Thursday, December 16, 2010

snowy randoms

i have had a post on my mind for a few days...nothing significant...just random thoughts... :) i always think i should write down what i'm thinking because i will forget...and i do... :) i feel like i had all this wise knowledge to share...hehehe...must not have been too wise or i would have remembered it, huh?! :) i know it's not wise knowledge...just the ramblings going on in my brain... :)

*we enjoyed our first snow day today... it was pure joy to see that Madison & Albemarle was closed this morning around 6... i love having Ry home to have a "shut in" day with the three of us (+2 pooches)... :) it's kinda like the best little present... :) and, from the sounds of road conditions and the fact that the temperatures are going to be in the teens tonight, it looks like we'll have another "shut in" day tomorrow... :)

*i'm even more glad for having a snow day because i have a terrible sore throat and the "feelings" of a sinus infection... :-\ boo hiss...

*we only got around 3 inches of snow...but things just don't operate like they do in the North when it comes to snow removal in VA....and i'm OK with that... :)

*i loved not waking up last night with my sweet daughter... it has been a choppy/sleepless last few days ever since we experienced the fast moving stomach virus on Sunday night... i am still not sure what's going on with her sleep habits - they're puzzling... she slept until 11 AM this morning...yes, 11, she isn't a teenager :) she didn't fall asleep until close to 11 last night (again, her sleep schedule is all off...naps are later in the afternoon, so that makes for a late wake up time...which pushes bedtime back...)

*i was all ready to make an assembly line with Ry to get our christmas cards mailed...but alas, i don't have address labels so that i can print off everyone's address... (and now that i think about it, i remember thinking, "i need to get more labels" last year when i printed our addresses :)) i would personally address the cards, but...well, i worked so hard to get all those addresses typed out... :) maybe we can venture out tomorrow afternoon for labels so that people can get our christmas cards before June... :)

*i had a 32 week check up yesterday with the OB...going every 2 weeks now... it's so uneventful, but i guess they have to check your blood pressure and urine for signs of trouble, so that's a good thing, i guess... the doctor told me i was measuring at 34 weeks...probably just the extra layer of fat i have :D i kinda feel like a moose anyway... more bulky than i was when i was preggo with K...

*i was going to make some cookies...but i don't have one ingredient, of course... don't you hate when that happens? i will probably make a different kind of cookie instead... sadly, out of that list i put up almost 2 weeks ago, i've only made one of those recipes... :) yah, i dream big, don't i? :)

*i need to think about starting dinner...and getting K up... :) so i will leave my random thoughts for now... :)

hope you are enjoying your day... :) white stuff or not, i hope it was a good one :)

Monday, December 13, 2010

meals for 12.13.10 through 12.19.10

greetings from frigid VA... we're sitting comfortably in the teens right now... winds blowing around 20-30 miles per hour... so incredibly nice.. it would be better if there was some white stuff on the ground and roads so Ry didn't have to go to work... :)

we had a nice little stomach virus pass through the house in the last 24 hours... the only victim being my poor, sweet daughter... while it was swift, thankfully, i still don't think that there is anything worse than seeing your 2 year old so sick she can't stop shaking and crying... ugh! thankfully, other than a low-grade fever, she's a lot better today/this afternoon... we'll just pray that this is the end... :)

meals for the week... this isn't the original plan for the week - things got changed since i spent most of the day tending to K and snuggling :)

Monday: macaroni soup & grilled cheese

Tuesday: homemade pizza

Wednesday: spaghetti

Thursday: morning star buffalo wings, mac and cheese, and veggies

Friday: take out - TBD :)

Saturday: Ry will be gone for dinner - leftovers for K and me :)

Sunday: Ry will be gone for dinner - leftovers for K and me :)

hope you all have a wonderful last full week before Christmas... :) ENJOY each other and your time together... :)

Thursday, December 9, 2010


we have interesting meal times here... mainly because my sweet daughter is a very picky eater...
the "every day" things she will eat are:
unlimited fruits
any crackers
cheese (deli sliced american and string cheese-mozzarella)
yogurt (mostly with a straw)
sweet potatoes (on occassion)
chips (mainly tortilla)
peanut butter (on crackers, which she will scrape off and eat... she won't eat it on the cracker)
ice cream

the main coarse meals consist of:
spaghetti, but only spaghetti, not other shaped pasta
Kraft three cheese mac n cheese
french toast

i think that's the menu...
so we work, really hard, to encourage K to eat... usually, she will hen pick at what's on her's rare for her to eat a "good meal," but when she does, we usually try to reward her with dessert... (i've read not to deny children of dessert, regardless if they eat their dinner or not...i'm not sure where i stand on this because i don't understand the "thought" behind it, yet. but i admit that i haven't gotten into the practice of giving K dessert when she doesn't eat her dinner...)

tonight, K had some cheese, spaghetti, applesauce, and some honeydew...
she ate a pretty good meal, so i asked her what she wanted for dessert...a cookie, some pudding, ice cream, etc. she quickly replied that she wanted some candy...

so, i opened up a new bag of holiday M&Ms - dark chocolate - and she loved the red and green candies that we put on her little paper towel...
she's had M&Ms before after Halloween...from her small stash of candy... but she didn't remember what they were...
as she was starting to enjoy her dessert reward, we had this brief conversation...

me: mmmm, are they good?
K: mmmmm, candy....mmmmm... (she picks up 2 or 3 to put in each hand)
me: what colors are they, do you know?
K: (drooling a bit as she talks) rwed and geeen
me: what are the candies called?

she looks down at the few on her paper towel, looks in her hand, and promptly replies, "beans!"

i laughed out loud and told her they were M&Ms...
my poor daughter... :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

meals for 12.6.10 to 12.12.10

well, it's another week already.... :) seems like we just got started on last week... :) but time keeps marching, doesn't it... :) on some days, i long for a pause button for life...

a note on last week's menu... those pillsbury crescent rolls with ham and cheese were so yummy and FAST and EASY... i used ham that we had from some occassion in the past (it was in freezer and i have A LOT more to use)...and i used thin slices of Velveeta as my cheese... yum! :) i'm sure it would be good with deli ham, too... perfect combination of buttery, salty, sweet and just good... :) highly recommended...especially as some of you will probably have leftover ham in the coming weeks if that's your main meat dish for Christmas... :)

this week, i've kind of taken more of a basics menu... i have the goal of making some Christmas cookies, and i don't want to spend afternoons and evenings in the kitchen... so, the meals, while still good, i hope, will be easier and quick... :)

on the Christmas cookie front, while i don't know what i will make on what day, i've decided that i am going to be making:

  • my great-grandma's sugar cookies (cut outs)
  • maybe some other sugar cut out cookies (a recipe from a past student's mom that were SUPER yummy)
  • the infamous ricotta cookies
  • raisin puff cookies
  • salted caramel thumbprint cookies
  • and maybe some buckeyes...

all the cookies, except for the salted caramel thumbprints and the "other" cut out sugar cookie recipes are family recipes... :)
looking at that list is kind of daunting, honestly :) hehe :) but, it's my hope to get a package ready, with cookies, to send to my grandma. she's impossible to shop for (what can you get a lady who is about to turn 89? :)) and loves to have some cookies and things of that sort to snack on... she was the most INCREDIBLE cook...but a stroke took her ability to read and she doesn't see too well, either... so i figured these cookies would be perfect and comforting, too... :)

ok...our meals for the week... :)

