Thursday, July 30, 2009

A New Car. Maybe? Maybe not.....

Well, it's no Volvo, but it sure is cute. We've looked at cars and researched this week and met RJ at the dealership after work to test drive. Shook hands, signed some paper work and will pick up tomorrow at 2. Awesome! But then we just heard that as of midnight tonight, the cash for clunkers program is being suspended (after only ONE week!) so we have no idea what this means for us....the loan isn't finalized or anything so we have a pretty good feeling that it's not gonna happen. I honestly am fine with it if it doesn't go through, but it's probably the only chance we'd ever have at owning a brand stinking new car. And isn't it adorable? I would say that old-school Jaguars and Volvo station wagons are beautiful. This is stinkin' cute. Ah well. We tried.

It felt so weird to look at such nice cars. Of course there are cars that I love and would like, or want, but I don't really care what kind of car we drive. So the thought of something new seemed so crazy. Neither of us has ever owned a car that is within 10 years of the date we are living. It's not fancy. In fact, if it becomes ours, it's a fairly base model. No power windows or locks. Can you believe they even make cars like that these days?!? :)

But, isn't it cute??

We are really living it up today and ordered a pizza too. That is one thing we hardly ever do anymore, but man, it was good. The Edge from Pizza Hut. I got veggies with no cheese....and you know, it was really good! Who needs cheese? Oh, that's just painful to write.

I'm a little hyper on caffeine right now. I best stop my rambling.

Friday, July 24, 2009


I'm not picky about much. Our Jeep has tape for a window, but it's just the car that gets RJ to and from work so it never has to go far. But we've started casually looking for it's replacement. And you know what I want? What I really really want? This:

Preferably a 97-2001ish Volvo Station Wagon.

It's true. I really want one. And the good news is that one of these in the years that I'd want are exactly in our price range so alls we have to do is look. And look and look and look.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

(almost) Wordless Wednesday

lovin' this weather
Looking for the jumbo jet.
Bubbles and his helicopter. Easy to please.
I think he may be a pilot when he grows up.
Don't worry. You can play with us next year.

Monday, July 20, 2009


Henry had a great time at his pirate party, though he was mostly obsessed with a little yo-yo the whole time. Maybe he'll be shy in group settings or maybe he's still a little young to really want to play with other kids, but he seems to stick to himself and not want to do much. I'm not going to push it since he's still pretty young. I know he doesn't seem to like a lot of commotion and usually stays clear of it, but every now and then he'll get pretty rowdy if it's just a couple of boys. Usually when I peak in at him during sunday school he's playing with the little people or the kitchen and usually just playing with the girls. He's already trying to lay on the charm.

We had a nice relaxing weekend. Jethro's for breakfast with some friends on Saturday and then just hung out at home the rest of the day. After church on Sunday I ran around to about 5 different stores looking for the *perfect* fabric for my mirror project, but had no luck. I started looking for curtains or sheets too, but just couldn't find exactly what I wanted. The search will continue. It's going in our dining room, which is going to be repainted a white of some sort, so I want the fabric to have some fun design and mostly in light blues and greens. I don't think that sounds like too much to ask. This will be the 2nd time I paint that room. Every room in our house has been painted twice except for the kitchen and bathroom and we've been here 4 years. I'm sure a third coat is somewhere in the near future too.

Harper was sleeping so well, but I'm not sure what happened. She didn't sleep well at my mom's, but I figured it was just because of a new environment and hoped she'd sleep better at home. She's been up 2 or 3 times a night. At this age Henry was easily up at least 3 or 4 times every night so I've been through this before, but it feels so much harder this time. I'm dragging here.

Here's a fun, healthy recipe I tried out yesterday. It takes a bit to get used to the savory, rather than sweet bread, but it was good. I think it'd make a great panini or sandwich with cream cheese and cucumber. Enjoy!

Zucchini bread with roasted red peppers and feta
(I got it from, which is often showcased on, my new favorite website!)

