 5K walk/run) 
Eek.  So, I am putting this out there so that I can be held accountable by all of you that check in with me from time to time.  A friend of mine from high school {and now, thanks to Facebook} have committed to doing the Turkey Day 5K in Minneapolis.  

So starting Labor Day (seem's fitting, right?), I am going to start the Couch to 5K program.  Eek.

39.  Read through the bible in 90 days (July 2011-October 2011)
A new session for reading through the bible in 90 days started back in July.  And I jumped right in.  We are about half-way through.  This will also help me with #41 (see below). 

40.  Write a list of 1000 gifts that I am thankful for. 
This is ongoing, and I have to be more committed to doing it every day.  Writing down things that I am grateful for each day lightens my mood.  And helps me to "live in the now". 

41.  Read the list of 100 books on the BBC list
Oye.  So, I decided to take this in the order it is listed on the list.  Which maybe wasn't a good idea.  Right now I am on The Lord of the Rings.  I know there are people who LOVE these books.  

I am not one of them.  

Maybe I am just not a fan of high fantasy books (at least that is what Wikipedia calls it). I am about 41% (thanks Kindle) through the trilogy.  I have to admit that I find anything to distract me from reading these books.  And that is not the kind of reader I am .  So I am going to put this out there so that, again, you can hold me accountable.  My goal is to finish these up (or get as far as possible with two little ones running and crawling around) this upcoming week.  I am usually a pretty fast reader, so that shouldn't be a problem (hopefully). 

I am really excited to move on to some of the next books, like Jane Eyre and even Harry Potter. The Bible is #6 on that list, so I should be able to check that one off in October. 

Do you have any other questions about my bucket list?  Write a comment below, and then I can answer it in an upcoming post! 

ONE MORE THING:  I just want to make sure that all of our friends {including online friends and readers} and family out on the east coast of the U.S. that we are thinking of them and they are in our prayers.  I can't stop checking online to see the progress of Hurricane Irene and wishing that she won't be as strong as they have been saying she may be.


Five Minute Friday: Older



That term brings to mind the fact that I am always lookin forward, wondering what is going to happen next.  What will happen next year, when I am a year older?  How will my kids be when they are older?

What do we need to do now to be ready for being older? For being retired?

So many questions.  Reminds me too of the original question from when I was a kid,  "what I am going to be when I grow up (=older)?"

I am still trying to figure that out.  When I was very young, before I likely realized what work was, I wanted to be a lawyer.  I have no idea why.

Once I actually developed an interest in something, I had another dream profession.  To be a writer.  I worked towards that from that day on.  I think it was about 5th grade when I had decided that?

Source: flickr.com via Lianne on Pinterest

So during junior high, I wrote for our small (and I went to a Catholic school, so it was small) newspaper.  I went to high school, and did everything I could (including getting up to start school at 6:40 (!)) to be able to take Journalism class my sophomore year.  And I achieved a goal by being an editor for two years.

Then, I went off to college.  The "writing" goal had taken on a bit of a new life, and landed in wanting to be a journalist.  My college choice happened because I thought TV journalism would be the way to go.

Oh the dreams.

After graduation, I found myself in the Twin Cities, and thus gave up a bit on the "writing" dream.  Because in  my head I thought it would be too hard.

Now I find myself with the opportunity to indulge in that dream occupation.  The original one of being a writer.  I have the time to write a book.  So maybe I will just have to jump in and do it.  It is on my bucket list, after all.

Source: flickr.com via Alona on Pinterest

Okay...just needed to finish this up, so I guess I am breakin' da rules today.  I think I went up to about six minutes.  As I do each most Fridays, today I joining the crowd at The Gypsy Mama. Please head over there and check out some other bloggers thoughts on "Older".  This should be an interesting week.  There could be so many ways to take this prompt.

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