  • Monday: rotisserie chicken (thank you, Sam's Club :)), mashed potatoes, veggies
  • Tuesday: Navajo soup (the "friendship" soup for Sarah and me :))
  • Wednesday: leftover chicken and fixins
  • Thursday: leftover Navajo soup
  • Friday: blintzes
  • Saturday: christmas cookie party at the Strongs (we're taking a super simple but yummy hormel chili dip)
  • Sunday: tacos

i hope everyone has a great week! :) ENJOY your time together :)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

meals for 11.29.10 thru 12.5.10

(i can't believe December is welcomed this week!)

here is what will be gracing our table this week... :)

  • Monday: Thanksgiving leftovers
  • Tuesday: hamburger stoup (crock pot)
  • Wednesday: chicken macaroni casserole
  • Thursday: leftovers (hamburger stoup)
  • Friday: leftovers (chick. mac. casserole)
  • Saturday: out to eat, probably
  • Sunday: ham and cheese crescent roll ups
seeing that i have my hands full on Wednesday with the kids, i will probably try to make the chicken casserole ahead of time on Tuesday... i'll just put it together, and hopefully it will bake up nicely on Wednesday... we shall see... it's also a new recipe that i've never tried... so i'm also crossing my fingers that it tastes pretty good... if not, we'll be having tomato soup! :)

and why are crescent rolls so daggone yummy? i could seriously sit and eat a whole entire poppin' fresh tube of freshly baked crescent rolls... yum!!! anyway, i'm going to the ham and cheese roll ups on Sunday... they look delicious on the Pillsbury website... and we have some ham in the freezer... i'm hoping that the meal will be good!

hope your meals are yummy and you're enjoying time chowing down this week... :)

Monday, November 29, 2010

mourning my beloved laptop and the day...

i'm so sad to say that my trusty old laptop finally went to laptop heaven today... :( oh how sad i am... 4+ years of "life" on that baby...gone...

i did a little troubleshooting with my "pal" Beverly from Dell...and after i did some fancy technical things at her prompting, she let me know that she felt i probably needed a new motherboard... fast forward for another 20 minutes on hold with parts...and the cost of a new motherboard is $600... so...yah...not going to happen... i didn't think i'd really get a new motherboard, but i was just curious to hear how much it would set us back if we did...

i'm really sad because i am an IDIOT...i have had this beautiful new laptop sitting in my living room for 3 months...but i NEVER sat down to transfer anything... i got all caught up in getting stuff situated for my online class...and it just never seemed important or something i should have made a priority... of course, hindsight is 20/20 and, well, i'm seeing the err of my ways... :(

thankfully, ry has the same work laptop as our own personal laptop, so i think i can take the hard drive out of my recently departed laptop, take his out, install mine into Ry's computer, and then pull off what i need... i have a ton of my files already on my portable hard drive...but i know there are things that i have updated since i dumped the files... i think i might have to do that this weekend...but i do have some things i need for the week - like stuff for my online class...of course...

and i hate the mouse on the newbie laptop...and the keys are all in different places... i seem to suffer from a pretty hard learning curve....

have i done enough whining yet? oh sorry...

yes, i heard a lot of whining here today from my sweet child... she managed to sleep 12 hours last night, but i just think she was all out of sorts from the travels... i would be, too... house hopping between the grandparents - 2 nights here...2 nights there...lots of time in the van... but anyway, we spent over an hour outside this afternoon so that we could "wash that grumpy" right out of her soul.... thankfully, it worked... even though her little hands were like ice cubes by the time we came in...
i was thinking that we were about a half-inch away from her head spinning around in the living room because she couldn't get her kite puzzle piece to fit properly before we headed out, so the chilly hands were worth it...

oh...back to the laptop saga... i called Apple to ask about how to transfer the hundreds of dollars worth of music on my iTunes account... and i spent lots of time on hold, AGAIN... the silly (i'm using nice words) automated person on the other end kept asking me for a serial number...and i didn't feel like going to find the iPod with the serial number... FINALLY i get to talk to a human...she tells me that she needs my serial number (of COURSE!).... so i get my iPod (which is borderline ancient, to Apple standards)... and i read her my serial number and she tells me it's INVALID...
so she asks if i have my box....and i do (of course, b/c we never throw anything away) and i KNEW where it was in about 3 seconds... i read her the serial number on the box, and, by golly gee, it's the SAME number on the back of my iPod... *go figure* the chick is pretty much insinuating that i probably have a "bought on a street corner in Philly" iPod in my hand...of course, i don't... it's from a big box electronics store...i've had it for 4 years... and well, the stupid store is now out of business... gee, i wonder why - probably b/c they were selling these $300+ iPods with faulty serial numbers...
so i ask this apple girl how i can prove that my equipment is not bootleg from Vinny in Philly...and she keeps telling me she's sorry but the serial number isn't valid (and she wasn't from India)... i'm like, "I KNOW...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD! LISTEN TO THE WORDS THAT ARE COMING OUT OF MY MOUTH...." (then i had "Meet the Fockers" flashbacks)...
she tells me i can go to an Apple store and they can verify if my iPod is legit... yah, b/c i live in the middle of the "almost" total country and we have Apple stores in every direction...
then she tells me they can help me get my music transferred if i pay around $30 for person to help me...
haven't i already given Apple enough of my money... real... so i'm annoyed and tell her that i'm not paying for that service right now until i can see if i can do it myself... and i hang up...
i was not a sweet "customer"
i was so annoyed....................
especially because i really needed to mash the potatoes so we could eat dinner before 10 PM...

and since i spent so much time on hold with Dell and then the remarkably intelligent Apple representative...i didn't get to go to the grocery store until 8:30 tonight... the bonus is that the place is deserted at 8:30... i had my pick of parking spaces... :) and it was OK that i was wearing my sleep nursing bra because no one was there... i had a fleece on but...let's just say that the nursing bra doesn't lend for much as far as "perking" up "the girls" *boy i'm really letting it all out, aren't i?* but no one cared and i could peruse the aisles of the store in total undergarment comfort :)

i liked driving the mile or so to the store and seeing the Christmas lights decorating houses in the neighborhoods... kinda neat... :) i admit, i do miss the cow and baby Jesus that used to decorate the "got junk" house on one corner... it was such a touching Nativity scene... those tenants are long gone... then i started to wonder why people put lights on their houses...i like the whole idea, but...what's the meaning or background of this tradition?

so when i got home, before i gave K her bath, i decided to get out her little 4 ft. tall pre-lit tree that we got a few weekends ago for a pretty good deal... she LOVES "Triss----missss teees" so i knew it would be a big hit... :) i folded down the cheap little branches on her little's cute... :) i put it in her room in front of her window... her face was so daggone cute when she walked into her room to get ready for her bath... :) of course, she wanted to touch the "trissss------missss teee" a million times...and nicely pointed out the same blue light a few times...
and, aside from making Little Lady's night with her pretty little tree, i realized that i can kind of participate in the "lighting" of the outside of my house "no reason" tradition, albeit from inside, by turning on her little tree to illuminate the window area in the evenings...

we would probably decorate the house with fancy lights if we had an electrical outlet in the front of our house...yah, someone forgot to do that when they built this box of a house in the 80s... some one's leg warmers were probably too tight...or maybe Guns and Roses was playing too loud on the boom box on that day and the construction guys were dancing around in the yard singing "welcome to the jungle" and playing their electric air guitars like Slash...........

i digress...

i'm glad the day is over... :) i feel like i didn't get a lot done... :) gee, i wonder why... :) but, everything is will be better in the morning when i wake up because the "big things" now will not be that big after a little time has passed...

hope you had a good monday... :)

thanksgiving memories {2010}

it's been a few hours since we returned back to VA from our travels "to the north" to visit our families... PA first...then DE...
i'm pleased to say we didn't balloon to another clothing size... (hehe) but we hold some sweet memories...