1 large zucchini (grated)
2 roasted red peppers (chopped)
2 cloves garlic (grated) I just used about a tsp of garlic salt
1/2 cup feta (crumbled)
1 teaspoon oregano
2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 eggs
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Mix the zucchini, roasted red pepper, garlic, feta, oregano, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and eggs in a large bowl.
2. Mix the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder and oregano in a bowl.
3. Mix the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients.
4. Pour the batter into a greased 9x5 inch loaf pan.
5. Bake in a preheated 350F oven until a toothpick pushed into the center comes out clean, about 45 min- 1hr.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Grandma, cousins, murals, shopping, fun, oh my!

What a fun week we had! RJ drove our family up to my parent's house on Saturday and only he went back home Sunday morning while me and the kids stayed until my mom brought us home today. We all had a great time! We got to go to my sister's house and play with all the cousins and were even able to get them to sit still for a picture. Went to the lake to play, did some shopping, did some painting projects, and relaxed. The kids are completely wiped out and went to bed early. Tomorrow Henry gets to go to Noah's pirate party and we can't wait! All the kids will be dressed like pirates. It's going to be the cutest thing. What a fun ending to an excellent week! Here are some pictures of our fun.

There was actually a picture where they're all looking, but this one is my favorite.
Harper and Elizabeth. It was so cute to see them together!

Elise and Ben could not get enough of their baby cousin. Everyone wanted to hold her and she was happy to be passed around.

I don't blame them. I just can't get enough of this sweet little girl either.

Henry had the time of his life with his older cousins. He copied everything they did.

We went to Storm Lake to a really cool park and went down to stick our feet in the water.

With cousin Jack.

The mural I painted for Elise's big girl room. She was pretty excited!

I painted this B at my parent's house.

We decided to paint the wall green. It was a little tedious to paint each section, but I like that kind of project. Strange, huh? I think the effort was totally worth it!

We stopped at a consignment store in Hartley on the way back from my sister's. The huge frame was $5 and the awesome-ly cool mirror was only $2. Stayed tuned for the "after". I can't wait to start working on this project! I don't know what it is about me and mirrors. I certainly don't like looking in them, but I just come across so many cool ones that I just have to buy.

Have a great Friday, everyone!

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Baby Boomers

You must eat here. Now!
I dare say it's the best (diner) breakfast in town. We're all painfully and happily full. It reaffirms my dream to have a diner someday. Or a bakery. Or both.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

All Lined Up.....

This little boy is a funny one.
These are all current situations in our house. I do not kid.

Is this a normal thing? Is it a boy thing? A 2 1/2 year old thing? Or a ......... weird thing? Maybe a bit of everything. But now that I see all the pictures together it kind of creeps me out a bit. :)

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

So sometimes I am not near as cool of a mom as I think I am and my master napping plan fails. But then I get to share some one on one time with little Harper and who doesn't love that?

Her personality reminds me so much of Henry. Such a happy little girl and so quick to smile.
I know. Killer rat tail, huh?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


I have a daily goal of getting Henry and Harper's afternoon naps to coordinate with one another. It's been successful most days and the last 3 days they've both slept for 3 hours at the same time. I love it! Of course it helps to wear them out constantly so they are beyond exhaustion.

We had a marvelous play date today! The kids played in the water and in the yard the whole time while us ladies got to talk. I wish I would have remembered the camera. The kids were having so much fun! Well, as long as Henry wasn't getting wet, he was having fun. I need to somehow teach that boy that getting wet and dirty can be a good thing. One of my friends is due with her first baby shortly so we were talking about new mommy things. It makes me miss the anticipation of labor and those first few weeks of having a newborn. Harper is only 3 1/2 months old and I already miss it!

Weeks like these I almost feel guilty for having so much fun being a stay at home mommy while RJ has to go work. Thanks, babe.

I've been in a major cooking mood this summer and am loving finding some new, healthy recipes. A new recipe I'm going to try this week is Black Bean Sweet Potato Burgers. But of course there are still those oldies, but goodies. I've made this chicken salad so many times, and may have already posted it, but here it is again. I love it!!

