Every weekend I look at Collin and say "I really need to sit down and finish the fire story." And he looks back at me and says "yeah, ya do." And every weekend comes and goes and I rarely even sit down, let alone have time to blog.
We're two months post-fire and our lives are still pretty much a mess. Some days it feels like we're chugging through the to-do list but a lot of days (like this past weekend) it feels like we're forever doggy paddling in the deep end, never making it even close to shore. There are a lot of days I just can't fight it any longer and I let myself sink, in tears or anger/frustration.
The local children's furniture shop was having a sale this weekend so we packed the boys up and headed to Appleton. I don't know why we thought this was a good idea. Not once has a trip to the furniture shop in town with them in tow been successful, and this one also proved to be pretty much a disaster. Thankfully the owner, who was helping us, is pretty much a saint and he quoted us on a couple of sets (at the sales price) and said the quotes are good for 30 days. He also didn't flinch at our children's behavior, having raised four boys of his own, he was sympathetic and understanding. It was about the only saving grace of the day.
We still have so much to inventory (so much!), drivers license and credit cards to replace, donation boxes that haven't been sorted through, I can't even think about it all because it gets me so down. The one thing we have started doing again though, is cooking regularly. For the first several weeks following the fire we were eating out or eating boxed dinners, pretty much all the time. Partially because we have very limited cooking supplies, also because we are just now restocking all of our spices/ingredients needed to make most things, but mostly because I didn't have any recipes.
Our return to cooking has been in no small part due to my friend, Jill, and her sister, who put together an awesome gift for us. With the help of a number of family members and friends they combined a group of people's favorite recipes, wrote them on to recipe cards, fitted them in the protective slips, and organized them all into a cute little recipe box. I'll be honest, I may have weeped a little when I saw it.
The most recent one we tried was Crockpot Pizza (which was supplied/submitted? by Jill). Everyone in the family loved this, we'll definitely be making it again. Plus, it makes a huge pot so we got two, if not three, full meals out of it. Go! Make yourself pizza in a crockpot!
1 1/2 lbs ground beef (cooked)
1 (8oz) pkg rigatoni pasta (I used whatever was in the cupboard)
1 (16 oz) pkg shredded mozzarella cheese
1 can cream of tomato soup
2 jars pizza sauce
8 oz sliced pepperoni, halved (opps, I'm just now seeing I was supposed to half it, I didn't, and it turned out fine.)
(Side note, when cooking my beef I added a can of mushrooms, onions, garlic, and some italian seasonings - just because I add this to pretty much all "Italian" meals.)
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain and set aside.
In slow cooker, alternate layers of ground beef, noodles, cheese, soup, sauce, and pepperoni.
Cook on low setting for 4 hours.
Serve with garlic bread and salad. Enjoy! (we also served with cottage cheese.)