~sitting at the table with our families...but especially with my mom as she ate turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, gravy...the fixins... :) a seemingly "simple" praise...but after what she went through with her tonsil cancer and the treatments she endured, which literally stole more than a year from her sweet soul... but the pure delight i feel while watching her be able to eat is something i cannot even put into words...

~watching the snow fall quickly and thickly on Thanksgiving morning... and hearing K tell us " 'no is coming from the ki!!" :) and her immeasurable joy and excitement... :)

~safe travels...over 8 hours going, but only 5 hours on our return trip... not too bad at all :)

~the beautiful crimson sunset on our way home...

~"i spy," the 2 year old version, for horses, cows, school buses, trucks, jeeps, and cars for the car rides... and her sadness when we couldn't stop and see the parked school buses for a lengthy time period...

~K's random announcement/request for "Mickey D's" on the ride home today... even if it is just for some apple dippers (the only thing she'll eat from there :))

~taking the annual Rakow (as in the in-laws) Christmas photo at Ronnie's Garden World in DE... wreaths around our necks...pretty trees...a 2 year old who won't look at the camera or, when she does, she won't smile...people staring at us as we try to take pictures during prime shopping time... :) having fun with the picture on Picnic later that night... lots of good laughs... :)

~doing a little Christmas shopping at a craft house in PA... a most prized purchase for my mom... :) more on that later... :)

~watching K climb up in "bebot's" chair with him as he watches TV (bebot=grandpa)

~K finally trying a munchkin from Dunkin' Donuts because we told her it was "cake"

~K sitting like a big girl at DD as she told us she was "watchin' the kids" or looking for "n" and "o" and "m" in any sign she sees...

~K referring to every slightly over middle-aged man, especially with grey hair, as a "bebot" and announcing when they were going to the bathroom to "go pee pee"

~thinking about decorating for Christmas at the house (and finally putting away the pumpkins - sorry sweet K)

~awesome Christian songs on satellite radio to fill my soul on the drive

~realizing that we are cheap... we keep our house really cold compared to our parents' houses....

~Wawa iced coffee.... :)

~watching "The Wiggles"

~dreaming of 2 slices of amazing white pizza with broccoli from Maple Glen Pizza on Wednesday evening... and Dad coming home with regular pizza with broccoli because "they didn't have any white pizza"

i know there are so many things that we can find as "not so perfect" each and every day... but, in all honesty, i think that we sometimes fail to see the real blessings that surround us... and, for this trip...while the turkey was good and the sweet potatoes were wonderful, the REAL beauty of the time was being with family and just "being" in every single moment. i loved every minute of it... :) and, i cannot help but feel a tremendous and overwhelming sense of thankfulness...and not just for the big things...but also for the little things that we often take for granted or fail to notice...

i look forward to Thanksgiving 2011 for even more invaluable memories... :)

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

confessions, meal plans, and other stuff... :)

~Confessions~Font size
i'm sitting here watching Lady Gaga from her performance this summer on the Today Show...on july 9th... it has been DVR'd for me and i'm ashamed i've never watched yet! :)
i'm so amazed by her talent...and i love her music... i know my husband rolls his eyes b/c of my fastination with her...but she's really interesting to me... i don't agree with some of her "stances" and the fact that she's almost always scantily clad in a bra and underwear, but the fact that she's a music genius is probably an understatement... and her music - well, i really love most of it... :)

it's Thanksgiving week...and it seems silly for me to post what we're eating... :) but, i will share the basics... :)

Monday: grilling out (hot dogs), mac n cheese, baked beans (ry), corn

Tuesday: leftover french toast casserole

Wednesday: dinner with Mom and Dad :)

Thursday: lots of yummies...turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, stuffing, REAL cranberries, sweet potatoes, rolls...and who knows what else :) i'll surely be working along side of my mom helping prepare everything :)

Friday: i'm not sure yet :)

Saturday: lots of yummies, part deux - a regular Thanksgiving feast, again, but this time, with my in-laws :)

Sunday: i'm not sure yet :)

~Other Stuff~

  • i'm being bombarded, via email, with so many super shopping deals... tonight, i ordered some gifts for my husband and sis-in-law at Gap...saved 40% and got free shipping...that's pretty good... i also picked up 2 super cute sleepers for new baby #2 - possible coming home outfits :) the first "official" purchases for this little person :)
  • speaking of shopping, did you know that you can earn money back if you're a member of AAA (triple A) or by using today, i ordered my mom's *late* birthday gift...some flowers for her garden for spring 2011... i had a $25 off $50 coupon...and i used my find... i got 7.5% back to put toward a balance... and when you reach $10, AAA mails you a check... they have over 250 shopping Best Buy, Land of Nod, and several others... something to think about if you do a lot of shopping online... i was gong to use it for my Gap purchase, but i couldn't get logged in properly, for some reason, and i was nearing the midnight hour (the 40% was only for Monday) i had to bypass that deal....but it's kinda neat to get paid for spending money :) hehe :)
  • the lights went out at our house this evening for some strange reason...dunno why... but K's clock in her room had to be reset...and the ALARM started going off at midnight... NOT cool... she was stirring, but she laid right back down *thank God* and was sleeping before i could unplug the clock and leave... argh!
  • i'm going to steam clean the living room carpet tomorrow night... it needs to be done soooooo badly (the carpet is gross!!), but i really don't want to do it... :) i would love for the nice guys at Stanley Steamer to come and do it instead, but we'll save that expense for when i'm dealing with a newborn and the carpet needs to be cleaned and i REALLY don't want to do it then... :)
  • i have a lot of laundry to fold and transfer, so i better stop my randomness and get my rear in gear so i can wind down for the night... :)

if i don't post again before Thanksgiving, i wish everyone (ok, all 3 of you who read :)) a VERY wonderful and BLESSED Thanksgiving... :) Enjoy your time with your friends and family... :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

babysitter for hire...

as i'm sure you can imagine, the thought of welcoming a new baby into our family in February is at the forefront of our mind for Katherine... she is our world...and we are trying to introduce the concept of a baby, what they do, etc. :) thankfully, the little girl i watch, Tenley, is just 3 months and K has learned a lot from her being here... :)

K loves her baby doll...... she got her for her dad affectionately named her Suzie....and that's the end of that... :) she even smells like powder...yum... :)

K has shown she's going to be a pretty good big sister, i think...
she can help get Suzie's little hat on... :)

she can get Suzie situated on her "blankie"
she can pick Suzie up and comfort her when she "kies" or burp her...
she can also use Suzie as a bowling ball when she plays with her bowling set...
she gets a strike every time, too! thankfully our "Nanny bear cam" wasn't functioning for those pictures...
and we can't help but giggle when Suzie is "tossed" wrecklessly into the swing for a little relaxation... :)
in all seriousness, i'm so pleased to watch K with Suzie and Tenley... while it's not all coos and smiles, K is learning that baby's cry...and they need their diaper changed...and they have to eat...and that they require to be held... she's so attentive to Tenley...wanting to comfort her or give her hugs and kisses every 5 minutes... :) we'll still working on talking quiety when the baby is sleeping...but that will come with time. :) i know she's going to be a super big sister... :) well, until she realizes that her little sister isn't going to go home with Tenley at 4:30 each day :)
while she has a ways to go, take her number 10 years, she's bound to be a great baby sitter... :) just be sure to put away your bowling pins, kay? :) i'm not making any promises there.... :)

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

for no particular reason...

just because...
she's makes me smile...
she'll pull off her "yooos and yocks" in a heartbeat to put on Mom's shoes...

