Thursday, January 28, 2010

As long as....

As long as....I keep all my blinds close, but let the sun seep through.
(so I can't see the snow)
I can pretend there are beautiful flowers starting to bloom.

And prepare for our annual trip to Adventureland courtesy of RJ's employer.
We're going this afternoon. Didn't I tell you? After all, it is sunny and beautiful!

And we'll wear little rompers and wear sun bonnets to keep the sun out of our eyes.
Well, at least she will.
But it will be so nice to wear a bonnet and not a thick ol' stocking cap to keep our ears from freezing off. After all, it's gorgeous today!


 Then I think we'll finish the day by kayaking.
The water has got to be melted by now, right?
After all, the sun IS shining!


So, if you want to enjoy a beautiful, gloriously, sunny day.....pull all your blinds, let the sun peek through the cracks, DON'T LOOK OUTSIDE, and just dream.
And put on lots of layers and run around so you start getting really hot so it adds to the dream even more.

Believe me.
It feels so good.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Now and Later

We've all got 'em.
We all get sick of 'em.

When I was at a WW meeting once, they had a cookbook called "Now and Later" on sale for $5 and I grabbed it fast. It's full of 160 recipes of meals to make now and things to turn them into later. I try to do this on my own, but am getting really sick of my creations. You know....pork roast, pork tacos, bbq pork sandwiches, etc, etc, over and over. Gets a little old.

Since being members at Sam's, pork and chicken are some things we always have in the freezer ready to go, but I was really needing a new recipe and some new flavors, so out came the new cookbook. Here you go!

Double Chili Pork Roast
1 1/4 lbs sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks (I used way more than that because we looove sweet potatoes)
1 large sweet onion, cut into wedges
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup Asian sweet chili-garlic sauce
*I could only find "chili garlic sauce" and it smelled super spicy, so I just used about 1/4 cup, added a splash of vinegar and some olive oil to thin it out a bit)
1 tsp adobe chili powder (recipe calls for ancho chile powder, but I couldn't find it)
1 tsp ginger
1 (2lb) bonelss pork loin, trimmed

Preheat oven to 450. Mix potatoes, onion and water in 9x13; bake 15 minutes
Meanwhile, mix the rest of the ingredients together in small bowl
Remove 9x13 place the pork in the center on top of the veggies. Brush the pork and veggies with half the sauce. Bake 10 minutes. Reduce oven to 300 and bake 35 minutes. Brush pork and veggies with remaining sauceand bake for about 15 more minutes, or until temp registers at about 160. (about 15-20 more minutes) Let stand 10 minutes. Cut in half, save half for the later and enjoy the other half for now.
*This had a MAJOR kick to it, but was so good! Like usual, whenever I make a pork outside of a crock pot it always takes longer than it should so the kids got a different supper and we ate after they went to bed.

Now for the later:
Pork and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl
Whole wheat spaghetti (I used about 3/4 of the box)
2 14 oz cans of Chicken broth
2 tbls low-sodium soy suace
2 tbls chili-garlic sauce (I used 2 tsp...again, cuz it's HOT)
1 tsp ginger
1 lb bok choy, quartered
1 1/2 cups carrots cut into thin slices
1 lb reserved pork from the now.

Cook spaghetti. Drain and reserve 2 cups of the liquid.
Mix the broth, cooking liquid, soy sauce, chili sauce, and ginger in the pasta pot; bring to a boil. Add bok choy and carrots; reduce the heat and simmer until veggies are tender (about 5 min). Add spaghetti and pork; cook until heated through. Delicious! It's like a major fancy bowl of ramen noodles.
*I had never worked with bok choy before so I googled and watched a little video on how to prepare/cut it.It was easy!

So, stay tuned for more now and laters. They're good for you. easy, and yummy!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


From rat tail:

To the beginings of a pretty sweet mullet:


Yeah, she's pretty classy.
Have you ever noticed those sweet pointy ears? They're so tiny and pointy. I hope she's okay with that when she's older, but for now it's one of her cutest features.

Our new oven has been a ton of fun breaking in. We also fried an egg last week and noticed it didn't run all over because our stove is now level. It's the little things in life, huh?

I've made oatmeal raisin cookies.

Pork and Bok Choy Noodle Bowl

Frosted sheet cake.
And many other yummy things. It's been fun finding new recipes again.

Here's to a great Tuesday!

Monday, January 25, 2010

What a day...

Seriously! I used to love winter, but thanks to this non-stop-ness of ridiculous wintery weather, I'm done with it. Doesn't Spring seem like a far off dream? A beautiful and lovely far off dream?