Chicken Salad
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon poultry seasoning (I don't have any, so I leave it out and probably will never add it since it's yummy without)
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon lemon juice

3 cups diced, cooked chicken breast meat
1/2 cup finely chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped green onions
1 1/2 cups diced Swiss cheese
1 1/2 cups halved grapes
I'm sure almonds and pineapple would be a great add-in as well.

Mix all together and, of course, is best on a croissant. *Update* The apple and carrot salad I posted last week is amazing and I've already made it twice. It is so good!! I think it will become one of those dishes I make that will be a "this again?" kind of thing because I want to make it again already.....

Hope you're all having a lovely week!

Friday, July 3, 2009

Picture time...

Where's Harper?

On the way to her dedication. She's got some big eyes, eh?
Henry got a nice gash on his forehead during Sunday School.
Sick little boy got breakfast in bed this morning. He insisted I take a picture of his feet.
Just when I think Harper looks so big, I look in her room while she's sleeping and she looks so small.
She's been rolling on to her back, but I still haven't seen it. She'll just be lying there when I go in to get her. Already keeping secrets.

A few recipes I'll be trying this weekend.....

Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Chile-Lime Vinaigrette

2 pounds medium-size sweet potatoes, peeled
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 ears corn, husked (or frozen kernels)
1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped
2 scallions, chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves chopped( I may leave this out....I don't care much for cilantro...maybe parsley instead?)
Chile-Lime Vinaigrette, (recipe follows)
In a large pot cover potatoes with salted cold water by 1 inch and simmer, covered, until just tender, about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on size of potatoes. In a colander drain potatoes and cool to warm. Cut the potatoes crosswise into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Prepare grill. In a small bowl whisk together the oil, cumin, salt and pepper. Brush both sides of the potato slices with the oil mixture. Brush the ears of corn with the remaining oil mixture. Grill the potato slices
for 1 minute per side and transfer to a large bowl. If necessary, the grilled potato slices can be halved or quartered into bite-size pieces at this point. Grill the corn for 3 to 4 minutes rotating once a minute and transfer to a plate. When the corn is cool enough to handle, remove the kernels with a sharp knife. Add the corn to the potato slices. Add the red bell pepper, scallions and 1/4 cup cilantro leaves. Pour half of the dressing over the vegetables and gently toss to combine. Add the remaining dressing and carefully stir again. Cover and let stand for at least 30 minutes to allow flavors to combine. Sprinkle with remaining chopped cilantro.
Chile-lime vinaigrette:
6 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce
1 teaspoon chile flakes
1 teaspoon toasted ground cumin seeds
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon sugar
Whisk together vinaigrette ingredients. Yield: approximately 2/3 cup
*I am so excited about this recipes! I adore sweet potatoes. Sweet potato fries, sweet potatoes on the grill, sweet potatoes with marshmallows and brown sugar.....
Apple and Carrot Salad

2 large apples, 1 red and 1 green, cored, thinly sliced, cut into matchsticks
1 1/2 tbsp fresh lemon juice, or less to taste
3 cups carrots, cut into matchsticks (or the pre-cut ones)
1/4 cups chives, chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, or more to taste
2 oz feta cheese, crumbled
*I'm trying this salad to go with a grilled pork loin. Can't wait!*

Henry woke up with a fever the last couple of days and I took him in to the doctor yesterday and he has strep. Poor boy! He's actually been acting pretty well though and today at noon he'll no longer be contagious. Thank goodness babies can't get strep so I don't have to worry about Harper! They've both been up by at least 6 all week. Oy. That makes a mamma tired.

RJ left at 5 this morning to go to Waterloo where his grandma is having surgery to remove a tumor at the base of her brain. She has very aggressive melanoma. She had surgery to remove some from her lungs a couple of months ago, but now it's back in both lungs, her blood, and her brain. Please pray for her!

Have a Happy 4th of July!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

FREE Audio Book Download

Go here to get a FREE download of Francis Chan's book, Crazy Love, during the month of July!!
It is seriously some goooood stuff.

Life here has been pretty slow and almost a little boring leaving me not much to blog about. Henry and Harper have been doing awesome-ly these past few weeks.

One camera has a dead battery and I can't get pictures to download from the other one.

So that's my story. Have a great week!


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