and if i could find the words to convey the attitude in this facial expression, i would... i think my mom would say something about paybacks and things coming full circle right now...but we won't go there... :)
but really, it's just funny to see such a little body sporting big shoes ( :o) right, Sarah? )... :) and it's even more scary to think that, in 15 years, i'll be wishing she was still doing this...well, minus the attitude... :)

...the sunshine is streaming through the windows right now, and i hear little rustlings from a certain little girl's bedroom... it's time to see what the day has to offer... :)

enjoy your day :)

Monday, November 15, 2010

meals for 11.15.10 to 11.21.10

wow...can you believe we're already halfway through November...
kinda hard to believe...
that means Christmas shopping has to get into full mode!! :-\

i have been slacking in the posting department... just super busy... but, it's time to put our menu up for the week... :)

now, i realized, as i was writing this down in my notebook, that we're having some of the same things we had a few weeks ago...and ya know what...i don't care :) the choices that seem to repeat more often than normal are good...and they're easy enough for me to "whip up" when i'm tired and don't feel like doing much in the kitchen... :) and the leftovers are, they'll repeat until we get sick of them... :)

here's what we'll be chowin' down on this week... :)

Monday: spaghetti and garlic bread

Tuesday: macaroni soup (it's going to rain all day on Tuesday - perfect for soup :))

Wednesday: garlic chicken and potatoes in the crock pot (have a 10 lb. bag of potatoes that i need to use! :))

Thursday: leftovers (probably soup)

Friday: French Toast Casserole (TO.DIE.FOR!! soooooo good!!!!) (i'm looking for the link to the recipe!)

Saturday: leftovers

Sunday: grill out :) (and i love that they are predicting it's going to be in the low 60s - perfect for grilling out! :))

hope you all are having a great mid-November week...and that the eatin's are good at your place! :) week, we'll be gorging ourselves on turkey, mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, cranberries, and pie... :) yay!!! :)

ENJOY your week! i hope it's blessed :)

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

my favorite pie making experience and Graves' Mountain Apple Festival

our house smells of apple pie tonight... i love smelling the blend of spices and apples... YUM!
we have 3 bags of apples in the fridge from our apple festival fun about a month ago! i love apple pie...but I think Ry likes it better… he always asks, “does a piece of apple pie count as a fruit serving…it has fruit?” :) and i won't be surprised if there's a piece missing in the morning - Ry will have some for breakfast :)

i put LOTS of apples into tonight's pie...Macintosh, Gala, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Winesaps… and I peeled, cored, and cut the apples in the living room, on the floor, so I could hang out with my sweet girl this evening (daddy was cooking dinner)… as I cut my apples, she kept coming over to my bowl and picking out slices of apple… with her cute grin, she’d say, “apples….mmmmmm!” she’d take a bite, smile, run into the kitchen, tell her daddy about the apple…and run back in for more… :) that’s probably my favorite pie making experience ever… :)

we had a pretty good time at the apple festival... we traveled about 40 minutes away to Graves’ Mountain Lodge in Criglersville, VA. this is a little mountain town close to where Ry teaches and I taught… it’s also special because Ry and I got married in a little white church in Criglersville
I love Graves’ – it reminds me of the resort in the movie "Dirty Dancing"… there’s a huge lodge where people come and stay… there’s also a wonderful dining area where lots of kids and adults from Madison work… we’ve never eaten there, but we hear the food is awesome…
They make their own apple sauce, cider, jellies, and apple butter (my favorite!)…just to name a few items… and they are wonderful!
I think this is the second generation running the orchard… they have acres and acres of apple trees i've always seen on a hayride into the orchard… we used to take a field trip up to Graves’ in the spring…and we’d see the baby apples growing… :) it’s BEAUTIFUL up there, too…gosh, it will take your breath away...
and, we know the families running the lodge now… I’ve taught their kids…and it’s just special to be part of such a wonderful family business… they’re real people…and good and sweet…and I love that…
we wanted to head to the festival on a warmer day…the weekend before had been quite chilly and rainy…so we took the chance to wait until the last weekend of the festival… I thought I’d be colder up there, but we were glad to enjoy some sunshine and warmth (which is why K’s pants are rolled up)…
within about 10 minutes of being there, K was ready to go home :-\ she was tired of the stroller and didn't want to hold your hand... she wanted to run around and enjoy the freedom of “country life,” but there were just too many people to allow that… and the kiddy activities were for kids a little older than her… so, we stayed for a bit…had a little snack, socialized with some friends and past students, and walked around the craft area…

my favorite part was seeing the men making apple butter. it's a lengthy process...i think one batch takes around 12-15 hours...mostly of constant stirring over a wood fire...and the apple butter is in a big cauldron... :) it was so neat! when we were watching, they were pouring the apple butter into jars... what i would have given to walk up and ask them for my very own piping hot jar....

just before we left, Ry took K (who was on the verge of a melt down) to an area with all kinds of pumpkins and gourds while I loaded up a half-bushel box of apples! That’s where he managed to snap some pictures of her…
day dreaming of going home and getting away from the craziness here... :)
K's showing us her muscles... :) she had to move the pumpkins and gourds around the field...of course!
we also grabbed a couple of quick pictures near the hay kitty before we left… the first time, with Daddy...and then one with Mommy... :) (she was weepy and crying at this point! ticking time bomb!)
i wanted to post a video of K dancing to the bluegrass music...but it won't work (of course!)... :) oh time... :)
we headed home with a nice box of apples and good memories... :) and a sleeping little girl in the back seat... :) all in all, it wasn't a bad trip...we had fun... :)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

meals for 11.8.10 to 11.14.10 and other stuff

...and not in that order... :)

i'm so sad that the weekend is over already... while today seemed to last a lot longer (daylight savings time?!), i really wish we could have 3 days weekends at least once a month... *sigh*

i'm an idiot... we went to make a few returns to stores last of those stores being Toys R Us. My mom and i had purchased two of the very same items for K's b-day - a doll and a cute little fleece outfit. we did a little shopping, didn't find much that we needed/ we just returned the items. now, Toys R Us gives "flimsy" and very thin gift cards when you make returns... the cashier wrapped the gift card in 3 receipts - my original and two from the return... i was getting into the back seat of the car...and let me just say that's getting to be very challenging these days (small space, little leg room, pregnant woman...not pretty) as i shoved myself into a little space, i must have loosened my kung fu grip (haha, meet the fockers :)) on my pile of receipts and gift card... nice... i don't know where it is... so, i lost/misplaced this gift card... $18.42... kissed it goodbye for now... i'm content to think it was a nice offering for someone...or my contribution for Toys For Tots... yep, i'm an idiot...but the good Lord must know someone needed that money more than we did...
and i did call to see if anyone had a conscience and returned the gift card that was probably laying in the parking lot... no dice... then again, it could be somewhere in the car...but i look for it later...look again, that is... :)

i like milk a lot these days... :) it's so good... :) it also helps my heart burn a little :-\

ry and i took inventory of our freezer in the basement this afternoon... :) it was a fun time for all (haha - not really)... it's amazing how much food one family can get, put in a freezer, and forget about... sad... we also "de-iced" the freezer, as wasn't it didn't take us long. when i threw the snowy ice outside, it reminded me that snow will be here soon. :) (that means snow days for Ry and no day care for me... :)) i digress... anyway, we're committed to getting a significant amount out of our freezer in the next month or so... that should help with our grocery budget a bit! (and i haven't even "inventoried" our upstairs freezer attached to our fridge, either...we have some things in there that we can use, too! :))

i have a check up at the docs on Tuesday afternoon...i'm fully prepared for a weight change... i am not going to be dropping lbs. this time... bad, bad snickers craving... geez... :-\

it's supposed to be really nice in the next several the 60s. :) yay! i am looking forward to that nice weather so that we can play outside a bit... with daylight savings time, it's going to be tough to get some good play outside time in after naps... boo hiss....