So what to do on such a lowsy day? Think and pray about how to deal with my greatly, loved first born and his newest activity: tantrums. He was never one to throw tantrums when he was little. I can only think of 1 or 2 times where I've had to deal with a tantrum in a store. But the last month or so they have been occuring at least a few times a week. And they're crazy. We had just had a few good days with no tantrums and then had one this morning. I know he's 3. I know most kids have some sort of tantrums. I know I'm not alone. But it just stinks. He's such a sweet boy normally. Even after the tantrum (which usually only last for a few minutes) he's back to being sweet and cute and giving hugs and saying he's sorry. I hate seeing him do it. I hate that for whatever reason he feels he needs to start yelling and screaming and freaking out. I hate that I feel like it was something that I did or didn't do. Did I not do things correctly when he was little to prevent them now? Ah! I found a blog on dealing with tantrums and preventing them and I feel like most of the bullet points are things we already do. RJ and I are very calm people and don't do much yelling, so I don't think he's learning it from us. I know it's that ugly sin nature, but I can't help but think it's partially me too....what to do?

But since today is the most depressing day of the year (for real) I'll move on to something more fun. My big birthday is just around the corner and Valentine's Day is shortly after. This year, I asked if for my present for both holidays could be to redo our bedroom. When Henry moved to his big boy room, our room had to become the office. And I never got things back on the wall. The comforter we have doesn't match. It's just a sad little room with no personality. So I get to buy a new bedding set and paint the walls. I have already bought 2 comforters and have taken them back. You just don't know until you get them home sometimes. Plus, I know I will not be doing this again for a long time so I want to make sure it's one I'm gonna love for a long time. I was going to go all black and white. Then I was going to go dark gray and blue. Now I'm leaning towards a couple of different quilts. Seriously, I have the hardest time making a decision! So stayed tuned for some ugly before pictures and some (hopefully) beautiful after pictures!!

And that's all my rambling for today. Hopefully some pictures for tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Out with the old....

...and in with the new!

Final shot of the old stove. It was old. It was gross.
It is gone.

In with the new!
It is pretty. It is sparkly-bisque and clean.

It works.

Our favorite feature:
A grill/griddle attachment can be placed down the middle.
That's one of the most amazing (kitchen related) ideas I've ever heard of!

 So we finally got our new oven.
*It has an oven light.
*The burners all light immediately.
(Pretty scary to think of how we had to get the front right burner to light on our old one...surprised this place never blew up...)
*Has a working oven.
*Needs to get broken in.
*But, I'm a little scared to use it because it's just so pretty right now.

Just a bonus shot of Itty Bitty.
(100 bonus points to who guesses what show that nickname is from)
She loves Cheerios. I feed her actual food, pull out the bag of Cheerios and she starts flipping out with excitement. 
*Oh! And she's totally sleeping through the night now. Finally. Finally. She's done it before, but it never lasted more than a few days, but I've got a good feeling this time...

Potty Training Update:
Completely failed. At the suggestion of our doctor, we're just taking a break from it for a little bit and will start again soon. I never wanted to do that. I thought, once we start we are never going back! But, for the sake of my dear boy's sanity, we are taking a break. We started on a Thursday and on Friday, he had a small accident right away, and then probably at least 6 times, he told us when he had to go, and then did (even #2!), woke up at midnight wanting his diaper changed, woke up the next morning at 6:30 needing to go to the bathroom again. It was amazing. I thought he was completely potty trained! Then: Downhill. Absolutely refused to sit on the potty. Like, in a very heartbreaking, near breakdown kind of way. He would just hold it in for a long time, so we finally put a diaper back on. STILL, even with a diaper on he is very aware of needing to go to the bathroom and freaks out to use his diaper, yet will not sit on the potty. So, maybe next week, or the week after, I'll put some undies back on him and see what happens. And for now, I'm just trying to relax about it. It's not the end of the world that I have a 3 year old who still wears diapers, right? ;)

Hope your Tuesdays are going well!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Top 10 Thoughts

Top 10 Thoughts

#1. I am so excited for our new oven to arrive on Tuesday. Should have been here on the 12th, but it's a long boring story. Lesson learned: Sears is stupid.

#2. Planning on what will be the first thing I bake and cook! I haven't baked in SO long!

#3. We had a great weekend in Minnesota! Presents, food, hockey game, DATE WITH MY HUSBAND, Wii, and all sorts of fun.

#4. We are slightly close to considering buying a Wii after playing it all weekend. I never thought I'd even say that, but you all are right. They're a good time! Except I need to lose 14.2 lbs to get to my healthy bmi according to Wii Fit.

#5. Because of #4, I am signing up to run a 5k with my husband and mother-in-law in May.

#6. Because of #5, I am thankful there are training programs called "Couch to 5k".

#7. 90% sure Harper is saying "hi".

#8. 100% sure it is darn cute.

#9. 100% sure whoever coined the phrase "terrible two's" had only one child.
And that child was only 2.
And hadn't yet turned 3.

#10. I gave up pop for the year 2010.
I miss it.
I dream about it.
But it's a good thing, right?!?

The End.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Snowed In....Again

What a snowy winter, eh?
We had plans to celebrate Christmas with RJ's parents this weekend, but it has been postponed for the 2nd time. I'm excited though...we're doing it next weekend instead and it might be close to 30 degrees. Woo-Hoo!

The other day at Wal-Mart I scored some gingerbread houses for $1. You just can't pass up that kind of cheap entertainment. So we did one this morning.

And I tried to be clever, but the frosting is too runny.
Speaking of clever, Henry told me I was clever yesterday. He's been saying some crazy, funny stuff lately.


"snowed in again"


I'm not feeling motivated to do much today, but yesterday I did a painting for my mother-in-law. She had given me a piece of fabric from her kitchen curtains...about a year and a half ago...and I'm just now getting this done. Hope she likes it! I think it looks totally like a painting for a mother-in-law. Don't you want one for your mother-in-law?



We're trying a little potty training here today. Really, I have no idea what I'm doing. I'm just throwing a few things together that I've heard or read somewhere. Lots of crackers and drinks. Setting the timer and sitting on the potty every 15 minutes. A little reward and pep talk for trying. Results? He really doesn't "go" that often. He was so excited to put on his Thomas undies and did a little dance saying "they feel so good! they feel so good!". He ran down to show Harper and he seemed so proud. Then about 10 minutes later he had his first accident and freaked him out. Big time. Got cleaned up and changed and then tried again, but he didn't have to go the rest of the morning and now he's napping. I think I'll have to go get some lemonade tonight with my Walgreen's gift card.
What is your best tip for potty training? I honestly don't know if he's ready yet...he's not too interested and isn't bothered by his diapers, but I think it's for sure time to give it a try.

Hope you're all enjoying your snowed in day!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Another Reason to LOVE Walgreen's

We live just a couple of sweet blocks away from a Walgreen's, and MAN, I love it.

Sometimes (when it's not 20 below ZERO) I'll walk over there. Just for fun.
A lot of times I'll drive over there. Cuz I'm lazy. And it's COLD.

The other night I was there and they had ice cream on sale. So naturally, I bought some.
Then I ate some.
Then I thought it tasted kind of funny.
Then noticed the "Best By" date was from August of '09.

And can you believe this is the 3rd time we've gotten old ice cream from this Walgreen's.
(This story is thrilling and life changing....please stay with me.)

So I considered broadcasting my dissapointment, but thought I should first let them know about it and give them a chance to redeem themselves. I went to their website and sent a nice, yet firm, complaint. Within an hour, I got a call from the store manager who appologized and is sending a $20 Walgreen's gift card in the mail.

So a few things can be learned from this:

#1. Don't mess with my ice cream.
#2. If you have a complaint, take it straight to the top.
#3. Do it with gentleness.
#4. Be sure and respond after all is said and done thanking the manager for her generosity and promptness in taking care of their customers.
#4. Continue to love Walgreen's.

#5 (but probably not going to use the $20 to buy more ice cream....just sayin'....)

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I did it.

I still need to mess around with it and see all the different ways I can style it, but I really like it. It's short. Short. Probably the shortest I've ever had it so I didn't chicken out!
Now I need to go find some girly hair!

Me and my dorky face.

Pictures from the weekend

We celebrated Christmas this past weekend with my side of the family and had a great time!
Grandpa read the Christmas story....straight from the Bible, of course!

Grandpa and the 2 babies.
Hey, at least the old guy knows how to look at the camera. :)

There aren't many a pictures I like of myself, but RJ took these ones of Harper and I and I love them.
Me and my little girl.
Pretty precious.


 She was pretty excited about her little baby doll.

 Then after Christmas, it was time for Henry's birthday party. We got a pinata...I think we'll make this a tradition. 2 years in a row now and it's such a hit with the kids!


Seriously, when all the candy fell it was the quietest the kids had been all day.

 MORE presents.

And here are the ingredients for his birthday cake. I was so proud of myself....I bought a mix and store bought frosting to save on time. 

 And the after:


 Cute idea, eh? I got it here.

He was pretty excited about it!
 Then last night our little family had a nice meal and stuck a candle in a Little Debbie treat. oven is broken and our new one isn't coming until next week.
And this is the response we got:


3 going on 16.

I'm getting my hairs chopped off today. Photos to come!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy Birthday to my Henry!

It feels like so long ago, yet just like yesterday.

You were one (of the two) happiest babies I've ever had the privilege to know.

Always full of funny faces and funny things to say.


You're sensitive and sweet.


You're pretty cool too.


You constantly surprise us with your fun personality. You rarely stop talking. You love being around people. You're loud.
.....seriously, you are so different from your dad and I.....
but we love it and can't (nor want to) imagine life any differently.


We pray you will grow up to be a strong man who seeks after Christ daily.
And who has an infectious love for Him.
(And keep that fun personality while you're at it)

But until you become a man, I'll enjoy these moments of you being a little boy.
When you'll still sing songs with me before bedtime.
Give me hugs and kisses and "cuddle just a little bit longer".
Say things like "zirp" instead of zip.
And "crack-corn" instead of popcorn.
And call me mommy. 

We love you, little Henry Dean.
Happy 3rd Birthday!!


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