i only have 4 more weeks of class (over the course of 5 weeks - we don't have class over thanksgiving week)... i have learned a lot from the class, but i will say i'm not too motivated to do the work in bits and pieces... for the last several weeks, i've been working on Saturday or Sunday to get everything finished...i hate that b/c it takes me away from family time... i am going to try hard to plan better so that we can enjoy the next few weekends! :)

ok...meal plan... :)
here's what will be on our cluttered table this week! :)

  • Monday: beef and peas w/ rice (ry's cooking! :))
  • Tuesday: pumpkin pancakes
  • Wednesday: chicken hot dish & rolls (still have the ingredients from a few weeks ago - never made it!)
  • Thursday: leftovers (beef and peas)
  • Friday: leftovers (chicken hot dish)
  • Saturday: orange chicken and rice
  • Sunday: grill out - steak and baked potatoes

i hope that you have a wonderful week :)

Thursday, November 4, 2010

bir-dayyy bir-dayyy thoughts...

i'm watching my first few hours of "34" float along in while "33" passes into history... :) it's kind of funny... i swear that, aside from a few aches and pains (probably from being pregged up and not the healthiest weight), i feel like i did when i was 18... age is really relative, isn't it? i don't know if i will feel the same way when i turn 40...or 50...but i am sure i'll be ok. :)

i think back to 3 years ago... it was right after i had become a momma for the first time...and ry kept asking me what i wanted for my birthday... and to be honest, while i was sleep deprived and still in awe, i couldn't give him an answer... i finally said, "what more could anyone want?" as i was holding Katherine... and then i cried... (he probably walked away confused wondering what in the world was wrong with me! :))

then, for a moment, i was taken back to the years when i was a kid... it was my mom's birthday and i'd ask her, "what do you want?" and she'd just smile and say, "ohhh, i don't know...i don't need anything, really..." i would get annoyed because i couldn't figure out how anyone could NOT want something for their birthday...perfume, a sweater, a CD...anything??!
i hope that doesn't make me sound shallow... i don't mean it THAT way... but if it's your birthday, people around you usually want to give you something special to celebrate your day and you can ask for anything!

well, i think something happened to me on that early morning in October of 2008 when i had Katherine...
after a few hours of holding my daughter and staring at her incredible creation, i understood why my mom would never have any gift ideas for her birthday...
when you have a child, i think you probably receive the biggest gift of all...and the best one, for sure... and there isn't anything in the world that you could really ever want any more...nothing that important, anyway...
and so, for the last 3 birthdays, i have had a tough time thinking of anything that i could want for a day that celebrates the day my mom became a mom and i became part of this Earth...

see, i guess life's perspective changes... time with my extended family becomes more important...hearing their voices on the phone is cherished...and spending the evening with my own family trumps anything that could be wrapped up in a package...

so, on this 34th year, i can say i feel rich and have everything i could ever want... that's a pretty good bir-dayyy bir-dayyy, if you ask me... :)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

"birthday birthday, Katherine" :) {part 1}

for a few months, K and i have been practicing the "happy birthday" song in the bath tub... it's actually the only way she will sit still and let me brush her teeth... we sing 4 times (2 for the top, 2 for the bottom :)), at least...and she chooses who we sing happy birthday to each time...
but she doesn't say "HAPPY birthday" - she says, "birthday birthday" :) it makes me laugh b/c she has a "northern" accent as she says it... "bir-dayyyy bir-dayyyyy" - stretching out her ending...
on 10.23, my sweet girl had her 2nd birthday. we had both sets of grandparents here (yay!), the Knights (including her pal Thomas :)), the Strongs, and the Weigles... we had a full house, but it was fun... :) we decorated pumpkins and played...and ate...and talked... :) it was a FULL day... :)

i have a lot of i'm posting a few tonight...and of course, they're posted incorrectly...backwards again! :- grrrrrrrrr....
anyhow, i will probably take care of the birthday pics and stories in a few posts....

we were blessed by so many wonderful and thoughtful gifts from our friends and family... books, crayola artsy stuff, a bowling set, a dancing/Disco Mickey Mouse, spongebob pictures, clothes, a little leapster many good things!
but, at the END of the party, K got her "big gift" - a "pink Harley rocker" bike... :) she LOVES this bike, but i think she's still a bit too little for it... it will be perfect for warm stints this winter, and surely, next spring... :) she sat on her bike for 3 days after she got it...with her helmet...but those pics will come later :)
another important gift was her baby doll...obviously, i wanted something for her to "get ready" for being a big sister... it's funny b/c my mom and i BOTH got her the same exact doll (mine is still in the toys r us bag to return! :) we don't want TWINS!)... it took me 15 minutes to figure out what doll i wanted for her... so many dolls now are looking... they have teeth and stuff...weird... anyway, i guess my mom and i have good taste... K loves her baby and even takes her on the bike... :) she's not too gentle with her yet, but we're working on that... :) oh, and her name is "Suzie" - thanks to my dad :)

in the middle of the party, we had cake! K was really excited this year (probably b/c her cake was edible! :)).... she LOVED to hear everyone singing "happy birthday to you..." :) i made strawberry cupcakes for the kids and strawberry cake for the adults... :) it was yummy... K, of course, in typical fashion, just took swipes from the icing... :) (i'd like to say this is from her momma's side, but my mom told me that i didn't eat icing when i was a kid...just have been a love i developed later in life! :))

here K is just playing...mostly with Thomas... they were having a BALL with the balloons... :)
here, K is holding her balloons (which she managed to get ALL tangled up)... she loves "boons" a lot.... :)

it's hard to believe that she's 2 already... and while i know this age can be a bit trying, i am loving almost every second of the challenge :) she's so funny, and she provides us with joy EVERY day... i can remember being so scared to be a momma...and not sure that i wanted this change in my "comfie" life... but in all honesty, being blessed with her in our lives has been so indescribeable... she is, without a doubt, the most incredible gift we have ever received...
and we are looking forward to see what the next year holds for this sweet little girl who has A LOT of personality and is loved in ways she will probably never fathom... :)

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

tuesday random...

i have a lot on my mind right now :) maybe you wanna read it...maybe you don't... :) your choice... :)

~today is election day... i'll be voting but i don't like any of the candidates... i hate when that happens...

~my delightful daughter has been a tiny bit of a challenge in the last few days... my friend told me that her son was different when he turned 2, too... i feel like i'm raising a sassy, impatient, but oh so cute child... i know it's just a stage, but i swear, if i have to hear her tell me "NO!" again...or cry because she doesn't get her way...or try to throw a fit when something doesn't work the way she wants it to (ie: her grocery cart hitting the door frame and her attempt to back up didn't "work" the way she wanted)...or her JUMPING in the bathtub... i am gently redirecting... as my mom says, "she's just 2...she's patient..." :)

~i love that my delightful (hehe) daughter is talking more... she makes me laugh all the time... "come on, way...a sommmme (want some)...oh-keeeeeeeay (okay)" i love how she makes her face a little sad and says, in a high-pitched voice "mommmmaaaaaaaa" when she wants when i scold her for jumping in the bathtub! :)

~K had her 2 year check up last monday morning... and she still has the BRUISES from the shots she got (3 of them) on her legs... not sure how i feel about that... is it really that hard to give a child shots?
oh, and we won't even talk about the fact that she has a cold...has for the last week... wonder if it's part of the side effects from the shots or if it was just luck of the draw from her jumping and crawling around on the floor of the doctor's office (picking up germs galore), nearly naked, for 15 minutes while we waited for the doctor...

~i love that my girl snuggled with Ry and me in bed on Saturday morning for nearly an hour...watching a little Imagination Movers, but it was still JOYFUL as she snuggled up with her momma under the down comforter... :)

~i think it's going to be an interesting month, financially, for this family... but, i have faith it will be fine :)

~i am in the mood to cook something...bake something... :) wonder what tomorrow will bring... :)

~my cousin, Amy, put together an amazing and beautiful book (from shutterfly) with tons of pictures and stories about my mom's side of the family... today, i am amazed as i read about my ancestor (Inger, from the 1860s) who, at the age of 15, married a 13 year old "man." within 4 years, they had 4 children... she was hanging laundry one morning, the kids playing nearby, and she saw a bear approach... she shot at it, hitting it, but not stopping it...and her 19 year old husband came running... the bear attacked & killed him right in front of her and the children...she shot a second time and killed the bear that time...but at the age of 19, she was a widow and had 4 children under the age of 4...
maybe i shouldn't complain about my 2 year old jumping in the bathtub!

but i can't help but think about ME being married at 15 and being...intimate with a 13 year old boy...and conceiving a child...err children!! i know how it happens and stuff

~Halloween candy was on sale today... not a good thing... i won't tell you where the stash is...but if you want to know, it's in the kitchen in the basket on the baker's rack... it's in a target bag...but keep your paws off of my snickers with almond! :)

~i love my down comforter that ry scored for us at a black friday sale last year at target... i just put it on the bed last week... utter joy as i'm a furnace instead of an ice cube through the chilly nights... :)

~i make "to do" lists each week and never cross off everything... that's annoying... :)

~i am sick and tired of the political ads...and the political phone calls...

~i don't want to take all the Halloween stuff down (that's one of the things on my "to do" list this week...)

~we got K's Halloween costume for next year at 50% off tonight...thought it was a great deal...she'll be a puppy, probably (that's the costume)... i will have to put pink bows on the ears so that we don't have to hear anyone call HER a cute little boy... yes, people actually called K a "he" this weekend at Halloween festivities... yes, i'm sure the average mother and father dresses their little boy in a lady bug costume - adorned with pink socks and red mary janes...

ok...that's enough... :) it's not everything, but i feel a little emptier! :) plus, i need to get some sleep... morning will come too fast...and i have a to-do list to take care of, a toddler to gently redirect, i need to be ready to vote...and, maybe, i'll make something good to eat... :)

hope you have a good day :)

Monday, November 1, 2010

Little Lady Bug

we read "Ten Little Lady Bugs" before bed a lot... :) while i'd like to brag that my child chose to be a lady bug because she's so inspired by the book, i have to admit that this year's Halloween costume is a hand-me-down from Ry's aunt... she has a daughter a few years older than K, so we are sooooooooo blessed to receive BAGS that are full of very nice clothes, coats, dresses, shoes, and yes, Halloween costumes... and, well, this year's costume was soooooo cute and so perfect... :)

a sidenote...i tried to be deliberate about loading my pictures... for some reason, it always puts my pictures in reverse of what i select...and i "thought" i had remedied that by selecting the ones i wanted last as my first downloads...but it didn't work that way... so i'm going to go backwards... :)

On Halloween night, Ry took K to a few neighborhood houses... Admittedly, we don't know a lot of neighbors in the 'hood, but we wanted her to have a trick-or-treating experience... :) so, for about 45 minutes, Ry and K traveled to a few houses while i stayed home and ate handed out candy.... :) (so what that one of my cravings happens to be snack-sized snickers bars!!!)

first, here's our little lady bug dreamin' of allll the candy she's going to get...

our disgruntled lady bug is getting really fed up with her floppy antennae :)

our favorite :)

On Saturday night, we went to Ry's school to attend "Trick or Trunk." Last year, nearly 1,000 children came to this event... We went, but K wasn't dressed up...we just walked around with our friends and K sported her cute pumpkin shirt. :) She did manage to get a ton of candy (people were throwing it into her stroller)... Since it's so organized and "compact," we decided to go back again this year...

I was a little disappointed...

don't get me wrong...i am glad we participated and had the experience, but K got mostly candy that little ones can't eat...bubble gum, taffy, tootsie rolls... in addition, knowing that this community gathering is for young children, many of the "trunkees" handing out candy were too scary for little ones... K clung to me for dear life 3 or 4 times and cried when she saw some of the costumes... :( again, these costumes would be great for an older kid crowd...but for the 2 or 3 year olds there, it wasn't appropriate... but, we made the best of our time there :)

surprise, surprise...these pics are backwards! :)

here, we're "bribing" K to look at the camera at the end of the night... we are bribing her with a "bobbypop." :) this is why she's reaching out...

when we were just about to start getting candy, the organizers have you walk through a "cemetery" blow up yard ornament... next to it is a huge, green, Frankenstein... :) K was so excited to see him...but now that i look at the picture, it looks like i'm excited and she's not so sure! :) but, honestly, she was all about shouting, "loooooooooook!!!" and pointing. :)
we had a good time... while K is a candy maniac (ugh!), we're looking forward to many more years of trick-or-treating with our sweet girl... :) now, i need to go and hide her candy so she doesn't see it in the morning and pass up her favorite morning waffle to throw a fit for candy!
Happy Halloween :)

meals for 11.1.10 to 11.7.10

i have been thinkin' that i really need to do a better job at budgeting for our grocery bill each month. it's interesting to me that, when i send ry to the store, he spends about $25-$50 less than i do... while i would *hate* to ask him to grocery shop each week (haha - i would gladly give him this responsibility), i may have to send him a few times a month so we can have some $$ left at the end of the month! it is a mystery to me b/c i don't think i really overbuy or anything...i stick to a list, for the most part... granted, there are a few items that i see when i shop that i realize i didn't write down but we need, but i'm not piling unnecessaries into the cart... hmmm!

our meals for the week will be pretty basic... i don't really want to spend a lot of time cooking this week, so we will be having leftovers a lot... :) i think i want to do a little experimenting, too...i want to make cinnamon rolls from scratch...and i have a PILE of apples that i need to put into an apple pie or something apple-y. AND, someone's going to be a year older, so we'll have take-out one night to celebrate, too!

here's the plan for the week :)

  • Monday: chicken and rice soup (pioneer woman) and corn bread
  • Tuesday: pigs in a blanket, mac n cheese, and veggies
  • Wednesday: leftover soup
  • Thursday: Endzone Pizza :) yummmmm!!!
  • Friday: leftovers (pigs, mac, veggies, and soup?)
  • Saturday: probably out to eat with friends
  • Sunday: leftovers, grill out, or breakfast for dinner :)

ENJOY your week and the first days of November! :)

Sunday, October 31, 2010

flower plucker

we're still fluctuating with our temperatures a bit here even though we've officially been experiencing "fall," on the calendar, for a little over a month. this week, we had to turn on the air conditioner again after a few hot & humid days....last night, i set the heat to kick on at 65* because it was supposed to be around 32* last night. tonight, i'm warming up with a cup of hot chocolate after a night outside for Trick or Trunking...

it's kind of funny...because i was just thinking that i'd be outside "soaking in" the "warm" temperatures of today/tonight if it were February...i'd have a t-shirt on and i'd think, "boy, it's really warm!" but i really think that, after it's so warm through the summer, it takes your body awhile to "adjust" to cooler temperatures... i dunno, maybe i'm just getting old! (hehehehe!)

a few weeks ago, we were experiencing a "cooler" day... K was sporting her little jean jacket while we played outside... she enjoyed watering the flowers with me, and of course, afterward, she loved picking the mums off of the bushy plants or plucking the few blooms left on the petunias or geraniums. :) even after several attempts to remind her not to pick the flowers...just sniff...she'd still look at me with that "gleam" in her eye and she'd reach down and pull off another little flower... then she'd put the flower to her nose and inhale as loud as possible... :) and, well, honestly, i'd start to smile and laugh... (yes, i'm such a good disciplinarian!)

on this day, i decided to take some pictures... and i managed to grab a few pictures of her LOOKING at the camera... she moves around so much that it's hard to get her to LOOK at the camera these days... and well, while i'm not a photographer (i just wish i was), these were pretty good... :)
enjoy my little flower bandit :)

see that mischevious gleam in her eye?
picking something, i'm sure

the poor geraniums...but look at her! pretty

reminds me of a female james dean, minus the cigarettes
and a fast car

Saturday, October 23, 2010


it's a day of remembering for me...

when i woke up this morning, i thought about what i was doing 2 years ago...timing contractions... :) i sent ry back to sleep after my water broke at 6:15 that morning... :) i knew we had a little time...

...and almost 24 hours later (i didn't think we'd have THAT much time :)), my life changed forever... :)

happy, happy birthday to my SWEET baby girl... who has made life more wonderful than i could have ever imagined... :)

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

happenings and meal plan for 10.18.10 to 10.24.10

things are crazy this week... i am going to need to remind myself to take the time to ENJOY moments... mostly my sweet Katherine's 2nd *gasp* birthday... my baby turns 2 on seems impossible, but it's true... and in the words of my friend, Carey, who has reflected on her three little ones' would be nice if things could slow down just a little bit... i feel that way with K... woah nellie!

~i have to get some pictures downloaded and posted... i really have intentions of it all the time but never feel like i have time... :(

~we had K's 2 yr pictures taken on Monday afternoon... can't WAIT to see the magic that Jessica works... :)

~K's birthday is on Saturday... grandparents will be here...and it just happens to be a birthday season... my mom celebrated her birthday on Sunday and my mother in law will celebrate her birthday on Thursday... we'll be having Tres Leche Cake to celebrate their special birthdays... YUM! :) (i made this cake last year for MY birthday...heaven in disquise of a cake, no lie...WOW!)... then, for K's birthday, we'll be caking it up again...strawberry cupcakes and cake... can't wait for THAT! (and it will be better than last year's DISASTER of a load cake...ICK!)

~i started watching Thomas and his new little sister, Tenley, 2 weeks ago... we're getting the hang of things with an 8 week old and 2 two-year olds... some days are better than others... :) it's been great for Katherine to have her pal back....but it's also "training" K for life to come in a few short months...

~oh yah, speaking of...had our ultrasound last's a GIRL! a little sister for Katherine... :) i'm so excited for her... :) a gift for years to come ('cept for maybe during those hairy teenage years!) :)

~loving the fall weather...we have bouts of warmth and then some chillier days... :) lots of leaves are changing, mums are in full color...pumpkins! :) yay! :)

~i have a paper due on Sunday for my class; not a good week to have a paper due! :( i'm sure it will be finished, but i'm sure it will be difficult with the crazy schedule... not looking forward to squeezing that in...

~it's lunchtime here, so i better get myself ready so the kids can eat before i lose my window! :)

speaking of are the meals for the week... even though my MIL will be here, i tried to plan a little... :) and a special "thanks" to Sarah for inspiring the first meal choice of the week! :)

Monday: homemade chicken and noodles and mashed potatoes (they were DIVINE!) and homemade apple pie (yes, i spent a lot of time in the kitchen on Monday...)

Tuesday: english muffin pizzas

Wednesday: lasagna

Thursday: CiCi's pizza (gotta quench that hunger for mac n cheese pizza for the best sis-in-law in the world! :))

Friday: out to eat with the grandparents and cake, of course! :) (Happy Birthday, Gamma R and Bebot K :) )

Saturday: out to eat with the grandparents again, i'm sure :) and cake :) (Happy Birthday, Katherine! :) )

Sunday: who wants to eat?! we've probably gained 5 pounds in the last 2 or 3 days... :) anyhoo, we'll probably do leftovers... :) if we don't have leftovers, i'm sure we'll come up with something :) oh, and cake! :) hehehe :)

Monday, October 11, 2010

meals for 10.11.10 through 10.17.10

nothing fancy this week... :) we have an overstock of a few things, and i really want to get rid of some things... so, i tried to keep the grocery list to a minimum so that we could declutter the "mess!" :)

here's what is on the menu for us...

Monday: chicken, leftover cheesy bowties, corn

Tuesday: spaghetti

Wednesday: leftovers (maybe homemade pizza w/ the spaghetti sauce?)

Thursday: turkey burgers, carrots, & sweet potato fries

Friday: sour cream pancakes, sausage (Ry) & turkey bacon (R n K :))

Saturday: leftovers/scrounge or eat out

Sunday: not sure yet...maybe grilling out... :)

enjoy the week! :)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

the best kind of surprises...

it seems like it was awhile ago when i sat in disbelief about being pregnant with K... i understood how it happened...and when it happened...and that it was truth, but, for months, i just felt like it was all a dream...

for weeks, i thought that i probably just had some "female issue" that mimicked pregnancy... as most of you know, you don't really "feel" much in the beginning of a pregnancy... i wasn't sick, i wasn't gaining weight, i wasn't having just seemed impossible that a test "said" i was pregnant... i looked at that test for weeks after i first saw those two pink lines... weeks... in disbelief...

it wasn't until March 31st (yes, i remember the date) when we went for our first ultrasound that i had to believe it was true... the little legs floating around were the first things i saw... and i turned and looked at Ry and said, "i think it's really for real..." :)

i couldn't have ever fathomed the changes that would come from our little surprise... i would have never guessed that my "passion" for teaching would soon wane... i would have never guessed that i would resign from teaching, which was my identity for years...

and there are so many other wonderful changes that came from our little surprise :)

but, i know that the changes and surprises that we experienced are the best kind... i can't even begin to imagine life without my sweet Katherine... so many people told us, "ohhh, when the baby gets here, you'll never believe that life existed before it..." (no gender references here...we didn't know what we were having :)) how true that statement became... life is simply WONDERFUL! :)

well, new surprises await our family...

yep, Katherine is going to be a big sister this February...

i was emotional when i told Ry... i cried because i was scared at what this would mean for Katherine's world... i love how things are "now"...and i wanted her to have more one-on-one time with us before we rocked her world with a new little one...

but...surprise...again! :) it's not always about what we "want," is it?

i think experience has proven that surprises like this always turn out to be the most incredible blessing...kind of like that surprise back in the early months of 2008 when we learned that we'd be parents the first time...

and, now, i look at this "surprise" as an incredible gift... i can't imagine loving anyone more than i love Katherine...but i know we will... but i think the gift will be for Katherine... yes, it will be an adjustment for her, but what an INCREDIBLE blessing it will be for her to be a big sister... to have a little brother or sister with which to grow up with and to share life...

things will be a little different this time...there will be no "surprise" on the day of delivery :) i "made a deal" with Ryan when I was pregnant with K that if we didn't find out what we were having the first time, we could find out for the second child... :) so, in two days, we'll know if Katherine is going to have a little sister or brother. (and yes, we all know what Daddy wants! :)) and, well, knowing if we're having a boy or a girl will make it easier to pick out a name before we leave the hospital (Katherine was known as "baby girl" for her first 2 days of life...and the name has stuck :) that's what we call her a lot :))...and, maybe we will have a precious little blue or a pink outfit to bring home our newest addition versus the "non-gender specific" ducky sleeper we used to bring home Katherine :)

but, i think we're ready for a little surprise... after all, does it get any better than a sweet little one? i think they may just be the best kind of surprises... :)

Monday, October 4, 2010

meals for 10.4.10 through 10.10.10 (<---hehe :))

well, it's that time think about food...
i'm starting back "to work" this week with my little tikes... Thomas (2 yrs.) and his new little sister, Tenley (8 weeks), will be joining us on Wednesday... we're excited to get back into the swing of life with our friends :)
but, i also know that, for the next few weeks, i'm bound to be tired and things may be a little hairy... :) and, who wants to slave in a kitchen when you just want to sit down and go to sleep?! :)
taking this new schedule into account, i tried to plan better because, basically, i want leftovers more often and don't want to spend an hour in the kitchen later in the week getting food together... :) and with cooler weather, i think our bodies are craving warm comfort foods... :) yay! :)

so, here's what we'll be munchin' on this week... :)

Monday: macaroni soup and grilled cheese

Tuesday: sloppy joes (Pioneer Woman) & mac n cheese
(if you have never had Pioneer Woman's sloppy joes, make them... you will LOVE them! :) it takes a little more time than opening up a can of Manwich, but it's sooooooo worth it!)

Wednesday: leftovers :)

Thursday: Morning Star buffalo wings & cheesy bowties

Friday: leftovers :)

Saturday: scrounge around w/ leftovers or eat out

Sunday: chicken hot dish (which will make leftovers for next week! :))

wishing you a wonderful week with your family and friends and lots of good eats, too! :)

potty...a beginner's tale...

so i have been contemplating whether or not to start K with potty training. she displays "some" readiness, but i don't think we're all the way there yet...

i don't want to force the issue...
but she tells me when she has to poop...
she runs out of the room when it's time to poop...
she observes me using the potty and tells me that i'm going pee pee...and she does the same thing when she hears daddy go...and when we take Beezer and Shorty outside to go... :)

i have picked some momma brains...when did you start? was it hard? how did your child do? did you give her M&Ms or other bribes? did you use a potty chair (on the floor) or a potty seat on the big toilet? did they regress when a new sibling came along? lots of questions... :)

so today, we went to Walmart to buy a potty seat... we went to Target a week ago and they had just Dora potty seats...and i will tell you in a few sentences why we didn't get that one...
ANYHOW, we got a cushy tushy potty seat's white with yellow ducks... it's not the "cutest" seat, but hey, you're gonna use the bathroom on it, right?!
it's nice and cushy, too (as the name promises :))...for little tiny sweet little behinds... :) and it was better than the purple potty seat with "princess" printed on it (what?! who takes a wee on a potty seat that tells you that you're a princess?)...or, for the boy crowd, a baseball potty seat or football potty seat...or the ever popular Dora potty seat (which would probably, in a yelling voice, bossily tell you to take a crap in Spanish [i'm not a big fan of Dora])......

i forgot to buy M&Ms tho... but it's OK, i'm not like...DIE HARD potty training... i just want K to have a chance to sit on her potty seat to get started with the idea... if she seems ready and asks to sit on it semi-regularly, then I will get M&Ms... :)

and i really wanna get K the book "Once Upon a Potty" - forgot to get that, too... :) have you ever read it? it's so super cute... :)

so, before our nap and after lunch today, we opened our new cushy tushy potty... :) momma made a big deal out of it... i asked K if she wanted to sit on it to try to pee pee or poop, and she flashed me her smile and shook her cute head eagerly in agreement... yay! :)
as i was getting the seat situated on the "oval office," K decided it would be fun to put her arm through her cushy tushy toilet seat to surf in the water...
momma stops K with a raised voice "noooo!"...
tears follow...
momma kisses K and reminds her not to put her hands in the toilet...
tears are gone... :)

momma sticks her sweet girl on the cushy tushy...and we sit and talk... K talks about poop and pee pee and she wanted toilet paper... i tore off a few sheets for her and she was pleased as a peacock...
she promptly wiped as if she had done pee pee...
and hopped off her potty seat...
we washed hands...antibacterial soap this time since she took a little expedition in the clean toilet water...

not a TERRIBLE first experience.... :) enough to make me laugh and look forward to doing it again in a few hours when she wakes up from her nap :)

Monday, September 27, 2010

meals for 9.27.10 to 10.3.10

gosh, i can't believe it's almost October already.... :)
i love fall... :)

i'm back to meal planning this week...i took off a week b/c my in-laws were in town... :) my mother-in-law is a much better meal planner than me :)

here are the eats for the week... it's a weird week here... Ry and i have dentist appointments on different afternoons and getting geared up for homecoming this weekend... that means Ry won't be home dinners will be simple and....basic :)

and, i have to say that i'm not leaving K out of meals... for the last several nights, she's pretty much refused dinner... so, her dinners are things like fruit! i always offer her what we're having, though, but she rarely eats it and will not try it... can i mention, again, how much i love having a picky eater?! *ugh*

ok, ok... the plan... :)

Monday: leftovers (chicken cutlet sandwiches from Sat. night) & mac n cheese

Tuesday: bagel pizzas

Wednesday: tacos

Thursday: chick-fil-a (yum! :) a benefit of having a dentist appointment in town :))

Friday: *Homecoming Game* me: quesidilla Ry: eat out *probably subway*

Saturday: *Homecoming decorating all day and dance at night* take out - pizza

Sunday: Frenchie chicken fingers, mashed potatoes, & a veggie

hope you have a good week! :) enjoy the fall weather and eats with each other :)

Monday, September 13, 2010

caramel apple dip

i'm blessed to live near a beautiful apple orchard (which i toured every year i taught 3rd grade)... and, i am even more blessed to know the wonderful family who runs this apple heaven... :)

missy, one of my friends and the wife of one of the owners, shared this recipe recently... and it is Y.U.M.M.Y! it's not too has an interesting but good taste...and paired with an apple slice... (or two apples, sliced, if you are us :)), you will think you've died and gone to apple heaven... :)

Missy's Caramel Apple Dip

1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
1 t. vanilla extract

Melt your butter in a small pan. Add your brown sugar and stir constantly until smooth and dissolved. Remove from heat and add your sour cream and vanilla extract. Stir to combine.

go ahead...make it... if you do, i will warn you, you won't be able to stop eating apples with this dip... :)

oh, and buy lots of apples... :) you'll need them... :)

i can't wait until i need a snack this week... :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

meals for 9.13.10 to 9.19.10

i think fall is finally knocking on our door... i see leaves scattering the ground...and a cool breeze blows in our windows at sunset... :) i love it... fall is one of my most favorite times of the year...the colors and smells...pumpkins and mums... :) Earth's rest from a hot and demanding summer is well-earned... :)

my meals haven't quite taken that "fall" turn, yet...but we're looking forward to some yummy eats this week! :) here's what will be on our boring white plates this week... :)

Monday: chocolate chip banana pancakes, sausage links (Ry) and turkey bacon (me :))

Tuesday: leftovers (corn noodle casserole from Sunday)

Wednesday: BBQ meatballs (Meg's recipe), corn on the cob and mashed potatoes (totally stole
the rest of the meal from her plate picture - so original, i know :) - but it looks so good!)

Thursday: leftovers (corn noodle casserole?) OR bagel pizzas (me) and California Kitchen's BBQ chicken pizza (Ry)

Friday: meatball sandwiches (leftover meatballs from Wed.) & mac n cheese

Saturday: leftovers or eat out

Sunday: cream of broccoli soup and grilled cheese (haven't decided on which recipe for the soup...will post it when i do :))

happy eats to you all! :) ENJOY your time with your family and friends! :)